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Miss Misanthropist

Writing With Myself

Surving Parents With NPD (Part One)

Surviving Abuse Series, Mental HealthMonica EdwardsComment

Right off the bat I should explain what NPD stands for. Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It's bad enough when people have this but when they become parents it's even worse. Usually the case is it's just one parent and the other is the enabler but there have been many cases with two NPD parents having children and both of them working at once to have ultimate control. With my parents, their main form of abuse was gaslighting. Also known as ambient or stealth abuse. My father was far more guilty of this than my mother but it's a favored form of abuse for people with NPD because it causes the victim to completely depend on them. Nearly think of them as a God who can tell them what is real and what is fake. It was 20 years before I realized this was being done to me. The results were devastating, and I have just entered a point where I am starting to recover as they finally got the right diagnosis.

This intends to be a series exploring the ramifications of the aftermath of ambient abuse and why it can leave the victim permanently fucked up. To be honest, considering how badly some people get it, I'm probably on the lighter end of the scale but it's still not okay. As more and more time passes, more and more information about ambient abuse is coming to light. Since it's really hard to detect when it's going on (but used quite often) it's not exactly something that a child (or even romantic partner) can easily be protected against. It's not nearly as obvious as physical abuse because ambient abuse is purely emotional and it more or less makes the person going through the abuse completely insane.

Ambient abuse is the stealth, subtle, underground currents of maltreatment that sometimes go unnoticed even by the victims themselves, until it is too late. Ambient abuse penetrates and permeates everything – but is difficult to pinpoint and identify. It is ambiguous, atmospheric, diffuse. Hence its insidious and pernicious effects. It is by far the most dangerous kind of abuse there is.

It is the outcome of fear – fear of violence, fear of the unknown, fear of the unpredictable, the capricious, and the arbitrary. It is perpetrated by dropping subtle hints, by disorienting, by constant – and unnecessary – lying, by persistent doubting and demeaning, and by inspiring an air of unmitigated gloom and doom ("gaslighting").

Ambient abuse, therefore, is the fostering, propagation, and enhancement of an atmosphere of fear, intimidation, instability, unpredictability and irritation. There are no acts of traceable explicit abuse, nor any manipulative settings of control. Yet, the irksome feeling remains, a disagreeable foreboding, a premonition, a bad omen.

In the long term, such an environment erodes the victim's sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Self-confidence is shaken badly. Often, the victim adopts a paranoid or schizoid stance and thus renders himself or herself exposed even more to criticism and judgment. The roles are thus reversed: the victim is considered mentally deranged and the abuser – the suffering soul. (Read More)

The longer a person goes through this, the worse they get. The more they claim something is wrong the less likely they are to be taken seriously. The abuser sets up a mental history for them that they have no control over and on top of that convinces the victim that they have these mental illnesses. For example, my parents were incredibly insistent that I was bipolar and I had ADHD. Though, through my life I was repeatedly tested for both of these things (at their request) I never showed any signs of either.

At a young age I was diagnosed with something called Reactive Attachment Disorder. Not something uncommon for children who are adopted (which I was). I recently tracked down my first therapist from when I was that age and she told me this. She also told me that for a 4 year old I was extremely distrustful of adults especially my parents, which was an instant red flag to her. My parents knew I had this disorder (RAD for short) and denied it. Why did they deny it? Well here's a small summary of RAD:

Usually when this disorder occurs it's because the child who was adopted didn't form enough of a bond with their parents. Once again, not abnormal. If treated when it's found out, there is good hope for recovery. However, my parents didn't want to believe that they didn't "care" for me well enough and I couldn't have POSSIBLY not bonded with them, so when this was suggested to them all they heard was "BAD PARENTS" and because they have NPD there is no way in the world anything they ever do is wrong for any reason. This caused drastic problems for me at a young age. Untreated, RAD turns into something far worse. As such they never pursued treatment for me and this disorder and continued to insist that my actual problem was ADHD and when I became a young adult they insisted I was bipolar, even when I was far too young to ever be showing symptoms of that (around the age of 10 and 11). Doctors regularly told them there wasn't anything that severe wrong with me, if they paid more attention to me and helped me talk things through I'd be fine. They didn't want to do that. They wanted to medicate me and lock me in my room as much as possible.

My parents were well off, my father was a vice president of a major corporation in Cleveland when I was growing up. He also worked on political campaigns, knew a lot of people in high places, and was a lawyer at some point. My mother was a gold digging housewife who always had to have the best things whenever she wanted them. Designer cars, jewelry, furs, kitchen equipment. We literally had a room in our house we were not allowed to go in because it was all sorts of expensive shit and trendy and on display. 1500 dollar coffee table, a huge sectional worth thousands. Unique and weird modern art. Everything Robyne wanted, Robyne got and John was making more than enough to pay for it, because of his awesome VP job at the company. (I do not call my parents Mom and Dad I call them by their names it's a technique to help disassociate myself with the abuse that I suffered at their hands, seeing as they really never were actively caring parents in the first place)

As one can imagine, being put through this level of abuse over 20 years before escaping it, well, there would be a lot wrong with me. My official diagnosis is OCD with PTSD. The PTSD comes as the aftermath of the abuse I suffered from my parents. It's very well known that ambient abuse causes PTSD now. Wish I'd known this sooner, honestly, because it's been about 10 years of "pin the tail on the right mental illness". However at least now I can start treatment and hopefully move forward.

This series is going to detail all that I can remember about my childhood, how it effects me now, and why it has made me who I am and how I am today. I know it's different from my anti-feminist stuff but I also feel that it will provide insight into my view points and my personality. Not only that but it may help other people who are suffering from the aftermath abusive relationships can cause. I hope you keep up with this and follow along, as this is a story I desperately need to tell because I'm done staying silent. People need to know what my parents did and how bad things were. Keeping it inside only gives them power, and I'm not going to allow that any more.