Son of a Narcissistic Mother Part 2: The Man with the Crystalline Face
04/02/2013 § 12 Comments
In my case, I didn’t know my mother was a Narcissist until I was 56! I knew there was something very wrong when I was 8 years old, when for a school assignment I wrote a 3-page bio of myself and realized it was very sad but I couldn’t figure out why. When I was 12, and then 18, and then 32, I made concerted efforts to find out what was the matter, but I didn’t put it all together until about two years ago. I was always barking up the wrong tree, looking for something dysfunctional in myself, which my mother encouraged.
It was the Sacred Vow I made to myself when I was 32 that began the effort which in retrospect prepared me emotionally and physically for the final realization. I was always too dependent, in ways I was completely unaware of, on my mother. Even though I moved away from home when I was 18 to get away from her. Her hold on me increased, in some ways, the further I got from her physically. I needed to be materially dependent on myself, and even at 32 it was very hard for me to hold a job. So I was always financially broken, which made other kinds of independence harder to acquire. It was always a case of improving a little bit here, a little bit there, and pulling myself up very slowly. When I did have an opportunity to look back at how far I’d come in a given space of time, I was always appalled to realize how bad things had been before, and how much work there was left to do.
When I was a junior in High School, in an English class we had a lesson in which we worked with theatrical make-up artists. One woman designed a crystalline structure on my face. My teacher looked at me for a long time, and said, “That’s very appropriate for him. He’s so complex and contradictory, like there’s a House of Mirrors inside him.” I’ll never forget that.
One, I am very smart, gifted and creative. Now I am beginning to have success at last as a painter. Two, my father was very emotionally violent and yelled at me what felt like every day that we were home together,for the first 18 years of my life. Because he didn’t beat me, I always felt it was my weakness that was so devastated by his mere voice. . He yelled at me because we were both first-born sons, and he was apparently yelled at just as hard by his mother. I found this out from his cousin when I was in my 20s. It wasn’t because of anything I did– I was always very clear about this– It was because his past was eating him alive and his family didn’t allow him to heal it.
But only 2 years ago I discovered that it was my mother always instigated his epic tantrums– I finally realized that it was she who instigated my outbursts. Because of her huge inempathy– her lack of emotional rapport with other people– she was always completely unaware how often and how easily she tripped him -and me- off. This turned out to be very important, because all my life I thought it was just between him and me, and if I found out what set him off, I could stop it. But the mechanism was never in him; it was in her. My family was a puzzle that couldn’t be solved– she had hidden all the pieces. The more Dad hurt me the more, the more I idealized Mom; even as she became increasingly cold and distant.
So, yes, I’ve had a very confused and difficult relationship with women. Over a year ago, my first wife left me. We had an on-off relationship for 26 years, and were married for the last 14 of them. I’m still processing what happened. It appears that I idealized her unrealistically, and that she was always more sensitive towards herself than she was towards me. She bristled at the suggestion that she was like my mother, but in the final analysis there were unsettling similarities. Its largely for her that my presence on these sites is anonymous.
Narcissism expert Linda Martinez-Lewi’s writings can be found in other places online, but she mostly writes about Daughters of Narcissists– as do most bloggers on this subject. When they do write about Sons of Narcissists, they almost always write about the male Golden Child. I was never the Golden Child. That would be my sister who was 6 years younger than me. Because my mother always wore the pants in the family and was deeply misandronistic– she hates men. So I was the Scapegoat, as I hope to write about elsewhere on this site. The blame for wrongs in the family always seemed to fall on me, and the finger that pointed at me was always hidden. The only victory that was ever available to me was to endure until I was whole enough to save myself. I waited 55 years.
Thank you for listening,
and thank you for writing this,
April Fools Day, 2013
(No, this isn’t a joke. )