I came across this...wow.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This is just more validation that my dad is a narcissist. He fits every single red flag on the list. Wow, yes, he hands out money, but there is a catch. He expects you to put up with his abuse and if you don't, he threatens to disinherit you. We think of narcissists as greedy, maybe like the fictitious Scrooge, but they will give gifts. They just expect the world back in return and will cut off the gifts if you don't do what t hey like.

    This is kind of like a vent or a warning or both. I'm so glad I'm past thinking that all this is my fault and I'd better be a good daughter. I'm so sorry it took me so long to get here.

    My mother doesn't fit Narcissism. She fits borderline, but that's another thread.

    At any rate, moral of the story: Please do not confuse getting gifts as love. They MAY be due to love, depending on the person. They can also be a down payment on your loyalty forever, feeling indebted to them, no matter how they treat you.

    "I come from a long line of narcissistic people who used money and "gifts of royal approval" in lieu of actual love to reinforce the legacy of narcissism and their approved values, gracing their favorites who made them look good with rewards and scapegoating and punishing those who do not act how they want until they "Shape Up!" They value: physical beauty, deception, wealth, power, control, total lack of empathy (which is seen as a weakness) and the ability to be whatever they want . They like to pretend to care and be very generous when anyone they want to impress is watching. They make sure to let you know, after you get a gold star, that you are insignificant in the galaxy of stars competing for their royal attention. No matter how many kindness visited upon me, the upshot was always to devalue me further and curse me to being less than human. In fact, I needed to be broken. I think they wanted to deform me to make me fit with them. I never could."
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Dingdingding-dingding! We have a winner!
    Right on target.
  3. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    Wow Midwest, Its sad to see you going through this, I wish you the best and am proud of you :) Hugs. Its amazing how similar we all are going through things.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thank you.

    I knew he was like this long ago, but I put up with it. I wish I hadn't.

    Same with my mom. She was so abusive and I wanted her love so badly I practically kissed her feet until I realized, she was never going to like or accept me and that if I didn't back off it would lead to nothing but pain. Nobody broke my heart the way she did, but that's over too and I realize how my family works and am no longer sucked into it.

    And she made me a much better parent. Sadly, I just did everything she did not, like practice unconditional love, never namecall, apologize to mine whenever I was wrong, and never lie to them or abuse them. She made me the mother she could not be, and for that I thank her. At least my grown kids and I do well.

    You can always learn something from anything...there is always a lesson.
  5. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is my mother as well. The ultimate gift giver with strings that go on and on.

    As the oldest, and a girl, I bore the brunt growing up and continue to do so in part.

    As the woman who gave me life, I do love her. There were good times sprinkled in that I hold in my memory.

    When I was pregnant with my first, I wanted a boy soooooo bad because I just knew if I had a daughter I would repeat the cycle - I didn't really understand her then.

    Two weeks after my daughter, my first, was born, I was standing at the kitchen sink and had this overwhelming fear of becoming my mother and doing to my sweet baby what she did to me. I broke down sobbing right there. My then husband and father of my children came in and asked what was the matter. I said, "I don't want to be my mother."

    He said two simple words, "Then don't."

    Seem insensitive and simple?

    Maybe, but for some reason those two words made the biggest difference for me.

    No fluff, no excuses, not pity, no coddle. Just simply be a different person.

    Not only did I break the cycle, but it released me from being a victim and wasting my life on wondering and wishing "what if?"

    Fran used to say, "It is what it is." It's kinda like that for me. She is. But I don't have to be,nor do I have to live with the burden of memory or the stress of trying to live within her dictate.

  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I agree with you 100%!!!!

    My only difference was my mom was not in my life and chose not to be in my kid's lives. That was very good for them as she loved to play divide and conquer.
  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This is me, too.

    When difficult child daughter began acting out though, I wondered whether I had done things I could not remember. SOMETHING was wrong. I mean, no one is a perfect parent, but I just could not see what husband and I could have done that could account for what was happening to us.

    Still, there had to be something.

    And I was the mom at home.

    And we've all seen the Three Faces of Eve, right? Where the mother was so awful and the daughter had a thousand personalities.

    And my mom was pretty awful.

    Then, difficult child son brought addiction into the picture, which I refused to believe in either.

    I could not let go of that sense of responsibility. Something was wrong, and though I had sworn with my whole heart, with everything I knew or had or would ever have, not to be my mother...I could never be sure, until I had been here on this site long enough to explore it all, that I hadn't slipped up somewhere and caused all this.

    It is a strange thing to say, but I was freed from that when one of us ~ maybe you, MWM? ~ began posting about the genetic component to difficult child behavior.

    And oh, hello, look at my family of origin.

    And then, poor difficult child daughter diagnosis after diagnosis came in.

    I cannot figure out today whether I should just be happy I ever put all these pieces together, or whether I should waste yet more time trying to be all self pitying about all these years, and about all the different ways I might have been stronger, and might have turned the tide for all of us that way, had I not been so focused on trying to figure out what I did.


    Oh, well.


    P.S. Oh, excuse me. What I meant to say was: "My sister is like that."

    Darn auto correct.

  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Cedar, yeah, I was reading and kept coming across that our behavior is in large part inherited, even if we are adopted and never know our biology. That DNA still lives inside of us and influences our impulse control, our temperament, and the various personality problems and addictions we are prone to have. I see all this in my DNA collection and in my one biological son. I am a bit different because, having been somebody who was intristically "different" myself from early on (and very aware of it) I never believed my parents caused it, as horrible as they were. I always thought I was born that way, even before I knew the word "inherited." I still don't. Anything I am that is negative, I attribute to bad genes plus not knowing how to control those bad genes before I had therapy. So I always told all my therapists from Day One that I was born this way and I just wanted to know how to act better...that I did not want to talk about my parents because they didn't cause it. I see this all over my DNA collection tree and somewhat in 37, but do not see this in my adopted kids.

    The peace in knowing about DNA and heredity is I never thought, "What did I do to make him this way?" "Why does my daughter take drugs? What did I do wrong?"

    I thought: "Dang it, I knew I should not have passed along my cursed DNA!" and "I'll bet somebody in Daughter's biological family tree abused drugs, but she is still so sweet. I wish I knew her family-of-origin to get a better picture."

    The guilt part wasn't there, as far as feeling I caused it. Nor did I ever once tell my parents, who I loathed and who were mostly horrid to me, that they made me this way. I had it in me to do it. I was no shrinking violent. But I wasn't going to tell them something that I didn't believe just to hurt them. So that never came up.

    I believe in biology as the keys to our inclinations on how to behave. I also know from first hand experience that one can change his behavior if he/she is aware and tries very hard. It is a HUGE task though and if our DNAers are also lazy...well, like I said, it's a lot of work. Healing takes time and a very strong effort, but anyone can behave better if they want to learn how to do it.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If the person is a narcissist, it is a down payment on requirements for future loyalty or obedience or something.
    If the person has a range of other challenges (including being the spouse of a narcissist), it may be the only way they know to show love.

    I have one of each. I refuse gifts from the narcissist. I take them from the other one because I know that person's heart and intention.
  10. My mother has a lot of narcissistic qualities, but she's more the "ignoring" type of NM than "engulfing."
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My dad wanted nothing to do with us, unless he felt we could do him proud and he didn't think that very often. He didn't engage us much except to call us names or yell at us at various times or, when in a good mood, call for a few minutes to talk nonstop about himself.

    My mom was an all consuming borderline who was in your face all the time, nagging, yelling, calling you names, telling you why you were no good, etc. Those 3AM "waking-you-up-to-yell-about-something-from-three-weeks-ago" reminded me a lot of the movie Mommy Dearest and the wire hanger scene. It was just like that minus the hangers and hitting. But you got awakened in shock at an ungodly hour and you couldn't even think about what she was screaming about for a few minutes until you woke up all the way. And it was always something that you thought had been finished. I'm the only one who got those, but my sister shared a room with me so they woke her up too and she remembers them well. We called them, appropriately "night raids" from Mommy Dearest.

    I preferred my father.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    My father in law used to be awful about this. It has improved greatly because I don't like that game. It annoys me. I have lots of relatives who play it and they all think that family means I am there for them but they are totally not required to ever do anything to help me or be nice to me. Many of them won't even acknowledge me unless they want/need something from me. Walk past me in public with-o saying Hi type not acknowledging me, literally. (Is it awful that I can have great fun insisting they notice me in these situations, esp if they are with other people?)

    I am sorry this is such a challenge and source of pain and stress for you right now. All you can do is respect yourself and insist that others do the same. Not being able to control others is probably the hardest part about being a grown up.