What Are The Strange Gifts of Children of Narcissists? – part 4

So, Children of Narcissists, what have we learned thus far…

what have we still to learn…

what have we still to learn to unlearn…

7 – Feel inexplicably drawn to turmoil rather than harmony in your relationships? Your parents created drama, scapegoating and disharmony in your family.

We know that Narcissist parents are toil and trouble

bubble bubble

eye of newt and something

something

wicked this way comes

by the pricking of my thumbs

and our thumbs are rather green after so much pricking drama, pricking scapegoating, and pricking disharmony in our family. Although, to be pedantic, it’s really not ‘our’ family, it’s the Narcissist parents’ family, we belong to them and not the other way around, we have no control over our lives as all the control must belong to them, and thus it’s their rules, version of reality, view of us, and choices about life which apply. They make the decisions for us, about us…

such as that all the fault, blame, flaws, and problems are ours. Which means that if there is turmoil in our relationships, it must be because we’re creating it, we are causing it, we are drawn to it.

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It can’t possibly be the other way around, can it? This would cause too much cognitive dissonance for the Narcissist, and for others who have rigid views and rigid rules which keep them locked in rigid views.

It couldn’t possibly be, could it… that it’s not children of Narcissists who are inexplicably drawn to turmoil in relationships (and thus it is explicably our fault that there is no harmony), but that it’s turmoil which is inexplicably drawn to us and wants to have a relationship with us?

Do we want to have a relationship with with turmoil?

Do we get a choice in the matter?

I can’t count the number of times (or at least once it gets higher than the number of fingers I have, and I do include thumbs, I stop counting… I don’t count anymore… did I ever count in the first place?) that I’ve been sitting somewhere, standing somewhere or walking somewhere, minding my own business (lost in my own thoughts, maybe practising a bit of worrying and ruminating), and a stranger appears… to want to talk to me.

It may start off innocently, simply, enough…

stranger: I’m looking for 1428 Elm Street, can you point me in the right direction.

me: Oh… um… *tries to remember where I am and calls up internal Sat Nav

stranger: I don’t usually need to ask for directions *filling silence with self-esteem boosting small talk

me: I’m sorry, I don’t know Elm Street, the name sounds familiar, but… sorry, try asking the…

stranger: you have red hair, my daughter has red hair, hers is much redder than yours, it’s beautiful, don’t know where she got it from, I think maybe her greatgreatgrandmother had hair like that, her greatgreatgrandmother was psychic, my daughter inherited her gifts… it’s been so hard, she’s… I miss her, she doesn’t, I can’t… do you dream? My daughter has always been a dreamer, they’re more like predictions, she knows things, can’t be explained, she knew where my glasses were after a dream, I’d lost them, but… she’s been having these nightmares… and I can’t hold in anymore, it weighs heavily on my heart, makes my stomach churn, causes my head to spin, but I can’t talk to my friends, family, about it, they wouldn’t understand, and I don’t want to burden them, but it’s killing me… I need to get it out of my system…

And that’s when my thumbs start to prick, not because this stranger is a wicked danger, but because I know what’s coming next. Gone is the relaxing time spent lost in minding my own business thought, gone is the private chuckle I had when I considered the possibility of acting shocked when the stranger told me I had red hair, then behaving as though they’d just given me horrific news which was new to me, and the regret I felt about not knowing where Elm Street was so I could help someone find their destination is going to accrue into a giant IF ONLY… If only I had known, then maybe they’d have moved on instead of being here an hour later, pouring all of their inner turmoil into me like an ocean into a glass.

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I was once waiting patiently for my turn to book a flight at a travel agency, I had been there about half an hour (and had already boarded the plane, flown to my destination, landed, disembarked, did what I had gone there to do, and flown back in my mind) when the security guard who had been watching me, approached. I always feel a bit like a criminal when a security guard or police officer looks at me – I swear I’m innocent! I can’t prove it but I am! I thought he was going to tell me off, even though I hadn’t moved a muscle (okay, maybe I was fidgeting). But no…

no need to fear something like that, what you should have been fearing was those kind eyes of yours and how they mesmerise strangers into wanting to tell you everything about themselves, and that impression of deep emptiness which emanates from you which they want to fill with all of their toils and troubles…

and once they’ve done that, they walk away, feeling much better thank you very much now go away your presence is about as welcome as that of the priest who just took their confession in a confessional booth, your presence makes them uncomfortable, your face reminds them of everything they want to forget, and they can now forget it because they’ve given it to you to take with you to the grave.

The above ending is the happy and harmonious one. The following is the turmoil-the sequel ending.

and once they’ve done that, they walk away, feeling much better thank you very much now go away your presence is about as welcome as that of the priest who just took their confession in a confessional booth, your presence makes them uncomfortable, your face reminds them of everything they want to forget, and they can now forget it because they’ve given it to you to take with you to the grave. They keep walking away, up up and away, until they get to their destination, meet up with friends, their friends compliment them on how good they look – did they get a makeover?, how calm they seem – have they been meditating?, how upbeat and fun to be with they are – did they get an enema?, and where is all this wisdom which is spouting out of their mouths coming from – are they seeing a new therapist? They should definitely consider becoming a life coach guru! You can make a lot of money doing that! And you’d help so many people!

Life flows along merrily down the stream for awhile, but then their canoe hits a rock, which splinters the wood, flips them over into the water and the swirling current pulls and pushes them towards a waterfall… which was so beautiful when they looked at it from the safety of the bank, and took pictures of it to share online, that Summer when their red-headed daughter… before the nightmare… oh, the nightmare! Their heart sinks, their stomach churns, their head spins…

Their friends can’t see them like this, not now that they’re the one who picks everyone else up when they’re down with a few words of wisdom, and what about all those people who look up to them for always being up up and away, way ahead of everyone else, all their clients who attend their life-coaching sessions…

And that’s when they remember that weirdo they met so long ago, they didn’t bother to ask the name of that slightly creepy oddball, why would they, you shouldn’t talk to strangers, and definitely not strange strangers who stop you in the street to ask you for directions, oh, hang on a minute that reminds them of where they were going when they met that lost soul…

They could use someone like that…

And somehow they find you again…

stranger: hey, fancy bumping into you again, how are you, remember me, of course you do how could you forget…

me: …

stranger: I’ll remind you anyway, give you a recap, because you look like such a space cadet, you were such an angel for listening to me (and you’ll continue being an angel because now that I’ve called you an angel you have to keep being one, keep doing what I tell you angels do), but you would be an angel, you’ve led a sheltered life, you’re so placid, you don’t know the troubles and toils of this world, you have no idea what real suffering is, what real life is all about, you’re not real…

me: …

stranger: I could help you with that, I’m a life coach, a very successful one, I make loads of money, I’m a guru, you could use a guru to give you a makeover and guess what!

me: …

stranger: I’ll give you the first session for free, I know it’s amazing and I probably shouldn’t be doing that, you mustn’t tell anyone about this, this’ll be our little secret, you’re a special exception, I’m breaking the rules for you, I’m generous like that…

me: but I…

stranger: Shh! It’s already started, and you should make the most of this opportunity, not everyone is as lucky as you… you recall my red-headed daughter, the gifted dreamer, the nightmares have returned… and it’s so hard… I do my best to be brave… and I can’t hold in anymore, it weighs heavily on my heart, makes my stomach churn, causes my head to spin, but I can’t talk to my friends, family, about it, they wouldn’t understand, and I don’t want to burden them, but it’s killing me… I need to get it out of my system…

Once turmoil has been inexplicably drawn to the child of Narcissists, and has decided that you’re in a relationship (with a lot of smallprint in the contract), then the child of Narcissists is inexplicably drawn to the turmoil in the relationship to try and restore harmony.

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Before I move onto what the harmony restoration process entails, and the strange gifts which children of Narcissists use to do it, I’m going to take a moment to add some small print of my own to the contract.

I realise that what I have written thus far could make those who have shared their turmoil with me feel awkward about having done that. You don’t need to feel awkward, unless you really want to for yourself – don’t do it for me.

I sometimes actively encourage people to share their turmoil – so it is my fault that this happens (te absolvo).

Why do I do that?

Is it a reflex due to the training I received from my Narcissist parents which included being emotionally blackmailed if I tried to stop them from dumping their turmoil onto and into me? Did I learn that it was better in than out for me, and better out than in for them?

That’s why I did it with them, but it doesn’t explain why I do it with people who aren’t Narcissists.

Is it because I experience everyone as Narcissists?

I have been through phases when that has been the case, and there are moments when I flashback to those phases but that only tends to happen if I’ve been reading the news (the end of the world is nigh and we love it because it gives us click-bait headlines, more murder and mayhem and it’s all your fault for being so afraid, you should stand up for your rights and get jailed for doing it, your government needs you to stop complaining they’re so overworked trying to start or is it stop a nuclear war, send more money why are you so poor), flip through a fashion magazine (get thinner but not too thin but not not too thin either, 10 ways not to be yourself so others will find you impossible to ignore but be authentic and mindful, 6 tips on how to be super duper manipulative and look good while doing it, 7 red flags to look out for to label your ex a Narcissist – did he say no to you? What a misogynist! How to get revenge on men for being deliberately born male, 1 simple step to being a real woman like all those women who aren’t photoshopped and are posing naturally in our magazine, 5 quick fixes for your broken self – if you weeren’t broken before your read this you will be, how to appear more successful – buy these clothes to enhance your facade, throw your old clothes away even if you bought them yesterday as that is no longer fashionable but be sure to recycle them and pass your shit onto someone else or you’re killing the planet with your materialistic greed, grow old gracefully but don’t look like you’re older than 20), watch too much TV especially with advert interruptions which take the volume control out of your hands and turn it into a weapon (the hero of this show is an asshole of humongous proportions isn’t he don’t-you-want-to-be-like-him-and-have-his-life admirable as he steps over his enemies on his way to ridiculous success and isn’t a failure like you because he’s unreal and immortal and stay tuned because in the next episode his narcissistic personality disorder levels up into sociopathy but that’s okay because he’s a she making it and crushing it in a patriarchy and look at the apartment they’re living in, it’s totally gorgeous home porn, is your sofa cramping your couch potato lifestyle which is bad for you, get some exercise so your fitness manacle will stop judging you for not being as healthy as everyone else is doing it and buy a new sofa online so you don’t have to move you lazy cash machine for those encouraging you to be lazy and hate being lazy), turn off my AdBlock filter online because I’ve been guilted or forced into doing that (and the flashing, the moving, the ones which grow and eat up your entire screen are making it impossible to read or do what I went to the website to read and do – you should improve your broadband connection even if you can’t because it’s not up to you, click on this link and pay the website and advertiser for torturing you, and that migraine, take some drugs for it, we’ve provided an advert for the latest in drug use to stop the pain just for you as we’ve been tracking you even though you ticked the Do Not Track then the flashing lights won’t hurt your eyes or distract you from reading our adverts and clicking on them so everyone else can get paid), or I get a cold call on my home phone (from the same company, again, and I’ve told them No in so many ways but they won’t take No for an answer, they can’t because they’re being monitored and might get fired by those who trained them to badger, bully and lie)…

Why isn’t she using paragraphs (although I hate it when she does that one sentence on its own with a dot dot dot after it), I can’t read this turmoil of words. Come to think of it I wish she would change her blog theme, or at least fix the writing which is too small and too grey, does she expect me to use those features on my browser, computer, pad, phone which allow me to make things BIGGER and darker, well if she does then she’s expecting too much of me.

8 – Expect too much of yourself? Your parents never seemed satisfied with you.

Do I sometimes actively encourage people to share their turmoil because I’m trying to live up an expectation they (or someone else before them) have of me which has turned into an expectation I have of myself?

Am I trying to be the angel of listening? The empath of legend, possessor of deep powers of compassionate understanding? The wounded healer who bleeds a curative elixir?

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Occasionally people have called me an angel, an empath (I really don’t like being called that as it triggers memories of all the times a female covert Narcissist has told me they’re an empath and the hurt in their heart is all my fault, the fault of their cat, their next door neighbour, their boyfriend, that song, that piece of gum on the pavement, etc, and now I must listen to how much they feel, how much no one else feels except for negative feelings to which they are extremely sensitive, everyone is toxic for them and expects them to heal the world, which they could do if only others would stop fighting their healing powers), a healer, a psychic, and I have learned to not argue because they’re just expressing a moment, a feeling, like when someone tells you they love you after you’ve given them a cold glass of water at the end of a long run which made them very thirsty, sweaty and overly hot. I learned to shut up and take the compliment because it’s not relevant whether I agree with them or not, whether it’s true or not, it’s not about me, nor is it about my identity

sometimes it can be about a role they need you to play, slot into, for them in their story.

We all play parts in the stories of others, and we don’t necessarily have a say in what part we’re playing… just as others don’t necessarily have a say in what part they’re playing in our story.

For me, especially nowadays (or at least I’m more conscious about it nowadays), encouraging others to share their turmoil is simply turning a strange gift I have as a child of Narcissist parents into a positive rather than a negative for me.

While I still sometimes get the – oh, no, here we go again, turmoil has found me, been inexplicably drawn to me and it wants a relationship with me wherein I listen and it talks, I am an empty vessel and it fills me up, I am supposed to remain calm while it storms – reflex, that tends to only happen if the other person is a Narcissist and the reflex is a warning signal, or if I have turmoil of my own (whodathunkit) and I’m trying to sort it out – just because I seem placid on the outside, doesn’t mean that I am or it could.

Listening to the turmoil of others now helps me to understand my own turmoil, particularly that from my past, but also that in the present, and possibly that in the future (if I don’t deal with its roots in the past or present).

Turmoil is, in many ways, a gold mine with a rich vein of ore to be mined. It’s the information which, when processed, can be turned into knowledge (the kind of knowledge which can be a gold nugget of power), and then refined into wisdom (the gold dust of information and knowledge, can become a gold ring worn on a finger to remind you about the gem it holds).

The majority of the really useful wisdoms in this world are ones we all learn after we’ve done something which created turmoil for us personally – it hurt and we didn’t want to be in pain, and we never wanted to get hurt again and feel that pain again, and even if someone else shares their wisdoms with us, perhaps trying to stop us from experiencing hurt and pain like they did, until we’ve had our own experience we’ll never appreciate, understand, why their wisdoms were wise. We may appreciate how beautiful their gold ring with the gem in it is, and might want to own it ourselves, but there is nothing quite like struggling through dirt to find your own gold mine, digging to find the gold vein, and making you own ring with your own gem in it.

Sometimes we find our wisdoms by talking to someone else about our turmoil, pouring it all out so we can see it flow, then dipping our pan in it and sieving.

Getting things out of our system allows us to:

a) see, hear, touch, find and figure out what is in our system

b) experience what it is like to have it out of our system, outside of us, and experience what it is like to not have it trapped inside of us, gumming up our system

c) notice the system of what got into our system and figure out how it got into our system in the first place

d) use it to understand more than yourself, others, society, the world of humans, and sometimes even the world which encompasses the world of humans

The hardest part of the getting things out of your system system for children of Narcissists is the bit where you say anything at all.

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I may come across in my posts as an extroverted blabbermouth who couldn’t shut up to save my life, and would still be talking after my head was chopped off and rolled away, who talks a lot of talk about being shy, quiet, and who speaks endlessly about having had such a difficult time breaking their silence, but where’s the proof – isn’t the proof in what someone does rather than what they say they do, are going to do, have done, who they say they are, have been, etc?

Well, shucks, you got me… using my blog as the vessel into which I pour my turmoil. I can’t do that with people in person. I’ve tried, and tried, and tried again… and nope. I should try some more because giving up is for… those who don’t succeed. I should try some more because then my hostage-taker will know I’m human rather than some thing, a statistic, a toy in their play which will be tossed away once it gets broken and blamed for breaking itself and being a badly made toy which disappointed them.

I was an Introvert during a time when it was desirable and fashionable to be an Extrovert, and now I’m an Extrovert when it is desirable and fashionable to be an Introvert (although online it can be hard to tell who is one or the other, because the www like being inside the minds of Introverts).

That sort of thing happens to me a lot – mainly because I’m an INTP. My MBTI type does not like being in a crowd, the ‘In’ crowd in particular is too noisy and you can’t think due to all the mutual brainwashing going on. If an INTP finds themselves going in the same direction as everyone else when they were used to walking alone against the flow, they’ll stop, look, listen, and do a U-turn… sometimes because they’re intrigued to see what everyone else is leaving behind them – there could be treasures discarded as trash, what they’re running away from – there could be a monster which isn’t a monster at all, and it’s more fun this way even when it’s not always fun. INTP’s may appear to be going backwards, but we’re always going forwards.

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I haven’t always tested as an INTP in the past. But I know this is the correct MBTI for me, and I know why I received a different result in the past – it was during that long period in my life which started in infancy when it wasn’t okay for me to be myself. So I couldn’t answer personality tests properly because I didn’t know who I was… supposed to be.

A few years ago I decided to re-explore the MBTI. Since the internet has become what it is today, information is easier to get and more fun to absorb. If you want to know something about something which used to only come in the form of heavy books, with a lot of technical, clinical, and lacking humor writing, you can now just pop online and someone will have dumbed things down for you, repackaged it, made it fun so that it’s a pleasure to learn.

Along the path of my INTP investigation I came across a site which offered for entertainment purposes only a personality disorder to go with your personality type. Since at the time I was also researching Narcissistic personality disorder online (the books I’d read on it had been interesting but they were all about the Narcissist, and not about how the Narcissist affects those around them, like their children), and since my Narcissist parents had hammered it into me that I was the one who had the problem, and they weren’t the only ones to do that…

Not so long ago a commentor kindly gave me a quick (there were only about ten words in the comment) diagnosis of Malignant Narcissist. Why? Because they read one very old post of mine and it scared them – they told me it did, and thus I must be a Malignant Narcissist. That’s a fine example of the use of deductive reasoning. To be fair to them, the post they read was an intensely sarcastic caustic vent and rant about female covert Narcissists – which is the usual turmoil that is inexplicably drawn to me.

I was curious to see what my personality disorder would be.

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Schizoid personality disorder definitions from Psychology Today: The 10 Personality Disorders by Neel Burton

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Schizoid personality disorder suits me well enough (it’s not a perfect fit, it’s not my own skin), especially now that I am older and have shed many of the societal shoulds and shouldn’ts that I used to shoulder.

I’m sure everyone is familiar with those shoulds and shouldn’ts which float around in the air and get sucked inside when you take a breath, and stay stuck inside even though you’ve exhaled – you should be more ambitious (and shouldn’t be happy with your work, job, position), you should want more from your life (and shouldn’t be comfortable with things as they are), you should fix your house up even though it’s perfectly habitable as it is (and you shouldn’t be relaxed or enjoy living in it until you have a new kitchen, new sofa, new bathroom, new TV, and those gadgets which allow you to be in your house turning lights on, boiling the kettle, etc, while you’re not in it), you should get a makeover (and shouldn’t be fine with how you look, dress, etc), you should want, need, get, have more (and shouldn’t settle or accept less than more more more), you should have millions of friends (and definitely shouldn’t be at ease being alone), you should go out all the time (because you shouldn’t like your home, it sucks without a new kitchen, new bathroom, new sofa, more gadgets), you should be in love (and shouldn’t let anyone tell you what to do, or who to be), you should have high standards, expect more from yourself, accept only the best (and shouldn’t complain when nothing and no one is good enough for you).

While I was always vaguely aware of how miserable the shoulds and shouldn’ts were making me, somehow I couldn’t shake them off, somehow I thought they were right and I was wrong. Of course I was also shouldering the shoulds and shouldn’ts which my Narcissist parents dumped onto me, sometimes they were similar to societal shoulds and shouldn’ts and sometimes they were a bit more bespoke.

All the little shoulds and shouldn’ts added up inside of me, collaborating, coagulating, and congealing until I had this big glob within me which ate away, gnawing, chewing, biting, clawing, growing in size until I was the big glob of gunge.

Shoulds and shouldn’t are a bit like vampires, once you invite them in…

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excerpt from – Psychology Today: Drop the “Shoulds” by Rick Hanson

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I was so tempted to add shoulds and shouldn’ts to the title of the post above – You Should Drop the “Shoulds” (and Shouldn’t Let Them Ruin Your Birthday Party for Everyone Else).

Ah, birthday parties… and the child of Narcissists! Narcissist parents tend to use their child’s birthday to bring all the issues out into the open, and since my birthday falls just after X-mas and New Year, there were always a lot of issues left over from the X-mas drama and the New Year’s explosion.

The best birthday party I had back in the Narcissist parents day before I went No Contact was the one I didn’t go to. It was a surprise b’day party and I only knew it was happening because I was wandering around on my own and happened upon a tray full of brownies which had my name on them – literally, my name written in icing with Happy Birthday above it. That both warmed my heart and chilled me to the bone. It was being thrown by a group of really nice people which means I would have felt obliged to go and really bad about not going. When the time came to show up, I was going to show up and be surprised and happy about it, but I needed a few minutes alone to sort myself out, get rid of my real self and replace her with who people needed me to be for them.

It was late in the night (the party was in a bar run by the group of nice people), I went for a walk along the seafront, there was no one else there, so I sat down on a bench to enjoy the silence, waves lapping, yellow moon in the sky. I lost track of time. Was too immersed in being myself, I didn’t want to push real me aside. I only realised how late it was when a man in a dark van with blacked out windows pulled up behind me, got out, and yet again a stranger approached to talk to me. Yes, this scenario is similar to the beginning of an episode of CSI, Criminal Minds, or some other crime drama, and I was in Florida which has a bit of a reputation, and at that time I think there was a serial killer who targeted redheads, but I’m not sure about that, maybe the serial killer was a redhead… I only read about it in the news  a long while later. Thankfully all this man wanted to do was talk, and then he left… I had the impression that I’d creeped him out a bit. By the time I got back, everyone had gone, the bar was shut.

That was my real first taste as an adult (I was about 22) of doing things my way and getting away with it. But it was only a taste and I was still very much stuck in a rut.

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The funny thing about who I am nowadays is that it isn’t that different from who I used to be when I was a child – or more to the point when I was alone as child.

While Narcissist parents can be very invasive, controlling, in your face all the time, breathing down your neck, pressuring you, sucking you into a drama, an emergency, a new and improved supercharged turmoil they’ve just designed, built, and are road-testing… there are also times when they forget about you, ignore you, discard you, neglect you, are busy focusing their combustibility elsewhere, on someone else (my apologies to all those someone else’s for being relieved when you were the best new target ever of my Narcissist parents, as it gave me a moment of reprieve – if it makes you feel better, once they got bored of you, I got to hear all about you, and pay for what you did to them).

The silent treatment could sometimes be used in a similar manner, to catch a break, but… it was never silent, there was too much chaos and clamour within it. If it isn’t your own thoughts of shame, guilt, terror, which are doing the screaming and shouting, it’s the Narcissist parent lashing out at you with heavy footsteps, slamming doors, furniture scraping across a hard floor, clattering plates, smashed glasses, resounding sighs, under the breath mutterings, grumbles, loud phone calls with other people complaining about you.

But when there was silence – I dived into it as into a fresh body of welcoming water on a hot sweaty day. When there was time alone – I took solace in the solitude, when they were asleep – I seized the night. And during those moments I was free to be me, to think my own thoughts, feel my own feelings, laugh, roll around, and play, read, dance. I talked to myself and enjoyed the conversation, the company, the pleasure of being pleased with myself.

If I got caught in the act… the play was over. Until the next time.

Those stolen moments to myself helped to keep me.

Keep me… what? No, just keep me.

There were moments in all the drama, the turmoil, when things were spiraling out of control and everyone was screaming, shouting, panicking, when the world would just… stop… for me. The sound would be too loud to hear. The movement would be too frenzied and would blur around me.

It was unreal. Surreal. Just a bunch of atoms.

It reminded me of one of my father’s paintings which I loved, of a clearly painted figure surrounded by abstract splashes of paint collected on a canvas…. a painting which my mother did not like at all, she dismissed it as too commercial (which used to be the worst thing you could say to an artist as it was intended to mean that they were not a real artist, their work wasn’t obscure enough, it appealed to the masses and didn’t need an arty-farty intellectual to talk down to them while explaining what the artist meant when they painted it), until she realised I loved it, and then she loved it too, more than I did (she even used it as an avatar when she eventually went online, even though it wasn’t a portrait of her, there were loads of those, she could have used one of those), it had to be hers, all hers. I wasn’t so into it after that. Time to let it go.

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And time to let this post go too, and do whatever it does once it’s out there…

even though I’m really enjoying writing it, and this series within a series…

and I had one more story I wanted to share (which happened during the time I was in Florida, can’t recall if it happened before or after my birthday), one which I remember because it clearly shows me that I do inexplicably find myself not drawn to turmoil, and walk away from turmoil when it appears (in that case I literally walked away from someone I didn’t know who was a friend of a friend whom my friend had taken me with her to visit – I just want to pop in to see him before we go on that harmonious fun trip – because he’d called her on the phone upset, and on the doorstep without even saying hello to me he had a meltdown of the raging inferno kind because his perfect pillar of the community family had just imploded with imperfections plummeting their status into soap opera everyone loves to gossip behind backs about. I shouldn’t have been there, this had nothing to do with me, this was his private business even though the whole town was talking about it and I wasn’t his friend, I didn’t want to know about it, thus I should leave) and it follows me to find out why I walked away from it (my friend’s friend recovered enough from his meltdown to ask my friend to ask me why I had walked away – apparently my walking away had interrupted his raging inferno, and like an actor getting upset because an audience member walks out of his show, he wanted to know how I could do something so inexplicable and insulting).

And yet even though children of Narcissists do their best to avoid turmoil in relationships…

and are drawn inexplicably to harmony…

others expect us to explains ourselves, and live up to their expectation…

and nothing we do or don’t do is…

That’s just not good enough!

So what are our strange gifts?

Instead of me telling you, you tell me…

if you would like to, that is…

I’m sure you have inexplicably strange gifts which help you bring harmony to turmoil in relationships.

Over to you…

 

 

13 comments

  1. Hi Ursula, I’m recovering from a stomach bug and resting and getting caught up a bit on your series. Like the other commenters have indicated, these posts are pretty great. I find them muscular, but not the sort of veins-sticking-out-fake-tan-oiled kind, just the healthy kind you get when you take a balanced approach. And I guess that’s what we didn’t get as N-children, that balance exists, but even though we knew we wanted it, we found it confusing and strange and even terrifying (part of your reaction to your surprise birthday). We sort of didn’t know what we were supposed to do with it; we knew we were supposed to value it but didn’t know how it was going to make any difference. We have had to find our own balance and accept ourselves at a very basic level. I think we know ourselves but also know that there’s more to know. 🙂

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    • Hi Lynette, take good care of yourself and get well as soon as you’re ready to do so 🙂

      That’s a great point about finding our own balance. You’re right about the balance coming from accepting ourselves at a basic level, because that’s the core of the big spinning planet that we are. Very true too about wanting the balance, but also being uncertain about it.

      It’s a bit like when you first get on a boat, and it sets sail and you feel sick because of the movement, but if you spend enough time on it you adjust, and then you go on dry land and once again you have to adjust because you’re used to the boat and dry land feels kind of wobbly.

      The bit I don’t like in what you said is the part which gave me a mental image I can’t unsee 😉 I sort of understand why bodybuilding is beautiful but it hurts the eyes sometimes! Did you ever see that episode of Streets of San Francisco with Schwarzenegger playing a bodybuilder who kills people when they laugh at (or he thinks they’re laughing at) his body? I did once consider becoming a bodybuilder – it was a very fleeting thought while considering possible career options.

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      • Sorry about that! I was going for a sort of “yuck” factor but also didn’t want to sear anyone’s eyeballs!

        No – I haven’t seen that episode. I always thought it was odd that so many people would vote for him because I saw him as just being so shallow, but then again I don’t live in California and didn’t really pay much attention to his platform or his work as a governor.

        Thanks – I am starting to feel much better. It was quite a storm but doesn’t seem to be lasting long. 🙂

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  2. Thank you again. My mom is the narcissist and it was a STRUGGLE growing up(it’s the nicest word I could use). Couldnt wait to move out, but allowed her to move back in with me and my husband and that was the worst thing I could’ve ever did! She convinced me that my dad was ruining all of her moving plans and we drive all the way from NC to CT in one day to bring her and my siblings back home with us. They stayed with us for 6 months and it felt like it was when I lived with her but now I was 30 and married. She had an underlying plan unbeknown to my hubby and I, to move out of state to make my dad come and rescue her! (She did this trick before when I was 13 uprooting us from CT to a podunk town in AR, which lasted two months.) The difference at 30 yrs was I became hip to the game and confronted her finally for the first time in my life and I felt great. She treats me with respect now. Thank you again for writing this. I loved the Peaceful Phlegmatic chart, this is me. And the parking lot is funny. What was the link you went to for the personality disorder?

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    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      That’s one of the strange gifts of children of narcissists – the ability to be gracious about our parents even when why!?! We do it for ourselves, even if we learned to do it for them and for others. It reminds us of the nobility of spirit which our struggle taught us we possessed. You have oodles of nobility and you know it.

      The story you’ve shared about taking your mother in and generously letting her live with you (even though she most likely made it seem as though she was the one doing you the favour, and she threw your generosity in your face as though it wasn’t good enough for her) – I almost did something very similar only a few months before I went NC with my mother.

      You are awesome for the way you are as is, and for handling things so magnificently – she had better respect you! It’s about time!

      I didn’t include the link in the post to the MBTI/personality disorder site because… once upon a time I decided to tidy up the mess known as my bookmarks, and someone (I’m not going to name names and point fingers, but you can probably guess who) accidentally pressed delete on a whole folder instead of one link. It’s out there somewhere, and I did try to find it again while I was writing this post (INTPs love sharing links), couldn’t find that one but I did come across this one – http://www.the16types.info/info/types/INTP.htm – that’s the link to INTP, if you’re not an INTP all you need to do to find a similar page for your MBTI is go to the Types hub – http://www.the16types.info/info/typesview.htm

      Keep rocking your strange gifts and being your awesome self ❤

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  3. I cannot thank you enough for your last posts. They enlightened my thoughts so much I had trouble sleeping last few weeks thinking over and over about the concepts and examples you laid so didaticly for us. As for me, my strange gift is resilience; it matters not what life throws my way, I know I can survive, I came from a nest full of narcs, lol!
    All love from Brazil.

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    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Obrigada 😀

      Resilience is a wonderful and extremely useful strange gift to have, especially when in a nest full of narcs. They just don’t know how you do it, and it drives them nuts, because if they were in your place and had been put through what they put you through, they’d need you to save them for them to survive.

      Essa moça tá diferente 😉

      Take good care of yourself and your different!

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