How did I manage to marry my mother? He seemed so different from her but, in truth, he wasn’t. How did I manage not to see that he was treating me the same way as my mother always has? It’s so discouraging.
Is there someone in your life who’s always eager to denigrate your efforts, remind you of your flaws, or quick to point out how he or she would have done a better job?
Growing up in a family that never encountered a cliché it didn’t embrace, I was surrounded by positive thinking. There was a tea cozy that announced that “Every cloud has a silver lining” and, at some point, a chintzy plaque that read “When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Lemonade.” Yes, it had a lemon painted on it. So, my distrust of these upbeat mottos and mantras runs deep—rightly, as it happens.
Negative childhood experiences shape us in many ways, some more subtle than others.
It’s in the nature of things that relationships change over time; the people within them change and so does the dynamic. Sometimes, that’s a good thing—an acquaintance becomes a friend, a friend becomes a confidant, or love becomes more nuanced through mutual experience. Sometimes, however, change is not a good thing.
It's hard to believe it's been just about a year since I embarked on the voyage called Knotted--my first post was January 6, 2016-- and it's been gratifying to see how many of you joined me.
Letting go and knowing when you need to are important life skills, as is the ability to maintain and set healthy boundaries. All three of these behaviors are challenging to women (and men, for that matter) who grew up in unloving households, didn’t have their emotional needs met, and developed an insecure attachment style.
People argue and they fight, even when they care for each other. Relationships are famously difficult and it’s little wonder that there are many of us who have trouble recognizing the line in the sand—and yes, it’s there—when normal turns into toxic.
You might have noticed that the movie Love Actually has made it into the Christmas television canon and, yes, it got me thinking that cue cards –as in the famous scene because “at Christmas you tell the truth”—might come in really handy.
It was only in hindsight, I’m sorry to say, that I understood what drove him. What I knew about narcissism at the time was limited to cultural stereotypes—you know, the full-of-himself extrovert, who’s super-focused on the externals, presents well, and is outwardly successful. I didn’t realize that there’s a common type of narcissist of a different stripe.