“Dear Father” by Taming the Tiger
I usually shy away from anything too spiritual or religious, because I do realize many of my readers are atheist, agnostic, or of differing faiths–and I respect their right to believe as they wish. But today in church when the priest asked us to “add our own prayers,” I felt inspired to pray a particular prayer that has great meaning to me, for a myriad of reasons. I would like to share it here, so maybe others can join me in prayer for these things that are so important to me.
You have created us all in your own image. I don’t believe you have left anyone out of your great bounty and the hope for eternal life, in spite of what some Christians and others believe. I don’t believe that Christ’s death on the cross was a “limited atonement” meant only for a select few (as Calvinists believe). I believe he died for us all, and offers all of us the chance for redemption and healing, no matter how hopeless things may seem.
PTSD, C-PTSD, and narcissistic abuse survivors.
God, please shower your grace and compassion on all victims of narcissistic abuse and all people suffering from PTSD and C-PTSD, that they may find comfort in your arms and be able to trust again, realize that there is still goodness in the world, and eventually, that they may find loving, healthy relationships and friendships that do not turn abusive. Many survivors have turned to you when everyone else seemed to be turning away from them and rejecting them, and found that you were there and were listening. But many, especially if they were rejected or scapegoated by their own families, are so damaged they have trouble trusting anyone at all, even You. Please give them the courage to turn to you when things are at their darkest and it seems like they have no allies. Please help them to trust you, and to heal from abuse, regain their sense of self worth and self-esteem, and be whole and happy again. Please show them that what happened to them didn’t happen in vain, and that they are so much stronger than they realize because of the adversity they had to face. Please let them feel the loving arms of Jesus Christ holding and protecting them from harm. Guide them on the path to become whole again, and to use what they learned to help others heal, should that be your will for them.
Also, although anger is a necessary stage of healing (in order to leave an abusive situation or person), please allow victims who become trapped in their anger and hatred to be able to move on from it, because only then will healing be possible. I’ve seen too many survivors who remain so mired in rage that they take on the traits of their abusers and acquire a victim mentality that does not allow them to move forward in their journey to healing.
As for myself, please don’t let me stray from the path you have set me on, which is beginning to be revealed to me. Please don’t allow me to become bogged down by envy, selfishness, or pride. Don’t allow me to let my own will get in the way of what you have planned for me, for whenever I have forced my own will, it always turned out to be all wrong.
People with NPD, BPD and other Cluster B disorders.
God, please show these broken people who have made so many bad choices and act out toward others–usually because as children they were shamed for their own vulnerability by abusive caregivers or parents–that they do not need to rely on primitive defense mechanisms, abusive or aggressive behavior, or a “false self” in order to survive and be happy. Please show them the beauty of their own inner vulnerability and that being sensitive can be a great strength and is never a weakness. Please lift the scales from their eyes and show them that the things they have learned to believe about themselves and others are lies–and the truth is the opposite of what they have always believed. Please remove the fear and shame keeps them trapped inside cold, dark walls that separate them from their own vulnerability and the light of your grace. If there’s a glimmer of their original soul left in them, please help that spark grow like a mustard seed within them and burn away the darkness that surrounds it. Make them aware that their defense mechanisms are only allowing them to live the stunted, painful life of an emotional cripple, and that by jettisoning authentic feeling, they also jettison love, empathy and joy. With fewer people with narcissism and other “predatory” disorders in the world, there will be fewer abuse victims too.
In particular, please make my mother aware of what has happened to her (due to no fault of her own) and what she became, even at her very advanced age. Even if it’s too late for her to be healed, at least remove the scales from her eyes and allow her the grace of redemption.
Our increasingly narcissistic society.
Over the past 30 – 40 years, our western society–especially in America–has become increasingly cold, callous, lacking in empathy and compassion, materialistic, hubristic, and narcissistic. Wealth and power are valued over compassion and love. Individual achievement is valued over community involvement. Greed and an “I got mine!” attitude is valued over altruism and compassion for the less fortunate.
Even families buy into this lie to the point of scapegoating family members who fail to “keep up” (or who are vulnerable or attempt to expose the family dysfunction). Intolerance of those who are different, hatred, and racism abound. Every day people die because they are the wrong color, wrong religion, or have a lifestyle that the Powers That Be believe is wrong. Our society is like a huge dysfunctional family, complete with its narcissistic and abusive leaders, its golden children, and its scapegoats. This should not be the case. God, please heal the hatred and fear that permeate our society and keeps people from being neighborly and charitable toward one another. Please make dysfunctional families whole and healthy again, and give the scapegoats of both society and of dysfunctional families relief from their suffering and pain. Make “the least of these” realize they are as worthwhile and valuable to you as the powerful ruling class who seems to have every earthly thing.
I ask these things in the name of your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.