I wanted to discuss narcissism in this post in an effort to better understand the amazing focus Brat and Wife have on themselves. They have always been this way, so it's not just the baby, but if there is a single silent moment amongst us, one of them has to start talking and they always talk about themselves. Case in point: this morning in the kitchen the in-laws are prepping for breakfast, Brat is chopping onion and the rest of us are standing around drinking coffee. No one was talking, we were all just enjoying the morning and then Wife comes out of the bedroom, pump bottle full of milk (we all know by now she has no trouble producing milk. She has said so repeatedly), goes to the sink, looks around, and I swear because no one was paying attention to her or commenting on the baby, she just suddenly said, "I hope this is just a temporary growth spurt-this waking up every three hours. I was used to her sleeping through the night."
The comment on it's own is innocuous. However, the comment in the context that no one asked, that no one was talking, certainly no one really cares what her sleeping schedule is and her history of always having to fill the silence with talk about herself, the comment becomes hugely annoying and unnecessary. I'm not offended that she said it, it's just another example of her self-focused behavior.
Yesterday Husband and I were discussing Brat and Wife's narcissistic tendencies. Husband surprised me by telling me he had been researching narcissism and the causes. According to one source he said, it is caused by extreme insecurity and self hatred. This totally makes sense in light of her eating issues, obsessive exercise and how all she used to talk about before the baby was losing weight and not eating badly. This morning I did a bit of research; according to the US National Library of Medicine, ADAM Medical Encyclopedia, symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder include:
The Mayo Clinic says, "Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. Those with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they're superior to others and have little regard for other people's feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism."
Both of these sources describe Wife to a T. It's astounding she could be so textbook. Other sources claim that narcissists do not have underlying insecurities but really are very confident. They also tend to disagree about the causes of narcissistic personality disorder. It doesn't matter to me, all that I care about is the symptoms are all the same and they apply to Brat and Wife.
As I sit here in the bedroom typing, I can hear Wife continue to turn every conversation into something relating to her, her pregnancy or her baby. Just now the group was discussing barometers and she cut in to say "what is the point of that barometer? The baby was staring at it." You probably think I'm just focusing on it too much, I'm exaggerating or being just plain ridiculous, and I can appreciate that. But it's all true and not just my perception. It's at least becoming humorous at this point.
After a very long day yesterday where once again I had to listen to her discuss her parents divorce (because she's the only one who has endured such a painful experience?), how she has all these contacts who adore her and will help her get hired on where she wants to be be working after school, how small the baby was when born and how surprised they were (really? they measure the baby all the time during pregnancy, you gained only 15 pounds (another point of bragging) and never ate enough because you were too concerned with getting fat), etc., all I could do was drink. I would literally get up and move to a different part of the room to get away from her and she would follow me. I don't want to hear about it anymore! I tried to remove myself from the situation and it was not effective. Who doesn't pick up on irritation, annoyance or dislike when talking with another person? Who doesn't notice when someone is obviously uncomfortable with the topic of discussion but continues to talk about it?
A narcissist, that's who.