On Narcissism and Unconditional Love

love in the homeI see how you wince when I come running out of my bedroom with my braids flying, wearing socks that don’t match.  I’m not being lazy, you know, I like my socks this way.

I notice the way you won’t let me talk when others are around.  I know you are afraid that I could say something that will make you look bad.

Do you think I don’t see you roll your eyes when I show you my drawings?  There are lots of ways to draw trees, you know.  Your way isn’t the only way to draw a tree.

Do you think that I don’t notice the difference between how you treat me and the way you treat an adult when they walk in the room?  How come you are all nice to the grown up and you are impatient with me?

 

Do you even know that my feelings are hurt when you say we’re going to have a visit, but you go skiing and don’t invite me?  How couldn’t you know that?  Wouldn’t that hurt your feelings if someone did that to you?

I guess you love your girlfriend more than me cuz when she’s mean to me, you don’t even say anything to her.

I’m not stupid you know.  I can see how you smile when I wear the clothes you bought me, even though I would never pick them out for myself.

I see how you brag to someone when I do the things you want me to do, but how you can’t think of anything nice to say when I do the stuff that I love.

 

I know what it’s like to feel like an inconvenience – that’s what it feels like when I ask you another question and you make that loud sighing sound and you look at me like I’m stupid.  I thought I was supposed to ask you all my questions.

 

 

How come it mostly feels like you don’t even want me around?

How come I feel like you’d rather be doing something else than spend time with me?

Why did you and mom even have me if you don’t want to be with me?

 

 

When I grow up, I’m going to have kids and I’m going to love them.  I’m going to let them wear whatever socks they want.  I’m going to tell them they draw the most beautiful trees in the world, because they will.  They will know – down to the tips of their toes – that they are the best part of my day.

I’m going to try my hardest to make sure my kids know they are important to me.

 

Thanks, dad, for showing me how not to love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 comments

  1. You’ve simply and sadly captured what many young children think to themselves (or say to me and my brethren during therapy) when they’re pressured into acting, feeling and thinking in a way that contradicts their wants, needs and feelings.

    I bet your girl is going to have a helluva fun time wearing zany socks as an adult…And the trees–yeah, there’s about a million+ species out there.

    Lovely post as always, Jesse.

  2. Years before I knew my ex was a narcissist, he said he didn’t believe in unconditional love. I didn’t know what to make of it at the time. It sounded too preposterous. It took me years to realise he really meant it.

  3. Linda,

    In my wildest imaginings, I let myself think about what our world would be like if love was always unconditional.

    Thank you.

  4. Hi Meg,

    That reminds me of a Maya Angelou quote:

    When people show you who they are, believe them, the first time.

    Easy for me to say! Ha.

    But if I’d paid attention the first time he showed me who he was, Will and Jen wouldn’t have graced my life.

  5. Wow–I am saddened by this and yet hopeful because our children are so capable of seeing what is genuine and good. I am sorry for the pain though. We are living with it each day, BUT we are headed in the right direction of healing. That is the best part.

    Thinking of you and yours always . . . : ) Hugs

  6. Lynn,

    Yay! I think the hardest part might be taking that first step to head in the right direction. After that it’s one steady, plodding, sometimes backward step in that direction.

    Keep up the good/hard work, Lynn. Your kids are so worth it.

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