I’ve realized just recently that all my life, many people have acted like my happiness means absolutely nothing. It’s like they think I am here to serve, & do so without any feelings or needs of my own.
When I broke up with my ex husband before marrying him a few months later, many people told me I should go back with him because he was miserable without me. Not one person cared how miserable I was with him, however.
When my father was in the hospital a few years ago, & my mother wouldn’t tell his family or friends, I did via facebook. (I also provided my parents’ phone number & asked people to tell other relatives what was happening.) There are a lot of us Baileys, & I don’t have many people’s phone numbers or emails, so facebook was simply the easiest way for me to reach the most people. One person called my father in the hospital & told him I was a “spoiled little brat” for not calling her personally about this matter. Other people got upset & chewed me out for using facebook instead of calling them personally. No one got mad at my mother for failing to tell them anything, even though it was her responsibility to do so. No one took into consideration the anxiety I was under daily or how exhausted (mentally & physically) I was.
There have been countless times over the years I was going to spend time with a friend & that friend either stood me up or ran very late, without letting me know what was happening, causing me to wait & worry about them. When I finally did contact them (mind you they didn’t contact me!), no apology was given or any sign that they felt guilty at all for wasting my time or disappointing me.
Do any of these situations sound somewhat familiar to you?
I am reasonably sure that these kinds of situations happen quite a bit to those of us who grew up with narcissistic parents. The only reason I can come up with is because we are groomed from day one to be subservient. Our narcissistic parents firmly believe (& instill the belief in us) that we are put on this earth to take care of & please our narcissistic parent with absolutely no regard to our own feelings, wants or needs. As we grow up, naturally that relationship stays this way, but we extend this dysfunctional role to include others. Because we believe this is what we are supposed to do, we show others that we believe we deserve to be used & ignore ourselves. Often even good people will treat us the way we believe we deserve to be treated simply because it’s natural to treat people how you see they expect to be treated, good or bad.
By saying this, please don’t think I’m saying we get what we deserve when people mistreat or use us! Not by any stretch. It’s still on an individual to control his/her behavior. Ultimately, it is the other person’s fault if they are abusive, period.
To deal with this super annoying problem, I have found that getting healthier & increasing my self esteem has done wonders. I think because I no longer give off that “It’s ok to abuse me” energy. As I’ve gotten healthier & my self esteem improved, I no longer have any patience for being abused, & I think people pick up on that.
Prayer is extremely helpful as well. Asking God how to deal appropriately with people who want to abuse me & how to set & enforce healthy boundaries has helped to give me wisdom & strength in bad situations.