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.
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 to sacrifice for others.
I learned to take care of others.
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!