The Narcissist Files, Part Two

“I’m sorry, it just worked out better for me this way.  You know, it’s an hour and a half instead of two hours, it’s only $5 a day to park my car instead of free, I don’t have to stay overnight in a motel [with you]….”

This might be the only time in my life that I’ve heard my mother say “I’m sorry,” but in fact it was simply a figure of speech meaning, “I changed my mind.”

Originally, we were both supposed to fly from Charlotte on the same day, she to help install her sister in a nursing home up North, and I to go to Michigan to pick up my RV.  Since I am flying one-way and eventually coming back in another vehicle, it is problematic for me to get to the airport in Charlotte without a car.  If I were to drive myself to the airport and leave my car there, then how could I retrieve my car?  A bit complicated.

But since she was driving to the airport anyway, that seemed to be a moot point, as I could ride along with her.  There are inexpensive hotels that will keep your car without charge, if you only stay one night, and have shuttle service to the airport.  So the plan was for us to share a room, and fly our separate ways the following day.  When she got back (date unknown), her car would be waiting for her, free of charge.

For some reason known only to her, she changed plans in midstream and decided to fly from the airport that is only half an hour closer.  Her flight from the nearer airport would, in fact, take her only to Charlotte, where she would then board the original non-stop flight that I had found her.

“But there will be plenty of time between flights, and I’m only taking a carry-on.  And you can take the transport from here.  It shouldn’t be any trouble.”

There is a transport that one can book to get from here to the airport, if one reserves it several days in advance.  It’s only $45.  However, it will not take you anywhere except to the airport itself, and I need to stay in a hotel the night before, since it’s an early flight and the shuttle from here can’t start until 8 am.  So I will have to get myself from the airport to the hotel, via the hotel shuttle, with all my luggage and dog, and then kick my heels until the following morning, and take the shuttle back to the airport.  No trouble at all.

This goes against my nature.

Perhaps it’s because I grew up having to please Mrs. Narc or face the terrible consequences, that I am super-conscious of making every effort to make other people’s lives easier.  I would much rather inconvenience myself than someone else.  My therapist feels that this bending-over-backward to please others is pathological.  I only agree with her partway.

Being thoughtful of others is one of the supposed signs of empathy that makes humans different from animals, although recent studies of primates and even non-primate species are proving that other animals have empathy and even exhibit altruism, the act of giving without expecting anything in return.  That is the highest form of giving, and has been the measure of character from time out of mind.

The thing about a true narcissist is that they don’t consider the needs of anyone but themselves.  Their inconsiderate acts are not necessarily malicious–it’s just that if they perceive something to be more convenient for themselves, well, that’s the choice they make.  And if someone else is inconvenienced by their acts, well….

“Sorry, you’ll have to make your own way.  I’ve made other plans that suit me better.”

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  1. been there done that heard it all from more than one…eek…one is more than enough! right now my narc ex is telling my daughter i am the one keeping him from having custody of her…which is true, but he tells her he is trying and i am just a biatch. yes, its more compelling to him to be her hero (who never comes thru, but never mind that….) and for me to be the big heavy. in truth, he knows he’ll never ask for her or make any effort…because he knows having her would be a big inconvenience cutting into his self absorbed computer surfing with the door locked. isn’t he such a poor poor boy? i just wanna cry he has it so bad. but he’s the hero here, nonetheless. he ogt exactly what he wants…his locked door internet surfing AND being her hero.

    • Blech….you’d think they all would have died out by now from natural attrition, but since they have the “talent” of making everybody who doesn’t know them think their sh*t don’t stink, well…you know the drill….

      • and so you know im not one of them, (not a narc), i did actually read this post, and am so saddened and irritated for you, but not surprised. you’ll probably actually be happier not to have her company. noga is a much better companion. but i’m still sorry for you for having to try to have a positive relationship with her at all. its a no win situation.

  2. Laura you touch me in ways sometimes it hard for me to comment,I have felt the effect of my mother even though she has been gone for s very long time,the only way I have reconcile was to write about,pray,and meditate,once I took the power back it became less of a problem

    • Hi Sheldon, I’m glad you’ve found ways to keep your mother buried. I keep what vestige of sanity I have left by reading about Narcissism and other forms of child abuse, and how to survive and even thrive as the adult child of an abuser. One interesting and terrifying thing I read is that the abuse will follow you even after the death of the abuser, so you have to take measures to heal yourself, as you have said here. I admire you for taking your own healing into your hands ❤

  3. I feel like a broken record, but I never cease to be amazed at how similar our lives have been and are. I have narcissists in my family. I have at least one sociopathic relative that I am absolutely certain is indeed a true sociopath. I have another relative that exhibits sociopathic behavior but might not exactly meet the sociopathic standards to a “t.” I have other relatives who . . . so similar. Just so similar to your life experiences with various relatives of your own.

    I have ALWAYS bent over backwards to my own detriment in so many ways and on so many levels to not “bother” someone, to not inconvenience someone. I was taught that from birth to the point that whenever I had a doctor’s appointment and am asked, “How are you?” I always said, “Fine,” until a doctor called me on it one day. I truly wasn’t aware that he was wanting the reasons for needing to see him. I was responding the way I was taught. I have felt like one of Pavlov’s dogs for most of my life: A certain question is asked, a certain answer is ALWAYS given. A certain behavior is required for a certain circumstance and therefore that certain behavior is all that will come out of me . . . except during times of mania that I didn’t know were mania. I risked varying degrees of reprimand as a child for daring to step out of the mold. When the mania hit — times I thought were rebellion, especially as a teenager — I would want to break out of the mold with all my might!! I was suffocating in that damn mold!! When the mania would pass, I’d get back into the damn mold because I was a good little girl (puke!!) but I began to resent it. Sometimes I’d feel ashamed or embarrassed and take on the guilt and keep it on me always, but underneath the resent was smoldering. I find I still have so much anger inside me. I think I’ve worked it out; that it’s gone. It’s not and I don’t know it’s point of origin. I think I just wrote out the point of origin. Since I still continue this behavior to a certain extent, it still smolders. It scares the crap out of me because I have glimpsed the intensity of it. Dear Jesus, help me!!

    If you and I never get to sit down with a Coke and whatever your favorite drink is and share, compare, chat, bemoan, laugh, sigh and cry here on earth my prayer is that we get an opportunity to do so in the next life. I don’t think there’ll be all the mixed feelings in the next life as there are in this one. Even so, I hope we’ll be able to share and say things like, “Oh, I KNOW it!!” and “Oh, girl, I went through the exact same thing!!” and “Bless your heart, I never had it that bad or that way, but I had it and I get your feelings, I understand your thoughts.”

    I’ve not commented yet on this particular series for many reasons — mainly health — but I have SO wanted to do a Vulcan mind meld with you!! HA!! 😀 Often I’ve wanted to do Vulcan mind melds with my sister before they were ever a concept in Gene Roddenberry’s mind!! Okay, maybe not before the concept, but definitely before the original Star Trek aired on TV!! 😀

    Whether you get a comment from me or not, please remember I am reading your posts in my email and in my head I’m saying, ‘Oh, I KNOW!!’ and ‘Um-hmm’ as I nod my head up and down in agreement or shake my head from side to side in my mind’s eye because of the ridiculousness of it all.

    God bless you, my sister from another mister!!

    • *had/have* *was/am*

      • Wow, Kathy, you’ve definitely had your share of family sh*t-ski. In a way (a big way, actually), I was saved from most of my extended family garbage by the fact that my parents moved far, far away from the rest of the family, for reasons of jobs, poverty (since they all have money and we didn’t, therefore we were mocked), education (my father had more, therefore was mocked)…and I was further removed because of Autism, which frustrated everyone until they finally did what I wanted, which was for them to leave me alone…except my mother, who decided to wage a bloody yet futile war in her attempts to “reach me.” She couldn’t stand that I would not speak to her, let alone bow and scrape before her, which was of course what she wanted. So when she took me to the doctor I would refuse to say anything, so it was veterinary medicine for him! Maybe that’s why I went into pediatrics, because much of the time your patients can’t talk and you have to examine them to see what’s wrong.

        Since you’ve been reading, you’ll know that I’ve got an RV waiting for me in Michigan, and I plan to hit the road as soon as the weather allows. I’ll put my possessions in storage and hopefully rent out my space, and off I’ll go. I’ll be thrilled to meet as many of my bloggie friends as want to meet in person–I totally understand there are many reasons NOT to meet in person, as there is a very real and important comfort zone in anonymity–but, if you do want to meet in this life as opposed to, but not excluding, the next–I’d love to sit down with you. Hot tea is my beverage of choice, punctuated with a thimble’s worth of whisky for my dad at 4 o’clock. He always had his “le’chayim” then–with a bowl of peanuts–so I carry on his tradition! Then it’s back to tea.

  4. It may or may not be bending over backward, but the bottom line is that we don’t have control over other people’s decisions and choices and behavior (as you know only too well, with a narcissist for a mother). The only person we can control is ourselves. She made her choice and you can only make your own decision about what to do from there. It’s so very exhausting and unfulfilling to try to make people do what you want. I know, I did a lot of this in my life due to codependency. It took me a lot of years of growth and the wisdom of the 12 steps of AlAnon to move past that. Live and let Live. Let Go and Let God. One Day at a Time. These things help me to love and care for others while accepting them as they are. And that’s what I hope other’s will do for me, too, but if they don’t then there isn’t much I can do about it. I can choose to have that person in my life or not. It’s much the way with mental illness as it is with addiction….we don’t have any control over another person’s mental illness (especially if it’s a personality disorder!) or what they choose to do or not do about it. We can love them, accept them, support them if we choose.
    I’m so happy that the time to get your awesome RV is getting closer 🙂 I can’t wait to hear how the trip back to your place to pack up goes….if you think you’re going to like it, if the bed is comfy, if the RV drives well, etc. I think the traveler in me will be living vicariously through you on your journey. Hope you don’t mind 😉 Peace to your heart, my friend.

    • All good advice! I’m a lot like Alice (the cartoon version): “I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it!

      I may have solved the airport transportation issue: my mother has a handyman who is looking for work just now–so he can be my chauffeur and drop me off at my hotel, then drive my car back! I left him a message and am waiting for him to call me back. If that works out, problem solved, I pay him for his time, win-win. Fingers crossed.

      • What a great solution! I do know what you mean about Alice. We may ‘know’ something is right or good, but we don’t always do it. I definitely have my moments when I slide back a bit and have to mentally pick myself up again to get back on track.
        I do want you to know that while I may *sometimes* offer a word of advice, most of the time when I speak to problems or frustrations that you have shared I am simply sharing my own experiences or things I’ve learned. What I like to say about that is “Take what you like and leave the rest”, meaning if it’s something that helps you in some way then great, but if you don’t agree or whatever, just keep moving right along. I feel that by sharing of myself, as you do of yourself, we get to know each other better as time goes on.
        That said, my fingers are crossed along with yours and you’re still on my prayer list! Peace to your heart

        • Yay! Mr. Handyman is more than happy to pick up a few hours’ worth of work driving Miss Daisy. I have to watch that tonight if I ever get done packing. I get overcome with anxiety when I’m packing, silly, isn’t it. I take your advice in the loving way that you give it. I treasure the confidence you have in me, to share your thoughts and experiences. We are on a path together, feeling our individual ways along and sometimes those ways cross. Be well, my friend, and still keep your fingers crossed (OK, you can uncross them if it’s uncomfortable or you have to do something 😉 )

          • Thank you for your thoughts, especially on our friendship. Beautifully said, well, written. I do so hope we can physically cross paths someday, whether it’s in the near future or a bit farther away. xoxo

  5. Hello my friend
    Our mother’s must have gone to the same training to perfect the skills.


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