Sunday, August 12, 2012

Minimal Contact

I happened upon an interesting post from a thread on the infamous Dr. Coleman forum for estranged parents that I would like to address here, as it rather reminded me of DH's parents. (*Note: Although the EP who wrote the post below did nothing to mask the identity of the individuals she was referring to, I will do so here, out of respect for their privacy.)

Title of thread: my 22 yr old son has refused to talk to me for 2 years
Post written by: Dee
Date: August 1, 2012

I have just found this forum thru a good friend who just knows how much I hurt!  I went to bed last night after reading some of the posts and really thought what I felt was true.  I may never hear from my son again.  I have never had one ounce of trouble from him in his entire life.  We have always  been close.  My son is 26 years old.  Last time I saw my son was on Christmas Eve of 2011.  We talked on the phone after that and on January 5th I talked to him and yelled at him and a few days later I received an email from him saying him and his girlfriend were moving out of the apartment that we own and he was paying rent on $135.00 a month. Let me back up a little.  For months I thought he was lying or neglecting to tell me the truth and I had found out that he was only working 3 days a week and he was basicially playing video games and not working at his future.  We had paid for his entire college education and his Masters program (he was a little shy of being half thru) and he was living in our apartment building and paying $135.00 a month in rent for his girlfriend and him.  When I talked to him on January 5th I told him that he needed to get a full time job and when he got a full time job he needed to pay us $500 rent and that him and his girlfriend could not get engaged until they were living on their own.  They couldn't get married or have a kid here and that he had to pay for half of his tuitition for this fall.  He was crying on the phone and I said we would talk about it when we met for breakfast the following weekend.  That was on Thursday and he emailed me and said he was too upset to have breakfast with us and a couple of days later we got an email that said this:

Mom and [Man's name],
I am writing to you because after a lot of thought, [Emme] and I have come to a crucial decision.
We are moving out effective Wednesday, Feb 1, 2012. We have thought about this decision a lot, and we want you to know that this decision is final. This also means that I will not be attending my class this semester, and instead focusing that time on employment. The date at which you can be refunded your full amount of money is JANUARY 22, so please make sure to cancel the class by then and you will get the full refund of all fees. I want you to know that I fully intend to complete my education when the time is right in the future. We have experienced a lot of support from friends, but we have decided to move in with [T] and [E]. I have CC'd them on this email to make sure everyone is on the same page. Please understand that we are both very upset and would appreciate if you respected the fact that we don't want you to call or come over. Emails will be kept to a minimum. We are sorry that it has to be this way, and we both understand how upsetting this is going to be for both of you as well. I love you both, and I do not want this to be the end of our relationship. However, we feel that this decision is what needs to happen and will ultimately be very good for our lives. We have always appreciated your support, and would appreciate your support through this time as well.
I love you.
- [A]

I have not heard from him since.  After talking to my therapist she suggested that I try to contact him via mail.  So I sent a card to him that I wrote:

I wake up every morning and my first thoughts are of you.
I go to bed every night and my last thoughts are of you.
I love you and miss you every day.
Mom 

I am just glad I found this place where others are experiencing the same kind of stuff that I am.  I don't know what else to tell you except that only a few people know what is going on in our livess.  They say he will come around, just going thru a temper tantrum.  I just don't know.  My husband, his stepdad, has always had a good relationship with him, been his stepdad since he was 13 years old.  I can't talk to my husband about the daily pain I feel as most times it is too deep.  I don't know what to say and I don't know what he would say except he would want to fix it or make it better, but he can't.  Anyway, his birthday is coming up in September and I don't know if I should send a card to him or not.  I am supposed to care but he doesn't, as he didn't answer my last card so I am confused, I have given to him all his life and he has not given his entire life but accepted his entire life and so am I encouraging the same behavior by doing this???  Sorry for being all over the place but this is so hard!

Thanks

Dee

I think this particular post called to me because I couldn't quite shake the feeling that this woman, Dee, is playing dumb like a champ, in order to evoke sympathy in others for her plight. My overall sense is that this woman likely manipulated her son his whole life and that she doesn't know what to do now that she feels her control slipping away. And that particular sentiment reeks of NMIL to me, even though I know that this woman is not NMIL. There only seems to be one flavor of narcissist, and this woman tastes like it.

And now, for the analysis:

I have just found this forum thru a good friend who just knows how much I hurt!  I went to bed last night after reading some of the posts and really thought what I felt was true. Feelings are not really something that can be "true." One can truly feel something -OR- one can be claiming to feel something that one does not, in fact, feel. But a "feeling" itself is not something that is typically described as being "true" or "false." Perhaps that particular thought was merely a poorly communicated idea on Dee's part, but I can't shake the feeling that what she's trying to say is that her feelings are "right," which, by definition, would make her son's feelings "wrong." And if that's the case, then boy has she already set the tone for the message she wishes to convey

I may never hear from my son again.  I have never had one ounce of trouble from him in his entire life.  We have always  been close. I've seen and heard the claim that NPs were "always close" with their (now) estranged adult children and that they "never had trouble from them before" many times before. Those two claims tend to be favorites amongst the empathetically-challenged and that could be due, in part, to the narcissists' complete denial of reality; it also likely has something to do with the fact that so many children of NPs would not emotionally (or in some cases physically) survive if they attempted to break their parent's control from the onset, and so they rarely have the means or desire to put up a big fight and break away at a young age. So, in reality, what typically happens is that the children of Ns fight for their emotional independence in small ways, if at all, until they have the means necessary to begin their fight in earnest (usually in late adolescence and adulthood.) What is funny to me is that, in a healthy setting, where parents have normal boundaries and respect for their children, I think there is an expectation that their children will act out, test those boundaries, and attempt to "spread their wings" (to use an oft-used cliche). In a household with abusive parents, children are never freely given the room required for their wings to spread. If Dee's son never "gave her trouble" before, in his entire twenty six years on earth, it likely isn't because he didn't want to; it's because he wasn't given a safe environment to do so. It seems to me that "trouble" to the narcissist usually means "independent" to a non-narcissist. 

Last time I saw my son was on Christmas Eve of 2011.  We talked on the phone after that and on January 5th I talked to him and yelled at him and a few days later I received an email from him saying him and his girlfriend were moving out of the apartment that we own and he was paying rent on $135.00 a month. Let me back up a little. I think that it's rather frustrating to read any and all communications from parents like Dee because not only are their stories laced with holes and missing pieces, but it just seems like most of them stopped their schooling at the age of ten. It's like they know what words are and basically how to spell them, but they can't put them together into a coherent, semi-logical statement of facts. And that becomes apparent in any number of ways. There are narcissists who have a case of the dot-dot-dots, where...they use...ellipses....in the most incorrect...and inappropriate manner...; there are narcissists who constantly misuse punctuation and it becomes difficult to understand whether they are really excited or just faking it!!!!! There are narcissists who seem to rarely, if ever, use spell-check because they must simply not care whether the recipient of their correspondence can even read what they've written. Most narcissists that I've come across either have meticulous, bubbly handwriting that manages to look superficial from a hundred feet away, or else penmanship so atrocious that it's barely legible. And if you are actually able to see what it is they are attempting to communicate, their messages are almost always confusing, full of lies, or else missing all the most important facts required for any understanding to take place. It really makes me wonder, how do narcissists understand each other?

So, in the point Dee was trying to make, I really became much more interested in what she was leaving out, than in what she was actually choosing to share. I think all the answers lie in what she wasn't saying. We talked on the phone [a few days after the last time we saw each other] and on January 5th I talked to him and yelled at him... Is anyone else as confused by that as I am? So, she sets the scene by saying she thinks she's never going to see her son anymore, but (presumably) she doesn't understand why because she's "never had an ounce of trouble from him" and they had always been "so close." And then she goes on to say that after seeing each other for a major holiday, she called him up and "yelled at him." Pushing aside the fact that it's more than a little bizarre to hear that a woman was yelling at her twenty-six year old son, I was really left wondering what the hell she felt it was appropriate to be yelling at him for. I mean, what? Did he not clean his room? Eat all his vegetables at dinner? What, pray tell, does anyone have the right to yell at another adult for?

And then she reveals, for months I thought he was lying or neglecting to tell me the truth and I had found out that he was only working 3 days a week and he was basicially playing video games and not working at his future.  We had paid for his entire college education and his Masters program (he was a little shy of being half thru) and he was living in our apartment building and paying $135.00 a month in rent for his girlfriend and him. She throws out the amount that he was paying her for rent to make it sound as though she should get a Mother-Of-The-Year Award for letting him live there for so cheap AND to play for the pity-party she probably hopes she'll get by painting her son as a cheapskate who's been taking advantage of her. The scene had already been set from the beginning with Mommy's whiny introduction, but here she just solidifies it: Mommy equals loving, caring, doting, sweet, thoughtful good guy; Son equals good-for-nothing, lazy, demanding, cheapskate who has no regard for ALL that mommy has done for him (and his good-for-nothing girlfriend to boot!) And, as many NPs do, Dee also threw in the comment about how, since she's paid for his ENTIRE college education SHE should get to have a say in what he decides to do with his life. I know that even non-narcissistic parents often have that type of attitude as well, but narcissists seem to use it more than anyone. It's kind of like, "I gave birth to you, therefore you have to do as I say" or "I paid for your possessions so I get to tell you what to do with them or take them back if I feel like it" or "I took you on expensive vacations that you'll always be indebted to me for, so now you owe me this, that, and the other thing." I equate this logic to an abusive mentality. A person is not yours to do with as you see fit, just because you've created them/birthed them/fed them/clothed them/provided for them. And that is so because a person is not chattel. Period. But try telling that to someone like Dee and next thing you know, she'll be yelling at you too and badmouthing you all over town. And something else: I find it difficult to believe (considering the source of all this information) that Dee's son could really be considered someone who was not taking his future seriously, seeing that he was working on a Master's Degree. I'm also very curious to know how Dee snooped found out precisely what her son was doing with his spare time or how she believed she had the right to charge him a higher rent on the premise that he wasn't doing whatever she wanted him to do with that spare time. I didn't realize that "love", even the financial kind, could have so many damned stipulations.

When I talked to him on January 5th I told him that he needed to get a full time job and when he got a full time job he needed to pay us $500 rent and that him and his girlfriend could not get engaged until they were living on their own.  They couldn't get married or have a kid here and that he had to pay for half of his tuitition for this fall.  There are certain things you can dictate when a person rents from you, and certain things you can not. There are also certain things you can dictate to an adult child, and certain things you can not. I don't know any adult or any renter who would happily or willingly live in an apartment where the landlord dictates whether or not he can get married or have children while living there. Generally speaking, unless the number of people renting and living in an apartment exceeds a limit that is considered "safe" by legal rules and regulations, I don't believe that any landlord has the right to issue ultimatums about whether her renter can get married or have children. In fact, according to my research, it seems that landlords don't even have the right to turn renters away if they already have children; as that would be considered discriminatory. Legally speaking, I could not find any evidence that indicated Dee could have gotten away with her threats. However, emotionally speaking, it's a whole other story. I hypothesized, while reading about the demands she made on her son, that NMIL would have behaved in a similar manner had we taken up the offer to live in her apartment. In retrospect, I believe that, not only would she have evaded our privacy, crossed multiple boundaries, and maintained more control over DH because of his physical proximity to her, but she also might have eventually made demands on him (or us) concerning our marital status and our decision to have more children. Her demands may have been more subtle, but they'd have been there nevertheless. Beyond that, I think Dee's demands on her son give a whole lot of insight into precisely how much control she wanted in her relationship with him. How much control did Dee want? All of it. If I'd have been her son, I'd have run like hell too. In this case, he was not being treated as either a tenant OR an adult; he was being treated as a child who's "rewards" come with the stipulation that he must do as she says or else.

He was crying on the phone and I said we would talk about it when we met for breakfast the following weekend.  That was on Thursday and he emailed me and said he was too upset to have breakfast with us... I'd have been crying too, if I were Dee's son. In fact, I did cry when we found out that NMIL had been lying to us about her apartment for rent. And, while I blame some of it on pregnancy hormones, I blame the rest on the sheer shittiness of the situation: the fact that DH and I had been so excited to have a place of our own (a place that I had fallen in love with because the house was so quaint and old) and that we had been lied to about it and then treated as though we deserved the cruelty. I'm also not at all surprised that Dee expresses not even a moment's consideration of her son's feelings in that moment. Rather than deal with his feelings right then, she decided she'd put off talking about the issue for a whole week; likely because his upset didn't even cause the faintest blip on her radar. And NMIL pulled a similar trick too, when DH found out that she had been lying to us and leading us on and he called her out on it: she also attempted to put off the discussion about her subtle demands, lies and manipulations to a later date. After DH told her he'd felt "played," she told him in an email dated Friday May 29, 2009, "How about if you come over first thing in the morning tomorrow and we chat? Or meet halfway for coffee?" Even though her "later date" was only a day later, it still bought her more time to figure out how to con DH into believing he was really to blame, that she'd meant no harm, and that he had been responsible for the entire "misunderstanding." In my experience, time is an important factor in manipulation because giving a narcissist too much of it allows her more space to plot her manipulations.

[Alleged letter to Dee from her son]: I am writing to you because after a lot of thought, [Emme] and I have come to a crucial decision. We are moving out effective Wednesday, Feb 1, 2012. We have thought about this decision a lot, and we want you to know that this decision is final. Dee's son comes across as being a rather intelligent individual; his words here seem carefully chosen and purposefully written. I love that he uses "we" terminology because it sets a tone that the "crucial decision" of which he speaks was made between he and his partner, rather than being the responsibility of one partner over the other; and their united front will be a difficult one for Dee to break, if she attempts to tear at their bonds in an effort to divide and conquer.

This also means that I will not be attending my class this semester, and instead focusing that time on employment. The date at which you can be refunded your full amount of money is JANUARY 22, so please make sure to cancel the class by then and you will get the full refund of all fees. I want you to know that I fully intend to complete my education when the time is right in the future. Here, I am overwhelmed by his sense of honor (giving his mother the information necessary for her money to be reimbursed). There are plenty of people out there who might have considered either taking Dee's money, or else simply never informing her of his decision and letting her lose it unnecessarily. Instead, he chose to tell her of his decision to end all progress on his Masters degree and when she'd be able to get a refund for the money she paid for the semester. Considering the financial demands she was making on him, that truly was the "higher road" he chose to take. And again, given the type of language he uses - I want you to know that I fully intend to complete my education when the time is right in the future - I find it hard to believe that this is a man who isn't taking his future seriously.

We have experienced a lot of support from friends, but we have decided to move in with [T] and [E]. I have CC'd them on this email to make sure everyone is on the same page. YEAH! Can I get a witness? Hell yes you can! I think this was a brilliant move on their part: to have carbon copied several individuals on this communication and to inform his mother that he was doing so goes a really long way to proving that he meant business. What's really amazing to me though, is that in spite of that, Dee will likely still be able to fool outsiders into believing that she's the victim in this scenario. I mean, she's already playing the martyr role so well, and it's only a few months into her estrangement. Makes me wonder how many people NMIL showed DH's Declaration of Independence and Letter of NC to, and of those people, how many she fooled into believing that DH was the 'bad guy.' Most likely, she played her cards so well that anyone who saw those two documents believed all her pretty little lies without question (and wouldn't have been on our side anyway).

Please understand that we are both very upset and would appreciate if you respected the fact that we don't want you to call or come over. Emails will be kept to a minimum.  Unfortunately, asking for understanding from a narcissist is an exercise in futility. And if there is anything less possible than that, it would be asking a narcissist for respect. I wonder if Dee actually abided by those requests but, just as the world may never know how many licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie pop, we'll probably never know how many times Dee showed up to her son's apartment before he moved out.

I love you both, and I do not want this to be the end of our relationship. A very telling statement about the insight Dee's son had concerning how his mother would most likely respond to his requests for respect, understanding, and space.

[Back to Dee's post]: I have not heard from him since.  After talking to my therapist she suggested that I try to contact him via mail.  So I sent a card to him that I wrote: I wake up every morning and my first thoughts are of you. I go to bed every night and my last thoughts are of you. I love you and miss you every day. Say what? Your therapist suggests you contact your son via mail and you write what equates to a generic Hallmark card? Not only that, but a Hallmark card that could have been sent from an eighteenth century Duke to his mail-order bride to be? Dee's attempt at "communication" with her son after his thoughtfully composed email is woefully lacking in the Reality Department. First of all, I find it hard to believe any good therapist would condone the use of such lame "problem-solving" tactics as are represented by Dee's little vomit-inducing Hallmark card. Secondly, Dee's attempts to communicate with her son seem to completely reject the context of the entire situation she finds herself in. Her card is nothing but an attempt at manipulation. I see no truth in it and no attempts on her part to maturely discuss the issues that are undermining the relationship she could have had with her son. Then again, why the hell would she willingly discuss the issues that she herself caused? That would serve no purpose than for her to be admitting her fault and beginning to take responsibility for her actions. Yeah right, and pigs might fly.

...he didn't answer my last card so I am confused... If it's the hallmark card above she's claiming he didn't "answer," then I'm a little lost because I didn't see anything in it that indicated there was a question being asked. Also, I've learned rather quickly that when a narcissist claims to be "confused" she's usually lying. No one is as confused as a narcissist would have you believe she is. They just play dumb half the time because they figure most people fall for it. Actually, I think Dee quite clearly understands what is at stake, why her son has pulled away, and why he didn't "answer" her last card to him. She's not confused. She's lying.

I have given to him all his life and he has not given his entire life but accepted his entire life... Besides being grammatically incorrect, this last statement points to Dee's extreme feelings of entitlement and to her "you owe me" attitude. The ironic thing is that, while the message I think she's trying to convey is that her son owes her for all that she has given him, what she literally said is that she gave life to him and therefore feels that he owes her his entire life in exchange; by it's very nature that statement means that Dee believes her son owes his entire self to her including (but not limited to, I'm sure): His body, his soul, his mind, his interests, his devotion, his various degrees, his girlfriend, his unborn children, his time, his money, his undying loyalty and respect, his memories, his labor, his privacy, all of his property and possessions, his accomplishments, his attention, his love and affections, and possibly the use of his prescription medicines.

With those types of demands in place, I'd skip town too without a backwards glance. My thoughts go out to Dee's son, wherever he is, that he may find the peace and love that his mother will likely never give him. If he chooses to continue maintaining minimal contact with his mother, my guess is that it's because she chooses to continue maintaining minimal contact with reality.

20 comments:

  1. Damn Jonsi. You nailed this one coming and going. I kept finding myself wanting to add to something you left out only to find you covered it in the next paragraph.
    But you hear it time and time again.
    "I don't know why my 26 year old son is moving on."
    "All I want is for him to keep drinking life through the bendy straw I have chosen for him. And yet he bites the hand that feeds him."

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    1. I re-read it a couple times, sure I was missing something vital. Kam (below) makes some really great points about all of the finances that I can't take any credit for.

      But overall, I think this woman's stories had so many holes that it was impossible not to pick at it.

      I'm glad her son seems to be going the way of escape route and has since probably decided that bendy straws and sippy cups aren't for him anymore.

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  2. I think you were dead-on in spotting this woman's post as disingenuous. Great analysis, especially about the bizarre grammatical structure towards the end.

    "I have given to him all his life and he has not given his entire life but accepted his entire life"

    She was trying establish that she had been incredibly generous towards her son, and in this part she was probably trying to say that she had given to him throughout his life and he always just accepted, but never gave anything in return. Was it a Freudian slip that instead she essentially wrote that she gave him his entire life and that she was disappointed that he hadn't given his entire life to her?

    Talk about a deal with the devil. "I will support my son through university and graduate school if he surrenders his entire life to me"

    Thank goodness he was able to cut loose all those strings he was tangled in from all the "gifts" that his mom had given to him.

    One thing that struck me was that if he was between semesters in grad school, he was probably enjoying a few weeks of downtime before getting back into classes. I'm not clear on why his mom thought full time employment during grad school was the best approach.

    But aside from that, the speed and fury with which she lowered the boom when she discovered his "lies" was telling. He was a few weeks away from starting next semester classes. In that time with his mom's new rules, he had to find an extra $365 each month for rent, plus magically save a huge chunk for tuition. I'd say his portion would have been at least $5,000 and probably more, depending on the school and discipline.

    No one could magically produce half their tuition during semester break. She was setting him up to fail, punishing him for doing things she didn't agree with, and trying to reinforce to him just how much he needed her help.

    Good for him that he decided to break free from her control and go forward under his own steam!

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    1. Great points about the finances, Kam. It all makes me wonder, why now? Why did "Dee" suddenly do this? (I suppose it's not necessarily a question of "why" but of what? What boundary did her son try to set that she didn't like, in what way did he attempt to move on that she was trying to stamp out, what happened that caused her to lose control?) Curious and curiouser.

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    2. I found it telling that she said the statement about him not being able to get engaged or have a baby until he lived on his own. I'm guessing the son was getting closer to his girlfriend and more serious and this freaked her out. It just was such a weird, random statement in the context of the rest of it that it stood out to me. So, she's trying to "punish" him. Take away his "gifts" and show him that if he thinks he wants to be grownup and get married, etc., she's going to show him how difficult it is by making him pony up money. I'm guessing she hopes that he'll decide that it is too much work and then she can strong arm him back into their former relationship she found more to her liking. But, I could be wrong.

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  3. Sorry, I had one last thought. From what I could tell in her description, she didn't increase the rent and demand that her son pay half his tuition because she was struggling with the burden of supporting him through his master's degree.

    It was more as though she was doing it for his own good. So he would have a better attitide, i.e., more grateful for everything his mother had done for him. ick

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    1. (Ah! You don't have to apologize? What are you apologizing for? Making wicked awesome points? Stop that, you!)

      "It was more as though she was doing it for his own good. So he would have a better attitide..." Right again, I had that feeling too. She increased the amount he'd have to be paying to make HIM struggle. This woman is SO not being honest about her motives.

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  4. Dee's son should put on some Forrest Gump running shoes. My god, does that Estranged Mother have giant holes in her story. Never had a bit of trouble but suddenly she's trying to control every bit of his life including whether he gets engaged?

    Hell, I barely know what colleges my 17 year old is planning on applying to. Trying to dictate anything more than "please unload the dishwasher before you go to bed" seems like I'm being to involved. Lmao.

    Hang in there, Jonsi.

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    1. [[VicariousRising]]

      "Never had a bit of trouble but suddenly she's trying to control every bit of his life including whether he gets engaged?" That is rather "ironic," if I do say so myself.

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  5. I'm with Q. Damn, girl, you did nail this one. Especially your comment about the "vomit Hallmark card." Narcs often send these cryptic love messages that reek of cliches, and sappy sentiment. They are easy to send and cost Narcs nothing in terms of self-assessment, introspection, or reckoning with what they've done. They think that if they just keep saying "I love you" that it wipes the slate clean no matter what. Nice work Jonsi!

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    1. Whenever I analyze stuff like this, I'm always wondering where the adult child is that I'm writing about. I wish he knew that I support him and that I know all about getting those ridiculous Hallmark Cards from a narcissist that are empty of meaning but chock full of manipulation. I wish Dee's son the best and that he learns not to take those cards his mother sends to him personally - it's not his fault she's empty inside.

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    2. The card was sickening. A grown son should not be the first and last thing a mother thinks about. I wonder how her husband feels about that. Ick. Phony and meant to lay it on thick so her son will feel badly. And it had no reference to the real situation at hand. No wonder he didn't respond. What in the hell would you say to that? Um, thanks?

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  6. Very nice analysis Jonsi. For someone who grew up with non-narc parents, you sure have mastered the ins and outs of the narcissistic playbook.
    The ridiculousness of the whole situation annoys me. I feel so sorry for her son because, as you pointed out, he seems to be a respectful, smart, thoughtful man who deals with his mother with integrity despite her bullshit. Her portrayal of him is so in contrast with the "evidence" of his letters and communications. And I always wonder, if Dee thinks her son is such a piece of shit, how does she think he got that way? If she did such a fabulous job, gave him everything all his life, and was everything to him, why did he turn out to be so awful (according to her)? God forbid that she turn and look at herself though. She is such a typical narcissistic mother, giving "everything" for her son, expecting everything in return, and acting like Mother Theresa in the in between. Gag. Poor guy. I truly hope that he has been able to maintain some distance and find a space to become an individual.

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  7. All her retaliation for him not falling for her manipulation reeks of that story about the scorpion and the frog.
    I hate to raise his rent. I hate to evict him.
    I hate to sting him in all these ways.
    But it's my nature.

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  8. In in in in famous.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

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    1. I was hoping someone would get a kick out of that. It's genius.

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  9. "No one is as confused as a narcissist would have you believe she is. They just play dumb half the time because they figure most people fall for it."

    So true in every aspect. My mom plays naive and dumb so that we'll give her a pass on her bad behavior, yet at the same time she brags how smart she is and how much smarter she is than all the dumbasses (meaning people who wouldn't fall for her crap). Geez mom, either you're a genius or you're dumb/confused, you can't have it both ways. It sometimes remind me of Michael Moore acting befuddled in front of his own camera to come off as a naive innocent taking on the big bad corporation.

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  10. " I have never had one ounce of trouble from him in his entire life." That statement could have its own post. My mother said exactly the same words when my brother had a nervous breakdown in his late twenties. Never mind about my poor brother in the padded room of the psychriatic hospital.

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  11. "It really makes me wonder, how do narcissists understand each other?"

    Ha, ha, they don't, they just "feel" they do!

    Just like they "understand" reality: they just "feel" they do!--quartz

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  12. If I was a betting woman, I'd put my money on a proposal as the event that sparked this womans rage. I would bet that her son hadn't made a big deal over his girlfriend with his mother because he was likely told that he needed to focus on school and not girls, and so the proposal came as a shock to this woman. And instead of being happy, she told him that he betrayed her and wasn't allowed to get married. That's probably another reason he plans to put his grad school on hold...

    Just a guess...but I remember the day my DH proposed to me, when we called his parents, his father was happy and excited and his mother said "congratulations. That's great." and passed the phone back to his dad. She was so cold and later said it was because she was having a bad day at work. Never mind that she knew he planned to propose before that day. I never had any trouble with the woman before the engagement...afterwards though is a different story.

    It's too bad we can only speculate on this poor guy. I hope he and his gf build a stronger relationship through all of this and of course, are very happy now that they're out of the Queen's apartment.

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