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Narcissists and their rages(309 Posts)
For a number of reasons, I thought it might be a good idea to share our stories. I'll post one after this.
About 1 in 10 people have mental disorders, of a type that renders them incapable of seeing the world as others do. For them, all the world really is a stage: the men, women and children merely props for the drama going on in their heads. They can't see that things go on without their influence, or accept that other human beings feel & think independently. It's like the way young children think - and may well be caused by arrested emotional development.
For them, your every word and deed is scripted, by them. It's impossible to know exactly what your 'script' says. If you know them well, you can make a good guess but they will always surprise you by introducing another plot twist. (And anyway, who wants to live as a figment of somebody else's imagination?) When you step out of your appointed character - by having a thought or feeling of your own, for instance, or not being exactly where they wanted - they get terribly cross. It absolutely shakes their world; it's very distressing for them so they blame you for wrecking the world, like a temperamental director ranting at an opinionated actor.
The rage, the blame, the insults are never about you. Never. If you can manage to listen quietly, what you'll hear is this: "I wrote, cast and directed this scene. You're spoiling it for me!" You will also hear them tell you their insecurities - what they most dislike and fear about themselves, projected as if they were your faults, not theirs.
They usually forget what they said, or that they raged at all.
Please, do, share your stories of 'stepping out of character' and the Narcy rage that followed. You never know how many lightbulbs you might switch on
Shame not game and dgc not fc! Stupid phone .
We don't have contact now , my dh has given up .. I have always tried to stick up for her but the final straw was when my dad died in June we called to tell her ( we have been together 20 years and all live in the. Same village .. She knew him every very well) I was listening for condolences .. They didn't come , she said oh well he did drink too much !!!!!!! For me that is unforgivable so because I haven't encouraged him he hasn't contacted her ... Game for her she has 5 fc and has lost it all through her own behaviour which she just doesn't know ..... Also her second husband I think is a narc too and feeds her crazy ideas ..
It is sad, isn't it, bish? To lose her family's trust & goodwill, all because her mind's running on the wrong track & she simply cannot see it. Horrible for everyone around her, of course Whereabouts does your DH come in her pecking order?
My family scapegoats the first-borns! Seen it in three generations now, and no indication it's going to change. We, the eldest, are the family 'sin eaters' and only we can see what this does to us! I foresee my dotage as unpaid counsellor to all the first-born great-nieces & nephews ...
My mil is a classic narc.. Favours first borns , not interested in second borns.. Rants on phone after smiling to your face the same day then will deny it if called up on it.. She hates me but is always telling me I'm beautiful and slim .. She believes and tells everyone she is a fabulous parent and grandparent .. She is soooo not .. Forgot ds ( second born ) birthday and when we called to check she was ok she blamed us for telling her the wrong date .. I could go on !!!! She has no idea she is like this and plays the victim to anyone who will listen as both her dc have given up on her ( justifiably ) and she tells everyone thy are evil and she has done nothing wrong!!
Sounds like a very good outcome, AndTheBand! Who needs all that stressful driving, when you can lie on your own sofa and eat spare ribs?!
"Mike Leigh Christmas" - perfect, passedgo He was the absolute master of dysfunctional British relationships, wasn't he? Not quite so amusing when you're in the middle of it, however ... And THE ASSERTIVENESS PAID OFF! YAY!!! Congratulations!
Maybe you can stick a spruce tree up DP's arse next year and cover him with glitter?
Our Mike Leigh christmas loomed, and I dreaded the family do. Mum was ill so I had to tell everyone to keep it short. She spent a while upstairs I thought on the loo but now realise she was probably crying for the lost ones, there are quite a few now. Regretted not checking up on her. Our broken maternal Christmas eve event has been marred in recent years by manic woman but she turned up late, this gave me time to bond with the nice family members. Two jealous sils didn't cross my path thisyear thank god. The assertiveness has paid off, the narcs have slunk away, cursing and trying to discredit me but at least we had a good chat and a bit of a laugh. Dp said I ignored him. No, I just talk to nice people now. Christmas day I gave up wooing people round, same for new years and it was just us with the obligatory phonecall to the mil clan.
Hi garlic, glad you made it through ok.
Dh recovered from jet lag more quickly than expected due to another business trip...so I said "do you still not want to go to your folks' house?" He paused and said it was interesting how I asked that, but it was still a 'no'. The road there goes through the mountains and he does not like stressing about winter weather on the 500+ mile drive, so I may be in the clear for Christmas/New Years indefinitely! <<tries not to giggle with glee too much as to jinx my luck>>
We had the most laid back, relaxed holiday...it was nice. Just us, no visitors. So what the gingerbread house didn't get made and the Christmas roast ended up being beef tips over rice...it was still all good.
Hello again, and welcome to what looks to be an interesting year
It's time for the post-Christmas fallout of relationships taking a sudden turn for the worse, family weirdnesses in high relief, and resolutions of one sort and another. I thought it might be worth bumping this thread.
I kept the festivities down to a barely-perceptible minimum. I maintained Zen-like equilibrium through the family gatherings, letting everybody do their disorderly thing without reaction. It was okay, but knackering! New Year, for me, triggers memories of millenium eve. XH2 was being an absolute arse; I was still in denial but acted out badly. Glad that's all over, though sorry I missed the celebration of a lifetime.
How was yours?
Ami your sister should see a solicitor about getting some justice for her treatment, either from SS who have failed her or from her parents. The process might make everyone wake up and coffee.
It is really sad when these crap parents divide the siblings in this way, I tend to advocate for siblings to do what they can and make contact outside the parents, even if it's stressful and uncomfortable. Imagine how your parents would respond if you were to tell them you were all meeting up - without them. A good, normal parent would respond to that with pride and support. A bad parent tries to keep all family contact 'in-house'.
But these narcs do choose their vocations don't they? Fostering and adopting is an ideal way to achieve instant power and control if that's they way you want your family life. As is teaching, especially in a boarding school or being a doctor, surgeon or someone with responsibility for someone's physical health.
Garlic I remember on a thread years ago somebody posted the Women's Aid bill of rights (which is similar to that) and it made me feel really overwhelmed. I can look at it now with no feeling at all but at the time I didn't think I had most of those rights so it was a massive deal.
Gone After I left my ex he had another child with somebody who I don't know if she's a narc but she has major problems and possibly a personality disorder of some kind. The relationship started off as "perfect" "fairytale" "incredible", by the end there were reports that they had both physically assaulted the other in front of children, they were screaming abuse at each other, it sounded fucking horrendous. Poor kids I felt sorry for her when they first got together but the more I learnt about her I started to realise that she's actually probably more messed up than he is - she has form for accosting people (who she knows) randomly in the street as well and screaming abuse and lies at them and making things up to cause trouble.
I would imagine that a relationship between two narcs couldn't really work because they're both such big personalities that it is necessary for a successful relationship for one to totally take over. And the other has to reflect which with another narc is unlikely to happen - like an ever-repeating mirror reflecting itself!
AmI that is horrendous. Your poor foster sister.
passed he does 90% of the cleaning. And yes I am moaning that he "makes" me do 10% of it. Sorry, probably not a great joke to make on mumsnet... it was more in the context that before he moved in my house looked like something off Hoarders Anonymous
Absolutely fantastic thread, garlic
happy, your experience with your mum , when you were 20 & pregnant, sounds very similar to what I experienced.
I was fostered at 4 months old. The general consensus that that my birth mum did not want me. In come my 'Madonna'style parents, you know, plucking the poor child from poverty
Grrowing up, my dad was great with me, my mum not so. I had other fostered/adopted siblings within the house. What I did notice was that they treated my elder foster sister appallingly. She got beaten on a daily basis. Usually for being rude. Years later, my fostermum always said that they were harsh with her because she was racist towards me. Neither my sister or I can recall this. We were very close and race was certainly not a factor in the childish arguments we had. It was usually more to do with the fact that she had nicked my Barbie.
Anyway, she was the 'nightmare' of the family and everyone treated her accordingly. Christmas time growing up was really an excuse for parents and older foster siblings to take the piss out of her and make her cry, usually resulting in her 'spoiling' Christmas and getting hit and sent to bed.
The final straw was when my foster sister was being raped in our field and my foster dad was walking the dog. My mum called her the equivalent of a whore, my dad hit her and my sister moved out of home soon after that. God, I missed her so much But in my childish head thought it was because she was so 'naughty'.
Every year, we had an annual review, where SS would come around and ask us if we were happy etc. I remember weeks before this review, mum would be in tears, saying she loved us all so much (my sister never got beaten the weeks before this) and I would always put a poem on the review sheet, saying how wonderful they are and how I didn't want to be anywhere else. My sister told the SS (truthfully) that she was being hit. Parents managed to wriggle out of it, saying she was difficult and after the SS went, my sister told me years later, that another foster sister had put her in a headlock and called her a trouble stirring bitch for trying to get mum and dad into trouble.
There is so much more and I will post again later. As you can imagine, my sister and I are the black sheep of the family. Hell, we even go to our foster parents to celebrate Christmas on boxing day. My foster parents celebrate Christmas with their 'good 'children on the day itself.
Don't call it a fucked-up head garlic, it seems like a pretty good one to me. Failure is scary though isn't it. Although the prospect of living in a world where we can fail and that's fine, well that sounds like a great place to live. I'm submitting my visa application right now.
You know what, for the first time in my life, where I do all the things you say, I run around trying to 'save' everyone never thinking about how that affects me and my mental (and consequently physical) health. I quit that, right now, me first. Goodness, I feel POWERFUL. I am going to be happy because I can do that, I'm not going to hang that happiness on the say so of people who have shown again and again that I am not much of a priority for them. Time and again I have heard 'you can't change people you can only change how you react to them' and I have fully agreed with that but now I understand what it means too.
I've just realised that the right to make mistakes is a still a biggie for me. Something's been trying to filter through my fucked-up head for a while now ... it's fear of failure which, despite my 'knowing' better, paralyses me and gives me severe physical symptoms very regularly. Not surprising, I used to get beaten up for failing exams - well, actually, for not getting a A. Hah. Permission to fail? Maybe it's time at last?
When I first chose to leave PDWorld, I did not acknowledge a single one of those rights for myself. For other people, yes - and I ran around picking up their pieces. See how each of the rights brings its own responsibility? 'Adapted Me' afforded other people all of the rights, while taking their responsibilities on myself. No wonder I broke down
Is this a good time to re-post the 'Bill of Assertive Rights' from When I Say No, I Feel Guilty?
• You have the right to judge your own behaviour, thoughts, and emotions, and to take the responsibility for their initiation and consequences upon yourself.
• You have the right to offer no reasons or excuses for justifying your behaviour.
• You have the right to judge if you are responsible for finding solutions to other people's problems.
• You have the right to change your mind.
• You have the right to make mistakes - and be responsible for them.
• You have the right to say, 'I don't know'.
• You have the right to be independent of the goodwill of others before coping with them.
• You have the right to be illogical in making decisions.
• You have the right to say, 'I don't understand'.
• You have the right to say, 'I don't care'.
Copied from my favourite Assertiveness primer
You have been through a lot of really shoddy treatment by people who are supposed to care for you. How dare anyone make you feel like that for dressing differently or not 'performing' to the script. I'm angry for you, but anger is not the emotion that will help you - indifference will. How fantastic that you have a good person by your side now.
"I don't care." - Now, that is powerful
This thread has been running in a loop around my head all week, this may be a garbled post but my head has never felt more 'right' in all my long years. (I have changed from my normal nn btw as I'm probably fairly 'recognizable' in RL with that one).
YES to being able to spot a narc now, I have had fabulous little 'firework' moments replaying scenes with my parents but also other aspects of life and laughing out loud when behaviors that have baffled me suddenly make so much sense. It's made me giggle out loud at times.
Also YES to nit picking on little things DH does and being unaccountably angry, he cleans the kitchen spotlessly and I obsess that he left water in the sink with the plug in because he knows how much I hate that. That's stopping right now. Plus if I feel I have upset someone (and I can worry in circles about that for looong periods of time) I feel awful and fear for ages that it will be held against me and I will never be able to make it right. GONE, because most normal people aren't like that are they, only my father will give me the silent treatment then a vicious horrible text out of the blue.
Poor, lovely, DH has had me nattering giddily for days now and has been very patient. He is a good man (although a tiny bit cowardly about confrontation and argument) and wouldn't say a bad thing about anyone really but I can see his relief that I can see that my fathers behavior is not normal or nice. He said last night 'he's just like that man in the advert about abuse they've just made' (Hollyoaks actors, very clever) and that was brilliant, he totally is. The years of 'I am doing this for your own good, I am saying this because I love you and want to protect you'. HA, not normal.
As for the poster who said they don't think narcs marry other narcs I don't know. My mother is the most self obsessed person I know, she doesn't have empathy or an ability to tell the truth about anything, she is very like her own mother so what parts of her are learned and what are truly her I don't know. I feel sorry for her though because I can see now that she is quite bullied and dominated.
Best of all though 'the script', that just jumped out at me and made me grin as all the pieces started falling into place. I have said for a long time that I feel like I am just an actor who is expected to be waiting in position for the lead characters to swan in and then I have to do my roll to perfection. I act differently, dress differently, everything changes when they come in, I beat myself up ahead of seeing them for what it is that will be picked up on as wrong and after thay have gone I HATE myself for not being perfect, not loving them enough, not being a good enough daughter. That's it, it ends here, NO MORE. I said to DH last night, I can feel that my father is winding himself up into a tantrum about something, the little digs are there, the tone of voice changes. He will get a shock, because I don't care.
<--- and I don't 'do' flowers, so that really means a lot. Thank you for this thread, you may well have changed my life forever.
<dithers> <post is all me me me > <dithers> <thank you for reading if you got through all that self obsessed chatter> <posts>
Congratulations Bertie, not sure about that he 'makes me do the cleaning' ...
Unless of course it's not his cleaning, or he does some as well. Or is that what you want him to do?
My dp doesn't make me clean but I know he hates it when I don't but he won't say which is worse. He won't tell me what he wants or expects of me, which is part of our problem. I am on the road to self-destruction (aware of it though) and still he won't chivvy me into getting my act together. I want him to do this because it will mean that he cares, that we are a partnership rather than a collection of individuals. I won't do it 'for myself' while in a relationship with him as he is too obstructive, eg buying chocolate when I'm trying to lose weight, messing up bedtimes when I'm trying to get the dcs into a routine, not letting me use the computer when I'm trying to get homework done. Not encouraging me to get my work done or even showing an interest - that's what you do with people you care about isn't it?
But he will use my personal dysfunction against me in a row and tell me what he really thinks of it.
congrats, bertie I hope it is a beautiful day. And stress free!
Got a lump in my throat reading the convo between you two. Some apt and even beautiful posts.
Yay for survivors =)
Thank you! We've actually been engaged for about a year, it's just the wedding which is a bit sudden. Good, though. We get more money here when we're married and it will be nice to catch up with everyone - got a lot more family coming than I thought. Plus I am all luffed up.
Anyway sorry to derail the thread
Quiet congratulations on your quiet engagement!
In fact, it's not three or four narcs that I know (of) at all, it's more like double that especially if I count "potential" ones, ie ones I have a suspicion about but don't know well enough to judge.
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