Smashing the patriarchy, narcissism, and religious abuse one story at a time. Author of Chasing Eden a childhood memoir.

I am currently from Portland, Oregon, but I’ve lived in many places. From Washington to Michigan, to Connecticut, to Louisiana. I am from carrying my home within my heart.

I am originally from a little cabin on Whidbey Island, in Washington State, that I called home despite no indoor plumbing during my childhood. …

It’s Never What it Seems

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Narcissistic people search for empaths like heat-seeking missiles. Then, once they find them, they try to milk them for all their worth. It’s called narcissistic feed. The narcissistic feed can be compliments, favors, money, votes — you name it — it’s the narc’s currency and varies from person to person.

It’s tough for an empath to see through a narcissist because they are kind, generous, and trusting — all traits exploited by the narcissist. Empaths feel so deeply for other people that the narcissist slides through their blind spot. …

Do it for yourself

Photo by the Author

A decade before I wrote my memoir, I was watching The Judds episode on OWN where Ashley Judd told Wynonna that she wrote a memoir. Wynonna yelled at her in anger, “Why’d you have to do that?”

Ashley's answer was, “Because you wouldn’t listen to me any other way.”

At the time I thought that made so much sense. I figured maybe Ashley's mom and sister would realize how they had treated her like their slave, but now that I’ve written my own memoir, I doubt it. …

Or is someone just making this crap up?

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When a friend invited me to join a group for survivors of narcissistic abuse, I turned her down. The truth was I felt so much shame that I didn’t feel good enough to talk about what happened to me.

Contributing to my shame was a false belief that I had somehow been complicit in the abuse because I hadn’t stopped it. Like many survivors, I blamed myself. I asked myself questions like — why me? Why didn’t I see that coming? Why couldn’t I stop it? My default was to blame myself before the narcissist. …

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It’s hard to recognize the abuse

If it’s your first narcissist — whether parent, boss, neighbor or romantic partner, it’s going to be hard to diagnose the situation. If you grew up in a narcissistic family or were taught to be codependent, it might take years or even decades for you to recognize such behavior as abusive. It will take a great awakening and possibly a crisis to discover that what you thought was normal is narcissistic behavior.

Even after you catch on to the abuse, the tendency for denial is strong. Who wants to feel used and abused by a narcissist? Many people will try…

But I’m woke now

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When we think of racist leaders, we often think of people like David Duke or the KKK— but the chilling truth is that covert white supremacists have infiltrated many places in society from the office to church where they often speak like angels. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize racism, but you can learn a lot about someone by listening to what they’re against and sometimes even by what they don’t say.

A few years ago, I met a man at a seminar where he gave me a free book that he wrote. …

You might want to draw the line with a narcissist

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There is a saying that you can’t go wrong with kindness, but I would disagree. Kindness is usually a good thing. And I agree that kindness matters, but some people do not deserve kindness. At the top of that list are people who do not have any empathy for other people. That would be a narcissist.

Eva was the secretary at the furniture factory where I applied for my first real job. I’d had babysitting jobs and housekeeping jobs, and I’d even worked as a cowhand one summer, but none…

What happens in childhood, never stays in childhood

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Once upon a time, there was a girl named Zoe who, even though her name meant life — had trouble enjoying life. No matter what she did, or where she went, or who she was with, dark shadows of fear snuck up all around her and stole her joy.

Zoe couldn’t go on a journey because every form of transportation brought anxiety. It didn’t matter where she went or who she was with — she was always worried about getting in an accident.

Zoe couldn’t find comfort in food because she couldn’t…

About the former narcissist-in-chief

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Remember the “Never Trumps?” I thought you might. They were those savvy people who saw trouble coming before Trump was even elected. Like flocks of worried ravens, they called out prophecies of doom and destruction. Some people laughed at their concerns because they couldn’t imagine anyone actually voting for an arrogant, lying, tax-evading, woman-groping bully. But it happened — not with the popular vote, of course, but just enough to bring America to her knees and question how we do things around here.

In the beginning, many people doubted Trump would win because the things he…

Why narcissistic Christians need to rethink their hypocrisy

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As a child growing up in the church, I was taught about pride. The wise man in the Bible said that pride goes before a fall. Some Christians believe that pride is what caused Lucifer to fall from heaven to become Satan. Pride has been called the deadliest sin. Selfishness is often the assumed default for many conservative Christians when they hear the words “Pride Parade.”

There is a double standard when it comes to Pride. Instead of asking why some people might need a parade for pride, some Christians view it…

Cherilyn Christen Clough

Smashing the Patriarchy, Narcissism, and Religious Abuse one story at a time. Author of CHASING EDEN: A MEMOIR and Little Red Survivor Publication

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