Are there any Saints with sociopaths/psychopaths for parents?


#1

And, if so, how did those Saints deal with it? My mother is a sociopath. She is nothing but a predator and I have had to cut her entirely out of my life. She has no empathy and every word out of her mouth is a lie. However, she still attempts to contact me and those around me for her manipulative and hateful games. (For example: She'll call us up out of the blue and tell us she has cancer. A lie. Or that she's pregnant. A lie. Or that she has diabetes. A lie.) I don't want to hate her, I want to have forgiveness and move on but she makes it so difficult.

She has, literally, no redeemable features and I can't thank her for my existence because even that was just another manipulative game for her. I think it would help to read about Saints who went through the same thing I'm going through. My mother is so evil that she's obliterated every speck of love I could have ever felt for her. How do I live with that?


#2

When I deal with people in my life who are deliberately nasty, there are two things that sometimes work for me. (And let me add, the key word is “sometimes”. I often fail miserably.)

First, I remember that it is just these people who can help me to grow in holiness.

Second, I realize that these people are completely miserable inside, no matter how it looks. I am grateful not to be them. I can get away from people like that to some degree (some are related, so not completely by any means) but they can’t get away from themselves. They live in those bodies and minds and often don’t even have the insight to know how miserable they make themselves.

Actually, there’s a third option, too, You can go to confession (or meet with your priest in a a private appointment if you have a priest you trust; I’ve done both.) I’ve received excellent advice from my priest on ways to deal with this stuff. It’s still a slow process, but it’s a start.

Remember that saints are made from trials, and your mom is a blessing in her opportunity for you.

Remember to pray for her, even if you feel no love. Pray for God to fill you with love as well. You may have ample reason to dislike her, but satan thrives on that kind of thing. If you can learn to love her despite all of it, you will be on the way to sainthood yourself.

I don’t know of any saints to recommend, but hopefully somebody else here will. You have a good head on your shoulders to look to the saints.


#3

[quote="Incomplete, post:2, topic:225376"]
When I deal with people in my life who are deliberately nasty, there are two things that sometimes work for me. (And let me add, the key word is "sometimes". I often fail miserably.)

First, I remember that it is just these people who can help me to grow in holiness.

Second, I realize that these people are completely miserable inside, no matter how it looks. I am grateful not to be them. I can get away from people like that to some degree (some are related, so not completely by any means) but they can't get away from themselves. They live in those bodies and minds and often don't even have the insight to know how miserable they make themselves.

Actually, there's a third option, too, You can go to confession (or meet with your priest in a a private appointment if you have a priest you trust; I've done both.) I've received excellent advice from my priest on ways to deal with this stuff. It's still a slow process, but it's a start.

Remember that saints are made from trials, and your mom is a blessing in her opportunity for you.

Remember to pray for her, even if you feel no love. Pray for God to fill you with love as well. You may have ample reason to dislike her, but Satan thrives on that kind of thing. If you can learn to love her despite all of it, you will be on the way to sainthood yourself.

I don't know of any saints to recommend, but hopefully somebody else here will. You have a good head on your shoulders to look to the saints.

[/quote]

But how do I love someone that has no lovable features? The only thing about her that could be considered "Christ-like" is the fact that she has human DNA and body parts. That's my problem. I look for something to love but everywhere I look she's only an empty void in the shape of humanity.

And I'm terrified of her. Before I cut her out of my life there was this cycle where she would do terrible things to me and then she would manipulate me into forgiving her... and the cycle would start all over again. Just the thought of opening even the smallest part of myself to her fills me with absolute terror and dread. If I let even the tiniest part of her into my heart that gives her ownership of me again.


#4

Without going into my personal experience with this near exact sort of thing... consider the fact that your mother is probably mentally ill.

A person that makes up illness for attention... I'm NOT DXing... but look into Munchausen Synddrome

This is VERY difficult to deal with. A person is technically cureable, but then they actually have to admit and WANT to be cured... from my understanding. And they get the results WAY too often to ever consider a "cure"

I encourage you to look into this sort of thing, just for your own comprehension. I find that understanding this illness helps with the coping. You won't feel like it's sooooooo ON PURPOSE... HTHs


#5

It's a good thing you've cut her out of your life. You need to keep yourself emotionally (and perhaps physically) safe. Certainly, see your priest if you feel like hatred of her is consuming you.

Otherwise, just acknowledge the situation in your heart (sounds like you've done that) and continue to offer up prayers for her soul. That's really all you can do; the main thing is that you keep yourself emotionally and psychologically safe from her.

As far as saints, the only one who comes to mind is St. Dymphna, who I believe is the patron saint of mental illnesses.

Bless you. :)


#6

Oddly enough I had never even considered Munchhausen Syndrome. But now that I do it makes perfect sense. If only that was the only thing wrong with her. sigh She was also physically and psychologically abusive toward me (and her parents) and the greatest thing she ever did for me was dumping me and my sister with her parents when we were toddlers and disappearing for a decade. I can only imagine the state I would be in if she had actually raised me.


#7

[quote="vashsunglasses, post:6, topic:225376"]
Oddly enough I had never even considered Munchhausen Syndrome. But now that I do it makes perfect sense. If only that was the only thing wrong with her. sigh She was also physically and psychologically abusive toward me (and her parents) and the greatest thing she ever did for me was dumping me and my sister with her parents when we were toddlers and disappearing for a decade. I can only imagine the state I would be in if she had actually raised me.

[/quote]

Seriously, Munchhausen would be plenty, if she's got some other issues on top of that... OMG... That's a mess..

So, you CAN be thankful she dumped you off, and that your, I'm guessing, Grandparents did an ok job? No abuse? Which makes me think she does have a mental illness. Rather than being a byproduct of abuse????

Try to frame her in your mind as a really sick person. Like you would with Cancer. And try to feel empathy for her that way. She is likely miserable.

And personally, I would consider seeking some grief counseling. I think sometimes we have to mourne the loss of something we had, wish we had, or desperately wanted. Mother's are supposed to be our #1 care giver. Not our #1 nightmare. We KNOW that's how it's supposed to be. This is not a fairy tale. The loss of what should have been, is tough! Take care if yourself...


#8

[quote="faithfully, post:7, topic:225376"]
Seriously, Munchhausen would be plenty, if she's got some other issues on top of that... OMG... That's a mess..

So, you CAN be thankful she dumped you off, and that your, I'm guessing, Grandparents did an ok job? No abuse? Which makes me think she does have a mental illness. Rather than being a byproduct of abuse????

Try to frame her in your mind as a really sick person. Like you would with Cancer. And try to feel empathy for her that way. She is likely miserable.

And personally, I would consider seeking some grief counseling. I think sometimes we have to mourne the loss of something we had, wish we had, or desperately wanted. Mother's are supposed to be our #1 care giver. Not our #1 nightmare. We KNOW that's how it's supposed to be. This is not a fairy tale. The loss of what should have been, is tough! Take care if yourself...

[/quote]

I know she wasn't abused because we were raised by the same people (my Grandparents) and they were absolutely wonderful to me. Heck, from what I hear she abused her own parents (my Grandparents) AND her own husband (my Father). She never took care of my baby sister and I, and when I was 2 years old I was already a "mother" to my little sister (feeding her and changing her diapers). It took years of living with my Grandparents before I stopped feeling responsible for taking care of my sister. My earliest memories are of her 1) hitting me in the head with a frying pan and 2) pulling my hair because I moved while she was trying to brush it.

As for mental illness she has bipolar disorder, is a pathological liar, and she's a sociopath as well as her string of fake illnesses. And that's not even mentioning her drug abuse.

And she aborted one of my younger siblings which also makes her a murderer. In a perfect world she would be in prison for that but as it is she gets to walk free without punishment. sigh Sorry for ranting, I just need to get all this off my chest. I really appreciate all the advice.


#9

Don't confuse loving a person with good feelings about them. Don't try to find the good in her, you may not find anything and that will only make you feel worse.
Loving a person doesn't mean you have to like them.

On the other hand, if you find yourself wishing revenge or any kind of harm to your mother, then you need to talk to a Priest. That is a problem with forgiveness.

When relationships, especially with those closest to us are abusive, sometimes the best we can do is stay away from that person. The most charitable thing we can do for that person is to pray for them.. That is love. If you do this you are loving your mother.

PS I am very sorry that you are going through this, especially with your mother. I will pray that Our Lady will console you in your pain.:hug1:


#10

[quote="m_crane, post:9, topic:225376"]
Don't confuse loving a person with good feelings about them. Don't try to find the good in her, you may not find anything and that will only make you feel worse.
Loving a person doesn't mean you have to like them.

When relationships, especially with those closest to us are abusive, sometimes the best we can do is stay away from that person. The most charitable thing we can do for that person is to pray for them.. That is love. If you do this you are loving your mother.

[/quote]

Exactly.

You need not feel guilt for staying away from her. And as M Crane said, praying for her IS loving her. Love in action.

And the mental illness thing, yes, I'm certain she is mentally ill.

I am praying for you and for her and for all she hurts.


#11

Dear vashsunglasses,

God bless you for wanting to turn this situation into an opportunity for drawing closer to God and imitating the saints! :slight_smile:

St. Francis of Assissi was allegedly so hurt by his father that he too sought help for his emotional well-being. When he would run into his father on the street and the father said nasty things, St. Francis would turn to a beggar with whom he had made arrangements that every time the father cursed him, the beggar would bless him. Wow.

St. Rose of Lima was abused by her mother from the time she was around three years old, emotionally and with physical beatings. Most of the abuse came from things like, the mother and grandmother arguing over what name to actually call her, Rose or Isabel … if Isabel / Rose answered to one name or the other, either mom or grandma would resent it and take it out on Rose /Isabel … poor child was being used as a yo-yo when it came to familial affection and jealousies … and for failing to properly learn the ABC’s at the tender age of three years old. Again, wow.

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, whose mother and other family members did not appreciate her conversion, especially since it meant that Kateri would not work in the cornfields on Sunday but instead would walk miles to attend Mass. Kateri was told that if she would not work on Sunday, she would not eat on Sunday. Wow.

Maybe you could pray to these saints for help?

:blessyou:


#12

[quote="the_phoenix, post:11, topic:225376"]

St. Francis of Assisi was allegedly so hurt by his father that he too sought help for his emotional well-being. When he would run into his father on the street and the father said nasty things, St. Francis would turn to a beggar with whom he had made arrangements that every time the father cursed him, the beggar would bless him. Wow.

[/quote]

Wow indeed! That is a really good idea! And I already feel close to St. Francis because of our mutual love for animals/nature so it's really mind blowing that we have this in common too. Thanks a lot.

This thread has been really helpful.


#13

There is a CD series called To Hell and Back by Anne Marie Schmidt. She lived in Czechoslovakia in WWII in a small, loving, Catholic village. Then the Nazi’s arrived and it became a living Hell. She experienced horrible things in her town, in concentration camps, and while working in Nazi hospitals. And through it all she found a way to love those who were so abusive to her (and had killed many of those she loved). It’s available from St. Joseph Communications (saintjoe.com). You might find it helpful to hear her story to see how she came to love her enemies - it was only through the love of Jesus.


#14

Pray to St. Dymphna.

Also visit google and amazon and your library and look up things like “toxic parents”, “toxic older adults”, and “shadow syndromes”.

There are people who have severe mental illness but not in an incapacitating or criminal extent. They are high-functioning. They skirt being institutionalized or committing crimes.

The remedy in all of the books when dealing with these types of people is to “unplug”. Avoid them, politely, but completely.

One major sufferer, believe it or not, of a toxic parent is Dr. Laura Schlessinger. It took her many years to learn how to deal with it. She has written about it. Read her books, available at the library.


#15

[quote="vashsunglasses, post:12, topic:225376"]

This thread has been really helpful.

[/quote]

That's what happens when your heart is in the right place and you ask the right questions!


#16

In addition to the saints already mentioned, there is St. Germaine Cousin (1579-1601), who was treated badly by her father and stepmother. Her Wikipedia entry, quoting the Catholic Encyclopedia, states:

"From her birth she seemed marked out for suffering; she came into the world with a deformed hand and the disease of scrofula, and, while yet an infant, lost her mother. Her father soon married again, but his second wife treated Germaine with much cruelty. Under pretence of saving the other children from the contagion of scrofula she persuaded the father to keep Germaine away from the homestead, and thus the child was employed almost from infancy as a shepherdess. When she returned at night, her bed was in the stable or on a litter of vine branches in a garret. In this hard school Germaine learned early to practise humility and patience."

Then there is Bl. Margaret of Castello (1287-1320) who was born blind, lame, hunchbacked and a midget. Her Italian noble parents "imprisoned her for 14 years so no one would see her, though she could attend Mass and receive the sacraments. Her parents took her to the tomb of a holy man named Fra Giacomo, where miracles were reportedly being wrought, at Citta di Castello to pray for a cure for her birth defects. When no miracle happened, they abandoned her." She spent the remainder of her life devoting herself to prayer and charity toward the poor.


#17

[quote="Secret_Square, post:16, topic:225376"]

Then there is Bl. Margaret of Castello (1287-1320) who was born blind, lame, hunchbacked and a midget. Her Italian noble parents "imprisoned her for 14 years so no one would see her, though she could attend Mass and receive the sacraments. Her parents took her to the tomb of a holy man named Fra Giacomo, where miracles were reportedly being wrought, at Citta di Castello to pray for a cure for her birth defects. When no miracle happened, they abandoned her." She spent the remainder of her life devoting herself to prayer and charity toward the poor.

[/quote]

Wow, there's another one I identify with! I also have a hunchback and I've been occasionally lame due to spinal/nerve issues. Thankfully nobody has locked me up, and the rest of my family (that isn't my mother) has been very supportive of me during my surgeries.

Wow I feel like this big crybaby trying to get attention with all my mentions of my mother and my health issues and stuff. I would totally understand if some of you thought I was making this stuff up and I don't say any of it to get attention or anything. Just, you know, looking for answers and sharing my feelings. So, thanks again.


#18

[quote="vashsunglasses, post:17, topic:225376"]

Wow I feel like this big crybaby trying to get attention with all my mentions of my mother and my health issues and stuff. I would totally understand if some of you thought I was making this stuff up and I don't say any of it to get attention or anything. Just, you know, looking for answers and sharing my feelings. So, thanks again.

[/quote]

I definitely believe you and admire your attitude in doing the right thing in this situation. I'm also learning from this thread as well as providing information, so thank you. It's likely you're helping others by starting this thread too.

Am going to the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel tonight, will say a prayer for you there. :)


#19

I too have had to cut off all contact with a sociopathic narcissistic mother. I know what you are going through.
I will pray for you!


#20

If you think it would be helpful to read about what creates people like your mother, look up Alice Miller's books. She was a German psychiatrist who was way ahead of her time in her understanding of the child-rearing methods that create sociopaths.

I came from a severely dysfunctional family and found her writings very helpful. :)


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