Growing up with a schizoid, paranoid, psychopathic, narcissistic father set me up for success in all the WRONG ways. Growing up, I was led to believe that my beauty and sweet, empathic ways were my only good qualities, forget about smarts or other talents. I was also led to believe that I’m only worth as much as what I can do for others. I belonged to my father, not to myself, and that he could do whatever he liked to me, because I was just an object to him, to shower either affection or abuse upon, depending on which stage of his mental illness he was going through at the time.
I was either a powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing being, or I was a throwaway object, a toy doll, to be used and abused in every way possible. Is it any wonder why I’ve struggled to find a healthy relationship with anyone, let alone myself?
That blanket of shame has hung over my shoulders, weighing me down, for my entire life. I do not remember a time during my childhood when I wasn’t being abused, and I still carry the scars with me. In my relationships I was always giving more than I was receiving, and always going out of my way to be there, but not getting the same level of respect or loyalty in return. I’ve been working through the deep emotional pain, picking at the residual scar tissue from the childhood trauma, and the after effects of subsequent abusive relationships. I held on to abusive, toxic family relationships and repeated the abusive cycle I’d endured from my father with other men, because it felt familiar. Safe, even, as toxic and harmful to my health as it was.
Men were my cigarettes, and I was a chain-smoker, until I’d finally had enough, and decided to walk away from yet another abusive relationship with a narcissist, who had some frighteningly similar characteristics to my father.
Luckily, with some deep, inner work, a lot of reflection, and therapy, I’ve been on the road to recovery from emotional, psychological, sexual and ritual abuse.
The healing is coming, and the process of transformation is already underway, but the more that I understand how my father’s mental illnesses played a role in the abuse, the easier it becomes for me to pull those layers of shame off of me, and back on to my primary abuser.
The feelings of self love are becoming more secure, and I’m finally developing the kind of relationship with myself that I’ve never been able to sustain with others, that kind of deep, abiding, non-judgmental love. Letting go of the shame, self doubt and negative thinking is an ongoing practice, but it is one I will gladly continue to develop, throughout my life. I’m finally starting to see how the way others treat me is a reflection of how I treat myself, and if I don’t like the way someone speaks to, or treats me, I DO have the right to stand up to them. I have a voice, and I am using it now. It’s a good feeling to live in my skin now, and I am a magnificent miracle, a gift of life!