TRIGGER WARNING: ABUSE.
I saw this image a few days ago and WOW it hit me so hard. This is how my shitty, manipulative, narcissist parents talked to me for my entire childhood, whenever I told her I didn’t want to go on auditions, or he made me cry with his relentless bullying: you’re always twisting things, you’re so dramatic, stop feeling sorry for yourself, don’t be so sensitive. The piece of shit who was my father loved to frustrate me until I began to cry. Then he’d holler “Okay, cut!” like I was on the set, before he unloaded mocking laughter at me. He was such a fucking bully to me, and I never deserved it.
If you didn’t live with gaslighting (you are so lucky. I hope you appreciate how lucky you are), it may be tough to understand how crazy this sort of thing made me feel, and why, at 49 years old, I can still feel in my heart and my soul every single time they did this to me, like I’m a helpless child all over again.
It’s like they made a choice, at some point in my childhood, that I would not get the unconditional love they gave my brother and sister. Nothing I did was good enough for the man who was my father, and the only thing my mother cared about was how many auditions I booked. What did I care about? What did I like? How did I feel about … anything? It just didn’t matter, and it was probably stupid.
I didn’t understand it, and it hurt so much. And whenever I tried to talk to them about it (no child should have to figure out how to express to their parents that they feel unloved), the gaslighting would come out: you’re always twisting things, you’re so dramatic, stop feeling sorry for yourself, don’t be so sensitive.
I feel like it started around third or fourth grade, around the time I started working a lot in commercials and then movies (again: not my choice. It was never my choice). I wonder if he resented the time and attention my mother gave me? I wonder if she enjoyed making him … I don’t know, jealous of his own kid? Everything was a passive aggressive power struggle with them, so maybe. I do know that I never saw him treat another person with the cruelty and contempt he showed for me. It wasn’t until Stand By Me, though, that the man who was my father began physically abusing me, grabbing me by the shoulders and shaking me while he made this enraged growling sound I’ll never be able to unhear. When Star Trek happened, it got even worse. That was when he started screaming at me that I was a “dumb little fuck” in front of my friends. I was painfully aware of how much my dad didn’t like me, because he made no effort to hide it. I mean, anyone with a pulse could have seen it. And nobody stepped in to protect me. My mother just pretended none of it happened, going so far as to make me apologize to him after he jabbed me in the chest while he screamed at me about some fucking thing I didn’t even do, and I just exploded in grief and fear and yelled back at him.
After literally years — I’m talking decades — of trying to talk with them, trying to meet them somewhere in the middle of “that never happened” and “this absolutely happened and this is how it made me feel”, I made the incredibly difficult choice to end contact with my abusers a few years ago.
It sucks, and it hurts, all the time. But having no parents is better than having my parents. And that also sucks.
Over forty years after I became aware of it, it still hurts like it all just happened. I know how it feels to have a huge black hole in your heart where a parent’s love ought to be. I know what it’s like to have nobody to call when something cool happens, or when something awful happens and you need mom and dad to make it better. (I am so grateful for my Star Trek family. Without them, I very likely would have ended up a statistic.)
But I also know that I never did anything wrong. I know that it’s not my fault. I didn’t deserve it. I was ALWAYS enough. He hates me because he hates himself. I have to remind myself about that more often than anyone should have to, but I know what’s real, and I know that I’m not twisting things, being dramatic, feeling sorry for myself, or being too sensitive.
If you recognize any of this gaslighting from your own life, I want you to know that I see you. I believe you. I’m so sorry. I know how it feels. I know how it makes us feel crazy. I know how it makes us question our own lived experience, how it makes us doubt what we know to be true, because it happened to us.
I am here to tell you that you are enough. That WE are enough. It’s not us. It was never us. It was always them.
111 thoughts on “This is what gaslighting sounds like.”
Wil, my experience (and that of my two siblings) growing up was about as bad as yours due to both parents being addicts. They gaslighted us (one until death, the other is still alive and keeping it up), physically and emotionally abused us, veered wildly between hypercriticalness and total indifference. They frequently put me and my siblings in physical danger through drunk driving, accidentally setting the house on fire, intentionally locking us out of the house in the middle of the night.
But here’s the thing that’s different: they loved me and my siblings. We were never in doubt of that. We knew we were wanted. So whenever someone says you’re over-reacting, you should get over it, the past is the past, blah blah blah, I know how terribly wrong they are. I cannot imagine how horrific my childhood would have been if, on top of the abuse, I was also not loved.
I do know how this feels, I married a narcissist, and prior to my marriage, I was in the U.S Army and was assaulted but a guy in my unit. Sometimes I can’t get out of bed! Bless you Will♥️
Wil, I love you. That’s it, that’s the message.
I’ve never wanted to give anyone a big bro bear hug more than I do you right now. thats a hell of an experience. I am glad you survived it to be the man you are today.
I am so, so sorry you grew up so violently–emotionally and physically. It pains me to know I was oblivious to your traumas all the while I was enjoying your acting career. I’m gratified that you felt/feel a family in your Star Trek colleagues, but if you ever do feel the need for more, you’ll always be welcome and supported in my family.
Wil, you wrote:
He was such a fucking bully to me, and I never deserved it.
Look at that sentence. It should have ended at the comma. NOBODY deserves bullying. Ever. No matter what. Discipline is one thing. Retribution is another. Neither of those is bullying, and bullying is NEVER deserved. If that second half of the sentence is a tiny remaining bit of the crap your parents put in your head, I hope you can hug one of your loved ones and cry it out. You NEVER need to apologize or equivocate about being bullied. It was wrong, and you were a victim. End of story.
Wil, you’ve brought a lot of joy and enjoyment and even peace into the lives of many, many people. Your parents didn’t and couldn’t do what you have done. And you’ve done more than that. As you are on your own journey of healing, you are bringing many people along with you. That’s huge. Own it, and be proud of it.
Yup. My abuser was fond of insisting I was the abusive one. Asking her not to berate and insult me was somehow stifling her self-expression. Huge red flag when someone can’t think of a way to express themselves without tearing you down. Nothing I did ever counted; no apology was enough. No disagreement was ever settled until I not only fully submitted to her view, but also apologized for having disagreed, and apologized for making her feel the need to belittle me. And even after all that, after several years away from that shitty situation, I have to remind myself not to feel guilty for not doing more to make her happy, which is especially funny, since nothing ever did make her happy. She was just a miserable person.
Great message, thank you, Will. If anyone needs help with setting healthy boundaries with problematic family members, up to cutting all contact, Captain Awkward usually has very good advice and scripts on this topic. It also helps to know you’re not alone and that this can be hard (because we’ve always tried to do our best and it’s never worked, right?). I don’t think I’ll ever stopped mourning the childhood I could have had and the parents I deserved and the parents they deserved but I’ve mostly made my peace with it.
That is so beautifully said. I think we often forget that there is loss and grief for what doesn’t get to be.
Wil I was substitute teaching at a middle school today and your story was very much in my mind. I so wish I could rewind the tape and help you avoid what you went through. But I commend you for having the guts to tell your story. Telling it alone doesn’t fix it – not hardly – but it is obviously a help to others. Whenever I sub teach I will be thinking about your story and hoping that maybe something I say or do will have at least a small positive impact upon a kid who may today be going through something similar. My respect for you is deep and strong.
Yep. In addition to “You’re so sensitive,” I’ve received “I didn’t know you were so sensitive,” as if that absolves a hurtful comment.
And in addition to “You’re imagining things,” there’s “I don’t know what you’ve made up in your head, but….”
Wil, could you accept some virtual parenting from those of us who are old enough to be your parents or somewhere close to it? We’d be happy to be your extra moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, whatever. It might not be much but there are a lot of us.
Wil, I know you can’t go back and change any of that. If my child became an actor and became famous never having known the business for myself I’m sure I would have acted as irresponsible as them. They could have asked someone how to be better parents. They were ignorant about that. There is no set of perfect parents out there. You got an abusive set. That’s a gamble from creations stand point. You seem to be doing well now. We estrange our parents eventually and speak very little to them as we age. Whether they were good or bad you would have pushed away too. I can see a good man in you. I respect you and wish I was a friend of yours. Your famous and you have no time for a nobody like me. I like you as a person and think your a great person. Your intelligent, Good looking, You play games which is very socially good behavior. You’ve got billions of friends famous or otherwise. You are happy because you like to talk a lot. Mechanics or car guys always gravitate toward me . I’m a heterosexual so please don’t assume otherwise. I’m a lousy dater that’s why I I’m not out chasing the opposite sex. Have faith in yourself your living better now. Have a nice rest of your life Wil you deserve it.
Wil if your having big problems you need to get some sort of professional help. Wil I have seen psychiatrists in the past because of schizophrenic symptoms and other issues but you need to be careful who you see. Group therapy on this website is one thing but having strangers being sympathetic doesn’t really deal with things.
“I believe you. I’m so sorry. I know how it feels. I know how it makes us feel crazy. “….Thank you for this. It’s one of the most validating things you could say, especially to someone who has been gaslighted from childhood. I’m so sorry you went through this too. Please know that in talking and writing about these things, you are really, truly reaching real people who have lived through similar things, and are still full of shame. Thank you for saying these things with such compassion. You’re making the world safer and gentler.
I hear and feel you on the shame. I struggle with it every day. I do my best to remember, and I’m going to remind you, that we were always enough. We were and are worthy. It was never us. It was always them.
Based on this comment and what’s in the gaslighting blog entry (which is excellent) I think there’s a high likelihood that information about treatment of Complex PTSD would be helpful. I’m currently suffering with this same issue and I’ve been finding Pete Walker’s book, “Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving” very helpful, and it’s the very first PTSD book I’ve read that actually addresses the shame / emotional flashbacks / “inner critic” / “outer critic” issues that come from long-term emotional neglect and abuse. Besides the printed book being available, in doing a web search just now I found that there’s an online PDF available of the book free here:
I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with this — and at the same time I applaud you and others for continuing to survive and make an effort to find solutions and work to improve your mental health (for the benefit of us all). The crazy thing about C-PTSD is that it’s not even an available diagnosis in the U.S. right now, and not yet in the DSM manual if I understand correctly. That makes it difficult to find specialists for it. It is treatable, and even self-help treatable with the right information.
And, sadly, it’s become clear why this happens. Parents that are insecure feel that insecurity when their kinds shine, especially if they feel like they outshine the parents, and they end up talking down to the child to “bring them down to their level”. Narcissists specifically tend to control the emotions of others as a way of regulating their own, backwards and messed up as that is. YouTube videos from Dr Ramani are helpful for understanding narcissism, although also triggering for those that suffer from narcissistic abuse.
And so if your parents found a way of criticizing you every time you did something amazing, got a great gig or did a terrific job at something — I think that’s why that happened. Please know that you ARE worthwhile and that you ARE “enough” and that you deserve dignity and respect. You ARE worth the effort to find solutions to ease your suffering.
Thanks for this. I also have cptsd and cut off ties with my parents several years ago for the same reasons. I’ve been going through a tough time of it because if the pandemic (my therapist retired and my surviving abuser chose to show up on a zoom call with the only family member I still talk to who implied the call would be safe, so now I’m afraid of contacting them too).
I’ve kind of been drowning ever since and this was very much a life line for me. I think it was enough to jolt me out of my spiral to try to find a new shrink, which will be hard because the shrink shopping process is long and full of rejection. Lots of people who say they specialize in trauma don’t do complex trauma and say they don’t have the emotional bandwidth to take a new patient with these kinds of issues. But I’m ready to start now.
Wil, Rain’s and other folks’ comments are why I feel so protective of you when a thoughtless jerk comes onto your blog. Every time you talk about this subject it’s relatable to those of us who suffered as children or maybe are suffering recently as adult abuse victims. You give hope because you’re willing to talk about your experiences. You are high functioning and others can be too, and be kinder to themselves.
Rain, keep going on this good track of getting the help you need.
I needed to read this today Wil, you always make me have hope that I can get past a childhood similar to yours and find worth in myself. I’m almost a decade into cutting off my parents, but the nightmares came back recently and it’s been really hard. Your familiar stories, my dad being everything you said yours was with more abuse on top and my step-mother who luckily didn’t get to shove me into the famous box because it wasn’t at option where we live, help me feel not so alone. Thank you for sharing this and all your other experiences.
I had no idea you went through this also. My abuse was from my older sister. She was a middle child and bullied everyone in the family. Her thing was physically abusing us and calling us a baby or dramatic when we’d cry or saying it doesn’t even hurt. Like she knows, as if she was the one getting hit. Still to this day all of my family members are scared of her and it disgusts me. At least I know that it’s about her insecurities and it has nothing to do with me. I know The type of person I never want to be, Thanks to her. Love to everyone here!
Wil, I am just blown away. No one should have to go through this. Bless you for so clearly articulating a slice of this hell. As terrible as it all is, you are obviously helping others by sharing your story.
I wish I could turn back the hands of time and personally be there for a struggling kid. Can’t turn back anything. But I add my list to the names of those who would gladly be one of your moms or dads now. Wish there were a way to make it happen.
So glad there were some who stepped up where others failed so miserably. You are on the right track man!
First time commenter.
I never knew that you were forced into acting by your abusers. I’m sorry for that. My father was a bully, but he was bullied by his mother, and so it goes. At least I wasn’t gaslighted like you were.
I will say, thank the great bird of the Galaxy that you did become an actor, because I and many other people have seen you and been inspired by your plain humanity.
No one can take away your pain, but perhaps the knowledge that you have inspired hope and joy in so many will make the pain a little easier for you to bear.
Much love to you, Wil. I’m very fortunate that my experience wasn’t that extreme, though my dad definitely engaged in emotionally abusive behavior–I heard that I was too sensitive far too many times. It has taken me much longer, though, to realize the damage my mom did to me, since we were always very close. But between my narcissistic father and my deeply emotionally unhealthy mother, there was never room for me to have emotions of my own. Everything I did or said was to keep from getting yelled at or upsetting my parents in any way. I had to be perfect. And my mom has always communicated the idea that getting support for mental health (especially via meds) was a sign of weakness. So guess who has untreated mental health issues that have manifested as chronic health problems??
Anyway, I don’t mean to make this about me. I just want to say I hear you, and especially because of my own experiences I really hear you, and you deserve to feel happy and safe. You should have had loving and supportive parents, but you’ve made your own beautiful family. So many of us appreciate you and appreciate what you share with us.
Thank you so much for this Wil. The work and advocacy you do is so incredible. I saw your most recent post on FB about Jesus and it was so well said. I am actually a chaplain at an Episcopal school in Hollywood and I teach a class to 9th graders where we talk about all of those issues you outlined. I think I will show them your reflection next week; we regularly talk about how images of Jesus have caused harm and don’t line up with the ‘actual’ Jesus. I do not know if it is kosher to even ask but if there was ever a time where you would be willing to speak with a group of students about these topics I know it would be so valuable to them. Again, my thanks for all that you do! (p.s. I’m a huge tabletop nerd and I also greatly appreciate the awareness you have raised for that community!).
Wil, first greetings. I’m late to the party only because I am just now starting your book”Just a Geek.” I beg your forgiveness.
I’m 66, and recently after a very hurtful argument with my 70-year-old brother have realized how he gaslights me and those around him. We’d get into these disagreements and admittedly I di usually end up blasting at him for his bullshit. But this last one made absolutely no sense until I realized that he had been gaslighting me for years into believing that I was the one at fault for screaming at him. This time, I had every reason as he had so many made up false beliefs about me and then he dragged to relatives into it by sending me a list of how I was to behave in his presence at the reunion coming up. Why drag in two outsiders to a disagreement and list this crap? Well, again he and his second wife who has been running interference as the point of contact (he never gave me his cell phone number only hers) for years. Whatever, I blew up again and told him to f*** off, I want a divorce. I mean it is unreal how he thinks he is this saint and I’m the fuck-up in the family. Well, anyway, I did some research and discovered that gaslighting is not an uncommon thing in families. He won’t change and i just have to respect and love myself enough to admit that he’s toxic and just back away. I’ve been surviving without him pretty much the last 50 years or so. Can’t say that I’ve mad the best choices in my life but I’m happy as it is. I don’t need a lot and that’s fine. I’m a Navy veteran medically retired with a disability so I get a monthly pension. Living paycheck to paycheck isn’t so bad. I can live better in St.Louis like that than I could in Los Angeles. I was a film/tv extra and auditioned for about 25 years or so, was in SAG for a while. I did interview 10 times for bits on DS9 and VOY but was never selected. I sort of get the struggle that you write about. I don’t need my brother’s approval or whatever so screw him. Sometimes, when a person realizes that someone they love is just toxic, it’s just time to let them go. That’s a part of self love. And you have to take care of yourself in those situations.
Thanks for sharing that, sorry if my story was a bit much. But you are most definitely not alone and neither is anybody else reading this. Gaslighting doesn’t have to come from just parents, it could be anybody. Nobody needs to live with the kind of bullshit, people.
All of these, but I’ve been with him for over 14 years now my significant other. Just this morning he said that I was gaslighting out of nowhere (I had JUsT got up and was making our daughters school lunch) that I was denying something? Then when I said what? What did I say or do? What did you ask me? (I had no idea what he was accusing me of he came home from an overnight shift and we were joking around and everything was fine and I thought when he said this),”your gaslighting ME” I joked and said, “no that’s your signature move”. And I asked if he even knows what that means. I asked him what was it that I said or did that made him feel that way, every time I tried to ask (because I didn’t even know what he was talking about) he kept talking over me and than said,” see you do that you try to fake that you didn’t do anything”! I had just got up, he had just come home, he was fine until he was getting ready for bed. He came over and I was in the kitchen, he was talking about our cats, he leaned against the kitchen doorframe, crossed his arms and then he accused me of something(our daughter was in the bathroom getting ready for school) I didn’t hear what he said, then he said the gaslighting remark again after I asked what he was asking me. It’s always up and down with him. Every day, every night I have NO idea when he’s in a “mood.”(unless he’s laughing his face always looks blank, like at rest) so it’s hard to tell what and how he’s feeling. (He has a hard time with feelings unless it’s with our daughter but even then it’s anyones game) I’ve had to talk him down from getting upset with me when he “reads between the lines”. When I defend myself because I know he’s being unfair, unjust, or he’s just plain wrong, he says I’m being dramatic, that I’m forgetful, brings up stuff I’ve done the day before or talks about that I always make him the bad guy. Now hear me out, I am the type of person that is happy and stays happy when the people I love are happy around me. I don’t cater to people because I have to, I love doing things for the people I love. If I get up I ask if they want a drink, going to the store I’ll ask if they need anything. If he’s in a bad mood I usually feel crumby etc etc and so on. So of course I hate confrontation, I hate it. So when he makes those remarks about him being the “bad guy” it makes me sad because I don’t want to pint out what he’s doing or saying that’s hurtful, I’d rather he be happy so that WE can be happy. Sometimes he’ll talk over me so much that I feel like I have to raise my voice over his, or that I’m forced to cut him off while he talks because he just doesn’t let me get a word in. He likes to have the last word, even if it’s him saying one word over and over again until you stop trying to explain what’s happening (to myself as well as him) Then in almost every disagreement, he talks so fast that he mixes me up and I forget what I was getting too, what my point was….then he always says “see, your just starting a fight for the sake of fighting”. ……I am his only friend. He has a great relationship with his brother, his mom that I helped with by convincing him to move out with me and then convinced him further to build a relationship with them(father deceased when my hubs was 21) his dad was a drinker like him and moved a lot. My hubs basically had rule over his own life at around 8 years old, he would move a lot and they always had to leave a bunch of their toys and other things behind every time. My hubs used to drink but hasn’t for years after finally kicking the habit.(he used to do drugs too the harder ones but stopped) I see him act this way with our daughter sometimes so I jump in to try and change the direction of the situation. It’s come to the point that I’m so triggered that even if he’s reprimanding our daughter, but it’s a normal parental correction, I still feel like I have to jump in and defend our daughter because of how horrible he was when we were in our 20’s…and of course because THIS time it’s a “normal” conversation, he uses it against me as proof that I always want to fight. He gets paranoid when I could be talking about how he’s doing. Me-“how was your sleep, did you eat breakfast yet?” Him-“ Why, why do you want to know?” And he’ll have this tone and give a face that seems like he’s ready to tell me off if I’m asking because I’m “hinting” at him be hangry or tired. When I just want to know how he is doing. He can be such a great dad and he’s done so much for himself and me. When we finally feel like life is going well (and yes I have verbally told my daughter and my hubs that hey it’s a good day today, no fighting, and he’ll agree) just….who says that in a healthy relationship? I KNOW I’m not crazy, my daughter complains all the time that she can’t say anything in an unfair argument unless I intervene because he doesn’t listen to her. So sadly, I know I’m not crazy because she’ll hear him talk to me and she’s experiencing it.
I am so confused and lost, I have no idea what to do (I can’t live on my own because I don’t have the money for it) he drives and i have suffered from panic attacks and also can’t afford a car so I bus everywhere or walk. I see my family of course my hubs never hits/or restraints me from friends or family, ever. I see his mom and brother a ton (good people I love them) he has seen my family (like stayed for longer than 30 mins) since our daughter was born maybe 6-8 times, In 14 years. He is either to tired from work, has a day off and works the next night so wants to do his thing, or just straight up doesn’t want to drive there(always a sore spot with me because my family is everything and they’ve ALWAYS been kind to him always) my sister has made a point of joking that she’ll eventually have to kidnap him from work to see him(I call him the fabled unicorn, or that I’ve had a magical conception) and my dad has told me to tell him that he loves him and to say hello. I have had countless emails, texts and conversations with him where he will ADMIT that he’s being like this and that he will do better (and in some cases some things have been fixed so far, but others just show up after about a day or two) then it just goes back to the same thing over and over. I’ve cried, I’ve complained, I’ve gotten mad, I’ve pleaded…..I’ve even said I’d leave him if we didn’t seek counseling….he said he’d try since I have benefits that cover that kind of thing, and when I ask him for a few days that are best for him he just gets cranky with me, and that, “ he’ll get to it.” We haven’t been yet and it’s been three months or more since I brought it up. I can’t see myself leaving him because I DO love him. I know what he’s doing isn’t okay and I know how he sometimes talks to our kid isn’t okay. I have no idea what I’m supposed to do when you don’t like the person you love and feel like if you leave you’ll not only ruin something because of maybe nothing or damage your kid and ruin her life. If you can get out while your young or old, the first signs you see LEAVE. Don’t get stuck like me, don’t feel like your the reason your partner treats you like crap. They may deep down want to change, but after 14 plus years I’ve seen very little progress towards changing those habits for himself or me. Please find your safe space and surround yourself with your people who love you. ❤️ Wil, I’m sorry you went through all that as a child. I wish I could have been a friend with great wisdom to have been able to help you through those tough times. I’m thankful you had the kind and caring people in your life that you did have. Even having one is better than having no one. I’m so proud of how kind you seem to be regardless of all the muddy water you’ve had to wade through. Your post made me feel validated and although I wish you and others, wouldn’t have went through it, I’m extremely comforted that I’m not the only person who knows how it feels and that the ones that finally are free, are there for the ones that haven’t escaped yet.
Thank you for being there even if it’s only in spirit.🐻🫂
I’m a fan of Star Trek TNG and find myself watching it when life seems irreparable. I watched the show a long time ago in high-school, many many more times since, and, most recently, with my kids last year during long lockdown days. Both then and now, I always found Wesley’s relationship with Picard touching. Knowing what you, Wil, and Patric Stewart endured from your fathers makes those father/son moments in the show even more poignant. Thank you for acting in that show, even if it wasn’t your choice, and for being you. I love your humanity. I’m grateful for you.
My heart is wrenched. Do I understand what it feels like to grow up with ” constructive criticism” that graduates to horrors? Yes. Could I have expressed it as well in my forties? NO. My pride for having experienced you from Stand by me to Ng to Big bang theory is boundless. My children watched you for board game suggestions. (I did not marry as well as you, many of us do not.) However, I remember the story of your dogs and as a gaslight survivor, (marriage and childhood) totally called it. Heading into my senior years, what you wrote gives me hope for future where there are no more stories of horror, because all born are loved. You would be welcomed at game night in my home. Not because of who you are but, what and whom you are. A person, who was wonderful at first light, one who did not lose that, that gave a voice through his own experience that allowed so many others to now speak, and that is a beautiful thing.
This made me cry. Because it’s horrible you had to go through this and Because it brought me back to my childhood. My mother was absolutely horrible. I’ve been no contact for almost 2 years and I still feel guilty for not talking to her. It helps to know you’re not alone. Everyone loved My mom. She was really good at hiding the torture. Thank you for sharing your story and making me feel like I’m not the crazy one.
Wow. Thank you Wil. And everyone else for being transparent. When my dad died, i cried. Like some of you had mentioned, it was for the parent I so very much wanted and needed. I still mourn for that. I cannot express how deeply I need to continue to hear… and share, this same message you voiced… over and over again. I quietly wept when I read your story Wil. And, oddly felt like you were here when you wrote, “I SEE you”. I see you back… and that comforts me. From behind safe cover, while we peer at each other, knowing now what we are going through, together. Oddly, I feel like we are all huddled behind things, taking some shelter, but none-the-less recognized in our suffering. Wil, I appreciate your gifts of clarity and courage. Thank you so much for sharing.
Will, thank you so much for this. I too, am in my forties and just officially waking up to the Narc mom and enabler dad, who convinced me up until about 7 weeks ago, we were the “perfect” family who had succeeded against all odds. No, not so. I’ve realized I was the scapegoat, and my sister the golden child. It’s been so freeing, but also wrapped up in so many more emotions. Emotions I was never allowed to have, or taught to express in a healthy manner. (But through many years of therapy and treatment AM able to tolerate and express my feelings in a healthy manner now).
I want you to know I see you, I hear you, your story is valid, and you deserve to take up space in this world; with your OWN STORY. Take your life back from them, and know the world supports you and your recovery. 💙
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