The Untangling Struggle From Narcissistic Webs

“When someone shows you who they are the first time, believe them” Dr. Maya Angelou

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I have been pondering over how to put my thoughts on paper since my last blog post. After a minor writer’s block and discussions with my selected few, I realised that there are certain values and principles which I hold too dear to compromise upon.

My upbringing did not teach me that love is unconditional but rather conditional.In order to feel loved, seen and heard from primary care givers there were conditions such as being obedient without questions asked and completing chores without complaints or even showing a sign of tiredness. A child is not given the freedom of expressing their thoughts or emotions in the cultural environment which I was brought up. One becomes conditioned into seeking love, acceptance and validation by jumping through toxic hoops. Continuously meeting the needs of others while neglecting the self. I had to move away from home to find my emotional freedom and it was far from an easy task. I remember feeling so sad in a lecture about the theory of attachment. I did my research and read anything I could find on attachment, developmental psychology and healing from childhood traumas. I was trying to make sense of how my upbringing shaped my attachment style and why I developed certain emotional detrimental behavioural patterns. What I found and learnt was interesting yet frustrating. I understood and accepted that my attachment style had indeed influenced all my relationships starting with parents, siblings and friends not to mention romantic ones.

Despite this new found knowledge my relationships did not magically become as I hoped it would be and I found myself repeatedly tangled up in narcissistic webs. 

I had become a people pleaser, gave too many second chances where none was deserved and compromised my values out of fear of abandonment. Allowed words to cut deep into my soul that ached for days on end while overlooking red flags. I healed my wounds or so I thought. I only mastered a method of adding layers of dressings until I regained my resilience.

In 2014, I moved back “home” and the once docile people pleasing self was no longer the only self I had become. That self had grown, she had matured into a self-actualised woman, yet compassionate and fair. She soon realised the latter would not be accepted or loved unconditionally because the former self appeared to be the kind that people were used to and expected. When someone can no longer control you, they try to control how other people feel and think about you, by tainting your character in unpleasant ways.

In situations like the above, what one can do is to remain their authentic self at all times. The ones who truly know and appreciate your character will remain close in every way (Your Thrive Tribe). Unfortunately, the experience gave me extra deep cut wounds from unexpected people and it was emotionally excruciating. Oh my fro it did hurt!. I made a choice of detaching myself from situations because attachments hurt.The question is why did it hurt so bad? Why did I allow words to hurt me? Words of affirmation is the language to my soul so it made some sense. What role did I play in this mess? I simply did not live up to the expectations of those around me or allowed myself to be forced into a role/s which I had no capacity for emotionally, financially or practically. It amazes me how much those closest to you find ways to hurt you and sleep well at night. Be mindful of passive aggression and silent treatments. The deflection of blames and projection of behaviours in attempt to lure you back into square one. The lengths a narcissist will go to cleverly paint you as the worst of the worst can be daunting. However, once you flip the script, you take back your power, and your voice, your self-worth, and your strength. The narcissist then crumbles, their mind-games becomes weak and their gaslighting techniques does not light you up! Pun intended. You disengage and they become enraged, you move forward and they remain behind inside the web of lies they have constructed. This is a battle, a draining one but it is possible to untangle yourself free.

I decide and choose to believe that I am enough and I will be enough. The process of growth births new fruits and its process requires sunlight, not darkness. It also requires clean water, oxygen and cultivated soil. Therefore, anything that stunts this process must be eliminated. This process of growth naturally provides both sweet and bitter fruits. I face my own fears. I am learning to embrace them and not to become overly consumed by them. I am learning to allow anything or anyone that disturbs my peace and my sanity to simply float away. People grow and changes happen. Remember to believe their actions and not their words. I am also very aware when that docile people pleasing self comes to visit, usually around when days become weary and uncertain. She yearns for love and acceptance and willingly allows relationships to form hoping that everything will be OKAY this time. She falls flat to the ground with no one there to catch her. She has now learnt to catch herself by holding onto her faith with certainty that these lessons are her life lessons. 

Certainly, the Creator shall not burden her with more than she can bear.This motivates her to keep on going, one breath at time and one emotion at a time ebbing and flowing. There is a reward for her patience. What she needs is to be understood however, she has ceased explaining her needs to those committed to misunderstanding her, her worth and the magic within her does not depend on what people think or say about her. This has become her blueprint, her method of untangling from narcissistic webs.


Love & Light, Sprinkled with Some Magic,




Picture/Getty Images

Ummi Fulani

Sosionom/Social Worker & Psychologies Ambassador, Child & Adolescent Mental Health (Oslo University Hospital)