Tag Archives: flying monkey
I have the comments on my blog set up so that anyone who has commented previously can post comments with no problem. Anyone who hasn’t, their comments must be approved by me. Their comments are emailed to me & I either can select “approve” or do nothing & the comment sits in my “pending” folder until I approve or delete it. It’s a wonderful feature! It helps me eliminate spam or even abuse by my “lovely” family. It also helps me to eliminate the garden variety narcissist, flying monkey or invalidating person, which is the point of this post.
So, a few years back, I posted this post about how I was angry with my narcissistic mother. If you read the post, you’ll see that the reason for my anger was valid & even normal. The comments on the post show several people understood & validated my feelings. One person apparently did not agree with my feelings when reading the post a few months ago. This person hadn’t commented on any of my posts before, so it was a comment I had to review to approve or not before it would post. I read it & didn’t approve it. Only recently did I realize it was still in my “pending” folder. I approve almost every comment so there’s rarely a need to visit that folder, which is why this comment sat there for so long.
Upon realizing said comment was still in my pending folder recently, I was surprised. I figured I’d deleted it long ago. Oops.. yea, my memory is really bad. My first thought when I realized it was still there was to just delete it, but then I realized this could be a good teaching tool. Why not use it as such before deleting??
Without further ado, here is the comment….
I do not know you, or your family all. I found you through a search asking, “how a Christian can honor our narcissistic parents”. And the first article with that title I thought was kind of helpful—but I got a whiff of anger there. So, I went to your next article. And I just have to say that I’m not really seeing a Christian response. I am seeing a very human response. And I understand that response, believe me! My friend, I don’t believe you are walking in the victory I was hoping to find. I believe you are very bitter, and very angry. This blog post shows, now I’m being very honest here, because I do not know you, and I’m coming at this from the outside, you wrote the article—-and yet I do not believe that you are portrayed very favorably in this article! Not showing your mother the common courtesy of answering her greeting, does not seem Christlike. The Bible tells us to bless our enemies. Jesus said to bless our enemies and turn the other cheek. In that context I believe we must choose not to be offended, period. We answer to God for what we do in this life. Not for what was done to us. You are angry, (a sin according to Jesus himself) at everyone in this story, and bitterly vindictive. In your eyes you are the only faultless victim. We know what that thinking reflects when those around us act in that manner. Your whole life, certainly all your writing, seems to revolve around a passive/aggressive “outing” of all our family’s faults. In studying narcissism, I have read that this is a symptom of the disorder. When we become a Christian and except Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior over our lives, we give him our rights—because He put aside all of His rights to be the atonement for our sins. Now we belong to Him. We were bought by His precious blood! We give him our human frailties, and ask for the Holy Spirit to come into our hearts and make us a new creature! This way we can have God‘s Holy nature, which is much stronger than our human nature; —the nature that is full of bitterness and anger. And then we can love people and see them the way God sees them. And the Holy Spirit can heal our hearts! And here is something you might not know: God is able to cure even a narcissist! I pray for you, that you can move on and out, away from anger and bitterness and accept your healing, and love like Jesus loves! Please pray for me too!
This sort of thing happens when you have survived narcissistic abuse. So many of us have heard it all before. Unfortunately, many of us also have internalized the faulty messages, which is unhealthy.
I decided to throw out some thoughts on these comments for your consideration…
Anger is not a sin. Ephesians 4:26 “Be angry [at sin—at immorality, at injustice, at ungodly behavior], yet do not sin; do not let your anger [cause you shame, nor allow it to] last until the sun goes down.” (AMP)
Even Jesus was angry at people who behaved badly. Matthew 21:12-13 “12 And Jesus entered the temple [grounds] and drove out [with force] all who were buying and selling [birds and animals for sacrifice] in the temple area, and He turned over the tables of the moneychangers [who made a profit exchanging foreign money for temple coinage] and the chairs of those who were selling doves [for sacrifice]. 13 Jesus said to them, “It is written [in Scripture], ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.'” (AMP)
Discussing abuse isn’t a bad thing or sinful. Ephesians 4:15 “But speaking the truth in love [in all things—both our speech and our lives expressing His truth], let us grow up in all things into Him [following His example] who is the Head—Christ.” (AMP)
Forgiveness doesn’t mean “forgive & forget.” While Jesus did suggest we “turn the other cheek,” He also said this which proves that forgiveness doesn’t mean giving someone a free pass to be abusive: Matthew 18: 15-17 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens and pays attention to you, you have won back your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two others, so that every word may be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 17 If he pays no attention to them [refusing to listen and obey], tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile (unbeliever) and a tax collector.” (AMP)
Jesus didn’t tolerate things quietly & spoke openly of wrong doings. Matthew 3:7 “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the [divine] wrath and judgment to come?” (AMP)
Matthew 12:34 “You brood of vipers, how can you speak good things when you are evil? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.” (AMP)
By sharing this comment & my thoughts, I’m not trying to “out” the person who made the comment. If I was, I’d share the person’s name wouldn’t I? I’m also not being “passive/aggressive” or anything else. My purpose to this post was simply this: When a good example of something bad comes along, why not use it to help yourself & others when possible?!
When comments like this are made to a victim of narcissistic abuse, they can sound really good. Scripture was referred to, which can make any Christian rethink their actions. I certainly did when I first read it. After some prayer & thought though, I realized this person twisted Scripture around to use it in a bad way. And that, Dear Reader, is a very common tactic used by flying monkeys & other narcissists.
If someone says similar things to you that this person said to me, then please, don’t blindly accept it! You need wisdom & discernment! Consider the Scriptures used as they are in the Bible, not as a stand alone verse as the person uses them. Pray. Ask God to show you the truth. Think about what makes sense to you. Trust your instincts too. If something doesn’t feel quite right, then it most likely isn’t right. Even the most well meaning people can make mistakes. And, even the most innocent acting narcissist can be extremely manipulative.
Those of us who have survived narcissistic abuse all seem to wonder one thing- why does everyone believe the narcissist & not me?!
I certainly have. I was in my late teens when my mother’s abuse hit its peak. During that time, I noticed that her friends no longer were friendly & nice to me. Women who once obviously liked me no longer would even make eye contact with me or speak to me. It wasn’t hard to figure out my mother told them something awful about me. What I wondered was why would they believe her lies when they knew me well. They had to know I wasn’t the terrible teen my mother told me & others that I was.
I think I have some ideas as to why people believe narcissists in these situations.
The person who doesn’t believe a victim may be a narcissist. I have noticed narcissists don’t believe people easily. If someone says another person hurt them, unless there is undeniable evidence such as broken bones, many narcissists don’t believe that person. Maybe they simply have no interest since it doesn’t center around them.
Narcissists are also phenomenal actors. They can create any impression they wish. If they want to appear kind when they aren’t, they can do that with no problem. Highly intelligent even though they aren’t particularly smart? They can pull that act off too. Their chameleon like ways blend well with their superb ability to read people, which enables them to appear in the most appealing way possible to each individual person.
Many people look for the best in others, not the real in others. People see the narcissist as a good person, as the narcissist wanted them to, so when a victim tells others of the terrible things the narcissist has done, the victim is not believed. People don’t think someone as “good” as the narcissist could do such things.
There’s also the fact that narcissistic abuse is so outlandish, it’s hard to believe. Looking back at things narcissists have done to me, even I have trouble believing they happened, & I was there. People with no knowledge of narcissism can have trouble believing your stories of narcissistic abuse simply because of the bizarre nature.
Some people who don’t believe victims also come from backgrounds of abuse, yet have not faced their pain. Instead, they live ready to shut down anything or anyone that may remind them of their pain or that threatens their flawed belief system that all is fine in their world. I know a family like this. The father was horribly abusive to the children growing up. The mother stood by his side, & failed to protect them. In fact, she instilled the belief in them that it was their place to protect her, not the other way around. The adult children were very protective of their mother. They treated her as if she was a young child, in need of constant care, coddling & protection. No one was allowed to mistreat her or criticize her, even if they were telling the truth. None of them have any tolerance for anyone setting boundaries with their parents. They seem to believe that you tolerate anything & everything from your parents with a smile. They also will believe any lies a narcissistic parent tells them about their child, not their child.
I also think there is another reason people believe narcissists over victims. Those who aren’t facing their own abusive pasts feel bad when they see others who are. Maybe it makes them feel ashamed for not being strong enough to do so or it simply reminds them of the pain they work so hard to ignore. But, I do know for these people, it’s easier to believe a narcissist than to believe their victim & face their own pain.
When you come across someone who doesn’t believe you, then Dear Reader, remember, it has nothing to do with you. The person you’re speaking with has their own issues. Normal, mentally healthy people listen to a victim’s story & believe that person unless there is strong evidence that the victim is lying, not the other way around.
Tomorrow it will be three months to the day since my father passed away. I still am trying to recover from the inundation of abuse I received when he was dying. The abuse was so constant & intense, & it put me in a state of shock that is still there. It lifts a bit from time to time, allowing me to face some of the emotions that were too difficult to deal with at the time (hence the shock), then it returns.
During those times that the shock lifts, the thing I feel most frequently is anger. At the moment, I feel that anger. One thing I find very therapeutic during times like this is writing journal entries where I let it all out. It’s helpful to get it out of me, even though no one else has any idea what I am feeling or thinking beyond God & I.
I was going to write this in my journal for no one to see, as usual, but I felt like God wanted me to share it here instead. This Scripture kept coming to my attention: Ephesians 5:11 “Take no part in the worthless pleasures of evil and darkness, but instead, rebuke and expose them.” (TLB) I’m sure my readers will get where I’m coming from & maybe my vent will help them too somehow. Besides, I have NO doubt some of those monstrous flying monkeys are nosy enough to read my blog.
To my mother & her devoted flying monkeys,
First of all.. to my mother. Did it ever cross your mind why I never respond to your letters or calls or those from your evil minions? It’s because I don’t want you in my life. I absolutely will not tolerate any more of your abuse. I deserve better than that. I’m sorry things are as they are, but your actions have made this situation what it is. Besides, let’s not forget- after our last conversation, you didn’t even try to contact me until months later, when my father was sick. I figured you were as done with me as I was with you. None of this means I hate you. It means I care about me enough to protect myself by staying out of your life.
To the rest of you who have harassed, bullied, judge, criticized & tried to control me, especially during my father’s final few weeks of life…
You truly should be ashamed of your terrible, ridiculous, wicked actions! You judge me for not speaking to my parents or saying good bye to my father on his death bed, but has it ever crossed anyone’s mind WHY I stayed away? No. You obviously don’t want to be “bothered” with the truth. All that mattered is what *you* thought I should do. How utterly arrogant!
What made you think you had the right to demand I do as you told me to anyway? Have you made so many good life choices that I couldn’t help but see how wise you are & would be inspired to obey you? No. Did you know my entire situation & could say with complete objectivity what a good solution would have been? No. Did any of you even care about me enough to ask what was wrong? Again no, with only one exception & I have no doubt that person would have only told me how wrong I was if I opened up to her. Again.
Then there were the guilt trips: “You only get one set of parents.” “A little forgiveness would do you some good.” “You need to put your feelings aside & see your dad so he can die in peace.” “You need to come NOW so they can turn off your dad’s life support.” “You would understand if you had kids.” What utter drivel! Thanks to growing up in the environment I did, I’m like a guilt trip Navy seal. They do NOTHING to me other than insult my intelligence because you think I’m stupid enough to fall for such complete & utter nonsense.
And really… has the constant barrage of your crap really been necessary?! One would think you would have the sense to realize that when someone not only doesn’t respond to your calls, emails, etc. but *blocks* your Facebook, phone numbers, emails, etc. that means that person doesn’t want to talk to you & you should stop your harassment. Blocking you is NOT an invitation to use alternative means to try to reach me, which I blocked too! The constant harassment has been beyond ridiculous. Letting my phone ring for five minutes straight also doesn’t make me want to answer it, especially when I haven’t even seen you since before I started school! It does show me you’re a control freak who thinks they have the right to boss me around by trying to force me to take your call. Just because you’re some distant relative doesn’t mean you have the right to tell me what to do! Same with the written contacts. Filling my inbox with messages just makes me want to ignore you, because you’re being controlling. Using a dead woman’s Facebook to contact me was unique though. I’ll give you points for creativity on that. I never expected to have to block a dead woman on Facebook.
Oh, & to that one person that has harassed me since 2013- I know that email through my website was from you. Wasn’t hard to figure out it was you or the fact you copied & pasted information from the Mayo Clinic’s website about NPD. That isn’t the first time you’ve pulled this. You might want to stop using the first or second site that pops up on Google- that gives you away every time. Doing it at the time you chose to do it this time was truly low even for you.
Trying to bully my cousin I’m close to into bullying me was utter nonsense too. Unlike you, he isn’t a control freak who thinks he can boss me around, which, fun fact here, is partly why he & I are so close. How about taking a page from his book & realizing that being a manipulative bully isn’t a good thing.
And, just so all of you know….
I want absolutely nothing to do with any one of you!
You don’t have the ability to control or hurt me, in spite of all your efforts to do so.
Being related to me somehow doesn’t give you the right to treat me like crap & boss me around.
You taught me some things through it all, including how never to treat people, & the value of questioning things rather than blindly believing whatever we’re told.
Even though I want nothing to do with you, I don’t hate you. I pity you.
I pray for all of you daily. I pray you come to know God & His love & are blessed. Since so many of you are so incredibly quick to judge me, I’m sure you think I’m a hypocrite, a terrible/fake/not a real Christian, etc. for saying that last statement after writing this post. I can assure you, I am true to my faith. There is nothing “un Christian” in writing this post.
Ephesians 5:11 “Take no part in the worthless pleasures of evil and darkness, but instead, rebuke and expose them.” (TLB)
Anyone who has been subjected to narcissistic abuse also has been subjected to flying monkeys.
Flying monkeys are those people who either have fallen for the narcissist’s act, blindly believing anything the narcissist says or are abusers themselves, likely covert narcissists, who get a thrill out of vicariously abusing the narcissist’s victim. They often say things like…
- “Your mother is worried about you. You haven’t called in a while & she doesn’t know why..”
- “I know your father hurt you when you were growing up, but he didn’t mean to. He did the best he could.”
- “You need to just forgive & forget. After all, your mother was abused when she was growing up! She doesn’t know any better!”
These people are indispensable to narcissists, which is why all narcissists have them.
Flying monkeys can reach a victim once that victim has gone no contact with the narcissist. When a victim doesn’t speak with a narcissist, they often will talk to a flying monkey, at least for a while until they discover that this person is a flying monkey. During that time, the flying monkey can tell the victim whatever the narcissist wants her to, becoming the mouthpiece for the narcissist. They can say things a narcissist can’t say without looking bad. The flying monkey also benefits from doing this. If she is deceived about the narcissist, she honestly believes she is doing good & trying to help the victim. If she is also an abuser, this gives her a thrill by abusing without being blamed for being abusive. Covert narcissists make good flying monkeys, because by doing so, they get to feel powerful- something all narcissists love.
Speaking of feeling powerful, narcissists enjoy having flying monkeys because it means they’re controlling another person. Controlling others makes them feel powerful.
Flying monkeys do all the dirty work for the narcissist. The victim often will get mad at the flying monkey rather than the narcissist who is pulling the strings. The flying monkey is the one who will look bad rather than the narcissist. This is a bonus for the narcissist since no narcissist wants to look bad.
If the flying monkey is especially good at what they do, & the victim isn’t strong at resisting the narcissist, the victim will come crawling back to the narcissist. That is the ultimate goal of the narcissist, of course. Using one person to control another is quite the power trip! Any narcissist would love to have this ability.
Flying monkeys are a very useful tool for any narcissist, so beware. If you know a narcissist, you are going to have to deal with them at some point. Be alert. Be aware of their behavior so you can spot them easily. Never feed them by engaging them in a discussion about the narcissist. Refuse to discuss the topic with them, changing the subject as often as necessary & telling them this topic is not up for discussion. And most of all, pray. Ask God to help you to discover the best way to deal with this person or if you need to end this relationship.
People Who Think They Have The Right To Tell You What You Should Do Regarding Your Narcissistic Parents
Some people will intervene when you have issues with your narcissistic parents. They will try their best to make you feel guilty if you’re not speaking to them by saying your parent misses you, they are so upset that you won’t speak to them, they don’t know why you’re angry with them or say your parent is sick or elderly so you should end this no contact immediately & rush to their side. If you’re still in a relationship with them but it is very strained, some people will tell you to fix it, to behave yourself, you need to respect your parent or try harder.
These people blindly accept what the narcissistic parent tells them as truth, while giving no thought whatsoever to whether what they say is actually true or not. They simply accept the lies with no care to what the real truth is.
They are one of three types of people:
- Incredibly ignorant, genuinely fooled by the narcissist.
- Someone refusing to admit the narcissist isn’t the good person she portrays herself as.
- Abusers who get a thrill of abusing you along with the narcissist while maintaining the image of someone who isn’t abusive but caring.
These people, often referred to as flying monkeys, can be a real nuisance, quite frankly. To those new to learning about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, they are also dangerous. They can make these victims feel as if they are wrong for protecting themselves, which can make the victim revert to old, dysfunctional habits. To those of us who have known about NPD for quite a while, they are simply annoying, like flies on a picnic. We know the truth & we won’t be manipulated by their antics, but they’re still annoying.
Flying monkeys can be dealt with. The more devoted the flying monkey is to the narcissist, the greater your chances of losing a relationship with this person though, so just be forewarned of that possibility.
Always keep calm when talking with them. Many flying monkeys are covert narcissists. If you show them any emotional reaction, it will provide them with narcissistic supply which will make them continue pushing your buttons, making you more upset, making them want to continue button pushing & the cycle will continue. Avoid this by staying calm in their presence.
Discuss nothing with them. The situation between you & your narcissistic parent is not anyone else’s business. You owe no one explanations for your behavior. Don’t discuss the topic of your parents with them. Change the subject. Tell the flying monkey you won’t discuss that topic with them. If they persist, tell them you aren’t discussing this topic, & if they continue, you will hang up the phone (or leave the room), then follow through on the threat if need be.
Never allow this person to convince you of anything other than the truth. You were there. You lived the situation. You know the truth. Don’t believe the person who says your narcissistic parent didn’t mean to hurt you, never said/did those things, etc. Cling to the truth, & ignore their version of it.
Accept that the flying monkey believes wholeheartedly that they are right & you are wrong. You can’t convince this person to see the truth. Don’t waste your time & energy trying. You know the truth & that is going to have to be enough for you.
If you cannot handle this person, you have the right to sever ties with them. You have every right to protect your physical & mental health. Some flying monkeys are incredibly toxic, & there is nothing wrong with you refusing to have them in your life.
Isaiah 5:20 “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (KJV)
So many people who know the narcissist are completely devoted to that person. Commonly known as flying monkeys, they will defend the narcissist at all costs, even in spite of glaring evidence of the narcissist’s wrong doings. From what I’ve seen, this phenomenon is especially common among marriages where one spouse is an overt narcissist & the other covert, but it also happens among child/parent relationships, other familial relationships or even friendships.
Whether these people realize it or not, they are condoning & enabling narcissistic abuse. Sure, they aren’t necessarily holding a victim in place while the narcissist verbally or physically attacks, but they are condoning & enabling it nonetheless! By not speaking up to the abusive person or by telling the victim things like “You need to honor your mother & father!” “Just let it go” “I’m sure she didn’t mean it the way you took it!” “You’re oversensitive/being dramatic!” they basically are telling the victim, “There is something wrong with you for being upset about being abused! Let that person abuse you & take it with a smile!” This can be extremely mentally damaging for a victim!
I have been through this myself as well as talked to so many other victims who have experienced similar situations, & all of us have been deeply hurt or damaged by such cruel, invalidating behavior.
While the behavior of the flying monkey may seem like they simply don’t know any better or they want to help, the simple fact is their behavior can be very damaging, no matter what their intentions are. It really is best to avoid them whenever possible & let God deal with them. He certainly is not pleased with their behavior, & Isaiah 5:20 is proof of that.
When it’s not possible to avoid them, there are some ways to cope that may help you.
If the flying monkey starts talking about the relationship between you & your narcissistic parent, telling you what you need to do to fix it, it’s time for a subject change. You can say, “I’m not going to discuss this topic with you,” then change the subject. Or, you can simply change the subject. You also can say, “If you continue trying to make me talk about this subject, I’m going to hang up the phone (or leave the room)” then follow through on your threat.
Sometimes, simply ignoring the flying monkey is the easiest way to cope. If you get a text or an email, for example, those are easy to ignore. My mother’s flying monkey has emailed several times about my mother. Each time she does, I simply ignore her email.
Never engage the flying monkey in a conversation about the narcissist. You WILL regret it. You’d regret beating your head into a brick wall less than you would talking about that topic with a flying monkey. Flying monkeys are extremely confident that the narcissist is right, & that you are wrong, bad, mean, etc. & they will say or do anything to try to beat you into thinking the same way. Do NOT discuss the narcissist with the flying monkey!
If you are the crafty type, like to have a little fun & have a kinda warped sense of humor like I do… you can actually crochet your own flying monkey! I found a pattern for one! I’m going to make a few of them, because I know seeing them will make me laugh if I have the misfortune of dealing with any flying monkeys. I already have a name for one in mind- after one of my mother’s flying monkeys. The link to the pattern is below. If you end up making one too, I’d love to see a picture & if you name it, would love to know why you chose that name. You can email me at CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com if you’d like.
Recently I was talking with some members of an online group I’m in about flying monkeys. It never fails to amaze me how narcissists have so many who blindly obey the narcissist, & are devoted to protecting them, furthering their agenda & hurting their victims. In fact, my mother’s flying monkeys are so devoted, even people who don’t like her will fight for her & be cruel to me.
I asked the other members of the group if this made any sense to them. It doesn’t me. One member said something that I think described this situation. She believes that people like that are dysfunctional, but like to give the appearance of normalcy. If you are honest about the dysfunction in your life, it may upset the apple cart for them, so to speak. It may put cracks in the veneer of their normal appearance.
This made so much sense to me! I thought about two people who have been my mother’s most devoted flying monkeys. Both have had some rough times, such as bad (even abusive) marriages. Eventually they got away from their abusers & made their own lives. They’ve become mothers, later grandmothers, they celebrate all holidays & birthdays with their families. They give all appearances of happy, normal people with happy, normal families. If something bad or dysfunctional happens, they cover things up or deny those things happened. If you don’t know about the bad things, you’d think they have the perfect lives.
If I said anything negative about my mother to either of them, I was told I need to work things out with my mother- after all she’s my mother, get over it, stop living in the past & other invalidating, vicious things. Truly neither one of my so-called “friends” wanted to hear what I was going through. In fact, if I mentioned any problem I had to them, I was rudely brushed off. (Example: I mentioned to one my blood pressure had been elevated recently due to stress- her response? “You need to lose all that weight, then it’ll be fine!” I’m about 20lbs overweight- that’s not so bad!).
I can’t help but wonder if the reason they behave this way is they are deathly afraid of any problem possibly calling attention to the fact their normalcy is merely an act, upsetting their apple cart of dysfunction, if you will. Maybe somehow they think if I talk about my bad experiences, those close to them will start to see similarities between her life & mine, & think badly of her. Or, maybe they think others will question these folks, wondering why they never tried to help me. After all, they’ve known me since I was a child. How could these wonderful people stand idly by knowing I was being abused? Certainly that would make them look bad, which they can’t bear. So, it’s best to try to silence me. If I don’t talk to them about certain things, they can maintain their facade & pretend nothing happened.
If this is happening to you, too, please keep this information in mind. It may help you to understand why people behave this way. Also, please know it’s not your fault. There is nothing wrong with you for expecting support & compassion from those close to you. It’s completely normal! People who act this way, brushing you off or invalidating your pain, are the ones who are not completely normal. For normal, healthy people, compassion to others is very important! More so than what others think of them. Normal people side with the victim, not the abuser.