Narcissism is a family disease

abused

 

Children of narcissistic parents are always deeply damaged people. Because it’s a genetically inherited disorder (at least to some degree) but also because narcissism is a defense mechanism to protect and isolate oneself from abuse, many victims of narcissistic abuse become narcissists themselves. Those who do not become narcissists suffer from all manner of mental disorders, especially PTSD, avoidant personality disorder, schizoid and schizotypal personality disorder, depression and bipolar disorder, the whole gamut of anxiety and dissociative neuroses, and even psychoses like schizophrenia. And it’s entirely possible to be a narcissist and ALSO suffer from those other disorders. Being a child of a narcissist is the ultimate mind-fuck. There is no way to escape its effects, unless you are removed from the disordered FOO at an early age and adopted and raised by loving parents. Even then, the child will be scarred (“Child of Rage” Beth Thomas is a good example of a child who was severely abused and adopted by a loving family at age one and a half, but still needed years of therapy to overcome the damage that was done to her.)

I see signs of this happening in my daughter due to her MN father’s psychological mind games and mental abuse, but I don’t think it’s deeply entrenched in her because she also suffers from guilt and remorse and does have empathy or at least seems to, so I may be wrong. I hope I am. I still see signs of the sweet child she was, and her currently relationship seems to be bringing that out in her more and more often; she told me sincerely she wants to change her behavior and stop doing things that sabotage herself and hurt others.

Sam was an abused child, the oldest son of a malignantly narcissistic, thoroughly evil mother. He is an ACON, like we are. This is an interview he gave to a writer for Psychology Today, in which he describes what his childhood is like. It’s an excerpt from this journal entry from his website.

Interview granted to Elizabeth Svoboda of Psychology Today

Q. Could you briefly describe your relationship with your parents growing up? What were some of the high and low points?

A. My mother was by far the dominant presence in my life. She treated me as an extension of herself. Through me she sought to settle “open scores” with an indifferent world who failed to appreciate her gifts and to provide her with the opportunities that she so richly deserved. My role was to realise her unfulfilled dreams, wishes, and fantasies. I thus became a child prodigy.

But this was a vicious circle. The more successful I was, the more insidious envy I inspired in her and the more she attempted to subvert me and my accomplishments. Moreover, she resented my newfound personal autonomy. Smothering and doting turned into undisguised contempt and hatred and these fast deteriorated into life-threatening physical and psychological abuse.

Apart from savage beatings, she hit me where it hurt most: tore my poems, shredded my library books, invaded my privacy, humiliated me in front of peers and neighbours. Instead of being her prized possession, I now came to represent the much despised “establishment”. To avoid this disorienting predicament, I made myself into a juvenile delinquent, a gang member, a truant, a rebel with one cause: to regain my mother’s attention. But to no avail.

I hate the words “physical abuse”. It is such a clinical term. My mother used to burrow her fingernails into the soft, inner part of my arm, the “back” of my elbow and drag them, well inside the flesh and veins and everything. You can’t imagine the blood and the pain. She hit me with belts and buckles and sticks and heels and shoes and sandals and thrust my skull into sharp angles until it cracked. When I was four she threw a massive metal vase at me. It missed me and shattered a wall sized cupboard. To very small pieces. She did this for 14 years. Every day. Since the age of four.

She tore my books and threw them out the window of our fourth floor apartment. She shredded everything I wrote, consistently, relentlessly.

She cursed and humiliated me 10-15 times an hour, every hour, every day, every month, for 14 years. She called me “my little Eichmann” after a well known Nazi mass murderer. She convinced me that I am ugly (I am not. I am considered very good looking and attractive. Other women tell me so and I don’t believe them). She invented my personality disorder, meticulously, systematically. She tortured all my brothers as well. She hated it when I cracked jokes. She made my father do all these things to me as well. This is not clinical, this is my life. Or, rather, was. I inherited her ferocious cruelty, her lack of empathy, some of her obsessions and compulsions and her feet. Why I am mentioning the latter – in some other post.

I never felt anger. I felt fear, most of the time. A dull, pervasive, permanent sensation, like an aching tooth. And I tried to get away. I looked for other parents to adopt me. I toured the country looking for a foster home, only to come back humiliated with my dusty backpack. I volunteered to join the army a year before my time. At 17 I felt free. It is a sad “tribute” to my childhood that the happiest period in my life was in jail. The peaceful, most serene, clearest period. It has all been downhill since my release.

But, above all, I felt shame and pity. I was ashamed of my parents: primitive freaks, lost, frightened, incompetent. I could smell their inadequacy. It wasn’t like this at the beginning. I was proud of my father, a construction worker turned site manager, a self-made man who self-destructed later in his life. But this pride eroded, metamorphosed into a malignant form of awe of a depressive tyrant. Much later I understood how socially inept he was, disliked by authority figures, a morbid hypochondriac with narcissistic disdain for others. Father-hate became self-hate the more I realized how much like my father I am despite all my pretensions and grandiose illusions: schizoid-asocial, hated by authority figures, depressive, self-destructive, a defeatist.

But above all I kept asking myself:

WHY?

Why did they do it? Why for so long? Why so thoroughly?

I said to myself that I must have frightened them. A firstborn, a “genius” (IQ-wise), a freak of nature, frustrating, overly-independent, unchildlike Martian. The natural repulsion they must have felt having given birth to an alien, to a monstrosity.

Or that my birth fouled their plans somehow. My mother was just becoming a stage actress in her fertile, narcissistic, imagination (actually, she worked as a lowly salesperson in a tiny shoe shop). My father was saving money for one of an endless string of houses he built, sold and rebuilt. I was in the way. My birth was probably an accident. Not much later, my mother aborted my could-have-been-brother. The certificate describes how difficult the economic situation is with the one born child (that’s me).

Or that I deserve to be punished that way because I was naturally agitating, disruptive, bad, corrupt, vile, mean, cunning and what else.

Or that they were both mentally ill (and they were) and what was to be expected of them anyhow.

And the other question:

WAS IT REALLY ABUSE?

Isn’t “abuse” our invention, a figment of our febrile imagination when we embark upon an effort to explain that which cannot be explained (our life)?

Isn’t this a “false memory”, a “narrative”, a “fable”, a “construct”, a “tale”?

Everyone in our neighbourhood hit their children. So what? And our parents’ parents hit their children as well and most of them (our parents) came out normal. My father’s father used to wake him up and dispatch him through hostile Arab neighbourhoods in the dangerous city they lived in to buy for him his daily ration of alcohol. My mother’s mother went to bed one night and refused to get out of it until she died, 20 odd years later. I could see these behaviours replicated and handed down the generations.

So, WHERE was the abuse? The culture I grew in condoned frequent beatings.

It was a sign of stern, right, upbringing. What was different with US?

I think it was the hate in my mother’s eyes.

You can read about the daily reality in our home:
Nothing is Happening at Home
http://gorgelink.org/vaknin/wronghome-en.html

Q. Once you became an adult, how did your relationship with your parents change? What are some of the unique difficulties of being an adult child of narcissistic parents? Feel free to give examples or describe specific situations you found yourself in.

A. Adult children of narcissists adopt one of two solutions: entanglement or detachment. I chose the latter. I haven’t seen my parents since 1996 (Actually, since I left the army in 1982). I avoid the encounter because it is bound to stir up a nest of emotional hornets which I am not sure I could cope with effectively. I also refuse to subject myself to repeated abuse, however subtle, surreptitious, and ambient. Absenteeism is my way of neutralizing my parents’ weapons.

But the vast majority of grown up offspring of narcissists find themselves enmeshed in unhealthy permutations of their childhood, caught in an exhausting dance macabre, developing special semiotic vocabularies to decipher the convoluted exchanges that pass for communication in their families. They compulsively revisit unresolved conflicts and re-enact painful scenes in the forlorn hope that, this time around, the resolution would be favorable and benign.

Such entanglement only serves to exacerbate the corrosive give-and-take that constitutes the child-parent relationship in the narcissist’s family. Such recurrent friction, unwelcome but irresistible, deepens and entrenches the grudges and enmity that both parties accumulate in sort of a bookkeeping of hurt and counter-hurt.

Q. What effects do you think your parents’ personality problems had on you–as a child and as an adult?

A. I owe my multiple personality disorders – narcissistic, borderline, masochistic – and my depression to their unhealthy upbringing and to the nightmarish atmosphere that they have instilled in our home. I owe them every single self-destructive and self-defeating act I have since committed (quite a few). I inherited from them and via their flawed version of socialization my paranoid delusions, my antisocial behavior, my misanthropy, my a-sexuality.

I am fully accountable for my conduct. My parents cannot be held responsible for my choices at the age of 46. But that I react the way I do, that I am the sad vessel that I am, is their doing, no doubt.

Q. When we become adults, what are our responsibilities to parents who have personality problems? Do you think we’re obligated to put up with them as a kind of payback for everything they gave us when we were young, or are we justified in cutting them off if the situation gets too intractable?

A. Our first and foremost obligation is to ourselves and to our welfare – as well as to our loved ones. People with personality disorders are disruptive in the extreme. They pose a clear and present danger both to themselves and to others. They are an emotional liability and a time bomb. They are a riddle we, their progeny, can never hope to resolve and they constitute living proof that not only were we not loved as children but are unloveable as adults.

Why would one saddle oneself with such debilitating constraints on one’s ability to feel, to experience, to dare, and to soar to one’s fullest potential? Narcissistic parents are an albatross around their children’s necks because they are incapable of truly, fully, and unconditionally loving.

Q. Now that your parents are no longer part of your life, have you compensated by putting together your own “adopted family,” so to speak, of people you care about and that care about you? If so, could you talk a little bit about what effect doing this has had on your well-being?

A. In my late teens and early twenties I was still making the mistake of looking for a surrogate family. Soon enough, I have discovered that I cannot but import into these new relationships all the pathologies that characterized my family of origin. Ever since then I am careful not to get involved with family structures. I haven’t even created my own family. I am married (for the second time) but am repulsed by the idea of having to parent children. In general, I am trying to avoid relationships with an emotional component.

further reading: The Narcissist is Looking for a Family
http://samvak.tripod.com/narcissistnofamily.html

Q. How can we try to manage difficult parents’ behavior, if at all—or at least, minimize its impact on us? Q. What advice would you give others who find themselves in a similar situation with their parents? What were some of the strategies that worked for you?

A. At the risk of sounding repetitive: disengage to the best of your ability. Make it a point to limit your encounters with these sad reminders of your childhood to the bare minimum. Delegate obligations to third parties, to professionals, to other members of the family. Hire nurses, accountants, and lawyers if you can afford it. Place them in a senior home. Move to another state. The more distance you put between yourself and your personality disordered abuser-parents and their radioactive influence, the better you are bound to feel: liberated, decisive, empowered, calmer, in control, clear about yourself and your goals.

These points are crucial:

Do not allow your parents to manage your life any longer

Do not allow them to interfere with your new family: your wife and children

Do not allow them to turn you into a servant, instantaneously and obsequiously at their beck and call

Do not become their source of funding

Do not become their exclusive or most important source of narcissistic supply (attention, adulation, admiration)

Do not show them that they can hurt you or that you are afraid of them or that they have any kind of power over you

Be ostentatiously autonomous and independent-minded in their presence

Do not succumb to emotional blackmail or emotional incest

Punish them by disengaging every time they transgress. Condition them not to misbehave, not to abuse you.

Identify the most common strategies of fostering unhealthy (trauma) bonding and the most prevalent control mechanisms:

Guilt-driven (“I sacrificed my life for you…”)

Codependent (“I need you, I cannot cope without you…”)

Goal-driven (“We have a common goal which we can and must achieve”)

Shared psychosis or emotional incest (“You and I are united against the whole world, or at least against your monstrous, no-good father …”, “You are my one and only true love and passion”)

Explicit (“If you do not adhere to my principles, beliefs, ideology, religion, values, if you do not obey my instructions – I will punish you”).

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About luckyotter

Recovering from BPD and C-PTSD due to narcissistic abuse from childhood. Married to a sociopath for 20 years. Proud INFJ, Enneagram type 4w5. Animal lover, music lover, cat mom, unapologetic geek, fan of the absurd, progressive Catholic, mom to 2, mental illness stigma activist, anti-Trumper. #RESISTANCE
This entry was posted in adult children of narcissists, child abuse, dysfunctional families, narcissistic abuse, narcissistic children, narcissistic mothers, Sam Vaknin and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Narcissism is a family disease

  1. Wow. This interview covers everything about what it’s like living with a NPD parent, from the daily abuse for years, to trying to escape, the fear (never anger), even looking for surrogate families to feel the void and finally being able to escape to live an adult life fraught with emotional issues, but we are the lucky ones–the ones that were able to get away. Thank you for sharing this post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • luckyotter says:

      Yes, we were very lucky! I’d rather be the most neurotic, anxious, avoidant, bipolar, socially awkward person in the world than be a narcissist because at least we have the hope of getting better and we have the willingness to change. It’s frightening to think it could easily have happened to us! o__o

      I’m praying for my daughter who could be…it’s hard for a mother to face that one of her children may be a narcissist. I love her regardless. If she is one though, I think it’s the more benign variety. Time will tell.

      Liked by 1 person

      • luckyotter says:

        She has been diagnosed with PTSD and BPD, and BPD is easily confused with the histrionic form of narcissism–sometimes it’s very hard to tell the difference, because they are both Cluster B disorders. BPD’s have empathy though, and I do see empathy in her, so the BPD dx is probably the right one.

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  2. Jo Jones says:

    That interview brings back so many memories. I was finally removed from my parents at age 15 and have never spoken to them since. Now I am 55 and still suffer the effects, PTSD. I’m sure there is more than just that, but I won’t talk to anyone. The last time I tried and the few time before I was told I was exaggerating, lying, making up stories. So now I just keep to my self. What I do know is that I am not a narc, thankgoodness

    Liked by 2 people

    • LaTanya D. says:

      Did a therapist tell you you were exaggerating, lying and making things up? A good therapiat will know the effects of emotional abuse. Many other people can’t see or choose not to see, for whatever reasons.

      Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      Jo Jones–It’s great you have gone NC, the only think I can say is that blogging and writing constantly has helped me enormously. I for one cannot afford a professional therapist (right now) but blogging and being complelely honest about myself and my abusers has brought me to a place where I can see hope on the horizon and where God has come into my life. Finding your outlet (creatively) is important; it will come to you when you are ready. Other than that, read as much as you can about NPD and the disorders it causes it’s victims.

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  3. marilynmunrow says:

    This is so spot on for what i know of a narcissist who has been stalking me for nearly two years now. So very like her and true. Thank you for posting this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. marilynmunrow says:

    Reblogged this on Marilyn Munrow and commented:
    Such a very good and spot on perspective of a narcissist that i know. Well written and to the point. Thank you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. luckyotter says:

    Reading about Sam’s childhood again, something occurred to me. I’ ve frequently mentioned the way parents with NPD will target one child as the scapegoat. Usually it’s the most sensitive child because that is the child most likely to expose them for what they are and the cruel behavior is an attempt to silence them. But it could work the same way for a child like Sam who is exceptionally bright. High intelligence, like high sensitivity, indicates a child who can zero in on the truth about the parent and see through all the lies and BS. So a narcissistic parent is going to try to silence any child who can “see through” them.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. M&M, Inc. says:

    Reblogged this on Phoenix Rising From the Ashes and commented:
    Such insightful information, thank you for such a great blog on a subject that hits so close to home with me.

    Like

  7. Nathan says:

    I knew a lady who destroyed her two kids with her heartless manner. I describe it to people using a glass and cherries. I put two cherries in a glass. The mother is the glass and the cherries are the children. That is ok until they are 7 or so. At that point she should reach into the glass and put the cherries on a table. Now the children are individual personalities and can develope a self awareness and empathy. They can grow up. Unfortunately at 55 and 62 these two kids are still in the glass. The mother has taken away their emotional inteligence, she abused it and strangled it not allowing room for it to emerge. The man at 55 is homeless after blowing a million doallr fortune. The woman is a heartless emotionally numb 24/7 actor. I refrain from the lables often applied but will describe it this way. The daughter and son are Narcissistic in behaviour.

    She can walk into a room after being away for a year. Within a minute she would have insulted the person she visits in several sarcastic statements. The victim will, as he has done for 40 years, make an excuse in his heart, allow the moment to pass and apply a small discount to his self esteem in order that life can move on. He knows she doesnt plan the abuse. it just happens. Kindly the family nick named her the most honest woman on earth. I guess “Tactless imbecile” would be a bit harsh.

    Her brother is so cold, in that he is 100% devoid of empathy and spontaneous emotional awareness. He is the one who would be much like Sam Vaknin’s mother. He is worse in some ways and slightly better in others. He would go into a rage of anger and violence against material things but not injure a person in most cases. But that would be due to cowardice to the extreme and not at all due to a duty of care.

    The thing that destroyed the boy was the mothers omnipotent desire for him to be pope. The destruction of her daughter’s true self was due to her constant ridicule and abuse for percieved wrongs against Christ. Like the enjoyment or lure of sex at age 26 was punishable by death in her mothers eyes and she did say often that she expected it. So the old girl split them. The son was the pope and the daughter was the devil.

    i married the daughter and endured 30 years of making those excuses. The daughter is essentially devoid of emotional inteligence and a nightmare for anyone who dares to seek intimate relations with her. But those so called friends who surround her, see only the acting that is modified and adjusted to suit the controlling of mild friendships. She performs this best in groups of women and is treasured by these groups. Each person believing the husband to be the luckiest man on earth. Naturally he is the worst man on the planet now that he has left her.

    Now as she ages, her mind is slowing. It is not easy to rationalise a personality and pretend a sensitive spontaneous response to meetings with family and friends. Now everyone experiences those tactless statements that blurt out devoid of tact. Now some heads are shaking and they wonder…WTF. The friends that were never really there, but taken for granted in opaic relations in complex solcial groups, are vanishing and not finding time for her at all.

    What i learned from this is that those affected can not be intimate. The avoidance of being intimate and loved is the cause of their abusive nature toward those who care most.

    With this understanding of the situation, after 30 years with her and years of caring for her brothers children, i sit back having set up a situation of financial security for her, having got away and found true love and intimacy with a whole and wonderful person, i might be able to say i am over it.

    This morning after thinking about a discussion i had with her on Christmas day, i am amazed at the memories that come to me now and so much clearer in respect to my position in each moment of wierdness from 1977 to 2014. I have not seen her for months and we meet. i tell her about some things i have done that make her financially secure to a point she never thought possible. But there were no signals of appreciation. There were constant sarcastic statements and insults interrupting the good news I was delivering. Then later at my sons home, the snaps and jibes continue constantly. Some messages hidden but she is so clumsy now that my kids can see and understand what i went through. One son is a doctor and a daughter a Psychiatric nurse. One son is her financial planner and understands what i have done and why i did it. He knows that the end of the track for the heartless is dementia like. At least when the brain slows without the support of emotional inteligence and spontaneous response, this is a costly task to provide care for such a person.

    My new partner knows the story and reason for my efforts over recent years to make this happen. She is aware of the extent of sacrifice. I went to a psychiatrist in Sydney who specialises in such guidance for those living in such a situation. He directed me to a lady who specialises in this much needed process. There was indeed much sacrifice and hard work, but i managed it well. My new partner is an emotionally inteligent person who loves herself and exercises the sweetest empathy and emotional wisdom because of it. She has granted me affirmations and appreciation for what i have done. There is a total peace at heart now…genuine joy.

    This state of mind i call peace, enables me to look back at the countless moments of distress i endured. I really cant laugh at it. i am disappointed in my blindness and gullable nature that enabled me to fall into what was essentially a family trap. But my distress and anger has vanished and i feel a pity for this lady. The mother of my children is little more than a “Lost in Space” robot.

    Liked by 2 people

    • luckyotter says:

      Nathan, your analogy of a glass with cherries in it is a good way to visualize it. This story of what this woman did to her children, turning them into narcissists due to her own narcissism, is heartbreaking. The son sounds like what I call a “needy” narcissist, blowing his fortune and now mooching off others and giving nothing in return. That’s what my MN ex was/is like. A pathetic, homeless, parasite who has used up every member of his immediate family and now alienated them all. At the moment he has no narcissistic supply and is threatening suicide–again. He has been threatening suicide for years but will probably never do it. When ways to get housing are suggested to him (he gets disability, and in our county people on disability can get housing, even if it’s in the projects) he finds some reason why he can’t do it. Why not? Because he wants to be able to continue to mooch off everyone else–and bites the hands that feed him.

      Narcissists crave our attention, adulation, and support–and then hate us for it. Because, deep down, under all that fake grandiosity, they know they don’t deserve it. But its like a drug to them–they have to keep getting a fix to thrive. They also envy and hate those who give them what they desire–they hate and envy our humanity.

      Sounds like the malignant N mother of those two children was using a form of religious abuse on her children–obviously the boy who was supposed to be the Pope was the golden child/angel and the girl was the scapegoat/devil. Religion, like anything else, can be used to torment and play a form of “divide and conquer” among children. Pity both those children who found no other ways to cope with having such a malignant monster for a mother than to become narcissists themselves. It happens far too often.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Nathan says:

        The catholic church is another method of self denial for such creatures and the pretentions are consumed by the so called faith. The man as described in previous post in this case has dillusions of grandeur whilst in the midst of total failure. I come to understand the enjoyment of failure. After all it requires no effort and seems to achieve itself without effort.

        This chap will suddenly decide he wants to be a doctor or a lawyer all of a sudden every 12 months or so and seek to enrol in the university. He persues this with great enthusiasm but never moves from first base. Then he will go down and just drink and smoke himself almost to death and phone a relative in the end seeking help. He doesnt feel pain. If there is pain i dont believe he feels it but shifts it to a convenient symptom that he will invent. i noticed his mother was the same. i saw her daughter slam a car door shut on her mothers hand twice in a few seconds. The daughter walked away and went home and left me to manage the problem. i thought the hand would have stress fractures for sure. I placed ice on her hand. If there were fractures, the pain would be intense and i would take her to emergency. She felt zero pain and so i went home and concluded the hand would be starting to be ok by morning. Turns out the bones were broken. But there was no pain felt.
        The doctors were stunned when they discovered the broken bones because she went to them talking about sever ankle pain. They worked on the ankles for half a day and found nothing. Then they happenned upon the bruising and swelling of the hands that she had concealed.

        The man did visit us one time at my request because he used to call his sister (my wife) and he had her convinced that his family were evil abusers and destroying his life. She believed him and i invited him to out home for easter that year so she could see the reality. At the time i was dealing with emotional issues sufferred by his children. i knew what i was up against and needed his sister to know the truth. He did come and she saw how crazy he was and seemed stunned by the reality. He was also stunned by her craziness and they both commented to me about the other within an hour of his visit. That was a very funny but stunning for me.

        Then he would take my beautiful little dog walking in traffic without a lead. i told him four times not to do this as she would be run over. She was run over the next time he walked her against my wishes. She struggled home and i let her in the door. She died bleeding in my arms. He arrived home a few minutes after the dog.. He seemed to be in a panic. Turns out the panic was that he was late and missed part of his favourite TV program. He franticly searched for the remote control as i was there crying with my little dog in my arms. He switched on the TV and was soon laughing at the program. Then in the midst of an advertisment he looked over his shoulder and said…”Oh yeah your dog got run over.”

        My eldest son was really angry with him and forced him to go home the next morning. He went to a local garrage and bought four new tyres for his car and booked them up to my account without telling me. The next time his daughter called me in a stressed state begging me to help the family get rid of him i drove to their home. This is a 6 hour drive. The daughter was waiting outside all that time for me to arrive. When i arrived she got into my car hysterically begging me to help them. Then he came from the home with a little dog in his arms. He handed the dog through the car window and said “here..have this one..but dont walk her with out a lead ok”. He truely thought that was funny and laughed out of control as his daughter was in tears. The daughter was 26 year old.

        His wife died of numerous cancers that riddled her body. She was a clean living lady with no genetic links to cancer that we could see. Yet her cancers prliferated more then anything her local doctor had seen. This can be the curse of living with and tolerating such creatures. She died at 50.

        I have a deep understanding of this issue as it effects families and how best to help those effected. there are many things not easy to see as these things unfold in the victims life.

        Liked by 2 people

        • luckyotter says:

          Nathan, although I am Catholic (or about to be one), I agree with you there have been many abuses within the Catholic church and many people have been damaged by parents who use that (or any other religion) as a weapon to control their kids. I don’t think it’s just the Catholic church though. All (well, most) religions are intended for good purposes–but it’s the people who want to use them as a weapon to control others or control whole governments in the name of religion that turn them evil.

          The man you describe is despicable. The story about the way he reacted to the death of your beloved dog makes me want to go after him with a sledgehammer myself. I love animals and people who have that attitude about them–as mere “things”–make me see red.

          I do believe physical illness such as the cancers that riddled his wife’s body are due to long term mental and spiritual abuse. The body rebells in its own way even if the person can’t or won’t. The person victimized turns against themselves and this can cause their body to self destruct. It’s tragic. Thank you so much for sharing this story.

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          • nathan says:

            The chemistry of the immune system response to stress is well understood now. To describe it here, if a person is constantly stressed the body seeks a solution to what may be a chemical, viral or biological cause that needs to be destroyed. The immune system accumulates response mechanisms and solutions based on body reaction to these threats over time.

            When the immune system, in error, destroys essential tissus and vital organs, this is an auto immune response. I developed one such disease called fibrosing alveaolitis. This happenned to me because of the constant stress and the effect on my immune system development.

            As for religion being part of the healing process of recovery from an abusive relationship I have one suggestion. Be sure to look in the mirror until at total peace before you venture off to church. Going to church in search of peace is a mistake as peace only comes from an understanding and love of the true self. When you have peace and love of the self…sure go to church. But if you go there seeking what is only in your mirror at home, then it will get ever hearder to find.

            Liked by 1 person

            • luckyotter says:

              I have heard of many people, in fact I know two quite well, who were victims of abuse for years and years and both developed serious auto immune disorders. The body does attack itself when the spirit is being attacked by others. It’s a scientific fact. Cancer is another way the body attacks itself, even though it isn’t an autoimmune disorder but actually the opposite. Both are devastating and deadly.

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