Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Malignant Narcissists are Unstable

Although it may seem as if the wicked prosper, it's only for a season, and a very short one at that. The Bible is filled with verses that tell us what becomes of evildoers, even if this life. Take, for instance, the Book of Proverbs. This is just one book in which we're assured the wicked will not flourish. In Chapter 11 of Proverbs, we are told about "false scales," or people who cheat others. This not only applies to those who swindle others out of material goods, but, I'm assuming, other goods as well, such as a good name or the ability to maintain relationships.

These readings in Proverbs also assure us that with pride comes disgrace. There are few creatures on earth more proud than a malignant narcissist. We are also told that the "faithless are ruined by their duplicity" and they are also "caught in their own intrigue."

There are many, many verses throughout the Bible that warn us not to follow the path or the counsel of the wicked. We can trust in God that He is watching everything and that He will make things right. Meanwhile, we need to pray for the narcissist in our life, as it's entirely possible that our prayers for someone who is being hateful to us are all the more powerful.

A church bully is in a very bad state spiritually, and the very fact that he or she doesn't have the graces to not act out in church could be a chastisement (for them) in itself. At the time of our deaths, as you know, we will be held accountable for all of our actions. For some, this will be a time of regret.

Pixabay image top by OpenClips

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Wicked Will Stab Each Other

Church bullies try to exclude people they don't like. They may even work to drive someone, or even an entire family, out of the congregation. They accomplish this by forming a pack of like-minded individuals, who offer no resistance when they see someone else being mistreated.

It's likely these flying monkeys have swallowed some of the lies spread about the target. These stories are usually started by a morally disordered person, who either views the target as a threat, or accurately perceives that he or she will not have the necessary social supports to prevent a narcissistic abuse campaign from getting off the ground.

It is very painful to experience narcissistic abuse at church. It often means leaving a spiritual home that you've become accustomed to, and where you've put down roots. It also begs the question of where you're going to worship in the future, especially if you live in a small town that may only have one church. It may mean you have to drive miles on Sunday, or during the week, if you attend daily Mass.

It's also hurtful that people you once considered friends do not have your back, and have aligned themselves with the bully by allowing this behavior to flourish. (People are weak,) You may feel hurt that you're now left out of a church-based social group, which once brought a lot of meaning to your life. However, don't be. The fact that this group acted disorderly means it's going to fall apart. People who abuse one person will abuse another, and the next target will likely be chosen from the ranks of those who watched another suffer, without lifting a finger to help.

It's also possible one or more of the flying monkeys wants to be the ring leader. Things will get very ugly as they jockey for this position.

God will take care of things. All you need to do is watch and pray. Church bullies desperately need our prayers.

Pixabay image by PublicDomainPictures

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Rivalries in Church

Many cases of church bullying seem to arise from rivalries. Someone may want a particular volunteer position, or they think they can do a better job than the person already in place. Or, someone may receive some special recognition that doesn't sit well with someone else. Or, there may be jockeying for friendships, since people in church also form cliques.

Of course, the devil is behind all of this, and he must delight in watching the infighting. It is my personal belief that eventually we'll see the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and there will be a period of peace, reigning in our hearts. The devil is very well aware that his time is short, and he is doing everything in his power to create divisions right now. There is so much disorder, even among the clergy.

Not getting too involved in a parish is one way to avoid these dissensions. However, some people are called to be more active, so they need to be careful not to draw too much attention to themselves.

As faithful Catholics, we need to ride out this turbulent time in the Church and in the world. God and Our Lady are with us, and, in the end, Mary's Immaculate Heart will triumph and Satan will be defeated. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

I realize some of my readers are not Catholic and may find some of the Marian terminology foreign. (However, you are more than welcome here, as church bullying happens in other denominations as well.) The book Hail Holy Queen is written by Dr. Scott Hahn, a protestant minister who converted to the Catholic faith after he found it supported by Scripture.

Pixabay photo top by PublicDomainPictures

Monday, September 22, 2014

Justice for Church Bullies

Being a target of a church bully, or a pack of them, is an unenviable position. As you endure this trial, the bullies seem larger than life and invincible. Yet, this is only an illusion. First of all, even in a temporal sense, a bully's power has an expiration date. A chief instigator will be surrounded by flying monkeys, some of whom, typically, trade off on doling out some of the abuse. None of these people have the moral fortitude to stand up for the innocent target. A number of them also have their own personality issues that make them crave power and attention. Since these folks are of weak character, a bully cannot depend on them when the going gets rough.

Things are eventually going to come undone for the bullies. They've formed a group that won't be held together by God, and their plans and projects will not have His assistance. (Church bullies love projects.) It is only a matter of time until these come crashing down, since a house divided against itself cannot stand.

Then, there is the justice that will happen in the afterlife. People who abuse others at church, unfortunately, have squandered their time and talents. One day they will have to appear before God. We hope they repent beforehand. People who are just do not mistreat others, especially at church. Nor do they sow discord and put enmity between friends. These are the actions of fools.

Meanwhile, arm yourself with prayer. Hold your head up and carry on. God is with you. The bully's reign will be very short lived.

Pixabay image top by Monelgonel

Friday, September 19, 2014

You Might be the Means of Their Salvation

As hard as it is to do, try to have mercy and compassion on a church bully, if you find yourself a target. They truly don't know what they are doing, and they have no clue they will be held accountable for all of their actions after they die. If they did, they would conduct themselves much differently.

There is a true story of a very holy nun who lived in the Middle Ages. She was tormented by another religious sister in her convent. The saintly sister undertook severe penances for the conversion of this wayward soul, whom, even though she was called to be a Bride of Christ, slid deeply into sin. Yes, she did get some people to turn against the saintly sister. Her actions and lies also resulted in the saintly sister being severely punished.

However, the virtuous sister acted with great love and compassion, and through the means of a private revelation, agreed to take on severe penances to save the soul of this poor sister. Through many charitable works and prayers, the sister eventually repented and converted. Then she died, after a prolonged illness. Later, it was also revealed that the soul of this sister was saved, but she would also be in Purgatory until the end of the world.

Catholics believe that only a soul whom is perfected may enter Heaven, and most of us need a little more time purging our faults until we can see God face to face.

As you endure the trial of confronting a church bully, whom wants to make life miserable and possibly drive you from your place of worship, just because he or she can, have mercy on them. Pity them. This life is very short, and they will soon face a just judge who has seen everything.

Pray for them. Your prayers may very well result in their eternal salvation, although, perhaps, they will need spend time in Purgatory. Perhaps, because you are suffering, your prayers are all that more powerful, and God will use them to bring this soul back to Him. (A just and righteous person will never conduct a hate campaign against someone else.)

For a discussion of female malignant narcissism, please visit my Female Bullies blog. One thing that helped me forgive the person who instigated a church mobbing, which resulted in my family fleeing our place of worship, was picturing her standing before God, the just judge who rights all wrongs. I sincerely want God to have mercy on her soul, as well as my own poor soul. Our time on earth is very short, and we must use it wisely. Yes, a church bully, who likely suffers from a character flaw that psychologists call malignant narcissism,will eventually see justice.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sin Makes You Stupid

Someone once said something that I thought was very astute. She said, "Sin makes you stupid." This is precisely what happens when someone doesn't have the smarts, or the grace, to avoid abusing someone else in a church.

The momentary "thrill" they may gain from dominating another person, or driving them out of the parish, is a very temporary high that they'll undoubtedly pay for, either in this life or the next. This is why they are so stupid. Because they have become spiritually blind, a church bully does not even consider the consequences of his or her actions.

The Bible tells us that someone who relishes in evil will either die suddenly (probably the worst thing that can happen to them), or they will end up miserable in this life. Actually, the second option is preferable, so they would have time to get things right with God.

If you are the target of a church bully, do not lose hope. God is very close to you, and He is watching everything. Do not seek revenge. Forgive the bully. Pray for his or her soul. Your prayers and sufferings might very well be their means of salvation.

Although this is a tall order when you are being emotionally abused in a place of worship, which should be a refuge, it's still something you need to do, in order to more closely imitate Christ.

Trust in God. In his time, He will end your troubles in a very beautiful way. Later, you will look back and thank Him for this trial. You wouldn't be where you are now without it.

Pixabay picture top by kropekk_pl/675 images

Monday, September 15, 2014

What Do Church Bullies Accomplish?

It's been several years since I left a toxic church situation. The root cause of my troubles seems to have been a particular female, whom I thought was my friend. There was so much ensuing chaos that it was difficult to know just where it was coming from. Actually, I'm still not sure exactly what happened, and I'll probably never know the entire story, at least while I'm living here on earth.

The perspective of hindsight is a gift. From that vantage point, I can see much more clearly that God had a plan, and that His plan is perfect. I'm out of that particular situation and my home schooled children, and my husband, survived the move to another parish. God was with us, so I had nothing to fear. (Why didn't I trust Him more then?) We've put down new roots and we're happy where we are. But I'll never get so attached to another place that it would be excruciating to leave. If something similar happened again, it would hit me like a mild breeze, instead of a hurricane.

Which brings me to the point of this post. We're fine. We survived. But what about the church bullies? What have they ultimately accomplished?

Yes, they made life miserable. But only for a season. And all of this was under the watchful eye of God, whom allowed all of this to happen, for a greater good. The main point is, when God is in control, He won't allow the bullies to prevail in the end. With God, evil will never prevail in the end.

Part of the reason I'm writing this blog is that it seems so unbelievable that a mobbing, similar to what happens in the workplace, could take place at church, among people who considered themselves good Catholics and who followed some of the rules of the faith meticulously. I want others who find themselves in a similar situation to know that this happens, and that they're not alone.

My heart now breaks for these people because they put so much effort into something that will give them no benefit in this life, or in the next life. Also, if you can mistreat one person, you will likely mistreat another. Before cutting ties, I also watched them go after someone else. Leading the charge was the same person I seemed to have the most trouble with as well.

So to anyone who's reading this, remember that this struggle is temporary. The bullies will ultimately gain nothing from it. Do not lose hope. Do not lose your faith.

Pixabay image top by Nemo

For a discussion of female malignant narcissism, please read by Female Bullies blog.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Managing Difficult People at Church

If you become involved in a parish, you stand a very good chance of running into a difficult person. People who like to control things gravitate toward religious settings and volunteer groups, which afford them ample opportunities to seize leadership positions. Controlling people like to give marching orders. Typically, they'd rather have you do the heavy lifting while they tell you how to do it.

As Christians, we know that we need to bear with one another. However, this is much easier said than done. I recently wrote an article on another venue about managing tricky personalities. One suggestion, which I originally heard from a therapist on You Tube, was how to respond when a controlling person tells you how to do things. In order to avoid conflict, but not to the point where you become a doormat, you can smile sweetly at the individual, thank them for their suggestions, and then do things your way.

Here is an example. Usually, especially with volunteer work, there is no right or wrong way to do something. Someone may want the tables and chairs set up a certain way for a parish event. But, in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn't matter if they're facing a little to the left or the right. This is when you can "thank" the micro-manager for his or her suggestion, and then continue to line up the chairs how it seems to make sense. (In this case, the pastor probably doesn't care how the chairs are arranged, as long as everyone has a seat.)

In a church, no one should be pushing anyone around. But it happens. This is to be expected, and managed. (However, if multiple people are ganging up on someone, and it becomes ugly, this is more like mobbing, and the best thing to do is to move on.)

However, if you're only dealing with one or two difficult people in a particular parish, being kind, while standing your ground, is probably the best approach.

Pixabay photo top by natclegg

Monday, September 8, 2014

Mary Take Over with Church Bullies

There is another beautiful Marian devotion known as Mary Take Over. This is when you ask Our Blessed Mother to take over your problems, so you don't have to think about them. Since being a target of a church bully is a spiritual crisis, since you may very likely be required to flee your spiritual home, it's a good time to turn to the Mother of God.

Anyway, being run out of your parish by a pack of church bullies is something I don't recommend, but I know it happens, judging from my own personal experience, as well as that of some others. It's also something people generally don't talk about, but I want to shine some light on this subject for those currently having difficulties at church.

One of the many prayers I said during this trying time was the Mary Take Over prayer. If you repeat this prayer every day, Our Blessed Mother will listen. She will work things out for you in a most miraculous way, all in God's time, of course.

Pixabay image top by piper60

For a discussion of female malignant narcissists, please read my Female Bullies blog.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Jesus, I Trust in You

Being mobbed at church is a horrifying experience. When it's taking place, you don't know where to turn, because staying in the same setting is excruciating, yet moving away is frightening. These feelings are intensified if you have children, because you worry about uprooting them, and what this move will do to their faith.

However, if things become so bad, you will need to move. Don't forget that God is watching everything. He sees the big picture, and he has a plan to deliver you from this evil. I'm now several years removed from a church mobbing. I've regrouped and I'm here to tell you that God will deliver you out of this mess. You will land in a much better spot and you'll eventually look back on the entire experience with nothing but pity for the poor souls (the poorest of the poor) who didn't have the graces to not act up at church.

What do church bullies gain from their actions? Maybe a short burst of "pleasure" that they had the authority to make life miserable for someone else. However, in the context of eternity, what they did was extremely foolish.
Pixabay photo top by Hans

For a discussion of female malignant narcissists, please visit my Female Bullies blog.