That's what I was told. In those words. When I said I wasn't really loved by my narcissistic family, though they may have boasted about my successes to other people.
"Don't dig so deep," the former neighbor of my malignant narcissistic grandmother, who suffered somewhat at her hands too, and knew how the evil woman tormented her family, said. I was amazed, to put it mildly. I'd never heard this sentiment actually expressed. I thought everyone knew you were always supposed to be digging deep. That's the accepted wisdom in my world.
Except, no one was ever doing it, not really. When I was "digging deep" before, I thought it meant acknowledging to myself how evil, selfish, cold, unloving, disloyal, cowardly, I really was. And everyone else probably was, to some extent. Except my perfect parents, who were the only ones above reproach.
Digging deeper than that made me realize I was being too hard on myself because their projection conditioned me to. At first, I didn't understand. How could I have hidden this from myself and instead thought horrible things about myself? And then, when I allowed myself to feel again, it hit me - it's easier to be evil than to be unloved. Unloved by your own mother and father. You'll lie to yourself, say that you rejected them, because you're cold and hard and cruel, anything, just to keep yourself from realizing that mommy and daddy never loved you.
The neighbor, in a way, had the guts to admit it: it's scary and dangerous to dig that deep. To the depths that make you realize you never had parental love, the most fundamental thing in the world. Everyone has at least a tiny measure of unease when they hear of the possibility of parents not loving their children. Because no one received perfect love from their parents. (If there's such a thing as original sin, that's got to be it.) That's why the myths and taboos surrounding parenthood are so strong.
And why we have such difficulty being heard and believed and validated.