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…