Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Denouement

I finally finished the story. I took long, long breaks because it was really hard and scary.

In it, all the characters are apparently parts of me and include my very developed and detailed False Self, my threatened, hidden Inner Child, the Abominable Tyrant, and two cops who come in the end - something like surrogate parents.

The story has five or six endings that I tried - and I left them all in, in the spirit of deconstruction and transparency, along with my thoughts on them - and all these endings are very violent and full of rage.

But the only one that works is the one in which the False Self and the Tyrant both die.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Spoiled and Coddled

When I was 15, I had a conversation with my mother in which I shared with her that there was nothing in life I wanted or made me happy, no dreams or wishes or desires I wanted fulfilled, nothing between now and death that I can imagine would make life somehow worth living.

I now realize that I was telling her, in my teenage angsty way, that I was mildly depressed. I now realize that, as a psychologist, she should have picked up on that.

Instead, she said: "That's because you're spoiled and coddled. You always had everything, so that's why you don't want anything."

Friday, August 26, 2011

All Apologies

Kiki made me remember. There was one time I expected my father to apologize. He'd slapped me in the face repeatedly for making a silly childish comment that one day I'll be stronger than him. I told him this memory bugged me a few months later, and that I wanted to truly make up because I loved him and forgave him. What I got what Kiki's Non-Apology, Version 5: A Denial. He supposedly didn't remember. "See, it was such a non-event that I forgot. But I forgive you, too." It was apparent he was lying. I knew it at 8 years old.

I never expected an apology or any sort of closure from him again. Heck, I never really expected to have a relationship involving emotions with him again.

I don't think he noticed this. But he demanded apologies from me, all right.

When I was 13, a cousin of his was having heart surgery in our city and was staying with my father's narcissistic mother. I'd never met the man, but was told I was expected to go to grandma's and see him before the surgery. I fully intended to, although I didn't really get it, but then one of my best friends was hospitalized for a concussion the same day, and I kept her company through it.

I didn't feel guilty. I felt fully justified in my decision. But my father was angry and gave me the silent treatment. Fine. I ignored him, too. It went on for days, weeks.

And then my mother asked me to apologize. Because, she said, he was hell bent on keeping this up forever if I didn't.

So I did. To be the only sane person in the family. It was an obviously fake apology. But he grandiosely accepted it and gave me a cold, but grandiose, fake hug. I felt nauseous. But, as far as he was concerned, everything was just wonderful again!

With them, there's just "on" and "off." Because both are fake. He's neither angry when he's "angry," nor does he love me when he "loves" me.

He won, and he knew it was a close one, so he didn't have to win by much.

Like recently, after being so very upset and "worried" after I forgot to let him know I've successfully relocated, I received a profusion of fake sentiment the moment I sent a short, official message informing him of my next relocation. He knew he'd just barely won, so he took it. A narcissist secure in his position of control and manipulation would have demanded contrition and groveling and amends.

It's all about power and control. There's nothing else.

I don't want an apology for anything. I have absolutely no interest in that. There's never going to be a relationship that can be redeemed by such closure. That's laughable. There never was one.

But this information about the things he's done... including, possibly, being infertile and me being donor conceived and lying about it to me and everyone else... now, this information could give me some power and control. In case he ever attacks my family in any way, I have ammunition for defense. I'm not above saying: "Wanna evict us? Tell lies to my friends, family, neighbors, employers? Fine. There are truths about you you wouldn't want shared with everyone you know. So leave us alone."

Saturday, August 20, 2011


I just now realized that other dreams in which I was persecuted by a dark murderer may have been about my father too.

In one of them, a man with a gun is chasing me through a labyrinth. At one point, I get sick and tired of running away. So I confront him and tell him "Just go ahead and kill me." He presses the gun against my chest. He hesitates. So, looking him straight in the eyes, I pull the trigger myself. The bullet goes through my heart, which has gone all numb. I don't feel a thing. The ground just gets softly closer and then there's only darkness.

I've thought about it and I do feel my father as a truly dangerous man, with the potential to actually hurt me. I'm not sure to which extent this sentiment is irrational, but it's there and that's a fact.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A frightening dream

I'm at the computer and a man attacks my father, stabbing him in the thighs (very aware here of the symbolism of wounds to the thigh in mythology etc. - a sexual wound meaning sterility, among other things. My father may not be my real father, and some other man may have given him that particular sexual/narcissistic injury of not being fertile and not being my real father.) My father complains to me of being indifferent to his injuries, and I say in a cold voice "Oh horrible. Oh no." and start chasing the perp down the street.

Next thing I know, a horrible murderer is chasing me down the street, trying to kill me. I know all the time it's really my father. I'm in the witness protection program because I know something I shouldn't and the murderer wants me dead (many things I'm aware of now, including his infertility, that he wouldn't like publicized).

I enter a house where my chosen family is with another family I really like - a young married couple with two kids that I'm friends with. This is their home and they're hiding me. (I see them as good parents. I talk to them openly about my father and NPD. They get it.) At some point, however, the wife lets the murderer in and starts talking to him. I'm not sure if she does so in order to kill him or to betray me. But he's no longer dangerous after this.

Thoughts? One I have is: there's a lot of fear in there.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Black and White

Cheshire's post got me thinking. I too have succumbed to black and white thinking since the beginning of my recovery.

In a way, it's only natural. When your world is rocked by a revelation, when all your paradigms shift, you're going to go through a period of seeing the world in dichotomies. Have you just become a "born again" Christian? You're going to see the world split into believers and non-believers. Have you just had a baby? You're going to be noticing parents and those who are not all around you. Have you diagnosed your parents with NPD? You're going to be splitting the world into "narcissists" and "non-narcissists" for a while.

It's understandable. After a while, though, this kind of thinking impedes our recovery, because that's exactly the kind of thinking we inherited from our narcissistic parents. People got written off and discarded after getting defined as something unworthy. Based on very little.

For me, personally, the black and white thinking was slowly superseded by a spectrum type thinking. I started seeing "narcissism" as the basis of human evil and present to some extent in most of us, but only really diagnosable as a disorder at the point where it disrupts normal human functioning. When I see it in myself - the relatively small selfishnesses or the proud, martyr-like "selflessnesses" - I no longer categorize myself as a narcissist and thus beyond redemption. I acknowledge a negative element and attempt to eradicate it. Gradually. Mostly, I trust God to do most of the heavy lifting for me.

I'm fresh out of anger and resentment. I feel sorrow and pity for my father. Maybe because I haven't seen him for so long and he's done nothing upsetting lately. Who knows? I just know this feels better.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

No one here gets out alive

The book I've been translating gave me an insight about enablers. There are no "non-narcissistic" enablers. No one can have a "relationship" with a narcissist for years and years and years and raise children with them and watch those children get mistreated in ways that children of narcissists get mistreated and not have or develop some protective narcissistic traits themselves. The "dear old mom" or "sweet, but weak dad" never were real. We imagined them.

My author (who does have narcissistic traits, but is beginning to sound more human to me by the page, especially considering the abuse he survived in his childhood) keeps reminiscing wistfully about his mother, who was (quite apparently) a cold bitch. The fact that she suffered horrible abuse at the hands of her husband does not change that. She survived by shutting off her empathy and all feeling.

But he keeps imagining "what if." What if he killed his evil, sadistic father, and stayed with just his mother? Would she then have stroked his hair sometimes? Would she then freely show him her love? Would she then not have bathed him in boiling hot water when he had meningitis just so the doctor wouldn't see him "dirty"?

Although my family was much more "normal" than his, I recognized so much of my mother in his. The basic indifference, the insistence on looking good to others, the "could have shown love to me if only..."

No. When normies get involved with narcs, they either run when they find out what they got themselves into, or they become zombified themselves.