Luke 17:3 Ministries Inc
Sunday, June 25, 2017
For Adult Daughters of Controlling or Abusive Birth-Families
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"My Days Are Numbered!" (And You're Speeding It Up By Confronting Me)

"MY DAYS ARE NUMBERED!"

(AND YOU’RE SPEEDING IT UP BY CONFRONTING ME)

OR

"I’M SICK SO YOU CAN’T HOLD ME ACCOUNTABLE"

By Rev. Renee

 

IS ANY ONE OF YOU SICK? HE SHOULD CALL THE ELDERS OF THE CHURCH TO PRAY OVER HIM AND ANOINT HIM WITH OIL IN THE NAME OF THE LORD.  AND THE PRAYER OFFERED IN FAITH WILL MAKE THE SICK PERSON WELL; THE LORD WILL RAISE HIM UP.  IF HE HAS SINNED, HE WILL BE FORGIVEN.  THEREFORE CONFESS YOUR SINS TO EACH OTHER AND PRAY FOR EACH OTHER SO THAT YOU MAY BE HEALED….James 5:14-16 NIV.

WHEN A WICKED MAN DIES, HIS HOPE PERISHES; ALL HE EXPECTED FROM HIS POWER COMES TO NOTHING….Proverbs 11:7 NIV.


            Sooner or later, every narcissist/ sociopath tries a pity ploy of one kind or another.  The pity ploy is designed to make you feel sorry for your abuser and guilty for confronting her, so you will relent from expecting her to be accountable for her own behavior.

            After my birth-mother died, I had to sue my birth-father for the return of the money he had stolen out of the trust account my mother left for me, and for the diamond jewelry she had willed to  me, which he claimed he couldn’t find, actually expecting us to believe that he SOLD THE HOUSE with my mother’s diamonds in it.  The judge asked him by what date he could have the jewelry appraised. Daddy Darling hemmed and hawed, trying to avoid committing to a date.  First he said he didn’t know because he had doctors' appointments coming up.  The judge repeated the question, and he continued to stall, saying he had to take a trip to the V.A.Hospital to pick up his meds.  The pity ploy wasn’t working too well on the savvy judge, who repeated his question one last time.  Apparently assuming the judge must be too dense to get the point, Daddy Darling tried making it a little clearer with, “You know, I’m not a well man….”  To which the judge, now out of patience, banged his gavel down and said “Two weeks!”

            Fast forward to ten years later.  Seven of those years, birth-father had spent stalking me and my family, until we finally moved away.  A few weeks before we left, he accosted my husband in the street in front of our house and requested a meeting, to be kept secret from me, which he didn’t get.  Instead, I proceeded to write him a long letter detailing decades of abuses and instructing him not to contact me or my family again until and unless he met my conditions, which included the appropriate apologies, repentance, and restitution. We never heard back from him, and shortly thereafter, we moved, leaving no forwarding address.  Control freaks hate it when they lose control.  They typically panic when you get away from them, and become obsessed with finding you again. It took him almost 3 years to locate us, but eventually birth-father managed to get my unlisted phone number and call me.

            Once he had me on the phone, there was no hint of an apology, no attempt to make things right, and no promise of change.  In fact, he completely ignored every single condition I had set in my letter.    Instead, after a decade-long estrangement and a minute or two of pretending that he was thrilled to hear my voice and wanted to be back in the family, he became enraged when he realized that I still intended to hold him accountable.  When I refused to give him my adult children’s phone numbers without their permission, he had his usual meltdown, screaming at me, threatening, trying to blackmail me (by not putting my children back in his will {yes, he had taken them out} if I wouldn’t give him information about them), name-calling, and slamming the phone down in my ear.  After this, his wife and I spoke briefly, and I told her what had happened, that it was obvious he hadn’t changed a bit, and that my family and I were not interested in going back to the way things were with him.  She agreed that he hadn’t changed.  And then she added, “You know, he only has a few years left.”  To which I responded, “Yeah, well, maybe he’d better think about that.”

            A week later, I wrote him another note spelling out my conditions for ever speaking to him again- an apology for the way he acted on the phone as well as the things he had done in the past and proof that he had changed his ways, including a guarantee that there would be no further voice-raising, name-calling, threats, blackmail, hang-ups, or disrespect of any kind.  He responded two weeks after that with yet another blackmail attempt, this time voided checks to be replaced only if we called him by a specific date, and I never replied.

            Since then, my family and I have gotten an occasional holiday card, which we have ignored, just like he persists in ignoring my terms.   The last time, he included a message, written in heavy black marker and big capital letters, to convey the sense of urgency characteristic of an estranged abuser’s attempt to hoover you back into the relationship. “My days are numbered!” it said.  “I want to see or hear from you and your family.”  But still no apology, no offer to make amends, and no promise of change.  It was all about what he wanted, with no mention at all of anything I said I wanted.  As usual, my wants were completely ignored, and his were all that mattered. He wanted contact, but he didn’t want it badly enough to apologize and agree to treat us all nicely.  Once again, he got no response from me, and he will never get a response, because as long as he ignores what I want, then he’s not going to get what he wants, either.

            What is interesting in this whole crazy-making saga is the narcissist’s consistent use of the pity ploy, even though it’s not working.  Three times so far, either he or his wife have alluded to him having some mysterious ailment for which he should be given a free pass, or hinted and expected that I should give him whatever he wants without requiring anything in return from him because, after all, he’s got one foot in the grave.  To hear him tell it, he’s been on borrowed time for the last 13 years.  And yet, he’s still well enough for all the conniving, plotting, manipulating, screaming, name-calling, and bullying.  You’d think that someone who really thought his days were numbered would spend whatever time he had left mending fences and making amends for all the wrongs he did in his life, so that he could die in peace and be right with God.

            When you start to stand up to your abuser, confront, set boundaries, or limit your exposure to her, don’t be surprised to hear that all of a sudden she’s a sick woman, when all along she seemed as healthy as a horse, and certainly hale and hearty enough to abuse you and cause all kinds of family upheaval.  Your abuser might announce this herself, or she might have a Silent Partner do it for her. Telling other people that you’re aggravating her so much you’re making her sick has the added benefit of making you look heartless.  Playing sick also gives the impression that your abuser couldn’t possibly be doing what you say she is, because she’s much too frail to be abusing you.  Gullible or meddling friends and relatives will just eat this nonsense up.

            You can expect to hear various hints, histrionics, and drama along the lines of:

            “I’m not well.”

            “I’m a sick man (and you’re making me sicker).”

            “Your mother is old and not in the best of health.  She shouldn’t have to deal with these family problems (that SHE causes).”

            “I don’t have a lot of time left (so you’d better enjoy me while you can!).”

            “All this arguing is making me sick.”

            “My doctor says I can’t have any more stress.”

            “Your father is getting older. You might never see him again. Aren’t you going to feel bad if something happens to him and you were on the outs?”

            “I have to go for tests next week.” (Said mysteriously and ominously)

            “I’m so depressed over the things you said to me that my doctor had to increase my medication.”

            “You’re the one who changed.  You used to be so easy to get along with (because you used to tolerate her abuse). I don’t even know you anymore!  Why are you trying to drive me crazy?”

            “Why do you keep upsetting me like this?  You’re going to give me a stroke!”

            “This constant arguing is killing me. I can’t take it anymore.”

            “You’re giving me a headache.”

            “You’re giving me an ulcer.”

            “You’re giving me heart trouble.”

            “You’re killing me!”

            “I’m up all night crying because of the terrible things you said.”

            “You know I have high blood pressure.  Why are you making it worse?”

            “You know I’m sick.  Can’t we just let bygones be bygones? Talking about this is not good for me”

            “I can’t keep fighting like this.  I just want to live in peace.”

            “All I want is to die in peace.”

 

            A variation on this theme is the abuser who actually does apologize, or at least concedes some of your points, because she’s “too sick to argue with you anymore.”  She’ll make it clear that you’re forcing her to agree with whatever you say, by making her “sick”.  She’ll pretty much tell you that she doesn’t really mean it, but is just apologizing to get you to drop it, since you’re upsetting her so much.  An abuser might even say, “I’m too sick to argue with you, so alright, I’m sorry!” or “Okay, I apologize. I can’t take anymore of this”, or best of all, “I just want peace in the family.”  Don’t believe it and don’t pay any attention to a phony apology.

            These statements are what I like to call “Nonsense Statements.”  They don’t actually mean anything of any importance or relevance, and are simply another diversion. They do not constitute any accountability or admission of wrongdoing.  They’re the same as saying, “I didn’t do anything wrong, but I’ll tell you what you want to hear because it’s the only way to get you to stop upsetting me by holding me accountable for what I do. I’ll tell you and everyone else that you’re making me sick. I don’t care if a lifetime of enduring my abuse is making YOU sick.  And I don’t mean a word I’m saying, but I’ll just pretend to smooth things over because now it’s affecting ME.”

            Before you accept any guilt in this situation, realize that the assertions your abuser is making about his health and who’s responsible for it are all twisted backwards.  By confronting your abuser, you are not making him sick.  He’s making himself sick (and he’s making everybody else sick, too).  If he’s so concerned about his health, then he needs to stop doing whatever he’s doing that’s making it necessary for you to confront him. 

            All the discord STARTS with your abuser and his behavior.  HE is causing all the upset in the family, not you.  If he wasn’t misbehaving, then you would have nothing to confront him about, his so-called health wouldn’t suffer, and he would be able to live in the peace he claims he longs for.  It is the height of arrogance to suggest that he should be permitted to continue abusing other people all he wants, and that no one has the right to protest, or THEY’RE the ones who are causing all the problems. All he has to do is STOP.  And then there will be nothing to fight about.  You are not responsible for an abuser’s health and not to blame for his medical problems, if in fact any actually exist.

            Sometimes, an abuser might have a legitimate health problem, although she will probably exaggerate it greatly to engender as much sympathy as possible.  In which case, we would need to ask ourselves why SHE persists in causing arguments that are supposedly negatively impacting her own health. Really sick people have more important things on their minds and other things to worry about than bullying or controlling us.

            But in many cases, the abuser’s so-called “illness” is entirely fabricated.  It’s usually mysteriously hinted at, with no details given.  Notice that my birth-father said his days were numbered, but he didn’t say why.  There was no mention of heart problems, cancer, or any other illness.  I mean, technically, ALL our days are numbered.  Eventually, we’re all going to die.  But for right now, I’m aware that Daddy Darling still drives his car, runs errands, socializes, shows up at family funerals, and talks to people who he doesn’t know are talking to me.  For all I know, he still plays golf and takes his boat out to go fishing.  He’s been “sick” with who-knows-what-because-he-never-says, for over 13 years now, and yet he’s still going strong. It’s entirely possible for him to still be here ten years from now.  He might even outlive me!

            I rarely suggest giving narcissists any more attention.  It’s far better to completely ignore their drama.  But if you really want to get to the bottom of your abuser’s claims, then start asking questions- like, exactly what illnesses are we talking about here, specific types of tests, dates of tests, test results, treatments and medications given, the next steps in treatment, referrals made, and doctor’s names and phone numbers-  and settle for nothing less than every tiny little detail.  Do not accept any vague or evasive answers. Keep questioning until you get sensible information and direct answers.

            Your abuser’s responses will give you a clue as to whether her “disease” is exaggerated or even an outright lie.  Hey, there might even be a genuine illness that YOU might need to talk to her doctor about. Which of course you would not do without TELLING her you’re going to call the doctor, and then observing her reaction.  If she’s telling the truth, then she shouldn’t have anything to hide, and she would have no problem with you talking directly to her doctor.  Don’t let her turn it around now and tell you that her medical problem is none of your business.  Remember, she MADE it your business, because SHE’S the one who TOLD you about it in the first place, and tried to use it as an excuse for not being able to resolve the problems between you.  So it’s hardly a secret anymore.

            Probably the most important thing to keep in mind is, if our relative is really so sick, then how come she is still perfectly capable of causing so much family chaos?  Why does she always seem to be at the center of whatever turmoil is going on? Where on earth is she getting the strength? If she doesn’t feel well, shouldn’t she be minding her own health and resting instead of conniving, bullying, manipulating, and controlling?  You’d think she wouldn’t feel up to all that.  A REALLY sick person wouldn’t have the energy for it.  She’d have other things to concentrate on and worry about- like her impending doom.  Abusers are always healthy enough to START a fight, but when you stand up to them, all of a sudden they’re not healthy enough to finish it.  If your abuser really has health issues like high blood pressure, heart problems, or ulcers, then shouldn’t SHE be concerned enough about her own health to avoid starting problems that are supposedly going to aggravate her illnesses?  Why should YOU worry about raising her blood pressure when she doesn’t?  How serious could it be, if she doesn’t care about her own health, and is still willing and able to cause all this uproar?

            To break free of the guilt-mode, it helps to throw the responsibility for her own health, stress, and depression right back in our abuser’s lap.  We need to replace our relative’s pity ploy with a mantra of our own:

            When she says, “My doctor says I can’t have any stress”, we say, “I am not giving you stress.  You’re giving YOURSELF stress, and you’re giving it to everybody else, too.”

            When she says, “You’re making me sick”, we say “I am not making you sick. You’re making YOURSELF sick.  And you’re making me sick, too.”

            When she says, “I have a bad heart,” we say “If you’re so worried about your heart, then you should stop causing all this trouble.”

            When she says, “You’re making my depression worse”, we say “Why don’t you try being nice and getting along with people? I’m sure that would make you happier.”

            When she says, “I don’t have much time left”, we say “Well then, you’d better get to work making amends for all the bad things you’ve done, before your time runs out.”

            When she says, “All this arguing is killing me”, we say “Then stop arguing. Just apologize and agree to respect my boundaries.  It’s your choice.”

            When she says, “I just want to live in peace”, we say “That’s up to you.  You’re the one causing all the problems.  Just knock it off, start being nice, and then we can ALL live in peace”.

            When the Silent Partner says, “Your mother is old and sick and shouldn’t be dealing with these problems”, we say “My mother shouldn’t be CREATING these problems for all of us to have to deal with.”

            When she says, "You're driving me crazy!", we say, "It's too late for that. You were BORN crazy!"  Oops, was that mean?  Sorry, I couldn't resist.

            Sisters and Brothers, don’t allow your abuser to twist and confuse the situation, and don’t accept any guilt that he or his Silent Partners might try to lay at your doorstep. It is our relative’s ABUSE that causes all the problems, arguments, disagreements, and fights, NOT our REACTION to his abuse.  The buck stops with the abuser himself.  As soon as he decides to start behaving himself and treating us nicely, then all the problems will disappear. The price for this would be giving up his control and abuse, and then he could spend the time he has left on earth doing what he says he wants so badly- enjoying his family and living in peace. But, he doesn’t want it THAT badly, now does he?

            IF YOUR HAND CAUSES YOU TO SIN, CUT IT OFF.  IT IS BETTER FOR YOU TO ENTER LIFE MAIMED THAN WITH TWO HANDS TO GO INTO HELL, WHERE THE FIRE NEVER GOES OUT.  AND IF YOUR FOOT CAUSES YOU TO SIN, CUT IT OFF.  IT IS BETTER FOR YOU TO ENTER LIFE CRIPPLED THAN TO HAVE TWO FEET AND BE THROWN INTO HELL.  AND IF YOUR EYE CAUSES YOU TO SIN, PLUCK IT OUT.  IT IS BETTER FOR YOU TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD WITH ONE EYE THAN TO HAVE TWO EYES AND BE THROWN INTO HELL….Mark 9:43-47 NIV.

            IT IS BETTER TO GO TO A HOUSE OF MOURNING THAN TO GO TO A HOUSE OF FEASTING, FOR DEATH IS THE DESTINY OF EVERY MAN; THE LIVING SHOULD TAKE THIS TO HEART….Ecclesiastes 7:2 NIV.

            ALL GO UNTO ONE PLACE; ALL ARE OF DUST, AND ALL TURN TO DUST AGAIN….Ecclesiastes 3:20 KJV.

            THE FATHERS SHALL NOT BE PUT TO DEATH FOR THE CHILDREN, NEITHER SHALL THE CHILDREN BE PUT TO DEATH FOR THE FATHERS: EVERY MAN SHALL BE PUT TO DEATH FOR HIS OWN SIN….Deuteronomy 24:16 KJV.

            FOR THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH; BUT THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD…..Romans 6:23 KJV.

            JUST AS MAN IS DESTINED TO DIE ONCE, AND AFTER THAT TO FACE JUDGMENT….Hebrews 9:27 NIV.

            AS I HAVE OBSERVED, THOSE WHO PLOW EVIL AND THOSE WHO SOW TROUBLE REAP IT. AT THE BREATH OF GOD THEY ARE DESTROYED….Job 4:8-9 NIV.

            FOR AS IN ADAM ALL DIE, EVEN SO IN CHRIST SHALL ALL BE MADE ALIVE….1 Corinthians 15:22 KJV. 

            CORRECTION IS GRIEVOUS UNTO HIM THAT FORSAKETH THE WAY:  AND HE THAT HATETH REPROOF SHALL DIE….Proverbs 15:10 KJV.

            THE EVIL DEEDS OF A WICKED MAN ENSNARE HIM; THE CORDS OF HIS SIN HOLD HIM FAST.  HE WILL DIE FOR LACK OF DISCIPLINE, LED ASTRAY BY HIS OWN GREAT FOLLY….Proverbs 5:22-23 NIV.

 

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The Lord specifically called Sister Renee to minister to Adult Children, not their parents, estranged siblings or friends, abusive or abused spouses, or victims of other types of abuse, although what we write here can often be meaningful for those folks as well. Because of this, our ministry and website have a narrow focus which we will not be changing. We simply can't cover everything. In addition, it is not our purpose to help you re-establish contact with someone who felt it was necessary to cut you off for the sake of their own well-being. We do not keep a list of resources for estranged parents or any other type of abuse and suggest if you are sincerely interested in making amends with an estranged relative, you do an internet search for a website or group that will be more relevant to you. If you cannot find a group or site that you can relate to, we suggest you start your own, and bless other people in your position as well as find support for your personal issues. 
For Adult Children and others as well, please understand that we cannot give you personal advice concerning your particular family relationships.  We are not therapists or lawyers, we usually do not have enough information to form an opinion, and time does not permit us to give enough thought to each person's individual situation to do it justice. If you need personal advice, we urge you to contact the appropriate professional, depending on the problem you have- your minister, therapist, attorney, police department, local domestic violence hotline, etc. In reading this site, you acknowledge that nothing you might read here qualifies as or substitutes for professional advice. Please note we cannot recommend or refer you to a counselor and we do not have a list of therapists or recovery groups in your area. The only Counselor we recommend is the Holy Ghost, and we encourage you to read the Bible and learn for yourself what the Lord says about the issues we write about.
Our articles are strictly our personal opinions and testimonies and are not intended to give or offer any advice. All who access this site do so with the understanding that we are NOT professional counselors and we strongly recommend that you discuss your individual situation with your pastor or therapist and pray for the Lord's guidance before acting on anything we write on this site. Unfortunately, the abuse we discuss is all too common, inflicted on countless victims by countless perpetrators. All names and identifying details in our articles have been changed to protect the innocent as well as the guilty. Any resemblance to a real person or persons whom you might know is strictly coincidental.