Narcissists, along with controlling types and other abusers, are masters at stagecraft; they know how to choreograph the dance when they need you to pirouette and keep a tight grip on the dialogue between you.
When I think about my childhood, even now all these decades later, it’s the brittle surface that comes to mind first: My mother’s face, disapproving, her lips in a pout; my parents’ constant bickering about money which was the tinderbox for their fights; me, at that various ages, my nose buried in a book, wishing I were elsewhere.
“They’re only words,” the woman writes me, “And I have so many things and so much time invested in this marriage. Isn’t a relationship always a matter of compromise?”
I know you’re balking at the headline—what’s the point of focusing on the negative, right? Shouldn’t you be making lemonade out of those lemons, finding the silver lining in that cloud, and assuring yourself that what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger?
The chances are good that if you’re involved with someone high in narcissistic traits—seriously involved, that is—it’s probably taken you a while to figure it out
That’s the question most of my readers ask, especially when—predictably enough—they’ve suffered a setback in their efforts to heal or find themselves still stuck in old patterns.
I was probably six or seven when I realized that my mother’s version of events and mine were totally different, and that one of us had to be wrong or even “crazy.”
Not long ago, I got a message from a reader which lamented what she saw as a real loss in her life: the absence of close female friendships. She wrote saying that no matter how she tried, inevitably the friendship or acquaintanceship would fall apart, and she’d feel absolutely terrible.