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.

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The Narcissistic Mother That Destroys.

As the holiday season approaches, many people begin to celebrate with glee and joy. They look forward with anticipation to their special holiday traditions and opening gifts. This is a special time of wonder for children and for adults that still have their inner child within them.

But for those that have had dysfunctional childhoods, for those who have been in abusive relationships and for those whose parent(s) or significant others trashed that Christmas tree (if you even had one), the holiday season is most definitely not a time of wonderment and joy. It is a period of a few weeks where people would just like the calendar to skip the month of December, television commercials would stop focusing on how many special gifts we could buy for our loved ones and haven’t we all seen just one too many happy family sitting in their living room enjoying their absolutely beautifully decorated christmas tree enjoying their baked Christmas cookies?

No, I’m not a descendant of Scrooge. I’m just a graduate of The School of The Dysfunctional Family. A school dedicated to preserve  life-long triggers of memories of unhappiness, feelings of yearning for an All-American family that does smile and really does open Christmas presents that were waiting for them on Christmas morning.

The mission statement for The School of The Dysfunctional Family clearly states a graduate must a) Not enjoy holidays due to past familial stress; b) Wonder why they were the “Chosen Child” of the family to be denigrated; c) Be familiar with the knotted ball stomach syndrome; d) Be fully aware of the ramifications of the term “self-medicate”; and d) Have attended therapy sessions for a variety of reasons never realizing they were a Victim (until their own Day of Reckoning).  Attaining Cum Laude status or higher upon graduation is attainable with documentable proof of childhood amnesia.

Those of us who deal with a dysfunctional family or who have dealt with a dysfunctional family setting know exactly what my words mean. They know the cruelties of a Narcissistic parent, an alcoholic significant other/parent, or an abusive parent/partner. I do not make light of the atrocities these situations play on a child’s development, a human being’s self-esteem and self-worth. These are very serious situations that simply put, put someone’s thoughts in another universe so far away that they believe they will never connect with today’s world. They are made to feel alone, to be alone, to be traumatized. The stronger ones will become Survivors, the lesser ones will suffer more pain, more atrocities in their lives.

I have childhood amnesia. There is very little I do remember, and what I do remember is from photos that I look at. Photos that I keep locked away in a box that I almost never take out to look at.

When people talk about the games they played with as children and ask me if I remember them, I look at them blankly. I don’t remember my childhood toys. I do remember one doll that I had as a little girl that had to stay in her box. I was not allowed to remove her from the box. I could look at her, touch her in her box, but never take her out. When I was finished looking at her, back to the attic she went. That’s where my toy doll lived. In the attic. To this day, I think dolls are creepy. Easy to figure that one out.

One of my aunts bought me a Barbie and Ken fashion case for Christmas. I remember opening it up and being so disappointed. My aunt, who I loved dearly, was staring at my face, very kindly. All of a sudden, she whispered to me, “You don’t have a Barbie or Ken, do you?” I shook my head no, and tried to hide my tears. She winked at me, and whispered that she would take care of that for me. I was literally so frightened at that moment that my mother would find out that I was going to get another present, another doll that she would hide from me. I was petrified. My aunt saw that look in my eyes, too. She told me everything would be ok and she announced that the store had made a mistake. She said that she had told the store to surprise me and put Barbie and Ken inside the dollcase along with some clothing but they hadn’t, so she was going to have to go back and take care of it herself. I was so relieved at her quick thinking.

Growing up, I was surrounded by loving aunts, loving uncles and a beautiful, loving, warm Gramma who adored me. It was the short straw in mothers that I had. She did everything in her power to make my life miserable, and she succeeded for far too long. She blamed me for her life, used me for her accolades and constantly threatened suicide when she was at her lowest.

Christmas at our home was always a questionable affair. We never knew if it would happen. Would she want a tree? Maybe. Maybe not. I couldn’t talk to her, for fear of reprisals. My brother could, because he was her shining light. My father could try and reason, but usually, to no avail. The trees we would have ranged from real 6 or 7 foot trees, to 1 foot ceramic trees, depending on what she wanted up that year. Decorations? Maybe. If she was in the mood. Christmas dinner? My Gramma prepared that and I was fortunate to be able to eat at her table if my mother was so inclined that year.

Gifts for my brother were always spot on for a boy his age. He loved his gifts. I don’t blame him at all. He was just caught in the middle. Gifts for me were non-existent or something she bought that she knew I would dislike. Because my brother was my Protector, he would always ask me to play with his new toys every Christmas, and she would say to him, “Why are you asking her to play with your toys? She’s a girl, they’re for boys only!” But he would tell her that he needed my help in putting something together or make some excuse to have me there with him. Because he sensed something was wrong. And, he loved me and wanted to help me.

But, those words and actions from her only happened in the sanctity of our home away from the prying eyes and ears of others. Out in public, she behaved like another woman. The smiling, perfect mother. Only I knew better. I knew who she really was. The Narcissistic Mother That Destroys. The Narcissistic Mother that destroys families, holidays, self-worth, self-esteem, emotions and anything else that might come her way in the child she wishes to crush, demolish and pulverize.

She is a force to be reckoned with and one that hides herself from the world with great manipulation. The child knows but cannot tell for fear. Unfortunately, by the time the child realizes they are an adult and the damage has been done. Damage that pervades so many areas of their life. The one most important realization the child of The Narcissistic Mother must come to terms with is that they are the Victim, it was never their fault. From there, they can build a foundation for a successful life after. That is when they become Survivors.

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