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Sick Vs Evil

People who aren’t terribly familiar with Narcissistic Personality Disorder often can be tricked by the “disorder” part of the name into thinking that narcissists are sick.  They cannot control their behavior because they have a mental illness, so you have to give them a free pass.  This is completely WRONG!

You see, there are differences between sick & evil.

A sick person cannot control their symptoms.  Look at a person with PTSD, for example.  Flashbacks happen & the person having them can’t stop them.  It doesn’t matter if the person is driving, at work or sitting on the couch watching a movie.  However, if you look at a narcissist, he or she can control the symptoms quite well.  I remember in my late teen years, my mother would scream at & berate me, but if the phone rang, she could switch that behavior off to speak to whoever was calling her.

Another difference is someone who is sick hurts someone, it isn’t intentional.  They clearly get no thrill from causing pain & suffering, & they feel genuine remorse for their actions.  They apologize.  They try to make it up to the person they hurt when possible.  They also do their best not to let that happen again.  Evil people behave nothing like this.  They enjoy causing pain & suffering.  It’s rather like a high to them because they feel powerful that they can affect someone so strongly.  They feel no remorse for their actions.  They don’t apologize but instead offer excuses, blame the victim, say the incident didn’t happen as the victim remembers it or it didn’t happen at all.

In spite of these very clear differences, it seems many people don’t acknowledge that sick & evil are very different things.  I think there are a couple of reasons for this.

Maybe this is because it is easier for people to write off abusive actions as sick.  Knowing that someone you love has chosen to inflict physical &/or mental pain on you is very difficult to accept.  That person loves you.. how could they want to hurt you, after all.

Another possible reason is sickness can be cured or at least managed.  Give someone the proper medication & their symptoms will be either cured or at least controlled.  There isn’t a pill to control or cure evil.  The person must want to stop doing evil things, & very rarely does an evil person want to change.  Clinging to the hope that the evil person is simply sick gives the victim hope of change.

When I first learned about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I got stuck on the term “disorder”.  I thought that meant that my parents’ actions were beyond their control.  If they couldn’t help themselves, then I shouldn’t be angry with them for hurting me.  It wasn’t intentional, I thought.  I would guess many people have thought the same thing.  If someone who is abusing them has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, it can be very easy to believe at first that these problems are called disorders because the abuser can’t control their abusive actions.  That also is much easier to accept than the fact that your abuser is deliberately choosing to abuse you.

There is also the fact that if this is sickness as opposed to evil, everyone has an excuse to do nothing about the abuse.  After all, if it’s a sickness, no one but a doctor can fix that, right?

Claiming evil people are simply sick people does no good to anyone!  What people don’t realize is they are giving the evil person free reign to abuse.  They offer the abusive person no consequences for their actions, which means there is zero chance that abuser will want to change.  Why should they when they know they can do anything they want with no repercussions?

They also don’t seem to realize (or at least don’t want to admit) that this also invalidates & can further traumatize victims.  Victims who are trying to escape abuse or have escaped know the truth.  It hurts them to be told their abuser was just sick & they were wrong for being angry with him or her.

Just remember, Dear Reader, you know in your heart whether your abuser is sick or evil.  If you have any doubts, look at their behavior, & you’ll see the truth.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

When A Narcissistic Parent Is Dying

At of the time I’m writing this, my father is in the ICU on life support, dying from leukemia.  As a result, now I am having to put into practice the things I’ve written about before.

 

When I went no contact with my father earlier this year (prior to his diagnosis), I knew this scenario was very likely to happen.  My father has had a myriad of health problems for years, & is, well, no spring chicken anymore.  So, I prepared- I prayed & thought a lot about what would I do if this happened?  Should I resume the relationship with my parents at the end of their lives, even knowing they won’t improve their behavior or will get worse?  Could my physical & mental health tolerate that?  Should I stay away no matter what?  If I did stay away, could I handle the guilt?  How would I handle the pressure from outsiders telling me to go when I knew I couldn’t do it?

 

Aside from the pain of losing my father, I’ve had many people come out of the woodwork to tell me to go to the hospital to see him.  I should “put my feelings aside so he can die in peace,”  “I only have one set of parents” & more.  One even anonymously emailed me (as if I wouldn’t know who it was?!) information about NPD that she copied from the Mayo Clinic’s site, insinuating that I’m a narcissist for not going.

 

This is the kind of stuff that happens when a narcissistic parent is dying, & you, Dear Reader, need to be prepared for it since it can happen to you as well.

 

To start with, pray.  Ask God to show you what you should do if & when your narcissistic parent becomes terminally ill, & ignore advice from everyone when the time comes.  God knows best what you should do- no human being knows what He knows.  Let Him guide you.  Also ask Him to give you whatever it is you will need when that time comes- wisdom, courage, strength, etc.  You’ll especially need those things if you opt to see your parent or become involved in a caregiver role.

 

Stay close to God.  Talk with Him often.  Let Him strengthen & comfort you, because you’re going to need those things more than you ever have in your life.

 

Ignore the pressure from everyone.  You do what you believe God wants you to do & ignore everyone else.  They haven’t been in your situation, so they don’t understand it.  That doesn’t prevent them from judging it, however.  Ignore them.  You have to answer to God, not people, so obey Him.  You’ll never please people anyway.  Even if you became your parent’s full time caregiver, people would still criticize you, especially the ones who aren’t involved with helping.  (Interesting how that seems to  work- the ones who do nothing usually are the fastest to judge & criticize those who do it all.)

 

Don’t hesitate to block people’s phone numbers, emails or social media.  Yes, it just sucks.  It hurts cutting your own family or friends out of your life, but, you have to protect yourself.  Blocking them will hurt less than allowing them to fill your phone or inbox with hurtful, manipulative, guilt/shame laden messages.  Also, be aware that they may find other ways to access you that you hadn’t thought of.  One of my cousins that I’d blocked used her dead mother’s Facebook to contact me.  That was a shocking moment, seeing a message from my aunt who’s been dead since 2014!  I’ve learned there is no way to protect myself completely- I have to continue blocking various avenues as people try to contact me.  You will find the same thing is true for you.

 

Cling onto what you know is right, no matter what.  I know, it is awful when your parent is dying & you know beyond a shadow of a doubt you can’t say goodbye.  It’s painful for you & makes you feel like a terrible person.  You aren’t though!  Galatians 6:7 says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”  (KJV)  In cases like mine, this is exactly what is happening.  They are reaping the awful harvest that they have sown after abusing me for my entire life.  God has been reminding me of this Scripture repeatedly lately.

 

Don’t let people tell you how to feel.  Even well meaning people may do this with comments like, “You shouldn’t be mad at the flying monkeys for coming after you right now- you have more important things to worry about.”  You feel what you feel, acknowledge those feelings, & deal with them however you feel is appropriate.

 

Have realistic expectations.  If you do decide to say goodbye to your dying narcissistic parent, don’t expect a happy ending.  I haven’t once heard of any narcissist having an epiphany & apologizing for their behavior, even on their death bed.  In fact, quite the opposite.  I’ve heard stories of how cruel they can be to their children until their dying breath.  If you are willing to see your parent so that parent can die in peace, or because it will help you somehow to say goodbye, then do it while leaning on God to help you stay strong even when the abuse continues.  And, if at all possible, go when no one else is there.  Avoid the ones who harassed & shamed you.

 

Think about the funeral.  Do you plan to go?  If so, it can get ugly.  Even funerals aren’t off limits to some flying monkeys.  Can you handle any confrontations with grace & dignity?  Can you handle being shunned?  It may be just too much, in the light of losing your parent.  Visiting the cemetery after everyone has gone home may be a much better option for you.

 

Lastly, don’t expect anything normal about grieving your parent’s death.  The death of a narcissist adds a lot of complexity to the already difficult grief process.  Not only are you losing a parent, you’re losing the last shred of hope that things might be better one day.  You’re losing the chance of ever having closure.  You’ll grieve that your relationship was so toxic.  You also are going to feel relief because the abuse is finished, & guilt because you feel relieved.  You can’t fully prepare for all the things you’re going to feel, & it’s going to hit you hard.  Try not to judge how you feel.  Just accept that you feel as you do, & you’re OK.  Speak only with supportive & understanding friends or relatives only about your feelings.  Others will judge you harshly & not understand.  Journal about your feelings.  Read others’ stories about how they got through it.  Don’t rush the grief- take whatever time you need to get through it all.  Most of all, talk to God.  Lots!  He is there for you & wants to help.  Let Him!

 

Also, you may need to grieve other things such as the loss of friends or family you thought would be supportive of you & turned out not to be.  I learned last year that sometimes it’s possible for people to steal your grief.  What I mean is when you should be grieving the loss of your parent, you’ll also have to deal with other things, such as people attacking you for not “doing the right thing” by your narcissistic parent.  You may find it helpful to mentally put them in a box for a while as you grieve your parent, then deal with them later.  I wrote about this topic in more detail in this post: Stealing Your Grief  There’s also a follow up at this link: Update On “Stealing Grief” Post

You’ll get through this painful time, Dear Reader.  It won’t be easy, but it is possible.  xoxo

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

October 21, 2012- Sabrina

Here’s the patient, resting comfortably on her auntie Dixie’s pink afghan… her eye is fine- it’s only reacting to the ear infection & vertigo.  Poor little girl- you can see even in the picture she isn’t feeling so hot..

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October 21, 2012 · 5:40 PM

June 24, 2012

Hello, Dear Readers!

Today my post is to ask a favor… please pray for my wonderful Chow Chow mix, Bear.  He’s spent plenty of time with the vet the last few days.  I am worrying about my poor guy- he obviously isn’t feeling well, which is so unusual for him.  He’s been healthy & strong for his entire 11 years, until the last week or so.  Naturally this has me very concerned for him.  Any & all prayers are greatly appreciated!!  Thank you!

This is a pic of my handsome boy with his equally handsome little buddy, Chester… 🙂

 

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buddies lounging on the sofa together..

 

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