Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Approach of Worshipful Mother's Day

The pitty-pat of the approach of Mother's Day in the U.S. is even now discernible. A month away, I'm sure some of you are starting to feel the creeping dread rise up in your throat. Your stomach sinks; your heart squeezes in the vise-grip of expectations of family and society-at-large to bequeath honor on the dishonorable. At the other end of whatever I end up writing here today, I'll direct you to my ode to evil mothers written last year since I'm not sure I have anything better to say on it. Let me stop for a moment here and tap into my internal rage and see if anything else comes up.

Ummmm, ummmmmnnn. This coffee is too good--it's put me in my happy place.

Perhaps I'll recount for you part of a conversation with my husband yesterday. We were discussing the comment that I dealt with this last week here and here. Hubby brought up the presumption of the commenter that I was selfishly motivated as well as the implication that I had casually tossed away my relationship with my N mother.

My husband said, "I don't think people with poor imaginations (like that commenter) can even begin to conceptualize how difficult it was for you. You agonized over how to deal with your mother. I watched you struggle. I saw your intense distress over what to do about your relationship with your mother. I saw you do everything you could to try to repair the relationship without surrendering your integrity. I saw her reject your efforts. Ultimately, your mother forced you to make the decision to cut her off from you and your family, but it was not something you did quickly or easily. There was no glee in you in cutting her off. It became an obvious necessity after several years of agonizing and effort to salvage some kind of relationship with her. For much of that time you knew nothing about malignant narcissism. You simply knew something was terribly wrong."

There you have a snippet of outside observation of my attitude and behavior in dealing with my malignantly narcissistic mother. I hope you haven't mistaken my firm resolve and clarity of thought and opinion as being the place I started from. I struggled, I cried, I shook in fear, I lost many nights of sleep, I suffered physically, I spent long hours in thought, I studied, I truly did agonize.

This blog represents the outcome of all that pain and difficulty. What I have hoped to accomplish here is shortening someone else's trip through this land mine ridden emotional territory. I have hoped to help you see things from the vantage point of victory over the tyranny of narcissists to give you hope and resolve to make the hard decisions; to give you something solid to hang your faith on that it'll be better on the other side. I have come out the other side with no regrets and with my integrity firmly in place. Good people want to do the right thing so they can live with a clear conscience. I think I have had something to share on that account.

I stopped surrendering my morals and my intelligence to the narcissist. My conscience is clear. My life is my own. Here, on this blog, I have shared with you my hard earned strength, acquired wisdom, and experience with the desire that, if necessary, you can borrow from me in order to proceed toward freedom in your own life. My hope has been to share with you the principles that guided my thinking so that you can shape your own thinking and make these good outcomes your own. So you too can have a guilt-free as well as a narcissist-free life...and still be able to look at yourself in the mirror.

I think most of you have active enough imaginations to grasp the concept that I have wrestled, battled, and fought with myself and my upbringing in order to get to the place of peace I now live in. It was my desperate clinging to truth, i.e. reality, that brought me out into the light. Being a Christian, I had to examine each issue carefully within the framework of morality. I have shared my discoveries there as well. I can tell you will absolute certitude that without my understanding of the gospel I think I would have wandered interminably in the wilderness of slavery to the narcissists in my life. I don't think it is obvious to many why that would be...but, it is true nonetheless.

When I started on the road that eventually led to my no longer having someone I call 'mother', I didn't even begin to envision that outcome. I certainly never imagined no longer having my father in my life. In fact, I desperately didn't want to lose my father in the process of trying to hold my mother to account for her bad treatment of my own daughter. Even though I didn't want to lose my father, I didn't make that desire my guiding principle. I had to be willing to risk losing him to do right by my mother, and to do right by my own family and myself...ultimately to God. I knew what I was risking when I decided to take a stand against my mother's predations of the weaker members of our family. As much as I didn't want to lose the favor and love of my father, I didn't let that desire over rule the course integrity should take.

Alas, my narcissist-appeasing father made his own choice. He made it clear he didn't want me if I wasn't willing to continue to quietly stand by whenever my mother decided to eat a family member. Was there no struggle with the possibility of losing my father forever because I had decided to no longer wink and nod when my mother cannibalized her family? Of course there was. It was another dark struggle I contended with.

There are terribly hard choices one has to make when deciding to hold a narcissist to account for their evil behavior. To hold that narcissist to account is most likely going to lead you to the realization you can't safely keep them in your life anymore. This can lead to what seems like dire outcomes when you're talking about a narcissist family member. You will very likely lose other family members. In the beginning that can seem like too high a price to pay. For some, it likely is too high of a price. For many of us, freedom of mind, body and soul is well worth the cost in the long run. Yeah, the long run is where the benefits are reaped. The short term is painful and costly. Ultimately, each person has to decide what they value most. For me...that is freedom. Moral, intellectual, spiritual, emotional freedom. Priceless.

To read my ode to bad mothers on Mother's Day, click here.

38 comments:

Katherine Gunn said...

Anna~
Thank you for this.

"I struggled, I cried, I shook in fear, I lost many nights of sleep, I suffered physically, I spent long hours in thought, I studied, I truly did agonize. "

Yeah. This is a very accurate description of the struggle. Thanks to you, mine has been shorter than yours. I'm not done, but I am seeing more clearly. My Nmom called me yesterday. But it was not as bad as it has been. For those who wonder if it is a 'selfish' decision, ponder this.

About a month ago, my Nmom called to see why I hadn't crawled back to her and invited her to dinner this time. She caught me in the middle of a crying jag - dealing with things my father had done that day (working on being free there, too). I had been crying for a while. I let the call go to voice mail. When I listened to the message, it sounded urgent - call me right now. So I composed myself and called.

She was sweet as honey (well, more like saccharine, maybe) and asked how I was. She knew I was in counseling. She could hear the shake in my voice from the crying - asked what was wrong. Wouldn't leave it alone. Asked if she could doing anything. Then, she asked if there was anything she could quit doing that would help. I made the mistake of telling her what she could quit doing. I told her it would help if she quit pushing to come see me - me not being very social and all right now.

She said she would not worry about coming up, talked a little, then asked if she could just come up and pray with me. I didn't answer quickly, so she pressed - would I let her do that? I told her no and she asked if she could pray for me right now. I said sure, but inside I was screaming, "NO!"

As she prayed, I was silently screaming. Her prayer was a manipulation in itself that included a warning. I was in danger of being fed lies and led into untruths. Hmm... I suggest that if you react with panic and silent screaming when your mother prays for you, you are better off without her playing much of a role in your life.

By the way, the thing I asked her not do? She did all the harder - came up twice in the next week. I left the house and, well, to be honest, hid from her.

As to family issues, I am settled with the possibility that I may lose the good will of the bulk of my family. In talking to my aunt yesterday, we realized that our whole family has a hyper-critical streak. I might be better off not in close contact with them, either. Hard choice? Yeah. A lot of tears. A huge sense of loss - grief. But there is something else, something very valuable to me because it has been in short supply in my life. Peace. Settled peace in my heart - my spirit. Not painless - but definitely worth it.

Thank you for your generous heart to share your experience. It has and is helping - a lot. God bless you richly.

Anna Valerious said...

I suggest that if you react with panic and silent screaming when your mother prays for you, you are better off without her playing much of a role in your life.

Oh, yeah. It is one of those clues telling you something is horribly, terribly wrong. One would do well to pay attention to that internal reaction.

Hard choice? Yeah. A lot of tears. A huge sense of loss - grief. But there is something else, something very valuable to me because it has been in short supply in my life. Peace. Settled peace in my heart - my spirit. Not painless - but definitely worth it.

Very well said and summed up. That is the exchange. A hard choice, many tears...to gain a peace in heart and mind that you can't describe for its goodness.

Thanks for your story and comment here. Well done.

enilina said...

Katherine Gunn said...

I left the house and, well, to be honest, hid from her.

Heh, do this all the time because I stupidly allow my mom to live with me. Sure, * now * I know about narcissism but 6 years ago I knew she was abnormally selfish and needy and still let her move in anyway. I was so busy defending myself from a hugely narcissistic father that mom almost flew under radar. Right now I'm working on slowly but surely getting her to move out.

Anna, thank you thank you (!) so much for this blog. I am amazed how you weave the Christian teachings and laws when dealing with a narcissist. It helped me enormously since the local church-goers are of no help (they're too involved in getting Obama elected). Your insights to the its teachings are incredible, especially the story of Joseph and his brothers. I remember reading some scholars' ponderings why Joseph never sought to search or reconnect with his family once he was in the position to do so, and you pointed out the obvious: estrangement was forced on him by his brothers, he didn't force the estrangement.

Naive No Longer said...

Oh, what would we do without Anna's blog!!!????

I got to the part about stopping to tap into your internal rage and started cracking up until I read the next part about the coffee and laughed so hard that before going any further I was on the phone with my sister reading it to her over the darn phone.

As for the rest, I am so thankful you shared it, Anna. The agony, the grief, the wrestling over the difficult decisions. I think, as your readers, we see you in such a place of strength right now that we wonder if the intensity of the struggle was somehow easier for you than it has been for us. I now know by your posting that you experienced the same hell. Your words describe my very own experience.

I am greatful to you for your willingness to share. Without your blog, I would not be where I am right now. For the first time in my life I have a sense of peace, integrity and wholeness that I have never had. It is a tragedy that one is forced into the necessity of making a decision that no one should have to make. The decision between your sanity, integrity, emotional, spiritual,& intellectual freedom or your mother. The choice between your god-given right to healthy boundaries around your personhood or to be spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually raped by your mother. The right to your own thoughts, opinions, experiences or the sacrificing of them to mother. The right to live peacefully in reality or to be forced ro bow down to the reality of mother or pay the price. The choice between being allowed to be ok just for who you are or being forced into mother's definition of what acceptable means in order to be ok. I could go on and on ...

No wonder I was so flipping exhaused all the time . . . it makes me exhausted just writing it. Living it was even worse.

And so, it all comes with a high but necessary price tag. We are worth more than that . . . even it mother doesn't think so.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Anna, so much for this entire blog. I discovered it today after I researched and discovered a few days ago that I have both a narcissist mother and father who are no longer married. I am a happily married 37 year old with three children. For the past 8 years now, when Mother's Day approaches, out of undeserved respect to my mother, I always buy her an expensive gift, take her to a nice dinner, all to go through the "motions" society expects from me. I cringe every year when I visit the Hallmark store and look through the Mother's Day cards and as I read through all of them and none of them fit the way I feel about my mother. The cards talk about the years of sacrifice the mother has made, the unconditional love, the support, the understanding, the connection, the caring and the kindness. In other words, NONE of these cards feel appropriate to give my mother and none of them are an accurate description of the realtionship I have with my mother. Do you know that I have sometimes bought a generic card that just says Happy Mother's Day under the "someone special" section just because all the other Mother's Day cards don't fit?
I am a mother too, however, this has never been a consideration of my own mother. She EXPECTS to be treated like the Queen bee and has never once honored or even acknowledged ME as a mother on Mother's Day.
I have cut off contact with her off and on for the past eight years and it has been extremely painful and agonizing. The way my narcissist parents have dealt with this is to blame everything on my husband. They think he has pulled me away from the family, however, THEIR abusive behavior has.
Your blog regarding narcissist grandparents was extremely helpful because I tried to "push" the grandkids on to my parents and my in-laws and was completely baffled when none of the grandparents had any interest whatsoever in spending time with them. As a matter of fact, my mother-in-law will oftentimes invite my husband and me to dinner "without the grandchildren", and these are not invitations to fancy restaurants. Both my parents and in-laws view the grandchildren as a burden. I struggled for a solid three years trying to understand why these people acted like they hated their granchildren, but now I understand why. I think that I too was a victim of the philosophy that even though I didn't feel they loved me as a child, my parents were older now and maybe once they saw these babies the love would grow. Boy was I wrong. At least now I have the understanding that it is BETTER to keep these type of grandparents away from their grandchildren.
They say that knowledge is power. I want to thank you for educating myself and others with regard to this issue. It feels good to know that I am not alone. It is empowering. I was raised really strict Catholic and to cut off one's own parents goes against my strict upbringing. I am a sensitive person and when I retreat from my parents I inevitably get hit with pangs of guilt. However, after suffering emotionally for so many years and being held hostage by my parents I realize, especially for the sake of my children, I MUST break free.

Angela said...

Yes Anna, because of your struggles, you have made mine easier. Every once in a while I don't read your blog for a while and when I do come back and read it, I think, "Oh my gosh, thank God I read that." You give me so much strength and courage to be able to stay NC with my N-father. I can't go NC with my ex husband because we have joint custody of our 9 year old daughter, but I am able to distance myself so much better and remember that I AM A GOOD PERSON, I am not the person he trys to paint me as.
I am learning to listen to my own reality of myself and not what my N-father or N-husband have drained me of.
I have always been a loving, giving person, yet they constantly tried to take that away from me. It took me 12 years of being with my ex before I figured out what kind of person he is. When I left my husband I "divorced" my dad at the same time. And even though I left my N-husband, it is still hard. It has been almost 8 months now since I left him. I am stronger everyday and at times, I worry if my Dad is going to yell at me for not calling him. But when I read this blog I remember what it is I am doing. Getting rid of the toxic people in my life. I am a good person, deserving of love and good treatment. Thanks Anna!

Anonymous said...

Words can't describe the appreciation I feel for everyone here. When I read each person's accounts, I start to feel my stomach knot-up and I shake. Yes, that "creepy-dread has risen up in my throat since Easter when I had to visit my NM and realized how soon Mother's Day would arrive. Am feeling like I'm gonna vapour-lock.....have had so many undiagnosed symptoms that are explained as "stress" - insomnia, headaches, irritable bowel, joint, muscular pain, extreme, extreme fatigue, depression, hopelessness, which all get concentrated several weeks before the Big Day. I would love to know if these symptoms are problematic with others on this site.

Thanks, Anna, for sharing this today. I didn't know that you agonized like that too, not that I rejoice in that, but knowing that you can still survive. I guess the human spirit through history has survived some awful things; but history calls it what it is and people try not to repeat any evil. With Ns, the evil is hid and the targetted person is never vindicated.

Before Mother's Day, I start to hear the drum-beat of war.....the phone rings, and am asked what I'm planning to do for Mother's day. It's always the same response, am programmed to provide Her with whatever she wants. If am not feeling well, or any other excuse, she reminds me how other elderlies are all being taken out for the day and pandered to by their loving children. She even expects all the attention on father's day. We've been through some disheartening personal family struggles these last few years. I cannot allow her to know when anything is wrong, or she will play it to her advantage. If you tell her you are traveling, she will call up and tell you about a deadly accident, or about someone who lost their legs, etc. If you have any illness, she claims it is probably the "c" word, detailing how someone she knows with that had a horrible death. So, there it is, my rant for the day.

With each approaching day, though, I believe it can get better, and also believe this site is a God-send for us. God bless you all!!

Anonymous said...

Standing in Hallmark, flipping through card after card, nothing fits. There is no card that says, "This manmade holiday insists I recognize you. You did some things right. Mostly, you did a lot of things badly. As for being old and lonely, did you not think you would reap what you've sown?"

I grieve for the child I was, confused by rage. I grieve for the teenage me, attacked and accused. For myself as a young woman, a mother trying desperately to raise a healthy family with no role model or index, still manipulated and controlled.

There in Hallmark, holding cards gushing with love and pink roses and adoring lacy inscriptions, I grieve for what I've missed.

Anna Valerious said...

My husband and I joked with each other a couple of years ago about how there needed to be a new section in Hallmark...The 'Mommie Dearest' section where you can find just the right card for that perfect bitch of a mother. Yeah, I'm thinking there is a market out there for a section like that.

I'm sure many of you could come up with some humdinger suggestions for sentiments to put into those cards.

I too have stood in the greeting card section reading card after card and not seeing anything that described my mother. No, she wasn't there to hug me when I hurt myself, she didn't comfort me when I was sick, she hasn't been there when I needed her, blah, blah, blah. Like one comment here today...I had to chose cards from the 'special someone' section to find something generic and bland enough to suit the moment.

I am so relieved to not have to deal with the horrid task of a card and gift on Mother's Day that I don't think there are words to describe it. To be released from the tyranny of Hallmark on Mother's Day goes a long way for me to make up for the fact that I don't have a mother like those cards describe. Hopefully, you'll be feeling that way someday too, anonymous. Hang in there. Life has a way of making up for the things we don't have by giving us even better things...if we're open to it.

CZBZ said...

"I have come out the other side with no regrets and with my integrity firmly in place. Good people want to do the right thing so they can live with a clear conscience. I think I have had something to share on that account."

It takes a strong person to self-disclose so never forget that even when people are critical.

I've noticed something about critics the past few years. They never risk sharing the intimacies of their lives but are quick to pass judgment on those who do.

Anyone who has dealt with a malignant narcissist, understands the gut-wrenching choices you've had to make. I thank you for having compassion for other people and daring to write about parental narcissism.

Hugs,

CZBZ

Anna Valerious said...

Thank you, CZBZ.

Anonymous said...

Great posts!!! (substitute Nmom for Ndad in my case!!!)

Anonymous said...

Yes, have been there/done that with trying to select from the "Normal Mother's day cards. Have also bought a generic card and put a small note in it. Just checked out this site "Maxine Cartoon Hallmark EGreeting Cards. One e-card says, "Maxine wishes you a relaxing Mother's Day. Good luck with that."

Sounds like this one might be appropriate.

Katherine Gunn said...

Thinking about what would be the appropriate sentiment for a Mother's Day card. Not sure I really want to vent that here. ;-)

Actually, until I read this blog, I had forgotten completely about Mother's Day. My birthday is in a few days and I was more concerned about how to navigate THAT since I got in trouble last year for not planning my day around what my parents - individually, mind you - wanted to do to - I mean for - me.

And that reminded me of something I have found out about my mom's card giving. In mine, she mostly tells me what a wonderful daughter I am and how she doesn't know what she would do without me. In a normal world, this sounds nice... but in the N world, that means, 'so keep treating me the way I want you to if you want things to be nice.'

But what she has put in the birthday cards she has sent to my cousin - my aunt - well... the gist is this: Happy Birthday. Hope you are well. My life sucks. Here's why . . . followed with a detailed description of her woes.

That really gets the old emotions feeling warm and fuzzy.

Katherine Gunn said...

BTW~ ;-)

"I can tell you will absolute certitude that without my understanding of the gospel I think I would have wandered interminably in the wilderness of slavery to the narcissists in my life. I don't think it is obvious to many why that would be...but, it is true nonetheless."

Oh, it is crystal clear to me. This issue is one of the areas your blog has helped me the most. I was, indeed, a slave to the religious teachings and upbringing I had - one that twisted scriptures to fit what men thought it should say, rather than what it actually does say. Not to mention what my mother had to say...

Truth brings freedom - hard won and painful? Usually, but sweet nonetheless.

jordie said...

How many narcissists does it take to change a lightbulb?

One. She just holds it and waits for the world to revolve around her.

OK, not mine, it was originally a mother-in-law joke, but it would work on a card.

jordie said...

Or...

Every Mother's Day I go to visit my mother's grave... because deep, deep down, I know she is a really nice person.

Barbara said...

Just remember - they aren't MOTHERS in any sense of the word.

Simply genetic donors and gestational carriers.

"MOTHER" implies something that an N will never have and never know.

Anonymous said...

It took a dozen years of our marriage for my spouse to cut off his Nmom. This happened only after she made threats that could not be ignored. And of course, a dozen years of damage in our marriage...

The choice to cut off a parent is not something most people do lightly. In fact, they go to great lengths, beyond what they should, to keep a toxic, evil parent in their life. Cutoff is a last resort, done when all other avenues have been exhausted.

Anna Valerious said...

Or...

Every Mother's Day I go to visit my mother's grave... because deep, deep down, I know she is a really nice person.


I love this one.

Loving Annie said...

Brilliant post, clear, wise, and you are an enormous help to anyone dealing with a narcissist. Thank you for what you do here - it makes a difference.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully, Mother's Day is a brutal reminder to my malignant N mother that her two normal, functioning children can't stand her and will have nothing to do with her and that she is stuck supporting her lazy, needy, sickly, self-centered malignant N frankendaughter for the rest of her mother's days.

So, while her cronies are out celebrating with their children and grandchildren, my malignant N mother is likely seething with resentment over the realization that the only family she has is a dependent, non-functioning loser who is too self-absorbed to make the effort to celebrate her yet is ironically a creation of her own making.

I wish everyday was Mother's Day.

Anna Valerious said...

Wowee zoweee!!! Woot woot!!!!

I love it.

That zinger at the end will make me smile the rest of the day.

Kelly said...

Anna, if I haven't mentioned it before you have helped me as well, your blog has. Not only your own stories of your experiences but your own experience being a Christian and dealing with an N-mother.
I found your blog before I knew exactly what to call my mom's issues. Now of course I know. I'm also in therapy now and my therapist has confirmed my theory of NPD with my mom.
My mom is out of my life as well and I still find it interesting that extended family assume that I've done this quickly or with no concern. I too have cried, still do, and asked God why so many times.

It is amazing to me that in our society today, so many things are concidered perfectly normal but cutting off contact with an abusive parent is still taboo! What is wrong with our world. We should be championing (is that a word?) those who stand up and say enough with the abuse!!!!

Mother's Day will always have a tinge of sadness for me. In my mind I don't really have a Mother in the real sense of the word. I am now redefining motherhood myself as I work to raise my daugther well.

God Bless,
Kelly

Writer in Washington said...

"I cringe every year when I visit the Hallmark store and look through the Mother's Day cards and as I read through all of them and none of them fit the way I feel about my mother. The cards talk about the years of sacrifice the mother has made, the unconditional love, the support, the understanding, the connection, the caring and the kindness. In other words, NONE of these cards feel appropriate to give my mother and none of them are an accurate description of the realtionship I have with my mother."

My MN mother died in 2006, but I still remember trying to find any card that I could, with a clean conscience, buy for her. That went for birthdays, too. Its still sad for me, though. I can buy a card for my MIL without a qualm. The death of a MN is a blessing is sooo many ways. That may not be "good" Christianeze but it is sure the truth.

BTW, cutting off relationship with MN children is a blessing, too. In my case, step-children.

Anonymous said...

Anna:

I am continually amazed at your capacity to sum up what I myself have gone through. Indeed I am able to "borrow" some of your wisdom.

finally free — finally me said...

Kelly —

"It is amazing to me that in our society today, so many things are considered perfectly normal but cutting off contact with an abusive parent is still taboo! What is wrong with our world. We should be championing (is that a word?) those who stand up and say enough with the abuse!!!!"


I too am amazed. Even some of my closest friends from childhood who have some sort of understanding of the torture I endured growing up have reprimanded me on my decision to stop contact with my N"Mom" to the point of alluding to me as being selfish. That's rather amusing actually as my "mom" used to tell me I was spoiled and selfish on a daily basis.

How a society that (for the most part) prides itself on being tolerant of the choices others make can refuse to acknowledge the fact that some parents should not ever have been parents is beyond me. It seems to be especially unacceptable to terminate a relationship with your mother.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard the phrase "But, she's your mother..." come out of the mouth of someone who has no earthly idea of who my "mother" truly is or what being her child is like. Does a mother gain absolute satisfaction from wearing her child down with unspeakable abuse, day after day, year after year, until there's almost nothing left at all? And should the child of such a "mother" be obligated to bear such a burden simply because he or she had the misfortune of being born to her?

Anyone in their right mind would say no way but there are just some people who can't bring themselves to acknowledge that there are parents that destructive to their children out there, never mind the countless headlines of the hideous things parents do to their children all the time.

As much as I can rant and rave on the subject, I am making peace with the fact that the only opinion that matters at the end of the day is MINE. And I'm thrilled to be free of that wretched women. I refuse to let her, or anyone else for that matter, effect my knowledge of the incredible woman I am in spite all her best efforts to destroy me.

krl said...

(Anna, I tried to post something similar to this a little while ago...not sure if it went through. If it did, 'ditch' this one. Thanks...)

Thanks for this timely post, Anna..and for all of your comments. I don't miss searching for the 'RightCard for the WrongMother' either! Actually, I had finally settled on giving her a big basket of bedding plants during these last years...and even stopped THAT because it gave her one more opportunity to browbeat DumSheepDad on how to plant them in 'HER' garden! (She hands down ALL her mandates and instructions from the sofa...always has. THAT is my picture of her...."Sooooo tired. I need blahblahblah done....")

I have been NC for the past 6 mos....thanks to the heart and soul that has gone into this blog. I don't miss her....I don't feel guilty about it either. I paid my dues....(that weren't even OWED!)

Oh, yeah...almost forgot. Nmom taught me sooo well. "Honour the POSITION (of authority) even if you don't respect the PERSON." Hmmmmm. She was going to get her 'cookie' regardless, eh? Wow. She probably got an extra 15 years out of me on that one! No more.

Katherine Gunn said...

krl~

"Oh, yeah...almost forgot. Nmom taught me sooo well. "Honour the POSITION (of authority) even if you don't respect the PERSON." Hmmmmm. She was going to get her 'cookie' regardless, eh? Wow. She probably got an extra 15 years out of me on that one! No more."

Yes! This is one that both my parents and my church taught strongly. So I have a question: What if the PERSON in the POSITION dishonors the position? Isn't continuing to honor 'the position' at that point condoning the dishonoring behavior? Just a thought...

Anonymous said...

I was in a relationship with an N partner. I don't think, no matter what you do, there is any way to have a healthy relationship with an N who is not dealing with it. And because of what the disorder is I don't think many do deal with it.

Many times there is no healthy way to deal with them except to get them out of your life.

Writer in Washington said...

I don't know about cards but I do know a song that applies "I'll be glad when you're dead, you rascal you!!!" :) JK.

I believe that "honoring the position" teaching stems from David not killing mad, King Saul when he had the chance to. David did not hang around the palace, though, he took off and hid in the caves to avoid Saul's murderous intentions. That particular story is about a sane person cutting off relationship with a MN. Hmmm, so why aren't they telling the rest of the story???? Its not told because there are too many MN in positions of leadership in the church.

Hope all the good mothers on this blog have a good Mother's day, anyway. You deserve it.

Anonymous said...

I found the perfect gift: "Are You my Mother?" by P.D. Eastman.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this blog. I particularly struggle with possibly losing the relationship with my father in order to cope with my N mother. Then there is the guilt that comes with the family separation due to this mess, and what other people think about your estrangement from your family... I am comforted to know that there are others out there in the world who understand.

Anonymous said...

Hi ya. I have a hard time finding the right card too. If you still send cards here is my suggestion. Fold a piece of paper in half and make your own card and send it to her you can say anything you want. Thanks for feeding me all those years, you know things that they definitely did do. Thanks for taking me to those lessons that you forced me to do. I really hated them but I am glad you took me there.

Still in denial about her actually. Seeing how I am take no interest in her advances she is trying to go mushy on me saying I love you and hugging me. She doesn't like the fact that I have a hard time being around her. (I live with her due to my age)

Also I have had many agonizing nights when I was very young and during my teenage years still in them actually. Sweet 16 isn't sweet by the way. It is just as dull as any other stage in my life.

I knew something was wrong before I can remember and so I spent many long hours by myself trying to figure it out. I even directly talked to my mother which would create long conversations getting no where. She would even force me to keep talking after I told her the problem and she kept on saying it was something else.

I finally figured talking to her was worthless and started figuring things out on my own. I figured out that I really wasn't a worthless piece of trash and I did deserve to live just like any other normal kid/teenager but I knew I wasn't normal. All these other kids talking about their families and how they weren't worrying so much about things. I feel like an alien intruding.

I started making cards a long time ago. I just couldn't find something that was just right. When I was delusional and forced myself to believe she was a good mother I would get or write something like a hallmark card.

Night after night of crying and deep very deep thoughts about my values what was going on and her values. The battle is pretty much over now. Luckily for me I found out about narcissism before adulthood. I will just leave when I turn 18 go to college get a job and for the most part ignore the person who gave birth to me.

Haven't decided to go no contact. Just to not talk to her all that much and send two cards a year. Thats about it.

Garfield

Anonymous said...

Wow, I had no idea that this site existed. Thank you so much for sharing. In November of 2005, my therapist sat across from me and gave me the verdict :my mother had NPD.

I was relieved and horrified. At that moment, I realized there was a name for all the millions of sleights and manipulations, all the nasty little barbs, and contempt. The spell was broken, and I was furious. I felt duped.

I cut her off. I told her not to call me (this after a ridiculous fight about a piece of shit car she gave me that she wanted to reclaim for some immigrants even though it was a v. stressful time at work for me). I told my dad he was a coward for letting it go on. I reminded them of all the abuse.

Since then I've confronted the abusers in my life--it's been harder to do. What I've noticed lately is that sometimes a person will really pursue me--these people are almost always narcissists.

They smell it or something. Or maybe I put it up w/ it longer than most.

I had no idea there was an underground of people who had mothers w/ the disorder. It's a particular perversion considering how responsible a mother is for your sense of self.

Anna Valerious said...

I'm sorry you too belong to this underground club, but it is good to hear you've escaped from your Nmother.

They smell it or something. Or maybe I put it up w/ it longer than most.

You put your finger on it in your latter statement. Adult children of narcissists are vulnerable to exploitation by other narcissists because we've been trained to put up with their shit. Abnormal is normal to us so we are not put off as quickly as others would be. This can be changed. I have actually become repellent to Ns in recent years. I am onto them so fast they freak out and leave me be.

Hang in there. When you get your bull-shit-meter finely tuned you will find the Ns not so persistent in their pursuit of you. Truth is the N's kryptonite. Hold it in their face and they are gone. Especially if you do this early in the game.

Someone who stood up for herself said...

Hi Anna,

All creatures have an alarm system - the 'fight or flight response'. Those of us who lived with Narcissist parents become so finely tuned to their threat - I can feel my hackles rise when they are mentioned, and yet, instead of listening to those alarm bells that are saying 'RUN!' we have been trained to keep going back. In the wild, an animal experiencing the same panic and rising fear would RUN. They would not sit and wait for the monster, or worse, approach the monster and try to appease it. It takes time to undo the programming, but you must listen to your survival instinct and RUN from the monster.

Tundra Woman said...

I guess I'm suppose to put one of those "Trigger Warnings" here for people with no sense of gallows humor and other varieties of PC-ers, so here it is. Sometimes, we just gotta laugh, OK? Proceed at your own risk ;)
I terminated the relationship with my MN "Mother" decades before her physical death. That did not stop the onslaught of "Demand Letters" for Mother's Day (which was every day in her world) all of which hit the trash unopened as soon as I walked in my house. Occasionally if the pattern of letters changed or her PI's hadn't jumped out of bushes to shove a camera in my face recently etc. I'd do a quick open and scan before it hit the trash. There were times when I was very concerned she'd outlive me. (<That was some hellacious motivation to keep on keepin' on!)

Yeah, we just woke up one morning and decided, "Well, just for the hell of it, I'm gonna NC. Because yk, she's the proverbial "gift that keeps on giving"-abuse, ceaseless demands for "honor" and so forth. And adults really "should" continue to allow a MN "Mother" to hang onto that label because "society" and their life-and your compliance-depends on it: "After all, I *AM* YOUR MMOOTTHHEERRR!" Umm, no. You're post-partum and have been for decades.

My confirmation of her physical death decades post NC was such a relief, I did one of those NFL linebacker end zone touch down dances around my living room: Oh Happy Day! (Not easy when ya get older, but consider it your cardiac work-out of the day or what ever;) )
I was much later informed she had pre-planned her wake and funeral complete with "All the privileges, rights and honors there to for to which she was ENTITLED." I was also sent on of those "discrete" Funeral Home cards/ads that has a picture of some saint (her's was St. Frances-how appropriate-birds etc. she got along with-it was people she couldn't stand) on the front, and on the back was her name, dates of birth and death followed by that well-known (and yes, beautiful) Psalm, "Oh Lord, Make me an instrument of thy peace..."
BWHAHAAA! Really? The Diva of Drama? The Mistress of Mayhem? The Queen of Chaos? "Peace?!" (It's my bladder control exercise every time I think of it!) Anyway, I've not been to her grave-there was enough of a Trail of Tears left in her wake (and the other one too-not well attended-what a surprise-she threw a party and no one came) but I do smile when I think of her six feet under anndd....
There her remains are: A sloppy, soupy, toxic mess in a box-what could be a more fitting "end?!" Her own personal Superfund Clean-Up site that no one wants to deal with except the cemetery people-and even they don't get paid enough so it's strictly a volunteer effort "In Perpetuity" which translates into, "Oh hell, we can't get all this mess cleaned up and *this* grave (hers) never gets any flowers etc. so we can just kinda mow around the perimeter, not worth firin' up the weed wacker..." That's what I've been told-unsolicited.
Anyway, "Ashes to ashes, MN mothers eventually rust, So please stop keep killin' yourself, It'll never be enough!"
TW
PS: "Stiffs" was a great read-and so are the rest of her books! From what she wrote, I don't think embalming is yet particularly "Eco-Friendly" :)