May 11, 2014

With Love to Mothers Partnered with Ns & Love to ACoNs Raised by Sadistic Narcissistic Mothers

The Prince of Éboli's wife, Ana de Mendoza

"A person does not discover who they are by meditating on a mountain or by being introspective and going deeper as these disciplines may be. The royal road for both discovering and reinventing the self is through our relationships with other people and the conversations we engage in." ~Harriet Lerner

This quote is especially poignant for bloggers who have shared their stories and cared enough to listen to mine. LadyNyo asked me to write an article for daughters of narcissistic mothers on Mother's Day. This article is dedicated to you, Jane.


By the time I had reached the wise old age of 34, our daughter was a teenager, our son eleven. The beauty of being so young was my indefatigable energy, jocular imagination and extraordinary patience. My patience has been the topic of discussion for forty years, if that's indication of a character trait, which is difficult to see in yourself and that is why Knowing Thyself is a lifelong journey. But if there is any legacy of my mothering, it's my ability to keep one eye on the kids, and one eye turned inward on myself.

I was devoted to homemaking having been raised in a religious community where men organized the world and women brought refreshments. In my perspective, homemaking was as relevant to a healthy society as income-producing work. After moving to California, my parochial views were confronted by broader society's individualism, deconstructing gender roles that had granted direction, form and meaning in my life. And there were times more-than-once when I tellingly and zealously defended mothering-as-an-occupation becoming a little hot under the collar but not without reason. It was shaming to admit my greatest ambition was creating a safe home, hearth and family after second-wave feminists ungraciously pointed out there was no safe home, hearth or family without an income; that a middle-class wife was one man away from the sidewalk which didn't apply to me, or so I believed. There's a smidgen of narcissism in the refusal to see oneself as ordinary---an admission that comes easy to me now, having dislodged quite a few defenses against reality which is a safe place to be.

NOTE: Please don't leave comments about the value of "women's work." I've deconstructed that belief every which way before admitting that a materialistic society's values are in the bank. We pay for what we value and that's as true today as it was two thousand years ago when a man could buy three women for the price of a lame mule. Historical factors have constrained women's lives, marked by deprivation and impoverishment (Lerner) and these inequities continue all over the globe and under our noses. That women have narcissistic defenses protecting their self-worth and self-esteem is understandable considering their subjugation amen.

In the 1950's social experiment, homemaking was declared an occupation; mothering a job. Women became the equivalent of Project Managers, her children's behavior a performance evaluation. When country, community and God demanded her children reflect cultural values, I think mothering became more about manufacturing than nurturing. Successful mothering-as-an-occupation was measured by conformity so it's not hard to understand why mothers would use power-and-control tactics to coerce children into compliance. Her reputation and self-esteem was at stake and don't we all want to do a good job and be well thought of? As a result, mothers may be overly invested in outcomes, objectifying and rejecting their offspring without questioning underlying motivations. Rather than enjoying a child's unfolding, she yearns for a perfect mirror so she can feel good about herself. Sad but true.

Despite our understanding, maternal narcissism of any degree is frustrating and nobody likes a mother who has five or even one behavior on the following list. But the truth is that a narcissistic mother may relinquish her narcissism as she ages and that is something children of narcissistic mothers can hope for by listening to her story and accepting her as she is. It is amazing the miracle that happens when mothers feel heard, appreciated and accepted by their children. The acceptance and love offered by a child can free her from childhood shame, from the limitations of her life. This following is an incomplete list but I think all narcissistic mothers have one or more of the following:
1-an undeveloped sense of self; poor boundaries; insecure (reverse parenting) 
2-narcissistic defenses against shame (self-preoccupation; grandiosity) 
3-idealizing her role as a mother (inflating importance) 
4-lives her dreams through her children (exploitation; objectification) 
5-strong need for attention and reassurance (special treatment; neediness) 
6-demands conformity and deference as an Authority figure (superiority) 
7-nothing that exists is good enough (idealization; empathy deficits) 
8-critical of her children in private (envy); brags in public (self-importance) 
9-argumentative; rejecting; no compromises (hostile; aggressive)
I hope my introduction captures the essence of a mother's narcissism as unhealthy, but perhaps understandable considering her history. Most adult children of narcissists realize their mothers were and are subject to narcissistic behaviors like everyone else. If we assume giving birth instantly changes women into Holy Madonnas, then we need to take a good, hard look at our own narcissism, our own entitlement and grandiosity. Unless we're baby Jesus, we'll have to face the fact that mother is a mere mortal with as many peccadilloes and warts as ourselves. Sometimes unhealthy narcissism is ours to claim and ours to mature.

Healing is a family process

My children never sit at a holiday table without telling stories about the wickedly eccentric things their mother did when they were little. Sugar rashes from frosting their faces? Their stories have morphed and shifted as the years go by. I think most mothers willingly engage in a mutual growing up process with their children and overtime, family stories shift and wriggle into shape. After retelling family stories for several decades, my dubious attempt to civilize unruly children has transformed from "meanness" to "benign incompetence"---an example of the miracle of forgiveness, I believe.

When children become parents themselves, they let childish perceptions go while hoping and praying children do for same for them. Mothers let resentments go, accepting their role in history and recognizing their great fortune participating in a child's life. In my experience with families of all persuasions, it's fair to say: families that mature together, stay together; the ones that don't, won't.

To all my friends who became mothers, suffering not only their partner's criticisms but insults from the recovery movement and psychologists, too: Happy Mother's Day. May you enjoy the blessings of old age with your children at your side. I see you and love you and respect the miseries you've suffered on the behalf of your beloved children.

Part Two
Narcissism + Sadism = Pathology

"It is the paradoxical truth of human existence that we know ourselves as separate only insofar as we live in connection with others, and that we experience relationship only insofar as we differentiate other from self." ~Dr. Carol Gilligan

Raising children shatters a mother's illusions, sometimes gently and sometimes not. I've watched people grow closer to one another when familial beliefs were placed secondary to the love of their child. I've seen families fall apart. I've watched people use Draconian measures against children rather than sacrificing narcissism and opening their hearts. Criticism inspires some mothers to turn one eye inward, while other mothers get double vision magnifying her critic's flaws.

The pathological mother hides within groups of immature mothers, narcissistic mothers, even oppressed mothers and I have known many.

In an attempt to shatter idealization by discussing maternal narcissism, perhaps we have erred in defining narcissistic traits as pathology. We have erred in assuming the adult child of a narcissistic mother is no different than the adult child of a pathologically narcissistic mother. Distinctions matter. Not just for the narcissistic mother who has suffered enough indignities to warrant her insecurities and our hearts should go out to her most assuredly; but especially for adult children of narcissists (ACoNs). To be criticized and abused and repeatedly rejected as a child and then admonished to forgive, is an additional cruelty. Advice that is appropriate for children of narcissistic mothers, invalidates the adult child of a pathologically narcissistic mother.

The devaluation of all narcissistic mothers as being one and the same is as dehumanizing as the idealization of all mothers as one and the same. Distinctions matter. So I hope it's not off-base suggesting "Narcissism plus sadism equals pathology." Sadism appears to be a key determinant dividing narcissistic mothers from pathologically narcissistic mothers (NPD).

Narcissism + Ego-Syntonic Sadism = Malignant Narcissism

Malignant narcissism is a syndrome Kernberg describes as a volatile mix of narcissism, psychopathy, aggression, and ego-syntonic sadism. Ego-syntonic means the sadistic narcissist is comfortable with her behavior because it fits with the image she has of herself. She values power. She values maintaining power over others (even children, god forbid) and denigrates vulnerability and kindness to the point of ridicule and direct attack. She may act as if she's the queen of domesticity, hiding within the ranks of ordinary mothers and she may sustain her image perfectly in public. In the privacy of her home, she will attack the child that forced her to take two hours out of her day and sit in a parent-teacher's conference. Her sadistic behavior will be intentional, unquestionable and justifiable, even if her victim is a tender six year old. Whatever punishment she inflicts, she'll insist it's for your own good. She's only beating the living daylights out of you because she loves you. Children of sadistic narcissistic mothers may internalize her message: love hurts. Attachment hurts.

Authoritarian parenting is her preferred method for humiliating children into submission and breaking their will. How heartless to suggest the adult child of such a mother, forgive and forget for love! What irony that telling her story results in criticism and scriptural reprimands to honor her mother!

Many of us who have broken the No Talk Rule of dysfunctional families, were relieved to discover our fears had been unwarranted. The worst we imagined never actualized; honest conversation initiated a healing process for siblings and parents. But what happens when the adult child of a sadistic narcissistic mother defies the No Talk Rule, opening the doors on her mother's secrets? Intensified humiliation, invalidation, shame, punishment, ostracism, an all-out war as friends and family are taken hostage by her mother's ruthless manipulation and lies. The pathological mother devotes her energy to revenge not remorse, justifying her insatiable need for power.

I don't think people recognize the sadism inherent in pathological narcissism (NPD). They assume all narcissistic mothers are unintentionally hurtful. They assume the adult child of a narcissistic mother is "too sensitive" and "taking it personally." Not so, say the people spending their adult lives undoing the damage done to them as vulnerable children. Damage that continues into old age when mothers as old as ninety-four, continue to humiliate and punish their daughters if given the chance. The stories women share about sadistic mothers challenge listeners' willingness to empathize. Perhaps, that is a reason why sadism is rarely mentioned in literature about narcissistic mothers.

Why we don't grasp the relevance of sadism

When most of us think about sadism, sexuality comes to mind. Safe words come to mind. Liver, fava beans and a nice Chianti come to mind. I skimmed through information on sadism because the topic was repugnant to me, my knowledge limited to sensationalized extremes. We make a mistake assuming sadism is limited to "sensationalized torture."

Another mistake we make is minimizing the harm of sadism because we're intimately familiar with schadenfreude, the pleasure we hate admitting when a neighbor's Mercedes breaks down. The wicked satisfaction rejuvenating our juices when a bully crashes and burns. We laugh when his truck ends up in the barrow-pit, but it's a guilty laugh, yeehaw! My guess is that everyone experiences schadenfreude. However schadenfreude is on a continuum, mitigated I think, by empathy, conscience and healthy narcissism. The concern for children of narcissistic mothers is that empathy and conscience deficits are intrinsic to the pathological personality, pretty much kaput for the malignant narcissist. This means we make a serious mistake assuming sadism and schadenfreude are one and the same. While we may have smiled to ourselves after passing the stranded Mercedes, the sadist had punctured the tire in the parking lot in order to gleefully watch the owner change her flat in a blizzard.
"Sadism is the derivation of pleasure as a result of inflicting pain, cruelty, degradation, humiliation, or watching such behaviors inflicted on others." ~Wikipedia
"[sadistic people] take pleasure in the humiliation, control and domination of others." ~Steven Hucker 
The sadistic narcissistic mother derives pleasure from causing harm to others because she can. The narcissistic mother may employ similar tactics (putting people down to build herself up) but she is focused on an end goal: increasing self-esteem; attracting narcissistic supply; reassurance; increasing safety. She may punish others to get what she wants but there's a goal other than the sheer pleasure of causing pain. All narcissistic mothers employ hurtful tactics protecting their self-esteem, but they're too self-absorbed in defending themselves to care about the impact their behavior has on others. The sadist needs to be cruel, actively seeking ways to induce feelings of pleasure at the misfortune of others. (Porter)

Some writers have suggested sadistic narcissists employ psychological projection, punishing children for their own sins (unconscious process). She sees in her daughter what she hates in herself. Some people have said the sadistic mother attacks the gentlest, the most compassionate of her brood; in effect, destroying what she detests such as vulnerability, sensitivity, relational talents. I'm not so sure the sadistic narcissistic mother envies her daughter's relational attributes and therein tries to destroy her like Cinderella's wicked stepmother. I wonder if the brutal truth is that she sees an opportunity to assert her power and so she does because she can. Power is the motivation and a tender daughter who loves her is an easy target. She sees her daughter's tenderness as weakness. There is no remorse. No self-reflection. "If people allow me to hurt them," she muses, "they deserve what they get."

Narcissistic mothers want what they want and other people become "collateral damage" on their way to achieving goals. Sadistic narcissistic mothers are different because their end goal is degrading other people, punishing them, watching them grovel. They use rage to humiliate victims into submission. It's a calculated rage. (Simon) It's not far-fetched to describe the sadistic narcissistic mother as an in-house bully, her children an immediate supply of willing victims, unable to defend themselves from the person they depend upon for survival.

I have known narcissistic mothers who were devastated by the hurt they caused. They were so deeply mired in their own pain that both eyes turned inward on themselves. They could not see the impact their narcissism had on others. When they unraveled the indignities of their past, they were grateful their children still loved them and they were remorseful for the harm they caused. Gratitude and remorse facilitated change, acquiring healthier parenting skills for the sake of their families---a distinction of the narcissistic mother who is able to change. Because the sadistic narcissistic mother is completely comfortable with herself and doesn't seek change, she'll continue humiliating and hurting her child until the day she dies. Why? Because she can and because she likes it. 
"As these sadists dominate and punish others, so increases the satisfaction and power they feel, reinforcing their self-perception of righteousness and increasing their ego. This intoxication can unleash their behavior and blind them to reality, usually without attracting any negative attention because they act within their legal authority to exert power and normally behave in everyday situations." ~Sadistic Personality Disorder
Imagine being raised in a home where a sadistic narcissistic mother was the authority figure? Imagine being the object of her aggression for years, and then being told, "She didn't really mean it, honey. Let's re-frame the situation from her point of view. Is your heart opening for your mother now?" Imagine being told she loved you, that you were attributing malice where none existed because all mothers love their children, don't ya know. Some mothers just have a funny way of showing it. Imagine the shame of being repeatedly set up for humiliation, trying to please because you wanted her to love you. Imagine the searing memory of her smirk, "Gotcha!"

The miracle

Sometimes in the life of a daughter of a narcissistic mother, something amazing happens: she dares love someone else. Imagine waking up one day feeling so protective of her own child that she knows she could never hurt him. She knows instantly in her heart that what her mother felt for her was not love. How her mother treated her was not for her own good. Imagine the heroic journey of such a woman rejecting the lies of childhood and finally understanding she had always been lovable. That she was lovable. That the inability to love was her mother's flaw, not hers to own, excuse, or endure any longer.

Daughters of sadistic narcissistic mothers internalize a malevolent voice reminding them daily that they're unworthy, unlovable, that their every imperfection is a punishable crime. To all my friends who've born the abuse of such mothers, suffering not only her criticism but insults from the recovery movement and psychologists, too: Happy Self-Mothering Day. May you enjoy the blessings of old age without your mother at your side. I see you and love you and respect your efforts to break the unholy bond of the sadistic narcissistic mother. 



Anthes, Emily. Their Pain, Our Gain. "1) Schadenfreude registers in the brain as a distinct form of pleasure, a satisfaction comparable with that of eating a good meal; 2) Schadenfreude makes evolutionary sense. The world is a competitive place, and an individual benefits, for instance, when a sexual competitor breaks a leg or a hunting rival falls ill; 3) Intergroup schadenfreude can be especially potent and insidious. It may, in fact, help drive deep-seated prejudices that can lead to violence.

Bruckles, Erin and Delroy Paulhus. The Joys of Hurting Others PDF

Caliban's Sisters. Family Origins and "Natural" Affection

Kernberg, Otto. Malignant Narcissism (wikipedia)

Lerner, Harriet. Women in Therapy PDF

Millon, Theodore. Assertive Sadistic Personality 

Porter, Steven et al. 2013 Soldiers of Misfortune: An Examination of the Dark Triad and the Experience of Schadenfreude PDF

Sadistic Personality Disorder. Wikipedia  "Because of its high level of comorbidity with other disorders, researchers have had some level of difficulty distinguishing sadistic personality disorder from other forms of personality disorder." It is no longer included in the DSM.

Simon, George. Understanding the Sadistic Personality

Wilco W. van Dijket al. 2011 Self-Esteem, Self-Affirmation, and Schadenfreude "...low self-esteem participants experienced a stronger self-threat when confronted with a high achiever, and this self-threat increased their schadenfreude, whereas this response was attenuated when they were given an opportunity to self-affirm. These findings indicate that the misfortunes of others can evoke schadenfreude because they provide people with an opportunity to protect or enhance their self-views."

Wilco W. van Dijk et al. When People Fall From Grace: Reconsidering the Role of Envy in Schadenfreude "...envy is a predictor of Schadenfreude when the target is similar to the observer in terms of gender. These results suggest that envy predicts Schadenfreude when people are confronted with the misfortune of a relevant social comparison other."



  1. Wonderful helpful post, pitch-perfect. Ordinary narcissism is forgivable when there is some recognition and remorse and a genuine desire for change. But sadistic (malignant) narcissism is impossible to forgive. We can comprehend it; but the malignant narcissist is using her child as a dump site for all she will not see in herself. Then she takes pleasure in exercising her self-hatred against her child. Happy Mother's Day to you CZBZ. Like all your regular readers,I'd have given anything to have had a mom like you. love CS

    1. Thanks, CS. I'd love to have a daughter like you, too. <3 You could synthesize my motherly lectures into three sentences and save us both a lot of time. ha!

      It's never easy for me to write about narcissistic mothers because of my involvement in recovery work. I've seen women make amazing changes in their lives when they worked through the shame-and-humiliation of their childhoods.

      I've always held out hope that if ACoNs are able to set boundaries for themselves and learn about "gentle conversations" and recognize the impact of cultural and social conditions in a mother's life, that they could have a mutually beneficial relationship with her. But too many people have tried using every tactic and technique psychologists and self-helpers could offer---to no avail. They cannot affect their mother because she'll not allow it.

      As I was trying to work this out by writing about sadism, it struck me that this might be the reason why "daughters of narcissistic mothers" take offense when someone like myself suggests they try to understand their mother. There is a huge difference between a defensive mother who feels remorse for hurting her children, and the offensive mother who wishes her children didn't exist. A mother who not only doesn't protect them from harm, she harms them to make herself feel better.

      The mother of my X (the rat bazturd, lol) tried to kill him and herself when he was a toddler. He went to foster care and she was institutionalized for several years. Then his stepmother tried starving, beating and working him to death. He didn't have much of a chance recognizing his worth in either of those women's eyes, did he? In writing this article, I relied heavily on what I witnessed with his family-of-origin and the distinct differences between pathological mothers and "shamed" mothers. It saddens me to think about the way my X was treated and I must be cautious lest my sympathies get the better of my common sense.

      Most of what I have learned about sadistic narcissistic mothers has come from people in the ACoN community, though. When people first started writing about narcissistic mothers, I had to nail my feet to the floor and keep smelling salts by the monitor. No, has been so hard for me to accept that women could be just as heartless, callous and misogynistic as meN. That is just my experience and I'm grateful to be more balanced in my views because of women who are willing to "betray" their own gender a little and write about narcissistic mothers.


  2. Dear commentwas longand didn't take. I'll try again tomorrow. Thank you so much for such a deep essay. You have validated those of us who have felt the life-long sting of sadism from our earliest years. Your article is a path-breaker.

    Love, Jane

    1. Dear Jane,

      I know you are overwhelmed and burned out and frustrated with computer problems today. Please don't worry about commenting today, or even ever. Just send me those daffodils, dammit.


  3. Hi CZ,
    This is a great post looking at maternal narcissism from societal influences. I like your take on on the historical aspect and its influences into motherhood. There are many influences and especially today when some views about Mother's Day are 'must honour thy other'.

    I recognised my journey with my own relationship with my mother in your post. When I first realised and started reading about maternal narcissism, I was blaming her and it was really hard to look at her situation. As time went on I began to see that her story is not so different from mine. She was not raised in a nurturing household and where what the children are is a direct reflection of the parents (a phrase used in Indian culture). Ensuring the children were in line with 'society standards' was the main purpose of parenting, at any cost where physical abuse is allowed (in Indian culture) to maintain those standards. Those cultural beliefs was how she viewed raising me.

    And as time went on and as I tried to change my behaviours around her it failed to each time. It was a lesson, although incredibly hard and saddening, was one I needed to see. That as I didn't fall into my same patterns and tried to talk to her that there was no give on her part. She was still going to put me down and smile after it. Celebrate my failures - past and present. With this, is her inability to let go of it because she is still judged by her 'society' - other Indian Americans (relatives and family friends). For now that I live my life how I want without her control and influence she has become a failed mother (because I don't follow any of the Indian expectations). That is a burden she lives with and it continuous to fuel her. xxTR

    1. Hi guys, TR, like you, I came to understand my mother's situation, upbringing, and for many years even felt compassion for her. One can accept and comprehend their cultural training. But accepting their myriad daily betrayals, the way they dismiss and judge and take pleasure in our defeats, that is on them and is not excusable. We have learned the difference between cultural training, how women were brought up (and kept down) by patriarchy, religion, society--and personal malice, cruelty, stinginess of spirit, envy, competitiveness and just pure neglect. After a thousand gentle conversations, from every angle, when the smacks keep coming, we know we have to walk away.

    2. Hi TR! You always write such thoughtful comments, thank you for reading this article. I can fully identify with your comment: "For now that I live my life how I want without her control and influence she has become a failed mother (because I don't follow any of the Indian expectations). That is a burden she lives with..."

      I am not an active member of my family's religion and it has been a great challenge to my family. Some contemporary writers compare my religion-of-origin to an "ethnicity" which might sound far-fetched, but not if you've walked away. There's a lot of shame for the family when a child refuses to conform (or obey) and some families "reject" their children. Our family has gone through several iterations of reconciliation while eventually arriving at a truce. I wasn't sure how our relationship would work at first; but crying after church every Sunday was definitely not working for me. Sometimes we have to walk in faith that things will work out as they should. ;-P

      For some reason, it's less malicious if harm is a side-effect. Like the pain my children and I suffered on my X's way to 'actualization.' (snark-alert!). Or the pain I suffered being left behind because my family was on the right path for heaven. To understand on a visceral level that PAIN is a mother's goal, well.....that is a hard thing to accept. I can feel myself putting "intentional harm" in a thought bubble and letting it drift to away.........

    3. CS wrote: "I came to understand my mother's situation, upbringing, and for many years even felt compassion for her. One can accept and comprehend their cultural training."

      I'm preaching to the choir, aren't I? Each person that's commented so far, has put due diligence into understanding history and the many reasons why women might be hindered because of her conditioning. But like my comment about my X's hideous childhood suggests, the only way to stop being hurt by someone we love, is to stop being hurt by them. Love is optional.

      The reason I mention women's history is because of my relationships with younger people who do not know the first thing about patriarchy. They have this romantic notion that women and men were creating happy families since time began and only recently ran into trouble when women entered the job market. It is stunning how little people know about the history of the human family.

      Oh! I also wanted to say that some women rise above the indignities of their lives and some women are broken. Maybe some are born with a psychopathic orientation. We could speculate as to why a mother would harm her children but in the end, what matters is recognizing her malice without excusing it. Or subjecting ourselves to it. OR passing it on to others.

    4. Hi CZ and CS,
      There is a lot of shame in a lot of countries and sub-cultures that if the child does not conform, the family will suffer - to the point that society shuns them. The society bullying can then be brought into the micro family in unhealthy ways to reach the goal of conformity. I think of a quote from the movie Bend It Like Beckham where the Indian mother says "I don't want shame on my family" because the British Indian woman plays soccer ('so not Indian').

      It helps to know that you and your family were able to arrive at a truce when each other's viewpoints have been challenged.

      CS, you bring up a good point with the sentence starting with "We have learned the difference between cultural training..." This has been the core of my struggle with my relationship with her. I think while we can empathize and understand their situation we do not have to exercise the compassion anymore through continually putting ourselves in unhealthy situations. The compassion we now exercise is in the form of not attacking back - taking our anger into rage (against them or ourselves). Hugs, TR

    5. I appreciate your comments about traditional Indian culture and the shame parents experience when their children do not conform. I think families conform to existing roles because it offers a sense of stability and safety to society. People like knowing what to expect; but if there's a patriarchal order that's prioritized over the individual, it's subject to eventual breakdown I think.

      Women are becoming more individualistic all over the globe and this is not a bad thing. It's a good thing. We realize we have 'rights'---even children have "rights" today and that was unthinkable in the past. Gosh, even our cats and dogs have 'rights' so there's no way to keep women from recognizing their individual rights as human beings.

      Healthy mothers will bend and shift and ebb and flow with their children, adjusting themselves to reality as reality is shaped by an evolving community. It takes a certain degree of humility and "openness" to question traditional structures which always invites self-introspection and responsibility---admission that the way we did things in the past might have not have been good for the child, after all.

      I've watched this take place in the USA concerning spanking. In order to stop spanking, a mother must be able to admit she was wrong when she did. Narcissistic mothers are less inclined to examine their mothering as anything less than perfect-and-right. They will hang on to traditional practices as if their identity depended on it...and maybe it does. It is just nuts to me that people justify hitting children when trauma studies prove it's unhealthy and the consequences are long-lasting. Alice Miller suggests we get obedient children that make parents feel better 'cuz society rewards it. But those obedient children became soldiers for Hitler. Breaking out of that mentality requires healthy individualism, healthy narcissism.

      The best solution we've come up with for dealing with pathological people is to stop reacting to their manipulation. In order to do that, you have to first figure out you're being manipulated!! And if the abuse continues despite efforts to learn coping skills and stop reacting, ending the relationship is the only answer. We can still feel compassion but only from a distance. I think most people that are using No Contact have put themselves through the wringer, trying to figure out how to make the relationship work so both parties can maintain their integrity without being hurt, or hurting one another.

  4. You are all right. We have to discern between the narcissistic and the pathological, but the lines blur in so many cases. Sadism to me is 'uber' narcissism...perhaps narcissism is the 'soil' for what is to come...and it is much worse.

    It's the pleasure derived from cruelty, and the constant, unthinking behavior that becomes stronger than any 'thought' of possible compassion. It is the total, complete and utter devaluation of the victim. It is the 'ultimate' power because it contains the power of life and death in the behavior of the sadist. I have been subject to two sadists in my life: my mother and a man in Montreal who proclaimed himself a sexual sadist (actually he was more than this....) and frankly? There was little distinction in emotional behavior between the two. Sexual sadism is a behavior of the overall sadist in my opinion. It's a category of behavior that can be utilized at will. More devastating is the emotional sadism, that can be fast covered when people enter the room thereby interrupting the sadist's attempt to destroy.

    And destruction is the full bore aim of a sadist. For 50 years I knew that there was 'something wrong' about my mother, as others also did...but I couldn't put my finger on it until about 8 years ago. And narcissism was the fertile ground. However, narcissism wasn't the whole cake. The behaviors either spiraled or heightened into in your face sadism. It was interesting. Not until I developed a bit of 'public' fame did this 'mother' start to openly assault me in public. It was ego injury to her, but she had to up her ante because her usual attempts at isolation, power and control weren't making her 'happy' anymore. Sadism...or delivered sadism is a drug. It finds different avenues to make the most of it's pathology.

    And it is exhausting to the victims. It does impact the psyche for a life-time. The only salvation here is to walk away and find a good therapist to knit back your own psyche.

    Sadism is difficult for all of us to get our heads around. As victims of it in different forms...some physical, and some emotional, we shrink from even thinking about it. Our standards are shaped by the info on that idiot Marquis de Sade, but it is so much more prevalent in society than his stupid contortions sexually. M. Scott Peck attempted to address sadism (and failed) by calling it evil. It is but that's not really useable for us today.

    Thank you, CZ and all others here for your thoughts and experience. And thank you, CZ, for having the guts and energy to attempt this difficult subject.

    Love, Jane

    1. I struggle with appropriate words describing the sadistic mother right now because it only "just" clicked while writing this post. I had read the studies and the stories but didn't fully empathize with her victims or "imagine" myself in their shoes.

      The sadist in my family was my father and that is why I went to therapy twenty-some years ago, to keep from strangling the guy with my bare hands. I have sense come to view my father's sadistic acts as "low impulse control." If he had a thought, he acted on it. That meant his children were subjected to daily torture by a farmer with a cattle prod. He could not get away with such things by today's standards so in my opinion, parenting is getting BETTER, not worse. As my mother used to say when my father pulled another practical joke (as he called them), "One day husband, you are gonna kill one of these kids." And I sincerely hoped it wouldn't be me. And then I felt guilty for wishing death on one of my siblings. :-(

      I will be studying more about sadism and narcissism because I'm finally in a place where it doesn't trigger me into FantasyLand. I almost took up permanent residency there once, did I tell you?

      It's my sense at this point that we're seeing more and more sadism as our society becomes more and more narcissistic. It's a "commercialized" sadism with safe words and other contraptions protecting people from the full-on horror of the sadistic parent.

      I cannot help but see 'sadism' in the reality shows people love to hate today. That our children are watching people be humiliated and rejected on television will come back to haunt us when the producers of such shows have long-spent their profits. We are a stupid species.

  5. I've been reading "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" for the past year. (have to break it into pieces because it will definitely break you into pieces....) I won't go into what could have caused an entire culture (Germans) to fall to the Nazi madness, but the issue of sadism as deep in the Nazi culture certainly rings true. But the soil for this sadism is the complete devaluation of not only Jews as a race, culture, but Quakers, Commies, the retarded, the elderly, homosexuals, Christian missionaries, etc. Any people with vulnerabilities were fair game. CZ, as you pointed out sadism is the reveling in cruelty. It is not only a question of power and control....but of pleasure.

    I have watched my mother's face as she has leveled some of the cruelest things a 'mother' could say to her child: there was a sparkle in her eyes, you could tell she was getting something of great satisfaction from what she was doing. It didn't matter that I had just lost a baby, or a husband, or a cat or seemed that these things were all fair game to her cruelty. In fact, she recognized that these things softened me, made me more defenseless. A memorable incident was when my father had just gone down with a catastrophic stroke, and when I found her in the hospital chapel (interesting because she insists she is an atheist) the first thing out of her mouth was this: 'I don't want to be married to a man in a wheelchair'. Perhaps this looks more like her narcissism than any sadism, but the sadism was to come: my father died 9 months later and my neighbors met me at the airport saying: 'your mother killed your father.' After 40 years they should know something. All this has haunted me for 25 years, and of course she would deny everything. And of course, people were too afraid of this little tyrant to question her.

    I believe that sadists (some of them) reside in a chthonic place. Reason, on the plane of the surface of life has its own kind of power and even its own fears. But chthonic places evoke a particular imagination that is not the same as that of ordinary life. Chthonic signifies burial, the grave, earth....darkness. Sadists reside in the darkness of their own twisted minds, never being able to join the humanity above ground.

    1. The sparkle in her eyes...many people have written about "glee" when describing the horrible things their mothers did to them. If mother was sad (many have written) she perked herself up by hurting one of the kids. That is so perverted! A normal conscience beats the shit out of a mother when she makes her child cry. As you already know.

      Alice Miller's work emphasizes the role of Authoritarian parenting (obedience) in the proliferation of sadism. German parents (I may be speaking out of turn, so correct me) were very authoritarian as most World War II people were to some degree; though not as "shame based" as the German people were at the time. I have read about authoritarian parents "killing" the spirit and terrorizing children into obedience. A type of trauma bond perhaps.

      Blind obedience bypasses moral responsibility, turning off people's critical thinking and turning them into robots. "We didn't have a choice. We did as we were told." While people rail on about society becoming too "individualistic", there may be safety in that. What's more dangerous than groupthink when everyone pledges obedience to the group leader. Personally? I love it when people picket even my most favorite of leaders. Bring on the protest signs.

      Your story about your mother being so self-absorbed that "she didn't want to be married to a man in a wheelchair" is hard to read, hard to feel. How you must resent her extreme selfishness and shameful disdain for a man who did not realize how much she hated him. Surely one would have to "hate" someone to say such a thing. I don't think most people can bear the weight of such a truth and disguise it's ugliness with pretty little lies. You probably said to yourself or heard other people say, "She didn't really MEAN that the way it SOUNDED." I think it's very hard for people to contain such a terrible truth. They don't mean to but they effectively abandon the victim to his/her fate because they can't let themselves believe a mother/wife could be so cruel. That leaves the child in such a precarious place---no support in the family or in society. What can a child do but doubt her own perceptions?

    2. My mother is German and came from a very strict Lutheran background. She was/ is terrible. When I was 21 she chased me into a corner of the kitchen, brandishing a wooden spoon, and begged me to let her beat me. I said, you're pathetic, Mother, put that wooden spoon away NOW!
      Fast forward 20 years later and as my father says, you won't change her. I have however retaliated in various sneaky ways after her relentless muck-spreading about me. I have spread a little muck of my own, in some of the most unlikely places. Accepting she is a list cause and there is nothing more you can do or any more energy you can put in goes some way to addressing the emotional drought and the way in which it tends to repeat in relationships. Not only with family but friends and partners.
      I've tried to address it in other ways, too, by looking at MYSELF and what vibes I put out - narcs latch onto someone who subconsciously needs them and we have to ask ourselves what the narcissist provides that we can't find in ourselves. Because if they are not needed they will disappear - pouf!

  6. Exactly....what can a child do but doubt her own perceptions....and the other adults, especially relatives, either ignored, denied or avoided any involvement....even those I have come to love deeply. We three children were left to ourselves in the middle of a parental maelstrom.

    This 'don't want to be married to a man in a wheelchair' was the epitome of narcissism. She was a former ballet teacher; no problem with her legs....and to be married to a man who couldn't walk was beyond what she could accept. plus, all her European trips would be at question if he lived...which he didn't. There was deep hatred for many things in her, and of course is still, but this also is a former nurse who refuses to ever think about any therapy. And she proves over and over the power and control of narcissists. The last time I was there at the 'family home' after my father died,,,and tried to ask her 'what happened the night before my father died?' because of what neighbors said about her actions....and she went into a rage, never answering this question but immediately talking about losing her father and mother by the time she was 22 and she was brutal about it. the purpose was to deflect all questions, all issues of her behaviorsadist to continue on with no regrets or change in her behavior. I don't hate her....I feel apathy...there is nothing I can ever do to bring her into the light. IF there is a Hell, may she sit on a bench with Hitler. And if there is a heaven, something is definitely wrong. I prefer to just forget her..

    And, after he died, she found a secret bank account at another bank of his with $15,000.00. She immediately had a tooth implant and painted her car. Used it up fast. My husband just laughed.....he knew her behavior.

    I just got Alice Miller's "Thou Shall Not Be Aware". It is hard to read this....but she is rightl The brutality in child raising by the Germans (she was German as you know) and Americans....well, this obedience was the way I was raised....and it is a killer. There is no room for any deviation from the pattern set by the parents. This also was the fate of Heinz Kohut, and he called his mother a 'crypto-psychotic'. He was only 'easy' when she died and he admitted it....which was quite the shock even in his highly educated group of associates and friends.

    There is a collective loss of memory by society when it comes to these things of children. And I also forced my son into obedience, not understanding that I was repeating the same patterns as my sadistic mother. Today? He has little contact with us, and we know that we did many things wrong. But he also has his own internal issues that had nothing to do with us, (he was adopted at 3) like his squandering of money, etc. At 26 he is rather a lost soul but there is an enormous amount of immaturity there. He is in another state. No phone call from him on Mother's Day, but in a way I was relieved. The tensions on both sides are too high.

    Narcissism is hard enough to get your head around. Add sadistic behavior (of the emotional kind) and this is the property of therapists. Ultimately, there is little one can do except read, go into your own therapy and maintain your own distance. That is why No Contact is a life saver for so many of us.

    1. The more we learn about attachment, the more we understand why some very good and very loving adoptive parents were working against the tide, so to speak. As I mentioned up-thread, I believe my X's problems were caused by his abandonment and subsequent instability. I understood that intuitively when we married and excused much of his destructive behavior because of it. Our capacity for empathy informs our awareness even if we didn't take psychology classes.

      Whether he was born with certain traits that allowed narcissism to flourish or his narcissism was the result of a tragic childhood, does it matter? He's a rat bazturd and he was given every chance in the world not to be a rat bazturd. I didn't suddenly become an understanding and nurturing woman. I've always been this way which oughta tell people something about the intractability of the narcissistic personality disorder.

      As my adult daughter (40) says, "If my Mom can't teach you to love yourself, nobody can." LOL But lemme tell you, I gave it a GOOD try--just as I'm sure you did with your son. Life isn't over yet though and people do grow up and change perspectives. I am hoping this will happen with your son.

      And remember this, dear friend: many of us were raised with authoritarian parents because that's part of human history. And we did not reject our parents or turn into Nazis so perhaps personality traits have something to do with that? I would imagine hostile personalities would rebel against authority and strive for power, whereas a more pleasant personality would go to therapy. ha...

      I've been reading some of Dr. George Simon's work on the sadistic-aggressive personality and would recommend him to anyone dealing with a sadistic mother. At least he doesn't offer false hope to people, or suggest sadistic personalities are little bunny wabbits underneath their hateful aggression! I will finish reading Character Disturbance this week and post about it afterwards. I think it will help us better understand human aggression.


  7. While organizing my office yesterday, I came across a paper had printed out a long time ago. It fits neatly with our conversation. This excerpt is from a book titled, "Liberated Parents, Liberated Children" by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish (pg. 14-15):

    "Dr. Ginott listened quietly and then posed this question: "What is our major goal as parents?"

    Someone ventured, "To improve parent-child relationships."

    Another said, To find better ways of communicating with our children."

    Still another woman glibly said, "To produce children who are, among other things, brilliant, polite, charming, neat and well-adjusted, of course."

    Dr. Ginott looked solemn. It was obvious that this last comment had not amused him. He leaned forward and said, "This is how I see it. It seems to me that our large goal is to find the ways to help our children become humane and strong. For what does it profit us if we have a neat, polite, charming youngster who could watch people suffer and not be moved to action?

    "What have we accomplished if we have reared a child who is brilliant, at the top of his class, but who uses his intellect to manipulate others?

    "And do we really want children so well-adjusted that they adjust to an unjust situation? Too many Germans adjusted only too well to the orders of the Nazis to exterminate millions of their fellow men.

    "Understand me: I'm not opposed to a child being polite or neat or learned. The crucial question for me is What methods have been used to accomplish these ends? If the methods used are insults, attacks, and threats, then we can be very sure that we have also taught this child to insult, attack, to threaten, and to comply when threatened.

    "If on the other hand, we use methods that are humane, then we've taught something much more important than a series of isolated virtues. we've shown the child how to be a person---a mensch, a human being who can conduct his life with strength and dignity.""

  8. Sigh...again lost my comment to this evil, new computer, but I certainly agree what you have written above and with quotes from Liberated Parents, etc.

    the neatest, politest , most kind person I know inmy family is a fraud. She has tolerated the behavior of my mother for 40 years because her end game was 'to get her to the foot of the cross'. So....she at times, sacrificed her own children, and certainly me and my son to the pathological behavior of this 'mother'. She would have made a good Nazi. Under this pretty façade is a heart cold as ice...and she has always had her eye on the end games regardless who suffers.
    Narcissism, sadism, etc...pollutes everything it touches. Especially those who deliver narcissistic supply with no understanding or concern as to what it does to the soul, and the soul of others. Straight opportunism.

    Sadism goes straight to the bone. It in never a cover, or can be covered once a person is 'touched' by the sadist. Something just smells. And you hit the nail on the head: Ego-Syntonic.
    The pleasure is deep and gleeful to the sadist. There can be no therapy deep enough I believe to shake loose the sadist from his/her sadism. It's rather organismic. And that is deep.

    I'll look for Simon's work this week. CZ, by your courage here, and everyone else's, you have broadened our understanding of these important pathologies.

    Love and good mental health!


    1. "the neatest, politest , most kind person I know in my family is a fraud." ~LadyNyo

      That is the narcissism: Perfection. Perfectly pulled together on the outside; a fragmented mess on the inside. Feelings are denied, stifled, shushed; conscience limited. People are objects to be manipulated; materialism grants "meaning" rather than relationships. These folks are also susceptible to suicide as they age, so despite their attempts to be "perfect", there's something ugly at the core of their being.

      I understand psychological theories about parents "shaping" future narcissists and I'm beginning to grasp the significance of Object Relations. But I still think personality traits and social influences outside-the-home influence pathological development--maybe even more than parenting. So yea, your mother's lack of empathy and authoritarian parenting may have forced her children to create a "false self" but the pathological false self is a combination of many factors. That's kinda how I look at it, how about yourself?

      As far as all the way to the bone ego-syntonic sadism, there must be a psychopathic deficit. And where does psychopathy come from? Does it pop up in the family every other generation? There's corroboration on psychopathy as an inherited defect. I write "defect" intentionally because now and then, a psychopath/sociopath tells me they're an evolved species, superior to the rest of us communal sheeples. ha! Well on this blog, psychopathy is a throw back to cave days and empathy is a higher-evolved trait that is improved as we practice compassion. So here's to Empathy! And Imperfection! ~CZ

  9. Fabulous comment thread guys. TR, my parents were raised old-world European; but it doesn't explain the sadistic "low-impulse" control of my father's cold mean angry words whenever crossed or stood up to; it doesn't explain the "twinkle in the eye" Jane mentions about her mother, nor CZ's father in her youth. Cultural background will never explain away individual sadism, however mild those "little cuts" may seem. Enough of them, everyday mean-ness, is the opposite of love.

    1. Hi CS, I agree that cultural backgrounds are not excuses for such behaviors - everyday mean-ness is what it is, indeed. I think that the cultural bind keeps her holding on to her anger and hatred of me. xxTR

    2. I can always use a gentle pull away from intellectualizing! My tendency (good and bad) is to examine social determinants as to "why" someone might behave in anti-social hurtful ways. Why someone would protect their identity rather than "seeing through" their identity to our common core as sentient beings. This doesn't mean people are excused from common decency, but it does mean they're permanent house guests. hahaha...(If ya know my living situation, then you're probably laughing with me right now!) Understanding how culture, gender, religion, ethnicity, geography influence people has increased my self-awareness, too.

      For instance, "waking up and realizing she'd never hurt her child intentionally", is part of our human experience and our ability to change. It happened to me and from that point forward, I had enough clarity to question traditional practices and seek alternatives. Was empathy the means for changing unhealthy practices? If so, expect narcissistic mothers to be the carriers of dysfunction.

      As you reminded me and thanks CS, external factors cannot explain individual sadism. Narcissism is an internal experience, a broken relationship with the self. However, culture can "validate" harmful behavior allowing the sadist to hide her sadism. This is what I see in religious cultures that validate spanking toddlers, even infants until they're "sweet". Or in my opinion: traumatized and obedient. That example is still different from pathological sadism---the sadism that sets a child up to fail so she can be punished, humiliated and shamed.

      It's one thing to play a dirty trick on your adult neighbor so you can "hoo and haw" over his misery. Putting a child in a double bind (damned if you do; damned if you don't) is sadistic and it can be, sad-to-say-, intentional and pleasurable to the SnM (sadistic narcissistic mother). A double bind means the child blames herself for "trusting" her parent and dissociates the twinkle in his eye when she grabs the electric fence he insisted wouldn't hurt her. There are two conflicting messages given the child: do what I say; be punished if you don't do what I say. You end up being punished either way--either by the electric shock or refusing to be obedient. We should talk about double binds of SNPs some day. I'm sure every ACoN has a list.

    3. Hi guys,
      "Understanding how culture, gender, religion, ethnicity, geography influence people has increased my self-awareness, too." I feel that understanding the binds of my culture and how narcissism is hidden in its belief has brought about an increased self-awareness too. What, the fact that I'm not perfect and can be influenced by external factors and that I am not 100% resilient to this comes with it a vulnerability, an admission of my own weaknesses.
      If it wasn't for that understanding of these influences I don't know if I could freely, critically analyse the information and how it fits into my own values and beliefs. In fact, it wasn't until I started reading blogs in the ACoN community that I saw so much of what I thought being questioned and my own 'perfect' ways challenged. Even simple quotes and the messages they send in our society I can now look at with my own critical eye. That is one of the biggest lessons I have learned from such discussions here.
      Our intrigue with sadism exists today (I like horror films too). Public hangings and beheadings and the crowds watching and cheering is an element of sadism. I believe, as you say CZ, that it is that understanding and acknowledgement of those impulses in us and the control we exercise with it. Many elements of any culture can be twisted and manipulated to justify behaving in pathological ways. The pathological sadism that is hard to stomach, I think there are societal elements that aid its secrecy and where it has allowed family units to fly under the radar. I think my mother's joy of shaming me in public and smiling about it in public was allowed because shaming is seen as acceptable form of child rearing in Indian culture. Even if one of my family members thought it weird that is smiled and chuckled at it, would excuse it off with her being proud of being a good parent. It is hard to look at pathological sadism, see it, read it, watch it. It forces one to look at the nastiness in our world for what it is and that is a very hard thing to do. xxTR

    4. One of the things I love about you TR is that here, and in your posts on IBC too, you always look at how what's been done to you plays out in your own behavior or tendencies. That's SO important. CZ has written about that as well, frequently. I think we know we've grown, as ACoNs not so much when we can "accept" our parents' cruelties within a larger social context, but when we can see how we sometimes perpetuate their narcissism in our own tics. This is hugely important for me, I've come to recognize so much of it in myself in these last two years of blogging about them.

    5. Thank you CS. That is only possible because of sharing your thoughts, feelings and opinions that have challenged the way I view things - for that I am ever grateful. Love, TR

    6. TR you give me too much credit, but I have learned so much from you as well. And always in your posts, you ask what our own role or contribution to the success of those dominating us is. That is so much more valuable than just bashing the shit out of them. Only by seeing how we let them get away with it (as adults. as children we are helpless) can we get to freedom.

  10. Culture has a lot to do with all these things, in my opinion. It's a backward excuse to maintain a pattern of familiarity. But at the same time, personality traits come into independent display....but you are right, TR....I think your mother's cultural bind is her behavior swamp.

    Lost my comment again to this damn computer, but generational issues are certainly alive and well and kicking on the narcissistic front. ''

    It's a gift that keeps on giving.....a toxic inheritance, that might, or might not skip generations.


    1. "Mother's cultural bind is her behavior swamp". Fantastic way to describe it, Jane! Her sadism remains hidden among people with normal limits on their sadistic impulses. (researchers are teasing apart "normal" sadism from "pathological" sadism now. The latter being what we're talking about on this thread: the derivation of joy from harming others.

      Evidence that sadism as an anti-social trait is flourishing? A series of popular "SAW" movies I cannot bear watching (and i love horror films). Either the people watching these films never grew up with a sadistic parent OR they're budding sadists themselves, who knows. I think there are healthy ways to release our aggressive instincts but I wonder sometimes if we aren't numbing people down...making them less reactive to sadistic behavior through our television and film industry (even video games which is a frequent discussion with my son who is a computer game programmer).

      No wonder psychologists are encouraging people to develop empathy. I've noticed several lectures, books and sites about "empathy" recently.

    2. I've enjoyed the discussion. That is a good point, how desensitised has it become, we are numb to it, so we don't react to it. xx

  11. Oh God.... I can fall into my own swamp in these II remember years ago my youngest brother beating his sons with a wooden spoon...a long one, and saying that this was 'because children are born already sinners.' Apparently he was bound and determined to beat the sin out of babies. When questioned about this, he said " don't you know that children are totally self-absorbed, selfish (apparently a sin in his book) and they are constantly crying for attention because they are so sinful?" Jesus Christ...some people Shouldn't Have Children with this mentality. That children come into this world as little vectors of sin.

    This disturbed me so much that it lay fallow in my memory until about two years ago when I wrote "Original Blessing" , a poem about our coming into this world as a blessing, and not a sinner. I have never understood this that children bear the burden of sin. That they have this very adult monkey on their backs from their birth. Today, I posted that poem on my blog because this mentality still bothers me. To me (and those who know theologian) this is the foundation of child abuse. To see children already formed in 'sin', and vulnerable and unprotected, persecuted by adults who are terribly screwed up in the head.

    Is there ever 'normal' sadism? It seems to me to be all of one coin....sadism is sadism and sadism is pathological. I can't put schaf. in the same camp as sadism.

    However, we are being groomed with tv programs to numb us down.....this "Hannibal" is a horrendous example of the far reaches of all things beyond ....well, calling it pathological just doesn't work for me. It outdoes Marquis de Sade in all things and really to me is a new view of Hell. Anything "horrendous goes in this program and I have found that I can't look away. It is inhuman horror brought to the surface and I do wonder if it empowers sadists out there who see this stuff and think...Why Not??.

    Liz and I had this discussion yesterday: where do sadists come from? She is of the opinion that they are bred in the home during childhood....that they don't spring from the womb as sadistic....I just don't know, because we are seeing a lot of animal killings here in Atlanta amongst youth. And this is nothing but sadism. We also this last week had a home invasion where 3 women and a 9 month old baby were shot point blank by some teens as they sought shelter in a bathroom. The baby was killed. The devaluation of life is what sadists do best.

    Sorry, this discussion has brought a lot of things to the surface. Even Liz admitted that she doesn't want to read or think about sadistic acts.


    1. I went out with a Christian man (who was a narcissist, and well and truly brainwashed by his house church) who said exactly the same thing about us being born sinners. I was appalled by this and this attitude (plus the fact he was being brainwashed and needed something to hang on to to prevent him thinking for himself) was one of a long list of reasons why I broke up with him. (I'm the person with the "wooden spoon" German mother above. )
      I think children can be born troubled but this may of course be due to illness or other trauma. I don't think they are created evil. That having been said, my ex- husband hut his uncle on the toe with a hammer at age 3 (was not punished), cut all the whiskers off a cat at age 6, and was still cruel to cats picking them up by the tail, and trying to strangle me/ threatening to stab me repeatedly, as an adult. So I don't know where that came from, I can only assume that it was his growing up on a farm/ in the country where animals were seen as commodities and their lives were cheap. I always suspected his mother had a very dark side, she used to disappear every time I came in the room and I'm sure it was probably to stir her cauldron!!

  12. Hi CZ,
    Put the Elliot Rodger posts up plz! Won't be intimidated from speaking out. I too call myself a feminist because I AM one, to my bones. A heterosexual, cisgendered, woman who shaves her legs and does her hair and wears makeup sometimes and often wears femme shoes (when my arches can take it). And I'm a FEMINIST. The word doesn't equal man-hater, that's what the mouth-breathers say. The word means enough with structural patriarchal entitlement and second class citizenship for women. Period. tks


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