It’s all about image: the skewed values of narcissistic families

monopolyguy

Last night I read a blog post by another survivor of narcissistic parents , and was astounded by how similar her parents’ values were to mine.

She writes that her father criticized her for being too idealistic. Now that would normally be a compliment, but because her family valued nothing but money, class and image, it was meant to be an insult. My father (who I don’t think is a narcissist, but has always been a huge narcissist apologist and enabler), said exactly the same thing to me.

We live in a narcissistic and materialistic society, that increasingly values traits that are narcissistic and exalt the individual over the community. In fact, studies have shown that a high percentage of CEOs, top executives, Wall Street tycoons, and others of the “One Percent” have narcissistic personality disorder. It’s a disorder that is very adaptive in modern society and whose traits are rewarded with money and material goods. Especially since the 1980s, with its “Greed is Good” ethos, we reward those who act in their own self interest over those who act in the interests of the community and want to help the less fortunate. There’s even a meme that’s become especially popular with narcissistic Baby Boomers: “I’m spending my children’s inheritance,” as though this is something to be proud of.

inheritance

My family bought right into this ethos. Image was everything to my parents, especially my mother. My parents looked down on our blue-collar neighbors and relatives, and my mother in particular constantly made jokes at their expense and talked about how much better we were because we had nicer things and my father had a better (meaning white collar) job in the city. Appearance mattered, and our clothes had to come from the best department stores, never Sears. We had to live in the most exclusive neighborhoods. To not have a college degree was considered a mortal sin, and even then, it was far better to be successful in the cold-hearted business world than to be a successful teacher, social worker or a nurse. Such things were regarded as jobs for those who couldn’t do anything else, and of course they required a level of idealism that my parents just couldn’t relate to. When my parents split up when I was 14, my extremely image-conscious mother took up public relations as a career, which is all about image. She had so many face-lifts that today her face looks like a mask.

Whenever my parents, my mother in particular, complimented someone else, it was always on their visible, tangible qualities–things like their appearance, home decor, financial status, and taste in clothes. Table manners were of utmost importance, but being a good person was not. I can’t remember a time when my mother ever complimented anyone for qualities such as sweetness, generosity, friendliness and altruism. I do remember her putting down others for having these qualities, calling them “insipid” or accusing them of having no backbone.

My values never matched those of my immediate family, and when I became poor as an adult (because I was never given the tools and self esteem that would have led me to make better choices) I was shunned and rejected by them. I don’t think it’s any accident that when narcissistic parents choose a scapegoat, they usually choose the most sensitive child–the one most likely to be empathetic and have idealistic values. To a narcissist, idealism and empathy are weaknesses. They truly believe that the poor deserve to be poor, and they make no exception for their own child. The child with traits that cause them to become a scapegoat (and who all too often are also bullied at school) would probably become successful if they were raised in a loving, nurturing home, but in a narcissistic home, having these traits is a curse because that child is led to believe they are worthless and this leads to cowardly, “safe” choices that are more likely to lead to poverty. They are constantly told they will fail, that nothing they do is good enough, and then are usually “tossed out to the wolves” at a young age, with no family financial or emotional support to help them get a foothold in the larger world. I have read so many blogs by the scapegoated children of narcissistic families, who were forced to make their own way in the world with no family support, even if their parents could have afforded to help them, and even when other children in the family (who were not scapegoated) did receive support when they entered adulthood.

superiority

What is so ironic about all this is we scapegoats are rejected and hated for the very traits that were instilled in us as children! Scapegoated children are not encouraged to think independently or have ideas of their own. In fact, having a mind of one’s own is reason for punishment and abuse. We were trained to be deferent and obedient–and very much afraid. Deference, obedience and fear are not traits that lead to success in modern life. I think this training is deliberate, in that an evil narcissistic parent needs and wants someone they can use as the family trashcan–someone who can take and absorb all the family pathology and carry its burden. This child is then blamed for everything that goes wrong both within the family and in their own lives. When a scapegoated child becomes an adult, their low self esteem and fear almost inevitably leads to a life of material and financial lack, and this gives the narcissist parents an excuse for rejecting that child and refusing to help–for “violating” their materialistic, self-centered values. I think another reason narcissistic parents train HSP (highly sensitive) children to be scapegoats is because they know an HSP child must be silenced: this is a child who sees through their lies and can use the light of truth to blow the whistle on them. If they are encouraged to think and act independently, they might “out” the narcissistic parent and that is a prospect that terrifies them.

Of course, the best revenge for a scapegoated child is to become successful in spite of their upbringing–and of course there are those who have. Even then, narcissistic parents will find reasons to put that child’s accomplishments down as somehow not “good enough.” The few times in my adult life where I had some legitimate tangible success, I was never praised for it, but given some sort of left-handed compliment or told why it didn’t really count. I was also always compared with my more financially successful older half-siblings, who of course never had been designated the family scapegoat.

Narcissistic parents also don’t care if you have a mental disability. I’m a self-diagnosed Aspie (this was later confirmed by a psychiatrist) and suffer from intermittent major depression, but when I tried to tell my parents these were the reasons why I had so much trouble making the social connections necessary to become financially successful, these diagnoses were dismissed. I was told I was “making excuses.” Both my parents are convinced my poverty is my own fault because of the stupid choices I made. While I don’t deny having made dumb choices, these choices were based on the way I had been raised–to be afraid of taking any risks or challenging myself.

The only way to break the narcissist/scapegoat family dynamic (and it is probably the most toxic parent-child combination imaginable) is by cutting off contact with the abusive parent, because as long as you keep trying to please them, they will continue to attempt to break you down and make you feel insignificant. Nothing will ever please them, even if you dare to become more successful than they are. And if you somehow manage to do this without sacrificing your idealistic and empathetic values, that’s the biggest threat to them of all.

Make no mistake: your narcissistic parent doesn’t love you and never will, but it isn’t your fault. They hate you because they envy those qualities you have–empathy and humanity–that elude them. Be a good parent to yourself. Love yourself. You deserve it.

haters

About luckyotter

This blog is my journal. I just choose to share it with the world instead of keeping everything inside my head. I'm a recovering Borderline and have also struggled with Avoidant Personality Disorder. I also have Complex PTSD due to having been the victim of narcissistic abuse for most of my life. I write mostly about narcissism, because I was the child of a narcissistic mother, and then married to a sociopathic malignant narcissist for 20 years. But there's a silver lining too. In some ways they taught me about myself. This blog is about all that. Not all my articles will be about NPD, BPD or other personality disorders or mental conditions. I pretty much write about whatever's on my mind at the moment. So there's something for everyone here. Blogging about stuff is crack for my soul. It's self therapy, and hopefully my insights and observations may help others too.
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28 Responses to It’s all about image: the skewed values of narcissistic families

  1. It is a tough subject matter to tackle. Well done. Narcissism is often coupled with alcohol or drug abuse since like most addictive behaviours, eventually the thrill of being the centre of attention lessens, especially when the captive audience has flown the nest… You can usually identify the narcissist because they surround themselves with weaker individuals who hang on their very word but have few of their own. They are also physically less attractive and do not overshadow the plumage of the peacock at the centre of the circle. For a narcissistic mother it can be diabolical to be their intelligent and attractive daughter – far better that they have sons which they will tend to spoil and favour. You can usually tell a home like that when all the girls leave home very young, especially early marriages, usually to narcissistic men because that is what they deserve don’t they?. It is unfortunately very common and not something new. It just gets talked about far more now. But there are many women in their 80’s upwards who still remember their upbringings unhappily and they were hampered with a great deal less opportunities to get out and do well in life. Keep talking about it…..

    Liked by 2 people

    • luckyotter says:

      You nailed it. Because I was raised as an only child (my parents both had children from former marriages) I also served the role of Golden Child and sometimes was told how attractive and intelligent I was. So I was getting a lot of mixed messages. It was very crazymaking!

      I absolutely agree my mother would have done better with a son. She adores my son (her grandson) although he is also an HSP (highly sensitive person) like myself. So far she has not been able to make him one of her flying monkeys–he can see right through her and told me she gives him “bad vibes” even though she is very kind to him.
      As a female, she always tried to make me her mini-me, and flew into rages when I balked, especially in adolescence. I deliberately tried to gain wieight and dress in the sloppiest, most grungy clothes to annoy her. She constantly put me down for my weight, my hairstyle (which was just long, no hairstyle at all) and even the expression on my face. (I was always told I looked surly) I don’t think she would have been this critical of a son.

      I will definitely keep writing about this–this blog has been the smartest thing I ever undertook and I’m learning so much about myself and realizing I am NOT alone. I always felt so alone before. It also makes me feel good when someone tells me something I wrote helped them. This isn’t just about me anymore.

      Liked by 3 people

      • luckyotter says:

        One more thing. In 1973 my mother was trying to get pregnant (by her lover who was married at the time with 3 daughters) and actually told me she wanted a boy and if it turned out to be a girl (determining the sex of a fetus was new at the time) she would abort it. She never did get pregnant, which was a blessing because the child wouldn’t have had a father and she was drinking heavily at the time.

        Oh, you are also correct about the drinking and drug abuse. Both my parents were heavy drinkers and just as you said, I married a narcissistic man who was both an alcoholic and a drug abuser. I have written about him elsewhere.

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      • It is good that you are dealing with it now. Do remember that you have actually got all the power and one of the most useful tools is to step back and let your mother do all the running. Your son has a wise head on his shoulders and will do just fine.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. safirefalcon says:

    It’s funny (not haha) …the irony you wrote about is something I was just thinking about and have been actually for the past week or so. They mold you then treat you like shit for being exactly what they sculpted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      In a nutshell, it’s because they WANT a piece of shit– or rather, a toilet they can dump all their shit on.

      Liked by 1 person

      • safirefalcon says:

        Yep that’s it. They don’t want to see the reality of the situation and their own participation of it all. For me, I would try to resolve issues and then would get the finger pointing and blame.

        I don’t want to say too much because I really need to get blogging on it. I’m kind of avoiding and I have perfectionism issues.

        But I was the dump and didn’t realize what was going on for a long time. I also kept myself in a cloud of beer, cigs, mary jane and just keeping myself busy, being out with friends.

        I thought my family’s assessment of me was right and that I was the whole problem.

        I’m away from them now, NC with sibs, very rare contact with mom. Dad passed. So I’m seeing so much so fast and it can be overwhelming. Plus I just recently made the decision and so far have been sticking to it, to cut out all my escape mechanisms…junk food, beer, toxic company, and even maryjane. So the stuff is starting to really come up, although it’s come up before, this time I’m not dowsing it.

        I refuse to be their trash can ever again. Let them live with the elephants. I mean I like elephants and all, but I don’t want to have to look around them to talk to people that I naively believed loved me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • luckyotter says:

          Good for you for letting go of all those unhealthy habits, and it sounds like you’re moving in a positive direction. We can admit they used us as the family trash can and never loved us, but as long as we’re still alive, that doesn’t have to destroy us. There is always hope, there is always a bright future. Starting this blog and reading other blogs like mine has been the most positive thing I’ve ever done to overcome the damage they did to me.

          Liked by 2 people

  3. allabouteve16 says:

    Reblogged this on allabouteve16.

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  4. duncanmason says:

    Reblogged this on duncanmason.

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  5. Excellent posting. Dealing with narcissism is like unweaving a distorted tapestry thread by thread.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thanks for mentioning my article here. I added your blog to my blog list too. We are similar in the way we are both Aspies who came out of narcissistic households. Yes I got abused for being “too idealistic” and was slapped with the exhortation, “You’re too sensitive!”. They were very against me becoming an art teacher and did everything to ruin things. I think it is a career I would have succeeded in very well, with a normal family and health and did in my few years I got to do it. I am sorry your father was the same way.

    My father used to tell me I had a horrible personality and needed to sell out and get with the program and even pretend to believe in the family church for the sake of image. All he had to sell me was hypocrisy and the prevailing narcissism and materialism of society which he bought into. I believe the narcs in society are rising like scum to the top of an over-boiled oily soup, because of the break-down of social connections. Social connections kept some of these narcissists at bay because back in a small town, people knew who did them wrong and let others know, and today they can move far more undetected. So honestly the narcissists are the ones mostly likely to be financially secure today while their victims struggle. Yes the Baby Boomers are proud of spending their children’s inheritance. Obviously they do not care that Generation X and the millennials will suffer due to their selfishness. They never lived for the future or a legacy they would leave but for themselves, the wicked “me” generation, that has done more to destroy the USA then any other before it. I may write soon about how Generation X is far more ill then Baby Boomers.

    Yes all the blue collar relatives were looked down on in my family including two relatives who worked 30 years in the same factories. Hard work wasn’t respected but getting over. The two factory relatives, remain in the Narc fog but were ostracized to a certain point. Yes only business or government jobs were favored. My parents basically were extremely overpaid paper pushers for the Fed government, my mother didn’t have a college degree but got in the organization via my father’s largesse and nepotism. Imagine going from making 5 bucks an hour for pin money to a middle class job. She did and only had judgment for those who didn’t copy her supposed efforts. That is sad about your mother being so into image she got face lifts. Mine only cared about image too. I experienced the same thing with compliments.

    This was the worse mother someone with severe lipedema could have gotten. She treated my obesity and swelling body as a insult to her. That was tied into my medical neglect. She had no interest in helping me, she blamed me for my medical problems. Are you sure we didn’t have the same parents? LOL Mine bored me to death as all they talked about too was these superficial externals in their compliments and conversation. I wrote once on my blog, they only cared about APPEARING GOOD, they had no interest in actually BECOMING GOOD.

    My values never matched those of my family either. I still believe I was adopted and am seeking my “real family” due to the issue of lipedema being a genetic disease especially in it’s severe form and no one sharing this. Intellectually, mentally and morally, I am totally unlike the rest. I became poor as an adult too, I have multiple articles about this, my severe health problems and untreated Aspergers helped put me in poverty but their abuse and destruction of my confidence and functioning also cinched the poverty deal. Even in my 40s, I am trying to work on life skills and more to survive. It sounds like exactly what happened to you. You are right they choose the most sensitive, I think the one they can HURT the most where they can smile at your pain and enjoy it with their sick selves.

    For ACONS, the age that can be the most scariest and most dangerous is the early 20s, especially if they are unable to get a good job out of college. I wish I had gone to VO-Ed and escaped them and gotten more marketable skills but among withholding narcs, one does not learn how the world really works. Especially spoiled ones who never want for a job and spend money like water and use subterfuge to get their needs met all over the place. I see many narcissist Baby Boomers not only leaving their Gen X or millennial adult children in destruction but helping them along the way to it in supreme selfishness. I found out for a fact my mother has connections that would have ensured good jobs and she has done so for a few favorites. Should I have almost died in the ghetto, with no medical care, no car, no phone, no working refrigerator living like a third world person when my family made 6 figures a year? This is a way they can groom you too for subservience and fear for life as well.

    They hate us but you are right, they instilled these things in us as children. Who could I have been if my Aspergers and Lipedema and Asthma had been treated as a child and teen? We are trained to be afraid, have our confidence destroyed, learn to never count on anyone so we do not know how to negotiate any deals and often in the work world re-experience abuse, from the narcs there, and learn no self protection and no self care. From the start they want us destroyed, they want us to fail and they want the family trash can. Once an ACON understands this, it puts their entire life into perspective! They can forgive themselves, they can build themselves back up!

    The disgusting thing hitting me right now, as I have been no contact for a year and 4 months, is the immense abuse and put downs, someone experience with such severe physical disabilities. That had no reason. I have been able to forgive myself away from their yoke of evil, knowing I did my best, got through college, worked very hard jobs with violent youth, and struggled even to just breathe with my damaged lungs. Their putting me down for being poor, the way they treated me when my husband lost his jobs was inexcusable.

    I agree they want to repress the one they are afraid of. They know the scapegoat has inner goodness and sees right through their lies and false images. They are afraid of us OUTING them. We don’t owe them anything and I have no problem saying exactly what they are now! I agree the best revenge is to live well, and succeed in spite of them but for those who haven’t or who are building themselves back up, I have compassion for. I know what I dealt with myself. I am probably fortunate I even got through college and had my time teaching. I realize now even during my art teacher days–I worked in an alternative school and later as a residential counselor, I was still “not good enough”. My parents didn’t come to my college graduation either where I graduated with a 3.45 GPA. Yes they will not understand Aspergers either. My mother was told about this. She did not care or even bother to find out about the condition even though a nephew of mine has HFA. [high functioning autism]. There was no mercy for any of my medical conditions and no understand for that either.

    I agree NC is the only answer, spending one’s life trying to please one of these people is a waste of time and only breaks you down and reopens endless wounds. No matter how successful, wealthy etc you become, if you are the scapegoat, they won’t care. We have to face and accept the fact that our parents never loved us and neither do much of the narcissistic family. They hate goodness thusly they hate you. You are right. We deserved so much more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      FHPP, I’m so grateful you found my blog. I’ve been reading yours for several months now and have to tell you you are one of my inspirations for starting this blog. It does seem like narcissism is a hot topic these days and we survivors all seem to need to blog about it LOL. I’ve always loved to write and thought I never would again but one day I decided I just HAD to do this, and it’s been so helpful for me. I hope others are finding my blog helpful too.

      “You’re too sensitive.” OMG yes! I can’t even tell you how many times I heard that phrase growing up. I AM sensitive (I’m an HSP and an Aspie) but to them, it was a weakness or a defect rather than a virtue, and it was also a handy way for them to blame me for feeling bad for the hurtful things they said, which would have hurt any normal person. I used to be ashamed of being so sensitive and tried to hide it. Now, I’m actually proud of that trait because it means I can see through Narc bullshit. My son is like me, highly sensitive and sees right through my mother’s BS and refuses to be her flying monkey (she’s tried to recruit him). Good for him! Telling people they’re too sensitive is no different than that saying from the positive thinking movement, “your feelings are your own responsibility, not mine.” That’s another thing Narcs love to say.

      My mother’s not a Baby Boomer, she was born in the 30’s, but yes, I know what you mean and narcissism has become more acceptable because the Boomers made it acceptable. There are many, many narcissistic Boomers. I’m technically a Boomer myself, but I don’t identify much with my generation and was born at the tail end of it anyway. I’m a little too old to be Generation X–I consider myself Generation Jones (birthyears 1955-1965 or sometimes 1958-1968) that straddles Gen-X and the Boomers. You can Google Generation Jones if you’re interested in more. I might do a post about it one of these days.

      Anyway, back on topic. I am so sorry you had to put up with the abuse you did and it’s especially awful the way your parents dismissed or attacked you for having a medical condition. Any decent parent would have done their best to find out more about your medical conditions and find out what could be done. But we don’t have decent parents. That doesn’t make US bad. Like you, I always wonder too how I would have turned out if I had normal parents who were supportive and loving and tried to encourage me to succeed instead of always sabotaging it. What they do to us is VERY damaging and lasts for life. We are crippled by their abuse and just can’t seem to reach our full potential because of the damage that was done. I’ve read a lot of blogs by ACONs and having narcissistic parents seems to almost GUARANTEE a lack of success in life for a scapegoated, sensitive child. It’s truly mindblowing how many blogs I’ve read where the adult victim is living in poverty, despite coming from middle or upper middle class backgrounds. No other family dynamic seems to breed poverty in its children the way narcissism does for a sensitive child. It’s truly the worst parent-child combo possible. Our current narcissistic society doesn’t help, the way it downgrades and blames the poor for being that way. It makes what they did to us ACCEPTABLE and that really sucks. It VALIDATES what our parents did.
      Add Aspergers to that equation, and we’re REALLY f*cked. Those who have become successful usually became so because they were able to find a supportive surrogate family at a young age, or they have some outstanding talent or ability that was discovered by someone else. We just don’t possess the self esteem to succeed on our own without a lot of help. I do think that many of us will be late bloomers, however, and realizing how f*cked we were and going NC are positive steps in self discovery. Many of us have found God (like you have) and that helps too. Religion and spirituality don’t interest my parents in the slightest. It’s too “deep,” I guess.

      My mother always hated fat people. I was never more than slightly overweight when under her “care,” but to her, that meant FAT. She used to love to make fun of my big butt and I was always self conscious about it. When out with my mother, she constantly commented about all the fat people she saw, and she never associated with any fat people either. I TRIED to gain weight as a form of rebellion! She was obsessed with weight, it was weird. My father just enabled her in everything she did and said, and never disagreed with her. I don’t think he’s a narc himself, but he’s a weak man, and now he’s married (and physically dependent on) another narcissist. I guess he finds those women “exciting” or something, LOL.

      It comes as a shock to admit to yourself your own MOTHER didn’t love you, and in fact HATED you, but I’m convinced that being able to admit that is one of the most important steps in become the person we were meant to be. Because as long as you keep trying to please them you will always feel like a failure.

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      • luckyotter says:

        I also want to say thank you for linking to my blog! 🙂

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      • Thanks Lucky Otter, I am glad I inspired you to write your blog. I enjoy the writing here too and hope you keep up with it.

        The narcs hate anyone who can feel. Maybe there is envy there. They definitely hated the fact I had feelings. I am glad your son is on to them as well. Maybe warn him now about some of the games they could play. I agree about the positive thinking movement stuff Narcs love to use.

        I consider 1968 to be Gen X. Gen X I believe starts with 1964, but I will have to look up the Generation Jones thing. The “me” generation has created so much havoc. Your mother sounds like she was a member of the “silent” generation but yes there can be narcs too.

        I am realizing with the medical neglect how my parents used it for more abuse, blaming me for being sick and refusing to get me help and that’s pretty disgusting when they got national researchers for my sister.

        The poverty of scapegoats is very common. I think because of them being beaten down. I remember trying to teach with destroyed confidence and endless years of abuse, it was not easy and I know affected everything and I had the physical problems too. I noticed a pattern in my family with Aunt Scapegoat ending severely impoverished with my well off mother and it being replicated between me and my sister. My sister was always taken care of, I never was. We are programming to fail, and their abuse sets us up to settle for crumbs, and scramble. With added Aspergers I know things were even worse. I was abused over poverty and it’s sick, because considering the physical problems and severity of my Aspergers, I went a lot further then a lot of people would have.

        Sadly when I got out into the world, the cold hard narc dominant world seemed to replicate my parents on too much until I learned to stand up for myself and learn to stay away from toxics and find nice people. Yes it helped to back up what they did to us. Aspies have it hard enough even with supportive loving parents, and well we had it the worse. I didn’t have any computer or real sellable skills which made things tough on me. Normal people who are loved by their families, have connections and more the help bolster them up. Remember in my case, my mother got cousins and others, upper middle class jobs using family connections, I wasn’t considered worthy enough. She wanted me poor and destroyed. Think about this I scrambled for an alternative school job while my mother’s best friend was one of the heads of a state department of education. There was no help, she wanted me to drown.

        Yes I became a born again Christian in 2002. God has kept me going. My relatives use their church for false displays of piety. My sister and mother never miss a service. It’s so phony. If you try to mention God around any of them they’d get angry.

        Sorry your Mom hated fat people. Mine did too. She had more toleration for fat men but fat women were inexcusable. Too bad your father was an enabler. My father was a malignant narc too and full of rage but sadly her puppet and an enabler as well. He never believed anything else anyone else said and was definitely in her “thrall”. They were two peas in the appearance focus sociopath pod.

        It has helped me immensely to face facts she hates me. It was sick how they can’t even admit that, to keep you in the fog. Everything becomes about the lies. I know mine hates me for a fact even considering how sick I was last year and how she acted. No more delusions for me. I was happy to link to your blog too 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • dennis says:

        No, you did not earn their treatment.

        Predation is almost entirely about the predator – namely, 1) the predator’s hunger, i.e. the desire for status, dominance, etc. 2) the predator’s labor – how hard they must work to satisfy their instinctual urge for ‘dominance, power, and control; and, 3) the predator’s risk, i.e. what do they have to lose by engaging in predation.

        Autists (of all expressions) minimize the predator’s labor and all-but-eliminate the predator’s risk – and that because autists (more or less by definition) are unable to discern predatory intent on the part of others. Hence, this means we are ‘easy meals’ – and, because we ‘choose’ to be such easy meals, we ‘deserve’ to be devoured in the eyes of Normdom.

        The last is why we’re so commonly ‘thrown to the wolves’ – because we’re commonly seen as DESERVING to be punished for ‘choosing to be not-normal’

        Liked by 1 person

  7. dennis says:

    Re scapegoating:

    1. ‘Vulnerability invites predation.”. Note this is mostly NOT something you can do much about, as it is the perception of ‘vulnerability’ and not the reality. More, this perception is mostly unconscious (in Norms, anyway) and is NOT a matter of behavior.

    My theory is that the predators of humanity tend to ‘listen’ to their instincts more closely and more consistently, and hence tend to sense vulnerability in people. However, there is vulnerable – and there is ***vulnerable***.

    When one is autistic – regardless of outward presentation – one is the latter. This means the following: A) every habitual predator is going to go after you preferentially; B) opportunistic predators (lots of Norms…) will be emboldened toward predation at your expense; and C) the bulk of the remainder will permit the predatory individuals to do as they please with you – because, after all, you CHOSE to attract such negative attention ( which makes them predators for thinking if not actual overt behavior.)

    No contact (with society as a whole) is the sole means I’m currently aware of that is consistently workable (to deal with this behavior) if one is autistic. Being raised by *predators* (yes, me too) makes a bad situation a great deal worse (for those targeted by predatory people).

    Liked by 1 person

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  9. Erika says:

    Thanks for that post. I am HSP and an introvert, and became more or less CPTSD from being the scapegoat of a violent misogynistic father that took all his hatred for his mother out on me. I was told to “just get over it””. My enabler mother (whom i suspect was NPD) would basically put me forward as THE problem so i could take whatever abuse was being dished out instead of her.. , even though i was the shy quiet and always had my nose in a book.She would oddly project all my father’s bad qualities onto me..Gaslit constantly. By the age of eighteen i was clinically depressed, at which point dearest mommy accused me of doing drugs and got me tested.

    So yes you are spot on. I remember my mother thinking she was so much better than everyone else because she had an education and was a “professional”..I pointed out that i did not see how prostituting out your mind was any more desirable than prostituting out your body. My mother pretended to be *above* material considerations..they were earning huge salaries at government jobs but we lived like we were existing hand to mouth. My mother thought all the neighbors were “jealous of her” because she was a “scientist”. (she was a bureaucrat) and was always prattling on and on about how we are “doing it for you kids”, a lie which became so evident as neither parent wanted to offer their precious money to help their kids unless they somehow benefited directly.
    (My brother was the golden child and could get away with murder) Meanwhile they were taking in foster kids to show everyone what swell folks they were..

    Now we are decades down the road. When i was in graduate mathematics program, did my mother compliment me on my abilities? No,. Her compliments range from how nicely i look, to how well i do the dishes for her. I went no contact after she tried to use her money to rope me in., as in “i am near the end of my life and want to take you and your husband on a cruise”. (to parade us in front of their friends like trained monkeys- no thanks.)

    Talking to an NPD makes you feel like your brain is turning into spaghetti. during that conversation i was also alternatively blamed for mom not divorcing dad at 11 year of age because ONE time i refused to leave with her , to being told that the abuse i endured before i was 18 was justified by my behavior after 23 (when i started acting out).
    It is just too messed up for words.
    Sorry that was long..but yeah, you got it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      Erika, thanks for sharing. That’s heartbreaking. Narcissistic parents just can’t love their kids unconditionally–there are always strings attached, thre always has to be something in it for them. Wouldn’t seeing your child happy be reward enough ? But for narcs, it isn’t enough. Nothing is ever enough.

      I can’t talk to my mom because I get tongue tied and clam up around her. Just as I did when I was a little kid. It’s ridiculous because I’m in my 50s but I still feel like a stupid and incompetent child when I’m around her. I can’t help it, even with everything I know about NPD and that it’s all a game to them.

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  10. dennis says:

    Other issues: when around Narcissists (clinical and the more-common subclinical variety, including the more-corrosive versions of Normal) one is expected to 1) read their minds especially well; and 2) become whatsoever they might wish upon the moment of their wishing it – without consideration of the effort involved, or whether one can perform as per their inclination.

    This has two benefits for the Dominator (and everything a social predator does is ultimately about ‘Domination, power, and control) 1) if their demand is met, then they experience worship (more commonly named as ‘Narcissistic Supply’) and if their demand is not met, they have an outlet for the expression of Sadism and other pleasures.

    Either way – to their (not-thinking ~ instinctual grasp of the matter), they ‘win’. Hence, they will continue to do so until you either ‘beat them at their own game, and beat them DECISIVELY – i.e. crush them UTTERLY’ or you remove yourself from their presence. This second option is usually the ONLY option most ‘prey-items’ actually have that said ‘prey-items’ can realistically perform.

    I know that it’s the only one I’ve been ***able*** to do. I do not have the instinctual capacity needed to ‘game’ ANYONE.

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      Good thoughts, Dennis. I’ve never read anywhere else about narcissists expecting you to read their minds but it is SO TRUE! And they become enraged when you realistically cannot do that. That’s because of their inability to separate themselves from others (just like a baby can’t separate themselves from “mother”) And like an infant denied, they will RAGE when you don’t anticipate their every need and read their minds. They don’t feel like they should even have to tell you what they want from you– you are just expected to KNOW. It’s crazymaking. Yes, I agree, No Contact is really the only way you can “deal” with a narcissist.

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  11. dennis says:

    Uh, I suspect they *do* separate themselves from you – by a GREAT deal – as is apropriate for one who sees themselves as living ‘on mount Olympus’ – as is appropriate ‘the God’ / ‘o Theos.
    (The second is the form found in the new testament’s original Greek.)
    Since the ‘seeming rank’ of a given Narcissist /Normie (most Normies are situational Narcissists, if one is autistic) is – to them – immeasurably greater than your rank (assuming you HAVE a rank; autists of all stripes, due to their ‘subhuman and defective self-chosen ways’ are OUTSIDE of humanity (like India’s untouchables) and hence have none) – they presume to ‘demand of you what they will’ – and part of that is 1) knowing their inclination of the moment; and 2) performing as per that unstated but all-too-real whim ‘as per the will of the God’.

    Most of this archaic-sounding terminology (AND nearly all of the ideas) has come from the last decade-and-more’s writing of fiction – and when I get the latest installment ‘up’, then you may wish to peruse THAT – as it will include my latest understandings of just how ‘social reality’ actually works.

    Of course, if I manage to get ‘A treatise on the nature of Normies’ done… Then THAT might be a better item for studying just *how* autists (in general) fit into Normdom’s magic(k)al comprehension of life.

    Dennis

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