Monday, November 30, 2009
Reading this was like reading my life story written out for all the world to see. Even how my NM chose me as the Scapegoat is uncannily accurate.
I think what strikes me most about the entire situation is the extreme unfairness of it all. There are times I just want to stomp my feel and scream over and over, "It's not fair! It's not fair! It's not FAIR!!!" I never asked for any of this and I haven't done anything to deserve to be treated so horribly yet simply because I exist, I'm damned to suffer by my FOO. And the cruel irony is that I'M the LUCKY one who has a snowball's chance in hell of surviving, getting healthy and moving on with my life! I suppose, logically, that makes sense but, emotionally speaking, I certainly don't feel very lucky.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Happened upon an exchange between NHS and NM last night. It reads:
NHS to NM: "i just thought of something. if DA is invited, we are NOT coming to your house for Thanksgiving. i don't want to even be there if she drives by.
NM's response: "I haven't invited her. I think she'll be at (MIL's name's)."
After coming across this, I have to say I am SOOOOO tempted to crash the little family get together at NM's. I can just see the looks on NM and NHS and BIL's faces now. NM will be in a total panic as she'll know that NHS and BIL will assume she planned the whole thing. And the hateful glares NHS and BIL will shoot NM as they hurriedly pack up and make to leave would be priceless. There would probably be a second or two of stunned silence as realization set in and then all hell would break loose.
I have never done anything so bold in all my life. To do so would give me back a sense of control and power, power that NM and NHS have stolen from me all these years. I do feel a bit petty thinking this way but, really, would it be so bad to do something like this just once? After all, NM did say that I could feel free to stop by and that she would have no control over it should I choose to do so. Of course, NM was surely counting on the fact that a) I'd be too hurt from not having been invited formally and b) I wouldn't want to be around NHS and BIL and, so, wouldn't come. But, if that was the case, and she didn't truly want me there, she shouldn't have given me the "secret invite", right? LOL
In all likelihood I'll probably just stay at my IL's and not bother with that dysfunctional lot. Still, the thought of swooping in, dropping my bomb and leaving as quickly as I arrived does give me a certain malicious glee.
To close on a high note, here's a list of things I'm thankful for:
1) My dh and ds. They are my rock in an otherwise chaotic existence. I am so blessed to have them both in my life. I'm so fortunate to have a dh who's a hard worker and good provider. It enables me to be a SAHM so that I can be a better mom for my ds.
2) Being the family scapegoat. Sure it sucks to bear the brunt of all their abuse and all but it could be worse. I could be the GC and have wound up like NHS, a mini-me N copy of NM.
3) My dh's family. I spent years fighting them because I thought THEY were the abnormal, unhealthy ones. I'm so glad I was finally able to see them for the loving source of support they've become in my life. I'm especially happy and grateful for my MIL and FIL who are such loving GP's to my ds.
4) My dad and SM. They have their own quirks that annoy the heck outta me from time to time but, overall, they are loving and supportive and I wouldn't know what to do without them in my life.
5) My home and relative good health.
6) Above all, I'm thankful to God for blessing me and my life and providing me with all these blessings.
May you all have a happy and healthy (and N free!) holiday season!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
In Wonderland, everything is sort of upside down and crazy-making. It goes against normal, healthy reality. Same goes for life under an NM. Having your NM say or do things to you only to turn around and deny it later. Never knowing what will send her into a rage - sometimes it's something legitimate like you were caught cheating on a test and, other times, it might be that you were complimented by a neighbor and your NM was jealous. Having your feelings and perceptions constantly invalidated. The whole experience can leave one not knowing which way is up or what to believe -- kind of like what I imagine Wonderland must have been like for Alice.
The upside for Alice is that she only had to spend a very short time in the chaos of Wonderland, whereas us DONM's can spend years, if not our entire lives living under the chaos of our NM's.
Another interesting correlation I found was between that of the Queen of Hearts and NM. I think many of us can relate to the Queen's screams of "OFF WITH HER HEAD!!" and the terror that Alice must surely have felt, fearing her very life was in danger. My NM may not have yelled to have my head cut off exactly, but there were certainly times I feared for my life or at least my well-being with her. And interesting how all those under the Queen of Heart's rule were frightened of her to the point that they went out of their way to ensure she was kept happy, lest they, too, incur her rage.
I can't help but wonder if the people who wrote stories like The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland had experience with narcissists in their lives. I certainly see enough correlations that it seems likely.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I remember one time, I was very young, maybe only 6 or 7. My parents were divorced and NM had already remarried at that time and had my NHS (N half sis). (Actually, my NM was dating my stepjerk before she and my father were officially divorced and, within 3 months of the divorce being final, NM and SJ had plans to marry. About a year and a half later, my NHS was born. NM certainly didn't waste any time, did she?) I was due to visit my father that weekend but, for whatever reason, had decided I didn't want to go. Rather than just tell my dad that, apparently NM lied and told him I was sick. I don't remember if I knew she'd lied or not but, at some point, my dad called to see how I was feeling and I told him I wasn't sick. My dad was understandably upset, having been lied to, and eventually asked if I wanted to come see him. By that time, I wanted to go and my dad said he'd be over soon and asked to speak to my NM.
NM and my dad fought, as they always did when they got together or spoke. As soon as NM was off the phone, she went into what I now know was an N rage. She was screaming at me for "betraying her" to my father. I don't remember specifically but I seem to remember something about, "I do you a favor and THIS is how you repay me??!!" from her. As if her screaming and rage wasn't enough, at one point she grabbed a steak knife from the kitchen and started telling me to just kill her, that I might as well because, again, I'd "betrayed her". When I refused to take the knife, she forced it into my hand and offered up her belly, yelling the whole time for me to "do it", just stab her since, clearly, I didn't love her. First chance I got, I dropped the knife. I don't remember anything else about that day other than her screaming and raging and telling me to stab her and me repeatedly reassuring her, while sobbing hysterically, that I loved her and didn't want to kill her, didn't mean to betray her.
The next memory comes at my senior year in high school. My long-time boyfriend (the one I'd cared the most for at that point) had recently broken up with me and I was just devastated as we often are at that age. But it was more so for me because this boy had been an escape for me. Now that he was gone, I had no choice but to spend all my time at home with my abusive and narcissistic mother and abusive stepjerk and half sister (who was mom's little spy). The abuse was at it's peak during that time and, as a means of coping, I went into a very serious depression and had begun cutting myself.
At school, my senior English teacher had us write daily journal entries. Most times there was a topic to write about, though she would occasionally give us a "free day" to write about whatever we wanted. Recently, one topic had been, "If you could be anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?" Well, I wrote that I would be my dead grandfather because he's dead and doesn't have to hurt anymore. My teacher was understandably upset and had apparently also noticed the cuts on my arms and called NM in for a conference.
NM spent the entire conference saying things like, "DisturbedAngel has NEVER liked her stepfather and has always been dramatic as a way of paying me back for divorcing her father and remarrying. I assure you SJ is a good man and we have a very good home." Then she proceeded to spend the entire ride home, the rest of that day and several days thereafter berating me for "embarrassing HER". It wasn't, "What is wrong? What can I do to help?" No. It was, "HOW can you do this TO ME??? Do you have any idea how EMBARRASSING this is FOR ME???"
Moving on...while I lived...I don't want to say "at home" because that place was FAR from being a "home", which I consider a safe place to live. While I lived with those people - meaning NM and SJ - I saved up my money and bought myself a pet bunny rabbit. He was a cute little black and white dwarf rabbit and I named him "Benjamin". I had Benjamin until I moved out a few years later. I wasn't able to take him with me as the place my bf (now dh) and I moved to didn't allow pets and since I didn't want to leave him behind, I told NM that I would either find a shelter to take him and place him in another home or I'd pay to have him put to sleep.
NM and SJ who, oddly enough, like animals (or claim to) wouldn't hear of it and said that they'd keep him and he'd be their pet. I asked them repeatedly if they were sure and made it clear that he would, in fact, be THEIR pet now and they assured me it was fine and they'd keep him. So, I said okay and moved out. When NM and SJ moved into a new house a couple years later, they took Benjamin with them and seemed to be caring for him.
Forward a year or so. NM calls me up one day and says, "I'm on my way to work and I'm already late. Benny's sick and needs to go to the vet. I think it may be time to have him put to sleep. Could you possibly go to my house and get him and take him to the vet? I've already given them my credit card information and they're going to bill it to me once you're done." I said okay and hung up.
So I get to NM's house and go in to get the rabbit and am absolutely HORRIFIED to hear this horrid gurgling noise coming from the poor animal and see this disgusting stuff drooling out of his nose and down his chest. But the absolute WORSE thing was, when I picked him up, the poor thing was absolutely skin and bones. NM claimed he'd been fine the week before and she'd only just noticed him in this state that day when she'd gone to leave for work.
Forget the fact that I know about animals and have worked as a vet tech in the past, anyone with half a brain could look at that poor animal and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this did NOT happen overnight or even within a week's time. That poor animal had been suffering for some time.
I cried the entire way to the vet, the whole time I was there and the whole rest of the day. I had the vet put the animal to sleep as I felt it was less cruel to just end his life rather than prolong it and try to treat him. I also asked the vet to document the state of the animal because I fully intended to press cruelty charges against my NM and SJ.
NM called me shortly after to see if I'd taken the animal to the vet and I let her have it. Then I hung up on her. She called me back shortly after and gave me one of her patented, "Listen here little girl" rants designed to put me back in my place. I wasn't having any of it. That was the first time I cut my NM off for a while. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, I decided to resume contact at some point but I've never forgotten nor forgiven her for what she did and have regretted not just placing the rabbit or having him put to sleep back when I first left that place.
As I said, I could go on and on and on. I actually have a "List of Grievances" that I typed up about a year ago. I didn't think I'd come up with much at the time and was surprised when, just a few days later, I discovered I was at NINE pages single spaced in a small font. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I'm sure if I'd kept at it, it would easily have doubled or even tripled in length. Perhaps I'll periodically write about some of those memories here. Might do some good just to get them out, if nothing else.
The downside is that reading those things and remembering them makes me so angry and hurt. But, I suppose it has to be felt and dealt with if I'm ever to move past it all. At least that's what I remember hearing or reading somewhere! ;o)
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Forward to today. NM calls me up and lets me know that SJ (stepjerk) has invited NHS and BIL and BIL's family over to their house for Thanksgiving. I thought NM's next comment would be to let me know I was also invited. Wrong! Why what NM said next surprised me, I have no idea. You think I'd be used to her brand of nastiness by now but, caught me off guard it did. NM says to me, "I wish you could be there." Now, not only have I been dissed once but she did it again! Why? Because NHS and BIL would be upset if I was there. Gee. Thanks ever so much, Mother.
In that moment it hit me - I will never come first. Me and my feelings will always be pushed aside in favor of NM or NHS or SJ's feelings, needs and wants. And that was when the hurt began. It felt like I'd found out someone died, and I suppose someone did in the sense that the fantasy mother I've always dreamed of having had finally "died". Mostly though, it's the loss of that hope. The hope NM would change. The hope that, just once, she'd put me first or even show she cares at all. The hope that I could just say or do the one right thing that would make NM "get it" and be a mother.
The question now is, where do I go from here? Since I don't care to spend the rest of my life trying to be "good enough" for NM, I suppose cut off is the answer. But while cut off will help stop the constant abuses, it doesn't stop the pain and the anger. What do I do with those things? And what of my "issues" with my NM? How do I resolve all the feelings I have toward her without her being around?
One thing is for sure, the decision to go cut off is an agonizing one. Those who would say I'm taking the easy way out by choosing not to have anything more to do with my NM clearly have not been in my shoes, nor do they understand what they're speaking about.
Monday, November 16, 2009
I find it hard to imagine that they couldn't know what we're talking about. After all, having spoken with many daughters of N mothers, I think we've all tried our best to explain in the hopes that a miracle would take place and our NM's would suddenly "get" how they've been hurting us and change.
I know I've written letters, emails and talked with NM until I'm blue in the face all to no avail. In my last email, I was especially specific about what it was about her behavior that I found so upsetting. Yet, the next time I spoke with NM, she kept saying how she "didn't understand" and repeatedly asked, "Well like what? What is it that I've done that is so bad or that you find so hurtful?" I just looked at her like, 'You have GOT to be KIDDING ME!!'
I know full well NM knew what my issues are with her. She was just feigning ignorance as as way of deflecting blame. After all, if she doesn't know what she's doing wrong then she can't be blamed, right?
Got a big dose of feigned ignorance earlier today. Last week, NM casually hit me with the news that she would be spending the Thanksgiving holiday with my NHS, who apparently suddenly decided to host the holiday at her house this year. Now, as NHS and I are completely cut off, I know this was a calculated move on NHS' part to cut me out of the holiday festivities as well. Since she would have had no say had NM hosted the holiday at her house, NHS knew this was the only way to ensure her holiday would be spent without me. NM, never one to miss an opportunity to let me know how little she thinks of me, accepted NHS' offer to attend Thanksgiving at her house and dropped her bomb over the phone last week.
Forward to today, NM caught me off guard by calling the house phone - she usually calls on my cell and the house phone has no caller ID. At one point during her conversation she asks, "You are going to your MIL's house for Thanksgiving right?" I told her, "Yes, of course. Why wouldn't we be?" NM sensed my tone and was all, "Why are you upset? It can't be anything I did because I haven't done anything!" I felt like letting her have it but, since I knew it wouldn't do any good, I just excused myself and hung up.
NM is never in the wrong. Her behavior or actions are never the problem, it's MY REACTION to her behavior and actions that is the problem. She's always saying how I need to stop acting "this way" or stop being "silly" and "let things go". NEVER is it she who is in the wrong. Always it is ME who is the problem. For over-reacting. For being "too sensitive". For being "overly dramatic" or unwilling to just "get over it" and move on. And if I try to hold her accountable, I get the ole feigned ignorance trick.
Hence why I'm at the point of considering full cut off. Unless I want to spend the rest of my life being the family scapegoat, it's the only way to stop playing NM's ridiculous blame games and move on with my life.
Friday, November 13, 2009
The Narcissist's Commandments
You must not disappoint me.
You must not inconvenience me.
You must recognize all of my expectations as reasonable.
You must, at all times, accommodate me.
You must recognize my “special needs” (special in an important, not disabled, sense); and must always satisfy them.
You must be glad for my good moods, and understand and tolerate my bad, nasty ones.
You must see my anger, rage and contempt as always arising for justifiable reasons.
You must make tireless efforts to placate me when you’ve upset me.
You must appreciate that my comfort supercedes yours and everyone else’s.
You must find what interests me, interesting; and you must convey your interest.
You willingly assume responsibility for my happiness, and blame for my discontent.
You must never oppose or defy me.
You must always know what I want without my having to ask; and you must always communicate what you want without my having to ask.
You must recognize that double-standards are unacceptable, except when they’re mine (in which case they’re not double-standards, just differently applied standards).
You must stop shoving the word “reciprocity” in my face. Reciprocity means that both of us do what I want and need.
You appreciate at all times my importance and significance, or I’ll find someone who will.
You recognize that, even though we’re both “tired” at the end of the day, my fatigue is ten times more valid than yours, and so you cut me ten times more slack than I cut you.
You worry about your accountability to me, and I’ll worry about my accountability to God.
You find that everything I say makes sense (and therefore brooks no opposition).
You appreciate that your value to me is proportionate to how good you make me look, and feel.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The first time I came across this online, my mouth hung open in shock as I read it. It was like I'd discovered some secret operating manual on my NM. I think the only exception I came across was that my NM was never physically violent with me. (She let her abusive pig of a husband, my stepjerk, handle that part.) No, NM's abuses were the more insidious emotional, verbal type. I heard it described once as a type of 'soul murder'. I think that description fits perfectly.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
One of my earliest memories of NM involves her handing me a knife and telling me to stab her for 'betraying' her. I think I must have been about 6 or 7 at the time. My crime? Earlier that weekend, I'd told her I didn't want to go to visit my dad so NM told him I was sick and couldn't come. I don't know if I knew about her lie or not but, at some point, my dad called and I told him I wasn't sick. He asked to speak to my mom, they got into a fight and mom hung up on him (as she nearly always did) and proceeded to rage at me while waiting for my dad to come pick me up.
The entire time she was screaming at me, I remember crying and telling her that I loved her, that I didn't want to kill her, that I was sorry. At one point she forced me to take the knife. As soon as she released my hand, I dropped it. Obviously I was half hysterical not to mention totally confused as to why she was raging like this.
My earliest memory of SJ involved the two of us lying on the living room floor. He was trying to teach me how to subtract double numbers, as in 25 - 12 =, that sort of thing. Each time I'd miss one, he'd slap me hard in the back of my head and shout, "NO, you idiot! THINK!! THINK!!!" Naturally, I began to miss more and more because I became upset. The more I missed, the more he yelled and the more he yelled the more I missed. Such a lovely way to learn math! It's little wonder I hate math and it is not one of my strong subjects.
Forward to present time. I am now 33 years old, happily married to a wonderful, loving man and the proud mother of an awesome little 3yo boy. And yet, most days, I still feel like that 6 year old girl, standing in the living room with her NM raging at her and telling her to stab her for 'betraying' her. I still haven't found the courage to make the break from my NM, though I have tried to limit the amount of time I spend with and around her. However, that may soon change.
Back in March, I cut my NHS out of my life for good. It was a long time coming and the entire story of how it happened is long but it was also the beginning of the end for my relationship with NM. Perhaps I'll post the full story in another post but, for now, I'll try to sum it up as best I can, as quickly as I can. Basically, one day back in March, my NM came over to visit. While she was here, she mentioned some rather disturbing behaviors being exhibited by my NHS' stepson, who I'll call "A". From what I was told, "A" (14yo) was frequently caught masturbating right out in the open and, at one point, was supposedly caught trying to teach NHS' other two kids, "B" (7yo) and "C"(5yo), how to do it too.
Now, admittedly, I am NOT an expert in psychology, nor am I an expert in abuse. I DID however, take several psych classes back in college and made A's in all of them, plus I have read extensively on the subject (in addition to my own abuse experiences growing up) so I think I have a bit more experience than the average person, if I may be so bold as to say so. Still, I admit that I am NOT an expert by any means. That being said, I felt what I was told possibly pointed to the fact that the child might have been (or was being) sexually abused. I mentioned that to my NM who agreed with me, as did my MIL who happened to be here at the time as well.
Not one to rush into anything, especially something this serious, I immediately emailed my NHS to tell her what I'd heard and get confirmation. Her exact words to me (which I have saved on my computer as proof) were, "It's all 100% true. He did all of it." Given that confirmation, I expressed my concerns to NHS and told her that I wasn't an expert and thought she and BIL should have "A" taken to a professional who could properly evaluate him.
Rather than thank me for my concern and tell me they'd look into it like a NORMAL family member might, NHS was her usual flippant, rude ass self. She said things like "He ("A") has antisocial personality disorder. We know this for a fact." Apparently, this was supposed to explain "A's" behaviors while at the same time blowing me off. I, not one to be deterred about stuff like this, pressed on. NHS grew increasingly rude on top of backpedaling and trying to claim suddenly that I'd "heard wrong" and "A" hadn't been masturbating but was "only scratching himself".
Long story short, I lost it and sent NHS and BIL a rather "not so nice" letter which prompted NHS to cut me out of her life forever. This was done via BIL who felt the need to send a copy of the email I'd sent to NHS out to the rest of the family along with his own curse word laden message about how none of this was "any of my fucking business" and how the two of them wanted nothing more to do with me, blah blah blah. NM, who just a day or two before had been in total agreement with me, suddenly did a 180 and sided with NHS and BIL. I got a call on my voice mail saying how "disappointed" she was with me and how it was "none of my business", blah de freaking blah.
I don't know why it should have surprised me that NM would take their side and turn on me. After all, she's been doing it my entire life. But surprise me it did. I was caught off guard and very extremely hurt........and angry. It was also a real eye-opener for me though. That NM was willing to risk an innocent child possibly being molested just to keep the peace with NHS and BIL (as well as to hurt me) was just too much for me. I wound up cutting her off for a little over 10 weeks. In late May, I decided to call NM up and try to re-establish a relationship with her. Biggest regret of my life, I think. Since then, it's been one thing after another and it's left me wishing I could go back in time and never have made that call.
NM's most recent offenses have involved her ruining my son's pride in his ability to read a certain book and completely dissing me for the holidays. (Okay, so he can't REALLY read it and has just memorized it. So what?) He came out that day, so proud to show his grandma he could read the book and NM had to shit all over it until his little face fell and his pride was crushed. Why that wasn't enough for me to cut her off forever, I don't know. But I have huge guilt over continuing to speak to her. (I will say that I no longer leave her alone with ds though and have seriously limited our exposure to her.)
As for the holiday dis from NM, for three weeks now she's gone on and on about how she's going to be all alone on the holidays since NHS and I aren't speaking, etc. And I, like the good little daughter of an N I was raised to be, immediately set to trying to soothe her and assured her I'd be there, NHS or not. This past Monday, NM casually mentions over the phone that NHS has decided to host Thanksgiving at HER house this year (clearly so that I couldn't just show up) and that NM will be attending the holiday there. So basically, the message was, "I don't care what you do. Go find your own holiday plans."
Currently, I've grown very tired of playing her games and it's really begun to finally sink in that my NM doesn't love me, never has, never will and will never change. So unless I want to spend the rest of my life catering to her sickness and playing her dysfunctional games, something's got to change.