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Narcissists’ Entitlement and Their Quid Pro Quo God

In her excellent book A Mother’s Touch: Surviving Mother-Daughter Sexual Abuse, author Julie Brand gives a wonderful insight into the entitled mentality of narcissists while writing about her card-carrying, quintessentially narcissistic mother. On page 83, Julie writes the following:

I still have some of those letters mother wrote
to her parents in 1945 and 1946.
Her writing reveals an immature,
self-absorbed, narcissistic young woman
who believed that she deserved
the very best in life.
To her, ‘the best’ meant a handsome,
college-educated man with position and money,
the proper prominent family background,
graces and social status who would marry and worship her….
she continued to fantasize about
the next new man on the horizon
or the guys who had asked her out once or twice
and were now engaged to other women.
Surely those fellows would come to their senses,
break off their engagements and come back to her
(on bended knee and offering enormous diamond engagement rings).

Now, combine this entitled mindset with narcissists’ skewed religiosity and you have a new kind of god. A god of the narcissist’s creation. One less like a personal god and more like a rote Divine Vending Machine.

I first became aware of narcissist’s God-Is-A-Divine-Vending-Machine belief system in my twenties. When I expressed unhappiness with my lot in life to my narcissists, I was met with impatience, irritation and the words, “Then prove to God that you’re serious about getting a husband by studying laundry, cooking…”

Overlooking the decidedly misogynistic overtones in that statement and that I already knew how to do laundry and could cook circles around them, the point is that if you wanted a blessing, according to them you had to…

  • Impress God
  • Prove to God how badly you wanted it
  • Earn it from God

In other words, Quid Pro Quo.

Just as there are two sides to every story, there is an antithesis to every thesis. In my experience, narcissists don’t think far enough ahead to see the damage caused by a logical person following their theses and antitheses to their logical conclusions.

If God will dispense Wishes when sufficiently impressed, then if despite all your best efforts the good, normal things in life don’t come your way, according to their thesis, then He is purposely withholding them because you’re not good enough and/or to punish you.

That hurts. A lot!

But it gets worse when you observe “bad” people receiving every blessing your narcissists said God deemed you unworthy to receive. Just normal human things like Love. Home. Family. Nothing extravagant. I watched for years while people who, according to my narcissists, “did everything wrong” reaped all the good things in life while I watched my P’s and Q’s and lived in narcissistic Hell.

Ladies and Gentlemen, that will screw with your mind.

Luckily, like so much drivel that falls from narcissists’ lips, it is spiritual abuse and utter B. S!

Setting the theological aside, at the very least, this gives us another insight into the narcissistic mind. They think of life not as the underside of an embroidery. Not even as something arbitrary or capricious.

No, their sense of entitlement makes them see life as a mathematical calculation. If you put in X amount of This, you’ll get Y amount of That in return. Quid Pro Quo.

Until just recently, that narcissistic “flea” had gone undetected in my own thinking. When it suddenly reared its ugly head I realized that I too saw life as mathematical. Put in a dollar. Get a can of pop (soda, to you non-Minnesotans). Quid Pro Quo.

But it’s not! Life is not like that. Life’s not fair.

The evil get rich. The good live hand-to-mouth.

Or vice versa.

People who cared for their health suffer chronic illness. Devil-may-care risk-takers enjoy perfect health.

Or vice versa.

Drug addicts have children they may neglect and/or abuse. Loving, solid families remain childless.

Or vice versa.

The beautiful can’t find love. The less-than-gorgeous are in happy relationships.

Or vice versa.

The careful suffer calamity. The adrenalin junkies die peacefully in their sleep at age 95.

Or vice versa.

The skinny eat like horses. The Big Beautiful People eat like birds.

Or vice versa.

The good die young. The evil celebrate their one hundredth birthday.

Or vice versa.

There’s no rhyme. No reason. No equation. No Quid Pro Quo. Karma is iffy. And there’s definitely no Divine Vending Machine to life.

Does this mean that I’ve lost my faith? Nope. I just give God a little more credit and respect than my narcissists did.

I now see God as a whimsical artist who is embroidering a beautiful tapestry with my life while you and I, poor blind souls, see only the knotted, loopy, stringy underside of His embroidery.

Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983)

Dutch Holocaust survivor, Corrie ten Boom, first introduced me to this idea when I read her books as a teenager. My narcissists had decided that I was obsessed with demons and a good dose of evil (i.e. picture books of the Holocaust) was just what the doctor ordered.

Somehow I came away from that “therapy” full of awe for the triumph of human courage over evil and full of admiration for Righteous Gentiles like Corrie ten Boom. She spent her life post-Holocaust traveling and preaching and would often hold up an embroidery, showing her audience the gnarly and knotted underside as she said…

Although the threads of my life
have often seemed knotted
I know, by faith,
that on the other side of the embroidery
there is a crown.

Sometimes, even our suffering and the “unfair” life we are forced to lead, are the point. That, after all, is the crux of the Book of Job. It’s not up to us to understand the “why.” In the words of Gandalf the Gray, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil….And that is an encouraging thought.”

Please enjoy this poem entitled My Life is But A Weaving by Corrie ten Boom.

My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.

Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.


Thank you for reading. Please visit my website, www.lenorathompsonwriter.com, to learn more and, just for fun, please check out my food blog, Reluctant Cook, Cheap Foodie.

Photo by travel oriented

Narcissists’ Entitlement and Their Quid Pro Quo God


Lenora Thompson

Lenora Thompson is a syndicated Huffington Post freelance writer and food blogger. Her readers call her the "Edward Snowden" and "Wikileaks" of narcissism because of her no-holds-barred-take-no-prisoners approach to writing about narcissism. “Narcissism Meets Normalcy” is the real-life, ongoing story of her healing journey from being held “hostage” by a multi-generational, cult-like narcissistic family. It's gritty and real, bloody and bruised, humorous and sarcastic. Lenora Thompson considers herself a “whistleblower,” shining a spotlight on narcissistic abuse so others can also claim their freedom and experience healing. To learn more about Lenora, her husband Michael's heroic battle with Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis and to read her writings about food, please visit www.lenorathompsonwriter.com. Thank you!


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APA Reference
Thompson, L. (2020). Narcissists’ Entitlement and Their Quid Pro Quo God. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 27, 2020, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/narcissism/2020/01/narcissists-entitlement-and-their-quid-pro-quo-god/

 

Last updated: 6 Jan 2020
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