Luke 17:3 Ministries Inc
Friday, September 22, 2017
For Adult Daughters of Controlling or Abusive Birth-Families

CRITICISM-Chipping Away At Your Self-Esteem & Confidence

CRITICISM-

CHIPPING AWAY AT YOUR SELF-RESPECT,

UNDERMINING YOUR SELF-CONFIDENCE,

HURTING YOUR FEELINGS, &

CUTTING DEEP INTO YOUR HEART

 

By Sister Renee

 

            It’s a dubious distinction, but my upbringing and subsequent adult relationship with my birth-parents probably qualifies me to write an epic the size of War & Peace on criticism.   Both of my birth-parents were what is known as “hypercritical”- professionals in the skills of disapproval, denigration, & degradation, although each employed different methods.  However, I promise this article will be a lot shorter, because I would hate to give the narcissistic critic that much attention.

 

DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS

 

            Different critics have different methods of attack.  Styles of criticism reflect the individual critic’s personality.

            My birth-father was always on the offensive.  He was a hostile, belligerent bully and that came through in his criticism.  He loved to belittle and degrade others.  His favorite lines were “You don’t know what you’re talking about”, “You don’t know what’s good for you” and “Don’t be stupid.”  His relentless barbs were aimed at undermining and shredding any self-confidence or self-esteem you might have.  It was very important to keep others “in their place” and never let them get away with thinking they were better than, or even equal to, him.  He was very one-dimensional in many ways, and the only facial expression he displayed was a nasty scowl.

            My birth-mother, on the other hand, was much more subtle. If I mentioned I was thinking of painting my bedroom, she would frown or look dubious until asked what was wrong, and then tell me that wallpaper was more washable than paint. Or she would politely ask, “Do you really think that’s such a good idea?”  If I said I was going to wear my beige slacks, she would sweetly ask, “Why don’t you wear the black ones, instead?  Beige makes you look fat.”  This subtle dig was “for my own good”, of course, so how could I think it was criticism? Because she preferred to manipulate people with a long-suffering, saintly, martyr-like alter-ego, rather than outright aggression and demands, her criticism was voiced as broad hints, remarks, or comments, often accompanied by the appropriate facial expression.  She had quite a repertoire of frowns, sneers, and looks of shock, disapproval, or disgust.

 

CRITICS FOCUS ON WHATEVER THEY CONSIDER MOST IMPORTANT IN LIFE

 

            Hypercritical relatives will nitpick at every aspect of your existence.  But you can usually tell what a critic values the most by what he or she chooses to focus on the most.  My birth-father was a know-it-all who thought it was his place and his right to “educate” everyone around him.  He fancied himself the most intelligent and educated person he knew, and wanted to impress others with his genius.  That is how he tried to garner attention and approval.  The only problem was that he didn’t actually have any real intelligence or knowledge on the subjects he spouted off on (which was just about everything). 

            Because the appearance of smarts was so important to him, intelligence is what he chose to attack in anyone else.  The only way to make himself seem like he had half a brain was to make everybody else look like they had no brains.  So all his time was devoted to criticizing other people’s thoughts, feelings, opinions, experiences, decisions, judgment, and the like.  His aim was to make everybody else look or feel stupid, even if he had to resort to calling someone “stupid” right to their face.  And having an audience was the best motivation of all, so he never hesitated to humiliate someone in front of other people.

            An amusing contradiction was that although my birth-father did everything he could to make me feel stupid, he still expected me to excel in school.  How such a stupid person was expected to get straight A’s, make the Honor Society and get into a good university was never explained, but I did it anyway.  In a strange twist, my birth-father wanted to be able to take the credit for my brains, and

made sure to point out to others that I “took after him”.  While making sure to destroy my self-confidence, he still tried to co-opt the credit for every success I had.

            On the other hand, my birth-mother was not so much into brains as she was into looks.  Appearances were everything to her.  Her favorite line was “What will the neighbors think?” Nobody I knew was more shallow and superficial in their values than my mother. Her goal in life was to present the illusion of a picture-perfect little family to the outside world.  As long as everything and everyone looked perfect on the surface, no one would guess how totally messed up our lives really were.

             When I was still in grade-school, she began giving me “diction” lessons with the goal of eliminating myBrooklyn accent.  My sister and I were made to walk balancing heavy books on our heads to improve our posture.  As I matured into adolescence and my body began changing, she fretted constantly about my formerly thick head of childhood hair thinning out, about every pound I gained on my 95-pound body and choosing clothes that would disguise my “pear-shape”. Shopping was a complete ordeal.  Apparel had to not only fit, but “flatter”.  I had to wear high heels because they “elongated my short legs.” A blemish on my face produced a panic of every ointment and salve in the medicine cabinet.  I was not allowed to wear my eyeglasses in public, because my “eyes were my best feature”.  Nevermind if I couldn’t see a thing and tripped and broke my neck!  When I was a teen, she decided I looked like Elizabeth Taylor and insisted for years that I wear heavy eye makeup and pencil in thick eyebrows so everyone could see how much I looked like Liz and compliment my mother on the resemblance!

            Mother rarely criticized me in front of people because that would ruin her sweet little image. I remember her slipping up a few times, though.  My cousin reminded me of the time we were all having Easter dinner together and I reached for a second piece of bread and my mother embarrassed me by telling me I couldn’t have it in front of about twenty-five people.  I was sixteen at the time, physically mature, and weighed 110 pounds, but in her mind, I was fat.  My cousin was shocked at this unexpected glimpse into the REAL auntie Isabel.

            Except for a few slip-ups, most of my mother’s critical comments were spoken in private.  She believed she was demonstrating her good intentions by making an effort not to embarrass me in public, and that I should appreciate this.  But although it was said quietly and privately, the message was still clear.  I didn’t measure up, I wasn’t good enough, and it was impossible for me to ever be good enough.  The real me wasn’t pretty enough- I had to tart myself up to look like a movie star at age 13. I was fatally flawed because of things I had no control over, like my adult hair being thinner than my childhood hair, or becoming nearsighted and needing eyeglasses.  And we had to do everything we could to hide those flaws from others, lest they realize that my mother and her children weren’t absolutely perfect.  Appearances were all that mattered to mom, so that is what she chose to criticize.  Things like character, personality and integrity got no attention at all, because they didn’t matter in the least.

 

CRITICAL PEOPLE 101

 

            If you think my mother drilling me in diction and posture and making me go without eyeglasses is extreme, consider that many critics are professional nitpickers.  They just never run out of things to “mention” to you.  Critics don’t understand the concept of “picking your battles”.  Anything and everything is reason for them to voice their opinions.  It’s open season on every trivial aspect of your life, from how you feel or what you think, to what color shoes you’re wearing. If you don’t have any real flaws for them to point out, they will think up an imaginary one.

            One hallmark of a critic is that he does not WAIT TO BE ASKED before giving “advice”. (In most cases, people learned long ago to never ask for his advice, so he would have a very long wait). He has something to say, and he’s gonna say it, whether you want to hear it or not.  The fact that you do not want his advice will not deter him.  He will still insist on giving it, even when he knows it’s unwelcome, unwanted, and unasked-for.

            Critics and control-freaks are very closely intertwined, and many abusers are both critics and control-freaks. The difference is that control-freaks often make direct demands, while critics get you to do what they want by chipping away at you little by little, shaking your confidence in your abilities or looks, making you feel unsure of yourself, and hurting your feelings.  Critics control you indirectly through their relentless putdowns.  They manage to get you to question yourself and your own judgment.  They feel powerful when they can make you feel inept, incompetent, or ugly.  They WANT to make you feel bad about yourself. You find yourself striving harder and harder to please them and win their approval, many times sacrificing, giving up, or changing what you wanted to do to fit their desires. 

            Critics often indirectly manipulate you into doing what they want you to do.  If they come right out and ask you to do something, and you do it, then they would be obligated to show their appreciation.  But if they can get you to do what they want indirectly and “for your own good”, then YOU owe THEM, instead of the other way around.  A win-win situation for our critical relative!

            If you do what your critic wants, don’t expect a pat on the back.  All you’re going to get is another criticism about something else in the future. Although a manipulative control-freak knows when to use flattery to get you to do what he wants, most critics find it next to impossible to say anything nice.  Sincere praise will never pass their lips.  Compliments are doled out sparingly and craftily to get you to let your guard down so you will be willing to listen nicely to the next criticism.  You can never please an unpleasable person. You are never going to win approval from a critic.  It’s not in her nature.  She will just move on to the next thing she wants to criticize you about.

            Critics can also be nosy busy-bodies.  They will often interrogate you about things you might be planning to do or have already done.  This could be a major life decision like moving to Europe, or something hardly worth taking the time to discuss, like changing your hair color.  Whatever you say will give the critic something to disapprove of.

            My birth-father would demand answers to things that were none of his business.  But my birth-mother would take the long way around to get to what she really wanted to know and comment on.  She would pretend that we were just having a nice, normal conversation and that she was just showing an interest in me and my life by asking questions.  But as soon as she heard anything she disagreed with, the look on her face would change in an instant to consternation, which would be quickly followed by some version of, “Do you really want to do that?  Don’t you think it would be better if you did this, instead?”  Both of my parents were expert interrogators, until, long into my adulthood, I finally learned not to answer their questions and to keep my plans to myself.  They basically never knew what I was up to, and this gave them much less ammunition for criticism. 

            Many critics love to claim that they’re “only trying to help” or they’re “just telling you for your own good.”  But in reality their remarks are rarely helpful, constructive, or do any good at all.  In fact, they are usually very hurtful. The difference between criticism and helpful advice is that criticism makes you feel bad about yourself. Adults do not need other adults telling them things “for their own good” and it is insulting to suggest that they do.  Doubting another adult’s competence to run her own life is inappropriate and offensive.

            A critic believes that her opinion is the only opinion that counts.  And she is compelled to voice that opinion on anything and everything, whether it is welcomed or not.  Critics operate under the illusion that they have a “right” to speak their minds and tell you their opinions.  They may state their opinions with great authority, or with a sweet, shy smile while telling you it’s for your own good.  They are very judgmental, and think they know better than everyone else.  And they believe they have the right to butt in to the lives of other adults. They don’t get the concept of “it’s none of your business” or “mind your own business”.  They need to be taught boundaries, and that it is NOT their right to force their opinions on others.

 

3 TESTS OF WHETHER A REMARK IS APPROPRIATE OR NOT

 

            It is inappropriate for an adult to tell another adult what she should be doing, what she’s doing wrong, or to question her abilities or judgment on any personal matters. As an adult, you are equal to other adults. As peers in a relationship of equality and mutual caring and respect, helpful advice and well-meaning suggestions are often exchanged.  Such comments are given and received with good intentions, appreciation, and love.  That is the distinction between sincerely trying to benefit someone, and just trying to undermine them and bring them down.  So is what your relative said really criticism and inappropriate, or could it actually be well-intentioned?  Apply these three tests to your relative’s comment:

 

            1.  What was the end result ( the fruit {Matthew 7-16, Galatians 5:22}) of her comment?  Is what she said really helpful, or did it just embarrass you, hurt you, or make you feel bad about yourself?

            2.  Would she say exactly the same thing in exactly the same way to a co-worker, boss, neighbor, casual acquaintance, or stranger on line at the grocery store?  No?  Then, why not?- especially if she’s just trying to help? Many abusers would never dream of treating outsiders with the same rudeness and disrespect that they use on their own family.

            3.   Let’s put the shoe on the other foot- What if we reverse the roles? Would you feel comfortable saying the exact same thing in the exact same way right back to your critic?  And how  would she receive it?  Would she receive it nicely and appreciate your concern, or would she be offended by it?  Remember, we’re all equals, here.  What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.  Your critic has absolutely no right at all to say anything to you that she herself would take offense at.

 

DEALING WITH A CRITIC

 

            In my own experience, I’ve learned that indulging a critic only encourages her and makes her even worse.  Whatever you do, don’t take her criticism seriously or give it any credence at all.  Whenever you take criticism to heart, you have just taught your critic that it works!  If you reward a critic’s unacceptable behavior by actually trying to please her, she will never stop targeting you.

            Patiently listening to a critic and then ignoring her jabs doesn’t work, either.  Most critics don’t just drop the subject when you fail to accept their criticism.  If you don’t take the hint or respond, they think it’s only because you must not have understood them, or that you must not have heard them the first time. They will continue to bring it up in one way or the other until you react.  It may be a disapproving look this time, a snide remark the next time, or an hour spent trying to convince you that you need to listen to what they say.  The nagging will continue until you give in, or confront and tell them to knock it off.

            The quickest and most effective way to train your critic to watch what she says to you is to make sure her criticisms come back and bite her in the you-know-what.  This can most easily be done when you tried to please your critic or do something nice for her and the reaction you received was criticism instead of gratitude.  The idea is to let her know that since you can’t please her, you’re not going to try harder- you’re just going to give up.

            Here are some samples of how to make her criticism backfire on your critic. You need to teach her that if she doesn’t like how you do something, she’ll wind up doing it herself. Once you state a consequence, you need to enforce it and not back down. This will relieve you of a burden while shifting the responsibility to your critic- a win-win situation for you!:

 

            “I’m sorry you don’t like the cake I baked.  I notice that you often don’t like my cooking.  I guess I’m just no good at it, so I’m retiring from baking!  From now on, you can take care of bringing the dessert for family gatherings.  That way, we can be sure you’ll like it.”

            “Oh, you don’t like the sweater I bought you?  We must have different taste, so I’m probably never going to get it right.  From now on, I’ll just give you cash in an envelope and you can go to the store yourself and buy whatever you like.”

            “Oh, I’m sorry you don’t like the magazine subscription I got for you.  No problem, I’ll just cancel it.”

            “I think he’s doing a great job, but I can see you’re not happy with the housepainter I recommended.  It’s probably better if you choose your own.  As soon as he finishes the bedroom, I’ll tell him you’re letting him go, and to send you the bill.  Meanwhile, get out the yellow pages and start calling around and interviewing other painters for the living room and kitchen.  Make appointments for the estimates whenever it’s convenient for you, and hire whoever you want.  This way, you can find one you like.”

            “I worked all weekend planting your flower beds, but I didn’t realize you wanted the pinks with the blues and the reds with the yellows.  I guess I don’t have your eye for color!  I’m not going to do this anymore, ‘cause I’ll only mess it up again, so next year you need hire a landscaper.”

           

            Here are some sample responses to your critic’s disapproval or prying questions.  Customize them to your own situation and practice so you will be ready the next time your critical relative gives you that look that says you’re  in her crosshairs and the next zinger is about to come out of her mouth:

 

            I’m not going to discuss this with you.  Let’s change the subject.

            I’m not asking for your input right now.

            We are not here for you to evaluate me.

            I’m not taking a vote on this.  You have nothing to say about it.

            Maybe you don’t realize it, but your opinions of me and my decisions have been negative as long as I can remember.  That’s why I don’t listen to you anymore.

            It’s okay with me that you don’t like it.  I can live with that.

            That’s none of your concern.

            I’m not going to listen to any more negative comments from you.  If you can’t refrain from criticizing me, then I’m leaving.

            I don’t remember asking you what you think.

            If you don’t have anything nice to say, then I suggest you don’t say anything at all.

            I’m not asking for your opinion on this.

            I’m an adult and I don’t need your help deciding how to dress (where to live, what to say, etc.)  You don’t need to educate me about what’s best for me.  I can make my own decisions.

            Your advice on this subject is not welcome.      

            It’s inappropriate and bad manners for you to comment on my appearance.  From now on, you need to keep your opinions to yourself.

            When I need your help, I’ll ask for it.

            That’s your opinion, and I don’t agree.

            I’m not interested in whether or not you approve.  I like my hair this way, and mine is the only opinion that counts.

            You don’t need to like it.  I’m doing it anyway.

            That’s personal.

            I can tell by the look you’re giving me that you don’t like my housekeeping (make-up, choice to go back to college, boyfriend, etc.).  Too bad you can’t be more supportive, but I like it, and that’s all that matters.

            I know you don’t agree but I don’t want to hear it.

           

            Notice how none of these sample statements     include anything resembling the words, “thanks for your opinion, but…”, “I appreciate you thoughts, but….” “I’ll let you know what I decide”, or “when I make up my mind, you’ll be the first to know.”  This is because we want to avoid thanking a “budinski” for her opinion, and we also don’t want to give the impression that we agree that she has any right whatsoever to be kept up-to-speed or notified of anything we decide to do in our lives.  We are certainly NOT going to “get back to her” with our decision. In a relationship of equality and love, you would be able to share your plans and exchange opinions and ideas with mutual respect, but that is not possible here.  We want to reinforce the concept that it is not acceptable to pry or to force one’s unwanted opinions on another adult, and that critical relatives have no right at all to know or to influence what we’re doing, what we’re going to do, or why we’re doing it.  No relative is entitled to have a say-so in our lives.  It is our prerogative to share what, if, and when we choose.

            Like most other abusers, a critic can be trained to control herself and modify her behavior.  She’ll do it grudgingly, but that’s okay as long as she does it.  There is absolutely no reason at all why she can’t stop and think first before she opens her mouth.  The way to accomplish this is to be very consistent in rebuking her and in refusing to allow yourself to be subjected to any criticism from her under any circumstances.  Make it clear that you are just not going to listen to it, and back up what you say by enforcing consequences, such as leaving the room or hanging up the phone at the first sign of disapproval or the first hurtful remark.  Your boundaries need to be strictly enforced.  If you ever again reward her unacceptable behavior by listening to her criticism even one more time, you will undo all the progress you’ve made up to that point, and be back to square one.

            If you allow yourself to be criticized,  your relative isn’t going to criticize you once or twice and then give up and start respecting you.  When you tolerate or accept disapproval from a relative, over time it will only get worse.  If she goes unchallenged, eventually she will come to believe that she is ENTITLED to criticize you and that you are OBLIGATED to listen.  She will assume the permanent role of the parent who knows what’s best for you, and you will become the perpetual child who can’t go to the mailbox without permission.  That is why we need to be very firm and hold our ground while refusing to be subjected to negative or hurtful comments and disapproving looks.  We need to see ourselves, not as an incompetent child, but as an EQUAL to every other adult.  If we don’t see ourselves that way, then no one else will, either.

 

***For more specific examples of setting boundaries and learning to say no, check out the articles in the Setting & Enforcing Limits & Boundaries Section of our site.

 

                FATHERS DO NOT EMBITTER YOUR CHILDREN, OR THEY WILL BECOME DISCOURAGED....Colossians 3:21 (NIV)

             FATHERS, DO NOT EXASPERATE YOUR CHILDREN.......Ephesians 6:4 (NIV)

             AM I NOW TRYING TO WIN THE APPROVAL OR MEN, OR OF GOD?  OR AM I TRYING TO  PLEASE MEN?  IF I WERE STILL TRYING TO PLEASE MEN, I WOULD NOT BE A SERVANT OF CHRIST.....Galatians 1:10(NIV)

             THE SPIRITUAL MAN MAKES JUDGMENTS ABOUT ALL THINGS, BUT HE HIMSELF IS NOT SUBJECT TO ANY MAN'S JUDGMENT: 'FOR WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD THAT HE MAY INSTRUCT HIM?' BUT WE HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST....1 Corinthians 2:15-16(NIV)

             WE ARE NOT TRYING TO PLEASE MEN, BUT GOD, WHO TESTS OUR HEARTS.....1 Thessalonians 2:4 (NIV)

             I CARE VERY LITTLE IF I AM JUDGED BY YOU OR ANY HUMAN COURT; INDEED, I DO NOT EVEN JUDGE MYSELF.  MY CONSCIENCE IS CLEAR, BUT THAT DOES NOT MAKE ME INNOCENT.  IT IS THE LORD WHO JUDGES ME.....1 Corinthians 4: 3-4(NIV)

            DO NOT LET ANY UNWHOLESOME TALK COME OUT OF YOUR MOUTHS, BUT ONLY WHAT IS HELPFUL FOR BUILDING OTHERS UP ACCORDING TO THEIR NEEDS, THAT IT MAY BENEFIT THOSE WHO LISTEN….Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)

            LIKE A MADMAN SHOOTING FIREBRANDS OR DEADLY ARROWS IS A MAN WHO DECEIVES HIS NEIGHBOR AND SAYS, “I WAS ONLY JOKING!”….Proverbs 26:18-19 (NIV)

            IF AN ENEMY WERE INSULTING ME, I COULD ENDURE IT; IF A FOE WERE RAISING HIMSELF AGAINST ME, I COULD HIDE FROM HIM.  BUT IT IS YOU, A MAN LIKE MYSELF, MY COMPANION, MY CLOSE FRIEND, WITH WHOM I ONCE ENJOYED SWEET FELLOWSHIP….Psalms 55:12-14 (NIV)

            DO NOT ANSWER A FOOL ACCORDING TO HIS FOLLY, OR YOU WILL ALSO BE LIKE HIM.  ANSWER A FOOL AS HIS FOLLY DESERVES, THAT HE NOT BE WISE IN HIS OWN EYES....Proverbs 26:4-5 (NASB)

            WARN A DIVISIVE PERSON ONCE, AND THEN WARN HIM A SECOND TIME.  AFTER THAT, HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH HIM.  YOU MAY BE SURE THAT SUCH A  MAN IS WARPED AND SINFUL; HE IS SELF-CONDEMNED…..Titus 3:10-11(NIV)

            HE WHO WINKS WITH HIS EYE IS PLOTTING PERVERSITY; HE WHO PURSES HIS LIPS IS BENT ON EVIL…..Proverbs 16:30 (NIV)

            MAY THOSE WHO SAY TO ME, “AHA! AHA!” BE APPALLED AT THEIR OWN SHAME….Psalms 40:15 (NIV)

            SEE WHAT THEY SPEW FROM THEIR MOUTHS- THEY SPEW OUT SWORDS FROM THEIR LIPS….Psalms 59:7 (NIV)

            A SCOUNDREL AND A VILLIAN, WHO GOES ABOUT WITH A CORRUPT MOUTH, WHO WINKS WITH HIS EYE, SIGNALS WITH HIS FEET AND MOTIONS WITH HIS FINGERS, WHO PLOTS EVIL WITH DECEIT IN HIS HEART- HE ALWAYS STIRS UP DISSENSION.  THEREFORE DISASTER WILL OVERTAKE HIM IN AN INSTANT; HE WILL SUDDENLY BE DESTROYED-WITHOUT REMEDY…..Proverbs 6:12-15 (NIV)

            WHEN WORDS ARE MANY, SIN IS NOT ABSENT, BUT HE WHO HOLDS HIS TONGUE IS WISE. THE TONGUE OF THE RIGHTEOUS IS CHOICE SILVER, BUT THE HEART OF THE WICKED IS OF LITTLE VALUE.  THE LIPS OF THE RIGHTEOUS NOURISH MANY, BUT FOOLS DIE FOR LACK OF JUDGMENT…Proverbs 10:19-21  (NIV)

            RECKLESS WORDS PIERCE LIKE A SWORD, BUT THE TONGUE OF THE WISE BRINGS HEALING…..Proverbs 12:18 (NIV)

            HE WHO GUARDS HIS LIPS GUARDS HIS LIFE, BUT HE WHO SPEAKS RASHLY WILL COME TO RUIN….Proverbs 13:3 (NIV).

            A FOOL FINDS NO PLEASURE IN UNDER STANDING, BUT DELIGHTS IN AIRING HIS OWN OPINIONS….Proverbs 18:2 (NIV)

            EVEN A FOOL IS THOUGHT WISE IF HE KEEPS SILENT,  AND DISCERNING IF HE HOLDS HIS TONGUE….Proverbs 17: 28 (NIV)

            DRIVE OUT THE MOCKER, AND OUT GOES STRIFE; QUARRELS AND INSULTS ARE ENDED…..Proverbs 22: 10 (NIV)

            DO NOT SPEAK TO A FOOL, FOR HE WILL SCORN THE WISDOM OF YOUR WORDS….Proverbs 23:9 (NIV)

            DO NOT JUDGE, OR YOU TOO WILL BE JUDGED.  FOR IN THE SAME WAY YOU JUDGE OTHERS, YOU WILL BE JUDGED, AND WITH THE MEASURE YOU USE, IT WILL BE MEASURED TO YOU.  WHY DO YOU LOOK AT THE SPECK OF SAWDUST IN YOUR BROTHER’S EYE AND PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE PLANK IN YOUR OWN EYE?  HOW CAN YOU SAY TO YOUR BROTHER, “LET ME TAKE THE SPECK OUT OF YOUR EYE” WHEN ALL THE TIME THERE IS A PLANK IN YOUR OWN EYE?  YOU HYPOCRITE, FIRST TAKE THE PLANK OUT OF YOUR OWN EYE, AND THEN YOU WILL SEE CLEARLY TO REMOVE THE SPECK FROM YOUR BROTHER’S EYE…..Matthew 7:1-5 (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.