narcissist, narcissism, narcissistic abuse, truth, fake news, littleredsurvivor.com
Religious Narcia

Don’t Let the Narcissist Define You

One of the worst things a narcissist tries to do is label you.
She/he might try to define you to yourself,
your friends and family members.
This is part of the gaslighting treatment and
while the only person you have any control over is yourself,
you must diligently refute such lies.

narcissist, narcissism, narcissistic abuse, truth, fake news, littleredsurvivor.com

When I was a young adult, I began to feel uncomfortable when the narcissist told me how to spend my money and what music to listen to and how to dress and what foods to eat. I was young and starting out and yet I already felt something wasn’t right about the way I was being treated. I hated to be controlled, but this was not a saga of teenage rebellion against parental authority––this controlling happened far into my adult life. I actually wrote a poem when I was thirty-four years old about it. It was a vague and shaky beginning to my awakening, but it would take me another ten years to fully wake up.

What was so weird about this poem is that I shared it with one of my sisters who told me it was a very selfish poem. She said it was all about me—

Me wanting to listen to whatever music I liked,

Me choosing to spend my own money,

Me eating whatever I liked,

Me dressing or wearing my hair however I liked,

And me worshipping God the way I felt led.

What’s really lame is I actually believed her. I felt ashamed for being so selfish that I tore up the poem and threw it away. I don’t blame my sister, she was only repeating the narcissistic things phrases taught to us while we were growing up. This is the way we were raised–-to sacrifice all of ourselves to please the family. It took me a couple decades to realize no one was sacrificing back and the giving whether material things or relationship kindness was all coming from my side. No one else was reciprocating or contributing to the friendship account. I don’t buy into that scheme anymore. It was all part of the game I could never win.

When my sister called me selfish for wanting to live my own life, she was only being a flying monkey and repeating what our parents  had told her on multiple occasions. We were taught that self care is selfish. We were complimented and told we were “thoughtful” if we did whatever they wanted.

Whenever I did things the narcissist didn’t approve of, the narc tried to define me as selfish or rebellious. Maybe this has happened to you. Have you found yourself feeling ashamed for being human and having human needs like desiring respect, fun and love? Don’t let the narcissist lie to you.

Any intelligent and mature person knows we all have choices and God himself gave us these choices. He doesn’t stop people from making even harmful decisions. Any form of control over another’s life choices by one adult toward another adult reveals a lack of God’s Spirit.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.

The heart of the problem in every dysfunctional family is someone trying to define someone else and trying to box them into their expectations. And it doesn’t go away when we grow up.

When we care about social causes, they call us liberals.
When we tell the truth and it exposes their lies, they accuse us of lying.
When we refuse to let them walk all over our boundaries, they peg us as controlling.
When we stop allowing them to use us, they call us stingy and selfish.
When we find a grace-filled picture of God, they call us heretics.

The bottom line is even if we do everything the narcissist wants and sell our souls to please them, they won’t appreciate it and they’ll still be looking for some way to judge us. That’s because narcissistic people will use people until they suck them dry.

Perhaps you have been pushed into a corner by a narcissist who wants to control you. When you speak the truth, they lie and try to make you look bad so no one will listen to your stories or want to hang out with you. The narcissist wants to scapegoat and banish you from the camp. If this has happened to you, relax, there’s still hope.

Remember the scapegoat is the lucky one who gets away. Others might continue this group fantasy because they want to feel better about themselves and they can only do this by finding someone they deem worse. Of course we can’t control what they do, they will have to wake up on their own someday, but you can refuse to be defined by the narc.

We are now living in a time people refer to “post-truth.” This is a sad development. People are now confused between fake news and truth and the lies keep spinning in social media on the news feeds every day. Narcissist people, whether world leaders, religious leaders or family members have no scruples about telling the truth.

If you are a survivor of narcissistic abuse, you will need to stand tall in your truth. It’s okay to let other people know the flying monkeys are swarming and will lie about you. You have just as much right to tell your story as the narc does to tell his–only you aren’t lying. Let your closest friends and coworkers know what’s going on. You won’t seem like a long winded, complaining nag if you simply say,

“The narcissist (insert name, ex, brother, sister, father, mother, etc.) is talking to everyone about me, so if you hear anything you wonder about please ask me to verify it before you believe anything you hear.”

You have the right to tell your own story. You have the right to decide what you like or don’t like or who you hang out with or stay away from. You get to define who you are by how you treat other people and in time the contrast between you and the narcissist will become obvious to the wise.

Don’t let the narc define you. You are not the sum of whatever the selfish narc wants to make you look like. I love this quote that Mother Teresa put on her wall,

“In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.”

8 thoughts on “Don’t Let the Narcissist Define You”

  1. Thank you. You have no idea how much your experience resonates with mine. I really appreciate your newsletter.

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That was beyond beautiful! And has my heart doing all sorts of things. Sadness, Love,Joy and more Love.Thank You for sharing your thoughts.And I found your poem reaching out beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Cherilyn

    Excellent post again, thank you. The bits about truth-twisting (the “When we do X they call us Y” and the last section in particular) really hit home with me. They caused so much confusion in my early life. As a high schooler I had my own ideas (this is normal! someone needed to send my parents the briefing) and was therefore systematically labelled “argumentative” and “confrontational” and “opinionated” by my family of origin whenever I expressed a different viewpoint to their own pet viewpoints. It was a false label, of course – it was they who were intolerant of other viewpoints and disrespectful of other people’s rights to their own opinions – but I believed the description for a long time.

    First wake-up was when I met some of my middle school teachers ten years later and apologised to them for having been a rebel and difficult and argumentative, and they said, “What??? We appreciated your honesty and your willingness to speak up, and you clearly thought about things instead of just parroting mainstream opinion. We’ve always remembered you with a smile.” That was a world-changer, since according to my mother I was always in awful trouble at school because I was badly behaved. I said, “Well, what about being in trouble?” and my ex-maths teacher said, “It’s part of middle school and I remember one incident in particular where you got detention because I had to be seen to be treating everyone the same, even though those boys were really awful and you were telling a few home truths. That bothered me for years after and was really unfortunate.” Well, my jaw just dropped to the ground, at this totally different evaluation from these other adults who had known me at the time… and I had internalised an unrealistically negative view of myself as a teenager, even though it was not as negative as my parents’ view, but still it had been skewed.

    Another wake-up call came in my late twenties when a counsellor said to me, “You have a conflict-avoider pattern.” And I was going, “What??? My family always said to me that I was always looking for an argument.” …and it turns out this had made me quite unassertive about my personal boundaries. Just what narcissists want in their children, of course. But it’s like discovering that what you thought was north is actually south.

    Since I’ve gone no contact with my parents, I’ve had an email sermon telling me that people should still be able to get on even when they have different opinions. Well, wow! I told them, “Sounds nice, but I never actually gave you a blood nose over a difference of opinion, but you did me, and hit me and belittled me as a young person, and called me “stupid” and “disrespectful” for having opinions different to yours.” It’s so amazing how people like that always twist things and point back in your own face behaviour that is actually theirs, not yours. I don’t know how they don’t see it themselves. We have politicians in this country who are just the same in their public lives, and treatment of others, and my jaw just drops at their hypocrisy.

    Of course, according to my parents, “That was so many years ago, can’t you let it go?” …they have never apologised or expressed genuine regret at hurting me, systematically, not just once or twice because human and imperfect. It’s straight from the playbook, I almost have to laugh when I re-read your posts on narcissism. And they don’t understand that the relationship is still broken, that they’re still disrespectful and hurtful, albeit not by hitting me, but that’s only because I went to the police about that as a high schooler. And, there are still plenty of other ways to denigrate another person…

    Pointless to say it more than once, and as I don’t see any real signs of change in any of their attempted contacts, I ignore those contacts – as I told them would happen if I just saw more of the same. I’m not going to waste any more of my time. That time now goes into more useful causes…

    It’s interesting you mention Jesus and the Pharisees. I discovered the gospels at around age fourteen and was endlessly fascinated by how Jesus handled the Pharisees, how gutsy he was, how he saw straight through them and told them so. As a young person confronted with bullying and injustice on several levels, including in the so-called “safe haven” of your biological family, that was so thought-provoking and inspirational and comforting. As was the idea that God was not a Pharisee! 🙂

    Best wishes again! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Andrea,

    Yes, what a relief to know God is NOT like a pharisee or a narcissistic parent!

    I love all of your wakeups! I do see recovery as a progressive journey. One we are always on to learn new things. Thank you for sharing!

    Peace and freedom to you!

    Cherilyn

    Like

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