Monday, April 30, 2007

A Postscript on the Last Post

Perhaps you found yourself wondering after reading the last post, "Why did the mother go back and look again for the record?" It seems like a reasonable thing to do. Reasonable and narcissist aren't usually the words we use in the same sentence to describe something about narcissists.

I've had the same question. Of course, I don't have a definitive answer because my mother never talked about this event with me, but I do have a very good explanation. Knowing my mother as I do I realize now that even though I was infuriating her with my insistence on my innocence, that very insistence was disconcerting to her. She had ramped up the rage to terrifying levels and still wasn't able to get me to say what she wanted me to say. My general overall nature as a child was compliant. Fear tactics were consistently quite effective on me. So, I am convinced that my willingness to stick to my guns even as she kept ramping up the rage finally to the point of openly wishing she could kill me...and seeing me crumble into sadness yet still insist on my innocence; it broke through her narcissistic defenses and forced her to reconsider the possibility that I was telling the truth. I am convinced this is the reason she did what a reasonable person would do...go back and look.

Another thing. My mother was around 30 years of age. She was not the hardened narcissist she became later, though she was well on her way. There was still some modicum of hope for her back then. She could be cruel to her children, but she could have been much more cruel than she was. Something held her back. She still had some idea of what reality was. Back then she was still able to see herself as others might see her which kept her from overt manifestations of abuse, both physical and psychological. The person she was most interested in seeing her as being June Cleaver was my father. (As disengaged and lousy as he was as a father, I have been grateful for his presence in the family. Just by being there he provided some protection for his children. Had they divorced I know my life would have been much, much worse.) Anything she did to me or my sister could not leave outward marks. She did physically abuse us, but she was careful to do so in a way that wouldn't be obvious. Mostly, the physical abuse was accompanied by overwhelming psychological abuse. Just enough of the physical to convince us she was capable of doing worse. At that time, her children were the only ones who saw the seething violence just under the surface. But because she could hide it from my dad and others she could pretend it didn't exist. To this day, only children and two elderly family members have seen the violent rage of my mother. She consistently saves it for the helpless and voiceless. Cowardly bitch.


Portfolio Living said...

Brilliant. Brilliant.
I put a link from my own blog to yours. Of the 50+ posts I've made to it, by far the largest post is that of my recovery from having a narcissist boss. It is amazing to me how similar your experiences with your mother were to mine with my boss.
I've been adding and adding to it for weeks as memories surface.
I love your description of it as emotional vampire.
Thanks for putting the work into making it a very readable and supportive blog for all of us out here reading it.

Anna Valerious said...

Thank you, Liam, for your comments and for linking to my blog. I'll be checking out your blog soon to read about your narcissist boss. Narcissists are as diverse as the circumstances you find them in...yet they are all the same in principle. They seem to have all been churned out of some evil cloning project.