Life with a Narcissist is like living on permanent Storm Alert; it’s anxiety-producing in the extreme, and this anxiety bleeds through to every single area of your life.
Sounds negative? Well it is. That doesn’t mean the adult children of Narcissists don’t know how to carve out a new life for themselves; they do, but instead of our paths being smooth and breezy, we walk that road on high alert, never knowing what is around the corner.
We’re on high alert because we never know when the Narcissist rage is going to come; we’re always justifying the Narcissist’s behaviour to others – she/he is OK. They mean well. They’re just not socially able. They care but they don’t know how to show it. They have some good qualities – I can’t quite think of any right now but they do, I promise you. All of this are some of the excuses you give others to save your own shameful embarrassment that a member of your family can act like they do. You’re lying to yourself and to others to save your skin, and that’s fair enough.
Then you go the other way and you warn your children – don’t sink to their level; this has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with them; they’re mean and horrible, but count yourself lucky you have other caring family members in your life……
You could call this all Hall of Mirrors Living. It’s like looking in the mirror at an ordinary human being – them – and seeing reflected back at you a hideous monster.
So how can we cope with the Narcissist?
We (I) have to remember that these people are NOT normal; that their way of living in the world is NOT normal. Narcissists are individuals who are afflicted with a serious disorder. Whether their disorder is their fault or not is another topic of conversation, another blog, but in the meantime, we have to find a way to protect ourselves.
That’s NUMBER ONE in importance.
To start with, it’s vital that you limit your interaction with them. If that’s not possible, remember that they will never change, so think about how you can protect your energy when you’re forced to be with them.
For five years I adopted a ‘nurse’ approach with my mother, and talked to her as though I was a professional nurse dealing with her crap, as though it was my job to listen to her. It helped me remove my own being from my interaction with her, and helped me enormously. It almost eradicated our arguments because my nursey way gave her nothing to work with. All she could was to laugh and smile at the conversation and glow in the aura of attention.
I became an expert at this, and I managed it for five years, but recently something has changed in me, and I can no longer manage this very well.
But it might work for you. Try it and see.
Love, Miranda xx