A Mild Influence And A Big Decision (Continued)

Image by Anrita from Pixabay

This is the 2nd half of the post. The 1st half is here.

I sometimes wondered how M’s parents helped M make the decision, and how they ignored the signs that have been there all along. I can’t piece together a consistent story yet, but certain things do stick out more than others…

For example, I’ve met M’s in-laws twice when they came to visit M and her husband G. The mother-in-law couldn’t stop talking and she commanded G’s attention to such a degree that M, the father-in-law, and the two guests being present at the time were completely ignored. The intensity and the duration of their talk was a little odd and even a little bit awkward. It somehow reminded me of my narcissistic relatives, whose methods of attracting attention made the family atmosphere eerie and tense. The conversation between her mother-in-law and her husband was about certain topics that they had talked before, for which I didn’t know the particulars. So I couldn’t really follow their conversation, but somehow the stress of the situation, the loudness of their voice made any conversation between me and my friend M impossible. I tried to initiate a talk with M’s father, who refused to reciprocate. Later, M told me that her father-in-law never spoke a word if he could help it. And it ended up that everybody listened to the conversation between M’s mother-in-law and M’s husband without a chance of participation, without a chance of not listening, without a chance of even comprehending what they were talking about, without a chance of initiating other conversations. It was a very strange occasion, for which I felt that we were all reduced to minions, listening to the dictator–M’s mother-in-law–and the dictator’s golden boy, M’s husband.

And another time, we all went out shopping together in the local supermarket. The mother-in-law dominated the conversation too even when we were walking from one aisle to another. “Look, how expensive these vegetables are.” She would order me to come to take a look. I was a stranger to her, but somehow she immediately started to treat me as she treated her son and her daughter-in-law. It was true that vegetables are always twice or even three times more expensive here. Whenever her mother-in-law spoke, she gave off a vibe that she hated but tolerated everything and everybody since everything and everybody were disappointing to her. Whenever she talked with me, I had the strange contradictory feeling that she disliked me but she was eager, at the moment at least, to talk with me. I could almost imagine her being one of my relatives since she was so narcissistic–I bet she is still very narcissistic now even though I haven’t met her for years. Her antagonism was always floating under the surface. Now reflecting on the past, I should have escaped the gathering when I knew M’s mother-in-law was there.

Anyway, her mother-in-law’s narcissism is obvious, but how come M and M’s own parents didn’t detect it before M got married? I didn’t dare to put this question to M, for fear of opening an old wound or touching on something M deeply regrets. Probably M was dazzled by G’s good look, soft manner, and his family’s good economic status at first. After they got married and lived together for a while, M started to comprehend G’s problem: he has no sense of family responsibility at all. He not only refused to do any housework at all, he even escaped to go to meet his other women when there were furniture delivered and other pressing obligations at home. Worst of all, he was impervious to human emotions other than a superficial regard. Growing up with a severely narcissistic mother, G was damaged to the point that he couldn’t have normal feelings to his own family or to his friends. He looked normal, but his behavior was far from normal.

20 thoughts on “A Mild Influence And A Big Decision (Continued)

    1. So true. I’ve seen it too many times. Most of these children are wracked mentally. Some can escape the curse of narcissism without too much damage, but most have to live with scars and suffer all kinds of setbacks.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I am sorry to hear that. Those kind of scars are very hard to heal. I am glad that she has made an effort to be a good mother to you and your sister. It is not easy for her. Life is harsh towards women in general, which in turns creates many narcissists. My grandma’s narcissism has become a heritage in my family and people even treat her as a “legend”. I guess she’s one of the evil legends that this world just can’t stop creating.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Yeah, I’m shocked my parents both turned out normal when both their mothers are very big narcissists. Like they are literally extreme narcissists even to this day.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Your parents are very lucky. This is one of the central issues of a narcissistic family. Some kids do grow up normally. And this fact is often been used by those enablers or flying monkeys to show people that it is really the victims’ fault that they grow up to be a damaged individuals since some kids can be normal. This is quite a fallacy. Just the fact that one or two kids grow up normally in narcissistic family doesn’t prove anything. It doesn’t prove that narcissism is not toxic and a lot of kids are severely damaged by their narcissistic parents.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. So true. However, often narcissism hide behind culture, custom, power structure to make it look ok and many people think the narcissistic behaviors are just business as usual. The victims are usually not given any support at all by the community.

          Liked by 1 person

        5. I actually receive a lot of supports on WP for speaking out about narcissism, but in real life, I have only received vague agreement from two narcissistic victims. I will continue to try to see what kind of result I can get from people around me.

          Liked by 1 person

        6. Yes, it is very true. In real life, most people are in denial since people are accustomed to narcissism. To be against it will introduce a lot of unknown and uncertainties, which most people do not want to handle.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. I spent the past Spring Break week in the mountains with 11 members of my extended family and some family friends. Sometimes they get on my nerves but then I come back and read about people you know and I feel much better!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I can’t imagine spending time with 11 members of my narcissistic relatives. I suffered enough from toxicity already. LOL. Let’s take good care of our own health (mental health included) and be nice to ourselves and to others…

      Liked by 1 person

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