Category Archives: Christian Topics and Prayers
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
Proverbs 19:19 “A man of great anger will bear the penalty [for his quick temper and lack of self-control];
For if you rescue him [and do not let him learn from the consequences of his action], you will only have to rescue him over and over again.” (AMP)
Consequences are a valuable thing. They teach people what is & is not acceptable behavior, what is safe & not safe & more. Many children of narcissistic parents are not taught this in a healthy way, however.
Narcissistic parents teach their children to take care of them, instead of the natural order of things, the parent caring for the child. One way they expect their children to take care of them is to interrupt the natural event of consequences for their actions.
- If the narcissistic parent hurts the child’s feelings, the child is to hold the pain inside rather than tell the parent how she feels to protect the parent’s feelings.
- The child should never set boundaries of any sort with her parent, so the parent is free to abuse anytime, any way she is so inclined.
- Most of all, the child never, ever should tell anyone about what her parent does to her. That way, no one thinks badly of the parent or gets her in any trouble for child abuse.
As the child of a narcissistic parent grows up, they get fed up with such nonsense, & rightfully so. It’s not fair this abusive, evil parent skates through life unscathed while her child suffers constantly.
If you’re in this place, Dear Reader, I want you to know that you have ever right to stop protecting your parent from the consequences of their actions. It’s Biblical to allow consequences to happen- just reread the above mentioned Scripture again if you don’t believe that. You have every right to set healthy boundaries & to tell your parent that her actions are not acceptable to you. In fact, you even have the right to go no contact with your parent if you are so inclined. Titus 3:10 says, “After a first and second warning reject a divisive man [who promotes heresy and causes dissension—ban him from your fellowship and have nothing more to do with him],” (AMP) Parents are not excluded from this Scripture, I believe, because God knows that sometimes, even a parent/child relationship comes down to needing that separation.
So Dear Reader, please don’t forget that your parent needs consequences for their actions. It is NOT your job to protect them from consequences. They need them if they are to have any chance of learning to behave better.
I feel a degree of pity for narcissists, even the ones who have tried to destroy me. It’s so sad to me that they felt they had to resort to behaving so horribly to cope with the pain in their lives or their insecurities. It’s sad how afraid so many are & everything they do is out of that fear. It’s sad that they waste their entire lives being angry, bitter, hateful & pushing away those closest to them. Many are even full of anger, bitterness & hate on their death beds. These people live pathetic lives not knowing what it is like to love, really love. What lonely, empty, superficial lives they live.
This being said, it certainly doesn’t mean I think narcissists deserve a free pass to abuse. Being abused is NOT an excuse to abuse others! Being abusive is a choice, not a consequence of experiencing abuse! If you don’t believe me, consider this example: your narcissistic mother ignores your requests to change her behavior so she doesn’t hurt you. She clearly is opting to continue abusing you, isn’t she?
The pain in their pasts also doesn’t negate your pain. Please never tell yourself that it’s OK- the narcissist had a hard life too or they had it harder than you did. It’s not OK! Never invalidate your own pain! You don’t deserve that! You were no doubt invalidated enough by your narcissistic parent- don’t do it to yourself too! Invalidation is abuse, no matter who does it, even when you do it to yourself. It has the potential for causing a victim all kinds of problems- bad coping skills, low self-esteem, guilt, shame, placing the needs of others before yourself even when you are in crisis, & even Borderline Personality Disorder. Don’t do this to yourself! It is very possible to feel sorry for your narcissistic parent while not trivializing or invalidating your pain.
Why pity narcissists? They are horrible people, right? Honestly, I don’t think it’s necessary to pity narcissists to heal. Some people think it’s foolishness, in fact. And this works fine for them. There is nothing wrong with that thinking.
For me, however, feeling that degree of pity that I do for narcissists enables me to pray for them.
The Bible tells us to pray for our enemies…
Matthew 5:43-48 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor (fellow man) and hate your enemy.’ 44 “But I say to you, [a]love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may [show yourselves to] be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on those who are evil and on those who are good, and makes the rain fall on the righteous [those who are morally upright] and the unrighteous [the unrepentant, those who oppose Him]. 46 For if you love [only] those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers [wishing them God’s blessing and peace], what more [than others] are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles [who do not know the Lord] do that? 48 You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (AMP)
Praying for those who hurt you isn’t an option if you wish to live a holy, Christian life. It also isn’t easy. In fact, praying for someone who hurt you is hard enough, but praying for someone who tried to destroy you is a thousand times harder.
God dealt with me a couple of years ago about praying for my parents & in-laws. I didn’t feel able to do it. My parents & mother in-law were incredibly cruel to me, & frankly I didn’t much care about any of them. Once I started thinking about them, I felt some pity for them. My mother was abused by her mother, which is why she turned narcissistic I believe. My father wasn’t abused, but had a terrible traumatic brain injury at only 15 that I believe may be at the root of his narcissism. His behavior changed after it. That TBI has given him many health problems. My mother in-law had a very sad upbringing & many difficult years married to my father in-law. Thinking about such things plus the other things I have mentioned above their behavior has caused stirred up pity in me for them. I now pray for my parents & in-laws daily, & even set up reminders on my cell phone so I don’t forget. Not knowing what they need specifically, I simply ask God to save them, meet all of their needs & bless them. Praying this way I hope has been a blessing to them, but at the very least, it feels good to me. It shows me that try as they might, they haven’t destroyed my good heart.
Feeling pity for narcissists isn’t always necessary & certainly isn’t easy. However, it can benefit you by enabling you to pray for them.
I recently was watching “Dr G: Medical Examiner” on TV. The show fascinates me in a morbid way. She discusses various cases that come into her medical examiner’s office in Florida.
Well, this particular episode had a strange case. A lady had been found lying on the floor of her bedroom by her son. She was badly burned, yet nothing in the house was burned. Suddenly the paramedics came & transported her to the hospital where she died 11 hours later. It turned out she committed suicide.
The lady wanted her fiancee to commit suicide with her. He didn’t take her seriously. They got into an argument & he left. She then grabbed a lighter, drove to a nearby field & lit herself on fire! Apparently she had a change of heart & drove herself home. She called 911 & after she hung up is when her son found her.
The story was heartbreaking to me. I’ve been suicidal in my life & let me tell you, it is a horrendous place to be. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone! It’s torture feeling as if no one cares & the world would be a better place without you.
Many people who are truly suicidal show very subtle or no clues that they are feeling this way. People are often shocked when they die because they say there weren’t any signs. Or, they say something like, “I didn’t think he really meant it when he said he was tired of living.”
Dear Reader, please pay attention to the people in your life. Many people are suicidal, especially if they have mental illness. Did you know there’s a 15-20% suicide rate among those with Bipolar Disorder? PTSD is even higher, estimated to be around 50%.
Even those without diagnosed mental illness can become suicidal. Everyone has a breaking point. Losing loved ones (through death, divorce, moving, etc) can take a huge toll on a person’s level of joy. Losing a pet can trigger suicidal thoughts in many people. Even losing a job can be devastating. Men in particular have a hard time with job loss. Medical problems can trigger depression. The fear of the unknown can be utterly terrifying, especially when it comes to one’s health. Or, sometimes having surgery can trigger depression due to the changes in one’s body.
The point is all kinds of changes, sometimes even positive ones, can trigger depression in a person. Knowing this, it’s a good idea to offer support to those you love if they have faced changes or difficulties. I’m not saying you have to fix their problems for them. I am saying that it is a good idea to be there for someone. A little support or show of your love for them can go a long way. Many suicidal people believe no one cares about them. Letting a person know you care may make all the difference.
If someone wants to talk about a problem, listen to them without offering advice unless they ask. Many times, people just need to vent. They may know how to fix the problem or there may be no solution to it, & they just need to talk about their feelings.
When talking about their problems, sometimes people’s emotions get overwhelming. They may burst into tears or get angry out of the blue. Don’t take that personally! It happens when people are extremely stressed & upset!
Avoid saying things that are going to upset the person further:
- “I understand exactly how you feel.” No, you don’t. You aren’t me.
- “I went through the same thing.. I did ____ & felt better.” Well, good for you, but that won’t work in my situation!
- “You’re being too negative.” Not everything in life is about puppies & rainbows. Negative stuff happens too & it needs to be dealt with!
- “You’re wallowing in the past.” Sometimes to move forward, you have to step back a bit. Arrows don’t shoot forward without going back a little!
- “Get over it” or “Don’t be sad/angry/hurt.” Do NOT tell someone how to feel! Ever!!
- “I don’t get why you’re upset. It’s no big deal.” Maybe not to you, but it is to me!
- “I’m sure she didn’t mean it that way/was just kidding.” So that means I shouldn’t feel bad she did/said something cruel?
Rather than saying something stupid, be honest. Tell the person you don’t know what to say to help other than you’re sorry she’s hurting or sorry that happened to her. Tell her you’re here for her & you love her.
If there is something you can do for the person, do it! Don’t just say, “I’m here for you” then bow out if asked for something. Mean it!
Offer to pray for &/or with the person. Praying with someone often can bring a great deal of peace.
Check in often. Call or text as often as you think the person is OK with. Don’t harass them every 15 minutes of course, but once a day should be good.
If your friend mentions suicide, please think carefully about what to say! Never tell the person she’s being selfish or stupid, or that their child/spouse/parent needs them. Shaming a suicidal person just makes them want to kill themselves even more. Ask why they feel that way, then listen to what they say. Cry with them, hug them, pray for them, tell them you love them.
If you are the suicidal one, Dear Reader, there are people who will listen. There are suicide hotlines. 1-800- SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) is a national one that will direct you to your local hotline.
Although I’m sure you don’t feel this way, there are people in your life who love you. Your family & friends, even your pets, love you more than you realize. And, God loves you so very much. When you hurt, He hurts. Turn to Him, & tell Him how you feel. He will understand!
There are conflicting messages for victims of abuse. Some people encourage victims to speak out. Help raise awareness! Confronting your abuser will be good for you! Others encourage victims to keep quiet. Stop dredging up the past. Forgive & forget.
Rather than stating what I think victims should do, I would like to encourage you to decide what is right for yourself. After all, being vocal about being abused can be very challenging. Being vocal about it means you’re reliving some of the most painful experiences of your life. It also means some will criticize you harshly. You may lose friends & family who side with your abuser. Is this something you can deal with?
There are pros & cons for speaking out as well as staying quiet. You need to consider them seriously before making any decisions.
Silence isn’t always good, as it can encourage an abuser to continue abusing. Knowing the victim won’t tell anyone what is happening gives the abuser free reign to do as she/he pleases without fear of consequences. It also means things can stay pretty much the same for the victim in that her friends & family will continue treating her as they always have. Silence allows the victim to continue in the familiar place that she is accustomed to. This can be a good thing, to a degree, especially if she does not feel strong enough to confront her abuser or even discuss what has happened, & if this is only a temporary place.
Telling her story can empower the victim. She takes back the power that her abuser stole by forcing her to stay silent. She realizes it’s her story & she can do as she sees fit with it. She can help & inspire others who have been through similar circumstances if she opts to go public with her story (such as blogging about it, for example). By speaking openly about what happened, she also can give her family the opportunity to grow & to heal. However, telling also means that she can be setting herself up for criticism, even from those closest to her. Those she believed were on her side may turn against her. They may refuse to believe her, tell others she’s lying, or invalidate her pain if she speaks to them about the situation. And, if she opts to confront her abuser, that can open up a new world of pain. Abusers hate confrontation, especially narcissistic abusers. The abuser may turn the entire situation around, blaming the victim for what happened or denying they did anything wrong. Often, the one telling the truth is demonized by abusers as well as those who may have known about the abuse but did nothing. Many people can’t live with what they have done, so they vilify the victim.
What do you think is your answer, Dear Reader?
Before you answer that question, I urge you to pray. Let God give you advice on which way to go, & how to go about it. Also, allow Him to give you the strength you need, because either way is very challenging. You will need His strength. And remember, 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But his answer was: “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.” I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ’s power over me.” (GNT) God will empower you to do anything you need to do!
True forgiveness has been very warped by people. So many thing it means “forgive & forget” & if you can’t do that, you’re no Christian & a terrible person. I really don’t believe that however.
Yes, the Bible states that we are to forgive those who have trespassed against us (Matthew 6:12, 15; 18:21; Luke 7:47, 11:4, 17:3; John 20:23; 2 Corinthians 2:10). But, nowhere in the Bible does it state, “Forgive & forget. Let abusive people continue to abuse you with zero consequences!” Quite honestly, I believe that is just stupid to do when a person shows no remorse for their actions! If you don’t remember what they did to you, you open the door for them to abuse you over & over.
A good friend recently showed me what forgiveness really means, & this “forgive & forget” thing people preach isn’t it.
If you forgive someone, it means they no longer owe you a debt. For example, if you lend someone $100, but they can’t repay it, you can opt to forgive their debt to you by telling them they no longer need to repay you that $100. You act as if they never borrowed that money from you, you don’t bring it up again. However, you may decide never to lend them money again since they didn’t repay you the first time.
If someone hurts or abuses you, they should “repay” you by apologizing & making things right if at all possible. Chances are slim that will happen if you’re dealing with a narcissist or even if that person is simply selfish &, well, a jerk.
This situation leaves you with 2 choices- wait for that apology or forgive them the debt of owing you that apology. Personally, I opt to forgive, & quickly.
The Bible says in Ephesians 4:26, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down on your wrath,” (KJV). Nowhere in this Scripture does it say doing this will make you feel warm & fuzzy! God basically says you just need to release the need for that person to make it up to you for what they did. Once you realize this, you also realize that in time your emotions will catch up, that you won’t feel angry any longer.
I think there is also a common misconception that when your emotions catch up, even thinking about what happened will no longer upset you. However, I don’t believe that is quite the case.
It isn’t a sign of unforgiveness if what they did to you stirs up some emotion.
I don’t think or talk about my late mother in-law very often. She passed away last year & prior to that, I hadn’t spoken to her in 14 years. She was a very skilled covert narcissist, & after tolerating her abuse for the first 8 years of my relationship with my husband, I simply couldn’t take anymore.
Yesterday, I was working on a book I’ve been writing. I mentioned how once in 1999 (I think anyway.. around that time), my mother in-law wanted me to do something for her. I had an appointment that day, so I told her I couldn’t do it. Granted, I probably could have moved some things around & been there for her, but I didn’t want to. She was horrible to me- why would I want to help her? As soon as I said I wasn’t available, my mother in-law tried to find out why. She used guilt, shame, & even demands to find out what was so important that I couldn’t help her. I refused to tell her. Not only was it none of her business but she would have told her daughters what was happening with me (not their business either) & she probably would’ve found some way to use the information I gave her to hurt me at some future date.
Remembering this incident still angers me to a degree. I thought it must be a sign that I haven’t forgiven her. But, once I thought that, God quickly revealed to me that is not the case.
Forgiving someone completely doesn’t necessarily mean you never feel emotions over the awful things they did to you. You can forgive someone completely, yet still feel some anger about the fact that they hurt or used you. If you didn’t feel that way, chances are you would ignore signs that show you are about to be used & hurt that same way again.
So, the next time someone tells you that you need to work on forgiving someone, remember what I said, Dear Reader. Chances are, you have forgiven that person as God wants you to. xoxo
Recently, God began dealing with me about something. I tend to say yes too quickly. I agree to help people or do favors when I’m tired or busy way too often. He put in my heart that just because something is good, doesn’t mean it’s good for me.
This makes a lot of sense to me. There have been plenty of times I decided to focus on my latest book, yet didn’t do it because someone needed something from me. Not that what they needed was anything bad, nor is it bad to help someone, but for me, I should have focused on my writing instead. Other times, I wasn’t feeling well & just needed to rest, yet didn’t because someone said they needed me.
Does this sound familiar to you, Dear Reader? Do you do the same things?
I’d venture to say it’s pretty common with adult children of narcissistic parents. We were trained from birth to put ourselves last, & that training doesn’t stop just because we’re grown up. We’re also told it’s selfish to put ourselves first. Taking care of others above ourselves has become such a habit, often it happens without even thinking. We simply do it automatically. We may do it even when everything in us says, “NOOO!!!” just because it’s what we feel we’re supposed to do.
Today I want to encourage you to have more healthy boundaries & balance. It’s certainly good to put others ahead of yourself sometimes, but only in balance. You deserve to be your priority too! There is no shame in taking care of yourself or your duties. In fact, it’s a must to do so.
Starting to do this can be difficult after a lifetime of being so out of balance, I know. I recommend prayer as the best place to start, as usual. Ask God to help you know what you should say yes to & what you should say no to. He will! That is what I’m doing, & so far, so good. I slipped up by not praying this immediately, as soon as I realized what God wants to teach me, & ended up saying yes to something I probably shouldn’t have. Since, I prayed for God’s help & things are going better.
And remember Dear Reader, just because something is good doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good for you. xoxo
Song of Solomon 2:15 “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” (KJV)
This Scripture came into my mind recently. So often, little things can steal our joy. A good mood can be ruined easily by someone’s insensitive, cutting criticism. A financial blessing can be spoiled when a person learns how much they’ll have to pay in taxes.
However, the reverse is true too. Something bad can be reversed by something small yet positive.
If you’re having a bad day, yet a handsome stranger smiles at you, does that not improve your day? It certainly does mine. Or, when you put your hand in your pocket to find a few dollars you didn’t know were there, would that not brighten your day at least a little?
When you’ve been through some awful things in your life, it’s easy to cling to the negative while ignoring the positive. Especially if you’ve grown up with at least one narcissistic parent. They are truly the most negative people you can meet- if there is a bad way to look at a situation, they’ll find it. And, they train their children to do the same thing. It can be a hard habit to break, but it is well worth it.
I’m not one to advocate being overly positive & optimistic, because people who are out of balance that way tend to be disappointed constantly. However, I do encourage people to be realistic & yet still positive. Sometimes, things just stink & nothing can make it better. However, there are also many more times when your situation stinks but there are tiny blessings around you that can help you to get through it.
God has been showing me lately that good can be found in a great deal of negative situations. Flashbacks & nightmares even have their purpose. Yes, they’re incredibly awful at the time they happen, but once they’re done, if I look at them, I realize they often show me areas where I need more healing. I believe they happen when they do because God basically says, “Now is the time to face this.” Every time I do, I make another step towards healing.
I’ve also noticed that when I’m very depressed or upset about something, my cats will do silly things or snuggle me more than usual. To me, that is a wonderful blessing because even in my worst moods, they can make me smile.
The point is, Dear Reader, that there are often silver linings in even the darkest clouds, & those silver linings can help get you through. Not to make us overly optimistic to the point of being foolish, but to help strengthen us when we need it the most. If you’re having trouble finding those silver linings, then by all means, ask God to help you to be aware of them. He will! Be sure to notice everything, even the tiniest things, because God has sent them to help you! Even something small like noticing the blooms on a majestic magnolia tree in the middle of summer.. as common as that is, it’s still a beautiful thing to see if you love magnolias. Maybe God put you in the path of that lovely tree to bring you a little joy at the specific time you needed it. Enjoy it. Revel in it. It’s a gift from God just for you.
I recently watched a TV show about Freddie Mercury, the late lead singer from the rock band, Queen. One of his friends quoted something he once said that I thought was wonderful.
If you, too, are a Queen fan, you know they created some pretty amazing songs, but not a great many of them. According to this gentleman being interviewed, Freddie Mercury spoke about that to this man. He said that he would only do, “quality & style, Darling.” The man who single handedly wrote the incredible song, “Bohemian Rhapsody” obviously knew both well.
The fact is though that every single person has an individual path to follow in life. Whether your path involves affecting the lives of two people or two billion, your path is important! If it wasn’t, God wouldn’t have given you the purpose in your life that you have.
Since your purpose is important, why not take a page out of Freddie Mercury’s book, & focus on doing everything you do with “quality & style”? No matter how many lives you will affect, you will affect lives, & don’t you want your effect to be a good one? Then do whatever you do with excellence! Do it with “quality & style, Darling!”
When raised by narcissistic parents, we often feel obligated to prioritize not hurting the feelings of other people, primarily our parents. It is so important, in fact, that we will hurt ourselves rather than hurt them or anyone else.
While it’s certainly a good thing to be concerned with the feelings of others, being so concerned over others that you’re willing to hurt yourself too out of balance.
Dear Reader, if you want to move forward with healing after being abused, you have to think about your feelings more than other people’s, in particular, more than your abusers.
I’m not saying turn into a selfish jerk who cares nothing for anyone but themselves, of course. I am saying though, that you need to consider your own feelings. If you’re still in a relationship with your narcissistic parents, you don’t have to go to that big holiday dinner if you don’t feel up to it. Just because your parents want you there doesn’t mean you must do what they want! Or, if you talk publicly about what your narcissistic ex did, there is nothing wrong with that. Sure, it may upset that person, but the story is yours as well- you have nothing to be ashamed of for sharing it, & it may help someone else. As the Anne Lamott quote goes, “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
There is another reason to avoid putting the feelings of others above your own. Doing so with abusive people means you are part of the problem. It allows them to continue abusing with no fear of consequences. Doing whatever it takes to avoid upsetting them does nothing to stop them from being abusers. While no one can stop another person from abusing, one can create circumstances by having good boundaries that (hopefully!) will make them uncomfortable enough to want to change. Just because narcissists rarely change doesn’t mean we shouldn’t set those boundaries.
Dear Reader, remember, your feelings are just as important, just as valid, as anyone’s. There is no good reason to think otherwise. The only reason you do think otherwise is because an incredibly dysfunctional, abusive person made you think that way. Today, make a decision to get rid of that awful, flawed belief. Remind yourself that you have value! Ask God to tell you what He thinks of you, then listen for the response. He knows you have great value! After all Jesus died for you- He wouldn’t have done that if you weren’t worth it.
Many victims of narcissistic abuse that I have spoken with have said the exact same thing that I felt for years: “I wish I’d learned about narcissism years ago! I wish I knew why God waited so long to show me.” Most victims I’ve spoken with were over 40 when they first learned about Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The absolute youngest I would say was in her late twenties.
This is often a source of frustration for many victims. We tend to feel angry for all the years wasted, not understanding what was happening & blaming ourselves for our abusive parents or spouse. We also don’t understand why God didn’t show us the real problem years earlier.
I wonder, Dear Reader, if it was because we simply weren’t mature enough to handle this knowledge until we have a few years under our belts.
If you still have a relationship with your narcissistic parent, it takes a great deal of wisdom & maturity to be able to handle it with your sanity in tact. These things can be gained only through age & experience.
Also, a solid foundation with God is absolutely essential to help you cope with the relationship. As a young, new Christian, you may not have had the mature relationship & deep faith you have today.
Whether you still have a relationship with your narcissistic parent(s) or not, if you are healing, you also need that strong relationship with God. I have found He guides my healing as I am able to handle things. He helps me face things only when I am strong enough. He also shows me new information as I am able to understand it. Looking back, I don’t think I would have accepted the information or help in my younger days when I felt like I needed to be able to do everything myself. It took years for me to learn to rely on God at all, because, like all children of narcissistic parents, I grew up knowing I shouldn’t “bother” anyone with my “petty” problems. I know now that I need God to help me cope & understand the things I have been through, but in my younger years, I would have denied that & refused His help.
I hope this answers that frustrating question of why didn’t God teach you about narcissism earlier. It can be a point of frustration for sure, but God does know what is best for us. If He delayed you learning about NPD, one thing you can know without a doubt- there was s good reason for it.
I noticed something interest in the last few hours, & I thought I’d share it with you today, Dear Readers.
As many of you know, in 2015, I nearly died from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. In spite of all the time that’s passed, like many others who have survived it, I still live with many symptoms. They get better or worse, but they’re still there. All the time. If this post sounds “off”, I apologize- thinking clearly isn’t my strong point at the moment because that’s part of it when symptoms flare up. I just wanted to write this out before I forgot everything I wanted to say.
So, bringing us to what I noticed…
I noticed when I’m way too stressed or going through an exceptionally hard time, something happens to make the symptoms get to the point of me needing to rest, to take time off, because I can’t do anything else.
Lately, I’ve been having a rough time with repressed memories & flashbacks as I mentioned previously. As if that wasn’t tough enough, at the time of me writing this, it was 1 year ago today that I lost one of my kitties & that anniversary is making me sad. I have a knack for remembering dates & dates like this always are very hard for me, even days before.
Yesterday evening, my husband was working on my car. I took a shower while he was doing this. While in there, I began to feel weird (headache, dizzy, couldn’t think clearly, body aches, shaking, etc.), but thought nothing of it. When I got out, I came into the living room & heard my car running. I suddenly knew why I felt so yukky & didn’t think anything of it- carbon monoxide removes my ability to realize if I feel bad, something is wrong. I quickly found my husband & ask him to move my car away from the house while she’s running because the exhaust was sickening me. He did, but the damage was already done. Last night & today, I’ve felt horrible. Today, I’m resting because there’s nothing else I can do. Physically & mentally, I’m a whipped pup.
Since I’m finally thinking a little clearer today, I realized this sort of thing happens during especially difficult times.
My point of all this? I realized that although God didn’t give me my health problems, He has been using them to help me.
My mother has called me lazy ever since I can remember. As a result, I’ve always worked hard. Too hard- I rarely took time to relax. Self-care has been a huge struggle for me, as I feel on some dysfunctional level that it’s selfish & wrong to take care of myself. Since I’ve even ignored God’s promptings that I need to take care of myself & relax sometimes, I firmly believe God allowed getting sick to happen because now, there are times when I have no choice but to relax & rest.
Please, Dear Reader, learn from my mistakes!! I know so many adult children of narcissistic parents who ignore their mental & physical health because they don’t want to feel selfish or lazy by taking care of themselves as I have. This is so wrong!! Even God rests!
Genesis 2:2 “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” (NIV)
There is absolutely nothing wrong with resting! Self-care is vital to being healthy, physically & mentally, & frequent rest is a part of that. I know shutting off the internal, critical voice calling you lazy or selfish is hard, but please try to do it for your own sake before you end up sick like I have. I should’ve listened to God’s promptings years ago, but I kept ignoring them. As a result, I believe God had no other choice but to allow this to happen to force me to rest before I killed myself by neglecting my needs. I wouldn’t wish this on you, so please, make appropriate changes in your life. You have every right to take care of yourself.
So many people are quick to defend abusive parents. They may say they did the best they could, or you should forgive & forget what they did to you since they were abused as children so they didn’t know any better. Others simply refuse to believe the abuse happened, accusing you of lying or exaggerating.
Why does this happen so often anyway?! I have some thoughts..
If you notice, people who came from truly loving, functional upbringings aren’t the ones doing this. They know what real, Godly love is, so this means they also know what it is not. When you tell them horror stories of the abuse you endured, they normally are shocked & horrified that a parent could treat their own child that way. Their parents never would have done such a thing to them, & they know that. They won’t make excuses for the abuse or try to normalize it. It’s wrong & they call it wrong. They offer you love & support because they know that is the right thing to do. They may not understand how you feel since they never endured such things, but even so, they empathize with you, & it hurts them you have been so mistreated. I have two friends that I’ve known since Kindergarten & first grade. One male, one female. Both were raised by loving mothers, she had a very kind wonderful father & the his father physically abused his mother. They have no personal experience with being abused narcissistic parents, yet they are very supportive & kind to me.
People who come from dysfunctional upbringings however act much differently. They are the ones who are quick to say, “But those are your parents! They won’t be around forever!” “I’m sure they did the best they could!” “They just don’t know any better!”
I can’t help but think this is because these people are triggered by your openness. You discussing your painful childhood makes them think of theirs, & they aren’t willing to face theirs at all. If they can shut you up, they can resume their denial of their own pain. For years, my husband thought I should try harder with my parents. Ignore their cruelty. He made excuses for what they did. At the same time, he was doing just that with his own abusive parents. It took him many years before he would say anything even remotely negative about his parents, let alone admit his parents were abusive.
Some people also may recognize their own behaviors when you describe the abuse you endured, & they don’t want to face that either. They may be abusing their child the same way you were abused, & don’t want to admit they are abusive or wrong. They like the control they have, & don’t want to lose it.
There are also others who can’t handle anything negative. These are the same people who expect every book & movie to have happy endings, & they want the same from real life. My mother is that way. She hates anything negative. These people don’t want to hear about your problems. They want to hear only about light, fluffy, happy topics, ignoring anything bad or negative. These people don’t seem to have good coping skills, so they avoid anything that is even mildly upsetting. You discussing your pain is upsetting, so they don’t want to hear about it. Unless you can share something light & happy with them, they don’t want you to talk about it with them.
Whatever the reason someone defends abusive parents, take it as a warning for you that this person is NOT safe to discuss your painful experiences with!
Have you ever noticed that almost no one says you are right to have problems with abusive family members? That it is OK to defend yourself to them? Instead, you are encouraged to “just let it go.” Or, excuses are made like, “Well, she’s getting old now…” or “You know how he is.”
Why do so many people think it is wrong to speak your mind & defend yourself when someone says cruel things to you?
I think it is because people do NOT want to leave their comfort zone. They would prefer you stuff your emotions (because that is oh so healthy..not) than make them uncomfortable by standing up for yourself.
Those of us who have been abused have been through more than enough suffering. It isn’t fair to expect us to go through more just to make someone else comfortable by not upsetting them.
When people tell you to “just let it go” or “don’t rock the boat”, ignore them! If you feel you need to speak up when your parent is cruel to you, then by all means, you have that right! There is nothing good, loving or honorable in “not rocking the boat.” People need to be accountable for their actions, like it or not. They need to know when they have said or done something that is inappropriate. Whether or not they change their behavior is not your responsibility, but at least by speaking up you have made them aware of the inappropriateness of their actions.