Since recently discovering that what I have endured for over 54 years of my life was referred to as narcissistic abuse, I have tried to find a song that relates to my experience. As you can suspect, there are not many songs because words are unable to fully describe exactly how a victim or survivor of narcissistic abuse feels, right? To my surprise, I found a song, but its not the lyrics that attracted me to it as much as the title. The name of the song is Magnet and Steel, by Walter Egan. I am an adopted child of narcissistic parents, and possibly even a borderline and histrionic mother. My entire childhood I was told that I should be “seen and not heard”. My feelings did not matter, I was not allowed to speak unless spoken to. Was never asked how my school day went. My friends were afraid to come over my house. When my dad called for me I was to answer “yes daddy” instead of the more nonchalant, child-friendly “huh” or “what.” I was to go to him and see what he wanted even if he was going to send me back to the kitchen where I had just come from when he summonsed me.<
A child of narcissistic parents has a very high tolerance for emotional pain. We are able to suppress our feelings and emotion without even recognizing we are doing so. Suppression feels normal and comes natural to us. What also comes natural to us is attracting narcissistic personality disordered people into our lives like MAGNETS attract metal. Looking back, I can see that most of my relationships have been with narcissists and I have repeated my childhood trauma with each and everyone one of them.
The magnetic field that attracts these toxic relationships is invisible to us but is responsible for the force that pulls them in. Our “magnetic force” can be the term used for our lack of personal boundaries, damaged self-esteem, and our selflessness and willingness to help others. It is the term for wanting the narcissist to love us for who we are and not who or what they want us to be. Magnetic force is synonymous for being okay with being put down or made fun of. It is also the term for being managed down to the point of feeling wrong to having expectations of or family and friends. We ignore the red flags that are obvious to others, but unrecognizable by us. Those are our magnetic “properties”. While magnets attract steel we are attracting toxic friends and partners.
Our toxic family members, friends and partners are STEALING our lives from us. Personality disordered mothers steal childhoods. They steal the feeling of being nurtured, supported and loved unconditionally. Narcissists erode our self-esteem just like metal erodes and gets pitted over years of exposure to toxic elements. Narcissists steal the benefits of long term emotional investments, as well as the benefits from our investments of time, energy and sacrifice, all in the name of love. Narcissists do not recognize reciprocity. Narcissists steal our friends, family and support systems via manufactured lies and smear campaigns. Narcissists steal all that is good in us. I believe that we can change our magnetic pull by re-directing the same determination that allowed us to stay in toxic relationships into developing a new set of magnetic properties which might look like these:
- I will no longer allow what others do to control me or how I feel
- I will cease living through someone else
- I will find healthy ways to meet my needs, rather than expect someone else to do it
- I will take advantage of opportunities to grow emotionally, physically and spiritually
- I will treasure my own value
- I will educate myself on personality traits that feel toxic
- I will not tolerate name-calling or being put down
- I will be alert to and trust my gut feelings instead of being told how to feel
- I will remain proud of my accomplishments despite negative comments from others
- I will have a zero-tolerance for physical violence
- I will execute my right to express how I feel and what thoughts I have
- I will execute my right to have a loving, honest and safe relationship.
You see, by changing our magnetic pull, our future is wide open and the possibilities are endless.