Saturday, December 17, 2011

They come in pairs

Sigh. Had lunch with my father and his girlfriend.

My father's girlfriend is a narcissist too. A nicer, weaker, more compliant narcissist, but still undeniably one.

Come to think of it, how can anyone be "intimately involved" with a narcissist, who by definition is unable to be intimately involved, for years, unless they're also a narcissist and thus also unable to be intimately involved?

I mean, normal people want an actual connection with their partner. If it's not there, they'll lack something and then eventually leave. They won't be cheerfully living a facade for years, only protesting the little things, right?

Compliant co-narcissists are narcissists too. They may not be abusive. They may be quite pleasant and full of life and genuinely charming. But they lack a fundamental something. Their empathy has died after years of abuse. Their ability to emotionally connect with others has withered. They are a shell of a person.

My mother was a shell too. Now I know. I have met other people, other women, other mothers.

Strangely enough, it may have been her step-sister that helped me realize that. My aunt is one of those real people who aren't shells. And there's a world of difference. Although my mother was "nice" and "kind" to others and the light of every gathering and fun to be around... she wasn't real.

He destroyed her. What she might have been if she'd broken free from her own mother's narcissistic abuse.

I'm not angry or assigning blame any more. I'm just sad for these people who've never really been loved unconditionally and never thought they had to learn to actually love.


  1. Yes. Even when there's only one obviously demanding parent in a household, it takes a whole household to make a child grow up believing that sections of her own core self are unacceptable.

    I'm getting over some of that feeling this year, and therefore better able to think about the why and how. Sounds like you are on the same path. Wishing you well. Including with the writing of stories.

    - GKA

  2. I think the whole "spouse victim" thing is an act to mainly get out of responsibility for the other narcissists actions. The obvious narcissist is blamed for the other's either not acting in the best interest of another part or the "victim spouses's" inability to achieve their own goals or dreams.

    They do come in pairs, but I don't think the other is so "crushed" as it appears. They are basically benefitting from their alliance from their relationship with the more obvious narcissist.

    Both of these types do need the other. My father briefly dated other woman who weren't narcissists or did not seem to be. They seemed nice caring individuals, but probably wanted a bit more in a relationship than a superficial surface. They did not last long, and when the next narcissit came along the relationship quickly went to marriage.

    Well, that has been my theory along my journey anyway LOL.

  3. Interesting proposal, that an enmeshed, enabling spouse is also a narcissist. I'm going to have to think about that one!

    I'm not sure it holds true for my father. If the narcissist is overly-aware of their own wants/needs/feelings and trying to meet their own needs all the time, my father is the opposite of that. He was parented in a way that left him empty. For years I thought perhaps he was just a "still waters run deep" kind of guy, but now I have to entertain the possibility that no, he's just still waters. He needed a partner who would take over, run the show, tell him what to do, what to think, how to believe. Her "love" for him fills this deep void where his own mother's love should have been, and so he clings to my mother like a drowning man clinging to wreckage.

    I don't think he's a narcissist. I think he's some kind of inverse, a perfect complement to a narcissist. He is a person who is damaged in such a way to become the perfect, compliant, utterly-dependent partner of a grandiose, selfish, dominating woman. He never seems to have his own opinions - he is an extension of her, completely. It's very strange. She's like some kind of force of nature that can't be contained in just one body.

    I'm still going to think about this, though! It's compelling!

  4. Hey, Claire!

    This was most probably an overgeneralization. However, I do believe now that for some narcissist the void is filled by being the main person in everyone's world, while for others it's filled by being the most righteous one, the martyr, the obedient one, the one in the stronger narcissist's shade - and not a real person living and breathing and loving. Just defining oneself far less assertively than one's dominant partner, but still living ON one's definition of oneself and what others might think of it INSTEAD of truly living, if you understand what I mean.

    And it's still narcissistic (in being black-hole-empty and living-in-the-mirror) although it's ot overtly. dominantly, abusively so.


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