3 comments on “More on Narcissitic Love

  1. It seems you’re talking about two different kinds of relationships; parent/child vs lover/contemporary. The power differential between a child and a parent is much greater than two adults in a consensual relationship. “Most parents who abuse grew up abused and have no idea how not to abuse….”
    We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. This reasoning ignores the reality many of us grew up in abusive families and have NOT gone on to abuse our own children. I can assure you, the “childhood abuse” excuse is well known and utilized as a “mitigating circumstance” regardless of the veracity of the assertion and often in direct opposition to statements made by others who clearly are in a position to observe the individual and the family over decades. “…what options did her 91 yr. old mother have?” This is essentially the age old old age excuse for abuse. There are always options, painful and difficult as they may be. The reality the mother chooses to live in Denial as you assert does not exempt her from her culpability in the Poster’s abuse. Look at the choices you’ve made to ensure your DD is not the recipient of your upbringing: Painful and challenging for you? OH YEAH! Nonetheless, you’re determined not to continue the Legacy. I will not support Get Out of Jail Free Cards because you’re old. If you are given the gift of longevity you are not de facto rendered incapable of refusing to participate in abusing your children or anyone else.
    Again, IMO the comparison between adult relationships and those of children and parents fails the apples and oranges test, yk? You”re assuming as you state, “….this behavior is still programming from childhood IF their narcissistic injury was due to parental abuse….” and that’s a big “if.” CBs are not known for their veracity and as a result their self-reporting is highly questionable.
    The world of applied science and human sciences are very different as you know as an engineer. In science/math we have Laws: In the human sciences we have Theories, aka, Assumptions that may or may not apply in a given situation. Again, it seems you”re comparing chosen adult relationships with the unchosen and powerlessness of a parent/child relationship.
    Ultimately you’ve taken steps to protect yourself from further abuse by your family-good for you, excellent for your DD. I’m sure you wouldn’t dream of treating your DD as you were raised anymore than the rest of us would either.
    Thoughts? Feelings? Experiences?

  2. Hi TW,

    You bring up many excellent points. Yes, just because someone grew up abused it doesn’t mean that they will become an abuser. I’ve seen numbers that say roughly 30% of those that grow up abused end up being abusers themselves. There is definitely a generational aspect to abuse. I can see it throughout my family tree. It’s a nature / nurture discussion. Are some people literally born without empathy? I don’t know, and I doubt it could ever be proven. As a child, someone has little ability to cope with abuse, so they cope by whatever means they can find. For some, that’s emulating the abuse in order to gain acceptance from the abuser (the son who becomes a bully because that’s what his father told him to do). In others, they just swallow it all and disappear into a dark world of loneliness and depression. I believe these roles develop subconsciously. For example, my GC brother is very abusive towards me, but has no idea that he is being abusive. He was so well programmed by my mother that “Stephen is incompetent” that he is unable to think of me in any other fashion. I was assigned the role of family doormat and he continues to perpetrate that role onto me well into adulthood, and I don’t believe he is consciously aware that he is still functioning as my mother’s flying monkey.

    You’re right, narcissists are incapable of being honest with themselves, so self reporting behaviors are always rooted in their false mask, even if there exists a mountain of evidence to the contrary. As you say, psychology is more about theory than it is about science. Getting a narcissist to admit that they have issues will never happen. They are incapable of such self awareness. This makes true scientific examination more than problematic.

    I do believe there are many parallels between chosen and unchosen relationships. In my experience, I had no idea what a healthy relationship was, so I continued to seek out women in my life that treated me in a similar fashion to how my mother treated me, hoping to get it “right” this time. Being someone’s doormat was ‘comfortable’ to me. I was programmed from early childhood to be fodder for abuse, and continued to fulfill that role in my adult relationships. Yes, we can extract ourselves from chosen relationships, but we can also extract ourselves from unchosen relationships. We can’t give up the blood piece, but we can still maintain no contact and leave the toxic ways of those unchosen relationships in our wake.

    I’m not sure what path your life took after leaving your FOO, and perhaps you found someone to be your life partner who didn’t abuse you. In my life, I see many many parallels between the feelings and how I was treated in my FOO and my chosen relationships after leaving home.

    Thanks for your thoughts, TW! I always enjoy a good discussion!


  3. And thank you, Stephen for your thoughts and this Blog. IMO, it seems so few men blog on this topic so I feel like I really need to stand back and get out of the way. Thanks for your consideration, I deeply appreciate you and all your Posters sharing in this Blog. Yeah, I see what you’re saying about chosen vs. Unchosen in that we do tend to tie up with that which is familiar, aka Recapitulation of the Primary Trauma. It’s no surprise we end up in some real disasters of relationships (raises hand) as we try to achieve a better outcome of our parental CB dynamics. Sigh. Those early relationships of mine were cringe worthy, believe me. The only difference is I didn’t marry the hot messes. We’re set up to be fodder for every Predator/Parasite out there.
    Actually, I NC’d my biological mother decades before the Internet and remained hardcore NC to her physical death. Beware a Cluster B with almost unlimited financial resources: they can and will purchase any….”service” they desire….she relentlessly stalked me by proxy (PI’s, private non-profits, calling employers, the SSA etc.) and once by pulling an in-person ambush a few years post NC at my home a few hundred miles away. I had moved considerable distances a number of times post NC, but she had to show me I had no right to leave and leave no forwarding address, I have no right to say “no” and see, isn’t she oh-so-resourceful with her PIs, eh! When I refused to participate, she threw such a fit in my front yard with the screaming and keening it sounded like a homicide was taking place. I politely told her she was “uninvited and unwelcomed” through the locked storm door which she was attempting to open as soon as I opened the inside door and it was as if I pulled the pin on a grenade: KABOOM! I then told her I was calling the police-and started dialing. INSTANTLY, she shut up and left in her car. She was gone by the time the police arrived; ohhellyeah I would have had her arrested if they could have located her. In those years there were no stalking laws so at worst she would have been issued an Appearance ticket-analogous to a parking ticket. Her instant shutdown/leave was a HUGE insight into how contrived her “performance” was and the reality she knew damn well she had no right to be at my residence. If/when you need push back/defend your NC forget being “embarrassed” and bring every.last.resource at your disposal to bear on them. She was depending on my typical response to public scenes which she knew I despised as well as the element of surprise to barge her way into my home and life. Didn’t work for the first time-Too bad I couldn’t conger up/fling lightening bolts, 😉
    I was extremely fortunate in my adult life. My friends and ony remaining family I could locate (father, SM) use to tell me, “your marriage is the exception, not the rule!” I’d laugh and say, “yeah, I know, I Have an exceptional partner!” I knew it then, I know it to this day. Unfortunately, I was widowed years ago at 38 . I still love my DH, wear my rings and have never remarried although my late DH was quite adamant telling me when I was caring for him as he was dying, “please don’t spend the rest of your life alone.” Hey, I’m only half of the equation, Yk?! The last words he spoke before he lapsed into a coma were, “TW, you ARE the love of my life.” How many people get that?! So no, I’m not engaging in euphoric recall.
    I had a very fulfilling career that came to a screeching halt after my second stroke. Please excuse the punctuation and capitals here-my hands don’t always cooperate on this touch pad thingy.
    Again, thanks Stephen and all your Posters. I read your Blog from the first Post forward and put it down several times as I wanted to simultaneously reach through the cyber sphere and bitch slap the hell outta your “family” and it seemed something kept getting in my eyes…
    I don’t like your “family” at all. Yeah I said it. They’re IMO a toxic soup of a familial superfund clean up site. It seems we all grew up in a personal Chernobyl. BUT-As you demonstrate as adults we get to leave. That IMO is the healthiest alternative and certainly no abusive parent is gonna say, “oh sure you”re an adult and I Understand completely why you need to NC. I love and respect you so much I will honor your decision.” As if we need “permission” from them eh?! Your “mother” is currently engaged in a desperate bid to pull you back in and simultaneously setting up the “worshipful Mothers Day” event. The reality is, in their world, EVERY day is Worshipful Mothers Day. If you were as awful as she portrays, she should be glad to be rid of such an AC 😉 Your brother needs a scapegoat as well. I get he was a victim too. It seems his adaptation has been to identify with the aggressor/abuser. How transparently they give themselves away.
    You lack nothing you need on your journey; you demonstrate incredible compassion, integrity and courage. Your DD is not going to end up carrying on the “tradition” because of you. I can’t imagine a more significant and transformative Legacy to leave as a parent or as a human being.
    Thanks again. You have such a heart….If I was your mom, I would be so very, very humbled by your greatness-all of you. But I’m not and yet, I still am.
    Yeah, I’ll shut up now! 😉

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