Home for me, was a place of random emotional wins and losses. I worked hard to be valued, included, and validated. Still somehow I knew the odds were always with the narcissistic house. However, as young girl it was the only game I knew how to play. At the cost of much of my childhood, I worked very hard to gain father’s attention, and attain my mother’s care. Most of the time the house won. Still, anytime there was even the smallest parental love payoff…it was a huge win! My first love, worked the same way. I gave him so much of my young soul, and spent the better part of my young life wondering why loving him came so easy for me, and was so very difficult for him. As my journey continues, I am gaining clarity into my addiction to narcissistic abuse, realizing more and more that my I am drawn to the familiar. My narcissist is the quintessential embodiment of both my parents.
Fast forward in my adult life, I took the desire for that one great payout out into the world. I was like one of those transfixed gambling slot junkies. I kept trying to get my love pay day out of one of those narcissistic bankrupted machines, never really understanding the odds were stacked against me. The return of my first boyfriend truly consumed with that kind of illusive “love payout.” In the meanwhile, just like when I was a child, and later as a young teen at his mercy the first time around, I had forgotten my life. I was lost. I ignored my friends. I lost interest in my church and work. I let things go in my personal life. To say this out loud is my greatest shame, I ignored my son. In part, the ignoring came as by the consuming task of pleasing my narcissist. Even more insidious, when it came to my son, I think I gave way to my narcissist’s “parental” mantras. The mantras, despite the dismal relationship he had with his children, were about giving far more freedom or cultivating “independence.” I allowed, my narcissist to infuse his influence into what was a stable relationship with my boy. As a result (I hold myself completely responsible) my son got into trouble. This holding myself accountable does not in any way negate that my son made some bad choices. Simply, I am angry, and disappointed in myself, because my son made those choices while I was not looking. I am both grateful and lucky, nothing really bad happened to him as a result.
Really examine your life out of the narcissistic fog. Are you playing a familiar parental pay off love game? What are the areas of your life that have suffered as a result of trying to get your pay-day? While there will be a time to be angry at yourself, today just give yourself a pass. Try to honestly list the areas of your life that are not what they should be as a result of time given to chasing narcissistic pay offs… Make a plan to move towards fixing one, or all areas that have suffered. It is ok to take small steps.