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Stopping.the.Narcissistic.Legacy.

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

Dad’s Narcissistic Traits

Thanks Psychology Today for the article! https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-intelligent-divorce/201303/the-narcissistic-father

Dad is self centered and pretty vain: My father literally thought (thinks!) that he is God’s gift to women. He loves to tell his stories about all the different women he has slept with and all the women who have hit on him.  He literally believes EVERY woman wants him. In business, he has two personaes. He acts as the blustery, angry, force of nature who can get everything done through the sheer power of his will OR the suave, charming talker who can convince you of anything. It’s really disconcerting to watch him switch back and forth between the two identities at the drop of a hat. I feel like I get psychological whiplash from watching him gravitate between these two facades.

Dad uses people for his own good: A few years ago, my father got orthopedic surgery done, and afterwards, it did not go well. He thought he was going to die. He begged my mother to stay with him in the hospital, but since her job IS her life, she refused to take ANY time off of work. Instead, my father called up his friend and resident punching bag, Kay, to come and stay with him in the hospital. She stayed with him for an entire week. I thought that she would have earned his respect by helping him and being there for him in his time of need. Nope. Two weeks later, he was back to making fun of her and insulting her. Nice, Dad…

Dad is charismatic: My father is very charismatic. He can literally talk to anyone about anything at any time. People want to like my father. 

No one has an imagination like Dad: My father LOVES to tell stories about his life, especially if they are a story where he comes out as the victor or acts like a hero. Embellishment is the tool of his trade. His favorite stories were from his days in the military. He would describe how me saved fellow sailors lives or manipulated/tricked his CO. Dad is definitely the star of his own show.

Dad doesn’t take criticism very well: If you have a differing opinion from my father, you are attacking him. If you try to talk to him about something that he did that you didn’t like, not only are you WRONG, but you are attacking him for no reason. Only Dad can dole out criticism.

Dad’s rage was truly scary: Red face, bulging veins and eyeballs, stomping, screaming, cursing…yep, that’s my Dad!

Dad could be aloof and unsympathetic: My Dad’s response to me having depression was epic.

“You need to pull yourself up by your bootstraps young lady!”

“You are so young, what could you be depressed about?”

“Don’t be like that! That’s how your sister acts!”

“Depression is all in your head! Think happy thoughts!”

“I was depressed once back in ’64. It was after I watched my buddy die right before my eyes. Let me tell you all about it…”

“Do we have to talk about this again?”

“No, you don’t need a psychiatrist! You are my daughter!”

Dad wasn’t around a lot: Dad spent more time on his hobbies than with me. He always tried to link his hobbies back to something we needed.

EX: Woodworking – “Your mom needs me to finish this shelf today, I can’t help you.”

EX: Fishing – “Sorry, I can’t help you with that, our freezer is out of fish. I have to go fishing!”

Dad did what he wanted when dealing with you: My hobbies consisted of hunting and fishing. Guess what Dad’s hobbies are? Do I hunt and fish as an adult? Very rarely.

Dad wanted you to look great to his friends and colleagues: He bragged about me finishing nursing school and working for a non-profit to his friends, but RARELY has he ever told me he is proud of me. If I ask, he says, “Of course I am proud of you” or “You know I am proud of you!”

You couldn’t really get what you needed from him: I have never felt understood by my father. There is the person that I am AND the person that he thinks I am…but they are not the same person. I do not fit in his mold. He doesn’t know who I am…but he THINKS he KNOWS me.

 

 

 

 

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The F#cking Poster

My husband thinks that I add to the fuel of the narcissistic fire. That I torture myself. Honestly, I probably do. My parents’ grooming of my mind was A-fucking-mazing and most of the time I walk around feeling like a damned Rubik’s cube.

Anywho, my parents bought my son a  “Star Wars” poster for Easter. How could that be triggering?

When I was a kid, I desperately wanted anything that could help me develop my own identity. My own taste in music, TV shows, decorating, etc. I wanted to know what I liked and for OTHER people (A.K.A. my parents) to know what I liked. I wanted them to take my likes and dislikes into consideration. They didn’t. My love of Sci-Fi and Fantasy movies was stupid. Only non-fiction and historical fiction movies were of any signifigance in this world. I wasn’t allowed to play my Paula Abdul tapes, but it was perfectly fine for my Dad to blast Neil Diamond and Conway Twitty from the stereo in his bedroom. Even squash was a debatable topic. I hated squash, but they continually cooked it, and every time I said I didn’t like it, they would respond with, “Really? We thought you LOVED squash!” Christmas was generally the worst time for me. Normally, my Christmas gifts were a hodge podge of whatever was available on the clearance rack or in the bargain bin. Pretty much any time I asked my parents for something when I was a kid that WASN’T a necessity, I was shot down. One of these times was over a poster.

When I was a kid, there was a period of about 2 -3 years time where “The Neverending Story” was my favorite movie. I dreamed about riding on Falcor just like Bastian did, racing down the street and chasing my bullies. Anyway, I desperately wanted a poster from that movie to hang in my room.

At the time, I knew my parents didn’t have a lot of money, so I decided that I would wait until Christmas to ask for the poster. I only had two things on my Christmas list, that poster and some MY LITTLE PONIES. Well, Christmas came, and I was so excited to open my gifts, hoping that I would find a framed poster of “The Neverending Story” among my gifts. Instead, I got books, underwear, socks, a few pairs of pants, and some pajamas, a couple MY LITTLE PONIES (score!) but no poster. I was heartbroken. As I opened the last gift, I started to cry. All I wanted was to stare at Falcor before I went to sleep at night and relive the story in my head before I fell asleep. Nope.

My mother saw my tears and snapped at me. “What’s the matter with you?” she said in an imperious tone. “I didn’t get the poster for Christmas,” I said. My mother replied, “You are so selfish! A poster isn’t a practical gift. What can you do with a poster? You can read your books and play with your ponies, but what could you do with a poster? A poster is a stupid gift!” My father chimed in with the same sort of sentiments and then added to them by saying, “You should be grateful for what you have. Only bad people are selfish!” I began to cry harder. My mother responded to my tears by saying, “Thanks for ruining Christmas with your selfishness!” I ran to my room and slammed my door.

When my parents bought the “Star Wars” poster for my son for Easter,  they didn’t buy a frame for it. Apparently, I am supposed to supply the frame. It’s almost as if by making me buy the frame, they just wanted to dig a little deeper, and rub a little more salt into my wound. I haven’t bought a frame yet. I want to set that fucking poster on fire.

 

 

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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