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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Please Note: This situation ended with my "escape" in 2011. I appreciate all of your concerns and kind notes, but I'm out! I'm free! I'm happy and married. Please see About for more details about my NEW life. Thanks!
Welcome to a day in my world. It's 2008. I'm twenty-eight years old and a respected, successful IT Business Analyst. Nevertheless, I still live with my parents...and it's eating me alive.
I want so much to have my own home. A beautiful haven where I can be warm, take hot showers every day, go to bed whenever I want, cook delicious meals and enjoy my life. Best of all, with a home of my own I'd finally feel completely grown up.
But we've talked about it and it's absolutely forbidden. “We haven't worked so hard on you just to throw you to the wolves,” they say. I know they think I'll turn into a whore without them, and can't make wise decisions on my own. And it's destroying my self-esteem. Of course, none of my relatives nor co-workers know I'm forbidden to move out. They just think I'm weird.
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!
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.
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.
Your daughter isn't human. This belief is central to driving her bat-crap crazy. Never, and I mean never, acknowledge your shared humanity.
Once you nail that down, the rest is easy. And the Golden Rule need not apply.
Oh, and it helps to keep repeating the famous line from USA Network's Chrisley Knows Best, “There's no normal here.” Chant it. Post it on the bathroom mirror. Set it to music.
Now we can get down to brass tacks.
Start when she's young, very young. Punish the smallest infraction. Let's say she's three-years old and refusing to eat those nasty, disgusting canned peas. You lose this one, baby, you lose the war! If you don't force her to swallow every pea, next she's gonna be stealing cars, doing drugs, you name it. So serve those peas and nothing but those peas to her for every meal until she chokes 'em down.
If she gets mad at you, nip that in the bud! Anger isn't allowed. Comprende?
When schooldays roll around, make sure your girl is the odd man out. The “weird” one. You might arbitrarily order her never to speak to her #BFF ever again. That works great. Forbidding all field trips will get her cross-examined by her peers. Teach her to lie, make excuses, try to please everyone. That way, she'll never learn boundaries nor a backbone with them nor with you.
Undoubtedly, like all girls, her appearance is central to her self-esteem. Of course, it shouldn't be, so make sure she never looks like the other girls. Whatever hairstyle is “in,” give her the opposite. I heard this story once about a girl who wore those ridiculous “mall bangs” in the 90's. As soon as she'd get her gravity-defying bangs curled, teased and sprayed into place, her father would crush 'em flat with this hand. Now that's what I'm talkin' about!
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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.