Tuesday, March 19, 2024

How I'm healing from narcissistic abuse by having conversations with the voices in my head

Hiya, post two, piggybacking on the last one about healing from narcissistic abuse by making it all about me. How I need to be a little selfish and take care of  myself because I always took care of self-centered parents and stepparents. Today I'm getting better by having conversations with the voices in my head. 

My life with them is characterized by toxic shame-based, guilt driven interactions. There was a steady stream of narcissistic abuse (which continues still) from four narcissist people. I was gaslit with a bunch of untruths, distortions, half-truths, self-serving lies and weaponized minimizing, discounting and shame-dumping. These wrong visions that "were planted in my brain still remain" in the form of CPTSD nightmares and sadistic, undermining voices in my head. 

This quorum claims to have insider knowledge into me, my motives and my failings. They claim to speak in my best interests. But they don't. They harangue and harass, sounding eerily similar to my mom and her husband and dad and his wife. (I realize now that what I thought was voices is actually memories). 

I've lived in terror of their tyrannical tirades, all my  life. I've been afraid of listening too closely because what they say is terrifying. But it's also very vague and unspecific. Because they speak for the narcissists they speak like the narcissists with illogical babble and word salad. They make random comments that make no sense. They rely nebulous threats and strange, covert intimidation as bullies do. 

Knowing this now, I thought I'd ask this panel of so-called experts that live freely in my head what they're talking about. To see if they're right or wrong, live or Memorex, helpful or hurtful. So the conversation went like this. V (voices) M (me)

V: you know how you're saying that your mom and dad and both steps did this and that to you? Why are you attacking them?  

M: (using Socratic dialog, a good tool BTW) Why do you ask? 

V: Well, c'mon, all four of your parents? Really? You're paranoid. It never happened. 

M: (not doing JADE, justify, answer, defend explain) Why do you say that? 

V: Well (spluttering) just...she said she didn't. He said he didn't. 

M: Nevertheless, they did.  

V: They said you're showing off. Like you always do. 

M: They would say that. It preserves their narcissistic fantasy. 

V: (word salad sprays)  Fantasy, please. Now you're the victim of some giant conspiracy theory. How pathetic. 

M: Agreed, it was pathetic of them. 

V: (ramping up the vicious) You're delusional. You're imagining it.  You're lying. It wasn't that bad. 

M: Am I imagining it or lying or it wasn't that bad? 

V: (major word salad rant) You're playing victim. You're too sensitive. You're too critical. You're judgmental! You don't understand them. You never give them a break. You always think the worst. You're a bad daughter and terrible family member. 

M: I have a family? Huh, that's news to me. 

V: Of course you do! You have two parents, two stepparents and brothers and sisters. 

M: Nope. I'm Jack's and Nancy's daughter (sic, possession) but they aren't my parents. They take authority over me but do not take care of me. They don't do what parents are supposed to do. As for  Bill and Ginny, they are my parents' spouses whom Jack and Nancy encouraged to exploit and abuse And the kids are their shiny new golden family of which I am not part of. If anything I'm their parent, based on the kind of care I'm expected to provide. And whom they allow to exploit me too. .  

V: What do you mean? Ginny and Bill are your parents. The kids are your siblings. 

M: Prove it. 

V: (visibly enraged) Well, they are because your parents say they are. 

M: I don't accept that.

V: (trying and failing to be reasonable) Well, they must be your parents and siblings. Your mom and dad say you have to obey, respect, do their bidding, do all their work, etc. 

M: Yes they did expect that. But I'm an adult and I don't have to now. 

V: Are you saying you don't have to respect them? What kind of monster are you?

M: One who is learning to take care of herself. Respect is earned. They have not. I owe them nothing. 

V: So you're saying it's okay to be disrespectful??

M: Define respect. And while you're at it, define obedience and good parenting. 

V: (silent for a moment) Bowing and scraping. Subservience. Unquestioning minion. You owe them respect but they don't owe it to you. Good parenting is discipline. You're so wayward they have to slap you around a bit to take you down a peg. You're arrogant and they have to humble (humiliate you). It's for your own good. 

M: Thank you. I thought that's what you meant. I just didn't think you'd actually have the balls to say it. You're completely wrong of course. 

V: They are your parents! You have to keep them happy. You have to fix their problems. Who will if you won't. 

M: I have to obey yet fix and take care of them? They are my parents or I am theirs, which is it?

V: Well, you have to honor them. The Bible says so. 

M: Look up the verse. There's more to it. And define honor. I think you'll find it means something different than you think. 

V: Are you seriously that evil?? Are saying you don't have to honor them?? You don't have to obey. These are their homes! Their rules! They are in charge! You have to do what they want. 

M: Funny I thought it was my home too. I clean it and do enough work around them. So homes are only theirs. That clears up a lot. 

V: You know that's not what we meant. But they're responsible. So they make the decisions. And besides, you have to do your share of chores. 

M: They act irresponsibly and shift their responsibilities on to me. They make the decisions and I live with the consequences. They neglect me. I don't have a room I always have to sleep with the baby (!)  I parent the kids. They exploit and parentify me. The other kids do no chores. Bill and Ginny do no housework. I do all theirs and most of Jack's and Nancy's too.

V: Well, you have to earn your keep. Do you expect to just freeload and do nothing? How lazy are you?

M: Ah, now we're getting down to it. I'm not family member but staff. None of the adults do their part. They don't even hold down jobs most of the time. The other kids do not earn their way. They don't help. They freeload and are lazy. So they are  not my siblings and the adults are not my parents. If I have to earn my keep then they owe me for nannying services (extra for nightime sleeping with the babies), housework and laundry (extra for ironing). And they have to provide me a room of my own. With rent deducted, they still owe $300 a week. (NB: costs at the time) Oh and if you add on guilt chores "mummy" doesn't feel like doing, that'll really cost you. Both for the extra work and the shaming. 

The voices are curiously silent after this. I'm finding they usually are when I start talking back and exposing their toxic rot. They are hurtful. But they are also just so much babbling word salad. I know that like the Sand People, they'll be back and in greater numbers. But I'm not backing down. Not anymore. 

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