Yesterday, I had another flashback. I remembered being in my late teens, & my mother screaming at me because (her words here), “You only care about the underdog! You just want to help them!” as if this is a bad thing. Usually when these flashbacks happen, I come out of it in or near tears. Not this time though- I was absolutely LIVID. How dare my own mother scream at me so much! How dare she scream at me for being a good person! & besides, she groomed me to take care of others & ignore myself- she was screaming at me for being how she made me to be! HOW DARE SHE!
This anger set off an interesting train of thought.. time for me to make some changes!
If you too have been around a narcissist, whether raised by one or in a relationship with one, you know that they want you to be what THEY want you to be, not what you want to be or the person that God made you to be. You carry this “I have to change to please you” mindset into other relationships, like it or not, & often without even realizing it. I have done this. Not only did I become the person I thought my mother wanted me to be as a child, as an adult, I tried to become the wife I thought my husband wanted me to be. As a result, I lost myself somewhere along the way. In fact, an old friend of mine once scolded me, saying I had become “Eric’s wife” instead of “Cynthia.” Yes, he was right, much as I hate to admit that! Since that friend opened my eyes about six years ago, I have been trying to get myself back, but with very little luck. I had all but given up until yesterday.
Oddly, the anger I felt after that flashback gave me quite a kick in the butt to get myself back. I got angry not only at my mother for screaming at me so much as a child, but for trying to destroy the person God made me to be. I also got angry at others in my life who have tried so hard to change me into someone I’m not. God made everyone the way we are for a reason! Every single person has a purpose! No one has the right to destroy your personhood, to destroy what God has made! I decided it’s time to get that person I lost back, & started to think of ways to accomplish this. I hope these ideas help you, too!
- God will tell you who He made you to be- so ask Him. Not only the things you are to accomplish in life, but also He will tell you about your personality. Ask Him! I have done this, & God gave me an interesting answer. He told me to look up the personality traits of the wolf- they are like who He created me to be. Do you know something? I learned they are fascinating animals! They are highly intelligent, gentle, devoted, loving, confident, non-violent personalities & will do much to avoid conflict, yet won’t back down when it is necessary. That is what God sees when He sees me! I believe He used wolves because He knows I love animals so much, including the husky/wolf dog I had who I was so close to. God will speak to you in a way that speaks the clearest to you, too. Why don’t you ask God to tell you who He made you to be?
- Realize, really have a firm grasp on the fact that you are valuable. You are just as valuable as any other person. In spite of what you have been taught, you have a purpose & value. And treat yourself accordingly! Do nice gestures for yourself, not just other people- it will help you see yourself as valuable. I started last night by pampering myself some. I make my own beauty products, but I don’t use them as often as I should. I decided heck with that last night! I exfoliated my skin, head to toe, then used a wonderful moisturizer I make after so my skin felt like silk. I also gave myself a manicure & pedicure. I relaxed for the evening- watching tv, playing Tetris on my tablet, & talking to the hubby.
- Do things that make you feel good. Do you have a hobby you enjoy yet have abandoned? Get back at it! Try drawing, painting, writing poetry, cross stitching, knitting or whatever you have done again. If you never really had a hobby, find one. Try something you have always wanted to try. You can learn how to do about anything online! Indulging in something other than things that are necessary (work, caring for your kids or elderly parents, etc) is very healthy- it helps you to relax & have a clear focus. It also helps you to feel pampered & loved. Everyone needs loving gestures, especially from themselves.
- Get angry! I know, as a Christian, that can feel very awkward, especially if you were raised with a narcissistic parent who didn’t allow you to express any negative emotions. However anger does have a purpose- it motivates change. And, remember, Jesus got angry, too. Remember him overturning the tables of the money changers? (Matthew 21:12-13). While anger can be dangerous, & forgiveness is absolutely vital to having peace with God, our fellow man & ourselves, that doesn’t mean anger can’t be used as a tool sometimes. Ephesians 4:26 says we can be angry, but do not sin in that anger. Using that anger to motivate chance isn’t a sin- in fact, that is a good thing! And I have learned when doing this that once you forgive, the motivation to change is still there.
- Stop listening to other people when they try to change you, no matter who it is! Admittedly, this is difficult if it’s something you have been doing your whole life, or if the person is someone close to you such as a spouse or parent. But remember- if someone wants to change you, it says they have the problem, not you. Normal, healthy people want what is best for other people, not to change them into someone they aren’t.
And please always remember- just because someone didn’t appreciate the person you are doesn’t mean they are right. You are special because God made you to be! Deuteronomy 14:2 says, “For you are a holy people [set apart] to the Lord your God; and the Lord has chosen you to be a peculiar people to Himself, above all the nations on the earth.” (AMP) God loves you & made you perfectly!