About the Author: Revital Shiri-Horowitz, is an author, poet and blogger. She was born and raised in Israel. Shiri-Horowitz earned a B.A. and M.A. in Geography and Hebrew Literature from Tel Aviv and Haifa Universities. Shiri-Horowitz publishes her books both in English and in Hebrew. “Daughters of Iraq” (2011) earned an award from “The Jewish Iraqi Heritage Center” in Israel. The book tells the female story of Jewish life in Iraq and immigration to Israel in the early fifties, after Israel was established in 1948. “Hope to See You Soon” (2014), is a women immigrant story, always divided between two homelands. Her new book, It`s Just Your Imagination speaks about her personal journey of growing up with a narcissistic mother. The book won a “Pinnacle Book Achievement Award” in the Self-Help category. Shiri-Horowitz lives in the Seattle area and still dreams in Hebrew.
Growing up with a narcissistic mother – Insights of my personal journey
Only at the age of forty-eight I came to learn “what was wrong with me all those years”. My mom came for a couple of weeks from Israel to visit my kids, my husband and me, and acted out like she always did. But this time something happened to me; I could no longer look at her the same way as before. I saw her actions that included lying, manipulating, and trying to get her way no matter what the cost to people around her. I saw her real self, which provoked lots of childhood flashbacks and wounds. I found myself crying for hours, as my heart broke. I just could not understand how a mother who is supposed to treat her daughter with love behaves this way; I was a total mess!
My husband found a therapist and dragged me to see her. It only took a few minutes, for her to say: “Look, it is not really you, it is your mother… She is a narcissist, and you were raised by a narcissistic mother”. I did not quite understand what she meant, so she gave me a few articles and a couple of books to read and sent me home. It has been a long five years since then - of understanding and healing myself - and during that process I wrote a book called It`s Just Your Imagination, something my mom used to tell me whenever I confronted her about a lie she just told, about things I saw she did, and she did not like what I had to say about them: “I did not say that. It`s just your imagination”, she would say to me. When you are being told again and again that everything is “Just your imagination” it makes you doubt yourself all the time. Maybe I did not really see what I saw, or hear what I heard, after all.
This life changing journey I went through was not easy. Understanding you were raised by a narcissistic mother means that you were never loved by your own mother. While learning and understanding is super important in such a journey, it is only the first step in your journey. Healing the heart and moving on takes time and energy. There was a huge gap between the mind and the heart that needed to heal. “It`s Just Your Imagination” speaks about my process of learning, and understanding What it is, how it feels, mourning the childhood I never had, and becoming a much stronger person. I promised myself I will always do my best to help others, as this is my mission.
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