The journey in being an adult child of narcissists can be a difficult path even after one has instituted "no contact". Do I regret my no-contact? Yes sometimes I have thought, "What have I done?" but knowing my nature, I lit the matches and threw them back on the bridges I wanted to burn down. This was to prepare for the moments of weakness that would hit. I have changed in the last year and 9 months probably more then in most of my life. ACONs who go no contact need to know there will be good days and bad days. I have spoken with people who went NC even years ago who spoke of the struggle of the "early years".
Good parts of my recovery
1. Getting to the nitty gritty of what happened. Admitting what happened. Many memories have returned too. Remember when I wrote about the Fat People Smell article? This is such a strange small thing but I had forgotten, repressed the years and years where my narcissistic mother told me I smelled and had "B.O". What did I remember? This happened almost every day with her wrinkling her nose at me. I was even struggling with OCD and over-washed my hands and body. I had "forgotten" how much of a daily thing this was. There has been the other return of memories too some very intense, and other smaller matters of an ongoing emotional struggle.
2. I am realizing that my illnesses are not my fault and deprogramming from the family using them to shame me. If anything my doctors say I am one of their most informed patients, and I did always know what my a1c was. It is important for patients to stay informed of their own medical conditions.
I was scared recently because my diabetes scores jumped from the 150s-160s to 180s-to 190s or worse. I found out a new medicine I am on increases blood sugars in women for a short period of time and they go back down from my pharmacist. He told me to discuss this with my doctor, maybe wait some more months and this is written down as a matter of fact. If I have to go on insulin I will.
All my life I have worked hard to stay alive. I have realized the depths of my abuse regarding being sick even more so. Kind people have given me mercy that the family never gave me. It is a miracle I am alive with what I have faced. Sick people with severe rare illnesses even if one had obesity that was unexplained or from an eating disorder, should have love and kindness not hatred and cruelty or being ignored and shoved away. What they did to me in ostracizing me for being fat and sick was unconscionable and it marks them as the kind of people they were not me. I am learning to take better care of myself.
3. I and my husband had grown closer. Our life is very difficult and the money problems remain a consistent severe worry but being away from the family pressures have helped. No more do we have all these people judging him and me, who had everything handed to them while we struggle for every little thing.
4. My boundaries have gotten better and I am not worried about people-pleasing. I still struggle being Aspie but I believe my communication with others is opening up where I can be more vulnerable and form closer relationships with the good people but I am also being more mindful in avoiding toxic ones.
The Difficult parts of recovery
1. This feeling of deep grief. We mourn the families we wanted to have but need to deal with the fact of what we actually ended up with. No Contact isn't always an easy ride. The things I am facing are difficult. What would you say if I told you at times, I feel this grief that scares me. I think this is something my mother did to my soul. I have remembered other times in life where it has cropped up.
It is a feeling of being untethered to the world, a feeling of no hope and a feeling that of intense sadness. It is grief times ten. It is like I don't belong anywhere. It is the feeling of inner despair that rips my guts out when it comes to haunt me. Two days ago I had this feeling, I couldn't shake it. We were out grocery shopping and the feeling was hitting me, I kept thinking those people matter and belong somewhere and "I do not". These are the thoughts and feelings I have to CONSTANTLY battle to keep going. It does worry me why I am so plagued by these things. Intellectually I can understand what happened to me, but emotionally I need time.
It has me look at other people and wish I was them and not me. I don't even know how to describe it to therapists, but I think inside it is related to not being loved as a child. It is a feeling that harkens back to the very beginning and something that has nibbled at my being for too long. There is no doubt that having a mother who does not love you is an intense loss and dealing with one who has no conscience complicates things When I am under stress for an extended period of time, it can come back. I fight it with prayer, trying to concentrate on different things and distraction but it seems to creep back.
I think this grief is something all ACONs can relate to. The empty hole inside that started from a childhood where no one used to embrace you, love you or show you any kindness. It can get hard for me still when I see people with their families, knowing they have a place of belonging. When one sees loving families in public, or elsewhere it can be very difficult for us. I do think this may be a loss we will all have to deal with, and accept as something that may always be there. We lost something that was very important for human beings.
2. Realizing the lost relationships with younger people in the family. This would be nieces and nephews and younger cousins. I hate this idea of losing them but what can I do? They don't realize how severely abused I was. They are too young to understand. They don't understand how they have been manipulated with relationships destroyed in the wake of my narcissistic mother and other wicked relatives. One could be abused and the new scapegoat and I can tell maybe is suspecting her mother cannot love, but my worry remains, "What if she becomes like her?" Knowing that because I had to walk away from abusers, that it is possible I will never see them again, has brought me incredible grief. I wanted to be a good aunt and was denied that opportunity.
Grief is Not a Mental Illness