Friday, April 11, 2008

As Per Request...

I was asked to revisit the comment that I parsed out in this post and make a more thorough job of it. The request came because I had glossed over a couple of paragraphs due to my boredom with the lame arguments therein. Because the request was coming from someone who found themselves disquieted by those glossed-over-by-me paragraphs I have found the motivation to finish the job. I don't want anyone to be struggling with residual discomfort from the words of an ignorant, drive-by Christian. I will pick up where I left off. The commenter's words are in italics.

God's word gives us clear principles to live by as far as dealing with those who are living in sin.


Yes, it does give us those "clear principles". The principles vary depending on whether or not the sinner is a repentant one or not. This person doesn't acknowledge that fact. Many of the claims of this commenter I have dealt with in my second post on the 5th commandment. In my post, "A Wicked Man", I deal with the problem of other Christians instructing us to stay in a relationship with an evil person, and how doing so contradicts God's own commands.

We are no better. Their sinful selfish attitude is no worse than any one of our sins. We all need the SAME Grace.

While I do not argue that we all are recipients of the same grace, I find it repugnant to pull the moral equivalence gambit when we are talking about the kinds of cruel abuses and predatory and evil behaviors of malignant narcissists. There is a chasm of difference between a sinner who recognizes their need for forgiveness and salvation and the malignant narcissist who consistently and persistently practices his life of vileness all the while acting like they need no such grace. Sorry, you can't make those two things equal and be any kind of consistent or rational. Or Biblical.

If we are truly going to deal with Narcissism in a Biblical manner then we need to use all of God's word not just parts of it to fulfill our own needs and desires.

Which is what I do...and what this commenter has not done. In the very blog post this person was commenting on he/she had overlooked strong Biblical statements which are positive commands for Christians to "walk away" from evil doers. I'm not the one picking and choosing which part of God's word to follow.

Just in case you are wondering, my mother is narcissistic. I was raised by her. Still struggling with her.

I think we can all understand why this person is "still struggling" with their narcissistic mother. That struggle will last until the old woman is laid in her grave.

But I will not adhere to un-biblical principals just to satisfy my own selfish desires to be "free of her". I want to do things God's way and help to restore her to her Saviour and our relationship to one that God wants it to be.

This is an naked accusation. By that I mean the accusation bears no proof with it. The accusation is laid, and the pretense which goes along with it is that this accusation alone proves the author's point. It does no such thing. Where is their proof that I am presenting un-biblical principals to support my so-called selfish desires? I have laid out the biblical support for my statements. Where is this persons proof? The only texts they presented demonstrably support my view, not theirs.

The next few words reveal the basis of their emotional fervor: the belief that the redemption of their mother is dependent on this person's own faith and spiritual virtue. I have already identified this as proceeding from a savior complex. Please read here and here. I know some Christians feel like they are demonstrating a lack of faith in their God's ability to save someone if they should walk away from the evil doer. This is itself unbiblical. God can save...you can't. Get over yourself, get out of the way, let God do His thing. He doesn't need you to hang in there for eternity with an evil doer in order to save the evil doer. He has specifically told you to get away from the persistent evil doer. Quit disobeying the God you are pretending to be obeying.

Dividing us is Satan's work.

This kind of categoric statement annoys me to no end. Probably because it is becoming such a popular mantra in Christianity. I mentally roll my eyes now when I hear this one. I heard it so many times from my sister that it became a standard part of her phone calls to me for years. There was "war in heaven". God Himself took up some kind of arms against the angelic rebels in order to "cast them out. See this post. Christ boldly proclaimed He is a divider when he said he "came not to send peace but a sword". Matt. 10:34-36. "I came to set at variance..." Um, looks to me like Christ himself is laying claim to being a divider. Strong words to claim that all division is "Satan's work". This person has condemned their own Savior.

By the way, ya'll may find it mildly interesting that the commenter above came back to my blog yesterday afternoon. Since I wrote down all their particulars, ISP, IP address, city, state, google search words, I immediately noticed the stats when the person came back. I kept track of the info because I was curious to see if this person would be returning to my blog. Well, they did. Using the exact same search words, "biblical view of narcissism", they hopped onto my blog via the very post where I parsed out their own comment. This person then did about 10 page views spending about 35 minutes on the blog. Their "out click" was the comments on the blog post, "Breathing Example of Last Post". So this person saw not only what I had to say, but what you all had to say too. The part I find especially interesting about this is that they didn't come back with another comment. Take that to mean what you will. I have my own ideas on what that means.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Anna, thank you for taking the time to do this. I greatly appreciate it. It is wonderful to have this in black and white that I can read and re-read. I'm in the midst of reading the blog again from the beginning. I need a total reprogramming, I think.

Thank you again,
Renewed

Kelly said...

Amen Anna.
Kelly

Naive No Longer said...

"The part I find especially interesting about this is that they didn't come back with another comment. Take that to mean what you will. I have my own ideas on what that means."

I have my own ideas as well BUT I'M DYING TO HEAR YOURS!!! Do share!

Katherine Gunn said...

"But I will not adhere to un-biblical principals just to satisfy my own selfish desires to be "free of her". I want to do things God's way and help to restore her to her Saviour and our relationship to one that God wants it to be. "

This comment from the 'commenter' and the one about Satan being a divider are the ones that caused me to roll my eyes and, yes, get irritated. I have spent the last 15 months 'overcoming' the idea that my desire to be free of my Nmom is 'selfish.' That idea had held me in a place of bondage for years. I am embarrassed to admit that I thought that by just swallowing the anger and pain and 'getting along' with her, I was somehow transcending it all and being a better Christian. I wasn't. I was on the road to becoming a self-righteous pain in the ass - which is what this attitude is, in my humble opinion. ;-)

As to the 'Satan the divider' statement, you nailed it. Jesus did say He came not to bring peace but a sword and he also promised his disciples that those who gave up land, homes, husbands, wives, children, parent, for him would get those things back now (in Mark 10). What gave up even wives - parents? Why would you need to do that to follow Jesus? Hmm . . . let me think..

Here's another thought:

"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?" 2 Corinthians 6:14

Someone who is a narcissist has put themselves before God. They don't really believe what they say (if the are pretending to be Christians) or they would show some evidence of it in their lives. What is more lawless than pathologically lying, character assassinating, and tearing someone else dow for you own amusement and self-aggrandizement? What is more dark than that?

It is your, blogs, Anna, along with kathy Krajco's, that have been instrumental in helping me see the truth in this. Truth makes you free. Appeasement binds you tighter.

Thanks. Blog on! :-)

jordie said...

It must be turkey season.

I love the way some people (it is usually other christians) want to argue their case, but don't actually want to be honest about it.

They want to maintain the superior moral ground, yet make out that they are simply arguing scriptural points. They want to make it an academic discussion, but its really about them being right.

I don't mind if people want to disagree, its just the religious crap which goes along with it.

Then when you call them on it, and make it clear that you aren't going to play the game, you often get an immediate backdown, but a restating of the case, making the same points in a different way.

Or maybe its just my turkeys that do that.

Chuh!

Anna Valerious said...

NNL,

I didn't mean to sound all deep and mysterious. I can only speculate since my crystal ball broke years ago...so even if I sound like I know something...I am jes' guessin'.

I think this person realized I'm not a pushover. I came back hard on her self-righteous piece of toxic poo-poo. I think it is apparent that I know a thing or two about what the Bible actually says and can't be stunned into submission because someone whipped out a couple of text references and calls my motives into question. In other words, I think this person is reluctant to take me on. I would not be an easy conquest ... and they have little more than the force of their pontifical pronouncements to "wow" me with as opposed to a consistent interpretation of the Bible.

Maybe that is wishful thinking on my part. Although, as I consider how free this person was with their opinion after reading one of my blog posts...I have to ask, why did they hold back this time? After not only reading for at least 35 minutes on their second pass, this person was also treated to my direct confrontation with their own words. So it leads me right back to my first surmising.

If this person comes back yet again and takes a good wallop at me then I'll know the lack of comment was due to their assembling their case against me for another day. That'll prove for one and all that I'm telling the truth about my crystal ball.

Anna Valerious said...

Renewed,

You're very welcome.

Anna Valerious said...

Katherine,

I enjoyed your comment, analysis and self-deprecating humor. You sound like you're doin' good digging out of the hooey!

Anna Valerious said...

Thanks for the laugh, Jordie! Yeah, I know. It isn't funny. But you managed to make me laugh anyway.

Hang in there. Turkeys taste really good with cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy. We need to have a turkey shoot!

Naive No Longer said...

katherine gunn said:

"What is more lawless than pathologically lying, character assassinating, and tearing someone else dow for you own amusement and self-aggrandizement? What is more dark than that?"

EXACTLY!!!!

Naive No Longer said...

Anna,

No, I didn't think you were being all mysterious and deep!!! I was just very interested to hear your take on it.

In addition to what you said, you probably rocked their precarious "house of cards", their form of self-righteous pseudo religion that they have had to tenaciously hold onto in a robotic sort of way in order to feel "safe". Held onto in order to not have to think and see for themselves. It's much easier to follow "the script".

So now they have to scramble to reassemble the self-made fortress you blew holes into in order to keep the fear at bay that you may actually be right and then they would have to do something that would be, heaven-forbid. . . courageous.

However, sometimes it's much easier to hide in a cowardly way behind all the crap and point the finger. . . that Phariseeical finger.

I hope for their sake that the holes you blew into it were big enough and wide enough to allow them to crawl out and get free. But we'll see . . .

Anonymous said...

"That struggle will last until the old woman is laid in her grave."

And beyond.

Not to be macabre, here, but the cold hands of death do not end the fray! The narcissist's legacy is a nasty mini-me that pops out of one's nose from time to time to incite self-loathing, self-doubt, and self-accusation. Only by excising that evil terratoma, with God's patient help, can we approach wholeness of spirit.

I'm theorizing, though. My own elderly N-mom still lives, and her rantings are less powerful and more pitiful now. The power of the rage, though, plowed through my personality and left its mark a long, long time ago.

h said...

The poster clearly just wishes to cherry pick her own scriptures, and ignore others.

This may be off topic, but I have also seen people that believed like her basically ask you to HUSH about a person in your life being cruel, etc. They tell you that are you are basically gossiping, or you need to more concentrate on their good points, etc. They have all kinds of excuses. They tell you that you are concentrating more on performance, and what you will GET in the relationship. How you must concentrate on GIVING!

This also goes against scripture. Scripture states that evil likes to stay in the dark, because it does not like the light of truth. That you must expose the darkness.

People like you poster SEE the darkness, but much rather use some magical pixie dust instead of following scripture to expose it to the light. Prayer and scripture can be powerful against evil, but NOT when you choose to ignore.

Personally, I think their venting is more fear based myself. They can't handle the truth, because they have no answer for it. Funny they don't search scripture for that part. Its there but they choose not to see it. Not everyone can live in that type of bubble. Sorry.

I guess in my old age I have learned to actually feel sorry for people like that, and I will - as the blogger does very well - educate them. Some will listen, and others...well others are just like Narc and abusers they choose their own truth. I pray for all of them.

FYI - this blog is awesome! I have really enjoyed this one and Katherine's blog very much!

Anna Valerious said...

the cold hands of death do not end the fray! The narcissist's legacy is a nasty mini-me that pops out of one's nose from time to time to incite self-loathing, self-doubt, and self-accusation. Only by excising that evil terratoma, with God's patient help, can we approach wholeness of spirit.

From all the accounts of others which I have heard and read I think your theorizing is spot on. I agree that the control of the narcissist reaches far beyond the grave. That is why measures to release the frightful grasp of the N from around our necks and our souls has to begin today in the here and now. It is a process that really shouldn't wait until the N's death. They take so much from our lives ... why wait until we are well-advanced into our own lives to finally feel the fresh breeze of freedom caress our faces?

Excellent point, anonymous. I see it as you do. The N makes deep and lasting marks on our own consciences, our emotions, our minds. It takes determined effort to minimize those marks. If we wait until the decease of the N, we may have waited too long. Life is too damn precious to let the N steal more of it from us. They have no god-given right to steal life from others no matter the lunatic ravings of the Pharisees to the contrary.

Anonymous said...

Oooh!! Just read your article "Living a Lie". Hope the anonymous poster who thinks it's selfish to get away reads the above article. I feel bad for this woman who is in denial still. She might want to reflect on Luke, "It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and be cast into sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones." I checked bible definition of "offend": to entrap, to trip up, entice to sin, ensnare, scandalize. "Scandalize": to strike with disgust or revulsion, bend, shock, horrify, reproach, to libel, to defame, to slander.

Apparently, not only was Jesus referring to innocent children, but figuratively was referring to those who were innocent in spirit, like Anna's reference to "honest-hearted people. People who don't expect a mother to lie to them. Yes, Satan is a divider and what is more insidious than to have a mother "bend" her child like a broken reed; it's not a selfish desire when an innocent wants to be free of a Jeckyll-Hyde personality.

It says in the end-days that people will call evil good, and good evil. Hang in there!!

Katherine Gunn said...

Anna~

As I continued to think about this issue - one I have struggled with so much in the last year or so, some things came to mind I thought I might share. The verses in the New Testament that admonish us to honor our parents are followed by very rarely quoted verses in both cases.

The verse we hear so often are:

"Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and your mother--this is the first commandment with a promise--That all may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth." Ephesians 6:2-3 (Amplified)

and

"Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord." Colossians 3:20 (Amp.)

You addressed these verses very well in your blogs on the 5th commandment, which these verses refer to.

But these verses are followed by:

"Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4 (Amp.)

And

"Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or fret your children [do not be hard on them or harass them], lest they become discouraged and sullen and morose and feel inferior and frustrated. [Do not break their spirit.]" Colossians 3:21 (Amp.)

Hmm... does this sound like what a narcissist does to their children? Why are the children ridden so hard by the religious leaders and busybodies and the parents are not?

I also came across this verse in reading today...

"Exploit or abuse your family, and end up with a fistful of air; common sense tells you it's a stupid way to live.” Proverbs 11:29 (Message)

Hmm... that says a lot, I think. ;-)

I can only imagine what things would have been like if I had been raised the way this admonishes...

But, I believe that staying in an abusive relationship with your parents only continues to encourage them in the belief that this behavior is okay. That is not honoring them, that is deceiving them and yourself.

Anna Valerious said...

Thank you, Katherine, for your added thoughts. Excellent. You summed it up very well in your last paragraph,

"But, I believe that staying in an abusive relationship with your parents only continues to encourage them in the belief that this behavior is okay. That is not honoring them, that is deceiving them and yourself."

Very well said. I have made that point in other ways on this blog. I am convinced that to "hang in there" with a narcissist only makes them worse. It confirms them in their evil ways. Which makes us somewhat responsible for perpetuating their evil when we continue to accept it on any level. This is just as true with evil parents.

I first became aware of how evil is worsened when we lend ourselves for continued abuse when I saw how my mother behaved after having had my cousin in her control for a couple of years. My mother's narcissism magnified exponentially in that period. I was shocked by it. It is likely what enabled me to suddenly see how evil she had become. Every bad character trait she had became monstrously huge. My cousin also began to see it...and today sees it very clearly. Before she escaped my mother's control she started to admit to herself that my mother was getting worse because of my cousin's compliance and submission! My cousin's conscience began to tell her she was responsible in a tangible way for making my mother into a bigger monster--which helped motivate my cousin to stop submitting and complying. This, of course, led to a crisis point in her relationship with my mother...which led to my mother refusing to have anything more to do with my cousin.

I've seen with my own eyes that we can't stay in the life of a narcissist and not contribute to hardening them in their ways. They continue to practice their evil on us when we stick with them. The success of their efforts is anything BUT a disincentive to continue those efforts. Christians need to be aware of this reality because supposedly we are opposed to supporting evil. Yet, Christians demand such support of evil when they tell people they must remain in close relationship with a narcissist. They are ignorant of this spiritual reality and must be ignored when they dish out their advice.

Anonymous said...

all i can say to this old post--if you still have comments from it.. is wow. thank you. When I asked a Christian freind how to handle my mom last time I went to visit her--she just said 'be Christ to her' or 'show her Christ' I had no idea what that meant. I was thinking--well-- does that mean meekly be nice no matter what?

cuz I sort of felt that might be what she meant. Instead I caused some trouble by exposing some things she was doing to my siblings--setting them against each other to cover her tracks.

Well I felt awful-but I wonder isn't it more Christlike to expose the darkness than to coddle it? anonymous m

Anna Valerious said...

but I wonder isn't it more Christlike to expose the darkness than to coddle it?

Absolutely! But a narcissist will always tell you otherwise.

Anonymous said...

So why then do I feel so rotten? Actually I guess I feel conflicted--partly a bit victorious for having seen the situation as it was and putting a stop to it-- but also absolutely rotten for even suspecting the evil that was going on.

is this again lack of backbone? or just some sort of fear of using it? m.

Anna Valerious said...

You've done something you're not practiced at doing. It isn't surprising that you feel like you might have done something wrong. Go with your head on this. Stopping the ability for evil to operate as it has in the past is honorable and right.

Anonymous said...

Ya, I see you are right.

What is funny is my Mother has not challenged me on it. She seems content to have a 'surface' relationship with me and just not talk about things. Thats fine. We live far away and she is in pretty bad shape--financially and physically. I am allowing my husband to decide what to do to help her if anything. My siblings all do their thing-- based on their relationship with her. I tell them what I think if the subject comes up and don't pretend things are good. I support them if they seem to want to defend themselves--but I have noticed that they all handle it their own way. My sister completely capitulates to Mom to the absolute detriment of her own family. She and I do not talk much at all. I'm sure she thinks I am awful for not helping mom. I also know she can't see it right. My brother who is helping pay the mortgage after buying the house and being treated so bad--well he is choosing as far as i know right now--to 'just pay' and live over an hour away so he doesn't have to deal with any worse. I think he knows better but is just not up to the stress of fighting.
One of my brothers has drawn much closer to me--and recognizes the evil that mom has done him--but he has not been 'real' about his own life either--and that is another issue. My other brother is a drug addict who pretends to be recovered. He showed up to take care of Mom the other day when she was out of her head from another bout of mismanaging her RXs --I had this creepy thought that perhaps he will be checking out her stash. :(

Ah man. what a mess. People make such messes of themselves.

I guess if I see a lie being aimed at someone from now on I will call i as it is--outloud.

Most likely they will all go to extremes to see to I don't see much.

I guess that's their business.
anonymous M--boy I wish I could just use my regular google id here--because its a pain being anonymous-- hard to get feedback. I'll have to see what I can do different as I think this blog is helpful to me but I really do not want it tied to my blog--I hate to say that, but I guess i'm an 'in the closet' acon?

Tundra Woman said...

"You've done something you're not practiced at doing...go with your head on this.." YES!!!
I sure get this. I remember the first time I took the first behavioral step to limit my NM "mother's" ability to reach out and poke me at her will through her DWI (Dialing While Insane) phone calls-at all hours. I LIED to my "mother." I told her as a poor student, I couldn't afford a phone-and about drove the Phone Co. Representative nuts peppering them with a bunch of questions about having an unlisted phone number and were they sure if someone called and said, for example, it was an emergency or they were my "mother" and/or "worried" would the phone company give out my phone number (etc.)? The poor rep eventually said, "Miss? Are you SURE you even WANT a phone?!"
Ohhh, the guilt was overwhelming initially: I premeditated and carried out a bold-faced LIE to (gasp!) "Mother!"
It so hard when you start to take those first steps to protect yourself as an ACON. We've been so completely schooled in "Never tell a lie to your mother, ever!" and of course, "Loyalty," the "Mob Family" Rules you elucidated in an earlier post. But ya gotta start somewhere. We believe that self-protection is self-ishness etc. when nothing could be further from the truth. (NOT the "truth" we were lead to believe by words-but not by actions by our MN "Parent(s)" )
Confronting the reality of our lived experiences and acting on that knowledge is a huge challenge initially. But it absolutely *does* get better-while they get worse.
I understand this will sound harsh, but IMO and experience, by remaining engaged as an adult as evidenced by your behavior, you're tacitly demonstrating your support for their behavior no matter what your words to yourself, them or others are saying. Think about it: What ultimately brings us (ACs) to some painful realities is the disconnect/chasm between our MN Parent(s) behavior and their words. It seems some people can maintain some sort of relationship with their MN Parent(s) through geographical distance etc. but that did not work at all for me: Mine was far too invested in Appearances (and Supply) to allow anything less than complete and total capitulation to her ceaseless, entitled, endless demands.
TW

AnotherACON said...

Religion is a very powerful tool of control in the hands of narcissists.

In today’s church Matt. 5:39–41 seems to be taken to mean "support the evildoer in his evildoing at all times, ad infinitum". Why would they teach that? Go figure!