11 comments on “This Boy

  1. Hey Stephen!
    I find this post incredibly sad. 😦 You are right, that child did not deserve ANY of the abuse he received. But we don’t get to chose our parents, nor our families. It is a crap shoot at best. None of us, no one deserves abuse. But it is all around us. And we survived it. And we go on and attempt to heal. Our healing though will never include the ones that abused. They will never give us what we needed. They don’t apologize, make up for, repent, or even acknowledge anything was amiss and they blame us for the fact we feel as we do. This is the sad sad truth. My mother was detached, uncaring , selfish. And those were the “nicer’ traits. i have come to a place where I have accepted she could not be anything different than what she was, she was not capable. Was it fair? OH HELL NO. But it happened, I happened 😦 There comes a point where we can go over and over the whys, the wishes, the injustice of it all, but, we realize we will never ever change it, they will never make it better, and we just go on. Scarred but stronger with a resolve and knowledge we do not, can not, will not be like them. I hope you find some peace.

    • Hi Ellie!

      I agree, it is very sad. No one deserves abuse. I also agree that it’s not possible for abusers to change. In order for them to change, they would have to admit they are wrong. True admission of wrongdoing is not a trait of an abuser. I’m sorry you had to endure an abusive childhood as well. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, and it’s so sad to know just how many children are forced to endure abuse.

      I agree, it’s not fair – life isn’t fair, and the best thing to do is to make peace with the past and pick up the reins on my future. Living in the past continues to give our power over to our abusers who have damaged us to a point where we are unable to move forward in life if we continue to dwell on the past. I am well on my way to making peace with all of it. I have come SO FAR in the past year since I dropped my denial and became fully aware of my abusive history. I am now in a place that I never dreamed I could be, but deep down inside I always knew I had the potential to get there.

      I wrote this post because I came across an old box in my basement that had some old pictures in it that I didn’t realize I had. When I found this picture, it was a perfect fit for my inner child. The picture wasn’t labeled, but I’m surmising it was a school picture from when I was around 7, possibly 6. Looking at the picture really made me realize truly how much my family was dysfunctional. I’m just a boy in this picture. Yes, there are some children at this age that are truly rogues, but I was far from that descriptor, at least from what I can remember. Assigning such terrible motives to a young boy is truly evil.

      Stephen Bach

  2. Stephen, as Ellie said this is extremely sad, but hopeful also because you have figured it out, you know you did not deserve that abuse, you know you deserve to be treated with love and kindness and be appreciated for the caring loving person you are. And THAT is a huge step! that means you have the ability to heal those wounds (although the scars will always be there, you can stop the bleeding) and be free to be yourself with confidence. Many people never figure it out and spend their life trying to please people who don’t want to be pleased; that is sad!
    Narcissistic people hate kind and caring people, they call them weak and pitiful, they sneer at them and take pleasure in hurting them and shaming them. The reason they do this is not for the reasons they say, in fact it is because they know they are inferior and are terribly lacking so they try to destroy the light that shines from your soul and makes them look so black. They HAVE to destroy the good in others, they are soul vampires and can’t stand the light.
    The truth is that it takes great strength to live honesty, to be willing to be vulnerable and show your feelings, it takes strength to care; a strength they will never have.
    Be proud you are a sensitive person who can empathize, don’t hide your light any longer, shine bright as a beacon to others, a statement that says “I care, you can care too, there is nothing to be ashamed of.” Victims of abuse have been shamed into silence. What a joke!! when in fact it is the empathetic people that fix all the disasters these self absorbed soul suckers create. They don’t even clean up their own mess.
    I was always teased, ridiculed, and made to feel inferior by my own family for “wearing my heart on my sleeve”, “defending the underdog”, and living with integrity, I shake my head now. I wear my heart on my sleeve with pride but I am more selective about who I bless with my caring, I don’t waste it on the soulless any more.

  3. “The truth is that it takes great strength to live honesty, to be willing to be vulnerable and show your feelings, it takes strength to care; a strength they will never have.” (Carrie Reimer)
    What she said!

  4. Pingback: Being A Child of Narcissists – Breaking the Silence | An Upturned Soul

  5. It is with a thick mixture of horror and relief that I learn I was not the only tow-headed kid to receive the Little Dutchboy haircut. What a horrible punishment for such gorgeous gold.
    One of my first memories of actually asserting myself before my narcissistic mother was to refuse to let her brush or cut my hair anymore. The tsunami of guilt and shame that was sent crashing down on me as a result is still palpable today.
    Now, I get it. That day signified rather bluntly the emerging independence that all children must go through but a narcissistic parent hates. It means the end of total control and reveals a twisted kind of projection and by extension, ownership. I was no longer her doll to play with overtly; it was time for her to step it up a notch and double down on the indirect torture.
    Glad to see we both survived the cutting shears without losing too much.

    • Hi allthoughtswork!

      Yes, the little dutch boy haircut was my standard style until I was about 13, at which point I took my paper route money and bought a perm. Yes, perm. It was the 80’s after all.

      You provide a very apt insight that the abusive environment becomes much worse when a child starts to demonstrate independence. Demonstrating independence means that I am beginning to close the spigot on the narcissistic supply hose to my abuser. It infuriates them, and they must pull out all the stops to ‘get me back in line’.

      Stephen Bach

  6. Dear Stephen,

    When I read your blog, my eyes welled up with tears. I looked at your photo, it could have been me. I know that fear, only recently has it gone, even though my father has passed away now. That fear stayed with me, maybe because my brothers are narcissistic, but to a lesser extent, and so it carried on. But now I am free of it. If I was to write a blog, it would be the same as yours. I have been in therapy for many years, and now I am in much better place, but perhaps the hardest thing of all is to get other people to understand what victims of narcissism go through. They have no idea, and to try to get them to understand that one parent and for some people two parents never really loved them is something most people find very difficult to confront, let alone accept. It’s a lonely world sometimes, but I am lucky I have a good therapist. But i know it really doesn’t matter if other people understand, the most important thing is to move on, and I can see you have done that. Thank you for sharing your pain, you are a survivor, like me. We are the strong ones, and we can only get stronger.

    Best wishes,

    Peter McIlwee.

    • HI Peter, and welcome!

      My apologies for my delayed reply. Life has taken a bit of an abrupt turn lately, and I’ve fallen quite behind on my blog.

      I’m so very sorry that you had to endure a narcissistic upbringing as well. It’s not a fate I would wish on anyone. It’s a horrible way to grow up; without anything that resembles the loving, nurturing environment that should be the right of every child, but often isn’t.

      I am humbled that my blog resonates with you. If sharing my life story helps others to find some sort of validation with their own life’s journey, then it’s truly a positive outcome of my life’s experiences.

      I understand the difficulty with accepting such an upbringing. And I agree, the roles that we are assigned in the family as children typically perpetuate into adulthood, meaning that siblings that could possibly provide us with some sort of validation will maintain their role as flying monkeys and continue to tell us that “it’s not that bad” and to “just get over it”. My golden child brother does exactly that.

      I agree, it’s impossible to understand what it’s like unless you have been through it AND accepted it. I feel that often people endure such an upbringing, but never accept that it really was as bad as it seems, and continue to carry those childhood scars for the remainder of the lives, often replicating those childhood environments in their adult relationships.

      I feel that the worst situation is when there is only one N in the family, and the other spouse serves as an enabler. When two N’s get together, the dysfunction is rampant, and seldom do those relationships last more than a few years. When there is only one N and an enabler, the spousal relationship continues as long as the the enabler continues to fulfill his / her role. In my situation, my father was the enabler, and he was truly seamless in his enabling, never once doubting what my N mother did / said. I sometimes think he had to know how dysfunctional she truly was, but he never would admit it, either to himself, or to his children.

      Best wishes to you on your healing journey, Peter, and thank you for stopping by and commenting!


      • Unfortunately, there are plenty of narcissists living together for years (in my family for 32 years and counting). Yes, my biological father was dependent, but didn’t cope with my mother and committed suicide. Then she found her real sadistic match with who she has been for 32 years. It’s hell to be an only child of them. Not only your so-called parents are narcissists, but their own parents are messed up. So you don’t experience love and care from anyone in your family and you have to find so much strength to come to terms with that. More than that, the golden child status in my family was taken by dogs. My parents would always pamper or forgive them. I would have to be punished for what wrong dogs did. My mother would brag about dogs, would buy all those figurines depicting them. I would be not worth one compliment.

  7. Hi Stephen…I found this blog by accident. My heart goes out to you because I, too, had a rough upbringing.
    My stepfather is the narcissist and my mother enabled him. She is still with him to this day and continues to live in denial. Like Bea said, sometimes people will stay with narcissists for years. I have been completely broken by all of the crap I’ve had to deal with. At 34 years old, I am a shadow of myself.

    I can relate to much of what you’ve shared with us. You seem like a kind, brave, caring person and I hope that you will have the best that life has to offer.
    Wishing you love, peace, and happiness in the future.

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