A few days ago, I watched a very insightful YouTube video by licensed therapist Kati Morton. The video was titled “8 Signs Your Mom is a Narcissist”. I decided to watch Kati’s video, although I don’t think my mom is a narcissist. I really like her content. She’s warm and empathetic, and she offers insightful and factual information in an appealing way.
I don’t think my mom is a narcissist. She probably has some narcissistic tendencies, as most of us do. She might even have more than the average person does. But when it comes down to it, my mom does have basic empathy, and in spite of certain accusations made by others in my family, I think my mom has basic respect for her daughters. Especially now that we’re all adults. Or, at least I think she has basic respect for me. She changed a lot (for the better, in my opinion), when my father died.
I probably would have liked Kati Morton’s video regardless. Her content is kind of in my wheelhouse, because I studied social work, and might have even become a therapist myself. But then again, maybe I wouldn’t. Sometimes, I wonder if I have basic insight about myself. It’s probably a side effect of growing up the way I did… in a family situation that looked good, but hid some pretty serious issues like depression, alcoholism, and post traumatic stress disorder. Most of that stuff didn’t get talked about until we were all pretty much grown and seeing shrinks. 😉
As regular readers of my blog know, I strongly suspect Bill’s ex wife is a bonafide narcissist. I don’t mean she has “narcissistic tendencies”. I mean I think she’s got full blown NPD. Of course, I don’t know for sure, and I probably never will. The only way I could be sure is if a licensed professional diagnosed her and it was somehow made public. But I do have my suspicions, just as I have my suspicions about Donald Trump.
I used to suspect narcissism in Ex when Bill told me about his marriage to her, especially as I helped him deal with the aftermath of it. I became more certain when I heard about some of the things that happened after she and Bill divorced. Then, after watching Kati’s interesting video about narcissistic mothers, as well as reading other insightful materials, the signs became even clearer.
I highly recommend watching Kati Morton’s video, because she does a great job explaining the signs. She even mentions former child actress turned author Jennette McCurdy and her book, I’m Glad My Mom Died, which I’ve also read and reviewed. Jennette McCurdy’s mom was a notorious narcissist. But, if you don’t want to take the time to watch Kati’s video, here’s a quick and dirty list…
- You are an extension of her. She lives vicariously through you, or wants you to participate in activities that she chooses, even if you’re not interested in them. She sees you as “property”– and has an “I brought you in this world, I can take you out” attitude.
- She can dish out tons of criticism but can’t take any of it herself. She’s never satisfied with your achievements and criticizes you heavily when you don’t perform. But if you criticize her in any way whatsoever, there will be HELL to pay.
- She shares private information about you without your permission. She tells her friends about your first period, for instance. Or she talks to other people about things that are equally embarrassing.
- She holds basic parental duties over your head. The old “Do you know how many diapers I had to change when you were a baby?” or “Have you any clue how annoying your crying was when you were a toddler?” (actually, I have heard this a lot from my family)
- She doesn’t respect boundaries. She calls you when you’re on your honeymoon… 😉
- Will constantly tell you you’re remembering things wrong. Classic gaslighting behavior. She’ll say things like “That never happened.” or “You’re crazy. That’s not what I said or did.”
- She is always competing with you. (another one I experienced, but from my dad) A narcissistic mom might try to steal your friends or your significant others. She might dress too young. Maybe she’ll resent your successes.
- It will NEVER be her fault! Anytime there is a problem, it’s someone else’s fault. She won’t take any responsibility for her part in any bad situation. And if something goes well, it will be because of her input.
I’ve been watching Ex for over twenty years. For most of that time, what I learned about her, I learned against my will. I heard about her from Bill or someone else in his family. Most of what I heard was very upsetting, so I made a point of not looking her up on the Internet. I didn’t want her to disturb my peace, nor did I want to feel compelled to call CPS. But then, I found out that she was telling her kids about my blog and spinning it into bullshit. Since they were adults at that point, I figured if she was going to read up on me, I might as well return the favor and give her some of the attention she obviously craves.
Now, I’m (mostly) not as disturbed or horrified by Ex’s antics. Bill’s daughters (biological, at least– we still wonder if #3 legally adopted them) are adults, and are responsible for themselves. Younger daughter has made the leap into full fledged adulthood. Older daughter, sadly, hasn’t. But she’s got to figure things out for herself. Now, I can (mostly) just laugh at Ex.
And laugh is exactly what I did last night, when I saw her latest tweet. Someone in her “Outlander posse” shared pictures of a very personal and thoughtful gift she had received by another fan. The woman who shared photos of the present was gushing over how beautiful it was. The woman’s friend (who evidently isn’t a friend of Ex’s) had sent her a creation based on their mutual love of the Outlander series. I can’t tell for sure, but it looks like this person actually created a hardbound book based on tales told by James Fraser, a character on the show. I don’t watch Outlander myself, but I did do a quick search and it looks like this was a one off creation; not something she bought on Amazon.
If the person did create the book, she did a beautiful job. I would be thrilled to receive such a lovely gift. I can understand why the recipient is so impressed with it. Now that I’m reading other comments, I can see that it was something specially created. People are effusive with their praises.
Apparently, Ex is impressed (and envious), too. She left the following comment:
I’m sure she adores it. Did you craft the book from scratch my dear? It’s the most beautiful gift I’ve ever seen. I have to confess, all the gifts I receive are from myself; since my father died, I can count on my fingers the gifts ANYONE else has given me. Is it an odd thing?
Notice how she states the obvious. “I’m sure she adores it.” (clearly). She asks if it was created from scratch, adding “my dear”, which is almost always a condescending sentiment rather than endearing. Then… she writes it’s the “most beautiful gift [she’s] ever seen”. I’ve seen her write that before, so it’s obviously not a sincere comment.
Finally… she makes the rest of the comment about herself.
Ex’s father– her adoptive father that she met for the first time when she was 7 years old– died in 1996. According to Bill, who actually knew him, he wasn’t a terrible person, but he also wasn’t much of a father. He spent a lot of his time at sea, because he was in the Merchant Marines. When he died, he did leave some money for Ex’s three eldest children– about $15,000 total. Ex proceeded to use the money to put a down payment on the house that she later allowed to go into foreclosure.
I know that Bill’s father and stepmother gave her gifts, some of which were pretty expensive. I also know that she later sold them on eBay. I don’t know what kinds of gifts Bill gave her when they were married, although I doubt he had much money to buy her anything super nice. And even if he did, she probably wouldn’t have liked or appreciated it. From what I’ve heard and seen in the aftermath of their marriage, I know that Bill was more concerned about paying the light bill and mortgage, than gifting Ex things like fan books from her favorite TV shows.
Bill “gifted” her with two daughters and played “daddy” to her eldest kid with her first husband. When they divorced, instead of insisting that her first ex husband pay child support for his son, Bill paid support for him, too. But Ex doesn’t see that as a kindness. At the time, she felt entitled to it. He left their marriage no longer able to father children, because he had a vasectomy for their mutual benefit. She repaid him by having two more kids with #3, and now uses them to promote her benevolent mother facade to strangers on Twitter. Meanwhile, we’ve heard about how she begrudged younger daughter necessary medical and dental interventions, even forcing her to endure a complicated dental procedure unsedated when she was seven years old.
I would have been overjoyed to have had a child with Bill. I would have seen that as the greatest gift ever. Isn’t it interesting that Ex doesn’t appreciate her children, or see them as gifts– even if they were simply from God? I bring up God because Ex brought the family into Mormonism, where there’s the idea that preborn children choose their families as spirits waiting for earthly bodies. But for all I know, she might not even believe in God anymore. Or maybe she only believes in God when it’s convenient.
Ex recently tweeted something else that gave me pause. In parts passing, I’ve written about how Ex loves to use books, music, movies, and television shows to “demonstrate” how she expects her husbands and children to behave. She doesn’t live in reality. She bases her reality on fiction. Bill has told me many times that she expected him to romance her, as Bryan Adams suggested in the song “To Really Love A Woman”, or suggested that he wasn’t “strong enough” to be her man, as Sheryl Crow sang in her song, “Strong Enough”. There are countless other examples of this phenomenon.
Anyway, she recently tweeted about the show, Outlander, of which she is a super fan. Someone announced that the show could be “rewatched” starting in early April, allowing fans to see the whole thing before the new season starts. Ex posted:
Thanks for the heads up!!! I’m a woman on a mission to get my hubby to watch it straight through!!
Poor #3… I doubt she wants him to watch because she simply enjoys the show. She probably wants him to watch so she can “instruct” him on the “right” way to behave. She wants to be married to James Fraser, not #3. She wants actors, not real people. Hell, even her children have mostly taken acting classes… probably because she encouraged it or insisted that they take the classes. She doesn’t want them to be themselves. She wants them to be someone from one of her shows or movies.
If you look at the list above, you can see that it’s basically Ex engaging in the very first sign. She constantly posts about wanting her youngest daughter to go to an acting conservatory in Scotland… when younger daughter has said that her sister would actually prefer to go to school close to home, so she can hang out with her friends. Meanwhile, when younger daughter was college bound, Ex wanted her to stay close to home and commute to her classes. Younger daughter, thankfully, found a way to do what she wanted to do.
Anyway… back to Kati Morton. I find her videos very helpful and interesting, not just because of Ex, but because of my own fucked up family dynamics. The below video is one that kind of resonates with me, personally.