27 January 2008

Speechless

I've been dumbstruck for several days, unable even to begin putting my thoughts into words.

A remote [thank God!] acquaintance recently lost a close relative to suicide.

Very close relative. First degree, as the health establishment likes to say.

This individual has been milking the death of that relative, for sympathy for themselves, nonstop, ever since the event.

I haven't seen this person spend even an instant thinking about what their relative must have been going through that would drive them to take such action. Not even a momentary flash of curiosity about that. Not a particle of self-examination, of wondering if there was anything they did, or didn't do, could have done, could have seen, that might have made the difference between life and death.

I haven't seen this person spend a nanosecond wondering how that relative's sibling is handling everything - or anything.

I haven't seen a femtosecond of genuine grief over this life destroyed, this future lost, this whole human universe gone beyond recall, the love this person now won't live to feel, the children they now won't live to bear.

There has been nothing from this survivor but a torrent of self-centeredness,

indistinguishable in almost every respect from their usual torrential self-centeredness,

except that the crisis being used to justify the current debauch of self-absorption is a terrible and irreversible human tragedy, not the usual broken fingernail/bad hair day.

But it's all the same to this person.

Quite clearly, a child dead by suicide is just material for drama, to this individual. Even when it's their own child whose death they're exploiting.

Because the survivor of whom I am speaking so critically happens to be the dead girl's mother.

And there's another daughter in the family. Who is receiving, as far as I can determine, no help, no support, no attention, no intervention, while Mommy Dearest frets and obsesses about being less well dressed than the neighbors who drop in to pay condolence calls.

Imagine the moneyed suburban hell that girl - and her surviving sister - must have lived in. Imagine the hell the surviving child must now be facing alone.

Imagine a mother so totally selfish, so lacking in any semblance of motherhood, that even her own child's death by suicide is ALL ABOUT HER.

I've been waiting until I could discuss this event from a sufficiently detached perspective... but I don't think I'm ever going to achieve a detached perspective.

This is obscene, and it's never going to stop being obscene.

7 Comments:

Blogger Stormchild said...

Anonymous at 4:09 PM talked about the possibility of people - like this mother - INVENTING these events [suicides, terminal illnesses, etc.] to garner attention.

It certainly happens [I can't post Anonymous' comment because names are given there, and I don't have the ability to edit comments].

My take on this is: when this is what's going on, it's good that the 'focus' of the lie is, in fact, alive and well, not suffering from cancer / in a locked ward / being cremated on Tuesday.

But...

Someone who can 'kill off' their own child/mother/husband/wife in their imagination, as a stunt to garner sympathy, isn't going to react very differently if the real child/mother/husband/wife ever is injured or dies.

Actually, lying about something like that - inventing a death, serious illness, or other tragedy affecting a third party, in order to get sympathy and support - makes a person even more of a monster.

It's the moral equivalent of murdering or maiming their own child/mother/spouse to get sympathy for being a bereaved or beleaguered parent/child/partner.

That is even more obscene than the first scenario.

For another disturbing case, see "People of the Lie", by Scott Peck, 'The Case of Bobby and his Parents'. Bobby's older and only brother, Stuart, commits suicide with a rifle. Mom and Dad bury Stuart, wrap up his suicide weapon, and

*****give it to Bobby*****

*****for Christmas*****.
.
.
.

27 January, 2008 22:44  
Anonymous jordie said...

Stormchild,

I am sorry you have had such a shock. It really does throw you in a spin, firstly to know this girl is dead, secondly to see this sort of demented reaction. Its a double whammy. I appreciate your desire to try and analyse this in a detached way, but as you say, its not really ever going to be possible.

Some people are completely emotionally retarded. I hope this woman's other daughter gets the help she needs.

My brother-in-law committed suicide twenty years ago. He was living with his narcissistic mother at the time. I now understand much more clearly what would have caused him to lose hope. He was only 27, but 27 years of hell is still 27 years of hell.

29 January, 2008 00:27  
Blogger Stormchild said...

Thanks Jordie. I hope the surviving child gets help and gets out, as soon as possible.

OMG, your poor brother in law, and your poor husband. And you, too...

I know a lot of time has passed, but that doesn't fix things. Things can never be the same... we just learn to live, somehow, with someone missing from our lives.

30 January, 2008 22:17  
Anonymous CZBZ said...

bbbbrrrr....what an unsettling experience! There is just nothing 'normal' about it, Stormchild. We can try to give this mother every cockamamie excuse we can come up with to rationalize her reactions. That's where most of us make our first mistake with a cold-hearted, "all about me" person who tells us who she is by her behavior. It's usually so incomprehensible though that we try to explain her obscene reactions rather than seeing them for what they are: obscene.

Hugs,
CZBZ

03 February, 2008 17:18  
Blogger Katherine Gunn said...

Yeah - it is obscene. At the age of 24, after life with a narcissistic mother and a passive-aggressive father, I tried to take my own life. Thank God (literally) that it did not work. Twenty years later and my mother has NEVER asked me why. The only reference she ever makes to it is to tell me I'm the only one who really understand the "gut-wrenching suicidal depressions" that she is ALWAYS suffering from.

30 March, 2008 05:32  
Blogger Stormchild said...

Thank you, CZ. I'd intended to reply earlier, but your comment stood alone so well that a reply seemed to be gilding the lily.

Here I insert another link to your new blog, which is also in my sidebar now

:-) . Great reading!

The Narcissistic Continuum

Katherine, thank you for your comment. I am so sorry that you went through such devastating pain, and that you have the kind of parent who fed upon your distress without caring or limit, and to this day only sees your past tragedy as a source of fuel for her own endless neediness. This is beyond obscene, it is blasphemous.

I am very glad that you survived, and are here. I am also very glad that you posted with your profile so that I could find your new blog, A Voice In the Desert, and place a link to it here. I will also add it to my sidebar, alongside Meg's [Jordie's] blog, Brisbane Christian Fellowship. As a cult survirvor, she also discusses spiritual abuse, with the same depth and honesty I see in your writing.

I wish you healing, peace and safety, and relief from unnecessary, unproductive pain... here, now, among the living.

Dear Lord, I wish that for us all.

Storm

30 March, 2008 10:47  
Blogger Katherine Gunn said...

Stormchild-
Thank you. God grant us all the healing, peace, safety & relief. He will - He is.

30 March, 2008 15:56  

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