Narcicistic Family Members Always Deny the Truth

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SomewhereOutThere, Apr 22, 2015.

  1. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I hate the word narcissistic because it has come to mean "anyone you feel was mean to you." That word aside, I loved this article. It was affirming. I've read other articles that say the same.

    I am tired of the topic and feeling like I understand the scapegoat role now. I just added this for those who want to read it. Those who maybe had the same experience as I did.
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I liked the article too and I'm almost certain I have this book...somewhere. I have many on on the topic.
    I wrote a comment that is likely to have been rejected, because it wasn't posted up and I wrote it perhaps four or five days ago...whenever it was that you first put the link up.

    Since my dad was a narcissist and an almost obvious one, meeting the criteria fully, I have a decent understanding of the topic. Plus, I've read much/many material (books, articles ) for years on this topic and I have a MS degree in a related field (psychology, social work, mental health, sociology, social pick one). This does not make me an expert, by any means, but I'm familiar with this subject.

    After complimenting the article and commenting a little about my father and the destruction/confusion he contributed to the lives of my mother and myself, my advice to those married to a narcissist, was to seriously consider getting help, getting support, finding a safe period of time, devise a plan and get out of the relationship, because chances are sky high the narcissist in your life will not change and is very very likely to continue to cause much heartache in your life.

    I strongly believe this! Just, not worth it in my humble opinion.

    I think people who call someone a narcissist because they think the person was mean to them, just don't have ANY idea at all what a real narcissist is. ??? Easier said than done, but try not to let it bother you.
  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I too think we are all more complex than any label. But reading descriptive pieces such as those SWOT posts for us here have been so helpful to me in identifying abusive patterns and externalizing shame.

    So it isn't, and for the sake of our own integrity, it should not be, about diagnosing someone as a way to hurt
    or insult them. I don't trust the professional's "diagnosis", either. Humans are more complex than to be categorized so easily.

    But I agree with you Nomad that certain characteristic cruelties continue to be the preferred response for some of us, and that this does not change.

    Some of us are bullies, by choice. Given the opportunity, we will set that dynamic up every time.

    So it is best to be wise, and to be wary. If we are married to, or if we are the child or the sibling or the parent of, someone whose responses to us are consistently cruel or wildly disrespectful, we need to believe them when they tell us who they are. We need to stop believing they have any commitment to changing their preferred response.

    Just like we have had to learn with our differently wired or addicted kids, helping can slip into the ugliness of enabling. The healthiest response for all of us then is to detach.

    Once we make it through the shame work, we can choose detachment without the need to judge either our people or ourselves.

    How we see both our FOO and ourselves changes.

    I still stumble over how this could be true. But now that I know where to look, and how to interpret what I see, those understandings and interpretations are the only ones that make consistent sense.

  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    It doesn't. It's become the new word to call somebody you don't like. I don't even like really using the word anymore now that I realize that it's something people call another, even without any medical knowledge, that they have issues with. I posted this mostly because I have noticed through the years many of us were the family scapegoat. I say "were" because most of us have resigned from our role. These people who use these words don't know what they really mean and don't even know us, even if they are family.

    I just thought it was a good article :)
  5. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    But it is.

    We talked about this in our group therapy this week. It is used more often to try to make somebody seem awful to others than because the person using the word really understands what it means. And that goes both ways. I've used the word and what credentials do I have to use it? I read an article? I read a book? Narcissism can be made to fit anyone you don't like. The article itself used the word (it's used far too much), not me. But, like many fads, I believe it will pass and a new insulting word will take it's Psychiatry is not an exact science so the buzz words keep changing. The DSM itself keeps changing.
  6. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member


    This is frustrating to me. Those labels affixed for insurance purposes (or sometimes, I swear, to enable the professional involved to arrogantly assume he or she can help us) are damaging, both personally, in the secret heart of us, and publicly. Psychiatric medications seem not to help us, but have horrific side effects. (This was explained to me, during the time I worked psychiatric nursing, as an effect of the fact that it was only those patients whose medications were not working for them who came to us.)

    So I don't know what to think about labeling persons. I will say though, that reading about typical behaviors did help me. I began looking for patterns of behavior. Sure enough, there it is, every time.

    So, there's that, then.

  7. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Yep. And different countries tend to handle psychiatry differently because it is NOT an exact science.

    But more and more research is going up and they know sooooooooooo much more now than they used to. I have lots of hope that it will keep getting better. It is possible to live a good life with both a serious mental illness and neurological differences (I have both) and in the past it was not.

    One day this will probably come down to scientific ways of diagnosing. Maybe even genetic testing.

    Rather than labeling...Suzir (thank you, Suz) got me off the narcissistic table because she's right. Everyone calls everyone they don't like a narc. I prefer dysfunctional behavior in the family, not otherwise specified. I don't know for sure what was wrong when I was growing up. A bunch of people who had no idea how to be in a family were in a family. I can't diagnose it, but it started before I was born. Lots of secrets. Strange secrets. No stories about the family tree from grandma and grandpa. My friends would tell me that their grandparents had these great stories about their lives and relatives and their own parents and grandparents, but the word was mum with my grandmother and grandfather. And on my fatehr's side, maybe he was a wuss for allowing her to do it, but Dad never introduced us much to them and that was largely because Mother didn't want us to know them.

    She belittled him like she belittled me and kept us away from them by talking about how horrible they were. I'll bet they weren't horrible. I wish I knew them. Yes, my father should have just taken us and let her yap, but I get it. I didn't want to be on the receiving end of what we all called "a lecture" either. She never quit talking; it could go on for months. So the children, all of us, lost out on knowing a large family on the other side of the family tree. And I never heard much about his relatives either.

    This is not the norm in any family. Most have lots of old family stories about relatives long deceased, but not us.

    I didn't know my grandmothers siblings, at least not all of them. I don't even know how many she had. Secrets. Secrets and "don't tell" are th e main issue in dysfunctional families. To understand how amazing that is, I talked to my grandmother almost every day, sometimes for an hour. We were really close and great friends and yet this topic never came up. She never seemed to want to talk about her own family so we never did.

    I have never told my kids that something was a secret from the world. I know they talk about our family (hub and sibs) and all four of them think they had good childhoods. That is my biggest triumph. I feel so good when I hear that. They can not relate to mine.

    Now about boundaries and secrets and families with secrets. My opinion, of course. There are boundaries...and there are secrets. Some people are downright silly in their boundaries, by the way...I have started reading why some people disowned their parents, sisters, brothers, cousins, husbands, best friends, dogs, cats, etc. It makes me wonder if they aren't just too sensitive. Anyhow, boundaries are saying w hat you can and can not handle or demanding respect when you are treated like a dog. This is a new boundary for me, one I even used to my father. I never thought I'd ever have the guts to demand respect from him, but guess what? We have been able to have good conversations and kind conversations since then! That is a fair boundary.

    A secret means you don't tell anyone the bloody gore that happened in your family of origin because it might make somebody look bad. Too many abused kids, from emotional abuse, to physical abusive, to sexual abuse are told that it is a secret. The abuser loves secrets. The abuser uses SHAME to quiet younger kids as well as some parents threatening violence of even death...fortunately it was not THAT bad in my family. It was just demeaning verbal stuff. That sometimes makes me wonder what right I have to act and feel so abused? My new therapists, and she is not the first one, has mentioned possible post-trumatic stress since I have triggers and still have horrible nightmares about my mother, ten years after she is dead. And I'm always a little kid in those dreams. Do I have it? I don't know yet. But I have some symptoms of it.

    A secret is not a boundary. It only protects the abusers.

    Cedar, it's been a wild ride with you too. Although I don't know you really, I feel as if I know you better than most people. And I respect you deeply and am always amazed at your insight and intelligence.
    Last edited: May 2, 2015