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Strength after narcissistic abuse

(277 Posts)
VioletSky Sat 10-Feb-24 17:46:07,Self%2Dacceptance

My eldest son said to me recently that he had seen so much "growth as a person" from me since I estranged my mother.

Partially that made me sad because, for a long time I wasn't the best person I could be but it also made me glad because I have worked so hard to move past the abuse.

I do think I have become stronger and more resilient. Understanding my mother has helped me cope with many a difficult person in life because I have come to understand, it was never really about me, it was about them and their unhappiness in life.

It's a shame maybe that it took me to middle age to find this strength to see what drives the people in life who try to hurt us.

Sara1954 Sat 10-Feb-24 19:44:37

I know I am a better person without my mother in my life.
She made me the worst possible version of myself, even I didn’t like me.
I’m happy you’re feeling the benefits Violet.

VioletSky Sat 10-Feb-24 19:51:04

Thank you, I feel like the person I always should have been now I have uninstalled all the trigger buttons she put there

User138562 Sat 10-Feb-24 20:47:44

Thanks for sharing this! I absolutely think there's strength in overcoming narcissistic abuse. It takes brute strength (emotionally) to break out of the cycle.

A lot of people say estranging their family member was very hard, and it is. But actually cutting contact with my mother was probably the easiest part for me. All the work that came before it was way harder. I was not raised to think for myself and that's what trapped me.

Looking back I can see my mother's behavior get more and more extreme and desperate as I became my own person. I'm grateful for the lesson her escalations have taught me about narcissists in general.

Now that I've seen how a narcissist handles conflict ("Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender" or "DARVO") I can't unsee it and that is powerful.

Everybody wants to think their mother loves them but sometimes it isn't true. In the end, sometimes they are just another narcissist in a world full of them. It says nothing about me as a person.

I also haven't missed her for a second. Not a single second. That is shocking but empowering.

Sara1954 Sat 10-Feb-24 20:51:47

My mother isn’t a narcissist, she’s just an emotionally cold and unpleasant person.
I know I’ve said this before, but at the risk of being boring, I feel completely liberated.
She’s very old now, but wild horses wouldn’t drag me back there.

VioletSky Sat 10-Feb-24 21:03:16

It's a good feeling!

Sara1954 Sat 10-Feb-24 21:10:04

Sure is Violet

Smileless2012 Sat 10-Feb-24 21:24:26

No risk of you being boring Sara. It's good to be able to experience that feeling of liberation isn't it, especially if you thought you never would.

Harris27 Sat 10-Feb-24 21:30:16

My mil was like this and only felt free of her when she died. Tried for forty years to please her when really I should have broke this years ago Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Sara1954 Sat 10-Feb-24 21:36:26

Yes, I should walked away years before, but I couldn’t do it while my dad was alive.
I also felt I had to keep trying, and I did, but I look back and think I let her drag me down for so many years.
But as you say Harris, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

crazyH Sat 10-Feb-24 21:38:38

‘*I have come to understand, it was never really about me, it was about them and their unhappiness in life.*
So Violetsky - knowing that, couldn’t you have forgiven your mother? My marriage wasn’t the best (now divorced) due to a philandering husband. As a result, I don’t think I was the best mother. I was always angry. My children tell me that, but they understand and I think they have forgiven me. Btw, I don’t consider myself narcissistic.
I am sorry you had an abusive mother. My heart goes out to you.

VioletSky Sat 10-Feb-24 21:46:51

I do forgive her

I just don't want to have to forgive her again

Thank you

Sara1954 Sat 10-Feb-24 22:11:44

I don’t think I can forgive my mother, but I do understand some of her reasons

Ladysuisei Sat 10-Feb-24 22:16:22

Hello everyone on this thread - I read the article with interest . Actually when I opened the link I expected to see something from a medical paper or something similar.
This is piece of writing that’s been Goigled on line .
What worries me slightly is just how easily the word narcissist or narcissistic are bandied about possibly in the wrong context . Now whilst I realise that someone can display narcissistic traits , I feel the terminology could be interchangeable with , say , controlling, manipulative and various other words describing unpleasant qualities. My point is that someone who is a true narcissist is possibly suffering from narcissistic personality disorder which is quite a different thing from just being a bit unpleasant. Do any of these people who you refer to in this thread have such a medical diagnosis? Don’t you think it’s a tad unfair to give someone a label purely because you don’t particularly like them . Wouldn’t it be fairer to actually say something like “ I went NC from my really annoying controlling spiteful mother “ which is probably far more accurate than stating this person is mentally ill ? Doesn’t narcissistic sound so much more serious thereby making your case for estrangement appear to be a much more reasonable and valid one ? Can’t you just say we had a personality clash - I would suggest in most cases this is far more likely . Using terminology like narcissistic etc in such a cavalier fashion is extremely unfyto poor individuals who really do suffer from mental illness . It’s exactly the same as when people in total ignorance say they’re a “ bit OCD” . I can tell you being a bit OCD doesn’t exist, OCD ruins your life much in the same way as suffering from narcissistic personality disorder or even simply narcissistic traits . How do I know this you might ask - because my life is destroyed by OCD. and has been for the last 30 years .


Ladysuisei Sat 10-Feb-24 22:19:13

@Sarah1954 you are the only poster on this thread who’s introduced another possible explanation ie not narcissistic, but something else . Thank you

crazyH Sat 10-Feb-24 22:20:58

Ladysusie - well said 👍

Sara1954 Sat 10-Feb-24 22:29:31

Well I had never heard the term narcissist at the time, but she doesn’t fit the description anyway, I just don’t like her, and if she’s honest, I don’t think she likes me.

VioletSky Sat 10-Feb-24 22:33:19

It's just a word

There is a word to name every shade of green imaginable so it's not really surprising we also have words that describe all the nuances of human behaviour

Anyway, I don't worry about it, I have a good vocabulary and can understand whatever words people prefer

Ladysuisei Sat 10-Feb-24 22:53:55

@VioletSky it is NOT just a word as you ought to know .
It certainly isn’t a shade of green- narcissist describes a very serious mental heath condition.
Don’t pretend you think it’s “ just a word “ .
Ok then “ ignoramous “ is just a word too ………………………

Ladysuisei Sat 10-Feb-24 22:55:27

@Sarah that’s a perfectly rational explanation for you don’t get on - you didn’t accuse anyone of being mentally ill x

VioletSky Sat 10-Feb-24 23:00:21

My therapist advised me of the word in relation to my mother and my specific symptoms so I am happy to continue using it in my personal situation.

Thank you

Sara1954 Sat 10-Feb-24 23:07:48

I would never comment on your personal situation Violetsky, but I tend to agree with Ladysuisei that the term is a bit overused, some people are just plain nasty.

Kate1949 Sat 10-Feb-24 23:08:39

What about physical abuse and neglect? How do we forgive that? Any ideas?

VioletSky Sat 10-Feb-24 23:10:39

This was recommended to me before I estranged and it saved my life when I was so low and thought I couldn't continue any more.

Sara1954 Sat 10-Feb-24 23:11:15

I don’t think you can Kate