Breaking a habit

I want to thank everyone who commented on my last post, it means a lot to me and it has helped me to recover from the shock a bit. I’m also sad/horrified to learn that so many of you also have a narcissistic parent. It’s good to know that I’m not alone with the experiences of growing up with narcissistic parents, but at the same time I really wish I was! Figuring out that both my parents have nearly all the narcissistic personality traits there is has brought up a lot of things from my childhood that I thought I was done with. It feels like I have got a new pair of glasses that shows the world in a different light and that I need to look at every memory again with these new glasses as the context has shifted. When I read the lists of personality traits of the narcissistic person, for every point on the list, my mind is playing up all the befittingly memories. All the feelings connected to the memories also emerges and leaves me emotionally exhausted after just a few minutes of reading. I’m overwhelmed with how many memories actually emerges and I’m equally overwhelmed with how few memories actually fit the category of “normal” parent – and I have really tried in that compartment!
This whole thing does however answer one of the questions I’ve carried with me for a couple of months. Why haven’t I figured out that I’m transsexual until now? The answer might be in my parents narcissistic behavior. In order to survive my childhood I extinguished myself completely and never really thought of my own feelings or needs. My parents didn’t really allowed me to have them and my needs would never be fulfilled by them anyway, so why bother? Starting my own life and moving out meant I left much of their abuse behind, but it also left me with a lot of issues to deal with. Issues that have taken until last year to sort out. Most of my issues are traceable to my parents neglect; the inability to recognize my own feelings, my performance anxiety and my denial of my own needs. It’s just this last year that I finally was able to evict my parents voices from my head and started to acknowledge my own feelings and needs and therefore finally could figure out my trans status. I’ve always known that I don’t feel completely female, but acting on it in any way, even thinking about it, has been unthinkable with my parents around.
I’ve been thinking about cutting all connections with my parents for years now, but I’ve always had the hope that they suddenly would change, show more love and care more about me, so I’ve kept the relationship going. After realizing that their behavior is that of a narcissist and that nothing I do can change them, I no longer have any hope for our relationship to change. I’ve realized that it always has and always will be a relationship about them in their terms and I’m just not interested in that. By learning more about the personality disorder I have found a way to cut the contact with them with minimum effort, minimum conflict and minimum need for retaliation. I will simply not follow their rules anymore, but doing so in a non confrontational way. I won’t bite on the guilt game they like to play, I won’t jump at their every need, I won’t say the things they want me to say and most importantly I will no longer wish for things they won’t give me. If I’m not massaging their ego, they will soon loose interest in me and stop calling me. That’s the plan anyway. It’s actually taking effect already. My dad is a talker, but during his last call I managed to avoid any boosting of his ego and he promptly ended the call after six minutes. It’s an all-time record! I think I just might get away with this. Now I just have to tell all our friends to never leave out any information about us to my parents and to prepare myself for the backstabbing lies about me that they will spread to as many people as possible. I’ve decided to never let their lies bother me and I’ve already decided to leave all my parents friends, families and relatives behind. It’s just not worth the fight. My parents are experts on manipulation, most people find them very charming and pleasant, so I don’t expect anyone to believe my side of the story. I just want them to leave me and my family alone.

8 thoughts on “Breaking a habit

  1. It took me a long time to realize that my mother wasn’t going to change, no matter how good I tried to be. I’ll add the caveat that she wasn’t going to change unless she got help; and since in her mind she was perfect and there was nothing wrong with her (just with me) she wasn’t going to get help. It is a shame, because she missed out on a lot because of it, just the way your parents are missing out on you and and your family.

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    • I’ve already somewhat realized that they’ll never change, but I’ve always held some hope that they would and that I suddenly would have the parents that I always wanted. This realization has crushed that hope completely because as you say, they need therapy to change and I’ve tried to get them to a therapist for years with no luck.

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  2. I agree completely with Jamie, I had a similar experience. It took me a long time to realise where the problem was coming from and how I was wasting my time.

    As a teenager I felt like I wasn’t worthy of care and I put on the “I’m a good kid and everything is fine” mask, which I absolutely know contributed to going back into the closet. It was my mother’s strangely dismissive attitude when I came out to her that undid all the work I’d done to understand myself. But to get back to the point, at about age 23 I started to realise that I wasn’t doing anything “wrong” and I actually felt upset that my mother always seemed to twist everything into being about her. She was always playing the victim, in every conversation. I started trying to talk to her properly but whenever I implied that she was being rude or that she was ignoring what I was asking she’d flip out. All of a sudden she’d shout about how I was always attacking her and implied I was deluded. This happened a lot of times, sometimes so bad I would just walk out of the house in the middle of the night, I wouldn’t go back for weeks I was so upset. Eventually I realised that she was just never going to change. I was never going to be able to have a serious conversation with her and she was never going to listen to me when I asked her to think about how hurtful she was being. So I stopped trying, from then on I avoided any dangerous topics and when I see her getting tense I just drop the topic and don’t bother. This way we can still talk and have some form of a relationship. What’s helped is going elsewhere for what I wanted, counselling for instance has provided the type of thoughtful support I’ve never had from her.

    It was difficult at first to realise I will never have a meaningful and thoughtful conversation with her, but I can’t change who she is. I’ve been a lot better off just accepting that things are this way and, at last, realising this isn’t my fault.

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    • Thank you for sharing your experiences!
      I’m so grateful for my grandparents, they have always been my emotional parents and the support system I needed. Somewhere in my heart I’ve known that my parents aren’t normal and looked elsewhere for the things I needed. I’ve always complied with my parents whims, but I’m an adult now and since our baby arrived I can’t just play along anymore. I’ve also started to grieve the loss of the parents I’ve never had – if that makes any sense.

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  3. All the best with “pulling the plug” on your parents. I hope you find peace of mind and can leave those hurtful memories behind, where they belong – in the past. Take care and enjoy your family.

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    • It helps that I’ve never considered them to be my parents other than on paper. When talking actual relationship and emotions, my grandparents have been my emotional parents and my parents have always felt more like “great Uncle Tom” that you meet at family gatherings. Just that I lived with them and let them dictate my life for a while.

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  4. I admire your strength on this. Of course you will mourn for what you never really had. Being able to let go so that you can focus on what fulfils your heart means you will have so much more energy even though it will probably still sting sometimes. Instead of giving you what they should have, now you can take it back 🙂 your little one is very lucky to have you! X

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