Are You Ashamed Of Past Mistakes?

Many adult children of narcissistic parents battle with shame.  These awful parents raise their children to be full of shame about everything about themselves.  Unfortunately this carries well into adulthood.


One area many adult children of narcissistic parents feel tremendous shame in is their younger days, when they may have done unwise things such as marry a narcissist.  I understand, as when I look back, I have a hard time believing I did such stupid things once.


The thing that we all need to remember though is the things we did that we aren’t proud of were done by someone who didn’t know any better.  Someone who was still in the fog of narcissistic abuse, & therefore unable to make good, healthy decisions.  How could anyone make good, healthy decisions when they firmly believe they are stupid, unlovable, worthless & more?  It’s impossible!


I look back at when I met then later married my ex husband & am amazed at myself.  He was nothing like the kind of man I find attractive at all.  He was narcissistic even at age 16 when we first met.  Yet, I stood up to my mother for him repeatedly, even as terrified of her as I was, & took repeated emotional beatings from her because of him.  Why??  He wasn’t worth it!  He wasn’t good to me.  But, at first he told me the things I was starved to hear, such as I was smart & beautiful.  It’s embarrassing how desperate I was for such things, & what I did to get them.  However, I know now my awful behavior wasn’t because I was a bad person or stupid or any of the other things my mother said I was.  It was because I had no self-esteem because of being subjected to daily narcissistic abuse.


When you look back over your life & feel ashamed of the things you have done, Dear Reader, please remember that you too have nothing to be ashamed of!   Narcissistic abuse does terrible things to people, especially when they are children & the narcissist in question is a parent.  It causes those children to make bad choices & do foolish things.  That is NOT the fault of the children.  Forgive yourself for the things you did.  It’s OK that you made some mistakes.  Everyone makes mistakes, especially when raised by narcissistic parents.  The important thing is  now you know better.


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

2 responses to “Are You Ashamed Of Past Mistakes?

  1. I constantly struggle with the question of how much responsibility I should bear for things I’ve done in the past. Because my abusers don’t take responsibility for the things they’ve done, because I don’t want to be anything like them, and because of my Christian beliefs, I have a hard time making excuses for my behavior. I try to remember what I was thinking decades ago, to examine my conscience, when I did these things. And that’s just not possible so I end up in the fallback position of accepting blame and the shame that goes with it. Since I emerged from the fog of abuse I’m able to be more discerning about when to assign blame to myself for things I do in the present. But the past is another story altogether. I have very sincere regrets about my past decisions, but am I completely to blame for them? partially to blame? What about the people who suffered because of my bad choices? I think the word haunted is the best way to describe how I feel about this.


    • Haunted is a very good description of how that feels. I’m sorry you struggle with that, Suzanne. It’s hard, I know. God has been the only reason I have developed a healthier view of my past mistakes. Yes, I’ve done a LOT I’m still embarrassed, even ashamed about, but I also realize I’m not that person anymore. I wasn’t a Christian & I was a product of abuse (totally dysfunctional, in other words). I also try to make up where I can.. I pray daily for my ex husband even though I haven’t talked to him in 20 years. I know I did hurt him, yet don’t want any semblance of a relationship with him, so this is my way of making things up to him.

      Liked by 1 person

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