Narcissistic Mothers

My Mother is a Narcissist.

How do I know this you may ask? Well, I haven’t had her diagnosed nor labelled by a professional since Narcissists are rarely if ever diagnosed. Their narcissism prevents it. Not only does it prevent it but it also is prevents them from seeing it in themselves. If someone ever mentions it, they will be completely defensive and deny or most likely call you a Narcissist. Even professionals state they are untreatable and can manipulate counsellors for extended periods of time without them recognizing it. When confronted by professionals, they walk away bad mouthing their abilities as a professional and will refuse to go back.

Growing up with a Narcissistic mother is a very lonely, gas lighting experience. (Gas lighting: when someone tries to convince you that you are crazy but it’s really them). As a child, you are trained to be minion-like, or an ego inflating person for them otherwise, you are kicked to the curb so to speak. Or even worse, you’ll turn out just like them in order to survive the experience. My Mother has a Narcissitic Mother as well and some of her siblings are lesser variations of it or just plain dysfunctional from growing up in this craziness.

Hallmarks to identify if your mother is a Narcissist:

-Turn on the charm and the sanity at will. But in secret they show their true colors.

-Never admit they have any problems. It’s always someone else’s fault that they are upset.

-Never take responsibility for anything they’ve done wrong. No matter what.

-Never apologize.

-Exaggerate stories, fib or brag on about themselves to make others think they are better than they are.

-Bring others down or make others look badly to make themselves look good.

-Have no use for people who don’t serve a purpose in somehow benefitting their ego. Thus children get the most abuse as they consider them extensions of themselves and struggle with their behavior if it doesn’t worship them as parents. If they were not extensions of themselves, they would just cut them out like they do most people in their lives.

-Few good friends. Not good at maintaining long time friendships.

-Difficulties getting along with their own families. Often don’t talk to them.

-Regular cutting people off, stonewalling, not talking to others as a form of control and self importance.

-Will project their own behaviors on others. Acting cold and mean but will call you cold and mean. (Form of gaslighting)

-They will play family members against each other in order to get attention.

-Attention is their main focus and goal in life. They will pull out all the stops to get the kind of attention they crave. Having children who worship them is a feather in their cap. They will manipulate, guilt  and control to keep them as minions.

-They often seem like lovely sympathetic people at times and can be but usually don’t follow through with it in actions as they are just playing a role to get the attention they want. It’s like a druggie who will do anything to get the hit but once they get it, they are done for awhile.

-Play the Martyr, good Mother, loving neighbour, fantastic friend role for short periods of time in order to get the attention they so crave. However, it does not last long and their true colors show in people that are the closest to them.

-Use guilt as a means to control or gain attention.

-Difficulty keeping a job. Often quit due to issues with others.

-Often spends a lot of time on appearances (physical or social).

This list is not extensive just a small amount of what a Narcissistic Mother may look like. Each person’s biological personality will change portions of this and they may be higher or lower on the spectrum of Narcissism. Growing up with a Narcissitic Mother usually means you have a very uninvolved or dysfunctional father, or a father how had to placate your Mother as she would have divorced him otherwise. So your family experience was not a great one! I sympathize with you and tell you this one piece of advice. Learn about boundaries, what they are, what they look like in regards to your Mother and implement them. You may lose your Mom but you will gain yourself back!

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Teenage Girls

Having two boys 2.5 years apart and then having a girl 6 years later, you’d think would be such a pleasant surprise. I found out I was pregnant with my daughter during a really dark time in my life a week after my Dad died. I felt she was a present from God to make up for his sudden and youthful death.

The boys are grown and have gone through their turbulent times, one with fighting off seasonal affective disorder in University all the while trying to find a career path, albeit difficult but yet we got through it. He is now much more settled with a nice girlfriend and getting his Master’s Degree. The other son was such a breeze, who loved sports, had a nice girlfriend through high school, got into a prestigious University program. Boom! She broke up with him after 2.5 years of a relationship that he invested his all into, down the toilet. He ended up with trauma from it and almost lost his year and his place in his program because of it. I was thinking the teenage years with them were a sail on the sea in a gentle wind compared to the University years.

Now, comes my lovely present from God, teenage girl. She’s always been a quiet, private serious girl who loved to watch Disney Shows, play with her friends, and get lots of attention from her doting older brothers who cared for her more than her own parents some days. Turning 15 seemed to be the turning of the tides. Grade 9-10, are the years we are in right now. We have caught her lying to us although we’ve stressed through example and good parenting how wrong this is. We’ve raised her in Church, brought her to youth group, been leaders at church, stable, kind and loving parents, providing all that she needs with a nice home, and loving family and parents. But we’ve recently caught her secretly dating an 18 year old boy at school who has come back for another year of school. I put my credit card onto her $15/month texting plan and she’s been adding booster packs of $55 to it for the last few months without our permission. And today I found some love emails she’s been sending to her wanna-be boyfriend that seems so uncharacteristically her. She’s always going around the house saying she loves her brothers and her cat and doesn’t want a boyfriend. I’m honestly blown away by her deception and private behaviour. I can’t believe she’s behaving this way.

To give her some credit: we’ve had two different teenage runaways living with us in 2 years. Both girls. So she may be feeling like her home is not her home or that she’s had to share her loving home with teenagers that she didn’t sign up for. I’m seeing a therapist in order to help me navigate all this mess. So I’m trying hard here to do my best. It just seems like when things are getting better, then things go worse. There are no real answers and I’m struggling to keep my marriage intact, my family sane and keep the runaways safe and emotionally healthy. It’s just a lot. I am hoping this venting here just helps me get some perspective. Right now, I’m feeling like the ship has too many holes and I can’t keep up with the bailing to fix them.

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Spiritual junk food

1 Corinthians 6:12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial.

After reading this chapter on the nonsense of taking other believers to court along with sexual immorality and how having sex with another person defiles God’s temple. I did not feel any inspiration other than the verse above. I have children who are young adults and go to University. Although, they don’t fall into the world’s version of what every young adults tend to do while going to University… you can see how they get that ideology that “everything is permissible” and that they are untouchable. Interestingly, God gives young adults this drive to try anything and do everything. They want to touch and see the world and taste it for themselves. They soon learn after exploring these areas that although these areas looked tempting and seemed fun that it is empty. Much like junk food! I will eat an entire bag of chips and find the next day or later that day I feel ill. I find a constant diet of junk food causes my body to be seriously ill and I can’t seem to recover from it. As a kid, I could eat more junk food and not gain as much weight as I do now and feel less sick… thus giving me license and freedom to do this more. Again, I find this interesting that God allows our young bodies to be tested with the temptations of this world. Unfortunately, the bad habits that are formed are difficult to break and a taste for only junk food has been instilled in us.
Metaphorically, we are all like this with our lifestyle decisions. Some young adults see this time as invincible; however, God says that we will all have to answer for our choices in this world and in heaven after. If heaven seems too far off, God will surely make up for it here on earth. Changing belief systems and bad habits can take years and lots of hard work. Starting out sure and continuing the good race He has set before us all can seem overwhelming, difficult and seemingly a lot less fun than the world is having. However, this is where God calls us to trust Him and He will work out those details for us. He asks us to change our attitudes during this time of testing so we can be happy with trusting Him knowing that it seems unfair and unfun but trusting God knows what’s best for us.
God bless…

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Flawed with fighting yet God is still victorious

After reading 1 Corinthians 4, I am trying to understand the historical back story to this chapter. The historical background pointed to Paul helping build the church there and then went away to build new churches elsewhere. He heard reports of problems in the church he left and that people there were not acting like the christians he taught them to be. They were fighting about doctrine and just being plain dumb and flawed humans which we are so good at doing.

The positive thing that strikes me through this passage is that God’s message wins and prevails and thus so God must be at the helm of that battle. We have all this same dysfunction still going on in our own churches, yet in the end God’s word and His teachings still pull through. Although we often are handicapped in our carrying out his message by the living in the temptations of the times of this world, we still have churches and we still have his Bible and we still are working on the goals he has set before us. So that is encouraging and comforting that God can use us simple servants who are flawed and handicapped with the temptations of this world but still are able to carry out his works.

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Spirit vs Brain part 2: How to walk a cat

1 Corinthians 3:18-23
Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”[a]; 20 and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”[b] 21 So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas[c] or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.

I loved this chapter. It had a lot of good advice in it. Worldiness, building a good foundation with Christ, and how not to let others treat your body badly. However, on the theme I’ve been blogging about recently… using our own wisdom instead of being “fools for God”. Why does the bible continue to give advice in this area? I think we want to be our own God and understand everything and make our own decisions. God is calling us to be a “fool” for Him. Meaning we don’t need to know it all and just put down your own ideas and your own beliefs and just follow Him and His word. Often we get all caught up in the details and the whether this or that line up… really the basics are there. You don’t need a fine tooth comb to shred apart what scriptures could or should mean. If something is grey, maybe leave it as grey and let God speak to you through it Himself instead of trying to find the true meaning and context. I find we get so concerned about Biblical interpretation, we live in fear of the Word of God instead of living in joy and letting the spirit speak to us as we read it.
I compare it to walking through this life blindfolded except we don’t know we are blindfolded. God is saying let me lead you by the hand but we say, “I know better, I don’t need anyone telling me what to do”. God lets us walk away and find our own landmines and pitfalls because He wants to honor our wishes regarding Him. Every once in a while, we feel the hinderance of that blindfold and come crawling back to Him and He tells us each time, “I love you, I left my word as a guidepost for you, I am here when you need me”. However, we often wander away on our own.
I had a friend over for lunch and we talked about our cats. My cat is an outdoor country cat and hers is an indoor only cat. She told me her cat loves the outdoors but she fears it will get run over like one of her other cats so she she takes it for walks with a leash. I asked her why she doesn’t put it on the clothesline and leave it outside and she said, “He gets into all sorts of messes when I leave him alone, I’m sure he would find a way to strangle himself”. I believe that God lets us get into difficult situations and He says every time, “Just walk with me!”. I feel that we need to put down our objections to the Bible, the confusion that we create to make everything line up the way we need and just follow Him. Take His word and see what the spirit does with it to your own heart. Walk tandem with God and see if you God’s promise comes true.

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Brains vs Heart

1 Corinthians 2: 9-16

However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”[b]—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—

10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.[c] 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,

“Who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?”[d]

But we have the mind of Christ.

It’s been a while since I’ve had time to blog and spend some real quality time reading my bible instead of a quick devo in the morning. My son is taking his Masters in Divinity and he and I have great theological talks. This verse really spoke to me today regarding some of our conversations. Since this generation of kids being brought up in conservative and fundamentalist christianity, they have been attracted to the the artistic and creative emerging church philosophies. Rob Bell being one of the leaders in this trend, my son read everyone of his books and watched everyone of his movies. Rob Bell has verged into new territory recently insinuating that there is no Satan nor demons along with Hell itself is indeed fictional. As well, the Bible is up for interpretation and can it be trusted as the word of God and if so, we must consider the culture and the times it was written before we interpret it. The debate goes on and on with us. I can truly understand where he is coming from since I came from that exact place before I decided I needed a definite change in my life because I certainly wasn’t doing a good job running it myself. Having kids really made me realize how precious a young child is when you are completely responsible for raising it and rearing them to be healthy individuals that need to contribute their gifts to society. Ironically, the child that made me turn to God is the one that is saying the same things I did before he came into this world. His thinking is so inline with what my thinking was before I decided to give up my own intelligence and try it God’s way. So often we think we understand everything and can intellectualize everything but when you are faced alone in the world with huge responsibilities and entrusted another life to your care, you realize that you weren’t as intelligent as you thought you were. God brought me to a place where I knew that trying to figure it all out on my own was a waste of my time and resources since I kept getting it wrong. God’s way is so much better and when I let the spirit work in my life through His word and teach me His lessons in it… I found peace and I find answers to life’s hard decisions and questions. So many people could have told me that over and over but God had to bring my own son in my life to make me reach out to Him. I don’t feel he’s lost his faith but it’s just gone down the “intelligence on my own” path where there is only opportunities for critical thinking and analyzation of the text from a mind’s eye and not the eye of the heart through the spirit. This is where I was before God turned me inside out and said put Me first and let me lead not you and see how that works for you… I’m still trying this out on a daily basis and often failing but the point is I keep that as my goal and it was so much better this way than it was before and I have had that huge turning point which God revealed to me I was much happier doing life His way. As for my son… God will reveal all this to him… I believe… but He’s God’s child now, not mine and I have to let go and let God. Which I put as my daily goal but I’m still not always able to reach it but it’s still my goal and that’s what counts…


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Brains vs Braun

18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 19 As the Scriptures say,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise
and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”[e]
20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. 21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. 22 It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. 23 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.

24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles,[f] Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.

26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy[g] when God called you. 27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world,[h] things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.

30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. 31 Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”[i] 1 Corinthians 18-30

So I’m jumping along onto the next book in the Bible 1 Corinthians. I feel these verses spoke to me as I remember this young man who came to clean out heat ducts two days ago. He asked me about my sons who were living in the rental that we purchased for them to live in while they both attend University. I told them one was in his first year and the other was taking his Masters. I mentioned how difficult it was to get jobs nowadays and education gave them the upper hand. He commented that he has never been to post-secondary schooling and has never had any difficulties finding a job. Of course, I said that the trades are easier like that. However, my boys weren’t interested in going that route.
As I read this verse, I am reminded of this young man and how right his is. Often it’s just our attitude towards life and our enthusiasm for what we are doing that matters. This verse states that power, prestige and intelligence matter not to God but our hearts and our seeking after Him is really all that matters. And that God uses the powerless, uneducated and simple-minded often to do his work. Why? Because their hearts are true and not corrupt by all these things.
I’m in transition right now with my career, my job as a mother is weaning off and its causing me to feel like I’m unimportant. So this verse did encourage me. I have been struggling with some health issues as well, which inspires me that God still can use me and wants to use me. So today is a day of encouragement, with some light peaking out of the clouds for me. I’m hoping that this is a glimpse that God has something good in store around the corner. I just need more patience, to trust Him, and keep plugging along with accepting my downturns as God’s plan for me.
God bless


Filed under Empty Nest Syndrome, Life Lessons, Relationship with God