Last night was a deeply upsetting night..I was overcome with sadness and grief in regards to my father and mother and the rest of my family on my mother’s side.
Something was said that triggered a rollercoaster of emotions in regards to the fact that I am realising more and more that all the family I have known since I was a child, is fading away ..The trigger I guess is a discussion I had with my husband about going to London for my coaching course and not telling my mum or aunt that I will be there. This is a new thing for me, to keep certain parts of my life private. I really wish it were different but it isn’t. I don’t want my mother to know I am doing a coaching course, as she is a Life coach herself and will probably try to bring me down again with her negative, envious remarks. My husband is uncomfortable with me ‘lying to my mother’ to protect myself. I of course completely understand that ‘lying’ isn’t in any way good however if it is done to protect myself from further negative remarks & toxic responses shouldn’t it be ok?
There is always a power trip of control and competition with my mother. She doesn’t like it if I talk about psychology and making any progress in my life. When I told her I wanted to do ART THERAPY her response was negative. .That I was not academic enough, that it isn’t a sustainable job etc etc..Then I got an unconditional offer to do it and I could see she wasn’t happy for me..So if I tell her about the fact that I have decided to do Coaching instead, I can only imagine what her response will be..
After all the grieving I did in and out of therapy, I decided to continue communicating with my mother, especially because of my disabled brother and also because of my other family.It just felt too tough to completely cut her off. I now practice the ‘gray rock’ method of communicating. I keep all my responses simple, superficial (talking about the weather, going to the gym, my plants, doing art, day trips etc). I keep my emotions to myself and don’t show sadness, happiness, vulnerability or anything that she can react to..
Gray Rock is primarily a way of encouraging a psychopath, a stalker or other emotionally unbalanced person, to lose interest in you. It differs from No Contact in that you don’t overtly try to avoid contact with these emotional vampires. Instead, you allow contact but only give boring, monotonous responses so that the parasite must go elsewhere for his supply of drama. When contact with you is consistently unsatisfying for the psychopath, his mind is re-trained to expect boredom rather than drama.
What I am finding extremely tough is that I can’t be myself, I can’t spread my wings and embrace what I really want to be doing and I feel like I have to hide, like I have to twist the truth or even lie..I don’t like lying as I grew up with a father who was a compulsive liar and it did me great harm. My husband pointed this out too. He said ”you shouldn’t have to hide yourself from your mother, as then she still has the power”. Her opinions, views etc still have a hold on me, because I am too uncomfortable with sharing the truth with her…
My truth being that I want to help people through their own trauma of having narcissistic parents and I want to be able to talk openly about it, without having to be anonymous and hide the reality of my life. My truth being that I shouldn’t care about whether her public image as a coach, supervisor, mindfulness practicioner with over 10 years of training is possibly destroyed because she was abusive. My truth being that I want to openly say that both my parents hurt me, stunted my emotional growth, caused me to suffer from depression, anxiety and ptsd my whole life. My truth being that I want to also start a youtube channel where I talk about my experiences and provide tips for others on how to deal with narcissistic parents, how to heal from trauma and how to manage ptsd symptoms.
I want to be free to be myself for once in my life, without feeling like I have to hide my truest feelings and experiences. I am very torn however. I don’t want anymore drama, threats, family involvement and hurtful, shaming opinions to affect my progress.
On my mother’s side she has 3 sisters and my grandparents. I have always had nice memories in regards to my aunts, cousins and grandparents. I never felt uncomfortable or strange. I always spent 1 month every summer with them and most recently in my adult years, I spent a lot more time with one of my aunts (as she lived close to where I was living at the time).
Since finding out my mother is Cluster B personality disordered and incurable, I have been trying to figure out what to do in regards to communicating with her. I have come to realise that if I go ‘no contact’ I will lose the family I have known that are connected to her. My grandma, aunts, uncles and possibly cousins. I came to this realisation, when I fell out with my mother and one of my aunts tried to act as mediator. I stupidly told her that my mother was horrible and hurtful and even gave her examples of what was said to me, and her response was ”and why do you think she said that?’‘, ”I am a lot tougher with my kids” and ”I really hope you can fix things with your mum as I am worried about her”. She then continued a few months later to say that I should ”just get on with it like she does”, ”that life is too short and her advice is to stay in contact”. The general feeling was to ‘sweep it under the rug’ and move on. I confronted her by saying that some things you can’t just ‘sweep under the rug’ and she just said ”I think we should agree to disagree”. All these reactions give me the same uncomfortable feeling I get from my mother. I felt ashamed, flawed and needy, especially because my mother had portrayed me that way to her family.
My mother and her sisters all grew up in the same family home, so it isn’t susprising that they would also deal with things in a similar manner. I also understand that they would mostly stick by my mother if I did choose to go no contact. Despite the fact that I have grieved and accepted my mothers’ illness, it still hurts to imagine that I might also lose the rest of the family. It isn’t that we are extremely close as we have always lived in separate countries, towns etc..but it was always comforting to know I had somewhere else to go. My other family always made me feel more comfortable than my own mother did. They are less disordered as my cousins don’t have depression, ptsd or other problems.Then again they also didn’t have both parents with narcissism, which I am sure makes a huge difference.
Again, I am back at the original predicament..Do I continue what I am doing with the ‘Gray rock’ communication and try and keep the lies to a minimum, whilst still hiding my true self? Or do I break free, show my face and hopefully work as a life coach, who specialises in trauma, ptsd and narcissistic abuse healing?
I am a more uncomfortable with my aunt than I used to be because of her reactions to my fall out with my mother. However, over the years she had been very supportive to my brother and I, and helped us with many things. She always offered her time and included us in family events. My mother’s younger sister has also been lovely, even though she lives further away.The only big thing that let me down, was that when they all found out through my mother, that my father had attempted suicide, none of them said a word to me! Yes they were shocked and yes suicide is such a taboo issue but the least I expected was ‘‘I’m so sorry to hear about your father”...
I cried so deeply last night to the thought of completely going ‘no contact’ with my mother and her family but the fall out is just too much to handle..I am already on ‘no contact’ with my father and I am struggling with it everyday..
Anyhow, if anyone has any input from their own experiences dealing with narcissistic parents then I would love to hear it.
Thanks for reading. x