A recent conversation with my husband gave me an interesting revelation.
He said when I talk about the traumatic things I’ve been through, it’s almost always what my parents did rather than how I feel or how things affected me. He’s right. I immediately chalked that up to having C-PTSD. The disorder means sometimes I have to talk things to death to come to some sort of terms with them. However, I felt there was something I wasn’t realizing about this. God revealed to me what it is.
Surviving growing up with narcissistic parents instills a need for constant validation in a person. That is why I talk more about the things they did rather than my feelings. I can handle my feelings just fine on my own. What I need help with is understanding exactly how bad my parents have been to me.
When you’re raised by narcissists, your reality is much different than real reality. In my case, I learned my mother was always right & should get whatever she wants even if that means hurting me. I learned my father is very helpless, & couldn’t do anything to take care of me or protect me from my mother’s abuse. I also learned very early in life that my parents’ emotional needs were my responsibility. I was to have no needs or feelings of my own since that could be a distraction from them & their needs & feelings.
Pretty messed up, huh?
Thankfully, as an adult, I’ve learned how wrong, dysfunctional & abusive these things are. Even so, I still battle them to a degree simply because these beliefs were very deeply instilled in me. If I tell someone about some awful thing my parents did to me & they get angry & say things like, “That was terrible! It was wrong to do that to you!” their outrage helps to validate my pain & tear down those false beliefs. An objective third party seeing that they were wrong & I wasn’t to blame (as I always was with my parents), is a huge help to me!
Are you like me? When you discuss the abuse, do you discuss more about the events than how you feel about them? Or, do you seek validation frequently by asking people if your perception or feelings are OK? If so, know there is nothing wrong with you, even though it may feel that way. It’s just one more thing that narcissistic abuse can cause in a person. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Accept it for what it is, & ask God to help you heal.