Wounding Words Reflect the Troubled Heart

Wounding Words

Wounding words. Many people have told me how some words, no matter how or why uttered, pierced their very heart. Sadly, once certain words come out of our mouths, they’re difficult – if not impossible – to take back.

We live in a time when too many folks play fast and loose with their words. Moreover, what we speak, and how we speak, often reflects the condition of our hearts. Some folks, in their pain, just aren’t mindful enough of their words. Others, in their insensitivity and hardness of heart, deliberately aggress with their words. It’s a sad state of affairs, to be sure.

The Power of Words

Words have power. And some have the power to wound. Unfortunately, some wounds to the heart can be nearly mortal. I know many folks who still hear certain words in their heads that nearly decimated them when first uttered. And tragically, those words continue to take a toll.

It’s not just the wounding words we say to another that do damage. Sometimes, we say similar words to ourselves. But the effect is always the same. Loving words have the power to build and grow. But wounding words inherently destroy.

We humans are distinguished by our incredible communicative capacity. We’re inherently relational creatures. And the words we most frequently utter often define the character of our relationships. Similarly, they often define the condition of our hearts.

Words in the Era of Character Dysfunction

My heart aches at the words I so frequently come across on various social media. But perhaps even more troubling is how desensitized we all seem to have become to the many wounding words out there. Sometimes it seems like even the very possibility of civil discourse has evaporated. (See also: Narcissism Desensitization Impairs Recognition.)

I’m even troubled by the words I sometimes see on this blog. But I’ve always been hesitant to exercise strong censorship. You see, right from its inception, there never appeared a need to monitor the words posted here closely. The forum participants actually set a remarkable and enviable standard for decency of discussion. But things have changed in recent years. And perhaps that’s at least partly due to how used to wounding words we’ve all become. My commitment is to be mindful of my own words. And I pray that others be equally mindful.

A Stickler for the Words

Only one of my books, The Judas Syndrome, had an independent editor. And that’s largely because I’m such a stickler for the words. But in recent years, I’ve become even more mindful than ever about what I say and how I say it. So, as I mentioned last week, I have labored greatly over what will likely be my last book. I just have to get the words right. And they simply must be words of healing, growing, building, and empowering. So, I labor. But it’s truly a labor of love. I love fashioning words that might make a positive difference.

Words for Today

Allow me to offer some carefully pondered words for your consideration:

Be mindful of what you say to others and how you say it. And be particularly mindful of the words you say to yourself. I am not advocating either timidity or passivity, here. Quite the contrary. I’m advocating loving assertiveness. Stand up for your legitimate needs with words that confront unseemliness benignly but firmly. And don’t take to heart words uttered by others that reflect the ill health of their own heart. Replace the negative words in your own internal dialogue with words capable of making a positive difference in your life. Remember, words have power. So, be mindful of them.

38 thoughts on “Wounding Words Reflect the Troubled Heart

  1. Thank you for these important words. This Bible verse came to mind:

    “Let the words of my mouth,
    and the meditation of my heart,
    be acceptable in thy sight,
    O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.”
    — Psalm 19:14

  2. In my experience many folks expect an angry response/personal attack or response and are surprised by a calm, thoughtful response. It can change the dynamic if the other person has the will/capacity to make that change.

    Of course some folks just like to poke/provoke. That’s a lose/lose.

    Enjoyed this post, thank you!

  3. “Speaking the truth in
    love…become…the mature body of him who is the head…Christ…” (Ephesians 4:15). Wisely loving with humility.

  4. Off Topic

    Struggling to find ways to share my estrangement with my family that’s not blaming and not and overshare. My whole family is toxic (including my adult daughter) and I’m now the scapegoat (was the fixer/peacemaker).

    I’d like to make new, healthier friends and eventually date again and am finding it challenging to come up with ways to address it. It’s a normal part of getting to know someone and I certainly don’t want to lie, and I don’t want to dodge it either. Honestly, I feel ashamed. I don’t have any family. I know (logically) it’s not my fault they are like that, but I also know how the world works.

    If I know someone has experience with CD’s/ toxic family members, it’s easier.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for various stages of friendship/relationships that has worked for them? I’d appreciate feedback.
    Thank you.

    1. To Mindful,

      I’ve had similar experiences, I have two good friends with whom I can easily confide.
      As you said, unless someone has been through toxicity within family dynamics and suffered being the scapegoat they cannot grasp how it comes about and continues. Then, if you meet someone, you begin the cycle of explaining, and then defending. I can’t go to that spot in my thoughts anymore. I managed to get off the hamster wheel a long time ago and being triggered to ruminate for weeks on end is agony.

      And, no it isn’t your fault. I was ashamed too, to think that this is how my family has ended up. My parents were average, generous hardworking people and they were so sad to see us like this. They thought it was their fault. I have no idea why they thought that. They raised all of us the same way, and one made their life a living hell. I didn’t have the words to explain to them what he was back then. I too was the fixer and now I am the scapegoat.

      It has been my experience when meeting people even casually at the gym, or seeing my hairstylist, or at small social gatherings there are mostly people interested in talking about themselves. So I interview them. I do it because I am genuinely interested, and it shows. This said, my H and our daughter, have each other, we have three children, one lives abroad and we keep in touch frequently, the third is estranged since he met and married a covert manipulator. In a matter of weeks we didn’t recognize him anymore. The last time we spoke he sounded exactly like her. We could’ve salvaged the relationship if we had devalued ourselves and that will never happen. I have a CD ex sibling who I disowned. He was the reason I came to this forum and it’s been over 5 years since I had to be in contact with him. I have one sister-in-law who is not even worth mentioning anymore because it’s been 11 blissful years without contact. Unfortunately her H, my eldest brother is the fallout of that estrangement as he made all the excuses for her behavior. I digress.

      So many in one family. Must be my fault. That’s what people will think. This is where my mind went to. No justice. No reasoning. I just had to live with it. It was painful.

      I contemplated therapy, wrote down everything. It was a personal homework assignment in case I was triggered horribly one day. I spent days on my story, and then read it once. I have never revisited it. But, if I need a therapist I will hand a copy over so that I never have to tell my story again.

      When people ask about our son. I say “he has a busy life, we don’t see him as much as we’d like.” ( then shrug, make a you know how it is face) and move on to their life. It works every time. I would wait until you have a real trust in someone until you let your story out. It’s as easy as saying “we aren’t close” and don’t fill in the silence. I really hope I helped.

      1. Thank you for sharing your experience and tips, D. It did help.

        For many people this is not even remotely their reality.

        I do what you do. Actually, My personality is that I am a good listener and it’s usually a fairly one sided discussion. I have also dodged discussions about my daughter saying she’s still out of state and keeping busy. Which is the truth.

        It would be easier if it were not my entire family. I’m completely alone and trying to explain that is challenging. If they had all died, well that is what it is. People would likely accept that no problem. I will try the “we aren’t close” approach for new relationships/acquaintances that push past my initial approach about her living out of state.

        If anyone else has any feedback, I’d appreciate it. Especially as it relates to a potential serious relationship. I do not want to mislead someone and I also don’t want to potentially scare them off!

        1. Mindful, I do recall something else I’ve said that helped me explain/not explain all the moving parts in my family. Ours is very complicated, I once had a DIL four years my senior, and the legacy of that marriage is mind numbing. I think it’s more difficult to explain family estrangement, especially with children involved. No one gets it unless they are in it.

          We have been systematically smeared by the past and present covert narcs lurking in our family. With the exception of two people who have been married to narcs we don’t talk to anyone about it. My brother and his wife don’t even know. Depending on the situation I have offered one of these:

          “I don’t see them as much as I’d like to” (complete lie)


          “It’s in my best interest not to be around them.” (little shrug, little smile)

          The smile and shrug lessens the harshness and it provides a chance to stop the topic. If pressed in a more intimate relationship I’d think it would give you more control to reveal as much or as little as you want.

          1. Thank you, D. Those are both very helpful! I think the shrug and smile tips are helpful too. I’m sure the fact that I feel uncomfortable about it (understatement), makes it harder for me. I’m trying to care less about it. So I’ll practice doing that.

      2. D.
        That is exactly what I was going to suggest. Reason being: IT IS NOT OUR FAULT! We have but one mind with which to think. One heart with which to give or withhold. One mouth with which to speak. One life with which to answer for!!!
        I have 7 siblings. I asked myself for decades, “why are they doing this?”. Dr. Simon has helped me to answer this question. While I gave, they took. While I cared, they did not. When I had to withdraw, they stole (literally). Even so far as to steal my reputation amongst others.
        I now have a son and as you say within a very short period of time speaks and acts like our overt manipulative dil.
        We do not owe the world an answer as to why they behave like they do. Short and sweet answers given with a smile used to be impossible for me in the past.
        Now I know why they behave the way they do and I know for sure I am not part of their problem.

        1. Priscilla, yes as you say character matters!

          Now that H and I are out of our families lives I do tend to wonder very occasionally how they interact when they only have each other.

          I don’t kid myself, we will always be the scapegoats.

          Our validation comes from friends and a smattering of family. Our daughter for one has our backs and she hasn’t been blind to the covertness and bullying.

          It’s the best feeling to be around people who have no agenda. My mind can put its “feet” up and sit back and enjoy the person, to share good times and bad without fear.

          1. Well one of my SIL would threaten my brother with divorce every time she wanted something big that he didn’t. She wanted to move and he didn’t so she threatened to leave him.
            My other SIL did just that to my other brother!
            So we may be temporary scapegoats but when we remove ourselves from the equation, they are still SIL’s with ROTTEN CHARACTER. This proves the fact that it had nothing to do with us.
            That’s empowering! Don’t ya think?

  5. I was married to a narcissist and of course I was gaslighted the entire relationship of 15 years. I find that I continue to be a target for manipulators because of some of the after effects of having been gaslighted for so long that I didn’t believe my own eyes, I believed him. I have been working on healing but recently got sucked in again by a supposed friend. This time, after a couple of months of getting to know this person I was able to identify that she is a manipulative person. I don’t know if she considered a narcissist but she is manipulative. I am angry with myself for getting sucked in again, but as you know, they get to know you and then change their tactics and are deceptive. At least through working a recovery program, reading this blog and educating myself on manipulative people and what behaviors I have that make me a soft target I extricated myself from that relationship before she did any real damage. So I need to give myself a pat on the back for identifying what was going on and my continued work on my recovery will eventually make me a hard target rather than a soft one.

    1. “At least through working a recovery program, reading this blog and educating myself on manipulative people and what behaviors I have that make me a soft target I extricated myself from that relationship before she did any real damage”.

      That’s awesome! Good for you, Kat. I hope it keeps getting easier and easier for you. I’ve found the less I kick myself for getting tricked and focus instead on the progress I’ve made, the easier it is for me to move forward in confidence. That said, I recognize that takes practice too! It’s challenging to get over the gaslighting effect.

      1. Thanks mindful. I came from an alcoholic family background where I was a “lost child” and neglected. I guess any attention was better than none, but you are right about the gaslighting, it takes a lot of work to recover and I’ve been doing it about two years and its been a great help and I will continue in my recovery. I did feel guilt about breaking this friendship off and that shows me I still have triggers, but knowledge truly is power. It takes work but well worth it. You are right about beating myself up over “falling” for the manipulation again, I have a hard time trusting my gut but I am learning and thats what counts. Thanks for your response!

        1. You’re so welcome, Kat. I don’t know about you, but I definitely need encouragement! Trusting the gut is so helpful. It’s your second brain.

          I’ve been reading a book about the new science about attachment and how it can hep us make better choices in relationships. It’s fascinating and giving me hope that I’ll be able to use it to increase my chances of success in choosing healthier future relationships. Turns out theirs a lot of avoidant types out there that actually do not want to be emotionally close.

          1. Mindful, if you wouldn’t mind sharing the title of the book I would add it to my list of books to eventually read. I am trying my best to have healthy relationships and I believe I have a pretty good idea of what is healthy and what is not. I can believe there are many avoidant people, maybe they have been hurt, or burned and just don’t want to keep trying. I find al-anon principles to be very helpful in my day to day life, also having a sponsor and going thru the program with the sponsor has been so helpful, at least for myself.

          2. Sandra,

            Could not reply directly under our response, so hopefully you’ll see this. (I had to do the same for Kat).

            The book is called: Attached. The new science of adult attachment and how it can help you find and keep love by Amir Levine, M.D. and Rachel S.F. Heller, M.A.

            Another book that I’ve been reading along with it is: Why Does He Do That? Encouragement for Women Involved With an Angry and Controlling Man. This book has been so beneficial in spotting the attitudes and behavior of Aggressive and controlling people, particularly partners. It is also helpful in helpful in pointing out how it effects you and how to protect yourself and get out (if that’s what you choose).

            Was pleasantly surprised that reading them together had a reinforcing effect. My local library had them both.

          3. Oh! It worked. Oops, thought I had to reply directly under a comment for it to show underneath and when there’s no reply there, you can’t.

    2. Kat,
      I am happy for you to have not only recognized this person as being manipulative, but also for having the courage and determination to withdraw your friendship.
      I don’t think we really should see ourselves as soft targets though, as much as we should see manipulative people as ones who lack character! It is truly disappointing to find that someone you’re beginning a relationship with reveals their true character to you and it is less than honorable.
      If we look at ourselves each time we begin a new relationship as somehow flawed when the “friend” reveals a dishonorable quality I think we do ourselves a disservice? Just my opinion.
      I think you did what was right not only for yourself, but also for this “friend”. Sometimes, the best admonishment for the character impaired is the loss of someone to lie, cheat and steal from. I’m sure in some cases it leaves them with a nagging question of “why won’t she talk to me anymore”.

      1. Hi Priscilla,
        I hear you about looking at my shortcomings, but I can only speak for myself. I am in a recovery group because I do have triggers that a manipulative person can take advantage of and I am working on those things, being a people pleaser among others. It is the manipulative person’s character defect for sure. I think of people who either help an elderly person or try to take advantage of them. They are opportunistic. But for me I need to work on my triggers and the things they can use to manipulate. I swore after divorcing my ex I would never let someone manipulate me again, but I think that was unrealistic and there are manipulative people out there who will exploit and because so many are so deceptive I may not pick up on it until I get to see a pattern and am aware of tactics they use. I was stuck in this pattern and didn’t realize it, that I was attracting what I was familiar with, like coming from an alcoholic family and then marrying one. I think she will probably just go on to the next person, but if she can learn something from it that would be good.

        1. Hi Kat,
          I hear you, I too had to and continue to work on my triggers. I think removing ourselves from abusive people or character deficient people is a huge help. Also, I think we all are a little unrealistic to think we will never tricked or deceived or have the rug pulled out from under us again because of the fact as you said, people are very good at deceiving to get what they want.
          Recognizing that it wouldn’t matter if they deceived you or I or their own mother should help to feeling empowered. What they do to us is really not saying something personal to us at all.
          As you used the example of helping the elderly or abusing them.
          Think of all the children in the world who are abused and neglected, did they do something to deserve being mistreated by a disturbed character? Neither did YOU or I. Thanks for answering me, I often post when I’m down and need encouraging. Hope I’m returning the favor!

  6. Kat,
    Sure, it’s Attached. The new science of adult attachment and how it can help you find and keep love by Amir Levine, M.D. and Rachel S.F. Heller, M.A.

    I thought that that was what was going on with avoidant folks too. It may be for folks that have been burned, but this is more about a more or less fixed way of responding to intimacy. They like being independent and perceive people’s healthy attempts at intimacy as clingy and needy. They give examples of subtle distancing behaviors. If you have an anxious attachment style and run into a person like this, it sets off your anxiety as you keep trying to attach to them, and of course, that just makes them want to distance more! Hope it’s helpful for you.

    So glad you found help in al-anon. I did at first but we had a former alcoholic in the group and she is a narc and she immediately set her sights on me. I tried to stick it out for a while and just not go to meeting where she was, but she did what they do and got others in on it. Crazy and so disappointing. She would brag about how she would go after “nice” people. But she also admitted she was jealous of them. It was not a healthy group. I still read the material and apply the principals. Once things open up again I will try a group out of town.

    1. Mindful,

      Can you please share more about the narcissist who bragged about going after “nice” people and how the person also got others in on it?

      This has happened to me so many times. Only one predatory person explained such and owned up to targeting me after ruining me for years. The gaslighting does me in every time.

      How did you quickly figure things out and identify who is who?

      1. Curious,

        It’s happened to me many times too, so I knew the signs and the internal feelings and trusted my gut.

        It was a new group and she had assigned herself leader even though the groups are supposed to have leadership rotate. She had “her” chair – a wing back chair, the rest of the chairs were ordinary. So I pretty quickly realized she thought she was queen and we were her followers. Red Flag #1

        During sharing time she bragged that there was a nice woman in her building and how she would intentionally harass her. She did surprise me that she admitted that she was jealous of her, that she was nice and well liked. She wanted to tear her down. She felt comfortable bragging about it because she didn’t see it as a problem. (And people in the group laughed along with her as she shared). Red Flag #2

        When she went after me, she would verbally harass/challenge me after my time to share. I’ve been bullied before, so I know the subtle and not so subtle ways they do it. When she challenged me on opinions, I would stay calm and respond and I think that just pissed her off more. She wanted to be in charge of everything and everyone. Others catered and cowered to her. The way she got others in on it is the way most do, she got her friends (flying monkeys) in on it too. She made things up I’m sure, told them and they believed it or they were afraid of not giving in to her so they started being cold or mean too. One, unfortunately, was my sponsor, who I did not know was her best friend. Mean girl jr. high school stuff. Some folks just kinda gave me a sorry kinda look. Like they knew what was happening, but felt powerless to help.

        It wasn’t hard to spot as she wasn’t very subtle. I practiced my boundaries and detaching, but it defeats the whole purpose of the group if you do not feel safe.

        in my experience, to figure things out quickly takes paying attention to and trusting your gut. I’ve learned that if I feel nervous, anxious, hurt, angry, etc.. around someone, that usually means they are not healthy for me. I will start paying very close attention to their actions/words if I have to be around them. If I feel scared around a person, I get away from them quickly.

        They seem to use a lot of the same tactics and once you start paying attention you recognize them AND the way your body responds to them.

        I’ve also learned that I feel calm and relaxed around healthy, safe people – even when we’re having a mild disagreement. Don’t know if that’s helpful. We have great instincts, it’s a matter of learning what the signals are and what they are telling us. Meditation and mindfulness practice helped me immensely with this.

        Hope this helps.

        1. I too recognize subtle and selective bullying. My SIL who is married to my eldest brother displays both covert and overt bullying. At every rare family gathering she would pick out an adult in the group and target that person. When it was our turn my H and I were the only ones who stood up to her, and because we chose to confront we have not seen that side of the family in 11 years. She managed to turn it around so we were at fault, and her adult children and my brother go along with her. One is a teacher!! What I have never understood is the enablers.
          For all the campaigns on TV about anti-bullying in schools and the workplace why would adults allow this behaviour to be done to a co-worker. Why do they not recognize it for what it is? To engage in laughter at another’s expense is inexcusable.
          My first hand experiences with this type has been primarily thru “family”, and a few of those who have tried and failed as a co-worker. I’m confident in my decisions to walk away from these relationships.

          1. Subtle and selective bullying is such a big problem. The more sophisticated the bullies are, the more screwed the victim is.

        2. Sure does help, Mindful. Thank you. I struggle with dissociating. People know this and use it to their advantage.

          Feeling calm and relaxed around healthy, safe people. Yes, that’s true. People say I have anxiety problems and such is pathological, but my anxiety has been right more than it has been wrong. I wish I’d listened to such and not been convinced it was pathological/diseased brain talking.

          There are so many predatory people who rightfully give victims anxiety and fear and make us into nervous wrecks.

          1. So glad, Curious. You’re making progress and in my experience it will likely get easier and easier for you now.

            I also struggle with dissociation, but do not let people know that. I’ve also noticed that since I’ve been practicing mindfulness, meditation and calm self talk it had greatly reduced. I stomp my feet (stay grounded), tell (my younger) self It’s okay stay here, now you’re safe. Stuff like that. Surprisingly, it works for me.

            I was told my anxiety was pathological too. Problem is they don’t look at why you are anxious. What’s behind it. It’s BS that we get a diagnosis for responding with appropriate anxiety to an anxiety producing behavior. If I get that now from a Dr. I calmly, flatly tell them theirs a good reason I’m anxious if I’m anxious and not to try and pathologize it. At first their stunned by my frankness, then they tend to agree. Their not used to people pushing back.

            Me too, Curious. I spent too many years thinking I was the problem. Turns out, I wasn’t!

            So true, and many love the power trip they get from us feeling that way. It’s sick.

            I forgot one of the big tip offs that I needed to get away. The last straw. My “sponsor” who hadn’t made any real time to sit down and go through any of the steps, all of the sudden wanted me to work on step 4 (personal inventory) with her in a workbook. She actually bought the workbook and gave it to me. Boy, that would have given them loads to work with! Sheesh.
            She tried for a year to hoover me back saying she missed me. Right.
            Not going to happen.

          2. I first dissociated as an adult. But it quickly became a severe problem as it became routine and helped my abuser to cover his tracks and discredit me more. I couldn’t protect myself then either, but I was pretty captive as it was.

            My problem also was that in response to the abuse, terrorizing, and violence is I became habituated to tend and befriend, the freeze and appease response. There was no escape nor any ability to fight and not suffer more, so I got used to tending and befriending to someone with little to no humanity. It plays out yet today with other, lessor criminals and abusers. How do
            I break that habituated response?

            Perhaps other victims and survivors have experienced that tend/befriend or freeze/appease habituation and have advice on how to break it and instead respond with fight or flight?

    2. Thank you! If anyone else has not read “Whos pulling your strings” by Harriet B. Braiker it’s a very good book. I think someone on here recommended it to me and its been very helpful for me.
      Its funny that this person that targeted you was in an al-anon group, I was attending a codependent recovery group and the woman I quit doing things with was a part of it. In fact she was a co-leader at one point and then started a recovery group of her own. And she does know a lot about recovery, but seems to be blind to what shes doing. At first I thought she was just being helpful, then I realized she was trying to control, constantly giving “advice” and undermining my opinions and my thoughts. I don’t know if she is blind to her own control issues or is purposely doing it, but I don’t need to know, I just know that I always felt somehow violated around her and I could sense she thought she was above me. In the group she is very dramatic and really tries to get sympathy from others, she also thinks she is an expert on recovery but she did admit she couldn’t fix herself. She was just one of those people thats an energy drainer, or a soul sucker. Sometimes I wonder if people who are manipulative find their supply in those groups. They certainly know who to target. I lack self confidence and so made a good target, but just knowing some of the signs is helpful because you don’t have to do down that road once you figure it out, thank goodness.

      1. Kat,
        I agree. I too went to a group that had a queen bee leader, or so I thought. After she was exposed to the higher ups she was dethroned. She was livid with the leaders and finally exposed herself to them when confronted by the group!!! They later told me they couldn’t believe they were fooled by her.

        After she left, another queen reared her ugly head. She tried to teach the other women how to gaslight and ohhh how they thought they were covert. She was also teaching the women how to “tell their sob stories to wealthier church members” and then BRAG about the money, gifts and gift cards she would rake in.

        At any group functions involving food she would incorporate the help of women to box up left overs to be given to her and come back the next week and brag again how long the food lasted her???

        As a group she tried to get them to gas light me. Fortunately as you said I trusted my instincts, I prayed, I listen to great pastors on radio and I had been reading Dr Simon’s book on Character Matters!!! I felt like I was armed with an arsenal!!!

        Even a close trusted lady in the group engaged in their lewd behavior towards me to try to gaslight me. I went to a different group where the leader immediately identified with me. I confided in her one night after group and she was dismayed to say the least.

        She never said so to me, but within 3 weeks our entire group meetings were shutdown by the church. More harm was being done in both groups than good and the higher ups saw it with their own eyes. When confronted they agreed it should be terminated.

        Some of the women in my group contacted me later to see if I would join them in a new group. I declined. When I was texted by one of the women over a year later I asked if she had found a group? She told me that they all went to a group together for a little while but the groups they found were boring to say the least and she laughed!

        It is sad when lost souls don’t want to be found, and when sick people don’t want the peace of wellness. I can only surmise that the chaos they’ve come to know is the only joy they find?

        1. Support groups can be life-saving, but they can also be horribly destructive because I’ve noticed queen-bee types like to run such groups, to their advantage.

          I’ve experienced a few sessions of truly healthy support group meetings for battered women. Sadly, there were more unhealthy groups being run by malicious, unhealthy group leaders than healthy, supportive ones. Horrible!

          I think support groups, in general, can be very much hunting grounds for unsavory folk. Same thing with all sorts of people in the helping industries. Lots of unsavory folk attracted to positions of power over marginalized, vulnerable people. Some good, but in the minority.

          Wish I’d been better at sorting who is who and being able to act quickly on such, like Mindful, but I wasn’t and I paid very dearly.

          1. Its helpful to know others have had the same experience of the “queen bee” in these groups. Its a good thing to know and watch out for.

      2. I do think lots of folks in the support groups have control issues. Have my own theories as to why.

        I have less of an issue with the annoying controllers (they have certain things they want just so) vs the aggressive ones.

        But the woman you are describing sounds like many I saw in the group. Yes, I believe a lack of self confidence is like catnip to controlling folks and abusers alike.

  7. We were sharing books we have found helpful and I want to pass this one along as well. It’s written by Edith Eger a psychologist and Holocaust survivor. I’m only a couple of chapters in and am blown away at the insights and wisdom in this book. Lots of tears. It’s a psychological guide to discovering and ending destructive patterns. She nailed why I ended up with an alcoholic (and why they seem to flock towards me – an me to them)!

    The Gift: 12 Lessons To Save Your Life, Edith Eger

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