Friday, January 27, 2012

Amy was an ACON

Amy Winehouse was an adult child of two narcissistic parents.

I've googled and explored for months and now I'm sure. Here's one of many articles that show how narcissistic and bizarre her childhood was. In her mother's account:

"Amy spent just three years at Sylvia Young's before she was asked to leave. Janis says: "The principal phoned up and asked me to come in and see him. He said, 'I think you should take her away.'

"He didn't want children who weren't going to get good grades and Amy wasn't going to. She was very bright but she was always messing around.

"The same day, I had to take the family cat Katie to the vet. I dropped off the cat, went to the school and then went back to the vet's. We had the cat put down. My joke is I should have had Amy put down and the cat moved on."

Sound familiar?

Yes, the typical malignant narcissist humor concerning their children.

See this forum discussion on the topic.

Amy was so starved for love, so profoundly sad, so angry, but she never once rebelled against her parents. She adored her narcissistic father Mitch (who only really reappeared when she became a celebrity and is now launching a singing career of his own) and her mother reports she said "I love you" to her the last time they met (this was somehow the most important thing to be said to reporters after her death).

She was so happy to finally get "love" and "attention" from them. But it wasn't real. It couldn't fill the black hole. Nothing can.

In a way, I admire the sincere and absolute self-destructive angst.

I've loved loved loved her from the moment I first heard her. This is my explanation of "why".

I love other sincerely self-destructive voices who speak up against their parents' perfect worlds, if not against their parents themselves, like Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain.

It's not THE right way out, I know. I just really really really relate to the self-destructive dark stuff.

That's where I started out as a teen. That's where I hid my rebellion. Dark religions, dark clothes, dark literature, dark music. Your fake shiny sparkly world is a lie. I'd rather drink myself to death.


  1. Really interesting. I hadn't read much about her parents before.

    I was one of the teens who never rebels, a "good girl" type. I hated to disappoint anybody. It wasn't until my 30s that I started to get in touch with who I really, really am. That's hard work to do in adulthood - I recommend that anybody who needs to break free have some teenaged rebellion and get it out!

  2. It really is hard.

    I was a dark teen rebel who only rebelled against general ideas and the world as such, while simultaneously never once rebelling against my parents or other authority figures and being the good girl towards them, always achieving and getting good grades and drinking from age 13.

    My father never allowed me to frown at him when I was a teen. But he allowed me to drink heavily.

    How did you get in touch with who you really, really are?

  3. In my teens, I was fascinated by books on mental illness, "Bellview, A state of mind." I also never rebelled against my parents. A few years ago my counselor described the behavior of a teenager, I totally agreed with him watching my own children go through those years. He then asked, "Did you ever do that?" Long pause....NO. Age 50 and behaving like a teenager is tricky stuff. Fortunately I work at a high school so can get away with a little bit. It is quite a challenge.

  4. Lady Phoenix1/29/2012 11:45 PM

    You have to wonder how many of the people walking around you every day are golden children or scapegoats...

  5. My body actually winced when I read her mother's "joke" - wow. I too never rebelled in the normal sense of the word, not until late into my 20s when I felt that my parents didn't have the power to destroy me for rebelling. They certainly have tried, though. It's surprising that Amy was a loyal child, I would have thought the opposite. But it all makes perfect sense. I'm drawn to the self-destructive vein that runs through ACoNs, too - almost like trying to stir the conscience of the abuser by hurting ourselves, "see how hurt I am? how starved?" Like you say, it's not the "right" way to deal, but it's a way nonetheless, and I feel a despairing admiration for the spirit fighting to tell its story through self-destruction. Really great post, thanks for sharing. xo

  6. I wondered about this as well....such a phenomenal talent, such a self-destructive lifestyle from what I observed. But you know, upsi's comment above gave me a real "Ah ha" moment.

    The POWER of that Traumatic Bond-yes, of course it's all kinds of messed up but when that's all you KNOW it's "abnormally normal." I questioned for years WHY did I remain in a relationship with my MNmother well into adulthood? It was so very self-destructive to ME and my "adaptations" to those dynamics were NOT healthy. I "get" FOG, the techniques/tactics etc. yet I was engaging in such self-defeating stuff even I COULD SEE IT. The real lightbulb occurred when I learned about Traumatic Bonding. I'm NOT offering this as an "Excuse for abuse" for her or my own piss-poor choices. But learning about Traumatic Bonds really added that extra "piece" and helped me deal far more effectively with my own shame-and understand and accept more clearly my own behavior. These kids of bonds are truly some "Powerful Stuff."


  7. The common about the cat...unbelievable! RIP Amy. Thank you for sharing.

  8. I agree with upsi's comment about trying to stir the conscience of the abuser, wow, that seems right on the money. And it's so confusing being a ACON. It's hard to sort out. And that poor girl, trying to sort it out in front of the whole world. Oy.

  9. Pronoia, sometimes your writing brings such swells of cathartic emotion in me and eyes full of tears. I can relate. I made a complete mess of my young life, I was so lost..

    I finally got a few things right and straightened up as an adult in comparison to my teen years. My inner world, however, was still lost, self-limiting, indecisive, filled with self-doubt and shame. (I'll still be working on most of those particular things for the rest of my life, I'm sure.) The darker side, though, was that I was still self-destructive and liable to make very poor judgements at times and oh boy, did I. I reacted and "acted out" to negative stimuli instead of responding appropriately and figuring out what the right thing to do was. I was emotionally starved and twisting in the wind. As my relationshiTs with my FOO entered the category of psychological torture my entire being became more sickened.

    You said in a previous post, "Finding out about NPD has opened many healing pathways for me. I have felt angry and relieved and happy and alive since I found out."

    It's a new era for me, too. I've been NC with my FOO (and, as an unfortunate inevitability, with the whole rest of the extended clan for the most part) for almost three years. This doesn't mean I'm super "put-together" now- I've got a ways to go and I think I'll always be damaged and I know I'll carry regrets to the grave. I'll be cruising along fairly okay for a while and then I'll have days where I struggle to keep my head above water. Sometimes mocking N-echoes in my head (more of a feeling than a thought) quietly taunt, begrudge and belittle me as if I don't have the right to redemption- and the only real me is THEIR version of me. "Who do you think you are now? Look at what a f**cked-up person you are for having done X,Y,Z-- you'll always be that no matter what you do."

    It takes time.. but finally knowing about NPD and exploring the dysfunction of my upbringing has offered me paths for healing my mind and improving my life. On the worst of days and if there's nothing else, there's precious CLARITY and PURPOSE, because I know the fight is well worth it for my children and their children and so on.

    The support I've received from loved-ones and fellow ACoNs while working through this thing has made all the difference. Thank you, Guys, and Happy Valentine's Day!

    *hopeful, thankful, cleansing, and loving tears fall*

  10. I've come here after a search on Amy's father, wondering if they were having narcissistic traits

    I was going to process info myself and i didn't think somebody else would have done that. So,it's a nice surprise.

    I was reacting about the lyrics of "rehab" and "tears dry on their own" : In rehab she writes, " my daddy thinks i'm fine ".

    I guess that the caring attitude would be, "if you think you've got a problem, go and they'll tell you" . But he acts like he knows best (think about my mother right now) than her and/or the people in detox center. I think that's from him (or any other people) a need to keep being perfect,the need to be right and powerful and to keep the power and control. He just can't admit and show that he doesn't really know if she should go. Or maybe he secretly thinks we can't be a big star and be sober. (can we ?)

    That's how we develop a dependant personnality wich will ask parents for opinions about what to do even before thinking by ourself what we should or want to do. (doesn't mean we can't ask after)

    and then i think also we often ask our parents , not really to know what to do. But so that they tell us we are in the best position to know what to do and to listen to ourself...

    sometimes we ask them but that's just not the good person to ask ( cause it's our parent ) and it just makes things worst in our decision process (cause they'll tell us what to do like in a way that now we doesn't want to do that way or tell us a way but then we don't want to do the other way and feel like a rebel..)

    the other thing is in the title of the song "tears dry on their own" and also in "rehab"... I think it's a phrase wich apparently explains a simple thing but deeply says a lot about the "not caring attitude";

    i just imagine a parent telling "tears dry on their own" to his crying child...

    so that was my insomniac stuff for the day

    thx and take care

    1. just to add that i realize too that going to rehab ( or detox) is something that could be bad for a name (negative opinions of others about you) . And that should be considered ...

  11. Urgh, I have to weigh in! My enabling father, who won't shed an f'ing tear for ME, cried and bemoaned the tragic death of Amy Winehouse! "What a loss! So young!" wah-wah-wah.

    Don't get me wrong - I'm upset about her passing too (she was lovely! What a voice and style). But I find this wholly perverted that my weak-as-water father can cry and cry about the tragic untimely demise of a famous singer, but can't be bothered to care about his OWN daughter!

    Do you think N's and E's can smell ACONs?! I know Amy was gifted and had a fantastic voice, but was there something about her that made her seem like easy prey or something? Or was it just because she was FAMOUS and therefore VALUABLE that jerked at my Dad's heartstrings?

    What a loss - a singer who my E-Dad just heard for the first time 6 months ago.

    Not a loss - your sexually abused daughter with the suicidal tendencies thanks to a diabolical childhood courtesy your deranged NPD wife.


    My Daddy thinks I'm Fine.

  12. Hey PA,

    I actually thought again about this post, when I stumbled across Mitch Winehouse's biography called "Amy, my daughter".

    There's a preview of the prologue if you "Look Inside" on Amazon. In the first pages of the prologue, he talks quite a lot about Amy's older brother (why? In the book's prologue? Not essential to the story at all!). He then mentions that Amy's voice had 'sibling rivalry' in it when she looked at a photo of the first born son, her older brother (GC, anyone?!). And at the end of the prologue, her father writes that the last day he was with her, she was being easy to be around (implying that normally she wasn't?! Yeah, he must REALLY miss her to write that, eh?!), and then Mitch mentions that they had all these plans to sing a duet (and lists all the songs). So . . . Mitch would have been famous. How thoughtless of Amy to die prematurely.

    It just SCREAMS Narcissist to me! Maybe I'm reading into it, but if you're interested, have a look, too.

    I think you're onto something. There's something so off about the TONE of the prologue of a book about your late daughter who died tragically. Amy is cast as flawed, irritating, human. Daddy is cast as very important and patient. I smell narc!


  13. I honestly was never really interested in Amy Winehouse, always saw her in the news for her drug problems and psychological problems, just thought she was a problem child and needed some help before she killed herself...and then she never got that help and met the logical result.
    But reading those remarks from her "mother" and "father" two narcissists who just used her whenever she could give them something and ignored her or made those horrible "jokes" and comments about I really feel for her. NPD kills....I was almost a victim of it myself.
    RIP Amy. I'm really sorry.

  14. I doubt that BOTH of her parents were NPDs, because it makes absolutely no sense for an N to be with another N. If you understand how narcissistic psychopaths work, you'll clearly see that a narcissist can not provide narcissistic supply to another, because narcissistic supply is about emotions, and since an N does not have human emotions, it can not "feed" the other N with human emotions. It's usually one member of the "couple" is the narcissist, and the other is some seriously wounded person, suffering, and probably hurting the child, out of hurt.

    My biological father is an N. I feel really sorry for Amy if this is true, nobody on the surface of this Earth deserves growing up under a narcissist.

    1. Her parents weren't together all that long because her dad cheated.

    2. Is confusing and torture and all the blame and shame is on the victim ...dreadful, members of ACON are the lucky ones a lot are lost as the abuse causes madness.

  15. Well written get the vibe Amy was an ACON, perhaps a lot of the 27 club were. Awareness is growing, ask your library, book shop, counsellor, doctor for books for children to be informed they are going to get damaged by their narcissistic parents. Poor Amy, the tragedy is she never got a chance to join ACON or even get close to knowing. It took me over 45 years so can completely understand why she missed it. A lot of family scapegoats of narcissistic parents end up with mental health issue, addictions and self destructive behaviour. Is not there fault are preyed upon by own parents.


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