- It gets easier with time after going no contact. The anger you feel towards the abusive parent lessens, although it can rear up unexpectedly, even many years later.
Forgiveness is important, but it is a process that might take a long time. Forgiveness doesn't mean you need to mend fences and allow your abuser to be a part of your life.
There is hope and healing ahead. I reconciled with a sister (Anna) after not seeing or speaking to her for 25 years. Our fractured relationship was collateral damage because of our nm. We now have a wonderful, loving , healthy and stable relationship. Don't give up hope for family members you want to have a relationship with.
- I think to follow your own instincts and not let the guilt and the gaslighting, wherever or whoever puts it out there make you doubt yourself. Times when I knew things were way off kilter, even though I didn't understand exactly why, I didn't listen to my inner compass. Things don't always come as promptings, but rather a recognition that the dysfunction you're dealing with is more destructive than it may seem from the outside. I kept trying with certain relationships with family narcs because I didn't want to believe they were so far into the behavior that they were a danger and a threat to everyone around them. They're fueled by hate and anger, a need to control people, and if they can't control them, then just destroy them any way they could find. I kept thinking if I loved them enough, or tried harder etc. etc. etc. somehow they would get to a healthy, loving place and things would be better. Fortunately for me, Heavenly Father gave me such a strong prompting that I needed to find the truth and get to the bottom of things, and I couldn't ignore it. I listened, searched, prayed, did my homework, followed through on things I was told, instead of just believing what I was told, and eventually found the whole depth of all the ugly, evil truth and finally went NC (no contact) with those I needed to for good. I now have great relationships with the emotionally healthy people in the family (Elsa ). My big regret is that I didn't stick to my instincts, and follow through with the NC many years ago. A lot of heartbreak and damage would have been prevented. As Elsa said, once you stick to NC, and time goes on, things get so much better. I have a peace and happiness in my family relationships for several years now that I had never had for even one day in my whole life before that. ~Anna
- Trust yourself and God, first. They want you to doubt yourself, your perception of reality, and everyone except for themselves. This is a large way they maintain control. Learn to be self aware so that when they attack and accuse, you can weigh it for accuracy and dump the lies. Know that you have a whole life ahead of you as soon as you are free to leave. That hope kept me going. When it gets confusing, disengage and focus on what is clear. Don't be surprised if no one else in the family will listen or believe you. Narcissists build a complex web of distortions to support their needs so being born into the middle of one means it's already established how they want it. Look instead for connections that prove the narc patterns wrong. The narcs will try to undermine them because that threatens them, but that is simply more proof of what they are. The more you understand narc patterns and dynamics, the easier it will be to brush off their abuses as their own flaws rather than the flaws they declare are your own. If the abuse is bad enough you have found your way to researching it, there is likely nothing you can do that will correct the intrinsic decay. You can do everything you possibly can and it will never be enough. Instead of blaming yourself for failing as they do, accept it isn't your fault and let go knowing you've done enough. Beware other abusers who tend to recognize abuse victims as vulnerable. Take your time to heal before jumping into a relationship. Know that your successes count and you are far more capable than they will ever acknowledge. Know that perfection is not necessary for satisfaction and sufficient effort. Good enough is a great place to start and as long as you are trying, you are already there. Explore you interests. Try new things. Allow yourself to experience life. Watch the life and community around you to see options you never knew existed, particularly when considering employment and career possibilities. Now go make your life the life you've dreamed of having. ~ Aspen