It’s Narcissist Friday!
When the narcissistic relationship ends, who stands with you? Some are shocked to find that almost no one believes them, no one stands with them. Others are not so shocked.
From the beginning, the narcissist works to separate the victim from their support community. Quit school to get a job (and leave the friends behind). Move to a different state and leave family behind. Too busy for organizations. Too separate for close friends. The victim often finds that support has disappeared.
Well, at least you have the church. Right? But when the adultery happens, or the abuse, the people of the church stand with him. You go to the pastor for counsel and find that the narcissist has already convinced the pastor to be against you. Not even the church supports you.
Then, when he announces that he doesn’t want you any more, you find yourself alone. Friends have taken his side. Even the kids don’t understand. Even your family seems to blame you. The people in your life have all heard bad things about you from him.
Some people feel stuck in the relationship because they have no support outside. The abuse continues because they don’t think they have anywhere to go. But when the narcissist leaves or abandons you, what do you do?
I wish this never happened in real life, but I have heard so many stories on this theme. The narcissist strips away as much support as possible. He/she must control the community. Some have found loneliness and depression after the narcissistic relationship was over.
Here are some thoughts on how to rebuild your support.
- Ask the Lord – He will never leave you nor forsake you. That’s what He promises. Yet, He knows you need other people. Ask Him. See who He brings to you.
- Expand your horizons – The people God sends might not think like you. Narcissists seem to love legalistic or separatist churches because the community is so small. The distrust is strong. So, you may have learned to distrust people who don’t think like you. Let God bring whoever He wants into your life. You don’t have to give up what you believe to have a friend who doesn’t believe the same things. Be careful, of course. Be wise. But don’t put up walls that don’t need to be there.
- Support others – To find a friend, be a friend. That’s what we were told. People who need you may also be able to give you support. The little old lady who lives nearby might need your help with a problem and also be able to pray for you. The young ladies at the gym or the shelter might appreciate your help with the kids or just your words of wisdom. In return, they give respect and welcoming smiles. Support comes from surprising places.
- Don’t take it personally – I know that sounds strange. But understand that separating you from supportive people is a well-recognized narcissistic practice. It wasn’t you. People didn’t stand apart because you were bad or unworthy. You still have all the good that friends used to see in you.
- Try to repair relationships – Yes, you may have done some dumb things. So many have told me that they were critical of family, mean to friends, superior to neighbors—because that was the culture of the narcissistic relationship. You may have been judgmental or thoughtless or separate. So, apologize. Apologizing isn’t hard when you realize you were wrong. You might find people who have been praying for you and wishing for a chance to be friends again.
And, remember that you are never alone. The Lord loves you. He stands with you. You have not been abandoned by Him.