It took me a long time to even begin understanding what had been going on. It took me 32 years in fact. Not until then did I understand that some of the issues I was experiencing in my life were all part of the same thing.
I was chronically overworked, overcommitted, and worried about what everyone thought of me. I lived every day trying to justify my existence, money was scarce, and my health was up and down. I was constantly in survival mode, and there never seemed to be an end to the struggle. I always felt like I was one step behind, and there was never quite enough time to catch my breath.
Then one day, my now husband was watching the news. He saw a reporter describe a gruesome murder as the work of a narcissist. When he saw a picture of the said killer, his first thought was, “That facial expression looks just like Mags’ mother!” So he took to the Internet to learn more. By the time I got home from work, he told me to sit down and read the resources he found. “I’ll cook,” he said, “you just sit and read.” And that’s how I began to understand that the family dynamic I grew up with was toxic, and had affected my life in countless painful ways.
You see, sometimes we get so used to the abuse, that it becomes our normal. We don’t even realize what’s going on, because we assume that’s just how life, relationships, and communities work. So what if I tell you that you shouldn’t feel like you are constantly stretched to the limit and at odds with yourself?
Perhaps it’s time to figure out what’s going on, and discover if you may be dealing with toxic dynamics. Then you can begin to heal some of the damage that bullying, neglect, manipulation, and abuse may have done to you. And learn skills to manage your life and relationships in a more positive way.