An upsetting memory.


I remembered something today. Little by little my mind is pulling up ancient memories from dark and forgotten corners as I move further along in my recovery. This one almost knocked me over.

For years…YEARS!…I couldn’t write. This past year and a half has been the first time in my life I haven’t in under the thrall of a high spectrum (malignant) narcissist, and it wasn’t until I freed myself from them that my words began to come back.

As a child I wrote all the time. I drew pictures too. I remember my father bringing home these little blank stapled booklets in different colors with lined paper in them. There were about 50 of them, tied up in rubber bands. I used to write little stories and illustrate them. I could spend hours doing this.

I always blame my mother for everything. I act as if my father (who was codependent, and probably either covert N or borderline) had nothing to do with my disorders. I always saw him as a victim too. But he colluded with my mother; both were abusers. I remember one day when I was 7 or 8, I came home from school, and as I did every day, I went to my desk and opened the drawer to start writing my little stories. I noticed some of my finished booklets were gone. Panicking, I looked everywhere for them, and couldn’t find them. They were very personal to me, like diaries. They were for my eyes only (my Avoidant traits had already set in) . I was very upset but couldn’t tell my parents because then they’d be looking for them and they’d KNOW.

I looked all over the house for them, and finally found them in my father’s filing cabinet in a folder with my name on it. I was horrified. He stole my private creations from me! I felt so violated. My boundaries had been viciously invaded. I remember stealing them back and destroying them. I couldn’t even bring myself to look at them anymore. There was too much shame.
It was as if I wanted to annihilate myself…my true self.

After that I seemed to lose interest in drawing, although I continued to write. But my passion for even that was gone. I didn’t say anything to my dad about him stealing those booklets because to do so would be to invite critique and shame. I knew instinctively he liked them (otherwise he wouldn’t have taken them from me), but I didn’t even want to hear anything good about them. The stuff in them was just too personal. I felt like I’d been raped.


I wrote a novel in 2003. No one wanted to publish it. It sucked. I still have it but it’s embarrassing to read because of how bad it is. I know why though; at that time, still under the thrall of my ex, I was trying too hard to be “a writer,” to make an impression, instead of being authentic.

And now…I’ve done a 180 from when I’d hide my little illustrated books and was so horrified when they were discovered: deliberately posting the most personal stuff imaginable for total strangers all over the Internet to see (under an assumed name, of course). It’s like I’m trying to redeem my shame, somehow. It’s very hard to explain.

After being in my abusive marriage, I thought I’d lost all my ability to do anything at all. I’d sit down and try to write something, and….I couldn’t do it. I even thought I’d lost my intelligence. I was marking time until death. I felt stupid, dead. But I didn’t care either…or thought I didn’t care. I couldn’t feel anything at all. All my emotions were gone.

I was wrong, so wrong about all that.

19 thoughts on “An upsetting memory.

  1. I get that. You feel so guilty for the “abused” parent. One day though, you realize that the abuser does not see the black and white of abuse. The “good” parent did, they are worse.

    Painful reality. I love when you get this personal.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I really can’t talk to either of my parents. My mother I am NC with (well, almost–we do exchange cards). My dad I have a better relationship with and we aren’t really NC but he has never taken responsibility for any of his own actions–he denies them. So there’s really no point.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Oh, ok. I didn’t ask him because of the shame. These were like illustrated diaries and private to me (I can’t really remember–they were just stories) and didn’t want anyone to see them. To confront him about why he stole them from me would be calling attention to something never meant to be seen and the shame would have been too much. It’s kind of hard to explain, that’s the best i can do. I’m trying to remember where my mind was at as a 7 or 8 year old.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I love writing too and maybe I can learn something from you. Your website is really inspirational and helpful to me. A lot of the time I struggle to get even a word out of my mouth especially when talking to people and with my parents it’s the hardest, sometimes I’ll begin or be in middle of a sentence and my mind will go completely blank just as if I’ve lost my ability to communicate all together but when I’m writing its pretty much the opposite and can express myself more easily.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can relate to this because even into my 50s, I still felt like a defective child whenever I talked to my mother. She always patronized or put me down no matter what I did. Any accomplishments I achieved were dismissed as if they really didn’t “count.” So I went NC 3 years ago and while there is guilt involved, I know I did the right thing.
      Writing has been enormously helpful–actually it’s quite unbelievable how therapeutic for me it’s been.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Lucky, oh the EVIL invalidators play on (young) people, truely astounding. Today at church, i witnessed a young man ( about 16) get narked. Very upsetting, was a sort of trigger-moment, which for about 40 years kept me away from the Gospel, because it brought a twisted view of Bible christians. Was totally creeped out. The narc of course is alot “holier” than screwed-up me. Yeah, i got issues, but the Lord won’t throw me away.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The kids got narc’d? What happened? Yes, I agree some of the worst narcissists are in churches and holy places pretending to be believers when all they want is control and power.


  4. My mother is always trying to teach me, saying everything is dangerous of course its not true ‘not everything in this world is dangerous’ I swear I get so fed up and sick of it….Even when I want to do things for myself she may not physically stop me but she verbally does as in trying to put fear in to me. I can’t even do or say anything that pleases her! Maybe doing a blog isn’t a good idea as I’ll be only be embarrassing myself and no good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Louise, you’re internalizing the fear your mom instilled in you. If you want to do a blog (or anything else), go for it! Who cares if it’s “no good”?You’re doing it for yourself, and what makes you think it wouldn’t be any good, other than your own self-talk? Your mother will never have to see it.

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  5. If you have an opportunity, you might want to ask your dad if he remembers doing this and why. His answer might happily surprise you and enable you to heal that relationship, at least a little bit. My personality is more like my dad’s than my mom’s. Since he’s gone I no longer have the opportunity to share memories like this with him. I missed the chance to learn more about why he was the way he was which might explain some about why I am the way I am.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would do this, but his memory isn’t too good anymore and he has trouble speaking and his mind wanders. Advanced Parkinson’s. I think my opportunity to do this has passed, but it would bring closure if I could.


      • Sorry that window seems to have closed. But, since you don’t really know his reason, maybe it would help if you could put a positive spin on it. Maybe it was his way of trying to know and understand his only child?

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Self-sabotage. | Down the Rabbit Hole

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