I woke up today and I just laid in thought for quite some time. My thoughts were racing back and forth but it all boiled down to feeling like I am living in this world of complete and utter silence. A world of not being heard, accepted, understood or better yet misunderstood. This was one of those mornings I wanted to stay tucked under my blanket with the shades drawn and be allowed to just wallow in my misery. Then I thought to myself “I am not a victim” I am not defined by what she thinks of me or anyone else who may disagree with the choices I have made. The only thing is that even though I made an attempt to not categorize myself into being a victim of circumstance, I still have this lingering feeling of being silenced yet again. I cannot tell you how many times throughout my life I have felt this way and quite frankly I am tired of it. I’ve been reading a book called Will I Ever Be Good Enough? by Karyl McBride, Ph. D and I must say this book has been very eye-opening to me. I have to admit though, that I think I am still in denial about accepting that my mother is a narcissist. It’s not easy to accept and I keep finding myself somehow in the back of my mind telling myself that what is happening is my fault in someway, if I only had done this or that differently or I should be thankful that I am able to help my mother in her time of need and not be so selfish with wanting my own space back. I should be more sympathetic to her situation…blah blah blah. But when I look at this list of traits of a narcissistic mother, it brings to light so many of the feelings that I had growing up as well as feelings I still have today.
- When you discuss your life issues with your mother, does she divert the discussion to talk about herself?
- When you discuss your feelings with your mother, does she try to top the feeling with her own?
- Does your mother act jealous of you?
- Does your mother lack empathy for your feelings?
- Does your mother only support those things you do that reflect on her as a “good mother?”
- Have you consistently felt a lack of emotional closeness with your mother?
- Have you consistently questioned whether or not your mother likes you or loves you?
- Does your mother only do things for you when others can see?
- When something happens in your life (accident, illness, divorce,) does your mother react with how it will affect her rather than how you feel?
- Is or was your mother overly conscious of what others think (neighbors, friends, family, co-workers)?
- Does your mother deny her own feelings?
- Does your mother blame things on you or others rather than own responsibility for her feelings or actions?
- Is or was your mother hurt easily and then carried a grudge for a long time without resolving the problem?
- Do you feel you were a slave to your mother?
- Do you feel you were responsible for your mother’s ailments or sickness (headaches, stress, illness)?
- Did you have to take care of your mother’s physical needs as a child?
- Do you feel unaccepted by your mother?
- Do you feel your mother was critical of you?
- Do you feel helpless in the presence of your mother?
- Are you shamed often by your mother?
- Do you feel your mother knows the real you?
- Does your mother act like the world should revolve around her?
- Do you find it difficult to be a separate person from your mother?
- Does your mother appear phony to you?
- Does your mother want to control your choices?
- Does your mother swing from egotistical to a depressed mood?
- Did you feel you had to take care of your mother’s emotional needs as a child?
- Do you feel manipulated in the presence of your mother?
- Do you feel valued by mother for what you do rather than who you are?
- Is your mother controlling, acting like a victim or martyr?
- Does your mother make you act different from how you really feel?
- Does your mother compete with you?
- Does your mother always have to have things her way?
Then I read things like this and realized it is spot on with what I am dealing with right now:
Lack of Effective Communication:
The most common type of communication in narcissistic families is through triangulation. This is where information is told through one party about another in hopes it will get back to the other party. Information is not direct. Family members talk about each other to other members of the family, but don’t confront the individuals directly. Alas, causing the creation of passive-aggressive behavior, tension, and mistrust among family members. When communication is direct, it is often in the form of anger or rage.
It’s challenging for me to accept what I am learning to be true in regards to my mother, instead of falling back into the same patterns of what I have been used to my whole life. Internalizing and finding blame within myself for the relationship, or lack there of when it comes to her has always been my way of dealing.
For those of you that have been following my blog and have seen previous posts that I have written in regards to my mother you will have a better sense of where I am coming from now. It is going on 4 months since her and I have spoken to each other while living under the same roof because I dared speak my voice and express my needs. Her way of attempting to communicate has been through other people within my family such as my sister and even my own daughter or she has begun to suddenly post little bits and pieces on social media, although I blocked my ability to see any of her posts. This blog is my outlet even though I don’t post as much as I could (still learning that it is ok to express my feelings even through writing and not feel ashamed) it helps me to clear my mind when it gets overly cluttered with nonsense. In addition I have a pretty awesome therapist! It’s no lie that this is indeed a lifetime of work that I have ahead of me…
Have you ever gone through a situation in your life that had such a negative impact that you wanted someone else to be able to experience it too? NOT for the purpose of them having to endure the negative experience, but simply for them to be able to better understand the what and why of how you chose to deal with the issue. The thing is…no one and I mean no one can ever fit inside your shoes and walk the same path as you. My life story and your life story are not and never will be one in the same. People may be able to relate to certain situations but each and everyone is unique in the way that they process their personal life experiences which is why we should try as hard as we can to not intentionally hurt those who surround us. It is inevitable that because we each process things differently that hurt feelings will occur but there is a difference in deliberately hurting someone vs. speaking your truth and having that hurt someone. Never apologize for speaking your truth as long as in your heart you know that it was never meant to intentionally hurt another. On the other hand, if you are a person who intentionally does spiteful things in order to hurt another person then shame on you and may God have mercy on your soul!
There truly is nothing more heart breaking than a person who finds some type of enjoyment at the expense of another human being. Isn’t life hard enough? This shit is quite twisted if you ask me and said person should seek professional help immediately! I mean let’s be real here…I think there is a certain level of spitefulness in everyone, especially when triggered by hurt feelings but at some point on the in between there has to be a light bulb that goes off reminding us that two wrongs don’t make a right and when that happens then we make amends for our part in any wrongdoing.
The point I am trying to make here is that there are those people who will continually do things out of spite over and over again as if it is completely natural and completely justified. What part of their brain isn’t functioning? I’m over it and I’m over the emotional roller coaster involved with dealing with such people. The hard part is when these types of people are your immediate family members but hear me when I say that no one has the right to treat you with the utmost disrespect in order for them to somehow feel better about themselves, not matter who they are. Cute em loose and feel proud for doing so!
Just another day in the life of my thoughts….
What kind of parent sees it fit to make their child (adult or otherwise) look like a demon amongst family members for simply expressing their feelings, needs, wants, and desires? Who does that?? What kind of parent talks negatively about one child to the other? Who does that?? What kind of parent gets angry because their child wants to live their own life and decides to attempt to explain the feelings they are having and their need for space? What kind of parent decides what type of help is considered acceptable based on their own needs vs. that of their child? What kind of parent holds grudges against their child for speaking their mind? What kind of parent makes their child responsible for their well-being when they are fully capable of taking care of themselves? What kind of parent uses guilt, obligation, and manipulation to prove a point to their child? I mean seriously…WHO DOES THAT??
Living a life where you feel guilty about being open about your feelings to your mother is no way of life at all. The one person in the world that you should be able to go to and express anything to without judgement let alone anger, frustration, fear, etc
. The one person in the world who should understand where you might be coming from is instead the one person who causes you the most heartache and pain. Go figure…It’s a wonder I have made it this far.
Just another day in the life of my thoughts…
“Parenting” (Photo credit: vanhookc)
Growing up I learned the fine art of silence.
Suppressing my feeling because children didn’t have those, or at least they weren’t relevant. I became really good at it but in turn I also internalized many of the feelings I did feel throughout my childhood. I pushed them so far down and so deep that they became my defense mechanism. It was my way of “not feeling” or so I thought. The problem with doing that is that my feelings never really went away they were just tucked in a different place, in order to present themselves later in my life.
So here I find myself filled with this overwhelming feeling of resentment and anger that I don’t know how to deal with. I am fully aware that a person is a product of their environment for only as long as they claim it. Once grown up, we’re suppose to be able to choose our own path and create our own truths.
So why do I still feel like I am confined to suppressing my feelings? Why do I still feel like I am that child all those years ago that was never allowed to truly express what was in her heart? Why do I still feel that need for approval? Why do I allow myself to not speak MY truth? Ultimately the decision is up to me right? Sometimes you have to speak your truth even if it ends up hurting the other person…right? That is all a part of entering into adulthood…right? Yet….I don’t, Yet…I still fear…Yet I still worry about what others around me (family) will think…yet I remain unhappy within the confinements of my own home. Yet I still cry a silent cry, Yet I still don’t express what I need, Yet…………
Just another day in the life of my thoughts…
For the record, I DON’T ever want my children to feel this way!
All I want for Christmas is my room and bed back! It’s been a year and a half that my mom moved in and what was supposed to be a “couple of months” has now turned into me sleeping on my couch and her living in my room. Mind you I had only moved in about three months before she came. I know I should be thankful that I am able to help her. The frustration could stem from the fact that there is little to no communication between us. It is now at the point that I have no idea when she is coming until I hear the keys in the lock and my little (big) dog looses his mind, barking madly. My girls love having her around (they are 17 and close to 10).
There is a long history that goes into play here, and it would take much more than this blog post to explain it. Long story short, my mother and I have never really had the best relationship. I actually harbor quite a bit of anger and frustration towards her. I have tried to get a deeper understanding of why this is and what to do about it because I know it is not healthy for me, her, or my girls. I guess I’m just not quite there yet. Her being here makes it much harder also. I know in my heart that the best thing I can do is let go of all this anger but I simply don’t know how. Forgiveness….
Forgive for all the bs growing up in addition to all the bs that still continues aaaaaand all the bs that is still to come. That is a whole lot of forgiveness! Let me not even attempt to try to actually explain to her all that I am feeling because BOOM, defense mode kicks in and I can guarantee that I will walk away feeling much more frustrated than when I started. The fact still remains that she is my mother. I can’t kick her out, I can’t lose ties with her, I have to deal with it.
For now I will continue to pray for the strength to get through while she is here and hopefully at some point in the future before it is too late, work through these issues that I have with her. I really do hope that one day I can be in the same room with her and not feel my whole body tense up.
Just another day in the life of my thoughts…….