Posted by: Judy | September 9, 2015

Schema 15…

15. NEGATIVITY / PESSIMISM – A pervasive, lifelong focus on the negative aspects of life (pain, death, loss, disappointment, conflict, guilt, resentment, unsolved problems, potential mistakes, betrayal, things that could go wrong, etc.) while minimizing or neglecting the positive or optimistic aspects. Usually includes an exaggerated expectation– in a wide range of work, financial, or interpersonal situations — that things will eventually go seriously wrong, or that aspects of one’s life that seem to be going well will ultimately fall apart. Yes. At the same time, I’m oddly optimistic. Is it really pessimistic to expect your life to blow up in your face if it does so on a regular basis?

I don’t think this one is actually “fair.”

NM made a point of destroying my happiness. If I was happy, she would find a way to tear apart whatever made me happy.

One of the most disturbing things that ever happened to me was when I began to figure out what was happening and tested my theory. I came in happy and allowed myself to be happy. I can’t tell you what it was about. I don’t remember. What I remember was the insanity that followed. NM criticized whatever it was. I allowed myself to be sad. NM then turned around and found something positive about what had happened. I allowed myself to be cheered. NM promptly found something else to criticize. I remembered so many times she did that; tearing me down to build me up only to tear me down again. I remember watching her do that to others. A sick game, like she needed to be the source of happiness.

That was the last time I allowed myself to be happy around NM alone.

The only time I laugh and have a good time around NM is when I’m with other family members because I won’t allow NM to squash my joy with others. Otherwise, I’ve learned to protect myself and keep my happy moments far away from NM.

Having defend a normal response, how do I change it. I really don’t want to remain in this kind of defensive mode.

Practice, practice, practice.

Yes, being positive is something I’m able to practice and do. However, I think it’s important to recognize that I took the time and effort to discover that my attitude had a source. I wasn’t simply grumpy or negative. My lifelong focus was brutally branded into me.

I’ve read books on being positive. I’ve taken classes on being positive. I’ve worked hard to learn to be positive.

Do I still fall into the pessimistic groove?

Yes, yes, I do. I was beaten into it. Crawling out requires that I overcome fear, lies, and nasty experiences.

I’ve come a long way. I’ve worked hard to learn to let go of the negative and embrace the positive. I practice and practice and practice.

So, if you catch me in a negative frame of mind, consider where I came from and how far I’ve come. And I’m not giving up.


  1. Yeah, being excited or happy around a narcissist is always a terrible idea.

    • I don’t think those “outside”… and even some inside, realize how perilous it is. It’s like painting a target on your back for the narcissist to search and destroy. Insane.

      • I have a good friend whose mother is doing this to her and it’s breaking my heart.

        • How awful. I admit that I didn’t figure it out until I saw NM do it to someone else.

          • I didn’t realize my mother did it to me until I’d been in therapy for years. But all along I was unconsciously not sharing things with her because it realized talking to my mother about myself always made me feel bad. It’s so sneaky how narcissists do this to their children.

            • And then they complain that we don’t share anything with them… go figure.

            • Exactly.

  2. One perspective to consider….would you take off body armor in a war zone?
    Hugs….we laugh a lot on our walks. 🙂

    • Good points. 🙂

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