a tale in which they are the innocent victim of some irrational monster… you are being recruited as a flying monkey.” ~~ Gail Meyers
Which is precisely what Susan did to me with my family, and what my mother also did to the older siblings. I suppose I ought to feel sorry for them, having got out of the clutches of one, only to have another marry into the group — and someday, I hope I can feel sorry for them. I do realize what a fucked-up mess they are, on an intellectual level, but I’m not at the point of empathy yet.
When I wrote my personal Declaration of Independence to my family in 2013, my sister wrote back and admitted that she refused to read what I had written, but nonetheless felt able to write her own angry screed in return. Among the items on her numbered list:
(7) If you had a bad relationship with Mom, please think about the fact that Dad certainly colored your opinion — and as a 6-,7-, or 8- year old, you would not have even been aware of it.
The irony is breathtaking.
If anyone in my family colored anyone else’s opinions, it was Mom blaming Dad for just about everything, and playing the martyr to make people feel sorry for her.
What I have realized is the flying monkeys generally have their own reasons for behaving the way they do… They may know the truth, but lack the backbone to stand up for what is right. They may themselves fear becoming a target of the narcissist. They may have been a target of the narcissist in the past. They may have been taught to get along with everyone regardless. They may also be a narcissist themselves or hiding their own troubling behavior.
While the situation with my mother is more complicated — with The Susan Incident, I can put names to almost every one of those reasons. What I can’t believe is that Gail left out the one that always worked for my mother, and works for Susan:
“They feel sorry for the narcissist.”
The full article by Gail Meyers can be read here.