You’ll never be tall enough
That’s what my dad said to me when I told him I want to become professional basketball player. I was still a child. Like 10 give or take. And I was starting to practice and take shots. I spent my days in the schoolyard throwing shots. I read an article about someone called the iceman and he talked about throwing a certain amount of shots a day so I started doing the same. I didn’t have a way of consciously knowing this yet but basketball was becoming a refuge for me. A way to get away from the abuse before I found music. One day I made the mistake of telling my dad my dream. “You’ll never be tall enough” he said without a beat and my dream was over just like that.
It became a humorous story later on. I could tell it even in front of him provided the situation sorta pumped him up. Which I didn’t consciously (all the way ) always know I was doing. But in recovery you look back and see how you placated the narcs all the time. It’s like that or else and after a time of being subsumed in their reality you just do it like breathing. It’s automatic.
I had become a successful musician so there was happy ending to the “humorous” story of bad parenting or abuse. I could tell it if I framed it as it was actually helpful in the end. Once my dream shifted to show biz my father tried to be helpful by offering and with sincerity plastic surgery to ten year old to fix my face. But that’s a story for another day. I don’t really want to write a laundry list of the horrors I faced being raised in a narcissistic household but recovery does mean you have to go back and deal with a few things. Writing is my therapy. So I do this here. I do this now and then I go and enjoy my own mind. My own potential and think of other things. This provides me more space to do just that. I recommend writing. Boxing and writing. Boxing and writing. Bike riding and running. Eating well and smoking some herb. And then writing and boxing. It’s fun. I’m laughing.
“You never be tall enough. ”
It’s wild how as you unconsciously bend the story even of their awful behavior to pump them up in some way that the story starts shifting in your mind. Our words are very powerful. If narcs don’t know this consciously they certainly do subconsciously. In fact I’ve been a writer and professional one for over twenty years. I’m known to be good with words and I think that I am and sorta always have been. But there’s a difference between being good with words and being sensitive about their power. I’d say I was good with words but insensitive about their power. Which makes a ton of sense for those of us raised this way. You could even say building resistance to words or becoming desensitized to what they actually do is paramount to our survival. In learning about narc abuse and then observing it as I went thru the process of no contact. I saw the way they use words. How they don’t always do it on the surface. Some are quite adept at these cutting put downs said under the breath and maybe in the context of humor or mocking tone. But research shows that these cutting remarks are actually silver bullets aimed at your particular psychological make up. For you and for the table it’s off hand remark that is barely heard sometimes placed in between something else that’s being said. If you bring it up (which you won’t unless you begin to recover) they will mock you for being too sensitive or say they were kidding. But the bullet got fired and the target got hit.
Now that I understand how this disease operates. I understand the conscience intent behind my father saying “you’ll never be tall enough”. You’ll never be enough is the central message narcs promote in your mind. If you’ve been raised in house like this I’m sure you have many examples yourself. I could go on and on but it’s enough to remember a bit. To meditate on it. To remind yourself that not only are you already tall enough. You’ll always be tall enough. And in fact it scares them. Just how tall you are.
Side note I grew up to be 6′ 5
Fucking goddamn tall enough.