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How My Family Broke Me, a Story About Surviving a Narcissistic Family

Not all families are like the Tanners.

I’m angry. Bottled up frustration and anger is not healthy for anyone, even those involved. One person can only be pushed so far before they crack and the flood gates open.

I grew up in a narcissistic, toxic, and selfish household, where you were expected to sink or swim. I endured years of emotional abuse at the hands of the people who were supposed to care for me and about me. These were the people that were supposed to lift me up, encourage me, push me to do great thing. Instead, I was ridiculed, gossiped about, told I would never amount to anything.

I was never taught basic life skills; how to survive on my own, rent an apartment, balance a checkbook, shop for food, etc. So I stayed with my parents until I was 37. I got married and my husband lived with us, and that’s where the abuse got significantly worse. My husband has Aspergers and sometimes you have to repeat yourself to him because he didn’t hear you the first time. My family consisted of a bunch of cowards who couldn’t talk to him like a regular human being and instead came to me to “Talk to him.” Although I told them countless times he’s more than capable of being treated like a normal human being.

The house was overcrowded. It was a two-family home and there were 6 people on one floor. I say six because the number used to be five until my mother let my uncle move in. It was supposed to be a temporary thing, two to three months tops, but after five years he’s still there. Tensions within the house reached a boiling point, with everyone yelling and fighting, not enough food to go around, one bathroom for six people, etc. My mother treated myself, my husband, and my nephew like her personal servants and making us do everything for her. Her excuse? “I work.” Granted yes, I can see where she’s coming from, to an extent... But even on her days off, she had grown into such laziness that she sometimes refused to take care of her own husband who was a stroke survivor and made others do it for her.

My husband and I were finally able to escape the toxic hell on April 6, 2018 when we got into state housing—nine whole years of unprecedented hell. It was a sigh of relief finally. I could begin to heal from the abuse I had endured all my life. I have contemplated cutting off half my family due to the trauma that has been inflicted on my psyche, but seeing as how even at this very moment I’m struggling, sometimes you need to deal with certain evil in order to survive. There have been times where we are running low on food and the assistance we receive each month is depleted, and I’ve had to reach out to my mother for help. This doesn’t come without its gripes also. She often complains, “She has bills too.” One time, she even went so far as to accuse me of making people feel bad for me when I posted a picture of my bare fridge on Facebook. One thing that she forgets is, once upon a time she and my father were struggling when they were starting out, as was my sister when she was on her own. Not everyone that ventures into the great unknown of adulting succeed overnight. It takes patience, crying, anger, and finally figuring out how stuff works to succeed in surviving.

Slowly, I’m starting to heal. There are times where I get so sad, so angry that my family is this way. I just wish things were different. 

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How My Family Broke Me, a Story About Surviving a Narcissistic Family
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