Narcissist parents demonize their own children.

Originally posted on March 17, 2015

narc_mother_littlegirl

Most parents like to tell cute and funny stories about when their children were young, or brag about their school accomplishments or tell sweet stories that show their child in a flattering or loving light. They are also proud of their children when they’re kind and nice to others. That’s the way things should be.

Not for narcissistic parents though.

Narcissists who “erase” memories of their children.
Some narcissistic parents don’t like to talk about their children at all. It’s as if they erase any memories of their offspring’s childhoods and don’t want to be reminded of it. It’s weird. My malignant cerebral narcissist sperm donor used to get bored and annoyed if I talked about the children when they were young. Inexplicably, he couldn’t stand it and became annoyed when I wanted to put some of their baby and early school pictures around the house. (He didn’t like that I displayed our wedding photos either).

He shows little to no interest in his son’s accomplishments (2019 edit: this has changed now that my son has landed a professional video editing job and can be considered “successful”) but just a few years ago, when my son won a few dance competitions, my ex’s eyes just glazed over.

I was proud of my son but his father seemed not to care. I thought maybe it was because he thought dancing was “too gay” but he acts just as disinterested about almost all my son’s other accomplishments too. It’s almost as if he wants to erase him from his mind.

And when they “brag” about you, watch out.

too_sensitive

My somatic narcissist mother loves to talk about me as a child. But her “bragging” is never about the things a normal parents would brag to their friends and relatives about. It’s never about how smart I was or what a good student I was, or what a good painter or writer I was, or how kind and generous or big-hearted or animal loving I was. Instead, she tells stories that illustrate the many ways I was “too sensitive” or how much I cried as a little girl. When she talks about me, she always brings up the most embarrassing stories, like how afraid I was of thunderstorms and how I used to run into the closet in terror (I like thunderstorms now) or how “hysterical” (she loves to use that word about me as a child) I used to get when I was frustrated or scared of something (I was afraid of many things but loved a lot of things too).

Whenever she talked about me to people, she made me sound like there was something wrong with me (I was a sensitive child with attachment issues–but surely there were good things she could have chosen to talk about instead of what a pitiful, awkward, oversensitive crybaby I was). She used to tell everyone the embarrassing story of my first period and how happy I was when I shouted the big news from the bathroom, because I had always been “so hysterical” and panic stricken because I was slower to hit puberty than most other girls my age. In actuality, I was 13 and really not far behind at all–and I never got “hysterical” or “panic stricken” the way she insisted I did.

I no longer hear these stories because I no longer have much contact with her, but I’m sure she still tells her friends and extended family (who she has isolated from me and turned some of them into flying monkeys against me) and they still all have a good laugh about “poor, over-sensitive, ‘hysterical’ little Lauren.” I know they also laugh about what a “loser” I am today, because I’m not wealthy like most of the family is and don’t have a great number of impressive professional accomplishments. Of course, that’s all due to my “poor choices” and not to the fact my self esteem was all but obliterated during childhood and adolescence, not only by my family but also by the bullies I often had to deal with at school.

One narcissistic abuse blogger (who I won’t identify for personal reasons) wrote about the way her psychopathic MN mother (who was actually MUCH worse than mine and downright cruel) and the rest of the family who served as her flying monkeys, gave her a poem for her college graduation. Instead of it being a sincere congratulations or about how loved she was and how proud of her they were, it was a “humorous” ode to how afraid of crickets she had been as a little girl. Notwithstanding the fact this poem had absolutely nothing to do with her daughter’s college graduation, its real intention was to embarrass her and make her feel self conscious. It was a poem that could have easily ruined an otherwise joyous occasion.

The navy blue dress.

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What my mother saw whenever she looked at me. (Just for the record, I think this big lady is stunning.)

My mother always loved to point out my faults–even imaginary ones she had projected onto me–in public. I’ll never forget the birthday party I had one year as a teenager. My mother had invited several of her friends to the apartment and some of my friends were there too. When it came time to open the gifts, she made sure hers was the first one I opened.

In the fancily wrapped box was a rather conservative, navy blue sleeveless dress. It was a nice dress, had I been about 40. She made me go try it on and then have me come out into the living room where everyone was sitting to model it. I obeyed because what else could I do. I was always so scared of her.

Mind you, I was not overweight. At 5’4″, 120-125 lbs was about the right weight for my frame. But my backside was what you might call well rounded (not to Kim Kardashian levels, but still round) and my mother was constantly calling attention to it. It made me very self conscious and due to this (as well as my desire to rebel against the way she’d dressed me like a doll when I was younger), I had taken to wearing baggy, almost masculine clothes that hid my curves. She was convinced I was “fat” and was always threatening to send me away to weight loss camp. As a somatic narcissist, she was obsessed with her own weight, physical appearance, and health (especially as it related to her appearance). She seemed to judge other people based on how they looked instead of their personality or inner qualities. Almost every day she called attention to how much weight I was putting on, or reminded me not to have seconds because of my “weight issues.” I become incredibly self conscious about my body as a result. It’s a miracle I didn’t develop an eating disorder.

weight-loss

Getting back to the birthday party and my “modeling session” in front of all the guests, after I modeled it, she announced that the dress’s dark color and style was flattering for someone with “Lauren’s little weight problem.”

You could have heard a pin drop in that room. I think everyone was shocked at her callous and embarrassing remarks. As for myself, I was so mortified I ran out of the room in tears, which of course was a huge mistake because that gave my mother ammunition to remind everyone once again about how sensitive I was (and she didn’t mean this in a complimentary way). She was always making jokes at my expense and then when I didn’t laugh or if I looked hurt, it was always “Lauren is just being over-sensitive again” or “Lauren has no sense of humor.” I’ve heard this is quite a common accusation narcissistic parents use against the child they have chosen as their scapegoat. They hate sensitivity in others and love to turn it into a bad thing because it takes the responsibility for their cruel behavior off of them and puts the blame onto the child.

This is the sort of “flattery” a scapegoated child can get from a parent who is a malignant narcissist. There are times I feel guilty that I don’t feel more loving toward my mother than I do, but when I think of all the years she demeaned me and put me down, always going out of her way to make me feel small and worthless, I don’t feel so guilty about my ambivalent feelings toward her. (2019 edit: as she’s grown quite old and several years have passed, I’ve developed more affection for her, and there is love there, but our relationship –if you can call it that–is still extremely distant and guarded).

I don’t hate my mother. I pity her for never having known who she really was or getting to know her true self. She’s an intelligent woman but you would never know it because she never was interested in abstract ideas or the life of the mind. Her eyes glaze over if you try to engage her in any “deep” topics. I recall her reading mass market paperback novels (“beach throwaways”) and fashion or home decorating magazines, never anything scholarly.

She has now lost most of her beauty due to age (and too many facelifts) and she is all too aware of this. The loss of physical beauty–the one thing that gave her a kind of identity–has turned her bitter in her old age.

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What I Know About Autism And NPD Families And You Should Too by Rick London

I really didn’t want to post another article about the dysfunctional Trump family today, but I just finished reading this and I think it’s too important to pass by. The writer of this post has autism and was raised by NPD parents who kept him isolated and alone. Here he discusses Barron Trump and how being isolated alone on his own floor of the Trump tower is very toxic for his emotional development, especially if he in fact suffers from autism, as many people have speculated.

Rick makes a case here that such isolation is a form of scapegoating or abusing a child, and if Barron is autistic, it would make sense that his father would target and punish him for being less than perfect.

Rick London Syndication

This blog story is not only a follow-up for those interested in the horrors of the NPD and/or malignant narcissist family and hiding away the “different” child in an attic or entire floor alone”, it is for those who want a layman’s experience with the topic. Barron Trump lives on the entire top floor of Trump Towers alone. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t you just love to have such an amazing childhood?  Please keep reading.

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To make it clear, this is not an attack of Barron, anything but.  It is a wake-up call to
bring awareness to the “NPD Family Model” and how the IP (Identified Patient) or
scapegoat is tortured (for life usually unless proper psychiatric intervention who recognizes it treats it).

I am told the majority of NPD scapegoats do not make it into adulthood and those who do, unless they get a maximum amount of very good…

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The golden child and scapegoat in the Trump family.

Because I am fascinated with child roles in narcissistic families, this video was interesting to me.    I’ve suspected for awhile that Tiffany (the daughter of Trump and Marla Maples, his only American-born wife) is the scapegoat among Trump’s children.  He never talks about her, seems distant from her, and doesn’t seem to idealize her the way he does his other children, particularly Ivanka, who is obviously the golden child.

This video explains more.   Trump admits himself that physical appearance is extremely important to him, and he’s disappointed in Tiffany’s appearance.   Tiffany also isn’t a successful businessperson like the rest of his adult children.  She tried to make it as a singer instead, but things didn’t go well for her and she didn’t get a recording contract.

What I find extremely disturbing is the way he sexualizes his daughters.   In this video, Trump is shown being interviewed about the infant Tiffany, and he talks about her legs in a suggestive way, and later jokes about her “inner beauty” not being as important as what’s on the outside.    Even Tiffany’s siblings admit that Ivanka is obviously Trump’s favorite child.      I don’t think that’s news to anyone, but could Tiffany actually be the scapegoat?   Most families like this have one.   I think she could be it.

Ironically, of all the children, Tiffany seems the most normal acting, humble, and well adjusted. She looks and speaks like a down to earth girl who just got out of college. So, even though she may be Donald’s scapegoat or at least his least favorite child, Tiffany wasn’t raised by him, like the others. She was raised by her mother instead, so she probably wasn’t exposed to Donald’s malignant narcissism as much as the others were. So she’s probably the most emotionally healthy.

 

“I have no childhood memories because my N-mom threw out my ‘garbage’.”

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Recently I read that looking at photos of our childhoods can help us heal.   It can hurt to see how lost we looked or watch the real body language of yourself and other family members in reaction to you, but it can also shed light on the truth and prove to us that we really weren’t crazy.

I don’t have more than 8 photos of myself as a child and almost all of them are of me by myself.   A large pastel portrait of me at about age 6 my father proudly used to hang over the mantel has been lost for years (I suspect it was thrown away).  I remember sitting for it in Old Town, Chicago, wearing a yellow summer dress, and how proud I was to sit in front of that bohemian street artist.  It was one of my few happy childhood memories and was a special moment with my father.   I remember looking slightly sad in the portrait though, and remember my dad saying he rather liked the sad look in my eyes, even though I don’t recall being sad as I sat for that portrait and emotions that weren’t “positive” were always dismissed or scolded anyway.  I would really love to have that portrait now.  In fact, I long for it. I’ve even been trying to figure out how one would go about placing an ad asking if anyone had seen that painting (I don’t think that would be possible or that anyone would have seen it anyway).

No one seems to know where any of the old family albums that had me in them are, and I doubt they would want to hang onto them, so my guess is they were tossed at some point as trash (my mother always hated clutter).  I guess any memory of me is just clutter as well.  My emotions were not acceptable; I was not acceptable.  Why keep any reminders that I existed?

I have no family, no continuity to any kind of past or any roots.  I feel like an orphan and have felt that way for years.  Sure, some could say that I threw them away (moving far away from them, No Contact, etc.) but I was pushed away emotionally and every other way for years before I decided that any further contact with them, especially my mother, was just too triggering and painful.

Evidently I’m not alone.  There’s a whole thread on Reddit about just this.

Scapegoated adult children find themselves in this position a lot, without even any pictures or tangible objects to help them better remember their childhoods.  This is another way narcissistic parents hobble us — by not even allowing us to access photos and mementos that could bring us clarity into the role we served within our families and the reactions of other family members to us.   Tangible things that give us a sense of having come from somewhere, of having belonged to something, even if it wasn’t a very good something.  Tools to help us heal were denied to us, just like everything else.   It’s as bad as having your face ripped out of every picture your family ever had of you.   As if they were trying to erase you.

To my Mom’s “Credit”

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Justbreathe826

As I have been visited by memories that I would have preferred to have had kept buried deep in my soul or in Jamie’s coffin, but that I need to work through as part of my own healing, I find myself wondering more and more what it is that I did to be so undeserving of your love, or even just the basic courtesies of nurturing, encouragement, even being heard.

So here goes….

Dear Mom,

I didn’t choose to enter this world and interrupt your life, to be born two months early, at a time perhaps that you were not yet prepared for my entrance. In fact had I known what I was in for, I would have chosen to stay inside much longer or not be born at all. I did not choose to enter YOUR world especially; you chose to take on the responsibility of “welcoming” me! Was…

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I wasn’t sure about this, but…

 

I wasn’t sure I should post this on my main blog or not, but why the hell not? I’m an emotional wreck about this, and really triggered too because if this happens, it proves what I’ve suspected all along about being a total reject in my own family. If this happens, there is no longer any doubt of what they all think of me. The anxiety is almost unbearable. It’s not about the money, it’s about being judged once and for all by my narc family as “not worthy” and “not acceptable” and “never good enough.” I have no idea how I’ll react if this happens. If this happens, there are NO good excuses for such a thing and will prove to me just what horrible people I’ve been dealing with my whole life.  No normal, loving families would EVER do this to one of their own.   Mine might, and I’m scared to death.

My first really unpleasant therapy session.

I’m going to be talking in therapy about this for quite some time, if it happens.  I’m also afraid if it happens, emotionally I’ll be back where I was two years ago and all the positive changes I’ve made will all come undone.   THAT’s how devastated I will be and there will be NO forgiveness for that.

Forever an orphan.

orphan_begging

Those of us who were scapegoated and rejected by our own families often feel like orphans in life, forever being buffeted to and fro by the winds of a seemingly heartless world and hanging on to what seems like a brittle tree branch for our lives. We were trained and groomed by our families of origin to continue to be victimized throughout our lives, always treated as though we were less than everyone else, deficient in some way. We were not given the tools other children in our families, or the children of normal, loving families were given to do well in life. We were tossed out “with the wolves” so to speak, and told to “sink or swim.” Unfortunately, too many of us sink–into abject poverty, drug or alcohol addiction, eating disorders, abusive marriages, and mental and physical illness of all types. Everything that others seem to obtain with ease–a wide circle of friends, financial success, material goods like houses, cars or vacations; respect and closeness within their families, a relatively easy climb up the corporate ladder–seems to elude those of us who grew up programmed to believe we were defective.

We may not have literally been orphaned by our parents, but functionally we are no different than orphaned children. Children who lost their parents young to death or abandonment also grow up without any sense of belongingness and no loving, close attachments to anyone. How can you when you are treated like a number at some orphanage (more so in the past or in foreign countries like Romania) or are constantly being sent from one foster home to another, where the foster parents may mean well (but sometimes not) but have too many other charges to take care of to fulfill your need to belong and be loved. Orphans learn not to get too attached to anyone because any attachments they may form are impermanent. Getting close to others hurts too much, so they learn not to get close to anyone, not to trust anyone.

When orphans become adults, they are sent out into the world ill-prepared for adulthood with no emotional or financial help to guide them in their journey. With no one to truly care for them, and no families to turn to in times of need or crisis, they must either sink or swim. Those that swim do so at a cost. They may become successful in life, obtaining the trappings like money or status, but they never really know what love or real self esteem is. They don’t even know who they are. They just know they must survive–at any cost. It’s my belief that orphaned kids who take the swim route become narcissistic–how could they not? Adopting a false self and a fighting mentality is the only way they know to survive in a harsh, uncaring world where they seem to have no place.

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Although narcissistic abuse survivors may have been raised in actual families, we were emotionally and spiritually orphaned due to rejection and emotional abuse. We were compared unfavorably with siblings, other family members, or just about anyone else. We were raised to believe we had no rights. We were punished for having opinions. Our boundaries were constantly being violated; we weren’t even allowed to have boundaries. We were called names, belittled, gaslighted, threatened, and stunted and stifled in every imaginable way. Our efforts to be approved of and small victories were belittled or sabotaged. We were refused financial or emotional help where other children or young adults from normal families (or even our own families) would have received it (my family refused to pay for my college education although they could have afforded it). We were trained to believe we were undeserving of success or love. We developed a strong Inner Critic who continued to live on inside us long after we left our families of origin, continuing the abusive message that we are less.

We become adults who are afraid to take any risks, afraid to speak our minds, afraid to stand up for ourselves, afraid to just be. We feel guilty if we do succeed in something and sabotage ourselves just like our own families sabotaged us. If we were bullied by our families of origin, we develop dismally low self-esteem and internalize the message that we deserve nothing and are nothing. We develop a victim mentality that makes sure the bullying and rejection continues throughout our lives. We develop C-PTSD and are handicapped on almost every level for finding our rightful place in the world. We were programmed by our narcissistic families to be targets for other abusers and narcissists, who smell our vulnerability and our lack of emotional defenses. I can’t tell you how many childhood victims of narcissistic abuse were also bullied in school or even as adults in the workplace, were always passed over for promotions or raises, or married narcissistic spouses who continued the abuse, sometimes taking it to new levels of cruelty. I know because I was one of them.

Even if we somehow managed to find some small place in the world, we still feel like we don’t belong. We still feel isolated from the rest of the world, different in a bad way. We feel like we don’t deserve to have anything good. In their desperation, some narc-abuse victims sell their souls and turn to narcissism as a way to cope. They escape the enemy by becoming the enemy. Their attitude is fake it ’til you make it (or just pretend you made it). Their self esteem isn’t real; inside their prison of narcissism they are screaming in agony, but God forbid anyone ever know. They’d destroy you first to avoid being exposed as vulnerable and defenseless as they really feel. They sacrifice their very souls to survive.

Pain_ends

For those of us fortunate enough to have escaped narcissism, there is more hope. Although we may appear to have much less than someone who turned to a narcissistic defense, spiritually we have so much more. We haven’t jettisoned our souls to survive. We may have lost everything else–we may have poor physical or mental health, live in poverty, feel isolated from everyone, have difficulty getting close to others, always seem to have less than others–but spiritually we remained intact. Our quest to reclaim our humanity is a hard journey, filled with pain, but the moments of self-discovery and emotional and spiritual growth are so worth it. In the process of healing from narcissistic abuse, I finally found the family I know will always accept me unconditionally: God’s family. There is always a place at His table, where you will never be judged and always accepted for the person you are, instead of the one you can never be. In God’s family you are never an orphan.

Sometimes something as simple as music helps you get there. Here is a song that helped me (and at least one other narcissistic abuse survivor I can think of) in the early days of starting this blog:

Further reading:
Why Family Scapegoats Become Lifelong Victims
We Were The Lucky Ones
(I wrote this over a year ago, and I’ve changed a lot since then, but I think it still fits)
Adult Poverty and Scapegoathood: A Connection? 
The Reason We Became Adult Victims: What Can Be Done?
It’s All About Image: The Skewed Values of Narcissistic Families

Guest post #13: Panic and Narcissism

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Don Shelby, who writes the blog Living With Narcissism, and suffers from depression and panic disorder, had a surprise for me today.  I opened up my email and there was his guest post!    He’s been busy and had some personal issues so was unable to send it earlier, and I’d completely forgotten about it, but after I read it I was very glad he remembered to send it because I could relate to it and I think a lot of you will be able to also. Most of us who had narcissistic parents learn to be afraid of everything. It’s why we take so few risks.

From Don’s About page:

I’ve lived with narcissists for most of my life and only recently understood the phenomenon of Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Co Dependency in relationships.  From my humble beginnings being raised by a single Narc mother to several long term relationships with Narc women I have been fully and completely indoctrinated to be a good little obedient co dependent with very low self esteem.  I personally suffer from depression and anxiety/panic disorder.  I currently still live with my narcissistic partner of nearly 20 years and for now intend to continue in this relationship.  This blog is my safe space to openly discuss what goes on in my world around this dynamic and to explore coping mechanisms and ways to heal the co dependency in me.  I am not a mental health professional.  I’m just a victim of narcissistic childhood abuse who’s on a mission to heal my soul and gain back my life once and for all.

Panic and Narcissism 
By Don Shelby, Living With Narcissism

scared-child-2

I had my first full blown panic attack in my mid 20s. Since then, my life has become a quest to understand why I felt so anxious and panicky over situations that I used to not have any fear about whatsoever in my younger years. For a long time, I thought that the panic attacks started then, but now I believe they started at a much younger age and only manifested fully in my 20s when life got too overwhelming.

My mother was a narcissist and she terrorized me and my brother throughout our lives until her death in 1997 in order to manipulate us and get us to do what she wanted. My brother and I flip flopped between being the golden child and the scapegoat depending on which of us was on her good side at the moment. I grew up with uncertainty, no boundaries, and rules that changed with my mother’s moods. I was taught to distrust my own feelings, thoughts and desires and especially of anyone outside of our family unit. I was taught to only trust my mother and to believe everything she told me as if it was written in stone. Whenever I would want to do something that she didn’t want me to do she would try to scare me into not doing it by telling me that I’d end up dead or worse if I did the thing I wanted to do. She’d paint a pretty scary picture for me and then I had to choose whether to take the “risk” and go for it or to take her word for it and not do the thing. I’m not talking about risky behaviors like skydiving or rock climbing here. I’m talking about going to college out of state or going on an amusement ride she didn’t want me to ride or swimming in the ocean. Normal stuff a lot of kids do. Every day stuff. Her justification was always that we’re not like other people and it’s okay for them but not us. Why were we so different? Because my mother said so.

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So I was raised to be fearful and to only trust my mother. Still, today, when I’m about to embark on something that I perceive as scary or challenging I can hear her voice telling me how crazy I am to try something that foolish and that I’m going to end up dead because of it. I was a fearful kid and I grew into a fearful adult. The real crazy part is that, despite my fear, I still went ahead and did most of the things that my mother warned would kill me. I rode that roller coaster. I swam in that ocean. I went to college out of state. There was a big part of me that didn’t believe her lies. I pushed my luck often and did what I wanted to despite her warnings. But it cost me too. This pushed me into the Scapegoat role constantly with her while she admonished me for disobeying and looked for any sign of failure as a chance to show me how right she was after all. It forced me into a corner where I could never fail because failure would usher in an unwelcome torrent of “I told you so’s”. I could not let her win. And I didn’t. For years I put a ton of pressure on myself to show my mother that she couldn’t keep me from living my life. Zero failure was my mantra. Never show weakness. Always tell her only the positive things going on and hide my vulnerabilities from her.

So all those years of being strong actually broke me down until my nervous system couldn’t handle it anymore and I started experiencing panic attacks over the slightest little thing. I guess there were triggers but I wasn’t aware of them. My own mind became my new battle ground and I didn’t feel safe anywhere. I changed career paths because of it. I stayed in lousy relationships because of it. I lived in places I hated because of it. I didn’t have the confidence in myself to take care of my own needs like I once had. Still, I struggle to lead a happy, normal life. There are a lot of things I simply don’t feel strong enough to do anymore. My nervous system is so sensitive to fear triggers that I can’t handle much stress at all in my life. I’m a shell of the person I used to be and I feel like an old warrior, battered but not broken from my experiences in life. My mother waged mental warfare in my youth and other women have continued her battles as I’ve been attracted to a lot of narcissistic type people over the years.

The silver lining is that with understanding narcissism and the effects of C-PTSD I now know what caused my panic attacks to start and why my life has been challenging in ways that most of my friends were not. I can’t go back and change the past but I can take what I’ve learned into my future and make it better. Sure, I still struggle with anxiety and panic, but with understanding has come some tools to help me persevere through my triggers and symptoms. I know the value of setting boundaries and having self respect and listening to my inner voice above others. I remind myself daily what I knew when I was five. My mother was wrong. I’m not crazy and I’m not going to die on that roller coaster.

When labels diminish a survivor

This is a powerful, emotional post about the way mental illness labels can be used by a narc family to stigmatize and gaslight against (and discard) a scapegoated child, when all that scapegoated child was doing was reacting the way any normal person would in such an intolerable situation.
Katie, you are a strong and brave woman and a beautiful child of God.
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More narcissist word salad.

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I found this rambling diatribe on a forum for bereaved parents. I understand there is always anger during the grieving process, even toward the deceased, but the entire manner and tone of this post, as well as the whiney, self-pitying, blaming attitude and total lack of empathy for her deceased child’s emotional needs, screams NPD. I didn’t see any other posts by this author on the forum. Note the contradictions and inconsistencies, the irrelevant interjections, and the total disregard for her child’s emotional (as opposed to material) needs.

I’m suspecting the deceased daughter was the family scapegoat, who she seems to regard unfavorably. It doesn’t surprise me too much she would have been suicidal.

Hello, I hope you can all help me figure out what I’m supposed to do. I can’t stop crying the tears are always right on the surface, I had to quit my job because of what an emotional wreck I am. You can’t have someone running a busy, productive office if they’re always mopping up their eyes with mascara streaks everywhere and blowing their nose, can you. I never used to be like that. I could always hold my composure, which is why I always make a good impression on interviews and why I always get promoted. Well, not anymore, so I had to quit. I couldn’t concentrate. It was quit or be fired! What has made me such an emotional basket case is this. My beautiful, perfect daughter killed herself in January. She was 18. She swallowed a bottle of pills and downed them with liquor. I always told her she should go to AA because of her drinking but she never listened. She never did what I or her father advised. Oh, she was a rebel. Always a spitfire. After she did this she did not call anyone and she didn’t leave a note. Of course this shattered me, her father, and her brothers and sister, who all of us only tried to help her. We didn’t deserve to have her do this to us. She always got everything she always wanted. She wanted to be in pageants when she was a little girl, so we spent thousands of dollars on dresses, tiaras, fees, hotels, etc. and we never pushed her, she wanted to do this. But she changed her mind when she was 12 and decided she didn’t like it anymore. All that money we spent for no reason. She got everything–the new car, the computer, the new big screen TV, the gadgets, all the clothes, makeup, jewelry, everything she wanted! She had no reason to be depressed! Last Christmas we took her on an expensive Ski trip to Colorado and she spent the entire time watching TV instead of out on the slopes. We tried to talk to her but she wouldn’t budge, just sit there sullenly sulking and making things very unpleasant for the rest of us. She was never an easy child, no sirree! She was a fussy baby who cried all night and all day, a tantrum throwing toddler, an unruly child, a rebellious teenager. Even when I was pregnant she gave me trouble. I developed gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with her (not with my first two children, she was my third) and I threw up almost every day for the entire nine months! Maybe we gave her too many things, but we always tried everything to make her happy. I just don’t understand how a child who is given everything–all the expensive and beautiful clothes, good food and plenty of it, good schools, a nice room with her own bathroom and sitting area, how a child like that can be so unhappy. She acted like she hated me! I never did anything to her, I was always giving her what she wanted and trying to make her happy! I was a good mom, even my other children always tells me what a good mother I am and my friends think so too! They are jealous because I am such a good mother and they have so much to learn. I don’t know what I did to deserve a child who acted like she hated me and then had to go and make things even worse by killing herself. The ultimate slap in the face! I just don’t know what to do, where did I go wrong? This should never have happened! If she had not been so hard headed and done the things we told her to do (like go into real estate–her father is a successful Realtor) [My note: You said your daughter was 18 so that makes no sense!] instead of pursuing all these wild pipe dreams then she would have been happy and would not have done this horrible thing to her family. And not even have the decency to leave a note? Please tell me what I can do to cope with this mess. Oh god, I’m crying again. Please help me.