We all have a story. An untrue story we’ve been telling ourselves since childhood—an inaccurate story created by the broken people who raised us. Our Parents.
A Narcissistic Mother and an Alcoholic, Racist Father built my story.
These two broken people created my childhood story filled with chaos, toxicity, no accountability, emotional abuse, manipulation, and reckless behaviors.
My childhood story was built on a toxic illusion created by two broken people–My Parents.
My narcissistic mother, who was emotionally abusive and manipulative and constantly demanded I prove my love to her, built half my story.
My alcoholic racist father, who was chaotic and unpredictable, put me in unsafe situations and who was consistently inconsistent, created the other half.
My childhood story, created by my toxic parents, was a story built on unworthiness, chaos, confusion, and uncertainty which led me to toxic cycles of behaviors, thought patterns, low self-esteem, and not showing up for myself.
A story I did not know at the time was untrue.
A story I believed for years.
My Emotionally Immature Parents with no Awareness
My parents had ZERO awareness. Their world was wrapped up in selfishness and trying to meet their needs through toxic, repeated behaviors and cycles.
My home lacked unconditional love, connection, empathy, and compassion because these broken people created my home.
As you can imagine, this story didn’t allow me to believe I had value or worthiness. It didn’t allow me to believe I deserved anything better than what I got from this childhood story. It didn’t allow me to believe I could do anything different than the broken model shown to me.
My story is not unique but common among many children raised by narcissists and alcoholics. Narcissistic parents break their children down until they depend entirely on them for everything: food, warmth, and clothing. The child becomes an extension of the narcissist; they do whatever they say without question because they want to please them so badly. They don’t realize they are losing their identity in this process because they are too young to understand what is happening in their lives.
How my Story Shifted
How could I heal this broken story? How could I rewrite this narrative? How could I change the ending? How could I rewrite my childhood story?
How did my untrue story shift?
My untrue story shifted in my backyard when I had Coronavirus. This false story turned when I thought I was going to die.
A pivotal moment in my backyard-when I thought I would die from the acute Coronavirus symptoms in April of 2020- was the beginning of questioning that BROKEN story—my childhood story, which those broken people built.
I was short of breath. I couldn’t breathe. My brain told me to call 911, or I would die.
But, I paused and listened to MY GUT.
My gut told me if I called 911, I would die because I would believe it.
Several minutes later, I was ok. How is this possible?
The beginning of questioning that false childhood story started with my own false belief instantly changing.
This moment of thinking I would die was the beginning of my new story and shift. A shift into a new story I would create on MY TERMS.
A story and belief I was worthy of.
A story of worthiness we all deserve.
Awareness is the Key
The first step to healing my childhood story was awareness.
I had to learn that my story was not true because there were too many inconsistencies in it and it didn’t fit anymore with who I was becoming now in this moment.
I had to teach myself awareness of being in the moment and conscious of my thoughts and behaviors. Awareness is a skill every single person has.
I read the life-changing book, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza, who is a neuroscientist, Researcher of epigenetics and quantum physics. In Joe Dispenza’s book Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, he says that 90% of the thoughts we think are the same thoughts we thought the day before, the day before that, and the day before that one.
This was my aha moment, as I’d never heard of this before. So, I decided to test this by observing my thoughts. And guess what? Dr. Dispenza was right. It was true.
Teaching myself awareness
Observation skills are fundamental in getting to know yourself and your thoughts.
When we can look at situations in new and different ways, it enables us to make necessary changes.
I’ve had to teach myself awareness by observing my thought process.
Observing my thoughts helped me evaluate how I think, behave, and eventually react to every problem I encounter daily.
Observing your thoughts and emotions helps create your new story.
Observing your thoughts and emotions may not come easily or naturally because our minds are used to the same old beliefs and feelings we’ve had forever.
I started by observing my thoughts and reactions and then writing these down. I would ask myself, “Is this thought true? What is your evidence? What is my limiting belief?”.
Questioning this story, these beliefs created by those broken people, was my game changer. Questioning these untrue beliefs created my new story of worthiness, strength, and how I viewed myself.
Our thoughts hold the key to that untrue story, but our awareness has power then our questions change that story.
What do we do when a painful childhood memory comes up? Do we ignore the painful memory? Do we stuff the painful memory down with food, drugs, alcohol, sex, overworking, toxic relationships, starving ourselves, people pleasing, and saving others? What do we do if multiple painful childhood memories flood in at once?
This episode was inspired by my client who didn’t want to remember her painful childhood. Little did I know a flood of childhood memories would happen after our encounter. Memories of my father always using alcohol, drugs, weed, cigarettes, etc. Memories of him giving me alcohol when I was 3 years old. Memories of my father teaching me to cope with stress with any substance you can get your hands on–every single night.
I recorded this episode as I was sifting through these memories. My goal is to help others shift through their painful memories as well. These memories are coming up for a reason. I am grateful for my painful memories coming to the surface because I NOW have the choice of what to do with them.
Connect with Christine for Mental Health Discussions and Tools for Recovery:
Welcome back to episode 37, part TWO! Dr. Perkins and I continue our conversation about the importance of Spirituality in Mental Health recovery.
Jack Perkins is a licensed professional counselor and the founder of Psuche Education Counseling & Coaching Services. He has a heart to help others discover the secret to living a fulfilled life by integrating their spirituality into every area of their lives. He’s seen first hand how the integration of spirituality into healthcare is important in the recovery process.
Why integrating spirituality into healthcare is important
Why people turned to prayer after Sept 11
Spirituality gives people hope and helps them cope with depression
Why Christine went into nursing
World Health Organization states spirituality is a pillar of healthcare
Low Percentage of doctors assessing spirituality with patients
Importance of spirituality assessment in healthcare
Providers need to assess their spiritual health first
Provider bias with patients’ religions and spiritual beliefs
Jack’s touching story of helping grieving parents whose baby just died
Connect with Christine for Mental Health Discussions and Tools for Recovery:
What is your Story? What Story have you been telling yourself since childhood? What is the constant story running in your head?
Today’s episode is about My Story. The Story I’ve been telling myself since childhood. A story built by broken people AKA my Parents.
The purpose of today’s episode is to help Empower You to create a new story.
I share techniques that work for me. You deserve to feel good in your story.
I first began observing my thoughts and emotions. “What am I feeling?” Then ask yourself where does this feeling come from? Is it real? Is it based on fact? Is it based on a memory or an emotion from childhood? Is this a belief? What is the evidence that supports this belief? Are there any other points of view that might support this belief? What would someone who loves me say about this belief? Would they agree with me or disagree with me? What can I do today to support myself in making changes toward becoming healthier emotionally and spiritually?
A narcissist is someone who has a grandiose sense of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. Oftentimes they can be controlling, manipulative and demanding. They also lack conscience and guilt which makes it very easy for them to hurt others without feeling remorseful or guilty about what they have done or said to harm another person.
Now imagine this person is your Mother.
The Effects of a Narcissistic Mother
The effects of being raised by a narcissistic mother are profound.
Growing up with a narcissistic mother made it very difficult for me to trust anyone, especially men, I never knew if they would hurt me or not. I was constantly looking at every aspect of their behavior trying to determine if they were good or bad people so that way I could protect myself from further harm but this became exhausting after a while because there was no way I could.
Not to mention the constant need for external validation.
It wasn’t until years later that I realized this kind of parenting wasn’t normal; it wasn’t how other moms treated their kids. It didn’t seem strange at the time because I had no point of reference; my mother was just “the way she was.”
But when you grow up with a narcissistic parent, it can be extremely confusing and painful — especially when you don’t even know that your parent has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).
It took me years to realize that there was something wrong with this situation; it wasn’t just me making things up in my head or overreacting to things that weren’t really happening at all…it wasMy Narcissistic Mother.
She is the person who will remind you of your mistakes and shortcomings every chance she gets. She will create stories that portray you as a terrible person, a burden on society, and a waste of space. She will make sure everyone knows you are a disappointment, especially if they have something she wants or needs from them.
Meet Your Narcissistic Mother
She has no empathy for others; in fact, she feels superior to most people in her life. She cannot feel remorse over anything she has done wrong or hurtful things she has said. She expects everyone to meet her high expectations without question, but never does anything herself because it is beneath her.
Your Narcissistic Mother does not like anything about you; everything that makes up who you are is wrong in her eyes.
Being raised by a narcissistic mother is a form of emotional abuse that can have a devastating effect on the child’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth. Narcissistic mothers are often very good at creating an illusion of being wonderful parents. They are often charming, charismatic and superficially seem to be loving and attentive. The reality is that they lack empathy for their children and only care about their own needs, feelings and desires. HELLO GUILT TRIPS!
Stay Tuned for Part Threeof What It’s Like Being Raised by a Narcissistic Mother. *HINT: EXHAUSTING
I’ll provide examples galore of her subtle manipulation.
My hope is for others to heal by sharing my story. You deserve peace. You are worthy.
Society tells us that Mothers are kind, supportive, and your biggest cheerleader. Society tells us Mothers are warm, make chocolate chip cookies, listen without judgment, and push you to be your best.
My mother was the exact opposite.
Society tells us Narcissists are men who drive Corvettes, born with a silver spoon, arrogant and void of emotions. Society never mentions women as Narcissists. Society certainly never mentions Mothers—”your biggest cheerleader”—-as Narcissists.
I am a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. I diagnose and treat people with Psychiatric Disorders. I diagnose personality disorders as well. I have been in the profession of Mental Health for over 15 years.
I am considered a Mental Health “expert”.
Even I did not know my Mother had Severe Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Being a child raised by a Mother who was abusive, jealous, in competition with me, who punished me emotionally for questioning her behaviors and constantly vilifying me for my childhood “mistakes” was confusing.
Confusing to my inner worthiness.
My Mother’s Narcissistic traits were subtle. Subtle when you compare her to my father, who was a racist, vulgar, alcoholic.
So, it was difficult for me—a child—to describe exactly why she was awful. Difficult to understand why my Mother, who society deems as a martyr, your best friend, your biggest support–disliked me. And the odd and confusing feeling of having nothing in common with your mother.
So what does a Daughter of a Narcissistic Mother do? She expresses her hurt, confusion, and lack of worthiness through her behaviors.
My teenage years were one of rebellion, promiscuity, and illicit drug experimentation. My teenage rebellion was anything but subtle.
My behaviors screamed and spotlighted the abuse I was suffering. My lack of not giving a shit, invisibility, and no direction was a mirror to my homelife.
A mirror to my lack of worthiness.
You see, when you are raised by a Narcissistic Mother you constantly question yourself, question your reality, question your judgement, question your truth, and most importantly—your worthiness.
Below are examples of my Narcissistic Mother’s traits and abusive behaviors:
Pitting me against my father
Secret Keeper (not)
Destroying my Reputation
Pretending to be Vulnerable
Thriving off Chaos
Abandoning during crisis
Check out my podcast episode discovering my mother is a narcissist.
My hope is for others to heal by hearing my story. You are not alone.