Psychopaths and individuals with Cluster B personality disorders (narcissistic, borderline, histrionic and antisocial) can truly harm the health and emotional well-being of people closest to them. Whether you were raised by such an individual, are divorcing one, or you work with one, it may seem impossible to keep an optimistic attitude and outlook with such a toxic force in your life.
This post by Cynthia Bailey Rug is relatable, and I just wanted to share it. I think anyone who has lived through this type of manipulation can understand her anger.
I love memes. In fact, I saved many over the years. Some inspire me with quoting Scripture. Others inspire because of the beautiful pictures. And then there are ones like this one that was popular on Facebook for a while. It said, “It is very sad when members of the same family do not talk to each other. The children suffer for the adult ego. Cousins miss the wonderful opportunity to be together, & all due to a bruised adult ego. Stop getting offended. Reunite with your family members. One day your imaginary conflict will all come to an end…with or without you. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Type yes if you agree.”
That one about made me gag.
I will admit, there are families where someone is being a petty jerk & not speaking to other family members. It does happen, but I don’t believe it’s all that…
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During the time we lived with my in-laws, my narcissistic mother-in-law engaged in gas-lighting, verbal abuse, rewriting history, blatant attempts at manipulation, playing dumb (or forgetful), projection, lying, denial, double standards, tantrums, crocodile tears, threats, bullying, emotional blackmail, and at least one meltdown of nuclear proportions.
The issues outlined here are written to relate to those who have been romantically linked to toxic creatures, but they can apply to other types of abusive relationships as well. For instance, adult children or siblings of narcissists typically ponder the same questions.
Healthy boundaries are typically established as you’re growing up. You learn to implement them by watching your parents and guardians. However, when your caregivers are dysfunctional, they tend to have no boundaries of their own, therefore setting the wrong example for you to follow.
When my husband and I arrived back in our home state, several years ago, the plan was to stay with his parents while he settled into his new position with the company we were working for, had a minor surgery and a sufficient recovery period, and searched for an apartment. It was my mother-in-law who extended the invitation for us to stay with them during this time.
As I’ve stated elsewhere, I am not a licensed mental health professional; therefore, I do not feel comfortable giving personalized advice. However, I will share a few thoughts I had upon reading this question.