Leading Authority in Treatment of Narcissism and Emotional Abuse

Finding Your Lost Heart

You may have spent so many years having been told that you’re stupid, your memory is faulty, you are oversensitive, over-reactive, over-emotional, and that nothing about your core self is worth listening to or caring about. You’ve been gaslighted for so long you don’t trust your own perceptions or memories – which means you have been taught to fiercely ignore your own intuition and gut feelings. Every conversation feels like another expose on how immature and selfish you are. Sexual activity is demanded of you, but there is not a bit of it that feels intimate or loving. Your heart is gone.

My job is to help you find your lost heart.  Have you considered that your thoughts are your own? Your feelings are your own. Your dreams, desires, hopes, longings, are your own. And they are valuable simply for that.

I want you to hear me say, “That DID hurt.” I want you to know I believe you. What you’ve endured has absolutely been devastating, or painful, or frightening, or sinful against you. You’ve been managed down to silence, but your experience has been exactly what you’ve known it to be for how you’ve perceived it.

Let me say it again, “I believe you.” Your experience is real. All that mess going on in your heart is real, and it is telling you something important. It is whispering hope and longing, grief, and danger. If you can, listen, and begin to trust your perceptions and thoughts and feelings. Let them inform your next steps.

This is where you’ll begin to find the footing to grasp what God thinks of you, because it’s His voice you can hear in your heart as well. And the more you listen to His voice, the more he breathes life back into your lost heart.

This Week’s Question:

I’m seeing more clearly that my husband is a truly character-disturbed person. My perspective seems to be shifting from wanting him to love me and be my friend and wanting a mutually loving relationship with him, to thinking – why would I even want a relationship with someone who acts like he does – he’s cruel, a liar, gaslights and blames me, rarely keeps any promises, and doesn’t care whether he hurts me or not. I feel sorry for him and how crazy his inner world is, and I feel sorry for myself and angry at him for all the damage he’s caused in my life and the huge responsibilities dumped on me that I can’t fix alone.

The good thing is that makes it easier to detach. The hard part is I struggle with the loneliness and loss and feeling trapped.

Any suggestions on dealing with the hopelessness? I know this is a chance to have a deep relationship with God, but part of me is afraid He won’t help me or change anything as life heads full force towards a brick wall.

Sharmen’s Answer:

I’m sorry you are in such a hard season! Hopelessness is not the same thing as loneliness, although they can feel much the same when you’re in the pit. And, actually, I wonder if what you’re feeling right now is good (not that I would wish it on anyone!!) in the sense that you are seeing things for what they are and are grieving the losses it brings to light. Your emotions seem to be seeking a new normal when your world is so full of chaos.

Use this as an opportunity to think about what it makes possible. What can be different now that you are detaching from him, from not letting his harmful ways land in your heart? How does this change your faith? What are you free to believe now? What can you do differently to connect with your kids or friends, or walk out what God is calling you to do? Truth is, you can’t feel stuck when you truly believe God has your times in his hands. Maybe he does have you in a limited space right now, but use it to its fullest! He’s got a purpose in this season. What you learn in the pit becomes your platform!

Fighting loneliness may be one of the biggest battles we face. It is vital to tell yourself what to think, and make sure you are feeding truth into your head. Loneliness is a reminder that this is not the world we were created for. And God is enough to carry you through it, as well. Like any other feeling, it will ebb and flow with what you choose to dwell on, and, like you said, it’s the perfect catalyst for deepening your relationship with God. Do you trust Him? Do you trust Him with ALL the outcomes? No matter what they look like? Put your energy into answering that question and loneliness will no longer have the power to cripple you or make you do something foolish.

It sounds like you are shifting into a healthier perspective of your husband: He’s on his own journey, and you can’t fix his mess. That doesn’t mean you have to stop loving him! It just means that you love him from a distance where his mess doesn’t keep harming you. Even detaching doesn’t mean you’re done with him, but that you aren’t responsible for changing him and you are no longer letting his cruelty ruin your own inner peace and sense of self.

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