Sunday, November 1, 2015
From the book Psychopath Free:
"At some point you will find instead of trying to gain everyone's approval, you are wondering why people can't be more like you."
From the book Boy Meets Depression
"If no one chooses you, choose yourself. If no one accepts you, accept yourself."
Narcissists destroy our self respect growing up. The knife to our soul is the one that bleeds out the feelings of self respect and dignity for ourselves. This is one way they soul murder and some people they do complete break, taking away all self respect for their entire life. They literally make people wake up hating themselves for life. She didn't take all of mine away but I'm working to reclaim what I can. Self-respect aka DIGNITY is something all ACONs will fight for and no contact is one way to make a fight for it.
They tell you that you are nothing over and over and you are always the last in line. Everyone else comes before you in importance. Mine would go running to extended cousins and relatives I never heard of before thinking of me. Supposedly I was her "daughter" but she treated me with less regard then a neighbor three doors down. They treat you like a worm or a slave. In 2013, as you all know, I was very sick. At this time, my decision for no contact was made, because I thought, "I can't die in this position, where I die as a slave on my knees before the narcissists, I have to walk no matter what." Another thought was, "I can't sell out".
Two relatives had warned me she had me cut out of the will. One told me more indirectly, "Your mother will never take care of you" and one said it point blank. She told me my mother sat in front of some friends and her, and laughed about how I and my brother had no idea but that we were both cut out and would get the surprise of our life. This was very soon after my mother's giant insurance pay-out and around the time legal papers would have been drawn out.
If you think about it, that's pretty sick. Even if she had not cut me out, I couldn't "sell out" being demeaned the rest of my life out of fear of poverty or forever destitution. Money was the trap and the shackles on my wrists keeping me in the game, especially during the times I needed some help. If any of you ever think I am overly-interested in financial things, this is where it is rooted in. I know it. Even the idea of having financial security to feel "safe" from my mother is a dream of mine that I wish would be fulfilled. I literally beg for this from God. I don't want her to have the satisfaction or glee of seeing me in the streets. When I worry about being on the bus or going without groceries, I do struggle with the anger, of her life being so easy, and mine so hard.
One thing I am working on now, is claiming self-respect and not letting the poverty destroy it. I have realized that I missed some important adulthood milestones from being disabled so young. I achieved only a semi-professional life that was very short lived. I did not get that sense of empowerment that can come from a decent career or work-life that can bring a sense of security or dignity to one's life. It is a major struggle. Watching my husband struggle since his lay-offs was a double whammy.
This is one trap that keeps people in the Narc net, especially if they are an impoverished scapegoat. They look to the day where they will be "free", and have money, but then in this life there are no guarantees. Some of these narcissists as they suck energy from people live a very long time. I have heard of people who are almost elderly themselves at the beck and call of a narcissistic parent who lives on to torture them. People become slaves to the narc, fearing being cut out of the will. Wills are used for abuse, and a hammer over one's head. Some narcissists even threaten to cut people out of their will every time they are angry. Here's the real deal, if they already hate and disrespect you, it's very likely you are cut out anyway. One loses self-respect, when in this position. This is one reason my mother can get away with so much. Her money. If she had no money, who would put up with all the abuse? My brother was in shock I walked, "But you are so poor and this is your only chance to have anything". I didn't want to be among the crowd kneeling before her because of the money. He lives having to make sure she is pleased and he remains dependent on her largesse. This means never angering "Mommy" even into his 50s.
I was groomed to be dependent and desperate. None of us three children achieved what would be called worldy "success". My sister attained wealth via marriage. Us other two struggled, me more so. When I found out my mother had huge connections that were denied us and even helped cousins and others this told me what I wanted to know. When I was trying to get a teaching job, and denied two, due to medical reasons and ended up with the alternative school job, my mother's best friend was one of the heads of a State Department of Education. I found out other massive family connections too, and realized with horror how some people were helped and others simply not. This continues to this day. This is what she wanted. She wanted me kept low. Even as I worked to get ahead in a field I especially loved in college, the refusal to address my Aspergers and medical neglect, worked together to ruin my future. She did everything to destroy my life and told people it was all my fault. The sabotage was open and continuing. Some of my finding self-respect is realizing what odds I fought against.
One part of self respect is taking responsibility for one's life, and I have sat back to analyze myself. Did I? I went to college and graduated from the honors college with my art education degree. I vied for another profession going to paralegal school, and worked in jobs with troubled youth. I analyzed myself . Was I the "loser", she called me over and over and even on this blog because there was no suburban house or 6 figure income in my future? I started having thoughts that she was a very spoiled woman, and had an easy ride compared to me. She really did. Money always came her way. Did she have to deal with having Aspergers, or a one in a 5 million health problem? Did she have a body turn on her to the extreme? Did she have job discrimination to deal with? No. her job was handed to her. If she had dealt with even 10 percent of what I had, she would have crawled into a ball. Her narc-rage over the deprivation alone may have put her in prison.
Another thought I had about her, is "Does any part of her realize that people fear her more then actually respect or love her?" True love or respect does not exist in a climate of fear. There is no love or true bonding. Everyone bows down to her fearing they will be the next target. They have seen the broken shell of Aunt Scapegoat and seen me battle it out with her for many years. Everyone knows what it is to have a hated boss where everyone snaps to attention not because they like the guy but because they fear being fired. Whatever respect I have from anyone was earned the real way not demanded and coerced by fear. My husband has told me I am his "hero", even for having lived through the health problems I faced. Gasping for air in 1998, who could predict I would live almost 20 plus more years? One thing that has changed for me being no contact this long, is I am no longer afraid of her.
As I got deeper into no contact, I thought "Who are these people?" and started to judge them more then myself. While they had more money and prestige then me, where they better people? The answer was no. An objective view of my mother was of an uneducated however cunning woman who had exploited people to move from farm-poor to upper middle class. I analyzed to myself asking "Who among the family had a conscience left, who was more like me? One cousin who volunteers definitely does. A few do. I find myself praying the narcissists don't corrupt them. I asked the question in the quote above, "Why can't they be more like me?" instead of thinking I was all wrong.
Learning to trust myself has been a journey and in itself. I have faced fear and other challenges still being worked on. The poverty thing has hurt me badly but then even there, I ask myself "Have I done what I can?" and I have. Becoming disabled does not bring the wealth. I did what I could and I fought to stay alive.
We have collected cans, sold ebay and other things. Even with my husband, he works hard even though we are poor. I help him and cook his meals while he is on the computer. He helps me with the caretaking I need during the day such as being driven to an appointment or being helped up from a chair or supported during a vertigo attack. He has not given up and neither should I. Sometimes I get angry wondering why some people have been given good and high paying jobs, and others are not but we both tried everything we could to dig ourselves out. I reminded myself even though I was disabled, we escaped the ghetto even one time. This is why the re-sinking back into poverty has been painful. Right now we are trying to figure out "what to do" and being in your late 40s and early 50s not knowing "what to do", is a very scary feeling. The narcissists while they cheat the system ignore how many people have to live and what has happened to the United States economy. One thing about being poor, is this society will try to destroy your self-respect on many levels. It is something you have to fight. This is one place where knowing the system is screwed up saves a person.
I did not deserve what these narcissists and sociopaths dished out on me. I realized my mother affected my husband in very negative ways too. She was hurting him. When she said things to me like "Your husband will never amount to anything" even knowing at one point he had a book of his own published and had been published in national music magazines and was an assistant newspaper editor at one point, she was hurting him as well as me. She was dishonoring and disrespecting him too. It was affecting his life. My marriage grew stronger when I broke away too. I broke away from having us both called losers. Self-respect is defending those who you love. Narcissists and sociopaths do not know what true love is. They probably are jealous of it and hate you for having it.
My mother used to get angry in emails, and write "You have no respect for me!". She definitely had that sickening narcissist trait of always wanting constant adoration and attention. How could I? This is one trait of the narcissists where they will demand respect and never get it. She tried to destroy my own self respect and sought to rule by fear, and intimidation. I do not like my mother, everything about her personality bothers me. There was nothing to respect. It was ironic the person who allowed me no respect demanded it all the time. You have to give respect to get it, which is something she never did. She disrespected people all the time. Even the stuff she said and did regarding Aunt Scapegoat hurt me as there was one point in time I was cared about Aunt Scapegoat and was seeking a bond with her. Respect is earned not coerced via fear.
Also if you are someone that seeks to destroy everyone's self respect of themselves, you are not someone who is going to earn love from anyone. They may fear you and be nice to your face and tell you what you want to hear, but they will not like you and they won't respect you. Narcissists via their own bad behavior deny themselves real respect and love. They get sycophants, they do not get friends.
One thing that brings self-respect in one's life is integrity. Integrity is holding to one's own moral principles. Somehow I survived intact in my integrity coming out of the household of snakes. Not to say I am perfect but one part of my identity entails standing up for what I believe. Something the narcissists never were interested in. My father actually would seek to chip away at this telling me I was "too idealistic" and never would "make" it in the world because I would not bend. One Aspie trait is we do stick to where we stand.
One important part of my self-respect was not allowing the narcissists to silence me or take away my own viewpoints or morals. This is one thing that narcissists will strive to chip away at, having no integrity themselves, if you have any they will work on it. There were times my parents would insult me for being "too nice", or "too sensitive". I still think of that last family meeting where my mother outraged by Christian verses, theology and defenses of the poor I was putting on my Facebook wall wrote an email to everyone in the family telling them, that she was going to outlaw some topics for the holiday family meeting at her house. This was the one in 2012.
Integrity rooted in self respect is what told me, I could not go. A lot of times, I am housebound in winter, and can't make it anyhow--they never allowed any compromise for this, which is one reason I went without seeing some family members for 8 years at the time. That year it was warm enough though, I could have gone, but I refused. The "beliefs" she was outraged by were my Christian beliefs.
This is one point where I was glad I stood up for myself and said "No" when I wrote back, the whole family all kissed her butt and made jokes at me on her behalf. I knew this was the beginning of my NC decision that would be enforced in June after that holiday season. This was one point in my life, where I knew "These people do not respect me." and "They mock me". The same integrity for someone silencing me for my religious beliefs--and no I didn't thump my bible at them. I left them alone after witnessing one time. I was sacrificing self respect to have anything to do with these narcissists who demeaned me at every step. As I have thought about this in the last few years since it happened, this was her way to even try and take away a core part of who I was, and what I stood for. She did not want the others reading what I had written or posted.
One thing about narcissists is they have no integrity or stands they take. They will change a stand considering what audience they are in front of. I have heard my mother claim to be prolife in one social setting and prochoice in another. I don't want to begin an abortion debate here but am showing this example to show how they will change like chameleons considering who they desire to manipulate. I believe she wanted to shut down the openness I had on Facebook in sharing opinions and viewpoint and this was a way to say, "Do not listen to Peep". With the family all loving her money, they were ready to scramble. When I wrote back "we need LESS censorship in this family not more", all took her side.
So I walked and gained more Self-Respect.
It's changing me. I was under so much condemnation for so long, and now I am seeing through more and more of it. I am learning to hold more boundaries with people and also to stand up for myself. One thing I may write about soon is I have ended quite a number of friendships. I wrote about one in the Taking out the Narcissistic Trash article, but there have been others. Sometimes I have asked myself if I will end up alone--I do have the good loyal friends and my husband, but my standards are being enforced. I'm not putting up with nonsense. Even being alone is better then dealing with anyone who will disrespect me.
I believe this is one of the worse things these sociopaths and narcissists do to people which is they try to take away someone's very self respect and dignity in who they are. I reject her labels about me that sought to destroy my life and today I get away from people who treat me like she did, who have derision or speak down to me. I did not sell my life and soul to the system, and can respect myself for that.