Healing From Narcissistic Abuse & Parenting With Oxygen


When it comes to healing from narcissistic abuse, it can be so tempting for women to think their number one priority after leaving the toxic ☠️ relationship is pouring everything that they can into their children 🧒 so that they will be OK. 

In theory, it seems like the perfect thing to do. Give them everything that they have been missing and more. 

However, in reality, the best thing that you can do as a mother is to follow the instructions 📄 of the stewardess on the airplane ✈️

You must put your oxygen mask 😷 on first. 

When a person has difficulty breathing 😮‍💨, and is in emergency status, needing to get some serious help, they do not stop 🛑, and say, “let me give away the little oxygen that I have left instead of calling 911.  This is a heroic deed.”

For those who have, what is often said about this person is, “he or she saved everybody else, but could not do what was necessary to save him or her self.”  

There is no trophy 🏆 given out. There is sadness and a realization that this person was so caught up being Superman or Superwoman, that they did not understand their own needs, and the need to put their needs before others was necessary for their own survival.


Although it may seem counterintuitive, we cannot pour from an empty cup.

After a while, your jars of clay will manifest cracks.  And instead of taking heed to the warning, and patching up the cracks with taking care of yourself, you keep using your jar until it completely breaks.


As long as you are OK, healing ❤️‍🩹, walking through the steps of reclaiming your power 💪🏾 and identity, your children will be OK, and can walk into the steps of reclaiming their power and identity by using your actions as a template for theirs.  

And instead of trying to somehow become their therapist, the best thing to do is to help them find a therapist of their own who can assist them in processing what was, what currently is, and what is to come.

Getting back to your true self, the one who’s identity is in Christ, is hard, but not impossible work.  And it begins by displaying love to your children, through the love the Father has for you, and in turn, you are showing to yourself. 

Pouring from an empty or half-full jar 🫙means that you risk single-parent and grief burnout.  Honoring and loving self, with the love of God as your guide leads to honoring and loving your children.


Your brain needs to be retrained. All of this time society has taught you that the best way to take care of your partner and your children is to sacrifice yourself in the process.

Healing from narcissistic abuse is a journey, and that journey involves a process.  And that process involves a fight. A fight to reclaim your power and identity to get to your true self. Not the old self. 

Remember: the old self misunderstood the concepts of love and freedom. The old self sacrificed everything for the survival of others at your own expense. It didn’t love self enough to honor identity in Christ over every other identity.  The old self didn’t understand that royalty status helps you to value yourself as having enoughness and worthiness in the kingdom of God.

You are saying goodbye to the old self and reclaiming your true self as a daughter of the king, Who lives and walks in royalty, understands self love and boundaries, and knows how to pour out God’s love onto others.

Prophetic Word 7 Truths About Being Infected With a One-Upping Spirit

The Valley of Grace Podcast
The Valley of Grace Podcast
Prophetic Word 7 Truths About Being Infected With a One-Upping Spirit

Prophetic Word 7 Truths About Being Infected With a One-Upping Spirit

We have all been guilty of one-upping. However, we often fail to realize the spiritual implications of doing such a thing. The seed of envy gives us an infection. When we dissect these implications, it will cause us to grieve the innocence of what we did not know, confess, repent, and move forward looking at other people as image bearers.

Listen in to last week’s message 🎧. If you missed the last podcast episode, click here.

Episode 150: Interview with Self-Love Coach Ana Barajas on Identity, Abuse, Toxic Relationships & Healing

The Valley of Grace Podcast
The Valley of Grace Podcast
Episode 150: Interview with Self-Love Coach Ana Barajas on Identity, Abuse, Toxic Relationships & Healing

What’s seems logical is not always what’s right. It seems logical to find someone or something to fill that empty void and brokenness inside of you.
What ends up happening is that this void brought on by abuse and trauma attracts people who exploit these areas.

identity, abuse, toxic relationships, healing, ana barajas, katina horton, podcaster, podcast community, toxic relationship recovery coach, self-love coach, confidence coach
Self-Love Coach Ana Barajas

When you refuse to allow the Holy Spirit to guide you in your decision-making process, you get into all kinds of trouble, leading to staying in toxic relationships longer than you have to.

Listen 🎧 to this healing conversation that I had with Self-Care and Confidence Coach Ana Barajas.

Reach out to Self-Love & Confidence Coach Ana Barajas on Instagram here.

Be blessed!


Healing From Narcissistic Abuse: The Art of Grief

One of the most important things that you can do when healing from Narcissistic Abuse is to give yourself permission to grieve.

When we think of grief, we are tempted to think of it as being linear.

Grief is more of an art form. I say an art form because no two people grieve alike.

We are allowed to take grief and transform it to whatever experience that we desire.

It can be sunsets, rainbows 🌈, and beach balls producing perspective and healing ❤️‍🩹, and then other times like waterfalls, waves, and up-and-down rollercoasters 🎢.

Whatever experience that grief is taking you through, it is with the intention of producing a new self, a true self, one that enables you to heal from past hurts, and reclaim your power and identity.

The five stages of grief are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Although these are the five stages, and this is also supposed to be the exact order, The first four stages can actually be mixed in altogether like one massive ball of rubber bands, and then also dealt with individually at the same time.

There is no one ☝️ set of rules.

Grief can be released in several different forms as well. Dancing, walking, talking, exercising, and crying 😭 are all different ways to help grief to travel 🧳 through and be released from its maze in your body.

The first temptation can be to stuff and suppress your emotions when the grief comes. However, as we talked about before, this only leads to alternative construction healing.

Ignoring things never make them go away.

The only way to get to the smooth pavement is to go under construction and fully heal. Going around the healing ❤️‍🩹 can take two to three times as long.

The second temptation is to compare your grief process with someone else’s. Comparison can often lead to self-judgment, self- condemnation, and self-blame.

When you embrace your art 🖼 of grief, you embrace and surrender to your art of healing ❤️‍🩹.

Remember: you are enough. You do not have to surrender to someone else’s idea 💡 of how your healing ❤️‍🩹 journey should be.

This is for you and God to decide.

Until next time,


Episode 143: Lead Pastor Scott Distler: Toxic Relationships and Gaslighting in Ministry

The Valley of Grace Podcast
The Valley of Grace Podcast
Episode 143: Lead Pastor Scott Distler: Toxic Relationships and Gaslighting in Ministry

It’s one thing to be a pastor. It’s a whole ‘nother level when you are faced with a Nehemiah situation of toxicity, gaslighting, and jealousy in the church. A lot of times, we think that the situation happened to us out of the blue. However, as the old saying goes, hindsight is 20/20.

We saw signs leading up to this big blowup coming all along. We just didn’t really didn’t stop to think about it, or see if any course of action could have been taken in order to prevent it.

And sometimes, there really isn’t anything we could have done.


We cannot control other people. It’s just that simple. It’s impossible to love and control a person at the same time. Love is not love without there being complete freedom involved.

Rest assured:  there is hope, love, light, and freedom that’s waiting for you on the other side of the cave.

How to reach Pastor Scott Dristler:

Email: scottd@miefree.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skdistler

Church Website: www.miefree.org

Book Website: http://covenantbooks.com/books/?book=the-cave 

Episode 141: 4 Things The Story of Samson & Delilah Teaches You About Toxic Relationships

The Valley of Grace Podcast
The Valley of Grace Podcast
Episode 141: 4 Things The Story of Samson & Delilah Teaches You About Toxic Relationships

When you think of the Story of Samson and Delilah, you think about hair, strength, and a downfall.  The story of Samson and Delilah teaches you more than that.  It gives you the steps of the toxic relationship cycle from start to finish starting with the love-bombing, and then ending with the discard.

Episode 140: 8 Reasons Why You’re Not Healing From Narcissistic Abuse

The Valley of Grace Podcast
The Valley of Grace Podcast
Episode 140: 8 Reasons Why You're Not Healing From Narcissistic Abuse

You seem to be doing everything that you need to do, but you are not healing. And for the life of you, you can’t figure out why. The thing is, you are really doing what it is you want to do, and not what you need. Take a listen.

In case you missed last week’s podcast, click here.

How do the problems manifest themselves in “The Problems and Unhealthy Patterns of Behavior Phase” Part 8

The Problems and Unhealthy Patterns of Behavior Phase” Part 8 Introduction:

You have gone without affection, attention, and having your needs met for so long that you are tapped out.  All the games have played out.  The breadcrumbing has phased out.  And you are out of options.

You can literally sense your partner detaching from you.  

Whenever you try to bring up the reality of the situation to your partner, his way of handling things is to just peace out.  

The Chase

He starts running away from you.

You don’t know what to do. And so you do what you feel makes the most sense.

You start running after him. 

And the more you run after him, the more he runs away.  It’s like watching Tom and Jerry, but it’s not a laughing matter. 

You stop the chasing long enough to sit down with pen and paper, trying to figure out the magic formula to fix/change/control him and/or the situation.

You forget about the fact that love involves freedom.  You just want your needs met.

The Chase starts up again.  But the formula isn’t working out like you planned.  

So, what are you going to do?

What any woman who has given herself the title “The Fixer” would do.

You are going to sit down at the table and come up with another formula.

And you are going to confront him about it. Besides, it has gone on long enough.  Arguing with him about the situation is better than no attention at all.

The problem is, you haven’t even stopped to pray or ask God about his will in the situation.

You are too exhausted to even think straight.  


You have been in this state for too long.  And you feel that the only way that things can get better is if you make them better.

Stay tuned for the next post to find out what happens next.

Until next time,


How do the problems manifest themselves in “The Problems and Unhealthy Patterns of Behavior Phase” Part 7

How does one know that she has been in “The Problems and Unhealthy Patterns of Behavior Phase” too long?  

You know you have been in The Problems and Unhealthy Patterns of Behavior Phase of a toxic  relationship too long when you have normalized blame shifting, guilt and obligation, gaslighting ️, and walking around in a state of cognitive dissonance all the time.  

What is causing the cognitive dissonance? Cognitive dissonance is caused by the fact that your values, beliefs, core sense of self, faith, and everything else in between, is incongruent with the life you are living.  

Another thing that causes cognitive dissonance is going through the mean and sweet cycles, better known as breadcrumbing.  

What is breadcrumbing ?

Breadcrumbing is when your partner, or any other person you are in a toxic relationship with, gives you something to keep you smiling and happy to make you forget about the fact that you are living in a constant state of emotional abuse and mistreatment.

Long story short, it is a pacifier.

Think about when infants and toddlers are crying, and you need to get your housework done. And perhaps they are hungry, and you need 15 more minutes to finish your project and then feed them.

So, you give them a pacifier. A pacifier does not take the place of food.  It is something that gives temporary relief and comfort.

Breadcrumbing has the same affect. It is only temporary relief from the mistreatment that you have been receiving.

Unlike dealing with your infant or toddler, in a toxic relationship, breadcrumbing is a way of saying, “Yes, I’m not treating you right big time. And I know this. I’ll throw you a little bone here and there to make you forget about how awful it is.”

What are some of the breadcrumbs? Going to the movies, chocolate candy, teddy bears , going on vacation, going out to dinner , and on and on.

And we all have enough common sense to know that none of these things will ever makeup for mistreatment.  

However, after being in this phase for so long, you have been conditioned to accept these things as being enough, which causes even more cognitive dissonance and disrespect, dishonor, and devaluing of self.

To not accept the breadcrumbing as being enough is to face the truth.  And as the Scriptures tell us, the truth is what brings freedom. However, you are not ready for that freedom.  Not in this stage.  You want the temporary relief, not the pain that goes along with freedom.

And thus, the movie continues.   

In my next post, we will discuss the next phase in the toxic relationship cycle.  And that phase is languishing.

Until next time,


How do the problems manifest themselves in “The Problems and Unhealthy Patterns of Behavior” Phase Part 6

When you are in a toxic relationship, and living in the “Problems and Unhealthy Patterns of Behavior Phase”, every day is a television soap opera.  

No one needs to buy a streaming service.  Your drama is streaming for a live studio audience.

You and your partner in the toxic relationship are in the grocery store.  You run into one of his friends.  There is no introduction.

They start smiling at each other with a look that makes you feel uncomfortable.  Then, your partner says, “ I will catch up with you in the cereal aisle.”  

You head to the cereal aisle, looking back, as your partner is deeply engaged in conversation with his friend , giving him googly eyes.

Something feels very wrong.

Two days later, you are upstairs in your bedroom.  You realize that you are a little bit hungry and head downstairs to the refrigerator.

Upon entering that level, you overhear your partner talking to this same friend about your personal business, and in turn, she is obviously sharing hers.  

You are cringing and feeling totally exposed.  What are you going to do now?

You decide to pray, and wait and see.

Two days later, you decide to confront your partner about his inappropriate behavior, words, and actions in the grocery store and on the phone, which is enough evidence that something is going on.

You also tell your partner that you are feeling unloved, betrayed, and exposed.

His response?  

“ Well, when I first met you, I told you that I had a lot of female friends.  You never should’ve been eavesdropping on me.  Plus, you are being jealous and insecure like always.”

You start feeling bad. And then you start thinking that perhaps he is telling the truth. Maybe you over-responded to the apparently too-close-for comfort behavior.  

You apologize, letting him know that you will try to do better.  Although you are now feeling guilty for saying something, something still feels wrong and you can’t figure it out.  

You have now entered the world of “ Cognitive Dissonance”.  

Cognitive dissonance occurs when your belief, knowledge, and reality are misaligned.

Living like this keeps you in a state of being off-balance.

The whole episode of guilt tripping explained in this post is another form of gaslighting, a.k.a. emotional abuse.  

And this is just the beginning of the season.

Until next time,