Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Don't Dig Deep

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.


  1. Denial is a powerful mechanism, even when it means making conclusions that are at our own expense. Denial works well, and Digging Deep hurts, but truth is, actually, sweeter.

    Or, as a priest once told me, "Serving the Devil seems sweet, but is bitter in the end. Serving God appears to be bitter, but is the sweetest of all".

    Continue digging deep, Pronoia. Your neighbor may have had the guts to admit doing so is scary and dangerous, but you have the courage to actually live it, and move past the fear and danger. Yes, we have a hard time being believed, and validation is often nowhere in sight. But seeing the truth may just be enough.

    Keep on digging. Keep on listening to yourself, and keep on fighting for liberty. You've sure been doing a wonderful job so far, even if truth can hurt too.


  2. i don't think she had much guts in saying that. people sometimes say weird vague things. i didn't understand that because it's not like i can help 'digging deep'. people act like the truth is something you can avoid, however, most of the time it is all around you.
    it is painful but it is so much BETTER.

    you're right, it is painful to even face the idea of that your parents didn't love you. it isnt so much whether or not it's a fact or whatever, but just being able to own and face and entertain and accommodate the idea of it, that you didn't feel loved, is really where it's at. you feel so much more...into yourself. and with it. it's a quiet fact and to able to have that conversation with yourself...it is like creating a space for truth, just for yourself, a small little thing. it's painful but it feels so much better.

  3. people really are denying themselves!

  4. //Digging deeper than that made me realize I was being too hard on myself because their projection conditioned me to.//

    This is valuable insight.

    good blog.

  5. Great post. Very thoughtful. And, oh, so true.

    I grew up listening to "Do we always have to be so deep, Kiki? Does everything have to be a big deal? Let's just have fun." And I usually heard that when I wanted to discuss my feelings or thoughts on anything.

    We should dig deep and see what's beneath the surface. Especially when people say not to.

  6. Thank you, guys. Of course I agree digging deep is the only way to go, it's just that I grew up with this as conventional wisdom, and it still didn't mean everything it's supposed to mean, back then. I also grew up with having to be strong and brave as the ultimate virtues, and I'm at a place where I have respect for the kind of courage that it takes to admit that something is too difficult, too hurtful, and you don't want to do it. The woman didn't really say that, of course. But if a part of me did at this point, I'd give it its due credit.


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