When it comes to our kids, we all want to make the best choices. We want them to eat the healthiest foods and we want to surround them with the best influences. We want them to play with the most educational toys, and attend the best schools.
Then, once we’ve provided our children with the best we possibly can… we berate the hell out of ourselves for still not doing it good enough. So, imagine our shock and alarm when, one day, as we are going about our lives, minding our own business, we realize that there is a dangerous predator in our precious baby’s vicinity…living under the very same roof… and WE invited him in!
Then… the biggest shock….
Oh my God! Has this man totally fucked up my children?! Are they destined to become narcissists now, too?! Or victims? Is it too late to repair the damage? Can I save my innocent babies from this terrible monster?
Sister, you can rest easy. You can keep your babies safe and it’s easier than you think. But, the first thing you need to know is that YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME. So, stop beating yourself up. Stop it. RIGHT NOW! Guilt, and shame, have no productive place here.
OK… there is, of course, healthy guilt & shame that exists, but it’s only to show us where we need to grow, or make a different choices. Once we are aware that a different choice needs to be made, or that there is something inside of us that needs to grow, then the purpose of guilt, and shame, is done. So, in regard to your narcissist, you’ve become aware that something different needs to be done. So let go of ANY guilt, or shame, that you are carrying around. Its purpose has been served.
Know that if you insist on continuing to carry around all that junk, you’re going to pass guilt, and shame, onto your children, and nothing else you do will matter, because they will be too mired down with the guilt, and shame, that you passed on for them to carry,to deal with anything else. That is why it is so freaking vital for you to let that stuff go. You are not to blame for something you didn’t know. No matter how bad your choices. No matter how spectacularly you messed things up… it DOES NOT MATTER! Understand that if you cling to guilt & shame, one second longer than it took for you to recognize that a change needed to be made, then you are simply trying to martyr yourself. You’re playing the victim.
Sorry to be so blunt, but that is the truth. So, let it go. Let it go… You can’t hold it back anymore. Let it go…LET IT GO. Turn away and slam the door! (hee hee) Sorry- enough of that…
Over the next several posts, I am going to cover the steps you can take to help your children shield themselves from the toxic, traumatic, and devastating effects of the narcissist in their life. These steps are amazing lessons that every child (and parent) should know, regardless of their situation, but ESPECIALLY if you have a narcissist to contend with. These steps, when practiced and integrated into your daily life, will help your children (and you!) literally, become the most successful version of themselves.
I’m breaking these down into separate posts, because otherwise this would be way too long. Also, it gives you some time to process the steps, one at a time, and really consider the best way to implement them into your life.
STEP #1- STAY CALM
First things first…relax. Take a deep breath, and calm yourself. Feel the peace in your body. This is critical. So Do Not skip this step!
When you are freaking out, or feeling totally emotional, you are not as capable of making good decisions, or executing plans. Also, kids are really sensitive to your energy, and they will pick up on your anxiety, and become anxious themselves. The more calm, and centered you are, the calmer your kids will be, and the better able you will be to handle whatever comes your way.
Being calm and peaceful puts you in the position of centeredness, from which you can take a step back, consider all your options, and make the best choice for you and your children. Being calm also makes you so much less reactive, which means that the rips and tears, the pokes and jabs, the antics and tantrums of the narcissist will bounce right off you- or not even come into your awareness- more, and more often.
Once you start practicing being calm, your kids will start being calm as well. They will follow whatever example you set for them. The calmer your kids can be, the better able they will be at being in the presence of a narcissist, and NOT allowing him to affect them. The better able they will be at deciphering the truth of who they are, from the garbage of who they narcissist tells them they are. Slowing down gives us better discernment, because we have more space to discern!
Makes sense, right?
So, here are a few suggestions to help yourself relax.
- Practice meditation.
- Creating a daily, morning ritual (check out my post on that very thing here) is also an amazing way to start your day off calm, peaceful, and centered.
- Go for a stroll.
- Spend time out in nature.
- Just breathe…
- And, most importantly, invite your kids to join you in these activities.
In my next post, (Step #2) is a vital life-skill that most parents don’t even know that they are not teaching their kids! And this skill is such an important part of every human being’s ability to make good, safe, self-loving decisions…so you do NOT want to miss it.
I love you,
~The Narcissist’s Wife