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Sons of Narcissistic Mothers (Adult or otherwise)

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Re: Sons of Narcissistic Mothers (Adult or otherwise)

Postby computerology » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:11 pm

Law of Distraction wrote:Thank you, bidagam3r,

Your story is so very strange yet familiar. My N MIL acts very much like the jealous ex girlfriend of my husband. I really do not understand her behavior. It is very difficult for me to deal with her. She seems to create constant competition with me while I do nothing to prevent her from seeing my husband. I can't relax around her because her wrath seems boundless. I do not get why she thinks a mother can ever be replaced by a wife. These roles are obviously different.


I think they do this as part of their gaslighting. If they project onto the son that it is he who is crazy or irrational rather than the NM, a spouse or partner might reinforce in him that it is in fact the NM who is crazy, looking at it from the outside in.
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Re: Sons of Narcissistic Mothers (Adult or otherwise)

Postby Law of Distraction » Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:51 pm

Thank you, Computerology,

Gaslighting is the perfect term. So you think MIL wants to cover her tracks around the spouse? I had MIL's number the day I met her and this did not set well with her. Being the bigger person is tiring, but it does tend to leave NMIL holding the bag. Very slowly, the fog is lifting and her family is getting the picture of just how unhealthy her behavior is for them.

I'm sorry to say, but these kind of people seek to destroy you and they never change their agenda. It's great that you've made a nice life for yourself. I respect how difficult this is to do when such an influential person wants to sabotage you.

I could roll around in the mud with NMIL, but it's a waste of precious time. Instead, I generally focus on how I want life to be. I keep cut outs of my goals and dreams on a vision board. I look at the board every day and it helps me focus on what I really want out of life instead of what is. I leave NMIL to her petty agendas. It is the only coping strategy that has worked for me. Since I tend to be in my head too much, I also like to read this simplified version of our predicament for a laugh :wink: :

http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2011/06/ho ... py-people/
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Re: Sons of Narcissistic Mothers (Adult or otherwise)

Postby computerology » Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:55 pm

I wouldnt hold out for the family to realize her destructive behaviors. Some, maybe, but each individual needs to come to grips for themselves in order to stop being codependent with the narcissistic family structure and dancing the dysfunctional dance. Until they are ready to let go of the hope that one day the narcissistic parent will have normalized relations and accept that their parent is not at all normal the triangulation will continue in one way or another.

Narcissistic family systems are hard to break. You have the golden child, who cannot seem to ever get a sense of individuality from the narcissist, to them an attack on the narcissist feels like an attack on themselves and their very being. The ignored, who will be skeptical of anything coming their way from "the family", the scapegoat who will either be the first to realize or will be desperate to be let into "the club" of accepted siblings. Finally you will have the envy and resentment of all towards the golden child for receiving all the resources and having the nerve to cry about it (because despite getting all the resources they have deeper individuation issues that make them feel like an empty person). The narcissist built this structure and will do almost anything to keep it intact; within a family dynamic she knows exactly the buttons to push and will use any situation, such as a family death or illness to get things back onto her track - even to her own detriment.

I chatted with all my siblings after showing them the "characteristics of narcissistic mothers" post on parishmiller.com. Most made excuses for the behavior suggesting that any evaluation of a mental disorder could apply to anyone, but that maybe some of it clicked and shes getting older and losing her memory. A few said that it made sense, they already had low contact relationships with them anyway. The golden child cried herself to sleep, wondering why it is that we cant come together as a family, and then promptly skipped a family event with all the siblings present to drive 6 hours to be with the marcissistic mother, effectively negating her whole sorrowful woe about family connections.

I wouldnt expect the bulk of them to really get it until your NMIL gets way, over the.top bad. Maybe shes already there and your husband is lucky.
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Re: Sons of Narcissistic Mothers (Adult or otherwise)

Postby computerology » Sun Aug 25, 2013 6:57 pm

Im going to make a somewhat introspective post here today. I could start my own blog about sons of narcissitic mothers, im capable, but i think this post is enough for me to do now. There sure are enough daughters of narcissistic mothers sites out there.

My wafts of anger have waned, ive spent 2 weeks on my boat so im relaxed, which allows me to crawl out of my own situation and look at the problems we sons of narcissistic mothers face which are unique to the NM/son relationship. I was not a golden boy so i can only come at it from the scapegoat perspective.

Narcissist mothers with their scapegoated sons:

1. Sabotage. It is a soul destroying way to grow up when your mother treats you like an ex husband she went through a nasty divorce who just wont leave. Thats the only way i can describe it from a birds eye view. Whether or not you are a biological child or not what you would expect a woman to do in this situation is how the scapegoated son is treated. Reporting you to the police for a tiny infraction or err of judgement in your youth. Reporting you to tax authorities. Sabotaging your relationships (the potential for violence seems to be a common playing card, as is allegations of your anger and rage). Not unlike lucy from charlie brown, tripping you up in accomplishments and then laughing to you about how you failed, when it was her very involvement that caused that to happen writ large. Just like a vengeful ex wife, you are treated by your mother. Shes sneaky about it, its plausibly deniable. You fail at things and dont know why life is so hard. She reinforces in you that its your own ineptitude that is at fault. And then shows her successes as proof to the world of how shes tried so hard for you but doesnt know what to do. My own NM tried to get me arrested multiple times; the allegations were so weak the police didnt even talk to me.

2. Enforce their vision of who you are. This is difficult to realize growing up. It just seems like they have an odd impression of you. But as you get older, wiser, and move into adult life, you may notice that that same impression of years ago is so firmly stuck in her head that you find it quite baffling. For example, if you were always painted as irresponsible when you were young, you could be doing a fine job of raising a family, holding down a good job, and be seen as the pillar of responsibility by your colleagues, peers, and in laws - but you and others will still hear what an irresponsible person you are and how tragic it is. It can be maddening: you can show the proof of who you really are today but in the next breath its as though that real person you showed them you are was a mere facade.

3. Come out at you out of nowhere to take you down a notch, particularly when you are receiving praise for some good deed or accomplishment. This could be in the form of an email, a letter, or when they really want to be nasty, a phone call. It is infuriating to be sitting there on cloud 9, quietly glowing about whatever it is you have done, to get a phone call berating you for something entirely unrelated or accusing you of being a braggart who is only out for themselves. A job promotion you get, then when you call them to tell them about it and you get accused of bragging. Its perverse, its not why you call your parents to tell them these things happening in your life, (to brag) this is a perfectly normal thing for a son to do, call their parents to share the good things happening in your life. Not with a narcissistic mother, something great happens in your life and you get accused of bragging and what happened isnt that good and how about this other aspect of your life you are struggling with, what about that?. Personally, it was this behavior that sent me looking for answers.

4. Cry when you lay down the law. I dont know much about daughter to narcissitic mother interactions, and i dont want to sound chauvinistic here, but men in general are more likely to put their foot down amd lay down the law when they are fed up with bad behavior or treatment from someone, including their mother. Im not talking about yelling or banging things or hitting someone. I mean that firm, take no sh*t, you did wrong to me and your going to damn well admit it and apologize sort of conversation. When shes backed into a corner and your choked, and you deftly reject every half baked excuse (ie. Maybe both of us might have somehow said something or did something that might have been wrong and im sorry that you may feel that i might have done something and im sorry that you choose to feel upset with me.... You get the idea) she just hoovers and cries in leui of actually saying shes sorry and admitting to what has happened. Its a frustrating escape to deal with because she feigns how hard and mean you are being to her when your only forcing her to admit to her own cruelty or misdeeds. Like a 6 year old child scared of getting into trouble, your own mother will act. Getting that admission is next to impossible. Your left wondering, who is the adult here?

5. Treat you like a servant who should snap to it on command. When young, chores need to be done so it can be difficult to see this clearly. The only thing that you notice is that you are supposed to drop whatever you are doing and do it right now. In your teen years it became more apparent. You had to leave your friends and come home immediately because the garage needed to be organized. You had to cancel your weekend plans on friday evening to help her friend move. Into adulthood it is more transparent: you come to visit and she has a list of things for you to do, ranging from the mundane to bizarre. This is not to be confused with something that you can do due to your younger age such as lifting something heavy or due to your expertise such as fixing a lawnmower. No, the tell tales of this behavior is things that you know she does regularly and are not at all urgent. While your up could you water the flowers. Oh can you go to the garage to get me the trowel that im using to do the gardening tomorrow. Can you move the lawnmower from one side of the lawn to the other, i dont like it to be on that side. Basically, she is taking joy in seeing you do as she commands. Its not about the work shes asking you to do, or that your helping her do something. Its about being able to make you drop what your doing (ie. Grabbing a beer) and do what she wants you to do (ie. Get the trowel she is going to use tomorrow handy)

There may be more later
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Re: Sons of Narcissistic Mothers (Adult or otherwise)

Postby Law of Distraction » Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:47 pm

Hi Computerology,

This all sounds so familiar. There seems to be a cookie cutter variety of NMs. I've met a lot of them because I was a foster child. The dysfunctional family must have a scapegoat. No one bothers to press for accountability with the N. If they did, the response is denial. So the Drama Triangle game goes on and on.

Like you, however, I've enjoyed success anyway. Being around this type of person feels normal for me unfortunately. I have to step outside of myself to make decisions about who I will allow in my life. This video is about financial success but it also relates to the repetition compulsion we engage in without much thought: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZkXuQtH-oE

Is you NM still in your life? If so, why? Is there a positive in the situation?
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Re: Sons of Narcissistic Mothers (Adult or otherwise)

Postby computerology » Tue Aug 27, 2013 3:08 pm

Ive been no contact for nearly 11 months, and i have no intention of reversing that decision. The fall will bring a bunch of birthdays and holidays though , so i am bracing myself for a bumpy ride. So far, other than a flurry of attempted engagements around last christmas, its been somewhat sanguine.
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Re: Sons of Narcissistic Mothers (Adult or otherwise)

Postby Law of Distraction » Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:23 pm

I'm sure it is difficult and there must be mixed feelings about the rest of the siblings. But you are right to stay away. Life is so short and you have a family that needs your love and energy now.

Does the extended family try to reach out to you or your wife?
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Re: Sons of Narcissistic Mothers (Adult or otherwise)

Postby computerology » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:37 pm

Extended family.for me is.weird.

Because i was adopted at 13 i find myself with 2 dysfunctional families. The birth family has its own problems, but they are never out to get me or eachother. The adopted family (with the NM) was my crack at a "normal" upbringing and i lived with them through my teens and only really talked to them into most of my early adulthood. Seems NM had me alienated as a kid "not doing well" or something since i was 15. Ive reconnected to them, but there are still landmines everywhere with things said behind my back that werent true just like the extended adopted family. There are a few gems on both sides but nobody close or close by.
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Re: Sons of Narcissistic Mothers (Adult or otherwise)

Postby Law of Distraction » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:08 am

I've never been good at that either. If there is an extremely difficult person with a great deal of influence over peers, I usually cut them all out. It is not personal, it is just impossible for me to better myself when I know who and how people are stabbing me in the back. If I have to fight dirty, I will. However, I prefer to conserve my resources for more pleasant activities. When I cut everyone out, I don't worry about what is said because I don't hear it. : )

The people who really want me in their lives, find me. They sometimes want an explanation and I make it very short. I tell part of my side of the situation, then I let them know that I will not be spending any more time talking about the N person. It is too hard for me to manage my emotions if I am consistently triggered by a negative past. Usually my lack of response drives the N's crazy and it tends to attract curious people. People really have a need to make sense of why people do what they do.
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Re: Sons of Narcissistic Mothers (Adult or otherwise)

Postby computerology » Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:30 pm

I have had to make that difficult decision many times, as like yourself i was drawn to or let toxic people in close in my life. In trying to retain friendships with those on the periphery, eventually i had to cut out everyone who associated with that person because they wouldnt stop talking about them. A particularly toxic roomate who tried to break me up with my girlfriend for fun comes to mind. I paid the guy $400 just to get the hell out of my house, 6 months later he started trying to destroy my relationship with my girlfriend through private messages on a board like this one. Eventually, anyone who mentioned that guy fell off the face of my earth. At the time my decision was more oriented towards that if they didnt empathize at least with how that was a cold blooded and horrible thing to do that they werent worthy of me considering them friends - but in hindsight a better way of looking at it would be people who would remain friends with someone who would do that to a mutual friend just arent of the moral fibre to waste ones time with.
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