Posted by: Judy | June 11, 2015

My sister’s perspective…

Grace for my Heart shared a post titled “A Narcissistic Culture?”

I fear he’s right that narcissism is spreading. I can’t stop the choices of others, but I can and will make different choices for myself. In order for me to change, I recognize I need to be self-aware and make different choices.

I need to stop worry about failing and start worrying about not trying.

My sister decided to take the schema list and explore how she’s learning to manage and/or change each one. I like this idea. Following her example. I can’t change what happened to me. I struggle with it every day. I may not be able to heal completely in this life (I believe God will make me whole on the other side of the veil), but I can make my life better today.

1. ABANDONMENT / INSTABILITY – The perceived instability or unreliability of those available for support and connection. Yes.

I have experienced this repeatedly throughout my life. I’ve lost count of the number of people I counted as friends who walked away or from whom I decided to walk.

It was tougher when they chose… I think the majority was me walking away.

I allowed far too many people into my life who weren’t healthy, who wanted a cheerleader, someone who made them feel good. It’s was a continuation of the role expected of me by NM and EF. I knew there was a problem, but my boundaries were lousy, so I was sucked in again and again.

Practice was the only way to change it. Yes, it sets me up to be hurt… abandoned again, but I know quite a few people felt like I abandoned them. I couldn’t remain the same person they needed me to be.

As my boundaries become healthier abandonment and instability become less of a concern.

Abandonment issues and instability are signs of unhealthy boundaries.

Good to recognize that at last.

I’m more careful about making friends. I don’t go all in anymore. I used to think there was something wrong with me if I didn’t. Going all in is removing all boundaries. This is not healthy. Not going all in does not mean I’m not committed to my friendships. In fact, I’m able to give more because I’m giving what I’m prepared to give.

Some people don’t like this. That is their choice, and it is not my responsibility to “fix” it or “change” or even adapt. Choosing to not contort to meet someone else’s need is not a flaw or unloving or unreasonable.

On FB Lou Ferrigno (body builder) posted: Be who you want to be not what others want to see.

My response: It took me a while to figure out that what others want to see doesn’t exist.

Sometimes, the other is me…

Perhaps the most important issue with abandonment and instability is the relationship with myself, my trust in myself, my comfort level with myself, my respect for myself.

Living with an N, one is expected to abandon one’s self in order to please, appease, properly worship the N. I couldn’t defend myself without displeasing the N. I couldn’t stand up for myself without displeasing the N. I couldn’t be myself without displeasing the N.

I abandoned myself to the “tender mercies” of the N. Something I knew was a lie from the start, but fought anyway to make it true.

How could I have a stable anything when N was in control?

Taking back my personal power meant I was choosing to never again abandon myself, my values, my beliefs, my hopes, my dreams.

By making this choice, N and the flying monkeys promised I would be abandoned and instability would be inevitable. What a surprise. They lied.

Choosing to me has created greater stability as I become more comfortable with myself and more confident in my decisions.

This is not an overnight process. It’s slow, painful practice with lots of setbacks and lots of repeating. I’m not where I want to be, yet, but I’m a whole lot closer than I used to be.

Being abandoned/rejected used to be a constant worry. There are days when I don’t think about it at all. I’m too busy living my life, as imperfect as it is and as many mistakes as I make. I know I’m improving.

I’d like more stability in my life, but instead of it revolving around everything in my life it’s pretty much contained to financial stability, most of the time.

How did that happen?

One step at a time, one day at a time, with setbacks and failures, but never ever giving up.

Go me! 🙂

Thank God.



  1. I’m not sure narcissism is increasing — I feel like we just have more awareness of it through media. But I could be wrong. I also think there’s a difference between narcissistic traits and narcissistic personality disorder, and I can see the former being fed more by modern times.

    I definitely keep myself reserved from friendships in part to avoid abandonment issues. Reading your post, it struck me again how my job was to make my mother feel good about herself, to the point that my father would actually tell me to just give in to whatever her needs were at the expense of mine.

    • Good points, Judith. I thought I was crazy because surely NM wasn’t as bad as I thought; I didn’t know anyone else remotely like her. Then blogging came along, and I met so many people who had an NM/EF or NF/EM that were practically interchangeable with mine.

      I remember the complaints several decades ago about the “me” generation. I’ve heard people complain that the 60s was the “me” generation. Maybe we’ve simply cycled back around to it. Every generation must make choices about how involved they are in the lives of others. It’s also determined by the individual. I read complaints about people not being involved with each other. My friends rarely use their phones when we’re out together. It’s the choice we make.

      Yep, I definitely recognize the family dynamic. Insane. Friendships are definitely not safe if they mirror the unhealthy borderless interactions we had with our parents. Best thing that happened to me was the internet. Automatic boundaries. I still made mistakes, but I had a much healthier starting point. I’m grateful you’re one of my blogging friends.

  2. Go you! This is wonderful progress, I like how you reflected on many aspects of moving through this. You highlighted some very important connections: “Abandonment issues and instability are signs of unhealthy boundaries.”

    I can relate to your journey. When I look back on my old friendships, I found that I went all in. I thought being a friend met doing stuff when they asked without questioning it. When setting boundaries, this has put a strain on the old friendships that exist today. I’m learning to live with this strain b/c it means I choose my values and living from within instead of living from outside in.

    • Some of my old friendships haven’t worked, as I’ve learned to better establish boundaries. Some have actually improved. I think it also makes a difference if I’m choosing to stay in the friendship as opposed to when I felt like it was all I had so I had to stay in it or be alone.

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