I Was Today Years Old When…

by Yvonne Chase on August 3, 2020

The title of this post means you just found out something today that perhaps you should’ve known a long time ago. Google explains it this way; “It’s a meme/play on words to call themselves out for not knowing something. So, for me, I was today years old when I learned about narcissistic abuse, narcissistic families/how it looks when you’re raised in this type of family, and what it means to be a narcissistic psychopath. In healthy families, children are encouraged to be loving and close to each other. In narcissistic families, children are pitted against each other and taught competition. I grew up in a toxic narcissistic abusive family.

narcissistic

The last two weeks have been the best two weeks of my whole life because of these two words; revelation, and solution. Within the last two weeks, I began following IG accounts that speak about narcissistic abuse, narcissistic families, and all things narcissism. Click after click after click, I saw my life experience in each post.

Last week I attempted to do a 10-day fast, however, I only made it 24-hours. That was all I needed because, on day one, I landed on a YouTube channel hosted by a man who speaks directly about narcissistic abuse. This is his life’s work after he escaped it in his own family. He packed up his wife, two children, and moved five states away to get away from them and he’s never looked back. Imagine having to escape your own family! It’s the only way out of narcissistic abuse.

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The best part about him is he’s a born-again Christian man that loves the Lord. Every Monday he leads a live Q&A chat and every Saturday he leads a live in-depth Bible study from the perspective of the toxic world as it is full of narcissists. He says it’s unlike any Bible teaching I have heard. I’ve attended one live session so far and I’ve watched the earlier recordings.

His latest study is about Good vs. Evil and the text is the story of two brothers; Cain and Abel found in Genesis 4. Cain was a narcissist; he wanted to be the center of attention. He wanted all the accolades. God had respect and regard for Abel and for his offering but for Cain and his offering, he had no respect or regard. That made Cain angry. Cain’s anger and resentment toward Abel led to murder. He killed his brother!

I don’t know about you but I’ve never heard anyone call Cain a narcissist yet if you understand narcissism and what it is then you know that’s exactly what he was. I’ve never heard biblical teaching about toxic behaviors and personality disorders, have you? Not from the pulpit or in a small group. He’s 100% right! His Bible-teaching is unlike anything I’ve ever heard and I can’t wait to hear more.

Unfortunately, the church doesn’t talk about toxic behaviors. It doesn’t talk about psychopaths and sociopaths even though these people are members of the congregation.

narcissistic

One of my Twitter followers shared a tweet that speaks to how pastors/churches deal with abuse. He said, “Stop using sermons of peace and forgiveness in order to manipulate the oppressed into accepting their oppression.” Spot on! Someone replied to his tweet with, “Amen! It is generally the biggest offenders of abuse and oppression that are the first to shout, “Seventy times seven.”

That’s why I agree with Diane Langberg, Ph.D. who says, “Given the impact of abuse on an individual life, on society and on the church, and given the frequency of its occurrence, it’s absolutely crucial that the church not be silent. Not only does God call us not to be silent, He calls His church to be a refuge and a place for hope and healing. Anything less is a failure to demonstrate his character in this world.”

So, what is narcissistic abuse? According to narcwise.com, “Narcissistic abuse is domestic violence. Domestic Violence is perpetrated through patterns of coercive and controlling behavior to maintain power within a relationship. While physical violence aims at harming us by bodily harm, mental and psychological violence aims at unsettling our very conscience; and attacking our internal weak spots, thus trying to break us from within.”

What is narcissism? According to Psychology Today, “Narcissism is characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy for others, a need for excessive admiration, and the belief that one is unique and deserving of special treatment.”

It goes on to speak specifically about narcissistic parents and some of the behaviors they engage in towards their children. Jealousy is one of those behaviors. It says, “Narcissistic parents are often jealous of their children—for narcissistic mothers, this is particularly the case when it comes to their daughters. They may see their daughters as more attractive, younger, and possibly having had an “easier” life than they have had.

2020 has been a year of discovery. It’s been a good year! I’m grateful for this pandemic because, without it, I don’t know if I would’ve arrived at this place of clarity. My whole life, every part of it now makes sense. I understand everything that’s happened in my life within the context of my family and I understand why. Today, I am free!

Something to think about…

What say you? Have you ever experienced narcissistic abuse or know someone who has? What discoveries have you made about yourself/your life this year? 

Here are 2 things I’d like you to do now:

1. Leave a comment below

2. Share this post if you like it

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Bev @ Walking Well With God August 3, 2020

ssisYvonne,
Praise for the clarity that you have been receiving during this pandemic!! Even this cloud has a silver lining! In my situation, I have a daughter who is a narcissist. I am her target or scapegoat. She doesn’t exhibit any empathy whatsoever and is quite adept at lashing out and then playing the victim. When it’s your own flesh and blood, it’s hard. I keep praying for the Lord to turn her life around. And Amen to the church needing to address all the different forms of verbal, mental, and emotional abuse. There are times when God’s children need to set healthy boundaries for their own health and survival.
Blessings,
Bev xx
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Yvonne Chase August 3, 2020

@Bev,

Yes, even this cloud definitely has a silver lining. The word of the Lord is sure. Nothing is hidden that will not become evident. I know who started the abuse and all the players involved. It’s been a season of revelation and clarity! God is faithul.

And yes, I agree with you 100% about setting healthy boundaries for our own health and survival and most importantly, our safety. Narcissistic psychopaths are dangerous!
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Lisa notes August 3, 2020

How beautiful that you’ve found a community that understands your experience so closely! I’ve never heard teaching on narcissism either. I’ve definitely seen it from afar, but thankfully didn’t have to grow up around it. It sure would be good if it could be preached about from the pulpits. God bless you as you walk in your glorious freedom!

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Yvonne Chase August 4, 2020

@Lisa,

I’m so grateful for this community led by a strong man of God who has lived this experience and speaks to it so well. Maybe I’ll preach about it from the pulpit one day. Stay tuned..
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Joanne Viola August 4, 2020

How beautiful of our God to use these challenging times to bring your freedom. Thank you for sharing all you have gleaned as it brought much understanding. May you continue to keep wise boundaries and maintain your freedom. Blessings to you!
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Yvonne Chase August 4, 2020

@Joanne,

It’s a beautiful thing. Keeping wise boundaries and maintaining my freedom is the path I’m on. God is faithful!
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Lesley August 4, 2020

I’m sorry you’ve experienced this in your family, but I’m glad you have been able to make these discoveries recently to understand it more and process it. I totally agree, the church needs to address these kinds of issues. There is a lot of focus on forgiveness, which is obviously a good thing, but there also needs to be justice and support for people in leaving abusive situations.

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Yvonne Chase August 4, 2020

@Lesley,

God promises to work all things, including this, together for my good and he is. The church definitely needs to address these issues. I spoke to a pastor at my church about it long before I reached this place of clarity and his advice was awful. Pastors need to educate themselves on abusive patterns and behaviors so that they can offer wise counsel.
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Debbie Wilson August 5, 2020

Yvonne, I hadn’t heard Cain called a narcissist before either. But it make total sense. When I worked as a Christian counselor I was shocked at how many times women were encouraged to try to change abusive spouses by loving them better. The “God hates divorce” verse was used as a club. I pointed out that if you read that passage, God hates the abuse that leads to divorce, not the piece of paper that says you’re divorced. Because Joseph, the adopted father of Jesus, was a righteous man, he sought to divorce Mary quietly when he thought she’d been unfaithful. The sum of God’s Word is truth. God doesn’t expect us to passively accept abuse.

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Yvonne Chase August 5, 2020

@Debbie,

It’s shocking the counsel pastors and Christian counselors give to women and people living in abusive situations. I’ve been on the receiving end of it. Many are not equipped to counsel wisely in this area. They use the Bible as a weapon to encourage you to stay in it. They weaponize scripture to make you feel like you’re not being a good Christian when you walk away. God does not expect us to passively accept abuse.
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Natalie Ogbourne August 5, 2020

“Today I am free.” What a beautiful ending. 2020 has been hard, but it has definitely brought good things amidst the trials. God is in this and He is good.

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Yvette August 5, 2020

I never even thought about this concept with Cain. As the Bible says nothing is new under the sun. This also made me think about my mother in law and how at times she would say or do things to damper happy times with my husband and me, but would later admit she wishes she had what she saw is having. Wowww. Your post is making me want to pray against this spirit. Thanks for sharing!

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Yvonne Chase August 6, 2020

@Yvette,

The more I think about the story of Cain and Abel the easier it is to see the narcissistic spirit in Cain. His resentment and anger towards his brother blinded him to the powerful role God wanted him to play in his life. He displayed two key markers of narcissist: an excessive need for admiration and an inability to handle criticism.

And yes, please pray hard against this demonic spirit.
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Michele Morin August 5, 2020

There’s certainly no shortage of ways for us to sin against one another. I am so sorry for your sad growing up situation, and yet how wonderful that you have connected with a community of people who understand and support one another in healing.

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Yvonne Chase August 6, 2020

@Michele,

This community of people is amazing. Yea, the way I grew up and the people I grew up around are awful yet God is faithful. It’s the reason I am a strong and confident woman today. All things are working together for my good.
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Lois Flowers August 6, 2020

Yvonne, I’m sorry for the pain of your upbringing. I also rejoice with you for the way God has been helping you understand the ramifications and how He has freed you from the narcissistic abuse you experienced. What a blessing to be able to see good coming from a year like 2020! I’ll pray that it continues in your life …
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Yvonne Chase August 10, 2020

@Lois,

Thank you. When God told me I could trust in Him, he meant every word he said. He’s been so faithful to me during this time. In spite of it all, so much good has been coming out of 2020 for me. If that isn’t a testament of God’s faithfulness and goodness then I don’t know what is. 2020 has taken so many out yet I’m still standing. I’m still here leaning on the everlasting arms.
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Lauren Renee Sparks August 6, 2020

I don’t think I have ever experienced this myself but it sounds like something worthwhile to be aware of and continue to learn about. I will pray for you in this.
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Yvonne Chase August 7, 2020

@Lauren,

Be glad this is not your experience. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Thanks for your prayers.
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Karen Del Tatto August 7, 2020

Just recently I discovered people on Tik Tok of all places talking about narcissism and what it truly is. It was then that I recognized those patterns in someone I care deeply for’s husband, who has what we now see are all of the traits of a narcissist and not only that, but she suffers abuse from her narcissistic mother-in-law and sister-in-law. I started sharing these videos with her and now she is getting her voice and through therapy has come up with an exit plan as the abuse is just getting worse and worse.

Thanks for sharing.
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Yvonne Chase August 7, 2020

@Karen,

Wow! I’m so sorry your friend is having this experience. NA is awful! I’m not a Tik Tokker however, I just went over there and watched quite a few videos. I’ll be sharing about this for the rest of my life. This just might be the work God called me to do.
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Tamar A Strauss-Benjamin August 10, 2020

I have had to deal with this in my personal life. It’s hard!
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Jeanne Takenaka August 14, 2020

Yvonne, I always appreciate your upfront way of delving into topics. I am sorry you grew up in a narcissistic abusive family. I was fortunate to not deal with that issue growing up, but I have seen it in others lives, and the impact is devastating.

I hadn’t ever thought about Cain being narcissistic, but wow, that’s spot on. I’m so glad you have found people/a community that speaks healing and strength into your heart and life. May the Lord continue to use them in your life and you in others’ lives who are grappling with this struggle in their lives.

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Theresa Boedeker August 14, 2020

Yvonne! Yes, there is freedom in learning the truth. It took me years to realize my mother and mother-in-law were both like this (as well as other family member.) You don’t want to think this of your own mom or people you love. But they literally think and see the world differently. And what they do, that would keep us up all night worrying or stressing, doesn’t even bother them.

Their thinking is so unlike the way we think. They are so adept at gaslighting (Goodle the term-scary). There are some good websites out there about daughters of narcissist mothers. And books about narcissists. And I agree, the church sometimes keeps them able to operate and not have consequences.

Living with a narcissist is not something that should be encouraged when mental and emotional abuse is happening. Most do not change and many therapists refuse to work with them because the rarely can see any other viewpoint and see no reason to change (they think it is all your fault).

Thanks for writing about this topic. It needs to be discussed more and people need to be aware of it. It so helps to have someone else to talk to who sees it too, because it validates you and your experiences. My sister has been this for me, and me for her.

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Karen Friday August 14, 2020

“Wow, Yvonne! This really hit home with me, a good word for those of us who have had to endure a narcissist in our lives. You know from our conversations, about this family member. This person continued to be controlling and manipulative into by adulthood until I said, “No more!” I told the person, “You will not control or manipulate me ever again.”

Now I have boundaries and love this person from a distance. I’ve tried to be the peacemaker, but we can’t make peace with someone who doesn’t want peace. This narcissist screams “victim” although they are doing all the abuse. I pray for them, hope they get their hearts right with the Lord, but guard my own heart from the abuse. And I’ve never felt freer! ”
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Theresa Boedeker August 14, 2020

Yvonne! Yes, there is freedom in learning the truth. It took me years to realize my mother and mother-in-law were both like this (as well as other family members). You don’t want to think this of your own mom or people you love. But they litteraly think and see the world differently. And what they do, that would keep us up all night worrying or stressing, doesn’t even bother them. Their thinking is so unlike the way we think. They are so adept at gaslighting (Google the term-scary). There are some good websites out there about daughters of narcissist mothers. And books about nacissists. And I agree. The church sometimes keeps them able to operate and not have consequences. Living with a narcissist is not something that should be encouraged when mental and emotional abuse is happening. Most do not change and many therapists refuse to work with them because they rarely can see any other viewpoint and see no reason to change (they think it is all your fault). Thanks for writing about this topic. It needs to be discussed more and people need to be made aware of it. It so helps to have someone else to talk to who sees it too, because it validates you and your experiences. My sister has been this for me, and me for her.
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Lydia C. Lee August 14, 2020

Interesting read. I know a few people married to them (now divorced) and that all reads quite true. #Dreamteam
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Donna August 15, 2020

Thank you, Yvonne for your outstanding article on this very difficult subject. I am the survivor of a narcissistic marriage and family upbringing, domestic and sexual abuse. I still struggle with emotional scars and poor coping. I so appreciate the perspective on the church’s view of this, which has improved but not in all sectors. I can’t tell you how many poor “counseling” sessions I received from church pastors that wanted to put a band-aid on the situation by telling me to “love” my husband more! Your article provides compassionate advice and good resources for those entrapped in a relationship with a narcissist or trying to put their life back together again after this type of abuse.
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charmaine macdonald August 20, 2020

Wow very insightful. I have read quite alot about narcissts but this is a fresh take and perspective on it and the comparison with Cain and Abel from the Bible is very new. My husband has these tendencies and is an abusive bully and meanie to say the least. Alhamdidallah all the same. May Allah help us all.

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Yvonne Chase August 21, 2020

@Karen,

You said it right; we can’t make peace with those who don’t want peace and as you and I know all too well, narcissists do not want peace. They want to gaslight, project, deflect, triangulate and use their flying monkeys to create chaos because chaos keeps them happy!
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Yvonne Chase August 21, 2020

@Theresa,

I do not recommend living with a narcissist at all. I do however recommend blocking them from all areas of your life; email, text, phone calls, snail mail etc. That really is the only way because as you and I both know…They. Do. Not. Change!
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Yvonne Chase August 21, 2020

@Charmaine,

Bless your heart. I’d divorce him immediately!

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