The little boy inside of me is alive but is not well.
It is like a light has been switched on. Not a bedside lamp with a warmish glow – but a floodlight on a football pitch. Dazzled by the beam, I stand starkly in the realization that the woman whom I care for is ill. Mentally ill. For all these years I have struggled to work out the puzzle – and yet all along I have been blind to the clues that have been put before me.
She has a personality disorder – a second life, if you were – and now I know that she cannot help her behavior, I feel I am in danger also.
I was born and raised by a narcissist. I was always aware that something was wrong but never knew how serious it was. On the outside, she appears normal; a happy-go-lucky gipsy market seller. But on the inside a different picture is painted. We appear to be a normal, healthy family with our fair share of ups and downs. This retardation is a cruel condition that the majority of mental health experts deem incurable. I don’t want to believe it but now beginning to realize they are probably right.
I smiles – you smile. I look sad – you look sad and so on. My mother, though deemed incurable, might match these moods, but might not. As the baby begins to crawl and then walk – it is encouraged and supported to persevere – and when it falls, the adult helps it to regain its balance or cuddles it when it hurts. Around the age of eighteen months and the begins to separate. The child has to wait a while before they are attended to, for example to be fed or to reach a toy. It becomes aware that they are not in control and they are a separate being, hence the tantrums that ensue. But sometimes, very sadly, this does not happen. Then the narcissistic personality disorder begins to develop. Like a silent disease, it grows in strength, unnoticed – not even by the victim. She has learned to say the right things and occasionally she does, but she cannot feel them like you or I. She is a compulsive liar, much like a young child, who exaggerates her achievements, skills, experiences and talents and believes them to be true. Her life and my life with her has never been stable due to her obsessive fantasies of fame, wealth, power, success and the search for a perfect love.
She helped me though – not my mum –her. The times were changing. He was out there.