If you were not the Golden Child in your narcissistic family, consider yourself lucky. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
I can hear Scapegoats worldwide mumbling under their breath. And I do admit that being the Golden Child has some perks! As an only child and eldest grandchild (I'm sorry, cousins! Now I "get it!"), no one knows that better than me! I was the Golden Child by default. There were treats and presents, hugs and cuddles, fawning and praise.
But it came at a price. Sooner or later, you have to pay for the presents. The cuddles come with conditions. And there are strings attached to the treats. I was thirty-one before I realized that I had to pay the piper for my Golden Child status.
His price is absolute control over every facet of your being — mind, body and soul.
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It was Mom who taught me the Granny Two-Step. She’d been polishing her dance steps since her birth. She had to…if she wanted to be loved and accepted by her mother.
Disclaimer: The Granny Two-Step is predicated on lying, clairvoyance, being intimidated, greed and “to thine own self being untrue.” Dance at your own risk!
Want to learn it!? Okay, okay! You twisted my arm! Maestro? Music, if you please!
Up on your toes now. Step forward gracefully, one step at a time, threading your way gingerly through conversation with Grandma. Your clairvoyance at fever pitch. Your intuition trembling like a cat’s whisker, sensitive to the most subtle (but usually blatant) judgmentalism emanating from Grandma.
Ooops! Said the wrong thing! Hit a Grandma Land Mine (GLM)!
Quick! Take two-steps backwards, bowing from the waist, clumsily backtracking and trying to convincingly eating your words to get back into Grandma’s good graces. Her opinion of you is paramount. Authenticity be damned!
Now, up on your toes again. Take another step forward. Damn! Said the wrong thing again! Hit another GLM.
Two steps backwards, kissing Grandma’s ass.
And that, my dears, is how you dance the Granny Two-Step!
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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!
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.
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