What it’s like to have just gone no-contact with your abusive mother and said no to the other abusers in your life after waking up to the fact that you have Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome during your “mid-life crisis,” losing everything, AND then have to deal with living in a pandemic!
I am a 40-year-old woman with no parents. I don’t feel like I ever had parents. I lost my father when I was 14 without warning and in the last 6 months, after researching, understanding, and beginning the healing process of the depth of the trauma I endured growing up with a Narcissistic Abusive mother, I had to cut her out of my life, too. Essentially, she has also passed away from my life. Both an intensity of relief came at the same time as the intensity of grief. The grief of never truly having had the mother most of your other friends and family seemed to have had, and the jealousy you felt when you saw other children being hugged, cherished, celebrated, wanted, validated, asked how they were doing and were listened to…
If you don’t know what a narcissist mother is, please check out this video: https://youtu.be/JITpJXtAwD8
Covert Narcissism and Passive-Aggressiveness is just as toxic: https://youtu.be/RAybjXhcVc0
Why Narcissistic Harm Is So Damaging: https://youtu.be/zmT81Qi-rso
***And please watch this important video on the signs and symptoms of Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome: https://youtu.be/JPqJhmIAwwU (this is the one that made me open my eyes and awaken to the last abusive situation I was in and it truly validated me and my feelings so I could actually take a stand and say NO MORE!)***
It is important for you to find a therapist who is educated and trained in Narcissistic Abuse and Attachment Traumas. More damage can be done to your already lacking sense-of-self if your therapist is unaware of these sensitive issues. It is also imperative that you find spiritual methods of healing from this long-term trauma.
Some days the pain of the grief rises up like a tidal wave you just cannot run from fast enough. Grief has always been deep within me. I am no stranger to loss of those closest to you. My parents split up when I was less than two years old. It was the first time I lost my father and was left with my physically and emotionally abusive mother. The kind of crazy-maker who somehow made it all my fault that I should be punished, how dare I make her feel certain ways, and why was there something so innately wrong with me. I always needed to be fixed.
Luckily, I had my dad who took me every other weekend, until about 12 years-old, when I spent absolutely every chance I could get with him before he died. As I began to realize and awaken to the terror that was my mother, my father became my best friend and saving grace.
At age 6, my sister moved away. She is 7 years older than me and fought back against the ridiculous and impossible rules of my mother until the courts sent her to a foster home. And when I was 8, my mother’s closest sister passed away from breast cancer at age 48. I was still too young to understand any of this constant drama, turmoil, and loss, but you can be sure it nestled itself snug and warm into my heart and subconscious.
In the Native American traditions, it could be said that I also experienced two other massive “initiations.” It is difficult to explain what an initiation is exactly, but it is like a welcoming or a beginning of something, usually marked by a specific ritual or rite of passage. For example, when children reach puberty, that’s considered their initiation into adulthood. Native Americans also consider illnesses as initiations. At age 7, I had a pretty bad concussion to the visual part of my head/brain, in which I had an Out of Body Experience and watched myself run back in the house from a distance. I lost my eye sight and much of my memories (I got my eye sight back and some memories.) At age 9, I had spinal meningitis, in which my brain swelled and I had to learn how to walk again. No one else had it in the area I lived. I believe these incidents to be part of the creation of my extreme sensitivities to this world.
The shit really hit the fan when my father died the day after returning from our second-ever family trip we had taken my cousin on. It was the same month I experienced sexual abuse and had to start high school for the first time! I also lost my grandfather to a stroke the next month!
My mother had her boyfriends on and off and my sister had already gotten married and had two children by the point my father died. My cousins all had their parents. Everyone had someone and something to live for, but me. My heart broke in a way that will never heal. And I lost all regard for anything this planet had to offer me. With the greatest exception being animals and music. I entered into my first “dark night of the soul” at age 16. (See my recent poem about never truly clinging very closely to this life: I Have Always Been Close To The Truth of Eternity)
By the age of 16, I was a self-harmer and I tried to kill myself several times. With the help of my father’s life insurance money and my own soul and whatever else was guiding/protecting me, I saved myself by heading off to Europe for my first two years of college and got as far away from the nonsense of my childhood as possible! I was distracted enough by all the traveling, studying, newness, endless beauty, partying, dancing, and whatever to stop wanting to die everyday. (Don’t worry, of course I got plenty of mental health care during all this time, and the care I did receive from therapists and doctors helped me to stay on the planet and see enough “love” for which I longed for so deeply, to stick around.)
I continued to find myself attracting and needing to be “taken care of” by a lineup of one narcissist after another until I finally woke up from that pattern just before turning 40.
This is an extremely important issue close to my heart because I honestly believe that 80% of mental health challenges and suffering is caused by narcissistic abuse. It needs to be more addressed and explained on a larger scale. People are beginning to awaken to the extremes of narcissistic abuse and the codependent who often doesn’t even realize that they carry the vibration within their unhealed subconscious that attracts narcissists. It seems an unfair battle within for the codependent who comes to understand that they have the power to change and heal themselves away from any further attraction, but the narcissist rarely wakes up to healing their abuse of power over others.
In waking up to my part in the narcissistic abuse I was continuing to “need” on a subconscious level, I went through an initial shock and another type of hell I didn’t know could exist. The first three months are like detoxing from a potent drug, such as heroin, because your body and mind are addicted to the peptids that flow in your blood from the stress and drama of being narcissistically abused. I cannot explain the mindfuck you have been through when someone you trusted for so long, and then became enmeshed with, twists and turns your thoughts and beliefs until you start to question your own sanity, become adrenal-fatigued, and confused and depressed.
I will write more at another time about the horrors of what it is like to actually wake up to Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome and to stay with yourself through the initial detox, the anger, the pain, the frustration, the betrayal, the hurt, the disbelief, the body issues/illnesses…and on and on…
Some of us end up homeless, suicidal, and unable to function in the world because we allowed ourselves to be brainwashed into believing lies told about us, and we stopped believing in ourselves and our intuition (usually without even realizing it’s happening.) It’s a very scary thing to awaken to, especially when your whole life was wrapped up in the narcissistic person or persons, and to the outside world, the narcissists appear as so grounded and to have the perfect life.
In addition, I learned is that spiritual teachers and so-called spiritual communities can be home to narcissists, toxic drama, abuse, and they can be the worst culprit of the exact things they pretend to go out and teach the world. Narcissists live for drama and they will create it wherever they go and then blame everyone else around them. Finding truth and healing is within you, not in the hands of others who put on personas of perfection and are praised for “fixing” everyone around them.
And just like any other recovery, it is an ongoing, every-day practice in returning to The Self and Self-Love. It’s learning to re-parent yourself, one day at a time. And it takes dedication, compassion, bad-assery boundaries, and a willingness to let the rollercoaster be ok at times.
IT DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE CRAZY OR THAT YOU ARE AN ASSHOLE!!
These are words that I have had to learn to stop associating with myself. Due to the sick mind games my mother played since I was born, these are words I have slowly begun to unpack that sit at my core and can be triggered by the unknown of remarks or words or gestures coming from others. Unworthiness, shame, and guilt are all tied to these words within.
When we start to heal from Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome, we often find we are left with what is known as Complex PTSD. We may not even know what the trigger is, but we may find ourselves in total meltdown reaction and can actually feel like we are dying. The memories of constant low-grade trauma collects in our cellular memory and we have to treat each trigger and subsequent reaction as if they are our little children who need to be shown the unconditional love our parents weren’t able to give us. See more about CPTSD here: https://youtu.be/NeQ8bgUAnFg
People who are uneducated about NAS and CPTSD are going to be more likely to judge you as having some other mental illness and wrongly label you, which only increases your poor self-esteem. This is why I was run through the mental health field without any true healing taking place, in fact, it probably made things worse. I longed for more and I am grateful that now I can truly get to the core of my lifetime battle.
Now that I have done some self-empowering work tonight that feels like it can be medicine for others on the path of self-healing, I am no longer crying out and releasing another layer of grief around the choice of letting go of my mother and the anger and rage that bubbles up under the grief. I allowed myself to feel that anger for my inner children who sometimes still feel the injustice of not being held and comforted by the one who brought us into this life. I understand how deeply she experienced the same trauma from her own mother and siblings, and I also honor her for the good she was able to do so that I could get to this point where I SAY NO to anymore abuse from others! I stop the trauma and drama DNA codes here and now! These diseased genetics will no longer be passed on through me. I choose to anchor the light. One day at a time.
I am now a strong, sensitive, resilient, emotionally intelligent person because of all of this. It’s a choice.
Please reach out if you are in search for more methods of healing and reclaiming your true power.
~Devon TwoWolves StarWalker (Heart Star)
Check out my activating poetry book: