Not white hot rage. Not this year.
Tonight was my family’s Christmas party. There were a few people missing this year, my baby boy for one. He had to work. Zach and his girlfriend of two years split a few months ago, so he was solo. One of my cousins had a baby since last Christmas and it was nice to get my baby fix. I passed the baby off to Middle Sister when she got fussy. The baby, not Middle Sister.
Last year, after my family Christmas party, I wrote about an incident with my narcissistic father. I behaved badly in a reaction to him behaving badly.
I thought about last year on our drive down to my aunt’s house and knew that his behavior would repeat itself. He was bound to act the same way and I could either react, or I could ignore it.
I decided to ignore it. He did behave the same way. Same old dad. Fuck everyone else…just make sure he gets what he wants.
This year was different. I didn’t get angry. I mean, I didn’t really talk to my father at all, but that is nothing new. Not getting angry when he behaves selfishly? That is new.
I have been writing less and less about narcissism and how being raised my a narcissist has both shaped me and damaged me. I don’t think it means that I’m cured, but I have found glimpses of peace that has alluded me for years. I know who I am. I know why I deal with anxiety and depression. I don’t know if writing about parental narcissism made a the difference or if my perception would have shifted no matter what.
Only that isn’t really the truth. Writing about it did help. It helped a lot. Learning about narcissistic personality disorder wasn’t easy or fun. It was painful and eye opening and it felt very much like pulling a scab off a wound that wasn’t healed yet. Then I started writing about it and discovered this huge community of people who understood exactly what I was talking about. It was amazing.
I don’t write about it much anymore because I don’t need to.
My anxiety has been off the charts lately. I still have a lot of work to do.
But there has been progress. I need to remember to be proud of the progress I’ve made. I have to remember to be grateful for the elusive sense of peace that I’ve been getting glimpses of.
The Christmas party was better this year. Mostly, it was exactly the same party as it always is. People even sit in the same spots. We exchange the same gifts. Kids run around and make a fuck ton of kid noise. Same as always. But it was still better.
It was better because I am different.
Just because I’ve been damaged doesn’t mean that is all of who I am. Just because I still have anxiety and depression doesn’t mean that my life is bad. I have a good life. I have a great family.
I hope that all of you get a glimpse of that peace. That is what I want for your Christmas present. With no white hot rage.