Protecting Yourself

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If — like me — you have been wounded by narcissistic abuse in the past, how do you protect yourself from anything like that ever happening again? Pastor Dave Orrison has some advice I believe is spot on: he says your identity is key.

Quoting from Pastor Dave’s latest “Narcissistic Friday” post:
“…narcissists depend on our needs, our fears, and our vulnerability.  If we come into the relationship, whether it is at work, at church, or dating, content in who we are, the narcissist has nothing to use against us.  Emotional and spiritual health lie in an accurate and confident understanding of who we are.”

Please click on the link below and read this very excellent post in its entirety. If you wish to comment, I think it would be best to show your appreciation to the author by leaving your comments on his site. However, I am interested in reading your thoughts here too, so maybe you can copy and paste your comment in both places? But if that’s too much of a hassle, please just leave your comment for Pastor Dave on his Grace For my Heart blog.

Thank you and God bless!

Grace for my Heart

It’s Narcissist Friday!   

Okay, so I know that I have stumbled into narcissistic relationships and have suffered for it.  How do I avoid this in the future?  Is there a way to protect myself from narcissists?

Good and strong people still find themselves to be the targets of narcissistic manipulation and/or rage from time to time, but there may be a way to keep your relationships narcissist-free.  So while narcissists may attack you or try to use you, you may be able to protect yourself against the soul-eating relationships you have suffered before.  In fact, you may also be able to make yourself less susceptible to narcissistic manipulation in the relationships you have now.

The key is identity.  Who are you?  Are you willing to find security and strength in who you are?

You see, in our minds (and in the minds of others), we suffer from identity confusion. …

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12 thoughts on “Protecting Yourself

  1. sleeping tiger April 1, 2016 / 12:53 pm

    That quote is great. And so true as proven so many times over in my own life.
    The identity thing…it can be a problem and has been for me since my parents did not give me a chance to develop my own identity. Makes it hard to have one.

    And yes, I remember the last entanglement I was involved in, he said things to me that let me know he either saw things in me that I knew weren’t there or he was wishing they were part of who I was. They were things I wished were part of who I was.

    I also fought a lot of who I became when involved with him. A so called home-wrecker, someone having an affair with a still married man, despite his plan for divorce.

    It didn’t sit well in my psyche. I felt like I needed him, but knew it could never work because I didn’t come about the relationship honestly. Forget the trust factor, although that was an issue too for sure.

    I didn’t like identifying myself as a husband thief. And it caused a lot of chaos within as well as outwardly in the relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lady Quixote/Linda Lee April 1, 2016 / 2:34 pm

      “I didn’t like identifying myself as a husband thief.” Sorry to say, I understand. From firsthand experience.

      I was a husband thief. I was twenty, he was thirty-four. I was broken spiritually, emotionally, and physically. First by my horrifically chaotic childhood, then by almost two years in an insane asylum, then by three and a half years of marriage to a man who beat me more times than I can remember, while cheating on me with just about anything that walked, including both sexes, and including my own mother.

      I had zero self-esteem. I mean, absolute zero. I had a two year old child depending on me, and no one to lean on. Until this older man, my first husband’s boss, came to my “rescue.” I clung to him like a drowning person clings to a life raft. When he pulled away, I ran after him. And he let me catch him again.

      I rationalized and justified. I was starving for love. No one had ever really loved me, until him. His wife was hateful to me from the first day I met her. She blatantly flirted with my husband right in front of her husband and me… and in front of their three children.

      They had been married seventeen years.

      I rationalized and justified. I told myself that what she did not know would not hurt her. I told myself that their marriage vows were between the two of them, I wasn’t breaking any vow. I told myself that if she were a better person, if she were a better wife, he would not stray. I told myself that I needed him, that he was the only person on this entire planet who knew all about my crazy history and loved me anyway. I told myself that I could not live without the passion of his love. I thought that I had to have my stolen hours with him to give me a reason to go on living.

      I was an idiot.

      I became pregnant with my daughter. His wife found out and divorced him. She began drinking heavily and quickly married a man she met in a bar. He abused their precious little four year old daughter.

      I married him before my daughter was born. He is the husband I wrote about in my post, When My Children Were Stolen From Me.

      Today, more than forty years later, the repercussions of my sinful affair are still adversely affecting the lives of a great many people.

      Self-hatred. I have battled that ever since. The only thing that saves me is knowing I am not the person I was when I was a husband thief. I am someone else entirely today. And I believe… I know… the reason is because of who I now am in Christ.

      ((HUG))

      Liked by 4 people

      • sleeping tiger April 1, 2016 / 3:11 pm

        “I thought that I had to have my stolen hours with him to give me a reason to go on living.”

        I remember that feeling too and when he broke away, I attempted to chase him but he’d already found someone else.

        I try to remember we do things for certain reasons. Our behaviors don’t exist in a vacuum.

        ((HUG)) back. Thank you for not judging me. I hesitated to post that.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Lady Quixote/Linda Lee April 1, 2016 / 4:52 pm

          Thank you for trusting me enough to post it. I understand the hesitation! Your courage, and Lucky Otter’s courage on her blog, has increased my courage. I am thinking of making a blog post out of it soon. But first, gotta go shopping in a bit. We stretched our budget so thin in the last month and a half, helping grandchildren and an adult child, that we are just about out of everything. Thank God and social security, we have some money today.

          Liked by 2 people

      • katiesdream2004 April 1, 2016 / 5:38 pm

        Beloved daughter of the King, what a journey out of shame. We have our own shame, we have those that narcissists left us with that was not our own because narcs are shameless while they are skilled at shifting blame on their victims. As I read what you wrote I think of the woman that stood behind Jesus with her livelihood poured at his feet weeping. He pronounced her forgiven and bestowed honor on her for eternity unlike his rebuke to Simon, the one judging the broken women. Of Mary, Jesus said “she that is forgiven much loves much” and He pronounced her forgiven. Simon the narcissist was not forgiven.

        The great gift of conscience and guilt leads us to the greater gift of repentance that results in forgiveness and restoration. We become new and the old things pass away, they are buried in the forgiveness God grants. It is the most magnificent thing anyone can experience. . God’s forgiveness doesn’t include shame. I know these words and the concepts but deep down I’ve been so immersed in shame and worthlessness I didn’t want to live

        After struggling with a deep and abiding sense of worthlessness that haunts me day and night I had a revelation very recently and I believe because people are praying for me, that I need to take it by faith that God has made my life over. Confessing out loud that I am a new creation and I am of value to Him. I’m not in the “out” box for the rest of my life!

        There is some spiritual warfare to resist shame when we are forgiven even when we observe that there are still painful consequences. I’ve had to speak to the shame and say I resist these feelings and thoughts because God told me He has good plans for me and He intends on making my life matter. Even if I don’t see it I have faith that its true because faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of “things not yet seen”

        I can’t fix some of the things that got broken by my sins, I see the impacts still decades later in my children–I see some impacts in my life that are still devastating, but perhaps these scars are like the scars that remain in Christ’s hands, I can see them as a reminder of how deep the forgiveness and restoration really is. I can honor God with faith that He will make something beautiful out of all this brokenness.

        By the way, I was a wife, whose narc husband broke me with his affair with a 20 year old. Years later I spoke to the woman and she told me how sad she was for her actions and told me how abusive my now ex was to her. She’d gone to a priest asking for absolution. She had massive ramifications on me, and yet in that conversation with her I was given grace to utterly and completely forgive her, and feel compassion. That conversation helped me make the break from my ex which was a true gift to me. On behalf of the “wife” I want you to really deeply understand you are completely forgiven.
        God intended to use your actions for our good. Ipray for that “husband stealer” now that she be blessed and feel no shame. God used it to bring her to himself too.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. jncthedc April 2, 2016 / 8:31 am

    I believe the world is both naive and intentionally “blind” to these realities. When our population becomes “saturated” with this important information, awareness will no longer be a major problem. The next phase is public “involvement!” Great post.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. gigoid April 5, 2016 / 5:09 pm

    I’ve suffered from ptsd for many years, (30+), due to working in a violent job for a long time. One of the things I’ve found to be true supports what the quote above, and pastor Dave’s concepts have related. It is an ancient piece of wisdom, which, if embraced, can help us to do exactly what he describes, becoming confident and whole, as a result of self-knowledge… It was said by Epictetus, to wit:

    “The key to happiness and freedom lies in a clear understanding of one principle. Some things are within your control. And some things are not.”

    This sort of inner-directed vision is also part of the answer, for all the answers we really need are already there, in our own center of balance.

    gigoid, the dubious

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lady Quixote/Linda Lee April 5, 2016 / 5:26 pm

      “The key to happiness and freedom lies in a clear understanding of one principle. Some things are within your control. And some things are not.” This made me smile. Thanks, I needed a smile right now. One of the things that is not within my control is the behavior of my husband. And (ahem) vice versa. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • gigoid April 5, 2016 / 5:42 pm

        Hmm… sounds familiar, if you switch adjectives around. I was married to a narcissist for 23 years (I’m stubborn).

        I will say this on that: you cannot control him (and why would you want to?); you can control your reaction to his asininity, and, quite simply.

        I have another blogging friend with a husband who is a narcissistic type, always denigrating her. I gave her this advice: every time he insults you, or says something derogatory, in your mind, alter one or two words to make it ridiculous, such as “You’re an idiot”, changing it, in your mind, to “I’m an idiot”, picturing the words coming out of his mouth. This can help you control your reaction, and, give you a small smile in the bargain, guaranteed to confuse him, and piss him off, without saying a word.

        She says it helps a lot, and it gives her the controls….

        Hope it works for you, too. Assholes don’t deserve to be listened to….

        & you may tell him I said so.

        gigoid, the dubious

        Liked by 1 person

        • Lady Quixote/Linda Lee April 5, 2016 / 6:01 pm

          LOL, I like your advice.

          In the few minutes since I posted my reply to your earlier comment, my husband came and apologized for being a grump. I forgave him. Then I sort of apologized for being a grump in return… hmm, I may have to redo my apology. Uhm, a bit later.

          I spent quite a few years married to an abusive malignant narcissist, so I know how horrible that is. The husband I have now — we met and married when we were both in our early 50s, going on 13 years ago. He is a good man and we get along great 90% of the time.

          The problem today is that it is in the upper 80s here, and we were trying to replace the burned out air conditioner motor on our RV that my husband’s daughter is currently living in, and… sigh… we do not work well together at all, my hubby and me. Which is ironic, considering that we met at work.

          So now we are okay again and my stepdaughter just got home from work, so she will help her daddy with the ac motor. Or he will help her, is more like it. As for me, I have taken our little rescue poodle and retired to the bedroom to play on my computer.

          Liked by 1 person

          • gigoid April 5, 2016 / 6:06 pm

            Good for you, and him. Distance always works, in moderation, when necessary.

            Me, I’m enjoying my solitude, most of the time….

            #lol@me

            😉

            Have fun…

            gigoid

            Liked by 1 person

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