Why?

It’s Narcissist Friday!  

 

Why do the narcissists abuse people?  Why do they do such things?  They hurt.  They use.  They manipulate.  They destroy.

Why?

Some have attributed their cruelty to hatred.  Some to anger.  Others to envy.  Perhaps they look at the rest of us and create ways to demolish what we or others have built into our lives.   Perhaps they do it for fun, excitement, maybe challenge.

Narcissists can cause a lot of pain.  I read the stories people send to me privately and those shared in the comments and I grieve for those who have had to endure so much.  Some of the stories are hard to believe, but I know narcissists and I do believe them.  And, again, why do they do these things?

I have written about this before, but it seems important to say it again: it isn’t your fault.  You are not an inferior person destined to be the kick-toy for others.  You are not suffering because of some sin in your life.  Narcissists don’t need our sin in order to accomplish their nastiness.  God is not angry with you.  He did not send the narcissist to punish you.  Basically, it isn’t about you.

I’m not sure the truth will make you feel better about the reality in which we live, but I hope it allows you to feel better about yourself.  It’s the narcissist who is broken.  There is something lacking in them that allows them to hurt others without concern.  There is something in them that is very different from the rest of us.  No, they are not normal.

You see, the narcissist simply doesn’t care.  He will do whatever he wants.  She will say whatever she thinks.  Words and actions are part of the narcissists’ tools to get what they want.  They do the things they do because they are means to an end.  If it hurts you, so what?

But, you say, how can a spouse or a friend or a parent think like that?  I don’t know.  I just know that some of them do.  They manipulate in whatever way works.  If it takes being nice to you and making you feel very good, they will do that.  If it takes being mean and cruel, they will do that.  Either one is simply useful, not good or bad.

So is it envy or hatred or sadism or some other perverted motivation?  Maybe.  But I will guarantee you that the narcissist does not feel these things in the same way you do.  If they envy, they don’t think of it as envy.  It is probably much more like base desire.  If it is hatred, it may still have nothing to do with you as a person.  If it is sadism, it does not bring the pleasure you might think.  The narcissist is motivated simply by the desire to feel better about themselves.  Whatever it takes…

Don’t try to figure it out.  There is probably no cause and effect that will make sense to you.  Just don’t believe the lie that it is about you.  A few years ago I ran across this little selection from T. S. Eliot.  I have shared it here before, but it seems good to share it again.  It might help.

 

Half the harm that is done in this world

Is due to people who want to feel important

They don’t mean to do harm ­

But the harm does not interest them.

Or they do not see it, or they justify it

Because they are absorbed in the endless struggle

To think well of themselves.

T. S. Eliot

49 Comments

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49 responses to “Why?

  1. Reblogged this on Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed and commented:
    If you follow my blog, allow me to introduce David over at Grace for my Heart. Every Friday he posts articles related to Narcissism. His articles are always encouraging and reassuring. I’m sure his writing will speak to you in the way it has me…

  2. Susan

    I believe that it is pride given over to itself. I can’t say of course whether or not God has given them over to themselves (and to Satan) for good. Who could say that? There are examples in Scripture that show God’s mercy on the most pitiable. David continually prayed over his sick infant even though told by Nathan that the child would die. When asked why he prayed, David said, “Who knows whether the LORD will be gracious to me…?” For all David knew, the Lord could have relented. Jonah was told to preach against Nineveh that the Lord would destroy it in three days. He was not told to tell them to repent, but that the city would be destroyed. Yet we’re told the Lord relented. So who knows with the narcs in our lives? The Lord may yet show them mercy to grant them repentance and saving faith. As for me, the best recourse in my life is to not dwell on my narc husband, but on my first and true love Jesus. The more I focus on Him, the more joyful and thankful I am. Let the narc do what he may. It’s not my problem, but his. My problem is struggling with praying for him, so I pray minimally for him, but I do still pray. And they’re short prayers, like “have mercy on his soul, Lord. Save him.” Then I move on in my heart and head, taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Re: the focus of this post, yes indeed; The narc is all about the narc. It’s only about him in his world, but I try not to step into that world. We share the same home, but I do not live in his world. And I pray for the protection of our daughter and myself under this roof, because my husband is not a servant of the Lord, which means he is serving our Lord’s adversary – but the Lord’s rod and staff comfort me, and I know that our daughter and I are safe in His care.

    • healingInHim

      Susan, do you have a strong CHRIST-honouring support group of family and friends which give you the strength to remain? Even my own family is not supportive of me … I know this is because of my strong Christian faith but it is also because of them not wanting their own sins exposed. The same for the local ‘c’hurches.

      • Susan

        Dearest healingInHim,
        I’d have to answer both yes and no. Yes, I have a very strong church family with whom I worship and serve several times weekly and it is my bonding and unity with them that helps me abide in Christ, wherein I find my strength. BUT, they absolutely do NOT understand narcissism, and I daresay that I do not expect them to. It has taken me years to finally understand much of what I’m living with, so how could I expect them to understand the treachery, the deceit, the insidiousness of that smiling kind nice man they see once a week in the row with me? My own mom has heard a few of my stories and even witnessed his turning the car around with me and my daughter in it on our way to have lunch with my mom and her husband, but she still doesn’t get it. She still thinks he’s the cat’s meow. (Because, as I’ve learned, he “buys” people’s trust by doing nice things for them. He has this shiny appearance of nice and kind, but is not in truth and reality. No integrity. No depth. No truth. Btw, my husband spun the car around that day because I asked him to make himself a reminder note to do something he said he’d do; Since he had a passive-aggressive habit of “forgetting” things, I suggested the note, which at the time, as I said it, I knew I was on shaky ground even by the suggestion, but I made it anyway.)
        My church is my real family, but they do not help me with my husband. But I’m okay with that. I trust that the Lord will provide ALL of my needs, including my emotional and spiritual needs here at home. It doesn’t make anything easy or always understandable, but I am determined to lean not on my own understanding, but to trust and acknowledge Him in all my ways, and He will direct my paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

  3. healingInHim

    Very well written. The whom I entrusted my body to actually admitted many years ago that their treatment of me ‘had nothing to do with me but their weakness’. Years later as he has seen fit to ‘move on’ and expect me to forgive and forget, he now claims that I have been abusive as I became way too emotional and said things that he felt were demeaning to him. My adult children have decided to go along with him as they all now claim to not be Christians … or at least not like me:-( They claim there are many holy books; not just the Bible:-( This is stated after years of appearing as a Christian family???

    • Susan

      healingInHim,
      I think there are many people and families who would call themselves “Christian” because of our history as a nation and the “culture” at large, though God-fearing Christians see US culture as anything but Christian – or certainly less and less so. Overall, however, we are and have been a Christian nation, so by virtue of living, being raised in, and educated in such an environment, many individuals might check off a box on a form that states that they are Christian, but the living of the faith ends there.
      The truth about many holy books, as your adult children claim, is that there can’t be – or Jesus and the authors of the other books are liars. They all may claim to be the only way to God. Jesus certainly did. And there can’t be truth in that if there are many ways to God. The reality is that your children are not thinking deeply about it, if they’re really thinking on it at all. Billy Graham said there is a God; The famous atheist Madelyn Murray O’Hare said there isn’t. Both can’t be right. Only one of them is. The same goes for the “many books or ways to God.” It’s impossible if one examines any of those books in any depth at all. I have found within my own blood family, though, that if these kinds of discussions are entered into, it invariably angers the non-Christians (even if they call themselves Christian). So we can’t talk about it. (My dad, now deceased, is the only true Christian of whom I am aware in my family. But I remain pleasant and on speaking terms with the rest, but God is one subject generally avoided with them, sadly, because they anger too easily.)

    • Jennifer

      hiH, let your family know that the very definition of truth is that it is exclusive; it excludes that which is false. If all things are true, then nothing is true. Truth excludes, but of course the one thing modern society absolutely hates is being excluded, because it makes them feel “less than”, and if you are less than, you are not equal. Our society forfeits truth on a regular basis for egalitarianism.

      Not that they will probably listen to you; but you never know when a truth you speak will hit home for someone, so always speak the truth in love!

  4. Patty

    Thank you! This was a reminder of what God has been teaching me this last year after dealing with 2 narcissistic daughter in laws who are sisters. They have cut our sons off from us. I kept thinking what have I done? But like you said that is not the case. After asking for a clear conscience it made no difference. It’s not my fault. It’s their choice and my husband reminds me they are sick. I cannot change them only God can. I am gradually learning this truth. I miss my kids it has been a year but seems like forever but i am praying that God will do whatever it takes. My worth is not based on their acceptance of me. I belong to the King.

  5. Reblogged this on Real Life Ministries USA and commented:
    It doesn’t take a narcissist to bring people pain and disruption, but here is a reason as to why some do what they do…BB

  6. Susan

    May I share Charles Spurgeon’s morning portion for today here? It is most befitting today’s post.
    “They weave the spider’s web.” – Isaiah 59:5
    “See the spider’s web, and behold in it a most suggestive picture of the hypocrite’s religion. It is meant to catch his prey: the spider fattens himself on flies, and the Pharisee has his reward. Foolish persons are easily entrapped by the loud professions of pretenders, and even the more judicious cannot always escape. Philip baptized Simon Magus, whose guileful declaration of faith was so soon exploded by the stern rebuke of Peter. Custom, reputation, praise, advancement, and other flies, are the small game which hypocrites take in their nets. A spider’s web is a marvel of skill: look at it and admire the cunning hunter’s wiles. Is not a deceiver’s religion equally wonderful? How does he make so barefaced a lie appear to be a truth? How can he make his tinsel answer so well the purpose of gold? A spider’s web comes all from the creature’s own bowels. The bee gathers her wax from flowers, the spider sucks no flowers, and yet she spins out her material to any length. Even so hypocrites find their trust and hope within themselves; their anchor was forged on their own anvil, and their cable twisted by their own hands. They lay their own foundation, and hew out the pillars of their own house, disdaining to be debtors to the sovereign grace of God. But a spider’s web is very frail. It is curiously wrought, but not enduringly manufactured. It is no match for the servant’s broom, or the traveller’s staff. The hypocrite needs no battery of Armstrongs to blow his hope to pieces, a mere puff of wind will do it. Hypocritical cobwebs will soon come down when the besom of destruction begins its purifying work. Which reminds us of one more thought, viz., that such cobwebs are not to be endured in the Lord’s house: he will see to it that they and those who spin them shall be destroyed forever. O my soul, be thou resting on something better than a spider’s web. Be the Lord Jesus thine eternal hiding-place.”

  7. Penny

    “It is the narcissist who is broken”. Wow. I have a friend who was an “interventionist” for families/friends with loved ones addicted to drugs. He used to say that “addicts don’t see drugs as the problem, they see drugs as the answer”. Narcissists are addicts: their “drug of choice” is getting attention & being self-absorbed. The more you give the more they want; they are insatiable, craving more & more. They will do anything, say anything, hurt or use anyone to get their drug–including Jesus. I guess that’s why so many of us have to walk away; “feeding the monster” only makes it worse.

  8. ‘Narcissists will…do ANYTHING to preserve a special…sense of self.’
    I’ve memorized this quote as it sums everything up for me. It doesn’t make my husband’s behavior any easier to take, just slightly easier to understand It helps me remember that it’s not really about me at all.

  9. TS Elliot really knew narcissists!

  10. merryjoy1

    Thanks Kim Saeed for David’s link! Great advice on ‘not trying to figure out’. I spent years doing this & a big emotional roller coaster. I finally get it thanks to these kind of sites. So much information answering so many questions & making so much sense. Waiting & praying for some people to change just isn’t always possible. Thank you all who help educate on this subject. I know there is a reason it took me many years to find this information. It seems the longer the marriage, & keep kids exposed to situation, the more stupid it makes you feel.

  11. Sunflower

    Physically, hurting someone actually gives them a ‘buzz’, a cortisole surge, same as any other addiction. That is why some men actually stop being abusive when they get on low-dose anti-depressants. The cortisole surge acts like a short-term anti-depressant, just like a drug, drink, or self-gratification — which incidentally usually accompanies N behaviour. And male depression is different than female depression. Read, “I Don’t Want to Talk About It”.

  12. UnForsaken

    Lovely quotes today! I found one that encouraged me lately that really seems to apply well to Ns:

    ” To explain to him that loves not, is but to give him the more plentiful material for misinterpretation. ” Thomas Wingfold, Curate

    This article reminds me of the time my N told me to stop trying to figure out the “WHY” of another N. I believe he simply wanted not to face the situation or unpleasantness…and I really shouldn’t have been sounding as if I could think. However, I gave it to God as way too big for me, and told Him that as long as He had the answers I didn’t need them . Shortly afterwards He began to open my eyes to what I couldn’t see before, and in doing so I also began to see the resemblances in my Ns behavior.

    I needed to let go, even if I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Ns love getting close enough to the truth to be believable, but leave us in a dead end. God loves it when we give Him our troubles consciously , because He already holds them and all the answers. He is waiting for the right time to show us. No hidden agendas, no mistaken or purposeful misunderstandings, He truly loves us and thinks of our every need. 🙂

    Yes, the “WHY” comes slowly, but eventually the answer appears to be something like Self-centeredness. But as you say Dave, it’s not a self-centeredness like ours. It doesn’t care and shames others instead. It is conscienceless, at least so far as their agenda goes. It is thoughtless ( the word I understood as a child fit him perfectly ) , because they Choose to only think of themselves. And it may know the pain it causes, but it will never take responsibility or feel regret.

    Never feel regret! That make me know the N has built a terrible, chosen prison for themselves. No wonder they want everyone to ‘share’ it with them….it is a lonely place to not feel any remorse – except for yourself! To make little automatons to feel remorse for them, to copy them, to be human for them is their odd form of self worship. But it will never fulfill their need for the most powerful and loving relationship they could ever have!

    • Trying to cope

      There is a whole lot of explanation in your words. I’m baffled how he can treat me so awful. I would think he would lose sleep at night. Somehow I know he doesn’t. Probably more true to an N, he is probably starting to struggle to remember who I am. Self Centered. That would be putting it mildly. He once told me that he found it funny, no matter what he did the woman who worked around him still loved him. Remember, all the ones he once had names for…if you have followed me in threads. These very same people have come to be his supply. For a short time I don’t think I was a supply, I think he truly let his guard down…he was new at our company, I was of no threat. Can this be that you could catch an N at a weak time in their life? But once he got his bearings, watch out. Game on. And I get left wondering what on earth happened and where is my friend? Why oh Why would anyone do such a thing to me. It truly is at the heart and soul of my battle.

      Tomorrow I will work on giving it over to god. This person was important to me, I however served a purpose that I guess i will never know.

      • UnForsaken

        TTC, I love to follow your threads and everyone elses here! I’m constantly amazed at the shared knowledge and recognizable stages of going through being near Ns. Even in huge dissimilarities I can still see :” That’s so like me!”

        One of those stages I had to embrace is that it’s O.K. to feel badly, repeat oneself, and keep on returning to the same theme. I was stuck there a long time when I hadn’t found this encouraging site. It felt so foolish. But it is what got me thinking, and I know God used it to make me willing to come here and admit there Is such a thing as Narcissism. NONE of us are going crazy!

        It’s strange, but I believe Ns do let their guard down, but usually to feel out who will bring the most pleasure as a tool. They can use anybody, so we aren’t chosen as individuals. It’s not our fault. They simply decide that we are among the handful of people who will give them the most *****. Fill in the blank. Maybe we just manage to make people feel good about themselves. It’s usually a virtue they want to exploit.

        Ns are weak and very human, but that is one of the things they probably don’t even admit to themselves. They make “mistakes” in their own game plans, esp. in not using logic and spassing out in planned or unplanned anger now and then. They misjudge people and reactions because their pride says they will succeed no matter what. Perception is not important to them unless it gets them something. They are better at huge stabs in the dark, getting close enough to the truth they can ‘wow’ people, or put chills down the spine. It’s a lazy mentality, because it will keep them from relationships, trust, and from really knowing people.

        For us, that is a Very good thing. No matter how close they appear to be to the truth they will never have it all. Even their show of strength/power is a weak lie! They cannot completely know us. Their ‘knowledge’ we do see is largely based on guesses, while they wait for our reactions to tell them how close they are. When they have felt people out, they do get their bearings, as you say. Watch out, oh yeah! But remember that really caring about people and ethics is on your side. You Can Know truth!

        ” The Lord is the strength of my life, whom then shall I fear?!”

    • Cecilia K

      I love your quote, too, Unforsaken – it is so very true, painfully true. And I love your tongue-in-cheek statement – “And I really shouldn’t have been sounding as if I could think.” Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Hilarious!

  13. This may be the best article I’ve ever read about narcissists.

    “They do the things they do because they are means to an end…They manipulate in whatever way works.”

  14. Reblogged this on my life in pajamas and commented:
    Maybe the best article about narcissists that I’ve ever read!

  15. This is brilliant and so helpful. I’m sharing my experience dating someone who was similarly damaging here: http://heytroubleblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/05/never-again-chapter-1/

  16. Jennifer

    My observations about narcs include that:

    They love things and use people, rather than the other way around.

    They are incredibly jealous/covetous which seems to drive them, especially in regards to their being the one to “hold the upper hand” in any relationship or situation. They literally fear things being out of their direct control.

    And finally, that their presentation of themselves to others is nothing more than a mirage to suit whatever their purpose is at the moment, and that all their mirages are calculated to that purpose. They are the opposite of God. There IS a shadow of turning with them. They DO seek whom they can to devour. Perfect fear casts out all love in their presence. There is no such things as agape or unconditional love with them, as all their acts of love or kindness are calculated to their advantage.

    There is no one in the narcs world other than themselves and those who serve them.

    • Cecilia K

      “Perfect fear casts out all love in their presence.” – Great observation, Jennifer! I had never thought about the converse of the biblical principle of perfect love casting out fear also being true, but you’re right – it so is! How do you love someone you fear? Not a fear like a fear of God, but fear of a tyrant.

  17. Forrest

    “But, you say, how can a spouse or a friend or a parent think like that? I don’t know. I just know that some of them do. They manipulate in whatever way works. If it takes being nice to you and making you feel very good, they will do that. If it takes being mean and cruel, they will do that. Either one is simply useful, not good or bad.”

    There it is in a nutshell. They do what they do to achieve their own ends without regard to how it affects you, only how it affects them.

    • healingInHim

      Forrest – You have summarized my life. It’s taken me years to reconcile this because as a Christian I always wanted to think well of others and not want to believe that they would mean to cause me ‘that much harm’. BUT it is true. It’s only within the last year or so that I really grasped just how manipulative my spouse; his family; my family; and sadly my own children are.
      Even with my spouse admitting that he is selfish has not deterred my adult children’s thoughts … they still favour him along with their spouses. AND I am sooo tired and my spouse knows it …
      I truly don’t have much physical or emotional strength left to move on, although I’m trying. Praying that the Lord will send someone who will actually physically pull me out of this mire.

  18. Forrest

    Reblogged this on Tùr Làidir.

  19. Trying to cope

    I think my biggest why, why me is driven from my concern that somehow my unprofessional diagnosis is wrong. And I am just not worthy of his highness. But everytime I come back here to this site, broken and crying and wondering how someone who knows i have just lived through the worst couple years of my life could purposely add to my pain, I then see the similarity and remind myself…He is an N. I know, like I know, Like I know. he is. but if he isn’t then that just makes me a big loser. One hurt, baffled, and discarded loser. No I’m not having a pitty party. This is just my thoughts…everyday. I’m stronger, some here have given me great food for thought and then I run into N, he shuns me, Hugs the next person and my day is ruined. Why…not sure. But Why Me.

    So if my diagnosis is correct then this letter is all I need to know but if I’m wrong, then I’m just the dummy not worth talking to.

    • Jennifer

      Unfortunately, one of leftovers you get when having lived with a narc is that you doubt your own reality. I think you said that your self esteem was on the low side anyway even before you met him, right? And now after this, it is still low AND you are now filled with self doubts and self loathing which probably was NOT how you felt before you met him.

      How do you know he is a narc (ie It’s him and not you)? Because you have this telltale sign; that you doubt the reality of what just happened. It is the product of his gaslighting you. If you haven’t looked up the term gaslighting, or watched the movie, Gaslight. Go do that. All kinds of bells and whistles will go off in your mind. 🙂 Your reality is real, Ttc. His is all a mirage.

    • Kathy

      Trying to Cope,
      This man and what he’s done is severely affecting your life now. He’s affected your home life and as you dread going back to work on Monday. He’s affected your weekends and your time with your own family. He’s invaded your thoughts, as you said, every day.
      Why do they do what they do? At this point, it doesn’t matter. Just know that your responses are normal — and very unhealthy. You have normal responses to an abnormal person/situation.
      Get out. Get out while you are sane. Get out of that work environment.
      You went to him for guidance — could he have misconstrued that as a crush you have on him or now that he believes you believe he has superior wisdom at the workplace? Who cares.
      GET OUT.
      You may be saying — But I need my job. We need the money. I invested too much. This is now interfering with your own marriage. That is NOT of God. Flee what is not of God. FLEE.
      People with young children and no job leave Ns. People who are seniors leave and must start again leave Ns. You can do this. Even if you have to flip burgers, you have to save your sanity and your marriage and your home life.
      You say you do not have a “professional diagnosis.” So what? You can diagnose yourself — and you are being severely affected and perhaps obsessing about the situation (no judgment — it happens to everyone when they’ve been touched by evil).
      Evil has touched you. Get away from it.
      The full armor of God — Ephesians 6:10 -18 — read it. The pieces of armor are protection, they are defensive weapons, not offensive. You don’t attack, you don’t analyze, you don’t try to “fix,” you don’t try to “understand.” You protect yourself against. And get in God’s word – that is the helmet. That protects your HEAD.
      Get out. Get far away. Get peace.
      Please.

    • Susan

      If this “friend” weren’t a narc, you wouldn’t be going through all these circles in your mind. If he were a normal friend, he’d be talking it all through with you, resolving the conflict, and moving past it. Trust your instincts in this. I smell a narc.

      • Trying to cope

        Thank you Susan, Jennifer. That is it isn’t it. Us normal people work past the problem. I am afraid to even speak to him now because I never know when he will snap and start raging. And I have tried to reason on 4 accounts, 3 unsuccessful where I was told I was confused, I was having a tough year and the one time he talked he made sure to tell me everything he hated about me and that there was something wrong with me. I have checked in with many people and besides the fact that I was asking odd questions of them, they have assured me, there is nothing wrong with me. I didn’t think so. He really is just playing games with me, and I guess no one has ever done that to me before and I just didn’t know how to react. It’s funny because I am far from naive, but I guess everything I have seen, is just that, I have seen it. I didn’t have to live it. My father was very abusive, verbally and physically to my mother. My grandfather to my father and aunts uncles…on and on but it neverreally was directed to me I was just witness. I thought I was strong, wise. But when my world fell apart and the man I depend on fell apart I had to look outside for answers. I looked in the wrong spot. As I reflect I can see I may have been too needy. But just being too needy shouldn’t cause someone to shun you should it? I’m trying to view problem from all angles. Where is my fault, what did I do that others didn’t. Or is it simply that I’m not a supply any longer, not the supply he thought I was. Why, Why, Why. I love that you smell a Narc, susan. So do I. And Jennifer, you totally have his number. And I am healing trust me. Days of No N really helps.

        So I may have caused this N to go off the deep end because he just couldn’t supply me with what I needed. He has the nasty habit of thinking others are stalking him. Haha…I know right? I bet because I needed him to help me figure out how to support my family when my husband was no longer mentally able to do that….He just probably put me into stalking category. If what I read hear makes sense a N loves to help but not if it takes to much effort on his part. I could have been too much. It is hard to lay it all out here when you don’t want to reveal your identity…but that is ther bare bones scenario. I needed guidance…who knows what he thought I needed. This is long but oh so important to healing I guess.

    • Kathy

      TTC,
      I apologize for offering advice when perhaps you just needed to vent. Just please know that people do care.

    • healingInHim

      Penny, Thank you for the link. Haven’t had a chance to study it thoroughly but skimming it has already helped. ALL the comments will take quite some time to glean from, too:-)

  20. Jennifer

    Yes, it is easier to heal if you are gone, but the problem is that in TTC’s situation, she could easily get a new job and have a narc as her boss yet again. Sometimes you just have to deal with these folks. As much as we clammer, TTC, it is and will always be your decision. It is not that easy in this economic climate to give up work and be guaranteed to find work elsewhere. On the other hand, what does it profit a man to gain the world, and give up his own soul? It is just that we don’t like to see you suffering like this at work, but perhaps a little Catholic “theology of suffering” wouldn’t go astray at this time. Much of this is taken from Paul’s writings:

    “Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things (your dignity TTC and your friendship with this man) and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law (or perhaps this right-ness you had was based upon this man’s opinions of you), but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God depends on faith; that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and MAY SHARE HIS SUFFERING (!!!! Christ was used and discarded by many), becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:8-11)

    Or there is this wonderful passage:

    He says: “And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but he said to me, ‘MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’…For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

    Protestants tend to pray away any suffering at all. Catholics tend to embrace it and give it to God as an offering, knowing that suffering produces much fruit and grace in our lives if we let it. That is not to say that we have to put with the mind games and nonsense these people deal out on a regular basis. We need to be always honest in our dealings with everyone,but once we understand them and have determined what our boundaries will be with these people, then we can give each moment of suffering the recognition that it deserves; we can give it to God and allow him to exchange our suffering for grace to serve Him.

    • Jennifer

      I will also add that I am a much stronger person 6 years later, and that I absolutely did not have the strength to stay even one day more with my husband when I left him. My strength came in part because I left. Of course with a husband, and father of our kids, one can never totally leave. I have continually had to deal with him because of the intimacy of the relationship, family and monetary ties, etc, so it is a bit different from your situation. If you leave though, you could easily run into another one; a neighbour, a coworker, a pastor at church. So in the end, you still need to know how to deal with these folks.

    • Susan

      AMEN, Jennifer! The verse I typed out in a nice font and color then laminated and put above my kitchen sink many years ago is this: “My aim is to know Him, the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings.” – Philippians 3:10

      The fellowship of His sufferings. What we go through in this world pales in comparison to the Lord’s own sufferings for our sakes. Who knows what He will do with these sufferings of ours. There is a reason for our trials. They are not without purpose. We must keep our focus on Him.

    • Kathy

      Would you please clarify this? Thank you.
      “Protestants tend to pray away any suffering at all. Catholics tend to embrace it and give it to God as an offering, knowing that suffering produces much fruit and grace in our lives if we let it.”

      • Jennifer

        Hmmm….I’m not sure if I will explain it very well. My background is Protestant, and from experience, we Protestants have a tendency to ask for healing and deliverance. Some groups even demand it and claim it. But from my current studies, I’ve noticed that faithful Catholics instead offer their sufferings up to God. They view their sufferings as “suffering along with Christ” for a greater good.

        Paul says about his own suffering in Colossians 1:24-25, “.. Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the divine office which was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known…”

        Somehow, Catholic theology has a greater sense of the oneness of the Body from what I can see; Christ as its head and believers as the body. So if a believer suffers, Christ also suffers as do all members of the body. If Christ suffered, then believers suffer as well. Suffering is a corporate event for them, and so if Christ did not “pray away” his suffering for the sake of the Body, then neither should we.

        A Catholic theologian has said, “Christ’s sufferings were, of course, sufficient for our redemption, but all of us may add ours to his, in order that the fruits of his redemption be applied to the souls of men.”

      • Forrest

        The sufferings Paul refers to in Colossians are not redemptive. We cannot add to the Lord’s finished work in any way. Paul was referring to the sufferings he endured as a minister. His ministry benefitted the church.

        The danger here is that these scriptures can be abused by the church in order to keep victims in bondage.

  21. Kathy

    Thank you very much for expanding on this. I appreciate it. 🙂

  22. trying to cope

    Today I can only say I made it through. You sit and wonder how bad will it be today and then wait. Today he rested. Big sigh. HealinginHim, I hear you when you declare you do not know if you have the physical or emotional strength to go on. This is a process. In identifying one Full Fledged Narcissist I also realize there are a couple people in my life that have some not so good N tendancies. They of course have emotion. I think. I feel I am being betrayed by one and taking the questions and applying the Why such as it is surely brings clarity.

    Tonight I feel peace and I would like to share it with all of you who still suffer with an N and those that are trying to get over. Whether you are in it or past it, the affects are devastating. I pray that you can all have time to feel peace. I am not sure why I get peace today, but I will take it. It is a good feeling.

    • healingInHim

      THANK YOU FOR PRAYING. I too, pray for others as I know I am not the only one going through this battle. Putting on the full armour of God … I confess; is some of it not fastened on well enough … is it me? Where are the other “c”hristians to help me in the battle instead of putting me in the frontlines as they stand back with “words of wisdom” and continue on with promoting the ‘c’hurches programs???

  23. TTC

    I want to add that I have been consciously working on just putting out a good vibe, throw out as much love as I can. I will be darned if today was not a good day. Jennifer today I smiled and said Hi. For the first time in a good year, I got a smile from the N. Now remember my goal is to co-exist happily. No games, just me, smiling…happy…me. So although i do not approve of his methods I am trying to train him to treat me well. As little words as I could manage and a smile. Just wanted to throw that out there for all those that need to co-exist with vampires. 🙂

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