I get a daily email from the funeral home that took care of my mother when she died. It sometimes has good & interesting emails. Sadly though because our relationship was so abnormal, & it’s aimed for people with normal relationships who are grieving, it isn’t usually particularly helpful.
I just read the first email I truly disliked. Even so, I think it can be a valuable teaching tool, even for those in relationships with narcissists.
The email quoted a book written by a young woman whose sister died. She said her mother cried non stop. She wore headphones constantly so she wouldn’t have to hear her mother cry, & her father worked very long hours for the same reason. The commentary on this brief story said that as someone grieving, you should consider how your actions affect others. You should keep your home life as normal as possible. People who love you will be upset to see you suffering. It ended with take time to share your feelings & not isolate yourself.
When I read this, it bothered me.
Not talking things out isn’t healthy. Whether you’re grieving as the lady in this article or suffering at the hands of a narcissist. you have to talk about things. You can’t ignore things & hope they’ll go away because they won’t. The same goes for toning bad things down when you do talk about them. It’s wise to share only with people you know are safe of course, so I’m not saying talk to just anyone. Only aim to talk with safe people who won’t judge, criticize or invalidate you. Can you imagine how much better the lady in this article would’ve felt if she had someone to talk to?!
Also, it seems to me the family in this article split up rather than pulling together with their shared loss. That isn’t healthy! The family in this email would have been so much better off if they would have spoken to each other about what each one was feeling & supported each other. Whether you are grieving a death like the lady in this article or are suffering at the hands of an abuser, you should come together with people who are experiencing a situation similar to yours. That way you can help each other to get through. Finding that common ground with another person also can be incredibly validating! If you don’t know anyone, there are countless online forums & groups on social media sites where you can meet such people.
The final sentence bothered me, too. It seemed to me that taken in context with the rest of it basically said, “Let people know you’re upset, but not *too* upset.” That is just wrong. If people truly care about you, naturally they don’t want to see you upset of course, but they also won’t expect you to hide your feelings just to appease them. They would rather see you bawl your eyes out or yell than plaster on a fake smile & pretend everything is ok. They probably would see through the fake smile easily anyway. I know my friends would. If you’re suffering at the hands of a narcissist in particular, I know it can feel sometimes like no one cares, but that isn’t true! That is only what the narcissist wants you to think, so you won’t discuss the abuse with anyone. There will be people who genuinely care & want to help you. Let them!
In the midst of suffering, it really can feel like there is no escape, like you’re all alone & no one cares. Don’t believe that! People do care & you can get through this. And most importantly, there is a God who loves you so much & will be there for you no matter what. Don’t forget to turn to Him & let Him help you to get through!