5 comments on “Removing the Mask

  1. I didn’t discover I was with a narcissist until after I had moved out. I hadn’t even heard of the word and to be fair to me, it was not defined as a diagnosis until years after I was with this guy. I just knew that even though I loved him, I loved myself more and I could only protect myself from his behaviours if I was no longer living with him. The understanding of narcissism was much later.

    • Thanks for sharing, Wendy. I can definitely understand how it would be very difficult to figure out the issue when there’s very little information available. Thanks to Google, and the web, information on narcissism is much more readily available than years ago. When I was growing up, my parents had aligned a near seamless front of people that would echo my parents disdain for me; other parents, teachers, family friends, relatives, every adult with whom I had contact. The only people who believed it wasn’t all my issue were my peers. Of course my parents thought my peers were all a bunch of hoodlums.

      • Wow! I’m so sorry to hear that you had to suffer through that. It is surprising, actually, that you survived with your sanity. I’m glad that you are on-line so other children of parent’s like that will know that it might be happening to them.

        You are right about no knowledge. Narcissism wasn’t even defined until sometime in the 1990’s, a decade after I met this guy. The internet was not available to me until about 1997, except on a very limited basis.

  2. My realization came when I was diagnosed with a brain tumor 2 years ago. The abuse and treatment became obvious and more overt than any time in the past. Possibly she thought I was dying and this was my Mothers and her 2 flying monkey golden children’s last chance at a full assault. I don’t know but the emotional pain almost killed me.

  3. Hi David,

    I think you are right that often we are kicked when we are down by our narcissistic families. When you were diagnosed with a brain tumor, you were now in a situation that they most likely perceived as being worse than their situations, and had a struggle on your hands that they perceived as being more difficult than their own personal struggles. They knew you were suffering. This was unacceptable and made them angry. In order to make sure you maintained your scapegoat status, they had to crank up the abuse a few notches to make sure you still knew where you stood, ill or not. They also feed off the misery of others, so when you became ill, you most likely were less able to be as strong emotionally in the face of their abuse, meaning that they saw an opportunity to take advantage of the situation and gain a big helping of narcissistic supply by feeding off your misery.

    One of my mother’s favorite strategies was to kick me when I was down, often blaming me for my failings. My last conversation with her occurred 2 days after I ended my relationship with my ex GF of 4 years. I ended my relationship with my ex GF because she had informed me that I had been exposed to an STD because she had been cheating on me. I really thought I loved my ex GF, and I was a complete wreck emotionally. My mother showed absolutely zero empathy for my plight, and told me “These things wouldn’t happen to you if you didn’t have premarital sex”, essentially blaming me for what happened and kicking me while I was down.

    I understand dealing with emotional pain that makes you wish you were dead. It’s not fun, and I would never wish it on anyone. During the two week period last year where I ended my relationship with my GF and also went NC with my mother (I later went NC with my brother, too), I was an absolute wreck. I missed weeks of work, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, had horrible somatic responses and could barely function. I have never been in such an emotional state in my entirely life. It was horrible.

    Best wishes on your healing journey, David, and thank you for sharing.

    Stephen Bach.

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