What is it like?

That question comes up a lot. What is it like?

What is it like to be in a relationship with someone or have a relationship with someone who’s only goal is to manipulate your reality and destroy you.

I know that seems “dramatic” but that is the reality of what it is like to date a narcissistically abusive individual. That is what it is like to have narcissist for parents. There is a vendetta that they have that the world is out to get you and they are using you to prove a point. It sucks and it hurts and it is so unfair.

I’ll tell you a little story about the woman who gave me life.

She blames her lack of being able to bond with me on the fact that I was born 2.5 months early and that she was unable to bond with me because I was in an incubator for 26 days. And this is where the narcissism and lack of accountability began.

I was a child who was constantly the target. Between my half siblings and my birth mother I was the target for them to take their anger out on.

She was always angry. Always yelling. Always wanting to take her anger out on me. She did this because she saw me as the “weak link”. And she became increasingly mad when I would stand up for myself.

When you stand up for yourself and not allow them to attack you and treat you anyway that they want, one of two things are going to happen:

  • They stop
  • Or they get angrier

I unfortunately dealt with the “or they get angrier” part.

No matter what I did I was always in the wrong. And no matter what I did I would always get an anger response. Everything I did, whether it was good or bad, I got an anger response.

The only time I would essentially have affection from her was when she was doing my hair. She would braid my hair every now and then and that is when I would get emotional because I felt affection and love from her. And I knew it would soon be taken away.

And she would take it away almost immediately because she knew I was going to cry when I thanked her. And looking back on it I cried because I was afraid. Not because I was thankful. But I cried because I was afraid that I was going to get in trouble for crying. But I could never control my tears because I did feel thankful but I knew it wasn’t genuine.

What a weird paradigm right?

I knew so many things at a young age that any child should not know.

Your parents are supposed to nurture you and take care of you. And often times I wish I was just put up for adoption so that a family that wanted me could have given me a life that wasn’t filled with pain and sadness.

I was depressed. My depression started at the age of 5. 5 years old? I just knew I was sad. And I didn’t feel safe and I especially didn’t feel wanted.

I was 4 years old when it all started.

When the torture began. Most children don’t have memories until they are 7 or 8 years old.

I remember being 4 years old very clearly. When the torture began from my half siblings and I was molested (incested) by my half sister.

I told my birth mother when I was 10 or 11 and she didn’t do a single thing about it. She didn’t say anything to her about it.

She always told me that the reason she did it to me was because her dad (we have different dads) did it to her. That he molested her. And I never knew what that was. I never knew what that meant. All I knew was that she did something bad to me. And I always wondered why my birth mother would allow her to still see her dad but also allow her to still be around me. She hurt me. And my birth mother was supposed to protect me and she didn’t.

And that is when I knew for sure that she hated me. She blamed everything that ever happened to me, either on me (gaslighting), or on someone else who had went through something (projecting). And she never stood up for me. She never protected me. I was never safe.

It hurts.

When people ask me “how does it feel”? I tell them it hurts. And it’s hard. And it most definitely can get better. But those memories linger over time.

It is not something that I will ever “just get over”. That dismissive language is damning and hurtful. Telling someone to just get over it. Especially when they never experienced any pain like this.

How do I just get over it?

Yes, I have done therapy.

Yes, I have done the work.

But, no. It doesn’t go away.

It pops up.

It reminds you.

It’s there.

Especially when I am asleep.

More so when I am awake.

It is tattooed on my skin.

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