My mother came to visit me here in Germany for 2 days to ‘reconnect and be close again’, after a huge emotional argument just before Christmas 2014. The last time I saw my mother was at my wedding last October. She was very generous and helped me buy my wedding dress, gave my husband-to-be and I money towards our wedding bands and also gave me a lovely pendant for my wedding day, which I was able to design myself. Things generally went okay and I had been on relatively good terms with my mother in a superficial way.
However, just as most covert narcissists, they can be very hurtful out of the blue with nasty remarks and they aren’t able to be supportive when it doesn’t ‘suit them or benefit them’. I want to study Art Therapy and she said I’m not academic enough or ‘strong enough emotionally’ to handle it, despite my unconditional offer with the university of my choice. My husband and I asked if we could store some plastic boxes in her garage before our big move to Germany, and she said that the garage was too damp and that her boyfriend parks his car in there, as there isn’t other space for him to park his car when he visits. This is a boyfriend whom she has broken up with 10 or more times. I also ‘stupidly’ asked her if I could stay with her for 3 months to earn money for my MA and she of course said that her house was too small and didn’t feel comfortable having me stay..Disappointment after disappointment, criticism after criticism, lack of empathy after lack of empathy etc etc..Too many to list, too much to understand…
Luckily after lots of therapy over the years and my most recent discovery of my parents narcissism, I have finally accepted their disability. It took awhile to accept the reality of their disorder, but unlike them, I am wiser, stronger, more self aware and very happy to have empathy, to be understanding & supportive and to display personality traits my parents could never teach me directly.
My mother arrived in Germany and all was fine. We got home and exchanged our ‘delayed’ christmas gifts that we never gave each other after our argument and we enjoyed a nice evening catching up on family news etc.
However, the ‘serious conversations’ are always part of my relationship with my mother and she started asking me again, whether I had forgiven her and whether ‘all could be positive and nice’ with us again. She wanted me to apologise for the hurtful things I said to her “that she wasn’t a good mother and didn’t support me’ and she also wanted me take back my expression of ‘healthy’ emotions. I know that a narcissist can’t handle different opinions, or opinions that aren’t what they believe about themselves. They do everything they can to manipulate and change your opinions about them, by making you seem like ‘the weak one, the pathetic one, the too sensitive one’…
I tried telling my mother that I have accepted things as they are with us and that we will never agree on certain behaviours, but she kept pushing me to ‘ change my thinking, to stop my ‘wrong’ feelings and to only focus on the good of my childhood and not the bad.
Just before she left on Thursday she brought up the same stuff again even though I told her that we don’t have to constantly go over things, as I feel I have accepted things as they are. The problem is that narcissists have an inability to ‘accept’ things about themselves that they aren’t comfortable with. She can’t accept that I disagree with her and get frustrated when she pushes me. She can’t accept that I have sensitivities and am not ‘enough’ or strong enough, as SHE perceives me.
This was an email she sent to me after she finally arrived home: It is very important to notice the wording I have added in bold and worst of all the ‘website link she added to her email, which is just ridiculous. The language, is exactly how my mum speaks..and it shows the lack of empathy towards me on my journey of healing, grieving and moving on. I only ever expressed my ‘blame’ towards her once or twice in my life, during very emotional moments where I couldn’t stop crying and my husband had to hold me in his arms.
‘Please grow from your experiences and be determined to be a better person, strong and positive. This is the only way we can move forward. The article below is sent from a place of love . How you receive this is completely up to you’.
‘Dear Parent Blamer,
Firstly, let me say, stop it!
It’s pathetic and pointless. And for the rest of us innocent bystanders… very annoying.
To be completely honest, we’re sick of your whining, your complaining, your anger, your victim mentality and your inability to see that your current attitude (not some historical event) is your biggest problem.We’re also sick of you blaming your (current) bad behaviour on your parents. What’s standing between you and success right now is YOU. Not your folks, not your history… you. And the fact that you think THEY have sabotaged your life and are somehow responsible for your (current) stupid behaviours and less-than-desirable outcomes, wreaks of denial, immaturity and delusion.
No matter how much you think your parents deserve your anger, vitriol and resentment, I’m telling you (1) it serves no positive purpose (2) it will hurt you more than them (3) stop being a big, immature, stupid baby and (4) you and only you, are responsible for your current reality – no matter what your parents have or haven’t done to you, or for you. etc’
I generally don’t disagree that at some point, blaming others can keep you stuck in a rut and be used as an excuse so you don’t take responsibility for your life or move forward. You can actually be stuck as a victim for awhile, as this prevents you from possibly doing things that are uncomfortable or painful, in order to grow.
However, in my mother’s case and my relationship to her, I had a very long, lonely, uncomfortable, depressed & extremely anxiety filled life so far, and never knew why. Not being able to express my emotions because my mother didn’t and still doesn’t want to hear it, is damaging. Not being able to grow and develop in a healthy way, is also damaging. Being constantly criticized and called pathetic, weak and too sensitive is also damaging.Being told to be ‘a better person’ is not good.I am already enough and already growing in strength. Saying that ‘the only way that WE can move forward’ if I am doing what SHE wants or is comfortable with is also wrong. In order to get over a lifetime of abuse, you have to grieve ALOT and it’s ok to grieve and talk about grieving, and feeling the pain. She thinks I am the weak and pathetic one, however she constantly projects her own uncomfortable feelings onto me and says ‘inappropriate’ things a parent should never say.
I will never keep quiet and not express my true feelings because she or my father doesn’t like it.
I will never keep the abuse hidden, or ‘snap out of it’ or ‘stop being angry’.
I have every right to my anger, my pain, my sadness, my disappointment and my frustration.
I suffer daily, I have nightmares, flashbacks,I can’t sleep properly, I have back pain, panic attacks, low confidence, complex ptsd and it’s just not fair! I was only a child and now I have to deal with this. I don’t want to feel the way I do, or talk about such painful stuff or be so serious. I want to laugh more, have fun more and be confident!
So FUCK YOU or anyone else out there for telling me to NOT FEEL what I am feeling.
I am in therapy, I am using art, I am helping others on their journey and I treat people in a respectful and caring manner. I am not perfect and I am ok with it. I deserve happiness and so does every other survivor of abuse out there.