Picture credit: Omer Unlu
When we were very young children my brother and I were often played off against eachother – today I am an angel sent from heaven, tomorrow I could be the devils child. Whilst she would keep the dichotomy of heaven and the devil to the confines of our home. She would very happily share with the world if you were the best child that day, often telling anyone who would listen how lucky she is to have you.
However, the devil child for the day would get ignored, spoken down to and ridiculed. If you were the angel child, you would participate in the verbal and emotional torture directed at the other sibling. It was actually really enjoyable to be the angel child. You felt loved. You felt happy.
It took a very long time for me to reconcile these memories with who I feel I am today. An amazing therpaist helped me to understand that I had to play this game with the Mother as my very survival depended on it. The Mother fed us, clothed us, drove us to school, took us to activities, she was all I knew.
Being raised in a home with a narcissistic mother has left me scarred to my very core, it has left me with a perpetual fear that I might be like her.
Now that I am a Mum, this fear can be a heavy burden. I constantly question and analyse my own behaviour. As far as I can see the only way to ensure I do not become like her is to have awareness and insight into how my behaviour affects those around me.
A post which explains this kind of emotional manipulation between siblings can be found here: