Those of us with histories of dysfunctional relationships really suck at math.
Oh, I know, some of you will protest. You’re smart, geniuses in some cases. Some of you may have advanced degrees, even in professions that require a solid handle on mathematics. I get that. But when it comes to applying some principles of the lowly equation to everyday living, we are truly clueless.
Too often we forget that we need to factor ourselves into the equation of life.
We give too much of our time, talent or treasure without considering that unless we have an effective way to replenish those resources or “recharge our batteries”, we can be depleted.
Sometimes the equation is balanced, but we are convinced by others that it is not, and we then go out to try to fix it, which in turns sets things out of whack. We are smart, but are told that we would be prettier if we lost a few pounds. Where we don’t “measure up”, according to the media, our parents, or our partners, the amazing things we do have going for us are often eclipsed. We may have enough money to live on well, yet we are pressured every day to spend more of what we earn on things we truly don’t need, until sometimes we find ourselves in debt. These perceived deficits are not necessarily real or meaningful, yet they influence our emotions and behavior.
Sometimes when people’s behavior and words just “don’t add up” we also push aside the red flags and doubts and uneasiness. As many will attest, who’ve encountered such anomalies and been burned due to letting these inconsistencies slide, we can find ourselves depleted in health, finances, and ability to trust, just to name a few, because we allow ourselves to be taken advantage of without the other person giving back as anticipated. We just as often deceive ourselves as we are deceived.
Too often we allow ourselves to be mislead into believing we are needed, when in fact our need to be needed is being exploited.
Too often we forget that we must take care of ourselves in order to effectively take care of those who really need us. The airlines, ironically, have this one right!
As adult children of narcissists, and even just as women (though this happens to men as well), we are taught that we should always put others’ needs before our own, or that our own needs do not matter at all. That to think in our own self-interest is wrong, immoral, sinful. Yet we fail to see the sometimes blatant self-interest of those who take from us.
After long-term exposure to toxic malignant narcissism, it is hard to internalize that there is such a thing as healthy self-interest, healthy narcissism. But it is essential to change and to healing to understand that we matter, even if only to ourselves.
Factor yourself back into your own life and decisions. Putting yourself back into your own equation is essential to taking your power back.