Adoption and the Symptom of Narcissism – Part Two

You Can Heal from the Results of Marriage and Adoption Narcissism

 Intro: 

The reason for this blog is to help the adoptive families with RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) children. There are many posts I’ve written on this topic. Please have a look.

My last post gave the list of symptoms of narcissism and some steps to overcome it. If you haven’t read the previous post, I suggest you do so to better understand this post.

I referred a book (in my last post) written by Patricia King entitled “Overcoming the Spirit of Narcissism.” I highly recommend you read it. Her website is xpmedia.com  There is a list of 34 symptoms of narcissism which will help you gain better understanding  of the  narcissistic mind. She does give examples of situations which create narcissism. Adoption and being spoiled are two of the situations.

 This post is about how the narcissistic person can personally heal and then mend their broken relationships. I will also talk about healing for the non-narcissistic person who was abused by a narcissist. Both healings are necessary to move forward in wholeness.

My Story:

 If you are the parent of a RAD adopted child, the likelihood of your child being narcissistic is pretty great. Do they expect everyone to revolve around them and get angry if they don’t? Are they charming in public and the opposite at home?

My husband and I adopted two daughters from Thailand who had RAD. (Please check out my previous posts for more information on RAD). At the intensive RAD therapy we took our girls to, the therapists said narcissism is a regular symptom of RAD.

My husband HAD narcissism. I put the emphasis on HAD because he is the result of what the Lord has done in his life. The Lord healed him and our marriage is better than it has ever been. In moving forward, I’d like to mention my husband has given me permission to tell this story.

In my last post I gave a list of behavioral patterns of a narcissistic spouse and the results it has on the non-narcissistic spouse. I have personally experienced these and reached a point of almost losing who I was. In addition to my husband’s narcissism, our two narcissistic adopted daughters punished me whenever they could.

I couldn’t understand why I was getting nowhere when I saw the truth about our narcissistic daughters then shared with my husband. I would go to him and express what I was seeing and he would just ignore me trying to make it just go away. He didn’t want to spend time doing anything that wasn’t supporting him and what he wanted to spend his time on.

 

What Position Did I Have To Take for Breakthrough?

 This was a very hard road to travel because it wearies the soul when the truth is revealed but it hasn’t set the situation free.  At least not in my relationship with my husband at the time. But Why?

When we give God the rightful seat on the throne of our hearts we also have to realize that He also doesn’t share any of His glory or honor. I do receive truth and revelation, but it is God’s truth and revelation and it must be implemented in His timeframe. We are to be after Father God being glorified only.

 

So, how does this apply to the topic at hand?

 I was seeing our situation clearly, but I was expecting everything to be done in my timing, and through my effort. I tried to approach my husband from every angle possible in order to get him to understand the dire situation we were in. It just wasn’t working.

I finally said “uncle.” From that point on, I suffered in silence and went to the Lord only. I soaked in Psalm 91. I found my “Secret Place” under His wing and poured my heart out while praying on behalf of my family situation. I found my own healing in this process. I didn’t say another word to my husband, but asked the Lord to speak to him and open his eyes to everything going on.

This went on for a while because God wanted to see if I was serious about allowing Him to be in charge and get all the glory and honor. I was glad for Him to take over because I was exhausted trying to deal with a narcissist. What I was doing wasn’t working.

 

The Conference with Patricia King:

 My husband and I went to a local conference where Patricia King was speaking and she advertised her book on narcissism. My husband leaned over to me and said, “her description describes our girls” and immediately got up and purchased Patricia’s book. He read it and became so convicted of  the list of symptoms of narcissism  he broke each symptom down to percentages of how much he displayed each symptom. He said he had 31 out of the 34 symptoms. He has apologized to me for all his behaviors and we are now on a wonderful journey together. God healed my husband in His timing and got all the glory and honor!!

 

Therapy:

 Things accelerated with our adopted girls. My husband could see they were in crisis and agreed to take them to RAD intensive therapy. God vindicated me at the intensive therapy. He caused all of the girls’ symptoms of RAD and narcissism to be revealed. Everything came out: The girls were trying to get us divorced, the youngest was planning to kill me and then marry my husband, they wanted me out of the house, they were sabotaging my every effort to bond with them, the oldest adopted daughter was trying to emotionally seduce my husband, etc. My husband again apologized to me for not believing me. I received full healing.

 

Conclusion:

 God wants to come through for you! Your power can’t accomplish what you want. God loves the most difficult situations and will glorify Himself in His power – proving to be the most Wonderful Being in the universe on your behalf. So, give up and give in to His love, glory and power. He wants to show you who He is for you in this unsolvable situation.

 

If you would like some help in the area of getting free from narcissism or from being abused by a narcissist – please call me at the Unleashed Healing Center. I’m Laurie and a life coach. I would love to help you. You can connect with our office through unleashedhealingcenter.com

Please leave a comment below. I would love to talk with you.

Adoption and the Symptom of Narcissism – Part One

Adoption and the Narcissistic Spirit

 Intro:

 In my last post I talked about standing in proxy for your adopted child. You have the legal right to stand in proxy because God honors you as the authority over your adopted child’s life. Proxy brings healing because it gives your child closure for the decisions their birth parents decided which caused such chaos in their life.

Today I’m going to talk on the subject and symptoms of narcissism. I have only shared briefly about this topic in other posts, but today I’m going into more depth. I will divide this topic into two posts. This post will describe the symptoms. My next post is will describe my personal experience and all that I learned in the process of living with three narcissists.

I recommend a book by Patricia King. The title of the book is, “Overcoming the Spirit of Narcissism.” She has CD’s on the subject too. In this book is a full list (not in this article) of symptoms and information. The rest of this post is a combination of Patricia’s book and a few points I have thrown in from my experience.

When my husband and I took our two adopted girls for intensive RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) therapy. The therapists said narcissism is a common symptom of RAD. But, we live in a narcissistic society so narcissism is found—at some level—in everyone. I repented for six of the 34 symptoms and allowed the Lord to change me.

(The purpose of this post is to help you identify narcissistic behaviors in yourself and those around you)

 

The Spirit of Narcissism

(NPD = Narcissistic Personality Disorder)

 A. Fueled by:

  1. Self–exaltation or self-idolatry
  2. Pride
  3. Self-absorption
  4. Self-focus

B. Clues:

  1. Unable to love or connect with anyone outside themselves.
  2. The rejection a narcissist gives others severely hurts those who love him or her.
  3. They involve themselves in egotistical pursuits, offering self-gratification, dominance and self- ambition to the exclusion of others.
  4. Inflated sense of their importance and a deep need for admiration.
  5. They believe they are superior to others and have little regard for others feelings.
  6. Behind the mask of ultra confidence lies a fragile self-esteem – vulnerable to the slightest criticism.
  7. Friends or spouses feel a need to tippy toe on ice around them.
  8. Can have a landing strip enabling demonic control to take over.

C. Satan is the Ultimate Narcissist

  1. Ezek. 28:12-17 & Isa. 14:12-14
  2. He lived in a perfect environment of love, blessing, purity and glory, yet he chose to sin. He directed the worship and focus of others unto himself

D. Nature of Deception

  1. When you’re deceived, you don’t know it.
  2. Rebellion vs. Deception: Rebellion is when you know what is right and deliberately choose wrong. Deception is when you actually believe you are right. What you believe feels like truth but it isn’t. Narcissism is rooted in deception.
  3. Best safeguard to deception is an accountability team around you- those who will lovingly speak truth.
  4. It’s dangerous to have “yes men” because then the narcissist will never find truth or freedom.
  5. If narcissists don’t submit to accountability – it can infect those around them to become narcissistic too.

E. Symptoms

  1. 34 symptoms in Patricia’s book
  2. Scriptures: Prov.16:18, Mark 9:35, & Matt.18:4

F. Fruit of Narcissism

  1. Broken relationships and covenants
  2. Rejection
  3. Division in homes, workplaces, spheres of influence, relationships and church
  4. Mental illness (breakdowns, sociopathic behavior in severe cases)
  5. Criminal activity
  6. Narcissist’s cause emotional abuse

G. Overcoming Narcissism

  1. Narcissism can be overcome
  2. Admit you need help and give yourself an honest evaluation
  3. You need a true heartfelt repentance
  4. Commit to die to self
  5. Deal with the roots
  6. Generational iniquity is a common root of narcissism.
  7. Childhood rejection, abuse and/or neglect is a common root of narcissism.
  8. Recognize and change any taught behavior patterns.
  9. Don’t require celebrity treatment.
  10. Follow Jesus and determine to live out of your spirit rather than your soul.
  11. Move in the opposite spirit which is humility and teachability.
  12. Renew you mind with scripture.
  13. Renounce spirit(s) associated with narcissism. It usually pairs with pornographic activity.
  14. Be filled with the spirit.

H. Narcissism & relationships

  1. Friendship with a narcissist is usually shallow, one-sided, unfulfilling and aggravating.
  2. Relationship usually turns to what supports the narcissist’s needs for affirmation, attention, endorsement, and association.
  3. If the personal benefit to the narcissist wanes in the friendship the relationship usually is terminated or is placed at arms length by the narcissist.
  4. They never labor with a pure motive to bless and encourage others unless it helps their agenda for success, increase, popularity, or promotion.
  5. They are competitive, prone to jealousy, ostentatious and often create strife in the workplace or ministry due to selfish agendas.
  6. They are not teachable and resist discipline.
  7. Marriage: Spouse lives with rejection, grueling demands, lack of attention, control, emotional manipulation and are dominated through shame and blame. Spouse is used as a showpiece to prop the narcissist image. Example: a “trophy wife”.
  8. A narcissist will always need more for themselves: Material things, more love, praise, attention, time for themselves, preferential treatment and more help. They seldom think of or care about the needs of their spouse unless it enhances their image or benefits them.
  9. Of those who struggle with a narcissist spirit – 75 percent are male.

I. Behavior patterns found in a narcissistic spouse:

  1. Acts out in verbally aggressive behaviors
  2. When confronted or opposed – places blame or shame; accuses
  3. Insensitive to their spouse – the world revolves around them only
  4. Controlling and manipulating
  5. Shows rage or outbursts of anger when their spouse disagrees with them, or makes them look bad in front of others
  6. Often spends outside their budget. Depends financially on their spouse and asks for the spouse to help fund things for them. If the spouse withholds – they get upset and are often accusative and enraged. The opposite is also true for some. They are breadwinners for the family but withhold finances from their spouse and use the household funds for their own goals, purposes, and pleasure.
  7. Talk about themselves constantly and seldom seem interested in the life, needs or interests of their spouse.
  8. Expects special treatment from their spouse.
  9. Very sensitive if they are insulted even in the most subtle way (spouses usually feel like they are walking on thin ice and must be careful how they word things or voice complaints)
  10. Shows one side of their personality in public but another side in private. They are hypocritical and can go out of their way to impress others.
  11. Spouse can feel emotionally battered and confused.
  12. Spouses’ self-esteem can diminish to the point they have none.

 

Conclusion:

 

I will talk on how the parents of narcissistic adopted children or spouses of a narcissistic spouse can find healing in my next post. I encourage you to purchase Patricia’s book. Her website is xpmedia.com and you can find the book in the store on her website.

 Please comment below. I would love to hear from you!

Standing In Proxy for Your RAD Adopted Child?

Proxy and Your RAD Adopted Child:

 Intro:

 

This blog is for the adoptive parents experiencing difficulties in your relationship with your RAD adopted child. RAD means Reactive Attachment Disorder. I have written about it in many previous posts. Please take some time and read about it.

My last post explained how your adopted child needs your strength first of all. Your strength is what will be tested in you before your love is permitted anywhere near their heart. I hope you were helped and given insight because RAD adopted children are complex and full of puzzling behavior.  A RAD adopted child does want love – but receiving it makes them feel weak and vulnerable unless they know the person loving them is strong first.

 

Exercising Strength through Proxy

 In this post, we will outline a practical way for you as the adoptive parent to display the strength of your heart to your adopted child. This display will occur through repentance proxy. I will explain as we continue.

By definition, proxy means “one appointed or authorized to act for another or the written authorization to act in place of another.” Because you’ve stepped in to replace your adopted child’s birth parents, you have the authorization to act on behalf of your adopted child(ren). This authorizes you to repent on behalf of the birth parents for their decisions which put your child in need of being adopted. When it comes to the hurt feelings your adopted child has experienced, you are the perfect person to repent on behalf of their birth parents. This brings justice to your adopted child’s hurting heart.

 

The Power of Proxy Repentance 

 We had a breakthrough for an adopted child at the life coaching center where I work which perfectly illustrates the supernatural power of the concept of proxy repentance. This situation occurred with a child who was in his late teens and knew his birth mom. He saw her occasionally and hated her. He blamed all the issues of the breakup of his birth family on his birth mother (some were very valid) and his feelings grew to the point of wishing she were dead.

I was in this session with another life coach and we stood in proxy and repented on behalf of this teen’s birth mom. When he left there didn’t seem to be any notable difference. He even seemed more agitated and was rude to the other life coach. In addition, he also took much of his hatred for his birth mom out on his adoptive mom.

He didn’t make another appointment and left indignant and irritated. BUT THEN – two weeks later we find out that his birth mom called and wanted to see him. He begrudgingly went to her house. To his shock and surprise—his birth mom genuinely apologized for the pain she caused and all she had done wrong. We were all amazed.. There was full reconciliation. The teen forgave his birth mom and is doing so much better! He went from being in a place where bitterness and anger were influencing every avenue of his life, to being at peace and rest. YEAH!!

 

How Did This Happen?

 You’re probably wondering, “why did this happen?” All I can say is this was a spiritual supernatural event accomplishing something in the heart of the birth mom resulting in reconciliation between son and birth mother. There was mutual emotional healing. Praise God!! He is so good at turning things around for us!!

 

This is where the adoptive father comes into play:

  Below is a suggested list to repent of on behalf of the birth parents. I understand the RAD child usually is angry towards the birth mother and adoptive mother. The fathers seem to get off “scot free.” If this is the case and the adoptive father has a good relationship with their adopted child, the adoptive father can step into the role of proxy and repent on behalf of your adopted child’s birth parents face-to-face. The opinion of the adoptive father is so important, so if the relationship permits – so go for it! Otherwise you can just pray in proxy without your adopted child present.

 

Suggested Proxy Repent List (according to what applies in the situation):

 1)      For the choices they (the birth parents) have made that has brought undue consequences to your child

 2)      For not wanting to be inconvenienced by the child’s birth

 3)      For not being mature enough (emotionally, mentally, or physically) to take on the responsibility of a child

 4)      For not accepting the consequences of their choices resulting in giving them away

 5)      For putting the child in a family that they might not even look like (the adoptive family)

 6)      For putting them in a situation that they feel afraid, abandoned and rejected

 7)      For the loneliness they feel

 8)      For the constant questions they think about to try to understand why they weren’t wanted

 9)      For the wondering if they caused the adoption and weren’t good enough to be loved

 10)  For all the heart ache

 11)  For the abuse they may have endured before they were adopted

 12)  For any selfishness the birth parents had in the whole process

 (This is not an exhaustive list and I’m sure every adoptive family has issues influencing their specific situation)

 

In Conclusion:

 Justice is so important in adoption and this healing tool of proxy helps to facilitate justification. Proxy brings your child to truths they may not have thought of before. Many adopted children can’t get past the undue rejection and abandonment they have experienced. What human can really understand why parents can give a child away? So, if the birth parent can’t or won’t apologize for their actions which brought them to the decision of giving their child up – then proxy gives the child some of the restitution they are looking for.

 

If you would like help in this process please call our office and make an appointment with our life coaching center. You can make an appointment with me at the unleashedhealingcenter.com.  I would love to help you through this process. My name is Laurie. Until next time…

 

I would love to hear any comment you have. Please leave it in the comment box below. See you next time…

What Does Your Adopted Child Need Most from You?

Your Love is Not Their First Priority:

  Intro:

 

For those just finding this blog, I’m writing from a place of experience. Specifically, my husband and I adopted two girls from Thailand and it didn’t go so well. Both girls have Reactive Attachment Disorder (See RAD in previous posts) which was a decision the girls made at the point their birth mother gave them up. RAD is the results of a child deciding to reject anyone who tries to get close to them. This decision is made because they are protecting their heart from getting hurt again.

As a result of RAD, our oldest adopted daughter decided she didn’t want to be a family member and at eighteen went out on her own. Our youngest adopted daughter wanted to kill me and had to be removed from our home. I have spoken extensively on the subject of RAD in other posts. Please check it out.

My last post was about how the adopted child creates walls of emotional protection and how it effects every relationship they have. In addition – if we as parents have created our own walls – we need to go to God for help and surrender to His love, covering of protection and provision.

   

The first soul-need your adopted RAD child needs from you is not LOVE:

 When my husband and I took our two adopted RAD children for extensive therapy and counseling – the biggest revelation I received was that our daughters needed to know we were strong enough. Every other parental training I’ve encountered said love was the first priority. But because their pain and RAD has caused detachment – all of the love we were providing was not received. It couldn’t be absorbed by their hearts because it was hijacked by the defense mechanisms created by RAD.

The revelation of our girls needing to see our strength, not just our outpouring of love, caused us to understand the chaos which constantly ensued. A chaos that included verbal challenges, pushing proverbial buttons, confusion, drama, constant destructiveness and manipulation. All this was emitting from our RAD adopted children.

This chaos  was our daughters effort to constantly check to see if we were going to be “weak” like their birth mother was. Triggering anger, frustration and weariness are the ways that “weakness” is assessed by RAD children. If you pass the test, they decide if more tests are needed before they can let you in or close.

   

The Wearying Process:

 This is very wearying to the adoptive parent. What’s strange is  the adoptive child seeks to know if they can trust you and the way they seek this information is by using purposeful behavior that breaks your trust. They choose to lie, destroy possessions, behave narcissistically, steal, sneak, manipulate and create ultimate havoc. (There is a list of RAD symptoms in a previous post. Please have a look.)

   

What Does Being Strong Look Like?

  This is hard for two reasons:

 1) RAD can challenge an adoptive parent to the core (especially the adoptive mother) because most of the aggression from the adopted RAD child is aimed at the adoptive mother. Mainly to punish the adoptive mother for not being the birth mother and for trying to come close and love them when all the strength tests haven’t been passed.

In my situation, I was as strong as I knew how to be. I am not given to bursts of anger and my mom always told me I was the most patient child she ever knew. But I have to admit – this was the most challenging test I have ever encountered.

I was tested to my max but I needed to remain as calm and strong as possible. I did do this in my own self-effort for a long while and got to the place where I was trapped in a lose-lose situation. I was stuffing all my feelings and that is never ok. Plus my soul was weary from all the trying – only to fail again.

I had to find a safe place to vent, so I got relief from talking to trusted friends and to the Lord. Looking back, this process taught me to depend on the Lord’s strength to infill me because my self-effort ultimately didn’t work. Self-effort works in the short run but not the long. Relying on God instead of self-effort also lets God have His rightful place in the situation so His unquestionable strength can overcome the conflict.

Your friends will also glean from your situation (if they are led by the Holy Spirit) and will give helpful advice. Even if they don’t have advice – having a loving ear is always helpful to unload what you’re carrying.

 2) There is nothing wrong with getting respite time off from your strength demanding RAD children. If you don’t take care of yourself first, who is going to be there for your RAD child when you are so weary that you can’t go on? Find a dependable respite care giver.

This is an awesome way to practice finding the Sabbath rest God calls us to. Full dependency on Him is the only way to stay at peace. He is our strength if we allow Him to have His place in our lives by surrendering to His plans. He will use His strength to come through for your RAD child also.

 

Conclusion:

  Sometimes it just helps to understand why a child acts the way they do. I hope this post was helpful. I pray you can find the rest and strength that you need. Go to the Lord for His help, He is there for you, as am I if you want to dialogue with me on this issue. Please leave a comment in the box below. I would love to help! Till next time…