It is difficult to deal with a narcissist when you are a grown, independent, fully functioning adult. The children of narcissists have an especially difficult burden, for they lack the knowledge, power, and resources to deal with their narcissistic parents without becoming their victims. Whether cast into the role of Scapegoat or Golden Child, the Narcissist's Child never truly receives that to which all children are entitled: a parent's unconditional love. Start by reading the 46 memories--it all began there.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Loving the Imperfect

Many years ago I got very self-indulgent and bought myself a sports car. It was glorious, a little green Triumph TR-6 two-seater convertible. I loved loved loved that car! For 15 years I zipped through the highways and byways of Silicon Valley, top down whenever possible, totally loving the way the car drove, the way it felt, the way I felt driving it.

Of course, there was a down side. Being an English car, the electrical system was crap, and England is a lot cooler place than California, so the car tended to run hot. In fact, it averaged at least one trip per month to the mechanic, sometimes more…and some of those trips could be horrendously expensive. But I loved the car and in all the years I owned it, in all the years my pocket haemorrhaged money to keep it on the road, I never begrudged it a penny. It was the most fun I ever had on four wheels and it was worth every cent I spent on it.

Shortly before I finally sold the TR, I bought a registered Arabian mare. She was 12 years old and at some point in her life, she had been very well trained. But somehow she ended up as a brood mare and, after many years in pasture, she was purchased as the mount for a six-year-old child who had little riding skill. Unable to control the horse, the child was thrown and her angry mother put the animal up for sale at an auction where I got her, pedigree, papers and all, for a mere $125, the “meat price.”

Tia was a beautiful bay mare, with a soft, loving temperament…and she was afraid of everything. She had a lovely gait and was easy to ride (if you knew direct reining), but if you took her to the park, you had to avoid the picnic areas because the crowds freaked her out; bicycles on the trail freaked her out; mailboxes along the road freaked her out—and the entrance to the horse trailer really freaked her out. She hated water unless it was in a trough: a narrow, shallow stream, a rivulet of water running across the road, the horse washing station with a garden hose hanging from a pivoting beam—those freaked her out as well. She would stand passively for grooming and shoeing, never walk away from the saddle, never refuse to take the bit, and stood patiently for mounting. It took minimal direction either from my legs or hands to direct her…until something frightened her and which time she would slam it in reverse. I am telling you, that horse could back up the length of a football field! And if she didn’t back up, she bolted…and on any given ride, you could be guaranteed that something was going to scare her.

But I loved her, and I loved riding her. I got a trainer to help me learn how to get her to load up into the trailer without fuss; I learned to anticipate her antics with water and her reverse gear; I learned to bathe her with a sponge and bucket instead of the wash rack. I spent money on good shoes, I learned how to give her the quarterly worming treatment and immunization shots myself, and I drove up to the ranch to comfort her when the infrequent thunderstorm came along and the lighting and noise frightened her. And never did I think of her as a burden, but was proud to own and ride and care for such a beautiful, majestic creature.

My husband and I own a house in South Africa, an old, rambling brick dwelling with a gorgeously landscaped garden, a sparkling blue pool, and a leaky roof—and you would blanch at the list of other things we have had to fix in the last 2.5 years. The previous owner lived here seven years and did no maintenance at all, so we have inherited his deferred maintenance along with all the stuff that normally goes wrong with houses, like leaky pipes, burst hot water heaters, appliances that mysteriously stop working, and plumbing woes. Our first month in the house we spent enough for emergency repairs to cover two month’s worth of house payments and it escalated from there. And every time we think we have everything fixed, something new crops up. Fortunately we have two rental units on the property that provide enough income to make repairs without landing us up in financial hot water, but there is no denying that the house has sucked up a lot of cash resources that we would have rather put elsewhere.

One could easily hate a house that causes you say to yourself, at least weekly, “Oh, no! Now what??” From a broken suction line on the pool pump to water cascading down an inside wall from a roof leak, from a hot water heater pumping water into the attic and ruining ceiling boards to a kitchen stove that won’t get hot enough to boil water to a double oven that can’t maintain temperature, from an air conditioner that won’t cool to a motorized driveway gate that won’t function to leaking showers to five toilets that constantly run, this house has had its share of malfunctions, and not one of them cheap to fix! And yet, I love the house. It is rambling and spacious with big sliding glass doors onto a terrace and beautiful views of the garden from my bedroom and study, it has an airy, gracious sunroom and a sunken TV room that has become my husband’s lair, leaving the formal living room (lounge) a pretty and uncluttered room to entertain guests. It is brilliantly located, only 4 kms from his office and within 5 kms of virtually all of the shopping we need to do on a regular basis, the mature trees shade the house, the lush green garden cools the air and the breezes come through those sliding doors to provide natural ventilation. Yes, it has cost us time and money and aggravation, but I can’t think of a better place to live in this town and the house itself is the nicest I have ever owned.

By now, you should have picked up on the theme, the common thread that runs through all of these vignettes: things do not have to be perfect to be worthy of love. Cars, houses, horses…even people…do not have to be perfect in order to be entitled to, worthy of, love…but for some of us, this is a novel concept.

If you were raised by a narcissist, like I was, you quickly realized that just “being” was not good enough…you had to “do.” And whatever passed for love from your narcissist was given out based on your performance in whatever it was you were supposed to do. Now, before you say “she didn’t give me anything, no matter how I performed…” consider the phrase “whatever passed for love.” For some of us, that meant getting stuff—a doll, a lollipop, a quarter; for others it might have meant getting permission for something, like a trip to the beach or going to a friend’s house or calling Grandma; for others of us, it meant not getting negativity—no lectures, beatings, insults, maybe even getting blessedly ignored for a period of time. Whatever your NM did with/for/to you when she was not perturbed with you, that was what you, as a child, learned to accept as tokens of affection from her—or at least, a sign that you were not in imminent danger. Even if you didn’t get outright approval, the lack of overt disapproval was a sign in itself.

As children, right and wrong come from outside us: we learn it from others around us and we are controlled with external consequences meted out to us by those others. Goof off on a test, we fail; defy our parents, we get punished; steal from the corner store, we get the law involved. As we mature, however, normal people internalize those messages of right and wrong and we punish ourselves with guilt when we do wrong. Unfortunately, normal people who had narcissistic parents internalize the toxic message that we are imperfect, flawed, and unworthy of love unless we do something to earn it…and just as our efforts were never sufficient for the narcissistic parent, once the parent is internalized, our efforts are never good enough, not even for ourselves.

Have you ever loved something that is imperfect? I adore my Yorkies, and they are as imperfect as they come. As I sit here typing, one is barking to get my attention, another one is laying quietly on the rug by my feet…she is the one who poops on the dining room carpet when she is displeased by something. The little boy still pees on the bed, so he can’t be in the bedroom unless he is on my lap, under my direct supervision. But rather than disdain them for their faults, rather than withhold my love or approval from them because of their imperfections, I make adjustments to accommodate their flaws: I have a squirt bottle full of water for the barker when she won’t obey my command to stop; Puddin’ isn’t allowed in the dining room; Boykie can’t go into my bedroom unless he is being carried in arms. Is this more work? Is this more effort? Of course it is…but I love them and they are worth an extra effort to accommodate their little flaws.

And there you have it: I love them just as they are. I make allowances for their flaws rather than withhold my love and approval until and unless they conform to my rigid expectations. Yes, I continue to expect them to improve, but I don’t withhold positive feedback, petting, and loving until they improve because my love for them is not based on their performance: it is based on their being.

How are you doing with loving yourself? Are you waiting until you are perfect and therefore worthy of being loved before you love yourself? Are you withholding positive affirmations, kindness, patience, and love because you aren’t perfect? Who set that standard for perfection you aspire to (or despair of ever reaching)? Did you set it or did you just adopt—internalize—your NM’s expectations and standards? Has your NM set up housekeeping in your head and you continue to dance to her tune, even when you aren’t even speaking to her?

We must have expectations of ourselves. Humans do not thrive when they are directionless, and our expectations give us direction, something to live up to. But there is nothing in the book of life that says you must live up to the expectations of others if you don’t want to. In fact, you have every right—you have a true entitlement—to create your own set of expectations to live up to, and they don’t have to bear even the slightest resemblance to the expectations of your NM or FOO. They only have to work for you. And to work for you, they must be attainable.

And you know what? They don’t have to be cast in concrete, either! You can change those expectations if you want to. If they were too tall for you, or you achieved them already, or they just don’t fit you, you can fine-tune or even completely throw them out and start all over again. But there is one thing they all absolutely must contain: they must not demand perfection of you in anything. Excellence, yes…perfection, no. Perfection is unattainable and to set that as a goal is to set yourself up for failure…and a reason to keep on withholding love from yourself.

You set the stage for how others treat you by how you treat yourself. If you think of yourself as unworthy of love, others will believe you and will think of you the same way. When you love yourself unconditionally, you accept that you are flawed, human, and deserving of love for who you are, not for what you do. People who value you for what you do are not people who love you…at least no more than they love their car, dishwasher, or mobile phone: and to these people, you are just as disposable as these items when you stop functioning the way they want you to.

You don’t need to be perfect to deserve love, yours or anyone else’s. You don’t need to be perfect to deserve appreciation or approval or to feel good about yourself. You are entitled to it, no matter how flawed you may think you are. All you really need is permission—your own.

Isn’t it time you gave it?

28 comments:

  1. Lovely post Violet. It's like a letter of encouragement from a loving sister. I'm going to print it and read it every time I feel down. Thank you so much for writing it.

    Love and Hugs,
    Kara

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    1. You are welcome, Kara. I hope it helps you when you need it.

      Hugs to you,

      Violet

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  2. I simply love this post,

    thank you,
    skittish

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    1. I am happy you like it. You are welcome, and I hope it helps you. Learning to love ourselves is one of the most important changes we can make in our lives.

      Hugs,

      Violet

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  3. Just found your site Violet. Lovely post. I totally get it. Interesting that those of us who have not had such generosity of love and affection can be sooooo tolerant of imperfection in others. My darling kitty has but one eye and a crooked mouth with a cross bite, she has earned many nicknames not the least of which is Picabo Streak for her tendency to clean her derrier on my white carpet after using the litter box. I can't imagine loving her any less - in fact - I love her more because she is perfectly her. You are clearly a gentle loving soul.

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    1. Thank you, Anon. Having animals teaches us tolerance, I think. All of my beloved Yorkies have some trait I could be happy without, but it doesn't diminish my love for them. If we can love someone or something that is not perfect, then we have the capacity to love ourselves, flaws and all. We just need to realize it and then embrace ourselves.

      Hugs to you

      Violet

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  4. Brilliant post! Thank you.

    My mother-in-law, a raging narcissist, once complained, "You aren't perfect." I don't know what she expected for an answer, but she got, "Well, duh, of course not. Nobody's perfect."

    If that's the worst she could come up with to criticize, it's pretty lame. She must have thought I was put on this earth to please her, but I don't play by her rules. The brainwashing only works if you were raised by an N. I wasn't.

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    1. What a typically N thing for her to say! and your retort was perfect.

      I find your comment about brainwashing to be very profound...and I agree. Do you find it works on your husband, though? My late husband had a very overt NM and, perhaps because I had worked through a lot of the crap with respect to my own NM, she didn't affect me much except where my husband was concerned. She would lay into him and he would stand there, pale and paralyzed, like a 6'5" 275 lb statue...and that would just piss me off and I would then jump on her like a chicken on a june bug.

      She didn't like me--and he wouldn't go near her without me! None of us are perfect--including those delusional NMs of ours!

      Hugs,

      Violet

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  5. This is a beautiful post, Violet.

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    1. Thank you, CS. I am glad you enjoyed it.

      Hugs,

      Violet

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  6. Wow, thank you. I needed to hear this today. Beautiful post!

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    1. You are welcome, and I am glad it came at a time you found it useful.

      Hugs to you,

      Violet

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  7. I can only repeat the others before me: wow.
    So beautifully written. Each line relating to the effects of having been brought NM is speaking to me.

    I highlight this part of the post:
    "Unfortunately, normal people who had narcissistic parents internalize the toxic message that we are imperfect, flawed, and unworthy of love unless we do something to earn it…and just as our efforts were never sufficient for the narcissistic parent, once the parent is internalized, our efforts are never good enough, not even for ourselves."

    Indeed, I was unable to like myself just the right balanced way - it was either not enough or too much of self-love (a rebelling against not being loved). The sense of tranquillity and security is what was missing: the sense that I was born to be good enough without doing anything to earn it. Whenever I could grasp the thought something was in the way: specifically that a narcissist is indeed NOT good enough, and I was afraid that I was also a narcissist.

    Actually I started to accept myself only after a long research on narcissism, and after I became certain that I am NOT one. It is not an easy finding though, because the concept of narcissism is very poorly and ambiguously defined and the definition is loaded with contradictions, which is evident from the paradigm shift in DSM-V. If not even the profession can agree on NPD, then it's no surprise if the unofficial sources are even confused: on the net I often find references to traits of co-narcissism (the victims of abuse) as if those were narcissist traits.

    Thanks so much for your superb posts!
    Hugs,
    Marianne
    (h. wanderer)

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    1. I think the biggest problem with defining the narcissist is that the people who are doing the defining--the so-called professionals--lack experience with narcissists. They are, after all, notoriously scarce in the treatment experience and the few that do go into treatment prove nigh-unto-impossible to treat. The professionals, therefore, must rely on limited observation, speculation, and the second-hand experiences of people like you and me who DO go into therapy.

      Lacking first-hand experience as the victims of narcissists can make comprehension of the disorder very difficult. Until you have sat in a room with a narcissist and actually experienced the twisting of truth, the disingenuous looks of feigned innocence, the absolute confidence in their lies and rationalizations, you simply cannot grasp the depth and breadth of either the disorder or the lengths these people will go to in order to get what they want. This is why I find Peck's book, People of the Lie so valuable: he DID experience these people and his bone-deep shock and disbelief at the depths these people will go to is so well chronicled. One example he gives is a seriously depressed little boy who is hospitalized for his depression. In a session, the boy reveals that for Christmas he was given a .22 rifle. Peck is surprised, first that the parents would give a gun to a depressed child as a gift, second that is the same kind of gun their older son used to commit suicide. Then the shocker: it was the SAME gun the patient's brother used! When the parents are confronted, they appear to be unable to grasp what they have done wrong, and then turn the situation around to make themselves Peck's victims! THIS man knew narcissists--unfortunately, too many people in the profession simply do not.

      I'm glad you found this post of interest and hope it helps you with self-love and self-acceptance. You are ok the way you are, you know, and if other people have a problem with you, it is THEY who have the problem, not you!

      Hugs,

      Violet

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    2. Hi Violet,
      I agree with you that the people who write the DSM look at the disorder from the outside. I wrote a post about what if the DSM were written by ACoNs--starting to collate the universal experiences we all have with our narc parents, beneath all our differing circumstances. If you haven't read it yet, check it out on CS. Feel free to add a few "criteria" of your own there! I think that the people who write about it don't have any idea what narcissism is really MADE of. For that, you have to live your life as a victim of it. hugs, CS

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    3. Unfortunately, CS, there is no link in your reply and I can't seem to access your blog without it. If you could supply a full link, I would really like to read it.

      I think narcissism is a unique disorder in that it, alone, cannot be adequately observed and comprehended from the outside. So many narcissists can seem so normal, especially if not observed in their normal environment and without their knowledge of their being observed. They can be chameleons, changing to fit the situation so that their real personas are not revealed until and unless you have to interact with them in such a way that they reveal themselves: YOU have to be victimized by them in order to "get" what is going on. If you look at other Cluster B disorders, there are often clues to even the most unobservant: meltdowns, suicide threats, clinginess, hostility without a reason, volatility, etc. With the narcissist there is often nothing: you deal with a person who very successfully apes all of the traits of normality and only breaks from his cover when he feels it is unnecessary and that he is not being observed from the outside. How can you possible gauge the depths of a disorder that is largely hidden from the observer unless the observer actually sees the disorder in action--by becoming a victim himself?

      So, yes, you have no idea what narcissism is really made of until you are on the inside of a narcissist's target zone--and you don't REALLY know what it is like until you are not only inside that target zone, but you have no way out.

      Hugs and thanks for writing,

      Violet

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    4. Doh! Dumb me. I know my blog is hard to find. Here's the link:

      http://calibanssisters.blogspot.com

      I am with you completely about the other cluster B's being observable from the outside. But narcissism is by far the most insidious character disorder--because, I think, it can border on evil, which means it slides from a psychological disorder into a moral one. Only those who've been on the receiving end, for a long time, can really know what narcissism fully looks like, and even we struggle mightily to make some sense of it, to give it some shape. Please add your own insights to my post about 'if the DSM were written by ACoNs"--I know there are a bunch more criteria I just have forgotten to add there. and thanks for you always well-written and insightful posts. CS

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    5. Thanks so much! it was a brilliant post and the comments were quite excellent as well. Do you mind if I add a link to your blog on this one?

      Hugs

      V

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    6. Hi V, of course you can add a link to my blog. I'd be honored. I'd love to hear more about how the other Cluster B's are observable to the outside, whereas narcissism is so much more insidious. It's a special hell that registers its carvings on its victims. I do think that it's slippery because narcissism, NPD, can shift very easily into sociopathy, which can shift in psychopathy. They are all points along a narcissistic spectrum, which makes the discussion often tread on the borders of moral discourse. There have been times when I've felt like my mother was evil. A chilling feeling, suddenly hitting me. And to the world, she looks like a great person. This makes it incredibly hard to form into a coherent narrative about NPD, unlike Borderlines, or Histrionics, etc. The blogs that have come out in the last decade (which I only discovered in the last year or so) are showing that we are far from being alone. There are many ACoNs out there. SO helpful to be sharing experiences, stories. They help us to pull out the deeper structures that lie beneath the surface episodes that can seem crazy or pointless unless we understand the patterns. Your blog helps. Thank you. CS

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  8. I love this post...but I don't believe in perfection.

    Perhaps it was ruined for me, this concept, when I worked for three women therapists....who had all these notes all over the place about perfection...and they were about the least 'perfect' people that could exist. As in "do as I say, not as I do".

    They were three narcissists and really showed their stuff...before I had ever heard of the term narcissism. Queered me off perfection forever.

    Perfection for me is someone always moving the goal posts. My n-m did and does still...at 93. You can never win...so you should never play that game.

    Being imperfect is being human....and accepting that in ourselves and others is humane...

    But an excellent post. I could feel my body melting into these words.

    Lady Nyo

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  9. Hi Sweet Violet, just wondering how you are. Thing's ok in your world this summer? love CS

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    1. Thank you for asking.

      My real-life plate is rather full at the moment: court action with some dead beat tenants (took me more than a week to prepare the evidence for our attorneys), an invasive medical procedure on my back, and a week-long safari to Kruger National Park (including dawn and sunset game drives in an open vehicle in the dead of winter--brrrr!). Now it is time for follow up visit to the neurosurgeon and starting physiotherapy, but am hoping to get back to writing soon

      How have you been?

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    2. I've been ok, Violet--have a lull in summer teaching, and trying to just let myself do nothing for awhile, putter around. Invasive procedure on your back--good GRIEF! I'm sure it was a last resort. Sitting at computer is def. not good for your back. Did you do it before or after the safari (which sounds pretty exciting)?
      I hope physiotherapy goes well; dead beat tenants are a huge drag. I would be too afraid to rent out my property unless I knew the people pretty well. Court case, yuck. And the tensions of that get transferred as well to your spine. I just wanted to know you were still out there, alive and kicking! hugs to you, CS

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    3. Doing nothing for a time can be very restorative! I hope you enjoy it.

      I have a back issue of long standing...decades. Over time it has gotten progressively worse until I could do anything--as long as I was sitting down. I couldn't even take a shower unless I had a chair I could sit on...and forget cooking...I couldn't even stand up long enough to chop an onion! Two years ago I had a series of injections in my lower back: cortisone, muscle relaxers, and pain killers and I got pain relief for about 4 months...but those are very costly, not covered by my insurance, and of short duration. But after two years, I could barely walk and was in pain 24/7 so my husband took me back to the neurosurgeon and this time, because the facet injections worked, he suggested a radio frequency rhizotomy, a procedure in which they put a needle into the nerve bundle, isolate the nerve fibres that carry pain signals from the damaged facet joint to the brain, and sever those nerves with a pulse of radio waves. It is done in hospital under a general anaesthetic...my husband counted 18 puncture marks in my back when it was over and within a few days a huge bruise formed just north of my tailbone--but it was not painful or pressure-sensitive. I am 21 days post-procedure and the swelling and bruising have just about gone away and if I am going to get a positive result from it, they should start showing up any day now.

      We did this before the safari--the safari is done sitting down in an open vehicle--two outings per day, each one 2 to 3 hours long. I have been on these safaris before, but this was the first one in Kruger and it was amazing! I saw a pride of lions gnawing on a hapless wildebeest, some unbelievably gorgeous birds, and from our tent (we were in a bush camp) we could see hippo and crocodile (they live permanently in the small lake we were beside) and a host of other animals that came down to drink: elephant, impala, giraffe, buffalo, rhino, all kinds of deer, zebra...it was truly an amazing experience.

      If you are on the lookout for a good vacation value, South Africa is the place to go--the rand/dollar is 10 to 1...we stayed overnight, on our way home, in a 5 star country hotel for R1000 per night--that's $100 US!

      we have a good specialist attorney handling the case but the waiting for it to be over is a pain. There is zero chance we will lose since we have irrefutable documentation to prove our case: the tenants basically have paid only half their outstanding electric and water bills for the past 18 months...last month they only paid 10% of their bill...they can't prove they have paid the bills in full and we can prove they didn't. So it is just a waiting game...like everyplace else, the wheels of justice grind slowly... We own 5 rental units and manage a 6th one for my BIL, so it's just part of business...but aggravating none the less!

      I hope this finds you well...I have a post in the works but I keep getting interrupted by legal business and other things (this morning it was Jehovah Witnesses at the door, yesterday is was a leaking toilet and a chatty handyman...you know how it goes), but I AM working on it! Hope to have it up by the end of the week.

      Cheers and hugs right back atcha!

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    4. Wow, as I started reading the top paragraph I thought about my great friend Scott, who had a rhizotomy last week! He explained the procedure to me, and he's already feeling the benefits from it. He was rear-ended and had intractable pain from a shredded adductor. I was just thinking about telling you about it when I reached the sentence where you said you had one. I too have long standing back issues; they're under control at present, but I'm keep rhizotemy in mind for the future. I'll be keen to know how much relief you get from it.

      The safari sounds like an absolute feast for the eyes and spirit. Just amazing. I'll add it on my list of places to see, along with New Zealand. Looking forward to whatever you write next. My topic this week has been envy, getting the conversation rolling with some pals. xo CS

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  10. I get the adductor issue your friend has...in an effort to strengthen my core muscles, I did Pilates for a year and discovered compromised adductor muscles...which explained why I often felt, when walking, like I was dragging my legs---like walking in knee-deep water. That is the first symptom that has disappeared with the rhizotomy--I actually can walk normally...not very far yet, and I can't stand for very long without a break, but longer than I could before the procedure. Many of my muscles in that part of my body are very weak, so that is the next step: as the pain subsides, more conditioning to my lower back and inner abs. You know how small kids and old people go down stairs--both feet on a step before they step down to the next one? I have been going down steps like that for several years: I feel unstable when I walk (and have been using a cane for the last year) and going down a long flight of stairs is terrifying (and I have fallen down them in recent years). Last night I went down a whole flight of stairs like a normal person, just one step after the other...of course I was holding tightly to the handrail and ensuring balance with the cane, but it was an improvement!

    One of the hold-overs from an upbringing by an NM who actively neglected my medical care is that I never really know what is "worthy" of taking to the doctor. She still sits in the back of my head whispering "hypochondriac" as she used to shout at me when I had something medically wrong and "big sissy" when I made any kind of reference or response to pain. As a result, I have no real point of reference for what is "grin and bear it" pain and what is "see a doctor" pain. Additionally, because nobody could diagnose the cause of my back pain for so long...and when I saw a doctor for it, I was pretty much short-shrifted, I became hopeless about it--and fearful of developing a reputation in the medical community as a drug-seeking hypochondriac. It has been my husband spearheading these most recent attempts to get this under control. Getting out from under the thumb of the narcissist who has come to live in your head can be a long, long journey: everytime you think you've evicted her, you find her hiding someplace else!

    Hopefully, after my doctor's appointment today, I'll have time to get back to my newest entry--this one is on the topic of choice. xo Violet

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    1. Hi Violet, it's amazing how often doctors inadequately treat back pain (or pain in general). That horrible NM inner voice probably kept you way too long from seeking the best specialist, which, since you had a rhizotomy, you finally got. That's a cutting edge treatment, I didn't even know about it until my friend had it last week, and I've had back issues for years. Core work is key. Deeply boring. but done every morning, it makes a big difference. One I do is lying face down on floor, feet about 12" apart, and just slowly--pulling first with trapezius--raising just the upper part of my body, up down to my chest, off the ground, arms at my sides. I try to do about 30-40 of these each morning (followed by child's pose stretch). I keep a mat handy. Then the endless crunches. Good grief it's boring. And it's so helpful. the inner NM does pop up, like a sinister whack-a-mole. Often unpredictably too. xo CS

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  11. I have to go back to physio now...I was being seen in a clinic dedicated to back problems but could not fully participate because of the pain. Now I have to get my med ins to authorize a return to the clinic and resume...and core work is what they do for this kind of problem. The problem with the rhizotomy is that it is not permanent...the severed nerve fibres eventually grow back together...so before that happens, I have to get back to the physio and back into the program to get that specialized core work going while I am relatively pain-free. And, because I carry my excess weight in front instead of my bum and hips, I have to lose a bunch of weight. None of this is fun...but neither is the pain and at least now something is being done about it!

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I don't publish rudeness, so please keep your comments respectful, not only to me, but to those who comment as well. We are not all at the same point in our recovery.

Not clear on what constitutes "rudeness"? You can read this blog post for clarification: http://narcissistschild.blogspot.com/2015/07/real-life-exchange-with-narcissist.html#comment-form