Bed bugs: mother’s latest paranoiac fad. Her home’s gonna’ get infested with the little devils. She’s sure of it.
Mother’s paranoia is nothing new. She’s been this way all my life. And her mother is a paranoiac, controlling narcissist too. Together they form a hysterical duo, collecting and trading dangers like some people trade baseball cards. Their “Danger Scrapbook” is second-to-none, bulging with terrors of every description.
Oddly enough, none of these horrors have ever befallen them…nor anyone else in the family. Nevertheless, reality never stopped them from foisting dangers of every kind onto me. And only because they love and care about me, right!?Ah, I remember well the first time their paranoia struck me as, well, odd. Maestro? Flashback harp music, please.
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She’s cute, sweet and has wrinkles in all the right places. She’s always weeping into her instant decaf, wondering why the shards of her broken family lie in ruins around her. She’s your quintessential granny — with a catch.
She’s also a narcissist...
Fiber optics has nothing on Grandma. She’s the original Gossip Information Superhighway. Her narcissism feeds on gossip. The slightest thing she disapproves of, the merest variance from how she does it better (i.e. not recycling tomato paste cans or having a speck of dust anywhere) gives her fodder for her non-existent self-esteem. (But more about that in Parts 2 and 3! Subscribe for instant notification!)
Unfortunately, gossiping about her son to her daughter (Scapegoat) and about her daughter to her son (Golden Child) destroyed the family. Oh, there were other dynamics at play, but the tale-carrying played a huge role in the Golden Child suddenly going “No Contact” with the Scapegoat.
And that, in itself, is another source of narcissistic supply! How she sobs into her decaf, bewailing her broken family, playing the victim-card to the hilt.
Got a narcissistic granny too? Read all about the endless bullshit here!
Beware the religious narcissist.
They speak with the omniscient voice of God. Wield the sword of His judgment. Brandish the rod of His power. They wear the mantle of His righteousness. They goin’ straight to Heaven, baby.
And you, you back-slidden heathen? Well, you ain’t!
Exploitation of Holy Scripture is at its finest when you give a narcissist a Bible. In fact, all cult leaders have narcissistic tendencies. You can take it to the bank!
My narcissists “got religion” in 1980. Or so they claimed.
Uh huh, whatever.
Read all about it here!
Find the weakest, sweetest woman alive. This is imperative or nothing wonderful can come of the system for breaking your woman's psyche I'm about to relate.
Let's get down to brass tacks, shall we?
The ideal woman comes from an abusive home. If you're lucky, one or both of her parents will hale from the narcissist camp. She'll come to your arms broken in, broken down...just plain broken. The perfect foil to your dramas. A playground for your brainwashing and mind control. A child woman who was never allowed to fully mature, thanks to her narcissistic mama. A cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof ripe and ready for Stockholm Syndrome.
And best of all, she'll never, and I mean never stand up to you. Now that's a woman you can fall in love with!
Where did ego leave off and care begin? What was narcissism and what was paranoia? It all combined together in a swirling cesspool, holding me hostage, robbing me of life itself.
Mother’s horror at her baby’s brush with death, combined with Dad’s jealousy and seeing a paedophile around every corner. Dad’s constant concern over rape combined with Mother’s reciting Grandma’s cliche, “No good happens after night falls.” Meanwhile, Dad’s paranoia that his daughter would repeat the mistakes of his own lustful youth and his projection of his own teenage horniness onto her, led to a near-hostage situation from 1996-1998 and a raging case of Stockholm Syndrome. And all of it done under the auspices of God. (Poor God!)
I could go on, but you catch my drift.
Neither parent tried to bring balance to the other’s paranoia. Neither put themselves in their daughter’s shoes. No one considered that, come good or ill, her life was her own to live.
Read all about how narcissism leads to handicapping kids through helicopter parenting here!
Without my OCD stress relief, I knew I'd explode. Dad's rages drove my stress level off the charts. Then he forbade dermatillomania, my only stress relief. It was torturous! And I wasn't the only one in agony...
Like a distressed cockatoo, Mother was pulling out her feathers...I mean, hair. The onset of her trichotillomania, panic attacks, anxiety and agoraphobia coincided with my dermatillomania. But that's another story, for another day.
Then came the knock on the bathroom door. The furious demand to “know what you're doing in there.” My parents' horror at the sight of my ravaged complexion. The anger, the rage, the sorrow that their Little Project didn't look perfect anymore. Didn't make 'em proud. Didn't impress the neighbors and relatives.
Dad made a solemn vow, “Until you stop picking on your skin, I'll never tell you that you're pretty ever again.” Way to kick a 15-year-old girl when she's down and needs you most, Daddy-O!
He kept that vow, even on my wedding day.
They couldn't stop me. Oh, I considered stopping. But I knew, just knew, I'd explode inside. Crack. Have some kind of break-down.
If I stopped, it wasn't a question of if I'd crack, but when. “Accupicking” was my one and only stress relief. That...and comfort eating...
Take from my blog on PsychCentral.com. Click here to read the whole article.
I’ve got the leakiest tear ducts on the planets. Seems like I’m always sniffling about this or weeping about that. If it’s not adorable videos of babies making my eyes well up, it’s videos of ecstatic dogs welcoming their master home from serving overseas. Any sentimental YouTube video can get me hullabalooing into my hankie in no time. It came as quite a shock to my husband when we married in 2012. Now he thinks I’m both hysterical funny and extremely soft-hearted.
There’s only one scenario where my tear ducts dry up. My own pain. I simply cannot cry for myself. Tried it. Made all the right noises. Huffed and puffed. Nothin’. Eyes remained dry as a bone.
And it’s a huge problem. Tears aren’t just salty water. Their chemical compositions vary depending on the emotion that stimulated them. Even their structure when seen under a microscope is vastly different depending on the scenario. Personally, I can feel my heart aching behind my eyes. It’s a kind of burning, kind of pressurized sensation behind my eyeballs. Only tears release the pain in both my eyes and my heart. It feels like tears purge the toxic chemicals in the tears, but perhaps I’m just being fanciful.
Which brings us back to the original problem. I can’t cry. And too often my original pain becomes translated into the secondary emotion of anger.
Click here to read the whole article on PsychCentral!
Somebody just “twipped” my “twigger.” I owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude. This was a dry day. Not much inspiration. I cast about, writing about this topic and that topic, but nothing gelled.
The situation: a less-than-positive remark on one of my articles. The “twigger”: a comment on my private rant about the less-than-positive remark. She said, and I quote, “...set your rant aside and look for the honesty...just maybe, you'll realize that a simple thank you for [their] comment is the best response.”
Obviously, the commenter had failed to read my rant which acknowledged the accuracy of the less-than-positive remark. They were spot-on, but they weren't kind.
And then it all came flooding back. All the parental criticisms made “for my good.” Hundreds, nay, thousands of 'em. It started about the time narcissistic parents start feeling nervous because their kid is growing up and they might, just might, lose control. I was fourteen and shocked by all the criticisms suddenly blindsiding me. They ranged from making me believe I was an (almost) slut to something as vague as, “Shake my hand and commit to 'trying harder'.” To this day I wonder how much harder I could try. I already had a 4.0 GPA.
The blind-siding hurt worse than the criticisms themselves. So I developed a coping mechanism I nicknamed “Mrs. Should.” She was a big, ugly woman constantly looking over my shoulder, criticizing me for everything. She criticized me for the yea and the nay at the same time.
It worked. No criticism every blind-sided me again.
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From relationships to toxic families, from current events to critical reviews, Lenora has a unique "take" on whatever's happening and shares it in her syndicated blog. Gritty. Real. Funny. Click here for bio.
If you are feeling suicidal, thinking about hurting yourself, or are concerned that someone you know may be in danger of hurting himself or herself, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is staffed by certified crisis response professionals.