Fight, Flight, or Kindness

Growing up with an NPD Abusive parent, my life was full of fight or flight. When I was being beaten (using a belt, usually the buckle side), there was always a point when I would pass my threshold for pain and knew that the beating was nowhere near over. My mother would blackout during here rages, and time did not exist. This is when flight would take over. She would follow, swing the belt buckle wildly as she tracked me. At some point I would end up huddled in the corner covering my head with my arms.

I had a huge growth spurt in 8th grade and found myself towering over her. I remember grabbing her arms out of the air as fists swung towards my face. At that point, I let her know that she would never hit me again, and she did not. I was able to physically stand up for myself, and became a threat to her world. She was not able to take her frustration out on my physically, so she turned all her energy to mental torture, taking the fight out of me, emasculating me, making me vulnerable to predators in the world.

During my 20’s, I found myself living under her roof on three separate occasions. As soon as I was within her walls, she would begin the emotional attacks, accusing me of all sorts of mischief and high crimes against her and the world. This is when flight became my strategy of choice. I would get in my car and drive away, pounding the steering wheel. Shouting ‘FUCKING BITCH!!!!”

Flight became my strategy for dealing with all difficult interactions. I would not stand my ground.

Most of my friends had no idea I lived this way. They had no idea I was emotionally empty. I had no identity.

I treated people kindly, or so I tried. Most of my philosophy of kindness towards others came from a two prong survival strategy:

1) If I am kind to people they will be kind to me,


2) I know what it feels like to be beaten down, and could not live with myself if I was doing this to others.


This became who I am. Kindness is the core of my SELF.

I also learned to stand up for myself along the way.

I now have an internal pitbull reserved for special occasions when I am pushed into that corner and feel I have to cover my head with my arms. Those few people that have come in contact with my internal pit-bull will tell you, it is a scary sight… and they deserve it.

I fire several warning shots before I unleash the dogs.

I try to kill with kindness first.

I try to give chances.

I will not, however, be victimized.


Most of the people I know today, have no clue about my story. All they see is a gentle, kind man, a loving husband and devoted father. THIS is who I am. This is my identity, my self. My legacy.


About ~Drew

I am a survivor of childhood torture. Each day, I put one foot in front of the other, moving forward. To do any less would spell my own destruction. My music/poetry/prose deal with the devastating effect of this kind of abuse on a human being: me. My experiences/thoughts/ideas/misconceptions are exposed here for all to see. Here. I am lain bare, naked, hidden only be the cloak of anonymity.
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4 Responses to Fight, Flight, or Kindness

  1. Oh my goodness I was shaking as I read this, and my heart breaks to learn a little more of what you endured. i am so sorry that happened to you, it should never be. i understand the fight or flight response, i tend to live in flight, but like you when the fight comes out, look out. now i am learning to stand up for myself, but i also need to learn a balance there. i wish this crap never happened to anyone.

  2. Drew, my children’s father is a narcissist; amoung other things. They have suffered so much because of him. Luckily, I got out of the relationship, got custody, and I am trying very hard to mend some of the hurts that they have endured. My son seems to be taking on some of the traits of his father at the moment; and I can only hope he can get to the point that you are, some day. Take care!

    • ~Drew says:

      I am welling up with tears right now. Please find an understanding and compatible counselor for your son. I did not start therapy till I was 32. You can help him now so he can be a loving, kind man in the future. Thank you so much for sharing your story here today!

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