This is a follow-up post on the Youtube video with the same name – the adult child. I doubt that I’m the only one thinking in these terms when it comes to narcissists – but really; they’re not much more than 3yo’s in an adult body. Which is exactly why it is so difficult to have a functioning relation with them, of any kind. Especially as their children.
About the time when my mother died – I was 24, about to be 25, I spent a lot of time pondering about what was wrong with her. Back then, I had no idea of what narcissism was – I just knew something was seriously wrong with my mom. Lacking the knowledge, understanding and the language for narcissism, I still had an idea of what was going on.
Back then, I’d describe it like – when mom was a child, she didn’t recieve the love she needed, and that pit inside our chest that’s so deep and so dark and above all – so bloody empty, became too big for her to handle. Because of that emptiness, she developed a system of making people feel sorry for her, because then she’d feel loved. The backside of that system is of course that what make people feel sorry for you have to get worse and worse, since it’s like a drug – you get addicted, and every fix has to be bigger and better than the last.
It is my very strong belief that this is the reason why she got cancer. What could possibly make people feel sorry for you, more than cancer? Little did she realize that she could die – and I remember very clearly, not long before she actually did die, she told me she wasn’t ready.
Well. Tough shit, mom. You brought this on to yourself.
And yes, I really do mean that. Literally.
But there’s more to the whole adult child thing than that pit. It’s like they never learned how to conduct themselves properly. Like there’s something lacking in their social skills – probably in their brain, somehow. Aside from how difficult it is to relate to them, I admit to being in awe of how stupid they are.
The actual point I want to make with this post is that – I’m lucky. My mom is dead since many years. It’s easy for me to transform my idea and memories of her into that of an adult child. It makes it easier to distance myself from her and all the crap she brought into my life. Seeing her as a child makes it possible for me to step up, to understand that it was never my fault.
It doesn’t make it ok. It doesn’t mean that I forgive her. It doesn’t really mean anything, other than – for me, it’s easier to distance myself from her and the entire situation.
I think that one very important aspect of recovering from the trauma our narcissistic parents put us through is to make a shift in mindset. It’s not easy, it takes time, it’s painful as hell, it requires absurd amounts of thoughts, emotions, blood, sweat and tears. But it’s possible, and at least for me, it has helped. We can’t change what happened. We can’t change the way our narcissistic parent behaves.
The only thing we can change is how we think and feel about it, and how we choose to relate to our narcissist. And yes, I do say choose. Because the choice is ours.
Before we go into the healing process, recovering, this may be impossible. We’re stuck in that victimhood – and that’s fine. That’s an extremely difficult place to escape – trust me, been there, done that. I was stuck in that place for a very, very, unflattering long time. But it is possible to get out of – and the process of making that shift in mindset is one step getting closer to a better life.
Now, there is one quite dangerous outcome of growing up with a narcissist. I have adressed it before, and I’ll do it again. That danger is of course becoming that adult child yourself. As unflattering as it is, I will again admit the fact that I could easily have become one. Hell, I was one, for a longer while than I care to admit to myself. The reason why is – having a narcissistic mother and a father who didn’t let me grow up.
Everything about all these things are so messy, aren’t they? What does it mean, to grow up? Compared to being that adult child, I’d say it is at least partially about owning your own problems, not to mention your instincts to react and act upon those reactions. Everything that is ok to do as a toddler, is not ok to do or be as an adult. And feeling sorry for oneself is one of the most un-constructive things anyone can do (from experiencing a covert narcissist, specifically).
And that, my friend, is why next week’s video on Youtube will be about growing up.
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