I never wanted or expected to be a spokesperson for healing from narcissist abuse, but here I am. I read a statement recently that we should heal loudly so that others can use our experience for their own healing, and it’s been stuck in my head and in my heart, that I have some responsibility to help others heal. It goes counter to my programming and training to speak out, to really speak out with the truth, and I have to admit it’s an incredibly hard and frightening thing to do.
These last six months have been difficult, the realizations and the full context memories have literally knocked me on my ass a time or two, and the anxiety has been nothing like I’ve ever experienced – the fear and trembling of working out my own salvation. I was asked not to write about my abuse as it may hurt my abuser’s feelings, and for the last six months I’ve held my tongue, once again isolated, and working against my own best interests. Working against my own best interests was how I was trained, and the lies and pretense is the wardrobe I was expected to wear for the rest of my life.
I knew speaking out would cause others to turn their backs on me because that is simply the way it is when you grow up in narcissist abuse. Growing up as I did you have this entire world of pretense and lies thrown over you, and you are expected to uphold those lies to the world, and as the abuse started so early with me, you carry those lies and pretense just because that’s simply the way it is. You carry the pretense even when everything inside is screaming that it’s a lie, you put on a smile and face the world and pray no one sees the truth.
I am done, I can no longer pretend, and the truth is I was one of the scapegoats in my family. The other scapegoat was my oldest brother, and when he grew into a man, dangerous and unpredictable in our abuser’s eye, the role fell onto me, as I was just a kid and a very easy target.
I have avoided looking into the topic of narcissism for years, both consciously and unconsciously, knowing that once I opened Pandora’s box there was no returning to the way things were before. And strangely, there was a bit of a mourning period of letting those old illusions go, realizing that things were never the way they were presented to the world, and acknowledging that I was never the person my abuser insisted I was.
There are many kinds of scapegoats in the narcissist dynamic, and I am beginning to understand that I am the truth teller. The other types of scapegoats are the rebel, the caretaker, the problem-solver, the protector, the perfectionist, and sometimes another covert narcissist is born under the selfish and incredibly damaging abuse. Being a scapegoat is a very hard and damaging road to follow, and it is the scapegoat who carries the burden of all the frustrations of the family, and the blame anytime anything goes wrong. The energy has to go somewhere, and the scapegoat is the receptacle where all that gets dumped.
The dynamic is very clear, written about in books, shown in movies, and yet I avoided looking into it for years, the fear of facing the truth almost greater than the pain of being scapegoated my entire life. There are several types of narcissist, and narcissism is defined as a personality disorder in which the narcissist is selfish, lacks empathy for others, has a sense of entitlement, a need for admiration, and an inflated sense of self-importance. People growing up under that dynamic are very damaged, both the golden children (the chosen favorites) and the scapegoats are damaged. No one does well in a narcissist family, except for the narcissist themselves, as the children have long been divided and conquered, and have learned the hard way that keeping the narcissist happy is the only way to find what resembles peace, but that semblance of peace is always short-lived.
Some may ask, why now? Why talk about it now? It’s in the past, it’s over, why dredge up the old ghosts now? But the truth is it’s not over until the injured parties say it’s over, and it sure isn’t over for me as I now have to wade through the years of my life, the traumas I swallowed as something I deserved, and consciously begin healing my mind and my body. It’ll be over when I say it’s over, and not a second before.
I was asked to hold my words, to not write the truth of my own life on my own blog, and to keep silent until the narcissist died, and I had planned to do that, but something broke. Something inside could no longer hold the pretense, my body was giving out, my body was rebelling against the lies. It is completely unjust to expect another person to carry lies, and the simple act of asking me to do so is just another textbook example of being scapegoated. Once again the comfort and selfishness of the narcissist becomes more important than my health, my recovery, and my entire existence. Once again the narcissist’s feelings outweigh everything else, including my own health, but that is nothing new to me as my medical needs were neglected in childhood by the narcissist. I’m not going to continue down the path that says I am less than, my needs less important because others, outside of me, deem it so.
The answer is no. I told that person that I would write what God inspired me to write, but the fear of speaking openly held me back, fear of retribution, slander, and rejection. God has been pressing on me to heal loudly, to help others in what I am an expert in, and I will no longer remain silent to protect the feelings of the person who went out of their way to hurt me and make me struggle. I will no longer protect the person who deliberately and with intent made my childhood a living hell, and I will no longer pretend simply to appease others who are invested in maintaining the lies.
If my words can help one person, then I must put myself out there, no matter how uncomfortable and afraid that makes me. So for a while this blog will be dedicated to overcoming and healing from narcissist abuse, there are more of us out there than I ever imagined.