Hi everyone. Easter will be here in less than one week and I have been reviewing the state of No Contact with my extended family. It has been 1 year and 4 months since I have had any contact with them and I feel I made the right decision although these things are never easy. The time away from them has continuously shown me more and more memories of how things really were. Slowly the illusions that I had accumulated to survive as a highly sensitive child (HSP) have fallen away and the truth is much more clear to me. I am able to reframe my life so that I can see the truth of what I went through and who I am.
When I started No Contact, it was mostly my mother’s behavior that I could no longer be around and I was sad to have to give up my relationships with my siblings and my Dad who are seemingly in denial. Now I see more of the truth about the way I felt as a child. I survived the only way I could as a child, by being obedient out of fear, in an environment with no loving support. My Dad was always working and was tired and stressed when he was around and took my Mom’s side just to avoid conflict. My Dad has a good heart and I could sense it as a child so this just compounded my confusion when I felt victimized by my mother–he was not there for me and was not a safe person for me to go to. He also had a low opinion of women in general and was at times emotionally condescending. And now I remember even more and I can add that he did not believe women were as competent or as intelligent as men. So for me, this meant I was just out of luck at being seen for the intelligent soul I was. My straight A grades in school surprised him and I remember the prevailing attitude of “well but she has to study a lot” whereas my brother got straight A grades without even trying. I could not win!–and it was made worse because I claimed to be studying a lot as an excuse to be alone in my room to get away by myself! I was not studying a lot however, and I was actually singing to my favorite music or writing in my journal to cope with all the chaos around me.
All of this lack of love and support and contempt caused me to decide as a young child in my despair that I needed someone to take care of me and that I could not make it on my own. I felt crippled and shamed to the core with constant criticisms, mean looks when no one else was around, and invalidation of my feelings and gifts–I felt there was something deeply wrong with my being and thought my answer was to find a man to take care of me. (My most extreme trauma happened at the age of 5, when I experienced the death of my true self and completely repressed this pain and replaced it with a false self that was obedient, sweet, and not very bright–see post Sept. 15, 2010.)
I remember in college, after some devastating relationships, finally deciding only to date men who were kind, introspective, interested in self-growth and capable of remorse! At one point I gave up and wrote in my journal that I was finished looking for someone to take care of me and would now focus on my career and my future on my own. As if heaven was waiting for me to learn this lesson first, my husband and I met the very next day after I wrote this.
My husband of 27 years is a compassionate person who is immersed in self-growth the same as I am and is grateful for my gifts of empathy that help him to learn compassion for himself as he processes through the repressed layers of his own emotionally abusive childhood. (He had some N family members who he felt tortured by emotionally throughout his childhood.) I am so happy now to see how supportive my husband is in my new career endeavors in Coaching and Writing and Singing. I feel I truly have made it full circle now and can stand strong on my own two feet with my strong true voice and new-found vitality in helping others. My self-doubt has been replaced by a trust and acceptance of all of my feelings and intuition. It is because of having this childhood that I grew up using my intuition to figure out how to survive and I had to finely attune this empathic intuitive gift that I now use to help others. It is as if it was all meant to be so I would learn 1)how valuable compassion and love are to myself and others and 2) how horribly damaging it is NOT to have compassion and love as a highly sensitive child. I am grateful for all that I have learned.
I have learned that Narcissistic parents can manipulate their children into bullying the other children–often the innocent, kind, compassionate, highly sensitive child is the Scapegoat (SG) or Golden Child (GC) depending on whether they are obedient to her demands or not. N’s may sweetly get you to confide in them so they can find your Achilles heal and then insidiously use it to control you. They can be brilliant actors of love and caring around spouses or your siblings and save the stabbing criticisms said with a smile for when you are alone and least expect it. They can feed their other needy children with lies about the SG and rewards them when they do their bidding. I was the Golden Child first and saw how the other siblings can be talked about terribly. Then it all switched when at 25 I stopped being obedient and then I was the one talked about. I didn’t realize this was happening until many years later–we were all low contact then, seeing each other once a year or less and all being on their good behavior. As my children got older and their schedules got more demanding and I had to be even more assertive about when we would visit, I soon realized how I was now the scapegoat.
Narcissists are dangerous people to those sensitive souls with wounds that still need healing. I feel passionate about educating others on the dangers of Narcissists, especially as they prey on highly sensitive people who seem to be almost like targets of their remorseless lust for destroying dreams and confidence. Their lack of compassion, lack of guilt or remorse, and endless blaming others for all that is wrong in their lives are the red flags that help me to be able to spot a Narcissist a mile away.
So if you need help because you have a Narcissist in your life, I understand your pain and confusion. I can help you feel good about yourself and on your path to becoming your true self that is hidden under many layers of fear and self-doubt. The lessons I have learned have been painful but so worthwhile as I have risen from the darkness into the light and I can help you do it too. Sometimes No Contact is the only way to freedom so that you can heal. It was for me and I have no regrets. I am moving on with great success and love in my life!
Click Here To read my post entitled Moving On From a Narcissistic Parent which is considered Part 1. (My statistics show that this is my most popular and most viewed post by far).
Happy Easter to you all! My 24-year-old son is visiting us for the entire Easter weekend and my 20-year-old daughter will be home from her wonderful semester in Australia in 8 days. Life is good!!
Take Care and God Bless,