Hi, The Band! Thanks for offering this site.
I am trying to wrap my head around what is currently happening in my life, in the hopes of gaining some guidance and support here. And perhaps someone else will gain, at the very least, the notion that they are not alone in their suffering.
I broke up with a narcissist three years ago, and had no other choice but to move in with my mother. From the frying pan into the fire. I knew at some point in my life I would have to deal with the root cause of my issues, and have gone at it pretty much full bore, but continue to experience bullying situations again and again that leave me stymied. I know, “what we resist persists,” so I must have a lot of baggage to unload, since I feel I am trying my best. At least I am more aware of what’s going on as I become healthier.
I suffer from PTSD and perhaps that’s part of it. I also live in America and work in a very competitive profession. I am very good at what I do, and that again, may be part of the problem. I don’t know how to play the game, and I stick out like a sore thumb. I am very good at moving beyond crisis to get myself more on track.
I lived and supported my Mother for a year before moving on with my own life. New jobs, new town, new friends, but nothing seems to be working out. It’s like the trauma has reduced me to a little child, who knows no defense and was not defended back then. Things keep getting worse.
I was recently fired from a job, and I believed …no, I know it was because I took the means to stand up to my bullying boss. The Human Resources Department is not there to protect you, but rather to protect the company. I am fighting it, but it’s so demoralizing. I was an exemplary employee, and hence, a threat to someone highly insecure, who abused his power.
This happened after a year-long struggle with a therapist who ended up being equally inconsistent in her connection with me, and sometimes outright abusive. My longtime therapist had retired, and again, I fell into the fire, and perhaps because I was still in crisis, not reading red flags soon enough. I did get out on my own and found a better therapist, who I continue to see.
Throughout all of this, I have tried to take care of myself. Meditating, using body healing modalities to release my frozen trauma, exercising, etc. I know that this kind of work can dredge up long-seated problems, and in my case, child abuse and neglect, but this dark night of the soul is taking its toll on me. This might be what happens when you were not allowed to develop a sense of self way back when, but instead were an instrument for others getting their needs met.
The key here is that I do have an authentic self, a connection with my soul, so to speak. It was tucked away, and I’m trying to integrate it into my life. It is a gift and a curse. I have a bullshit meter a mile deep, but I don’t know how to live with all I see. I am the child who saw the emperor with no clothes on, and keeps getting beaten down. Maybe it’s my desire to individuate, and standing at that bridge, outside of the cave, I am stuck, too afraid to take the next step. I want so badly to get there, but it seems like I was given no ego support for such growing up, that I am scared as hell.
But I know I will do it.
It’s hard being a sensitive, empathic person in this world we currently live in. Pressures are greater, and those who chose narcissistic behavior are freaking out- perhaps the old rules aren’t working. I need to have faith that, as I slough off these abusive entities, that my true self will emerge from the ashes.
Discovered, after 40+ years that I am an ACON (Adult Child of Narcissistic Parent). I guess I knew along that something was wrong with our family growing up, at least, with my relationship with my father, I just never knew what it was. I guess I just never knew that my “normal” was not normal.
Happily married for 12 years with 2 wonderful children, there were so many episodes with father in my adult life. Episodes between him and my wife, episodes between him and me and then the deal breaker, the last and final episode when he started on my 10 year old son. It was like something inside of me let go, something changed. I was furious at him, I was enraged like I had never been before. I thrust myself into a quest for answers, to answer the ultimate question as to why, why is my relationship with my father a complete disaster, why can’t I have a normal relationship with him?
In my search I stumbled, by accident, across narcissism. As I read the definition and characteristics of a narcissist it was like I was reading about my father. The more I read, the more I was blown away about what I had discovered. It was all there, every bit of it, all the criticisms, the one-upping, the belittling, the obsession with money, the gambling, the down-talking, the tone of his voice, the disregard for boundaries, the fits of rage, the inability to take criticism, the ego-driven decisions, the lack of common sense, the lack of empathy, the threats, triangulation, the control of information, all of it was there…. and so, my journey to recovery began. I have much more to say, much, much, more….
I think it’s Munchhausen by Proxy. Malignant Narcissism is more like it I think, but the DSM (whatever version we’re on now) doesn’t recognize it. Did I read that correctly, somewhere? Wow. That’s all I have to say is wow. As life goes, from birth to death everyone has a story. I never understood that my mother was like, but each day gives me more perspective and puts it into balance.
I need to find the right person to speak with about this, so that I can begin to resolve it. The process of discovering aspects of the narcissists personality is none other than astounding, and I can’t imagine why in the hell it has taken me this long to see it. My brothers cannot see it. It’s fascinating. I pushed and pushed I guess, not accepting that my mother’s type of communication is even remotely acceptable, and my siblings just aren’t ready, if they will ever be to see it. It’s okay, because for some reason I see it, and I’m out of the fog, and there’s no one to talk with about it.
The depth of understanding I have and my intuitive ability and willingness to deal with myself and others have led me to want to write, to talk to and be able to grieve respectfully. I’ll write more later. I hope this blog thing works out. If not, I’ll find some way to get it out…I have to.
Goodbye Mum and Dad I Love you.
Dear Mum and Dad,
I am writing to you to bid you farewell, I don’t think we will ever talk again nor will we ever share any part of our lives anymore. I know you will accuse me of being spoiled, ungrateful, sneaky, secretive etc. In your mind you believe you have done everything for me and that you have always been supportive but you know deep down that that is a lie.
I no longer have to justify myself to you or explain why I am make certain choices in my life. I am an adult and its my life, I work hard and I love my children. However, I know that if I keep in contact with you then I am unable to be the best mum I can be due to you being sick.
Let me explain to you what is going on and what affect this has had on me and my adult life:
Mum this part if for you: Mum I always knew deep down that there was something wrong with you. One of my earliest dreams as a young child was seeing you as two different people. One that was nice and nurturing that was able to meet my needs and the other that was more like a spoiled child, that if their demands were not met, would have a temper tantrum. I was always made to feel guilty for being unable to meet you impossible demands, being unable to sooth the brokenness you felt inside or make you feel better. It was not my responsibility and it is still not my responsibility.
As you have aged the nurturing part of you has disintegrated and all that is left behind is a cruel bitter person full of hate. I believe that you are suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder in which you display 100% of the criteria. I am not a medical trained person or anyone who can diagnoses these things I am just your scapegoated daughter who has always been a victim of your rage. You hate the fact that I can see you for who you really are, I can see behind the facade that you like to project. “You always said I was easy to talk around” not this time. I know when you are trying to manipulate me, I am also aware of the others you use to manipulate me. I am not stupid and worthless like you think, in fact I am an educated woman, with everything going for me who is going through therapy to heal the wounds you caused. As for you, you are the biggest coward I have ever known, someone who would stop at nothing to get there own way. Someone who is unable to have any insight to how there actions and words may affect another. I should have never let you get away with your cruel words. Here is a list of your favorite phrases which you have said throughout my life:
- “I despise you and everything you do but I am so jealous of you.”
- “If your brain fully worked then you would be dangerous” (this is in reference to my mild learning disability.)
- “I can vouch for your brother but not for you. You will need to ask your Dad about you I just take his word that you were the baby I gave birth to as I was asleep at the time”. “Perhaps there was a mix up at the hospital.”
- “If I would have known you would be born with a disability then I would of had an abortion“.
- “I bend over backwards for you, yet you are sneaky and always up to something”.
- “I fought hard for you”.
I am done. For my children’s sake and my own, I am done.
Let me give you a little backstory:
I’m now a forty-year-old Mama of two girls.
Back when I was growing up, my dad had then-undiagnosed bipolar disorder, narcissistic personality disorder and explosive episodes of narcissistic rage. My mother and I suffered much at his hands. When I was a twelve, same age as my eldest, my dad left. My sisters, luckily, were younger – the littlest was only a year old when he left my mother for another man.
He is now suffering the failure of a second long-term relationship with the man he’d left my mother for. He’s trying to blame his ex – someone who has been part of our family for many years now – for his own failures.
My dad is narcissistic; he never sees his own failings or faults. Instead, he blames his mental illnesses for his bad behavior. He’s now claiming that his former partner was “abusing him,” so he’s developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I want to say “yeah, whatever” because my Dad is clearly the bigger, tougher, meaner person.
For weeks now, he’s been sending me lots of emails full of smack-talk. Today’s email pushed me over the edge:
“It was not without anguish and sorrow that I came to understand I might not be welcome to color eggs with the girls.
Also, any shared celebration of the Easter Feast was unlikely to occur.
I would like to ask you to consider reviewing the issues between us with your pastor/counselor in light of the Commandment to “Honor thy Father….”
The issues between Marc* and I are complex and confusing to understand based on the surface details. You were only present in our household for a very brief period. You clearly recall that it was Marc’s position that we need not flush the toilet every time (in an effort to conserve water and save on expense ).
I did seek to preserve the relationship through multiple attempts at marriage counseling aimed at fair fighting rules, sexuality, household economics, chores, and any other relevant topics.
MARC always pointed to past failed attempts AS GOOD ENOUGH REASON TO BELIEVE WE COULD NOT SUCCEED IN A FUTURE ATTEMPT. TERMINALLY UNIQUE AND WHOLLY UNLIKE ANY OTHER COUPLE. (Not unlike that of an addict.)
I am finding good spiritual support through attending multiple twelve-step meetings within walking distance of my new home.
While sharing at one of these meetings, I was reminded by another person that
“I need not accept UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR.”
Your branding me as a cheat and unworthy of consideration falls into this area.
I DO NOT ACCEPT YOUR JUDGMENT AS SOUND IN THIS MATTER.
Let us look forward to rapprochement/reconciliation in the future.
*Name changed to protect privacy.
I am only replying to the first two statements in your message, as I do not have the strength with which to argue with you anymore.
1) We were out of state for much of the week prior to Easter and did not color any eggs whatsoever; there was no attempt to exclude you from any such activity as it did not even happen.
2) I do not cook or serve the Easter meal at my home; it is held at the home of my in-laws.
Please be advised, your messages are causing me pain and distress. You are reaching out across the internet and causing my heart to race and tears to stream down my face, just like you reached out and grabbed me when I was a kid. In your words, I do not have to accept unacceptable behavior, and may choose to ignore or delete your messages out of hand. I have every right to protect myself from your venom.
Are you aware of the physical and emotional damage you inflicted upon ME when I was just a CHILD??? You have the nerve to say YOU suffer from PTSD???
YOU were my abuser. I have a very hard time accepting you as a victim. I DO NOT need to hear of all the ways you’ve suffered; all I or my sisters have ever wanted is for you to own up to your own UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR and APOLOGIZE. NO EXCUSES. It is emotional abuse for you to threaten me to HONOR MY FATHER when you haven’t shown honor for my personhood by owning up to the ways in which you hurt me in the past. Please. Just. Stop.
I am standing up for myself now. I am done allowing you to hurt me. I will forgive you once you seek forgiveness and admit your own failings, which is what God asks of us. We must admit our sins, and request forgiveness. He will grant it, when we come before Him humbly, and admit that we need Him. I am not claiming to be perfect, or to have led my life in some perfect manner. I am broken. I am a sinner. I am reliant upon God for His grace and forgiveness.
I think my tears right now are because I know that this message will not reach you in the manner I intend, but that you will twist my words and use them to inflict more pain. We keep trying and hoping fervently that you will hear us, but you never do. Some of this is grief, accepting that I may never get the father I needed. My prayer is that you will listen and hear.
This has actually hit me like a ton of bricks, and I thought I had it sorted.
My mum is a Narcissist of the proper, fully paid up, type.
I knew it – I had heard it said and had agreed and listened but, it never, ever really sunk in. I don’t think I would allow it to. She also has a whole host of other mental health issues but, none of that really had the impact that the Narcissistic Personality Disorder did; not on me anyway…and we are talking major, major Psychotic breaks.
They were easier than when she was ‘well’.
I looked it up last night in bed and came across this site and read about having a Narcissist for a Mum and I was like…Oh – My – God (with the proper shocked face and everything). I knew I had been feeling ‘out of sorts’ for days now. I knew that my unavoidable interactions with her lately were taking me back and putting me in touch with a time from long ago. I knew I felt more off kilter than I do generally – and that’s saying something as I don’t think I’ve ever been ‘on’ kilter.
I knew I felt weepy and angry in turns, and hurt and wanting to run away. I feel repulsed by her – in every sense of the word and that was unusual because – normally I would feel…numb. My grown adult stance was – numb. Don’t react, don’t show weakness, NEVER share (I learnt very quickly that ‘Anything I said could, and would, be used against me in a court of mum).
So – to be weepy and grumpy and just…unusual feeling, wasn’t my norm. So I came here and…BANG.
The article, the Narcissistic Parent one – felt like a smack in the mouth. It felt like reading a scarily accurate slice of my life. Like someone had just divided me up like a birthday cake – took one slice and read it back to me. Everything was there. Everything.
Why did I not accept it before..? Because, I could see it and hear it and even nod in wise agreement but, nothing was shifting or moving or sinking in. My Therapist had all but told me! I had all but told others, I just can’t explain it…
…only – I can. I didn’t believe it and I deleted it from my knowledge base or ‘truths’ about myself because, deep down, I still believe her.
It’s still all my fault. I am still ugly and unlovable and blameworthy. There is still something wrong with me which made her not love me. It’s still all me; my fault. She hates me and then ‘they’ hated me. My sibling and her. I am hated and the reason is – just me, being me. Born bad, I am still bad – defective. I can cause stuff without even being near or ever involved. I believe this. I truly do.
I – still – do. THAT’S why I had nodded my head and made all the right noises and hadn’t believed a word anybody had ever said or anything, to date, I had read.
But, there was me in Black and White. The Scapegoat.
How I wished I was the Golden One. I used to dress up in their clothes, in private when they weren’t around, so I could pretend to be them. I used to study them to try and be more like them – and less like me.
They had lovely clothes, colourful and swishy. Beautiful things that were bright and warm and smelled nice and looked nice. I had…track suits; androgynous and bland. Not a boy – not a girl – not anything you could describe. Nothing to give identity or personality.
I got caught once – red handed and guilty. Golden One cornered me against my bedroom door and punched me, full on, in the face and I screamed. This alerted mum, who rushed up the stairs and without even stopping for a breath or asking what had happened, she rushed on to me and punched me too – full on – in the face.
I think I was about 10 years old then.
I also remember a time when I was cowering in the corner of my bed while they both scratched and hit and clawed at me. I don’t know how old I was then – or even what I had done. I just remember being in the corner with no way out and being hit.
Golden One had an awesome bedroom that was age and sex appropriate, it was full and warm and lovely. Mine was sparse and bloody cold and – empty.
My love was ‘him’. And that made me bad too because ‘he’ was bad. And he was.
But, whilst I’m writing this I’m buzzing about and carrying on with life and a thought occurred..
To me – ‘he’ was safe.
A violent, alcoholic bully was SAFE – for me.
This used to confirm to me (ok, still does), how ‘bad’ I was. And it definitely confirmed to them how bad I was. He was ‘BAD’ (and he was – no dispute there) but…
…he liked me. He thought I was funny and strong and intelligent. He felt sorry for me and I knew that because I overheard a conversation once…hanging over the banister…
‘…why do you do it?’
‘Because no one else does…’
That was me. The question was ‘Why do you favour her?’ He tried to champion me and – he failed – because he was a bullying alcoholic, a violent person, horrible, despicable – and then he died.