Clyde Grubbs

Nuerosis, which arises from repression, was the most common psychological disfunction of the 19th and early twentieth century middle class. Narcissism, which arises from a childhood of being treated as an object, of being urged to live up to an image, being urged to succeed, but having no genuine interpersonal relationships, is the most common psychological disfunction of the late 20th century and early 21st century middle class. The national culture itself lives with "entertainment tonight" and "people" magazines and turns the news in personal lifestyle images, Lasch called the middle class culture as "narcissist culture."



I must be channeling you, HF. I spent the weekend discovering the exact same websites and coming to the exact same conclusions--but as it relates to my relationship w/ my mother.

I totally feel for you and can competely relate. And, reading the articles makes everything click into place, doesn't it? It all kind of makes sense and makes you feel like you're not the crazy one after all!

And, I'm realizing that I've got some narcissitic tendencies that I totally need to deal with ASAP before I *become* my mother.

Did you notice that too or are you more of a "co-narcissist"? (That's how my sister fits into the family dynamic, whereas my brother ended pretty stable (w/ minimal narcisstic tendencies), in large part because he had a more stable childhood that I did (we have different fathers, and my life became a bit more stable when my mom re-married my siblings' father)).

Seriously, if you want to email with me about it, I'd be more than happy to do so--seems like we're both in the discovery phase on this one. It might help to bounce ideas off of another person.


Thank you. I'm printing this for my partner. Her father died some years ago. Otherwise I'd suspect your father has two families unknown to each other.

It may be hopeful for you to know that he did improve in his later years.


Welcome to the club! My father was diagnosed this way years back. And the shoe fits. It's nice to have community to share in this... because it's not you. It's him. ;)

Ann Bartow

Whoa. Well, all I can say is that you are one of the nicest bloggers around, so you obviously managed to overcome a whole lot. One thing about having a difficult person in your life is that you learn how to cope with difficult people, which is a great skill for an attorney, and I am not being flip when I say that. I'm very sorry that you had to deal with all that growing up, though.


pity, but not for you...

wow, HF, i really feel for you after reading this, although I can't say I pity you;
I'll reserve my pity for your father, who missed out on a lot of happy moments with his daughter
(i.e. if he had the proper empathy for you, he could have made a happier childhood for you,
and then he could have basked in the reflection of your happiness...
...i pity him much, because he missed out on a lot)


However, I've been talking to your real Father [about you] lately,
the one in Whose image you are created;
and based on that, and based on your concern for the poor and the weak,
I have given you a new name.
(names are powerful and important;
I respect your right to keep this blog anonymous,
but i would really prefer a better handle to correspond with you than "HF" =>)
I shall use it in my next e-mail to you;
I hope you like it (i'm sure you'll appreciate the significance of it). =)


And to both Moi and HF: if you're in the discovery phase of this, I'm happy to also lend an ear or suggest resources either here or by email. I've been investigating and dealing with the issue for 15 years, now.


I never cease to be impressed by the appearance that nearly every problem or disorder is the extreme of a normal human feeling and/or a natural part of growing up that didn't pass in its proper time...

Maybe it's just me, but whenever I read descriptions like this I get a twinge when I see shadows of myself. But then I remind myself that wanting to feel significant and noticed are normal parts of being human, and are not in themselves unhealthy...

Which leads to my theory about extremes...

Do you think these extremes are warnings for the rest of us?


Are you "future me"?

I've been reading this blog for a few weeks now and thought I would take a minute to tell you how much I enjoy it and emphathize. I'm an engaged, dog-loving, law student whose father acts in much the same way. It's so hard, but so nice to hear someone else speak about it.

Right now, Dad expects me to make 'A's as a 1L (which for the first time, I'm not sure I can pull off) and not join any "weird liberal clubs" that would "embarass him". I actually got accepted into a higher ranked law school than the one I chose to attend and he hasn't even visited my school. He's been to town several times, but he doesn't even know what my school looks like. There's been so much pressure on me to produce numbers my whole life (SAT scores, LSAT scores, GPAs) that the fact I chose a school with a lower rank kills him, why would I choose a lower number?! Hapiness, maybe? In his mind, it doesn't matter, its not a numeric rank.

Anyways, sorry for the rant, but thanks for all the lovely reading material! You are so brave to be able to take pity on him. I don't think I'm ready for that yet.



HF, you've described my ex husband, though my son's therapist (in the wake of the divorce) suggested that sociopath also fit rather well.

What's hardest, I think, is the associated charm they *can* display...and the force with which they proclaim their view of things as Truth. You start to question yourself, question things you know...and you grant them way more of the benefit of the doubt than you should. My ex to this day will tell me some cockamamie story that sounds so outrageous I, who should know better than anyone, find myself scratching my head and saying "Well...maybe so. I mean, who'd make something like that up?"

It's soul tearing abuse you've described HF, and of course you still need to understand it. This has been really hard for me with my son - his birthday was two weeks ago and his father never bothered to call or even send him a card. Yet when my son is there, his father wants to parade him around and tell everyone how special "My Boy" is, how smart, how unusual and how (even though he never spent a lot of time with him or parented at ALL), it's all the ex's doing that my son is so all fired wonderful.

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