I can only speak for myself, and I can only begin with what I’ve learned from my parents. My dad taught me to set high standards, and so I have. I don’t want to settle with a half life. I don’t want to just exist or survive. I actually want to live, as fully as possible. So far, I haven’t been even remotely close to that.
For various reasons, something I’ve always wished for but never achieved, is to fit in, to be normal. I never have been, and probably never will be, but I really, really wanted to. Of course, being normal can look quite different for different people. What’s normal in my book is, to a very large extent, being able to have normal, healthy relationships. And that’s something that I’ve never managed.
And this, my sweets, is one of the main reasons why I feel it’s so important to do the work when it comes to recovering from the narcissistic abuse we were subjected to. When we do the work and get something done, we not only let go of a lot of pain and suffering, we also (hopefully) learn how to live. And oh, wow – isn’t that something worth working for?
There are of course other reasons for doing the work as well. One extremely good reason is to be better than our narcissistic parent. And I’m saying that to sugarcoat the fact that if we’re not very, very careful, we might risk becoming that which we hate and despise the most – a narcissist. I know that I was very close becoming one, some twentyfive, thirty years ago, still in my teens and early twenties.
Because let’s face it. Being, or becoming a narcissist, is among the most unflattering I could ever imagine. The qualities of a narcissist – a covert narcissist in my case, are so bloody unhealthy and unsexy, that noone in their right mind would ever choose to become all that.
But – here we are, hopefully on the other side of our pit, ready to recover.
And again, this is why it’s so extremely important to do the work. To un-learn all those unhealthy, destructive patterns and learn something new that actually benefits us.
Because the problem with growing up with a narcissist is that instead of what everyone else learns; healthy and loving ways to grow, expand, et cetera, we learn the total opposite. It becomes as natural to us, as whatever other people learn, is to them. It grows into our bones, so to speak.
And it’s extremely difficult to un-learn and change. It’s not done overnight. It takes a really, really long time and tremendous amounts of energy, thought, emotion and so on.
But regardless of all that, no matter how hard it is, I actually do think it’s worth it. I have been in so much trouble because I didn’t know how to handle life, and it has taken me so long to get to where I’m at now – and I still believe I have a long way to go. But I have, and I still am (and will continue to do) putting in the work, I am brutally honest with myself about these things – because I really do want to l i v e . I do want more than an existence or to be a survivor only. That’s not enough.
Am I being greedy? Yes, probably. Or quite possibly not. When I was younger, I didn’t think I was worthy anything else but the worst case scenario. I couldn’t see that I had any right to demand my space. I didn’t understand I had the right to have personal needs.
You know, one of the things I find most difficult is how much of this crap that is so subtle you almost can’t see it. There are many things that are clear to me, and still I can’t make it work – because there are so many other things buried beneath, very effectively stopping me from getting anywhere.
And that is yet another reason for why it is so important to do the work. If we don’t, we’ll be stuck in a state of mind where we can’t grow, can’t expand, can’t bloom. And I don’t know about you, but I actually want to get there.
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