Who owns you? Yeah, you heard me right. Owns you. If you’re in a relationship with a narcissistic, they do. Lock, stock and barrel. Owned.
I know. I was there.
Just Waltz Right In
That’s what narcissists do, you know. They waltz right in to every facet of our being. And I mean every. The word “boundaries” is anathema to them. Say “boundary” to a narc and they snarl like Smeagol in Lord of the Rings, “We hates ’em, Precious! Smeagol hates nasty boundaries!”
Oh, they hates ’em alright. I’ll never forget the time I asked for some privacy during those few moments each day when I was shivering out of my bathrobe and into my lingerie. Yeah, that lasted for about two days. Then it was back to “same ol’, same ol’.” She just had to empty my bedroom wastebasket every day at that exact time. There was no other time in twenty-four hours when it could possibly be done.
Or there was the time I got kinda’ tired of being interrogated with, “Whatcha’ eating?” every single frickin’ night. Wow! Judging by the hell I caught attempting to set that boundary (“Why!?! What are you trying to hide?), you’d have thought I was trying to sneak lobster and King Crab past ’em.
And that boundary I tried to set to stop that gross earlobe nibbling because damn it! I was in my twenties…yeah, that one kept getting violated too.
The narc owns your body. Yeah, owns it. A new kind of slavery. In my experience, there wasn’t one molecule of my body they didn’t have an opinion about. An opinion I’d better follow if I didn’t want the love-bombing I’d become addicted to in babyhood to be removed.
Hair was to be long and uncolored…that’s how he liked it.
Earlobes earring free…for easy nibbling access for her.
Makeup…not too heavy or she’d rub it off.
Clothes…neck to knees stabilized fabrics, if I didn’t want to be accused of seduction yet again.
Voice…low, like hers.
Walk…graceful, like hers.
Sexuality…Let me put it like this. ‘Til the day I moved out at 31, I was required to sleep with my bedroom door open. Actually, it could barely force the ill-fitting door shut and she came running to interrogate if I did manage to squeeze it shut. Plus, she went through my dresser drawers. And, of course, none of my relationships made it to the bf/gf stage anyways.
In the case against cult leader Aravindan Balakrishnan, the judge noted that, “You decided to treat [your daughter] as a project, not a person.” When I read that, I almost threw up. A friend once told me, “You aren’t a person to them, Lenora, you’re just a project.”
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Their project even extended to the state of my soul, judging by the increasing desperation and intensity in the hours and hours of preaching and lectures I endured as they tried to brainwash me into the Kingdom.
The deadline: May 1998 HighSchool Graduation The day they were scheduled to be done with The Project. Me.
Strange then, that he seemed to take a subtle delight in informing me in 1994 and again in 2004 that I wasn’t a Christian after all. Well, do you want me in Heaven with you or do you prefer to feel superior to me on Earth? Make up your ever lovin’ mind!
They called it homeschooling. I called it holy crap! Every new topic he encountered got crammed into my curriculum. Electronics! Drafting! Greek! Hebrew! Mental math! You name it, I had to study it. Oh, not just study it. Actually, learn it. And if that meant no Summer vacation, too frickin’ bad. (Thank God that idea got dropped before I lost my last Summer vacation!)
But if I did have an idea, an original idea, it wasn’t really entertained. With that signature flip of the chin, my opinions were summarily rejected and flung on the dung heap yet again. He did it to me. He did it to my husband. I bet you’ve experienced it too.
You see, we’re inherently wrong just because we know something the narc doesn’t know. And we’re especially wrong if we point out their failings or foibles.
After years and years of this, you learn to shut up. Keep it all to yourself. Smile, nod and say nothing. And then you hear this: “You never talk. Why don’t you talk? You have really good ideas.”
Oh no! I ain’t talkin’! I’ve been punished too many times to fall for that! As the blonde bimbo in Singin’ In The Rain says, “Whaddya think I am!?! Dumb or something!?”
They’re wrong. Pure and simple. Your emotions are wrong. Way off base. Ignore them. And don’t you dare have a pity party and cry out of empathy for yourself. Shame on you! You deserve to feel like shit.
And besides, narcissists operate on fact. Emotions are untrustworthy. Ick! Yucky! Get rid of ’em.
Goodbye intuition, hello grooming! With no feelings or instincts to guide us, we come pre-groomed for every narcissist, every alcoholic and every creep to take advantage of us for the rest of our lives.
I’ll never forget the first (and only!) time I signed up for automatic bill withdrawal. Boy! Was she mad! She was really steamed! It didn’t matter that I was twenty-three. It didn’t matter that it was my bank account at my bank containing my funds. Nope!
She considered herself the custodian of my funds back then…and even after I got married.
I was six the first time they made me dump a friend. Just six. First grade. She was my first friend. My best friend. But the edict came down: you are never to speak to her every again. Seven years later, I was again asked in dire tones if I had anything to do with her. Of course not, I responded, truthfully.
But I do now! Thirty years later, we’re friends again. Good friends!
And I was fifteen when they stood above me, like some tribunal, ordering me never to look at, speak to or think about my crush ever again. And each day I was interrogated when I returned home from school to ensure I was obeying.
And I’m friends with him again now. Great guy!
And I was in my mid-twenties when they summarily ordered me to dump that backgammon expert, the one who actually kissed me g’nite after our date. Of course, they gave no reason for their order.
And I’ve apologized to him too!
Here’s what I’m trying to say: