Quirks

telepathic posting

My mother had a particular quirk which used to drive me nuts. She never listened to a word I spoke, that was normal, she never listened to anything anyone said unless what they were saying was what she wanted to hear, and even then, listening would not be the right term for what she did. She didn’t listen to anything she said either, or she would have had some realisation that she spoke an awful lot of drivel, and that every other sentence contradicted the previous one.

She did love talking, on and on and on, because she loved the sound of her own voice. She had trained to be an opera singer because she believed that her voice was angelic, magnificent, and must be shared with the world. Something like that. It was a very strident voice, eardrum shattering and hard to zone out. She never forgave me for that one time I fell asleep on the phone with her… I wonder how long it took her to realise that I had fallen asleep. The fact that there was a huge time difference, made no difference to her. The fact that I was recovering from an operation, was a trifling detail. She wanted to talk and I was the ear into which she had chosen to pour her endless stream of words, that was an honour I had to bow down to. But none of this is relevant really to the quirk… well it is, but it isn’t.

The quirk was that every now and then, quite regularly in fact, out of her mouth would come words which were incredibly familiar to me. They seemed this way because I had spoken them only minutes before. The first few times she did this, I foolishly thought that she was acknowledging my words. I was a bit shocked that she had actually heard something I had said. This should have been a warning to me that I was wrong.

When I pointed out to her that she had just repeated what I had just said, she looked at me utterly perplexed. Then her face took on that familiar expression of condescension, a favourite of Narcissists, and she informed me that not only was I very mistaken, but I had obviously not been listening to her. Big sigh of exasperation, what a saint she was to put up with such insolence. She would never take my words and claim them as her own, what nonsense, no such thing had ever happened or would ever happen, her words were all freshly brewed by her mind. Sometimes the levels of my idiocy were unbearably annoying to her. Poor, poor, put upon mamma!

Truth is, she really did not have a clue that she had just absorbed my words and made them her own. She could have easily passed a polygraph test.

I used to write poetry when I was a teenager. Existential angst ridden stuff mostly, but occasionally something lighter. Of course my mother found out about my poems, – which I hadn’t been hiding from her, but I hadn’t shown them to her either – because a teacher of mine wanted to enter one of them into a local competition. This was one of those teachers who liked to invest themselves in their pupils, find a spark and fan the flames. She did it with all of us and we all loved her for it. Problem is, she didn’t know my parents, even though she had briefly met my mother. When my mother discovered that her child had poetic delusion, she did her usual feigning interest in the idiot spawn. Small things please little minds. And besides, you never knew, maybe one day the idiot would turn into a genius as was always hoped, and then my mother could finally claim credit for her creation. As it stood, the child was rather an embarrassment. I reluctantly showed her a few of my poems. She critiqued them, told me they could be so much better if I made an effort, she could generously help me improve them. She took some of my poems to do exactly that, and to show them to her friends – Look how cute, the idiot is trying to be a poet! Haha! Adorable isn’t it! What a darling!

Some time passed, and lo and behold my mother suddenly found she had a passion for poetry. Just a few scribbles from her oh so humble self, written from the heart so no one must judge such things. She had collected her grand creations together and had them bound into a book. I was given the book as a special gift, and expected to receive it with grateful admiration. I was also expected to read and provide suitable, exaggerated applause. I did my duty. I read the book of poetry. And found that every poem was one I had written. My words, tweaked a little to suit her, but not tweaked enough to hide the fact that they were mine… well… exactly that… they WERE mine, and now they were hers.

I didn’t bother to point that out to her. There was no point in pointing out. She was mistress of her illusion and no one would ever pop that bubble because it was ultra-reinforced, completely unpoppable. Besides… she did that all the time with everything. There was nothing I had which she didn’t take and make hers. If she could. If she couldn’t actually take it from me, then she would own it by proxy. My hair, my teeth, my skin, my body. They belonged to her, I was borrowing them because she was wonderful and generous like that. But she didn’t approve of how I treated what she had so kindly given me on loan.

So, has something like this happened to you?

6 comments

  1. Oh yes, this has happened to me before. I definitely resonated about the poems and the words taken and tweaked and presented as their own. Now, just thinking about it, that pisses me off. Well, it is good I let off some steam. Excellent and apt…”she would own it by proxy.” Indeed. So, what does that make the person that has something taken from them or their something is deemed as owned as proxy by the other? I am thinking about that… Uh… Slave? Chattel? Something like that… Hmm…

    Either some folks haven’t experienced this or some folks have and don’t realize it or some folks have and will not admit to it. Aren’t we allowed to say: “Mine. Hands off!” As a kid, I guess not. But as adults perhaps it is deemed as selfish. Well, I don’t think so. Too bad I hadn’t remembered a weird saying my grandmother used to say when I was being siphoned for the proxy stuff. She would say this odd backward saying when someone got into her space or messed with her stuff: “Keep your cotton picking fingers out of my mashed potatoes.” My grandmother was wise and a giving soul but that was what she said and it was a gentle yet stern warning. Enough said…

    Like

    • What a wonderful saying, very visual, and now I want mashed potatoes with extra salt and butter!
      I think getting angry is the correct emotion when someone invades our territory, especially when uninvited, and when they take what is not theirs and which has not been offered to them. Yet, in speaking to another person, or sharing a poem, or words, I guess we are inviting them in and offering them our stuff to take. Hmmm.
      It is necessary to sometimes let something go, because someone needs it more than we do, they prove that by stealing it from us… and sometimes it is necessary to say ‘Mine! Hands off!’ I suppose those sort of situations give us an opportunity to assess our own values, what is important to us and what is not, whether it is worth fighting for or not, and they give us an opportunity to see how much we value ourselves. Perhaps.

      Thank you Anna.

      Like

  2. My mother takes everything from everyone – quotes, beliefs, artistic qualities, eccentricities, sayings, character quirks, words, opinions….absolutely everything and honestly believes that it all came from her….right down to even copying my brother in laws texting quirks….when I lived at their home I would paint…lo and behold, she started to paint and hung them all over the house…none of mine – she even built up this character as if she was a famous artist with canvas’s all over…one painting I did she turned up and I said ‘would you like to help? I told her what and where paint should go ..it dried and was promptly hung up with dad saying ‘look what your mother made, isnt it beautiful’ ….her brother is a proper artist and she is so jealous but masks it with placing him up on a pedestal (believing she could have been the artist if it werent for her horrible life just now with these people around her holding her back)….in fact, I remember her telling me as a child that her great aunt was a famous opera singer and she would make me sit there listening to her singing and her face told me that she truly believed the opera gene had been passed down to her! haha! I would say ooh thats lovely mum and she would nod in agreement….my poetry was the only thing which filled her with disgust (exc. my child) because she couldnt copy something that was so out of this world surreal (and boom! an ah ha moment for me….I now understand why I wrote surreal poetry whenever I was going through hard times..because it was the only thing i knew for certain would always be just mine and mine alone) ….she obviously has made the family believe that im the magpie of the family, and they believe her….but, now that my sister has been conned into going into partnership with her in a catering business (another of my mums delusions, that she is a professional chef lol) i think my sister is starting to figure things out

    Like

    • Thank you for sharing. Your mother sounds a lot like mine. I used to try to get her to see my side of the situation, hoping she might actually acknowledge that I existed separately from her, but then I realised she was only interested in her side, in fact her side was all sides as far as she was concerned, and I was a part of her, so her version of me was the real one and she owned me and everything connected to me.

      People like your mother and my mother are very good at convincing other people that they are right and everyone else is wrong. People also often back them up because it is easier to placate them than argue with them. My mother used to throw horrible tantrums and destroy people with words if they argued with her. If they agreed with her, she was very lovely.

      Your power lies in your awareness. You see the truth. However you can’t get others to see the truth, even if it is for their own good. They have to find it out for themselves and, like you, have the courage to see it and acknowledge it even if it hurts. Like you said, your sister will see the truth when she is ready and has experienced it for herself.

      I love your realisation about your poetry and why it was surreal. Beautiful! You are very strong and your experience with your mother will help you to navigate other relationships too. Stay strong and use that wonderful awareness you have to grow and prosper. Best wishes for an awesome life!

      ❤ Ursula

      Like

  3. I enjoy reading your old posts and this one struck a cord. My ex narc friend started taking stand-up comedy and improv classes. I could hear myself in her acts (my words to the tee…stupid one liners that I say)…crazy ass shit! I’m a giver so I just passed it off but looking back it all makes sense. She’s not the funny one, I am. I gave her half the freakin’ material & ideas that she used. I recall during one of her performances she mentioned that she helped some of her fellow classmates with some of their material which I also heard. Again, the lines were taken from me. I remember very cleary this one guy saying in his act “how we need to make kids do slave labor to toughen up.” Total stupid thing I say all the time about my own kids. Copy Cat. I have realized that everything about her has been taken from someone else, mostly people that she has screwed over the best but are still hanging around not realizing why their lives suck ass & they have major problems secondary to her toxicity.

    I may get into comedy skit writing after all (not on stage though-I’ll leave that to the narcs, ha ha) Show her who the real funny one is & allow this experience to come full circle just as you have with your exceptional writing & blog posts. The concept of coming full circle is blissful when in the end, the REAL DEAL prevails…”MIne, Hands off!”

    Like

    • I sometimes check out my old posts as I often forget what I’ve said, some of the old ones are rants really, letting off steam, releasing stuff that needed to get out so I could see it more clearly.

      The copy cat thing is infuriating, but also sad because you realise that narcissists don’t have a core sense of self, they’re a bit like rag dolls made up of bits and pieces of others. No wonder they’re so angry at the world.

      That sounds like fun! There is always something about ourselves to learn from a narcissist, they inadvertently show us the talents which we have that we may have missed 🙂

      Like

Comments are closed.