May 24, 1987, was a day I would come to hate. It was the last day that we made love, though I would not know it at the time. Such a promising romance, love; we were the 80’s, we were fun. After that moment I felt as if I would be happy forever, such a young thing I was. Not a care in the world, life was not precious but wild and filled with adventures and cravings to take it all on. I drove to my store and danced through the building, telling everyone I was in love and feeling on top of it all. They had never seen me like this before and so the day began in love, in awe, in such magnificent freedom that everything I had ever wanted would be about to happen.
How does one lose their sense of self? This is a loaded question. With a child, it begins when you are more focused on your parent than yourself. You realize that their needs are more important than your own. You make decisions that they will like rather than what you want. You compromise your likes and wants and needs to make sure they are happy. It can come from not having boundaries growing up so that there is no space that is your own. One example is not allowing doors to be locked, even in the bathroom. Therefore, when a child is going through puberty any moment a person can walk through the door. This is frightening to hear but yet this has become a life they are accustomed to. You don’t know any different. Another example is a child who does not even have a room to sleep in and so there is no place to go and read or talk to your friends on the phone. Losing your sense of self can make a person feel like a robot; they are just there doing what they are told. As one person stated, it made them feel invisible from those around them.
Recently, I mentioned that I had returned to reading the Bible during a particularly challenging period of my life. After sitting in a church service on Mother’s Day, I heard the guest lecturer speak about Job’s patience. I could barely hear most of what this person said because, like many speakers, they don’t understand the concept of “put the mic near your mouth.” Therefore, I have no idea what she actually said, it was just those two words that sat in my head. Why was Job patient? What happened to him? I went home and began reading this chapter. I quickly realized how much I could relate to Job and how his struggles with God, which were inflicted by God, were similar to my own and those of the clients I serve (and most anyone who has struggled and feels it was – too much to bear).
In reading Job, you will first learn that he is quite well off for that time period. He has many acres, livestock, married and about ten children, more sons than daughters. Sons back then would have been more worthwhile than daughters, for the work they could perform on the property. Also, they would bring in more families to the household whereas the daughter would probably leave to join her husband and his family. The stage is set to let us know that he is in a good place financially. He is also a God-fearing family man. He is not worried about anything except the wrath of God.
Embracing Me: Moving Forward from a Narcissistic Parent or Partner
Live Facebook event on Wednesday, May 26th from 11-noon (Eastern Time Zone). Once you have paid for the event, you will be able to access the Exclusive Posts which will give you the Zoom link to attend the presentation.
This webinar is for people who have been in a relationship with a narcissistic parent or partner and are having difficulties within their life. Generally this is in regard to relationships with bosses, co-workers, siblings, partners, friends, and others. It is also for adult children of these parents who are struggling with differentiation or maintaining your own separate identity from your parents. Narcissistic parents tend to want to remain enmeshed and not allow you to have your own life. If grandchildren are involved and they have any type of control over them (babysitter, raising them, paying for them), this detachment can cause even more havoc on you as a person.
If you have been in this type of relationship, it is often from growing up with some form of trauma or a narcissistic parent. It is difficult to get into a “healthy” attachment with a partner as it is so easy to attract this type of person if you are familiar with this personality. They come across as really caring and loving people – at first. Often we don’t find out their true colors until six months – to a year as the honeymoon stage wears off. You see it sooner, but often don’t realize what you are looking at. Even I, as a therapist, have been fooled more than once!
We are going to look at these personality types and then discuss how to heal from these type of people and move forward into a more healthier attachment with both parent and/or the partner. The webinar is $9.99 with a discount for purchasing a week in advance. You have to click on the Facebook Event link at the top of this post and sign up in order to access this.
Two years ago, my uncle died. A beloved past-minister, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, son, and so on. He was well known in many communities of people. When I called my mother to ask about the funeral arrangements, she informed me there would not be one. I was really upset to hear this. It was because the family, with his knowledge, had felt that they did not want to do this. They didn’t want a bunch of commotion. I was furious with this but my words could not be heard because his family are people that when they make a decision, they are not detracted.
As a psychotherapist, who deals with death and dying quite frequently from survivors who come into my office, I know the importance of grief. A funeral is not for the dead, it is for the living. It is for the people who love the departed one and who need to come together in memorial of this person to “sing” their praises. When you deny a funeral from your loved one’s and those who knew of you, you are keeping them from being in congregation with one another and withholding their ability to have closure.
This morning, I had a client confront me about being uncomfortable with me in the room. It was so hard for them to do this and they spoke in a roundabout way that it took me a minute to realize it was about me. I had the utmost respect for them that they would confront me in this situation. I began to realize how terrifying it was for them to say this. I acknowledged all of this and set about to make the situation more pleasant for all. I was successful because I approached them with respect and honor. The interesting part of this is that the person was not even going to come in today. They told me that they had planned to just run away and hide. This made me even more grateful to know that they were so brave to come in to session. We ended with both of us having a renewed respect for each other. I could see they were very grateful for having taken a stand as well.
Ironically, at 18 years old, I left the church due to hypocrisy and feeling disappointed with the teachings. Here I am at 58, having been accused of lies by Christian strangers and believed by the one I loved, which caused me to turn to God and read the Bible once more. In my 40-year absence, I developed an eclectic view on faith based on my study of world religions and participating at the sacred temples or circles of various faiths. I am not “coming back,” merely feeling distraught and finding comfort in the words of God and the faith of my ancestors.
Love and forgiveness can conquer all, but only when your partner is mature enough to handle this (see post from yesterday). When both of you value your commitment to each other, yes, love and forgiveness will conquer all ills. What happens when there is a lack of maturity? You can’t control the actions of another. You have to let go when shock and drama won’t because their anger (and your stubbornness to let go) are all that is holding on. The love has ceased to exist. You are a victim of your memories and they are a hostage to their anger.
The shock of learning that your boy/girlfriend or spouse is not the person you thought they were is an extremely painful experience. Seeing their true colors for the first time is the start of a very painful journey. At first, you are in denial. You think that any day they will call to apologize. As time goes on, the longer it takes, the chances are, it is just not going to happen.
In a relationship, love and forgiveness can conquer most anything if two people are willing to work through the crisis. The problem is this: most people give up at the sign of any discomfort. It is usually one person that makes that decision to say they aren’t going to put up with someone anymore. Sometimes both do and then they say it was mutual when they leave at the end.
Love is easy, you can kiss and make up. Relationships are for grown-ups and require a lot of hard work. Persistence, dedication, love, and commitment to each other. This is the recipe for turning things around. If one or both refuses, they have missed out on an opportunity to grow and become better people. They are essentially running away and choosing to continue living their life in the crisis. This is unfortunate. If they could stay with their partner and do the work, the relationship could potentially transform into a much more powerful union. A sense of relationship enlightenment could ensue.
This is quite a lengthy post but well-worth the read. I found it quite fascinating and hope you will too. It is a very diplomatic way of explaining the ills of our society.Posted by Dr. Rod Hoevet on June 22, 2020
Perhaps people have always been unreasonable. Even if we look back to the origins of humanity, maybe there has never been a reasonable time. Perhaps there has never been a time when people listened to each other, truly considered thoughts and ideas (even when they were opposed to their own) and offered measured or reasonable responses to those disagreements. Maybe it’s always been the way it is now: chaotic, accusatory, blaming, erratic, unpredictable and irrational. We are living in times so unreasonable that only the Borderline can fully relate.