Once again, Seth Godin gets inside my head.
Why is that? Is the world so unfair?
As Seth points out, it’s because they have a story, a narrative that they have learned since birth, a set of explanations that starts with “Mom was a saint, Dad was a bastard” and then looks for evidence to support that theory.
They do have a tribe: the Triumvirate plus One, the one minor kid who didn’t choose Dad to go live with after The Divorce. (The family legend says that he chose Mom, but according to the actual filings, he refused to make a choice.)
But mostly, it’s because they were prepared to spend a decade (or two or three) to change the culture of their part of the world in the direction that mattered to them.
Or, they had it done for them, by one selfish woman who laid the groundwork, and another who took advantage of a made-to-order setup.
It has taken me a while to accept that I’ve really lost my family. That in fact, I had them taken away from me by that bitch of a SIL. (And, that in some ways I never had them to begin with. But it turns out that the loss of something you thought you had
is just as painful.)
I have tried to figure out what her motivation for this could be. I mean, why did she need to ruin everything for me? Wasn’t there room enough in this family for everyone?
Well, no, there isn’t — not from the narcissist’s point of view. To allow everyone to share, to allow everyone to have a place at the table, you need to care about someone other than yourself.
And especially in my case, Susan can’t afford to have someone around who sees through her bullshit, who will speak up and call her on her inappropriateness.
She can’t be comfortable around me, because to her I am a ticking time bomb.
Narcissists need attention (and sometimes pity)
and want complete agreement with their wishes. They ignore or oppose people who refuse to supply them with these things,
and they turn their attention instead to those who can offer these three things in unlimited supply. This is what’s at the heart of narcissistic supply.
I can’t be counted on to act the way I am “supposed” to act — because I wasn’t trained to it over a lifetime by our mother. I am not a very good flying monkey
Add to that, Susan comes from a family of two sisters. I have no idea if her sister has her figured out or not. But it is obvious that in terms of narcissistic supply, more people are better — and here is this big ol’ family of well-trained suppliers, that she can manipulate oh-so-easily into acting just how she likes it. It must be like heaven for her. There is no way she would ever give that up.
And, she won’t have to. She’s got them all solidly on her side, or at least too cowed to speak up and do anything. Because, you know, it might make trouble in the family. For them, it’s only a little bit broken right now, and she’s got them scared to break it any further. In fact, they managed to get brother #3 and his daughter to attend last year’s reunion for the first time ever — I suspect they see that as kind of “patching up” what’s missing, and, probably, further evidence that I am in the wrong.
For me, though, it’s completely shot. I know too much about what is really going on now, and I don’t see any way that everyone else will work together to fix what is really wrong.