Recently a dear friend and fellow-survivor lost her toxic mother and it got us to talking about grief. I sometimes wonder how I will respond when I find out.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. I dislike that saying, because guess what: it was words that beat me to a pulp every day
Awareness of the influence of early learning on our adult life is crucial if we want to improve our situation, and intention is the first step.
Toxic people and abusers are experts on jealousy. They cannot bear the thought of anyone having something they don’t have, or experiencing something they are not experiencing.
Parentification and infantalization are strategies to make the victim feel both responsible
Whether by denial, lying or being covertly abusive - phrasing what they say very carefully to intentionally hurt you - an abuser will use gaslighting as just one weapon in an arsenal of many. The tactic is used to alienate and isolate you from others, most especially your loved ones or co-workers.
The silent treatment is commonly used by narcissists and sociopaths. It is dished out as punishment, and means the victim ceases to exist in their world.
That is the closest my sister ever came to expressing a longing for a different kind of relationship with her mother.
SwanWaters finds its beginnings with a group of women who were all daughters of narcissistic mothers. Sharing our stories helped us recover and heal.
Realizing the true extend of the toxic family, and understanding that what happened was in fact abuse is a long and difficult journey. It is only the first step on our road to recovery, but it really is the most important one. That first step toward a better, more healthy life.