So I recently e-stumbled across the blog of another adult child of a narcissist (ACON) and was reminded how amazing it is when someone else GETS IT. Like, for real gets it. Because when your parent is *literally* fucking incapable of giving a shit about your relationship, most people are not able to wrap their heads around that. Nope, talking to her won’t fix it, she doesn’t need a second (really, a four hundred and second) chance to understand where I am coming from, I don’t need to use therapy phrases about what *I need* and how *I feel* because in a narcissist’s mind there is no *other*. We are all just pawns in their story-game. Yes, even their children. Even their parents and grandparents, and grand kids. For my mom especially, it’s all about how she can spin a situation to martyr herself in someone’s else’s eyes.
How much pity can she collect (while appearing not to want pity) because her kids don’t talk to her? Let me tell you, when she calls people asking if we’re alright, saying she’s worried about our health or safety because our abusive husbands won’t let us talk to her and are turning us against her, keeping her from knowing that her daughters and grandsons are safe… it’s a lot of pity. A lot of “Oh you’re so strong, that is so terrible, how DO you handle that?” pity. And then a lot of people who think they know what’s going on suddenly nose into our lives with their concern that we are being controlled and manipulated, and that we just need to love our mother and understand her concern…. We call these people flying monkeys.
My sister and I have done a job trying NOT to drag outsiders in, even when our mom has. We don’t answer their erroneous concern with much more than “There is far more to it than you know, kindly mind your business.” It’s getting harder, now that my sister has finally understood more fully the extent of our mom’s particular brand of crazy sauce and in response limited her contact. I limited contact a long time ago, with occasional periods of no contact. Actually switch that–I usually don’t talk to her (email, FB, etc) at all. When I try, I just get burned. Over and over. Anyway I am half-considering an open letter on FaceBook at this point to ask my family/friends not to talk to her about me should she come calling, and to assure them that Hubby is not controlling or abusive and all lack of contact is my own decision for the mental well-being of me and my kids.
I could keep going. But I’ll leave that there for now.
Here’s the blog I found, along with some personal responses dredged up by finding a little “community”
I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO HAS NO IDEA WHAT TO DO WITH MY LIFE!! While I’ve known about Narcissism and that it’s my mom’s issue for years now, there is still so much I haven’t put together. For me growing up, it was pretty much fact that you can not be whatever you want. Dreams/Goals/Wishes are pointless because you will ultimately end up a nameless, faceless worker bee doing something really unimportant, unappreciated, and not very well paid. This may be why I have a degree I’ve used all of NEVER in ten years and “by trade” I’m a receptionist. Shoot me.
Intimacy? Loveability? Also lies, if people know the truth about me they will hate my guts. Check. [I remember being constantly amazed by unprompted shows of affection from my friend’s parents… like really? That’s a thing? But, but, they talk to me all the time, they must not be paying close attention.]
Narc traits? Yep. I struggle daily with how my behavior(or anger…?) seems to be aimed toward making my kids feel always wrong. It sucks. I’m trying. It sucks.
I don’t know about being able to pick out another Narc in the general population, but I haven’t really thought about it. I guess, yeah, I have seen people with whom I just stopped interacting altogether because it’s effing pointless and frustrating and so not worth my energy. I do know that close friends have pointed out that it’s clear I want everyone to like me. It doesn’t seem I do it by Narc means, so that’s good, but I always do assume I am starting from a position of having to prove I’m good people.
OK Next one:
Expert at nothing? Yep. Even though many would disagree about that in some areas, it always baffles me completely that anyone might think I know anything about anything. But when they do think that, I have to run with it because I can’t let them down… then they might not like me.
It’s funny, I was always in trouble as a kid for DUMB shit. I was grounded once for two weeks because someone stole my bike. Let me be clear, it was not me and the bike was on my front porch (not like, left at the park or something), but I was still grounded. It didn’t occur to me until I read that post up there that this is exactly why I *always* think Hubby is mad at me for something–even when he is only “upset” (read: not his usual animated self) because he’s wiped out tired or having a rough week at work. I am convinced all the time that I’ve done something to piss him off, (this made for a REALLY stable early marriage, let me just say).
On the flip side, I take the independent realizations far sometimes (“I am a grown ass woman and I do NOT want to clean the fucking kitchen. So screw it. I will take a nap instead. Fuck that pile of dishes right in the face.”)
Then this one:
I have a whole host of “hobbies” that I get into and then quit cold turkey because suddenly I’ve put all this pressure on myself to “be” something. And committing to being something is apparently bad for my brain. Still don’t have that one quite worked out.
And finally (for now) this:
My mom, the dream killer, would brag the shit out my sister and I: my amazing grades, her athletic skills, my volunteerism, her singing. If anyone around would chalk that up to her amazing and supportive parental nurturing talents she was soak that shit up with a towel and wring it out over her head to revel in it some more. But when no body was looking? Sports are pointless (now we’re both fat asses, figures. that bitch), entertaining professionally is less than one-in-million and thus stupid as a pipe-dream even, she bitched every time she took me to my (monthly) animal shelter club meetings, and she had no idea what kind of classes I was taking (charter high school, so learning was very self-directed) nor did she care. Bonus: if we ever expressed interest in something outside of these neat little display boxes she had us in (like the two years I played softball, or the other two I swing-danced, or the years I sang in the school [garage] band, took guitar lessons, did theater, etc. etc.) We were even more actively sabotaged or otherwise completely ignored in these pursuits. Case in point: Sis played basketball three years and we were at every game and Sis never missed practice even if it meant my mom had to drive the carpool that day (though BOY did we hear the bitching about that when everyone was gone). I played softball two years. If I couldn’t catch a ride with my friend (who had 6 siblings, so seat belts were at a premium) I couldn’t make it to that practice or game. My family only came to one game and mom didn’t even pretend to care while she was there. You can probably tell my sister was the golden child (a common phenomena in a Narc’s house) although there were plenty of things screwed up for her, too. I’m just less familiar with those.
Alright, I dunno what to say at the end here, except that it feels helpful to put it out there and process some shit. Without committing to anything I’ll say I will probably do more as more comes up, either from the Rubber Shoes blog, or other research, or real time IRL drama 🙂