Hey friends! How y’all doing? This house has been a hustle and bustle of activity as we hit ‘back to school’ time and say goodbye to summer. I always PLAN on getting the boys back on some sort of schedule by this point, but that has yet to come to fruition. I’m still milking every day. We’ll get on a schedule soon enough… (smile)
God often uses His word to speak directly to situations that are happening in my life. As my family is going through a bit of a tough spot right now with a mess that we’ve been dealing with for years and years and years and… you get the idea… that has come to an ugly head once again, I found it absolutely uncanny how God’s written word so beautifully spoke to my hurting heart last night. His word is so very much alive now, isn’t it? It’s living and breathing. Never stagnant! AMEN! ❤
I’m currently going through the book of First Samuel. And in the First book of Samuel is one of my favorite pieces of Biblical history ever — the story of David and Goliath. I smile often when I read this passage because I think of my boys too — how they love this story!!! — how might doesn’t always make right in the eyes of God, and how our infallible creator looks at the heart, and not the outward appearance of a man. The “typical” end to this story becomes one of utter amazement and elicits shouts of “no way!” when most little ones hear it for the very first time. The miracle of the giant being defeated by a mere boy carrying a sling shot and five smooth stones–who saw THAT coming?!?!?!?
I think we all have Goliaths in our lives at one point or another. People who seem all powerful and big and huge in comparison to our rather meager stature or state of being — in what ever relative terms that may be to us. And this girl has been up against a few. And they both have had very similar characteristics — abusive, manipulative, deceptive, dishonest, malicious — and in their minds — all powerful and controlling. And in my mind, at one point, as well…
The hubris and arrogance of Goliath is this; that he is all powerful, and David is nothing. That he is calling the shots and David IS the shot. Goliath curses David, he despises him for his smallness “he was only a boy” — Goliath mocks, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?”. David is but a speck of dirt. Goliath doesn’t see David for who he truly is. Who God created him to be. Goliath doesn’t see David’s heart, his soul, his spirit, his light. He doesn’t SEE David at all.
And how courageous, how mighty, how fierce, how brave, how strong is this “only a boy” named David. And not because of his size, not because of his stature, not because of any sword or shield or coat of armor he is wearing — in fact this mere boy is wearing nothing but a tunic and carrying only a sling shot — a boy’s toy — and five smooth stones. Yet he is more than ready for battle — and he knows this — because he has the power of an all mighty God on his side! “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” 1 Samuel 17:45. David goes on to so boldly exclaim to Goliath, “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” 1 Samuel 17:47. And David reaches into his bag, takes out one single stone, and the giant falls. Turns out he was over prepared — he only needed one stone after all…
This story, this incredible MIRACLE found in 1 Samuel so prolifically speaks to me. Right now. This very second. My Goliaths have caused much pain in my life. I humbly confess I have not been as brave as David. I have, on more than one occasion, been anxious and afraid. But these Goliaths have taught me so much about myself. They have worked my faith muscles when they otherwise may have become weak and placid. Going through this second Goliath experience, I found myself thanking God for my abusive father. LITERALLY thanking the LORD for twenty some years of a life of tyranny, lies, abuse, manipulation, and darkness — because I was able to now better understand THIS person. I was able to see her for who SHE was — and I was able to say, NO, I am NOT going through this again! This is NEVER going to be my normal, my path, EVER again. Because what is common to almost every single abuser — whether they are beating the crap out of you, lying and manipulating and maligning and deceiving and belittling you — the commonality is this — they will treat you like absolute crap and put you through such hell and pain and then turn around and expect YOU to be the one to apologize for it. Somehow, every single time, their egregious behavior is your fault. They will never accept any kind of accountability for their behavior. Especially if this person is a narcissist.
And I think this is a very dark and often missed person in our society today — most often because their tactics are so deceptive and manipulative — so they become woven into the fabric of our lives as “normal” — as with any abuser. Many people are held under the oppression of relationships such as these without even knowing it. The person is often very dramatic and couches their deviant behaviors under the guise of “love, caring or concern.” They will never take accountability for any of their wrong doings — ten times out of ten they will not even remember saying or doing what you bring up. They will say they don’t remember, it never happened, you’re misinterpreting what they said, they meant something else entirely, or you’re just not remembering it right at all. If they are confronted by two or more people who remember the same instance — they will most often say that they meant something else all together or have an elaborate story to what they really meant — or break down in a torrent of dramatic tears and say “aren’t I allowed to make just ONE mistake?”.
And yes. We are. We all are allowed to make mistakes. We’re human. This happens. A lot. But the path of the narcissist is not one of admitting that they ever made a mistake or that they are guilty to begin with OR to learn from that habitual mistake that they make time and time and time again. Most people, when they know that they are hurting someone by a behavior that they are repeating over and over again, will stop that said behavior or modify it. Not a narcissist. They will not care about your feelings. In fact, they will tell you that they are only caring about YOUR feelings by doing the behavior that hurts you. It’s a very sick and twisted game. And one that you will never resolve. Because there really is no authentic concern or honesty on the part of the narcissist. Because if there were, you would not be in this hamster wheel of events that replay themselves over and over again to begin with…
With a narcissist, you must look at past behaviors and patterns as opposed to the words that come out of their mouths–because, more often than not, the words are manipulative lies. Words like, “I only do this because I care” or “I just try to be the best mother I can possibly be!” or “I guess I’m just the worst mother in the entire world” or “why don’t you love me or care about me?” when you bring up awful and abhorrent things that the person is doing and has repeatedly done. If this person truly cared about how you felt, truly wondered if you loved them and was worried about any aspect of your relationship, or truly was worried that they were being an awful parent — their behavior would mirror those beliefs in some way. But, if that person has a habitual history of continuing to do the behaviors that hurt (lying, deceiving, disrespecting, gossiping, slandering) and not altering those behaviors in any way — then the words and the behaviors do not mesh. Our actions speak.
What you must remember is this — you do not have to participate in the crazy party. You may be invited — on several occasions — but you do not have to participate! Making up malicious stories — imaging them in their minds — and then running with them as absolute fact to friends and other family is also something that a narcissist does well. I have often been asked to be sorry for stories that have been made up about me in this person’s mind — that never, ever happened. They were so detailed that even intentions that I have had along with the things that I had done — completely made up — were shared with others. And then she could not understand why I would not apologize for them — when they were not real!!! A narcissist is often so deluded and so self absorbed that they begin to believe their own lies.
They will also do everything they can, as in the example above, to make you look like a terrible, awful person. To gain sympathy for themselves, yes (they LOVE this!) — and to discredit anything you may say in the present or future about their behavior. This is called gas lighting. It’s often done is subtle ways. And other times not so subtle. The narcissist will also do it personally TO you. In my case it was using my abusive family background against me — by saying things like “I really worry about you. I worry that you are going to be just like your father some day.” Or when I began to question all of the lies I was hearing about another member of the family it was, “I know this is all really hard for you to understand because you don’t know what a REAL family is like.” And when I did actually confront this person on some issues she screamed at me, “No wonder none of your family talks to you!”. She knew these were very tender, very deep wounds in my life. And she used them against me. Those remarks took years for me to recover from as I was just beginning to grasp all that had happened to me from infancy on up and that it just maybe was not my fault and I was not resigned to live a life of abuse. She twisted it all up into a ball of ugly pain and threw it at me. And then five minutes later, denied every single word.
And the very scary thing about having a relationship with a narcissist is that all the lying (so much lying), and manipulation and deceit just becomes your normal. It becomes the family’s normal. You forgive and forgive and forgive as this person continues to tear lives apart and step back and remember nothing, cry, be hurt by your ‘malicious attacks at her kindness’ when you protest, and the disgusting circle of abuse — because that is what it is — continues. And unless you do what she says, ‘this, this and this’ will be taken away. You may not be included in this, you may not get tickets to this, and questions about the Will may even arise. It’s all under the guise of concern. It’s all under the guise of helping you. But not one honest, authentic, loving conversation can be had because the narcissist can do no wrong. The spreader of the evil lies will never admit to one single lie she has ever told. And she will always and forever be the victim. And she is more than happy to play that role. Because if she wasn’t, if that role did not so aptly work for her, her family would not be so disjointed and ripped apart. She would make the effort to make it whole. She has to get something from it to be content with it being in a shambles of pain. Because a narcissist truly doesn’t care for others. They care only for themselves.
And this situation often feels so overwhelming. And it has for so many years. I believe in forgiveness. I have forgiven a man for so many horrible things who has never even asked for my forgiveness. It was a process. A long and difficult where God often carried this girl. I was able to walk away. I was able to start my life over. And then I walked into this. I haven’t been able to feel like I could walk away from this Goliath. It has caused such strain in my relationship with my husband. Until now. There is so much clarity for me in the events that have transpired over the past few weeks — the slander and stories that were yet again fabricated and created — and this time while my son was in her home — present and able to hear the lies this woman was spewing about his own mother. It is one kind of evil to involve adults in this manipulative web of slander and lies, but you do not involve my children. And that is just the end of that.
Another ploy the narcissist may use is this ”everyone has a right to their feelings and to express their feelings.” I believe in this one hundred percent. But what a person does NOT have the right to do is spread lies and make up stories in their mind and spread them as truth and fact. Those two things are COMPLETELY different. To a narcissist, they are not. Truth is what ever they make it up to be. You can NOT have a conversation that goes anywhere with a narcissist for this very reason. It is just crazy making. Because you are dealing with sickness. You have a choice. You are not stuck in this relationship with this destructive person. You can attempt to set boundaries. Most often they will be ignored because a narcissist does not have respect. Again, you are NOT stuck. You always have choice. You can walk away.
I am so imminently thankful for the hard life God started this girl out with. So very thankful. Because it makes me SO much more appreciative of all of the days I have. I don’t take a single one of them for granted — for the love I have, for the miracle that is friendship, for the VERB that is family. Because family is NOT just a word, not something you are just born into — it is the way your TREAT people, respect and love people — and I fully understand that. Family was the ‘most important’ thing to my father too. It was something he would say to control our decisions and actions — “family is the most important”. It was a way to trap a person. But it’s not in the saying of that — it’s in the doing of that — it’s in the ‘how we treat each other’ of that — that we are family. And continuously crapping all over people and then turning around and expecting an apology for your hideous behavior is not family. And it never will be to this girl. And that is something I want my children to never be confused by. That causes an entire host of adult problems — that just because you are THIS word means you can do THIS to me and it’s acceptable. Never, ever, and never again. Let’s just make that CRYSTAL clear. Family is NOT a license to treat people however we want to — a free pass for cruelty. The word family isn’t a word we use to get people to do what we want them to do. No, in fact — the word family is a precious word that means we treat one another like the daughters and sons of God that we are. My boys are blessed with one incredibly big family who loves them for the divine lights they are and treat them — and their Mom and Dad — as such. The least of that requirement is blood or our family tree. They say blood is thicker than water. I say the Fruit Of The Spirit is thicker than both.
And the best reaction to all of this chaos is simply to walk away. There is no resolution to crazy. You must find peace for your family and yourself by refusing to participate in the insanity. YOU know who you are. You are not who the Goliath says you are. YOU are God’s daughter, not a stick. Not a worthless piece of nothing. Goliaths and narcissists like to tell you and the rest of the world who you are and make it sound as awful and small as possible. But you know and God knows. It really doesn’t matter if they — or any other wagging tongues — understand. You are the daughter of the one true king. And He has such tremendous plans for you! He has amazing purpose for you and your family! He did not save you from one Goliath to deliver you into the hands of another. Pick up your tunic, sister, and walk boldly for Jesus. He’s got you. He’s got ALL of this. You need not fear. Ever.
And that is the Goliaths, along with the narcissists, down fall. When you are brave. When you refuse to participate. When you boldly declare, I’m not afraid and I’m not playing. I’m not participating in your drama, your lies, your deceit, your convoluted words and games. I’m giving you silence. I’m giving you all the space in the world. You can take away what ever it is you wish to take away that you think will punish this girl. You can say what ever it is you want to say about me — because you already have for so many, many years. I TRUST GOD. COMPLETELY. And there is absolutely NOTHING you can do or say that will separate me from his love or his favor. Absolutely nothing.
And this family? We’re sticking together. I’m not poisoning anyone’s mind — the narcissist loves to project their behavior onto you. We are all responsible for our behavior and our choices. The narcissist can blame whomever they want and cry and throw fits and threaten what ever they see fit. But we are responsible, in the end of this journey, this path we walk before an Almighty God — for all of it. And He sees and hears everything. I have tremendous peace in that. And I want real peace for my family. Truth brings peace. And that’s what we have. And that’s how we choose to live. Every single blessed day of our lives.
So I choose to separate myself from this narcissistic Goliath. And I pray for her. And I pray for this family that is just a mess of so many webs of lies. I pray for healing and that someday relationships apart from this person can be beautiful again. And it really doesn’t matter to me what anyone thinks of me, if anyone understands me or my decisions — that used to be so vitally important to me as I wanted a sense of vindication from all of the trash that had spewed from this woman’s mouth — I wanted someone to see all of this evil mess for what it was! I don’t even need that anymore. God’s eyes are good enough for me. Living in peace and light and love — that’s MORE than good enough for me. Not repeating the hamster wheel of abuse I lived for twenty some long years of my life? — that is VITAL to me.
Peace apart from Goliath. We have it. It’s going to be a bumpy road. We’re still in the figuring it out stages, but we can do this — because we serve a mighty God — a God who performs miracles every single day — a God who defeats giants — a God who champions the pure in heart — a God who loves us so very much — completely and unconditionally. And we must love ourselves enough and trust in Him enough to know that, with His strength, we can defeat the Goliaths in our lives — we can boldly throw our stones — and be ‘all in’ in faith and take part in all the incredible that God has in store for our lives!
“Take heart! When God is involved, anything can happen. The One who directed the stone in-between Goliath’s eyes and divided the Red Sea and brought His Son back from the dead takes delight in the INCREDIBLE.”
(The Living Insights Study Bible)
Get ready to embrace your incredible, completely free of your Goliath! ❤
Much love and peace, and as always, Namaste light friends! ❤
I know that I have included this in a previous blog, but I find it to be imperative information in dealing with a narcissist. Here is some information that may be helpful. Know you are enough just as you are, dear friend, and know that the person the Almighty God created you to be is beautiful and capable of all things amazing! ❤
Characteristics of a Narcissist
She makes you look crazy. If you try to confront her about something she’s done, she’ll tell you that you have “a very vivid imagination” or that you “made it all up” (this is a phrase commonly used by abusers of all sorts to invalidate your experience of their abuse) that you don’t know what you’re talking about, or that she has no idea what you’re talking about. She will claim not to remember even very memorable events, flatly denying they ever happened, nor will she ever acknowledge any possibility that she might have forgotten. This is an extremely aggressive and exceptionally infuriating tactic called “gaslighting,” common to abusers of all kinds. Your perceptions of reality are continually undermined so that you end up without any confidence in your intuition, your memory or your powers of reasoning. This makes you a much better victim for the abuser.
Narcissists gaslight routinely. The narcissist will either insinuate or will tell you and others outright that you’re unstable, otherwise you wouldn’t believe such ridiculous things or be so uncooperative.
You’re oversensitive. You’re imagining things. You’re hysterical. You’re completely unreasonable. You’re over-reacting, like you always do. She’ll talk to you when you’ve calmed down and aren’t so irrational. She may even characterize you as being neurotic or psychotic.
Once she’s constructed these fantasies of your emotional pathologies, she’ll tell others about them, as always, presenting her smears as expressions of concern and declaring her own helpless victimhood.
She didn’t do anything. She has no idea why you’re so irrationally angry with her. You’ve hurt her terribly. She thinks you may need psychotherapy. She loves you very much and would do anything to make you happy, but she just doesn’t know what to do. You keep pushing her away when all she wants to do is help you.
She has simultaneously absolved herself of any responsibility for your obvious antipathy towards her, implied that it’s something fundamentally wrong with you that makes you angry with her, and undermined your credibility with her listeners. She plays the role of the doting mother so perfectly that no one will believe you.
She’s envious. They will criticize the appearance of their daughters and daughters-in-law. This envy extends to relationships. Narcissistic mothers infamously attempt to damage their children’s marriages and interfere in the upbringing of their grandchildren.
She’s a liar in too many ways to count. Any time she talks about something that has emotional significance for her, it’s a fair bet that she’s lying. Lying is one way that she creates conflict in the relationships and lives of those around her – she’ll lie to them about what other people have said, what they’ve done, or how they feel. She’ll lie about her relationship with them, about your behavior or about your situation in order to inflate herself and to undermine your credibility.
The narcissist is very careful about how she lies. To outsiders she’ll lie thoughtfully and deliberately, always in a way that can be covered up if she’s confronted with her lie. She spins what you said rather than makes something up wholesale. She puts dishonest interpretations on things you actually did. If she’s recently done something particularly egregious she may engage in preventative lying: she lies in advance to discount what you might say before you even say it. Then when you talk to anyone about what she did you’ll be cut off with “I already know all about it…your mother told me… (self-justifications and lies).” Because she is so careful about her deniability, it may be very hard to catch her in her lies and the more gullible of her friends may never realize how dishonest she is.
To you, she’ll lie blatantly. She will claim to be unable to remember bad things she has done, even if she did one of them recently and even if it was something very memorable. Of course, if you try to jog her memory by recounting the circumstances “You have a very vivid imagination” or “That was so long ago. Why do you have to dredge up your old grudges?” Your conversations with her are full of casual brush-offs and diversionary lies and she doesn’t respect you enough to bother making it sound good. You are now in a game with only one rule: You can’t win.
On the rare occasions she is forced to acknowledge some bad behavior, she will couch the admission deniably. She “guesses” that “maybe” she “might have” done something wrong. The wrongdoing is always heavily spun and trimmed to make it sound better. The words “I guess,” “maybe,” and “might have” are in and of themselves lies because she knows exactly what she did – no guessing, no might haves, no maybes.
She has to be the center of attention all the time. A narcissistic mother may create odd occasions at which she can be the center of attention, such as memorials for someone close to her who died long ago, or major celebrations of small personal milestones. She may love to entertain so she can be the life of her own party. She will try to steal the spotlight or will try to spoil any occasion where someone else is the center of attention, particularly the child she has cast as the scapegoat. She often invites herself along where she isn’t welcome. If she visits you or you visit her, you are required to spend all your time with her. Entertaining herself is unthinkable. She has always pouted, manipulated or raged if you tried to do anything without her, didn’t want to entertain her, refused to wait on her, stymied her plans for a drama or otherwise deprived her of attention.
Older narcissistic mothers often use the natural limitations of aging to manipulate dramas. This gives them the opportunity to cash in on the investment they made when they trained you to wait on them as a child. Then they call you (or better still, get the neighbor or the nursing home administrator to call you) demanding your immediate attendance. You are to rush to her side, pat her hand, weep over her pain and listen sympathetically to her unending complaints about how hard and awful it is. “I may be dead next year!” It’s almost never the case that you can actually do anything useful, and the causes of her disability may have been completely avoidable, but you’ve been put in an extremely difficult position. If you don’t provide the audience and attention she’s manipulating to get, you look extremely bad to everyone else and may even have legal culpability. (Narcissistic behaviors commonly accompany Alzheimer’s disease, so this behavior may also occur in perfectly normal mothers as they age.)
She’s infantile and petty. Narcissistic mothers are often simply childish. If you refuse to let her manipulate you into doing something, she will cry that you don’t love her because if you loved her you would do as she wanted. If you hurt her feelings she will aggressively whine to you that you’ll be sorry when she’s dead that you didn’t treat her better. These babyish complaints and responses may sound laughable, but the narcissist is dead serious about them. When you were a child, if you ask her to stop some bad behavior, she would justify it by pointing out something that you did that she feels is comparable, as though the childish behavior of a child is justification for the childish behavior of an adult. “Getting even” is a large part of her dealings with you. Anytime you fail to give her the deference, attention or service she feels she deserves, or you thwart her wishes, she has to show you.
She projects. This sounds a little like psycho-babble, but it is something that narcissists all do. Projection means that she will put her own bad behavior, character and traits on you so she can deny them in herself and punish you. This can be very difficult to see if you have traits that she can project on to.
She is never wrong about anything. No matter what she’s done, she won’t ever genuinely apologize for anything. Instead, any time she feels she is being made to apologize she will sulk and pout, issue an insulting apology or negate the apology she has just made with justifications, qualifications or self pity: “I’m sorry you felt that I humiliated you” “I’m sorry if I made you feel bad” “If I did that it was wrong” “I’m sorry, but I there’s nothing I can do about it” “I’m sorry I made you feel clumsy, stupid and disgusting” “I’m sorry but it was just a joke. You’re so over-sensitive” “I’m sorry that my own child feels she has to upset me and make me feel bad.” The last insulting apology is also an example of projection.
She seems to have no awareness that other people even have feelings. She’ll occasionally slip and say something jaw-droppingly callous because of this lack of empathy. It isn’t that she doesn’t care at all about other people’s feelings, though she doesn’t. It would simply never occur to her to think about their feelings.
An absence of empathy is the defining trait of a narcissist and underlies most of the other traits I have described. Unlike psychopaths, narcissists do understand right, wrong, and consequences, so they are not ordinarily criminal.
She blames. She’ll blame you for everything that isn’t right in her life or for what other people do or for whatever has happened. Everything is ALWAYS someone else’s fault.
Narcissists are masters of multitasking as this example shows. Simultaneously your narcissistic mother is:
- Lying. She knows what she did was wrong and she knows your reaction is reasonable.
- Manipulating. She’s making you look like the bad guy for objecting to her cruelties.
- Being selfish. She doesn’t mind making you feel horrible as long as she gets her own way.
- Blaming. She did something wrong, but it’s all your fault.
- Projecting. Her petty, small and childish behavior has become yours.
- Putting on a self-pitying drama. She’s a martyr who believed the best of you, and you’ve let her down.
- Parentifying. You’re responsible for her feelings, she has no responsibility for yours.
She destroys your relationships. Narcissistic mothers are like tornadoes: wherever they touch down families are torn apart and wounds are inflicted. Unless the father has control over the narcissist and holds the family together, adult siblings in families with narcissistic mothers characteristically have painful relationships. Typically all communication between siblings is superficial and driven by duty, or they may never talk to each other at all. In part, these women foster dissension between their children because they enjoy the control it gives them. If those children don’t communicate except through the mother, she can decide what everyone hears. Narcissists also love the excitement and drama they create by interfering in their children’s lives. Watching people’s lives explode is better than soap operas, especially when you don’t have any empathy for their misery.
The narcissist nurtures anger, contempt and envy – the most corrosive emotions – to drive her children apart. The narcissist also uses favoritism and gossip to poison her childrens’ relationships. The scapegoat sees the mother as a creature of caprice and cruelty. As is typical of the privileged, the other children don’t see her unfairness and they excuse her abuses. Indeed, they are often recruited by the narcissist to adopt her contemptuous and entitled attitude towards the scapegoat and with her tacit or explicit permission, will inflict further abuse. The scapegoat predictably responds with fury and equal contempt. After her children move on with adult lives, the narcissist makes sure to keep each apprised of the doings of the others, passing on the most discreditable and juicy gossip (as always, disguised as “concern”) about the other children, again, in a way that engenders contempt rather than compassion.
The end result is a family in which almost all communication is triangular. The narcissist, the spider in the middle of the family web, sensitively monitors all the children for information she can use to retain her unchallenged control over the family. She then passes that on to the others, creating the resentments that prevent them from communicating directly and freely with each other. The result is that the only communication between the children is through the narcissist, exactly the way she wants it.
As a last resort she goes pathetic. When she’s confronted with unavoidable consequences for her own bad behavior, including your anger, she will melt into a soggy puddle of weepy helplessness. It’s all her fault. She can’t do anything right. She feels so bad.
What she doesn’t do: own the responsibility for her bad conduct and make it right. Instead, as always, it’s all about her, and her helpless self-pitying weepiness dumps the responsibility for her consequences AND for her unhappiness about it on you.
As so often with narcissists, it is also a manipulative behavior. If you fail to excuse her bad behavior and make her feel better, YOU are the bad person for being cold, heartless and unfeeling when your poor mother feels so awful.
October 10, 2009 by mypainfuljourney
From my personal experience, I believe we have this deep desire and hope that our mothers will change. Growing up isn’t easy, and we developed unhealthy behaviors and we want to change and hope that some day our parents will change, and “get it.”
We need to understand that narcissists don’t want to change, and like who they are. They like who they are, and it is everyone else with the problem.
“Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.”
– Oprah Winfrey