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

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all4peace

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #40 on: September 12, 2018, 12:30:11 PM »
I appreciate what Bloomie says above. In our interactions with PDs, they LOVE when we try to talk about intentions and feelings, as it's a great breeding ground for denial, arguing, gaslighting, twisting of facts, and outright lying. And, really, who can prove anything? We simply know that contact with these behaviors does great harm to us, and we are not able to prove it, nor do we need to.

What has helped me over time is to step back and look at the patterns. A truly contrite and convicted person would deal with their behavior, rather than reacting as I describe above. Since the PDs in our lives do not change, and invest a lot of energy in defending themselves and working really hard to portray a pristine public image, I can understand that they are not actually interested in growth, reconciliation, healing. That helps me let them go, to emotionally detach.

But, regardless, even if they were in my estimation completely clueless about their harmful behavior, it would still be harmful.

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LSK1999

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #41 on: September 12, 2018, 03:58:45 PM »
I appreciate what Bloomie says above. In our interactions with PDs, they LOVE when we try to talk about intentions and feelings, as it's a great breeding ground for denial, arguing, gaslighting, twisting of facts, and outright lying. And, really, who can prove anything? We simply know that contact with these behaviors does great harm to us, and we are not able to prove it, nor do we need to.

What has helped me over time is to step back and look at the patterns. A truly contrite and convicted person would deal with their behavior, rather than reacting as I describe above. Since the PDs in our lives do not change, and invest a lot of energy in defending themselves and working really hard to portray a pristine public image, I can understand that they are not actually interested in growth, reconciliation, healing. That helps me let them go, to emotionally detach.

But, regardless, even if they were in my estimation completely clueless about their harmful behavior, it would still be harmful.

Yes it is still harmful either way and it doesn't excuse the behavior either way. The problem for me is that I am not either as far along in my healing as the rest of you or if it's because I'm faced with the care of a PD daughter that is manipulative and harmful to me, but I cannot as Coyote says feel empathy for a person while they are actively trying to harm me. I think this is a very dangerous combination for many of us that allowed us to not only be abused but to protect our abusers. I had this realization this morning that I have been protecting my abusers my entire life. I protected my NM from her own horrible actions, then my N man I spent 14 years with, and now my daughter. My empathy for their assumed woundedness kept me stuck in abuse for my entire life. So when someone tells me they are not operating from a wounded place and that it's all about manipulation and control, it's like a slap into the face of reality here. My empathy and compassion have been a tool used against me, and I believe intentionally. I also think for me to properly deal with the situation I'm dealing with, I need to know how best to handle abusive people and I will never do so unless I know the truth about where they are coming from....I need to understand how bad it really is and how ruthless it really is in order to be prepared to deal with it. I also think that we should all know this, character disordered people are everywhere, at work, in the church, in your family, at the grocery store. Dr. Simon discusses that in his work with the victims of PD's the single most empowering thing for the victims is to learn the truth about what is happening and how PD's minds work....so yes how they behave and why they behave the way they do does matter to me and it has everything to do with how to effectively deal with it. Whether we want to admit it or not many of us have been victimized and putting a fluffy label and calling ruthless, calculating, and evil behavior a disorder doesn't do justice to what we have been through. By disengaging we are choosing not to deal with it, and I totally understand and respect that choice, and BELIEVE ME if I weren't dealing with this with my daughter I would likely continue to do just that, I don't have that luxury right now. Also if I disengage and truly don't understand their behavior, their tactics, the truth about what their behavior really means...I leave myself susceptible to victimization in the future. Again these are all my opinions and my truth, each of our paths will be different. When we literally can't just walk away because it's a coworker or a child or for whatever reason, I damn sure want to know what I'm dealing with and how to empower myself to properly protect myself. I want to live my life knowing I can stand up for myself and heinous actions against me....my power was taken from me a long time ago by an abusive and cruel women and no amount of empathy for her or anyone like her will give me back my power to say this is wrong, your behavior is wrong, you victimize, and your cruel. Knowledge is power in my opinion and the key to the end of my victimization.

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coyote

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #42 on: September 12, 2018, 05:10:05 PM »
LSK I appreciate and understand where you are coming from. I don't post much about my abusive father because in my mind it is in the past and has no effect on me now. As I said before each of our situations are different. How we choose to perceive and create our reality now is also different for each of us. You say " My empathy for their assumed woundedness kept me stuck in abuse for my entire life." I have no doubt this is real for you.

All I'm saying is the reality is different for me. I choose to have empathy and forgiveness. For me this does not make me weaker but actually empowers me.
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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LSK1999

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #43 on: September 12, 2018, 06:57:10 PM »
LSK I appreciate and understand where you are coming from. I don't post much about my abusive father because in my mind it is in the past and has no effect on me now. As I said before each of our situations are different. How we choose to perceive and create our reality now is also different for each of us. You say " My empathy for their assumed woundedness kept me stuck in abuse for my entire life." I have no doubt this is real for you.

All I'm saying is the reality is different for me. I choose to have empathy and forgiveness. For me this does not make me weaker but actually empowers me.
Hi Coyote, I just wanted to tell you that when you say that it triggers me and I will tell you why.....because I am way OVERLY sensitive to the thought of being told if I don't have empathy I am not good or Christian...incidentally I am a Christian. I am and always have been one that felt the emotions of others and for others so strongly I could barely look at other people without feeling everything they were feeling.....I had taken empathy and compassion to a new form. It was as if I thought I was to be as strong as Christ himself....problem is I am not. My total empathy and willingness to forgive every transgression of every person made me weaker and weaker and crying out to God "Why?" I gave them love, compassion, empathy, and forgiveness and it didn't empower me. My bible tells me I should forgive those that have harmed me when they repent and ask for forgiveness...not one of my abusers has ever done so, in fact when I humbly and feebly tried to ask for a sorry, or I didn't mean to hurt you...I got gaslighting, denial, minimization, scapegoating, verbal abuse, blame shifting..I think you get the picture. So while forgiveness may be where others are at...many of us have yet to feel the righteous anger Christ would have for those of us who as children and adults were maimed and emotionally mutilated by people that were supposed to love and protect us. I realize you are not accusing me of not being empathetic, I only tell you about my triggering so you can see how the very mention of empathy for the one who harms me feels dangerous. I hope to one day be far enough along in my healing to forgive, when I have peace and can feel feelings like happiness again, maybe then. But if not it's okay. I cannot walk outside the doors of my home and be near a single person without feelings of fear and anxiety, and not one member of my family cares....they continue to abuse and abandon me and deny that any of them contributed to my problems, yet every one of them with the exception of one sibling has done so. Feeling no empathy and no compassion for my NM who abused and neglected me as a child, a teen, and an adult, is what empowers me to finally feel my anger for what was done to me....So sorry again I go on and on....take all the intention away...the actions of the PD's in my life are evil and malicious.

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babbit

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #44 on: September 12, 2018, 08:11:54 PM »
Can I offer to mediate here?

I have to say that coyote's comments triggered me too, as a new Christian and an old people pleaser (YES there is a difference)

I'm sure that coyote didn't write things to trigger.
It's just that coyote feels that the pds in coyote's experience are a= unable to control their behaviour
and because of this wants to give b= compassion

LSK1999 feels that pds are c= able to control their behaviour and so have now d = exhausted their right to compassion

The reason you both may trigger each other off is that you have polar opposite views on the subject.
Having read the whole of this thread and done my own thinking on this, I have come to the conclusion that you are both right on this.
I am currently writing a huge post on this so that I can clarify this finding and I hope that it will be helpful and informative for both of you!

p.s. I hope both coyote and LSK1999 won't be offended that I reduced their respective feelings to a soundbite. I wasn't trying to be glib I was trying to show that you are both coming to the same problem from two different positions. I hope that when I post again I can show that both positions are not only valid but maybe essential to consider when looking at recovery from PD abuse.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 08:23:12 PM by babbit »
"If Iím driving there today and I really am this afraid,
God is love and love will never fail me."

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting."

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LSK1999

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #45 on: September 12, 2018, 09:32:44 PM »
Thanks Babbit.....I really REALLY don't dislike Coyote or anything Coyote says. You are right we are coming from polar opposite views and that's okay....for me this is HUGE for me to be able to say my opinion without fear of judgement...and I guess I'm emotional and rambling...but I NEED to say this....Coyote....I love and respect you for how you have been so very respectful to my opinions and my beliefs and I realize now I haven't said that and Coyote you have  :bigwink: I totally and utterly agree with what Coyote says as to the different place we are in....if now at 43 I could walk away from all this mess I think I truly could forgive and move on much easier then when I see how it has RAVAGED my family. I do believe that my NM knows very well what she did to me and would continue to do it if I allowed her, I guess I also should state that I do believe that PD's also have a very distorted view of reality as well. So I guess that in itself is enough to say that absolutely all of their behavior is not intentional. I do think it's automatic to them....but it's also very harmful...and oftentimes calculated. So THANKS Babbit for weighing in and I will look forward to reading your post. And Coyote and everyone else who has been so kind even when our opinions differ...GOD BLESS YOU...this is truly the first place I have ever felt free to do that and I LOVE, each and everyone of you for that. I totally apologize if I have offended anyone....

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KD5FUL

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #46 on: September 12, 2018, 10:03:22 PM »
I think that religion is super fascinating.  It's sometimes difficult to speak about religion with others who do not share the same religion as you.  I am going to do that now.  I hope that my intention of being respectful is clear, as I try to explain the Jewish perspective on the obligation to forgive others.

As an orthodox Jew I find the interpretations of the Torah made by Christians to be particularly fascinating; especially since they often differ so dramamtically from the original meaning.

In the original Hebrew, the Torah says nothing about an obligation to forgive others. 

There is, however, a section that talks about not bearing grudges nor taking revenge.  Both of those are forbidden, as well as "hating your brother in your heart."

In Parshat Kedoshim, which is basically a list of holy actions that the people of Israel must do/are forbidden to do in order to be holy, we find this subject.

Two passages are of particular interest here: Vayikra (Leviticus,) Chapter 19, verses 17 and 18

17 reads: You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your fellow, but you shall not bear a sin on his account.

18 reads: You shall neither take revenge from nor bear a grudge against the members of your people; you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.


As you can clearly see, we are NOT commanded to forgive anyone. 

We are told that it is forbidden to hate, to bear a grudge, and take revenge.  We are told that we must rebuke those around us, and love our neighbors as ourselves.


That being said, I really hate it when people (mis)use religious texts to prevent people from protecting themselves from abusive people/situations.  God wouldn't want us to remain in situations/relationships that are damaging to our mental health.


In the Shulhan Arukh, (codified Jewish law based off of the Torah) According to the strict letter of the law, If someone wrongs us and sincerely asks us for our forgiveness, we must forgive themóprovided that they have compensated us for any actual damages.

PDs rarely (if ever) give sincere apologies.  The damage that they have done to us, in many ways, can never be compensated for.  That means, clearly, that we are not obligated to forgive them.

Acting beyond the letter of the law, we can forgive others even if they do not ask for, or even want, our forgiveness, though  that  is really a personal choice.  When we are dealing with people who are abusive to us (and they aren't remorseful, and don't want to change) it's all about what we can do to protect and preserve ourselves.  For some of us, that means feeling empathy and forgiving them;  For others, it means not feeling empathy and not forgiving them.  Both choices are correct, and they can be equally empowering, as long as we pick the one that leads to peace and healing for ourselves.


I wish everyone here peace. 
לפום צערא אגרא

A victim of abuse who suffers in silence will suffer the most.

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LSK1999

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #47 on: September 12, 2018, 11:01:11 PM »
Hi KD5FUL, thanks for your comments. I don't really feel like anyone here has ever made me feel that way, that I'm bad or wrong if I don't forgive. This comes from within me and somewhere these beliefs were ingrained in me by many unhelpful, but I want to believe well meaning Christians. Forgiveness is a beautiful concept and surely we all need it at some point in our lives. I want nothing more than to live my life in peace and in absence of pain...I can't find that peace and I'm largely sure that there is a very large place of pent up rage and anger in me causing this. My soul tells me that what I am learning about PD's and their behaviors is true, my gut tells me, and when I read a book written by a man that has my PD family members behavior pegged so exactly it's eerie and then he tells me their motives against me....I believe him. I'm upset right now  because I have allowed the opinions of others to trigger me or remove me from my own journey to truth....that's my issue and no one else is responsible. I think this probably comes from never having my opinions or beliefs validated. In the end we are all entitled to our own freedom to choose, only I have never been allowed that in my life. Again thanks to all of you for your kindness. It's like I have this child inside saying hear me....believe me....please listen! If I know what my truth is that is all that matters. God Bless xx And thanks for sharing another interpretation on forgiveness....it helps  :)

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Bloomie

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #48 on: September 13, 2018, 01:54:27 AM »
This thread has been locked for moderator review. Specifically looking at multiple reported posts for generalizations - from our guidelines to help us:

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please avoid making blanket or derogatory generalizations about mental illness, personality disorders, personality disordered individuals or "Nons" that are unsupported by clinical literature.....You are welcome to ask questions about what you think is going on in the mind of a particular person you are close to. However, broad generalizations about entire groups of people who suffer from personality disorders, such as "they can't help it" or "they have no feelings" are misleading to others. Members who repeatedly post such generalizations are subject to moderation and will be asked to refrain.

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xredshoesx

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Re: Narcissistic Parents Lack Self Awareness....a falsehood that's damaging
« Reply #49 on: September 16, 2018, 10:56:10 AM »
we've decided to leave this one locked.

it's not what they are or they are not, it's how we choose to respond.  the only reactions and emotions we have any control over our own.  also, moving forward let's all work on using wording that comes from our own perspectives (in my experience, with my uPD spouse, etc.) vs. the type of 'they and them' language that was pretty prevalent in this thread.