Dec
05

Understanding Narcissism and the root of Abusive Behaviour

By

narcissistic mothers; knowing the diagnosis does not alter the damageWhen a shark bites the damage needs to be attended to and then that damage needs to heal. The fact that something may have been wrong with the shark doesn’t assist in healing that damage nor does it change the facts about that damage.  

Many of us come up with the term “narcissism” when we look into our family history and conclude that our mothers had narcissistic personality disorder.  Sometimes it is the father that fits the description. The diagnosis of Narcissism seems to answer so many mysteries and questions.

At first, realizing that my Mother had the symptoms and all the signs of narcissism I was relieved that I finally realized and even understood what was wrong with her. I felt like I had finally found the answer. I had this kind of “OH NOW I UNDERSTAND” feeling. But the more I thought about it, I wasn’t any farther ahead knowing that she fit the description of being a narcissistic mother.  

She also suffers from depression and is on medication for that too. But that knowledge also didn’t help me overcome the damage that has been caused to ME because the damage is there regardless of what is wrong with her. 

My father is dissociated. He seems disconnected from reality and as he ages he lives in his own little world more and more.  He was passive and non violent but because he was dissociated and emotionally unavailable, there were consequences for me as his daughter. I got the message that I didn’t matter to him.  

Having an answer or a diagnosis for the people who caused so much damage with their neglect and carelessness in my life, did not actually help me to proceed on my recovery journey even though it can be another little piece in the puzzle we are trying to solve as survivors.

All my life I had tried to understand my mother and father.

Why was my mother so self centered? Why was everything about her? Why did she have so much depression? Why did she spend money on herself and leave me fending for myself? Why did she humiliate me in public? What is wrong with me? And at the bottom of all those unspoken questions, I thought it was because something was wrong or lacking in me; that I was a big disappointment and that if I was a better daughter, then she would not have to be selfish with her love. I tried to find the way to “deserve her love.” 

Realizing that my mother has all the symptoms for the diagnosis of Narcissism at first allowed me to believe that her ill regard for me was about the Narcissistic personality disorder, but that knowledge didn’t help for long.  Pretty soon I realized that my mother did not treat everyone the way she treated me.  She was popular in her friend group.  She was much less self centered with her boyfriends and with her co-workers.  She did not treat other people the way that she treated me which helped me determine that she could actually control her behaviour.  And if she could hide it from others… then was it really a disorder? Did she really have narcissistic personality disorder if she only seemed to target it at a few select people?

I decided that perhaps my mother had specifically the “narcissistic mother” disorder which would only affect the way that she was with her children. But the more I thought about that, it didn’t really fit either. She didn’t seem to do the same things to my brothers that she did to me or even have the expectations from them that she had from me and although I am in no way saying that I was the most picked on of the children in my family when I look at the details of this whole picture, the fact remains that my mother could control her behaviour.  People with disorders can’t really help it. 

Thinking about it that way, I was back to square one.  Why me? Although learning about narcissism and other diagnosis’s and realizing which ones my parents may have had, it turned out that only a small piece of that huge puzzle was solved for me. 

It seemed as though my struggle for finding emotional healing went round and round for many years as I sought the solution to the mysteries, until I realized a few key things;

~ I had to realize that there was damage done to me and acknowledging that damage was the first step in my emotional and personal healing.

~ I realized that I HAD to face the pain that damage caused in order to validate myself where I had never been validated before. In a way it was like giving myself permission to be right and to be alive. I began to embrace my own value for the first time ever.

Covering up for my parents by excusing damage they had contributed to had kept me in the spin of mental illness for many years.  My loyalty to them was based on my fear of further rejection and on my belief that they would “be there for me and love me” if I could finally figure out how to be acceptable in their eyes. If I could find THAT missing piece of THAT puzzle I thought I could be good enough and that I could be what they needed and wanted as a daughter.  All those thoughts and beliefs kept me on the wrong track because the focus was based in a lie. I already WAS good enough and I already HAD value. The truth is that THEY had failed to communicate that to me.

In the beginning of my healing process, I had huge amounts of guilt, shame and fear about feeling anger and blame towards my parents. I realized that the fear is based on my childhood understanding that if they reject me, I will not survive. Eventually I realized that the truth isn’t always pretty and that anger and blame are necessary stages that I had to allow and even encourage in myself. Those stages were a huge part of my SELF VALIDATION process.  I had to validate myself in order to go forward.

So although understanding what is wrong with the abusive person in your life may be valuable information and it may even feel like winning the lottery, it is not the answer to healing from the damage. The real freedom and recovery happens when we begin to validate the hurt that was caused.

Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken bookThe Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing” is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

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The related posts are in bold print throughout this post.  One more related post is ~ My mothers Narcissistic Reaction to my book idea

 

Categories : Family

75 Comments

1

Hey Darlene, Being able to define what is wrong with my family and understand the diachotomy of my family, helped me define my own behavior and things I needed to change. My parents really can’t help how they are, they don’t try to hide it. They are just that way. Still, I believe they could do better if they could acknowledge they have a problem but denial and fantasy is the way they have lived for a very long time.–If I had stopped at diagnosis as so many mental health care professionals do, I would never have gotten better.It was just an important beginning for me. The mystery of my parents was as great the mystery of me. I’m glad to have understanding and no more mystery.

Really good post.

Pam

2

Hi Darlene,

I stumbled upon your blog yesterday while looking for info of a different sort. Strangely, your blog was exactly what I needed to find. I have read through many of your posts and found we have much in common. I am in the healing process from incest and other sexual abuse not limited to family. I was able to confess to my husband of 15+ years the ugly truths of much of this over a year ago which was truly the start of healing. What I came to understand quite quickly was that it was the way my parents handled things (swept them under the carpet to protect another family member) that did the most damage. I feel your pain of loss of contact with a mother who was never a mother at all. I cut mine off last year when she started trying to play her games with my children. I wrote her a letter putting the incest and nothing they did about it in writing and she’s never responded. In her mind, “it never happened.” In her words, “I have a chip on my shoulder.” And she’s right. I do. But a good deal of it she put there. I am so glad I found your blog. You have put into words many of the thoughts and feelings I am just beginning to discover, acknowledge and work through especially as they relate to mothers. Thank you for that!

3

Hi Darlene (and everyone else!),

I’m kinda flying blind here – lots of things came up from this one & I’m not even sure what I want to write about.

Very tired today & not feeling up to looking at the definition of narcissism again. Pretty sure it applies to my mother in some ways at least (my father too actually). Difficult bit is that I usually end up applying it to myself too. Not really sure if that’s just depression talking, or if it’s true. (I suspect it’s at least partially true).

I liked the shark description. I can’t remember if I heard this from you or somewhere else, but the idea of “how can you let an (emotional) injury heal if it’s still constantly being added to?” felt very helpful to me.

I wrote in the last post that I’ve been offered an apartment in low-income housing in the city. It’ll be first time I’ve moved out alone. I had been holding on to the idea that if I got a place, I’d cut all contact from my parents (probably wasn’t thinking permanently necessarily, but wasn’t planning to tell them that). I hadn’t really thought the details through too much, but I was probably thinking I’d try and move out on the sly and not even mention it to them til I was gone. I think this was because I was worried they’d try and stop me or something.

One of the people who’s been helping me in this process is also a friend of my father. (He was the one who suggested talking to her, but she’s promised me that nothing will go back to him, and I believe her). She suggested at least holding off (on cutting contact), and although at first I felt sh**ty, today I thought that it would probably be easier on me to not have to draw that line right now (gonna be a HUGE change & stress just adjusting to moving out, being alone etc).

The problem I see now is that I think ideally I wouldn’t even want to tell them where I’m going. (I think this is cos I don’t want them to ever see the place — I find their energy so negative and draining, I want to start fresh and try to build a safe place for myself). So that will probably be complicated. I guess I could still aim for the “stealth” move out (without mentioning it til it’s done, or at least til it can’t be hidden any longer).

I’m not sure if I’m making sense. Basically, I’m trying to think of the easiest way on myself through all this, which I think would mean not cutting off (for now at least); but I also think my parents not knowing I’m moving out would be much easier for me too, and that seems more complicated. Unless I can figure a way to move out without them knowing in advance, then at least set the boundary that I don’t want them to know where I am (or at least don’t want them to come there), but not necessarily take the full step of cutting off all contact (if I think that would be less stressful on me). Not quite sure – I suspect that as soon as any sort of boundary is set, repercussions will occur (or at least be attempted). Control/manipulation etc.

Anyway, guess we’ll see what happens. Hope everyone’s doing well!

PS meant to say I loved your dreadlock hat from that other post Darlene! 🙂 I’ve had a tendency to enjoy somewhat “alternative” hairstyles/clothes myself over the years!

4

I love the shark analogy in the introduction. Taking it one step further, why does the shark bite? Because that is it’s nature. Unfortunately, some people bite and wound and damage because that’s their nature … my mum (and yours) fall into this category. Our society holds mothers as sacred. The reality is, for some of us our mums are sharks, plain and simple.

5

PS I have been encouraged by your blog to commit to exploring these issues on my blog each Friday, you can read more at http://footprintsaustralia.com/blog/category/the-friday-files/.

6

Just accepted the apartment. They said I could move in potentially as early as this weekend! Very scared/anxious, but there’s a bit of excitement mixed in there too.

Baby steps. One little step at a time. Gotta try and remember that.

Now to figure out how to approach the parentals re all this (or not. Might just ignore it, and do the bolt, then worry about the details later).

Time will tell!

7

thanks darlene,

almost sounds like we grew up in the same household except my father was a very angry man who had ptsd for 50 years that was never treated. Add that to the mother that you describe and that was my life every day. I spent every ounce of energy and life trying to please them and it was never enough. No matter what i did, no matter how much i did, – it was just that – I DIDNT MATTER – the only thing that mattered was giving my mother everything she wanted and needed because she didnt get it as a child or so she says so she just sucked the life out of me like a vacuum. You know labels dont matter. Its how we deal with what happened and what happens that matters. Its how we overcome the lies, the abuse, the neglect. finding a place to share my story as a male is very difficult. I cannot find a support group anywhere. most men dont talk about anything of any significance let alone talk about being abused, neglected etc…thanks for your insight and validation today !

8

Hi Pam,
I think I have a lot of energy on this subject because looking for the answers about what was wrong with my parents held me back for so long in my own progress. I kept using those discoveries as excuses to tell myself they didn’t intend to hurt me and that they couldn’t help it. I completely skipped over the damage to me part. I have been doing this work with others now for about 5 years. I have noticed that this particular thing is one of the biggest stick points the interferes with the individual putting the focus back on themselves in order to heal. I agree, it is very important to move beyond the diagnosis ~ theirs and mine!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Janet
I will go one even further; although it may have become my mothers nature, unlike the shark, it is not the nature that my mother was born with. Once I looked at the plain truth about all this stuff I was able to realize that my mother was a victim of the same things that I was (NOT to excuse her though, just to acknowledge the cycle of abuse) a victim of and that the only way to stop the cycle was for me to heal and see the truth.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

9

Hi J.
Congrats on getting the apartment. The fear/worry anxiety are natural. This is a big step. Keep us posted!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Dave
This stuff is so common it is shocking. It was shocking to me when I kept hearing this same story in seminars ~ it seemed like every single person there had these same issues and they seemed to be at the root of the present day problems they were having. (but no one was making the connection) You make an important statement in your comments; that your needs were not met because your mother was so busy trying to get what she needed ~ the things she didn’t get as a child herself. This is a huge problem behind the whole cycle of abuse. That is what was going on with my mother too. It is interesting for me to realize that when I did this work and learned to meet my own needs that I was then able to meet the needs of my children!
Thanks for your comments,
Hugs, Darlene

10

Hi Jen
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
I think that the way my parents handled things (by not handeling things and by discounting the importance of other things) was a huge part of the damage for me too. My mother has a way of discounting events as well and the lump under the carpet was so huge that I just couldn’t work around it anymore. YAY for you for doing what you needed to do for YOU and I am so glad that you have found my site!
Hugs, Darlene

11

Darelene, you wrote: “it is not the nature that my mother was born with. Once I looked at the plain truth about all this stuff I was able to realize that my mother was a victim of the same things that I was (NOT to excuse her though, just to acknowledge the cycle of abuse) a victim of…” So do you think narcissists are born that way or conformed by their own abusive environment growing up? My mom’s parents were alcoholics, so I wonder if her brain could have been damaged as a fetus and then worsened by her environment or additional trauma. Seems she’s always been “evil.”

Once I realized my mother was “sick” it still took years to process what that actually meant. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks and was so traumatic. I think knowing the truth about her mental illness helps me validate my own abuse and realize nothing was my fault. I had been in counseling for years because of her. Although then I didn’t know what I know now about her Narcissism. I didn’t think of counseling as a place to blame her for abusing me. I went because I saw ramifications of her abuse in me and through the abusive patterns and decisions I made. I was drawn to the wrong kind of men, I avoided intimacy, I feared rejection, I was self-defeating, I had low self esteem, etc. I went because I needed to heal from the damage done to me, so I could live the best life I knew how. I wanted and desired healing and discovered the root of all that pain was my mother’s abuse toward me.

Now I know I can’t allow her in my life. She’s too toxic and will never give me what I need. She’s incapable of truly loving. Like a shark she’ll just keep feeding off my bleeding heart. Next time I move she will never know where I am. Good riddance forever, Mommie Dearest.

12

Hi Karen
I don’t think anyone is born abusive. I think that all babies are born innocent and then the damage is done TO them. I think there is a lot of confusion around this topic that adds to the damage and the way the world regards children. (although yes some can be born with fatal alcohol syndrome etc) Historically, it was taught that children were born full of “sin and evil” and that evil had to be disciplined out of them. That teaching has had disastrous results and bits of it remain ~ for one thing it devalues children as equally valid people. (society seems to have different rules for children) It seemed to me that my mother had always been selfish, self serving etc… but I didn’t know her when she was a kid. I have seen glimpses of who my mother was meant to be and I know a little bit about her abusive childhood. So I believe that she was not born messed up but that she WAS messed up the same way that I was. HOWEVER, I could not save her~ just like me, she will have to do her own work and she chose not to. I had to stop feeling sorry for her past and start feeling sorry for my own long enough for me to heal. Today I feel sorry for my mother, but not at my own expense anymore.
Thanks for sharing (I got a smile out of the mommie dearest thing.. LOL)
Hugs, Darlene

13

Darlene, I heard someone on television yesterday say that we aren’t responsible for what happened to us as children but we are responsible for our own healing. I wanted to share it with you as I think it is a great way to sum up what you’ve written about in this post. Defining what it means to be raised in a narcissistic family helped me define the causes of my own problems and then it was up to me to take the necessary steps to heal. You don’t have to answer this one, I just wanted to share.:0)

Pam

14

Putting a label on my abusive relatives’ behaviors helped me realize that these behaviors were never going to change. also, I know by observation that the behaviors do not change.

If the behaviors are never going to change, then I know that I am not the cause of the behaviors.

Since I am NOT the cause of their abusive damaging behaviors, I no longer feel guilty for the way they treat me.

Since I am not feeling guilty, I feel free to leave.

Divorcing my self from the abuse/situation is the way to build health for me and anyone else impacted by the situation.

15

Pam,
YES! I say this all the time!
We have to do our own work. No one CAN do it for us even if they wanted to! Very nice summary Pam.
I have a post almost done on this subject that I wrote last week.
Hugs, Darlene

16

Wow, this post is amazing! Acknowledging that the abuse that has been heaped upon me was done on purpose has been a real key in my healing.

Lately I’ve really been painfully aware of how sh*t runs downhill. The world in general wants to give every excuse to people who hurt other people but then expects the hurt party to just get over it. That essentially puts all of the responsibility on the victim while everyone holds the hand of the abuser. The victim ends up trying to force themselves to get over hurt feelings because they feel like they are not entitled to them because the abuser “couldn’t help it”.

There were so many great points brought up in this post that I can’t even name them all, so I won’t try. I found it extremely timely and helpful. Thanks, Darlene.

J,

Taking things one at a time may make things easier. Cutting off contact just as you move may not be the best if you feel very anxious about the changes.

When I moved I didn’t cut off contact right away, but ended up having to a few months later.

If you get to a point where you find that you want to cut off contact, remember that you don’t have to answer your phone or your door.

Yesterday I had to download a call blocker on my phone because my father was still trying to call me. Even seeing his name show up on the caller id just drained me. Life should not be this way. It shouldn’t be a struggle to have joy.

The last couple of weeks I’ve been the healthiest that I’ve been in more than a year, and I’m at a point where I’ll fight tooth and nail for my own well being.

Good luck , J, and I hope that you enjoy your new place.

Robin

17

Robin: “It shouldn’t be a struggle to have joy.” Love that!

I wish I could move and leave no forwarding address. I dread even the thought of getting a letter from my mom and the dilemma of whether or not to open it. I think I need to buy a shredder. I can line my guinea pig cage later with the trash. 🙂

18

Hi Robin
That IS the problem yes. The victim ultimately is responsible. It is so weird! I often think that it is the power of FEAR when it comes to the abuser. Fear left over from childhood and stuck in the belief system. Then other people (who may not have had anything to do with the original abuser) who we perceive as having more power then we do, trigger that fear so we react the same way to them (hold their hand because if we stand up to them we may aggravate them and put ourselves in danger) … The whole world seems to work on a pecking order system based off of those fears that we have “leftover” from childhood. That is how abusers can be both victims and abusers. (just not to the same people) And that is why I preach so much about finding out what your belief system IS in the first place.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

Karen
I love the image of lining the guinea pig cage with those letters… Ha
Hugs, Darlene

19

A few things in this blog stuck out for me. In my family it was my father who was narcisisstic – whatever it was, he had to be the centre of attention, if I told a story he always had to trump it with one of his own. At work he was a popular and respected colleague – at home he was detached and childish. He had been a severely battered child, and I now recognise that much of his behaviour originates there. My mother was the functional one, to a point – she was detached and unexpressive emotionally, but I now believe she was a very unhappy woman for most of my childhood – and that her unhappiness continued to her death in varying degrees.
I was certainly not responsible for how they felt or how they behaved. I most cetainly DO recognise what you said – that I was afraid that if I confronted them with my anger about my abuse, then I risked their complete rejection of me – and I would not have survived at all. They wiuld have said that “of course” they loved me. But they never said it, never behaved in that way – I did not “know” it. I felt inadequate, a failure and a disappointment.
I continue to struggle with self esteem, and with other aspects of my childhood – a year into the process, I do know things are changing, but it seems painfully slow. And Robin, I too thank you for that sentence “it should not be a struggle to have joy” – I look forward to that:))

20

Another well thought out article, love the shark analogy.

As a society, particularly western society, we try to quantify and categorize everything and put things in a cuby hole in order to feel that we can understand it. But the fact remains that whatever “label” you place on wounds of the heart, it is still a matter of the heart and the wound is there regardless of what “set of teeth” got it there. I’m really starting to see the facing of the wounds is what I need, and not the determining of what “teeth” made the wounds.

Through this process I have learned very well what the teeth look like, what got the teeth to be used against me, etc.. but to what ends? Does that help my bite marks to heal? NO, so enough about the teeth, time to focus on healing the wound and validating that the wound exists, and it is OK, to be hurt because frankly getting bitten by a shark HURTS!!

21

Hi Libby
A note to encourage you ~ my first year in this in depth process was really just about coming to awareness about all this stuff. It was painfully slow for me too. But it was like a patch work quilt for me.. you know it takes all that time to make and stitch the patches and form them into squares. But when it is time to sew all the squares together ~ things moved MUCH faster! In the second and third year of my healing, things came together in chunks. I had really big breakthroughs and realized some big things were mending. (like self esteem) So hang in here my friend. I think you are doing great!
Hugs, Darlene

Broken Heart!
I love this response! I love your analogy that follows my analogy! YES YES YES ~ time to focus on the wound and validate that it exists! Getting bit hurts like heck!
Hugs, Darlene

22

Broken,
Yes, focus (for healing) on you, no one else will. The abusers love the focus, no matter what kind. They are thieves that way.

23

Kate,
Yes thieves, another good analogy…

As my life was stolen, and now I’m taking it back! I can’t take back the previous years, but I can look at taking back my future years.

I’m actually constructing a letter to my Father that is to basically tell him off, I had tried reaching out to him recently and it is obvious that he is still the same at heart. He has “come to realize” how he hurt us, but it is more of an awareness of how it effects him now. So he still is, pardon me if I use the word, narcissistic, and therefore will no longer be any part of my life, but I feel compelled to tell him how much he hurt me and why he waon’t be a part of my life, even if it will fall on deaf ears, and frankly I don’t care how it will make him feel.

Broken Heart

24

I have not tried to pin diagnoses on my parents, myself, or any of the other hurtful people in my life, really. As we can see, it doesn’t help us to heal and it doesn’t really help us to change society. I HAVE tried to notice how comfortable people are with emotional honesty or not . . . and that tells me a lot. In fact, this tells me just how much I can really trust a person. I think it ties back to the post about people telling you to get over it or put it behind you. These are people who don’t want you to be emotionally honest. This is helping me to determine who my true friends are. No matter how “nice” someone acts, if they stifle someone’s truth, they aren’t much of a friend. Blessings to you all.

25

Sophia
I heard myself saying OHHHHHHH great point in my head while I was reading your comment about emotional honesty! Very nicely said!
Thank you for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

26

Broken Heart
I am so sorry ~ I totally understand how that feels.
About words such as narcissistic, I have nothing against them. Please fee free to use whatever words you wish. I was only saying that diagnosis of abusers ~ although they can help, they don’t go far with the healing part that we have to do.
Hugs, Darlene
p.s let us know how it goes with the letter.

27
Deirdre Burnside-Weaver
December 6th, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Once again, I feel like you are my other half! How many people in your lifetime tell you stories like this?! I too followed the narcissist trail and ended up back at the begining. Amazing, for me to have gotten that far too, I’m sure! Like you I am on the endless search for answers from the mysteries of parenthood that be. I just want to tell you I love your spirit and I support your work. Your voice is a beacon for me and I feel so loved and supported by your as well. Thank you, Darlene. You are an angel walking this earth. Keep shining your light!!
Love, Deirdre : )

28

Hi Sophia,

we meet again! (just replied to you in another thread) 🙂

Just going through this atm – someone telling me they felt uncomfortable with me calling myself a survivor of child abuse in writing on the net (not under my own name or anything). Seemed more about them than about me. On the plus side, I did stand up for myself (via text msg at least – it’s a start at least, right?? :)) and say I didn’t like what she’d said and why.

Anyway I like the way you put it about how comfortable they are with emotional honesty. Seems a helpful way to think about it!

29

Hi Robin,

I didn’t see your earlier msg – thanks very much for your thoughts! That’s so awesome to hear about your health!!! I think I felt like I was ready to fight tooth and nail for myself (well, actually to run away and cut off all contact because I didn’t feel able to fight for myself, but amounts to the same thing at the end of the day) 🙂

Think I’m feeling guilty again though. I’m feeling really uncertain about my friend who knows my father helping me. This person told me they haven’t had contact w/their parents for decades. But then I think I kinda felt like they were encouraging me not to break contact. (This could be paranoia/depression kicking in here, but I think I felt like they thought my situation wasn’t as bad as theirs or something).

I can remember sometime in my youth (not really sure how old) telling my mother if I ever had kids that she’d never see them. Well, actually, I remember her coming back at me years later and telling me how I told her that & made her cry (pretty sure I didn’t actually remember doing it at the time, but pretty sure in retrospect that I did). But her parents are the same, and in some ways I think I noticed the controlling stuff through them first (with me). They give money a lot, and it feels like a bribe to have to keep contact with them. But they always used to say things about me dropping studies, or that I should cut my hair, or that I looked fat etc. So I pretty much stopped.

Also now I can’t stand seeing them all together especially, because it’s just so painfully obvious now how my mother is still completely under the thumb of her mother, and how my sibling is still pretty badly under the thumb of my mother. It’s just f**king horrible. (My father tells me that my maternal grandmother was under the thumb of her mother.) I just hate this s**t being passed down the generations by f**king clockwork zombies.

…..deeeeeep breath…… (serenity now)

ha. Ok managed to pull out of that nosedive a bit at least. (Well done, me!)

I have vague recollections of my mother crying a few times over the years due to things I said. I find it so hard to deal with women crying (if I feel like it’s to do with me, at least). My ex used to work herself up to it (at least that’s what it felt like to me — totally felt like manipulation). That might be completely unfair, but hey. That’s how it felt. My only 2 serious relationships both consisted of me feeling like s**t all the time because of how bad I seemed to make them feel.

(Ok nosedive territory again…. pull me out, red leader!!)

Sorry, attempting stupid jokes to try to amuse/distract myself.

I’m topic-jumping like crazy last day or two… just remembered some stuff I’d started writing in my phone when I wasn’t near a computer about when we used to have pets and my mother would talk to them nicer (and probably more) than she did to me. That was kinda weird.

Also remembered a recent revival of old control technique (or so it feels to me…. worried that this one will seem “oh that’s nice, I wish my mother did that” to some people, but what can you do?) — buying clothes for me. It feels like control because I absolutely hate buying/trying on clothes (especially since I’ve put on so much weight & started sweating so profusely & constantly — try not to wear anything but black shirts now so sweat doesn’t show as obviously. I turn light-coloured shirts completely different colours very quickly). And she says try them on soon so I can take them back if you don’t like them. But I never ask her to buy me clothes, and I don’t want her to, but I’m pretty sure if I said anything she’d get all s**tty about it.

Hmmmm…. my brain is circling the drain again (what a rhymey sentence). Late as usual. Shouold probably stop writing.

Thanks again for the msg Robin!

30

Karen, Those kind of letters were the main impetus for my drawing the line I did and saying that if they didn’t comply, I wished no further contact. It was hard but I spent five years trying to work things out with them and get them to acknowledge that as a teenager, I was sexually abused and exploited and my parents let it happen. I couldn’t take the letter telling me that the man who abuse me and led me away from home(he was 28, I was 15 the first time he raped me and barely 16 when I left home with him)was just a victim of the sexual revolution and I needed to forgive him. My mother who drank nearly every day of my childhood, now says that she didn’t drink as much as I thought she did. I fell for that kind of crap all of my life but when I realized that their version was a lie and that I had been abused, it was the last straw. I couldn’t take their siding with the abuser and I realize now that when he talked me into leaving home with him, it was a good excuse for them not to be bothered with me anymore. So why I had bothered so much with them? I gave them a place to put their mobile home, paid their electric bill, my husband did repairs on their trailor, I took them to the doctor, the list goes on…and they still don’t give a shit about what happened to me. Sometimes, I feel sad thinking that I have no birth family but I never did, not when it came to people who supported me.Nothing is really and different other than the cloud of disapproval and disrespect is gone along with their mooching off of me. I’m free and it feels great!

Pam

31

I just wanted to thank you for sharing your journey the way you do. Several things you have said have really hit home. This article helped me a great deal because I have found it so easy to excuse my parents for abusing me by saying they were sick or couldn’t help themselves or some other excuse. Realizing it doesn’t matter whether they were sick “sharks” or not, the damage was done and they did it, has helped me to take some steps forward in my own healing journey. For that, I can’t thank you enough. Keep writing. You are making a difference. You have definitely made a difference in my life.

32

THIS is what I just told my Mother 🙂

Until you can respect me and trust me and treat me like a person I do NOT want to talk with you. My children will call you on Christmas Day to say hi.

33

Hi Deirdre
Thank you for your comments and encouragement!
Hugs, Darlene

34

Hi R.B.
YAY ~ and thank you for your comments and endorsement of my work. This was a HUGE STICK POINT for me. I felt SO strongly about understanding my parents/boyfriends/husband instead of just looking at the truth.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Jessy
WOW.. good for you! That is huge. How do you feel and did she respond in any way?? (you do not have to answer these questions!)
Hugs, Darlene

35

Another wonderfully insightful post Darlene, thank you:)

I’ve been so out of it for the past several weeks/months that I’m not sure if I have mentioned that mother shut me out of her life again (after 2 years with no contact-her stroke in july brought me back to her) with no explanation or notice as always. I was relieved, but have so much healing to do…I’ve been eyeball deep in every avenue to healing I can find and then BAM! On my 40th birthday in November, she pops back up…sent an email then called and left a very pathetic VM on my cell. Due to the stroke, it makes her seem even more pitiful and tugs at my guilty little heartstrings even more than when she’d pull this all the other hundreds of times in my life…the aphasia from her stroke is what does it, the way she speaks and writes is so vulnerable and child like that I’m easily pulled into the dramatic abusive cycle again.
At any rate, long story short, I spent my birthday in tears…an absolute mess of panic attacks hiding in my house trembling, crying, trying to find someone to give me strength. I got through it and haven’t spoken to her since and here’s one reason why (the shark analogy made me think to share this & is the reason for all the back story)
I called my counselor in desperation and she she said a lot of things but one thing she said to me was if I chose to email mother back, to do so but be sure I had no expectations & to always speak MY truth, but that she really didn’t think it would be helpful for me at all to call her/take her calls, “Because if you want to feed a teradactyl you never walk up to it and hand feed it…you throw the food at it from a far away safe distance”
Ahhhh…yes!
So, I threw a few crumbs laced with my truth and did so without lashing out in unproductive anger and kept my distance, figuring the food was thrown and mother can do with it what she may…if she chooses to starve that’s her choice…I’m not going to hand feed her anymore.

Love&hugs to all!
stef

36

Hi Stef
Hey I love your analogy! We could start a whole ZOO of those!
Good for you Stef. I love your attitude! Thanks for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

37

Hi Darlene,

She keeps responding in leaving messages apologizing once then going on to ask me a million of questions about Christmas because she can’t make up her mind. On Facebook she leaves about 20 messages a day asking the same thing. It’s the way she’s always gotten a reaction from me – to make me angry by annoying me. It was the only message I left and haven’t felt this stress free for a while. I feel great 😉 I feel sad sometimes because I’ve always wanted our relationship to be different, but I know it never will unless she can change, which I doubt. She doesn’t know a thing about me because she’s stuck in “me” land. I need to have “Jessica” land for a while which includes my husband, children and friends. Wish me luck I’m about to dive into a social life that includes a more broad friendship network and I’m actually terrified because I lack the self esteem and confidence, but there isn’t another way. Here I go! I’ll update you sometime 😉 Thanks for all the encouragement and your strength in telling us your own journey. 🙂

Jessy

38

Jessy
Yay for starting something new! Good for you. Yes please update!
I had to draw boundaries with my mother. I didn’t try to get agreement from her to do that. I just did it. She didn’t like it but what else was new??
Hugs,Darlene

39

Darlene,

As always, powerful blog. While reading this, I was reminded of how many times I have said, “My family turned their back on me because i told them about my abuse.” I blamed myself for the turmoil I caused by speaking out. But, thru time and healing, I have come to realize that it wasn’t because I spoke out. It was because they were always that way. Searching into my childhood, I never had a voice. I was never validated and anything I had to say was unimportant.

So, it wasn’t because I spoke up, it was because my speaking up was an excuse for them to not validate my feelings or pain, again. I was so quick to blame myself or find an excuse for their behavior. Boy, if that isn’t a sign of the abuse world, I don’t know what is.

Thanks so much for a wonderful blog.

40

Hi Patty
That is a great point! I love how you worded it and I had not thought about the subtle way that I talk about that subject myself!
Indeed, my parents were always like that too. I never had a voice either. And as you say, the rejection was not because I spoke up at all… it was because they never did validate my feelings.
Excellent comments, Thank you
Hugs, Darlene

41

Just wanted to say that each time I read a post of each and every one of you, I am given such validation..something I have longed for. I cannot wait to get to know you all more.

42

[…] never noticed that the spin of “not good enough” was about the ones who labeled me that way and not really the truth about ME or my value in the first place. […]

43

Both my parents suffer with mental illness. My dad was in a mental hospital when I was young because he was so controlling mom, beating her almost everyday infront of us, and beating men who he thought might be wanting to have an affair with mom. Dad also tried to kill us a few times. The doctor said to mom, “You better leave that man, or he will ruin your life and your children’s life” Mom never did. Dad is an extreme head game player…very abusive to the mind with his words.He begins talking as a friend with you, but he is going somewhere with his words, and it always ends up being something disturbing, sexually in some-way. He also sexually abuse me when I was a child. and when I finally confronted him with it, telling him I forgave him…he called me a daughter of the devil, and he denies it until this day. Mom is also extremely abusive with her mouth towards me, and has been since I can remember. I am now in my late 40″s and left home to live in the streets at the age of 14 because of the physical abuse from both of them. they never reported me missing. In 1994 I became a Christian, and God began taking me in a journey of healing…I have come a long ways! 1996 I had a vision from God where he allowed me to see both my parents hearts, and they were broken. since then I see my parents with different eyes, and was able to forgive them for the abuse. Their verbal abuse hasn’t stopped, but I know Gods conviction is upon them both…so I stay away as much as possible. I still feel the effects, the pains of their abuse. But I have the understanding now that is coming from two broken individual, and continue to choose to forgive them and move forward in understanding…And I know its God who helps me everyday to move, and as I do, I have a peace and a joy in me that comes from leaning and trusting God with my right choices.

44

Hi Andrea
Welcome to E.F.B. What an awful childhood!
Thank you for sharing
Hugs, Darlene

45

Very enlightening. Some of the confusion that clouded my perception was realizing what you mention in this article. My mother treated me differently than others. She treated me differently than my brother. Her friends thought she was wonderful. She was outgoing, joyful and talkative with them. I longed to tell them, “Sure, she’s great around you, but YOU didn’t have to be her daughter!” but they wouldn’t have understood or believed me.

I finally realized that the venom directed towards me was really meant for her mother. Her long buried hostilities towards her own mother were never dealt with. Some aspects about me reminded her of her mother so I got the fallout from her damage. I don’t blame her for being victimized by her mother. I do blame her for victimizing me. Understanding this is a big step for me in the healing process. For me, understanding the Why of something makes some kind of sense to the chaotic confusion, and then I can proceed to the next step.

46
Daughter of Narcissists
April 8th, 2012 at 9:30 pm

I agree with drained. It was so very strange to be treated differently than everyone else. It was mind bending because I was told that I was the favorite and so could not be treated well. I received the shaming and cruelty and neglect and abuse. While, my other more unruly siblings received the financial help, care and concern through out life. I was made to believe that this was because I could not be favored. And my siblings quickly learned how to play up on this. And use me to guilt others into giving them more. They treated me like crap & stole from me all of my life. My mother was severely abusive with me. It was like living in a concentration camp…extremely controlled and I was to be there for her at her every whim and need. I was not to have a need to my own life, friends, or etc. Yet, she was extremely popular with others. People told me constantly that she was one of their absolute favorite people and that they just loved my mom. She charmed and used a lot of what I came to see as fake flattery. She’d use the same lines on them all and they’d all believe her. She wanted the popularity and had to be a constant center of the universe up and into her dementia and passing away. It was constant attention seeking. No wonder my life never seemed to matter to her. It didn’t. Except, for how she could use me. That sounds harsh to say. And I believe she believed she loved me. She told me often in her last days. But, again…I was the one left to take care of her. So, she needed me.

47

Part 2 is a dead link. Man, your stuff is so RIGHT ON, it’s like the universe is unfolding with you and confirming my own healing journey. It’s like your voicing stuff I’ve just realized, and I’m right in the thick of uncovering, confronting, feeling, facing… The answers I’ve
already found for myself are included here on your blog, plus, you are
farther along the healing process than me, so it lifts me up a little
higher. Even as I grapple for my own pathways to venture, I see the
breadcrumbs you’ve left behind, and I’m thankful.

48

Hi Drained,
Yes, that is what I realized too. The fact that my mother could hide her behaviour towards me from others showed me that Narcissism isn’t exactly the correct diagnosis. When a person has a “disorder” they can’t turn it on and off. I found that comforting to me. It meant that she really was mean to me and that she could “help it” that she could have done better. It helped me to understand that it was HER and not me.
Glad you are here, thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

49

Daughter of Narcissists
Welcome to EFB ~ It sounds harsh to say (at least in my view) because it is so hard to fathom! and it hurts. It is shocking how many times I hear that the child of a parent who has regarded this way will be the one to take care of the parent in their last days.
Thank you for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

50

Hi Jenna
(I will fix that link, thank you for telling me)
I am glad you are here! It is really lovely when we come together over these discoveries!
Hugs, Darlene

51

i could relate well with the blog my mom is a narcissist too and my dad a chronic abuser and alcoholic.
my brother dominating personality.
overall a dysfunctional family
but all said and done my life is in ruins…i suffer from depression
i can’t make friends….people isolate me and they bully me
at workplace i am ignored one.
with poor social life and loneliness i will soon hit mental asylum
can someone guide me with strong points how to bring back my life on the track.
if people keep avoiding me i will break down

52

Hi Priya
Keep reading and commenting. Self validation for the damage done in my childhood has been key for me in recovery and in getting my life back. Seek help from a qualified professional if you can but make sure that they are willing to look at the root causes of your depressions. That was key for me.
Hugs, Darlene

53

I grew up with a similar scenario to Priya’s: Narcissist mother, alcoholic dad, dominating (golden child) brother who put me down and ridiculed me every chance he could. Sadly, this dynamic would continue even after he died (in his 40s). He and his N wife programmed my nieces to disregard me and have the same lack of respect and ridicule for me. All I can do is disengage from it and reduce contact as much as possible. Because of his death, I felt I needed to keep the connection going with them, but it really wasn’t very healthy for me.

We always end up doing what we think we SHOULD do, even if it’s at the expense of our own physical and mental health, and that has to stop. We need to learn to give ourselves permission to stop feeling obligated to people that have such little regard for our own well-being.

Fortunately, being an introvert and not really a people-person, I stopped caring that I didn’t fit in and was always a bit of a misfit. I actually prefer my alone times and can enjoy my animals, books, movies, creating art, … all the things I really enjoy most and don’t miss being around people. My husband and I get along great, he has his interests and I have mine, plus we have our shared interests. It took a long time, but it seemed to have fallen into place.

It helps to know we are not alone and others here understand what we are feeling. That’s a big step in the long process of healing.

54

Daugher of Narcissists, I can relate to much of what you say. My N mother was extremely controlling, domineering and critical of me. Yet to outsiders she seemed so fun, outgoing, nice… She’s had dementia for the last 8 years and I’m left to take care of her. She’s in a nursing home now, but it’s still emotionally draining and I’m responsible for all the administrative work on her behalf.

One thing I’ve noticed with NM’s mental decline is how she still maintains the core N temperament, but with the additional dementia effects of poor cognition and judgement, forgetfulness and general confusion. Having to deal with an N mother all my life, then be be the only one responsible for her during her dementia years has really burned me out. She’s 89 now, had 2 surgeries for fractured hips in the last 3 years and still going strong. The staff can’t believe her persistence, stubbornness, energy, volume (she yells a lot), ability to remove items meant to keep her from falling again, etc. We are all exhausted…

55

Drained,
I can so relate to disengaging & reducing contact as much as possible from my dysfunctional family. This is happening more, since my Narc Mom has been physically sick with chronic pain. I can predict that I would be the scapegoat for her wrath. Well, I’m glad to say I’ve avoided that recently!…My sister is getting my mom’s poisonous arrows instead. My mom blasted my sister for having to watch her kids, while my sister stayed home icing a leg injury. My mom does not like to be taken advantage of! My sister will get in her face & then takes what she needs. It’s sick how this dynamic plays out. I’m the kinder dtr who sets limits & boundaries and doesn’t demand from her and I’m ignored. It’s a blessing in some ways because with me there are no strings attached or obligation. My sister has to deal with the drama & tension to get what she wants/needs! Better her than me. So glad I moved away. My sister is down the street from her. Too close for comfort for me.
So glad for EFB in keeping me on track. It’s comforting to have understanding & support!
Sonia

56

I am just beginning to explore whether my M was N. Sometimes I feel so sure she was, and then I have doubts. Could my mom have just been a victim herself? Or was she herself complicit in the abuse?

I have read a lot of stories of NMs, how they are enmeshed in their daughters’ lives, directing, controlling, manipulating. My mother was completely uninvolved.

I had gone NC with her for 2 years about 12 years ago. She never tried to contact me. I was the one who contacted her in the end. I have gone NC again, it’s been about 5 months, and it hurts to think that this is what she wanted — an excuse to discard me.

I hope you don’t mind if I write you a long story, because I am hoping that you can validate that my M was N. I think my father was N or possibly sociopathic. .

My M was like an empty shell. We were fed, clothed, provided shelter, but there was no affection, no empathy whatsoever. My father (deceased) was an alcoholic and was physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive towards his children. He was also sexually inappropriate with me (no penetration). Father was Jekyll & Hyde. Walking on eggshells. He was not like this with my mother. For the most part, they got along well.

My mother never initiated hugging me, never had a word of praise. If I did hug her, she would stiffen like a board. I could never do anything right. Her most common saying to me was “tsk, tsk, Michelle!” If I became upset about something, my father would say I was just feeling sorry for myself. My mother would say that I was exaggerating or overreacting.

I always believed my mother was afraid of my father and that this was the reason why she hadn’t done anything about my father’s abuse. But this was projection on my part. My mother actually was NOT afraid of my father. I had asked her many times over the years, before and after his death, and she always said she was not afraid of him. I never believed her. For a long time, I thought she was just in denial.

She told me once that my dad had cheated on her when I was around 4 years old (and later denied saying this). It was around this time that I was molested 4 times by 4 different men between the ages of 4 and 5. Two were babysitters, one a neighbour, one a stranger who abducted me and took me away (and no one ever missed me). Sometimes I wonder if perhaps she may have been jealous because my father may have been paying attention to me? Maybe she set me up to be molested. It feels right to say this was true, but then I say to myself, can this really be true?

Even before I was molested, I did not feel safe in our home. There is a picture of me when I was 3-4 years old, before I was ever molested. My nails are bitten down to the quick.

Incidents with animals happened when I was around 11 years old. I came home from school to discover she put my pet hamster in a jar and smothered him because he was getting too old. She smiled and pointed out how she had put some food in the bottom of the jar so that he died happy. Another time, we had a cat that had kittens. My mother called my sister and me to the bathroom because she said she had something to show us. There she was, drowning the kittens in a pillowcase in the toilet.

When they were 11 and 12 years old, my brothers were getting in a lot of trouble with the law, destroying property, lighting fires, B&Es. They were removed from our home and put on “boys’ farms” (detention centres). They never lived at home again. I’m certain my parents only visited one of my brothers once and the other brother not at all.

After my dad died in ’97, I went in therapy and realized that I had been affected by the sexual abuse in my childhood. I realized for the first time that it was not my fault. And I came to learn that my mother was not willing to discuss it. She would deny knowing anything, or she would just go silent, or blame me, or minimize it, or insult me. I got an investigation started and they closed the case after they talked to her.

I think the truth is that she did know I was sexually abused as a child. I consciously remember trying to tell her the first time when I was 4 years old. I told her that the babysitter had taken off all my clothes and all his clothes and we had played a funny game. It was like I hadn’t said anything at all. She always claimed to not remember anything, but one incident must have made a big enough impression on her that 35 years later she was able to tell me about it (albeit in a way that was meant to convey that it was my fault it happened). She later denied saying it. This was an incident that I had repressed and had no conscious memory of until after she related it.

Some of the things she has said to me when I tried to talk to her were shocking to me and ridiculous, i.e.,
1. So what if your father crawled in your bed naked and drunk, he always slept naked.
2. If I had tried harder to be a virgin maybe these things would not have happened to me.
3. If I had cared more about my appearance maybe these things would not have happened.
4. Perhaps I secretly wished these things to happen to me.

Do you think my mother is a narcissist?

Sorry for the long post. I really would appreciate your opinion.

57

Hi Michelle
I don’t concentrate on the diagnosis of the abusers (or on any diagnosis for that matter), controllers or manipulators. That didn’t help me. My mother has the “symptoms of narcissism” however I don’t think she is a narcissist because she can control it. She isn’t that way with everyone. She is sick but even understanding that didn’t help me heal.

What has worked for me is validating the damage that was caused to me. Another thing that helped me was to look at my father and mother separately. I know that they impacted each other such as you saying that your mom was afraid of your dad but that does not change or alter the damage done to me and that is the key. SO I looked at it this way; My mother did xyz and my father did xyz. The only crossover was where the one did not do anything about the abuse caused by the other one which is also damage.
I hope that helps

Hugs, Darlene

58

“People with disorders can’t really help it. ”

People with mental disorders can’t help it.
People with PERSONALITY disorders can.

Narcs KNOW they are hurting you and they enjoy it.

narc-attack.blogspot.com/2008/02/how-brains-get-different.html

Hug Darlene and thank you always for this GREAT resource

59

Hi Michelle,

Your post 56 reasonated with me.

I found symtoms of narcissism on the internet and i saw my mother. What it did was fill me with relief and validation that my mother was not normal as I suspected when I was in a thick fog of sadness and confusion.

What it didnt do was heal the damage done to me, but it was the first step for me in not accepting the blame anymore. I put the blame squarely on my mother for damaging me and my siblings and creating a fearful toxic environment full of danger for a frightened little girl.

My mother tells everyone that i am mentally ill and that she is a great mother with a loving marriage and a great relationship with both my siblings.

I often say to myself what would a “normal, healthy, loving mother do” and I find its often the complete opposite of what my disordered, cold and unloving mother does by her actions.

EFB has helped me see that this damage is real, it has a root cause and its been an important step for me in healing by accepting that damage was caused, finding out where it came from and healing it.

My mothers actions now tell me all I need to know about who she is. Unfortunately.

60

Hi Emma
It is so easy for people to tell lies about other people to absolve themselves of any responsibility in the failure of the relationship. It makes me sick that so many people willingly believe that the failure originated with the CHILD in the relationship!
Looking back I feel very fortunate today to have seen my mother and father for the truth about who they really are. It is the truth that eventually set me free to fly.
Hugs Darlene

61

To Drained, Post 53
Looks like we are living parallel lifes across two different countries with so much starkling similarities.
Narcissistic mother, abusive alcoholic father and dominating narcissistic brother……what more one needs to screw up in life.
One thing i understood from your post which futuristic that your sister in law poisoned minds of your nieces saying bad things about you and you had to cut off…my nieces are quite small now and i am sure my sis in law will start doing that when they grow up
But even my life is extremely lonely and now i kind of accepted it…i just draw, paint, read, surf net, my husband and kid are there thats about it.

One question i want to ask Darlene since most of my family relationships are disfunctional even cousins so there isnt much people i can relate too….so i have to forcibly keep in touch with my mother and brother just for diplomacy sake there is no other choice if there were good cousins or relatives i wouldnt have to tolerate my mother….what is your opinion about that??

62

Priya
I don’t understand your question. If you are asking my opinion about how you are forced to keep in touch with your mother and brother, I don’t relate to that. I don’t have much ‘family’ but it was in realizing that I don’t “have” to do anything that set me free to make choices.
Hugs, Darlene

63

Hi Everyone!
I have published a new post. Today I decided to publish an abusive comment in the body of a new article. I get comments like this once in a while and today I decided to use it as an example of how and why people try to make us shut up about the past. Here is the link to “People who try to silence victims interfere with emotional healing” It is not always about Narcissism..
http://emergingfrombroken.com/people-who-try-to-silence-victims-interfere-with-emotional-healing/
Looking forward to the conversation!
Hugs, Darlene

64

Darlene,
Yes i was actually telling its difficult to cut off from brother and mother because due to the damage done by them i cant make friends, i cant take independent decision, i cant hold onto jobs for long period of time…i cant even keep my sanity..
and in india the circumstances are different there are no support groups, no proper counselling, no government support
Women are badly abused,molested if walking alone on roads or living alone.

65

Hi Priya
Thanks for clarifying. This must be very difficult. Please feel free to use this site as your support group.
Hugs, Darlene

66

I have cut off all contact with my malignant narcissistic mother and I’m feeling more empowered as the months go by. I am angry as hell and I don’t give a crap who has a problem with my being angry. I no longer have hope of her changing; instead I’m changing and she can kick rocks! Thank you for this blog. I come to your blog often and each and every time I feel more validated in the reality that I know to be true: that I was abused as a child and having a diagnosis of complex ptsd, ocd and severe depression is proof that abuse. Thank you again Darlene. You’re like a mother that I’ve never had. (happy tears)

67

Hi Buttafli
What a wonderful note! Thank you!
Anger was a very necessary stage for me. What happened to us justifies anger!
Hugs, Darlene

68

[…] She wanted her way. And yes ~ behaving in controlling and manipulative things to get her way is narcissistic, but it isn’t always “narcissism”. […]

69

How wonderful to come across this’s site!..it has helped me realize so many things that happened in my childhood that affected me as an adult. My father was an aggressive narssicist while on the other hand my mom is more of the passive aggressive narssicist who never takes responsibility of her mistakes as a mom, even now when she says something hurtful to me, she makes me very angry to the point that I get aggressive myself and end up leaving her house, days may pass by and I never get a phone call of apology, the only thing she loves to do is to text me with: ” god bless you and good night” in the mid time I get very anxious waiting for her to call me and say: sorry….after a few days I call her and decide to forgive her. Every time is the same I always make the first move and ended up feeling more guilty. I even noticed that I’m taking lot of my frustration on my husband and getting very aggressive towards him..I love him so much I don’t want to ruin my relationship….I know I need to heal

70

Darlene! I’m always so impressed the way you express yourself. Sometimes I feel emotionally constipated..;-) and I can’t express everything because there is just too much emotion behind it.

You’ve just validated me on so many levels and it’s given me great insight into my own behaviour. There is so much religious dogma, society dogma, media dogma that we all buy into and it affects the way we see ourselves. Parental dogma is the worst because there seems to be this “entitlement” that children are property of the parent and they have the right to treat them the way they choose. I know for myself what was difficult to break out of, was this feeling that I owed my parents something because they gave me life and took care of me.

What was really going on was they couldn’t or wouldn’t take accountability that parenting was something they both never really wanted or were ready for and they basically forced themselves to be parents because it would make them look like caring loving people.

When my dad admitted to me as adult (48) that he had others plans when my mom was pregnant with my sister and that he didn’t want another child. It’s like my denial bubble had been burst. Looking at the history of abuse my mom comes from I put together all the pieces that it was never about me. This truth didn’t take away any of the pain I felt, in fact it just opened up more issues to face within myself.

The layers to this healing work are tedious but when I start to discover that I am a loveable, loving person who just needs to learn a better way to treat herself I feel relieved…I feel hopeful…I feel free from my dysfunction past and free to re invent myself and be true to myself. I can honestly say I didn’t know who I was and sometimes I still don’t, but I have more education now and can reach out for help when I need it.

I thank the Universe for people like you who choose to come out of the victim closet and reveal the warrior that is hiding inside. I am now a believer that if we choose to heal and love ourselves, anything is possible, each one of us has to choose it for ouselves, no one can do that for us and that’s waht makes us all so brave. Love you all!

71

Michelle at #56–

Your mother killing your pets and then making you watch is sickening. I don’t know if she’s a narcissist but among the signs of sociopathy are cruelty to animals as well as people, and lack of empathy.

Whatever her diagnosis might have been, it is clear that she’s cruel and mentally sick. I’m sorry you had to go through these things and pray that your life is much improved.

72

Loved the link to daughters of narcissistic mothers. While its great to be able to label, it’s up to me to let the healing begin. No contact now for 18 months… Relief, freedom and a certain level of guilt would be the descriptive words. But the best thing away from them is to not have the daily tears berating myself saying “why did I say that”. It’s nice not to be so down on myself all the time, and highlights just how much they contributed to that.

73

Ps. My mother (fool 1) is known to put down her animals when they become too much trouble… My poor dog suffered the same fate when I was young, and I wasn’t allowed to say goodbye. The pain i feel is still unbearable today. Absolutely sick behaviour and I am so sorry for your loss. Hugs

74

I don’t know if my previous comment has made it. Long one – please don’t ignore it. I just thought of something else. Your mother’s ‘depression’ is another attention-seeking ploy. My mother used it, too. Even went to the GP one day, then came home and announced that she was diagnosed with manic-depression (abrakebabra, just like that!). Gives them another chance to talk about ‘poor me’ and their medication.

75

Oh no, my previous comment did not make it. I spent an hour explaining the complexities of the narcissism-psychopathy spectrum and how the narcissist assigns a separate – unchanging – role to each of her victims. Your role was the scapegoat and your siblings would have been assigned other roles. Enough for now.

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