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Stopping.the.Narcissistic.Legacy.

How do I stop myself from passing on my learned narcissistic behaviors to my children?

Why am I Here?

I am here for many different reasons, but primarily because I grew up in a very narcissistic household.  Either my parents are Narcissistic/Enabler combos, who reinforce and feed off of each other’s behavior OR they are riddled with Narcissistic fleas and cover for each other’s bad behavior. Either way, my childhood was fucked up. Luckily for me, physical abuse was rarely a factor, but the mind-fucking that they did to me still haunts me to this day…and effects my parenting.

Thanks to my LOVELY childhood, I think I have C-PTSD (along with my already fabulous diagnoses of depression and anxiety).  Of course, currently there is no stand-alone DIAGNOSIS for C-PTSD.

In medical practice, the diagnosis of C-PTSD cannot be given due to nonexistence within current mental health doctrine. C-PTSD is not presently a diagnosis, regardless of your location in the world, as the new criterion for PTSD now covers complex trauma under the sub-type diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – With Prominent Dissociative (Depersonalization/Derealization) Symptoms. C-PTSD is a term given to easily reference complex trauma in relation to PTSD  (https://www.myptsd.com/complex-ptsd/19/).

Yay! Mental health officials! Way to go! You did a great job of marginalizing members of society who have already beaten down enough by life.

Anywho, lately my parents have been trying to win the “Grandparents of the Century” award by going overboard with my children, and it is triggering the fuck out of me. I thought to myself, “Self, what is the best way to deal with all of these thoughts and emotions?” Why, blogging of course! So here I am…here to pour my soul out anonymously to the world.  Please be gentle…

 

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I think I may be in trouble…

We went to visit my family last weekend, and it mostly went okay. Of course, Ns gonna N, so my parents definitely had their moments, especially my mother. My mother, aside from being an N, is also in a lot of pain. The pain intensifies her N-ness. There were several times this weekend where she said something cruel or bit my head off. How did I come through these moments unscathed, you may ask?

I imagined myself stabbing my mother. I know, it sounds bad. It really does. I think that maybe my visual was about control and taking that control away from her and giving it back to me, where it belongs. However, it manifested as me visualizing stabbing my mother whenever she went over the line…and when she hugged me.

When she hugged me, I imagined myself stabbing my mother in the face. Instead of the sick, twisted feeling I normally feel when my mother hugs me, I instead felt very in control.

Before anyone asks, no, I am not a violent person. I have no criminal background and no priors related to violence.

The fact that I kept getting these images in my head was pretty unsettling. In fact, the whole situation was just too damn weird.

Upcoming Visit

I gratefully avoided visiting my parents on Mother’s Day because my oldest son was sick. Yay, illness!

However, this weekend, my family and I are going to visit my parents. Theoretically. They’ve already put me off twice from visiting due to some circumstances. We still haven’t celebrated Mother’s Day with my Mom. Ugh!

Many people would be shocked that I am still in contact with my parents. There are many in the world of ACONs who think that no contact is the only way. I would agree with them, except for a few factors.

1.) My children. My kids are still young enough now that I just want them to be able to spend some time with their grandparents before they pass because I never got that opportunity. I got one to have a single one-on-one conversation with my paternal grandmother before she passed. My maternal grandmother was a hideous N who didn’t want to get to know me. Both of my grandfathers passed before I died. Obviously, f my parents’ behavior becomes abusive, I will cut them off. Additionally, I kind of want my kids to see a bit of my parents’ behaviors so they can understand why I have fleas and have mental issues I need to fix.

2.) My misguided need for closure, even though I know, in my heart, I will probably never get it. In my 20s, I repeatedly asked my father to please get my mother some therapy. This year, at 36, they finally told me that she has been attending therapy for eight years. However, they won’t tell me where she goes to therapy, who she sees, or even what type of therapy she has received. In fact, her therapist told her to forget about the past, not worry about processing her abusive childhood, and only concentrate on the present and future. WTF? What kind of therapy is this? OR are they lying to me? I don’t know, but I want to find out.

Self-Punishing

I know that I am a bad role model for my kids. At worst, I try to be better than my own mother was to me. At best, I hope to teach them how not to behave. Can you tell I am a bit negative?

My five year old has started self-punishing behaviors. I’m 99.99% sure he learned this from watching me. Now I have that 80s commercial in my head…

Parents with mental health issues, have children with mental health issues…

Anywho…

My little guy took a marker and drew all over his new shirt because it wasn’t “sporty” enough. So…he got in trouble. The deal was, if I couldn’t get all of the marker out with some alcohol and Fels Naptha soap, he owed us $5.00 from his allowance. I couldn’t get all of the ink out of the shirt, so he had to pay.

He was very sad. “I’m a bad boy, here, take all my money!” He had $10 total. I told him, “Little Guy, you don’t need to punish yourself. First of all, it’s not your job to punish yourself, it’s your parents’ job to discipline you if you do wrong. Second of all, life is hard enough, especially when you get older, that you don’t need to punish yourself. When you make a mistake, all you need to do is fix it, and then let it go. Don’t punish yourself.”

He kept insisting we take the money, and I kept repeating my message. Eventually he stopped and put his money back in his piggy bank.

I learned the self-punishing stuff from my parents. Whenever a mistake or accident happened, I was always blamed. I was blamed for the actual incident, and then I was blamed for not being smart enough to prevent the incident from happening. Apparently, I should have been able to think ahead and see what would probably happen, then avoid the situation entirely. They expected this from me starting at about the age of 6 or 7…right around the time I was beginning to be able to think concretely. Sorry, Mom and Dad, but you aren’t going to get abstract thinking out of a 7 year old. Abstract thinking begins between ages 12 to 15.

Punishing myself is most definitely one of my fleas. Honestly, it’s one of my worst fleas, right up there with yelling when I get stressed. It sucks. I’ve been able to decrease my yelling, but that self-punishment flea is an insidious little bastard. Since most of the behavior happens inside of my head, it’s harder to notice. I’m still working on it.

Please, God, don’t let my kid grow up as messed up as I am.

 

 

I Just Can’t Stop Twisting the Knife…

As previously stated, I was raised by some pretty messed up people, and I don’t know for sure if they are narcissists, but they definitely have narcissistic tendencies.

I was taught some pretty horrible fleas by these people, fleas that I am trying to UNLEARN. One of those fleas is, “People make mistakes just to hurt me.” It’s never just an accident or a mistake…every action is a personal attack on me. They make mistakes to prove that they don’t care about me. If they loved me, they would be more careful.

This means that every time someone makes a mistake, instead of saying, “I’m sorry that happened,” or trying to help them, I will instead get angry at them and throw their mistake up in their face. If I find their mistake especially egregious and I don’t catch myself, I will painstakingly go over the mistake, pointing out every misstep that they took. If I am super-angry, I will point out every mistake that they have made in the last 6 months. This type of behavior does not endear  me to friends and loved ones.

I have to remember that mistakes are JUST mistakes. They aren’t personal attacks.

Attempting to Control Me through Fear.

Recently, my husband and I moved to a suburb of a major city. My father lives 300 miles from that city, in a rural area. When he heard that we were moving to the suburb outside of the city, he constantly told me about how bad the crime and traffic were in the area. He would call me to talk about local murders, robberies, and car accidents. He constantly hinted that it would be okay for the kids and I to move back in with my mother and him, only seeing my husband on the weekends. Finally, after all of the not-so-subtle hints, (Dad: Did you know that your old high school is not one of the top ten high schools in our state? Wouldn’t it be great if the boys could go there? Me: Jesus, Dad, the kids are only in elementary school!) I finally told him that there was no way in hell that my children would attend my former school after the bullying that I endured.

“But it’s changed!”

“I don’t care Dad. I’m not willing to risk it. I was thrown against lockers, hit in the back of the head with books, had my hair ripped from my scalp, my finger broken, the skin torn from my ankle…”

Dad didn’t know that it was so bad. Of course he didn’t. I stopped telling him about the  bullying after 8th grade, because every time he would go to my school and scream at the principal, the bullying would get exponentially worse for me. Additionally, he thought that the verbal taunting was good for me because it would “toughen me up!” He only disagreed with the physical bullying that I endured.

Ugh!

Mother’s Day

I sent my mother a text for Mother’s Day AND a video of my kids telling her “Happy Mother’s Day!” Then, I tried calling her. She never called me back. Dad sent me a text saying that she received the video. Thanks, Mom!

I am NOT Mother of the Year…

I have so many fleas. So many! One of those fleas is that when I am in pain, I treat other people like crap. I hurt my hip this weekend. It throbs and aches from my hip to my foot. It sucks.

I grew up with a father who retired from the military because he was disabled. In fact, my father left the military a very broken man, in the literal sense. As such, he was always in pain, and when he was in really bad pain, he snapped at people…a lot. It sucked.

I definitely picked up that flea.

My “Mother of the Year” moment this morning.

“Will you please turn off the f#cking TV so we can f#cking get these kids ready for f#cking school instead of everyone stopping every few f#cking minutes to watch the TV and see what the hell is going on!!!”

Yup. I said the F-word 4 times in one crappy run on sentence. MOTY indeed. Sometimes, I hate myself.

A Narcissistic Story…

I didn’t write this story ON Mother’s Day, because I was too busy enjoying MY Mother’s Day. However, this story always encapsulates how I FEEL about my mother on Mother’s Day.

My sister was quite a “problem child” when she was growing up. My Dad would always site how, at two years old, she would get angry, beat her head against the wall, and pull her own hair out. He believes that she was born with some “issues” and that is why she acts the way that she does. Apparently, in his little world, my mother could not have inflicted enough abuse on my sister, in the two years following her birth,  to cause my sister to behave that way. If we could ALL live in Fantasyland like my father does…

By the time my sister was 11 years old, she was smoking, drinking, and sneaking out. By the time she was 15 years old, she was also doing drugs and having sex. I was born when my sister was 11 or 12 years old.

Apparently, when my mother found out she was pregnant, she became very upset. I get it. Back in the 70s, most women didn’t want to have a baby after the age of 35. However, that isn’t what she was upset about.

After my sister’s “shenanigans,” my mother did not WANT to have another child. She especially did not want to risk having another “girl” child who could possibly turn out just like my sister!

She threatened to divorce my father. He told her to use the “wait and see” approach. Maybe she would have a little boy just like my brother! Nope. When she went in for her ultrasound, they told her that she was DEFINITELY going to have a little girl. Mom once again threatened divorce, and expressed to my father that she could not possibly stand raising another little girl. Dad once again convinced her to wait and see. Maybe this baby would have a better temperament than her last baby! She told my father that if I was as difficult as my sister, she would divorce him and abandon all three of us children to him.

As a newborn infant, the fate of my family rested on my tiny little shoulders. I wish I had been a colicky baby. It could have saved me years of heartache and longing for a mother who did not exist.

My Mom and her Narcissistic Traits

Since today is Mother’s Day here in the U.S., I thought that I would list my mother’s narcissistic traits. Thanks to parrishmiller.com for the article! Happy Mother’s Day to all of the loving mothers out there!

1.) Everything she does is deniable. My mother ALWAYS has excuses, albeit mostly shitty ones, for her bad behavior. The most likely excuse she will use is that she was abused, and she lashes out because of her experience. To which I always responded with, “Get thee to a therapist!” Theoretically, she has been seeing a therapist for the past 5 years, however, she refuses to tell me where she even goes for therapy. She won’t even tell me what street her therapist.s office is located on because I guess she is afraid (?) I would try to talk to her therapist? Obviously, she doesn’t know me very well, because I believe that therapy is sacred and I would NEVER violate someone’s therapeutic experience. However, I digress…

Mom’s other excuses were that she had a bad day at work (and thus was taking it out on me) OR she would even make up excuses, “Don’t look at me in that tone of voice! (WTF?)”

Sometimes, I think that she only had kids to a.) appease my father and b.) create tiny emotional punching bags.

2.) She violates the boundaries. This is the weirdest one for me. My father insisted that I be dressed appropriately at all times. My pajamas had to completely cover my boobs and butt and I had to wear a T-shirt and shorts over my swimsuit while swimming. The man almost had a heart attack when I came home with a prom dress that had a slit UP TO MY KNEE. Anyway…

My mom continually walked around the house naked, or in just a T-shirt and underwear when I was a kid (honestly, I was grateful for the times she wore the T-shirt and underwear). She always peed and pooped with the door open. She would also come into the bathroom to pee and poop WHILE I was showering or grooming. It was so gross. So very gross.

3.) She favoritizes. My brother is the Golden Child, hands down. Neither my sister nor I could possibly be the GCs, because my mother has always been vastly jealous of any relationships we had with my father. The only time my brother gets shit from my mom is when she feels jealous of him, which rarely happens.

4.) She undermines. I make all A’s on my report card. Response? “Well’s that’s what you are supposed to do! Let me tell you about my newest promotion at work!” I clean the house “You moved my stuff around! How dare you! Put it back!” As a child, if I made my father a gift in school, she would say, “That’s nice. Now, Dad, open the gift that I bought you!” On the day I graduated from high school, I was hoping they would throw me a party. My Dad kept promising me that something special was going to happen. We go home, and there is NO party. When I asked why, Mom said, “I didn’t think it was necessary. Here’s $50. You better get ready for bed.” My boyfriend was standing right there.

5.) She demeans, criticizes, and denigrates.

“You are always causing arguments. You like to piss me off!”

“You are going to cause your father and I to divorce.”

“You are such a bitch.”

“Why do you have to be so difficult?”

“You are just like your bitch sister.”

Bitch was my name for an entire year.

6.) She makes you look crazy. This was BIG in my household. Dad was the master gaslighter, but Mom wasn’t too shabby at it.

“It didn’t happen that way!”

“I didn’t use that tone!”

“I would NEVER say that!”

“I’m sorry you THINK I said that…”

7.) She is envious. She was extremely envious of my relationship with my father, and dad didn’t help. He treated me like more of an adult than her, and talked to me about their relationship issues (including sexual ones) which only made her dislike me more.

8.) She is a liar. She always lied about her own bad behavior. Her major way of lying was gaslighting. I heard a lot of “I didn’t mean it that way! You are just TOO sensitive!” On the rare occasions that she could not lie her way out of her bad behavior, she would couch the admission deniably. She would say she “guessed” that “maybe” she “might have” done that behavior.

9.) She manipulated my emotions to feed on my pain. She would say things to bait me and make me angry, the turn around and attack me for getting angry. She needed my reaction to feed her N-fix. If she wasn’t baiting me, she was playing the martyr. She would whine and moan about how abused she was until I tried to appease her, thus getting her N-fix.

10.) She’s selfish and willful. My mother’s and father’s needs ALWAYS came first. I need a new pair of shoes? Tough, Dad needs a new boat or Mom needs a new computer! My parents were also horrible gift-givers because they were so selfish. Most of my gifts came from the clearance racks or bargain bins, unless it was something that could make them look good or be useful to them, like getting me a new computer for my schooling.

11. She is insanely defensive and is extremely sensitive to any criticism. Criticizing my mother in any way meant that you were ready for a fight, and ready for her to start slinging insults and warping reality.

There are actually 24 items on this list, but I am going to stop at #11 today. I have to go get ready for MY Mother’s Day celebrations!

 

 

 

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