When I was 4 years old my mom remarried to a man named Rick (name changed). This was the biggest mistake of her life. While I love my two brothers and one sister that resulted from this marriage, Rick was a grade A asshole. He was tall, handsome, charming. He drank too much, smoked too much and treated my mom like shit. And now he was a major influence in my life. I remember looking up to him in some ways, I wanted to be a “bad boy” like him at times. This was in complete conflict with the “well mannered” boy that had won me so much praise and admiration from those around me.
I don’t really remember much about 2nd grade, but what I do remember is this: I was one of the “bad boys” in the classroom that year. I had two close friends that year and neither of them was good for anything either. They were always getting in trouble with the teacher. I was guilty by association a lot of the times. Yet sometimes I was also in on the shenanigans. I remember this was the first time in my life I was disciplined for doing something wrong in the classroom. I don’t remember exactly what I did but the teacher gave my knuckles a good rap with a ruler.
Looking back now I’m sure Rick had a lot to do with this sudden change in my behavior. He was always bragging about getting in trouble and the hell he raised as a boy. This was the man I was now living with. My dad was always in the picture, still about one day a week he would pick me up, but Rick was there every other day. He treated me decent as a step-son, I don’t recall him ever making me feel like I wasn’t his own. But damn, did that man have a temper. When he was pissed off he was usually throwing something, screaming, yelling at my mom and degrading her. He would send me and my brothers to our rooms for hours. We were very lucky he was a truck driver as he would be gone for long stints at a time.
I’m not too sure how any of this contributed to my narcissism. Maybe it was the way Rick treated my mom that might’ve caused me to lose respect for women. Maybe it was Rick’s fits of rage and how I saw how compliant my mom would get because of them that played a part in creating my own narcissistic rages. Maybe Rick was a narcissist himself, which leads me to my step-mom.
While my dad had not remarried yet he was living in an apartment with a woman he would eventually marry. Lisa was an only child with no kids of her own yet. She was generally a nice lady, also treated me like her own whenever I was with my dad and her on Sundays or the occasional overnight visit on the weekend. But boy was she stubborn and selfish. We always had to do what Lisa wanted to do and if she didn’t get her way she would also throw a fit. She wasn’t as abusive as Rick was. Her fits usually consisted of a raised voice, not to the point of yelling but more like an upset teacher, and a very slow cadence in which she would describe exactly what was wrong and exactly what you need to do to fix the situation. For whatever reason this worked very well on my dad, she always got her way.
Again, I’m not sure how either of my step-parents had an affect on my narcissistic behavior. Somebody recently suggested that maybe I’m not a narcissist at all and that I am the product of narcissistic abuse. If both Rick and Lisa were narcissists, and their personalities I described above could indicate they were, then maybe this is true. Maybe I just have narcissistic personality traits that rubbed off on me. But then I start to think about what really drives me when I make decisions. The thought process usually goes something like this “How can this benefit me?”. In every situation. I don’t do a good deed unless I know somehow it will benefit me. I don’t help anyone out unless I know I will be able to get a favor in return later. I don’t enter a relationship unless I feel that I can extract something great out of it. But I’m willing to entertain the fact that I am not really a narcissist, if you have thoughts on it please leave me a comment in the comment section.