Get over it, it’s not that bad!
How many times have I heard those exact diminishing words? More than I care to count!
It is absolutely not possible to be raised in a narcissistic family and never be taught how to establish and maintain boundaries and then turn 18, flip the switch, and all of the sudden have healthy boundaries and fulfilling relationships. I had no idea what a healthy relationship was growing up, so how was I supposed to have one once I left home? I was incapable! So what did I do? I went out and found other relationships that modeled the dysfunction that I knew growing up because that was what I knew. Yep, I was narc bait for decades afterwards. Telling a survivor of an abusive childhood to “get over it” and “it’s not that bad” is akin to saying the same thing to a holocaust survivor. Unless one has been there, and has let go of his or her denial about their upbringing, it is impossible for a person to empathize with an adult child of a narcissist’s struggles.
Here’s an analogy: If no one had ever taught me how to read growing up, would I all of the sudden be able to read once I turned 18? Obviously, not! I would have to spend years learning how to read, just like any other person learning to read. It goes further: I may not even realize that learning to read is important or understand the value of reading. In fact, I may feel that since reading wasn’t important in my family growing up, then it’s waste of time. It may take me years to figure out that I am leading a less than fulfilling existence because I can’t read; for me to realize that my parents were wrong and they should have taught me how to read.
(HINT: reread the last paragraph and substitute “maintain boundaries” for “read”)
If you haven’t experienced narcissistic abuse; if you haven’t been raised in an environment where all your dignity was removed; it’s not possible for you to fathom the damage that an environment like that can do.