Sometimes, the lessons we learn best from our parents is not what we think it is. Sometimes, it is the most unflattering, the most un-sexy things that burns deep into our souls and takes on a life of its own, deciding to never, ever leave.
This post is a follow-up to the Youtube video with the same name.
These are the lessons we learn, not by what our parents tell us, but through how they see themselves, what they expect of us, how they talk to us, how they treat us. These are the things so difficult to find sometimes, that if we don’t do the work, we may well go through life never being able to change for the better.
For me, the lesson I learned the best from my parents – through different perspectives, but ultimately pretty much the same, is that
women are victims and they need to be taken care of.
I don’t even have to tell you just how extremely unflattering that is. I have a deep belief in women as strong, independent, magical beings – and the victimhood I was taught does not really go well with that. It’s a miracle I’ve managed to uphold my own view of womanhood, despite the fact I was more or less brainwashed with these unhealthy ideas of what a woman should be.
My mother was very proud of her so called independence. In one sense she was – she could put up pictures on the walls, and she could reorganize furniture without the help of a man. But due to her twisted self-image, she could never, ever do anything wrong and she always blamed whoever she wanted in that specific moment, for her own short-comings. She refused to take responsibility for whatever damage she might have done – she couldn’t even see the consequences of her actions.
And this, among many, many other, subtle, almost invisible things, is how she taught me that women are victims and should be treated as such.
My dad, on the other hand… He began raising me to be independent. Even in first grade, he had me start calling myself in sick, when I actually was sick because he wanted me to know how to handle phone calls with authorities. But as I grew older, he just wouldn’t let me grow up. He had a tendency to always step in and take over whenever he felt I was in a situation I couldn’t handle. And trust me – I wasn’t the only one. He did this to all his women – my grandmother, and my stepmother. While I think he meant no harm with it, it is a very unflattering trait, at least in my eyes.
I really was best in class when it comes to this specific lesson. While on the one hand, the idea of women being victims who needs to be taken care of is not my own, it was burned very deeply into my soul.
I could easily have become a narcissist myself because of it, had it not been that I’ve always sufferer from deep depressions, anxiety et cetera, and ever since my early twenties I’ve had a very deep understanding of myself (although back then I was just in the beginning of my journey).
But what we learn as children by how we were raised, has a tendency to stick. I’ve lived with this for most part of my life – the idea that I am a victim and that others really should take care of me in one way or another because I was the victim, and… you see how it goes, right? I am not proud of it, but these things demands selfknowledge, understanding, time, effort to the degree of absurdity, and preferably some help to replace the unhealthy ideas with healthy ones.
Time is relative, and I dare say it’s quite recent (somewhere between 5 – 7 years ago) that I seriously began working on this. I had a round of therapy which was very helpful when it comes to taking responsibility for my own reactions and actions. My dad died, and as ugly as it sounds – it helped. I’ve done enormous amounts of work, following different paths, and I regained and took control over my view of what a woman is.
I can’t say that I’m “done”. Do we ever get done? I mean, really – does anyone ever get “done”? I hope not. That wouldn’t leave much room for growth and expansion later in life. So no, I’m not done. But I hope that I have grown out of seeing myself as a victim – and I mean that in every way possible. Thinking of oneself as a victim is not only annoying for everyone else, but it also very effectively stops you from getting anywhere. Victimhood is not constructive at all, and I prefer to the furthest extent possible, not to see others as victims. I have been, and am working on the same view of myself, but I’ll admit that sometimes, it’s hard.
What I can say to my advantage, which was sorely lacking for my mother, is that I do have selfknowledge. I do know exactly why I react and act the way I do. Differently from her, I’ve spent about twentyfive years of my life to look very closely at myself and decided to change that which I don’t like. And trust me – it’s been a lot that I haven’t liked about myself.
I can also tell you that I couldn’t be any happier than I am, about being fortyfive, almost fortysix years old, rather than twenty. That bottomless pit I’ve been in for so long – that is not a journey I’d like to have ahead of me. I’ve already been there, I don’t need to go there again.
And I am never going back to being a victim full time again. Not ever. I really don’t like myself when I feel like a victim – it’s like losing control all over again, and I really dislike that. It is also the reason why it’s so important to me to get rid of whatever victimhood crap I may still carry around.
I am truly curious of what you learned from your narcissistic parent. Feel free to share with me – if you don’t want to comment publically, send me a pm on Facebook. ♥
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