Toxic Tuesday: Manifesto of the Duplicitous

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For those of you who believe a Christ follower, pastor, church leader, soul winner, family values proponent, or godly leader in a high position could never abuse a child, rape a woman, murder a loved one, or steal from the church…have you read the Bible? The heart is deceitful above all things. Spiritually saved or unsaved humanity is capable of the darkest offenses.

Here is an excerpt of a letter from an individual who was previously in a position of authority, leadership and influence over, unknown to them, a toxic character. Of this corrupted personality the above mentioned leader wrote:  “He…

“…was duplicitous and deceptive, living a double life, disconnected from reality, certainly from spiritual reality.”

Here are the personal values of the Jekyll and Hyde described in the above quote. A soul in a bottomless pit of sexual addiction, a personality disorder, and mental illness.  A creature who blindly victimized the unsuspecting, the simple, the harmless and the innocent.   Who, by society’s standards, is an impostor perpetrating the vilest offenses.

This offender was hired by a church leadership which didn’t dig into the accused offender’s background. Rumors swirled but the leadership believed the offenders spin rather than doing a background check. Because of the church leadership’s lack of integrity to protect their flock innocent children were harmed.

This manifesto was penned to prove sincere devotion to God, to the ex-spouse, to the church, and to show they were healed and worthy of trust, respect, forgiveness and reconciliation.

  1. The economy of this nation depends on my acceptance of personal responsibility.
  2. I will seek to understand and empathize with others.
  3. My family is this nation’s citizenship.
  4. My family and friends are carefully selected allies with whom I have agreed to never war against.
  5. My happiness is not my first goal. Meeting my responsibilities is.
  6. True happiness is found in maintaining and growing in my relationships with God and others.
  7. I must daily be reminded that faith, decency and honor are the highest virtues of man.
  8. A poorly kept house is the first sign of danger: it is the thing most found in slums.
  9. Depression is a state of mind that wrecks the economy — not the reverse.
  10. Appreciation for nature and the arts are essential to maintaining health and centeredness.
  11. God is my First Love; my family and friends come second; I am third.
  12. I must gain independence before I can become interdependent with others.
  13. My attitudes, moods, and expressions must always be a reflection of God’s grace.
  14. God is Sovereign over the affairs of this and every life.
  15. ln every conflict and in every war — whether found from without or from within …is a Iust for what one hasn’t. May the passion of my heart, mind, soul, and strength be to love God completely; and my neighbor as myself.
  16. Faith, Hope, and Love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
  17. lf I bring anything of value, and pour it into the lives of others during my lifetime, may it all be of eternal value and for the good — not of taxing pain nor hurt by telling lies, victimizing others, nor of a pursuit for my own selfish gain and ambition.
  18. l am saved by Grace through Faith … my focus is not, nor can it be, on my righteousness for I have none. My focus is on Jesus Christ – the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He alone is the Righteousness of God, Who is received by Faith, reflected by Obedience, and revealed in Love.
  19. Although I have inherited a sinful nature, I am not captive to it. I have died to sin, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. He is my Hope of Glory.
  20. My life is a constant effort to remove idols and to tear down barriers. The television is my most visible idol and enemy.
  21. My daily regiment must include physical, mental, emotional, vocational, and most of all, spiritual exercise.
  22. Every meal should be eaten at the table.
  23. The windows should not be covered while the master is home. Light must be allowed to pour in.
  24. I will laugh and entertain with a clean sense of humor.
  25. Monotone fails to inspire … l will use effective and sincere inflections to motivate, challenge, and uplift others.
  26. l am committed to sexual and otherwise moral purity and excellence.
  27.  l will seek revival and restoration daily through confession, repentance and recommitment.
  28.  l will surrender my anger, frustrations, anxieties, and struggles to God daily.
  29.  I am a living sacrifice, not conforming to the world, but being transformed by the renewing of my mind.
  30.  Not a cent should be spent without giving thought to paying off every debt and investing for the future; however, it is acceptable to feed the birds on occasion.
  31.  The house and grounds are to reflect excellence and beauty – the canvass for a creative mind.
  32.  I am not an abuser who robs others of joy, but a gift-giver who offers all of myself to feed the souls of others consistently and in such a way that grows far beyond myself to touch lives within a darkened world in a very special, illuminating way.
  33.  Early to bed and early to rise, as a flexible rule.
  34.  My heart will not be allowed to grow cold, nor my conscience to be hardened. But I will maintain a sensitivity to things of beauty and a love for the Divine.
  35.  l will maintain a strong defense and readiness for personal or civil action as needs demand.
  36.  ‘The former ways” — even if only idealistic — are still to be desired over all others.
  37.  I will speak up and take a stand, even when unpopular, for the right.
  38.  I love my God, my family, His church, and the United States of America, and will honor, respect, and remember those who are older and wiser – and those who have gone before us.
  39.  The Bible will be open and visible in my home.
  40.  All I have is the Lord’s.
  41.  Verbal prayers will proceed every meal and will be said at the beginning and end of every day.
  42.  I will share my faith and the Gospel message with someone every day.
  43.  I will offer tithes and offerings, as God provides, to His storehouse, the Church.
  44.  l will not limit God by my unbelief but will seek to discover and fulfill His will for my life and for the lives of those entrusted to my care.
  45.  I will remember that humility honors God and welcomes His blessing.
  46.  I will remember that God seeks a bold, not weak faith in His ability rather than my own.
  47.  I will remember that Jesus died for the sins of the entire world, not just for those in my tiny little circle.
  48.  l will remember holy days – birthdays, anniversaries, and celebrations.
  49.  I will maintain and build upon close and distant past and present friendships.
  50.  Only Jesus can erase sin and hold it no longer to my account: yet it is my responsibility to perform the ongoing ministry of reconciliation – that of healing and re-uniting broken relationships.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In light of innocent victims; numbers 15, 17, 23 and 32 are the most disturbing to me. Number 32 is off the charts unhealthy and twisted when considered in the context of predator and victim.

15.  ln every conflict and in every war — whether found from without or from within…is a Iust for what one hasn’t. May the passion of my heart, mind, soul, and strength be to love God completely; and my neighbor as myself.

17.   lf I bring anything of value, and pour it into the lives of others during my lifetime, may it all be of eternal value and for the good — not of taxing pain nor hurt by telling lies, victimizing others, nor of a pursuit for my own selfish gain and ambition.

23.  The windows should not be covered while the master is home. Light must be allowed to pour in.

32.   I am not an abuser who robs others of joy, but a gift-giver who offers all of myself to feed the souls of others consistently and in such a way that grows far beyond myself to touch lives within a darkened world in a very special, illuminating way.

I share this as a wake-up call to those in positions of leadership; especially within the church. If someone hands you a value statement similar to this; it may be time to pursue professional help for them.

The power of prayer and the courage of little ‘David’ voices against their Goliath put an end to this reign of ‘gift-giving’ and ‘illuminating’ abuse.

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20 Signs You Were Raised by a Narcissist

Do you have dysfunctional family dynamics or know someone who does? If you were raised by a parent with narcissistic personality disorder you will relate to these statements. Many of the sayings apply to being raised by someone with any type of personality disorder, but all of the below testimonials will validate children, young or grown, of a parent, or parents, with narcissistic personality disorder.

NPD 000NPD 67

Narcissist:

Someone so toxic they are willing to jeopardize

anybody’s reputation or future, including their own children,

to help themself get out of a sticky situation, conversation, sin, or

crime.  In their personality disordered mind it’s no big deal.

NPD 64NPD 62Toxic40NPD 58NPD 56NPD 44NPD 37NPD 27NPD 21NPD 16NPD 6toxic people boundariesToxic48Toxic47

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Narc parent

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Personality Disorders in Prominent Positions

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Do you suspect someone you work with, or know, has a personality disorder? Has the leadership of your company, organization, or church been attempting to remove, dismiss, or terminate the person or their position?

Today I want to show you, with video, what someone with Narcissistic personality disorder Abuse supportersmay look like. While watching this short video, replace the character of Facebook co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, with a dynamic speaker who has a witty sense of humor and is a leader in the Christian community. Keep in mind that narcissistic personalities can still appear different; some are charismatic—some boring, humorous vs.serious, highly intelligent vs. below average intelligence, well spoken vs. inarticulate, life of the party vs. quiet. Regardless of their differences they have many characteristics in common.

Consider a person who intertwines scripture as a means for emotional control and twists verses to support their dominance over co-workers. A specialist who tries to tell others who they are with no regard to reality.

A person who uses their title or place of leadership as a cover for control, dominance, or even abuse is not only not a leader in the way the Bible sets forth but is instead a moral and spiritual failure. Let me make this clear: When it comes to leadership, domination is never a teaching of the Bible. But servant leadership is.

 

 Now add in a spiritual leader who is hired for being a biblically accurate communicator. Only to later find the person is aggressive and manipulative in the process of gaining control over an organization, church, corporation, committee, or an individual. When confronted about their behavior they insist that their underlying brilliance be seen, acknowledged and praised; not criticized. They are correct; explaining away and justifying their motive, words, or actions.
If you attempt to speak truth into this person’s life; you will not be given opportunity to complete your thoughts and you will not be understood.

When truth is revealed against the backdrop of their deception, sin, or crime they play the “I am special” card and, “This isn’t the way it appears” line. In classic narcissistic fashion they hold up a mirror and reflect the accusation being made against them back at the plaintiff. You will NEVER win an argument with a narcissist or point out their error since they are perfect and do no wrong. Remember the rules and laws do not apply to them: For more on this topic see previous Toxic Tuesday posts about Narcissism.

“Jesus…is the Lion of Judah (Rev. 5:5) and the Lamb of God (Rev. 5:6) – He was lionhearted and lamb like, strong and meek, tough and tender, aggressive and responsive, bold and brokenhearted. He sets the pattern for manhood.” -John Piper

Narcissists like to explain why your accomplishments are of little importance and possibly not true accomplishments. They do not know how to encourage others and be genuinely happy for other’s successes. The only time you are praise worthy is when they can use your achievement to make themselves look better to someone else; or make it seem like your triumph was due to their input in your life.

You will not gain a narcissist’s understanding. You will be ignored, dismissed, and belittled Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard smallwhile the narcissist manipulates behind the scenes with no remorse or twinge of conscience toward the path of destruction they leave behind.

Narcissists are entitled to treat people however they feel with no regard to the other person’s feeling, needs, or input. They make executive decisions for everyone involved without allowing feedback, questions, or creative involvement. They are a god unto themselves and they like to surround themselves with people who believe everything they say without asking questions.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Narcissists have no boundaries with other people’s feelings, ideas, and needs. When dealing with this personality there are phrases that you need to memorize and keep in your mental pocket.

  1. That’s not what I was thinking; or had in mind.

  2. That’s your opinion.

  3. My decision is final.

  4. I’m not discussing this.

You need to know what you are going to say before confronting someone like this and stick with your script. Most importantly you don’t want to show any emotion. Positive or negative emotion only feeds the narcissist; known as narcissistic supply. You must starve them of the reaction they desire.

It doesn’t matter if you see this type of person committing a crime, yelling at someone, or telling a lie; they will deny it. Worse yet, because they are grand actors and liars it is easy to believe their cover story. I’ve been through this time and time again and I believed the actor/liar on every occasion…they were that good…until I understood I was dealing with a personality disorder. Before that I truly believed they were misunderstood, set-up, manipulated, not at fault, lied about, and…that I was the problem.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

To be clinically diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder a person must exhibit five of nine criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 

Imagine being in a relationship with someone who meets all nine of the criteria. Once upon a time I lived with such a person. Now imagine the narcissism is the easiest part of the toxic relationship because underneath this surface lurks a tormented dark soul disguised as light.

One does not have to imagine long on this concept of darkness disguised as light since Satan has masqueraded in a cloak of light through the centuries.

Satan is not creative; just a good copycat who counterfeits everything he sees the Heavenly Father do. Satan produces many fake replicas; evil beautifully gift-wrapped with a forged logo or brand name.  As with counterfeit consumer products, Satan’s imitations are of a lower quality, sometimes not working at all, and often have toxic elements; producing toxic people—resulting in a lesser quality of life for God’s beloved children. Satan’s bogus plans, interjected into the lives of humans, have resulted in physical and spiritual deaths. Fatal poison has been packaged as the healing balm of Christ.

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1
Scripture cannot necessarily help you discern a narcissist, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, because they are some of the best actors you will ever see. Dealing with this personality disorder is outside the box for Christians and even for many psychologists. It takes a long-term relationship to identify if a person suffers from narcissistic personality disorder; meeting the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The complexity of a narcissist makes them interesting to study, infuriating to live with, frustrating to work with, and the subject of psychological and spiritual scrutiny.

People can suffer from more than one personality disorder, or have what is called mixed personality disorder where the person meets criteria from several disorders, but not enough in any one of them to make a formal and supportable diagnosis in that area, the appropriate diagnosis is Personality Disorder NOS (not otherwise specified) with X, Y, and Z (or whatever) traits).

One of several overlapping disorders that can co-exist with narcissistic tendencies is obsessive compulsive personality disorder (completely different from obsessive compulsive disorder); characterized by a preoccupation of concern with excessive attention to details, mental and interpersonal control, and a need for control over one’s environment, at the expense of flexibility (everything is black and white to them). Money is viewed as something to be hoarded. Read about the entire criteria of this disorder at PhychCentral. If you question if someone you know has a personality disorder you should research disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders – DSM-IV.

Allow me to introduce you to Mr. Fatal Self-Love:

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Disappeared Short Clips: Lynn Messer

Below is a portion of Kerry Messer’s latest entry on the Find Lynn Messer Facebook page.

Kerry makes his case for why he isn’t happy about the airing of Disappeared. I’m adding a bit of my perspective to his story; rebuttals to some of his statements.

Disappeared was filmed before Lynn’s body was discovered and the purpose for allowing this program to share Lynn’s story was to hopefully help find her and to bring closure to the case.

Kerry Messer’s writing is in blue. My response is in red.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Hurting hearts have left a significantly large number of people vulnerable to wild imaginations. These have been fed by unbelievably hateful speculations and accusations founded in nothing more than a search for anything to believe in – something to cling to for an explanation.

Nope…fed by Spring Thomas, your girlfriend being identified as part of a search party on your property looking for your wife.

Fed by…Different, and reportedly untrue stories, you told investigators and your sons about the note that was at least in part, possibly in whole, written by Lynn.

Fed by your comments that Abram isn’t working through his grief in a healthy manner. You are the one who reportedly made inaccurate comments about the note to him, and forced their family out of their home? He has a right to defend himself and tell his side of the story.

Note: We are all sinners. We all deserve the worse, but we all desire grace. Through The Lord’s incredible love, He offers us the grace we need but don’t deserve. However, we are all still sinners by nature as well as by choice. And like it or not, a common default expression of our sin nature which every single one of us share is the propensity to remember the negative about other people more than the positive. We also fall prey to believing the worse about those we don’t know or care for. And we all tend to stand up for those we relate to while turning against those we do not relate to. And our personal worldviews are established more by our general biases and beliefs than facts or truths.

What? We remember the positive, but the negative is so overwhelming that it can’t be dismissed, overlooked, or forgotten. Our ‘biases and beliefs’ are based on biblical principles of the marriage covenant as set forth by God; not man’s own spin on what is or isn’t an affair.

Simply stated: We believe what we want to believe. We accept ideas as either absolute facts or as mere theories more often than not without ever examining actual evidences. If something fits our mental or emotional comfort level, we accept it. If it challenges our comfort level, we reject it. You can call it relativity, moral relativism, subjective reality, alternative reality, self-identity truth, modernism, post-modernism or whatever else the contemporary literature comes up with, but at its core it is nothing more than an expression of the sin nature we all possess.

Are you the one who believes in moral relativism? You are the one who had a girlfriend, at the least, within weeks of your wife disappearing. You are the one who admitted to kissing this woman but wouldn’t admit to an affair. Mr. Messer, sex is not the only aspect of an affair. By your own account you had a close friendship with this woman and were emotionally involved with her. Your sons have given testimony that the friendship predated Lynn’s disappearance and they even say it was an unhealthy attraction/friendship. I won’t argue when the relationship began and how involved it was; by Biblical standards you were having an affair while you said you still believed you were a married man. According to your testimony you were alone with her on multiple occasions, had a meaningful relationship and you kissed her on the lips.

So what in the world am I driving at?

The fact is, on the night of July 7th, 2014, I lost my Bride. Almost a year later, I lost my entire in-law family to scathing false rumors deliberately created to cause more pain and stress. Another year later and I lost the rest of my family to an avalanche of imaginative accusations. Sadly, much of the garbage seems to be very deliberately designed to drive wedges and divide already hurting hearts. All in the name of ‘helping’!?!?!

I find it odd how you plea that your family be more careful of their words and your feelings, while it appears from media reports and interviews of you that you don’t afford them the same courtesy. Furthermore; I haven’t heard wild accusations from them; just questions and accounts that are confirmed by multiple witnesses.

How in the world do people think they can help by spreading lies is beyond me. I have never known of anyone being benefited by folks bearing false witness. When is the last time you have seen healing amidst hurting thanks to an onslaught of lies? Yet far too many folks think they can help by repeating accusations without ever talking to the one being accused.

I guess we need to know the specific lies to which you are referring?

In two years and well over eight months I have had a grand total of three (3) people bother to contact me directly to ask questions about the things they have heard which concerned them. A great number of friends have responded to me in the course of our normal conversations about the scope of the dozens of false accusations they hear regularly. These are faithful friends who do not spread the garbage. But others have fallen prey to the trash talk and some have joined the chorus of gossipers and rumor mongering.

In Your Daily Journal video interview you listed 4 news outlets. I’ll add the St. Louis Post Dispatch as a fifth. Readers may view the video at the following link: Timer at 22:12 into the video. http://dailyjournalonline.com/videos/full-interview-with-kerry-messer/youtube_e7b0a20d-252f-51f8-a539-bdc241c44838.html

You stated: “There’s 4 news agencies that I felt actually tried to help us in the beginning; not just write a story but actually showed real interest in trying to help us find Lynn; The Daily Journal out of Farmington, The Missouri Times out of Jefferson City, Channel 12 News – Cape Girardeau, and Channel 2 News in St. Louis.” You said they were” the four who had shown real interest in who we are” inferring there were possibly others but you didn’t like the line of questions or the direction the journalist would take with the article.

What has all of this got to do with the title for this post “Help vs. Entertainment”?

First of all, God’s timing can seem confusing, but it is always best. This week I was already struggling with the key themes of Psalms 108 and 109, and that short line which has dogged me and aided me at the same time for over two and a half years, “…vain is the help of man”.

Secondly, man’s help has been of great value throughout this entire ordeal on countless fronts! But no man’s help has had an ounce of healing influence on my shredded heart. No man’s help has offered any significant solace to the stresses that have been eating me alive. No man’s help has given any light to this path down here in this dark valley of shadows. Yet I owe a great measure of “thanks” to literally hundreds of people who have helped in the ways they could, and can, and continue to do!

And thirdly: While entertainment has varying degrees of value under certain circumstances…

My Bride’s disappearance is not supposed to be a source for entertainment!!!

No, not entertainment; this confirms that your sons and their families were desperate to find their mom. They wanted resolution and if a national show could give a glimmer of hope to finding answers it was worth it.

It is not helpful to use Ma’s death, nor any false rumors, imaginative speculations, or accusations, as a source of entertainment!!!

The gut wrenching discovery of Lynn’s remains is not an acceptable source of entertainment!!!

Again, this show was planned in advance of the discovery of Lynn’s remains and Lynn’s remains were not found until after the show had concluded its filming.

They know their storyline is not true!!! And they do NOT care!!!

This is NOT news! This is entertainment at the expense of a distraught family!!!

Our tragedy is NOT supposed to be sold to advertisers!!!

Our pain is NOT supposed to be used for entertainment!!!

You appear to be one of the only family members, if not the only, who takes issue with this television program.  

Are we motivated by past friendship, loyalty, sympathy and fear for the person offended or by the distress, pain and heartache of the children of the dead? Make certain your compassion is properly placed and driven by love of truth and justice.

The following links are clips from the televised program which uses actors to portray the Messer family. The first link in embedded; the second link you have to click to be taken to the video.

 

https://www.investigationdiscovery.com/tv-shows/disappeared/videos/the-moment-that-the-family-of-lynn-messer-discovered-she-had-vanished Disappeared

 

 

https://www.investigationdiscovery.com/tv-shows/disappeared/videos/the-moment-that-the-family-of-lynn-messer-discovered-she-had-vanished

 

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Toxic Tuesday: Unsafe Relationships

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Are you confused by a relationship?

Does the person you love seem not to appreciate, or to like little, or to like nothing about you?

Do you feel mildly harmed?

Do you ever think about the other person, “Oh, that wasn’t very nice. Or…Oh, they didn’t mean it”?

Do you justify the words and actions of this person?

Do you find yourself denying your instincts?

Are you the person responsible for making everything in the relationship okay?

Or worse…

Do you feel greatly  harmed?

Do you feel like you’re losing your mind?

Do you feel like you can’t do anything right?

Do you feel manipulated?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions—the below video may be the best invested 22 minutes of your week.

Gain strength, become educated, increase clarity, seek help. For me, Patrick Doyle is the best of the best for sorting out relational questions and difficulties.

 

 

 

Toxic Tuesday: #1 Sign of Emotional Abuse

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If you want to have a stressful life or know what a stressful life is; live in an emotionally abusive relationship. Within the church I think this is more prevalent. And oh boy, would I like to know why!

*Disclaimer— Emotional abuse can take place in any relationship: Friendships, neighbors, parent/child, siblings, co-workers, extended family, but for today’s purpose I’m referring to marriage. Although men can also be the victim, most of the people I come in contact with are women who are suffering in emotionally abusive marriages, or have left an emotionally abusive marriage.

I’ve heard many women say if only he would physically abuse me so someone could see the proof!

If someone hits you in the face and you get a black eye; it will be easy for onlookers to understand what happened. People will say, “Oh, he hit you; that’s wrong. He shouldn’t do that. I’m going to call the police.” Simply put: It’s physical abuse.  On the other hand; when you are alone with him and he says things to you no one knows about, he ignores you, gives you the silent treatment, withholds physical intimacy, withholds finances or necessities from you, and you rarely can do anything to please him, but can’t prove it; you feel hurt, crazy, afraid, intimidated, broken hearted,  unloved and neglected. This is more difficult on so many levels but also just as wrong as physical abuse; it’s emotional abuse.

Here is an example: A husband has a good reputation at church for his service, work, ministry, and/or is known as kind, with warm smile. At home he’s neglectful, doesn’t take responsibility for his actions, he never repents, picks fights, he’s verbally mean, or… he never says anything. He completely rejects the person and disregards them.

Do you recognize yourself in the above scenario? Do you feel like you’re losing your mind?

When you’re with someone who never takes responsibility for their actions you start to feel like you’re crazy. You’re know there’s a problem but when you go talk to your husband he responds, “No, I didn’t do that…you did that…you over react, you read too much into things… that wasn’t me. ..and you…and because…and that’s not why…scriptures says you’re supposed to …you can’t say that… you know…because that’s why…figure it out…I’ll be patient and give you time.”

You’re left wondering what on earth is going on.  Your head is spinning and you feel confused, lonely, hopeless, depressed at one time or another, and like you can never get an answer to your question, an apology, or closure to an issue.

Ask yourself this question. Does he ever take responsibility for his actions? No?

Then you need to know this: If you could hold an Abuse-O-Meter to the heart or head of your difficult person it would read, “Unsafe abuser” because the best gauge, the number one indicator for an unsafe abuser is that they never take responsibility for their behavior.

Yet in scripture God instructs us to confess our sins, to take the log out of our own eye, and if we know our brother has something against us—to go make it right with him. God does not tell the abused or offended to make restitution with the abuser or offender. The Bible places responsibility on the offender to make peace with the offended.  Can you imagine there is a human being on planet earth who will never need to take responsibility for a rude action, offensive comment, or ill treatment of someone?  That’s not realistic.  I only know of one person in the history of the world who could have done that and He is Jesus. Yes, the One and Only Son of God who is now seated at the right hand of our heavenly Father.

So if you’re with someone who never takes responsibility, explains everything away, justifies every word, thought and action—that’s a clue.

Next you need to understand that they are in complete denial and don’t realize what they’re doing. And no, you stand no chance of explaining it to them. You would be better off talking to a wall because any time, energy, emotion, logic or love you spend attempting to break through to them will simply cement in their mind that you are even crazier than they originally thought.

Counselor, Patrick Doyle explains DENIAL  as = Didn’t even know I was lying. That’s how much unsafe abusers believe in themselves

It takes an excellent counselor/psychologist to understand the self-deceived abuser who  believes their own rhetoric, lies, denial, rationalization, minimizing, justifying, and spiritualizing. Abusers believe every word they say. That’s why they’re so convincing.

You can’t perceive their nonsense which seems like pure foolishness to you. Although you may feel like you’re losing your mind; let me assure you, you’re not. Don’t believe it for a moment. And if you’re concerned you will lose your mind then you should seek professional help. Strong people seek help. When you’re in the middle of such messiness it can be difficult to see clearly, discern wisely, and respond with logical application and consequences. Let someone not emotionally involved see through the fog for you.

If you wonder if you’re in an unsafe relationship; locate ‘SOLUTIONS-HOTLINES-HELP’ in the margin of this blog and click ‘Mosaic Threat Assessment.’ It will direct you to an assessment questionnaire which is a strong indicator of possible danger.

Here is what I keep hearing from wife after abused wife:  She goes to a Christian friend, a spiritual leader, or her pastor and she receives this counsel, “Be Patient. Wait on God. Love him more. Be kind. Forgive him, kiss him more passionately, be more available in the bedroom, be more interested in his day, engage him in conversation, speak words of affirmation, show him respect and he’ll come around.”

Here is what Christian, counselor Patrick Doyle has to say about such advice: “I can tell you right now that if somebody has that much denial and they’re that harmful; loving them more will only embolden them to take more ground and be more mean…in their, kind, sort of way because of how they interpret it. When you start being nice; they figure you realize what’s going on and you finally came to your senses. Now you’re going to do it their way which is the right way; obviously, because that’s the only way there is! Their denial is so thick; they believe it!”

There you have it. The number one indicator of an unsafe abuser: They never take responsibility for their hurtful behavior.

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Recognize and Prevent Emotional Abuse

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This is for those of you who don’t have time to watch the almost hour long video attached at the end of this article. If you are in an abusive relationship and you do have time to watch; you will be greatly validated and encouraged. You’re not crazy…it’s really happening…you’re living through untold trauma, and you are incredibly strong to have endured for so long. My prayers are for you.

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I present to you, Patrick Doyle, counselor at Veritas Counseling and theDOVE.us

Recognize and Prevent Emotional Abuse

The core of marital counseling revolves around emotional abuse.

I was aware of a situation involving a woman in another state. Her husband was a very well respected man who early in the marriage; and thereafter, was abusive.  He was a stalwart member of the church who was well respected. The abuse kept going on until finally the woman realized through some counseling, and finding out her husband had a longtime porn addiction, that she needed to speak up. Well, her church didn’t really get it; they didn’t understand what she was trying to say. They genuinely wanted to help but they thought maybe she was making this stuff up…how could this be; we all think this guy’s great. As time goes on and she becomes more and more bold about revealing the truth to the pastor of her large mega church, he finally gets it. She actually went in the pastor’s office and had him watch my (Patrick Doyle) video on emotional abuse. Here are some excerpts from a letter that he wrote to his leadership after watching the video and ‘getting it’… about what the church is going to do to deal with this issue because he’s starting to see that they’ve missed the boat on this.

I am disturbed by the fact that women are coming forward telling me sad stories of long-term calculated abuse by their husbands. I’m aware of 6 or 7 cases that are current. These are good women who have experienced long term, 10-25 years, of abuse to varying degrees.  In some cases the abuse has been physical leading to domestic assault charges and imprisonment. In other cases the abuse is more subversive yet no less damaging. Emotional abuse, verbal abuse, psychological abuse, roll abuse, financial abuse, and sexual abuse.  Sometimes I wish they would all just walk into my office with a black eye so I could see the indisputable evidence and call the police. Instead they tend to walk in with blackened and bruised hearts that bleed pain. It is more difficult to discern the extent of non-physical abuse but I am becoming more attuned to the signs of an emotionally and psychologically battered woman. These are not crazy women who are trying to find some sinister way to get out of a marriage; thus, submitting false charges against their husbands. I’m talking about good and godly women who over time have lost hope that they will ever be treated with honor as a wife, a woman, or a fellow heir of the grace of life. I am typically taken off guard thinking that their husbands were charming, gentlemen of God. Oh, what a false front an abuser is able to display.

We all know there is a difference between a difficult marriage and a destructive marriage.  We all have difficult marriages to some extent. There’s no such thing as a pain-free, argument free marriage. There is anger in every marriage leading to disputes, hurt feelings, and the need for healing. I have not called this meeting to discuss difficult marriages, but I am talking today about destructive relationships where one person is being systematically and consistently broken down by the other.

I am most deeply disturbed by the fact that in several of these cases these men are protecting their place within our church while the abused is made to feel like an outcast. The abuser sings in the choir, sits in the front row, leads in the men’s’ ministry, carries the friendship or support of a pastor or an elder, serves on some ministry team, plays in the band while the wife is made to feel like an unforgiving, un-submissive, self-willed, hardened sinner. The wife feels embarrassed around our church people while the abusive husband smiles and drinks coffee with his boys (church members).

Here is a transition: This man wants to do the right thing, but it’s hard because people come in and you don’t know if they’re trying to work you, manipulate you, or what.

Listen, someone who is in an abusive relationship…one thing abusers do is they never take responsibility.

Abusers never take responsibility. This is a key to recognizing one. As Christians we should be leading the way in taking responsibility. With abusers you can never get a clear answer in a question, or there is a constant blame shift, avoidance, minimization, justification, and spiritualization. They shift blame and everything becomes your fault.You start to feel crazy and doubt yourself which empowers the abuser all the more.

In the church what is said is, “If you’ll just love them more, if you just cook them the right meal, if you just have more sex with them, if you’ll just be patient then this will clear up.”

Listen, if you allow an abuser an inch they will take a mile. The more you submit to their abuse the more they are going to abuse because every abuser I’ve worked with is in abject denial. The abuser believes their own rhetoric. They will stand in front of you, look you dead in the eyes and believe what they are saying. When this happens; listen to your spirit!

For outsiders who wonder if someone is in an abusive relationship; listen to your spirit. You may want to ask the woman or her children, in a safe setting, if there is abuse in their home and ask if they need help.

When someone says they are a believer but they have no conviction or comfort—they don’t have the Spirit. I don’t care what they say, how many church services they go to, how much Bible they know—the evidence is in whether or not they are convicted. The conviction will lead to the fruit of the spirit. Right? You can feign the fruit of the spirit for moments at church, in front of your pastor, in Sunday School, at a pot-luck dinner—but behind closed doors with the person who knows you the best…if they aren’t the ones seeing it, then I’m really concerned.

If your wife (and kids) are feeling abused (and I don’t care if you’re an abuser or not)—that’s real—and we have to deal with that. If the wife, or kids, are misinterpreting something it will be easy to fix, but if they’re not then maybe we can heal the marriage before it absolutely is destroyed.

Sometimes they do this sham of responsibility taking…”I’m sorry. I know I did that.” Then they just keep on doing it. Listen, the evidence of conviction is a change in your behavior not just words. God does not convict in general; He convicts specifically. So when the abuser comes to you they need to confess specifically the sinful words, thoughts and actions (to God and to their spouse). Changed behavior is the evidence of conviction. Conviction, repentance and changed action all have to take place.

Are  you abused and feeling trapped (which is part of the abusers arsenal) but you’re at a point where something has to break, something has to stop; you recognize that it’s coming to a head?

I say this with all due respect. Don’t call the church. (Yours may be the exception, but there are tragic stories about women who went to their church and were placed under church discipline for talking poorly of their husband, and/or removed from the church for separating from or divorcing their abuser.) I don’t know if the church is prepared for this; you’ll have to make that assessment. Somebody has to know what they are doing and someone has to be willing to get involved. If somebody comes to counseling he can get involved in a certain degree, but really where the church has the ability to be transformational is to get involved in a big way on a day-to-day basis. That’s how we can really help these people. In my church we’ve set up funds to support women temporarily; to give them money so the abusive husband can’t control them financially. I’ve seen it a thousand times if I’ve seen it once. They start controlling the money. How’s the woman going to live? Those are real questions. That’s where we can come (help) balance the power.

If you think you are, or might be, in an abusive relationship talk to somebody who knows what they’re talking about. If you’re going to go to someone who gets involved and then they back away; that is way worse. In that case, don’t even broach the subject until you know you have support that’s going to stay. This is where the church has done a lot of damage. They get involved and then they back out because they get uncomfortable, in over their head, or whatever.

Do your research, ask around the community, take the knowledge you’ve learned to find long-term support because I’ve never seen an abuser who has gone that far and said, “Oh, you’re right. I’m going to quit being abusive.”

It’s possible churches get it and they do want to help; such as the pastor who wrote the email read at the beginning; earlier. They recognized it and set up something in the church to address abusers and the abused. The pastor; along with church staff and leadership took training for it because they care about the people.

Much of this teaching can also apply to parent/child relationships.

 

This is Carolyn speaking: There aren’t many Christian counselors out there who know how to handle abuse in the Christian home. Most will want the abused wife to attend counseling with her abuser. THIS SHOULD NOT BE. When calling a counselor’s office ask them what their policy is for helping abuse victims and their abusive spouse. Separate counseling is best. I’ll give you three recommendations for the St. Louis area at the bottom of this post. They do not take insurance; so you have to file ‘out of network.’ If you’re local and have an excellent referral please comment with contact information at the top of this post. There is also a link in the margin for Focus on the Family: Counseling service and one time free referral.

 

Counselors in the greater St. Louis area:

Terri Dempsey – (West county & Farmington) Encouragement, validation, and practical application for setting boundaries…with humor.  Double majored in Psychology and Theology receiving a Bachelor of Arts from Blue Mountain College.  Received  Master of Arts degree in Psychological Counseling from Southeast Missouri State University in May 1991.  The combination of a Christian and secular education allows her to understand and fit into both worlds.  Scripture tells us to be in the world but not of the world.

She treats most mental health issues and specializes in trauma, personality disorders, and difficult cases in adults, adolescents, and children.  She is certified in EMDR. In treating anxiety and depression whether in adults, adolescents, or children, there is often a common thread – trauma.  Trauma can be the basis of eating disorders, anger management issues, and severe stress as well as identity issues in children and adolescents.  If your spouse suffers from a personality disorder you will find help for staying, or leaving.

(314) 983-9300, by text at (314) 960-7589 and by email at hopecrossingcc@gmail.com

St. Louis Office
Castlewood Baptist Church
1220 Kiefer Creek Rd. Ballwin, 63021

Farmington Office
#7 South Jefferson
Farmington, MO 63640

Dr. Clay Coffee (St. Louis County) received his Ph.D. in Family Therapy from Saint Louis University and his Master of Arts in Counseling and Masters of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary.  He is a Counselor in Training working with couples, families, and individuals.  For typical marital issues he does couples counseling. For family issues he does group family therapy. He has served as a pastor and counselor in church-based settings for over fifteen years: working with couples and families in conflict

providing premarital education and counseling

caring for individuals and families walking through divorce and remarriage.   His additional areas of clinical interests and experience include working with adults experiencing grief and loss

anxiety and depression

the trauma of emotional, physical, and spiritual abuse

spiritual transformation and relational distress

parenting issues and season of life transitions.

Clay has also taught graduate courses on ethics and counseling and presented at national conferences on topics such as addressing family violence in the church and coordinating care between counselors and churches for the well-being of clients. His dissertation explored the influence of at least one partner’s religious conversion on the marital relationship and developed a tentative theory for helping both partners navigate potential loyalty conflicts.

Clay has a wife, 3 children and a black lab named Pepper.  He enjoys playing tennis & golf with his wife, co-managing a fantasy football team with his sons, watching and discussing movies with his daughter, and playing his guitar. (314)720-2710 ext 5  clay@killeencounseling.com 

 

Christy Brimm (St. Charles county) at Kaleo Counseling: kaleostl.com – Her bio states she works mostly with kids, but I’ve been told she is terrific, due to her passion and personality, for women who are in extremely difficult and abusive relationships.
Christy received her Master of Arts in Counseling from Missouri Baptist University and her Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Covenant Theological Seminary. She has gained extensive experience working with children, adolescents, women, and families via her 20+years serving in the Church. Her ministry experience has come in the form of working in children’s ministry, youth ministry, leading a life group for young families, and through leadership in Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS). Christy has training in both school and clinical settings and is interested in offering gospel-centered counseling to youth and adults who find themselves in need of healing and wholeness. She also has a special interest in doing play therapy with children and working with families on parenting and relational issues. Christy is a Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor and is supervised by Martha Ankney, LPC. She sees clients at the St. Charles office and is an out-of-network provider. You may email Christy at cbrimm@kaleostl.com.

 

 

Video

Toxic Tuesday: Do You Have Biblical Permission to Leave a Toxic Spouse?

Today I’m sharing the blog post that has daily, for 3 1/2 years, remained the most read article I’ve written. I’m not an expert in the field, but rather a survivor of a student field trip. I’m passing on lessons learned that took me years of relational toil, prayer, counseling, Bible study and research. Later in the article, and in the margin, I link to Leslie Vernick who is a godly professional on this topic. I cannot say enough good about Leslie. I wish she had been around 19 years ago when I was in the middle of dealing with my toxic husband who was a pastor, abuser, and pedophile who suffered from mental illness and had a personality disorder.

(*Disclaimer: Mental illness does not make one an abuser, pedophile or criminal, nor does is diagnose one with a personality disorder. Most sufferers of mental illness live a normal, productive and fulfilling life with the help of therapy, dietary lifestyle changes, and/or medications.)

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Do You Have Biblical Permission to Leave a Toxic Spouse?

 

No matter how they treat me; I will choose agape love.

No matter what they do; I will forgive. Over and over.

No matter how messed up they are; I will be their helpmate.

No matter the mental illness or personality disorder; I will love in sickness and in health.

No matter the inability to parent; I’ll keep the children safe and sheltered.

No matter the addictions; I will pray for healing and restoration to come.

No matter the anger; I’ll wait for the therapy to work. I know they will get better with the help of a godly professional.

No matter the grounds for divorce; I will pray for forgiveness, restoration and family unity. After all, as Christians with God on our side, we can do the hard thing and make it through.

But what happens when you are the only one practicing these principles and actions?

Have you been to counseling, done the homework, practiced the applications, prayed and fasted but you are the only person in the equation who participated in all the above? This is the point where putting all the marriage and Christian help books away is beneficial. These books are for people in a relationship with a mentally healthy spouse. We all have issues. We all sin. But living with a toxic person is not the subject of these books. They are terrific books—wrong subject.

Did you attempt an intervention with the goal of leading your spouse to repentance, restoring the relationship, and providing emotional healing only to be told, “It’s all you. You’re the one with the problems. There’s nothing wrong with what I do or how I treat you”?

Did you serve them therapeutic separation papers to show how serious you were about saving your marriage and saving your family? Have they shown no serious action to remedy the situation? Or have they shown minimal—surface only, “Is this enough to satisfy you?” action? Yet there is no change in heart, attitude, addictions, words or actions.

If you feel led by God through much prayer; keep going: Agape, forgive, help, remain true to the covenant, protect, seek professional help, pray, fast and pray some more. Over and over. If this is your decision I highly recommend you visit Leslie Vernick’s website.

 Here is where the strategy must change:

Are you concerned for your safety and/or and the safety of your children due to abuse?

I want you to hear this in the sweetest most tender voice as I envelope you in a hug and gently declare, “God does not expect you to live like this.”

Are you concerned you will not be alive come tomorrow morning due to an angry and/or violent spouse?

Imagine I have my hands on your shoulders, as we look at each other tear-stained face to tear-stained face, “God does not want or require you to live under such conditions.”

Many theologians, pastors and Christians with the best intentions have written on this subject.  I am in no way an expert or professional and this is why I always reiterate the importance of praying, fasting and seeking godly professional counsel.

I grew up believing divorce was wrong. Period. Christians work it out.

It took years of experience and additional years of biblical counsel, Bible study, prayer and fasting to realize there were biblical grounds to leave a toxic relationship.

For more background information on toxic relationships, toxic people, boundaries, intervention, and therapeutic separation please read past ‘Toxic Tuesday’ posts.

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God states that He hates divorce; not the divorced. God has experienced what it feels like to have someone leave Him. He knows the heartbreak His loved ones will endure and He understands the generational stronghold Satan will attempt to wield over the family members. He desires to protect us from the hurt, pain, consequences and future oppression of divorce.

Scripture does not clearly address divorce due to  the circumstance of being married to an abusive; toxic spouse but we know, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” 2 Timothy 3:16.  If we have a question about life we know we can find applicable help in God’s word.  Here are some verses to consider when in an abusive relationship:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,  and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church.” Ephesians 5: 25-29

 “The same goes for you husbands: Be good husbands to your wives. Honor them, delight in them. As women they lack some of your advantages. But in the new life of God’s grace, you’re equals. Treat your wives, then, as equals so your prayers don’t run aground.” I Peter 3:7

But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.” I Corinthians 5:11

 “Do not speak to fools, for they will scorn your prudent words.” Proverbs 23:9

 “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.” Proverbs 26:11

“Stone is heavy and sand a burden, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.” Proverbs 27:3

“Though you grind a fool in a mortar, grinding them like grain with a pestle, you will not remove their folly from them.” Proverbs 27:22

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Matthew 18:6

 “Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.” Philippians 3:2 

“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20

 “Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.” Titus 3:10

“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” Matthew 18: 15-17

 “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:11

Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips.” Proverbs 14:7

Our nation and our individual states have laws regarding abuse. If  something below is taking place in your home it needs to be reported to a law official immediately and you need to take safety.

  •          It is against the law to abuse another person.
  •          Physical and sexual abuse against children is against the law.

Also report it to the social welfare/department of family or child services office, a doctor of psychology, a local child advocacy center and possibly the Victim Witness Advocate at your local District Attorney’s office. You can call the Victim Witness Advocate at the state Attorney General’s office if you need help locating an advocate in your area.

Yes, your spouse may be arrested, but maybe this will make him/her realize the seriousness of how out-of-control they have become; possibly leading to real help, true repentance and possible restoration; although statistics backing this up are slim. You have every legal right to defend and protect your children and yourself. God does not expect you or want you to endure such abuse.

To say your abusive husband cannot change would be to deny the power of Christ. The flip side of praying, waiting and hoping for an abusive or severely mentally ill husband, or a husband with a personality disorder, to change is this: They have free choice and God will not make them do what they do not ask for or want.

The Bible gives two reasons for divorce; adultery and abandonment. Theologically many argue abandonment strictly means the physical state. I submit, in the case of abuse they have  emotionally and physically abandoned you through; abdication, blocked intimacy, isolation, loneliness, neglect, rejection and lack of protection. They have also; most likely, physically abandoned  a sexually monogamous relationship with you. I mention infidelity because I am yet to hear of abuse that did not include unfaithfulness; it’s possible but rare. They have left you with permanent psychological scars, often financially restricted or stranded you, verbally destroyed you (at this point many women wish they had the bruises and broken bones to prove the abuse) or; physical and/or sexual abuse of you and/or your children.

I view abuse as abandonment for these reasons: When the marriage covenant is made on your wedding day your husband promises, (the wife’s covenant is the same to her husband) “To have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, honor, cherish and protect her, forsaking all others for as long as we both shall live.” When a husband is verbally and emotionally assaulting, beating/abusing his wife and/or children (I am not talking about thoughtful and lovingly administered spankings to teach your children right from wrong and to keep them safe from danger) he abandons the vows he made to his bride on their wedding day. Women who have suffered through a sexually unfaithful husband and an abusive husband can testify that the abuse is worse than the sexual infidelity. When her husband beats her, verbally shreds her, emotionally rejects her, or sexually assaults her, he has abandoned their vows and his relationship with her.

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Do you feel trapped, despairing, brokenhearted, hopeless, devastated, betrayed, frightened or dead due to abuse?

Christ came to set the captive free as prophesied in Isaiah 61.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.  Isaiah 61:1-3

Freedom is found in Jesus.

Boundaries are necessary.

Safety is essential.

Healing is possible.

Tomorrow will come with ‘the oil of joy instead of mourning.’ It takes time; time does not heal. God heals—in time—even though scars remain.

Video

MOSAIC: Threat Assessment for Abused Women

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Do you realize something isn’t right in your relationship or marriage? Not just inconvenient or annoying, but seriously wrong…hurtful, mean or controlling? Or are you aware that you’re already in an abusive relationship? Do you have friends, who have witnessed what they consider possible abuse, ask you if you are abused? Do you have family members who are concerned for your safety?

A caring childhood friend of mine, who also has a heart for people in abusive relationships, brought a new method of measuring abuse and safety, the MOSAIC method, to my attention. Thanks, Michele!

MOSIAC, created by Gavin de Becker,  is fascinating and helpful in that it “looks at the key elements of domestic violence and all the factors relevant to safety and puts them in context with each other. In the process, it helps filter out personal bias and denial.”¹

“Much like de Becker’s book Gift of Fear stresses the importance of listening to one’s intuition when fear signals arise in the body, in order to avoid dangerous people and situations, “MOSAIC is artificial intuition,’ says de Becker in one of his online videos. He says the test takes all the pieces of a potentially dangerous situation and puts them together, like a mosaic, to see what image emerges.'”²

“MOSAIC an ‘eye-opener’ in that it can help survivors more clearly see the reality of their circumstances, and helps advocates come up with the best safety plan for each survivor.”³

 

Watch this 7 minute video: Gavin de Becker on Mosaic – Assessment of Domestic Violence

 

 

To take the assessment test click here:  MOSAIC Threat Assessment Method

A situation might call for assessment as the result of someone’s intuitive feeling of risk, maybe because of threats or other sinister expressions, maybe because of verbal or emotional abuse, maybe because of violence, or maybe because friends or family are concerned about risk or danger.

The MOSAIC assessment needs to be taken on a computer that cannot be compromised—hacked. One thing most abusers have in common, which most victims or wives aren’t unaware of, is that abusers regularly hack into your emails, social media accounts, and phones. As of right now, every abused woman I’m in contact with shares story after story of her abuser hacking/spyng through avenues of technology.

Be safe!

Consider using a friend’s computer or go to the public library to use a computer. Use a safe password that nobody could know or figure out. And lastly, don’t tell your abuser or difficult person that you are taking the assessment; not for any reason! You don’t know the immediate or long-term reaction you might receive. Also, allow at least 30 minutes for the questionnaire.

The Mosaic treat assessment covers several types of threats and violence.

  • Domestic Violence (male offender)
  • Domestic Violence (female offender)
  • Workplace Violence (concerning a male)
  • Workplace Violence (concerning a female)
  • Threat by student (school)
  • Threat by student (university)
  • Threats (against public figures)
  • Threats (against judicial officials)

If you or someone else is currently in danger; leave and/or seek help immediately and call the police.

To take the assessment test click here:  MOSAIC Threat Assessment Method

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¹,²,³https://www.domesticshelters.org/domestic-violence-articles-information/threat-assessment-tool-created-by-em-gift-of-fear-em-author#.WE-AerIrLIV

Gallery

Narcissistic Slanderer

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Paul wrote the following New Testament verses to Timothy; concerning the character and behavior of leaders within the church, not in the world. He warned Timothy to beware that some will act out of a self-love attitude.  Paul says, “You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good.  They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!” 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NLT)

In 2 Timothy 3 Paul named many attributes associated with today’s modern psychology term; narcissistic personality disorder. Our world is quickly becoming familiar with this disorder in record numbers.

 

Today we will take a look at why a narcissist uses slander.

(We are not talking about a narcissist in general, but specifically someone with narcissistic personality disorder.)

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Narcissists tend to worship the fantasy of who they are in their mind. Larger than life is a good description of how to view the narcissist. They have built themself up to be greater than reality. They believe their own hype and therefore feel intrinsically superior to everyone around them. Their inflated false view of themselves (huge ego) is the foundation of their misinterpretations of reality; I refer to this as the, “I am and there is none besides me” mentality.

They feel superior in every way to everyone. This is a source of pain and envy for them whenever they feel out talked, out worked, out smarted or out done…by anyone.

Envy and jealousy are integral parts of narcissism (envy is a desire for what another person has, while jealousy is the fear that something can be taken away).  Narcissists are envious of anything in others that they themselves lack (i.e. beauty, possessions, knowledge, personal qualities, power, skills, achievements, qualifications, relationships, money etc). Envy can consume them, and the list of what they covet can be endless. Envy is a feeling which can range from mild to severe, from healthy to unhealthy, from positive to negative.  For example, healthy envy has positive qualities.  Healthy envy acts as a valuable guide. You may see something you admire in another person and decide you will grow in wisdom or character to achieve that quality—you use it for personal growth. Healthy envy is empowering because it brings you nearer to your life’s goal, or closer to the likeness of Christ.  Unhealthy envy is disempowering because it keeps you bound to a fantasy, making you blind to your own true nature.  Because the narcissist is a grand actor who acts out of a false self, they suffer from a twisted heart, leaving them at the mercy of their unhealthy envy—envy that can trigger their feelings of vulnerability, shame and self-loathing.  Any of these feelings can result in narcissistic injury, to which the narcissist almost always reacts with rage.  In order to free themselves of such emotional turmoil and recover their equilibrium, the narcissist mirrors those intolerable feelings onto the person of their envy.   npd-000Once you become the object of the narcissists envy you are in serious trouble.  In order to improve their own self-image they are likely to make false allegations about your integrity, lie about your motives, or paint you as a fool.  This is not innocent gossip, rather it is an intentional and premeditated character assassination that is aimed at defaming you in order to destroy your reputation and make them feel better about themselves.  Be warned, they are cold, ruthless, malicious, aggressive, self-serving, uncompromising in the pursuit of their objective, and do not care about your feelings. This can be dirty politics at its best.

If your narcissist is a family member you may wonder how they can love you and destroy you at the same time. Remember: They are and there is none besides them! Although narcissists are grand actors they have a difficult time sincerely bonding and loving unconditionally; even with their own family members. Their grand acting keeps people on the outside from seeing the inside truth.

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No amount of love, logic, accountability, discipline, or reasoning will get through to the narcissist. Trying to gain their understanding, attempting to bring them to repentance, or hoping for an apology is not an outcome based scenario in the life of someone with this personality disorder. In the end you will be increasingly frustrated over the time, energy, emotion, and/or finances you spent in vain. And here’s the real kicker…all your efforts simply reinforce to the narcissist that you are the irrational one.

Let me leave you with this: You are not crazy. What you’re experiencing is real. It’s wrong, it’s harmful, and it messes with our mind. Don’t allow the narcissist to place blame on you.

Learn 4 simple phrases for setting boundaries with a narcissist, or a difficult person…here.

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Toxic Tuesday: Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

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In older posts I have mentioned narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder. I’ve also written about the possibility of an individual having more than one personality disorder. Today I will discuss a narcissistic sociopath.

“Narcissism is a term commonly used to describe those who seem more concerned with themselves than with others. It is important to distinguish between those who have narcissistic personality traits and those suffering from narcissistic personality disorder. Those with narcissistic personalities are often seen as arrogant, confident, and self-centered, but they do not have the exaggerated or grandiose view of their own abilities that characterizes narcissistic personality disorder.

Narcissistic personality disorder is a pervasive disorder characterized by self-centeredness, lack of empathy, and an exaggerated sense of self-importance. As with other personality disorders, this disorder is an enduring and persistent pattern of behavior that negatively impacts many different life areas including social, family, and work relationships.

Narcissistic personality disorder is thought to be less common than other personality disorders such as borderline personality disorderantisocial personality disorder, and histrionic personality disorder. Narcissistic personality disorder is estimated to affect 1-percent of the adult population in the United States and is more common among men than women.”  Narcissistic Personality Disorder Symptoms and Treatments, Kendra CherryToxic Tuesday biochem hazard small

Narcissism, not the personality disorder, is rampant in today’s culture. I’m not surprised because God warned us of this in II Timothy 3:1-8: “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,  treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—  having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires,  always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected.” (NIV)

I feel like I have to purposely guard myself against displaying such traits on a daily basis. Sin and self-centeredness are my default. I also catch myself trying to NOT be like certain people. Talk about being a Pharisee! I have to constantly remind myself to stop the comparing and just be like Jesus. He is the only perfect example and the only One who can help me.

Today’s topic:  Narcissistic Sociopath.

Do you know what it feels like to live but not exist?

If you live with someone with NPD, or are in a significant relationship with them, then you know how it feels.

If you don’t understand; I will help you.

Where are you? Take a look around…look up, down, to your right or your left. Do you see a small object? Your phone, a TV remote, a pen, or a bottle of water. I happen to see a tape measure since I’m in the middle of decorating our new home. You may think I’m being ridiculous, but bear with me, I’m explaining objectification and dehumanization to you. Pick up the object of your choice and think about its feelings. What is it thinking? What are its hopes and dreams; its worries and fears? Is there anything you can do to give encouraging, positive and constructive support? Ask yourself if you’ve ever hurt its feelings or abused it. If so, name what you did, make a sincere apology, and give your word that you will not do it again. Empathize with your object.

Are you feeling absurd and pondering why you allowed a blogger to turn a person of common sense and rationale into a weird person who is currently having a heartfelt conversations with an inanimate object? Your object doesn’t have feelings, needs, hopes or dreams. They don’t require relationship, time, money or support from you to exist in your household. If I become mad or frustrated with my measuring tape I can throw it on the floor or toss it back in the tool box and slam the drawer. I won’t leave an emotional scar on the measuring tape and it won’t need therapy for the abuse it suffered by my hands. I can do what I want with it at my discretion…that’s how a narcissist views people around them.

We are objects: To be dismissed at the narcissist’s convenience…in their time…to serve their wants, needs and/or purpose. Our needs are unimportant to them—unless our need will somehow benefit them. If not, we are ignored, dismissed, abused or discarded. Just as non-narcissistic people view the objects in their lives.

If you live with a narcissistic sociopath you most likely feel like an object; with the exception you do exist. You are a living breathing human being made in the likeness of God; to love and be loved. But you feel like an object and you are not supposed to need time, attention, affection, space or money. It is expected you will only do the things you have been authorized to do and go places which have been pre approved.

According to Dr. Martha Stout’s book The Sociopath Next Door, sociopaths make up 4% of western society (Stout, 2010). Although not all narcissists are sociopaths, all sociopaths are narcissists (Stout 2010).

If you happen to live with one I am certain you did not willingly pursue such a relationship. No. These people use lies, manipulations and charm to hook their victim; in fact, they probably loved (or seemed to love) everything about you.  By the time you realize the truth and understand healthy, unconditional love isn’t possible, or perhaps they can’t stand you, it is usually too late. (It isn’t impossible for sociopaths to form emotional attachments with others, or to show empathy with certain people or groups, but they have no regard for society in general or its rules.)

Society tends to think of sociopaths as serial killers and murderers only; some are, but not all. They may be someone we would never suspect is evil or as being messed up emotionally and/or sexually. They blend in with us and they are terrific actors, manipulators and con-artists.

I have walked my readers through narcissism, narcissistic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder (also known as sociopath) one step at a time because if you recognize someone with narcissistic personality disorder you are one step closer to identifying a sociopath.

Another reason you tend to not recognize N.P.D. or a sociopath is because you are not a deceiver so you don’t know what one looks like. You are not a manipulator so you have no idea you are being played. You have the capability of loving and bonding so when someone acts like they do too; you have no clue they are performing. Here is the most disturbing part to me: Deceit is such a way of life for them that they are convinced of their own lies. Even when caught in sin or crime and confronted they think: “But wait, that’s not really who I am; therefore, I did not do that.”

i-did-not-do-it

 

I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist but I understand how these personality traits can infiltrate heart, mind, strength and spirit to the point you may believe you are the messed up, in need of help person in the relationship.

If you recognize yourself in such a relationship; seek professional godly counsel.  If you recognize a loved one as possibly having a personality disorder; seek professional godly counsel for them and attend with them. It will not be easy since the recovery rate for these individuals is debatable; between 1%-5%, and I think that is being generously optimistic. The most frustrating part is that the spouse, or significant other, may be the only person who sees and experiences the symptoms, crazy making and ruthlessness of these people. The reason: because they are capable of being grand actors, dynamic speakers, excellent writers, and fake sympathizers. That being said, statistics say many of these people either tend to mellow out between age 40-50 or have perfected their game. It is a toss-up.

This is about to go deeper so grab a cup of something hot to drink and don’t forget a little bit of chocolate.

Below you may read through the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder taken from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), DSM-IV-TR. If you are certain you are dealing with N.P.D. then read the list of 20 sociopathic traits from the book Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us by Dr. Robert D. Hare, Ph.D. I highly recommend you read this book if you believe you are in a relationship with a sociopath.

If you already know you are in such a relationship and you are in danger please leave immediately and seek help. In the margin of my blog you will find links to articles on abusive relationships, resources for counseling services and referrals, and a link for those who are victims of domestic abuse.

The DSM-IV-TR defines narcissistic personality disorder as “an all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy, usually beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts,” such as family life and work.

1. Feels grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates accomplishments, talents, skills, contacts, and personality traits to the point of lying, demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

2. Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion

3. Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions)

4. Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation – or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (Narcissistic Supply)

5. Feels entitled. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her unreasonable expectations for special and favorable priority treatment

6. Is “interpersonally exploitative”, i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends

7. Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with, acknowledge, or accept the feelings, needs, preferences, priorities, and choices of others

8. Constantly envious of others and seeks to hurt or destroy the objects of his or her frustration. Suffers from persecutory (paranoid) delusions as he or she believes that they feel the same about him or her and are likely to act similarly

9. Behaves arrogantly and haughtily. Feels superior, omnipotent, omniscient, invincible, immune, “above the law”, and omnipresent (magical thinking). Rages when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted by people he or she considers inferior to him or her and unworthy. Sam Vaknin has a valuable book, Malignant Self Love: Narcissism Revisited. This is a necessary read if you interact with N.P.D.

Have you or your loved one/friend qualified for 5 of the 9 criteria for N.P.D.? If so, go through the following list  for qualifications of a sociopath. (You’ll discover many overlapping traits from each list.) The list below of 20 sociopathic traits is from the book Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us by Dr. Robert D. Hare, Ph.D

1. Glib and superficial charm. The tendency to be smooth, engaging, charming, slick, and verbally facile. Sociopathic charm is not in the least shy, self-conscious, or afraid to say anything. A sociopath never gets tongue-tied. They have freed themselves from the social conventions about taking turns in talking, for example.

2. Grandiose self-worth. A grossly inflated view of one’s abilities and self-worth, self-assured, opinionated, cocky, a braggart. Sociopaths are arrogant people who believe they are superior human beings.

3. Need for stimulation or proneness to boredom. An excessive need for novel, thrilling, and exciting stimulation; taking chances and doing things that are risky. Sociopaths often have low self-discipline in carrying tasks through to completion because they get bored easily. They fail to work at the same job for any length of time, for example, or to finish tasks that they consider dull or routine.

4. Pathological lying. Can be moderate or high; in moderate form, they will be shrewd, crafty, cunning, sly, and clever; in extreme form, they will be deceptive, deceitful, underhanded, unscrupulous, manipulative, and dishonest.

5. Conning and manipulative. The use of deceit and deception to cheat, con, or defraud others for personal gain; distinguished from Item #4 in the degree to which exploitation and callous ruthlessness is present, as reflected in a lack of concern for the feelings and suffering of one’s victims.

6. Lack of remorse or guilt. A lack of feelings or concern for the losses, pain, and suffering of victims; a tendency to be unconcerned, dispassionate, coldhearted, and unempathic. This item is usually demonstrated by a disdain for one’s victims.

7. Shallow affect. Emotional poverty or a limited range or depth of feelings; interpersonal coldness in spite of signs of open gregariousness.

8. Callousness and lack of empathy. A lack of feelings toward people in general; cold, contemptuous, inconsiderate, and tactless.

9. Parasitic lifestyle. An intentional, manipulative, selfish, and exploitative financial dependence on others as reflected in a lack of motivation, low self-discipline, and inability to begin or complete responsibilities.

10. Poor behavioral controls. Expressions of irritability, annoyance, impatience, threats, aggression, and verbal abuse; inadequate control of anger and temper; acting hastily.

11. Promiscuous sexual behavior. A variety of brief, superficial relations, numerous affairs, and an indiscriminate selection of sexual partners; the maintenance of several relationships at the same time; a history of attempts to sexually coerce others into sexual activity or taking great pride at discussing sexual exploits or conquests.

12. Early behavior problems. A variety of behaviors prior to age 13, including lying, theft, cheating, vandalism, bullying, sexual activity, fire-setting, glue-sniffing, alcohol use, and running away from home.

13. Lack of realistic, long-term goals. An inability or persistent failure to develop and execute long-term plans and goals; a nomadic existence, aimless, lacking direction in life.

14. Impulsivity. The occurrence of behaviors that are unpremeditated and lack reflection or planning; inability to resist temptation, frustrations, and urges; a lack of deliberation without considering the consequences; foolhardy, rash, unpredictable, erratic, and reckless.

15. Irresponsibility. Repeated failure to fulfill or honor obligations and commitments; such as not paying bills, defaulting on loans, performing sloppy work, being absent or late to work, failing to honor contractual agreements.

16. Failure to accept responsibility for own actions. A failure to accept responsibility for one’s actions reflected in low conscientiousness, an absence of dutifulness, antagonistic manipulation, denial of responsibility, and an effort to manipulate others through this denial.

17. Many short-term marital relationships. A lack of commitment to a long-term relationship reflected in inconsistent, undependable, and unreliable commitments in life, including marital.

18. Juvenile delinquency. Behavior problems between the ages of 13-18; mostly behaviors that are crimes or clearly involve aspects of antagonism, exploitation, aggression, manipulation, or a callous, ruthless tough-mindedness.

19. Revocation of condition release. A revocation of probation or other conditional release due to technical violations, such as carelessness, low deliberation, or failing to appear.

20. Criminal versatility. A diversity of types of criminal offenses, regardless if the person has been arrested or convicted for them; taking great pride at getting away with crimes. (Hare 2011).

 

Don’t bury me I’m not yet dead
Don’t bury me I’m not yet dead
Don’t bury me I’m not yet dead
not a walking zombie with no head
not a stepford wife made to obey
don’t want to go through life that way

I’m alive I’m alive
that’s what I say
I’m alive I’m alive
gonna live that way
I’m alive I’m alive
that’s what I say
I’m alive and I’m gonna live today

Do robots dream of electric sheep
I need to live my dreams
not just in my sleep
I’ve been hold up here
but its time to leave
I need to make my move
while I’ve air to breathe
don’t give me drugs no novicane
I must be alive cause I still feel pain

we where born with wings
we where made to fly
we where ment to live
while where still alive

I’m alive I’m alive
that’s what I say
I’m alive I’m alive
gonna live that way
I’m alive I’m alive
that’s what I say
I’m alive and I’m gonna live today

Lynn Messer: 3 Objectives

 

In English Comp we learn to write a compelling presentation in this order:

Tell them what you’re going to tell them.

Tell them.

Tell them what you told them.

 

First, I must tell you that I do not know anyone in the Messer family. I briefly met Kerry at a local St. Louis Homeschool Expo a few years ago while paying my Missouri Family Network contribution. The encounter lasted no more than thirty seconds. We, as a homeschool community, were periodically encouraged to give to Kerry for being our homeschool lobbyist in Jefferson City. Occasionally we were notified that the Messers were not bringing in enough money to meet their personal needs, or to function at Missouri Family Network, and we needed to send a check to them to help cover their expenses.

I wrote my first article about Lynn Messer last week. I heard about her disappearance two years ago and occasionally read the, “Find Lynn Messer” Facebook page. I’ve never been able to put her out of my heart and mind and contemplated publishing my notes and thoughts for two years. The time had come to share a different perspective of possibilities.

God is serious about me sharing lessons I’ve learned and He is serious about helping women trapped in abusive relationships. So I wasn’t surprised to find that God had a bigger plan than me for the Lynn Messer story.

*Disclaimer: I have no physical proof that Lynn Messer was in an abusive relationship or that her husband suffers from mental illness. This blog platform allows many abused women a chance to learn, perhaps for the first time, that God doesn’t expect or require them to stay in an abusive relationship. So…I’m throwing out possibilities based on coincidental circumstances…hoping to use this as an educational tool for the abused and the abuser.

I’m going to present to you stories, highlights and insights into the Messer family life through the eyes of an insider.

When you think of highlights, think of reading your high school or college history book; as you read you mark the important parts; hoping your memory will recall all the details that went with the highlighted portion. As you read the highlights of this testimony, know that there is more history to go with it, but you’re only allowed to read the highlights at this time.

Why? The priority at the moment is putting together evidence and finding closure for Lynn; and for her children and grand children.

My purpose for writing is to be a voice for the voiceless. I will at times add speculation on a few items, but I will tell you when it’s my opinion. This will be based on my background, and the testimony of other women who have lived through difficult marriages.

My objectives for writing are in line with the objectives for the interviewee:

  1. To give insight and hope to women in abusive relationships.
  2. To plead with victimizers to take a hard look in the mirror and in scripture at their sin, mental illness and/or abusive behaviors, and then repent, seek help and welcome healing.
  3. To put compelling information in front of a possible abuser’s colleagues, friends, church family and supporters—presenting evidence of a probable fraudulent life.  Because…some men live two lives under the name of one man.

 

D Bonhoeffer

I also want to reexamine the role of the church, family and of friends who know, or suspect, there is abuse going on in a home. Do we hold responsibility? How can we lovingly protect and help? When do we step in and when do we wait? Do we take the knowledge of abuse to the church leadership or do we call the authorities, domestic violence, and a professional counselor? Should abused women go to counseling with their abuser? Are therapeutic separations beneficial? Does God allow for divorce?

 

Before I proceed I suggest you open your heart and mind to, outside of the box, possibilities.

It seems a lifetime ago that I was struggling and sinking in a marriage full of difficulties. For nine years I believed my husband’s lies that all the problems in our marriage, and in his career, were my fault. One day, in total despair, I picked up the phone and called our ministry mentor and his wife. I poured out my heart and told about what had taken place in my marriage since shortly after I said, “I do.”

To my shock and relief I was told that they knew there were problems, but they hadn’t said anything to me because they didn’t know if I was aware of my husband’s unhealthy ways of interacting with people. This ministry mentor had a master’s degree in psychology and his brother-in-law was a doctor of psychology who specialized in narcissistic personality disorder. After working closely with my husband, our mentor, through the help of his brother-in-law, believed my husband was suffering from narcissistic personality disorder.

Let me say that a personality disorder had never entered my mind, but I went straight to the library and began researching it. NPD, in my unprofessional opinion, fit my husband’s personality completely. More research, doctor appointments, psychological tests and evaluations confirmed our mentor’s original thought.

I submit this to you because unless you live with a person you cannot truly know what they are like. Having a mentor who provides discipleship, accountability, and a close working relationship is a rare variable in finding marital problems and/or personality disorders.

Could an abused wife had known too much?

If you are living in a difficult relationship, with a person who seems to be in a different reality, maybe you should read up on personality disorders in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illness.

*Disclaimer #2. Many people live healthy, functioning lives while living with mental illness. Mental illness does not go hand-in-hand with being a criminal or causing harm to another person.

My next blog post will begin the testimony, but for now…

I’ll start you off with the criteria of two prevalent disorders that come to mind, that often involve abusive personalities, so you can understand that not all people think or behave alike.

Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder¹  (Click blue title to the left to read more about this disorder)

In order for a person to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) they must meet five or more of the following  symptoms:

  • Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  • Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  • Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  • Requires excessive admiration
  • Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  • Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  • Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  • Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
  • Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

 

Symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder²

(Click blue title above to read more about this disorder)

*Not to be confused with obsessive compulsive disorder—they are two different disorders. 

A pervasive pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and mental and interpersonal control, at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:

  • Is preoccupied with details, rules, lists, order, organization, or schedules to the extent that the major point of the activity is lost
  • Shows perfectionism that interferes with task completion (e.g., is unable to complete a project because his or her own overly strict standards are not met)
  • Is excessively devoted to work and productivity to the exclusion of leisure activities and friendships (not accounted for by obvious economic necessity)
  • Is over conscientious, scrupulous, and inflexible about matters of morality, ethics, or values (not accounted for by cultural or religious identification)
  • Is unable to discard worn-out or worthless objects even when they have no sentimental value
  • Is reluctant to delegate tasks or to work with others unless they submit to exactly his or her way of doing things
  • Adopts a miserly spending style toward both self and others; money is viewed as something to be hoarded for future catastrophes
  • Shows significant rigidity and stubbornness

 

 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

¹http://psychcentral.com/disorders/narcissistic-personality-disorder-symptoms/

²http://psychcentral.com/disorders/obsessive-compulsive-personality-disorder-symptoms/

 

 

MORE READING ON THE DISAPPEARANCE OF LYNN MESSER: 

World Magazine: 12/05/2014, No clues in disappearance of Missouri Pro-life leader’s wife by Gary Cumberland

World Magazine: 2/09/2015, Have you seen Lynn Messer? By Janie B. Cheaney

Toxic Tuesday: Lynn Messer Missing Person

Please understand, just because you know a couple doesn’t mean you know what goes on in their home. I know from experience.

To be clear; I do not know what went on in this family’s home.

A new article on the disappearance of Lynn Messer was published in the Sunday, St. Louis Post Dispatch. I will share my feelings and theories regarding this Christian, homeschool mom who has been missing for two years.Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard small

I have a different perspective than most of my friends, and homeschool community, on this subject.

Of course I’m coming from a background of living with a mentally disturbed man. A man who most people thought of as being godly, personable, funny, sincere, a dynamic speaker, a soul-winning preacher, a world traveling evangelist with a heart for hurting and needy children, a terrific communicator and writer. This was the side he wanted people to see. He lived his life on a stage; acting out the role he believed people wanted to see. Soaking in the accolades.

This is what I experienced living with this man. A dark, disturbed, dishonest, abusive, unfaithful, unbeknown to me: pedophile, controlling, woman hater who suffered from mental illness and a personality disorder. I never told people for years. Why? See: My Destructive Marriage. I left him when I believed it was probable that our daughter and I would not again wake up alive.

Now he’s in prison, but I imagine he is still a grand actor.

So what if I’m not the only woman who lived a life where no one would have ever guessed what my home life was like?

The letters I receive from readers tell me the problem is global. And I’m not talking about wide-spread in the secular, non-Christian arena. I’m telling you there are untold numbers of Christian women; including pastor’s wives and missionaries’ wives living in difficult, abusive marriages.

Because I read extensively on the subject of spousal abuse I can share that statistics report women who disappear under questionable circumstances are usually found dead; usually at the hands of their significant other and at the least, because of their significant other.

So when a local woman went missing two years ago my radar lit up. Of course the Christian community rallied around the man because they believed this wonderful man would never have a role in his wife’s disappearance. I hope they are correct. Their hearts went out to him when he was being questioned about his wife’s disappearance. Friends thought time was wasting and should be spent trying to find his beloved, “bride,” as he refers to her in his Facebook posts. He also refers to her as, “Ma.”

The husband’s writings reminded me too much of my former husband. Not fair, I’m sure, but I’m being honest about my gut feelings. The posts he wrote about his bride on Facebook were like reading ponderings, convincing arguments, and outright lies that my former husband would have written about me; to make people believe and understand how much he loved me, needed me, and could never go on without me.  Non-truths; in the case of my former husband. I don’t know Lynn’s husband; I’m just saying there are oddities in this case.

I have prayed numerous times for this missing woman.  I questioned if she was dead after reading the first few Facebook posts written about her.

Find Lynn Messer

Husband, Kerry Messer, Missouri State Lobbyist in Jefferson City. Photo credit: Find Lynn Messer Facebook page

Shortly after Lynn’s disappearance I received a financial support letter in the mail asking for local Christian, homeschooling families to send financial gifts to help the man, as a state lobbyist for the homeschooling community, during his time of difficulty. I tossed the letter in the trash and told my husband, “I’m not helping a man who I suspect holds guilt in the disappearance of his wife.”

I’m basing opinions off my background of studying a specific personality disorder. You see, people with narcissistic personality disorder, or tendencies toward it, have the same order of operations. What I read on Facebook reminded me of  narcissistic supply. Local friends and fellow Christians could have unknowingly been giving narcissistic supply. People were providing love, financial gifts, meals, written encouragement,  man-hours searching the 250 acre property for the wife, praise for the man’s character and marital devotion, prayers, and help around the farm. Maybe the support was correctly administered. I don’t know.

I’m not saying the man has been diagnosed with a personality disorder; I’m stating parallels I saw, which concerned me.

I figured that no one knew the hundreds of acres as well as him and, if a possibility existed that he was involved, he would know where the body was located.

Many women report living with abusive husbands. The following are a handful of ways some of the more subtle abuse happens: The man keeps her living like she’s dirt poor while he enjoys a higher social standing. She eats simple and cheap meals while he eats the finest of food. She wears the same old clothes for years or decades while he wears new clothes. He travels and goes on expensive trips while she stays home to keep the house. He enjoys friendships with other women away from the home while she is expected not to talk to men without her husband present.

I hear from women who live in defeat and depression while believing the lies their husbands tell them. Lies such as all his problems are her fault, she isn’t talented enough, doesn’t make enough money, isn’t pretty, is boring, isn’t a good mother, isn’t a good wife, should me more like a woman the husband holds in high esteem. So many women in these relationships live in despair. Many counselors don’t get it. The man seems so put-together at counseling sessions and many Christian counselors will not reprimand a man in the presence of the wife. Read more about problems with the false sense of male entitlement here. These women can end up suicidal when they fail to find understanding or help.

Couple with this a wife reconciling in her heart and mind a public man who boldly teaches the word of God and prays, with the private man who secretly treats his wife in the home with ridicule, resentment, the silent treatment, physical, emotional, psychological, and/or sexual abuse due to his addiction to pornography. This may leave a woman unable to grasp reality because she has been fed a constant stream of lies.

These women can’t give enough praise to make their man feel as special as he deems himself.  The man in return doesn’t have kind works of affirmation or appreciation for who she is, nor does he recognize anything of value she provides. See: To Live But Not Exist.

These women may feel like they are crazy, will never be able to please their man, are only making life worse, and would be better off dead.

If this was Lynn’s life I wish I could have talked to her. I would have embraced her, cried with her, prayed over her and told her, “It’s not your fault. Don’t believe it. You’re beautiful, capable, talented, sweet, fun, caring and needed. You are lovable.”  Lynn

I wonder what their kids know and think; opinions, facts or questions that haven’t made it to the media. They are grown adults and I can’t imagine how they have endured through these two years. They are who my heart goes out to; and the grandchildren.

My prayer is for closure to come to those who loved and valued, Ma.

As someone who had to learn to look for the thread of truth woven in a story or statement there were a few comments made on the Find Lynn Messer Facebook page, early in the investigation, that made me pause and wonder. These statements stood out to me and didn’t leave my memory. Maybe I have an over active imagination but I truly had to learn to read my ex-husband in this way to attempt to keep my daughter safe.

Located in a July 12, 2014, Facebook post:  “In closing: For those of you who know Lynn best – you understand when I say that she is the strongest work horse on our farm. And, for those of you who know me best – you understand from Luke 14:5 that I only paraphrase Jesus’ figurative teaching, when I say that the only reason I am not with you in worship this morning is because ‘my ox is in a ditch.'” I wondered if she was literally in a ditch or hole somewhere on the property! Where were the animals placed when they died?

Located in a July 12, 2015, Facebook post: “…to be honest, I am torn between two opposites. First is that I have to admit not being able to focus due to so many stresses, and the conviction to be transparent about it when I don’t want to be.” About what did he not want to be truthfully transparent; despite the conviction that he should be transparent?

Located in a July 12, 2015, Facebook post: “I am at a loss as to how to interact with our family members and even my own grandchildren.” Was there a sense of guilt keeping him from fully engaging and bonding with his precious family?

You may think this is sensationalism…but women who have survived abusive men know this is all in the realm of possibility. I pray the parallels are simply coincidental.

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Top photo credit: Find Lynn Messer Facebook profile picture

Further reading on the disappearance of Lynn Messer:

St. Louis Post Dispatch, July 17, 2016,: Missing woman case tears apart Jefferson City lobbying team

Daily Journal July 8, 2016, Family Releases New Details

Facebook: Find Lynn Messer

The Missouri Times Messer Answers Questions Raised About Missing Wife

CBS St. Louis One Year Later