It's your time...
Updated: Feb 14, 2019
I really think forgiveness is highly overrated. In my case, while I have moved forward and let the past go, I cannot forgive my mother for what she did to me. She stole my life and my spirit and kept me trapped in her cycle of abuse. And I certainly can't forget. But, I broke free of her, even though I was 62 at that point. Age does not matter, because it's a new beginning at any age; a new lease on life. And I never tell anyone they need to forgive before they can heal, because I just don't believe that to be true. You can absolutely heal from a lifetime of emotional abuse, and move on to lead a happy, healthy, productive life like I am. You can put the past behind you. Dwelling on the past and replaying it over and over in your head does not serve you. Trust me, I did it. And it never goes away as long as you keep replaying it. It's the definition of insanity--doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. The narcissistic parent (NP) will never admit to committing any of the abuse you say they did. The narcissistic parent will never apologize for any of their behaviors. The narcissistic parent will always blame you for all of the issues between you; they will call you a liar, a manipulator, and in my case, my mother told me I was delusional and made up everything I said she did. Let go of what no longer serves you, and be present with the incredible peace of mind you have gained for yourself.
Whether you are in therapy or not, one key component to healing is learning self-love. It sounds almost impossible because children of abusive, narcissistic parents typically hate themselves. We do nothing to please ourselves, because we don't know how, and don't think we deserve anything good. We also spend an inordinate amount of time trying to please the NP and are exhausted from the process. And most of the time, just when you think you've made your NP happy, they turn around and stab you in the back. It's the most demeaning, degrading vicious cycle around.
So what can you do for yourself to begin the healing? Well, what would you like to do for yourself? What are some things you might've done for yourself if your NP hadn't convinced you not to? They are so skilled at taking the joy out of anything we might want to do for ourselves, so go back and find 5 things you've always wanted to do. Write them down. I chose to get a massage. I chose to shop for clothes at the stores I wanted to. I chose to sit on the beach in Hawaii staring at the ocean with a piña colada in my hand. I chose to decorate my home in the colors I wanted. I chose to wear my hair the way I wanted to, in the color I wanted. And more. I hope you are seeing what I mean.
One of the things most children of NPs do is to tell the parent what they are about to do in the hopes the NP will approve. I did it my entire life. I would tell my mother I was going for a massage, or dying my hair blond, or going to Hawaii with my family. By the time she got done with me, questioning my motives for each thing, I either changed my mind, or did it anyway and didn't enjoy it. She would make me feel guilty, stupid, unworthy, or all of the above. So starting with one action at a time, I learned to give myself what I never had, without telling her anything.
Yes, I was in therapy this whole time, and I absolutely recommend and encourage therapy. But if you can't at this time for whatever your reasons are, do something for yourself. Any one small gesture that you own, that will make you feel better. Even if you just give yourself a hug, it's a start. That first small step will open the door to the new you; to your new life.
In my next post I will talk about going No Contact...