extending a comment
My mother had a narcissistic mother. My mother had a great deal of anxiety and also put me down a lot when I was growing up.That is what was modeled for her in dealing with a daughter.
I always thought I had to improve myself not realizing the true issue at hand. With low self esteem, I was the perfect person for my NPD ex who I met at 19. I didn’t realize his put downs were put downs. Again I thought I needed to improve myself.
It wasn’t until my daughter was a baby that I realized what I had gotten myself into. My ex had gotten mad at me and did not acknowledge mother’s day because I was not worthy. In fact I wasn’t spoken to for about 2 months (literally). I was so heartbroken that I went to see a mental health person.
She asked me if I realized I was being abused and this was a form of domestic violence. That is when the lightbulb went off in my head. I left my ex 5 years after that trying to hold on for the children.
After I left my narcissistic husband, my parents wanted to talk to me. My parents wanted to know what had happened during my childhood to have picked such a destructive person to marry.
I knew dissecting every mental health issue I observed in their dealings with life would not be beneficial. I told my father that a 30 something year old blaming her parents for mistakes in life really wasn’t appropriate. I told them I knew I was an adult responsible for my actions and behaviors. My father said he didn’t know why I had always been so hard on myself even as a child.
I looked at my mother and told her that I knew her mother always put her down. I mentioned that there were many times she said things to me, even if not intentional, that were the same kind of things her mother would say to her. My father wanted to know these moments in time and I complied.
I mentioned how underweight I was as a child. My mother would always tell me my stomach stuck out and I needed to suck it in. When I finished this example, my mother said, “Well your stomach did stick out.”
I then mentioned another example. I was pregnant when I interviewed for a job. The competition was steep but I was the one chosen for the position. My mother’s compliment at the time was, “You must of interviewed well because no one would hire you looking that big.” When I finished explaining this example, my mother’s comment was, “But you were very big.”
I realized at that moment she would never be able to empathize with my situations in life and somehow my father fed into this dynamic. I did have a choice not to be a product of this environment. I had to accept my family for who they were and realize that I would never obtain the validation I so desperately sought. They would never tell me things were ok.
I had to look into myself to find it and surround myself with others that would support me.