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Reply with quote  #16 
Welcome to the site, Ashley!  Hope you find the posts helpful.

My own N mother wasn't remotely religious (well, apart from godliness being next to cleanliness....order deliberately reversed, if you see what I mean!).  But, I was married for six years to an N whose mother was also an N, and who was Catholic - a particularly strict variety of Irish pre-Vatican-II Catholic.  Added to that, he was her only child and his dad died young, so it was just the two of them, and there was this peculiarly claustrophobic mother-son relationship.  I, of course, was the nasty wicked intruder.  I never knew, till I met her, exactly how wide the definition of the word 'fornication' went, or how many words the Bible had for a, um, working girl.  Her religion, from then on until the end of our marriage, became a stick to beat me over the head with and to emotionally blackmail him with.  I pity any woman who dared become involved with him (and her) after I left the scene.

I don't for one minute think Catholicism itself was at fault here.  I've known some wonderful Catholics, and a few who actually merited the term 'saintly'.  (One of them was her priest, in fact, who would have been utterly shocked if he'd known what was going on.  She was great at making nice to clergy.) But, religion - any religion - is just another useful weapon for an N, especially as so many people are raised not to question it. 

If you go to Amazon and do a search on 'spiritual abuse', there are quite a few books on this very subject.  Might be worth a read...
Reply with quote  #17 
This has never happened to me on this board before:  I am trying to post to this thread and get the following message : ERROR you must remove the word "" before you can post this message.
My post contains no profanity or insult, can anyone help me?  I've tried to email Mike Gamble, but get "aol is not a recognized server".

Reply with quote  #18 
Ashley, yes my husband was raised by a narcissistic mother who is also super religious. He was never allowed to wear shorts, attend ANY school functions like ball games, dances, school plays all because they were "of the world" and not about God. He and his siblings were also never allowed to have friends over to the house.

All of this was because of her dear religion. Of course her religion is the only true one according to her and her husband, and she enjoys this feeling of superiority I think. She makes no bones about the fact that the church I attended and any other church are all wrong. Of course being religious probably appeals to narcissistis, they just love to be right and look down on everyone else. Notice I said religious, not loving or Christian.

 Once my husband won a contest, he wasn't even allowed to recieve the prize because it was given out at a school sporting event, and he lived just down the block. How sad, talk about ridicuolously selfish and talk about hiding behind religion so that you can cruelly control and warp your children to serve your needs.

They always had to listen to her gospel music or no music at all, read her approved books or no books, etc....Now he does as he pleases as do most of his siblings, it's almost like they have been let out of jail.

Today, sadly my husband wants nothing to do with any religion. He says that his childhood soured him on all of it and says he catches most people who claim to be religous in lies and underhanded behaviors, and driving badly yes it still has a lasting negative effect on him to this day.
Reply with quote  #19 

Originally Posted by Maggie J
No, I've never experienced it - my parents are good Catholics the way Catholics should be.

The way you describe your mother using religion to control you sounds like the way the leader of a cult would control his followers - to question him is to question God.  Creepy.

Hi I am new to this site and what a pleasure to find peoplewho have gone through what I have.  My mother too is a narcisssitic strict catholic whco has used her religion to control us, manipulate us and disguise her own severe narcissism.  I have brken free of the reltion - Richard Dawkins "the god delusion" book helped me enormoulsy with that.  i still have a long way to go to understand and be able to deal in a healthy way that does not destry me, with my mothers controlling manipulative behaviour.  But reading this site I know is goin g to help me a lot

Reply with quote  #20 

My parents are now in their 80s.  Whilst I acknowledge it must be tough getting frail, there is no dignity in their aging.  My husband as what Stage 4 cancer.  When they phone, they never ask how he is and when I said this upsets me - my mother said "he is not seriously ill, but I pray for him anyway" - as if this substituted for the human decency of asking after his health.  Maybe dealing with my husbands illness has made me less tolerant, but I feel less and less able to be able to deal with my mother's manipulation. Its like the scales have fallen from my eyes and I see her for what she is - a narcissistic, hypocritical woman using Catholicism to make her children do her bidding.  They are relatively healthy and given my husbands illness and other young people I know who are ill, I can't help thinking there should be some gratitude on their part that they have reached this age in relatively good health.  But their problems are always bigger and more serious than anyone else and they are completely unsympathetic to the suffering of others.  (After my 7th miscarriage in a row some years ago, - my mother's advice was to not think about it and get over it - after all "you don't need children to be happy"  (her view perhaps?) Christmas is coming soon and after 10 years of doing the dutiful daughter thing and having them (and its never good enough - the turkey is tough, she does not like her present etc) I am not doing it this year - my husband and I are going away.  This will be a massive issue and there will be tears from her about her loneliness, the ungrateful daughter I am etc etc.  I would not have been able to do this a year ago, but I feel tough enough now.  I am nearly 50 and this is how far I have got in  standing up to my mother!!

Reply with quote  #21 

> they are completely unsympathetic to the suffering of others.  (After my 7th miscarriage in a row some years ago, - my mother's advice was to not think about it and get over it - after all "you don't need children to be happy"  (her view perhaps?)
I am so sorry for what you went through- OMG 7 miscarriages!
As for your mother's 'you don't need children to be happy' that's probably because if you had a child it would take away something from HER- your time your devotion, etc.  But SHE needed children so she would be happy having a 24x7 slave-  she sounds like a monster!
Reply with quote  #22 
Sheila sorry to hear about your husband and seven miscarraiges. My husband told his mother about one of mine....her response, dead silence. No I'm sorry to hear that, not an ounce of empathy whatsoever. I told my husband that isn't how a real mother behaves, or a anyone with a heart for that matter.

These types are truly self centered and I agree with you, who needs to put on the charade at holidays. Last year they deliberately all went out of state and didn't invite my husband. He was the only family member not invited to a holiday family gathering. Then MIL demanded we throw a holiday party for her and everyone who went on the trip when they got back in state. We actually considered it, but decided why should we have to do that?

This made MIL hit the ceiling. No one ever says no to her demands. We sent her and FIl presents....they returned them unopened. They then stated they would never speak to my husband again because he disrespected their "religion".  This wasn't the case. They hide behind their religion, at least MIL does so she can control, guilt and make people behave as she wants, lest they offend her religious values. If all else fails, she can turn on the tears at the drop of a hat, and turn them off just as easily, we've seen it.

This year, we've had enough....we are not wasting money and time trying to make them happy this holiday season. I know that sounds very cold, but I could do backflips and my MIL would stilll be all woa is me, and not appreciate a thing we would do to try and make her happy. She doesn't appreciate the time it takes to pack and travel to her house etc....She also stated she saw nothing wrong with returning unopened Christmas presents....sorry that weas rude and I dont think we have to subject ourselves to that. The fact that she can't even admit it was hurtful is the most irritating.
Reply with quote  #23 
Hi Sheila, I'm so very sorry about your husband's illness and your miscarriages. And I know how painful it is to have this instinct to turn to your mother for sympathy and support ... and instead get criticism or dismissal. You have enough to handle without dealing with selfish demanding people, but it's really tough when those selfish, demanding people are your parents. BTW, My mother told me that she didn't think I should have children because I wasn't suited for motherhood and because "at her age grandchildren would just get on her nerves." Sweet, huh?

I remember a phone conversation years ago when mom was complaining about, well, everything (as usual) and I started talking about my friend with MS who was dying and had spend much of his adult life in a wheelchair. She said nothing for awhile, then interrupted me with, "Why are you telling me this? I don't know this person." Later in the conversation she spent half an hour talking about the personal life of one of her favorite celebrities.

Yes, there are going to be fireworks when you attempt your escape from the dungeon for the holidays. Do not be deterred!! That first happy Christmas away from the family drama is so incredibly wonderful. You'll be kicking yourself that you didn't do it sooner. Good thoughts going out for you.
Reply with quote  #24 
Sheila I am so very sorry to hear of your miscarriages.  I too suffered repeated miscarriages.  A week or 2 after suffering one, my sister in law gave birth.  My sister in law understood that I could not possibly face going to the maternity hospital to visit her, and was very sympathetic to my situation.  My mother however phoned me, shouting how rude I was not to go and see sister in law!  She wanted a family reunion at the hospital welcoming her first grandchild .................... She was now a grandmother and she wanted that event celebrated.  (She by the way is another strict catholic!)
Re present giving.  For years I found buying presents terribly stressful and now understand that it was my mothers ingratitude and open critique of everything I have ever bought her (even as a young child when it was my saved pocket money buying her bubblebath!) that makes me so stressed about buying for others.  Its taken me ages to understand that most "normal" people could not care what it is you actually give them - they are just delighted by the thought!
Reply with quote  #25 
novak, I was thinking about your husband's childhood and how things weren't allowed that were "of the world." I heard that a lot too, although mom didn't take it nearly as far. I was allowed to be involved in some school activities and occasionally have friends over and listen to teenybopper music, so I guess I had it way easy in comparison. But I wasn't allowed to wear shorts EVER and apparently there is something in the Bible that forbids pierced ears. My mom was so upset when I came home with my ears pierced that she had to take a tranquilizer and go to bed. Anybody else get blasted for the Jezebel-ear-piercing thing?
Reply with quote  #26 
This whole things, if the way n parents use religion, God, and/or spirituality as a control and manipulation totally qualifies as abuse.  Mellodye (can't get the spelling right) Beattie, who has written some great books, not specifically on n's, but on abuse, codepenency, and addiction, writes about this in one or more of her books lining this up right on the level of physical and emotional abuse.  One of the many things I like about her books is that she defines abuse for what it is, and puts across that it is important to acknowledge and define these things happened, not minimize it, etc.  This is not to hold on to it in resentment, etc., but to define and accept that this was what happened, and acknowledge its effects on one's being.  For me, this seems to open the gate to some healing. 

I did not experience any of this religious abuse, but, of course, other abuse with an n like father.  I have alot of empathy for so many people I know or have known who are in such pain and conflict over anything having to do with religion, God, and spirituality because having a positive religious and/or spiritual base is so essential to one's well being.  There are ways to re-define God, spirit, whatever you want to call it.   
Reply with quote  #27 
Wow, just when I think there are no new N tricks out there, I read stories like these. I can't believe how horribly you people were treated! It is an outrage. You deserve medals, plus all-expense paid holiday vacations to the resort of your choice for the rest of your lives!

My whiny little MIL pales in comparison.

BTW, I can so understand not going to the hospital to see the baby. I suffered from infertility for several years and had to give up going to baby showers.

Then I finally had the baby I wanted, and now she's a teenager and I'm wondering WHAT IN THE H*LL WAS I THINKING?
Reply with quote  #28 
Prodigal, yes, through my husband I've been around people from his family who view ear piercing to be just awful and horrible. The religious leader they follow calls them devil stirrups and also I believe tries to liken them to tribal people sticking bones through noses is all warped and ridiculous if you ask me.

Their religion has women walking around in skirts to their ankles, no makeup or jewelry, no pants and no hair cuts, and calls any women who do this some of the most disgusting things you've ever heard. My husband said as he grew older in his teen years he just couldn't stomach any of it anymore. He's an independent thinker who respects women, and that just doesn't work in that realm.

 What really annoys my MIL is when my husband buys me a gift of jewelry like earrings or a ring etc.... She always makes a point of commenting on anything I might have on, I think he finds this amusing. Though it doesn't happen much now since I avoid her.
Reply with quote  #29 
I've been through 26 years of  living a lie. I lived a life thinking it was normal. As years went by I became more and more depressed from my Mother's actions. I guess I began to realize over the years that my life at home with my Mother was not normal. I cried almost everyday from arguments and mental abuse. I was hit with the belt for my "actions". I grew up pentecostal. I was a true Christian that did not curse nor engage in sexual  activities. At the age of 17 I could not further take the abuse any more. I did not return home after being kicked out yet again. The insults and maltreatments I endured included, "because of the way you are that is why you have no friends", "when i die you will cry tears of blood because you will know you killed me", "you are an evil child". "Jesus is not in your heart", "the devil is in you!", "you have 13 evil spirits in you", "watch out daughter because the devil is strong and he is in you, fight the enemy!", and many more. Most of my friends and family did not believe the mental abuse I was subjected to. I always was looked as the daughter that did not have patience with her Mother and/or I was spoiled. My Mother is, to my belief, bipolar. She is not being treated for her illness due to her denial. I am suffering everyday from this, because I love my Mother so dearly and long for her love and affection, but she is too controlled over her negative emotions. I have come to realize in my 20's that I have lost my Mother.  I have no family, except for a sister in Texas that has taken a personal oath not to speak to our Mother in almost 10 years. I keep coming back to my Mother in hopes of changing her or just giving her the support  and love she needs as a Mother, but I end up being more broken inside during the aftermath. I am sure many have gone through and are still going through this crisis in their life. I hope to meet someone other than my sister that I can relate and talk to. Life is hard by itself, but it is even harder when you are all alone.
Reply with quote  #30 
I have attended Baptist and Methodist Churches all my life.My opinion is this:religion and Churches will not save your soul(I LOVE Church).NEVER EVER depend on or listen to another human being for guidance 100%.(I attend Church regularly and listen to  evangelists on television).It is my opinion that everyone should read the Bible ,pray and listen to God's direct message instead of relying on other to "feed it to you".I  have participated in many Bible studies and love it,however I do not believe every word I hear coming out of a human's mouth.
Find the truth for yourself.God will help you.
I have know Catholics who are good down to earth people.

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