One of my mantras is "I'm not a wimp".
And I'm not. But I may seem like one (to myself?) at times. Because 1) I've been taught that only wimps do what's good for them, and strong people take abuse and destroy themselves in different ways and 2) I've been taught that a single little mistake will lose me parental love forever (see the latest silent treatment stories for proof), so my every confrontation with anyone is preceded with bracing myself for the worst possible outcome.
Which means I'm careful when choosing my battles. I won't stand up for myself (only wimps defend themselves, strong people can take anything) but I have to stand up for general ideals, and then I'm prepared for, say, losing my job if I refuse to do something immoral for my boss.
And then nothing happens to me. And I feel like a drama queen, creating drama over nothing. But it's not my drama. It was my narcissistic father's drama. And it was real. The slightest perceived offense and I no longer existed.
It's surreal to begin to understand that normal people don't function like that. That the world is not populated with people who will shun you, fire you, destroy you, over the slightest mistake or disagreement.