You are forbidden to dissent, your values and choices are ridiculed or attacked.
raits of a Cult
Here are just a few of the traits that jumped out at me as familiar…too familiar.
Oh yeah! “We love you so much!” “You’re our heart walking around outside our body.” “We would die for you.”
It hooks ya! If your self-esteem is non-existent, resisting this much “love” is virtually impossible. The “love” replaces your self-esteem. It fills the void. Becomes an addiction. Without your “fix” of love-bombing, you wither and die inside.
Read about my legal battle here!
And that’s when they’ve gotchya’! All they have to do is withdraw your “drug,” and you’ll do anything, anything they want to get it back. Do what they want, and you get the love again. That’s why it’s called “love-bombing.” Kablooey!
In the end, they never die for you. But you die for them by giving up your life, hopes, dreams, time, friends and yes, money.
“The group displays…unquestioning commitment to its leader…as regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.”
Oh Hell ya! You don’t doubt a narc. You don’t question them. And you definitely don’t think for yourself. Wracking my brains, I can’t recall even one time when the inmates of my family held and kept divergent points of view. Nope. Nothin’.
And of course, anyone in their acquaintance who didn’t agree with them were verbally filleted, behind their back, of course.
I remember this one time, oh I must’ve been twenty-nine, when Dad sat me down and demanded to know who I planned to vote for in the upcoming election. “I just want to be sure you’re voting for the right candidates,” he said. So much for ballot confidentiality!
“Questioning, doubt and dissent are discouraged or even punished”
I did raise objections and differing opinions from time-to-time, with fear and trembling. All it got me was more lectures, more brainwashing and getting yelled at. After awhile, you get wise to the game and don’t bother anymore. And that’s when the nightmares start.
Here the author focuses on features often found in seriously narcissistic families - and cults.
Hypocrisy, elitism and greed for money.
Traits of a Cult
“The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members…”
Heck ya! I mean…isn’t that just another way of describing narcissistic grandiosity!?
“The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.”
Where do I even start!?! This is true of narcissists on so many levels.
First, the us-versus-them mentality may imply the victimhood narcissists hold so dear. Everyone is out to get them. No one understands them. Ah, woe is them. What have they ever done to deserve this?
What have they done!? Day after day they sit high atop their Ivory Tower of Righteousness, staring down yards and yards of nose at those poor, deluded souls who never do things right…unlike them. They know the right, the only right way to do things and are very verbal…and judgmental…about it.
Naturally, this isolates them from their fellow man who, after all, aren’t “good enough” to socialize with them anyways! In my family, for example, no church was good enough for us! Nothing and no one was good enough for us.
It was a lonely existence.
“The leader is not accountable to any authorities…The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members’ participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying to family or friends).”
Basically, we’re talking about hypocrisy fueled by the narcissists’ penchant for being so-called “logical.” In their world, the end justifies the means because 1) they are perfect and 2) emotions don’t matter.
They’re ability to do just about anything to anybody to attain their goal is underpinned by their belief that emotions do not matter. Specifically, other people’s emotions. They cast a very jaundiced eye on emotions in general, believing them to be fickle, untrustworthy and utterly useless. Your emotions simply don’t matter. This wouldn’t be “lack of empathy” would it!?
Vividly I recall Dad labeling me as “so emotional” and roundly invalidating my emotions. Meanwhile, I learned to shift my work schedule later and later so he had time to calm down from his post-work anger before I got home from the office.
Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with…friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.”
No one is good enough. No one was ever good enough. At the tender age of six, I was summarily ordered to never speak to my best friend again. It was the first time…but it wouldn’t be the last.
And goals. Phooey! What are those?
I find it odd that narcissists don’t seem to have hobbies. Maybe I’m wrong, but their goals center around maintaining the illusion of perfection…and that takes a lot of time and energy leaving little leftover for hobbies, pleasure, the enjoyment of life.
In fact, they don’t seem to think of life as something to be enjoyed. For a narcissist, it’s something to be conquered. A span of years to prove themselves worthy of life. A pass/fail grade. And, unfortunately, they pass this philosophy down to their families.
“The group is preoccupied with making money.”
Scratch a narcissist long enough and, sooner or later, you’ll discover their true love: money. In my own experience, the realization that money was so important to my family came late. Too late.
You see, I’d bought their spiel…hook, line and sinker. Fell for their extreme thrift. Pitied their financial straits. Dutifully paid rent equal to a monthly mortgage even while I longed to live elsewhere. They said they loved me too much to let me move out because it wasn’t safe.
I call it greed.
Back when I worked for Dayton’s, the employees were forbidden from using their employee discounts for family members’ purchases. Mom was so mad when I followed those rules. That was a clue!
Back when I lived at home, she wrapped rubber bads around the necks of liquid soap bottles to limit use…and woe unto you if you pumped the bottle twice. That was a clue!
Back when I moved out, Mother ruined my joy and shamed me by quietly saying, “I just want you to know that you moving out is causing us financial hardship.” That was a clue!
Back when I got married, I was instantly removed from the family gifting…or so I assume on pretty good authority. That was a clue!
Back when I started this blog, my family tried to demand over $50,000 from me. That was a MAJOR clue.
I guess it’s true. You can either serve the God of love…or the god of money.
“Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.
Wow! If that ain’t the truth! But strangely, I never realized it until I moved out. I was shocked by how much free time I suddenly had. I’d expected living alone to be much harder than living in a family. In fact, it was much easier.
Suddenly, my evenings were free. My weekends were free. I wasn’t running errands 2-3x evening per week on an empty tummy. I wasn’t forced to play music twice a week. I didn’t force myself to yack for hours with the poor, poor lonely woman who had zero friends.
It was wonderful not to have to “devote inordinate amounts of time to the group”…I mean, family.