I wrote two versions; a long version and a short version. You can choose to read either or both of them. However, you choose to do it, I would like to thank you for taking time to read about me. Just like you, I had many stories that were untold and it is a privilege to be able to share some of them with you.
Back in 2017, I had two choices to make. I either stay alive and see my daughter grow up, or I choose to act on the suicidal thoughts. Many days were spent in haze, unable to make that choice, until one day, I found myself hugging my daughter ‘goodbye’. Something in me screamed at me to go get help, which is what I did.
It was during that journey that I realised how much narcissistic abuse I had endured in my life. I was born into a narcissistic family system. My culture glorified narcissistic behaviours. I kept attracting narcissistic people into my life in close dynamics such as friends, bosses and romantic partners.
At one point, I felt like the damage was unfathomable. However, over time, with consistent actions to heal, my grief, disappointment, trauma and negative core beliefs turned into creativity, empathy, courage and positive beliefs paving the way to a vibrant life.
I am a single mother. My daughter and I live in West Sussex, United Kingdom. We are surrounded by beautiful South Downs and plenty of woodland areas. We can get to beautiful beaches within about a 20 minutes drive. Life is pretty good here.
Thank you for being here. I hope you find the relevant information about me here. If not, you can always give me a call and ask any questions about how I can help you.
Grab a drink and sit down, love. This is a longer version of me. None of us have shorter versions of our lives, especially not when you have endured narcissistic abuse. I am going to reveal what I believe to be relevant information about me. I would like you to read and decide if I am the person who may be able to help you with your crisis in hand. You always have a choice to leave this page or the idea of working with me altogether.
I am going to start by making a confession. I thought about how to articulate my ‘about me’ page a million times. I wrote many versions of this. Each time, I found myself doubting, criticising, feeling ashamed and worrying about what other people might think. I have shared several candid accounts of some of my stories. Some people were inspired and some were moved and some found it ‘too much’. Instead of believing that my story is worth sharing and some people may find it inspiring, I latched on to the ‘too much’ comment and deleted many stories I wanted to share.
This is the impact of narcissistic abuse. To accept our reality wholeheartedly after it being denied for a long time takes practice and skills applied mindfully. The journey of healing is messy at times. It can be exhausting. You may find yourself doubting your decisions and choices. You may find people telling you that you are making things up or you are exaggerating things. There’s little to almost no understanding of the impact of narcissistic abuse in the world, including the world of therapy.
However, over time with support and commitment to healing, our moments of doubts become the moments of courage for us. Our moments of isolation enable us to connect with ourselves deeply. Our authenticity connects us to a new and a vibrant life. The pain we have endured becomes the wisdom that guides us. Our moments of grief become the moment of joy and happiness. Our moments of denial become the moment of acceptance. It gets better every day!
My disrupted childhood:
I can’t describe the rustic town in Sri Lanka that I was born and raised in without a smile on my face. There were streams with crystal clear water, reservoirs covered in lotus flowers, magnificent trees giving shades to us from the scorching sun and a sense of community where we all knew each other, until, the civil war erupted in 1983 followed by political and youth unrest that cost over hundred thousand civilian lives over a period of 30 years.
Distracted by the turmoil in the country, I was numb to what was going on in my own household. As a child, I would do anything to stay away from home. It was chaotic, unpredictable, physically violent and emotionally draining. I don’t remember feeling safe as a child at all. I was trapped between two narcissistic parents' crossfire feeling responsible to be an adult before I was ready to be an adult. Even now, after years of healing, I still can’t watch violent movies. because they look and feel too real.
Often shaming myself for wanting my needs met, I endured many unhealthy relationships. I let friends, family members, work colleagues, romantic partners suck my soul out of me whilst I believed I was being loyal and strong. I never felt that it was right to leave such situations because I had learnt to put up with responsibilities that were not meant to be mine. My validation came from my academic achievements which I am naturally good at. Yet, I never believed that the ability to complete three university degrees and half a dozen other professional qualifications meant that I was capable of creating a life I wanted. Someone else’s voice always controlled my life and my way of coping that control was to build a wall higher and rebel within that wall. Like the Icarus in Greek mythology who flew close to the sun wearing feathers of wax and got burnt, I flew so high wearing the wings of pain, disappointment and fear.
The reality hits me hard:
My daughter came into my life when I was listening to the echoes of my own anger within the walls I had built. Sometimes, we blame ourselves for the choices we make and sometimes, choices come looking for us. Either way, life simply flows. Despite the overwhelm of the trauma we go through, I believe we have a responsibility towards us to give ourselves a better opportunity at life; even if the environment we live in would never encourage that. Because we are worthy of creating a life that we desire.
I almost recreated my childhood for my daughter and I caught myself before it was too late. Since that moment of realisation, I have been spending every second, every breath carving a new path for myself and my daughter.
Healing is not one fit for all:
Many people theorise about healing, what it should look like, what it feels like and what that experience is like, including me. And the point I want to make is that, we have unique and individual work to do based on our individual experiences. No other person reserves the right to dictate how we can embark on that journey. Until I took ownership of my own journey, and I decided to search for the things that worked for me, therapy had become yet another coping mechanism.
When your wings are clipped, your voice is gagged and your dreams are blinded simply because another person doesn’t know how to cope with their own shame and pain, it feels like the epitome of injustice. I feel liberated to be able to let go of that anger of injustice I believed I faced. Justice for me came from my own healing and my ability to provide a consistent and nurturing home for my child.
Is forgiveness the ultimate healing?
I don't really know the answer.
Forgiveness is an organic process of the work you do. It will happen when it happens or it may never happen. I neither invite you to forgive nor I reject the idea if that’s your choice. For me, I didn’t want to buy into the cultural norms of the importance of forgiveness. After all, my ability to forgive kept me in situations longer than it needed to be. In intimate, close relationships, my forgiveness was soon turned into a permission slip to continue abuse by the narcissists.
So, it was a concept that I needed to develop a deeper connection with before I was able to fully let go. It may or may not surprise you to hear that it was easier for me to forgive the perpetrator who sexually abused me at the age of 7 than it was to forgive my parents who failed to protect me from that. I am not even sure if I have forgiven them for all of their actions. However, I know I have made peace with them. The point is, you will have your moment where you are able to forgive when it feels appropriate for you. If you don’t, please don’t carry the weight of unforgiveness on your shoulder.
Despite experiencing travesties of love as a child and as an adult, I learnt to love myself and love my child unconditionally. Instead of passing down habits of betrayal and dishonesty, I learnt to trust myself again. I grew up feeling powerless and helpless and I spend every day consciously creating an environment where my daughter is free from any strings from me or anyone else. My daughter is free to find her own wings and fly high or stay low. She is free to scream out loud who she is or enjoy her own silence. She can dream big or dream small. I know life every day is a reality check. There are moments of ecstasy as well as moments of grief. Isn’t that amazing that there are moments in between as well? And, I am o.k to face it all with a crazy dance in the morning or occasional silent tears in the shower. Sometimes all I need is complete silence. Because, a vibrant life means accepting ourselves with all our flaws, all our truths even when these truths contradicts one another.
Last but not least.....
I would like to leave you with this. We can create our own fairy tales, Gorgeous! Our fairy tales don’t have to end up with a prince riding a horse to save us. We do not need saving. We are worth the way we are. Our fairy tales could be where we go travelling with our children. It could be where we explore ourselves further. It could be where we start a new venture or find a new partner. It could be all of it. You always have a choice in your own script. Sending you lots of love and healing vibes.