My mom always said, “In your 20’s you’ll be stupid and take chances, your 30’s will be your most gorgeous, and your 40’s you’ll find out who you are”.
Once again she proved me right, without even being here to remind me of these life lessons. Her words and spirit gravitate through myself and my daughter while I awake to a new reminder every morning that floats throughout the course of my day. Yes, they’re that often. I was blessed with an amazing woman that was not only my mother but the best friend I ever had.
My daughter is beginning to save my compassionate strong empath doubts just as my mom always did for me, and just as my daughter did when she was born. She recently said, “Mama, your cancer started at your trachea, wrapped around your vocal cords, and ran all the way up your thyroid and parathyroid glands. If it weren’t for your loyalty to nana you would walk away”. She’s right and actually very rarely not right.
I’ve always been honest to a fault but also highly empathetic with being an empath. I always followed my moms golden advice, ‘be the bigger person’.
My 40’s was my wake up call that literally saved my life. The lesson stood beside my oncologist as if I was being dragged to a new path, a new beginning, a fresh start. I had discovered I was surrounded by narcissists since childhood. I’m no doctor, although well read. I’ll be the first to say even this particular group isn’t all narcissists per se but they most certainly fall in the Cluster B category. I was in this huddle as I thought a mutual love was taking place. That’s the secret on narcissists though, they love no one but themselves, rather, consumed with themselves. They’re born to become actors because you will bet your own short life they genuinely love you. While a common person makes excuses for ‘loved ones’, they take the target as seriously as a high paying career. The pay? For them to have as much attention they can manipulate out of you; self love through your admiring eyes, self positivity, affirmations, a busy schedule to place you in awe, all to fill that eternal emptiness that they keep buried deep inside. Believe me, that part made me feel empathy and compassion as well. If you are feeling sadness from reading that emptiness sentence, I’d love to hear from you. We are a dying breed. Although it’s nothing to have sympathy for, it’s something to run from.
Narcissistic abuse is on the same shelf as cancer. If you haven’t lived it, you won’t get it, but you can educate yourself. Some of what I share may however ring a bell and you can go back to loving yourself again.
Since early childhood I was subjected to abuse. My parents were wonderful but worked long hours for six children, I never blamed them. They did their best to keep us happy and healthy. However, I was abused from an early age by a family member that inevitably programmed me to believe I deserved this special abusive treatment. As all people know who have been in my shoes, the goal is for the abuser to gain a reaction in which would make the abuser feel better while they can be placed on a pedestal to look around for vindication, “See? the stupid doormat is crazy, I’m the normal one”. They want to believe, so someone has to be the stool pigeon to make that happen. Control freak is an understatement.
My work and careful steps to walking around my abusers eggshells would inflate the abusers self esteem while mine would be beat down. They are referred to energy vampires for a reason. Leaving early in my life for marriage blessed me with finding my soul mate, while also gave me the freedom I yearned for. As much as I hated being away from my mom, I was ready early to be on my own in the world. All to put me for sale to the long list of cluster B’s searching for a kind forgiving doormat, punching bag that already knew the protocol. Adore your abuser, praise your abuser, only allow your abuser to be validated, and if none of these things are accomplished you would be devalued, excluded, and punished to teach you a lesson. While the innocent develops fear, obligation and guilt. If any type of disagreement would occur or you forget to ask how high to jump, the abuser would run to all who would listen to offer favors, praise, or concern for you in which was where their talent resides with acting and blatant lying. This is all to fulfill the proud high of walking away adored and their target walks away quietly to lick the freshly gutted wounds.
The tough realization is once you experience one in youth, you will be a magnet to them in your adult years. SELF LOVE is the key to escape. Don’t be so forgiving and kind, make yourself a priority more often than not.
The old saying is all too true, confidence is quiet while the toxic insecurities are loud.
This condition isn’t about admiring their reflection.
All one has to do to discover any of this toxicity in your life is pay attention to detail. Are you particularly exhausted after spending time with someone? Do you feel yourself losing energy? Does your loved one have to have what you have? Steal your ideas while making them their own, even to your face? Must live and go through what you do? Sure to let you know they make that run a second quicker than you? Construct unnecessary drama? Highly judgmental? Talk incessantly about a minor annoyance while brushing off your life and death obstacle? Turn truths around in their favor while screaming they are remembering it correctly, in fact it can be quite different from what actually happened. All of a sudden become close to your arch enemy? Mirror your personality? Icy cold smirk when you are going through something difficult? Inability to show empathy and if so, only done so for an audience? Always finding fault in others? Inability to take genuine responsibility? Making a new relationship perfection while finding so much fault not soon after? Any and all negative thoughts and feelings are someone else to blame? Must they have perfection and control when dealing with people? Treated like gold at a time all to discover later they needed something? An absence of real compassion? If you know someone who is constantly passing judgment or criticizing others, this is also a sign of poor self-image and possibly narcissism.
You are driving them out of their minds. If you have nothing to offer you won’t suffer, you won’t be targeted. To wrap up all the long winded advice that is out there, your genuine confidence, calm demeanor and the natural desire to rebel against their wishes to do your own thing is making yourself one big bullseye. You will be accused of the worst thing imaginable while they will try to hurt you with what they learned will hurt you the most. Deep down these people are living in a constant state of fear of rejection, repression, or ridicule. They are the biggest cowards you will ever know as they stick with a lifetime of tactics that used to work and stare you down. As you feel worse and worse, the narcissist feels better. In fact he or she feels stronger and more superior as you feel your anxiety and depression grow.
Experts say the trick is to become boring or disappear. No contact whatsoever. Speak the truth. Shut out who you have always spoke to that is affiliated with your abuser, start a new life and share it with only the ones who have been consistently trustworthy. I started with reading the book Playing Dead. I took it as a noble beginning with satire. I won’t fake my death, but after an eye opening life time of the attempted beat downs, and realizing I like myself more than I ever have, I’m ready to face my reality and be the bigger person for myself.