What Are The Strange Gifts of Children of Narcissists? – part 6

Feelings…

O… woah… woah… feelings…

Nothing more than feelings…

Trying to forget my feelings…

11 – Feel numb or have difficulty knowing what you are feeling? Your parents minimized or ridiculed your feelings and desires.

What are feelings?

.

.

The excerpt above is what happens on the first page of results when you put – feelings versus emotions – into the Google search bar.

Why was I searching for that?

Well, just after I wrote the words and asked the question – what are feelings ? – in this post, it triggered a response in the form of a memory, which was really more of a recap of previous episodes, of all the times I’ve been writing a post and used the words – feeling – feelings – emotions – and paused sometimes because I was feeling confused about the difference between feelings and emotions…

no, I wasn’t feeling confused about the difference between feelings and emotions…

the reason I paused in the past while writing a post was because I was aware that some people use emotions and feelings interchangeably, emotions and feelings are all the same to them, whereas others are more specific about there being a difference between the two, but the others who see a difference between emotions and feelings are split into…

I thought they were split into two opposing groups:

group one – thinks feelings are emotions, and emotions are feelings

group two – thinks emotions are feelings, and feelings are emotions

but after reading the search result answers, and clicking on a few of the links and scanning the articles (and the comments on the articles), I think there may be more than just two groups who disagree with each other, and who are touchy about a feely subject.

And although I do agree with a couple of the authors of the articles who (one of whom had read the other’s article and linked to it as a source) stated that defining a difference between feeling and emotion is useful for sorting yourself out. The problem is that I don’t agree with their definitions (which they both got from reading the work of  – Antonio D’Amasio – that’s how both of them wrote his name but Wikipedia and other sources write it this way – Antonio Damasio – and that little apostrophe makes me wonder… which is right and which is wrong? Is it just a typo both of them made or is Wikipedia, Google which auto corrected me when I looked him up using the version with the apostrophe, and are other sources wrong about the spelling, are his books all wrong and did the publisher make a mistake which no one caught before they went to print, is the man himself wrong about how his name should be spelled?).

Intellectually I can understand their reasoning, but it confuses my mind to do so, because I have my own interpretations and agreeing with them would require adjusting my own system to suit their system, and I’ve finally managed to sort out my own system using my own system (this links to a WP daily prompt – prefer = I prefer using my own system) which was a confused mess after having other people force me into using their systems which were a confusing mess even though they thought otherwise about it, thought it was the one and only system and that’s one of the reasons why they were so adamant that I should use their system and view it as the only system, the right and righteous way – everything else is wrong, bad, maybe even evil misinformation, fake news, etc.

.

.

The above screenshot is of what happens when you click on the feedback smallprint underneath the People Also Ask box. Your screen freezes and another box pops up… another system within a system.

I most often fall into the group which… actually I probably don’t belong to any of the groups as, knowing me, I’ve cobbled together my own pair of shoes using bits and pieces of leather found scattered around the town dump – maybe those pieces of leather were once a part of someone else’s shoes, or maybe they came from a jacket worn until it fell apart, or a pair of leather trousers which are no longer fashionable to wear and the wearer will get ridiculed for doing so, thus they threw them away to get rid of the source of potential mockery and bad feelings, or maybe they were ruined by an animal activist throwing paint on them to make a point, shame the wearer into greater awareness (I hope they used ecologically friendly paint, and that it didn’t splatter onto an ant which was just going about its business turning human garbage into fertiliser of a colony’s life, or give the coup de grace to a dandelion which had managed to thrive in a concrete jungle).

When I use the word – feeling – I am sometimes referring to:

instinct, but saying “I have an instinct it’s going to rain today…”

or do I mean intuition? – That’s even worse to use in a sentence when talking with someone else, for the most part anyway, because they’ll get distracted from the information you’re relaying by your use of language, and the conversation will often become a farce.

Or do I mean I have a sensory impression? but isn’t that what an instinct/intuition is – by the pricking of your thumbs…

The world is teeming with stimuli, data, particles, which our conscious mind filters, creating a multitude of different filters for different filtering purposes, to keep out what isn’t relevant to us and let in what is relevant to us. If we didn’t have these filters we’d go insane in a matter of milliseconds.

I have a filter which kicks in when I get a familiar feeling and thus suspect that I may be in the company of a Narcissist (or a very narcissistic person who may or may not actually be a Narcissist). While this filter solves a problem for me, it sometimes causes a problem for others, which in turn causes a problem for me. For instance on this blog I sometimes approve comments which a feeling tells me I shouldn’t be approving, and a thinking backs that feeling up – because once you approve one comment, the system on WordPress uses the approved comment as a reference point to approve all other comments by that commentor, which means they could run amok on this blog commenting all over the place and @-ing other commentors… which is usually when I stop being tolerant, patient, or whatever I’m telling myself that I’m being about them and the situation.

.

.

My mind, like most people’s minds, tends to have different levels and layers of thinking, one of which is the – this is interesting – level/layer. If I receive a comment on a post which I consider to be most likely from a Narcissist or very narcissistic person, and the post happens to be about Narcissists, I may approve it simply because – this is an interesting example of a Narcissist, or narcissistic behaviour/communication, and it might interest people to observe it in a ‘safe’ environment, in a detached from it being directed @ them manner. I’ve learned a lot from being able to observe Narcissists and narcissistic behaviour/communication on blogs, on forums, on news articles, in the comments section of posts/articles (psychology articles about Narcissists in particular).

I’ve always been a tad reluctant to disapprove a comment once I’ve approved the commentor – some of that reluctance, most of it, comes from knowing what happens when you ‘provoke’ a Narcissist by protecting yourself and others from them, and it’s usually less stressful to just wait them out until they get bored of you, ‘blocking’ them can stimulate them to have renewed interest in you (well, they were never really interested in you…), the slightest hint of ‘rejection’ from your part and their narcissistic wound goes into overdrive. And on WordPress approving is so much easier than undoing the approval – I looked up how to do it a couple of days ago, and read the discussion on the WP support forum.

Occasionally a Narcissist, while spewing words at you, will give you exactly what you need – they will tell you exactly how to handle them. I have been known to take their advice very deliberately and then, should they be upset by my unreasonable behaviour, I will repeat to them what they said to me in their own words, point out how brilliant their advice was, how much it enlightened me, and how grateful I am that they gave it to me – this tactic tends to only work with Cerebral Overt Narcissists. Do NOT do this with a Covert Narcissist, if you thought their emotional turmoil was overwhelming before… it’s a bit like a living through a category 3 hurricane and thinking that was the worst, but then the Category 5 hurricane happens.

Cerebral Overt Narcissists tend to listen to themselves when they talk at you, it has a similar effect to masturbation, or appreciating a great work of art, a masterpiece of genius, and you are both the creator and audience. Thus when you use their words against them, doing to them what they’ve done to you a million times and you never caught on… but now…showing them that you were really listening to them this time instead of being deafened by the inner turmoil their words were stirring up – it appeals to their pride and vanity, they might even find it funny, and they may experience something which they rarely do, a smidgen of respect for you. It won’t last long – so get out while the door is open and stay out, do not go back for an encore.

.

don’t do a quick search for – types of Narcissist – because you want a quick list as a visual reference to share, as the results are confusing, some people say there are 2 types (but they don’t all agree on what the 2 types are or are to be called), some say 7, some say 3 (as above but I didn’t check to see if they all agree on the 3)…

.

My father was a Cerebral Overt Narcissist. In some ways he intentionally taught me the tactic which I mentioned above, and in other ways it was unintentional, but since I was a child and children a sharp observers, quick learners, I sponged his spillage up and then threw the wet sponge at him. While I could never ‘win’ with him, he did sometimes allow me to think I’d won. It gave me a morsel of satisfaction in amongst all the feelings of frustration, and that left me with a morsel of ‘like/love’ for him in amongst all the rage, hatred and murderous emotions.

My mother was (and still is) a Covert Narcissist. Covert Narcissists tend to believe what they’re saying, and one of the reasons they say it over and over and over ad nauseum ad infinitum is to continue to convince themselves of the ‘truth’. They’re brainwashing themselves first and foremost. It’s basically the whole ‘positive’ affirmations technique – the more they say it, the more they become what they’re saying they are. We get brainwashed by them almost as an accidental side effect of the opiate they’re feeding themselves – but they also need us as mirrors telling them that they’re the fairest of them all. If we say – well, you’re not looking as good as… SLAM! and a shoe gets thrown at the mirror, the mirror gets blamed for being faulty, warped, broken. You never get any morsel of satisfaction from a Covert Narcissist, frustration piles upon frustration until you can’t sleep anymore, afraid you’re going to sleepwalk-stab your mother to death, and the pea under your pile of frustration mattresses is a knife.

I don’t have any photos of my childhood, many were taken, and there was a section of the large bookcase in the living room dedicated to photo albums (and a couple of draws stuffed with loose pictures), but they didn’t belong to me (and I burned the ones which did when I was in my early 20’s). However I did use to scroll through them as a teenager (when I was looking for myself), and what struck me was that in almost every photo which included me in it, my expression was some version or other of anger. Sometimes I was simply annoyed that someone was taking my photo, I didn’t like being photographed, I especially didn’t like being photographed by my father because it meant that for the next three-hundred hours (in adult time that would be about ten mins max) I would be ordered around, told to go over there, stand like that, put this hat on your head, look down, stop moving, move, don’t move a muscle, spin around, hold that position, not like that, you’ve ruined it. My father was a painter and his camera was his sketch pad, and everyone around him were models.

When I was a teenager I had the bad idea that I wanted to be a model. I recall telling myself it was a terrible idea and that I did not want to be a model, but I don’t always listen to myself. Luckily I was too fat (you’re going to have to lose all of that puppy fat, nobody wants to see that or have it ruin the fit of the outfit), too ugly (get a nose job), too freckly (you’ll need to get rid of those), my torso was too long and my legs were too short (and according to my mother they were also too crooked… she had been a model, you know… yes, yes, yes, I know, you’ve already told me that and that you were a great and unusual beauty who was told off by a famous photographer for having perfect features which made such perfection impossible to capture on film, a billion times and unlike you I listen to what you’re saying, though why I do… I don’t know), etc, and that was that.

Sometimes I was looking angry because of the person who was taking the photo which was usually one of my parents. Sometimes I could remember the captured moment, being angry, not being allowed to be angry which only made me angrier, being told off for always being so angry and getting angrier because the person telling me off was always angry even when they were pretending to be sunny and smiley, I knew they were angry behind the facade and so did they even if they kept brainwashing themselves about how bubbly they were and it was everyone else who kept raining on their festival of happiness.

You’d better watch out when you frown like that as one day the wind will blow and freeze your face in that expression and then you’ll be monstrous and look like the monster that you are – to paraphrase my dear mother who was paraphrasing those who said it to her who were repeating what they’d been told by the wise of their times.

.

excerpt from English Language and Usage: etymology – Origin of “if the wind changes”

.

The most common feelings of a child of Narcissists are:

Feeling watched

Feeling watched and judged because of what the watcher sees and finds to be wrong

Feeling watched and judged and wrong

Feeling like a failure because the wrongs about us are piling up and more watchers have joined the original watcher as judging others is a great group bonding activity which makes the watchers and judgers feel good about themselves to find so many wrongs in another, an other who isn’t them, one of them, an insider…

Feeling rejected, like a reject, like a monster

Feeling monstrous

.

.

The above Google search with predictions comes courtesy (of Google of course) of an adjusted search I was doing a few seconds ago (this bit was written yesterday, while the bit before it was written today, a few seconds ago) while trying to find a very famous quote to include in this post, and it struck me as a perfect example of what I had just written.

It’s almost a game – Can you tell me who in that list of Josephs is the real monster, the really monstrous… and who was watched, judged, and rejected for being a ‘monster’ but who happened to be one of the most compassionate, gentle, and tolerant people in society at the time.

Here’s a tip – if you look up the Josephs you don’t know, haven’t heard of, it could make things easier or harder.

Here’s a clue – if you didn’t grow up as a child of Narcissists but for some strange reason you would like to know how it feels… there’s a film which will reach out and touch you, grab you by the heart, squeezing it until teardrops roll down your face… however you must not cry. If you can’t hold back the tears, you must wipe them away and pretend that didn’t happen. Don’t share your sad with anyone as you will be disturbing them over a nothing, no one has any sympathy or empathy for you, you did this to yourself by watching a movie which was recommended to you by someone online – when will you learn not to trust the shit you read online!

Oh, and you have to watch the film all by yourself, in the dark, in the cold (popcorn and other snacks are not allowed as they make too much noise and are smelly – and even if you’re alone you must remember to be considerate of others).

Are you feeling pressured?

Are you feeling censored or censured?

Are you feeling the unfairness?

Are you feeling isolated?

If you aren’t now you will feel all of those and more during and after watching the film.

What’s the movie?

I can’t tell you that because then I’d spoil the game above for you (and the joy you will feel when you get the answer right, if there is a right answer)…

oh… so… you don’t want to play the game…?…

but what about other people, maybe they want to play it, have you thought of that? Am I supposed to spoil it for them just to tell you what you want to know?

Oh, you don’t care anymore, you’re fed up, feeling frustrated, feeling bored…

You can leave this scenario whenever you want to, you’re free to go… children of Narcissists are never free to go.

.

excerpt from Psychology Today: The Function of Emotions by Steven Stosny – very clear and interesting article, he discusses the difference between emotion and feeling, as well as the ‘filtering’ process which I mentioned above.

.

I realise the above game is stupid and easy to answer, partly because we’re online and can look everything up, someone else will give us the answers to our questions so we don’t have to think and don’t have to deal with feeling stupid (unless we regularly use social media…), and partly because we now know which of those Josephs is a real monster even though he looked normal to our ancestors until they found out that on the inside behind the normal facade was a terrible beast, an animal, a human animal, who inspired in our grandparents, our parents, feelings/emotions they will never forget. And we now know which of those Josephs the Joe Public and polite society of his time watched, judged, and rejected as a freak, monster, beast, but he was not those, he was a man, a very understanding man, a better man than most humans.

There are some great human beings in this world, and there are some really horrible ones, and it can take us a long time to figure out who the good ones are and who the bad ones are. You can’t always trust what you see or what you’re feeling…

We’re always looking for shortcuts to certainty, to knowledge – often hoping someone else will do the hard work, heavy lifting, make the mistakes, get hurt, feel the pain for us, and then come up with a cure, a preventative measure.

Sometimes someone else does that and we benefit from their efforts, but… there is a but… an exception to the rules which someone created to protect themselves from ever being fooled, hurt, in pain again, which we use to stop ourselves from ever experiencing what they experienced or from experiencing again what we have already experienced.

While those who look like ‘monsters’ aren’t monsters is an accurate rule – that doesn’t mean that they are good humans, but it doesn’t mean that they are bad humans either.

Are all good looking people vain? Is being vain a bad thing, especially if it’s a relevant component of your career or social status? How many times has someone used – You’re so vain – as a criticism, to put you down, to stop you from enjoying feeling good about yourself? Have you ever done that or something similar to someone else in a moment of feeling… emotion… and then you felt bad about it, regretted it, but…?

It’s complicated because humans are complex and being human comes with that thing known as thinking and that other thing known as feeling… and that other thing known as thinking about feeling (sometimes the feeling is a thinking, a thinkling or thoughtling, which thinks it’s a feeling, and may end up feeling like a feeling even though it’s a thinking)… and thinking about whether feeling is thinking or feeling, and maybe it’s all too emotional.

.

.

Why did the person who created the don’t judge a book by its cover meme above use a picture of a vineyard in Winter? Did they just grab an image to go behind the words without thinking about whether it went with the words or does that image express how they feel and felt, their feelings about maths and being duped by a book cover? Why do they feel that way about maths… some people love maths and it explains the universe and everything and everyone in it for them, while others just… yuk, maths!

How does the image above make you feel? What feeling does it symbolise for you? Does it stir something or… nothing at all?

Do you feel numb or are you having difficulty knowing what you are feeling?

Feeling numb is sometimes the result of feeling too much, being confused and overwhelmed by too much too much… and your system suffers an internal error and shuts down.

Have you ever watched one of those TV shows wherein someone is undergoing one of those scientific tests which shows them images of war, puppies, maggots, babies, and other things which scientists have found elicit common physiological responses in regular humans, and their reactions (their physiological reactions) can be and are registered by a machine, and a clinical observer (who is completely objective, of course, not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts – dictionary definition), then assessed and processed.

If the person felt joy (their brain lit up correctly, their other physical bits and pieces did what was expected of them) when looking at an image of puppies = normal human, if they felt nothing = not normal human, if they felt nothing at all throughout the whole process = sociopath/psychopath.

But what if a dog scared the crap out of them, bit them, ate their beloved hamster? Or what if they like dogs but are allergic to them? Or what if they’ve never seen a dog and it doesn’t have any meaning for them?

But what if they’ve just been made numb by all the images which are bombarded at their eyes on TV, in Film, in the News, in Magazines, online (is it real or is it photoshop?), used in memes, which are often used to try and elicit a feeling, an emotional reaction from the viewer… kind of like the scientific test… and they’re numb, or they’ve realised that they’re being manipulated by the media, by someone else who doesn’t give a shit about how they’re feeling but who wants them to feel a certain way and use that feeling so that the manipulator can get what they need or want…

like the scientists who want to prove a point, to prove that they deserve the money they’re being paid (by big pharma, by corporations who want and need scientific backing – because science is god – to sell this and that to Joe Public so that’s why they’re backing the scientists), to prove to all those, their peers, their superiors, their inferiors, their parents, who thought they were crazy, stupid, wrong (and made them feel so many horrible feelings about themselves which is perhaps why they decided to become scientists – so they could feel nothing while making others feel everything) that they were right and it was everyone else who was wrong, who want proof in the form of fame, acclaim, and the kudos for bottling up feelings, emotions, into an algorithm which can do all the work for us and we no longer have to do the watching, judging, and rejecting ourselves…

How should I be feeling? Computer says: not found.

What am I feeling? Computer says: content length too large.

Is it normal to feel like this? Computer says: denied by filtering rule.

Why do I feel nothing? Computer says: request sent to the static file handler.

How do I stop feeling like this? Computer says: no handler configured.

I am… Computer says: Verb denied

feeling… Computer says: Verb denied

.

.

The above image of a… awww, cute, cutie, boop on the nose… kitten (I wonder what it’s feeling – stoopid hoomins, perhaps? Is that a thinking or a feeling?) in the arms of a robot (is that a real robot or photoshop?) is from a computer game, The Talos Principle, about a computer program created by humans who know that the human species is about to become extinct and they want to live on somehow in some way. The game starts with you as an android who wakes up and begins its life as a human…

it’s impossibly complicated to explain, but it makes sense if you play it, as you play it… it explains itself through puzzles, and stories, and interactions. There’s this AI in the game whom your character has to interact with to progress, who is… such a Narcissist! It would ask you questions which you had to answer (to progress – yes, I know I just used the word, but the word is worth repeating – in the game, get admin access to the mainframe, etc), and then it would twist your answers around into a weapon to use against you to make you doubt yourself.

Feeling doubtful, feeling the self-doubts, feeling used, feeling used against yourself…

Since this experience is not new to me as a child of Narcissists, I already had my own system in place to deal with it, except I couldn’t use the sort of answers I normally would use when dealing with questions asked by Narcissists (who are setting you up to fall into a trap – aren’t they clever clots which clog your arteries and kill you sometimes quick sometimes slowly) because each question only allowed you, the player of someone else’s game, a limited option of answers formulated for you by the creators of the game (who are awesome for creating such a brilliant game which I almost didn’t play because I read up on it and thought and felt ugh, but… I’m glad that feeling and thinking passed, and let me play the game and the DLC – which is joyous squeal! anyway). And the optional answers were all ones which I knew played straight into the hands of the Narcissist AI – it did not matter which one you picked, you were screwed every which way – that’s an essential part of the game and progress.

While mainly the feeling I felt playing the game was pleasure, in the moments when I had to interact with the Narcissist AI – I felt intense feelings of boredom and frustration, and frustration-induced boredom and boredom-induced frustration… which reminded me of how I felt more often than not with my Narcissist parents, once I’d finally sussed out that we were caught in a loop inside an infernal machine.

.

.

I love playing video games (I’m playing Final Fantasy XV atm, and I’m feeling… kind of indifferent about it just as I felt while watching the film you’re supposed to watch before you play it as it explains the story. But it can take me ages to warm up to something or someone, if I’m rushed, pressured to hurry up and decide, I tend to slow down even more – this is better than panic stations. Riding chocobos is fun or am I being brainwashed into feeling/thinking it is because the characters in the game whoop and say how fun it is?), particularly since it occurred to me that they are rather good at showing you certain things about yourself which you may know about but can’t really explore in RL.

They’re excellent for showing you how well you play with others, but you do have to play video games with others to get that show, although if there is a team within the game and all you want to do is ditch them… I am actually a better team player than I thought I was, but it’s taken me several gaming years to become that way (which has made me a better team player in RL… or is that a coincidence?). You can use video games to exorcise your inner demons in a safe environment (that whole scare-mongering thing about videos games making you inured to violence and causing you to become more violent in RL – they’ve made me more peaceful and better at harmonising with others. I’ve stopped fantasising about killing real people because I can kill fake people and monsters in a video game. I’m kind of bored of killing fake people and monsters…).

You can try things out which you would never dare try out in RL, and find out if this is a you or a not you. They’ll confront you with things which you usually run away from, hide from, avoid, and if you can remind yourself – it’s only a game – you might be able to face what you don’t want to face, and see something you need to see…

although I’m probably never going to like seeing a timer on anything, and the timer has ruined some superb games for me (The Witness – mind crack eye candy puzzle porn, pity about the timer at the end), it did allow me to understand… that sometimes what I don’t… is not a bad thing just because others do.

When I don’t like a game, or a film, or a TV show, or something a little less fictional (like my Narcissist parents)… when EVERYONE else loves it, and therefore there must be something wrong with me for not LOVING it if everyone else does, because everyone else must be right…

no one loves or likes a rebel unless the rebel gets everyone’s seal of approval, and is rebelling against a popular villain… who everyone does not want to rebel against just in case… but YAY for the rebel, let’s you and him fight and we’ll watch and cheer you on… ready to pretend our cheers were for the other guy should you lose and they win and become the new hero of the populous even though Joe Public secretly now harbours feelings of hate for him/her/it.

I also love playing browser games, particularly Escape the Room games. They’re not as simple as they sometimes appear to be – for instance you could have a hammer in your inventory, but you are not allowed to use it on anything other than what you’re supposed to use it on, so if there is a glass cabinet which requires a key, you can’t just smash the glass, you have to find the key… which may require the hammer to break a crack in the wall, which gives you a screw driver to open a panel, which gives you a clue to the code for a box but it’s only half of a clue… can you see where I’m going with this?

It’s a bit like dealing with a Narcissist, and if you’re a child of Narcissists then you’ve probably been playing Escape the Room games all your life.

.

.

Am I avoiding the subject of feelings by escaping into my mind? Relying on my mind to repress, suppress, minimise, deflect, project, transfer, or any number of other skills available to you once you engage mind mode, switching over and away from feeling mode.

One of the things I used to point out to… well, often I’d point it out to Narcissists who thought they were Empaths (for the Empaths feeling hurt right about now – please go straight to the bit marked with a * after the video below), whom I took at word value when they told me and kept telling me and kept insisting they were Empaths, offering proof upon proof (usually in the form of – I cry when I watch a sad film – and I’d keep quiet about the whole lots of people do that, we’re being expertly manipulated by the filmmakers, and it’s all fake, at least… never mind), even though I wasn’t questioning them (I don’t even know why they told me they were an Empath, but I had this funny feeling that I was being subliminally told that I had to control my emotions, not have any, in their presence), and was fairly certain I’d accepted their statement about their status and identity the first time they said it (but you know, my eyes, my face, my expression, that pause I took before saying anything… I’m so lucky they’re there to point out to me wtf is wrong with everything about me which is making them feel so… and pick up all these negative toxic feelings from me which I wasn’t feeling, I wasn’t feeling anything at all really, but obviously they know what I’m feeling better than I do… and they’re going to tell me about it, oh goody, I feel so happy… and right about now, after being told what I’m feeling when I wasn’t feeling it… and being told to shut up I’m a liar if I argue with their kind compassionate self… I am feeling something I wasn’t feeling before)…

is that sometimes our feelings aren’t feelings, they’re thoughtlings, thinklings and thinkings… the mind is a brilliant tool (don’t tell it that it’s just a tool as it thinks it’s more than that and more), it can absorb information which it isn’t even aware of absorbing, and can mimic, replicate, reproduce, copy, photocopy, anything which has entered its vast library. The mind can, and often will, superbly recreate all the elements of an experience of a feeling…

see the instructional video below (I’m trying out a different way of inserting videos into a post… this could be a mess):

.

.

Here’s the bit marked with a * – if you’re a real Empath, you most likely don’t need me to cater to you in this manner as you can read between the lines and know that I’m not talking about real Empaths (you grok – understand (something) intuitively or by empathy. establish a rapport. – dictionary definition), and you’ve probably dealt with Narcissist Empaths (Covert Narcissists) who were drawn to you, whose inner turmoil was drawn to you… perhaps because they were hoping you would miraculously cure their turmoil with magic and they wouldn’t have to do anything (like face themselves and deal with what is inside of them rather than transferring it into and projecting it onto others, and blaming everyone but themselves for it – which makes them feel powerful, but that’s not real personal power), and then did one hell of a number on you, which included blaming you for all of their inner turmoil, even though they brought it with them to the top of their Zen mountain, but they’re Empaths they scream at you very sensitively, compassionately, empathically, sympathetically, and thus what they’re feeling can’t possibly belong to them, it must belong to you…

and suddenly you’re not an Empath according to them because there can be only one and the Narcissist Empath has to win this competition (and your head is spinning because – how did empathy become a a competition!?)…

did you get to that part of the relationship where they called you ‘toxic’ because of what they were absorbing and picking up from you, which you knew wasn’t yours but theirs, because you’re a real Empath and while you sometimes confuse what is your feelings and what is someone else’s feelings, you’ve been an Empath all your life and have learned the hard way to sort through and tell the difference between what is yours and what is someone else’s. Did you make the mistake of trying to tell them… because it is part of the ‘miracle cure’… that the ‘toxic’ was theirs and not yours? Did you also make the mistake of pointing out that real Empaths also pick up good feelings from others not just bad feelings… but the Narcissist Empath owns all of the good feelings, that’s why ‘Narcissists’ are always being attracted to them – to steal the good shit away from them. Did you get accused by the Narcissist Empath of being a Narcissist? And did they then go No Contact with you (do a Narcissist discard sanctioned by the No Contact rule which helps victims of Narcissists protect themselves against Narcissists), and have to tell you about it, perhaps through a mutual friend because you’re now too dangerous for them to communicate with or through a really bitchy… I mean highly sensitive and empathic… post on social media which everyone could see because they made sure everyone would see it and know they were the victim and the real Empath while you, you were a monstrous monster who was trying to eat them alive.

Are you feeling confused? Confused is very touchy feely and loves to rub itself against you and doesn’t care if it’s rubbing you the wrong way…

For a large portion of my life, my main feeling was confused.

And not just because I’m the child of Narcissist parents who minimized or (and) ridiculed your (my) feelings and desires leaving me Feel(ing) numb or (and) have(ing) difficulty knowing what you are (I was) feeling? at the same time as feeling too much, too many emotions and feelings and thoughts (which I am not allowed to have) and… that’s only the tiny tippy top of the iceberg which looks like it’s melting – is it real or is it photoshop?

And not just because I have Dyslexia, and need a little bit more time to slow down to catch up, and if I’m rushed, if there is a time limit… feelings of doubt, frustration, confusion, then anger ensue.

And not just because the world is a confusing place (because the world, at least the human world which often thinks it is all the world, is confused, and it passes the wound along like a hot potato, a parcel, a whisper, from person to person, ancestor to ancestor, generation to generation… sometimes by trying to clear the confusion, it makes more of it – what am I feeling? Is it a feeling or an emotion? And which one is which and which one is thinking?).

But because Narcissist parents aren’t the only ones playing mind games with you, the world isn’t the only one playing mind games with you – Your own mind plays mind games with you.

The reason I (stupidly) point out that the mind can mimic feeling and make the replica seem like the genuine article (as a master forger does with art) is because this piece of information helped me enormously…

I can’t remember where I got the information from, it was a long time ago and I was absorbing a lot of information at the time, but I do recall the whole world including me stopping for long enough for me to slow down and catch up.

.

.

Sometimes you’re going along in life, feeling fine (not the I’m fine kind of fine you tell others when you’re not fine at all, and may be testing them to see how much they care about you – those who care about me would know I’m not fine when I say I’m fine after they’ve asked me how I am – I’m only saying I’m fine for their benefit, because I’m convinced they don’t give a shit, because I’m testing them and their caring abilities, because others should be psychic… I don’t want to bother anyone but my not bothering is bothersome)… and you have an interaction, and everything is fine after that…

BUT…

your mind suddenly has a brilliant idea!

mind: you know that interaction you just had…

me: yes, I just had it and although I’m a space cadet… it was only a few seconds ago, why?

mind: Entername seemed a bit off to me

me: Entername was in a hurry…

mind: that was rude

me: How is it rude to be in a hurry!?

mind: you should be feeling insulted that Entername didn’t have time for you

me: I’m not feeling insulted

mind: you’re feeling insulted, and I’ll explain why…

me: but I’m not feeling insulted and I don’t want to feel insulted, I feel good…

mind: shut up you enterinsults! Listen to me I know what you’re feeling better than you and your feelings, I’ll show you!

And then you feel it.

12 – Feel extra-sensitive around bossy, entitled or manipulative people. Your parents needed to be the center of attention or dominate most conversations.

And once you let your mind take control of what and how you’re feeling, it thinks it’s in charge and so do you, after all it’s the intellect, it knows better.

Your mind can turn even the simplest of moments into a TV drama (just like Narcissists), one of those TV series which just keeps going seasons after season… the characters learn things each episode, seem to understand, evolve, grow, but then in the next episode they rewind, press play and repeat (just like Narcissists) proving that they never learn anything other than what they already don’t know.

These characters feel these intense feelings which we, the viewer, the watcher of the character, are supposed be provoked into feeling too… so we’ll keep watching hoping for a release from that feeling… that feeling uncomfortable, feeling unsatisfied, feeling frustrated and desiring a climax… stay tuned until next time… we promise we’ll resolve this in the season finale… we’ll promise we’ll resolve things next season… we’ll give you closure, tie up all the loose ends left dangling… they’re tantalising… are you feeling like a flag left out in a storm, another storm after a storm after a storm… we’ll try to remember we left you hanging out there battered by the elements… but we’re so busy, in such a hurry…

Scurrying along like an Autumn leaf blown down a road…

Feelings are a bit like the weather, they’re natural, they can be a sunny day, a cloudy day with outbreaks of rain, a cloudy day with outbreaks of rain and blustery wind which blows the rainy clouds away to reveal the hidden sun which might gift you with a rainbow, maybe even a double rainbow, sometimes it’s raining and sunny at the same time – a monkey’s wedding! Sometimes it all feels wonderful doesn’t matter what happens… and sometimes a leaf falling… and the sky is falling…

Seasons come, seasons stay, seasons go…

you walk through the desert, the snow, the mud, the wet grass… barefoot… oooh so cold, tingly… ow a nettle a thistle a piece of broken glass… merde!

That’s how I experience feelings nowadays, elemental, natural, slightly temperamental, easy come and easy go… unless I decide I want to hang onto them and then…

get me the cryogenic machine, stat! This happiness in the form of a free flowing bubbling stream must be preserved until it is a stagnant pond choking the life out of anything which lives in it with algae, bacteria and… ugh, what’s that smell! Yuk! Get me the deodorant stat! I think I’m going to pass out from the putrefaction of a congealed happy moment!

.

.

I read somewhere… again can’t recall, long ago, reading too much all at once because books were how I escaped the room and the stagnating putrefaction of the Narcissist family environment… that children are an evolution of their parents.

This is something which nature has written into its program… not just for humans…

and that the human parents both resent the fact that their human children are an evolutionary upgrade to the human system, and feel proud of it because procreation is progress for all of us in some way… and the human parents are upgrading the human world with their input.

I don’t think the book put it in those words, but… maybe it did.

So, what does this mean for children of Narcissists… if this theory is more than just a theory?

Does it mean that children of Narcissist parents become better Narcissists?

Yes, if you listen to people who aren’t children of Narcissists but who have been touched by a Narcissist (or think they have thus feel they have and thus they have). I’ve heard a few of these people talk at me about how there is this evil gene and… yadda yadda… just because you have to listen to your mind pontificate (unless you’re a covert narc and then…you only listen to the good bits about you), does not mean I have to – been there, done that, done that, done that… how the eff did I… I can so use a hammer on the glass cabinet even if you tell me I can’t and won’t let me!

Yes, if you listen to a child of Narcissists who is doing that thing we all seem to do… I’m a monster, I’m monstrous!

And yes, if you listen to what we do to ourselves from the inside… our Narcissist parents, and the other Narcissists we bump into (because their turmoil is drawn to us), they’re wimps, weak, on another level… lower than us compared to the levels of Narcissistic abuse which we do to ourselves.

My apologies to all the Narcissists who have known me for insulting you, but (yes, I’m doing a narcissistic apology) while I may have let you believe (because perhaps for a tiny breeze I believed it) that you crushed the life out of me, turned me to dust… that wasn’t you doing that, you could never get to my core self, but I could. Yay me!

This experience of our mind being the worst Narcissist we have ever known to ourselves can evolve into a strange gift once we stop it, or at least learn to shift it, nudge, nudge… out of the rut, and onto a road which can actually go somewhere.

.

excerpt from The International Focusing Institute: Learn Focusing – a technique developed by Eugene Gendlin (reading his book, and applying his technique was helpful to me, it still is but I no longer notice I’m doing it, I just do it)

.

Sometimes the only way to beat them is to join them and then you know what you need to know to not be a member of that club or the other club on the other side of the road which thinks it’s better, but is it?

And then all those feelings…

become our friends and not our foes

come out come out wherever you are, wherever I have hidden you… I’m sorry, I didn’t realise… I do now.

Who in hell told me that my anger was poisoning me… it was trying to protect me! Warn me! Primal instinct alive and kicking! And you know what, I was right to be angry, it wasn’t illogical, unreasonable, irrational at all, on the contrary not being angry would have been those things!

And you know what else… if you don’t like what you’re watching, judging and rejecting, then turn the me TV off, switch channels and block the me channel so it doesn’t offend you ever again, or maybe take a look at yourself, it’s more interesting than everyone else, isn’t it?

My sadness was toxic too… no, no… it was a natural detox!

My tears were not a sign of weakness… they were a release of internal pressure – funnily enough when my mother cried she used to say that she was “letting off steam” so that she didn’t kill me for being such a monster (and I was expected to be grateful for that). But if I cried (which I only ever did very rarely as she had trained me not to cry and was very proud of the success of her work) I was to stop that nonsense immediately!

It was all backwards but it said it was straightforward… and that I was backwards, that it was the right way up and I was upside down.

.

.

That’s enough from me (it’s probably too much too much),

this is the penultimate episode in the series within a series, the season finale is about…

13 – Self-soothe through excessive food, drink, shopping or other addictive behaviors? Your parents’ behavior left you feeling trapped, unloved, hopeless or helpless.

which is ties in rather well with the fact that I’m giving an addiction up as I no longer need it.

The author of the article from which I got the – 13 Ways Being Raised by a Narcissist Can Affect You by Dan Neuharth – has written a sequel – 11 More Ways Being Raised by a Narcissistic Parent Can Affect You – I’m not going to do with them what I did the 13 Ways, but they’re interesting to peruse.

I’ll most likely be taking a break after I’ve posted the final installment, whether it’s a blogging break, subject break or breakdown, breakout, breakthrough or a kit kat break… I’ll find out when I get there.

Right now, I’m here, and it’s…

over to you…

 

7 thoughts on “What Are The Strange Gifts of Children of Narcissists? – part 6

  1. Oh my my my. Don’t know what I’m feeling. Feel extra sensitive around bossy, entitled or manipulative people. Yes and yes! Except I was so confused that I had trouble figuring any of this out. Certain people will sometimes set alarm bells ringing and until I had a conversation with you about this ( it was probably about three years ago now) when you advised me to listen to how I was feeling, I was quite mixed up about it all (as I see it now). That was the best advice I ever got, btw. I now more or less rely on it and have read about it as well (Malcolm Gladwell calls it “thin slicing”).

    And being confused about what I feel. Yikes. That was a very difficult one. Feelings (woah, woah) are difficult enough anyway, but to sort yourself out after you have been told what to feel or how what you’re feeling is wrong or watching your parent fly into a boiling, roiling, violent rage and then tell you later it’s wrong to get mad … well, it’s a wonder any of us are sane. It really shows though how mentally tough we are. No little fragile flowers over here on our side of the street.

    My mother was a covert narcissist as well. She alternated between strong but silent Amazonian spear-carrier and weeping victim. Both personas crossed over into rage, though. One of my much older sisters (15 years) – she was also my mother’s golden child – does the same thing except much more overtly: Today I am an Amazon! I am the hero of the world! If you get in my way I’ll pull your fingernails out. *Snort.* No you’re not. Amazonian slug maybe. * Click. Flip.* You’re so mean to me. Sob.You’re the meanest of the mean meanies. *Slide into depression.* Sob Sob.

    Yes, a break is in order. I find it to be hard work to write about narcissism, and you’ve been doing a series. Pretty emotionally demanding – try to reward yourself in some way. A great bottle of wine maybe? But thank you for doing this. As an ACoN, I’m very grateful. 💕

    Like

    1. Thank you very much for sharing, Lynette 🙂

      I bought a bottle of wine the other day because it is called – Survivor Offspring – and on the label it tells the tale of a cow which survived a jump from a cattle truck, found a new home on a farm and had several kids who ‘have all gone looking for greener pastures’.

      One of the things I’ve found while writing this series is that the world around me seems to be in synchronicity with it, offering insightful tidbits in a manner which feels supportive. Everywhere I go or look appears to hold a piece of the puzzle, a revelation, a strange gift. Even the fact that it was Halloween, a time when the veil between worlds drops… I have seen some things during this period of writing about narcissism which have made quite a few pennies drop.

      Years ago I had a dream wherein I was climbing a mountain and took a rest on a plateau halfway up. I looked out at the panorama which had been behind me, and the view from the halfway there mark was breathtaking. In the in-between sleep and waking I pondered what the dream was expressing and I thought it could mean that sometimes in life when you look back at the past you can see it as a panorama and all the bits and pieces fall into place, it all makes sense. I knew that in the dream I would have to keep climbing, and while climbing I would not see anything other than the mountain, the part of it which I was actually climbing, the hard rock with cracks in it, and the steep stern face of it which I had yet to ascend. But one day I might make it to the top and see both the view behind and that ahead.

      I think ACoNs are the unsung heroes of climbing life’s tough mountains 😉

      Like

      1. I love the name Survivor Offspring! 🙂

        It’s good to hear that synchonicity is occurring for you. (I’ve felt like that in my new job although not so much lately since I’m so busy. Learning this job has kept me working pretty hard.) It’s so amazing to me how things fall into place sometimes.

        I love your mountain climbing metaphor. 🙂 It’s apt for most people but particularly for us ACoNs. We were so focused on the rock face and possibly falling off our little perch that there wasn’t much enjoyment until we got to a stable place where we could take a breath and start considering the view.

        Like

        1. Have you found the things you’re learning for this job have coincided with other things you’ve been learning for yourself, or perhaps that the way you have to think to learn has shifted how you think about other things?

          Like

          1. Oh yes! 🙂 In a very big way. I am in a coaching/administrative position where I am managing people who often aren’t at their best. I’ve found that a lot of the reading I’ve done about narcissism (and very much the fact that I read your blog too) has been more helpful than a lot of the job specific training I’ve had. Not that I’m helping a lot of narcissists; it’s more that I’ve learned better how to consider and be considerate of people and their peopleness (if that makes sense). I have to say that I don’t think that even two-three years ago I had the skills for this job – sort of did but they hadn’t coalesced enough. One of the things that helped me along on this journey was thinking about what you write. 🙂 Thank you. 🙂

            Like

            1. That’s a very good point. The info which we gather when researching narcissists is indeed helpful in handling certain situations which do not involve narcissists, but may involve people who are acting up, acting out, because they’re in pain, suffering, frustrated, are doing something which takes them out of their comfort zone, or feel put upon by society (which can be very narcissistic), etc.

              A coaching/administrative position where you’re managing people does require understanding people and their peopleness.

              I think you most likely always had the skills for this job, but having the skills and using them, letting them flow, show, go, can be different experiences, and may require a catalyst of some sort to activate them, and connect you actively, naturally, with them.

              The thing about what I write is – it’s not what I write, it’s what you read.

              A book I read many years ago pointed that out. The author said something along the lines of: If you gain any knowledge from my words, it’s not coming from me, it’s not coming from outside of you, it’s simply that something in my writing reminded you of something you already know but had forgotten that you know.

              Of course that doesn’t apply to training manuals, and being taught something specific like how to build a car from scratch, however to learn a specific skill you do need to have something inside which feels a connection to what’s on the outside, what’s being taught. Something inside of you knows how to build things from scratch, even if it’s just a sand castle or a cardboard box fort. 😉

              Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: