This blog post is brought to you following months and months of deliberation and inner conflict around whether or not I should write any more about this subject…
It’s written from a slightly more personal slant than usual, but like everything I share, within the personal there is potentially a great deal that may be of benefit to others to hear.
I felt I should be honest and write authentically from the heart around my experience in deciding if I should even continue this series on Narcissistic Abuse Recovery, as that in itself is important – the process that I’ve been through around this, in itself, is an important component of recovery from Narcissistic Abuse, which by now if you’ve read my previous posts on this subject it must be obvious has been a core facet of my own life’s experience.
As I’ve alluded to in previous posts and as the title of this post suggests, my own experience has been one of overcoming the childhood trauma associated with having had a narcissistic parent (mother), and the deep, profound impact that leaves on every plane of one’s being. While I’ve spent many years developing higher spiritual perspectives around this, I’ll be the first to admit that having a higher perspective does not automatically make the entirety of the impact in all of its nuances and in all of the ways in which it subtlely affects different areas of life, magically go away.
Rather, a higher perspective primarily provides scope to deal with untangling the many and often complicated knots that come with having had such an experience, in the most graceful way possible, something that still has to be painstakingly combed through layer by layer as the layers reveal themselves, higher perspective or not.
This gradual process of untangling the impact of Narcissistic Abuse at any stage of life or childhood trauma in general, or in fact even discovery of all of the layers and the ways in which different areas of life are affected by having had this experience, cannot be avoided in any way, and simply takes time. The damage sustained is so layered, most particularly in the case of a Narcissistic Abusive parent/child relationship, that it can take years to patiently and carefully unravel all of the ways in which it shows up, and this has certainly been my experience.
Some areas remain entirely hidden until such a time as particular life events are encountered, or until particular opportunities are engaged. My attempt to write my first book right now, for example, is revealing many layers to me that had not previously been so clear. The more the boundaries of one’s reality are pushed through fuller expression of the self, the more chance there is of encountering obscured places where negative impact from past experience still remains, and thus being able to remove or resolve it, and that is one of the reasons that I write.
I am aware as part of my spiritual journey, of many metaphysical truths that draw into question the potential validity of continuing to touch upon this subject, and nevertheless I cannot deny that the subject continues to call to me as something that I’m not done with yet. The reason I’ve felt conflicted around whether or not to continue addressing it is related to my knowledge of these metaphysical truths. Let me explain…
The truth is, I know very well metaphysically that the dreams of the past are just that – dreams… stories that are no more real in the grand scheme of things than a story we might make up for any other reason, perhaps for entertainment. I know that the past is fluid and changeable, and that the moment well lived changes the past in a very real way. This effectively means that what we believe to have been our past is no longer necessarily the case, and in fact may only be kept in place by the energy we continue to feed to the story we once believed. In addition, our memory of past is generally based on some degree of misinterpretation, making the story we remember sketchy at best.
I also know that there is no past in a static sense; the past is a layer of the moment… and yet if the potential of the moment is still influenced by “past” experience in a way that hinders our full expression now, then the past is essentially our present, and that definitely needs to be addressed. It can be addressed, certainly, from the higher metaphysical angle of knowing it to be a fluid, changeable story, a dream that we can awaken from at any moment, but it cannot feasibly be ignored in the hope that it will just go away…
I know that ultimately the aim is to simply wake up from the dreams of the past and realise them to be nothing more than dreams, and yet I also know that unless we effectively untangle ourselves from the facets of the dreams that still trap us, we cannot wake up from them fully.
We are bound to the degree that the past is unresolved in that we have not yet harvested the precious insights that it holds for us, or found a way to simply dissolve it (sometimes the most appropriate option) through mystical means. To the degree that the past is as yet unresolved, it is still part of our current reality, and will become our future. The story is therefore valid in so far as it still holds gems of awareness for us to glean from it – which when approached courageously from the right angle and in the knowing that we are the masters of our own destiny, capable of miraculous feats of self-liberation, may lead us to profound states of embodied articulation of our Infinite potential.
The conclusion that I’ve come to is this…
As I observe my precious clients and others who come to me for support and who have been impacted by the devastation of Narcisstic Abuse, childhood or otherwise, and as I observe what remains of the impact of this experience in my own life, I notice that until all elements of the experience come into full consciousness, until they are given space to be heard, until our very legitimate feelings about them are validated by us and therefore able to be released, they truly do continue to bind us.
Alternatively, until we realise that the experiences we seem to have had may not be what they appear, through a profound evolution of consciousness, and thus are able to free ourselves in that way (if you require support with this process, please feel welcome to explore my 1:1 offerings)…
My conclusion therefore is that it serves in tremendous ways for me to continue to talk about this, and that my own experience of having freed myself to the degree that I have, and am continuing to do so, is still incredibly relevant share material that may be exactly what somebody else needs to hear to faciliate the liberation of their own being from the dreams of the past.
Childhood Narcissistic Abuse and the Golden Child / Scapegoat Phenomenon…
Although it poses a personal risk to me, I want to be completely transparent (or as transparent as appropriate) about something that occurred last year, as I feel it would do a great disservice to those I can potentially help through sharing my experience not to do so.
Having encountered last summer a new and very huge layer of the impact of past experience that was pressing to be resolved and speaking up in various different ways, I had a catastrophic clash with my only sibling who has always bucked up against my attempts to address and heal past trauma, and with whom the relationship has been either turbulent or non-existent since the onset of the story I will tell below, 16 years ago.
Around this time last year I wrote a previous blog on the the subject of Narcissitic Abuse and Personality Disorders in general, and created two videos, available here and here, to accompany it.
Why have my attempts to address past experience and to heal from the trauma of it been so problematic? Partially because my sibling’s experience, as the Golden Child, was completely different to mine, and they have absolutely no idea of the nature of what I actually went through, and either think I’m insane or just don’t see what the problem is. There is much more to this, but this is the part that I would like to address today and that is appropriate to address for the purpose of this blog.
This event last summer and its reverberations deeply shook me in many ways and for many reasons, most notably that it created an entire new layer of family drama that now has to be navigated, where I had previously thought that progress was being made in dissolving the drama that already existed. This clearly makes the whole situation and the impact of it that I’m still dealing with in various practical ways very much “the present” and not the past at all, although I’ve been accused of refusing to let go of the past. Crazy making much? Perhaps you can relate, if you’ve been in a similar scenario.
The nature of this experience and its impact left me with a whole new incredibly painful feeling of being “bound and gagged” and unable to speak up, a classic symptom of Narcissistic Abuse (the bound to secrecy phenomenon), and this has prevented me from being able to express in critical ways that are vital to my overall wellbeing and to the fulfilment of my purpose in life, and fundamentally to my work. This has held me back hugely and in a very damaging fashion since the middle of last year.
It’s so important that I break through this, both for myself, and to demonstrate to those who are listening to my words that if this has been your experience too, it is entirely possible to break free from it. We cannot truly be bound by any external force, and have all power within us to dissolve even the strongest form of bondage. We may simply need to surround ourselves with others who can help us with this process, and who can understand and empathise with the very real difficulities we might be having.
Support is so important, and the power of even a tiny amount of support cannot be understated! This is, again, one of the reasons why I’m writing this blog. I know in my heart that it will be of support to somebody, and I’m committed to being of service to other lightbeings through my life and work. Breaking through is really my only option.
It’s entirely possible for two people who grew up in the same home to have had an entirely different experience. In Narcissistic Abusive parent/child family relationships, it’s common to have one child who is the Scapegoat, and one who is the Golden Child. They receive different treatment, and the Golden Child may know nothing of what the Scapegoat has had to endure.
Understanding that this is just a story, I wish to share the following story to illustrate how this can play out in a family dynamic, in the hope that if you have experienced this too, you might recognise yourself in these words and realise that your feelings are valid, and that you too can self-release from the shackles that hold you down.
If this has not been your personal experience, perhaps hearing about it will help you to understand the challenge that others who have been through this are faced with, and to help them to higher ground through compassionate embrace. Compassionate understanding and even the smallest shred of support is a vital lifeline to those who’ve been through Narcissistic Abuse, since one of the core components of the abuse is isolation from friends, family, community and other forms of critical support.
The Experience of the Scapegoat…
As mentioned, it’s common in a Narcissistic Abusive parent/child family situation for one child in the family to be the Scapegoat on whom everything from things that go wrong in the family to the internal struggles of the abusive parent/s, and even other completely unconnected events, is blamed. This is usually the child with the most light, since their light triggers all of the distortions, fears and wounding in the parent/s by highlighting it in an unbearable way, pushing the parent/s in their unconsciousness to attack the perceived source of irritation rather than address their own internal issues. The Scapegoat is generally the sole target of abuse, and the one on whom the fury of narcissistic rage is ongoingly released by default, regardless of whether or not it was provoked by the Scapegoat themselves, or by something completely unrelated.
Others in the family experience a totally different version of the Narcissistic parent, part of a deliberate set-up to maintain total control of the family dynamic through manipulation. Although in my family situation, both me and my dad were the Scapegoats, and received different versions of the Scapegoat treatment depending on the situation, with one or other of us becoming the default target when the other was unavailable. The Scapegoat is isolated from the rest of the family to facilitate the maintenance of total control through making them doubt their own sanity, supported by constant invalidation of their reality (this is known as gaslighting). If they ever speak up, they appear to be insane to everyone else, who is seeing an entirely different facet of the Narcissist’s personality – a facet that presents them as a kind, loving, compassionate and sacrificing parent/wife/husband/father/mother/etc, rather angelic in nature, and who can surely do no wrong.
When my dad finally left the family home permanently right before my 14th birthday because the relationship between my parents had become so irreconcilable due to the abusiveness of my mother, it was blamed entirely on me. The following were the reasons why it was my fault:
- It was my fault because I was upset that my friend had been hit by a car and killed, which created drama. In reality, my mother had used this situation as a weapon to control my dad in a highly manipulative and cruel way, at my expense, which caused immense psychological damage to the 13 year old me. This was the last straw that pushed my dad to make his final decision to leave for good.
- It was my fault because I wasn’t a good enough daughter and wasn’t pretty enough, and my dad therefore wanted to replace me and that’s why he left us, and so I’d ruined everybody’s life. My dad, following the complete breakdown of my parent’s marriage and during a long period away from home had entered another relationship with an old friend, and while my parents’ relationship was long over by this point, they weren’t yet officially and publicly separated, and my mother projected all of her rage and woundedness about this onto me for several years to come. As you might imagine, the psychological impact of this caused me to later develop both anorexia and bulimia, which damaged my teeth and created hormonal problems that took years to recover from.
- It was my fault generally, because my mere existence was the bane of the family and all problems that occurred were ultimately because of me in some way or another. It was made clear that if I didn’t exist, everyone would be so much happier. Claming the right to exist and to take up space without feeling constantly apologetic for my existence has consequently been one of my greatest struggles, though the abuse that created this dynamic started in much earlier childhood.
The trauma of this whole scenario with all of its different facets (the death of my friend that went completely unacknowledged, the general insanity at home, problems I was having at school, my dad leaving and all that surrounded that; the abusiveness and lies) was so immense that I experienced a total breakdown, which was accompanied by crippling insomnia where I would lie awake for literally entire nights, and would often wander the house or even creep outside and wander in the dark around the fields surrounding our home, which felt a lot more comforting than lying alone in my room and feeling so utterly abandoned mentally, emotionally and psychologically.
At one point, a relative came to the home presumably to investigate the situation since it must have been clear to onlookers that something strange was going on with my family, and while I thought they may have come to help us, they too ended up blaming me for my mother’s problems, claiming that my refusal to sleep is what was causing her so much stress. The blow that that delivered was enough to push me into full blown clinical depression, and the next year I was removed from school for an entire term and placed on suicide watch. My mother painted herself as the victim of a depressed child.
Meanwhile, the Golden Child experienced a completely different version of events, having no idea whatsoever what I was going through, and my mother so successfully isolated us from each other in the classic Narcissistic Abusive way that I don’t even know to this day what that version of events actually was. It has never been discussed, and potentially never will be. Meanwhile, of course the ripple effects of all of this have continued to influence my life in countless ways, many of them producing extreme difficulty and hardship, and the journey to untangling them all has been a constant effort.
This kind of situation is not unique. It is one of the classic forms of childhood Narcissistic Abuse within a parent/child relationship, and as I’ve come to regrettably understand over the last few years is shockingly common, especially among beings of light. This is my reason and motivation for writing about this; I know in the core of my soul that there is yet work to be done in how I can help others who have been through this experience to heal and to free themselves from the chaos of such a past, so that they too may be liberated into the fullness of expression of their whole being, unhindered and uninhibited. All the while, writing about this is the next layer of freeing myself. To be able to help anybody else requires my own freedom and openness. I’m committed to living this in all ways.
It’s only in the last year that I’ve been able to resolve the insomnia that had been with me for 16 years previous as a result of the above story, which is a perfect example of how having a higher perspective does not simply make the full impact of Narcissistic Abuse just dissapear. I’ve previously written about how complex PTSD is often a result of childhood trauma, of which chronic insomnia is a symptom. Fully untangling all the ways in which Narcissistic Abuse and childhood trauma affects us requires loving and healthy connections and relationships with others who can help us, through genuine care, to repair the damage and establish the sense of connected wholeness that is our birthright, and is ours for the taking when we are willing to walk the brave journey of self-healing; when we commit to ourselves above all else. It also takes time, patience and perseverance. Healing is always possible.
Society is so rife with these issues, and I’ve encountered so many exquisitely beautiful beings who are still suffering from the impact of Narcissistic Abuse at some point in their lives, that I cannot with integrity and a clear conscience remain silent on this subject, no matter how difficult it is for me to speak up about it. I hope that if you’re reading this and this has been your experience too, you may feel empowered in being able to lift yourself out of it. You are so much more powerful than you realise, and have all the resources within you to achieve anything. You are also not alone.
If you would benefit from support in this area, please feel free to check out my offerings. You can also find me and connect on my Facebook page.
Out of the Fog is an excellent resource detailing more information on various different personality disorders to help with recognition of them, and includes suggestions of what to do and what not to do in situations involving personality disordered loved ones, based on what has been found to work, and what clearly isn’t helpful. This resource was created to assist families, friends, colleagues and associates of loved ones affected by personality disorders, and is well worth a read for anyone who is curious.
FOG = Fear, Obligation, Guilt – the toxic pattern of entrapment that keeps one bound to the experience with personality disorders individuals, and that must be dissolved to experience true freedom and wholeness, and the ability to live one’s true unique potential unhindered.