Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Validating Myself: Better Late then Never!

From the book, "Will I Ever Be Good Enough?" [read this if you are an ACON: Adult Child of a Narcissist]

I am 45 years old and realizing I have more to break free from when it comes to my mother and the view of myself. Being middle-aged and "afraid" of your mother is rather silly isn't it? I have seen blogs though where some 60 somethings admit the same. Keep in mind us Aspies are late-bloomers. I am realizing at this advanced age, how behind I got on so many things. One thing I am asking myself, is "Can I pull off a turn around at this late age?"

One part of the healing from a narcissistic parent, is realizing that validation you yearned for is never going to be there.  This fantasy that one day my mother, would pat my head, and say "I am so sorry!" is never going to happen. She is never going to run to the foot of one of my hospital beds, and cry tears and bring me cups of tea. My sister is never going to hug me, and say "I love you" or tell her children, "Aunt Peep is so fun!" even if the few times I saw them, I'd love to do art lessons with them. I suppose one part of growing up even in latter adulthood, is accepting what "is", not what you wish things were. 

One may ask how long can you cry over your mother and father never loving you?  Dr Laura, would say "GET OVER IT!" and I read her book 15 years ago, that said just that!  I didn't want to be one of those people laying in a corner weeping till I was 60 that my mommy and daddy hated me. Some observers would say, "You can't blame your parents for the way your life turned out!" Thats true, but we can admit some of the influences and history. My parents didn't destroy the US economy or make newspapers obsolete affecting my husband's career,  or invent autoimmune diseases after all. I chose my own professions and even my own religion.

While I discussed my past abuse with my two best friends for years who by the way both had narcissistic mothers of their own to contend with, for some reason middle-age brought some kind of odd crises where I couldn't ignore what was happening to me anymore and where disrespect and covert stuff was being carried into late adulthood.

                                              [picture source "backstabbers"]

During my 20s, enough walk-outs ended overt verbal stuff, but I couldn't stop any of the covert stuff no matter what I did! What a misery! I was low contact and only saw the woman on average 6 times a year for 4-7 hours, but so much craziness was stirred behind the scenes, so much mean things said to me when no one was in the room. I knew there never would be any respect, there never would be any change. She didn't care to hear my side of the story she only cared about her own. Who wants to spend years and years defending yourself to people where INVALIDATION is the given?

Even there I hung in far longer because I did truly need help a few times. A few times, years ago, after the abandoned years in the ghetto, she was generous, but oh what a pound of flesh. I only asked for help when incredibly desperate and there were plenty of times, I did not and went without food, medicine or other necessary items. My 20s, I was fully cut off, so there was no asking for any favors so this was more in my early 30s. She never neglected to throw it in my face either, and how lack of financial blessings were supposedly all my own fault.

                                           [picture source "deviant art"]

The word "LOSER" was duct-taped to my forehead pretty early on as if I had spent my teens smoking pot and getting drunk every night instead of studying and working at a local restaurant. It stayed there, even during the time I graduated from college and was an art teacher at an alternative school because I didn't "make enough money". When I told her, I had to go on disability, she was personally offended and said, "Why do you have to do that, so you can "laze" around the house all day?". I had been in the ER 10 times that year for breathing problems and hospitalized at least for a total of 6 weeks. Even my job had demoted me to night shift because I could no longer handle the rigors of day shift.

                                            [picture source]

What a set up to always feel in the wrong, to always feel like nothing I did was ever right. This is the set-up that leaves many adult children of narcissists carrying incredible burdens and being open to the predatory natures of others, as they seek to people please and walk on eggshells in their own lives knowing that every mistake supposedly makes them a bad person.

With narcissist parents one is never allowed to make mistakes, and if you do, it means you are "at fault".  If I dropped something as simple as a wrench helping my father do his constant projects around the house, he would scream, "There's no such things as accidents!". Everything was a failure and your "choice". Imagine the day I dropped a can of paint at the age of 10 and how that panned out.  Any clumsiness was not poor Aspie motor control but failure!

                                         [picture source]
I was trained that if bad things happen to me, that they are MY FAULT. This means when my old cars broke down in high school, that it was MY FAULT, and not the car or it's broken hose or 25 year old carburetor. All the resultant screaming over any mishap proved this so. This means when bad things happened a little voice inside me says, "It's your fault". I am still struggling with this now. Car break down? My fault. Husband lost his job? My fault. Sick and leg is infected? My fault. I think about that nowadays, what a mind screw that all was. I was never prepared for resiliency or for failure. How does a young person grow along side of people who never admit one failure? How do you develop as a person and how to work through set-backs?

One of my nurses laid it out flat to me this last month while I had nursing care: "being sick is NOT your fault. Stop blaming yourself!" They know I try my best with the exercises, the eating, figured out how much of my body was fluids. People are born with bodies that do not work like others. Some die young because of this. Others live to be middle aged like me struggling for years.

I'll take responsibility for things I did do wrong, and there's been mistakes a long the way, but normal people make mistakes, they are vulnerable and give in to manipulation or have their own personality foibles they struggle with but this is a burden I want to throw off me, like a 2 ton weight to be FREE. Let God determine what I did wrong or didn't do wrong. The court of the narcissists is closed!

I'll be honest in many times in life, I prayed to win the Lotto, to have husband have a book or other publishing event hit it big {I tried to write and publish a book too back in the 90s} so we could come into our own, and not be the lowly ones in the room. Who wants to be seen as a worm, no matter how poor they are? Who wants to be middle aged, and on their knees? It's sad, and I have to admit one of the most painful things about my life. Even now being no contact my mind is plagued with images of me behind a shopping cart, showing up in rags before her door. This too came from the "training", she often yelled at me, that I would end up behind a shopping cart, homeless and bereft and getting everything I deserved! And obviously I have been pretty close to that shopping cart without wanting to be! Add to that the air of superiority, that I wrote about before, and it was a BAD MIXTURE! It's time to claim dignity!

My prayers now are to never be in the streets or desperate. I don't have the health or youth to handle losing my apartment or living in a dangerous area without  needed items like I did in my 20s. My husband says he worries about me always thinking everything is going to be ripped away even when things are going good. This is the crucible it all was born in.

Then add in the fact I live in a society where everything that happens to a person in one's life is seen as a choice. I never chose bad lungs, infertility, severe obesity, or an infected leg. Our society is inherently narcissistic in it's winner take all and losers deserve what they get ethos. The King and Queen of the Mountains don't care about the suffering of anyone else!

The self esteem problems I face are no mystery to me. I know I am working through some serious stuff. I still laugh about that one nay-sayer who wrote on here, "You have issues!". Of course I do! I am in the midst of validating myself and developing long over-due strengths.

Old age, has brought some better ability to take care of myself, and get my needs met, and not take abuse and draw boundaries, but oh what a set-up a narcissistic mother [and father] can do to a person life-long! Trained to excuse yourself just for living and to put all your needs aside for the narcissistic parent, it can take 20 years of adulthood before you realize that your own needs and desires matter just as much as anyone else's. This doesn't mean be cruel to people or be selfish but holding healthy boundaries that never were developed as you grew up.

I know my mother never approved me. I supposed a rational side of me thinks, "Well you were not normal, you were fat and Aspie to the hilt and then as a adult got sicker, and fatter". There was no showing me off to the neighbors and there was this later focus on keeping me secret and hidden away especially after my giant weight gain. One thing we must remember with narcissists appearance is everything. No one is interested in deep explanations or intellectual forays on the science of obesity. All she cared about was being embarrassed by having such a fat daughter. Her friends would even tell me how horrified she was by my weight. Sadly many agreed with her. I didn't enjoy my very personhood stripped away. I feel for any other overweight person who may contend with this. Even if you are extremely fat, you can find beauty. You are beautiful. You will and can find people who will tell you that you are and I have!

                                          [picture source]

When one gets to a certain point, they no longer are in the mode of making excuses for who and what they are. I'm done with that. No more begging for acceptance. No more blaming myself for everything that happened in the universe. Accepting where I have been and how I have gotten there. No more waking up feeling depressed because I am  five hundred pound peep. Seizing what I can of the life I have left. Break free of that scapegoat training where self blame rules. Redefining myself and who I am. Thank God for my love of art as a young person that allowed me to at least see outside the prison walls. Thank God for my relationship with Him that is allowing me to throw the padlock away and walk into the light.

Lonely Holidays and the Lie That You Reap What You Sow


  1. It's not much better being the son of a malignant narcissist. It's just a different twist. My sister was the scapegoat and I was the scapegoat of last resort. I was so steeped in the illusion of my mother possessing a modicum of affection for me that finding out I was held in less regard by her than a household pest really blind sided me.

    1. There definitely are more resources out there for the daughters then the sons, but I bet it is just as damaging. So are you saying you were the secondary scapegoat? Some of these narcs have two. I see my brother as in that role. He was maligned often behind the scenes. In his case, the abuse was less but present. Mine still believes my mother has affection for him, how did you find out otherwise or what transpired? I am sorry you were blindsided by this.

    2. The story is too long and sordid to go into without hijacking your thread.

  2. l really like what you said here; Then add in the fact I live in a society where everything that happens to a person in one's life is seen as a choice. I never chose bad lungs, infertility, severe obesity, or an infected leg. Our society is inherently narcissistic in it's winner take all and losers deserve what they get ethos. The King and Queen of the Mountains don't care about the suffering of anyone else!
    You are so right.

  3. Thanks Q.

    Our society is growing nutty with this stuff. I have to post something soon, it is a non-fat or narcissistic related topic, but they are planning to dock people's credit scores based on who they are friends with via social websites. I am serious. Yes things are getting nuttier and nuttier out there. The narcs are holding the reigns now more then ever!

  4. wait that is a narc related topic--correction, only narcs would conceive something like that. Modern day slambooks from junior high taken into adulthood. I don't believe in credit scores. Mine is probably ZERO anyhow. LOL

  5. I laugh when I see identity theft protection services advertised on television. If any one is stupid enough to steal mine then they deserve whatever they get.

    1. If anyone ever stole mine, I think they'd be very very disappointed. LOL Think about how the bankers want to own everyone now, a score they give like they are the eternal teacher separating the good kids from the bad ones, the worthy from the unworthy. kind of an unfair system when jobs are not CHOSEN, they are basically "won" in a rotating Lotto system and one can be rendered absolutely destitute because the boss had a bad hair day in your average "work at will" or "right to work" state. The number means as much as the gambler's roulette wheel to me.

  6. "I was trained that if bad things happen to me, that they are MY FAULT."

    "The court of the narcissists is closed!"

    Amen to that. Unfortunately we can not escape the narcissistic court of society. Read: lack of empathy and blame the victim mentality. I believe this is the point you're making, that we can at least close down the narc training of self judgment and blame that's within.

    Awesome post. Thank you.

  7. Thanks Lisette. :)

    Yes we can close down the narc training of self-judgment and blame and at least go on to be our own friends and advocates.