Are Narcissists Sick?

It’s Narcissist Friday!  

(This is a post I wrote a couple years ago.  There have been some questions about narcissism as an illness or physical condition recently and this may help.  There is significant debate among the professional community as to the nature of narcissism, but there is wide agreement that it is very difficult to treat.)

 

In many ways it would be easier if we could think of the narcissist as sick.  If we could point to a mental illness or a chemical imbalance, we would have something to blame the behavior on. We could excuse the cruelty by saying, “Oh, he can’t help himself because he is sick.”  Then our desire for compassion would be justified and we could feel better about ourselves as we help a sick person and endure his or her abuse.

Unfortunately, narcissism doesn’t fit the concept of an illness.  For whatever reasons, narcissists have chosen and continue to choose their behavior.

(Now, I have to post a disclaimer here.  I am not a psychologist or a psychiatrist or a mental health therapist or counselor.  I am a theologian who has done a great deal of counseling over the years as a pastor.  So what I tell you is based on my experience and on what I have picked up from others.  You are encouraged to do your own research on anything I teach.)

Professional therapists use words like dysfunction, illness, disorder, and disability to refer to different causes of behavior or sensations.  These words are often used interchangeably, which makes definition all the more confusing for the rest of us.  In general, illness or mental illness refers to a condition caused by some biological agent.  The agent could be a genetic anomaly, an injury, a chemical imbalance, or some other outside influence.  While many forms of mental illness may lead to narcissistic behavior, the behavior itself doesn’t prove the illness.

Narcissism has been classified as a personality disorder by some.  All that says is that it is out of sync with what is considered to be normal behavior and perspective.  But it also suggests that narcissism is a choice.  That choice may be based on disturbing childhood experiences, but it is still a choice.  I believe that fear is the primary cause of narcissistic behavior, but the fear does not need to be current.  In other words, acting in a narcissistic way is how the narcissist learned to deal with fear throughout his life.

Addictions are particularly difficult to overcome because they are often the intersection of several types of problems.  What begins as a need to fit into a group or feel better can become a physical dependency through drugs or alcohol.  Those who deal with drug rehabilitation must work through both the biologically-caused illness and the psychologically-caused disorder.  To further complicate things, we now understand that repeated actions can create something very similar to physical addiction.  When we talk about people addicted to eating, shopping, gambling, hoarding, or pornography, we refer to behaviors that have become so ingrained that stopping them takes serious desire and effort.

It is my opinion that narcissism is a type of addiction.  The narcissist has chosen and continues to choose his behavior because he believes it works for him.  Over the years he has gained enough from this behavior that he continues to use it even in the face of negative consequences.  It is his default conduct and he has learned to apply various techniques in different circumstances.  It may be that he has done it so often and has convinced himself so strongly of its value that he simply no longer thinks of it as a choice.  In other words, it just comes naturally to him.

A simple observation from the Bible has become a well-known saying in our culture:

“As he thinks in his heart, so is he.”  (Proverbs 23:7)

Because the man thinks his narcissistic behavior works, and because he has invested so much into making it work, he has become a narcissist.  Whether the clinical definition fits him or not, he acts out of his perspective.  That perspective includes such concepts as the usefulness of others and the promotion of a certain self-image.  He acts this way because he thinks this way.

This is a very brief overview of my perspective on narcissistic behavior, but it reveals some important thoughts.  These are some of the ideas I use as I counsel and write on this subject.

  1. Narcissists are accountable for their actions because they are free to choose otherwise.
  2. Narcissists can change by “unlearning” certain ideas about themselves and others.
  3. Carefully applied negative consequences for narcissistic behavior may be helpful.
  4. Those in relationship with narcissists are victims or objects, rather than caregivers.

 

139 Comments

Filed under Narcissism

139 responses to “Are Narcissists Sick?

  1. Kathy

    Thank you. This is very helpful. So many of us, and I think especially women, want to “help” someone and so we tend to believe that we have that ability and/or God has that ability WITH our prayers. Their conduct actually is so ingrained that the root cause is buried way too deeply. I think we would be laughed at if we suggested that they have fear.
    When I find myself wanting to believe the poor narcissist is merely a fearful, vulnerable person and I should overlook their behavior I remind myself that that very same N knows how to behave, what and what not to say, when others are present. I remind myself that the N practices selective abuse.
    That alone convinces me that the N knows full well what they are doing and, whether their disorder stems from fear or childhood neglect, they are purposely and willfully choosing a particular target for their cruelty.

    Maybe the N had N parents and was treated cruelly. Oftentimes alcoholics come from alcoholic homes. Oftentimes those who sexually molest were sexually molested themselves at a young age. Perhaps those behaviors are oftentimes born out of fear and/or anger — but we don’t excuse it. Why we want to excuse an N’s behavior is beyond me — but yet we want to anyway, myself included.
    But then I remember how well and how accurately they hit their target — me — with what they are well aware will hurt the most.

    Thank you for the reminder.

    • Trying to cope

      Wow, I intended to sit here and read all 65 comments and hopefully shed more light on this subject. Your comment hits so close to truth and had to say here here. I am confident they know they are hurting me. Then i think maybe they have no clue how the discarded one must feel. See that is the normal me and you. We care, we are normal. This, this N behavior not so much. For me I was discarded, overnight, without warning or reason. I believe no matter your relation, friend, relative, spouse, or lover it hurts. You are entitled to your feelings and your pain. I will definitely acknowledge there are levels of pain and my heart goes out too the spouses and relatives of these soul sucking vampires.(Sorry did I say that out loud). But you are right Kathy, they know. I want to tell myself they are sick, we have compassion, but know I was targeted and he is very covert. This may be a sickness but they are well aware of their actions. I’m guessing that they just think it’s ok. It’s a means to an end and the means justify the end. To them. I’m not sure they know the absolute devastation they cause. It’s a game to them and although they know they are causing harm, I question if they know how much. But then that is normal me thinking how would somebody purposefully harm and innocent person. Are their N’s on this board because I would love to hear a recovering N’s view.

  2. kjcrayton65

    You and your ministry have been such an integral part of a much needed support system for me. Not many really understand the depth of the damage these type of people cause. I recently left my “narcissistic” pastor husband for the last time. I lived such a psychologically damaging life with him. I was constantly drained, giving my all, but it never being enough! I like the term “character flaw” when it comes to defining narcissism, and I do believe it is a choice, and also a learned coping mechanism. Thank you for your contributions to my spiritual and mental health! God is doing new things in my life, and I am looking forward to continued, and increasing health in ALL areas of my life!

  3. Susan

    I have struggled with correctly understanding narcissism for a year or so now, trying to determine if it’s mental illness or not, because understanding will help me in interacting (or not) with my husband. I have learned that it’s better to not engage him than to engage. Disconnect rather than connect. Any connection or anything other than need-to-know basis ends up in consternation, betrayal, lies, manipulation, and so forth.
    This post is very helpful as it confirms what I have learned by experience, that all of what my husband does is chosen behavior. No matter how he learned it or got to where he is, he has no right to trample underfoot me or our daughter in the process of making himself feel however makes him feel best. Thank you for this ministry. It blesses and helps many of us out here still on the front lines of this spiritual war. I’m going to leave a prayer request below, if you don’t mind.

  4. Susan

    Prayer request. I’ll try to be as brief as possible. My narcissist husband has been “wooing” (for lack of better word) our now 11-year-old daughter over the past two years, taking an interest in her that was previously non-existent until our last marriage counseling (our third) broke down at that time. In self preservation, I “disconnected” – disengaged – stopped the interaction unless (more or less) on a need-to-know basis.

    Fast forward to today. He and she have been “tickling” over that period, but (in addition to other creepy behaviors that when I pointed them out, they just evaporated – like massaging her shoulders or brushing her hair over and over and over). Well, I’d noticed over the past week or so that she’d be sitting on him straddling him while he lies on his back. Add to that the fact that since we homeschool she is often in her jammies (with no underwear) and he wears only boxers at home (again, no underwear).

    About a week ago I walked in on them with her all over him on the sofa and her hand was on his inner thigh. I’d seen him do this with her before. Her hand may have fallen there innocently. His (at 56 years old) is knowingly there.

    So I mentioned to her (knowing his narcissism I didn’t approach him; It only ends up in lies and deception) – I mentioned to her that there are appropriate places to touch and places no boy or man should touch – or anyone else for that matter, but especially opposite genders. The discussion was kept light and non-accusatory. She doesn’t yet know about sexual intercourse.

    The next night, I saw the same thing on the sofa, so I walked in and said in front of both of them, “Grace, this is the kind of thing I was talking about last night.” I explained in front of my husband what had been discussed and then he said, “Well, mom won’t let us tickle any more.” I said that tickling is okay, but let’s decide where on the body would be appropriate – such as knees to ankles and elbows to wrists. He clammed up. Then he got up and walked away – so she followed and said, “Dad, let’s play chase.” He refused, saying it’s too dangerous to run in the house. (Although they had done so for many weeks and months now, all of a sudden he wouldn’t. I think he was just angry.)

    So she suggested they run outside the house. They both went outside, and when they came in, I could tell they hadn’t been running, so I asked if they walked. She said yes that dad wanted to walk. When he went to bed later, she and I were sitting watching a movie and I asked if they had discussed what we all talked about earlier. She stammered and got really uncomfortable. I said, “That’s okay. You can tell me. You’re not in any trouble.” She then said, “Well I don’t know. Let’s see if I can remember. Oh yes, dad said we’d find a way to keep tickling.”

    I ended up telling her that I never want her to feel she’s responsible for what’s happening and that she’s not in trouble and I never want her to feel she’s come between dad and me. She kept watching the movie, and I excused myself to “go to the bathroom,” but instead I went to my husband and said Grace had told me what they talked about and that they’d find a way to keep tickling. He denied that and asked me to bring her back to the bedroom. I said no, she’s watching a movie, but that he needs to say anything about me in front of me so I can defend myself. He didn’t like that (saying I need to do the same, except that I don’t do the same kind of thing behind his back), but nodded. When I went back and told our daughter that dad agrees to talk about me only in front of me, the sigh of relief and expression of her countenance lighting up told me a lot. She put her head on my shoulder and exhaled a big, “GOOD!”

    That all surprised me and told me more than she could in words.

    On Thursday, I talked with her about all this, asking how she felt when she was keeping secrets and being asked to keep things from me and if it honored God. I told her that she wasn’t to blame for any of this and that she just needs to know that it honors God to stay in truth and that we need to keep Christ lifted high in our home and honor Him by not keeping secrets. Long story short – at the end of our talk, she said, “Sometimes dad says things that make me wonder if he’s a Christian.”

    We agreed to keep him in prayer – silently to ourselves so as not to anger him.

    So here’s the request. I called our pastor after talking with our daughter to bring him up to speed, because if anything were to happen (molestation or otherwise) months or anytime from now, I don’t want him to find out and then say, “What’s been happening over these past years?” He’s been aware of problems now and again – but I’ve been reluctant to tell him every little thing because of the insidious nature of the narcissist. Without living it, it’s hard to really fathom. And my husband has taken to reading the Bible lately and using it at church to cite verses, but never ever speaks with me about God or Jesus, blaming me and my being judgmental or whatever. You understand how the narc works.

    The request is that when my pastor asked if I’m okay if he speaks with my husband, I said certainly. My prayer request is for my pastor to have discernment and wisdom and that Truth will out. I know that my husband is not going to be truthful with him and as you well know narcs, they easily can pull the wool over one’s eyes. My pastor is not familiar with narcissism.

    So please, pray that the Truth will be known – that God will be glorified – and that His servants (Grace and me) will not be misunderstood or trodden under the lies in this. If that happens within my church family, I fear that I may despair more than I already have. I want to trust that God is going to take care of her and me and not abandon us to a liar and allow lies to be bought into by my church leaders.

    I asked our pastor if he would speak with Grace privately so he could hear from her lips whatever her dad and her discussed in that walk – because, as I wrote to him, “…I’d like for her to recount to you directly what she and her dad spoke about when they took that walk Monday outside the house. Not for my benefit, but so you can ask x the same thing when you speak with him. If the accounts contradict one another, one of them is lying. (I’m not speaking of minor discrepancies, but if one says they agreed to find a way to keep tickling and another says we didn’t say that – then one is a false account.) Grace gained nothing from telling me that because it wasn’t something that would please me. She’s gains nothing by lying about it.”

    I wrote that because our pastor told me that sometimes children will say things just to please either parent when they’re with that parent. I want him to see what’s happening here. The world of the narcissist is such smoke and mirrors that I am concerned truth will not be revealed.

    Please pray, I beseech you all. We are in spiritual warfare here. Thank you.

    (Edited by moderator to disidentify)

    • Cookie

      Father God, we pray for deception to be broken and truth to be completely revealed for the sake of this family. We pray for protection for Grace and wisdom, discernment and courage for Susan and the pastor and church leaders involved in this situation. We ask, by whatever means are necessary, for healing and restoration for all involved for your name’s sake and for your glory. In Jesus name, Amen

      • Susan

        Thank you, Cookie. ❤

      • Kathy

        Please remove your daughter and yourself from this man — or kick him out. This behavior is not normal. My husband didn’t even go shirtless in the house because we have 2 daughters.
        You will NOT be over-reacting.
        I would hate, as I’m sure you would, to find out that things have progressed way over the line and you missed the red flags because you feared over-reacting. You don’t want your daughter ever ever to say to you “Mom, you knew and didn’t protect me.” That would break your heart and she would have to live with an awful lot of pain.
        Protect her, please.
        And I’m praying for you and her.

      • Susan

        Kathy,
        I don’t disagree, but I can’t kick him out of the house (he wouldn’t go), yet if I remove Grace and myself, he will have unscheduled visitation because I have no proof of molestation. It’s a Catch-22 right now. I’ve schedule a meeting for Grace to meet alone with our pastor on Tuesday, Aug. 19, and I plan to fast and pray that day (and am praying up until then of course). I want him to have supernatural discernment so he can be a witness for us if need be. She needs to talk to an independent third party (our pastor’s idea) with whom she feels comfortable, so I asked if he would listen since he knows all of us. (Of course, he also baptized my husband, so it’s a bit weird because my husband is playing church these days. But our pastor says he did so because my husband “gave all the right answers.” So our pastor may be more understanding than most re: these issues. He knows about some lies my husband told (when I called our pastor Thursday to discuss). Anyway, I’m praying that Grace open up fully in truth to our pastor and that our pastor receive this information with supernatural wisdom.

    • Heather

      Susan, in my heart I believe that you are dealing with so much more than narcissism. You mentioned any possible future molestation. If that has already arisen in your mind along with the inappropriate behavior between your husband and daughter then I would suggest that you skip your pastor and see someone who can advise you about safeguarding your daughter right away.
      Please, before you face unspeakable trauma.

    • Forrest

      Susan,

      If you want to protect your daughter, then you only have one choice. Go to the police today. Too many pastors keep these things within the church and enable ongoing abuse. I understand that you may be attacked for doing this, but what is more important to you? Too often, I have seem children hurt permanently because adults failed to protect them.

      • Susan

        Thank you, Forrest. I don’t disagree, but I have no proof. It would all blow up in our faces (Grace’s and mine) if I took that step now. Tuesday (Aug 19) I am taking her to the pastor to speak privately with him (without me, at his suggestions), and I plan to fast and pray that day, and I have been praying in tears these past few days, although I thought I had been all cried out to date. I don’t have proof other than my own notes and documents I’ve been keeping. I have done so over the years, but then destroyed them (foolishly, thinking of the “love keeps no record of wrongs” verse), but restart, then shared with church family, etc. Now I’m note-taking again. I’m not on the computer much as I’m trying to be by my daughter’s side constantly, but am doing what I can.

      • Forrest

        Susan,

        I previously posted a link to an article by “Boz” Tchividjian, who is a former child abuse prosecutor who currently teaches Child Abuse and the Law and several other courses at Liberty University School of Law. Boz points out that you don’t need to have proof before reporting. Here is the link again. Please check it out.

        http://boz.religionnews.com/2014/08/01/perpetrators-confess-clergy-three-mistaken-beliefs/

      • Susan

        Forrest,
        I did actually read that link that you provided earlier and printed three copies, one of which is to give my pastor tomorrow when he meets with our daughter privately.
        Thank you, by the way, for that. You may well be one of the people God is using to protect my daughter. Thank you.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Susan – Certainly we will pray. This is a very difficult situation. I am not an expert by any means on sexual molesters, but I do know that they don’t stop. They groom and groom their victim and then keep advancing in the level of the molestation. Your husband’s behavior has all the marks of grooming. Just the fact that he wears only his underwear in the home is a huge, huge red flag – let alone the other behaviors. You will want to give serious thought to reporting your husband to the civil authorities, and also give thought to what it is going to be like for your daughter and for you when he rapes/fondles her (if he hasn’t done so already)? And also give thought to what this present behavior is doing to her, because really she IS being molested right now. Be careful about being drawn in to what I call “superstition” as it masquerades as genuine biblical faith. Superstition in these cases tells us to pray, to tell God to give us signs, to serve the Lord diligently ourselves so that He will then bless/protect us. But God calls US to action. He calls US to depart from the wicked man. He has given us the civil authorities (Romans 13) to deal with the wicked. My opinion? Look for ways to get you and your daughter away from that man as soon as possible before something worse happens. Also, do not put much trust in your pastor. He may be a good man, but the fact is that almost no pastors are trained to identify and handle these kinds of things.

      • UnForsaken

        Susen, at this point Please think in terms of When , not IF. You are striving to be fair and are a straight forward person, but he will only use that.

        Now that he knows you know he will eventually be more vicious and deceitful, more brutal to your daughter about this, and try to rub your face in it. You don’t want this for your daughter; you are a fantastic mom! Get her to a safe place right away, because he is just waiting for his chance. You can’t be watching all the time. With the time he put into the grooming, he will not be kept from his goal….only delayed. The lull in the storm may make you feel everything will be O.K., but that is the way molestation is done. It’s meant to throw you off your guard. A familiar place is not safe just because it feels like it. It is unsafe for her whether the danger is immediate or not.

        Unfortunately, pastors aren’t usually trained in the protocol for these things. I find it particularly telling your pastor didn’t offer a safe place for you to go right away, or at the very least suggest you take her on an unplanned trip to see grandparents, etc. You need to make your next move, whatever you choose, as quietly and unexpectedly as he would. Take anything (like papers and her needs) you know you must have. Be aware that even if it’s a visit and not a temperary thing in leaving, he’s likely to take it out on your possessions.

        Like Crippen and Pastor Dave said, this is the time to report your suspicions, not after the fact. Your husband shows real signs as a type that can be easily seen in your other posts, and these people will not give up. They get worse. You mentioned before that you no longer share a room. How do you know what he does at night?

        In my own experience, at times when there seems only one thing to do, it’s the last thing I want to do. He appears silent, and I’ve told Him He will have to show me another way if He wants something else. In the meantime I will have to act on what I must assume He is showing me, trusting He will turn me from it with a direct answer if that is not what He wants. With an open heart to Him, and open eyes to whatever gear change He might want, He has Never let me down. If you are trusting Him to answer as you act, He will not allow you to be willful.

        Sometimes I think He is testing our belief that He can do anything, as He did for Abraham and Isaacs lamb sacrifice. Sometimes He may be trying to show us that He Has spoken and it isn’t our imaginations or our own idea. You have prayed and prayed, but perhaps now He is trying to showing you what to Do for this moment .

        I don’t mean to overly scare you, only help you see that God has put a rescue right into your hands via your common sense. I am praying too. Praying He will show you how to best proactively protect His children…..both of you.

      • Susan

        Unforsaken,
        Thank you. Your comment has me thinking in a new direction. Honestly, I’ve been praying and praying and tomorrow will be fasting until the afternoon pastoral meeting alone with my daughter takes place. After that, and after I hear what he has to say, then I shall have to decide the next step.
        Believe me, I hear you. Your comment has frightened me, but in the right way. I don’t want to see things that aren’t there, and I’m not trying to paint my husband in any way that he is not, but I do know that he is a narc, that his behavior isn’t normal, that he’s groomed our daughter to be a surrogate wife, and that he’s still “working” her when he can. I didn’t leave her side yesterday and took her into the bathroom with me every time I had to go, so she wouldn’t be alone anywhere with him.
        Even though I have concerns that this may all be misunderstood or made light of by our pastor (and one of the church leaders, who received some printed documents from me yesterday – because I’m trying to arrange a “play date” with his children for tomorrow so Grace’s meeting with the pastor is surrounded by something nice for her; The leader lives in walking distance from our church). This church leader is one of the pastor’s close friends, and I told the leader’s wife yesterday that she and he can both read what I gave them (the original prayer request plus a few other notes) and discuss with the pastor. So now there’s opportunity for them to see. I was thinking this morning that if this is not taken seriously, then I have no place in this church teaching that leader’s two twin girls (same age as my daughter) which I do on Wednesday nights, and no place teaching the pastor’s two granddaughters which I do in Sunday School every week, and no place doing the church bulletin. Because if they believe my husband, then they’re not believing me, and I can take our daughter to another church.
        I would probably have to go to my mother’s but I doubt she’d believe me either. She adores my husband (because he’s a narc; he knows how to work people), in spite of behavior she’s witnessed that is wrong, but I would probably go anyway and say what I have to say. I am so weary of “covering” for him, because the behavior is so… bizarre.
        Anyway, you’ve got me thinking. I’m still going to give the pastor a chance to act – along with his church friend/leader (music director), and depending on how they handle this, I’ll decide the next step.
        You are right though in that I realized last night that my husband was on his “best behavior.” So his actions/words still aren’t lining up, and I’ve known before yesterday that he can’t be trusted, so no matter what he behaves like now, I can’t leave him alone with her, and I’m going to stress that with our pastor.
        Lord, please give me wisdom. Give our pastor supernatural understanding and discernment and action. And give my daughter the words and courage to speak the truth to him tomorrow. Open her mouth and heart.

        (Edited by moderator to disidentify)

      • Susan

        Oops. I replied to you at cryingoutforjustice.com. Here’s what I wrote and I’ll add this in paratheses too (Re: my pastor, I hear you, but right now without solid evidence and proof and with our daughter being comfortable with him, it would all blow up in my face to go to the police; As i see it right now, the best thing is for her to speak privately with our pastor and that at least is some step toward getting someone else to “know” what’s going on – the pastor could at least be a witness of sorts if that’s needed at some point; As you probably know, without proof or evidence, I don’t have a case, not that I’m waiting for molestation to occur, but let’s just say I take her away from him. Then what? He gets unscheduled visitation since there’s no evidence of molestation. The best thing for me to do as I see it is stay put where I can monitor them/her 24/7):
        Jeff, I am responding to your reply to me that I just read in my in-box, about my recent prayer request regarding my husband’s meeting with our pastor re: possible inappropriate touching in our home and certainly secrets he has asked our 11-year-old daughter to keep from me so they can keep “tickling.” I cannot find your reply or my original post here at the moment, and I apologize for taking a day or more to read it. What has happened is that after my daughter and I spoke about these things again (with my asking her how it felt to keep a secret, does it honor God, and eventually her pointing out that some things she hears her dad say makes her think he’s not a Christian), I decided to ask our pastor if he would meet with her privately without me present (our pastor’s suggestion) so she can speak with him. That meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 19th. I plan on fasting and praying that day. No time of day yet set by our pastor for that meeting. I don’t know if he’s spoken with my husband as the latter is shunning me right now and he’s chosen to work this weekend both days. Re: the grooming, indeed. I have watched this for 18 months, and allowed it to happen all because I didn’t realize what I was really seeing and if I intervene I’m called a “nagging wife” and a “dripping faucet.” I’ve never suspected outright molestation, but this kind of secret-keeping about the tickling and more than that her own discomfort when I asked if she and her dad talked about that discussion about where it’s okay to touch or not, her discomfort about replying to me told me more than her actual words. Then her relief when I told her dad had agreed to not talk about me behind my back, her huge sigh like a burden lifted off her shoulders. Anyway, I wanted to acknowledge your gracious and wise reply. I’m focused on our daughter in an intense way right now so I haven’t had much computer time on my own. I’d been more casual with their relationship, figuring that attention from her dad is a good thing, even if he’s a liar and manipulator with me, but I see now how naive and unwise that was. If I can’t trust him, then I can’t leave them alone because he’s lying to her about me and manipulating her for whatever gain on his part.

    • Susan, I just got back and saw your thread here. I want to say both that I am praying and that you need to be proactive. I agree with some of the other commenters that this is not normal, nor acceptable, father daughter interaction. If I was your pastor, I would be calling the police already as I am in a mandatory reporting state. The touching certainly seems beyond appropriate to me.

      Remember that law enforcement is there not only to help when something bad happens, but to enforce strong limits so bad things don’t happen. It will be very hard on all of you for them to get involved, but you must trust the Lord. He is the authority even over the authorities.

      Dave

      • Jennifer

        I also agree that this is most certainly NOT normal behavior and is quite provocative. Susan, even if he never formally molests your daughter, he is teaching her that this behavior between a boy/girl or man/woman is okay and to be sought after. A father teaches his daughter about male female relationships simply by having one with her. As she moves into her teens, the dangers of her being taken advantage of by young men is huge with this sort of behavior going on in the house.

        Forgive me for saying so, I was molested by two different men in my childhood, but your husband is punishing your by making a surrogate wife out of your daughter. He is pushing way over the limits on this one, and since he isn’t an idiot, I will just assume he is evil.

        You should seriously think about taking yourself and your daughter out of his life by either leaving or calling child services/police on him.

      • Susan

        Jennifer,
        Your comment is right on the money. The problem I have with taking her out of the home now is that without proof my husband would probably get unsupervised visitation. That’s worse for our daughter than having me in the house 24/7 with them both. I’ve been taking her to the bathroom with me also (under a guise of having to talk with her or ask her questions about something or ANYthing just to get her to come with me innocently), although last night just before bedtime when I went alone just out of haste and not thinking, I came back to the living room and there were my husband and daughter holding hands standing up. It was weird. It’s still better right now to stay than leave because leaving brings its own set of dangers for her. For now, I shall pray and pray for the Tuesday meeting of her alone with our pastor. I wish it were sooner, but I shall trust the Lord’s timing.

      • Susan

        Jennifer, I should have also written that you are more right than you know (or maybe you do know, obviously) when you write: My husband is punishing me by making a surrogate wife out of our daughter. That is hitting the nail SQUARELY on the head. I have not told anyone because it sounds so idiotic, but he has for YEARS now answered her as “Yes, dear.” In a wifey kind of way. The kind that men joke about in answering to their wives. I never cited it to him because it sounds so nit-picky. But then the hair brushing for her and wanting to buy her a hair brush (even though hers was perfectly fine) and the shoulder massages began. I put an end to both of those by just mentioning them. Then the tickling, which I never stopped, but then this kind of thing where I’d see her straddling him and then those hand placements. Now the secrets. It’s escalating. But all in ways I can’t prove or provide evidence for that wouldn’t be just a “he said she said” scenario. Having my daughter speak in confidence with our pastor is the right next step, I think. But you get BINGO because I have thought for a long time he is treating her like a wife. That might just be it: It’s punishing me, which it didn’t seem to bother me because our daughter was getting attention from her dad, which I saw as a good thing, but without it going over any boundaries, what was I supposed to do? Until now, not much, but now. …. I’m speaking up.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Susan – You DO have evidence that your husband is molesting your daughter. Lots of evidence. It is vital that you understand something regarding how your pastor is proceeding here. All law enforcement officials and experts in child abuse and molestation strongly discourage what your pastor is going to do – ie, interview your daughter. Why? Because he as an untrained person is going to “muddy the waters” as they say. What that means is that he is going to talk to your daughter about the case, ask her questions, and later when the case is investigated by the police, they will not be able to be dealing with a clean slate and fresh start in their investigation. Without knowing it, the pastor will be putting things into your daughter’s mind OR the suspect’s defense will be able to claim that he did so. You are dealing here with the molestation of a little girl – a crime. It needs to be investigated by people trained in this field, which your pastor is not. And I want to caution you once more that “fasting and praying” in lieu of taking proper, wise action that the Lord calls us to take (reporting to the police) is not wise. Please listen to these things very carefully, cancel the meeting with the pastor, and report your husband to the police immediately before something worse befalls your daughter.

      • Yes, I fully agree, Jeff.

      • Forrest

        I agree with your comments 100% Jeff.

        The longer this matter remains unreported, the more damage is being done. The responsibility for deciding whether or not there is a case to answer lies with the authorities, not the mom and not the pastor. In the meantime, the highest priority is ensuring the safety of this child. And that requires immediate action.

      • Forrest

        Dave, there is a good article by Boz Tchividjian on that topic.

        http://boz.religionnews.com/2014/08/01/perpetrators-confess-clergy-three-mistaken-beliefs/

        I don’t see that it needs to be mandatory to make it the right thing to do.

      • Susan

        Forrest, Thank you for this linked article. I’m printing several copies and will take one to our pastor when my daughter meets with him privately on Tuesday, Aug. 19

      • Susan

        Thank you, Pastor Dave. Thank you so much. Grace will be meeting privately with our pastor on Tuesday, August 19, and I plan to fast that day and I have been praying on my knees and in tears for truth to come out. For our pastor to have supernatural discernment and wisdom to the glory of God even though our pastor has no clue about narcs. I don’t know if he’s spoken yet with my husband because my husband is shunning me now and has chosen to work both days this weekend. Re: law enforcement, without proof or evidence and with our daughter being comfortable still around her dad, I have nothing to offer them. Yes, my notes and observations, but they can’t act on “he said she said.” I shall, and am, as you suggest, trusting the Lord in all of this. He has us. I will trust Him and His timing. Thank you. May God richly bless you, Pastor.

    • Anon3

      Susan,
      I’m the ex-wife of a pedophile, and let me tell you that this will only get worse.
      Here’s what you need to do — in no particular order:
      1. Start making your escape plan. You cannot be married to a predator. You cannot have him in your home or in your neighborhood. You need to protect your daughter and your neighbors.
      2. Having proof that would convince everyone in the world is not important. You already have enough proof to convince yourself. It’s time to make plans to act and get away from him. Criminal charges are completely different from divorce proceedings. In my case talked to Child Protective Services. I divorced my ex-, and got him away from my children. It never went to a criminal trial. He was never arrested, but I got him out of the children’s lives. (He still had monitored visitation, and I monitored for the first several years.)
      That was more than a decade ago. Today my children are delightful adults. They both went to college. Both are emotional healthy. Neither had any serious psychological disturbances in adolescence. Both love the Lord. And both of them have thanked me for divorcing their father.
      Your daughter will always resent you if you don’t protect her.
      -Anon3

  5. Rox

    Pastor Dave, where today’s post ends is where things get confusing for me. I can accept that my N was damaged by childhood trauma and try to look on him with compassion, as Christ has instructed us. But my compassion get stretched, often beyond its limits, when I remember that he “chooses” to see me as a means to an end. He was drowning, and I was his life raft. But then when he safely reached shore, he popped that life raft and shredded it into a million pieces rather than see its value and be grateful for it. My question is – how would God have us look upon these people whom we want to help but who tear us to shreds? I want to be compassionate, but my N took out my heart and ate it right in front of me. What is the Christian attitude we should have toward someone who would rip us to pieces just to get a little ego stroke? I want to do what God would have me do, but when faced with a N, I’m not the least bit sure what that is. Thoughts?

  6. Cookie

    We may never know if the narcissist is “sick”, but one thing I know for sure is that the narcissist will make you sick!! In the past 3 years, I have had much more interaction with the N in our family. N parents do become elderly and so this is a natural transition that I did not adequately prepare myself for. Personally, I have always been blessed with good health and have tried to live a healthy lifestyle. But in the last 3 years, I have experienced numerous health problems which are very atypical for me. As I was talking to a friend about this, I said, “I don’t understand it. I have always been healthy. I exercise, eat right, don’t drink, smoke or do drugs. Why am I now dealing the all these health problems?” My friend’s answer to me was very enlightening. She said, “Yes, you have done many good things to live a healthy lifestyle, but you thought you could take a shot of poison on the side and that it would not affect you.” The poison she was referring to was the N’s words, behavior and chaos. My friend’s words were right on target. I have learned that good health is not just about the positive habits that we embrace, but also about the negative factors that we avoid. For example, I take reasonable precautions to avoid exposure to pathogens that could make me sick by washing my hands, etc… Being so focused on the legitimate crises situation at hand, it didn’t occur to me that I had to take the same cautious approach with a N elderly parent as I re-entered their world.

    I guess I just wanted to write this as a warning to others – especially to those of us with N parents. Morally, I have never felt that I could just walk away from my parents even if they are difficult. But I have learned to protect myself from their poison. We may never be able to figure out if the N’s behavior is due to some sickness, but we do know that the N will make us sick and we can behave accordingly. I wish that someone would have told me this 3 years ago.

    And friends, may I ask for your prayers for the restoration of my health? I don’t think God is done with me yet and I want to be a good, healthy and faithful servant to fulfill His calling for my life!

    • Susan

      Cookie, I will pray for you. Part of the greatest struggle I have living with a narc husband is that so much of my time and energy has been consumed by focus on him, which has taken away my prayer life for my brothers and sisters in Christ (both near and far). What a waste! I rue the time I have spent trying to manage and contain all the fires and damage from his lies and deception when I could be spending that time living for Christ. Yet…. sometimes these things are necessary too. I need to stand guard over my daughter now more these days, when I thought I could have trusted her in his care. Foolish me. I shall pray, Cookie.

    • Fellow Survivor

      Cookie, Yes I know what you mean about having health problems. 7 years ago I was a bone marrow donor for a leukemia patient. The doctors stuck, poked, tested my body every which way but sunday. Blood Pressure Great, blood work great, I was running 3 miles 4 to 5 days a week.

      My x N wife at the time was very subtle with her abuse which I just chalked up to being sort of a b–tchy wife. But in reality it was tearing my soul apart. Anyway, I went through the donation process and 6 months later they needed me again, the first try did not take hold. So I asked my N wife at the time to please tell our daughter’s teachers that she would be missing school a couple of days so she could be witness to the process. The x N told me no. I needed and wanted both of them there for me but she refused. From my perspective now the x could not stand me getting the attention and she placed me in hopeless and helpless situation. Something Ns do frequently by the way. We all no that hopeless and helpless feeling all to well, don’t we.

      After that event the N behavior began to be very in your face and not subtle any more which actually drives you crazy.

      Long story short, I now have osteoarthritis in my hip, my blood pressure is through the roof, sometimes I am barely motivated to get going in any given day and just plain, blahs. I have read that the constant stress levels produce constant levels of cortisone in the blood stream which is the fight or flight hormone, and it never stops because the stress never stops. This fight or flight state can cause sever physical problems because the body just can’t deal with it.

      Anyway, I have been divorced a little over a year separated for 2 and my body still have not reset to the normal state of things. I know how you feel!!!!!!!!

  7. Rose

    I have note really taken this word N as seriously the past years. I would like to believe that it was God ordained that I encountered this word in one of the popular sites with a headline “how to know a narcissist” and when i read the article, all symptoms and manifestations are seen in my husband.

    I studied a bit further, and as I read every article, I see myself as the victim. Before I used to think he is a fault finder, but when I read about how N view sex as “it’s just sex”, and cannot and will not admit mistakes, but rather sends back a message at me that he is not happy and I am to blame for his adultery, i got more convinced that he is one.

    He lies…ALL THE TIME, and thinks about ways to get through those lies.

    And yes, Susan, we have the same story. He sort of “tickled” my daughters (not hers) when they were younger.

    I asked God in my prayer, that since He was the one who created Him, and I wanted to claim “fearfully and wonderfully made”, He should also help me find ways to understand and deal with him. BUT IT HURTS SO MUCH. True to what the article said, I AM LEFT WITH A LOW SELF ESTEEM.

    In one of the articles I read, it suggests “to leave the partner as FAST and AS QUICK as possible”. *sigh* I love my husband so dearly. I saw him when the Holy Spirit took over his life and it was so fulfilling. He studied the bible a lot, attended Bible studies, involved himself to a Discipleship Group, and now leads one. However, when he fell for what he called “lust of the flesh” he got hooked to it and now cannot get away with it. I heard him say a prayer asking God for forgiveness and even asked God’s help to “get out of the situation” but we all know he knows how, he just needs to ACT on the problem. BUT HE WON’T. He CANNOT get rid of the girl. There is even a time when I wonder if the girl is a N as well.I have seen some of their SMS messages and the girl is making a fool out of me, putting me down.

    Please, I also need your prayers. Sometimes i just fall on my knees and cry my heart out to God, and put a stop to this. I feel so depressed at times.

    • Heather

      Rose,

      I understand your grief and frustration. Your husband has abandoned you. Please know that there are places for you to get support. Your church may not be the place. Might I suggest that you check the website A Cry For Justice. It will help you to see past the fog and help you to think clearly and biblically.

    • Jennifer

      He could get rid of her if he wanted to. If you put a gun to his head, he sure would get rid of her fast, wouldn’t he? But there isn’t a gun to his head, and nothing else matters but his own life, so why stop?

      Mine did the old Bible study, “man of God” routine too when he would notice how frustrated I was getting with him, but it was all an act. One that could be performed or not performed at will. He was and still is a liar, and he can have that girlfriend of his for as long as he wants, because I left him 6 years ago. And you know what else, I cried for God to put a stop to it all too, but all He said to me was, “Why don’t you?” So I did.

  8. Pastor Dave, Great post! I was in the camp of narcissism-as-mental-illness until I read your post. (That said, as much compassion as I have for those with mental illness, I couldn’t muster an ounce for narcissists, even though I thought they were ill; they’re just so mean.) I think I made that leap because in its diagnosable form, narcissism is a personality disorder, according to DSM-V. But in reading your post, I see the difference now. Your perspective also explains the varying degrees of narcissistic behavior. Someone may have narcissistic tendencies without having NPD, whereas someone with depression might be afflicted profoundly or mildly (or by turns, depending on the trajectory of the illness), but even “mild depression” that meets DSM criteria is a diagnosable illness.

    I have a question that’s a little off topic. Please don’t feel obligated to answer it now, but maybe you could write a future post about it, if you’re so inclined?

    Can narcissists also be believers? I ask because my father had NPD (that’s speculation, because of course he never went to counseling, but all the true signs were there), but he acted like a believer in every other way–going to church, reading the Bible, raising his children in the church, teaching us principles of Jesus’ love, compassion, and fairness at home–and, most telling, perhaps, he handled his prolonged and painful death with the serenity of one who knows God and trusts Him. Is that possible? Also, I want to make clear that I have no horse in the running here, I’m not worried about his salvation or damnation; I trust God completely to do as God will do with my father, as He will do with all of us.
    Thanks again for a great post.

    • Also, I want to add that my dad, like most narcs, had two sides to him. I always some him as two fathers–the one who was funny and smart and loved his family, and the monster that showed up without warning and seemed want to hurt us all. Just an afterthought.

      • Ella

        He sounds like my mother Karen. She’s NPD and more-or-less addicted to religion, going to church etc. Her kids always took a back seat to her religious practice. I felt totally abandoned by her as a teen due to her distraction with religious ideals and ramming them down our throats.

        She is selfish and manipulative but doesn’t lie, and is forever going to church. She was a faithful wife to my late father, as adultery would be a mortal sin in her eyes – as would having a child outside marriage. She didn’t love him though as far as I could tell. It’s a tricky condition to say the least, very damaging all round. Her mother was worse so in light of that, she actually does her best. It’s all so confusing. I feel sad when I’m with her.

      • Thanks, Ella. What I was trying to get across, though, was that my father wasn’t dogmatic about religion. We went to mainstream Presbyterian church on Sundays and prayed before supper, etc., but he never shoved it down our throats. When I decided to stop going to church when I was 14 (natch), my parents didn’t make me go. So he had this horrible, alcoholic, narcissistic side, and then a relatively mild side, too. This disorder is so weird.

        I understand your sadness when you’re with your mom. I have a very hollow feeling when I think about the dad my father could have been vs. the parent he actually was.

  9. TL

    Susan, my heart aches for you. Having a child with a narc is beyond challenging. You can be sure I will pray for you and your daughter. Will also ask for great discernment and courage for your pastor.

    My first counseling experience was a joke, the counselor was completely snowed. I get it, my N is very skilled. Many years later when the N’s behavior became truly unbearable, I filed for a legal separation.My then, husband forced me into counseling with him. It was masterful how the Lord orchestrated everything. My husband picked the counselor. I was full of fear and dread. But, the Lord actually selected this counselor and boy did she have his number!! It played out like a bad Lifetime movie. My N’s behavior was unbelievable, and living through it was horrible. God of course was with me through it all, and facing fearful issues truly liberated me in the end.

    I’m writing this in haste so I hope it makes sense. I wanted to make sure you know I am praying for you, and hoping to encourage you. God never clocks out. When were in the muck and distressed He is still working it out for our good. He loves you and Grace, and He is mighty to save!

    • Susan

      TL,
      Thank you. You completely understand my concerns. The narc is so adept and skilled at snowing people that I fear our pastor will try to strike a balance between what he thinks he’s seeing and not discerning what my husband is really doing. I praise the Lord for your encouraging story that you shared here. Thank you! I’m going to trust God – I’m resolved to keep my eyes focused on Jesus. He knows the way we take. FYI, after my daughter and I spoke about this on Thursday (with me asking how it felt to keep secrets and if it honors God, and her eventually saying that some things she hears her dad say make her think he’s not a Christian) I decided to ask the pastor if he would speak with Grace privately (without me present) because he suggested a third party counselor for her. He thinks we’re beyond marriage counseling (thankfully) but is concerned for her. So I plan to fast Tuesday (August 19) and pray for all truth that needs to be heard come out and that our pastor will have supernatural God-given wisdom and discernment even though he’s not read up or experienced with narcs (to my knowledge). ((((hugs))))

  10. Singing Eagle

    Thank you so much for this re-post! I had gone onto the internet searching for answers recently out of desparation and only came up with the result that narcissism was a mental illness or disorder. All the characteristics, causes, traits, etc. had fit my spouse perfectly. From a distant, patriarchal “Lord of his house” father to an over doting mother and a family practice of valuing material things, outward appearance and social class, it was overwhelmingly evident why he developed this narcissistic behavior at an early age. However, it still was painful to understand why someone could be so heartless and cruel to someone else they supposedly vowed to love through good times and bad. There was never any evidence of mercy, forgiveness or even a willingness to listen to anyone else’s perspective. Even when he could not avoid the fact that he was wrong in something, he always twisted the truth and was convinced it was due to someone else’s fault. I believe at this point that it truly has become so ingrained in him as a spiritual stronghold which now is no long him but darkness controlling him. Can that be right??

    • What I find puzzling is I see this N behavior is so selective. You Singing Eagle have witnessed the darkness….But before that, I’m guessing their was a charismatic, charmer. But when they want to be part of a group…whatever group and you serve no purpose to that end. Out you go. Someone asked above can they be an N and still have a life in the church. I’m thinking if that is the “Group” they desire then of course they can. It could be the elite sports group, popular group in work or school, any group. They will do anything, discard anyone to achieve their objective with a laser like focus. The N I know said he did not notice I was sitting next to him, one day at an event. Of course not…He spent his time staring at the group he wants to be part of. So sorry, I digress. Somehow we all got tangled in the web of an N…the charming, friendly, funny, witty person. But as soon as they know they got us, they don’t want us. Oldest trick in the book really. So is it our goal to just keep them interested, intrigued.

      I’m basically thinking outloud as I try to process what it is about these people that is so disturbing.

  11. Heather

    Susan, Your daughter is in grave danger! You already are thinking about molestation. Trust your instincts. Your husband is more than a narcissist. We’re talking pedophelia here!!!! Forget about all else and contact the police! NOW!

    • Susan

      I know. But I have no proof. And she loves her dad and is comfortable around him. It would all fall on its face if I did that. I’m trying to document everything and taking her to our pastor, which is the first step. Also printing out some things for people in our church to know. Staying with her 24/7 too. Although yesterday I went to the bathroom and when I came to the living room, there he was holding hands with her…..

      • Heather

        Susan, your pastor is legally bound to report any suspicions, without proof, to the authorities. If he does not, then he is breaking the law.

        As a mother, do you really wish to wait until you have proof? Do you really want your beloved daughter to experience the pain and horror of being molested, of asking you why you waited? I know that mothers would never wish that upon their children.

        In order to understand the mind of the predator one must begin with the realisation that they do not think the way we do. The fact that your daughter is still comfortable around him is not an accurate indication of anything. They are skilled at what they do.

        We cannot plead with you enough to take immediate action. Go to the police! Don’t wait! No amount of fasting or prayers will be your answer. God has given a mind to understand and the responsibility to care for the well being of your child!

      • Susan

        Thank you very much, Heather, for your prayers for me and Grace. I did read that article actually and printed three copies. Someone (Forrest maybe?) had posted it earlier up-thread.
        Of course as a mother I don’t want “proof” and wait until my daughter is molested, but without it I know what could very well happen. She and I leave the home and then what? He gets unsupervised visitation because there’s no evidence he’s a molester? And it’s not against the law to be a narcissist. So it’s safer for us to be in the home right now than out of it.
        I think the wise course right now is to have her speak privately with the pastor and until that time I’m spending every waking moment by her side. Depending on the decision the pastor makes and how he acts or doesn’t will determine whether we leave this church and whether I go to my mother’s with our daughter for the time being. But separation and divorce right now brings a whole new scenario that I envision as worse for her (unsupervised visitation) than staying.

      • deborahmom

        Susan, if you are uncomfortable taking her to the police first, please consider taking her to that counselor first. The courts who would decide custody will not listen to someone who is untrained in these matters. That includes you and your pastor. I agree with Jeff. If she discloses to him, it will muddy the waters for your case to protect her. If not the police, then work with someone else the courts will listen to, like a counselor. Please, consider this. It doesn’t matter how good your pastor may be or how much you trust him. If the courts won’t listen to him, you could sabatage your ability to protect your daughter.

        As for her comfort with her dad, predators are really good at confusing children and framing things in ways to confuse them about what they are doing to them. It’s not always the best indicator as especially in grooming and early molestation, they can justify what they are doing as innocent and the child won’t know better, as they aren’t experienced in understanding what the boundaries should be. Don’t go on just her comfort level.

        And if you have enough concerning behavior to take it to your pastor, you have enough to take it to the police or a counselor.

        I’m still praying for you and especially your little girl.

        Deborahmom

      • Susan

        deborahmom,
        This is my hardest day so far of the past week, as I weigh calling the police today. Jeff’s comments gave me pause for thought about where this could all go – especially if there’s a case to be made. That, and the fact that I get strong impressions that this is not being taken seriously by my pastor and the leadership (his friend the music director, to whose wife I gave the printed out original prayer request and other notes). I haven’t heard a thing back from anyone yet. Today is the pastor’s vacation day, and that must be why he made it Tuesday afternoon for the scheduled talk, which he couldn’t do on Friday. And he wasn’t available to meet Friday.
        I’m taking these comments and counsel seriously and probably will call the police today. I’ll post here again with updates if/when that happens. I’m so very scared and confused. I’m scared where this could all go if the lies and smoke and mirrors prevail and if she’s afraid to speak about her dad to some counselor she’s never met before. If she was stammering and hemming and hawing about discussing what her dad said to me, how will she be with a stranger? Especially if she even suspects it could get her dad in trouble? This is my concern…. She clams up, nothing happens, everything gets worse in the household because the police have been called.
        I know I need to do something. I’m just afraid and confused. I’m sorry if this all sounds so weak. It’s just all so in-my-face as of last Monday and it was a big step just for me to say all this to the pastor…. and the only reason I called him was because my daughter said there were things dad says that makes her think she’s not a Christian.
        (Edited by moderator to disidentify)

      • deborahmom

        Susan, I know how scared you are. It is terribly scary to be faced with a decision like this. A nightmare for a momma. Even worse for one with a child who has aspergers. I know what that is like. One of my children has disabilities of his own and his fathers abuse is that much harder and more confusing for him because of that. I know how it feels to stand up and leave. I understand your fear, but I also know that you can do this, in spite of your fear. Courage isn’t the absence of fear. It’s doing what you know is right, even when you fear.

        I know your heart to keep your daughter safe. I am thankful to hear your willingness to contact the right people to do this. I am praying for courage for your daughter and for you. Courage for her to tell the police what has been happening. Know this, this will set the necessary wheels in motion for you to protect your daughter in the best way you can.

        I’m praying hard for you now. You can do this.

        Debrahmom

      • Heather

        Susan, many of us are praying at this very moment. I have prayed for your strength, courage and peace; that The Lord would protect Grace and her innocence; that the right authorities would be able to help you and Grace with understanding and sensitivity; and that you would trust God with the fears that are burdening you. You can do this, Susan! God is with you. What a privilege to bring your lives before His throne!

      • Susan

        Thank you, Heather. I am moved to tears knowing that you and others have spent the time and energy and emotion and brainpower to counsel and encourage and care for Grace and for me. Your prayers are more valuable to me than gold or any other earthly treasure I own. Thank you so very much.

      • deborahmom

        Susan, there is also the state police. And if you contact the women’s shelter nearest you, they will know who you need to speak to in your area and in what order to speak to them. They do this day in and day out. To help you with a list in your area, go to hotpeachpages.net and follow the prompts. Keep trying Susan!!

      • Susan

        deborahmom, I called the local police dept a few hours ago and left a message requesting that a detective or district attorney contact me on my cell phone before 5 pm re: a situation in the home. No call back yet. In the meantime, I used that website you provided (hotpeachpages.net) and called a local victim services center from our home phone so as not to tie up the cell phone. (Interestingly, my county has nothing available. Can’t even click the first letter of our county name cuz there’s nothing there. I chose a local victim services center in surrounding counties.) I spoke with a woman for about 30 minutes who advised me that I need to find out from Grace where touching has occurred. Right now, I have nothing the police dept can use per se, but she said that I can still advise the police dept about what’s going on. She said if inappropriate touching has occurred, then go straight to the police to make a statement in the presence of a victim’s advocate. So I will have “the conversation” with my daughter sometime over the next 24 hours. I need to be careful because she hemmed and hawed last week when I asked about her conversation with her dad, and I just need to think carefully about the wording and tone about broaching the subject of touching where touching should not be and if anyone (specifically dad) has ever touched her there and if he’s ever entered her room at night or before she’s risen. The woman on the phone also said that cancelling the pastoral appointment is a good idea, but that the nurse practitioner’s visit wouldn’t be viewed the same way in court. I’ll have to think about that one with respect to whether or not to have that practitioner speak with Grace. Probably I will. If even just to have that information reiterated (no one is to touch here, how are you feeling today, let’s take your temperature and make sure you’re healthy today, etc. – that’s how the woman on the phone advised, keeping it light and simple)

      • Susan

        Thank you, deborahmom. I turned on my cell phone and called the police department and left a message requesting that either a detective or district attorney contact me at my cell number before 5 pm regarding a situation in our home. I’ll keep you posted…. Thank you for the encouragement. And the wise words about what courage is, because yes, I am scared. And don’t want to be doing this. But I have to. I am thankful for Godly wise counsel here on this board. Pastor Dave, thank you for this forum. You may well be saving young (and those of us who are not so young) lives from much abuse.

      • SUSAN, She most definitely is old enough to know about inappropriate touch. If you cannot remove her, educate her so she will know. Relatives don’t touch this way, strangers don’t touch. At 11 no one should be touching her but a Dr. Until you are ready to make your move educate her. With that said, i agree with all others. Trust your instincts. But if you can’t trust yours then educate your daughter so she can trust hers. I say this with love. This is not something you or her will want to live down. She is a Tween and should know this anyhow. I know you said you have talked with her some,,,talk with her more and yes, do not leave her side. I can sense you are in dangerous territory.

      • Susan

        TTC,
        I have worked with her re: modesty for the Christian (and anyone really) for years. She has been aware of this, but her dad started tickling her at least 18 months ago or more, and well, it’s hard to explain how innocent it all seems for so long, but then one day I see them sitting in a way that isn’t so innocent (although she is) or his hands where they shouldn’t be and when I say something about it, he’s angered. Even when approached nicely and offered where on the body it’s okay to touch – with both of them present and for me to say, let’s think through this together, etc…. and he’s miffed.
        She knows at 11 years old about modesty, but she’s been groomed by someone she trusts (her dad), so therein lies the rub.

  12. Susan, my heart really goes out to you. You are in a very difficult place. We often turn to our pastors in a crisis and this indeed needs spiritual prayer and guidance. However, at this point, it is beyond a spiritual crisis and I believe what you are suspecting is there is sexual abuse going on or it’s headed that direction very soon. This is an area where you need help now. Your daughter needs to be protected. You need to be protected. Please, without hesitation, contact authorities about this situation. They are the ones who are trained in this area and they will know what to do and how to proceed. Let them handle it. I understand this is a scary place for you.

    By the way, if you need a place to talk, I have a private online forum with a designated area for wives of pedophiles, moderated by two godly ladies whose ministry is to support those in challenging situations like yours. You may not be 100% certain that he has crossed the lines, but the ladies there would be of great support to you there. You can contact me at spiritualsb@gmail.com

    • deborahmom

      Susan,

      I must echo what others have said here. Your daughter is in danger. Please, please take the courageous step to call authorities and get her safe. Once molestation happens, you can’t take it back for her, so waiting to see is very, very dangerous for her. You are her mom. You can protect her by getting her away from him. Please don’t wait on this. She needs your help right now. I know how mixed up and scary this feels, but you can do this. You are strong enough to do this. I am praying hard for you.

      • Susan

        deborahmom,
        I have no proof. Right now it’s “he said she said” and my daughter is still comfortable around my husband and she has no marks or visible signs of abuse. I think right now taking her to our pastor to speak in private confidence (without me present, as our pastor suggested a third party counselor for HER, adding that my husband and I are beyond counseling at this point) is the way to go. I have nothing to give the police as evidence or proof, but I am keeping notes and a journal now of EVERYTHING. That is what is taking up so much of my time – that and staying as close to my daughter as possible 24/7. Thank you for praying for us. Thank you. I thought I had cried all the tears I had in me years ago about all this confusion and mess that is the life of living with a narc, but this has taken me down a path I hadn’t expected.

    • Susan

      Thank you Julie Anne. As you can expect, this is taking every moment of my waking day just getting close to my daughter and spending time doing everything she loves, so my own mental time on the computer is just about obliterated. I’m getting close to her so she and I are doing all the things he’s tried to get close to her to do. He’s never been as interested in her as in the past 18 months, and foolishly I had been thinking that attention from her dad is a good thing for her and healthy. All the while knowing he lies to me and manipulates me. I see how unwise that was now. But I have difficulty in taking this to the police or authorities when there has as of yet been no infraction or marks or anything that I can prove. Not that I want to wait for that to happen. Of course not. But right now she’s comfortable with her dad and also she was uncomfortable telling even me about their conversation outside this past Monday – which was a red flag to me that there are secrets. And her relief and putting her head on my shoulder when I said that I had talked with her dad and he agreed to not talk about me behind my back (he didn’t really, but he just stared at me when I said to him privately that that’s what needs to happen). Her sigh of relief as if she doesn’t have to carry this burden and her exhale of “GOOD!” and putting head on my shoulder told me a lot. But she’s still comfortable around him, so I think he’s grooming her. Playing her. He’s never been a pedophile to my knowledge, but the porn was present for many years before our marriage. I asked him to get rid of it, he declined, but it did eventually disappear. I have searched and haven’t found anything. Anyway, I will contact you at the email about the forum. Many thanks!

      • Susan,
        I’ve read the thread and keep hearing the same explanation from you over and over and over again. As the former wife of a now convicted pedophile, I understand in perhaps ways that few can. I understand what you have lived with–the confusion, fear, anxiety, and that knot in the pit of your stomach. I understand that you love him and that you have a powerful bond to him. I understand why and would be happy to discuss this with you. But not right now.
        Right now, as one former partner of a pedophile to another, I need you to hear me on this. Call the authorities right now. They will decide if you have enough evidence to warrant opening a case against your husband or not. They are especially trained in evaluating instances of childhood molestation and grooming. By the way, grooming is a crime so your husband is a criminal already. You do not have to have all the “evidence” ready for them. It is their job to gather it. By not acting as required by law, you are colluding with your husband. I’m sorry if that is harsh. Again, I understand all the reasons for your behaviors–I truly do and have great compassion for the pain this is creating for you. But stop now. Call the authorities. You have enough “evidence” right now that a crime has been committed.
        If (and that is a huge “If”) your pastor does the right thing, he will call the authorities but how much better would it be for your daughter to see you intervene for her? What message are you sending her? You are making her responsible regardless of what you are telling her. Let the Mama Bear come out–do something today to protect your child. Please. Do the right thing. There is a time for prayer and there is a time for action, You are way beyond the point of the need for action.
        Compassionately,
        Brenda

      • UnForsaken

        Susan, Brenda is SOOOO right.

        Could you pause right now and question your previous decision to meet with your pastor first? Just One Moment think how to go about this another way or other ways. Rethinking this won’t cost you anything, but waiting may cost your daughter much!!!

        Please keep your mind open to other options, believing that what God wants for you Only He can complete. Put the results in His well-planned hands and take a leap of faith. You are worried about the future results, but a pedophile is unpredictable NOW, and you cannot have a bullet proof plan around them. This requires heavenly wisdom, not equational thinking . And it also requires immediate action, because it will happen when you least expect. Show the authorities you are the competent parent you are, or they will have even less reason to believe you. Yes, the law more than likely sees waiting as collusion. You want custody, so you must do everything to be believable!

        You are worried about the hassle and her emotional health, but a kind police questioning is Far better than what he has planned. Kids get over weird questions etc., but rape scars them for lIfe. You are thinking you can be there all the time, but the Best of parents can’t be. Don’t tell yourself it won’t happen. Ask yourself what it will be like for her if it does.

        Praying for you both, Susan. We are all aching for you! I know how hard it is to change a fixed idea in your mind, to give the planning to Him. At the very least, could you please take her to a safe place while you get space to think this through/ pray ?

      • Susan

        Unforsaken,
        Thank you. Here when I thought I had been all cried-out in having a narcissist husband, this comes. And please, don’t think me selfish as if I’m saying poor me. That’s not it. It’s just that here when I thought I was doing the right thing in calling the church pastor then today I hear that’s not the right thing, call the police. And I worry that my daughter won’t open up to them or she will to a certain point but tickling and secret-keeping won’t be enough and our household will just implode from the consequences of having called the police of her speaking to someone, etc. You know…
        And I DO hear you. Please…. I DO hear you. Just know that all this is so confusing and difficult. Calling the police is the LAST thing I want to do today, but I plan on doing so when a favorite show of my daughter’s comes on.
        *I* know I’m not over-reacting. *I* know who I’m dealing with in my narcissist husband. But having others know this so that there’s any real result…. that seems worlds and light years away…..And it’s easier to stand guard in my own home than to live in separate homes and have unsupervised visitation because it was just my word against his.

  13. A quick note of apology for those of you who have commented and have had to wait for moderation. I have been out of reach for a few hours, but have now approved all comments in this thread. Thanks for your patience!

  14. How validating I find this Narcissist Friday post…I wrote these words about my abuser in my journal last night…
    “I hesitate to call what he does a disease or even a personality disorder. It is a “state of being” forged and formed by no one but himself through years of freely chosen choices. I don’t pity him. He created his own monster. “

  15. Jennifer

    I have my doubts about narcissism having a “cause” although I’m not a psychologist either. It seems very much a genetic thing or a personality bent. I’ve been working with children for many years now off and on as a professional nanny, then having four of my own, and back to nannying when I left my N-husband. And then there has been all the homeschooling, piano teaching, Sunday school…you get the idea. Kids, kids and more kids. 😛

    The thing is that I’ve seen time and time again narc children who have no narc parents; and in fact their parents are pretty loving, giving and sensible parents. And these kids are born kicking and screaming from the womb, taking and taking, pushing and pushing, driving their parents to distraction. They are manipulative, nosy, “never wrong” and go absolutely livid if you accuse them of being so; and if they are caught there is a lot of noise and worldy sorrow until the parents feel sorry for them, then good for a few days, then back to taking advantage of every piece of goodwill that is extended to them.

    From a very young age, even two or younger, they have this air of entitlement that is just baffling. They find every way of not taking no for an answer from anyyone. They use emotions as battering rams. They smokescreen with the best of them. And nobody has taught them this. If it was a parenting issue, then all of the kids would act like this, but more than likely the other siblings are bamboozled, manipulated, lied about and taken advantage of much like the parents. They have little empathy for anyone but themselves, are insanely jealous, easily offended and love to “get you back”. They seem to have very little conscience and their only real worry is getting caught. But the older they get, the more tricks they learn and it takes a pretty in-tune person to catch them. They’ve got it all figured out and are, as my English family say, “too smart by half”.

    I’m dealing with one on a regular basis even now. His parents are both doctors and even as young as 5, the mom has suspected a personality disorder with this kid. She’s at her wit’s end with him because he just doesn’t care, is as bold as brass, manipulative (and oh so charming when he wants to be) and won’t learn no matter what they’ve tried. And yet at school, he’s “such a good kid”….and at home he can be such a monster. It’s called Jeckyll and Hyde syndrome.

    The parent’s are very nice people. Good to their kids and more than loving. The middle son is a dear kid but gets very frustrated and is learning bad habits from his brother. The youngest is strong willed but still pliable. But this oldest kid is a devil child. Always striving at someone else’s expense without a care. Cannot stand not having the attention upon himself and will create chaos to get it. Just as narcissistic as they get.

    They tell me that kids can’t be diagnosed with narcissism, but I have to say, I would tell them they are dead wrong on that count. :/

    • Jennifer, your view reflects something I’ve seen. A friend’s son is a sociopath. It’s obvious he has antisocial personality disorder, but he takes that a step further by displaying absolutely no sign of a conscience. He’s in his 40s now, btw. The funny thing is, he had really good parents, and his brothers are the nicest, most responsible men you’ll ever meet. It’s always puzzled me (and everyone around the sociopath).

      • Jennifer

        Yes, I’ve seen that too and in very young children. One little one I remember (maybe 4 or 5) was cruel, vindictive and violent with no conscience. The rest of his family was just lovely. It was like he was born broken, and no matter how much you disciplined him, he was just going to do what he wanted anyway. His eyes were quite haunting. I’ve often wondered what became of him.

        I think narcissism can have a strong genetic component as well which makes me think that it can be very genetic in nature. The boy I’m working with now has very nice parents, but the father is the son of a Narc mother. She is high needs, incredibly self centered in all her doings, keeps people hanging by her threads etc. She is a covert narc, but still a narc. Whether inherited or a one off, It’s something to keep in mind, that’s for sure

    • Trying to cop

      Jennifer, you are spot on, as always. I have noticed this tendency in kids as well. Some kids from the moment they are born, there is something different, almost undefinable…almost covert in nature. They display some behavior with some people and some behavior with others…from an extremely tender age. So the question could be, can we even affect the outcome? As normal functioning adults, when we see these behaviors could we react in such a way to make it so they don’t turn out to be these vampires among us?

      The adult N I deal with reportedly had a tough childhood. Not sure how but it was emotionally traumatizing somehow. So in this N’s case I suppose it could have been a trigger, a learned behavior to get by. As I sit and analyze what happened, the pieces fall into place. I had no idea the rats nest I walked into. This is my first round with a 100% for real N. There is no N tendancy…He is N through and through. And in studying here I see the tendancies in some and can identify full on N children, which I would not have classified before but Jennifer your words are perfect. Maybe it was the last thread or this where someone mentioned the length of time it takes to get over this. That is where I am at. I was discarded a while ago now and yet for some reason I still feel I’m being punished. I’m still carrying the pain. I think the havoc they dispel, is so unfounded, so abnormal…it takes years to get over. I wish I could find the post that discussed that…the person said it had been 1 1/2 years of suffering and then was like Oh my gosh its 2 1/2 years. Crazy, for some of us they have been gone for years and yet we are still left in a heap of devastation. Everyday I have this internal dialogue. Should I say sorry? What am I saying sorry for? I am treated like I did something terribly wrong. I tried to be a friend. Shame on me. Everyday I wake up thinking maybe today will be better. Normally it is just chaos. So if they were normal a “Sorry” may help but with the N…I’m not even certain…Rage? more discarding? will there ever be acceptance after the discard?

      • Jennifer

        No, TTC, I don’t buy the tough childhood scenario for any of them. I had a tough childhood. A narc mother who favoured my brother quite overtly actually writing me out of her will in front of my face when I was 16. An alcoholic father. Molested by two different men. Dad died drinking and driving when I was 10. Brother tried to strangle me. Somebody set our house on fire when we were in it (I’m now suspecting my mom and brother set that up). Then a psychological attack against my faith which got my university’s Christian group thrown off campus. Blah blah blah.

        And here I am. Not the least bit narcissistic. Quite the opposite. There are NO excuses for their behavior. Period.

      • Susan

        Jennifer,
        Thank you for sharing all that. You know well of what you speak.

  16. Trying To Understand

    Thanks for this post, it deals with a question that has been on my mind for some time. You say: “If we could point to a mental illness or a chemical imbalance, we would have something to blame the behavior on.”
    Since studies show impaired neurological function around the amygdala in the Narcissist brain, does that qualify as ‘mental illness’? I’ve been inclined to think of it as an illness since individual narcs – who’ve never met – have so many traits in common; it’s as if they are text book cases. Either way, it is a scourge. They are so difficult to identify, so adept at disguise, that I find myself on meeting charming or charismatic individuals wondering – is he/she a narcissist. An encounter with the narcissist changes your worldview and leaves you not knowing who to trust.

    • Ella

      Since I left Narc ex a year-and-a-half ago, I’ve thought about him every single day. I’ve heard he is now in a relationship with another woman; he and I are not in contact. My prayer is that I can please stop thinking about him. It would be wonderful to fall in love with a good man but until I deal with my codependency, that seems unlikely. God please bring new people and activities into my life so that I feel as if I’m living instead of just existing – and stop me thinking of him and what might have been. Amen.

      • OMG it’s actually two-and-a-half years ago!

      • Fellow Survivor

        Ella, I know what you mean by “just existing” as apposed to ” living” Its a process that I am working through myself and its no fun. I was sent this short video recently and it really made my day. It brings everything back into perspective for me. If you have a chance to watch it, it will bring you peace if even for a few short moments. Pretty Cool actually.

      • Trying to Cope

        Ella, ah here is your post. I referred to it earlier. The pain and the devastation these vampires bring and it takes forever to make the world right again. No contact helps me a lot, but then the N in my life is not a love interest so as long as I’m in NC it’s all good. I work with mine and so am confronted daily with one crazy thing or another. Ella, I pray for you to move on into what your life’s destiny is supposed to be. Be the person you are meant to be. I have worked hard on developing my people skills and really reaching out to people. That man made me feel worthless, fortunately I had friends that let me know I am not. Everyone loves me. No person has a right to do this to you. Shame on them. You should not have to convince someone of your worth, they should see it. Don’t just exist…thrive, be everything you want to be. Take a class, learn to dance, paint, sing. If you see him you will be too busy for him!! And if your are lucky you will leave him wondering why he left. But you are not to go back. You are too good for him!! Fellow Survivor…you too…Do something that will make you feel wonderful.

        Jennifer, I am with you…I have had a traumatic life as well, more than I care to go into and nope I’m not an N either. I think that is what is so shocking about this. For all that i have seen, heard and endured you would think something would have prepared me for this discarding. But I am still just devastated every day that out of all the people to pick to discard, someone would pick me. So although I sit here and tell Ella…Move on. I would in a heartbeat be friends with this N again. Sick, twisted. Who’s friends with Vampire/Zombies anyway? So do as I say not as I do.

      • Heather

        Trying to Cope, there is such wisdom in your post. After years of conditioning it is difficult to move on. Fear is often at the root. It is so lonely. But your advice to try new things, meet new people, etc. That is what we need to do. For it opens doors for us to allow our authentic selves to breathe, and even flourish. Tonight I will be returning to the musical theatre group that I joined last year. Always one to enjoy attending plays and performances, but never dreaming of participating onstage. It was one of the best things I have ever done. Terrifying but wonderful! And I had to force myself at first.

        So yes, God created us to live! And NC is a choice which gives us room to see ourselves free from bondage to old patterns and destructive thoughts!

        We do not have to believe lies which have caused pain, but the truth, which brings joy!

      • Susan

        Heather,
        You wrote: “We do not have to believe lies which have caused pain, but the truth, which brings joy!”
        I’m going to embrace this statement today and maybe even use it when I speak with my daughter – the difficult talk about if her dad has asked her to keep secrets from me or others and if he’s touched her in certain places. That is a good statement that releases one from staying in the dark places.

  17. unofficialnarcissist

    I’m jumping in late here. I think it is difficult to ascribe motive to narcissists. Some do what they do because they derive pleasure and gain supply from our suffering, some are just so self-absorbed you simply don’t exist so a consequence for their actions is also non-existent. If they care nothing for you, then they care nothing for your reaction, they just do what they want when they want.
    I absolutely believe there should be consequences. I’m dealing with a man I believe to be a narcissist in family court. I think if the courts applied basic principles of operant conditioning, they would stop their behavior. But the system is set up on a variable-ration schedule which is like playing the lottery, and feeds the addiction of the narcissist. If their behavior was cut off right at the outset, they would not be allowed to abuse the system so frequently and use the courts to carry out their bullying.
    As far as narcissists changing, I just don’t see it. I have not witnessed a changed narcissist, and not one who is even willing to admit they have something to work on within themselves. I would love to see that though!

    • My ex was in therapy for a year but it did the usual. Narc devalue thing, deciding the therapist was a con artist trying to rip him off. So that was the end of that. The ex was shrewd so maybe the therapist was a con artist, who knows.

      • unofficialnarcissist

        When my ex did marriage therapy, he was only happy when I was taking the hit of blame and responsibility. When a therapist confronted him on his bad behavior, he came home threatening to report her for misconduct, and claimed HE was a therapist (which he is not). She was not trained to deal with narcissists, but he could clearly tolerate no threats to his ego or superiority.

  18. TL

    Susan,

    I’ve been out of the loop, but after reading the responses I need to apologize. I have spoken without full knowledge of how the system works. Since pastors are required to report abuse I assumed they had a standing in the process. I pray I have done no harm.

    I’m praying hard for you and your daughter.

  19. Heather

    Susan, I came across this article for you in case you haven’t read it. This is for your pastor. And Susan, I am continuing to pray for you and Grace. Please heed the godly wisdom of those here who have expressed a deep desire to see your child in a place of safety immediately.
    http://boz.religionnews.com/2014/08/01/perpetrators-confess-clergy-three-mistaken-beliefs/

    • deborahmom

      Susan, I understand that you want to believe God will supernaturally intervene and your path will be clearly laid out. But consider that his supernatural intervention in this case may be his gift to you of seeing what is happening and opening the door to act, before it’s too late. I understand how you see your pastor as better equipped to handle this than anyone else, and you are wanting to see God’s miraculous intervention. But maybe that voice of God you are seeking isn’t in the meeting with the pastor, but in the warnings you see here from moms who have been where you are, from pastors who have seen people go through what you are going through and are trying to warn you away from clear and present danger. Maybe God’s intervention is in his showing you what is about to happen to your daughter and giving you the opportunity to take it to the people who can truly help in your case-police and trained counselors. I can see how you may want this taken out of your hands. You may want a clear path. You may want God to make this clear and direct, with people you believe in, backing you. But in most cases like this, that isn’t what actually happens. God may be asking you to fight in a different way than you are hoping for in this. Please be open to the idea that God may be directing you in a way that is not the way you would have hoped he would do. It may not be in the fasting and prayer for divine intervention. It may be in his provision of wise counsel here on this blog from pastor Dave and pastor Crippin and other people who dedicate themselves to helping victims of abuse. It may be God directed you to this blog for that reason. Please pray about this before tomorrow.

      Still praying for you. Very concerned for you and your daughter.

      • Susan

        Yes, deborahmom. I believe what you say is true. In fact, only about a month to two ago I met someone who has lived through this with her daughters and she pointed me to graceformyheart’s blog. I believe the Lord put her in my path, and the Lord is leading me. I just hadn’t expected this turn from talking to the pastor to turning to the police so quickly (or at all really).
        I plan to call the police today when my daughter can’t hear me – when a favorite show of hers comes on TV. Thank you for reminding me that God is working through this community of experienced Christian believers who know narcs and molesters and know how to appropriately respond. Thank you.
        And I hear you re: tampering with the evidence of her own testimony if the pastor speaks with her first. I’ll go ahead and cancel that meeting with the pastor and go straight to the police today. I’m going to call them when she can’t hear (for her own comfort level), and I’ll post back here with how that conversation goes once it’s done.Thank you again so much.
        I am brought to tears by the love of everyone here who has taken the time to read my concerns and give wise counsel. I thank the Lord for you.

  20. I reblogged this on twitter, and tagged a friend who ministers to wives of pedophiles. Julie Anne, at Spiritual Sounding Board, will hopefully be posting here soon. Susan, I pray for you. I pray for your eyes to be opened even further. I pray you would heed Pastor Jeff’s warnings–he is an EXPERT on abuse of all forms in the church. I pray you would do what is right. I pray you would have no fear, and would trust that God will strengthen you to act. Love and love and more love to you. Also, I am NOT saying “keep warm and well fed!” we can find resources for you if you need them!!! Let us know!!!

  21. UnForsaken

    Susan, you are not making your husband look bad. His behaviors speak for themselves.

    The police are practiced in finding evidence and are esp. thorough in these cases. My concern is that they will view her testimony as tampered with if you allow what seems like a beneficial meeting with your pastor. People are well known for manipulating children, and the police go by certain prorocol. If you have this meeting, they will find all of this less believable if it doesn’t follow their professional system protocol. Period. You could be shooting your evidance in the foot, when at this moment it is worth much more than you think. Her evidence is what matters to them.

    You could easily tell your pastor what you have found out concerning what the authorities will probably require, and he Should be relieved and supportive in going to them. Please talk this out on the phone with him before the meeting! He won’t want to be in collusion any more than you do! He should know that this meeting could ruin your daughters chances at being believed. Remember you are Not overreacting. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!!!

    Still praying ! 🙂

    • Susan

      Unforsaken,
      Thank you. Between you, Jeff Crippen, deborahmom, Barbara Roberts, and others who have contributed here, I am going to call the police today when my daughter is out of earshot. I will post here with how that conversation goes. I am cancelling the meeting with the pastor (who hasn’t contacted me since Thursday anyway; neither have I heard from the music director – one of the pastor’s best friends – to whose wife I gave documentation about all this yesterday too – in the hopes of setting up a play date to make tomorrow’s previously scheduled visit to the pastor go easier for my daughter – but that’s all going to be cancelled anyway).
      Jesus, please give me what I need to say to the police.

      • Susan, many of us will be praying for you. What you are doing is very hard, but trust in Jesus. You don’t have to trust the police or others, just Him. He loves your little girl more than you do and He has more invested in your family than you.

        Remember that you are not making accusations, you are raising a serious concern. Some law enforcement folks are very kind and discreet. They know how to enter into these situations. Let Jesus lead them, whether they know Him or not.

        And, again, we will be praying for you and your family.

  22. Susan

    So I get a recorded message both times I tried. “This is the (name of town) Police Department. If this is an emergency, please dial 911. If you’d like to leave a message, please do so at the tone. BEEP!…” That’s it. Same message both times I called. Now what do I do? I wouldn’t leave a message. I was all set to ask to speak with a detective or a district attorney to ask where I stand given the things I plan to tell them…. (Edited by moderator to disidentify)

    • Kathy

      (((hugs))) I can’t even imagine what you’re going through. And I so very, very sorry you are going through this.
      Simply leave your name and phone number, ask them to call you back. If you’re fearful they will call you when your husband is home, you can say “This is Susan Smith. Please call me at 555-5555 before 7 p.m. I would like to speak to a detective. Thank you.”
      Also, check your local phone book. In the front section there may be numbers listed for certain types of calls (i.e., suicide hotline, battered women, report a sexual offense).
      Please know people do care and are praying for you and your daughter.

    • In our area, those who live in the county would call the sheriff’s office.

      There is another option. You could take your daughter to the doctor and explain what has been going on. Unless something is seriously broken there, they will be able to contact appropriate authorities and get you some help. Is there a community mental health service? Or a women’s shelter? Those organizations can usually help and don’t have the strings churches often have.

      • Heather

        That’s a brilliant suggestion!

      • Susan

        I just researched the sheriff’s office number and got the same number as for the local (next town over) police department. I could leave a number (I have a cell phone that’s rarely turned on, but I could do so now) and see when they call. I don’t want them calling when my husband is home.

        As it so happens, I do have an appointment for myself with a female nurse practitioner for this Wednesday – and she and I have spoken about my husband before. (Her dad is a narc, so we’ve had many discussions about it. I don’t think she wants to discuss it with me much anymore because she has counseled leaving since the beginning and because of my faith I have not taken that road. I don’t think she’s a Christian – at least not that I can tell – so we haven’t talked much about it in that light.) Maybe I could bring it up to her then or call and inquire about her speaking with Grace this Wednesday before or after my appointment….

      • Susan

        Wait! It just occurred to me, wouldn’t having Grace speak with a doctor (or nurse practitioner) raise the same concerns (leading on a potential witness or whatever) as having her speak with our pastor? Wouldn’t law enforcement also consider that as potential tampering with the witness or provide something the narc could use as inadmissable or whatever?

      • Forrest

        Susan,

        Speaking to the medics isn’t the same as speaking to your pastor. They are trained to deal with this too. Where I live, medical staff can be the first to raise the alarm when children are at risk. They are part of the system of protection. If the Police are not responding, then you can contact them. Alternatively, is there a Social Services department you can contact? Usually, the medical staff have direct contact to all those that can help.

        Leaving things hanging is not a good option right now.

      • Susan

        Forrest, I really appreciate your input here. Thank you so much for keeping me informed of how this works. I called the local victim services center (see what I wrote to deborahmom above), and I’ll probably call my nurse practitioner tomorrow to apprise her of the situation to see if she wants to “examine” Grace (not anywhere inappropriate unless Grace identifies to me that her dad has touched there) in a light way and also mention/reaffirm no-touching zones – from a professional’s view. Also then she has some statement from me about what’s going on if needed in the future. The victim services center reiterated what you said – that the medical opinion is viewed differently in court than, say, our pastor’s, who has a relationship with us. She said it’s that relationship (the pastoral one) that can hinder the testimony if needed down the road.

  23. Trying To Understand

    Susan, I would dial 911. They will put you through to a police officer straight away. Speaking to a doctor is next best since they have strict guidelines on how to handle situations such as this.

  24. Jennifer

    Wow, there has been a lot happening here today, Susan. Being molested is a terrifying experience, but the way your husband is working up to it is probably not that terrifying for her because he hasn’t “crossed the line” yet. It’s still an innocent game in her mind, and if she’s had misgivings they may be drowned out by her trust in her father. Her hesitation in telling tells me that this last thing is true. You aroused those misgivings again when you spoke to her about this.

    I am praying that all things come to light and very soon; that God would protect you and Grace and give you much discernment. Your husband may be very adept at making you look crazy if this goes to the police. He may be as charming and as smooth as silk. (Mine succeeded for quite a while in making everyone think that I’d had a mental break down when I left him, and when he “charlie horsed” our daughter and she refused to speak to him for over a year, then it was her who was apparently crazy and he told everyone this). He may get angry for being outed to you, and charming and understanding to everyone else. You know all this, but I’m just saying it anyway.

    You are coming to a very dangerous point in your relationship and I pray that you are all eyes and ears to how God is going to lead you through this. You are in danger of having people question your husband’s well-honed image, and he will absolutely be furious about this. I pray that angels may surround you and Grace both, and that God confounds and exposes your husband for who he is. I pray that the right police, the right medical staff, the right everyone come to your aid through all this.

    And just in case you are thinking you are crazy, YOU ARE NOT. He went WAY over the line with all this.

    • Susan

      Jennifer, I needed to hear all that. Right now I’ve never felt so alone in all my life. I’ve never wondered where God is, but now I can’t help but wonder why. I feel so very, very along – except for right here on this forum. My pastor hasn’t called or communicated with me in days. Neither has the woman (mom of six kids) or her husband (music director) with whom I shared the prayer request and additional documentation. No one from church, although I briefly told one mom outside of church whose daughter just left an abusive relationship. I knew she’d “get it.” But…. you know. Here I am with a phone message left at the police station. No call back. Called the victim center, who told me that I can tell all to the police, but you know, like you said. My daughter may well still trust her dad, but I’ve observed over the past week that as I’ve drawn nearer to her, playing computer games with her ALL DAY LONG. (We homeschool and don’t resume until September) and doing whatever she wants (other than these sidesteps to communicate on this forum or call the police)… well, it’s agonizing. I feel very scared and alone. Like Jesus isn’t here. Like He’s not speaking. Like He’s …. not… here.
      I plead in tears with Jesus, and the wolf comes home every night to stalk. Quietly. Cautiously. And the sheep have no recourse. Because unless he’s touched her, there’s nothing illegal about lying and tickling.
      I feel so weary and worn right now. I feel like I could cry myself to sleep and just never want to get out of bed.
      I did look up the women’s practitioner’s email address where I’ll be going for a scheduled appointment for me on Wednesday, and I’m thinking of emailing the prayer request to her – not that she’s a believer, but if she reads what’s going on, she may have counsel about my daughter. I kind of fear she’ll just say “Leave” as she has the past few visits, but that’s got its own set of problems (like unscheduled visitation, which is worse in my mind than staying). Right now I’m just …….. empty.

    • Susan

      Jennifer, what does it mean that your ex- “charlie-horsed” your daughter?

      • Jennifer

        A charlie horse is when your thigh muscle cramps up. To charlie horse someone is to strike their thigh muscle so hard that it cramps up. My daughter (about 17 or so) was out shopping with her dad. He was trying on some sunglasses at Oakley and asked what she thought. She said they looked great, but she was secretly laughing her head off because they were women’s glasses. 😛 (My kids have always found their father rather effeminate and would joke with each other that he was gay). The clerk came over to ask if they needed help and he looked at my husband kind of funny. My husband said no thanks but caught the look he was given. He then turned to our daughter and asked if they women’s glasses and she said yes and started to laugh.

        He took her by the shoulders like he was going to hug her, smiled at her and then rammed his knee into her thigh so hard it left her limping the rest of the day. She had horrible night terrors for about 5 months afterwards where she would wake up crying and shaking because in her dreams she was helplessly being attacked.

        I was furious because this constituted assault. But no one saw it happen (backs were turned), he “hugged her” and did this in front of a counter so no one could see. Believe me I pursued it. It happened in America (we are Canadian) and I phoned their police and ours. But it would be he said/she said because there were no witnesses. His family wondered why Mary wasn’t showing up at family gatherings anymore, but of course he said that I’d turned her against him. He told me to my face that he was just oh so non-confrontational and would never do that. That maybe she should get some help because it must be awful for her to believe such things about her loving father. If I didn’t have such self-control, I would have ripped his smiling face off and handed it too him on a plate right in the parking lot where this conversation happened.

        He got away with it. She talks to him now every so often, but she’s also very aware of who he is. Her relationship with his is from a distance even if they are sitting face to face. She wanted a car and wanted him to buy it for her, so that’s why she took up the relationship. She knows she’s using him and doesn’t care. I don’t like that really, but hey. She might as well get something out of him. :/

      • Susan

        Jennifer,
        I’m glad your daughter at least knows who he really is. Boy, do I understand the two-faced person. In the initial stages of understanding who I’m really married to, I read a book called “The Angry Smile.” That’s my husband. I thought then it was “just” passive-aggressive behavior, but I see now that was the tip of the iceberg.
        And that’s the real conundrum. Dealing with someone who’s the “nice guy” all the time – to those he’s always trying to impress. His image is stellar everywhere – and with this wooing of our daughter that’s only occurred in the past few years, she “likes” him enough to want to not say anything that would get him in trouble, I think.
        It amazes me how the narc can get away with things right under everyone’s noses, like your ex- doing that to your daughter right there in the store, but is adept enough to know the preclse moment when to kick so there are no witnesses.
        In large part, that is where I think I have felt so alone and scared of telling the truth but not being believed. I know that’s likely in our church, since no one sees or hears anything but the presentation on his part. And then here I come with this different picture of him and telling whack-a-doodle stories (like when he closed a cat in the cupboard or called the insurance company to change rates on the vehicle/s, or spun the car around or or or….) You know what it’s like.
        I appreciate knowing what you lived through because it helps me to know that you get it, that you lived through it, that you’ve come out on the other side, that your daughter gets it, that she’s okay and you’re okay. There is hope. Real hope.
        I just want truth to out and have it be known. I know it may not happen and I may be cast as the ogre. I can live with that. I can’t live with his gaining unsupervised visitation if I were to leave with her.

  25. Jennifer

    Also Susan, would you consider leaving your phone and address with Dave so that if we don’t hear from you in a reasonable amount of time on this board, he can try and contact you? I don’t want to scare you, but you’ve shared a lot of things and husbands can get angry enough to kill, and what you’ve shared is evidence to what has been going on. I only say it because when my friend Valerie got too close to the truth, she got murdered by her husband who had set it up as a suicide. I pray this doesn’t happen or anything even remotely close, but it can happen.

    My own son crawled into our room one night before I left my husband. He was going to stay there all night “on guard” because he had the strange feeling that his dad was going to try and kill me. :/

    • Susan

      Jennifer, sure, I don’t have a problem with giving my name and phone number or address to Dave. But even if he tried to contact me, well, if I had been killed, I would hope my husband would be arrested or something. I just don’t know if it helps or if my husband would answer the phone or whatever. But sure. Listen, it’s not out of the question. He’s never threatened me, although he’s exploded in rage three times (once spinning the car around, another time storming out of the house, and the third just blood boiling screaming at me so I couldn’t get a word in edgewise). After the third explosion it was the last time I asked him to go to counseling, and I asked the counselor about narcissism. She said there’s not much hope to expect a narcissist to change. She watched my face in counseling and when he lied about an incident (he had shut one of our cats in a food cupboard and told her that I did it), my face must have expressed utter consternation because in the next (and final) session, she said she knew truth just by watching my face. She told him that I’m like the adult child of an alcoholic in that I never know who’s going to walk in that door. Later, I had dreams that he came running after me with a hammer, and as I leaped over a fence, he did the same on the opposite side of the field, but he turned and saw police and he slowly lowered the hammer, as if it were just an ordinary tool. Anyway, sure. I don’t know how to do that though – give contact info to Dave. I guess I could just email it to him.

  26. Kathy

    Susan, we all recognize how very difficult this is for you, how hesitant you are. You’re doing the right thing.
    I hope it turns out that nothing inappropriate has happened — but you just have to keep going forward to find that out.
    You are very brave and obviously a wonderful mom.

    • Susan

      Thanks, Kathy. I don’t feel like a wonderful mom right now. I feel very sad and confused and alone, and I wonder if I’m projecting that before my daughter. I’m trying to be cheerful as I sit here next to her – she on the main computer playing games and I on a laptop seated right next to her, having joined her on-line game place just so we could play all day together, and I could keep her engaged and connected so she’s not drawn to “the tickle monster” when he walks in the door. So far, so good. It’s taking all I’ve got this past week and however long it takes to keep her safe.

      • Kathy

        Susan, you are wonderful mom and a brave woman. You recognize you may be wrong — or you may be right. You recognize that your husband gets angry at you, but you’re willing to put yourself between him and your daughter. That is brave.
        Sometimes things happen so slowly and in such small incremental stages that we don’t recognize how bad things are getting. It’s so easy to rationalize and convince ourselves “it’s not THAT bad.”
        My first husband is an alcoholic. One time he came home from a drinking binge and went into the nursery and picked up our 2-month-old daughter. I was awake and quickly took her away and put her back in the crib.
        That should have been enough for me to leave, right? But no, it wasn’t. After all, she didn’t get HURT. After all, he didn’t MEAN it. After all, he had a DISEASE — alcoholism. I so I rationalized.
        Then one night he was out drinking and I was worried. Did I leave with the baby? No.
        I slept ON THE FLOOR between the crib and door. How sick is that? I was adjusting my behavior to his sick behavior.
        And I woke up and found out he had stepped over me, was dancing in the room with her (she was 3 months old), he was drunk, and I had NEVER heard him come home.
        That’s when I left. When I realized no matter what I did short of removing myself and her, not only could I not protect her, but I was ADJUSTING to him!
        I so understand the hesitancy you have expressed. But often we adjust to sick behavior instead of getting healthy. You’re getting a chance here to stop his sick behavior from affecting your daughter. And that takes GUTS. And you got them, Lady. God has given you GUTS. You are a wonderful mom.

      • Susan

        Kathy,
        I hear you loud and clear. Yes, I have had to adapt too. Boy, your story is so much like what many of us do – out of self-preservation and other restraints keeping us in the situation. You’re right though. I am adapting myself to his twisted world. Also for the sake of our daughter – knowing that she doesn’t (and I don’t think can just yet) understand narcissism. She knows the discomfort of being asked to keep secrets or having him speak ill of me (as he has over the past few years) to her – a few times of which I’ve walked in on or overheard. So she “gets it” in some way on her level. Anyway, thank you for telling me what you did in your situation – especially with the adapting. I may tell the nurse practitioner I’ll be seeing tomorrow on an unrelated matter so she can perhaps also be a “witness” of sorts if I send her a little of what I have documented and maybe she can talk with Grace also – especially about the touching. The secret-keeping bothers me as much though, but it’s all intertwined. Thanks for the encouragement. I guess I need it because I’m feeling so helpless.
        Quick question: Before you left, didn’t you worry about unsupervised visitation if he’s a drunkard? I worry about that because if he’s done nothing that would stand up in court as illegal and if she doesn’t testify or recount anything that he’s done that’s wrong, where are we? I don’t know that we’re any better off leaving than we are staying. Right now, at least I can protect her when he’s around.

  27. TL

    Susan,

    I hope this doesn’t seem shallow in view of what you’re facing, but a verse keeps coming to my heart I’d like to share. You are definitely in a treacherous leg of your journey, so it is especially sweet to witness God’s timing, and provision of wise counsel. Here’s the verse:

    Fear not, for I am with you;
    Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you,
    Yes, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
    Isaiah 41:10

    You are a mighty woman of valor! Praying for protection, wisdom, courage, and divine appointments as you contact authorities.

    Hugging you in my heart.

    • Susan

      TL,
      It’s not shallow at all. I still love God and miss dwelling in His Word. I am sorry to say that I have neglected it as I feel utterly consumed with this situation. I need to get away from being consumed by it and keep my eyes on Jesus, as Peter did when he was able to walk on water. When He took his eyes off the Lord, he sank. Thank you for your prayers. I’m still taken aback by the prayers of so many on Grace’s behalf and mine. I wish I could “feel” God more – feel something happening to change this situation. One of my greatest fears here is that everything will just be swept under the rug, it will all remain the same, nothing will come out, and nothing will change. The day my daughter was diagnosed with Asperger’s (she was six then), I remember thinking, “On the one hand, I hope she gets the diagnosis because then I’ll know what I’m dealing with and how to work with it. On the other hand, I hope she doesn’t have Asperger’s because of all that that’s going to bring with it.” It’s like that now again. On the one hand, I hope she tells me SOMETHING I can work with today. SOMETHING that I can take to the police and yet, of course I don’t want to know that he’s crossed any inappropriate line with her. Yes, keeping secrets about tickling is wrong, but it’s not illegal. I can’t go to the police with that, even though I’ve called them and left a message (never heard back) to inform them, but it’s nothing I can work with to effect any change. I know I’m living with a narcissist, and I can take his anger or name-calling or lies directed at me. Now he’s using her as a tool against me, and I can’t take that – especially with this last turn of events.

      • TL

        Hi again Susan,

        I can see you love God and his Word. So wonderful the way God designed the body- when we’re not able to practice our normal habits, fellow believers can help fill in the gaps.

        Want to echo what others are sharing. I know when I was so distressed I couldn’t read enough about survivors experiences. I think it’s in Corinthians where it speaks of our suffering and how we can use it to comfort others.

        I do understand your concerns about visitation. I told myself I could endure and do anything for my sons. Though not your situation, many things came to light about my then husband that were very disturbing. He urinated in someone’s drink, LOTS of sexual issues, shut me out of finances, manipulated kids, very driven smear campaign. I could go on.

        I have also played the “what if” game, so fearful. I micro managed hoping to protect my kids. I discovered it is impossible to cover all the bases. I had to trust the Lord. Not to magically rescue ( I confess I did ask for narc to be removed : )), but to provide wisdom, and right people for my life day by day. I faced my Goliath and the Lord slayed him.

        I’m 2 years divorced from a 20 year marriage. Still have to deal with ex. Not fun, and sometimes I still have a knee jerk visceral response, but they are fewer and fewer. God keeps growing me, protecting my family, and sending those we need.

        I was truly concerned about my children’s safety, but I know it’s not what you are dealing with. I’m not minimizing. Just think though, no matter how diligent your efforts there would come a time your husband would be alone with Grace. Moving forward with authorities as you are, can provide protection. I’m convinced God had a hand in the people I worked with. Even the judge. My ex worked hard against me-he went through 2 attorneys. All the professionals I dealt with were truly advocates for my family.

        Take care friend

  28. Kathy

    Susan, yes, I was worried about unsupervised visitation. And I was worried how I would support my baby. And I was worried about the “stigma” of being a single parent. And I was worried about her being from a “broken home.” And I was worried about working and childcare and I was worried about…….
    And I had to STOP. Because I was driving myself crazy. What if, what if , what if.
    I had to look at what is NOW. NOW he had picked her up while he was drunk. NOW he was missing work and not earning what he should have been. NOW he was……

    And what if I stayed? What if she came from a DRUNKEN home and was embarrassed to bring home friends and blamed me??
    Time to go.

    You will handle each step along the way. You have to worry about NOW.
    My story will not be your story. But God never left me. Not once. I did meet a wonderful man several years later when my daughter was 3 1/2. We lived happily ever after until he died in 2007, and she left immediately for out-of-state college. She’s now working on her master’s degree at a college in Williamsburg, Va. It’s a good school. 🙂
    And I have another daughter too. 🙂

    That’s my story. Lots of in-between stuff, and God was there each step of the way. He never talked to me out loud or sent me Gabriel with an announcement. He just held my hand each step of the way.

    And abuse crosses all educational/economic lines. My first husband has a master’s degree. He had a good job. And he would never pay child support.
    And I struggled and, at times, questioned my decision — but only in the beginning.

    Just take care of now. Let God unfold His plan for you at His pace. I know how frustrating that can be, believe me. But when I look back, goodness and mercy are following me!

    • Susan

      Thank you for telling me that part of your life story, Kathy. It helps a lot. Also that you understand where my mind is right now. All the what ifs… and the concerns…. and the twisting and bending of my life now to be constantly by my daughter’s side every minute so she learns that I will not forsake her to the man teaching her to lie and asking her to keep secrets. So I will protect her. So she can know truth…. It’s utterly exhausting.
      But this morning I am learning to pray that the Lord do battle for me. It’s not my battle; It is His. Yet I am to follow where He would have me go. If I am to go.
      I’m going to call the police again today. I’m going to inform my nurse practitioner. And I’m going to be speaking with my daughter. And as the Lord leads, I’m going to follow.
      Thank you again for telling me all of these things. I need to hear them. I need to know I’m not alone down here on earth.

  29. Susan

    Charles Spurgeon’s evening portion for the day, lest it bless anyone else as it did me in its reading:
    “”Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.” – Psalm 31:4
    “Our spiritual foes are of the serpent’s brood, and seek to ensnare us by subtlety. The prayer before us supposes the possibility of the believer being caught like a bird. So deftly does the fowler do his work, that simple ones are soon surrounded by the net. The text asks that even out of Satan’s meshes the captive one may be delivered; this is a proper petition, and one which can be granted: from between the jaws of the lion, and out of the belly of hell, can eternal love rescue the saint. It may need a sharp pull to save a soul from the net of temptations, and a mighty pull to extricate a man from the snares of malicious cunning, but the Lord is equal to every emergency, and the most skilfully placed nets of the hunter shall never be able to hold his chosen ones. Woe unto those who are so clever at net laying; they who tempt others shall be destroyed themselves.
    “”For thou art my strength.” What an inexpressible sweetness is to be found in these few words! How joyfully may we encounter toils, and how cheerfully may we endure sufferings, when we can lay hold upon celestial strength. Divine power will rend asunder all the toils of our enemies, confound their politics, and frustrate their knavish tricks; he is a happy man who has such matchless might engaged upon his side. Our own strength would be of little service when embarrassed in the nets of base cunning, but the Lord’s strength is ever available; we have but to invoke it, and we shall find it near at hand. If by faith we are depending alone upon the strength of the mighty God of Israel, we may use our holy reliance as a plea in supplication.”
    “Lord, evermore thy face we seek:
    Tempted we are, and poor, and weak;
    Keep us with lowly hearts, and meek.
    Let us not fall. Let us not fall.”

  30. Susan

    Update: I spoke with the receptionist at the woman’s healthcare center with a brief description of what’s going on because my initial email with attached original prayer request bounced. So the receptionist is aware of what’s going on and she gave me the correct email address to which to send the request. I am praying for my daughter’s mouth to be opened to speak truth without fear of betrayal of her father or getting him into trouble (which could be a burden she’s been asked to bear by him) and that her heart be guarded. She and I will meet with the practitioner tomorrow. Right now I don’t know who has the appointment. (It’s mine originally, but I’ve asked that if the practitioner is open to meeting with my daughter instead, that that occurs. As the Lord would have it, the practitioner happens to have a narc father, and we have discussed narcissism briefly in the past two or more years I have been seeing her.) Thank you, saints, for your many effective prayers.

  31. Jennifer

    Susan, you said somewhere up in those 122 comments (don’t ask me where now 😛 ) that you wonder where God is and if He is there with you in all this. And my answer is this, and it’s been learned from long borne out experience: YES. He is there. Do you want proof? I’ll even give you proof.

    God isn’t there as lightening bolts, or hurricanes, or anything dramatic. He is there in that still, small voice you hear of Truth. I capitalized that for a reason; because Truth is one of Jesus’ names. He is the Way. He is the Truth. He is the Life. Right? So how do you know Jesus is there with you? Because you have been given Truth in this situation. And He is the author of Truth and He is the One who allows us to open our eyes and ears to it. When God gives us truths, and they don’t have to be “theological” ones, He gives us a part of himself. The pursuit of true science is the pursuit of God because He is the creator. The pursuit of truth in your specific situation is also the pursuit of God, because He is the one who opened your eyes to it in the first place. So, dear one, HE IS THERE.

    • deborahmom

      Jennifer, can I quote this on a Facebook page that helps women in DV situations?

      “God isn’t there as lightening bolts, or hurricanes, or anything dramatic. He is there in that still, small voice you hear of Truth. I capitalized that for a reason; because Truth is one of Jesus’ names. He is the Way. He is the Truth. He is the Life. Right? So how do you know Jesus is there with you? Because you have been given Truth in this situation. And He is the author of Truth and He is the One who allows us to open our eyes and ears to it. When God gives us truths, and they don’t have to be “theological” ones, He gives us a part of himself. The pursuit of true science is the pursuit of God because He is the creator. The pursuit of truth in your specific situation is also the pursuit of God, because He is the one who opened your eyes to it in the first place. So, dear one, HE IS THERE.”

    • Susan

      Jennifer, yes, I regretted writing those lamentations about where is God when at a very low point yesterday – when everything I thought I was doing was right turned out to be possibly damaging to any case in the future, lest it go the way of the courts or attorneys ever get involved. But this morning, I was thinking how God has brought wisdom via His saints on this blog and cryingoutforjustice.com. How He spared my daughter that interview with our pastor – and also is opening new avenues at just the right time. I don’t know where this is going to go or how it’s going to develop, but I’m going to trust His provision and timing in all of it. I know He has revealed this situation to me for what it is and directed my path as I acknowledge Him and even question, cry out, and also – speak up. I have kept silent for a long time because it was only directed against me and you know how the narc works, it all sounded like I was the crazy one and he presents so perfectly. Sooooo… yeah. And thank you again.

      • UnForsaken

        Susan, praying right now.

      • Susan

        Thank you, UnForsaken. Please pray that my daughter is able to speak with my nurse practitioner tomorrow, that my daughter is comfortable to speak Truth and that all that needs to be said (if anything) is said, that the practitioner receives it and documents if needed, and for my daughter’s heart to be guarded throughout. Thank you.

  32. Susan

    Well, I just called the nurse practitioner’s office to see if they received my documentation since I hadn’t heard back from them. They acknowledged receipt and said the nurse practitioner has read what I sent. They said the nurse practitioner says its my judgment call whether or not to switch the appointment to her speaking with my daughter or not. Then they just hung up. I’m wondering if I should switch doctors or even have my daughter speak with the practitioner at all. Doors seem to be shut or closing all around me. Maybe instead of the practitioner I should call some office of child protection in my state. But the way this is going, it’s like no one outside of this forum or cryingoutforjustice takes this seriously. It’s like I’m just some kind of whiny parent. Police don’t call back. Medical office just says they’ll leave it up to me and hang up. Pastor (local) isn’t the route to go. Sigh.

    • UnForsaken

      keep trying. It can be hard to get their attention, but in doing so you will show them how serious this is. If after your daughter has spoken to her you find the nurse is just brushing this off, then you may need to move on to new options.

      Remember if these things fail, 911 has to listen.

      Take care, Susan. Praying!

      • Susan

        UnForsaken,
        Thank you! I’m going to greatly abbreviate this because I have wisely been counseled to not share so much on-line. I will also probably be changing my on-line screen name. Trust that I have alerted the proper individuals and for now, we’re good. Also, Pastor Dave has our personal information.

    • TL

      Oh Susan. I’m sorry, you must feel so discouraged. I don’t know if this will help, but I found an abuse site. Haven’t had a chance to read much but I think it is nationwide. It appears to have much info, prevention, legal and beyond. The site is Stopitnow and one of the helplines is 1.888.PREVENT. I hope this helps.

      You’ve no doubt thought of this…just wanted to make sure you have a way of hiding your computer and phone activity from your husband. Praying for you often.

      • Susan

        TL,
        I didn’t know of that site, so I shall make a note. It helps to have more information than less, so THANK YOU! FYI, I’ll probably be changing my on-line screen name soon.
        Re: computer, yes. Steps have been taken. Thank you!

  33. Kathy

    Susan, this is a battle. A real battle. People are very hesitant to believe such things as you are suspecting. I had very little help and less understanding when I left my husband (poor guy, lost his wife and child. Do you know that *itch even let him sit in jail after a DWI and sent him straight to a rehab?). My pastor? You don’t want to go there!!!!
    It’s a battle — no, A WAR.
    “winning” will be difficult. There will be obstacles. He will try to discredit you. You will second guess yourself. You will grow weary.

    BUT BUT BUT —- I have been there, as have others here — and there CAN BE VICTORY. Stay in the word. Stay in prayer. Keep pressing for justice.
    My daughter was eventually adopted by my 2nd husband. I left the first husband for good when she was 2 1/2. I was remarried when she was 5. She was adopted at age 12. Did I fight the whole time?? YES.
    And you know what? Being adopted at age 12 was the BEST time for it for various reasons. God’s timing is always perfect.

    Exodus 14:14-15: The Lord will fight for you. Just be still. (15) Then the Lord said to Moses Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move.

    I think this means that He does expect us to be proactive.
    Keep going. You do have supporters, you are being lifted up in prayer.
    And rest when you can. Read a novel or take a walk or go to the movies.

  34. Susan

    Kathy,
    Your words are balm to a wounded soul. Thank you. I am indeed learning that there are those who don’t want to know (even among church family, which I find the most grievous, but it is what it is) and those who truly get it and take it seriously for what it is and believe me. I know the truth, and I’ve learned that’s enough. I’m taking steps as counseled by the Lord’s servants on this site and another. I’ll also be changing my on-line screen name soon, just FYI.
    Thank you for the encouragement to rest, read, and give myself a break from this when I can. Indeed, I think I can see a bit more light at the end of this tunnel, even though I don’t quite know how long this tunnel is, slips of light are starting to shine through.

    • Jennifer

      Susan, I am glad you are taking precautions of this nature, and also that you have been able to notify some authorities about this. And as for the Church not listening, well, when I told my own mother that I had been molested, even SHE didn’t listen, because she was fearful of what people would say. My own mother didn’t listen. :/ It’s unfathomable really, but she was a Narc, so her image and good name was all in all.

      Praying that all the truth comes out and that you and your little girl will be kept very safe through all this. May God wrap His arms of love around you and keep you safely sheltered under His wings. ((((hugs))))

      • Susan

        Jennifer, FWIW, my mom doesn’t believe me either. I just stopped telling her anything. She even witnessed my husband spinning the car around and going home when he was driving my daughter and me to lunch with my mom and her husband. My mom and husband were in a different car. My husband spun the car around because I asked him to write himself a note to do something he said he’d do (he had/has a habit of “forgetting”). It was the first of three major explosions he’s had. She was there, saw what happened, chose to dismiss it. Because she doesn’t want to believe it. So I’m with you. I’ve finally reached the stage where it’s enough that I know. I get it. And I’m responsible for myself and my daughter, in the Lord’s hands and timing, but no more do I care about what others believe. That said, it means SO MUCH to know that you get it and that someone at church (not the pastor, although he’s tuned in) believes me and is taking this very very seriously.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s