Mary’s adult daughter decided she was the victim of a terrible childhood and it was all Mary’s fault. Mary had forced her to do homework in courses she hadn’t liked, had not taken her to all the events she wanted, had divorced her father when she was 12 and had not given her a car when she was 16. It had broken her heart. A lot of her claims were outright lies. Her feelings mattered and Mary didn’t appreciate how much she’d suffered.
Mary had paid for her daughter’s college. But her daughter didn’t invite Mary to the graduation; she invited her father instead. She was afraid Mary’s presence would upset him and this was his and her special day. Anyway, Mary deserved every bad thing that was done to her.
All along, she’d ignored how Mary felt. She ignored her father’s constant criticism, bullying and abuse of Mary. She ignored the fact that he’d hit Mary twice. She ignored the fact that he’d never given Mary or his daughter a penny. She ignored the fact that Mary had to work two jobs to support them and make a third, job-like effort to arrange as much as she could for her daughter’s activities and enjoyment.
Many bullies and narcissists decide they’re the victims; only their feelings and sufferings count.
Everyone should center their lives on making sure the bullies and narcissists aren’t denied anything and don’t have hurt feelings. They have many socially-acceptable reasons why their feelings and desires should be catered to. Typical justifications are:
Terrible backgrounds. The world (meaning you) are supposed to make up for what they didn’t get before. If you won’t be their slave, you deserve their lying, manipulation and attacks.
Physical, medical or emotional needs. They are the most sensitive people in the world. That’s just how they are. If you don’t give them what they want, you’re not caring or loving enough and you should be punished.
Philosophical or religious grounds. They should be served because they’re men or husbands or the breadwinners. They should be served because they’re delicate women. If you don’t serve them, you’re punishing them.
Fear and power. If you want their love or money, you’d better serve them. If you want them not to destroy your reputation with the rest of the family, you’d better obey them. They’re more stubborn and relentless than you are. Do what they want and maybe they’ll back off or even give you a pittance.
Of course, I’m not agreeing with any of these. I’m simply listing what people have told me. The last category might not sound like a suffering victim. But their typical justification is that they’re simply defending themselves against your past torment of them.
Mary couldn’t change her daughter’s mind.
Mary felt so guilty; she must have done something terrible for her daughter to feel that way about her. She tried everything she could think of to convince her daughter to accept the facts or truth of what happened when she was growing up or that she was using bad logic to justify herself and excuse her horrid behavior toward Mary.
She finally realized her daughter was not beginning with facts and logic, and then drawing conclusions. Her daughter’s righteous anger felt so good, she’d become addicted to it. She began with wanting to force Mary to be her slave. Then she’d find clever arguments to justify her feelings and behavior. She’d use tantrums, accusations, guilt-trips, lies to Mary’s family and any other tactic she could think of.
Now that she’d become an adult, now that she’d gotten everything she thought she needed from Mary, she was done with her mother. Anyway, her father now had more money and wanted to give her everything in order to build a bond with her. He didn’t seem to mind serving her now.
What could Mary do?
That’s a long and very different story. It began with Mary grieving for how her life with her daughter had been a lie, for the character and values her daughter had now and for her shattered hopes and dreams because she wouldn’t have a wonderful relationship with her daughter.
But Mary could and did still make a wonderful life for the second half of it.
Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation. The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:
Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.
Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.