I’m not a native speaker – hope this is readable anyway:
I’m currently in therapy because of co-dependency issues, attachment anxiety and recurring depression.
The more I look at my familystructure and talk about experiences with family members to my therapist, the clearer it gets to me, that my mother shows at least some strong narcissistic behaiviours: scapegoating my older brother and belitteling my father, while guilttripping all of us three childreen with how much she sacrifised to raise us, using my sister and me as a kind of friend/partner (talking to us about problems in the marriage with our father etc.)
I seem to have been the golden child then, and my brother the scapegoat - something that somehow fits, but on the other hand confuses me a bit:
if so, I should have become narcissistic myself - in fact I'm very insecure and my therapist has a hard time working with me on gaining self asteem. But I clearly was the child who got the most attention and affection from my mother and I would say now, that I'm really raised to become a people pleaser. The "bond" between my mother and me was really strong, esspecially because of the using-me-as-a-friend/partner-thing. And shaming my older brother and belitteling my father was "normal" to me a very long time, until I realised, that this is very wired and cruel. I must say, that I remember being a constant source of laughter for my mother and siblings, when I was younger, but that the roles somehow seemed to have switched, when I went to school. (Does that make sense?)
I wouldn't say, that I was the child, that couldn't do anything wrong. Had really hard problems at school and was not taken serously with my depression that started, when I was about 11 - esspecially my mother still (I'm 33 now) denies, that I have/had one. Eventhough I would say, that I don't need her approve anymore - but it took me two decades to treat that problem and when I went to therapy I felt like someone who's making a big fuss for a long time. I felt like pretending having problems/stealing time from my therapist that she could use talking to people with real
problems, because I wasn't used to a "normal reaction" to confessing having a problem. What I am/was used to was, that reading several entries from my teenager diary, in wich I plan/think about killing myself, leads to a reaction like "Oh my dear! This is just so funny! Just like "The secret diary of Adrian Mole"" (a FICTIONAL
book my mother likes). So I'm not entirely sure about the golden child-thing...
In fact my scapegoated brother shows really obvious narcsessistic behaviour, had several(!) relationships with diagnosed Borderliners, and sees himself as an unidentified highly gifted person (eventhough he refuses to take a test, or even make a clear statement about the field in which he sees himself as talented), sees himself as a coach in almost every field and advises people (no matter if they ask him or not). Acts extremely charming to others, but can get furious rage attacks with people "close" to him, belittles them then... he has a special problem with me of course and really had a time when he sort of brainwashed me to do nothing without asking him first (for example:he wanted to review all of my seminar papers. Eventhough I studied something he had no clue about, I let him "correct" them every time befor I gave them to my professor/or convincing me to break up with all of my friends because he said they would be bad for me). One of his greatest pleasures is to discuss about me with the rest of my family when we visit our parents on holidays while I'm sitting at the dinner table with them... I always get angry to get talked about but not to/with - this is a moment where my parents criticise me (when I react with anger) and he just sits there grinning at me satisfied... even tells me, that he's getting a kick out of making me angry. Things like this feed his story of me being irrational and a primadonna.
How can that happen to someone, who was always the one being yelled at? The one the rest of the family was allowed to treat bad. Could it be that his role switched too and he was the golden child first and became therefor the way he is? This somehow makes sense to me, because of the way his "High Ability" is glorified by the rest of the family. And he behaved very egocentric from early on (kindergarden at least). Or is it just, that our roles are not that clear at all?
Or could it be, that this isn't narcissism, but some kind of defence mechanism (isn't narcissism always a defence mechanism)?
I'm really confused
Thanks and best wishes to you!