Have you ever been humiliated by others?
Have you ever been told you were not good enough?
Have you ever been ignored by the people you loved deeply?
I will be the first one to admit it. All of those things have happened in my life for as long as I can remember. I looked confident and relaxed on the outside but reality was anything but that. The reality was that I was terrified. I was terrified that I was just not worthy of anything.
I was born and raised in a narcissistically abusive home. Growing up in this kind of environment involves a lot of manipulation and brainwashing. I was called names and my childhood was sad. I was told that I was stupid, ugly and weak.
My narcissistic mother tried to convince me of all of those things so much. As I child, I was always very excited to try and learn new things. But every time I would fail, my mother would mock me and shame me.
Nobody was there for me to let me know that failure was a normal part of life.
I recall one time when I participated in a school play. I prepared myself so well and I put a lot of effort into putting on a great show. As soon as the performance ended, I rushed to my mother because I wanted to see if she was proud of me. I desperately needed her validation.
But the only thing my mother told me after the performance was, “You sucked!”
I saw huge dissatisfaction on her face. She looked at me as if I was the most useless child in the world. My eyes filled with tears and my voice trembled. I barely said, “I am so sorry…”
It was so painful for me to feel no love from the person I loved deeply. My heart raced so quickly and all I wanted from her was a big hug. I wanted to feel loved so badly. But I never got that love. She was cold as ice and evil like the devil himself. She never loved me.
I saw other kids being praised by their parents and I stood there all alone. It was the end of the world for me.
Then when I got older, I would pretend that I was outgoing and confident. But whenever I came across a challenge, I was afraid to take it. I was afraid to try and to fail. I would imagine in my mind how my mother would have laughed at me and humiliated me if I had failed one more time.
I actually started believing in everything that my mother used to say. I was stuck, thinking that I was a complete failure.
I knew somewhere really, really deep down in my heart that I was not the girl that my mother would say I was. I was not stupid. I was not ugly. I was not weak. But my childhood had been spent in holding back and not using my talents because I did not believe in myself.
Looking back, I realize that I could not see how special I was. Because all of us who go through narcissistic abuse are indeed special.
I was told I was weak. But I was not even close to that. Weak people don’t pick themselves up over and over and over again when they fail.
I was never weak. Weak people cannot go through the things I went through and be around to talk about it. There are no weak people like that. None!
There was something in me that kept me going. I had a heart that pushed me forward to get up each morning and face the world for another day. And that, my friend, is not a weak person.
I stopped seeking validation from my narcissistic parent. I found validation within myself. And what is most important is that I found peace, too.