March 11, 2012 11:31pm
The other night I had a kind of epiphany about why I, and so many other women, attracted Narcissists for far too long. I’m reminded of that old saying, “when you grow up with an alcoholic father, you attract that in a mate and put up with it.” Women who attract alcoholics will usually do so over and over again.
The same holds true for those who had a N for a mother, or father or both. It’s what we knew and what we know. We must unlearn it. That’s no easy feat. It happens in stages, and we fall back and fall down many times. It’s like the Wheel of Fortune (the archetype, not the TV game show). An upward spiral with all its upswings and downturns, but continual progress.
Many times it’s difficult to perceive our progress because we’re in too much pain or anger and despair. By the same token, many times we are aware of the progress we’ve made after a particularly unexpected quantum leap in our consciousness and circumstances.
So the epiphany I had was about the incidents when my mother took me aside and told me that I was too bossy with my friends and that I shouldn’t be like that. I was about 9 or 10 years old at the time. Now what child is NOT bossy at some point in their various stages of childhood development?! And my mother was the Queen of Bossy! She was one of the bossiest, most controlling people I ever knew. Oh, but that was OK because it was HER being bossy! That was acceptable. People better get with the program and accept it!
Interestingly, my mother’s scapegoating of me started around the time I was 9 or 10.
I learned that “bossy” was bad. Especially, being assertive in a healthy way was bad. Simply unacceptable. So I stopped doing it. I started letting my friends walk all over me and take advantage of me. I never protested. I just sat and took it.
And there the lifelong pattern began. Tolerating controlling selfish people and getting mom’s approval as the “reward.” She derived a lot of narcissistic supply from watching me suffer. Narcissists really are addicted to the harm they directly or indirectly cause others — doesn’t matter if it’s their own flesh and blood.
My mother just couldn’t allow me to find my voice and become actualized. That would have been too threatening, too inconvenient. Easier to just keep the kid/teenager/young adult/full adult under her thumb.
What a load of horse pucky! my dad always used to say. (He doesn’t say it much anymore, interestingly enough, now that he is truly very happily married.)