The Side Effects of Growing up with, Existing, Leaving and Surviving Narcissistic Behavior
1st Step: How one becomes disconnected
The separation became expected from continuously being left out of my immediate family. Exclusion feels very different than exclusive yet the emotional effects are the same for all humans. Since I’ve been discussing my accountability in my healing process, I have to be honest about all things. Disconnection for me started in a methodically slow pace for maximum effect for those implementing the plans. The rules and family abnormalities became my life’s guidelines after my grandmother passed. My classrooms were anywhere I was dropped off, my school and my own room. Out of the three, going to school was easiest for me to navigate because I had gotten accustomed to attending whomever’s school when my parents left me too long at a strangers or family’s home. Disconnection thrives in these situations.
There are so many examples I could make yet I’m struggling like it was my fault. My birthday recently rolled around and unlike any of the others; it’s time for me to stop wishing for better emotionally, physically spiritually and mentally by waiting on outside people to do it. By waiting on others for approval, love, affection, validation; you will never receive what’s expected. The expected is the illusion many like myself fall into hoping. The deadly valuable time waster. Years pass as you use every moment twisting yourself inside out to please the UNCONCERNED. Waiting for the too busy, uncomplimentary, distant, unaffectionate, sullen, always annoyed love you think you deserve. But when its all you learned and adapted to throughout this life, where else can you start from but something familiar.
I got through my family’s whispers as I walk by, the exclusions from their ideas, plans, joy, vacations, love. It isn’t easy to find a brand new way if you are not emotionally and spiritually prepared. So immaturity can be a severe set back caused by your family, their friends and anyone close that should be your guide. Unfortunately, it doesn’t bode well for those who cannot stand your presence. The best clothes, education, hair, job, responses, patience or money won’t matter. Your experiences are meant to create a better person, family, and neighborhood. But I didn’t have time to depend on them as life progressed. Diligence became my friend while grinding through my family’s madness until I could get away to create my own life. Yet no one tells you that those very things you despised comeback, again and again, to make sure you’ve learned the intended lesson.
The freedom our family felt on our first 4th of July with my favorite cousin and family was perfect. That was the preamble for our families new to Germantown section in the Delaware Valley. The year was 1972 though we are dealing with a group stuck in 1950’s traditions. The mood was mixed as you could hear the kids playing on the street, girls playing double-dutch while the boys rode their bikes on one side of Chelten Ave and the other side had our crew with the grill outside the four one-bedroom apartments. You live in the upper right one, the door is wide open in this July heat and no windows in the hallway makes it hot in summer and cold in winter. But for just moving halfway cross country from Newport, Tennessee this is good. We have our cousins around the corner and some in Baltimore so we are good as far as getting settled. We had already been over to a new house recently after a year or so had passed. Getting a younger brother changed things. Everything went to be was being rushed and changed. But once we moved into this huge place I got my own room. The coldness of this echoing 3 story row house in West Oak Lane was a step up since white people still lived in our neighborhood. The great flight of those who had enough money had dwindled and we were left with the cream of the crop.
(My thoughts because of all I learned from the ones I got to know.) That meant to our parents they had arrived at being equal in real estate. They treated the older residents like kings to show their worthiness to be in their vicinity. But this brought so much positivity needed in my life at a time I needed absorb for the more trying portions. I like to think of it as my reserves for harder times in the future. For now, we have a new house, new friends, and more freedom now that we weren’t as cramped. That year I began kindergarten with Ms. Valentine, I was excited to be away from my own house for 5 hours of education and books! I was in my element. School had its perks in being able to escape into my world but everyone isn’t there to join. The shock of how easy the classroom was split between those who were going to prey on the victims and the “leave those people alone” group. The dynamic stayed this way for the same reason our street and neighborhood lived in reasonable peace. You don’t bother me and we won’t care about you. We all got up here by the skin of our teeth and some have a plan where others made chaos. How you react to each determine to keep your sanity and self-preservation through each phase. So please remember to find the sweet spot of St. Athanasius for the next 7 years. Weaving through the third grade without incident was a miracle but at home, things turned dark. My grandma came to live with us died suddenly. I was waiting for her to come home after her doctor’s appointment and time kept going and she didn’t come home. We made my room our getaway since it was the only room to share, who wouldn’t love being room-mates with their grandma. That the best of my young years. I didn’t mention this before, moving from the apartment caused a drain on our finances and party time. Having two of your kids put a damper on the benefits of bachelor life. The house was great for social private parties but he money keeping up with their friends became an issue.
(I want to emphasize the difference of 30 or so years in society. In the 1970s, domestic violence and child abuse (not discipline) were given in silence and pain. The family unit was very strict and the boundaries were violently blurred due to how women were thought and treated as property instead of as human beings. So, as we continue to remember that all interactions were “normal” though now it is humane or cruel.)
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