This is from the comments section written by a reader of this blog. I am posting it on the front page as a "review" of the content of this blog for those who are new here. What can you learn if you dive into the blog's archives? Here is one reader's description of what they've learned. I have taken the liberty of spelling out the abbreviations [in brackets] for the benefit of those not familiar with the vernacular. Otherwise the comment appears in its original form. Thanks, again, Another Anonymous, for taking the time to describe what you've learned here. God bless.
Invaluable things I've learned here:
I found your blog when I was searching for info on dealing with trouble I was having with some people in my life. At the time, I thought I knew pretty much about N's (I had a 'classic' NM [narcissist mother], and N-ex [narcissist ex-spouse], I had already read many books on the topic). The only problem, I thought N's were pretty rare. That was the impression I had gotten.
The big picture really eluded me until I came here. For instance, it NEVER occurred to me that there might be more N's in my FOO [family of origin], despite my difficulty with them, or amongst the people I had thought of as "difficult" friends, past and present. Or, why, as an acon [adult child of a narcissist], I might have had so many "difficult" friends in the first place! Nothing I read in other places gave me quite the understanding about how N's are attracted to "primed" victims, and how they carefully avoid people raised with healthy boundaries. They do not randomly strike. And I had no idea that they often occur in multiples in families, over generations, centered around each generation's designated supply/human sacrifices.
I began to understand how I had been thoroughly and unwittingly trained to act in a way that made me basically the "perfect friend" to the personality disordered. This gave me a new lens through which to view many events and incidents from the past which had long puzzled me and that I had often replayed again and again in mind with no resolution. Now, they made "sense". I always wondered why some friendships I had were so "easy"! Now I knew those were simply the friendships I had with normal people. What seemed to be as "easy" or unusually "low maintenance", was actually JUST NORMAL. THAT IS ALL. Long accustomed to around-the-clock drama from others, I had no idea.
And importantly, how UNCANNILY SIMILAR experiences with N's really were, down to the most bizarre sounding incidents! (bathroom barging N's anyone?) The baffling and powerful N's became demystified. Now I see them as fear-driven caricatures, all with pretty much the same bags of tricks. Same shit, different smell. I am no longer impressed.
Your blog also put into perspective the many "frieNdships" that I had had in the past that I had long felt confused guilt and shame over ending. The more the puzzle pieces fell into place, I realized I had indeed been cutting out N's who had been attracted to me mainly as pre-trained NS [narcissist supply]. Thank you, no more guilt or confusion over having had been able to make healthy decisions about parasitical people in my life.
Another thing that helped tremendously has been being able to make the clear distinction between an "enabler" and a deceived victim. Boy was I sick of books that quietly (or not) suggested there was something wrong with ME (i.e. "co-dependent") simply because I was once brainwashed into going through life experiencing N ABUSE AS NORMAL. Others calling us co-dependant is wrong and insulting. Believe me, the moment I knew what was what - I ESCAPED TOO! I was just one of many people trapped by the lies of N's who simply need nothing more then CLEAR INFORMATION to order make the choice to leave! That is NOT "co-dependent", that is a hostage trapped by lies. Thank you for putting clear no-nonsense info out for the public.
I have appreciated and respected perhaps most of all your unswerving "take no prisoners" stance, as well as your unstinting use of the taboo word "evil", due to the premeditation, strategizing, and post-abuse covering up that N's do. Thank you. Whenever I felt re-swayed by the lure of the N koolaid, and the very natural desire to want it all to be some kind of bad dream I could wake up from, I could get a REAL wake up call here. The kind of wake up I really needed:
Covert MN [malignant narcissist] abuse is NOT a bad dream, it is real. But we CAN "wake up" from it, but only in one way: by seeing it for what it REALLY is, and seeing them for who they really are. Not appealing, not easy, and most certainly not what "they" want. It is the hard road. The bad dream we lived is THEIR world of lies, but we have the option to wake up to OUR OWN TRUTH: the world of truth inside us that can never be destroyed by others, only obscured. It is awakened by outside knowledge.
Thank you Anna, for more then I can write here. For passing on your truth, so we could wake ourselves up out of this nightmare into the world of our own possibility. Knowledge is truly power, and knowledge strips the power from deceivers.
And a thank you to all the amazing commenters! I have never ceased being amazed by the uncanny similarities, it proves the N's are not the unique people they think... It has helped me so much in so many ways.
Good luck to you Anna, and everyone else here too!
Saturday, April 11, 2009
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Today was the truest & most authentic proof of all the good your blog has afforded me personally over these past 2 years.
I've shared being under siege by my NFOO-especially over the past year, & most recently w/ them gearing up for "impeachment" of my advanced directives given me by our parents-thru a court battle they are willing to forge against me, dragging us all,including our elderly frail parents,thru the mud.
Today, I sat in Easter Sunday Mass
with my husband & children, completely at peace with knowing it is THEY that are insane, & I am doing the SANE thing by being No Contact with them. They are a predatory mob scene-willing to "kill" me for their form of "justice". I feel no compuncture to fight them, as I will not give them any validity, nor any more of my life, or that of my family. It is my final act of protecting our parents,as I have done almost single handedly,for the past few years.
All of this I came to understand through your blog, Anna. Through your "inviting us into your livingroom". Since your allowing us to share our experiences, strength & wisdom with each other, with you ever at the helm.
I promised last week, when you announced your moving on to new pursuits, to pray for each & every person on your comment section, which I did. I prayed in church for ALL the souls tortured & abused by N's. And I received Holy Communion on Easter, the MOST special sacramental grace I can receive--in prayer for you Anna, & your family, your husband & your daughter. With gratitude always, for you giving my life back to me, even as these monsters seek to tear me apart. Thank you, darling Anna, thank you.
I will leave you with the quote of the week, that was coined by my ONLY darling sibling out of 13, that has been on this same journey with me, of caring for our parents, & is the other focus of the bullying, as this sib is the other advanced directive from our parents:
(As the NSibs attacking us STILL end their voice mails to us with the bizzare "I love you"):
"We LOVE you. You're FAMILY. Until we turn around & shoot you DEAD."
LOL! That about sums it up!
Love & Blessings to All,
"you've been created to answer the call"
'Let It All Go'
Thank you Anna for all your efforts to help those of us afflicted with the same problems of dealing with evil narcissists. You have done a tremendous job to not only educate, but allow others to vent and realize that they are not alone in their situation. I don't know what your next calling will be, but I know you will find fullfillment and success in it. I wish you all the best.
Wow, thank you "Anonymous". You summed it up so well. I too have been enlightened over the past 2.5 years about all that is entailed with a NPD or a sociopathic person. With all the research I have done, I feel as though I should have a PHd on the topic. No matter how much reading I have done, it never ceases to amaze me how many "angles" I hadn't thought of that cause yet again another "aha" moment.
I am the daughter of a father who is a cerebral narcissist. I was terrified of him my whole life. It has only been over the past 2.5 years that I have learned what was wrong with him. The profound affect that he had on my life I cannot even begin to describe. The "old tapes" of his ridicule and extreme emotional and physical abuse never seem to completely go away, however, I am utilizing techniques that seem to drown out these tapes which has vastly improved my thinking and outlook on life that was very defeated. At the age of 47, I am finally finding out who I truly am and am letting go of the "false" self that was created to please and attain the love of a person completely incapable of loving another human being, including himself.
I have been estranged from my family for 3 years. The longer I stay away, the more epiphanies that I have with regard to all the members of my family. I believe that my mother has strong narcissistic tendencies mixed in with a strong dependent personality disorder. She has always stood behind her men, regardless of how abusive they were to her children. It is a truly devastating place to be for a child because they literally have no one to protect them. They truly are alone in the world and what makes it so sad is that it is unable to be recognized by the outside world, leaving essentially no hope for the child. To the outside world it appears that the child has a loving family. If only people knew what a truly tortured life the child is living.
Thank you "Anonymous" for a wonderful post and thank you Anna for being such a strong voice of information for the public. I know that it is not easy to have such a voice when you are dealing with something that can be so stealth and can turn on a dime. Narcissism, in my book is true evil. It takes major guts to stand up to evil. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Thanks a million, Anna, and thank you, Annonymous, for your words of wisdom and for changing my life. Anna, you have helped me more than you can ever know. I find words hard to come by to express my sincere appreciation.
There is really nothing else out there that is so helpful and healing to us acons as your blog. You say it like it is...no garbage and we acons have lived with so much garbage. It has led me to realize what I have lived and to get far away from it in order to thrive. It hasn't been easy (to say the least and I have faltered at times due to extreme pressures from children and a dying MN mother who is not dying so fast!) but I know what I must do to get back on track. No contact...so important for our healing. I have learned that I have that right, the right to peace and happiness. But it is a struggle...a very deep, personal struggle. I have to remind myself constantly that I was used, not loved. And I also feel hated by my own mother. Yes, hatred is a big one. They actually hate the kind and compassionate...the good souls. And that keeps me going. I see it so clearly, now. It's not the normal way of life to stay away from a dying mother; but for us acons it's the only way if we want to be sane. Let the other people she has managed to fool take care of her. It's all quite sad, though. It doesn't seem to make any sense. I stay away from her; but my sons don't. And my FOO are there by her side. Crazy stuff.
I feel I'm the only one out of my FOO and my own family that really understand who my MN mother really is. And she is not "pretty." What a wonderful actress she is mouthing "I love you" to those around her. What a lie! What a terrible lie. And I am finally aware of the lie.
And as each day goes by, I realize more and more. It's like my life is passing before me and in a way, it is.
I wish you all the best, Anna, and fellow acons. We all deserve a life of peace, health and happiness. Let's all work towards those goals. And let's be sure to get the "vermin" out of our lives.
Bless you, Anna. I wish you all the best that life has to offer and I will surely miss you. (I will always check your blog for more goodies and reread past posts from time to time!) I feel somewhat better that you will still blog ocassionaly and that you are available through your e-mail. I am sad to see you go but happy for you and your new endevours. You are a role model..we must graduate and go on to better things.
Be well and thrive, Anna, and all you fellow bloggers. We have shared so much. And we are not alone.
Excellent review. Indeed, MNs seem to be able to only use the same bag of tricks on everyone. It is no wonder that those who have lived healthy lives can identify and shun them away. Perhaps the best testament to ACONs normalcy is the fact that when they manage to get "untrained" as N-supply, they have no problem abandoning MNs. In fact, this can be recognized as a survival mechanism. Yes, reading comments by fellow ACONs, makes you realize how "uncannily similar" are the experiences with MNs ... right down to bathroom barging! Me too, no longer impressed.
"Nothing I read in other places gave me quite the understanding about how N's are attracted to "primed" victims, and how they carefully avoid people with healthy boundries, they do not randomly strike!"
Well said anonymous.
It reminds me of how my MN mother and MN sister and MN Father would say, "Why do these things (bad) always happen to you?!" Even before I had this information I knew it was because they had brainwashed me into going through life experiencing their behavior and abuse a normal!!
And "the use of word "evil" due to the premidation, strategizing, and post-abuse cover up that N's do" is tame as far as I'm concerned.
Thank you Anna,
for demasking these evil people so that we all can see what they are.
Unlike the image of themselves they very skillfully try to create, it's a disgusting sight.
Your work is truly unique because you are able to bring the truth out in the open and remove the confusion. Thanks to you, I'm able to know that what I feel is right actually is right.
"I'm able to know that what I feel is right actually is right"
Enrique, well said.
That's something that No Contact has given me, that no other strategy offers, in my experience. The more time I've gotten to live in my own reality, the more centered and balanced and healthy my thought processes have become. When you separate yourself, physically and emotionally, from their skewed N reality, over time you begin to feel tenderness and the possibility of sweetness again (it's been that way for me, at least).
The constant, nagging, glaring self-doubts and questioning, "is this normal, is this right? Is this what other individuals/families are like?" begin to be replaced, over time, with calm. You begin to have normalized expectations - of yourself, and of others - that are no longer hypervigilant or based on that drive to over-compensate.
That's when you know you're making progress. That's when the peace begins to overtake the chaos - in our own minds even. It's not just an external fight, because they've gotten into our heads. When you can start to conquer those inner struggles - demons - whatever you want to call them, that's very significant.
I appreciate Anna's urging to (paraphrasing here) invest time in healthy people and pursuits that are apart from our history with the Ns we've had in our lives. The No Contact gift is the time and opportunity to know our own unique and extraordinary selves.
It's a daily choice for me - to choose to see myself for what I am, both in SPITE of and BECAUSE of, the N's and enablers' influences on me. I still appreciate the old tag line, "no life is ever a complete failure, it can always serve as a bad example" because I know that, as a parent, friend, wife, and all the various roles I have, I'm so much better equipped, so much more aware, of how NOT to be!
I look back over the past two years of my life, and what I've gained from reading this blog, and I'm humbled and amazed at what layers of depth and understanding I've been allowed to experience through the awful realization of what kind of parents I had.
Thanks to Anna and everyone who has ever commented here, I've been able to get such encouragement and at least the beginnings of wisdom. Without this blog, I'd probably still be turning in circles inside and out, wondering why I'm the square peg in the round hole of an unforgiving world that will never understand me. This blog has changed my life. By changing MY life, it will also touch my children's lives and for that, it is a break in the cycle of hurt and confusion. I'm so thankful, Anna, and appreciate so much the sacrifice of time and effort that has gone into this blog. You'll probably never know how many people whose lives you've touched (and truly transformed) by the gift of your insight.
The morning I read your last post about life being short and you're moving on, it was confirmation that I, too, have felt those stirrings in the past few months and now that I've gorged myself literally on all of the food for thought contained in the archives here, I'm ready to put all of this in perspective and get on with the rest of my life without the dreadful baggage!!!
Words can't express my gratitude, so I'm just going to commit to living in the peace of No Contact. Joy is a very real possibility. I never really got that before.
I wish you all the best, Anna! I'm eternally grateful for you,
I've been here over an hour this morning, Mother's Day 2009, reading in the Mother's Day section -- Thank you so much, Anna!! This site has been such a revelation and source of support for me (NC since Feb.)
Without you, and a handful of others like Kathy Krajco, Joanna Ashmun, and Sam Vaknin, it would never have occurred to me that I had the "right" to reclaim my life and free myself from tyranny and abuse. It seems like many N's children had their sense of self worth and basic human rights and dignity ignored and trampled on from such a young age - well, it's so difficult to find the courage to claim what's rightfully yours - your own right to peace and the pursuit of happiness. Well, I don't know how to put it and could go on all day, but I'll just say --
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to you, for the selfless love you've shown by doing and maintaining this blog! You've helped so many people with this website - and continue to do so, every day!
Thank you, Grizelda, for your comment and compliment. I'm really glad to know you've found the Mother's Day section a good place to hang out on this High Worshipful Day of mothers. Happy Mother's Day to you and all the other GOOD mothers out there. Narcissist moms can rot in hell.
It's late and I may make a decision tomorrow but will check back, just in case -- my mother called and left a message saying Happy Mother's Day, that she loved me, and wished I had been at lunch (hubby & my sons took her out) -- I wrote a letter in Feb asking for these limits and she threw a massive hissy fit - manufactured a health crisis - demanded some money back she gave us when my stepfather died (and hubby was THERE And knows it was meant to be a gift and it was all I got from him and was 1/20th of what she got but anyway.) I think I remember reading that it was a good idea to get people's input before writing, so here it is:
"I appreciate your friendly message on Mother's Day – thank you! And I hope you had a happy day, as well. I'm sorry but I'm just not ready to handle this situation in a phone call or visit. I'm still trying to work through it. I know it's rude and I'm sorry about that, but I'm very fragile right now.
There has to be a change in the “power ratios” of our relationship. I feel that you have often bullied me and won't take 'no' for an answer to any request without a fight or a tantrum, and I just can't handle the stress of it. I don't feel that I should have to do everything I'm ordered to do – or that I should have to argue to defend my right to disagree with you.
I think I was on the right track in demanding “limits” and “boundaries” - and to establish clear calm ways of deciding what I am willing to do without having to fight about it. It's what I've learned in talking to the psychologist, reading many books and online advice.
Why isn't it enough? You told [my husband] you thought I'd be upset if [my son] did such a thing to me. I promise you I WOULDN'T. I would immediately be willing to consider that I had been unreasonable, had hurt and upset him, and I would be anxious to make his life better. I'd be hopeful that he would still be willing to let me be a part of his life, on HIS terms, whatever they were.
This is just what I need, for the sake of my health and my stress level – I need a feeling of control over my life – and I believe I deserve to have that. And so, before we move forward in any way, I need you to tell me if you're willing to go along with:
One get-together a month, at my house.
And one other thing per month, that you ask for at least a day ahead – a restaurant dinner, a chauffeuring to something, a concert, whatever -- that I have time to consider over night – and get back to you the next day with my decision, which might include an alternative suggestion or even a refusal.
I have hardly any energy, and I think this amount is about right for me to maintain my health and peace of mind. I also can't handle confrontations or having to make on-the-spot decisions – I panic, get upset, spend sleepless nights afterwards, etc.
Maybe we can resume a relationship, IF the stress can be reduced, and it just can't be reduced if I don't have a sense of CONTROL over my life.
Do take care – I wish you well – and I look forward to hearing your response."
It's a nice letter. Likely, too nice. I suspect you will greatly regret breaking no contact and opening the door to your mother again. She is highly unlikely to respect your rules. She may pretend to for a time, but I've never heard of a true malignant narcissist hanging in for very long with any boundaries or rules set for them.
I don't know where you're at on your journey toward freedom, so I recognize it very well may be important that you send this letter. It may be a necessary step in learning just exactly what you're dealing with. I have no doubt that if you send her this letter you will learn more things about her and about yourself. Those things you learn will be important for informing you as to your next step. So, in the end, it is truly your decision to make. I wish you the best.
Oh thanks so much, Anna! I've at least come to the point where I'm less panicked. I have a glimmer of recognition that this feeling I must must must rush and answer is like the WHOLE problem, in a nutshell. I certainly don't HAVE to rush before I've thought it through -- and you're right, I don't have to respond at all. I'm sure EVERYBODY who goes NC faces efforts from their N's to get their Narcissistic Supply back. This was to be expected - hell, it's overdue!
And I already wrote virtually the SAME letter and she threw the biggest hissy fit EVER and got really nasty -- manufactured a health crisis, demanded gifts back from the past, reminded my husband how perfect she'd been to me, how much she'd sacrificed, etc., all the while ranting about how horrible and unfair I was being. I mean this just happened in February!! And she NEVER responded directly to my actual issue (or admitted it) -- she uses rage to control me and has since I was a baby!
Yet here I am, feeling sheepish and guilty, and about to open the door with scarcely a couple hours forethought. First, I'm just going to SLOW DOWN. And your encouragement and advice is EXACTLY the balm I need to help me through the first throes of being "a bad girl." Mercy, I think it's really dawned on me how far I have to go.
I did try counseling though - and in my case, the inept (imo) counselor tried to turn it all on me. Her only comment about my mom was, well, you can't change her, you've just got to accept her, so let's see how we can teach you some relaxation techniques so you can force yourself through dealing with her (my duty, apparently) without getting upset.
Henceforth, we weren't to talk about my mother - and heaven's I had NO RIGHT to ever use any labels - that's the right of only "trained psychologists" - I'm just an idiot and mustn't think that way. No, the problem was ME and only ME -- I had Avoidant Personality Disorder (well, duh!) -- I "might" have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (well, double duh!) Who the hell wouldn't? I told her myself the first damned session that I thought I had AvPD and extreme anxiety - and three weeks later, she acts like it's this great revelation because I answered some 600 question stupid multiple choice test - "I'd rather go to a party than read quietly at home" agree strongly, disagree, etc -- hours of that nonsense. Hell, just ask me... but I've digressed on a rant.
But really, uh, maybe, just MAYBE the problem is the one who CAUSED those things, ya think? (well, that was rhetorical and I wasn't directing it at you, but in my mind, to HER. But no, she didn't think that was the problem -- it was *I* who was just inadequate -- just like dear old mom has always said. Good grief!
Anyway, after a few weeks of that, I realized I had a new problem instead of help with an old one. But YOU on the other hand (and Joanna and Kathy) are like my triumvirate of saviors!! I feel like Einstein might have if he really had succeeded in finding the "unified theory" for everything.
Now I just need to buck up and develop some courage, for the first time in my pathetic life. Here's hoping :) And I bought some books about "relaxation techniques" that my psych was gonna work on me with - I think I can do just as well reading the books (actually, I imagine MUCH better because that therapy was really just adding extra stress because she wanted to take everything over and stop letting me have a voice - sound familiar?)
First, I have to say, your therapist gives me the creeps. Bad baggage. I hope you've cut off that problem entirely.
You are absolutely right in your understanding that there is no need to rush. In fact, if you feel rushed it is a sign that you need to stop, take a breath, and think it through some more.
I will say now what I held back on saying earlier today: you hand much ammunition over to your mother with the letter you wrote and shared here. You show vulnerability which is a real problem when dealing with a narcissist. Phrases like, "I know it's rude and I'm sorry about that, but I'm very fragile right now" is cannon fodder for her to throw at you. "I know it's rude" tells her that you condemn yourself for the no contact. "I'm fragile right now" indicates you are emotionally weak where she is concerned which is like a red cape held up to a matador...charge. She will see that as blood in the water.
There is much more I could point out but I think you get the point. This letter would be like chum in the water and would definitely attract the shark. Which would have been one of those lessons I was referring to when I said you would learn from sending her that letter.
I wish all to hell that being utterly honest about our emotional state and showing vulnerability and fragility would result in drawing out the compassion of the narcissist...but it is simply never the case. It has the opposite effect. It encourages them to go in for the kill. That fact should make you stop and ponder. Do you really want any kind of relationship with someone who acts opposite to what a normal, decent person would do?
If you want to continue this conversation you are welcome to but it would probably be best if you did so through email. My email address is located on my profile on the blog.
& Grizelda, & anyone else still visiting Anna's blog. I'm glad I checked in, as I found new comments posted!
First off, Grizelda:
"the problem was ME and only ME -- I had Avoidant Personality Disorder (well, duh!) "
Laughing my butt off, girl! Like AVOIDING these MONSTERS is a BAD thing??!!! Glad you dumped that "professional".
Next, everything Anna said in her second response to you: WAY too much baring your soft neck for the vampire to sink its teeth into!
True, as Anna said, there are lessons we must learn the hard way. But if you can think it through & come to more self-protective conclusions, it keeps some of your blood within your veins where it belongs!
Update: Some of you may have witnessed my journey through this slop these past 3 years. The evil 13 Nsibs,blah blah blah.
Well, today I'm FREE!!!!
Why? Because they are OFICIALLY no longer creatures I must even pretend to myself are my FOO. They are now no more than "Petitioners".
The day before Mother's Day--under the "guise" of a nice little "Mothers Day Visit" (Yup-that's what they had the nerve to call it. IN writing). Several of them, complete with one from out-of-state, showed up at our parents' abode, to be present when the court jester arrived to drop a lawsuit on our parents. EVERY SINGLE name on the front, & notarized signature pages from all over the country ( & from one American Embassy outside the country). Bar one DSib, myself, & the other advanced directive DSib-the one who has stood by MY side working our tails off daily for our parents, for years.
All over the root of all evil:
LOVE OF $$$$$$$$
Yup. Asking the court for control over them, their assets, WHO cares for them, (Uhh...I'm assuming no longer KATRINA???), where they should live, power to SEPARATE them(though they're welded together after 60 yrs of marriage, & will DIE when separated), move them out of state, make gifts of all their estate BEFORE they die--as in RIGHT NOW, blah blah F-in blah...
So, after all these years of KNOWING they were insane & out to get me; having them play their mind games & act like I'M the insane PARANOID one--(Good thing I WAS paranoid--it was called SURVIVAL)--it's finally in black & white & wrapped in blue paper. All sorts of BS allegations. They STILL are playing the game that I SHOULD BE ASHAMED!!!!
Actually, outside of the heartbreak for my parents' agony, there is some good that's come of it so far....
I can forevermore say:
They WERE out to get me! I was right! I was right! I was right!
Eternally grateful to Anna. I could see where we've probably lost some of us to alchoholism, drug addiction, depression, & death at their own broken hands.
Stay strong, Fellow Soldiers.
Don't let them eat you!
I back on your blog 8 months later ready to accept more truth of this NPD bs. It is so amazing how when I am ready it is all so clear.
I am amazed I have come to the same exact conclusion about forgiveness about 3 months ago. I wrote a 2 page article on forgiveness being a transaction and I did not read that anywhere else. I concluded that forgiveness can only come upon the other helping mend the wound or us mending the wound in time on our own. It is very validating to read what you wrote and I am stunned how similar it is. I have went up and down the forgiveness agrument with the pop psychology.
That is the other thing is the battle against this 50cent psychology people love cuz its easy to get.
I also came to the conclusion my mother is clearly evil. I went through a phase of bs where everyting is relative and swung back around to evil vs good. I am erasing my last doubts about it and drawing the line in the sand deeper everyday. Thank you for validating this for me.
What has helped me most reading this time is the dissertation on your dad. I see now that my last doubts about evil is becasue I am giving my dad a pass cuz he has flashes of sanity. But its really the duty and keeping the peace. My mother and father dynamic so similar to yours. So so so similar. I can see more clearly now how my father is a total selfish prick that really gives no shit whatsoever. I forgive him and in turn I forgive a NPD men in my life. That is over.
Thank you very much for the inspiration on working on self respect and discipline and this being the way out. The self love theories have not been working for me exactly. And you are so right it is war. I have to be ready to win. I am going to win. I am so done with the evil in my life that infects me. It is war for me having a happy family one day. Thank you for making it so clear.
You are a brilliant writer!
Wow, Katrina - I'm so glad you can be HAPPY with your "proof" - just imagine if no valiant pioneers (some, martyrs no doubt) had gone before us to NAME this monstrous affliction for what it actually and precisely is! I'm stunned that people were so brilliant as to figure it out, down to the eensy weensy details! Never in a lifetime would I have nailed this - even a little bit.
I'll never forget the shock I got when I ran into the concept NPD. I was actually looking for info on another of my N-mom's issues - pathological levels of shopping and hoarding, which may have nothing at all to do with NPD, but it got me looking around and I accidentally found "The Answer" to everything pertaining to her EXCEPT the shopping/hoarding, lol.
I sure hope your legal issues work out ok. I can't imagine having to deal with a friggin' TEAM of N's banded together YIKES! (or even a couple, as some with two N parents have to deal.)
With me, it's an isolated individual - due to her own toxic behavior, but still, it sure makes it neater and easier to do what I feel I need to do -- without having to deal with a co-dependent parent or siblings who either just don't get it or who have the N plague themselves. My heart goes out to you - but I know it means a lot to have KNOWLEDGE of exactly what you're dealing with. Please make sure you've got yourself protected though, legally and otherwise!
I sent a different letter to my N-mom than I posted earlier - and I'm taking most of my mess to private email (thanks Anna and excellent advice it was!!) but I had the epiphany to put in the last version (that my husband and 20-y-o son helped me compose) that I don't want to talk to her on the phone anymore and won't answer it (the venue of many a tantrum, let me tell ya.)
I'm at a point where I need a little bit of contact, just to lead towards extracting myself, if nothing else -- and as Anna says, I know I'll learn a LOT about the "wrongness" of my not taking advantage of this chance to go totally scott-free -- however, guilt nightmares and my poor nuclear family still having to see her occasionally and, well, I've got to work through this in stages, I think. But I didn't promise ANYthing -- I just said I'd consider blah-blah IF there were no tantrums or bossiness, etc.
That alone will precipitate another tantrum, I know - but, well, it's done. Too much about me though, but thanks so much for sharing your story KATRINA, and also thanks for ever and ever for helping me out of this, more than any other human on earth, dear ANNA!
Good luck to all the poor victims who stumble upon this site to find THE FINAL ANSWER to their woes, most likely, if they take this wonderful blog to heart. Please let us know how things turn out Katrina - and everyone who's shared their struggles here. It's wonderful therapy for all the current strugglers!
Hi Dear Anna and Sisters and Brothers in the FOO Wars,
And Hi Grizelda- Hope you don't mind my two cents. I have to agree with Anna that your mother will probably NOT respect any "rules" or boundaries you set.
I, too, have a Mother's Day testimony. First a little background- when birth-mother died she left me ALL her jewelry, to be split with birth-sis. Psychodad emptied out a trust account my mother had for me, and I sued him and won. The jewelry was part of that proceeding. He came up with a couple of hundred pieces of costume jewelry and some small real pieces, which he had to have inventoried, pinned on black velvet, photographed, and appraised (cost him $8000- all because he couldn't just be honest) but he continued to insist that was all he had and he couldn't find her diamonds or any other pieces. I asked the court to make him do the inventory in case any missing pieces turned up later- then I could have whoever had them arrested for possession of stolen property. The court agreed. So he expected us to believe he sold his house with my mother's diamonds in it. Yeah, right.
The last time I communicated with him, several years ago after he found us again, I told him that my conditions for ever speaking to him again were an apology for all the things he had done, plus a guarantee there would be no more name-calling, voice raising, phones being slammed down, bribery, threats, disrespect, etc. He contacted me a couple of times after that but did not obey my conditions so I did not respond.
So now, 11 years after the court case, he sends me a box on Mother's Day with four pieces of the "missing" jewelry, including two pieces I bought for my mother and a pair of earrings I had custom made for her. He sends me MY OWN stolen property, with this note:
"I am in the process of clearing up MY possessions and distributing my possessions and assets to all whom I love and respect. You are considered #1. The enclosed item is just a token of the "goodies" that are available to those I love and respect. Let us make peace! NO Conditions! Call Me!"
So his "condition" for me getting MY OWN property back, is that I allow him back in my family's life with no conditions on HIM. Not happening. I won't even sue him because then he'll think his "goodies" mattered to me, and he'll win. Also, he'll get to see me again, and that's what he wants. I have a houseful of goodies I'm looking to unload, not interested in more. I'll probably sell the stuff he sent me on ebay for twenty bucks.
It takes them a long time to get it through their heads that the game has changed and WE'RE making the rules now. I don't know if they ever do. That's why we all eventually come to the conclusion that the only solution is No Contact.
I'm thinking of you all often and keeping everyone in prayer for protection and peace.
Blessings and love, Sister Renee
I'll try to give an update in a few weeks. In the meantime,as usual, these idiots are just leaving me to clean up their messes. I.E.: be the one around our parents, trying to comfort them & help them, with yet another clusterbump intruded upon them. It does get old--but the time will come when we are no longer connected at all, as out parents will be gone. In the meantime, I'll do what I do, & they'll do what they do. PRAYERS GRATEFULLY
Just Wow, Sr Renee. It's good to hear you don't care about getting the stolen items back - he even made it clear he was going to use YOUR property to manipulate you into getting back under his control. What amount of material goods could be worth the mental anguish of getting back in the lion's den with an N-monster? A recent saying applying to N's that I read: when you wrestle with a pig, you both get dirty, but the pig enjoys it!!
Years ago, my mother made a big deal about "giving" me a small part of her inheritance from my stepfather "as my part" -- well, in January, the first letter I sent after a very bad tantrum, telling her I couldn't take it anymore, after a long sulk she wrote back claiming that she "loaned" us that money (though she said it was three times as much as it was!) and she wanted it back!
That was all I got from stepdad so I guess she's making it clear that I didn't deserve even one cent from him. AT LEAST my husband was there at the time and knows what happened. I lived in a house with that woman alone much of my time growing up and I will always have this permanent fear that NO ONE will ever believe me when I say what latest dirty deed she's done.
One of the happiest moments in my life is when my son, then in his teens, looked at me after an N-mom visit - and told me she treated me like crap. HE NOTICED!! I wanted to scream for joy - for four decades it had just been my private cross to bear. My husband doesn't notice much - he's sweet as can be, is willing to handle everything for my elderly mom, but his personality allowed him to just shrug it all off, but not my sensitive older son, thank God! It was one of the several epiphanies that helped me begin my emancipation process.
Anyway -- I know in my heart you all are right. In fact, I know she'll be scheming and plotting to beat me at my own game (of prescribing any kind of limits on her.) But I'm so much farther along this road than I would have been without all the epiphanies - a major one being THIS WEBSITE and all of you and your touching stories.
It's not easy but we shall overcome !!
You have helped me to understand my life and move on as best as I can. No book or therapist nailed the situation on the head like you. I'm not sure how I found you. I had stumbled upon Children of the Sekf absorbed (I never look at self help books but it jumped off the shelves of new and noteworthy at Barnes and Noble) thus finding a name for what my Mom and Dad were. I googled the N's and the truth has set me free in many ways. I also had a N best friend who flew the coop last Fall and I can see that as well. Anyways, thank you for giving me an understanding of N and the knowledge that I am not alone. I wish I could say I was healed but the best I can say is that I can cope. God Bless You. You are the patron saint of acons. Krysten
Karma pays the ex-NF a visit: A tale of schadenfreude --
Just checking in to do a little healthy gloating. Looks like my ex-NF (the human deer tick) is FINALLY getting dumped by his longtime partner/hostage. I've heard through mutual acquaintances that his Facebook entries are becoming increasingly desperate and bizarre. Lots of posts re: their "wonderful" relationship, "the love of his life" blah blah blah. Typical N denial of reality.
If enjoying the tick's predicament (from afar) is wrong, I don't wanna be right.
If enjoying the tick's predicament (from afar) is wrong, I don't wanna be right.Thanks for the chuckle. Suuuuuweeet!
Hi Anna and all other ACON's. Just found out about NPD May 29th. WOW...could not believe what I was reading on the net....I was bewildered...so many folks and situations where describing my life with an NPD Mom and suspecting Dad had something as well. It was like a veil being lifted for the first time of my life. I knew there was something wrong with them because I could see how other families of my school friends and families on tv where treated. I just wish that I had found out about this eons ago...well at least 10years ago after Dad died. Then my role of enabler became more prevalent since I had to take over his duties on N-supply. For the past 10 years that b***h had to have a phone call from me or to me every stinking day...yes every stinking day. She had to have it or else it would be hell. For the same amount of time every Sunday I had to go over there and take her to whatever stores she needed without fail...I could not even be sick. Well needless to say over that period of time I first became ill not knowing the stress of her control was making me sick, until I figured it out...no help to the medical profession at all!!!!! I have over that time shrugged off some of the crap...but it came with some a dear emotional price due to what they do to you when they don't get their way. Well the 'B' is now 85 and still up to her tricks...and they get worse as they age they say and I can see that..they stage fake medical problems all to which is the problem of the old fairy tale of "crying wolf". I recently made her sister aware of that the recent phone call to her about her dying and she isn't going to see her anymore was all a farce to get attention. Boo Hoo Hoo....NOT! Cannot wait for the day I obtain complete freedom....! COMPLETE FREEDOM. I will feel like a prisoner freed from a prison term.
Your friend ACON Alyx
Hi Alyx! Isn't it wonderful to find out this condition has a name and a consistent presentation? I'm still not over the shock of finding out that my situation was far from unique.
I also can't believe I actually bumbled into NC - I set out to change my rel'ship with my NM and set limits - by being direct, labeling some of her behavior, and saying what I wanted. You'd think I'd attacked with Napalm or something, the rage that ensued.
Anyway, I think I can relate to how daunting it is to break ties, if that's what you're struggling with the thought of doing. I understand the fear of becoming a pariah, the fear that the guilt might be oppressive, that you might be terrified if you're like me, a pleaser who's damned near broken by people disapproving of you (doctors, nursing home admin, whoever the "middle men/women" are.) I'm still not sure I can hold to my plan of NC -- but reading and re-reading Anna's blogs helps enormously.
Oh and the Psychopath and Narcissist Survivors & Support Group:
and some families.com blogs:
Those are my latest mainstays. The Internet is an AMAZING resource for those of us struggling with this nemesis, isn't it? Good luck to you!!
For those of you who really want to disappear(those in more dire situations), these might help:
They also give you an idea of how those trying to escape abuse are ultimately found. The second link does have an admission that some of the suggestions may be silly/impratical. Hopefully, no one here has to use such drastic measures.
I am an only child so I have no other siblings to help manager her. She tries to get my one cousin involved lately to try to side step me, but I don't want him to start gaining favoritism and then one day find she has signed everything over to him, so I have to watch it. The other day he and his g/f and my aunt showed up un-expectedly (due to my mother crazily called up my aunt in the morning with the sad tale she's dying and you aren't going to see me anymore - ALL A GIANT FARCE - for attention). Needless to say I got into an arguement with his B***h of a g/f who has never listened all these years to me about what a problem my mother is,...I am the problem.. she doesn't know the entire story..just what she wants to see on the outside...a lonely old woman and needs love and attention..yadda yadda yadda...she does not know the viper inside like I do. Well needless to say we had a big fight in the driveway. My mother tells me just the other day....well "they" are saying that you are responsible for me ( well when was I not...for the past f'ng 10 years?)...and I ( yeah and I) am suppose to appologize to my cousin...first off...it was not him opening his trap but his g/f and she is not blood relative or wife or nothing to him...just a g/f with a gigantic trap. Well at least I shoo'd them away...yeah I will keep taking care of her. She sits there alone whining that she needs help...and when you try to get Home Care engaged the story changes about how much that costs ( and it is always elaborated to some crazy amount instead of the 19.00 dollara @ hour and 3 hour minimum they want - so that's what 60 bucks)...so she still cleans and washes and sweeps the leaves she has a constant battle with for eons...just so she can complain and moan some more for lame attention. Yes it is so good to see the real story behind these N's! I got her story now...(like she used to say to me). Oh and by the way...another crazy thing that B***h always did was never and I mean never could I touch the washer and dryer....she always said I did not know how to use it and oh I might break it...I guess that was the only control over any mechanical item that she sought control over...oh but I can touch the stove, the microwave, the VCR (which she is way too stupid to make work)...but she had some sick thing with the washer and dryer...to this day I don't touch them at her house...what a sick sick creature!
Your friend Alyx
Oh Alyx, extra condolences to you for being an only child dealing with this nightmare. I'm an only, too. I think it's more surreal and confusing for us because we're so isolated.
I've just been reading a bio of Pulitzer prize winning author John Kennedy Toole - and he killed himself at 31 because of his NPD mother! I can't get that poor man out of my head lately. (I wish he'd had your help, dear Anonymous who posted the escape advice! Thanks for those links! I may yet need them. Hubby retires in 3 years so I feel kinda stuck at the moment though)
Anyway, I understand that there's inheritance to think about and she's 85. You may be making the right choice to just get through it. In my case, my mother recently tried to peel off my grown son - she took my name off all her accounts and put his on them and made a big deal about it to him. I could laugh if I weren't worried about him being in her clutches (but he KNOWS and fully supports my NC so maybe he'll be ok.)
But in my case, my mother owes far more money than she has -- yes, she's stupid enough to keep money in the bank at 1% interest and yet owe loans and credit cards, some up to 39% interest! You can't convince her that it would help her in the long run to pay more than the "minimum due" on the credit card bill - and that's how she's run the rest of her life. Oy vey. What else can you say? Actually, I'm glad mine was an idiot spendthrift, because now I have nothing to lose, except one of the biggest burdens a human can have - an NPD parent.
PS On the only child front, at least we didn't have a "golden child" in the family while we were the Cinderella scapegoat.
Again, I wish you luck - and peace!
I appreciate so much your dialog back to me. Yes it's tough being the only child, you have both parent dumping on you with no escape. I never married so I am really alone in this adventure. My b/f thought I was horrid until I kept telling him more and more stuff that she does. So I think he understands now, but he is no real help in the matter. Sometimes I feel used by him as well, but at least I am not married to him and can exit when I want to! I have to tell myself to stay strong everyday. When I was young and living at home I had much more strength against all of this, but she and time has whittled away at me. So I have to tell myself to stay strong. But I am so THANKFUL, that several weeks ago I landed on NPD. I was almost feeling like I was the only one in the world that has to suffer through this. Now I can see there are folks that had it even much worse than me...I feel sorry for those, because in many cases they also become the product of an NPD and become and NDP themselves. I was on a Yahoo group for only about a week when I had to leave, there were too many folks way gone in there, you can see it pouring out in their posts. That was a group of folks that def needed a therapist's help. Anna's blog seems to have folks more at my level, and I thank her so much since it it chock full of info I still need to go through. I am now interested in that author. I may look him up on the internet. Sad, but it seems many of us that had NPD's as parents came out gifted. I read somewhere where Art and Nature was the by-products to ACON's. I know both figure strongly in my life. Hope to hear from you soon Grizelda and any other of our fellow ACON's. May peace and blissfull life come unto us all one day!
Your friend Alyx
For you folks...I am attaching this link. It is a transcript from Larry King Live with Christina Crawford...you all remember 'Mommy Dearest'...well that was the first inkling where I felt that something seemed similiar in my childhood...
enjoy the transcript I surely did..
I have noticed that the remainder of the link was cut off, such is the same as the previous poster for the escape links. Here is the entire link for Christina Crawford
Thanks so much for the link, Alyx! It sounds like she accepts Sam Vaknin's abuse theory as to why this happens:
"...because it's a complete lack of self esteem. It's a feeling of powerlessness. It is rage, probably, over perceived abuse, whether it's true or not. And unfortunately, it is taken out on the least able to defend themselves. So until we get a handle on that, on self-esteem, on empowering people in healthy ways, it's going to go on. It's going to go on and go on."
I don't know if I agree. I agree with those who believe NPD's have TOO MUCH self esteem. Maybe that's because all the NPD's I've known were coddled by their mothers, and were never made to take responsibility for their bad behavior. (But I haven't known many well enough to know their background.)
I do agree with her about the boiling rage always percolating in an NPD. And maybe coddling IS abuse. It's scary to think that bullying is practically encouraged when there isn't strong discipline, like there used to be, but there also aren't bully-prevention programs like Dan Olweus' to replace the discipline of earlier times -- there just seems to be an environment in schools now where, if you have any inclination toward being a bully, you're in HOG HEAVEN because NObody's gonna do anything about it anymore.
And I don't know what I'm rambling about really -- but I'm so SO glad that you have found out about NPD -- I hope it means as much for you as it has for me. Once you know WHAT you're dealing with, and even can read others' stories and coping strategies, it's just an incredible weight off your back. It's not your fault! It's this problem that can be clearly identified, researched, discussed -- plans can be made about "it" -- when before, it was just this agonizing chaotic nightmare to be suffered but never understood.
I think all this info, from Anna's website and those like hers, message boards, books, etc., will save many people's lives now that all this is widely disseminated -- if only that poor author I spoke about who killed himself had known what we know now (oh, he was an only child too)
Anna and all the other commenters, I'm new to this understanding and still reeling. I want to post what has happened to me, but am still learning, still reading your posts. For now I just can't tell you often enough how ANGELIC you all are, especially Anna. God has intervened to enlighten me. I have every syndrome discussed here, including stockholm syndrome. I still want to "save" my boyfriend of 25.5 years. He is the most evil thing you could come across. He NEVER loved me, he met me when I was 17 and his intent was to make me kill myself because he had a previous girlfriend kill herself and felt so much gratification. God intervened and I received a very large insurance settlement shortly after we met. That meant that he had to be nice to me until the money ran out. Then my intelligence became useful to him, as well as my adrenalin addiction (I feel all my emotions intensly and I wear them on my skin) which he sucked up. At long last he was ready to destroy me but I caught on to it. The diabolical nature of this person will leave you all reeling. He KNOWS exactly what he is. For years he was obsessed with the Art Bell AM radio show because it had Father Malichai Martin (sp?) as a guest speaker. Father Martin is an exorsist. My Bfriend very likely believes that he is possessed by the devil because he knows where he is going when he dies, but his resolve is to recruit and take as many people with him when he goes. To outsiders this will seem paranoid but to those who have experienced the NM, I can confidently tell: he has made many people in my neighborhood hate me. When I tell you more about how he did it you will be sick to your stomach, even though you have all experienced similar things. I won't post details now. It's too aweful - what he made me do and the ramifications of it.
I started out to post one thing: OMG Anna, God has sent you to us and he has his purposes. I only want and pray that I can be as wonderful a messenger as you have been.
I'm still frightened, because he is still stalking me. He is not like any of the other NM's described here. He has infinite patience and he is addicted to the supply that my personality has unwittingly supplied. I now understand that my adrenalin addiction is like crack to a coke addict - a very pure strain. He leads a criminal life and has nothing else to take up his time but the thought of eating my emotions. I'm not sure of the solution and my thoughts are still coalescing. the problem is that I'm the PERFECT NARCISSIST SUPPLY. We have barely touched each other for the last 15 years but I remembered now, that when we went to the movies, he would take my arms and legs and wrap them around himself to "keep you warm" he said. The movies would be thrillers which would make me jolt or tense and he was eating my visceral reactions. The story and details are so long. I won't keep talking but again, thank you thank you thankyou.
WOW skylar,,,I don't know if you have an NPD on your hands of a psychopath. Your best bet is to get rid of someone who is not right upstairs and get yourself into counseling. If he does not leave you alone then have the authorities put a restriction on him. Wow 25 years of mayhem you never needed and what's worse you are not tied to him in any fashion for he is not a relative. What kind of an adrenaline rush could you probably have...you are probably experiencing anxiety and panic attacks. If you recognize the problem then get out now! This is simply toxic!
Alyx - Good Luck!
At least he's not your husband.
Haven't you wasted enough time with that thing?
"To outsiders this will seem paranoid but to those who have experienced the NM, I can confidently tell: he has made many people in my neighborhood hate me."
This was one of the hardest things I dealt with when married to a MN. Fortunatly, he wasnt able to pull the wool over my own families eyes, however he did manage to turn my own brother into a bystander that got sucked into his spell (even though he was WELL AWARE of my husbands behavior, that included 1 time of physical violence).
I recall a time where I was verbally assulted in front of his family (with words I cannot post here). Naturally, I was humiliated and very hurt. The next day I demanded an appology in front of the same group of people and this time my brother was in the room (thought that would have been to my advantage), of course the MN tried twisting what happened but I managed to remind everyone was really happened, he was in the wrong and there was no denying that in front of witnesses. I made it clear this behaviour was not acceptable and NOT normal! I looked to my own brother and said "Would you EVER talk to your wife like that in front of people." Me waiting for just a little glory in hearing "Of course not sister"....instead the little snake looks at me and says "yes, if we are fighting" (which was the biggest lie I've ever heard). That was one of the most hurtful moments in my life. These pieces of garbage have the skill to make everyone bow to them and look the other way when something is wrong.
One positive thing that has come from this experience is I will always stand up for what is right in this lifetime, I do not care under what circumstance.....
Anon 8:52:00 AM
Since N's tend to make excuses for each other, is it possible your brother is also an N?
Oh dear, Skylar. Your situation sounds very difficult, if not dangerous. When I'm wavering or anxiety-ridden, what helps me most is re-reading all of Anna's blogs in the "Going No Contact" section here. Read them every day till the crisis abates. Also Kathy Krajco's book helps immensely (it's expensive but much of it is quoted in Anna's latter blogs I believe).
And in your case, due to the stalking and likely physical danger, also the book "The Gift of Fear" and the great link provided upthread by "So What is a Heart?"
I so hope you can reach the point where you realize that No Contact has been achieved by many and YOU CAN DO IT TOO -- use whatever legal means you have to! Indifference, avoidance, police restraining orders -- try to always having someone with you if you make contact with NM - go to a restaurant or shop, of if you can, a police station -- some PUBLIC place (and do not open your door to anyone unless pre-arranged & secure your windows!) If at all possible, move and change phone and email, and don't let him find you.
Sometimes we just have to dig deep and find the courage to do battle for our souls that they want to suck out of us. I often think of the lovely woman about to draw her sword on page 1 of Anna's website. May the force be with you! Please keep up updated. Please be well!
Self ingrate is right. I don't think he is an N but has some stong N charicteristics.
There was a time we took a mini family trip to FL, we took my mother on a small rollar-coaster (she doesn't do rides) but we thought she could handle this one.
My poor mother got off the ride and almost collapsed, her blood pressure dropped and wasn't coming back up, she was almost unconscious and had to be taken by ambulance to the ER. I was horrified I didn't know what was happening I rode in the ambulance with her and my N husband and brother followed w/their vehicle. That was one of the worst days of my life. Thank GOD! she ended up being ok with some medications, although we didn't know at the time if she would be.
I later found out that on the way to the hospital my brother thought that maybe he & my husband should stay in the amusement park and go on some more rides "since the tickets were already bought". My N husband at least had the common sense enough to say "no, we need to be at the hospital w/your mom & sister". My brother is only 25 and had never been anywhere nice like FL. He is also a little "thick" I suppose is a nice way of putting it, but that is NO EXCUSE. Something easily could have happened to her, maybe he didn't get the severity of that...
I don't have words to describe how I felt after hearing that....
Yes N's def. hang together. I saw that for myself just recently. My cousin and his big mouth g/f are starting to get into my family business dealing with my aging Nmom. He is co-dependent to his g/f and neither one of them understands that my mom is N, so I think they are under the N spell as well. They are not on my side of any of her craziness in fact they support it. I am being made into the bad guy. My other cousin also told me that the N-cousin was so callous to tell him that in my last encounter with him about N-mom that I looked horrible ( I was over there to get groceries and start the vehicle batteries and clean a bit, so why put on makeup and hair - I had it put up)...he said to my cousin, can you imagine rolling over and seeing that in the morning.(obviously my b/f doesnt mind ;-p)..my own hateful cousin's mouth. Wow was that an eye-opener, now I know to watch out for him as well in this family circus of dysfunctionality! I feel like I am the only one that is closest to normal.
"He is also a little "thick" I suppose is a nice way of putting it, but that is NO EXCUSE."
I don't know about the person being discussed in this comment, but it made me think of something I've observed in N's. After going NC and finally getting some real breathing space, I realize that all N's I've known - from very smart to dim - regularly put on a "thick" act in order to conveniently pretend they don't "get" all sorts of things, when in reality they are merely actively ignoring elements that would interfere with their agenda. For instance, pretending they don't see or get certain emotional responses OVER and OVER, or pretending they "didn't know" that doing a specific thing would cause upset to someone else. I truly wonder if they practice their "HUH?" blank looks of total non-comprehension in the mirror. Closely related is the "you are crazy!" look, when you confront them or mention something they've decided "never occurred" or whatever. This is exactly why explanations of any kind will never work...
PS - I'll also take this opportunity to say that I hope you are doing well Anna - and thanks again a million times for everything you have put into this amazing resource of information. NC is the best thing I have ever done, thanks to you. You are a gift to acons, and a PLAGUE to N's!!! In other words, you are the BEST!
Anonymous said "all N's I've known - from very smart to dim - regularly put on a "thick" act in order to conveniently pretend they don't "get" all sorts of things, when in reality they are merely actively ignoring elements that would interfere with their agenda"
This basic concept took me the longest time to get but it is absolutely true. When an N continually does the exact same thing which he has been told 100 times is unacceptable, it's a pretty clear sign he is not thick, but mean. One fun thing to do if you HAVE to be around a narcissist is when he does something beyond obnoxious which he has been repeatedly asked to stop doing - ask him point blank "You have been told dozens of times that (for example) we don't want you coming into the bathroom without knocking first. Since you persist in barging in, either you must be mean-spirited or stupid. Which is it?"
The MN will pick "stupid" every time. That is, if they do not pretend to be too thick to understand what you've just said. They would rather be seen as "thick" than be caught out as petty, mean-spirited, and vindictive. The occasional MN who believes he is all-powerful and has you firmly under his thumb may come up with "I like to make you jump", but most Ns are not going to be that open about their behavior. They tend to lose their victims when they are that forthright. Always remember that Ns will use any excuse and any "hook" to keep their chosen NS available and providing the sweet nectar of attention and regard. Being seen as clueless socially but otherwise harmless is a great tactic, because then they get the added bonus of have their victims making excuses for them, and all that wonderful pity and sympathy (they are the center of attention) and a pass on much of their malevolent behavior.
"Socially inept" is a great mechanism for keeping NS victims close when a MN does not have built-in victims, such as small children or a financially dependent spouse. Animals can be trained to observe human social niceties and boundaries - we can housebreak dogs, can't we? 3-year-old children can learn to share. It is also interesting that supposedly thick people manage to learn other rules of society just fine, like not speeding when there are police cruisers on the road, or not taking guns into daycare centers. So be very suspicious when you see, or hear excuses for someone's rude, overbearing or intrusive behavior. It's God's way of telling you to GET AWAY.
Aravis - I wrote the comment about about the thick act - and I have to say it also took me the LONGEST time to get this. I think as an acon, part of it was that I was just simply so used to believing it was totally "real" that people would have such gigantic persistent [and fact-resistant] blind spots, because I grew up seeing otherwise functional people do the dumb act over and over. But I think the biggest part of it is not imagining [in my wildest dreams] that someone would not be too ashamed or too embarrassed and lacking in pride to continually pretend they are dumb and don't "get" simple and obvious things.
You are so right that given the choice between admitting meanness and stupidity, "the MN will pick "stupid" every time". Not only to they turn on a dime from "powerful" to "victim" when it suits them - I notice that they also have no hesitation to eagerly and shamelessly claim or exaggerate all sorts of things about themselves that would be embarrassing for a regular human to admit. Be it claiming to be stupid, or anything else that will either get them off the hook or get them special attention or special service - they will do it eagerly and happily if it works. Why not - it as all an act to them, they can still feel superior for duping us that they are "stupid".
Some of the kinds of "dumb act" things I found very frustrating but SO typical/consistent that I actually found it acceptable and believable:
- n's acting as if a specific and memorable recent conversation or explanation NEVER HAPPENED, and looking at me blankly if I refer to it. I just got used to restating my explanations over and over as if that was normal.
- n's making the same request over and over, and each time looking as if they are asking for the "first time", and acting surprised or confused when I say no, yet again, and/or explain why I am saying no, yet again.
- n's looking at me as if something I am saying about myself is "news", when I've said it many times before or they have witnessed many events/incidents that show it as obvious fact.
- n's doing something that embarrasses or upsets me, and acting shocked at or totally oblivious to the results. And because they always acted so consistently thick and innocent - I actually wouldn't feel I could accuse them or fault them [!!!].
- n's repeating an obvious false belief, no matter WHAT they see or hear from ANYONE.
- n's persistently stating that something they know to be outdated is still current and true. Like what you liked in childhood, etc.
This crap seems SO obviously phony in retrospect, but it really is not easy to fully see when you grow up with it as "how it is", and then when it continues on with the new n's who flock to us acon's as adults. The way I grew up, with all the "huh?" looks I got when saying something totally normal or obviously factual - you'd think having AMNESIA was as day-to-day common as sneezing!
I used to have mostly n's in my life, in terms of the major players - and in terms of years, for the majority of my life. Now, there is a minor n or two, but no one important to me. It is one thing to read about n's and figure out their game, and it is a whole other thing to be mostly around regular humans [as main people in my life] for the first time and see for myself what is actually typical and acceptable, and - in contrast - what behavior instead screams I AM A FREAKING ASSHOLE. Stuff I used to experience as frustrating but not a dealbreaker, I now see TOTALLY dealbreaker, and TOTALLY unacceptable. I was just realizing recently how odd it would feel to me to have another adult browbeat or badger me about something....yet not so long ago I would have patiently withstood it, believing it was annoying but "sincere" - more of a personal style issue then a character issue. Nowadays, any conversation that goes in a direction like that is simply OVER.
I wanted to say thank you to Anna for this blog. I do not have an N-parent; instead I came here after marriage and divorce that left me rattled to the core. I now believe the man I married is a narcissist, and I spent my time reading here as both someone trying to determine how to handle a Narcissist as well as a mother trying to determine how to help her children deal with one.
I've gotten a lot of valuable information from here, and have managed over time to get as close to "no-contact" as I can with someone I am legally required to "co-parent" with. It hasn't been easy, but the information here has helped a great deal.
Hello again fellow acons:
My MN mother finally died. Would you believe that she actually died on our anniversary! Is it just fate? For me, it was the last jab into my heart! A good friend said her death on that day is a gift!
For me, the nightmare is over. The night-time panic attacks are lessening, thank goodness.
I wasn't by her side during her last months. Bravo for me that I had the courage to stay away from her evil intentions towards me. And she was evil to the end, just like Anna said. Nothing changed on her death bed...the same garbage. Maybe even worse. Poor soul. She kept it up until the end.
I did go to her funeral. It wasn't as bad as I thought and I was happy I was there to shovel dirt onto her grave.
I will go on, mother. I will live and prosper. You didn't ruin my life. You lost. I won!
I will go on to appreciate all that is good. You taught me to see evil and run from it.
Goodbye, mother. I don't know how you will rest. But I wish you no harm. I never did. I loved you but the love was never returned. Perhaps you taught me lessons...lessons of how not to be. I will go on in spite of you and be the best that I can be. You didn't ruin my life. I am a survivor!
Hope you are doing well, dear Anna. I always check back to your blog. It is still very comforting.
Thankyou so much for opening my eyes to the truth all these months.
And now for teaching me the most important lesson of all....that there's a time to let go.
God Bless xxx
WOW KB....your nightmare is over! I am glad she did not win!
....Getting back to the 'thick' act. Yes my N-MOM is using this tactic even more so now that she has been 4 weeks home from pulling a 51/50 and ending up in 72 hour watch at a psych ward and now on psychotropics (which has helped a bit with the stories and raging). I have set up her medications in some med boxes one for Breakfast and one for Dinner...she tries to play dumb with how to open it. When she tries to play stupid on a lot of issues I tell her 'don't play dumb, your not going to play any more games with me'! So yes I can see how they go from drama queen to frail patient in a heart beat. Lately her trip is whenever you clean something she has to go back over it...but in reality she just makes a worser mess since she is not thinking clearly. Yesterday I told her brand new homecare worker that she went back over cleaning the patio after I already did and pulling plants out of the garden after I am trying to revitalize it. Yesterday she had the lady clean the front room window...today she told me on the phone she went back over it.....what a B!
Hi, I just found your blog and can't wait to dive in and read everything I can!! I am finally free of an N husband, but am wondering if anyone can help me think about the best way to help my children. They are middle school age. How do I talk with them about the behaviors of their father? How do we talk about love? What happens now, and then later as they grow older? Any thoughts, or point me in the right direction! I want my children to grow and learn and be all that they were meant to be, even with an N father. Thank you!!
I am not sure if I was involved with an N or not, but, I was interested in learning more about the term...when I came across this site-I noticed some folks referring to their ex "barging into the bathroom whilst you were using it"-mine did that too a couple of times. I always thought that was a strange behavior, but, now that I have found this site and see this as a trait, however small, it does make sense. Thanks for putting this together. It's already given me some perspective.
Anna, found your blog last year. You are a Godsend. Thank you.
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