Bad advice… just bad advice

I saw a blog post today that frankly, really upset me. Something I haven’t shared before (I think) is that before I married my little narcissist, I was married to an abusive addict. (Lesson learned, there won’t be a third.)

In this blog, about how to love a husband well, the advice was superficial and should have been given with a disclaimer.

Have you ever noticed how everyone is an expert because they get one thing right (or seem to)? Or get something figured out for them and then want everyone to do it their way?

The piece of advice that really bothered me – “Ask your husband what it means to respect?” That could have gotten me killed in my last married.

When I nicely commented on the blog, it wouldn’t post. I didn’t (can’t) use a real email for safety reasons. I was already planning on blogging myself about that, so here I am a little sooner.

In my current marriage, when I would try to seek help from friends, I heard, “You need to submit more.” Or, “You’re not submitting enough.”

I will not submit to sin.

If I had been a Christian and gotten that advice with my ex-husband, well, I might not be around today.

I love Abigail (in the Bible). She’s my hero. She did what was right in God’s eyes and He rewarded her for it.

I don’t think she was disrespectful to Nabal. And clearly, she submitted to Nabal. But she knew her God and she put Him first.

So, what advice should that blogger have given? Maybe not have given any at all? Maybe had a disclaimer that this advice is based solely on her experience? Maybe tell people to seek professional advice?

We have to be careful when we dole out advice. I find I’m more and more of recluse these day because I don’t want to hear it anymore. I’m depressed enough.

Is it all bad? Of course not. Is it right? Nope, not at all.

If you’re a blogger, please consider your audience when you blog. You never know what scars you’re opening up.

God bless!

I’m raising my kids alone… but I’m married.

It’s the same cry – nothing I do is good enough. I’m always wrong. Picked on for my weight after throwing chocolate at me. When I’ve said repeatedly don’t bring it home. Stress/depressed eating is a real thing. At least my son wants to workout with me.

My kids look to me for leadership, not their father. They should be looking to us both.

The kids and I do a Bible study together. Never with my husband because not only will it turn into an argument, it will turn into him telling us how wrong we all are. I love studying with my kids because they are really opening up. It’s a sweet sweet time! I wouldn’t give it up for anything!

If I bring up a news article I like, he’ll be contrary. No matter topic of the article.

He judged a recent political situation – for all the wrong reasons. It didn’t matter that the people’s lives were in danger but he said he hoped these people learned their lesson. Not because they stood up for what was right but because of their chosen profession, he hoped they learned a little something about the First and Second Amendments to the Constitution.

Sometimes you can ignore the narcissist. Sometimes he leaves you in tears.

Sometimes you think you’ll never be good enough… for anyone.

Intimacy and the Narcissist

I just finished reading a book that I didn’t really like. It was a fiction book about the husband dealing with pornography. The husband used it as a way to cope with the loss of the couple’s daughter when she was eleven (I think). It was a tragic accidental sudden death.

I know it was fiction but fantasy might have been a better category. It was very unrealistic. The more I think about the book the more it bothers me. Maybe it hit home a little harder than I want to admit.

This author is not known for her religious content but with this book she felt it necessary to insert religion. It was bad and misguided with a touch a mysticism. That annoys me no matter what the book is about. Leave it out if you can’t get it right. If you have to seek advice on something like this, then go another route. Or if you do seek advice, go to someone who knows – like a well respected pastor.

I’ve mentioned before my husband and I were foster parents. We lost a daughter before she turned two. She didn’t die but was returned to her mother after we were told we would be adopting her. We were told this twice. My happy narcissist put the blame all on me. Sorry, honey, I don’t control the state.

In this book I read, the sex became more and more infrequent. My ex-husband, who I don’t like to talk about, was an addict. He was and from what I gather still is an addict. He’s addicted to getting high. Mainly he used crack but many times I would come home to find the medicine cabinet cleaned out of anything that might give him a high. Sad I had to hide my cold medicines. I’m the kind of person who rarely takes pain pills so it’s not unusual to find really old pain pills in there. That never happened with my ex. He also used pornography as a coping mechanism. He bought into the lie of pornography. When he would come home high, he would force sex on me. Yes, I’m having a hard time saying the “r” word. (This is just the tip of the iceberg.) I have never shared this with anyone. It’s embarrassing and shameful.

My husband has a hobby (he’s a collector of certain antiquities) that is very consuming. It’s not pornography but sometimes I think it might as well be. He comes to bed late, most of the time. He gets his ya-ya’s from his hobby. If we have sex more than six times a year, I’d be surprised.

I used to love sex. Making love was fun, pleasurable, and it was making a connection. Now I have no idea what I’m doing. It’s the exact same every time. Is that normal? It’s not fun. Frankly, I can do for myself what he does for me. I know that sounds awful. There’s no romance, there’s no fun, and there’s no intimacy. If something were to happen to this relationship and if I ever dared to try again, I wouldn’t have a clue what to do. So I probably don’t have to worry because I can’t see anyone wanting to deal with my insecurities. Anyway, you see the narcissist is getting what he wants, when he wants, how he wants.

In the book I was talking about, I have no doubt the author did some research but she should have done more. I’m not trying to be critical of her but I’m relating from my experience to that which she gives in the book. But here’s a thought… books like this with romantic studs and perfect women – how aren’t they any less healthy than the unrealism of porn. (No wonder I prefer thrillers when reading fiction.)

So what is the difference between addictive behavior and narcissistic behavior? Is there one? They’re both abusive. They’re both unloving and all about them.

True intimacy cannot happen with either.

Can there be recovery? I think so. Is it likely? I don’t think so.

Both pornography and narcissism is on the rise. Traditional families are on the decline.

The “me” society is winning or would that be narcissism…

From Psychology today:
Narcissistic Personality Disorder – The hallmarks of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) are grandiosity, a lack of empathy for other people, and a need for admiration. People with this condition are frequently described as arrogant, self-centered, manipulative, and demanding. They may also have grandiose fantasies and may be convinced that they deserve special treatment. These characteristics typically begin in early adulthood and must be consistently evident in multiple contexts, such as at work and in relationships.

People with NPD often try to associate with other people they believe are unique or gifted in some way, which can enhance their own self-esteem. They tend to seek excessive admiration and attention and have difficulty tolerating criticism or defeat.

Leadership – Is it loving?

What makes good leadership?

I actually started writing this for another blog. But I’ve since decided it would be better here. Plus, I don’t think I’ll be writing on my other blog anymore. The other blog is boring, unfocused, not fun, and honestly, not very therapeutic. Also, it’s hard to share truthfully when you are judged without having all the facts. (I don’t know that this blog is fun but I do hope the therapy works and it goes in that direction.) But here I am free to do and say what I want. It’s one reason this blog is anonymous. I don’t have to worry who is reading it or what someone might read into it.

So back to my question. What makes good leadership?

The old blog of mine was a Christian blog. But this question isn’t just for the church but then again, it is very much for the church. So, chuchy people, if your first answer is theology, I’m going to disagree with you. Your first answer should be soteriology (i.e. what you believe about Salvation – by the grace of God, through Christ Alone, not by works). But that’s still not the answer I’m looking for.

The mark of a good leader – easy: Do they love? Do they genuinely care for you and those around you? Without love we are called a noisy gong. No one will care what you have to say if you don’t have love. Sometimes love doesn’t always say what we want but when you feel loved, you’re okay with that. When someone comes alongside of you and just loves you, you know everything is going to be okay.

Love doesn’t just hand you everything you need or want. Love will care enough to teach you so you can meet your needs. We all need help and there’s nothing wrong with that. We’ve all heard love makes the world go round. It does. Love is patient and kind and doesn’t seek to harm or seek its own way.

Here’s something that really bothers me and it’s a huge mark against the church. Leadership who is only interest in themselves. It’s prideful. No one is perfect. But when what they do damages another person or persons, we should hold them accountable. Recently a previous church leader, who has a lot of people that look up to him, thought it would be funny to not only send inappropriate things to a married woman, he made inappropriate comments to her too – lewd and suggestive. All in the name of joking and trying to help her feel better about herself. How on earth does this make someone feel better? Yes, please, make them feel like an object, not a person with feelings. This was the loving thing to do. And if you call yourself a Christian, I’m sure Christ was pleased. (Maybe a little sarcasm from me. It just slips out sometimes.)

So, how does what this person did help his friend’s struggling marriage? AND she’s running around telling anyone who will listen. How is that helping his testimony or character?

The woman was hurt, the marriage was hurt, those who now know were hurt. How is this loving in any way?

This person is no longer in church leadership and hasn’t been in a few years. In my opinion, there’s a big HALLELUJAH! This man should never be in leadership again.

This man is also married and says his marriage has never been better. But… wait for it… he’s married to a narcissist. She didn’t see anything wrong with what he did and even thought it was funny.

A side note: their marriage is so great because the only thing he’s now capable of saying is “yes, dear.” She too was once in leadership and I’m thankful she no longer is as well. Everything I’ve ever known her to do was about her. The funny thing is my happy narcissist pegged from the beginning. Shocking (more sarcasm).

As I was reading through this post and proofing it, sadly, you can apply this politics. Church leaders and politicians – sheesh!

Not all church leaders are bad. There are a lot who truly love and follow the Lord. And I do believe there are a few good politicians out there too.

So what makes a good leader? Or what makes for good leadership? LOVE of others.

Trusting the Narcissist

HAS ME ALL TIED UP!! In a weak moment I said yes. I always said I would say no but I didn’t think he’d do it.

I know I shouldn’t be invested in what he thinks or says, but it’s hard. He’s my husband. And you always hope and pray things will change. It will take an act of God for that to happen though!!

I wrote a story. I was vulnerable through the characters – pains, dreams . . . a future. Now he’s about done reading and he knows my heart.

THAT SCARES THE CRAP OUT OF ME!!!

I’ve come up with an out – a way to blow it off but it will still hurt when he mocks my heart.

In some ways he tried to help but in others he’s already told me it wasn’t good. He didn’t use those words but let me know. I know I’ll never measure up.

I had told him a long time ago he wouldn’t like it. He wasn’t the audience.

This is going down as one of the most stupid things I’ve ever done . . . Like I didn’t know better.

Ahhh…

Vacation is over and my Happy Narcissist went back to work today!

I was reading in my Bible this morning about the Parable of the Large Banquet. Not one narcissist accepted the invitation. Their pride stopped them. How many times does a narcissist stop to accept an invitation that they consider beneath them? Their servants hearts are attached to something – money, accolades – things that feed their egos or elevate their status. Rarely, if ever, do they do things to behind the scenes.

In a few more days my kiddos will return to school. That will be a day of celebration – the happy narcissist won’t be here, the hormonal moody teenager will be gone, and the cute one struggling to understand the changes his body is goin through will also be back at school – around friends and learning. I will be here, hopefully working or at least enjoying a Dutch Brothers and enjoying the peace and quiet. I may not even answer my phone.

Narcissists are draining. Narcissists are high maintenance. They need constant attention and atta-boys.

I’m becoming more of an introvert. There’s thing at the new year where people pick a word, “their word for the year”. While I don’t really subscribe to stuff like that, I need to thrive this year! I was such a different person before my narcissist came along. I need to get back to her and find a better her… despite my narcissist.

Why this blog?

Because it’s cheaper than therapy.

What do you need to know?
This blog is anonymous. Not just for my benefit but your benefit as well. I will be venting. I will be sharing. And I want to do those things without worrying about who is reading this and if they can figure out who I am. I want to be honest and transparent. That may sound like an oxymoron because I’m staying anonymous but it’s for safety reasons.

What can I tell you about myself?
I am married to a narcissist. This is my second marriage. My first marriage was a train wreck. Clearly I have issues with making sound judgements for myself or I’m easily fooled. You pick.

I have two amazing kids adopted through the foster care system. One of my kiddos is special needs – emotional, learning, and developmental delays.

I love my rescue dogs. I even had a disabled one. She was the best dog ever. I still miss her so much! I only have two dogs right now. And frankly it’s all I can handle at the moment.

I’m a Christian and my faith is important to me. My husband said and did all the right things when we “dated”. Less than three months into our marriage, I began to see the lies. I even thought of leaving him. The bottom-line is my faith stopped me. And now that there are kids involved (a pre-teen and teenager), I can’t leave. I don’t believe I have Scriptural basis for a divorce.

These are the quick facts. I have no doubt that things will get unpacked over time and that things will make more sense. I really do have a backbone. This road God has me on is an interesting one.