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No matter how deep a person’s faith, we all make mistakes sometimes. But, when a person’s actions don’t match their proclamation of faith more than they do match, it can be very hard to believe they are truly Christians. In praying about this topic, God showed me some very interesting things.
A person truly can be born again, yet not act the part sometimes. They can trust in the Gospel message, yet not trust that God wants to help them in their day to day life.
This can happen with someone who has serious health issues. I once belonged to a traumatic brain injury support group online. I wasn’t in the group long, because I noticed many members were intensely selfish, even ones who claimed to be Christians. They weren’t obviously out to use & abuse other people like narcissists are, but clearly if something wasn’t about them, they weren’t interested.
Christians also may not behave like Christians if they have a distrust of parent figures. When a person was raised by at least one narcissistic parent, they most likely have a deep fear of all parental figures. When you grew up with parents who were not only unsafe, but blatantly cruel & had no concern for your own needs, you will not trust God to be the loving father He claims to be in the Bible.
Both of these issues can make even a Christian behave badly, & they both boil down to fear.
Whether someone is sick, handicapped or raised by abusive parents, their core issue with God is they don’t trust Him. When a person has serious health problems, they become self absorbed. They suddenly have to consider their needs often & have to rely on other people to meet certain needs for the first time. It can be very easy to become afraid of these needs not being met.
Or, they may feel that their earthly mother or father didn’t care about their needs, so why would anyone, even their Heavenly Father? After all, He’s a parent & parents are selfish & don’t care about their children. They fear others not being there for them or loving them, & often don’t even realize they feel this way.
When not confronted, fear can open the door for the spirit of fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 in the Amplified Bible states, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].” Considering this verse gave me some insight into why some professing Christians don’t act like Christians. They function with a spirit of fear.
I noticed after surviving carbon monoxide poisoning I was heading in this direction. I had no idea what to expect from my health, thanks to the doctors giving me no information. I also realized quickly that I had brain damage. I had to learn quickly what was happening. The more I learned, the more afraid I got. The more afraid I got, the more selfish I got & the more afraid I got & the cycle continued. Thankfully joining the TBI support group I mentioned previously made me realize how I felt, & how that was not how I wanted to be. I spent more time in prayer, got closer to God & changed my ways. I also learned to accept & work with my health issues.
Maybe you know someone in a similar position. Someone operating with a spirit of fear can be incredibly painful to deal with, I know, but before you end the relationship, please consider what I have said. Talk to the person. Maybe they will see the problem & make appropriate changes. If not, they may be too consumed with this spirit of fear. Pray for them, asking God to free them from this spirit. Reassure the person you love them & are there for them. Granted, some people are too comfortable in their dysfunction to want change. Some folks are also narcissists who refuse to change. But, the average Christian person who is gripped by fear may respond very well. Give it a try! You can help them & also your relationship with that person.
I have just completed another mini book called “A Biblical Perspectives Mini Book: Loving Someone with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.”
As the name implies, this book is about ways you can help someone with C-PTSD. It also includes information on the science behind C-PTSD, symptoms & the awful emotions that go along with it.
It currently is only available in ebook format just like my other mini books. For now anyway. That may change in the future.
This book is available at the link below…
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From July 1-31, 2021, my publisher is offering 25% off all of my ebooks. It’s a great time to buy any of them you have been thinking about getting for a low price!
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When a person faces serious health problems, they change & not only physically. Their personalities change, too. That is normal. Sometimes the personality changes can be very bad.
A dear friend of mine lost her husband some time ago after caring for him for several years. Not long before he died, she told me some very disturbing things about his behavior. This once good, kind, loving man was suddenly exhibiting many narcissistic traits. In particular, he didn’t want his wife to be with other people, including their children. It was bizarre since narcissism doesn’t suddenly show up, like when you catch a cold. The more we talked about things, the more I thought of something…
After I survived Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, the hospital gave me no information & even said my elevated carbon monoxide levels “weren’t so bad.” They also said I had no brain injury in spite of showing many signs of a concussion from hitting my head when I passed out. The hospital said I could return to work two days later, but by that time, I still felt just as miserable as I did when I left the hospital. I was lost, so I started researching my condition. I also joined a traumatic brain injury group on Facebook. I noticed immediately most people in the group showed a LOT of narcissistic tendencies & were very insecure. I left the group quickly, but I realized something. I was starting to behave much as they were! I wanted my husband to be with me non stop & was very annoyed he wasn’t. I knew he had demanding, elderly parents with health problems, plus a full time job which all left him exhausted much of the time, but even so, I was annoyed he didn’t spend more time with me. Realizing how selfish I was behaving was a real wakeup call!
I told my friend about my experiences plus what I witnessed in that group & in time, we realized what happened with her husband was much like what happened to me.
The reason I’m sharing this is so many people are affected by serious health concerns either in themselves or in those they love. Whether you are the person with the condition or someone you love is, it’s vital to understand that serious health problems can change someone’s personality drastically. The condition doesn’t even need to be something that affects one’s brain directly like Alzheimer’s, stroke or traumatic brain injury for this to happen.
When you become seriously sick or injured, you become scared. Even if you’re getting the best of care & have a great prognosis, health problems are terrifying.
Add in that you can’t do things you once took for granted & are forced to rely on other people for help. That too can make you feel afraid, especially for the person who has always been self reliant, & is a serious blow to the self esteem.
Having to rely on other people also can make you feel like a burden, which unsurprisingly is terrible for one’s self esteem.
Feeling like a burden can make you feel that you need to put your best face forward & not show others just how miserable you feel or how much you’re struggling. There is a very difficult balance in this situation. If you act as if your symptoms aren’t as bad as they are, or not happening at all, people often think you’re faking the health crisis. But, if you are honest about it, people often think you’re exaggerating your symptoms, feeling sorry for yourself or looking for attention.
Feeling insecure & afraid naturally change a person. Many people get angry. Many others talk about their illness non stop in an effort to educate people, which often alienates them because people get tired of hearing about this topic. Most people though seem to become insecure, some even to the point of displaying narcissistic tendencies.
If you are the person who is ill & behaving this way, please work on healing! You are only hurting yourself & those around you! I know it’s hard but you can change! Watch your behavior, & change it accordingly. Apologize when you mistreat someone or have unfair expectations on them. Stop expecting people to meet your needs & focus on God to do that.
If you are the person in a relationship with someone who is behaving this way, remember, you can’t change their behavior. They have to change themselves. But, you aren’t helpless. You need to have good boundaries in place & enforce them. Talk to this person & explains that their behavior hurts you. Non-narcissistic people will respond to that! I know it seems hard to believe if you’ve dealt with a narcissist, but it’s true. Remind yourself that their behavior isn’t personal. It’s their illness making them act this way rather than something you are doing wrong.
Whichever position you are in, remember to stay close to God. Nurture that relationship. That is what will help you more than anything else!
My publisher is having another sale on all of my print books. Use code SELL15 at checkout & get 15% off until April 23 , 2021
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My publish is having their “Read An Ebook Week” sale from March 7 until March 13. This means that all of my ebooks will be 25% off! Come check them out!
One thing that has always baffled me is how people talk about how wonderful that person who died was, even though you know very well that person was an absolute jerk. As if death somehow turned that sinner into a saint.
A few years back, a former friend of mine lost her mother. Her mother had abused her terribly for her entire life. Yet, when this woman died, my friend constantly posted on Facebook how much she missed her mother, she loved her & what a beautiful, wonderful person her mother was. Eventually I couldn’t take it anymore… I had to ask her why she was saying these things after all the terrible things her mother did to her. She said it helped her to cope with the emotions if she pretended her mother was a good mother. Not a healthy coping skill by any means, but she was content with it.
I think many people probably have the same reason for their similar behavior. Losing someone you love, even someone abusive, is incredibly difficult & painful.
After my mother died, I caught myself remembering the good things about her. Those few times we got along well, when we could laugh & have fun together. The time she taught me to crochet when I was 5. Little things like that. I also prayed a lot during this time & knew that not only was she in Heaven, but she also was no longer the abusive & cruel person she was before she died. I realized that I was starting to do somewhat like my former friend did when her abusive mother died, focusing on only the good about my mother. While she was fine coping in that way, I wasn’t. It didn’t feel right or healthy to me. I got in prayer about it & learned some things.
When you love someone dies, you’re going to miss them. If that person was abusive, you’re going to miss the few good things about them, if there were any. If not, you’ll miss the person you wish they had been. Part of grieving is letting go. You are naturally going to have a harder time letting go of the good things than the bad, or even the good things you wish would have been.
Remembering the good things brings some normalcy to a very abnormal situation. There is absolutely nothing normal about coping with the death of a narcissistic parent. You can feel as if you’re completely alone, you’re crazy or unreasonable. You also most likely will feel that not one single person on the face of the earth understands what you’re feeling, because what you feel isn’t what most people feel when their parent dies. Focusing on the good, remembering the good things makes you feel more normal. It’s normal & socially acceptable to miss the good things about your parent. In most situations, it’s not normal or socially acceptable to feel glad your parent is gone or relief he or she can’t abuse you any longer. Unfortunately with narcissistic parents, both of those feelings are totally normal, they just don’t feel that way.
It’s incredibly difficult to mourn the death of a narcissistic parent. It’s easier in a sense to grieve the normal aspects of your parent, whether they were real or what you wish your parent had been like. Grieving the death of a narcissistic parent can be complex, confusing, infuriating, sad, devastating & so much more. When you grieve someone you love, basically it boils down to you miss that person. Of course that’s painful but it isn’t really convoluted. You don’t have to deal with all the intricacies & complexities that go along with mourning the death of a narcissistic parent. If you can make your parent more “normal”, it makes the grief process easier by making it less complex.
I don’t think remembering the positive things about your narcissistic parent is a bad thing in general. However, if you’re in this situation & remember only the good, that should be a red flag that you aren’t coping with your parents’ passing in a healthy way. It’s ok to remember the awful times & the abuse, & even to be angry about them. It’s ok to admit to yourself & others that your parent wasn’t exactly parent of the year. It’s also ok to be glad your parent is gone & you’re finally free. These things don’t mean you’re a terrible person. They mean you’re HUMAN!
Most Christians, even new ones, have heard of the armor of God that is written about in Ephesians 6:13-17. To summarize, the armor includes the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of Salvation & sword of the Spirit.
Have you ever considered how the armor is when viewed from the perspective of dealing with narcissists? I would guess not. I’ve been a Christian since 1996 & studying Narcissistic Personality Disorder since 2011 & it never crossed my mind until recently. It’s well worth considering if you have to deal with a narcissist in any capacity.
When dealing with narcissists, you truly need that belt of truth. Narcissists twist the truth around to their advantage, deny the truth or even recreate their own version of any situation & call it the truth. When dealing with them, you must be well aware of the truth rather than accept their twisted version of it. Knowing the truth helps you to avoid being manipulated by narcissists.
You also will need to wear the breastplate of righteousness at all times. Being aware of what is right & moral will help you to stay on the right track with narcissists. They try to force victims into doing whatever they want, & often those things aren’t good for anyone but the narcissist, let alone moral. Being secure in what you know is right helps you not to get sucked into compromising yourself & your beliefs.
The shoes of peace are also incredibly important. Narcissists feed off the emotions of other people. Any sign of any emotion triggers a reaction in a narcissist. If you’re clearly happy, they’ll do what they can to make you sad. Angry? They’ll make you angrier. Sad? They’ll push you to the point of seriously considering suicide. The best thing you can do in any dealings with a narcissist is to remain completely neutral & peaceful. Show them no emotions whatsoever. Naturally, once you’re away from the narcissist, you need to deal with what you’re feeling however works best for you, because holding emotions in isn’t a healthy thing to do long term. I am only recommending holding emotions in while in their presence because it will help you in dealing with them.
You also will need your shield of faith. Faith in God can get you through anything & everything, even the impossible situations like dealing with narcissists. My faith enabled me to find successful ways to cope with my narcissistic parents, to go no contact at the right time & even helped to get my father to turn to Jesus at the end of his life. With God, all things are possible, even when it comes to dealing with narcissists.
The helmet of Salvation is truly invaluable as well. When you are secure in the knowledge that you are a child of God, it helps you in so many ways. It gives you peace, faith & the knowledge that your Heavenly Father will protect you from anything & enable you to survive anything.
The sword of the Spirit, God’s word, is incredibly valuable too. When you know what God has to say about things, it gives you wisdom & peace knowing not only how to handle what you must, but knowing that you can handle anything, even anything a narcissist can dish out.
If you’re wondering how to put on this armor of God, ask God to help you, listen to anything He suggests to you & have knowledge of the Bible. There are some really wonderful email lists you can subscribe to that will deliver Scriptures to your inbox daily. I subscribe to one that lets me read through the Bible in a year. There are also many devotionals available, either in email or book form. Whatever you do isn’t important. Your relationship with God & knowledge of His word are.
When dealing with narcissists, often there is no right answer. They are masters at creating no win situations, & even when they aren’t actively creating one, they seem to come up anyway. For example, think about no contact. In a sense, it’s the right solution. It’ll protect you from further abuse & give you the space you need in order to heal from all you have endured. While those are certainly great things, no contact also means a close relationship ended & on a bad note. Clearly this isn’t a really good thing, even though the good outweighs the bad. The only other alternative is to continue in an abusive relationship, so a person is limited to two choices, neither of which is particularly great.
Many things with narcissists are like that. Setting boundaries is another example. Yes, setting boundaries is a good thing & it is necessary, but at the same time, it starts a lot of problems with narcissists. Since they don’t respect anyone’s boundaries, when someone tries to set them, they get angry & even more abusive. The only choices are begin to set boundaries & deal with more abuse at least temporarily, or do nothing & suffer anyway. Neither answer is really a right one.
Often, the best you can do with a narcissist is choose the least wrong answer.
While I know this sounds depressing & hopeless, I don’t mean it to. Once you accept this, you can feel less stress & anxiety in your dealings with the narcissist.
Accepting that there really isn’t any right answer helps you to understand that no matter what you do, there won’t be a good, healthy or functional solution. There is nothing you can do to make that happen. It’s beyond your control. This can be very freeing! It helps you not to beat yourself up because things haven’t worked out perfectly. You accept that sometimes a person’s best just isn’t good enough, & that’s ok.
It also helps you because you learn to keep your expectations realistic with the narcissist. You know that the narcissist is going to be angry or upset no matter what you do. You will have a good idea what to expect rather than thinking that this time will be better. You also can prepare yourself for whatever is going to happen.
Accepting this truth that there are only less wrong answers with narcissist also helps you not to drive yourself crazy trying to figure out exactly what you need to do & how to do it. You feel much less pressure to make everything right when you know that no matter what you do, you’ll be wrong anyway.
When you know that the narcissist will say you’re wrong in whatever you do, it’s also much easier to think of yourself instead of only him or her. You develop a mindset something like, “Well, if I’m going to be wrong anyway I might as well get something out of this too.”
In all honesty, sometimes the fact there often isn’t any right answer also will make you sad. That is totally normal. It isn’t exactly the most cheerful fact of life, after all. But, if you can look at it in ways that benefit you, it really can help you.
I also found that a quote from Captain Picard from the old tv show “Star Trek The Next Generation” to be comforting. “It is possible to commit no mistakes & still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life.” I know, I’m a nerd quoting this show, but the words are very wise & very comforting. Definitely worth remembering, in particular when dealing with a narcissist.
Two years ago today, my father passed away. Naturally, the date has me thinking a lot. I tend to overthink anyway so no big surprise there.. lol
One thing that came to mind is a poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye that my father liked….
“Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave bereft
I am not there. I have not left.”
Lovely, isn’t it? It offers a great reminder that when someone we love has passed away, there are still things surrounding us that help us remember that person. For example, when I see butterflies, I think of my granddad, & monarch butterflies remind me of my father’s miraculous salvation at the end of his life. They always make me smile.
When the person who died is a narcissist, it’s certainly understandable if you don’t want reminders of that person. I understand completely, as sometimes reminders of my late parents are hard for me to handle. However, if you have lost someone you love, those reminders can offer a great comfort. They remind you that you can see your loved one again someday or of some good times you shared.
I’ve also come to realize that items hold energy. I don’t mean things can be haunted like in scary old ghost stories. What I mean is items that were particularly close to someone seem to hold a bit of that person’s “vibe” if you will. For example, I have some of my paternal grandmother’s jewelry. I love wearing it! It brings me comfort, reminds me of her or good times we shared. It’s as if I carry a bit of her essence with me when I wear it.
There also is a negative side to this. If the person whose item you have was abusive, the item can make you feel bad. I tried wearing some jewelry belonging to my narcissistic maternal grandmother. It was pretty, I like pretty jewelry, so it seemed natural for me to wear it. I quickly realized it didn’t feel right. It also made me feel as if I carried a bit of her essence with me, but the problem was, unlike my other grandmother, she was cruel! That wasn’t the vibe I wanted, so I stopped wearing her jewelry, pretty or not.
Considering all of this, I’ve come to believe that one thing that can help a person can get through grieving the loss of a loved one is having something of their deceased loved one’s. I’ve also come to believe that if the person who passed away was a narcissist, it may help the person grieving to avoid their possessions. It really depends on the relationship between the two parties involved.
I’m also not saying you have to cling to or avoid the deceased person’s item forever. What I am saying is that I believe that it can be helpful when the death is recent & grief is at its most difficult place. Since my father has been gone a while, now I can handle being around his possessions much easier than I could at first.
Grief is very hard & very painful, whether the person lost is someone you loved or a narcissist. I sincerely hope this post gives you another helpful way to cope. xoxo
When your average person experiences something that could be drastically life altering or even life ending, they are shaken up badly by the entire experience. Your average person may use the terrifying ordeal as a motivation to make positive changes in their life, such as working less hours or spending more time with their loved ones. They look at life differently. They become more appreciative of people & tell them how much they are appreciated.
This doesn’t happen with narcissists.
Narcissists think so differently than mentally healthy people, it makes sense that they also won’t respond in a normal way to such events.
A narcissist diagnosed with a deadly disease, for example, may complain a lot about it. They may feel sorry for themselves a great deal. They will look for pity from others.
A narcissist who survived a potentially deadly accident or terrible health scare often fails to see that they were blessed to survive & have this second chance at life. Instead, they may act like they are too good to have died in that way.
In an elderly narcissist who is getting more frail, the entitlement attitude becomes even more obvious than ever. Elderly narcissists often expect their spouses & adult children to take care of them 24/7, even doing things that the narcissists are still able to do. They use their failing health as an excuse to get out of doing things & a way to manipulate their families. Some have been known to take too many or too few medications to make themselves sick in order to gain attention.
In situations like these, narcissists may feel similar fear & terror everyone would feel. The difference is they don’t admit to these feelings. Instead, their sense of entitlement & grandiosity comes into play. They feel entitled to have their families, neighbors & doctors swarm around them to take good care of them.
And, if the narcissist in question recovers from a serious illness or survives a potentially deadly accident, don’t count on him or her changing. Narcissists don’t process things like healthy people do, as I mentioned earlier in this post. They won’t be inspired to make good, positive & healthy changes in their lives. In fact, some narcissists seem disappointed that their health problem has improved since it means they no longer are able to be the center of attention.
Witnessing such behaviors can be shocking, even when you know quite a bit about Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It’s impossible for a normal, functional person to grasp fully narcissistic behaviors. They’re so drastically opposed to functional behaviors, it’s often impossible for a non-narcissist to wrap their mind around such things. If you feel this way upon witnessing a narcissist act in their totally dysfunctional way after a crisis, you’re not alone! My mother has had heart surgery twice in her life. The first time she seemed to have changed, but it didn’t last long. She was back to her overt narcissist ways in no time. The second time, there wasn’t any change, not even for a day. Witnessing both times was very difficult for me because it made no sense. Then having my own brush with death in 2015, it became even more mind boggling.
While I often suggest trying to understand what makes narcissists tick as a way to help victims protect themselves from accepting the blame for the problems in the relationship & predicting what the narcissist will do, in this area, I say give up. There’s no way to understand this bizarre behavior. Chalk it up to one more extremely dysfunctional way of thinking on the narcissist’s part.
Lastly, if you experience some sort of health scare, bad medical diagnosis or close call of some sort, I don’t recommend telling the narcissist in your life if you can help it. The vast amount of concern the narcissist has for herself won’t be showed to you. If the narcissist has experienced the same thing or knows someone who has, she WILL invalidate you. They had it worse, you just need to suck it up or take a pill. This sort of thing is why I never told my parents about my brush with death. When in such a situation, you don’t need their toxicity. You need compassion & gentleness, which are 2 things narcissists lack.
From March 3-9, 2019, my publisher is having a sale! All of my ebooks will be 25% off.
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One year ago, I shared this post about the miraculous & wonderful events that surrounded my father’s death. If you haven’t read it, please do.
I still am absolutely blown away by the events of that time. Talking about the goodness of God doesn’t begin to explain just how loving, good, kind & merciful He truly is, & those events proved it to me.
It’s been quite the emotional roller coaster since my father’s passing last year, & my faith has grown tremendously too.
While I don’t believe the dead actually come to us in dreams, I do believe because God knows how much certain people mean to them & they mean to us, He allows us to have dreams to convey messages from them. That being said, I’ve had a couple of dreams about my father since his passing, although he rarely actually makes an appearance in them. At first, I knew the dreams were to tell me that he was sorry for everything & loves me a great deal. I also knew he didn’t want to appear in my dreams often because of the things that happened in our relationship- he was afraid it’d upset me. Recently though he showed up in a dream & it was lovely- we were talking & laughing, & he was telling jokes. It was fun since we shared the same skewed since of humor. I believe that dream was to let me know that he appreciates all the prayers that not only I said for him, but my friends said as well, & now he’s enjoying Heaven because God answered those prayers.
I wanted to share these events with you to (hopefully!) encourage your faith & comfort you are losing someone you love. God truly can save everyone who wants to be saved. Never give up hope or give up praying for them, Dear Reader, even when it looks hopeless. It may happen at the very last minute like it did with my father, but it can still happen. Keep praying!!
Also, if you’ve lost a loved one, draw close to God. Allow Him to help you to get through & to comfort you. He truly will! I’ve even asked Him if it’s ok, please tell my deceased loved ones I miss them, are thinking of them or even happy birthday. I know as Christians, we aren’t supposed to try to contact the dead, so obviously I won’t seek out a medium or grab a Ouija board. But, I see nothing wrong with asking that sort of thing of God. Besides, if He didn’t want it to happen, He wouldn’t do it & would tell me it’s wrong! He also has told me little things that they wanted me to know, & of course there have been many dreams. Sometimes during the hardest times, I’ve dreamed about my grandfather, & the dream helped comfort me. On February 26, 2016, the night before the one year anniversary that I survived carbon monoxide poisoning, I had a dream of going four-wheeling with my grandfather. It was so fun & helped me feel much less depressed about that anniversary. God can bless you in the same way. He is no respecter of persons, so what He does for one, He can do for another.
I guess my thoughts are a bit scattered on this post, but I do hope they help & encourage you anyway. xoxo
As I’ve said many times, my heart goes out to those in the position of being unable or unwilling to go no contact with their narcissistic parents. You’re in a tough, tough place, & I understand since I’ve been there. I want to help you if I can, & that is what today’s post is about.
There are some small, easy ways you can set boundaries with your narcissistic parent while not eliminating them from your life entirely.
For starters, reduce the amount of time you spend with your narcissistic parent. Don’t visit or have your parent visit you as often. Stop taking their calls every time they call. Ask yourself if you feel up to dealing with your parent, & if not, don’t take that call or visit.
When you must visit or speak with your parent on the phone, set a time limit. Don’t allow your narcissistic parent to waste half your day when that is so hard on you! Set a limit, then say “I have to go” & go.
Also if you visit your narcissistic parent, have a way out. Plan something to do so you only have a limited time to spend with your parent. If you can’t think of something, say you just remembered something you have to take care of & go. It’s not a lie- you remembered you have to take care of yourself!
Remember to keep the conversation away from you. Your love life, in-laws, job, troubles & even your mental & physical health should be off the table for topics to discuss with your narcissistic parent. Giving any narcissist personal information is just asking for trouble such as criticism & unasked for, useless advice. Change the subject if your parent wants or demands to know something personal about you. If all else fails, ask your parent about something that matters to her. Chances are excellent she’ll drop the matter at the opportunity to talk about herself.
If you’re dependent even slightly on your narcissistic parent financially, find ways to put an end to it. Narcissists love controlling their adult children with money, so remove that tool if at all possible. If not, then at least find ways to reduce the amount.
If you have pets or kids, have strict boundaries in place. It is your job to protect them & that includes from abusive & narcissistic parents.
When it’s time to set boundaries with your parent, remain calm. Show no emotion, simply state the facts. Any signs you are upset will fuel your narcissistic parent’s behavior. Stay calm, state your boundary & the consequence of your parent not respecting the boundary, then enforce it if necessary.
If you’re friends on social media, unfollow your narcissistic parent. You will remain friends, but you won’t see her posts which can reduce stress.
If you must go somewhere with your narcissistic parent, drive separately. That way, you are free to leave at any time if need be. Also, cars are a great weapon for some narcissists. There is no escape- you have to put up with whatever they do when you’re in a car together. My mother loved having me trapped in her car, & used it to scream at me when I was a kid or belittle me as an adult.
Always remember the Gray Rock Method. Think about what gives your narcissistic parent narcissistic supply, & refuse to provide it. Basically, you need to be boring to her. Don’t admire her. Don’t praise her. Don’t get angry at her so she can portray herself as the victim. Don’t coddle her. Don’t share anything personal about yourself that she could use against you or as fuel to spread lies about you. Don’t empathize with her if someone has hurt her. Show no real interest in her problems. If she needs your assistance with something, do the bare minimum, don’t go above & beyond. Gray Rock can be hard at first because every tiny thing can provide narcissistic supply, but the more you do it, the easier it gets.
Lastly, pray & pray often. Ask God to help you cope with your narcissistic parent, to give you the right words to say, & to give you effective, creative ways to cope with her behavior. He will NOT disappoint you!
I’ve noticed that many people think others should believe as they do. People really can be downright shaming if you don’t share their passions.
Quite a few years ago, I said something to one of my football watching aunts about the fact my husband likes football & I hate it, always have. She verbally jumped me for not trying harder to like it, & she also said I needed to watch games with him so we can enjoy football together. It was surprising to me because I wasn’t complaining or looking for some solution- I just made a simple statement. I also remember thinking, “I love knitting. I don’t see you scolding him & telling him he needs to learn to knit so we can buy yarn or knit together.” I wish I’d said that- it might have helped her to see how ludicrous & over the top her reaction was.
I’ve experienced similar reactions from people who are extremely focused on politics when they learn I’m not. In fact, the topic doesn’t interested me in the slightest. I also don’t have the desire in me to learn enough about candidates to make an informed decision on who to vote for, so I don’t vote. This apparently infuriates some people who are deeply interested in politics, & some have been downright shaming & nasty to me because of this. Not that I would do it, but it makes me want to be equally shaming & nasty to them for not helping to raise awareness of narcissistic abuse or help victims. It’d only be fair, after all, wouldn’t it?
I used to be upset by my aunt & the other people who were equally nasty to me. Then I realized something.
Not every cause can be your cause. People believe differently & have varied interests. That doesn’t mean something is wrong with one person & right with another because they think differently. It simply means they’re different.
There are many valid causes that need support, awareness & activists out there. No one can support them all though! That would leave no time for people to do anything else, like work or sleep. It’s much better to focus on what means the most to you than to spread yourself too thin by supporting many causes.
And, every person is unique, right down to our fingerprints & DNA. It is only natural that the causes we support & things that interest us also would be unique.
If you’re in the position of someone shaming you for not sharing their interests or supporting their causes, ignore them! They aren’t worth your frustration. They have no right to tell you what to think or how to feel. You do what is right for you. You have your own path to walk in life, & the approval of other people is NOT required to do it. What you do & what you believe in is ultimately between you & God, not you & other people.
If you’re actively in this situation, try changing the subject. A reasonable person will be fine with that. If the person isn’t reasonable, then you can tell them you don’t feel comfortable discussing this topic with them & if they continue, you’ll hang up the phone or leave the room. If they ask why, you can tell them the truth- because they are being disrespectful, nasty, etc. on this topic. If the person you’re speaking with is truly being obnoxious, you could try logic. Comments like, “Because you feel/believe that way means I should too? Why? Give me a good reason.” or, “That has never interested me, & I am well aware of that fact. Why should I do something I have zero interest in?” Statements like this can often shut a person down pretty quickly, because they realize how ridiculous their behavior is.
In conclusion, just remember there is nothing wrong with you for having the interests you have or not having the ones you don’t. God made you to be unique, so be unique & enjoy it!
Something crossed my mind recently, I’m sure it’s due to my father in-law’s recent death: Grief doesn’t end just because the funeral is over.
I think many people act like once your loved one is buried or cremated, you’re done grieving. It’s done now so you should be ready to resume your life as it was, no problem. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Grief has no set time. It doesn’t end just because the funeral is done, because a set amount of time has passed, or because people think you should be “over it” by now.
There’s also the fact that the first year after a loved one dies is incredibly hard. You have their first birthday without them, first anniversary, first holidays… those days can be extremely difficult, but especially the first ones.
In fact, I don’t think grief ever ends completely, it only becomes less intense over time. My great grandmother that I adored died in 1982, & I still miss her a great deal to this day. No, I don’t cry all the time, but I still miss her & think of her often. If you love someone, that is just how things happen.
And if you lost a pet rather than a human, people can be even more insensitive, because after all, “It’s only a cat/dog/bird/etc!” they say. They fail to realize that pets are a big part of our daily lives. We love them, care for them, play with them, nurture them & when they get old &./or sick, we become their caregivers. Such things can form an incredible bond, & when that bond is broken, it hurts just as much if not more than when a human passes away.
If you have lost someone you love recently, please ignore people who try to tell you that you should be over it already, are taking too long to grieve or “It’s just a pet!”. It’s not their business! You take your time & grieve however you need to for as much time as you need to. Honor your loved one’s life, too. Maybe plant a garden they would like, or make or build something creative like they would have made. It really does help!
If you have been actively grieving for a long time (over a year), & it disrupts your life, I really would like to suggest you try grief counseling. Sometimes, people kinda get “stuck” & there is no shame in it. It happens! It just means you need a little help to get unstuck.