Friday, February 25, 2011

Life With My Narcissistic Mother

After reading through living with a narcissist's blog entries, I felt like writing a little about my own experience of living with my NMother.

Living with your mother is supposed to be a source of some of one's fondest memories in life, right? Nice long talks over coffee, warm home-cooked meals, having fun just doing the simple things life together - these are probably some of the typical thoughts that come to mind when you think of society's depiction of the ideal mother anyone would be pleased to have.

I'd be lying if I said those things weren't part of my life. I'm not going to be unfair and paint my NM as a perpetual monster who is relentlessly abusive and cruel to me. I'd be nothing more than a gaslighting liar myself, no better than my NM. Yes, I can admit that my NM can be a great person to be around when she's in one of her good moods. She can be a lot of fun to talk to and has a way of giving me a sense of security and confidence when it comes to making decisions. All of my friends who talk to her on the phone/meet her often tell me how she's "so nice" and how much they like her.

That's because they don't know there's a catch to her kindness - it's fleeting and vanishes quicker than smoke when something doesn't go her way. So long as I appease her and do not put up an opposition in any way, shape, or form, my NM will maintain her "kindness mode" (as I like to term it) and these pleasant phases can last for very long stretches of time - which makes it very easy for me to fall into the same mistakes of telling her my innermost feelings and fears that serve as her weapons against me later in her aggressive attacks.

It's actually pretty surprising how little it takes for me to push my NM into one of her attack modes. It can be something as stupid as a disagreement over something on television. Basically any difference in opinion has the potential to lead into an escalating and gaslighting argument that may or may not include physical abuse and days of silent treatment afterwards.

But even when my NM and I are not fighting and she is in a good mood, life can still be unbearable because she is engulfing and has no sense of boundaries. She has no shame in looking through my personal belongings. I have to clear the history and cookies on my laptop every time I use it to ensure she won't stalk my internet activity. I have to put screen locks on my cell phone and iPod. I can't read certain books (for example, books on NPD) because she'd DEFINITELY find it.

I basically do not have any privacy - anything I do is up for complete questioning and my NM feels completely entitled to an answer. If I text someone on my phone or sees me typing, she asks who I write to. I actually find myself conditioned to telling her who I'm talking with and what I'm talking to them about before she even asks - which is truly a sick and abnormal reality.

It pretty much feels like my NM is a ticking bomb without a visible timer - you know she's bound to explode at some point, but you can never quite tell until you hear the huge boom. Every time my NM seems quiet or "weird", I get extremely uneasy and keep asking her if she's okay. I feel so scared that she is upset about something I am unaware about and that it's a matter of time before she explodes at me. It's a heavy, terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach - pure dread. If she's not raging at me, my NM loves the good old-fashioned silent treatment as her choice of torment. So I can never tell if my NM is mad at me or my father (he's just as much a victim of her as me) for something we "did to upset her" or if she is genuinely tired/worried about something unrelated to us and her NPD.

Living with her is one of the biggest challenges in my life because at times, she makes me feel like I am losing my mind. I look forward to the day that I'm free.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Sadistic Side of Dealing with a N: Sadistic Personality Disorder

As of lately, my NMother has been extremely abusive. She has gone into one of her "nasty" modes and is an absolute horror to live with. I guess this is what is known as intermittent "love" and abuse..and what is pathetic is that I actually fall for her crap every time when she is "loving" and let down my guard, telling her personal and sensitive things that she later uses against me.

But after the intense degree of psychological and physical abuse that has been going on these past days, I think I have really learned my lesson NOT to share things from my heart anymore. I know I always say that when she becomes abusive, but this time it feels different - as though I have learned my lesson and been kicked and bruised enough, figuratively and literally speaking.

Last night, I was thinking - her violent tendencies must be something else in addition to narcissism. She definitely has the traits of NPD. The gaslighting, my God the gaslighting. She can totally recreate reality and seems to honestly believe it. If she truly believes the series of events in various situations the way she does and is not consciously aware of it, I am actually a little scared because she warps reality that badly. She also loves to invalidate my feelings and has an overly inflated ego, believing everyone is supposed to grovel to her for the good she does. That is especially concentrated at me because she was "always the wonderful mother all my life" and I am so "ungrateful" for all she has done for me. Oh yes, wrapping your hands completely around my throat and choking me really makes me love and appreciate you. But getting back to what I was saying, from what I read about NPD, violent tendencies are not usually a key feature of the personality disorder.

So I was searching through information about various personality disorders and I found one that I think might possibly be the answer to her violent ways: Sadistic Personality Disorder. Even though I took psychology, I never heard of it before. Perhaps it's because they took it out of the DSM due to feeling it needed more research. However, it's still considered a valid personality disorder. Here's some info about it:

Has used physical cruelty or violence for the purpose of establishing dominance in a relationship (not merely to achieve some noninterpersonal goal, such as striking someone in order to rob him or her); 
Definitely describes my NM. Her goal since I decided not to be her doormat and go with everything she says is to dominate and control me constantly, and will be an absolute horror when I don't submit and give her "respect" merely because I am her daughter. The fact that she has NO respect for me means nothing; because I am her daughter, she expects respect automatically and doesn't believe it's something that is earned.

Is amused by, or takes pleasure in, the psychological or physical suffering of others (including animals) 
This is actually what made me search for another cause in addition to NPD for her insanity. When she is hitting me, she actually lookshappy in some twisted, evil way. It's hard to describe it, but when she is doing something particularly hurtful (like choking and grabbing onto me to twist my arm/hand), her eyes get really wide and she almost looks like she's smiling, as though she is getting some satisfaction or pleasure out of it. When I fight her, I never feel any of those emotions, only anger and rage, so I'm sure I don't ever look like I'm "smiling" at all. 

Gets other people to do what he or she wants by frightening them (through intimidation or even terror)
My NM used to get away with this when she first started abusing me. Now, I fight against her.

Restricts the autonomy of people with whom he or she has a close relationship, e.g., will not let spouse leave the house unaccompanied or permit teen-age daughter to attend social functions;
DEFINITELY a big trait my NM has. She has restricted my autonomy before I even realized there was something wrong with her to the point that I often feel uncomfortable and helpless in certain social situations that I shouldn't at my age (e.g.: making purchases, going certain places alone, etc.) And because I still live at home with her, she thinks she still has a right to dictate my actions regardless of the fact that I'm over the legal age. 

So I thought this might be helpful to any of you who are dealing with a physically abusive N. I hope they do more research on this disorder and add it back to DSM. Here's the link so you can read more: