Sadly, this is a very real experience and one that hits home to me for two reasons. In the past, I saw this kind of thing and didn’t know what was happening. I regret not having the knowledge and the backbone to make a difference in those situations.
It also hits home, because one of these people got me in just the way Shannon Thomas describes. While I was taken aback by the shock of it all, the part that hurt, still hurts, is how people I counted as friends so easily turned to the negative. One co-worker called me shortly after the major attack, revealing that he had been “filled in on the story” just before the meeting and suggested I “just apologize” to the accuser. My flying monkey alarm bells went off big time. I now keep safe distance from that co-worker. The worst part is, he is a key leader in the church and I am concerned that his willingness to be a flying monkey will harm those to whom he ministers.
I encourage you to check out Shannon Thomas’ book, “Healing from Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse.” Her book is available as paperback, Kindle, and audiobook.
Remember that not everyone who is a jerk is a narcissist, sociopath, or psychopath. If we’re honest, we’ve all done things we’re not proud of. However, if you have a person in your life who demonstrates repeated narcistic-like behaviours without genuine remorse (on my blog do a search for “Diversion Tactics), then you need to be very careful, establish boundaries, and perhaps seek professional assistance.