Monday, March 14, 2011


I never imagined I'd write anything entitled "love" in my life. Yuck.

After all, I was a dark, cynical, cold, unloving person. My father loved me sooo much, everyone knew that, and I was never thankful enough or loved him back enough.

His narcissistic mother once said to me "I love you so much I'd rip my heart out for you" and I just looked at her, shocked, confused, and ever so slightly nauseated. I was sure I didn't respond like I was supposed to because I was, yup, a dark, cynical, cold, unloving person. 

Now, knowing what I know, I'd just tell her "No need. How about playing something I want you to play with me, just once? How about talking to me, for real, without just boasting or criticizing, just once?"

I thought that was "love". And I wanted nothing to do with it.

Then there were my mother and her parents, whom I knew better than to show any affection to. After all, what have they ever DONE for me? That was the question my father used to guilt me out of emotions for people other than him and his family. If I loved others, then I was ungrateful for all that he's DONE for me and didn't appreciate it enough.

Reality was carefully manipulated to prove that only he and his family DESERVED to be loved. For instance, my mother's mother, Nana, took care of me while my parents were at work throughout my childhood, took me for walks, fed me. That had to be minimized. But when MY FATHER'S PARENTS decided to go for a walk with me ONCE, and my Nana had to bring me to the park that was in their neighborhood and then pick me up after they were done, my father DOCUMENTED the event with excessive photographing. Seriously, there are dozens of pictures of this 10-minute event that my father took, proving that his parents were wonderful grandparents.

I felt so guilty expressing love for others that there had to be good "excuses" for that. My mother made me a pair of shorts, and I thanked her and said "I love you" in a coded message, which my father decoded and asked what the big deal was with those shorts, anyway. My Nana once gave me a doll I liked, and with relief and a clear conscience, I thanked her, kissed her, told her I loved her, repeatedly. It wasn't about the doll. I used the doll as an EXCUSE to show love for my poor Nana. 

So my narcissistic father told his narcissistic mother to buy me a doll just like that, only in different color. Sure, I said "Thank you" and kissed my narcissistic grandma politely, like the good girl that I was. But, clearly, it didn't produce the same reaction, and there was apparent disappointment. Because, as I said, it really WASN'T about the doll.

So love is a tough issue for me. Until recently, I just avoided thinking about it. I assumed I didn't love my husband or kids like other people did, because I was defective, and I was depressed and felt fake and just tried to DO my best for them, even if it sometimes seemed like I was playing a part. I prayed to learn how to love.

My prayers were answered, albeit a bit differently.

When I found out about NPD and how people suffering from it generally affect their children, I was unblinded. I realized I actually already DID love my family, in a human, sane, gentle way, I was only blocking the actual emotions from registering, because I didn't trust myself with them.

I realized love isn't a maniacal, sleazy, insane profusion right out of a medieval romance, that I just couldn't feel (neither did they, I realize that now). It's simply a choice to keep your heart and mind open to accepting others as truly others and nurturing them and building them up and helping them develop into who they really are. It's actually EASY.

Much easier than what narcissists do.


  1. The comment about playing something you want, just once, reminds me of an episode. My parent and I went to a funeral. The parent was proud to show up in jeans and a t-shirt, because they "wanted to say goodbye to the deceased, just the way I am", meaning no funeral attire. I was around 10, and wanted to wear black, but was told to wear jeans too. Only the narcissists get to "go to a funeral just the way they are", not their child. The child should "go the way the narcissist is".

  2. I can relate. Thank you for sharing.

  3. You wrote:
    "It's simply a choice to keep your heart and mind open to accepting others as truly others and nurturing them and building them up and helping them develop into who they really are."

    Wow, that is so profound yet so simple.

    BTW, I have also been told that I am cold, stoic, emotionless, heartless, judgmental, critical, arrogant, and so on. For a good long while I actually believed, till my husband and his family had had enough of seeing me struggle with this undeserved crap and started to set the record straight. It is sad how much and how long we believe the lies our narc parents fed to us.

  4. Oh. My heart breaks at this. I am a mother, without a mother, and would give anything that my children were able to know my mother. It's so sad that you felt you couldn't show your love for your mother or her parents without feeling like you needed an excuse. What a horrid thing NPD is that is ruins so many individuals and families within it's grasp. :( I am so glad you were able to figure out this "thing" called NPD in order to help pave your way to a happier life!


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