Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Regale me with hilarious/ridiculous
things that a narcissist or enabler has said to you....
I'll go first.
My DF acts as enabler for my narcissist M, although I doubt he's fully aware of this. We were discussing her and my god-awful childhood yesterday over skype when he dropped in this little gem:
'Well, you were so quiet. You didn't really defend yourself properly.'
What the actual fuck?!
I didn't really process the remark at the time but now I'm bloody fuming.
Go on, tell me yours. Let's laugh at the bastards
and then maybe I won't spend the next week dwelling on my wrath
Another,'oh you're making a fuss' followed by being told off - parents smoking in the car on long journeys. I'm asthmatic.
I worry about being a bad parent as I had such awful role models. However I can't imagine trying to harm them or not listening to them. My parents just didn't register me as a person with feelings and needs.
So much sadness on this thread.
I ended up lodging with an ex-neighbour at 15 when mum and stepfather took a job elsewhere. I couldn't go because of exams but my siblings went. My 'D'F and stepmum wouldn't have me for reasons I have never been told.
After about a month I had a bit of a meltdown - the neighbour was withholding my calls and I thought I'd been abandoned. I was taken to another relative's house. Dad turned up - and told me (because I was crying) that I was 'hysterical'. Fuxache.
I recognise you, Oxford and yes, what you're posting here is very different to the Oxford of the advice giving posts - and I agree with you, it's harder when the issues are yours personally. Don't put yourself down though - you are clearly very articulate (I've been in awe of some of your posts) and insightful and intelligent.
Here's a cracker.
"This isn't an excuse for you to jump into bed with any Tom, Dick or Harry."
My mother whispered this into my ear from behind me after I got my first prescription for the pill for my bad skin....
"When you walk down the aisle people will be tutting and thinking you shouldn't be wearing white because you're not a Virgin."
My Grandmother, interjecting in an argument between me and my mother when I was 14 about me wanting to use tampons.
"Do you want me to come and put a red streetlight outside your window?"
My grandmother - during a conversation on the telephone after I'd had an argument with my mother (I was 19) about my BF sometimes staying over in the student house that my parent's owned that I rented a room in.
Where do these people get off?!
they often see me as very critical, fussy, always 'telling them off' Snap, OxfordBags. I have the same sort of relationship with mine. I'm also reluctant to cut off contact between my M and my DC because at the moment, she is a great granny
they're at the same emotional stage
I spotted your mention of the PhD and was wondering whether you feel proud of that achievement. I've done one too and I do think it's the one thing in my life I am really proud of. I'm not proud of my kids in the same way IYSWIM, because if they're good-natured/friendly etc then they've done that themselves - I didn't make them that way, they ARE that way. I'm glad of it but not proud of it, exactly.
Anyway. The point is that in the course of the PhD, I became confident that there was one thing in the world I definitely knew about. It was a long tedious struggle but I got there and every time I see the letters on my bank card I feel that pride in myself (it wasn't so much intelligence as being bloody stubborn but there you go ). That gives me the confidence to stand up to my parents when they're being arses, because I KNOW that they're not always right. Neither am I for that matter!
I'm hopeful that everybody out there has something, no matter how much they may have minimised it (or been taught to minimise it) that they feel pride in and that can be used to instil a sense of confidence in oneself.
Dad routing through my underwear when I was 16 years old and declaring to the street I was a slut because of my underwear choices.
On meeting with an old boyfriend after 12 years of not seeing each other, dad declared that the only reason he wanted to be friends was because I was willing to 'put out' for him.
He asked my mother if she had sold me to the neighbour after I told them about the neighbour abusing me.
Has anyone got a good cumuppence story?
Mums first reaction when i told her i had had an early MC was ' thank heavens for that'. My two ds were very small still and she thought I would ask for childcare.
I sort of have a cumuppence story. When I had ds1 at nineteen my mum, having failed to bribe me into an abortion, told me that I would be a terrible mother who would ruin ds1's life.
He's nearly 17 and has just passed all his GCSEs at grade C or above, has started college, holds down a good job and has lovely friends and a gorgeous girlfriend. Also she can't argue that I'm a bad mother as my job now is on a national radio station being asked my opinion on everything to do with being a parent.
She's now decided it's down to the way she brought me up of course but at least she had to eat her words.
How do you not remind her?!!
I have done on occasion. The resulting tantrums have been spectacular!
I suppose it's a small way of standing up for myself. Doesn't seem to change anything though.
emm im a long time lurker, but also have a PhD...since getting it,i feel much better equiped to see myself as sn authority,or to simply discount what they are saying/feel that 'yes, you're free to feel that about me, but it doesnt matter to me what you think'
Remembered another one - a year or so before I got married, the window cleaner's daughter got married. She'd left her secondary modern school at 16 with a few CSEs and gone to work as a telephonist with the Post Office - as it then was. Dm was extolling how marvellous her wedding was and how the parents had given them £1000 as a present and what a good thing it was for them to do.
Fast forward to the year of our wedding - the clutch or gearbox died on dh's clapped out old Viva, and we had to pay £80 to replace it. This was swiftly followed by a gas bill and electricity bill of about £60 each at his parents - which he paid. I can remember saying that I didn't think we'd be able to afford to get married that year as planned. Cue 'd'm took herself off to New York for 2 weeks a few weeks before I sat ONC physics and HNC chemistry - had done them both in 1 year while working. When it came to the wedding - dh and I paid for most of it - and dm blamed me for not having a bigger wedding because I'd misled her into thinking we weren't getting married that year.
Bugger me, was only looking for a little sympathy. Seem to remember that we paid for the flowers, the cars and obviously my dress (£4.95 plus the pattern). We also paid for all the booze for the reception and my parents paid for the buffet - cost £50. No sign of a cheque for £1000 - would have been 10% of our house
I dropped out of university after 2 years, so never got my degree. I told my tutor I wanted to take a year out so as to hedge my bets. I'd been offered the chance to do this at the start of my second year, but had turned it down. I decided to get a job in a lab and do the RSC's exams instead. My tutor had rung me at home when I was at work, and dm told him she didn't agree with me dropping out, that she didn't know what the neighbours would think etc etc. He rang me at work, telling me that my mother had said I wasn't going back. I was 20, nearly 21, and an adult. Grrrrrr. Had to tell him that dm didn't know what she was saying. When I rang that summer to say I wasn't going back, he told me that he'd be surprised if I managed to get any qualifications 'that' way. Bastard. I did, and also proved Hans Krebs wrong too, while I was working.
Later, dm lamented how marvellous that someone else had a degree - 'twas in fashion studies, and how I'd let her down by 'only' getting GRSC. You had to get either a 1st or 2nd to pass, so it wasn't really that shabby.
Anyone notice a correlation between tendency to overachieve and a narc parent? It's rife in my family, and sadly us siblings are still all far too competitive with each other.
I was thinking the same ( MA and PhD here too).
However, my family were not bothered by education at all- working class and more concerned to see me earn money early.
The central link with overachieving I think is a need for approval anywhere it is offered, because it isn't offered at home.
That is the thing one has to grapple with, and get rid of.
I think you've got a point about the need for approval onefewernow. I'm currently trying to work out what I want to do in terms of career and DH said 'Well how did you get this far?'. My answer was that thus far, I'd just done stuff that I knew my parents would approve of
I'm 31 FFS, surely it's a bit on the late side for me to start thinking independently!
Oh Herrena 31 is young years yet to start thinking independently when you've had narc parents
Herrera, I'm nearly 53.
I thought I was independent minded but have only recently seen that this is not just about assertiveness skills , helpful though those are.
It is about not looking at yourself in a group and finding yourself wanting.
It is about how you manage all close relationships, to make sure that you get what you give.
It is about giving yourself permission to do a 'good enough' job or piece of work.
You are YOUNG to start thinking like this, and a good thing too.
Onefewer what is your area of study? <nosy cow>
I was an over achiever until it became obvious to me that my achievements meant nothing, I was never going to be as good as my brother, so what was the point?
I am 42 years old, with a good brain and nothing to show for my life. It's easy to blame my mother and say 'if she had encouraged me, I could have done this or that' but at the end of the day, it was my fault that I am basically a bit useless for anything but pub quizzes and Trivial Pursuit.
I am never allowed to forget that I have not made very much of my life either, both mother and vile Sil take great pains to ensure I remember. In some ways I think I don't succeed in things semi purposely, my mother's head would probably explode if I did, who would she have to moan about to her friends, so that they could feel so sorry for her, having this awful cuckoo in the nest?
At our wedding reception, in his speech in front of 100-plus guests, my FW narc H said, "Charlotte looks beautiful today - I'm amazed."
Waves of shock rebounded round room...
Actually, my last post was utter tosh, I have done amazing things with my life. Just not as amazing as she wanted. Sorry, was having an oh poor me moment, am over it now.
Charlotte what an utter twunt!
Thanks onefewer and aroom
Bloody hell CharlotteCollins!!
tb, do you mean the Hans Krebs of Krebs cycle fame? If so I would love to know what you worked on (feel free to pm if you don't want to advertise it, likewise feel free to ignore my nosiness).
Oh good - I worried once I posted that that he'd sound just a bit socially inept. I tried to believe that at the time, as I died a small death...
Nine years later, I was pg with dc4 and sick in hospital. I'd been forced for the sake of my health to be in a different country from him for 5 months. He'd come to visit (think dc4 had just been born) and said, "A woman I know has asked me to sleep with her. I'm thinking about her offer. If I do, would you like me to tell you, or would you prefer that I keep it a secret?"
It's three years later now, and when I referred last week to this conversation and the many many which followed over weeks and months, he denied any memory of it at all. He even told me who the woman was back then! I bet he literally has no memory of it because it doesn't match up with the kind of person he believes he is.
Do you mind if I just say arts/social science rather than sciences.
I have lots of personal info on here and if I'm very explicit it may out me, given Phd subjects are so individual ( or certainly were then).
Oxbridge here despite complete lack of home support. Found it odd in the real world there wasn't a structure and obvious next step. Couldn't afford to continue study as had wantedto do a phd.
Didn't know at all what to do with life or how to manage socially. Life had been aboutsurvival and I hadn't had the right background to have had any career advice.
Now in an ex council and struggling a bit. Dad (ex boarding school, middle class family) doesn't think I've done well. Well nor do I I guess given the degree but having a neglectful childhood didn't help. . . Somehow neither of my parents connect the two!
Join the discussion
Please login first.