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Article on Narcissistic Mother - Lady Colin Campbell

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Article on Narcissistic Mother - Lady Colin Campbell

Post  margaret on Mon 25 Jan - 10:10

Morning all, this article shocked me yesterday l've never read anything about narcissism. Lady Colin Campbell on having a narcissistic mother.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-1244487/Lady-Colin-Campbell-coping-mothers-mental-illness.html


This life: Lady Colin Campbell on coping with her mother's mental illness

I grew up in a wealthy upper-class household in Jamaica, which was run along militaristic lines by my mother, Gloria. She loved to ‘crack the whip’, as she put it. ‘The only person who has any rights in this house is me,’ she would say to us children, to our father Michael and to the servants. Gloria’s view was very simple – everyone existed for her own convenience. I learned from a very young age that if my mother didn’t get what she wanted, and if you didn’t play her game, she could be lethal.

There were four children – my brother Mickey, me, and my two younger sisters, Libby and Kitty. With Gloria at the helm, it was a viciously dysfunctional family. She did not work, so life was an endless prospect of doing as she wished. Socially, she was charming and witty, and we led a gregarious life, with many parties – our house was a meeting ground for everyone. In private she was an emotional terrorist and an abusive mother. Our father seldom stood up for us against her cruelty.

My memories of Mickey’s upbringing are of one long assault course that my brother had to endure. He was constantly being flogged for doing nothing wrong at all. Gloria hated him, partly because my grandmother and aunt adored him, and she loathed Libby because she was so pretty.

My mother could not share attention with any other human being. She once flew into a rage and tried to burn my face with a lit cigarette

When I was a young woman, my looks attracted a lot of compliments. My mother, however, could not share attention with any other human being. On one occasion, she flew into a rage and tried to burn my face with a cigarette.

She paid no attention at all to Kitty, the baby, who was my father’s favourite. She made no show of loving her or loathing her. She didn’t even attend her christening. Kitty once told me that she did not have a proper conversation with our mother until she was in her 30s.

We always knew that there was something wrong with Mummy, but I didn’t realise she suffered from any kind of psychological disorder until I was talking with my therapist years later. ‘You’re describing a classic narcissist,’ he told me.

Initially, I didn’t think it was serious. Narcissism simply means being vain, doesn’t it? But narcissistic personality disorder is something else. It is without limits. Narcissists disdain everyone but themselves. They become more bitter as they get older, because they can’t get enough adulation from those around them. They want to be worshipped as gods and goddesses. If you don’t give them that, whether you are a child, a spouse or a friend, they resent you bitterly.

As my mother became older and her good looks began to fade, she turned to drink and became an alcoholic. The servants nicknamed her ‘Gin and Tonic’ because she’d usually order her first after breakfast. As I later learned, a lot of people with personality disorders medicate themselves with alcohol and other drugs.

There is no cure for narcissistic personality disorder. If you have a relationship with someone who has it, there will be a certain level of pain built into it. I don’t think you can have a close, loving relationship with a narcissist, and I don’t think it’s possible to be a true narcissist and be a good mother.

The most unforgivable thing that Gloria did was to refuse to visit Mickey in London when he was dying of cancer in his 40s. He had only ten days to live. She was just back from a shopping trip in America but said that she couldn’t leave our father alone in Jamaica. She didn’t shed a tear when Mickey died, and wouldn’t scatter his ashes at the funeral.

I believe that narcissistic personality disorder is a middle- and upper-class disease because you have to have the means to indulge it; you need money and power. Narcissists create havoc around them. You can’t get away with that doing a menial job. I also think our culture of celebrity fosters narcissism, because it encourages a sense of entitlement. Many people seem to think that they are entitled to be a star without any of the talent worthy of stardom.

I am grateful to my mother for some things. Her malevolent neglect meant that we learned how to be independent, and we all learned how to be very in tune with reality. We had to be – it was our only way of surviving. The other good thing was that, through her, I learned how to fight. People muck you around in life, and Gloria taught me to never give up.

Narcissists can’t really love. One has to accept that about them. Did my mother love me? No. I loved a part of her. There were times when I loathed her. But one of the lessons one learns is that love and loathing can co-exist.

Daughter of Narcissus by Lady Colin Campbell is published by Dynasty at £17.99. To order a copy for £14.99 with free p&p, contact the YOU Bookshop on 0845 155 0711, you-bookshop.co.uk

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-1244487/Lady-Colin-Campbell-coping-mothers-mental-illness.html#ixzz0dcLKEz2b

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So sad.

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Re: Article on Narcissistic Mother - Lady Colin Campbell

Post  Guest on Mon 25 Jan - 11:19

This brings to mind Gerry's temper tantrums

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Re: Article on Narcissistic Mother - Lady Colin Campbell

Post  AnnaEsse on Mon 25 Jan - 11:30

SharonS wrote:This brings to mind Gerry's temper tantrums

Yes, Gerry! Picture him in the USA, beaming with pride: look at me, I'm important. Then compare with how he is outside the court in Lisbon when the wonderful Sandra F. asks him a few uncomfortable questions. The narcissist does not like to be questioned or confronted.

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