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Straight talk about NPD...questions.


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I haven't posted at all on this thread, but I'd like to say thank you to everyone who's shared very difficult stories and emotions, you've helped me enormously. Even when you know you've been treated horribly by a parent, there still remains that element of self-doubt when that parent presents such a sunny, friendly face to the rest of the world. Reading through this thread has helped me feel so much stronger.

 

:grouphug:

 

:iagree: Cassy, you took the words out of my mouth. I've finally come to terms w/ my parents NPD -- because my dad turned on one of my sons which stunned me -- but it's still nice to see that I'm not alone in the world. I mean, not that I'd wish this situation on anyone. I wouldn't.

 

To not have your parents like you is . . . well, there just isn't words for how devastating it is.

 

Take care, everyone,

 

Alley

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:grouphug:MyCrazyHouse

 

How do you explain the little things...the tone of voice that sends chills down your spine, the digs that to the casual observer sound like an innocent comment, but b/c of the history, the set of the jaw, the look in the eye you know you've just been knifed in the gut?

 

 

Certain of those moments stick out for me and to this day, I have a hard time letting go, even though I've let go of quite a lot. One of the most virulent things she said to me was on my first day of eighth grade. I was standing in the hallway, getting ready for the first day of school and brushing my hair in the mirror that hung in the hallway. She came down the steps and the first thing she said to me was, "It's what on the inside that counts."

 

It's not what she said, but HOW she said it. Yes, I know. It is what on the inside that counts. I never cared about how I looked. Still don't. But the tone of her voice would make you think that I was primping and preening and making myself look gorgeous, while simultaneously stabbing babies or something. It was with a look and a tone of voice that let me know that I was a miserable slug, vain, conceited, self centered, etc. (None of which were true, which I knew even back then.) I will never forget that day. It was the first time that I realized that it was HER, not me with the problem. I still broke down sobbing and started the new school year with the reinforcement that my mother thought I was a horrible person. But, it finally clicked that no matter what I did, it would never be good enough for her.

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Has anyone come up with an appropriate, polite response for these situations:

 

-People tell you your NPD is such a saint and how lucky you are...

-People tell you you should 'forgive' because you only have one 'NPD'

-People ask (in shock) why you do not talk to your NPD or visit them

-People treat you like you are evil incarnate for 'turning your back' on the NPD

 

And are the responses different if they are acquaintances or close friends/family?

 

It is tempting to want to justify your actions and yet others aren't going to understand anyways. So how can you respond without looking like what the NPD says you are?

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Has anyone come up with an appropriate, polite response for these situations:

Well, I'm new to this but this is what I've been doing.

-People tell you your NPD is such a saint and how lucky you are...Smile and nod & try to avoid.

-People tell you you should 'forgive' because you only have one 'NPD' I like Imp's response about being thankful because she couldn't survive another.

-People ask (in shock) why you do not talk to your NPD or visit them Not been asked this yet.

-People treat you like you are evil incarnate for 'turning your back' on the NPD

Not been asked this yet but I'm guessing this person would just be avoided from then on.

And are the responses different if they are acquaintances or close friends/family? Yes, acquaintances may or may not get more honesty from me because they can take me or leave me, their call. Family gets more smile & nod because I'm not trying to cut-off everyone nor am I trying to spread gossip about my NPD. If asked with sincerity I think I'd answer & take the response as comes.

 

It is tempting to want to justify your actions and yet others aren't going to understand anyways. So how can you respond without looking like what the NPD says you are?

 

Its a little different for me because my full-on NPD is my sister. My mother exhibits some strong NPD traits because she is co-dependent with said sister. NPD sister is also studying to become a psychotherapist. :lol: My other (oldest) sister is a psychiatrist (how convenient, eh?) but lives very faaaaaar away. Anyhow, I've cut-off my NPD sister. She lives with my parents, unfortunately. I've not completely cut-off my mother but we no longer have a mother-daughter relationship. The last incident was her telling me that she's no longer my mother because my NPD sister needs her more (after NPD sister attacks me trying to psychoanalyze by outlining my many issues) and was a list of how she was so disappointed in me. Lots of forgiveness lectures as well. All of these comments are denied later. My children no longer go to their house without me or DH (this is a big change & has been really hard for them) and I only speak to her when needed. My dad calls me regularly and hints around about how long is this going to last. Christmas has always been at their house and will be a challenge this year. Pretty much anyone who knows some of what's going on still thinks I'm the unreasonable one unless they've studied/researched NPD in some significant way.

 

I think what many people also don't get is how unless you completely cut-off contact with NPD, the attacks are almost 100% unavoidable. There is no passing the bean-dip, walking away, you can't even pretend to agree to make it go away. The NPD is 100% calculating & out to get you & they will not stop until its done. Even then they may not stop. You cannot survive the constant attacks without severe emotional damage or becoming a robot. Yes, I know how paranoid & out-there this sounds. Its just the truth and you don't understand unless you've lived it.

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Has anyone come up with an appropriate, polite response for these situations:

 

-People tell you your NPD is such a saint and how lucky you are...

-People tell you you should 'forgive' because you only have one 'NPD'

-People ask (in shock) why you do not talk to your NPD or visit them

-People treat you like you are evil incarnate for 'turning your back' on the NPD

 

And are the responses different if they are acquaintances or close friends/family?

 

It is tempting to want to justify your actions and yet others aren't going to understand anyways. So how can you respond without looking like what the NPD says you are?

 

For some people, I don't think there are any responses. You will never have a satisfying answer. I'm working on not caring what other people think of me. Those who truly know me, know that I am not any of the things my mother has accused me of being. Nor are any of my siblings.

 

I still have contact with my mother, but what she says and does bothers me less and less as I've worked on building up my own self esteem. I'm learning how to say no to her and I don't cave in to all her requests anymore. Her guilt trips still threaten to do me in some days, but in general, I've become much more adept at shrugging off the guilt.

 

I do feel sorry for her. She was one of 4 girls in her family, and ALL of them are completely psycho. The oldest sister was the most classic NPD you could possibly imagine. She even drove her closest friends away from her because of her behavior. My mom is another NPD. Another aunt lives in a co-dependent fantasy land, and the baby of the family is so nuts, she can't even pass herself as normal in any kind of circumstance. I really have to pity the childhood they must have had to all turn out so nuts. I've heard stories, and they suffered physical and emotional abuse their whole lives.

 

So, instead of trying to come up with responses to people who could never possibly understand, I work on letting their reactions to me not matter to me.

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Certain of those moments stick out for me and to this day, I have a hard time letting go, even though I've let go of quite a lot. One of the most virulent things she said to me was on my first day of eighth grade. I was standing in the hallway, getting ready for the first day of school and brushing my hair in the mirror that hung in the hallway. She came down the steps and the first thing she said to me was, "It's what on the inside that counts."

 

It's not what she said, but HOW she said it. Yes, I know. It is what on the inside that counts. I never cared about how I looked. Still don't. But the tone of her voice would make you think that I was primping and preening and making myself look gorgeous, while simultaneously stabbing babies or something. It was with a look and a tone of voice that let me know that I was a miserable slug, vain, conceited, self centered, etc. (None of which were true, which I knew even back then.) I will never forget that day. It was the first time that I realized that it was HER, not me with the problem. I still broke down sobbing and started the new school year with the reinforcement that my mother thought I was a horrible person. But, it finally clicked that no matter what I did, it would never be good enough for her.

You set off another memory for me. I was dressed up to go to a theatre performance, and got told that just b/c I cleaned up well didn't meant that I was any good...that you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

 

-People tell you your NPD is such a saint and how lucky you are...

-People tell you you should 'forgive' because you only have one 'NPD'

-People ask (in shock) why you do not talk to your NPD or visit them

-People treat you like you are evil incarnate for 'turning your back' on the NPD

 

And are the responses different if they are acquaintances or close friends/family?

 

Honestly, the best way I've found to deal w/it is to be living in another province where nobody knows either my mother or MIL. I only wish I was kidding.

 

Ppl tell me to forgive...I say that forgiveness does not = reconcilliation.

 

Ppl ask why I don't talk to my mother...I say that I've done everything I possibly can, but she simply isn't capable of a healthy relationship, and it was negatively effecting not only myself, but my children as well, and I have to do what's needed to protect my babies.

 

I've also said that I've come to realize that I simply cannot heal or 'fix' her, and the more I tried to be the perfect dd, the worse it got...and that I was robbing my dh and children of my emotional energy, that by RIGHTS belongs to them, first and foremost.

 

Honestly, I've gotten to the point where I simply let it pretty much hang out. I'm blunt and honest when it comes up. I'm not hiding her secrets anymore for her. I'm unmasking her. It's not that I seek out opps to do so irl, but at the same time, I'm not going to lie and say it's a personality conflict, or the distance, or whatever. I'm done covering for her.

 

And anyone that wants to sit in judgement, shun me, talk behind my back...well, they aren't ppl I want or need in my life anyways.

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[ So yes, that's just exactly what level an NPD will sink to in order to maintain "center of attention." This is why I encourage people to protect themselves. You can imagine the psychological damage this has caused my niece.

 

Faith

I'm sorry you sil is this way, and yeah - I've NPDers in my life as well. (well, one is dead, and another I've cut off contact with.) Making jokes does help with keeping ones sanity.

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Pardon me please, for jumping in to ask a question.

 

From what I understand about reading about NPD in general, things shared here, and IRL, it seems to me that NPD's prey mostly on those they feel are weaker and submissive and controllable.

 

Is that correct? If so, what might a NPD be likely to do with someone that shows a very strong, dominant "I'm not going to put up with your carp anymore" attitude?

 

I know the NPD's behavior isn't going to go away, but would it be lessened for a dominant personality or would standing up for oneself just make it that much worse?

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Pardon me please, for jumping in to ask a question.

 

From what I understand about reading about NPD in general, things shared here, and IRL, it seems to me that NPD's prey mostly on those they feel are weaker and submissive and controllable.

 

Is that correct? If so, what might a NPD be likely to do with someone that shows a very strong, dominant "I'm not going to put up with your carp anymore" attitude?

 

I know the NPD's behavior isn't going to go away, but would it be lessened for a dominant personality or would standing up for oneself just make it that much worse?

 

In my own case, it only makes it worse, If I had come in that way, there would have never been a relationship in the first place, or it would have been really short lived.

 

My dad shows some NPD traits, and while he is difficult, standing up to him does generally have the normal effect of causing him to back down and reconsider. (most of the time) This is how I personally distinguish between having the traits, and full blown disorder :glare:

 

But now that I have already in the past, fallen for the charm, any standing up I do is seen as provocation and only escalates the situation. I am not able to go totally non contact for several more years. So I just do the best I can, and try not to totally panic when I HAVE to stand up, knowing that it is only going to escalate the situation.

 

 

I have a current example I am willing to share, if anyone wants to see it they can PM me....Not putting it out in its entirety for the world to see!!!

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Pardon me please, for jumping in to ask a question.

 

From what I understand about reading about NPD in general, things shared here, and IRL, it seems to me that NPD's prey mostly on those they feel are weaker and submissive and controllable.

 

Is that correct? If so, what might a NPD be likely to do with someone that shows a very strong, dominant "I'm not going to put up with your carp anymore" attitude?

 

I know the NPD's behavior isn't going to go away, but would it be lessened for a dominant personality or would standing up for oneself just make it that much worse?

It really depends on the N.

 

My mother would take it as a threat and challenge, and seek to tear down that person. Esp if it's a potential inlaw. I've seen that one in action.

 

For her kids who took that attitude, all holy Hades broke loose. It was completely unacceptable, and the lengths she went to to tear it down is pretty astounding.

 

Ns, generally speaking, take boundaries as a personal insult, a challenge, a "Don't you DARE tell me no!" reaction. It can trigger several different (general) reactions.

 

Smear campaign: they tell everyone how horrid you are, mentally ill, abusive, neglectful, liar, thief...anything to discredit you.

 

Marytr/victim: often part of the smear campaign to others, but crying, hysterics, completely innocent of any wrong doing and can't understand why you're doing this to them, they LOVE you, you're their WORLD, they want to die b/c you're doing this to them...

 

Sheer rage: How DARE you. Vicious insults, put downs, anything and everything to break you down into a snivelling ball in the corner, to get you back into 'your place' in their world. This can include false allegations w/CPS, police, etc (can also be included in a smear campaign) esp when there are gkids involved.

 

Sometimes, depending on what 'flavour' of N they are, they'll simply ignore you and allow you to fade away...until they get bored at some point or another, or decide 'this has gone on long enough' and seek to drag you back into the fold.

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And it's the glee, the pure joy that they display at other people's pain that is the most toxic thing of all. It's evil. Truly evil and I'm not afraid to say it.
I was given a copy of my grandparents 50th anniversary snapshot. It was *that* smile, and it was all I could do to not burn it. I gave it to my brother, 'cause I sure didn't want to ever see "that" smile again. (or remember *that* laugh that often accompanied it.) still gives me chills.
:iagree:

And that's part of the issue I deal w/too. Since I firmly believe that *both* my mother and MIL have NPD (AsPD as well, for my mother) It's been asked why I can't be more forgiving, since it's a persnonality disorder, and therefore, presumably they are incapable of controling their behaviour.

 

Bullhonky, says I.

 

Both my mother and MIL are perfectly capable of behaving appropriately in public. That speaks of control and choice.

 

If they can behave themselves for some ppl, they COULD behave themselves around family. They choose NOT to do so.

 

It's the element of choice involved that is the hardest to deal w/, the reality that they COULD treat you better, but simply don't consider you important enough to give that level of respect to.

so true. if they control it in front of strangers - it's not something they can't control if they want to.

Oh yes, my mother told me repeatedly that they considered an abortion. Lovely for a child to hear, right?

.

:grouphug: I got that too. Loved Orson Scott Card's line in Ender's Game about being a "third". I was a third. at least my mother was eventually glad she had me.

:iagree: I've been quiet on this thread, but I just had to come in and agree 100% with what Imp said.

 

Victims just cannot talk about this crap IRL. No one believed my "cool" mom would ever do/say the things she did to me. So victims just don't talk about it. No one believes us. And we are lead to believe it's all our fault, especially when the NPD person is a parent.

so true. I was in counseling at one point, and as I was describing some of her crap, the COUNSELOR had a look of stunned disbelief/horror on his face and was sputtering - "but that's abuse". well, duh.

 

vinidcation is a big thing, becasue we see this, we say this is what is happening, but we're not believed or told we're imagining things. It's so easy to think we're the crazy one.

 

the effects of a NPD person in a person's life really depends up on the relationship. the closer and more primacy the relationship, the more profound the effects.

 

Has anyone come up with an appropriate, polite response for these situations:

 

And are the responses different if they are acquaintances or close friends/family?

 

It is tempting to want to justify your actions and yet others aren't going to understand anyways. So how can you respond without looking like what the NPD says you are?

:iagree: People who've never experience this firsthand, rarely understand. Even people who have, if they are still sucked into the games - they will defend the NPDer. there are different postions of family members. e.g. the golden child and the scapegoat. it's the scapegoats that are most likely to esape the cycle.

 

Other people's first instinct is to disbelieve what you say, and this it is "just you". It is just too far outside their perview. I've found even trained therapists can have a hard time believing what someone is capable of doing when only family is watching. I've gotten to point of saying *at most* - my grandmother was an unhappy person. grandmother had her issues, etc. pretty generic responses. while healing, there *is* a need to talk about it, alot. I think much of that is the need for validation that you. are. not. crazy! The problem with that is, people don't believe so you need to find someone who will believe you.

 

My brother (whom I've since realized is NPD and we currently have no contact.), was constantly on my case becasue I refused to worship at grandmother's alter "and said such terrible things about her". when I realized he was NPD too, it all made a sick sort of sense.

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[-I think what many people also don't get is how unless you completely cut-off contact with NPD, the attacks are almost 100% unavoidable. There is no passing the bean-dip, walking away, you can't even pretend to agree to make it go away. The NPD is 100% calculating & out to get you & they will not stop until its done. Even then they may not stop. You cannot survive the constant attacks without severe emotional damage or becoming a robot. Yes, I know how paranoid & out-there this sounds. Its just the truth and you don't understand unless you've lived it.

 

This is so true. NPDs are dangerous, wicked and are truely horrible.

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It's not what she said, but HOW she said it. I will never forget that day. It was the first time that I realized that it was HER, not me with the problem. it finally clicked that no matter what I did, it would never be good enough for her.

 

This is why so few people who've never been there understand - it's "the tone", it's so insidious it is pavlovian. it's the sand in the shoes that no one can see, but will rub your skin raw. Then some gravel thrown in that people can see, but often write off as a one-off event.

I was 13 when I realized my grandmother was a flagrant hypocrite. I had come over to house/dog sit for the neighbors. the wife was sick, so they stayed home. I was staying overnight at my grandmothers and was going to take the bus home the next day. The husband came down to pay me for my trouble of coming over. He was on the back porch, and I was in the doorway. at the opposite side of the kitchen, my grandmother was urging me to decline being paid, becasue "they didn't get to go on their trip." fine, whatever. As soon as I closed the door, it was *that* tone and her "they should have paid you." Honestly, I don't remember if he did or not - just the realization she was such a hypocrite of pretending to be good and gracious to the outside world, and absolutely not when it was "Just family".

 

she was in the middle of ten girls. One of her older sisters - who was quite beloved by the neices and nephews (though she had her own things) came to me in tears one day wanting to know "why does your grandmother hate me?" well, it's like this. you have nice things, and she's jealous. (gm was *very* materialistic) she also has the ability to hold a grudge so long, she doesn't know why she's mad, just that she was wronged and you must come groveling and begging her forgivenss.

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This is why so few people who've never been there understand - it's "the tone", it's so insidious it is pavlovian. it's the sand in the shoes that no one can see, but will rub your skin raw. Then some gravel thrown in that people can see, but often write off as a one-off event.

I was 13 when I realized my grandmother was a flagrant hypocrite. I had come over to house/dog sit for the neighbors. the wife was sick, so they stayed home. I was staying overnight at my grandmothers and was going to take the bus home the next day. The husband came down to pay me for my trouble of coming over. He was on the back porch, and I was in the doorway. at the opposite side of the kitchen, my grandmother was urging me to decline being paid, becasue "they didn't get to go on their trip." fine, whatever. As soon as I closed the door, it was *that* tone and her "they should have paid you." Honestly, I don't remember if he did or not - just the realization she was such a hypocrite of pretending to be good and gracious to the outside world, and absolutely not when it was "Just family".

 

she was in the middle of ten girls. One of her older sisters - who was quite beloved by the neices and nephews (though she had her own things) came to me in tears one day wanting to know "why does your grandmother hate me?" well, it's like this. you have nice things, and she's jealous. (gm was *very* materialistic) she also has the ability to hold a grudge so long, she doesn't know why she's mad, just that she was wronged and you must come groveling and begging her forgivenss.

:iagree:My mother was so materialistic it's mind boggling. I genuinely don't know how it is that I'm completely careless when it comes to material goods. I focus on needs, but wants? Meh. I mean, yes, I'm pleased when we're able to acheive something special (ie Wolf getting me a new wedding set) but my life isn't miserable or unpleasant w/out it, or before it.

 

My mother? Woe betide the person that had more. Or she perceived as having more. She'd compete w/ppl that had no clue there was a competition. They were simply living their lives, but to her, they were insulting her by having something she didn't, or nicer than she did. Completely unacceptable.

 

And if it was me? Oy.

 

I graduated from college. She never went. So, in retaliation, she wouldn't attend my grad, and completely, totally, and utterly ignored that I'd ever done it at all. I wasn't allowed to succeed in any way, shape or form. My role was to be the one that everyone looked down on, who made them feel better, b/c 'at least we're doing better than Imp'.

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Has anyone come up with an appropriate, polite response for these situations:

 

-People tell you your NPD is such a saint and how lucky you are...

-People tell you you should 'forgive' because you only have one 'NPD'

-People ask (in shock) why you do not talk to your NPD or visit them

-People treat you like you are evil incarnate for 'turning your back' on the NPD

 

And are the responses different if they are acquaintances or close friends/family?

 

It is tempting to want to justify your actions and yet others aren't going to understand anyways. So how can you respond without looking like what the NPD says you are?

 

I dealt with this in high school, because my mother was a prominent figure in the school district. She'd brag about me in public, but shred me to ribbons in private. When word started getting out how abusive she was (and still is), she'd tell people I was mentally ill, shed some crocodile tears and bask in the sympathy of having such a difficult daughter and what a saint she was for enduring it. SO, when I'd run into people who were just shocked at the notion that she was anything other than perfect, it was very difficult to deal with and I usually didn't have a good answer.

 

Eventually, though, enough people saw her true colors and her reputation changed. She moved from the area and refuses to go back, which makes me giggle.

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It really depends on the N.

 

My mother would take it as a threat and challenge, and seek to tear down that person. Esp if it's a potential inlaw. I've seen that one in action.

 

For her kids who took that attitude, all holy Hades broke loose. It was completely unacceptable, and the lengths she went to to tear it down is pretty astounding.

 

Ns, generally speaking, take boundaries as a personal insult, a challenge, a "Don't you DARE tell me no!" reaction. It can trigger several different (general) reactions.

 

Smear campaign: they tell everyone how horrid you are, mentally ill, abusive, neglectful, liar, thief...anything to discredit you.

 

Marytr/victim: often part of the smear campaign to others, but crying, hysterics, completely innocent of any wrong doing and can't understand why you're doing this to them, they LOVE you, you're their WORLD, they want to die b/c you're doing this to them...

 

Sheer rage: How DARE you. Vicious insults, put downs, anything and everything to break you down into a snivelling ball in the corner, to get you back into 'your place' in their world. This can include false allegations w/CPS, police, etc (can also be included in a smear campaign) esp when there are gkids involved.

 

Sometimes, depending on what 'flavour' of N they are, they'll simply ignore you and allow you to fade away...until they get bored at some point or another, or decide 'this has gone on long enough' and seek to drag you back into the fold.

Yup. Mine can/will do any of those, depending on where she is in her engulf-ignore cycle. Her primary reaction is the martyr/smear campaign combo. It gets her lots of attention while discrediting me. Win-win!

:iagree:My mother was so materialistic it's mind boggling. I genuinely don't know how it is that I'm completely careless when it comes to material goods. I focus on needs, but wants? Meh. I mean, yes, I'm pleased when we're able to acheive something special (ie Wolf getting me a new wedding set) but my life isn't miserable or unpleasant w/out it, or before it.

 

My mother? Woe betide the person that had more. Or she perceived as having more. She'd compete w/ppl that had no clue there was a competition. They were simply living their lives, but to her, they were insulting her by having something she didn't, or nicer than she did. Completely unacceptable.

 

And if it was me? Oy.

 

I graduated from college. She never went. So, in retaliation, she wouldn't attend my grad, and completely, totally, and utterly ignored that I'd ever done it at all. I wasn't allowed to succeed in any way, shape or form. My role was to be the one that everyone looked down on, who made them feel better, b/c 'at least we're doing better than Imp'.

 

Oh my word! This is SO my mother. She is SO materialistic, it's absurd.

 

Does anyone else have an NPDr that would drive around at night, looking in people's uncovered windows, just to make sure s/he was still ahead in decorating?

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:iagree: Cassy, you took the words out of my mouth. I've finally come to terms w/ my parents NPD -- because my dad turned on one of my sons which stunned me -- but it's still nice to see that I'm not alone in the world. I mean, not that I'd wish this situation on anyone. I wouldn't.

 

To not have your parents like you is . . . well, there just isn't words for how devastating it is.

 

Take care, everyone,

 

Alley

 

:crying: I know. I mean, what kind of a person am I that my parents hate me and threw me away? What is truly mind-boggling is that they threw the GIRLS away too. My brain just can't compute.

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Does anyone else have an NPDr that would drive around at night, looking in people's uncovered windows, just to make sure s/he was still ahead in decorating?

No, but mine used me and my infant son as a screen to go screw around.

 

Told my Dad we were going shopping, then told ME that she had to feed a male coworker's fish...left us in the car for almost 2 hrs, came back w/damp hair and smelling of diff shampoo.

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Pardon me please, for jumping in to ask a question.

 

From what I understand about reading about NPD in general, things shared here, and IRL, it seems to me that NPD's prey mostly on those they feel are weaker and submissive and controllable.

 

Is that correct? If so, what might a NPD be likely to do with someone that shows a very strong, dominant "I'm not going to put up with your carp anymore" attitude?

 

I know the NPD's behavior isn't going to go away, but would it be lessened for a dominant personality or would standing up for oneself just make it that much worse?

 

It does make it that much worse. I'm the one who didn't want to put up with things, and I bore the brunt of my mother. My sister is passive and doesn't care about anything, and she's co-dependent with my mother. She is totally under my mom's thumb and that's how my mom likes things.

 

I finally moved out of her house and in with my dad when I was 15-16, and do you know, she held a grudge against me until we cut off contact last December over that? She even held a grudge against me because SHE bought me a cup of gas station coffee once when I had brought the girls 8 hours away to visit her. Because she couldn't be bothered to come.

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It does make it that much worse. I'm the one who didn't want to put up with things, and I bore the brunt of my mother. My sister is passive and doesn't care about anything, and she's co-dependent with my mother. She is totally under my mom's thumb and that's how my mom likes things.

 

I finally moved out of her house and in with my dad when I was 15-16, and do you know, she held a grudge against me until we cut off contact last December over that?

I totally believe it.

 

I left home at 15, had my Dad charged w/assault in the 1st degree. (Completely justified, she lied in court, the police didn't take pics, he got off) Anyways, it was constantly thrown in my face that I "was the one who left home." as to why they didn't help out at all w/my college, why they didn't help out w/anything, why my younger bros were so blatantly favoured, why she was so nasty w/me as an adult...the list goes on.

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Pardon me please, for jumping in to ask a question.

 

From what I understand about reading about NPD in general, things shared here, and IRL, it seems to me that NPD's prey mostly on those they feel are weaker and submissive and controllable.

 

Is that correct? If so, what might a NPD be likely to do with someone that shows a very strong, dominant "I'm not going to put up with your carp anymore" attitude?

 

I know the NPD's behavior isn't going to go away, but would it be lessened for a dominant personality or would standing up for oneself just make it that much worse?

 

Escalate the behavior in some way(s). Direct confrontation will trigger the N to create a whole new level of misery for their victims.

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I think there's another reason, a deeper, darker one...not necc for you, Jen, but one I've found to be true in many of the ppl I talk to about childhood abuse, NPD or not.

 

We, the victims of the abusers, believe it to be OUR fault.

 

:iagree: And this has played out in the other relationships with friends I have attracted that are NPD. Person makes sniper comments that take you off guard and leave you breathless...Person denies their wrongs when confronted because they do know wrong.. Person takes advantage of your boundaries even when you were explicitly clear and turns it around in your face... What is my response? Maybe if I did this...that wouldn't have happened or If I say it this way, than maybe I will be heard.

 

I finally have realized that wth, why am I working so hard to make this work when it. isn't. me. People who are not NPD don't treat you this way. It isn't this much work. Best thing my friend ever said to me, "Don't you have enough respect for yourself to stop putting up with that treatment?" Whoa...did I have to process that. No, I never even thought about it in those terms.

 

When you are busy in the trenches dodging the bullets..that isn't what you are thinking at. all. It is a sick, twisted relationship. The person you call mom, dad, friend can be charming, can make promises, can be nice. You live for those moments knowing though, at any moment you will get shot again, when you least expect it. In the worst way possible. You can never predicate what that way will be. Still, you try desperately to win their approval. Worse, you think that is normal.

 

Love this by J.J. Heller:

Who will love me for me

Not for what I have done or what I will become

Who will love me for me

'Cause nobody has shown me what love

What love really means

 

Thank God, I married someone who has helped me see what love really means.

Edited by QuirkyKapers
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:iagree:My mother was so materialistic it's mind boggling. I genuinely don't know how it is that I'm completely careless when it comes to material goods. I focus on needs, but wants? Meh. I mean, yes, I'm pleased when we're able to acheive something special (ie Wolf getting me a new wedding set) but my life isn't miserable or unpleasant w/out it, or before it.

 

My mother? Woe betide the person that had more. Or she perceived as having more. She'd compete w/ppl that had no clue there was a competition. They were simply living their lives, but to her, they were insulting her by having something she didn't, or nicer than she did. Completely unacceptable.

 

And if it was me? Oy.

 

I graduated from college. She never went. So, in retaliation, she wouldn't attend my grad, and completely, totally, and utterly ignored that I'd ever done it at all. I wasn't allowed to succeed in any way, shape or form. My role was to be the one that everyone looked down on, who made them feel better, b/c 'at least we're doing better than Imp'.

there were times, I didn't even know a competition was on. My sister was the golden child (I actually feel sorry for her, it ruined her life. she's never been able to acknowldege and work on the damage.) and the one who "deserved" all the good things were to be bestowed on her. every good thing that happend to me, I "stole" from my sister. I didn't "deserve them" , sissy did. sissy (five years OLDER than me) made many poor choices, and I was blamed. (because I didn't do those things.)

 

when I finally realized there was a competition going on - i simply refused to play. By that time, I didn't have the family I wanted, but I did have my self-respect. (though it still took years to get all the animosity out.) I never fully severed contact as by that time she was pretty old, but did have strict contact rules. that's about all you can do. my sister was so dependent upon seeking her approbation (that was NEVER dispensed!), she was a broken mess when gm died. Me - let's have a partay . . . even my mother only felt relief.

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Can I ask what you all see as your best coping skills when you are on the other side of the situation?

 

I am currently stuck in the middle of some interaction that is making it hard for me to breath, I have had several people whom I trust read and talk through the exchanges in order to hear their honest opinions.

 

But what do you do when your stomach turns over, and your throat closes up, and when the anger at the ridiculous snarky tone threatens to send you right over the edge?

 

Talking about it, contrary to most things in my life, really seems to just make me feel much worse, and since so few people really get it, it is mostly futile.

 

So how do you all, even knowing the "why" of the behavior, cope with the shame, self doubt, physical weariness/combined with pure adrenaline, etc. when you have no choice but to interact?

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My response was finally, "I have MORE kids than you do, they're home all the time, and yes, I lost more babies than you did! There, I win!" And I walked away.

 

Too funny. My mom often went on and on about how poor they were before they had kids. And then when their first (myself) came along how they "had a baby in a one bedroom apt. and practically had to eat mac 'n cheese every night."

 

Big woop-de-doo, right? She was in her "poor" situation for maybe two years and I always used to wonder, "Why did she get pregnant if they didn't want a baby in an apt.?? Did they think a house was coming with the baby??"

 

Long story short: My poor years were much longer than hers so she finally shut up about that.

 

Plus. . . I finally realized that she got pregnant with me to keep my dad out of Vietnam. At one point if you were in college you got out of it and then later if you were married with kids you got out.

 

NPD's use, use, use. Even babies.

 

Alley

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:iagree: And this has played out in the other relationships with friends I have attracted that are NPD. Person makes sniper comments that take you off guard and leave you breathless...Person denies their wrongs when confronted because they do know wrong.. Person takes advantage of your boundaries even when you were explicitly clear and turns it around in your face... What is my response? Maybe if I did this...that wouldn't have happened or If I say it this way, than maybe I will be heard.

 

I finally have realized that wth, why am I working so hard to make this work when it. isn't. me. People who are not NPD don't treat you this way. It isn't this much work. Best thing my friend ever said to me, "Don't you have enough respect for yourself to stop putting up with that treatment?" Whoa...did I have to process that. No, I never even thought about it in those terms.

 

When you are busy in the trenches dodging the bullets..that isn't what you are thinking at. all. It is a sick, twisted relationship. The person you call mom, dad, friend can be charming, can make promises, can be nice. You live for those moments knowing though, at any moment you will get shot again, when you least expect it. In the worst way possible. You can never predicate what that way will be. Still, you try desperately to win their approval. Worse, you think that is normal.

 

Love this by J.J. Heller:

Who will love me for me

Not for what I have done or what I will become

Who will love me for me

'Cause nobody has shown me what love

What love really means

 

Thank God, I married someone who has helped me see what love really means.

 

Oh man! The Emotional Guerrilla Warfare! You think they've finally learned boundaries, finally changed, then they stage an ambush and run away with an innocent look on their face. When you cut off contact, again, they tell everyone how hurtful/mean/evil/psychotic/crazy you are, liberally lying to make them look like the poor innocent victim. Then you start to think that maybe it was your fault, like you were raised to believe. It takes years to finally let go of that guilt-the guilty feeling that somehow you caused you mom to be crazy and if you we're just a little bit more_____ then mom would be ok.

 

And I get the whole "my parent doesn't like me" thing. A couple of years ago my mom told me "My biggest parenting regret is that I never fixed your teeth." Really? You are most sorry about the fact that I'm not pretty enough for you? You're not sorry for all those times you beat the crap out of me? The times I, at the age of 4, walked down the street alone to get your pot? You're not sorry for grabbing my thighs and telling me to go on a diet? Not sorry for telling me my dh would leave me if I got fat? Not sorry for the years of physical, verbal, and emotional abuse? And all the other crap you put me through? You're just sorry I'm not pretty enough. Bless your overweight, psychotic little heart.

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Bless your overweight, psychotic little heart.

:lol:

 

How bout these one liners:

 

*The only hope for you is to marry a deaf man...

*Your father could be driving a jaguar for all the money we are spending on you to go to therapy.....

*You better watch what you eat, you might get fat....(I weighed 85 lbs in grade 12:001_huh:)

*You know, when I saw you at ___, you looked like slut. Your skirt was too small and your eye makeup too heavy..

 

Thanks for all the love mom! Not. :glare:

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Re: competition

I was a single parent for over 10 yrs. My mother once told me that she had been a single parent too, so she earned those stripes.

 

She'd been a 'single' parent for less than 2 mths. Left her 1st dh, moved in w/my gma, and then in w/her now dh by the end of the next mth. She never even lived on her own. And, had been having an affair w/dh#2 while w/dh#1.

 

But yeah, she 'earned those stripes'. *eyeroll*

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I have long wrestled with the practical issue of how I can actively honor my parents while not allowing them any contact. I also agree strongly that one way to honor them is by removing the opportunity to abuse me and my family.

 

If they were alcoholics I wouldn't buy them alcohol, and no one would disagree with that decision.

 

In the same way, since they are abusers of people, I'm not going to supply them with people to abuse. They are free to go out and find their own people to abuse, but I'm not helping them by making it easier for them to do so.

 

I also think it's good to compare it to the relationship between David and King Saul. David managed to honor Saul while at the same time staying far away from him (Saul wanted to kill him, after all). However, when David had the opportunity to kill Saul, he did not. He respected the role of king that God had for Saul at that time and he did not seek to injure Saul. God did take care of the situation, and in the meantime, we got some awesome Psalms. ;)

 

I think we're to do the same - keep safe, well out of the reach of these toxic people, yet not seek to harm them in return.

 

I try to honor my parents by:

 

Not continuing the cycle of abuse

Not seeking revenge

Trying not to speak ill of them (I don't always succeed at that)

Keeping their targets (my family) away from them

Praying for them

 

 

 

I think this is the best advice here. Especially not speaking ill of them, which makes the speaker as toxic as those she is speaking about, and the kids are watching.

 

It sounds like you have a really balanced approach.

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1. If you had an NPD parent, was there a lot of yelling and screaming in your house?

 

2. How was/is your NPD with pets?

1. Oh dear heavens, YES. Screaming at us kids, at her dh (he's at least an N himself), him screaming at her...to this day, raised voices makes me have what I can best describe as an anxiety attack.

 

2. Same as w/kids. Attentive if there was an audience, ignoring or cruel in private.

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Plus. . . I finally realized that she got pregnant with me to keep my dad out of Vietnam. At one point if you were in college you got out of it and then later if you were married with kids you got out.

 

NPD's use, use, use. Even babies.

 

 

 

Oh for goodness sakes. Millions of people either had babies, or went to college to avoid the Viet Nam war. It doesn't mean all those babies were "used".

 

Some just had philosophical conflicts with that war.

 

Most of my brother's friends went to college or had babies. The view of that war had really turned by then.

Edited by TranquilMind
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Thank you for this thread. I'm still not 100% convinced that the difficult person in my life is fully NPD, but some things are ringing really true - and it's nice to know I'm not crazy.

 

Just recently things blew up again, my DH was there for it this time and was blown away. We've been married nearly 10 years and he finally believes me! Not that he didn't believe me before, but it was just unbelievable, kwim? He's been impressed that I can so accurately predict her next move...

 

My bestie has it worse than me, and it's uncanny how some episodes have been eerily similar...

Edited by LMD
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1. If you had an NPD parent, was there a lot of yelling and screaming in your house?

 

2. How was/is your NPD with pets?

 

my mom is the ignoring NPD, but she had a raging temper that would flare out bright and harsh. She'd get mad and slam doors, cupboards, swear and mutter- mostly she muttered and slammed cupboards. She would mostly say "dam-#t Sam" one day, when I was 4 I asked her who sam was and got slapped. As a rule though, I wouldn't say there was a lot of yelling, it came in spurts. Mostly you just tried to not drive her over the edge.

 

2. The pets. She always had a lot of pets, later when we (my sis and I) moved out and had families, she collected many parrots and then several dogs. She dressed the dogs up, spoiled them. I hate to admit it, but I was jealous of the love and things she lavished on those dogs. I was at a baby shower she was hosting once and the guests were gushing on about her 2 dogs and how cute they were and how everyone at the dog salon talks about the "...... girls" coming in...and I was so angry because as a kid/teen being taken to get my hair cut at supercuts was rare, in high school I had very little clothes, had 2 pairs of jeans I rotated all week. -my mom then went in the house and came out gleefully with a wooden custom-made wardrobe full of dog clothes and I burned with anger. She rarely bought my babies anything and forgot most birthdays.

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my mom is the ignoring NPD, but she had a raging temper that would flare out bright and harsh. She'd get mad and slam doors, cupboards, swear and mutter- mostly she muttered and slammed cupboards. She would mostly say "dam-#t Sam" one day, when I was 4 I asked her who sam was and got slapped. As a rule though, I wouldn't say there was a lot of yelling, it came in spurts. Mostly you just tried to not drive her over the edge.

 

2. The pets. She always had a lot of pets, later when we (my sis and I) moved out and had families, she collected many parrots and then several dogs. She dressed the dogs up, spoiled them. I hate to admit it, but I was jealous of the love and things she lavished on those dogs. I was at a baby shower she was hosting once and the guests were gushing on about her 2 dogs and how cute they were and how everyone at the dog salon talks about the "...... girls" coming in...and I was so angry because as a kid/teen being taken to get my hair cut at supercuts was rare, in high school I had very little clothes, had 2 pairs of jeans I rotated all week. -my mom then went in the house and came out gleefully with a wooden custom-made wardrobe full of dog clothes and I burned with anger. She rarely bought my babies anything and forgot most birthdays.

What's w/parrots? My mother was into them for a bit too...attention for having a diff pet?

 

When Diva was a baby, my mother INSISTED she HAD TO HAVE a crib for her house. I got one via a friend. Very nice one, $$$, 2nd hand.

 

We were going up for Christmas. Mom tells me that there's a bit of mess, but to put a towel down in the crib. I'm confused...this wasn't a surprise visit, it was for freaking CHRISTMAS, why would there be a mess?

 

Uh...she'd let her freaking PARROT perch and sh!t all over the crib. Full of parrot carp. And expected me to put my approx 6wk old baby in there?! On a towel?!

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the yelling/temper...

 

I am really glad that because of my childhood, my kids have very different lives. I was once watching "Close encounters of the third kind" -Terrie Garr always reminded me of my mom...a mix of Terrie Garr, Goldie Hawn and Edina from Ab Fab :D anyways, I had a physical reaction to the scene where the mom and dad are fighting and the kids get emotional...we had so many scenes like that in my life- all out screaming "I hate you" and her shouting back and the crying till you are going to puke. I am so glad that my kids have never experienced that kind of trauma. Their worse hurts are losing a pet or crying over a much loved Grandpa dying- but that crying had nothing ugly in it, just pure sadness/missing him.

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1. Oh dear heavens, YES. Screaming at us kids, at her dh (he's at least an N himself), him screaming at her...to this day, raised voices makes me have what I can best describe as an anxiety attack.

 

2. Same as w/kids. Attentive if there was an audience, ignoring or cruel in private.

 

Yea, but it was the steely, intentionally "calm" modulated interactions that were the creepist. :eek::leaving:

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Can I ask what you all see as your best coping skills when you are on the other side of the situation?

 

I am currently stuck in the middle of some interaction that is making it hard for me to breath, I have had several people whom I trust read and talk through the exchanges in order to hear their honest opinions.

 

But what do you do when your stomach turns over, and your throat closes up, and when the anger at the ridiculous snarky tone threatens to send you right over the edge?

 

Talking about it, contrary to most things in my life, really seems to just make me feel much worse, and since so few people really get it, it is mostly futile.

 

So how do you all, even knowing the "why" of the behavior, cope with the shame, self doubt, physical weariness/combined with pure adrenaline, etc. when you have no choice but to interact?

 

Get treated for PTSD. Seriously; I am not kidding.

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1. If you had an NPD parent, was there a lot of yelling and screaming in your house?

 

2. How was/is your NPD with pets?

 

There was always yelling. Yelling so loud the neighbors would call the cops on my parents. And my parents would use me as a go-between when they were fighting. "Go tell your dad to go to he!!." "Go tell your mom she's a fat b!tch." I would be on the lawn crying while they were fighting and they would start yelling at me for being dramatic.

 

Pets. We had a few pets. Once they bought me a puppy when I was 4. Since I didn't take responsibility for my puppy (because I was 4!!!) they dumped him off in the woods. We had a poodle/pekinese mix for 5 years. I took care of that dog's needs. When he got out and was killed, my mom blamed me, sat in her closet for hours crying, and told me I was so stupid I would end up getting someone killed with my stupidity. She has a dog now, a little teacup poodle. She likes trendy dogs. Whatever. I'm sure when this one dies it will be my fault too.

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Pardon me please, for jumping in to ask a question.

 

From what I understand about reading about NPD in general, things shared here, and IRL, it seems to me that NPD's prey mostly on those they feel are weaker and submissive and controllable.

 

Is that correct? If so, what might a NPD be likely to do with someone that shows a very strong, dominant "I'm not going to put up with your carp anymore" attitude?

 

I know the NPD's behavior isn't going to go away, but would it be lessened for a dominant personality or would standing up for oneself just make it that much worse?

 

The problem with this assumption is that an intelligent, abusive NPD is patient in an evil way. They will insidiously build the web of abuse, *just barely* going over the line each time, and waiting until that episode is normalized.

 

15 years down the road, your *life* is abusive, by a long shot, and you don't know how you got there.

 

It's not about strength or dominant personalities. Although my abusive NPD did eventually try to get the strong people out of my life (my sister, several specific friends). By then, I had LOST who I was, but I wasn't vulnerable or weak when we met.

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1. If you had an NPD parent, was there a lot of yelling and screaming in your house?

 

2. How was/is your NPD with pets?

 

1. It came in cycles. She would scream like a lunatic over minor stuff, and speak with dead calm over the big stuff. I preferred the screaming. The dead calm usually came with bruises.

 

2. My mother killed my cat. A cat that stepdad #1 gave me for making the A-Honor Roll. I'll spare you the details, but it was violent, and I've never owned a cat since that day.

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1. If you had an NPD parent, was there a lot of yelling and screaming in your house?

 

2. How was/is your NPD with pets?

 

No. There was repressed, cat butt face, seething anger, quiet cuts... Yelling is beneath her.

 

She tolerates pets. Well, not exactly. She has a cat. I think she enjoys having someone completely dependent on her, but who she can bother with as little or as much as she wants. On the other hand, a dog needs too much. Like supervision, and daily interaction. And, of course, her cat has a dramatic back story (as did her other cat, who passed away a few years ago).

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1. If you had an NPD parent, was there a lot of yelling and screaming in your house?

 

2. How was/is your NPD with pets?

 

1. The yelling and screaming and hitting usually came out of nowhere. It was the typical abuse that you associate with abused wives: I hate broccoli! Why did you make it?? You know I hate it! And then the abuse. Except w/ my dad it wasn't over broccoli it was over equally ridiculous things.

 

2. My parents let us have a cat and then when I turned 11 a dog. Nothing too weird there.

 

Although my best friend's mom was devoted to her two cats and I know that she was jealous.

 

I don't think that NPD are always cut precisely from the same cloth. Their strangeness/awfulness can manifest differently. In my parent's case they were devoted to being super duper clean (OCD) and money. Beautiful cars, nice house in swanky suburb, cruises, Hawaii each year etc.

 

I'm now semi-prejudicial against wealthy people. I have to watch myself. And I'm very anxious around ultra-clean people too.

 

Alley

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Can I ask what you all see as your best coping skills when you are on the other side of the situation?

?

 

not so much helps.... but we do a few things that seem to have kept us on the better side of "sane".

a) at home, we each picked a peaceful place. we remembered it in great detail, the sights, the sounds, the smells, the feel.... my peaceful place is champagne pond, swimming with the sea turtles. i can see the sunlight thru the water, hear the bubbles popping, see the languid turtles glide by....

and when our dear NPD is in full flight, i just go to my peaceful place in my head. there are days when i visit it more than a dozen times. lately, dh and the kids have started a game of trying to catch me in the act of visiting my peaceful place, and i get interesting comments, such as "how many turtles this morning?" etc. it helps.

 

b) one time early on i said to dh that this must be what poor alice in wonderland felt like. he nodded, and then a few minutes later incident 93 of that visit occurred and he said to me, "i could swear i just saw a large white rabbit". and now, there are quiet comments about pocket watches, and being late for important dates. it helps remind us that at least one of our company isn't playing in the same world as the rest of us.

 

c) i have found it helps for me not to talk about it during the visit. i let the others talk to me as they need to, but i save my insights until after the fact. otherwise, it escalates unbelievably, as dh is quite accustomed to being treated that way, but has great difficulty when i get treated that way.

 

d) and our current response to being compared to the golden ones is to agree that it really is so exciting that dbil/dniece/dnephew/etc/etc did/received/won whatever. and to say, "you must be so proud". no discussion of what our dc did in that area, or what we did in that are, or anything at all. ie. we won't play the comparison game. we will take what she says they've accomplished at face value, and offer praise in the moment. and then remember that thru the looking glass, things definitely look different.

 

:grouphug:

ann

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1. If you had an NPD parent, was there a lot of yelling and screaming in your house?

 

2. How was/is your NPD with pets?

 

Yes. Lots of yelling, throwing things at me, hitting with belts, hangers, shoes, hair brushes and fists. That was my mother. My EX would either scream in my face or do the silent treatment. Both are NPD. To this day, if I hear someone yell, I literally break out in hives. I mean yell in anger. The other day at work, a coworker got in my face over something she happened to be completely wrong about, and I broke out in hives and thought I'd vomit. (Management dealt with her and I got an apology, btw)

 

Pets? Disposable. Pets would come and go at her whim. There'd be no real reason for their leaving. She'd make up some excuse that made it my fault, but the truth was, there was no real reason other than it was something she could hurt me with.

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