Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Invalidation by comparison

I have a very hard time feeling like I have the right to harbor any negative thoughts about my upbringing. Sure, it was obvious that I was never truly loved, and I was lied to, manipulated, used as an object to get narcissistic supply from and through, abused in some ways, and quite possibly badly spanked as a very little child, which I still can't know for sure and never will. But I can't complain, because many out there have had it much worse.

See, whenever I had any complaint in childhood, it was invalidated by a comparison. If I complained about my early bedtime (7.30 PM, as I recall, until I was 10 or so), I was told about a very distant relative who made her daughter go to bed when there was still sunshine outside. That would shut me up. I was lucky in comparison and should be grateful. And there was always someone who had it worse, however far away and little known to me, so they could always shut me up.

Now I do it to myself. All the time.


  1. Common tool of abusers. Your ________ is not as bad as so-n-so's _______. Took me a long time to recognize and believe the statement "Abuse is Abuse."

  2. Yes! "Abuse is Abuse." Some children who 'appear' to be the most priviledged are abused the worst. My N parents thought that we were spoiled rotton because of material things but if I was to get sick, say with the mumps, I was screamed at for having to get picked-up from school and then denied medical attention. Narcissists are only concerned with image not the nitty gritty of humanity like love, care, compassion and respect. The stuff that really counts has no significance to them.

  3. I hear you. It sure is hard to be the child of narcissists, of all the possible abusers you might get stuck with, because of the unbelievable need to keep up appearances, both in the home (one set of appearances) and outside (another set).

    Everybody still seems to see me as privileged and lucky; even people I've come out to as an ACON. The image of the doting parents who got me late in life and then spoiled me rotten was just so powerfully projected for so long. I went along with it.

    Now I feel like I have a personal parallel reality that no one else that knows me seems to inhabit. Except my husband, who is incredibly intuitive and knew there was something fishy about my father from the very start.

    And others do seem to come out too with their own perceptions of my father's unpleasant quirks, and they do seem to believe me, but the general image of lucky, privileged me, who's always had it easy, still endures!

  4. I really like the title of this post. You always nail down really great titles! And content too, but that goes without saying. I'm really enjoying your open, honest, Blog O' TRUTH.

  5. Outsiders thought and probably still do, that I am/was spoiled because of the family's financial wealth. Uneveloved people think that you have no right complain about anything if there's money. All of that made it even harder to endure my pain because I saw myself as having no right to feel bad. I would have been much better off raised dirt poor with a loving family.

  6. Wow. Thank you so much. :)

    You know I love your blog too - it really rang true for me from the very first posts!

  7. I an relate to this post. I tried to find my voice but it was ALWAYS met with "but you weren't this or that, other people have it worse." Some of us spend out whole lives looking for the simple validation of "I did that and it was wrong and I am sorry." Narcissists can't do that. It would compromise their false self that they are special and entitled. Those of us who dare "speak the truth" end up the "identified patient" (blog to come) even though the rest of the family is sicker b/c they are still keeping secrets.


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