Emotional Awareness

It’s Narcissist Friday!

 

A few years ago I had a conversation with a lady who said that her husband had all the characteristics of a narcissist except one—he had lots of empathy. She said that he was very attentive to the emotions of his children and almost always knew what they were feeling. My response was that he either lacked empathy or was not a narcissist.

At the root of narcissism is the lack of empathy. This is well established. The inability to connect with or accept the validity of the feelings of others allows the narcissist to abuse with abandon. He causes pain simply because he does not care. There is nothing in him to move him away from the self-serving exploitation of others. Empathy is about caring.

In our further conversation, it became clear that this lady’s husband was truly able to discern the emotions of others, but then used that knowledge for his manipulations. In other words, he could tell when someone was sad, but didn’t care. The only reason it was important to him to know what others were feeling was for his own purposes.

Generally, empathy is defined as the ability to feel what others feel. It’s why we are moved to tears at a funeral of someone we didn’t even know. It’s the reason we get caught up in the excitement of a football game when we don’t care about the success of either team. The feelings of the crowd, or just the people around us, trigger the same feelings in us. The desire to belong allows us to join in the emotion around us. There are other words for this, of course, but it is an experience of empathy.

Empathy in personal relationships is more specific and more difficult to define. Whereas the crowd creates in us a desire to belong, personal relationships create a desire to connect. We want to understand the other person so we can share and relate and enhance our lives with their lives. This is a strong desire for most of us. So strong, that we often push the relationship toward that point.

As a counselor, I discovered this desire in myself fairly early. When I listened to the stories of others, I found that I would project my feelings onto them and assume they felt the same way. Very often I was right, of course, but sometimes not so much. I learned to tell people that I would always be blunt so they would know what I was thinking, but that I had no expectation of always being right. Therefore, I wanted them to correct my assumptions—particularly about their feelings. Many times I would jump in with some statement, only to be corrected and set on a different path by an honest counselee.

Writers, actors, politicians, comics, and others make their livings by being accurate in their assumptions about the feelings of others. Those who fail to connect are simply not successful in their work. But this is not empathy. It may be psychology, the study of what motivates people, but it isn’t empathy. It may even be an innate ability to discern the emotions of others, but it still isn’t empathy. Detecting and identifying emotions might enable a person to control or exploit, but that’s not the same as caring. To empathize is to care about the emotions of someone else. In fact, empathy requires neither conscious detection nor identification of the particular emotion. I may not fully realize that you are sad in order to feel and care about your sadness, for example.

Empathy is caring. Empathy is participating in the feelings of another person, sharing the pain or the fear or the sadness. It doesn’t have to have the same intensity, but it has reality. The feelings of the other person are real and important because the other person is real and important.

And there’s the rub. The narcissist does not see others as real or important except in service to him. People, as we have said often here, are tools, toys, or obstacles. They have reality for the narcissist, but they are not “persons.” So, it stands to reason, the feelings of others are not real for the narcissist in the way they may be real for us. It isn’t that the narcissist doesn’t see or acknowledge the emotions of others. It is that he/she doesn’t care unless those emotions are of some value.

The only emotions the narcissist feels are his own. In fact, part of his addiction is the pleasure he gets when his emotions are positive. The negative emotions he either denies or projects on others. I know that some say narcissists feel no emotions, but I disagree. I think narcissism is, by definition, an inability to deal normally with emotional stress or change; but every narcissist I have known exhibits emotions. They might do so differently, but the emotions are there.

Your narcissist might be very aware of your emotions or of the emotions of others. In fact, you may be surprised at just how perceptive he is at times. You may also be surprised at how he can twist or ignore your emotions while being so attentive towards those of someone else.

But the emotional awareness of the narcissist is not empathy; it is simply an alertness to that which is useful.

31 Comments

Filed under Narcissism, Uncategorized

31 responses to “Emotional Awareness

  1. margie lynn

    Thank you for this article.

    Margie Lynn

  2. Tonya Scarborough

    This is so interesting. I’ve noticed a kind of fake empathy with my narcissist too. It’s all an act to manipulate and trick others into thinking he is a caring person, but still, indicates that he knows when he ought to have empathy.

  3. Penny

    I am reminded of the saying, “kindness is it’s own reward”; unless of course you are a narc. Then, “kindness” shown is an effort to exploit another, as a tool, a toy or obstacle. The “kindness” of an N must always benefit THEM in some way, not the recipient. It explains why they cannot be kind in private, only in public, only when others SEE them pretending to be a saint. I get it. I finally get it. Thanks, Dave.

  4. UnForsaken

    This one strikes home. I’ve always noticed my Ns ability to get emotional about films, but not remember the plot or having seen it before. It was an unreality he could afford to identify with. Interestingly enough he only “feels” for the people who are very different from himself but he wants to be likened to: the young, the underdog, the lovers unfairly kept apart, etc.

    Reality: forget it, that person deserved being controlled. This I believe is emotion, not heart. People believe they are the same thing, but they can’t be. If the N had a good memory he would remember what really mattered to him. ( I use that old phrase hesitantly, having a bad memory myself and forgetting a Lot of things that matter to me!) Ns do not forget what could be a useful tool.

    I’m especially struck by the last three paragraghs. It is easy to begin questioning ourselves after seeing what we think to be empathy in the N, but it is the motivation of kindness that matters. Thank you for stating these important truths, Dave!

  5. Seeing the Light

    I want to say ditto to Tonya Scarborough’s whole reply. I would add that I’ve seen the fake empathy, too. Now that I see things more clearly, it is rather obvious watching the performance because that it was it is.

  6. Jennifer

    I remember one night, probably after another week of crazy-making confusion, I was taking a shower. It struck me like the proverbial light bulb going off over my head, that everything, EVERYTHING, my N-husband did was calculated to come out in his favour. If he reacted with empathy, made a point of being nice, gave me the cold shoulder, gave somebody a helping hand, complimented someone, criticized someone, whatever it was, it was designed to make an opportunity for him.

    I thought for years that I was just not a very nice person because I would instinctively question why he was being nice, or giving me a compliment. He sometimes was not very nice either or could “jokingly insult” me as well, but I felt badly that I couldn’t seem to accept the niceties from him when they were given. My gut was “reacting” correctly to these overtures of his, but my mind couldn’t understand why. Then, that one day, I realized how incredibly calculating he was, and it all made sense. I started looking for the reasons, and soon found them. The niceties were always attached to something he wanted from me or someone else. It could be sex, or it could be just that he wanted to forge a good opinion of himself in someone else’s eyes. And if he didn’t get what he wanted, you were shunned. He would cold shoulder me for three weeks at a time to make his point. He would write people of his life in a moment. His mother was the exact same way…..as was mine, sadly enough.

    It was literally impossible for him to compliment somebody for their sake; or help somebody without wanting anything back in return. (I lost count of the number of times he would say in disgust, “…well, they didn’t even thank me”. When I chastised him and told him not to help people if that’s all he did it for, he looked at me without comprehending a thing I had just said). He could NOT give anything unless he felt guaranteed a return for his efforts. There was not a hint of philanthropy in him, and yet he seemed so good. When I left him, people were astounded. Why R was the “nicest guy in the world” they would say. I must have been crazy just like he explained.

    Uh huh. Right. After 6 years away from him, I am one of the most clear-headed woman you’ll come across. I can now spot a Narc from almost the moment I meet them, although some have fooled me for longer. There is a certain, subtle, “trying to hard” feeling about them. There is that weird flatness to their eyes, and that odd “shark like smile” which is rather fake. Just that feeling in my gut I get which I now trust implicitly. 😉

    • Penny

      I love your imagery of the weird flatness & odd smile. It is so very true. My N even fails at hugging, like getting a hug from a mannequin. It is so bizarre to me now how people can’t spot a narc, b/c like you it seems like I have a radar-red-flag-buzzer in my head that sounds an alarm that I feel in my gut. I don’t ignore it no matter what others say; I trust my gut.

      • Yes! The subtle “trying too hard,” flatness to the eyes, and fake smile. Yes! Thank you for putting those observations into words. It was just under the surface of consciousness for me, but it is true. Always there.
        My best friend from college said my N’s eyes were “weird.” He labeled him a sociopath long before I ever told him we were having trouble. And the trying too hard–very obvious. Whopper stories of greatness. Always telling about times he solved all the problems and put everyone else in his place with words (never actually happened). Then the smile: for my N, it’s a rolled under top lip, which draws his mouth tight and wide and shows all the top teeth without at all using the corners of his mouth to gently lift upward. It’s not a smile. It’s a grimacy grin. And it is absolutely fake.
        As long as those things are there, I know: he’s the same. No matter what he says.

  7. Thanks for another good post on this topic. On the subject of empathy, might like to check out this post by Dr George Simon Jr on “arrested empathy development”.
    http://www.manipulative-people.com/a-case-of-arrested-empathy-development/

    Also, while I like your posts on narcissists, I sometimes wonder if it wouldn’t be a little more accurate to just call these people abusers. Or sociopaths, for the more extreme ones. Some people, as I understand it, have narcissistic traits (are self-absorbed a lot of the time) but they are not actively (overtly or covertly) misusing others and treating people as pawns and tools to be used for their own gratification.

    Maybe I’m being just fussy about the use of terms, but I don’t think so. There are different kinds of narcissists, IMO, and we need to differentiate a self-absorbed person who is NOT intentionally and knowingly destructive to others from a malignantly self-centered person who (as you put it) “does not see others as real or important except in service to him.”

    I prefer to use the word ‘abuser’ for this malignant type of person.
    ‘Abuser’ signifies the callousness and intentionality in the way these people use others for their own ends.
    “Narcissist” only signifies the self-absorption but not the callousness towards others and the harm that results.

    However, I rather think that the best word is the one the Bible uses: “wicked”. I think it’s the best word because of its moral connotations. It doesn’t have aloof and scientific tones like the word ‘narcissist’. The Bible has a great deal to say about the wicked (see the Psalms). The word ‘wicked’ gets to the essence: the corrupt heart of the person.

    But that’s just me thinking aloud.

    • Penny

      Barbara~thank you for your comments, however the link you provided was rather violent and not the best for the injured who visit here. Our hearts & souls have already been assaulted & need healing and respite rather than imagery that can result in PTSD. Thanks.

    • Penny

      Barbara: thank you for your kind words, and thx especially for demonstrating a true, genuine apology from a fake one. Wow. I honestly can’t remember the last time I received one, & I can’t accurately describe what it felt like to read your words. Kinda like exhaling after holding your breath forever, and the relief that comes with it … the ability to just breathe normally. Freedom? It’s like freedom, freedom to breathe. . I am grateful to you & others here who bravely comment & interact. Of course I forgive you–freedom!

      • Penny, thank you for your forgiveness. 🙂

        In my experience, apologising is not hard, it is easy to do, if I really mean it. And it cleanses my conscience.

        This makes me think about the mindset of church leaders who resist apologizing for what is obviously heinous conduct. (I’m thinking of the likes of C J Maheney. Uugh.) What do they have to lose by apologizing? Nothing, if they really mean it. But the problem with many such people is that they never really mean it, the never really think they have done wrong or hurt someone. It shows a profound lack of empathy and concern or for others, doesn’t it? But I know you know that already!

    • Tamaiald

      Can I ask, what are the ways one differentiates between an narcissistic abuser and someone who is just self-absorbed? I’m struggling with this in my own life, with my husband…knowing the difference.

      • Kathy

        Tamaiald, this is such a difficulty for (mentally healthy) Christians. We really want so badly to be “nice” and to be “Christ-like.” We would HATE to label anyone with a title that makes US uneasy. This causes so much emotional confusion and pain.
        I posted under “Abusers” about King David and Jezebel. Comparing the two has helped me. I don’t know if that will help you, but please read it. I really believe that God helped me in the very struggle you are having by showing me the difference between abusive David and narcissistic Jezebel.
        I think everyone has struggled with this. And, if Pastor Dave thinks I’m stretching it or off-the-wall, he’ll comment and point it out.
        But for now, that has given me some peace.
        Be well.
        – Kathy

  8. Melanie Majorana

    Very very well written and clearly explained.  Thank you!

  9. I am so thankful to have found this site! After 15 years of abuse from an N husband, I took my 4 sons and moved out. The abuse I still encounter from him is frustrating when it is directed towards me. It is heartbreaking when my sons are his pawns. My 10 year old asked me about 3 months ago, “Mom, does Dad really love us or does he just use us to get back you.” I try my best to direct those conversations to the only perfect parent that they have, which is God. To remind them that His love never fails, that He delights in them and is always for them even when things that happen seem against them.
    I find myself struggling more with forgiving him now than I have over the past 19 years and would appreciate prayer in this area. In forgiveness there is true freedom, yet I am faltering on this journey currently!
    As I searched for answers to figure out exactly what I was dealing with, to begin to educate myself and to heal, it was hard to find a place that didn’t either excuse the N’s behavior or one that wasn’t full of anger and payback ideas. Dave’s insight, grace and truth filled posts and all of your comments have been such a gift to me on my road to health and wholeness! Thank you!

    • UnForsaken

      gracemomentum, I’m happy you have been able to get free. Forgiveness is a freeing of the mind, not forgeting it ever happened, but seeing there is more to life ( and you ) than that . It takes time. Rest in God and HE will do this work in you!

      You and your sons are in my prayers! ((HUGS!!))

  10. This one really hit home for me too. In fact, it was in the back of my mind last night when a long-ago event came to mind about one of my little children. She got injured and I needed my N to come help us. He wouldn’t. Even for his little daughter, he wouldn’t set aside his pleasure, his day, to come to help her.
    I’ve been the recipient of an admonishing letter, claiming I am outside of God’s will to separate from my N, even after all these years of trying. This entry and last night’s reminder came at a God-ordained time, I believe, to hold me firm against the loud voice that wants to break me down. My N has no empathy. Not even for his little child.
    I wrote about it on the blog I contribute to for these types of issues. It was such a heartbreaking thing, and that was over 3 years ago. It still wasn’t enough then to make me break free–not even that! Our little girl! It took me so long to realize God had something else in mind.

    • Penny

      Repol–I believe I remember your story, in all it’s empty horror. I am so glad to know you and your precious little girl are “safe”, as God intended. I am so grateful for this site and for how God blesses us with courage when we so badly need it. I too got “the letter” this week, and thanks to the truth and strength here was able to handle it. Don’t you just marvel at how someone else has the audacity to declare YOU outside of His will but not the N in their un-empathic evil??!! This is why Anna V quotes Paul telling us “from such turn away” b/c their evil is contagious. Those who excuse the N’s abuse with them participate in their evil deeds. I have learned to run–to the cross, to Jesus, and away from evil. Still praying for you, especially at nite when sleep is sometimes fleeting. Bless you, my sister.

      • Thank you, dear Penny. Thank you.
        I think often of your admonition to “flee from evil.” And I am, now, finally, doing just that.
        I’ve felt far more peace these last two days after receiving the letter than I expected. Not perfect peace. A part of me still wants to respond and justify myself, but then I remember: I don’t have to. Jesus did that already.
        When he went to the cross, he took all my sin, even the sin that is from uncertainty but still misses the perfect mark. He took all my pain. He took the harm my N’s sin did to me. He took the sin of the pious woman, also missing the mark, even if she’s trying to be what she thinks is righteous. He took her judgment of me too, and any slander that led to her limited knowledge which prompted the letter.

        I don’t have to justify myself. I can be silent, as he was silent, because he has me and he has my life. I’m so much more secure than I felt I was in that marriage! Even with this new “assault” on my choice and judgment and, yes, character. I’m secure.

      • HDG

        Penny I love your statement “Those who excuse the N’s abuse with them participate in their evil deeds.” This is one of the hardest things for me to deal with. I have undeniable proof of abuse (others claim it but he lied/conned his way out) yet the N’s family,friends REFUSE to believe it.I wanted to talk and seek help with his pastor(we’d gone to his church many times)and I was met with stony silence.I too feel they are all accomplices. He is still enjoying the “perks” of his N public persona even though they know it isn’t real. Still getting sympathy because I left him!!! It hurts, I genuinely care about these people. He did the damage yet I am the one shunned. I pray and keep trying to remind myself “LET GO AND LET GOD.”

  11. Jennifer

    Yes forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting. In the case of Narcs, forgetting is a dangerous business and sets you up to be used again and again. Forgiveness is letting go of the desire to get revenge, or to deliberately hurt, or punish the abuser. If you are a Christian, it means realizing that God has this for you! He will vindicate and heal you. You don’t have to go out and grab revenge, or over react and punish your N putting yourself in a possibly worse situation if he/she can charge you. Some of them will definitely try to push you to do this, so beware. Punishment is not your job. That is the God’s, or the court’s, or karma’s. Whatever you believe.

    And as for seemingly feeling angry forever. Anger for me was a catalyst and a motivator. It helped me at first to DO SOMETHING (leave), and then afterwards to keep on doing. It helped me to keep my distance until I could heal fully. It reared up when my N-husband would try to gaslight, or fake apologize, or just pull any of his funny business. It would raise my hackles and shout WARNING! There’s something funny going on! Pay attention! Anger was my soul’s way of keeping me safe. But when it’s job was done for that moment, I needed to put it aside so it didn’t drain me. Anger is quite an energy draw, and I needed my energy to heal, not be continually angry.

    After 6 years away, his funny stuff now draws only a sigh and a rolling of the eyes from me. An “oh brother” suffices me now. That point will come for all of you as well, if it hasn’t already, as long as you let anger ONLY do the job it is meant to do, and don’t take it on as a lifestyle. ((((hugs))))

    • Penny

      Wise advice and insight. I too am gradually moving away from the “constructive anger” stage and into the “do I have an S on my forehead (for “stupid)?” phase, while I roll my eyes. I am embracing the truth that God does not need me to change or save the N, but rather to turn away from their evil and put distance between us. They belong to God Almighty, and the writer of Hebrews says “it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the Living God”. May the narc be terrified……I prefer to enter into my rest!

    • Kate

      Jennifer, thank you for your words on anger. I am struggling most with those feelings right now, and finding constructive purpose in anger rather than just languishing in it or feeling ashamed of it is relieving in itself so I can breathe and learn. Thank you.

      • Kathy

        Anger is okay. Sometimes, to be like Jesus, we have to turn the other cheek. Other times — we have to take the bullwhip and drive some out of our temple are!!!!

  12. Penny

    HDG, Repol and others: we have all experienced what Anna V & the late Kathy Krajco call “Betrayal of the Bystanders”. It is cruel to be twice abandoned & betrayed~first by the narc, and then by those you thot you knew. But eventually, when your “radar” is re-calibrated, it becomes a gift to finally know who your real friends are, what reality is, where truth can be found, who to trust and who to stay away from.
    “I long ago decided I would embrace truth because the truth is where life resides. Lies may accomplish short term goals, but in the long run living in lies embrace life-destroying effects. The complicit bystanders who lap up gossip like a cat laps cream are exposing their love of lies. They are dangerous to your life. When they are exposed to you as the result of a narcissist’s attempt to assassinate your character, your best choice is to put as much distance between the credulous bystanders and your self as possible”.

    http://narcissists-suck.blogspot.com/2007/09/betrayal-of-bystanders.html

    • UnForsaken

      Penny, great quote! I had a church situation like that too, and still live in the area .It puzzles me how people can send letters like that and justify their “godliness”. Fortunately, I was mainly dumped and gossiped about – no head on confrontation that is like a knife inside. My sis had to deal with that. And we still care about those people!

      I can also Completely understand what you’re talking about with the “shark like smile”, Jennifer! The N in that case had a Weird laugh. It wasn’t diabolical. It was forced, insincere, weak, and nervous. To this day I wonder if that N also suffered from a mental issue, because of the stange look in their eyes. ( I compare it to a mentally imbalanced person I already knew. But if you Ever suspect this, keep it to yourself!!!)

      Ns not wanting to be touched: well, I wonder if that has to do with personality? Mine is touchy feely. But I believe if the N hadn’t let narcissism change healthy traits, he would be a kind person. These people are not what they Would be, which is why it doesn’t make sense. Narcissism modifies what could be otherwise good .

  13. I was blessed to have my pastor see quickly through my N’s fakeness and schemes. I know the pain I feel when people he works with or who knew us before my leaving believe his tragic story of my “sordid affair or possible drug habit that caused me to do such damage to these beautiful boys” I cannot imagine what it is like for those of you forsaken by what you thought was a church family! Penny, thanks for the reminder about Paul’s admonition to turn away from evil! And, Unforsaken, thank you for your prayers!

    I think one of the most dangerous places I find myself isn’t the anger or the unforgiveness because I am aware of these and continually try to keep them in front of the Throne of Grace! When someone goes through the abuses that we have all gone through both anger and difficulty in forgiving are natural (albeit, unchecked they can be unhealthy) and expected emotions.
    I think what can be a most dangerous place is allowing feelings of shame to run as an undercurrent in everything we as victims of an N feels and have done to protect ourselves. I shudder when I think of the things we have all allowed, endured and believed about ourselves because of that tiny, little, nagging voice that can continue to shame us into believing that there is something fundamentally wrong with who we are or what we have done!

    It may not seem so dangerous, like the ocean on a beautifully clear day, waves gently rolling in, a quietness that belies the riptide violently raging just a 100 yards out from shore. That is why it is such a journey to healing for each of us. We dive into the ocean, free men and women at last, enjoying real laughter for the first time, peace of mind, not walking on eggshells, and as we swim out in this new found place, suddenly the riptide of shame grips us and pulls us under. We fight and struggle to get back to the peaceful part of the ocean of freedom we momentarily enjoyed but the riptide of shame just mocks our efforts.

    So what do we do? In the real, physical ocean you don’t fight the riptide, even though that is the body’s natural response. You just relax and allow it to carry you out a bit because eventually it will cease. , I would like to suggest that it is the same for each of us when we get caught in the emotional riptide of shame. Remember that our Savior took our shame with him to the cross and nailed it there. His blood flowed freely to wash our shame away permanently. Shame is NEVER the voice of our Savior. Shame accuses and belittles and that is NOT the voice of Jesus. His Spirit convicts and motivates us to move to repent, to change the way we think and the behaviors that are sinful.
    Since shame is ALWAYS mingled carefully in with accusation, we know who orchestrates the riptide of shame that wants to suck us under! The Word calls him the “Accuser of the Brethern” and anyone who tries to shame us, any little voice inside of us or outside, that speaks shame is the voice of the enemy! Trust me, I know how convincing the little voice of shame can be, how subtlety it operates!

    May I suggest, to any of you who get caught in that riptide what I have found helpful? It is the same advice beach goers get about dealing with a natural riptide. Don’t fight it. Hear me for a minute don’t mistake this with giving it to it! We, of our own efforts cannot beat shame because the battle does not belong to us!. That battle was fought and won on the cross of Calvary. The riptide of shame can do us no harm, it has no power that we don’t ultimately give to it.. Unlike the physical riptide, we don’t rest in the ride- we rest in the Savior! We rest in His love while the riptide shouts,’Sinner, ungodly one, repent” We sit up in our Saviors hand and smile. Couldn’t exactly be there, safe and sound, if we didn’t belong to Him already.

    Remember that His yoke is easy and HIs burden is light and that is where we find our rest from the shame filled voices that threaten to pull us under. We are not defined by our past or present N’s, nor their latest fan club! Remember there is only ONE who has the right to say who we are and the last time I checked He called us His children, His beloved, His brothers, joint-heirs with Him, more than Conquerors, His spotless bride…………..

    That is where we rest, in the truth of WHO we are and WHOSE we are and the power of our identity where shame DOES NOT get a say so! Confess it, receive it, believe it!

  14. Laurie

    2 Timothy 3:1-5
    New International Version (NIV)
    3 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

    I have been meditating on these verses for the past week. I was raised in a house devoid of empathy. “Image” was her god to be served daily. Behind the “image” there was nothing but a black empty hole. Behind the closed doors of the house criticism, anger, pride, abuse, rage, lack of control, emotional and verbal abuse was especially dished out for me. I became co-dependent on the abuse. I was the one responsible for the irresponsibility.

    And, we went to church every week.

    Thankfully my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ was with me.

    As I walk hand and hand with my Lord, He continues to give me insight. It takes a long time but He is patient and loving.

    He has shown me how to forgive them and I am obedient to His requirement. But, I have to limit the contact and guard my heart.

    I am glad for this website as I gain wisdom from your insight.

    Our God reigns forevermore!

  15. HDG

    Laurie,really appreciate your post.Just what I needed today!! A member of MY family called me this morning because they’d seen the N “out and about.” MY friends do the same thing! Even though they claim to “have my back” and are fully aware of the abuse they still report on what he’s doing and say NOTHING in my defense.Sorry,but it hurts (takes me backward in healing) I really needed to vent.Thank you so much for posting the reference to 2 Timothy(NOTHING better than GOD”S word!!) and for reminding me to guard my heart.

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