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.