Taking time out to take care of yourself or engaging in radical acts of self-care is not being selfish. Truly, it is like taking a deep breath of spiritual and emotional oxygen, something all the more crucial to ensure you do when and if you are the target or victim of Narcissistic Abuse.
If you don’t take the time to care for yourself physically, socially, or emotionally, who will?
Self-care is NOT Selfish, no matter what your abuser tells you.
Selfish is stonewalling. Selfish is pulling disappearing or vanishing acts without communicating with your partner about where you are going or the very real fact you might simply need a little private time or space.
Selfish is having an argument with your spouse and instead of taking the time to slow down, consider things from their rational point of view, and figuring out win-win solutions to everyday marital problems that arise together.
It is committing to giving your all to participating with honest effort in a relationship — not leaving one spouse left holding the proverbial bag of bullshit one partner consistently creates for them to deal with while you waltz out the door to go do whatever lame shiznit people with truly selfish and inconsiderate personality types tend to do.
Selfish people show little to no ability to introspect on their own effectively. They also are notorious for lacking empathy.
Compulsive attention-seeking behaviors define the actions and lifestyle habits of people who have Cluster B personality disorders. If you don’t know what the phrase means but are reading articles like this one, chances are you will be overwhelmingly surprised, dismayed, and in absolute shock to figure out that the person in your life causing you real social and emotional pain is likely to be simply following a pattern.
Pattern behaviors that manufacture chaos, a complete and utter lack of respect, care, or concern for the well-being of other humans, and situational abuse incidents involving gaslighting, narcissistic rage, bullying, shaming, or covertly manipulating are hallmarks of people who have personality disorders. Well over 10% of the human population fits the diagnostic criteria for having them, and guess what?
Nearly 100% of the chaos that has occurred historically in the world and is impacting families globally in their living room today has been or is currently being manufactured deliberately by all of them. It’s not a joke, some pithy insult comic humor, or over-generalizing to make such a bold assertion of fact.
It’s simply an ugly truth. The human condition for the whole is gravely impacted by the short-term, self-aggrandizing words, deeds, and actions of the few.
If a person who acts abusively or who enables abusers to persevere tries telling you it’s simply the way the world works — to be callous, shifty, dishonest, or mean — understand that the words they choose reveal their attitude.
Key phrases like “you are being too sensitive” or “you always make such a big deal out of things” or “you always say that someone is hurting you, being rude, or yelling at you” are massive red flags that the speaker has an agenda in mind. What’s more, to make such statements reveals they are willing to put you in further harm’s way without hesitation or pause.
It means they are actively gaslighting you.
People who are oftentimes described by their abuser or an abuser’s Flying Monkeys as “oversensitive”, “thin-skinned”, or “always upset about something” are typically of above-average intelligence. Smarter than their abusers, if they are of average or above-average emotional intelligence (EQ), they are likely to introspect more and see patterns in both their own as well as other people’s behavior.
To a Covert Narcissist, Overt Narcissist, Sociopath, Psychopath, Narcopath, person with Histrionic Personality, or person with Borderline Personality Disorder (a real thing that mimics bipolar mood swings but they happen minute by minute and day by day rather than progressing over a period of months or weeks), that makes an insightful, observant, rational, kind, caring, and otherwise functionally loving person THE ENEMY.
Put your own oxygen mask on before helping others on an airplane when and if you are the person kids are going to rely on to save them from their family crisis when and if the proverbial plane loses altitude or is in danger of crashing.
Engaging in radical acts of self-care like distancing yourself from abusive personalities, refusing to give trust or respect to people who lie and self-promote at the expense of others, or reading about Narcissistic Abuse regularly (even if your so-called friends and bio-family look down on you for striving to help and educate yourself) is a necessary “evil”.
Ever notice that the word evil is “LIVE” spelled backward?
There is a Bible passage that says, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not WANT.” Self-care is not selfish; it’s soul preservation and clean-up.
The only sin in life, truly, is when we start caring more about ourselves than the way our individual behaviors impact and reflect upon the greater good of the collective.
If you fail to engage in radical acts of self-care to limit exposure to abuse, it’s technically committing passive suicide. The death of spirit matters.
If you care at all about yourself, your family, or the well-being of your children, consider the very real fact that the more psychologically fit and physically healed you are on all levels (social, mental, spiritual, emotional, financially, psychologically, spiritually, and more), the better a person you are to have in THEIR group?
Bottom line, you hinder rather than help others when and if you fail to treat yourself in such a way that reflects self-care rather than the selfishness of abject neglect.
To save your family, take better care of yourself — personally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially.
Save you. Honest — if there is a God that pays attention, why on earth would he want you to do anything less than living a healthy, abundant life filled with joy?
Taking care of yourself, then, is simply striving to hold up your end of the cosmic bargain to try your best to be a good person and to be a way-show-er for other people.
Jesus’ message to martyr himself as an act of penitence was HIS job to do, Christian. If you believe the crucifixion and resurrection story, martyrdom was an act of service — not something to replicate while striving to be validated and esteemed for in order to self-promote.
Jesus’s job — if you believe the New Testament writers — was to be martyred. Truly… since that role was already taken, unless you are trying to claim he did a bad job and you think you can do better, the role of playing Martyr truly was never intended to be YOURS.
Consider yourself whole, worthy, and above all else valuable. We can sit here and tell you God Loves You until we are blue in the face, but it seems like a strange and irrelevant validation.
Whether God loves or likes you is superfluous. Narcissistic Abuse recovery is the greatest collective spiritual mandate of all time.
What matters most — regardless of spiritual orientation — then, is understanding that as human beings we all have a unique set of personal needs as well as gifts to share with the world. By taking care of ourselves with both self and the well-being of others contemporaneously in mind, we improve the world one radical act of self-care at a time.