Thank you to lansealan for suggesting the idea of writing a post about going out to eat with a narcissist.
So, where to begin…
perhaps first I should mention that most of my experiences of going out to eat with a narcissist involve one or both of my parents.
I apologise to any narcissist who isn’t one of my parents for forgetting our time out for food together but frankly it wasn’t memorable enough to give me flashbacks whereas as all those times when my parents decided to go out to eat dragging me along with them and chaos, like clockwork, ensued still have me flashbacking.
Offer me a baguette with ham and I’ll suddenly have total recall of one of the last meals I had with my father in the Tuileries garden… it was just a sandwich in the park bought from a vendor, what could possibly go wrong… if you’re with a narcissist the easier question to ask is – can anything go right?
The last meal I had with my mother was at a cafe in London where she introduced me to her new best friend in the entire world, who was a con artist she had met in the street who offered her a part of fortune but that fortune was tied up and until it became untied this most trustworthy person in the universe needed someone’s credit card information. My mother didn’t have a credit card at the time (for narc drama reasons) but someone she knew did, and that someone she knew would give it to her because if they didn’t mother would be upset and we wouldn’t want that. Apparently we did want that and we got called evil for it so we decided to not bother anymore with mother and her mad hatter’s tea parties anymore.
Those experiences where when I was an adult and I could have walked away at any point… even if walking away from a narcissist while they’re in mid-drama is not always possible or advisable (because they’ll follow you as though bound to you by a string which is unbreakable until they decide it can break and things will get even more dramatic).. or I could have not gone to the meals at all (but I was… um… only following orders? You know, those orders in the mind which are bullshit which tell you that you have to do something because… these are your parents and you must respect them, give in to them, put up with their antics forever and ever until they die… or until you die because they cling to life far more than you do, you’re always on the verge of letting go of it due to them being in it and forcing you to sharesies….)
if you spend enough time eating what the narcissist feeds you, you’ll end up murdering yourself and lying about it
There was one time when I refused to go out to dinner with my parents – I was about 8 yrs old and didn’t want to spend the evening with a bunch of adults having adult conversation (which I’d heard all before because I’d been dragged to these things all my life) while I had to sit there ‘behaving’. My mother exploded, my father didn’t give a shit – which meant my mother exploded even more (at him, at me, at him because of me, at me because of him) because once again she had to deal with me on her own without his back-up and other martyr-saint stories. They eventually left (my father walked out and my mother decided to follow his lead because she was damned if he was getting away from her that easily) to have dinner with their adult friends (who they hated and didn’t consider friends at all due to lots of ‘these people are inferior’ reasons, but you have to pretend because of social blah, blah, blah). By the time they left my evening was ruined, I felt like total crap for all of the crimes I’d committed by just being alive, I must have sobbed all the water in my body out, I even wandered the streets at night trying to find the restaurant… but who cares if my evening was ruined, only the narcissists matter and I had offended one of them and all the tears in the world could not undo such an offense.
And those are just a few mild experiences compared to some of the others I have stored in my memory banks – I keep trying to free that space up but for some reason those files can’t be deleted.
Going out to eat with my particular narcissists was always a last meal before someone got sacrificed to appease the gods of narc…
Staying in to eat with them wasn’t a picnic either, especially when they were both there brewing up a storm together which hung over the table like one of those black clouds which gives you a headache whose pressure squeezes your brain from both sides like a vice, which can only be relieved by thunder and lightning actually getting it on and washing everything away in a flood of torrential rain.
But staying in was preferable to going out… you weren’t quite as trapped, quite as much of a captured audience, your hostage status had leeway…
because going out to eat with one or both of my parents was like…
going to the opera…
the opera came to mind because I have this song stuck in my head at the moment…
… this song was one of my father’s favourites, perhaps because it’s about cracking a whip (sort of). He liked to sing this out loud and annoy the hell of my professionally trained in opera mother who never actually sang professionally because she married my father before she became who she was supposed to be and… other stories told by narcissists which may or may not be true.
… this particular version of it reminds me a lot of dinner parties with my parents, with my father (who looked not dissimilar to the baritone) lording it over everyone doing one of his set pieces, telling one of his stories to his audience, being the charming host (even if he wasn’t the host), with everyone smiling politely while he did it. In the meantime my mother would be sitting just offstage looking like she’d been hit by a ton of bricks and was stewing over it (waiting to blow off steam later all over me because I was a stand-in for my father when she couldn’t confront him or when she had confronted him and he’d left her unsatisfied, needing more confrontational stuff to happen until she could win her point and thus get satisfaction).
Dinner with narcissists is a play, opera, performance, film, made for TV movie, which takes place in several acts – the actual dinner is somewhere in between a long beginning and an interminable end.
There was one time when my mother got asked on a date by a man…
(quick parental relationship status update for this time – they were not divorced, they were not living together and hadn’t been for ages, my father by this time was shacked up with his longtime mistress who was far more of a ‘wife’ to him than my mother ever was or wanted to be, they hated each others guts but were passionately obsessed with each other, and my mother thought his mistress was an actual witch/bruha/black magic woman, my mother was a born again virgin due to martyr-saint type of narcissist reasons so she rarely ‘dated’, and definitely didn’t sex and the city it up)
This man… he was a rather nice guy, as those who end up on dates with narcissists often are.
If you end up dating a narcissist please don’t think this is because there’s something wrong with you… it’s far more likely to be because there is a more than something right with you – but having things right doesn’t mean they don’t sometimes go wrong.
Narcissists are a lot of things… one of which is being very good at spotting the best people in a crowd. So if they pick you – it’s basically one of those awkward compliments.
There’s something special about you…
unfortunately a narcissist has noticed this special something about you and now you’re about to end up wishing that you weren’t so special… because you’re a ‘special’ on their narcissistic supply menu.
but first you’re going to feel wonderful about them noticing you and you being special because they’re going to treat you to their specialty which is intoxicating you with their attention.
Chances are until you met the narcissist you didn’t know you were as special as you now know you are… even if you, like this man, had graduated from Harvard, were a successful professional, had loads o’money thanks to hard graft, were intellectually very adept and weren’t bad looking either (who says you can’t be smart and beautiful at the same time… smash that mirror!)
So… this man met my mother, she made him feel special, and he asked her out to dinner… at The Harvard Club in New York to impress her… but he didn’t know that he was trying to impress a narcissist… a narcissist who knew he was trying to impress her.
You can impress a narcissist… but if they know you’re trying to impress them and that impressing them is important to you then you’re fighting a losing battle (and it will be a battle, a competition – everything is a competition with them, an ego-tussle, which they intend to win) because them ‘being not impressed’ when you’re trying to impress them impresses them more than them being impressed by you and your efforts to impress them. They get their kicks from not letting you get your kicks.
I was a teenager at the time, living with my mother, and I was elated when I heard that she had met someone… to take her attention away from me – I was particularly relieved that I could perhaps stop playing ‘surrogate husband’ for her (for awhile anyway… the chances of this ‘relationship’ lasting were slim since my mother was ‘loyal’ to my father). The duties involved in being ‘surrogate husband’ meant doing things like inviting and treating her to dinner, finding a suitable restaurant which met her high, perfectionistic, idealistic, impossible to meet standards (basically finding a dump and letting her bitch about it was just as good as finding the best place ever because she’d still think it was a dump and bitch about it – but I didn’t know that at the time and this ‘job’ was killing me).
I cheered her on – as a good little narc cheerleader does – and encouraged her to go on the date with this man – she was a bit meh about it because he wasn’t my father = he wasn’t a ‘famous artist’ and other narcissistic delusions of grandeur through association. I hadn’t met him… but… I would because I was going to be the ‘chaperone’ for this date! Yay me! WTF!?!
I’m sure the man did the Harvard grad (before internet and social media) version of WTF when he heard that his date had been hijacked in this manner.
Well… apparently my mother needed me to be her chaperone… and both me and this man had to do what pleased her because… narc reasons.
So I got to watch her behave like a ‘teenager’ (although I would say she had regressed further than that as her pastime during the meal was all about pushing the prongs of a fork under her wine glass and then tipping it without tipping it over… I am not shitting you, this is what she did the entire meal. I wish I was making this up… while I’m wishing I made things up, I wish I’d made my parents up, but my imagination wouldn’t do that because frankly it doesn’t have that kind of juice) while I ‘behaved’ myself once again as I always had, making polite conversation, being impressed by the restaurant, awed by the environment and the host, delighted by the food, interested in the conversation – he was an interesting man and…
I hope he found someone after this disastrous date to confirm that for him, to appreciate him and to appreciate how considerate he was because he was a frigging bundle of consideration for others. He was really kind to me and a real ‘martyr-saint’ towards my mother (very different from her martyr-saint role which she loved to play so much). He had every right to feel that he had been ‘cheated’ because the date he had expected, the person he had thought he was wining and dining… never showed up, but someone else did (the flip side of the charming narcissist) and they brought ‘a friend’ with them… but instead he was gracious.
Grace under pressure… a very valuable trait, and when someone shows they have it they underline how ‘special’ they are without needing to say anything. Narcissists love those who have grace under pressure because they put people under pressure all the time and they are graceless about it.
Gotta go now… because I’m a tad late for dinner with someone who is not a narcissist.
Over to you!
I have spent most of my life trying to please a narcissist parent. I’m just now trying to find my freedom and she is not letting go very easily. A life of abuse mentally and physically at what point is enough is enough
Thank you for sharing 🙂
Nothing you can do to please a narcissist will ever please them because nothing pleases them more than being displeased. They’re permanently in a state of being disappointed with everyone and everything.
A child can never please their narcissist parent because the child is an extension of their narc parent and becomes the repository of all the hopes dreams, delusions, and frustrations of the narc parent. They repeat their own wounding with their children over and over and over waiting for a different outcome which will never come.
Narcissist parents do not ever let go of their children, even if they are the ones who disown you they still hang on they just do it covertly. Once you’re their child you belong to them like all those other possessions which are theirs and no one else can have or take from them.
However that doesn’t mean that you can’t get away – you just have to factor in that they’ll never let go and will make you feel ashamed and guilty for actually wanting to own your own life and live it without them in it, without them controlling you.
For a narcissist, especially a narcissist parent, what they do to you is ‘love’ not ‘abuse’, and therefore there can never be enough of it, there is no ‘enough is enough’ point when it comes to ‘love’, why would you not want more of their ‘love’. What you do to them by ‘rejecting’ their ‘love’… that’s ‘abuse’. And whatever they did to hurt you always hurt them more than it hurt you, so your hurt will never matter as much as their hurt because they always have more of it than you do and so much of it was caused by you – because nothing is ever theirs if it’s a ‘bad’ thing.
If you try and find your freedom she’ll come after you with everything she’s got, everyone you know will be dragged into the drama of bringing you back home to her because you don’t know what you’re doing, how much you’re breaking her heart, and she knows what’s best for you (and other fables told by narcissists to others to get them to drag you back to hell).
You’re going to need to rely on yourself like never before, and use every ounce of strength you have (of which you have a lot, children of narcissists usually have an overabundance of inner strength) – at least in the initial stages which can go on for awhile. It does get easier over time, particularly if you can move out of the narcissist’s social sphere of influence.
Be determined, stubborn and never give up on yourself and what you want – grim determination is imperative when trying to free yourself from a narcissist parent. Detachment also helps but can be difficult to do as the narcissist parent melds themselves with their child and you have to manually detach each of the tentacles they attached to you. You may find on exploring yourself that many of the things, traits, behaviours, likes, ambitions, which you have and see as yours aren’t yours but belong to your narc parent and you absorbed them as yours. Freeing yourself from those is very liberating and aids in freeing you from your narcissist parent.
Freedom from a narcissist sometimes begins with doing it physically, on the outside, but the real work involves going inside and liberating your psyche from them and their influence.
Articles like this are worth reading – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-legacy-distorted-love/201205/it-s-all-about-me-recovery-adult-children-narcissist
Best wishes on your search for freedom, take good care of yourself!
Thank you so very much for responding 🙂 I often find myself worrying about her after the millionth time of disowning her and then wind up getting pulled right back in. It is an emotional roller coaster. My husband is very supportive but I wind up being my own worst enemy . It is like you are being brainwashed all your life to respect and have empathy for them but there is no return from their end, nothing is ever good. It just baffles me still. Thanks again for your reply it helps to know I’m not alone 🙂
You’re definitely not alone 🙂
It sounds like you have a wonderfully supportive husband – bless those people in our lives who just love us as we are and we can’t figure out the conditions of their love (which is something growing up with a narcissist makes us do – look for the conditions of the contract of ‘love’) because it’s just free and accepting of us and that’s so confusing but lovely… who knew confusion could be a pleasant experience!
You’ll probably always worry about your mother not because of her and who she is (or how she brainwashed you) but because of you and who you are. You care and caring is an all-encompassing ability. Just rejig how you view that caring, that worrying, so that it’s okay to do it, to think and feel it, without it needing you to ‘prove it’.
The empathy, respect, etc, which you’ve learned to have are valuable talents – just best not used when dealing with a narcissist. However they are highly useful when dealing with yourself and with others who aren’t narcissists.
Nothing is ever good enough for a narcissist – that’s the narcissist’s problem… a problem which they make the problem of everyone who has a relationship with them because that’s also a problem of narcissists (they rely too much on others in ways which make them a problem for others). They have this gaping hole of endless hungry need inside of them which is never satisfied. It’s not dissimilar to one of those ancient gods that required greater and greater human sacrifice to appease them and still the volcano exploded. It doesn’t make sense and will always baffle those who are logical.
Being baffled by it is not an issue – not being baffled by it is more of an issue.
Btw, that ‘nothing’ which is never ever good enough for a narcissist… is plenty for everyone else. 🙂
It’s like reading bits of my life.
That’s one of the more strange and wonderful things about sharing our stories. We often think we’re alone in our experience because feeling that way is a part of the experience, but then we meet others who’ve had a similar story, sometimes so similar that you wonder if perhaps you were there together but didn’t know it, and that kind of connection offers relief and release. 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
I liked this blog it reminded me of an ex girlfriend who used to write to me in similar detail of her experiences not about narcos just other things which used to fill my mind for days on end before I figured it out ( I had to because there would be a test later on !) your writings just pop into my head at random times without reason, I like that so thanks for taking the time to share your experiences,
Thank you 🙂
It sounds like you have a Mercury that loves puzzles in the form of people – the people in your life bring those puzzles to you, those people and their puzzles open up a door into another world, life, philosophy of living, for you and through your explorations of what they show you, you can see something which perhaps they can’t see and that’s what you give to them.
Your personal journey is an intriguing one – I know more about the people you know than I do about you. That reminds me of me in some ways – the me who lives offline rather than the me on my blog. In person I tend to focus on other people and I remain elusive – my blog is pretty much the only place where people can grasp me because I leave something behind when I pass by 😉
For some odd reason and I don,t know why I am attracted to people born under the sign of Capricorn not through choice it just happens. Capricorn people just pop in and out of my life almost by destiny. When I lived in rural France my ex neighbour ( Francoise) Capricorn- well into her 80,s was such an inspiration to me for many reasons- my French language skills were crap but she was unbelievably patient with me, we got on well together without speaking much at all. She cried when I left France, I never thought she cared. I was blind to that and would never have left if I had known. It still bothers me now. You too inspire me in an abstract sort of way and have helped me and others too enormously you should feel very proud of yourself. It would be amazing to be your neighbour have a chat for ten minutes then have something to think about all day long bliss! Happy October
Happy October to you to 😀
The start of this month comes with the blessings of Jupiter conjunct Sun and new Moon which in theory brings blessings and abundance… but what kind of blessings and an abundance of what exactly!?
I’ve lived in France too, although in the city which is more hectic than the rural so the heart of a culture may get missed in the hustle and bustle. The French tend to be incredibly generous yet hide it well under a veneer of nonchalance. They care but don’t show it in obvious ways a lot of the time. You can see it in their films – passion covered by elegant dispassion. I also found that people were very kind at my own inability to speak fluently – they appreciated the fact that I was trying to speak in their language rather than expecting them to speak in mine. There were some very funny moments – according to one French friend of mine I sound sarcastic when I talk in French. But then again I am prone to being sarcastic whatever language I’m using 😉
You come across as a the sort of person who blesses all those who have the luck to meet you with your own special blend of you. You’re not blind at all. I think you see people, really see them – this is quite rare. So I’m not surprised that Francoise cried when you left. She enjoyed the sunshine of your gaze and attention. It wasn’t sad or unhappy tears she cried, it was those beautiful tears of appreciation with which people water the plants that grow in the inner garden. She was inspired by you too and your caring for her in a natural manner, one which didn’t require conscious thought. She doesn’t sound like the sort of person who would have wanted to bind you to her, and she would have understood why you left and been proud of you for continuing your journey through life. A part of her gets to journey with you wherever you go and she would love that!
I don’t know why but this film came to mind – The Sweet Escape (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4163644/) – it’s a French film about following our own path and the people whom we meet along the way, as well as those relationships which ground us. It’s sort of about accepting what is and what happens.
The ‘bothering’ which the story of Francoise brings to you is the creative friction of inspiration – she is with you inspiring you. She wouldn’t want you to regret leaving, however your regret is there as a wound which offers healing to you and to all those you meet along your way through your life.
Sometimes we have to carry a ‘hurt’ with us not to hurt but to feel something that connects us to the world of being around us.
I have Virgo rising (with Moon in Virgo), plus Saturn square Sun so… I do occasionally feel proud of myself but it’s fleeting. I tend to feel that I haven’t quite done enough, and that somehow I’m letting everyone down or something along those lines. I used to hate that feeling, but now… it’s taken me a long time to appreciate that kind of ‘bother’. It actually connects you more with the world of people, with being human, with an essence that is a part of all of us. Our pain is the pain of others, of existence, of our planet… it can be a blessing in disguise of something else 🙂
If I were a woman reading your comments I would have cried all the way through. The sentence about tears was so moving. I had never thought it like that but its true. But I,m just a man so I am not supposed to be touched by these things I have to be macho and pretend that its no big deal but it was. I am always wondering where you find these beautiful words I think you must have loads of special compartments somewhere in your mind where they are stored, all labelled up neat and tidy so you go ah ah perfect put this with that and that with this et voila. Its good striving to be perfect I,m useless at it but I,m glad that you’re not because its lifted you up to this well , such a level that hurts my neck when I look up. So as always thanks never seems enough. I can see into people perhaps maybe a little more than others I messed up with Francoise I think because our cultural differences and not being French. I once bought her a special handmade cake from the local boulangerie (you will know what I mean delicious is understating them) she was shocked and muttered non non I thought jeezs what have I done wrong anyways she reluctantly took it so I left her to it. Then a few minutes later I had to go back for something and there she was she had scoffed the lot and just stared at me! So then why can,t we bring you something nice? Francoise only lent me her scythe you give so much to so many with your incredible insights and deserve more than a cake it has to be a crown- your crown. My moon was in admiration, it’s in a position in the zodiac not known to others it rarely appears at a certain angle but when it does, like now, it quite overwhelming and with discovery rising ecstasy abounds. Ps thanks too for the film tip Mercredi is film night looking forward to that but before I have to jump into my time machine and go back to the eighties for some never gonna give you up la la, oh and grow a moustache, best wishes
Merci mille fois beaucoup 😉
Based on your criteria I must be a man – don’t worry this is a personal joke which I sometimes share with others and it usually leaves others scratching their head a la Stan Oliver or is it the other one who did that!?
Last time I cried was… I think it might have been a few years ago due to intense exasperation rather than sadness. Stress tears which didn’t last longer than a minute or two. Usually I’m too distracted to find the time to concentrate on crying.
Crying properly requires effort and concentration on what is inspiring the need to cry.
As a child I was praised for not crying and my mother was very focused on my not being a ‘cry baby’ like she saw herself as being when she was a child and for which she apparently got criticised. She was always trying to ‘save me’ form being her – which was a weird ambition. She was very impressed when I did not cry after a boy older than me pushed me and knocked me to the ground when I was only about 2 yrs old – I don’t recall this incident, but knowing myself I probably didn’t think it was anything to cry about as I was always doing things which ended up with me falling on the ground, like climbing trees and buildings and then not knowing how to get down other than by falling. Sometimes you just have to fall – it hurts but that kind of pain subsides because there are other things to do after that moment.
My mind is actually a mess (as I am – I am therefore I think as I am 😉 ) but it has its own chaotic order – best if I don’t try to tidy it up. Chaos rewards those who embrace and accept it, especially if they are made of chaos. Or something like that.
The Moon in astrology is rather an intriguing placement to explore. It is our ‘nurturing’ place. It signifies how we nurture others and what we need ourselves in the way of nurturing… by sign, house, aspect (an aspect can complicate or simplify matters). Mine’s in the 12th house – which is sometimes interpreted as someone who can tap into what others are feeling ‘psychically’ but often hasn’t a clue what they’re feeling themselves. That’s fairly accurate – however I tend to use my own understanding of my own feeling experience to figure out what others may be feeling. Certain feelings are universal, part of the collective consciousness (12th house). Virgo Moon = reserved in personal feeling, analytical about the concept of feeling, once it gets over being an analytical twat it can actually make sense of feeling and share that information in a manner which doesn’t make it sound like a computer (maybe).
When people share their stories with me I listen to their story and get myself out of the way – this isn’t about me so I don’t need to feature in it, however I may have a parallel story which allows me to have insight into their story. You do that too, o you know how that works – and being male or female isn’t relevant to you when you do that even though others may think this is the domain of the feminine and thus only accessible by females. Bollocks to that! – that’s anima and both male and female have access to anima as well as animus.
Bottom line is – If you really get what it’s like to be human you can pretty much get what other humans experience. We’re all very different and yet the same. Allow for the differences and understand the similarities.
Your personal Moon sounds beautiful… and you honour it by the way that you are – you as you are, that is the greatest and most challenging aspect of life and being 🙂
three out of the four narcissists I have known over the years have been in love with the sound of their own voices,
The first of these happened to be my own mother, she used to regale everyone with her tales of how she nearly became a singing sensation, (apparently she was approached by a talent spotter, who had offered her a singing contract,) and how all her dreams had been shattered by her jealous mother who refused to let her go.
She used to love Saturdays, she would accompany my father to the local con club, where she would sing to the local townsfolk, never stage shy, my mother would delight in entering most of the singing competitions held at the holiday venues we visited every year, one thing she always insisted on was being the last one on stage, before that you had to sit and listen to her take apart and criticise all the other holiday makers who dared to get up and sing, and who, according to my mother had awful singing voices, odd really, for although my mother could hold a decent enough tune, she was certainly no Doris day,
How disappointed she had been with me, when the voice trainer she had taken me to had declared me to be tone deaf.
The second singing narcissist to enter my life was a man called Martin, who had an unnatural fixation with cliff Richard, his greatest moment came when he entered and won a cliff Richard sound alike contest at a local boozer, this was the man who had burst into song, red rose in hand, on our first date together, which resulted in a first argument at how embarrassed I had been,
He too was destined to be famous, and never stopped talking about how he had taken part in a west end show at only ten years of age, and how everyone had told him that he was so talented that he had been noticed by a famous personality who had been so impressed by him that he was prepared to give him a part in a show he was producing. But his chances had been ruined by his parents who were too (as he put it) poor to fund him to the top,
Needless to say, the relationship ended, as there seemed to be very little to be gained from a relationship with a controlling, conceited narcissist, who happened to sound not unlike cliff Richard.
The last narcissist I found myself with, was a sixty eight your old man who was a member of a county choir, he also had the loudest voice I had ever heard, the first place he took me to, was a rather impressive looking church, where he was to sing that night, which was much louder than anyone else I might add,
The thing that would rattle my nerves was the ear shattering loudness of his voice, he would sing in the bath, he would sing in his car, he would sing out loud in the local supermarket, and when he woke up in the morning, I could not help but think to myself how happy he is, and how foolish I was, I was soon to learn just how loud he could be, his voice during his frequent narcissistic rages would leave me a shaking wreck, he always attended choir practice on a Thursday, I had learned to recognise when things had not gone well for him, he had developed a habit of looking for a reason to throw his weight around, this usually resulted in a hissy fit where he would throw one or two of his willow patterned dinner plates against the wall smashing them to pieces, simply because someone had managed to out bellow him at choir practice that evening.
Thank you for sharing 🙂
That’s an intriguing connection between your narcissists.
Narcissists are desperate to be seen and sometimes the way to be seen is to be heard – the bird in the nest who peeps the loudest gets fed first and therefore is guaranteed survival over the other chicks.
I guess when they’re in a ‘good’ mood narcissists sing and when they’re in a ‘bad’ mood they shout and scream. Either way they get the attention of others, a bit like adverts whose volume is always louder than the TV show you’re watching.
After years of living with my parents who shouted and screamed my ears developed an insensitive-sensitivity to raised voices – if someone raises their voice around me I switch off. If I can I leave their vicinity because there is no point in being there as anything they have to say is no longer something I can actually hear, if I can’t leave I just stand there not hearing anything as though I’m wearing ear plugs. There was an incident a long time ago where this worked in my favour – my mother had pissed someone off with her behaviour and she left me to deal with him. He was very angry and shouted for about ten minutes until he calmed down. He apparently was impressed that I just stood there and waited him out, so much so that he wanted to introduce me to his son as a possible ‘wife’ candidate. That was a weird moment – but informative. Some of the things we learn from having to deal with narcissists are rather useful in other areas of life.
I think I know how you felt, as my mother got older she used to expect (rather than rely) on me to take her most places, i needed the skills of a peace keeping diplomat, to deal with the anger from the people my mother used to piss off all of the time, even driving her to and from places would get me into trouble, when she would lean over and blast the car horn at someone who she felt had jumped into a parking space she saw first, I
I will always remember one comment from an elderly man (who made me smile once) when he tapped me on the shoulder and quietly said to me, if you take my advice dear, Never take a dangerous dog out in public with out a lease and muzzle, as you are the one paying the price when someone gets bitten.
It’s those comments from random people, sometimes strangers, which can set all sorts of insight into motion – sometimes other people who have nothing to lose or gain tell us things as they are and give us some wings 🙂
Dinner with Narcissists = Emotional roller coaster 🙂 I feel for you!
Whenever I was on a “dinner date” with my narc-mom (same surrogate husband thingy) I had this chanting in my head “please, don’t do it, please don’t do it, no, no, no” but she never ceased to amaze, always did a big fat drama, I wished I was not there but I was and it was a guaranteed disaster and a headache for me. I always had a bad hangover after that, while I wasn’t drinking at all. Amazing.
For many years my mother treated me like a “surrogate husband”, like male in everyday life (technically from early childhood I was carrying her bags, moving furniture wherever she felt like it, did the planning for her holidays, organized her (me-in-tow) nights out etc), so in my twenties I experienced some sort of gender-confusion. It’s hard to explain but sometimes I took on predominantly male jobs and behaved like a male, when males gave me compliments I wasn’t registering them in the supposed way (my co-worker had to translate it to me because I was oblivious to what was going on around me). I didn’t give it much thought until people started to comment on that and brought my attention to it, I was really shocked. I realized that even in my thoughts I sometimes identified as a male, that was bizarre. I was pretty dormant in a sexual way. As a result of trying to survive the impossible I just didn’t have any drive for that, so I thought that I was asexual.
Have you ever experienced anything like that?
TBH, this was my ‘normal’… took me awhile to realise that ‘dinner’ wasn’t this way for everyone and that maybe it wasn’t ‘normal’. Exposure to other realities confuses our own version of reality… even if we’re already confused by our own version of reality because maybe it isn’t our own but that which the first peopel we meet give us, we adapt to it for survival purposes but our adaptation gets all sorts of messed up when we realise that there are alternate realities and maybe those are better – ‘better’ is a big problem, especially for narcissists and those who have relationships with them.
There are times when I think my parents did me a favour by being this crazy… took me awhile to appreciate that flip side. I think I’ve only come to appreciate it now that the world seems so discombobulated. Weird how some things work…
Keep calm because you grew up with narcissists and everything after that seems pretty tame in comparison 😉
I wasn’t really all that fussed about my sexuality because there were so many other things which kicked up a greater fuss and demanded my attention… like identity. I had no idea who I was for most of my teens when in theory identity is paramount. My identity was a roulette wheel which other people controlled and betted on, decided for me. And sexuality tends to be an offshoot of identity, therefore if you have no idea who you are, your sexuality is a number on a wheel that is continuously spinning waiting for a ball to make its mind up and land somewhere.
Other people seemed more interested in my sexuality than I was.
As far as my parents were concerned… they weren’t into sex, ergo I shouldn’t be interested in it either. My mother was what is known as ‘frigid’ – her view was that sex was a ‘chore’, she once said that when my father had intercourse with her she saw it as him peeing inside of her – yup, this is the shit my parents shared with me about ‘the birds and the bees’. And even though my father was a philanderer, sex was a means to an end for him – an aspect of his career which he indulged in because it was ‘expected’ of him (he was an artist and slept with all of his ‘subjects’) – rather than something he needed for other reasons, or at least that’s the way he talked about it around me… his affairs were openly discussed in front of me between my parents, sometimes even including his latest ‘conquest’ in the conversation. Boho life… yay!
It’s funny (strange-funny) online people sometimes assume I’m male because of the way I express myself, occasionally because of the photos I have used of myself as avatars. I’m rather ‘masculine’ in my attitude… or so I’ve been told. And I do tend to get along better with men than women but it does depend on how those men and women express themselves and what they expect from others – me. I’m Mumblecore not RomCom 🙂
Frankly I think we’re not defined by our sexuality, our sexuality is defined by us – figuring out who ‘us’ is is complex, therefore so is our sexuality.
Oh god, the chaperone thing. I feel your pain there. I’ve been in that position with my ex-“Friend”, someone who always had me tag along for extra supply whenever she needed it, like I was a keg she could tap whenever she was dry on reserve ego-boosting. No matter what event it was, I HAD to come with her, and she’d use emotional manipulation to get me to come along– things she knew I was sensitive to. I was very protective of her because she made very terrible decisions in life, and I was naturally fatherly by design, so I developed a nurturing demeanor with her, and she LOVED that. So she would never say “I WANT you to come along”, she’d say “I NEED you”, which I was a sucker for, big time, and she knew it. “I need you there with me.” “Why?” “I’m afraid of being taken advantage of. I need you there to protect me.” Then she’d make these sweet doe eyes and pouty lips at me. It worked every time, because I WOULD have protected her– I had done it before. As soon as we’d arrive at this event (concert, party, gathering, whatever), she’d discard me immediately to go get drunk and laid. But had she needed me… at least I’d be there to praise her for doing a good job at screwing everyone in the room.
Thank you for sharing 🙂
Oh yes, that ‘poor me, help me’ look has melted many hearts, has made many a person want to fight a ‘villain’ as a ‘hero’ on behalf of someone whose distress was a siren’s song… but we just never quite hear it like a song which will cause our ship to end up shattered on rocks, we don’t think about how we’ll survive once the siren is done with us, our ship is destroyed, we’re sinking and drowning, and she is off partying with all those ‘villains’ our hero self was supposed to save her from because suddenly the ‘villains’ are her best friends, her new ‘heroes’… perhaps because it would be nice to be a hero sometimes in this life which likes to make us feel that we’re neither hero nor villain.
When someone asks for our help, what are we supposed to do?
What if they really need us?
What if we ignore their cry of help because we’ve been burned before and this time we were really needed?
It’s strange how certain people, the ones who don’t really need a hero, bring out the hero in us… maybe it’s the way they ask for it. While those who really would appreciate a hero in their life somehow don’t get heard.
Your chivalry is admirable, don’t let people like this damsel in distress who never is actually in distress put you off being the way that you are – we need heroic souls in this world.
Ultimately she’ll end up screwing herself because she’s played this story once too many times and no one believes her cries of ‘wolf’ anymore, while those she screwed over… they’re not the real fools in this scenario – she is. She had it all and perhaps that’s why she can’t appreciate how much she has. Some people are so obsessed with looking for something over there that they don’t see the treasures they have right here.
One day you’ll be the one she tells others about, a great warrior who was always there for her and no one else can live up to your legend… unfortunately she’ll never understand this story herself, nor will she get what she discarded. She threw away gold while chasing after fool’s gold… but she’ll never get it.
Thanks for your reply– it was meaningful and healing to me in a lot of ways. It’s difficult to talk about her sometimes, as our history was very long, and very sordid. We grew up together. Many stories of woe, of pain, of push-and-pull came out of that friendship. I truly cared about her, and about her pain. I wanted it to end. For her to be happy. She was what my therapist called a “frienemy”. I admit, that term had me smiling with how true it was. I loved her like a friend, and yet was angry with her for all the pain she put me through for her sake.
Eventually, I learned that she was in that pain because she wanted to be. She wanted to live in it, to wallow in it. I couldn’t take it anymore. I eventually left that friendship, and gave my love to someone who deserved it– and got married.
I have no doubt that she compares the new chariots in her life to myself, further wounding their self-esteem in the way she did my own. I wish I could see them now, and tell them to run away. Far away, as I have many other suitors that clamored for her affection and were mesmerized by her. I told her that fifteen years of being around her has taught me that she can’t love– and she will never love them the way they love her. One man almost abandoned his family because of her charms. A man my devoted “friend” admitted to me that she was just using to get items out of. Watching all of her world crash and burn around her was like watching a car accident– with me in the center of it.
But coming here seeing that other people have suffered those relationships, that pain, that feeling of “wanting to help the damsel in distress” is relieving. It makes me feel normal, and it allows me to be less self-deprecating.
Your articles are great. Thanks for writing them, and for sharing your own experiences. You give a voice to everyone who has been through hell and back.
Thank you 🙂
It’s always difficult to come to terms with that kind of history – the threads of the story run deep and are intrinsically tied up in who you are. Your experience of her is linked to your experience of yourself. When someone is a part of our life during our formative years, their narrative becomes a part of our narrative. We’ll never be over them as they are a part of us, but that doesn’t mean we’re stuck with them or stuck in that time of our history – you’re always making new history inspired by what came before.
She showed you that not only do you have a heroic soul, but that you can make sense of the chaos of others, see clearly where others are confused. Your pain is also your strength because you turned it into strength. You’re an amazing and inspiring person, more so because its who you are naturally and for much of the time you probably aren’t even aware of it.
Keep being you traveling through life and turning your experiences into inspiration!
Thank you for posting this! Your posts on narcissists always help me come to terms with my devastating “friendship” with one. While I got off light, it still left me with lingering self-esteem issues toward friendship.
One area that is infested with narcissists of every sort seems to be You Tube vloggers. The ex friend who betrayed me is now this vlogger who has tons of worshippers. In fact, she’s part of that whole community and a lot of them are very similar. I feel bad for all these people pouring hundreds of dollars into supporting this extremely narcissistic community. They use their fans as suppliers.
Who needs a “chaperone” when you have hundreds of people telling you how wonderful you are! Of course, her husband followers her around. She once told me the best thing about him was that “he has no opinions on anything.”
In some ways I wish she wasn’t online. I’ve stayed from her for the past couple months, but sometimes curiousity creeps up on me. I did look — I shouldn’t have — and she was once more playing the “I’m the luckiest girl in the world because of my perfect love story and all your wonderful attention, you lovely people, you.” (How she wrote it pretty much).
It’s hard knowing someone’s dark side and watching the masses adore them and sing praises.
My eyes were opened. But I feel I got eaten. The bitemark of the narc lingers.
When she didn’t need me, when she had her narc supply from vlogger fans, I was thrown in the waste bin. Now that vlogger community — so riddled with narcissists — basks in the supply of fans who blindly worship and idolize them.
She just seems to get more money and more attention. I think You Tube should be renamed “narcissists supply site”. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to fully let it go. I’m sure she’ll never reveal anything bad — she works hard to portray how “perfect” her life is. I think she knows her detractors want to see her fail.
I know it’s bad, but I find myself rooting for failure and I dislike feeling that way. I never wished for someone to fail before I met her.
Thank you for sharing 🙂
I remember your story because it’s rather unusual. Not unusual for a story involving a narcissist. Just unusual because this is about a blogger and your relationship with one both offline and online.
What you’re experiencing may feel strange but is rather normal and natural for those who’ve become involved with a narcissist. Wondering how they keep getting away with their ‘shit’ is fairly common – because once you’ve burst out of the rainbow bubble you expect the world to see what you can see and the world is just not seeing it. The world still sees them how you once saw them – a pretty picture which seems so ideal and wonderful. The world admires them for that as you once did – but now you don’t and want others not to either. You’re sort of waiting for everyone else to catch up to you and for the narcissist’s mask to slip so much that everyone sees the ugly behind the pretty picture presented which you can see. That could happen but… social media can cover blemishes up faster than they’re exposed, and the world may not want to see what you’ve seen because this island of narc pretty perfection is an oasis for them. They don’t care if she’s not who she says she is – they get enough of that offline – they need her to be who they’ve decided that she is for their sake and not for hers.
A narcissist is just as stuck in their fantasy as others are while they believe in it. She couldn’t change if she wanted to – her ‘audience’ would make her feel their wrath if she tried. So she’s stuck being the persona which she created which others like to watch and read about. She’s a prisoner of her persona and her pretty perfect story – maybe you can get a bit of closure from that as waiting for her to fall may mean waiting for a long while because social media doesn’t really care about people, it likes what it likes and doesn’t like what it doesn’t like.
Most people who follow her story probably watch it the same way they watch a TV show – she’s a character not a person. They find the story amusing, it distracts them from their own lives and the stresses of the personal for awhile. They don’t care about her, they don’t see her as a real person. For you she’s a person and not a character in a TV show. She’s become a part of your real life and her presence affects you personally and you can’t just turn her off and forget about her – figure out what keeps you attached and maybe you can switch her off.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Wow, thank you so much for your insight. Most of the time I don’t think of her these days. But there comes these moment of “weakness” and I almost relapse. I wish I was stronger and didn’t give in. I think I’ll never again have a good opinion of most these You Tubers thanks to this person and meeting many of them through her.
At the time I thought their similarities to her personality was a good thing. My husband met her and them and immediately made a reason to leave. Only after things fell apart with her did he tell me his true opinion of them (he didn’t want to interfere with my friendship). As much I wish he had told me sooner, I think I wouldn’t have listened. I was so charmed by her and that community.
They just seem to get richer and richer off their narcissism. They have all these things set up to get their fans to buy their shoddy products and donate to support their lifestyles. I guess it chafes against one’s sense of right and wrong. But as you say, she’ll never reveal what’s really going on.
She gets thousands of dollars from her “fans”.
Anyhow thank you so much for your thoughts. I think whenever I hear some younger person gushing about these “vloggers” I’ll always get a little tense and have to hold my tongue.
Comments are closed.