Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mothers with Narcissistic Personality Disorder & signs of a narcissist



Mothers with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are in a very good position when you think about it. Where else would a Narcissist get such a ready, biddable, vulnerable source of Narcissistic Supply than from her own children?

These women have, of course, all the specific traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. But they have a few other tricks too, especially for their children.
They fall into two categories - engulfing mothers who see no boundaries between themselves and their daughters, and ignoring mothers who don't particularly even see their daughters, and certainly don't care. Each is hugely dysfunctional and damaging.

One trick, or aspect, of narcissistic mothers, is that they're quite often nice. This can be so confusing - part of the head-wreckingness of this whole NPD. The niceness always has strings attached though.

One of Narcissistic mothers' favorite tricks is invalidation, including a particularly nasty and insidious form of invalidation called gas-lighting. No matter what emotions or memories you bring up, they'll dismiss them.


They master various forms of abuse, including forcing their children into the Golden Child or Scapegoat roles, and pure and simple bullying.

They're emotional vampires, feeding off yours and others' tragedies, and always dismiss or otherwise ruin your successes and celebrations. I found therefore that dealing with my narcissistic mother involved only the most banal of conversation - I could share neither my highs nor my lows. (Actually I didn't share a whole lot of anything, particularly at the end.)

They also have the twin cruelties of parentification and infantalisation, where they get you to parent them and keep you dependant on them respectfully. A narcissistic mother could do either or both of these.

Another nice trick is triangulation, where they make themselves the pivotal point of the family dynamic and everything has to go through them.

Add to this, many narcissistic mothers' extreme vanity, and their sometimes bizarre attitude towards sexuality, and you have quite a combination.
Mothers with Narcissistic Personality Disorder can't do it alone, of course. They need help, and Enabling Fathers are the perfect ones to give them that help.

Most people never even think of the possibility of narcissistic mothers. To the extent that NPD is in the public consciousness at all - which is very little - it's more considered to be men who have it. This is partly because it does seem to be more prevalent in men. And also my impression is that men with it are more likely to be violent and so more likely to come to public awareness.
And if people think of women having it, they maybe think of wives and girlfriends and friends. They don't think of mothers.

We have a huge cultural embargo upon thinking badly of mothers. We esteem mothers, put them on pedestals, worship them almost. I've read that this cultural indoctrination is why the fairy stories always feature wicked stepmothers - because to speak of wicked mothers is just undoable. I think there's a lot of plausibility in this theory.

SIGNS OF A NARCISSIST

By Nancy J. Bailey:

There are degrees of narcissism. Some are more severe than others. Some are merely annoying egomaniacs. Others are axe murderers. But if you are in a relationship that has left you feeling frustrated and you’re not sure why, you may well be with a narcissist. Here are a few signs to watch for.

Narcissis, as many know, was the legendary character who fell in love with his own reflection. A narcissist is someone who, usually due to childhood trauma or over-doting parents, has become obsessed with himself. Some cases are so severe that the person becomes disconnected from reality and fails to maintain mutually beneficial relationships with other people.


I had a few indications that the guy I was dating was pretty self-centered, but frankly I didn’t think about it much. Then one day, I was at his house, standing beside him in the kitchen, and he was putting butter on a roll. He turned to walk away, taking a bite out of the roll, and left me standing there. At that time, we had only been dating a couple of months.

A big red flag went up. To me, it seemed abnormal to prepare the roll and eat it, while offering me nothing. This might not seem like a big deal, but it was combined with a couple of other things that gave me the first inkling that I was dating a narcissist.

My family is ripe with narcissists, so I grew up thinking selfish behavior was normal. To this day (despite years of therapy) I display a high tolerance for self-centered people. As a result, I attract these relationships like a pair of black pants attracts cat hair.


There are degrees of narcissism. Some are more severe than others. Some are merely annoying egomaniacs. Others are axe murderers. But if you are in a relationship that has left you feeling frustrated and you’re not sure why, you may well be with a narcissist. Here are a few signs to watch for.


1: Lack of Empathy

Because a narcissist is, by definition, someone who is completely self-involved, he has little or no ability to perceive how someone else is feeling. Worse, when feelings are explained to him, he doesn’t care. It’s his feelings that matter. Understandably, this opens a Pandora’s Box of problems within relationships.

2: Social Ineptitude
Some narcissists can’t pay attention to what others are saying. My most recent one had a habit of walking away in the middle of a conversation, or lapsing off to watch T.V. while someone was talking to him. If I had anything to say to him, I always had to be careful there were no electronic distractions, such as T.V., radio, etc. I had the best luck with keeping my statements succinct. At a party, he would project his own thoughts, but never asked questions of others. As a result there was no give and take. “The conversation,” my brother said after meeting him the second time, “falls flat.”


There are degrees of narcissism. Some are more severe than others. Some are merely annoying egomaniacs. Others are axe murderers. But if you are in a relationship that has left you feeling frustrated and you’re not sure why, you may well be with a narcissist. Here are a few signs to watch for.

Despite this, a narcissist is not necessarily a jackass in public. In fact, many of them have a meek and likeable public persona. This makes it very difficult to explain to others about the self-centered evil that lies within them. In fact, the duplicity can be so extreme that you can begin to question your own sanity. The narcissist, as one person put it, can seem, “like a werewolf”.


3: Delusions of Grandeur
I attended a parade with a narci once, and he told me that he could picture himself being Grand Marshal one day. He hadn’t done anything remotely close to earning this honor, but he wasn’t kidding. Does your date exaggerate his achievements and accomplishments? Does he seem to build himself up? This is a common trait in Narci. If you feel he could use a big dose of humility, then this is one thing to watch for.

4: Requires Excessive Admiration
Narci is often quite good at fishing for compliments, and finding ways to get respect and admiration from those around him. Beware though, of a lack of reciprocity, which is mentioned below (see #10).
Whether it’s the best seat in a restaurant or the biggest slice of pie, Narci requires special treatment, and feels he deserves it. There may not seem to be any rational reason for why he should be first in line — he just always expects to be.

5: Preoccupied With Fantasies
Everyone has dreams. But Narci is obsessed with his own inner world. He has visions of unlimited success, power, brilliance or ideal love. He may engage you in the beginning, thinking you will help him fulfill these fantasies. As soon as he realizes you are flesh and blood, you become, basically, dog meat.

6: Exploitative
Narci has no hesitation about exploiting and manipulating the talents of others. Is there something he wants from you? Then he is probably being nice to you — for the time being.


7: Center of the Universe

Narci maintains an attitude that demonstrates the world revolves around him; and you must cater to his ideas, needs and desires. Most of us are happy to oblige someone these things. But Narci will keep taking from you without filling your well. And be forewarned, when the well runs dry, he will have no more use for you.

8: Withholding – Controlling
If a narcissist finds out what you like, he is sure to take it away from you. For instance, I told my most recent narci that I love going to the movies. Guess what happened? We never attended another one. I suspect this is more a “dog in the manger” thing than intentional cruelty. The narcissist does not want to be mean, necessarily. He just wants the world to revolve around him and his desires, his activities. If it is something you want, it isn’t something he wants, and therefore not worth his time.

9: Doesn’t Reciprocate
If you have made the horrible mistake of telling a narcissist you love him, beware. You will be punished. Because he is actually filled with self-loathing, Narci has contempt for those who love him.

This can be especially tough for people who have a generous nature. I like telling people I love them, and the compulsion is very strong when I feel that way. But the nicer and more generous you are to a narcissist, the more you will be rebuked. In this confusing and haphazard existence, a narcissist behaves best with those who set limits on him. Do not show any sign of vulnerability, because that gives him license for contempt.

You will find that none of your needs are met. You will receive no appreciation or gratitude for anything you do. You will never receive a compliment. You are a tool, a pawn, an object. Narcissus is not capable of any generosity of spirit. Sadly, he is incapable of the type of introspection necessary for change.

The bad news is, narcissists don’t change. Narci is stuck in his own universe, and his reality is completely different from ours. He is doomed to remain forever gazing at his own reflection, loving — and hating — only himself. Don’t hate the narcissist for being what he is. Educating him is fruitless because he simply lacks the capacity for self-examination. If anything, he deserves pity.

The good news is, because you have asked the question, you have the ability to save yourself. My advice is, “Run for your life!” Life is too short to be sacrificed for someone who won’t ever — who can’t ever — appreciate you. Move on to better and brighter things.

1 comment:

  1. thanks so much for the article...
    you helped me a great deal .. xxx

    ReplyDelete

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