Category Archives: Christian Topics and Prayers
For many people, the holiday season is a glorious time of year. The time to enjoy friends, family & celebrations. For others like me who have survived demanding, controlling, entitled or even narcissistic parents &/or in-laws however, the mere thought of the holidays brings about a feeling of dread.
My first & current mothers in-law both always demanded my husband’s & my presence every Thanksgiving & Christmas, no matter what. Divorcing my ex & cutting my current in-laws out of my life in 2002 naturally ended their demands for me at least but the damage was done. The enjoyment I once felt for the holidays was gone. Years of spending holidays with people who obviously hated me or alone while my husband spent the day with his family destroyed all pleasure I’d once had in holidays.
I know that my story isn’t all that unusual. So many others have been through very similar situations that I thought sharing some thoughts I’ve had on this topic might help you, Dear Reader.
When you develop this holiday bitterness, people aren’t always understanding. Most people seem to want everyone to look forward to holidays with enthusiasm & joy, & if you don’t, they can be shaming. Many others I know & I have been scolded for not trying to enjoy holidays, told they need to just focus on the joy of the day, everyone loves holidays, etc etc. What these people fail to realize is this holiday bitterness didn’t happen over night. We have tried to enjoy the holidays repeatedly, but demanding people ruined it by commanding us to do what they want us to do & treating us badly when we didn’t do it (well, often worse than usual since bad treatment is the norm with narcissists). It came about when in-laws demand we ignore our own family in favor of them, & treated us badly & acted like something is wrong with us for not wanting to spend a holiday with them. They also shame us for wanting to spend a holiday with our immediate family- our spouse & kids- rather than with them. These people think shaming us & ordering us around is OK. Really, how does that make any sense?
I’m not saying holiday bitterness is a good thing. Frankly, it stinks! I miss looking forward to the holidays & hate how I dread what was once a time of year I looked forward to. What I am saying though is that there is no shame if you feel differently about holidays than the average person does.
Sometimes, too many bad seeds have been sown to overcome. Something unpleasant is the only possible harvest when that happens. Of course it’s a good idea to try to counteract the bad feelings, but if nothing works, it doesn’t mean something is wrong with you or that you’re a bad person. If you can’t conquer holiday bitterness, it just means that some really bad things have been done that caused you to feel this way.
Dear Reader, I’m sorry you feel this nasty holiday bitterness. I hope you can conquer it by starting your own traditions, avoiding negative people around the holidays, suggesting holiday gatherings with extended family on a different day near the actual holiday while you spend the holiday with your immediate family, etc. If you can’t however, then at the very least, please don’t beat yourself up over it. It’s simply a normal reaction to abnormal circumstances, & it happens more often than you might think.
I have friends who follow the Pagan religion. Naturally, they follow Pagan pages on Facebook. Often they share things that inspire them or that they like. It’s not often “join our religion, it’s awesome!!” type posts. In fact, that is rare. 99% of the time what they share are stunning nature themed pictures. A white owl, baby foxes playing, a pretty path in the woods, a wildflower meadow, a starry night… beautiful scenes.
It just crossed my mind that the Christian pages I follow don’t share such images. They share lovely & inspiring things, of course, but I haven’t seen anything like what the Pagan pages share- simple beauty in nature.
I understand that Paganism has entirely different fundamental beliefs than Christianity. That’s why I’m Christian & not Pagan- Christian beliefs make sense to me, Pagan ones don’t. That being said though, there is one thing that I think Christians need to learn from Pagans. They appreciate & respect nature. They enjoy its beauty & what it has to offer. They understand that herbs & plants have healing properties & use them. (True, they can be used for spells & such, too, but simply to enjoy the healing benefits, there isn’t any magic involved.)
Why don’t more Christians do that same thing? I mean, we obviously believe God created everything- why don’t more Christians take the time to appreciate what God has created? Why aren’t more Christians concerned with animal abuse? And, why do so many object to herbal remedies when they are often much safer & more effective than pharmaceuticals?
It’s sad to me how few Christians think that way. I actually unfollowed one Christian page on Facebook some time ago because so many said terrible things about animals- how stupid they are, we don’t need them, “the only way I like animals is barbecued” & other awful things. And, those who professed to love animals were mocked & shamed.
Personally I don’t see anything at all wrong with appreciating & respecting nature. I love staring at the sky on a clear, starry night. A full moon is also one of my favorite sights, as is the colors of changing leaves in the fall. I also love the sounds of a thunder storm or quiet beauty of a blizzard. Obviously, I love animals- I brag about mine plenty! lol I also use valerian root capsules & lemon balm for anxiety & St. John’s Wort capsules for depression rather than prescription medications, & have mentioned that in several of my books.
Doing such things hasn’t compromised my faith in God one bit. In fact, it makes me feel closer to God when I stare in awe at the moon & stars. Taking in the beauty of nature helps keep me grounded, calms my anxiety & makes me very grateful for the wonders around me. Being close to my furkids makes me grateful that He has seen fit to bless me with these adorable critters. They bring me an incredible amount of joy. I’m also grateful for the natural remedies to help my mental health, especially knowing I don’t run the risk of awful side effects so many prescription anti-anxiety & anti-depression meds have.
Dear Reader, I hope if you haven’t considered these things before, you will now. God made the Earth & everything in it (Psalm 24:1). What could possibly be wrong with using & appreciating the beautiful, useful things He has made, even thanking Him for them?
John 8:12 “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (KJV)
We all know that light conquers darkness. If you were in a pitch dark room & lit a match, that tiny match would dispel a surprising amount of darkness.
Jesus referred to Himself in the above Scripture as the light of the world for a reason. Light also gives life- look at plants, as an example. Without light, they won’t survive. Like light, Jesus gives life- eternal life. If you follow Him, He will make clear what path to take in your life. He also can show you things you might not have noticed before. (If it wasn’t for Him, I don’t know if I’d know anything about narcissism.)
In your journey of healing from narcissistic abuse, have you asked the Lord to help you? He truly wants to! And, although even He can’t make it easy, He can help to make it less painful & difficult. I can tell you from my own experience, I wouldn’t be where I am now without His help. He’s shown me what I needed to do & how to do things. He’s answered my questions, let me rant when I was angry or hurting & comforted me when no one else could.
If you haven’t asked Jesus for help in your healing journey, maybe now is the time for you to do that. He wants to help, so let Him! Ask Him to show you what you need to do & how you need to do it. Ask Him for comfort, wisdom, strength, courage & anything else you need. He will be more than glad to help, so why not let Him?
Remember my recent post about my father? Last Monday, October 23, my father passed away.
I didn’t visit him once in the hospital. As I’ve said before, no contact means no contact, no matter what. It’s been very hard though. I wished I could’ve said goodbye, but I knew not doing so was my only option. Every time I doubted & asked God if I should go, not only would He tell me no, signs came out of everywhere telling me not to go. It was pretty incredible! He told me mentally & physically, I couldn’t take it. The stress as well as the vicious people involved would be too much for my mental & physical health. Even so, staying away was still hard. Apparently it bothered others as well judging by the many hateful messages I’ve gotten from people who don’t even know me. Little did I know that more was happening, & staying away truly was the right thing to do in many ways, not just for myself.
I’ll discuss it in more detail in the next post, but I received a word of knowledge that my father was born again at the very end of his life. Me staying away was a part of why that happened, because it meant my father finally cried out to God.
The reason I’m telling you this, Dear Reader, is not only to give you an update, but also to let you know that God is truly good & faithful. If you know in your heart He wants you to do or not to do something, listen to it! Even if you don’t understand why, know He has a very good reason. Don’t cave into pressure from anyone! They don’t know your situation because they haven’t lived it- why would their input have any value? They also aren’t you, so even if they know your situation, they would handle it differently because you two are different people. They don’t know your heart & mind well enough to know what is best for you. God, however, does. Listen to & trust Him & only Him! He is well worth listening to & trusting!
Also, never give up praying for someone. You may not see them give their life to Jesus, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t do it. It happened with my father one hour before he died, while comatose. If that was possible, isn’t anything possible? After all, Matthew 19:26 says, “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (KJV)
If you notice, many Christians are terrified of being called judgmental. They often quote Luke 6:37 which says, “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:” (KJV)
While the Scripture & others like it are certainly good, there are other places in the Bible that mention we should judge. Did you realize that?
- Leviticus 19:15 “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.”
John 7:24 “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
- Acts 4:19 “But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.”
- 1 Corinthians 2:15 “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.”
This is no conflict in God’s word. In studying what it means to judge & praying about it, I think I figured this topic out.
Being judgmental is looking down on someone. As an example, being an author, books have always been an important part of my life. If I looked down on those who don’t like to read or thought I was smarter than them, that is being judgmental. Thinking less of a person who is covered in tattoos or has a lot of piercings than of someone who dresses conservatively is also judgmental, as is thinking someone with an expensive new car is better than someone driving a 27 year old compact car.
Then there is the activity of judging. Judging is more like discerning. Before trying something new, when you decide whether or not that activity is good for you, that is judging. It’s also judging which car to or house to buy. Deciding which job offer is going to be the best one for you to take is judging. Some people also have a natural inclination towards judging in their personality. I am one of them. I judge about every situation automatically. Even if a friend wants my advice about a problem. I tell her what options I think she has, which I think is the best one for her situation & why I think it is her best option.
There is nothing wrong with judging. In fact, it is necessary to make good decisions. Being judgmental though? It’s not good at all. It not only hurts people but it goes against God’s will for His children.
Many of us raised by narcissistic parents have similar experiences. One experience so many of us share is being told we need to fix things. We need to find out what works & repair the damaged relationship with our narcissistic parent.
Maybe because so many people have such a warped view of the parent/child relationship they think the children should be the ones to fix it when there is a problem. Or, maybe it’s simply because people realize that we are the reasonable, sane ones & the narcissist isn’t, they think we should fix it. Either way, the expectation is absolutely absurd.
The simple fact is that one person can’t fix a relationship. It takes two people to make a relationship work, not one, especially when one person in the relationship is a narcissist.
Narcissists are unlike normal people in many ways. One of which is they do not have the capacity to care what others think or feel. All they want is what matters, period. Healthy relationships require both people to actively work on it & consider what the other person’s needs are. That will NOT happen in a relationship with a narcissist no matter how much you might want it to.
The only way to have any success in a relationship with a narcissist is to completely forget yourself & focus on them completely. Ignore any wants, needs, thoughts or feelings you have & keep the narcissist as your top priority 100% of the time. Even this success will be fleeting, however, because narcissists constantly change the rules. What makes them happy today may not make them happy next week, then three weeks later, that thing makes them happy again. I have tried this personally in my younger & more dysfunctional days, & can tell you that every word I write is true. No matter how much you give or how you change to please the narcissist, it won’t work. Nothing is ever good enough. It is absolutely impossible to please a narcissist.
So, Dear Reader, the next time someone tells you that you need to fix the relationship with your narcissistic parent, please remember what I have said. Chalk their foolish words up to a lack of wisdom. They clearly have no idea what they are saying, & how impossible the task is. Or, if they are a flying monkey for the narcissist, & they do know how she is, they are abusers themselves. Abuse isn’t always about actively abusing someone- it can be more passive, such as encouraging a person to stay in an abusive relationship.
Lately, I’ve been having a problem. I’ve been doubting myself. A LOT. Am I really doing God’s will by writing about narcissism? Am I even writing the things He wants me to write about? Is my information accurate? Am I wrong for being no contact with my parents, even though I know beyond a doubt that relationship would’ve killed me from stress?
God taught me some interesting things while praying about all of this. I think what He taught me can help at least some of you too.
For one thing, this doubt is normal under the circumstances. As God reminded me, I’ve had a lifetime of my parents force-feeding me their views & allowing me no room for freedom of my own. Even fighting it & forming my own, their views will still pop up sometimes, but it will stop in time. Doubting what I write about is normal since my mother used to scream about how I shouldn’t “air our dirty laundry” every time she even suspected I was talking about her abuse. No doubt you’ve been through something similar with your narcissistic mother, Dear Reader. When you find you doubt yourself, that may be what’s happening to you too. You can’t expect a lifetime of programming to vanish quickly. It takes a while! I’ve noticed it happens much less frequently with me than it did even a year ago. I can’t say I’m delivered from self doubt, but I know I’m well on my way.
I also learned that if you ask God to send you confirmations, He doesn’t mess around! lol A couple of days ago, I asked Him to show me if I’m on the right track, & it’s been interesting since! At first, it was a ton of memes on Facebook that spoke directly to me. Then, my father called.. six times in two minutes to be precise. (I didn’t answer of course. My call block lets blocked numbers ring once, then it hangs up on them, which is only long enough for the number to register on the caller ID. That’s how I knew he called). It hit me how that is just like him- he wants to talk to me so that is all that matters to him. The fact I have no desire to talk to him doesn’t matter- only his wants matter. This sort of thing has happened so many times prior to me going no contact. He’d call repeatedly when I wasn’t home or was very busy, & when we later spoke, he was upset I didn’t answer his call. Not being home wasn’t a good enough excuse & neither was having a life. Thinking of this was all good for me to remind me why I’m no contact!
Then, I got a wonderful note telling me how much my work has changed someone’s life. That was an incredible blessing! I do what I do to help people, & hearing that because of my writing, someone’s life was drastically improved made my day! Well, more like month! It was also a good confirmation that I’m doing God’s will.
The icing on the cake however was this Scripture that God brought to my attention this morning. Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (NIV) It was such a wonderful reminder that my pain wasn’t in vain- that God can use even the worst & most painful circumstances for good. Joseph spoke these words to his brothers. If all he suffered could count for something, our pain can as well!
Aside from bragging about the goodness of God, I wanted to share this with you to encourage you, Dear Reader. I know first hand how hard it can be sometimes when self doubts kick in. It can make you feel wrong, bad or even crazy. I want to encourage you to do as I did- talk to God about it. He is so patient & loving, wanting to help & encourage you when you need it! Look at all He did for me when all I did was ask for a little help! Pretty cool stuff, I think! He can & will do the same for you!
Something I’ve wondered about & I’m sure many others have as well is why does it seem like so many bad people lived charmed lives while the rest of us struggle on a daily basis. I mean, just look at most narcissists as one example- they often go through life with few health problems, while those around them have illnesses & diseases of all kinds. Many narcissists are very successful in their careers or financially comfortable. They also never seem to have any consequences for their evil actions. Meanwhile, their victims are often sick, living with mental illnesses such as C-PTSD, depression & anxiety & often broke financially.
I know, the Bible says we aren’t to worry about this. Psalm 37:1-4 says, “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. 3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 4 Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (KJV) I do trust God, & don’t get mired down in envying such people. But, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been curious over why things are this way.
Recently, the movie “God’s Not Dead” came on television & answered this question for me. What a fantastic movie!! If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. Anyway, there is one scene where a very successful man visits his aging mother with dementia in the nursing home. As he visits her, he says that he doesn’t understand why this happened to her. She prayed & was a very good person, yet this happened to her. Meanwhile, he had no problem lying or cheating to make his money, & living the good life. His mother had a moment of clarity, & told him the devil leaves some people alone so they never feel the need to reach out to God for anything. She quickly returned to her sad, catatonic type state after saying this. The scene was quite moving.
The wisdom in that lady’s statement made so much sense to me! It answered a question I’ve had since I became a Christian over 20 years ago. These people aren’t blessed. God isn’t blessing them in spite of the bad seeds they sow. The devil is simply not opposing them like he does with many people. Instead, he allows these people to live successful lives, so they won’t feel the need to reach out to God. Most of us became Christians in dark times so it seems logical to have some people avoid dark times thus making them feel no need to reach out to God.
Believe me, I’m not one to blame the devil & his demons for every bad thing. I believe his power is limited, & he isn’t an impressive foe. However, I do believe he tries to influence people & creates some bad circumstances with his limited repertoire. It makes perfect sense to me that he would think this way.
Honestly, I can’t say this is true, or back it up with Scripture. I’m just saying I think this may be the case. Since I found it interesting, I thought I would share it with you, Dear Reader, in case you think so too.
Tomorrow is hubby’s & my 19th anniversary. It’s been quite the adventure, being married for this amount of time. It’s taught me a lot too.
One very important thing I’ve learned is the importance of having fun together.
My husband has a very good sense of humor, but he’s also very logic driven & hard working. (If you know anything about the Myers Briggs personality test, he’s a very typical INTJ.) Although I’m pretty hard working, I like to have fun. Yet, when my C-PTSD flares up, depression sets in or symptoms from the carbon monoxide poisoning I survived in 2015 kick in, I lose the desire to have fun. Also, sometimes things happen that distract us from having fun- bills pile up, someone gets sick, etc. As a result, we sometimes do like many married couples- slip into a routine & not really do anything fun together.
Don’t do that, Dear Reader! If you want to be each other’s best friend, you need to have fun with your spouse & do it often. There is something about playing together that keeps that spark alive in your marriage. Not sure why it works that way but it really does.
Do fun stuff with your spouse. Play silly pranks on each other (nothing mean or hurtful of course). A while back, I crocheted a clown that resembles Pennywise from Stephen King’s “IT”- a super scary movie & book, & one of my favorites. We hide Pennywise around the house to scare each other. I’ve put him in my husband’s lunch cooler, hanging out on the steering wheel of his truck & even taped him to the underside of the toilet lid (I can’t take credit for that- a friend of mine came up with that stroke of evil genius…lol). He’s put Pennywise under the covers on my side of the bed, by my shampoo & on this little decoration in my bedroom. I also crocheted a little Freddie Mercury (remember the late singer from Queen?) & sometimes Pennywise & Freddie have adventures together. Silly? Sure, but it makes us laugh when we find Pennywise &/or Freddie unexpectedly.
Play games together- video games, card games, board games- whatever you like. My husband & I love the old video games we grew up with in the 70s & 80s. Locally, there’s an arcade full of them that we frequent. For $5, we can enjoy a couple of hours of fun together. We also have a Wii & some board games we play at home.
There are plenty of things you & your spouse can do together that are lots of fun & that don’t cost a lot of money, if that’s an issue. You can even find things on Craigslist or other sales sites, like ping pong or pool tables for cheap or even free. All you really need is some creativity!
I hope you & your spouse start having fun together, if you aren’t already. It really can help bring some fun into your marriage. During the hard times, don’t forget to have some fun. Those are the times you need that joy the most.
The older I get, the more I value comfort. The cozy feel of freshly washed bed linens, the warmth of raspberry or lemon herbal tea on a cold day, the look of a fresh manicure & pedicure are some things that come to my mind that bring me comfort. I spend a lot of time in my bedroom because it’s very comfortable & cozy, which always feels good to me.
Indulging in comforting things is one way to care for yourself. It makes you feel safe & secure- something most of us raised by narcissistic parents are very unfamiliar with feeling, & we need to become familiar with.
It also helps you to feel loved, when you are shown love. Even when that act of love comes from yourself, it still feels good.
What makes you feel comforted? Below are some possibilities if you need help coming up with ideas.
- going for a walk in the woods
- doing something creative- draw, paint, crochet, make something with clay, etc.
- listening to music
- watching reruns of an old TV show or movie
- drinking herbal teas
- getting a manicure &/or pedicure
Some time ago, I got caught up in comparing my success as an author to other authors. I realized many who write about similar topics to me are much more well known. Their blogs, Facebook pages or groups have thousands of followers. Mine? Not nearly so many. This used to make me sad, but God told me something. It helped me a great deal, & I think it may help you as well.
“When stars burn extremely brightly, they burn out quickly. Stars that don’t shine as brightly burn much steadier & for longer periods of time.”
If you’re feeling frustrated in your ministry or calling, like you don’t measure up to others, then it’s time to stop comparing yourself to other people! Dear Reader, God has given you a unique calling, so focus on enjoying where you are with it. If you compare yourself with others who seem more successful than you, remember what God told me about stars. Maybe those bright stars have a lot more success than you do at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have plenty of success as well!
Every single person has an individual path to walk in life. God’s ways are perfect, so why not focus on enjoying your path, enjoying where you are right now rather than comparing yourself to others? Doing that has taken an incredible amount of pressure off of myself & enabled me to enjoy what I do a lot more than I had been enjoying it. It will do the same for you!
I recently read about a term called spiritual bypassing. It was coined by a psychologist named John Welwood in the 1980’s. The term is used to describe when a person uses their religious beliefs to avoid dealing with uncomfortable things, healing old wounds & meeting important psychological needs.
While the term applies to all religions, I thought of it as to how it relates to Christianity since I’m not overly familiar with most other religions & most of my readers are also Christians.
Also, please know that I’m not trying to judge anyone. I’ve been guilty of doing some of these things myself.
Becoming very active in church activities. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being active in your church, but when you spend more time at church than with your family, something is wrong. It needs to be done in balance. Otherwise, resentments can build & trouble starts in your relationships. You may even develop a superior attitude because you participate so much in your church.
Judging people for being angry or hurt. The Bible says we shouldn’t let the sun go down on our anger. Jesus said we are to forgive those who trespass against us in the Lord’s prayer. Seems obvious to me that we’re going to feel angry or hurt sometimes, otherwise the need to forgive wouldn’t be mentioned in the Bible. Remember, there is nothing wrong with anger or hurt. They are God-given emotions that tell us when something isn’t right. It’s what we do with the emotions that can be wrong.
Ignoring your own anger or hurt in favor of saying you forgive that person. Maybe you think it makes you holy to claim forgiveness rather than facing your negative emotions, but it only sets you up for problems. Emotions demand to be heard, especially the strong ones like anger. If you ignore them, they will find another way to be heard, & most likely, not such a good way.
Being too positive. So many people in the world emphasize the importance of thinking positively. Positive confessions are stressed as very important. People are criticized for “being too negative” if they admit they are struggling or hurting. In fact, people can be downright shamed for discussing abuse since it’s so “negative”. I’ve been told I need to “get over my childhood hurts” for example, which at the time, was extremely painful to hear. I felt ashamed. I felt like I was making too big of a deal out of being abused. I felt like a bad Christian for not just forgiving & forgetting. The truth is though, that when I tried to be positive, not talk or think about what I’ve gone through, & to “forgive & forget,” I was miserable. Now that I’m open with my experiences, & facing things head on, I’m not so miserable. I started using good boundaries. I’ve gotten a more balanced view of my situation- bad things happened to me. Horrible things, really, but God brought me through them & is helping me to heal. He’s also helping me to write about my experiences to help others which I love doing. I can’t honestly say I’m grateful for my bad experiences, but I’m grateful good has come from them.
Claiming to be happy 100% of the time. Yes, in God’s presence is fullness of joy, according to the Psalms. Yes, Jesus told us to “be of good cheer.” However, no one is above feeling bad sometimes. It’s not a sin to feel sad, scared, hurt or angry. They are natural reactions to abnormal circumstances. Jesus wasn’t exactly happy in the Garden of Gethsemane now was He? Or, when He flipped over the vendors’ tables in the church. He also got frustrated with the apostles & their lack of faith. Even Jesus wasn’t above feeling emotions other than joy.
Trying to be perfect all of the time. People are NOT perfect! If we were, we wouldn’t need Jesus now would we? ’nuff said!
Seeing the best in people. I have given up looking for the best in people, & instead, look for the real in people. If you only see the best, you can set yourself up to be taken advantage of or victimized in some way, because you’d feel guilty for being negative or judgmental. It just makes sense to be realistic about people. There is nothing wrong with that! Jesus basically told His apostles the same thing. Matthew 10:16 says, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (KJV)
Growing up with narcissistic parents, you learn early on that to show respect means that you tolerate abuse, blindly obey & never talk back or confront your parents about the abuse they inflicted on you. Since you are ignored & invalidated, you also knew that you are unworthy of this so-called respect.
The fact is though that none of this is real respect! It is some mock version of respect narcissists teach their kids so they can justify their abuse.
If you too grew up with such a skewed view of respect, then it’s time to get a healthier perspective.
Respect should be mutual in a healthy relationship. Both parties should care about each other & each other’s needs & feelings.
Respect is earned, not demanded. My mother used to tell me that she demanded respect, which is entirely wrong! A person can command respect with their actions, but demanding respect never works out well. When a person is ordered to give someone respect, that person is immediately turned off to the demanding one.
There is absolutely nothing respectful about tolerating abuse. Standing up for yourself shows that you have self-respect, that you care enough about yourself to want better & to know that you deserve better treatment.
Saying “no” can be a very respectful thing. Allowing someone to have their way at all times shows that you have no self-respect. Enforcing healthy boundaries however, shows you respect yourself. It also shows that you care enough about the other person to want them to do better, because boundaries encourage good behavior.
Once upon a time, no contact was a rare thing. It only happened rarely, when the victim of an abuser was at the end of her rope after trying every possible solution she could think of. This is no longer the case.
Today, relationships are much more disposable. No contact is often preached as the only reasonable solution, no matter the situation. Many victims are shamed if they are unwilling or unable to go no contact with their abusive parents or other family members. Often, many who have opted to go no contact no longer see any alternative, especially when an abuser is a narcissist.
Unfortunately, what many people fail to realize is there are no “one size fits all” solutions especially when dealing with narcissists. No contact is not always possible or the desired solution. Some wish to get to that point but do not feel able to at the current time. It depends a great deal on the individuals involved & their specific situation. While I certainly believe no contact is a viable solution in many (well, most) situations, I have spoken with many who are unwilling or unable to go no contact. They have shown me there is a great need for compassion & understanding for them. I hope to help to create that with this post.
Narcissism is a spectrum disorder. Some narcissists aren’t very high on the spectrum, exhibiting few narcissistic behaviors. If someone is firm with their boundaries with those narcissists, chances are the narcissist will respect those boundaries, albeit grudgingly. If someone acts the exact same way with a malignant narcissist instead, someone very high on the spectrum, chances are their results won’t be so good. If a victim feels they can be firm & handle the lower on the spectrum narcissist, is it really necessary for that person to be shamed for maintaining a relationship if that is what they want to do?
Relationships shouldn’t be easily disposable. To tell someone who recently learned about narcissism that she should “just go no contact”, especially if the narcissist in question is a parent, is ridiculous! The victim needs to learn about narcissism & ways to cope with a narcissist, then try some possible ways to cope before deciding if no contact is the right solution. Ending any relationship is an extreme move, & it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
There is also such a thing as filial piety in Asian cultures. This means that the children care for their aging parents no matter the personal cost. Not doing this can result in a ruined reputation or being ostracized, for daughters in particular. It is unfair to shame those in this culture simply because you disagree with it. Agree or not, it is a fact of life, & they need to handle the situation however they see fit. They may need to implement low contact indefinitely to avoid the fallout of going complete no contact. This means they need support, understanding & love to help them in this difficult situation.
While no contact is often the only solution when dealing with a narcissistic personality, it shouldn’t be the first solution that comes to mind. It should be a last resort after other methods have been tried with no success.
Why is it when someone has either set boundaries in or ended an abusive relationship, people try to convince that person to “forgive & forget” or “be the bigger person” & fix the relationship? Have you noticed how commonplace this is? Think about it…
If a daughter in-law is constantly belittled by her mother in-law, she is told to be the bigger person. Let it go. She is only trying to help by criticizing everything about you!
If your abusive parents have been out of your life for some time, then they become ill or worse are dying, chances are someone is going to tell you that you need to make things right with your parents. You need to be there for them & take care of them! You owe your parents that much!
A wife whose husband has beaten or raped her is told to forgive him since he was drunk. He didn’t know what he was doing. Stop making a mountain out of a molehill!
This is a major pet peeve of mine. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to expect an innocent victim to repair an abusive relationship. Why don’t people tell abusers to fix the relationship instead? Why not tell them to stop abusing?!
I think some people simply don’t want to face the fact that there is a lot of ugliness in the world. They prefer to think everything is unicorns & rainbows, when nothing could be further from the truth. Anything that interrupts their ignorance is met with denial or even hostility.
Some people, flying monkeys in particular, don’t want to believe that a person could be so bad. Maybe they know the abuser & have seen the “good person” show that he or she puts on. They would prefer to believe that facade is the real person, not the vicious, devious, abusive monster who has hurt you.
When this happens to you (& sadly it will at some point), it’s going to hurt. It’s going to make you angry. This is only natural since this type of thing is triggering & painful. You can cope, however.
If you see the conversation you’re in is taking this turn, then end it. Change the subject. Say you won’t discuss this topic with this person. Walk away if you must or hang up the phone.
Don’t buy into that “you need to be the bigger person” nonsense. You didn’t cause the damage, you don’t need to fix the damage. Fix only what you broke & apologize if you hurt people. Take responsibility for things you have done wrong only.
And really.. how is it a good thing to stay in an abusive relationship anyway?! Not only does that take a toll on your physical & mental health, but it encourages the abusive person to be abusive! While no one can make an abuser become a kind, Godly person, setting boundaries sets the stage for that person to change their abusive behavior. That is truly loving, Godly behavior! Tolerating abuse from anyone is NOT!
Rather than listening to that drivel about being the bigger person, do what you know God wants you to do. Stick to your boundaries. Don’t be bullied or manipulated into allowing an abusive person back into your life. Surround yourself with good, loving, Godly people who understand, love & support you.
**DISCLAIMER: If, like many of my readers, you are in the unfortunate position of not being able to go no contact with your narcissistic parent, please do NOT think this article is aimed at you! It most certainly isn’t!! I’m sure many of you have been shamed enough & I am not trying to add to that shame by implying you’re weak or wrong or whatever for being in that position. Every situation is unique, & I won’t judge you. This post is aimed at those who have gone no contact, not you!**
Going no contact (or even low contact for that matter) with a narcissistic parent isn’t an easy thing to do. There is a tremendous amount of anger & grief at the abnormal, awful circumstances that bring a person to this decision. Then there is society & their warped views of no contact. Some people think you should cut someone out of your life (yes, even a parent) at the first sign of them disagreeing with you. At the opposite end of the spectrum are those who think you’re a horrible person if you even entertain the idea of ending a relationship with your parent, no matter what. Many of those people also think you’re weak for “taking the easy way out”. That is the point I want to address today.
If you’re in the painful place of having gone no contact with your narcissistic parent, my heart breaks for you. I know the pain of this first hand & would tell anyone who thinks it’s easy or cowardly that they are completely, absolutely, 1,000% WRONG.
First of all, a relationship with an abusive parent is incredibly painful. Parents are supposed to love their children unconditionally, & realizing that not only do they not love us but are out to hurt & control us hurts! Really, really freaking hurts! How can anyone continue to subject themselves to that indefinitely? Every person has their limits.
Secondly, even considering how painful it is having an abusive parent, children naturally don’t want to end that relationship. It feels unnatural to end that relationship. How can it not?! That’s your mother or father, not some casual acquaintance.
Third, thinking about going no contact isn’t some easy decision like where to go for dinner. It takes a lot of prayer, thought, time, weighing your options, imagining scenarios.. it’s incredibly draining just to think about, let alone do it.
Lastly, once you are no contact, that doesn’t mean things are going to be easy. Without that narcissistic parent in your life, your emotions that you stifled so long just to survive the toxic relationship are probably going to come to the surface & demand you deal with them. That’s never fun! I’m going through it myself & I can tell you, quite frankly, it’s really rough! (It’s good in the fact I’m finally able to deal with stuff left untouched in so long, but it’s not fun to go through the process). There’s also the distinct possibility your narcissistic parent will send the flying monkeys after you to “talk some sense” into you by attempting to make you feel guilty for going no contact. After all, that parent won’t be around forever yanno! She’s getting older, & she is your mother yanno! Flying monkeys are always fun to deal with. (yes, I’m being totally sarcastic in that comment). Even more fun is the chance your narcissistic parent will attempt to contact you personally. There’s nothing quite like going along with your day, in a good mood, when you open your mailbox & see that parent’s handwriting. So much for that good mood. You can block that parent from emailing, calling, texting or on social media, but you can’t block postal mail.
So if anyone reading this thinks no contact is the cowardly thing to do, the easy route, think again. It’s far from it! Going no contact is actually a very brave, incredibly difficult thing to do.
Well, finally I did it, Dear Reader! I started my YouTube channel. After much anxiety & prayer & distractions, it’s now ready to go. 🙂
It’s now available at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyHVkrFotB51_ZKqh7BqAXg