Honestly, this is something I find difficult. Sharing your own story, or stories, when you’re not totally comfortable being seen can be tough.
I was raised by a narcissist. He’s not my father but he was my mum’s partner throughout most of my childhood.
A few years ago, calmly, I cut all contact with him, I’d reached a point where I thought “I just don’t need this sh** in my life.” It’s the only way to deal with these people.
Many of you who have been with me for a while know this story, but this is the first time I’m publishing it on a public platform.
This is one of the smaller ways the narcissism of another can affect you, especially if it was a parental figure who behaved in this way. Being gaslighted from a young age, and witnessing the mental attacks on my mother made me shut up, and shut down, in fact. I was terrified to rock the boat and thought everything was my fault. I ended up co-dependent with very low self-esteem even though I was popular, a successful martial artist and an academic over achiever.
These thoughts and feelings of not being enough haunted me until my 30s, despite therapy and more success in my life. But nothing filled the void and eventually, when being covertly bullied at work, I ended up having a complete mental breakdown.
Now I call it a breakthrough, but at the time I was very afraid. I couldn’t use emails or sleep at night, I was agoraphobic, medicated, constantly in tears and suicidal. My world came crashing down and that’s where my recovery began.
You know now that I’m happy. I got help and rebuilt my life, a life that had been built on lies, quite frankly. I had to learn to discover who I really was behind my own mask and then accept that. The greatest blessings that came out of this for me, is that I am non-judgemental and know how to help others feel safe; I know what it’s like to not be ok with who you are through no fault of your own. I know what it’s like to be afraid to look behind your own mask but to take the plunge and embark on the road to recovery and self-discovery anyway.
You just never know what is going on for someone else and I always see the good inside of another person, everything else is just a mask created (often unconsciously) to protect them from having to go through a pain / trauma that they experienced in the past all over again. That’s how our brains are wired, that’s how we survive. So it’s actually a positive when your brain operates in this way, it’s just some outdated software that can be upgraded.
This kind of damage is common but oftentimes it is so ingrained in us that we cannot see it, we just know that we are very unhappy or that something is very wrong. It’s quite possible that you can’t even remember most of the stuff that happened, but your body sure does and it reacts / behaves as if you’ve got no control.
My journey turned out to be the catalyst that led me to reinvent myself and follow my calling to help people. It became my work to use my experiences to help as many people as possible to empower themselves and recover from mental pain and narcissistic abuse. Pain points us to what we need to work on to find freedom and happiness, it’s a signpost and it’s possible to make it your ally.
I’ve always been empathetic and intuitive, but thought that made me weak – that’s what I was told from a young age. But those gifts, combined with my experiences, have given me the springboard to help so many others. This gives me my purpose in life!
If you’re feeling depressed, anxious etc. and struggling to reach out, chances are you’ve experienced trauma that’s led to you believing you’re not worthy. That if you’re not supporting others you’ll be judged or abandoned, so you prefer to suffer in silence wishing someone would notice but you feel invisible.
Dear heart, it’s ok. It’s an old program your brain is running that can be changed with the right help, support and love.You are enough. You have always been enough. You are not what happened to you. You are a gift. Thanks for showing up.
Speak soon, Nancy.
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Gratitude and art thanks to @lumifantasy (instagram)
BA Hons, MA,Dip C Hyp, NLP Prac, CNHC, NCH, QCHPA