You’re Much Stronger Than You Think!

Something crossed my mind recently…

 

I thought about how I dealt with the abuse as it happened to me in my younger days.  I didn’t deal with it.  For one thing, I didn’t have the time.  It was one crisis after another after another for years.  I didn’t have time to deal with something before something else happened.  For another thing, I grew up thinking I never had any real problems.  It didn’t matter how much something hurt me.  My pain was never validated, so I believed it was no big deal.

 

As a result, I went on with life as if nothing happened no matter what trauma I’d just endured.  Like, when I was 19 & had my first nervous breakdown.  I locked myself in my parents’ bathroom & was catatonic for roughly 5 hours.  By the time I came out, I had about one hour to get to work.  I was at work on time, & went through my day as if nothing happened, in spite of being tired & feeling very “off.”  The prior year, my mother came to my job, screamed at me in the parking lot, humiliating me.  When I went back inside, I took a few minutes to relax only because my supervisor told me to, then got back to work.  In fact, after both situations, I ended up comforting my now ex husband because he said such situations were hard for him, rather than receiving comfort from him or anyone for that matter.

 

I used to think these things meant I was strong but I realized something today.  I wasn’t strong- I was dysfunctional.  True strength would have meant I faced these situations & took care of myself after.  Instead, I told myself they were no big deal.

 

When you are abused by a narcissist, you get a very warped view of all sorts of things, including what true strength is.  Pretending things don’t bother you when they do isn’t true strength.  It’s merely setting yourself up for these things to manifest in bad ways at a later date.

 

I’m telling you this today, Dear Reader, because if you feel weak, like so many victims do, because you can’t seem to “get over” the abuse  you endured, you need to realize you aren’t weak.  Quite the contrary.  It takes a lot of strength to face past abuse & trauma.  It doesn’t take a lot of strength to ignore it.

 

It takes a lot of strength to live daily with PTSD or C-PTSD.  It’s  incredibly difficult living with constant memories of things you wish you could forget but can’t, managing symptoms, pulling yourself out of a panic attack, calming yourself after nightmares or coming back to reality after a flashback.  Things things take a great deal of strength.

 

It also takes a great deal of strength to change, to try to live a healthy life instead of a dysfunctional one.  Change can be scary since it’s going into foreign territory.  The familiar is comfortable, even when it is painful, so many people find it easier to stay dysfunctional than to change.

 

Developing new & healthy boundaries is downright terrifying when you haven’t had them before, so setting & enforcing them also takes a tremendous amount of strength.  When people who had weak or no boundaries first start to set them, they meet with a LOT of opposition.  To press on even though everyone around you is calling you selfish or wondering what happened to that “nice” girl you used to be takes a lot of strength!

 

So you see, Dear Reader, just how strong you are?  Give yourself some credit today.  You are  so stronger than you give yourself credit for!

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14 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

14 responses to “You’re Much Stronger Than You Think!

  1. Thanks for the encouragement, I really needed to hear this

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Tara Lila Rose

    Recently a dear friend of mine who’s been living in Montana for over a decade was taken very ill and he’s been fighting for his life people around him were telling him that he had cancer and was dying I told him to get another opinion since these were naturopathic doctors who hadn’t actually given him any real test to determine the reality of his situation when he finally did that he found out he did not have cancer but he was very sick and almost died because he trusted the wrong people and that’s because he was an incubator baby he was born premature basically ignored by his narcissistic parents and not given any love or support just a roof over his head and three Square meals a day that’s not love and it doesn’t give you the foundation that you need to thrive spray even survived very well it saddens me and breaks my heart see people I love and care about suffering because of the bad Foundation that they were given myself included I’ve had severe health issues and all kinds of injuries and traumas that are a result of My Dysfunctional upbringing buy selfish and narcissistic people who never should have been allowed to have children I’m on a mission to help others for as long as I have breath in me to try to lessen the suffering so perhaps other little girls don’t have to grow up and be suffering to the extent that I have throughout my entire adult life it’s tragic it really is and you can’t say that we are weak because we’re suffering now because I’ve been working my butt off since age 12 it’s like a full-time job for 5 people treading water when the tide is going to pull you down that’s what it feels like or being in quicksand for your whole life nothing ever came easy everything’s a struggle and I don’t want to fight anymore I don’t have the energy. Sometimes I wonder why did I have really wonderful lives in the past where I received recognition and love and admiration is that why I have to come in this time and experienced the complete opposite so I could know what it really feels like well I do and I have and it’s enough I don’t want to feel it I don’t want to experience it anymore all I ever wanted was to be healthy and happy and it doesn’t look like it’s ever going to happen. That’s how I’m feeling right now.

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    • You’re not alone. There are far too many who feel as though things will never get better. I have days like that too. But having taken steps to separate from my abusers and heal I can look back and see that things have improved. It takes faith in the One Who loves us more than any human being ever could or will. He stands ready to give us the wisdom, strength, and discernment that is necessary to stand after we’ve been knocked down so often and for so long. We only need to ask Him.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. In my quiet time recently the Lord has been speaking to me about courage. He has been reminding me of all the times when I did what needed to be done despite having no support and suffering from the aftereffects of a childhood of neglect and abuse. Is strength the same thing as courage? I think of courage as the ability to make tough decisions under difficult and often painful circumstances, not as the absence of fear. There were many times when I was afraid to do something but did it anyway because it was necessary. Strength and courage, it seems to me, go hand in hand because all the courage in the world won’t do any good if you have no strength to accomplish what you have decided to do. And strength is useless if you haven’t the courage to use it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I find the best I can do – it’s absolutely uncontrollable is sleep all the time. 20 hours a day I sleep. I know that this is an escape, an escape from the abuse of a malignant narc father and an invalidating narc mother. I want to escape their criticisms, their hurtfulness, and their invasive love bombing. I am depleted. I am lifeless and helpless. Any suggestions?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello, Carter, funny how our way dealing with abuse is so similar! 10 years ago, after moving to the same city where my parents live, I grew more & more depressed, & spent more & more time sleeping. At first, I thought moving closer to my parents might give us a chance to re-build our relationship. How silly I was! They are narcs, so they never see there’s anything wrong with their ways of treating me. Even if I had the desire to seek reparation, they never saw why. See? It takes two to tango! It makes things easier to change my own perspective, because they will never change. Giving up on the hope of reparation actually liberated myself. I try not to see me as their daughter, but seek new ways to re-define myself. Carter, I wish you best luck and wisdom & strength.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I’m sorry to hear this, Carter! Do you live with them? If so, my first suggestion would be move out as soon as you can. If you can’t or you don’t live with them, maybe try to force yourself to get out more often. Spend time with supportive friends, do fun things. Something to give yourself a break from them since it would help to give you strength. Also pray. Ask God for ways to help yourself.

      Liked by 3 people

    • When I was still living with my parents I would come home from school and go right to bed. I forced myself to wake up and go down to dinner because I would have starved if I hadn’t. But I used sleep to escape contact with them and it went on for my entire high school career. It’s why I didn’t do as well as I could have in school.
      I endured their abuse for 62 years before I finally went NC. They robbed me of all joy and destroyed my health. If you are at all able to I strongly encourage you to move out. Please don’t waste decades of your life as I did before you get away.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. I absolutely LOVE this article!! It really speaks to my heart. It validates that narc survivors, no matter race or culture, have walked on similar paths! When we or friends around us had no knowledge about NPD, it’s impossible for us to know we were abused, especially when the abusers are parents who are so good at maintaining perfect images to others, so it’s so much harder for us to reach out for help! Even though as I grew up, I always felt something was “off”. It’s really evil that our parents never validated our feelings, so we have been gaslighted to not trust our own feelings! We became so good at suppressing our emotions for years that one day the suppressed emotions just couldn’t be stifled anymore. Last year, after not having cried for almost 10 years, I also had a mental breakdown in front of my parents. I don’t remember what triggered the breakdown, maybe merely having dinner with them is stressful enough to trigger that! Lol. I only remember I tried to tell them how unfair they had been treating me, how difficult my life was, compared with my siblings…. Then, I just couldn’t control my tears, & bursted into ugly cries. When I was crying, my parents just kept sitting at their dining table, never said a word, & even looked bored!! The atmosphere was SO AWKWARD that I felt I was the one spoiling the dinner for them!! Seeing no response at all from them, I went to the bathroom to dry my tears, & that’s the last straw!! After that, I seldom talk to my parents. Although last year, I didn’t know anything about NPD, their cold-blooded reaction, or it’s more like their “no reaction” , was enough to push me far, far away from them. Now I prefer to see it’s their loss for pushing me away. They lost the opportunity to build a genuine relationship with me.
    Sorry for the long comment. Btw, this is Sarah Chuang. Thank you so much, Cynthia, for letting me vent on your FB group & here. I don’t know how you get the strength to deal with so much, including my vent. :-/ Thanks again! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sarah! Thanks for letting me know it’s you- I was going to ask.

      Thank you so much for all you said! ❤ ❤

      That is just heartless of your parents to respond that way to your tears! Unfortunately I understand since mine are the same way. I think all narcissistic parents are. Our pain means nothing to them. Like everything else, if it doesn't directly affect them, it's not important to them. Your pain hurts you, not them, so they don't care. Isn't it unbelievable people can be that way?!

      Liked by 2 people

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