STORY

Journey From the Cave

Once upon a time, a girl grew up in the darkness.
She had no clue how other people lived

until one day she discovered the light.

story, narcissism, narcissistic abuse, narcissist, littleredsurvivor.com
pexels-photo-573298 on Unsplash

As she followed the light, she found herself outside of the cave where she had been raised. For the first time in her life, she caught a glimpse of what she’d been missing. She was both elated at the discovery and saddened by the life her family had been living. Thus she began to search for her happiness.

Despite her relief at finding the light, the world outside the cave was almost too bright, for one thing, it seemed unpredictable and scary at times. In such moments, she found herself longing to go back into the darkness where life seemed safe and predictable. At the same time she knew such safety would also take away her freedom for she had been used as a slave by her family and now that her eyes were accustomed to the light, she’d struggle to see in the dark.

Sometimes she wished she’d been born a princess and had never known the darkness. Sad memories were lurking everywhere, and they often darkened her path adding anxiety. Even the smell of leather brought on panic attacks because it reminded her of the times she’d been beaten with a strap to appease someone else’s anger. Wherever the darkness fell, she heard the angry voices of her abusers and wondered if she’d ever find a good life.

As she stumbled over roots and rocks in her journey to get as far away from the cave as possible, she came around a bend and met an ancient woman who pulled back her shawl and offered her a leather book. She plugged her nose at the smell of the leather and noticed the old sage was bent over and her hands were gnarled. For a second, she held her crooked finger to her lips. Then she spoke in a low whisper, “Here’s a gift. It holds the secret to a happy life.”

The young girl was curious and wondered why the old woman would offer it to her, a stranger, but she accepted the book. The old woman continued in the opposite direction as the young girl opened up the book in impatience–only to discover it was full of blank pages. She turned and called out to the woman. “You tricked me! There’s nothing in this book!”

The old woman slowly turned around and with a face full of kindness replied, “Write in it, and you will find the key to happiness.”

The girl young rolled her eyes and continued her journey. That night, she lay under the stars and wondered about the mysterious meeting. In the early morning light, she sat up and began to write about it the woman and the book. She marveled at how far she had come and how much she had seen in such a short time. From then on writing became her habit and she even began to enjoy the scent of leather.

One day feeling lonely and discouraged, she thought she had nothing good to write about, but that was the day she began to write down her dreams. Each night when she sensed her day was a waste and failure, she thought up a new vision for the next day and recorded it in the book.

Like a winding river—ever changing and always moving, her journey continued for many miles and years. At first, she refused all suitors–until she found the prince of her dreams.

Her children began to grow up, and as she built a life worth living, she often looked back through her book. It was full of broken dreams, but other ideas had merged into real life. The things she wrote about were no longer a fantasy. They’d become facts. By the time she realized the value of the gift the old woman had given her, she was no longer a young girl but was becoming wiser and long in years herself. As she pondered the reality of her words, she noticed the wisdom in her halting and tired hand, written years before and faded with time; she read the question, “What do you love so much, that it’s worth doing even if you fail?”

One day she met a young girl full of energy, yet longing for stability. She recognized the expression of pain and confusion just as she’d worn on her own face so many years before. She reached into her bag and offered a handmade leather book much like the one given to her so long ago. As she held it out, she was surprised to notice her own hands had begun to grow wrinkled. The young girl almost snubbed the gift, but accepted it out of politeness as she whispered, “The things you write down will change your life.”

She continued on her way, glancing back to watch the younger women stumbled on her journey. By now she realized we each get to decide how our story ends.

 

GASLIGHTING

Why You Can’t Let the Narcissist Shut You Up

As soon as you start to tell the truth
about what happened to you, it seems like
the entire universe starts to work against you.
But if you pay close attention,
it’s not the universe; it’s the narcissist.

Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash
Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash

It just seems like the universe because she keeps recruiting more and more flying monkeys to attack you. Remember there’s a cycle to narcissistic abuse. First, there is the Love Bombing and Flattery Stage; then there is the Being Used for Narcissistic Feed Stage, then as you begin to wake up, you will enter the Telling the Truth vs. Liar stage.

This third stage is where everything turns into a mudslide. You and the narcissist will end up in a messy disagreement; then the narcissist will start involving as many other people into this disagreement as possible. People you are related to, people you went to school with in third grade, people you met on the subway and people who live five states away, but who can still access you through social media. You can see why so many survivors feel overwhelmed and feel like crawling into a blanket fort and refusing to come out.

These attacks begin as soon as you start to tell the truth—any part of the facts, however small. The narcissist will anticipate and try to do damage control through lies even before you open your mouth. While you might call it the truth stage, for the narcissist this is the denying stage. Notice I didn’t say denial, because most narcissistic people are not in denial as much as they are just plain liars trying to deny their misdeeds.

During this Truth Telling vs. Lying stage, the more truth you tell, the more lies the narcissist will put out. It’s like a fake news service that tweets lies 24/7, and it’s ugly. This could also be called the character assassination stage because that’s what happens to many memoir writers who are writing their story.

The other day a friend told on herself. She blogged a chapter about her mistakes in dealing with the narcissist. In response, she was sent a message by someone who is supposed to be a professional informing her that she is the narcissist. Can you see what happened here? My friend isn’t a narcissist. A narcissist would never write a chapter detailing his/her own mistakes. It just won’t happen because a narcissist can’t imagine they’ve ever made a mistake—in the narcissistic mind, everything is always someone else’s fault.

The second problem with a message like this is that professional counselors are busy people who get paid to listen to people’s problems all day long. They don’t go trolling on the blogs of memoir writers to diagnose them for free. In early 2017, 1800 professionals broke this rule to sign a petition declaring the current US president has narcissistic personality disorder, but they were heavily criticized because counselors are not supposed to diagnose anyone but their clients. So any message from someone who tells you that you might be the narcissist is just more gaslighting.

We who are NOT professionals, use the term narcissist loosely because we’ve read the traits of Narcissism in the DSM-5 criteria. When we call someone a narcissist, we aren’t making a clinical diagnosis; we are acknowledging the truth for our sanity. When the person we are dealing with lies constantly, manifests a lack of empathy and imagines the rules don’t apply to them, whether they have a full-blown NPD diagnosis or not, for our practical purposes, it doesn’t matter. Without empathy, without honesty, without respect, we’ve got nothing to build a relationship on–thus we label them as narcissistic.

If you get discouraged about telling your story and go back to bed and wait for the flying monkeys to settle down and the narcissist to disappear, an unfortunate thing will happen; your story, your truth, and your honor will be lost. No one will ever know what you went through. No one will ever discover what they have in common with you. No one will ever find your story and sigh and cry and breathe to know that they are not alone. And no one will ever understand why you had to change your phone number and email address and move to the Yukon.

When you start to tell your story, those who want to control you will do everything they can to discourage you. They will attack your character and accuse you of being the narcissist, but remember unless such a diagnosis was given to you by your counselor, the charges are bogus. So go ahead, tell your messy story. Tell on yourself, but by all means, tell on the narcissist because standing up for your truth and telling your story, will set you free.

GASLIGHTING

Don’t Let the Narcissist Accuse You of Living in the Past

Arianne has been accused of living in the past
because she can’t reconcile with her family of origin.

Photo by Anita Jankovic on Unsplash
Photo by Anita Jankovic on Unsplash

It all started when she began to remember why she has extreme anxiety and panic attacks. She had to face her past because there was a time when she was forced by her mother to ignore the past. One of these things was her molestation by her step-father. When she told her mother about it at the time, she was told to be quiet and keep it a secret until her mom could leave him. Her mother said she wanted to find a better situation for them and her two younger brothers, but her mother never did leave Arianne’s abuser and they are still married today.

Arianne made it through high school on drugs, with dark music and time in the hospital on suicide watch. When she finally broke her mother’s rule and told a counselor what happened, it was years after the incident. She began a journey of recovery and told her mother why she could no longer hang out with the family. Her mother was devastated and angry. She claims Arianne is stuck in the past and needs to grow up.

I’ve never met Arianne’s mother so I don’t know if she is a flying monkey enabler or a narcissist herself, but her lack of empathy for her only daughter is a warning sign that something is not healthy in their relationship.

William Faulkner said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” There is a lot of truth to this. The things that happened to us early in our lives formed us. We can’t escape the past entirely because we are who we are because of the past. At the same time, we have the ability to heal from our past wounds, but only if we face them. Burying them in the family tree and hiding our heads in the sand will never cure what ails us. It’s up to each of us to understand our past so we can heal and move on and not abuse the next generation.

It’s the brave-hearted who face and deal with their childhood wounds. These survivors are NOT stuck in the past like their abusers would tell us. How do we know this? Because many of them have moved across the country to put distance between themselves and their abusers. They are doing what they couldn’t do as a child but are protecting themselves today. If there is any sign that someone is NOT living in the past, it’s finding a counselor and finding a way to heal from the past.

Here is the litmus test: a person living in the past is not concerned about setting things right, while someone who chooses to move on won’t allow things to remain the same. Moving on from the past requires attention to the past rather than ignoring it.

The truth is it’s the narcissist and all enablers who live in the past because they want everything to stay the same—

No remembering the past, because the past reveals the patterns of abuse.

No truth-telling because that would wake other people up to the abuse.

No apologies because the narcissist would have to admit the abuse.

No boundaries because boundaries protect the survivor from current abuse.

Can you see a pattern here? Can you see where all this leads—to a survivor being gaslighted for remembering, attacked for telling her story, left without an apology and expected to give up her rights to please the narcissist?

Arianne’s problems are NOT in the past and they are what many other survivors are dealing with right now. This is the result of apathy on the part of flying monkeys and enablers. It is cruel to ignore the wounds of the hurting and tell them to forget about it. All of this talk about living in the past is to protect the narcissist who is the real person living in the past. The narc wants to live in the past so he can pretend it was okay to use his power to harm little girls and steal their virginity, money or self-worth.

So the next time someone asks “When are you going to move on from the past?” Tell them you’ve already acknowledged the past and moved on.

You’ve moved on by remembering the events that formed who you are.

You’ve moved on by remembering what the narcissist told you to forget.

You’ve moved on by telling your stories.

You’ve moved on by setting boundaries to keep an abuser out of your life.

The past is a zero threat for people who want to be free. This is because the worst is over. The very thing we were most afraid of has often already happened. The only way to heal from the past is to recognize and acknowledge the abuses of yesterday. The present allows us to peer into the past from the easy chair of today and realize our abusers can no longer harm us unless we ignore the past and let it happen again.

The only way the past can hurt us today is through people who refuse to acknowledge our stories with empathy and honesty. If family members still demand that we ignore the past and keep the secrets, then they are the ones stuck in the past. The past is never dead, it continues to affect all of us for the rest of our lives, so why not face it and learn what we can so we can make a better future?

Be strong! Carry on warriors!

EQUALITY

God as Our Mother

God is our true Mother.
For everyone who misses having a mother
and everyone who never had one,
This is not some feminist propaganda—it’s a fact,
God created women in Her image too.

Photo by Leandro Cesar Santana on Unsplash
Photo by Leandro Cesar Santana on Unsplash

1. Women Were Created in the Image of God
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
-Genesis 1:27

2. The Bible Describes God as a Mother
It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
taking them by the arms;
but they did not realize
it was I who healed them.
I led them with cords of human kindness,
with ties of love.
To them I was like one who lifts
a little child to the cheek,
and I bent down to feed them.
-Hosea 11:3-4

3. God is Like a Mother Eagle
He was like an eagle building its nest
that flutters over its young.
It spreads its wings to catch them
and carries them on its feathers.
The Lord alone led them,
and there was no foreign god helping him.
-Deuteronomy 32:11-12

Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash
Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

4. God is Described as Giving Birth
They spurned the Rock who had made them,
Forgetting it was God who had given them birth.
-Deuteronomy 32:18

5. God Comforts Like a Mother
I will comfort you there as a little one
is comforted by its mother.
-Isaiah 66:13

6. God is Compared to a Nursing Mother
Can a mother forget her nursing child?
Can she feel no love for the child she has borne?
Never!
But even if that were possible,
I would not forget you!
-Isaiah 49:15

7. God is Described as a Woman in Labor
He will say, “I have long been silent;
yes, I have restrained myself.
But now, like a woman in labor,
I will cry and groan and pant.
-Isaiah 42:14

8. God as a Weaning Mother
But I have calmed and quieted myself,
I am like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child I am content.
-Psalm131:2

9. Jesus Likens Himself to a Mother Hen
Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
you who kill the prophets
and stone those sent to you,
how often I have longed to gather
your children together,
as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings,
and you were not willing.
– Matthew 23:37

Photo by Prince Abid on Unsplash
Photo by Prince Abid on Unsplash

10. God is Like a Woman Looking for a Coin
Or suppose a woman has
ten silver coins and loses one.
Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house
and search carefully until she finds it?
And when she finds it,
she calls her friends and
neighbors together and says,
‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’
In the same way, I tell you,
there is rejoicing in the presence
of the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.
-Luke 15:8-10

NARCISSISTIC ABUSE, STORY

If My Wounds Were Visible

For narcissistic abuse awareness,
survivors have been asked to use the words,
“If my wounds were visible…”
to tell how our lives might have been different.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

When I was seven years old and all the letters had finally come together, I was reading my paper in church when my father took my stories away. He told me to be quiet, but since I had a short attention span, I forgot and whispered to my younger sister. Strong arms pulled me to the other end of the church.

In the children’s room where I got the stories, in the very place I met with Jesus, he took off his belt and holding it by the middle, he belted my legs, hitting me with the buckle end as well as the other. I cried out in pain, but no one came to my rescue–not even Jesus. He told me to be quiet or he would give me something more to cry about. Then we went back to the sanctuary while my white fuzzy tights hid the 27 bruises forming on my legs that I would later count in my bedroom.

No one saw those bruises but my mom and me. If her wounds had been visible, I might have seen the sadness on her face when she brought my lunch to my room and allowed me to eat my dessert first. If my father’s wounds were visible, perhaps someone would have offered him some help. Maybe they would have told him. “Your kids don’t have to have perfectly quiet in church for you to be a good dad.” I know he loved me back then and I don’t think he planned to harm me. He thought he was doing his religious duty to be a good father and discipline his children to be quiet in church.

My physical wounds faded like bruises often do, but the hidden wounds on my heart in relation to God and using power-over me would fester for another thirty years. And that was in part because I hid my spiritual wounds.

Oh, how many wounds have been hidden in church? How many people hide their pain, addictions, envy, lust, and revenge behind the façade of being a good Christian? At the heart of the most damage often lies a term that is loosely used and often misunderstood–narcissism.

Have you ever heard someone jokingly say, “My work is so secret, I don’t even know what I’m doing?” Well, the narcissist’s pain is so obscure they don’t always know what they are feeling. Sure, some do, but for many, their wounds have been hidden so long they can’t even access the ability to clean them out. Many narcissistic people have buried their own shame so deep that they try to diffuse it by shaming and harming others. This is why invisible wounds are so damaging. Those once damaged often hide their wounds and inflict more pain on others.

For narcissistic abuse awareness, survivors have been asked to use the words, “If my wounds were visible…” to tell how our lives might have been different.

If my wounds were visible, I wouldn’t have had to lie to cover up for my abuser.

If my wounds were visible, relatives, teachers and church members might’ve noticed my pain and stood up for me.

If my wounds were visible, someone might have told me it’s OK to say no and that I don’t have to people please or apologize until I feel sick.

If my wounds were visible, someone might’ve taken me away and allowed me to go to high school.

If my wounds were visible, my advisers in college might’ve realized that I only had a sixth-grade education, was sheltered and naive and had no clue how to act around other people.

If my wounds were visible, someone might’ve helped me figure out how to use food for strength instead of medicating with it like a drug to numb the pain.

If my wounds were visible, people probably wouldn’t ask me why it’s taken so long for me to find healing.

If my wounds were visible, I might’ve remembered every time I looked in the mirror instead of going back for more abuse.

If my wounds were visible, the teller at the bank might have put a hold on my account, so I would stop giving all my money away to buy self-worth from my abuser.

If my wounds were visible, I might have been sent to a counselor years ago instead of waiting until I felt no hope for my life.

If my wounds were visible, people wouldn’t mistake me for a victim; they would recognize that I am a survivor and they would admire my wounds because they reveal the strength it took to get through the battles I’ve endured to learn to thrive and enjoy life today.

If my wounds were visible, I would open up and show you my worst scar because it would reveal just how strong I had to be to get this far.

If my wounds were visible, you would see them and know that I am safe for you to show your own wounds to me. Kindred spirits, we would be.

If your wounds were visible, I’d gently caress them and tell you to remember that you are stronger than you think, then I’d whisper, “Be strong and carry on warrior. You are worthy of revealing and healing your wounds.”

NARCISSISTIC ABUSE

Narcissistic Feed

Since she was a little girl,
Hazel was taught give everything she had to others.
If she didn’t do this, she was called selfish
and she felt ashamed to be selfish,
so she gave everything away until
she was broke in heart,
broken in spirit
and broke at the bank.

Photo by Corey Motta on Unsplash
Photo by Corey Motta on Unsplash

What Hazel didn’t realize was her narcissistic parents had targeted her because she was an empath. Decades later, she began to wonder why she was the only one in the family who ever gave anything to anyone else. Had Jesus singled her out or did Jesus even have anything to do with it? When she decided to reassess the voice of Jesus she began to realize Jesus had never asked her to give everything to the narcissist. She had been used.

Narcissistic feed is the currency of the narcissist. Every narcissist is different. For some, it might be protecting the family’s reputation. For others, it is money or material supply. Others feed off of ego strokes. No two people are the same, but a common trait of many narcissists is using others without giving back.

The ego-driven narcissist wants to be fed with praise and compliments. The religious narcissist wants you to agree with them and they like to show you what to think. The opportunist narcissist sees every material thing you have and wants it for himself.

Narcissistic feed is the relationship between a person with toxic narcissistic tendencies and the person they wish to use. They might act friendly when they think you have money but have nothing to say when you do not feed them. The narcissist sees your resources as theirs.

We’ve all been given resources. We all have a responsibility for what we do with our time, money and energy. The narcissist doesn’t see your resources as God’s, they see your resources as potential supply for themselves. This is because they have never grown up. They want to be fed like a baby without working for it.

Christians with narcissistic tendencies will try to shame us into giving up our resources. They say things like “Jesus gave all and so should we.” This “we” is like a royal we because the narcissist sees you as an extension of their self. What they are forgetting is Jesus taught personal responsibility through his parables. And the Bible says that God loves a cheerful giver. Don’t let other people manipulate you into giving up the things you need to so they can spend it. Each of us is responsible for our own resources and no one has the right to tell you how to spend your money.

The bottom line about giving feed to the narcissist is they will never be satisfied, they will always want more of whatever type of feed they crave. The narcissist’s dream is to sit back and rely on others for money, work, compliments or manipulation of other people. They see you as a drone and a pawn. When you realize this, the truth will set you free.

NARCISSISTIC ABUSE

Remembering the Good, Even When it’s Bad

Not gonna lie, Mother’s Day was hard.
You see, I don’t hate my parents.
They aren’t monsters, but they broke our bond
when they lied about me.

My parents haven’t treated me like a friend for most of a decade now. I wish it wasn’t true. I wish I could go visit them on every holiday and bring gifts and bake food and stay for a while and visit and laugh with them like I used to—before I woke up, but knowledge is painful.

They not only have never owned the stuff they did to me in childhood (which I easily forgave them for decades ago) but they play the victims and continue to talk about me to everyone in the family to the point I can hear their exact words in my sisters’ accusations last summer.

So no, my split with my family isn’t the result of my strange childhood—it’s their dishonesty and scapegoating in my adulthood. Some might wonder why would I want to write a memoir about people who have brought me so much pain? Because there was a time they brought me joy too.

It’s the split between who they started out to be and who they became. It’s the good memories as well as the crazy times that made me who I am too. It’s mostly my story, but they are players in the background. They certainly had influence in both negative and positive ways, but the more I examine my family stories, the more I find grace and compassion for my parents and other family members.

I just wish my family was safe to be around. Of course, they will say it is me that is the problem. They reason that everyone else has a problem with me, so, therefore, I must be the problem. They don’t even realize saying such a thing is proof that they have scapegoated me. Healthy people don’t have a problem with everything another person does. It’s the narcissistic mind and the flying monkeys who follow it who think in binary terms of all good or all bad.

Part of the difference between a narcissist and the rest of us is the ability to allow the negative to coexist with the positive. No one is all bad and no one is all good. The narcissistic mind thinks in terms of us vs. them. I have tried to look for some traits of good in those who seem bad. This doesn’t mean we need to hang out with those who are abusing us–we need to remember not everyone is safe. And there are some people who are much safer than others. We need to find our kindred spirits to survive in this world.  So, for now, I will hold onto my good memories and pour them into my book.

If you’re writing a memoir, how have you found peace with your past?

NARCISSISTIC ABUSE

Narcissistic Mothers vs. Loving Mothers

It’s hard to know what to do.
Even when our mothers hurt us,
many of us still love them,
but sometimes it’s not safe
to hang out with them.

Photo by Seb Hamel on Unsplash
Photo by Seb Hamel on Unsplash

The cutting remarks and putdowns of a narcissistic mother wouldn’t look very pretty on a card and yet, toxic mothers expect their children to make a pretty thing out of something evil—a relationship filled with manipulation and shame. If you send a card out of guilt to a woman who gossips about you and tries to shame you into doing her will, that’s not honoring—that’s obligation.

Giving birth also does not make one a mother. We all know women who nurture and love others who never gave birth. At the same time, it’s not hard to find those who bore children only to use and abuse them.

There needs to be some accountability. A narcissistic mother doesn’t deserve a free pass and access to her child’s life if she can’t treat them with respect. To keep your sanity on holidays, it’s important to remember the difference between a narcissistic mother and a loving mother.

A narcissistic mother criticizes her child, but a loving mother doesn’t sit like a queen in the judgment of her child, she cheers them on in support.

A narcissistic mother demands that her children serve her, but a loving mother will serve her child without obligation.

A narcissistic mother attacks her own children, but a loving mother protects them.

A narcissistic mother puts herself first, but a loving mother will sacrifice her own needs to take care of her child.

A narcissistic mother doesn’t have time for special details because she’s focused on her own needs, but a loving mother uses her creative energy to make life more comfortable for her child.

A narcissistic mother needs to be right all the time, but a loving mother knows it’s okay to be human and admits it when she makes mistakes.

A narcissistic mother rips apart her child’s heart and destroys their relationship, but a loving mother will do everything she can to restore the fractured relationship with her child.

A loving mother, despite her own struggles and imperfections, offers her child unconditional love, which is the reason we choose to honor and remember our true mothers and grandmothers.

Celebrate those who are kind to you and be a loving mother and nurture yourself!

NARCISSISTIC ABUSE

Narc Family Drama

Angela’s mother hates her husband.
She hates the way Angela dresses too.
And oh, she also hates Angela’s friends.
Angela can’t remember when her mother liked anything she did.
And Angela gets sick every time the holidays come around
because she knows all the stress it will bring up
between her mom and her husband.

narcissism, narcissist, relationship, gray rock, littleredsurvivor.com

This situation is always made worse by the constant phone calls from her flying monkey sister detailing all the drama of their engulfing Narc mother. Whenever her mother wants to send a message to Angela, she triangulates with Angela’s sister and then Angela’s sister passes on their mother’s expectations to her. Every year feels like the worst Thanksgiving Ever!

Angela’s husband says he’s had enough of the stress and drama. He’d rather spend the holiday alone–except for one problem–everyone is coming to their house this year and Angela’s counting on his help with their young children. The fight between Angela and her husband began when she asked him to wash all the windows in the house to help their house pass her mother’s idealistic housekeeping expectations. Not only did he not want to stand in the wind and cold to wash the windows, but he felt they looked clean enough as they were.

Angela just wanted to get through the weekend without any judgment from her Narc mom. Her husband said they shouldn’t have to change who they are just so they can have dinner with her family. Plus he hates how stressed out his wife gets every holiday. He wants to start their own traditions and make the holidays enjoyable again.

Finally, Angela and her husband decided to visit a counselor. Angela felt like she was playing a game she could never win. The counselor explained how her mother saw her as a “mirror.” They discovered they had options. Even better they realized Angela’s Narc mom has options too. Mom can join them for a meal and accept Angela and family for who they are and how they eat and live or she can have dinner somewhere else.

Once they agreed, the hardest part was telling Angela’s Narc mom. Angela was tempted to follow the family pattern of triangulation and communicate with her sister, but she decided to start a new tradition and set an example for her children and others to follow. She called everyone to say she is no longer taking phone calls to hear what someone else has to say. If people want to talk to her, they need to call her and speak to her directly and she will do the same with them.

Then Angela told her mom that she was cooking her family’s favorites and she should be prepared because they have small children and the house might be a little messy. She offered no apologies or further explanations. She welcomed her mother to bring whatever food she wanted to contribute.

Her mother took the news as we can all imagine an engulfing Narc would and immediately called Angela’s sister. By the time her sister called, Angela was prepared. She asked her sister to stop relaying messages between her and other family members. Her sister felt Angela was hurting their mother, but Angela knew her sister had just bought into her Narc mom’s victimhood.

The dinner went quite well under the circumstances. Her mother griped about a few things, but Angela’s husband helped her stay focused on their own family. The secret to Angela’s peace of mind was realizing she and her husband were creating healthier traditions for their own children. Once she understood her mom is a Narc and there is nothing she can do to please her, Angela was set free to set her own boundaries and enjoy dinner with her family.

 

NARCISSISTIC ABUSE

Why Going No Contact With a Narcissist is Necessary

Talia had enough.
Her abuser wasn’t sorry for the past
and continued to verbally abuse her.
It didn’t matter that he was a relative. 
For her own peace of mind,
she had to go “No Contact.”

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Photo by María Victoria Heredia Reyes on Unsplash

Talia had was getting migraines. Her headaches started when she decided to confront her abuser. When she realized he had no remorse for what he had done, she tried to tell him how much he had hurt her. It was apparent her feelings didn’t matter to him. He wasn’t sorry, and he was never going to offer an apology. He even denied it had happened. That’s when Taila began to go crazy. The worst part of her situation was that her abuser was a relative and her parents love him. They invited him to every family gathering. Her mother tried to get her to forget about the past, but she couldn’t. Her mother began to take the abuser’s side, and eventually, Talia refused to come to any family dinners when her abuser was present. Of course, this upset the narcissist and all the flying monkeys, but it was her health, and for peace of mind, she had to go “no contact” with her abuser.

No Contact is a measure of last resort. It doesn’t happen because we’ve argued with a lover. It doesn’t happen because a sibling voted for a different candidate. “No Contact” comes about because the narcissist has been such a jerk to you they don’t deserve to be in your life anymore. When it comes to going no contact, it seems oxymoronic or plain moronic to say, “How can you be so cruel as to shut someone out of your life who has lied to you and about you and used you?”

It’s not cruel; sometimes it’s the only sane option. No Contact has nothing to do with lack of forgiveness. It’s cruel that some Christians are quick to tell victims to forgive and forget. No Contact is NOT about revenge or absence of a forgiving spirit–it’s about protection for those who are in pain. There’s no reason to put up with repeated abuse. We can forgive people from a distance, but we can’t let them continue to use and abuse us.

The only relationship worth having is one based on mutual respect. If your narcissistic parent or narc ex can’t accept you as an equal or treat you with respect, you have no choice but to go no contact. Going no contact is not a lack of forgiveness on your part; it’s merely the state of the union between you.

Most narcissists won’t change and to further engage with them only brings more damage to yourself. If toxic relationships are sabotaging your health, go no contact until further notice–a notice that only the narcissist can give and a signal that says at least one of the following and preferably all of them–

I accept you as you are and will stop trying to mold you into my image.

I am sorry for the way my choices have influenced and affected your life.

I am sorry for the lies I told to you and about you.

I promise to be honest in the future.

Chances are if you’re dealing with a true narcissist, none of the above will happen. You deserve honesty and respect in your relationships. If any person–your parents, old boss, ex-spouse or siblings can’t respect you, going no contact is necessary—unless or until the narcissist shows signs of remorse and gives you an apology. But don’t leave the car running, you’ll probably run out of gas waiting, so you might as well leave town and get on with your own life.

To go no contact, you need to lose the narcissist’s number and block them from all your accounts. You also need to find social support to deal with this loss in your life if the narcissist is a parent or sibling or ex-partner.

Talia never did get the apology she deserved, but she had fewer headaches and found peace of mind.