Put Downs

By Survivor
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.

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About Survivor

I am parenting with my exhusband who is a narcissist. He had money so he could afford the best legal representation during the divorce. Even with court mandated therapy, he has the children during the school year and I have them for holidays and the summer. I have to live out of state due to his abuse. Even as a mental health professional, the legal system had no empathy for me or my children. My children are becoming very angry with their father's egocentric behavior. I have them in counseling to help them cope through the nightmare.
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2 Responses to Put Downs

  1. PhoenixRising says:

    Abuse comes in many forms, some subtle and some not so subtle, but it’s all harmful. I’m not so certain when your parents asked what happened in your childhood they really wanted to know. Especially when each statement you made was met with a justification.

    It was a very strong thing you did to finally relinquish the need to find validation from your family of origin. Some of us spend the rest of our lives going to the grave seeking such validation.

    To not stop there, but to choose to proactively surround yourself with supportive people is commendable. I haven’t been able to really do that. I do have good friends, good people I care about and who care about me. But I’ve always known them, but they are few and some live a good distance away. I haven’t extended myself to meet any new people or start new relationships or friendships.

    I’ve become more private and hidden away.

  2. Survivor says:

    Identifying this issue,getting support, and limiting my interactions with negative influences was my first step. My next job is to not let the old triggers get the best of me when comments are continued to be said. I still get my feelings hurt by statements which I need to overcome. When I do that, I can put this issue at peace.

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