A good friend of mine in the ACON community has just announced she wants to take her blog down and remove herself from all social media. She isn’t depressed or angry at anyone, but just feels like she wants to hide. She also said that she feels like maybe God wouldn’t approve of her exposing her abusers, even though she has never used any real names. I was a little alarmed by this, so I just sent her an email, which I’m going to post here (and remove any identifying information). I think the feelings she described are common in abuse survivors, who have been trained by their abusers that nothing they do is ever right and that exposing their abusers is some kind of mortal sin. I beg to differ.
Here’s my letter in response to her post.
I just read your latest post about wanting to hide. At first I was surprised you said you were allowing comments, but after I read it I understood why. When you said you were thinking about taking down your blog, Twitter, etc. I thought to myself, No! she can’t do that! We need _______ ‘s blog!
I’ve sometimes felt like hiding too and been tempted to disable comments several times. Once (and you will remember this) last May, I was VERY close to taking down my blog or setting it to private because of some criticism I got over a post I wrote. I also felt very exposed when my blog was found by a few people I didn’t want to find it (including family members), but after an initial “Oh, shit” panic reaction, I decided to keep plugging away because to do otherwise would be the coward’s way to handle things, and I’m sick of being a coward who never stands up for myself.
I think as survivors of abuse, we ACONs can be very easily triggered. It’s scary being out there and being so vulnerable for the public to see. But that’s exactly what we are trying to reconnect with through blogging and sharing our stories with each other. We need to regain our courage to BE vulnerable. We’ve been trained by our narcissists THAT IS NOT OKAY, but that is a big fat LIE. We look at those who haven’t been so damaged and marvel at their openness, but when we try to do it, it can be very scary.
I think that’s why you feel like running away and hiding. It’s your fear that you might be hurt again that’s causing you to take such drastic action. I know, because I feel that way often myself.
____, DON’T DO IT. Don’t take down your blog. It’s understandable you might need a break, but don’t be rash. Set it to private for awhile and focus on other things, or just let it stand as is, and just don’t post in it for awhile. Give yourself a break, that will give you time to be mindful instead of doing something you might regret, like removing your blog.
We’ve been lied to and made to believe that exposing our narcissistic parents, spouses, etc. is not okay. I believe in the 10 Commandments too, but I don’t believe God wants the narcissists to get away with what they do, and I don’t believe a narcissistic mother or father really qualifies as a true parent. They certainly haven’t lived up to their end of the responsibility, have they? You are not using any real names, so you are not damaging them personally. What you are doing instead, is giving a voice to the oppressed survivors that have felt all alone because they thought no one could ever understand. We are inundated with sappy, sentimental images of Mothers, but our mothers never fulfilled that stereotype. For us, that image is a lie.
Narcissists, no matter whether they are biological parents or not, deserve to be exposed for what they are, and for how they have abused us. By sharing your story, you have no idea how many other people who have been in your boat you are helping. You have helped me, and you have helped many others.
Also, don’t think for one second that your story isn’t interesting enough to write about. You have one of the most interesting stories I have heard. You are helping and giving hope to countless abuse survivors. No names are mentioned, you are not hurting anyone, and I am sure Jesus approves of what you are doing. It’s all for the greater good. Your blog helps so many. God has led you to where you are for a reason.
Please think about what you’re doing. If after a month or so, you still want to take your blog down, then go ahead. But I would wait, and leave it up anyway for others to read and find hope from in the meantime, and just focus on taking care of yourself for a while.
I forgot to put this in my email, but I think that as a Christian, my friend should subscribe to Smakintosh’s Youtube Channel (Gospel Underground). He is a survivor of narcissistic parents, and has many videos that explain why it isn’t unbiblical to expose and go no contact with narcissistic parents. Here it is for any other interested persons: https://www.youtube.com/user/smakintosh