Somewhat related to my last post, I began wondering WTF to categorize my narcissistic mother. She would say she’s an introvert, but I think the nature of narcissism makes this false. She needs other people to define and measure herself against, to get that narcissistic fuel supply to prove her superiority. She sucks life out of others.
I think my trouble in firmly placing her as an extrovert is that she generally does not like people. As she’s gotten weirder, it’s harder for her to find people to give her the narcissistic supply she needs. She’s become poorer and poorer at feigning humanity. She’s fairly paranoid about people.
Right now she gets her supply mostly from my father. To tell the truth, I don’t know too much more about my mother’s activities since I’ve gone no-contact with my parents. I’m just guessing it’s the same or worse than it was two years ago. I do know that all my father’s former friends keep asking me where my father disappeared to since he retired. My mother basically holds him hostage and he’s chosen to stay there. He was a very gregarious and social guy while he worked. I guess his job was a more-or-less ok reason for him to leave my mother’s side. But when his retirement first started, my mother was pissed that my dad was still interacting with people from work, that he wanted to serve on some company boards to keep active in the business world. She would complain, “This wasn’t how it was supposed to be when he retired.”
When I was a kid, she loved my father’s success at work but resented his absence. Frankly, I would’ve taken every business trip offered if I were the guy, if only to get away from the harpy. However, when he was away wasn’t so great for us kids left at home with her. She liked to stir the pot. All her anger at him was projected on to us, and she would make up lies about what we did or he said in order to make us actively dislike each other. She did it all by telling each of us, “Don’t tell dad I told you.” It was a contentious household with rage always just under the surface, both hers and the rage she instigated in all of us.
I can’t tell you how many times my father would come home from a business trip completely enraged at one of us kids and we never knew what we’d done, usually because it was nothing or very minor but trumped up by our mother. The latter was usually worse, in my opinion, because I’d feel guilty and like I deserved to be hated and punished even for things like leaving something in my mother’s car (never again) or the heinous crime of eating the last Wheat Thin.
I remember one time he clear knocked my younger sister over in the chair she was sitting in, both my sister and large chair flying backwards as I cowered in fear in the corner. I don’t recall what she was accused of, only that she was innocent. This was the day I became aware of what my mother was doing, what those furtive phone calls to my dad at work were about. During the incident, my mother had a smug look on her face. Despite my father’s anger, it was my mother I was afraid of in that moment.
She was the puppetmaster, and, oh, how we danced for her.
My mother would’ve been hard pressed to enjoy that sort of control without other people to manipulate.
Still, classifying my mother as an extrovert is an insult to extroverts. Plus, it implies a humanity that my mother does not possess. I almost wonder if narcissism should be its own classification.
I’m sure some studies have been done to correlate narcissism and extroversion. I suspect what is often termed as “emotional vampirism” can be attributed to a combination of narcissism and extroversion.
My mother imagines she and my father are some superpowered team who grace this mortal plane. I realize this sounds utterly ridiculous, but my mother wrote a children’s book (unpublished as of yet) that repeated this theme ad nauseum. I don’t doubt she feels less vulnerable when he is around. Whatever knocks around inside that head of hers when she is alone cannot be much fun for her.
I’d feel sorry for her if she wasn’t such a bad person waiting to use others in her quest to feel better about herself. She doesn’t want my pity anyway.