I don’t think I am the only woman with a deep spiritual relationship, and values, who has wanted to bang her head against a wall trying to understand the crazy-making behavior of someone she loves.
The crazy-making abuse, the lack of empathy, and the desire to hold on to it all for dear life, because of the trauma bond, can threaten the very core of who we are.
I just spoke to a woman today who told me that being narcissistically abused has put her on a spiritual path. The pain and uncertainty can indeed bring you to your knees. I consider myself to be a spiritual Christian. I am extremely conscientious and adaptable. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt but listen to these words from Jesus as he sent his apostles out into a hostile culture. “Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
Learning how to love AND be wise is key. Our relationship with Spirit can sustain us and give life meaning but making meaning of someone’s pathology is another story.
What’s ironic is that as a licensed therapist, I don’t like the labels we diagnose people with. I do realize we have to understand criteria and groups of behaviors and characteristics to help someone and speak to other professionals intelligently, or for insurance companies. However, I prefer to understand why people act and behave in hurtful or dangerous ways because of emotional pain or trauma without calling them a name.
The meaning of psychopathology is soul suffering. For example, instead of saying someone has a major depressive disorder, it can be seen as sadness visiting. Having said that, you will see me posting about narcissism all over the place. That’s because it is harmful and dangerous. Here are some thoughts on how to reconcile, a loving heart toward all who God created, and calling a spade a spade.
Making Meaning of Narcissistic Abuse for the Spiritual Woman
1) Your persistence in trying to get your emotionally unavailable person to love, really see and understand you may be the little girl in you trying to heal an attachment wound from childhood. So… the devastation can bring you deeper healing if you do your work and a healthier new beginning.
2) You may consider how evil, in our fallen world, shows up and hurts others. In this… you become wiser and better able to create healthy boundaries as you recognize how the narcissist, sociopath, or even the psychopath operates (remember it is all on a spectrum). You will know not all people can be trusted and some will treat you like objects for their gain — a very hard but important lesson.
3) After recovering from the trauma, physical illness, and emotional exhaustion, you may learn a whole new meaning of self-care, trusting yourself, and listening to your intuition.
4) You may discover that you are codependent and how this way of being was a survival pattern from childhood to help you get your needs met. You now work to change and release that pattern and learn to love yourself in a healthy way. You learn to say no and walk away from the gaslighting and manipulations. You pay attention to your body and what it is telling you.
5) You may learn self-compassion and forgiveness for yourself and in time (take as long as you need) you may find forgiveness in your heart and spirit for the one who hurt you. This takes great depth, grace, and understanding that they were acting out of their own woundedness. It is not your job, nor can you heal them, teach them, or change them. That is between them and God (NAS note: or whomever you acknowledge or believe as your higher power).
6) You may find this relationship has changed your life so much that you become passionate about helping others in their own recovery. The journey of grief will lead you to acceptance of what happened and to acceptance of yourself in a new way.
7) Lastly, you may find your spiritual relationship has grown so much that you revel in newfound peace and purpose. In this you are grateful for the time you had with them, the lessons learned, and that there can be a full life and love after narcissistic abuse.
I realize this is a high calling and that it can take years to come to this place of meaning-making. Please don’t delay one more day if you are suffering, confused, and need help with a possible toxic relationship. Sometimes it’s very obvious and sometimes it is very hidden and subtle. Contact me for a free consultation.
Trade the trauma for truth. Trade the pain for power and purpose.
Thank you, Donna, for sharing such personal thoughts. We appreciate you!
Donna’s calling is to help spiritual women understand if they are involved in the confusion and trauma of a toxic emotionally abusive relationship and to guide them to heal transform and transcend the pain into a meaningful new beginning. She has been a clinical therapist for over 20 years and is a certified holistic wellness coach who specializes in grief and loss, trauma (Brainspotting certified), and emotional narcissistic abuse recovery.