Last night was a rough one.. I had a flashback while reading an article online. The flashback was about something that happened with the ex boyfriend of mine who I mentioned in this post. It was strange, because I wasn’t even thinking of him, nor had I thought of him in a few days. I also never had a flashback about him before, nor had I remembered the incident until last night- I must have forgotten about it shortly after it happened (repressed memory). The whole thing was just so odd! I had some thoughts about it though, that I thought I should share. I’m hoping this will make sense- I still feel weird this morning as I’m still recovering from the flashback, & can’t think very straight. Please bear with me…
As I’d mentioned in the post I’d linked to above, I’d felt guilty since I broke up with that man in 1990. Guilty for hurting him, guilty for letting myself get involved with someone I wasn’t interested in in the first place, guilty for dashing his hopes for marriage & a family. That is all I ever thought of regarding him. It wasn’t until his death last January that when I thought about our relationship, I realized how dysfunctional & abusive it was.
I’ve done similar things with friendships I’ve ended- felt guilty for hurting the other person, only to realize years later that the other person was using me & really a terrible friend,& I had to end that relationship.
I would bet that this is pretty common with daughters of narcissistic mothers. I know that I grew up feeling so overly responsible for my mother that I carried that overdeveloped sense of responsibility into other relationships. I still fight with that to this day sometimes. As a result, people who use & abuse have sought me out, & if I ended the relationship, I ended up feeling guilty for not doing enough, or letting them down somehow. I take on blame that isn’t necessarily mine. The result is a lot of wasted time beating myself up & feeling guilty for things I shouldn’t feel guilty about.
Does any of this sound familiar to you?? I’m guessing it does.
If you’re in this position of berating yourself for failed relationships, I would like to encourage you today. Think objectively about those relationships, & if you have a hard time with being objective, pretend a good friend is telling you about it rather than you having experienced it. What would you tell her? Would you blame her completely for the relationship failing? Would you tell her that she was stupid for becoming involved with the person in the first place or for allowing that person to use or abuse her? Then what makes telling yourself these things OK?
I’m not saying you’re never at fault or never make mistakes in relationships. We all do those things. It’s part of being human. However, I’m talking about not accepting 100% of the blame 100% of the time. Accept blame when it’s yours & make amends where you can, but also keep the other person’s blame on them. It isn’t yours to take. if you are unsure about what blame is & is not yours, I encourage you to ask God. Pray about it, & God will show you what you need to know in a loving, gentle way.
Don’t beat yourself up! Feeling guilty & berating yourself for things that aren’t your fault only continue the abuse your narcissistic mother did to you. You deserve so much better than that!! xoxo