What is New?


June 23: edited my post on Gaslighting to insert a link to a very good video by psychologist, Ross Rosenberg, explaining how gaslighting starts in childhood, and how to heal from parents who gaslight.

June 6: PBS's Frontline takes on the issue of human sex trafficking of abducted teenage girls in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Click HERE for that.

May 17: Turpin parents get 25 years to life for abusing their children. Final words from children and parents at sentencing. Click HERE for that.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

When all we want for Christmas is an apology from a narcissist (maybe)

If you are the victim of narcissistic abuse, perhaps all you want for Christmas is an apology.

Even if we know that the apology may just be a hoover and fraught with bad things for us (a Trojan Horse, for instance), we sometimes still want the apology.

Perhaps we know that an apology is only meant to get us back into a role accepting abuse again, but we still find ourselves aching for an apology.

If we are survivors of child abuse we can't have a parent who treats us with love, caring, respect and dignity. We've been told a million times that we can't always have what we want (far from it), and that includes a real parent, the kind of parent other people have. We also know they mean to give us a parent who is cruel to us, or rejecting of us, so that we will feel we don't deserve what others have.

If we are survivors of spousal abuse we can find another spouse, but we can't have a real heartfelt apology from the spouse who hurt us so badly. Even if we were to receive an apology, we would probably be suspicious of the intentions of that spouse or ex-spouse. We would probably ask ourselves: "Why would he (or she) hurt us so badly and trash what we have and then decide they want us back all of a sudden?" -- hmmmm .... survivors make it a point to check for ulterior motives for the rest of their lives after you have left. We aren't innocent little fawns any more.

If we are survivors of sibling abuse (the most common form of abuse), we can't have a sibling in the way other people do. No, our sibling probably only cares about taking things away from us. We aren't close; we aren't visiting each other and bringing our children together. We aren't having vacations together, laughing about old times, looking over pictures together. Most likely, all that our abusive sibling wants is everything we have, everything he can get, to control us, demean us, take away our common parent, own our common parent lock stock and barrel, get our common parent to hate us and abuse us under false charges ... How DARE we not look at them as lord and master of our lives, as well as our parents' lives? They will make all of the decisions about our common parent, and if we want to live, we better stay away and never interfere with their plans.

If we were brought up in an abusive household, we might have all three situations going on all at once. That is because we have been groomed since birth to accept abuse -- from siblings, from partners, from co-workers, from a spouse, all originating from our parent's abuse of us. Perhaps we got so used to it that we abused ourselves, even. "You're no good!" "You're worthless!" "What worthless child deserves an apology! In fact, you are so worthless you should be apologizing to everyone who ever abused you!" "Even childhood sexual abuse is too good for you! You should have been grinded up in a chipper instead when you were a kid!" "Worthless children deserve to be abused, denigrated and discarded!"

It all effects us, but we can't ever expect a real apology delivered from Santa and his reindeer. No, we can only ache with the want. We have to accept a fate more like Ann Boleyn: head chopped off for trumped up treason charges just so that King Henry could marry his next source of narcissistic supply.

We may be reprimanded or attacked for:
* expressing emotions when we are hurt (because, you know, emotions are for weaklings, and because they want to decide what emotions you are feeling and when, even when it comes to labeling them for their own needs)
* expressing emotions they don't like (because, you know, you are only supposed to be expressing emotions that they have deemed  right for the occasion)
* a facial expression they don't like (because, you know, facial expressions they don't understand, or that they deem to be "critical" of them are a punishable offense deserving of the utmost cruelty even if it was not our intent to hurt them)
* making an autonomous decision (because, you know, you certainly will never be allowed to be autonomous, and your decisions are sooooo flawed -- only they deem themselves experts in the decision-making department ... and how dare you think you can make your own decisions!!)
* making a life decision that would benefit us (because, you know, you are supposed to be selfless, only serving their needs -- how dare you make a decision on your own behalf or that would benefit you! How come you don't put them center of everything in your life?)
* having an opinion that differs from our abuser's (because, you know, you have to go along with whatever an abuser says, mindlessly and emotionlessly, in what ever brainwashed fashion they want for you)
* being spontaneous, having fun (because -- how dare you have fun! Take off that party hat now! Serving them means being abused, and you can't be abused and have fun at the same time -- how dare you get out of the role they picked for you!)
* not letting our abusive family make decisions about our life (because, you know, all decisions that should be yours have to be a family decision. Every move you make needs micromanaging, persuasion, chastising, belittling, confusing double standards, arguments, debates, being compared to others unfavorably, gaslighting ... no decisions allowed without all of that! -- otherwise you will pay and pay and pay and pay and ... )
* not keeping quiet about hypocrisies that we see (because, you know, you aren't even supposed to be seeing hypocrisies, let alone talking about them! You are only supposed to be looking at how perfect they are ... because if you see hypocrisies or dare to utter a word about it, you will pay and pay and pay and pay and ...)
* making the narcissist jealous even when we don't want them to feel jealous (because, you know, narcissists are so super jealous and insecure that only dressing down in shoes with obvious holes and shredded laces, unattractive filthy clothes, gray clothes that need mending, unwashed unkempt hair, bruises, heroin tracks on our arms, and a tear soaked face is the only thing that will make a narcissist feel better by comparison!)
* not worrying for a moment about the narcissist's super sensitive feelings and ego even as they trampled all over ours for the entire time we have known them (because, you know, only their feelings count in the mutual relationship between us)
* setting a boundary (because, you know, narcissists hate boundaries ...  and how dare we set boundaries when they feel so entitled to know everything!!!)
* for not feeling guilty (because, you know, we are supposed to feel guilty for having been born)
* for feeling sad (because, you know, you're supposed to be happy around them when they say so)
* for calling them out (because, you know, you're never supposed to call them out ... How dare you! They have decided they are too perfect for that and you better get with that program!)
* for trying to think about how we feel and think about a certain subject (because, you know, they have decided what they want us to feel and think, and nothing else will do!)
* for disagreeing with them (because, you know, they are control freaks and it is the ONLY thing they care about, and that includes getting you to agree with them at all times ... and if you don't let them have control over you at all times, you will pay and pay and pay and ... well, you know)
* for loving others (because, you know, they own us! We are only supposed to be loving them!)
* for wanting more freedom (because, you know, we should feel like we are jail birds of theirs at all times, indebted to them because they give morsels to lowly people like us and should be worshiped all over the land for it!)

Okay, so now are we cured this Christmas season from wanting an apology out of that sleigh?

(note of thanks to Lenora Thompson for her article, Narcissistic Abuse Makes Us Say “I Couldn’t”, which inspired me to write this post)


  1. Ah I held out for the apology. Queen Spider never apologized not in any cards. It's not her style, not even fake ones. I had weird thoughts for years like, "Tell her to apologize, then I will come back" but I realized I didn't want to go back, even if she threw her self down at my feet and groveled and repented. I knew it'd be fake anyhow.

    So I ached for an apology for years. I wanted the validation of being told, "Yes I did wrong by you" or for others in the family to stand against my ongoing mistreatment. What was odd some cousins would admit, she treated me bad but they still defended her, visited her, and spoke against my emotions. They silenced me too.

    Here too one faces the fact, they mourn people who they wish were really there, not the ones who actually were who had no care for our feelings and whom we were nothing to them. My siblings put my mother first, I was nothing to them as well. On the way out the door, I made all these appeals. My brother had refused to visit me for years, he had money to do so, my sister was openly ostracizing me and keeping me away from her children.

    I was groomed for so much abuse, that in going NC, I had to remove almost everyone from my life, just in making a stand against abuse. So yes that part is true. These abusive people originate from the parent's abuse of us and sadly these narcs and the high functioning sociopaths like my mother teach many people to treat us like we are nothing. No one is going to apologize in my family, no way, no how. My only choice was to walk.

    I got attacked by that cousin, and he was one of the more mild nicer ones, for even having emotions. YOUR EMOTIONS MAKE US FEEL BAD. Well most people when they feel bad, aka have guilt try to remedy the situation, instead we are scapegoated. He definitely got trained to the hilt, that I was not allowed my own emotions or feelings and that I was the "problem".

    1. Thank you for your story, 500 Pound Peep!
      I believe that their not apologizing is one-part entitlement and one-part sticking children in to rigid unchanging roles.
      Obviously abusers feel entitled to special treatment they never give others. They'll shame a family member to the point of destruction, and they are known for taking verbal abuse to extremes, but how dare their victims say ANYTHING against them once. In other words, they are only sensitive when it comes to themselves, but not to others. It is hard to respect that hypocrisy.
      The other part of this is putting children into roles. If you are always the family scapegoat, you will always be at fault no matter what you say, do, how much you try to please, no matter how many positive reinforcements you get from everyone outside your family. Your siblings know you are the scapegoat and they don't want that role thrust on them by the mean parent, so they are complicit in heaping the role on to you. These people get desperate and they desperately blame, and sometimes even lie to get you into trouble. "No contact" keeps them from being able to do so, especially if the NC has gone on for years.
      I believe all siblings of abusive families know who the scapegoat is, even if they pretend not to know it. It's so glaring and obvious, and so unlike most other families who abhor abuse and family scapegoating! One reason the siblings act like cult members is because the scapegoat role scares the wits out of them.
      What usually happens in abusive families is that with you gone and maintaining "no contact" they will pick another scapegoat whether that be another one of your siblings or an inlaw. The other thing that happens is that often when one of your siblings starts being picked on, that sibling may be super sweet to you at some point to you to get you back into the hornet's nest getting blamed and abused again.
      It is like the Cinderella story. Cinderella did all of the grunt work in the household, but when she left, it had to fall on the hitherto "entitled" step-sisters. They all turned on each other, including turning on the mother. That is a classic story of roles given by a cruel haughty mother whose feelings of entitlement and obvious scapegoating in order to advance her "favorite golden child" all backfired in the end.
      The one thing we gain by going off on our own is not feeling indebted to a cruel mother, of getting out of the drudgery of abuse, delegation, compromising our dreams away to take care of THEIR super sensitive walk-on-eggshells feelings and desires (and the golden child's). We are no longer being held responsible for any more trumped up and erroneous blaming because we are not part of the sick matrix any more.
      For sure there is a grieving period because a parent should not be acting like the evil stepmother in Cinderella. But once we realize that our parent means to be cruel, then we get angry. It is the anger that helps us build our internal strength to go forward into our new lives, giving us a desire to do better for ourselves than to be stuck serving evil people.
      The thing is, at some point the depravity of the siblings left behind eventually disgusts us and humors us. I mean, who really, thinks well of Hitler or Stalin ass-kissing sycophants? Abusive parents can be as authoritarian and ruthless as those leaders, except they terrorize and scapegoat their family members instead of "minorities".

    2. I would also like to say that "feeling sorry" for those family cult members left behind is probably more of an enduring feeling than disgust and humor.
      I think the anger of being discounted and never seen contributes initially to the "How do you like being in my shoes now? You were so quick to judge, and now it is happening to you! Too bad!" -- a lot of people laugh when Cinderella's stepsisters and stepmother all start fighting and throwing each other under the bus. It's a normal reaction when receiving such constant injustice and then seeing the aftermath of it being played out in this way.
      But let's face it: after awhile we feel sorry for the lot of them. If they were all good people, they wouldn't have had the fate they had. But because they adopted to a hierarchical "bullying" system, they are going to be paying a high price for the membership of that system. Being a member requires looking for and acting out against another scapegoat just to continue in that membership. A narcissistic mother with sociopathic traits will say that nothing is her fault, no abuse is her fault, no amount of children leaving is her fault. A system with scapegoats who have bailed means the golden's chances of being a scapegoat rises (and they know it).


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