family is a regime built on fear of abandonment. A sect where ”love” is never unconditional and everyone, at least subconsciously, knows they will be excluded if they reveal the truth, even to themselves……
Narcissus did not fall in love with himself, he fell in love with his own reflection….. The narcissist long ago found that the best way to survive was to hide his own vulnerability behind this reflection and ever since then EVERYTHING in his life is weighed against the risk of being disclosed.
The Narcissist is not able to connect with his own pain and fear of abandonment but he becomes an expert in recognizing it in others (projection) He scans for this fear in his ”victims” and builds his ”fan club” of people that he feels he can control. The perfect spouse for a covert narcissist is the child of a narcissist who still believes in what he was told, his own false self….. Still, even if he can be controlled with a minimum of giving he is a grown up person and might some day be able to brake free, leave or perhaps even expose the narcissist and her behavior….. The best way for a covert female narcissist to create a loyal fan club (secure secondary narcisstic supply) is to have Children.
Children are weird by their primary caregiver, they have no other choice then to ”trust” her. In order to feel safe they protect the idea of the loving mother by making her negative messages a part of themselves. If the father is a nice guy (victim of his own fears) he is likely to stay in the relationship however emotionally dysfunctional it is and if he have narcissistic traits (I sure did…) he becomes the perfect target for projection. The fact that he is almost as controlled by the mother as his children makes it difficult or next to impossible for him to fully see them and create his own relationship with them. Mum is always ”watching” making sure everyone stays within his/her given space.
The absolute condition for being ”loved” by a malignant narcissist is to NEVER question his her false ”strong” and omnipotent self. The spouse knows this, the close friends knows it and the children of a narcissistic mother never knew anything else……. especially if the other parent was never able to fully stand up against her and establish his own relationship to them… My ex was always stable, in control, reliable and she never missed a chance to remind everyone of this and took every chance to create ”a mutual understanding” with our children about their father’s lack of these qualities.
If you are hurt on the same deep level as a malignant narcissist but still believe in love you lost the day they accepted your offer to to love them and if you become the father of their children you have most likely helped the decease to survive yet another generation. If you manage to fully brake free you have no other option than sharing your story even though this might mean you loose the little contact you might still have with your children. Unless your children have been able to see through their mother´s behaviors your contact is controlled by her and thus ongoing triangulation and abuse by proxy.
The mother of my 3 children now between 26 and 31 is a malignant covert narcissist with a small but still extremely loyal ”fan club”. She has a perfect job where her role is very much to stay in control, a next to rock solid facade and an she is the very definition of fake humility. I stayed with her for 23 years, hoping to be able to help her get back to that vulnerable woman I saw (she pretended to be?) during the first 3 month of our relationship, March to May 1984…… I did try to leave her, twice already during the first year though she was able to get me back, with ”love” or by using third part. Then we had children and I had finally lost the battle….. It took me another 10 years after I divorced her until I fully understood how malicious she is.
I will write more about the dynamics in dysfunctional families and why our attempts to break free from our given roles often causes distress, fear and even hostility among those still stuck.
Again, this is my understanding, my truth. Pick what makes sense to you and leave the rest. You can always return back and read again in the future. If you have any reflections you like to share, something from your own story, a deeper understanding or or totally different opinion you are more than welcome to write a comment. Never forget that we are in this together 🤗