Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Standing Up for Yourself (Part 2)

      Standing up for yourself is like a two-sided coin. One side is knowing how to stop people invading your boundaries. The other side is looking after yourself. This is easier said than done, I'm afraid. We have been conditioned from birth to look after other people and other people's feelings. Conditioned to rather be uncomfortable than bother anybody else. To drop our own stuff to go take care of someone else's. So when I at last drew a line in the sand and managed to keep all the narcs in my life at a reasonable distance I found that I didn't know where to start when it came to my stuff. I had spent my whole life "winging it" (as in: to improvise with little preparation). Spinning plates. Stashing and dashing. Dealing with the urgent rather than the important. Always on the run to catch up with one thing or another. Reacting to things as they came my way rather than deciding in advance what I wanted. And always, always putting myself last. 
     When I was in the process of deciding to put the narcs behind a safety line, I came across this sentence in a self-help book: 
 "If you don't have a plan you'll be a stepping stone for those who do."
    That's exactly how I felt. Like a stepping stone in their plans. The problem was that I didn't know what I wanted. What I wanted had never been an option. It had always been about what other people "needed". Since I was the "good girl" who never got in trouble and was always "ok", it was my "job" to help with my siblings' messes. 
   This sentence haunted me. "I need to have a plan" I'd say to myself, "but what?" "What do I want?" "I don't know". And somehow to even think about what I wanted just felt self-centred  and selfish. That's what all the narcs had been doing all along, right? Except that, in our quest to not be anything close to what they are, we end up shooting ourselves in the foot. Because there is nothing wrong with looking after yourself and your stuff. What the narcs are doing is different: they're not looking after themselves and their stuff, they're getting us to do that for them. Hitching a free ride at our expense. They just trained us to think that way so that we would look after their stuff. Quite a clever ploy, don't you think?


  1. The only plan I can think of is to quit being the guy holding my umbrella over every one else's head and getting soaked to the bone.
    If I can do that, it will lead to more empowerment.
    Like shoving people in wheel chairs over a cliff.
    I don't know where that came from.
    Maybe if we don't start looking after ourselves more, the cliff shoving part may come sooner than later.

  2. What a great quote. Now that I'm learning to make my own plan, there isn't time or room for the narc's plan. Thanks for the great post, Kara. It ties in with what I'm working through right now.

    1. Thanks Judy. We are all working on it together. :)

  3. "Quite a clever ploy, don't you think?"
    I'll take clever. Seeings how I fell for it all. No wonder we can't figure out if we are coming or going.
    Nothing that was presented to us was what they told us it was. Anything that was given to us was used for leverage to jack us on the back end. They exaggerated some things, minimized others. And totally left out whole gigantic chunks all around.
    If we questioned them we were crazy, drunk or drugged.
    They told us one thing and told someone as close as a spouse something completely different.
    They contradict us on things we saw them do.
    Ask us for favors and as we were helping them call their friends and tell them we just started doing this crazy stuff right out of the blue.
    That's pretty specific but my mother LOVED to do that.
    Thanks Ma.
    I don't need any help convincing people I am rattled. I can do that on my own.
    The only limitations are what their twisted bone heads can dream up.
    And they pull it off. People give us the stink eye and stand between us and them lest we bust a spring and suddenly attack.
    And they wonder why we go no contact.
    I always imagined the scenario of when my mother called the law on me for all my f'you letters. I can hear the detective listening and asking her about me just suddenly freaking out for no reason at all. And her confirming it.
    Then them asking if I might need medical help or be a danger to myself and her saying no just bust his ass. Throw him under the jail. Nail him to a cross and throw the book at him.
    And the cop just nodding to himself and thinking yup.
    She drove the poor bastard insane and he bolted never to return.
    Of course the reality would have been if they ever came to speak with me, they would have fired a couple of warning shots to my chest and maybe one to the back of my head. Just to show me who's boss and to teach me some respect for the law.
    I need to shut up. You guys are going to end up thinking I really am a menace to society.

  4. It is amazing how they twist us setting boundaries as 'selfish' or they someone try to manipulate 'you don't like me anymore?'. Ns no no boundaries so they can't recognise them to respect others, mainly because they haven't encountered them. Then, when they get hit with it they attack and we feel bad. So true, clever ploy. Great post! xx T Reddy

    1. Thanks T Reddy, so true, to establish a boundary with a narc is like challenging Darth Vader to a fight to the death ;) xx