It is difficult to deal with a narcissist when you are a grown, independent, fully functioning adult. The children of narcissists have an especially difficult burden, for they lack the knowledge, power, and resources to deal with their narcissistic parents without becoming their victims. Whether cast into the role of Scapegoat or Golden Child, the Narcissist's Child never truly receives that to which all children are entitled: a parent's unconditional love. Start by reading the 46 memories--it all began there.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Narcissists: they are everywhere

Narcissists are everywhere. You will come across them at work, at play, on the road, in the shops. That guy who thinks nothing of carrying on a conversation on his cell in a movie theatre, that woman who rushes ahead of you in the supermarket and then blocks your access to the display of on-sale fruit, that man who saw you politely waiting for a parking space then zooms in and takes it with a smug smile…probably narcissists. They are everywhere—even on line.

The internet, in all truth, is a narcissist’s dream come true. Here predators can become compassionate, understanding men just looking for a good woman, they can become gurus delighted to lead your undecided self to their promised land, they can become repositories of secret knowledge kept from you by greedy corporations and complicit government. The internet was just made for narcissists, those masters of deceit and false personas, and our ability to ferret them out over the web is not nearly as good as it is if we can observe and evaluate them in person.

Common wisdom tells us that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. What it doesn’t tell us, however, is that if something looks logical and it is about a subject you know little about, it may well be a lie. Narcissists and their flying monkeys set you up to believe their twaddle by creating what looks like a very logical, persuasive argument and then discourage you from seeking the truth by doing a pre-emptive strike against the very people who actually have the truth, telling you the experts are liars who are only saying what they say because there is money in it for them. No place is this more true than in the anti-vax movement.

Very few of us understand how vaccines work or even how our immune systems function. Our public education system has declined in its delivery of hard biological science to students, students who grow up to be parents who know nothing about how their bodies function. Ignorance is the playground of the exploiter and people who are both ignorant and gullible—those who will believe anything that makes logical sense to them—are ripe for being exploited. To cinch the deal, however, these exploiters have to make sure that their targets don’t accept contradictory information from a competing source, so they poison the well. Big Pharma is painted as an evil entity that wants to keep you sick so they can continue to make money off of you and the scientists who work for them are just looking to line their pockets. Doctors who prescribe these Big Pharma products are in league with Big Pharma because they don’t make any money if you aren’t sick, so the whole thing is a conspiracy to keep you and your family sick so all of them can make money.

A little real logic bursts this conspiracy bubble all to hell. Big Pharma actually can’t make money unless it keeps coming up with new drugs because the patent on the drugs they make expire and, once expired, become public domain. That means that if Joe’s Drug Company invents a fancy new antibiotic, and he patents it, nobody can make an antibiotic using Joe’s formula for the life of the patent (20 years). Once that patent expires, however, anybody can use that formula to make an identical drug—that is where generics come from. So, to keep money coming in, Joe not only has to keep coming up with new drugs, they have to work because if they aren’t effective one of two things happens: 1) the FDA won’t license the drug and Joe can’t sell it or 2) doctors won’t prescribe it, patients won’t take it. Either way, Joe makes no money from a drug that doesn’t work and he has a limited span of time to make his money off of it.

So, Joe is greedy, right? It costs him $1 to make a pill he sells for $15 each…that is just greed! Well, not so fast. What did it cost Joe’s Drug Company to come up with this pill? What did they pay out in salaries for all of the people who worked on it? What about cost of facilities, testing the drug, clinical trials, and FDA submissions? None of this is free and a single PhD scientist can command $200,000 a year in salary, not to mention his support team of assistants, admins, procurement specialists, etc. It literally costs billions of dollars to invent, test, and market just one new drug and the company has to put up the money up front, from the profits it made on other drugs, and recoup the investment through the sales of the drug after approval. And if it doesn’t get FDA approval? If the drug doesn’t work or has heinous side effects? All that money is lost and has to be recouped through the sales of successful drugs.

So just how greedy is Big Pharma? Well, ask yourself this: if you had cancer and the doctor gave you a pill that was said to cure cancer, would you want that pill developed by a bunch of kids who barely passed high school biology? Or by a team of people who had as much as 12 years of education after high school, all of it specializing in biology and drugs? And what would you expect to pay a scientist with multiple post graduate degrees and a good ten years of experience in medical research? At least as much as your GP makes, right? The median income for an American GP is $156,051, topping out at $210,8751. A Research Fellow in the biotech industry can expect a median salary of $153,680, topping out at $198,7292. How many of these people, earning $150k to $200k a year, does a drug company have to pay just for one project to come up with one drug, and how long is a drug in development? According to the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development3, $2.5 billion and ten years. And every penny of that money has to be advanced by the drug company in the hopes that the drug will work and that the FDA will approve it, before they make the first dollar on it.

Considering that these scientists probably have a shipload of student debt and that they went to school an additional 6 to 12 years after high school, it is difficult to argue that they are overpaid. And a drug company has teams of these people, each team working on a different project. And all of it is funded out of that $2 or $5 or $15 per pill that you pay at the pharmacy. (Yes, there was a greedy little twit who bought a patent and jacked up the cost of the drug astronomically, but he is the exception, not the rule, and when the patent expires all of his competitors will delight in making and selling the drug for 10% over their production costs in order to steal his market.)

So the stories about Big Pharma wanting to keep you sick and pick your pocket are all lies. Big Pharma is working on the next generation of drugs, drugs that have to work or you won’t buy them, and we are so very good at sabotaging our own health through carelessness and self-indulgence, and viruses and bacteria are so good at mutating and needing new drugs to control them that Big Pharma doesn’t need to conspire with doctors to keep us sick. We do that all by ourselves with no help needed.

So why do these people peddle these lies and why are they narcissists?
Narcissists are all about feeling powerful and in control. What do narcissists do? They take the truth and twist it to fit their position. They lie to make themselves look good, smart, powerful. They denigrate others and lie about them to destroy their credibility. Sometimes they do it for the personal power trip, other times there is more in it for them. And that pretty much describes the anti-vax community.

How about Dr. Andrew Wakefield4? He did it for money. Or, more accurately, for the chance to make a lot of money. In 1998 he published a fraudulent research paper in The Lancet, a prestigious British medical journal, claiming there was a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. It has since been proven untrue by numerous follow up studies, The Lancet retracted the paper, and Wakefield’s credentials as a doctor and surgeon were revoked.

Why on earth would someone endanger his career in such a way? Well, according to the Toronto Star, Wakefield applied for a patent on a “single jab” measles vaccine before he began his campaign against the MMR: he was after discrediting the existing vaccine so that he could come in later with his own vaccine to take its place. This would be like a company trying to convince the public, through faked tests, that aspirin causes Alzheimers and then coming along six month later and unveiling an OTC painkiller that is “proven” to not cause it. It was a ploy designed to scare parents away from the MMR, leaving the market open for a new vaccine that he could advertise as not causing autism. Isn’t this exactly how a narcissist operates?

He gave no thought to the patients, the children, who would be affected. “Wakefield's study and his claim that the MMR vaccine might cause autism led to a decline in vaccination rates in the United States, United Kingdom and Ireland and a corresponding rise in measles and mumps, resulting in serious illness and deaths, and his continued warnings against the vaccine have contributed to a climate of distrust of all vaccines and the reemergence of other previously controlled diseases…”4 Children have died due to this man’s pride and greed and despite dozens of other well managed, and bona fide studies that disprove his contention (and none that support it), he refuses to admit the truth. “As recently as February 2015, he publicly repeated his denials and refused to back down from his assertions, even though—as stated by a British Administrative Court Justice in a related decision—"there is now no respectable body of opinion which supports [Dr. Wakefield's] hypothesis, that MMR vaccine and autism/enterocolitis are causally linked."”4

“…no respectable body of opinion which supports…[the] hypothesis that MMR vaccine and autism…are causally linked.” And yet, anti-vaxxers, whose campaign started with this man and his greedy attempt to corner a market by scaring parents who don’t know anything about how the immune system works and will trust what a doctor says, continue to not only spread this lie but, in their zealous ignorance, build upon it.

How do they do this? With specious, twisted logic. In the same way I got blamed and punished for my younger brother’s misdeeds—I was supposed to keep him out of trouble so, if he did something bad it was my fault for letting him, not his fault for disobeying—science is subjected to the specious logic of people who know nothing about science or the immune system. If it doesn’t make sense to them, they can’t go remedy their ignorance because the scientists have been demonized as money-grubbers who will lie to fatten their pockets, so they rely on the phoney logic of the guru. And the guru lies. The guru tells them that the vaccines contain mercury even though the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says “…thimerosal is no longer used in children’s shots, except some types of flu shots. You can ask for a flu shot without thimerosal.”5 The guru says vaccines don’t work…they do and a Google trip through the internet can provide you with records, charts and statistics showing the decline in such diseases as polio, measles, mumps, whooping cough, diphtheria…all diseases that killed thousands of children every year before vaccines were invented. The guru tells them that it is just a way for Big Pharma and the doctors to make money off of you but if that is the case, why was the small pox inoculation eliminated from the vaccination schedule sometime between 1966 and 1973? The disease was eliminated world wide (The last naturally occurring case in the world was in Somalia in 1977.6) So, the latest attack on science by the ignorant was on Facebook last week where someone claimed that “smearing blood and pus from a cow won’t prevent smallpox,” and exhorted people to “think about it,” thereby proving her ignorance not only of history but of science and the human immune system. A fellow named Jenner noticed that milk maids who contracted cowpox from the udders of cows they were milking…leaving a small scar on their hands…never contracted small pox and the discovery of vaccination began7.

So what kind of people do this? What kind of people prey on the ignorant and fearful rather than educate and empower them? People who, themselves, feel powerless and seek control over others in order to feel empowered themselves. All of the hallmarks of narcissism are there: grandiosity in believing they know more than people who were educated and trained in the discipline; lack of empathy in that they don’t care that children will suffer and die from preventable diseases; a sense of entitlement, like they have a right to lie to the uncertain and gullible and to co-opt them; exploitative, exploiting the ignorance, naïveté, and concern of loving parents to make them disciples so they can feel powerful; envious, certainly these exploiters are envious of those whom they perceive as having more power or prestige than themselves; requires excessive admiration, these anti-vax crusaders expect admiration for their “moral courage” to come out against large, faceless, gluttonous corporate entities—they see themselves as the hero of the little man who cannot stand alone against them; shows arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes, what is more arrogant than having no education or experience in a discipline and purporting to know more than credentialed experts? believes that he or she is "special" and unique, because only this person and the other cognoscenti know the truth, and s/he is the guru, the one dispensing the special knowledge; is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love, it is difficult to know what preoccupies their thoughts, but certainly being thought of as brilliant and powerful are in there, as they trample the truth in their drive to gather followers and spread the lies.

How powerful does a person believe himself to be when his goal is to bring down Big Pharma? How empathetic is he when he risks the health and lives of millions of children to achieve this goal? Do normal people find it goal-worthy to deprive millions of little kids of a chance to go through life free of dreaded—and often deadly or maiming—diseases? The truth is available: there are seven links below that will bring you to the truth and the internet has thousands more, but these people discount or ignore it. Why? Because the truth will take their feeling of power away.

And how narcissistic is that?

Monday, September 14, 2015

What happens when you send your N “The Letter”

When we begin to toy with the idea of going NC (No Contact) with our Ns, the first thing that comes to mind is wondering how to do it.

A good number of us want to write a letter with a litany of the N’s sins both as a justification for going NC and as a last-ditch plea for the N to realize just how much s/he has hurt us. This desire for the N to realize how much damage s/he has inflicted is rooted in an expectation that if the N just understood, s/he would feel remorse, apologize, and then change in such a way that a reconciliation and normal relationship could then ensue.

Few of us are attracted to the idea of writing the terse, legalistic letter that gives no reasons for the decision to go No Contact. We either project our feelings onto our N and feel guilty in advance for hurting them (we would be hurt by such a letter and want to know the reasons so we could fix it) or we want to explain ourselves, justify our decision. And more than a few of us hope our letter and decision to disconnect from our parent(s) will be that magic key that finally opens the door to our N’s heart.

So what happens when we send that letter, full of heartbreak and examples of insensitive cruelties both big and small? Does it work as a way to finally break down our Ns and make them realize that their behaviour has hurt us in the most profound way possible? Does it stir up feelings of remorse and a desire to soothe our hurts and make everything right? Does it spark that protective parent mode that sends them to our sides with sincere apologies and earnest amends and heartfelt promises to do better in the future?

In a word—No.

What you will get back will be more of what you have endured. If your N is the overtly cruel, verbally abusive type, you will get more verbal abuse; if your N is the pathetic martyr, guilt-inducing type, you will get more guilt-tripping. But you will get it in buckets.

You will probably get something back in writing, too…something that denies everything you said or excuses and justifies or rationalizes anything that they couldn’t deny. You will be gaslighted, you will be blamed, you will be discounted, denigrated, and possibly even called a liar. Every point you make in your letter that your N chooses to address will be treated as if you didn’t understand or your perception was intentionally faulty. You will be treated to a display of pathos and/or bombast, your N pathetically hurt by your accusations and/or furious and outraged at your temerity…how dare you accuse your N of doing anything but wanting the very best for you and anything s/he actually did was for your own well-being.

Your N may take a few days or even weeks to respond. This is calculated to make you anxious. When your N finally does respond, don’t be surprised if s/he informs you that a copy of her letter to you has been shared with the rest of the family…and don’t be surprised if yours has not been shared at all—or if it was shared, it was kept under wraps until the N had crafted a rebuttal to every point you thought you made, and that rebuttal was shared with your letter. Most of all, do not be surprised if your letter unleashes a flurry of contacts from family members you have had little contact with in the past, contacts that range from “counselling” you to make up with your mother to outright attacks on your character for treating your mother this way. Expect no sympathy and no support because your N is not going to share with anybody s/he does not expect full support from.

One thing we tend to forget is that, for the most part, these other family members have known your NParent longer than they have known you. Their relationships predate your existence. Their bonds were in place before you were born. They are invested in their relationship with your N, both in terms of family ties and in terms of being right or wrong: if they take you at your word and agree your NP is in the wrong, then they are going to have to re-evaluate their entire relationship with your NP and, if they agree to support you, they are going to have to admit they were wrong about your NP for all these years. Most people are simply not going to do that. Not only do they not want to admit they were wrong the N, depending on who the N is to them, they may have to acknowledge wrongdoing of their own.

You may think, for example, that your grandparents will have your back. They adore you, they indulge you, they have always seemed constant and unconditional in their love. But this NParent you are distancing yourself from…this is their own child! Do you think they will readily and easily believe a lot of negative accusations against their own child? Do you think they will turn against that child on your behalf? Or do you think they will defend their child? What if they perceive your “attack” their child as an attack on their parenting? Then where are you?

Unless your NM has a toxic relationship with her own family, guess who she is going to turn to for support? Do you think the loyalty your grandmother and aunt feel towards you is a stronger the loyalty they feel towards their own daughter and sister? Do you think the fact that she had hurt you and that you are the injured party will make a difference? It won’t because when they feel they are being forced to choose between you and your NM, it is very unlikely they will side with another relative (you) over a first degree relative like their own child or sibling.

I have read many reports of the aftermath of sending that heartfelt NC letter that contained a long list of the narcissist’s hurtful behaviours and words. I have never heard of a favourable reaction. Not once have I heard of a narcissistic mother suddenly finding her heart and feeling it squeezed with pain for her suffering child. What I have heard of…and experienced myself…it receiving a scathing letter in return, full of denial, gaslighting, twisting of the victim’s words, projection, accusations, and outright lies. I have heard of letters full of fauxpologies (“I am sorry you feel that way…”) and verbal attacks, accusations of wrongdoing on the part of the victim, and threats. I have heard of letters accusing the victim of being mentally incompetent, expressing sorrow and concern for the victim’s children (thinly-veiled threats about the victim’s competence to have custody of those children) and outright threats of ruining the victim’s name in the family and community, even in her workplace. I have heard of letters in which the NM pretends a breakdown because of the letter, in which she claims to have become emotionally overwrought and her health negatively affected by the cruelty of the victim’s letter. I have heard of letters in which the NM vows that she will never be shut out and letters in which the NM shuts the victim out. I have heard of virtually anything you can imagine short of promising murder…or making a sincere apology and heartfelt promise to do better.

And it gets even worse. By sending such a letter to your N, you have just handed over a blueprint of how to hurt you. Every example you give, every hurtful word you cite, is another piece of ammunition your N now possesses. S/he knows now that one approach didn’t hurt you but another struck gold. It allows them to fine tune their future assaults for maximum damage.

Why would they want to do that…to create maximum damage? Because their stream of Nsupply is in jeopardy if they don’t have a way to control you. It is about power…their power over you. It has nothing to do with love…their power to control you ensures they will continue to get what they want from you, which is Nsupply in whatever form your Ns want it.

Your letter will give them a lot of Nsupply. First of all, they get to feel hurt or outraged by what you have said. Then they get to share it with all and sundry. If they aren’t sure how your accusations will be received, they will craft the rebuttal first, then send both your letter and their rebuttal so that the recipients can see the error of your ways. They will receive an abundance of sympathy and support, see people outraged on their behalf, hear you disparaged as a cruel and unnatural child. The letter, without any further input, will provide them with plenty of drama, and once shared, the drama multiplies melodramatically. The only thing that sending such a letter absolutely guarantees is that your N will get months…even years…of Nsupply from it and it will not have the result you are after.

Such letters will be viewed as an attack. No amount of logic or proof will change that, no amount of witnesses and even third party documentation will change a mind that is preset against you. You will be accosted with people admonishing you that you should “honour your mother,” or telling you that you will be sorry when she is gone (mine’s been gone 18 years and I am not sorry yet), that you should be the “bigger person” and “take the high road” and “bury the hatchet.” They will try to guilt and shame you into putting yourself right back onto the narcissist’s rack, then walk away, blind and deaf to your cries of pain. Not a one of the people who advocate for your NP have your best interests at heart. Not one.

Writing such a letter than enumerates the N’s since and identifies your own pain is a good, healthy thing to do. Allowing your N or any of her flying monkeys to see it…not a healthy thing to do. It will merely open up a can of chaos that you won’t be able to close for a long, long time. Keeping a journal and filling it with these letters both purges the toxic feelings from your psyche and provides you a record, written in your own words, for those inevitable times when you start second-guessing yourself. Was it really that bad? Am I blowing this out of proportion? What did she do that was so wrong? Reading those letters will remind you of the reality of being in contact with your N and it does not expose your vulnerabilities to people who will not respect your feelings.

I have been writing this blog for more than three years now and operating the Facebook group, which is very active (more than 200 members), for nine months. Not once, in all this time, in all the comments and correspondence, have I heard of someone getting a good result from sending the honest, heartfelt letter that listed the N’s transgressions. Not one time.

If you write and send such a letter be prepared for a shitstorm of retaliation.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

It’s not personal…and it never was…

Do you have trouble trusting people? Even trusting yourself? This is a common issue with the scapegoat children of narcissists. Have you ever wondered why that is? Well, for one thing, it is almost impossible to have an NParent and not be the victim of gaslighting…and one of the consequences of being gaslighted throughout your formative years is that “…gaslighting, when effective, will actually damage your trust in yourself and your experience of reality.”

When we acknowledge that we have been gaslighted, triangulated, hoovered, and otherwise manipulated by our Ns, when we look at the aftermath, like our difficulty in choosing emotionally healthy partners and friends, our inability to trust people…including ourselves…our constant state of feeling anxiety and/or guilt, it is difficult to believe we were not deliberately targeted and attacked. And yet, for most of us, this is actually the case: there was nothing truly personal in it.

Hard to accept? How many times have you asked yourself “why does she hate me?” or “Why me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” How often have you searched your memory for something you might have said or done…or assumed something you said or did…that provoked her to dislike you, to not love you, to punish you. Because you assume it is your fault, you take on guilt, you feel like you are a bad person, even if you can’t figure out why. All of this is based on your assumption that her negative actions and/or attitudes against you are somehow justified and for them to be justified, you would have had to do or say something wrong, even if you don’t remember what that was.

Maybe, like many ACoNs, you have holes in your memory, periods of time that you cannot remember. When your N gaslights and accuses you of being mean to her or of having said or done something that upset her and you can’t recall ever having said or done it, it is natural to think you may have done it but can’t remember. “Losing spots in your memory makes it very plausible when someone tells you that they cannot trust your memory. It makes it very plausible when they tell you that you are abusive.” This is a common way be begin to think we are crazy, because our memory of our experiences and reality do not match with what our NParents report.

When they call in the flying monkeys, it can get even worse. Flying monkeys accept the N’s version of things uncritically, so the next thing you know, your N has an army of supporters and you are but a lonely voice crying in the wilderness. “It’s hard to stand firm when one person is trying to replace your experience, but when they have a chorus of supporters, it is nearly impossible. There is a reason why cult abuse can lead to a complete breakdown of someone’s personality…Group manipulation and abuse is devastatingly effective.”

So how can this not be personal?

The first thing you have to realize is that Ns do not see other people the way we see them. We have a habit of ascribing to others our own feelings, beliefs, motivations and, in general, we will be roughly accurate as long as we are dealing with people of the same general culture and background. If we come from a culture in which mothers are expected to love their children and put them first, to take an interest in each of them individually and treat them as individuals, with love and respect, we will expect that of all mothers in our culture, including our own. We have expectations.

But narcissists are outliers. We base our expectations on our societal norms and our narcissistic parents do not meet those norms, even though some of them may attempt to appear to meet them. We expect our parents to care for us and put our needs ahead of their wants because that is what our society expects as well. And if they don’t, because the society assumes that they are fulfilling their ordained roles as parents, it is we who are suspected of causing the problem. We even suspect ourselves, wondering what we did, what we didn’t do, what is wrong with us, that our mothers and/or fathers do not love us in the way we expect. It is we who think it is personal.

For narcissists, I don’t think it is that complex. We are not people to narcissists in the way that we are people to others. We are objects. That can be difficult to wrap your head around. Think of it this way: if you have three empty trash receptacles in your kitchen, a pink one, a yellow one, and a silver one, which one do you throw the empty soup can into? It doesn’t matter, does it? What if they are different shapes? Say round, square, and rectangular openings. Still doesn’t matter, does it? Suppose they are different sizes: medium, large, and huge. You only have one can to throw away and all of the receptacles are empty…

So, what DOES matter? What criteria do you consider when you choose which one to throw the can into? The specific characteristics of each bin…its personality, if you will…is immaterial. All that matters is your need, and you are going to choose the nearest one to where you are standing with that empty can in your hand. It is all about you and your needs, and the looks, size, and shape of the bins are immaterial.

Over time, things may evolve. You may find yourself unconsciously sorting your refuse: tins into the pink one, plastic into the yellow one, paper into the silver one. You habituate this such that even if the position of the bins is swapped, you now will take three extra steps to put the tin in the pink bin because that is where the tins belong. Over time, the pink bin becomes the one for tins, not because of anything inherent in the bin or its position that makes it more suitable or deserving of the tins but because, in the beginning, it was the closest to you when you were throwing tins away and you habituated it. If the pink bin has a rubber liner, so that the goo from inside the tins doesn’t ooze out into the metal of the tin, or out through the mesh of the silver tin that you use for paper, and it has a lid that closes to keep the flies out, then you have even more reason to use it for the tins, don’t you?

I suspect the scapegoat child is chosen in much the same way. It is nothing personal against you, it is simply that 1) you are there at the time your N feels a need to lay blame on someone other than herself and 2) you are vulnerable to accepting this blame. If there was another child present at the same time who was more vulnerable than you, it is possible that child would be chosen. If you were not there at all, definitely another child would be chosen. It wasn’t you…the essential personhood of yourself, s/he who resides inside the body…who was chosen, it was the person nearest and most vulnerable to being responsive to the narcissist’s manipulations.

Over time I have noticed that first children, especially first girls, seem to be disproportionately singled out for scapegoat status. We are someone upon whom our NMs can dump their responsibilities. Culturally, girls are still the caretakers and the people who do the bulk of the domestic chores, so it is natural that narcissistic parents will task the first available person (the oldest child), and in particular the oldest girl, to take over responsibility. You are there…and you were there first. Sometimes, however, that first child is not malleable enough but a subsequent child is more easily manipulated or frightened into the role. The narcissist does not choose you based on who you are and what you might have said or done, the narcissist simply chooses the most available and most vulnerable, regardless of other factors like personality or actions.

Once you are identified as the scapegoat person, the choice needs to be rationalize or justified. In a normal environment, your actions are the justification for how you are treated: break curfew, get grounded, for example. With the narcissistic parent, the choice is made first, then the justifications for the choice are found. These can range from actual events (you did run out into the street after the ball and nearly get hit by a car), to real events twisted to have new meanings (you were trying to give the cat a bath, not drown him), to outright lies (you didn’t call your mother a bitch, even though you might have been thinking it). The reasons you are the one who gets dumped on can sound rational, like you didn’t finish your chores so you can’t go skating with your friends (even though your chores consist of doing her housework) and they can absolutely absurd (you ruined her life by being born, so now she is blaming you for her ruined figure and poor job prospects). But what they all have in common is this: it has nothing to do with you, personally. It has to do with her agenda, her perceptions, her refusal to take responsibility for herself and her life.

If you had not been born, if you had born at a different point in her life, if you had been born to another mother, this person would still have a scapegoat. It had nothing to do with YOU.

10 Things I’ve Learned About Gaslighting As An Abuse Tactic