My always “fun” narcissistic mother called me the night before last. She told me that one of the few movies with both like, “Duel” from 1971, was on TV. I was pleasantly surprised not only because I enjoy the movie, but that my mother thought to let me know it was coming on. I thought that was oddly not narcissistic & very sweet of her.
Then last evening, she called me again. She asked if I watched the movie & we ended up having a rather pleasant chat for a while about movies & actors. I relaxed for once while we spoke (that is a VERY rare occurrence). Suddenly my mother asked me a favor- she asked me to give her a home perm.
I’ve done it many times, & really never minded it all that much, in spite of her often treating me like the hired help. Then the arthritis in my hands got worse, & putting those little perm rods in her hair became quite painful for me. I told her this probably 2 years ago by now, maybe longer ago but I’m not sure, & haven’t done a perm for her since. So last night’s request came as a surprise to me. For one thing, we were talking just fine, then suddenly, she expects a favor that I’ve told her I can’t do. UGH! I had to remind my mother yet again that I have arthritis in my hands, & can’t do this for her. Her response? “So you’re saying you can’t give me a perm, huh?” Really??? All she took from what I said was what directly affected her. Fantastic.. typical narcissist. *banging head into walls*
I was thinking about this conversation this morning. It’s things like this that happen over & over, & many people just do not grasp the severity of such incidents. People who know my mother may think she’s rather eccentric, but not a bad person. In fact, if I tell them stories like this, they say I’m oversensitive, reading into things, need to shake it off, etc. These people act like I am the one in the wrong, not my mother, who treats me as if I’m just here to be used. They ignore the fact that things like this reinforce the fact my mother thinks I’m just here to serve her, that I’m not allowed to have needs, feelings or anything else. My sole purpose in life is to be used by my mother, according to her. So what I have arthritis? I should suck it up, Buttercup, & do what she wants because she wants it! Ugh.. & to tell the truth, I think my mother thinks I’m lying about having arthritis just to get out of doing for her. Never mind it’s a medical fact, on record & I’ve had it for 12 years now…
This kind of behavior is it invalidating, & it’s plain hurtful! It also has made me wonder why people are so quick to defend a narcissist & blame the victim.
I think many people are afraid of becoming uncomfortable. Their comfort zone is so important to them that they cannot tolerate anything that doesn’t fit into said comfort zone. They would rather be invalidating & hurtful to you than forced to believe the narcissist they know is anything less than a good person. Maybe the narcissist is good to them (for the moment anyway, until the mask slips off..), & they simply do not want to face the fact that she is capable of heinous acts. Learning someone you care about isn’t a good person is a painful thing, & many people do not want to deal with that pain.
What does this mean to you, the victim of a narcissist?
This means that you are going to need to be aware of people like this, as they are everywhere. They even can be a close relative or friend. Chances are, they don’t intend to hurt you- they are simply oblivious to the fact they are abusing you by invalidating you. However, even intentions that aren’t bad don’t make this behavior hurt any less, or make it acceptable.
Once you’re aware of these people, you need to stop discussing your relationship with your narcissistic mother (or father,or sibling, or friend, etc.) with this person if you wish to continue this relationship. If you continue to attempt to force this person to see your perspective, they will become resistant, & angry with you for trying to force them to see what they don’t want to see. They will flatly refuse to see the truth, & it can put a big wedge in your relationship or even cause them to sever ties with you. Did you read my post “Two Good Lessons From One Dream“? If not, please read it now. In that dream, God showed me clearly that you have to use wisdom on who you discuss narcissistic abuse with. Don’t frustrate yourself & ruin relationships by discussing it with people who are hell bent on not hearing a word you have to say! It’s not worth it!
How do you not discuss the cruel things your narcissistic mother is doing to you when people ask you? By telling them that this topic is not up for discussion…
- “I’m not going to discuss this topic with you.”
- “Let’s talk about something else.”
- “I don’t want to discuss this.”
- Change the subject as often as necessary & ask the other person something about his/her life.
- Walk away or hang up the phone if they insist on discussing this topic even though you set appropriate boundaries.
You owe no one any explanation, & an explanation only will start an argument anyway. If they say anything to you on the topic, the best way I have found to avoid discussing it is to change the subject. Eventually, most people will get frustrated & give up trying to discuss the topic they originally wanted to, especially if you ask him/her about his/her life. Most people, even non-narcissists, will talk readily about themselves.
Protect yourself from people like this, Dear Reader,& use wisdom when you must deal with them. You deserve it. You have been abused enough by your narcissistic mother- you don’t need further invalidating abuse from “friends” or “family” even if they are well-meaning.