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Narcissistic Invalidation: No Likes, No Dislikes, No Emotions, No Opinions, No Nuthin’

As a little girl, I noticed a puzzling difference between me…and all the other little kids at school. They had strong likes. They had strong emotions. They had strong opinions. They had strong preferences.


Fast forward thirty years and the same is true, but to a lesser degree. When faced with a decision, I agonize over what is the right, the moral, the wise, the unselfish thing to do.

It never occurs to ask what I want to do. What I would like to do. What would make me happy.

Welcome to narcissistic invalidation.

9 Comments to
Narcissistic Invalidation: No Likes, No Dislikes, No Emotions, No Opinions, No Nuthin’

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  1. Wow! I have never read something this starkly real that so mirrors my own journey until this. Thank you for writing and sharing this–putting into words what I have been unable to give voice to. Surprise–I have a strong opinion right now–I LIKE this blog. Thanks again.

  2. Her words still ring in my ears 50+ years later…” this is a democracy. And I am the dictator!”

  3. Thanks Lenora. I read the title of this article and was so surprised by it that I had to read the whole article. This is so like me. I don’t know what my favourite colour is until I find out what the person I am with likes. When my therapist asks me “What do you need right now from me?” I feel overwhelming panic. I just don’t know what I need, or what I feel either. The anxiety sets in immediately and there is nothing else I can feel. People talk about feeling their heart beating. I have never felt that happening. My therapist once asked where in my body I feel anger and I said I don’t feel it anywhere, I just know I should be feeling it in response to what has just happened. If someone is in the room I can laugh at comedy programmes but if I’m watching them alone I never crack a smile. I spent 21 yrs in a job I never wanted but that parents told me to take – I too never realised I could change it. Looking back, I know that if I had tried it would’ve resulted in Narcissistic Rage. I am single because 2 engagements happened in the hope of setting me free but Mother pointed out all their faults from day one. I didn’t go to University because Mother said she could not support me. I spend all my 50yrs fitting in with what other people wanted me to be as I have no idea what I want. I have been exploring anger (on my own) but hate myself for it, especially the bits that spill out with my therapist. She says “Be yourself” but when I try it is unacceptable and I go back into my shell. Obviously she doesn’t tell me what she does want but it’s not what I am – stressful. I could go on and on but it would bore your readers. Anyway, thanks again.

    • Hi, I’m Mary. My experience was very similar. No college, tyrannical parents (I use the term loosely) telling me to get out and get a job. A lot of this was due to the fact that the sister next to me was set up as the “crowned princess” and was chosen to attend college; she was expelled in two years for misbehaving. I was then denied any further education. I also remember my engagement announcement with my mother asking first thing, “Is he Catholic?” He is not and neither was I at that point. Such drivel. The anger is almost palpable still. I married a man whose parents abandoned him and his brothers and sisters. I guess we belong together. Unfortunately, there is no test one has to pass to be a parent. The only freedom from them came when they passed on.

      Blessings to you,

  4. Go for it girl…..One thing I’ve learned in my freedom away from narcs is a big connection with my inner child…. and my /our right or have fun.
    So I/we did/ do…Bought a lot of naughty things, fast car, leather jackets, wrong sorta clothes for my age..Hang on I’m a proven arrested development type, so feck that opinion, and besides so far I haven’t been punished by God, or is it Gaaad , (Charlton Heston’s Ten Commandments voice)…Did Moses suppose erroneously? ..Ah yes in comes my off hand flippancy when I sense I’m in the presence of uptight control freaks…lol…
    The trick is spontaneity, the now moment and trusting in decisions even if they appear to have come from a left field source…Its not its intuition…
    Happiness is a human right…and in the now…Have some,enjoy and pass it on…Don’t worry sticks..The universe is made of love and light, if you look at it in the right way…

  5. Another great one, Lenora. I remember my father telling me, “You’re not important; I’M IMPORTANT.” (The essence of narcissism), and my mother telling me to “be nice” and “don’t say nuthin'” (She was a complete and utter harpie.) Forgiveness does not mean you don’t know the truth–conversely, it means you do.

    I’m not ashamed to put my opinions forth and am kind of nasty and sarcastic anymore–OK I’m working on it. Recently left a church because it was like having another horrible job. I don’t go to bars anymore, but remember meeting more nice people in bars than in church. People are welcome to go to churches or bars, whatever they choose. I don’t care.

    Love the pup. I am an animal advocate. As a lost child, which I still am, animals are the greatest creatures on earth.

    Your art is lovely. Keep it coming!

    Love and blessings,
    Mary B.

  6. Yep… this describes me. But how does it affect our children? How do we guide them when we don’t have a clear sense of our own self?

  7. I remember being told:

    “Do you think I was going to let a bratty little 12 yr old tell me how to run my life?” – re her rapid remarriage after my adoptive fathers death.

    “Unconditional love is bullshit; Dr. Spock made it up in the 60s to get parents to accept their hippie children.”

    “I have every right to put conditions on love”

    “Useless as tits on a bull”

    “I fulfilled my obligation to [the adoption agency] and raised you until you graduated from HS. NOW GET OUT. ”

    I was thrown over, mistreated and abused for a long-dead child (her biological daughter, and the ‘daughter she wanted’), and it didn’t end there. She made sure I lost custody to my OWN daughter by telling social services “that baby is as good as dead if you don’t take her away” and “if you don’t take that baby from her, I’m going to squawk to the media”. No actual unfitness was found, yet my daughter was adopted out (!) to her fathers family and I’ve been cut out of her life. I’m “not part of her family”, according to social services.

    You’re lucky to have a husband, and to be able to convince yourself that your therapist actually cares. They don’t; it’s just a well-paying job for people with Schadenfreude. But i do enjoy your blog.

  8. Thank you, Lenora.


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