“Waking Up” from AbuseAwakening to the reality that your entire life has been a lie is about the harshest wake up call you can get. Click To Tweet
Awakening to the reality that your entire life has been a lie is about the harshest wake up call you can get. I speak from experience. I’ve actually done it twice now.
The first time I “woke up” was when I finally realized I was the survivor of childhood narcissistic abuse. It wasn’t until I had my own kids that I started to understand how troubled my childhood really was. I had to stumble upon the terms “narcissistic personality disorder” and “narcissistic abuse” myself, and learn about them on my own. Let me tell you, though, the pieces finally began falling into place and I’m grateful they did. No matter how agonizing this journey is, has been, or will get, it’s worth the discomfort — however extreme. The alternative is way worse.
What makes narcissistic abuse extraordinarily treacherous is that it’s not easily detected. Not by its victims, at least not at first (or at all in many cases), and certainly not by people who have never experienced or witnessed it firsthand. Additionally, it changes the way you think about everything: the way you perceive the narcissist, the world, YOURSELF… When the victim is the child of the narcissist, the effects of the abuse are insidious. Those of us unlucky enough to be born to one or more parent with this horrible affliction are indoctrinated into the narcissist’s sick and twisted vision of reality from birth, taught that it’s “normal” and that if we have a negative reaction to their abuse, we are somehow defective (i.e. too sensitive, overly dramatic, manipulative, etc.), and everyone else would agree with them.What makes narcissistic abuse extraordinarily treacherous is that it's not easily detected. Click To Tweet
We are left to pick up the pieces of our broken senses of self, along with whatever self-esteem and self-confidence we can manage to scrape together and hoard from whatever sources (not always healthy or positive ones) we can find, if any. We carry the burden of waking up alone to the arduous reality that we now likely must spend the rest of our lives recovering from the damage of a childhood filled with lies, betrayal, and oftentimes sadistic abuse at the hands of severely broken people who happened to be the ones charged with “loving” and “protecting” us. They were far too damaged to do either of those things, so they took their pain out on helpless children who didn’t ask to be born into the dysfunction in the first place.
What’s worse? Some never wake up from it at all. They go on believing they deserve to be mistreated, so that’s the treatment they continue to receive, as it is what they will accept and allow. They spend their lives just trying to be good enough and never feeling like they measure up. Or, they go on to perpetrate the same kind of abuse. That’s the tragic legacy of toxic families.
(Then, if you’re like me, you awaken a second time to realize you married into the same kind of toxicity, and you now must make a second escape. Or if you didn’t get married as a “child” to flee the abuse you grew up in the way I did, you recognize you have gone from one abusive partner to the next. This is not a coincidence, but more on that in a later post.)The more proficient the narcissist, the better they are at hiding their true nature from people... Click To Tweet
The more proficient the narcissist, the better they are at hiding their true nature from people they don’t have to spend a significant amount of time with. Moreover, they can be exceedingly charming, so other people can never quite believe how cruel they can be in actuality, because they’re always so pleasant to be around. Narcissists even know how to make you feel special and important (for a time, anyway). In fact, that’s how they lure you in.
Combine that with their astonishing ability to turn any situation around, somehow become the victim, and make the actual victim look like the “crazy one” (or even the abuser) to the casual observer, and it isn’t difficult to understand how these situations become convoluted, leaving the victims disbelieved and defenseless. Because of their charm, which often borders on charisma, narcissists tend to inspire a flock of loyal protectors/enablers (or “flying monkeys”) who defend them tooth and nail, regardless of the heinousness of their actions. They are convinced the narcissist is the real victim; therefore, consequently, justified in what they perceive as retaliation, so they blindly do their bidding. It is time this societal epidemic was illuminated for what it is. Victims and survivors deserve a voice, and that is why I will continue to write about my experiences and call out abusive behavior when I see it.
Special Note: This is not the post I had planned next, but then again, this was not the day I had planned either. Due to computer issues and lack of expertise or skill level to fix them myself, I had to take to my phone & write, rather than work on d6 Collab bugs, and this is what came out. I promise my next post in “My Story” will actually explain what narcissistic abuse is for those who don’t know, as I believe it is an especially crucial topic given the current cultural and political climate in this country. I hope to have it posted by the end of this week, barring any other technical difficulties. Thanks for your patience.✌