Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Most Important Relationship You Have

UPDATE: Revised for inclusion in the book.

What's the most important relationship you have?

That isn't a trick question, but it might as well be, because most people don't realize that the most important relationship they have is with themselves.


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At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is exactly what I meant when I said my anger with myself is what bothers me most. Never allow yourself, your feelings or respect to be trampled on for someone elses sake. Not even for the those you think are the ones you can count on. ("Family",Hah!)

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Kathy said...

Yeah, I heard you. Been there. Your comment inspired the post. Nothing else is more important. It's the self-hatred that can result that really damages the victim. At some point you either realize that and stand up for yourself, or...

This is why those who make it a sin for you to do so are doing a very bad thing. They should examine their OWN consciences for once.

At 1:51 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Probably why one of my favorite movie lines ever is Olympia Dukakis (in Moonstruck) saying, "No, I think the house is empty. I can't invite you in because I'm a married woman. I know who I am."

I think a trick the narcissists and their team of Supporters play is in giving the impression that there are only two choices: either I tell you who you are, and I'm right ... or I tell you who you are and I'm wrong.

But the best answer is C: neither. The best answer is: "I say who I am - and it doesn't really matter whether you are right or wrong in the matter."

(And again, I really do want to thank you for this blog. I don't remember how I got over here, but it's been very clarifying for me.)

At 4:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've told a few people that our marriage is in trouble and they have actually been supportive of me as far as expressing their regrets cuz they care for me. it's been nice. but it is still painfully sorrowful to realize that my N does not truly love is bearable though, but very lonely. i have explained to a few that the feeling of loss and almost betrayal is really sad. but the more i flat out say stuff (to other people-NOT to N) and acknowledge the real pain, the less bad i's interesting. like when you clean out an old wound it hurts and stings like hell- but you know "there- it's finally getting taken care of " and i can heal. IT HURTS--- but healing will happen. DO NOT include your N in your healing process. DO NOT even let on that that is what you are tending to. they may suspect- but just do not let them in. they will undermine whatever progress you make. you almost have to make up a mantra if you will.
no one else knows what i know about my H being an N. but what people do seem to get is when i explain how there is no friendship between him and i. when i talk about that, people seem to get it and don't try to 'take that away' but they do seem genuinely sad- for me. i think thats where the loneliness comes from- is feeling betrayed by a friend ( or someone you considered a friend) And hey- who doesn't know what that feels like?!! jt

At 6:50 PM, Anonymous gh said...

JT. I'm glad to read your comment. I've followed your comments here for awhile, and it is good to hear you on the road to healing.

You are strong!

At 1:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Kathy for your tireless fight against NPD. I have been following your articles for about 6 to 8 months and have been helped immensely by your writing. My own battle against the N in my life has been hard. But you have helped me get through it.

My mother has been the curse of my existence these past 40 years. I didn't know what she was until I was in therapy. It took a year for me to understand it but I finally did. I am thankful to my counselor who patiently and carefully helped me to see my mother for what she really is.

The pain and horror at being linked to such a monster has been severe. But I am thankful that I have made it through. The only solution has been a complete end of my relationship with this N. This past September I declared myself "divorced" from my mother.

The only way to win this war has been to refuse to participate. A complete end to communication with the enemy. My mother continues to relentlessly slander me at every turn. I have the misfortune of living in the same town. My friends mention my mother's character assasination of me on a regular basis.

My goal is to live a peaceful life. To treat people as God and my conscience dictates. There is a temptation to engage my mother's slander, but I learned from a Spurgeon sermon to "not pick up the weapons of the enemy".

There is a huge disparity between my mother's ambitious PR campaign to ruin me and my own silence and desire to be left alone. I am watchful of my boundary and vigorously defend it when it is breached. But I don't go outside of my fort to wage war.

As it turns out, my mother prefers the present state of our relationship. She has no desire to restore our relationship but instead delights in having a story to tell and a target to attack. It seems to animate her, to give her life a focus and a purpose. It helps her in her quest for sainthood.

Thank you again Kathy. I appreciate your insight and zeal for the truth.



At 6:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Kathy--that post was very important for me to read today. Having been raised and abused and betrayed by an Nmom and enabler Dad, I have finally broken free and gone no-contact with them. It has been so painful and difficult, but at the same time, I am happier than I've ever been in my life.

The problem is, I am struggling with feelings of incredible shame for things I have said and done in the effort to please my Nmom in the past. I have betrayed myself, even lied to myself, to try and accomodate this mother who has never loved me. Now I have to earn my self-respect, which I guess will be an ongoing process.

I've wasted so many years of my life--but I'm grateful that from now on, the rest of it, and how I choose to live it, is up to me.

At 6:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:10am you are feeling the same as I do. the anger at yourself for tolerating the crap you have. As Kathy said the most important relationship is with yourself, write it in stone. The common thread is that a parent or sibling knows that they can exploit your good nature and screw you over because of your goodness. You are conditioned, as I was to think that "Well its my Mom or Dad or brother so I should give them the benefit of the doubt. Un-Uh DON'T. That conditioning is your own worst enemy. It will make you (as Kathy says, bend over and take it)do what you know you should'nt and wind up hating yourself for it. The only power the "N" has over us is the power we allow them to have. Change your thinking and stop the self imposed guilt you put upon yourself for no just reason and the "N" dries up like dead leaves and blows away. But NO Contact is the only way to go.You are right the rest is up to you, I wish you the best. Thanks to Kathy for the chance to let these thoughts and emotions out.

At 8:47 AM, Blogger nina said...

Joan of Arc is my Saint, this posting touched me,it is what I am going through. I am fighting the fight for my self-respect right now.

I just had thought this very same thing's so simple, but so forgotten by people who are suckered by Ns.

Thanks Kathy. You change lives.

At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you guys all sound so smart. it feels good doesn't it?!!! DO NOT include the "old cast" in your healing. i think there is a tendency to do that and in general it seems that people 'advise' each other to do so--when it comes to 'healing' and 'making amends'-- but when dealing with hurtful, oppressive or narcissistic personalities, that's not possible or even healthy because that is what's wrong with the relationship in the first place. it's like using acid to heal an acid wound.or fire to heal a burn. or a knife to heal a stab wound... IT JUST DOESN'T work.
there ARE people who understand. but often they are outside of your current circle of people. the current circle may feel and share the same injuries and pain- but it can hurt you to assume that. And often the people in the inner circle have adapted as much as you did- until SOMETHING must have woke you up and shed a NEW light on the subject. it must be normal to expect or at least hope that other people see what you (FINALLY) see. (remember when i was desperately seeking validation?)
seeking validation is a process. you will make errors and run into dead ends. but the more you 'venture into' the more apt you are to eventually find information and eventually relief. and then use what and who you find to help. DO NOT use the 'old cast' or N in the process. don't even let on. it's easy to want to fight back or to share your new knowledge or to try to finally 'fix' what's wrong. But YOU CAN'T. Just leave it alone. (I am getting better. but i have to share with you that at times it is very sad, very lonely. and at times i have a sensation that i am 'splitting'- i have me that is connected to everyone else and the me that is no longer belonging to the N. That is the only time i think splitting is actually a healthy thing !!) jt

At 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I both HATED myself and my ex MN, when I realised what he did to me and asked myself how I could have let him abuse me that much.It took me about a year to learn and understand the basic stuffs about Narcissists by my reading and through therapy.WHY ME ? was the question that has haunted me and I knew I had to learn about myself and not only about NPD. I fear dependency and although I am regarded as self reliant and independant, I realised that actually deep inside I am unsure of my autonomy and keeps fighting my dependency needs even if for the rest of the world I appear to be assertive, I lack assertivenes. I go from ' I don't need anybody' to ' How could I live without you ' and that is why I guess for a N. i meant interesting prey especially since somehow he may have felt that for me being in a position of dependence would be experienced as a real humiliation for me. I know now that I am ambivalent about dependency and that makes me vulnerable.The fact that I want revenge makes me wonder if I am not passive-agressive since I have failed to ask needed questions and have difficulties expressing clear goals and even say yes or no and then blame others.I let him deceive me and now I am blaming him, feeling victimized as usual.I somehow felt that there was something wrong with him and still I did not put a clear stop, well I did but after six months.What is quite ironic is that I am usually so distrustful with people and still...that is why it must have felt so good for him to manipulate someone like me and to make me give in.What goes around, comes back round. I know, I'm not the forgive and forget type,How to find a peace of mind and be able to look at myself and not to think well you're a victim,a sucker, so easily fooled! Have enough of feeling victimized and according to the psychologist I suffer from PTS.


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