My overtly narcissistic mother always likes to look pitiful in front of my husband. She has turned on the tears in front of him, complained about how hard life is now that she & my father are older & other such things to look pitiful. As a result, he has offered to help her in various ways. When he does, she always hugs him tight, thanks him profusely & sometimes gives him money.
When my mother asked my husband about his parents, & he told her how they were doing & things he’s done for or with them, she responded by giving my husband a big bear hug & kiss on the cheek. Granted, she always hugs him before leaving, but it’s different after he’s discussed his parents with her.
These two things have bothered me for a long time, but I didn’t know why. It felt wrong somehow but I couldn’t put my finger on it. God showed me exactly what was wrong with these scenarios a few minutes ago…
My mother has it in her head that my husband takes complete care of me. She thinks he works, takes care of the yard, repairs our vehicles, does all the housework while I do absolutely nothing but spend his money (don’t even ask- I have no idea why she thinks this, but she also thought the same thing of my ex husband.). She also knows he’s helped out his parents a lot over the years, especially once they started getting older. Keeping these things in mind, it’s natural she assumes he takes care of anyone in need. She pretends to be pitiful to get his attention. She wants his attention because she is impressed by my husband & his family (my husband is a very attractive guy, & his family gives the appearance of being a big, close, happy family). Having the attention of someone who is a part of that AND good looking AND if she can get him ignoring me for her?! Talk about narcissistic supply!
Regarding my mother basically “rewarding” my husband when he mentions doing for his parents, God showed me that my mother is trying to accomplish two things with that conversation with my husband. 1- she is trying to hurt me. My mother knows my mother in-law has hated me since we first met & I stopped speaking to her in 2002. Showing she cares about her hurts me, especially knowing she does this on purpose. She also knows that if I confronted her on it, I would look mean, unreasonable & possibly even crazy since she was just being polite (or whatever excuse she would use). 2- by “rewarding” my husband & praising him for helping his parents, my mother is showing me what can happen. If I would just do more for them, I could get this reward too. The sad fact is though, that when I have done for my parents, it really wasn’t ever enough. Sure, my parents thanked me & sometimes even gave me money I didn’t ask for, but my mother in particular made me feel like I was the hired help, just doing the job I get paid for. Or, like I was disappointing her by not doing enough. Sometimes, I wasn’t doing a task good enough.
Isn’t this incredible?! But, thinking about it, it makes perfect sense to me.
Narcissistic supply is a precious thing to narcissists. Everything they do boils down to getting their supply. They will do anything to get it, period, no matter who it hurts or what they need to do. Sometimes, they have to get creative, & they definitely can be creative when it benefits them. Just look at the above examples- my mother got her supply in extremely creative ways! She hurt me, she put me in a place where I couldn’t confront her without looking bad, she tried to control me, & sometimes, she even got my husband’s focus off of me & onto her. It’s like she hit the narcissistic supply jackpot!
My point in sharing all of this with you, Dear Reader, is because you need to be aware that whatever narcissists do is about supply. Even seemingly innocuous things like I described in the above examples are about procuring narcissistic supply. Never forget that! Even things that appear innocent but give you a bad feeling can be about supply. If you have a bad or strange feeling about something the narcissist is doing, even if it looks totally innocent, listen to that feeling! Go to God, & ask Him about it. (I wish I would’ve done it years ago in those situations I mentioned- it could’ve saved me a lot of frustration & wondering what she was up to!) And, ask Him what you should do about it. Narcissists may be very creative, but God is much more so! He can show you effective & creative ways to deal with the narcissist in your life!