In this post I use ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ because my subjective experience is that of multiple separate people.
The children of pathological narcissists must blind themselves to behaviors that healthy people consider unspeakable.
Food deprivation, the killing of pets, theft, forced sex, gaslighting and other forms of psychological abuse and the threat of psychological annihilation.
The child of a narcissist must have no dreams of his own, and no vision of life without the clinging demands of a parent or parent surrogate who is essentially a two-year old without mercy.
My Mother despised my intelligence and did everything in her power to kill it.
I normalized her contempt and used Dissociative Identity Disorder to save my mind.
My talents became a boy named Peter who only emerged when Mother was gone, or when he was with his Grandmother with whom he felt safe.
A male who must contend with a female pathological narcissist is at a disadvantage in this culture because the assumption is that the male always has power.
This assumption doubles the power of a female narcissist.
My Mother used her advantage as a ‘helpless woman’ to destroy my Father, who ultimately lay down and died.
My Mother’s threat to me was if I wasn’t ‘careful’ I would end up like
We’re still blind to most narcissists but we are now alert to certain clues.
A narcissist is usually charismatic, charming, flattering and warm.
My Mother was a waitress at a greasy spoon.
When she worked she was on stage.
Everyone loved her.
A narcissist looks vulnerable and reserves for herself the right to pass judgment on others. This is not the same as learning another person’s strengths and weaknesses.
The people who loved my Mother were dismissed as undeserving trash.
The suggestion that she might be one of them was the same as asking
for a beating.
A narcissist traffics in envy and in her mind everyone wants what she has.
If the meaning of a word doesn’t suit her she changes the definition.
Vicious beatings are acts of love.
Letting guys rape me is getting me ‘straightened out’.
A narcissist never gets the attention she thinks she deserves.
My Mother often provoked my Father to violence.
One night he loaded us into the car and drove to Reynolds Ave, North Charleston, SC.
My Father got out of the car.
I saw my Mother through the open door of a bar.
She was sitting on some guys lap.
My Father dragged her out of the bar by the hair and beat her in the street.
My memory goes blank after this.
The point is that his reaction to her behavior was an excuse for her to call her Mother and beg to come home to New York.
Her family pulled together the money to set us up in an apartment in Queens.
My Mother took us back to Charleston after three months.
A narcissist takes without giving back.
Whatever you give is simply her due.
The narcissist is a rhinestone among rhinestones; a glittering fake.
Today I am a diamond among diamonds, some big and some small.
I still don’t know my worth, but I know I’m real —
— and I’m very glad to be here.
Rob Goldstein 2015-2019