Then there was the day Grandma faked a heart attack and the time she sent the Sheriff to do a “welfare check” on me. Classic! Quintessential narcissistic tactics. Shoulda’ seem ’em coming. But I didn’t.
These two tales stand out in my memory among many tales of narcissistic nincompoopery. For years, I thought they were must Grandma being weird. But in my online research about narcissism, I ran across tales of other narcissists pulling the same shit. If they can’t get their way, they’ll suddenly develop chest and arm pain. If they’re wrong, they get shortness of breath. If they’re not the center of attention, they’ll pull ye olde heart attack stunt and start popping nitro. Anything to steal the limelight, especially at other people’s weddings, parties, etc.
And police welfare checks? It turns out that’s a quintessential narcissist tactic too.
Click here to read all about the shit my grandmother's pulled in Part 3 of the "Granny Trilogy"!
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!
Cringe-worthy. Kinda weird. Definitely uncomfortable. But also, flattering. My emotions ran this gamut every Tuesday and Sunday evening, the times Dad demanded I schedule to be spent, alone, with him. Playing music together. Gossiping about his wife/my mother to me. Pawing, I mean, patting me.
On the one hand, I felt flattered (and guilty!) that he seemed to like me better than my mother, his wife of thirty years. We bonded over the pain and frustration her paranoia, her menopausal idiosyncrasies and her über-control caused us.
On the other hand, I never felt comfortable around the man. His rages terrified me. His depressions worried me. His teasing wounded me. His hands hurt me. And the way his eyes constantly followed me freaked me out.
He never seemed comfortable in his own skin. Never had any friends. Nor many hobbies.
But he was my dad. And we were supposed to be “close,” right?
Read all about the rottenness called Covert Incest by clicking here!
To hear a discussion of the article on the Stop Child Abuse Now radio show, click here!
Dear Parents, I’m sorry you can’t accept me for who I am. You drove me away and now, you’re missing out on a wonderful daughter and son-in-law.
Oh, you wanted a baby in 1980. You just didn’t want me. You wouldn’t have accepted any baby. For you cannot accept yourself. Because no one ever accepted you.
Through no fault of your own, you’re both the Scapegoats of your families. It’s a role you were assigned. You didn’t earn it. But why oh why, did you pass it down to me!?!
We breathe shame in the air. Absorb it through our pores. Sense the vibe with our intuition. It doesn’t have to be spelled out in-so-many-words. Often narcissists won’t say it directly anyways. If they did, they’d lose their “plausible deniability.”
But we’re not stupid. No child of a narcissist is stupid. We got their spoken and unspoken messages loud and clear.
That’s how we developed False Guilt. I know the list below will sound crazy…whacked out…insane…weird…inhumane. Well, either directly or indirectly, I got all of these messages from my family. Most of them were spoken. Some were implied.
If it happened to me, maybe it happened to you too. Maybe we can heal together.
Click here to read the full article!
Those who attack victims always have an agenda. Victimizing someone is bad. But revictimizing a victim by shaming them for being a victim. Wow! That’s low!
Revictimized is defined as when “a survivor who has removed his/herself from an abusive environment is harmed again by perpetrators.”
The victimizing started when I was a baby. I didn’t ask to be victimized. I did nothing to cause it. I didn’t even know it was happening. No child of a dysfunctional home does. It’s not their fault.To imply otherwise is to revictimize them.
Click here to read the full article on PsychCentral!
When I think back on all the thousands of parental criticisms made "for my good" over thirty years, my blood boils. Hundreds, nay, thousands of 'em. It sta, not because I was bad, but because I was 15 and that's the time narcissistic parents start feeling nervous because their kid is growing up and they might, just might, lose control.
I was 14 and shocked by all the criticisms suddenly blind-siding me. They ranged from making me believe I was an (almost) slut to something as vague as, "Shake my hand and commit to 'try harder.'" To this day I wonder how much harder I could try. I already had a 4.0 GPA. And the blind-siding hurt worse than the criticisms themselves.
But no one (except my husband, Michael, and God), and I mean no one, is going to criticize me, lecture me nor shame me anymore.
It's done. Over! I'm damn near 40 years old and frickin' fine the way I am.
In the words of Star Trek's Captain Jean-Luc Picard, "The line must be drawn here! This far, no further!"
Or in the words of comedian Eddie Murphy, "It's my [blog] and if you don't like it, get the frick out." Click here to watch that hysterically funny moment!
To read the full article on Huffington Post, click here!
When did it happen? When did life flip upside-down? When did normalcy flee? When was my last day as a normal human being? Ah, common sense, alas, I never knew thee.
Normal is imperative. It provides guidelines for proper behavior. And that’s why narcissists hate normal. It puts a cramp in their style. Boundaries on their body-mind-and-soul domination. Makes normal people look askance at their abusive ways with a raised, disapproving eyebrow.
As the uber-narcissistic self-styled “Patriarch of Perfection” from USA Network’s popular show is famous (or should I say infamous) for stating…
“There’s no normal in this house.”
Narcissism reeks havoc with normalcy, hence the name of my PsychCentral blog: Narcissism Meets Normalcy
To read the whole article, click here!
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!
If I had a dollar for every time I heard, “Lenora, you’re SO emotional,” I’d be a rich woman today. Were you subjected to this denigration too? Does it ring any bells? If Grandsire Triples are ringing in your bell tower, my sympathies. Let’s explore this phenomenon together, shall we?
First, the hard truth. At times all humans are overly emotional. We are human and therefore at times we are indeed too emotional. What can I say? Sh*t happens.
But that’s not what this article is about. It’s about situations where we felt valid emotions, strong emotions, appropriate emotions. Situations where other people impatiently shamed us not only for feeling these emotions but also angrily shamed us for daring to express them. The legacy and ramifications of this shame is with us still today.
I remember back to a particular scenario. Oh, I must have been about twelve. As usual, Dad and Mom were seated at the kitchen table discussing “she.” Not “Lenora.” Just “she.” They always used “she” to discuss me in the third person. I sat at the end of the table, miserably poking down a tuna sandwich, watching mute and powerless as my fate was impersonally discussed and decided without reference to normalcy nor my emotions.
Click here to read the whole article on PsychCentral.com!
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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.