a thing (or 5) about narcissism

This week’s episode of Soul + Practice, the new podcast my friend Phyllis Mathis and I finally launched this Fall after a 2 1/2 year delay, is called “Narcissists.” Our weekly conversations are centered on the things we talk about on our Monday walks, and there’s rarely a week that somehow, some way, the topic of narcissists doesn’t come up.

We know so many amazing women who have been in relationship with them.

We know so many churches and non-profit organizations that have been ruined by them.

And we personally seen up close and personal the damage that they can do to our hearts, our souls, our lives, our faith, our futures.

Although blogging isn’t much of a thing anymore, a long time ago it was, and I definitely had a fun run at sharing out loud so many things stirring around in my heart and my head that others could be wrestling with, too. Still, after all these years, one of my most-viewed posts is a thing or two about narcissism (+ the church) from 2015. I am so grateful that more people are speaking out about the insidious of narcissism, there are more support groups and books and tools that help people find their way toward greater health and freedom after being tangled up with a narcissist, either in relationship or in an organization.

Today, I just felt like putting some of this in one place once again with one post that had some different textures on the conversations and realities about the ravages of narcissism.

This week’s podcast episode is a good start.

Plus, some other posts over the years, chronologically, are below (ps: I used to only write in lower case):

charisma, fairy dust, and our addiction to kings – 2012 (yeah, I’ve been talking about this for a long time, and while some things have changed, so much still hasn’t). “i have seen people willing to ignore affairs, horribly damaging power plays, crazy unhealthy leadership, and a ton of other flaws for the sake of getting a sunday morning charisma fix.”

abusive pastors and the crazy $(&*@#%! they get away with – 2013 (the particular pastor I refer to in this article, after many rises and falls, IS STILL trying to live off the backs of people who blindly follow him–it’s disgusting. “charisma causes us to lose our heads and turn a blind eye to abuse, control, and manipulation.”

don’t feed the narcissists – 2014 (“their best hope is to get starved out” – this principle is everything. Don’t feed the narcissists!

a thing or two about narcissism (+ the church) – 2015 “Some of you have been married to them. Some of you have been parented by them. Some of you have been pastored by them. You know what I’m talking about. You know the crazy-making. You know the emotional abuse, and sometimes the physical. You know the hero-worship and the “he would never do that’s”. You know the fear. You know the confusion. You know the exhaustion of always trying to keep the peace. You know the eggshells. You know what it feels like to be misunderstood, accused, tossed aside, ignored–not just by the narcissist, but by their churches and friends and colleagues and fans and followers. You. Know.”

abuse and christian obstacles to healing – 2016 “Think of these obstacles as a 30 foot high, 10 feet thick wall they have to carve through or claw over to get to the other side”

narcissism, power, and staying awake – 2016 “That’s the best way we can fight against narcissism–stay awake and refuse to believe them, follow them, or submit ourselves to them.”

narcissist are going to narcissist – 2018 “When we’re in relationship with a narcissist, we’re in the middle of a trauma, and it takes its toll.”

toxic systems – 2019 “If you are in a toxic system and are beginning to recognize it for what it is, may you can find courage over time to leave it. It will be scary, lonely, disorienting, but health is possible! “

In 2020 I didn’t write about narcissism, ha! But, oh, I still talked to so many people who worked for them, divorced them, broke up with them, and are trying to heal from their relationship with them.

Our podcast this week reinvigorated me to pull this post together, to just have all these things in one place. If you want to read more, please check out Diane Langberg’s work – She writes and speaks extensively on this, and this video is centered on Narcissism and the System it Breeds. She offers a solid overview of what so many people have experienced in church.

Again, for people who are untangling from all-things-Christian-narcissist, again, this video–Narcissism and the System it Breeds--is so worth taking the time to listen to! Take notes!

– Diane Langberg’s work rocks.

To all the beautiful, brave people who have already and are currently untangling from narcissists, my heart is always with you. You can’t win on their terms but ultimately you do because you get your soul back.

Love from Colorado today, Kathy

Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar is dedicated to creating safe and brave spaces for transformation and healing in real life and online. She co-pastors at The Refuge, a Christian community and mission center in North Denver and is the author of Practicing: Changing Yourself to Change the World, Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart and several other books.

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