It’s Narcissist Friday!
I recently received a note from a young lady who has been diagnosed as a narcissist. Her life is filled with pain and she longs for love and acceptance. Here’s what I write to her…
—-, thank you so much for sharing your situation with us. Yes, you say something very important. You “did not choose this life.” As is true so often, hurt people hurt people. Narcissists almost always went through some trauma, something that defined life in a certain way, and learned to handle life by narcissistic means. Usually it was parents, themselves broken by who knows what. And, yes, the feeling of betrayal is a key feeling for narcissists. But a deeper feeling is fear. And fear causes some people to seek control of life and others. Fear of rejection. Fear of exposure. Fear of being used . . . again.
I suspect it is that fear that holds everyone else at arm’s length, that will not allow the narcissist to accept the reality and validity of others. And it is fear that keeps the narcissist from the only real source of love—the love of God.
—-, you have expressed your grief and struggle so well. And you spoke the truth in your last sentence, “Only the Lord can help this pained child.” Only the Lord can help any of us.
Listen: this is true. We all look for love and acceptance. We all want to drop the pretending and get rid of the shame. We long to be accepted just as ourselves. And many of us will even accept the lies we create or receive from others just for the hope of finding that love. We open ourselves to the pain, over and over, and we find that betrayal in almost every relationship. That isn’t true just for the narcissist. It’s true for all of us. The reason is because we look for love in the wrong places. We think we can find that unconditional and free love from other people—but they don’t have it to give any more than we do.
There is One who loves you. His love is straightforward and simple. No bargaining, no conditions. He just loves you and He wants you to be with Him, day by day. But He isn’t interested in pretending or lies. He wants you, no matter how ugly and undesirable you think you are. He knows that you are broken and He wants you to acknowledge that fact. He wants you to come just as you are. Others might not like what they see when you let your guard down, when you stop pretending, but He already knows and He already loves you.
I have been asked many times if a narcissist can come to Jesus and be saved and then, whether or not he or she could stop being a narcissist. The answer must be yes! If Jesus cannot heal the narcissist, if Jesus cannot save the narcissist, then there is no real hope for the rest of us. Sin and brokeness might have different names in different people, but the problem is the same—and Jesus is the answer.
He doesn’t ask you to do anything except believe Him. He knows all the things you have done, even the things no one else knows about. He knows even the things you would like to do in those dark times of your soul. You have no secrets from Him and He is not moved by your manipulations. So, give up. Let Him love you.
How? Well, I always hesitate to prescribe a certain way to come to Jesus. But you can start by simply asking Him if it is true that He loves you. Then tell Him that you want to believe Him and ask Him to reach to the deepest, most hidden, spot of your broken heart and heal you. He may allow you to see some ugly things you had tried to forget, but trust Him. He will get you through.
I would strongly encourage you to find a good Christian counselor who understands something called the “exchanged life.” There is a type of counseling called “theophostic” that you might find very helpful. But don’t expect counselors to have the answers. Jesus is the answer. He is the One who loved you before you were ever born.
If you would be willing to write to me directly, I would love to help in any way I can. I can make counseling contacts for you or try to answer questions through email. Sometimes it is easier, at first, to stay somewhat anonymous. A good portion of my ministry is email correspondence with people who hesitate even to tell me their names.
Please believe that the love you seek, the acceptance you so desperately need, is available in Jesus. He loves you so much that He died on the cross for you and He lives for you today. Yes, there is great mystery in the truth about Jesus, but the bottom line is that He really does love you.
You may contact me directly through the Contact Me tab at the top of this page or write me at: dave (at) gracefortheheart.org. I care.