Peace

It’s Narcissist Friday!

It doesn’t seem to matter what kind of narcissistic relationship you are in. One thing that is lost is peace. If you connected with the narcissist at a difficult time in your life, you might have thought he/she would bring you peace. And, maybe, for a little while, things seemed better. The crisis might have gone away. What you didn’t expect was the new crisis that came in.

You didn’t expect to jump when the phone rang. You didn’t expect the fear of not measuring up to expectations. You didn’t expect to dread the end of the day when he comes home. The questions. The accusations. The insinuations. The arguments. You didn’t expect any of that.

If you grew up with a narcissistic parent, it is likely that you have never really known peace. You have never measured up, and you have never known what the next crisis will be. All you know is that something negative is coming. Always.

Narcissists don’t want the people around them to have peace. It’s easier to control people who are off-balance, afraid, or emotional. If the narcissist can create an atmosphere of comparisons, criticism, and worry, he/she can be right in the center. So narcissist mom will pit one child against another. Narcissist boss will stimulate unhealthy competition in the office. Narcissist friend will overwhelm you with problems. Narcissist preacher will tell you that God is disappointed in you. The narcissist might stand ready to be your savior in the midst of the crisis, but you will find he/she does little to bring you peace. Even if the problem is solved, you are now in debt for the help.

One of the churches in our town has a familiar meme on its sign: “No Jesus, No Peace. Know Jesus, Know Peace.” I like that, but it tells only part of the story. The reason knowing Jesus brings us peace is because He accepts us and loves us without criticism. The Christian knows two things about crisis. First, no crisis identifies us. In other words, I am accepted and loved no matter how I perform or respond to the things around me. Second, no crisis will last forever. Because I trust Jesus, I know that I will outlast or overcome any crisis. And I know He is with me through it all.

I have used a little story about a man whose boat capsized in a storm. He was able to climb onto a large rock, but the rock was battered by high waves and strong winds. The people on the shore saw him in trouble but could do nothing to help him. Finally, when the storm subsided, someone was able to get a boat out to rescue him. Someone asked him how he could endure the terror of the storm. His answer was that the rock beneath him had never moved.

Obviously, that’s an old preacher story, but it has a good point. The love Jesus has for you and me is stronger than the crises the narcissist brings into our lives. We may not find peace in our daily circumstances, but we can find peace in our relationship with the Lord who loves us. And that peace can make a difference day by day.

11 Comments

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11 responses to “Peace

  1. Amy

    I never had peace in my former 20-year abusive marriage. I was always on edge waiting for the next thing and so were my boys. It was a horrible way to live!

  2. I am heading out for another day of jury duty and won’t be available to respond, but please feel free to leave comments!

  3. Lea Curtis

    I’m so sorry, Amy.
    I hope things are better now and that you know Jesus and have had His comfort.

    • Amy

      Thanks, Lea. I’ve been out of that marriage for over 10 years, remarried almost 8 years ago. God has restored all those lost years in ways I never would have imagined! That’s why I blog about it 😉

  4. Kay

    Never known peace! Something negative always coming!
    That is exactly how I’ve lived all my life. I finally cut contact with my remaining parent 3 months ago, but I’ve discovered healing from a lifetime of abuse is not so simple. The damage is so deep. I pray constantly for peace and healing.

    • Lea Curtis

      Kay…you might want to consider re-opening the relationship…but just hold your distance and keep boundaries set. That was you can still be in contact with your parent. That might help you and give you more peace. Just a thought.

    • Savedbygrace

      I know it is a very hard journey full of grief, but I believe it will get better over time. You have made a step to protect yourself from further abuse and that will sink in- I did this with my ex husband and peace and fresh perspective and new found strength were able to thrive when I wasn’t in that constant abuse relationship.
      I have 4 adult children and each are handling the relationship with their father differently: 2 have cut contact altogether( they have huge grief like a death but are spared his manipulations), 1 has lowered her expectations drastically and still has minimal contact ( she feels better about that but she is still constantly disappointed and aggrieved) and 1 has
      desperately tried to reach out to his dad and get the love and acceptance he craves and has survived a suicide attempt and massive drug and alcohol addiction issues- by the grace of God and with a lot of help and strength of character he is emerging stronger and with an acceptance of what IS when it comes to his father and rarely has contact with him.
      I tell you this to illustrate that each person has to do what is right for them when it comes to relating to a narcissistic parent..and often it is trial and error…but ulitmately it does come down to survival and the need to protect yourself and realise that you actually have the right to live in peace.
      blessings to you on your journey x

      • New Creature

        Savedbygrace, I think your comments are very sound. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this situation. We are 5 years in to no contact with my NMIL and we grieve the loss every day and wish there was a way to have even limited contact with her. We set a couple of simple boundaries to protect our daughter which she refused to respect (she will NOT be told what to do), and that is why after many warnings we had to go no contact. We think about her every day… is she safe, is she homeless, who is she abusing now…and we grieve that we don’t have a mother/in-law in our lives and that our daughter has no grandparents (the others have passed away.)

        It is painful to not have her in our lives, but, as everyone here knows, it is even more painful to have someone toxic in your life injuring yourself and your family. For us, progress toward healing and peace were impossible as long as the injury was ongoing. Going no contact helps allow for some perspective and a measure of peace, but overcoming the pain–especially without a good support network and good therapy–that is a tough one. There is no good/easy/simple solution.

        Unfortunately, there are a lot of believers who would scold us with “honor your father and mother; its the only commandment with a promise.” Fortunately, our pastor gets it, understands the Bible also says to keep far away from wicked, unrepentant people, and he supports our no contact decision.

        We will never stop praying for a miracle that leads to reconciliation, though.

  5. Adele

    I needed this today. Thank you.

  6. SD

    This was very encouraging and for me, very timely. Thank you, Pastor Dave! This is something I will be meditating on these next few days especially.

  7. Kay

    Yes, it is very hard to know what to do. Af first when I cut off contact with my father, I felt only huge relief. Three months later, the pity for such a tormented, damaged person is creeping back in. Somehow, I have to find a balance that works for me. It is a very personal decision. I have no illusions that he loves me. I may be able to find a way to have limited contact without getting hurt again. Right now, I just don’t know.

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