The Narcissist’s Understanding and Use of Tears – Part Two

TEARS - PART TWO

 

Having ascertained that the commission of tears arising from physical and/or emotional hurt resulted in a sympathetic reaction from certain people, I committed this to memory. I have rarely encountered much physical pain, enjoying good health and my profession being one where one is at most at risk of a paper cut rather than an errant chainsaw, collapsing ceiling or chemical ingestion. The early conditioning that I have been subjected to, as I know understand, appears to have resulted in me being impervious to many emotional injuries that others suffer from. Even the horrendous sensations which arise from my wounding as a consequence of criticism does not cause the tears to fall. Instead, I must focus on repairing the wound through retreat or the instigation of fury in order to gather fuel. The attention this requires means that I do not suffer the immediate reaction of becoming upset. I must feign upset in order to attract the required sympathy and in doing so I use that issued sympathy in order to bring about the control I require over the subject.

My tuition in the art and use of crying later embraced a different catalyst and one which has served to drive me ever onwards and upwards. I have many gifts and of those the one that was cherished most by my father was my academic ability. As I have mentioned beforehand, he was a very intelligent man, well-read and with an interest in the world at large, something which be bestowed on all his offspring. This served him well in both his careers of commerce and then academia. His was the steady hand at the tiller of our academic progress and he sought to steer a path through the choppy waters of my mother’s ambitions for us, our own desires and what he felt would serve us best. The three, as might you expect, were not always compatible.

I excelled at school which naturally resulted in my progression to sixth form college and I was always destined for university. Naturally it was to the most prestigious that I was directed towards and I achieved admission whereupon in such a fertile environment I began to flex my tendrils as I embraced my dark art, but that is a tale for another time. Alongside this I flourished at my chosen discipline and eventually I graduated with a double first. It was this achievement which Dr E honed in on in one of our discussions.

“So a double first, quite the achievement,” he remarked. I nodded. He was not wrong.

“What did your parents think about it?” he asked.

“My friends once they had their results went racing away to telephone their parents to let them know the outcome. I didn’t.”

“Why?”

“It had already been arranged that I was meeting my parents for dinner that evening and I would tell them my degree result once we ordered.”

“What did you think of that arrangement? Weren’t you keen to tell your parents sooner of your success?”

“I suppose so but I knew there was little point. Even if I had tried to telephone them, nobody would have answered. My mother would have deliberately absented the house so I could not reach them so as to avoid spoiling the anticipation at dinner.”

“So this arrangement was at your mother’s behest?”

“Of course. Who else? If I achieved the expected outcome the evening would pass pleasantly, if I did not, I would be subjected to a lengthy cross-examination unable to avoid it by putting the telephone down.”

“I see. It was fortuitous then that you achieved such an excellent result.”

“Fortune had nothing to do with it. This dinner was placed in the diary as soon as my mother knew when the examination results would be posted. It was a further incentive for me to achieve what was expected of me.”

Dr E nodded and made a note.

“How did the meal progress then? How did they react to news of your achievement?”

“Once our orders had been placed and the waiter walked away, my mother turned to me and asked ‘Well?’ I responded with, ‘I obtained a double first’ and she answered by saying, ‘As expected. I will make the call,’ and she left the table to telephone the other family members to let them know, probably her brother first of all out of them all.”

“No mention of well done or congratulations?” asked Dr E.

I shook my head.

“And your father?” he asked.

“My father waited until my mother was out of earshot and he reached across and placed his hand on my arm and said, “Well done HG, very well done, that is a fantastic outcome. I know just how hard you have had to work for that result. It is a magnificent result, truly outstanding. I am so very proud of you son, very proud indeed,” and then as he said the word proud his voice cracked and I looked up into his eyes and I could see that he was crying. I had never seen my father cry before. Ever. I had seen him concerned, downcast, worried and so much more, but never the tears. His face was fixed with a huge smile and he tried to speak again but he was overcome with pride. Pride for me. Just me. I had not seen anything like it.”

“How did you feel about him showing such pride for you?”

“I was taken aback but then I felt this surge through me and it felt amazing. It was visceral and ever so powerful as I continued to look at him, the tears filling his eyes and he kept nodding. His hand patted my arm, I can still picture it now. He wasn’t able to speak but the look on his face and that nodding told me that somehow he felt that the job was done, the mission had been accomplished and he was proud of me for doing so. I have never forgotten that moment.”

“Why?” asked Dr E.

“Because the way I felt when I saw my father cry tears of pride at my achievement made me want to see that again. The sense of power that he imbued in me, his praise, his pride, his adoration of my achievement was so edifying that he made me strive even harder. Oh, my mother thinks she is the driving force behind my success and it would be wrong to say she has not been. She has been a huge influence but from that point onwards, my postgraduate achievement, my securing employment and advancement through the hierarchy to where I am now and also in terms of what the future may bring has been driven by my father. I wanted to feel that power again and for that to happen I wanted to see those tears of pride again. So I worked damn hard. I never knew that pride would make someone cry. I never knew that someone’s proud tears would make me feel so powerful.”

“I see. Did you see those tears of pride again from your father?”

I felt the first flicker of the ignition of my fury at this question.

“No. Once again something special to me was taken from me.”

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33 Comments

  1. I had a chilling revelation out of nowhere. Your story mirrors my narc’s(#2). All these years I blamed his deceased father; whom I never met. But it was not he that created my narc, it was the mother. I remember all the pieces now, all the clues, the history, the cruel words, triangulation. She fooled me too.

  2. Your father sounds like a wonderful man HG. But he should have protected you.
    You are a wonderful man and a great man.

  3. HG , Maybe you just didn’t see the tears . Maybe he tried to hide them . If he cried like that for you before , then I’m sure just thinking of you when he was alone ….would bring him to tears. Or , your mother would say something negative to him when she saw him cry …for you ? Because …perhaps she wanted him to know you were just like her. I cry just thinking of my children’s lives , specially when I am alone looking at their pictures. I make sure I tell them also . I bet your mother didn’t want you to see your Father cry for you.

  4. Parent dynamics are interesting, as is knowing a little of your makeup.
    As I read I was curious if u went to private boarding school?
    Hard to imagine, but when I left the military, I taught at an all-boys-British-style military academy for several yrs. Boarding school.
    I know this scene. Seems like this would be your scholastic experience.
    I had the best time ever, actually.

  5. I can imagine how and it makes me feel horrible; for lack of a better word. HG You have such a gift for eliciting poignant emotions by closing with a few powerful words; summing up an entire story.

      1. Of course with my my natural hybrid mess of codependent, carrier, super, bipolar, cptsd, weird sense of humored, switchy, thought bubble, solution focused, overly analytical but sometimes amazingly healthy, and fascinated with fractured psyches self is wildly coming up with ways to fix all this with a collective effort where nobody (undeserved) is harmed. You did get ripped off. Since I’m no longer involved romantically with a narcissist I am further able to study and be amazed by them and the amazing (albeit disturbing) coping mechanism developed in relation to trauma when the mind has that mechanism and the switch is then flipped. I was fascinated before but my heart and soul was being ripped out at the same time so I was busy trying to defend and deflect. Now I just get to examine through your experience (except for the coparent narc I try to deflect). So thank you. I wonder what evolution stage you will be at in 15 years?

  6. Your father was a good man! He would be proud of you HG knowing your are writing all these books and helping victims.
    Thanks for sharing and expressing this article

  7. Today I found out who my narcs new IPSS (possibly IPPS – but doubtful as he likes to juggle women) is. 6 months ago I felt pangs of pain in my chest when I heard/caught wind of his other women… I felt angry, sad, betrayed etc.

    When I noticed it today… I did not get that sick feeling to my stomach, I did not cry, I did not get angry. I felt… happy for him. And just told myself her fate would be the same as mine, even worse if she never ends up going fully NC. I’m also hoping one of his current projects is successful as it may lead him away from the company we both work for… would be a great thing for him, and for me.

    Felt great to not get too emotionally worked up. One day at a time.

    1. Good girl, e007. Huge growth.
      I am not quite there yet (being happy for him or wishing him any successes), but I am past the point of wishing bad things on him. I’m sure he has new IPSS, perhaps even IPPS for all I know, and I don’t feel sick or sad or jealous about that for the same reasons you mention above. I feel somewhat smug in know exactly how it will end up playing out. One step at a time, one step closer to zero impact.

      1. I must admit the feeling is a bit selfish. I’m not sure if “happy” was the correct word to use but I’m…
        Releaved…. hoping she’s a really good fuel source and they are still in the golden period when I see him soon (I have to see him for a work thing in 2 months… nothing I can do about this one, beleive me I have avoided so many things including the company Xmas party not to see him. But this I have no choice – I know I need to quit but gotta find something else first) anyways I’d rather he be malign to me and pre
        Occupied with her…

        Also,
        His project taking off would take him away from me… so I want him to be successful so he has a whole new pool of fuel to choose from and I vanish from his mind forever and his mine. So I wish him all the success in the world…. I won’t be envious or jealous of it. I don’t want bad things to happen to him. He will never know happiness… he’ll always be chasing the next thing…
        While I am content.

        That thought gave me
        Some peace.

        1. But it feels great to no longer feel
          Any jealousy towards his other women…. he could
          Run off with literally anyone and I no longer feel
          “Not good enough”…
          No one
          Will ever be good enough for him.

        2. You are entitled to all of those feeling and honestly they aren’t not that selfish. You could be wishing he’d fail and get fired so you wouldn’t have to see him, etc. The work thing has got to be hard for you… Definitely keep us posted on the upcoming event.

          I often remind myself of the same thing with the narc. His constant quest for fuel and new sources to keep him “full” and that it is never contentment for very long.

          1. I found out mine was about to cheat on his IPPS, but he got sacked from the hotel he worked at so she never got to see him. Karma!😂😂

  8. Are there any articles/books that speak more of your father? I always like hearing stories about him :)

      1. Sorry for your loss HG. I’m sure he’d be proud of the man you’ve become and what you’ve achieved.

      2. I’m sorry to hear that but I guessed as the way you spoke of him (actually very fondly for you). I lost mine too, 22 years ago and have been left with an elderly Narcisstic Mother and Mid range Brother. My world absolutely fell apart when I lost my Dad.

      3. I’m sorry to hear that but I guessed going on the way you were talking about him (actually very fondly for you) I lost my Dad 22 years ago leaving me now with an elderly Narcassistic mother and Mid range Brother. My whole world fell apart when I lost my Dad.

      4. I’m sorry to hear that, but I guessed by the way you spoke about him (actually very fondly). I lost my father 22 years ago leaving me now with an elderly Narcassistic Mother and a Mid Range Brother who thinks the whole world revolves around him. Me on the other hand, my whole world fell apart when I lost my Dad.

      5. I find it amusing that BonnieLou was tip toeing around asking you in a gentle way about your father. And then your reply, “He’s dead.” No need to mince words with a narc when it comes to sensitive subjects, eh?

          1. It’s a fact with no emotion attached for you. Wonderful example of empath’s vs narcissist’s world view.

          1. Sorry about the three repeated replies, my WordPress was playing up! Feel free to delete

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