Filed under Narcissism
Dear Cynthia I have this week been forced to detach from a toxic Christian friend I have struggled for almost 2 years with this lady whom I love dearly in spite of everything. This lady has a lesbian background with a harem of enablers to whom she portrays a false front. She has been very controlling and bullying with myself and another lady. She has lied and gossiped, behaving very badly behind the scenes of church life. She introduced me to her choir …a small group of 6 people who ministered to elderly residents at various care homes. When I joined, the group was well established….I was new and very naive. This lady paraded me as her latest conquest which did not go down well with her 2 very close friends…..I could not understand why these other 2 ladies were so cool and unfriendly towards me, until I realised she had an ungodly closeness and dependence on them. I coped very badly with being snubbed like this although I kept on being warm towards these ladies. My friend tried to control my decisions and was quite cruel and emotionally destructive…..she tried to force me to stay in this group… .as she craftily played us all off against each other….using triangulation and flying monkeys to cause strife. I have a nervous and conscientious nature and worried constantly about the discomfort I felt around this group….as these 2 ladies vied for this lady’s attention…..she seemed to purposely press their buttons to cause conflict between us all. Eventually I escaped from this horrendously stressful situation….feeling very anxious and stressed. Recently, a lovely member of the choir passed away and these ladies in the harem will be organising the funeral. I dont feel strong enough to return to this toxic scenario by attending the funeral….where these ladies will be performing….to see the control and manipulation which is still continuing…..the thought of being there tortures me….triggering feelings of panic and anxiety…..yet the lady who had died was a beautiful Christian lady. I am beating myself up anout this, knowing I will be criticised and gossiped about (one of these ladies hates me, I believe)….there is jealousy around who is closest to this queen bee….and my arrival caused panic( according to my friend.) I feel such a failure as a Christian, for my fear of meeting these people again….the discomfort and manipulation I experienced there was toxic and ungodly. I would greatly value your opinion, Cynthia….i am distraught about all this. thank you Teresa Dexter Sent from myMail for Android Friday, 04 August 2017, 00:55pm +01:00 from CynthiaBaileyRug firstname.lastname@example.org :
>CynthiaBaileyRug posted: ” via IFTTT” >
Teresa, I’m so sorry for all you’ve gone through & for the loss of your friend.
It sounds like such an incredibly toxic environment with those women! It seems to me you’re much better off without them. There isn’t any reason to beat yourself up for not attending your friend’s funeral though! No doubt she would understand you have the right to protect yourself from toxic people. That doesn’t make you a failure as a Christian. It makes you wise, & God wants His children to be wise! Nowhere in the Bible does it say we should tolerate evil.
As for anyone talking about you for not going, I wouldn’t worry about that if I were you. You can’t please people all the time. And people who would talk badly about you for protecting yourself are not your friends to begin with so what does it matter what they think?
Dear Teresa, Perhaps you could write your dear friend who has passed away a letter, telling her what she brought to your life and how much you appreciated it. You could take a few moments at home to remember her, perhaps lighting a candle, having a few flowers, singing a hymn or whatever you feel you’d like to do. You can claim you were unable to attend due to diarrhea.
Are you able to attend another church for a while? I fell out with a frenemy from church a few years ago. After she fell out with a few more members she moved on to another church, only to fall out with them too.
Or could you get involved with some other project in the church that she has nothing to do with? I have a good friend in my church who I can trust, who is very friendly with everyone, and knows a lot about what’s going on in people’s lives. Sometimes I tell her that I’m not getting on well with someone, and ask her what she knows about that person, that might help me to understand why that might be. I then find out who else has been struggling with them and what else they’ve been up to, and shed my own doubt in the process. (Or it could be that I need to be more understanding.)
I happily helped in the kitchen at the church lunch club for the elderly for years, until someone else started helping who seemed to have it in for me. I had to give it up for another reason, but I haven’t gone back. It’s not you and the truth will eventually come out.
Could you make an appointment with your pastor and tell him about the problems you’ve been having? I found it helpful to talk to mine. Believe or not, I was also stalked for awhile by one of the men who attended the lunch club. When I rejected his advances, he told me he’d spoken to the pastor about me. I didn’t tell him that I’d already told the pastor my version of events!
I hope some of this helps and, of course, don’t do anything that you yourself don’t feel comfortable with. I feel that God is calling you elsewhere. You are in my prayers.
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