Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Hi Everyone


Hi I'm not actually Dave Hawkins, this is just a name I'm using as anonymity enables me to speak my true feelings without my real friends and family crossing that private boundary.  I guess I still suffer from my upbringing and I have to admit that I hate showing my feelings to all but 1 or 2 close friends.


I don't know how you feel, but if you've been brought up by a narcissist,  feelings are there to be exploited. For example, as a child if I laughed, I had a warped sense of humor, a bad person. (narcissists don't have a sense of humor in the normal sense). If I cried, it was a sign of guilt, Yes I've got you you little bastard. Or worse, laughed at for being stupid, yes, narcissists humor is ridicule and derision. If I reacted to a humiliation in public and shot my mother a dirty look, there was always this terribly hurt, watery eyed expression in return, followed by a temper tantrum in private. So from an early age I learned to hide all my feelings and although I was accused of being a cold fish, I could live with that. But I'm not a cold fish, I cry like anybody else, but in private that's all.

At the age of 18 I was standing on a railway platform, waiting to catch a train to the South of England to join the army. I remember feeling scared, not of joining the army, but of taking a train without my parents. Although I was a tall fit young man, who looked normal and was of average intelligence, I had absolutely no self confidence at all, that had all been systematically extracted over the years.  I also believed that everyone was somehow more capable, they would look at me and instantly see I was an inadequate fraud waiting to be exposed and laughed at.


During my basic training, which was tough, I found the instructors to be thorough, encouraging and humorous. The army put downs were sarcastic, memorable and funny, but I was used to put downs that invaded my very soul, questioned my very existence, Army put downs were just wake up calls. The most amazing thing was I was never singled out or ridiculed, Wow! I'm normal! I thought.

Homesickness surfaced amongst the other recruits a bit during my training and I really couldn't understand why anyone would cry for their mothers. My Gran had died the year before, she was the only person I had ever confided in. This was my mothers mother, she had told me my mother was a difficult temperamental child.  I was my Grans favourite, much to my Mothers distress. My younger sister was my parents golden child, completely compliant and also was encouraged to join in my derision along with my enabling Father.

She therefore treated our Gran the same way as my mother, a simple lady you had to speak a bit louder and a bit slower to. So, there was no trust between my sister and my Gran. When my Grandmother died, my mother of course became the high chief mourner that all the extended family had to give sympathy to and she just wallowed in it and lapped it all up. After the funeral we all had lunch and her large watery eyes searched for any who dared avoid her. I remember I felt angry and resentful at this situation, I had to get away and leave this madhouse behind.


As far as I was concerned, my parents had adopted me when I was 18 months old and had completely abused this privilege. 'We chose you.' she would say, implying that I should feel grateful and compliant. No, they didn't choose me, they were selected by a committee.
So, please give me your comments , your own experiences. Gotta say, I quite enjoyed writing this. Next time I'll explore how nasty and toxic Narcissism actually is and the extent narcissistic mothers will go to, to maintain control. It gets messy and you can never win.

9 comments:

  1. Dave, I'm glad you've decided to find your voice. I, too, am a relative newbie to this blogger experience, but I've found it to be very cathartic. I'm interested in continuing to see what you write, as I find a male's perspective (and not that of golden child, as males often are) will be unique.

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    1. I agree with Jessie - I'm always on the lookout for the perspective of adult sons of narcissistic mothers because my husband is one and it seems much easier to find information written by adult daughters. Of course, all information is relevant, but I am hoping to learn more about the male perspective as well. I hope you keep writing, I'll be here cheering you on, on your road to "recovery."

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    2. Hi Jonsi
      I am recovered, but still resentful about my upbringing. You can't wipe out memories. We just get on with our lives, NM is hundreds of miles away. But she never gives up, I just don't take her seriously. She has grandiose pretensions, but appears almost comical.
      She still wants to ruin peoples lives, or even just an evening out. She does it to my enabler Father. But he's the mug that stayed married to her, never stuck up for himself or anybody else.
      I don!t know what to add actually, I always reacted badly to her and got out at 18, I knew then it wasn't doing me any good. Maybe girls do it differently, feel less powerful.
      I'm just getting shit off my chest by writing about it.

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    3. "I am recovered, but still resentful about my upbringing." I would love to know how you did this - my husband is just in the beginning of the process and it's difficult for the both of us. I know there's not just one moment, one hour, one day, where all of a sudden, "poof!" you're better, but I wish that were the case, for all of us.

      I don't blame you for being resentful either...not at all. I'd resent the hell out of my mother if she did what so many narco-mommies have done to their children.

      Everything you say is so spot on - "She has grandiose pretensions, but appears almost comical." There have been SO many times I've just told myself to laugh. Just laugh at NMIL, 'cause she's fucking hilarious, Jonsi. Usually, in the moment I was too pissed off, but afterwards, it really is worth a laugh (or two, or twenty). Her life is such a joke, her thought-pattern so preposterous, how can one help but laugh out loud at the absurdity of it all? What's not funny is the fact that she passed on some of those unhealthy behaviors to her son (and to a worse extent, her daughter, but at this point I don't give a shit about her). You're right - all they want to do is ruin everyone's lives. And they do, to anyone who will let them.

      Anyway, I'm "looking forward" to reading your stuff. (Had to put that in quotes - this stuff is never pleasant to read, but it sure is enlightening and validating.)

      Thanks Dave,

      Jonsi

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  2. My mother frequently said that adopted children should be GRATEFUL to their adoptive parents, until finally I told her that competent social workers screen out prospective parents who are looking to be worshiped and adored. I'm so sorry the adoption system failed you and then your father failed you, none of it is deserved.

    There is an adoptee blog http://narcissisticparents.blogspot.com/ that is excellent even though she hasn't updated it in awhile.

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  3. Hi Enilina
    I was frequently reminded that I was unwanted, had bad blood, low morals are probably running in my veins (mmm possibly), would always stand out as being a little bit different. But I was lucky that she had sacrificed her freedom and career to help society, I should be grateful and pray to God. (for a blood transfusion maybe)

    The truth was actually completely different, I had been originally adopted by different family soon after birth. Returned to my natural mother, handed to my natural father, who applied for custody, then handed to current family, legalised adoption was then delayed by 4 months (court papers didn't say why). I was over 2 years old by the time they received the ownership papers.

    Enilina, don't feel sorry for me, I survived. I do feel sorry to think that innocent kids are still being treated cruelly by unfeeling narcissistic parents.

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  4. Hi Jonsi

    Just found your reply. I shake my head and smile in disbelief at the antics and the statements she makes. She knows I haven't taken her seriously for a long time. And the realisaton that your'e not feeling sympathy, turns from wallowing into a flash of hot temper.

    Just stick by your husband, take some of the pressure from him. My ex wife was really confrontational, she took no shit whatsoever. I hid behind her a bit I admit, but it gave me a break. That was a long time ago, I stand in front of my family now.

    How did I recover? By believing the people around me and not my NM, she was hundreds of miles away and so couldn't hold any influence over me. In an army life, you are constantly being assessed, and spend lots of time in training. Everything is constructive not destructive. It builds you up not breaks you down.

    At the start if I did well on something and was congratulated , I was sort of disbelieving, felt like a fraud with a guilty secret, but after a year or so I just took it at face value and enjoyed it. I'm not saying your husband should join the army, just build him up a bit.

    On my latest post is farcical way she behaved in church, it's comical to me now, but at the time it was scary, my world was so unsteady and uncertain. She had no right to do that. I even demanded an apology for it, but the response was disbelief and more arrogance. Of course, the enablers took her side.

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  5. This reminds me a lot of when my mom's mother died last December, except my mom couldn't even muster up crocodile tears. Everyone else there was wrecked, but not the belle of the ball who gave a eulogy that mostly had to do with my mother.

    My mother was always kind of disdainful of her mother, who was a kind of chameleon depending on who she spent time with. She became more like my mother wanted when she was with my mother, etc. So my mother decided that her siblings "ruined" their mother. Yet my mother was the only one of her siblings who did not help my grandmother as she grew frail and sick, despite that my parents are wealthy and my aunt and uncle are scraping by. My grandmother would say to me in confidence how my aunt and uncle took such good care of her -- the obvious omission being my mother who loved to bitch about the poor conditions her siblings kept her mother in.

    The icing on the cake was Thanksgiving last year, two weeks before my grandmother died. My mother and father, who live only 20 minutes or so from my uncle's, decided to have Thanksgiving dinner alone at a restaurant, meanwhile trying to guilt me into coming around because my grandmother had little time left. So while my aunt and uncle and my cousins were with my grandmother, my mother had a fine dining experience elsewhere.

    I can't believe my father can stomach being around that woman.

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  6. I know I'm late to the party but great to find these postings. I too got the 'we chose you' rap. Even at that young age I thought, 'and why, exactly, are you telling me this?'. Even then it felt coercive but I couldn't quite put my finger on what was wrong about what she was saying.

    I look forward to reading your subsequent posts.Very inspiring to see someone speak up!

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