Recently I was talking with some members of an online group I’m in about flying monkeys. It never fails to amaze me how narcissists have so many who blindly obey the narcissist, & are devoted to protecting them, furthering their agenda & hurting their victims. In fact, my mother’s flying monkeys are so devoted, even people who don’t like her will fight for her & be cruel to me.
I asked the other members of the group if this made any sense to them. It doesn’t me. One member said something that I think described this situation. She believes that people like that are dysfunctional, but like to give the appearance of normalcy. If you are honest about the dysfunction in your life, it may upset the apple cart for them, so to speak. It may put cracks in the veneer of their normal appearance.
This made so much sense to me! I thought about two people who have been my mother’s most devoted flying monkeys. Both have had some rough times, such as bad (even abusive) marriages. Eventually they got away from their abusers & made their own lives. They’ve become mothers, later grandmothers, they celebrate all holidays & birthdays with their families. They give all appearances of happy, normal people with happy, normal families. If something bad or dysfunctional happens, they cover things up or deny those things happened. If you don’t know about the bad things, you’d think they have the perfect lives.
If I said anything negative about my mother to either of them, I was told I need to work things out with my mother- after all she’s my mother, get over it, stop living in the past & other invalidating, vicious things. Truly neither one of my so-called “friends” wanted to hear what I was going through. In fact, if I mentioned any problem I had to them, I was rudely brushed off. (Example: I mentioned to one my blood pressure had been elevated recently due to stress- her response? “You need to lose all that weight, then it’ll be fine!” I’m about 20lbs overweight- that’s not so bad!).
I can’t help but wonder if the reason they behave this way is they are deathly afraid of any problem possibly calling attention to the fact their normalcy is merely an act, upsetting their apple cart of dysfunction, if you will. Maybe somehow they think if I talk about my bad experiences, those close to them will start to see similarities between her life & mine, & think badly of her. Or, maybe they think others will question these folks, wondering why they never tried to help me. After all, they’ve known me since I was a child. How could these wonderful people stand idly by knowing I was being abused? Certainly that would make them look bad, which they can’t bear. So, it’s best to try to silence me. If I don’t talk to them about certain things, they can maintain their facade & pretend nothing happened.
If this is happening to you, too, please keep this information in mind. It may help you to understand why people behave this way. Also, please know it’s not your fault. There is nothing wrong with you for expecting support & compassion from those close to you. It’s completely normal! People who act this way, brushing you off or invalidating your pain, are the ones who are not completely normal. For normal, healthy people, compassion to others is very important! More so than what others think of them. Normal people side with the victim, not the abuser.