Abuse,  Religious Trauma

The Church of Narcissus

The narcissist says: “I hurt you, but you made me do it.”
The church says: “Your suffering is necessary for God to make you more like him.”

The narcissist: “I might have lied to you, but it was because you couldn’t handle the truth”.
The church: “Submit to spiritual authority – you can’t discern truth for yourself. You are prone to being led astray.”

The narcissist: ”You deserve this.”
The church: ”You deserve an eternity of conscious torment.”

The narcissist: “If I made a mistake, it was your fault.”
The church: “God killed his own son because of how sinful you are.”

The narcissist: “You are unlovable – I am the only one who could love you.”
The church: “You are so sinful God can’t even look at you without Jesus covering you with his blood.”

The narcissist: “I will make you look bad in front of other people – they deserve to know who you really are.”
The church: “We will talk about you amongst ourselves – we are your church family and its our job to keep you on the right path.”

The narcissist: “Your entire life will revolve around me.”
The church: “Your church is your community, your family, your hobbies, your volunteer work and maybe even your schooling or your job. Never neglect the meeting together of believers.”

The narcissist: “You need me to manage your finances.”
The church: “Give us 10% of your income and donate additionally to charities, programs and mission trips on top of that.”

The narcissist: “You must tell me everything – you can’t keep anything from me.”
The church: “Accountability is godly and secrecy is the devil’s playground.”

The narcissist: “I decide who you hang out with and who you talk to.”
The church: “You can only have friends who share your beliefs and won’t drag you down.”

The narcissist: “I am all you need.”
The church: “God is all you need.”

The narcissist: “You can’t trust yourself – but thankfully you have me to guide you.”
The church: “Your heart is deceitful and wicked, lean not on your own understanding. Follow me as I follow Christ.”

The narcissist: “You are too sensitive, you can’t take a joke.”
The church: “God’s ways are higher than our ways – you could never understand.”

The narcissist: “No one else can give you what I do.”
The church: “There is a Jesus shaped hole in your heart only he can fill.”

The narcissist: “It might hurt, but I am only doing this because I love you.”
The church: “God chastises the children he loves.”

The narcissist: “I know what is best for you, I know you better than you know yourself.”
The church: “God’s way is best. God knows how many hairs are on your head and hears your every thought.”

The narcissist: “I’m not mistreating you, you are mistreating me.”
The church: “We aren’t abusive, you are rebelling.”

The narcissist: “You are lucky to have me.”
The church: “You are blessed to be one of the few people going to heaven. Everyone else will suffer for eternity.”

The narcissist: “Those people who don’t like me are crazy.”
The church: “The world hates us and persecute us. It despises good and loves evil.”

The narcissist: “You always take things wrong way.”
The church: “That scripture that makes you uncomfortable – you’re just interpreting it the wrong way.”

The narcissist: “You are so jealous and insecure – you don’t want your jealousy to destroy this relationship do you?”
The church: “You’re jealous of nonbelievers’ freedom – but that supposed ‘freedom’ will destroy you.”

The narcissist: “You just need to trust me.”
The church: “Just trust God and give it to him. Have faith!”

The narcissist: “You did this to yourself.”
The church: “Going your own way leads to suffering.”

The narcissist: “Why can’t you just let it go?”
The church: “You need to forgive and forget.”

The narcissist: “Why can’t you be more like him / her?”
The church: “You need to be more like Jesus.”

The narcissist: “You’re crazy / you have mental health issues / you need help.”
The church: “Your emotions lie to you / your desires are of the flesh / you need Jesus.”

The narcissist, love-bombing after a huge fight: “I love you more than anything in the world!”
The church, creating emotional euphoria after a shame-inducing sermon and confession time: “Now let’s praise Jesus for how much he loves us and blesses us!”

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