Thursday, September 4, 2014

Brother's Funeral

Just about the time of my awakening, I had commented on Anna Valerious's site In "Narcissists Suck" in the section "Your Most Fundamental Right" regarding my "mom".   I did not have much knowledge so my emotions were searing through me.  I borrowed this, with permission and cut and pasted my question (I bolded) and the comments regarding it.  This is from me, newly awakened, so just please bear in mind the anxiety I was feeling. But this is what it is like to have a MN mother.

Joan S said...
I so don't get this. Does anybody get this? My mother would often get into trouble with her big mouth. I remember a time a grown man was yelling at me over what my mother had said. Mother never said anything.

The only thing I can think of is that he was too afraid of her and went at me instead. I was 18 at the time, bruised and beaten down to my soul. A healthy 18 year old would have told that man who was responsible. But not me.

I don't get it. It will come to me if I don't try too hard. I'm just remembering this now.

Tundra Woman said...
The most fundamental task of any parent is protection of their off-spring. Since I live remotely I see this on a regular basis in the world of wildlife. I have never seen a paw, a beak, a hoof raised towards their young. I have seen them fight to the death to protect their little ones. Even in the world of animals this is a constant, recurrent behavior.

We didn't get that. Instead, the roles were reversed and we became their "protecters." We were pushed out in front as sacrificial offerings, as the Sherpas of all the problems and conflicts CAUSED as a result of the NP's behavior towards others-including ourselves. We blamed ourselves for all the problems in the relationship with the NPs, just as we were assiduously trained to do from our earliest memories and experiences: "I was 18 at the time, bruised and beaten down to my soul." Me too. How did this come about? By being ruthlessly terrorized and terrified into "compliance" with all their whims, wishes and demands. We were just kids trying to survive despite their relentless and successful efforts to deprive us of our right to self-preservation. Is it any surprise so many of us end up in disasters of relationships in our younger years? We were trained to be fodder for every Predator out there. It felt "normal" to live in fear and powerlessness.
We did not have "childhoods" or "growing up." Instead, we became mini-adults, way too old, way too young. We were burdened with their (often self-generated) adult "problems" and tasked with "solving" them. There was no boundary between the world of Adults and the world of Children. I have no idea what it means to experience a "care-free" process of maturation. It was being forced to jump back and forth between "Now be an adult" and "Now be my child" that was so difficult and left gaping holes in some knowledge areas and over-developed knowledge in other areas. ex: I lacked basic knowledge of concepts like Boundaries and had way too much information on my Dad's impotence-in the 1950's during middle childhood.
The memories are often locked away. IMO, we have to feel safe before they start to surface. Sometimes, they still bring me to my knees even now as an old widow, just little memories that pop up, like what happened my first day of First Grade. If we lived through the event, we'll live through the re-telling to ourselves. In my experience, it is through this re-telling our personal narrative starts to make sense. There *is* Accountability for all of us, including our NPs who failed at even their most primal role: Protection of their children. For that, they are entirely responsible.

reg said...
It is easy to feel dignified by proselytizing the victim to love her/his tormentor/killer. Just the killer also proselytize same. But who cares the poor victim, who is forced to accept terms of the killer.
It is easy to correct the victim, blame the victim. (S)he is terrified to understand the narc sympathizer.
It is easy to make the victim to swallow the corrections. But who correct the narc ? Who stops evil actions of the Narc? Who save the life and sanity of the victim? Who stop the victim from being the pawn of the Narc. Who would ease the pain of the victim.

Also, when I first awakened I had a short conversation with Lisette at House of Mirrors.  When I told her my mother was only smirking at my brother's funeral, she said she thought she would have cried a lot and made a big scene for herself (something like that).  I told her mother doesn't cry.

Sigh.  We lost our oldest brother some time ago.  Now knowing what I know I'm going to go back over to that time and try to put some knowledge into it.  This is my MN mother at her son's funeral:

My MN mother can do anything and it's all ok for everyone.  She's cross and you better not get in her way.  She gathered the attention for herself without having to shed a tear, and made my brother look bad in the process.  This is an easy memory for me.  And, as of right now, I don't remember any other funerals we went to.

It's kinda strange when you see your MN mother at your brother's funeral and the look on her face is making you feel badly about grieving.  I kinda felt like it was telling me to don't act out in public, so I didn't.  I didn't know my brother, we have been apart for years.  There is no smiling, there is nothing funny about this either, just a vague feeling of nothing as mother smirks and others cry.  I don't understand it in a logical sense either.  I mean, it looks like you can approach her and she'll console you, it LOOKS like it.  She had this mean look on her face, we had gotten so used to always seeing her that way.  So some people approached her and she would just nod her head and act like she is trying to grieve.  "He never liked funerals, its too bad he had to go like this, it's too bad though ohhhhh".  Then what she did next would throw you into a tailspin, all the while looking like a normal stage of the grieving process.  "Why are you crying for, you big sucky, what he did, he did to himself, he has no one to blame but himself."  But I tell you this all sounds so normal. I have only one experience of another mother at a son's funeral. This lady was in the serving area arranging everything.  She was trying not to grieve either.  Her friends approached her and took care of her. Somehow getting her to feel again.  My mother stayed in the main section of the funeral home. Sitting in a chair with a very mean look on her face.  But, it was to mean that she was "grieving", so accept that. 

I don't know why it was me who got so attached to mother.  The others in my family can and actually do things on their own.  They are not psychopaths and they feel everything.  My sister was crying openly, mother even told her to stop doing it, "What your brother did was his own fault, why are you feeling sorry for him".   But my sister just ignored her, maybe tried to stop crying, but she was not controlling or able to control how she was feeling.  Mother moved on, and just followed my sister with a huge smirk.  Whether I feel or not is up to the dictates of mother.  I sense that they don't feel anything either, but they feel like they should and my other brother leaves the funeral to tend to his MN wife, as she didn't want to be there.

So yeah, I guess the smirking is a grieving process.  It's judging me to behave a certain way, so don't grieve, don't be sad, your brother didn't take care of himself.  "He ate too much of the wrong food, look at me I live on cabbage soup I'm the one you should be looking after, not him.  And now I have no one to till my garden anymore.  Look what he has done.  His wife won't even give him a proper coffin to bury him in.  He is in a pine box, and she arrived at his funeral with her boyfriend."  I didn't notice my brother's wife with any boyfriend at the funeral, she was constantly surrounded by lots of people though.  Yeah, I know, this is how she "grieves" get used to it.

Intertwining with, "Ohhh, its too bad though."  When she was saying that it was with a special voice that changed in decibels, like a song.  Hope that makes sense.

Reading this back over, it is fair for me to mention that I did stay over at mother's and she took care of everything, cooking, cleaning, I slept in a clean bed and she washed and folded my laundry, and I went back home with all clean laundry.  Yeah, I was confused too.

So, I went to my brother's funeral alone, as my second husband was at home, in a long state of depression that he can't get out of bed from.  He had taken to his bed, and he has been there since the day we got married.  I was with him for almost 18 years and there was no prying him out of bed. Except to eat or watch tv.  He was into pornography which was kept openly all over the house.  Every once in a while I would protest, he would put it away but it wouldn't last for long.  He was a narcissist, but he wasn't a predator, but he was so full of himself and grandiose and didn't like to be questioned.  His putdowns were severe though but that only means he was a feeder, not a predator. No, he did what he wanted, to hell with anyone else, and he could never be held responsible for his behaviour, it was always someone else's fault.

When mother got rid of dad when I was 13, my brother took over taking care of mother. When we were little dad and brother got along really well.  When brother grew up, he and dad were fighting and not getting along for a long time. So when dad left brother took us shopping, visiting anything she had wanted.  I used to sit on her knee in the truck with my sister in the middle and my brother driving.  I couldn't get off her knee for any reason.  I had once protested that maybe I could sit in the middle for once and maybe my older sister could stay home, we could take turns and next time I would stay home.  "What a selfish, spoiled kid you are.  Get on my lap right now and stop acting so selfish!"  So on and on this went until I was almost sixteen years old.  Even if my brother stopped to talk to someone, I couldn't discreetly scootch off her lap to make it look like I was sitting beside mother and not on her lap.  "Get over here NOW!"  Oh well, she just loved me and wanted the whole world to know it is all.  People would look and laugh, she would just say I was the baby, the spoiled little brat.

My brother took care of my mother like a husband would.  I guess he was selfish for dying the way he did leaving her.  She did have a man in her life at the time.  But she needed both men to help her with things.

We all thought her man was selfish and mean to her.  He took over the farm and made things run his way.  This is true, but how he did it is beyond me.  He was good in bed, mother said.  He also paid the bills and took care of her.  I guess he had a purpose.  

When I was in contact with my mother and sister we went to his graveside.  Mother said, "He didn't like you, remember that".  Triangulation even after his death, can you believe that?  But what it actually sounds like that she is worried about you grieving too hard and this is consolation.

It must be strange to anyone who is reading this right now.  I talked to my other brother about it.  He and his MN wife both agree that some people just grieve this way.  Hell, before I was even saying mother grieves this way.  How in the world she sells this I don't know.  We all bought it, no doubt. Of course mother has a soul, a great big soul, you just can't see it. She uses anger to grieve, sure, we all do that, but with her that's all there is.  

I can't understand why an MN thinks they are ok, and try to hide the truth about themselves. Obviously, they know they are different, Don't they want to be normal?  Is it all comfy in that murderous mind?  I don't know.  And, isn't it a kicker when you read how they have it that they don't see you, that you are no more than a chair to them?  That just boggles my mind.  And some actually do cry, hugely.  Still just as soulless, just as freaky.  I think my MN sister-in-law escaped the funeral because there was enough with one freak in the place, so she would be unable to get any attention. My brother (her husband) ran after her.  They drove 3 hours and stayed for just a few minutes.  Oh well, MN's are in charge.

Now when I think about it, I think mother got away with such huge inconsistencies because she was masculine and was always that way.  Some may say butch, but I'm not going to use that term after this posting.  Some women are butch and masculine and that's fine.  They may not grieve like the other ladies, but I've seen them have feelings that are real.  I guess in my FOO, my mother has trained everyone to believe that masculinity means strength, and you better be strong or else.  She didn't accept me the way I was, wanted me to be like her and I couldn't.

So that is why she is accepted the way she is.

I thought it was an easy memory for me.  It was hard to come up with this, things kind of went in pieces and it's really hard to explain.  Nothing flowed together as one actual event.  I just fell into this role and that, ok rather screwy, I'll leave it at that.  Any further explaining I do will just confuse me more.  But, my intent was not to confuse.  Oh well, that's what it is.


  1. What I have noticed about MN's that must be the center of attention, no matter what, is that they really are not equipped to behave socially in an appropriate manner. They just are not normal, and the cues they look for to mirror others actions and blend in at smaller gatherings..... get muddied in a larger and more emotionally charged or complex situation like a funeral etc. So rather than either adapting to a new social situation readily or realizing they have bitten off more interaction than they can adapt to, they will interfere with peoples interactions and squelch them with glares and other confusing behaviour. This post has really made me think about a lot of my mothers odd behavior in weird settings. It is confusing to now look back on some unexplainable behaviour from her. I guess what I am trying to say is that rather than realizing they are in over their head and trying to blend in, they won't. Even at the cost of them looking like an idiot.

  2. Reading your comment, it reminded me of Lisette's "House of Mirrors" posting "Malignant Narcissism is about Control". I went back and reread it and it says that without control the MN is nothing, a big nothing. So, yeah, then I guess they would be pretty desperate to get the control so they are not going to adapt to anything. They need to squelch people. They don't mind looking like an idiot, they believe they are above humanity anyway. Ok, trying to make sense of it and its still screwy.

    I wasn't even thinking of her posting when I wrote this.

  3. I'm glad all that made sense to you. I was watching a special about Moammar Gadhafi and a high ranking US diplomat described his insanity as a more effect way to control world policy towards Libya than traditional diplomatic channels.

  4. About your brother and your mothers claims that he brought his demise on himself. More stuff that sounds like my mother. I had problems with alcohol since my fathers death and my drinking was always used as evidence of my defect of character. Never once did my mother or anyone else consider it might have resulted from the horrific life my mother subjected us all to.

  5. No, because no one is supposed to acknowledge the damage they do, and they won't see themselves, no introspection. My brother died when he was 45, he had a heart attack. And mother, to this day, jokes about him being too fat, and eating KFC all the time, and that is why he died. It is so horrible.

  6. It's hard to link them directly to the toxic waste they leave in their wake. That's how they get away with so much for so long. It also gives their flying monkeys enough wiggle room to join in and still sleep at night. I'll never forget the drubbing my mother was giving me during the conversation that led me to walk out her door and never it became apparent to her I was getting furious she started looking at me with this incredulous look and asking over and over,"what'd I do"? That was after her basically calling me a thief for the whole afternoon.

  7. Q, that sounds so upside down. So sad that you had to go through that, you really sound like you were an excellent son, just like my brother was. And we can't shift any responsibility on them. They are a case of arrested development, the emotional state of a 3 year old.

    So your mother didn't want you to leave but wanted to keep you around to abuse. When you called her on the abuse she asked "what'd I do?" Sounds like a 3 year old to me.

    I don't know who came up with that analysis of a narcissist, but it really seems to fit.

    I had a fancy social worker friend and her fancy husband, big government job and they were actually morally insane. I'll be getting to them soon in my postings. You'll be surprised, or maybe not.

  8. How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? Just one. But the light bulb has to want to change first. These people don't want to change. They don't think there is anything wrong with them.