(real names have been omitted or changed)
I took a seat on one of the black chairs opposite the psychologist's desk. Dr. Malvey cleared his throat loudly behind his graying beard and began asking me questions about home, how I felt about it and how I felt about my parents. I didn’t really want to get into it. Feeling I was just being humored I didn’t believe another adult would see what I saw. Gradually I gave him a few examples of home life and how restricting it was... specifics of how emotionally unhealthy it had been and the toll it took on us, especially my mother and siblings. He nodded and took notes, asking some additional questions for confirmation. Eventually he snapped his black leather notebook shut and stood. He shook my hand, smiled pleasantly at me with gray piercing eyes and cordially thanked me for my time and led me out.
Once back in the hallway he retrieved my parents who went back in with him. It wasn’t long before I heard my father’s voice becoming louder behind the closed office door. That made me nervous and I wondered what they were talking about. My sister’s and I exchanged knowing looks and we shrugged. My sister’s just like myself knew something was different about our family even at their younger ages. Who knew what it was that had set him off this time. He could go from calm to furious in a split second. Finally the door flew open and my Dad walked out with angry footsteps followed by my mother who had red-rimmed eyes from crying. My Dad walked over to the front desk while our mother quietly told us to put away our books, we were leaving. Waiting for my Dad to write a check for the session I saw his face twisted in fury and he wrote the check with a quick messy flourish, curtly handing it to the petite pleasant woman sitting behind the desk. Once outside and in the car my Dad slammed his door, then buckling his seat-belt, spoke, “I have NEVER been so humiliated! So embarrassed! For him to tell us, ME, I'm the problem and you aren’t!!!!” He spewed nearly choking on his words.
My mouth fell open in shock.
Someone had told him he was wrong? Omg... the psychologist had told him he was wrong.
I couldn't believe it. Yet it was true. I had merely been honest but apparently the truth hurt.
Someone had finally told him his behavior was the problem?
His dark gaze met mine in the rear-view mirror... meeting my brown-green eyes as I sat in the backseat. “Yeah, that’s RIGHT! REAL funny, HUH?!” he shot at me, his voice dripping with sarcasm. He felt played and betrayed by me. My far once upon a time golden child place in the family was long gone. I had been made the black sheep. I had no idea just yet how that status would really translate to freedom one day. “I pay all this money for some help with you, and he sits there and tells me I’M the PROBLEM!!!” he screamed in complete fury. Oh shit. I shrank down in the backseat watching the world go by in a dizzying array of color and sound. I was in so much poo now. My mother sat silent, hoping he’d just shut up. I knew she was gripping her car door in the Jaguar's hand-rest in terror as the car lurched forward and he sped out of the tiny parking lot like a maniac. At the end of the day it didn't matter that he was told his behavior was not healthy. Because if it didn't spur awareness and then follow with change what good did it actually do?
I just wanted someone to get me out of there.
I just wanted someone to free me from this childhood prison.
I just wanted to run away and never ever return to this hell I was trapped in.
We may think…
Where was God? Why was I born into this? Why is this my life? Why am I in this mess?
Did God even see all this pain? Did God know I was enduring this seemingly never-ending suffering?
Why? Why? Why?
These questions are universal and at times we may each feel as though God is simply standing by watching our life go down the drain, watching our life get swept up in a whirlwind of havoc or get high-jacked by flying monkeys. But we can remember that those thoughts are what the enemy wants us to believe… that he wants us to get swept up in a cyclic negative thought process that never ends… truly believing that things will never get better - leaving us in stuck mode and unable to press forward believing zero victory is coming our way.
But we can tell the enemy to stand down and to instead cling to what God has promised us.
God can bring purpose to our pain and suffering no matter what we may begin to believe otherwise. He can use our circumstances for good and His glory and for others. What we may not realize is that with deliverance may certainly also include suffering… and maybe, just maybe we were kept from suffering a worse outcome than what we even realize… we may never stop to think that God was there all along and even though we suffered through tragedy, endured horrific circumstances or were terribly mistreated that in reality God spared us from an even worse outcome. No matter what we need to escape from... no matter what the awful circumstances… if we need rescue from circumstances we didn't have a hand in or didn't have the knowledge beforehand that our situation would be horrific and we need an escape route we can rest assured that God will be with us. None of this is to diminish what we've endured or gloss over it. But it is to steer us back to what matters and what will help get us through it; thankfulness. This brings us back; back to thankfulness, to gratitude for God's protection. He is always looking out for us and His love for us is far more reaching than we could ever imagine. Even in the midst of our worst seasons, our darkest hours, our most perilous moments and greatest falls God is still there beside us.
“I know now that greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world” 1 John 4:4
So when we begin to wail about our past… that maybe our childhood involved less than stellar circumstances, when we cry out wondering why on earth God seemed absent during yesterdays struggles, when we question God's good during darkness and suffering… when we fall to our knees in despair because we simply don't believe we can take another second of our situation because it's so dismal… we can remember looking back on those moments… someone WAS there… someone was beside us, someone heard us cry out even in weary silence and silent tears running down our face. Someone was there as now and despite us feeling subjected to the external power of evils in the world, we know who that someone is…. Someone who is greater than the world…
There will be a time when what you've been through will be used by God…
to tell others, to share, to help others heal.
Thanks to Him, God will put your story in those people's paths.
Be brave enough to share it and watch other's become better too.
Jennifer Gafford is a writer, speaker and divorce coach who helps guide parents through the pain of trying to co-parent with their narcissistic ex, and shares tips for custody and healing. She began her website gracepowerstrength in 2012 and over time her blog and audience grew to over a million views. Jennifer was married for twelve years, has two children and is very well versed in the facts regarding narcissistic abuse and the challenges involved in healing. Today, she shares daily posts and stories on Instagram for thousands of followers regarding npd abuse and believes everyone deserves a life of peace, love and freedom.