Why are we all so old?

old_women

It seems that most of us who have finally left their narcissistic abusers, blog about it, or have finally gone No Contact with their narcissistic FOO’s (family of origin) are not spring chickens. Most of us seem to range from our 40s to 60s.

We are just now finding out, late in life perhaps (but never too late), what WE are really all about and the way we wasted so many years staying with our abusers or allowing them to continue to control us, even from a long distance. Many of us remain terrified of our parents or siblings until a very late age. We unconsciously revert back to our childhood roles when forced to deal with them.

It hurts to realize that our younger years were wasted on being narcissistic supply to someone else, instead of becoming the productive, happy people God meant for us to be. There’s a lot of guilt when we realize how we cheated ourselves out of happiness. We neglected our abilities, abandoned our interests, never developed our minds and talents, and became vulnerable to mental illness, generally dismal self esteem, poverty and even chronic illness due to the abuse we endured. This is the way our narcs wanted us, because a weakened person is not a threat. A weakened person is obedient and won’t leave the narcissist. Most of us were trained from an early age to be supply for other narcissists.

While it’s natural to feel regret for all that we missed out on when we were younger, we need to forgive ourselves. What happened to us wasn’t our fault. It happened because we are nurturers by nature and attract narcissists who see us as easy marks. They are also pathologically envious of the qualities (such as empathy and love) we have that they will never possess. They want what we have but will slowly (or not so slowly) kill us to get it. But those qualities they envy and want so badly will always elude them, because they must come from inside themselves, not from others they have recruited to be their victims. Inside, they are emotional vacuums that are essentially empty but devour the life force from others.

It’s never too late for us to change, but I wonder why it is that you rarely sees narcissistic abuse bloggers who are much younger than their 40’s. Does it really take that long for us to wake up from our delusions that by only pleasing our narc that we will live happily ever after? And WHY does it take that long?

It’s amazing how much I have learned about myself in one short year. I never believed people when they used to tell me I would be so much happier and more confident without my needy malignant narcissist ex-husband feeding off of my patience, my finances, my emotional stability, and even my sanity. I thought this shit was normal. I was accustomed to it. Now I know it was anything but normal. Seriously, you’d have to take a gun and shoot me in the head before I’d go back to living the way I did until just over a year ago.

On abused men.

abused_man

I also sometimes wonder how many men have been victimized by narcissistic/psychopathic women (or other men). I know they exist but there seem to be very few men blogging or writing about their abuse. That’s probably because men have a harder time talking about their feelings, especially on a public blog or forum. To admit having been abused by a woman probably is seen by men as an admission of weakness, even though it’s really anything but.

I think men’s fear of being seen as weak or vulnerable puts them at a huge disadvantage and makes it less likely that they will ever be able to repair the damage done to their minds and emotions. Men are also less likely to enter therapy than women. They may finally leave their abuser, but they continue to suffer alone instead of sharing their pain and journey to wellness with others who have similar stories. I think that’s so sad.

38 thoughts on “Why are we all so old?

  1. Im not sure about this. But I think Narcissistic men enjoy targeted women between 40 to 60 as victims.

    It is true that we are conditioned by the Narc as children. And sadly it can be depressing to think about what you have lost. The truth is that all we have in life is the here and now. That’s all we ever really have in life. So I think recovery is whatever floats a persons boat. Make a list of what you want to do with your time. Maybe its being in a local theater production…or signing up on meetups with other inspiring writers to share ideas and philosophies. Maybe you want to travel? Or write a book? Or maybe become a known blogger? Its all good. Everyday is your day…

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    • Dear Mary, it wasn’t until after i came to recognize, eternity with the Lord, that i was able to begin putting the narcs’ (plural) b.s. aside. No, i have yet to fully forgive – that will be awhile, some ways ahead on the narrow road.

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  2. Jaw dropping on floor…. in this one post you took the inarticulate thoughts and emotions that have been swirling around inside me since I first learned about narcissism and… you very brilliantly put it into words.

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  3. I separated from my abusive, controlling family in my late thirties. My psychiatrist said it was common for it to take that longer to give up on the dream that they’ll change. At a certain age we become realistic, and then we’re free to go without feeling like we’re abandoning someone who needs us.

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    • I did remember reading somewhere that a woman will not leave her abusive husband or lover until the 11th time he abuses her (and they were talking about PHYSICAL abuse).
      I think a lot of us have been conditioned to believe that if the man is not hitting or physically abusing us, that he is not really an abuser. They gaslight us into believing we are the damaged, crazy and bad ones, not them. I think that’s why it takes so long for us to realize this is NOT normal.

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      • This is how my family behaved… we weren’t beaten, so we weren’t abused! And when you’re a compassionate person you fall for that. How can I complain when so many people are worse off than I am? It took a while for me to realize that beating isn’t the only torture.

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        • Compassionate people are the most likely to fall prey to narcs and compassionate children targeted by their own parents. There are many forms of torture and beating isn’t even the worst–at least people believe you because you have wounds that show.

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  4. Wonderful piece. I agree that it takes time to figure this stuff out. Sometimes it takes the straw that breaks one’s back. That didn’t happen to me until my mid-40s. Thank you for articulating this so cogently.
    ~Audrey

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  5. Sad isn’t it. I get pretty angry that my life feels wasted. I guess I should really write about it so it won’t be…so wasted that is.

    I don’t really agree with the aspect of their envy. I can’t really speak for them but when I think about this type of person I have a certain person in mind. And I don’t see her as being envious at all by my sensitivities.

    What I sense is and see is someone who gets disgusted and agitated when someone draws a boundary or has another need besides what she is wanting from the person. Now and then I have caught a glimpse of pity but envy. Not at all.

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    • The crazy thing is the Narc actually helped me figure out my childhood, and I believe I planted seeds and cracked his childhood somewhat.

      I think the hardest part about growing old is trying best not to fall into the stereotypes women face. We are programmed to believe that age brings upon us serious limitations as to what we should or should not do. The Narc thrives off killing your spirits utilizing the stereotypes to drive down your self-esteem. That’s why I feel that he’s a gift in the sense where he digs to find your vulnerabilities to destroy you. Those are the areas that need work I found to change who I valued in life and who I did not value. So I learned I had the choice to keep or eliminate positive surroundings and people from negative ones.

      It really is about making choices once your back on your feet. Of course you need some grieving time and time to understand what happened. It takes time. But I do believe its very important to eliminate any toxic people as your moving along in recovery.

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      • “The Narc thrives off killing your spirits utilizing the stereotypes to drive down your self-esteem. Thatโ€™s why I feel that heโ€™s a gift in the sense where he digs to find your vulnerabilities to destroy you. Those are the areas that need work I found to change who I valued in life and who I did not value. So I learned I had the choice to keep or eliminate positive surroundings and people from negative ones. ”
        This blew me away. I think you’re right. Like I said, they are here for a reason, everything has a reason.
        I also think it’s a fantastic idea for a post later today. I think I’l expand on this.

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      • Also draw boundaries in moving along in recovery. Because even no narcissist people will take advantage at times. Sometimes eliminating them isn’t possible either if you need a job that a narc is present at.

        I learned a lot about the toxicity of my childhood and general dynamic of the family as a result of the relationship with the ex. I also realized that my actions weren’t coinciding with my values…which I wasn’t even really considering at all.

        As for the stereotype of women, that part of your comment reminded me of something I just heard on the radio this morning. A DJ did a quick interview of Tina Louse (actress who played Ginger on Gilligan’s Island back in the 60s). After the interview he talked about her in a physical sense, how beautiful she was, how sexy and hot she was. How young she sounds now. Then he and another DJ started drooling about Barbara Eden from “I Dream of Genie.”Then just as I was turning the radio off, he said, “There were some good specimens…”

        Not one freakin’ mention of the acting ability of these women…it was all about what they looked like.

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    • Writing about it, if that’s how you best express your feelings, will work wonders as it has for me.
      ABout the envy, I think it depends on the narcissist. Some are annoyed by it because our sensitivity gets in the way of their obtaining supply the way they want it, and don’t want to have to attend to your feelings. But others feel empty inside and see that others can feel, and therefore have joy. Narcissists have no joy. They wish they could feel the kinds of emotions others do, empathy, love and joy–because with them come happiness. The only emotions they can feel are for themselves and that makes them feel as empty as they are.

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      • I personally haven’t seen that envy. I would love to hear/read about others’ experience with this. Or if there’s a narcissist reading here if they could speak to this. I don’t see how envy would play a part in any emotion of theirs.

        If they can’t feel joy then they don’t really know any different and so what’s to envy?

        Plus they see emotions as weakness right? If envy is part of the picture at all, I would think it would be more about what someone has materially.

        And generally I also think any emotion they have, when they feel the onset of it, including envy, they either deflect, blame or distract. They are masters of denial.

        I don’t agree with the statement about envy, but I’m certainly open to see something that proves that.

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  6. I awakened just last july and I’m still shocked by it. I’m in my forties and just realized I was emotionally molested all my life. I told my sister, she believes it but still won’t abandon mother.

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    • I think what happens is we develop a form of Stockholm syndrome and think being treated this way is normal. It becomes normal to us, and then we are so beaten down we feel powerless and utterly incompetent to live well on our own. It also takes a long time for some of us to leave a narc, if they weren’t physically abusive it’s easy to make excuses for them or blame ourselves, especially if they brainwashed us to think everything that went wrong is our own fault. That’s how it happened for me and why it took me 28 years (7 of those divorced) to finally cut him loose.

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    • Oh and I’ve been in therapy all my life, and been told I have low self esteem. Hmm, I wonder why? Dumb psychologists they don’t know a damn thing!

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        • I felt as though I caused it. They couldn’t understand what the affects of child abuse. I needed the blame off my shoulders. And they couldn’t give it to me.

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          • Stockholm syndrome. I always felt that Stockholm syndrome weaved in and out of my emotions. One minute I was thinking,… “Oh he was am poor abused child, a minority that cme from a poor background. He had no daddy.” Sometimes I thought, “Wow… I’m proud that he managed to survive such s horrific upbringing.”…and I’d forgive his arrogant behaviors. But I never believed him. I always knew he was a pathological liar. But I did believe some of it. I believed his hypocondriact stuff. He claimed he was sick at least once a week to avoid a phone conversation or a Skype. Now that I think back I really do wonder if he was an abused child. Maybe he was born with Grey matter in his brain and he could of been spoiled or maybe even a bully in grade school. Lucky Otter saw his photo and thought he looked handsome but did notice he looked mean. He is mean.

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            • He probably was abused. Most narcs are. And yes, he did look kind of mean to me.
              My mother was one of those women everyone oo’d and ah’d about how beautiful she was (and she was) but all I could see was how cold and mean her eyes were.

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            • Your good at identifing it in the photo. He got really mean the last days I knew him. I heard he gets unbearably mean. I heard he gets violent. But luckily I never saw the violent side of him.

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  7. I have asked myself too, why did it take so long. I wish I had not waited until I was an old woman to break free but I know part of my thinking in going NC, was I have to get out of here, I can not go to the end of my life being treated this way, there is no dignity in it.

    I attempted a break away in my early 20s but all the indoctrination about family and reconciling and ignorance about how sociopathy and narcissism works got me back in the game. I remember then wondering if she was a sociopath but something in my mind blocked me from facing it, even though I was in extensive counseling by that age. Of course I heard the “they tried their best with what they knew” nonsense, and there was the religious training too that said “honor your mother and father” and left the rest of scriptures out warning about the wicked.

    I have noticed too most ACON bloggers are middle aged. I think the education about these personalities is lacking in the world. In a narc run world are the narcs going to expose themselves? The internet itself is serving as a tool of freedom as most of the psych world remains in the reconcile model and doesn’t tell people about these conditions.

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  8. Most men may be processing their emotions and experiences differently than most women. Just because we don’t blog, share, talk or go to therapy as much, doesn’t necessarily mean that we “suffer” or are not getting better. We often heal in ways that are less obvious.

    Me, I’m the son of a malignant narcissist mother and an enabling (read: wimp) father. I also have an MN, possibly psychopathic, brother. I’ve been abused by both men and women, in my family of origin and outside of it. Starting at age 34, I’ve come to NC all of my FOO including extended relatives. It’s been seven years.

    I’ve spent that time surviving, working and improving at my job, slowly finding out what really was the matter. Shedding the mental garbage I was filled with. When I went NC, I didn’t know about NPD. I thought my cutting contact would shake my mother up and she would change. I thought my brother was my ally. I was vulnerable to manipulation. I hadn’t fully realized that after cutting out my parents, I was still being abused by the rest of them. I’ve come a long way since.

    Today I am capable of calmly looking my mother in the eye… then, without a word, turning on my heel and treating her to an unobstructed view of my receding back. (Haven’t really done it – there was no occasion.)

    I talk about this to no one I know offline. Who would understand? The therapists I tried were at best clueless, and at worst they tried to get me to “reconcile” with my FOO. (Also – with utmost respect – the overwhelming majority are women, and about some things I would just rather talk to another man.)

    But most of all, I think it’s this: When I’m stressed or have something on my mind, I need to be alone. I have to think it through by myself. I may read about it or have some other kind of input, but in the end it’s my call alone. I feel that if I get too much feedback during the process, it would sooner confuse me and distract me, than help me. (Lest someone think I am a conservative patriarch, maybe I should note that I am single and live alone, otherwise some of this would necessarily be different.)

    And yes, men do fear being seen as weak or vulnerable. But that fear doesn’t just exist in a vacuum – it’s the result of pressure from all of society, including women. Which may in turn be based on biology. Why that is and whether it can change, is a whole topic by itself.

    So, respectfully, this post’s section on abused men sounds a little like saying that men should be more like women. They shouldn’t – just as it isn’t “sad” that Aspies are not more social and less deeply focused like neurotypicals are. I should know – I’m an Aspie as well.

    Take care.

    PS Maybe something for your consideration: http://menaregood.com/wordpress/finding-a-safe-place-when-stressed

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    • Thank you for sharing your story of abuse–it sounds so much like mine! MN mother, wimp (enabler) father, the whole nine yards. Then a MN husband for years.
      I do understand everything you’re saying and there’s nothing wrong if being alone works best for you. I also totally get the reluctance to talk about it with people offline–I don’t share my story with people offline either.
      Sometimes just reading can be just as helpful. There are so many great blogs, books and videos on the Internet to help us figure out what happened to us and how to free ourselves from the trap that was set for us by our abusers.

      Congratulations on going NC with your FOO! It takes guts to do it, and is the only realistic thing to do with narcs, because as you said, they won’t change. You cannot change them. I tried with my mother for years–but she is what she is, will never really love me, and I’d rather have no part of that.

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