Pastoral Problem

by Pastor

I'm the pastor of a small parish and one of our elders is a woman who has major control issues. She's very good at manipulating every situation to make it about her somehow and she's involved in EVERYTHING. As she ages, she's becoming more controlling as her abilities to manage her life diminish. She's using every trick in the book to get me to take care of her in a variety of ways and even her children are part of this drama. Yes, it's all about boundaries and I am trying very hard to make/keep clean and clear boundaries with her but she's good....I'm pretty beat up and exhausted today and just needed to blow off some steam....thanks.

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Dec 12, 2011
Hang in there!
by: Sharyn

Hang in there! Even recognition is a great starter.One of my female relatives is an expert at emotional manipulation as well....the Lord gave me a fantastic key just this morning...These type of people try to use YOUR OWN VALUE SYSTEM AGAINST YOU! Point in question,why do you do what you do? Because you are a caring person with integrity and a enduring belief that with Gods help and prayer,there is hope for anyone...after all,look what He has done in your life?!!! Am I even half right? People do this to God as well so you are in good company. Listen in on this imaginery conversation from a person who ended up in court [again] for continually doing the wrong thing. As he sits awaiting the return of the jury he begins to remember how awful it was in prison..."God,the chaplain was telling me about You,how kind,merciful,forgiving and loving You are,I've never asked you for anything before,not even when I was mistreated at home.My family never did let me have fun with the other kids,they always said I needed adult supervision.Well, because they didn't do what they should of to make me happy,this is why I am here.If you get me out of this I will think about going to church" The jury returns and convicts him double the previous sentence. As he is taken away he is heard to say"God,you hear me.I gave you a chance to prove your love and you blew it! If I go to hell now,it will be your fault for being so mean.You have let me down and You obviously don't care enough to stick with me till I straighten up!!!" Get the picture.

Jan 08, 2011
by: Anonymous

Thanks, your words make a great deal of sense. I also have to remember where my buttons are and this is one of them due to my family of origin. Funny how all our issues fit together like the pieces of a puzzle. Finally, the simple fact that I can blow off steam allows me to step into the work with a clearer head. God is the only one on whom any of us should and can depend completely! I'm off!

Jan 08, 2011
Fine Line...
by: Don Carter

Hello and Welcome,

There sure is a fine line between being a good Christian and enabling! Taking care of a congregation and care-taking are two different things...

As a professional helper, here's how I keep perspective: To me, "taking care of" my clients is encouraging & supportive in a way that invites growth and autonomy; while "care-taking" is encouraging & supportive, but in a way that invites dependence, entitlement, and stagnation.

And as you already know, we ARE created to be dependent...but only on one thing! I have discovered a long time ago that God refuses to be my enabler. He has been an expert at "turning me over" and "Letting Go".

I have also learned that He is always there and will never abandon me; just waiting patiently for me to learn my lessons and come back to Him.

This lady you are describing sounds like someone compelled to re-create her family of origin or is acting-out something like unfinished "fathering" issues.

Feel free to ask questions and just vent anytime you need to Pastor. We're glad you're here.


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