An Idea For Coping With Narcissistic Abuse

On Mother’s Day, I came across a very good article called “A Mother’s Day Card For The Disposable Child.”   One sentence in particular hit home with me.. “She walked away from me and shamed me for asking for a healthier way of relating. If I wanted to go back to the old way, I suspect she’d accept me as her daughter again.”  Reading this sentence, I thought about my parents & that is exactly our situation.

 

As usual when reminded of something so dysfunctional about my parents, it really made me sad.  I knew I needed to deal with this rather than bury it, but I just wanted to finish the article first.  As I scrolled down I read the letter the author wrote to her mother, but never sent.  Upon reading this, what I needed to do clicked in my mind.  I needed to write a letter to each of my parents, but never send them.

 

Have you ever done this, Dear Reader?  Have you ever written out what you would love to say to your parents if it was completely safe to do so?  If not, I urge you to do this.

 

Writing things out can be a very therapeutic experience.  There is something validating about seeing things in writing rather than simply remembering them.  It makes experiences seem more real.

 

Also, by writing things out, you are in charge of who sees what you write.  You can hide it so no one but you & God know about it (I like an online, password protected diary), or you can add to it & turn it into a book.  You are totally in control.  When speaking things out, there can be interruptions, or others can hear what you don’t want them to hear.

 

By writing things out, you’re safe.  If you confront your narcissistic parents, you are far from safe.  Narcissists don’t do confrontation.  They refuse to accept responsibility for things they’ve done since that might make them look or feel bad.  They will do or say anything to avoid accepting responsibility.  Denial, projection, gaslighting are all distinct possible scenarios.  Why subject yourself to them if it’s not necessary?  Yet, you still may need to purge the awful emotions you’re experiencing.  That is where writing letters you don’t send come into play.

 

Writing letters like this helps you to get out your feelings in a completely safe manner.  You can say anything you like, in any way you like, without fear of judgment or narcissistic mind games.  When I write these letters, I don’t worry about bad language or using “I” statements or anything- I let it all out, no matter how ugly it is.

 

Once the letter is done, I’ve noticed I feel very tired & a bit raw emotionally.  It doesn’t last long, thankfully.  This seems to be a typical phenomenon after doing heavy emotional work on healing.  When it happens to you, just remember to be especially gentle with yourself.  Do whatever self-care things make you feel loved & nurtured.

 

 

 

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26 Comments

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

26 responses to “An Idea For Coping With Narcissistic Abuse

  1. I’ve done this before. The letter to my mother was pretty raw and would probably make shocking reading but it REALLY helped me. Have you written one?

    Like

    • That’s awesome! So glad it helped you! I’m sure it was shocking but needed to be let out.

      Not in a while.. I was going to write one after writing this post about a week ago, then our dog suddenly passed. The letter got put on the back burner since grief is more important at the moment. The ones I have written though have been very helpful.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ibikenyc

    Oh, Cynthia. I am so sorry about your dog. My condolences.

    Like

    • Thank you so much. Dixie was a sweet, special girl. We all miss her. It was such a shock- I think that makes it even harder.

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      • ibikenyc

        Dixie? Awwww!

        Of course the shock makes it harder. I wish I could fix it for you.

        Like

        • She came from TN, & with her personality, I figured she deserved a proper Southern belle name. Dixie fit her. 🙂

          Thank you.. I wish you could too. The worst part of pet parenting is losing them, without a doubt. Well, that & watching the surviving ones grieve- that is so hard too.

          We let her outside to potty last Thursday morning & in about 5 minutes, she was gone. No warning, no symptoms…she was chasing a squirrel one moment then collapsed. I assume it was her heart. Heart attack? Arrythmia? I don’t know. It was such a shock to all of us.

          Liked by 1 person

          • ibikenyc

            Didn’t see this until just now. I knew another dog named Dixie who belonged to a Southern friend of mine.

            Forgot you have the others and that of course they notice.

            I know how I would feel if my kitten-cat left me so suddenly.

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            • Dixie seems to be a pretty common name for girl dogs it seems.

              They absolutely do notice. Zippy in particular is having a hard time.

              Have you ever lost a pet suddenly?

              Liked by 1 person

              • ibikenyc

                Not in any “normal” way. It’s VERY easy, though, for me to imagine taking her on that Last Trip to the vet, and it gets me at least teary and sometimes actually sobbing.

                (When I was a teenager, I ended up with a Shepherd-mix female “we” named Duchess. My N mother couldn’t bother herself to OMG get dressed or even just put on sneakers and a robe or something and so let the UNTRAINED puppy out our front door with the idea that she’d stay in the yard. One day, she didn’t, and I came home to learn that “Oh, well,” [not in so many words but DEFINITELY in such an attitude] “Duchess ran into the street and got hit.”)

                What species is Zippy?

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                • Oh good granny. Your mother needs to be smacked for that. That is awful! Typical narcissist- thinking someone (human or animal) will do what they want because they want it. ARGH!!!!!! I’m so sorry about Duchess!

                  Geez… my mind. I should’ve mentioned that. Zippy is a cat. He’s jet black with a white heart shaped spot on his chest, almost 5 years old & 25 lbs of solid muscle. Rather intimidating boy to look at, but he is a true sweetheart. He’s also protective of me. A couple of years ago I gave him the middle name of Irusan, after the king of the cats in Irish folklore. Irusan was as large as a cow, black with a white spot on his chest & a natural leader. It describes Zippy to a T. 🙂

                  Liked by 1 person

  3. ibikenyc

    I haven’t (yet?) written any “Unsent Letters” to my parents, but I have several to others (“My” Abuser; his three daughters; my OWN daughter) in various states of completion.

    This is one of those things that I always kinda, well, not exactly rolled my eyes at, but figured was more of a Platitude than anything else until I actually did it.

    My (as it were) weapons of choice are intellectual condescension and bitterly-nasty sarcasm, two things I avoid assiduously except when pushed beyond all reason*. The Unsent Letters are an excellent vehicle for expressing all that without doing any damage.

    *The first time I saw this scene on “The Big Bang Theory,” I almost fell out of my chair. It’s the VERY polite version of what I’m talking about:

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    • It sounds that way, doesn’t it? Like these letters just placate a person for a while. It’s surprising how effective they can be!

      I admit, I’m not a fan of the show, but this video cracked me up. That is hysterical! LOL!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • ibikenyc

        Glad you laughed. I was a quark away from asking you to take it down, as I feared it seemed, oh, maybe inappropriately-funny for the topic and might hurt someone’s feelings.

        (I’m not exactly a “fan” myself, but I relate STRONGLY to Geek Life [I am a Mensan] and Sheldon in particular. There’s an episode where he describes his thoughts about the exchange of gifts, and I sat here thinking, “Why do they think this is FUNNY? It’s just the way it IS!”)

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        • Well, honestly I find a lot of inappropriate things funny. Hopefully no one’s feelings were hurt & they could simply find the humor in it!

          Wow.. how cool you’re a Mensan! Impressive!

          Not a thing wrong with geek life! Being a complete nerd myself I get it.. I actually follow a facebook page called Nerd Is The Word. Sometimes things are too nerdy even for me but it’s pretty rare..lol

          Liked by 1 person

          • ibikenyc

            Oh, well; thanks for the compliment. I keep it very much to myself usually, ESPECIALLY IRL. Back in my twenties I had even less self-esteem than I do now, and a wise older friend mentioned it one day (I’d never heard of it) and said whaddaya mean; of COURSE you could get in! It did wonders for my self-esteem but especially helped me do all kinds of new things because I kept thinking that I COULD.

            Do I need to tell you that it just EATS. HIM. UP.? I get accused regularly of exactly the sort of behaviour exhibited in that clip from Big Bang, not towards him (which could possibly have merit) but towards those People / Others every Narcissist just loves to tell you are Talking About you (“You think you’re so much SMARTER than everybody else! EVERYBODY sees that about you!”) I have been sorely tempted at times to point out to him that it’s not EVERYBODY else, just ninety-eight percent of them, but I suspect the joke would go right over his head!

            I will check out that Nerd Is The Word. Sounds like it’s right up my alley.

            I, too, have an extremely dark and irreverent sense of humour!

            Like

            • That friend certainly did you a huge favor! 🙂

              No, you don’t..lol. I’m sure his head is about to explode which makes it all the better! LOL! If he actually got your 98% joke, no doubt his head would literally explode.

              Need Is The Word is a fun, fun page. Hope you enjoy it!

              Liked by 1 person

  4. I sometimes write letters. I find it helps me to vent and even organize my thoughts and better process information. I don’t send them of course but destroy them so that they don’t fall into the wrong hands.

    Liked by 2 people

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