Narcissistic Mothers as Bullies
It is a given that
Narcissistic Mothers are bullies. Their Narcissistic Rage is a
classic bullying technique, creating fear in the minds of the victim. Enabling
Fathers, too, depending on how actively they enable, are bullies in the cause of keeping the Narcissistic
This would have been a very core experience in my own life. Any intransigence, any complaint about
how they treated me, any challenge to them, was met with overwhelming force. Not physical, not in my case (although
it would be physical in many cases).
But there would be huge amounts of emotional abuse.
I used to describe it (before I knew about Narcissistic Personality Disorder and had that
language) as that they had this 'Horrible Danu Mirror', i.e. this image of me that was this truly horrible,
nasty, worthless, ghastly, useless person, and they held this image up to me whenever I tried to speak up for
"Oh!" They'd say, "Well you think you're so perfect. Let me tell you, you're not!" And out
would come a list of my supposed faults.
Now, traditional advice is to stand up to bullies, right? Stand up to them and they'll
back down. Give as good as you get. Well, I'm not sure if this is good advice in general, but I know for
sure that it is not good advice when you are dealing with narcissistic bullies. Standing up to them
affronts them, and infuriates them (in the literal meaning of the word: in-fury-ates), and makes
them escalate their behaviour to get you back into your box.
In retrospect those faults were either too general to have any value, e.g., "You're
so awkward", or, in the case of the detailed ones, tiny little foibles like closing the front door
after their visit before they'd reached the car and driven out of sight.
But with their attacks they eviscerated me, and I dreaded them and let myself
therefore be bullied into not challenging them.
It bears repeating: Narcissistic Mothers are bullies, and their sycophant husbands
are bullies, and they bully us to control us, to subjugate us, to disempower us. And it works. It's
a huge part of their abuse of us.
So, best not to do that. There are only two real options when it comes to a narcissist: suck it up, or absent
yourself. You can set boundaries, however, but they're difficult to establish; there's more information on how to
do that in my Guidebook and in You're Not Crazy -
It's Your Mother (both of which are part of the Narcissistic Parent Survival Kit) .
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