Survivors of Narcissism: Powerful Magnets, 3D Narc Glasses, Close Encounters of the Weird Kind and Darn Near Superhuman Abilities
Tongue in cheek, all the way. The title I meant. I’ve recently had another “close encounter of the weird kind” with a woman who came in off this blog.
I reacted to the ALL CAPS DESPERATION and the veiled threats of suicide and the story of abuse at the hands of a horrible narcissist father (who, it was said, may have even molested her…)
Boy did I react.
Janet the Avenger rose up to slay the dragon and rescue the wounded damsel in distress.
I forgot I am a powerful narc magnet (not to mention that I’ve dumped a massive amount of personal information here that any narc in the world can use to “get to me.”) I dove in and forgot to put on my protective gear of 3D narc glasses and my new suit of armor made of caution (which is different than my old suit of armor made of distrust.)
I got a whole bunch of hours stolen from me during a time when I do not HAVE extra hours and I got insulted in the process (and the emotional roller coaster ride I went on with her also included fun things like feeling helpless, inadequate, guilty and stalked.)
I cut contact with the woman after only two days but I STILL have the desire to tell her why…just like I still have the desire to tell my mother WHY…but I know better. This, for me, is progress. I’m not posting in the hopes that she’ll read this…I need to DUMP it and thus process why, what, how, etc.
Long story short, a woman posted here on the blog. She sounded desperate, as if she was holding a knife to her wrists while she typed…with a bottle of sleeping pills next to the gun lying beside the gallon of whiskey kind of desperate.
I called the number she posted. Not in service. Panic…did she kill herself? Did I not respond in time?
Not that I “should” be monitoring this blog on the look out for potential suicidal people anyway though…a stranger’s blog would be a crazy place to make veiled suicide threats, wouldn’t it? Especially one where the most recent posts talk about the fact that I don’t monitor this blog very much anymore because I’m busy doin’ other stuff (as I typed these words, I realized THAT should have been my first red flag…but it wasn’t.)
I started this blog for me to dump my emotions, vent my rage and the like. And it was started with the wicked idea (hope) that the narc in my life (my mother) might one day read at least the opening post where I bust her for being a narc. I even put her first and last names on this blog at first (which God bugged me about so I took off the last name at least.) I don’t promote this blog but do write keywords in such a fashion that I did hope to draw others here looking for answers or comfort or information…just like I found on other blogs.
I did not, however, think or expect I was going to talk to people or try to help anyone. I’m still learning myself. But I do know that discovering the narcissism led to more and faster healing than all the 30 years of various forms of therapy, groups, meetings and church has done so I am a firm believer that narcissism is a big, deep root for a lot of folks and once you find it, you can hack it down and heal in leaps and bounds. I also KNOW that God has healed me and so I am POSITIVE He will heal others too…and I’m willing to be a facilitator in that process if I can be. Others helped me, I’ll pay it forward.
So I tried calling her and got no response. Then I posted a reply on this blog and put my own phone number up there (which is something that doesn’t scare me…because I’m a webmaster — and have about 20 personal and ministry blogs and websites — my phone number is all over the internet.) I emailed her. Nothing. No response, no reply for several days.
This should have been my second red flag but alas, I didn’t have my 3D narc glasses on.
She calls and within a very short period of time, I was hooked…but good. I’m not sure WHO said “soul sister” first…I think it was her but I’m not sure. We talked for hours, I was sure I could help…I was GLAD to try to help! We had so much in common it was weird…including 20 something sons with Asperger’s that we’ve raised as single mothers.
Her story was even worse than mine though…she recounted a long history of suicide and murder in her family plus narcissism and alcoholism.
Wow, I just this minute realized that maybe some of it wasn’t true…or that at the very least, she was just “one upping” me the way narcissists are prone to do. I don’t doubt that her history is as ugly and messy as mine. I don’t doubt that she is a VERY wounded human being. But thinking back, it didn’t matter what I said about my own life, she came back with something much worse. She is a better victim, has been more abused, has had it tougher than me, etc.
But it took 3 strange texts that came at 6:40 am that FINALLY raised up all the flags I’d been ignoring, all at once. The fact that it was 6:40 am didn’t bug me (although it maybe should have) but the CONTENT of the texts were just bizarre, made no sense and the third one included a direct slap in the face.
I didn’t respond and then a 4th text came in a couple of hours later…asking for a free website. I was already annoyed because of the insult but that one pissed me off.
I’d told her, mere HOURS before the 6:40 am texts, that my website business was on life support because I’ve spent so much time over this last year preparing to go into full time ministry to fight human trafficking. I said my own ministry websites were taking a lot time; so much time that I was struggling financially as a result (and have even asked God if He was mad at me or something because of my business & financial struggles this last year…as “don’t you LOVE me anymore, God?” You’ve probably been there…)
And so she says “give me a free website and then I’ll be okay?” The woman who has said she’s so demon oppressed that deliverance failed, is ready to kill herself and only hangs on because no one will take care of her 23-year-old son and so wiped out from a myriad of physical ailments that she has given up showering and leaving her home? The woman who says she has spent 20 hours straight picking at her face because of something she called “body dysmorphia?”
A free WEBSITE is going to fix her? Hmmm, WHAT is wrong with this picture?
Ding, ding, ding, ding…ALL the red flags came up AND the bells, sirens and whistles that I’d been ignoring suddenly became audible.
I finally realized she is not only the child of a narcissist, she IS a narcissist too…and they can come in looking like the wounded and suck sympathy and time out of you so fast it’ll make your head spin.
THAT is what this post is actually about but guess what I’m gonna do? I’m going to stop here because I have other things to do. In the next couple of posts, I’m going to write about the red flags, the patterns, what I discerned and how to keep from going through it again!
I usually write REALLY long posts (yeah, even longer than this one :-D) but not this time because I have priorities and I’m not letting the world, flesh or devil get in the way of what God has been, and IS, doing — with me, for me and through me –regarding human trafficking so I’m cuttin’ this short and so…
I’ll be back.
Didja hear the Terminator/Arnold’s accent in that last line? Grin.
Psalm 5 – Words of Comfort to Victims and Words of Warning to Narcisscists Regarding Lies, Cons and Behavior God Hates
I’ve recently had my first ex-husband contact me. Jim was a 26 year old hustler/con artist I met when I was a 16 year old runaway. I was a go-go dancer in a bar called the Shady Lady in Ft. Worth. He was (I now realize) a slick narcissist with sparkling eyes and a ready smile, a smooth talker who knew just what words to say to make women (or young girls) trust him and believe he was their knight in shining armor.
We got married in Long Beach and I left after a few months…to this day I have no idea of how many months we were together nor do I have any recollection of sex with him. As a classic manipulative narcissist, I’m sure this irritates him but research proves that most narcs are lousy in bed so that was probably the case with Jim. I still remember sex with OTHER men so it must have been pretty unspectacular for me to have absolutely ZERO memories! (This may seem crude to you but you’ll understand as you read further…he began talking about sex constantly and bragging about how many women he’d slept with…despite my requests that he stop…which is just one of many reasons why I cut off communication.)
I met him in Texas, we ended up in California and from there went to Hawaii. I left him in Honolulu after finding him the bar upstairs (where he went every night to hustle pool) talking to a female in some fashion that infuriated me. The bar was 3 floors up from the go-go joint where I worked and I went upstairs and saw him doing whatever it was that caused the extreme reaction. The confrontation (or thoughts in my head) that I remember that went something like this: “Hell no, you’re not going to sit up here on your ASS flirting with other women and buying them drinks with MY money while I work MY ass off downstairs!”
It was a reaffirmation of something I already knew at that young age…NO WAY was I going to work and give some guy my money…especially not from stripping or having sex with other men! I was NOT a good candidate for pimps…or hustlers or con artists. I’m still not as Jim found out a couple of days ago.
My very first thought after I get his email is “he’s the last one”…the last of the ex’s I’d looked up, come to terms with any “leftover” stuff, broken off any spiritual ties still hanging on and put them behind me. I’d actually looked him up a few weeks before he contacted me…now I’m thinking he probably figured that out with one of those sites that tell you who is searching for you.
Of course, he played it like a huge coincidence but I suspect that he researched me and decided I might be an answer to whatever his current need or problem is (I’m pretty sure he researched me…I got that Holy Spirit sense when he said it was hard to find me and again on the day after Thanksgiving.) Since I’m a webmaster and a writer, when you google my full name, links to all my sites, blogs and facebook pages fills the first 3 pages. When he said it was hard to find me, I remember that “check in my spirit” and after googling myself, I was pretty sure he was lying.
BUT I thought maybe God was trying to reach him — now that he’s 62 and probably running out of charm, steam and hope after a lifetime of bad living — and I thought maybe God was going to use me to help Jim turn to Him. So I opened the communication channels and started listening hard with spiritual ears and discernment…even as he did manage to “get” to my emotions.
The first scripture I got when I prayed was this one: “Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the Lord. “But your eyes and your heart are set only on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood and on oppression and extortion.” (Jeremiah 22:15-17)
So I told him the scripture and he and I both knew that it was God stating quite clearly and pointedly the kind of life Jim had led. Some discussions followed about God in general and turns out Jim calls God “Bob” (which I actually thought was funny until I recognized that it’s just his way of trying to bring God down to his own level…no respect, no reverence, no awe and no need to bow down to a humanized “Bob.”
Jim even thinks that “since we’re all his children”, that “Bob loves us all.” No matter what Jim does, how he acts, who he hurts, how much or how often he cons, steals from and cheats other people, Bob loves him simply because Bob created him. There are a lot of people on this planet who like the idea of Bob MUCH better than the idea of God!
When he first called, I was very upfront with him about several things: I’m a dedicated Christian, I don’t have sex outside of marriage and I will only marry again IF I’m sure it’s God and only to another mature Christian with a heart for ministry and outreach. I want a love match, sure…who doesn’t? BUT I also want a “spirit match” ordained by God and a man who will be kingdom co-worker with me. Through further conversations, out it came that Jim pretty much hates Christians.
Don’t get me wrong, I DO believe God loves His creation and that humans acting evil and horrible to one another breaks His heart and angers Him…but He still loves humans with a love that most people can even BEGIN to imagine. But God’s love is balanced by His purity and the fact that He is so holy He won’t even LOOK upon sin. God abhors evil and warns humans repeatedly that the price for continuing to REFUSE His holiness, His righteousness, His word and His Son is eternal separation from Him.
The wages of sin are death…not just in the body but in the spirit as well. Unrepentant sinners are on their way to a really, really, really BAD eternity. God wants no one in hell, not even one…but He’s also not allowing them to dwell in HIS holy presence either. God doesn’t send people to hell, they send themselves.
I knew that there was NO way that we’d ever be together but I still talked to Jim and yeah, for a week or so I definitely got sucked into his game. In the approximately two weeks from first contact from him to my final email telling him to go away, my desire to talk to him became less and less though. In a typically narcissistic fashion, he began shifting the conversation away from God, ministry, business and the things that are important to ME, and started talking about all the stuff important to HIM. These things included sex, his health, his life, his wants, needs, desires, etc., etc., ad nauseum…just another typical narc. Yawn.
I told him several times I did NOT want to talk about the past, sex, drugs, alcohol, etc. but did he listen? Nah. I began hitting the “silent” button on my phone a lot, avoiding his calls and ignoring his text messages. I was getting annoyed more often and regretting that I’d started talking to him again. I SURE was starting to dread the fact that he was coming to Nashville to see me!
Like most narcissists, he wanted a LOT of my attention and I was saying “yes” to things before really thinking them through or praying…one of the things I’m still learning…not to get sucked in and dazzled by the words the little girl in me still wants to hear. Yes, my human radar is still seriously bent but thankfully, GOD’s radar works just fine!
I woke up on Thanksgiving as if from a coma and knew I couldn’t have this man in my life in any way, shape or form…let alone allow him to step one foot inside my home. I pondered all the reasons why I just “snapped” and said “no more” inside myself. I turned off my phone and thought through the next day too.
That was the day I had the definite sense (I’m pretty sure it was from the Holy Spirit) that Jim had researched me more than he claimed before he contacted me. It’s how he was able to “say” all the “right” things. But because he has no clue about discernment, God’s protection and the Holy Spirit, he didn’t probably realize I wasn’t swallowing it. I saw that God might be reaching out to him and I was willing to be used to do it…but used by GOD not by Jim!
I prayed again and God confirmed it for me with the following scripture. This one should be a comfort to those who love God (and are being victimized by narcissists)…and words of warning to those who behave in a narcissistic fashion. God sees our pain, God isn’t blind and He will NOT be mocked!
Psalm 5: “Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell. The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong. You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the Lord abhors.
But I, by your great mercy, will come into your house; in reverence I will bow down toward your holy temple. Lead me , O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies — make straight your way before me.
Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with destruction. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongue they speak deceit. Declare them guilty, O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you.
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.”
Okay, I write (how often depends on how busy I am) and it helps me dump my stuff about narcissism and all the pain it has caused me. I’ve not been keeping this blog up for a few months because I’ve been really busy (and I reconnected with my sister so some of the dumping I might have done was over the phone to her rather than on the blog.) Because I make websites for a living, I do know how to use the words & terms that will draw people to this blog but I’m not a “real” blogger, i.e., I don’t pay attention to stats, forget to mark categories, use tags and I don’t promote it…no cross blogging, no ads, none of that stuff.
I came back to blogging here yesterday because I got an email telling me I had a comment and I wanted to reach out to her. Then I stayed and got rid of some of the blank pages and cleaned up the blog. Awhile back, I’d made a bunch of changes based on some people who said they wanted to contribute to the site…they never followed through and I didn’t want empty pages so those pages are gone. Now this blog is “done enough” so that when someone lands here, there won’t be the frustration by going to pages with no info.
I’ve never even looked at my statistics before today so imagine my surprise…no, let’s change that…my complete and utter shock and astonishment to find out that 1,446 people have read the blog lately. I just about fell outta my chair! And the numbers have been growing this month to an average of SIXTY people a day (and some days a couple of hundred people read the blog and I am pretty stunned — but not really because now I know — and YOU know — that we ARE NOT ALONE!) Others suffer as we do and we can, and do, gather strength from one another!
I looked at the keywords and a big search term isn’t something I’ve been covering…narcissistic fathers and their sons & daughters. I will rectify that because stats show that more men are narcissists than women and “daddy dearest” is surely just as much of a nightmare as “mommie dearest” and therefore probably a lot more common!
I suspect I know why the numbers of visitors to this blog are increasing though.
The HOLIDAYS are coming.
For children of narcissists, or for those who are married to one, this happy, joyful family time of year is ANYTHING but happy OR joyful…and the season fills them with dread, fear, anger, sad memories and more dread. The season pretty much starts with Halloween and ends after New Years…months and months of “stuff” to deal with.
For many children of narcissists, the holiday season comes at US like a freight train…and we feel like we’re tied to the tracks, helpless and screaming and doomed.
Statistics show that the American holiday season brings TONS of trouble to many including, but not limited to, drinking (& drunk driving arrests and car wrecks), drug use, depression, family fights, suicides, domestic violence, etc., etc.
Boy howdy yeah, we’re havin’ SOME fun now!
For me, the holidays were mostly pretty great when my grandparents were alive…grandma wouldn’t put up with mom’s crap and the slings and arrows my mother tried to use weren’t as bad as other times. Then grandma died and my mother stepped into the “role of the family matriarch” (as she LITERALLY calls herself.) When that happened, her insane behavior caused our family celebrations to go to hell in a handbucket (or cornucopia for Thanksgiving & I’ll use Christmas stocking for Christmas…these are both “containers” for the holidays and that’s what came to mind to replace the word “handbucket.”)
Went to “hell in a Christmas stocking” probably makes ZERO sense to someone from a normal family but it just might make sense to you…if going home for the holidays means you’ll be subjected to the nightmare of abuse, put downs, expectations and soul shredding games (and I don’t mean Monopoly…unless you consider that most narcissists always try to monopolize the attention in the room!)
No, for people from dysfunctional families, the holidays usually rate right up there with visits to the dentist…without Novocaine.
If you haven’t learned to set boundaries with the narcissist in your life, NOW is the time before yet another holiday gets ruined. How do you set boundaries? There are many ways. I googled the term and landed on a site that has an article about setting boundaries…I only had to read the first paragraph before I decided to link to it but here are the basics:
1) Know that you have a right to personal boundaries. You not only have the right, but you must take responsibility for how you allow others to treat you.
2) Recognize that other people’s needs and feelings are not more important than your own.
3) Learn to say no. Many of us are people-pleasers and often put ourselves at a disadvantage by trying to accommodate everyone.
4) Identify the actions and behaviors that you find unacceptable. Let others know when they’ve crossed the line, acted inappropriately, or disrespected you in any way.
5) Trust and believe in yourself. You are the highest authority on you. You know yourself best. You know what you need, want, and value. Don’t let anyone else make the decisions for you. (>> View article here)
I’ve heard of a book called “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend that is supposed to be excellent and was rather a “game changer” for the therapy industry (and a lot of hurting people) when it was first published. I’m sure there are many more books about setting boundaries available but no matter where you get the information, LEARN HOW TO SET BOUNDARIES!!
In my struggles over the years to get validation, stop the attacks and learn to love myself, I learned how (which was after many years of staying completely drunk and stoned during most holidays…and it’s SO easy to do since holidays usually include alcohol.) But when those “coping mechanisms” began to destroy my life, I HAD to learn other options. So therapy, church, prayer, AA, Celebrate Recovery, friends and other better, healthier coping skills were put in the place of substances.
But those hard earned boundaries ALWAYS got stretched, or completely obliterated, during holidays. Always.
Why? Because narcissists WILL NOT STOP their behavior. Ever. Never ever. Never, ever, ever, EVER. The sooner you learn that, the sooner you can learn to enjoy the holiday season like people from healthy, functional homes do. If one of your parents is a narcissist (or both are) and you feel you MUST go home to suffer your yearly dose of abuse, you WILL get boundaries trashed. It’s a fact. Of course, you do NOT have to put UP with the trashing but they WILL try!
If you’re married to a narcissist (or living with one), chances are they insist on how the holidays will be in every detail. They’ll choose where you go i.e., whose family you visit or which parties are the best ones to attend or which movies will be seen (regardless of what anyone else wants.)
Or maybe they always insist you CAN’T go see your family (‘cuz they hate theirs or something) or if there are no relatives to visit, they will make sure everyone in your own home is miserable in some way or another (whether overtly miserable or just sad from subtle put downs or games that may not register in your conscious mind.) I know this sounds awful but it’s easier to divorce a spouse than divorce your parents…society REALLY frowns on having nothing to do with “your own flesh and blood” but no longer seems to have a problem with divorce.
But narcissistic parents have a larger share in ruining holidays…they’ve been at it longer! They are never going to stop telling those horribly embarrassing stories. In fact, if you ask they to stop, they’ll probably talk louder and embellish the stories without outright lies.
They are never not going to stop doing things that make you nuts…like pushing you to “eat, eat, eat” if you’re on a diet. Or announcing loudly that you can’t drink wine “like everybody else” because you’re an alcoholic (which is doubly fun because they get to embarrass you AND blow your anonymity.)
Or starting family fights through the art of triangulation…a fine art that they’ve honed into razor sharpness over the years of destroying other people. Triangulation is basically pitting two people against each other with the narc remaining in the middle, pulling the strings, pushing the buttons and enjoying the carnage. Google “triangulation narcissism” and do some reading…your eyes will be opened. ‘Cuz narcs ALWAYS do it, whether male or female, and they always get a big thrill out of those who get hurt by it. You. Your siblings. Your children. Your family.
Or a narc will exhibit fun behaviors such as putting down the gifts you bring…or the food you prepared…or that you DIDN’T bring food…or how you look…or the way you’re dressed…or how much weight you’ve lost or gained…or how late you are…or that you’ve showed up too early…or that you’re not helping enough…or you’re helping too much and getting in their way…or commenting in the nicest way imaginable that your children have terrible table manners, etc., etc., ad nauseum.
Oh, they’ll take credit for any GOOD behavior your children exhibit; “Oh Timmy gets that _____________ from ME” (fill in the blank with whatever wonderful trait they want to take credit for, whether it’s looks, brains, love of cooking, athletic prowess or whatever.)
Then maybe they’ll publicly trash you (and your kids) with anything your kids do that “isn’t good enough” behavior to suit them. (“Well, Timmy has such a hard time in school because his mother doesn’t spend enough time with him doing homework. He does fine when he’s here and has no problem whatSOever with ME. We’re going to get him all fixed up during the time he’s here and he’ll return to school after the holiday smarter and better…because he spends such quality time with me.”) Me…ME…meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
“ME” is the narcissist’s favorite subject and the holidays are all about THEM. YOU don’t count and you’re only there to make them either feel or look better…or you’re there for your regularly scheduled, societally sanctioned abuse fests called holidays so the narc in your life can get the satisfaction of making you miserable.
That might make some who read this mad but the truth is, only YOU can stop their abuse by refusing to play their games, listen to their crap and allowing their evil behavior to ruin your mood or life. YOU own the scissors that can cut the apron strings, YOU are the only one that can get you down off of daddy’s lap and only YOU can choose to stop the growth of the cancer of narcissism from infecting your heart, soul and life. It’s ain’t easy but it IS possible. I actually enjoy holidays now because I don’t go home (and this year I’ll get to celebrate being in contact with my sister again too.)
In short, if you want to have healthy, fun and truly joyful holidays, you’re going to have to learn to deal with the narcissist(s) in your life. If you choose to continue to subject yourself to the abuse, at least start by learning about boundaries…
I’ll return to this subject again since the season is bearing down on us like a freight train….
The previous post “I Am Free” opened up the thought process that brought about this post and concept: If I stay hating her, I most likely will stay hating myself. What parts? Ironically enough, some of the best of ME!
My mother was creative, I am creative. Whether or not her need to be social was from her emptiness, I DID learn by watching her…and she was often very gracious, welcoming and warm to those around her (those who didn’t get to see under her mask that is.) Sooooo, despite how she treated us in the family, I DID learn some social skills.
I did inherit some of her habits for beauty and self-care (some I ignored but some I kept.) I at least had a mother who did, at times, enjoy aspects of my looks…even if it was only to point out how beautiful SHE is.
She decorates well and keeps a nice house so I did learn about “good taste.” She obsessively studied “designer” stuff so I learned about that as well.
Even if her jokes were canned and rehearsed, I learned the importance of humor.
If we can find the good parts of her, we can relish the good parts we did manage to inherit, learn and incorporate into who WE ARE today.
Like the last post said, if it’s all negative and all about HER, I’m not free. Endless mother bashing is also VERY boring. Yeah, dumping is fun but only for so long…I want to dump, run and MOVE ON with my own beautiful, whole and healthy life…and growing more beautiful every day, thankfully!
This was posted in the Psych Forum Website by LifeSong (link to full post at bottom.) I like the post she wrote, part of which I quote below. It gives me the perspective to move out of HER / MOTHER focused thinking to ME / HEALING focused thinking. I AM Free! Kewl…. :-D
“My mother is my mother. She rates that title. It’s simply the reality. She birthed me; she is my mother. I accept that.
I’ve seen the other sites where posters write of their “Momster” or “Her” or “the Vampire” or even refer to their mother as “It” or “She-it”. I understand that. It can serve a purpose for a time as we feel and let the anger out. But many people stay in that place too long, and many sites encourage people to stay in those places of the hot feelings of anger and outrage too long. Some other sites will clamp down hard on a poster like me who has compassion (from a protective distance of little/no contact) for the narcissist’s suffering. I don’t agree with that. As long as we remain in that heated place of “I am NOT them” or “I am NOT what they say I am”, we give them too much power.
My mother does not have power over me anymore. I am free.
When our reference point moves away from them and onto ourselves, as in “Well, I’m not that. But who am I?”, we can begin to be free enough from the connection to them that prevents us from entering true healing. My reference point is no longer her, and what she says, or what she thinks, or what she does, or how she behaved with me yesterday, or that story I’ve told a million times to others but want to tell to you again because I’m still living in that story, etc etc etc. I read so many posts on this site that are ALL about them, and people can’t see that when our thoughts are still so centered on them, we are still engaged in the battle. My reference point is no longer her; my reference point is me.
My mother does not have power over me anymore. I am free.”
Part of a post by LifeSong – source: http://www.psychforums.com/narcissistic-personality/topic56092.html
I’ve been wanting to call for over a year…I wanted to share about our mother’s narcissism and try to help my sister heal.
Last I heard, Mom said my sister didn’t want to talk to me again. Ever.
Took a long time to work up the nerve. But finally, I called her (and had to pray with my son beforehand.) My hands were sweaty and my heart was pounding as I dialed. I heard her voice on her answering machine tape and had to struggle not to hang up.
The next day, she called back while I was taking a nap. I didn’t even hear the phone ring. I woke up later and saw she’d called. My heart did the drop-thump-whoosh thing and I called back. I was excited. I figured, “she would just ignore me if she didn’t want to talk…she wouldn’t have bothered to call back.”
But I checked my voicemail anyway, just in case (and I NEVER check my messages…I just hit “re-dial” and I make it a point to tell all my friends “don’t bother to leave a voicemail, I won’t listen to it.”) I had to delete 22 messages before I got to hers. She said something like “oh hi, call me on my home phone” and gave me the number.
She is willing to talk! My heart leapt up with a big grin on it’s face. She doesn’t hate me, hallelujah! I knew that since the rest of us kids weren’t talking to Mommie Dearest, it was completely possible that my sister was enjoying “golden child” status and I was in no way going to interfere. It’s her turn, Mom has ALWAYS kept her in the scapegoat category. I was prepared to be told to go away.
I called the home number she’d give. Answering machine. Waited. No return call. More waiting. Called again later, wondering. “Is it too late?” No return call.
Then the phone rang late and it was her. We talked as if no time had passed; we talked as if far too much time had passed. We are sisters, we stepped right into the rhythm. We dumped, we laughed, we dissected our mother. We wrapped each other in love and relief and words of healing and grace. We dissected Mom some more. We apologized and forgave and comforted.
Our black hole of a mother had indeed “triangulated” and told my sister that same thing she told me “she doesn’t want anything to do with you.” Turns out it was a double lie. Which is now over and we are reveling in having our secret from her (well, my sister’s secret because she’s the only one still talking to Mom and it turns out, hardly ever anymore.)
My mother did indeed treat my sister like the Golden Child for awhile. But she’d abused my sister for so long that she didn’t trust it and never really believed the behavior. Smart woman, my sis.
I have my sister back and I am blessed. Thank you Lord, thank you!
The worst part of discovering my mother’s narcissism was the knowledge that she not only wounded me, through “triangulation”, my siblings and I no longer talk. I started out life with 3 brothers and sisters (and through the 7 marriages of my mother and father, there have been 14 siblings in my life all together…NONE of which I communicate with.)
Here is what “triangulation” looks like:
Having been raised by a narcissist, her children are predisposed to be envious, and she takes full advantage of the opportunity that presents. While she may never praise you to your face, she will likely crow about your victories to the very sibling who is not doing well. She’ll tell you about the generosity she displayed towards that child, leaving you wondering why you got left out and irrationally angry at the favored child rather than at the narcissist who told you about it.
The end result is a family in which almost all communication is triangular. The narcissist, the spider in the middle of the family web, sensitively monitors all the children for information she can use to retain her unchallenged control over the family. She then passes that on to the others, creating the resentments that prevent them from communicating directly and freely with each other. The result is that the only communication between the children is through the narcissist, exactly the way she wants it. (View #23 on “Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers” page for more.)
I MISS my sister! Even though we’ve been shredded, have shred each other, have professed hatred for each other, for our mother and at times have been allies and at times enemies, I KNOW it’s due MOSTLY to our soul sucking, triangulating, self-centered and vicious narc mom.
I walked out of my mother’s house for good April 25, 2010. Two days before my sister’s birthday. My sis & I aren’t talking and haven’t been for awhile now. Mommie dearest triangulated and AMPLIFIED something that me and my sister could probably have worked out.
My sister has EVERY reason to be mad at me…I did something many, many years ago that I should not have (and I did apologize and offer to take responsibility.) And it caused her trouble and nearly interfered with her getting a job. She did things to me many, many years ago that hurt my relationship with my dad…and she has never apologized…but I actually understand that because I understand the sick dynamics of my incredibly dysfunctional family.
My sister paid a higher price for their toxic love than I did because she was older. She got put into the scapegoat category long before I did and she has suffered and suffered and suffered for it. I understand her actions and for the times she’s hurt me, I forgive her because I love her and I MISS her.
During this journey of discovery about narcissism and it’s damaging effects, I have never ONCE wanted to contact my mom. But I have wanted to contact my sister because I KNOW if she “gets” this she’ll heal in leaps and bounds. I did leave a message for my brother a year ago and gave him my Nashville phone number (I was preparing to move to Nashville from Houston and he lives in Austin, Texas.)
I knew he and I would not get together before I left (we never did the 1 1/2 years Jason & I lived in Houston but we did kind of try. Mom engineered the phone conversations and then my brother disappeared again and we never talked again…yet another triumph for triangulation…witch.)
I guess I miss my siblings, not just my sister. But I love her enough to want to contact her (but I’m afraid to) to give her this HUGE piece of the misery puzzle we’ve shared. When I first started talking to the girlfriend that helped me really see what was going on, I’d HEARD about narcissism and really kinda figured I had it “down pat” ‘cuz I’ve done so much self study and been in and out of therapy for most of my life.
But I didn’t “get it” for ME…I didn’t apply it to MY mother. And I’m pretty sure my sister hasn’t either. I pray she does. I just left her a voicemail and whether or not she calls back is up to her (and God…if the relationship is permanently broken, I’ve prayed He take my desire to help her away and I know He will if He knows our relationship is never going to be repaired.)
This poem was written the day after I walked out of my mother’s house for the last time, the day I decided that NC (no contact) was the path I needed to take. I wrote this poem as the plane was taking off into the gray, rainy Seattle sky to take Jason and myself back to Houston.
There are some metaphors in the poem that correlate to the taking off through rain, rising up and finally breaking free of the clouds into sunshine. It was happening as I wrote the poem but the metaphor is there for those who choose to leave; to spread their own wings and fly away from the nest of death and destruction we were raised in.
The final game that she played was different (she ALWAYS picked a fight right as I was due to leave whenever I visited her) but this time, she hurt my son terribly. I’d chosen to live far away (and avoided her many times when we lived nearby) and sometimes I’d not spoken to her for long periods of time so she couldn’t get her hooks into my son.
But this time was different, this time was the last time I would let her hurt him…or me. I’d been learning about NPD in the process of helping a girlfriend and suddenly I saw the light. My mother has NPD and these kinds of attacks and fights would not only never end, they were getting worse as she got older. I was so used to taking it that, had she not involved Jason, I probably would still be caught in her spidery web.
by Janet Byers, 4/26/2010
Cloudy gray sky, silent tears and rain
Glad to be leaving years and years of pain
Sorrow rises up but my wings are spread wide
Leaving my past; good riddance, good-bye
Fifty years of your guilt and your games
Finally, freedom from your put downs and blame
Relief rises up, wings spreading, flying far
Leaving you; taking back my shattered heart
Rising into sunshine; finally breaking free
Taking deep, clean breaths; it’s okay to be me
Your sick games and lies will haunt me no more
Left your shackles behind, walked out your door
I’m free, I’m done…at last, I’m forever through
Hearing the questions: “What’s wrong with you?”
And “Why can’t you ever do anything right?”
Too many tears cried into pillows at night
Sucked my thumb for years and even wet my bed
Haunted by your condemnations deep in my head
First time I ran away from you I was only three
First desperate attempt to be free; to be me
To stay sane and relevant in spite of you
Kept running away; years of fighting for truth
Your narcissistic insanity ruled all my thoughts
Seems all I am to you…is everything I’m not
I never lived up to your expectations or dreams
There simply was no way I could please the queen
(this is when I stopped in April of 2010, my anger poured out and I spent the rest of the flight back to Houston feeling light and free. Now in June 11, 2011, I’m going to let the rest of the poem “come out” ‘cuz I know it’s in there!)
I never lived up to your expectations or dreams
There simply was no way I could please the queen
I was your punching bag; a scapegoat to abuse
I know now that who you really hate…is you
God gave me pity for you, showed me the truth
To feel good you have to crush those around you
You have to elevate yourself because you’re weak
But I’m disgusted with you and the havoc you wreak
Nothing will ever satisfy the monster inside you
I’m SO over your drama and trauma; yes, I am through
I’m done being your source of narcissistic supply
It’s over, I’m gone; good riddance, good-bye.
Welcome to “Postcards To A Narcissist”, a little corner of the blogosphere dedicated to helping survivors of narcissistic abuse have a safe place to dump and learn about hope and healing. The much referenced “inner child” of most children of narcissists is often full of beauty, innocence, joy and hope — but more often filled with guilt, shame, rage and pain.
The colors and crazy mixture of fonts in the site’s title “Postcards to a Narcissist” is representative of the jumble of emotions that we survivors carry within us. It’s representative of the anguish of our hearts — the site’s scripture is: “Oh my anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain. Oh the agony of my heart! My heart pounds within me, I cannot keep silent…” Jeremiah 4:19. The torn and misshapen fonts also represent the jumble of emotions that are indicative of all that is scarred, scattered and shattered deep inside us.
The artwork above says it ALL to those of us who have suffered at the hands of a narcissistic mother. The empty-eyed woman with the hole where her heart SHOULD be (said heart being cracked and on a chain) who is up on a pedestal, absorbed with her own reflection in the mirror (even while pushing away the “peons” below her) and with malformed breasts without nipples that represent a woman who cannot nurse or nurture her own children.
This blog stems from my need…as a survivor, as a recovering adult child of a narcissist and as a woman who is FINALLY learning that I am a competent, gifted person…to get WORDS out of my head. My mothers’ toxic words (or ones from other narcissists I’ve known), my own negative “self talk”, my words of inner despair and anger, you name it. I also want to get the GOOD words “out of my head” and out to the world to perhaps help others who are survivors of narcissistic abuse.
If you think either one of your parents is a narcissist, read first Characteristics of a Narcissistic Mother and THEN read about Fathers or love relationships. The reason for this is because the list of behaviors on the mother page covers MOST of the types of abuse ALL narcissists heap on others and so by reading that page first, you’ll KNOW what you’re dealing with, regardless of who your abuser is.
The name of the blog came from this desire I had to make my mother crazy by sending her postcards talking about her narcissism. It would make Thelma nuts to think that people at the post office in the small town of Sequim, Washington would read about, and then gossip about, her being a rotten mother, a vicious narcissist and an “empty suit” when it comes to be fully human. Yes, folks, the empress has no clothes. And no heart. And no conscience. And no empathy. And no….the list goes on and on and on and on and on…
I wanted to spew my bitterness, rage and pain but now that I’ve gotten some of the anger out in the writings I’ve already put on this blog, what I’ve quickly come to realize is that what I want most is to speak life, love and healing over myself and others. I want to experience restoration from God (even though I know as a Christian that some of my spewing will most likely not please Him…at least I obeyed Him and took off her last name…that was a big step for me.) I want to unearth, examine and reveal the areas that I’ve kept so carefully hidden and locked away inside my broken and chained heart. I know I desperately need to clean those areas out.
To heal. To share. To help. To vent. To grow. To recover. To live. To love. To become whole, healthy and at peace with who I am. THAT is what this blog is really all about. Please feel free to contact me, to comment, to share your own stories or to become a writer on this blog. I pray healing and blessings over you.
(Update 6/22/11 – I moved the rest of this first, LONG, sticky post to another post to keep the home page shorter and the new posts more prominent.)
(This is the rest of the very first post on this blog…I really wanted new posts to have prominance so I shortened it; here is the rest)
What’s wrong with me? Plenty, I’m human. But I have a new answer to that question as it was asked by my mother my entire life, “what is WRONG with you?” The answer is twofold: 1) “NOTHING is wrong with me, Mom!” and 2) “YOU are what’s wrong with me you evil, selfish emotional vampire…you absolute horror of a human being…you witch with a capital red B…you soul sucking black hole of a mother!”
The name of the blog came from this desire I have to make my mother crazy by sending her postcards talking about her narcissism. It would make her nuts to think that people at the Post Office in the small town of Sequim, Washington would read about her being a rotten mother, a vicious narcissist and an “empty suit” when it comes to be fully human. Yes, folks, the empress has no clothes. And no heart. And no conscience. And no empathy. And no….the list goes on and on and on and on and on…
I feel sorry for her but not sorry enough to keep the sick family secrets anymore. I will do my best to “honor” her by not publicly naming her but I NEED to relate truth in order to heal and to give others the courage to gain their own life back. It’s hard to go what is referred to as NC — No Contact — but for some it is the only way they can heal or hold onto their sanity.
I’m nearly 52 years old and, due to her abuse, I’ve wanted to die for many, many of those years, filled with a self loathing so deep and an insecurity so wide that even the love of God himself couldn’t help. Not until I recognized that she was a narcissist shortly after my 50th birthday. Then the pieces started falling into place so fast my head spun and my perception of the world was turned completely upside down. I’M not the sick one, SHE is. Wow, what a concept.
I know now that she is actually mentally ill and that sadly, there is very little hope for her. They’ve recently slated narcissist personality disorder to be removed from the DSM-5 (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) but we survivors know that whatever “they” decide (the out of touch academics who don’t live with the battle scars) simply does not matter. We KNOW our parents are the crazy ones!
When I learned of the upcoming change to the DSM-5 I also read somewhere that the removal is partly because for years the theory has been that narcissists cannot be helped since they will NOT admit there is ANYTHING wrong with them…turns out that’s not true. They CAN change…they just won’t.
Makes sense to me…why change when you can control the people around you through terror, abuse, fear and intimidation? EVERY 2 year old wants things their own way all the time (and that’s about the emotional growth of 99% of all narcissists) and being a horrible brat is quite effective. Ugly, but effective. They get their way, no matter what and definitely with no mind to who they hurt.
But guess who CAN change? Me. And you. Let’s send some postcards together announcing that we’re taking our minds, hearts, emotions, wills and lives back.