I am a firm believer that we are all held accountable for our own actions…regardless of our past or our present upbringing or circumstances.
In other words…I do not think we can simply blame our bad decisions on, let’s say…our parents …for overdosing us with bad parenting. There is a measure of responsibility we all need to take, such as recognizing that while our upbringing may have caused us to find ourselves in less than ideal situations…the truth ..is it is and always has been in our power to “stay” or “allow” these bad situations to continue. Once we can take a measure of responsibility for this…..we can begin to heal.
When we do not accept a measure of responsibility…we can not heal,because we see all of our problems as someone else’s fault and not our own. And since we cannot change others, we can only mold ourselves, that kind of thinking keeps a person ‘stuck’ in a pattern of continuous and repetitive bad decisions.
Ok….now that I have established that…I also recognize how a parent can create in their children the perfect breeding ground for a narcissist.
In my case, I was made to feel as if I was born with some kind of emotional defect…a lack of wanting love or affection. I was told I was cold and detached as an infant, preferring to be left alone in my crib rather than be held and cuddled.
I can still see myself in my minds eye, a young girl with big brown eyes, oversized glasses and so skinny that my knees were wider than my upper thigh. I’m standing in the living room watching my mother hug my brothers and laugh with them. She looks so happy and seems to enjoy the embraces of my brothers. And I’m thinking:
“Why doesn’t she ever hug me like that?”
“Why does she glance over at me so coldly?”
“Can’t she tell that I want to be in those arms too?”
“What’s wrong with me?”
“Why am I so difficult to love?”
“Why does she hate me?”
All of these questions run through my mind as I stand there frozen…watching..unable to comfortably run into her arms yet unable to turn and walk away. I’m standing there looking gangly and uncomfortable, until she finally acknowledges my presence.
“You see Michele, this is what I always wanted with you from the time you were a baby, but you never wanted it. You never wanted to be held or loved, you just wanted to be left alone in your crib. I’m so glad now that the boys aren’t like that.”
What? Why would I not want to be held, I’m thinking as I hold back the tears.
Is that who I was? Is that the kind of baby that I was? Then why does it hurt so much to see her hug others and not hug me? I want that, I feel the desire. But she says that I’m not like that, that I never was an affectionate person. What’s wrong with me? Doesn’t she see me?
My feet were cemented to the ground as I watched and was dictated my reality, a reality so very different from the one in my own mind. In my own eyes, even as a child I saw myself wanting love, needing love like the air we breath, and I saw myself as emotionally starved. Like a person wandering through the desert desperately seeking water, is how I felt wandering through life …desperately seeking love….and yet now I was being told that I was nothing like that. I was cold, hated affection, preferred to be alone.
It was very confusing to be a small child, trusting the observations of a parent, after all no one knows us better than our parents…and yet finding that their observations seemed so far away from reality that I could only do one thing….stop trusting my own observations of myself. They must be flawed.
The thin slice of my childhood portrayed above reveals how a parent can create in a child the perfect personality for a narcissist to gravitate to.
Two things were happening by the bad parenting of my narcissistic mother:
1. A belief that I was flawed was deeply imprinted on my soul.
2. I learned to stop trusting my own perceptions of myself and others, and began to allow someone else to dictate my reality.
This workbook will help you discover and destroy any limiting beliefs that were installed by toxic, narcissistic parents so that you can reach your own happiness
Nobody understands what you're going through more than someone who has been there. I grew up with narcissistic family member and had intimate relationships with malignant narcissists. For the majority of my healing journey, I felt as if I was all alone. I now dedicate my life to being the person for others, that I needed on my own healing journey, so that YOU never feel alone.