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Is this inappropriate?

Postby JusticeMe » Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:11 am

This is a topic I haven't found anywhere else online so I thought I'd post it here to elicit responses from you guys.

When I was in preschool/kindergarten -- approximately age 3-1/2 -- my mother, while driving me home from kindergarten one day, made a point of pointing out a house where the occupant(s) had committed suicide. Of course, I then asked what suicide was but can't remember the response.

This was done in a sort of "spooky, haunted house" way so I'm not sure how blatantly inappropriate it was, but I can't help but think it's unnecessary to talk about killings, blood, etc. to a young child unless it affects them directly (family member, etc.).

By itself it's probably not a big deal, but my mother also bought me a set of Alfred Hitchcock murder books when I was in the third grade (about 8 or 9 years old). The books were a lot darker than the Alfred HItchcock Presents TV series that we used to watch together, but I'm fairly certain that she didn't "vet" the books before gifting them to me.

My mother was BPD/Narc and did a lot of other stuff too, but I have always wondered about these two incidents.
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Re: Is this inappropriate?

Postby salted lipstick » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:11 pm

Do you feel like it was inappropriate?

I think it matters more what you think given that you have the background knowledge of the context of your mother's behaviour overall.

I certainly find what your mother did odd and perhaps inappropriate. I don't know the books you are referring to though but it does sound like they might have been a bit disturbing. Certainly mentioning suicide to such a young child is not a normal thing to do either.
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Re: Is this inappropriate?

Postby Holodeck » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:27 pm

I suppose it depends on how she did it.

My mom has strong borderline/histrionic with huge paranoia and narc tendencies. She also happens to be a murder mystery/suspense/thriller writer.

She would often tell me stories about gruesome deaths. She's big fan of anything you might find in theaters, books and tv that's based on a true story. Typically this seemed like a weird way to convince me that the world was such a cruel place that I should never leave her side.

No idea if yours let off any of those signals to you, or perhaps she simply found excitement in horror.
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Re: Is this inappropriate?

Postby JusticeMe » Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:09 pm

salted lipstick wrote:Do you feel like it was inappropriate?

I think it matters more what you think given that you have the background knowledge of the context of your mother's behaviour overall.

I certainly find what your mother did odd and perhaps inappropriate. I don't know the books you are referring to though but it does sound like they might have been a bit disturbing. Certainly mentioning suicide to such a young child is not a normal thing to do either.


Thanks for your response.

My mother was such a liar about everything -- including her past and who she was -- that I am just now, decades later, learning who she really was. My therapist said that both of my parents were "illusions," which sums it up perfectly.

That said, these two -- albeit minor -- incidents stand out for me. I learned about suicide years before I learned about the "birds and the bees," the "talk" I begged my parents for but never got. After this kindergarten incident, I soon learned that an extended family member had committed suicide, then there was a suicide of my good friend's mother in first grade, then a suicide of a neighborhood teenager/older brother of my second-grade classmate. So, suicides suicides everywhere you looked.

Then there was my great-grandmother telling stories of preachers drowning unwanted babies in the river down in southern Louisiana. I think I was about the same age, 3-1/2. I remember being terrified that I would be drowned in some river too since I knew that my Narc father hated me, and I believed that he wanted to kill me. He was a hunter, and he brought home doves he had shot, I believe with slit throats (?). The rivlets of blood ran down our driveway and into the street. I remember my older sister looking at me saying, "If he can do that to those birds, he can do that to us!" So in the context of these other items the "suicide" story my mother told me takes on pronounced significance.

Was my mother obsessed with dark subjects? Not really that I know of. If she were, she hid it well. She enjoyed Hitchock and other suspense/thriller/murder movies, I know that.

There were no healthy boundaries in my family -- we children were always treated as and expected to behave as adults, as though childhood did not exist. At the same time, "adult" (read: sexual) topics of discussion were verboten to the point of hiding male anatomy from me until well past the "normal" age of exposure.

I am still trying to piece things together and make some kind of sense of a lot of events that made no sense. Your feedback was helpful; thanks again.
Last edited by JusticeMe on Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is this inappropriate?

Postby JusticeMe » Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:25 pm

Holodeck wrote:I suppose it depends on how she did it.

My mom has strong borderline/histrionic with huge paranoia and narc tendencies. She also happens to be a murder mystery/suspense/thriller writer.

She would often tell me stories about gruesome deaths. She's big fan of anything you might find in theaters, books and tv that's based on a true story. Typically this seemed like a weird way to convince me that the world was such a cruel place that I should never leave her side.

No idea if yours let off any of those signals to you, or perhaps she simply found excitement in horror.



How very interesting! My mother was into murder mysteries herself, at least movies of that genre. I am a true crime (murder story) book addict and want to write them myself. Not so much suspense/thriller though -- My stuff is more factually-based. I have worked with some investigative journalists and am completing a degree to work in the field. I probably have some narc and avoidant tendencies, but various therapists have assured me that I am not NPD, borderline, or histrionic.

Does this interest stem from my early exposure to murder stuff (Alfred HItchcock, etc.) via my mother? I have no idea. I always attributed it to homicidal revenge fantasies secondary to my history of being severely abused. Maybe it's a combination...

Aside from the above isolated incident, my mother never discussed gory details with me. It sounds like your mother reveled in it and wanted to share that with someone and chose you (?). Or, perhaps, as you say she wanted to tie you to her from fear of the world at large.

I cringe when I hear of parents telling their kids "ghost stories" all the time just for the "thrill" of seeing their kids scared. Someone I knew in high school told me that his grown daughter is afraid of the dark and won't stay by herself because of the "bogeyman" crap he did to her up until her teen years. She was terrified to go down the hallway in their family home because of his BS.

I appreciate your insights.
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Re: Is this inappropriate?

Postby Holodeck » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:28 pm

JusticeMe wrote:I learned about suicide years before I learned about the "birds and the bees," the "talk" I begged my parents for but never got. After this kindergarten incident, I soon learned that an extended family member had committed suicide, then there was a suicide of my good friend's mother in first grade, then a suicide of a neighborhood teenager/older brother of my second-grade classmate. So, suicides suicides everywhere you looked.

Then there was my great-grandmother telling stories of preachers drowning unwanted babies in the river down in southern Louisiana. I think I was about the same age, 3-1/2. I remember being terrified that I would be drowned in some river too since I knew that my Narc father hated me, and I believed that he wanted to kill me. He was a hunter, and he brought home doves he had shot, I believe with slit throats (?). The rivlets of blood ran down our driveway and into the street. I remember my older sister looking at me saying, "If he can do that to those birds, he can do that to us!" So in the context of these other items the "suicide" story my mother told me takes on pronounced significance.

There were no healthy boundaries in my family -- we children were always treated as and expected to behave as adults, as though childhood did not exist. At the same time, "adult" (read: sexual) topics of discussion were verboten to the point of hiding male anatomy from me until well past the "normal" age of exposure.

I am still trying to piece things together and make some kind of sense of a lot of events that made no sense. Your feedback was helpful; thanks again.


I swear you could be that weird kid my mom wouldn't let me visit who she kept chained up in the attic. J/k, but seriously everything you wrote sounds like stuff I had to hear about as a kid.

Even the sex talk was weird. Well it would've been if it had happened. Instead my mom gave me a massive tome on human anatomy (somewhere in there was something on reproduction I'm sure) and said I had a week to read it before it went back to the library. She refused to talk about sex or answer any questions about it, but the second she'd hear about a tragic event she was sure to make certain I knew everything.
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