Friday, February 20, 2009

Forcing Submission

Every abuser, every narcissist, every psychopath, every rapist, arsonist, every sociopath is after one thing: power. Power over others. This is an outgrowth of the narcissistic need to have all attention focused on them. We already understand that attention is the drug that the narcissist pursues at every moment. This is the core motivation that moves them. There are natural branches that sprout off this trunk and the desire for power over others is one of them. The intoxicating thrill of absolute power is the biggest high they can get from their drug of choice.


The extent to which an individual will pursue their quest for power is determined only by what they feel they can get away with. No small part of this is how much they fear authority or the law. The narcissist mother will not pursue absolute power to the degree that the psychopathic serial killer will. But make no mistake -- both are consumed by the quest for power over others. Unchecked pursuit of power is destructive and merciless as well as escalating. As Proverbs 27:20 says in the Contemporary English Version, "Death and the grave are never satisfied, and neither are we." The grave never protests when someone dies, "We're full up here. We aren't accepting any more death, sorry." Death is always ready to open up her insatiable arms for yet another. So is the lust that drives the malignant narcissist of all brands and stripes. Never satisfied. Never satiated. Never content. Never full.

Kathy Krajco defined what absolute power looks like:

What is absolute power? It's absolute control, possession. Surely you have recognized the lust for it in the bizarre crimes committed by psychopaths. Mike DeBardeleben, a sexual sadist serving a life sentence wrote in his journal that it is "to force her to undergo suffering without her being able to defend herself."

"Without her being able to defend herself" are the key words. It isn't enough to torment the victim: this must be done in a way that keeps her from resisting. That's absolute power, possession...

This is the ultimate in mental cruelty = making the victim bend over for it. Then the sick-o gets to pretend that the victim truly does "want it," has ceased to exist as a person (with a free will) and is but an appendage of his that he thus "proves" his absolute power over.

All narcissists do this in one way of another: they don't merely abuse, they FORCE SUBMISSION TO ABUSE. This makes them God, whose punishing wounds we are to shamefully accept as our fault. We are not to resist: we are to simply hang our heads as deserving of them... "What Makes Narcissists Tick" pgs. 104-105

Notice that what is required for this to work is for the narcissist to completely disarm their victims. No right to self-defense is allowed! This is what they must strip you of first before they can go on to pretend that you are submitting to them of your own free will. Like they deserve such submission and like you've freely given it. Either they will use psychological tactics to get you to feel you have no right to defend yourself, or, as in the case of the serial killer, they will arrange your physical circumstances to make it impossible for you to defend yourself and then break you down mentally.

I made an argument in this post that your most fundamental right as a living being is the right to self-defense. It is this very right which the narcissist will first try to convince you that you don't have. It is the right that the proxies and bystanders will tell you that you don't have. "Turn the other cheek" is the pious phrasing far too many victims of abusers have gotten for advice when they desperately have sought for help with their situation. It is essential that victims of narcissists are re-armed with the knowledge of their right to self-defense if they are ever going to be able to resist and break the narcissist's power over them.

Knowing that a narcissist is driven by their need for power over others, and knowing they are always in search of this headiest drug which is absolute power over others, then you'll also be aware that they must force your submission in order to feel powerful over you. All this leads straight to the fact that a narcissist must deprive you of your right to defend yourself to accomplish this. They will always do this by fraud, lies, and threats. They will bring in their proxies to help them get you to submit to that which no one should ever have to submit to. They want to be able to pretend that your forced submission is a real submission...and this can only be done if they successfully deprive you of your ability to defend yourself. Can you see how incredibly important it is to be fully aware of your right to NOT submit to abuse? I am convinced that no one breaks free of the power of a narcissist over them until they are able to claim for themselves the right to self-defense.

It is important to mention here one very tricky sleight-of-hand that a narcissist does to disarm someone from self-defense. This is accomplished by intentionally mislabeling your defensive behaviors as being "retribution" or "vengeance". They accuse you of hurting them. They pretend to know your motives and lay the accusation that any efforts you make to defend yourself are actually coming from your desire to hurt them. If they can convince you that you are being vengeful, or at least if they can convince you that others see you as being vengeful, then they can shut you down. Force your submission once again. This happens very often when a victim of a narcissist goes into no contact. The pious howling of the narcissist contends that your cutting them off is itself abusive and is therefore coming from a spirit of malice and revenge on your part. Your act of "no contact", which is as mild and non-reproachful of a way of dealing with a serial abuser that there is, becomes conflated to be proof of your cruelty, malice, and vengeance. Don't fall for such insane logic! Don't let someone convince you of having motives you don't have! Don't let the narcissist disarm you that easily!

I used "no contact" as merely one example of self-defense that can be mislabled by the narcissist. Any type of self-defense can be characterized this way by the narcissist and will be. Expect it. Be prepared for it. Don't fall for it.

As I've been writing this I've had a clear memory of my mother quite literally demanding that I "bend over for it." For the first ten years of my life spankings were dished out frequently. For a period of time when I was around five or six the spankings were daily events. My mother was nearly always in a foul temper and the slightest infraction would be severely punished. Here's how it would go.

I would be called into her bedroom. Many times both my sister and I were summoned at the same time. My mother would then, through her teeth, demand we stand at the foot of her bed and bend over for our spanking.

The reflexive reaction of someone anticipating pain on their backside is to protect that backside. The hands would go over our asses. The act of having to willfully bend over the bed was also contrary to the desire to protect oneself. I remember with perfect clarity the terrible stiffness of my posture as I had to work with all my power to force myself to bend over for what was coming. Then, if my little hands were still covering my butt my mother wouldn't spank. She would grit her teeth until I could hear them grind and demand that I put my hands in front of me. I don't know that I can describe the intense difficulty with which this was accomplished on my part. The fear of her rage escalating and punishment becoming even worse is how I convinced myself to comply.

I have no doubt now as I look back on this scene repeated so many times over in my life that my mother could pretend I believed I was deserving of every ounce of her rage and punishment because I would cooperate by bending over and not in any way resisting my punishment. She taught us from our earliest moments that if we ever attempted to run away from her when she came for us that it would be punished with overwhelming force. So, there were no chases around that bed or the house. No, every vestige of resistance was removed before she would commence pounding our asses. I have no memory of her ever spanking me while my hands were still covering my backside. She waited as long as it took to get the total compliance that must have made these sessions such a pleasure for her sadistic torture of her children.

My mother removed all other of my rights to self-defense as well, but the above is the most literal example of her demanding that I "bend over for it." My mother has for most of her life gotten most of her narcissistic thrills from the children in her power which included other people's children that were entrusted to her care. (How well do you know your daycare worker, hmm?)

She worked tirelessly to ensure that I didn't try to defend myself psychologically from her predations as well. All signs of resistance were squelched with ferocity and swiftness. I had to go "underground" in my resistance. It was a profound secret. I had to reach my mid-teens before I mounted an organized mental resistance to her cruelties and torments. All this was accomplished in the privacy of my thoughts. This is really the only place that children can resist the power of a narcissist's control. In their thought life. Never condemn a child for their compliance to an abusive parent. The parent holds absolute control over that child's life. The child is only trying to survive. The most sad thing is that many of these children grow up still convinced they have no right to defend themselves or their own children from the narcissist thus forcing subsequent generations to be blood supply for the vampiric family narcissist(s).

Remember, self-defense is directly related to the right to live. The narcissist makes their "living" by denying you have a right to live your own life. They will work tirelessly to convince you that "resistance if futile; you will be assimilated"...to quote the Borg in Star Trek. You don't have to be assimilated. Even if you are presently in a situation where it appears you have no power...you have your own mind. All self-defense starts there. In your private thoughts. Nurture those thoughts and circumstance will afford you opportunity at some point to escape because you'll be looking for those circumstances and will be ready to seize them the moment they appear.

89 comments:

Anonymous said...

I guess that explains NMIL's mantra:
"There's nothing you can do." As in, "You'll be dead by the time you're 50 (her decree). There's nothing you can do."

Anonymous said...

"If they can convince you that you are being vengeful, or at least if they can convince you that others see you as being vengeful, then they can shut you down."

And if they can't? That's where that tactic fails, especially if the target has never cared what others thought.

Anonymous said...

Anna, absolutely one of your best blogs ever. Really really strikes home as to how these monsters operate.

And as I say to all N's collectively, Control This (accompanied by the one-finger salute).

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

Great post, as usual.

I just think Labyrinth. If I recall correctly, the girl says to the Goblin King's face, "You have no power over me!" I don't remember what happened after that, but I'm pretty sure he was vanquished.

That's why most abusers are none too pleased when their targets are living in freedom with strength and newfound happiness.

Aravis said...

oh Anna - Your mother was my father's evil twin. He did exactly the same things. I remember being around 5 and thinking how bizarre it was that the barn cats were treated better than my sister and I (no violent physical abuse towards animals was tolerated). The sadistic pleasure, the lunatic gleam in the eyes, the ritualized humiliation - MNdad was totally power-tripping. I have never before understood what was up with the demand for absolute and complete submission from MNs - it all makes sense now. And my sister and I were total, perfect, goody-two-shoes kids. I could not even tell you what any of the supposed "sins" were for which we were being beaten, sometimes in semi-public situations. I remember one time my sister, who could not have been more than 6 or 7, was dusting N-dad's den and accidentally knocked over some glass knick-knack, and (for once) Ndad DIDN'T smack her upside the head. Our idiot mother went on for DAYS about how wonderful and magnanimous Ndad had been for not flying into one of his ubiquitous rages and slapping her silly. WTF?? Shows how All-Powerful he made himself in our house, so that he was considered a paragon of patience and virtue for not assaulting and battering a little kid.

You sure are good at this, Anna.

Laura said...

"The pious howling of the narcissist contends that your cutting them off is itself abusive and is therefore coming from a spirit of malice and revenge on your part."

So true, so true. Too bad for them, we didn't fall for it.

Anonymous said...

What a powerful post -- and so similar to my own experiences with my narcissistic father.

Even now he keeps trying to get me to condone what he did to me as a child. He makes statements like, "Aren't you glad I gave you such a happy childhood," or "I think you turned out really well, thanks to the discipline I gave you," or making jokes about the time "I beat the crap out of you."

-- Margie

Katrina said...

Anna,

I'm sorry. This comment is a carry over from your last blog. I haven't had a chance to read this new post yet.

Aravis,

"1200 miles has been good, except for crazy MN-ex - who FOLLOWED me, can you believe it?"

Yes, I can soo believe it. It seems to be a certain MENTALITY that makes certain N's PURSUE us- even after we have gone NC. I have had Sibs PARK on my street, & that of my adult children, to try to glean NS to spread more gossip & slander. I drive AROUND their streets, as they live within my
necessary driving area. But I DON'T live within theirs. THEY have to make a special trip to my area to STALK me. These are NOT the N-sibs. These are their MINION sibs. I used to think "some people thrive on gossip". Now I realize it is nothing so BANE as that. Now I understand about parasitic evil predators, who will whither & melt away, like the wicked witch, if they lose their NS. THAT'S why they still try to suck the life out of it, even once we've told them to F--- off.

I also want to clarify what I said in my most recent comment about finding myself saying several times per day that I HATE THEM, & hating THAT. I TOTALLY agree with your opinion that it's NOT unChristian to FEEL that way, of course not acting on it. There has been much written by Anna on her blog regarding the Biblical view of this. It has greatly helped me to come to terms with the idea of divorcing myself & my family from abusive people, from a Christian standpoint. Even as the emotional side of me tries to say families should stick together. I have come to believe that is the mob mentality that I've managed to extricate myself from, even though society shames us for it.

The part that I HATE is that I still have to FEEL THAT WAY. So often. So many times a day. It passes quickly. That's huge progress. But there are so MANY of them. And so many different things to pop into my head. I'm so sick of them having acess to my mind!!!

For example, my stalker Nsister Jezebel, managed to horn in on a spiritual retreat next month that I was very much looking forward to being on with my DH. As our circles tend to overlap less & less, as I spend MY church time on different commitees & groups than
she does-I never thought she'd sign up for a retreat MY Spiritual Life committee had arranged for our church family. When my committee chair emailed me the list of people signed up yesterday, I saw her & her husband on there as "possibles". After my initial shock, I went venting to my DH. We came up with a Plan B. As we certainly have NO intention of spending a weekend in a group with the 2 of them, we will proceed as planned. She might just be screwing with my head anyway. She's cruel that way. But if we get there & they ARE there, we will quietly slip away & spend the weekend on our OWN retreat, in a hotel. Since we already have plans for the children in place anyway.

The stuff we all have to deal with, huh?!

Katrina

Anonymous said...

Oh no, you didn’t dare run nor defend yourself! For a time, my beatings were cumulative. By the time we had reached 100 smacks of the belt, she was too tired and too bothered by the amount of time it took (she was precise enough to switch sides and hit areas that would be covered by clothing). Mercifully, the body does go numb (then it’s sort of like an out of body experience). No one was there to notice, of course. My sperm donor was long gone, my step-father (one of oh so many) was either at work or drunk, and physical abuse was accepted as having a “firm hand.” She also experimented with various objects (e.g., hair brushes or other household items that were handy). The beatings stopped about the time I refused to show any emotion and made minimal sounds. A sick version of, “Never let ‘em see you sweat.” The threats of beatings, however, continued as long as I lived at home. I completely understand what you mean by the “thought life.” I’m grateful to have had it for it surely kept me alive. I’m kinda sad for the time spent there instead of being in the real world. I’m far more grateful for the real world now that I have it. I’m gonna go hug my kid now.
JR

Anonymous said...

"She taught us from our earliest moments that if we ever attempted to run away from her when she came for us that it would be punished with overwhelming force."

Wow. Just had an intense flashback from about age 3. I had done something to enrage my mother, most likely I had made a noise or left a toy out, something that proved my existence, which she apparently despised.

She called me over to her, in kind of a sing song voice (how creepy is that?) and I remember backing away and being absolutely terrified to go near her. And then she said, still in sing-song "Come here, come to mommy, baby. If you come right now, mama won't do anything to hurt you. But if you don't come..." And still I did not want to get near her for anything! Of course, eventually I had to give in and go to her.

Sure enough, I got quite a savage beating.

And to think I constantly wonder why I have such a hard time trusting people?

Fantastic entry. I am going to reread before I make any more comments.

Katrina said...

Anna,

So much in this post to digest.
I've got to re-read it several more times before I can say anything.

It all touches such chords! Scary how you can be our voice the way you do.

One part that jumps out is the whole section on mislabelling:

"It is important to mention here one very tricky sleight-of-hand that a narcissist does to disarm someone from self-defense. This is accomplished by intentionally mislabeling your defensive behaviors as being "retribution" or "vengeance". They accuse you of hurting them. "

That is sooo what has gone down in my FOO to create this sick situation that now has my father literally in tears when his children call to "check in". He begs me to fix the "rift" in his family. Yet you described the whole pathology so well. Who would believe it? It's so insidious.

In our case, what you described played out by, first, My Nsister Jezebel targeting me. (While I was still unaware of it, & thought we were friends).

Next, it started to become more overt, & she was apparently starting to spin her twisted tale out on "the network". Again, without my knowledge.

Then, other sibs around the country started to ask each other, "So WTF is going on with Jezebel AND KATRINA, in {hometown}. It had become implied that IT WAS A MUTUAL THING. At that point, it wasn't. I was still oblivious. She was slandering me BEHIND MY BACK.

Then, it became "a feud"-that we were BOTH engaged in. (It WASN't! I was still asking Jezebel WTF is the problem with you?)

Of course, it went on & on until I realized the way it didn't match up. & I went NC.

But it has forever gone down in history that it was a mutual feud. And it never was. SHE declared WAR on ME. Yet I now look like the type of person who would engage in such a frivolous battle. Yes, I went NC. But it was LONG after she got people believing these lies. When other people were starting to ask each other what was gong on with the 2 of us, I was still asking myself the same thing. SHE manufactured the entire thing!
And she got away with it.The Asshole!

Katrina

Kathleen said...

OMG!! A sing-song voice to get you to trust her and then getting a beating? That is so vile, so very evil.

These people have whatever is coming to them, either here or in the hereafter.

- Kathleen

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

"She might just be screwing with my head anyway. "

Yea, it's possible. She's probably thinking that you won't show up so she can laugh about the "power" she thinks she has over you.

You made a good plan though. Make yourself scarce. You're still there, but she can't touch you. :)

Anonymous said...

My Nmom would be howling over my no contact but for the fact that she believes that she's punishing me. She's so delusional that she thinks her absence is painful to me. Lucky me, I enjoy the peace while she continues in her weird alternate reality in which she is the center of the universe.

Barbara said...

She worked tirelessly to ensure that I didn't try to defend myself psychologically from her predations as well. All signs of resistance were squelched with ferocity and swiftness. I had to go "underground" in my resistance. It was a profound secret. I had to reach my mid-teens before I mounted an organized mental resistance to her cruelties and torments. All this was accomplished in the privacy of my thoughts. This is really the only place that children can resist the power of a narcissist's control. In their thought life.

Wow this sounds like me!

And once I moved out, had a life of my own and made my own decisions - the narcissistic RAGE and SMEAR started.

It wasn't until after she died my Dad sadly said she "had some problems." He said he was sorry he wasn't home to protect me. I looked him straight in the eye and said "so am I."

Of course there's the sycophants who throw the 4th Commandment in your face as if that O.K.s their abuse.

Once I was out of her clutches my mother did everything she could to make me look crazy. Something I noticed all the Ns and Ps I have ever been involved with in any way did.

The one thing we as ACONS can do? NO CONTACT and do NOT LISTEN TO THEIR TOXIC WORDS. It's all evil wanting to implant itself in your brain. Yes. EVIL.

Kathleen said...

They "vandalize images" and they have "smear campaigns" and "deny you self-defense."

Let's face it. There's nothing anyone can do for those whose own children can't stand them. There's nothing anyone can do for grandparents who truly don't care if their grandchildren have enough to eat. There's nothing anyone can do for those who read Scriptures and don't get it.

Yeah, they vandalize and smear and punish, etc., but it's more shorter and easier to say:

THEY ARE FUCKED UP.

- Kathleen

T said...

My father was in charge of the discipline when I was a child, learned from his father. It was not abusive but my siblings and I did fear him when he became angry and would run to our mother for protection and who would completely undermine our father's authority. It's no wonder he was pissed. He was powerless. Interestingly enough, my mother's current husband who she married after leaving my father also became angry, also became powerless. Whereas my father, though quite depressed over my mother leaving him at first, eventually regained his previous demeanor as a kind and good humored man.

No, I was never physically abused. But we never learned how to resolve conflict or defend ourselves either. Whenever one of us would have a problem we were treated as THE PROBLEM until we submitted to whatever was deemed not being a problem as the path of least resistance.

No, my mother does not come off as a terrifying monster. Rather she is disguised as an angel of light and yet no less sinister. Everyone loves her and you'd be a monster not to because she loves everyone. Her proxies become her terrifying monsters for her, take the fall for her and feed her insatiable sense of entitlement ... because she is able to seduce and make one believe that the dependency she is grooming them for is love, that submission is family and that allowance is forgiveness.

It's like what the villain, Jareth, says to the hero, Sarah, at the end of Labyrinth: "I ask for so little. Just love me, fear me, do as I say and I shall be your slave." It's a strategy of divide and conquer. And so long as one feels crazy, riddled with guilt self-doubt, one is ripe for conquest. The diabolical use of euphemism is just one (albeit extremely effective) weapon to accomplish this.

I tried treating my mother with "kid gloves" but it takes more effort than it's worth, is interpreted as weakness by her and her proxies and completely falls apart when confronted on that perceived weakness. I decided that if I was to be painted as the devil that I would be the devil for all the right reasons.

As a perceived extension of my mother by my mother, I know that her making me out to be some terrible person as some twisted incentive for me to "mend" my ways also carries with it an unintended consequence and that is my being a terrible person as so accused is also a reflection of her failure for which she (and all narcissists) have no capacity to effectively deal with. The more she blames me (and she does), the more terrible I become, the bigger her failure, the more she suffers, the more she blames me and so on and so forth. To her proxies I but have to ask the question: what kind of mother creates such an ungrateful child? Questions, in general, seem to be the bane of every narcissist due to their need to know everything and their aptitude for ever-shifting revisionist history from one moment to the next. In their proxies, the Socratic method can cause pause for much needed reflection on whether their expressions are internalized (and therefore genuinely defensible) as their own or merely the shallow echo of the narcissist using them as a mouthpiece. Incidentally, this method appears to be employed to slowly deprogram members of cults seduced, isolated and exploited by charismatic leaders. The narcissist is a charismatic leader.

Kathleen said...

This is off topic, but concerns how Christians should respond to Ns. Should we turn the other cheek? Pray unceasingly for them? Stand in the gap?

No. The Bible says that God doesn't hear the prayers of husbands who are not good to their wives. The Bible says that those who don't care for their own families and households are WORSE than unbelievers. The Bible says we are to rebuke twice.

That's it.

There are Christian nuns being raped in India. There are Christians kidnapped and tortured in Muslim countries in order to have them recant their faith. There are children abandoned and hungry in Brazil. There are Christians meeting in secret in North Korea and China. There was another suicide at The Crystal Cathedral. Your next door neighbor is ill and needs a meal.

There's so much work to do!! There are SO MANY PEOPLE who NEED prayer! Who has the energy for all of that??

I don't.

You rebuke someone one time, two times. That's it. Move on. They didn't reject you -- they rejected the Creator of All, the Supreme Law Maker. Wipe the dust off your feet. There's a huge hurting world out there. Some people don't want help, don't want to know the truth, don't want to make amends with their Creator. That's their problem, not yours, once you've done what has been required.

Put your energy where it matters. Plant some seeds. No harvest? Find another field.

I don't have time to warn my BIL again, although he calls himself a Christian, that he will be held accountable for his actions against his own brother's family. I don't have time to pray for him anymore.

The world is in desparate need of God's love. We don't have time for those who aren't interested. Wipe the dust off your feet -- and go make a meal for that lonely old man in your church. Help that unwed mom who's overwhelmed. Let the dead bury their own dead.

- Kathleen

Anonymous said...

"Either they will use psychological tactics to get you to feel you have no right to defend yourself, or, as in the case of the serial killer, they will arrange your physical circumstances to make it impossible for you to defend yourself and then break you down mentally."

Wow, talk about an "aha" moment, this is exactly what my N-Sister did. If I scrubbed the floor on my hands and knees, the floor wasn't clean enough. I wasn't allowed to have friends over because she didn't like any of them, and if I dared to defy her she would be rude or make my guests so uncomfortable, they wouldn't want to came back. If I expressed interest in a guy she would tell me that they would never want to go out with me because I'm ugly. I lost 10 pounds and bought a new dress to go out with friends one night, and all she could say was that I looked ridiculous and my ass looked fat. She criticized and belittled me constantly, then she would say, "God, you're so insecure."

Anonymous said...

Kathleen you said it.

I am about to leave a N husband, and I have spent time extracting how he wheedled his way into my mind so that my mind is totally free. The degree of manipulation and more I have suffered is beyond belief. When I am out of this, I may start my own blog, when life is stable and I can get computer out of here. I want you to know BLOGS LIKE THIS HELP PEOPLE.

I had two N parents, {one doesnt care now I am being abused but keeps up apperances, gave me Christmas presents even as I told her I am afraid and found out family has spoken of husband's 'Severe mental illness"

As far has having a free mind, I believe today I am an independent thinker that tests everything. I am a Christian but lets just say I do not have normal views on many things because I decided as a child of both parents. "YOU WILL NEVER OWN MY MIND" {with my sister they definitely gained ownership and brother took his own escape route}

When I was 10 years old, when my N father came by, I would click my heels and say "MEIN FUERHER and HEIL HITLER!" He would come after me to try and beat me, and I would run, but a couple times the look on his face was worth it.

I knew what he was, I know what she was, by a young age. Didnt know about Ns back then but knew something was very very wrong. Now to extract self from N husband.

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

I don't think it's enough to have defenses though, you need effective counter offensive abilities too when necessary.

If you want to make money off your blogs(or a little more than you already do), these two places can help:

PayPerPost.

And

SocialSpark.

If you stick with your blog enough, and know what "opportunities" to take, you can make quite a bit of money. Some of you might qualify for more of the opportunities than I would.

I think SocialSpark is a little better though because they offer more, and it can help smaller blogs, like mine.

And if you want to get paid for any rants you have:

This place is great!

I'm sure some of you have a lot to rant about. I haven't tried it yet though.

Anonymous said...

As a Christian, Matthew 5:39 (“But I tell you not to resist an evildoer. On the contrary, whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other to him as well.”) and Luke 6:29 (“Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either.”) used to bother me... a lot. But, after coming through a really nasty, well planned character assassination by my childhood family, I see those verses in a different light. Rather than meaning “lay down/bend over and take it”, I see those verses as “when you can't win for losing, don't play their game”. If I am confronted by an 'evildoer' and can't get away, I give them what they want without cowering, without fighting, without bolting in fear until I can get away with my head held high. I won't give away my power or my dignity any more. I will give them what they say they want, not what they really want (which is control over me).

My abusers thought I only had 2 options. I'd take their abuse, apologize for my “wrongs”, and thank them for loving (sic) me enough to show me the error of my ways. Or I'd fight them, and they'd rip me apart and stomp on my entrails (figuratively – though it would feel literal). Either way, they'd get their power fix.

I have fought and I have groveled. Neither got me what I wanted: a family that cared about me. So I quit the game, and went “no contact”.

I will never speak to any of them again, unless I must, as part of “not playing their game”.

Katrina said...

"No, my mother does not come off as a terrifying monster. Rather she is disguised as an angel of light and yet no less sinister. Everyone loves her and you'd be a monster not to because she loves everyone. Her proxies become her terrifying monsters for her, take the fall for her and feed her insatiable sense of entitlement ... because she is able to seduce and make one believe that the dependency she is grooming them for is love, that submission is family and that allowance is forgiveness"


Wow, T!

Is that ever profound!

You've just described exactly my life with my wicked Nsister Jezebel. She just won't go away.
I continue to walk into places, like 2 days ago, excited to see an old friend, only to have them brusquely say a quick hello & move on. Then I remembered she works at the same place Jezebel got a job last year. I'm so so so sick of it!! Its never ending. But WHO would believe your words? Other than us that live them? Its why shes been successful at tainting my world. She mixes enough truth with her lies, that people think it must be true.

Katrina

finallyfree said...

once again, you nailed it with this entry, anna. i actually shuddered when you described your mother demanding "through her teeth"... nothing horrified me more than when my mother would bare her bottom teeth and frighten me into submission for something i never did. all i know is that i'm free. it's been almost two years since we've spoken. i'm the youngest of 4 and the only one who got off the crazy bus.

she got her brother (my uncle) to do her dirty work. problem is, he's a narc, too. he tried for over an hour to convince me i was the one who was wrong, and when i didn't give in, he got utterly frustrated and reminded me of the last i spoke with him: he's a doctor. my husband was going through chemo 4 years ago and i asked him if he could help us get some very expensive anti nausea meds. now, this man is extremely wealthy and since we are family, and most doctors get these meds for free, i actually expected him to do this out of compassion for a family member. he had the nerve to ask me for money up front! our oncologist ended up giving us an entire box for nothing. i never got back to my uncle because, quite frankly, i was busy taking care of a very sick husband, 3 kids, our business, etc. at the end of this revolting one hour conversation when i did not relent on one point, he reminded me that i never got back to him about the meds and that it really hurt his feelings. then he insisted i apologize for this. he just had to win on one point.

i said, "are you joking me? apologize for not getting back to you on something you never came through with? this is surreal!" he couldn't take it anymore and abruptly got off the phone after a few forced pleasantries.

it felt soooo good to finally fight back.

T said...

Katrina said: "You've just described exactly my life with my wicked Nsister Jezebel. She just won't go away.
I continue to walk into places, like 2 days ago, excited to see an old friend, only to have them brusquely say a quick hello & move on. Then I remembered she works at the same place Jezebel got a job last year. I'm so so so sick of it!! Its never ending. But WHO would believe your words? Other than us that live them? Its why shes been successful at tainting my world. She mixes enough truth with her lies, that people think it must be true."

If your sister won't go away then I think the fastest way to get on with your life is to get away, yourself. If you share the same social circles then that is a no-win situation. She has effectively poisoned the well. If someone doesn't know you well enough to let your sister fill in the gaps then they're probably not your friend. Go and treat yourself to a good time with the friends you do have and live as though your sister does not exist. She is dead to you. Mourn her passing if you still must but let her go. Because as soon as you engage in any way you are prey.

If and only if her infected proxies confront you with an extra helping of crazy courtesy of your sister who is quite literally possessing them do you deal with the situation. Anger, sadness, anything that makes you appear a victim is out. Her proxies are victims, they just don't know it and you can't tell them outright for that would make you seem paranoid just like she says you are. What you can do is make them feel crazy, stupid and burned by feigning ignorance. You have no idea what they're talking about. You're life was peachy keen before they showed up with these wild accusations. How would they get such ideas? Your sister? You love your sister and you and her have a good relationship as far as you know (fake it, make it Oscar worthy but don't overdo it -- it's a lie but a lie that reveals the truth). Sure you've had some friction in the past (if the proxy brings it up and ONLY if) but you both resolved your differences amicably like adults and now you're both better friends than ever, as far as you knew. You wonder why your sister would say such horrible things about you (look a little hurt, the proxy has been used as a weapon to strike an innocent and needs to see that), thank the proxy for being gracious enough to bring this concern of theirs up with you and say that you'll talk with her about it (no, you won't but it's a nice way to dismiss someone).

Afterwards, go about your business. With any luck and a little talent, you've planted doubt in the proxy that will grow with each new terrible act of your sister, eroding her shallow facade and revealing her true ugliness more and more. Sooner or later, this ongoing attrition may force your sister to confront you directly (loss of narcissistic supply is no joke to these creatures) and she will probably accuse you of doing to her what she was trying to do to you. Always let her come to you. Keep any responses short and really really nice, remembering that anything you say to her WILL absolutely be used against you. I'd keep with the obliviously innocent/ignorant tact and assume the role of comforting and understanding someone who is obviously hurt and angry. It's reasonable to assume you have a hidden audience and to win them over as the better person, you need to act the better person. Always make sure that you end the conversation (and fairly quickly), not her. You have other priorities to attend to. She's just not that important.

I realize that to normal, feeling people, all this may understandably seem pretentious and wrong to do. I'm honest to a fault and this is very difficult for me to pull off and if you don't feel comfortable with it, don't do it ... especially not with someone you actually respect. I don't want anyone to feel they have to fake appearances in order to tolerate me. Of course I don't go out of my way to put anyone in that position to begin with. I believe most people feel the same. However, narcissists do not and cannot be dealt with in any reasonable, straightforward manner because they exploit such fair-minded approaches and twist them to their bidding. To that end, they are fabricating reality and it is detrimental to pretend, much less acknowledge, that their sick fantasy is real. As difficult as it is to accept, narcissists cannot be changed into anything reasonable or honest or compassionate and not you, not me, not even a thousand therapists from every background imaginable can save them (it's actually known to make them worse by adding more psychological weapons to their arsenal). It is within our power and our responsibility to identify and save ourselves from them.

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

"Every lie contains the truth and every truth contains a lie". I saw that quoted in a game. Tends to apply in real life too.

"Other than us that live them?"

Those who believe in you. If someone would rather believe "Jezebel" than you, then they're not simply not right for you and you move on. Let people believe what they wish. There's a lot that Jezebel obviously can't touch and that's why she's so obsessed.

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

"it felt soooo good to finally fight back."

I'm sure it did. Much as Ns love fighting, they hate losing more. They also hate lacking certainty of winning. They lose that, then they don't dare attack.

Anonymous said...

Comment for T:

You suggest feigning surprise and saying that you and the N have a good relationship, etc. I can see where you are coming from, but I don't recommend it.

Why? It catches you up in the game playing, it doesn't feel pure and honest and anything that feels that way will taint you and make you part of the lie. In essence, you're caught in the trap by trying to play the game. It's not healthy, it's a form of passive/aggressive behavior.

The turth is always best, the truth will set you free, don't bend your moral standards for these people, they're not worth the bad taste it will give you. Be free of it all, avoid such people and if you can't, tell the truth, it will never come back to haunt you like a lie will.

~Maureen said...

Dear Anna,
As a recovering NSister's victim, I wanted to thank you for your blog! I didn't understand what I had been going through until I began reading Narcissist's Suck.
My NSister is 10 yrs younger and has been "messed up" since childhood. She developed an odd fixation upon me as a child which I mistook for "looking up" to an older sister thing. She gave my parents such trouble growing up and moved in with me. She proceeded to get involved w/ my N husband. We divorced. He abandoned the kids forever. She continued to make my life a living hell, although I forgave her and made excuses for her. She messed up my wedding with drama and lies. She preyed upon me with lies and rages in my home, she abused, drank and raged upon her own children. She raged at my parents who lived with me. She threatened to kill me in front of my family, she tried to seduce my current husband, she accosted my homeschooled/innocent teen boys & their friends while she was drunk by sexy dancing in a barely there micromini, showing her "business" in front of them while they practiced for a recital! She drove around with a stocked cooler and her little kids.
Finally, I went no contact after being attacked in an public email sent to my whole large family & accused of all sorts of crazy stuff. She gave all sorts of odd motives for my "nice" behavior and made so many insinuations.
It has been an awesome 7 months without seeing her, although I miss her kids a lot and worry for them. I've only missed one event from one of my sisters that has narc tendencies & therefore has a "cease fire" with her. Christmas is always here and I didn't invite her nor did I for Thanksgiving.
This last post of yours was so timely. I am going to a Baptism for another baby nephew and she was invited. I know that what she will try is to appear like nothing happened while hoping others will see me be "cool" so she can get them to shame me into allowing her into our home again.
Thanks for the "heads up". Oh, and the Reg Flag post about vandalized characters is her right on too!!

Anonymous said...

"Every lie contains the truth and every truth contains a lie".

Powerful stuff. This is what my N-friend would do to make whatever he said gospel. His spin on things would make you believe the hideous stories he would concoct about others. If he did or said something completely inappropriate to me, he would turn it around and act like he had no inkling that he was being hurtful. I was either being too sensitive, or I must have had a fight with my boyfriend and I was taking my frustrations out on him. Huh?

It made me question myself, which is exactly what he was going for. To unnerve me, to throw me off balance so he could swoop in for the kill. Unlike a raging N-mother with a belt, his way of disarming his victims was much more insidious. He used the kind, and gentle approach, the "I'm concerned about you, no I didn't just stick that knife in your back, I'm pretty sure it was there when you walked in the door."

I've been NC for quite some time, and recently discovered that he described our non-relationship as, "Now that she's married and has a family, she really doesn't have the time for me anymore." This is where the lie/truth comes in- I am married and I do have a family, that's true. And it's also true that I don't have time for him anymore, but not because of my husband or my family, it's because he's a MN. But the poor soul listening to his sad story now thinks that this terrific sensitive guy was dumped by his mean friend (me) for no good reason.

Billie said...

God, I remember those same type of punishments from my father...the spanking for no real reason except that he needed some sort of control, and being told if I covered my butt I would get it 10x worse (like it's not already bad enough with a leather belt). That bastard.

Somehow, this blog has brought to mind that while my father wielded total control in his presence of my mother and the rest of us, when he wasn't around, my mother would then take over and be the unreasonable control freak. I suppose it's the fallout. I don't think she's a narcissist, but she sure picked up alot of his traits over the 30 years of their marriage. She was mentally abused by him too, but I still blame her for her abuses, right or wrong. She wasn't strong enough to protect her kids, so she joined in the fray.

Barbara said...

You will like this article, Anna:

ABUSE IN CHILDHOOD CHANGES THE BRAIN:
http://www.sott.net/articles/show/176955-Early-Abuse-Changes-Brain-Structure-

Aravis said...

Barbara - the information about abuse in childhood changing the brain is absolutely spot-on. Further studies have shown that soldiers who get full blown post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which used to be called "battle fatigue" often had brains already primed for it from childhood abuse or other traumatic childhood events like growing up in dangerous neighborhoods. It's pretty depressing, really. THANKS A LOT for that, MN-parents!

Katrina and some others who have posted about ongoing slandering and abuse at the hands of MNs and their minions who just won't let you alone, my heart breaks for you. My MN-ex, the one who followed me and DD half-way across the country, does EXACTLY the same thing, except that I am not forced to interact much with him, except via email in regards to DD who is still a minor. He made a point to seek out my friends and colleagues and try the "she is a mental case" thing about me. Katrina, you mentioned that you sometimes are filled with hate for what your MN family does - I heard somewhere that "it is not possible to forgive a crime in progress". I think the same thing applies - I mostly have indifference for my MN FOO due to no contact with most of them, but when forced to have to deal with MN-ex, the hatred and loathing can be an overwhelming force. Even just seeing his car pull up to get DD for a week-end makes me want to reach for the vodka. I try to focus on the day DD turns 18 and I can hit the delete button whenever sociopath-boy sends one of his nasty-grams.

You can always try what Pope John Paul II did when confronted something unpleasant (e.g. maligning gossip by N enablers or their associates). He didn't argue, defend, justify, or explain - He would just sigh deeply and shake his head with great sorrow, as if to say "they know not what they do, poor deluded wretches"

Miss Manners has lots of helpful stuff like this. I think she is online.

If you can move away at all - I mean, away as in 30 miles even, so you can develop a new social group, that can work for the enablers and stalkers. It is unfortunate that you, the innocent victim should have to do that, but the peace is well worth the upheaval.

Kimberley said...

EXACTLY Anna!

I DO admire your stalwart, genuine, determined, beautiful spirit in continuing this most life-affirming blog! You so totally rock, sister!

As children, we are vulnerable, innocent ones who have absolutely NO power when our so-called parents inflict verbal, emotional, psychological, physical and spiritual abuse upon our little hearts, minds and bodies.

Terrifying and abusing little children is such abject blatant evil personified as to royally piss me off!

How dare those who are meant to protect, nurture, support, encourage and dare I say.. LOVE us, commit such heinous crimes upon the babes in their care!

Repulsive, repugnant, reprehensible, etc, etc...

These "parents" are unrepentent and therefore...unforgivable.

I write this comment today, as a mature adult woman, profoundly realizing from all the past thoroughly negative experiences delivered from my Psychopathic bio "father", then the preceeding involvements with psycho lovers and dysfunctional friends and the ridiculous crap I've been subjected to that I SOOO deserved to be treated with common decency, respect, civility, care and concern.

I am FINALLY (thank you, Jesus!) "getting" the life lessons, the self-preserving messages being sent to me from The Creator.

Hey! We DO matter...we DO count in the grand sweeping picture of the universe.

We ARE so much more than the Narcissists, the Sociopaths, the Psychopaths, the Borderlines or the garden-variety bullies and adult babies would have us believe.

They are LIARS and straight up perpetrators of evil.

Like I said in the last thread...Defy, denounce and disabuse any person from maliciously wanting to terrify you in their unwarranted, unholy insatiable quest for power and control.

You all are your own unique person, aware of your existence in this time and space, aware of the truth in your goodness. You ARE valuable and worthy of the best that life has to offer you.

Stay firm, resolute and fiercely strong to keep the predators at bay, they who salivate with ravenous hunger for some innocent, undeserving of being prey, victim.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Anna!! Keep them coming, you always seem to hit the nail on the head just when we need it the most.

The post from Maureen is my real sister!! She turned me onto this site.

I was the lucky one because I never had to experience all of the MNsister's behavior. Years ago, the MN sis blew up at something I said...In my head I realized that she is a nut and I can't treat her as a close sister, so since that time I have been polite and friendly while remaining distant. When I realized the MN sister was a chronic liar, in conversations with her, I would look at her without comment or expression. I assume she didn't get her supply, therefore we never had any problems. I would only see her at family functions, be polite and that's it.

Poor Maureen had to deal with so much crap from our MN sis. Maureen, I TOLD you that you should have done what I did.

I do have to admit that when MN sis blew up at me, at that time, I was married to a raging MN. So I believe somehow my mind shut down any attempt to deal with another narcissist. I already had one.

God bless you all and kick the trash to the curb.

Colleen

vamomma said...

Excellent post.

My ex was very abusive and yes, he had an absolute craving for power. He would tell me he had to hurt me for my own good. It was to help me that he was doing these things.

If I was ONLY more submissive, he wouldn't have to hurt me. I don't think I ever could have been submissive enough....truly. What he wanted was a puppet, not a wife.

Ironically, the one time I did defend myself, he went to the church we were going to and I was admonished for my behavior. So amazing. I was told I had to apologize to my abuser. Now there's a twisted notion.

GraFXGrl said...

Great website/article link Barbara!

I read several of the articles, I can especaly identify with "endocrine hyperarousal" stress repsonse. I remember being in a constant state of stress as a child & teen. What is crazy is I had many signs of abuse, failure to thrive, high stress, immune probelms, overly shy/complient and NO doctor, NO teacher ever mentioned that abuse was a possiblity - they were charmed I guess - NM was always right there with an excuse - it was always me.

I am curious - anyone else w/ N parents grow up drowning in stress related health problems?

T said...

Anonymous said: "You suggest feigning surprise and saying that you and the N have a good relationship, etc. I can see where you are coming from, but I don't recommend it. Why? It catches you up in the game playing, it doesn't feel pure and honest and anything that feels that way will taint you and make you part of the lie."

If someone doesn't feel comfortable putting on a little act to diffuse an unwanted situation then they shouldn't do it. But, one way or another, you're already a pawn in the N's game if they can reach you and you are going to have to deal with it. Doing nothing is not an option. The truth is meaningless if it is ugly and everyone believes it to be a lie. My sister whom I love and respect none-the-less is a die-hard advocate for our mother and straight out dismisses my reasons for limiting contact with her as all "bullsh*t." And who can blame her? I never wanted to believe that our mother was an N, nobody wishes this, but I could not ignore that her pattern fits. However, my behavior seems cruel and unjustified if my mother does not fall from grace. And what kind of terrible person would I be to try to convince others that my sweet, charming mother is a monster, even if is true for me? On the other hand, what kind of terrible person would I be to shun such a wonderful, compassionate person like my mother who must care so very much about me? So the ugly truth leaves me looking ugly with it exactly the way my mother points it out to others which is why I am confronted by her proxies, like my sister, to begin with who all believe their intentions to be not only their own but also noble and well-meaning.

What you do with the truth, no matter how ugly it may be, I think is more important. So what do you do with the truth that helps you? If it is true that the N is slandering you then telling the ugly truth about them when confronted with their lies only sounds like you're slandering them back so that won't work. Likewise, behaving hurt or angry about it only plays into their hands by reaffirming that you, not them, have a problem. Ignoring them is like a slap in the face to an N and only encourages the them to step up their efforts and it's difficult to also ignore their extended social network which, quite likely, has been assimilated from and therefore integrated with your own. No contact with the N is a step in the right direction but you still have their proxies to deal with, some of which you may not want to lose but none of which are aware of nor do they want to understand how they're being used to punish you. So what can you do?

My N mother is in complete denial about the negative effects she has on others, namely myself. It was one of the key reasons why I suffered so much doubt in myself because it left me with all my frustration and the nagging thought that maybe I am crazy and all this really is my problem after all. Now reverse engineer this into a vaccine for the N virus. You cannot be given criticism for anything that you're blithely oblivious to. And it tends to be automatically assumed in lieu of evidence to the contrary (since N's are allergic to evidence by nature, no worries there) that you aren't guilty of an act that you clearly possess no memory of ever committing. This automatically puts the N's word into immediate question which is what you want. I think the trick is in changing the subject to something positive immediately after that seed of doubt is planted (and you will know by the confused look on the proxy's face or the sound of their voice) so that they aren't given a chance to quickly rationalize it away.

You don't need to feel guilty for this. You acknowledge and learn from your mistakes and take responsibility for yourself. You simply aren't accepting something that clearly isn't yours. And it's not as though you went out of your way to reject what is clearly a mistake. No, rather they were compelled by the N to come to you. And rather than breeding the proxy's distrust in themselves, the way the N did to you, you are growing the their distrust of the N, thereby eroding their authority and diffusing their toxic influence in your life. Remember that self defense is not only your right but your responsibility and this is but one way that you are taking that right back for yourself.

C.M. said...

The timing is great. Thanks so much Anna!

Aravis said...

GraFXGrl said...I am curious - anyone else w/ N parents grow up drowning in stress related health problems?

Oh, yeah, someone here referred earlier to growing up with Nparents as being a "long-term hostage situation". Many of us have post-traumatic stress disorder. Our brains are oddly wired forever due to the chronic, toxic neuroendocrine stew of stress. A significant percentage of soldiers and marines in Iraq and Afghanistan now presenting with PTSD were already primed to have it from toxic upbringings like ours, along with other chronic stress from in utero and toddler years. Go to the NIMH (www.nimh.nih.gov) website. It's pretty scary. hypervigilance, constant arousal, panic attacks, and all the associated stuff - it's bloody lovely. now, having said that, a good therapist with experience in children exposed to chronic childhood trauma can be helpful, as well as psychoactive medications like the seratonin re-uptake inhibitors (Zoloft, Paxil, etc.).

Getting some peace in your life is pretty critical too. T, can you move somewhere far away? Going NC, even if it is just because you have moved 1000 miles away works really well. The MNs cannot invade your social circle or poison your friends if they do not know them. Move far away, and then be very vague when communicating with any of your family or those in your home town who also know your family and might pass on information. MNs cannot hurt you if they cannot find you. God has not written on the sky that you have to let your FOO know where you work, what church/clubs/organizations you attend, where your kids go to school or any of the details of your life. It's especially good if you are in a suburb of a large city so you can say you are moving to Los Angeles, for example, when you really live out in Long Beach or Torrance, or something. If you feel you must provide a phone number, get caller ID and an answering machine. Wait a week or so to respond to emails, or calls, and remember the great saying "Just because they ask the question does not mean you have to answer it". You do not have to go fully NC to effectively keep the MNs and their enablers from interfering with your peace. I was where you are now until 1992. The best bit, is FOO MNs or their minions cannot get to you through other people if they do not know the other people. If you move, they will have an extremely difficult time infiltrating your new environment, friends, or coworkers without looking like a bunch of stalkers. It really works. Anna's written a lot on it - she went whole-hog, not the NC via mere geographical distance. The only bad bit if you do it just through distance is if you accidentally end up in a cool tourist destination. Then you will have to fend off requests for visitors all the time. That's where the caller ID and ignoring email comes in very handy.

Anonymous said...

"God, I remember those same type of punishments from my father...the spanking for no real reason except that he needed some sort of control, and being told if I covered my butt I would get it 10x worse"

Wow, Billie, I actually had flashbacks reading your post. Is there anything that throws an MN into a rage faster than defending yourself against them? As if you owe it to them to happily cooperate in your own abuse.

krl said...

I am particularly sickened by the amount of control my Nmother had over me....and without the physical beatings. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about how hard I tried to be a good daughter....and how I always fell short of her expectations. (Which were never specific....) What particularly makes me ill is that she would take advantage of my good heart and my willingness to try and to do things over and over again if not right. What on earth did that stupid pathetic lazy no good characterless excuse for a motherdaughterwifehumanbeing have over me? How on earth could I have been enthrall to her for so goddam long? Did she break me? I mean...before memory even serves me?

Yeah....I don't like thinking on this one too much....it feels too much like the BlackHole I just crawled out of. Gawd....

Anonymous said...

GraFXGrl said...

"I am curious - anyone else w/ N parents grow up drowning in stress related health problems?"

Yes, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome... Physically and Mentally, I will never be the same. Also, in our home, "Stress" was good for you!

no more darkness said...

hello graFXgrl-
i am constantly ill- run down , tired, on full alert, i dont know how much of this our bodies are meant to take. no one seems to care how bad my mum treated me,mental cruelty is so much harder to explain. im not entirely sure how bad it was i blocked most of it out. - i probably just come across as a pretty useless individual, my mum is sitting pretty with her life/putting herself first always has paid off for her. I have found it best not to bore anyone with my family problems and health problems anymore- i struggle to look after my child on my own and i know i wont be able to have anymore- im just so tired I could sleep for eternity.
I can go someway to explain the depth of fear i had of my mother- once my husband (then boyfriend) had left some crumbs on my mothers work top after making toast, i was so scared i was freaking out, quick tidy up! also she always said while i lived at home, "its MY house" and used to threaten to throw me out, I was really scared i had nowhere else to go only being young. I am so sad to see history repeat itself with my sis/bro in law with their daughter- he was trying to get her to share and said "i share MY house with you" and hes always so tough on her she's only two, i hate it when he slams her down on a chair for some petty 'crime'. I dont see them anymore i dont want my daughter to think its normal to do that.

Anonymous said...

GraFXGrl said...I am curious - anyone else w/ N parents grow up drowning in stress related health problems?

I couldn't tell you which symptoms were from stress and which were from a lack of specialized care so here goes:

As a child I had repeated ear, sinus, and strep throat infections. After begging to go to the doctor, I was given antibiotics and sent back to school. My tonsils were never removed and present a problem to this day because they are so scarred and pitted. As an adult my allergist determined that I have numerous allergies (e.g., dogs, grass, trees, dust, dust mites, 2nd hand smoke).

By 22, I had three stomach ulcers. Wanna guess who developed "ulcers, only worse" thereafter? I was hooked up to a machine to measure body physiology when doctors determined that I was having panic attacks and sent me to a psychologist. She said, in short, I could worry about everything and die sooner or pick and choose what to worry about and live longer.

I also have migrains.

I saw an endocrinologist for a possible thyroid problem (havn't nailed this one down yet) and he said that I have signs of fetal alcohol poisoning.

All I know is, every one of my symptoms has been less severe since going NC!

JR

Anonymous said...

T Feb 20, 2009 10:15:00 PM

Very similar to my experience. You describe it well.

Narcissists may be charismatic leaders -- I am sure many are --- but my narcissistic mother was and was not at the same time. She had an authoritative, commanding presence --- reinforced by the uncritical support and promotion she received from my father. All my life I assumed she was as imposing, admirable and irresistible to everyone else as she was to us kids. More recently, I see that most other people are initially awed, but eventually wary, cautious and keep their distance from the woman.

While driving across country last week, I listened to a couple of messages on Christian radio that were helpful to me.

I liked the statement that forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation. The point being that we must forgive, but we may not be expected to reconcile.

Another concept was that it is the one who forgives who pays the price. Always. As Jesus paid the price for our forgiveness. That it is impossible to forget some offenses --- but that when you remember, pray for that person, and go on your way.

Dandelion

Billie said...

GraFXGrl said...I am curious - anyone else w/ N parents grow up drowning in stress related health problems?

Since I was about 8 or 9 years old, when I started to be aware enough of what the dynamics were in my family to be troubled by them, I suffered depression and anxiety. In fact, much of my teenaged years were marked by waking up in the morning wishing I were dead. It was a miserable existence, and it extended into my early 20's, when I still had alot of contact with both my parents. I began taking Paxil and continue to be on it, and I feel like the person I always felt I could be. It was also about the time I started seeking help for my distressing emotions that I was able to begin distancing myself from the BS and see myself as someone independent of NDad and n-trait Mom.

no more darkness said...

'In fact, much of my teenaged years were marked by waking up in the morning wishing I were dead.It was a miserable existence, and it extended into my early 20's '

wow- this is exactly how it was for me- i spent most of my time in my room on my own, wishing i had the courage to 'end it all'
i battle with feelings of worthlessness- but i still have hope- hope of achieving something no matter how small.

Anonymous said...

GraFXGrl said...I am curious - anyone else w/ N parents grow up drowning in stress related health problems?

Anxiety attacks, hypervigilance, migraines, bulimia.

Since going NC several years ago, I'm no longer bulimic, and have only the occasional migraine. My anxiety and hypervigilance is much less severe than it once was, and only happens now when I'm under a great deal of stress. So I think I'm about as close to "normal" as I'm going to get.

But what I lack in perfect normalcy I make up for in hard-won wisdom. Most of us who grew up in the MN trenches have an unusually perceptive radar for human evil, because it's so familiar. It's weird; the longer and farther you're away from it, the clearer you can see it.

T said...

Aravis said: "T, can you move somewhere far away? Going NC, even if it is just because you have moved 1000 miles away works really well. The MNs cannot invade your social circle or poison your friends if they do not know them. Move far away, and then be very vague when communicating with any of your family or those in your home town who also know your family and might pass on information. MNs cannot hurt you if they cannot find you."

There are vast wastelands and mountains between my N mother and I and I am thankful for that now because it helps a lot for regaining a better perspective. She used to live nearby and knows my neighbors and stays in contact with some of them. But I don't think it'd matter where I moved to. My circumstances are such that I will always be easy to find unless I change both my identity and my lifestyle. And I'm not going to do that for my N mother. I think Katrina here has more of a problem with her N sister than I have currently with my N mother. I had similar problems with my N brother (a veritable carbon copy of our mother but more smug) but most of my friends who know him don't like him and, weirdly, I'm still perceived an authority whom he mimics to this day (he will literally vacation to the same places I do and take pictures in the same spots I did) even though I haven't had any meaningful contact with him in nearly 10 years and completely ignore him. But other than watching every thing I do so he can show me up (or impress me?), my N brother leaves me alone.

Cutting off as many of one's dependencies on and connections to an N as possible is necessary but a complete life change is not practical except in the most sever situations. What's happened to victims of N's is that we've been disarmed and now we need to be rearmed, not to punish but to ward off evil in our lives. Because if we always retreat at the first sign of danger then what won't we retreat from? Bad things don't go away on their own. These are learning opportunities now that our eyes are open to them. Having the power to make us back off indefinitely is still giving the N what they want. So give them what they don't want and I think they'll spare you the effort of having to avoid them. I don't think there needs to be a master strategy for this. It could be a simple attitude change where you happily and consistently dismiss them as being less important than [fill in the blank] at any given moment, something that you, as a victim of an N, probably still feel is rude to do to another person but really is a very gracious way to not talk to or about someone without saying so. My fast favorite has become "I've been so busy that I forgot ... [queue abrupt subject change]" when in fact I didn't forget, I was simply ignoring them, but it gives a positive impression of an active, productive life. They may not like it but, again, you can't really be held responsible for what you're blithely oblivious to and you're certainly not responsible for their feelings.

This is not an easy point to reach. If anyone is like me, I wanted to teach my N mother a lesson, for her to suffer the way I had suffered, for her to learn from her mistakes, apologize and make amends. Every authority on and every realized victim of N's will tell you that this does not and cannot happen because an N completely lacks the capacity to do so and, in fact, will use your desire for them to make some sort of restitution to punish you even more (my N mother has virtually said as much). What I have learned, for myself, is that while everything I have just stated is demonstrably true that keeping the anger and the frustration internalized, deluding myself that it was somehow contained, is very destructive. Rather than the losing battle of trying to contain it, I very calmly confronted my mother about how I felt without blaming her or trying to exact revenge upon her or expecting acknowledgment or restitution of any kind. And I felt liberated for doing so. I felt like a better person. It was something that I owed to myself. The Ns in our lives may not earn our forgiveness but we can earn forgiveness of ourselves. They may not mend their ways but we can mend ours. They may not become the kinds of people we would like of them but we can be. We owe that to ourselves.

toni said...

So true, I was never allowed to defend myself, not only against the Ns but against anyone. I was supposed to just let anyone do anything to me, or I was bad for being mean to them! Because of this I have become hypervigilant, I learned self defense and how to use firearms, and have very quick reflexes and eyes in the back of my head. I am unable to live in the city as I am very paranoid about being a victim. I feel like a war vet, constantly irrationally watching my back. My N-sister is opposite, she feels she is naturally shielded from harm and would just freeze in shock if anyone came after her. (That's what good girls do.) I believe a healthy place is somewhere in between, where you are aware but not fearful or numb. Of course, being raised by psycho Ns would make such a healthy outlook less than likely.

sojourner kate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JohnnySy said...

Anna
Thanks for one of your best blogs, ever. I especially agree with the comparison of the narcissist to The Borg! Resistance is futile. We will assimulate." It seems that all narcissists do have that Borg "collective mind".

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna,

Thank you SO SO MUCH for this blog and especially for this great entry. I have found your blog yesterday and I have been reading it non-stop ever since. As a victim of a N mother it is really therapeutic for me to read your posts. Especially that I have had a hard episode recently with my N mother which has convinced me to go non contact from now on and I am getting hints from my younger sister that I am being "too cruel" for trying to defend and protect myself and my new family from her harm!

The stuff you wrote about spanking also really hit home for me. My mother never got us to comply and come with our own feet to get spanked for our "offenses". Because we always ran away and since we had a relatively big house and were really agile kids she had a hard time catching us. So in order to stop us she used to get her really heavy bottom wooden sandals off her feet and shoot it to the direction of our feet so that we would drop down and then she would jump on top of us and beat us savagely and violently with a very scary and out-of-control look on her face, as if she was going to kill us. But if she would not manage to nock us down then she would just sit on the floor take of her other sandal as well and start to shout and beat herself on the head with the wooden sandals and moan and cry and say: "Look what horrible kids you are! Look what you are doing to your mother! Look! What should I do with you! You are driving your own mother nuts you dogs... Now she is going to kill herself because of you being so evil!" or a variation of these words. At this point we would lose all our resistance and feel just SO GUILTY that we would submit to her! It took me several years to realize that she was just manipulating us. After I realized that anytime she did this self-flagellating show I would just say: "Well... then kill yourself! What are you waiting for!? We won't be sad if you die!" Of course my little sister was still taken by the show and would tell me to shut up because she might hurt herself! (she still gets taken by her shows quite often, the poor thing!!). But anyway after I started reacting that way she gradually stopped her crazy self-beating shows altogether!

I already gave up on her by the age of 8 and was thinking in all seriousness that she must have kidnapped us from somewhere! A real mother cannot be so cruel! Non of my friends' mothers were like that! Then I didn't know that biological mothers can be just as bad as any evil stepmother or any kidnapper and abuser if they are sick and narcissistic enough! Once again thanks for the blog, Anna! Great to know that I am not alone!

GraFXgrl said...

""Look what horrible kids you are! Look what you are doing to your mother! Look! What should I do with you! You are driving your own mother nuts you dogs... Now she is going to kill herself because of you being so evil!" "

Sounds like my NM- she "threatened" suicide for the simplist little things, kinda scary for a little kid!
I remember getting older - then kinda wishing she would! Crazy Psyco. But I forgot she can't die -she's "god" bahh.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:43-
Reading your post was heartbreaking, it's shocking that a mother could do that to her children, what a monster. I'm glad you've gone NC, stay strong, things will get better for you. I'll keep you and your sister in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Humiliation is being 10 and having to pull your pants down so you can get spanked. What a loon. Plus, she was a counter, you had till the count of three or else.

If I would have been a child in the days of 1800childabuse, she would have paid dearly. I would have humiliated her like she humiliated me.

Anonymous said...

Here`s some of the excuses christians will use for other "Christians" who are mean (n)jerks(which are 80% of them).

"man will always let you down"

"you`re not suppose to be focusing on people but on God"

"you don`t know what happened in that persons life for them to behave that way"

"you`re being judgmental"

" you need to worry about yourself and not what the other person is doing"

Anna Valerious said...

Ah, yes. Pulling down the pants for spankings. Those were the worst due to the humiliation factor not even to mention that it made the beating hurt even more. My mother also experimented as another commenter's mother did with various tools for whacking. Hairbrushes were brutal. Ping pong paddle. Dad's rubber-soled sandal was surprisingly painful. My mother prided herself on never being so cruel as to use a belt. Guess it never occurred to her that there could be worse things than a belt. Nah. It she knew it.

Anonymous said...

I am dealing with a religious narcissist (mother) and trying to set boundaries for the first time with the consequence of no contact if those boundries are not respected. Some of the family members who feel I am being too harsh are now throwing Isaiah 53 at me (see below) which talks about how Jesus carried our sins for us even though he, who was without sin, was looked upon as a sinner by the narcissists in his time. These family members say that if I am truly Christian, I would follow along in Jesus' footsteps by "barring others sins; especially those of your mother..etc". Something just isn't right about this, though. This is tormenting me. I feel that Jesus did that for people who were truly sorry for their sins. I don't think he did this for all evil people. Maybe I am wrong. I am continuing to study this concept. However, it is true that forcing submission can involve aiming straight for a person's jugler (in my case, my spiritual beliefs and values) in order to force consent to continued abuse (turning the other cheek, etc.)

Isaiah 53
…. he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 9And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. 10Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors

toni said...

I'm so sorry about the physical abuse many of you have endured. I was not tormented in that horrible way - my Ns thought they were above that. So they just made sure that I was unprepared when other people would do it.

I am curious as to whether most N parents do physically abuse, being such master manipulators. When I would argue with NM she would say "We never beat you" like she was waiting for a medal. And then this, "We are good people". My mother thought she and dad were the shit as parents, better than Ozzie and Harriet. They could never make such a good case for their high level of morality and superiority as parental role models if they were hitters. Furthermore, NM was one of those Fun Moms that all the neighborhood kids loved. The psychological abuse and neglect was deeply hidden and the Ns took credit for being such great modern parents because they read Dr. Spock books and didn't "beat" their kids.

Anna Valerious said...

Anon @ 10:00 AM,

My very first thought about you being confronted with Is. 53 as some kind of example you're supposed to follow is this:

You are NOT your mother's savior. That is what this chapter in Isaiah is talking about...about the willing sacrifice of Christ to save humanity. We are not to emulate Christ by being our own savior or someone else's savior.

Christian living is not about adding to our salvation. It is the heart response of love for what has already been done for us. Therefore, we follow Christ's example for the Christian life as a witness to others not as an addition to our salvation. The Scriptures which clearly point to the acts of Christ which were for our salvation are not commands for us to "go and do likewise". Otherwise it is legalism. And legalism is completely condemned by the Gospel.

That chapter is entirely about Christ as Savior. It is not a command that we become someone else's savior. That is a complete perversion of this chapter and lessens its beauty and force on our hearts...i.e. prompting a response of gratitude and humble acceptance of the gift of salvation which we can in no way earn.

Anonymous said...

Anna,
I have discovered your blog a few months ago, in August last year. I think it has been a very kind hand that guided me here, reading this has helped my life a lot, in understanding really what it is being the child of a narcissistic mother and later being in a relationship with narcissistic man. Now I understand the reasons why I have ' attracted' these people. After putting the pieces together with the help of what I have been reading on the subject since August I can say that it is easy to spot a narcisistic and try to stay away. I have been wanting to say thank you, your blog has helped and complemented my four years of therapy. It is the information that I was missing, being the " victim " of a nacissistic parent, or two, we grew up so frightened and so not being allowed to be ourselves that we realy did not learn how to defend ourselves in hte most effective way but as oposed to that learned how to always attempt to content these kind of sick people. I have learned with your help. Now I see the light, that each child should be entitled to see throughout her entire life.Thank you. Cris.

Anonymous said...

Anna, up till now I've only lurked on your blog. But I agree so wholeheartedly with what you say about being denied the right to defend yourself. My mother-in-law was not a serial killer. She was not physically aggressive. Such things would never have occured to her. She was an artistic, sociable little old lady, whom neighbors described with such terms as "a great lady". But when she wanted her way, usually at the expense of my welfare or the welfare of my young children, she wouldn't take no for an answer. She truly didn't recognize my right to say no, and if I did, she'd appeal to my husband (her son), her husband, whoever happened to be standing nearby (sometimes strangers in a store) to take her side against me. This doesn't compare to the violent abuse some others have written about, of course, but the point is that whether the N's trespasses are large or small, the N is operating from the same selfish center, with the same lack of empathy.

Anonymous said...

Anna
Thank you for your reply and what you said makes alot of sense. I was raised in an old fashioned Catholic way where I had to "work out my own salvation through works" and then hope I still was worthy enough to go to heaven (that IS the definition of legalism). I was taught that sins were classified into Mortal (real bad sins) and Venial (sins that are not too bad). After much soul searching I left the Catholic Church and now go to a non-denominational church. In fact, if it wasn't for my doing this, I still may be under the "spell" of my narcissist mother. As stated in another blog, I really needed to assess myself and find out what I really, truly believed. It is strange that I have always had this drive in my inner thought life; to persue the truth long before I put two and two together regarding the narcissism of my mother. Yet, because of the life-long condemnation that she put onto me as a child and young adult (I never learned about the love of God as a child; only the impending torture if I didn't comply), I still find myself occassionally questioning my own self when these moral puzzles are thrown at me by family members just trying to "keep things as they are so the boat isn't rocked." It makes sense that Isaiah 53 is telling us that Christ has been through abuse just as we have (therefore, he understands us) and that we are to glorify him with humility for the price he paid for our transgressions as well as our trials. In light of this true meaning of Isaiah, to hear someone say that I should "follow in His footsteps by allowing this narcissist to keep abusing me" is really a dimented way to look at it! Maybe these family members know that she would start bugging the heck out of them if I were suddenly out of the picture. If that is true, they are as selfish as my Nmother herself. In other words, why would Jesus go through all of that suffering as a randsom for our (mankind) sins, only for us have to go through it again? What would have been the point for His purpose in the first place?? That would be contradictory. I think I am starting to get it! Thank you again for your reply and for shedding the light on this malignancy that we struggle with.

Kathleen said...

Anonymous,
That is so horrible that they would throw Isaiah 53 at you!! Somewhere Jesus admonishes the Pharisees for placing burdens on people that they, the Pharisees,wouldn't bear.

They want you to get on the cross for your N? And what, get your reward later in the great by and by???

Tell THEM to get on the cross for others. You don't have to --- someone already did it for you and His yoke is light.

What nerve of these people.

- Kathleen

Anonymous said...

For former Catholic Anonymous,

I, too, was raised in a Catholic household. Two of my siblings left the Church. At the time, their reasons were, "To have a relationship with God." Ironically enough, they church hopped and ended up not having a relationship with Jesus anywhere. They stopped praying altogether.
What happened in our family was that our parents were not living the Catholic Faith as they should. Children associate their idea of God, the Father, with their dads. If the Dad is harsh, abusive...whatever, then the child will have a sense that God may be punishing & unloving, rejecting them for not being perfect. If a mom is angry, depressed, narcissist and screaming a lot of time-like mine was-one may be extremely put off by the religion that parent claims to follow,never feeling "good enough", blaming the religion when it is really a failure of the parent to follow the teachings of that faith.
The Catholic Church teaches that salvation ONLY comes through Jesus Christ. We can choose to cooperate with His freely given gift of grace or not. We did not earn His grace, but our actions show whether we are cooperating or not with God's Plan for each of us. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is online for all to see what the Church teaches and why. I am happy to say that both of my siblings came back to the Church after their sojourn and learned what the Church really taught, not the bad example they were given.
~Maureen

K said...

For me it was a great relief to acknowledge my revengefulness (Growing up with narcissists, I had no right to it at all) and make use of it in a normal/healthy way. YES part of what I did was to defend myself & part of it was the liberating revenge that they SO deserved!!!

The way to freedom goes through assimilating all sides of oneself (within reason & in justice).

Katrina said...

"The Catholic Church teaches that salvation ONLY comes through Jesus Christ. We can choose to cooperate with His freely given gift of grace or not. We did not earn His grace, but our actions show whether we are cooperating or not with God's Plan for each of us."

I, too, believe that many people go searching for the "right" religion, as a result of the abusive upbringings we have had. Only to find that religion isn't ALIVE unless one finds the LIVING GOD they are seeking, and commences upon an actual RELATIONSHIP with God.

I have seen this both in my own life, & in the lives of many others.

I was raised in a very religious home. Though I didn't recognize much of the dysfunction in our lives until I was older, I am grateful to this day for the strong faith & exposure to our religious doctrine that my parents gave us. We were raised Catholic. You might have guessed that by the fact that there were 13 of us, one born every year! No twins. LOL!

I believe I am living out the Catholic faith in a way that Christ meant us too. I don't believe that all of my sibs are. Though THEY certainly must believe they are. To me, weekly Mass is only one part of it. To me, what one does outside that one hour, is what the New Testament is all about. I do not "force submission"
on anyone. Nor any of the other things Anna has so concisely written about on her blog site.
Many people I know do. That to me is the difference. There are abusers , Ns, & psychopaths in every group or organization. The healing that we learn here, through Anna's writings, & each others' experiences, helps us to be able to discern between them & healthy people as we go through life. And gives us the courage to extricate ourselves from the bad ones.

I am in love with the peace & Grace I receive from the Catholic Sacraments. I adore Christ & the feeling of His Love I receive from Holy Communion. I love and honor His Blessed Mother by praying The Rosary & contemplating the Mysteries of Christ's Life-Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious.

But that's just me, & how I live with & for God. I am so grateful for all of you & Anna, though your beliefs may be a little different from mine, I believe we feel the same way about many fundamental teachings of God, as they relate to the topics of Anna's blog. It's wonderful to have a safe place to strengthen each other from the BS doctrines we've been asked to follow by our abusers, such as the discussion on the Isaiah 53 teachings. Thank you, one & all.

Thank you also for all your kind words & suggestions regarding the slander & smear campaign against me, & how its affecting my & my family's lives. Unfortunately, I have not been in the position to write for the past week; only to keep up with the comments, as I've been called out of town on a family emergency with the only sister I still consider a sib. I do intend to move away at some point. Maybe even to the town I'm in presently. Its 12 hrs away from our hometown, & very beautiful! The time just isn't quite right yet. Within 5 years, I'm sure.

Katrina

Anonymous said...

Kathleen
Yes, that is it! You said exactly what their reply was! That is what I have been told - that if I suffer for Christ (their version being to suffer like Christ allowing the narcissists in my life to continue to abuse me), that I should "Rejoice! For my reward will be great in Heaven!" which is the sweet by and by (which quotes one of the Beatitudes). First Isaiah 53, then they start firing the Beatitutdes at me. Even though they know "exactly where to hit me", the one thing that keeps me straining to go forward is my own family. This must be a major turning point in my life because I can no longer continue to allow Nmother and other extended relatives & mutual friends to do this to me. It is so toxic that it knocks me down and I can't enjoy my own family like I should. Plus, their needs must come before my other relatives. My husband has severe sleep apnea, my oldest son was recently diagnosed with ADHD and my 4 year old son has been having chronic digestive problems. . My 8 year old needs extra coaching with his homework, my husband, who works a very stressful job, sometimes falls asleep on the couch in the evenings after an extremely hard day of work - but he stops breathing if he doesn't wear the CPAP machine so I need to wake him up when he falls asleep so he can put his oxygen and CPAP. I worry about what would happen if one morning he doesn't wake up. My 4 year old has to follow a strict diet (which he despises). In other words, I need to be there for my immediate family. The last thing that is needed is to be rattled and frustrated continuously by these other people who have obviously been recruited by my Nmother to help her fight her battle as she continues her smear campaign against me. BTW, I was physically abused by her (burned and beat) as a child and she continues to emotionally abuse. I did contront her recently. Since my X-husband and I divorced approx 8 years ago, she has a habit of always bringing him up. We divorced because he had a gambling & drinking problem; BUT he is Catholic and because of that, she considers him a saint and still tells people that she really still considers him her true son in law! And yet, my husband (now) and I have 2 kids and he has a chronic disorder that he could die from. (Oh that makes me mad how she disrespects my family even more so that when she disrespects me!) But when I confronted her about this (told her I don't want to hear her talk about my X ever again!), her reaction was one like you would see on The Borg! Blank, empty stare with no remorse. She then said she didn't realize how much it bothered me (though I nicely tolder her many times before). This is one of the bounderies I set with her (that I spoke of in a privous post). To get back to the point (I hate it when I go off on a tangent like this :o) - I just can't see how God could condemn me for wanting to focus my energy on my own family by spending time with them, helping and caring for them the way a mother is supposed to be. For me to allow these toxic people to rattle me is not constructive for my job as a mother and wife. That must take precedence over the ill will of my Nmother and her narcissistic whims (N Supply needs). These Bible passages being thrown at me are really like those "firey darts" that Paul talks about in Ephesions where we are to "life up over all your shield of faith with which you can escape from the firey darts from the enemy". Maybe I need to remember that I have a shield in the first place! If God gave me this "job" as a mother, my own Nmother seems to be trying to devalue it.

~Maureen said...

Having seen the behavior of a Nmother when their children leave the Church, it is likely that your NM wants to "help" you. You should simply tell her, "Mom, I know you don't want me to go to Hell for adultery (whatever)...I hear your message. I have chosen not to stay with my X. I am not changing my mind. I choose the path I am on with Newhubby with full knowledge of all repercussions. I am not asking you to agree with my decisions. I know you cannot. I am asking for you to shake the dust off and leave me be. I've been duly warned. If I end up in Hell it will be my own fault, not yours."
Saying this allows the Nmother to be assured that you heard it all...and she should feel better that she "did her saintly best".
I watched up close and personal the pain a parent has when their child leaves the Catholic Church, heck any church. My Nmother and Dad lived with me...now just Mom since Dad passed on. They would worry and stress over what their adult kids were doing. My brother made up all sorts of excuses for not being Catholic (since he impregnanted the daughter of a Baptist minister-big no-no & embarrassing for that family)and then married in a non-sacramental manner. Had he been upfront with Dad and said, "Dad, I know what I should be doing, but I don't want to do it. I am choosing to go a different way because it is easier for me right now," instead of smokescreens like, "well, the Church isn't Biblical" then Dad would take out the Bible and show him each and every proof-text for the Catholic beliefs in order to "convince" him. Later, after Dad died and brother returned to the Church he admitted it would have been easier had he just been honest with Dad so Dad wouldn't have wasted time printing off all sorts of stuff to "help" him see the truth he already knew but decided to reject for personal reasons.
Why do victims of N's feel so reluctant to tell the truth? I never told my Nsister the truth during our relationship. I always told her what she wanted to hear so I didn't get a blow-up. Maybe we all need to be more brave and tell the Ns what is what. Tell them, "I don't believe a word of what you just said." Or "Seeing the abuse I was given at your hands as a child, I have a hard time believing you want to help me now. I see any advice you give me as a land-mine really to go off. I don't trust you enough to take the advice you give."
~Maureen

Anonymous said...

Maureen, I'm extremely "brave" and feel no need to continue to waste my hard earned energy to tell the N's "what is what." They know ALL to well...."what is what" and use it to their own twisted advantage.

Aravis said...

Maureen said "I watched up close and personal the pain a parent has when their child leaves the Catholic Church, heck any church".

I believe that can be true, if they think their children are now going to be taking the Hell Express. My MN-FOO have both religious zealots and completely unchurched individuals, and my experience is that narcissists will use whatever is available to throw at you to regain power and control. My sociopathic aunt, who fancies herself a better Catholic than the Pope, was told by two of her sons that they are atheists. She could no longer bludgeon them with the catholic dogma club, and instead switched to the Family Loyalty thing.

MNs only view leaving the church as a loss of control when they cannot spout scripture or fire-and-brimstone threats of everlasting agony, to force you back into line. Angry, controlling people, which all MNs are, are really only interested in keeping their victims firmly under their thumbs and doing their bidding. Possibly they do believe the kids are going to go to Hell - and boy that would suck, since the MNs cannot continue their abuse and control forever. In my MN-aunt's case, she is deeply distressed that she won't be able to continue to manipulate and abuse her sons for all Eternity in the Afterlife.

Anonymous, you are spot-on that your job now is to care for your own kids and hubby. I think having a baby is what really freed me from the notion that it was my 24/7 duty to ensure the comfort, convenience, happiness, and well-being of my MNparents. That helpless little baby girl in my arms had real needs that only I could fulfill. My DH and I teach both our kids that their job is NOT to take care of us, their parents. Their job someday (if they have kids) is to take care of THOSE kids, and so each generation in a functional family repays their parents' sacrifices by doing the same for the next generation. What is great about such a life view is very hard for MN enablers to argue against THAT. My MIL, who is not a narcissist, but is completely blind to the fact that her youngest son (MN-BIL), who is in his mid-50s, is an alcoholic and drug abuser who cannot hold a job, is fully responsible for his present situation. She periodically tries to get DH and DH's other brother to agree to financially support MN-BIL after she is gone. She has been trying to get them to commit to this undertaking for the past 15 years or so and JUST would not let up no matter how many times they said NO. Two months ago, both DH and DH-brother told her "gee mom, we cannot agree to that, we have to pay for raising our own kids, oh yeah then college and such for them so they can go have productive lives and support THEIR families. Well, the kids are her grandchildren, so that stopped her cold. She was not about to tell them her grandkids should suffer for the bum-BIL. It was great. I also find that, compared to some friends who are ACONs but have no children, I am much less forgiving of my MNparents, and won't make excuses for their abuse and neglect. Once you have kids you can see that it is just not that hard to raise kids correctly.

krl said...

No time for me to comment on anything else: But...yes...I, too, have myriad health issues. Always have. Some are 'mysterious'...lingering. Others have been diagnosed: Thyroid (by mid-forties)....work-related arthritis of hands and back...(yes...I was a Cinderella growing up....worked like a man...and prolly continued to in a knee-jerk response to 'justifiying my exsistence' in life.) Uh...yes...eating disorders. Alcoholism (now three years sober)....PTSD (mostly manifest by hypervigilence....remarkably better now that I am NC) Those are the hi-lites. Yeccchhhttt. Bleecccchhhht.

Little by little...working on each aspect....little by little...managing the various ailments...improving what can be improved upon by taking care of myself, following Dr's. orders....Hey! SELF-CARE! What a novel idea! No...I'll never 'be the same'....but I can't remember a GOOD reference point of health to gauge anything by. I was always tired, mad, and hurting from a toddler on.

Anyway...all the above crap aside...I've always been a 'functioning' person...most all of what was hurting etc never 'showed'. Most others would never 'guess' I suffered. The other part of this crap had to to with HIDING it! All of it. No one knew...and mostly I figured no one cared...and if I was hurting or tired or sick I wasn't excused from the responsibilities imposed on me....so I just kept trudging.

Now...especially as I get older...I set a limit on what I can and will do....am up front about it...whether it has to do with too much stress..either physical or emotional...so that I can be REAL about my ailments and take care of myself. REAL to myself...and REAL in this demanding world. I DO FEEL BETTER. All I can hope for.

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES, ALL. THERE'S QUITE ENOUGH TO DO IN TAKING CARE OF YOUR CHILDREN, YOUR LOVING FAMILY, YOUR JOB, AND YOURSELF. NOTE: THE ONES YOU LOVE AND WHO TRULY LOVE YOU. (not the creepy Ns...let someone else butter their goddam toast.)

Anonymous said...

My NM used all sorts of tactics to control me. Usually guilt. When everything came to a head, she used the last thing she thought I would never give up... My extended family. When I turned my back on all of them she couldn't believe it. She had been the door, through which I had to pass before I could gain access to Aunts Uncles and Cousins.
When she couldn't control me through that, she could not believe it. Neither could I.
It makes me sadder than you can believe not to have a family.

I would do it again in a heartbeat.

sojourner kate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

For SK:

First, if you're from a Mormon background, please read Martha Beck's "Leaving the Saints" - it will enlighten you even more than you already are.

Second: I live with Mormons, the town I'm in is mostly Mormon (no, not Utah, Idaho). There is something about that cult that makes people very susceptible to new age stuff and it's usually the Dark Side of new age, not the manifest your own prosperity side. I can't tell you how many Mormons I know who are deep into astrology and such. And I don't mean just reading your daily horoscope, they are serious and live by it down to what they eat and do each day.

What you are sensing may be real, it may be something that goes on all the time (your Mom playing her mental games) and you just feel it part of the time. It may just be in your head. Either way, it's affecting you and you have to end it. This is not hard to do, in my experience, although I shouldn't speak for others, but it's mostly just making a conscious effort to block anything negative when you start to feel it. Doing so takes the power away, totally kills it. Voodoo can kill people, but Voodoo works only in the mind of the believer, it can't affect the nonbeliever. This is because it's totally on the mental/spiritual level, there's nothing physical about it until you believe it, then you translate it into your own health issues through your mind. But it's not real unless you give it power, darkness can't exist where there's light.

Come up with a scripture, a song, a quote, a poem, something that makes you feel good and start saying this over and over when you feel this force against you, it will go away, there's no room at the inn. Best of luck.

krl said...

To SK (Sojourner Kate)

Uh....Why are you still in 'contact' with this NM? I know...I know....you said you were NC....but it seems like a whole lot of extra effort is being spent in keeping 'tuned in' to what all is being said and done in the fam. You might not be stepping IN the dogshit anymore....but you are hanging around the 'room' it's in....and you are still smelling it. It ain't NEVER going to smell any better....and it will continue to make you sick.

Maybe get FURTHER AWAY......Hell...I don't know. Maybe Anna has some better comments and advice. BTW...I'm not doubting at all that you are being oppressed by some REAL EVIL in your family....esp. Nmom

bitterxwife@yahoo.com said...

"The pious howling of the narcissist contends that your cutting them off is itself abusive and is therefore coming from a spirit of malice and revenge on your part."

I really needed to read this post. Perfect timing.

I'm 42 and currently going through one of the worst episodes with my mother ever.

Just the other day, she appeared at my house, unannounced and uninvited. Interrupted me while I was working so she could bitch at me non-stop and tell me AGAIN what a terrible person I am.

She even told me I'm a rotten mother.

I think this episode is the result of my sibling and I trying to distance ourselves from her over the last few months, in an effort to save our sanity.

Thanks for this post. It really helps!

Barbara said...

Maureen

While your post was well-intentioned, attempting to "talk" to an N let alone an N-parent is like spitting in the wind. You owe them nothing for protecting & taking care of yourself.

bitterxwife

DO NOT LET YOUR MOTHER INTO YOUR HOME AGAIN.
DO NOT TAKE HER CALLS - let the machine answer and delete all messages without listening to them
RETURN ALL MAIL & PACKAGES - 'RETURN TO SENDER - DELIVERY REFUSED'

Get their toxic slime out of your life and don't look back.

Barbara said...

GraFXGrl said...I am curious - anyone else w/ N parents grow up drowning in stress related health problems?

Over here!!
Fibromyalgia
Chronic Myofascial Pain
Gastritis
Shingles
Adrenal Fatigue
PTSD (this one took years to figure out - was called Panic Attacks earlier)

This might interest you (it is about relationships but applies to Nparents too!):
http://howtospotadangerousman.blogspot.com/2008/05/your-medical-conditions-is-root-your.html

Anonymous said...

It is bad enough to have had both parents Narcissits. My mother was the beater my father was the screamer. Both suffer from all forms of the evil creatures discribed here. As their lives are comming to an end my father is the final victor between the two after 60 years. My mother shut off her brain. Literally shut down with no medical explanation for it. The toughest thing now is to keep them away from our children, especially now that we understand what our childhoods really were. And understand how very sick and evil they both are. But the old man is insisitant with letters, lies, abuses and so on from thousands of miles away he still causes grief to all he comes in contact with. They both have become so sick they truely are creatures! Thank you for this blog and the information in it.

dotJenna said...

My step father was not a narcissist, but he did that to me. It killed my spirit. It was as though he was making me agree that I was a bad person. He did it for no reason, daily. I get that. It hurts whether they are a N or not.

UnmotheredChild said...

Oh my god, this is my EX best friend to a T. I never knew she was a Narcissist although I had narcissistic parents and read lots about it. I quotes and mentioned you on my blog http://integratingfeelings.blogspot.com/2011/07/getting-off-drama-triangle.html in one of my posts hope that is ok

tctill said...

I don't know you, but I want to hug you right now for writing this.... your words and your shared experience are a TREMENDOUS blessing on this day where I'm feeling especially frustrated and alone.

I don't know you, but I want to hug you right now for writing this.... your words and your shared experience are a TREMENDOUS blessing on this day where I'm feeling especially frustrated and alone.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for reminding me that I/my husband have EVERY right to defend ourselves against a particularly malignant narcissist whom we've been dealing with for YEARS now.

It's a lonely battle... but I guess we will have to keep on fighting the good fight, no matter how many "friends" (or whatever else) we might lose in the process.

It SO helps to know we are not (despite how it's increasingly starting to feel) in fact, alone.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

Anna Valerious said...

Thank you for the virtual hug. I wish you the very best as you defend yourself against a MN. Never easy. Always painful.

Candy Man said...

I know this is an old thread, but I am just now reading it. I am almost 50 and there is so much about all of this that I have pushed back in regards to the total control and dominion/humiliation.

Such as, anyone else here, have to take your beating naked.
I have had my hair angrily chopped off because of tangles, I was 7.
Not allowed to cry after out floggings.
Forced to play outside in my underwear only so as not to dirty up any laundry, it did not matter because I was not developed yet. Any protest was futile, mocked and potentially dangerous.
People are arrested for leaving their kids in hot cars now, but it was the norm for us. I can still time the, you kids stay in the car, I'll be right back! Yeah right, you bitch, an hour later.

doveangel33 said...

I have been reading many of the articles and have kind of just been moving around the website. This has been really good for me. Just coming out of another N relationship, Parent's are N's, was married to an N, seems like my whole life was surrounded by toxic N's. This last one though, was perpetrated in such a way that the ex N used my prior hurts and sexual abuse when I was younger to bring me so far into his dark world that without the Lord, I wouldn't have escaped with my life. Got me so far as to transgress my own moral boundaries. This post hit home so much. It wasn't about the sexual immorality for him as much as he got off on the control and what he could make me do. I have established NC and will keep it that way. I have cut off the evil and now I am working with the Lord to gain back the parts of my soul I have lost. I can honestly say that I am getting better everyday. I am glad I found this website. I thank God for the places I can go and learn from other people's wisdom. I know that in time I will tell my story. This is how it works, you help others by living in the light and exposing evil for what it is.....

Maggie Moreau said...

There's a chilling example of this in the movie "Wait Unil Dark". Brief synopsis- Audrey Hepburn plays a recently blinded woman who is targeted by 3 con artists who are after a doll filled with heroin. Neither her nor her husband know the doll was filled with heroin, but she soon figures ou that the con is a con. Two of the con artists are greedy but still have a conscience and are only after the doll and have no ill will toward Susie (Hepburn's character). Alan Arkin plays the third con man, and he fits the bill for a sociopath to a T. He spends the last part of the movie psychologically torturing Susie into giving up the doll.

Finally, she cracks and says "All right, I'll give you the doll!"

Arkin pauses and says "Say 'Please, may I give you the doll." That moment was worse than the famous "jump scare", because he didn't give two figs about the doll, but he was completely interested in her compliance.