4 comments on “Addictive Love

  1. Pingback: Lessons Learned | The Codependent Guy

  2. I think Jed nailed it pretty well. I went through that crap with my ex-wife.


    Just caught up on your blog and it’s been helpful and relatable. I’m an ACoN too, although much different story from you. I keep an eye out for sons of a narcissist father blog, but most of the blogs are by women and/or about narcissist mothers and I’m at the point I need something closer to my experience.

    My father was a much milder N than most blogs I’ve read. He’s a recently dry functional alcoholic who picked on me/everyone, loud, competed with everyone for attention, needs endless praise, insensitive to everyone else’s feelings, and speaks only in lecture-mode. But mostly he was absent/indifferent to my existence. He mostly smacked me down (via competing/criticizing) if I got positive attention of any kind, but otherwise ignored me. My father’s brother sounds like a malignant N and I couldn’t tell what his parents were besides f’ed up.

    My mother is codependent but she has lines in the sand of sorts that protected me from worse treatment. But she is over-protective and too anxious about just about everything. Her father was a clear terrorizing malignant narcissist that she had a falling out with. Her mother was just a mousey codependent.

    I think they are both significantly more functional than their parents but in the end it didn’t help me much. Dad was a mix of Perpetrator/Neglector, Mom was Rescuer/Victim, and I was Victim in the Drama Triangle (http://www.angriesout.com/grown20.htm). I think my brother ended up a Rescuer. I don’t think we ever had much of a Golden Child situation. My father didn’t really use us as extensions we were ALL audience or competition only, from what I can remember. My brother and I have been close pretty much all along.

    The key to my awakening was a 6 year relationship with a malignant narcissist in my 20s. The big epiphanies didn’t happen until 10 years (I was around 39-40) after the breakup and having re-married a daughter of a Borderline/NPD who is an awesome chick. For the past year or two I’ve been reading a lot online. I did only one session of therapy mostly because I just can’t afford it. We’ve been figuring things out together letting each other’s realizations help each other learn.

    I’m past most of the anger (a year/months of cussing/thinking) and I haven’t had to go no contact. This year the parents are coming to visit and I’ll be experimenting with trying to create a new dynamic. Being watered down narcissists/codependents I have a shot at having a better relationship than you do, which I’m grateful for but also leery of. I’ll just have to wait and see. I may just fall into old dynamics or it may disrupt things more than I plan. Who knows.

    You however are not in my situation. You’re definitely on the right track by the sound of things. Keep going with your journey, man. Thank you for sharing.


    • Hi Nick,

      Thanks for sharing your story and for your kind words.

      One of the main reasons I started this blog was to connect with other men who had suffered from abuse. I found that when I first let go of my denial and went looking for answers I ended up finding nothing that spoke from a male perspective. That being said, the more I hear of other stories, the more I learn that they are more similar than different, regardless of gender.

      It’s great that your mom was able to maintain some boundaries to protect you. In my life, that would have been my father’s job, but he failed miserably. No matter how crazy my mother acted, he would always back her up, even if she was completely in the wrong. The most difficult part was that anyone who could have possibly given me an alternate perspective was immediately ostracized from the family. I had little hope of becoming a healthy adult.

      I also see many of the issues in my grandparents and how they passed their traits to my parents. My mother once told me that she thought her dad was bipolar. She had a horrible upbringing, with 3 older brothers. She was treated like a house servant. I always felt she was running from her upbringing and trying to be someone she wasn’t (the NPD mask). I always thought of her as very insecure. My father had a mother that was a waif hypochondriac that always had something wrong with her. I don’t know if she would qualify as having a PD, but ultimately my father ended up being very well trained to put a woman on a pedestal and attend to her every need, which was a perfect fit for my mother.

      It’s wonderful that you have found a partner from a similar background and the two of you are able to help each other heal. I have historically picked partners that treated me in a similar fashion to how my mother treated me because I didn’t know any better. My people picker was horribly skewed because of my mother’s programming. Fixing my people picker is definitely a work in progress.

      I hope your visit with your parents is drama free and your attempt to create a new dynamic is successful. I have thought at times about how / if / when / where I might re-initiate contact with my family, but then I typically check myself. If having contact with my family requires the mental capital of orchestrating a wedding, why would I bother? Yes, relationships take work, but that work shouldn’t be akin to building the Panama Canal.

      Best wishes on your healing journey, Nick, and thanks for dropping by and commenting.

      Stephen Bach

  3. You’re very welcome.

    I’m very glad you’re sharing. Too many men are too taken over by machismo to admit and deal with their weaknesses in a true and vulnerable way. It’s funny now that I think about it machismo is nothing other than male NPD turned into a cultural meme.

    Your childhood atmosphere sounds like my Mom’s when she grew up. She would basically describe daily rantings that lasted hours about whether a pencil was over here vs. over there. She was one of the eldest of 5 and she recently described sitting around waiting at his beck and call to do what her Dad wanted in order to protect the other kids from being tortured and he called her lazy for just sitting around.

    Unfortunately I think my mother’s twin brother ended up another NPD. And 2 of my mom’s 3 sisters are totally hypochondriac, pity party, woe is me cluster Bs of some kind. My Mom and 1 sister are very anxious, sweet, codependent types.

    My mother’s father described his father as very abusive (while he was being abusive). My wife’s mother described her own mother as horribly mean and that she was a vast improvement in how she treated my wife. I’ve heard this from a number of Cluster Bs. The “Oh if you’d only known how my parents treated me” syndrome. I have a suspicion that it wasn’t any worse for any of these proclaimers. I suspect it is worse because it happened to THEM and that they are so incredibly selfish and immune to empathy that when they do the exact same thing or worse it doesn’t even register because THEY are not the victim. Even if they weren’t lying, is being slightly less abusive that much of an achievement? Should we all be thankful they weren’t Charles Manson? Ugh.

    My people picker was broken until my current wife who I had at first relegated to just friends because I was just looking to randomly hook up with chicks post-divorce (without lying to them). Just take your time, work on yourself and keep running away from red flags.

    Personally, if I had the level of BS you did growing up I doubt I’d ever talk to them again.

    We all have to build ourselves up. I’m 41 and just realizing I’m allowed to set goals of my own and work towards them and that’s not being selfish, but actually healthy. I’ve been keeping my head down, getting by, helping others, keeping the peace, and not following my dreams my whole life until this last year or so. It feels good. You’ll feel better in time, slowly but surely with the work. I believe in you for whatever a stranger’s thoughts are worth.

    Nick, again.

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