Two weeks ago as I was crawling into bed, my phone pinged with a text from hood friend, Serina. Little emoji party horns were all over it, with an invitation.
It’s not me, it’s you: children of christian narcissists
Her father was turning Would my family celebrate with them? Her family was the only family we knew when I was growing up, the weekend in the cabin family, the camping family, the chicken curry family her dad is Pakistanithe family that came over for Thanksgiving dinner.
There was one problem: my mother would be there. It was after my housewarming partywhere she ignored me except to insult me, and later when I confronted her, gaslighted me. Her snide comment that day had not been the apex of her cruelty. The most cruel?
Or perhaps when my father—they had been divorced some 30 years— was in ICU, the beginning of his final illness, and I asked my mother if she could take a few vacation days to watch my children so that I could be at his bedside. Why did you invite her?! It took until this past May, after the housewarming.
Well, guilt. And the 4th Commandment: Honor thy Father and thy Mother. Catholic psychologist Dr. Raymond Richmond writes. Well, by honoring them we make it possible to learn from them, so as to acquire their wisdom and their love for God. This therefore shows that the assumption made in the commandment about honoring parents is that fathers and mothers love God, are living holy lives, and care for their children and want their good. What happens when parents constantly criticize their children, abuse them, and essentially stifle any good that the children could achieve?
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These parents have broken the first commandment, and, to their children, that makes them enemies, not parents. Early in my marriage I decided my mother did not actually need a key to my house.
Then I decided it would be respectful if she called before landing on my doorstep. I asked that my children not be in the same room with her unstable rescue dog or her guns. Each of these boundaries was met by my mother with indignation. Setting healthy boundaries is not dishonoring your mother. Allowing her to continue abusing you is not honoring your mother.
Setting a boundary with your mother regarding your marriage and children is not dishonoring your mother. The Great CommandmentLove Thy Neighbor, conspires with the 4th Commandment to mire the child of a narcissist in confusion.
Richmond writes if a parent loves neither God nor her child, the child need not honor him. But we cannot be released from love. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. I Cor. Children of narcissists are a priori wracked with doubt about themselves.
If you also happen to be a Christian, these verses from First Corinthians set a very high bar, against which we constantly measure ourselves. But let us put the onus of I Corinthians 13 onto the narcissistic parent.
Juxtapose Love is patient, is kind, is not jealous, is not arrogant, it rejoices in the truth against this list of Characteristics of Narcissistic Mothers. God loves us.
Our narcissistic mothers do not. How did the party go? I tried to remain on opposite sides of the room from my mother. I avoided eye contact. After twenty years of practice, my husband and I are adept at a well-choreographed dance of self-preservation in which he never leaves me alone in a room with her.
Champagne was flowing and there was a bounteous spread of Indian food.
Dealing with narcissists – the narcissistic adult mother
Ishaq, the guest of honor, gave a speech at dinner full of nostalgia and gratitude. When I was ten, speeding down a hill on a bicycle while trying to hang on to the handlebars and a tennis racquet, I took a terrible fall, going head over heels onto the asphalt. I had to limp home in a bloody mess. It was there I noticed that I was bleeding through the front of my shorts. Some bicycle part or other, a pedal, maybe, had sliced into my nether-regions. That night, Dr. Ishaq, to my utmost year-old humiliation, cleaned me up, and patched my privates back together with a butterfly bandage— one of those childhood incidents you hope all have forgotten.
Well, my mother included this story in the birthday card she gave Dr. Fortunately, this dear man had the discretion to stop reading aloud at that point.
Toxic mom: covert and malignant narcissist in a christian home part 2
My friend, Serina, and I chatted as the night wore on; she mentioned the Happy Hours she often attended with her mother and my mother. She also mentioned a trip to Las Vegas. Nope, not invited to that either. Here began the sinking, the reminder that my mother is unkind, exclusive, that normal mothers take their daughters to lunches and pedicures and movies and mother-daughter trips.
Serina had her own story about that creepy house—a barn that was always unseasonably cold and a cement hole in the floor we played in. The realtor told us. That bit of unfortunate information made sense, given the house and its ambiance, but also for a moment, her salacious morsel made her the center of attention at a party. Ishaq and his family was a good reason to do it.
The problem with narcissistic parents
But the price I paid was leaving the party in a state of uncertainty and sadness and that wobbly, abandoned, motherless feeling, that child-of-a-narcissist feeling. God has made me for better things. These words are for us all. Beyond Worthyby Jacqueline Whitney. You may unsubscribe at any time. In Catholicism it is the 4th.
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