Thursday, June 23, 2011

Not a Wimp

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.


  1. I worked for 10 years with some awesome professors that taught me that mistakes were part of the growing process and totally acceptable. So different from my NM when the slightest mistake became a huge production on working out a way so the mistake never happened again. Mistakes were agony for me. I actually give myself tasks to work on that I know I will make a mistake. Imagine practicing making mistakes so I will stop hitting huge anxiety attacks over the slightest error. I also joined Toastmasters which is a club here in the United States and some other countries that teach people how to speak in public. It is a supportive group that will point out your errors after you give your speech but they also point out your strengths and congratulate you on your improvement. I appreciate what my counselor taught me. "You were raised in insanity, healthy doesn't behave that way." He also helped me have the confidence that I can learn how to be healthy. I agree you are not a wimp. Choosing to live healthy takes courage and inner strength. You were taught distortions by a narcissistic father. I was taught distortions by a narcissistic mother. Choosing healthy takes the courage to fight the hardest battle of all changing yourself.

  2. Thank you, Ruth. I hope I'll get there eventually. Right now I won't even try anything I'm not absolutely sure I'll excel in. Other stuff I claim I absolutely can't do, to relieve the pressure, although maybe I could. Only not perfectly.

  3. I could have written this post. It's so like how I have felt. When you're conditioned to shut the heck up because only wimps complain, then you don't learn not to complain ... you learn to take the abuse over and over again ...

    I've had to redefine so many definitions that my mother wrote for certain words: strong, brave, needy, helpful, etc.


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