Monday, July 7, 2014

Narcissists Keep Secrets

Narcissists keep secrets. Directness is not one of their qualities. Secretiveness helps manipulate people who are kept in the dark. With the narcissist telling endless lies and playing a mad circus director, of course they are going to keep secrets. Their lives are compartmentalized and no one is allowed in to the deep dark cave that is their mind with it's endless locked boxes and rotten piles of muck. Keeping you and as many others in possible in the dark, keeps them in control. The less they tell the safer they feel.

 Ever wonder why narcissists only open their mouths about trivialities? Ever wonder when you try to talk to one there is no substance. To the soul-less there is no self-examination or pondering, there is only waiting for your next prey to come into your view.  Narcissists will make a grandiose show of bringing their favorites into their confidence while leaving the scapegoats out in the cold. This is one way they manipulate people to carry out their whims.

When I was a teen, there were times my father would zone out, totally. You'd say his name over and over and get no response. My mother took over the driving, we thought because he was "tired". Imagine there you are a teen, and you look at your father who sits there blank-eyed and not responding for entire minutes. And then later he snaps to it, and starts talking to you. Inside the confusion is extreme. Is he on drugs? Is he ignoring me on purpose? I never got any answers.

I had very little medical knowledge, now advance 25 years later, when I order his medical records to try and find out what is wrong with me after my 400lb weight gain and in his records are information about the continuing problem of his seizures in the 1980s. Why was this kept secret from us?

One day my father told me my mother had a heart attack at work, it could have been two weeks earlier or a month later. I remember her that day acting normal, coming home a bit late and not saying anything. She never told any of us. After all being sick means appearing "weak" and to her you couldn't have that.

My mother never told me anything. She never opened her mouth about anything important. It was "Clean this!", "You are a slob!", "When are you going to lose weight?". Fifty percent of the words spoken to me had to do with cleaning, the other fifty percent was various criticisms. There was no shared emotions, feelings, or even opinions about current events or other people. With others she would bond insulting her various scapegoats and endless work enemies. She never shared any memories of childhood. She never had a nostalgic moment. What mattered was only the here and now. Imagine you know this person for 40 plus years, and they have shared nothing of their childhood memories with you. Can you imagine that? It was very lonely.

I found out the family was in severe debt being a snooping 14 year old and finding papers that made it clear. No one told me though the screaming matches between my mother and father over every little expense was a slight clue.  There was no asking direct questions in my dysfunctional household. There was no rational adult in the house who could sit down with me and explain what was really going on. This just upped the fear equation.

Then there was the time she wanted to force her secret-keeping on those we knew about. "Don't tell your father I bought this", "Don't tell your brother, your father said this.", "Don't tell your grandmother about your brother's divorce!" and so forth and so on. Triangulation usually requires a lot of secrets. Narcissists who wish to triangulate and turn two parties against each other, will be telling lies to stir the pot, they want the two other parties to think that each other is lying and not the narcissist. In this way they basically bomb the relationships around them. No one can share or "get real" in an atmosphere like this. Even now, trying to get any relatives to open up to me, even the few nice ones I have contact with, appears near impossible.

These are some of the secrets that were more innocent, there were plenty more and a lot worse ones. I have caught my mother in so many cover-ups and lies that it is absolutely sickening.  If I dared to write a few here it would floor you. She lied about others, she lied about the facts, she lied about what happened.  People can only hide so much from young people.  I knew they took pills. I knew about other adult things that they thought I'd never figure out.  A few present flying monkeys before they sold their souls to her, still told me a few things back in my early 20s. Her focus on calling me a liar during our last conversations, was just your classic case of projection.

Now I don't expect parents to tell children every single thing going on in their lives, there are things that children can't handle, or are adult territory, but I often wondered what affect this had on me growing up, where I could not trust anything I was told. Where there was no one around to ask questions of. I took my intellectual curiosity to the world of books.

There is no trust in the land of narcissists. I never could talk to my father or mother about anything. My father kept secrets too usually on behalf of my mother. You also had to know everything he found out he would report to the Queen Spider.  She would tell him not to tell me anything.  She was the wall in the way of any real relationship.

 Everyone has secrets, it is normal for humans to have a few and drawn out boundaries. We may tell certain people things about our lives and not others depending on how close we are to them but when everything is secret, that's a problem. When people keep life locked up in little boxes for sick power trips that's a problem too.

I realize being no contact, my mother was essentially a stranger, my father too. When you are the throwaway to a family, no one is filling you in on what is going on. There is no "sharing". Narcissists live in the land of lies and secrets. They claim their secrets for their own power.  If you are truth-teller or someone wanting to know the truth, they will hate you. I definitely was hated. She saw me as a challenge in that I could tell when I was being lied to. 


  1. Trust is the foundation of all relationships, especially the relationship between Parents and Children.
    "Triangulation requires a lot of secrets. Narcissists who wish to triangulate and turn two parties against each other *will be telling lies to stir the pot,* they want the two other parties to think that *each other is lying, NOT THE NARCISSIST.*"
    The "Family Secrets" in mine are pretty appalling-including previous marriages, suicides, a half-sister I never knew existed etc. I remember as a child, maybe 4 or 5 asking my MN "Mother" about her parents and her brothers and sisters. (They were spread from one coast to the other.) She responded sharply and angrily, "It's NOT NICE to ASK PERSONAL QUESTIONS!"
    Whew-she sure terrorized me into silence! She pulled a complete "Delete" on my Father's life when she seduced him into marrying her. I remember thinking from the time I was 3, "Why is mommy so mean to daddy?"
    Because she got what she wanted: A wealthy, powerful man who she predated upon and targeted at a time in his life when he was extremely vulnerable secondary to the suicide of his first wife, 6 mo. post the birth of my half-sister. Dad was very aware of PPD and his wife was seeing a psychiatrist at the University of Chicago-remember, this would have been in the 1930's/early '40's. He found her hanging in the MBR of their home.
    Pretty traumatic for him and his infant daughter. I knew none of this until I was maybe 11 or 12 and Dad told me. Yep, all hell broke loose, not because I told, but because he "confessed" his "disclosure" to my MN "Mother." She and Nsis were furious with ME-yeah. Somehow I was responsible for what Dad chose to disclose to me....they spent NO time with him but they were very adept at spending his $$$.
    Enter my MN "Mother,"consummate Predator and Parasite. I can remember him looking at my "Mother" sometimes and he was very likely thinking, "HOW did I end up married to this insufferable HARRIDAN?!"

    He did eventually divorce her Entitled CB azz, but he hung in there and attempted to protect his kids to the extent possible. Caught in one classic bind after another, she, designer-clothes/accessory horse necessitating him working harder and harder and traveling more as a result which left her plenty of time to engage in PAS, "Secrets" etc. from Day 1.
    She was unsuccessful. If a 3 yr. old can figure out who's the perp and who's the victim, she did nothing to change my POV or experience for the entire 22/23 yrs. of their marriage.
    I did not have a "Dishrag Dad" for which I am forever grateful. The toll on him was enormous in every way, as it was on his kids. He accepted full responsibility; she accepted exactly NONE. Their divorce was an epic vengeful effort on her part to extort every last penny-and both "her adult kids" from him.
    The man had his frailties and failings, but he also had a lot of Courage. And patience with me until I was able to acknowledge the unvarnished truth to myself and terminated the relationship N/C'd my MN"Mother."
    The Secrets as well as the lies and triangulation destroy the family and any hope for actually getting to KNOW one another without the N manipulating at every turn.

    1. I agree trust is the foundation of all relationships, without it, there is no relationship at all. I know for me the trust never existed with either of them. Sorry you have appalling family secrets. Yes the ones in mine are horrible too. With a possible adoption I could be finding out more. I am glad you found your half-sister. I wonder how many with narc parents never find out the existence of theirs. Your father was just an object to her, a means to an end, $$$. I am glad yours was strong enough to get out and had some moral character to take responsibility. Mine never stood up to her once, being a fellow narc but also totally controlled. The one she has now seems to be another secondary narc, controlled by her. By the way she got with her second husband within weeks {2 months?} of his wife of almost 30 year's death. So your father being moved on during this time of vulnerability does not surprise me. Yes PPD is some serious stuff, sounds like he went through hell and that opened him up to your narcissistic mother. I bet he was asking himself what the hell happened? She probably flipped the day the wedding ring was on the liscence was signed.

      I am glad he did try to protect you but yes sadly her shop til you drop habits probably kept him working night and day. I am glad he was not a weak enabler or fellow mutual narc. That is good. Many men are too weak to ever stand up to these women and are controlled for life. Is your father still alive now? Did he know of you going NC? It sounds like he was very supportive of you. I agree about the secrets, lies and triangulations destroy the family. It made me a stranger, it made them strangers to me. No one wanted to talk, everyone was too afraid. Anything deep is avoided. I've had deeper conversations with strangers at the bus station, more then some of my relatives.

  2. Actually, Dad never discussed my MN "Mother" or said ANYTHING negative about her that I can recall either during their marriage or the divorce and the ensuing years. This stood in very sharp contrast to "Mother" who was constantly denigrating him. He would, however, answer any questions I had honestly and factually. It must have been hard for him and later his wife, my SM to just give me a listen when I was telling them about something she pulled on me-yet again. They were supportive without being intrusive-a very fine line to walk but they managed. Since Dad and SM, Honey essentially started a new life that did NOT include her, there was no reason for any of us to discuss her-other than my occasionally asking Dad questions or venting, it was a totally separate life from what came before. When I NC'd I didn't discuss it with anyone before, the morning I wrote my short NC note and dropped it in the mail (OHH! THE RELIEF) and for sometime after. Essentially, I NC'd a "Two-Fer," my MN "Mother" and her mini-me, my Nsis: We were never close anyway and she was just as treacherous-so I was handing her a huge club to use over our "Mother" by NC anyway. I didn't feel the need to explain/justify my decision to anyone-which speaks volumes to how far I had come by that point. Part of that was also related to opportunity-I was busy as hell continuing my education, only spoke once a week on the phone to my BF (later DH) and didn't have the desire or opportunity to bring it up to the 3 most important people in my life. I wasn't at all concerned about their response-I knew I had their full, unconditional support no matter what I did, so I guess it simply came down to opportunity. Months later, I was at Dad and Honey's having dinner with them one night. After dinner we were sitting at the dining room table having coffee, just the three of us and I told them. I believe it was after MN "Mother" had the cops beating down the door to my apartment for about the 4/5th time on "Wellness Checks" post NC in the middle of the night and I was getting really frustrated with her use of Law Enforcement as a Tool of Harassment. There was a dead silence for a few seconds, and then I looked at Dad-he had tears in his eyes and Honey reached across the table, grabbed my hand and just burst out with, "Oh, TW! What TOOK YOU SO LONG?! It was horrible standing by and watching what she was doing to you!" Dad excused himself from the table (he needed to compose himself for a few minutes.) I told Honey I had to know I had tried everything I could think of to have some sort of relationship with her; I did *not* want to live with guilt. Dad came back to the table and didn't say much-I think he was kind of in shock! I refused to relent despite her PIs, the Slime Campaigns, destroying my first career etc. They and my DH were my best and most stalwart supporters. I believe I told George (my BF, later DH) on one of our weekly phone calls shortly thereafter. Did he get it? No, not initially-and I understood why-he came from a normal family: "I don't understand, TW...a mother and a daughter?" I told him he knew me well, had seen me at my best and at my worst and when I said I wanted nothing further to do with that woman, he needed to believe there were damn good reasons. He accepted that. I KNEW she'd unmask herself without me having to get into a lot of detail and she certainly did. The question changed from the above to, "Holey crap, what kind of monster "mother" does *this* stuff to their daughter?!" He was horrified.
    I know I've been very fortunate, Peep. Most people are truly hanging out there alone. OTOH, I also endured a few decades of a Scorched Earth War courtesy of my MN "Mother" until her physical death, which absolutely confirmed my decision repeatedly. But it WAS a nightmare. sigh.

  3. I'm sorry my answers are so long, but I'm trying to compress several decades of life into a coherent answer. No, all the principles, Dad, Honey and George are dead now and have been for a few decades.
    Yk, I really do understand how hard it is to get to NC. I struggled, I cried-rivers, lost sleep, I tried every last way I could think of to have some sort of relationship with my MN "Mother" and Nsis. NONE of us walk away without an almost indescribable internal struggle between Reality, BELIEVING OURSELVES and our lived experiences and the forces of Family Fidelity, the Cult-Like tactics we've spent our entire lives living under-the lies, the twisting of Truth, our inherent lack of self-confidence etc. and the desire to have the love we so desperately want and *need* from our "Parents/Family." It seems everything from the Family Dynamics to Society at large conspires to keep us in this Prison. It's indescribably lonely and painful. For years prior to NC I blamed myself. I really had no one to talk to and most of us don't. I've spoken more about my experiences in far more detail on these Blogs than I've ever done IRL, even with my closest friends. As a teen-ager I tried to talk to my friends, but they didn't get it, so I just shut down. Post NC there was so much GOOD STUFF going on in my life, over time those horrible experiences became far less important than the challenges of my daily life. Now I'm old so typically, there's just not a lot of discussion of our FOOs as we all have our own families we've created-complete with grandkids etc. As I mentioned, there was a period of several years when I couldn't find Dad and Honey which was bought about by my MN Mother's machinations. Even technology like answering machines were not yet available-I know, The Stone Age! ;)
    I'm so pleased ACs now have some source of support and validation for their experiences. Nonetheless, it's still terribly arduous, painful and in the end, there will still be scars. That's just the way it is. But scars mean we're healing over, no longer a huge, open gaping wound in our lives and souls. It's means we've confronted Evil in human form (I use that word in it's dictionary definition) and we've grappled with it for years. We truly live in hell on earth.
    That's why I'm a firm believer in Tincture of Time: We need to get away and STAY AWAY from the sources of our repeated wounding/abuse before we can establish a new identity that's reality-based and gather people around us who unconditionally love and support us. Anger, thoughts of retribution etc. are part of trying to "make it right," to find Justice after years of Powerlessness and Mind-F*****y. I refuse to ever tell ACs or other traumatized human beings their thoughts/feelings are somehow "wrong" or "bad." They just *are* for the time being and YES, they WILL change over time. Trying to mentally master what's happened to us, trying to gain some inner strength post NC when we are so exhausted after our "Dance with the Devil" is going to take time and lots of it. We don't need to be any further shamed or blamed by anyone.
    We spent years trying to achieve the impossible, Peep. It wasn't us-ever. My thought is give NC as many years as you gave your "Family." If you don't experience and feel your life has improved drastically in every way after those years, you can always go back! ;)

  4. Hi TW, your Dad sounds like he had far more character then your NM. I am glad you had him there for you for some time anyhow. I am not surprised your mother constantly trashed him. I am glad they listened to you even if it may have brought up old memories. I am glad you got a new SM and hope she was nice and you got to live with father and her more then your NM. Just like you, I went NC with the GC sis on same day. I consider them two of a kind. Mine was treacherous. We had some times of closeness in my case when very young but my mother made sure to destroy it. I am glad your Dad and Honey too gave you support in your NC. That can be very validating. I have nothing but scaredy cat flying monkeys some of who would mutter "oh yes she treated you bad" but in next sentence would tell me "oh she really cares". I am glad your BF now husband understood and those around you know why you had to escape. I am sure he was shocked by how low she went. Mine I don't think I have to worry about hoovering me. She did the "stuff for appearances". My SF [she married him 8 years ago] is a just a weak sychophant who never tried to contact me and has no email address of his own. How did she destroy your first career? That is horrible.

    Yes you were very fortunate to have supporters. I am hanging out there truly alone, and all the loyalty goes to my NM because of money. Even the "nice" ones seem me as the rebel and ignore what I have gone through.
    I am glad you do not have to deal with your NM anymore. Mine seems to be like a vampire living forever and leaching energy off others. I think even health problems were lied about to me.

  5. alone as far as the family is concerned. I have friends but relatives, outside a cousin that visits me once every 10 years, and a few relatives that say hello from thousands of miles away I really have no family. I found myself thinking why risk my health on an 18 hour bus trip when no one is coming my direction. It is all really sad. I feel like I am struggling with a life where there has been far too much loss. I was depressed even finding old best friend from childhood on FB, [my memories with her were all good] but thinking of the lost years, always taken away from people. Your Dad sounds like a sensible soul and he showed decency in getting away from her, divorcing and finding a new life.

    I am sorry you lost your kind family members. It is hard to do NC. I have the whole financial pressures too, in giving up the only chance of having any future security. I am glad my husband said to me he doubted we would be in her will. I am still angry at the aunt who changed her story but believe the prior one was accurate. Some of the anger I am dealing with regarding the medical neglect and constant sabotage which helped lead me right into poverty is very difficult.

    I tried for years too just like you. I even reread some of the emails where I was begging sister for a 1 or 2 hour visit with her kids on the way to my mother's house, and her always saying "we are busy". I mean what did she expect? I got the same response from my mother. My self esteem was damaged too much trying to reach out to people who did not want me around. I remember the cult like tactics, don't talk, always being told I was wrong.

    I know I looked for love even from the other relatives and family members and always came up short. Aunts who had no time for me and took no interest [outside of the one who died], uncles who barely even noticed my existence, cousins who would ignore me. It was pretty awful. And I was not at their doorstep begging every minute. I always had my own life in own community even after disability with church families--I have a new one now, and volunteer work and still I was refused. I am thinking now about how invisible I was, and this is some of the poison she definitely spread and the rest ate up.

    Yes Society always pushes the LOVING mother myth, or HONOR your parents, even if they abused the hell out of you. Happy close families all over the place. It is draining. I blamed myself for years. Society helped out with that, with all the fat abuse, you are a fat lump and embarrassment for your mother to hate you. Hey even a family friend of 30 years said that one to me, "your mother is rightly horrified by your weight!" As if I chose to be this way. I am glad you were able to get a good life. I am kind of "stuck now". I am happy with church and friends but so tired with the health problems and financial ones. I am not sure what to do anymore. I am realizing a lot of my problems regarding the financial shame is from the family too. Just like Aunt Scapegoat ended up poor and in the dregs and desperate, they wanted me there too. They were in shock I ended up married. I know I felt far more hope when husband was employed and I was stable working class housewife.


  6. Yes I am staying away and have relief. Life is more peaceful and I am not as scared and life free of their hideous judgments is far better to me. Imagine having a mother that would come to your apt, knowing you were on a fixed disability income and judging you for not having as nice of things as on a 6 figure income. It was disgusting. One could put her picture above the caption... "Selfish Baby Boomer". I always felt like all the grandchildren she ended up with, were just image makers and objects to her, even the ones she prizes.

    I believe I will have to wait til my mother burns in the Lake of Fire [aka Hell]for justice. God says Vengeance is His. Justice in court rooms is okay but I believe one day she will face what she did to me. I understand the anger of ACONs. The abuse doesn't end at 18 when people say, "What is your problem worrying about things that happened 40 years ago?". I told one person I walked to END ONGOING PRESENT DAY ABUSE.

    I agree we need time. We escaped the devil and now have to find peace and healing. I am telling myself I don't want to be judged by anyone. I am tired of being the puppet on the stick meant to make others smile, and do and become what they want. How about WHAT I WANT? [following God's direction]

    Yes we tried to achieve the impossible. I tried to get Queen Spider to notice me and "see" me but she is spiritually and otherwise blind. There never would be any remorse, nostalgia or feeling. I agree we both spent years trying. I spent years trying with the other family members trying to get them to notice I was alive. I gave far too much energy to empty relationships. LOL about NC and going back. I put up with 45 years of bullcrap, so going back in my 80s isn't going to happen :P