Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Letting Go...It Really is Possible

My elderly father - diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder years before developing Lewy Body dementia - continues his rapid decline. He can hardly form a coherent sentence now. With the loss of speech, so has much of his power to diminish me, his only child.

He can no longer interrupt me or abruptly change the conversation back to himself. He can no longer make up stories that I'm his natural daughter and not his unnatural, adopted one.
But he's not totally without the ability to lob a good zinger. On the first day of my most recent visit he managed to say two things:

--"I don't like your hair. It looks bad."
--"Why do you look like that? Is something wrong with you?"

Okay, the poor man has dementia and I should give him a break. He knows not what he says. Well, this may be true but this is the kind of stuff he always said...back to when I was a sensitive teenager and his frontal lobes were still intact. The words stung. It was all I could do not to rush to a mirror and check my hairdo. I asked my daughter if I was slouching or had an unpleasant look on my face. (No)

So here's what happened. I couldn't bring myself to visit him the next day. I just couldn't. The idea of being in the same room with him filled me with unspeakable dread. I needed 24-hours to recover. And recover I did. By Sunday, I'd pulled myself together and managed to have a reasonably pleasant visit, although brief because of his sad condition.

Progress!

I no longer obsess about my father: why he acted the way that he did; why he said the things he did; why he could never see me or hear me; why he'd been so...mean. Nor am I any longer consumed by guilt. I no longer fret about my lack of any true feeling or warmth toward him. I longer worry about what the staff at his board-and-care-home think about my infrequent visits...nor do I feel the need to explain why I don't have the same father-daughter relationship that some of their other residents seem to enjoy. Simply put...it is what is is, folks.

So it was with total surprise that, finally, today I can say: I have my life and it no longer includes my father's toxicity.

Finally...freedom!

And then I was catching up on past comments and found this:

JBH has left a new comment on your post "Guilt Trips":

I am glad to have read these posts! I am a clinical therapist in need of some of my own help w my parents. My parents are in their 60's and 70's, respectively. I am in my 30's, married w an 8 mo old and a 2 1/2 yr old.

If this comment doesn't highlight the insidious, destructive powers of a narcissistic parent, I don't know what does. Even someone trained as a clinical therapist is not immune to the trauma such parents inflict.

JBH also wrote:

I have revelations daily about it but I cant seem to let it go.
I want and wish I had great relationships w both my parents but sadly, I dont. And I have to keep telling myself its not my fault.

JBH....it's a temporary and necessary phase...the revelations, the relentless rehashing of the past, the not being able to let go. Maybe you're in the grieving phase, mired in guilt...and getting ready for the angry, furious, why-did-I-get-stuck-with-these-losers-for-parents-phase. The chronology of the phases matters less than actually allowing oneself to actually have real, authentic feelings...to safely reach the other big side of this mess!

If it's possible for ME to let go...after hoarding so much baggage there was hardly room for me...I'm pretty sure it's possible for you to let go, too. Eventually. After a lot of hard work.

And it's not your fault! Never was.

38 comments:

PWC said...

Re: getting your life back. That's awesome! Glad to hear it.

I've heard that Ns can manipulate therapists in sessions, so I guess professionals are not immune. The Ns have a lifetime of perfecting their skills, any normal person is no match for them, I guess.

Nina said...

Hi PWC, I've heard that, too. Can't even imagine how maddening and horrible that would be...to hear your n-parent come back from and session to say the therapist had agreed that it was the son/daughter who was "defective."

My own father couldn't have pulled that off, though...he was too childlike and needy!

I'll add you to my blogroll!

Cheers!

Billie said...

Congrats to you for losing his toxicity!

Nina said...

BILLIE!

I'm playing catch up...your name brought immediate smiles!

Anonymous said...

I too am trying to let go of a narcisstic mother with an enabling father. After 46 years of being the scapegoat I feel I finally understand it's not MY fault. The low self esteem, teasing,you think your so much better than us, and NOTHING you do is good enough. Even being in a wonderful 21 year marriage with 3 beautiful smart children doesn't impress them. Grandchildren are looked down on because they are COMPETITION for the NPD mother. The common excuse is "your children never talk to us".I have 6 siblings and everyone except the "golden child" the last born have had bad experiences of feeling unloved and not being good enough. My mother has "rejected" most of our spouses again because they are competition!
Recently I sent a "forgivess" letter to my parents to help me let go. Well it didn't go well. My dad called me to yell at me for all MY problems going back 40 plus years and he hung up on me. My mother "cried" and has not contacted me at all. Good luck to everyone with their Narcisstic parents. Remember to be an adult and don't put up with the abuse. Limit your time and energy as they will never get well.

Anonymous said...

4/15 Anonymous,

Sometimes I wonder if an enabling parent...especially one to the degree that you describe...isn't as "bad" as the n-parent itself. I suppose it's part and parcel of the family dysfunction itself but there's something about the Primary Witness sitting back and not advocating for their child that is loathsome. To boot, your father then came down on your mother's side after you sent the letter and turned on you.

I hope sending that letter brought you some sort of closure.

EvieEnclave said...

This is what I'm struggling with right now. I'm trying really hard to let go and move on, but my enabling mom keeps trying to pull me back in. I've gone NC with my N father, but she keeps trying to shove us together in various situations because she's scared to death of not seeming like a normal, happy family.

I love my mom and it's a serious struggle to maintain the NC with my father while still trying to have a relationship with her. I've wished for them to divorce every single day since I was a child, but it will never happen. My mom is incredibly religious and she doesn't believe in divorce. It doesn't matter to her that he's broken his vows by having an affair, that he's ground her down to a nub with no self-esteem, that he's caused my brothers and I so much pain - none of it matters. She will stay married if it kills her.

I'm scared of what will happen if I go NC with both of them.

Aravis said...

EvieEnclave said: "This is what I'm struggling with right now. I'm trying really hard to let go and move on, but my enabling mom keeps trying to pull me back in. I've gone NC with my N father, but she keeps trying to shove us together.."

Boy is THAT exactly the truth! Your e-mom (assistant narcissist ?) desperately wants you back in the fold because if you and n-dad have a "close relationship" now, she can keep the Special Superior happy family image intact and that means SHE was a fantastic mom. I had this exact same problem for decades until enabler/conarc mom helpfully dropped dead a few years back. I wanted a relationship with her - that's how badly I wanted a parent - so I tolerated my violent ndad for way too long. Like you, I too longed for her to divorce him, and as a child, I even wished he'd hit her, like he did us kids, just once, because maybe she'd boot him out. She was not religious AT ALL but he was her meal ticket and she was a consummate coward, god forbid she's get off her butt and get a job like a normal person. N-dad got much worse after her untimely demise, something I had not thought possible, and I only finally cut the dumb SOB off last year. I have to admit I finally did it because I didn't want my kids to be exposed to lunatic sexist, racist, political rants and his constant verbals assaults of sexual innuendo and bathroom humor (which most kids ditch by the time they are, I don't know, say 8). I've had several exceptional therapists gently suggesting same for over 16 years. It's really hard to do.

Anonymous said...

Hey there, this has been Terriffic and I think we need our own support group (I'm sure it's out here..this is site is my start ;)

I'm curious- i have been reeling with fears of my NPD father's possible death (I feel like G-d's telling me he's going to die) and worried about the mean ways he'll leave me out of the will, etc. I haven't been handing him a silver platter pass of guilt free "you are till my father so yes, I'll do dinner with you anytime even if you've acted like an abusive jerk and haven't called to clean that up in a YEAR"... as of late (i.e. developed hat I'd consider a backbone, though maybe I took it too far). I am constantly worried he's goin g to die and we'll be on bad terms (duh!)...or that he own't leave me anything in the will if I take care of myself (i'e., cut him out) and will I go to the funeral ,etc. does anyone else have these fears specifically and how have you dealt? of course, I made contact to try to say something nice "in the end" (in my head the end is always near- hey, maybe it's a deep wish or hope?), only to receive no reply back...and feel rejected, hurt and angry once again.

He has had 3 minor strokes over the last 5 years- though he's still talkin and walking just fine- even works at his office 3 days a week.

Thanks for reading! Rambling rose...bc no one ever quite understands this incomprehensible battle! (learned this about my rambling recently!!)

Anonymous said...

A woman and her passive, submissive husband take their young children into a buffet restaurant with a bag to place under the table where all participated in filling with bacon for their breakfast the following day.
Then they wonder why they have to pick the kid up for shoplifting.

Robin said...

Don't think this is related to your post, but I've noticed that overprotective parents try to keep you in their house, and it's even worse when of them is an n-parent.

My mediator mother is not an n-parent, but she is definitely overprotective or not ready for me to grow up. After all, she did say at one point that she would rather I stay in her house until I got married (which I thought was sincere and therefore overrode anything she said years before about letting me move out if I needed to). I guess it came out wrong or something, but I told mom and dad I wanted to pay for my own car because I felt coddled and for once wanted to get some experience - that is, I actually thought it was important to learn and feel the true value of money. I didn't want to end up thinking that $100 or even $1000 was chump change, so I thought the best way for me was to pay for more things on my own besides food. Mom overreacted, going so far as to say, "If you'd like to pay for your own car, why don't you just reject your inheritance too?" and "we share all our things!" (It made me realize that asserting independence in a dysfunctional family could get....really....awkward.) Finally she relented, "Fine, I'm OK with that as long as you get a smaller car" while looking like she wasn't OK with me paying for my own car.

Then, my n-parent attacked. My father heard me saying "I feel coddled" as "I feel controlled" - don't know if he misheard it or not, but either way would probably have caused the same reaction from him. He heard "I'd like to pay for my own car for once" as "I'd like to be an American who enjoys being in debt by paying for my own car because all my friends are doing it." Boy did I get a yelling for THAT! Right before I had a very nervous breakdown (it was late and I was tired), I had to clarify and insist many times that nowhere had I said that all my friends were in debt from paying for a car, and if he really wanted to get a car for me, I'd still like to pay for something related to that car (the GPS, the tires, ANYTHING! PLEASE! LOL). He shut it down, then really laid it on me. "After all I've done for you, you're this ungrateful?" (I just wanted to pay for my own car or help pay for it too! *innocent*) He actually wanted to sit down with me and calculate all the nice deeds he's EVER done for me (because I'm an accountant and he wanted to make me see all he's done for me with NUMBERS), yelled at me that I was "SELFISH! SELFISH! SELFISH!" many times (that's what I get for being sarcastic without finding a way to deal with an n-parent calmly), and called me something so horrible, so akin to "I AM DISOWNING YOU!" that I will not, and refuse to say it here (it crossed the line).

I have mixed feelings, but reading what I just wrote made me giggle.

Robin said...

I'm also not sure, but it can sometimes be helpful to have a mediator who understands BOTH sides and is neutral and not easily manipulated (key: not easily manipulated). My mother, after tiring of hearing dad yell at me (and with some nudging from my younger brother!), finally played the role, letting each of us speak our own minds. She had me talk for a few minutes, then had dad yell at me. And so on.

Sensei said...

i cannot wait for their timely demise

Ldyj said...

I'm so happy to find your blog. My N-dad has been ill for the past 6yrs and is progressively getting worse. He is also in a board & care home. It's very comforting to know that I'm not the only person constantly dealing with self-worth, confidence, humiliation, frustration,and anger issues.

I remember spending/wasting so much time and energy hoping my father would change. Wishing he care about people other than himself, and simply owning his problems. I realized that day would never come after my second child was born. The truth was devastating to me, and had contributed to my episodes with depression.

Thank you Nina sharing your story. For the first time in my life I feel "normal."

invisigirl said...

I can totally relate to all comments here. I am impatiently waiting for the demise of my n-father & I don't feel guilty about it either. My mother was 'normal', but an enabler, and worked herself to death serving him - adding to the resentment. We were very close. He was a master at divide & conquer, always had the last word, and always got his way. Ultimatums made it obvious there was no empathy, and he even told me there is no such thing as unconditional love. I was well groomed as a child to look up to him, thought I had the perfect family, until I was a teen. Then I stood my ground, made my own life and am very happy.
But n-father is now also suffering from dementia, and I hate being with him. He's in his 90's, and could fall/whatever any day. He was given months, months ago. I can't be NC since I'm his only source of help as he's living alone at home, insists on dying there. There is nursing and bathing help too... I drew the line there.
I've learned it's a waste of breath trying to reason or talk to him. It just makes him angry, and then unreasonable, & I also fear being cut off. He's capable of anything.
How do we de-program ourselves, let go of the expectations that will never be? I'm having a hard time letting go of my anxiety, anger, resentment etc and argue with him in my thoughts more than I'd like to admit. I dread being with him, putting up with his judgmental accusations and stupid statements. Even once he's gone, how do I free myself of the toxic memories?

Sarah H. said...

I guess I'm kind of in the guilty/denial phase...I don't know quite how to deal with my situation. Both of my parents are Ns and believe that they are perfect. They try to manipulate me and criticize everyone, including my husband and my toddlers..I seem to not be able to step out of this situation because 1) my 29yr sister is mentally retarted and is stuck w/them 24/7 (she can't go out, use the phone, or express her feelings)
2) my mother has chronic rheumatoid arthritis which she has been fighting since she was in her late 20s + she has two more illnesses (I feel sorry for her for not being able to do anything for her)
3) I also feel sorry for my father because all his life he has been working and taking care of my mother and sister.
But that still doesn't justify the treatment they gave me....I am the only NORMAL person in my family(besides my brother who is in another country, thank God) and I just don't know what to do. Should I run away or do I have hope of them ever changing? Help! I can't do it anymore.

SW said...

My N-father passed away in November 2011 following a short period of acute cancer. I too suffered his unreasonable behaviour, nasty comments and constant put downs, he was very difficult. He too wanted to change his will weeks before he died in favour of anyone else other than me his only daughter but he had left it too late. I couldn't believe he would do such a thing and I'm still trying to come to terms with it. He also kept a note that I had written to him when I was 13 years old saying sorry for something I had done (broken a window I think)and expressing my remorse and guilt. I am now 54 years old and I found that same note he had kept all these years in a drawer in his house. That really hurt and I still ask WHY? I have no remorse at his passing only a huge sense of relief that the burden has gone just the memories remain. I hope they will fade in time.

Elizabeth Carter said...

I'm so glad I found this site. I have two narcissistic parents who divorced when I was young. They physically separated me and my sister, and have pitted us against each other since we were 3 and 4 respectively.
At 35 I'm just starting to realize what has caused my perpetual feelings of being unlovable, but I just want to have a day when I don't think about them and "what I could have done differently." All this to say, thanks for being brave and posting this information. It simply helps to see such a community exists!

Anon 59 said...

Elizabeth Carter

I can understand the confusion and questioning, but nothing you could have done would have changed your parents. Remember, they're "fully cooked" you were born into their chaotic lives. A little piece of "blotting paper" waiting to absorb everything.

I too have low self esteem, and spent many long years questioning my behaviour. I still do. I feel anxious and incompetent and many other things. Always just below the surface. A voice telling me I'm ignored and useless. But when I read others comments on this blog I see people struggling as I do.

I hope you find some peace.

Anonymous said...

I find it terribly sad to read these comments. I hear so much of my own story here.

I'm in my mid-fifties, and I have thought I'd "let go" so many times. . .coming to terms with a pathological narcissist parent is an ongoing process, one that I'm not sure ever has an end. The way I see it, if one has "normal" empathy, it's darned near impossible to fully understand the N's total lack of empathy. It's also near impossible to jettison the normal empathy one feels toward someone else who is obviously mentally ill and not in control of themselves.

My father is elderly. I had thought he had lost the energy to hurt him, and as many adult children of Ns do, I've held on to ideas of "doing the right thing," doing what's "morally right" (etc0 for too long, at my own expense. Sure, I can soothe myself knowing I've done no harm to my sick father, but the ongoing realization is how much harm I've done to myself in continuing to have any contact with such a toxic individual.

Decades ago, I understood that my father could not meet he emotional needs of others, could/would ever know or appreciate others, and would always create the worst self-fulfilling prophecies. YET, I finally understand that believing that by maintaining contact of any sort, by still having some hope of "peace," or continuing to believe that there is any positive, moral, or right thing to do when dealing with an NPD parent, well, it is not possible.

I, too, look forward to the death of my so-called parent. I used to feel guilty about this. No longer. His death will be the end of his own pain, and that of others. 'Tis very sad indeed to think of the emotional wreckage an NPD person leave in the wake of his/her life. Then they blame everyone else for it, as they can indeed see it.

Still, no matter how much one believes they have come to terms with having such a parent, I stress again, it is not possible for a person with any amount of normal empathy to understand fully. "Letting go," in my opinion, is to accept that one will never be able to fully comprehend, and knowing this is a sign of emotional health. To fully understand one would have to be sick oneself.

invisigirl said...

Thank you anonymous for that last comment about letting go. It makes real good sense. I'm always trying to make things right, even when in my head I know it's not possible. I Know it's futile, believe it's futile, & now have to work on the acceptance part, that it is what it is, so let it go.

Anonymous said...

I am very thankful to find this blog. 2 months ago I left my extended family (n mother, enabling father, hateful half sisters) after they called me ill for my half sister telling me she wished I was dead. Hateful. I realized I had been emotionally victimized my entire 39 years so I said no more and left. Now my 70 year old father says they are all willing to go to family therapy. I don't trust them anymore. Thoughts? Thanking you all.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your blog. I know your life was hard as was mines. It was my mother, my own flesh and blood as they say. I believe in Karma, what a terrible person I was to have a mother that hates her first born and only daughter. I see other girls, women with their mothers and I long for that. She refused to be part of my wedding day. I have blamed myself for the emotional and physical abuse all my life. But not anymore, your blog has helped me to turn yet another page in my life. I must share it with my dad. For too long he has blamed himself as well. I don’t associate with my mother anymore. How do I feel normal about that? I’m 33 years old, I don’t have a child as yet but I’m afraid I am going to turn out like my mother. I think it’s harder when it’s the woman that gave birth to you and whose affection you have desired all your life.

Anonymous said...

My mother is an NPD. After 39 years of her sick little games, I finally had no other choice but to go NC. My father knew she was sick and he left her. He was a great father and I loved him and had a great relationship with him until he died. I didn't speak to her for 2 years and suddenly 1/2 hour after my dad's body was taken out of his house, there she was with her husband, who I think is also NPD. She used her best guilt trip to tell me that if I didn't have a relationship with her then I was an orphan. I was in too much shock and too sad to resist her nonsense. It only lasted a few months and she was manipulating and creating problems. When my young daughter didn't do what she wanted, they both dumped on her in the cruelest of ways. They actually kicked her out of their car. Then, while we were on vacation, she called my aunt and begged her and pleaded to have contact. My poor aunt didn't know and I didn't know she was NPD. My aunt tried to intervene, but it did no good. She used to text me and tell me how she would pray for me and how she loves me and will think of me often. Bullshit!!! She just wanted to me make me feel guilty. I had to realize that only I could control my emotions and I could feel what I wanted to. I don't feel guilty and I don't love this cruel person. I look at her as a snake ready at any minute to bite me and fill me with her deadly venom. Her saying she loves me is only a way to try to get me into her lair. She is truly a sicko. Her father and brother went NC many years before they both died. They couldn't deal with her anymore. She still never blamed herself. I don't care if she disinherits me. The price of being in her life was too high anyway. What I have is mine and I earned it. I don't need anything that she had to give anyway. What I did need, she didn't have and I had to accept that. Some family members have taken her side because she is the master of victimization. I had to accept that too. I have a brother who is the golden child and he uses her for her money. He has a lot of substance abuse problems and he has some narcissistic traits as well. They both went into my pile of garbage that I had to walk away from. I have a great husband and child. This isn't easy, but it will get better. I have to believe that. No one deserves to be in pain and no one can say "you are a bad person and you deserve this." That is not anyone's right to say. When my NPD mother does die, I hope to be free. She actually thinks that God is on her side and He condones her actions. How can you argue with someone like that? You can't, so don't even try. I hope that we can all achieve peace and happiness. We are truly the victims.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why I keep doing it. I really just want to kick my own butt. Everytime I stick my big toe back in the water to see if the water's any warmer, my toe freezes! This has been the hardest part of the whole process. They will never change.

Anonymous said...

I have diagnosed my mother as being a Narcissist until I read about Psycopaths and Sociopaths. I realized that my mother fit the bill of all three which is not unusual.
I have been No-Contact with my egg and sperm donors for 12 years. The rest of the family followed their suit - I was a horrible dauther to leave my parents, how ungrateful, everything my mother ever said about me had to be true, I'm a monster...and on and on. In short, my leaving to find my authentic self and escape the emotional and physical abuse ( yes, it was still happening at 46 years of age, with children, in my own home no less) was met with shunning. No one wanted to hear my side.
That's when I took a long hard look at the extended family and realized it was swarming with Anti-Socials.
I'm going to cut to the chase: After 12 very painful years of depression and dealing with PTSD, I have come out the other side and into the light. I finally went to college ( something that I worked for in high school but was taken away by she-who-should-not-be-named) and am working on my Masters in Sociology and Women's Studies. My goal is to help those,like us,who are/were abused by malevolent creatures and help them to find the courage and strength to be their authentic selves.
As a tip to those still in the middle of the road or wondering how to find their way, remember that this is YOUR life. You only have this one. How you want to spend it is up to you and you alone. You have tried to be dutiful with negative results. You have watched your N parent be kind to others who have done far less than you. If you are being abused and don't get away, you are giving them permission to continue. You are supporting the pathology that has been disrupting your entire life.
Is it scary to leave? You bet! But, don't expect things to change for the better if you do. They only turn up the heat out of fear of being exposed. They will make phone calls to get you back into the macabre game; have others contact you to create guilt trips; or just let you go using it as a "pity me- after all I've done" ( if only they knew what was done to you)ploy to the outside. The thing is they don't want to be exposed and will do anything, as they always have, to maintain their perfect image at your expense. If you can make it though that you're on your way to finding yourself and realizing that you are not at all who or what they said your were.
I've been where all of you are. I've felt the guilt, the anger, and wanting to kick myself for not speaking up or taking action sooner. I'm not there anymore; and no one will make me or guilt me or conjole me into giving up my new REAL life, the one created by me, to go back there.

Michelle said...

I always thought my dad was a run of the mill asshole who lied alot. I am 49 years and and JUST NOW discovering that I was raised by a narcissist.

I am so overwhelmed by what I've been reading. Some of it is freeing and other bits are so crushing I could cry.

I always wondered, why he treated me like a princess when I was very young. he was a GREAT dad..then around age 7, a switch flipped and he just HATED me after that.

I understand now.

It doesn't make it easier, though.

I think the best thing about this discovery is that I am shedding the guilt I feel over the fact that I don't like him or love him at all.

Zippy said...

The NPD is not my parent, but my fiancee's - and she is an elderly women in decline. Do I have to take her abuse? And if I don't will my fiancee begin to lose his love for me? (I have my self-esteem and do NOT want to lose it. I am a firm believer that NO ONE should suffer abuse as a condition for receiving love!)

Thanks for the advice in advance - and Congratulations! You are free at last!

Zippy said...

I am writing for advice. The narcissitic parent in question is not my own, but my fiancee's mom. Do I need to suffer her abuse? He wants me to visit them and I will, but it usual involves having to "suck it up" and is infrequently a pleasant visit. I would stay away, but at this point my only time to see him is when I go to their home. He is the sole care giver to his mother and we cannot even speak on the phone for the amount of time/care he is expected to give. We communicate by email and usually he sends me an email from his work - not when he is home caring for her.

I worry for him on so many levels, his health, his emotional state, his financial state, and the list goes on.

I have advised him (gently) that his mother sees me as a threat and it would not be good for me to visit at his/their house. However, he can barely get away and we have been reduced to visits that last maybe 4 to 6 hours every two weeks? I feel as though we are in hell - and I have mentioned that we could only be together when she passes. (He and I are in our 50/60s)

I have told him that I am well past the point in life that I would suffer abuse as a condition for receiving love. But he has never received love without narcissistic abuse. Does he know what I speaking about?

Do I continue to take the abuse when I visit?

Help! Zippy

Anonymous said...

Zippy - did you ever get a response to your request for advice?

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
I'm really interested by this blog and i look forward to coming back and reading more as i only just found it and i'm not that familiar yet with the Ns.
However, I was adopted when i was young and my father was mentally abusive to me all my life on and off..
I'm 49 now. He passed away 3 and a half years ago after a shortish but terrible illness that i had to help nurse him thru. I think i still have ptsd from that year.
I have been working so hard to try and recover from the mental abuse directed to me over my life..
I am using all sorts of techniques - energy work, boundary work, spiritual healing, and lately inner child work to erase from my mind all the bad memories and criticism etc. But i so relate to what people say, and even after they die you still have to deal with it.. EVen tho i have none of his DNA as i am adopted, i still feel his power and influence has negatively affected my whole life.
I have been working on it for about 3 years but i'm not there yet: it comes and goes.. I will post here again maybe sometime if I find the best thing to help with erasing the toxic influence and after effects and i look fwd to learning more from this blog!
I have just read Susan Forward's book: its good, but it doesn't have enough practical advice. For me, i think i need energy/spiritual boundary work etc to reclaim my autonomy on every level - mentally, emotionally etc. I need to believe in myself and see the past for what it was, after having to deny it for many years, especially with my mum and brother. I could write on this for ages, so sorry for long post!
thank you so much

Anonymous said...

Just to quickly add, I just saw the fantastic quote from zippy above my post which says: ''I am a firm believer that NO ONE should suffer abuse as a condition for receiving love!''
I so agree with that; other adopted folk with Ns parents do, in a sense have a double bind here..not all adoptees i'm sure, but some including myself feel this kind of marked gratitude that they were taken in and cared for when young. So when one or both of their parents have this Ns syndrome, it is so, so hard to rebel, fight back because they are your double security!: you've already been abandoned once, and may have subconscious insecurity issues arising from that; (non adoptees can have that too for sure); and then you have the mental parental abuse on top of that, but your abandonment insecurity can make it real hard to stand up for yourself/rebel/fight back as u don't want to incur their wrath in case you are abandoned again. And this can all be operating subconsciously within even at 4, 5,6,7 years of age etc and onwards ( it was in me.) If anyone relates to this i'd be interested to hear..so much to say on this as it is rarely written about, so great to have found your blog, thank you again

Anonymous said...

OMG, sounds like my story. My narc mother now can't deal with my children, as they are competition. I too am the scapegoat and have recently been confronted and told how all my life i have been the terrible child, how i haven't fulfilled my "end of the bargain". It has taken me 43 years to actually put the pieces together and realise the truth

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or ami starting to realise a pattern? I too was adopted and suffered at the hands of a narc mother, always reminded that i was chosen by her

bonsai said...

Nina,

Great to revisit your blog upon writing a new entry in my own. Hope you are doing well.

Elise/bonsai

Louise said...

Wow...I saw your background information I too was adopted at 6 weeks old. My father has narcissistic PD
in a big way. However I woke up to it fairly recently...its like I was living in an illusion for years!

My parents are in the 80's now and getting divorced. My mom is 81 and in an assisted living place near me and needed help and of course my father was totally MIA. He has become very angry and aggressive and disowned me over money he gave me for a business I had over 5 years ago...and I am now the person at fault for all of his problems. He has one granddaughter my daughter who has completely abandoned too. I have read a lot on this and continue to and I facilate from anger to sadness to empathy and back again. I do feel though I now have an opportunity to be myself to become the authentic me I just couldn't in my family of origin. I am relieved and angry and disillusioned all at once. Its bizarre. Anyway just comforting to know that someone else out there has made sense of this and moved on beyond it.
Have great holiday Louise

Momma J said...

I just wanted to say thank you to you all. You don't realize how much it helps just knowing you are not crazy and alone. I had a N Dad and a very brainwashed mom. It has taken 13 years and a very caring and supportive husband for me to realize who my dad is. I made the mistake of confronting him about how he treated me, and of course it blew up in my face. The only good thing about it is there is now absolutely no contact with any of my family, which has been a blessing and a curse all at the same time. At first I took it as another dig at me, that I had some how failed again, now I am past the point of blaming myself, but I'm at the very very angry point. So far this is the hardest part to get past, but I have to somehow, it is affecting me physically, and has almost ruined my marriage on several occasions. The only reason I am not divorced right now is because my husband knows exactly where the anger comes from, and is very strong and caring. I haven't had a chance to read through all of the comments and stories yet, and look forward to finishing them all. I do have to ask from you all, what are some suggestions to help move past the severe anger part of recovery and healing?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all the post. I am trying to sort out a lot of information. My mother had recently passed away. She had endured a lot of abuse from my father that was a N. I had recently came across a journal of my mothers going through her things. I know that things were bad cause growing up I had witnessed things as a child. Just recently I had contacted someone through the internet and he had informed me that she may have been a covert N. She did do guilt trips every now and then and even as a child I had asked her why are you still with him. We were 5 kids and one autistic. I also married a N and he was diagnosed by a mental professional. I just wonder does this pattern ever break? It makes me also wonder about my own well being and my daughters... I think I am just trying to sort things out.. What are the characteristics of a covert N?