Growing up with a narcissistic, absentee mother caused me to miss out on a lot of basic life lessons that kids in loving, healthy families learn early on. As an adult, I’ve often been hit in the face with lessons that many people might have already known. I learn about boundaries and life the hard way–by experience. And I have learned a LOT from dealing with narcissists.
One thing that maybe “normal” people have learned and accepted, but I never did, was that life is just not fair. I have been very naive thinking that it would be fair and that everyone else wanted it to be fair too. I thought that if I told others about the abuse I endured, something would be done about it. Maybe the abuser wouldn’t get away with hurting more people. Nope. Like many narcissistic abuse victims have learned, if you try to tell someone what is going on or what happened, onlookers think that makes you the bad person for talking about it rather than ignoring it.
I got extremely hung up on the need for fairness and justice. I talked louder and tried to tell people what happened and just how bad it was. My ex narcopath abuser just used that to make himself a victim and tell people that he was being slandered and was completely innocent. (Yeah, right!) I was mocked and publicly attacked by people who thought I was the bad guy. I tried really hard to explain about narcissism, sociopathy and how these predators are very good at putting their victims in the very position I was in. I thought being honest would matter and I learned that it didn’t. Ouch. But, finally having that light bulb moment and accepting this reality helped me stop wallowing in my goal of making things fair.
A few years ago, I read my first self help book, and while it had very basic ideas, it was life-changing for me. The book was “Your Erroneous Zones” by Wayne Dyer. It gave me tips that should have been common sense, but seemed like dazzling new ideas to me! Unfortunately, they didn’t all sink in immediately, but with time, I have come to truly understand the advice in the chapters. Particularly chapter VIII–“The Justice Trap.” If only I had taken that chapter more seriously the first time I read it! I underlined a lot and I understood the ideas, but I just didn’t absorb them…until I’d wasted a lot of time being upset and depressed that unfair things had happened to me!
In this chapter, Dyer doesn’t tell us not to seek justice, but he does tell us not to let the lack of it destroy our lives. He encourages us to accept that life just isn’t fair, while still feeling inspired to do what we can to make it fair. He points out that when we get angry, sad or frustrated by the lack of justice, we are just making ourselves miserable about a fact of life, and that is wasted time. He asks “Will the inequities go away if I am upset?” Nope!
Being abused and manipulated, then having the narcissist somehow turn everything around on you is a horrible, awful, unfair experience. It’s definitely the worst thing I’ve gone through. It’s unfair and it pisses me off! But, thinking about that day after day only gets me stuck thinking about the very jerk that I do not want to waste any more time on!
Accepting that this is is unfair and that I can’t force other people to see the truth about the narcopath or me was an important step towards saying “it is what it is,” and not letting the unfair situation lock me in place. I had gotten hung up on this step of the healing process far too long and I had to make a conscience decision that I just couldn’t be held back in my growth any longer. What happened to me is still not fair and never will be, but it isn’t going to control my life any more.