Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Decision Time

If your desire is to live in something resembling the Healthy Family model as outlined in the last post then you are forced to make some decisions. If the dynamics of your family of origin more resemble the Mob Family model you are going to have to recognize the Mob Family will never become the Healthy Family as long as the narcissist is allowed by other family members to maintain their tyrannical rule over them. If you decide to keep the Mob Boss, i.e., the narcissist, in your family then you are deciding to maintain the structure of the Mob Family. You have the right and even the obligation before God and your fellow human beings to fight for the Healthy Family. This means you have to remove the unrepentant and recalcitrant evil doers from your "community" if there is to exist a Healthy Family. You can't have everything in this life. You have to make choices. If you want a healthy environment for yourself and your own family you are not going to be able to operate by Mob Family rules. You are certainly not going to achieve a healthy family if you keep the Mob Boss around.

People agonize over the rightness or wrongness of keeping the destructive and tyrannical narcissist in their family. What you really need to focus on is what kind of family structure are you trying to create for yourself? Are you wanting to live in the Healthy Family model or the Mob Family? This is the decision you face. You can not live in both. Since you are one human being, you have to make a choice as to where you want to live. You can't bi-locate. Neither can your mind. What nobility is there in keeping yourself bound by the laws of the jungle where "might makes right" which the Mob Family model demands? Loyalty to family at the cost of integrity, principle, freedom and human worth does not sanctify your loyalty. Loyalty to principle not personality is what leads to nobility of purpose and character.

The moment you decide to not play by the rules of the Mob Family someone is going to take a "contract" out on your head. You are in a war whether or not you are willing to admit it. The Mob Family can not tolerate someone who decides to get out. So if you are a pacifist, you are sunk. Signs that you are a pacifist would be if you worry about hurting the narcissist's feelings, you feel guilty for standing up for your right to make your own decisions, you think you just haven't found the right way to say things so as to convince the Mob Boss that their behaviors are not acceptable, you feel that family is everything so it would be wrong for you to do anything which would end up with you cutting off from family, or you are afraid to protect your own children by withholding them from contact from destructive family members because, after all, isn't family everything? If you hold onto these rationalizations you are destined to stay enmeshed with the narcissist's twisted family dynamics. The war is as good as over. You lose.

If you are someone who is willing to fight, but only to a certain point, then you aren't in this to win and you're screwed too. You have to be willing to take it all the way or you may as well save yourself the headache and not fight at all. If you don't have more determination than the narcissist does, then you may as well just roll over now and offer up your tender underbelly.

As noted in my last post, when there was "war in heaven", the end result was that the rebels were "cast out". So if you're looking for the objective of war with the narcissist in your life, this would be a good one to use. The objective: cast out the narcissist. Don't bother to stand up to the narcissist and their Mob Family unless you're willing to take it all the way. By that, I'm not saying you will absolutely have to end up cutting off the narcissist from all contact with you. It may not need to go that far depending on you and your ability to deal with them. Some people have the emotional strength to continue some minimal contact with the narcissist, but it is never without cost. You have to be willing to put up with a certain amount of pain and chaos if you decide to maintain any contact with the narcissist. I'm talking about a mindset. Having the mindset that you are no longer going to play by any of the narcissist/Mob family rules ever again is the only way to successfully engage in this war.

The narcissist is naturally fearful of a person they can't control. If you decide to live by a different set of rules and values, the narcissist may think you are asserting your "right" to the Mob Boss position of the family. Or, if we look at this in terms of the social structure of pack animals (like dogs), you will be perceived as going for the Alpha position. Depending on the type of narcissist you're dealing with, they may even grant you that position and start looking like they are a milder and gentler version of themselves. This is a ruse designed to buy them the time to reassert their dominance. Hopefully, you have the moral character to not be seduced by this apparent new position of dominance in the family because that would mean you are still playing the Mob Family rules and haven't done anything but beat the narcissist at their own game...for the time being. So, don't engage in this "war" unless you are able to resist being seduced back into their Mob Family when you suddenly find the narcissist cowering before you. Some people are not really willing to walk away from the Mob Family model when what they really want is to be the one on top. If that is you, then you're really not much different than the narcissist is since you're aspiring to be in his or her place.

The narcissist lives by rules and codes that are antithetical in every way to a healthy family dynamic. If you desire to have a healthy family you have to choose between the narcissist and your hope for something better. If you want something'll require you armor up and engage in moral warfare. The narcissist refuses to live in the Healthy Family. So you have decide which you want more. You can't have both.


Anonymous said...

Holy scramboli! You've got it right. Mob Boss is exactly what goes on. They're not family; they're "The Family".

I'm speaking as one who has a "hit" out on me now.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting this blog on the Web. I found it after searching for "beating a narcissist at his own game". I have had to hire an international legal team to manage my narcissist. He was a client, and then one day, he expressed his undying love for me (!). I was put off, and told him so and he reacted quite violently. He said I was trying to dishonour him and that he would kill himself because he was so upset. Then, I broke off our professional relationship. To prove that he was right (and sincere) he sent me the personal information of his former wives/lovers, including their written correspondence. When I told him I had destroyed them and asked him to stop, he accused me of distributing the abovementioned personal information to third parties, and said he was going to forward MY personal information to his former women!! I immediately got a lawyer as he was suggesting that if I didn't get involved with him, he was going to destroy my professional integrity, by accusing me of being untrustworthy! I thought that if I had some legal protection, he would divert his attention elsewhere. I was wrong, as this has made him more determined. He has no fear! He ignores the legal restraints placed on him, waits and then starts calling me on the the telephone repeatedly day after day. We don't even live on the same continent, but calling is not costing him anything, because I never answer. He is clever enough not to put anything in writing, so that I can't forward it to my attorneys, but he's so stupid he doesn't realise that I have phone logs to prove the harassment. He seems not to fear being taken to court. My lawyers brought criminal action against him but he offered to reimburse me for the worries because he thought I was after his money. Imagine that, I was suing him to leave me alone!!! He apparently thinks he can pay to do whatever he pleases with me. According to him, all of his former women wanted to be paid for "cocking" for him. In other words, all prostitutes. This guy is pathalogical, and I know that one day he will stop, because he will cross the wrong person. Please keep writing your blog. We need to stick together and fight back, somehow. Exposure is the greatest threat.

Anna Valerious said...

anonymous @ 5:20 a.m.--

It sounds like you have a narcissistic sociopath/psychopath that you are dealing with! I hope you can rid yourself of him completely and soon. Please do write again when you are able to shake free of him. I'm so sorry to hear your story. You've been put through hell simply because this sociopath decided to target you for destruction. Good for you for taking smart steps to protect yourself. I wish you the best.

Anonymous said...

hello! Thank you so much for your clear strategy. According to all that i've read so far, i'm your classic co-dependent (stands up and waves).

i've been seeing someone with NPD for the past year and a half (on and off, guised as what i assumed was a simple, progressive "open relationship"). turns out it's actually open so he can retain his sense of entitlement over what he does with his very private and customized set of morals...he's told me, with what appears to be shame, that he cannot give me the love he knows i seek--that there's a "limit," and that if i seek intimacy, i'm not a sure bet. He told me that. Now, that doesn't seem much like the act of a give away his weak points? To tell me upfront to leave him? Well. That's what I thought. He is so so so charming and clever, he realized that actually admitting his vulnerability, despite what disorder he may have been diagnosed with, he knew that telling me, someone whose disorder is that i can't NOT empathize, with ANYONE, at any expense to myself, would aid in his goal: to sustain a source of admiration.

Ego aside (is that even possible? to speak objectively? what the hell is objective, seems like all humans are are vessels for very cunningly disguised disorders)...doesn't it seem a little paranoid of me? I don't want to be paranoid! I don't want to imagine the world teeming with Mob Scenes...

and I have such a difficult time understanding how its possible that we, who understand what they're going through, can drop them, knowing that all they're out to do is abuse us. how can we, when we know that the REASON for their tormenting narcissism was that their own guardians did not provide them the love they needed to develop their own sense of self-worth??

is it possible to obtain your own sense of self-worth (without having to rely on outside approval, which is what a narcissist does)at 27 years of age?
i have so much hope...and, as a principle, i believe the only certain thing is change.

did your father (was it your father?) pass on the disorder to you? it doesn't seem like it, because you're kind to encourage us codependents to take control over the decision of with which type of "family" would want to live (mob or healthy). if he didn't, how did you manage to escape it? and do you believe someone with NPD can come out of it? and how?

Anonymous said...

Love this site, being the daughter of a narcissistic mother and having endured many years of psychological abuse. Thank you for your level headed advice. I have been learning to break free of the feelings of guilt of not knuckling under, as well as the dynamics of the Mob family. It is a sad thing to watch everyone knuckling under just to keep the peace, which is always just temporary.

Anonymous said...

I'm in battle with the Mob Boss as we speak. Thank you, thank you, thank you! It's helping me to keep on in the fight. These people are something else aren't they?

Many Blessings,

KirstenK said...

My Husband pointed me to your blog and I must say, it has helped me so much more than years of therapy have. The way you clearly state exactly what is going on with these people (MNs)in their heads has cleared up years of thinking, "I know SOMETHING is wrong, I just can't figure out what it is."
Both of my parents are MNs, Father being the Mob Boss and Mother second in reign. That is, until they separated when I was 16. Then I had two mob bosses, Mother and Father. I was physically tortured by my Father. Mentally by both. I am now 33 and am finally figuring out that I don't have to play their game anymore. It is so liberating and wonderful when that enlightenment comes along....finally. I am still fearful when I stand up for myself but am coming around.
Thank you for your blogs, you have helped me so much as well as many, many others.

WarriorMOMMY said...

Thank you so much for this blog. I am engaged in warfare with the mob boss (my mother) as we speak. Although the complete separation from the mob family has been heartbreaking, I know it is for the best and I find some comfort in that fact. My most difficult hang-up that threatens my new healthy family is that I have a 4-month-old and am pregnant, also with 2 step-daughters as well. I know that raising them in a healthy family is paramount and needs to trump any guilt I feel at cutting out the cancer that is my mother.

Thank you for your contribution and support to all of us warriors out here.

Hayley said...

"If you decide to live by a different set of rules and values, the narcissist may think you are asserting your "right" to the Mob Boss position of the family. Or, if we look at this in terms of the social structure of pack animals (like dogs), you will be perceived as going for the Alpha position."

This made me laugh. One day, when I was tidying the dining room, rearranging the little curios to be "helpful", my N-mom stormed in and seethed, "There's only room for ONE Alpha Female in this house!"

I can't remember exactly what transpired after that. Stunned silence on my part, no doubt. I had been, as usual, doing everything and anything to make my Mom happy with me. Looking back years and years later, though, it just makes me smile. :) Thanks Mom for making your condition so OBVIOUS to me... and of course thanks to Anna for typing up what my Mom was thinking so that I could understand it!

Anna, I've been reading your blog, clinging to it for dear life, for the better part of the past year. Note to others: INTERVIEW and SHOP AROUND for a good mental health professional! I once had one in high school that sided with N-Mom (this set me back decades...). A good therapist (or registered psychologist - go for the big guns!) is FUNDAMENTAL in your recovery. Don't short-change yourself - get GOOD, COMPETENT support!

Anna Valerious said...

Thanks for the interesting anecdote, Hayley. Almost makes me look like a mind reader. Heh.

I'm glad you could avail yourself of good help. It is imperative to find a professional who understands NPD. Not all do.

All the best to you, Hayley.

istjkl said...

Last year I ended a 7 yr friendship with a LPC
In the beginning sHe was visiting my church and asKed what I thought of worship service. I replied that it would be nice to sing a hymn once in a while. She said that God doesn't use hymns anymore. Sounds omniscient, huh?
At the time I was divorcing my borderline husband so I ignored her comment.

During the last 2-3 years her statements and behavior kept getting more odd.
It was difficult for me to relate to her as she kept fishing for compliments and speaking Christianese from TBN...She said that narcissists are men and borderlines are women-
Either she was covering up her own disorder or her education is way out of date.

Lots of great websites on the Internet-such as Out of the Fog-but this website has been the most helpful for me going NC with my N sister and reduced contact with N mother
developing dementia.

Recently I shared this website with a friend at work whose borderline sister is using her grand child to manipulate the entire family.

Thank you so much Anna for having the courage to express yourself in such an honest and forthright manner. You are setting a good example for me to follow!