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  1. #11
    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    Hi Gloriana,

    I can definitely relate to this, especially after I read a book by a psychotherapist about narcissistic mothers and some ideas for moving past it (I can find this link for you if you'd like).

    I, too, wonder how much of me is a product of my narcissistic mother (who, oddly, might be an INFJ) and abusive father whom she enabled. Who knows? Some of the things are parallel, as you've implied in your post.

    1. Yes, completely. Others' needs are always above mine - though I'm trying to force this to change.

    2. Yes.

    3. Exactly. Whenever I meet people who get very show-and-tell with me quickly, I think, "how odd, they must have had parents who were interested in what they had to say". Yes - how can ignoring a child possibly send a clearer message to them, in their developmental years, that they do not matter?

    4. Yes - perfectionism/appearances. I was so, so broken down and depressed for much of my pre-teen/teen years. No action taken, no acknowledgement. The threat of my 12-year-old self making a few Bs? Pull out the big guns, resources, etc. I always associated this with my race/culture... no idea if it's the narcissism, culture, just personality of my family, but taht's life: you can never tease apart causes.

    So - in other words, YES TO ALL OF THE ABOVE!

    Now I want to know from you - what do you DO now? How do you think of your past?

    @Gloriana - how have things improved? How have you recognized and left the narcissists? (I'm leaving the overly-demanding / takers / always need help types)

    @Immaculate Cloud - Loved your post!

  2. #12
    Patron Saint Of Smileys Gloriana's Avatar
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    @Mocha: I'm currently reading two books on narcissistic mothers, I bet one is the one you're talking about. First there is "Will I ever be good enough? Healing the daughters of narcissistic mothers" by Karyl McBride and the other is "The drama of the gifted child - The search for the true self" by Alice Miller. Both are really wonderful so far.

    I'm actually having to live with my mother at the moment until I find work and save enough to get out on my own again. Me, personally, I have confronted my mother with A LOT of things over the past 5-6 years. She doesn't seem to understand or care to understand much of it, but it has helped me. I've gotten better at not letting her gaslight me and not letting her rewrite history. If she comes at me with some story about how 'controlling' and 'manipulative' I was as a child, I just calmly tell her "No, I was a six year old, not happening". Stuff like that.

    I've come to understand so much about her, her own history of being abused, and I've gained a new perspective on her behavior toward me. I can still get really upset from time to time with the way she behaves and I still have a bunch of anger stuff to deal with, but dealing with her has gotten much easier to bear. She will never change, but I've changed how I let her actions/words affect me. Right now, my main focus is coping with and changing all the negative, destructive effects my upbringing has had on me, stuff I didn't even recognize until recently.

    I don't tell her much about my plans, where I go, and who I see these days. I don't tell her anything about my plans to move and where I intend to go. I am not sure if I will go no-contact with her one day but I definitely look forward to going low-contact with her in the future. Like someone else mentioned on this thread, I too do so much better with everything in my life without her presence.

    When it comes to the other narcissists in my life, it's partly been just 'breaking up' with a couple of them and with others, I clearly drew my boundaries and raised the bar in terms of what kind of treatment I expected. They were not happy about that, and so they left themselves (including my narcissistic ex-husband) and blamed/vilified me (as of course they would).

    I'm still learning how to choose better companions. That's where I'm at right now. In the midst of a lot of changes. I am learning what real love is all about and what healthy relationships ACTUALLY look like. It's like learning a foreign language. I've been working on myself a lot too, how my perceptions are skewed and some screwed up belief systems. I'm trying to play catch-up in a lot of ways and I'm learning how to get on my own two feet for the first time.

    It's really scary and intimidating, and it's also emotional because it really is like leaving behind the only way of life I've ever known. It's the right choice, no doubt, but it's still really heart wrenching at times. Change (if it's worth it) always is though!

    It's amazing how much us daughters of narcissistic mothers have in common, isn't it? In the research I've been doing, I've been amazed at how similar the experiences are. It's been unbelievably comforting finding others who have been through the same things.
    "Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get, but if you work really hard, and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you...amazing things will happen" --Conan O'Brien

  3. #13
    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    @Gloriana : You hit the nail on the head! I was thinking of "Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers".

    I love Alice Miller... I started reading "For Your Own Good", but it was just so saddening.

    It is really striking to me that part of your healing process has to do with confronting and dealing with her. I just pulled an "INFJ doorslam" on my parents, so it's hard to imagine talking to them -- but for you, talking to your mother, even without her changing is helpful.

    INFJ tendency, perhaps? I tend to fall apart during arguments and easily start believing what the other person is saying, even if it's utter crap like, "do you even know how much we slaved away for you?" (Yes parents, it's called PARENTING).

    It's also very informative to me that your ex-husband and other NPDs blamed/vilified you. My parents did the same thing after I cut them off -- they told ALL our relatives what victims they were, refusing to see their role (and they had just created such an awful, dramatic scene at my wedding

    "I'm still learning how to choose better companions. That's where I'm at right now. In the midst of a lot of changes. I am learning what real love is all about and what healthy relationships ACTUALLY look like. It's like learning a foreign language. I've been working on myself a lot too, how my perceptions are skewed and some screwed up belief systems. I'm trying to play catch-up in a lot of ways and I'm learning how to get on my own two feet for the first time." AMEN TO THIS!!! Keep me posted on this process; I'd like to figure this one out as well. I'm not "good at making friends" perhaps because I'm not really sure what that looks like? Can you keep me posted -- I think that comparing notes as we go along for this one will be helpful.

    I married into a VERY healthy family, and it's striking the way that everyone is able to express their emotions freely, without fear of recourse. Even as a daughter-in-law, I can too. And it's astonishing. I'm realizing that I'm entitled to be treated with respect, to be in an environment where I feel supported, to believe in myself, and to make mistakes without fear of being lacerated.

    "It's amazing how much us daughters of narcissistic mothers have in common, isn't it? In the research I've been doing, I've been amazed at how similar the experiences are. It's been unbelievably comforting finding others who have been through the same things." SO, SO TRUE.

  4. #14
    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    Why does this thread have a blue question mark next to it? Did we do something bad?

  5. #15
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    @Gloriana,

    how about opening up the thread, calling it instead Survivors of narcissistic parents/relatives/friends? Just a thought...

  6. #16
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gloriana View Post
    I started thinking about how growing up with the mother that I did contributed to my development in terms of my INFJ personality type. I've seen some really interesting correlations.
    Interesting thread. Opening it up might be a good idea - I think you are at risk of confirmation bias here.
    The way you reacted to your narcissistic mother may be typical of an INFJ, but that doesn't mean it caused you to become one. Different types respond differently to the same stimulus. For example, I can identify several of the points you have made as being present in my childhood, but my reaction was not to become more sympathetic, but to withdraw, analyze and criticize, i.e. typically INTP. My ENF siblings reacted completely differently. In my view you cannot create a personality type, you can only exaggerate innate differences.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  7. #17
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    @Mochajava

    thanks. Your name rocks - a double caffeine dose?

    That book title "For Your Own Good" - argh, it sounds so much like what I hear bitchy mommas tell their kids - I sometimes wonder if they can hear the violence in their own voice when they say those words... Imagine how confused a kid must be on hearing that the over-the-top beating that s/he got was 'for his/her own good' and then immediately after, get a big hug only for the roller-coaster of verbal violence-hugging-bitching start all over again... If that does not fuck up a kid's brain, I don't know what will. I guess that's where a calming influence - an extended family maybe - sometimes helps balance things out (distribute the parenting role to the gramps a bit). Or sometimes, I have seen the kid then act out with strangers and get clingy for the attention that s/he does not get at home...

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post
    Interesting thread. Opening it up might be a good idea - I think you are at risk of confirmation bias here.
    The way you reacted to your narcissistic mother may be typical of an INFJ, but that doesn't mean it caused you to become one. Different types respond differently to the same stimulus. For example, I can identify several of the points you have made as being present in my childhood, but my reaction was not to become more sympathetic, but to withdraw, analyze and criticize, i.e. typically INTP. My ENF siblings reacted completely differently. In my view you cannot create a personality type, you can only exaggerate innate differences.
    My thoughts exactly. Except for the ENF siblings part. I'm an only child.

  9. #19
    Patron Saint Of Smileys Gloriana's Avatar
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    @Mocha - I relate to so much of what you said! I wish I had time for a detailed response right now but will hopefully get time later.

    @Immaculate - How do I 'open' a thread?
    "Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get, but if you work really hard, and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you...amazing things will happen" --Conan O'Brien

  10. #20
    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    @Immaculate Cloud - I had/have a batshit crazy family, but I'm not a survivor per se - survivors overcame something HUGE and uncontrollable. War. Cancer. Those people deserve to be celebrated... me? I think it's more like, "yay, I'm here! Now what do I do? Let's talk" it's not a positive or a negative... I didn't really do anything... how about "Those who've dealt with narcissistic parents/relatives/friends?

    And yes, a double-caffeine dose is me! How's life High up in the sky? Your comment about "For Your Own Good" is extremely on - I think that describes me, wrt my family, pretty well

    That book title "For Your Own Good" - argh, it sounds so much like what I hear bitchy mommas tell their kids - I sometimes wonder if they can hear the violence in their own voice when they say those words... Imagine how confused a kid must be on hearing that the over-the-top beating that s/he got was 'for his/her own good' and then immediately after, get a big hug only for the roller-coaster of verbal violence-hugging-bitching start all over again... If that does not fuck up a kid's brain, I don't know what will. I guess that's where a calming influence - an extended family maybe - sometimes helps balance things out (distribute the parenting role to the gramps a bit). Or sometimes, I have seen the kid then act out with strangers and get clingy for the attention that s/he does not get at home...
    @Gloriana - no worries on time. Take your time; I will look forward to your response whenever you get the chance

    @Morgan Le Fay - Thanks for that. I was worried I got turned into an INFJ by my highly dysfunctional family. INFJs aren't the most adapted-to-society types, you know...

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