Narcissistic Parents

Narcissistic parents are a trip. Once you realize you are the child of a narcissist, your world is turned inside out, upside down and blazingly real. Everything comes into focus and you suddenly see your life differently. You’re not the one at fault, you never were. And that’s the biggest coup of reading and learning about narcissistic parents.

Growing up under the thumb of this type of mother, I never understood why she behaved the way she did, why she treated me the way she did until many years later. I suffered for many years under her wondering what I could do to win her approval. I never could. At least not in private. In public, she always behaved differently.

Vampire is an excellent blog for those of you who fall under this category. Take a look here and check this blogger out: http://thewebofnarcissism.blogspot.com/. It’s more than worth your while. For an extensive list of blogs that discuss not only narcissism, but other mental health topics go here: http://narcwriters.blogspot.nl/. Warning: Be prepared to bookmark because this list is amazingly long and awesome.

Peace.

Sorceress

All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

Revealing Your Past To Others.

So as Survivors there is an age-old question we must ask of ourselves: Do we tell new friends/boyfriends/girlfriends of our troubling pasts? And if we do, just how much do we tell them? And how early in a relationship do we reveal how another person shaped who we are today?

If we do tell, then we are opening ourselves to criticism and feedback. Which isn’t something we necessarily want or need. The point of explaining that we are a Survivor of a Psychopath or a Narcissist or (fill in your own blank) is to explain that that particular person has caused some pretty extensive emotional damage to you, perhaps some physical damage, you might be suffering PTSD, you might be hyper-vigilant, you might have some quirks and hey-let’s face it-you know yourself better than anyone else and although you think you’re drowning in a sea of emotions, really, you’re swimming in the lake with dolphins. Why do I say that? Because you understand more about where you are, where you’ve been and where you’re going than those dolphins ever will.

When I explain my story of the psychopath to someone, so very often their response is, “Why didn’t you have him killed?” “He needs to die.” Such a flippant response people let roll off their tongues. But it’s not their position to “kill” someone, I guess, so they say it. I just calmly look at them, and explain that murder is not an answer to a psychopathic stalker and explain the law to them. Words are easy to say, actions are harder, and people talk sh*t all the time. I shouldn’t have to defend myself as to why I have behaved as a victim all these years within the confines of the law. So I don’t tell my story that often to others. Unless it’s necessary. Because most people don’t really think their thoughts through realistically. Because they have lived normal, happy, cookie-cutter lives.

Now as a Narcissist Survivor, my story will garner pity. And I don’t want that either. Growing up the way I did gave me strength. It was hell back then. I couldn’t wait to get out. And the way I got out was the wrong way and it set me up to fail. I know that now but I didn’t know that back then. I was naive, young and biting at the bits to get the hell out. Simple as that. I thought I was ready to face the world but in reality, I really wasn’t. I didn’t have the skills needed because I hadn’t been given the skills I should have been given by proper parenting.

It felt good to be away from the object of my horrors yet she was still very much an integral part of my life. The day after I was married and I had left my home, I received an emergency phone call from my mother early that morning. Yes, an emergency phone call from my narcissistic mother calling me on the first day of my honeymoon. I had left my cat in her care while I would be away until I returned, and would be leaving later that day. She was calling to tell me that she could not “find” my cat.

Now, mind you, we had lived in a two-family home, with my aunt downstairs, my parents upstairs. A full attic and a full basement in this large home. My cat never ventured outdoors. Somehow, this woman had “lost” her and had to call me to tell me this on the first day of my honeymoon, begging me to come back to the home to find her.

Of course I was beside myself, so my new husband and I went back to my old house to look for her. When we arrived, there was my mother, sitting on the couch in the living room, laughing and joking with a group of people. She had invited family and friends to an “after the wedding party”, unbeknownst to me. So I arrive to this party, they look at me as if I’m crazy and why am I there, I look at them wondering why are they there because she never told me about a party. She’s sitting there, Queen of the party, cigarette and drink in hand, laughing away. What a manipulative move on her part.

I calmly ask her if she had found my cat. She tells everyone how worried I am about “Sherman”, and look how “she can’t stay away”. (She doesn’t tell them how she called me hours earlier begging me to come find her.) I turned around, walked out of the apartment, into the hallway, opened the attic door, and out walked my cat. Somehow I knew she would be in there. The attic door remains locked at all times, by the way. I picked her up, brought her back into the house, and told everyone I found her locked in the attic. I then announced that my husband and I were leaving and hoped that Sherman would survive the next two weeks.

Sherman did, as did I. And I’m not sure how my narcissistic mother survived without her scapegoat under her domain. She just had to throw in one last jab before I was finally out of the house, I guess. Twisting words to others, attempting to belittle me and have an audience for her last show. Maybe she didn’t count on my finding my cat in the locked attic so easily. She probably didn’t realize the bond between an animal and its’ owner. At the least, when I left so quickly, all anyone really knew was that I had received a call, was concerned, and loved my pet enough to make sure she was safe. To some, maybe that seemed crazy, to others, it was not. To me, it was normal love for a pet.

That wasn’t the last time she reached out her claws to strike at me. Somehow, she managed to many other times before she died 7 years later. I still shake my head at her behavior. Yes, it still haunts me. But I’ll tell it to others so they know they aren’t alone. And to those who are my friends so they understand when I am silent, looking into nothing, when deep wells become my eyes.

Peace.

Sorceress.

All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

Survival Of A Psychopath(With Borderline Tendencies…The Son Of A Narcissist Mother)

The tales of the narcissistic mother. How she throws situations at her child. How she deliberately twists and turns her words to make her child feel as if everything is their fault. She’s good at it. She’s had a lifetime at practicing.

For some of the adult children of her, I do have pity. They have never been able to outgrow the horrible feelings of inadequateness that this mother has bestowed upon them. The hidden belittling towards the child she chooses forever to desecrate. The narcissistic mother never stops. She just goes on and on and on.

For the others that have been able to crawl out of the hole that this mother has dug for them, I salute you.  You earned much in the way of salutations. You first had to live through the belittling and torturous psychological abuse,  you had to identify it, and you had to move away from it. And if you decided to stay in contact with your narcissistic mother, for whatever reason, (and I make no judgements here because many do stick around),  but you do it on your own terms, you my friend, without a doubt, deserve a medal to wear proudly.

I talk about narcissism with a mother, but it is a psychiatric condition found in women and men alike. It can be found in a partner both female and male alike. It can be found in a child, also. An adult child.  For clarification, here is a classic definition of narcissism:

“Traits and signs:

Thomas suggests that narcissists typically display most, sometimes all, of the following traits:[5]

Hotchkiss’ seven deadly sins of narcissism

Hotchkiss identified what she called the seven deadly sins of narcissism:[6]

  1. Shamelessness: Shame is the feeling that lurks beneath all unhealthy narcissism, and the inability to process shame in healthy ways.
  2. Magical thinking: Narcissists see themselves as perfect, using distortion and illusion known as magical thinking. They also use projection to dump shame onto others.
  3. Arrogance: A narcissist who is feeling deflated may reinflate by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.
  4. Envy: A narcissist may secure a sense of superiority in the face of another person’s ability by using contempt to minimize the other person.
  5. Entitlement: Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Failure to comply is considered an attack on their superiority, and the perpetrator is considered an “awkward” or “difficult” person. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.
  6. Exploitation: Can take many forms but always involves the exploitation of others without regard for their feelings or interests. Often the other is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Sometimes the subservience is not so much real as assumed.
  7. Bad boundaries: Narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist are treated as if they are part of the narcissist and are expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist there is no boundary between self and other.”

Taken from :  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissism. Read more at the link provided.

Another description of narcissism:

The DSM IV describes narcissism as:

“DSM IV definition: Someone who suffers from Narcissistic Personality disorder (NPD) has at least 5 of the following characteristics:

  1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  3. believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  4. requires excessive admiration
  5. has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  6. is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  7. lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  8. is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
  9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

Associated Features: Depressed Mood Dramatic or Erratic or Antisocial Personality

Differential Diagnosis Some disorders have similar or even the same symptom.

Histrionic Personality Disorder;
Antisocial Personality Disorder;
Borderline Personality Disorder;
Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder;
Schizotypal Personality Disorder;
Paranoid Personality Disorder;
Manic Episodes;
Hypomanic Episodes;
Personality Change Due to a General Medical Condition;
Symptoms that may develop in association with chronic substance use.”

The DSM IV is considered controversial by some for its opinions expressed in its manual.

“The DSM has attracted praise for standardizing psychiatric diagnostic categories and criteria. It has also attracted controversy and criticism. Some critics argue that the DSM represents anunscientific system that enshrines the opinions of a few powerful psychiatrists. There are ongoing issues concerning the validity and reliability of the diagnostic categories; the reliance on superficial symptoms; the use of artificial dividing lines between categories and from ‘normality‘; possible cultural bias; medicalization of human distress and financial conflicts of interest, including with the practice of psychiatrists and with the pharmaceutical industry; political controversies about the inclusion or exclusion of diagnoses from the manual, in general or in regard to specific issues; and the experience of those who are most directly affected by the manual by being diagnosed, including the consumer/survivor movement. The publication of the DSM, with tightly guarded copyrights, now makes APA over $5 million a year, historically adding up to over $100 million.” See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diagnostic_and_Statistical_Manual_of_Mental_Disorders for more information.

A very easy layman’s guide to personality disorders can be found here:  http://www.halcyon.com/jmashmun/npd/dsm-iv.html. Written with excerpts from the DSM-IV, this piece takes apart disorders and puts them into easily understood terms for the layperson.

Narcissism as described from halcyon.com:

“1. An exaggerated sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements). Translation:  Grandiosity is the hallmark of narcissism.

2. Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.  Translation: Narcissists cultivate solipsistic or “autistic” fantasies, which is to say that they live in their own little worlds (and react with affront when reality dares to intrude).

3. Believes he is “special” and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).  Translation: Narcissists think that everyone who is not special and superior is worthless. By definition, normal, ordinary, and average aren’t special and superior, and so, to narcissists, they are worthless.

4. Requires excessive admiration.  Translation: Excessive in two ways: they want praise, compliments, deference, and expressions of envy all the time, and they want to be told that everything they do is better than what others can do. Sincerity is not an issue here; all that matter are frequency and volume.

5. Has a sense of entitlement.  Translation: They expect automatic compliance with their wishes or especially favorable treatment, such as thinking that they should always be able to go first and that other people should stop whatever they’re doing to do what the narcissists want, and may react with hurt or rage when these expectations are frustrated.

6. Selfishly takes advantage of others to achieve his own ends.  Translation: Narcissists use other people to get what they want without caring about the cost to the other people.

7. Lacks empathy. Translation: They are unwilling to recognize or sympathize with other people’s feelings and needs. They “tune out” when other people want to talk about their own problems.

8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him.  Translation: No translation needed.

9. Shows arrogant, haughty, patronizing, or contemptuous behaviors or attitudes.  Translation: They treat other people like dirt.”

I’ve chosen three presentations of narcissism simply because each human mind digests material differently. We all have different learning styles and I want those who have come here to truly understand the narcissist.

I lived with a psychopath and his narcissistic, histrionic mother for a number of years. Dealing with these two people led to an incredible journey of becoming a Survivor with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  The thought processes of both Daniel and his mother Sandra were unlike any other people I had ever encountered.

Daniel’s mother was classified as a narcissist. Her tales to me often spoke of the ways she used people in her different jobs. She would often laugh at her intricate ways to use people without their knowing. She would build her stories to a crescendo and then sit back to her audience and demand respect, praise and attention . I questioned her methods of arrogance. I often found her repulsive in her attention-seeking methods at the expense of others. In the end of our relationship, her despising me eventually became built on my honest appraisal of her spoken truths that were thinly disguised lies for others in her mission to always manipulate people.

Daniel had blocked many memories of his childhood and with good reason. He often talked of his abuse during childhood. At times, he would question Sandra openly of her parental tactics in front of me, often putting her on the defensive/offensive. If she couldn’t blame someone else for her abusiveness as a parent, she would walk away from the conversation and ignore him. Nothing was ever her fault, unless in her eyes, the outcome would have been well-received.

Sandra admitted to me she drank heavily during her pregnancy and during the earlier years of his childhood. She blamed her drinking first on her obstetrician’s recommendation for her pregnancy. She told me that she couldn’t keep any food in and was constantly vomiting during her pregnancy with Daniel.

Queasiness is  quite common for the beginning of a pregnancy. In her words, she told me that her doctor told her that she should “drink beer and eat saltines” for her pregnancy if “that was all she could keep down”.  I have no way of proving or disproving what this woman told me. I do find it difficult to believe that a medical doctor would recommend his pregnant patient to drink alcohol. Medical advice has changed through the decades, of course.

I will offer that any child whose mother drank throughout the nine months of development has a definitive opportunity for a host of problems in their physical and mental capacities after they are born. As she continued to drink, she offered the excuse that she did “continue to drink for the sake of her marriage”. She never took ownership of her problems and the problems they might have caused for her son.

Environmentally and genetically, he never had an opportunity to thrive with his narcissistic mother. That is not an excuse for any of his behaviors. Many people go on to surpass abuses and victimization. Others do not. Does a narcissistic mother create a psychopath? I have no answer for that. I don’t think anyone does. There are many views and reasons on how a psychopath is created. I had the opportunity to live with one. I still suffer to this day from the experience.

Peace.

Sorceress.
.

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All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License