Tuesday, March 19, 2024

How I'm healing from narcissistic abuse by making it all about me

 Hi there friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass! During my March Un-Madness weight loss challenge, I'm looking beneath and beyond weight loss itself to the  madness that causes problems like eating disorders (obesity is an eating disorder). I'm exploring ways to heal from parental narcissistic abuse. And one way I'm doing that might surprise you. 

To recover from narcissistic abuse, I'm making it all about me. Errrm, wait, time out! I thought making it all about me is what the narcissist does and which is so problematically crazy-making. Why would you as the "victim" or survivor of this, do the same thing yourself?? Excellent question, 

So I've described in earlier posts about I was scapegoated, neglected, manipulated, abused, exploited and then gaslit about those by all four  parents (including two step-parents.) Okay, again, Mar, stop. All four? Really? That's a bit of a stretch. Maybe but improbable or not, it's what remains when the impossible has been removed. And yes, the narcissistic abuse flavor changed from person to person. But it was, believe or not, remarkably similar in presentation. 

Each agreed that one way or another, their problems were my fault, that I was disrespectful, disobedient, a bad daughter (insert favorite shame-dump) AND that I was responsible to fix them and the problems their actions caused. Each was needy, dismissive, shame-blamed Each weaponized incompetence, withheld love, made basic care very transactional. And each gaslit me about the true nature of what happened. Each was riddled with delusions of grandeur and persecution, self-pity, God-like qualities, false narratives, entitlement and magical thinking. Each lived in a fantasy world, lacked empathy, impulse control and personal responsibility. Each considered him/herself very outside the pale of rules and mores. 

And it's really not that incredible that all four were, if you think about it. First, having been born of two narcissists (one covert and one overt), it's not hard to fathom that their marriage would fall apart, with two warring God-heads and that when it did, they would seek out like-minded people who were just as broken as them. 

Next, there was an implicit but nevertheless agreed upon protocol for dealing with which basically stated, "good enough for who it's for." Or, translated, whatever abuse, endangerment, neglect and exploitation you want to visit on Marilisa is fine. If you want her to do all your work and sleep with your babies, sure! If you want to let her wander downtown alone in a strange city, go for it. If you want to abandon her to go off the convert the Manson gang, do it. (You cannot make this up). And much much more weird. 

I was disposable and a nuisance, except as arm candy. They didn't want to parent. They wanted to be SEEN to be parents. I was only useful in my 5S role: surrogate parent, surrogate spouse, support  network, scapegoat and servant. That was agreed upon early on. And when the had girlfriends and boyfriends, they were encouraged to treat me likewise. When their kids along, ditto. And, despite what was said of me, I was as dutiful acolyte. 

Because I have an insane, off-the-charts empath drive. I wanted to believe that they were as awesome as they said because they wanted me to. I wanted to please and fix and body-block them from any suffering. And they seized on that, exploited and manipulated it. They managed to get believe their lies, support the shared fantasy, work my ass off to please, take on all responsibility and say thank you for the privilege, all while shame-dumping, weaponizing and guilting and me for failing to fix them.  And then gaslight me into thinking it never happened and covering for them. That is one hellacious amount of narcissistic supply. 

So clearly or not yet to me, but I'm working on it, this was narcissistic abuse. It did happen. It was as crazy and crazy-making as it sounds. And it was wrong. I'm getting unstuck. But as you might imagine, there are a legion of tigers who come at night, with their voices soft as thunder, in non-gratis residence in my head. They growl and murmur and gaslight me all day and all night in nightmares. I wish I was exaggerating. 

So, back to why I need to make it all about me to heal. I was told that none of it was about me. It was their show, their crazy rules but that I and only I had to live by  them. All they took, I was expected to give in equal  measure. For all the energy they put into marginalizing me, I was supposed to say sir, yes, sir may I have some more please? All the burdens they said God bound me up to, they did not carry. I was expected to keep their Cloud Cuckoo Shein in place whatever it took, lies, keeping silent, obeying arbitrary, random, hypocritical rules, you name it. And I did. Because took a lot work to maintain the facade. 

So they made it all about them, their wants, needs, fears, phobias and fantasies. They were the main characters and I was in a minor but critical supporting role. I was responsible for feeding their ego and bolstering their illusions and delusions. I was costumes, prompt, makeup, tech, lights and curtain all in one. And all this has made me one mess of a mess. 

So I am needing to recast the role of  main character in my life. I need to put myself first. To believe my version of events. To stop breathing the gas of gaslighting. To stop sharing their fantasy. To accept that (to paraphrase to narcissist prayer)

It DID happen. It was that bad. It does matter. They did do it. They did mean to. And I didn't deserve it.  Full stop.

I need to stop telling myself lies and believing their lies.  I need to get out of River Denial. I need to stop shielding, body-blocking and protecting them from consequences of their actions .I need to stop making excuses for them and trust that it was just as I remembered it. It has to be all about me now because it was never about me. I have to prioritize my truth and sanity over the insane pack of lies I've spent 59 years believing. I have to put my real needs before their imaginary, faked ones. More tomorrow on other ways I'm breaking free, by having conversations with the voices in my head. 

Thanks for reading. Love to you all. You count. I hear and see you. Don't forget that. 

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