Growing Up with a Narcissist: How I’m Healing from the Abuse


“You
could
have
grown
cold,
but
you
grew
courageous
instead.
You
could
have
given
up,
but
you
kept
on
going.
You
could
have
seen
obstacles,
but
you
called
them
adventures.
You
could
have
called
them
weeds,
but
instead
you
called
them
wildflower.
You
could
have
died
a
caterpillar,
but
you
fought
on
to
be
a
butterfly.
You
could
have
denied
yourself
goodness,
but
instead
you
chose
to
show
yourself
some
self-love.
You
could
have
defined
yourself
by
the
dark
days,
but
instead
through
them
you
realized
your
light.”
~S.C.
Lourie

As
the
memories
of
my
childhood
flash
within
my
mind,
I
am
brought
back
to
a
place
in
which
I
did
not
know
if
I
was
going
to
ever
be
happy.
Happiness,
stability,
and
love
seemed
so
far
away
and
out
of
reach
that
I
met
each
day
with
overwhelming
sadness.
I
longed
for
peace,
I
longed
for
someone
to
understand,
and
I
longed
for
someone
to
save
me.

No
one
really
knew
what
was
going
on
behind
closed
doors
with
my
mom.
She
was
a
tyrant
who
emotionally
demolished
anyone
who
got
in
her
path.
My
siblings
and
I
were
her
constant
targets.
Due
to
her
nature,
she
isolated
us
from
family
and
friends
and
only
brought
us
around
to
make
her
look
good
and
build
up
her
ego.
The

classic
case
of
a
narcissist.

You
see,
it
was
not
until
many
years
later
during
my
adult
life
that
my
mom
was
officially
diagnosed
with
narcissistic
personality
disorder.

If
you
are
unfamiliar
with
this
diagnosis,
it
is
someone
who
lacks
empathy
and
is
unable
to
show
love.
They
appear
to
have
a
superficial
life
and
they
are
always
concerned
with
how
things
look
to
others.


She
was
incapable
of
being
loving
and
nurturing,
things
we
look
for
mothers
to
provide.
While
I
was
a
child,
I
was
always
grasping
for
answers
to
the
constant
emotional,
verbal,
and
physical
abuse
that
plagued
my
household.

I
learned
very
early
on
that
I
was
to
be
seen
not
heard,
and
that
any
challenge
or
inquiry
of
fun
would
be
met
with
a
tongue-lashing
and/or
strike
to
my
body.
When
you
are
the
daughter
of
a

narcissistic
mother
you
internalize
every
strike
and
every
word
laid
upon
you.
You
feel
dismissed
and
discounted.
You
never
feel
good
enough.

I
remember
moments
in
where
I
wished
for
the
mother-daughter
bond
that
my
friends
experienced.
I
would
cry
whenever
I
would
read
about
it
in
books
or
see
it
on
television.

When
you
are
a
victim
of
abuse,
you
always
feel
as
if
what
you
desire
is
out
of
reach
because
you
believe
don’t
deserve
it.
How
could
someone
who
gave
birth
to
me
inflict
so
much
pain?
This
question
flooded
my
brain
on
a
daily
basis.

Motherhood
is
a
sacred
act
of
love
that
was
not
provided
to
me,
and
therefore,
I
suffered.
I
suffered
with
lack
of
confidence,
limited
beliefs,
fear
of
failure,
anxiety,
perfectionism,
and
lack
of
emotional
closeness
with
romantic
relationships
and
friendships.

It
was
at
the
age
of
nineteen
that
I
decided
that
I
no
longer
wanted
to
be
a
part
of
this
life.
I
made
up
my
mind
that
this
cloak
of
darkness
would
no
longer
plague
me.
I
left.

I
left
with
all
my
belongings
in
a
laundry
bag
as
well
as
what
little
light
I
had
within
me
and
moved
in
with
my
now-spouse’s
family.
I
was
grateful
that
that
they
welcomed
me
with
open
arms
and
that
I
was
safe.
Little
did
I
know
that
the
real
healing
began
once
I
decided
to
step
into
it.

Trauma
leaves
not
only
emotional
scars
but
also
tiny
imprints
that
influence
your
thoughts
and
decisions.
I
was
an
adult
who
knew
nothing
about
adulting
and
lacked
the
guidance
from
a
parental
figure:
I
was
terrified.


But
I
realized
that
sometimes
you
must
mother
yourself.
In
the
chaos
you
learn
how
to
give
yourself
the
love
and
affection
you
longed
for
in
your
most
powerless
moments. 

I
needed
to

show
up
for
myself
and
the
little
girl
within
me
that
didn’t
have
a
chance
to
enjoy
life.
It
was
time
for
me
to
take
my
power
back
and
ignite
my
inner
being.

I
started
becoming
increasingly
curious
and
hopeful
about
this
transition
I
was
beginning
to
step
into,
so
there
were
a
few
steps
that
I
began
to
implement
on
this
journey
of
transformation.
 I
hope
you
may
find
them
useful
when
you
are
ready.

Distance
yourself
from
the
toxic
behavior.

Sometimes
distance
and
time
help
heal
and
give
clarity
as
well
as
peace.

I’ve
had
to
take
myself
out
of
situations
where
I
knew
I
had
to
protect
myself.
This
allowed
me
to
take
time
out
to
really
focus
on
what
I
wanted
and
the
direction
I
desired
to
go
in.

At
times
this
meant
limited
communication,
geographic
distance,
or
emotional
distance.
This
is
not
always
easy,
but
it
will
help
keep
you
on
track
if
you
constantly
remind
yourself
that
it
is
for
the
development
of
your
highest
good
and
your
healing.

Surround
yourself
with
people
who
can
lift
you
up
and
pour
into
you.

Coming
from
a
household
where
love
and
warmth
were
not
present
can
leave
you
feeling
empty.
Surround
yourself
with
friends
or
other
family
that
can
lift
you
up
while
you
are
sorting
things
out.
Being
around
people
who
were
able
to
showcase
this
for
me
provided
me
with
the
motivation
to
continue
creating
it
within
myself.

Develop
and
nurture
a
spiritual
practice.

Faith
and
hope
were
the
two
driving
forces
behind
my
motivation
to
leave.
I
just
knew
deep
down
that
this
was
not
the
direction
that
I
wanted
my
life
to
go
in
and
there
were
better
things
out
there
for
me.

Developing
a
spiritual
practice
helped
me
to
gain
inner
peace
when
moments
of
fear,
anxiety,
and
doubt
heavily
crept
in.
It
comforted
me
when
I
had
no
idea
if
taking
a
leap
would
work
out,
but
the
valuable
lesson
that
I
learned
was
that
when
you
take
a
leap,
the
net
will
appear.
 Meditation,
prayer,
and
connecting
to
a
higher
power
can
create
stillness
within
the
chaos.

Start
with
unconditional
love
toward
yourself.

Surviving
verbal
and
physical
abuse
is
no
easy
feat
and
can
tarnish
what
little
confidence
you
may
have
had,
which
is
why
beginning
to
develop
that
within
yourself
is
super
important.

I
had
to
learn
that
if
I

loved
myself
I
could
feel
more
confident
in
my
abilities
and
continue
pushing
forward.

Give
yourself
those
motivational
pep
talks,
read
dozens
of
books,
work
with
a
professional,
listen
to
uplifting
music
or
podcasts.
Pour
into
yourself
and
become
your
own
best
friend.
No
one
can
take
that
away
from
you.

Give
yourself
time.

There
is
no
one-size-fits-all
solution
to
healing.
It
is
a
journey
that
loops
and
curves,
but
it
all
leads
to
a
transformation.

It
can
take
time
to
unravel
all
that
you
experienced,
but
be
compassionate
with
yourself
as
you
figure
it
all
out.
Set
the
intention
of
working
toward
a
positive
transformation
and
gather
the
tools
necessary
to
facilitate
the
change.

It
took
me
years
of
trial
and
error
to
get
to
the
place
that
I
am
in
right
now,
but
my
intention
was
always
to
become
better
than
I
was
yesterday.
Nurture
your
healing,
there
is
breakthrough
on
the
other
side.

Continue
to
make
that
conscious
choice
every
day
to
grow,
heal,
and
reach
transformation.
Don’t
shy
away
from
the
healing
necessary
to
set
yourself
free
and
live
the
life
you
deserve
to
live.
You
have
to
shed
the
old
in
order
to
let
in
the
new
and
no
longer
allow
fear
to
have
a
strong
hold
on
you.

There
is
beauty
in
discovering
a
life
of
inward
and
outward
victory.
Throughout
my
transformation
my
breakthrough
consisted
of
this
one
powerful
mantra:

I
am
not
a
victim
of
my
circumstance,
I
am
victorious.

You
are
too.

About

Victoria
Grande

Victoria
Grande
is
a
licensed
mental
health
counselor,
certified
clinical
trauma
professional,
and
transformational
life
coach
for
women.
Learn
more
about
her
at

www.beingvictoriouswomen.com
and
look
out
for
upcoming
biweekly
newsletter
called,
“Living
Victoriously.”
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