My husband & I were talking last night about the relationship with my parents, & I thought I’d share a bit of that talk with you…
I was quickly reaching a point probably about 10 years ago where I wanted no further contact with my parents. I prayed about it, & knew God was leaving that decision up to me, & would support me either way. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I maintained the relationship.
As many of you know, in 2015 I nearly died from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. While I was in the emergency room & still very delirious, I told my husband not to tell our parents about this at any costs, because if he did, I would kill him. In spite of being totally in my own delirious world at that time, I still have some vague memories of thinking of how my parents would respond to my situation & knew there was NO way I could handle their lack of concern.
While recovering, I remembered this, & it hit me… my word!! I can’t even expect comfort from my parents when I nearly died! How messed up is this?! That revelation threw me for a loop. I was incredibly sad & angry about it at the same time. That was when I told God, enough is enough. I want these people out of my life! I’m done! Yet oddly, this time I felt He was saying, “No. Wait. I’ll show you when the time is right.”
Well, I waited & kept saying, “Now?! Please?!” “Wait.” *sigh* Ok…
Then May 5, 2016, I had a big fight with my parents. I knew that night my mother wouldn’t speak to me for quite a while, then she’d call like nothing ever happened. That is how she always operated. I also knew my father would demand to me to try to smooth over this fiasco. What I figured would happen, happened. Over the next few months, I made the decision that I was officially done with my mother, then later decided I was also done with my father. I felt God was saying the timing was right, so I blocked my parents’ phone numbers.
For a while, I wondered why that timing was right & why I felt God didn’t want me to end contact for that period of time. Eventually it hit me. I learned a LOT in the final couple of years of my relationship with my parents. I learned a lot more in that short time than in the other years. I started to understand what makes narcissists tick & figured out some pretty effective ways to cope with them. This gave me a LOT of good information to write about & to share with my readers.
I am so glad to be able to help people, in particular ones for whom no contact isn’t an option. That is such an awful place to be! I am grateful I learned what I did during that time, in spite of how incredibly miserable that time was.
I’m telling you this so that you hopefully will be inspired to think the same way about your situation. I’m not saying be grateful for the abuse you endured of course. Who could be?! But, chances are there is some good that came of it. Being abused gives people a deep empathy & caring for other people, because they understand suffering so well. That is a blessing. Learning how to spot abusive people & how to deal with the ones you can’t avoid is another blessing. Learning about how to set & enforce healthy boundaries is still another.
Like I said, I’m not saying you should be grateful you were abused. That would be weird & I’d think very unhealthy to boot. However, if you can find some good in it all, it can help you a great deal, because you know that your pain wasn’t pointless. It had some purpose. What others meant to destroy you, not only didn’t accomplish that, but it gave you some blessings as well. God wastes absolutely nothing, & He was able to glean something good out of anything, even something so awful. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.” (AMP)
So when you consider the awful experiences you have been through, please try to remember that some good things did come out of them! Of course, it would’ve been nice if they came another way, but at least they did come to you. Your pain wasn’t in vain!
10 responses to “God Truly Works All Things Out To Good”
Dear sister. You are so right. I just got done at this very moment reading you post. Last evening I praised God for my sufferings and all that I learnt from them. To be a Christ follower we are told to bear our cross. My sufferings from a narcissistic relationship is no greater then anyone else’s and just as painful. It is truly how we perceive such pain. I went many years in the marriage not knowing what I had been suffering from but was well aware of something wrong. I never stopped praying to God to give me an answer whether it was me or something else. After 10 years of this God finally answered me and many other prayers I had been praying at the same time. Since then he had empowered me with the truth which is helping to set me free. It will still be a long road to come out of depression but I am on my way. My sense of well being, self worth, and self-esteem is being restored by our Father God. I write this to you dear sister in hopes that your readers we’ll also be encouraged to not give up and to continue to seek God’s face. I am beginning to see the bigger picture of why I went through that which I had suffered. He is conforming me to his likeness and giving me strength to walk through this broken sinful worldthat my life will glorify Him Amen. Narcissist are extremely attracted 2 transparent an empathetic beings. We are easy prey for them. They know we can take a lot of their crap and when we can’t take no more, when we have become so depressed in so out of touch with our own being they discard us as an old dishrag but not without first destroying our integrity honor and our sense of who we really are or who we once were. I do not know for sure but I am willing to take an inexperienced guess that they strive to own your very soul. I praise God that he did not allow it the go that far. He owns my soul and promised to never let it out of his hands. But wow looking back at what I have been through I can’t help but say that I was brought to the edge. Again dear sister, I praise God who graced you with a sincere love to reach out with compassion and empathy to help those that are suffering as we have. Keep up the good work. I’m sure at times sweet sister you might not have the energy to go over these blogs in reply to those who are suffering. It’s not an easy thing to do when you need to take care of yourself and your family and meet your own personal responsibilities. But what you are able to do God will truly bless it as he has blessed me through you. Your brother in Christ, William M
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What an inspiration you are William! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have no doubt anyone who reads it will be blessed. 🙂
I love your balanced view. Too many Christians seem to think we should be grateful for the suffering & act like they didn’t nearly destroy us. It’s ok to admit they did. I believe admitting that while living the best life we can in spite of the past pain is a great witness. It shows people God truly can get you through anything & is with you even in the worst times.
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Thank you again for another encouraging post. I especially appreciated the link to your 2016 post about the argument. I didn’t follow you then, and you seem so composed these days. It was comforting to know that there was a time where their attempts at provoking anger in you worked. You were entitled to all the anger of course! But it is encouraging to know you have mostly transcended it now. It gives me hope.
All the verses about the “refiner’s fire” come to mind. And even though I wish it weren’t so, I know it is better to face the truth. I miss the care-free years when my mother lived in another state and I was mostly out of her cross-hairs. However, I know I am learning now. And it will work together for good ultimately.
On a side note, I recently read an article (link below) about how those who create drama are doing it because they feel they aren’t getting enough attention. Creating drama actually gives them a dopamine rush. It comes from a childhood where they weren’t given acknowledgment or validation. So they felt they always needed to create a ruckus to just be noticed. They carry this into adulthood. And they put us – their own children – through the same ordeal intentionally.
I waffle between hating my mother and having huge empathy for her. Empathy I know she does not have for me. I wish I could tell her these things I’ve learned. But I know the narcissist will never hear criticism or seek therapy.
I’m sure with prayer and time, God will help me find the right balance between love and hate.
Here’s a link to the article if your interested, although I’m sure you are already aware of the dynamic.
Thanks again for this blog!
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You are so kind.. thank you so very much!!!
I do have to let you in on a secret though.. anyone can seem composed when writing. For all anyone knows I could be crying my eyes out when writing. I actually was doing that writing the post about that argument with my parents in 2016.
That argument wasn’t the only time they provoked me to anger. Until I learned about NPD, it happened way too often. Somehow I knew it was best not to let them see it, but even so, it happened often. Praying before seeing my parents helped so much! Learning about NPD was a huge help too, because I realized the nastiness wasn’t personal or true. It was them being dysfunctional. Also, I learned to take in a deep breath & let it out slowly when I got angry. That simple gesture slows down your mind enough to think clearly & calms your body, too. It helps you to respond rather than react.
It must have been such a good time when your mother was living out of state! I’m sorry she came back & you have to deal with such things now. It will work out to good somehow in time. You’ll see! I know it can be so hard to think of that in the moment though.
Thank you so much for sharing the article! It’s very interesting! Would be a good topic to write about, too. Just before my mother died in April, I thought of starting a series of small books about narcissism. (Obviously I got distracted… but I’ll get to them!) Mini books about 1 topic each. One about the basics of NPD like how it can start, symptoms, what motivates them to do things. Another about gaslighting, another about narcissistic supply & how to deal with it.. things like this. The attention seeking thing would make a good mini book too, so thanks for the inspiration!
God absolutely will help you to find that balance between love & hate. It’s wonderful you can have empathy for her at all since so many have none for their abusers. It’s a difficult line to walk though because you want to have it, but not to the point of letting her get away with abusing you. I did that with my late mother in-law years ago. BIG mistake. She only treated me worse. Don’t make that mistake like I did!!
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I was put into the role of therapist at age 8 after the divorce. I got validation and acknowledgement only when I listened to her problems. I did most of the housework. Got jobs to not be a burden, etc. I realize now that while she liked my sensitive nature and concern for her – She simultaneously viewed me as weak and the scapegoat.
It did make me independent. i took care of myself and her. But now I want to be free. Just trying to find the right path.
Another article you might find interesting – how therapists view their narcissist patients.. They seem to be in the same boat we are.
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Emotional incest. That’s what your mother did to you. Treating you like her partner instead of her son. I was in a similar role with my parents (both treated me as their therapist, mainly about their marital problems). I didn’t have to work like you did though. It’s a terrible role to be in!
That is good you learned to be independent. That isn’t an easy task with a narcissistic parent raising you.
Totally understandable you want to be free! You will be. God will show you how to be.
Wow.. that was another fascinating article! Thank you for sharing it with me! I wonder if since NPD is more openly discussed now if that means more therapists are learning about it. I sure hope so. I’ve given up on therapy because so few truly understand it & many therapists are narcissists themselves.
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i don’t know. I was in therapy in the 90s, and my therapist wanted to make me stand up for myself to get my mother to pay me back for the money she owed for airfare from Florida.
All of my friends at the time were saying, “let that go” – thinking it through an ex-lover lens.
But in the 90s, narcissism was seldom mentioned. I think my therapist was trying to help. But those were the happy years when I was “only” depressed over an ex-boyfriend who had taken over my life, my workplace and my credit cards.
Emotional incest will be something knew to research.
Standing up to your mother to get the money she owed you sounds great in theory. But since she’s a narcissist.. guessing that didn’t go so well.
Ex was a narcissist, wasn’t he? 😦
Emotional incest is known by several terms.. covert incest, parentification, parentalizing.. infantilization is similar (it describes a parent who tries to keep their adult child immature & dependent on them). I hope I’m not overloading you with the terms. It’s all the same thing, but I figured if you wanted to research, you might as well be aware of the terms to research.
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I’m sorry everyone but I had forgotten to put this in my last post that I thought might be helpful. According to some other blogs I have visited in my journey to gain knowledge on the subject matter that we all have been discussing, the thought of not having to forgive the narcissist came up. I want to share with you all a definition I came across written by a Christian minister. (A conscious decision to not have resentment and do not take vengeful actions towards those who have hurt you). The point that was trying to be made in this particular blog was that we do not have to forgive the narcissist. We are told in God’s word and by example of Christ himself that we ought to forgive all people. This does not mean we are giving them a free ride to continue to do harm to us and others in their path. I believe the definition here says it clearly. We can forgive the narcissist but we have the right to hate what they represent being a human being created in the image of God. After all they are the total opposite of God’s attributes and virtues. He himself hates what they are and what they are doing with the precious life they have been given. We do not have to tolerate The Jezebel spirit, on the contrary we are told to get away from it if it is not willing to stand in correction of its behavior. Don’t throw your pearls to swine where they can trample them under foot and the wolves will rip you apart. Hope this helps everyone. Peace be to all.
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That is very well said.. again, thank you for sharing! ❤
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