Sunday, September 24, 2006

Speaking of Narcissistic Mothers

A few days after I had my first baby my mom gave me some motherly advice. It went like this,
"There are going to be times when your baby is going to make you very angry. In fact, you're going to be so angry that you'll wish you could throw him into a wall. You'll be tired and overwhelmed and the baby will just push you to absolute frustration. Now, you won't act out on those feelings, but you'll feel horrible about yourself for having them. I'm letting you know ahead of time so you won't feel like you're an awful mother for having those urges. All mothers feel like this from time to time."
I nodded and thanked her for the wisdom. (I was quite young and still very much under my mom's control.)

Of course, now that I'm many years away from this and have much perspective, I understand that she was revealing much about herself and nothing about me. I never had the urge to kill my babies. Never once did I want to smash their heads into a hard object just to relieve myself of frustration. But I realize now what kind of mother I had from infancy. A homocidal bitch. She was projecting onto me. I am sure that she was actually hoping I would feel the way she
described because it would, in some way, make her feel justified in her homocidal urges.

What she said would qualify as suggestion. It wouldn't have occurred to me that mothers routinely felt like killing their helpless babies. Here was my loving mother **wheeze** putting a thought into my head that never before had residence there. She was trying to shape me into being like she was. If I ever confessed to having the same murderous feelings about my baby she would never have to feel like I would condemn her feelings toward me as a baby. It was a convoluted way to find absolution, in my opinion.

She has repeated over and over again through the years about how it was a very good thing that I was such a calm and quiet baby. She was depressed and overwhelmed. She just doesn't know what she would have done if I was other than I was. What usually goes unmentioned in this particular tape recording (as in one of those stories she has repeated many times) of hers was the reality that I was the result of an unwanted pregnancy. I am sure she blamed me for the fact that she was now married and saddled with responsibility rather than being the little social butterfly flitting about charming men and getting coddled and adored.

My only other sibling, a sister three years my junior, was my mom's wanted baby. My father didn't want any more children, so mom accidentally on purpose got pregnant. (A factoid she shared with me after I was grown.) My sister was anything but a calm and quiet baby, but somehow my mother could deal with that fact because this was the baby she longed for and wanted and connived to get. I suspect she never had homocidal urges when my sister was an infant. She spoiled my sister. My sister was somewhat of a trophy because she was blonde. My mother is hispanic and her family took special pride in family members who were fairer skinned, or had "blue" eyes (which meant they were some color other than brown), and light hair. So, I suppose she gained a fair amount of supply from family who fawned over her blonde baby.

My Nmom took extreme pride in her self-control. She is some kind of queen mother because she didn't kill me in my crib. For that she acts like she deserves a medal, and every whim and expectation of hers is mine to fulfill. Ha. I'm so far out of contact with her now that she doesn't even know what state in the U.S. I'm living in. She can take her expectations and shove them up.....well, let's just say, where da sun don't shine.

Oh, for the record, above mentioned spoiled sister doesn't know where to find me either. I can't tell you how good it feels every time I think about how I'm free from these two intensely selfish and controlling women. The relief is immense. I feel almost euphoric every time I think about it. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, life is good without narcissists.

4 comments:

Anti-Narci said...

Two years later, I'm commenting. So good chance no one will ever even see this, but I enjoy listening to myself ramble nonetheless...;)

A few days after I had my first baby my mom gave me some motherly advice. It went like this,
"There are going to be times when your baby is going to make you very angry. In fact, you're going to be so angry that you'll wish you could throw him into a wall. You'll be tired and overwhelmed and the baby will just push you to absolute frustration. Now, you won't act out on those feelings, but you'll feel horrible about yourself for having them. I'm letting you know ahead of time so you won't feel like you're an awful mother for having those urges. All mothers feel like this from time to time."


My MIL told me the EXACT SAME THING. Okay, not exact as in word-for-word, but I do remember with great clarity hearing her say, "You'll wish you could throw him into a wall." I was freaked out when she said this. And yeah, I got overwhelmed and frustrated. But like you, I never had the desire to beat the shit out of my child.

I had asked you about being "golden child" in one of my million other comments. Now I see the dynamics of your family. My husband, the "golden child" was the accidentally-on-purpose baby. I think my FIL was going to get the hell out of dodge until MIL got pregnant. But the second child, BIL was an accident.

And it’s funny that you mention the physical characteristics. FIL is Cuban, MIL is lily-white. FIL is not very dark skinned at all; only slightly gives looks like what most consider to be Hispanic. My husband was blonde when he was born; his hair is dark now, but when we first met the only thing that gave away his Hispanic heritage was his last name. BIL, on the other hand, is darker-skinned, much more than FIL. MIL has made the most racist comments about pretty much every race--they’re always just a “joke” of course. Her father was a raging racist and I’m pretty sure that all of her “jokes” were anything but. So now I can’t help but wonder if not only their personalities played a role but also their looks.

This is all so freakin’ weird. There really is no rhyme or reason as to how or why they pick their favorites. You sister and my husband are completely different; you and my BIL sound completely different, too. I guess this is what I get for trying to figure out some pattern of something to do with a narci...there is no pattern. Except that they enjoy ruining other people.

Yet I keep trying to find something rational in the irrational. More than 3 years after the big bang and I'm still trying to find something that makes sense.

Anna Valerious said...

This is all so freakin’ weird. There really is no rhyme or reason as to how or why they pick their favorites.

Yes, there is rhyme, though not necessarily 'reason' (as we define reason), to how they pick their favorites. There is a melody line, you just don't know the tune yet. Another thing is that the reasons are often very obscure to those not on the inside.

There are basic motivations and objectives for the malignant narcissist that are universal. On the other hand, they are completely adaptable to their circumstances as well as their own personal preferences. This is why there is so much variation in some of the observable behaviors of narcissists. This variation is on a surface level though. It is the variation that has taken into account their circumstances and the people in their lives. Yet, underneath it all, you find some common threads.

First, and primary, is the predatory aspect of their natures. Secondly, their absolute lust for one thing: ATTENTION. Attention is the "coin of the land" for malignant narcissists. They want it. They want it all. They must have it all...they must have YOURS. This leads straight into the predation aspect of their characters. They are constantly stalking their drug. We are all casualties of their drug habit. The "malignant" part of "malignant narcissism" is that they want what you have to the point of wishing you harm. They have ill will toward others. This ill will underlies most everything they do. It is what makes them destructive and dangerous.

For example. We all need attention. We all need kindness and human regard. It has been proven that without it we shrivel up and die. But the MN wants to suck up every last drop of the milk of human kindness. All the regard. All the attention. To the point that they will take what is rightfully yours in order to make sure they "have it all". This behavior requires malignant intent. You are substantially harmed by having a narcissist in your sphere of contact because they will, as far as they are able, deprive you of the stuff of life. They are soul suckers. They kill the soul...and leave the body intact so no one suspects a murder has taken place. To steal all the human attention and regard in the room is to take some of what is rightfully yours. It is damaging. It can kill.

So the ways narcissists go about getting what they want varies with each narcissist, but the underlying motivations are the common thread. People are often confused because, on the surface, one narcissist may operate very differently from another. They find the lack of continuity between the behaviors of various Ns to be confusing because they haven't learned to see the underlying lusts. The motivating forces that drive them to do what they do. As you continue your quest for knowledge look for the common threads of motives to help you learn the music to their funereal dirge. The behaviors can vary widely...the lusts do not.

Anti-Narci said...

The behaviors can vary widely...the lusts do not.

AHA!!!! This is a perfect way to sum it up. Thank you.:)

WarriorMOMMY said...

I heard a similar comment my whole life from my Nmother which went something like "when you have children your life is over for the next 18 years." Hence my complete aversion to children until now in my 30's with a 5-month-old. I would like to say that I feel my life has now started thanks to my daughter and that I feel like she is a blessing to my life and will continue to be so long after she is 18.

This is also the same person that was "grossed out" by breast-feeding and made me equally freaked out by it up until I had my daughter. Thankfully I tried it when she was born despite my mother-induced fear, and I am still going 5 months later.

There is no greater feeling to me than being the complete opposite of her as a mother to my child and step-children and to be their hero instead of their abuser and enemy. I don't make them an afterthought after myself. I have to reign myself in sometimes to not make them the center of everything as that can be unhealthy too. It feels good to recognize the difference and to be able to make them feel important instead of an annoyance.