So earlier this week, I posted this.
Last night, I leave work early when I had things to do and go down to where my grandmother is supposedly dying. I do it because I want to save myself the giant guilt tripping that my mother would give me if I didn't. Not because I wanted to see the manipulative old bat. I'm working this morning because I went down there today. This morning I get a text from my mom "She's eating! I told you that she just wanted to see you." And I'm pissed off at both of them. Because they pulled me back in the damn game. Well, they won't do it again. If this happens again and it will because Grandma has dementia with Lewy bodies, I'm not going down. She can just starve herself to death.
My anger at feeling manipulated and forced to go down to visit yesterday and face my abusers was at pretty high level. A friend of mine has a narcissistic father and has been in therapy and on medication for years as a result of it. I was ranting to her about how sometimes I feel like I might be making it all up. She said that it was classic for narcissistic families and sent me a link that led me to this and I went "Oh shit. That was my childhood." Except for the stuff about gifts and money. My mother always gives me nice things because it is another way to manipulate me. If I've heard once "I give you such nice things and you just don't take care of them" in a martyred tone, I've heard it 10,000 times. And my brother, the golden child, and I had a pact to keep things that the parents didn't need to know from them. He didn't realize he was the golden child, but he's not exactly perceptive. Bless his heart.
Anyway, I fell down into a rabbit hole of information about narcissism and found that it runs in families. I'm also terrified that I, too, am a narcissist and don't know it. I don't think I am. As a general rule, I don't try to manipulate others. And I don't believe people are out to get me. And I'm pretty sure that I'm self-aware enough to know that I have flaws - lots of them. And while I care about the picture that I present to the world, I don't care nearly as much as they do. Plus, I recognize the narcissism that is in my family.
The point that I'm trying to make is that I'm not doing it. I'm not going back into the game. They can keep that damn thing to themselves. I'm not going to be manipulated by protestations of feigned affection and how much they miss me. I won't do it