“…It’s where I can be myself.”
This is what she said to me yesterday. I can see the gratefulness in her, see it on her face, hear it in her voice. It’s almost like a sigh of relief that she can’t wait to breathe as soon as her father walks away and leaves her with me.
Home should be a place of safety. And safety doesn’t just mean safe from physical harm or from the harshness of the outside world, but safe to be yourself.
A place where you can talk without censorship or walk from room to room with a confident stride. Not tiptoeing delicately as on eggshells.
Children of narcissists don’t have that. If you are still with your narcissist, as the more stable parent, you will be hard pressed to provide that – not impossible, but just very hard. Because a narcissist will drain the life out of you, and the longer you stay, the less of your real self you will have. You can’t provide the space for authenticity for your child, that you can’t maintain for yourself.
If you’re separated or divorced, then you have a better chance to provide that for your child. You have time and space for healing. Okay, maybe not all the time or all the space. Your narcissist will attempt to intrude over and over again. If there’s any constant in the universe, it’s that one.
But you will have something…and you can make that something grow As you get stronger, so will your child.
Home is not only the physical structure to my daughter, but me. I’m home. I’m her safe haven. I’m the place where she can be herself. And if there was ever incentive to protect myself from – ie disengage myself – from the Narcissist Ex, it’s this – to have the capacity, the ability to provide that sense of safety where she can be real.
The bottom line is last night, my daughter could relax into her skin, because she was home now. She was with me.