Out of the FOG

Coping with Personality Disorders => Friends, Neighbors, Acquaintances and Coworkers => Topic started by: Call Me Cordelia on May 16, 2021, 08:26:19 PM

Title: Close Encounter of the Narc Kind
Post by: Call Me Cordelia on May 16, 2021, 08:26:19 PM
I'm feeling so angry at the moment and just want to talk to people who will understand. I witnessed a dear friend of mine being emotionally abused by her narc mom yesterday. Friend freely acknowledges her mom is a narcissist, but I'd never seen her in person. I was next to my friend and her mom complimented her jewelry. Then asked if it had belonged to her.   ::) Nope, thrift store! Oh, daughter you're not so poor you need to shop at thrift stores. If you would like some jewelry I almost never wear such and such...  :doh: I got angry and just walked away from the conversation, which I wasn't really part of so whatever.

Last night my friend was worn out and feeling physically bad after a whole day with mother. Small wonder. I said something to my friend today about what I saw and that I was angry at her mom and thought it best to exit, and she was like, "Oh yeah, I guess you're right, but that's actually nothing for her. Rolls like water off my back at this point! Haha!"

Now I'm angrier. Angry at my friend because she keeps putting herself through poor treatment. Angry because I was in the woman's presence for about five minutes and couldn't handle her crap anymore. Angry at myself for still being "so sensitive." Angry at the idea that my friend is being "kind" and "doing the right thing." Angry because there is no right answer and I can't just turn my friend's mother into a balloon like Harry Potter's Aunt Marge. Angry because narcs. Angry because this brief thing has me feeling like a powerless child still.
Title: Re: Close Encounter of the Narc Kind
Post by: clara on May 20, 2021, 09:24:53 AM
For a brief period of time I was roommates with a friend who had a mother like this.  Woman would come over and do "inspection" and would always find something to criticize, usually more than a few somethings--and would do it with a smile, as if she was just being helpful.  I and the other roommate hated these visits, but we couldn't do much except get out of the way, because our friend tolerated her mother's behavior, she was used to it.

The angry part for me came when I'd see how the mother's abuse was not only tolerated, but absorbed in an unhealthy way, by this friend.  Her life was slowly being ruined by this mother and her toxic control, and she was allowing it just because it was her mother, and this was how it had always been.  If she ever saw what was going on, she never said, and today she lives as something of a recluse, never going out except for necessities, never seeing her friends who have slowly drifted away, not even wanting to spend much time with her only sibling and his family. 

After her parents died she seemed to become unmoored.  Her mother had such control over her life that upon her death, the control fossilized into something so toxic this friend can now never be free of it. 

The upside to your friend's situation, Cordelia, is that she seems to see and understand what is going on, and puts up boundaries against it.  But I know the helpless child feeling all too well, when we encounter our friends' parents who are like this.  Reminds me of how it was for me when I was a child, how if I hadn't gone MC with my father he would've slowly destroyed me.  That's a reminder I don't need!
Title: Re: Close Encounter of the Narc Kind
Post by: Call Me Cordelia on May 22, 2021, 10:02:37 AM
Thank you, Clara. Thatís so sad about your roommate.

Yes I was definitely triggered. It was like that for me as a child. All the time. And now I see behavior like that so rarely it really hits me when I do.

My friend has done a lot of work to get where she is with her parents, so I really donít want to put her down. She did handle herself in that moment just fine.

I am still a bit miffed about the idea that it rolls off her back though. Iíve had well-meaning counselors hold that up as the ideal for people with toxic parents. As someone who had to go NC, I donít like how that idea implicitly frames me as just too weak to handle it and people who can are somehow better and stronger. My friend has never expressed that belief to me and she knows my situation. Itís my stuff.

And yet, I hated to see her still suffering after a day with her. It was a special occasion for her FOC and much of her energy went to grey rocking mom vs. enjoying the day. Grrr. But not my stuff.
Title: Re: Close Encounter of the Narc Kind
Post by: Boat Babe on May 22, 2021, 01:22:37 PM
No, it's not your stuff but clearly triggering. I get it.
Title: Re: Close Encounter of the Narc Kind
Post by: clara on May 23, 2021, 12:56:20 PM
Yep, it can be very triggering and because it's not your family, you have to manage not just your reactions but also take into consideration the friend's feelings and what she can and cannot deal with in that moment.  You  have to know what to say and that can be hard because my first reaction is always on the order of, why are you putting up with this?

But then I realize I'm not them, I'm not in their place (although I can easily put myself in their place).  What can get to me is when someone who's still in the fog about their family will show disapproval of how I managed my dealings with my own family.  So many people have this idea that it's your family so no matter what you have to put up with them, and when you let people know that no, you're not dealing with their behavior because it's toxic and unhealthy etc. they often act like you're being a "bad child."   I got SO tired of explaining myself and why I was such LC with my parents.