Wednesday, September 17, 2014

6.a. Judge Not Your Narcissistic Mother?

The Scapegoats of a Narcissistic Mother by Gail Meyers

© by Gail Meyers 
This is a favorite of narcissistic mothers and flying monkeys as they do everything they can to invalidate your thoughts and emotions while attempting to derail your recovery in order to maintain the status quo. My narcissistic mother, and grandmother for that matter, sat on the phone gossiping all day, everyday, for their entire adult lives. There was no judgment too great or small for them to issue regarding virtually anything.  

Now as long as you are listening to and agreeing with narcissistic mother's delusional, partially accurate or even accurate but hypocritical judgments of everyone and everything, then judging is fine with her.  It could even be considered a sport in some cases. They were prolific gossips, forever engaging in smear campaigns.


How Dare You Judge Me! 

Of course, judging only becomes a problem when you draw any contrary conclusion or speak the truth about your narcissistic mother or the dark, dysfunctional family history. This is the time, according to the narcissist and flying monkeys, when you should judge not lest you be judged.  It is usually some form of how dare you judge her when you are far from perfect. Here, judging is broadly defined to include any sort of use of your brain for assessment purposes.

This is a little shaming guilt trip smack down designed to short circuit your logical thought processes and truth telling.  It redirects the focus onto you while attempting to validate the whole maneuver using God or the Bible.  This is so you can be manipulated and distracted, doubting yourself as you turn your attention to the fact that you are not perfect either.  

Society reinforces this notion of not judging, which is great in many instances.  However, taken to an extreme our entire society would fall apart following this motto.  This can be taken to such an extreme as to have some adult sons and daughters believing they must be accepting of everyone and everything, lest they be judged.  If the devil himself knocked on the door are you to invite him in for tea lest you judge or be a hypocrite?  

Once again, there is redefining of terms and twisted Scripture. So, we will start at the beginning by defining hypocrite, then look at what the Bible says about judging.

Hypocrite Defined

A hypocrite is defined as:

  • a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
  • a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.

This is exactly what a narcissist does when she masquerades as a selfless Christian mother! 

"While a narcissist has no interest in being good, they intensely want to appear good."
Dr. M. Scott Peck, People of the Lie.

Judge Not:  The Most Twisted Scripture of All?

To judge is "to infer, think, or hold as an opinion; conclude about or assess." There are a multitude of verses admonishing Christians to judge various behaviors and people, rightly.  However, the focus is on the following verse that is quoted and used to justify this snare.  

Matthew 7:1-2 says, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."  The broad strokes used in applying this verse can have you wondering if you can ever infer, think, or hold as an opinion; conclude about or assess anything or anyoneHowever, the Bible makes it exceedingly clear that passively accepting evil behavior is far from being the virtue this trap presents it to be. 

Including some of the context from Matthew 7:3-5 provides some clarification:

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, Let me take the speck out of your eye, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. 

Jesus rebukes hypocritically judging, but obeying the commands in this chapter does not preclude assessing another person's basic character, whether it is a dog (v. 6) or a false prophet (v. 15), or the fruit one's life displays (v. 16).  The Bible repeatedly commands believers to evaluate carefully, to choose between good and bad people and things.

Luke 6:37 -  Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  This instruction is not relieving followers of the need for discerning right and wrong, as it again addresses the plank in your own eye analogy in verses 41 and 42.  He condemns unjust and hypocritical judging, which may be exactly what a narcissistic personality disordered mother is doing by accusing you of being a hypocrite! 

To see how Jesus dealt with hypocrites, read about the Pharisees.  These pompous teachers of the law, who were only concerned about outward appearances, were turning people away from the faith.  

  • As Dr. Paul Meier points out in Free to Forgive, "The biggest sociopaths in Jesus' day were the Pharisees - religious leaders whom the culture of the day would have considered very moral outwardly."   
  • Matthew 23 adds, "They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.  Everything they do is done for people to see."

 

Judge, Rightly!

The Bible contains a vast multitude of instructions to guide us in discerning, testing, evaluating, and, yes, judging people and situations.  Here are just a few:

  • John 7:24 - "Stop judging by mere appearances, and make right judgments."
  • Titus 3:10 - "Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time.  After that, have nothing to do with him.  You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful."  This is a stubborn person who refuses to listen to correction.
  • Proverbs 20:19 - "He who goes about as a slanderer reveals confidences, Therefore do not associate with a gossip."
  • 2 Timothy 3:5 - "Having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people."

Each one of these situations require one to judge, rightly.

 

Determinations Regarding Brothers

2 Thessalonians 3:6-14 - We are commanded to stay aloof from every brother who is idle, which requires a judgment.  This is not to withdraw all contact, but to withhold close fellowship.

Matthew 18:15 - Treat the brother previously discussed during the forgive and forget discussions as you would a tax collector, if he sins against you but refuses to listen to you or the church.

1 Corinthians 6 - "If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!"

 

Evaluating or Assessing Elders

1 Timothy 3:1-12 - Instructions on evaluating the lives of potential elders to determine if they are qualified.  "Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach."  It appears my alcoholic pedophile step-father failed this test, had it ever been administered by the leaders of the church prior to making him a deacon.       

Titus 1:5-9 - Instructions on evaluating the lives of potential elders to see if they are qualified. 

Discerning or Judging False Teachers  

1 John 4:1 - Determination of a false teacher requires an evaluation or judgment.

Matthew 7:15-16 -“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  You shall know them by their fruits," which requires a judgment.

Evaluating Your Narcissistic Mother

Tolerance of abuse or abusers is not a virtue! If your narcissistic mother is abusive and cruel without repentance or remorse, assessing and responding to that fact does not make you judgmental, unloving or unforgiving.   

This trap is so often effective because while the narcissist absolutely refuses self-examination, the scapegoat is quick to self-examine and feel guilty.  This is a result of having been invalidated and trained to accept the blame and often false guilt.  


9 comments:

  1. Gail, what an excellent article !! Once again you bring to light the abusive tactics of NPD !!
    God Bless and thank you so much !!!!

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  2. Thank you for all of your posts. Without you I think my fiancé would have been trapped in the world of two narcissist parents forever doing as they say even if it was not her own will. She has realised that she can have a will of her own without feeling guilt or pity to the narcissist. It is a very long healing process for her and I am doing everything I can as a best friend and life partner to make her feel ok.

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    1. It sounds like she is very fortunate to have someone like you. Thank you for taking the time to share that with me. I am always glad to hear a son or daughter is getting untangled and on the road to recovery.

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  3. Thank you for your post, I have always known that there is something wrong with my family especially my mother who not only employs divide and conquer tactics but uses guilt-trips as often as she wants. She would intentionally try to get sick and blame me for it, call my sisters and tell them I abandoned her. My sisters in return ganged up on me. And this happens all the time. They would go after my friends who they see as my"defenders"and tell them deserve all the treatment because I am causing harm to our mother, they use fear, obligation and guilt to manipulate me. Recently, I tried standing up to them and then exposed to an all-out smear campaign from them. I am holding on, sometimes I slip a bit, racked with guilt and fear. I hope I can continue this decision of taking control of my life now. Your online column is helping me alot. So thank you

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  4. Thank you for your articles. I am the only child of a narcissistic mom. I know have been taking care of her since she is elderly. Everyday I get abuse. She threatens to report me, threatens to call the police on sitters that I hire, has destroyed relationships with the few family members I have since she is not from this country. My dad died when I was a child and she destroyed this relationship with his family. I am in contact with them now and they know what I am dealing with. I am trying to set boundaries for myself in my contact with her. Thanks for the great advice and insight.

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  5. Thank you from the "Scapegoat" aka "Identified Patient". I am currently NC with my mother and getting stronger everyday. I send all who may be struggling much love & strength :)

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  6. What a Wonderful post! I need to read this over and over. I have been NC with my mother and brothers for 4 years. Not that it makes much of a difference, because they have ignored me for 40 years. Also, my brothers are fundamental Christians....one hates gays (he's a minister...hah) and the other hates Blacks. What a mess. I have avoided Christianity for almost 50 years because of their 'vision' and behavior. There is nothing Christian in their lives except their ability to spout Bible verses. Both are under the thumb (Golden Children) of the mother-narcissist...who is Malignant...and at 94, believe me when I say they don't get any better. Narcissists get worse.

    Within these 4 years I have actualized some potential...which is totally ignored by the Narcissist pod. I have published 4 books with another one coming this spring, yet this isn't 'any accomplishment' in their eyes. I have finally stopped thinking that they will ever soften in heart or change. That 4 years gave me PEACE and a new outlook on life.

    My only association with Christianity has been them, and it turns my stomach. Now? I can see that not all Christians are struck with cruelty and narcissism. There is hope when we distance ourselves from what we see and know as evil.

    Jane

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  7. I am waiting with bated breath for the next post! After going through what I hope is the final contact with both my NM and NF, I stumbled across your blog a couple of weeks ago and voraciously read through every post from the beginning. I could have written most of what you have shared. I have been LC and NC so many times throughout my life, I have lost count. Your posts about using Christianity as a weapon hit such a chord with me, and finally broke me from the chains of guilt that had been placed on me from childhood. At 38, I was told "Honor your father and mother because that's what the Lord commands" mere moments before my mother actually physically attacked me by grabbing my head of hair and yanking me to the floor. Every time I have walked away and initiated a NC, the guilt about God and forgiveness would eat me alive. I am finally free of that guilt, thanks to your post. I would be more than willing to purchase all of your posts as an eBook and looked on Amazon to see if it already existed. Thank you again for all that you have shared, and I cannot wait to read more.

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