I cannot believe that there are some folks who haven’t received the memo. They are still walking around perpetuating the belief that getting help in this life- call it therapy, counseling, or assistance from someone outside of themselves- is a sign of weakness. They are still hanging on to this narcissistic notion that if we ask someone for help, admit that we have a problem (or several) with something, that it means there is something wrong with us? Do you know why so many cannot ask for help, and why some still view it as a sign of weakness?
We think, collectively, in this country, that it is a sign of weakness to feel and express our emotions and thoughts and to truly communicate them. We prefer, as a society, that it is actually the strong thing to numb ourselves into not feeling anything through the use of junk food/sugar, pills and alcohol. Let’s all pretend to be stoic and strong though the use of distractions and chemicals. We go to work, church, and out with friends, and put on a brave face, and act like we are perfect and that the problems lie with everyone else. Ever notice how judgmental most people are? Yeah, this is why.
It’s because people cannot own their own garbage, hurts, hang-ups and addictions. What are we showing our kids by living this way? Your kids will do what you do. We cannot even think for ourselves anymore, and rely on major news networks running on a 24/7 cycle of hysteria and death and fear to wash over our brains and tell us what we should think about, worry about, and focus on.
Somewhere along the way, we have lost, in this America, what it means to truly be human. Yet we wonder- why are we so full of fear, anxiety, and ill health? Why can’t we be happy? How come it never lasts? Why is there so much gossip? Why so much division? Judgement? Apathy?
Until we can truly pay attention to healing ourselves, the division, shame and resultant guilt will grow. Our children will grow even further away form what it means to be human, have a horrible time making decisions, choosing careers or finding a mate. Fear and guilt paralyze. You can’t cover it up or hide it away behind religion, alcohol or porn, or whatever your chosen methods of self- destruction. Until you deal with your own shame and hurts, you will pass them along to your children, tenfold.
Let’s take a look at this shame. Shame passed along to them during a shame-based childhood, from parents who were also raised in a shame based home. Shame is toxic when used in the home, by the very people whom we trusted the most while we were growing up. Often times, this shame is caused by abuse within the home. It can be subtle abuse in the form of toxic narcissism (which, although subtle- is incredible harmful to self-esteem and the entire psyche). Or, it can be more overt and obvious neglect, cruelty, alcoholism, verbal abuse, sexual or physical abuse…and that’s just to name a few.
In his book “Mending the Soul”, Steven R. Tracy writes the following about toxic shame:
“The distortions may be subtle or outrageous, but the result is the same; toxic shame distorts out sense of dignity as divine image bearers and drives us away from God. Toxic shame distorts reality by going beyond convicting us that we’ve done bad things that need to be forgiven. Instead of pointing out real sin we can address, toxic shame distorts our sin, our worth, and God’s grace so that we can do nothing but hide in the shadows. “Regarding abuse, he also writes, “nothing can generate clouds of toxic shame like abuse. Most victims carry massive amount of toxic shame, and apart from God’s healing, they will carry it all the way to the grave. Abusive families deliberately use shame to manipulate and control….abusers constantly shift blame to their victims, are deceitful, and exhibit harsh judgementalism. These behaviors largely result from the abusers own shame that they are unwilling to deal with. Hence, abusers ferociously transfer their own shame to the victim.”
See how this works within families? Nobody deals with their “stuff”, the abuse and shame and sickeningly narcissistic ways are passed along to the next generation, the patterns continue, the judgment is harsher the more the person refuses to admit that they need to work on their own life, and often becomes exponentially worse with each subsequent generation. Nobody talks about anything, (like- honestly, nothing- maybe the weather or politics- only surface things for those mired in their own shame) many suffer in silence, and many more dwell in a deep depression and repressed isolation like no other. Until now. I believe that this is the generation that is beginning to speak up. Actually, we aren’t just speaking up- we are SHOUTING. OUR TRUTH. Telling the world about what really happened. Dealing with the issues given to us, all of these things we never asked for, and, as children, had no control over. Narcissists will never own their past hurts due to the toxic shame and resultant guilt that colors every single facet of their life. We don’t want to continue this type of ignorant, fear-based living. Our kids deserve so much more. Our spouses deserve so much more. We deserve so much more!
Do you really have a perfect life?
No addictions? (oh yeah- for those of you who like to condescend to others for their drug or alcohol addictions- your food/sugar/junk addiction is NO different)
Your marriage is perfect?
You have no issues from your childhood? No traumas? No abuse? No neglect?
How about Pornography?
There are parents- SO MANY PARENTS- who would rather watch their kids struggle with terrible issues than get them help- because of how it would reflect on them (the parent) as an individual, or how they fear it might make the family look. This is inexcusable. YOU are the parent. Your kids are relying on you. You don’t get a pass on this one- and if you take a pass anyway, you will be haunted for the rest of your life by your choice to not help your child when you had the chance. You will be haunted when they can’t find a good job where they feel happy and fulfilled because they don’t believe in themselves or believe that they should always only work with and for good people. You will be haunted when they decide to live with somebody who is afraid of intimacy and has a checkered past, instead of marrying an individual who will truly cherish them, because you did not model the same for them, or deal with your own problems enough to be able to steer them down a path of ease and love. You will be haunted by their misuse and abuse of food, drugs and/or alcohol, because they are miserable inside when they never learned how to truly love and care for themselves, and deal with their hurts and hang-ups by watching their parents love and care for themselves. You will be haunted by their inability to make a decision or inherently know right from wrong in the real world when you don’t do the hard work yourself to figure all of these things out. You will be haunted by their inability to parent their own children, (yes, YOUR grandchildren), and there will be little to nothing that you can do about it.
Taking them to church isn’t enough, hoping that it will teach them everything they will need to live a successful life. You have to actively teach them to live outside of the church( obviously, church won’t cover everything). But- you have to first learn how to do everything yourself- and for most of us, that means active therapy and counseling to undo and deal with the unhealthy and destructive patterns that have been handed to you by your parents. You also have to learn what it means to eat correctly for health and vitality, so that you can, in turn, teach your kids. You first need to learn what it means to care for yourself, break patterns of shame and guilt, jealousy and hate, (oftentimes disguised as good intentions in a narcissistic home), if you ever hope to be able to teach your children the same.
Everyone has garbage, stuff, hurts, habits, addictions, shames and guilt. Those who choose to ignore them and mindlessly float through life cause immense pain not only for themselves, but for their children- because YOU are teaching them how to be. Others don’t think your family is perfect. And if you are the type of individual who is pretending that you are perfect, and that your family is also- you need to know there is so much growing awareness now around how we all need help and assistance in this life- we are in the midst of an age of enlightenment towards what really matters.
Some say that you’d never see a narcissist in therapy- this may be true, but I do think many with narcissistic tendencies are trying now to awaken to the fact that they are indeed responsible for their own lives and their own happiness- and that there is a way to overcome shame and guilt that was given to them as a child, so that they can finally live in freedom and without fear or anymore shame. This is happening because of our voices- we speak from our hearts, of our experiences, and shine the light in all of the dark places. This the only way we can finally be free. It frees the heart, the soul, the mind and every possibility opens up for you as you begin to realize that God has so much more planned for your life than to be stuck in fear, jealousy, judgment of others, and self-loathing.
As a Christian, I find it incredibly difficult to be around many groups of “Christians” within the church-because so many individuals have not done any of this work, and are some of the most judgmental, self-loathing, food/porn/drug/alcohol addicted people I’ve ever been around. They can be hateful and downright mean- I’m talking about folks in their thirties, forties, fifties and beyond. And they gossip in the most fiendish fashion, using the Lord’s name to make it all seem okay. If they continually deflect, gossip, and immerse themselves in the sins of this world and refuse to seek help or therapy- how will they ever find out who God really wants them to be? So many churches are getting this wrong. Most churches will never address generational abuse, the importance of healthy eating, sexual abuse, spousal abuse, and the resulting shame and mental health issues. And, in doing so, they bury the sins of everyone in the congregation, right there, in plain sight. The church should not be a place to hide out from our sins and shame, abuses and addictions along side other people who are doing the same. All pretending to be perfect. I am certain that is not what God wanted. He wants you to live in freedom, not in fear (which then becomes apathy, division from others, self-loathing and guilt.)
If this post resonates with you, please help me to spread the word that we are all capable or dealing with our own “stuff” and to stop passing it onto the next generation. In this divisive world, we need all the help we can get to share and spread the truth that every one of us is valuable, loved, and worth loving. Please share this post with someone that you love, and whom you think may benefit from it. We cannot let the darkness crowd out the light. We can not let evil win because we are afraid to speak and live our truth. The ones who accept that they imperfect, in their own humanness, and are able to face the tough things in order to grow through them, are the ones who stop hiding, posing and pretending, lashing out and slowly dying in their soul. Through owning your truth and dealing with all of the hurt, that is howyou can stop living in fear. Fear-based living is the norm and the standard in this country and many others. Stop being afraid, and start thinking for yourself. You can do the hard work.
In love and hope,
The Mint Pixie
For most posts on Narcissism, what it is, and why it’s killing and breaking apart the family , see this post, or this one called “Eggshells”, or this one called “Silence is Permission, overcoming patterns from a codependent and narcissistic family of origin.” And please, share them , so we can help spread the truth and shine the light. Let’s BE the light!!!!!