Focus

It’s Narcissist Friday!

This is a busy time of year. There are so many things calling for our attention and energy. The net result is often a feeling of weakness and incompetence. We lose power and confidence when we are faced with so many competing voices.

When you think of people in crisis or people with PTSD because of crisis, you may think of someone who has trouble focusing. Bouncing from one topic to another in conversation, beginning a new project without finishing the old ones, even jerky motions and general clumsiness—these are signs of an inability to focus. Some simply can’t focus long enough to get anything accomplished.

Narcissistic relationships, with their unpredictable and manipulative natures, cause us to lose focus. Those who work retail this time of year will understand. The boss comes in right before the big shopping day with a list of projects that just have to be done, but cannot be done. Rather than being able to focus on customers and connecting them with their products, you are constantly thinking about the things on the list for which you will be judged. You end up not doing well on anything.

Narcissists provide these continual distractions to throw their victims off, to drain their strength. Clear thinking and self-confidence are the enemies of narcissistic abuse. Instinctively, the narcissist knows he/she must keep throwing you distractions.

So, now you are out of the relationship, but you still find it hard to focus. You can learn again. Just realize that the loss of focus is a normal part of narcissistic relationship. It’s not your fault.

And, please, don’t put yourself down for these effects. You are not stupid, so stop saying that you are. You do not “always” fail, so stop saying that you do. You have been beat up. The pain and infirmity you suffer does not define you. It is the natural result of abuse and, listen, will not last.

No, it is not the “new you.” You are a child of God, unique and valued. You are not the ball in the pinball machine. You have purpose and you have power. You can rebuild your life, with the help of the Lord and your support group.

Finding focus in the midst of distractions can be challenging. Perhaps, even now, the narcissist continues to throw things at you. Give yourself time and grace. Be patient. Find some resources—charts, journals, timers, whatever—to help you get your work done. Listen to those who truly want to help you.

And pray. Whatever you need, ask the Lord who loves you. If you find it hard to stay in relationships, get work done, even sleep at night—pray. Ask for what you need. Then trust that the Lord will restore what “locusts have taken.”

Two New Books!

Believe it or not, I have two new books on Amazon! I find myself to be a better writer than marketer, but I want you to know about these two new books.

The first is a book that has been in the works for a long time. I call it “Practical Grace.” The idea is that such an important topic should be relevant to our daily lives. Not everything in life seems limited to the spiritual realm. We struggle in relationships, with our mortality, with getting through the day. Does grace matter day by day? Yes! God cares about your real-life struggle. His grace is for you.

Click on the book for the Amazon link

The second book is meant to be for those who have understood the message of grace in the past, maybe you took a class or read something about God’s grace, but have found it hard to stay on track. It is so easy to slip back into a performance system. It is also easy to become discouraged. This book will give you five “touchpoints” to which you can return often as you walk your journey through life.

Click on the book for the Amazon link

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Focus

  1. Amy

    It took a long time after my abusive ex walked out 11 years ago to stop beating myself up and calling myself stupid and ugly as he had done for 20 years. My two sons would also say how stupid they were when something happened like dropping something on the floor or just making a mistake. I would cringe when I heard them say that about themselves, something their dad had said to them all their growing up, and I realized I too did the same. So I finally told them to stop calling themselves stupid because they were not, they are human and will make mistakes and drop things, but that doesn’t mean they are stupid. Over time, we all stopped saying those things about ourselves that someone else had told us for years.

    It’s not easy when you still hear those words in your head or respond with instance recoiling waiting for someone to say it to you, but I agree that with constant pray and reading His word to find our worth, we can replace what our abuser said to and about us, with what God says.

  2. Z

    CPTSD and physical infirmities resulting from a long history of horrid physical abuses by both parents and DV between parents in my childhood and then again more violence by them recently as an adult, to the point of being mostly bedridden, have made it hard to not only focus but to even start to try to rebuild my life. To let God restore what the locusts have devoured. I am at an age where it’s not easy to just find new friends and get an immediate support system. I can’t work. I can’t attend church (even if I could find a safe one).
    Making new friends takes years of trust and interaction for a relationship to build. I can’t achieve that in my state of disability. My body and mind have been ravaged by physical abuse all my life as well as ALL the other forms of abuse. And my spiritual upbringing was so abnormal by a cult-like clan of both my abusive parents and close relatives who professed to be born again but were certainly not. Abusers? Yes. Perverts? Yes. Enablers and liars and cover up allies of the abusers? Yes. But most certainly NOT Christians.
    I had to go through a lifetime of their blatant hypocrisy and their abuses to finally break away totally after the adult violence was the last straw. Then I had to untwist all they falsely taught and hypocritically displayed spiritually.
    I searched out and found Jesus for real. And He has been my companion for the years of my No Contact equalling no family or friends as is typical. They all were abusers or cowards who feared the abusers’ wrath more than God’s. They watched silently as we children screamed for their help. And now they continue to lie and cover it all up now that it’s exposed because it will cost them to stand up and tell the truth. More violence was visited upon my husband and me recently in retaliation for our No Contact. Again, clear serious visible injuries garnered silence from all the “Christian” relatives and friends. No Contact with them now too. Wolves in sheep’s clothing for sure. And we know we are not to associate with them but expose them and put them out of Jesus’ churches. Counterfeit “brothers and sisters” who knowingly continue in unrepentant sin.
    That leaves no one for us to turn to for human support. My life story is often “too much” for most people. I get that. It’s been almost too much for me. I’ve wanted to die many times to stop the constant pain. Mental and physical. It’s almost more than any human can endure. Only staying close to Jesus with Him walking through this nonstop fire has kept me alive. But we are made for community. I pray constantly for God to bring good, trustworthy, compassionate people to walk alongside us as we try to recover our lives. To weep with us as we weep. To help as “Good Samaritans”. It’s hard for people to find me even if they wanted to support us when I’m homebound and incapacitated. That’s a bit much to ask of people. I have nothing to offer. Isolation in and of itself can drive a person to deep despair. And it’s gone on for a long time with no change in my condition in sight. It is too heavy a burden to carry by ourselves. But we have no choice but to wait on the Lord. And keep praying. I pray for the strength to hold on and not descend into that despair spiral.
    Need prayers for sure. Thanks.

  3. Tania Williams

    PRAISE THE LORD for this site…thank you Dave.
    Please pray for me.
    Husband [14yrs] is text-book N….destroying me, literally.
    I have multiple sclerosis [20yrs]…..now bedridden for a year + isolated..not from MS..I still walk unaided…but from his N. toxicity.
    Bless you

  4. Thank you for this comforting post. You hit the nail on the head with how the victim of narcissim feels. After my divorce, I felt like there was something wrong with me and just couldn’t stay organized. I have healed mostly but still find that when I am stressed, I just can’t get anything done and my mind is all over that place. Focusing on the grace of God is a big help in these times.

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