Question 1: How to react on my Narcissistic Mother?
I was reading your article posted about sons and daughters of narcissistic parents. My mother is narcissistic and I chose choice 3, four years ago. In December, I am attending my sisters wedding, that of which she is still in contact with our mother and will be at the wedding. I am not sure how she is going to act and cant find any information on how to re-approach/be around a narcissistic person that you haven’t had contact with in so long. As I have continued to live my life to the fullest, and have gotten married unbeknownst to my mother — thus, she will also meet my husband, at my sisters wedding. Any suggestions or articles related to this issue would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
A: The articles, “Is My Mother a Narcissist?” and “Confronting a Narcissist” might be of some help. How you respond will depend on whether you were the scapegoat, the golden child or something in between. Start by not thinking of it as re-approaching. That will only lead to more abuse- she has not changed. Think of it as surviving one day and then going back to No Contact. How to respond? You can revert back to Choice One- cater/flatter her and pretend the estrangement never happened. The healthiest thing to do is avoid her as much as possible and avoid any personal conversations when you absolutely must talk to her– “small talk” only (the weather, current world news, her health, etc) and turn the conversation to make it all about her. Ask your sister to seat you away from her, at a different table if that is at all possible. I would not surprise her with the news of your marriage- that could easily end up with a rage response directed at you and I am sure you do not want to spoil your sister’s wedding. Have your sister or another close relative tell her ahead and be prepared for snide comments about her not being informed/last to know/ you must be ashamed because you kept it a secret etc etc. Turn the other cheek- do not respond. A blank stare will get you through the worst of times. It is only one day- you can do it!
Question 2: How to quit the “bad habit”?
Hi, I am similar to your recent post from JW with the anger & rage however I am the one who left my narc, I got sucked in a third time – a ring & moved in with him, I left because he was intimidating my kids behind my back and saying nasty things to them which he always denied (however I should have valued myself better & left with his sleaziness) he then complained of their behaviour which I tried explaining was a result of his actions & his sons behaviour which to my narc his sons behaviour was ok. (I also had trouble leaving with my belongings as he kept saying I couldn’t take my stuff) My problem now is I have stopped all contact to my best ability unfortunately both our sons play in the same football team but different age groups, same training nights so I have to possibly still see him 3 times a week I avoid his by staying in my car close to the club rooms or “sneaking” around to avoid him but so people are always around although it doesn’t seem to matter he seems to have no fear of approaching me alone or with people. I can’t afford to change teams again. I am in therapy myself and also on antidepressants, I suffer anxiety & take sleeping pills, he is blocked in every way on the mobile, Facebook, the home phone is flat so it can’t ring. He kept coming up to me at football, he wanted to be friends pfft, he was on the ph to his ex the day I moved out, I said no way & I don’t want you to come near me even at footy, he leaves me alone for a week & there seems to be another reason to come & speak to me followed by are you ok? Asking me if I’m ok really aggravates me, as if he cares. When he does have the nerve to come near me I get so angry I feel like smashing him, I shake, my heart beats like hell, I just want him to leave me alone so I can fix myself up. I no longer even have a home because of him, my eldest took over my home & got borders so my bedroom is in the lounge room, I have no $ because I worked my butt off for him & his work (which in his eyes I was lucky he provided a home for me, again pfft I had one before he made me believe he loved me) he gave me a $100 3 days after I left only because he asked what my parents thought of him & I said an arsehole, I couldn’t even buy bread my parents have had to help me out financially coz I fell for your s**t again, that’s the only reason I got any $ off of him. 4 years dealing with this man, & I’m here starting all over again and fearful of his stalking, because one other time I stopped talking to him for 5 mths, he drove past consistently, hung around my house at all hours of the night, driving past my kids school to see me pick them up, follow me around the shops, his ex ringing me at all hours because he was playing up with someone else & she thought me, I changed my number to at least stop that. I’m afraid of all this again, the thought of all this again scares me, the police would never do anything last time. I feel frustrated. I feel so angry every time he thinks he can talk to me at footy, I really don’t know how to cope.
Hi Alex, i don’t mind however theres more to it since i wrote that so i don’t know if you want to know more or not? Am happy to add to it, basically after i wrote that i got weak felt like i had no ones support etc i felt i missed him & was just pure weak so i said hello first time ever i made the move – more mistakes more grief & a whole lot more anger & pain so much so i spat on him I’ve always thought spitting on people was repulsive no matter what – i turned into someone i didn’t myself like because of him, & things he said & done to get me that way. My health issues always discarded thinking it was just stress and ended up quite sick & now having to make some serious life changes in a lot of ways including getting ridding of this toxic person i still looked for for support & never got when a partner should, i still feel like i love him ( the heart says love the brain says toxic) but have to remind myself numerous times a day this isn’t love with him & i, its just toxic. I work for him now & yes get paid now, he is like god with the you need the money so you need the job, yeah i do, I’m sick of struggling i do need the money i struggle more coz of him in the first place coz i gave up my life my dreams for him in the first place in pursuit of “us” our “team” i don’t wanna rely on an income from him but feel stuck, i have told him i am looking for another job, i am tired of crying & i know i gotta go altogether & stay away to feel better, he is like a cigarette a really bad habit to kick.
A: The crying, anger/rage, and hurt are NOT going to stop until you quit–REALLY quit- this “bad habit”. Every time you go back to the narcissist is like smoking a carton of cigarettes- your bad habit is killing you. He is as toxic, if not more so, to your mental, emotional and physical health. You need to get away- for good. Don’t just threaten him that you are going to get another job–Get Another Job. You will not feel better or stronger until you leave.
Question 3: Can a Narcissist Change?
I’m pretty sure I’ve successfully diagnosed my wife as a classic narcissist. It only took me 5 years. Wikipedia sounds like it was written about her. Your article about the inability to apologize could have been written by me (if I had your skill) because it was so dead-on accurate – and I’ve been saying many of the same things for years (deflecting, explaining instead of apologizing, &;quot;the best apology for me would be that you never do this&;quot;, etc). I’m feeling ashamed and embarrassed at having let this go on for so long, but the truth is that I’ve tried for years to get her to see this problem. I originally called it &;quot;pride issues&;quot; (which she, of course, deflected and said I was the one with pride issues). Anyway, my question really is more of a comment – thank you for being there. I really need some help because I don’t think I can continue on like this, but I love this woman so f*****g much it hurts every time a problem comes – which is every couple days or so. I would love to know that there’s some hope in her changing because I don’t think I can get any stronger in dealing with it (i.e. being her supply).
A: Narcissism is a personality disorder–it is a life time disorder. On rare occasions a narcissist will come to therapy and make some changes in their behavior (so says literature- I have never personally known one). They can only change when THEY understand the negative consequences to their behavior and accept responsibility for causing that consequence. If you have read anything on narcissism, you realize that the chances of that happening are rare indeed.