We Are the Children of Narcissists

We are addicts of reassurance. We seek it through any means necessary. Carbs and Sugar (food, alcohol, ice cream – choose your fancy). Grades. Sex. Money. Work. Exercise (not me, but others). Drugs. Clothing.  Hand bags.

We drive ourselves towards a moment of recognition that perennially passes us by.  Fast-pacing car, cigarette, cell phone, sunglasses, foot to the floor, one hand on the steering wheel. Careening. Crashing. That’s the adrenalized life of a love-and-recognition junky.

When the parents looked down at us, cradled in their now-aching arms, (Do you know how hard it is to hold a squirmy, crying, cranky, colicky, small baby?) they expected to see our adoration. Instead we were looking for theirs.

When we started to move out in the world on our own – kindergarten hand turkeys at Thanksgiving, and 3rd grade poems about stars – the eyes of the world looked to us. The parents could hardly believe the reality. “They are not the ones to watch. We made them. They are nothing but for us.”

We are the people our parents warned us about. Those who know less. Who are worth less. Who are crazy and evil and not to be considered. We are the people our parents couldn’t tolerate because we moved without their permission; yearned without their input; grew without their control.

These are not good things if your parent is a narcissist. These are things that get you shunned, debased, ignored, yelled at.  And so you eat. You sex. You spend. You run from the loneliness. You over achieve. You under care for yourself. Always looking for a balance that never was, a weigh in of belonging.

I’m not saying like me. I’m saying see me.

I’m not saying be me. I’m saying let me be.

I’m not saying not you. I’m just saying me too.

© Gabriella Strecker, 2016