Celebrate Only in Freedom

This is the time of year we hear lots of quotes and comments about being grateful. Sometimes we even read or hear admonitions to be grateful for what we have and for those of us who have fractured families, it can feel like a slap in the face.

Such messages usually come from superficial friends or people totally in denial and of course the flying monkeys. They come in a mixed bag of word salad disguised as compliments and good advice when in reality these people are completely ignorant about narcissistic abuse or devoid of brains.

This week someone complained how the main narc in their family keeps doing rude things. I wonder how long they will keep going back for more punishment. I mentioned there’s no way around the fact this person is a narc. If it walks, talks and squawks like a narc, what more proof do you need?

Some people might mean well, but we can’t take advice from them because all their nice platitudes don’t apply to narcissistic abuse. I’m sure you’ve heard these remarks:

“Well we’re family and family sticks together.”

Yeah, like super glue between your finger and your thumb? With some people you can’t get anything done.

“Be grateful for who is still alive–we never know who won’t be with us next year.”

Very sad! And you know what is even sadder? People who are still alive being lied to and lied about and treated with no respect. What kind of life is that? No thank you!

“We need to forgive and forget.”

This is often said by the abuser. When the abuser says it, it’s because he/she doesn’t want to remember their abusive behavior and they certainly don’t want to apologize for it. They just want you to forget the knife they put into your back so they can have the thrill of doing it again. Narcs are not normal people. They do not have empathy for their victims and some get a high from hurting others. When the flying monkeys say this, they are just channeling the narc, because they can’t think for themselves.

“Why can’t we all just get along?”

Because we can’t give up honesty and freedom to get along. When the family peacemaker says this, whether they are aware of it or not, they are acting as a flying monkey and taking sides with the abuser. Or they self-righteously feel good about themselves because they are not the ones in the drama. They might feel good about saying, get along, but getting along is what kept slaves in their place. Getting along is what sold many Jewish people into the hands of Nazis. Getting along is what keeps people in gangs. Just sayin’.

If you have family members or friends spouting these platitudes and asking you to come to the big family dinner, here is a litmus test to see if it is worth your time. Ask yourself these two questions–

1. Are they honest?
2. Do they treat me with respect?

I don’t think this is asking too much, because without honor and respect, we’ve got nothing.

So back to being grateful. I am grateful! I am grateful every. single. day. for my freedom filled life!
I am grateful for so many things, but the height of my gratitude is to know that God is not like a narcissist and gives me freedom to make my own choices. I am grateful for the knowledge I have about narcissism so I can quit trying to play a game I could never win. I am grateful for freedom.

A few years ago after the Worst Thanksgiving Ever, I wrote a poem and shared it with one of my family members. It was about other people telling me what to eat and how to worship and how to spend my money. I was thirty-five at the time and trying to find my voice and trying cut the control strings from my family of origin.

My poem basically said I was reclaiming my own right to these things. My family member listened to my poem, then said, “Wow! That’s a very selfish poem–it’s all about you.” I was stunned. The words of this family member echoed what my parents had taught me and I didn’t know how to separate myself from the lies, so I ripped up the poem and asked Jesus to forgive me for being so selfish. It would take me another ten years to wake up.

So every holiday I am very grateful to be awake, I am grateful to no longer be brainwashed to live my life to please other people. I am grateful to discern lies from truth. To know myself and know my God.

So if you are feeling sad about all the mind twists and gaslighting and being ostracized this holiday season, remember to look for the silver lining. Here is the sad truth: narcissistic people bring us joy only in their absence. If they weren’t narcs, they would use honesty and respect to bring us back home, but by their very nature, narcs find truth, love and freedom impossible.

So here’s to a narc-free life–with truth, love and freedom! I can drink to that!

8 Replies to “Celebrate Only in Freedom”

  1. This was wonderful! I have been feeling the guilt and sadness of spending another holiday without family. My family is full of narcs, enablers and flying monkeys. lm now going to try and focus on being grateful for my freedom from their abuse. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Subtledifferences 567,

    I hope you can find a friend or church or group of neighbors to hang out with, so you are not alone. You deserve to hang out with people who are honest and respectful.

    Peace and freedom to you!

    Cherilyn

    Like

  3. Thank you for this empowering post.

    Just spent Thanksgiving alone again since going No Contact with my Narcopath mom.

    Siblings and sister-in-law in denial and are her Flying Monkeys.

    Usually I’m depressed but this year I’m so grateful that I’m not them.

    I’d rather be alone forever than be like they are.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s good for people from difficult upbringings to have this kind of “seasonal support” around Christmastime. Thanks again.

    My husband and I have always had our own Christmas, but gone to see both his and my parents just before or just after / or been visited by his family just before or after, which is cool. This is the year I finally decided to stop going to see my parents altogether (although they are free to come see us just before or just after Christmas, but that’s never happened and is never going to happen, they would have to make “too much of an effort” and it’s just “impossible” – must be interesting being the axis around which the world is expected to turn).

    So now, as per textbook, we are getting bombarded with presents. A big box arrived containing mostly sugary sweets and junk foods for Christmas. It’s the kind of off-the-shelf stuff which many people buy at Christmastime but I have pointed out for over twenty years, to no avail, that I actually don’t like eating sugary foods, it makes me feel unwell and it actually isn’t good to eat. I’ve been open about that preference since age 23 and yet it’s as if I’ve never said anything at all. Initially I was subtle and polite about it at family occasions, “No thanks, but I’d love a crunchy apple” but turning down unhealthy food was followed by, “But why not?” or “It’s Christmas, you know!” and “You’re lean enough, you can afford to eat this” – and I did explain a couple of times early on that empty calories simply aren’t good nutrition and also that I get no pleasure from eating that sort of thing. And people would try to push push push it on me and it would get to the point, because they couldn’t take no for an answer, that I’d get openly annoyed (and now I was not a good person, you know how it goes), and they literally wouldn’t stop until I would leave the house to go for a walk. And then they’d try to reintroduce the topic later, and I learnt the best thing was to simply refuse to enter into further debate about it. (Not pleasant visiting, I’m sure you can tell.)

    So upon receipt of this box, we were in a bit of a conundrum. Generally you can donate unwanted presents to Christmas appeals, the Salvation army, etc. But, I’m in two minds over whether it is fair on people in desperate circumstances to give them the kind of processed junk foods that my husband and I wouldn’t put in our own bodies. It’s true that many people will eat this stuff and it’s probably easy to find takers, but to me it’s kind of like the ethics of passing unwanted cigarettes or vodka onto other people – these things create health problems, and the Christmas appeals already attract mostly convenience foods with generally poor nutrition. So I think it would be good to donate nutritional festive ingredients to a Christmas lunch charity – you know, like potatoes and beef for roasting and nice fresh nuts and citrus, which is a northern European Christmas tradition, good crunchy coleslaw etc, there are actually a lot of nice options that are also good for the body. And there are people like that making healthy lovely Christmas lunches for disadvantaged people. But what on earth does one do with packets that are over 50% sugar?

    And my husband’s comment on the contents of the box was, “They really don’t know you! Everyone who knows you knows you’re passionate about health and nutrition and real foods.” Well, it’s not because I haven’t told them. It’s because they won’t hear me.

    We are brainstorming options – we could simply send unwanted items back and let it be their problem (but then of course the flying monkeys will feast about how ungrateful and cold we are). We have briefly acknowledged the receipt of the packet when an enquiry email came in worrying over whether it was lost in the mail, “We got your parcel, thanks” and we left it at that. We could leave it like that. We had a bit of fun last night thinking about an inappropriate parcel we could make up for them that completely disregarded their food and other preferences – we could send them a bulk pack of black beans, some quinoa, dried goji berries, a home sprouting kit, a yoga instructional DVD and Eastern meditation mat, nori for making sushi, and a diverse selection of incense. Of course we wouldn’t actually do it, that was just comic relief to imagine it.

    I just read that in Australia, nearly 200 million dollars each year are wasted on presents people actually don’t want, and then they mostly go through the “Thank you, it was wonderful” routine anyway. (And give it away ASAP.) If you google “What to do about unwanted presents” then a whole bunch of etiquette will come up saying, “Never ever tell them you don’t like it, it’s so rude” but what is this madness, why can’t people be honest with each other, why is everyone supposed to pretend? Why is this kind of ridiculous play-acting not just considered socially acceptable, but compulsory?

    I’d be really interested in your thoughts about that issue. Your site was the first place I ever read that presents and gifts of money are common forms of manipulation when someone is distancing themselves from a toxic relationship. I can see that, and how it can be used to perpetuate the smear campaign against the “ungrateful” ACONs…

    Wishing you a peaceful, beautiful Christmas season!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Jules,
    It’s easy to imagine we will be alone forever because we are not in close contact with our families, but trust me, if you are an empathetic person who cares about other people, you won’t be alone. You will find friends, the danger is in falling into relationship with another narc because they often target empathetic people to use for narcissistic feed. This is not to scare you, but to help you avoid such a pitfall in the future. We tend to gravitate toward what feels familiar. Go to support groups or church or school or take an evening class in pottery or art or reading for a hobby to meet other people. Or maybe just reach out to your neighbors. There are a lot people in this world who will love your empathetic heart, just make sure they are empathetic too so you are not used.

    Meanwhile, you are correct, there is great freedom in being alone and not having to deal with the narcissistic circus.

    I wish you lots of love and friends in the New Year!

    Peace and freedom to you!

    Cherilyn

    Like

  6. Hi Andrea,

    Not all narcs will give gifts some just take them. Not all are pushing junk food, some are pushing health food like my family in my “Worst Thanksgiving Ever” story. The litmus test is when someone pushes another against their will. Any time any of us use our power over another we tread on dangerous ground and narcs are experts at this. God gave all of us freedom. Love can only happen in an environment of freedom.

    It seems your package is actually a trojan horse from the narcs to make you look bad if you complain or say anything. In a healthy relationship the parent would listen to your preferences and try to send something you like or need. But like you mentioned, you have told them for a couple of decades and they haven’t been listening. This is not your fault, but theirs.

    I hope you can find some friends to spend the holiday with and forget about those who are not really your friends despite their blood. you deserve to have loving people in your circles.

    Peace and freedom to you!

    Cherilyn

    Like

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