Saturday, June 23, 2012

Nut Jobs

Our recent discovery of DS's multiple food allergies and my FOO's response to the situation has, once again, gotten me thinking about how narcissistic individuals respond so inappropriately in situations such as this. I've read umpteen articles written by frazzled parents from all over the internet who's own parents or spouse's parents simply refuse to accept or abide by the needs of their grandchildren, even in life-threatening situations. And, whenever we're dealing with allergies, there is always the possibility that a reaction could be life-threatening, even in children who's reactions typically tend to be less severe.

Here's what it should like:

My mother has been slowly but surely stocking her pantry with foods that are are both safe and appealing for DS. She's found everything from pasta to cookies and even wants to keep his special milk on hand for when we come over. She's offered to bring jello jigglers to every function we attend together, just so that DS has a guaranteed special treat when snacks come out. She gave me her bread machine so that I can experiment with making DS fresh bread everyday. (His is far to expensive to buy at the store, costing over five dollars a loaf). When the first bread machine didn't work, she gave me the new one that she just purchased for herself. She makes sure to cook pasta whenever we come over for dinner that's the same shape as DS's so that he won't think everyone else has something different or better than what he has.

She has offered to help us pay for a new family room sofa because we can't afford one and we think the cat dander in it may still be affecting his skin. (Even though we recently found a loving home for our cat, the old sofa we have is still covered in ever-elusive cat dander, which I've read may take up to two years to be gone completely). She gave us her old (but still functioning) air purifier. She's always the first person I call when I need to ask advice about how to alleviate DS's itchy skin, and she comes over to babysit for nearly every doctor's visit. I never have to worry that she won't read a label or that she'll give something to DS that could harm him.

For the record, my parents are not even close to being rich. They're about as middle-class as they come, and don't have much more money to spend than we do. When I told my mother we would pay her back for buying us a new couch, she said no. I told her we couldn't accept unless we paid for it. She said we could pay for some of it. (We're paying for all of it, she just doesn't know it yet.) When I said, "That's too expensive, Mom." She said, "Jonsi, it's not for you, it's for DS. If I can help out, then I will." She doesn't have any more money than we do, and buying specialty foods to keep on hand for our son is very expensive.

Just yesterday, when we were discussing the purchase of a new couch, she advised me not to wait for DS's next check-up with the allergist if I think that he's uncomfortable. (He's started breaking out all over his body again, and spends a good deal of time scratching wherever he can reach). She's genuinely concerned for his well-being, in fact, she's as concerned as we are. And that's the way it's supposed to be.

Narcissists, on the other hand, spend their time either exploiting their grandchildrens' allergies to make themselves appear more loving/special/interesting (etc.) or else completely denying that there is anything wrong at all and do little but disregard the parents' requests concerning their child's specialty diet. In short, Narcissists are nothing but a bunch of fucking nut jobs, handing out nuts to the most allergic kids they know, just because they don't give a shit what happens to them.


  1. Oh absolutely.
    Yk, I live up close with nature-sometimes TOO close. But I watch what they do for fun and out of necessity as well. Now, just about everyone has watched-or at least seen-chippies and squirrels.They have about a pea-sized brain, if that large. If you've ever watched them strategize over a bird feeder you'd see they truly know the meaning of insanity. They don't keep trying the same tactic over and over again (emails, letters, phone calls, ambushes etc.) to try to get to/empty the contents of that feeder: They change up their strategy repeatedly in an attempt to get what they want. And they are just as relentless as any Narc parent I've had the unfortunate experience to observe or experience.
    But a Narc Parent is so fucking DUMB, they just keep up the same shit and "don't understand" why the object of their attention is moving further and further away. Which means a pea-brained critter has far more functioning grey matter than they do.
    Alternatively, this REALLY ISN'T about "The Object Of Their Attention" ie, their AC at all. It's all about THEM. And they're so engrossed with THEMselves, they put on this huge SHOW of interest that doesn't pass the "pea-brain test." Once again, it's QUANTITY (of grey matter) over QUALITY (how it's used.)
    I'm convinced the average toddler is smarter than they are and just as tenacious. I do wish it was as easy to re-direct the attention of a Narc parent once they get into their whole "POTY (Parent Of The Year) Role" as a 2 yr. old. With a child, you know it's age and stage related behavior; with a NP it's essentially hopeless because they're NEVER gonna grow up or grow out of it. They're as mature NOW as they're ever gonna be.
    And about as "smart" as an amoeba as well as every bit as parasitic.

  2. Your mother sounds like such a wonderful woman - you are so lucky to have her in your life - and what a blessing for your children. Far above rubies..

  3. The way I figure is that if the grandchild has a severe reaction, the narcissist grandparent gets to play the Poor Me! card.

    These people like to make mountains out of molehills, but the fact is that they often invent drama in order to put themselves at the center of attention. Because it really is all about them.

    Actually, I think my sister is either borderline or histrionic PD, and she does this as well. She's always saying/whining, "Why do these things always keep happening to me?" Um, dear, because you flat out ignore solutions and make a big deal out of things that aren't. But I'm lucky? No. I just don't freak out over every hangnail and don't require an army of people to make me like myself.

    Sigh. There's no helping those who don't want real help. Quoting Monty Python: "Run away!"

  4. So, this post struck a particular cord with me.
    First and foremost, I suffer from many life threatening allergies and asthma and have for almost 30 years. I am quite knowledgeable (having dealt with it so long) and would like you to please feel free to email me (see my blog) with questions, concerns, or just to "release" as dealing with allergies can be heart wrenching. And watching your child deal with allergies can trigger so much anxiety and stress. I might not know answers, but would be more than willing to let you bounce something off of me.
    However, it sounds like you have a wonderful support in your physician and your mother. How wonderful that your mom can be such a support system for you and your son. (As a side note, the dander CAN take along time to dissipate. If you can replace the couch, (and it sounds like you have) that is wonderful. Also, wipe down your walls and any hard surface as dander is very sticky and will stick to anything and then release when rubbed against. Wash anything you can. Vacuum out vents and wash carpets if possible. I would also change out DS's pillows if the cat was in there.)
    Lastly, my allergies have cast me as a social reject for so long in my life. My NMIL has used it to imply that I just don't WANT to go to their house, despite the fact that she routinely allows five dogs in her home (not to mention it is full of mold and dust). They imply that, just because they haven't SEEN severe attacks (because by 20,I knew how to avoid them) that I was somehow faking it. They often implied that I should suck it up. OR they'd make a HUGE DEAL out of me, cleaning and such, but only when I (and husband) could see it (never mind that this stirred up way more dander while I was present). I've never understood how my LIFE THREATENING DISEASE is a personal attack on her and her vision of family. Like I did it on fucking purpose to screw up her life.
    NM uses my allergies and asthma to talk about how much of a good, caring parent she is. How she "suffered" for me. Now that DS may also have allergies, she uses it to remind me of what she did for me (ha!).