Anxiety /Happiness

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2007
Anxiety /Happiness
18
Wed, 06-23-2010 - 11:49am

Hello,


Let me introduce myself. I am a 43 year old woman. I am married

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-1998
Wed, 06-23-2010 - 4:15pm

FiveDiamondWife,

Have you ever heard of narcissitic personality disorder? Based on your description, I would be surprised if your mother didn't fit the mold of a narcissist; your experiences, and subsequent anxiety, is quite like that of the children of narcissists.

Narcissists generally value their male children above their female children- it is almost as if the girls are subhuman. It gets very Freudian so I won't go into detail, but that among most of the other aspects of your post is very much like the experiences of children (particularly daughters) of narcissistic mothers.

Not saying that this is what you dealt with, but it sure rings a bell. ACONs (adult children of narcissists) have a lot in common with children of alcoholics. The never being able to be happy because you know something bad will happen if you are- that is common to adult children of narcissists and alcoholics. It really is true that they intentionally ruined any good time to the point we became conditioned as adults to be fearful of happiness or enjoying ourselves.

Read this overview and see if you can relate- scroll down to "Proposed Amended Criteria for the Narcissistic Personality Disorder":

http://samvak.tripod.com/npdglance.html

Here is another good overview:

http://www.willieverbegoodenough.com/survey.php

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2007
Thu, 06-24-2010 - 2:16pm

I went to purchase the books this morning. I think that they are very relevant to my life. The book Mallignant Self Love was quite expensive (over 40 dollars)

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-1998
Thu, 06-24-2010 - 5:08pm

Not sure it would be very good to say that I'm glad you found the information helpful- wish it were otherwise- you sure described a childhood that I could relate to! I'm so sorry about your childhood and where it has led you anxiety-wise, but you are far from alone. I have found great comfort in understanding NPD and how it affected my life- it puts a lot of perspective on my anxiety.

I don't think anything you posted was inappropriate. I post here because sometimes the topics at ACON specific forums get a little heavy and I need to get away from them. My upbringing by N's left me with panic disorder and agoraphobia, which I didn't fully realize until not all that long ago (in my late 30s). Whatever the reasons for our anxiety, I think we can find comfort and belonging here at this particular board- at least I know I have.

If you are looking for a support group that is specific to ACONs, there are a few at Yahoo Groups, but a while back I came across another forum that seemed particularly good. If you google "psychopath and narcissist survivor support group" it should be the first one that comes up.

I read "Will I Ever Be Good Enough" last year and got a lot out of it. Haven't read Vaknin's book, but his site is very informative. I hope you are able to find understanding and healing.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-25-2004
Thu, 06-24-2010 - 11:18pm

Your posting here was entirely appropriate. We're here to offer support to anyone who suffers from anxiety, no matter the cause or situation. I'm glad that Fish was able to give you some insight. I hope the books you picked up help you figure things out.

I've actually been thinking all day today about your post. I had a long conversation with my brother about it. I think our moms were similar in a lot of ways. My mother was not as vindictive as yours sounds to be, but there are enough similarities that your post made me really think.

For me, it's the anticipation of good or celebratory events that trigger my anxiety. I think it's because whenever I made plans with friends or wanted to celebrate pretty much anything, my mom would have one of her moods and I would end up in trouble for nothing, punished and grounded for no apparent reason. The times she would actually agree to let me go places or do things, I was always on pins and needles until the last few moments before it was time to leave. In hind site, I recognize that she only agreed to let me do things that it would be publicly noticed if I wasn't there or when she wanted me out of the house.

Mornings are also hard for me. I always wake up anxious. Always. My therapist thinks this is because mornings were always uncertain with my mother. Sometimes she was happy and cheerful in the morning, making a big breakfast with big plans for the day. Other times we'd wake up to angry, mean mom. These times were awful, because whoever it was (there were 5 of us kids) that displeased her was incapable of doing anything right. We lived in dread of these times. I can remember one time when I folded a basket of towels over and over again. Every time I finished it, she'd pick up the towels and throw them on the floor and tell me to do it again. I was supposed to go out on a date that night, and when he got there, she continued to make me fold that basket of towels for a good half hour. I was mortified.

I'm going to talk to my therapist about the narcissist possibility with my mom. I'm not sure that she is. She's also the daughter of an abusive alcoholic, so I'm not sure how much that affected her behavior. But it sure sounds familiar.

Anyway, I hope you start feeling better soon.

Jess

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2007
Fri, 06-25-2010 - 6:38pm

Thank you for your response.


She's also the daughter of an abusive alcoholic,...


My mother was the daughter of an abusive alcoholic too.


What a coincidence!


Was your brother(s)

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2007
Fri, 06-25-2010 - 7:15pm

I have been wading through the books.


There is quite a bit of Narcissim in my family.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-1998
Fri, 06-25-2010 - 7:48pm

Did you have a moment of "OMG, it isn't me and isn't all in my head!"? I'm glad the information seems to be helping.

That has been a huge point towards healing for me- realizing that it wasn't something I did to cause it. It is someone else's sickness that was taken out on me. In a sense it really didn't have anything to do with me, I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Like a lot of other people, I often heard that I was "too sensitive"- that my reacting negatively to abuse was actually my problem...???

I also had a hard time accepting that what I went though was abuse (even the very obvious stuff). I think we are brainwashed that it is not abuse so that they can keep doing it to us.

Fortunately, I am not a home bound agoraphobic (though I've come close at times), but I have a terrible time when I do have to leave home. I do it, but I don't like it. It has been a hinderence to my ability to function normally; I've held jobs and gone to school, but never been able to focus enough attention on them to be successful. It wasn't until not all that long ago that I realized my reluctance to leave home was indeed agoraphobia- I didn't have a name for it because I thought agoraphobia only applied to people who couldn't bring themselves to leave home.

Like your grandmother, I have also been one who always had to have something in my hands and be working on it. I think that I tried for many years to prove my worth that way- i.e. "I may not be working and adding financially to the household, but look at all I do, I'm not lazy!" I'm getting over that now- or trying. I've been therapeutically decluttering my life for the past year- anything that's extra and doesn't enhance my life takes a trip to the thrift store. Doing this is discovering who I am and want to be, rather than who other people told me I was- if that makes sense.

It's a long journey, but at least you have a name for it now and that will help you get more help and information. Good luck to you! Hope you will find a home here at this board.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-1998
Fri, 06-25-2010 - 8:20pm

Jess, that story about the towels bothered me. I'm sorry you had to deal with that kind of thing as a kid. Your mom does sort of sound like an N. Being a spectrum disorder, it can range from weird and eccentric, to psychopathic.

Did you take the survey from the Will I Ever Be Good Enough site in my first post? That's got good questions to ask yourself.

(((HUGS)))

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-25-2004
Fri, 06-25-2010 - 9:24pm

Are we sisters by chance? My mom also worked midnights and my sister and I were responsible for the upkeep of the house and the cooking from about the age of 5 on. And yes, she did have different standards for the boys and girls. Us girls were held to a higher standard than the boys. We were expected to be straight A students and were punished for less, although the boys were rewarded for their Bs. She was incredibly inconsistent with her punishments. I can remember her punishing us all unreasonably, and she was just as hard on the boys, though in different ways. If they displeased her, she was more likely to just ignore them until they literally begged for her attention and affection, while us girls were subjected to grueling chores and insults.

I may have to pick up those books too.

Avatar for booplady44
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-10-2003
Sat, 06-26-2010 - 9:38am

I can relate to all of this. In my case it was my sister who was preferred.

BOOP


Three grand essentials to life are...something to do

Pages