“What the narcissistic parent lacks is the ability to imagine or care about what her children feel. A parent without empathy is like a surgeon operating with dull tools in poor lighting. The results are likely to produce scarring.”
Jonice Webb, Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect
“They” being your parents, ex, friends, or whomever. They being the person in your life that made you believe your needs are conditional. Growing up, I recognized that my safety was dependent on my mom’s mood. Looking back on it the only word I can think of for my mother’s actions is “selfish.” Everything in the house was hers and she could take it away at any moment, depending on how she felt that day. I remember constantly hearing “you’re an ungrateful little bitch and I’m not going to buy groceries anymore. I’m just going to buy food for me and me alone. I was so much happier when I lived with my two cats. Don’t ever have kids, Marisa, they’re not worth the stress.” My earliest memory of this was when I was seven. My mom would use these threats of taking away food or taking the door off my bedroom or throwing out all my clothes into the driveway to “keep me in line,” to keep me submissive and under her control. To do what? I honestly don’t even remember. Looking back there’s just so much fear I just remember doing whatever she said to keep the peace. To this day I still look to my partner for permission to do seemingly normal things: turning on a light, listening to music, eating food. On one hand, it is important to be contentious and courteous—maybe the light will put a glare on the TV, maybe he doesn’t want to listen to music right now, maybe he was saving that food for later. On the other, I recognize I’m still relearning how to take up space in my own home. And every time I ask, he always replies “you don’t have to ask me; this is your home too.” And each time he says that I know he’s apologizing to my inner child that I even have to think for a second I need his permission to do something. #innerchildwork #reparenting #emotionalabuse #mentalabuse #conditional #innerchildhealing #codependentnomore #cptsdrecovery #depressionrecocery #anxietyrelief #basicneeds #themotherwound #motherwound #emotionallyimmatureparents #cyclebreakers #generationaltrauma #youmatter (at San Francisco Bay Area) https://www.instagram.com/p/CLAeQz4DbAB/?igshid=1nf0osyddld5q
I truly wish there were a magic phrase that would get abusers to stop abusing. Originally, I wanted to do a “script” or sorts—what to say back when someone says… The tricky part about confronting someone who’s gaslighting is that they’ll dig their heels in deeper, claim that’s not what’s happening, and turn it around on you. But don’t lose hope. In my experience, one of the most successful ways to deal with an emotional abuser isn’t to convince them you’re right or even to convince them of what they’re doing—but to learn to trust my gut and my memories. Once I learned to stand firm in my truth, in what I knew to be true, I wouldn’t allow myself to be pushed around anymore. Please, dear reader, I implore you to take all that energy you’re using to convince someone that x, y, or z happened to you…and channel it into compassionately standing in what you already know to be true, without the need for their validation. They will not give it to you if it means they “lose.” As the saying goes: you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. Bye Felicia! #gaslighting #gaslightingawareness #gaslightingisabuse #gaslighter #toxicparents #motherwound #reparenting #memory #mentalabuse #abuse #innerchild #consciousparenting #woundedchild #selfhealing #selflove #selfcompassion #childhoodemotionalneglect #adultchildrenofnarcissists #abusiveparents #narcissist #narcissisticabuse #gaslightingtips #selflove #selfcompassion https://www.instagram.com/p/CHgeffDjZD0/?igshid=1hpgsfr6eee4d
Gaslighting can happen in any kind of relationship: parental, romantic, professional… And in any case, the gaslighter’s goal is to confuse, manipulate, and demean you. Gaslighters do not want to take any blame or accountability and want the conversation to end as quickly as possible. Growing up my mom’s catchphrases were “I never said that” or “you’re remembering it wrong.” And as a kid, I believed her. I believed there must be something wrong with ME because she was my mom—a mother, especially one who flaunted her Christianity, wouldn’t lie to her child, right? But as I got older, this anger and frustration began to bubble up within me. NO I wasn’t wrong. NO I wasn’t remembering it wrong. NO you said something differently to me. But I had no “proof.” I had no evidence except my own memory. It was always my word against hers and she declared herself the winner. My trust in her and in myself was shattered. How am I supposed to trust my gut and memory when I’m consistently told it’s wrong? I started taking pictures of the aftermath whenever I could—to this day I have a picture of my trashed bedroom and a weird poop-looking thing my mom put under my bed. Photos were more than memories to me—they were evidence. But I couldn’t even turn it in to her, or she’d go on another rage. Having the evidence, but hiding it away kept me in a confusing state of safety. But it turns out that I actually have a great memory. I can look at a photo of myself at three years old and know exactly where I was, what I did that day, and who I was with. More often than not, the memories my mother rejected are now validated by other, more trustworthy people. My mother’s abuse kept me silent and afraid. But after reconnecting with my intuition and compassionately reminding myself that my memory is sound, I do not allow myself to be pushed around. And my hope, dear reader, is that being aware of these red flags helps you stand your ground as well. Tips on how to talk to a gaslighter coming up! #gaslighting #gaslightingawareness #gaslightingisabuse #mentalabuse #reparenting #emotionalabuse #emotionalabuseawareness #emotionalabusesurvivor https://www.instagram.com/p/CHa88lfjYzi/?igshid=r6evwwml69n0
I didn’t know the term “gaslighting” until ~3 years ago. The first time I heard about it was in context to abusive romantic relationships, but as soon as I learned what it was it was like lightbulbs and bells went off in my head. 🚨 I finally had a term to explain my mother’s abuse. 💡 Growing up, I would try to talk to friends (and sometimes people I had just met😅) about the things my mom would say or do. How she’d say I could borrow a portable DVD player and then scream at me for using it because she never said I could. Or how she would hide food and water from me and if I asked about it she’d say “I don’t know.” or “We never had that.” Or how I’d describe a very specific memory (like being the flower girl in her wedding) and she’d say, “no you’re remembering it wrong.” (Oohhhh this one grinded my gears. Check out a post from August for the full story.) And in response I’d hear, “oh yeah, my mom’s such a bitch too.” Or “yeah all moms suck, right?” I didn’t feel like they actually understood. Not only did I have a term for her abuse but I had a definition and EXAMPLES of emotional manipulation. I didn’t know the things my mom used to say or do were a form of abuse—all I knew was that it made me feel like I was crazy, it rubbed me the wrong way, and that I was so fucking frustrated I couldn’t explain myself. And now I can. And I hope that this helps at least one person find the words. I hope the bells and whistles go off and the stars align. You are NOT crazy. You are NOT overreacting. You DO make sense. - - - - - - #gaslighting #gaslightingawareness #gaslight #gaslightingisabuse #littlebentnotbroken #reparenting #innerchild #innerchildwork #innerchildhealing #woundedinnerchild #innerchildhealingcoach #innerchildcoach #childhoodabuse #emotionalabuse #mentalabuse #abuserecoverycoach #narcissisticparents #emotionallyimmatureparents #selfhealing #selfhealers #healingjourney #healingmission #generationaltrauma #cyclebreakers #traumarecovery #motherwound #mentalhealthmatters #youmatter #youmakesense https://www.instagram.com/p/CHYthlcjg1N/?igshid=swbvwuzroche
This post was inspired by the question “what is considered the ‘first step’ on a reparenting journey?” (See my lengthy response in my story!) And that was a VERY GOOD and VERY HARD question to answer. It really depends on the person because everyone has such unique wounds and everyone has a different catalyst for healing. Where I started could be similar and completely different from someone else’s beginning. But with any healing journey, I think the “first step” is taking an objective, non-judgemental look at ourselves and acknowledging and becoming aware and conscious of harmful thoughts, reactions, or triggers. And reparenting comes in by seeing how those thoughts, reactions, and triggers stem from a need not met in childhood. So if the wound is hyper-independence, maybe in childhood your caregivers were unable to provide basic needs and you had learn how to take care at yourself younger than you should have (make yourself breakfast, lunch for school, dinner after school, taking public transit to get to and from places, etc). And this can show up in adulthood as not relinquishing any control, no one can be trusted to take care of things because they’ll just let you down... And reparenting could look like the wise inner adult saying, “doing everything yourself is causing burnout and unnecessary stress. see who can support you and where else you can be supported.” (Or something) Anyway “step one”: become aware and conscious of wounds. . . . #reparenting #healing #healingjourney #healingstory #innerchildwork #innerchild #woundedinnerchild #childhood #childhoodtrauma #traumarecovery #consciousparenting #woundedchild #selfhealing #selflove #selfcompassion #childhoodemotionalneglect #adultchildrenofnarcissists #abusiveparents #themotherwound #motherwound #emotionalabusesurvivor https://www.instagram.com/p/CF5okMBjXW-/?igshid=prrgssjbu7dg
I've said it before and I'll say it again: kids are like holy little flashlights here to heal the world. They illuminate things within me I never knew existed. Anyone else feel this way? 🖐 #breakthecycle #selflove #selfcare #mentalhealth #selfhealers #cyclebreakers #gentleparenting #innerchild #midlifemagic #positiveparenting #motherwound #consciousparenting #childhood #consciousfamily #awakened #unschooling #unschool #homeschool #homeschooling #reparenting #raisingyourself️ https://www.instagram.com/p/CNf5R1mHqiA/?igshid=18g13ij009na6
This is just too good. It still amazes me how they behave so similar as if they all have a rule book to go by. I mean, she didn't say it in so many words, but this is how it went down. I questioned, she disowned and expected me to step in line in response. What did I do? I've been no contact going on 6 years now. Reposted from @letsgetyourshifttogether *This applies to narc fathers too!* #boundaries #nocontact #byefelicia #selfcare #selflove #selfcompassion #selfprotection #reparenting #cptsd #complexPTSD #childhoodtrauma #DevelopmentalTrauma #childhoodptsd #ptsd #trauma #cptsdrecovery #donm #aconm #narcissisticabuse #narcissisticmother #narcissisticparent #tellingmystory #sharingmystory #youtuber #blogger #mentalhealthadvocate #mentalhealthrecovery @pokingholes_cptsdwarrior https://www.instagram.com/p/CNbY_lDjTq2/?igshid=pl6q4sdnori5
“I am forever indebted to John Bradshaw for exposing the epidemic of traumatizing parents. Such parents create children who grow up developmentally arrested in myriad ways. Bradshaw gave us many reparenting tools to meet the unmet needs of survivors of such abandonment.
Over time, I also discovered tools of my own which I used to reparent myself and my clients. I taught many clients through modeling to take over the job of ongoingly mothering and fathering themselves.
In my own recovery, my critic upped its scoffing to a new level when I first heard about inner child work. I had to bypass my inner child at first and just work with the concept of healing my developmental arrests.
Thankfully I eventually whittled down my critic and built a profoundly therapeutic relationship with my developmentally arrested, infant, toddler, preschooler, primary schooler and adolescent.
Through continually evolving my ability to nurture, love and protect myself and my various child selves, I customarily feel a sense of safety and of belonging in the world. [Guidelines for this process can be found in Chapters 8 & 9 and Appendix C of The Tao of Fully Feeling.]”