One of the recurring themes in my life can be summed up by a thought which popped into my mind as I was about to go to sleep last night:
Night thought: I think you may have mistaken me for a doormat.
I often use the time before sleep to review the things which have struck or stuck to me during the day.
It can be anything.
They had a couple of scenes which were almost identical.
They were both about the mind suddenly working differently due to a car accident, vivid journeys into memory, timelines which merged and were not in chronological order.
I was fairly certain that I’d seen the film before. I usually don’t watch what I’ve seen before even if I don’t remember much about it. But this time it made the film more interesting because not being certain if I’d seen it before or not wove itself into the story.
What struck me the most about the main character in the film – Lovell Milo – was how much he allowed his life to be dominated by others, he let them set the pace for his relationships with them.
His father was psychologically abusive. At one point when Lovell was in a memory of being about 8 yrs old, his father loomed angrily over him and sternly said: Do you want to talk or learn.
It wasn’t a question, it was a manipulation, an order to shut up and let the father lecture his child. It was the father who should have shut up and learned something important from his son, but the father didn’t want to learn or listen, he wanted to hear himself pompously talk down to his child. Feel right and righteous. Feel flawless.
The film eventually redeemed the father, allowed Lovell to forgive his father for being consistently abusive, brought father and son together after a period of No Contact, gave them a happy ending loving relationship…
Something similar occurred in Undone. The father wasn’t abusive but he was absent for most of the main character’s – Alma Winograd Diaz – life.
He died suddenly on Halloween, abandoning his daughter when she was about 8 yrs old in the street at night after taking her trick or treating in a neighbourhood she didn’t know, telling her to wait there for him… but he never returned. Until many years later as a vivid memory, hallucination, or something else (I’ve only seen two episodes so I’m not sure what’s going on), demanding her help to change the past.
Both characters in similar ways experienced confusion about who they were, and who they were expected to be, how others saw them and who others wanted them to be.
That connected up with an article I read the day before, which is one of the best articles from a mental health professional that I’ve come across about covert narcissists.
There were moments while reading it when I felt a certain familiarity with the words, like I’d read it before – what she wrote reminded me of things I have written about covert narcissists in my posts.
I did at one point wonder if she’d read my blog, but then I dismissed the thought because it was silly.
While it is possible that she may have visited my blog since a couple of my posts come up on the first page of results when searching for “narcissists” online – Why would a professional bother with an amateur like me and what I had to say? (unless of course I was paying them to do that).
I’m mentioning my silly thought and the conversation I had with it, dismissing it, because of something which happened yesterday on my blog which reminded me of it and took silliness to a bizarre place.
Everything she said about covert narcissists is observable if you spend time interacting with one or more than one Covert narcissist, and in her profession she’s probably met many, especially considering what she said in her excellent article.
“2 – Watch What They Do When you Get Angry and Frustrated Around Them.
An Empath will immediately care about what has gotten you frustrated and angry. If they aren’t already making themselves available to help, they will likely express something as a form of intermediate help and reassurance. You will likely feel soothed by the ways they respond to you, and very much feel their presence with you.
Even if a Covert Narcissist mimics the behaviors of an Empath, completely, there will be a way you subtly feel they don’t understand, aren’t present, or don’t care. You will likely feel like their help or reassurance doesn’t actually do much for you, and may even result in your feeling worse, and like you may need them even more for soothing and comfort.
And, if the Covert Narcissist hasn’t learned to perfectly mimic an Empath, you will see they start to become impatient, or are then triggered and somehow wounded by you being angry and frustrated. This is even if your anger and frustration isn’t about them or your relationship with them. They may make you feel guilty for inconveniencing them or for “playing the victim”, or for being “too sensitive”, while making you feel like all at once, you still need them to help you see the light, and to feel better.
This, in plain speak, is them showing you whether they have actual, affectual empathy, and not just intellectually constructed empathy. Trust your gut, as usually we all can tell if someone is feeling perhaps sympathy for us and feeding us a script, versus actually FEELING true empathy with us.”excerpt from Narcissists Claiming To Be Empaths & Three Methods To Uncover The Truth by Dr. Ava Pommerenk
Lately I keep ending up on articles about narcissists written by professionals which confirm things I’ve said about narcissists, but for which I got flack when I posted them, got told I didn’t know what I was talking about. In other words: Did I want to talk or learn.
I have often recommended in my blog posts about narcissists that people should focus on how they feel (aka trust your gut) when interacting with others, especially if they suspect that someone is a narcissist but aren’t certain.
Narcissists are facade experts. They’re great actors and often believe their own act which makes it more believable, easier to sell to others.
This is an interesting article about the facade of the narcissist – Why Do We Like Narcissists (Initially)?: We like narcissists, because we assume they have high self-esteem. by Arash Emamzadeh
The narcissist looks the part, says all the right things which that part would say, goes through all the motions which we associate with the part, maybe even has a whole bunch of credentials and proof, anecdotal evidence, of being who they say they are… but something about them just doesn’t feel right.
There’s a distinctive way narcissists make you feel once the honeymoon period is over, and it is a consistent feeling, once it sets in it whittles away at you from the inside. You’ll feel it when they’re not there too, just by hearing their name or thinking about them.
Trusting my gut took ages to do because I’d turned the function off… my covert narcissist mother encouraged that in typical narcissist manner – gaslighting.
This is a very insightful article about gaslighting – A New Tool for Getting Better at Spotting Gaslighters: Learn a gaslighter’s cheap tricks. by Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D., MPP
Once off it was easy to convince myself that I didn’t have gut instinct at all, gaslighting myself. Somehow I was missing that component in my system. My feelings were always wrong and were to be ignored.
I was super lucky to have such a wonderful mother to keep pointing out how wrong I always was and that my feelings were something to be dismissed and replaced with her version of my feelings, what she wanted me to feel especially about her.
When I fell in love… she had one tantrum after another in an effort to get me to stop it. It was all for my own good, she was saving me.
Do you want to talk or learn.
When I would not stop loving and get rid of my feelings, accept her narrative over mine, take what she was generously giving me instead of rejecting it because I wanted for once to have what was mine and not throw it away because she ordered me to… she decided to talk sense into my partner, tell him the awful truth about me, because she was the only expert on me, who I was, what I was, how I was.
According to her the worst thing about me, the thing which should definitely make my partner immediately stop loving me and run away from me, reject me, send me rushing into mother’s arms all broken so she could put the pieces back together the way she wanted, was my terrible black moods.
I did have black moods… immediately after one of my mother’s tantrums. But she didn’t view her tantrums as tantrums, and besides they were my fault.
When I met my partner, fell in love with him – it was the first time in my life that I experienced real love towards me from another. A few others before had cared for me, about me, but my parents, either directly or indirectly (through their programming of me), always managed to put a stop to it. This time was different, and it became the moment I started to fight for my right to have feelings of my own, and not back down when put under pressure to do so.
I’ve been through many phases and stages since then. Including finally going No Contact with my parents, and the confusion which that creates – you’re finally free but who are you now without them in your life constantly trying to make you into whoever it is they need you to be at any time.
I became my own narcissist parent to myself for a long while to fill the void…
Then my parents resurfaced dramatically, typical of narcissists, in my life over a decade later. I’d just begun blogging at the time, and had only just broken my silence, allowed myself to tell my story… I was still very hesitant to do that for various reasons.
One reason is society’s reaction to children who speak ill of their parents even if their parents are abusive – forgive and forget and rewrite the narrative to create a happy ending audiences will enjoy (Shuffle, I’m thinking of you).
The other is the training you get as a child of narcissists to never tell the awful truth about your parents. Only narcissist parents are allowed to tell the awful truth about their children – which is usually lies, but… if they tell a lie it becomes truth. Narcissists are magical and powerful like that… don’t challenge them or they’ll make you regret it, feel bad, guilty, ashamed of yourself.
And another is that to tell my story I had to go into memory, and my memory was full of blocks – no-go areas, blanked out spots, danger signs, fortress walls keeping things in and out – and swamps of confusion – is that a real memory or an implanted one? Is that really how it happened or did I manipulate it to tell the tale I wanted/the narcissist wanted?
For a long period of my life, which includes childhood, I had to focus only on the good things to maintain the narrative that I had the best family ever, that we were special, I had wonderful parents, was a super lucky child, was a spoiled brat and grateful for it… the lie became the truth, it was necessary to survive… Was it though?
So delving into memory and sharing my story in my posts… Shuffle and Undone reminded me of that process.
The more I shared my story, the more the story became easier to share, clearer to me… even though it is complex and complicated, convoluted and confusing for others to read.
As my inside world came out into the outside world…
It attracted others who shared themselves, their own stories – my sharing helped them and their sharing helped me.
And surprisingly it didn’t attract the sort of reactions which I dreaded, braced and prepped for, expected, had become familiar with in the past.
I did get a few unpleasant reactions, comments, but they were few and far between all the supportive reactions, encouraging comments.
There were also awkward moments… of interaction and growth.
I received a comment this morning from someone requesting that I email them because they would like to share something privately with me as they value their privacy.
That’s awkward for me, I still find it difficult to refuse a request, especially one which is respectful like theirs, even if refusing it feels right for me in my gut.
I don’t do email with my blog for a reason – I do regularly review the reason and consider the option of letting people contact me via email.
In reading what they said about valuing their privacy, I thought – yes, that is wise, and something to learn and relearn for me. I too value my privacy which includes my private time.
I have in the past given other people too much of my time because they needed it and later on I discovered that perhaps I shouldn’t have been so liberal with my time, as they didn’t value it, seemed to think I should spend more of it on them, it was never enough and they wanted more and more until I had none for myself.
The Vikings theme tune just popped into my head… particularly this part of the lyrics:
“This will never end ’cause I want moreFever Ray, If I Had A Heart
More, give me more
Give me more”
While I do talk a lot on my blog, I learn through talking in ways I never learned when I kept silent and let others talk and talk and talk, pouring themselves into me with words as though I was an empty vessel, lecturing away, telling me what it is they wanted me to learn from them. What I learned most from listening to them talk and teach was… not what they thought they were talk-teaching and which I should learn from them.
I have learned to value my listening time… and notice when others don’t, when others think it should be given to them because I gave it before so I should keep giving it even though what it sounds like they are saying is – I’m mistaking you for a doormat.
I have learned to value my feelings, and trust my gut – some time ago I turned that back on and it seems to be quite strong and rather accurate. I still find myself tempted to dismiss my feelings, old habits die hard, but when I do I often find myself randomly ending up on an article online which gives me a message to listen to myself and trust what I’m saying to me.
Usually when people ask to email me, they want to discuss either their narcissists or Capricorns.
I’m not a mental health professional, nor am I a professional astrologer.
And while I did mention being an “expert” on narcissists in a post or two a long time ago, I was joking, being sardonic, using humour to soften the pain which is something I learned to do as a child, which grew out of being mocked by my narcissist parents for having feelings, thoughts of my own, for being myself, for everything.
Now… here’s the – something which happened yesterday on my blog which reminded me of it (my silly wondering if Dr. Ava Pommerenk had read my blog) and took silliness to a bizarre place – bit.
My mind just reminded me that it’s not a totally silly notion.
Last year another blogger linked to one of my narcissist posts and when I checked out why they’d done that, in their very long rambling post, which seemed to be part of an ongoing blog fight with another blogger, they mentioned that the faculty of a psychological department in a college regularly read my blog. I got the feeling that they weren’t a reliable source and that it probably wasn’t true… but what if it was?
In 2015 I (as well as other bloggers who blog/blogged about narcissists) was contacted by Valerie Coles, Ph.D. of the University of Georgia’s Department of Communication Studies to promote a survey which she and Dr. Jennifer Monahan were conducting “to create a scale that will help people to identify Narcissist Parents”.
The posts I did about that are here – Parental Communication – A Survey for Adult Children of Narcissists – Act Now! – and here – WANTED – Adult Children of Narcissists for a survey
And in October 2017 I was contacted by a psychology student who was doing an Extended Project on Narcissists and their children to answer some questions to help with her research. She wanted other ACoNs to participate, but apparently I was the only one who did. She was very gracious, and I hope it all worked out well.
Here’s the post I did about that – What is Your Experience of Being the Child of Narcissists?
I hadn’t been blogging about narcissists for a while mainly because I was fed up of hearing myself talk about narcissists, and she kickstarted a sudden burst of post-writing about the subject for me.
And here are links to a few posts I wrote after that:
I even did an astrology of the moment one about it – Jupiter in Scorpio – When the Dirty Little Secret Comes Out of Hiding
And then I went on to do a series which I called The Strange Gifts of Children of Narcissists, the first one is here – What Are The Strange Gifts of Children of Narcissists? – the rest can be found in my blog’s October 2017 archives and that led to another series called Strange Gifts which can be found in the November 2017 archives.
I’m not actually expecting you to click on any of those links or read any of those posts, those links are placed in this post for myself, and this post, like all of my posts, is written as a conversation with myself, everything I put in my posts is a message, a note, to myself.
If a post is interminably long, it’s because I have a lot to discuss with myself and I’m probably going to dive deep into shadow and darkness, and will need time to resurface, doing it in stages so as not to get The Bends, although I freedive so I have to be careful not to end up like the guy in The Big Blue.
And since Mercury is about to go retrograde in Scorpio, it’s a good time to review the path taken which led from there to here – it’s interesting to me that I wrote all of those posts during Jupiter’s transit of Scorpio.
So, let’s get back to -> Now… here’s the – something which happened yesterday on my blog which reminded me of it (my silly wondering if Dr. Ava Pommerenk had read my blog) and took silliness to a bizarre place – bit.
In the “referrers” section of my blog stats I saw the link which I’ve highlighted in yellow:
I wondered what it was – oh, sparkly diamonds – and why they had linked to my blog, so I clicked to travel the other way and visit their blog.
I have to admit that I skim-read their post to get to the part where they linked to mine.
And that’s when things got bizarre.
A.H. Almaas, the founder of the Diamond Approach, has been invited to speak at the Sounds True Presents: The Understanding Narcissism Summit – which is free to all who would like to listen to what the experts have to share and say.
Here’s a link to the Sounds True page introducing it and the 20 Leading Experts in Psychology & Spirituality from whom you can learn – Sounds True Presents: The Understanding Narcissism Summit
If I sounded a bit sarcastic just now… I really don’t understand why I haven’t been invited to speak at the summit, they’ve even called the event after the title of one of my posts!
Here’s that post – Understanding Narcissists
Did I just sound like a narcissist? Did I mean it? Do I really think they named the summit after my post? Am I really upset not to be invited to the summit so that I can talk and others can learn from me talking – Do you want to talk or learn?
I’m just messing around with thinking like a narcissist (which is also what I did in Understanding Narcissists)…
However I was briefly thinking of signing up to listen to the summit as I like Clarissa Pinkola Estes and recently listened to a Sounds True two-part interview she did about The Dangerous Old Woman.
But then I reread that post on my blog to which the Diamond Approach site linked… speaking of which…
It seems that they made a mistake (since I’m a mistake-making mess, I’m familiar with those and how they happen). They weren’t linking to my post so much as linking to a name – Caroline Myss (why didn’t they link to her Wiki like I just did?) – in my post.
Here’s a screenshot, it explains the situation better – I hovered the cursor over Caroline Myss’ name and you can see in the lower left that it links to my blog:
In the post to which they linked, I shared an excerpt from an article written by Caroline Myss about the language of Woundology, because that’s what my post was about.
Here is the link in that post to Caroline Myss’ article, which was an excerpt from a book of hers, in the NYTimes – Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can By Caroline Myss, Ph.D.
And here’s my post – Talking about Narcissists… and Woundology
My old post is rather good (it still surprises me) and touches upon many things I’ve touched upon in this post.
The part of that post which struck me was this:
“The most shocking insight which I had, and there was more than one, was that as a victim of Narcissists and an ACoN (Adult Child of Narcissists), my status required that I spend a lot of time and energy talking about Narcissists.
That had always been my main reason for not wanting to ever write a book – I saw writing a book about my experience of Narcissists as being the ultimate victory for the Narcissists in my life, because once again my life would be all about them (they really don’t care if what you’re saying about them is negative or positive as long as it is all about them). My attention would once again be completely focused on them. And not on myself and what is healthy and healing for me.”excerpt from Talking about Narcissists… and Woundology
What I said then and there is part of the reason why I don’t do email with my blog.
Before I had this blog, I did do email with a previous blog I had and while at first I thought I was having conversations with others, I gradually realised that I was not, I was more like a priest in a confessional…
And I didn’t know how to not be who others had decided I was going to be for them without causing a commotion which I didn’t want to cause. But it gradually made me slightly phobic about email… about being trapped… about once again repeating a pattern, being stuck in a loop.
I grew to dread getting emails, especially from certain people…
That does sometimes happen in the comments on my blog…
It starts out when someone needs to share and my blog seems like a good place to share, because of what I share of and how I share my story, and because other people share their stories in the comments.
Over the years I’ve been told that my blog is like a forum where people can talk about all those things they can’t discuss anywhere else, where someone listens to them, understands, doesn’t think they’re crazy or a narcissist – victims of narcissists often get accused of being a narcissist by the narcissist in their lives…
One of my blog’s popular posts – When Narcissists Claim to be Victims of Narcissists – Who is the Narcissist?
It’s a place where they can release and relieve themselves of what they’ve been carrying around in silence, pressurised frustration.
I don’t mind if people do that here. I know how liberating it is to write it out, break your silence, be the one to talk and talk, especially about all those things you’ve never been able to talk about… can’t talk about elsewhere.
I’m happy to listen, chat in the comments, answer questions, offer my perspective on a personal puzzle.
However this is my online home and sometimes people appear to forget that I’m a person like they are, I’m human too, and that they are in my home.
Sometimes people start to behave as though this is their home – their home, their rules.
And they begin to tell me what I can and can’t do here, what I can and can’t say here… in my home.
What I’m supposed to give them for free and what I must accept if they offer it to me even if I don’t want it – I have to want it if they give it to me. No, I don’t, this is my home.
This is a haven, where I indulge my self, nurture and nourish my self, which I created for my self so that I could say and do what I wanted to say and do, learn from it, give what I wanted to give freely and accept what I wanted to accept. There is leeway here for me… and for others because I enjoy giving myself and others freedom to be as is.
Sometimes people misinterpret that leeway… think it’s okay to cross boundaries, try to control me, take over, impose their will here.
Some of that is my fault, I’m a bit strange and I like for people to feel comfortable in my home when they’re here, and they may get the impression that I am a doormat in the entry of their home, for them to wipe their muddy boots upon, stomp the snow off, and so on.
I tend to shrug a lot of things which irk me off, cut them slack, because it’s nice to have slack cut for you, I appreciate it when people do that for me… and it feels good to pass on to others the things we appreciate when others pass them onto us.
But not when it reaches that point where it makes me uncomfortable being in my own home. I know where that feeling leads… I’ve been there before many times.
I could delete this home with one press of a button… so you see, it is my home.
But I don’t want to do that (even when strongly tempted to do so).
I’ve worked very hard on creating this online home, its structure is made of me (with some free help from wonderful WordPress and incredible Internet), it has my blood, sweat, tears and laughter, ideas, thoughts, emotions and feelings inwrought into its fabric… and although I may not always appear to be aware of it, I am very aware of it.
And while I might appear to be a doormat, I am not…
There’s a hole underneath the doormat, it’s a deep hole, there are spikes set into the sides which tear flesh as you fall down and deeper down, I won’t tell you what’s at the bottom, you’ll find out for yourself.
I don’t tend to release the catch on the lid which stops people from falling into the hole under the doormat… but I can with a press of a button.
This seems like a good place to stop, my stomach is rumbling and I’m hungry all of a sudden.
I enjoy your visits, views, likes, comments and shares… and I hope you enjoy yourself here too, and maybe find something you need which is offered freely here.
Just remember, I’m human too, like you…
And this human is a Capricorn Sun with a natal square from Saturn, has Pluto in the 1st house and Mars in Scorpio – the latter is on tap when a shot of it is needed. Mostly though your hosts will be Venus in Pisces, Moon in 12th house and Neptune in the 3rd which are rather good at making others feel welcome.
Thank you for reading.