I’ve had a lifetime of dealing with the narcissistic spectrum from my own family of origin, to romantic relationships/marriages, co-workers, colleagues, neighbors, “friends” and current family members, but I didn’t realize what I was dealing with until I was forty-six years old when my own mother walked out of my house, discarding me like trash.
I had no idea there was a name for the lifetime of confusion I felt and the feeling of something not being right, I just absorbed it, disassociated with it, or put things on the back burner to show up for my role as mom — until I stumbled upon the book by Dr. Karyl McBride called Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers.
If you’ve read many books about narcissistic abuse, they’ll educate you on our behaviors and how we are damaged mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Most books make you think you can’t or shouldn’t be high-functioning or successful, and if you are, you’re somehow not being authentic. Or they’ll have you think you have to be a complete and utter train wreck in order to be vulnerable and open about it all. I’m calling B.S. on all that.
Although I am not a life coach, therapist or counselor, I am a nurse and have been told I should have been a counselor. I see some of this spectrum the same way the experts do, and some of it I see as ridiculous. This blog is my healing place where I’ll share my confusion about this spectrum because it’s like a two-headed snake that coils around on itself. I’ll share my good days and bad… and just share my life and thoughts in general, something we are conditioned in childhood not to do. Fuck that.
I know we can get through to the other side of this pain if we dig deep, which is what I did in my memoir Steel Town Girl.
But, that’s only the beginning.
As survivors of immense abuse in childhood, we have to continue to undo the damage that’s been so generously bestowed upon us, and as adults, we have to heal that while holding firm to boundaries to prevent further abuse. Boundaries can feel like a discard, but they are not, and healing can make you feel narcissistic— but you’re not. It’s all so disorienting to our brains and confuses the heart. It can feel like trying to get your footing on a rocking boat in a stormy sea.
Welcome to the ride of my life.