I don’t know what’s going on. Maybe it’s a replay of the Cytomegalovirus Mono Follies. Yes, that’s what it feels like. Drained. No appetite. Last night I was shivering uncontrollably, thought perhaps had fever, took temperature with my Israeli thermometer and it was 35 degrees Centigrade. That’s 95 Fahrenheit. Hypothermic as all hell. I think this virus does something bad to my thyroid.
So that was about 8 pm. I put on my skiing thermals, took my nighttime meds and crawled in under a down puff and two fleece blankets with the heat turned up to 70. Slept till noon today. Spent the day in bed watching Mommie Dearest. No, not the best thing for me to spend my day doing, but my psychologist has been after me to watch it, and I had time, and now I know why she wanted me to watch it. For those of you who haven’t seen it, I apologize for not summarizing it here; I’m just too tired. Here, I’ll do it in one line: Joan Crawford is a sickass narcissistic maniac who adopts two children so that she will have “something to love” and “someone to love her.” She scapegoats the elder, Christine, smothering her with luxuries one moment and making her scrub the floors the next. The girl turns out to be beautiful and intelligent, and Crawford’s jealousy spirals into violence. There.
It’s a good thing, I think, that I was sick as a dog while watching Mommie Dearest, because when I am sick I become emotionally unhinged, and I was unable to slam all the doors and batten down the hatches to keep my heart out of harm’s way. Or healing’s way, really.
I don’t think my mother ever beat me with a coat hanger likeJoan did Christine. She preferred the fly swatter: it didn’t leave marks.
I just so relate to Christine’s conflict when viewing her mother’s glamorously fitted-out dead body: she really did love her, and yet she was so thankful for the pain to be over.
Now I finally “get it,” that a narcissistic person can want to have a child so that a) they have someone who HAS to love them; b) they have someone whom they can manipulate any way they want to, and whatever the outcome, it’s the child’s fault (in the narcissist’s mind). But c) to their dismay they find themselves feeling threatened by the child’s beauty/talents, and feeling compelled to compete with them, whatever it takes. Therein lies the trap.
I was interested to see that “Mommie Dearest” made a point to cut her two adopted children out of her will. That took a lot of forethought and planning, more than I would expect out of your average narcissist. But then Joan Crawford wasn’t your average narcissist. What she did not foresee was that her brilliant and talented daughter Christine would write a memoir called Mommie Dearest that would become a hit movie starring Faye Dunaway. That certainly turned out to be one case where outliving one’s abuser was the first step in sweet revenge. The second was writing the book.