My Mothers Narcissistic Reaction to my Book Idea

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Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Several years ago, I excitedly told my Mother over the phone that I was going to write a book about my process of recovery from chronic depression and dissociative identity disorder.  She reacted with strange sort of hesitation.  She didn’t ask any questions; she didn’t actually acknowledge this information at all.  I was used to her acting this way and I was only a bit more then mildly disappointed that she wasn’t interested.  I had been noticing in my recovery that she sucked the joy out of everything I was ever excited about. A few days later however, she brought it up as a sort of “by the way” conversation.  She said that if she read anything in my book about her that she didn’t like, she would sue me. I was stunned. I was actually speechless I was so stunned.  Why did she think it would be about her? I was so confused about her statement, that I couldn’t think straight.  I called a friend of mine who is a lawyer and asked her for some legal advice about it. 

 When I got over my shock about her reaction and her threat, I was able to look at this in a different way.  My narcissistic mother didn’t ask me about the contents of the book. She just assumed it would be about her. Why would she assume that?   I hadn’t even thought about talking about her in the book yet.  Her reaction is what I call a truth leak.  Continued…..

 My narcissistic mother just assumed my book might be about her or would include things about her that she wouldn’t like to have published because of her guilty conscience. At first I just asked myself “why would she think I was going to write a book about her?”  Thoughts were sparking in my mind. Part of me was thinking about how conceited she is and those thoughts were mixed in with thoughts like “what the heck is she so worried about?” I actually had to think about what she might be worried about, although of course I know what she is so worried about.  I just hadn’t actually thought about writing in relation to that stuff yet.  It took me days to sort those thoughts and feelings out. I felt rejected, mistrusted, threatened, devalued and unjustly accused.  

Later I felt anger. Anger that she always killed my joy. Anger that it was always about her. Anger that I didn’t have a mother who loved me or even one that was interested in me.

 I eventually realized that her reaction was about her, not about me. She was reacting because of her own fears.  It was always her way to make it about me, doing something that was not acceptable to her.  I am not sure if that is true narcissism or just the way that she has always been towards me.

 Because she reacted as though the book was about her, eventually I asked myself if that meant that she actually KNEW that she was causing me a lot of harm? Hard to imagine that she might have known that she was doing some really wrong as a mother, isn’t it? Maybe half her energy was spent on making sure that I didn’t realize that she might have known that she knew she was a bad mother? Maybe that is what the purpose of her keeping me in the “spin” all the time was.  All so that she could be in control and so that I was so busy trying harder that I never realized that she was the problem.

When I think about all the things my mom said to me when no one else could hear I wonder why she made sure no one else could hear.  She said and did sick stuff in from of others, but some of it she never did in public. Doesn’t that imply that she knew some stuff was just wrong?

 A child molester doesn’t strip a kid down naked in a public restaurant. They groom the victim carefully, sometimes publically, but the actually molestation is done in private.  (except in cases of organized pedophile rings or in an abusive family where everyone is involved in the abuse) A physically violent parent doesn’t beat a kid in the middle of a crowded shopping mall. Doesn’t that imply that they know it is not legal? An emotional or psychological abuser will not always tear a child down when visitors are there. My mother could be all sweetness and light. Does that mean that she knew others would judge her if she tore me down in front of them?  It seemed to depend on WHO the visitors were.

 I thought about those points when I was deciding if the adults in my life actually knew better, or if they really did not. If she truly has narcissistic personality disorder, wouldn’t she have been the same in front of everyone? Wouldn’t she come first in all her relationships? Wouldn’t she treat everyone else like they were “nothing” too?  I thought about those things a lot.  She was really great at telling me how to act but when I started to look at her actions, she never lived by her own standards, at least not when it came to me.  

 I will tell you something I realized years into recovery.  Abusers remember more about what they did then we remember about what they did. And they don’t know how much we remember. Imagine sleeping at night with that on your mind? Not knowing what the other person actually remembers about what they did to us or what we saw them do to others or even if the brainwashing was good enough to hold forever.

Was her concern about my writing a book about what everyone would think about her because of her narcissistic self-centeredness, or was it about her fear of being exposed for the kind of mother she really was?  Although my mother fits the description of narcissistic personality disorder, I think it was the later of the two.

Please share your thoughts. I look forward to the discussion on this post.

And guess what?? my e-book “Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing” has been published and selling amazingly well since July 2014.  If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you and you would like to find out “HOW” I broke out of the oppression I lived in, this 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to busting out of the fog and to healing. I’ve received hundreds of thank you notes from people that have bought my book. Get yours here for 9.97 through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time,

Darlene Ouimet

134 response to "My Mothers Narcissistic Reaction to my Book Idea"

  1. By: Drained Posted: 22nd April 2012

    Darlene – Yes, I think my mother’s warped view of parenting had her believing that it was her “right” to treat me like she did.

    My mother did seem to have some control over her actions although sometimes she did slip up… my husband got to see glimpses of this. He “gets” the situation based on what he’s seen, some of her phone messages were very telling, and of course past situations I’ve told him about. When her dementia started in, she was a lot less sharp with her craftiness. I’ve often heard the “experts” insist that it’s the disease not the person when someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s acts unpleasant. What I have witnessed is that some of the awful traits she always had became more amplified and less transparent, so it’s just an extension of her natural temperament. Her natural Narcissistic trait just had the additional forgetfulness, repetitiveness and weakened cognition characteristic of dementia on top of the nastiness. I know each case is different, but it’s what I’ve seen in my own mother.

    I’m still going through the stages… I guess I’m still trying to justify my anger and resentment towards my mother and her treatment of me. It’s like if I can nail down her condition and reassure myself that I’m not stupidly misinterpreting things, being over-sensitive and overreacting. But then, I realize that’s part of the damage she’s done with the brainwashing. As you can see I’m still coming out of the fog so I’m sorting out things, wavering, but mostly it feels like puzzle pieces finally coming together.

    Sorry if I’m jumping around here with my thoughts. So much to process! I appreciate your input and hope you do get that book completed.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 23rd April 2012

      Drained
      We all come through this process in stages so it is all good. I jumped all around too. Finally beleiving that I was not making it up or exagerating was huge for me. It sounds easy to just “validate the damage” but I know it isn’t that easy. I took me a long time and that is due to the brainwashing from such a young age; believing that they were right and we “must” be doing something wrong to deserve all of it.
      Hugs, Darlene

  2. By: kelly savoie Posted: 4th April 2014

    Yesterday I realized that I actually ‘trapped’ myself after I left an abusive childhood, and I kinda knew the things that were happening were not right but as a child at that time there were not too many people out there that believed Children.. Children were taught to “speak only when spoken too” when company comes around.. Meant to keep child quiet.. used to brainwash.. Children learn very quickly that you might as well not say anything cause it’ll be painful afterward…, went into an abusive marriage, controlled brainwashed abused, lost my only child to the “Abuse Grid/Matrix”, came out of marriage just a shell, nothing left of me as a person, wife, mother… Kept myself Trapped by keeping a name because I didn’t want my MNDP’s last name, wanted my daughter back (didn’t realize at the time that she was already sucked into the grid/matrix), Alone… I chose to keep my married name in the hopes that my Daughter would realize what was happening and come back to me… I kept that name and myself, really, attached to the grid/matrix not realizing what I was doing… To myself and my beautiful wonderful Husband who “didn’t deserve that”… I attached us both to the grid/matrix by keeping that name…
    Yesterday was the most Freeing and Exciting Day for me, nobody on earth could ruin what I chose and Did!
    I CHANGED MY NAME TO MY NEW MARRIED NAME! I’M SO HAPPY! MY HUSBAND IS SO HAPPY!
    AND I had the neatest experience this morning, I was enveloped in a warm, what I would call a, cloud… In that Warm Wonderful Cloud I was a Little Girl In the Middle of a Classroom Standing up Twirling Around and Saying “Hi I’m Kelly Savoie”!!!
    NEVER ONCE IN ALL OF THE TIME OF ATTENDING SCHOOL WOULD I EVEN THINK OF DOING ANYTHING OF THE KIND, I DREADED THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL BECAUSE I HAD TO STAND UP SAY MY NAME AND WHAT I DID FOR THE SUMMER… NO SELF ESTEEM NO CONFIDENCE FROM VERY FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL.
    MNDP decided very early in my life that i was not going to like school ever, it worked kinda…
    MNDP didn’t know or care to know or was completely ignorant of the Fact the My Sister and I were Brilliant, we both could have gone to universities of our choice with 4.0gpa’s, Principal in high school told MNDP that, it was so jealous…
    I HAVE Broken the ‘Attachment’ to the grid/matrix by doing that one little thing and understanding what it was doing to me, my relationship, and my future happiness!
    HAPPY TO BE KELLY SAVOIE!!!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 4th April 2014

      Kelly
      Love your comments! I am happy that you re Kelly Savoie too! I got a big smile reading that!
      hugs, Darlene

  3. By: Linda Posted: 4th April 2014

    Darlene,

    I have wanted to write a book for a long time. You have read my posts describing the abuse from both my mother and father. I don’t think legally my mother would have a case against me. She set the incest in motion and it had to be obvious for reasons I don’t feel comfortable saying here. There was just too much evidence on a child to miss and she even opened doors and watched for a minute and then closed them again. This went on from age four to sixteen.

    I never had memory blocks like many children. I could dissociate, but I always knew what was happening. My memories are very clear as far back as age three. One psychologist said that having an IQ of 180 and an eidetic memory played into all of it somehow. But the upshot of it all is that what both of them did was illegal. The only “love” I got in that insane environment was from my father. From her I got nothing but pain, black eyes, pulled hair, insults and instructions to my father to continue the beatings when she was too tired.

    I was her slave from day one, taking care of children, cooking, cleaning, sex with her husband and the loss of anything a child or young person should have. She has tried to come between me and my husband and children for years, saying that if it weren’t for my lies, they would bow down and worship her. An exaggeration I know, but it is her belief, that she is the most important, loving person in the world. She is the very definition of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

    I have read Marilyn Van Derbur’s book and I would be glad to read Darlene’s. I would love to write one but I don’t know if I could get my thoughts in order well enough. Just posting on here helps tremendously. My thanks to Darlene and everyone here.

    Love,
    Linda

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 4th April 2014

      Hi Linda
      It is horrific what some children go through and surviving is amazing. The story of what you lived through is a nightmare and you are a miracle. 🙂

      I have a collection of EFB book in the works but time always gets away on me. I think that when my youngest graduates high school in another year I will have more time for writing. I have a few ideas for books that I would like to write. 🙂

      Hugs, Darlene

  4. By: Linda Posted: 18th March 2017

    Having been ‘brought up’ in the early 50’s, I see that the culture is very different now. A parent ‘abusing’ a child did not have the same implications as it does now. That doesn’t excuse it or change the long term consequences on the child. ‘Hiding’ the bad behavior was not as important as it became decades later. In the 60’s my mother publically beat me with a strap running from my elementary school back to our home. I passed out when she was finished with me. This was in broad daylight. I have a hard time believing this was not seen by anyone. But, there was no interaction or intervention. Her brother, my uncle, would punch one of his sons in the face in public, and not give it a second thought. Very, very different from todays culture.

  5. By: Rocky Mtn Treasure Posted: 31st March 2017

    Darlene, Thank you so much for this web site! I thought I had worked my way through a lot of narcissistic abuse until I found that my mother passed away earlier this week. My bother, also one of her flying Monkeys, called me today Friday to let me know. Of course, he told me that all the family estrangement is my fault. That “I bring it on myself”. Ironic how standing up against flying monkeys and bullies equates to “me” being the trouble maker! I found this article as well about scapegoats and how they are treated in Narcissistic. Like your information, I do find some comfort and strength in you words and the truth you share.

    by Glynis Sherwood

    Did you grow up having doubts about your self esteem or personal worth? When things went wrong in your family, did you tend to be the fall guy? Do you find yourself encountering recurring disrespect from friends or colleagues? Do you feel unsure of yourself and/or have difficulty experiencing trust in relationships? Are you drawn to people who repeatedly hurt you, act irresponsibly or let you down?

    If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of these statements, you may have been scapegoated by your family. The term ‘scapegoat’ refers to a family member who takes the blame for difficulties in the family. Scapegoating is a form of bullying. Family relationships profoundly impact our identity and how we view ourselves.

    How to Tell if You Have Been Scapegoated:

    You are held responsible for family problems, conflicts or challenges, even if they have nothing to do with you. Other people blame you for their actions. You may end up feeling a lot of shame for being ‘the bad guy’, and/or anger for being blamed for negative family dynamics.
    You are attacked and disbelieved if you tell the truth and ‘blow the whistle’ on negative and/or inappropriate family dynamics.
    There has been a history of one or more family members being verbally, emotionally or physically abusive towards you. Other family members seem to accept or look the other way when you are bullied or aggressed against like this. You may feel like the ‘black sheep’ of the family.

    You find yourself repeatedly being accused of behavior the scapegoater is engaged in. For example, a family member repeatedly yells at you, and then accuses you of being abusive. Or you behave thoughtfully and are then told “all you care about is yourself”.

    You act out the negative ‘expectations’ of scapegoating such as not living up to your potential, or getting into relationships with abusive people because your self esteem is has been damaged.

    You are the mentally healthiest family member, but are repeatedly accused of being sick, bad, etc.

    You have been slotted into the role of family outcast, and are treated with disdain or disgust by family or yourself.

    Your achievements are belittled, minimized, criticized and rejected.

    What’s Going On In Families That Scapegoat

    Families that are shame or fear based are not healthy. Often in these families you will find evidence of abuse, neglect, addiction, betrayal, mental illness (e.g. Narcissistic Personality Disorder) and insecurity. Dysfunctional families either lack insight or find it threatening, and actively repress it through scapegoating those who want to understand and change negative dynamics. Scapegoating is a “projection defense” that allows scapegoaters to keep up appearances. In other words, making the scapegoat look bad takes attention off the real problems in the family.

    Many families who resort to scapegoating are headed by narcissistic parents who lack personal awareness, and empathy for their target, as in their eyes, the target is there to serve their false image and make them look good. So the purpose of scapegoating is to allow families to carry on unhealthy behavior patterns, and maintain the myth of normalcy, without having to look inward or take responsibility for a toxic environment. To the outside observer – and possibly the Scapegoat – these families seem crazy making and delusional.

    Who Gets Picked to Be Scapegoat

    The Scapegoat doesn’t get picked randomly or by accident. Usually they are either sensitive, unhappy, vulnerable, ill and/or the outspoken child or whistle blower. In other words, the scapegoat is the child
    who refuses to look content or stay silent in the unbearable atmosphere created in the family home.

    How Scapegoating Impacts the Target

    Scapegoats almost universally experience low self esteem or lack of self worth. The major problem is
    that they suffer from an Identity Disturbance, as the target confuses the myth that they are bad, with the truth. This is usually a lie, with the more insidious truth being that Scapegoats are being abused through the process of being taught they are ‘bad’. Scapegoats tend to struggle with chronic insecurity, as they never feel safe or believe they are good enough or loved. They can also fall into a‘Victim’ role, and unconsciously repeat their scapegoating by gravitating towards unhealthy behavior or relationships at work, school and their private life.

    Scapegoats often have trouble feeling safe in relationships – especially intimate relationships – due to the betrayal of trust in their family. They can also have challenges managing emotions, and find they either feel overwhelmed and anxious, or shut down and not know how they are feeling.

    I just wish to share this with others to help bring clarity to the pain we endure.

    However awful the narcissist is, at the end of the day, I love my mom and will always wish she would recognize how wonderful and beautiful her scapegoat daughter truly is!

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