Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Imitation Game

As a child, Alan Turings idiosyncrasies invited unspeakable cruelty from his peers at boarding school. The unforgivable infractions were quirks like being unable to eat his lunch if the peas and carrots on his plate touched one another. He would dutifully segregate the peas to one side of his plate and the carrots to the other and wouldn't take a bite until his vegetables complied with the order he envisioned in his head. His school mates would dump their vegetables on his head just for the sake of cruelty.   They would take up the floor boards and stuff him under in a sort of an above ground coffin and not let him out until he learned to patiently wait them out in silence. He explained that people are cruel for the fun of it, and by removing the outward signs of anguish, you remove the stimulus that spurs them on. Your inaction shows their act for what it really was. Hollow and petty.  This must be what drives the narcissist to hang on dearly to the people they treat like shit.
  Their life may not depend on it, but you going no contact removes the stimulus that gives their cruelty  meaning. It's the old "if a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound". Instead it's more like "if  there is no audience for a narcissist to play to, are their acts really cruel?"  Of course the short answer to that is yes, they are infinitely cruel. But I would say that each successive act of unwitnessed and unrequited cruelty provides them an ever diminishing return on their acts. Until the cruelty they subject us to becomes an an act of frivolous repetition. If people see them for the hollow and petty persons they really are, it will take the wind out from their sails and the sails of their enablers and illustrates how they are no better than bullies on the playground.. If you are unaware of who Alan Turing is, him and his quirky demeanor created the machine that deciphered the Nazi's code machine Enigma and put WWII to an end years before it would have been over without the information they acquired by eavesdropping on Gemany's communications. His "Turing Machine" was the fore runners of what we call computers today.


Judith said...

And this is why No Contact works.

q1605 said...

Agreed. If they have no audience to pander to. The thrill is gone.

Anonymous said...

Q - I always enjoyed reading your comments over at Peep's blog. They are insightful, funny and, at times, haunting.

To be an ACON, I'm going on five years no contact. Each year gets better though. Memories have more clarity. I'm able to identify what love really is, what it really feels like. My children have helped heal me. They look at me, and say, "Mommy, I love you." I tell them everyday, Q, to be themselves, that I love them for being themselves, telling them to think for themselves.

When I accidentally turned the light off in my bedroom a few months ago, not knowing my daughter would react with such fear as it wasn't that dark, I immediately apologized to her and have never done that to her again as she was so scared. My mother and golden child sister, on the other hand, would have made a mental note of my fear, and made sure the next time they would scare me even more...continual exploitation of love and trust until I went NC. This constant mix will create anxiety and mistrust in children as they will anticipate constant attacks, be it overtly or covertly, eventually causing poor self-esteem. It can even cause misguided paranoia, leading to PTSD issues.

I know there are so many of these people out there. I'm trying to prepare my young children for this reality, albeit slowly. First, by teaching them to be themselves, think for themselves, and that we love them for themselves. Lots of affection - hugs, kisses, snuggles. My husband and I apologize to our children if/when we ever hurt their feelings, even if they perceived it that way, etc. I lower myself a few times a month, and apologize to them at their eye level, and ask them to forgive me for whatever. Nothing serious. I just want to model to them respect. That's one thing we ACONS never hear from our Nparents, siblings is "I'm sorry" followed by changed behavior from their offensive behavior. Instead, we get more of the chronic offensive behavior because they know it's a button they could push for effect, hence your blog today about having no reaction.

I plan on telling my children more heavy stuff when they are in high school, when they are mature enough to handle it. I wish someone would have helped me that young but I, like many ACONS, was on my own. It wasn't until I was 32 years old (now 41), while doing a Google search using my mother's crazy behavior as keywords that I found "23 Characteristics of a Narcissistic Mother." BINGO! The mystery was solved. It still took six more years to go NC though.

This is heavy, heavy stuff. ACONS who go NC are not looked at with sympathy by majority of society and are even worse off when you factor in Christianity. I am a Christian from a large Italian family where "Family is everything" ethos is still going strong today. The younger generation of nieces, nephews, cousins grow up not knowing my children or me. This is my mother's supreme Kingdom, an entire family through multi-generations, including mutual family friends, neighbors, my entire past - wiped out.

Living in a big city today, you are confronted with the homeless crisis on a daily basis. How many of them, I wonder, had a MNarc for a parent? If it wasn't for my husband and children, I would be on the street too and my mother/sister know that. In fact, the last email my sister and I exchanged five years ago, was me being highly specific in detail of her pathological lying and was like who, what, where, when, detailed as a police report. My sister's response was this: "You will end up all alone." It felt more like a threat then anything else. Well, I pray she is wrong. Trust me, I have reason to believe that they have spread unspeakable lies about me for a long time. I've had a lot of crazy things happen to me that is unbelievable if I didn't go through it myself, but that's for another time.

Tundra Woman said...

And if they can't control you, they destroy you.
Or think they do.
But if the "you" they're seeking to destroy isn't around they can rail all they want for as long as they want to who ever they want: Your absence remains a powerful rebuke.

q1605 said...

Anon about the best we can do in later stages of life is to break the cycle. I have done everything in my control to do this with what I was left with. I deliberately didn't have children for fear of my mother getting her hands on them even for a short time. My wife has two daughters from another marriage and along the way we divorced( in no small part because of my mothers influence on us) And I really don't think they even knew we broke up. Mainly because when our words and actions got heated we took it to another room. They still call me their father and I think I still play that role. But we set boundaries of acceptable behavior for what they were allowed to see, while my parents seemed to get joy from terrorizing me and my sister by making us watch them basically trying to kill each other in front of us.

q1605 said...

TW if I can quote you to yourself. I like when you say if my presence does you no good than my absence won't hurt you either.. Or something like that it is one of your stock quips that really puts NC into perspective.

q1605 said...

Anon funny about your family telling you that you will end up on the streets alone. If my mother had her way I would have surrendered all autonomy to her for a shot of our inheritance that she ended up giving to my ex wife. Me staying with my ex and being on her medical insurance is why I am alive after a lengthy illness that would have gobbled up what ever she had left me and would have precipitated me being forced to live in the streets. If I may be so bold as to publicly tell her to kiss my ass, I will do that now. Mom kiss my ass you spawn from Satan. She died in 2012 so I guess she took all that Mayan Calendar stuff seriously.

q1605 said...

Anon I get you about the waiting to tell your kids the heavy stuff. Sometimes it's bit frustrating that my wife makes me filter out most of the sordid stories of my child hood. I see her point, but It's kind of weird knowing in today's world there are kids so naive that they can't even hear about the things I lived. I get it though, I still have nightmares about things from the past. But really that's the way it should be. Just because my mother was a monster doesn't mean they should be forced to hear about it.
I don't know if you can tell, but I am scrolling up and finding things I want to comment on and scrolling back down and up and down and up and down. It' like my mothers bed on Saturday nights.

Five Hundred Pound Peep said...

So glad anon you have broken the chain of abuse and your children will know love. Yes they abuse religion its horrible.

I wonder how many homeless are ACONs too. I am tempted to write about this. Hope you don't mind me doing so.

I am questioning a lot lately and even wrote about what I think is direct sabotage. I may even post on how "connected" my family is on the blog which will freak a few people out to see how poor I ended up. Mine too like yours told me that I would end up alone and to be honest, in my case outside of my husband and a few friends, I don't have very many people. In fact my husband has heard me say, I hope to God I go first.

They did wipe out an entire family network. Keep your children away from her no matter wht, I warn all ACONS with children, She will try for them and use money and everything else to get them away from you.

Five Hundred Pound Peep said...

I fear homelessness as you all know. Disability is getting smaller. I wrote a post about being poor again but erased it not wanting to wear my readers out. We had to turn to friends for help. I am sure my mother is enjoying her meals out and spending money like water. I have kept the rent paid, but without my husband, I would be in the streets too. People always ask of the homeless why don't they have any family to help them but we can see how someone could end up totally alone don't we?

Don't keep kids too sheltered, they need to know about the evil so they are not screwed over and so the narcs can't re-enter their lives at a later date especially in the young adult phase where their offers of money will be very enticing. I would protect kids from PTSD inducing scenes but at a certain age would be sitting down and telling them exactly what I went through and how evil exists in this world. I was left clueless. The narcs abuse for me including TELLING ME NOTHING.

I'm actually pissed off beyond belief that my sister lied to me about having cancer, she thinks she was so superior to me she can never display any "weakness". Her children are being left clueless about real life. I bet she didn't tell them either.