If there is one thing most adult children of narcissists do, often even years into their healing, is berate themselves. Any weakness or flaw is cause to tell themselves how dumb or clumsy they are. God forbid they get sick or injured, because then they become useless in their minds.
I do it myself, in spite of telling people to give themselves a break, it’s not right, etc. I’d always done this but it went into overdrive in 1990 when my mother threw me into a wall & hurt my back, causing me to need to quit working outside the home a few months later. I felt useless, no longer being able to earn a paycheck. In 1996 when agoraphobia developed, I felt even more useless since I couldn’t go out alone without panicking. 2002, I got arthritis in my knees & was limited a bit more as to what I could physically do. 2012, C-PTSD fully developed, making me feel even more useless. Then in February, 2015, I suffered carbon monoxide poisoning which made me pass out & hit my head causing a concussion, & I felt more useless yet once again when I learned most likely many of my symptoms would be life long & were untreatable.
Recently I was telling myself how useless I was because of all of these things. I said something to God about being useless. I asked too why these things have happened? I never wanted to be a housewife or work at home- I liked a couple of jobs I had a great deal & would’ve been quite happy making either of them into a career. Instead I’m at home, not making a lot of money which means I’m also putting pressure on my husband financially. This just sucks!! God listened patiently & reminded me of 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 which says:
“Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.” (MSG)
What a message!!! It’s a great reminder that everyone has limitations & God will work through them, not just your strengths! You are capable of great things because you are imperfect! Even this blog post is evidence of God’s ability to work through weaknesses. Normally, I jot notes down for posts I want to write, because my memory is so bad. But this one, I didn’t. I just asked Him to remind me to write it. Not only did He remind me, He showed me what all to include in it.
Don’t get me wrong- there is certainly nothing wrong with asking God to heal you. He wants what is best for you, & often that does mean healing your physical or mental health. Sometimes though, there is a very good reason that you aren’t healed, & you certainly can ask God why. Maybe like the apostle Paul, you could lose your humility if you were healed, failing to rely on God. Or maybe there is another reason.
God told me in my case, I’ve worked VERY hard all my life. Not as much working hard at a job, but working hard to appease the narcissists in my life (including anticipating their needs or how to deal with them the most effectively), keeping my emotions in control so as not to upset or “feed” them & trying to do everything perfectly so as not to be criticized or ridiculed. Now, I have no choice but to rest. My body & mind demand it often, & frankly… it feels good. Until the carbon monoxide poisoning happened, I pushed through any illness or injury so as not to be lazy. Growing up, my mother often said I was lazy & as an adult, I’ve always worked to prove I wasn’t. Now? I kinda am, & it’s OK! My mind & body demand it, so I have to respect that in order to stay healthy. Maybe your case is like mine, & you too need that rest after a lifetime of working hard. Rather than feel badly about it, why not enjoy your rest? Accept it as a well deserved rest rather than hating it.
Dear Reader, you are a valuable person. God loves you a great deal & made you as you are for a reason. It’s time to let Him work through you, weaknesses & all!