Narcissism?

An area for new members to introduce themselves, as well as a place where all members can share concerns, questions or general posts.
Everyone is welcome here.

Moderators: Harmony, quixote, Jonesy

Magpie
Member
Posts: 79
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:51 pm

Narcissism?

Post by Magpie » Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:53 am

I’ve done a whole lot of my own research into narcissism over the years, so know a fair bit.

My abuser has recently contacted me regarding my sons behaviour and how I don’t step in when I should be. This has been an issue for a long time, with both my mum and my abuser. I ignored the first message about how she is worried about me, how she is stressed I don’t talk to her, and how my son is rude and disrespectful around her. (Blah blah blah).

I receive another message today saying how she is worried how i am coping with my anxiety, how worried my 11 year old niece is about me and how it is all affecting my whole family. So, basically it feels like I should have just suffered in silence and pretended things were ok by not saying there may be a problem in the family. Oh and on top of that she is stressed by it all.

It seems like she is trying to guilt trip me, make me feel like I’m a bad parent, make me feel like I’m in the wrong. The usual gaslighting techniques.

What the hell do I do? I don’t want to confront, I’m not there yet maybe I will be one day. I’m trying to ignore it all but i fear it just won’t go away and also if I react or whatever I say will probably not be heard.

God damn tricky situation!

Noname
Member
Posts: 2380
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:58 pm

Re: Narcissism?

Post by Noname » Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:40 pm

Hi Magpie,

Tricky situation indeed. I've done a ton of research on narcissism as well (my mother's a narcissist and I've ended up with a whole lot of them in my life). It sounds like your abuser is pulling out ALL of the emotional manipulation and abuse tactics that they like to use. It is all definitely a guilt trip designed to get reactions out of you.

The thing is, the best thing to do with narcissists is to give them NO reaction, because any reaction you give is fuel for them. If you can't go no contact, radical acceptance and the "grey rock" method are considered the best ways to deal with them. Radical acceptance is accepting that they are who they are and they will do what they do. That doesn't make it right, but you can't change them. Realizing that they are sick and it's not about you can help you feel better, even if it's just a tiny bit. And then grey rock is just making yourself as boring as possible to them. Give them no reactions when they say or do the things they do. That's easier said than done, and at first they will try to push even harder, but eventually if you aren't giving them the fuel they are looking for they will tend to back off in search of someone who will give them what they're looking for.

I highly recommend looking up Dr. Ramani Durvasula. She's a therapist in the US who specializes in narcissism and narcissistic abuse. She's written some really good books on the subject, has been on tons of TV shows, and has a YouTube channel where she gives lots of helpful insight and tips on how to deal with these people.

Sending lots of support your way.

Magpie
Member
Posts: 79
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:51 pm

Re: Narcissism?

Post by Magpie » Tue Mar 03, 2020 6:32 pm

Really useful stuff, many thanks, and for your insight too, it feels like I’m going out of my mind sometimes with guilt and the pressure put on me to answer questions and respond, but I guess I’ve been programmed that way. The ‘grey rock’ method certainly sounds worth trying.

HoneyBadger
Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:18 am

Re: Narcissism?

Post by HoneyBadger » Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:43 pm

Hi Magpie,

That sounds like a very stressful situation. I'm glad you recognize the narcissism you're dealing with. My mother is narcissistic, too, and so is my ex-husband. I didn't even know what narcissism was until 2010... I've read a lot of books since then! I didn't know that I didn't have boundaries or that I should have them. I was very enmeshed emotionally with other people and thought that was being good and caring.

You have the right to express how you're feeling, and you have the right to not share anything you don't want to. Other people can worry or not worry, be angry or indifferent or stressed... these are all their choices, and none of it is your concern or your business. It is not your responsibility what other people do or feel in relation to you.

Don't feel pressured to confront your abuser if you're not ready to, or to give more information about what is going on. Give yourself as much time as you need. Perhaps you could say that you need some space to work through some things, and set a clear limit to how much contact you're willing to have?
I found the quiet space away from my family was tremendously helpful emotionally. I was able to grieve and get stronger in myself, before eventually confronting my abusers (father and brother).

If you haven't read The Courage to Heal, I strongly recommend it. There is section about family estrangement and boundaries that I think you'd find useful.

Sending you strength. <3
Last edited by Serenity on Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Changed MT to NT as no triggering detail included
“Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly! All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise.” ❤️

Magpie
Member
Posts: 79
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:51 pm

Re: Narcissism?

Post by Magpie » Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:24 am

Thank you so much your reply has given me a real boost today x

coconuts
Member
Posts: 3385
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:34 am

Re: Narcissism?

Post by coconuts » Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:17 pm

I don't have any great advice to offer. What's been said already is great advice. Just wanted to say I understand and am currently learning how to deal with this myself. I'm learning one the radical acceptance. That this is not necessarily a willful thing they do. It's a mental illness in itself. That doesnt excuse the behavior it just helps me understand it. And also how to live with and navigate yourself around narcissism. I really like what noname said. I think so many of us are used to being pushed around by others but learning to stand strong and set your boundaries. In some ways its s bit empowering realizing you don't need to take it and you can succeed. It can be exhausting as well.

GrowingTree
Member
Posts: 1929
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:05 pm

Re: Narcissism?

Post by GrowingTree » Fri Mar 06, 2020 5:08 am

Magpie, I am so sorry for you. I am put in the same situation. i have found the book Gaslighting by Stephanie Sarkis an excellent book with much answers to my questions of how I should respond. I like her audiobook on audible even better because she sounds so confident and real. When I feel confusion kicking in with guilt I go to her audiobook rather than physical book. But, i own both.

yes, it sounds like narcissism, and gaslighting too. I have no doubt about that in my mind. also, i found the term "identified patient" helped me understand the position my family puts me through which is very similar.
GrowingTree

Magpie
Member
Posts: 79
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:51 pm

Re: Narcissism?

Post by Magpie » Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:16 am

Thank you so much to all of you, I feel like I am slowly changing my approaches to protect myself and my own family and to create boundaries, it’s hard to come to terms with you have to set those with people you call family but it’s a must. I guess it’s like “waking up” to the truth and accepting that people who say they love you can also do harm to you for very selfish reasons. Whilst on the plus side, being awake is also liberating and empowering, and very much so healing.

Love & light to you all today x

Kiwimango
Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2020 1:59 am

Re: Narcissism?

Post by Kiwimango » Sun Mar 15, 2020 12:50 pm

You ever hear of gaslighting? Narcissists to me have no feelings. It can be narcistic. However, narcissist is not a diagnosis, but just an adjective to produce the intensity of the psychological illness. You ever hear of "narcistic sociopath?" It's just an adjective to the noun.

Gaslighting works, unfortunately, even when you know what the person is doing. I would not say anyone here is a narcissist, but I don't know absolutely everything pertaining to your problems. I knew my husband was using gaslighting, but it still worked. That stuff is powerful! Manipulative! Mind-controlling!

I suggest fighting off with the positive truth. (Notice I said positive and not negative.) Anyone can tell you, "Your sister doesn't love you," to manipulate you in keeping you away.
Negative truth: Of course she loves me! She says bad things about me, but she still loves me." That only feeds the emotional abuse.
Positive truth: Of course she loves me! She doesn't understand everything in her human element. I don't understand everything either. But she would never hurt me. It's an accident! She doesn't realize it! She's not doing it on purpose to aggravate me.

Now, toward the one abusing: there really isn't, unfortunately, much you can do there. A person can't force you to do anything, likewise you cannot force someone to stop their abuse. My husband is in jail. I hope while he is in there that he gets really good psychiatric help! He is undergoing an extensive psychiatric evaluation until a court review in April. Nobody anticipates "temporary insanity," but it will help him with getting the help he needs. Still, nobody can force him to do anything.

Noname
Member
Posts: 2380
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:58 pm

Re: Narcissism?

Post by Noname » Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:21 pm

Well, there is Narcissistic Personality Disorder which is a diagnosis. Then there are people who have high narcissistic traits - usually caused by other disorders. Either way, call a spade a spade. If someone behaves narcissistically most of the time I think it's perfectly fine to say they are a narcissist/narcissistic. Narcissism (NPD or otherwise) is mostly just a pattern of destructive behaviors.

About intent... We here can't know whether your sister "means" to do the things she does. It could be unconscious. Or she could know exactly what she's doing. We have no way of knowing. BUT - if her behaviors are hurting you (which it sounds like they are) then intent doesn't matter, and you still need to find ways to take care of and protect yourself.

Sending more care and support your way, Magpie.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest