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December 17, 2021

To Adult Children of Narcissists: I’m Sorry for what they Did to You.

I’m sorry for what they did to you.

You were small, innocent, and helpless.

You weren’t protected.

Silence was your only true companion.

They pawned you off to people who’d violate the innocence in you that deserved to be cherished.

You thought it was your fault because that’s what they forced you to believe.

They told you you deserved it with a laundry list of things you’d have to become to not be so horribly deserving of all the bad you “brought upon yourself.” And you tried. You tried to be good enough, but the signpost of direction always changed and the laundry list never ended.

Trying eventually felt like dying because there was no point.

I know what it’s like to still feel broken, after years and years of self-discovery and soul recovery.

To feel disgusting and empty from the inside out and to hide away in shame and invisibility to not infect other people with the toxicity they implanted in you.

I know it’s hard to trust anyone and that coming from a family who didn’t protect you has lifelong effects that even those who later love you truthfully can never understand. The loneliness that comes from this is gut-wrenching and pain-inducing.

I know you want the story to stop. Its grip on you is suffocating despite it no longer being a story you live in. Now it lives in you though it’s invisible and misunderstood by those who can’t fathom why it still reels in you. “The therapy isn’t working,” they think. When really, the therapy lets it be real…and that’s half the battle.

I know there are bouts when shame surfaces so heavily you honestly think you’ll never be normal.

I know that being around “normal” people makes you feel as alien and foreign as ever. That relating is hard when you’ve dropped the roles you played with your abusers that used to keep you safe. They were your only resources for establishing connections and without them, you feel naked and confused about “who to be.” Especially around healthier, less traumatized people.

I’m sorry for what they did to you.

Hearted by

You deserved so much love that you’ll never be able to go back and soak up the way healthier people are used to receiving. You didn’t get what you deserved, where “deserving” mattered the most.

You’re not crazy. You’re an adult version of a child deprived of love made to believe your deprivation had more to do with you than the people dishing it out. The ultimate injustice is that this will never see consequences other than through your mental decline.

Healing takes time. You deserve the time. You deserve to know it’s actually not you; it’s them. Back then, they were the only ones with the authority to deprive you, but years later, you find yourself in allegiance to them—doing it to yourself.

You can stop now. Your unwarranted guilt and displaced loyalty were at one time the clothes you wore to indicate your allegiance to their insanity. It’s hard to take them off because a part of who you were was forced to die along with the disrobing.

They worked really hard to systematically create you into their own image. It wasn’t an accident. They rallied troops and twisted scripts to get you to feel about yourself how they wanted you to feel, which was defective, disgraceful, and unworthy. They told you the world wouldn’t love you like they do.

I know it is too hard to forget this kind of hell on earth. This loneliness and confusion. This searching.

I also know that heaven on earth exists, and most days, you’ll be able to soak it in. But still, hell beckons on occasion—especially when life gets good to let you know that there, in the frequency of hell, is where you belong. They did that to you.

You may no longer be a victim in your story, but you’re still a victim to it.

They did deconstruction work in you, leaving you with no tools or materials to build yourself in the aftermath of their demolition.

People who cannot relate to this cannot relate to the sense of crawling on the ground in the wake of it, with not one person in sight whom you trust to hand you a pair of glasses so you can see, and who wouldn’t kick you in the stomach while you search and swear. They have to do everything to save you from yourself.

God has a mighty work to do in you, holy child.

Even if you stay broken forever, your version of brokenness deserves a love that mends but doesn’t try to fix your brokenness.

Healing takes time. A long time if you’re healing from decades upon decades of the trauma you used to think wasn’t only normal, but that everyone in the world experienced, just like you. It’s a stunning reality to know that not everyone grew up to be cut down the way you did.

You deserve all the love you didn’t get when you needed it the most.

My prayer for you today is this: that at some point, just like the shame that washes over you on your journey, you’ll feel drenched by all the love the universe stored for you that was rightfully yours all along.

My wish for you is that you’ll feel the pouring of overwhelming love.

I’m sorry for what they did to you. You didn’t deserve it.


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