Surviving Spiritual Abuse from a Narcissistic Leader-How to Know if You’re Dealing With a Narcissist 

When we are in pain, the only thing we seek is RELIEF.  Relief from a headache, the pinch of a splinter, the throbbing of a stubbed toe and the aching from a slaughtered heart of betrayal. 

We know ibuprofen can cure a headache. We know as we take the splinter out of our finger, the pain will cease. And after ramming our toe up against the couch, we know the pain will eventually decrease over time. 

But what is the remedy for a slaughtered heart? A heart that was carved out of your chest by a rusty jagged knife. A heart held tightly while slapped with hands dripping with betrayal, until unrecognizable and shoved back in, only to be carved out again the next week? 

Remedy to my relief and acceleration of my healing began when I started understanding exactly who I was dealing with. 

When in the middle of a life storm we cannot see clearly because we’re trying to survive while dodging the debris of emotion swirling around us.  For seven years I felt like David running around the castle trying not to get speared by Saul. 

When I was lying on a gurney, detoxing and resting…it was during that time when I began to educate myself and learn more about the abuse I suffered. But most importantly, I exhaled and gleaned understanding WHY my abuser did what he did. 

If you’re not sure if you’re suffering from the hands of a narcissist, this article titled “7 Things Only Narcissists Do” from Psychology Today may help you identify your situation. 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201511/7-things-only-narcissists-do

Again for me, as I unpacked my circumstances with my counselor and mentors, I was empowered by His promises and empowered with my understanding I was dealing with a Narcissist. 

I was diagnosed as suffering from traumatic loss after serving at the church for 23 years. I was instructed to “grieve” my losses which included; friendships, routine, title, position, influence. It was insanely difficult to NOT try to push through the pain like I’ve always done in the past. This time,  I leaned into it.  

Ungrieved loss is toxic and its effects will come back stronger in time, prohibiting you from freedom and blinding you to see the plan God has for you. 

Understanding narcissism enabled me to feel the full effects of detoxing. Month by month I began to take my life back and it was then I decided I was going to write my OWN narrative and no longer be influenced by the abuse of the past. 

I’ve heard it said “Grief always precedes glory.”

Getting to this point of healing took time and discipline. My faith muscle was broken down then built back up time after time.  Triggers of the past and monumental waves of grief would splash over me but I remembered how the Lord provided for Joseph, led Samuel to David, rescued Daniel and sought out Hagar. I believed the Lord would do the same for me. 

Here’s a quote in my bible: 

It took a resolve to not sit in pity but to sit in His Word. To camp out in the very presence of Christ. To decide, decide, decide to show the world our God is big enough to get me through all I had endured. 

God surely uses all things for His purposes and glory. 

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”‭‭ Genesis‬ ‭50:20

It’s empowering to recognize God allowed our trials…for life altering reasons presently revealed or shown to us on the other side of heaven. 

I pray this entry offers you hope and becomes a tool you can use on your road to recovery. 

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