Category Archives: Christian Topics and Prayers
I remember when I first realized that my mother was a narcissist. Although it was painful, I was glad finally to understand why she treated me as she did. The raging, the silent treatments, the manipulation & control.. suddenly it all made sense. She blamed me for all of it, but the truth was it wasn’t me. It was her!
It was another few years before I realized my father was a narcissist as well. It took me so long because he was a covert narcissist.
My mother being an overt narcissist made it obvious something wasn’t right. Normal mothers didn’t keep their daughters from getting to know their extended family. They also didn’t scream at their teenage daughters daily, often multiple times in a day. They didn’t accuse their daughters of completely uncharacteristic behaviors, such as having sex with their entire high school football team, especially when there was no evidence to support this wild claim.
My father was nothing like this at all. For most of my life, I was convinced he was my one nice, normal parent. I was wrong.
While my father didn’t scream at me or accuse me of outrageous behaviors, he abused me nonetheless. He didn’t protect me from my mother. In fact, when I told him of some of her abusive behaviors, he would tell me how hard this was on him, & how there was nothing he could do to protect me. In spite of my pain, I often ended up comforting him after my mother abused me.
Compared to my mother’s constant criticisms & rages, I didn’t think this was a problem. He told me he loved me, unlike my mother who stopped saying it when I was in my teens. My father also complemented me, & bragged about me to other people. My mother didn’t do either.
As an adult, married with my own home, I finally noticed some subtle changes in my father’s behavior. He became critical. Nothing obvious like my mother at first, but still critical. He became more critical over the years. He also became more controlling in subtle ways. If I didn’t answer his call immediately, the next time we spoke, he would tell me how he thought I must be mad at him since I didn’t answer the phone. If I said I wasn’t home at the time, he didn’t believe me. Or, he would call folks we both knew, asking them to contact me & have me call him immediately because he was worried about me.
Eventually, I realized my father was a covert narcissist, & that fact truly hurt.
My situation is quite similar to that of many adult children of narcissistic parents. Accepting the overtly narcissistic parent is abusive is difficult, but it can be done. Accepting their covertly narcissistic parent is abusive is a much more difficult task, & can be impossible for some people.
The nature of a covert narcissist’s abuse is what makes the abuse so hard to comprehend. There is no obvious abuse. They don’t hit or scream. Their abuse is so much more subtle. They use guilt, disapproval, silence & portraying themselves as innocent, naive, in need of saving or protection. They also can turn a situation around to where they look like the innocent victim instead of the abuser, rather than the other way around as it should be.
This creates a cognitive dissonance in victims. In other words, the victim often may see the truth, but doesn’t want to accept it because it’s so painful.
There is also the fact that it’s hurtful enough to accept that one parent didn’t love you. Accepting both parents didn’t is even more so. Even when you understand it’s because they’re narcissists, knowing both of your parents didn’t love you can make you feel unlovable.
If this describes your situation, I’m so sorry, Dear Reader. You are in an extremely painful situation. Pray, journal, talk to safe people… do whatever you have to do to help you face this ugly truth & to heal. It will help you in the long run to face this awful situation. You can do this!
I’ve been working on a book for a while now about toxic/narcissistic in-laws. I’m struggling to write it for a few reasons. I’ve been really distracted by things going on in my life since I started this book 2 years ago. I also felt that I needed to put it on the back burner to write other books. The topic is such a hard one for me to write about too, because I honestly have been through hell because of some of my husband’s family, & I’m still healing. And, in spite of taking frequent breaks, I’m pretty burned out on all things narcissism. These issues make this one tough book to write. That being said, I believe the topic is an important one so I will finish it. It just may take some time.
Since my book is delayed, here is a post to help identify whether or not your in-laws are toxic. I will write from the perspective of a daughter in-law with a toxic mother in-law, since that is the bulk of my experience as well as the bulk of the experiences of people I’ve spoken with. The information is good for toxic sisters in-law, fathers in-law, etc. though.
Does your mother in-law ignore you? The purpose of this behavior is to show you that you mean nothing to her.
Does she refuse to accept responsibility for treating you badly? Rather than say something like, “I shouldn’t have said that.. I’m sorry,” does she make excuses for her words or actions or deny them completely? This is a big red flag. Functional people accept responsibility for what they say & do.
Does your mother in-law have a different personality depending on whether or not you are alone with her or others are around? Another big red flag! Any abuser will behave differently to their victim depending on whether or not there are witnesses. They want to hide their abuse from other people.
Does she expect you to be blindly devoted to her family, even to the point of rejecting your own family & friends? Many toxic mothers in-law remind me of the Borg from the tv show “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” They expect their son’s or daughter’s new spouse to become completely enmeshed in their new in-law family.
Like the Borg, toxic mothers in-law expect their new sons or daughters in-law to adapt to their opinions, religion, way of life, etc. Individuality is highly discouraged by toxic mothers in-law. I once told my late mother in-law I hate to cook. I do it, but hate it. For Christmas a few months later, she & her 2 daughters gave me nothing but cookbooks, utensils, food & other cooking paraphernalia.
Toxic in-laws show no respect. Toxic in-laws show no respect for personal space, choices, likes/dislikes, parenting, & even boundaries.
And speaking of a lack of respect, your mother in-law makes it clear to you that she doesn’t like you. Unless you abuse your mother in-law’s adult child or your children, if your mother in-law had any respect whatsoever for her child, she would be civil to you no matter how much she disliked you. The inability to be civil even only for the sake of her adult child proves she is toxic.
Is she manipulative & controlling? Toxic people, in particular narcissists, must be in charge. Chances are, your mother in-law controls her spouse & children. Since you married one of her children, she expects you to be as control-able & easily manipulated as everyone else. When you say no, she is NOT happy.
If your toxic mother in-law is nice to you, it’s short lived & in front of others only. Very few people are cruel 100% of the time. Toxic people bring out their nice side when it can be advantageous to them. Being nice sometimes will make their victim want to see it more, so they work harder to please the toxic person. Also, being nice to a victim in front of others helps the toxic person prove to others that if you complain about the relationship, you are obviously the problem.
Mothers in-law like this care nothing of their adult child beyond what he can do for her. They clearly have no respect for him either, since they treat the person he chose to spend his life with so badly. His marriage is nothing more to this kind of mother than an embarrassment, & she would like it simply to go away. Since she can’t file for divorce on his behalf, she becomes extremely destructive to the adult child’s marriage with her abusive ways.
Your spouse no doubt suffers greatly from his mother’s abusive behavior, yet tolerates it anyway. This is because he is accustomed to how his mother behaves. This is his norm & many adults in this situation have accepted this as their permanent reality. By complaining about his mother’s behavior or even confronting her, this threatens his norm. Facing the truth can be incredibly painful for many in this position, which is why many refuse to face the truth. This feeling is known as cognitive dissonance. Rather than face this miserable feeling, many people in this situation will do their best to shut down their spouse. They don’t want to hear about the bad things their mother is doing, so they will tell their wife they don’t believe her, she is over sensitive, she just doesn’t understand Mom, that’s her problem so she needs to leave him out of it & more. They refuse to confront their mother on behalf of their wife.
Naturally, the wife in this position feels rejected, unloved & hurt. She wants to fight for her marriage, but it seems whatever she does is wrong, & whatever his mother does is right. Her trying to save her marriage only causes more problems. The reason for this is she doesn’t know that when you’re dealing with a narcissist, normal ways to cope don’t work.
For anyone in this position, you need to think of this situation more like a game of strategy than a relationship.
As always pray. Ask God to help you to know what to do & to give you whatever you need to enable you to do it. Pray for your husband to see the truth & for God to enable him to be able to cope with it, too.
Cope with your emotions as best you can by journaling, talking to a safe friend, pray.. whatever works for you. Whatever you do, don’t hold in your emotions!
Don’t focus on your mother in-law’s bad behavior when it can be avoided. Instead, focus on being the loving wife that you are. Don’t neglect to remind your husband how much you love him. If he complains about his mother to you for any reason, don’t join in. Listen quietly to him & give him objective advice if he asks for it. The reason being, the mindset of many people in this situation is they can complain about Mom, but if anyone else does, they jump to her defense. This would only cause more problems in your marriage.
Along those lines, if you discuss his mother’s behavior with him, stay calm. State your issues in a matter of fact way, lacking emotion. If you rant & rave, that too will make him feel he must defend his mother, which only will hurt you & possibly your marriage.
Limit your exposure to your mother in-law as much as possible, but especially alone. No narcissist wants to abuse their victim in front of the person they want to think well of them, so stay glued to your husband’s side as much as possible.
Keep your emotions in check around your mother in-law. Narcissists love to twist a victim’s normal reaction around to prove how mentally unstable or even abusive the victim is to other people. In her presence, stay calm. Vent later when you’re away from her as needed though, so you don’t hold in all the bad emotions.
Having to deal with toxic, narcissistic in-laws is tough. I know, I’ve been there. But, with prayer, love, patience & wisdom, you can survive it with your marriage in tact.
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I am a firm believer in understanding dreams. They can teach us things about ourselves. They can show us areas in which we need more healing. They can help us to process things that are incredibly difficult to process. They also can bring us comfort when we need it most.
Tomorrow, it will be 4 years since I survived Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. It was the most traumatic episode of my life, which considering my life, is really saying something. As a result of that plus the brain damage, I no longer have control over intrusive thoughts, so each year as February 27 approaches, I think a LOT about the day I nearly died. It has improved some, thank God, because the first year anniversary was the most difficult.
For weeks, I couldn’t stop thinking about what happened, & how close I came to death. I was shaken up badly & nothing seemed to comfort me.. until a dream I had on the night of February 26th, 2016. In it, I was at a local library where I worked as a teen. They were closing, so I walked out the door & lo & behold, there was my granddad! I asked what he was doing here. He smiled & said, “I came to show you my new car.” His new car was a pretty burgundy Jeep Rubicon. I said it was nice & he told me to get in, because we were going for a ride. We went four wheeling! We rode over boulders & into deep valleys. It was so much fun! When I later woke from the dream, my mood was drastically improved.
(As a side note, I don’t believe the dead technically visit us in our dreams. I do, however, believe they still care about their loved ones they left behind, & sometimes ask God to tell us something which could mean they show up in our dreams. Or maybe my dream was God knowing I needed something to comfort me, so he gave me a dream of my favorite person. I’m not sure which it was, but in any case, it was great!)
I have had so many other interesting dreams that have proven to be very helpful. For example, for years I had a similar dream about having to repeat high school, & relying on my mother to take me to school, but she got me there late or would yell at me about how she was doing me a big favor (just like how things were when I actually was in high school). The more I began to heal from her abuse though, the less frequent the dreams became. They also started to change, such as I realized I had my own car & didn’t need to rely on her or I remembered I’ve been through high school & had no need to repeat it. Eventually after going no contact with her, the dreams stopped. Those dreams helped me to gauge my healing.
The reason I’m telling you about these dreams is to show you the value that can be had in dreams. I know a lot of people think they have no purpose, but they really do! Acts 2:17 says, “‘And it shall be in the last days,’ says God, ‘That I will pour out My Spirit upon all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see [divinely prompted] visions, And your old men shall dream [divinely prompted] dreams;” (AMP) I believe this is happening now. Everyone needs to pay attention to their dreams!
The brain constantly processes information, good, bad or indifferent. It continues to do so even when we sleep, which can be what our dreams are. As I mentioned, they have helped me to gauge my healing, which was incredibly helpful. There are other times when I don’t remember many of my dreams, & I firmly believe that is the brain processing things that simply aren’t important enough to remember.
When I don’t know what a dream meant, I pray, asking God to show me what that meant. I also check out a good dream dictionary site I like, www.dreammoods.com. I look up everything I can think of in the dream, such as objects, people, colors, emotions. I write things down & then look at the information I gathered as a whole. Usually then, I understand what the dream was about. I believe God gives me that clarity when I need it. If I don’t understand it, I figure it is simply my brain processing things & I don’t need to know what it’s about.
Dear Reader, I want to encourage you to start paying attention to your dreams. They really can offer you insight, understanding & even comfort.
Recently, hubby & I have been looking into changing our car & homeowner’s insurance company to a place where we can get a fairer rate. We found it, I’m very happy to say! It also got me thinking of something I haven’t shared in a while…
Some of you know, my beautiful ’69 Fury once belonged to my wonderful granddad. He gave the car to my father in 1976 when his car was stolen. In 1979, the transmission & rear end were going out, & he didn’t want the expense of replacing them both. My father sold the car to a local junkyard instead. I was only 8, & still remember the day this happened. My mother followed him in her car to the junkyard. He talked with the guy there briefly, & gave him the keys. Then he got into my mother’s car & we drove off to pick up his next car from the dealer. I remember staring out the window, watching the Fury get smaller & smaller in the distance. I’ve always loved cars, & for some reason, that one in particular, so it made me sad. My father even gave me a spare set of keys that I kept for years.. possibly they’re still in my parents’ house, I don’t know.
Anyway in 2005, my husband & I went to a local flea market. After parking, as we crossed the parking area, we saw this gorgeous green 1969 Fury! I was excited & told him it looked just like my father’s & granddad’s! My husband said, “Why don’t you leave a note on the car? Maybe the owner wants to sell.” On a whim, I did. A couple of days later, the owner called me & said he was considering selling the car for about 2 weeks. He sold me this beautiful car.
Shortly after, my father came by my house. He looked at the car & said, “This is my car! I remember this bit of silicone on the windshield trim.. I never could get rid of that. There’s that dent in the back bumper where a guy on a motorcycle rear ended me!” I thought that is impossible. His car had to be crushed years ago. Still, it’s very interesting…the same exact dent in the bumper? Silicone on the chrome in the same place? And, come to think of it, the keys the seller gave me said “Taylor” on them like my father’s keys did. They weren’t the original Plymouth keys, but copies. It got him & I both thinking.
After going home, my father called me. He found the maintenance records he had for his cars. Although he got rid of the ones for his Fury, he still had the VIN that he wrote down when he had the car during the latter part of the 1970’s. I compared it to the VIN on my car. It was an exact match!!! I was the proud owner not of a twin to my father & granddad’s car as I expected, but their exact car! Check this out.. the above VIN is what my father wrote down in the 1970’s. The bottom is the VIN off my car that I wrote down…
I know a lot of people who read my work probably aren’t car buffs like I am. But, I do believe many of you can appreciate this story anyway. This amazing car is such a wonderful display of God’s kindness & love! Getting this beautiful car is not something I ever expected to happen. It never even crossed my mind. It crossed God’s though. He was working on this back in 1979 apparently. The guy at the junkyard easily could have simply crushed the car, but he didn’t. He repaired the transmission & rear end. In fact, in 1990 I remember seeing the car at a traffic light, & wondering if that was the same car I had known. Apparently one former owner also had engine work done, so the engine is in fantastic shape. The car was also painted & the interior reupholstered. I not only got the same car, I got the same car in great condition!
If God could orchestrate all of this just to get this car to me & in such great shape, I think that is proof of how incredible He is! I mean, this plan was in place for 26 years, & all just because I always loved this car. Isn’t that mind blowing?! And, the Bible says in Acts 10:34 that God doesn’t show partiality, so this means if He can do something so amazing for me, He can do something amazing for you, too. xoxo
Many people I talk to mention that they want to start a blog about their experiences & what they have learned about narcissism. Today, I thought I’d write a post for those of you in that position.
Before you get started, you need to think long & hard about this. Writing a blog isn’t hard, but there are things that need to be considered.
As always, I really recommend prayer as the place to start. Ask God to show you if you should or shouldn’t do this. If you believe He wants you to, ask Him guide you on this, to help you to write about whatever He wants you to write about, to reach those He wants you to reach, he courage to do this & anything else you can think of.
Where do things stand with your narcissistic parents? How would you deal with it if they found out about your blog? That could be a very ugly situation since narcissists want their abuse to stay hidden. Are you prepared for whatever might happen if they found out what you write about?
Do you feel strong enough to send your words out into the world? Although writing a blog is pretty much like writing in your private diary, unlike your diary, anyone can read it. Some people may think you’re making things up & invalidate you because of that. There are also “grammar nazis” out there who nitpick posts over silly little things like saying “it’s” over “its”. They can be really irritating since they miss the point of the post just to correct a simple typo. While this isn’t necessarily a big deal, early on in healing, it can really hurt simply because you’re pretty emotionally raw & sensitive.
How often do you think you’ll be able to write posts? I have settled on every other day. It’s often enough to keep my writing in people’s minds, yet not overloading them (or pressuring me!) with my work. Other bloggers write daily posts, yet others write only a couple of times a month. You need to decide on what kind of schedule will work for you.
Have you looked into slander & libel laws in your state? They vary from state to state, so you need to be aware of them in your particular state. They are why when I write, I never mention names & only use general terms. I will mention my parents or my ex husband, not my parents’ or ex’s names or where they live. Giving the people you’re writing about anonymity is a good move, because it shows you aren’t trying to ruin anyone’s reputation. You also can use fake names or change the relationship.
What about a pen name? Is that something you feel strongly about? Then use it! Get creative though. If your name is Mary Smith, don’t use Mary Smythe as a pen name. Use something very different from your real name to protect your identity. Don’t use a family name either since again, it wouldn’t protect your identity well. If you don’t use a pen name, be prepared. Your narcissistic parents & their flying monkeys most likely will read your work at some point. If they’re anything like mine, they’re too nosy not to read it, then try to hurt you with what they read.
Now that you’ve decided you definitely want to write this blog, you need to look into various blogging websites & decided which one to go with. Compare features & see what sounds good to you.
Obviously, I like WordPress. It has a lot of really cool features. I love that I can schedule posts, I don’t have to write & publish posts immediately. In fact, I have almost 6 months of posts scheduled so that way anytime I need a break, I can take it without worrying about my blog falling behind. WordPress also has a sharing feature that I adore. You can connect your social media accounts to your WordPress account, & every time a blog posts publishes, it automatically puts a link on your Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. pages.
Lastly, you may have a fear like I did when I first started blogging of running out of things to write about. I can assure you, so long as there are narcissists, you’ll have plenty of material to write about! lol
I wish you the absolute best on your new endeavor! xoxo
Did you know that it is acceptable to ask God for justice and expect Him to provide it? It is. It is actually in the Bible…
- Job 11:20“But the eyes of the wicked will fail, And they will not escape [the justice of God]; And their hope is to breathe their last [and die].” (AMP)
- Job 36:6“He does not prolong the life of the wicked, But gives the afflicted their justice.” (AMP)
- Psalm 11:7“For the Lord is [absolutely] righteous, He loves righteousness (virtue, morality, justice); The upright shall see His face.” (AMP)
- Psalm 37:28“For the Lord delights in justice And does not abandon His saints (faithful ones); They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked will [in time] be cut off.” (AMP)
- Psalm 70:2“Let those be ashamed and humiliated Who seek my life; Let them be turned back and humiliated Who delight in my hurt.” (AMP)
- Isaiah 1:17“Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.”
- Amos 5:24“But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream”
- Luke 18:7-8“7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (NIV)
In Psalm 7, King David very eloquently asked God to protect him from his enemies as well as to get justice for him:
“1 O Lord my God, in You I take refuge;
Save me and rescue me from all those who pursue me,
2 So that my enemy will not tear me like a lion, Dragging me away while there is no one to rescue [me].
3 O Lord my God, if I have done this, If there is injustice in my hands,
4 If I have done evil to him who was at peace with me,
Or without cause robbed him who was my enemy,
5 Let the enemy pursue me and overtake me;
And let him trample my life to the ground
And lay my honor in the dust. Selah.
6 Arise, O Lord, in Your anger;
Lift up Yourself against the rage of my enemies;
Rise up for me; You have commanded judgment and vindication.
7 Let the assembly of the nations be gathered around You,
And return on high over them.
8 The Lord judges the peoples;
Judge me, O Lord, and grant me justice according to my righteousness and according to the integrity within me.
9 Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous [those in right standing with You];
For the righteous God tries the hearts and minds.
10 My shield and my defense depend on God,
Who saves the upright in heart.
11 God is a righteous judge,
And a God who is indignant every day.
12 If a man does not repent, God will sharpen His sword;
He has strung and bent His [mighty] bow and made it ready.
13 He has also prepared [other] deadly weapons for Himself;
He makes His arrows fiery shafts [aimed at the unrepentant].
14 Behold, the [wicked and irreverent] man is pregnant with sin,
And he conceives mischief and gives birth to lies.
15 He has dug a pit and hollowed it out,
And has fallen into the [very] pit which he made [as a trap].
16 His mischief will return on his own head,
And his violence will come down on the top of his head [like loose dirt].
17 I will give thanks to the Lord according to His righteousness and justice,
And I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.” (AMP)
(Notice how David asks for justice, not revenge. There is a big difference between the two. Justice is a correct punishment for a wrong done to a person. Revenge is inflicting suffering on someone.)
I am not saying you have to ask God for justice, that it will make people suddenly behave properly or you will no longer hurt by anything they have done. However, if you want to, there is nothing wrong with asking God for justice in your situation if you feel so inclined. Maybe it would help you somehow to do it, and if it would, then it is absolutely worth doing. Besides, maybe when God sends them His justice, they will learn that their behavior was wrong, and not behave that way any longer. It is certainly possible. All things are possible with God!
When my father was dying & I was abused daily by the flying monkeys, I did not ask for justice at first. It took me a couple of months before I prayed for justice. I also asked that when His justice happened to these people that they would learn never, ever to treat anyone else the way they treated me. I also only prayed this prayer a couple of times. It certainly is not a part of my daily prayers. It did help me to feel a bit better to pray for justice those two times, though. I am not a vengeful person at all. I am however, very tired of people getting away with hurting innocent people without consequences. It is not right, and people need to know that they cannot simply treat anyone however badly they feel like without consequences. Since talking to these people would do no good, I believe that praying for justice for what they did to me is the next best thing. God can get through to them like no mere mortal can!
Narcissists abuse their victims in many ways – emotionally, mentally, financially, physically & sexually. Some also abuse their victims spiritually.
Spiritual abusers aren’t only those who are preachers, deacons or others who are active in their church. Anyone can be a spiritual abuser. When my mother’s abuse peaked when I was in my late teens, she became very spiritually abusive. She frequently told me that I was going to hell for the terrible way I treated her. She never was active in a church or taught me anything about God. In fact, she always said she hated Christians.
If you’re wondering if the narcissist in your life is abusing you spiritually, there are some signs to look for.
- Twisting Scripture around or eliminating parts of it to suit their agenda is a big red flag. A narcissistic parent who tells their child the commandment says to honor your parents, yet never considers where the Bible says parents shouldn’t exasperate their children is guilty of this behavior, as is the narcissistic husband who says wives should submit to their husbands while conveniently forgetting the rest of the verse says husband should also submit to their wives.
- Narcissists also may lie to the victim, saying they are doing God’s will by abusing the victim. This can do a tremendous amount of damage to a victim. It can turn someone against God, or destroy their faith in Him. I did not believe in God as a child, since I had no real teaching about Him, but my mother using Him as a weapon to hurt me made sure I didn’t want to know anything about Him either.
- Someone who reminds victims of the imperfection of human nature as an excuse to abuse is being spiritually abusive.
- Claiming a victim shouldn’t get angry because it’s not Godly is spiritually abusive.
- Anyone who tells a victim to “forgive & forget” the abuse, to stay with an abuser no matter what or gets angry when a victim gives an abuser consequences is being spiritually abusive.
- Some narcissists are quite active in their church, making themselves very valuable to the church with their service. They will recruit enablers who are also in the church, so when their victim speaks out, they shun the victim. The logic is something like, “He couldn’t be like she says! Look at all of the good things he does for our church!”
- They also may tell people that the “good” people at church are disappointed in the victim for behaving so badly, whether or not this is true. This can leave a victim feeling unable to reach out for support.
Coping with spiritual abuse isn’t easy, but it can be done.
- Do you know Jesus as your personal savior? If not, I really suggest you turn to Him now because you truly need help! There is information available on my website at this link: Salvation Through Jesus Christ.
- Learn what the Bible has to say. Use an easy to understand translation like the Good News or New King James version. The more you learn & the closer you draw to God, the more truth you will see & the more you will see the narcissist has been lying to you.
- Question things the narcissist says to you. Not necessarily out loud, but to yourself at least. “How does this coincide with the Bible?” “Is there Scripture that backs up what he/she is saying?”
- Pray. Pray often & pray a lot. Ask God to show you the truth & to give you clarity. While God is holy, He is also a very loving & gentle Father. He will guide, teach & even correct you while never making you feel badly about yourself.
- Do you have good Christian friends? If not, it’s time to find some! If you know someone who has been a Christian for a while, & is actively trying to be a good example of their faith, this person can help you to keep focused on the truth. If the narcissist prevents you from having friends (as so many do), see what you can find online. There are many online forums & groups. You can find friends there that the narcissist doesn’t know about.
- Never forget that your Heavenly Father loves you a great deal. He does NOT want you suffering & miserable. He does NOT condone abuse nor does He want victims to suffer in silence. Speak out & protect yourself.
It seems like when someone is suffering in some way, the majority of people have no clue on what to say. Rather than saying nothing or admitting they don’t know what to say, most people make insensitive, hurtful or even invalidating comments….
- “You should be glad your grandmother died.. she’s not suffering anymore.”
- “I know you’re sick. I had that same problem & it was horrible. I ended up in the hospital & in more pain than I thought was possible!”
- “The reason you have this problem is you just don’t have enough faith!”
- “You should be grateful it’s not worse! Other people have it much worse than you do!”
Comments like these are invalidating & hurtful. They also make the person with the problem feel as if they are whining about some petty little problem instead of the crisis they are facing. These are the last things a person needs to feel but especially at this time!
If someone you know is having a problem, then please, PLEASE seriously think about what you say to that person. You don’t want to make them feel worse than they already do. Also, a good idea is to ask God to give you the right words to say. He will be glad to do so. Luke 12:12 says, “The Holy Spirit will give you the words to say at the moment when you need them.” (VOICE)
Don’t forget too that people are individuals. Even if you have experienced the exact same problem as your friend, you both will handle it differently because you’re individuals. Just because your friend feels differently than you did or is handling the situation in a different way than you did doesn’t mean that friend is wrong.
Remember, the situation is about your friend, not you. Even if you experienced the exact same problem, keep the main focus on your friend, not you or what you did. It’s fine to share that information if your friend asks, but the main focus should be on your friend.
This brings me to another point. Don’t offer advice unless asked for it. A lot of times, people just want to vent or talk about their problem to help them get some clarity. They aren’t looking for you to solve it. They’re looking for you to listen & offer empathy.
Don’t go too far with positivity. Sometimes being too positive comes across as invalidating. When I survived carbon monoxide poisoning in 2015, I nearly died. It was tough to come to terms with. Upon telling one person that I came very close to death, that person said, “But you didn’t die!” That comment came across as something was wrong with me for being upset instead of only being grateful I survived. “I’m so glad you didn’t die!” would’ve been a much better response. That response would have shown the person accepted that the situation was bad & they care about me rather than basically shaming me for being upset as any normal person would’ve been. Being positive can be a good thing but sometimes it’s also ok to admit something is very wrong, & to respond accordingly.
There are also some situations where you simply have no clue what to say. When a person loses someone they love, for example, there is nothing in this world you can say to make their pain go away. Rather than try, simply be honest. Admit that you don’t know what to say, but you’re there for them if they need anything. When my father was dying, a couple we’re friends with stopped by our home one day. Neither had said anything so I wasn’t sure if they knew about my father or not. I mentioned it along with the abuse I received from the flying monkeys at the time during our conversation. They said, “We saw you mentioned it on Facebook, but honestly, we had no clue what to say. We’re sorry all this is happening.” That may have been the best thing anyone said to me at that time. They were honest, non-judgmental & not critical at all, which was just what I needed.
Lastly, don’t forget to offer to pray with & for your friend. I’ve noticed even people who don’t share my faith appreciate the offer a great deal. Prayer seems to offer comfort to most people, no matter their religious beliefs. However, if the person in question is angry with God or adamant in believing He doesn’t exist, this is not a good thing to say. Nothing says you can’t pray for that person when not in their presence though…
Dear Reader, please keep these things in mind when someone you know is suffering. These simple tips will help your friend & maybe even strengthen your relationship.
Have you ever noticed sometimes that the more your relationship with God improves, the more bad things seem to come your way? Suddenly it seems like everything is going wrong, & the things that are going wrong are big challenges. If only they were simple ones like having a flat tire.
This is because the closer you get to God, the more the devil hates you & wants to steal your peace & joy.
I have seen this in my own life recently. A couple of weeks ago, I spent a good part of my day in tears & praying about a big problem happening in my life. That afternoon, one of my wonderful, Godly friends texted me. She reminded me that with God, all things are possible & that He loves me. The amazing part of this is that I didn’t tell her anything that was happening until after she sent me the text & I explained why this meant so much to me that she did that. This incident caused my faith in God to grow by leaps & bounds. Since then, I’ve been experiencing more nightmares & flashbacks than usual which causes my health to be worse, my husband & I have been getting along worse & even my cats have been fussing with each other a lot which is highly unusual for them.
If things are suddenly going badly in your life, this may be why. Did you have some sort of spiritual breakthrough recently? Are you feeling closer to God than usual due to an answered prayer or display of His favor & love? That may be why things suddenly took a turn for the worse in your life.
During these trying times, I’ve learned that as hard as they are, there can still be peace. On the outside, nothing has really changed in my life at all. Things are still challenging. However, I know beyond any doubt that God is still in control. He still loves me, He still has my back. Even during the bad times, He is still with me.
That goes for you too, Dear Reader. Even when it doesn’t feel like it, & it seems like God is a million miles away, He’s still with you & taking care of you. And, the only reason things are going badly at the moment is the devil is mad that you’re closer to God. He’s trying to destroy your faith, to make you think things like, “If this is what happens when I get close to God, I’m done believing in Him!” Don’t give him what he wants! Stick even closer to God! It makes a big difference! Maybe not in your circumstances immediately, but you’ll be better able to handle the bad things, you’ll have more peace & less anxiety & depression. One thing that helps me too, is to remember Psalm 23:4
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (NKJV)
I have found these Scriptures to be comforting & helpful as well…
Psalm 33:8 “Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.” (NKJV)
Psalm 33:18 “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, ” (NKJV)
Proverbs 8:13 “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.” (NKJV)
Remember, you are NOT alone, Dear Reader! God is in your corner with you, no matter what. xoxo
My ebook publisher is offering a sale that I am participating in. From December 25, 2018 – January 1, 2019, my ebooks on Smashwords.com are going to be 25% off.
Check it out at: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CynthiaBaileyRug
Recently I wrote this post about the time my mother tried to kill me, & the tough time I’m having regarding this incident. I wondered something. Why now? Why this year? Every other November 28 since 1990 when it happened hasn’t been this hard. Difficult sometimes, sure but not like this. So what is going on?!
A thought crossed my mind that answered that question.
A couple of weeks ago, my husband & I went to dinner at this little local bar/restaurant we like. As we ate, someone started playing the juke box. The song “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line” by the Kentucky Headhunters came on. It immediately made me think of a story I told in this post last year. The abridged version is this…
The day of my father’s funeral, I asked my Amazon Echo Dot to play music by Wham! since I wanted something light & fun, but instead it mysteriously played Waylon Jennings’ song, “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line”. I just knew in my heart that God & my father wanted me to know that song is kinda how my father felt – trapped & unable to protect me from my mother. I thought about my father’s notes I’d found documenting some of the abuse my mother inflicted on me & terrible things she said about me as I listened to the song. I read them that day & it was pretty overwhelming to say the least.
Anyway… when the song played at the restaurant, immediately I felt transported back to that experience. It triggered a ton of intrusive memories of abuse & naturally a big C-PTSD flare up.
Later, I prayed about it all & asked God what was that about?! He clearly spoke to my heart & said, “This was a gift from your father. He knows you have a lot of anger inside, & rightfully so. He wants you to face it & heal. He knows you’re strong enough to do that. I agree.”
Since then, I’ve been getting very angry about things as they come to mind, & my mother’s attack on me is no exception. I never realized before that I hadn’t been overly angry about it. Why? Because I felt I had to be more concerned with how others were affected.
My father complained about my mother locking him out of the house when he left the night she attacked me. His keys were in his pocket! He could’ve let himself back in at any time!!! But that was what was wrong with the situation, not my mother trying to kill me. Years later, my father complained to me about having to fix the wall my mother threw me into. He expected me to apologize. That did NOT happen & I told him it never would. Not my fault she broke the wall with my back.
When it happened, my ex husband was upset about it, but not because I’d been hurt. It was more because it upset him that she did this, rather than her actions causing me harm, if that makes sense.
Both my father & my ex wanted me to comfort them. As a result, I did (I was only 19 & knew nothing of NPD obviously), & ignored my own anger. That anger is now at the surface after 28 years & it’s time to face it.
I’m seeing more & more how valuable anger can be. Yes, we should forgive, not be full of anger or try to get revenge on people, but at the same time, anger has its place! It is an excellent motivator for change. It is also a big part of the healing process, & should NEVER be ignored! The only way to heal from anger that I know of is to get angry. Feel it. Yell, cry, write hateful letters you never send, or whatever works for you, but feel that anger & get it out of you. Then you can release it fully.
Forgiving too easily or early is an issue, like it was with me. Once I became a Christian in 1996, I heard a lot about forgiveness. I thought I forgave my mother for her attack, but what I really did was just ignore the anger that I felt. I think many victims of narcissistic abuse do the same thing.
I believe one of the best things you can do for yourself when trying to heal from narcissistic abuse is to decide early on that you will forgive your abuser, then face your anger head on. It’s miserable to do, I know, & scary when you’ve never really felt anger before, but you have to do it. Remember that anger is from God like all of our emotions, so that alone proves it is valuable. Feeling it helps you to cope with injustices done to you & motivates you to make appropriate changes. It also helps your self esteem when you get angry about what was done to you because it’s like it shows you that you are valuable! You deserve to be treated right!
Matthew 5:37 “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’ [a firm yes or no]; anything more than that comes from the evil one.” (AMP)
One common sign that you grew up with a narcissistic parent is the need to over explain everything about yourself. For example, if someone asks you to go with them & you don’t want to, you feel you must give them a very valid reason why you can’t rather than say “I don’t want to go there” or even simply “No.”
Maybe this is because our narcissistic parents made us so afraid of upsetting them, we learned early always to have a reason that they could accept. Anything beat facing that scary narcissistic rage!
In any case, there is rarely a valid need to explain yourself, & definitely no need to over-explain yourself anymore. Even the Bible says in Matthew 5:37 to keep it simple. It doesn’t say you should go into great detail. In fact, it says anything more comes from the “evil one.”
I don’t believe that this Scripture means you are evil if you over explain yourself. I think it tells us that if you feel the need to do so, that someone evil or at least influenced by evil is putting that need in you. If you think about it, mentally healthy people may ask for an explanation, but they don’t need a lot of details & they accept it even if they disagree with it. Narcissists, however, require much more. Let me provide an example..
Years ago, my late covertly narcissistic mother in-law asked me if I could do something for her in a few days. I said no because I had an appointment that day. (Granted, I could’ve moved things around & helped, but frankly, I didn’t want to- she was awful to me every single time we were alone.) At this point, a mentally healthy person would’ve said, “Oh ok..” & figured out someone else to ask for help. Not my mother in-law. She obviously was upset I wouldn’t help her & wanted to know what I had to do that was more important to me than help her. She asked what I had to do & I ignored her question. She said, “Are you doing something for your parents?” I said, “No.” She said, “Well, it must be awful important if you can’t help me…” (nice attempt at guilt, no? lol It didn’t work.) I forget the other things she said, but until my husband & I left her home about 20 minutes later, she continually tried to get me to tell her why I wasn’t able to help her rather than simply accept the fact I had something else to do. (On a funny note: Refusing to give her the information she wanted infuriated her. But, she couldn’t admit that without looking bad in front of my husband & father in-law who were in the room with us. It was hilarious to me, watching her get more & more frustrated & unable to do anything about it as I stayed calm. Not sure how I didn’t laugh in her presence, but I held myself together until we were in the car & away from her home.)
This is typical narcissistic behavior- they feel they have the right to know every tiny detail about you when the truth is, they don’t have that right. My no should have sufficed. She truly didn’t care about me or what was going on in my life. She only wanted to know what I was doing that day so she could use the information to criticize me for not helping her (“You think that is more important than me?! That’s so mean!! What’s wrong with you?”) or blab to her whole family my personal information. Is that behavior not evil?
I think it is a good idea to use the reaction of a person to your “yes” & “no” as a gauge to see how safe a person is. Safe people may sometimes ask you why you said what you did, but are satisfied with a simple explanation such as, “I have an appointment at that time & can’t make it.” Unsafe people will respond as my mother in-law did- refusing to simply accept your answer, & doing their best to get you to explain in great detail why you responded to them as you did.
Some covert narcissists are what I think of as the consummate victim. They are the ones who are always wronged, always the victim, & never at fault for anything. Some examples of their behavior are as follows.
The narcissist says something cruel. You get angry, & rightfully so. She claims she never meant to hurt your feelings. She was just trying to help & had no idea what she said would upset you. She then stops speaking to you for weeks, even if you apologized.
The narcissist tries to manipulate you into doing something you don’t want to do. Naturally, you refuse to do it. She claims you don’t love her. How could you refuse to do this one little thing for her, especially after all she’s done for you?!
The narcissist is your elderly parent who expects you to come at their beck & call. You tell your parent you only are available one day a week to do what she needs. She tells your family how you refused to help her, & they attack you for being a bad daughter, ungrateful, a spoiled brat & more.
Narcissists who claim life is so unfair to them or that they are mistreated when people confront them on their abusive behavior are also consummate victims. There are also those who blame their victims for their abusive behavior. They are also consummate victims, as are those who complain about their problems, yet refuse to do something to change the situation.
Dealing with these people is incredibly frustrating, I know. My late father & late mother in-law were both covert narcissists & consummate victims. I repeatedly asked my father not to call after 9 at night. When I refused to take his call when he called at 10 one evening, he called my in-laws & a cousin who lives almost 500 miles away. He told both he was so concerned about me for not answering the phone, & asked them to have me call him immediately. Another time, I was angry with my mother in-law because she had snooped through my purse yet again. She asked my husband why I was angry, & he told her. I overheard the conversation. She claimed not to know what she did would be upsetting to me.
Both situations were similar. As a result of my father’s & mother in-law’s actions, my husband & I got into an argument about his mother & my cousin & I argued about my father. Being the typical consummate victims, their obnoxious behavior caused problems for the real victim while making themselves look good.
There are some things that you can do that can help you if you must deal with this behavior in covert narcissists.
Always rely on God to help you in this situation. He will be glad to help you discern the truth & strengthen you to do whatever you need to do!
Remember the type of person that you’re dealing with. No matter what you do, this person will twist the situation around to make you look bad & them look like the innocent victim of your cruelty. Expect nothing else because this person has no desire to behave any other way.
Also remember that there is nothing wrong with you setting boundaries or confronting this person on their abusive behavior. Both of those are good things to do. They are healthy & show you have self respect.
Consummate victims are very skilled at recruiting flying monkeys. When you set those boundaries or confront the narcissist about her behavior, no matter how gently & reasonably you do so, it’s a safe bet someone will tell you how cruel, unreasonable, wrong, etc. you are. When this happens, ignore whatever these flying monkeys have to say. They don’t know the truth, only what the narcissist has told them. Also, it’s best to refuse to discuss the narcissist with them.
Lastly, it’s also important to remember that consummate victims may project their status on their real victims. It can be easy to believe their lies since narcissists are talented actors who give very convincing performances. To avoid believing their lies, remember that you are NOT a consummate victim if you are angry about being abused, setting healthy boundaries or refusing to be manipulated.
If you are faced with a covert narcissist who portrays herself as a consummate victim, you can cope. You have the knowledge & strength to handle this ugly situation.
One thing that every adult victim of narcissistic parents I have spoken with has struggled with is forgiving their parents.
So many people, particularly Christians, think that these victims need to forgive & forget. They often quote Ephesians 4:26 which says, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:” When victims struggle with forgiving & forgetting, they are shamed & even shunned by the very people who should support them, creating even more pain, guilt & shame in the victim.
I want to give you a new perspective on forgiveness that I think can help you today.
If you look at the definition of forgive, nowhere does it say you don’t feel anger. According to Merriam-Webster.com, to forgive means:
1 : to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) : PARDON; forgive one’s enemies
2a : to give up resentment of or claim to requital for; forgive an insult
b : to grant relief from payment of; forgive a debt
It’s possible to forgive someone while still feeling anger for them. What I mean is when you forgive someone, you decide that they don’t owe you an apology or repentance. You won’t try to collect that “debt” from them. You have released that person from paying you the debt that they owe you. This is what I try to do any time someone mistreats me- give up expectations of an apology immediately. That way, I have forgiven that person, as God wants me to do. Yet, even forgiving quickly doesn’t mean I may not still feel some anger for that person for a while. See what I mean? You can forgive while still feeling anger.
I also firmly believe that releasing the anger you feel can be a process. If the waitress makes a mistake on your order or a clerk is rude, those minor incidents are easy to forgive. Big issues though, it takes time to work through the anger. Processing anger from years of abuse takes a lot of time & work, especially if you learned early in life to ignore your anger which is the case with most children of narcissistic parents.
There is also the fact many people think to forgive your abusive parents is a one time thing. You just forgive everything in one fell swoop & *poof* you’re not angry & you never will be angry again with them. As anyone who has tried to forgive their narcissistic parents knows, that isn’t how it works. You have to work through many different traumas individually, not lump them all together as one big trauma.
I honestly can say I have forgiven my narcissistic parents. However, there are still some times I feel anger at them.
When a repressed memory comes back to mind, I feel anger at my parents about the incident. When I have flashbacks, nightmares, the anxiety & depression get bad, I also feel anger. It’s their fault I have C-PTSD, after all. Plus, when I told my father about having it, he ignored me then changed the subject. Sometimes I also feel anger when others talk about what a great relationship they have with their parents. I wanted that with mine, but wasn’t able to have it, because their narcissism was more important to them than me.
Do you think this means I haven’t forgiven my parents? If so, I’d have to respectfully disagree. I have released my parents from any responsibility to apologize or make amends with me, which is the definition of forgiving.
Yes, there are times I still feel anger at them, as I admitted, & I think it’s very normal. I also work through the anger & release it quickly. That is the best I can do, & I know God honors that I am trying. That’s all He asks of us, to try our best.
If someone tells you you’re wrong for not forgiving your narcissistic parents, Dear Reader, please remember what I said in this post. If you don’t expect your parents to apologize or repay you for the trauma they inflicted on you, you already have forgiven them. The more you heal, the less anger you’ll feel towards them. It just takes some time.
One year ago, I shared this post about the miraculous & wonderful events that surrounded my father’s death. If you haven’t read it, please do.
I still am absolutely blown away by the events of that time. Talking about the goodness of God doesn’t begin to explain just how loving, good, kind & merciful He truly is, & those events proved it to me.
It’s been quite the emotional roller coaster since my father’s passing last year, & my faith has grown tremendously too.
While I don’t believe the dead actually come to us in dreams, I do believe because God knows how much certain people mean to them & they mean to us, He allows us to have dreams to convey messages from them. That being said, I’ve had a couple of dreams about my father since his passing, although he rarely actually makes an appearance in them. At first, I knew the dreams were to tell me that he was sorry for everything & loves me a great deal. I also knew he didn’t want to appear in my dreams often because of the things that happened in our relationship- he was afraid it’d upset me. Recently though he showed up in a dream & it was lovely- we were talking & laughing, & he was telling jokes. It was fun since we shared the same skewed since of humor. I believe that dream was to let me know that he appreciates all the prayers that not only I said for him, but my friends said as well, & now he’s enjoying Heaven because God answered those prayers.
I wanted to share these events with you to (hopefully!) encourage your faith & comfort you are losing someone you love. God truly can save everyone who wants to be saved. Never give up hope or give up praying for them, Dear Reader, even when it looks hopeless. It may happen at the very last minute like it did with my father, but it can still happen. Keep praying!!
Also, if you’ve lost a loved one, draw close to God. Allow Him to help you to get through & to comfort you. He truly will! I’ve even asked Him if it’s ok, please tell my deceased loved ones I miss them, are thinking of them or even happy birthday. I know as Christians, we aren’t supposed to try to contact the dead, so obviously I won’t seek out a medium or grab a Ouija board. But, I see nothing wrong with asking that sort of thing of God. Besides, if He didn’t want it to happen, He wouldn’t do it ^ would tell me it’s wrong! He also has told me little things that they wanted me to know, & of course there have been many dreams. Sometimes during the hardest times, I’ve dreamed about my grandfather, & the dream helped comfort me. On February 26, 2016, the night before the one year anniversary that I survived carbon monoxide poisoning, I had a dream of going four-wheeling with my grandfather. It was so fun & helped me feel much less depressed about that anniversary. God can bless you in the same way. He is no respecter of persons, so what He does for one, He can do for another.
I guess my thoughts are a bit scattered on this post, but I do hope they help & encourage you anyway. xoxo
As I’ve said many times, my heart goes out to those in the position of being unable or unwilling to go no contact with their narcissistic parents. You’re in a tough, tough place, & I understand since I’ve been there. I want to help you if I can, & that is what today’s post is about.
There are some small, easy ways you can set boundaries with your narcissistic parent while not eliminating them from your life entirely.
For starters, reduce the amount of time you spend with your narcissistic parent. Don’t visit or have your parent visit you as often. Stop taking their calls every time they call. Ask yourself if you feel up to dealing with your parent, & if not, don’t take that call or visit.
When you must visit or speak with your parent on the phone, set a time limit. Don’t allow your narcissistic parent to waste half your day when that is so hard on you! Set a limit, then say “I have to go” & go.
Also if you visit your narcissistic parent, have a way out. Plan something to do so you only have a limited time to spend with your parent. If you can’t think of something, say you just remembered something you have to take care of & go. It’s not a lie- you remembered you have to take care of yourself!
Remember to keep the conversation away from you. Your love life, in-laws, job, troubles & even your mental & physical health should be off the table for topics to discuss with your narcissistic parent. Giving any narcissist personal information is just asking for trouble such as criticism & unasked for, useless advice. Change the subject if your parent wants or demands to know something personal about you. If all else fails, ask your parent about something that matters to her. Chances are excellent she’ll drop the matter at the opportunity to talk about herself.
If you’re dependent even slightly on your narcissistic parent financially, find ways to put an end to it. Narcissists love controlling their adult children with money, so remove that tool if at all possible. If not, then at least find ways to reduce the amount.
If you have pets or kids, have strict boundaries in place. It is your job to protect them & that includes from abusive & narcissistic parents.
When it’s time to set boundaries with your parent, remain calm. Show no emotion, simply state the facts. Any signs you are upset will fuel your narcissistic parent’s behavior. Stay calm, state your boundary & the consequence of your parent not respecting the boundary, then enforce it if necessary.
If you’re friends on social media, unfollow your narcissistic parent. You will remain friends, but you won’t see her posts which can reduce stress.
If you must go somewhere with your narcissistic parent, drive separately. That way, you are free to leave at any time if need be. Also, cars are a great weapon for some narcissists. There is no escape- you have to put up with whatever they do when you’re in a car together. My mother loved having me trapped in her car, & used it to scream at me when I was a kid or belittle me as an adult.
Always remember the Gray Rock Method. Think about what gives your narcissistic parent narcissistic supply, & refuse to provide it. Basically, you need to be boring to her. Don’t admire her. Don’t praise her. Don’t get angry at her so she can portray herself as the victim. Don’t coddle her. Don’t share anything personal about yourself that she could use against you or as fuel to spread lies about you. Don’t empathize with her if someone has hurt her. Show no real interest in her problems. If she needs your assistance with something, do the bare minimum, don’t go above & beyond. Gray Rock can be hard at first because every tiny thing can provide narcissistic supply, but the more you do it, the easier it gets.
Lastly, pray & pray often. Ask God to help you cope with your narcissistic parent, to give you the right words to say, & to give you effective, creative ways to cope with her behavior. He will NOT disappoint you!
2 Thessalonians 3:10 “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” (KJV)
So many of us raised by narcissistic parents grew up believing it was our job to protect our parents from consequences. No matter what our parents did to us, we weren’t supposed to be upset about it or confront them about being abusive. We were supposed to tolerate everything they did with a smile rather than take the chance in upsetting them.
Sadly, this awful belief often is such an ingrained belief, it follows us into adulthood. Our narcissistic parents can continue abusing not only us but our spouse & children as well without fear of consequences.
The fact is that this belief & behavior goes against God’s will. God is a firm believer in consequences. The Scripture at the beginning of this post is evidence of that.
Dear Reader, if you’re suffering at the hands of your narcissistic parents, you are well within your rights to set boundaries & give your parents consequences! Doing so won’t make you a bad person or bad daughter or son. In fact, it means you are following God’s will.
The same is true if you have gone no contact with your narcissistic parents. Although many people will attempt shame you for doing so, going no contact after years of abuse & attempts to improve the relationship is NOT a bad thing. Yes, it’s sad when a relationship comes to such drastic measures, especially when it’s a close relationship such as parent & child, however, it is also often the only resort left for a victim who wishes to be free of abuse. The person in this situation has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of or to feel guilty about.
Psalm 101:5 in the Amplified translation of the Bible says, “Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will silence;
The one who has a haughty look and a proud (arrogant) heart I will not tolerate.”
This verse has come to my attention quite a few times recently. It find it VERY interesting. Don’t you think that it describes some aspects of narcissistic behavior? Narcissists have NO trouble slandering others. They also have the haughty look & an arrogant heart. What is even more interesting to me than the description of these behaviors is that God has no tolerance for them.
Yet, narcissists’ evil minions, also known as flying monkeys, love to tell victims of narcissistic abuse that we are being cruel, unloving, & even ungodly if we set boundaries with the narcissist in our lives. They tell us invalidating & horrible things like, “You only get one set of parents!” “He won’t be around forever yanno!” “But that’s your MOTHER!!!” & more. If the flying monkey claims to be a Christian, they also like to throw in their version of Scripture to prove that your behavior is terrible, such as you aren’t honoring your parents or “God hates divorce” if your narcissist is your spouse.
Awful statements like these can make a victim feel ashamed for not tolerating the abuse or even feel enough guilt to resume the dysfunctional, abusive relationship as it was & abandon all attempts of self protection.
This should not be!!!
If you have been subjected to the inane ramblings of flying monkeys, you need to know some things.
First, the people saying these things are abusive. Invalidation is abusive. Encouraging someone to return to an abusive situation is also abusive. Attempting to force someone to do something is controlling & abusive. You have every right to protect yourself from these awful people.
Second, I’ve come to realize that many flying monkeys are simply covert narcissists. Narcissists only care about what is best for them, no one else. Why would you take the advice of someone like that?!
Third, you also have the right to protect yourself from any abusive person, which includes your narcissistic parent(s) or significant other. There is nothing holy, good or loving about tolerating abuse. Anyone who thinks there is has some seriously warped beliefs, & obviously they know nothing of God or His ways.
Fourth, the Bible says in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (NIV) One duty all Christians have is to become like God. While we can’t be just like God, of course, we can love as He loves, & treat people as He does. So, keeping this in mind, if God does not tolerate certain things, like narcissistic behavior, this means we shouldn’t tolerate it either.
And lastly, as I said, there is nothing holy, good or loving about tolerating abuse. Doing so encourages a person to behave poorly. It keeps them indulging in sinful behavior, hurting other people & even themselves. How can this be good for anyone?! It’s impossible!
On the opposite side of that coin, refusing to tolerate abuse is a good & loving thing to do. It sets boundaries that give consequences for a person’s bad behavior. If they wish to avoid those consequences, they will behave better. (While no one can force another person to change, boundaries at least create circumstances that can make a person want to change. ) Helping a person to be the best version of themselves that they can be is a loving thing to do.
Refusing to tolerate abusive treatment also removes the opportunity for the abusive person to sin, at least where you’re concerned, & that is a good thing. Tolerating abuse not only allows the abuser to sin but practically encourages it. After all, why should the abuser stop being abusive when they don’t have any reason to? And no, for narcissists, knowing they’re hurting someone else isn’t enough of a reason to stop abusing.
Dear Reader, the next time someone criticizes you for not tolerating abuse from the narcissists in your life, please remember what I’ve said. There is absolutely nothing good about tolerating abuse for you or the abuser. You have every right to protect yourself however you see fit, whether it’s by setting boundaries or even ending the relationship. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise! xoxo
Narcissistic parents often expect their children to care for them rather than the normal course of events where parents care for their children. They expect their children to meet their emotional needs, listen to their woes, make them happy when they are sad, fix their problems & more. This is called parentification, parentalizing, emotional incest or covert incest. (For simplicity sake, we’ll use parentification in this article.)
While parentification may not sound all that bad, its effect on children can be devastating. Children feel responsible for their parents, which burdens them with the false belief they are responsible for everyone in their circle as adults. That type of responsibility is incredibly stressful, no matter a person’s age, & as everyone knows, stress can cause a plethora of physical ailments.
It also robs children of their childhood. Parentified children aren’t allowed to hang out with their friends. They have their parents to take care of instead. Basically these children are living an adult life in their childhood.
Parentified children also are depressed. They often feel like failures for not being able to fix their parents’ problems, & narcissistic parents only make this feeling worse by blaming their children for not being able to accomplish the impossible.
These children often carry a great deal of anger inside, too, yet are unable to express it. To be angry at their parents feels so wrong since their parents have made it their job to protect these parents. Since expressing that anger is wrong, as far as the children are concerned, the anger gets stuffed inside & often manifests in very unhealthy ways. It can come out as self destructive ways (such as addictions) or other destructive ways (becoming abusive towards other people).
Parentified children have a right to be angry. They have been subjected to an incredibly cruel & insidious form of abuse by their own parents. And, to make matters worse, unknowing people compound their pain. They tell the children how lucky they are to have such a close relationship with their mother or father. Some people compound the guilt & responsibility on their child by saying things like, “I don’t know what your mom would do without you.” “You have to be strong for your dad- he needs you.” These kinds of things only make a child feel ashamed for having any complaints about the relationship, extra responsible for the parent they shouldn’t be responsible for in the first place & angry that they have been forced into this position.
If this describes you, you are NOT alone! Many people have been the victims of parentification, in particular children of narcissistic parents. I’ve been through it myself & sympathize with your pain. My parents came to me ever since i can remember with complaints about each other & even wanting me to fix their disagreements. I still have moments when I think of it that I get angry. And you know something? It’s ok! Being abused in any way, shape or form isn’t right. It’s ok to be angry about the unfairness of abuse & being forced to live with the painful effects, such as PTSD or C-PTSD.
The best way I’ve learned to cope is to go to God, & tell Him about what I feel. He truly understands & gives me a lot of comfort. I also have friends who have been through the same thing & understand. Sometimes one of the most helpful things for me is when they get angry over something I went through. That can be so validating! What my parents did wasn’t right, but, as a typical child of narcissists, I’ve always felt guilt for being angry with them. Although it’s diminished a great deal, it’s still there a little. Someone else getting angry about what my parents did helps me to understand that it’s ok to be angry about what they did & to realize just how wrong it was.
If you’re still in a relationship with your parent who indulges in parentification, you are not in a good place. Until such time as you decide to end this relationship, if you decide to take that step, you will need to learn ways to cope. Narcissists don’t accept boundaries like normal people, so you will need to get creative. Whatever you do, do NOT tell your parent, “It hurts me when you talk about/do that. Please don’t do it anymore.” Statements like that are like throwing gas on a narcissist fire. They will mock you for being oversensitive or do the behavior more often just to hurt you.
Instead, try changing the subject. Since narcissists love to talk about themselves, you can use that to your advantage. Ask your narcissistic parent something about herself. How is her job going? How did her last doctor visit go? Has she talked to her favorite cousin lately? It’s really not that hard to get a narcissist to talk about themselves. Why not use it in your favor?
Suddenly have to go. You just looked at the time & you have to go. You don’t owe any explanations- you just have to go.
Ask if your parent has talked to someone else who has been through something similar about this situation. After all, that person knows a lot more than you do & no doubt can help your parent more than you can! Let them think that you’re only suggesting this because it helps them in some way, not you.
Whatever your situation with parentification, I truly wish you the best. I pray you find effective ways to cope with your parent or are able to release any false guilt you may feel for no longer being in that situation.
At the end of July, my husband & I had a disagreement. Not even really a fight, just a disagreement. During the course of working things out, we began talking about our relationship in general. We realized that when stressed, we both tend to withdraw into ourselves. Both being major introverts (he’s INTJ, I’m INFJ), it’s hardly a surprise. It’s also not good for our marriage, because when he withdraws it triggers me to withdraw from him & when I withdraw, it triggers him to withdraw from me also. We tried to figure out ways to cope with this when we came up with a good solution, & I believe it’s beneficial for any marriage.
We now have daily time to talk with each other, minus tv & computer. Maybe music but that is iffy. In fact, we have the Amazon Echo Dot, & I have a daily reminder on there for her to tell us to talk so we are sure not to forget this time.
Every evening at 9, our Dot tells us “This is your daily reminder. It’s talk time.” At that time, we turn off the tv & computers, ignore the phone & talk. The topics vary daily. Sometimes he talks more than me, sometimes I talk more than him. We also don’t have a set time we must talk, so sometimes it’s only 10 minutes, sometimes an hour or more. There are also times we do it earlier in the day because maybe there’s a tv show we want to watch coming on at 9 or we’re really tired & want to get some extra sleep. We also had an evening where one of our cats got sick & had to go to the emergency vet about 9pm, so talk time obviously was postponed that day & rescheduled for the next few days while he was in there to adapt to our spending time at the hospital. There are no rules & there is absolutely NO pressure about talk time other than spend time together.
This ritual has been super beneficial for our marriage! I’ve noticed we are withdrawing much less & being a lot more open about everything. My husband used to hold a lot in about his difficulties at work but now he is talking about them. Even when it isn’t “talk time,” he’s opening up about work more often. He used to hold his frustrations in so this is a very good thing! So much healthier!
We also are closer than we once were. Focusing on each other daily has increased the intimacy in our marriage. We are more open with each other & know we can talk to each other about anything. I’ve felt safer to bring up topics that could start arguments because both of us are more patient, considerate & understand with each other since we started with our daily talk time. It seems like we slow down & really think about things more during talk time.
I think we also have begun to have even more in common than we once did. By focusing so much on each other during our talk time, it seems to have enabled us to see things from each other’s perspectives more than we once did. We used to butt heads about how money should be spent, as one example, but now we agree on it. Granted that area improved the longer we’ve been together, but since we started this ritual, we’ve gotten to be a lot more on the same page. We rarely disagree on financial things anymore.
I wanted to share this discovery with you, Dear Reader, because I think this talk time ritual can help any marriage. I know, life can be so busy, but like I said, it doesn’t have to take long. Even just a few minutes each day where you & your spouse focus on each other can be a good thing. If you opt to try this in your marriage, then please do as we have done & keep it as low key as possible. I really think pressure would make it into a burden rather than something to look forward to each day. Schedule a time that works for you but be flexible enough to change it if circumstances dictate. Don’t worry about having a time limit either or specific topics. Just hang out with your spouse & talk about whatever topics come up. The point is to have fun, relax or work through a problem. Just go with the flow & see if your marriage doesn’t improve like mine did.