Abuse comes in many forms and knows no boundaries. 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse during
In case you missed earlier headlines about Andy Savage here is a recap. Andy Savage was the teaching pastor at
This is in response to the Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who was convicted in court last month for molesting patients for years.
Thank you to the victims of these terrible crimes for using your trauma and pain for a great purpose that will serve future abuse victims.
Thank you, Rachael Denhollander, for using your talent to pursue justice. Sometimes it takes a wronged female attorney to change public policy and maintain a voice with which to be reckoned. I applaud you, thank you, and pray for you. By the way: your husband totally rocks for the powerful way he has publicly supported you and cheered you on through all of this. (I follow him on Twitter).
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is dispatching a team of civil rights investigators to Michigan State University to examine how the school handled allegations against former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who was convicted of molesting patients for years.
“This new Title IX investigation will look at systemic issues in the University’s handling of sex-based incidents involving Dr. Larry Nassar,” DeVos said in a statement Monday.
The federal probe is only the latest for MSU, which is under investigation by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office and a congressional committee. It also faces dozens of lawsuits that allege it ignored reports and warning signs about Nassar’s predation going back to 1997.
DeVos’ announcement came hours before some of Nassar’s victims gathered in Lansing, Michigan, for a news conference on new state legislation prompted by the case. The bills would change the statute of limitations for sexual crimes against children, expand the class of people who must report claims of sexual abuse to law enforcement, and allow prosecutors to use evidence of prior assaults at trial.
“We are learning activism creates action,” said Olympic gold medalist Jordyn Wieber, who revealed last month that Nassar preyed upon her.
Rachael Denhollander top of page: photo credit; Twitter public profile picture
What a woman needs most from her friends in the middle of her shocking news…that her husband is being unfaithful is for a friend to listen. Affirm her, acknowledge her pain, pray for her…and other practical helps.
Many Christian counselors, pastors, and lay leaders are still woefully ill-equipped to handle this issue. Leslie Vernick is changing this!
Even the most well trained counselor can have a difficult time discerning between the two; after all, wolves are experts at deceit. Here are 3 ways to spot a wolf. Disclaimer: Usually only family members know the truth.
I’m not a tech person so I have no idea why ‘My Destructive Marriage’ isn’t showing up on my blog…so I renamed it, ‘My Toxic Marriage’ It comes from an extremely vulnerable time in my life. I share this story for hurting women who are not believed when they finally muster up the courage to tell their family, friends and/or church that they have been secretly abused in their own home and are now seeking help and healing.
Porn alters the brain: Bad news
If/when you stop using porn the brain can heal over time: Good news.
I’ve seen this TEDx lecture by Gary Wilson circulating over the last month and every time I think, “I’ll post this on my blog”. Today is the day.
When discussing sensitive topics I like to give a warning: This could be a trigger for different people in different ways. For the abused it could trigger painful thoughts or body memories. For the porn user it could trigger temptation.
There is a brief picture of women in bikinis at one point in the lecture/video.
I hope that every person who has access to the internet watches this video because sooner or later porn will likely rock your world. Porn is everywhere; especially soft-core, and it’s impossible to not have it turn up somewhere before your eyes. It’s not impossible to look away. Watch this video for clarification as to why we must look away and teach our children the importance in doing the same.
Here is why you don’t simply forgive, forget, and continue in the relationship.
My heart aches for Lysa.
I suspected this for several months. The times I listened to Lysa in Bible studies or on pod casts over the last year I wondered if this was the difficult circumstance she was living in of which she couldn’t speak. There are some things so profoundly deep and traumatic that when you hear someone else speaking with such words…your betrayed heart reaches through multi-media and feels their secret soul-hurt.
I realize publication dates precede the release of her letter. I don’t know when it happened or when she made it public, but I’m grateful she was obedient in her calling to write a book and Bible study that would help her, and help others who would go through similar circumstances.
Rejection, Heartache, and a Faithful God
No person’s rejection of me can ever exempt me from God’s love for me.
“A Gut-Honest Look at Love.” That was the title of my first blog post of this year. Based on 1 Corinthians 13, I wrote, “Love isn’t what I have the opportunity to get from this world, love is what I have the opportunity to give.”
This perspective on love has been a lifeline during the most painful season and decision of my adult life. I so wish we were sitting face-to-face so you could see my tears and hear the deep grief in my voice as I share this with you. My husband, life partner and father of my children, Art TerKeurst, has been repeatedly unfaithful to me with a woman he met online, bringing an end to our marriage of almost 25 years. For the past couple of years, his life has sadly been defined by his affection for this other woman and substance abuse. I don’t share this to harm or embarrass him, but to help explain why I have decided to separate from him and pursue a divorce. God has now revealed to me that I have done all I can do and I must release him to the Savior.
Continue reading the continuation of Lisa’s letter here….
If you find yourself in a season traveling the same road as Lysa you may find her book “Uninvited” at Amazon or Christian Book Distributors (Book, study guide, DVD study, or Audio book)
The enemy wants us to feel rejected . . . left out, lonely, and less than. When we allow him to speak lies through our rejection, he pickpockets our purpose. Cripples our courage. Dismantles our dreams. And blinds us to the beauty of Christ’s powerful love.
In Uninvited, Lysa shares her own deeply personal experiences with rejection—from the incredibly painful childhood abandonment by her father to the perceived judgment of the perfectly toned woman one elliptical over.
With biblical depth, gut-honest vulnerability, and refreshing wit, Lysa helps readers:
- Release the desire to fall apart or control the actions of others by embracing God-honoring ways to process their hurt.
- Know exactly what to pray for the next ten days to steady their soul and restore their confidence.
- Overcome the two core fears that feed our insecurities by understanding the secret of belonging.
- Stop feeling left out and start believing that “set apart” does not mean “set aside.”
- End the cycle of perceived rejection by refusing to turn a small incident into a full blown issue.
This still makes my skin crawl. In light of innocent victims number 32 is off the charts unhealthy and twisted when considered in the context of predator and victim.
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.
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.
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 may 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.
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 while 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.
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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.
That’s not what I was thinking; or had in mind.
That’s your opinion.
My decision is final.
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.
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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.
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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:
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?
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.
I’m again passing on lessons I’ve learned the hard way. There is one glaring clue for spotting an unsafe person; an abuser…so, please, let me enlighten you…