I Can Forgive

Words of Grace  

 

“Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.”  C. S. Lewis

Forgiveness is hard.  Oh, sure, there are times when we can forgive quickly and easily; but there are other times when someone has done something that is very hard to forgive.

We make lots of mistakes when it comes to forgiveness.  We think we have to forget, but that isn’t true.  We think we have to welcome the person back into relationship, but that isn’t true either.  We think forgiveness is for the benefit of the other person, and that certainly isn’t true.

The truth is that forgiveness is for us.  Not being able to forgive binds us both to the event and to the person who hurt us.  Forgiveness is letting go and moving on.  Forgiving frees us from reliving the event.  So, there is good reason to forgive.

I think of forgiveness as a door to an unknown room.  That room holds many fears.  What would it be like to go through that door?  Would I have to change somehow?  Would I find that person on the other side?  Maybe it would be better not to try.

Yet, Jesus calls us to forgive—for our good.  He wants us to be free.

And here’s my suggestion.  Don’t be the first one through the door.  Let Jesus go first.  Forgiveness is His work, let Him do it.  Then all you have to do is accept what He has done.

It has always struck me that my forgiveness means very little in the life of another person.  The person who hurt me doesn’t need my forgiveness.  He or she needs the forgiveness of the Lord.  All sin is against the Lord.  So the only real part for me is to yield to Jesus.

Instead of looking at that door with fear and wanting to run away from it, let Jesus open it.  You have no responsibility to open that door.  He will open it at the time and in the way He wants.  Then, He will walk through it with you.  All you have to do is walk with Him—and you are already doing that.

You see, forgiveness is His business.  All sin is against Him.  We get caught in the crossfire sometimes, but those who hurt us are really sinning against Him.  I suspect that’s why we find it so hard to forgive sometimes.  We think we are somehow letting the person escape the judgment he or she deserves.  But we are not the Judge.  Forgiveness belongs to Jesus.

I can forgive.

Forgiveness belongs to Jesus.

My part is simply to walk with Him through my life.

When He forgives, I can forgive.

He is my life and strength.

I can forgive.

27 Comments

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27 responses to “I Can Forgive

  1. Tonya Scarborough

    Wonderful! Thank you.

  2. Carolyn

    I was just sharing with a close friend how difficult this has been for me, and the post hit the nail on the head. Thank you so much…I needed to hear this today! God Bless this ministry, Pastor Dave!

  3. prodigalkatherine

    I think of Jesus on the cross interceding for those “who know not what they do”. So much of our pain post narcissistic relationship has to do with trying to figure out how the N could be so cruel and how accountable they should be. They have hurt us, and it helps to understand when their devastating words and actions were completely undeserved so we can begin the business of healing.

    Yet the maddening thing is- we never will fully understand everything behind the over the top cruelty we’ve experienced. All we know is that it hurt us very badly on a soul level. That’s why I find Jesus’s prayer to be so helpful- even in agonizing pain on the cross, Jesus models to us how we are to interact with those who have unfairly betrayed us. He does not say “Father, forgive them because I’m over it- or -it didn’t matter because I am so magnanimous”. Instead, he cried out in agony for God to forgive those who acted in a way that was terribly destructive without assigning blame/motive.

    Narcissistic individuals are so self absorbed they truly do not grasp the full implications of selfish actions/rage/deceptive words in the moments they wound us. All they can think about is protecting their self image and experiencing a steady state of narcissistic supply (attention from desired sources). They don’t think about what is kind or fair. They have blinders on that prevent them from taking in information beyond “will this make me feel better now”. They can’t tolerate guilt so they rarely engage in self examination. They know not what they do.

    And then- as their destructive behaviors reach a critical mass they start to experience withdrawal of support and narcissistic supply. They panic. They are in terror because if the narcissistic supply goes they are all alone because they don’t know the first thing about cultivating true friendships that sustain them in tough times. The only thing that can help them as they reap what they sow is supernatural mercy.

    Forgiving a narcissist is not excusing the terrible behavior patterns and the willful disregard of the hearts of others. It’s about recognizing that they need mercy and only God who knows all and understands all can truly offer the only mercy great enough to heal a narcissists broken heart.

    • UnForsaken

      An excellent point, Katie! You wrapped Dave’s article up perfectly in the last paragragh…but I am also encouraged by your description of the N’s behaviors. Sometimes I doubt if mine is or not, but his behavior always boils down to these motivations.

      Dave, we need reminders of forgiveness, but this one is unique to me. In the past I experienced people saying I couldn’t forgive because I couldn’t forget….and All of the other untruths you mentioned Some of my experiences had been afew years ago, but I was remembering what I learned from them and knew that the people hadn’t changed. I also learned nobody wanted to listen, because of gossip they heard about me, or simply not wanting to acknowledge it really happened. But, at least I learned not to talk about my experiences anymore ..and that I had been automatically forgiving as I gave it all to God. I always thought ( probably taught) that everyone struggled with forgiveness. No, it’s not easy, but it was easier as I rested In Him . Now as I sommetimes see the trouble coming, I find myself sruggling more with the facts I can see I couldn’t see before. I needed this reminder to keep giving it to God, and that Forgiveness is His, not mine!!!!

      Thank you both!

  4. LS

    I can’t seem to find the strength to forgive him. I just can’t bring myself to think of him in any good way at all. I know its not healthy for me too keep hating him but I do. I am afraid I will never forgive or forget 😦

    • prodigalkatherine

      It’s ok to forever hate that your trust was trespassed on. That was not God’s best for you. Anyone who insists tell that what happened to you was ok and that you should “move on” needs to back off. You can’t move on until you’ve internalized the lessons you need from this experience. That would be like beginning algebra 2 after you’ve just flunked the algebra 1 midterm.

      The only thing I would recommend is to try not to sit in that hatred by yourself. Hate is very isolating because it causes you to be afraid to cooperate with people. While feeling enraged might feel “safer” than being grief stricken, you can’t really leave the emotional place of reacting to the person who did hateful things, so you remain emotionally bound to them. That gives them too much power over your future.

      Still, after you’ve been hurt it feels disingenuous to force cheerfulness about having been devastated. If you are required to “let it go” before you are ready it’s because the people around you are more interested your acting a certain way than your healing. And that’s a different kind of hurt that is a secondary trauma. There’s a reason why therapists don’t tell rape victims to “love and forgive” their rapists. It’s because it denies the victim permission to grieve the sin that was committed against them.

      For me, forgiveness has been a long slow climb out of my own misery. The desire to forgive existed very early, but early efforts to “let it go” were actually counterproductive. I think about children who are victims of narcissists who are forced to “forgive” severe personal violation. That premature forgiveness often turns into a character disordered pattern of relating to people in the future where the child is unable to empathize with others who have had their rights violated.

      The first step out of my misery was to simply ask God to come sit next to me in it. To expose the full extent of my own hatred and despair and to ask Him to bring His Holy Spirit in to heal me. In opening my broken heart fully to the compassionate healing presence of God, I felt a sense of His sadness for me about what had happened. That was when the paralyzing grief began to lift and the power of sustained narcissistic abuse began to lose its grip on me. Forgiveness came much later and had to do with seeing how the terrible things that were done to me were done by a very broken person who only God could reach.

      For the longest time I was stuck thinking that because I didn’t feel warm and fuzzy towards the person I was trying to forgive. This is the #1 lie the Enemy uses to convince us that forgiveness is worthless. Forgiveness isn’t about a feeling. It’s simply about inviting God in to heal the places that the narcissist broke, and releasing the narcissist from the obligation to make things right. In releasing the narcissist from obligation, you are no longer connected emotionally and there is no victory in “settling a score”. They’re broken. Only God can fix them. Forgiveness is simply handing over the burden of righting the wrong that was done to you to God, and allowing Him to pursue justice/vengeance as He sees fit from his Sovereign perspective.

      I am so sorry for your pain. I remember mine at the beginning- it was soul crushing. I am praying you find your peace.

      • UnForsaken

        prodigalkatherine, you couldn’t be more right. I realize that in the past some of the talk I did about my experiences was therapeutic…I was just talking to the wrong people!
        LS, everything prodigalkatherine said here is True. I’m so glad that there is a safe place for you – and me – to come and get the real low down on Narcissism and our responses to it. I can’t clearly put into words what some have so wisely explained, but when I come here, it seems a little simpler to understand. Thank you Everybody !

        LS, I sometimes have no idea what to do with pain, grief, or anger, but at least when I’m talking to God He gives Peace. Hugs from me, and I pray that as you wait for answers He will give you Peace and Rest !

  5. LS

    Thank you so much for your understanding… It feels like I will never get over this. I put on a fake smile everyday and act like I am happy and that life has been good since he threw me away like a piece of garbage. He gave me no closure.. If anything he made it worse by trashing me and flaunting his life infront of me. I cannot and won’t trust anyone and everytime someone tries to get close too me I cringe inside. Since him I have isolated myself and I don’t talk to anyone except my children. I got rid of all the toxic people in my life by being just like him. I feel like Im becoming a narcissist and sometimes I feel an incredible urge too attack him with an angry text which I know he will just ignore. I am thankful for him as well because he really did bring me to God at a time when I wasn’t even sure God existed.. I do pray everyday for things to get better. In alot of ways it has but I still feel empty and lost. I fear I will be alone forever. Even worse is that I feel like I WANT to be alone forever. I hate myself right now. Forgiveness and forgetting seems like an impossible dream.

    • prodigalkatherine

      You have been through a psychological trauma that is as destabilizing as a child being abandoned by a parent. Your basic sense of trust is violated which makes the whole world feel threatening. Who can you trust? Unless someone has familiarity with a narcissist partner discarding them there is a tendency to see this as a normal breakdown of a relationship/marriage. But it’s not. In a normal breakup there is grief and sometimes anger, but always a recognition that the other person is a human being who deserves to be treated with basic respect.

      In a narcissistic relationship- your closest tie goes from being a friend to enemy and you are left scratching your head as to why you are treated with such contempt. You don’t just mourn the loss of a relationship- you realize that someone who hates you knows all of your secrets and is actively using them against you. In order to justify their own cruelty to you they have to annihilate your reputation so they won’t face public disgrace for acting in a manner that can only be described as heartless.

      Here’s an analogy which will hopefully explain why what happened to you was so much more traumatic than a regular breakup. Let’s say a computer experiences a problem with a software program. There is temporary hardship while the faulty program is uninstalled and until a new program has been successfully installed. But even as that is happening, the rest of the computer functions fine. A narcissistic breakup is like having your computer infected with a malware virus. Every single program the malware gains access to is corrupted. No part of the computer functions normally until all traces of the malware have been removed.

      That is why it’s so much more work to recover from a violation of the sort you have experienced. You are having a sane reaction to an insane situation. It is a lot of work to completely rid your life of the narcissist’s destructive influence, but once you have you can rest assured that all the things that you liked about yourself still exist. You will enjoy life again as you build new relationships that have nothing to do with the narcissist (and it’s ok to take them slow as you are learning to trust again). It’s too bad that other people can’t understand what you’ve been through, but you can rest in the fact that God knows exactly what you’ve been through, and in His way He will right the wrongs that this individual wrought in your life. It just takes time. As you are recovering, rush to the shadow of the Almighty. It is a safe place, because He will never leave you or forsake you. I am lifting you up in prayer and specifically asking that you will be granted peace in understanding that this pain will not last forever, and that you will have a much better life now that the narcissist is no longer in it.
      Hugs to you.
      -Katie

      • LS

        Wow… Perfectly put.. I feel like every part of me HAS been infected by a virus. A virus that I can’t get rid of. It is making me jaded against all men and in humans in general. I feel like most people have lost all their compassion, morals, and values. I hold myself and everyone else to a higher standard now. I’m afraid of being hurt and I judge almost everyone before I even know them. Isolation is so much better than people right now. Its been 1.5 years since that horrible day and his covert cruel behaviour towards me and my children the following months. You are right.. nobody understood or cared at the time. I went to counselling and was labelled in one session as a bpd because of my reaction to the discarding. I stopped going and have counselled myself with lots of reading and learning about what the problem was. He is still indirectly involved in my life as my kids are still close friends and classmates of his kids. We live in a small town and it is impossible for me to completely avoid him. I hate him and for the first 6 months I let him have it. I did look crazy and I felt crazy too. I know now that its just like you say. His disordered personality and lies infected me and it is really hard to get rid of that infection. God helps me everyday and it IS getting easier. Its a strange feeling to absolutely despise someone. I don’t want to hate him or anybody else. Hate is a very draining and uncomfortable emotion. Forgiveness will come to me in time I hope. I was a very forgiving person at one time. Maybe that was my problem? You forgive and you get hurt for it. Thank you again. I don’t post much on here but I read everything that is posted and this one site has made the most impact on me in my struggle to understand. God bless you all and thank you 🙂

  6. prodigalkatherine

    Oh LS- I think we have a lot in common. Most recently (2 years ago) I had to end a relationship with a man who was pretending to be a Christian, but used that pretense to reel me in. We were going to blend families and I thought that he was my reward for having survived a lot of tough stuff before. Suffice it to say that God opened my eyes before it was too late, and the subsequent rage attack and devaluation/smear campaign/outright cruelty to my kids nearly destroyed me.

    More than any other situation, this one was creepy because he knew the bible so well and presented himself to the answer to all my problems. But the religious exterior turned out to be all words. He was very cruel unless I did everything exactly as he told me to and had a nasty temper when drinking (didn’t see that until we had already talked marriage), and was very unkind to two of my four kids who he had cultivated father figure relationships with. I had to face the fact that I had made an idol out of the perfect Christian husband who’d come save me and my family on a white horse… I was so eager to not be scared and alone as a single mom I saw what I wanted to see.

    My growing horror at a pattern of deceit was confirmed in the most horrible way – he refused to even say goodbye to the children or let us say goodbye to his daughter after I told him we needed counseling or I couldn’t marry him. He called me a bible banger with a sneer and then went on to start a smear campaign behind my back at our shared church. This happened over a time period where our church had a change in leadership, so he convinced the priest I was crazy and that he needed to quit the vestry to get away from me (never telling me any of this)- I was horrified because I didn’t want his daughter to have to leave church because she had lost her “family” of 4 siblings and me (she told her friends I was her stepmom). So I took my kids elsewhere, hoping that they would stay in church and that God would soften his heart. In my absence he said who knows what- enough for the priest to tell me that I couldn’t bring my family back ever. My kids were crushed and very angry at me because they perceived the breakup of our blended family to be my fault. What made it so painful was that I was desperately in love with him, but knew I had to confront some dynamics I knew were not honoring God- I hoped that it was like Abraham laying his dream (Isaac) on the altar and then having the dream rescued at the last minute. Sadly, it didn’t work out that way.

    I recently learned the reason he had been so mean was that another woman was involved who I understand he is married to now. Ouch. Talk about having your trust trampled on. Your faith trampled on. The only thing that kept me sinking into suicidal despair was my kids. I couldn’t understand what God was doing. It felt like he abandoned me. I listened to the song El Shaddai a lot- feeling like Hagar- cast out because of the grudges of another even though I just wanted peace.

    It has been a long process, but I now see that God rescued me from marrying a predatory man who would’ve treated my children as objects. He would’ve drained my savings and broken my heart and been unfaithful to me. As my priest said at my new church- it hurts to have to slam on the brakes at 60 mph- but it’s far worse to slam into a brick wall. That marriage would’ve been a dead end situation. Today my kids and I are thriving and I understand- I don’t need a man to be the head of my household- only Christ.

    The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was forgive him for breaking my children’s hearts, but I think I see now that he is a very broken man and was terrified for being exposed as a cheater so he had to erase all evidence of us by destroying my family’s ties with the church. That was a bitter pill that I have only been able to swallow slowly after a year and a half of therapy and separate counseling sessions for me and the children with our new priests. This man is no longer my family’s hero.

    When I was deciding who I wanted to date to be a role model to my kids I remember searching for a man who was “a man of his word” to be a role model. I thought I’d found him. Instead, I asked my children to trust a fraud. But God in his mercy has allowed some amazing healing through this- my youngest son said to me the other day- “Mom- I know you wanted R to teach me to be a man of my word- but in a way he did. He taught me how awful it is when you make promises that are lies and how it breaks peoples hearts. You shouldn’t give your word unless you keep it.”

    I tell you that story to comfort you and encourage you to see that you are in the middle of great pain, but even now, God is working to transform that pain into wisdom and His hand is on you and your family. If you turn to Him to interpret this experience you will come to understand that you have been freed and strengthened. It still hurts, but your story is not over yet. It’s ok to be very self protective while God is healing your heart. That’s appropriate. But one day will come when you are ready to leave your cocoon and you will have new wings to fly. It sounds corny, but it’s true.

    God listens to the tearful prayers of an abandoned woman. He did not forget Hagar in the desert. He did not forget me (even though it felt that way for me for a long time). He has not forgotten you. I am praying He will grant you His perfect peace tonight, sister. Hugs to you.

    • UnForsaken

      prodigalkatherine, sending a hug your way too! What your so said is Exactly the way I felt after having to deal with a N pastor. The horror helped me see the more covert N near me….and identify Worlds of truth . I was so sure before, and knew so little. Now I’m vague in mind, but Sure in Christ .
      If I said what you said it would sound even more corny….but that doesn’t change the Deep truth of it. You have a gift for words that makes me sigh with relief ….and reread!

    • LS

      ‘god listens to the tears of an abandoned woman’ I love that.. Thank you for sharing your story with me. It sounds like you and your children went through hell and back. Just like me and my children. We do have more in common than you realize. Him using God to get too you especially rings true. I know now that God can see a fake and I truly believe that ‘what comes around goes around’.. Sometimes I take pleasure in hearing about how his life is one dysfunctional mess but most of all I feel sad for his kids who I am still close too. He tried many times to make his kids hate me and my kids, but it never worked. It has actually backfired on him and has made his kids and my kids resent him even more. At first I privately gloated about his kids discovering his true character but now I just pray that God can heal him and give his children back a ‘real’ father. I have also come to realize that even though I do care about his kids that I cannot control how he treats them or anybody else. You are so right. Only God can heal him. I have stopped trying to fix things that I didn’t break. This has helped me a great deal in breaking my habit of being the ‘fixer’ of everyone. Instead I can now just listen and be supportive instead of trying to control the outcome. I never realized that this trait existed inside of me before the narcissist came into my life. I realized I have been used my entire life by people to be their ‘fixer’.. Your son is so smart. I can see my flaws and I will never treat people like this person treated me. I will never make a promise I cant keep…. You mentioned a song that you listened to over and over again during the hard time in your life. I had one too. Right after I read what you said to me I turned on the radio and that song was playing. I took this as a sign… This time I didn’t feel sad when I heard it.. I felt like God was saying to me everything is going to be ok. Maybe God put your narcissist in your life so that you can help people like me. You are the first person to understand what I went through and what I am still going through. It helps me see that I am not crazy or a bad person. I live now only for me and my children. I am being selfish in that way but my kids are happy and I am getting there too. Thank you again Prodigalkatherine… you have a gift for comforting hurting people. I used to be able and willing to comfort those that had been hurt.. I haven’t done that since my compassion was used against me. I have forgotten how to be ‘nice’. You have shown me that it is ok to be nice again. I don’t know you, but I am grateful for you helping me get back my real self. From this day forward I refuse to act like him. That is not who I am. It will take time but when I am ready I plan on getting back out in the world with a clearer understanding of human beings. I know that there is alot of caring, REAL people out there. Ive just met one on this site :-)… That gives me hope.
      Hugs back too you.

      LS, Canada

      • prodigalkatherine

        I am glad my story helped you. Sometimes it takes away some of the pain when you realize that you aren’t the only one a terrible thing happened to. For what it’s worth- I have “fixing” tendencies myself and always have tried to be “useful” to secure love. Sadly, being useful has led to being used, not loved.
        My experience definitely changed me too. I almost lost my hope. I’m a basically happy person who has been termed by psychologists as resilient- but the combination of heartbreak, betrayal, public shaming because of lies nearly broke me in the sense that I had to fight passive suicidal impulses for a while. I felt used up and discarded. He actually said to me “You are too broken for any man to be able to love”. The scary thing is I believed it, and could only see how horrible hiswords were when he started making fun of my 12 year old daughter for being “needy”- so not the case. My 12 year old daughter had been extremely kind and patient with his eight year old daughter- very selfless.

        What I believe we both experienced was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. By using our faiths against us- our compassion, generosity, our forgiveness they turn our understanding of what is good upside down. Each time we tried to be brave, unselfish, kind we thought we were building them up. Maybe we were, but in my case, his perception seemed to be “you are doing this because I am awesome and you are lucky to be with someone ‘on my level'”. The arrogance that was completely hidden at first grew to shocking proportions.

        I don’t know why God let this happen, but I do know He has been with me throughout it. I know the same is true for you. I am glad that my experience helped you.

        With love,
        Katie

  7. HDG

    So many things being shared on this site seem to be similar. I am a widow(no children)who became involved with a “good” term used by his friends)Christian narcissist. He used scripture(his interpretation)and quoted his pastor to “correct” me-after all-as the man he is to be my” leader” .I felt horrible about myself,NOTHING I did was right.Still, I tried-if I just kept my head down & mouth shut he wouldn’t get angry and punish me. If I loved him enough/did enough/obeyed enough! His actions toward me became worse and worse,I finally gave up. I found this site purely by ‘chance’ I found I am not alone and GOD DOES LOVE ME AND HE LOVES YOU TOO.Blessings to all….

    • prodigalkatherine

      A common denominator I see with many of us is the “headship” teaching. We were taught that we were supposed to submit to men and serve them as “unto the Lord”.

      I don’t want to start a doctrine fight because I am not qualified to judge this matter. But I do know that having grown up being taught to submit to men communicated to me that my worth was in relation to how pleasing I was to men. This was not directly taught, but implicitly communicated in the double standards within my evangelical background that formed the backdrop for all teaching about what it meant to be a virtuous woman.

      Proverbs 31 still inspires me- but I so much wish that the model for virtuous womanhood had not been defined first and foremost as “wife”. In my experience- if a woman in in a subservient relationship to a man who is not submitting to Christ in his own heart, the relationship- no matter how bright its beginnings- leads to exploitation (on the mans part) and idolatry (on the woman’s part).

      There’s a saying- “God has no grandchildren”. I’d like to add a corollary. “God has no daughters-in-law.” We are saved by grace through our personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Not via a man. We are God’s daughters.

      • AES

        In regards to being submissive in marriage, there are several scriptures (read in 1 corinthians 7; Ephesians 5; colossians 3;) that discuss this of wives submitting to husbands but also saying as is fit in the Lord and talks about wives loving their husbands but also saying for husbands to love their wives and another referencing how the husband nor the wife defraud the other except it be for consent for a time and so on and also at same time if you look at 1 Peter 5:5 talks about all you be subject one to another. However, I cant see the Lord wanting us to be staying in an abusive situation whether verbally or physically especially when the other spouse is constantly rejecting God or anything to do about christianity but a person should also pray for direction from God on what to do. These passages are referring to believers and how they should be with one another as fit in the Lord. I think there is an issue where people are taking a particular Scripture and putting their own twist or opinion to it instead of searching everywhere about that particular subject for example the scripture that talks about ask and you shall receive and people trying to declare and speak and claim things well if you look at other scriptures about the same subject that there’s a scripture that also says you ask and receive not because you ask amiss meaning how your heart is and another scripture that says ask according to the will of God so a person has to be careful and read all throughout the Bible and ask God for wisdom and understanding and discernment and match everything of what someone says and does including preachers to what God’s Word says as man gets in mans own way of thinking as the book of Proverbs talks alot about this and in other places. I have really been studying so much about all this as i too am a victim of what seems to be narcisstic like behavior by my husband and him also claiming to believe in God and know things but when i try to show things in Bible about behavior etc he gets defensive and tries to justify etc. Its important for all to develope a relationship with God and to love God with whole heart soul and mind and want everything we do and say to be pleasing to God and study Gods word and not allow influences of the world to interfere or love pleasures more than God and pray to God for help wisdom understanding and guidance in everything.

  8. HDG

    Prodigalkatherine, I appreciate your posts very much.A phrase you used struck a chord with me”a man who is not submitting to Christ in his own heart”. I wish I had seen this was not the case much earlier.If I brought up anything I’d been taught about scripture that didn’t meet with his interpretation I was told:”you just don’t understand scripture honey.” I(the N) was raised in______ church( even told me what translation of the Bible is correct and I should read),I’ve taught Bible study,been a peer counselor,if you want to learn more I will help you”.I know I have been saved by Jesus what I failed to realize was that I was being brainwashed into submission to his(n’s) will.For too long I questioned what I knew in my heart. I learned a painful lesson-but I learned. My parting words to him were: “I am a child of God.”

    • prodigalkatherine

      never were truer words spoken. Amen, sister.

      • prodigalkatherine

        For all of us who are at various stages of recovering from the wound of broken trust that comes after being cruelly discarded by someone we loved deeply that we had been led to believe loved us back- there is a website called “Psychopath Free” that may be helpful.

        It’s not a Christian website, but it has quite a bit of good material. In the context of this website, Psychopath is not a technical term. It encompasses all behavior surrounding cluster B personality disorders (narcissism included).

        I am including a link that explains why breaking up with an individual with a character disorder is so much more painful than an average breakup- and why healing is a long process. I think that as Christians having faith in Christ can be helpful here, but some of the wounding here is worse than normal because our faith was used as a weapon against us. Personally, that is why I’ve found this forum to be particularly helpful.

        But there is a lot of stuff these sorts of exploitative relationships have with each other- and in seeing how the pattern of a relationship with a Christian narcissist corresponds more with the pattern of a relationship with a narcissist than with a Christian was very helpful for me in developing a sense of discernment. There are wolves among the sheep.

        But for LS in particular, I wanted to pass on this link about why it takes so long to get over these relationships.

        https://www.psychopathfree.com/content.php?270-Why-Does-it-Take-So-Long-to-Get-Over-a-Relationship-with-a-Psychopath

        May God’s peace surround, protect and heal us all. And may God’s mercy reach the hard heart of the narcissist in a way a victim never could, so that God’s best may be realized in all of our lives. xoxox, my friends.

  9. HDG

    Thank you so much for the link to this website,I will be sure to check it out..Once again you brought up something I found so hurtful,using our faith as a weapon..This failed (if it can be called that)relationship was my first since the death of my husband 3 yrs. ago.I was ready to love and share life with someone who professed to love me.Now I doubt he even liked me. I am recovering slowly but question ever giving my heart to any man again. Blessings to you my friend and God’s healing for us all….

  10. Stephanie Parker

    I still struggle to let go if my need to seek retribution for so many years of abuse. I want him to suffer just a small amount if what he did to me. I want him to know the emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, and physical torture he put me through. I know he will never apologize or even consider that he has any thing to make amends for. I try to adhere to the truth that my happiness is the best revenge, but some days that still doesn’t seem like enough. He devastated me financially as well and humiliated me. I know divorce is awful for anyone but what a narcissist did to my life, my psyche and my soul is beyond criminal. It was evil and sadistic.

    • dayglo

      I am so sorry that happened to you! I was not even in a close personal relationship with the narcissist, and they STILL broke me!! I am finally healing after about 17 years, through my OCD medicine, which helps me not to ruminate, and through therapy and education about narcissism. My psychologist has helped me tremendously to regain my balance! I’ve gone once a week for about 4

      • dayglo

        Oops…continued! Years. I am praying for you, because I could not get rid of all that hate and anger either, and I constantly thought about it and hated it and wanted it to be gone. I hated being angry!! I couldn’t pray it away, good deed it away…nothing! I thought I was defective! I now realize I wasn’t, and I’m not…..it has definately been a process, one I’m finally accepting and being okay with. I could not get rid of that hate myself, everything turned black. I had a breakdown. My psychologist is an angel. I vented A LOT!!!!! I hope I don’t sound condescending at all…..that is something I hated about my narcissist!! I just could really relate to you!

      • dayglo

        Also, I wanted to add that it was the stress and anxiety from the narcissist that made my ocd (which I always have had) spin entirely out of control. God led me to therapy and a great psychologist for healing my soul and psyche. I needed someone safe and encouraging. If the first one doesn’t work…find someone who is a good fit! It has been invaluable to me!! She is not religious, but is very open and supportive of my faith. It has been a journey that God has led me through. I, too, had to isolate for a couple of years. I had to, in spite of peoples concerns for me. I knew God had me while I tried to recover, and also through the 17 years of narcissistic abuse……I just didn’t know how He was going to heal me….or even if He WAS going to heal me ( I wondered if it was my cross to bear). But I now know He had His plan all along. I am stronger, wiser, more stable and centered than I ever have been! The narcissist FINALLY no longer grips and twists my mind and heart and soul! I now see they r sick, had a sick upbringing,will probably NEVER see how they hurt me..nor even care to, or even be capable of it! Will probably NEVER treat me as an equal, or with dignity. I always felt grounded with God, but now He has enabled me to be grounded in myself, as well. I knew I would need that, and found it through a God given psychologist, and education about some human conditions. God blessed and wanted me to do that. Lol!! I did not want to find healing that way, but was forced into it through a breakdown! Thank-You, God! People often told me the narcissist would be my best teacher, and I said, NEVER!!!!!! Well—they have been! What a path!! Whew!! I will never be their friend–that’s okay–I don’t like them. But now I am not so muddled in my feelings anymore. They are in a prison in themselves….and I am breaking out of mine!! I am growing up, and they r still a child! Fortunately I could stay away, but will have to see them periodically. Please pray I can keep my ground when I see them, and they try and knock me down like they always have. I certainly feel stronger, but may have to learn some things to say in response to their condescending comments. I pray for us all! I never knew there was so many of us that have been terrorized by tricky, fake, arrogant, charming, phony know it alls like this!

  11. D.R

    After several months of no contact and getting back into church and walking with the Lord I can say I have truly been freed of the narc. I prayed for wisdom I prayed for understanding and help with letting go and God helped me. I no long love or hate or even care about my ex. He is the darkness he mocks God daily, he commits all types of blasphemy and it no longer affects me. His sins and his salvation no longer matter to me he doesn’t matter to me. I prayed for the soul tie to be broken, God has prospered me, my fruits are good. He pruned me of the bad fruits. I truly have forgiven but today someone told me someone I had confided in and a woman of God told me I was wrong for saying my ex is a sin for me. That he was evil and that I must not be of God because I am judging him. I don’t think it’s judgment, it’s a known fact this is what he is. A spade is a spade not anything else. I’ve been with this person slept with them I know them. He is the darkness the sin that trips me up and God told me to give up, to stop praying for change and reconciliation because he hasn’t come to Christ, he doesn’t want to and he may never. So I stopped, I let go of the hope because God showed me who he was. I know we should love our enemies and not judge. And I don’t think I did that at all. I am freed from the abuser and he no longer holds any power over me, I don’t care about him I don’t love him. I have no compassion for him because he chose to continue being what he is. He knows what he’s doing and he doesn’t care. I have spent many many years tied to this man and I no longer do that. I no longer care about what he’s doing. There is no bitterness or anger in me. He’s just another person in the world. Is that wrong I feel this way? Is it wrong that I don’t care about him being saved or not because my life and my salvation is not tied to him. Is it wrong to no longer want to pray for somebody you know really just doesn’t want to change or accept Christ? I will not let my genuine heart and unconditional love be tied to anyone like him. Does that make me not of God because I am choosing to no longer throw my pearls before swine? Am I not of God because I refuse to turn the other cheek when my father is being mocked? I have had no contact with him for several months and I plan to keep it that way. But just because I’m a Christian means that I need to still feed the bond I begged God to break by loving him and caring for him and praying for him daily? Please if I’m wrong I’ll accept it and usually if I’m doing something wrong the Holy Spirit convicts me of it and I haven’t been. But I just need some wise and Godly counsel right now because I feel like the enemy sees that this bond was broken I truly am free now and he’s using those I trust to lure me back into the hoping and praying and wishing for reconciliation.

    • AES

      Please see also see my earlier post above at 7:42 a.m. today. I want to also add that I totally feel for you as I am going through the same things and the more I draw close to God and read in the Bible and pray for wisdom and understanding and discernment about thing the more I realize about all this and know that what I am doing is right. Yes God hates divorce and wants people to work things out but there are also situations where it is okay to separate or get a divorce and it is good to seek help or support from others but you also have to pray for God’s direction and God will guide you and there will be things that come about confirming or someone saying something or that thing in your heart that you just feel so strongly that God has given you on what to do or not do and confirmation, etc. I have struggled with this very thing with what I am going through with my husband with his narcisstic like behavior or personality issues or whatever it is you want to call it and I have studied over and over in the book of Proverbs which refers to people like this and there are many passages in the bible referring to these kinds of people in their wicked evil ways and rejection of God and there are scriptures warning us to avoid them. I hate the idea of a failed marriage and thought of divorce but at the same time I don’t want to be around someone that constantly rejects God’s ways and acts with such crazy behavior but at the same time I am most gladly to have gone through all that I have gone through with my husband as well as all the things I have gone through in my life as it has brought me to the point of where I am at now especially with my walk with God. I grew up in church but for the longest time I was not living how I ought to live and kept allowing things to pull me down and away, etc. and during stressful times would turn to alcohol instead of relying on God for strength and then finally when I just could not bear anymore of my husband’s craziness and confusion of things and wondering why things happened the way they did in my marriage especially with husbands behavior and projection on me and the twisting around of things and so on and me going crazy and thinking that maybe I truly am the total blame for everything and for how he’s perception is, etc. etc. but at the same time I new that it was not all me (although I am far from perfect) and I just felt like I was going nuts and so finally I just made that determination in my heart that no matter what I was gonna rely on God and strive to walk in God’s ways and I wanted to love God with my whole heart and soul and mind and the more I stayed away from secular music and listened to Christian music and the more I prayed and studied in the bible the more I developed that hunger and that love for God and God has helped me so much with all this craziness going on and when I pray about these issues that I struggled with about my husband there has been so much pointing and confirming to that my wanting to leave was okay to do. I have not had any alcohol in about a year and a half and I thank God so much for helping me and I always want to rely on God for help and strength in everything! I have tried to get my husband to go to Christian counseling and we even went through an intensive 8 hours worth (4 hours one day and 4 hours the next day) and husband still trying to justify and feeling like everyone is against him, etc. We are separated now and he will say how he misses me and still loves me but at the same time is not willing to do things or recognize things and when I have asked him about going to counseling again and this time for him to be one on one only with counselor to work through his past and understand how God can bring healing and deliverance and then for us both to talk together with counselor, husband’s reply is “well I have to think about it”. If someone is truly wanting things to work out and love someone they will want to do all they can to make changes and give all to God to help them, etc. My husband never seems to on his own want to do things or ever come to me to see what we can do to work on things, it is me the one that takes the initiative on this as well as many other things. My husband says he believes in God and prays and has faith but I do not think he truly understands things and it is one thing to know or believe in God and it is another thing of in sincerity asking Jesus to come into your heart and ask for forgiveness and also by the fruits you will know. Only God knows the heart. We all struggle with various things but the closer we draw to God and walk in God’s ways the struggles will become less and less. I really do feel bad for him as I know that his past has affected him in more ways than one but I cannot allow his behavior to pull me down any longer especially his constant rejection of God’s ways as he always says he has his own way of things. It is so totally understandable of how you are feeling as I have had similar feelings but I would say to you to continue seeking God for guidance and wisdom and discernment and follow your gut instinct about things. God will help you and strengthen you and show you the way. Don’t allow what others do no matter how terrible interfere with the love that God gives to us and how our own behavior should be as we can on our part show love and kindness to others and at the same time don’t have to be partakers or hang with, etc. if I am saying in the right way. I would also say to continue to just pray for your ex as that is all we can do which is what God’s word in Matthew 5:44 tells us to do “But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” and also scripture that discusses about us not rendering evil for evil and the one scripture that talks about vengeance belonging to God. I do not wish any evil on anyone but pray and hope that people would change their ways and come to truly know God and his love and mercy and forgiveness. Leave all in God’s hands. (Of note, I know for myself, that I would not want to go back to my husband unless he was truly repentant and was sincere with fully surrendering his self over to God and allowing God to bring healing and deliverance as for me I would feel like that if I was to go back to him I would be in the same stuck rut and feel like I am unequally yoked and also there is just that sense of wickedness and evilness about him and I just do not want no part of that at all and as far as I am concerned right now, I will be filing divorce papers unless there is a change as with God all things are possible!!!!)

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