Knowing the Narcissist : Cheers! Alcohol and the Narcissist
Alcohol is a pervasive drug. A Bloody Mary prior to lunch, a liquid lunch to conduct business, afternoon drinks because it feels like skipping school, drinks straight from work which turn into a session, celebratory drinks for a birthday, a deal done well, an anniversary or just because it is Friday. Drinks at the golf club, prior to the big game, at the BBQ, at the funeral wake, a night cap, a toast, a cheeky snifter before heading home, one for the road, a hair of the dog to shift the hangover. Drink is everywhere and is deemed socially acceptable despite the misery that its excessive consumption causes.
What part does alcohol play in the narcissist dynamic? I do not mean the occasional drink with an excellent meal or the social beers in a bar with friends, the regulated and moderate drinking which does not bring with it problems. I am referring to alcoholism, where there is a reliance and a dependence on alcohol. How does that factor into the narcissistic dynamic?
At the outset it is necessary to distinguish between the alcoholic who is a not a narcissist and the narcissist who is an alcoholic. This is important because narcissism and alcoholism actually share similar traits.
– There is the deceit that is involved in engaging in excessive drinking and engaging in narcissistic behaviour;
– Both have sufferers who lack any insight that they have a problem;
– Both require the manipulation of other people to achieve their aim. The narcissist manipulates to gain the Prime Aims, the alcoholic manipulates to drink.
– Both engage in telling lies on a repeated basis about what they have been doing, where they have been, how much they have had to drink, whether they have had a drink;
– Both result in selfish behaviour;
– Other people find themselves being put second on a repeated basis to the needs of either the narcissist or the alcoholic;
– Both engage in switching behaviour, being pleasant and likeable one moment and then suddenly abusive; and
– The pursuit of the end game (fuel/drink) becomes the sole concern of the relevant individual
Accordingly, the behaviours of the narcissist and the alcoholic appear most similar. The alcoholic may present with narcissistic traits (as described above) but a sober alcoholic will see the appearance of those narcissistic traits reduce to reveal that he or she is an alcoholic but not a narcissist. The imposition of the need to have a drink/becoming drunk serves as an external stressor which reduces the emotional empathy of the non-narcissist alcoholic, so that their narcissistic traits (selfishness, anger, lack of honesty etc) come to the fore. This results in unempathic behaviours but they are linked to the imposition of the external stressor and the reduction of emotional empathy, not the absence of emotional empathy and the need for the Prime Aims which the narcissist needs. The addition of alcohol to this individual causes them to become narcissistic but they are not a narcissist.
The narcissist however who is also an alcoholic may stop drinking but the narcissism will remain. Indeed, there are many occasions where a victim will realise that they are involved with an alcoholic but they will not realise that this person is actually a narcissist who is also an alcoholic since alcoholism is far more readily identifiable than narcissism.
Narcissism leads to alcoholism. Not in every instance. I am not an alcoholic. I like to drink, in fact I enjoy it very much and I can consume significant amounts but I do not become blind drunk because I do not want to lose control. I have seen the narcissist who is an alcoholic and that is my Uncle Robert. His aged frame and bitterness are a clear testament to the aging that comes with a lifetime of downing his first gin and tonic at 11am and not stopping until the stupor arrives sometime after 9pm. Watching him as I was younger, observing his behaviours arising from his drinking (and later understanding that this was a layer upon his rampant narcissism) this served as a useful warning to me to ensure that I used drink for my purposes and did not allow it to consume me. I am fortunate I have that self-control and discipline, since many of our kind do not.
Alcoholism is a symptom of a certain mind set and narcissism is a mindset which lends itself to alcoholism occurring. Narcissists are creatures of addiction. We are addicted primarily to fuel. This is our drug, but being this way also means that we have a susceptibility to other addictive behaviours. This is why we engage in taking recreational drugs, shop with complete disregard for the financial repercussions, engage in workaholism, gamble and drive like maniacs. Not all will be present but there is a propensity for our kind to engage in these kinds of behaviour because of our vulnerability to addiction.
The traits of our narcissism lend themselves to fostering alcoholism. Not only are we prone to addictive behaviour per se, the existence of these traits means that we become even more vulnerable to alcoholism occurring.
- Our magical thinking, our sense of superiority and omnipotence means that we believe that we can deal with alcohol better than the “little people”. We can drink more, we can handle that drink better and we can drink all manner of different types.
- The broad range of types of alcohol, the rich and varied culture that accompanies appeals to us as we show off our knowledge about it. The Cerebral Narcissist can boast about his extensive knowledge about particular wines or whiskies. The Somatic can brag about how much he has spent on a magnum of champagne and the Elite will do both.
- Our hunting grounds for our victims invariably involve the consumption of alcohol. The Somatic Narcissist who find his prey in the night club and amidst the chrome and neon lights of upmarket bars is going to be exposed to alcohol repeatedly.
- Our lack of accountability means that we can drink when we want, with who we want, where we want and we do not suffer the consequences. We can drink at lunchtime before making a presentation and believe we are immune to any such repercussion. We will take the wheel of a car having consumed alcohol because the laws are not applicable to us. We will not suffer any downside from drinking, we are a super man and able to cope with the toxins we are pouring into our throats.
- The desire to be centre stage. The provision of alcohol acts (at first) as an accelerant to our grandiose behaviour, our sense of showing off and performance and therefore slugging it down as we hold court in a bar, show off with our dancing and engage in our flirtations all assist ensuring that we are at centre stage and remain there.
- Blame-Shifting One. You make us drink. If you did as we wanted you to, then we would not be forced to have to drink to numb ourselves from the tedium that you cause. If you loved us properly we would not embrace the bottle. It is your fault that we drink so much.
- Blame-Shifting Two. The repercussions and consequences of drinking are your fault as well. If you had not made me leave the car after I had been drinking, it would not have a got a ticket. The final warning, I received because I was drunk on the job was down to you making me go into work because we need the money (even though you begged me to stay at home). Our abusive behaviour to people when drunk is down to you making us that way. You should have stopped us.
- Refuge. The consumption of alcohol by our kind allows us to take refuge. The Mid-Ranger who is innocuous turns into a raging Elvis impersonator as his grandiosity soars through the repeated application of drink. Drinking allows our kind to become ebullient, impressive and charismatic as it bridges the gap between what we really are and what we want the world to see. Alcohol removes the shackles which this cruel world seeks to impose on us and allows us to be who we want to be and who we want the world to see. We are freed of the fear of rejection since nobody can resist us when we are buoyed by this alcoholic uplift. The whisperings of the Creature are momentarily silenced by pouring another glass. How marvellous alcohol is to allow us to be what we want to be and to take away all the other concerns, limitations and problems that plague us. Alcohol acts as a fuel substitute and this is why certain narcissists with limited fuel matrices and/or malfunctioning fuel matrices will turn to drink as it acts as a fuel substitute, but it is a short term solution and one which cannot be relied on for a significant period of time. There must be the return to a properly functioning fuel matrix and if not, then the fuel crisis beckons.
- Removal of the mask. The lower functioning of our kind find a sense of relief in no longing needing to adopt a mask but rather allow the mask of alcohol and drunkenness to enable them to show what they are really like as there is the temporary removal of the repercussions of rejection and criticism.
- Alcohol is a fuel enabler. It allows our kind to become better and more brilliant and in turn gather the fuel with greater ease, whether this is through impressing someone with confident conversation, sparkling wit and repartee or the descent into abusive behaviour as time wears on and the drink mounts up.
The fact that so many traits of ours are geared towards the consumption of alcohol and the fact that this consumption enables us to achieve our goals with greater apparent ease added to the fact that we have an inherent susceptibility towards addiction for the reason explained above, means that this cocktail increases considerably the risk that a narcissist may also be an alcoholic.
48 thoughts on “Knowing the Narcissist : Cheers! Alcohol and the Narcissist”
Dear Mr Tudor,
Your article rings too true with our son’s narc. All he does is alternate between cigarettes, alcohol and his ‘bong’, all day n night (the narc has minimum interest in food). It’s been going on for ten years now and his coughing just gets worse.
He has managed to manipulate our son for continued supply of all three of his addictions where our son is now financially heavily in debt with creditors. The narc’s not in debt nor has a bad credit rating… hasn’t a care in the world…..funny about that !
When the narc gets either drunk or high (which is daily) the fights come out of nowhere. I guess after 2-4 bottles per day, one would. He literally pulls things out of thin air and creates havoc n mayhem …. it’s always about trivia and makes no sense whatsoever. Our son is supposed to know what the narc is thinking. He blames shifts and uses pity ploy to the point our son then has to apologise and asks his forgiveness cos the narc won’t relent til he does.
Our son works a long hard day, comes home, cooks dinner, washes and wipes the dishes, does the laundry, and all the housework, whilst the lazy little shit does sweet bugga all except watch tv all day n night.
The irony is, the narc says our son is the selfish one.
Apart from the narc ending up with either lung or liver cancer, I can’t see an end in sight.
Thank you for this extremely insightful information
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
Bubbles, I am so sorry to read what your son is going through. It is a particularly bad situation. I know you tried talking with your son to assist him to ‘see’ through his own situation. With your second paragraph, you have described how my parental narcissist “acted” when it came to drinking (the physical assaults came with that). The abuse that your son is going through is quite extreme. I can understand how this affects you and I am sorry, Bubbles. Hugs to you xx
I’m sorry to read that you continue to be tested with both your mother and your son’s situations. You must be exhausted. Is your son confiding these things to you about the narc or are you hearing them third party? I’m asking in hope that if it’s your son, that it might indicate the start of a crack of daylight through the fog.
Dearest NarcAngel and AspEmp,
Sorry, I hope you don’t mind my reply to you both ?
We had a meeting with our son and insisted he divulge and lay all the cards on the table with regards to his financials because they are both currently living in my mum’s house (with mum’s approval) and are ‘meant’ to be contributing financially, but haven’t paid one cent . Rentals are insane here atm and impossible to get, more so with pets (they have a cat n a dog). Insurance doesn’t cover vacant houses after a certain period (since mum went into aged care). Sooo, there you go ! After a few lengthy conversations with our son……he, apparently still looooves the narc and nuptials are still on the horizon…..what the bloody hell???
Our family simply cannot get thru to our son regarding his narc and his addictions!
I’d be ever so grateful with any help or suggestions (even from Mr Tudor) Mr Bubbles and I are at a complete loss and don’t know what to do anymore
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
Oh, Bubbles. It is not really for me to suggest that you consider threat to throwing your son out because if they are not paying to live in the house that could be rented out to people who will pay rent and also pay the bills / insurance. I do not know the Australian Laws around property / familial rights (including once married) / based on length of living in said property etc. I know I sound ‘callous’ in suggesting as such but I am thinking of you (and your husband) considering the amount of stress you are already under. Am I correct to understand that the costs of the care home are being met by yourself ie through rental of that house? What my concern is, that you end up with / in a debt that is not of your doing. I am also considering whether I am permitting my ET to “respond” as I type to you ie a bit of anger on your part because of what you are going through and how much you have done, despite that, you & husband going through what must be a very painful time (mentally & emotionally). I’m not suggesting cutting your son off from your life, but, cut him off financially, because, in my view, you have done your bit to support him. He is an adult, has a job, can look after a home but does he have legal grounds to not vacate the house?
It is difficult and I understand what you must be going through. If you can, obtain (if not done so already) information regarding property etc and how to get around the parental narcissist taking over (via HG’s advice).
Forgive me, Bubbles. I am putting you (and your husband) first. It’s priorities. Much love to you both xx
Dearest Asp Emp,
Thank you for your kind concern and caring lovely.
It was a mutual verbal agreement (he helps us, we help him) prior to entering mum’s house and the ‘so called’ rent money is to help fund mum’s maintenance on the house and mum’s aged care. We do not benefit at all as we are pensioners and it would be considered an asset and affect our pension. It all came to a head when I requested the ‘rent’ money. That’s when he finally came clean with it all…..literally everything.
Our discussions centered around his future with ‘oh toxic one’. I had to handle the situation delicately and was diplomatic in every aspect as I was carefully walking on eggs shells seeing as our son is so codependent on the narc. Our son is quite easy on the eye and would have no problems getting another partner. I even offered him his old room back if he decided to go down the single path to save money and get back on his feet. The Bank of Mum n Dad shut its doors years ago.
I’m not angry Asp Emp, I’m extremely frustrated and disappointed because I expected better from our son.
If he continues as is, the house goes up for sale and he will then be truly paddling up shit creek with a sieve for a paddle. 💩🚣🏼♂️
Thank you again Asp Emp 😊 your help is most appreciated
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
Hello Bubbles, thank you for your response. I knew you are the kind of person to offer your son his room back, if he needed to. I can imagine your current feelings (thank you for explaining where you are on this). I understand and can see that you are already on the ball so to speak RE: house for sale, should it come to that. Love to you both 🙂 xx
I absolutely applaud you, your son and your family. Congratulations. You must be so proud…..your son must also be so proud of himself.
I understand kids go off track when they are teenagers, even when they are adults and ‘tough love’ is a great avenue to help get them back on track. We have applied this to our son….years ago when he met the narc.
His was ashamed to tell us his plight and he knows he’s in deep proverbial. He also knows it’s his responsibility to clear his name, which he is desperately trying to do.
He works long hours and he has also improved his position status in the workplace. Because of all this ruckus, our son now has huge mental health issues that we had to also to take into consideration. He has had therapy. He reminds me of Harry somewhat.
I understand your ‘boundary’issue, unfortunately, for some reason our son doesn’t, when it comes to the narc. Why ? We have no idea. Is it that the narc has such a hold on our son (perhaps something we are unaware of) that he can’t abandon him? That overwhelming guilt feeling the empath gets as well.
The narc is a very strong character and very forthright (although he comes across sweet, meek and quiet) ….more Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde). He shames, guilt trips and blames shifts constantly where our son believes he is always in the wrong and has to apologise all the time or more like expected to apologise from the narc’s perspective.
We literally can’t do any more for him, except be there for him.
I’m just outlining my story in order that it may help others and that they can relate.
The whole thing sucks big time.
I’m very impressed with your successful story, thank you kindly Contagious.
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
Bubbles, something terrible, I’m very sorry… ☹️
There is nothing worse for our psyche, than worrying about a child. It eats away at the brain and makes the whole world gray and black. It’s good that you and your husband are together and can support each other. I hope, that together you will be able to endure this, believing that bright days will come for your son.
Since the “alien” has infected your son’s insides and you can’t reach him right now, you may have to wait… until he becomes an unattractive option for the “alien”.
It’s very good, that you mark your presence in the background and give an alternative. When the situation gets even worse (as it probably will), this currently rejected alternative may become the only option available to him.
I keep my fingers crossed for you with all my heart that you will survive this storm and that you will see a smile on your son’s face after it. And I wish him to find the strength in himself, that he thinks he doesn’t have.
It’s so sad to only watch our children go down instead of up. We have no influence on it. Every adult person is responsible for himself.
But … life is full of surprises – and this sine wave can go down and then quickly climbs up.
Haha. Well I declare, that was about as lovely a “Bless your heart” as I have read in awhile.
I’m sorry to hear that your struggles continue.
I was very touched by your most encouraging words, thank you lovely Joa
There appear to be some cracks and frustrations appearing in our son, so hopefully, in due course, he may say ‘enough is enough’ ….however, I shan’t hold my breath hehe 😮💨
Apparently…..our son has informed us the narc has now cut back on the weed and grog and secured a part time job to help pay the debts.
This is the part where I throw my head back and laugh hysterically.
🤣😂🤣🤣😂 gotta luv eh ?
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
I haven’t read all the comments yet but do you need us to help raise money for a consultation?
At least that’s something we can do
I’m sorry to read that your son is still ensnared. I can only imagine how frustrated you must feel.
I think I have missed part of the story but from what I read here, you are doing the right thing. You have offered a safe option should your son decide that enough is enough with the narc. Lines of communication are open and your son knows you are there for him.
It’s the very best you can do at this point. You aren’t forcing him to take action in his relationship, simply holding to what is right and fair as regards contribution. In this way you don’t become ‘the enemy’.
Stay strong, look after you and Mr Bubbles. You can’t help if the stress of it all makes you unwell, so try to look after you too.
You got this 😉
Dearest Bubbles, I’m so sorry to hear about what’s going on with your son and his narc partner. Its so difficult to watch our children make mistakes. I’m sending hugs and keeping my fingers crossed that the rose colored glasses will be shattered soon.
That is so considerate of you and I humbly thank you for your most generous offer. I feel there are others here that have more urgent and pressing issues. Since being on this blog I have managed to apply and develop my own coping mechanisms and skills that work for me. I was a complete wreck when I joined haha
Even after all the guidance, advice and knowledge we impart to our son, he needs to make make his own decisions and learn from his mistakes, failures and choice of partners, as all we have to in our lives at some point.
As a parent, it is agonising to stand by and watch the Titanic slowly sink, however, it that’s what it takes, then it’s a matter of survival of the fittest. One simply cannot tell another person what to do. Advise, yes and then it’s their choice of what to do with that information.
My focus is on Mr Bubbles
I really appreciate your kindness dear Witch, there should be more of it in this very rickety world ☺️💕
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
I now have to organise a black ensemble as our dear long term neighbour friend just passed away suddenly.
Onwards and upwards as they say
Thank you NA, sending hugs to you lovely 🤗
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
Many thanks for your kind support
Sharing with all you lovelies is therapy in itself 😊
Thank you everyone and Mr Tudor for having this blog
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
I see some encouraging signs here. It speaks volumes that he will call from the car on his way to work in order to have a private conversation with you. As someone who is still ensnared, one of things that’s important for me is to have a sounding board. That’s what you are for him. Also, since your son is looking to have conversations without his partner around, that means he has doubts. That’s another good sign.
When the rose colored glasses finally crack, it will be a huge relief to him that he has somewhere safe to go. That’s one of the things that keeps me ensnared. I have no where to runaway to. I have to hide money in order save enough to leave. Since your son has a safe space to go to, its one less thing he has to worry about.
Then once he’s free, you can pass on your knowledge and help him heal. Your son is very lucky to have you and Mr. Bubbles. Sending hugs.
Always lovely to hear from you and thank you for your kind response and support Truth.
I’m taking care of myself as I have Mr Bubbles to look after.
We empaths have a tendency to doubt oneself hehe so everyone’s reassurance for what I’m doing only makes me stronger, so thank you.
Sorry, it’s a continuing saga with our son and his narc so I hope I’m not boring everyone but merely trying to relate a situation and hopefully have others gain an insight to what struggles are faced and the impact it has on family and friends.
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
Hey, Bubbles, you are not boring anyone. You are doing a really exemplary task of processing through the many situations at one time, and, none of these are small in ‘nature’. I know there is no comparison at all, however, I was thinking about the depth of the ensnarement that your son is experiencing and his addiction to the narcissist in his life could be viewed in a similar way as that of Prince Harry and that narcissist he married – that is the only ‘similarity’, I would suggest and the rest of the situations around them are very different. I really appreciate your sharing here and thank you for doing so. You’re a strong and lovely lady, hugs to you & Mr Bubbles xx
I think there is a lot for us to gain from you sharing your experience here, as hard as it must be to do.
In some ways, living ensnarement ourselves almost doesn’t seem as bad, because we had control over our decisions. The toughest part for me watching a loved one or friend go through ensnarement is that I can see clearly what is happening, but I have no control over the decision making process. If I push too hard, force decisions, then I risk losing the open communication. That has to be key. The line of communication has to be kept open, no matter how hard we might have to bite our tongue, that for me is the key priority.
It is tough, we do doubt ourselves, but there are some bright minds on the blog to keep you anchored to the right course of action. I’m glad you are making the most of that. You have supported many others here, including me, I’m sure many of us will welcome any opportunity to return the favour.
Good, you have responsibilities and you recognise that you need to look out for Bubbles in it all too. That is often our Achilles heel, we assume we are stronger than we are at times and we neglect ourselves. I’m relieved to hear you have that aspect covered.
The narc has taken a job, yes, we know how that will likely play out, but that idea won’t have come from him, it will have come from your son. This to me is a good sign. Your son might just be starting to wake up to the unfairness of his situation. Fatigue might also facilitate that. Let’s hope so.
“The toughest part for me watching a loved one or friend go through ensnarement is that I can see clearly what is happening, but I have no control over the decision making process. If I push too hard, force decisions, then I risk losing the open communication. That has to be key. The line of communication has to be kept open, no matter how hard we might have to bite our tongue, that for me is the key priority.”
Agreed! And you said it so well.
I read Bubbles’ situation with horror actually – I would have a very difficult time
knowing my son is going through that and not be able to do much about it.
I do wish you well Bubbles in dealing with that situation – I am not sure how I would handle it myself.
Absolutely spot on. You made some very valid and sensible points, thank you lovely
For a long time there, our son distanced himself from us and he only saw us here n there, obviously instructed from the narc, at least he comes around and sees us a lot more….I’m literally his land lady haha
The communication line is fairly open now which is a very positive step. However, the narc constantly contacts him on his phone. “Where are you, who are you with, how long will you be, don’t forget to bring me my grog and my V drink on your way home and food” blah blah blah
I’ve since found out the narc has our son’s bank details on his phone and can access our son’s cash 😱
They fight a lot and I know it does our son’s head in (our son hates fighting and likes to keep the peace)
Our son phones me on his way to work as it’s the only privacy he has to talk to me without the narc hanging around listening to every word. I try not to text too much as I know the narc reads them all. So I usually ask our son to phone me or drop in for a chit chat. Sad isn’t it ?
Yes, it was our son who pushed for the narc to get a job…..and yes, we all know how that’s going to play out, don’t we ? The last job the narc had, he had to leave because of his mental issues. Hasn’t worked since, til this one.
All you lovelies are the best group therapy any one could wish for, so thank for caring, understanding, your undeniable help and support and no medication needed required. Heheh
Humble thanks and as always
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
It’s bloody hard and I really didn’t know how things were going to go. I had to step aside, look at the scenario and remove my emotions in order to handle the situation. I had to focus on being diplomatic, talk less, listen more and hear every word, not be judgemental or critical and put all my knowledge of what I’ve learnt from here into practice.
I made lists of questions to ask our son and stuck to the plan. I had to diffuse our son from getting emotional so many times and refocus. That’s the hard one as I need to be stronger and not show my emotions, weakness or vulnerabilities.
Having that in play, I was able to extract a lot more information from him. He’s sharing a lot more, so that’s positive, whereas before, he was a closed clam.
Then, of course, I go thru the “what did I do wrong in raising him” phase for him to be in this wretched situation.
Thankfully, that’s short lived.
The cracks are showing, so I guess that’s a good sign, we live in hope WhoCares, we live in hope.
Thank you lovely ☺️
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
Hi Who Cares,
I think it’s probably difficult to fully imagine some situations until you are in them. If your son was ensnared you would cope because you would have to.
One thing is for sure though, the more we educate ourselves here, the better able we are to protect and support the ones we care most about.
We are well taught here. Far better placed to deal with narcs than we were before. Having lived ensnarement ourselves and understanding ET as we do, when Bubbles’ boy takes that first step to get out, she can help keep him out.
That’s when she’ll get to wield her power 😉
Hey Bubbles x
Thank you for your lovely message.
There are some positive signs here I think.
They fight. Your son is getting frustrated by the sponging behaviour. He sees it, that’s positive. Right now, he’s supporting the narc financially but, your son does see the lack of contribution.
The narc attempted to isolate your son. This is still in place in that your son chooses his time to call, but, he is choosing his time, he does call. He calls because he wants to and it takes some effort to do so, so it might also be that he calls because he needs to.
Yes Bubbles, it is sad, it’s terribly sad, but you are playing it right here. The odd text, allowing him to come to you but being genuinely happy when he does. He’ll need that. You’re doing great there. 😘
Privacy invasion. This would be huge for me personally. One of my triggers. Different people have different triggers but don’t underestimate this one. Your son will feel very closed in, particularly if the narc tries to tighten up on this. Privacy invasion at this point might cause a kick back from your son.
The bank details on the narc’s phone. That sounds bad but, that account can close in a heartbeat if necessary. Strangely this might be the narc’s undoing, give him enough rope… If your son can’t pay his electricity bill and looks at his account only to find that the narc spent the electricity bill at the corner shop on grog and junk, this might be another wake up call.
The likely loss of the narc’s job and all the excuses and broken promises that will go with it. Your son will be struggling to support both of them and frustration will start to set in there.
From what you have said, cracks are starting to show. This is a long game. You are old enough and wise enough to play it Bubbles! Haha!
Honestly, you’re doing great. You are the contrast to the chaos your son gets at home. Stay calm, keep doing what you’re doing. There’s a good chance here that the narc will in fact ruin it all himself.
When he does, you’ll be ready to help your son pick up the pieces. Focus there and hopefully this part of the ensnarement might feel a tiny bit easier for you.
Thank-you for putting into words how you’ve been handling this situation with your son – it’s quite admirable.
It sounds like you’re taking a wise approach in being as objective as possible, (I know how hard that would be hard) yet being receptive. And thank goodness you’re able to bring your learning here with you to guide you through it.
Honestly – all things considered – your son is in a good place because he has you, and you are in the best possible position to really understand what he’s going through. Plus, it’s very positive that his narcissist has not managed to completely and utterly isolate him and that you are keeping that channel of communication open – it really can make all the difference when one is in the depths of a narcissistic ensnarement to have a caring voice that can also be a voice of reason and a connection to reality outside their relationship with a narcissist.
And, yes, glad the blaming yourself was shortlived!
“I think it’s probably difficult to fully imagine some situations until you are in them. If your son was ensnared you would cope because you would have to.”
True, I am sure I would. I feel like Bubbles is handling it remarkably well.
“One thing is for sure though, the more we educate ourselves here, the better able we are to protect and support the ones we care most about.”
“We are well taught here. Far better placed to deal with narcs than we were before. Having lived ensnarement ourselves and understanding ET as we do, when Bubbles’ boy takes that first step to get out, she can help keep him out.”
Completely agree with this. There aren’t any resources out there that beat HG’s work in these situations.
I’m responding with an overwhelming heartfelt ‘thank you’ for all your kind support, thoughts and advice ….your comforting words are more than you realise.
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
Hugs to you, Bubbles 🙂
Someone once said to me, this is “ nonsense.” The point is knowing that all parties are aware of what they are doing. No excuses. If you go through that lens, then your son is aware of the financial burden that he imposes and you can find other examples of young adults working two or three jobs sadly to make do or ejecting the narc because of the havoc wrought. The drinker knows damn well he is a problem. And there are drinkers who are kind. It’s no excuse. Bubbles I am not you and I don’t live in your shoes but the word boundaries come to mind. I have a successful marine son flourishing now making highest rank and btw going to Australia on deployment next week. I went through some teenage years where he smoked pot, wouldn’t do his homework and hung out with some wrong types. We struggled. Someone once said to me. Let him fail. He knows what he must do. Just let go and let him fall and live with his choices. I did. I stopped fighting but told him that he would have to move out at 18 and I would help find him a room and cover rent. When I set a boundary and let go, he changed. He felt the responsibility. It helped he had military goals and had to change to achieve them. I think he felt stuck but my withdrawal jumped started him. I chuckled at the thought of the military and all the “ daddy’s” with rules and what that would mean. In the end he signed up for 8 years and flourished. He graduated high school. He ranked 89th on the SATs it was not intelligence that was the issue! He turned 18 and thanked me. He apologized for his bad behavior and said I was a great mom. He said he had a great childhood. I was a single mother who welcomed the father as a pop in. They remain on good terms today as do I. I don’t know if this will help but the counselor taught me that letting them fail at a young age can create a better future. My advice is two cents Bubbles. I just wish you well! I can tell you too my best friend a Hollywood agent and a great mom except maybe spoiling a bit has an autistic child who put her through hell: physical and emotional abuse, cutting, suicide attempts that were more attention seeking then serious but risky all the same. Why? They fought over her daughters refusal to go to school ( no bullying) or help at home etc….She got State involvement and once her daughter with therapy and meds realized her mother was going to make her go to school at all costs, she changed. Some therapy, some meds, some was the realization that mom was not going to back down on this boundary. Again… wish you well! X
I think you are missing the point. Your son is not ensnared in a narcissistic entanglement. You said it “Bubbles I am not you and I don’t live in your shoes” and, to me, that implies, a possibility, that you may not be as understanding with regard to her situation as I am, she has a hell of a lot going on at the same time (not just her son).
Helping your son with finding a room and covering his rent would not be everyone’s definition of letting him go and letting him fail. It just sounds like help packaged differently.
I can relate to what your son is experiencing, and I am sorry to hear that he and your family have endured it for so many years already.
An empathic mother feels their children’s pain so acutely.
I know in my individual experience advise given and people highlighting the issues with alcohol and in his case cocaine, didn’t land with me. Or the way they could so clearly see his manipulations of me. I felt like I could help him through battling his demons and addictions, that I could ease his pain by supporting him, and being what he needed, ( that sounds very egoic huh, I didn’t think I could fix him I just wanted to be by his side to support him). I had hope it would change.
But we all know that false hope I guess.
I wonder if your son may still be in that place of hope it will change ? That is a very rough place.
I didn’t take on board direct information or advise. One day a very good friend who refused to be disconnected from me, as she knew exactly what he was, and she did not let me go, no matter what I behaved like, or how I pushed her away. I owe her my life. She took a different approach, she took a line of Socratic questioning. Somehow she managed to get me away for a day, at her home where I felt safe. And she just let me talk, and then asked questions which were open and explorative, and in a way that helped me see it from my own descriptions of how I was living / existing. She was like a compass in a thick forest. It was only when I came to the conclusions myself, rather then being told by another, that I was in a position to plan my way out of the situation, as safely as I could, but certainly not unscathed.
I wonder if there is anyone in his life, be that yourself, friends or family that he has managed to stay connected with, as I am sure the narcissist has done all they can to isolate him away from those connections. Someone he can be vulnerable with ? To maybe try this approach. Or a means of opening a door to some private counselling?
Please ignore this if it does not feel relevant, or something you have tried, which I can only imagine you have tried many ways of helping him see already.
I hope things ease Bubbles, and I hope that he somehow see’s that there is more for him than that life.
Your own story breaks my heart and I feel your loss, your pain and have an understanding of what you must’ve gone thru. The drugs and alcohol have such a huge impact on ones life and relationships.
Our son’s narc has managed to isolate our son from our family thru his disrespect and inexcusable actions and sadly listens to the narc. No surprise there !
Thankfully, our son doesn’t do drugs nor drinks like a fish the same way the narc does.
The narc will self destruct if he continues the way he’s going. I’m worried what impact that will have on our son.
I have never heard of Socratic questioning, so thank you. I kinda tried it I guess in my own motherly way, but as parents we are the last ones our kids listen to or take advice from, particularly them being adults. I’m not sure who his friends are now as the narc made sure they stay in the narcs circles.
I guess I can only hope our son comes to his senses and has a light bulb moment.
I very much appreciate your heartfelt response and comment, it means a lot to me, thank you EveBea
I’m so sorry you had to endure similar
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
I truly hope that he does have a light bulb moment also, it can be a very dark place, and you can’t see the wood for the trees as the saying goes.
Thank you for your beautiful and compassionate reply also, it was very warming to read. I can’t get over how lovely everyone has been to me since joining the conversations here. I guess it’s what happens when you meet a blog full of empaths.
Take care of you too Bubbles, it’s very important to show yourself some of that kindness that you give so much of to others x
Thank you lovely for your warm caring response ☺️
Our son’s light bulb can’t come on quick enough haha
We believe he really doesn’t love the narc however feels ‘responsible’ for him, hence the guilt would set in if he were to break up.
Our son had a very warm loving upbringing, was completely independent, financial and had many friends til the sneaky narc came along and saw an opportunity (our son has a good heart along with a good paying job) to keep the narc in a manner to which he was addicted to.
One can only live in hope I guess
The Tudorites/Tudorettes here are simply amazing, best narc blog on the block as they say
We luv ‘new’ conversations and are all eager to learn, help, support and encourage one another. Just hope you’re doing ok EveBea
Thank you too for your kind words EveBea ….I’m trying …..some would say, ‘very trying’ 🤣. It’s a pleasure talking to you ☺️ and may there be many more chitchats
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
I totally relate to the sense that you have with your son and the narcissist. Especially if he has been in the relationship for 10years.
My relationship was shorter at just 6 years, but the sense of “loving” him definitely changed and in reflection, I can say it evolved multiple times, through a sense of obligation and responsibility to stay with him to help him through his addictions, love changed to care I guess. But the continual one way street of that care starts to re-shape what is felt. I was a bit numb at the end to be honest. I wonder if your son has become so used to it as the norm, and a little numb too, it makes it hard to see much else. Holding on to the story of ‘love’ is a way of justifying it to the self, as to why one might stay.
The narcissist will be his own undoing, and your son will see, I just hope as you do that it is sooner rather than later.
I am ok bubbles, truly I am.
I can reflect and talk about experiences now with a little distance. I have received a lot of support and therapies from my local mental health services. And I am 5 years on and away from the narcissist now, so it is much easier to see clearly, it’s like a thick fog lifts.
I look forward to more chats with you too bubbles, you have a very kind heart. Thank you x
Your comment points out the long term numbness which I think is an important factor to never overlook. Our son portrays a loud bravado self confident act when he’s with us, however, underneath I can see an underlying numbness and sadness about him. Prince Harry was happy before M manipulated him….now look at him ! When another person changes your personality like that, it should signal a red flag, sadly most of us are unaware until it’s too late. I did ask him about his boundaries and deal breakers …..he ignored my question and changed the subject. Hopefully, I subconsciously planted some seeds in his brain to cultivate hehe
There’s also a real stigma about humans and their failed relationships, feeling incomplete, loss, shame, being unfulfilled and most of all being alone and single. The thought of someone else ending the relationship results in self reflection of oneself as not being good enough or lovable. The fact that there could be someone better than you and ‘what have they’ve got that I don’t’, for many, is unbearable. So the empath does everything in their power to please, to their own detriment. Sadly, it’s a vicious cycle.
My motto has always been, love yourself first
I’m so relieved EveBea that you were able to self reflect AND receive the support and care you desperately needed. Congratulations EveBea you are a true warrior princess 👸🏼
Sending hugs to you lovely one 🤗
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
Thank you for being so amazingly kind, I have really appreciated sharing ideas, reflections and thoughts with you.
If your son is changing the subject when he is asked about boundaries and deal breakers, that is a indicator that it is an uncomfortable truth for him, and if they are not there in place, it can be embarrassing to say. I know that is how I felt anyway. When asked how far is too far, “ what level will you put up with?”, I had no idea how to answer as I had not set any boundaries. In my case I didn’t really know what they were.
For your son I would imagine that the conversation has at least planted some seeds, food for thought, even if he was unable to put that together in his mind at the time.
I totally get what you are saying about stigma around “failed” relationships, and that perpetuates people staying in bad relationships. People end up gaslighting themselves with their own internal critic, and as you say it’s a vicious cycle.
Reinforcing feedback loops of patterns and behaviour.
I wish the absolute best for your son, and your family Bubbles. Sometimes just sewing the ideas and encouraging that he looks through other lens/ frames can help. It sounds like you have done so much already, just being there for him, there to hear him, validate and support and encourage him. If nothing else he will hopefully see the stark difference between the way the narcissist treats him and talks to him, and the way that you support and guide him. I hope that he can work through the fog soon.
Take care lovely. X
Ps ..I just discovered the Region Beta Paradox
“When its not that bad” – is that bad
Being in ‘a chasm of comfortable complacency’ …… until it gets worse, in other words, comfortably numb
Always learning hehe 😜
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
Totally relate to this.
I would repeatedly justify it to myself, “it’s not that bad, other people have it worse”.
A bit of I intermittent reinforcement from him impacted this also. The little moments of fake care, pretending to hear me and validate me. “ he has been so nice today, it’s a good day” “it could be so much worse, it won’t be like that again”😞.
Comfortably numb in just getting so used to it, and not fighting it, avoiding conflict as many empaths do.
I have not heard of that term before either so, always still learning too, thank you for sharing that with me bubbles. X
Thank you for relating what you felt and endured. Means heaps. ☺️
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
I also came across Gretchen Rubin on her four tendencies framework regarding happiness and habits
She divides people into four types –
I don’t know if any lovelies here are familiar with her work …..however, I pondered whether it has a bearing on empaths and also being hoarders or minimalists where I found her referenced …..hmmmmm 🧐
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
I have not heard of her before, sounds interesting, so I will check out her work. Thank you x
For him it was alcohol and cocaine, quite the combination. He was controlled and not IN control of his addictions. That is the point of addictions right, they turn you into a one eyed cyclops seeking / needing a hit. When he would have a lot of alcohol and a lot of cocaine it was so much worse , he went dead in the eyes, they were just black. He would do as he wanted / needed. Way after the end I realised that it was not the stare / they were not dead, he was just high AF, pupils fully dilated, he was not all there.
I looked into the risks of combining alcohol and cocaine, I have no idea how he is still going, the utter damage he has done to his body. I am sure he may see this from an omnipotent perspective- I can do anything, I am infallible. But because he had to live in the delusion in which he needs to survive, reality is going to give him quite the bitch slap; as happens when you don’t live in reality. At some point that stretching band snaps back. The human body will grow old and eventually give up, the irony is that due to his consumption and the poor treatment of his body, he has probably shaved off 10 years of his life; probably more with all of the cortisol running in his system everyday, with all of that anger and rage. The mechanism that enables him to survive cognitively is shortening his life in actuality.
This is a raw subject for me obviously, but I don’t actually wish him this shortened life.
He is so fearful of being nothing.
He would he get off, seeing my fear. Although again this was another issue regarding perspective. He thought my fear was directly about him, what he did / said. He failed to see that because he chose a “damaged” person, the emotional reactions I had were from well established neural pathways and a super charged amygdala. It was not all his power and rage, it was not all his, it was from the past and not all that present moment. Required interpretations of the overt affects he observed = fake validation of “power”.
I did not get anything from seeing his fear. It did not validate my pain, it just highlighted his vulnerability and pain to me, and I felt that too. He is likely to be alone with it in the end, just him and the inevitable.