Knowing the Narcissist : No Contact

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20 thoughts on “Knowing the Narcissist : No Contact

  1. A Victor says:

    It’s incredible when someone you’ve known for a while, and tried to tell about things like NC, GOSO etc, finally starts telling you how they’re achieving these things. Even if you don’t get the credit, it is encouraging. And really hard sometimes to not say I told you so!

  2. lickemtomorrow says:

    I’ve been very interested to see a couple of podcasts recently where Cole speaks about his relationship – which is now more or less non-existent – with his mother. He mentions narcissism, and even “wicked narcissism”, which likely robbed him and his brother of a loving and affectionate mother and one who did not try to live her life vicariously through them. I am glad he is allowing himself to share on this area of his life right now as we don’t often hear young men talking about narcissistic mothers and their impact. Of course, his is a more extraordinary journey in terms of the trajectory his life has taken, including his mother losing custody of them at around 10 years of age. In some ways, as a mother, it saddens me to know that, while at the same time saving children from a narcissistic parent – no matter which one – is to be commended. It appears the brothers have maintained a “no contact” regime with their mother for the most part, while it also sounds like she continues to battle her own demons.

    Cole describes it as one of the deepest wounds of his life and I can understand why. Narcissism has robbed him of his first true love, his mother’s love.

    1. lickemtomorrow says:

      HG, are we not allowed to name former Disney channel TV stars on this blog?

      I seem to remember adding the full name of this actor and shows he has appeared in, making it confusing if you only use his first name.

      Interestingly, another former female Nickelodeon star has also been promoting her book about her narcissistic mother. It appears the old ‘stage mom’ adage is not too far from the truth. We don’t often hear about ‘stage dads’ … why is that? Rhetorical question.

      1. Leigh says:

        Hi LET,
        It was confusing when I saw the first comment. I didn’t know who you were talking about so I didn’t even think to respond. Now that you’ve said he was a Disney star, I knew immediately who you were talking about. My girls loved their shows. I must confess, so did I.

        You piqued my interest so I had I went right to Google. I had no idea what they went through. I didn’t listen to the podcast yet but I did read some articles about it. He sounds like he has a lot of gratitude, which is a good sign. Although I didn’t like how he called his brother out He called him a bully and said he may still have things to work out.

        Thanks for pointing this out. It was an interesting read.

        1. My girls and I loved their shows, too, which is the reason it peaked my interest with the headline. Their mother was rarely mentioned then, and there appears to have been a genuine effort to keep her out of the headlines and help maintain these boys privacy. I don’t know how they did it, the celebrity world being what it is, but it’s allowed Cole to have a mature conversation now and lend some insight to being a boy partially raised by a narcissistic mother. I think it’s an important conversation to have in public, he does it with compassion and also brings to bear the reality of a no contact regime with a parent.

          He did call his brother a bully, and I’m not sure if that’s just sibling rivalry playing out, but I do believe there is a deep and genuine affection between the two of them. Dylan seems to be much quieter on the acting front these days, so I guess Cole has taken up the gauntlet in becoming the more public persona for now.

          The other child actor I mentioned has written a book called “I’m Glad My Mom Died” about her experiences growing up with a narcissistic mother. It’s quite a confronting book title, but it also speaks for many survivors of parental narcissists.

          The only reason I mention either of these actors here is because the conversations lead us back to narcissism and the parental narcissist in particular. So often we come here affected by the romantic partner narcissist, but quite often it is the parental narcissist who has led us to the hell we find ourselves in.

          Glad you could work out who I was referring, to, btw 🙂

          1. Leigh says:

            Hi LET, its very true that for many of us, it starts with the parental narcissist. I have so much respect for these young people who are sharing their stories. Its bringing awareness about narcissism and how prevalent it is in our society. I remember hearing about Jennette’s story. My daughter brought it to my attention. Its very sad what they’ve gone through and very admirable that they’re sharing their stories. I hope they’re on their way to healing.

            I think the young people today have a leg up on us. I had no idea what narcissism truly was until 4 years ago when I found narcsite. I was already in my 40s. There’s so much more info out there and maybe with more awareness about narcissism, the young people can stop it from forming in their own children. Maybe the cycle can be broken.

          2. Leigh, I definitely think the young ones are in with more of a chance than we ever had, considering the topic of narcissism is everpresent in this day and age. I certainly only came across it around the same time as you, while knowing for a long time there was something inherently wrong with certain relationships that I couldn’t find an explanation for at the time. I took the road of no contact with my mother before I got here, and it’s incredibly hard to get across to people how you are not the ‘bad’ person in that situation unless they have been a victim of it themselves. That’s why I’m glad these young people are allowing the conversation to occur in public. It’s one that weighs heavily on those who have found the need to make the choice and the one that’s recommended.

            Dylan also made an interesting movie in 2017 called “Dismissed” about a child psychopath. It was very well made, though some might consider it stereotypical as well. I think it highlighted what was possible if you crossed or countered a psychopath and it contained a very dark element in that sense.

            Whether it’s in real life or acting, they seem to have encountered an element of both.

          3. Leigh says:

            Hi LET, you hit the nail on the head. My father died 14 years ago but before that, I had already been in no contact with him. When he died, I hadn’t talked to him in years. There were many times people made me feel like I needed to explain my choice. I couldn’t stand when people would say, well he’s your father. Now when people ask me about my mom, I lie. When they ask me how’s she doing, I say she’s doing great. Now, of course, these are people I don’t have a real relationship with. The people that know me, know why I don’t speak with her anymore and don’t get involved. It’s exactly as you said. Narcissism, abuse & toxicity is ever present now. People actually understand and don’t push.

            I Googled that movie with Dylan. Movies about child psychopaths unnerve me. I remember watching The Good Son and it really threw me for a loop. The Crush freaked me out too.

          4. Leigh says:

            Hi LET, I listened to Cole’s interview yesterday. Did you listen to it or just read the excerpts that were online? I got a different impression reading the excerpts vs watching the whole interview. He did call Dylan a bully. But when watching it, it almost seemed like he was doing it in a light hearted way. He even said at one point that he was the bully that everyone loved.

            He spoke very highly of his mother. He didn’t use the word narcissist at all to describe her. He said he loved her and missed her. He said he didn’t blame her for spending their money. He felt she did what she had to do. He said he had no resentment toward her for that. He appeared to be sad that they no longer spoke and that sometimes he would get a cryptic text that he would have to figure out. He also used the word alchemical. I wish I could remember the exact phrase. I felt like he was eluding to a chemical addiction and some sort of mental illness. But I could be wrong.

            He also spoke very highly of his father. He called his best friend. He smoked a lot. He had 3 cigarettes during the interview. He said he had no regrets. He also said that being a working actor has been a blessing and he’s been very fortunate to live this life of surplus. He said he’s been sober for over a year now. When speaking about his ex girlfriend from the show, I thought he was very honorable. He didn’t discuss what happened and even took on some of the blame. He said he knew he didn’t truly connect with her and he was unavailable.

            In speaking of his new girlfriend, I saw some concerns. He used the word never. He said he’s never been this compatible with someone before. I have to say that I’ve noticed that I use the words always and never a lot. I never (there it goes again) realized how much until I came to narcsite. Now I make it a point to pay attention. Once I started to pay attention, I noticed how much I used it. I’m mentioning it because the use of the word never, concerned me but I don’t know to what degree yet Anyway, he met this woman 2 years before they got together. She was in a relationship at the time. 2 years later, he was having a party at his home and she came to the party. She was single at that point. He said the party was two years ago and they’ve been inseparable since. That really concerned me.

            I’m torn and I’m not sure what to think here. I’d really like to hear your thoughts.

          5. Hey Leigh,

            There are two podcasts Cole has done that I have listened to and this one sounds like the one with the female podcaster. You’ve been very thorough in describing various elements of the conversation. I believe in both podcasts he does mention narcissism, though I’d need to listen to this one again to confirm as its been a few days. Certainly in the second one he does, and the male podcaster doing that interview appears to share a similar circumstance and point of view with Cole.

            l mentioned the word “compassion” in my original comment, and I’ll mention it here again. In both podcasts he spoke with an element of compassion about his mother and showed the requisite respect for her role as mother. There was a lot he held back. I’ve seen a further interview with his brother Dylan, and both share the same approach.

            Neither specifically mention the issue that has brought them to the current impasse, except for Cole mentioning narcissism, and I think they delicately skirt past the possibility of drug addiction as a factor. I’ve no doubt that is part of the issue, and I think drug addiction can co-exist alongside narcissism. They have not mentioned any other form of mental illness, as far as I know, but drug addiction – as opposed to narcissism – could well have led to their mother’s loss of custody, Drug addiction can also lead to other mental health diagnoses.

            I’m not sure if HG has any work specifically related to drugs, but maybe “Cheers, The Narcissist and Alcohol” might lend some insight into the narcissist’s use of other substances as well.

            I think you are right about the difference between the articles and the podcast. My daughters read the article and got the same impression, so I said they should try listening to the podcast as well, which was much more informative. I also agree he was respectful in speaking about his ex-girlfriend and regardless it seems to have become clickbait in some articles and for some readers.

            He does seem enthusiastic about his new relationship, and you’ve picked up more than I have around that with regard to possible red flags. I wouldn’t be surprised if the difficult relationship he had with his mother caused glitches for him in his current relationships. He did speak highly of his father, who appears to have been an intervener in the situation.

            I’ve wondered if the intervention came around the time they made a particularly dark movie centred on a drug addicted mother – The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things. The movie featured Marilyn Manson, and was basically all about child abuse in some of its most extreme forms. There was something really twisted and sinister about the film, which I think had a lot of people concerned. I have no idea who was parenting them at that stage, but it was certainly a point for possible intervention.

          6. Leigh says:

            Hi LET, yes the podcast I watched was with the female podcaster. I didn’t even know there was a second one. I want to check that one out too.

            He did use the word narcissistic but he was talking about himself. I can’t remember what he said exactly though. I think I’m going to have to watch that podcast again also.

            He was very delicate when he talked about his mother and he didn’t mention drug addiction. He said something along the lines that her alchemical makeup was off or something like that. I got the impression that she’s the one that’s not speaking with them. If she is a narc that would make sense because since they are NISS’s, she puts them on the shelf.

            I thought he was very respectful to the ex-girlfriend. He eluded to emotional cheating on her part but he also said he knew he was emotionally unavailable.

            I didn’t even know about the movie you mentioned. I did a quick Google search and it was done when they were 12 so they were with their Dad already. Cole said they were already in the acting business so the father decided to stick with it. Maybe that was one of the first things that came along. He doesn’t say why but he just said that his mom’s custodial rights were stripped away when they were 10 years old. I would say the father definitely was an intervener.

            I do remember Mr. Tudor saying in a comment once that drugs help fill the void and quiet the creature. I believe he used the term fuel substitute.

            I’ll reach back out after I watch the second podcast.

          7. lickemtomorrow says:

            That movie was made in the Fall of 2003, not long after they turned 11yrs of age. They were probably already committed to it when the issue of custody was decided.

            I’ve just read the Letter to the Narcissist No. 135. That gives an insight into how narcissism and drug addiction can co-exist. It makes sense that drugs help to fill the void and are used as a fuel substitute.

            Look forward to reading more of your impressions 🙂

          8. Leigh, with regard to your father, I can’t remember if you mentioned being in no contact with him, but it sounds like it was difficult with people not understanding the impact of a parental narcissist and the need to cut ties. Sometimes I wonder if people think we ‘want’ to cut ties with our family members, as opposed to being ‘forced’ to cut ties. They may have only seen the facade and so can’t understand what our issue is, or perhaps we have been smeared by the narcissist and so we are painted black by others as well. They can only go on what they know, and most people aren’t inclined to dig too much deeper. They’ve got enough problems of their own. For that reason, it’s easy to understand why you would lie to people about your mother. It’s pointless wasting your breath trying to explain to people who don’t understand. Tell them what they want to hear. They’ll be happier that way and so will you. I’ve no doubt people look at me sideways (with uncertainty) when I tell them I am in no contact with my mother. The expectation is so great that we honour our parents, despite the fact it is obvious there are some atrocious parents out there. I can honour the fact my mother gave me life and made sure I had the necessities, but not a lot else around that. In many ways, she destroyed me as a person – or at least the person I could have been. I’ll never forget how I thrived under my first grade teacher. It was like having the sun shine on me for the first time. Anyway, I agree with your thought that the current generation is much more likely to have an understanding. My eldest daughter even mentioned to me yesterday that she recalls her grandmother always speaking highly of other members of the family when she was with her, in a manner where she somehow felt she needed to compete. I was so surprised at the revelation because it’s only recently here I mentioned my sense of needing to compete, as in asking my mother in a rhetorical fashion “Why do I need to compete?” There is hope for the younger generation, though I’m glad I had the opportunity to the understanding around narcissism even later in life.

          9. Leigh says:

            Yes, I was in no contact with my father although at the time, I called it estranged. That’s funny word, isn’t it? He had no facade. I haven’t done a narc detector on him but my guess is Lesser. He was a drunk and used his fists to discipline. He disappeared when I was 14. Then showed back up when I was 19. When I was about 30, I stopped talking to him and then he died when I was in my late 30s.

            I’m very sorry that happened to your daughter. I was often the golden child and my brothers were the scapegoats. Both of my parents pitted them against me. When my father died, when going through his belongings, there was nothing there about my brothers. He only had things there about me and my children. I would give pictures to my mom and he would steal them. Anyway, it devastated my younger brother. It really hurt his feelings. When we were kids, he would often tell me that he hated having to compete with me. I had no compassion for him at the time. I would tell him to get his shit together and then he wouldn’t have to worry about being compared to me. Ugh. I’ve since apologized to him for that. When my father died, that’s when I realized how bad it really was for him.

            I’m very similar to you in that I’m grateful they gave me life, but that’s where it ends.

            The Crush is with the same actress as Clueless and she was scary in it!

          10. lickemtomorrow says:

            Leigh, thank you for sharing more of your experience. It’s heartbreaking to look back on it and see how we, and others, were manipulated for the sake of the narcissist. As children we do what we need to do to survive, and I was only reading yesterday how in dysfunctional families that necessarily causes us to find ways of creating alliances in order to find the necessary stability in our lives. I was likely in an unwanted alliance with my father due to the need to try and keep the peace. Your parents may have forced you to ally with them (by making you the golden child) which immediately – through no fault of your own – sets you up in opposition to your siblings. The fact you eventually recognised that and apologised to your brother is highly commendable. It’s never easy to confront the past when we realise how we’ve been manipulated into being people we did not want to be, but were forced to be in certain circumstances. The fault lies squarely with your parent’s and their handling of those relationships. At the same time, it’s good that you had the chance to reassess (it’s often only in hindsight we see these things) if it means an opportunity to repair the relationship with your brother. I hope he was open to your apology.

          11. Leigh says:

            Hi LET, Yes, my brother and I are on good terms. I actually just spoke with him on Sunday. I actually haven’t seen him in years. He lives across the country. Thankfully he didn’t blame me. Although he doesn’t blame our mother either. He doesn’t see her as part of the problem. He puts all the blame on our father though.

            Did you see TS’s comment on the questioning thread? Its very interesting. She says, “The theory here is that abuse causes the victim to have to anticipate, think ahead to better protect against the possibility of incoming abuse” Its fascinating to think about how are brains adapted to protect us and others from the abuse.

            Here’s the link for reference:

          12. Leigh, forgot to mention The Good Son. I saw that years ago and it made a big impression. I haven’t seen Crush, so I might need to look that one up. Thanks for the suggestion.

          13. Leigh says:

            Hi LET, I watched the second podcast. This was the podcast where he used “wicked narcissism” to describe his mother. Even when he was talking about his mother’s issues, I felt like he showed her compassion and understanding.

            Even the interviewer commented that the conversation was easy and that some of the things Cole said were even helpful.

            I really felt Cole was genuine in both these interviews. He had so many positive things to say and had such a positive outlook on life. He really sounds like he has his head on shoulders. I hope he continues to be successful.

          14. Hi Leigh,

            That’s great to hear you and your brother are keeping in touch and I’m glad he doesn’t blame you for what happened. You both went through a lot. The fact he doesn’t blame your mother is interesting, and similar to my two siblings my father got all the blame for our family situation. Where violence is involved, the obvious perpetrator will often ‘hide’ the fact there is more than one perpetrator in terms of narcissists. At least, that’s my experience and impression. I’m not sure if you’ve relayed any of the insight and information you have gained here with your brother. He’s obviously too far away to have any contact with your mother now.

            I did see that interesting comment by TS, but the number of posts and lack of reply options makes it a little to time consuming at times to follow up on the thread! The quote you shared from TS makes perfect sense, in that we are geared to respond to the unexpected which has become our norm. It’s an awful way for children to have to live and creates a watchfulness that never seems to leave. I’m probably more concerned with the effects of that, than the way our brains might adapt to cope with trauma. It is a marvellous organ, and no doubt enabled certain survival skills, but the cost is so high that I struggle to marvel at it.

            I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me again.

          15. Leigh says:

            Hi LET,
            I haven’t brought up narcissism with my brother but I have pointed out my mother’s toxic behaviors. I have two brothers. The younger one is the one who I’m speaking about here. Then I have an older brother who is disabled. He has the cognitive ability of an 8 year old. My disabled brother was my mother’s scapegoat. She was abhorrent to him. When I talk to my younger brother about our mother and how she treated our older brother, he makes excuses for her behavior. Some people just can’t see it so I don’t push. My younger brother was my father’s scapegoat and so he can see it in him very clearly. What’s really interesting to me is that my older brother, who’s disabled and has the cognitive ability of an 8 year old, goes no contact with mother. My mother put him in a group home probably 20 years ago. Whenever I’ve asked him in the past if he wanted to talk to mommy, he would tell me no. It must be how his brain safeguarded him. I agree that the cost is often very high.

            Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts and thank you for sharing your thoughts as well.

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