Why Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse Feel They Don’t Deserve Nice Things

Written by Angela Atkinson

Originally Posted Nov. 12, 2009

“We cannot achieve more in life than what we believe in our heart of hearts we deserve to have.” ~ James R. Ball

Just the other day, after a minor plumbing incident, I went to the hardware store to pick up a new faucet. As I looked over the merchandise and carefully considered my choices, I instinctively looked for the cheapest and most basic option.

Now, understand, what I really wanted was a shiny and pretty candy-cane shaped faucet with an assortment of fancy handles to choose from. Still, a part of me (maybe the part that still thinks I’m 22 and broke as a joke) kept telling me no, all I deserved was the basic functional faucet. And, that evil little part of me insisted, I didn’t even REALLY deserve that. Maybe if I’d taken better care of the old one, it wouldn’t have broken in the first place.

Well, after standing there arguing with myself for a few minutes, I realized that I deserve the faucet I want in my kitchen. I can afford it, and it will last longer than the cheap piece of crap I’ve bought three times in the last six years. And, let me repeat, I deserve it. I’m worth it. It’s a freaking faucet, for goodness’ sake.

So I did it. I bought the pretty faucet, and I brought it home and helped my husband install it.

Let me tell you, every time I go into that kitchen, get myself a glass of water–make coffee–or even do dishes (gasp!), every time, that shiny faucet makes me remember that I’m fabulous and that I deserve the things I want in my life. And I smile to myself.

So guess what? Those few extra bucks were an investment–in myself. Not just because I did something nice for myself, and not just because of its silvery awesomeness. It was an investment in myself because, without realizing it, I’ve given myself a physical reminder to affirm my self worth several times a day.

I didn’t always know I deserved nice things.

Unfortunately, it gets far more serious than faucets, folks. Growing up in a toxic family situation, I was taught that I did not deserve the “good things.” And even when I’d worked to earn the money I needed to have the good things, somehow I felt guilty for buying the things I wanted. The mindset of lack was ingrained in me from early childhood. It wasn’t until I met my current husband, who inadvertently taught me I deserved to have nice things.

My point? When we’ve been raised by toxic people and then dealt with narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships, we can have a serious case of diminished self-worth, to put it mildly. And nearly always, our feelings of inadequacy can be detrimental to our lives, including our physical and mental health and overall well-being.

My challenge to you today is to do something nice for yourself. Maybe try something you don’t normally do because you don’t feel like you’re worth it. Get a massage, read a new book, take a candle-lit bubble bath – whatever turns you on. Just be sure that while you enjoy your gift to yourself, you remind yourself that you deserve it. Love yourself. You’re worth it!

If you are struggling to end or get over a relationship with a narcissist, you’ve come to the right place. Start your recovery here.

Not sure? Take this toxic relationship self-assessment and find out if you are dealing with a narcissist in a toxic relationship. 

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