Many years ago at a bluegrass event I had the pleasure of hearing The Eddies sing Bob Dylan’s Forever Young. During the song, a little baby in the audience began to fuss. As one, all the members of the group turned and sang just for that little baby.
May you grow up to be true
And may you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
And may you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young
The mother was so busy soothing her baby that she didn’t notice that her baby was the recipient of those wonderful lyrics. It was such a beautiful moment that there was a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.
Unfortunately, narcissists don’t wish goodness or righteousness or courageousness or strength for us. No, they wish for us to fail so they can clamber on our carcass to boost their own egos. They predict we will fall years before it ever happens so they can shout, “I knew they would…I told you they would” and CY their own sorry As. I call it “the fix.”
Have you ever heard the term “the fix was in”? Of course you have. Usually, it means that the outcome of a contest has been rigged. But that’s a limited definition. It can also mean that the true details of a particular event have been spun to protect the guilty parties. Maybe it means that a patsy has been set-up in advance to take the blame for a future crime. Those are fixes too.
Narcissists are genius at preparing fixes for things you may do, think or say years down the line…or never. They spin the story before it ever happens. They make dire predictions of our (possible) future downfall so they can crow about it later if and/or when it happens. They are artists at creating the “fix” years before it’s needed. It’s a kind of prophetic gaslighting.
Looking back, I can see how “the fix was in” for me years before I realized what was going on. As a kid, I remember one of my very religious narcissists saying that religion was an every-other-generation thing. That one generation would be devout and the next not devout and so on and so forth. He pointed to King David’s sons as proof of this hypothesis, this pattern.
So when I was fourteen and began to wonder why our family was Evangelical Protestants as opposed to any other denomination…or even another religion…the fix was in. It’d been in for a long time.
My simple, one-dimensional question got blown out of all proportion. And because he always bragged that he was “ahead of you [me] by five minutes, five hours….five years”…he assumed I had a lot of doubts I didn’t actually have. Maybe they were his doubts but they weren’t mine…until then. A millstone was hung around my neck and my “spiritual condition” permanently placed me in a lower class. The fix was in. They were Heaven-bound; I was Hell-bound just as had been predicted.
See how “the fix” works? Very classy stuff!
Another time I remember my narcissist delivering a monologue about how wrong it was for people to stick their parents in nursing homes. Naturally, not wanting to be one of those “bad people,” I invited my parents to live with me in old age. The fix was in. Yet, quite conveniently, neither of them had to care for their parents in old age at all. So they can hold to their high ideals without having to do anything about it. As for me, the invitation is retracted and they’re on their own in old age. I’ve done enough!
Narcissists don’t just protect their precious egos in the moment. They also spin any possible future happenings to their benefit as well. That’s what “the fix” is for.
There’s no topic narcissists spin more than sex. An informal poll of narcissists’ kids show that narcissistic parents have a weird and intrusive interest in their teenage childrens’ maturing sexuality usually expressed as slut-shaming, accusations, assumptions of sexual activity (when nothing is actually going on) and even dragging their daughters off to the doctor for “virginity checks,” much as the rapper, T. I., forces his daughter, Deyjah, to undergo (while his fifteen year old son is more than welcome to be sexually active, a double standard if I ever saw one!)
I see this too as a warped version of the fix. As I wrote n my recent article, Sex, Narcissists, Virtue Signalling and Hand-Me-Down Projection…
From the age of sixteen, the message was clear to my virgin self: “You’re an almost slut.” … Or as my mother once told me, “You have bad sexual genetics.” Yeah. I don’t know what that means either but I’m pretty sure the Flying Monkey was merely repeating what the narcissist had told her. Apparently it was based on some great-aunts I’ve never met being “bar flies.” (Their terminology; not mine.) And how could that possibly affect me!?! “Sexual genetics” isn’t even a thing!
Bad sexual genetics: the fix.
But it’s a funny thing about the fix: you would think that when you finally actually do the thing the narcissists have predicted, some goof, some oops, that they’d be angry. Flip out. Freak out. Rage at you.
They actually don’t.
It’s my opinion and experience that they are secretly thrilled that you finally did the thing they always said you would. It’s a huge ego boost for them.
Take for example when I fell (very briefly) in love with a married coworker. No, nothing “happened.” I’d expected my father to be irate but he was kind and compassionate. My mother was a different story!
Another classic example is the daughter of a Bible-thumping narcissist who fell pregnant and expected her father to freak. It was a reasonable assumption as during her teen years, he’d put her over his knee, rip down her panties and paddle her bare bottom for trivial things.
Instead, she tells me, her father was the soul of kindness and helpfulness to her during her pregnancy. She was baffled!
I told her, “He was thrilled when you fell pregnant. You fulfilled all of his dire predictions about his ‘rebellious daughter.’ It was just the ego boost your narc father needed.” The fix was fulfilled…and he couldn’t have been happier.
If we don’t fulfill narcissists’ prediction about us, it’s no skin off their nose. An unfulfilled fix doesn’t make them look bad. But if we do what they’d always predicted and pre-spun…they’re secretly jumping up-and-down with joy. We are as bad as they predicted. They were right about us all along. They are better than us. Or, at the very least, our one tiny failing distracts attention from all of their worse failings. It’s a windfall for their false egos.
That’s why we can never win. And yes, it’s damn frustrating!
Personally, I know that my narcissists are “fixing” my going rogue by saying that I’ve allowed myself to be influenced by “worldly” people. They always knew it would happen if I fell in with the wrong crowd. I prefer to think that I’ve been unbrainwashed. That I finally saw the truth. That I finally met normalcy. That my crowd is mighty fine indeed!
But they will never see it like that. To see things from my perspective would be to invalidate their entire lives. To admit to operating like a cult, instead of a family. No, the fix must remain so they can save face and I can remain the hell-bound child they always knew would go her own wayward way if they ever let go the reins and let other people have influence over her, tut, tut, tut.
All you can do is throw up your hands, shake your head and walk away leaving them in the private Hell of their own creation.