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, April 15, 2013

Recommended Reading

I have added a new blog to the "Sites I Recommend" list and that is Caliban's Sisters. You may have seen some of CS's insightful comments on some of my posts...if you've enjoyed her comments, you are going to love her blog.

So often we feel very alone and isolated in our assigned roles in our dysfunctional families, but I have to tell you, we have legions of sisters (and brothers) out there whose lives and experiences are eerily similar to our own. Our NMs, even though they don't know each other, often behave like clones of each other, and this means that their children experience not only the same bizarre excuse for mothering that we did, those children grow up with many of the same doubts and fears and questions that we have. We are a vast community, we who were raised at the narcissist's knee. Caliban's Sister explores the experiences, the feelings, the doubts, and gifts us with the fruits of her insights and personal pain. She can also be extremely droll.

Some samples:

"...I think I'll keep her wondering whether or not I'll go, until maybe two weeks before the [wedding].  My niece [the bride] has told me I can make up my mind at the last minute, and that's what I'm going to do!  A few years ago, my sister blamed me because she felt stress about me being at her kids' graduation (that's right--I flew across country to watch her kids graduate).  I thought I was doing something nice;  she wrote me afterward and told me that I "was the source of all the stress in her life" (she and I have very little contact), and that the stress of it had made a bunch of her hair fall out. She blamed me for that.
Maybe if I wait long enough to decide about the wedding, she'll go bald...."

"I don't intend to make it easy for my sisters.  Their enabling behavior with my narc mother is inexcusable, and  I'm not going to just play along with their creepy Kabuki theater of silence."

"... the hammering over the head with the idea that you have to love these people NO MATTER WHAT is a lie that is imposed on us over and over again.  It is drummed into us as children, hammered into us as young adults;  the culture is complicit with its fetishizing of Norman Rockwell families who sit crammed onto a couch together, sharing popcorn and watching cable, with joyous smiles plastered on their faces.  Every product is sold as part of the familial "glue" that keeps the structure intact.  Generations of families who are conflict-free, overjoyed to be together, mindlessly blissed out as they gobble pizza, or mac and cheese, or drive along in their new minivan."

I urge you to pay a will be glad you did!


  1. Hi Violet, thanks so much for these kind words. I also hope you will check out Brave New Kitty (link on CS), and Kara's Through the Looking Glass (ditto). Along with CZBZ, Kitty and Kara are women of great gifts of heart, mind, and experience, who are excellent writers and from whom I"ve learned a lot. xx CS

  2. This Kabuki Theater of Silence. Oh, I know it well. As the scapegoat with two golden brothers, life has been distorted. They know they will 'inherit' everything and their (christian??) greed is what propells them on this path. That and fear of the MNM.

    She keeps saying (every phone call) "I'm leaving you nothing", in the middle of short and rare phone calls (from me...) and it's as if she wants to wound every time. Of course she does! She's maglignant! Heart is withered away...oh, sorry, narcissists don't have hearts.

    Her legacy is one of cruelty,, and it will die with her. I refuse to mourn her. It's like mourning Hitler.

    Three years ago I started out on a course of No Contact. I slipped up because whatever I learned at her wasn't lack of compassion. I tried to give her whatever I could. It was never enough. And it was futile. However, kindness, compassion ISN'T futile...given randomly to others. It's not what we get back, it's just an expression of our worth and ability to be sane and loving.

    It's an expression of being fully human.

    You are so right that the golden children never really grow up or get what they need. We already know, as the scapegoats we are impoverished....but I didn't think of this of my brothers. The 'gifts' of narcissistic mother keeps giving, even after she dies.

    Poverty indeed. But don't suffer in silence. Apply silence only to those that deserve it, because they deserve it. However, hope springs eternal with me...for the injured by narcissism, even those who don't understand the fallout.
    Lady Nyo


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