Tag Archives: perfection

Your Mistakes Can Minister To Yourself & Others

Since I’ve learned so much about narcissistic abuse & started writing about it, I’ve had many people contact me looking for answers.  Some I simply can’t help, because helping others is hard on me emotionally.  It’s a tremendous responsibility helping people, & I take it very seriously.  When people ask me for help, I try to offer it to the best of my ability.  Even if I’m writing books or blog posts like this, I want to provide good, helpful, truthful information.

As a result, people look to me as if I have all the answers sometimes.  The fact is though, I don’t.  I also make mistakes.  Lots of them.  And often.

When I first started writing about narcissistic abuse, I was loathe to admit mistakes I’ve made.  Frankly, it can be embarrassing sometimes.  I’ve done some amazingly dumb things!  As time has passed though, I realized that people have more respect for someone who is real, willing to admit their shortcomings & mistakes, than they do for someone who acts as though they never slip up.

So many people in positions like mine seem to be afraid they’ll lose popularity if they admit their flaws.  So instead of being open about themselves, they present a false image of perfection.  This can be extremely discouraging to people following their teaching.  It was for me.  I felt like a failure, like I didn’t have enough faith or not praying the right way.  I felt “less than.”

There are three preachers on TV that I absolutely love & have loved since I first became a Christian- Jesse Duplantis, TD Jakes & Joyce Meyer.  Aside from the fact their preaching makes so much sense to me, they also admit their mistakes & shortcomings.  They’re real!  Listening to them or reading their books never makes me feel bad about where I am in life.  Quite the opposite.  They make me realize I’m OK while encouraging me to continue learning & growing.

Another bonus to being open is you lose the shame over your flaws.  Bringing them into the open loosens that shame much like sunlight destroys vampires in the old legends.  Hiding them gives them power over you.  Power to keep you feeling embarrassed & even ashamed of yourself.

The reason I’m telling you this, Dear Reader, is to encourage you.

No doubt that as you recover from narcissistic abuse you will begin to share some of your experiences.  Maybe only with those very close to or maybe you will feel led to write about it like I have.  In any case, I want to encourage you to be open about it.  People will respect you for your transparency.  So few people in the world are genuine these days, & the few that are, are greatly appreciated.  And, if you end up in a position of helping others, they will be encouraged when they realize you, someone who is teaching them, have made mistakes & are able to learn from them.  They also will feel comfortable enough to approach  you.  You may be the only person they tell about their painful experiences, & opening up can help them tremendously.

It’s funny… sometimes your mistakes really can be a part of your ministry to others!

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism, Writing

Stop Expecting Perfection From Yourself

I think all adult children of narcissists do is we expect perfection from ourselves, especially where our narcissistic mothers are concerned.

Once we learn about NPD, we become more aware of our narcissistic mother’s tactics.  We seem to think once we are more aware, we should never fall for her tactics again, we shouldn’t slip up or go along with her games.  Now, we know better & that will not happen ever again!

If only!

While that sounds good in theory, there are going to be times we slip up.  We’re only human after all, & we’ll make mistakes.

I’m not immune to this either.  I wish I was.

The last time my parents visited, I tried to distract my mother from some nastiness by showing her a tote I just crocheted.  I created the pattern myself & thought it turned out pretty.  So have others who have seen it. Plus, she loves crocheting- she’d just mentioned it a moment before, which is why I thought of my bag.  All she could say when she saw it was to ask what it’s for.  I said for shopping.  Then she said “I’ve seen women using purses that size- they’re going to regret it when their backs hurt later in life!”  I mentally kicked myself at this point.  How could I be so stupid?!  I designed it & it turned out well- of course she would have something nasty to say & to distract from my project!  I don’t think she’s ever created a pattern, I’ve created several- it’s natural for her as a narcissist to trash what I’ve done.

This happens all too often, & also too often, I beat myself up for failing.  I write about narcissism- I should know better!  People want to read what my experiences are & how I handle things, & it’s embarrassing to admit how often I screw up.  People expect better out of me because of what I write about.  How can they look to me for answers when I make so many mistakes??

I realized a few things though, & I pray sharing them with you will help you to stop beating yourself up like it is helping me.

Learning about narcissism is a fantastic thing.  It really can help you to become aware of what is truly abusive behavior & even ways to avoid it.  The fact is though, that learning about it isn’t a cure all.  If you still have a relationship with your narcissistic mother, there still will be times she hurts you or manipulates or controls you.  Thankfully those times will be less, but they still will happen occasionally.  When they do, you need to NOT beat yourself up over it!

Dealing with a narcissist is never an easy thing.  They are masters of gaslighting.  They are also masters of reading people & abuse.  If they realize one abusive tactic isn’t working, they’ll simply pull another out of their bottomless bag of evil tricks.  There is no end to the evil things they can do.  How can you expect to handle them perfectly when many times, they surprise you with their outrageous & hurtful actions?  Besides, your narcissistic mother has had your entire life to train you to behave as she wants.  You’ve only known about NPD a comparatively short while.  How can your brief time of knowledge compete with a lifetime of training?

You are NOT perfect!  If you were, you wouldn’t need Jesus.  Accept the fact you are going to make mistakes sometimes, even where your mother is concerned.  It’s ok! If you’re having trouble with this, ask God to help you.  He will help you to stop being so hard on yourself.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism