If you are of the Christian faith, Easter is a day of celebration, remembrance, and gratitude. Many people will go to Church and spend the day with their families, perhaps having a wonderful Easter feast with their loved ones.
Here in my small town of Roanoke, VA, the sun is shining, the birds are out, and it looks like a wonderful day to walk in the park. I will spend some time with my sons, being grateful that I’m no longer under the toxic influence of a Narcissist.
However, for those still trapped in the twisted games of an emotional predator, Easter (or any holiday) will be a time of sorrow, grief, and misery. The holiday may present you with the following possibilities:
1) If you haven’t implemented full No Contact, the Narcissist will use Easter as an opportunity to Hoover. He or she will take advantage of your festive mood by “checking in”, wishing you a Happy Easter, saying they miss you and/or the kids, and perhaps even trying to drop by with a gift of some sort. They will appear as innocent as a lamb, with the sweetest smile you’ve ever seen. Instantly, you’ll forget about all the abuse and believe there’s a chance for an improved future with them. Everything you’ve learned about Narcissism up to this point will be forgotten like those French lessons you took in college.
Don’t fall for it. You implemented No Contact for a reason. Remember Easters past? How they destroyed every one? The only time they are on good behavior during a holiday or any special occasion is when they are baiting you. They know you are feeling compassionate and forgiving, especially if you’ve plans for Church.
God does want us to forgive, but he doesn’t want us to submit to mistreatment. Please visit Leslie Vernick’s site if you are struggling with what God wants from you in the midst of an abusive relationship. You might find that what you believed about forgiveness could very well be misguided. As a point of reference, Leslie explains what the Bible says about an abusive husband:
“When a wife refuses to submit to her husband’s sinful behavior, or stands up for her children who are being mistreated, or refuses to sign a dishonest income tax report, or calls 911 when her husband is threatening to harm her or himself, she is doing good even if it doesn’t feel good to her spouse.
Her behavior honors God, protects her children as well as acts in the best interest of her spouse. (It is never in someone’s best interests to enable sin to flourish.).”
2) If you are still inside the relationship, you know how this will go. Even if you have the impression as of now that it might go okay, the holiday isn’t over yet. There will be an action that will catch you off guard. It might happen as you’re leaving Church, after your Easter feast, or sometime this evening. The only exception is if you’ve expressed the desire to leave the relationship. Then they will be on good behavior, but it won’t last.
The Narcissist not only wants to catch you off guard in order to keep you under their control, they especially dislike religious holidays because they think they should be the one revered. They don’t want people to be happy if they aren’t the cause of it.
Regardless of outside appearances, the Narcissist is never happy. They want to bring people down to their emotional level, which includes self-loathing, rage, and feeling inhuman. If you are to feel any type of happiness, it will have to be at their hand, so they will often bring you to a low point on a holiday, then attempt to bring you back up. Only then are you allowed to be happy because they are the cause of it. However, just as often, they will simply leave you feeling hopeless for the rest of the day.
Be Your Own Best Friend and Give Yourself the Gift of Freedom
Whether you are struggling with maintaining No Contact today -or still inside the relationship -do yourself a favor. Think of one thing you can do to improve your life.
For No Contact: If you haven’t yet blocked them, go into your cell phone right now and do so. Not only will you feel a sense of empowerment, you will be able to enjoy the rest of your day without fear of their ruining it. Don’t worry about how the Narcissist will react. This is your holiday. Whether you are with family or alone, celebrate the reason for Easter and the hope for renewal. Yes, your life can be different. All it takes is a one-second decision and the act of blocking them. It’s so simple, yet sometimes the hardest thing to do. Don’t be fooled by false memories of happiness with the Narcissist. It’s your mind playing tricks on you because you’re addicted and you’ve been brainwashed. Each time you recall a false memory of happiness, retrain your brain by remembering an especially vile thing they did to you.
(If they come knocking on your door, this is their attempt to disrespect a boundary, though they want it to look like they “just want to see you”. Don’t be fooled. Simply ignore them. If you have children, take them into a room where you can’t hear the knocks at the door and play a silly game or sing a song, etc. to take your mind off the door. If the Narcissist won’t go away, you’ll need to inform them that if they don’t leave, you will be forced to call the authorities. It might seem harsh, but isn’t it harsh that they won’t respect your desire to be away from them?
If you’re still in the relationship: Whether you are married with children or married without, engaged, or otherwise in a relationship with an abusive Narcissist, think of one thing you can do that could start your path to freedom. You don’t have to act on anything today. Simply be prepared for their games, and plant a seed. Do you have the money for a deposit on a new apartment? Can you visit your local Domestic Violence center and ask about transitional housing? What about contacting a lawyer for a free consultation? Just plant the seed…
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