Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging

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Psuedonym

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2018, 03:05:54 PM »
Hi coyote,

I absolutely agree with you that responsibility for oneself and one's boundaries is the most important part of getting OOTF. For me, and I can only speak for myself here, realizing my M knew what she was doing was very important for me to attain a state of detachment. On the surface, my uBPD comes across as very pitiable: she is lonely, she suffers from depression and anxiety, she's somehow sick all the time, its not her fault that she can't stand anything she perceives as criticism or isn't instantly gratifiying because she had a bad childhood. She wants to feel better but she doesn't know how.

It is: an act. A few weeks ago she was telling me how nobody cared about her at her senior facility and there was nothing to do and how lonely and bored and desperate she was. We went to lunch with a friend of hers who said, "I call your mother all the time to ask her to go to social activities because there's something going on every day here, but she always says no." Of course I had never heard that before, because it didn't fit the narrative she's created in which I'm supposed to make a heroic effort to try to 'cheer her up'. She knows she's lying, but she feels entitled to act however she needs to get the results she wants. Knowing that makes it a lot easier for me to give her the ol' grey rock when she starts up with the whining. It gives me peace of mind.

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coyote

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2018, 03:34:31 PM »
Psuedonym,
I hear what you are saying and I see where viewing the PD as making willful choices helps in detachment. But think of it this way also. You say, "I'm supposed to make a heroic effort to try to 'cheer her up'. She knows she's lying, but she feels entitled to act however she needs to get the results she wants." Is it not a sickness of a sort to "want" this type of result. I mean why would someone who is healthy not do for themselves and want others to "rescue" them?

I understand many would say that is how PDs control us and yes it does seem willful. The issue I struggle with though is how could a healthy person knowingly want to live in this kind of misery?
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
 Wayne Dyer

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?
Capt. Jack Sparrow

Choose not to be harmed and you wonít feel harmed. Donít feel harmed and you havenít been. -Marcus Aurelius

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Psuedonym

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2018, 04:11:27 PM »
Hi coyote!

You will get no argument from me that they are unhealthy  - sorry if I was not clear on that or misconstrued what you were saying. My point is more that unlike say, a schizophrenic person in the midst of a dissociative state, a PD person can be aware of their actions and choices. Mine has been to more than one therapist over many years that have told her very specific things she should do to be happier and healthier. She refuses to do any of it - she will admit that she refuses to do any of it because it requires an actual effort. That's not my speculation, those are her words. I do think that acting like a perpetual victim does have its advantages. It's certainly not a healthy way of thinking, but it's one she's committed to sticking with.

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coyote

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2018, 04:23:23 PM »
You may have a point. The idea of not doing for myself is just so foreign.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
 Wayne Dyer

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?
Capt. Jack Sparrow

Choose not to be harmed and you wonít feel harmed. Donít feel harmed and you havenít been. -Marcus Aurelius

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KeepONKeepingON

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2018, 05:37:47 PM »
Hi LSK1999,

This is a really interesting idea. Sometimes I think that my BPD mother cannot be aware of what she does, as her behaviour is so cruel and damaging to herself and those around her.

However, I have noticed that when she said something to deliberately hurt she watched me very carefully to see what my reaction was.

Whenever I bought a new coat or dress when I was younger and asked her opinion, she would always make some comment that diminished the pleasure I got out of my new garment. I studied in Germany for a year and after that she told me quite casually said that my younger sister (who had not lived in Germany for a year) spoke better German than me. When my son was born she tried to diminish my role in his life by trying to imply that my PD sister was his mother as PD sister was so good with him.  :aaauuugh:

IME my mother does know what she's doing and she sets out to deliberately take away my pleasure or pride in my or LOs achievements.

Another reason to stay NC!  8-) 

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LSK1999

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2018, 08:28:04 PM »
Hi all, I also realized today that I should make it clear hear that these are my opinions and what I have found to be my truth. As far as what you say Coyote as to not judging other's intentions I would tend to agree with that with any person that is not abusive or manipulative. We should judge actions not intentions.....here's the problem for me....most of us as children of PD's have not judged actions as we make excuses for the poor and behavior and assuming the opposite intentions can be just as damaging to us. Assumptions like they don't mean to do it, or they are just hurting, those are also judgement's of intention. In fact in my opinion you saying you can't imagine that they would choose this behavior because they suffer is an assumption also, you assume suffering from their actions, I assume something else.

If I truly look at my NM's life she did very little suffering. She always did what she wanted, got her own way, had 3 little minions that always jumped when she said jumped. She spent her money on what she wished, shopped what she wanted to, gambled when she wanted to, used drugs when she wanted to, totally neglected all of the needs of her children, and never let anyone say a word about it without totally trashing and verbally abusing them. I have zero clue as to the experience with other PD types as far as the suffering goes, but my NM never went without what she wanted and the few times she did there was hell to pay for consequences for the members of her family. Because it was all our fault. When was she suffering? My assumptions that she was suffering were informed by her telling me she was....the facts don't match the story she tells. The only time she suffered was when she wasn't getting her own way, and that was very little of the time, because she was ruthless in the pursuit of her own way. I do however agree that just because someone is PD does not mean they are the same as my NM and no one can make that generalization. I also know that I am not alone in my experiences and that others have dealt with almost eerily similar experiences in their lives. My only wish is to help to empower those of us who are suffering....and we are suffering...to search for their own truth and not let possibly wrong beliefs about their experience keep them stuck and further victimized. God Bless all of you and may you find your power and your truth to free yourself from the emotional enslavement of the FOG.

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Rose1

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2018, 09:33:02 PM »
I have found this fascinating. I have seen evidence of awareness and was actually told by expdmil that she emotionally abuses (my words) because that way I do what she wants. Huge lightbulb moment for me.

At the moment my pdm? (Just starting to come to terms with this) is waifing to my sister and bil because she is distraught about her lack of relationship with me and my brother. This is causing my sister a lot of stress which I feel bad about. However, pdm wants other people to sort out her problems for her and ranges from asking, to guilt tripping to crying to get her way. She is however very selective in who sees her nasty side. Mostly vicious or passive aggressive comments. And trying to get between family members and between my adult kids and I.
We have all put up with this for years because she does the sweet old lady act most of theit time. But I've seen the look when she decides to give me a serve. It looks like hate to me. Of course no one else sees it. She makes sure dh (who is deaf) doesn't hear it. I think if we had realised that it wasn't just the way she is but a full on attempt to get what she wants perhaps we would have had better boundaries. I'm still finding it hard to come to terms with despite the evidence over many years and despite her admitting that she had said certain things but justifying them.

She reserves this behaviour for the females in the family too. But tries to manipulate the men. I know thats deliberate because she has on occasion said that's how you get a man to listen.

So she absolutely has control. Whether a pd has control long term or can only manage it with others because they abuse some I have no idea. I'm pretty sure they justify it in their mind as necessary to get what they want.

Of course its not normal but its a very long term pattern that has become ingrained.

Still learning sadly

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Yael924

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2018, 05:28:04 AM »
What LKS wrote response #25
 :yeahthat:

« Last Edit: September 11, 2018, 11:45:24 AM by Bloomie »

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wisingup

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2018, 10:30:06 AM »
This is an interesting thread.  At LSK's earlier suggestion, I have been reading "In Sheep's Clothing" & finding it illuminating.  The author has a blunt, no-nonsense way of laying it out there.  They DO know what they are doing.  They lie, distract, or spin the story to avoid the consequences of their behavior.  They put others down so they can stay in a one-up position.  There's a lot of rationalization going on so that they can justify these behaviors to themselves. 

Really, these things ring true to me regarding my ubpdm.  I struggled mightily during my early coming OOTF days to parse out the "she doesn't realize she's hurting me / it's intentional" question.   And to understand why she would continue to behave the way she does when it now is resulting in losing everything she says she wants.  It comes down to - she wants what she wants & will act aggressively (covertly or overtly) to get it, without considering the long-term consequences.

This also fits with her horrible management of her finances.  What she wants, she must have.  She has drained away two "fortunes" that have come her way with impulse spending on furniture & remodeling her home.  Just for good measure, she has always mocked me for my thriftiness (I am cheap and selfish, apparently).

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StayWithMe

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2018, 10:44:22 AM »
The falsehood is damaging because so many people spend year --AND Money -- in therapy while the therapist continually tells the paitent "But your mother loves you and wants the best for you"   

And then the patient spends years thinking that it's all their fault instead of detachng and healing.

IRonically, the more I avoid my mother, the more chases me.  When I used to pursue her (call / write her regulalry) she couldn't be bothered.  She always claimed that the gifts that I sent her she never received.  Then I would I say, "I sent it registered mail, I'll put a tracer on it."  she'll call back the next day and say that received it.

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Bloomie

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #30 on: September 11, 2018, 01:20:07 PM »
Reading through this thread and wanting to add some thoughts that cuts through the speculation of all of this for me. I have been harmed as I sought refuge, help, strategies by having been sent back into abusive situations by those I trusted to guide me.

So, I can understand the sense of relief and release that might come from decreeing over another what they know without a doubt when their words and behaviors are continually harming us. Believe you me I can certainly relate to the anguish and pain I sense with each and every post in this thread.  :'(

For me, spending time ruminating on what another person knows, intends, means, meant, thinks, trying to figure them out, became a dead end street in my healing journey. Ime the pwPD in my life seemed emboldened and empowered by my getting stuck in this question and would attempt to push me further down the rabbit hole.

This is where the pwPD I am currently dealing with most often will go first in the midst of addressing an issue because it is the slipperiest of slippery slopes. 

Think circular arguments, word salad, confabulation and that is the slope I step out on when I begin to speak as if I can know what another person intends and knows beyond any doubt. It is impossible to prove and if I am dealing with a person who is inclined toward manipulation and disordered behaviors (and I am) they seem savvy enough to leverage the fallibility of any claim I may make over what they know and will take me into an endless round robin discussion of what they know, intend, feel, understand, were aware of, think... :yes: happy to camp out there for years if I will stay there with them because it provides a shelter from true accountability and keeps me stuck in the same unhealthy connection with them with no resolution and no moving forward.

Someone in thread asked does anyone have an example of a pwPD that acts out in public in abusive ways... I most certainly do. I am NC with a uPD family member because of his violent acts toward my family. In public. In full view of everyone in his workplace. And this was not an isolated incident.

I also have had uPDmil act out in a public place weeping and and carrying on when I calmly expressed I was uncomfortable hugging her after she verbally abused me in full view/hearing of a cloud of witnesses. Humiliating behaviors in my work place... hmmmm there is a theme here.   :blink:

High conflict, covertly and overtly aggressive and manipulative behaviors do show up in public exchanges and everyday life with the uPD family members in my life. The mistreatment of service people, wait staff, receptionists, medical providers, their own family members is often apparent.

What matters for me, what moves me forward and brings growth is accepting that I can only truly know what someone says and does over time as a reliable indicator of their heart posture toward me and others.

I can determine if another person does/does not take responsibility for their abusive words and behaviors and then decide if that person is someone I can continue to build a relationship with.

I can release myself from what I am not responsible for - their thoughts, intentions, character, moral compass, self awareness, behaviors, words, abuses, infidelities, lies, happiness, unhappiness, illnesses, brokenness, the messiness of their lives, finances, and relationships. Not my stuff. None of it.

When I stay focused on their choices and behaviors and responses in relationship with me and how they handle kindly set boundaries it empowers me and keeps the focus on my goals of developing reasonably healthy, reciprocal, loving core relationships with trustworthy people.

I can heal from the wounds inflicted on me before I knew what I now know for sure... I now know I have full authority and self agency in my choices in relationships with those people who I have determined are untrustworthy and whose unmanaged behaviors have proven harmful for me.







« Last Edit: September 11, 2018, 01:45:49 PM by Bloomie »

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Tamzen

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #31 on: September 11, 2018, 02:16:30 PM »
I really appreciate this thread. It's helpful to read about how people have dealt with these very crazy-making family members. Where I've come to recently (and this is subject to change as I learn & grow) is that it isn't an either/or. My BPD/NPD mother isn't either a monster or a victim, she's both--and no matter what her truth is, I have agency to protect and care for myself.

It would be hard for me to believe she has no choice about how she behaves. I'm 46 and when I was 15 she got the whole family into therapy in an attempt to fix the rest of us. My father & I stayed in therapy for years. She didn't. And she seems to have a few moments where reality breaks through--but suspiciously, she has more of these moments with my brother (GC) than me. Even if her manipulations are 90% unconscious & habit, there's still 10% when she could see what she's doing and choose differently. Over the decades, she's had plenty of access to resources to change and she barely uses them--and when she does it seems to be more from the context of playing up her victim status rather than working to change herself.

Plus I just came from a five day visit with her in which I managed to stay more mindful than I have in the past. (I am NEVER doing five days alone in the same house with her again.) I was miserable and, now that I have distance, I'm looking back over how she acted and while parts could've been unconscious, other parts were so openly narcissistic and controlling and cruel. She is a smart woman, she could consider her actions but that's not where she chooses to put her attention--she puts the vast majority of it on what makes her look good and the rest of it on damage control.

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Sojourner17

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #32 on: September 11, 2018, 03:14:10 PM »
This is such an interesting thread and gives a lot of food for thought. I see, like you do Tamzen, that there is a little bit of both coming to play in regards to my moms awareness of what she does. I think that at times she is triggered and speaks before she thinks and then at other times what she does is very calculated and itís like she knows she can get away with saying and doing the things she does.   She has made comments in regards to being able to control herself and what she says especially if it meant she could get one up on my dad. Ie, she was able to control her negative comments in a session with a mediator and my dad couldnít. She took great pleasure in telling me this as it made her look good and my dad look bad. She was VERY aware of what she was doing and why.

Yet at other times she seems completely unaware of what she is doing. This seems to happen when she is in a rage. She doesnít seem to be in control at this time and there is no self reflection or ability to take responsibility for her actions after the fact. In her mind her behaviour was justified and she refuses to see it any other way.  Itís like she refuses to go there, refuses to entertain the idea that how she acted was wrong... denial and pride.

I see the same as you,Tamzen, regarding playing up the victim. She has had access to resources but either doesnít utilize them fully or turns around and blames them when she doesnít hear what she wants from them. She wants to remain the victim of circumstances SHE created because it is easier than working on herself and changing how she does things. I used to get so frustrated with her when she would do this, now I just think ďwell, youíve made your bed. Now you have to lie in itĒ. Iím not going to try to rescue her anymore because she really doesnít want to be rescued.

Yes, my mother had horrendous things done to her when she was growing up but she is now in her 70ís. Those things happened decades or longer ago. She is aware enough to know the ďscienceĒ behind how they can effect a person but chooses to stay as she is or in fact even let herself get worse because it suits her to do so.

In writing this all out... perhaps she is more aware of herself than I think!

All in all, aware or not, she is not safe for me and my family to be around for anything but short visits, emails and phone calls.
"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it..." - Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

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LSK1999

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #33 on: September 11, 2018, 06:29:05 PM »
So many great comments here and I want to respond to everyone but I don't have the time today. I am glad this thread is helpful to people and I want to say so much. What Bloomie says is very true. We can really get stuck in this trying to understand to the detriment of our own healing, and for me this was the case. For me wanting to know Why gets in my way a lot. I'm not sure if this is part of my personality or a result of things in my life....I had a therapist ask me once why do you need to know that? And it was kind of a slap in the face moment....yet I think there is something in all of us that seeks truth. I also read somewhere that childhood in an abusive family leads to this over intellectualizing and trying to understand everything and a need to know. Maybe it's from reality being so horribly distorted for so long? I don't know, but getting caught up in it can keep you stuck. For me though these realizations of what I find to be true in my own experience and at the advice of others well versed and educated on the topic, it was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back. For me everything these new takes I was hearing about on Personality Disorder and Character Disorder rang so true to my life experience. It was an awakening that led to me going....holy crap...these people are playing me like a fiddle...I better heal these giant wounds in myself so I can protect myself from this trickery and smoke and mirrors.

So I wouldn't suggest all be like me and spend months trying to understand why...because regardless of the why you deserve LOVE, HEALING, and JOY!!!!!!! For me I still couldn't see that until I found something for me that rang so true it felt a lead weight had settled in my stomach for a moment, then it felt like something lifted from my soul that had been sitting there for a very long time. I will be eternally grateful for the work of Dr. George Simon, because for me he gave me a whole new way of seeing that I believe is the correct way, and he also is giving me the tools I need to understand why I was victimized, how manipulators work, and how best to protect myself from them. He also showed me finally what everyone here has been trying to tell me all along  :stars: The FOG is thick people...once we heal our own wounds we wont' be as susceptible to abuse in the future. I fully believe that we are at such a disadvantage in these relationships and are victimized repeatedly because of our inability to believe that people can actually think or work this way. For me I was like  "WHAT....no wonder I'm losing all the time, I had no idea we were in a battle  :stars: People that manipulate do not do so for fun...it's for power and control. For them it really is that just a battle for control according to Simon.

I would like to share a quote that Dr. Simon uses in his talks about dealing with Character disordered people.....He says "It's not that their not aware enough, it's that they don't care enough and "it's not that they don't see, it's that they disagree" Dr. Simon also asserts that character disorder is becoming an epidemic that will continue to grow until we stop sugarcoating it and call it out for what it really is, really bad behavior that harms many many people. Simon also believes many mental health issues like depression and anxiety are the result of such abusive relationships. I understand Dr. Simon is just one mental health professional and many have different views, I give more credit to understanding to Simon as his entire career is dedicated to helping people with PD or character disorder. He also believes it's not totally helpless or hopeless as to change their behavior. I don't want to go into too much there because it is still a pretty grim prognosis without really highly specialized help and someone faced with no other choice but to change their behavior.

Sorry I went on and on again...lol...like I said. I also want to quick share something that I haven't really shared before as I had a lot of shame about it. The reason this stuff is so important to me is that I believe my 16 year old daughter is PD. I finally gathered enough strength to leave my abusive NM only to find that I was still being abused by my 16 year old daughter. She is manipulative, aggressive, and her actions towards me are downright hurtful and cruel. I have spent the last 2 years coming OOTF to realize that when leaving I brought one with me. This realization has been utterly devastating to me, but more than that I am terrified as to what it means for my daughter. I'm terrified to think my child will go through life harming others the way she harms me. I feel ashamed, I feel responsible, and I feel desperate to help her. She has been in traditional therapy for 2 years now and all she does is manipulate the therapists. They are blind to her issues and offer many many suggestions, none have ever helped. For me accepting what her behavior is really all about....she is spoiled, entitled, thinks the world owes her everything, she treats people terribly, and if you call her out on it she will use a million tactics to deny, minimize, the list goes on and on. The idea that she was coming from a place of woundedness was getting us nowhere fast and in fact it made the behavior much worse.

Thanks to the work of Simon I can now call it what I really believe it is and I can stop pitying her and worrying she is wounded. Instead I'm directly and confidently dealing with her poor behavior, not treating her like a wounded puppy (because she's not) and holding her accountable for her actions. It is an UGLY battle folks, her ways of harming to get what she wants have worked for a while now. But guess what, when I stopped treating her like a poor wounded animal and started to really call out the behavior for what it is...selfish, cruel, manipulative, etc., she is becoming easier to deal with. She is learning I am a force to be reckoned with and I WILL NOT ACCEPT her abusive tactics. This takes a tough skin that I don't really fully possess yet so after I usually go cry in the bathroom for about an hour....LOL....but it's getting easier to live with her. So I guess this quest for truth is probably more about this and how I have to properly deal with it...I couldn't help my daughter if I didn't see the truth. I can walk away from my abusive mother but I can't walk away from my child, not now, not ever. Bottom line the sugarcoated she's wounded idea didn't work for me, because she's not. The truth about her behavior was what I needed to fully see if I had any hope of putting a stop to it. Sorry guys.....again I hope this can help some of you on your journey to your truth and finding a life free of abuse  :)


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Psuedonym

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #34 on: September 11, 2018, 07:07:17 PM »
I'm listening to some of Dr. Simon's videos on youtube right now, LSK1999. Very interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing that. I'm on the subject of scapegoating, by the way.

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LSK1999

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #35 on: September 11, 2018, 08:09:33 PM »
Your very welcome Psuedonym....Yes...I need to learn more about what he says about scapegoating considering I was the family scapegoat  :stars: He talks briefly about it in the book...he also has several other books on the topic and I cannot wait to read them  :)

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blues_cruise

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #36 on: September 11, 2018, 08:54:58 PM »
I think they're aware of what they're doing. When my mum died my N father actually told me in one of his rages that she was no longer around to protect me anymore (the unsaid words being 'from him', but we both knew what he was getting at seeing as he was hurling abuse and chasing after me at the time). I believe that they know that their behaviour is unacceptable but they don't care. If they had zero awareness of it then they would act terribly in public too rather than so easily putting on a pleasant mask and saving the abuse for behind closed doors.
"You are not what has happened to you. You are what you choose to become." - Carl Gustav Jung

"When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." - Maya Angelou

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LSK1999

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #37 on: September 11, 2018, 11:14:35 PM »
I think they're aware of what they're doing. When my mum died my N father actually told me in one of his rages that she was no longer around to protect me anymore (the unsaid words being 'from him', but we both knew what he was getting at seeing as he was hurling abuse and chasing after me at the time). I believe that they know that their behaviour is unacceptable but they don't care. If they had zero awareness of it then they would act terribly in public too rather than so easily putting on a pleasant mask and saving the abuse for behind closed doors.

Hi blue_cruise, it's weird you made this comment because I just had a memory of my NM saying something very similar to me once about my fiance. I couldn't remember the exact words but it was something to the effect that he thinks he can protect you from me. I agree this is very telling, and I want to say to you I'm so sorry that you have experienced this. My heart aches for you after losing your mother to have a F so cruel as to say something like that. I couldn't see at the time my M said that to me how telling it actually was.....why would she think I need protection from her??? Oh that's right because she knows she's abusing me....I truly think it was her favorite past time  :doh: She still tries to hoover me in every once in a while with " I miss you", yeah...LOL...I bet you do miss your favorite slave...it sickens me. Bless you and big hugs to you  :bighug:

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coyote

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #38 on: September 12, 2018, 11:14:03 AM »
I am glad everyone is benefiting from this thread. LSK your last post explains a lot. It is easy to walk away from an NM but to have a child suffering from a possible disorder is heartbreaking. I would just offer this observation and what has worked for me in life. Whether a person manipulates and abuses others out of a conscious choice or an unconscious need makes no never mind for me. I really don't care why they do it. I can feel empathy for them and realize they are getting very limited enjoyment out of life and that's a pity.

But I have a moral code that prohibits me allowing myself to be abused or manipulated. That code is protected by boundaries I set up for myself. When my boundaries are violated I enforce them with logical consequences. So whatever the motivation or intent of others, my boundaries are meant to protect me. As you both said, Bloomie and LSK, each of our situations are different and therefore what tools work for us can be different. I just share what works for me.

Thanks for everyone participating in this difficult conversation and doing so in a respectful manner; avoiding generalizations, and contributing to our growth and healing.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
 Wayne Dyer

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?
Capt. Jack Sparrow

Choose not to be harmed and you wonít feel harmed. Donít feel harmed and you havenít been. -Marcus Aurelius

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Psuedonym

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #39 on: September 12, 2018, 12:04:51 PM »
Obviously this is a super fascinating thread for me. One of the things I was wondering about last night is how the flavor of PD(s) you grew ups with affects how important that self-awareness is to you. And for that purpose I have created: an analogy! Please enjoy my crappy analogy:

Let's say you walk to work every day and you pass a homeless person. This homeless person is blind. And paralyzed. And a veteran. They ask you for money and of course you give them some, because holy shit, if they don't deserve some sympathy and help, who does. You pass this person every day and they keep asking you for money (I'm not sure how the blind person knows it's you but it's an analogy). You keep giving it to them, because you feel terrible about their situation. You pity them. You realize this short term plan is a bandaid and get the contact info for a shelter, but the person refuses to go. Eventually you realize you can't just keep doing this forever, you have only so much to give. So you change the way you walk to work and avoid the homeless person altogether. Rationally you realize that this person is not your responsibility and you've done all you can, but emotionally, you might feel very differently. You may find yourself worrying about them and feeling guilty, having no one and nothing and all the cards stacked against them. You might feel depressed, thinking about what a cruel place the world is. You might feel selfish, deep down. You might rationally understand that it's unfair of them to expect you to keep supporting them, but %$#, hasn't the world been infinitely more unfair to them than this request is of you? You may feel like a bad person.

And then one day you run into the owner of the store outside which the homeless person sits everyday, and they tell you that while, yes, this person is indeed homeless, they are not blind. Or paralyzed. Or a veteran. They're an addict who refuses to get the help that's actually out there and made up the story about being blind and paralyzed and a veteran to elicit sympathy from passersby. Do you feel differently about the homeless person? Do you see them in a different light? Is it important?

To me it's a game changer. Being able to see through the epic self-pity 'i wish i could be less whiny/clingy/needy/dependent/insecure/depressed/anxious/anxious/angry/negative/neurotic but I CAAAAAN"T because I'm broken and none of its my fault' story for what it is. A story that conveniently let's her off the hook for taking any responsibility for anything and make ridiculous demands on others without ever feeling guilty.

Oh, and also its the opening of the movie Trading Places if that sounded familiar. :)

« Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 12:12:28 PM by Psuedonym »