Poll : How Will You Be Spending Christmas In Relation To The Narcissist?
It is Christmas Eve and for some of you the presents will be opened this evening and for others they will be opened tomorrow, on Christmas Day.
Carols will be sung, turkey will be carved, champagne corks will pop and someone will invariably say “Took hours to wrap and all over in minutes.”
However, arguments will ensue, flirtations will occur, awkward silences will abound, tears will flow and presents smashed. Scenes will occur, dramas will unfold, trysts will be engaged in and stages will be taken to because, after all, our kind will take hold of Christmas and make it ours for the sake of fuel and control. Whether it will be taking centre stage and exhibiting largesse with gift-buying, criticising the standard of the food or not even bothering to turn up to an invited party, the narcissist will be making Christmas glorious or miserable all around the globe.
Thus, how will you be spending Christmas this year. Putting up wth the showing-off and flirtation with your sister, enduring the repeated put-downs from mother or locking the gates, maintaining the blocks and rejecting the inevitable hoovers? Perhaps you will be missing the narcissist, still experience the pain of recent disengagement and thinking back to wonderful Christmases past or alternatively you may now be relishing enjoying a Christmas for once without treading on those infamous eggshells.
Whichever it is, do vote below and add your comments as always to expand on your thoughts and experiences.
245 thoughts on “Poll : How Will You Be Spending Christmas In Relation To The Narcissist?”
Lori … you are right about the one Narc that open doors to other ones to come in your life.
I am at Narc 4 now – not counting my father.
I am also an addict who got sober almost 2 years now and I find the addiction with my Narc harder to nail down – although I have removed other addictions – I find the co-dependcy – people addiction harder .
BUT… hang on for today and you will wake up happy and relieved that you resisted.
I like following your comments and how you support others here … we teach most what we need to learn.
Breath in and out :))
Happy holidays to my friends old and new 💖 I haven’t read through the thread yet either …
Star, I’m so sorry. It’s been a rough holiday here too (with my terminal matrinarc) possible last Christmas. .. so many feelings …
I hosted and was lucky enough to get the flu for Christmas! 😂 Cheers for my family! They really did great! Most were wasted or baked, all ruined their “part” of Christmas dinner (I ruined two!) Apparently everyone had fun on Christmas day and I was singing… don’t remember
Merry and bright 💖
Good to see you back. I wondered about you. Thought maybe you hadn’t recovered from Hush lol.
What can I say…?
I’ve been well. Better everyday. Ready to come back as myself xx when needed
Hope your new year is fantastic! Always love reading your snarky comments 😍😂
Belated Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone had a very lovely holiday. HG even over The holidays you still kept us entertained:) I had the biggest hover yet from my ex. This is the 3rd Chritmas without him. Two big boxes filled with presents landed on my door with an explanation that he had been buying me presents for the last three years to ” keep me alive and close on his heart” I was actually shocked..we had been no contact / blocked etc for a very very long time . I’m thinking that he had heard that my fiance had passed away recently and unexpectedly 😥and was expecting my defences to be down. But..no they are not and I am so happy and grayeful I can shrug it off, even tho it was a very hard Chrismas.I hope everyone has a fabulous New year.
Good to see you back here. Very sorry about your fiancé. That’s a very hard thing to deal with. And then to have your narcex show up with all those gifts… what did you do?
Hi Windstorm, and thank u. It has been hard, he was a very good man, but I am very fortunate to have had a very healthy relationship as short as it was. I will cherish that:) as for the stuff/ gifts I just donated it back to the thrift store he probobly bought the stuff from in the first place.Lol. still no contact and still blocked.I hope you are doing well
Ha, ha! Donating is better than burning!
I’m doing fine. Got to see all my grandchildren together yesterday. That’s a rare occurrence! They’re 14, 11, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and 0 (due in February). Plenty of chaos to enjoy then peaceful quiet to go home to!
I don’t know what to say except that I’m so very sorry to hear what you have been through, and I wish for you a very healing 2019.
Thank you Narc Angel:)
Best to u in the New year!
Hi star…i just wanted to say im so sorry to hear of your loss and sending (((hugs))) your way.
Wtg keeping no contact!!! All the best in 2019!!
Bless you Star, with an attitude like that – there will be many more Christmases to come without Narcy. Stay strong and thanks for inspiring others to do the same. Much love to you. Sending peace for 2019 too. ⭐️⭐️⭐️
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas, i’m just catching up with all the comments regarding readers situations over the Christmas period, very kind of HG to still keep up with the blog at this time of year. This was my first Christmas in 4 years without my ex narc, i did get a couple of passive hoovers, although no direct contact made, i was prepared that it could have happened but it didn’t , so that’s a good thing and some progression, he’s obviously now realised there is nothing for him to gain from me anymore. I think the passive hoovers were to see if i would contact him.
I am in a much better place than last year!
I bought a really expensive (for me) 2019 diary and I plan on filling it up with an amazing year to come. I took the time to pick the right one, the cover looks old leather, and the smell of books and journals I love. I chose one that’s perfect for me.
There was a time I stopped reading. Wordsworth, Keats, Poe, Plath, just stopped because he ruined it for me. I stopped writing also.
But you know that fire that burns bright inside? I found it again. Even after discovering he has a new appliance. I felt nothing, nada, not a thing when I saw him flaunting on fb. I’ve come full circle. Fuck me i’m strong and reborn.
Shout out to HG and all of you beautiful beautiful former victims (taking back your lives!)
You can’t distinguish an inferno with a mere bottle of water narc.
As Braveheart (my fav film) said. You can take my life but you’ll never take my freedom!
2019 ladies and gents of this blog, it’s yours for the taking!
Late to the party! Spent my Christmas with my husband’s awesome family, my boys, and my 2 nephews we’re caring for (parents are overseas). NarcHag sent gifts for the nephews and we let them decide what to do with them (they are 12 and 17 and know the history). They both trashed the presents on grounds of finding it stupid that the Hag refuses to send my 2 boys anything. Was so tempting to take a picture and send it to her but that would only give her attention. Hopefully she’s sitting on her slowly growing mountain of debt being pissy cause no one wants to come hear about her merchandise hunting and watch her pose herself queen.
None of the choices matched my situation fully but i chose id be missing the narcissist. Im missing the dynamics of our relationship bc im on the partial shelf again. As always its a cycle. Despite understanding it it still is frusterating and upsetting. The cycle of being fully involved and then being placed on a partial shelf is completely unacceptable yet so many of us put up with it and settle for way less than we deserve. Ive on and off missed the memories with being off the shelf but am learning to move past it and carry on with my life. The hardest part has been when taken off the shelf bc it is awkward after being put on the shelf for a period of time like everythings normal and nothing has changed. Very bizarre behaviour but as we come to learn the narcissist thinks this is A-ok.
In regards to my narc mother she has tried to manipulate us into being around my narc brother but upon telling her no she decided we would not spend the holidays together. Thats ok by me and it actually freed up time to get more organized for christmas day. As usual she got angry and projected the damage shes caused onto me. That is her problem and hers alone.
Narc free christmas this year. The narc ex is probably in Chicago causing chaos.With the family as he did every year. May he eat too many cookies and gain 50 pounds. And the parent greater narc last year. Days before Christmas so irritable.When christmas came became elated. When everyone was so miserable with no tree or presents. This year invited me to a outing after he opened my mail. With a book I ordered by HG Escape how to beat the narcissist. I think he wanted to sort me out.
We spent Christmas torn because one of our family’s children is being held hostage still – a year since we have seen her – yet grateful that her Dad has taken enough of his power back to be able to still enjoy the love and support of his newest family – a huge improvement since last year!
Dear Mr Tudor,
Christmas Eve, Christmas Day n Boxing Day
“perfect in every way”
Luv Bubbles xx 🎄🤶🏻😘
This morning on the news one anchor asked another, “What about today? Does today have a name?” She answered, “no. I don’t think so.” Made me think about how you all call it Boxing Day.”
Here’s a joke you might like: on the 23rd, one of our nieces told the Pretzel, “Happy Christmas Adam, Uncle Pretzel!” He said, “What?” She answered, “Happy Christmas Adam! You know, how tomorrow is Christmas Eve? Well Adam came before Eve so today is Christmas Adam!”
Hope my senile mind can retain that till next December 23rd!. 😂
Oh gawd, your comment has made me chuckle! Precisely two years ago, I bought the LVN (US) ‘The Ladybird Book of Boxing Day’.
Cunt still didn’t get it. Either way.
It’s wicked to mock the afflicted…I know…I know…
That joke was so cute…it tickled my fancy, very clever … haha
Boxing Day …. yes originally for the upper class to give the poor deserving servants a boxed pressie and employers give bonuses and such
These days it’s a public holiday …. however greed always reigns supreme and it’s always about the proverbial dollar and so shops now open for the masses to fight for bargains (as if they haven’t spent enough before Xmas , however seeing as gift cards have been surveyed as the no 1 pressie ….. you get a better bang for your buck at the sales)
Instead I put on a scrumptious BBQ brunch for my immediate family with overflowing bubbles and mojitos playing card games (one Mr Tudor would luv) haha
Ps…… Your mind is very switched on Windstorm …. no fears there …. however justin ….. there’s always lovely K to the rescue 🤣
Hope you had a beaut Xmas
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
Yeah, here in the US there is no Boxing Day tradition since we’re descended from the poor servants who escaped the upper class and immigrated! 😝
Here the 26th is a regular workday for most, a major traveling day for many going home from family. It’s also a big day in the stores where hordes of people unhappy with the presents they got for Christmas bring their gifts back to exchange them for something they want more.
Returning presents is so big here that many people give the cashiers receipt along with the gift to make returning easier. I always give gift cards to those over 7 years old. Except my own children and their spouses. Their crass commercialism so annoyed me when they were teenagers that I instituted the policy of instead of giving them money (what they wanted and lots of it), I’d donate that money to a charity of their choice.
That idea went over like a lead balloon, but theyve bought into it pretty much over the years (they’re all in their 30’s now). This year between the 8 of them, we gave a whole pig to Heifer International, sponsored two poor area school children to get weekend food to take home on each Friday for a year and gave to a shelter for battered women. Those are gifts we can all be proud of. Much better than standing in line to return something or throwing it away.
Your niece’s comment about Christmas Adam is delightfully logical.
Are you familiar with comedian Spike Milligan? He loved the logic of his children’s minds.
One day his daughter was on the toilet, and another child needed to go, so knocked on the toilet door.
“I’m in here”, called out his daughter.
“Who’s that?”, enquired the one who had knocked.
“Someone else!”, came the clever reply from Spike’s daughter.
It makes me laugh. It made him laugh.
I just thought of a time pre-Christmas when my niece was about seven or eight years old. She sat beside me on the sofa and we pored over the contents of a toy catalogue.
Her kind little heart and mind were working to produce a long list of beneficiaries of her benevolence.
I loved it.
“I want to get that for (insert person’s name here)” was repeated as the pages were turned.
Finally, my heart so full of love, and wishing to protect her feelings, I said as gently as I could:
“But Darling, you don’t have any money”
Without missing a beat, she confidently looked up into my eyes and said:
“No. But YOU do!”
Ha ha ha ha!
How well she knew me!
Nothing good would I withhold from her and her little brothers.
Awwwwwwe …. you just reconfirmed what a beautiful lovely soul you are ….such fabulous compassionate and generous ideas
I thought I was “doing good” by donating under the Kmart Xmas tree 😂
At least this year we made sure all the “old single people” we know had a good Xmas…..even the “grizzly ol grumblebums” 🤣
You truly are amazing Windstorm
My heartfelt best wishes for 2019
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
“At least this year we made sure all the “old single people” we know had a good Xmas…..even the “grizzly ol grumblebums”
That’s a cause near and dear to my heart! Bless you dear for taking care of my fellow old single people and grizzly ol grumlebums! 😘
I’m becoming a grizzly ol grumblebum myself 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
And of course… Happy Holidays! My narc father is not coming to our family party for the first time in 15 years – since he left my mother. He is 75 and his new gf is 85 …She is jealous and rich very rich. My narc father is broke so …. He decided that it was better to stay with her than come to our family xmas eve. As far as my narc- last year I was in devaluation and kicked out of the nest and really mad at him- this year- he is around- as I said- he is in a mirroring new thing that he has never done to me in 2 years- but I am good- I have more emotional distance and dont want to be NC. So that it.
HG I was thinking about you … As my Narc is away on Holiday with his IPPS something strange is happening. He is starting to mimicking- mirroring with me. He has never done it in 2 years of relations.
I saw him before xmas – was unshelved ( lol)
if I say I dreamed of him – a couple days later he says he did- when I write a nice text he reply a couple hours later with similar text using similar word, when I explain a situation he says… me too I am the same. Looks like he found anew game. ??? You know my greater !!
Sure he’s a Greater? I’m not sure I would expect that kind of silly behaviour from a Greater, to be honest.
I have seen this in MRN’s though…
Hello Renarde ! He is greater – I had at least 7 or 8 sessions with HG when I was in hell with him and triangulated with another iPSS Narc woman .
Indeed he had some mid range behaviour in the past especially some putty party.
His spectrum is large.
But you are right as he never played that mirroring thing – it got me puzzled.
“His spectrum is large”
Well now you’re just bragging lol.
NA I should have added … as large as his harem !! :)) I remember HG telling he had mid-range behaviours – more texts mid-range sometimes. But he is definitely a greater elite.
Merry Christmas to all, especially HG! Five months NC and going strong despite a B’day and Xmas email hoover. Staying N free this Xmas!!! When do they give up attempting hoovers when no response is all exN receives I wonder?
When do they give up attempting hoovers?
“The hoovers don’t stop until one of us dies.”
spending Christmas partially free and partially bound by an exchange of my children…
Windstorm – I’m hoping, for your sake, that your choice ends up being Aquaman…and you know, because Jason Momoa.
Nope. He said Aquaman was too long, and it was over 2 1/2 hours. We went to Spiderman. I did get a laugh when he leaned over after about 10 minutes and whispered, “Did you know this was going to be a cartoon?” 😝
Hehe – Windstorm, well I hope your movie was enjoyable regardless!
The movie was tolerable. Only fell asleep twice. I’m telling all who ask that, “It was ok, but just too much “realism” for me.” Ha, ha! There was ZERO realism in any way – except that it was very comic book-like!
Afterwards we babysat our oldest son’s two little girls (5&3) so that he and our DIL could go see it. That was fun! You might think the Pretzel would be no use in babysitting, but no. Of course he never got off the sofa, but he would occasionally say helpful things like, “The baby’s standing on the dinner table.” Or “I hear the baby playing in the bathroom.” Lol!
Well, I wish I had read your review earlier!
Just so happens I’m on my way back from seeing the new Spider-Man too. Intended to see Bumblebee but timing wasn’t in the cards (wanted to see Aquaman but that wasn’t you happening for me either), logistically, Spider-Man was the only good option…I only fell asleep *once* – haha! Yes, I agree; very comic book-like…but the visuals were stylistically beautiful – if a bit jarring. I used to watch the original Spider-Man cartoon with my Dad when I was young, so it was interesting to see how far ‘Spider-Man’ has come.
Does your ‘sensitivity’ – other than emotions – also include fast-paced animation, loud sound and bright lights? The dizzying pace and funky animation in that movie made me a bit nauseous a couple of times…
Glad to hear your Pretzel is good for something a little more than intellectual conversation!
“Does your ‘sensitivity’ – other than emotions – also include fast-paced animation, loud sound and bright lights?”
Yes and no. I can take them in small doses. Loud sounds are hardest for me, then bright lights. Don’t recall animation really ever bothering me, unless it flickers. The animation in Spider-Man, especially towards the end just was a jumble to me. Hard to pick out enough details to understand where they were or what was happening. In those cases I assume it’s just supposed to be surreal and I focus on the prettiest colors and enjoy them. Colored light is one of my most favorite things! Lol!
Thanks for your answer. Yes, bright lights are first for me then loud sounds, also animation never really bothered me but this movie takes CG to another level…the jumbled scenes really are surreal and psychedelic. (Re: coloured lights – agreed, and one of the reasons that I love this time of the year!)
I don’t know why this movie made me a bit nauseous but then again…maybe it was a combination of splurging on the ice cream bar and allowing a young child to convince me that ‘Nerds’ are *really* good on eggnog flavoured ice cream – now that’s *psychedelic.*
I understand your reaction to the movie. It really was sensory overload there near the end. My mind pretty well just shut down and couldn’t make sense of what was happening and I focused on the colors.
“The baby’s playing on the table!”
Ha ha ha ha!
I have tears from laughing!
Next comment from the sofa would be “the baby’s on the roof”, or “the baby’s up in the tree outside”, or “the baby just drank a whole bottle of red cordial”.
Just as well Super Grandmaman was there to swoop in in the nick of time.
My brother’s littlest boy turned seven on Christmas Day, and so he showed me all the design features of his birthday cars. Wheels were turned and spun, and all doors opened and closed. I sat and admired him, giving him all of my attention as remote control cars were driven over the floorboards and round my feet.
We giggled in each other’s arms and snuggled. It was heavenly.
I’ve been thinking about the discussion on the new Spider-Man movie with Windstorm and in my admiration of the level of realistic facial expressions in the CG of this film I realize that this movie begins to bridge the ‘uncanny valley’ effect. Especially if you compare, say ‘The Polar Express’ where the voice actors are good but the eyes and facial expressions of the animated characters are slightly off (and as a result they are bit disconcerting to some viewers) but in the new Spider-Man the subtlety of human expressions is given much more attention.
Thinking about this plus, the wealth of CG movies out there for children, and that children (who are exposed to a significant amount of media, movies and TV) learn a lot about social interaction from such exposure brings me to a question for you…
Do you think that the declining amount of genuine social interaction – whether it be in family/social situations and in popular media – which offers less means to observe (and learn from) real human emotional reaction affects the narcissist’s ability to learn the expressions of fake empathy and, therefore, hinder their ability to ‘blend’ in?
Or will they just adapt in ways to ensure their fuel provision doesn’t suffer?
Interesting point. I think it will have a degree of impact on certain of our kind but not extensively. Those who have a small fuel matrix to begin with have less ability or inclination to seek to mimic anyway, there will be a number on the cusp who might ordinarily have had more social engagement (thus more opportunity to mimics) who now will not and therefore their opportunity to mimic will be reduced.
Thank-you for your response.
Wouldn’t that go both ways? Maybe non-narc children growing up much less exposed to genuine human love and interactions might be easier for narcissists to fool?
That makes sense…it seems likely to affect both kinds. I definitely think that the widespread use of technology in general (movies, video games, devices) contributes to the lack of ability to read social cues and body language in others around us. It appears that it might, longterm, affect all forms of empathy.
I spent my Christmas with family, including my mother, who is a victim narc. It was a small and casual, relaxed affair. All in all it was a good day and things went well.
Knowledge, awareness and stronger emotional resistance make all the difference. My mother’s manipulativeness and her wanting to dominate don’t work on me anymore and I am now much better at asserting myself. I openly disagree with her or dismiss her attempts to control and do it in a matter-of-fact way without emotion. She tries to keep pushing certain buttons but it doesn’t work.
This blog and HG’s explanations and advice have been invaluable in getting to this point. Knowledge, understanding and self-awareness are the key to overcoming the difficulties and that’s what HG provides with clarity. The awareness and learning gained from all the commenter’s experiences and views has helped greatly too.
Merry Christmas to you HG! I hope you have a wonderful day and festive season. Thank You very much for your diligence and intelligence, and for providing the knowledge, answers and help you give us all year round. Wishing you all the best! You have created quite a legacy already and I look forward to learning even more in the New Year!
Merry Christmas WiserNow. I hope to eventually be where you are with your mom where she can’t push your buttons and you can have a peaceful time with her. Thank you for the discussions I’ve had with you here. I really enjoyed your thoughts and the questions you raise make me think deeper. 💕
Merry Christmas to you too mommypino! Thank you for your message. I’ve enjoyed your comments too and thank you for your discussions about your different family members and your experiences. All of our experiences are different, however, there are many similarities and I relate to many things you say. It has helped me very much to learn from you and from others too. From our discussions and even from our disagreements, we can see different perspectives and it can help us to understand things better and see things that we couldn’t see or know before. So, thank you for that 😊💕
I hope your relationship with your mother keeps on improving. My own relationship with my mother is better now, mainly because I know why she is the way she is. I have stopped hoping that she can or will change, so I no longer feel the need to try and “fix” or improve our relationship. I still feel empathy for her, but it’s a different kind of quieter or hidden empathy. I am more accepting and don’t get emotional and angry or try to change her.
It is easier to have a peaceful time with my mother now, but there is peace only if I am “on guard” with her and I keep an emotional distance. So, peace comes with being aware and resistant. Now, I am careful not to get too involved in any family drama and to stay away more often. Yes, it’s more peaceful, but it’s also more shallow and not as close and open as it used to be. I’d much rather have peace though, compared to how it was before.
Have a lovely Christmas mommypino, and a Happy New Year too! Thanks again and all the best to you and your family 🙂
WiserNow, I love what you described as “a quieter and hidden empathy.” That is probably what I need to work on. Thank you WiserNow! 💕
You’re welcome mommypino. Thank you also for your messages and for your advice and thoughts. Growing up with these kinds of parents really shapes the way you think and behave. It’s not easy to change that and I think it stays with you in some way whatever you try to do. You can improve your reactions though and make it easier for yourself in general. Thanks again and best wishes to you.
Mommypino and Wisernow
I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the specific challenges of dealing with a victim-N mother. I know how it is for me with a victim-N sister and her husband acting as her extension attack dog. He is her Hoover executor-in-chief.
I am anticipating future discussions with her children and thinking about the main issues in the dynamic. I want to understand their particular type of inevitable emotional pain.
A few years ago, I was at my sister’s house for Christmas. I was enjoying time with her eldest boy who has Asperger’s.
I am sooo proud of him. He was telling me his thoughts about certain subjects, and he was insightful and articulate. I was glowing with love and pride for him.
I told him “I love hearing your views on (insert subject here), you expressed yourself really well, and what you said was really interesting…”
He immediately turned to his parents and said “why don’t you ever say things like that to me?”
I had touched a nerve.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I preferred my Lesser N- mother to my victim-N mid-ranger sister any day of the week. There were things I admired about my Mum, but I have lost any respect I had for my sister. My sister is smarmy to the point of creepiness at times. My Mum was more eccentric.
I do think that my Mum could have been different if she hadn’t been kept down by her Lesser Dad, and spiteful mother. She was the only daughter, her brothers were favoured above her, especially educationally.
Her intellect wasn’t cultivated in childhood, she went back to school as an adult, and went to university when I was in grade six. I greatly admire her for that. She grew up with domestic violence, (& sexual abuse) and I read studies that show changes to the child’s brain ifrom trauma n that environment. That was before I knew anything about Narcissism of course. I always wanted to understand her, and my Dad.
Narcissism is one thing.
The victim-N is a whole toxic dynamic by itself, isn’t it?
How are things with your Dad? What kind of dynamic was there growing up?
Everything with mommypino’s mother was intensified for her being the only child, and not having her Dad as a constant presence while growing up.
How do you now mentally prepare to be around your Mum WiserNow?
What thoughts have you had about preparing some statements you can practice and use when your Mom is trying to manipulate you?
I love hearing useful phrases that I can practise and make my own. What have you road-tested?
To answer your questions, the specific challenges of a victim-N mother that I found affected me the most revolved around her needs being the most important no matter what else was happening, at the emotional expense of everyone else. My mother is a mid-ranger, so there was a kind of psychological blackmail and emotional manipulation going on in a subtle way all the time.
When I was growing up, I thought she was an excellent mother because we were well cared for, had meals cooked everyday, our house was clean and tidy, and she cared a lot about our education and well-being. We were never physically punished or threatened. On the surface, it all seemed to be a happy family life. The thing is that she also needed a lot of control over what everyone was doing. In order for life to run smoothly, it was her way or the highway!
What I couldn’t see clearly when I was younger is that there was a lack of validation and emotional support. My mother didn’t have (and still doesn’t) the patience to listen to anyone else and offer support and understanding. That would mean she would have to make somebody else more important than herself. She wanted the spotlight and she was the one who needed the understanding and support, even from her young children. She had a way of evoking sympathy that fed into her having control. She would tell us about her life growing up, about different things that happened and these things always had a very “woe is me” aspect about them. She was always the victim, always the poor little girl that needed love, sympathy, care and support. Everyone else was to blame. Everyone else should have and could have known better. She was always the blameless victim, even though others around her grew up with much the same conditions.
As a child, I loved my mother and I did feel empathy and compassion for her and her experiences. I didn’t see at the time that these feelings meant that I was ignoring my self. My own needs and wants took second place, or no place at all. In fact, I felt guilty and selfish if I put myself first and expected something for myself. I was a child and was expected to have the sensibility and responsibility to support my mother and her emotional needs. Also, I was the scapegoat, so my opinions and needs were almost always invalidated or belittled in some way. I felt small, unimportant and inconsequential.
Also, my mother liked to provoke me. It wouldn’t take much for her to make me upset or angry or jealous of my sibling. She knew the right buttons to press. At the time, I felt guilty and angry with myself afterwards for getting upset or losing my temper. It took a very long time for me to see that it wasn’t my fault and, as my mother, she should have had compassion and should have steered the conversation away from me getting upset or angry. She was manipulative and emotionally abusive.
I can understand why your nephew said to his parents “why don’t you ever say things like that?”. You validated him. You made him feel recognised and appreciated for what he did and for who he is. You gave him pride in himself as an individual and in his own abilities. You shone the spotlight on him for a little while in a genuine, loving way and he soaked it up like a sponge. I think that is very important for children. It gives them confidence, a healthy outlook, and inspires them to believe in themselves.
When it comes to my father, I’m pretty sure he’s co-dependent. I think he has empathy and is conscientious, but he’s also emotionally dependent on my mother and I think relies on her control. They’ve been together for many years, and it’s now easier to relinquish control to her, because it makes for a more peaceful life for him and gives him reassurance. When I was young (child and teenager) they fought like cats and dogs and there always seemed to be some kind of turmoil or disagreement in the house. Back then, I think my father had more of a defiant attitude, but my mother is relentless in her quest to dominate and I think he eventually learned that it’s futile to fight with her. In some ways, I think they are both stuck emotionally, like being in a child-like state in terms of their emotions and thought-processes.
I think I harbour both compassion and resentment for my father. I feel sorry for him, but at the same time, I am angry at him for sacrificing his children’s emotional well-being because it was easier for him to do that than effectively stand up to his wife. I am angry at them both for making the facade more important than their children’s happiness and fulfillment. But this anger doesn’t change the situation and doesn’t help me to live a better life. You can’t change the past and as the saying goes, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is madness. So, it’s better to change yourself and the way you react to things. It’s taken me a long time to learn this, but I think I have finally started to learn 😉
Caroline R, If I have the ability to choose what kind of matrinarc I can have, I would have chosen a middle or upper lesser than any mid-ranger. If I’m comparing my lesser mom to my mod-range sister or her mid-range mom based on my siblings’ stories that they shared with me, I still would have picked my mom. Although I wish my mom dressed better and was conscious about manners and social graces, so I would have prepared that she is not a lower lesser. I just prefer getting tirades over silent treatments. Tirades still gave me an impression when I was younger that she cared. My half siblings’ mom said their mom would rather lock herself up in her craft room and make amazing quilts instead of interacting with them. It sounded like they got silent treatments or got ignored if they weren’t pleasing her. At least my lesser mom always gave me attention. And even though she only finished fifth grade and couldn’t help me with anything regarding my studies, she was always clear that she wanted me to do well in school and she encouraged me with my talents like when I was into drama and school plays, she actually watched me rehearse and gave suggestions on how to improve my acting. I would prefer that over silent treatments or nor getting involved at all. But that is just based on the narcs in my life. Maybe other mid-rangers and lessers are different.
I will have to think about your other question. That is a really good homework for me since I would prefer things to be less eruptive between me and my mom.
I have to say your mom is indeed admirable for surviving what she went through. That is probably she had to be a narcissist, she needed the strength to cope with it and had to shed off the emotions that make people vulnerable.
I agree with the victim narc, but I think being a victim narc combined with being a mid-ranger is what made your sister like that to her son. For some reason, I just think that Lessers are more obsessed with controlling which could mean that they become very active with giving their kids attention, whereas mid-rangers tend to be more into ignoring. It is sad that he does not have a mom who encourages him but he is blessed to have you in his life.
I so very much appreciate the time you’ve taken to answer me, and explain these very difficult things in such detail.
You expressed yourself so well, and you’ve given me many things to think about. Thank you for your feedback about my nephew, your opinion is valuable. The memories you have of your mum’s behavior, and the general feeling that produced of all the energy flowing to her basically, and the dynamic within the family with your dad look familiar to me. The emotional blackmail! The inability to give emotional support, yes, they are all familiar pieces of cardboard furniture that is the dolls’ house of my sister’s life.
I’m sorry that you didn’t have the loving words and attention in childhood that you should have. You were sacrificed on the altar of the façade too.
My Dad still worships the myth of the perfect family. He still aspires to it.
I had lunch with him today, and there was so much I would have liked to say. I did begin to mention something and it made him so uncomfortable, he invalidated me, and shut it down quicker than you could spray a fly.
I had to be comfortable bearing the fact that we can’t be as close as I’d like to be. I had to adjust my expectations, let him be, and not let it irritate me.
So well do I recognize the feelings of compassion mixed with the memories of pain that you describe. Wanting to understand and cut them some slack. WiserNow, you’re a person of courage and insight, and you have a beautiful heart.
I wish you peaceful sleep tonight.
Thank you very much for your reply and for your very kind words. That’s lovely of you to say and I appreciate it very much. Thank you also for asking questions in the first place and for your interest in the answers. It helped me to write it all and to think about it. To me, you have a beautiful and very warm, generous and open heart.
It sounds like your parents and family of origin had many of the same issues and dynamics. I read another one of your comments (to Windstorm I believe) that described your mother as a “force of nature” and the way your father would “scurry” around her, in a bid to placate her rages and appease her. I can relate to that very much. These “Queens” who ran their households like kingdoms complete with subjects who would have to cater to their whims are really something, aren’t they?!
I think you have done wonderfully well to retain an open, loving and generous attitude and spirit after living through all of that as a child. You have a warm and giving nature and sense of humour which is really lovely, so well done to you! 🙂
As you say, it’s a case of “adjusting your expectations” and accepting your parents for who they are and learning to not let it affect you. So, even later in life, I find it’s a case of “adjusting” in order to accept what can’t be changed. It’s a constant need to overcome painful emotions, although the pain becomes more of a dull ache later in life. I’m sorry you have to do that instead of just getting what you want/would like. At the same time, I can see how it has made you an enriched soul with greater depths of compassion and understanding and the ability to recognise things that most people cannot.
Thank you Caroline R. It’s a pleasure to communicate with you and to discuss these issues with someone who can truly understand. All the best to you. Have a wonderful New Year and I hope 2019 brings you many good things!❤
I’m sorry, your comment about your mother being a “force of nature” was to mommypino (below) and not to Windstorm (as I mentioned above). I replied after reading a list of different comments in this thread and others and got a bit confused.
thank you for your encouraging, lovely words to me!
I appreciate your lengthy, thoughtful reply too.
The point that you made about your mom’s tirades has given me food for thought. I realise that I feel the same way. You’ve given words to my feelings. The over-attention and anger is MUCH better than being ignored, much better than being given smug silent treatments.
At least with anger you’re being LOOKED at. At least with anger you feel like you EXIST. Silent treatments are shaming to the core for a child. My Dad was ignored. Maybe this was part of the magnetic attraction for him to my overly emotional (drama creating) mum. He was fueled by her attention and bossiness. He felt like he existed in 3D rather than 2D. She was fueled by making him scurry and placate her after she’d rage and scream, and by making him give her lots of positive fuel in the form of compliments, words of love, and physical touch.
She’d often explode at him just as he arrived home from work. She’d look gorgeous with glamorous clothes and make up, hair fluffed and styled, fragranced to entice, she’d draw him into a lovers’ clinch, and then BAM! the hammer would drop. Rage explosion! Talk about push pull behavior, and walking on egg shells. We’d all scurry too.
My mum was a force of nature in many ways. She loved having the rest of the mere mortals trailing in her wake, including her children. She was the Queen and everyone else was just the entourage. My Dad said he’d never marry again because no one would replace her. I understand that now. He’s hopelessly addicted to Ns as we all are.
as I read the comments I made about anger in the third paragraph, I wonder is this similar to how it feels for you?
You’ve mentioned that negative fuel is more potent and makes you feel more powerful than positive fuel. Getting the very patient person to snap is a power trip for you.
Is this how it feels for you to be ignored? That you don’t exist?
I think I am beginning to understand you a bit more.
Sorry about what happened when you had lunch with your dad. It does hurt when your feelings get invalidated. I feel that it seems to be more common with men. That happened to me and my dad to. Both my dad and my husband are not narcs but they don’t seem to be that good when it comes to being empathic.
Do you think that your father might also be aware of his shortcomings to you and your siblings which is why he shut you down really fast? I was wondering if that was his way of protecting himself from the guilt and the shame? I noticed with my husband, no matter how constructive I try to formulate my criticism he has a hard time taking it. It was the same with my dad.
I’ll be home alone with my youngest son and we will enjoy our first Christmas just “THE DYNAMIC DUO” our title since our lives changed drastically leaving us to carry on losing our entire family. We thought the pain alone would kill us both. GOD MOVED IN OUR LIVES IN A MIGHTY WAY ❤ We are doing wonderful. Merry Christmas to everyone 🎁🎄❤🙌🙂
Thanks for sharing your experience with us.
I wish you peace and love for Christmas, for you and your precious son.
I’m Australian, so Christmas day is happening now. It’s early evening and I’m resting after a huge and beautiful lunch.
I’m happy. Feeling peace. Feeling free and empowered. It’s been a beautiful and special Christmas, lots of love from friends and family.
Kindnesses to myself. I accept the past, and I accept it wasn’t ever going to morph into the love I thought it was.
I used to feel like I was dying inside, and I couldn’t work out what I did wrong. I learned the ropes here though, and I know why this man I adored turned out to be the most hurtful and painful relationship in my life.
But I’m in no contact. And I genuinely don’t want him in my life. I have peace now, self esteem and happiness. I’ve moved, made new friends, back into my fitness and I’m going out socially. I’m feeling loved.
Merry Christmas everyone- especially HG. Life is full of blessings and this Christmas- I have seen…and felt them. Xxx
🎄⭐️🎄 I’m so grateful xx
Told him not to come and reinstated no contact 3 days ago. He turned up tonight and sat outside my house like a weirdo stalker. After 30 minutes of sitting there, knowing I was here alone, having seen me look out of the window more than once, he got out and put my gift on doorstep, without knocking the door. I thought he’d go but he stayed out there another 10 minutes. Then he left. It felt like psychological warfare but I’ve had doubts since. Maybe I’m wrong about all this narcissist stuff and he’s just a guy with problems and I’m being unfair. Maybe I’m turning my back on the love of my life for no reason. God, this hurts. I just want to talk to him, to see him. No, that’s not true, I want to be with him, be back together, I want my friends and family to be wrong about his negative effect on my mental health and the creepiness of what he’s done tonight, maybe it’s romantic and the stalkerish feeling was me being silly. I want him to be real.
Congratulations! That was a big step! I’m sorry you are hurting and am sorry things didn’t turn out the way you hoped! Whether he is a narcissist or just a jerk, no man should impact any aspect of you negatively. Disregarding and disrespecting your wishes by showing up is not romantic; sitting out there hoping that because he did something means you should change your mind, regardless of how you feel, is not romantic. If he is acting this way now to you, please know that it only gets worse as time goes on, not better. There are therapists if he wants to work on his problems; you can’t help him and love him enough to heal those. It sounds like you have family and friends who are trying to help. That is great!
I understand, from HG, that those doubts are emotional thinking. That took great strength to cancel and to not open the door! You have this! It will take one day at a time!
Merry Christmas to you, HG, and to all on here!
I’m sorry that was wrong of me to call names! What I should have said was “or is just acting in a jerkish manner.” I’m sorry!
To offer strength to your resolve… Had he JUST left a gift, that would not have been Narc-ish. Even if he waited outside the house for 1-2 minutes deciding what to do, that would not have been Narc-ish. The 30 minutes is plenty creepy and not at all respectful of your space. The real Narc-ish bit is leaving the gift AND THEN waiting 10 extra minutes to see if you came out. Like a hunter who set a trap, baited it and then waited for the little bunny to take the bait so he could pounce. THAT is super Narc-ish. It gets better. Stay strong!
Don’t go back…. Stay strong… x
Check out the video “how your emotional thinking creates excuses ‘
No. What he did/is doing was/is stalking. It’s harassment and it’s also Domestic Violence. In the UK; that’s now a crime.
*Maybe I’m wrong about all this narcissist stuff and he’s just a guy with problems and I’m being unfair.*
This is why you are in cognitive dissonance. You are trying to hold two conflicting views of him in your mind at once. The danger of being in CD is that it is ALWAYS the first explanation you believe, in which case that he’s a normal guy who has ‘issues’. The brain pretty much always believes #1 and junks #2. Parity restored.
You were straight enough in your own mind to go NC. That’s a big deal for you. Your F&F are all saying the same thing, as I suspect, we all will do here.
I empathise with you strongly on the considerable hurt and pain you must be undergoing. Layer on top of that he is now moving into your sphere 2, unannounced. That’s reprehensible behaviour in my book.
The only way to stop the pain is to remove him now from your life. Rip off the band-aid littlebit and just go through the fire.
It only hurts this way the once.
Your intuition is working perfectly to protect you.
Don’t second guess it.
I see his actions as disrespecting your boundaries and your “no”.
He is trying to intimidate you and coerce you into further contact, using your vulnerability against you.
Reading your words gives me the same creeped-out feeling I’ve had from Ns in my life, both N-friends, my sister and her husband, and one of my ex-Ns. I had it from an obsessed normal ex-boyfriend too.
Take it hour by hour if need be.
Whatever works for you to win.
Don’t second guess yourself, his behaviour is/was not romantic. You know this (even if only unconsciously). Your bar needed to be raised (as you did in going no contact) if you believe that just because he may not be a narcissist, you should still accept a “guy with problems” such as he has. Just because a guy is not an actual narcissist doesn’t mean he’s not an asshole and that you need to take on his issues. He might be less of an asshole, but you deserve better than that, and are honouring yourself by aiming higher in the raising of your bar. You did good. Stay no contact.
He’s a narc. Everything he’s said and done over Christmas has been in one of H.G’s article at some point. Even berating me for being scared as it wasn’t creepy, it was “classic Romeo and Juliet” – the narcs’ concept of love is cribbed from books and films.
All over Christmas he’s been telling me how much he loves me but he’s scared of me, he wants to be buried with me, nobody understands me like he does, we are not like normal society, people say he should move on because im so abusive to him but dammit I am his soul mate, BUT…
He forgot to mention the new girlfriend. I had a hunch, he’d been seen with this woman months ago (she was just a “friend” then), so I phrased it as a fact, as if I already knew about the relationship. Its easy to manipulate an MRN when you know which buttons to press. They are so predictable. Apparently she is so smart and she really understands him, she knows he sat outside my house, she even saw my gift before I did (even though i doubt it’s true, that thought made me feel particularly ill) and she knows he still loves me and she would be ok with him and me being “friends” so he can look out for me, it was so sad I spent Christmas on my own – by choice. I had invitations, I don’t like Christmas, I opted out and spent the day cuddling my cat, watching films and eating chocolate. But that is not acceptable to the narc, big narc will provide little woman with magical Christmas- he did the same on my birthday when I said I didn’t want to go away for a trip or have birthday cake etc I just wanted to go shopping then for a pizza or something after my birthday. But that’s not special birthday activities. Yes, that’s the sodding point. He was doing it for him, not for me. Hence the tenper tantrum when I made it clear that his “efforts” hadn’t erased the bad memories I associate with my birthday (Apparently a continental breakfast and late checkout should make up for childhood trauma).
As horrible as it was to find out about her, it gave me the certainty about what I was dealing with that I needed to refuse to see him and re-establish NC. He’d isolated me and barred me from his social circle. From H.G’s work I knew there was likely a new source being groomed and paraded around that he didn’t want me to know about. But I didn’t believe it, not him. We had something special, something cosmic, something soul deep, right?!
And I feel bad for her. You’d think I’d want to rip her eyes out, but all I can think is how the poor cow doesn’t know what is about to happen to her. I’d try and tell her but I know he’s made me out to be in need of a straight jacket to everyone he knows and he’d only use it in a pity play to bind her tighter.
So I told him I had enough evidence, since I got him to admit in a message (in writing! Stupid man) to it being him sitting outside watching my house, to go to the police and that I would do just that if he came anywhere near me again. Oh, and I also told him he doesn’t have as many friends as he thinks, as I’ve been fucking one of them since we split up and he describes him as more of an acquaintance than a friend. I know that will drive him mad – it happens to be true, too!
*And littlebit drops mike, nails boards over the unguarded window he crawled in through then exits stage left*
This is great, littlebit! Wham bam! Good for you!
Glad that puke is in the rear view. Now stomp on that pedal.
ha ha ha!
I’m so proud of you.
Very satisfying end to the story for our heroine littlebit.
BTW I wish I could have gotten my ex-N mid-ranger to confess, but he’s cagier than a semi trailer full of cages that has been backed up to ‘Cages Are Us’, driven by Nicolas Cage.
Thank you for the Merry Christmas HG and for a poll to boot! I wish you a very Merry Christmas filled with lots of treats!
It will be the usual Christmas of exhaustion.
This year, thanks to you showing me how you all think, I could catch myself from falling into the net of tricks meant to drive me to hysterics by the time the kids arrived.
I just about tripped up when he ate one of the treats I had made specially for our daughter.
I didn’t screech, didn’t yell, like most ladies of the household would be able to get away with….I just said, “AW,that was for Christmas” That was finally the dam that broke and the f bomb started. All the spew about too many presents and all about “my” Christmas.
I caught myself as he stormed off for a 3rd nap of avoidance.
I almost broke, I almost was the fuel you speak of when they aren’t even in the room anymore.
I was getting so steamed, I almost packed the whole Christmas tree and all and was ready to move it up the street to a house of a friend’s.
Id show him, wants to ruin Christmas for the 40th year, does he?
I pulled it together, HG. I turned in the Celtic tunes and threw on the vacuum and went about tidying up for “my” Christmas, just as if he wasn’t in existance anymore.
Tomorrow is a new day and time for giving and forgiving.
Merry Christmas HG. Thank you for all your gifts of knowledge you have given us all this year!!
It’s a No Contact Christmas for me, thanks to HG. Happy Christmas!
No narcissists for me this Christmas. Just enjoying time to myself and family. HG is the only narcissist I wished well.
No contact; I don’t care. Feels good.
I am a shelf IPSS to a MLV narc whose mom is his NIPS. I am not invited for Christmas, but for Christmas Eve because the rest of the family will be there (normals). He was cordial. The rest of his family love me. He used triangulation in the conversations this year….again. Great poll, HG. Thank you!
Thank you HG for letting so many comments through this Christmas Eve and for even organising a great poll! You must realise how much this helps us in these kinda unheimish Xmas days!
As for the poll – I am looking forward to a nice narcissist-free Christmas! Much better then last year.
Thank you so much for all your answers to my specific questions here. I appreciate enormously that you answer them. Wishing you the best HG!