One of the difficult concepts to overcome is the belief that I am less; less important, less smart, less pretty, less loved. In a family with favorites, I was informed multiple times that I would be given less food, less attention, less time, less money because others in the family were more important than I was. I was raised with the words ringing in my little ears, “Take care of your mother, sister, brothers….” No where in here was the concept that I needed to be taken care of. My requests, my needs were ignored or flatly refused. There is something elemental that shifts in the mind of the child when they are told they must go hungry so that someone else, more important, can have seconds. Believing that I had value and worth is still an ongoing struggle. I am learning that I am worth caring for. My needs and wants are worth meeting. I am of value and worth.
Emerging from broken is a web page that I was introduced to years ago. She is an advocate for adult children of narcissistic parents. I don’t agree with everything she says; however, I learned many valuable lessons from reading her information. http://www.emergingfrombroken.com/
The important thing for me was realizing that idealization of my parents WAS essential for my survival when I was a child. It is not essential for my survival anymore.
The fear was in fact a belief that I had to cover for them. The fear was based in the belief that I was LESS valuable than them and in the consequences of challenging that lie. My belief in my lesser value actually assisted them in believing in their greater value, which of course IS the way dysfunctional family systems work.
Darlene Ouimet (~ excerpt from the website)
3 thoughts on “Being less”
Thank you for sharing this. Very powerfully written and I completely relate. I have found that the more I try to fight the feelings ingrained of being “less than” the harder some people fight to keep me from being more. The most important thing I have realized is I am the only one that can make that a reality. The harder they fight to keep me down, the stronger I become.
Less… even though I cognitively know I’m not “less”, I still must act like it. I carry myself like I’m less. When I try to change, someone will “correct me”. I attract the ones who are “more than”. I never know when my actions show a sense of dignity, or will come across as arrogant. I went from an abusive childhood to an abusive marriage. Recognition of human value shouldn’t have to be earned. I have so little experience. I try to exert myself, but I have no energy to fight against the current. I fight, but I usually end up without energy or hope. My character has been assassinated several times. I’m just present. Wouldn’t really call it living.
Even if people and circumstances changed, I have “less than” half of my life left. Where would I find the love of someone who could value a person who is so damaged and hurting and needy?
I learned that I started with myself and loving myself enough to set boundaries. I have several post on boundary setting. This is where my counselor started with me. I am sorry this is happening to you.