Sunday, January 11, 2009

Do They Have Feelings?

This question was somewhat addressed by me in my post, They DO Have Empathy...Just Not for You. I mentioned that the narcissist has oodles and bunches of compassion (empathy) but only enough for themselves. You don't get any.

The "Do They Have Feelings?" question is answered in the same way: Yes, they do, but only for themselves.

In my experience with narcissists (which includes a larger circle than just my mother and sister for you folks who think I extrapolate off of only those two) the more narcissistic a person is the easier it is to hurt their feelings. They have the tenderest little feelings. Boo, f8&king, hoo. They can be the biggest ass about your feelings, but watch the tears (or rage) start when you accidentally bump into one of theirs!

I feel the need to ask (and answer) this question even though it appears to be the same question as to whether or not the narcissist has empathy. They are essentially the same question, but not everyone realizes that fact. Sometimes phrasing things a little differently can allow the lights to come on for someone who didn't get it on the first pass.

The sensitive, tender little feelings that the narcissist has for themselves is an extension of the empathy they have for themselves. They refuse to feel your pain, but they expect you to feel theirs! I use the word 'refuse' advisedly. It is a willful act on their part to unacknowledge the pain they inflict upon you. They know what they're doing. Their empathy allows them to know how you feel. They simply refuse to feel anything for your sake.

I'm going to cast the net a bit wider than just narcissists here. Anyone who is in a relationship with an abusive person has seen how sensitive the abuser's feelings are. People who stay in abusive relationships seem to be those who can't see the huge disconnect in their own thinking. The disconnect is this wide gulf between the abuser's lack of empathy for you at the time they're abusing you and yet how carefully you have to step around the abuser's feelings at all times! The common refrain among those caught in abusive relationships is "walking on eggshells". The abuser's feelings rein supreme at all times. Everyone else is expected to cowtow to, step around, coddle, soothe, and respect the feelings of the abuser at all times. Yet, when the abuser needs to unload, he or she reserves all rights to decimating and destroying your feelings and self-respect until they feel better. It is a sick, sick dynamic. And it is perpetuated by largely by the victim's non-recognition of the absolute unfairness of this system.

I somehow doubt I can cut through the rationalizations of someone who is currently in this dance with an abusive person since I've so recently failed to with someone I know and care about. The armor-plating around some people's reasoning centers are fairly well-fortified. Maybe I can make a dent though.

I have been using the term "abuser" instead of narcissist because I am personally aware of the fact that some who are intermittently emotionally cruel and abusive to someone close to them may fall short of full malignant narcissism. I want to catch all abusers in my descriptions in this post, not just those who are full-blown narcissists. I have observed through my nearly half-century of life that those who are capable of being cruel and abusive emotionally to someone they ostensibly "love" are the exact same people with very tender regard for their own feelings. They are so easy to offend unintentionally by a look or a word. Keep in mind as you continue reading that I'm talking about those whom we find ourselves time and again unintentionally setting off. That is a red flag. Someone who is easily offended for reasons that are never clear to you at the time.

Have you ever noticed how an emotionally well-balanced person is very easy to be around? When we describe someone as being easy to be around we are describing someone who is not prone to having their feelings easily hurt among other characteristics. People who are very insecure as well as immature are the easiest to offend unintentionally. Of course, that describes all malignant narcissists, but it can also include those who are very narcissistic but are not a full-blown case of NPD.

Let me say it another way. The more self-involved someone is, the more hyper-sensitive their feelings become. Many teens are a good example of the combination of insecurity and immaturity which makes it very easy to step on their feelings before you realize what you've done. Adults who are emotionally arrested at their teens will continue to be very easily offended and will often justify being at least occasionally abusive to those close to them.


Don't confuse my use of the words "hyper-sensitive" to mean what the narcissist means when they accuse you of being hyper-sensitive because your feelings are hurt by their cutting remarks or cruel behaviors. I'm talking about the kind of sensitivity we call "walking on eggshells" which describes how people act when they never know what will set that person off. Which means that offense is taken where a reasonable person would never even think to get offended over such things. Narcissists often pretend to be offended in order to steer the behaviors of those around them to suit their purposes. It is a manipulation tactic to constantly be looking for reasons to be offended as the narcissist does. But, in addition to the intentional offense that narcissists take over what would never be perceived as a slight by a normal person, the narcissist is easy to offend in actuality. Pop their grandiosity bubble, fail to reflect their illusion of themselves back to them as they want you to, remind them of reality in any way they have chosen to ignore, fail in any way to give them what they want even if they haven't told you what they want, and you'll find yourself dealing with the intensely offended narcissist. Most times you've unintentionally done it. That never gets you off the hook.

The brilliant and incisive Kathy Krajco asks the question "Do They Have Feelings?" in her book What Makes Narcissists Tick. And she answers the question:

Yes! Very, very tender feelings!

She proceeds to tell a story about a narcissist husband/father who was demonstrating the most insensitive and uncaring behavior while his wife lay dying in the hospital. All his behaviors were focused on not giving an ounce of attention to his dying wife. His eldest daughter was outraged and angry enough at his behavior to toy with the idea of literally kicking him in the ass as he stood there with his back to both his wife and herself. A look from her mother indicated the mother appreciated that the daughter could see what the father was doing and appreciated the solidarity of feeling with the daughter. It was enough. The mother waved her hand in a way that indicated he wasn't even worthy of their contempt. So the daughter kept her foot to herself, but she opted for another way of giving him some of his own medicine back.

The narcissist had no idea what had gone one behind his back in silence and how close he had come [to getting a foot in his ass]. A minute later he left for another buzz around the hospital. Another daughter arrived, and when he came barging back in loud-mouthing to interrupt their conversation and command all attention, the older daughter kept right on talking as if he were not there. The mother and the other daughter glanced back-and-forth between them several times before they caught on and nearly blew it by laughing at this chance to give the unfeeling brute a dose of his own medicine. They played along, as though intently interested in whatever trivial thing the older daughter was saying just to keep talking through him as if he were not there.

His reaction to this teeny-weeny dose of his own medicine? You should have seen the hurt and devastated look on that poor little kicked puppy-dog's face! He was deeply, deeply wounded by this callous treatment! He acted like a sheepish little boy who could not imagine why or how people could be so cruel to him! He just hung his head and walked back out of the room like someone in utter dejection who wants to go crawl in a hole.

Yes, a narcissist has very, very tender feelings. But only for himself. For anyone -- anyone -- else he is as devoid of human feeling as a brute, cold-blooded, predatory beast. Think of the inhuman, mindless, machinelike look in the eye of a snake slowly, slowly swallowing whole it's live, wriggling-in-agony prey.

That's how much "feeling" your narcissist has for you -- exactly as much as that snake has for it's prey = zero. "What Makes Narcissists Tick" pgs. 286-287

This is cold, hard reality with the malignant narcissist and abusive types some ways along on the narcissitic continuum.

Do you find yourself flagellating yourself when you "hurt" the feelings of someone who regularly abuses you and your feelings? What is up with that??? Why would you waste one more moment telling yourself you're a mean, "bad" person when you see that hurt puppy-dog look in your abuser's eyes? I know people who beat themselves up for simply pointing out REALITY to their abuser only to have REALITY hurt the little abuser's feelings. For instance, "I am going to be really busy today so you won't be seeing much of me on your day off. Don't expect me to have time to sit down and chat with you because I have today scheduled to get ready for Christmas." This statement sent a dear friend of mine into paroxysms of regret because she felt like she was being "mean" and a "bitch" because she knew even before she said it that it would offend the hearer. Even so, the words came out of her mouth matter-of-factly. She saw her matter-of-fact statement of TRUTH as being deliberately hurtful to this person because she went ahead and said it anyway knowing it would 'hurt' his feelings. She was all over herself for being "mean". Just a day or so before this person she was addressing had emotionally abused her for an hour over the most unpredictable and irrational thing until HE felt better. Nothing she said or did could assuage him. He simply had to abuse her until he started feeling better. Yet, she makes this matter-of-fact statement and because REALITY sucked for him...his feelings were 'hurt'. She told me in agonizing tones how horrible she felt immediately after saying it because she could see the 'hurt' in his eyes as he toddled off to his bedroom. She was fearful she said what she did in partial retaliation for what had happened a day or so before. Hyper-conscience at work here.

I am close to this person yet I am fairly sure I could say nothing to convince her that she didn't say something mean. I couldn't seem to convince her of the absolute absurdity of having to be so overly careful of his widdle feelings when he demonstrates over and over and over again that HER feelings don't matter one shit as far as he's concerned. How do I break through? Is there even a point to this blog post that will penetrate such thinking? I have no idea. But I'm trying.

Please, please do not overlook the huge disparity in your relationship between how that person treats your feelings and how you're expected by them to treat theirs.

By no means am I sanctioning being cruel (for cruelty's sake) to them. But denying someone the attention they expect (tacitly demand) is not "mean". Telling them you're going to be forced to deny them attention because of other demands on your time and energy is not mean. Being matter-of-fact about something you know will "offend" them is not mean. If a grown adult can't handle REALITY without getting their feelings all bent out of shape then you're dealing with a very, very selfish and immature person at the very least. And likely you're dealing with a narcissist since you're reading here at my site, "Narcissists Suck".

I'd like to insert at this point that abusers will act like they care about your feelings. This is strategic, intermittent, and shallow. Whenever the rubber hits the road, for all the times the abuser has acted concerned about how you feel, you find yourself once again treated like crap on his or her shoe when you most need a kind word or some concern. They will sometimes, maybe even often, mouth words of caring and concern about you and your feelings, but it never seems to translate into something real when you most need them to give a damn. Remember my maxim: when the words stand in contradiction to the behaviors you must believe the behaviors! What we do (or refuse to do when action is called for) is the measurement of our character and our intentions. Our words don't mean jack if they are not followed through with and supported by our action.

You may be someone with an overly honed conscience. Like my dear friend above. She has a conscience big enough for several people! Abusive types get away with a lot when they have your very sensitive conscience to manipulate. There is such a thing as having an ill-informed and hyper conscience, and it needs to be corrected at times. Hyper consciences usually translate into you allowing yourself to be used and abused time and again because standing up for yourself somehow feels wrong. Putting your foot down feels wrong. Making some clear boundaries feels wrong. All this misplaced guilt stems from wrong-thinking. Our consciences are influenced by our thinking. When we think in wrong lines it will negatively impact our conscience by either damping our conscience down (as narcissistic thinking does) or it can put our consciences into over-drive (neurotic thinking).

Consciences aren't infallible measurements of morality or duty. Conscience must be tested against reason and objective standards to be properly calibrated. It is not reasonable to have to tiptoe around another person's feelings all the time. Neither is it automatically immoral to 'hurt' someone feelings. And just because something 'feels' wrong doesn't automatically mean it is wrong.

If you've been raised by a narcissist the narcissist worked your conscience over pretty good. They miscalibrated your conscience intentionally so it would tell you that you're being "mean" or "bad" simply because you've not given them what they want. (Even just living a long time with a narcissist will likely cause you to miscalibrate your conscience so it aligns with the narcissist's demands.) Rationally, you can think this through. Is it automatically wrong to deny someone wants or wishes? Rationally, you can say "no". Is it automatically wrong if someone's feelings get hurt because of what you've said or done? Again, "no" is the logical answer. If you're going to free yourself from an abusive relationship you're going to have to work on re-calibrating your conscience so it works properly and doesn't keep you enslaved to the abuser's whims. You do this by examining your thinking. By reassessing the premises you base your thinking upon. This calls for some introspection...you know, that quiet activity a narcissist never engages in. Sites like this one attempt to help you in that process of getting your thinking straight. Your conscience will follow.

But today's thought is simply this: the narcissist/abuser has tender feelings that they coddle and caress and expect you to do the same for their poor little feelings. Conversely, they will trample, disregard and spit on your feelings. This is a sign of their basely selfish and corrupt natures and isn't your cue to capitulate. Expect them to be 'hurt' when you state reality. Expect them to look wounded to the core when you don't perform properly your "duty" by them. Remember 'til your dying day that the narcissist and the abuser are filled with the tenderest sympathy for themselves, but can spare none or little for you. This is a grotesque reality you mustn't pretend away. Stop the crazy bus and get off! There is something seriously wrong with a person who has feelings only for their own pain. Period. Every psychopath has feelings for himself. The same psychopath gets a total thrill from hurting your feelings. Even if we're only talking about someone who emotionally abuses you on occasion so they can feel better it is the same principle. Someone who ignores your pain but has all kinds of compassion for their own pain is a sick sonafabitch. Steer clear.

128 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have a really good example of this dynamic. Years ago, when I went NC with my N momster, I sent her a letter confronting her on all the physical and emotional abuse she had given me over the years. I then went NC- I wasn't interested in any kind of reply from her.

She sent a bunch of letters over the next few years, which I never opened. I just saved them. 5 or 6 years later, when I felt emotionally strong enough to read them, I did.

One of her letters was 9 or 10 pages describing the abuse SHE experienced as a child!! This was after several letters overtly denying that she ever abused me! That was when I knew how sick she really was - that she would think that sharing about her abuse with me was an effective way of resolving the problem that I had accused her of abuse! The fact that she doesn't grasp the contradictions in that was astounding to me, and confirmed that she is still the person I've always known her to be - a completely self-centered N. She wanted sympathy for HER abuse while simultaneously denying that she ever abused me.

Kathleen said...

My BIL said he would not deliver the eulogy for my DH because his grief was just too great. Several hours after my DH passed way, BIL's wife called and told me that BIL was too distraught to speak to me, and we played a little "relay" game. I heard him sobbing in the background. Both times BIL wanted compassion FROM ME.

But several months after DH passed away I confronted BIL on his inability to even share one nice story of my DH with my children. His response? "Well, he left home at 19 and I didn't really know him."

Yes, he has feelings. For himself. Also calls himself a Christian -- and yet tells a 12-year-old fatherless child to never email him again (she had asked him to pick up the phone and offer to help).

Here's my dilemma with the topic of this post. You state reality, they get "hurt," and you feel like shit. You question your own value system. So you start to walk in eggshells.

Soon you don't know when you are speaking reality, when you have a savior complex, when you're seeking revenge, when you're motivated by anger, when you should reply, when you should bite your tongue. In my case it's even at times difficult to be introspective because I begin to question every possible motive I may have. Crazy-making.

At what point do you KNOW when to bite your tongue, when to speak, when to write that letter, make that phone call, when to keep silent?

- Kathleen

Anonymous said...

The key is to watch for those contradictions. This is why, when I caught those contradictions, I was told there was something wrong with me for looking. There are patterns to an N's behavior, and that is precisely why they don't want you to look.

Anna Valerious said...

Kathleen,

'No contact' makes all these questions resolve quite quickly. Dilemmas disappear when you refuse to interact with them at any time in any way.

Kathleen said...

Yes, I will continue with the N/C.
In being introspective I have found out that not only do I have, on occasion, a savior complex -- but on occasion I have an urge to say "nyah, nyah. heard your bad news. How does it feel?"
Yes, at times I want to hurt THEM. I want to REVEL in their misfortune. I want to STRIKE BACK.

Of course I know that's wrong. But the feelings are there and they are real.

The only way to avoid regretting I opened my mouth is by not opening my mouth.

The law is As you sow, so shall you reap.
I don't have to say "nyah nyah." But I do have to work on the URGE to do it.

Thanks.

- Kathleen

So, what IS in a heart? said...

"It is not reasonable to have to tiptoe around another person's feelings all the time."

Yup. Plus, it never works. They FIND a reason to be upset.

Can dish it out, but can't take it. At least a real snake wouldn't be crying and feeling sorry for itself.

Barbara said...

So so true. My late Nmother thought everything revolved around her. I was in my 30s when she started saying to me (every chance she got) "I know you live your whole life just to HURT ME!" My response. "Ma, the consideration of your feelings? Is so low on my priority scale it doesn't register. In fact, I don't care." This brought wailing & gnashing of teeth and I just walked away. I hate being that cold to anyone but I couldn't do it.

What also got me was how a man I was in a relationship with a few years back -- pulled the whole "I am the hurt party here" after sending me to the hospital from the traumatic effects of the end of the relationship. The paramoralizing and the infamous N "comparing" (me to his estranged wife; who'd suddenly become 'the most wonderful woman ever'... LOL) They are the ones making the comparisons but you are only comparing you to you and them to them.

Kathy's story about the Nfather was right on target.

They do have feelings, for themselves ONLY. Period.

Anonymous said...

I lived with my N-sister for several years. She was an abusive monster, to the point that I thought there was something wrong with me. From the time I woke up in the morning, she would criticize, pick fights over things that were minimal or didn't exist, and make things up to be offended by.

If we were walking to the store, I was either "walking too fast on purpose" or "walking too slow on purpose". She was big on the "silent treatment", I never knew what I did, but suddenly she wasn't speaking to me. When I asked what I had done to offend, she would say, "If you don't know, then you're a f*@cking idiot." The silent treatment could last from a day to a week. Sometimes it stemmed from a perceived dirty look. The longer I lived with her, the silent treatment was okay by me, it meant that I didn't have to listen to her screaming at me because I left a glass in the kitchen sink before I went to bed.

She would eat my food in the fridge (we didn't share any food-her rule) and deny it. "I didn't eat your soup, I hate chicken soup, you're a lousy cook." Yet the full bowl was now half full. Does soup evaporate? Then, she would retaliate by accusing me of drinking her orange juice straight from the carton. (She could tell because there was lipstick on the carton.) Does anyone over the age of eight drink from the carton? I held the carton under a light and asked her to point out the lipstick, (the carton was white as snow) yet she pointed and said, "right there". Crazy stuff.

She once went on a full rage for two hours because I answered the phone. Our heater broke, and the repairman had called to say that he was coming to fix it. She was furious because I couldn't take the day off from work to let him in. "Why should she have to let him in?" Well, for one thing, she worked from home and she was going to be there anyway, and for another, it was January and it was in the 30's.

When I began to wear down from the stress, I told her I was moving out, and she would cry and say, "you know I can't afford to live by myself." Then I would feel bad, and try my best to get along with her.

The last straw was when I was going to visit a friend on the West coast. She was hurt that I didn't invite her to go along. Why would I invite her to go with me on a vacation to visit a friend that she never had anything nice to say about is beyond me. Early that morning, I heard her creep into my room and unplug my alarm clock, so that I would miss my plane. I didn't let on, pretended that I was asleep until she left. When I returned from the trip, I moved in with a friend while I looked for a new place to live.

It still amazes me that she was so sensitive, and her feelings were so easily hurt. Yet she felt free to say horrific things to me, embarrass me in front of my friends, throw things at me and later say that she "wouldn't have to do that if I didn't make her so mad." She takes no responsibility for her actions, therefore there is no reasoning with her. She will never change. I no longer bother with her. She still sends me birthday presents, which I call "screw you gifts"- a broken bracelet, a knit scarf with a big pull in it, a pair of size 6 shoes (I wear a 9). Every year I open her 'gifts', throw them in the trash, and wonder why she wastes her time.

Laura said...

Absolutely they only care about themselves. MIL revealed as much to me. She told me it was vital that we discuss all the problems we have with each other so that we could clear the air. Being gullible, I agreed. For 2 hours she complained about all the terrible things I had done to her. Like, the time I 'bailed last minute on going on a trip with her'. Yes, the trip *she* canceled because it was supposed to rain (but that little detail is irrelevant).

Finally I got my chance to speak. I said I was hurt that she had thrown a screaming fit at my wedding in front of everyone calling me a b!tch and saying I was ruining her family, etc. And that it bothers me that she refuses to apologize. Her response? "How do you think it makes me feel, that I acted that way at my only son's wedding?"

Woops, I forgot it's all about her!

Anonymous said...

Don't all mothers guilt their kids a bit, one way or another? I think they do whether they perceive it or intend it. . .it's built into the nature of the relationship.

Yet -- there's a difference with Nparents -- for sure. That charming conviction that everything that happens to you, (the offspring) everything you do or say -- good, bad, success, failure, happy, sad -- is about them.

Not long ago, my aging Nmom let her temper show in front of people she wants to impress. Made her very angry with me. Over what? I introduced myself by the name I use, after she had introduced me by a given name I have NEVER used. Right there she started to huff and puff because "the person who gave the name gets to decide what it is." She's really losing her edge. She consoled herself by deciding this prominent couple thinks I'm weird -- still a reflection on her, but. . .better than they think she is a mega-controlling ass.

This thread has also made me think of times in my late adolescence as nest-leaving time approached. I had spent my entire teen years abroad, had no home or roots in the US. I was scared to death. Tried to talk to my mother about it. Must have gotten emotional. She drew back and snapped, "I am not your enemy."

That stopped the discussion cold. What could I say? And, of course, she had no motivation to continue the discussion because it was meaningless to her that I was in crisis. That was decades before I began to suspect she IS my enemy.

Dandelion

Anna Valerious said...

Anonymous, Jan 12 @ 6:49 am,

Your sister is a perfect and comprehensive example of what this post is about. Thank you for detailing it here in the comments. The 'screw you' gifts she still sends you are incredible. She's a real freak. Scary bitch freak.

Anonymous said...

Yes Anna, she was scary, and she didn't care who knew. We had a friend of mine over for a cook out, I was at the grill and had just flipped the chicken over, and along comes sis who wanted to know if it was ready. When I said no, she grabbed the spatula out of my hand, physically pushed me out of the way, and said, "Move out of the way, stupid." My friend M looked at her in disbelief, and said "Don't treat her that way, she's your sister." Without skipping a beat my N-sister relied, "Shut up M, she's my sister, I can talk to her any way I like."

That's when I realized that she didn't feel a bit of remorse for any of the awful things she did or said to me, and that she had no intention or ever changing. I had to take it, after all, I was her sister.

Prior to this, I had gone to a therapist because I couldn't figure out why my sister hated me so much. The therapist would give me suggestions on how to deal with her. And when I tried using them, my sister would mock me and say, "Ooh, therapy-speak." One day I was walking home after a session, and a light bulb went off, she didn't hate me, she hated herself. But it made her feel better if she drug me down with her. She felt gleeful if she screamed at me, or called me names. She hated that I had friends. She could rage at me for an hour, and 5 minutes later ask me if I wanted to go to a movie with her, like nothing happened. I never knew what was going to set her off.

I once got a brochure in the mail for a seminar called "How To Deal With Difficult People". To this day, I think a friend sent it to be helpful, however my sister got to the mailbox first that day. She went crazy, I feared for my life that day, she physically hurt me and screamed for what seemed like hours, she didn't believe me when I told her that I didn't send away for it. I was so afraid of her that I was actually apologizing for something that I had not done.

Anonymous said...

"I no longer bother with her."

I don't blame you. Bet you only regret not leaving sooner. She would have been "fine" without you and even if she wouldn't be--she's a big girl, her problems are NOT yours.


"She still sends me birthday presents, which I call "screw you gifts"- a broken bracelet, a knit scarf with a big pull in it, a pair of size 6 shoes (I wear a 9). Every year I open her 'gifts', throw them in the trash, and wonder why she wastes her time."

Not to mention money. Even if the gifts were probably cheap, wouldn't that money be better spent on herself since she's all she cares about? And isn't she having money problems since "she can't afford to live on her own"? She should be saving money instead of spending it on an "ungrateful sister".

I would have sold the "gifts" on Ebay or somewhere similar. One's man's trash is another one's treasure. With the right description, at least one person would buy it. A little "screw you" pocket change for "screw you" gifts. What makes this so amusing is that she probably thinks you're just HURTING from those gifts and they probably don't even put a dent on you.

Still, Anna is right about the "scary bitch freak". Not because "sis" would have the nuts to do anything other than send stupid gifts, but because you're on her mind on YOUR birthday and those gifts symbolize that she knows where you live. OH NO!

She's trying to cultivate fear, but somehow I doubt it's working as much as she hopes. People like her who are "so easily hurt and sensitive" don't often have what it takes to do anything other subtle slights with the hope that they get the response they're hoping for.

Anonymous said...

I know I needed to read this post. After the last post I commented as 'Anonymous' I'm the one with with the teen daughter and the mom both being N's. I guess I have had enough--but just can't comprehend what to do. Oh I suppose I know what is the best thing to do--I just probably am gutless to do it.

REading this post I recognize myself so well. I know-- its not my fault & yet I know I am the hyper conscience person. The one who sometimes manages to defend herself against the Ns in her life--and then feels like crap for doing it.

At present I am just over my head.

I get news every now and then about my mom. She is pretty much apparently killing herself slowly--maybe not too slowly-- with RX meds and health problems caused or increased by her refusal to take care of herself properly. She also lives in a condo that must be sold as she cannot possibly afford it--yet my poor shmuck of a brother put it in his name so he is now stuck helping her afford it--while being slandered as a nice repayment. Do an N a favor and you can almost guarrantee they will punish you for it.

This I can deal with from afar-- I only feel some guilt over not sending her $$ to help out--since my sister--who cannot drive her car without getting a jump is laying out $$ every day to help. Which I do feel bad about--very bad--but if Mom would downsize in such a way that she could reasonably afford her life-- my husband says he would consider chipping in with other siblings to help out--just he feels--and is probably right--that as long as folks help her now--she will continue to live in a way she cannot afford. I feel guilty even thinking about this! I'm glad I live far away and that my husabnd isn't as weak as me.

closer to home is the problem with my daughter..
I also FEEL GUILTY and Horrible whenever I contemplate treating her as bad as she treats us. So like my conflicts with Mom.

Daughter is off on a 3 week vacation to see her poor shmuck boyfriend. I wish she would stay there--except that he is a nice enough guy and I know doesn't deserve her and I also know he can't afford her.

Me--I just was in her room-- My husband wanted me to look at the mess she left there. "Come look at the present she left you."

Well--I will need the room before she returns. One of our sons wants to move home and go to school. He has always been a joy to live with-- does his share, is respectful and is willing to help us with the house we are building--and I know he WILL really help. Of course he is welcome to come home and we are glad of it.

I suppose I need to clean her mess now, including whatever that purlple goo is that is spilled over the table. Some sort of hair remover I guess. The thing is --where does she get all the stuff she has? She has no job.

Since she left I called her to tell her that our first grandchild--her first neice--was born, and again to tell her that the baby had some problems and was having tests, and again to tell her that the baby is ok afterall and going home.

Why bother? On a day when she would like something from me, she probably would have been sweet and very interested in her new neice. Apparently though, when I called it was not such a day and she was simply bothered that I was even talking to her as she had just gotten to LA and of course isn't yet bored with her vacation.

I knew her room was a mess-- I knew it because I can recall the night she left. I've been sick and was sleeping on the couch that night, due to coughing. I had asked her to do a load of dishes and make sure she left her room clean in case we needed it. Oh certainly --of course she would clean it all.

Of course she did nothing--but wash her own clothes and pack her bag.

I will add this kid is 20 years old, has no job and is not a student--and begged to be allowed to move home 6 mos after the first time we kicked her out. She has not paid one cent of rent, and she has stolen $ to buy cigarettes --I'm pretty sure, and pay her cell phone bill--which I know is true as she had to admit it finally when we had the proof in hand.

So how do I feel?? Irrationally I feel oversensitive to her feelings. I know my husband intends to give her a taste of her own medicine when she returns home--his plan is she will no longer have a bedroom or use of a computer.

I guess he figures she will find someplace else to go.

I feel guilty for wishing she would not come back. And I feel incredibly sad that this is the way things are.
I also think-- my husband has certainly got a point she does not deserve to be treated well.

My approach has always been to treat her the way I wish she treated me--now I see myself as just plain wrong--yet I am not certain I have the strength to turn my back on this person who easily dismisses me.

She's my child.
Anonymous~M

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, Jan 12 @ 6:49 am,

What Anna said. Wow. My jaw was on the floor.

Anonymous said...

This post is so exactly true. I had so many flashbacks to interactions with my N-dad, who also had a serious chronic illness, so you can imagine how critical were his feelings about his pain, and how offensive anyone else's needs or frippery "feelings" might be.

It's very true that they screw with your conscience so that you feel automatically 'bad' to ever say 'no' or to deny the N anything. This type thinking has been such an obstacle, and not just within that one abusive relationship. As an ACON it is shocking to understand how mis-raised I was, but I would rather survive to tackle and hopefully overcome those developmental issues any day than live another nanosecond under the N's tyrannical thumb, torturing myself for my shortcomings (failures to more perfectly meet his endless 'needs').

Yes, I feel like a sucker because I was one of those hyper-conscience people, but time and therapy and especially learning how to watch the *actions* regardless of what the *words* say - to follow the **evidence** that behavior provides - gave me a thread to follow out of the hellish maze.

I don't know what will penetrate your friend's maze Anna, but thank you for trying. Thank you for being a person who tries. I recognized myself (repeating that very behavior for years) in your description of her and it destroyed another bit of lingering self-doubt. It brought another increment of healing and wholeness and again heartened me to push on toward mastering healthier and wiser ways that respect my own dignity.

I urge anybody struggling in the maze of hyper-conscience, guilt and walking on eggshells to follow the thread of the evidence (the fundamental unfairness) and get out.

I love your blog Anna and it gives me no end of inspiration that you writes as such a firebrand, with such strength.

And to all who comment, I also so appreciate your comments sharing your experiences and wisdom, strength and compassion. Even if you are sharing a struggle and I don't have a chance to write in to encourage you to persevere, I want you commenters and readers to know that as a fellow ACON I always 100% support you, your perspective, your survival, your wellbeing, health and thriving. And especially your freedom and ability to defend yourselves from the N(s).

Billie said...

This post is running right along with current problems my sister and I are having with our NDad. Dad is notorious for offering to lend money to us when he knows we will not accept his offer. The few times he's sincerely made the offer is when he's made it perfectly clear there are strings attached. After years of being Mr. I'm-The-Best-Most-Caring-Most-Loving-Dad-Because-I-Offered-to-Lend-Money-to-someone-who-doesn't-want-it, my sister called his bluff. Mind you, my sister has worked her own way through college and never asked Dad for any money through the years, although he's often asked her facetiously if he can help her out. We're on to him, needless to say. My sister has recently become engaged to a great guy who she's never brought to meet Dad because of his tactless weirdness and rude comments. My father has been less than encouraging or happy for her, mostly because he views this as someone stealing his n-supply, I think. She decided to poke the old alligator by asking him if he could spare a little money for her to use to prepare her wedding (since he's asked her soooo many times, couldn't she use some money, etc.) Immediately, he got defensive and rude and told her maybe her "rich old man" (referring to her fiancee) should pay for it since he's got "so much money". WTF??? Let's be clear here. Dad has money, plenty of it, but loves to tell people how poor he is, and I'm sure, tell people how his daughters are always bleeding him dry (when we take nothing from him at all). The old bastard could afford to help one of his offspring who he's never helped before although he's brimming with stories of his grand generosities. It is downright comical how swiftly he changed into such a catty old bastard the minute someone called his bluff. My sister told him it was okay, not to bother with it because she didn't want his money anyway, and that he needn't tell everyone and their dog false tales of how she's so destitute that her "poor daddy" must cough up cash for her. He did not tell me this story; my sister did. Of course, the afternoon after this happened, nDad calls me and mentions none of this (which is not his usual MO, but not unheard of). He was the nicest old man you ever met during this phone call, asking me if I needed any money and to tell my sister that he has the money she "needs" and that he just didn't understand what she wanted. (I know, what???) The deal is this: she and I are his ONLY SUPPLY left in the world, and he knows it. We do not kiss his ass, but we make sure he's physically safe and keep in contact with him because of his age and his refusal to go into an assisted living situation. I assume that's because he knows once we know he's safe, we'll keep him more staunchly at arms' length. He was an awful father while we were growing up, like most n-parents are, and a nonexistent father to an older daughter who he abandoned because her mother wanted a divorce from him. But, Sweet Jesus, let someone tell him the truth about himself or call him on one of his ridiculous stories or attention-getting gimmicks, and he is the weepiest poor thing you ever met, and the most put-upon and mistreated, by people who he considers himself to have "been so good" to.

Kelly said...

Oh SO right on this one Anna. My mother always disgusted me particularly at funerals, where she always managed to get the spotlight on herself, because she was in so much grief and pain, it was too much.
It is amazing how easily those with NPD are hurt. Sometimes the most mundane comments can set them off. Half the time I didn't even know or understand what set my NMom off.

had it with my N sister said...

"It is amazing how easily those with NPD are hurt. Sometimes the most mundane comments can set them off. Half the time I didn't even know or understand what set my NMom off."

I don't even think Ns are listening to what anybody else says most of the time. At least not literally. They are listening for the one little thing that they can pounce on and twist into a new meaning that they can use to make you pay for whatever perceived slight you've given them in the last 30 years. Or they're listening for the first chance they can get to jump in and bring the conversation back to their favorite topic: themselves.

Anna Valerious said...

Laura,

Your MIL's way of 'clearing the air' reminds me of my mother's mode of operation. My mother had been terribly rude to her former SIL, Sandy, (my cousin's mom) over a Christmas gift about six years ago. Long story short my mother was rude, offensive, and cruel when Sandy called her to thank her for her Christmas gift! Sandy called all effusive and happy and was slapped down to size in the space of a couple of minutes. My mom gave with one hand only to take with the other.

The end of this story was my cousin confronted my mother over my mom's bad behavior. This made my mother agree to apologize to Sandy next time she saw her. A week or two later both my mother and Sandy were invited to my cousin's house for a meal. My mother immediately requested that Sandy go with her in private so my mother could "apologize". My mother's apology consisted of two hours (!!!!) of rehashing the past. Which past? All the things my mother could think of that Sandy had done to my mother to hurt my mother's feelings. My mom went back decades. So, Sandy ended up apologizing to my mother in that apology session. She learned that no matter what offensive thing my mother may have done to her, Sandy had done MUCH WORSE to my mother (according to my mother, of course).

My mother has these trump cards in her deck for everyone in her family. This means, in her mind, she has a 'get out of jail free" card no matter what stunt she may pull on us. My dad pulled mom's 'get out of jail free' card on me when I held my mom to account for her behavior on Thanksgiving 2002. I shoved it back in his face so hard I'm sure it left a mark. All the guilt handles they've used in the past aren't there anymore. They are sitting all alone and self-righteous and I have a wonderful life without them.

Yeah, never submit to a "clearing the air" with a narcissist. It always means using you for a punching bag. They take responsibility for nuthin'. And you can guarantee that you've always "hurt" their feelings worse than they hurt yours which means they don't have to apologize sincerely for anything.

Sick, twisted freaks.

Anonymous said...

"yet I am not certain I have the strength to turn my back on this person who easily dismisses me. "

You'll need it. The more you feel misplaced guilt toward being rid of her, the worse she's going to get. You enable her behavior by keeping her around.

Try not to let your emotions dictate everything. She is POISON. Do you drink poison? Do you like keeping it around in the open? What if you're beloved dog had rabies? Would you keep it around.

You may feel horrible for booting out your daughter and refusing to enable her anymore, but it's necessary. Otherwise, she'll only get worse towards you and those you love.

If you think guilt for being rid of her is bad, think of the guilt you might feel when she's around to cause trouble for the person you REALLY want around--your son, who you said yourself is a joy to live with.

"Clean" her room by tossing EVERYTHING in storage. She'll find another place to go.

Anonymous said...

"They are sitting all alone and self-righteous and I have a wonderful life without them."

Something that infuriates Abusers more than anything. Even more than revenge schemes.

Anna Valerious said...

Anonymous "M",

By giving in and giving your daughter what she demands you are not guilty of loving her too much. You love her too little to do right by her. Love is principled. Love isn't indulgent of evil. Love is protective of the innocent. You, dear lady, are sentimental. Sentimental is not being loving. It is weak and unprincipled when it enables evil to continue unabated.

If you truly love your daughter you will kick her ass out and let her learn life the hard way. The "School of Hard Knocks" is the ONLY place she may possibly learn some reality. If she screws up her life it is not your responsibility. It is hers. Until you let her feel the full weight of her own choices you preclude her from learning from her mistakes and from her bad behavior. That makes you a bad parent. Good parents recognize it is essential that their children learn the hard lessons. Parents who keep sheltering their kids from the reality of their own choices are raising losers...and usually menaces to society. Follow your husband's lead on this situation. He is being a good parent. You need to rely on his resolve and strength if you're to do right by your daughter and by your son.

You need a backbone. And quick. If you can't find yours then please let your husband use his!

Anonymous said...

"Clean" her room by tossing EVERYTHING in storage. She'll find another place to go."

Wow.. I have deep inside me a person who wants to do that. Who just says--good grief what is wrong with you? Why are you putting up with this nonsense?

On the other hand, I have another person in me who is just heart-broken here and as much as she'd like this to go away still keeps thinking there must be some way to fix it. Somehow there must be some way to get this kid to 'see' what she is doing to the people who love her and realize that she needs to change.

I keep reading different posts and thinking about all of this. I appreciate the feedback, this is just still a thing--I don't know--it must be hardest when its your own child--you think-- Did I do this? Did I somehow cause this kid to be this way?

Or you make excuses for them, or try to put a better face on things.

ugh. anonymous m

Anonymous said...

"My dad pulled mom's 'get out of jail free' card on me when I held my mom to account for her behavior on Thanksgiving 2002. I shoved it back in his face so hard I'm sure it left a mark."

Interesting that your mother didn't try it on you at that time. Maybe she knew it wouldn't work, but the tried the "man trick" and well, that didn't work either. LOL!

Anonymous said...

to Anna V--
You know, I never thought of myself as 'sentimental' before. I guess that is the right word for it though, I'm nostaligically 'wishful thinking' that my little girl were still that sweet thing that used to sing songs and make me pictures--instead of this person who I can't trust that seems to take my love for granted and just do whatever she pleases without being responsible.

you said: "You need a backbone. And quick. If you can't find yours then please let your husband use his!"

You are right. I know my husband is dreading her return and has resolved to make it unpleasant for her in hopes she will leave again asap. I think what he dreads most is that he knows I will have a hard time with it.

I guess I just need to let him do that--or take a step further and inform her that I am in agreement with him and won't be interceding for her anymore.

She really does need to learn some things and apparently after being with us again the past 7 or 8 months she has not progressed an iota.

I think I will throw her table out --the one with the 'goo' on it. I gave it to her for her sewing machine which I bought her.

Again on the sentimental subject--I have always felt as if there was a great loss in my life because I could not have a normal relationship with my mother--I had to always keep a distance for my own safety and sanity.

So yes, I think it is a sentimental thing that I have tried --probably too hard--to have a better relationship with my daughter--but she has not reciprocated. I guess its time I learn to give that dream up. This really wasn't up to me--it was her choices that caused it.

In the meantime I have 3 sons and a husband that love me and that I can trust, and who don't treat me with contempt. That's pretty good, and I also now have a new baby grand-daughter, who I hope will grow up to be as sweet as she looks now. anonymous m

Anna Valerious said...

Interesting that your mother didn't try it on you at that time.

I left the chronology out because I've blogged about this in the past. No, it was because I had finally cut off all communication with her. This made my dad angry and he wrote to me. We exchanged a couple letters back and forth when it became apparent nothing I could say would make him pin the blame where it belonged and I consigned him to the same land of NoContact where I'd consigned my mother several months earlier. Buh bye.

Anna Valerious said...

Anonymous M,

Yes, please, oh, please stop undermining your husband's effort to insert some cold, hard reality into your daughter's life. I would imagine he'd feel a hell of lot better if you started backing him up where your delinquent daughter is concerned.

I think it is excellent for you to spend your time being thankful for what you DO have and stop pining for what you don't have. To have a loving husband and three good sons makes you rich. It is because of you and your refusal to face reality up to now that has brought hardship on those in your family who don't deserve it. I surely hope you'll follow through. I know I'll respect you more. And if I will...no doubt your husband and sons and DAUGHTER will too. Nobody respects pushovers.

Anonymous said...

about backing up my husband..concerning delinquent daughter.

I will talk with him tonite. I intend to just say--ok-- whatever you want to do in reguard to her I'm with you. I will also apologize to him for not backing him up earlier.

I was just in her room removing the table with the goo and came across a photo of her. It is recent and shows her with her infamous expression that says--
'I'm tough, just try me..'

well I hope she's as tough as she acts cuz I don't think things will be going her way if/when she comes home. Things will change. m.

Anonymous said...

Anna, I'm the person who wrote in another post about my landlord being a narcissist and how to deal with this, how to trust my own handy-dandy innate N-detector. Here's an update:

I have followed your advice and gone 100% no contact with him. I make sure he's gone when I leave the rent at his house. I go into town to do my laundry, rather than at his house, where he has encouraged me to come (he was supposed to provide a washer/dryer and hasn't yet, in spite of my bugging him, he thinks my coming to his house is good enough). I'm not too worried about the laundry situation, as I won't be here too much longer, just a few months. There have been a couple of very minor repairs that I did myself rather than call him, he wouldn't have fixed them anyway.

It's truly amazing how knowing he's down the street has put a dent in how much I enjoy this beautiful house I'm renting, I was even starting to look for another place, even though I'd have to break my lease. I now feel free of him, never talking to him, and my peace here is restored. Thank you, Anna, for the help.

On another topic, I have seen this doofus numerous times around town. I have a unique vehicle (not really unique, but the only one in town) and anyone who saw it would know it was me, but he always stares straight ahead and is totally clueless. He's not avoiding me,he just doesn't see me. This seems to be an N trait, as my N sister and N father were exactly the same. My dad lived in the same town for 45 years and there were places he drove by every day and never even noticed, you had to describe how to get there for him if he needed to find the place, and this from an engineer type who was very detailed oriented and spent a lot of time traveling. You can honk and wave at my sister and she won't notice. Totally self-absorbed. has anyone else noticed this trait?

Anonymous said...

Here's an example of the wonderful sensitive and selfless narcissist:

I was sitting in the hospital with my beloved sister, I really mean that, I loved her dearly, and she was in the final stages of ovarian cancer, very weak. Our other sister, the N, called to "wish her well." I sat there as my dying sister very graciously listened for an hour, then finally had to hang up the phone, she was weak. She had a funny look on her face, so I asked her what was wrong.

Her reply? "I can't believe this, I'm dying and I just spent an hour listening to N complain about how sick she was, how her arthritis was bad, etc. etc." My beloved sister died the next day. This was 6 years ago, and my N sister pulled the same thing when we were taking my dying dad to the hospital, she actually stood between my brother and my dad saying, "I'm going to die before he does." She has rheumatoid arthritis and that was 2 years ago, he died soon thereafter, she's still around telling everyone how bad off she is.

Death to all N's, they are truly evil.

Kathleen said...

Anonymous who lost her sister -
If I hadn't seen first hand what Ns are like while someone else is dying I would have said you're nuts; no one can be as heartless as you claim your sister is.
But I have seen it. There is no word suitable for the N's behavior when someone else is so very ill. It's really hard to get anyone to believe you when you speak of their actions. So many say "Well, they were grieving too." People don't get it. I'm very sorry for your loss.

And then you're left with the memory of someone's passing -- and the memory is SOILED because of an N's behavior.

When DH was dying, his dad actually said "I have cancer too!" He sounded like an exuberant 10-year-old. He sent me an email pic of a CLOSE-UP of his NOSE! He had had a melonoma removed.

After DH passed away I fully expected his father to say "Oh, yeah, he's dead, but when I die I'll be DEADER."

My FIL's son (my DH) died of esophageal cancer. FIL's brother died of esophageal cancer.
Guess who I just found out has esophageal polyps?????

God forgive me for the thoughts that have been going thru my mind.
I have found myself having NO compassion.

- Kathleen

TIM said...

NPARENTS WHO I HAVE HAD NO CONTACT WITH FOR 2 MONTHS DROVE BY MY DAUGHTER TODAY AS SHE WAS WALKING HOME FROM SCHOOL. THEY WERE CALLING OUT FOR HER,BUT MY 7 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER JUST KEPT WALKING AND INGNORED THEM. WHEN I GOT WORD OF THIS HAPPENING, I CALLED AND LEFT A MESSAGE TO NDAD AND EXPLAINED THAT NO CONTACT MEANS NO CONTACT. HERE IS HIS RESPONSE:

YOU CALL UP MAKING A THREAT TO ME FUCK YOU THEY HAVE A NAME FOR PEOPLE LIKE YOU YOUR NOT A MAN N YOUR
PUSSY WHIP YOU ARE CONTROLLED , YOU EVEN HAVE TO ASK TO WATCH THE LAKERS AND GO TO BATHROOM YOU LIKE BEING CONTROL YOUR NOT MAN
I PROBABLY WHY YOUR FRIEND GOT A DIVORCE HE WAS BEING CONTROL BY HIS WIFE JUST LIKE YOU LOTS OF LUCK PUSSY WHIP.

ANNA, WHY DO NPEOPLE DO AND SAY THINGS TO MAKE THINGS WORSE. WHAT NORMAL PEOPLE KEEP THROWING FUEL ON THE FIRE WHEN THERE ARE PROBLEMS IN A RELATIONSHIP?

Little Grace said...

They say good things don't just 'happen'. But, to me a few did. I was invited, after 11 years of ballet, to audition for the Royal Ballet. I was accepted. You should have seen my NMother's face, horrified. She thought they would turn me down. We were invited to have dinner with the Company that night to announce my invitation and acceptance into the summer program. During the hours in between the audition and the dinner, my NM did a number on me. She guilted me into feeling like I would be abandoning her (my younger sister and dad were at home), and then proceeded to tell me I shouldn't be a ballerina because they starve. They don't make any money at all. She instructed me to DENY the invitation AT the dinner. Being 13 and brainwashed, I did it. I passed it up.

My NM would spank the living daylights out of us as kids. I hope she didn't hit my little sister as hard as she hit me. She said she was going to knock me to the moon. Then the next day she would complain about how much her hand hurt. She would make me thank her for not using a belt or wooden spoon on me.

Once, my sis and I were in some sort of disagreement, and my NMother stormed in the door and slashed my arm, cutting my skin from my shoulder down to my elbow, with her own fingernails. In the middle of that night, she crept into my room and said she saw my skin under her nails, and felt so badly that she clawed her own arms until they bled. She said she would have to wear long sleeves for weeks. I never actually saw her scratches.

One morning before school, my sister and I were having breakfast with oj and milk. We were watching cartoons, like we always did during breakfast. My NM burst into the room screaming ... about the tv? I don't know, it didn't make since then and doesn't now, but she took our carebare cups of oj and milk and threw them onto the carpet. She then SCREAMED for us to get the scrub bowl and scrub brush because it was time for us to learn how to SCRUB! She stood over us and Screamed HARDER! Put Elbow Grease into it! Get those stains out!

I have 90 million stories, but the last one I'll share today will be this...

I had a fluffy orange and white cat Cheerio. He had been missing for 2 days. In the car, on the way to school one morning, my NM said "Guess what Honey?!?! I found Cheerio!" I was in 4th grade at the time. I said 'WHERE"??? And she pointed out the car window. Cheerio was dead on the side of the road. He had been hit by a car. She seemed delighted when I started crying my eyes out. She dropped me off at school without one comforting word.

It's so sad that she is sick. All I've ever wanted is for her to love me like I deserve to be loved by a mother. I am just now coming to terms that it's not going to happen. She's not going to change. I read earlier that a NM is on a "Lifelong Campaign to Control". I don't want the rest of my life to be like the first 28 years. ANd my husband doesn't deserve the way she treats him. I sent her the NC letter, but she won't stop calling and texting. Should I change my number? What works?

Thanks.

Kathleen said...

Tim,
This is really serious. I remember thinking my X would take our daughter from the daycare or some other place.
Your child should not be intimidated like this, should not be USED like this to get to you. Please don't leave her to deal with this on her own.

Get an attorney to write a Cease and Desist Letter or get a restraining order for your daughter. It is possible.
When X and I battled it out in court because of things he was doing and saying to her, she did not have to attend at all.

Notify the school, the school bus driver, the parents of any of her friends on the route home that NO ONE can pick her up from the bus or school except your wife or you.

Tell your daughter how proud you are of her for not responding to them. Keep to yourself your desire to punch your father's lights out. Stay calm when talking to your child and let her know you're taking steps to make sure that never happens again. Try not to get emotional about it in front of her.

And please assure your wife that your dad is out of line for what he said and you are not even considering he may be right. She may be strong, but a little reassurance from you can't hurt.

Please --- get that protection for that child.

- Kathleen

TIM said...

EXSPOSING A NARCISSIST: HERE IS ANOTHER EMAIL RESPONSE FROM NDAD ON WHY HE CAME BY MY HOUSE WITHOUT PERMISSION.

I was not at your house I was getting on freeway
You know what I tired of this you don't realize your
Brainwash and control we been treated like shit from day one since you
Marry into that family it's always been one sided they are phony you own
daughter told you things they do and you do nothing how about when your wife
got mad at molly threw things at her and broke her toys oh I guess
that's all right because it's sylvia no one wanted to be treated better just
the same but that don't happen that family are phony and one of these days
you will find out they don't like white boys at all you will find out
I hope I am around but you are really brain wash and control I was always
There trying to help you and you have the dame nerve to say we miss treated
molly I know your brain wash wake up this is what sylvia always wanted
Us out of the picture well she got it I know one of these days you will wake
up you are totally control by sylvia why don't you admitted
I was always trying to help you ,you sat right in that chair and talk to me
And admitted things you runs everything you can not make a decision
Until she gets home well I done I am not bothering you know more your dead
to me I wan help you leave you anything or contact you after this e--mail
There no help you are brain wash and control I done fighting about it
Let sylvia keep on throwing her fits till she hurts molly what joke she
going get counseling I knew that bull shit she needs it bad for her
jealousy I done I not writing no ,more good luck kissing ass to all of
that family and sylvia THE BEST THING YOU COULD DO IS GET AWAY FROM HER AND
THAT PHONY FAMILY

FYI: MOLLY IS MY 7 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER AND SYLVIA IS MY WIFE OF 9 YEARS. IF YOU READ THIS BLOG FOR THE LAST 2 MONTHS YOU WILL KNOW MY STORY. I AM SO BURNED OUT FROM THIS HAPPENING. IT BROKE A PEACEFUL 2 MONTHS OF NC THAT I HAVE HAD WITH THESE HATEFUL HIPOCRATS. EVER SINCE MY EARLY CHILDHOOD, I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN PUT IN A SITUATION TO CHOOSE EITHER NPARENTS OR FRIENDS. NPARENTS OR FAMILY. NPARENTS OR MY WIFE. I HAVE A MESSAGE FOR THESE MALIGNANT NARCISSIST. I CHOOSE NOW AS A 35 YEAR OLD MAN TO BE AROUND PEOPLE WHO SHOW ME GENUINE LOVE AND RESPECT WITHOUT PRE-CONDITIONS. I WILL CONTINUE TO EXSPOSE THE NARCISSIST AND THEIR HATEFUL MESSAGES.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post as usual, Anna. Thanks so much for it.

I am an aging adult ACON. I have been through all the abuse of a MN mother (brother as well) for many, many years and have had no contact with her and bro for over a year...finally, after a torturous life with this twisted bitch. She also had no feelings for my father when he was old and sick and finally died at 95. He was much older than MN mother. I actually felt uncomfortable and guilty to express any emotions over my father's death to her. I could go on and on and on and on, but I won't. Even though our experiences are different, they are very much the same! It is all so confusing and I detest the way we, the victims, are sometimes blamed for not understanding these monsters and getting it all wrong! It's as if we are the twisted ones and we are in a way. We are hyper-conscious, as Anna has explained, due to our early training. Our thinking is wrong. That's why we keep going back for more abuse and maybe, just maybe, we'll be loved. We'll finally get it right and our horrendous guilt will subside.

I think about my MN mother all the time and sometimes feel guilty (again, that wretched word) that I don't see her or have nothing to do with her. SHE'S OLD AND CAN DIE AT ANY MOMENT! Yet, when I think about her nasty, evil ways...reality hits me. I need that dose of reality so I end up thinking about things that make me very angry and sad. I believe it's easier to feel anger than sadness.

I have been to a therapist (one of many and a very, very kind person) who suggested that I have compassion for my mother saying that it is easier on me if I feel COMPASSION rather than hate for her and her actions. I don't think she really gets malignant narcissism.

I would appreciate other acons' opinions on this subject of having compassion for the MN. I'm not suggesting contact, just some compassion. I would be interested in your views on this subject.

Thanks all.

Anna Valerious said...

Anonymous with the landlord story,

Thank you for the update. It is good to hear that you've been able to make the situation better by essentially going "no contact" with your landlord. Amazing. No contact works every time its tried. *grin*

As for the oblivious Ns on the road in their cars never recognizing anyone else when they are out and about. YES! My mother earned a reputation among everyone who knew her that she will NEVER recognize anyone else when she is out driving or in town. This is an extension of their uber-self-absorption. Being aware of my mother's utter obliviousness, a couple of years ago when I was driving through the city she lives in I stopped into the Walmart she shops in because I had to drive right by it. This store is only a few miles from where she lives. Some people thought I was brave dropping in there when I might run into my mother. But I knew about her being Mrs. Oblivious. I knew that I would instantly recognize her and she'd never see me even if she looked at me. She wouldn't be expecting to see me there so even if though I was there it would be like I wasn't. I'd have plenty of time to get out of her line of sight and she'd be none the wiser. She would be such an easy person to spy on. She is so utterly unaware of her surroundings. Even being her own child I know she'd never recognize me if she wasn't expecting to see me. I've always found this aspect of her quite amusing. One of her more harmless manifestations of narcissism.

Anonymous said...

"Recalibrate your conscience" Absolutely "brilliant", and so true. This is the essence of the MN's power over you. It is only the power you "allow" him to have. You control what he can do to you, not the other way around.

Anonymous said...

Compassion for a narcissist?

Go ahead, give them compassion, see how twisted up it makes you. Would you have compassion for someone who kicks your dog? Compassion for someone who tries to run over you? Compassion for someone who leaves a pipe bomb in your mailbox? Same principle. Think about it. N's are out to get you, it's just that most are afraid to go to the physical extremes I just mentioned, but believe me, they would if they could when you irritate them (which is anytime you don't provide their supply). Save for compassion for those who deserve it.

Anna Valerious said...

I would appreciate other acons' opinions on this subject of having compassion for the MN. I'm not suggesting contact, just some compassion.

I'm not against having compassion for Ns as long as that compassion is exercised at some considerable distance from the N and is not expressed to them. If your compassion doesn't then convince you that you MUST be in contact with the N then it is safe to have it. If your compassion doesn't have to find verbal expression directly to the N then it is okay. Expressing your compassion to the N is the equivalent of throwing chum into shark-infested water and then diving in. A guaranteed way to get eaten.

I'm not opposed to compassion toward Ns, but I am opposed to stupidity. And it is just plain stupid to let your compassion then dictate that you must stay in the Ns life. Which is where some people go with it.

I really do think compassion is optional. A person doesn't have to feel it for the narcissist in order to be a good person. I am really much more interested in people focusing their compassion on people who they should feel compassion for. Narcissists always have a very extensive list of victims. I think it is actually healthier to give your compassion to the Ns victims...not the N. But, again, as long as you can keep your compassion for the N to yourself...go for it.

In my case I have expressed my compassion for my own N mother by going no contact. Yes, that is an act of compassion and of mercy. She is totally exposed in my eyes. I am all the way done with playing the game by her rules. I know for an absolute fact that having me around would be pure misery to her. Just being me, just treating her like I would anyone else, would be like torture to her. Even before I knew what malignant narcissism was I realized that the kind thing to do was to stay out of her life so as to not make her utterly miserable. As "sad" as she claimed to be at my absence from her life I knew better than she did what would be in store for her if I stayed around. So, there ya go. An example of how one ACON expresses her compassion toward her narcissist parent. No contact. The kindest, most inoffensive and compassionate way to deal with evil.

Anonymous said...

Anna, your WalMart story is right on. I've watched my sister drive right by people who were trying to wave her down, totally clueless. I used to spy on her when I was a kid (she's 8 years older) when she was a teenager, she tortured me so much that I did it just to make myself feel that I had a little control over the situation. She was clueless about the thought that someone might spy on her and wondered why I knew where she kept her makeup, etc. When I was about 6, I took a marker and ruined some blue suede shoes she had, she chased me all the way to our grandmother's house, a mile, but she couldn't catch me. I also took a rubber doll she had and carefully destroyed it into oblivion. I often wondered what would make me do such things, I'm actually a very nonviolent person. The answer came from reading your blog, she's an N and I hated her but wasn't allowed to admit it to myself, coming from a Christian family. My brother has always been on to her, he says she doesn't practice what she preaches (she's a religious guru). No contact for a year and counting...ahhh, feels good.

As for my landlord, I always try to be very conscientious when I leave a rental (sold my house 2 years ago), give plenty of notice, help find another tenant, that kind of thing. This place, I just follow the rules and nothing more, he can deal with it all himself. If Ns only knew how much trouble they bring on themselves they might pause for thought...nah, who am I kidding?

Anna Valerious said...

I sent her the NC letter, but she won't stop calling and texting. Should I change my number? What works?

Little Grace,

Sending the No Contact letter was only the first step. Now what remains is for you to ENFORCE no contact. It is a rare situation indeed where an adult child of a narcissist can expect to send one message of no contact and then have a narcissist abide by it and that be the end of it.

How to enforce no contact? You do whatever it takes. If it means changing your phone number...then change it. If it means changing where you live then MOVE. Going no contact requires commitment by you. If you are not fully committed to it then it will not stand. You have to be resolved to make it happen because the narcissist will be resolved to make sure it doesn't happen.

If enforcing no contact meant I had to find a new job and move to a new country I WOULD DO IT. So, it is up to you. How much do you want to have peace in your life? What is it worth to you? If it isn't worth the inconvenience of changing a phone number then that means you're not all that committed to the idea in the first place. Not saying that is you. Just saying that enforcing "no contact" relies totally on the person who puts it in place. Never expect a narcissist to just give in to it. They will fight. And only if you're consistent in enforcing it will they possibly give up. If you bend in any way you'll make the battle go on much, much longer.

They are like a little child. The child throws a fit and the parent gives in. That means in the future if the parent decides to not give in that child will scream and yell probably ten times longer than they would have before. They are SO SURE you'll give in because you gave in before that they will work ten times harder to push you to your limit. A limit that was not hard to get to the first time convinces the child that it can't be that far off the next time. You have to deal with the narcissist as you would a small child. No contact has to mean NO CONTACT or they will never believe you when you say it again in the future making it all the harder for you to get the peace you're striving for.

Your mother is one evil, horrid, terrifying monster. You've been through a lot. She has stolen much from you. Denying you the opportunity to be part of the Royal Ballet was huge. I hope with all the ferventness of my rather fervent nature that you'll stick to your guns and never budge on no contact. Save your future. She doesn't deserve any more pieces of you.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous M - you said:

"Wow.. I have deep inside me a person who wants to do that. Who just says--good grief what is wrong with you? Why are you putting up with this nonsense?"

This is the real you talking, and you need to listen. Your daughter needs to know you won't tolerate her abuse. Her treatment of you is ABUSE. Maybe if you look at it in that light, what you need to do will be much clearer to you.

No matter what you do, things will be ugly. I suspect you are trying to avoid the ugliness. Well, you CAN'T. But you can control how she gets the message. Action is always clearer than reaction. I'm glad to hear you and your husband are showing a united front, as parents should, in taking the right action.

BTW, I too, have a 20 year old NDaughter. I count my lucky stars that she hates me and wants nothing to do with me. She thought I was required to send her money, and treated my very badly while I did it. For a year. I finally heard that same voice you did, and told her the money would stop unless our relationship improved. Her response? Basically, "You can't do that - you're required to" (divorce settlement - which said how I would pay half living expenses, but not obligated to), then, threatened to MAKE me pay (i.e., take me to court!) I informed her that I have no legal obligation to give her money, and haven't heard a peep since. Hopefully never will. I'm free of the Nabuse she's heaped on me for years, and it feels great. Yes, I miss that sweet child she once was, just like you miss yours. I grieve her loss. But she will never return. Neither will yours. I'm sorry for your loss. And for your pain. But prolonging it won't fix a thing.
marie

Anna Valerious said...

Stay strong, Tim. You've seen your dad do this many times before: accuse you of being brainwashed by someone else when you don't give him what he wants.

As I've mentioned to you some time ago, this accusation is based in his total disrespect for your intelligence and independence. He was the one who controlled you in the past so when you act in contradiction to what he wants he immediately assumes you are now being controlled by someone else. He won't grant you the respect of believing you have your own mind and are making your own decisions.

I suspect your father is somewhat dangerous. Please take every necessary precaution to protect your daughter and yourself and wife. I am impressed with your daughter's refusal to interact with your dad when he surprised her as she was walking home. She's tough! Your going no contact with your parents has greatly strengthened your daughter's ability to protect herself. Please be safe.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree that NC is the kindest (and healthiest) thing you can do for yourself and the N. Your presence in their lives is nothing more than fuel for a fire that will eventually destroy both of you.

And, yes, you can feel compassion for them -- from a distance. Pity the sad fact that their entire life is a lie. That they will never know true love, friendship, joy, or even the most basic connection to humanity.

But never forget what you're dealing with. Even now I have moments of NC weakness. Then I remember that an N is someone who can stab you in the back, then demand an apology because you got blood on their new rug. Stay strong! Your life is NOT about them.

NoTherapy said...

Anonymous Jan 13, 2009 7:45:00 AM,

I have a rather novel idea for you: why don't you have compassion for yourself! In April I will have gone NC for two years. And I don't regret it. Some N's may be of the yelling type, my NM is of the whining type. Doesn't matter, in the end it is all the same: control.

Being an ACON I totally recognize the hyper conscience thing. Basically giving everybody else the benefit of the doubt even if they are totally derailed people, but having none for oneself.

My NM had the habit of sticking her nose in my private things, thinking that when I told her something I actually asked her for permission, and was so terribly worried for me which is logical considering the imbecil I must be :) When she did not get a hold of me she would leave scary messages on my machine remniscent of a crazy lover (brrrrrrr).

Anyway, a few years ago I became sick; I developed partial blindness in one eye, the blindness is in the center so with that eye I can not see/read. Without divulging too deep, the docters could not tell me what it was or how it would develop. I am now coping perfectly, working and all and taking supplements which I selected after research. So I told her on the phone what was going on, how scared I was of becoming unable to take care of myself and pets being totally blind and she was....completely silent. You could hear a pin fall. Mrs "Boooooobooooo why don't you pick up the phone I am SO scared you might be dead in a ditch" (must have her fantasy). Meanwhile I ordered all sorts of blood tests via my own docter that could find illnesses so to explain my symptoms. No illnesses were found luckily but I was becoming more and more tired and feeling hopeless.

NM asked nothing, had no interest what so ever during the several phone conversations. She came at my home pretending all was fine, and when I started about the eye condition she became sort of flippant. Still not knowing about N I attacked her, and she finally managed to say that she wants all attention for herself with the face of small girl who lost her dolly. During her visit I became extremely angry and soon after found the whole N thing on internet. That was the last time I saw her.

Of course she has sent me crazy letters which I have tossed somewhere in my bookcase. She has called and left a message I haven't listened at. These creatures must have radar because a few months ago I was waiting at home to go to the vet to pick up my cat who had his teeth cleaned. I was very anxious that he was well because he had to be 30 min under anaesthetic. It was almost time for me to leave, the phone rang. I thought: please let that not be the vet! They call you if something has gone wrong. It was NM! Asking me whether we could "communicate" a term she never used in the past and must have copied it from her therapist. I said no and hang up. Damn! But you know I forgot about it pretty quick because I only wanted my cat safe and back home. She and her crazyness don't matter anymore. NC works.

Anonymous said...

"My NM had the habit of sticking her nose in my private things, thinking that when I told her something I actually asked her for permission, and was so terribly worried for me which is logical considering the imbecil I must be"

I could have posted that. My NM played the worried mommy to the hilt, despite the fact that my safety was never a priority, to say the least. I think she secretly wished something terrible would happen to me, so she could play the grieving mommy. Imagine all the sympathy and attention that would bring! Freak.

Anonymous said...

""And, yes, you can feel compassion for them -- from a distance. Pity the sad fact that their entire life is a lie. That they will never know true love, friendship, joy, or even the most basic connection to humanity. ""

I agree but let us please please not forget that they CAN and COULD HAVE had these things. They choose not to.

GraFXGrl said...

No Theropy & Anonymous,

The simularities between our NMs are amazing! Cut from the same creepy, evil cloth I am afraid. My NM uses "worry" to justify everything she does to you- it's sickening really. I remember one time, my brother had an accident and got his head busted open
(he was okay - lost of stitches though) and the whole time NM kept making a scene. Never bothering to help her child - crying and bleeding- it was always all about her, even at 8 years old I knew that was wrong and felt like punching her in the face. If there hadn't been another adult there no telling what would have happen to my brother!

Billie said...

"My NM had the habit of sticking her nose in my private things, thinking that when I told her something I actually asked her for permission, and was so terribly worried for me which is logical considering the imbecil I must be"

Boy, that sounds familiar. My ndad and my mother, who developed some of his traits after being married to him for 30 years, both do this sort of thing. It's funny, because in the short periods of time where they've developed relationships with other people who tolerate them, they quit worrying about me. Then, when there's no one to focus that BS on, they're back to it.

Writer in Washington said...

This is off topic, but when reading about the obtuseness of MNs driving right by people that they know it brought to mind something my stepson told me about his MN sister with whom we have no contact. Several years ago, when she was living with my husband (her father) and I she slipped going up the stairs at our house and scraped her shin. To me it was an unremarkable incident, but she made a huge deal about how she is so clumsy she falls "going upstairs". Is there anyone who hasn't, at one time or another, slipped going upstairs?

Anyway, apparently she is still trading on this incident all these years later like it is some claim to fame. She put something on her blog site about how she is so clumsy she falls "going upstairs". Is that not bizarre? I don't understand what is so sensational about such a minor incident nor why its so unique that she makes such a huge deal out it. Who takes pride in being a clumsy person? Does anyone else of course, when it happened to someone else she brushed it off like "so what"? I never have figured this one out.

Kathleen said...

Writer In Washington,
My ILs, to my knowledge, don't make big issues out of small missteps like falling up the stairs -- but they DID make big issues out of DH's missteps, things that happened in his childhood. These things are funny and should be shared and laughed over IF the stories were part of a mosaic of his life, but these stories are the ONLY stories they tell. They never have relayed one tale about anything he did of which they were proud.

He would lie on the floor in kindergarten every day and soil his shirt, He refused to sit in his seat (this is even mentioned in my FIL's "memoirs" where FIL says DH was always "a problem for the nuns.")

In 1st or 2nd grade he received his school picture -- and folded it up and put it in his pocket.

He went berry picking as a youngster and put the berries in his pocket.

I like the stories -- but never once did they tell about the sports trophies or the medals recieved in the Air Force or his name in the paper when he and friends did some type of community service and made a donation. I think it was a lemonade stand and he was very young. THOSE stories NEVER got told.

You know where you, Anna, and others have really helped me the most here?? Letting me know it's perfectly normal to have thoughts like "you freak" or "eat shit and die" or "f*ck you." As a Christian I would often hear "You have to let go and let God" or "you have to forgive" or "love your enemies" or "pray for them."
I rarely heard other Christians admit they have thoughts that aren't very "Christian-like." I still struggle with issues of forgiveness or the language that goes thru my head at times, but I'm beginning to see that I am NOT God's "problem child" -- something I often would think.

For that I thank all of you.

- Kathleen

Stormchild said...

Hello Kathleen

Oh, it is DEFINITELY normal and natural to have thoughts like F U towards Ns and abusers.

What's not appropriate is to act on those thoughts in destructive ways.

No contact? Absolutely constructive.

Exposing this stuff in discussions with other survivors? Totally constructive.

Anna has blogged some truly awesome theology of self-respect and self-protection here on this site, and she has probably touched on this: there are Psalms of imprecation.

Psalms of cursing, "F U Abusive Jerk" Psalms if you like.

They are part of Holy Scripture! And they are there for a reason.

Those Psalms show us how it feels to be abused, how it affects what we think, and most importantly, they show us that it is OK to have these thoughts and feelings when we have been abused. God Himself is telling us this is a natural consequence for the human soul when damaged by evil, that we will feel this, that it is not wrong to express those feelings - constructively.

What I find amazing - and both Anna and Kathy Krajco have commented on this in depth - is this:

here we are, thoroughly trained by Ns and abusers to be N/abuser food, so that we feel guilty if we even THINK resentfully about the way we are treated by them.

And our good churchmen and churchwomen counsel us to turn the other cheek, not return evil for evil, and all sorts of misapplications of perfectly good Scriptures...

Meanwhile, the Ns/abusers are acting out as destructively and viciously as possible towards us.

And everyone sees what they do. All the churchmen and churchwomen, they see it. They have a ringside seat for it, half the time.

And nobody says a mumblin' word.

Anonymous said...

Kathleen,

You know who I have compassion for...YOU. And your children, and your dear husband who left this earth way too early and who had to suffer though living with those N's as parents. Losing your husband is terrible and is so much to bear for you and your children. The LAST thing you should worry about is feeling guilty about or blaming yourself for not forgiving your horrible, hateful, despicable ILs! they should be comforting you!

These monsters can mess up our heads so much that we end up taking on guilt that rightfully belongs to them! It's like therapy 101 and it can be so hard to program ourselves to really ingrain it in our minds to absolutely place the blame while it is happening - where it belongs -on them! I know, I seem to feel blame, or their specialty- shame on myself when I shouldn't be.

If we displace our anger towards ourselves instead of on them, they win again cause it's just what they want... for us to feel like shit while they do, whatever it is that they do. I'm done with that.

I write advise on notecards to myself that I think will be helpful for me (trying to ingrain all of this in my mind) and last week was about not accepting feelings of blaming myself for their bad behavior. I spent so many years thinking... oh, if I was a better person, people wouldn't treat me like that. That's bulls*hit! There are too many people with too many problems and they really like to project all their crap onto you to make themselves feel superior. And it seems to be getting more and more common. Or maybe I'm just hyper sensitive now after living too close to NSIL head-case! And besides there are a lot's people who like us... but the N's want to crush your self esteem and confidence. What the hell is that!
I mean, really... what kind of person would actually crush someone's soul? Nazi psychos maybe.

This is the only place where people seem to really understand what we have gone/are going through. My last therapist tried to get me to follow the love path and she said wouldn't it be great if someday NSIL would apologize, etc. I knew that would nerver happen... N's have no real feelings. All that psychology and degrees and they just don't get it! *scream*

Worst piece of advise I ever got was years ago when I was trying to deal with another woman who had serious N tendencies, was from NSIL's sister.... "just kill them with kindness".
thanks.for.horrible.advise.

I'm going to start expressing my disapproval about bad behavior right on the first offense and not worry about their spoken or unspoken disapproval! When I've done it in the past, 90% of the time it works and they back down. It's like they are afraid of you and the real power you might hold so they keep you down. And once you give in, then it's all over.

I have a friend who has a large extended family and they welcome us with open arms and are loving and kind. These people we are dealing with are abnormal, and I am going to start treating them that way. What have I got to loose? Certainly not my self respect :)

Little children know better... they kick mean kids out of their sand-box right away. That's my policy :)
Onward & upward!

If there is a heaven, I think God will smile when he see's you and give you a gold star... your in-laws... not so much. He may kick them out and make them try it all over again.

-getting better

D said...

I LOVE reading your blog, so very true! I do not (take that back, probably have some N's in the family but limit the communications. I did deal with a N so called man for years and am glad to say Thanks to YOU I gave him back alittle of what he gave, am done and sooo glad. I knew all along just didn't face it for some crazy reason?? Thanks, and look forward to reading more from you!

Anonymous said...

This is Anonymous M--with the 20 y/o daughter.
I just sent my daughter an email. she is off visiting her boyfreind right now.

Her brother had tipped her off that the game was up with mom I guess..so she wanted to know if she was kicked out.

I wrote this email and I'm not pretending I'm Little Miss backbone exactly--because I actually meant to save it as a draft and get my Husband's feedback on it--well somehow I goofed & actually sent it. Maybe the Lord pushed send? I guess that makes sense. I know it was the right thing to say.

I had written several drafts in which I went into things more and then realized that I was only giving her ammo- certainly not just sharing my feelings. I don't need a fight with her. I don't want one. I am just instead telling her how it will be and letting her decide what she wants to do.

I guess if she comes home she will have to deal with the changes here and if she doesn't I will actually be relieved. Sad, but relieved.

here is what I sent-- on purpose or not. Anonymous M.

"____________,
The things I have to say to you are too many. I can't even write it all and I don't want to speak them. I will just have to let them go.

You are not kicked out. However, things will not be the same anymore.

If you call from the airport and need a ride home someone will come get you.

Don't come home if you plan to just drop in when you feel like it after someone else comes to get you and 'hang out'.

I'm an old-fashioned person and you are aware of that. I will not tolerate you going off and spending the night or nights 'hanging out' with people--especially boys. If that is so important to you, you need to find another place to live so you can do that. We've talked about that before. Our relationship is that of parents to their daughter, and your parents don't believe girls should spend the night at boys houses. It is one thing with _________(her boyfriend)--we dont' like that either, nothing personal against him--but we're not open to you just 'hanging out' and giving us a 'heads up' that you might or might not be home this day or that day. No thanks. I'm not Paris Hilton's Mom and I won't live with her kind of lifestyle.

Adults can do those things if they want to. But they also live on their own, support themselves and pay their bills and have their fun times arranged around a schedule that includes alot of work. They deserve 'fun times' because they have been working and saving to earn them. You have not been an adult while you have been here--you've been like some 'delayed' adult. This must end now.

If you come here you must get a job and save your money and be ready to move out in about 60 days. We don't think it has done you any good living with us and we think you need to be on your own.

There will not be internet for you here--you need to know that too. It has been a distraction for you and we aren't providing distractions anymore for people who aren't responsible.

This is not a hotel ____. I am not looking for an adult boarder. If you weren't my daughter I wouldn't want you here. If you don't want to be a daughter to us and respect our values and our rules and love us as your parents-- you need to get out in the world and support yourself--then you can of course live the way you please. Thats a simple choice and it is yours to make.

I simply do not think it is good for us or for you to have things the way they have been. It has been too easy for you and too painful for us.

I don't think you will understand , I don't think you will change. We will not change.

If you have someplace else to go that is safe-- you might prefer that but you are not 'kicked out'. Things will be much different if/when you come home you will need to make your own decision.

Mom "

Well now I have done what I said I would. It is right to do it. I'm not sorry. ~m.

Barbara said...

As long as we are sharing ALL-ABOUT-ME N stories -- I recently remembered one about my late NMom.

When I became symptomatic with Atypical MS in 1995 I was, unfortunately, at her house. One day I was in bed with the shakes and a bad fever, she came in and said "want me to lay down with you for a bit?" I was too sick to say no.

She laid down for a couple minutes then turns to me, as I am shivering and says "Are you sick because you are afraid I AM GOING TO DIE SOON?"

Un-friggin-believable. I just weakly asked her to leave me alone for a while then. As soon as I felt up to it I flew home to my own bed and didn't pick up the phone for months.

When she found out I was permanently disabled, she called my ex-NH and told him to divorce me because I was "USELESS TO" him. Nice.

For Anonymous - next time your sister sends you ANYTHING, write DELIVERY REFUSED on it and repost it - UNOPENED. As it is now she might be kidding herself you like her gifts. Return them and she gets NOTHING but her own crap back.

And for everyone, save your compassion for yourself & others harmed by Ns. Compassion is wasted on an N, as our friend, the late Kathy Krajco so eloquently explained:
http://narc-attack.blogspot.com/2007/12/what-provokes-narc-attack.html

Anonymous said...

Anonymous M again...

When I was trying to get up my backbone and face reality with my daughter--I made this list. I guess it shows a person who is pretty much an N.

My mother has many of the same traits --but has carried them to a point now in her life that she is nearly destroying herself--I expect to find that she has died of some complication due to misuse of her RXs anytime now. It is that bad.

Anyhow-- my daughter seems to be heading straightway down the same path--but with a modern young adult 'edge' to her. My mom is older and her fantasy land is different-but it is a fantasy land nonetheless.

here is my list.

Self centered

No concept of time-no self discipline

Lies

Steals--and won’t admit it unless there is proof

Drama-

Angry without a cause

Doesn’t accept responsibility for self.

No self motivation

Conceited/vain regarding appearance

Chooses weaker people for relationships--has boyfriends that will take her abuse forever. She is very pretty and it is like watching a cat play with mice to see her torment a boy friend

Na├»ve-or pretends to be--doesn’t believe risky behaviors are a danger to her

Hypochondriac- seems to be entertained for a while by various ailments and treatments does not follow through on the treatments --has glasses she needed and doesn’t wear, pills she needed and doesn’t take..

Excuses-always has some reason for why she fails

Blames others for own behavior

Irresponsible financially, when she gets money she blows it on stuff.
Buys junk that isn’t needed--shops for fun--when she isn’t supporting herself

Can’t be counted on--you almost know when you ask her to do something that she will promise to do it and then not do it.

Manipulative/charmer---Sometimes ‘out of character/out of the blue--is nice-- usually when wants something--as a manipulation-to keep you off your toes and wishing for better times

Makes up things--like life--tries out stories--memory of events is not accurate, never has correct time sequence, does not jive with anyone else’s memory--she conveniently forgets ever being the bad guy in a situation--always someone else is wrong.

Disrespectful, rude, condescending, sometimes foul-mouthed, haughty toward her parents who are paying her way.

Anonymous said...

About the things in the post re: being hyper sensitive...

"I am close to this person yet I am fairly sure I could say nothing to convince her that she didn't say something mean. I couldn't seem to convince her of the absolute absurdity of having to be so overly careful of his widdle feelings when he demonstrates over and over and over again that HER feelings don't matter one shit as far as he's concerned. How do I break through? Is there even a point to this blog post that will penetrate such thinking? I have no idea. But I'm trying. "

OMG! That just really really hit me. I have walked on eggshells for YEARS around my mother and lately around my own daugther as well. I've just come to see that it is so stupid!

Of course I don't want to hurt them--- and they don't care a fig about hurting me--if it is useful to them.

Gosh--I remember the day my Dad died, I went to the hospital not knowing he was dead. My Nmom's words to me at that moment are just etched in my mind. It was just so typical of her to have made this all a grandiose scene--the entire funeral was another one--it made me feel ill.

she said to me-- "..oh Mary, (in a sickeningly sweet and caring voice) your father never wanted you to homeschool, you've always had your demons, but we loved you anyways." What???? What on earth?? How could she--in front of all our grieving family-- at the moment I had just found out my dad had died-- use that time to hit me in the gutt--attacking something I was doing with my family that was important to me and making me out to be the crazy one?

And yet-- around this person--I worry if she is hurt when I tell my brothers the truth about the lies she has used to steal from them?

wow. I'm such a sap. and yah.. i've actually carried that stupid scene in my head for about 13 years now. Once I confronted her about it--and told her how cruel it had been-- she simply denied even remembering saying it! Afterall--her dear husband had just died she was out of her mind--as is her usual excuse in some way or other when she has just finished carving out someone's heart. ~anonymous M. Sandwiched between 2 generations of N women

Anonymous said...

You know.. come to think of it--I'm sorry I'm carrying on this sort of monolog here--just talking about my own stuff--but

just when I was saying how my N mom acted as if she had no control of herself when my dad died...

She completely choreographed and orchestrated his dying and his funeral-- I mean it was just stunning.

It is why I often harbored this inner anger that she probably ended it for him when he didn't die on schedule of his brain tumor. I have always wondered if an autopsy had been done-- yet I can't speak that to anyone--though once I said it to my husband--who even though he thinks she is absolutely evil--didn't that she did that.

I guess-- the fact is she was completely in control.

It was like a drama and she was the star in it. She wore this dark long coat and had all of us lined up standing beside her at the coffin in church--while folks came and went and we could not leave for an instant as it was her 'reception line' . In a normal family--sure you want to meet greivers and all that. But we were so young my siblings and I and we loved our Dad so deeply having all had the experience of a Mother who was all 'appearances and no true love' and so we were devestated at his death and yet we had to march to her tune for his funeral.

She was not out of control.

When someone asked her what they could do to help--when Dad's cancer was found--she asked them to wash her windows!!Why? I knew that moment--so they will sparkle for the funeral she was already planning.

She gave me that awful funeral coat--gave it to me, saying what a good coat it was and not to give it away--she wanted me to wear it for nice occassions.

I hated it and could of course never wear it. I took it though and gave it eventually to a thrift store.

How could you grow up with this woman for a mother and not have some screwed up thinking?

Of course she knew what she said to me that day when my dad died--I'm betting she practiced it.

It was calculated--just like giving me that coat when she had used it to stage her grand drama. Evil somehow seems to know how to twist the knife doesn't it? Just like it seems to know how to get its way. I always remember a particular bible verse

Prov. 30:20 every time I read it it reminded me of her--even though--as far as i know she didn't cheat on my dad--she was adulterous in a different way.

"Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness."

I guess the fact that I am so easily tormented by guilt for merely responding to such a person with truth--that tells me that I am not that sort--sometimes I have feared in my deepeest fears that maybe I am. I guess that is part of the crazy making--to make you think you are the crazy one.
~m

Anonymous said...

For the poster with the daughter she just wrote a letter to:

Please don't take this as criticism, but I know that letter was very difficult for you to write and it may seem harsh to you, but I betcha anything that your daughter just whistles right through that one. Don't expect her to feel like you did when you wrote it, the pain and sadness, she won't. It may even be a challenge to her to fight even harder. Just be prepared, you may have to get really really harsh with her and kick her out. Best of luck, be prepared emotionally.

Writer in Washington said...

I empathize with the Anonymous who spoke of her Dad's death and the inappropriate remarks of her N-Mother. When my Dad died after a long bout with cancer (for whom I was the primary caregiver since my mother was "too afraid" she'd do the wrong thing for)you would have thought that my N big brother would have taken responsibility for the disposal of his ashes. Dad had wanted to be buried at sea. We arranged for some friends of his to take us out on their boats so we could do that. When it came time to put his urn in the water, neither my mother or my two brothers could do it. I had to do it. These people who had hardly lifted a finger to help care for him, couldn't even be bothered to come to see him when he was alive, were so overcome with grief. It was ridiculous! Afterwards, the way my mother told the story you would have thought she had done everything by herself, and that I had been a tremendous burden to her. Dad died in my arms, and she never forgave me for that. She'd wanted to do the big "deathbed" scene. After his death, she began viciously stabbing me in the back with all of our relatives.

BTW,to the Mom with the MN daughter: the distorted memories and thinking also are huge part of the MN psychopathy. For example, my N stepdaughter tells everyone that she basically raised her younger brothers. Its an outrageous lie but gullible Christians and others will swallow well presented lies, particularly when backed up by crocodile tears from little girl eyes. Makes you want to barf.

Also, speaking of their inability to be at fault in any way, I remember very clearly sitting at the dinner table when N stepdaughter began arguing with me about whether B--- Bay was a part of the nearest township or not. I pointed out to her that I LIVED there when her father and I were dating, had lived in the area all of my life, and that B---- Bay's zip code was the same as the local township's. The area was considered part of that township's area. She raged at me that her great-uncle lived there so she KNEW it wasn't. Finally, my husband told her to shut up, she was making a fool out of herself and he wasn't going to allow her to dispute what I'd said because she was entirely wrong. After that, she really began to hate and undermine me. Go figure!!!!

Definitely, no sympathy for an N it should be saved for their victims list.

Writer in Washington said...

PS: I agree with the other Anonymous poster who said you may have to really kick the daughter out. Anony-M, my stepdaughter moved out to punish us (moved in with MN mom) and her father moved all of her things from her room to the garage. She came over with some former friends to "move out" and make a big production out of it. When she knocked on the door my husband answered it. He told me later that I should have seen her face when he told her to wait a second, and reached over and hit the garage door open. There were all her things waiting for her and she was completely shocked. I think at the moment she must have realized that her moving out was exactly what we wanted her to do. That had NEVER occurred to her before that moment. N's are indispensable and irreplaceable you know. :-)

Anonymous said...

Funny - my N-daughter has twice made a big production out of "moving out" of my place as well, when she wasn't getting sufficient NS from me and had found it elsewhere. Of course, she's the MN type who makes a big production out of everything. Your description of the garage door opening to show that she wasn't accomplishing her mean little goal made me chuckle. Thanks for the smile!
Marie

had it with my N sister said...

"BTW,to the Mom with the MN daughter: the distorted memories and thinking also are huge part of the MN psychopathy."

This, in a nutshell, is why it is a complete and utter waste of time to try to get an N to see how they have hurt you. No matter what you say, they will make up facts, revise history, outright lie, distort reality, and leave out any facts that disagree with their twisted view of reality. You will always be wrong. ALWAYS!

And you will pay like hell for having indicated that they are less than the perfect and supreme being they believe themselves to be. They will not only be driven to prove you wrong, but to diminish, devalue and demoralize you in the process. They can't feel good until they are sure you feel bad.

Not only that, they will steal any intelligent comment you make and repeat it back to you or others as if it is their own original thought. And they'll do this in your presence! That's because to them, you are no more than a piece of furniture, so anything good could not have come from you.

I've seen my N sister do this on numerous occasions, in some cases literally five minutes after I made the comment.

I have not gone completely NC because I have a large extended family that I want to stay involved with. I can't avoid her without avoiding them, but I do try to limit contact.

And I have memorized a bunch of phrases that help me ignore most of what she says, such as: "Really? That's an intersting perspective." "Yeah?" "I have no opinion on that." Or, the best when she is criticizing me for some minor infraction of her rules: "Well, that's your perspective" or "Think what you want to think." Or I just don't even respond. I don't even acknowledge that I have heard her speak.

Maybe that's a copout. Mainly, I just don't want to engage with her and I want to get across that I really don't give a flying f**k what she thinks of me. She never misses an opportunity to take a cheap shot, so I just try to avoid her, and when I do have to be with her, I try to avoid giving her any ammo for her next volly of criticism.

My N sister is also a big fan of making a critical comment about me and then saying that XX (extended family member) feels the same way or viewed an incident with me the same way. Until I read this blog, I really didn't realize that what she was doing was trying to shame me and blame me for all our problems.

After the last time she did that, I told N sister that from now on, I will be calling the person she claims supports her view and asking them, as well as telling them that they should know N sister is repeating things they tell her in private. BTW, I had already gone to these relatives and asked if what N sister was true. Of course I got the real story and could clearly see how N sister pushed them to make comments and twisted them into a whole new meaning. Plus, they mentioned how annoying they find it when N sister tries to suck them into discussion about me. God, how I would love to tell her what family members say about her behind her back... and have been saying since she was a little girl.

I am curious how other people deal with the N people in their lives that for one reason or another they can't avoid.

toni said...

Ns certainly do seem to have tender feelings for themselves. I have noticed some people who consider themselves very sensitive use that to justify being selfish or narcissistic. I was once in the company of a group of people who considered themselves particularly sensitive and I discovered this sensitivity extended to negative feelings as well, such as extreme jealousy. They didn't seem to see a problem with that since they did not believe in judging anyone's behavior. They casually talked of distrusting and abusing their spouses for no reason other than they were sensitive.

I can relate to a lot of these comments about certain N behaviors.

When it comes to medical issues they certainly can be strange. My NM had these very common little skin scabs removed that could turn into cancer if untreated for years. Now she says she "has cancer". Nsib is the opposite, has conditions but thinks she is too golden to get illnesses so she only treats them when convenient. She is a health freak and can't fathom life would be so unfair to her. She is well off but says she can't afford the medication and follow-up. If anyone has a serious illness she trivializes it and says medicine or surgery will cure it. She always has an example of someone she knows who was cured of a major disease.;) When people die, they both just pretend they never existed. If they could, they would leave the body of a family member to be disposed of by the city, no obit, no memorial, nada.

My N family members also walk around and drive with blinders on. They are like zombies behind the wheel. There is also another quirk they share which is odd voice changes-one I call "little girl voice" and the other is "witch voice", my favorite. It really does sound like a wicked witch, a growly little whisper. It appears when my Ns describe getting away with something or if they are jealous or uncomfortable. Creepy facial expressions accompany these voices and of course there are the all too familiar smirks. Combined with the actual N behaviors these things add up to a craziness that can only be understood by other N victims.

Holland said...

I would like to share with you how I finally made NC with my NM and her co-workers, my dad and my sis. Maybe this can be of use to you.

When I finally found out that contact with NM&Co would do me more harm than good, I asked her for a period of 'radio silence'. I did this in person. It was obvious that this was a narcissistic injury (at that time I did not know the name) and within a week I got the first letter from NM with the pointing finger and the message that I am so wrong in doing what I was doing. The guilt parade was starting.

I sent an e-mail back with thanks for her concern, but with the message that I had problems and that I had to solve that first. That I would contact her as soon as I could, but that I needed the space and the time and I asked her to grant me that.
Answer by e-mail: Oh yes, ofcourse, I was just curious to know how you are, did not want to bother you.

Next time a new e-mail from NM: What are you doing to me, what did I do wrong that you are treating me in this horrible way.
Answer: Mom, this is not about you I need the peace and room to solve my things, what is so difficult to understand about that? How do I have to make myself clearer, I do not want to have contact with you right now, with nobody, this is about me, not about YOU!

This is only a part of the mailing that took about half a year. But I kept on saying only: let me be, this is about me, not about you. Not more, not less and I did not answer her idiotic accusations.

Then she started to call on my friends, who felt really unhappy by this. So I mailed NM that if she would bother my friends with questions about me I would end the relationship with her forever. Stop it or you loose me forever, was the message.

Then she called my 13 years old son. She missed us so much, bla bla bla. Could you please tell your mother that I want to see her?
My son called me at work and passed the message on. I exploded in private. Mailed NM and stated that my children would not be bothered by her in any way about this and that if she would not leave my kids out of it I would have NC right now for ever.

Then she started to send her troopers, her sisters, my aunts, with all the nasty guilt messages. NM is so sad, really loves you, she made mistakes, also un-necessairy mistakes (?) (are there any necessairy ones?). The aunts were sent home with the message: leave me alone, my NM is an abuser, respect my wishes or you are out of my life for ever. Two aunts listened, the third didn't.

I wrote a letter addressed to all my relatives (from both my sperm and egg donor) including NM&Co, all with names and addresses on the top and wrote:
"The pitcher goes so often to the well that it is broken at last. I want NC, for 2 years, starting today. If anybody does not respect that I will start counting again. In that way mom has to wait longer. After these 2 years I will decide if I want to have contact with her again.
Who loves me doesn't want to change me, hurt me."

Due to the fact that it was sent to ALL relatives, NM could not hide it anymore and I got a mail back that I was utterly spoiled, and that was her BIG mistake! She wished me well while distroying my own life. (LOL)

I never said a bad word in all these mails in those 2 years, I just stuck to my guns and did not asked for anything else than 'radio silence'. I stuck to the subject. No diversions. Because NM did not wanted to give what I needed, she finally got nothing. BTW for sure she got a huge amount of attention of anyone you can think of because she is treated so badly by her daughter in these years.(LOL) But the fact that I took the word out of her 'magical circle' by addressing all my relatives, she did not wanted to loose face and she rather lost me than her face (that she doesn't have at all). It took a huge amount of selfcontrol to remain polite and civilized, but that we learned under their torture so well. We are the best, so dear ACONs use the power we have (patience and selfcontrole) but for our sake!
Holland

Anonymous said...

Oh wow.. toni-- said: "There is also another quirk they share which is odd voice changes-one I call "little girl voice" and the other is "witch voice", my favorite. It really does sound like a wicked witch, a growly little whisper. It appears when my Ns describe getting away with something or if they are jealous or uncomfortable. Creepy facial expressions accompany these voices and of course there are the all too familiar smirks. Combined with the actual N behaviors these things add up to a craziness that can only be understood by other N victims."

wow.. lately my Mom has been doing this sort of baby talk-- My sister gets annoyed with it and mentioned it one day and I realized she had done that when talking to me lately too. I think--for her its another way to avoid reality--a new world she is creating.

My daughter--has 2 attitudes. I used to say she was either 'sarah cutie or sarah tudie. I didn't realize until later that she punishes me with sarah tudie and rewards me with sarah cutie--or 'butters me up' would be the more correct idea I guess.

ugh this is all too much.
anonymous m

had it with my N sister said...

I have to say that it's somewhat amazing to read people describe their N family members and how much the behaviors are exactly like my N sister. And it's gratifying to see that no, I am not crazy. This is not normal behavior and I do have every right to be pissed at some of the things N sister does.

Like other N family members mentioned on this blog, my N sister also has a particular voice inflection and expression that she uses whenever she's making a particularly snide comment about me or anyone else. And the smirk. Exactly!

Another thing is the pained expression on her face if I make the mistake of mentioning something good that has happened to me or to one of my children. It really is like a cloud passes over her countenance.

And the trivializing of other's illnesses, well, my N sister has raised this to an art form. When her sister-in-law got cancer and had to have a hysterectomy, my N sister said it was "no big deal" and her sister-i-law was a hypochondriac that just wanted attention.

There were many similar examples over the years, but the one that takes the cake was when our mother was at the end stages of a type of blood cancer that causes lots of blood clots, itching and pain. Mom lived in another state and had come for a visit. She came with a friend of hers that N sister and I both knew. N sister told Mom's friend that Mom wasn't in that bad a shape, that she just wanted attention. Oh, and I did not hear that from the friend. My N sister told me what she had said herself.

Of course, at the funeral two months later, N sister wept her big crocodile tears and talked about all she had done for our mother. What a load of bullsh*t.

In fact, any time anyone around N sister talks about something bad that has happened to them, she will either carefully explain why it's no big deal or say something profound like "everything will be all right," (in other words, shut up about your problems because they're obviously no big deal) or she'd launch into a story about how something worse happened to her or to a "friend" of hers.

On a side note, it's always interesting how she always has an imaginary friend who conveniently has some experience that proves whatever my N sister is saying is right.

I feel sad for my N sister that she has missed out on a lot of great relationships that she could have had over the years... not just with me, but with other family members she's victimized. But I don't feel sad enough to spend time with her.

Anonymous said...

Well, my daughter has responded to my email.

she emailed a short angry note saying that when she comes to our house she will make arrangements for her belongings.. I don't know what she means by that.
Also she thanked me for the letter saying she guessed a phone call was too much to ask.

I didn't kick her out--I just told her she had to decide if she wanted to live under our rules or move out.

Anyhow I think this means she is moving out--but she didn't say it outright. So I replied asking if I should then assume that she is not living with us anymore.

I hate this.

My husband wants to toss her stuff out.

I guess I would rather pack it up and have her pick it up than have her come home and pack it herself and make a scene or 3.

I guess I need to know for sure she isn't coming back.

I have to say I'm really in pain right now--and yes I guess I'm hoping she means it--though I hate that too.

anonymous m.

Kathleen said...

Anonymous with the N/Daughter,

IMHO, please don't respond to any nonsense by her -- like the comment about a telephone call being "too much to ask." My X Husband, the alcoholic, would throw comments like that around. Those remarks are intended to make you start a debate and get off the topic at hand -- which is her MOVING OUT or GETTING RESPECTFUL. Has nothing to do with phone calls.
She's calling your bluff. If you give in, she'll know you can draw lines in the sand with no intention of ever following through.
She's made arrangements for her stuff? Good. Let her follow through. When she returns, tell her that she made arrangements, now her stuff must be out by X day. You are NOT a storage facility (betcha' she didn't make any arrangements).

To all who let me know I'm "normal" -- THANK YOU!! Yes, I do have compassion for myself. Now a single parent, I have relaxed some standards. What's one more dust bunny anyway? And I actually take naps now!! And no guilt. I work full time and have to maintain the house and be mom. I can nap if I want!!! But I have no pity for me. I have SO MANY blessings -- more than my fair share. Thank you.

And wow!! After reading your encouraging comments, I went and prayed about this "problem child" mentality I have. And I believe God showed me something.

I'm 50 years old. I've been hurt many, many times in my life. Normal stuff -- sibling rivalry, friendships, etc. I didn't obsess about those things. There was forgiveness and making up.
I wouldn't even be able to recall 99.99% of them.

Yes, I have obsessed with rage and hurt -- but ONLY with a FEW people. My X husband, my cousins, a former neighbor, and now my ILs. And each time I've obsessed and been unable to "let go and let God" is because the behavior exhibited by them has been so appalling, so shocking, as to be evil. I'm not the problem child!!! THEY ARE PROBLEM CHILDREN!! THANK YOU ALL!!!

And to those of you who have Ns who always have to "top it" when someone else is ill --- wouldn't it be nice if they were RIGHT? Wouldn't it be nice if they would all just get really, really sick, sicker than anyone, and just go and be deader than those we love and miss?? LOL

- Kathleen

Anonymous said...

Anon with the daughter,

Anna is right, you are grieving for something that does not exist (a daughter that cares about you). That is a form of sentimentality, which is dangerous. To you.

Pack her stuff up so she can't make a scene. Put it in the garage. Tell her she's out NOW. She is reading your pain in the email and trying to use it against you, she's fearless and cold. Once she understands you really mean it and have had it, she will probably become more angry and mean to you. Expect her to use every trick in the book, especially guilt, that's a Big one, don't waver, you've made a difficult decision, if you don't stand by it now, things will be even worse.

This is your chance to turn her around, to help her by being a caring parent, to show her there are consequences for her actions. Don't blow it. Kick her out. Make her accountable and responsible, it's the basis for all future success.

GraFXGrl said...

""Then she started to call on my friends, who felt really unhappy by this.""

Yeah sounds familar - my NM called my inlaws and told them I disconected my phone
(the one she would call when she knew I would be at work, not bothering to call my cell) and that I went crazy and joined a cult (WTF?).
They will try anything.

GraFXGrl said...

"" unable to "let go and let God" is because the behavior exhibited by them has been so appalling, so shocking, as to be evil. I'm not the problem child!!! THEY ARE PROBLEM CHILDREN!!""

Ok I just have to say AMEN! lol.

One thing most people use "let go and let God" for is to not have to deal with things. Easy for eNablers to say to you from a distance. But just a thought - these things SHOULD make us -especailly Chrsitians!!!- angry! It's vile and evil- A major part of being a Christian is loving what God loves and hating what He Hates!! He hates evil! If Ns and injuctice make you angry - then your soul is alive, not to mention your brain!

Anonymous said...

I have never posted here before but read this site often and find much strength and wisdom from Anna and from all of you who share your stories and insights so bravely.

Re: LittleGrace Jan 13, 2009 12:16:00 AM

Your story really stood out to me for a few reasons. I too adored ballet as a little girl. It was the only place where I really felt free and as though I had something my very own — even though I was decades away from beginning to understand that I was never allowed anything of my own when I was her “possession” all those years. One day, NMom told me that there would be no more ballet — we didn’t have the finances for her to waste (in hindsight, there was always more than enough money for the things she wanted, heck, even for things she really didn’t care about at all) and she certainly couldn’t spare the money for an “ungrateful child” who never really made an effort in ballet and who never wanted to go anyway. Even the teacher had complained to her about me, she said. I was devastated about that. I loved my teacher, she was kind and gentle with me, and I hated to think I had been a disappointment in anyway. After that, the only dancing I ever did was in our house when she would leave me alone to go “run errands” (AKA spend all the money we didn’t have on nonsense). I would turn on the stereo, painstakingly careful to remember which station it had been on so I could make sure to avoid her wrath for daring to touch anything of her’s (I was a teenager when I finally let myself dance again, fully capable of using a stereo without harm but of course, I was forbidden to touch anything of her’s because I “ruined anything I got my hand on” according to her. I would dance and dance and dance around the living room for hours until I could hear her car turn into the drive. Then it was a mad dash to clear any evidence that would give me away to her. Ha, it’s funny but to this day, when I think I hear my roommate (who treats me kindly always — not a sliver of meanness anywhere), I have such an urge to dash about to put things back where they were and clean up any minor messes (I have neat freak traits from never ever being able to have my room, or anything else I was responsible for, clean enough for her so things are usually pretty perfect) when there’s absolutely no need to do so. Talking about overly conscientious but I’ve gotten much better in the last few years, thanks so much to having lived them No Contact with her or my NStepdad. But back to dance and ballet. Years later I found out what I believe is the real reason I was yanked right out of ballet. I ran into my former ballet teacher and she told me she had always wondered why I had stopped coming for lessons, especially right after she spoke to my mother about my “extraordinary talent” and how she wanted to place me in her class of advanced students. And to think, all those years, I had thought myself nothing but a disappointment to her. All of a sudden, I feel such a wave of the sadness and regret and anger and loss that come when I realize how much she took from me for all those years and how I will never get that back. I know I have today and the future to look forward to but it is so hard sometimes when you wonder who you might have been, what you might have accomplished, though I take comfort in the fact that what she put me through has helped to make me the strong, compassionate (to those who are deserving), brave woman I am. And this after less than three years of NC after 27 years lived under her iron fist. I can’t even remember the person I was those almost three years ago. I have had the freedom to finally become ME, a woman with an identity of her own and not just my mother’s (“ungrateful”, “immature”, “spoiled”, “horrid”, etc etc etc) daughter. I have miles and miles to go but I’m not afraid to take on the task. I survived my childhood enough to come out still kicking and fighting and that means I can survive anything life throws my way. Phew, it feels good to finally post and let out some of the “demons “ — it’s as if I have lightened my burden by putting this down in writing for all to see. LittleGrace — from what you describe further in your post regarding your mother’s abuse, I feel that you and I have shared such similar experiences. I once begged my mother to let me look at a catalog (yes, a catalog she got in the mail and I actually had to beg and plead to be allowed to touch it — and I thought that was normal mother behavior. Ha!) that she probably didn’t even know she had gotten. The Queen granted me permission and I was so excited to flip through the colorful pages. I probably went through it for hours before returning it to her catalog pile. Cut to hours later, my mother storms into the room in a fury, fire in her eyes. Where is the catalog? What have I done to it? I shake and stammer that I put it back, only to be accused of lying. She goes absolutely ballistic, telling me she will find the catalog if she has to tear my room apart. And she did. My mother, always such a delicate woman, absolutely sickly and weak all the time (ha, ha), somehow finds the strength to literally psuh huge floor to ceiling bookcases to the ground, ripping and tearing my precious books, my only escape at this point and the only chance I have to avoid her wrath by staying quiet and bothering absolutely nothing around me. She breaks anything that can be broken, trashes everything in her past, but still no catalog. She leaves me sobbing on my own, not before first asking "what the hell are you crying about?" and asking if I want her to give me something to really cry about. And that missing catalog? My guess is she hid it somewhere herself. Hey, any excuse to terrorize your child, right? Thanks for letting me get that out. Hopefully I will be shorter next post now that I have had a chance to vent to everyone for the first time. Thank you for being such great inspiration and keeping me strong.

Anonymous said...

This is Anonymous M --w/ the daughter. I guess you guys all seem to have known how this would go. She's not moving out apparently. She emailed back and said " I have 60 days right? just please don't remove or trash my stuff before I get back."

Trash her stuff? what nonsense.

Anyhow I wrote back and said as briefly as possible that she has 60 days under the conditions I told her-- get a job immediately and save her money to move on, no internet and no spending the night at boys and treating us like we run a hotel.

I also said what nonsense to her remark about trashing her stuff.

Now I see more clearly every day it seems that she lives in a pure fantasy she has created.

Before she left my husband and I were talking and said we both thought she would have to dump the boyfriend in California soon as she doesn't want to live there and he cannot afford the life she wants to live. Well--I thought she would dump him before she left, Hubby thought she would dump him after taking a 3 week trip to see him on his dime.

Last night my son called ==who is close with her--and said she has made the boyfriend 'her friend' like her old boyfriend. She still has more than 2 weeks to spend with him and his family-and she has broken up already!

I was amazed. I thought--wow--she has more talent and screwing with someone's head than I had even realized.

Unbelieveable.

Well so then I guess that means she is free to find a new meal ticket if she can't glom off us more than 60 days. I suppose she'll find one wherever she finds a job.

Of course I'm assuming she will find a job-and that's something.

I felt so bad for so many of you reading your stories.

Kathleen I think it was--=when you mention feeling bad for being unforgiving-- oh boy can I relate.

When my dad was dying I went to a Christian counselor and I felt awful. I was just so angry with my mom. Dad had a brain tumor but in my heart I could not stop believing my mom had caused it or was killing him someway.

It totally is not right I'm sure--you can't give someone else a brain tumor to the best of my knowledge. But I will say that after he died she has dropped some nasty bombs on any of her children that she perceived were grieving this loss. She has been assisinating his memory--while simultaneously making his gravesite one of the most decorated ones in the whole cemetary complete with a huge stone and statues and shrubs and flowers etc.. she goes often to tend it bringing whoever will go along. I don't ever go there. Ever.

I've been twice and knew he wasn't there and it was some sort of creepy thing after that.It has become pretentious.

I guess having had mom be this way it should not have taken me so long to figure out what was going on with daughter--but I see it now. The patterns are so obvious--how could I have been so dumb. Sentimentality is right I guess.

I felt for the one who said she was jerked from ballet--I feel for so many of you. And what has been coming back to me this morning is remembering how my mom used to wash my hair when I was young--she would dig her nails in so hard and hurt me as she scrubbed. I didn't understand it.

Now I do. All my life I wondered why I didn't love her- and now I know--she didn't love me and I was no dummy. I suppose she must have been jealous that my dad loved me. Wow.

Barbara said...

Anonymous with the N/Daughter,

Have all her stuff PRE-PACKED and boxed up - ready to go for her.

ASSUME she is leaving, don't ask.

Sorry but you need to take a tough-love stance. No matter what she says about you or names she calls you.

Love her -- FROM A DISTANCE - but don't enable her to hurt you further

Kathleen said...

Anon w/Daughter,
You're doing great!! It's hard, isn't it? You want so much to have a loving relationship with your own child -- anything short of that is really not natural. I know you're hoping against hope she will turn around (hugs to you). Just stand your ground. You may cry inwardly or alone, but don't let her see any chink in your armor. She will hone in on that weak spot.

May I make one more suggestion? In your post you stated that you said "what nonsense" to her reply about her belongings.

Please try (and it is hard) to make NO comment to her nonsense. If you do, it could open the door to more crap like:
SHE: But I thought you were going to throw my things away.

YOU: Now you know that's nonsense. I wouldn't do that.

SHE: But you sounded so mean, like you didn't love me.

YOU: I do love you. I want the best for you. I want you to grow to be more mature.

SHE: I know, mom. And I love you too. It just really hurt when you said......

Now you're off the topic of her moving out and you're reassuring her of how much you love her. Another piece of your armor falls away. It's hard -- but ignore the nonsense and only respond to the topic -- get out or get more respectful.

You tell about your dad's gravesite and how beautiful it is, courtesy of your NMom. Reminded me of DH's headstone.

Has anyone ever tried saying something shocking or appalling to an N to see what kind of response there would be, see if any lights were on in their brains??
DH was gone 2 months when I ordered his headstone. I wanted to somehow "shock" MIL. I told her about the stone and said "My name is on it too. Gee, what if I get remarried?" (He's gone 2 months -- I thought that was pretty tacky of me!)

Her response?
"Well, the kids could just have your name taken off."

It had never sunk in that I am her son's WIFE and had been for 14 years. Bitch.

- Kathleen

Anonymous said...

Anonymous M,

Oh wow! I'm no authority, and I am writing this IMMEDIATELY after reading your email to your daughter, so others may have already adressed this issue way more eloquently than me. Anna may have even intervened with her thoughts on the topic-I don't know. I didn't check. I just had to say to you, through long-earned personal experience, that email exchanges can possibly turn into your worst nightmare!

I tried to communicate this way with my family of origin.Usually responding to THEIR emails. I now have to accept that there is a huge thick "file" out there, that was recently flaunted in my face as something to hold over my head. I really couldn't give a shit. In fact I dared the person to pull them out-lets go-lets have a look at them all. Right here, right now.
Of course, when I called their bluff, back into the briefcase the file went. Too much of a coward to actually do that. Just wanted to "make a point" to the other people in the room, that "there was more to the story" than they know. That I WAS actually guilty of nasty emails, as opposed to the other way around. My attempt over the years, before I went NC & found Anna's blog to strengthen my resolve, had been twisted around and used against me in the insane smear campaign that has gone on against me. It never ends. Until we end it. We just have to be SMART about how we go about it.

I have a trusted someone in this insanity with me,(another of their targets), whereby we have a pact that no matter how much we want to say "ooh,ooh,I'VE gotta respond to THIS one(always BS group allegations of wrongdoings, as we are the ones in the position of "power" over THEIR " birthright inheritence", in their avaricious eyes. The reality of it: we get to do all the work)---a pact that says we no longer "fire off" any emails, without the other "proof-reading" first. Then they often end up never being sent,just sitting in our draft boxes forever. They don't listen to what we have to say anyway,so why bother? It just fuels their fire. Or at the very least, re-written & toned down, removing any editorials & boned down to just necessary facts, so we have our own "paper trail". Always assuming it will go WWWAAAAYYYYY beyond the eyes it was meant for. We've seen evidence of that. Even assuming a judge & jury could someday be reviewing it.

It sounds crazy & paranoid, but we MUST live that way, if we are to fully exorcize our lives from ANY power these freaks can possibly have over our & our families' lives, now or in the future.

My nest of viper-N's are a group of well-educated, socially renowned, high positioned middle aged people.

I used to know them as my siblings.

Beware out there! No one would believe us about their covert abuse. That's why we must believe in ourselves! WE know the truth.

Katrina

krl said...

To all of you who suffer from Nchildren:

Makes my heart so sick and sad. Though none of my 3 adult children are N.....I remember the Ntendancies of their teen years...and how difficult it was to 'hold that line'. Maybe it was 'easier' because I was still in the middle of being used by my Nmother. I don't know. I just didn't have any time, money, or energy to cater to my kids crap? or was it because they weren't Ns. Who knows? I am grateful however.

Kind of a 'funny' story from about 10 years ago. Maybe this will be helpful when dealing with Nchildren. We laugh about it now...(but a true N won't be yukking later...) When the kids were in high school, (I was a single mom...overworked, underpaid, tired and crabby...no child support etc.)...our lease was up so we had to move to another place. One of my sons was a HotShotJock at school...biggo kid...with biggo friends. On the day of the move, I told him to be back by 6pm to help with the move. He didn't show up. Well? Bad Dog No Biscuit. So, the rest of us moved all the stuff....(it was only a few blocks away...) BUT....I left ALL his stuff..EVERYTHING that was HotShot's...out on the curb. When he showed up at the new place around 9:30pm that night...well, I'll be damned! His new room was EMPTY! Of course, there was the flurry of cussing and words and "How COULD yous" etc. I just looked at him and told him that if he wanted to sleep in the new place, he could go get his shit and move it in....OR....he could go sleep on the curb at the old place where his bed and medals and trophies were.....that I didn't care if he had a truck....that his friends did. "Get your Football Buddies on the phone to help you pick up your stuff and move in....or DON'T". So...that's how you handle it. No..it doesn't feel 'good'....but it is FAIR...it is JUST...it is RIGHTEOUS.

NOW...we laugh about it. A true N won't....buttowell.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous and Little Grace-regarding the ballet...
I think your stories are just so timely for me. I suppose though, mine is different. I also took ballet for years. My dad was really the only one who encouraged me at all and that ended when they divorced. Only because, to survive with mom, we had to rein in any feelings for him. He had hurt her, so we had to hate him too. To this day though he brings it up. Its a constant reminder of the loss of opportunity...a who knows what could have been situation.

I wish in a way my mother had opposed it blatantly and obviously. Because she did not, it leaves me wondering was I sabotaged or was it my choosing, or did I complain, or did I not try hard enough and on and on.

I remember excelling in the class, having a very complimentary teacher. She really complimented my body as that of a ballerina, and my potential was pointed out at every lesson. I remember being chosen to try out for a spot in the Nutcracker ballet. I was very young so I don't remember the details. Only two were chosen and I was one. I remember having to go into the city to a huge auditorium and tryout. I was absolutely terrified. I was not encouraged. Being a mother now (which I believe has been my undoing with my own mother) I realize the importance of parental encouragement. I simply remember standing on that stage about to cry and my mother, packing me up to go. Explaining to whoever was in charge, that I was not going to get out there and try.

It was not long after this that I no longer went to ballet. I remember sitting on the floor trying to pull on the tights and struggling with it (I was a little girl) and complaining about it. That was it! No more ballet for me. She wasn't going to listen to complaining.

I don't know, I suppose if she had treated me cruely out right or said ugly things, I could somehow fault her. But no, my mother waits until the perfect moment to make it all my fault. To this day, I struggle to decern what I'm responsible for and what I'm not.

I will say this, to leave it on a positive note. I encourage my children. I have supported them, with whatever they have chosen to do. I make no apology for it. I have taught them to conquer fear, and to have courage. I never pull them from anything they attempt unless they ask and even then, we talk about why and whether its really what they want or are they just afraid to try. My mothers mistreatment,somehow made me a better mother myself. I wish I could say she was happy for me.I guess a part on me will always want that. But no, I just think my kids are better than everyone elses. Bizarre.

What can you say abot that? Nothing, you just move on, and its hard. But getting easier, at least today.

Thanks for the site.

Anonymous said...

This is Anonymous M--
I just was thinking of this-- I had such a sad depressed feeling about my daughter--having seen that my mom never improved it is hard to swallow that my daughter is doomed.

I just had to see something else though. I am a Christian and I just don't know how to grasp 'doomed'. Anyhow I was reading something about Christ dying on the cross and about how we died WITH him. Then it dawned on me-- a totally self absorbed person can only be saved by dying to self.

I thought about that because I don't think it would have been impossible for me to be an N like my mom and daughter--why not?

I know I have empathy for others and I know I am not an N--but I know I could have been.

I also know at a certain point in my life I surrendered myself to Christ and to new life. I am thinking now-- there is still hope that someday my child could do that. Why not?

She certainly is not more powerful than God Almighty and if in He chooses to save her she will be saved.

This actually is a thought that has really given me hope and I think more strength because I see that I cannot treat my daughter at all the way I used to. I have to keep her at arm's length and be tougher than I ever have for her own good and for the good of my husband and I and our peace in our home together.

But--knowing I still have a hope for her--I think that will help me do that. I can do it because God saved me and is quite capable of saving her no matter how wicked her little self is now.

So I'm not giving up--I'm just going a different direction in my parenting--time for her to get going on her own--now or in 60 days--no matter except one is harder of course--it still has to be done. I'll be around I'm sure to help keep my resolve going, but I am glad I don't also have to believe it is 100% hopeless.

~m

Writer in Washington said...

Anon-w/daughter: I agree with the others--PACK HER STUFF UP AND HAVE IT READY TO GO BEFORE SHE EVER GETS THERE. Do NOT allow her the opportunity to make a big, dramatic production of it. Ns thrive on twisting the subject off topic (her moving out) to make it all about how mean you are to her. They are reinforced in this by other people who are blinded by their manipulations. Some people will never catch on to them.

To Katrina: We have kept a briefcase full of e-mails that our MNs have sent to other people about us. Someone always feels it right to forward their junk to us, but we are certain its only the tip of the iceberg. We print and keep it because we want to have a record of their lies, should we ever need to confront them (or others) with it. For example, wonderful "christian" MN ex-wife helped MN stepdaughter get an abortion when she was 16. We, of course, are supposed to believe she had a tumor. Right--if that was the case, MN ex-wife would certainly have tapped us to help pay for the medical expenses. But they are "pro-life" to hear them tell it. Yeah, whatever PROmotes their own LIFE (blind pursuit of their own selfish interests at the moment). My recommendation is to not respond to any of their e-mails. Block them if you can. Why make yourself miserable responding to people who are only going to twist everything you say to make you the bad guy anyway? Give yourself a little peace and stop them from assaulting you.

Anonymous said...

Anna

I love your site. It has helped me so much.

I have seen that you posted some music videos in the past.

I ran across this one on youtube.

I thought you and your readers would like it. It nails it for anyone who has ever been in a relationship with a narcissist!

Here are the lyrics.

I hide I can not relate
I put on a face and I shut the gate.
I wont confide. I can not debate.
I wont decide. I procrastinate.
You cant reach my soul.
It's in a deep dark hole
and if you love me too well,
I'll make your life hell.

So well I've lived this lie.
No one can tell. Not even I.
My baby's got the right to ask,
but i wont stop and take off the mask.

She cant reach my soul.
It's in a deep dark hole
and if she jumps in this well
I'll ,ale her life hell.

If someone dare to touch my heart
show they care the trouble will sart.
My greatest fear are her loving eyes
and tender hands over my disguise.

You cant reach my soul.
It's in a deep lonely hole
and if you jump in this well
I'll make your life hell.

I'd like to feel with you.
To laugh and cry and see things through
We would have it made
if I would end this sharade.

I can't reach my soul
It's in a deep dark hole
and if you jump in this well
I'll make your live hell.

If you jump in this well
Ill make your life hell.

Nah NAh Nah NAh Nah.

Hre is the link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCeIAqeWq3Q

Anonymous said...

I mentioned the N trait of never seeing anyone else when they're toodling around, but has anyone noticed this? I know of at least three Ns who are like this, is it a trait?

Controlling about other's environment, but total packrats and out of control when it comes to their own, things like (this is gross to me, sorry) mouse turds in the cupboard, weevils in the food, that kind of thing. A friend told me of her N relative who had everything in the cupboard alphabatized - on top of 3 inches of mouse turds! Comments?

Anonymous said...

"She emailed back and said " I have 60 days right? just please don't remove or trash my stuff before I get back." "

Barbara is right. There's no point in e-mail vollying with her. If you "give" her sixty days, she'll just come up with excuses as to why she "needs" 90 or find a way to "unagree".

As for her stuff PUT IT IN STORAGE(for sixty days, *snerk*. That's not "trashing" and as for "removing her things". She's leaving anyway, so why not make things easier for her?

Yea, she'll find someone else to mooch off.


As for the dancer, yes, it blows to have your own parents sabotage your dreams/loves like that. Have you considered going after it anyway? It's never really too late, especially if you're going into teaching it or small productions.

As mentioned before, nothing infuriates Ns more than you doing things they didn't want you to do and especially succeed when they claim you can't. If you do succeed, beware of any "I'm proud of you and I'd like to have a relationship again." That is NOT their intention.

Anna Valerious said...

I mentioned the N trait of never seeing anyone else when they're toodling around, but has anyone noticed this?

I've responded to this question of yours earlier. So have at least a couple of others. You'll have to wade through all the comments to find them. Sorry!

Anna Valerious said...

She certainly is not more powerful than God Almighty and if in He chooses to save her she will be saved.

Of course she can change, but that doesn't mean you treat as though she has before she has. It isn't a matter of power, by the way. Yes, God has the power to save anyone. But not everyone will be saved for the simple reason that God won't use His power to over-ride the will. It is a matter of will. And not God's will. God has made it apparent that He wills that all be saved. In fact, to be very biblical...He has already saved all humanity in Christ. You have to choose to reject the gift that is already given to lose out.

I don't intend to pop your bubble because there is always room for hope. God has the power to save. Just remember that you don't. We must deal with what is. No one here is saying that your daughter can't change. We are just willing to acknowledge that, at this point in time, the best and only hope of change is to turn her loose. To quit saving her ass. To quit capitulating to her demands and expect her to behave like an adult. To not coddle her. If you really want to DO something to help her change then you damn well better start holding the line with her.

Anonymous said...

To Anon Jan 14, 2009 10:47:00 PM

Welcome! I did a lot of reading and gaining strength before I posted too. Regarding your post, "... my mother storms into the room in a fury, fire in her eyes... She goes absolutely ballistic... She breaks anything that can be broken, trashes everything in her path... She leaves me sobbing on my own, not before first asking "what the hell are you crying about?" and asking if I want her to give me something to really cry about."

My N-Mom wold do this same thing and even went so far as to call it "cleaning my room". I, the ungrateful, unappreciative, spoiled brat, was left to throw away the damaged stuff. Anything that I really liked, or even loved, went into a bag to be given to the neighborhood children. I think it was so that I could still see it, but not have it, but this is just a guess. Did your N-Mom ever slip into the "wicked-witch voice" (per Toni) and utter, "I brought you into this world and I can take you out"? Something similar, perhaps? You're among survivors and friends here so vent away, cry a little, know that you are not insane, feel better, and discover that there is still hope for us.

-JR

Anonymous said...

Dear ~m, mom of likely N daughter.

Listen, you say she is close with at least one brother. She will be working some angle with her brother or brothers. I recall you said one of your sons is moving home to go to school, so it doesn't sound like she will mooch off him except for money. Anyway, I just mention that.

You worry about her because you see her vulnerabilities, even if she is N, but she isn't interested in being somebody's lunch. She is not vulnerable to predators taking advantage of her because there is nothing in that for her. She is all about taking advantage of others.

Anyway, I hope one day my dad will change. He's actually dead now and was N to the very bitter end, but my belief is that his learning and growth will continue. God's got plenty of time, right?

Dear ballet ACONS - your experience is so sad - heartbreaking. I feel for you and have experienced similar. I would say if there is one issue in my own life that I wrestle the most, over time, and would love to talk about - it is aspects of the impact of this sabotage and how to work on overcoming and moving on. The way my dad sabotaged me, undermined me, destroyed my hopes, misled me about how to build skills (and he knew how). I'm out and free and it's over, but I want to pull on my hair when I look at how not just I was mis-raised, misled and confused about my abilities, potential, prospects and possibilities, but how some of that is just lost. It's done. I missed the boat.

But like another Anon said - this has a big impact on my parenting. I'm very careful to emphasize the positive and encourage my son to feel good about his efforts, to try things, to not let setbacks dissuade. And once you are a parent it becomes so crystal clear how amiss things were.

My best love to you all - E

So, what IS in a heart? said...

"even if she is N, but she isn't interested in being somebody's lunch. She is not vulnerable to predators taking advantage of her because there is nothing in that for her. She is all about taking advantage of others."

NOBODY is interested in being someone's lunch. There's always a bigger, smarter and nastier fish ready to eat someone like her. The difference between people like her and those who are not is that the former really believe it can't happen to them and cry victim when it does. The latter recognizes the possibility protects themselves no matter what predators would say/do about that.

That being said, Ndaughter is still an adult and there are plenty of people just like her who live on their own just fine.

C.M. said...

I sent my NMother a no contact letter in 2001 and had the police visit her at her home in Las Vegas for her emails and phone calls. I hadn't seen or spoken with her since 1986 prior to that as I had really had it with her disrespectful treatment of me. I wanted to express how devastating it is to have to do this to a relative, especially when your "cooperation" with them most certainly would have assured an inheritance. In a moment of weakness, panic and fear, I sent her a letter a few months ago prior to her 70th b-day. I know I shouldn't have but it's too late. I didn't hear from her. I kind of made a fool of myself sending her a"pls don't disinherit" me letter. I had just taken a legal course in wills, trusts and estates and realized I'm going to be disinherited. I'm sorry I'm just not as strong a person as I thought I was. I was kind of pathetic sending her that letter.

Gabrielle said...

Has anyone read the article in the most recent issue of TIME magazine (January 19, 2009) about borderline personality disorder? As an 20-something child of a mother who has all the classic signs of a narcissist, I find the article infuriating. After years of living in pain, wondering what I was doing wrong to be so unhappy, I realized it was my mother who was doing the wrong. However, after reading this article, I felt as though I was being repremanded for feeling anger for my mother. The article asks the reader to pity the "sufferer" of this disorder, and then goes on to say a little "tough love" can cure a patient with this disorder. Fine; I can understand the sympathy angle, and playing up the successful treatment of a case study. What angers me is that not once does the article mention the pain and torture that those around these "poor, poor individuals" cause. Perhaps I'm the narcissist for thinking people like me should be acknowledged. Thoughts? Here's the link to the article: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1870491,00.html

Anonymous said...

Anonymous m again..
Anna, you said:
"Of course she can change, but that doesn't mean you treat as though she has before she has. It isn't a matter of power, by the way. Yes, God has the power to save anyone. But not everyone will be saved for the simple reason that God won't use His power to over-ride the will. It is a matter of will. And not God's will. God has made it apparent that He wills that all be saved. In fact, to be very biblical...He has already saved all humanity in Christ. You have to choose to reject the gift that is already given to lose out. "

There are many Christians who have a different view of the will and God's Sovereinty--and believe their view to be biblical too. I appreciate what you are saying but I am one of those who believes that God is Sovereign above our wills--and so man's will doesn't get in His way if he chooses to save an individual--God is able to draw and change the most stubborn heart if He chooses is more my view. I don't believe that being an N or not being an N makes any differrence to God as far as needing to be saved and being able to be saved if God so chooses.

Anyhow my view or yours of Christian doctrine doesn't matter for the purposes of this blog-- which I think mainly are to support folks who are dealing with really tough situations with people who have N Tendencies or are N's.

I just appreciate the advice and the knowledge that is stored here. Its quite an eye-opener to me.

I see that there are many views of God here--which only tells me that we're all human and nobody is immune to these problems.

Also I did say in my post about what was giving me hope that I did know I needed to rely on God not me to save her. This gave me hope because I know I'm not up to the task--and I know I have to be strong in resolve too.~m

Anna Valerious said...

Anyhow my view or yours of Christian doctrine doesn't matter for the purposes of this blog...

Actually, my views of Christian doctrine shape this blog and do matter. This is not a forum where opinions are equally weighted; this is a blog that belongs to one person who has a definite set of her own opinions, views and thoughts. At least here, my views do matter. You can differ with my presentation of my views; that's more than fine with me. But to dismiss my views on Christian doctrine is to miss how I get to where I have gotten in my thinking. I could not have gotten to where I am today if I believed the Calvinist version of God's sovereignty as you do.

Anonymous said...

Well, I was raised a Presbyterian from a long line of Presbyterians -- and now reject Calvinism.

But -- I don't see how -- try as I might -- anyone can deny that if God is Omnipotent, Omniscient, Creator and Existent before all things -- that He (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) is responsible for EVERYTHING.

If someone can convincingly demonstrate to me otherwise, I would be ever so grateful.

Dandelion

Anna Valerious said...

I'm not going to entertain a theological debate here. But I'll simply state this...

believing that humans were given free will by their Creator does not in any way diminish His Omnipotentence, Omniscience, Creatorship and Existence before all things. In fact, there are only two ways to explain the existence of evil for those who believe in the God we've described above. Either God Himself created evil OR He created free will. The existence of evil is the most solid proof there is that God gave us free will. It is interesting to me that people can so easily believe God is all powerful, Creator and pre-existent yet they can't believe God has the power to set up the rules that confine His own behavior...that of our own free will. You can't begin to understand His love if you can't start to wrap your head around the necessity for free will. Love is non-compulsory. It cannot exist by force! Hence, for God to be loved by His creatures He had to allow free will!

Stated another way: True virtue cannot exist in the absence of freedom. Think that one through very, very long and hard. There is a universe in that statement. You can even use your understanding of how narcissists play the game of life to help you conceptualize what is in that statement. And you can use their perversions to help you understand that love cannot be dictated or it ceases to be love.

I will not be putting through any more comments along this line. This isn't the function of this thread.

Writer in Washington said...

Just for a smile for everyone, here is the Narcissist's theme song (sung to the tune of "It Had to Be You):
It's all about me
It's all about me
It can never be you, that wouldn't do
Cuz its all about me.

For nobody else, gives me a thrill
With all my heart, I'll adore me still.
Cuz it has to be me,
Wonderful me
It's all about me!

Anna Valerious said...

Hey, thanks!! I just sang this out loud to my husband and it made him laugh out loud heartily. It wasn't just due to my singing either! Very funny and perfectly apropos lyrics. Love it. Thanks for the humor. :D

Writer in Washington said...

Gabrielle: I've thought about this a lot. A long time ago, on the TV show MASH there was an episode with the psychiatrist Sydney Friedman. I don' t remember who he was talking to, either Frank Burns or the guy who was a CIA opperative, Col. Flagg. Anyway, he said something like: "Everyone here is a victim of this war, even you (Frank or Flagg) but you are such an unbelievable example of walking horse manure that its hard for me to care." That pretty much sums up my reaction toward those who suffer from NPD. They are "sufferers" in some sense or other but I find it very hard to care!

Kathleen said...

Well, since there was a little levity thrown in, I'd thought I'd add a joke.
Yes, it is plagerized and modified to fit the situations we find ourselves in.

Q.
What's the difference between God and (insert your N's name)??

A.
God doesn't think He's (insert your N's name)!!!

- Kathleen

Anonymous said...

OK, I can't resist:

Q - How many N's does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A - One. They just hold it up and the world revolves around them.


Also: a joke I made to a real-life N during a breakup:

"But N, we shouldn't break up, we have so much in common! For instance, you think all your problems are my fault, and I think all my problems are my fault!"

[he didn't laugh. I am still laughing]

Anonymous said...

Anna Thanks for this blog.
I have been reading for a few months and this is the first time posting. Truly grateful. I am 50 something and I wish I knew 30 years ago what I know today about my NM.

Anna Valerious said...

C.M.

Has there been any fall-out from your having contacted your mother? Has she responded?

By the way, you have a great set of pipes! Beautiful voice.

sumptos devil s advocate said...

I'm wondering if you could help me here:

http://vault-co.blogspot.com/

This person seems like a crank, but then it seems like he's at least slightly knowledgeable as well, but I'm also wondering if he's an N--he sort of strikes me as that way too, as he seems to pump himself up a lot, but the question is, is he being grandiose? He could just really be very smart, or he could be being grandiose. What do you think?

Anna Valerious said...

I see nothing there that would make me label him a narcissist. I do find that when people don't like another person's view of politics they are quick to put the worst construct on their character. Don't fall into that.

Anonymous said...

I am almost 3 weeks post NC with my now exN friend. I had sent off my NC letter having found the courage to do so through the support of my family and some tried and true advice found in this blog. I had hoped I would not hear from exNfriend, but the better part of me knew there was no way she would let it be. She has always had to have the last word and this would be no different. I had an email in my inbox for a day, vacillating as to whether to hit delete or not. I must have still had some altruistic (albeit misguided) hope that she may not be an N or that she had changed, so I read the letter...or I should say "skimmed". It was a stew of word vomit, denying her selfish and hurtful actions to me and others. Rather, she made yet another point to tell me (as if I had not heard this everyday for the past 10 years) of her being driven into therapy because of her being labeled "selfish" by her N father and BPD mother, and that I was no better than them and in fact I WAS probably BPD, MPD, and an N!! In retrospect, she has labeled all everyone in her life with a mental illness if they dare to reject her or cut off her N supply. Her true colors were showing, only validating my decision to go NC. Thankfully, because of my line of work I have had my head examined and psych evaluations done on a regular basis, which have never revealed any of the above disorders! And to think she wants to be a therapist. I hope and pray she doesn't abuse them too. Anna, in your words I have been a "mercy zombie", but no more, never again. I will not give my compassion without wisdom and discernment. So, yes N's have feelings but only for themselves. I have set up my email account to automatically delete any "incoming rockets" from this hostile and hurtful person.

Sibling Survivor said...

In response to the mother with the possibly N daughter:

Just a week ago we had a somewhat similar situation here. N-sister had actually moved out over six months ago and knew I was going to move into the middle room at my mother's house (where she had stayed) for another month. I needed a place in town to live while I was being trained at work, but didn't know which office I would be working from post training and didn't have the money to pay double-rent (couldn't end lease - room mates). I would have moved home with dad, but my old room became the storage room. N-sister still has a room over there, but didn't want to live with dad - he was getting pretty savy to her behavior. So after nearly two decades of acting like mom was the bad guy (she enforces rules much better) she did a flip - now mom's the good parent.

Note; N-sister is 22, so should know she's responsible for her actions by now.

When it came time for me to move in, she still had not even bothered to move the things she left behind (lots of clothing, makeup, etc) out or pack them up. Clearly these were things she seldom needed or things she didn't want anymore. Things that could easily go into the storage room downstairs.

Now there's two things I know from past experience: 1) No one is allowed to touch her belongings, no matter where they are (such as laundry left in the washer/dryer - or else she goes into a rage. 2) She hates it even more if I do it than if anyone else does it. She seems to think I'll deliberately tear up her things (because she would do this to my things) and acts like I'm some sort of unclean heathen monster (she likes to play the religious superiority tactic).

Yet she set it up so that I would do it or else my mom, already over worked and stressed, would have to do it. I was having none of it. I know she would yell and scream no matter how her things were moved/packed up, so I just tossed them into trash bags. Mom helped out and tried to keep things folded, but really, N-sister wasn't going to appreciate her efforts. She still holds out some hope for N-sister, so she was pretty hurt by this incident as it unfolded.

We got everything bagged up and ready to go in one day, then went to a movie to celebrate the cleaning up after N sis being done with. It was a feat worth celebrating. You can bet we were both shocked at how she reacted... mom for anything like this happening, me for the way in which she reacted (i had expected calling to yell/scream at mom and having tossed/destroyed my things I had brought up - which is why I brought up the least valuable/breakable things first).

When we got back, we found that:
-The front door was left open even though no one was home.
-Mom's 13 year old dog, with health problems, was left outside in the cold weather. (He was in when we left.)
-Some of N-sister's crap was left in a trail from down stairs (where we stored it) to the door, looking like we had been robbed.
-In a petty move, she ate candy from my dish that I used to have in my office for students visiting, and left the wrappers all over the house. (Just so I know she was digging in my things, because I hadn't unpacked that yet.)

Now N-sister KNEW full well that Mom had been robbed about 2-3 years ago, yet she left the house looking like it had just been robbed again! And she left the front door open for who knows how long so that it could have happened again. Of course, if it had, she would have claimed it was our fault for touching her stuff.

Mom gave her a call to let her know that it wasn't appropriate behavior (which was probably just what she was waiting for) and N-sister launched into her tirade on how we were the bad guys. And how she couldn't find any of her things (aka, she had to LOOK in the bags for them.. ah, effort).

She also acted, and left it looking like, she came in in a tizzy, grabbed her things, and left. Not so - we had proof via an undrained bathtub that she took the time to wash her two dogs! And yet she was obviously not concerned about leaving an elderly dog with health problems out in the cold while not knowing when anyone else would be back.

She put another break in her relationship with mom.. who now also has a very nasty voice message she saves. She says it's to remind her how N-sister acts when she doesn't want anything (aka, not in fake nice mode). I'm sure it also provides proof that mom's not the crazy one.

I hate that she still has access to the house - I'd feel a lot better if we changed the locks, got back the garage door opener, and everyone except her got a key. I don't think mom wants to break ties with N-sister, which changing the locks would certainly do.

I'm already making the plans to move out. She won't know where I live - just like my brother who moved out (he barely made it one semester with her in an apartment - she tried to physically beat him up just like she tried to do to me in high school... that was the final breaking point for me, and was for him as well).

It won't be too long before N sister can't find any of us. Mom vowed after that last incident that if she got the out of state job she applied for, N-sister wouldn't know where she lived. We'd just need to get dad and other brother into hiding...

Sorry for the vent there, but it's been bugging me for a bit. I shouldn't be surprised she angled it to hurt mom as much as possible (thinking she'd been robbed, knowing it could happen again whenever, and putting her beloved dog out in the cold).

Kathleen said...

I'm in suck a mood. What the F**K is WRONG with these people? Yes, I know -- NPD. But I still can't help saying WTF is WRONG with THESE PEOPLE?

Your sister is such a jerk. Her religious superiority? Jesus said "Why do you call me Lord, Lord and don't do as I say?" Guess it doesn't apply to some people at all. THEY ARE GOD. THEY MAKE THE RULES.

I have always been honest here --I didn't grow up with what you all grew up with. I haven't a clue as to how you all stay so strong, how you all survived. I have a hard enough time with their bullshit and I didn't even have 1/4 of the crap you all had. I feel compassion for all of you and deep admiration for breaking the cycle, for surviving.

Today I made a mistake -- I broke N/C. I just felt so angry today against my BIL. He claims to be a Christian (and I don't think he's a N, just a spineless wimp who has no integrity or character). I let him have it in an email about his faith, about his claims, about telling a 12 year old hwo asked for help to basically "get lost."

I probably made a big mistake. I'm not half as strong as I would like to believe.

And yet you have all been thru worse and stick to your N/C.

If at first I don't succeed.....

I'm just exasperated with them, with me. I NEED to FOCUS again on what I do have, how blessed I am.

Again, I admire you all. I can't imagine what you all have lived through. Hugs to all of you.

- Kathleen

Gabrielle said...

@ Writer in Washington: What a great MASH quote. I had felt torn between feeling bad that my mother had some sort of illness and feeling anger and resentment. I realized that I needed to worry about myself (because she sure wasn't worrying about me... in the right way, anyway), and that I needed to feel some resentment towards her to motivate me enough to get out of that situation. So, I understand that MASH quote completely.

Katrina said...

Sibling Survivor,

WOW!!!

What a freaking psycho.

Thank God that you are on to her. It sometimes takes us so much more of our lives to figure that out.

Your poor mother! Make sure you keep another copy of that nasty voice mail, for insurance. If this woman has access to your mothers' house, that tape could mysteriously disappear. Your mother will need to be reminded again & again of how she felt when this incident was fresh in her mind. Time can have a way of dulling a mother's memory, where her children are concerned. You say she still holds out hope for this sister. God help her.

Anonymous said...

On the topic of N kids transitioning out of a household:

I had an N sibling who had all the traits: rages, violence, threats, humiliations, and constantly setting traps so you couldn't avoid tangling with him. As we all started to grow up and move out, I realize now he was suddenly in a tremendous bind: except for holidays, we suddenly no longer HAD to have much to do with him, and he knew it. And the "real world" wasn't going to be like the game park he was used to, and he knew that too.

What happened? He went from being a wolf in wolf's clothing, to a sheep in one, and I was fooled for a long time. The transformation was nothing short of radical: he went from threatening violence, raging, and smugly treating everyone like slaves at family gatherings to.... no kidding: SERVING US, HELPING, AND BEING A GENTLEMAN. In a VERY short period of time. I swallowed it hook line and sinker: but it was unadulterated N BS.

I was so shocked and relieved, and so eager to believe that that act was true, that I didn't make an important connection at the time: this "coincidentally" occurred when we were all leaving home [motive], AND right when he had been working in the service industry for the first time [ability].

In his new work, he learned to FAKE CHARM and CONCERN, very skillfully. I truly wish I realized the phoniness of it the first time he held a tray to us to "serve" us, which in our house was about as eye-poppingly radical as it would have been if the family dog started to use the can opener.

Since I believed he "changed", I lowered my guard and got another decade of abuse: only it was just more "cleverly hidden" then the old methods of getting beat up after school. N's don't change anything, except strategy and their "act", and they REALLY HATE to lose the victims from their original family.

Anonymous said...

Anna, Thank you so very much for this site. It has helped me immensely to better see and understand what I have been going thru for many years. So much so I can honestly now laugh at the following.

Here is only a brief few minutes of “Insanity Revisited” during the last child support hearing I attended with the mega N-X.
He would not sit at the table. He had to stand imposing his stature before myself and the hearing referee.
Pleading his poor-me plight as to why he is ehh 20 or so years behind in child support payments and has not found anyone to give him a hard sought after job for over 2 years.
His emotion filled pity ploy included… He is obligated to stay with and attend to his poor sick elderly mother, sniff-sniff as he wiped a fake tear… (Free room and board, she pays for ALL his needs, 2 credit card bills, a loan, cigarettes… )
He has been trying sooo hard. Its such a struggle for him. He is trying everything possible to get a job… (McDonalds is beneath him - he is only looking for jobs at $20 or more an hour)
He’s attending a job clinic every other day where he goes in his active search for work… (Its court ordered)
He is so poor he forced to take the bus everywhere. Its so embarrassing… (Lost his drivers license forever from drinking, & gets free county buss passes for the indigent)… Standing in the cold, waiting for hours with his poor aching body being wracked with arthritis… (Snort! Ha-ha) (Oh ya -- free Medicaid)
His time and energy is so overwhelmed and limited. Juggling all this while at the same time is attending electrical classes… (the loan his mother got stuck paying)
He’s even going to Job Counseling for help in procuring employment… (His parole officer set this up & I don’t think she is only a job councilor)… but its so hard and stressful given the economy and all …(Nobody in their right mind would hire this guy over an unemployed autoworker)… having to take some kind of employment test …(Oh My! What a hardship)… where he pronounced to all present… (embarrassingly loudly for all to hear)… how Superbly Well he scored on this test. He then stated how his… (parole ordered)… councilor remarked that his test results were indeed Above Average.
That warped him immediately into a bragging stint how my boys have his “superior intelligent genes”… not mine, HIS! And ONLY HIS!
Although he abandoned them, & he hasn’t made an effort to see them in 20 years While I raised them alone from babies thru to college all while him making my life LIVING HELL. He didn’t even regard me as contributing so much as DNA to the kids!

After wards when my mind was no longer hurting & the dizziness stopped. I could see the insanity clearer. I realized that his genes were all he has ever contributed! So that is all he can honestly embellish….

Sue

Anonymous said...

I'm still in the baby stages of wrapping my brain around all of this amazing information. My question: What would happen if I/we confronted the nmon with the description of NPD and pointed out that she pretty perfectly fits the bill? I'm assuming there would be lots of denial, but then what?? Is it possible for a 'recovery'?
--Julie

krl said...

To Anonymous: Jan 18, 2009 3:46:00

Welcome to the support and information this blog has to offer. We were all new to this once.....and it is well worth all the effort and energy you can put into the steps it takes to 'wrap your head around it'.

Regarding your question: Anna has spent several years posting information, experiences, wisdom, and support for all of us who have suffered under a narcissist....and in most cases, multiple narcissists. It would be in your best interest to be well-grounded as to the nature of narcissism...have a firm understanding of the damage inflicted upon you and how a narcissists goes about it. If you go back to the beginning of her posts.....and read....read....read...read. Read her posts....read the comments....read the questions. Wrap your head around that first.....and you will find your answer. I'm not trying to pass your question off as 'trivial'.....it is very important....it is simply that there is no answer outside of 'NO' without the qualifying context to back it up.....and the meaning of the 'NO'...(as answer to your question) is as long and complex as the posts and comments over several years in this blog.

Take the time to explore what Anna has offered.....the books she recommends....the authors she recommends. There are all kinds of references to 'labels'....definitions...etc...contained within her posting page. I'm not the brightest bulb on the porch...not particularly savvy on computers...but she has it lined out so that even a serious chimpanzee can figure it out. I felt a bit overwhelmed at first....but WOW...I felt determined to keep reading and mulling over this wonderful (though often painful) Truth that was piercing my conscience and brain.

Read...read....read...don't quit....hang in there. You'll find what you are looking for.

sumptos devil s advocate said...

Thank you.

Basically, is an N sort of like a Nigerian scammer? The Nigerian scammer goes from potential victim to potential victim typing the same old, mechanical-sounding script and keeps doing it until he finds someone who responds in the way he wants, then the scammer goes to work on that person to obtain monetary supply and keeps plugging until they can't get supply anymore, then they'll dump the person. Basically, they'll either pretend to be a businessman striking up a deal (and, oh, his poor poor business can't survive unless you break the deal with him, after which he'll rip you off) or a lover who keeps running into trouble and who keeps needing money, and is not afraid of guilt-tripping the victim ("don't you love me, honey?").

In a previous job, I had the frequent opportunity to observe the conversations between Nigerian scammers and their victims and at first it seems interesting to observe these conversations but as time goes on it just gets old, as the scammers use the same old tired scripts, the same old mechanical way of handling conversations, and the same old guilt trips they use to keep their victims sending them money, and they'll dump the person once the person is determined to no longer be able to provide the supply. It was frustrating to see people fall for the same old tricks over and over again, and people who were sort of on to the scammer get fooled again by the scammer's appeal to their consciences.

Of course, a narcissist can keep plugging a person for supply for a much longer time, so they'll go from victim to victim much less, but isn't narcissistic supply still pretty much the same concept as the Nigerian scammer, except that emotional/psychological benefits are expected instead of monetary benefits (though some of that can be thrown in there too)?

Anonymous said...

"What would happen if I/we confronted the nmon with the description of NPD and pointed out that she pretty perfectly fits the bill? I'm assuming there would be lots of denial, but then what?? Is it possible for a 'recovery'?"

I wouldn't ever say don't try it, but know N is considered incurable for one simple reason: part of the disorder includes a very deep willful inability to see oneself as truly wrong in any way. And a very deep running belief that they are superior to all others, whether or not they ever say it. The closest they can get to admitting any wrongdoing is to see themselves as victimized when necessary, but not actually wrong acting or 'disordered' in any personally accountable way. Kind of a catch-22 when it comes to the idea of recovery.

Imagine the possibility of treatment if part of being a kleptomaniac including an absolute inability to see stealing as wrong. Or the very real problem of treating anorexics who are unable to see their body weight as dangerously unhealthy. Experts say the only time a N may even just 'possibly' change is after a huge public failure/scandal that basically ruins their life, though even then it is just a small possibility - most still don't change. They will do whatever they can at whatever time to retain a vision of themselves as grandiose and superior, and a comprehensive look at the reality of their behavior would really interfere with that.

Twice I have confronted N's in a way effective enough that they actually uncharacteristically admitted to causing damage and harm by their truly wrongful behavior - only to have them revert back to exactly how they were before as if the interaction/admission NEVER TOOK PLACE. In my experience it is like hitting those weighted inflatable clown toys that just bounce right back to where they were before after you punch them. No matter what you say they just reappear right back in place, as if nothing happened, with the same shit eating grin.

* about scammers: funny how the behaviors of Ns parallel professional con artists? I have totally noticed this too. Really takes the wind out of the argument saying that N is an "illness".

Anna Valerious said...

SDA,

Yes, a narcissist is very much like you've described the Nigerian scammers as being. And like the Nigerian scammers it is our own weaknesses that set us up for exploitation. Our own greed, our own mis-informed consciences, our love for flattery, our willingness to suspend disbelief because we want the swan song to be true, etc. You've observed correctly that narcissists tend to run on a script or a predictable pattern of behaviors and attitudes. This is why it is possible for sites such as mine to be able to describe the global characteristics of malignant narcissism and it be helpful to so many people dealing with a MN. It is true that MN are chameleon-like and adapt their behaviors to varying circumstances, nevertheless, certain underlying principles always apply and make it possible to spot them even as they attempt their various disguises.

Anna Valerious said...

about scammers: funny how the behaviors of Ns parallel professional con artists?

As I like to regularly point out on my blog: narcissists think like criminals. Narcissists are criminals. They operate outside the laws of morality everyday of their stinkin' lives. Many of them break the law as well. Narcissists are professional con artists. They have made their living by con artistry since their earliest sentient moments.

Thank you for reiterating succinctly the reality that waiting for a narcissist to change is an absolute waste of time and energy. I have also gotten narcissists to admit to their wrong-doing and the harm of their behavior. But, as you pointed out, it never matters in the end. They always find a way to go back to being "innocent". No confession ever sticks. Slick as snot and just as appealing.

GraFXGrl said...

""Slick as snot and just as appealing.""

Gross but it's reality!lol.

I always wondered why my NM gave me the creeps even when I was a child! I always knew something was wrong.

Billie said...

"What would happen if I/we confronted the nmon with the description of NPD and pointed out that she pretty perfectly fits the bill? I'm assuming there would be lots of denial, but then what?? Is it possible for a 'recovery'?"

My sister and I both have given our Nfather this treatment in no uncertain terms over the last 20 years...and he ALWAYS - ALWAYS FORGETS. I found it disheartening to realize that no matter how much we needed to have our say with him, our thoughts and conversations were never validated. He has the ability to completely forget anything he chooses not to remember.

That being said, I wouldn't necessarily discourage you from giving it a try; you may find it has benefited you personally. But, in personal experience, it will probably not affect your N appreciably, unless he/she tries to play mindf**k with you and get you to feel sorry for him/her.

Kathleen said...

I've been reading some of the blogs from some people who follow this blog. I have a blog on Live Journal, but I haven't used it in a while. I don't really have great writing skills, and you all write so well!!

You have all touched something inme, something that is softly saying, and I'm hoping it gets louder, "I'm NOT alone!!"

Someone said women are called "bitter." My SIL said I was bitter and would die an "old maid." Nice words to a new widow, huh?

Someone else left an N and is now so lonely. I wish I could give you a hug, Pink Daisy. I was there. God did hear me cry. I don't want to be preachy, but he really does love you and knows how unfair ti's been. Cry to Him. he heard me, and I'm nothing special. He'll hear you.

M -- your blog is wonderful. My marriage to my wonderful DH was attacked by an N - my first husband. But we made our marriage Christ-centered and it was wonderful.

All of you are so beautiful. You amy feel damaged and hurt by the effects of the N -- I feel the effects on me by the only small smount of abuse I got. If you begin to feel worthless and no matter how hard you try, you can't seem to be moving forward, I want to tell you as someone looking in from the outside I think you're beautiful and you have helped me TREMENDOUSLY.

I should go and write to myself on my blog. Not fancy, but things I can look back on and see how far I've come.

Thanks.

- Kathleen

Anonymous said...

Regarding Ns, feelings, and empathy, I have an unusual perspective. I am an aspiring screenwriter, and do script coverage (I read scripts for actors, directors, producers, etc. and write up a quick synopsis/review so they don’t have to waste their time on crap.)

There are certain scripts that just scream N. The signs have become so obvious to me it’s almost funny. For starters, an N’s script demonstrates no real understanding of story structure, characterization, plot, dialog, etc. Learning how to actually write a screenplay requires a lot of honest effort and discipline. The lead character is usually a flawless super-human, despite the fact that he/she engages in vaguely cruel and deceptive behavior. Of course no change or growth occurs, which makes a very dull and pointless story. But the biggest red flag is that an N’s script doesn’t track emotionally. The character’s reactions to situations are inappropriate and weird, just like an N.

After I submit the coverage, I’ll often hear that the writer threw a hissyfit, called me a host of names, insisted the script was genius, etc. My suspicions are confirmed.

Anna Valerious said...

Your perspective is indeed unique. And fascinating. Question: have you ever seen a N writer's script accepted by someone and made into a film? I don't expect you to name a film. Just a general question. If so, was the film successful?

Thanks for sharing your unique experience as it illustrates some of the enduring and pervasive patterns of narcissism in yet another context.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,

I wrote the anon 12:42 post.

I've never had one of 'my' N scripts go on to production, but I'm sure it happens. A lot of bad movies get made. A studio may buy an N script because they like the basic premise, but hire another writer to overhaul it. Or an N may be able to BS a naive investor into putting up the cash for an independent production.

There are N writers who are technically proficient. They can write a passable script, but they can't fake a really good to great one. To achieve that, a writer has to dig deep within themselves and mine for gold. N's don't have any gold to mine.

As for being successful, a lot of bad movies hit #1 on the weekend box office. But movies that endure, that truly connect with the audience, I would bet were not written by an N.

walter said...

I just wrote a long comment on this topic that I lost creating a google account. Fantastic blog and discussion. Helps a lot to put a N behaviour in prospective. Have a N brother (2 years younger) and a N sister (8 years older). My mom died a few years ago and oh my god what happened with them. Probobally never speak to either again. I was like there was no room for me to get mad dealing with those 2. My sister spewed som much venom and said so many bad things. They started accusing me of harassing their severly Autistic son, while putting him in my bed every night in an attempt to drive me out of the house so the could steal everything. They called the police. I thought the were setting me up for a molestation charge. Everythings such a long story I don't even know where to begin.


Anyways, Made up a Narcissist joke:


Home come a narcissist can never be late?



Because they're always right on time.

hbloggert85 said...

Reading these posts have helped me to see that I am not stupid, I am not wrong all the time. Someone has been manipulating me, and doing it well. My n boyfriend was very distant and didn't seem to care about me in the beginning. As time went by, we got closer and he became more attached and sensitive to me. At the time I believe him when he said he was only joking around with me calling me bitch like it was my name. So I adapted to it, quit complaining. Now here I am... Sitting in a pile of broken boards that was once his closet doors. Last night he complained about items that we both have getting mixed up (my fault of course) so I asked, "why dont you color the end of yours with a sharpie? He proceeded to angrily tell me that he would not do so, that if I would be mote careful it wouldn't ever get mixed in with mine, etc, etc. So I cut in and said I'm going to just color the end of mine, I don't mind to do it, and everything will be fine. I also mentioned that I was doing this to keep from being blamed when they got mixed. Well, before that mishap I had told him about how it really had been hurting my feelings that we work in the same place, bit he wont, nor will he allow me to tell anybody we are together. Well, before I know it he is at his closet like he's trying to slide it open, this turns to shaking it ( I thought it may have been stuck). Before I know it he has torn it off the hinges and has proceeded to punch huge holes into them to the point where they can't be repaired. Then he says to me, look at what you have done you stupid bitch, your so stupid. I just stare in disbelief and ask how its my fault, why couldn't he have just talked to me about the problems? His response is that he can't tell me anything, Im too stupid, so he bottles everything up until he anapa, that I cause him to want to just blow everyone and everything up because all I do is bitch and complain. That he tries so hard, to put up with me and not fall apart, but I'm just too much. I know that he will not speak to me all day tomorrow, then slowly he will start to say something here and there and then never mention that closet, or that breakdown...he's only started to have these episodes with throwing and hitting things this week. On a little scared that I'm going to end up getting hit, bit I love this man, and there's part of me that thinks he would never hurt me physically. What if it really is me? What if I just shut up, keep my things organized, clean his room up more often( although when I clean up behind him he gets angry because its not exactly where he had it before...) Maybe then he wouldn't have to have these episodes to teach me a lesson.