https://innertoxicrelief.com/I was mesmerized while reading Torture or Nurture: A Tale of Growing Up by Janet Christy. Christy has done an incredible job representing two very different lives: one of a child with loving parents as compared to the child of a narcissist and her narcissistic enabler. There were several occasions where I was moved to tears as I read of experiences that so closely mirrored my own childhood. I was quite simply transported back to that very painful time of my life.
As the child of a narcissistic mother, I know all too well what it’s like to have my mother see me as only an extension of herself. I found myself openly weeping when little Ellena, at the tender age of 7-years-old, already understood that she was not allowed to be the center of attention. The story Janet has related is exactly what I experienced growing up.
In another part of the book, poor Ellena hears her mother discussing sending her away. “As she sat in the big chair she felt as if she was growing smaller. She was also having trouble breathing. She wanted to run into the dining room and beg her mother not to send her away. She also wanted to go to her room and never come out again.”
I can’t count the number of times I felt so small and as if I couldn’t breathe. I felt as if I didn’t have the right to live, to be who I was, and to express my own feelings. I never felt welcome in my own home. I didn’t know that wasn’t something that every child feels. I too had a friend like Arialle, whose parents truly loved her and made her feel wanted. It was the experiences of my Arialle that made me finally realize something was wrong with my mother. Janet Christy has quite simply brought my childhood experiences to life in this moving fictional account based on her own life. She has got it exactly right.
If you’re the child of a narcissist or unfortunate enough to have a narcissist in your life, I highly recommend you read this book. It will give you insights you never realized into how this devastating mental condition has affected your life. I know you’ll find it as revealing, inspiring, and moving as I did, and I know it can help you process your feelings. It helped me. As always, I would love to hear your feedback about how you experienced this profound account of two very different lives and how it has helped you. Visit innertoxicrelief.com to contact me and give me your impressions of this incredibly poignant story.
No one should ever have to feel the way little Ellena did, but unfortunately, narcissism is all too common. Christy has developed a wonderful way to process the hurt that comes from a childhood where you were nothing more than an extension of your narcissistic parent, a tool to prop up their self-esteem. Bravo, Janet Christy, and thank you!
Narcissistic Abuse Survivor