I wasted so much time on plastic toys, clothing my kids would never wear, all of this man-made crap- it still turns my stomach to think about it. This was time that I should've been spending playing with my kids, or resting, or cooking, or exercising, you name it. Anything but what I was doing. WHY DID I HAVE SUCH A HARD TIME HOLDING MY BOUNDARIES? I had so much to understand and so much to learn and nobody was going to teach me, I would have to first decide that I was worth defending and learn all of this on my own (just like most everything else in life that is worth knowing. You cannot rely on anyone else for your happiness, you can't rely on anyone else to make you wise, and you cannot rely on anyone else to put you first. That is your job.)
If you want to remain small, sad, broken, and beholden to the opinions of others, that is your choice. But you CANNOT expect to be happy more than fleetingly, because you are living to please others. The world does not need another martyr. How can YOUR HAPPINESS be based on whether or not you are making others happy? Why do you want to live to temporarily fulfill a narcissist, or entire groups of them- these people who will NEVER be happy, no matter what? Why do you want to choose a life of catering to those who have not done the hard work on themselves- which will only further hold you back from EVER getting to a place of openness and space which will allow you to grow into your own radical, full potential?
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.
A narcissist tends to view the holidays as very event-based, and the minute that the gathering or party is over, they unfortuntely go back to being miserable. They believe very strongly in always doing every holiday gathering the same way, even when it's draining and tedious for everybody (including themselves), and they are very much thrown for a loop when somebody suggests doing something differently, or, heaven forbid, a part of the family decides that they are going to do something altogether different for the holidays. The will punish you through a narcissistic fit involving tears, silence, or anger and yelling. (Remember, most narcissists resist growing or changing and don't believe that they have a need to do so, so why would they want to let anything else in their lives evolve- remember, the narcissist views you an extension of themselves, existing for their needs-not a separate person...)
It is a beautiful thing to be able to transcend. Just because we are "in" this world, does not mean that we need to be "of" this world. What new traditions have you created for yourself and for your family based on following your own heart, rather than the more self-serving needs and desires of those around you? It takes a very confident person to do things differently. It takes someone who values themselves enough to understand that what is right for others, may not necessarily be right for them or for their family.
Do you want to define yourself, or do you want to continue to believe in how others have defined you? Nobody has your best interests at heart in the way that you do.
So for those of us who are sort of left to navigate multiple levels of physical, sexual and emotional abuse on our own...where does this leave us? This is the kind of thing faced by a person who has grown up largely unprotected, not listened to, and gaslighted. It can leave us raw, broken, and aimless, grasping and defeated...with tremendous physical illnesses that manifest as a result of all we have been submitted to...
Do you believe that you are just as important as anyone else? When you refuse to express what you need and want to those around you- those who love you- you are training them to walk on eggshells.