Tag Archives: honor
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
I recently read an article about Father’s Day. In it, the author gave valid reasons why we should honor our fathers. It was a very good article, but one thing about it bothered me- the author didn’t mention how exactly to honor our fathers. I thought I would discuss it here. Actually, I’ll refer to honoring parents, not only fathers.
When you have good & loving parents, you don’t have to have strict boundaries. Your parents respect them naturally, so boundaries aren’t a concern. However, with narcissistic parents, you have to have & enforce very strict boundaries. This is very honorable, because these boundaries encourage your parent to behave in a healthier manner.
When Mother’s Day or Father’s Day comes around, if you have good parents, you can be a blessing to them, enjoy yourself & have zero fear of repercussions. You can spend time with them, give them nice cards & gifts. Narcissistic parents? No. Doing those things for your narcissistic parents basically tells them their abuse is OK. You’ll show them love no matter how awfully they treat you. This is why it’s important to give more minimal gifts & rather neutral cards- you are recognizing them as your parents but at the same time, you’re not praising them for their great parenting skills. You never want to reward bad behavior!
Even going no contact can be very honorable when it comes to abusive parents. While many people think that no contact is dishonorable, it really isn’t. By severing ties, you are removing the opportunity for an abusive person to abuse you & commit sinful acts. You are also encouraging that person to change their behavior for the better, because you won’t have them in your life if they are abusive. You’re also removing the temptation from yourself of going off on the abuser.
Dear Reader, there is never, EVER anything honorable about tolerating abuse, & that includes tolerating it from parents. If you still have doubts, read this…
Psalm 101:5 (AMP)
“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 tells me that God has no patience for narcissism. Since as His children we are called to be like Him (Ephesians 5:1-2; 1 Thessalonians 2:4), then we should have no patience for narcissism either, no matter who that narcissist is! If people disapprove of your refusal to tolerate your narcissistic parent’s abuse, well, that is their problem. Your job is to live a life that pleases God, not man…
“Thus saith the LORD; Cursed [be] the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.” (KJV)
Romans 15:2 “Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.” (NIV)
One of the most common yet stupid things said to Christians in the situation of having a narcissistic parent is how you’re not a good Christian let alone son or daughter if you don’t do everything your parents want, right down to tolerating their abusing you.
Truly, some people have no concept of what it truly means to honor your parent. They also must have missed Romans 15:2. Take a moment to read that Scripture again…
“Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.”
See that? “..for their good…” That doesn’t mean to do blindly for someone, it means to do things that benefit them. Doing whatever your narcissistic parent wants doesn’t necessarily mean doing what is best for them. Narcissists care more about what feels good at the moment than what is genuinely good for them.
So what is “for their good”?
- Taking your elderly narcissistic parent to the doctor when sick.
- Helping your parent by cutting their grass when their lawn mower is broken or washing their clothes when their washer is broken.
- Buying them something you think your parent would like just to be a blessing.
- Setting & enforcing boundaries.
- Saying no.
- Going no contact.
The last three items were pretty hard to consider good, weren’t they? They really are good though, & I’ll tell you why.
All three of those behaviors are about boundaries, & boundaries are a VERY good thing. Boundaries show others how you wish to be treated & gives people the option to treat you accordingly or not without forcing them to do something they don’t want to do. Boundaries encourage good behavior while helping you not to be responsible for someone else’s behavior, feelings, etc. In short, boundaries are a very loving behavior. Granted, narcissist don’t see them that way, but it’s still true. (If you’re interested, I have a free “Boundaries” book study course & article about boundaries on my website.)
Saying no is also a good boundary behavior because nobody needs to go through life without being told no at some point. Getting one’s way creates spoiled, entitled people with no regard for others (sound familiar??). Narcissists don’t like to be told no, & will do whatever they can to avoid it, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t hear no. The more they hear it, the less they will demand of you. This works well for you & at the same time, teaches the narcissist that you won’t tolerate being pushed around. A very good thing for the narcissist to learn.
No contact also can be for someone’s good sometimes. No contact should be the final step after trying to work out the relationship, & often, sadly, it’s very necessary with narcissists. It can be good for narcissists though, because it shows them they simply can’t go around abusing people & expecting them to tolerate it indefinitely. Also, you never know- maybe with you not in that person’s life, God will be able to reach her & help her to see the error of her ways. Sometimes it takes having people out of a person’s life for them to turn to God. (Granted, that is extremely rare, but with God, all things are possible.) No contact also removes the opportunity for that person to sin by removing you to abuse from her life. These things are all for the narcissist’s own good.
Doing something for someone’s own good never means giving someone whatever they want or tolerating abuse. These never benefit anyone! If someone suggests otherwise, they clearly have no idea what it means to love someone God’s way.
To Those Who Are New To Learning About Narcissistic Abuse- It’s OK, Even Necessary, To Talk About It!
When you grow up with narcissistic parents, the fear of divulging what they do to you is very real. Narcissistic parents don’t always use threats- they don’t need to. They have a certain look that can instill sheer terror into their child. That fear often stays with the child into adulthood. This benefits the narcissistic parent, because she knows her secret is safe. However, it hurts the child.
Not talking about the narcissistic abuse you endured can cause many health problems, such as ulcers, high blood pressure or digestive problems. It affects your mental health too. Depression, anxiety, PTSD & C-PTSD are very common, even under the best of circumstances- a good therapist & caring support system. Without those things, depression, anxiety, PTSD or C-PTSD are pretty much a given.
You need to talk about your experiences! I’m not saying you need to publish books or write a blog like me, unless you feel that is the direction God is leading you, but you do need to talk for the sake of your physical & mental health.
I know talking about your experiences can be a scary prospect. It also can feel like you’re being disloyal. That is not true, however. Telling the truth isn’t being disloyal.
Guilt happens too. I think it’s pretty much impossible not to feel guilty at first. You’re talking about something you were told your entire life you shouldn’t talk about, after all. My mother used to tell me not to “air our dirty laundry.” It took me a long time to realize it wasn’t “our” dirty laundry I was airing, it was hers.
If you’re considering talking about the things that have happened to you, please know that it’s OK to talk about it. If you don’t feel up to talking, how about writing in a journal at first? Writing is very therapeutic- there is something validating in seeing your experiences written out. Also, if you take precautions, no one will see what you write, so you can feel free to let it all out. I love http://www.my-diary.org, as it is a password protected, private online diary.
If you aren’t comfortable talking to another person, why not pray? God is a great listener, & will comfort you like no one else can. You can be completely open with Him without fear of judgment or criticism- it’s very freeing.
If you opt to try therapy, be sure you find a therapist who understands narcissistic abuse. Not all therapists do, so it may take trying a few before you find one you’re comfortable with.
And, if you opt to talk about your experiences with those closest to you, use wisdom with deciding who to open up to. If you share a person with the narcissistic parent who abused you, they may not want to hear about your experiences. They may be very fond of the narcissist, ¬ want to hear anything bad about her. They may not believe you. It is better to find someone to talk to who isn’t close to the narcissist, such as a friend of yours who doesn’t know your parent(s) well. You also need to speak with someone who is caring, supportive, objective & close to God. You need someone who is honest enough to tell you the truth, but caring enough not to be brutal & painful with it. If this person also gets mad for you about what you have experienced, that helps too. I had a friend who in many ways was like a mother to me. She was a very special lady, always had a ready smile & some encouragement. But, when I told her some of the things my parents did to me, she would get angry on my behalf. If this good, Christian lady who was utterly patient & held no bad feelings towards anyone was getting mad, it must be really bad. Her anger helped to validate my pain.
Talking about the painful experiences you endured will help you to heal. It will get the toxicity out of you, preventing further damage to your physical & mental health. It also will help you to keep the blame on the abuser instead of on yourself, which is a battle for many victims of narcissistic abuse. So please, open yourself up to talking about your experiences. You deserve the freedom it brings you. xoxo
Many people have a very skewed view of what it truly means to honor someone, especially their parents. They’ll throw around “honor thy mother & father” while conveniently forgetting the Scriptures directed at parents (Ephesians 6:4, Colossians 3:21). They falsely believe that honoring parents means you have to sacrifice yourself or your principles. You must do what they want, no matter what it costs you, or else you aren’t honoring your parents.
Honor isn’t always what people think it is. http://www.merriam-webster.com defines honor as follows: “a showing of usually merited respect : recognition <pay honor to our founder>” I interpret this to mean basic things like treating a person with basic respect. Using manners, being considerate of them, disagreeing respectfully rather than cussing them out, & the like. Nowhere in this definition does it sound to me like honoring someone means you must cater to their every whim.
Spoiling someone by giving them everything they want or doing everything for them isn’t honorable. It teaches the person nothing at all. It doesn’t help them to learn & grow, which is NOT good for a person. In fact, many people believe some narcissistic adults were once spoiled children. They became entitled, selfish adults by having all of their whims catered to.
Allowing someone to control you isn’t honorable either. All that does is teach a person how to be manipulative, entitled & bossy. There is no honor in that!
Tolerating abuse is certainly not honorable. It encourages awful behavior while hurting you. How could that possibly be an honorable thing?
People need to have boundaries & consequences for their actions. Such things are honorable, especially when done in a respectful way. There are ways to state things in a respectful manner, such as stating in a calm but firm tone, “I’m not going to discuss this with you. If you keep talking about it, I’ll hang up this phone. Is there anything else you’d like to talk about? No? OK, good bye.” *hangs up phone* That is just one example of being respectful while setting boundaries & giving consequences.
In 2002, I stopped speaking to my mother for several years. Coming to that decision wasn’t easy at all for me. I knew I needed to do it to heal, but I believed it wasn’t honorable. I struggled with this decision & prayed a lot. One day, I told God how conflicted I felt. He spoke to my heart so clearly & said, “Where is the honor in the fact your very presence stirs up strife with your mother?” It made sense to me. Being with my mother meant she acted up. She verbally abused me. She insulted every tiny thing about me & those I cared about. She bossed me around like I was the hired help & not her daughter. There was NO honor in that. Going no contact at that time was the most honorable thing I could do. It enabled me to have time to myself to heal, & it put an end to much of her horrible behavior since she doesn’t treat anyone else like she does me. It also showed her that I was done tolerating her abuse. If she chose to abuse me she would have consequences for doing so, like me leaving her life. In situations like this, even going no contact with an abusive parent can be the most honorable thing you can do.
If you struggle with honoring your abusive parent, I would encourage you to pray, Dear Reader. Ask God to show you the truth on this matter. He will, as He has done for me. You will rest much easier when you know the real truth about what it means to honor your parent.
Exodus 20:12 “Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee….” (KJV)
So many people in the Christian community are quick to remind those of us with abusive parents of the above Scripture. These people believe that we should treat abusive parents well, doing their bidding no matter how cruelly they treat us, & that is precisely the definition of honoring our parents.
In my mind though, that doesn’t sound remotely like the God I know at all!
To honor someone means you give them respect befitting their position. Your parents gave you life, so they deserve thanks for that. (thanks, not worship!) They deserve to be spoken to with basic respect, such as not cussing them out when you’re upset with them.
If you’re blessed with loving, Godly parents, go all out- love them however you see fit. Spend time with them, give them gifts, & let them know you appreciate them.
However, if you’re like most of my readers & I, & aren’t blessed with such parents, that type of honoring behavior probably feels wrong to you. It surely does me! I had to decide on my own with God what honoring my abusive, narcissistic parents felt like.
For me, to honor my parents first & foremost means praying for them. Not always easy, I freely admit that. But, God wants us to pray for our enemies, & sadly, I think my parents fit into that category. (They don’t love me- they only love what I can do for them. They regularly try to hurt, control & manipulate me.) I have an alarm set on my cell to remind me every morning to pray for my parents, other enemies, my friends, family & readers. Praying for them as well as everyone else has become much easier since I’ve been doing it daily for a few months now.
Honoring them also does not include tolerating abuse. If you study what God means by love in the Bible, you’ll see that one thing it basically means wanting the best for others. Allowing someone to be abusive isn’t wanting the best for them. Setting & enforcing good boundaries encourages them to behave right. Granted, it doesn’t always work with narcissists, but at least doing so is a loving & honorable thing to do.
Sometimes setting some distance between or even going no contact with your parents can be honorable. I was no contact with my mother for 6 years. God had been dealing with me for a while about making the step, but I thought that couldn’t be God! I asked Him one day if that was Him, because going no contact seemed so dishonorable to me. His response was among the clearest responses I’ve ever heard from Him. He said, “Where is the honor in the fact that your very presence stirs up strife with your mother? How is that honorable?” That along with some especially horrible things she did to me at the time gave me the courage to end contact with my mother.
As for more specifics, such as do you help out your elderly, abusive parent, that I believe is a decision only you can make. Ask God what you should do. I did this since my parents are now in their late 70’s. I asked if He wanted me to help them. God told me to do as I feel I am able to do, physically as well as emotionally. Due to physical & mental health limitations, it isn’t a lot, & that is fine. God understands! He also understands if I opt to do nothing to help them. My parents may not, but yanno something? I answer to God, not them. Let Him guide you as to what is best in your individual situation. He won’t lead you wrong!
One of my readers made an interesting point. She read my post about The Silent Treatment that I wrote a couple of days ago, & mentioned how she gives her mother what she calls the silent treatment. Hers is a bit different than her narcissistic mother’s silent treatment- she doesn’t try to punish her narcissistic mother with it (as narcissists do). Instead she only speaks to her mother on her terms (when she is able to talk with her), & is very careful with the limited information she shares. This is also what Dr. Karyl McBride, author of “Will I Ever Be Good Enough?” calls the civil connection.
I’ve done this with my mother & mother in-law. Both are narcissists, my mother being the overt type, mother in-law the covert. Both have responded very differently to it. My mother used to get very frustrated, but it didn’t take her long to get to the point where she gives up quickly on me. I’m more stubborn than her, & she knows that, so I assume she realizes there’s no point in trying to get something “juicy” from me once I’ve made up my mind not to give anything up. My mother in-law, however, was a different story. She would become visibly flustered, & try any tactic she could to force me to talk. It became just plain funny to me after a while! Watching her get angrier & angrier, yet unable to say or do anything about it for fear of looking bad, became very entertaining to me.
Have you tried this with your narcissistic mother? If not, you have to try it!! If nothing else, it’ll amuse you!
I like to give one word (or close to it) answers. For example…
Mother: “How are you?”
Mother: “What have you been up to lately?”
Me: “Not much.” (she already thinks I’m lazy, so she’ll believe I haven’t done much)
See how that works? It’s really easy.
Chances are, your narcissistic mother will start to push for more information from you when you give her such curt responses. She will hint around, trying to get you to talk, as she won’t ask outright for fear of looking unreasonable, bad, or whatever. Refuse to respond! Ignore the hints. I’m telling you, it will fluster her, & if you’re lucky, she’ll give up trying to get news from you.
Once, I had a doctor’s appointment on a day when my mother in-law thought I should do something for her (which is amazing in itself- she’s hated me from the day we met, so why would she think I would be willing to help her in any way?!). I told her I couldn’t do it- I had a doctor’s appointment that afternoon. I should have said “prior obligation” instead of admitting what I was doing, but it slipped out. It turned out to be hilarious for me though! She said things like, “Well, if you’re seeing the doctor, it must be serious. I understand why you can’t do this for me…” (I simply said “Thanks” in response), “If you can’t reschedule it, that isn’t a good sign. I’m so worried about you!” (yea, right! She didn’t care- she just wanted information, so I simply told her I was fine.), “Why are you seeing the doctor?” (the only direct question she asked, & I ignored her question, as I was listening to my husband & his father talk- I pretended I didn’t hear her over them), or “I guess you can’t do this for me since you HAVE to see the doctor on that day & no other…I don’t understand why it has to be THAT day..” (to which I responded with, “Nope, I can’t do it.”) By the time my husband & I left her home shortly after, I was surprised her head didn’t explode! I barely made it to the car before I started laughing!
If you haven’t tried this type of interaction with your narcissistic mother, please consider doing so! Not only will it entertain you, it will give her less opportunities to hurt you. You will speak to her only as you are able to do so, & by limiting your conversation as well as your exposure to her, you will give her less to criticize about you. It really will make your interactions with her much easier for you! Also, it’s not disrespectful, so if you are concerned about not honoring your mother, as many Christian daughters of narcissistic mothers are, please don’t worry!
I often get emails from adult daughters of narcissistic mothers who ask the same question: “The Bible says to honor my mother & father. How do I do this?” This is a very good question & on the minds of many people. My free ebook “How To Honor A Difficult Parent” is my most popular.
To start with, I believe people need to know both sides of what the Bible says about the parent/child relationship. Here are some Scriptures for your consideration..
Exodus 20:12, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” (KJV)
Ephesians 6:4, “Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord.” (AMP)
Colossians 3:21, “Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or fret your children [do not be hard on them or harass them], lest they become discouraged and sullen and morose and feel inferior and frustrated. [Do not break their spirit.]” (AMP)
While yes, children should honor their parents, parents also need to be aware that they are being disobedient to God if they abuse their children. I find it quite interesting that so many parents who are quick to tell their child Exodus 20:12 never seem to remember Ephesians 6:4 & Colossians 3:21…
Also, we need to consider what the word “honor” truly means. Merriam-webster.com defines honor this way: “1 b: a showing of usually merited respect : recognition <pay honor to our founder> ” I take this to mean that to honor your parents means you speak respectfully to them (you don’t cuss them out if you’re angry with them for example), & you respect the fact that they are your parents.
Nowhere in this definition does honor mean that one should be a doormat or a punching bag for another. Tolerating abuse is not honorable. Having no boundaries is not honorable. Catering to your parents’ every whim is most definitely not honorable nor is it loving the way God loves. God’s kind of love wants what is best for people, & sometimes what is best isn’t necessarily what they might like to have at the moment. Giving into people’s whims creates spoiled, ungrateful people, not good, compassionate, generous people.
Below are some ways to honorably treat your abusive parents..
Set & enforce healthy boundaries. Boundaries are not only for your protection, but they encourage others to either accept your boundaries & change their hurtful behavior, or to leave you alone.
Say no. No is a complete sentence sometimes, & often a very beneficial one. You needn’t explain your no if you don’t want to.
Always remember the truth. Narcissistic mothers love to reinvent things to make them more palatable. They cannot handle the guilt or shame of what they have done to their children, & many create stories about their adventures as a wonderful mother to cover up the fact they were NOT good mothers. My mother does this on a constant basis. This is a natural coping skill for many narcissists, as sad as that fact is. While it is her right to use that skill, you do NOT have to reinforce your narcissistic mother’s delusions. When this happens to me with my mother, I listen to her stories, but never say anything that says I agree with her version of events. If she asks if I remember something, I truthfully tell her I don’t. I also don’t tell her the truth about what really happened. As dysfunctional as this behavior is, it’s her choice to employ it. I don’t feel it’s my right to shatter her delusion. I came about this decision through prayer. If you pray about your similar situation, God may tell you to handle it differently, but in any case, I strongly urge you to pray about how to handle it!
Distance is your friend. While I’m not necessarily saying sever all ties with your narcissistic mother (only you can decide if that is the right step for you to take or not), I am saying sometimes distance can be good for both of you. If your mother has said or done something especially hurtful, you may not want to be around her for a while, & there is nothing wrong with that. Take a little time off for yourself before you deal with her again. Besides, believe it or not, the narcissistic mother will think about it, & she is aware of what she’s done to upset you so. I wrote about this in more detail in the following post: Do Narcissists Really Know What They’re Doing?
Don’t always be available. Narcissistic parents seem to think their adult children are sitting by the phone with baited breath, waiting for the parents to call. Obviously, this makes no sense. Unfortunately, in this age of cell phones, most people can be reached at any time of day. If you are available 24/7 though, your narcissistic parents will expect you to be available 24/7 no matter what, & there will be hell to pay if you suddenly aren’t available. If you normally always answer your parents’ calls, stop right now! Skip answering the phone sometimes. If you feel unable to handle their drama, then don’t take the call. Later, your narcissistic mother may attempt to make you feel guilty, but don’t let her! You are an adult. You pay for your phone. It’s up to you when & for whom you answer your own phone! And, don’t offer any explainations as to why you didn’t pick up the phone. “I was busy” is a sufficient answer. Your parents aren’t entitled to know every detail of your life.
Keep conversations superficial. Narcissists are extremely judgmental, so make your life easier on yourself by keeping the topics of conversation superficial. Don’t discuss personal details of your life with your narcissistic mother because that just gives her ammunition for her criticisms of you later. If she asks “How are you?” say “Fine.” “How is work going?” “Fine.” “What have you been up to lately?” “Nothing much.” See the pattern? In fact, to make your life easier yet, turn the conversation back to her & off of you. She’ll be more than happy to talk about herself instead of you anyway! You can discuss your life with people who genuinely care how you’re doing instead.
Putting these skills into practice can be very helpful for you not only to cope with your narcissistic mother, but also to honor her God’s way. And honoring her I believe is very important. Not because your narcissistic mother deserves honor, because frankly, she doesn’t. No narcissist does. It’s important because God wants us to honor our parents, & doing it shows Him how much you love Him.
Good evening, Dear Readers!
I’ve been thinking this afternoon & decided I’d share my thoughts with you. Seeing things in writing helps me clarify things in my mind anyway, & I’m hoping this post will help you as well.
As I mentioned, the last time I helped my parents out was a very difficult day. My narcissistic mother found a new way to degrade me that was so low, I don’t even want to discuss the details. She also knew I was in pain- while helping hubby use the log splitter the previous day, a good sized log landed on my left foot- yet she insisted I do at least 3 loads of laundry & make a couple of extra trips to & from their basement. Oh, & she also insisted on telling me all about the problems she has with her feet, interrupting me explaining what happened to my father.
Stupidly, I put up with it all too. Silently. I did set a boundary on the laundry as she wanted me to keep going, but for some reason, I tolerated the rest. I’ve been kicking myself since.
This is nothing but bullying behavior from my mother. It’s also nothing new to me. My mother has bullied me my entire life. A girl in junior high seemed to think it was her job to bully me from seventh through ninth grades. Another girl did the same briefly in seventh grade. Even my father in-law tried bullying me (like he has done to the rest of his family) occasionally during the first few years of my husband’s & my relationship. And, currently, someone who has been harassing me for the last year periodically uses bullying behavior as well.
Bullies don’t scare me at all, since I am so accustomed to them. I know they are nothing but immature cowards at heart who back down immediately once confronted. My mother is no exception. I’ve made her back down before when calling her out on her actions.
I also realized since that day at my parents’ home, I haven’t been myself at all. I’ve been withdrawn & depressed. My husband keeps asking what’s wrong, & I tell him I’m fine, refusing to show any emotions. I also tried to make him happy when he was in a foul mood yesterday rather than let him work it out on his own. Ridiculous! I know that my behavior is partly because I don’t want to hear his assessment of my situation, but there is more to it. I realized I have reverted back to my childish survival mechanisms.
Tolerating the bullying from my mother is what I knew to do as a child to avoid her anger, shaming me, disappointment, etc. It kept the peace. It’s also a reflex for me to do. I also know that showing any anger at her bullying will only feed her- the more hurt or anger I show my mother, the harder she tries to push every button I have, & the happier she is.
I also realized something else- I’ve been trying to make myself invisible (like I felt I was in childhood) by not bothering anyone with my feelings. WHY?! I asked God this because it makes no sense! Emotions are a part of everyone. God gave them to us, so how can they be bad? Immediately, He began to show me some things. I found it interesting because they reminded me of the dream I had recently where God showed me I need to move away from old ways of thinking. (see that post here: https://cynthiabaileyrug.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/another-interesting-dream-to-share/ )
When I was in the eighth grade, there was an after school dance coming up. All of my friends were asking boys to the dance. I was uncomfortable with the thought of it, but since they were doing it, I figured I should too. At the end of a school day, I asked a boy who it turned out had been asked by several other girls. I was embarrassed, & later my mother saw me crying. She demanded to know what was wrong, & I didn’t want to tell her. Finally after her continued pushing, I did tell her. She told me no man would ever want me because I was so pushy & this was no big deal, stop crying. She acted like I was bothering her with petty problems by sharing this with her. I had always known it’s best to keep my emotions controlled, but this cemented that belief in my mind. I rarely showed any emotions to my mother again except when her abuse was exceptionally bad.
As an adult, there have been a few episodes with my husband where he too has shamed me for feeling certain things. For example, when we first got together, I learned he liked pancakes. I don’t, so I had no idea how to make them. I learned, but frankly, I stunk at it. I would get frustrated sometimes when trying & slam a kitchen cabinet door or something. He then would come into the room, say something like “tsk tsk.. soooo much anger,” then walk away, shaking his head. Also, when I got mad at his mother for her constant verbal abuse, snooping through my purse, criticizing my pets & family, he would tell me I had to understand her better or “be the bigger person” & ignore it. Basically, these behaviors of his showed me that something was wrong with me for having the feelings I did, & I shouldn’t bother him with those petty things. After years of this kind of behavior, it cemented in my mind that I need to keep my emotions from him as well.
Can you relate??
No one needs to tolerate bullying, but especially from their own mother! How ridiculous is that?! What kind of sick woman tries to hurt & intimidate her own child? A narcissist, that’s who. “Honor thy mother & father” does NOT mean tolerating abuse in any way, shape or form. There is nothing good or holy about that. How does anyone benefit from being mistreated or mistreating others? However, it is loving to put an end to such behaviors & making the abuser face uncomfortable consequences for her actions. God’s kind of love wants what is best for others, & that sometimes means confrontation or setting & enforcing boundaries.
And, if you too have been made to feel ashamed of your emotions or like you need to be invisible too, I am so sorry for what you are feeling! I know how miserable this is! You do not need to hide your emotions another moment. You have every right to feel them & process them however you need to. They are a part of you, a part of what makes you the unique person you are! Granted, it’s unwise to share your emotions with just anyone (such as narcissists or even plain old judgmental people), but there is nothing wrong with sharing your feelings with safe people.
As for me, I’m angry right now about this, & odd as it may sound, I think it’s a good thing. As the Bible says, be angry yet do not sin, so I won’t allow it to make me behave foolishly. I will, however, allow my anger to give me courage the next time I help my parents out. I will not allow my mother to bully me anymore, & I will set & enforce some strict boundaries. I also will not allow her to mock or invalidate me again either. If it comes down to it, I will walk out of her house. There is really nothing she can do to hurt me anymore.
Mark 6:4 ” But Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor (deference, reverence) except in his [own] country and among [his] relatives and in his [own] house.” (AMP)
This Scripture came to mind recently as it reminded me of something..
It seems like so many people have a serious physical or mental health problem, yet their families don’t believe they are as sick as they say, are faking their illness for attention or only to get those ‘good drugs.’ Personally I have been told to get over my past, learn to fix things with my parents, think more positive & just get a pill- that will fix it. I’ve also heard that I am wrong-that my parents aren’t so bad, I need to cut them some slack since they aren’t getting any younger yanno…
I have tried in vain to make other people close to me see the truth of my situation to no avail, & I have seen other people do the same with people close to them. Witnessing this made me realize exactly how fruitless it really can, & that some people, often those closest to you, just do not care. Unfortunately, people are so hungry for validation, that we sometimes keep beating that dead horse.
While it is certainly understandable to want that validation, especially from those closest to us, sometimes it is time to realize it won’t happen. When discussing your symptoms or your condition, sometimes you can tell when the other person is not interested in the subject at hand. They may look bored or try to change the subject repeatedly. They also may say invalidating things such as, “it can’t be that bad,” “It must be nice for you, not having to get up & go to work in the morning,” or defend the person who abused you “Well, I’m sure she didn’t mean it that way,” or “she did the best she could by you.”
If your conversation takes a turn like this, it’s time to make a decision- is it worth continuing to try to convince this person that you have an actual problem or should you just stop?
I have decided to stop wasting my time. It just isn’t worth the frustration on my part or making the other person angry. It hurts, but I have accepted that some people just aren’t capable of the empathy or compassion it takes to be supportive of me.
People who genuinely know & care won’t be invalidating. They will be supportive & not judgmental. They know you well enough to know you aren’t making anything up or exaggerating. People like that are a wonderful blessing!
I am also very blessed with wonderful, wonderful fans who email me often not only to say thank you for something I wrote that helped them, but also sometimes to offer me encouragement. 🙂 It seems strange to me that people I’ve never met care more than some who are closer to me, but apparently it happens. Obviously Jesus understood it well & experienced it firsthand.
Good morning, Dear Readers!
Father’s Day is upon us today. To all of the great dads reading this, the dads who love, support, encourage & protect their children, I wish you a very happy day!
To those of you who are reading this & have been dreading this day, please know that I understand.
It is so hard to want to celebrate someone who has abused you or, possibly even worse, failed to protect you from being abused. So many daughters of narcissistic mothers were not only only the victim of their mother, but their father as well. Maybe your father didn’t belittle, criticize or hit you as your mother did, but by failing to protect you, or even turning her rage on you instead of him to protect himself, he is just as guilty of abuse. In fact, most men married to narcissistic wives are covert narcissists. Things like this make it very hard to want to bless him on Father’s Day.
I just want you to know, Dear Reader, that I truly understand your pain & frustration. I hope today that you will take good care of yourself, & only do for your father what you are able to do comfortably. Remember- if you do not feel able to do much for your father today, there is a very good reason for that. He is reaping what he has sown. How could anyone want to bless a neglectful or abusive parent? That is like planting apple seeds & expecting corn to grow. It’s not going to happen.
If you dread Father’s Day, or are feeling bad because you are incapable of fawning over your father today, know you are not alone! And, think about the kind of father he has been. I think you’ll realize there are very valid reasons you feel as you do! ❤
Lastly, don’t forget to thank your Heavenly Father for all He does for you. He loves you so much, & does so much for you- why not take a few moments to thank Him & tell Him how much you love Him?
Good afternoon, Dear Readers!
I need to rant a little today..
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard things like, “That’s your MOTHER! She’s the only one you’ll ever have!” or, “She won’t be around forever!” or other unasked for advice in telling me what *I* need to do to improve the abusive relationship between my mother & I.
Is it just me? I’m going to go out on a limb here & guess it isn’t just me..
Isn’t it infuriating, feeling like all of the responsibility of a relationship is on you?! Oh my word!!! I flippin’ hate that! Relationships are a two way street. There is a lot of give & take. It doesn’t matter if that relationship is parent/child, family, friendship or romantic. All relationships are give & take. There is nowhere in the Bible that says children must tolerate abuse from their parents. The only verse I’ve found says that children should honor their parents, & no where does the word honor equal being a punching bag or doormat or recipient of abuse. It simply means giving your parents their due respect for giving you life. Period. For further information on this topic, I have written some free ebooks on the topics. Simply click this link for access to them.
Hello, Dear Readers!
I just learned that my favorite aunt has bone cancer. She’s been through cancer before, so this is pretty scary. I would like to ask any of you who are willing to please pray for her complete recovery. Thank you.
Pearl Harbor happened on this day in 1941. It was a horrible & tragic event. Let it remind you that soldiers today also face dangers. Please pray for soldiers & their families. If you know some personally, please be good to them. These people are so strong & courageous. I can’t imagine either being a soldier, or being married to one & spending my days worried about him every moment.
Yesterday I started working on the newest book. It should be a good one- it’s turning out to be fun to write so far! 🙂
Have a great day, everyone! ❤