I Tried Moon Milk To Fall Asleep When I Was Sick & I Was Out Like A Light

You don’t have to dare me to try anything once when it comes to wellness trends, especially viral recipes and holistic remedies. When people on social media were adding spirulina powder by the scoop to their smoothies, I, too gave the gorgeous blue-green algae a try (and, TBH, I wouldn’t recommend it). I’ve sipped bone broth for my immune system, and I’ve snacked on no-bake protein balls for a healthy energy boost. Most recently, though, it was the pretty moon milk recipe ideas floating through my Instagram feed that piqued my interest, and once I came down with an atrocious cold that left me tossing and turning all night, I figured now was as good a time as any to put the alleged sleep tonic to the test.

If, somehow, your social feed loaded with gorgeous snapshots of this milky potion, allow me to enlighten you on this super healthy, super delicious bedtime sip. It’s basically the upgraded version of the glass of warm milk your mom or grandmother might have served you as a child when you couldn’t sleep at night. Moon milk is an aesthetically pleasing spin on the Ayurveda custom that highlights different adaptogens as its key ingredient.

According to Be Well, adaptogens are herbal ingredients used to “improve the health of your adrenal system.” Different adaptogens cater to a variety of individual needs, from reducing stress to increasing energy levels. They were a hot commodity in the health and wellness community in 2017, and I’d been itching to give them a try all year.

Even though I was definitely hesitant to try any so-called super-charged powders after my epic spirulina fail, once the opportunity presented itself to find out whether or not moon milk was actually a liquid lullaby, the health guru in me couldn’t resist.  

I found a golden moon milk recipe that was as simple as it was gorgeous.

Looking up “moon milk recipe” on any given search engine will generate millions of mugs to choose from. As this was my first time giving the warm beverage a go, I was looking for something easy, but also something that provided that picturesque aesthetic we millennials love (because if it couldn’t make me dozy, at least it would be pretty to look at, right?).  

I came across Alaina Sullivan’s Moon Milk recipe for Bon Appétit and quickly skimmed through the ingredients list. I was thrilled to see that nearly everything I needed to whip up the bev was already in my pantry — everything, of course, except ashwagandha powder.

Because stress can cause bouts of insomnia, it’s super important to keep anxiety levels low to hopping into bed, otherwise you might be tossing and turning all night. This is where ashwagandha comes into play. According to The Chopra Center, ashwagandha is an adaptogen best known for helping people “strengthen their immune system” and reduce symptoms of stress. In other words, adding ashwagandha powder to teas, matcha lattes, smoothies, and other recipes can boost your immune system, as well as help your mental and physical body deal with anxiety.

I hopped onto Amazon to browse a few adaptogen brands and, to be honest, these powder supplements are a little pricy. Seeing as how this was my first time giving ashwagandha a try, I definitely wasn’t ready to commit to a $25 bottle. Instead, I opted to try Feel Good’s sample packet, which comes out to about eight bucks for about four ounces.

The recipe only calls for a quarter teaspoon of ashwagandha, but don’t let the tiny measurement fool you. A little goes a long way, especially when combined with all the other spices Sullivan’s recipe calls for, like antioxidant-rich ground cinnamon, turmeric for hormonal balance, and cardamom for healthy digestion.

The first sip alone convinced me that moon milk was well worth the hype.

Julia Guerra

Once I had all the ingredients laid out in front of me, the recipe only took about 10 minutes to put together. All you have to do is combine the spices into a simmering pot of whole or unsweetened nut milk (I used Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almond Milk) and vigorously whisk the mixture for anywhere from five to 10 minutes until the liquid is warmed through. Sullivan notes that the longer you stir, the stronger the medicinal effects.

I poured my beautiful, golden milk into a mug, and relaxed at my dining room table while I took my sweet time sipping away (after snapping a few pics, of course).

Now, I’m typically skeptical going into experiments like these, just because I’ve had more errors than successes testing different health trends, but I can honestly say Sullivan’s moon milk recipe had me feeling drowsy within minutes of the first sip — so much so that I actually stumbled over my words in a conversation with my husband, a tell-tale sign that this girl was ready for bed.

I would definitely recommend moon milk to anyone having trouble falling or staying asleep.

While I (sadly) cannot report that the moon milk miraculously cured my sniffles, I can confirm that I slept through the night without having to wake up every hour on the hour to blow my nose, so that was a huge plus.

This is definitely one social media health trend that I think anyone on the lookout for a home sleep remedy can benefit from. The beverage itself tastes amazing, it’s Instagram-worthy, and just a few sips will have you feeling sleepy in no time.

Pinkies up, and sweet dreams!

Read more: https://elitedaily.com/p/this-moon-milk-recipe-lulled-me-to-sleep-even-though-i-was-sick-as-a-dog-7578681

Target to Buy Shipt for $550 Million in Challenge to Amazon

Target Corp. agreed to purchase grocery-delivery startup Shipt Inc. for $550 million, stepping up its challenge to Amazon.com Inc. by speeding the rollout of same-day shipping.

The all-cash deal will let Target customers order groceries and other goods online, and then have the items sent directly to their doors from nearby Target stores.

Buying Shipt further beefs up Target’s logistics operations after the retailer earlier this year acquired software company Grand Junction, which also manages local and same-day deliveries. Target now offers same-day delivery in New York City and can send orders from 1,400 of its stores. Competition in this space is growing fiercer, though, as rivals Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Best Buy Co. also offer same-day service, keeping pace with Amazon.

Target’s decision to buy Shipt, rather than partner with it, “shows how serious they are,” Kantar Retail analyst Robin Sherk said. “One-stop shopping was convenient in the 1990s but for today’s families you have to be able to do instant food delivery as well. It’s also a realization that Amazon, this big technology disruptor, has entered the consumer landscape.”

Four out of five shoppers want same-day shipping, according to a survey by fulfillment software maker Temando, but only half of retailers offer it.

“With Shipt’s network of local shoppers and their current market penetration, we will move from days to hours, dramatically accelerating our ability to bring affordable same-day delivery to guests across the country,” John Mulligan, Target’s chief operating officer, said in a statement.

The deal will give Target same-day delivery at about half of its 1,834 stores by next summer, with the number growing to a majority of stores in time for next year’s holiday season. The service — costing $99 a year for unlimited deliveries — will initially encompass categories like groceries, household essentials and electronics before expanding to all major product groups by the end of 2019.

Improved Position

“While it will not affect Target’s capability this holiday season, the fact that Target will have this service in place during 2018 will significantly improve its online competitive position,” Charlie O’Shea, an analyst at Moody’s Corp., said in a note.

Target rose 2.7 percent to close at $62.67 Wednesday, while the news caused a momentary dip for the shares of Shipt’s existing retail partners, Kroger Co. and Costco Wholesale Corp. Kroger ended the day up 1.4 percent, while Costco was little changed.

Kroger said it’s still optimistic about the company’s prospects for home delivery after expanding its logistics operations in recent years via partnerships with Instacart Inc. and others.

“We feel really good about the variety of partnerships Kroger has going,” corporate communications head Keith Dailey said. Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti declined to comment.

Online Preference

Consumers’ increasing preference for shopping online, along with Amazon’s purchase of upscale grocer Whole Foods and its encroachment into new arenas like apparel, have sent retailers scrambling to improve their online offerings. E-commerce sales are up about 17 percent this holiday season, according to Adobe Systems Inc., and online merchants racked up a record $6.59 billion on Cyber Monday alone, the company found.

The question for traditional retailers is how to handle all those internet orders. They could build their own delivery network, but it’s an arduous and expensive process. That’s why many of them are seeking help from e-commerce startups like Shipt and Instacart.

Founded in 2014, Shipt serves about 20,000 customers through partnerships with retailers including Publix Super Markets Inc., HEB Grocery Co., Kroger and Costco. It will continue to operate independently and plans to expand its business with other retailers, Chief Executive Officer Bill Smith said in an interview.

‘Scale Matters’

“We’ve spoken to a number of our existing partners about this deal and all the conversations have been very positive,” Smith said. “Having multiple retailers allows us to grow our membership base and make it more attractive. In same-day delivery, scale matters.”

For now, Target shoppers will need to pay Shipt’s $99 annual membership fee to gain access to the service. Once a customer orders, they send a “shopper” into the store to grab the groceries, and then deliver the items. Target is working on how to integrate Shipt into its website and mobile shopping app, Mulligan said.

The deal is expected to close before the end of the year and will be “modestly accretive” to Target’s profit in 2018, while boosting online sales, the company said. The retailer’s e-commerce sales already grew 24 percent in the third quarter.

‘Big Loser’

Target has worked with Shipt’s rival Instacart for same-day service in cities like Minneapolis and Chicago since 2015, and Mulligan said he “will have conversations with them on where we go next.”

“The big loser in this deal is Instacart,” said Cooper Smith, an analyst at business-intelligence firm L2.

Following Target’s announcement, Instacart said it works with more than 165 retailers, including seven of the eight biggest grocers in North America.

“As an independent company, Instacart doesn’t compete with any of our partners,” the company said. San Francisco-based Instacart has recently expanded its partnerships with retailers including Costco, Kroger, Albertsons Cos. and drugstore giant CVS Health Corp.

Target and Shipt began discussing the deal in the middle of the summer, Mulligan said. They decided to pursue an acquisition rather than just a partnership in order to plow Target’s resources into expanding Shipt’s business, and to maintain its current level of customer experience.

Smith will stay in his role, reporting to Mulligan, and its 270 employees will remain in Shipt’s offices in San Francisco and Birmingham, Alabama.

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-13/target-to-buy-shipt-for-550-million-in-bet-on-same-day-delivery

    Want sexual misconduct by men to stop — Start by cracking down on boys easy access to internet porn

    In just the past few weeks, the news has been filled with reports of alleged sexual misconduct by well-known men. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama. Comedian Louis C.K. Actors Kevin Spacey and Sylvester Stallone. Journalists Mark Halperin and Michael Oreskes. Filmmaker Harvey Weinstein. And many more earlier this year and long before.

    Add to this all the men we’ve never heard of who engage in sexual harassment and assault every day around our country.

    Why are so many men doing so many bad things to girls and women – and sometimes to boys and men?  

    There are many reasons, and they vary from individual to individual. But many times, sexual misconduct by men grows out of their view formed early in life that women are sex objects whose primary function is to give men pleasure.

    As we try to mend the broken lives of victims of sexual assaults, we have a responsibility as a society to do something to stop the boys of today from growing up to engage in sexual misconduct tomorrow.

    The warped male view of that dehumanizes women often starts early in life. One contributing factor: Every day, tens of millions of boys and young men see women objectified and sometimes brutalized on sexually graphic internet videos on pornography sites.

    Viewing pornography on a regular basis warps the mind and is like being addicted to a drug, with ever stronger doses needed to spark the desired effect. And eventually, some boys and men want to move from the virtual world to the real world, acting against real girls and women instead of simply viewing fantasy sex videos.

    Last year, my wife and I made a documentary about pornography. We showed it to parents in 270 cities across the continent, and the response was the same everywhere: “My son is dealing with this.”

    The first step our society needs to take is to prevent underage exposure to pornography. Currently, about 90 percent of boys are exposed to pornography before the age of 18. We are allowing their minds to be poisoned.  

    At home, parents can install anti-porn filters like KidsWifi, which says on its website that it “filters, monitors and controls all your kids online devices, from tablets to computers to game consoles.”

    But is it enough? What happens when the kids go to school? What happens if they own a cell phone and can find a Wi-Fi connection at the library or burger joint?

    To give a child a cell phone and expect him not to watch porn is like stuffing a pack of cigarettes in a kid’s pocket while saying “smoking is bad for you.” But taking away a cell phone won’t do the trick, because there will always be another kid with another phone.

    We need to hold porn companies accountable. Child protection groups have long advocated for some form of meaningful age verification on websites. Even porn stars told us when we made our documentary that the question on adult websites – “Are you over 18? Click yes or no” – simply isn’t enough. There is nothing to stop a younger teen from lying about his age.

    Britain is the only country moving toward meaningful age verification. In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party recently went in the opposite direction.

    It’s incredibly disingenuous to say we believe in protecting a child’s innocence while allowing porn companies to freely expose our children to explicit sexual imagery day after day.

    While we must do a better job policing the porn companies, we also need to do a better job educating and raising resilient, responsible and respectful boys who think before they act.

    This is a challenge, because as a result of the internet we’re raising a generation of boys who are addicted to profoundly hardcore pornography, with the ability to view their fantasies at the touch of an app.

    More than a third of boys have seen sexual bondage online, and over half of those boys believe it’s a realistic depiction of sex. So we really shouldn’t be surprised that these boys take these acts offline when they start dating or attend a drunken frat party.

    We need to teach our boys that women are deserving of their respect, as equals. And we need to teach them that civilized society imposes boundaries on all of us.

    It still takes a (global) village to raise a child. Teachers will need their sex education curriculums to include a unit on pornography and addiction. Parents will have to start having “the talk” far earlier than seems intuitive, using brilliant resources like the book “Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids.”

    And the media must simply stop objectifying women. It is hypocritical to speak in favor of women’s rights while earning millions of dollars demeaning and degrading women and measuring their worth only in their sex appeal.

    Until we deal with sexual expectation, addiction, and how boys and men view girls and women, how can we assume sexual misconduct will be substantially reduced in the future?

    Our task is to go upstream and prevent these sorts of behaviors from becoming destructive habits in the first place, or the sexual misconduct making headlines today will continue with future generations for decades to come.

    Jared Brock is the co-author of Bearded Gospel Men and the co-director of Over 18: A Documentary About Pornography.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/11/18/want-sexual-misconduct-by-men-to-stop-start-by-cracking-down-on-boys-easy-access-to-internet-porn.html

    “I Thought He Hated Me”: When Jesus Finds Out a Good Christian Girl Got an Abortion

    On the outside, Carli Salzburg looks like the all-American girl.

    Blonde hair, beautiful smile, a sweet southern accent and a contagious love for Jesus, she instantly looks like someone I’d want to be best friends with.

    Like so many strong Christians today, Carli hasn’t always walked in the way of the Lord. In fact, at one point in her life, she felt so far from God that she actually believed she was making the right decisions for herself—particularly when it came to having an abortion.

    According to the World Health Organization, there are an estimated 50 million abortions performed around the world each year. That equates to approximately 125,000 abortions per day. 125,000 lives that are ended before they’re even given a chance.

    After turning to drugs, alcohol and boys to fill a void in her heart following her parents’ divorce, Carli found herself pregnant at 17 with an abusive boy who was more interested in playing games and manipulating her than he actually was in Carli .

    “I had no idea who Jesus was,” Carli admits. “I had no idea that he was just waiting to wrap his arms around me, and just for me to come to him—brokenness and all.”

    In her brokenness, Carli made the decision to have an abortion.

    “I was so ashamed, I didn’t tell a soul.”

    She didn’t know it at the time, but God was working in her heart. Later that year, Carli set off for college. But before doing so, she remembers praying for godly friends.

    “I didn’t really know why, but I wanted to be different, and I wanted to know who Jesus really was.”

    Carli jokes that she’s a slow learner, but in time, Jesus heals all wounds. The pain of her parents’ divorce, the abusive relationships, the abortion, the heartbreak, it has all been made perfect in God’s perfect timing.

    Carli says she often thinks back to the decisions she made before she came to know Jesus. She reflects on her decision to abort her baby, and like most women in her position, it can be hard not to experience regret.

    She thought she would surely be disowned by her Heavenly Father after her sinful decision.

    “I kinda thought he hated me,” said Carli. “But I was wrong. God had not quit on me.”

    In seeking God, and surrounding herself with Godly community, the Lord revealed to Carli that she IS worthy, and she IS valuable.

    “He made it known to me that I am so much more than that pain and regret that I had been facing, and the decisions I made, and that’s not who defines me.”

    In the end, Carli hopes others who are carrying around the regret and weightiness of guilt that comes with having an abortion, will know that God is not finished with you yet.

    “God showed me–the girl from a Christian home, who had the abortion, who’s familiar with the regret and the shame–what it’s like to be wanted. God pursued me. All the past, all the failure, all the junk, He pursued me, out of all people.

    What would happen if you realized He was doing the same thing for you?”

    If you or someone you know is considering abortion today, visit www.focusonthefamily.com now, or call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) to speak with a licensed Christian counselor today. If you’ve had an abortion and are interested in finding support, visit www.hopeafterabortion.com for prayer, resources, and next steps.

    Read more: https://faithit.com/christian-girl-abortion-testimony-carli-salzburg/

    Spotify and Tencent agree to swap stakes in their music businesses

    Tencent’s overseas investment splurge continues after the company confirmed a deal with Spotify that will see the duo make investments in each other’s music businesses.

    Tencent Music Entertainment (TME), the Chinese firm’s subsidiary that manages its music streaming and karaoke services, will make an undisclosed minority investment in Spotify through new shares, while Spotify will buy a similar undisclosed stake in TME. Further to that, Tencent will make its own investment in Spotify by purchasing secondary shares from existing backers.

    “Following these transactions, Spotify will hold a minority stake in TME, and both Tencent and TME will hold minority stakes in Spotify,” the companies said in a joint statement.

    Spotify’s IPO is hotly anticipated and it has been tipped to take place as soon as next year. Potentially, the company could opt for a “direct listing” which would mean going public without doing an IPO. In other words it is just insiders, not the company, that sells shares to the stock market.

    It’s unclear whether this deal impacts the potential for a direct listing.

    Tencent became Asia’s first $500 billion company by market cap primarily by virtue of its surging business interests in China, which include a lucrative PC-mobile games business and China’s top messaging app WeChat.

    The firm has, however, expanded its presence outside of China significantly through investments. Deals with Tesla and Snapchat, two public U.S. businesses, are perhaps the highlights, but Tencent has also put money into in India-based unicorns Flipkartmessaging app Hikehealth portal Practo and Uber rival Ola. Other earlier-stage deals include flying cars, lunar drones and asteroid mining, while longer-standing investments like Sogou (search) and China Literature (e-publishing) have gone public over the past month.

    TME has been tipped to go public — potentially in Hong Kong and at a $10 billion valuation — in the coming period. Its listing would follow successful IPOs from Tencent’s e-book subsidiary China Literature, as well as Yixin and search engine Sogou, both of which are in Tencent’s investment portfolio.

    There have clearly been talks between both sides. Earlier this year, we reported that Tencent had held talks to potentially acquire Spotify but they broke down. Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the two companies were in talks to exchange equity ahead of today’s announcement. The publication claimed that each company’s stake would be less than 10 percent.

    The Tencent-Spotify alliance comes one day after Bloomberg reported that Google’s YouTube is planning to release its own music streaming service next year. The service has reportedly secured the support of Warner with Sony and Universal currently in talks.

    Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/12/08/spotify-tencent-share-swap/

    David Cassidy Passes Away At 67

    He will be missed.

    According to People, David Cassidy has passed away at 67.

    As we reported earlier this week, the Partridge Family star was hospitalized in Florida for “multiple organ failure.” Although doctors were initially waiting for a kidney transplant, they determined it was a “futile” effort.

    Related: Stars Who’ve Told All To Dr. Phil!

    His family released the following statement:

    “On behalf of the entire Cassidy family, it is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our father, our uncle, and our dear brother, David Cassidy… David died surrounded by those he loved, with joy in his heart and free from the pain that had gripped him for so long. Thank you for the abundance and support you have shown him these many years.”

    R.I.P. David

    [Image via Dimitri Halkidis/WENN.]

    Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2017-11-21-david-cassidy-partridge-family-death

    The Invisible War Zone: 5 Ways Children Of Narcissistic Parents Self-Destruct In Adulthood

    “Adverse childhood experiences are the single greatest unaddressed public health threat facing our nation today.” – Dr. Robert Block, MD, former President of the American Academy of Pediatrics
    God & Man

    Much of society associates the terms “trauma” and “PTSD” with war veterans. Yet we forget about the children who grow up in war zones at home, who suffer psychological scarring at vulnerable developmental stages of their lives. Neglect, mistreatment, abandonment and/or any form of sexual, emotional and physical abuse (such as the type imposed by toxic, narcissistic parents) have been proven by research such as the Adverse Childhood Experiences study to leave an impact that is destructive and long-lasting.

    As trauma expert Bessel van Der Kolk, author of notes, our brains can literally be rewired for fear when it comes to childhood abuse. Studies have confirmed that parental verbal aggression has an impact on key areas of the brain related to learning, memory, decision-making and emotional regulation (Choi et. al, 2009; Teicher, 2009). Childhood trauma can affect our impulse control, increase our likelihood of substance abuse, shape the way we examine our environment for threats, and leaves us exposed to a plethora of health problems in adulthood (Bremner, 2006; Shin et. al, 2006).

    According to researchers, early childhood trauma can affect our brains in the following ways:

    • Our amygdala, which controls our fight/flight response, emotional regulation, and our moods, becomes hyperactive and enlarged as a result of trauma. We can become extremely emotionally responsive and hypervigilant to potential threats in our environment due to trauma.
    • Our hippocampus, the part of our brain that deals with learning and memory, shrinks. This makes integrating traumatic memories a lot less effective. The traumatic impact of those memories remain a great deal more impactful.
    • Trauma can inhibit the prefrontal cortex, the center of our executive functioning, decision making and judgment. This can affect our ability to regulate our emotional responses as well as plan, focus and organize.

    The good news is, healing can help to mitigate some of these effects. Brains can also be rewired in the other direction – meditation, for example, has been shown by studies to produce the opposite effects in the same areas of the brain that trauma affects. Yet the brains and psyches of children are so malleable that the effects of chronic emotional/verbal abuse, let alone physical abuse, leaves a frightening mark beyond childhood. It creates the potential for complex trauma to develop, especially when one is later re-violated in adulthood.

    Without proper intervention, support, validation and protective factors, this form of violence has the potential to shift the course of one’s life-course trajectory.

    Here are five ways having toxic parents can shape you as an adult:

    1. Your life resembles a reenactment of old traumas.

    Freud dubbed it “repetition compulsion,” psychologists refer to it as the effects of childhood “conditioning” or “trauma reenactment” and survivors call it, “Oh God, not this again.” The trauma repetition cycle is real. It’s destructive. And it’s birthed in the ashes of a violent childhood.

    Ever wonder why some people always seem to be drawn to toxic people, yet perceive more stable individuals as “boring”? They may have a history of childhood trauma.

    For childhood abuse survivors, chaos becomes a new “normal” as they become accustomed to highly stimulating environments which shape their nervous system and their psyche. Their fight for survival in childhood leaves a void in adulthood that is often filled with similar struggles.

    Chaos becomes our new normal.

    What we have to remember is that narcissistic parents aren’t all that different from narcissistic abusers in relationships. They love-bomb (excessively flatter and praise) their children when they need something from them, they triangulate them with other siblings by pitting them against each other and they devalue them with hypercriticism, rage attacks, verbal and emotional abuse.

    They engage in intermittent reinforcement as well – withdrawing affection at critical periods while also giving their children crumbs to make them hope that they’ll receive the love they always desired.

    As children, our bodies become so addicted to the crazymaking effects of emotional abuse that we find ourselves more intensely attached to partners who tend to replicate a similar chaotic effect on our bodies as our narcissistic parents.

    We feel biochemically attracted to those who resemble our early childhood predators because they mirror the severe highs and lows our bodies went through in childhood. When love-bombing turns into devaluation, our body becomes biochemically bonded to our abusers.

    This biochemical addiction leaves us reeling.

    In the realm of relationships in adulthood, there are all sorts of chemicals being released when we’re in a bond with a predator. They create a very powerful attachment that’s actually strengthened by intermittent cruelty and affection, pleasure and punishment.

    Dopamine, oxytocin, adrenaline, cortisol and our serotonin levels are being affected; these are involved in attachment, trust, fear, and stress. In fact, children who have endured maltreatment tend to have lower oxytocin levels due to the abuse, which leads to a greater number of indiscriminate relationships in adulthood (Bellis and Zisk, 2014).

    There’s also a psychological component to this addiction.

    When we are the children of narcissistic parents, emotionally abusive people fit the profile of what our subconscious has been primed to seek. Yet they often come disguised as our saviors.

    Complex trauma survivors, as trauma expert Dr. Judith Herman notes, are in a ‘repeated search for a rescuer.’

    “Many abused children cling to the hope that growing up will bring escape and freedom. But the personality formed in the environment of coercive control is not well adapted to adult life. The survivor is left with fundamental problems in basic trust, autonomy, and initiative. She {or he} approaches the task of early adulthood―establishing independence and intimacy―burdened by major impairments in self-care, in cognition and in memory, in identity, and in the capacity to form stable relationships. She {or he} is still a prisoner of childhood; attempting to create a new life, she re-encounters the trauma.”
    Judith Lewis Herman, 

    Love-Bombing Pulls Us In And Keeps Us Trapped In Loveless Relationships

    The children of narcissists are drawn to narcissists in adulthood to fill a void. They are looking for the validation they never received in childhood and narcissists, on the onset, present us with a lot of it in the love-bombing stage when they are “grooming” us into believing that we’re the perfect partners for them. We crave their excessive praise because we lacked the unconditional positive regard we deserved in childhood but never received.

    As children, we learned to associate betrayal with love, and were conditioned to see mistreatment as a form of connection. In fact, it was the only form of connection offered to us. Survivors of narcissistic parents have an extra layer of healing to undergo. Not only do we have to unlearn all of the unhealthy belief systems, we also have to clear our bodies and our minds of its familiarity with toxicity.

    When the fears from our childhood are finally removed, we meet peace and stability with resistance; our bodies and our minds have to readjust to baseline levels of safety and security before we find healthy relationships appealing.

    “The drive to complete and heal trauma is as powerful and tenacious as the symptoms it creates. The urge to resolve trauma through re-enactment can be severe and compulsive. We are inextricably drawn into situations that replicate the original trauma in both obvious and nonobvious ways…Re-enactments may be acted out in intimate relationships, work situations…adults, on a larger developmental scale, will re-enact traumas in our daily lives.” Peter A. Levine,

    For example, a daughter who is unloved by her abusive father may end up with emotionally unavailable – or even sociopathic – partners in adulthood due to an instilled sense of unworthiness. To her, cruelty is all too familiar and abusers feed on her resilience and ability to ‘bounce back’ from abusive incidents. She is used to taking a caretaking role – catering to someone else’s needs while neglecting her own. She has been subconsciously “programmed” to seek dangerous people because they are the “normal” that causes her to associate relationships with torment.

    Survivors who are abused as children can later get married to and have children with abusive partners as adults, investing time, energy and resources into people who ultimately seek to destroy them. I have read countless letters from survivors who have been raised by toxic parents and ended up in long-term abusive marriages.

    If these wounds are not addressed and the cycle is never disrupted, the first eighteen years of life can literally affect the of your life.

    2. Verbal and emotional abuse has conditioned you towards self-destruction and self-sabotage.

    Narcissistic parents subject their children to hypercriticism, cruel punishment and a callous disregard for their basic needs as human beings. In order to survive, children of narcissists have to depend on their caretakers for food and shelter – which means they have to play by the rules of their toxic parents if they want to live. This creates what Dr. Seltzer calls maladaptive “survival programs” that we carry onto adulthood – habits like people-pleasing, sacrificing one’s needs to take care of others, feeling “selfish” when pursuing our goals and dimming our light so we don’t become noticeable enough to be targeted.

    “You may have internalized early in your life that your needs were not as important as others’ needs were. Lack of empathy from a parent or caretaker, neglect, blame, criticism, failure to accept you as you are and appreciate your qualities and other such experiences have shaped your belief that others’ needs should come before your own.” Nina W. Brown,

    A lack of safety and security in the crucial developmental stages of life can create destructive, insecure attachment styles when we are adults, causing us to gravitate towards people who will fail to meet our needs and disappoint us, time and time again.

    It can also drive children of narcissists to sabotage themselves, due to the put-downs experienced during a time when the brain is highly susceptible to the harmful effects of trauma. In response to psychological violence, children of narcissistic parents develop a sense of toxic shame, self-blame and an unyielding inner critic that makes them feel as if they’re not worthy of the amazing things life has to offer.

    Children of narcissists may be convinced they’re not good enough, or they may go in the other direction: they may become overachieving perfectionists in an effort to prove themselves. Either way, they are lacking self-validation and an internal sense of stability that can only come from healthy self-love.

    3. Addictions and dissociation become default coping mechanisms.

    Trauma can affect the reward centers of our brain, making us more susceptible to substance abuse or other addictions (Bellis and Zisk, 2014). When we’ve been traumatized at such a young age, dissociation, a survival mechanism which detaches us from our experiences, our bodies and the world – can become a way of life. Depending on the severity of the trauma, survivors of childhood abuse may also struggle with addictive behavior as adults.

    “The human brain is a social organ that is shaped by experience, and that is shaped in order to respond to the experience that you’re having. So particularly earlier in life, if you’re in a constant state of terror; your brain is shaped to be on alert for danger, and to try to make those terrible feelings go away. The brain gets very confused. And that leads to problems with excessive anger, excessive shutting down, and doing things like taking drugs to make yourself feel better.

    These things are almost always the result of having a brain that is set to feel in danger and fear.  As you grow up an get a more stable brain, these early traumatic events can still cause changes that make you hyper-alert to danger, and hypo-alert to the pleasures of everyday life…

    If you’re an adult and life’s been good to you, and then something bad happens, that sort of injures a little piece of the whole structure. But toxic stress in childhood from abandonment or chronic violence has pervasive effects on the capacity to pay attention, to learn, to see where other people are coming from, and it really creates havoc with the whole social environment.

    And it leads to criminality, and drug addiction, and chronic illness, and people going to prison, and repetition of the trauma on the next generation.”Dr. Van der Kolk,Childhood Trauma Leads to Brains Wired for Fear

    This addictive behavior is not just limited to alcohol or hard drugs; it can range from gambling to sex addiction to unhealthy relationships or even self-harm. Survivors of toxic parents can overeat or undereat as a way to regain control and agency over their bodies; they may develop eating disorders, a penchant for risky sexual behavior or other compulsive behaviors to soothe their unresolved grief.

    It’s not necessarily about the specific addiction, but the fact that the addiction provides a convenient escape from the day-to-day realities of immense pain, depression, anxiety and rage that often lie in the aftermath of unresolved childhood wounding.

    4. Suicidal ideation is devastatingly common and pervasive among childhood abuse survivors.

    Suicidality increases as ACEs score (Adverse Childhood Experiences score) increases and so does the risk of developing chronic health problems in adulthood.

    When one has been traumatized as a child and then later re-victimized multiple times in adulthood, a pervasive sense of hopelessness and perceived burdensomeness can result. Survivors of chronic, complex trauma are especially at risk for suicidal ideation and self-harm as adults, because they have witnessed time and time again the cycle repeating itself. In fact, survivors who have four or more adverse childhood experiences are twelve times more likely to be suicidal.

    This learned helplessness lends itself to belief systems that cause survivors to feel as if nothing will change. They may feel “defective” or different from others because of the immense adversity they experienced. The future may look bleak if a survivor has not been properly validated or gotten the professional support needed in order to heal.

    5. There are disparate inner parts that develop which seem out of alignment with your adult self.

    While many people have heard of the “inner child,” fewer people address the fact that there can be inner parts that can develop as a result of chronic abuse. Some of these parts are those we’ve hidden, sublimated or minimized in an attempt to mitigate the risk of being abused – for example, when victims of abuse shy away from the limelight to avoid being punished or criticized for their success.

    Then there are “parts” which are defensive responses to the trauma itself. These parts manifest in self-sabotaging ways, but they are actually misguided attempts to protect us. Complex trauma survivors may be so protective of sharing who they really are with the world that they close themselves off from the people who might really “see” and appreciate them. This ruins the possibility of authentic connection or vulnerability with others. This defensive strategy may have been a survival mechanism they developed when younger to avoid the threat of being harmed by a violent parent. It served them as helpless children, but it can cause them to shut out the possibility of intimacy with others as adults.

    That being said, there are many ways in which self-sabotage can present itself depending on context and even the type of abuse endured. For example, a male complex trauma survivor may find himself developing a hypermasculine side to himself to ward off memories of sexual abuse. The daughter of a hypercritical narcissistic mother may develop an inner part that is overly angry and defensive to criticism, whether constructive or destructive.

    Whether they stemmed from childhood or adult traumas, these ‘parts’ have much to tell us. Silencing or repressing them only makes them stronger in their resolve to protect us – so instead, we have to listen to what they want us to know. Integrating these parts in a healthy manner requires that we learn what they are trying to protect us from and find alternative ways to create a sense of safety in the world moving forward.

    Cutting the Emotional Umbilical Cord

    The children of narcissistic parents can begin their healing journey by working with a trauma-informed professional to navigate their triggers, process their traumas and learn more about healthier boundaries. Using mind-body healing techniques can also be helpful to supplement therapy; trauma-focused yoga and meditation have been scientifically proven to help heal parts of the brain affected by early childhood trauma. A daily exercise regimen is also a great way to replace the unhealthy biochemical addiction we developed to toxicity. It’s a natural way to release endorphins and gives us that “rush” of feel-good chemicals inviting toxic people into our lives.

    There are tremendous benefits from going No Contact or Low Contact with toxic parents as we heal. Minimum contact with a narcissistic parent along with strong boundaries can help us to detox from the effects of their cruelty and in essence learn how to breathe fresher air. Grieving our complex emotions is also necessary to recovery, as we are likely to feel a very powerful bond to our parents despite the abuse (and in fact to the abuse) we endured. Seek positive role models, especially of the gender of your toxic parent, that can help remodel what you are looking for in an intimate relationship.

    Address subconscious behavior patterns by bringing the true beliefs underlying them to the surface. Many children of narcissistic parents are trained to believe in their unworthiness; it’s time to start rewriting these narratives. Use positive affirmations, journaling, and speak directly to any repressed inner parts that may be sabotaging your success. It is only when you feel truly worthy of respectful, compassionate love on a subconscious level, that you will be able to run in the other direction when you encounter toxicity.

    Despite the challenges on their journey, childhood abuse survivors of narcissistic parents have incredible potential to lead victorious lives. They can channel their adversity into freedom, peace, and joy. They have tremendous resilience, an extraordinary ability to adapt and a knowledge of coping mechanisms that will serve them well as they begin to heal.

    To learn more about narcissistic abuse and the effects of childhood trauma, be sure to also read:

    by Pete Walker

    By Karyl McBride

    by Bessel Van der Kolk

    by Patrick Carnes

    by Peg Streep

    by Susan Forward and Craig Buick

    by Nina W. Brown

    References
    Bremner, J. D. (2006). Traumatic stress: effects on the brain. , (4), 445–461.
    Bellis, M. D., & Zisk, A. (2014). The Biological Effects of Childhood Trauma. (2), 185-222. doi:10.1016/j.chc.2014.01.002
    Brown, N. W. (2008). Children of the self-absorbed: A grown-up’s guide to getting over narcissistic parents. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.
    Choi, J., Jeong, B., Rohan, M. L., Polcari, A. M., & Teicher, M. H. (2009). Preliminary Evidence for White Matter Tract Abnormalities in Young Adults Exposed to Parental Verbal Abuse. Biological Psychiatry, 65(3), 227-234. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2008.06.022
    Harris, N. B. (2014, September). How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
    Herman, Judith Lewis. . Basic Books, 1997.
    Levine, P. A. (1997). . Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.
    Lazar, S. W., Kerr, C. E., Wasserman, R. H., Gray, J. R., Greve, D. N., Treadway, M. T., . . . Fischl, B. (2005). Meditation experience is associated with increased cortical thickness.  (17), 1893-1897. doi:10.1097/01.wnr.0000186598.66243.19
    Schulte, B. (2015, May 26). Harvard neuroscientist: Meditation not only reduces stress, here’s how it changes your brain. The Washington Post. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
    Shin, L. M., Rauch, S. L., & Pittman, R. K. (2006). Amygdala, Medial Prefrontal Cortex, and Hippocampal Function in PTSD.  (1), 67-79. doi:10.1196/annals.1364.007
    Seltzer, L. F. (2011, January 07). The “Programming” of Self-Sabotage (Pt 3 of 5). Retrieved November 15, 2017.
    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2017, September 5). Adverse Childhood Experiences. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
    Teicher, M. (2006). Sticks, Stones, and Hurtful Words: Relative Effects of Various Forms of Childhood Maltreatment. American Journal of Psychiatry, 163(6), 993. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.163.6.993
    Van der Kolk, B. (2015). . NY, NY: Penguin Books.
    Van der Kolk, Bessel. Childhood Trauma Leads to Brains Wired for Fear. 3 Feb. 2015. Accessed 15 Nov. 2017

    Want more writing like this? Read the book 

    “Shahida Arabi is ahead of our time. I couldn’t have been in a darker place in my life when I found this book, after suffering at the hands of an abuser who was also a narcissist. This book gives you hope above all else, and it’s easily relateable if you have gone through abuse. Arabi is a talented, strong, real force of nature kind of writer. I have learned, survived and thrived in the time that I have made this purchase.” – Desiree

    Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/shahida-arabi/2017/11/the-invisible-war-zone-5-ways-children-of-narcissistic-parents-self-destruct-in-adulthood/

    As It Turns Out, Gluten May Not Totally Be To Blame For Gluten Sensitivity

    It’s hard to walk up and down the aisles of your supermarket without coming in contact with a few dozen products advertised as being gluten-free.

    This trend in gluten-free eating has come about over the course of the last decade or so as the number of cases of Celiacs disease have continued to rise. Celiacs disease occurs when someone cannot tolerate gluten in their diet, which can cause major stomach discomfort and bloating, as well as intestinal damage.

    But not everyone with gluten sensitivity has Celiac disease. While most of the symptoms of gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease are the same, it can be hard to tell the difference between the two, but in basic gluten sensitivity, the symptoms are not as violent and intestinal damage does not occur. According to a new study, however, non-Celiac gluten sensitivity might not be caused by gluten at all.

    Researchers from the University of Oslo in Norway and Monash University in Australia have published their findings that those who believe they are gluten sensitive might not really be all that sensitive to gluten itself.

    The study, published in Gastroenterology, reaffirms prior research that suggests a sugar chain called fructan could be the cause of discomfort in most non-Celiac gluten sensitivity cases.

    Like gluten, fructan can be found in gluten-heavy items such as wheat, barley, and rye.

    As part of their research, 59 people with non-Celiac gluten sensitivity who had adopted a gluten-free diet were split into three groups, each of which were given a special cereal bar to eat once a day for one week.

    One group was given bars containing gluten, while another was given cereal bars containing fructans. The third group was given a control bar with neither gluten or fructan present.

    Following the initial tasting, each group was given a week off before moving on to another week’s worth of another bar type. This continued until all three groups had spent a week eating each of the bar types.

    The results revealed that the cereal bars containing fructans triggered bloating 15 percent more than the control bar. The same bars also caused gastrointestinal symptoms 13 percent more often than the control bar. The gluten bars showed no difference from the control bars.

    This new information could be major for diabetics on a gluten-free diet, for example. The discovery could open up diabetic patients and their dietary plans to include foods with low levels of fructans even if there is gluten present.

    Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/not-so-gluten-sensative/

    22 People Who Admitted They Were Terrible, And Changed

    We’re making memes smarter. So can you. Visit the Photoplasty and Pictofacts Workshop to get started.

    It’s human nature to double down on shitty choices, when confronted. So it’s nothing short of inspiring when people take a look at their lives, realize they’re terrible human beings, and openly admit their mistakes.

    People like …

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    Read more: http://www.cracked.com/pictofacts-829-22-people-who-admitted-they-were-terrible-changed