Wake Up Wednesday–Moving Beyond the Dysfunctional Family Circus

Wake up calls are not always negative, sometimes they can be positive. Beth wrote me last week to describe how she had grown up being criticized, false accused and often verbally attacked by her family members. It took leaving home and going away to college for her to realize she wasn’t the problem after all.

Her mother used to say, “If everybody else has a problem with you, then you must be the problem,” but this isn’t always true. If everyone in the narcissistic family system has a problem with you, it might be a case of you not being like the others–perhaps your family members have a problem with you because they can’t deal with the truth, or maybe the narcissist just wants to bully someone.

Like the words in that Garbage song many of us ACoNs are so fond of–“We are NOT your (their) kind of people.”

We are not your kind of people
Don’t want to be like you
Ever in our lives

We are not your kind of people
Won’t be cast as demons
Creatures you despise

We are extraordinary people*

When Beth went away to school, she was surprised to discover a world full of nice people who don’t think of her as a problem. What happened? Like many people growing up with narcissistic parents, Beth had been emotionally abused for so long, she didn’t know the truth about herself. If she had listened to her narc mother’s advice to stay at home while going to college, she might still be feeling lonely and bad about herself. Beth realizes now that she’s a nice person who deserves to fill her life with thoughtful and kind people like herself.

Similar emotional abuse might be happening to you. This is a good time to wake up and ask yourself have I been emotionally abused by the narc and his flying monkeys? How far have you moved beyond your dysfunctional family circle?

Wake up to the fact that if the narc and flying monkeys hate you, that’s a good sign that you don’t belong with them. Try to widen your circles so you can fill your life with other extraordinary people like yourself.

*Not Your Kind of People lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

9 Replies to “Wake Up Wednesday–Moving Beyond the Dysfunctional Family Circus”

  1. Wonderful post! ❤ Yes, have experienced that too. First time out of my family's geographical circle of influence was when I got my first salaried job four hours from them. And nobody had a problem with me! And people were so nice to me! Total revelation. Just like living on my own for the first time, closing the door behind me and marvelling at the peace and quiet: "Oh, nobody is yelling! Nobody is swearing! Nobody is calling me or anyone else names!" That felt so cosy and comfortable! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, this is the important message here, “Wake up to the fact that if the narc and flying monkeys hate you, that’s a good sign that you don’t belong with them. Try to widen your circles so you can fill your life with other extraordinary people like yourself.” Get away as fast as you can. There is the tendency to hang around thinking they’ll change. It may but its not our job it’s theirs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi USAThroughOurEyes,

    This is why traveling is such a joy! We never know who you might meet that is fun and kind and interesting. It certainly enhances our circles doesn’t it?

    And no, we cannot wait for them to change, because chances our pretty low on that account.

    Happy travels!


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Cherilyn,

    An afterthought: From my family’s perspective, I would be as bad as them, because I at times yelled back, and I usually raised my voice and continued my sentence when they were trying to cut me off. They would say, “You yell too, you’re no better than us.”

    But here’s the thing: When I was out of the room, or still in bed early in the morning, they still yelled at each other and name-called and bullied. They didn’t need me for that. And of course they still yell and name-call when I’m not there. (And they would have done the same thing before I was even born, and indeed I remember that from my earliest memories, and now looking back at the few photos that exist of my early childhood, I look at the body language and see a child who is frightened of people – hiding behind others, head down, sad expression; and I remember how much I liked my teddy bear.)

    But funnily, I don’t yell and name-call in my home with my husband, and neither does he. And I’ve not yelled or name-called anytime I’ve shared house in the past either.

    Seems so obvious, but it took time to see it; gas-lighting and lies make quite a fog!

    Your website made a real difference to me when I started seeing things for what they were a few years ago. You’re an international treasure, Cherilyn! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Andrea,

    Yes, you said it, “Gaslighting and lies make quite a fog!” It’s easy for the narcissist and the flying monkeys to pick a scapegoat and blame them, but the truth shows up when we leave the family circus and find our peace with other people. It’s really strange how a whole family can make themselves feel better by talking about the scapegoat. We are the ones who got away and we are not alone.

    May you always have freedom and peace!



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