No more pretending

Within the last two to three years, I’ve discovered that my whole entire family are narcissists in varying degrees. Two narcissistic parents (Father the highly malignant type) five children.  I often wonder what are the odds to  have your entire family be narcissists. Believe me, I’ve put myself under the microscope to see if I had any of these traits, which in itself says I’m not a narcissist.  Narcissists never think they have a problem and of course would never in a million years consider it a possibility; they will always point a finger.

I was the highly sensitive type who adopted co-dependent behaviors.  To be honest, I was trained to be co-dependent.   Being the eldest of my four siblings I had too much responsibility and was robbed of my childhood. Home life was anything but peaceful and loving.  It was filled with control, anger, verbal abuse and violence.  Father a malignant, alcoholic abuser would often come home in his drunken stupor after a night at the bar or a night of womanizing and beat Mother.  It was our secret.  In the morning it was business as usual as nothing ever happened.

I lived in fear most of my childhood.  Fearing Father would kill Mother and knew I would be next in line to be killed.  You see Father always had a passion to single me out and use me as his verbal punching bag.  Why me?  What did he see in me that made him focus his sick humor and twisted attention on?  All I know is my discomfort and pain made him happy; there was an intense deep satisfaction in his eyes.  I was his food, my suffering and pain gave him immense pleasure. Predators love their prey and cannot go long without their food.  I was a convenient target; sweet, loving and sensitive.

Needless to say, I wasn’t very prepared for life when I left home at the age of nineteen.  I made a lot of mistakes with my choices especially with men.  The major wake up call in my mid 30’s (a break up with a narcissist) which was a blessing.  It was only then I was able to admit I needed professional help.

I’ve now been married for 5 years and have 2 grown step-children.  Since my marriage there have been many red flag situations with regards to my immediate family and their response to my husband (the outsider).  This is where I started to put the pieces together and research narcissists and family enmeshment.

You see the enmeshed family has no tolerance for an outsider, especially if they are different than what the family expects or what is deemed acceptable to them.  Seems my past boyfriends were all deemed ok because they were quiet and never said much.  I recall none of my family ever made an effort to talk to them or get to know them.  They all just ignored their presence. My husband on the other hand is not one to be ignored,  he has a presence, is confident and outgoing.  Sure he has strong opinions but is respectful and a good family man.  This in itself put the entire family on “alert”.  Warning, warning Will Robinson, we have an enemy among us.

One of the families “many” unspoken rules is loyalty.  Loyalty to the immediate family no matter what.  It doesn’t have to make sense, just take a stand and do the right thing by the family.  Basically if the group (my siblings) deem my husband not worthy I am to agree and stand by their side, not my husbands.  This is when the problem started and escalated when little sister (aka “ring leader”) began her witch hunt and “I hate my sister’s husband” campaign.

After analyzing the situation honestly the only thing hubby did wrong, was be himself.  I say wrong in a sarcastic tone because you see all partners have their place (another unspoken rule).  They must be quiet, not have an opinion and stand in the corner, only talking if spoken to.  Sorry, not the way we want to play.  Hubby is not going to be ignored, or dismissed, especially if you come over to our home.  Enter the bitch (me).

I took a stand and it wasn’t with my immediate family.  Even though they would never admit the dysfunction I only want to be happy, enjoy my life, and live drama free.  For them I am disloyal. Its painful and hurts, but I have the strong feeling that I needed separation in order for my soul and spirit to grow.  I can no longer remain in the box the family says I must live in.

Sometimes the family we were born into aren’t are our real family.  I am creating a real family with my husband, step children and extended family.  Its so different than what I’ve experienced in my past.

This painting I created at a low point in my family sadness.

enmeshment