The girl…


I came across a website recently,, and I have found it to be SO inspirational.  She is a therapist who writes so elegantly, but also her messages are so relatable.  I am still having a very difficult time “letting go”, not only of my exboyfriend, but also of the entire traumatic experience I went through with him.

In this blog, she writes about how we sometimes identity with our hurt to the point where we “become” it and begin to over-identify with it.  I definitely have a tendency to do this.  During my childhood and teenage years, I was the “girl with the crazy abusive alcoholic father”.  I started having problems with anxiety when I was in my 20s (which I am still dealing with) and I took on the identity of the “girl with anxiety who couldn’t get on a plane or drive far”.  After my marriage ended at age 31, I became the “girl who went through a terrible divorced’.  And now I have become the “girl whose sat at the bedside of her alcoholic boyfriend of eight years while he was in a coma for 17 days, even after she found out he was lying and cheating on her, and even though she saved his life, his parents still treated her as a scapegoat.”

I go down these rabbit holes where I become the tragedy…it defines my life, my identity, my day to day routine.  I have an obsessive tendency and I must have said, “I don’t understand why his parents treated me the way they did” like 2,000 times over the past six months. It is like I can’t get over it…I don’t know HOW to get over it and there’s a weird tiny part of me that doesn’t want to get over it.  I am not saying that I like to feel like a victim, I truly don’t, but I desperately want some kind of acknowledgment from his parents for the sacrifices I made for their son.  My friends advise me that I need to let it go, that not every situation ends with closure and I know they are right.  My exboyfriend tells me all the time that he knows how much I did for him (and the fact that we are still in contact will be the subject of my next blog…still really struggling with enforcing boundaries), but I feel like I deserve more.

Unbeknownst to me, he contacted his parents and told them that the rift between them and me was negatively affecting his recovery and he threatened to cease contact with them if they did not try to rectify things with me.  This is the complete opposite of what I want and I was very upset when he told me this.  But of course, I got an email from his father a couple of days later saying that he told them I think they hate me and they don’t and they also don’t “hold a grudge against me” (what the actual fuck? what possible grudge could they even HAVE against me????).  His dad proceeded to write that all they care about is their son’s recovery and that the day he walked into the ICU and saw him in the coma was the worst day of his life.  All the email did was make me more angry.  There was no mention of me at all (and I do truly understand all they care about is him, but COME ON…throw me a bone).  Does his father think it wasn’t the worst day of my life?? At first, they were not even going to travel to come here and then it took them two days to get to the hospital.

I know for myself that I have to find a way to stop making my whole life and identity about this and him.  I am preventing myself from moving on, but there is something safe about that…like that expression, “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t”.  I am terrified about dating or meeting someone new.  I cannot imagine being in a relationship with anyone but him.  And if I am honest with myself (which is why I started this blog), part of me feels unlovable and fears no one else will want me.  I feel so broken, so damaged.  On the surface, I look like I have it all together, but inside I am a freaking mess.  Who would want that? And even if I found someone, how will I ever trust them? I am holding on to all of this because I am scared to move on and as long as I can wrap myself in trauma and continue identifying as “the girl”…, no one else can hurt me.

3 comments on “The girl…

  1. Sarah C. says:

    Thank you for writing this. I’m going through something similar.


  2. Sarah C. says:

    Reblogged this on An adult daughter's struggle to recover from narcissistic parents and commented:

    Great article reminding me not to hold on to the hurt or trauma so much so that it became our identity. It sure takes lots of courage to look in the darkness of one’s soul.

    Those of us who were raised by narcissistic parents have been downloaded the false programming since early childhood, even since infancy, so all our life we have been functioning based on the false programming, which inevitably affected almost every facet of our life very negatively, from our personal relationships to career problems. But we didn’t know any other way to deal with the world. We are only familiar with the old patterns we learned consciously & unconsciously from our dysfunctional families of origin.

    I believe everyone is born a blank slate despite our divergent DNA differences. I believe our brains were pure, at least when we were still in our mothers’ wombs. So, sometimes I wonder, if everything downloaded from my parents is toxic, by detoxifying their toxic influences, what would be left of me?

    Instead of saying “reprogramming my brain”, it’s more like I have to re-format my brain & download a whole new operating system. Basically, I have to start from scratch. Staring from scratch also means I have to face the unknown. With facing the unknown comes the fear of the unknown. That’s extremely scary!! How could I be certain whether this new operating system is correct? How could I trust my own perception? How could I trust the new people that enter my life if I can’t be sure my new operating system is correct?

    But if I don’t do so, I know I won’t survive, just as years ago before I heard about narcissistic abuse, intuition was telling me if I didn’t go low contact with my FOO, I would not survive. It’s God’s divine intervention. I wanted to have a family, despite a toxic one, but I wanted to live, too. I wanted to seek psychological reparation from my mother, but she saw nothing she needed to change. There’s a voice inside my head that said “you won’t live If you keep in close contact with them”. I want to live not in the way they try to manipulate me, but in my individualist way because I don’t want to be dehumanized by their controlling tactics. I love my parents, but I want to live, too.

    Yes, it’s extremely scary to venture into the unknown, to carve out a new life. But I don’t want to live bombarded by intrusive memories & flashbacks anymore. I don’t want to identify with my own victimhood anymore. I want to survive.

    Some don’t agree that all humans are born blank slates. I’m aware there have been scientific researches on the so-called evil genes and how pregnant women’s negative emotions about their babies, like hatred & anger directed toward the babies, already set the babies up to be more susceptible to psychological health risks in the future (not blaming mothers here because not every mother becomes one by choice/ out of her free will, especially in many countries, women are only viewed as birthing machines). However, if you know a bit about epigenetics, you would know we are not defined by our DNAs. DNAs do not determine the outcome of our life. Learning about epigenetics is liberating for me. For anyone reading this, please check out Dr. Bruce Lipton’s videos on YouTube. You’ll know your life is not determined by your DNAs or by the toxic influences from your FOO.


    • Anxious ACOA says:

      Wow- first of all, you are an amazing writer! I agree that it is so easy to slide into the role of the victim and then very difficult to shed that identity. I feel like I learned a lot from your response…I don’t know anything about epigenetics (or even that much about DNA). I definitely want to read more about that- it seems so interesting. I will check out the youtube video you suggested.

      But yes, as scary as it is to “carve out a new life” as you so eloquently stated, I know I can’t stay static in this in-between gray area I have been in for so long.

      Thank you again for reading and for your great response 🙂


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