Working for Love in All the Wrong Places

It is that awkward time of the year for Adult Children of Narcissists. We have survived the guilt of Mother’s Day, but now Father’s Day is just around the corner. How can we honor parents who used us and abused us and yet never seem to care if they have a relationship with us? Some have gone no contact and they probably have good reason for it. Others have gone low contact and do the very least they can and others still love their parents, but they never feel the love back. Why does it have to be so hard? Most ACoNs* are tired of working for love.



Someone pointed out that even when a narcissistic parent favors the golden child above the others, they do not really love them. This is because narcissists are incapable of real love. For them all love has strings attached. They are so focused on what matters to them be it religion, making money or gossiping about whoever is their enemy at the time, they really aren’t unavailable to have a real relationship with. So even if our parents say they love our sister or brother and barely speak to us, we aren’t missing much. As one psychiatrist put it, loving and favoring one child above another is just narc code for getting them to do whatever they want.

Most of us have been used as scapegoats or Cinderellas in our families, but now it’s time to stop working for love and turn to someone who offers love without work. This year why not get to know our Heavenly Parent? (I realize some people can’t get the name father or mother to even come out of their mouth. That’s okay, God understands–He’s seen what each of us have gone through.) God designed the family so loving parents could teach love to their children, but unfortunately more parents use their children than love them. God never intended this to happen, but even in all of our brokenness, God has a plan to heal us.

God’s plan starts with His everlasting, unconditional love. This is not a love that says I care about you if–. It is a love that says I love you anyway. This is not a love that requires as much as it inspires. This is not a love that has a to-do list or a set of goals for you before you find favor. The favor is there right now. The love is unconditional.

What does everlasting love look like? According to Solomon it is like a burning fire that can never be quenched. This means God will never give up on you. It’s okay to be afraid. It’s okay to share our fears and pain and shame with God because He loves us so much it won’t turn His head.

God will never walk away from us. And even if we walk away from Him, He will pursue us–not like a stalker narcissistic parent, but like a lover searching to make us happy. Everything that is beautiful and good in this world originated with God. Why would anyone tell such a lover to stop? I can’t imagine it. But only then would God back off–only if we ask Him to. God’s love would still be there, it would be we who shut Him out and maybe because we mistook Him for being like the parents who used and abused us. God is altogether a different kind of parent than we once thought. God is here to love and help us unlike any parent we have ever known.

How do you feel about God as a parent?

ACoN–Adult Child of Narcissist