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how to cope - toxic family/low self confidence, feeling like a fraud


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Ive been struggling with low self worth for a really long time now and lately it has been so paralyzing that i dont see myself being happy or successful ever in my life.

I come from a very emotionally unstable/toxic enviroment. I only started to realize this a few years ago. Im 24 now, but ever since i was a child i remember my mom being very verbally (and sometimes physically) abusive towards me, my sister and my dad. He was abusive too, but i think mainly because my mom broke him down. 
She never hugged us, kissed us and there was never any praise or words like " i love you"(i think the last time she ever hugged me was maybe 15+years ago, i dont remember her telling me she loves me ever which is so ***ing sad to me)
She yelled at us, calling us names like you f*cking ***, wh*re, c*nt, worthless etc. (which she still does to this day) sometimes my dad had to physically hold her so she wont hurt me. But he was always enabling her behavior. I think she might have some kind of disorder because when she has her tantrums its like a switch and i feel like she cannot control  herself completely. Next minute she is offering me a cake  that she made with a smile on. She is extremely emotionally unstable and childish and i dont have any respect for her when i see her acting like this. Sometimes i even feel sorry for her. But on the outside everything seems normal to other people, she is functioning normally, has a job, friends etc. the abuse is always happening behind closed doors.
I was a very angry child and i dont have a lot of memories of my childhood or my early teen years as well. 

I always thought somehow this was normal and only started to realize there was something very wrong in highschool when i saw my friends, expecially my girl friends being best friends with their moms/parents, saying their mom is a role model/hero, calling them about small things, laughing, saying i love you etc. I was depressed, numb for a really long time, dissociating and kind of flowing through life in my teens. When i moved out at the age of 20, things got a little bit better but i still had this void inside of me. Like i dont ever deserve to achieve anything and be happy and that even if i do im a fraud. Like there is no point in building a happy life for myself when there is nobody to come home and share it with. I just feel like i have to be this quiet, invisible person, dont ask for too much, bow my head down.
I know that you can find friends or significant other but i feel like im missing the basic core and my roots and that i will never be okay, like im dirty or damaged.
Things got worse now due to covid19, as i had to move back in with my parents so the abuse(only verbal) is happening again. My priority is to move out ASAP. But i know that even then, the void will still be there. If there is anyone struggling with same thing it would be very helpful to me to  hear what made you feel better and if its possible to live a happy life coming from a home like this. Thank you
 

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When i moved out at the age of 20, things got a little bit better but i still had this void inside of me. Like i dont ever deserve to achieve anything and be happy and that even if i do im a fraud. Like there is no point in building a happy life for myself when there is nobody to come home and share it with. I just feel like i have to be this quiet, invisible person, dont ask for too much, bow my head down.
I know that you can find friends or significant other but i feel like im missing the basic core and my roots and that i will never be okay, like im dirty or damaged.

It's good that you're planning to move out when you can. Keep your exposure to your mother limited and if there are topics that trigger her avoid them. Don't try to win any arguments. What matters is preserving your peace of mind and not feeding anything that contributes to low self-worth or erodes your confidence. Physically leave the house or keep your conversations short and light. There are all kinds of people out there (not just your mother) who won't understand or who can't control themselves or what they say or do.

Keep in contact with your friends and mentors outside your family. This means counsellors at school if you're still studying, look up local organizations and see whether there are programs or activities that interest you. Build your support network. It won't happen in a day but you can start bit by bit. Loosen those ties to your parents and place less emphasis on what your mother says and does, add more perspectives in the way you think.

I quoted the above because it stood out to me in its severity. Can you talk with a therapist or speak with your doctor to receive more advice on who to talk to? I think it's better with qualified help. 

 

Edited by Rose Mosse
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  • 1 month later...

Hi Wendybalsam, I can relate, as I too come from a very dysfunctional and Narcissistic family dynamic as well. I only recently realized the fact that my family was narcissistic. The revelation was daunting, to say the least. Everything about Narcissistic Personality Disorder that I read, seemed like it was written especially about my family members.

My dad has Borderline Personality Disorder and he is exactly like your mum. One minute a raging monster and another minute a sweet loving man. In his 70 + years I have never once heard him apologize to anything. As kids, we would play around and bump into him, he would get triggered and smack the tops of our heads with the back of his knuckles -- yes, this hurts like hell. He would beat us with anything he could get his hands on. When I was 5 years-old my mother threw the baby walker at me. Came home from school one day and saw my mother's face puffed to twice the size of normal. That day (after primary school (elementary in US?)) when I came home, my life was shattered, seeing my mother beaten to a pulp...

The Generational Narcissistic abuse was passed down to every one of the siblings, even me, one of two black sheep of the family. I learned that violence and abusive language served a purpose in getting things done. So often I would fight with my siblings, younger and older, this was how the siblings communicated with each other, and it would get very physical. I would fight in school too, but never did I pick a fight, I did defend my nerdier friends though.

I've been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder with cooccuring Borderline Personality Disorder. I wished I had known about my issues at a much earlier age, but even by then I was in denial that something was wrong with me. I suspected as much, but the denial always got the best of me. So I am very much f***** and it would take a lot of therapy to set me onto the path of normalcy,

My condition has rapidly declined over the years, and I too do not see myself as anything but a failure. I am currently going to try and find a specialist psychologist who specializes in Narcissistic family dynamics.

Before my life started its slow descend, I was like any other kid who was normal (even though we were beaten a lot, over the smallest things), and when I was in my teens I enjoyed Martial arts and bodybuilding, almost going pro too. Now these seem like a distant dream that I only once dared dream of...

So, I still haven't given up hope, despite the idealizations of suicide thoughts constantly taking hold of me. So if you have local communities that can steer you in the correct path to finding a psychiatrist or a psychologist, I think that would be a great start and one to look into.

Edited by Even Steven
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  • 3 weeks later...

My mother was never physically abusive. But she was a master at crushing every dream you ever had. Nothing I did was ever worthy of her acknowledgement. Or her praise. She was the negative voice inside my head. Often reminding me that I was not good enough, and would never be good enough.

When I turned 45, she had a massive stroke. She was barely able to form sentences. But, for the first time ever, she told me she loved me.

AS for your mom - do your best for now to stay under the radar. But be aware of what she does. Try to watch her as if you are watching a movie - detached from the reality of it. If nothing else, it will give you a picture of what not to be like when you are a mom.

We can't choose who we are born to, but we can choose who to be. And who to be around.

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