Tag Archives: narcissistic father

Is Discussing Narcissistic Abuse Too “Negative”?

Recently, I was told what I write about is too negative.  I’m sure many of you have heard similar things for talking or writing about your experiences with narcissistic abuse.  I’m writing this for you, Dear Reader.   I hope it helps you.  xoxo

I’ll admit, the main topic of my writing, narcissism & narcissistic abuse, aren’t exactly positive, happy topics!  I’ll also admit that sometimes, it gets to me, writing about such dark things.  That being said, I will continue to write about what I write about for several reasons.

To start with, I believe this to be a calling from God, & I take any calling from Him very seriously.  Everyone has a calling, usually several during the course of their lives.  Ephesians 4:11-13 states, “And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers.  12 His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church)  13 [That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him.”  (AMP) 

Also, writing about what I learn helps me to make sense of the things I have gone through, as well as to help others to do the same.  So many who have suffered with narcissistic abuse are struggling to make sense of it all.  I can help a little by sharing my experiences as well as what I have learned.

Writing about things also helps to loosen the hold the abuse has on me.  By being open about things, I am losing the shame I once felt for being abused, & am able to see more & more how none of it was my fault.  This not only helps me, but enables me to get the message to other victims that being abused is NOT their fault.

It also helps to make my pain count for something.  Knowing I am able to help other people means my pain was not in vain.  Something good has come from something horrible!

Also, by being open  about the taboo topic of narcissistic parents, it helps to raise awareness of this insidious, evil form of abuse.  It makes it safe for victims to talk about it with other victims instead of quietly suffering alone.  So many are afraid to talk about what their mother did to them, because so many people put mothers on a pedestal.  People make victims feel guilty for being abused, as if it was their fault!  They can’t seem to grasp that a mother would abuse her child.  Certainly the child must be exaggerating.  Of course the mother made mistakes- no one is perfect- & the child should forgive the mother.  And, let’s not forget “honor thy mother” seems to mean “allow thy mother to abuse you” to many people.  Because of people like this, as well as the ignorance surrounding Narcissistic Personality Disorder, there needs to be more awareness of this horrible phenomenon.

Don’t let anyone quiet you for talking about your experiences with your narcissistic mother, father, sibling, grandparent, friend, spouse or co-worker.  You aren’t being negative by discussing your experiences.  And, chances are, by discussing them, you are not only helping yourself to process your horrendous experiences, you are also helping to enlighten others who need to hear your story!  So be open- talk about it!

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism, Writing

A Different Facet Of Triangulation

Triangulation is a commonly known tactic of narcissists.  It involves the narcissist having a third party try to talk to you about what is bothering her.  For example, if you have set limits on the time you are willing to spend with your narcissistic mother, she may have your father talk to you about how you should spend more time with your parents.

I realized recently that there is another kind of triangulation that is often used with covert narcissists.  It is where the covert narcissist tells you about the terrible things someone else has said about you, & tells them terrible things you have said about them. The things they share aren’t necessarily true.

If you have two narcissistic parents- one overt, one covert- then chances are you are aware of this, even if you haven’t thought about it before. I have experienced this firsthand.  My father, a covert narcissist, tells me anything bad that my overtly narcissistic mother says about me (I’m not sure how much is true of what he has said).  He also has told my mother I’ve said bad things about her when I hadn’t.  For example, he has told me many times my mother has said someone should report me for having too many pets (I have a legal amount of pets & I own my home rather than rent, so no one would do anything if I was reported, by the way).  He also has told my mother that I said she isn’t allowed in my home when I said no such thing.  The truth is I told him I was sick of her insulting my furkids & if she couldn’t be civil to them, she doesn’t need to come into my home ever again.

I’ve heard of other covertly narcissistic parents doing similar things, & I’ve wondered why.  After praying about it, I think I understand.

Telling their child such things, be they true or false, means the child will pull away from the overtly narcissistic parent & be closer to the covertly narcissistic parent.  This means more narcissistic supply for the covert narcissist.

This dysfunctional behavior also causes the child to think poorly of the overt narcissist, & it makes the covert narcissist look good by comparison.  After all, the covert narcissist comes across as concerned for the child (“I thought you should know what your mother said about you..”), unlike the overt narcissist who has said such hurtful things. And, the covert narcissist isn’t the one who said the hurtful things- he only relayed what he has heard, supposedly because you need to know these things.

This form of triangulation is also a type of deflection, because it takes attention off of the covert narcissist & his bad behaviors.  You become angry with the overt narcissist for saying such terrible things, & automatically don’t pay as much attention to the covert narcissist’s bad behaviors since your focus is elsewhere.

Covert narcissists love looking like a martyr, & this type of triangulation helps them to do that as well.  See what terrible things he has to put up with?  He has to listen to his mean wife talk trash about his child!  How horrible for him!  He is often so focused on making whatever was said (or he wants you to believe was said) that it stirs you up so much, you fail to realize at first that he didn’t defend you.  In fact, if you aren’t aware of this tactic, you may even feel sorry for him that he had to be exposed to this.

So how do you deal with this type of hurtful, dysfunctional behavior?

Obviously, setting boundaries in a normal way with any narcissist is futile.  Do not admit that it hurts you to hear these things, or the covert narcissist will realize the effectiveness of this weapon to hurt you, using it constantly.

Instead, show no reaction.  Pretend whatever is said doesn’t affect you in the least.   He may keep pushing the issue trying to get a reaction.  If he does & gets flustered at your calmness, & says something like “Aren’t you upset?” use logic in your response.  I’ve said things like, “Why would I be?  I know she hates everything about me.  This is hardly a surprise.  Besides, I just don’t care what she thinks about me anymore.”  Then I changed the subject as that information sank in.

Change the subject.  Repeatedly.  As often as needed.  Without saying anything along the lines of “On another matter..” or “Let’s talk about something different”, just bluntly change the subject.  Narcissists, overt or covert, don’t like subject changes- they want to be in charge of the conversation.  It will annoy him, but at least he’ll be off the topic.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Narcissism

Abandonment Relating To Children Of Narcissistic Parents.

Abandonment comes in many forms.  It can come about for the newborn baby left in a dumpster, a child whose parents suddenly die in a car wreck, divorce, or death of a loved one.  There is a form of abandonment that many people seldom discuss- when close friends & relatives leave you.

This type of abandonment is common after divorce, especially if you are the one who initiated it.  I lost all but one friend after mine.  No one saw him as the manipulative narcissist he was, so they rallied to his side, abandoning me.  Abandonment also happens after surviving the death of someone you love.  After her daughter died, a good friend of mine said it seemed like once the funeral was done, people thought she should be over losing her daughter, as if the funeral being over meant her grief should be over. Abandonment also can happen after experiencing a traumatic event, as some people think you should “be over it by now.”

It’s also very common for children of narcissistic parents to be abandoned repeatedly in their lives.

First, we’re abandoned in the sense of not having a real mother (&/or father).  Just because a narcissist has conceived & birthed a child doesn’t make that person a parent by any means.  We also may be abandoned by the other parent, usually a covert narcissist, who throws us under the bus to the overtly narcissistic parent to cover their own butts during an argument, & who fails to protect us.  We’re also abandoned by anyone who sees the abuse yet fails to do anything to help us: teachers, counselors, relatives, friends or their parents.  As we grow up, we tend to attract narcissists & other abusive people into our lives, who will drop us in an instant once we’ve outlived our usefulness to them.  They also are often skilled at turning others against us too, so we not only lose that person, but friends as well at the same time.  Then eventually we learn about narcissism & the damage it causes, & we begin to talk about it.  That is when our closest friends & relatives often claim we just want attention, need to get over it, So & So had it much worse, your narcissist wasn’t so bad or seemed like a good person to them, & more before abandoning us for being too negative, living in the past, etc.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?  I’m guessing it sounds all too familiar.

Constant abandonment like this cuts a person to the core.  It also can lead to many problems- low self-esteem, depression, anger, self-destructive habits such as addictions, & even losing your self-identity.

So how do you deal with this pain?  You grieve your losses much like you grieve when someone you love dies.

Some people say there are five stages in grief, others say seven.  I tend to believe more in seven..

  1. Denial.  What happened is too shocking to accept.  You can’t believe it happened.
  2. Guilt.  You feel guilty.  “Maybe if I had done *fill in the blank*, this wouldn’t have happened.
  3. Anger &/or bargaining with God.  This is the time when you ask “Why did this happen to me?  I don’t deserve this!” or, “God, if you bring him back, I’ll never do *fill in the blank* again.”
  4. Depression.  The magnitude of what happened becomes real to you at this stage, & it hurts.  Badly.  This is often the longest lasting stage.
  5. Starting to move on.  The depression starts to lift some & you begin to adjust in small ways to life after what happened.
  6. Moving on.  You really begin healing at this stage.  You read & learn about how to adjust & heal.
  7. Acceptance.  You have accepted what happened.  You start to look forward to things once again.  You may never again be the person you once were, but you are moving forward.

***sometimes when grieving, you may bounce back & forth between steps a few times.  This is normal***

While going through the stages of grief is never a fun process, it is a necessary one when it comes to big losses, & being abandoned, especially repeatedly, is a big loss.

While experiencing each stage, it is important to talk things out.  I encourage you to pray a lot.  Tell God everything you feel, & listen for any wisdom He wants to share with you.  Also, if you’re like me & it helps you to see things in writing, then journal.  Sometimes seeing things in black & white brings a clarity that simply talking about them doesn’t.

Always be patient, non-judgmental & gentle with yourself while experiencing the grief process.  You need such things in your life during this time, & especially from yourself.

Exercise wisdom in who you share your experiences with.  Many people don’t understand grief in any form, & others don’t wish to hear such “negativity”. Don’t discuss your journey with people like that- instead only share with people who are non-judgmental, compassionate & who love you unconditionally.

I know this is not an easy time for you, but you can get through this, & you will be a stronger person too.  Also, you’re not alone!  Many people have experienced this same pain you have, including me.  If you would like to meet others, feel free to check out my facebook group & my forum, links to both are on my website at:  www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

Reassuring The Narcissist When You’re The One Who Is Hurting

Why do narcissists expect you to reassure them when you are the one going through problems?!  This seriously irks me.  Maybe I’ve lost all patience as I’ve gotten older, but lately this pushes my buttons badly.

My husband will be visiting his parents today, & I’ll be alone. We’ve spent a few holidays together in our 20 years as a couple, but most he has spent with his family.  I’m ok with it now.  I decided to change my perspective several years ago & now look at holidays as a laid back day I can enjoy by myself.  (I discussed this in my last postif you care to read about it.)

So last night, my father called.  He invited me to go to Thanksgiving dinner with my parents again.  I thanked him & declined again.  Suddenly he has a bee in his bonnet about me spending a holiday alone.  I ended up reassuring him it’s ok.  This really ticked me off.  Why is it I’m the one who in the past has been hurt badly by this, yet I am supposed to reassure my father who isn’t in the least bit affected by this scenario?  How does this make sense on any level??   Yet, I realize this is a very common scene when dealing with a narcissist, be they overt or covert.

When my dog, Danya died suddenly in 2009, my mother called as my husband & I were trying to get his body (he was over 100lbs) to the car so we could take him to the crematorium.  I told her what we were doing, & she went on to tell me how hard this was for her, & wanted me to comfort her.  Really?  She never gave Danya the time of day when he was alive…

When I told my father I was divorcing my ex-husband, his response was, “Can I still be friends with him?”  He was upset that he might lose his “friend,” & I told him it was up to him & the ex (even though inside I was hurt this was even an option).

If you think about it, I’m sure you have had similar experiences with your narcissistic parent as well.  Am I right?

I am trying to think of ways to deal with this especially annoying habit.  So far, all I can come up with is to say you have to go then leave the room or hang up the phone, or change the subject.  After all, narcissists aren’t like normal, healthy people.  If you explain that the behavior is wrong or painful, they will take offense & either go into a narcissistic rage or they’ll use the behavior more often just to hurt you.

If anyone else has a better idea, I would love to hear it.  Not just for my benefit but for the benefit of others who read this blog as well.  Please leave your suggestions in the comments below.

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Filed under Mental Health, Narcissism

Not All Abuse Shows On The Outside

I’m not a gambler, but I would be willing to bet that I’m not the only one who has wondered why they have so many issues. After all, other people grew up with abusive parents too & they are mostly ok…

For some odd reason this thought popped into my mind a few days ago as it does periodically. That night, I quickly realized it’s no wonder I have C-PTSD & other mental health issues.

Just after 9, my father called. It was the second night in a row he called that late. I didn’t answer the phone. As I’ve told him, I like evenings to myself, plus by 9, I want to be in bed, ready for sleep. I have tons of sleep problems (insomnia, nightmares, waking up without being able to fall asleep again) so I figure if I can fall asleep early enough, maybe I can get enough sleep to function by the time I get up in the morning between 7-8. I thought maybe he’d get the point & call back the next day at a decent hour, or I could call him back the next day. Nope. Between my home & cell, he called I think it was 13 times in the next hour. Then at almost 11, my cousin who lives 450 miles away called. I answered his call because he never calls that late. He said my dad asked him to call me & have me call him. I was beyond livid. There was no emergency! This was all about control. Trying to force me to talk to him when he wanted, not when I was available.

The next morning, my father called me before 8 a.m. He said he was worried about me since I didn’t answer the phone. So worried in fact, he called my cousin & my in-laws. My father knows I haven’t spoken to my in-laws since 2002, yet he dragged them into this mess. Fantastic..I’m now wondering what is going to happen with them.

During that call, I had to set my boundaries, YET AGAIN with my narcissistic father. And, during him acting like something was wrong with me for being upset, I realized that it’s no wonder I have mental health problems. This nasty ploy for control is far from the first head game I’ve been subjected to by my parents. They have done this sort of thing my entire life.

When you’re beaten up, you have bruises & broken bones to show for it. People see your injuries, & reinforce that it was wrong for someone to hurt you. It is ok for you to be angry in these situations- people even encourage it.

But, when you are psychologically abused, such as by a narcissistic parent, you don’t have obvious wounds. They think whatever you’re experiencing is no big deal, or no parent would hurt their child, or some other faulty thinking that invalidates your pain. Plus, you have your narcissistic parent regularly practicing gaslighting on you, manipulating, controlling & invalidating you at every turn. The combination of these things can lead to you feeling as if you are crazy, wrong, evil & much more. It also can lead to such very serious conditions as depression, anxiety & Complex PTSD. These problems don’t mean you are weak, crazy, flawed or whatever- it means you have been through a great deal of traumatic psychological abuse! You are OK!

No one escapes psychological abuse, especially at the hands of a narcissistic parent, unscathed. Even those who seem like they have it all together, still have some issues. They are just better at hiding them than other people are.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism