Saturday, March 14, 2015
Queen Spider of Darkness
It's scary to ponder to yourself if your mother is a full-blown sociopath. I do. There is some fear and trepidation in me even in writing this article but these are things I have to face if I am going to get better and face the facts. I am even trying to look back and figure out what was lies or truths. Fact is she lied just about everything. I suspected it as a child and today I know it as an adult.
I've mentioned it before as the "VEIL SLIPPING" in various articles where her smooth and polished social exterior would come down, the eyes would go darker, and even more unfeeling and the craziest things would come out of her mouth. I remember as a child telling various family members things my mother had said and done and not being believed. Maybe she thought I never would dare to ever break away but there was something in here, where she felt okay exposing what she was to me. Maybe it was done to torture me, sometimes I think it was. She knew I knew and didn't want to play pretend anymore. I think she got off on seeing my moral battle inside, seriously and she expected to win and conquer me.
She still expects to when I get those empty cards, with their nice words, and I know it. She won't. I am done. My husband knows I am done too. He has found their reactions and closed off emotions scary. I have become even more firm in my resolve to never have anything ever to do with her again. Life without my family is actually better, even if I am struggling with feelings of being adrift in this world. I have not unfriended some on a social website yet, but am hiding my posts and know I will be stepping away for good. I never would have thought I had the guts, but inside, my whole view of myself is changing getting away from these people and this sick cult otherwise known as a "family".
The crazy moments increased, to the point, I knew I had to get out even as a Christian. No matter the money I could lose in the future, or losing the whole family. I knew losing the whole family was a possibility the day I went "no contact" from Mini-Me and the Queen. Here biblical precepts for one's life apply where one chooses God over one's family.
The crazy making statements and actions are the things that haunt me. Sorry if I repeat myself here, with some of this stuff, but these are the moments that stand out to me and have bothered me for years.
1. Of my grandmother only months away from death from pancreatic cancer and said with a huff, even though this grandmother had full hospice help and care, and she was her golden child.
"She's taking too long to die"
2. The happy celebration and bragging about insurance pay-outs [at least half a million if not more] only weeks after my father's death. He left her everything as I lived in the slums and fought to stay alive. Who goes shopping in New York City over 1500 miles away only three weeks after becoming a widow? Who goes on the Today show in front of their window for the public happily screaming? Who brags of insurance pay-outs or brags out how rich they are to other people? Even Mini-Me I think still had some vestiges of a conscience left at this time almost 20 years ago, and wondered aloud about some of my mother's behaviors. Where was the grief that a normal person would have had?
3. Said of her sister who by the way who is more physically functional then me except for her dialysis who she played martyr around and brought into her home to heal from her heart valve surgery--"She needs to stop getting these surgeries and needs to just go die". During this conversation she acted "put upon" for Aunt Scapegoat's care. I thought to myself, "Why not just leave her be? Why offer care only to play that game?" She complained to me about how much Aunt Scapegoat's colostomy bag smelled right in front of her. "She stinks!" Leave it to a super-sniffer sociopath to torture the world and a severely ill woman for every wayward smell.
I've mentioned all of the above, but those are just the stand-outs moments, there were many other lesser moments. I noticed her propensity to drive at high speeds with a fuzz-buster seeing speeding laws being for peons and saying so. Her offers to buy people off including me the day I went no contact. She saw herself as PERFECT and said so. She judged the world as lacking while she was always on top. She was always out to win with a sneer on her face.
Mine is at the very least a malignant narcissist and is very high on the spectrum. I believe that sociopathy goes hand in hand with that, though some could claim that narcissism is on a spectrum and some have merely LIMITED CONSCIENCES instead of missing consciences. One friend told me psychiatry draws a line between sociopaths and narcissists putting the narcissists in limited conscience rather then missing conscience land, but I believe many malignant narcissists are seared and conscience-less and the conscience is locked down and been shut down so many years it is essentially gone. I'll let the psychologists battle this one out while I stick to biblical warnings about the SEARED and avoiding the wicked while I ponder the possibilities of my mother being a full blown sociopath.
For years I had this thought about my mother.....and to me it is the main thing that points to sociopathy with the inability to feel fear.....
"Why isn't she ever afraid?"
As someone who has experienced anxiety disorders and panic attacks and feelings of welling up terror in me, watching someone in action for 40 plus years who seemed to lack the very emotion of FEAR....was STRANGE. To be honest it is the thing that creeps me out the most about her.
Well it was scary. She never feared illness or death like normal people. She never feared injury. She never cried out even if someone almost hit our car while it was flying down the highway at 80 miles an hour. She never cried except two times when I saw what I considered fake tears.
I sometimes think my anxiety disorders arose from the lack of modeling how to control and deal with fear. After all she never was scared, anxious or worried. Inside I was all the time.
My mother had the inability to worry. Yes she never worried about anything. Seeing that wiped away from a person is very odd. What kind of person is that, who never worries about anything? I suppose getting so used to getting her way and coming out on top, and always having money to fix every problem, one gets used to a sort of comfort, but the inability to worry about aging, losing other people and just day to day living was creepy too.
One thing I wish the psychiatrists would be more clear on is the difference between psychopaths who end up in jail and commit impulsive crimes and their more calculating and controlled sociopathic cousins who remain more outside the scope of the law, but leave a trail of destroyed people behind their path. The above chart is the best one I have found for describing this difference. Most of the focus is on the psychopaths, who commit horrendous crimes and often get caught and act on impulse, this is what it seemed Hare based his psychopath list on. One awful thing in our society is that people tend to picture those lacking a conscience as all out of control serial killers. There are many sociopaths who remain controlled, who appear socially normal, and who manage to stay out of courtrooms for life--this does not mean they never commit crimes, many just do not get caught.
So I ask myself, "Was my mother a sociopath?" and look at the lists of their qualities like this one and the answer does seem to be Yes. She fits them all.
"Someone who is described as a sociopath will have several traits that set them apart from those with no personality disorders. These traits include the following...
• Lack of empathy – Inability to feel sympathy for others or to understand the emotional consequences of their actions"
This one definitely applies. There was one year, I confronted her in a letter and told her she had no empathy, when she told me I had nothing to show for my life. Lately I have been pondering that one and asking who would say that to a woman with severe medical problems who almost died in her late 20s and 30s? Someone with no empathy. She feels no empathy for anyone. Sick people were all deemed "annoyances" and "malingerers". She had no idea about putting herself in someone else's shoes. I still remember the day she told me she was annoyed with and had distanced herself from a friend who got MS. "She got on my nerves with all that complaining about being sick, she wasn't positive enough anymore!" Having a mother with no empathy especially as I faced severe medical problems was an extreme challenge. She has no empathy. Her lack of empathy stretches from private relationships to public and community ones. Everyone was a "loser". The poor were all "lazy" and failed. Co-workers she didn't like were all "stupid". Everyone who disagreed with her about anything was "crazy".
"• Cold, calculating nature – The ability and willingness to use others around them to personal gain"
My mother is very cold. I never was hugged or kissed once as a child by my mother. I was never allowed to sit on her lap. There was no being read a book or tucked in at bedtime. She would tuck the golden child in not me but hugs and kisses were non-existent as well for Mini-Me.
While she would feign warmth to other family members and social company, much of the time around me, she would simply be silent unless she was telling me to clean or criticizing. For years as a child, I remember how she would "turn on" for company like a lamp from darkness to bright. I loved having company because then my parents would stop smacking me and screeching at me and there would be some moments of peace. They would smile and act happy. I could almost feel normal while there was laughter in the room for once. My mother definitely used people for personal gain. She was nice to people where it would pay off for her in the end.
Imagine having a mother you can't even talk to. Every word is strained. When I went on visits, those were uncomfortable as she would barely say a word to me, her husband would talk to us. My mother was calculating. This is something that took me a very long time to see or admit, but I realized how she was able to isolate and destroy her enemies and win others over to her side again and again. She could scream at me and say insulting words and within 10 seconds enter another room with a smile for her golden child or favored flying monkey. The woman that many others saw out in public, with a smile and a tasty pasta salad or chocolate Texas Sheet cake, was not the woman I dealt with at home. One thing I noted in the last few years is how she would smile and nod to others but would not to me. It even showed up in pictures. She would smile and stand by my pretty thin cousins in pictures on Facebook and it occurred to me there never had been a picture in my entire life where she had stood by me and smiled. She played chess not checkers in her manipulation of people and the triangulation never ended.
Honestly she is the coldest person I ever have known. Some would call me a liar, but this is because she put on a show for them and didn't bother with me. She would never let the veil slip among these types. This is one reason, she was able to convince them I was the problem and the "crazy" one which was calculated on her part, they saw an entirely different person.
"• Shallow emotions – Lack of real emotion in response to events, limited capacity to feel love"
Mine would fake emotions but emotions were pretty limited. The only emotions I saw growing up in my mother was anger, and glee. Sadness, nostalgia, grief, even higher levels of happiness and joy where missing. She never was "happy" in the real way that people could be happy. The emotions were shallow. She was able to fake emotions for other people in short spurts which kept her false public face going but at home, things were simply flat.
"• Narcissism – A personality disorder in itself in which the individual feels strong love and admiration toward themselves (often a defense mechanism against deep seated low esteem)"
I disagree with the author about narcissists having deep seated low esteem if anything they have too high of self esteem. This one is a given.
"• Grandiose self image – They might see themselves as someone who is superior to others and sometimes even experiences delusions. A sociopath might see themselves as a fitting ruler of a country or even the world, but might also have delusional beliefs such as seeing themselves as a God or having super powers"
My mother saw herself as superior to all other people. Her superiority in the family was a given. She exudes this air of being in control and always correct and on the spot, which I know is one great lure she throws out to the family. They want what she has. They see her as someone who can fix and overcome any problem and often has. Her "superiority" among my family is a given and not questioned. They have called her "an angel", "the best sister-in-law in the world" and a "hero". The personality trait of my mother sitting around and putting people down was accepted in my family. While I was a target a lot of time, others got put in that place, and she would bond, by trashing people. She was able to work this where everyone in the family wanted to please her and make sure they were not seen as "inferior" to everyone. Somehow she claimed this role where she became the ultimate judge over them all and no one questioned why she had that position. I was not the only one criticized and spent a lifetime listening to her and my father talk about the shortcomings of others, no mercy was given as they trashed people for everything from daring to get sick or ending up divorced or not being able to get a job. They saw themselves as "better" then everyone. It was pretty sick.
"• Charming – While the sociopath is unable to fully understand the emotions of others, they are capable but rather highly adept at mimicking them and might appear to be charming and normal at first"
Mine is extremely charming. Both my parents were. They held parties where they had dozens of people to invite to them. I was told in every town I lived in, how kind and nice my mother was and what a great cook and wonderful person she was. My father was well-loved at his job where his co-workers never suspected what kind of father he really was. Next to my mother, I was invisible to every relative and family friend. She was this wonderful person who bought them presents and held family parties and dinners. Of course this meant I was even less believed when I spoke about all the abuse. Being an Aspie I was not so charming which gave my mother even more power to limit me in the eyes of others.
"• High IQ – Often sociopaths will exhibit a high IQ which they can use to manipulate and plan"
My mother has an extremely high social IQ but no interest in intellectual pursuits. I do think she definitely has to have a high IQ to a certain degree for the planning and manipulations. Unlike less gifted narcissists, slip-ups and exposures were rare if not non-existent.
"• Manipulative – Sociopaths use their superficial charm and high IQ to manipulate others to get their ends, and their lack of empathy allows them to do this with no sense of guilt or remorse"
This one is a given. I have never seen my mother express any guilt, or even one regret. I have never seen her say "I am sorry" to one person in my life including me.
"• Secretive – Has little need for others and is highly secretive in their actions meaning"
I wrote an entire article on this one, she was very secretive. "Narcissists Keep Secrets"
"• Sexually deviant – The lack of remorse, guilt or emotional attachments means that the sociopath is happy to have affairs and to engage in questionable sexual activity without questioning their desires"
I know little about this side of her life but have strong suspicions where this would apply. Thinking of projection, screaming at a teen daughter who is a shy Aspie, nerd and virgin about coming home "pregnant" speaks volumes.
"• Sensitive to criticism – That said, like all narcissists, the sociopath will desire the approval of others and will be highly sensitive to criticisms. They often feel they deserve adulation and admiration of the world and might feel victimized"
This definitely applied. One was never allowed to question or even disagree with my mother without an immense fall-out.
"• Paranoid – Often their lack of understanding of emotion along with their incongruous self view means that they feel a lack of trust and paranoia"
Yes, supposedly the whole world is out to get you. Maybe it is because you have to plot, plan and lie your way through life and keep track of all the lies.
"• Despotic/Authoritarian – Often the sociopath will see themselves as a necessary authority and will be in favor or totalitarian rule"
My mother and father saw themselves in charge. No one was to question their "rule". Their voting habits and politics spoke of a love of totalitarian rule and a hatred for civil liberties and freedom. My mother was disgusted with my political beliefs and once we got into an argument about the Patriot Act and NSA where you probably can guess what side she took.
Lawfulness – Despite popular belief, a sociopath is not likely to be a problem to the law in later life, but rather will seek to find loopholes, to rise to a position of power, or to move to another area so that their behavior is tolerated
Sociopaths are the ones who don't get caught?
"• Low tolerance for boredom – Sociopaths require constant stimulation and get quickly bored"
This definitely applies to my mother. Imagine an older lady who can't even stay put for one second. She had to be on the move 24/7 It is amazing to see someone have even that sort of health at a more advanced age, to do what she does. This is one thing that exhausted me about both parents, I never got to rest as a child. She seeks out constant stimulation in shopping, eating out and other activities. Every day is to be jam-packed. The phrase "dancing as fast as you can" comes to my mind. Narcs and sociopaths don't take time to sit and think and actually deal with introspection.
• Impulsive behavior – A lack of regret and empathy means makes sociopaths more likely to make sudden rash decisions based on the current facts
• Compulsive lying – As part of their facade, and as a means to an end, sociopaths are compulsive liars and will rarely speak truthfully making them hard to pin down
These are a given. Compulsive lying definitely existed with my mother such as the time she stole my credit card. Towards the end, my eyes were opened up as to how much she lied to others, such as during the MRSA controversy, instead of telling my brother, to make sure he was not a carrier of MRSA and to help destroy our relationship, she failed to back me up and canceled Thanksgiving making up that she had hurt her knee instead. I realized how deep her lies went. One almost needed a map and a compass to keep track of them all. As a child, I would catch her in some lies but back then being young, she could confuse me easier. As an adult all trust has been gone for years because I knew she lied all the time.
"• The MacDonald Triad – In childhood sociopaths will likely have demonstrated the 'MacDonald Triad' also known as the 'Triad of Sociopathy', traits that often are demonstrated in sociopaths from a young age. These include animal cruelty (pulling the wings off of flies etc, bed wetting, and pyromania (an obsession with fire setting)). "
I witnessed animal cruelty as a child. My mother wasn't the main one with that but my father in beating the family dog, but obviously my mother was there and abiding by it, wasn't she? I don't know of any of her childhood or what her young age was like.
What were my emotions writing this article? I have a pit in my stomach. I wanted to write this one around three months ago even and didn't have the guts to do it yet. I am realizing why my mother did not love me and at least understanding on a deeper level it was not my fault, but facing these facts can be very painful. One is going to a scary and dark place even asking the question, "Was my mother a sociopath?". Some definitely will see me as a bad daughter for writing, "My mother is a sociopath".
I had a discussion with my brother, about my mother, he admitted she had a different "affect" and could be a narcissist or have traits related to it, but he disagreed with me when I told him I thought she was a sociopath. "I wouldn't go that far!", he said. I however said I would. He still believed she was capable of love, I do not.
I don't mind exploring this topic, in that I know, I made a good decision going no contact. It was the only decision to be made. God opened my eyes to the evil I was facing and gave me the strength to escape and no longer live in the fog out of fear. Admitting she is a sociopath is dealing with reality.
Matthew 10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.