It’s Narcissist Friday!
The new land seems so bright and positive and filled with potential. But there is a nagging doubt in the back of your mind. In fact, it’s more than doubt. There is a hint of despair. None of this is real. You don’t deserve to be happy or successful. Something bad will come along to ruin everything. You feel like something is wrong inside you.
The Peanuts gang had poor Pigpen, who seemed to attract all the dirt to himself. The Pooh gang had Eeyore, who never expected anything good in life. They feel like kindred spirits as you walk in this new land. You should be happy, but…
Anyone who has come out of a narcissistic relationship should be aware of depression. It’s real, and it can be heavy. Like dark clouds that surround you on a sunny day, depression does not reflect what is happening in your life. You watch others having a great time, but you just can’t feel it. You know your situation has changed for the better, but the negative just hangs around. Depression is real.
There may be many kinds of depression, but it helps us just to look at two categories. The first is chemical and physical. If you lay awake at night, gain a lot of weight, or feel like you would be better off dead, PLEASE GO TO YOUR DOCTOR. If your doctor tells you not to worry and that you are fine, go to a different doctor. Many physical problems can manifest in depression, such as thyroid, diabetes, or lupus. These can be treated. Depression itself can have hormonal or other physical causes for which there are medications to help. If no one is telling you to get some medical advice, but you feel terrible, find a good doctor. If people are telling you to get some medical advice, find a good doctor. Find one who takes you seriously. Certainly not all depression is chemical or physical, but some is, and you owe it to yourself to look into it.
The second kind of depression experienced after a narcissistic relationship I will call “dragon oppression.” It’s a combination of self-doubt, confusion, and exhaustion. Add to that some fear, some regret, and some shame. An overwhelming sense of loss. A sadness that sits on your chest.
All of these feelings are normal after such a draining relationship. The dragon’s oppression is revealed when you begin to think there is something wrong with you. That’s what the dragon has told you, maybe all your life. No one knows why Eeyore is so gloomy or why Pigpen seems to attract dirt. They just do. It’s their nature. That’s a lie from the dragon.
Just because you have suffered does not mean there is something wrong with you. An abuser used you. You were betrayed and deceived. You were manipulated and controlled. How are you supposed to feel? And, frankly, anyone would find what you went through to be exhausting.
In my experience a good amount of depression (with a small “d”) comes out of simple exhaustion. Few people realize what the victim of a narcissist has suffered for so long. The explosion (or whimper) at the end of the relationship is just the breaking point. Some have battled for many years. You have a right to be tired.
But the dragon says it is your fault. You are stupid. You are ugly. You are foolish. You are bad. You may have heard this all your life. And you may have believed it all your life. And the dragon used it to manipulate you and hurt you.
Tell yourself the truth. Tell yourself that the dragon is a liar. Your confusion is his fault. Your sadness is normal after your loss. Your weakness and exhaustion are to be expected after what you went through. Don’t believe the clouds you see, look for the sunshine.
I take depression seriously. It is not simply a matter of using better self-talk, but do it anyway. It will be a step out of the gloom. Find someone you can trust to listen and care. Be careful of people who dismiss depression or suggest that you just need to “buck up.” Ask Jesus to help you find that person and protect you in the process. Then believe good about yourself. You can start again. You are worthy of success. You can have a great future. These things are not only true, they are words from the Lord.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jer. 29:11
The dragon wins by lying. He has no more power over you. Once you call him a liar and refuse to agree with his words, no matter how long ago you started hearing them or how deeply they are implanted in your wounds, his voice will weaken and the oppression will begin to lift. Trust in the amazing love Jesus has for you and find your joy in Him.
It’s ready! Listed on Amazon!
Those who read here know that I believe the greatest expression of God’s grace is found in Jesus. So, when Jesus taught the people, what do you suppose He wanted them to understand? He wanted them to know the power and the desire of the love of God for them. His message was not about what they should do for God, but what God had done and was willing to do for them. His offer of salvation and Heaven could be summarized in two words: “Follow Me!”
The Sermon on the Mount is an amazing message of God’s practical grace for the lives of His people. It presents an offer, a free gift, of everything God wants His people to have. It all is found in Jesus.
This is a big book, over 450 pages, all for the purpose of showing that the Sermon on the Mount was a message of love. Rather than a list of new rules given by Jesus, the Sermon reveals the heart of God.
This is not a Bible commentary. It is written in the same conversational style you know from this blog. The theology may be deep, but the reading is straightforward and simple. I believe you will enjoy this book!
Listen: get the ebook if you have a Kindle. It’s only $10. My guess is that this is the best $10 book you will get for your Kindle. If you don’t have a Kindle, you should be able to read it on any computer or tablet or even phone with the Kindle app. And, if it doesn’t work for you, just send it back!
The book is a chunk, but the print is clear and large enough to enjoy. The cover photo is one I took from a boat on the Sea of Galilee several years ago to show the approximate place the Sermon was delivered.
And let me know what you think! Leave a review for others. Reviews are important for Amazon sales. Send me a note with your thoughts or questions. You know how to reach me.
While you are on Amazon, type in my name to see the other books I have listed. You might be surprised!