Welp, I’ve been putting this off (and frankly sort of dreading it), but decided to dive right in and start writing my story about how I came to be the kind of person I am and the way I came upon my present circumstances.
Over the past month or so, I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on about malignant narcissism and psychopathy, and realized that rather than me being at fault for my “bad choices,” as both my parents love to remind me (and had convinced me was the truth), I’m not really the one with the personality issue that got me into so much trouble throughout my adult life (not that I don’t have personality flaws because I certainly do–as do we all). I realized I entered adulthood without the tool kit most people are given during childhood and I also realized that this was intentional on their part (especially my mother) and I was never a loved child–in fact, my mother, being the psychopathic narcissist she is, hated me and still does. It’s been really hard to face this fact — no one wants to believe their own mother didn’t love them and it’s all too easy to listen to people who say, “oh, she must have loved you in her own way” but I now know that’s bullshit. Strangely, being able to face this has given me a sense of freedom and lessens some of the guilt I had over not being a “good enough” daughter. Her dislike of me is not my fault!
So let me get started. My conception itself wasn’t under ideal circumstances. I was “wanted,” but for all the wrong reasons. Two years prior to my entry into this world, my father had lost his 3 year old son he’d had with his first wife. He had been hit by a train. The car stalled on the tracks as the train was coming and his mother desperately hustled the baby and 6 year old daughter out of the car to safety first. Billy, strapped into his seat, had to wait for her to come back to get him after removing the first two children, but it was too late and the little boy died immediately.
My father (let’s call him Harry), in his vulnerable, grieving state (I don’t think he is a MN, although he definitely has always colluded with and been attracted to narcissistic women and has some narcissistic tendencies himself–more on that later) was never the same. Almost immediately he took to heavy drinking, and he and his wife grew further apart as he tried to drown his grief in booze. This was the late 1950s and divorce wasn’t acceptable especially when young children were involved, but she could no longer put up with his drinking and filed for divorce.
Before the divorce was granted, my father (who was a Navy academy teacher at the time) met a beautiful redhaired woman named Ginny at a dance at the naval academy in Annapolis. It was love at first sight. Ginny listened to him talk about his lost son, and cried with him and held him as he talked and grieved. She seemed sympathetic in a way his first wife never was (and probably couldn’t have been as she was grieving in her own way). Ginny was married to a minister, and had two young daughters, but that didn’t stop her from seeing my father romantically, and for no reason other than infatuation (her husband treated her and the girls well from what I understand), she divorced him and left her daughters to be raised by their father so that she could marry my father. Remember, this was the late 1950s and a mother leaving her own children just wasn’t done. But she did it without a second thought. Her oldest daughter (age 7 at the time) was greatly damaged by the abandonment, and to this day has issues related to that and has been in therapy her entire adult life (today she’s one of my mother’s flying monkeys but more on that later). The younger daughter (age 2) was too young to remember anything but I’m sure she was damaged too. Their father remarried a lovely woman who loved the two girls as if they were her own. They were raised with two other children and went on to have a normal childhood with parents who loved them and supported them. They got lucky. It was actually a very good thing that my two half sisters got out of having to be raised by Ginny. I was not that lucky.
So Harry and Ginny married, and almost immediately she became pregnant with me. The pregnancy was a wanted one, though why a woman who abandoned her own two children a year before to have another baby with another man is kind of beyond my comprehension (but she’s a narcissist so it’s not too surprising). She smoked during the pregnancy, though at the time, doctors actually recommended pregnant women smoke to keep their weight down, and my mother was always obsessed with her weight. She always brags how she never gained any weight during her pregnancy with me (or her other two children). Miraculously, I was born healthy if a little on the small side.
From the get go, I was a difficult baby, or at least that’s what I’ve been told. I cried all the time, and had health problems–I suffered from horrific ear infections that left me 80% deaf in my left ear. I was allergic to many foods and to just about everything else. By the time I was a toddler it was apparent I was an incredibly sensitive child, one who reacted to everything in a very emotional way. I was high strung, threw a lot of tantrums, and was easily hurt. From reading about other people’s experiences, especially this one by a wonderful survivor whose story is remarkably similar to mine, it seems that very sensitive children (empaths) are often born to and raised by narcissists and psychopaths, and that’s just about the worst parent/child combo possible. Whether they become overly sensitive due to their treatment, or whether the sensitivity is innate and just a cosmic joke that these kind of kids and parents wind up together so often is something I can’t explain, but unfortunately it all too often seems to be the case.
As I grew a little older, I’d go into these sort of trances where I’d tune out the environment and enter my dream world. I had an active imagination and imaginary friends, and this was my form of escape from the tension in my home. When I was about 3-4 I also engaged in banging my head against the wall. I don’t know why I did this, but at the time it felt good to me. Go figure. Today I believe I actually have high functioning autism (Aspergers) even though I’m self diagnosed (confirmed by a psychiatrist later). I seem to fit all the criteria for it, as well as for C-PTSD and Avoidant personality disorder, but more on that later. My mother hated it when I went inside myself, and always used to chide me for acting “spooky” and would tell me to snap out of it. I couldn’t. I didn’t know how. But if I continued to act “spooky” I’d be punished, usually with a beating or slap in the face.
I used to have terrible nightmares. Some were about Ginny, and I remember one where I dreamed she was standing over me, and I realized her eyes were nothing but black holes, like the demonic people you see in movies whose eyes are completely black. And she was wearing that self-satisfied sneer. I woke up screaming, but the nightmare continued in waking life as she rushed into the room demanding why I was screaming and then laughed at me for getting so upset about a “little dream.” But to this day I think what I saw was actually who she was inside. I think she hated me because she knew that I had the ability to see what she really was.
Both my parents were big on corporal punishment and a yardstick was kept in the kitchen hanging next to the refrigerator as a constant reminded to me that punishment was always close at hand. I was never allowed to express my opinions on anything and God forbid, never, EVER show any anger. Showing my emotions was a huge no no, although my mother was allowed to rant, scream and cry whenever she felt like it. My father usually colluded with her on these punishments, and dinner was always eaten at the table in near silence. Occasionally though the attention would be focused on me, usually to make fun of me in some way. Both parents used to laugh about how “literal” I was. When I was 6 and starting first grade, they found it hilarious when they asked me if I was looking forward to school, and I became frustrated because I couldn’t “see the school.” They weren’t laughing with me, but at me. Of course I was taking things literally. I was just 6 and not capable of abstract thinking yet, and it’s also a fact that autistics think literally, especially as children.
My parents never had another child, and my mother began to chafe at her role as housewife/mother. She was bored and would leave for long periods of time to see her friends, shop or just to get away from me and my father, and left me with a lot of babysitters. When she was home, more and more of her criticism of me focused on my weight and appearance. She treated me like a doll she could dress up and she loved to play with my baby fine hair to the point it tangled and hurt, and I would scream in pain and she would get mad and slam the brush down. She was also obsessed with my bowel functions and if I went a day without a BM, she would give me an adult sized enema. This was pretty traumatic. She also used to sit and watch me go to the bathroom to make sure I produced something. Naturally this led to me having even worse constipation as a result to “hold it in.”
As such a sensitive child, I was bullied in school. I didn’t know how to joke back, how to roll with the punches, how to appear invulnerable like the other kids. I always felt different. It was always difficult for me to make friends, though I usually managed to make one or two. Third grade was the worst, as I not only was targeted by a group of bullies who used to follow me home from school and fed on my reaction (I always cried) but was targeted by my psychopathic teacher as well. Mrs. Morse scared the daylights out of me. She was an overweight woman in her 50s whose upper arm always shook like Jello when she wrote on the board. She regularly liked to call me up to the front of the class to answer a question (and she ALWAYS called on me because I was always daydreaming) and when I couldn’t answer the question (which was often the case as I went into freeze mode at these times and couldn’t think straight) she’d demand why I couldn’t until I cried. At this point she’d call out the crying to the entire class, and all of them would have a good laugh at my expense as I stood there wanting to sink through the floor in shame.
Oddly, I was always told how pretty and intelligent I was (especially by my father, who I think really did love me in his flawed way). But the compliments stopped there. Any praise was almost always limited to innate qualities rather than my achievements or things I could do well. I was also was told constantly I was “too sensitive.” (This is another thing psychopaths like to say to keep their marks in their place). I WAS too sensitive, but this was always used against me and used to embarrass me. When company came over, my mother loved to “brag” to her friends and relatives about how sensitive I was and how everything made me cry. I became very self conscious as a result and started to hide my emotions more so it wouldn’t be called out to shame me. Of course she just found other things to use against me and undermine any little self confidence I had.
Ironically, though they hated my sensitivity, both my parents almost seemed to encourage it. They always wanted me to look frail and helpless and as I entered my teens; Ginny in particular became critical if I looked or acted too “tough”– a demeanor I sometimes used as a way to protect myself and hide my vulnerabilities (though it didn’t usually work too well). All teenagers are sarcastic (and most parents don’t really care for it), but when I used sarcasm or humor to protect myself, she’d tell me I was acting “low class.” Oh, and that’s another thing. Ginny was obsessed with social class and always described us as “upper middle class,” never the more humble “middle class,” even though in actuality that’s what we were. She always put on airs as if she was of higher social status than she actually was and to this day, has a very affected and fake way of speaking, not to mention extremely condescending.
Ginny never let me do anything on my own when I was a child. I remember wanting to help her wash the dishes one night after dinner, and she said I wouldn’t be able to do it because I might break something. When I was 11 and wanted to join the swim team at the pool and tennis club we belonged to, she didn’t say no, but pointed out that maybe I shouldn’t because “you don’t like competition–you’re too sensitive and you’ll get bullied.” I joined anyway and had no problems with my sensitivity or bullying even though I usually finished in third place and never first and rarely second.
I was a good student expected to make straight A’s (and was beaten with the yardstick if a failed to make an A) but always had problems with math. I had a low frustration tolerance for it and was lucky if I got a B. This was never acceptable to my parents, but I was doing the best I could.
When I was about 12, Ginny’s focus on my weight became an obsession. She was always a thin and vain woman herself, and expected me to be her mini-me, even far into adolescence. Even though I was far from overweight (in fact I was a little on the thin side) she liked to point out how big my ass was, and used to do this when other people were present, embarrassing me so much I wanted to die. Probably as a form of rebellion, I actually tried to gain weight and developed a love of junk food. Anytime I wanted dessert, or seconds at dinner, she’d remind me how “overweight” I was and that I needed to watch my calories. She even threatened to send me away to weight loss camp. With all this obsession over my non-existent weight issue, it’s a miracle I didn’t develop an eating disorder.
My half sister came to live with us when I was 12 for a short time, and we got along great. Debbie was far more self confident than I was, very outdoorsy and adventurous, and took me around to meet her friends and do things with them. They all seemed to like me. For the first time I felt liked and was developing a little confidence in my social skills, which were never that good (I’m painfully shy even to this day). After a couple of months of this, my parents decided to send Debbie back to her father and stepmother (even though this was her own daughter!) because she was having a “bad influence” on me. I was heartbroken.
My parents divorced when I was 13. My father’s drinking had become much worse, and both parents were having affairs (this was the 1970s). It was around this time my mother decided she was a feminist, and started spending more and more time away from home, and landed a job public relations. After my father moved out, my mother and I moved to New York City to a one bedroom apartment. At first, I hated the city, but I was never asked my opinion about the move, or given any sympathy that I’d be leaving all my old friends behind. My mother’s new PR career became her primary focus (what a perfect job for someone so image-conscious: public relations is ALL about image!) and she always talked about how much more rewarding this was than being a mother. She left me alone overnight often so I learned how to fend for myself and cook my own dinners. I actually didn’t mind this because it meant time away from her (by this time I decided I couldn’t stand her) But this was New York City in the 1970s (the city was rampant with violent crime then) and I was just 14 and 15 years old.
Ginny began to drink a lot and bring her boyfriends home. To leave my bedroom for any reason, I’d have to walk through the living room where more often than not, they were in bed together or even having sex. I never said anything about it but it really bothered me. She had a string of boyfriends, most who she’d recruit as her flying monkeys to join her in her belittlement of me and constant gaslighting.
One night we had a huge argument (I don’t remember what it was about–I was drunk myself but she was so wasted she didn’t even notice) and in a drunken, narcissistic rage she started throwing bags and all my belongings out the door and told me to go live with my dad (who was already living with the woman who would become his third wife) who really didn’t want me around much. I told her he didn’t want me and didn’t have room for me in his apartment and she told me she didn’t care. At that point I grabbed a kitchen knife and started to come at her with it. I wasn’t actually intending to use it, but I was very emotional and wanted to scare her. I guess it worked because she got on the phone and begged Harry to come pick me up, telling him I was “disturbed” and “insane.” So he did, and I spent three months living in his studio apartment where I was pretty much ignored (they were never home).
Within a few months, I was placed in a girls’ residence in Queens, New York, and was bullied by the girls there too. I didn’t seem to fit in anywhere in the world. I felt so alone.
High school was a nightmare. I was attending a Catholic all girls high school, and I was completely out of my element. I was bullied by the popular girls, and even the not so popular ones ganged up against me. I became the school pariah. I had no friends at all. I regularly went to visit the guidance counselor in tears. She seemed the only person in the entire school who took any sympathy on me but soon she disappeared and I was informed she found another job. My grades suffered, and one day my mother received a letter from the school that “perhaps Suzanne would be happier in another school.” My mother went ballistic and raged on about how much the school was costing my father (who she usually berated and trashed) and what an ungrateful little shit I was.
I finished high school at the local public school, with its mostly black and Hispanic student population. I found out I got along well with the blacks in particular, and felt more accepted by them than I had by the snobby white girls in the Catholic school. I made a few friends, mostly black. The school didn’t have high standards, and I’d get A’s just by showing up in class, so I didn’t learn much. In my spare time I’d bury myself in books and writing–this was the adolescent version of my childhood daydreams and “trances”–but got criticized by Betty for “reading too much” and not being social enough.
As I entered my late teens, I became a little boy crazy. My first serious boyfriend at age 18 was a narcissist and an abuser. This set the pattern for what was to come.
The next part of my story will be about my early adulthood years culminating in meeting my narcissitic ex husband.
Please comment! Thanks:)
Interesting that we both had issues with a Mother. Keep in touch.
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There’s an old theory (now discarded by most professionals) that autism was caused by
“refrigerator mothers.” In several blogs I’ve been reading where the writer has autism/aspergers, there does seem to be a correlation between that and having been raised by a very cold, narcissistic parent, particularly the mother. I’m wondering if there is some validity to that old theory and should be looked into again.
I’ve read that daydreaming like you’re talking about in your post is a form of dissociation. Not quite the same as having MPD but I found it interesting myself when I read it. It made sense to me. I mean when ya daydream, you’re not really ‘here.’ I used to do it to in school. I went to Catholic school from 1st through 8th grade and I remember being called on to snap me out of my day dream state. And of course not knowing the answer.
Your comment on refrigerator mothers above I find rather interesting too. I should really read more about autism and asperger’s. Not that I’d label myself with either of them. But it has crossed my mind that major depression and autism/asperger’s could have some things in common.
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Thanks for replying!
Yes, I think the daydreaming is very likely associated with autism, and the autism itself is basically nothing more than escaping into oneself as a means of protecting ourselves against too much environmental stimuli–when that environmental stimuli is chaotic and/or negative as it’s bound to be with narcissistic parents, escape into daydreaming, head-banging, or “zoning out” (my “spooky” moods) makes life at least a little bearable. It probably enraged my mother because she KNEW it was my only way to escape from her WHERE SHE COULD NOT GET TO ME. Narcissists want you completely vulnerable, so even escape inside one’s own head is a means of self defense. They hate that.
There definitely is a correlation between major depression and autism. When autistic behaviors and defenses don’t work(as they won’t always, since being an adult means facing the world, not fleeing from it) it can send an overly sensitive person into “learned helplessness” which is directly related to depression and even suicide.
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As an adult, I’m very introverted and prefer online communication to “irl” communication. I need my time alone like I need water and air. I’m very easily overwhelmed by external stimuli (most of it being negative) and this has been an issue my entire life, and is quite debilitating. I think highly sensitive people (HSP’s) are often autistic as well–the autism being a form of self defense that doesn’t work too well in the narcissistic, compassion-deficient, dog eat dog world out there where being outgoing and socially aggressive is a huge advantage and being introverted and shy can be almost a disability since it keeps you from making the connections one needs to make to be successful in life. People with aspergers/autism who have become successful are usually extremely lucky and it’s usually because they have some outstanding talent or ability that was discovered, rather than them getting out there and promoting themselves. Most people with autism are probably more like me–working in jobs that require little contact with the outside world and most often underemployed in low level jobs (even if they’re very intelligent) due to their tendency to be quiet and often overlooked for promotions because they can’t “network” well enough.
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Hi again Lucky Otter — so glad to see you’re taking positive steps toward healing. I too had a NPD female biological parent, so I can relate to your story. And I’m probably borderline Asperger’s myself. That’s not an official diagnosis, just my result from taking the online interactive test which you can find by googling Baron-Cohen asperger’s test. I’m cheering you on, and just think, by writing all this out, someone will find your blog and begin to realize “Oh, I’m not alone!” Peace and hope from Elva
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Elva! ((hugs)) Great to see you here. I am finding blogging very therapeutic. I just wonder why it took me so long. My next step is to find a good trauma therapist but that will be hard given I don’t have health insurance (and my state doesn’t recognize Medicaid for those not earning enough to qualify for Obamacare, which I don’t unfortunately). But this might be better than therapy. Some therapists are themselves narcissistic–you have to be careful.
BTW, I also took that online Aspergers test and passed with flying colors lol!
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Laughter is indeed the best medecine. You earned your grades if only for making me laught this hard. Am actually travelling, and I choose not to bring my kindle along just so I could read as much of your blog as possible. I also choose the bus instead of being picked up from the station, just so as to have more time with ‘YOU’. I hope you are way ahead in your healing. I am beginning to realise my father could very be suffering from NPD. He helped ruin my brother, and my life would have been much better I think. Of course for safe boundaries-he is simply blank to me currently. Thanks for sharing.
This is in response to your paragraph about being a difficult baby and very sensitive. Have you explored the possibility that you may be a highly sensitive person (HSP)? I am an HSP raised by a mother with borderline personality disorder. My sensitivity made me an easy target. Dr. Elaine Aron is the psychologist who has done a lot of work surrounding HSP’s and she is one herself. I highly recommend her book — the original one. Here is her website: http://www.hsperson.com/
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Yes, in fact I wrote several posts about HSPs and think I am one. You can click on HSPs under “categories”: (drop down) to find the articles where I talk about it–I definitely think I am one myself. Narcs seem to have a knack for finding HSPs and usually make scapegoats out of us because they both hate and envy how sensitive we are. Thanks for finding my blog and commenting!
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Your blog is wonderful! You are a great writer. Thank you also for following mine. I will be sure to check out what you have written about HSP’s.
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Thank you so much! I love writing and making this blog was one of the smartest things I’ve done, and in doing so, I am finding my voice. I thought I’d lost it for good. I am reading your blog also and think it’s great. I found your blog via 500PoundPeep at Blogger. Her blog is awesome.
Thank you for sharing your story. I’m starting to share mine on my blog, which has a lot of similarities to yours. https://voicewilderness1.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/here-it-comes/
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Thank you for sharing this. You’ve helped me figure out more clues to the puzzle that is the beginnings of how it came to be for me as I sit here right now.. truly knowing that my ‘mom’ is a NPD. I am on a mission for understanding and healing for myself. I pray I get there.
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Tamara , I’m glad you found my story and glad it helped you identify your mom as NPD.. Sometimes reading other people’s stories gives you perspective. It did the same for me. Hope you keep commenting . welcome!
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Hi. Thank you for replying! I have ‘known’ all my life that something wasn’t right with my ‘mother’, since I was a baby I could feel a disconnect. I knew what abandoned was before I’d ever heard or seen the word. From my ‘mom’, and I grew-u in a two parent home that looked like the perfect life. When I was around 33 I discovered Narcissistic Personality Disorder online while searching terms I knew/felt all my life, like; scapegoat, ignoring mother, doormat and other phrases. So, I knew deep down that my ‘mom’ has this disorder, yet I was in denial for many reasons I’d have to write a small essay about. I’m now 37 and for the last year or so, I have accepted that it’s completely true and not made up in my head. As you said reading others posts like yours (Thank you so very much) and watching videos on youtube has helped me piece together the sad reality of it all. For some reason, I still feel like I need to understand more, because my life seems like a big lie! Wish me luck that I find my freedom and am able to be happy and live again.
Again, Thank you!
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You sound like you are movng in the right direction. Write or blog if you can , at least keep a journal. It takes courage to face up to what we are dealing with and call it for what it is.
I didn’t want to believe both my mother and my ex who I had 2 children with were both MNs…I denied it, fought against it, but eventually there was no more denying. It’s hard…no one wants to admit they wasted years of their life on a man dead set to destroy them or admit their own mother never loved them the way a mother should… we have to have a lot of courage, you are brave and strong, and are not alone either–there’s a lot of us . It’s good to know I’m not the only one in the world with the kinds of issues I have had….I used to feel so, so alone.
Good luck, and I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I’m glad you’re here.
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Your mother shares many similarities with mine. I can especially relate to your frustration as your mother would claim the family was “upper middle class.” My father told me to pay no attention to it, because she was always insecure about coming from a third-world country with a sixth grade education, but it worried me how serious she was when she told people she worked at the headquarters of the gas station in which she was working (they had one of those sandwich shops). If they ran into her at her real job, she’d come home to belittle them, make judgments about their lives, and even damn their character based on whether they liked mayonnaise or sweet onion sauce on their subs.
I’ve found that often, the circumstances of the child’s birth aren’t ideal. Mentioning that to the average person doesn’t really help them understand the odd dynamics of your family, because they’ll tell you to “not be so harsh on them,” or “they did the best they could.” If I had gone into more detail about the things they committed in spite of the pretty facade they propped up for all to see and believe, I’d be branded a pathological liar.
My father was similarly abusive. The nicest thing he told me was that I was his favorite daughter. But see, they’d tell me my youngest sister wasn’t so intelligent and that they had her late in their age to “take care of them.” It was said with a tone to guilt-trip me. Unfortunately, I think my sister has internalized this, so in earlier years she never really applied herself. She has hobbies now, though my mother dismisses them as silly. She tells me my sister is not smart as well, though my sister is a great artist, and she teaches herself techniques as my mother wants nothing to do with it.
Thank you for sharing your story. The commonalities here are more than I’ve found in other online venues. I’ve often tried to make sense of my parents’ actions, though I’m told in therapy that I’ll never know, and to put my energy towards more productive things. Still, the toll it has took on me is heavy, and it will still take a while to push away the boulder that blocks the road, if that makes any sense.
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It took me years to accept that my mother is a malignant somatic narcissist. Ironically, during the time my father was still her biggest apologist (he is very codependent) he sent me M. Scott Peck’s “People of the Lie”–because he recognized my HUSBAND in that book. What was ironic was I also was able to identify HER in that book, and while it didn’t change my life right away, it got the wheels turning and made me start to think that my situation may not really be all my fault.
I’m glad you got something out of my story. My mother also alway told me how smart I was, but then turned the tables and kept telling everyone how I was a failure and a loser and she never let me think for myself.
The circumstances of my birth were far from ideal: it was a marriage on the rebound, my dad fell for my mother’s fake sympathy just after his 3 year old son died and fell in love with her. A year later they had me. No marriage or relationship based on something like that can be good.
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Thanks for this blog.
My mother is so affected it’s not funny. She is, in English terms, a Hyacinth Bucket (or as she pronounces it: Bouquet. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Keeping_Up_Appearances_characters#Hyacinth_Bucket) – a terrible snob. She comes from very humble beginnings but because my narcissist father ”made good”, his money gave her airs and graces. She had her ”golden child” (my sisters and I were grateful that she was devoted to my eldest sister/baby brother, so we were pretty much left alone). I got the diet books at aged 12. She would lie to outsiders that all was well with the family (1 sister ended up committing suicide [and she didn’t travel to the funeral because, ”it would be too painful for me”], another had a breakdown owing to her marriage to a malignant, my brother is a complete loser). She would read and sprout the crap written in right-wing newspapers. It drove me mad until I cut her off and went NC.
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Mymother also talks in a very fake, affected way , in this fake upper class accent which sounds fake and is very annoying. It used to really embarrass me when I lived with her as a child and teenager, and even as an adult when we’d be out in public together
This is a kinda spooky doppelganger account that so echoes my childhood back in the 1960s – in Australia – right down to the morbid fear my parents had, that I would implode if I didn’t have a BM once a day.
I was so hazed by my parents that when I first read “Toxic Parents” by Susan Forward
in the early 1990s, I couldn’t even connect that I was reading about behaviour my own
parents had displayed; they were so covert.
I love the books that Don Kalsched is writing, also “Micro-Traumas” by Peggy Crastnopol
is really insightful.
My parents were long-dead before I began to figure out a lot was off-kilter with their parenting style. Whenever I start to feel sorry for them, I just remember all of my pets that they killed.
I was truly fortunate to physically survive.
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your parents killed your pets? Having them “put to sleep” or something else? My parents were not coverts, well not my mother anyway. My mother was a high spectrum somatic malignant narcissist. My dad may have been a covert N but he was mostly codependent (and is currently codependent on his current wife, who is very similar to my mother, except she’s cerebral instead of somatic).
My parents are responsible for both my BPD and my own covert NPD (low spectrum). I just self-identified as one 2 weeks ago.
I’m glad I did though, because now everything is starting to make sense and I can see myself the way others always did.
You’re here, and you survived, and I truly believe that as pointless and tragic as our childhoods were, it all happened for a reason. I know I learned form my narcs–hard lessons, but I have insight into human nature I never would have had without their influence on me.
I would not say I have insight into “human” nature at all. I am familiar how a particular group of
people from a specific culture in a defined nation express the patterns of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour; patterns that are determined by a host of variables that our poor
little monkey-minds can only catch the reflection of. And that’s if we squint at the right time.
I do not perceive my childhood as being pointless and tragic at all. Neither do I believe
it all ‘happened for a reason’. That’s a warm, fuzzy, self-soothing pile of codswallop.
You might find it a revealing exercise to track the trauma patterns using this tool developed by
some of my fellow Australians:
The pattern sheet can be used to focus on specific areas in your life. Education/study/career;
travel/influences from new locations; intimate relationship/family; health/illness.
Why would you want to conform with how others always saw you? You are here to develop and grow your OWN identity, not to be a garden-variety clone of their pathology….
No, the pets were not ‘put-to-sleep’; they were taken from the comfort of suburban domesticity and dumped into the bush to be predated upon by wild animals, starve to death, or be shot at by drunken youths who couldn’t piss in a straight line let alone kill an animal with one clean shot.
At the end of the day, it comes down to very simple questions:
(a) How were you shown to value life?
(b) What were you instructed to value more than life itself?
Enjoy mining the wealth of wisdom within the anunda website. I have no affiliations with them, just paying it forward.
I,m 65 years old and identify with everything. My father was a schizophrenic and I thought he was the problem growing up and my mother was my savior. (Oh how blind I was). When I was 30 I went through a divorce and sought out therapy, this saved life. (Thank you Walt and Charles) it was
Like someone put all through puzzle pieces together and my insane life made sense. I understood that my mother who said “you are not like her and my sister” was my saving Grace. I was normal, sane not schizo, NPD or the sociopath my sister is. (Nature vs nurture ?). I do drink to much which is way of escaping. I am very sensitive but that has lead to inhandsing my physic abilities. You had to know when to move in that house to stay alive. Today my father died 30 years ago and I no longer speak to my sister and mother. The pease I have found with my husband, children and grandkids is the way life should be, not the high drama I came from.
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I appreciate your comments. Doesn’t if feel wonderful when you finally realize that YOU are NOT the problem? Only since I realized that have I begun to be able to change myself and find out what I’m all about. I’m so glad it’s all coming out in the open and people are finally speaking up against their abusers.