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I’m Grateful for Abuse Making Me A Better Person

Narcissistic abuse is straight-up, forthright, upright, downright bad. Bad! But even in the midst of all that pain and sorrow, I might just have found something to be grateful for.

Who Would You Have Been Otherwise?

In therapy, I found myself falling into a trap. I kept thinking that, if I tried hard enough, I’d become the person I would’ve been if the narcissistic abuse had never occurred. That goal was gargantuan and soul-crushing. It was also impossible. I kept reaching for some imaginary perfectly healthy well-balanced person who never did, never could, never will exist.

Then I had an epiphany. I stood on my head, symbolically speaking, and looked at it the opposite way.

What bad traits might I have if the abuse had never occurred? Oh, I’m not excusing abuse. All I’m saying is that it gave us some admirable qualities we might never have developed otherwise.

Spoiled Rotten

When I began writing this blog, a relative attempted to post a comment. In it, I was referred to as being spoiled. Apparently, my family believes that Narcissism Meets Normalcy is a colossal case of “sour grapes” or something. The Golden Grandchild throwing a temper tantrum because the gravy train stopped when I married. Heavenly Days! It’s like talking into a dead phone!

In fact, it was narcissistic abuse that kept me from being spoiled rotten.

I learned the world does not revolve around me.

I learned to gracefully accept that I would not get my way most of the time.

I learned to be grateful for anything I wanted that I did receive.

I learned to be grateful for things other people take foregranted, like freedom.

I learned to appreciate kindness.

I learned to take criticism gracefully.

I learned humility.

I learned to sacrifice for others.

I learned to take care of others.

I learned to rise above how I felt and make an effort to be pleasant.

I learned to take other people’s feelings and opinions into consideration.

I learned to work hard, no matter how I felt.

Most importantly, I learned empathy.

Finding The Balance

The only problem is that the attributes listed above, taken to the extreme, are the definition of codependence. They’re good in moderation, but soul-destroying in abundance. Practicing them to the exclusion of self-care makes us become invisible, to ourselves and others. It’s all about balance, baby.

Turning Adversity Into Triumph

I always wanted to help others. As it turns out, three decades of narcissistic abuse was my bootcamp. It gave me a cause, a topic, an audience to write for, although I certainly didn’t know it at the time. In this blog, I squeeze those damn narcissistic lemons ’til lemonade flows out.

This Thanksgiving, in a twisted weird way, I’m grateful for narcissistic abuse. Without it, I wouldn’t have had the high honor of writing for you. I would also be much more selfish, shallow and yeah, spoiled.

I hope my articles have helped you turn the narcissistic lemons in your life into lemonade too.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers. If you liked what you read, please subscribe!

I’m Grateful for Abuse Making Me A Better Person

Lenora Thompson

Lenora Thompson is a syndicated Huffington Post and YourTango freelance writer and entrepreneur. Her readers call her the "Edward Snowden" and "Wikileaks" of narcissism because of her no-holds-barred-take-no-prisoners approach to writing about narcissism. “Narcissism Meets Normalcy” is the real-life, ongoing story of her healing journey from being held “hostage” by a multi-generational, cult-like narcissistic family. It's gritty and real, bloody and bruised, humorous and sarcastic. Lenora Thompson considers herself a “whistleblower,” shining a spotlight on narcissistic abuse so others can also claim their freedom and experience healing. To learn more about Lenora, subscribe to her bi-weekly e-newsletter, contribute to help her husband fight his extremely rare lung disease, Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis and shop her e-store, please visit

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APA Reference
Thompson, L. (2016). I’m Grateful for Abuse Making Me A Better Person. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 24, 2019, from


Last updated: 24 Nov 2016
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