Narcissists Think Fear + Obedience = Respect

Recently, God told me something fascinating.  “To narcissists, fear plus obedience equals respect.”  I thought this was fascinating & it made a lot of sense!  Narcissists clearly have no grasp of what true respect really is.  They also have no grasp of how to get respect.  What they do to get their so called respect is nothing like what most people do.

Most people realize you can’t demand someone respect you, you have to earn their respect.  Narcissists don’t think that way.  My mother used to tell me, “I demand respect!”  Didn’t work… I had very little respect for her.

Also, most people don’t try to force someone to do anything.  They go on about their lives not trying to force someone to respect them.  They instead do things that earn people’s respect such as helping the underprivileged or homeless.  Narcissists don’t care about doing good deeds to earn respect.  They believe that they’re entitled to it no matter what.

I also thought at first that this pertained only to overt narcissists.  They have no problem yelling, cursing, demeaning, invalidating, intimidating & using physical force on a victim to get whatever they want.  It can be easy for people to become intimidated by such things & become obedient to the narcissist.

As I thought about this, God said it goes for covert narcissists too.  They may not be so obviously intimidating, but they truly can instill fear in their victims which makes them obedient.  Their weapons are quieter, such as using guilt, shame, acting disappointed & the silent treatment, but they are effective nonetheless.  That also made sense.  A victim may not be afraid of a covert narcissist screaming at them or hitting them, but they do still fear the covert narcissist’s quiet wrath & will do about anything to avoid it.  Fear & obedience.

I also wondered how narcissists know to do what they do.  I mean, they’re not exactly insightful.  Yet somehow they also know what to do to each unique victim to get what they want.  How do they all know that fear & obedience will get them their so called respect?  God answered that question too.  He said the devil tells them things.  Apparently he & his demons basically whisper things to them, & the messages are kind of like a subliminal message.  These messages are spoken quietly & subtly, so narcissists think they are their own ideas.  They’re also simple, along the lines of “If you scream at her, she will do what you want” rather than explaining more complicated details, such as fear & obedience equal respect.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying that narcissists are helpless against the devil’s will.  They aren’t, but they choose not to ignore him.  Repeatedly doing the devil’s work has shut down their natural empathy & their willingness to listen to God.  2 Timothy 2:26 in the English Standard Version, it says, “and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”  Clearly, people can choose to reject doing the devil’s work.

I’m telling you this in order that you may understand what you’re dealing with regarding narcissists.  You aren’t dealing merely with an obnoxious person when you deal with a narcissist.  You’re dealing with an evil spirit wanting to hurt you.  Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” 

Remember what exactly you are dealing with, Dear Reader.  Learn about spiritual warfare, & most importantly, stay close to your Heavenly Father.  All you have to do is ask Him & He will gladly help you in any situation, including this one.

37 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

37 responses to “Narcissists Think Fear + Obedience = Respect

  1. ibikenyc

    ” ‘I demand respect!’ ”

    How nice for you! (Eyeroll)

    It was probably George Carlin on Class Clown who’s got a whole routine about going to school. I can’t find the exact quote right now, but, paraphrasing, it’s something to the effect of “You sat up straight in your chair, and YOU WERE READY TO LEARN!”

    I’m reminded of that every time Mr. Happy starts in on me about, “You never TALK to me!” Sometimes I tell him, “You don’t want a conversation; you want an audience.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The fact that God told you the devil tells them to do such things has given me chils.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It did me too. Especially with how subtle he is about it, so subtle they won’t recognize it isn’t their own thoughts. It’s disturbing!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Do you really think it is not their own thoughts? You know – because I so desperately want to forgive.

        Like

        • Do they know? Or don’t they know?

          Like

          • I know.. I want to forgive too. But I firmly believe the devil can plant thoughts in their heads. Anyone’s really.. kind of like that devil on one shoulder, angel on the other thing. But, the issue is, everyone has a choice. Even non-Christians can choose good over bad & they do every day. It’s those who know good from bad & choose bad that scare me. They eventually can close the door to good & to God.

            I don’t think they know that it’s the devil telling them to do things. They’d probably believe they’re too smart or too good to hear him anyway. He is subtle & can be so subtle, his words appear like their own thoughts. Reminds me of something.. .What is that saying? The best trick the devil ever did is convince people he didn’t exist.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. annealcroft

    “Recently, God told me something fascinating. “To narcissists, fear plus obedience equals respect.” I thought this was fascinating & it made a lot of sense! Narcissists clearly have no grasp of what true respect really is. They also have no grasp of how to get respect. What they do to get their so called respect is nothing like what most people do.”

    Argh, I could scream. I just lost a good post as I tried to submit it but here I’ll try again.

    This past week I actually had lunch with my narcissist 89 year old father whom I’ve written about here a few times.

    Completely self-absorbed and yes, they don’t want a conversation but an audience. Bravo, George Carlin. Spot on.

    Yes, he demands respect by belittling and intimidating. He had the audacity to tell me that he “knows exactly where [I am] you are at right now.”

    This is a Saul Alinsky tactic called “freezing” which many of our politicians now use to bring about transgressions such as impeachment whereby the perpetrator accuses their victim of what they themselves are guilty of. A father who knows exactly where his daughter is at will inflict the kind of abuse on her that he has inflicted upon me? In no uncertain terms I rebuked him by reminding him that no loving father could conceive of abusing his daughter as he has abused me and that I must forgive but can not forget.

    It is critical for us to forgive these people because Satan loves it when we hold onto their transgressions because it gives them traction to continue to abuse us.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that our best recourse and remedy is our sense of humor. If we can rise above the absolute idiocy of the narcissist, then we can laugh at them. The glitch is, they’re dangerous, evil people.

    I’m trying very hard to honor my father according to God’s will. By the same token, we must also know according to Biblical teachings when it is time to literally leave our father’s house (Psalm 45) and walk away from relatives as Cynthia addresses earlier this week in one of her broadcasts about going “no contact.”

    Meanwhile, it has taken me since this past Wednesday to pull myself back together again after spending a few hours with my father. I have been utterly exhausted and felt as though I’d been bitten by a poisonous spider. As long as my father persists in his evil ways, unless I’m able to laugh at his evil instead of taking him seriously, I will continue to succumb to his Satanic tricks.

    He refuses to repent, to humble himself, to apologize for his wrongdoings, for his abuses, his adultery, his theft, his iniquities, his lies, his calumny. He is conceited, proud, complacent, arrogant, and a ruthless, Godless coward. All I can do is live my life the best way I know how, offer up to God all that I need to forgive, and pray that my father figures out how to save his own soul because that is nothing I can do for him.

    This is the pitiful truth we must face as empaths and the victims of the narcissists in our lives. On some level we will always feel responsible for them.

    So often I remember what Jesus Christ says about Judas Iscariot, that it would be better for him if he’d never been born. (Matthew 26:24)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow.. you went to lunch with your father & survived. Says a lot about you. Mainly how strong you are!!

      We absolutely must forgive them but we can’t forget.. that is simply foolish to do!

      A sense of humor is very important. It can help us get through the toughest of times sometimes.

      Always keep in mind what it truly means to honor your father, not what people say it does. Sometimes walking away is the most honorable thing you can do. Sometimes confrontation is honorable. It depends on what is best for your parent

      Liked by 1 person

      • annealcroft

        Well, I don’t know how strong I am! It’s taken me a week at least to come back up for air! Thanks for your encouragement, Cynthia.

        Most important is that we grow through all of these trials and to never allow anything to enter our hearts that overshadows our relationship to God.

        I realized my father is never going to change. Yes, as long as he has an audience and is completely convinced of what a wonderful human being he is, he appears to be adorably happy. Confront him with a truth about who he really is and he goes from a Dr. Jekyll to a Mr. Hyde — a cruel, abusive, lying, sinister, devil. So which is his true self?

        His false persona, who he is in love with, his Narcissus, is for him his true self. To try to present to him the heartache he has caused others, the lies he lives in order to keep his mask on, is too painful for him to confront. It is impossible to reason with someone who has sold out. To paraphrase the philosopher Soren Kiergaard, the only one the deceiver deceives is himself.

        There is never a time I’m around my father that in some way he doesn’t make a point of being disrespectful of me which is part of his abuse. I like to think that I’ve let it roll off of me like water from a duck, but later realize that if there is a next time, I will confront him immediately. And here I am, writing about it!

        Though I’m glad that I’ve done my best to make peace with him, I will leave it up to God as to whether or not there needs to be another time that I see my father.

        I realized that it is not really the father I have known all my life who I love, but the fantasy of who I wanted and needed him to be is who and what I love.

        Thanks always, Cynthia, for this important refuge to come to to sort all of this out. Such a blessing. Thank you.

        Like

        • I’m sure it did take time to come back from it. I used to think of it as detoxing.

          You’re welcome for the encouragement!

          That’s true.. nothing can overshadow our relationship with God. It’s so important! Funny in a way.. if anything my relationship with my parents got me closer to God.. I had to lean on Him more than ever to handle the relationship, which increased my faith.

          That’s what makes these people so hard to deal with, the fact they can be good. It’s in there. They can do it. But they choose to be so abusive & cruel. They’re so confusing like that (prior to learning about NPD) & disappointing that they choose to be that way.

          Good for you! You have to know when the right time to confront a narcissist is since it can backfire so badly. You know next time is right & will follow through. That’s great!!

          I think that’s really how all of us with narcissistic parents are..we love the fantasy of who we wish they were more than the real person. How could we not feel that way?!

          Thank you so much.. ❤

          Liked by 2 people

          • annealcroft

            Dear Cynthia,

            Everything you say here, throughout this post, is well worth spending good time on. It is full of wisdom and I’m taking it in bite-sized pieces now because it is so relevant to what I am going through now with my malignant narcissist father. God, help all of us in this struggle. Amen.

            When you say, ” Narcissists clearly have no grasp of what true respect really is. They also have no grasp of how to get respect. What they do to get their so called respect is nothing like what most people do.”

            *Sigh*

            Right here, I just had this epiphany….if only I could sit down for supper with Cynthia and my father to hash this one out. Oh, Dear God, no truer words have been spoken for a long, long while!

            I had lunch with my Dad last week, and then the other day again, to retrieve from him boxes of things that belong to me, like greeting cards I saved since I was a very little girl. The boxes are still in my car. It’s going to be really painful to go through them.

            As we were saying good-bye after this second lunch within a week, not having seen him in over two years, he poked two fingers toward my eyes and I had to move back in fear. It was very disconcerting and I felt helpless.

            So, these past few days, I’ve been sorting all of this out. How can it be that I can so deeply love the good that I see in this man who is my biological father, while the evil he succumbs to is so hideous, so repulsive, so absolutely evil, that I wish to never, ever, have to see him again? Suddenly I find a hatred and rage boiling up inside of me for his affair with the married woman he insists wasn’t married even though she, herself admits she was! And not just once, but she divorced and REMARRIED the same husband!!! But my father denies this, because the narcissist can not deal with the TRUTH. The narcissist, deep down, hates God because God is competition for him. To my father, the First Commandment literally means no other Gods before HIM meaning he, himself, my biological, abusive, narcissist father almighty!

            The sad fact is, I realized over lunch that this man is not capable of relating to God because he is his own God. He is infatuated with himself.

            Cynthia, when you say “fear + obedience = respect” for the narcissist, this is exactly what I now find myself sifting through trying to make sense of my relationship with my father. As I decompress after having seen him recently, I am realize that his self-worship is so repulsive that I feel filthy having been in his presence.

            Cynthia, in another of your very recent posts you mention that it may be time for us to turn all of this over to Jesus Christ. That is a great comfort and I look forward to reading that post again. If we do not disengage ourselves from the spiritual warfare of the narcissist we remain hostage to the devil.

            Unfortunately, for some of us, try as we might, we simply can not have contact with these people. Amen.

            Liked by 2 people

            • I’m sorry you’re going through this with your father. I’m so glad though that you’re learning whatever you can. It’s just wise to know as much as humanly possible when it comes to dealing with narcissists.

              I’m flattered, but you know as well as I even if I could hash things out with your father, he wouldn’t listen. Narcissists are right about everything, after all! They can do no wrong.. just ask them! Ughhhh..

              Wow. That’s great you got those things from your father! I’m surprised he gave them to you since they don’t like doing anything nice for victims.

              Disconcerting, he poked 2 fingers toward your eyes. What do you think he meant by that??

              That is really the best way to describe narcissists, they’re their own god. Maybe that is why I felt filthy after being in the presence of many narcissists, too. It makes sense.. as Christians, we are naturally repulsed by unGodly behavior. Don’t get more unGodly than thinking you’re better & more important than God.

              Oh yes! We must rely 10000% on God to help us with these people. We can’t deal with them on our own, we simply aren’t wise enough. We also need His protection from their evil spirits.

              True.. no contact is best with these people. It breaks my heart for those who are unable to go no contact. To be trapped at their mercy is sheer Hell on earth.

              Liked by 1 person

              • annealcroft

                Oh, Cynthia! Yes, we must rely 10000% on God, so completely on God that alas we might begin to open our eyes and realize that if we persist, He will grant us our conversion.

                I’m afraid it is very true that there is no other way but to go no contact.

                After this recent contact with my father, the reality that he will never, ever change has hit me — he goes from bad, to worse. There is no question this man is willfully diabolical.

                Today I went through the boxes he gave me the other day when I met him for lunch of things that I asked him for that were mine.

                He cherry-picked her jewelry and the pieces of sentimental value I hoped to have were missing. He said he would give me the Christmas ornaments, many of which I bought with my own baby-sitting and lunch money that I saved when I was a little girl, but instead he gave me a box full of moldy old pocket books and all kinds of junk that he doesn’t know what do with.

                Mt 7:9,10 If his son shall ask bread, will he give him a stone?

                But it gets better. When I had lunch with him the other day, did he ever once ask me how I am? What I am doing? What my life is like?

                What did he talk about? I’m sure you’ll believe it because I know you’ve been through this far worse! All he could talk about, literally, was how he washes his rear end in the bath tub! And I had to sit and listen to this idiocy!

                A while back you mentioned the importance of being “wise like the serpent peaceful like the dove.” Oh, boy. That’s a big challenge when you’re so livid pi$$ed that the roof could come off the house, which is when we turn to God and turn it all over to Him. Patience is our virtue.

                It may be the best recourse to cut our losses and move away from it all. I pray without ceasing to know what God wants me to do from now on without turning back. Our Lord says, Luke 9:62 62Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

                One of the most important things for those of us in recovery from the abuse of narcissists is to confront the glaring reality that we can not possibly serve both God and mammon. This is a giant step to take, to sever the ties that keep us bound to the devil and any narcissist IS, in FACT, the devil himself.

                Thank you always, Cynthia. Happy Valentine’s Day. I wish our world would learn who Saint Valentine really is and what the meaning of this holiday should be! My understanding is that Saint Valentine gave sight to the blind!

                Liked by 1 person

                • Isn’t it amazing how God can open our eyes when we rely on Him? 🙂

                  No contact seems to be the only solution, much as I hate to say it. But again we have to rely on God to show us when & how to do it, & if the timing isn’t right, also how to get through until said timing is right. It’s a delicate situation & needs to be done right. My poor best friend.. lol Before I went no contact with my parents, I kept telling her the timing feels off. Well, after I did it & my father died several months later, I learned it was partly why he turned to God during his final days of life. She saw I was right for postponing, but it was still a tough time for her because she hated seeing how my parents treated me. She told me later that time about drove her crazy.

                  So THAT is what your father gave you?! Moldy pocketbooks?! Not even close to what you asked for.. that is just ridiculous & petty!

                  Yes, I believe that totally, that is all he talked about. Such valuable information you needed to know, right? UGH!!! They are utterly infuriating! Not only clearly care nothing about how you are but fill the conversation with stupid things a normal person has the sense not to discuss.

                  It truly is a huge challenge when you’re furious to turn things over to God. You want to just say “Ok, God.. let me handle this my way & light him/her up!! Just once!” lol It’d only backfire though & make things even worse.

                  Absolutely! We must pray without ceasing, but especially when it comes to narcissists. It’s like a very dysfunctional chess game they play & we need God’s wisdom to win it.

                  Thank you & happy Valentine’s day to you too!

                  I never heard that about St. Valentine before.. now you made me want to learn about him! 🙂

                  Liked by 2 people

                  • annealcroft

                    Thanks so much, Cynthia. Your thoughtful and wise response is invaluable.

                    Amazing about your dad finally turning to God in his last hours after you had no choice but to go no contact. I often wonder if there’s any hope for my father.

                    I realize I skipped a detail about my father cherry-picking “her” jewelry. I asked for a few pieces of my mother’s jewelry that had sentimental value. I had a dream one night that he was giving his married girlfriend my mother’s jewelry. I believe this may be true and what makes this so infuriating is that his affair with this girlfriend began long before my mother died and is what largely helped put her in an early grave. She was only 75. There is no bottom to how low this man will stoop. My good friend (who is like your good friend who said the way your parents treated you drove her crazy) calls him “FILTH.” That’s about the size of it when it comes to the narcissist. They are filth, sorry to say, yet as you said, somewhere there is good in the too.

                    As Christians, we feel responsible for them. Am I my brother’s keeper? Well, yes, but we also have to know when we need to shake the dust off our feet and move on. As you say, timing is everything and to pray for God’s guidance for Him to use us as He needs to and to get out of our own way in the process. That’s what’s difficult when we do become so furious at the injustices these people are capable of. The difficulty is not falling into their evil trap. It’s not the material loss that hurts; it is the injustice, abuse, and evil that hurts not just us, but God, and ultimately, the narcissists abuser is the one who may get his kicks now from abusing, cheating, lying, stealing, and all the rest, but in the end, the joke will be on him.

                    Unless, that is, he is willing to humble himself, repent, and return to God. All it takes is an apology. But the narcissist is too proud, to conceited, too arrogant, to humble himself. What a horrible way to live. As evil as they are, they are more pitiful and pathetic though they are also incredibly destructive.

                    Yep, filth.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • annealcroft – I appreciate your willingness to use the term “evil” and reference M. Scott Peck. I only recently discovered him, his view on evil, and his book “People of the Lie”.

                      I think as Christians, we want to think the best of everyone, especially those in our family. But I find myself reading Matthew 10 more and more these days to remind myself that God’s view of family is quite different than what we were taught.

                      My prayers these days are for acceptance. Kind of like the AA prayer, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change”.

                      I know that huge injustices have been done to you. I think I understand you.
                      I want so badly want to be heard. I know that I am right. I know that huge wrongs have been done to me. And yet, no one cares.

                      But please know that fighting with them on their battleground will not help.

                      Showing your cards of negative emotions will only give them supply and fuel. They literally feed on our negative emotions.

                      Displaying indifference is the only “weapon” we have. Indifference is the only thing that will hurt them. I encourage you to try to display indifference. Even if you don’t feel it. Try to fake it ’til you make it. And pray of course.

                      I watched a Meredith Miller video about how it is good to try to do one last “benevolent gesture” if you are going to go no contact. I’ll link it below.

                      I did not do this because I feel like I have offered so many “benevolent gestures” over the last few years. And my whole life really.

                      I also decided to not make a declaration of “no contact”. For me, I felt like that would only provide my mother with more fuel to feed on. If I openly said “I never want to talk to you again”, she would use this as fuel. Tell everyone. Get sympathy. And be knocking on my door.

                      For me, right now, I am just doing my best to display “indifference”. I am Gray Rocking like a boss. Because I know that is the only thing that will keep her away.

                      I hope that helps.

                      Here’s the video I talked about.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • aww, thank you. ❤

                      Here's a link to my father's story, if you'd care to read it… it's pretty amazing I think! https://cynthiabaileyrug.com/home/the-miraculous-way-my-father-came-to-know-jesus/

                      There's always hope… never give up praying for your father! God hears every prayer we say & even when we have doubts it can be answered. I seriously doubted my father ever would turn to God for anything, but I prayed for him anyway. Same with my mother. I don't know about how she ended up in Heaven, but I know she's there. All things truly are possible with God!

                      Filth definitely seems to be an accurate description. Wow.. your friend hit that nail on the head!

                      Exactly.. there has to be so much wisdom in dealing with people, but narcissists in particular. After all, you're dealing with someone who is at least influenced by evil, if not outright possessed by it.

                      That's so true too.. I remember so many times when my parents hurt me, the fact that they did something specifically to hurt me actually hurt more than the action they did.

                      They are definitely too proud.. if you read my father's story, you'll see he actually argued with God. That takes a LOT of arrogance! But, no doubt it's not just him.. I'm sure many narcissists do the same.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • annealcroft

                      Cynthia, thanks for sharing the story about your father and his last hours, and that he struggled with Alzheimer’s and narcissism because there is obviously a connection between the two diseases.

                      Narcissism means a never-ending competition, not a relationship, and because of the aggression and evil necessary for the narcissist to win at their game, it really does become a matter of survival for us to have no more contact with them. Yet, as you say, we must never give up on them and continue to pray for them to work out the salvation of their own soul, while we also pray to serve our Lord Jesus Christ and to be alert and awake when we may be crossing the line of temptation when it seems we might be succumbing to the game of the devil himself to try to deal with these people.

                      This is what is so exhausting and in the end, an exercise in futility.

                      Each time I go through another “episode” with my father, though I go through moments of rage, repulsion, and yes, hatred beyond all telling, that diminishes as I pray to God to show me how I can serve Him and best navigate the turbulent waters without becoming self-seeking in the process.

                      Though all of this literally makes us sick, to the extent that our health, well being, creativity, and will to live become compromised, in the end, if we can help but save one soul, and know that we have laid down our life for a friend, then we have done our job as servants of God.

                      In your essay about your father, you quote from the Book of Matthew 19:29:

                      29) And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[a] or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. 30) But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (NKJV)

                      When we find ourselves so completely depleted to the point of despair trying to help these people, especially someone as close as a father, to see God’s Truth, and we realize there is no more we can do but to pray, then our Lord gives us permission, if not an imperative, to leave the “houses” of our father, mother, etc. to follow Him.

                      There is great relief and freedom in knowing that while it is our duty as Christians to save souls for God, it is also our duty not to become obsessed with the task to the point of idolatry.

                      I guess that is where with each episode I go through with my father I then realize I have flown way too close to that flame. The worst of it is, that is how Satan operates.

                      Cynthia, it sounds like your father was no where near the narcissist your mother was if I’m not mistaken, but instead a weak-willed man who didn’t know how to stand up for himself.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • annealcroft

                      Dougrross, thanks so much for your thoughtfulness and sharing the video.

                      You write, “I know that huge injustices have been done to you. I think I understand you.
                      I want so badly want to be heard. I know that I am right. I know that huge wrongs have been done to me. And yet, no one cares.”

                      It is true that when we suffer injustice we do want to be heard yet part of the process of Christian maturity is learning how to assimilate the injustices and though we are to be meek and humble, that does not mean that it is okay for us to play ‘possum.

                      An injustice against my person can leave me momentarily like a deer blinded in the headlights, though I am becoming more proficient with every opportunity at quickly turning the other cheek. However, when the injustice, the perpetration, is a direct assault on God, such as committing adultery, stealing, etc., then that is when for me, the reality of the perpetration becomes unbearable. The challenge for me is knowing how to EXPOSE the narcissistic abuser as a sincere disciple of Jesus Christ. I constantly find myself asking, “What would Jesus do?”

                      Most often it seems according to His teachings to shake the dust from our sandals and to promptly depart from those who have no interest in knowing the Truth or keeping the peace which is from the Book of Matthew 10, as you’ve mentioned.

                      What Meredith Miller has to say about going “no contact” is very supportive and empowering. One of the challenges of our healing process is to become “indifferent” as you point out, which is why I find religion to be of utmost importance at this point in my journey. I’m trying to balance being in this world, but not of it, which means being able to keep in proper perspective how best to practice non-attachment to the temporal world which is also integral to the maturation process of Christendom. This brings us to the threshold of martyrdom and I believe challenges our sincerity about our belief and consecration to Jesus Christ, who teaches that His burden is easy, and His yolk, light; He also emphasizes how very narrow the Gate truly is. I pray not for my will, but for the Holy Will of God to be done and for Him to show me how I can fulfill the mission He has created me for. If I can do that much in my lifetime, I hope I will die happy.

                      Here is a very profound video titled “Never Give Up On Those Who Fall Away From the Faith” that emphasizes our duties as Christian soldiers and how we can best combat the devil. There is no question narcissism is of the devil:

                      Like

                    • Anne, you’re welcome for sharing the story about my father’s salvation. It’s such an incredible story, sometimes I still can’t believe it happened!

                      I think there definitely can be a direct connection between Alzheimer’s & narcissism, too. Brain injuries & diseases can make a normal person turn narcissistic, I think. After getting my own brain injury, I realized I was becoming very self-centered. I watch myself closely to be sure it doesn’t go too far now… just self-centered enough to be healthy, not more.

                      That is so true, what you said about narcissism & the competition rather than relationship. It’s really depressing! It also makes it hard to pray for them so often. I know the Bible says we should pray for those who use us, but it doesn’t say that is easy! Some of the narcissists I’ve prayed for, when I did it, I told God, “I’m only doing this because You said I should. Not because I want to!” lol (He knew that was how I felt, so why not admit it??) it does change though, as you mentioned it does for you when you pray for your father.

                      Yes, He surely does give us permission to leave the “houses” of our parents. Sometimes that involves leaving them entirely, such as in cases of abusive parents. God told Abraham to leave his parents & family, so why would He not tell others to do the same?

                      I don’t know if this will help you, but one thing that has helped me tremendously is to remember, every person’s Salvation is their choice. Even God won’t force a person to choose Him, He just shows them the truth & lets them decide. Not that I take Salvation lightly, & I hope it doesn’t sound that way. It’s just realizing it’s not my responsibility has helped me, even in praying for my parents. If they hadn’t gone to Heaven, as badly as that’d make me feel, I would at least know I prayed & did my part to encourage them to accept Jesus. They had the clarity & intelligence to choose or reject Him. That is on them. Thankfully they chose correctly! Eventually, but it still counts in my book!

                      My father was very weak willed. God told me once he didn’t have my inner strength, which is why he didn’t protect me from my mother. But, even so, he was very much a narcissist. Just very covert about it instead of very overt like my mother was. All my life, he turned her abusing me around to how hard it was for him. I comforted him after more abusive episodes than I can count. From what I understand, the brain injury he got at age 15 changed him. He was already pretty selfish but he became devious & entitled after that. Once the Alzheimer’s started, he became overt & even more narcissistic. EVERYTHING had to be his way when it came to me & if I dared set a boundary, I paid dearly. Even something like not answering the phone on the first ring or two. Nothing I could do worked with him, so I had to keep a distance until the time for no contact was right. Even that was a source of contention with him. His last few years were really awful.

                      Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting! My child’s Mother is actually a demon. I really believe that these people are nothing like us…no empathy, self-involved, doesn’t even care about their children and only want to see their children fail….sure, they can get help but they don’t even think they have a problem. I am firm on it more and more as I raise my daughter with someone that just wants to bring us down everyday. It’s mind-boggling.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It truly is mind boggling! I’ve thought many times that even though I understand a lot about narcissism, I still don’t really understand it. It’s too hard for the average person to fully grasp that kind of evil, even when you can understand the “mechanics” of it, I think.

      Liked by 3 people

    • annealcroft

      You put it in a nut shell. That is exactly how it is and the depths of evil are mind boggling. They do everything in their power to destroy their children. They’re Molochs. So true, they haven’t a clue that they have a problem and somehow manage to surround themselves with their flying monkeys who they use until they’re no longer useful to them. All we can do is pray for them and for the strength and stamina to overcome their evil. The worst part of it is when it seems they have a stranglehold on us and we find ourselves tempted to use their tactics on them. M. Scott Peck writes about this danger in his book “People Of The Lie.” We can’t afford to let this happen.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I had to google molochs.. omgosh.. LOL Now that is a great description! Thanks for the giggle!

        Birds of a dysfunctional feather flock together, don’t they? It never fails to astound me that narcissists can find others to validate their evil & insane behavior, & they all act like victims are the real problem.

        And don’t forget to pray for creative, effective ways to deal with them! That simple prayer has done wonders! I never thought I’d find ways to deal with my mother but I did after praying that. God gave me some downright funny ideas, but they worked! One example was she would order me around instead of “Would you mind doing…. for me?” I realized one day she enjoyed me obeying her orders, so I asked God for help in dealing with that. Next time, I said, “Of course I’ll do.. for you! You asked so nicely, how could I not? You’re welcome!” with a big smile. My mother started asking me to do things instead of ordering! She slipped up from time to time so I’d say it again & she’d go back to asking. I felt it was quite a victory!

        No, that definitely can’t happen, tempting as it may be sometimes. As the saying goes, they can dish it out but they can’t take it. Since they can’t, they’ll behave even worse. It’s never worth stooping to their level.

        Liked by 1 person

        • annealcroft

          Cynthia, you write, “My father was very weak willed. God told me once he didn’t have my inner strength, which is why he didn’t protect me from my mother. But, even so, he was very much a narcissist. Just very covert about it instead of very overt like my mother was. All my life, he turned her abusing me around to how hard it was for him. I comforted him after more abusive episodes than I can count.”

          When you say you “comforted” your father after abusive episodes, this is something I’ve been thinking a great deal about because it is a form of covert incest.

          For years, my father would unload on me for hours on end about how my mother mistreated him. Everything from her petting the dog first thing in the morning instead of him, to the most trivial details of the same stories over and over again. It was his way of demanding of me adult emotional support because of his inability to maintain an adult relationship with my mother forcing me to assume the emotional role of his spouse. This behavior has never stopped; not long after my mother died, he began telling me his sordid, perverted stories about getting caught having dinner out with a married woman young enough to be his granddaughter which was something he seemed proud of. It was disgusting.

          As I have been asking in prayer to our Lord for understanding of why I feel this obsessive responsibility for my father, I have been guided to research covert [emotional] incest which is also tandem to narcissism along with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

          So your finding the need to “comfort” your father after abusive episodes must have seemed exploitative, to say the least, yet very confusing because of the responsibility we feel as caretakers for these people which is part of the codependent, controlling “curse” they plant on us.

          “After getting my own brain injury, I realized I was becoming very self-centered. I watch myself closely to be sure it doesn’t go too far now… just self-centered enough to be healthy, not more.”

          This is such astute self-awareness and so important. I try to catch myself often asking myself not only what Jesus would do in so many circumstances, but also how to get out of my own way to do the work God intends for me to do. However, as we aspire toward living the holy life we are meant to live, there are things like brain injuries and neuro-cognitive issues that impede our ability to function. After a brutal equestrian accident many years ago that left me unconscious for almost three hours, I learned through neuro-cognitive evaluation (a three hour long series of testing) that I do have an impairment that could be because of that injury (believe it or not I was never taken to a doctor) or it could have to do with prolonged psychological trauma — C-PTSD which you’ve mentioned recently.

          The big challenge comes in staying disciplined and focused to engage in creative projects and finding the energy to continue on a daily basis. Some days it is even difficult to pray so I think of myself as a branch trying to bud and bear fruit while also trying not to cling to the steeple top so hard that I can’t do anything else! So staying happy and productive is really the key, and feeling comfortable in our own skin without being self-absorbed. There is no substitute for our determination to know God and to understand the purpose and blessing of the trials we endure because of the narcissists in our lives. Our healing is all about finding healthy self-knowledge which means to be able to accept that we are worthy of God’s love.

          John 15:2-6 – He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

          When you say, “Once the Alzheimer’s started, he became overt & even more narcissistic. EVERYTHING had to be his way when it came to me & if I dared set a boundary, I paid dearly. Even something like not answering the phone on the first ring or two. Nothing I could do worked with him, so I had to keep a distance until the time for no contact was right. Even that was a source of contention with him. His last few years were really awful.”

          Yes, that describes exactly what I’m experiencing with my father. He goes off the rails if the slightest thing is not his way and exactly as you say, if I dare set a boundary or stand my ground, I pay dearly and am severely chastised for that. Yep, “fear + obedience.”

          As I told my father in an email I recently sent him, I can not possibly be the daughter he wants me to be because I tell him what he NEEDS to hear, not what he WANTS to hear. I told him he needs to work out his own salvation and that is nothing I can do for him. I have no intention of reading his response. I’m beginning to feel like an imbecile just trying to communicate with him.

          I don’t know how long my father has left, but I have a feeling things are going to get progressively uglier with him like they were with your father. When I saw him for lunch recently, I wondered if it would be the last time I would see him. When my mother died I did everything for her I possibly could have and hope to do the same for my father. As it is now, I don’t know what more I can possibly do for him other than to continue to pray for him as you did for your father.

          Now, I am seriously thinking through how to downsize, purge my belongings to only what I absolutely need and the very few things I really enjoy owning and wish to keep, and getting farther than 45 minutes away* and relocating so that my whereabouts remains unknown, cut my losses whatever they are, and as Jesus teaches, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” – Luke 9:60.

          Courage!

          * In his book “People Of The Lie” M. Scott Peck advises a distance of at least 700 miles away.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, what my father did with expecting me to comfort him after my mother abused me was absolutely covert incest. He was quite the pro at it. My mother, too, but he surpassed her.

            My father did much the same, dumping all his problems on me & expecting me to be his emotional support. Did it until I stopped speaking to him. It’s an awful place for a child, no matter the age, to be. I’m so sorry you were in the same position.

            Good.. I’m glad you were led to covert incest to help you understand the situation. Same happened with me & I’m grateful! It answers questions, doesn’t it? Although also can create more like how can any parent think this is ok?! Sadly with narcissists though, anything that benefits them is fine in their mind.

            Exploitative & confusing indeed. For most of my life it was normal.. I never thought anything of it because it was my norm, but eventually it hit me how wrong it was. I stopped comforting my father but he never stopped looking for comfort when things were bad with my mother & I. In fact, she & I later realized he lied to us about each other. He created even more problems than we already had.

            Oh my.. so you have C-PTSD &/or a brain injury too. My heart goes out to you! Both are terrible to deal with!

            Creative projects are so helpful, aren’t they? Something so healing in being creative. 🙂 I find if I don’t get my knitting or otherwise creative time in, I get super anxious & irritable. It’s a necessity, especially after the brain damage. It even makes me feel closer to God, even if I’m just doing something creative, & not praying. Why, I don’t know, but it works so I don’t question it.

            So your father sounds a lot like mine became his last few years. I’m sorry.. UGH! Thank God we have Him in our corner because without Him, there isn’t any way I know of to survive such people with sanity in tact.

            You’re NOT an imbecile for trying to communicate with your father! Even when you know it’s a waste of time, that’s still your father (ugh, I so hate that phrase!! Thanks, flying monkeys) & that gives him a unique & very special role in your life. You can’t help but want to keep trying, to find some way to make things work. Not doing so seems utterly abnormal.

            I know it can feel like you aren’t doing much by “only” praying for your father, but seriously, that is a very big & important thing! Don’t underestimate that! Remember what happened with my father. Even with my lack of faith that he would ever turn to God, it happened. If all you can do is “just pray”, you are still doing a wonderful thing!

            Sometimes letting the dead bury their own dead is the best thing you can do for people. It’s incredibly hard, but still, it truly can be the best thing you can do. ❤

            Like

            • annealcroft

              Cynthia, so true about creative work being so important for us. I pray for my creative faculties and interests to be restored. I don’t know what happened that left my creativity paralyzed, other than just being completely burned out.

              Though my father is still alive, I realized over this past week, and after what you’ve shared about your father, that I am actually grieving the loss of my father just as though he did die in the physical because that is the reality now that he is no longer with me in this lifetime. I discovered a helpful article titled “Unconventional Grief; Grieving Someone Alive” that explains this process and how to overcome what seems like an obsession with something that will never be:

              http://thebereavementacademy.com/unconventional-grief-grieving-someone-alive/

              Without realizing, we spend most of our life grieving the loss of the narcissist in our life, one way or the other.

              Liked by 2 people

              • Burn out can do it! I’ve experienced that too. Your creativity will come back.

                That’s a very good article! And what you say is too true, we do grieve narcissists long before they die. It’s a strange thing to realize that’s what we’ve been doing, but it makes sense.

                Liked by 1 person

  5. @annealcroft I feel compelled to say this. Jesus needed time on the mountain to get himself together. He needed that time with God the Father so that he could “put his own oxygen mask on first”. Only then could he go down and help others. I would encourage you to do the same. Focus on your relationship with Christ first. Let your dad figure out his own lessons in the meantime.

    Liked by 2 people

    • annealcroft

      Thank you. Yes, time to come up for air — great metaphor, the oxygen mask. Often I tell friends that an episode with my father is like having my head held under water.

      In the Harry Potter series there are entities called “Dementors” that are of the dark force that feed on human souls and leave their victims paralyzed in a vegetative state, which is exactly how the narcissist operates.

      Unfortunately, because of my economic situation my connection to my father largely has to do with the sad reality that he holds my inheritance money which he admits to embezzling that does not belong to him. Though he admits to embezzling, I have no tangible proof and he is fully and well informed of his legal standing which is why he so brazenly admits to this. He takes sadistic pleasure knowing that there is really nothing I can do about it though he admits to it. Because I have been unemployed for the past few years due to health issues, this enables his stranglehold on me.This leaves me no recourse for the financial relief I so desperately need, other than prayer and faith, but to sell my home. I’m 62 with valid health concerns. Over the years I found myself homeless several times so this puts me in a precarious position.

      Four years ago when I went no contact with him, I closed the bank account where he deposited my trust money so as to have no further connection to him at all. That was an excruciatingly difficult time for me financially as I had no choice but to resort to selling off my furnishings and personal belongings to pay bills and marginally survive. I found myself emptying desk drawers, bureaus, and living out of boxes. It was very difficult to have to sell off things that I really enjoyed owning but that is another discussion. At one point in my life I worked in the field of interior design so having to rip my home apart and sell of possessions was difficult if one is not yet ready to “pass through the eye of the needle.”

      However, during that time which lasted close to a year, I felt closer to God than ever before in my life so it is critically important to our spiritual well-being, as you’ve already mentioned in another of your posts, to make every effort to learn — as it is written — the reasons why we must leave “family” particularly under circumstances such as narcissistic abuse and covert incest which are intertwined.

      It will be a miracle if my father “learns his lesson.” A mutual acquaintance who was a hospice worker told me once that someday my father will thank me. I try to hold on to her words as a sort of talisman of hope however, back to the old adage about one bad apple spoiling the bushel. Though there is good there, my father has sold his soul to Satan and, to quote a dear friend, “It is impossible to reason with someone who has sold out.”

      My father is Judas Iscariot. So often I think of the words of our Savior, when he says of Judas Iscariot, “Woe to him that betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” – Matthew 26:24. I feel that way about my father and would imagine you and many others feel the same way about their mother, father, husbands, etc. Still, I pray for the salvation of my father’s soul, from the mountain top. I realized today that I grieve him as though he were already dead because the truth is, he is here in the physical but spiritually he is dead. His soul is dead to Satan; evil is live spelled backwards, isn’t it?

      Blessings and thank you for your compassion.

      Liked by 1 person

      • @annealcroft Wow. I am so sorry as I read more of your backstory. You are a very kind, compassionate person to continue to pray for your father. My family was always poor and arguments were often about money. I started working at age 15 because it was made very clear there would be no money for me, ever. Although there was mysteriously always money for what my parents wanted to do. And of course, always money for my sports star brother.

        I used to be jealous of others whose families seemed to help them out financially. But now I see financial ties are just tools to keep the kids tied into their parents’ dark worlds.

        The Bible instructs parents to teach their children to learn financial independence IMHO. And then to set the children free.

        Just to be clear – you were actually homeless, your parents told you they had all this money – and they just let you be homeless?

        I don’t want to presume to know the answers for you in any way, because I am just now figuring this out for myself. However, if you feel the need to continue to pray for your father, I would encourage you to just pray that he works out his own salvation with God. You are in no way responsible for him. IN NO WAY. His salvation is between him and God.

        Also, I have been recently exposed to the concept that all of our emotions are given by God. Our emotions are trying to tell us what is going on in the outer environment. Our emotions are mostly trying to get us to a place to a place of safety and protection.

        I will pray that you just get yourself to a place of safety and protection for yourself.

        I pray that you leave your biological father to go

        I am ashamed to admit I used to follow Marianne Williamson, but she did say often useful things. One of them was, “I forgive you, and I release you to the Holy Spirit”.

        I pray that you can do that with your father.

        From all the videos and articles I’ve read over the last 5 years, the promise of money and the will never come true. They were just tools to keep the child/victim enslaved. Usually the money has already been spent. And, on the off chance there is a tiny bit of money left, the narcissist parent will change the will on their deathbed to be grand on the victim.

        Liked by 1 person

        • annealcroft

          Dougrross, thanks for your good response.

          I too followed Marianne Williamson years ago and once went to her rally when she campaigned for Dennis Kucinich when he ran for POTUS. Everyone thought he was silly but I liked him. He was the first presidential candidate I know of to distribute pocket size copies of The Constitution of The United States of America.

          But there are a few I too am ashamed to have followed whose names I won’t even mention because they were nothing but phony charlatan parasites who made millions off of their self-help movement while exploiting people who were broken, largely because of narcissistic filth just like them.

          That being said, I relate completely when you remember frequent arguments about money between your parents yet somehow there was always enough for their needs. I too felt envious of my friends who had brand new bicycles and clothes while everything we had was second hand and all our clothes came from rummage sales.

          Everything was done on the cheap but my parents did work very, very hard restoring old houses to provide for me and my older sister truly beautiful homes, so people had the impression we had money when the truth was, we really didn’t. That was how they got into antiques so when I was about 10 years old, they began to make their interest in antiques a business and started to realize prosperity.

          It was after my maternal grandparents both died that my mother herself was left very well off. So, after having found myself homeless several times, 8 years before she died, my mother alas bought for me the very modest house I live in now. Then, she assured and promised that when she died the house would automatically be mine.

          However, after she died my father kept my house in his name. It took me a year to discover my father’s nefarious activities with my mother’s Last Will dated 1999 and that he had instead filed one she did in 1980; I was then finally able to make him sign the house over to me. Meanwhile, he was badgering me to go live with him.

          Today I wrack my brain trying to figure out how I allowed myself to slip into financial dependency and where it all began. When I was in my early 20s I was in middle management for a Fortune 500 company. No degree, just hard work and lots of enthusiasm. After that company bankrupted in the late 1980s and I found myself unemployed, I guess the coup de gras was when my parents were eager to ostensibly help me to open an antiques shop which seemed like a dream come true that ended up a nightmare. It ended up being not for me at all, but all for them. A very long story that was so utterly exploitative, destructive, incestuous, and damaging that it is a miracle I survived it. But, to this day my father insists that was ALL for me, of course. While I raked in tens of thousands of dollars for him each month selling his antiques, he paid me $50 per week to keep the shop open and paid my apartment rent which was then $350 per month. Several times each week he’d pull up with his van and start unloading not just his antiques, but all his emotional baggage for hours on end as I sat there hostage. This is how the dark night of our soul begins, I believe, with circumstances that lead us to despair.

          The tragedy of all of this is that no good can come from what may seem like an act of goodwill when the motive is exploitation and usury. Everything in my life has become poisoned so though it may seem to some, as Cynthia often points out, that I may be ungrateful or disrespectful, I couldn’t care less what others think at this point:

          “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” -Matthew 7:9-11

          You say, “Although there was mysteriously always money for what my parents wanted to do. And of course, always money for my sports star brother.”

          I too have an older sister who was the golden “brain” child who went to elite prep schools and the very best of ivy league colleges where she went as far as earning her PhD. Though she was painfully the favored one and my parents made no attempt to even conceal their favoritism of her, and often by belittling me, she worked incredibly hard to pay her way through her education. My father helped her some, but for the most part, she both earned good scholarships and literally slaved each summer while my father paid her to refinish his antiques. He was every bit as abusive of her as he was of me, even worse. Not long ago, I had a horribly vivid dream that my father raped my sister when she was 15. When I woke up from that dream I realized that it was so clear and explained so much that I can not disregard it.

          Where is your sports star brother now? Do you associate with him?

          Here is something relevant to our conversation that I just read this morning that echoes your words when you say; “I don’t want to presume to know the answers for you in any way, because I am just now figuring this out for myself. However, if you feel the need to continue to pray for your father, I would encourage you to just pray that he works out his own salvation with God. You are in no way responsible for him. IN NO WAY. His salvation is between him and God.”

          This is from David Grabbe at theberean.org: “Scripture teaches that a man cannot even approach the Messiah unless the Father draws, or calls, him (John 6:44). In other words, salvation is not available to all people right now. But because not all professing Christians truly hold to the inerrancy of God’s Word, many believe that anyone can accept Jesus Christ as his Savior, and all that is needed is for other Christians to win over the unsaved. Sometimes this belief is pure and altruistic, and at other times the belief is shaded by a desire to win a person over to a particular denomination or administrative entity. Either way, the conventional religious wisdom is that we can—and should—“win people for Christ.””

          https://www.theberean.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Home.showBerean/BereanID/9024/bblver/NKJV/John-10-35.htm

          This is a wonderful daily newsletter and highly recommend anything on theberean.org written by John Ritenbaugh.

          Blessings,

          AA

          Liked by 1 person

          • My brother is still in my hometown. He’s not speaking to me at the moment. I’m not sure why, but I do know it’s due to triangulation by our mother. Oh well. I’ll let that sleeping dog lie for now. Thanks for the newsletter tip!

            Liked by 1 person

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