Proverbs 29:25 “The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.” (NKJV)
I’ve often been asked, “Aren’t you afraid your parents or other relatives will learn what you write about?” In all honesty? To a degree, yes I am. Logically I know none of them could hurt me, but, there is still that little girl inside me who hasn’t healed entirely who is scared. Thankfully that little girl isn’t ruling my emotions. If she did, I wouldn’t be writing this blog post or the books I’ve written. I wouldn’t feel fulfilled because I wouldn’t be fulfilling my calling.
It can be very easy to be afraid of people, especially when raised by narcissistic parents. They are very good at instilling fear in their victims. Many adult children of narcissists live with serious anxiety issues. I would guess that is why so few discuss their experiences openly. It’s very sad, especially since there is such a dire need for open & frank discussion of narcissistic abuse to help raise awareness.
If you feel called to publicly discuss your experiences with a narcissist, it can be intimidating, worrying about “getting in trouble” with your parents or extended family. What will they do if they find out? Will your friends & maybe even relatives think you are “too negative,” “living in the past”, etc. & abandon you? What about the legal aspect- could the narcissist sue you for slander? Such things can cause a great deal of fear & anxiety, & understandably so. But please, don’t be discouraged by such things!
To start with, you can’t “get in trouble” with your parents or family anymore. You’re an adult! You don’t have to get another’s permission to do what you feel God wants you to do. You have the right to do what you want, to live your life according to what works for you. You also have the right to tell your story. It’s YOUR story, so it’s up to you to share it however you see fit.
If anyone brings up “Honor thy mother & father,” remind yourself that honoring doesn’t mean tolerating abuse. Research what it truly means to honor your parents. I wrote a free ebook regarding honoring abusive parents. It’s available on amazon at this link: https://www.amazon.com/Honor-Difficult-Parent-Cynthia-Bailey-Rug-ebook/dp/B00PR0BEV2/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1478979606&sr=1-1&keywords=cynthia+bailey-rug
And, what if people in your life criticize or even abandon you for speaking out? I won’t lie- it will hurt at first. But, in a way, it’s also a good thing when they abandon you. It’s much better to have people in your life who genuinely care about you & your mental health. People who don’t judge but offer love, encouragement & support are a true gem. Life is so much more pleasant with friends like that as opposed to the critics.
Regarding slander, that is simple- research the laws in your state, as I think they vary from state to state. Also, use fake names & protect the narcissist’s identity when discussing your story. Never mention the narcissist’s real name in your writing. You’re protecting yourself by doing that.
In spite of the fact discussing your experiences with narcissistic abuse can be scary, it also can be incredibly rewarding. When someone thanks you for helping them to understand that they aren’t crazy like their narcissist said, or your words helped to give them the courage to leave a narcissistic significant other, it doesn’t get any more rewarding. Knowing you have made a difference in someone’s life is a wonderful feeling. It also helps you, because suddenly all the awful things you have experienced have a purpose. Your pain counts for something! Feeling as if all those horrible, traumatic experiences had no purpose is one of the most depressing feelings in the world. Discussing your experiences dispels that feeling completely.
Discussing your experiences openly also help you to heal. There is something very healing in seeing your story in writing. Also healing is when you tell a story & someone says something like, “That is terrible! I’m sorry that happened to you!” That is very validating!
The good definitely outweighs the bad when it comes to sharing your story. If you are considering speaking out, then I would encourage you to pray about it. Be certain God wants you to do it, then ask Him to help you to do so. He will give you courage, wisdom & anything else you need to accomplish this calling. Then get ready for an adventure!