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:


  1. I can relate to this on so many levels. Living with your NM as an adult is one of the most soul-crushing experiences I've endured. Look forward to reading more posts from you!

  2. I just found your blog, as well "Living with a Narcissistic Mother" - just want to say hi, and that I am also a DoNM.


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  3. Thank you both for following my blog!

    living with a narcissist, I took a look at your blog the other day and I couldn't believe how much your entries reflect what I go through while living with my mother - the lack of boundaries, the need to hide things that are completely NORMAL and that regular moms wouldn't give two thoughts to, just to name two examples. It's really a sick way of living and it's actually pretty scary how we normalize this abnormal behavior just to survive the environment. There are times when I really step back and can see just how wrong and abnormal the whole setup is.

    Are you a member of WoN? I don't know if I remember the username you have here on that forum. If not, you should definitely consider taking a look at it, it's a very nurturing and supportive community for victims of Ns. :) I know WoN truly helps me out, especially when I am going through rough patches of living with my NM.

    upsi, I know you're from WoN and I'm glad to see you here! I will take a look at your blog too. :)

  4. So glad to have found you too!
    I especially relate to your comments about feeling suckered into revealing true feelings and emotions to your NM only to regret it later.
    I can't tell you how many times I've vowed to never do that again... and again.. and again.
    I've never heard of WoN, but will check it out. Also, I've heeded your advice about
    I will say this though.. when I was first discovering all of this NPD info, it was that really opened my eyes wide. They have a lot of great info to get you started on your journey.
    I didn't like the fact that they were selling a product, and I don't like to hear reports about their kicking people out of the forums, but the immense amount of info on the surface website hopefully helps get daughters on the right path. Thank you for the info about them.. I took their link off my "Recommended Resources" list in your honor. ;)

  5. I know what you mean..with the last terrible fight I had with her, I swore vehemently that I would NEVER share a thing with her again - and I actually believed it. I think I actually wrote in a blog entry that I would never do that again for real. But lo and behold, I am finding myself falling into that trap again. It's just so easy to talk about innermost feelings when my NM is being so kind to me, even though a part of me inside is saying, "You're making a big mistake. You should shut your mouth NOW."

    And yes, was actually where I first found out about NPD during the height of my NM's abusive insanity. Although I can never forgive Danu for how she hurt me and others (and continues to do so), I am glad to have come across her website purely for the information provided and the validation it gave me at the time. And if I never had that negative experience with her, I would not have met so many lovely women on both DONM and WoN (since her crazy banning of me lead me to the lovely WoN community), and I probably would not have made this blog, which has connected me to even more wonderful people! So I think God puts certain things in your path for a reason. :)

    Though have you checked the DONM site recently? It's entirely one gigantic promotion for EFT. O_o It's really crazy, considering there are FREE EFT sources on the Internet and they seem to fail to provide links to those sources in addition to their products they are promoting. But then again, why would they? Honesty and goodwill are clearly not their motivators.

    And you're welcome! It makes me feel so happy to know that I have spread the truth to yet another person. :)

  6. OMG!! Your mother sounds a lot like mine. I was the 'good little girl' so mother left me alone...she target my younger sister. She abused her emotionally, mentally. Our family was extremely dysfunctional. My life wasn't so good, but my poor sister's was a hell hole. I think the event(s) that triggered Mother's NRage was the fact that my step-father was molesting my sis. As I've looked back over our lives, that time frame seems to be when the horrible abuse started toward my sis. I've worked on myself for 30+ years and there is still stuff coming out of the woodwork. Until tonight, I never realized my Mom was a very toxic N. It certainly explains her emotionally violent behavior. I stopped having contact with her almost 20 years ago due to the never-ending abuse and BLAME!!! she continued to heap on her relationship w/my sister. My sister was one of the sweetest people in the world, extremely bright. My other took everything out on her. In the meantime, Mother passed away, and I didn't/don't feel anything...occasionally wondering if there's something wrong with me. She did do some good things while raising the 3 of us, but the bad way overshadows any of the good.

    I'll write more later.

  7. Hi, Emi! Glad to see you found me. :)

    I'm so sorry to hear that your NM was such a horror.

    I am an only child, so I can't imagine what my NM would do if I had siblings. Considering that when I turned 18 and decided not to be dictated in every move I make is what my NM uses as ammunition for her horrible behavior/abuse of me, I wouldn't be surprised if I would have been the scapegoat and a sibling glorified over me for putting up with her engulfing insanity (if they did put up with it, that is). I honestly wouldn't put it past her to try pitting one sibling against another because she has tried to get my dad on her side against mine, although it has never worked in her favor thank goodness.

    I really feel for you and your sister..even though you say she has left you alone, her horrible ways have still effected you and you don't deserve that.

    About not feeling any love, I am scared of reaching that point myself. I am currently in the vicious cycle of love/hate. When she is horrible and abusive to me, I feel like I absolutely LOATHE her, as though I wouldn't give a crap if I ran away and never saw her again. But when she is kind and loving to me, I am drawn back in and start feeling horribly guilty for "hating" her when she is abusive.

    I look forward to reading more of what you have to say!

  8. Thanks for a fine post. I DO know first-hand what you mean about the crazed smile while hitting: My mother always did this, and it was what led me to realize she was not just "sick", but evil. My mother also kept me dependent on her for many, many years past adulthood. When it began, I was too young to see what her plan was. Looking back, it is very chilling, how she systematically kept me with her, knowing it would be bad for me, but good for her.

    1. Hello, SM! You are very welcome. :)

      Yes, that "crazed smile" thing is very unnerving. I don't understand it, and even in the midst of a horrible physical fight with her, I feel like I have a surreal moment and kind of step outside myself in the moment when it happens. Not to sound dramatic, but it's almost as if time is slower because it gives me such a horrible feeling in my gut to see it look like she actually takes pleasure in hurting me. I know that my OWN face is only showing pain, anger, or crying - or a mix of all those - during those fights.

      And I also feel like my mother tries to keep me dependent, too. She tries to tell people she puts her "act" on for how she likes to let me make my own choices and be a young adult. Bullshit. She only does with things that SHE is "okay" with giving me freewill about. See if I do something that she doesn't like and how quickly her "I let my daughter make her own choices" act disappears.

  9. Thanks for the post. It sounds a lot like my parents and brothers but I won't go into detail. I grew up with domestic violence and other forms of abuse like emotional, mental,psychological, and spiritual due to a prolonged period of time. It was horrible. It led me to seek psychotherapy and eventually put on meds to stabilize my mood, etc. I thought I was the one who needed to change and get better when in reality, it just was them that needed to change. I was also a rape victim several/many times but it was all while I was unconscious/asleep. Thanks for sharing this post/information with others. I do appreciate it.

    1. Hi Stephoni, you are most welcome! I hope that despite all your challenges and difficulties, you are now happy and peaceful in your life.

  10. my NM is a Sadist, a Murderer, a Pedophile and a Preacher! please visit my blog for the shock of your life1 She is still living, still preaching! She got away with murder! She murdered my grandfather 2/10/1979 and got away clean!
    I do feel your pain. No one should have to suffer these beings. GOD bless you.

    1. Hi, Rachel! Thank you for your comment. What a horrible individual your mother is. I can't believe the things she has done and has not faced any consequences for it. I've only read your comment and a bit of your blog so far, and I really feel for you that you've had to deal with someone like this all your life. She is clearly trying to use God as her "shield" to cover up all her evil acts.

      But the thing is, even if she gets away with this heinous behavior for the rest of her days in this world, she's going to have to face God in the end. There is no way for her to get around that.

      Thank you, God bless you too! I will read more of your blog.

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  12. hi! i grew up with a sadistic NM, and at 16 i moved out and to a new country on the other side of the world - something which i credit with saving both my life and my sanity. there's nothing quite like the absolute helplessness of knowing that there's no escape from the constant emotional, verbal and physical abuse, the gaslighting and having to hide your emotions (anger/pain/joy) so she doesn't derive pleasure from making you pay for them (you know how i mean). and that crazy ability that they have to both have no empathy at all and yet be able to read people so well that they a) know just how to kick you where it hurts emotionally and b) manipulate everyone outside your private lives into thinking they're wonderful. (my mother has no close friends, but everyone she knows thinks she is absolutely charming and that i have a great mother - except the siblings who had to grow up with her in charge - she's the oldest.)

    anyway, i haven't lived at home in 8 years, and my contact with my parents has been extremely minimal. my mother hasn't changed. i haven't seen a therapist but i've slowly tried to help myself deal with the past. thanks to growing up with my NM, for a long time i had no ability to cope with intense emotions in a healthy way - not without turning to things like cutting, etc.

    but i also had an intense desire to be NOTHING like my mother. the three absolute rules i have for myself are: (1) don't like yourself? fine. decide what kind of person you want to be and actively make sure your actions match. eventually the habits will stick. (2) don't ever use your childhood to excuse your own behaviour. (3) always remember that the most important goal in life is happiness, so go out and just be happy. slowly things got better and i've moved on and formed some normal loving relationships. i'll always be a little different, and i'll deal with it every day, but at least i've just come to accept myself and be okay with who i am :)

    anyway, love your blog! something i found brilliantly written is this: - i think all of us with NMs can relate to all or most of these

  13. I had a narc stepmother & father that enjoy the pain they inflicted on me. Thankfully I got away from them at 15. My father did most of the physical punishments & my stepmom would watch on with evil delight. Sometimes even having her kids watch to train them how to treat me. I've seen my father once in 20+ year's. Still trying to heal & only just found out about narcissimn. No contact is the best action to take. Get away from them asap.