Monday, January 3, 2011

A post and my reaction...

Saw a post on the DoNM board today from a woman who just discovered her NM had died suddenly and unexpectedly. She expressed that she doesn't feel much in the way of sadness beyond what she might feel for a neighbor who had died. Several of the other DoNM's stated that they either felt only relief when their NM's died or that they thought that's all they would feel when the time came. I'm hesitant to post a response because apparently I'm the only one who feels differently.

Naturally when something like this is posted, it makes you start to think about your own situation. I thought about how I'd feel if I received a call today or tomorrow and found out that my NM had died and the honest answer is that I'd be devastated. Well, perhaps devastated is a bit too strong a word but I'd certainly be extremely upset and saddened. I guess I just feel like, while NM is still alive out there somewhere, there's still a tiny bit of hope that we could be in each other's lives again. Not that I expect NM will suddenly wake up and become the mother I've always wanted mind you, more that I feel it's possible I could reach a point in my healing where I could handle having NM in my life, albeit in a limited capacity, and still maintain a healthy emotional balance. While she's still around, that's a possibility but once she's gone, that's all over.

I don't know, maybe those other DoNM's are further along in the healing process than I am and no longer have any hope about their situation with their NM's. Maybe some of them are in denial about how they'd really feel. Whatever the case, I just know that I'd be really, really sad to hear my NM had died and I think a part of me would question my decision to go NC - Was I right? Was she really that toxic? Was NC a mistake? Was it worth it? These and other questions would plague me along with the devastating loss of that final grain of hope.

Of course I also can't help but feel less than my DoNM sisters who wouldn't be saddened by the loss of their NM's. I feel like I, too, should be relieved at the thought of my NM passing. And yet, a few days shy of the one year anniversary of my going NC, a large part of me misses her. What I probably miss most is the idea of a mother but there were also a few good times shared with her, like going antiquing, and my heart aches and years for more of those moments.

It all just seems such a waste. She's missing out on me and the goings on in my life. She's missing out on seeing her grandson grow up, on his experiences like his first day of preschool or even just seeing him smile. In an entire year's worth of time she has sent ds maybe 4 or 5 cards, some attached to inexpensive gifts and hasn't attempted to contact me at all aside from her one cryptic message of "NM's name says hello" sent through the receptionist at my chiropractor's office. This woman who always told me that all she wanted was to be a mother to two girls hasn't tried to contact me at all, even if only to be able to visit with her grandson and all because it's more important for her to be right than it is to have us in her life. How many more years is she willing to let pass? Two? Ten?? How many more memories and experiences is she willing to miss out on just to be right?

I just wish so much that there was a way to get through to her. I don't even need the ideal mother anymore. I'd happily settle for NM being begrudgingly nice and slightly sour tempered. So long as 50% of contact with her didn't result in hurtful criticism and abusive behavior, that would be enough for me. It seems so simple, so attainable and yet..........deep inside, there's a part of me that knows this will never happen. My mother is sick, damaged, broken and beyond repair and because of this, there is a deep sadness inside of me that I fear may never completely heal.


  1. This post really resonnated with me. I'm not NC with my mom but I agree that her death would bring much sadness and disappointment, sadness for the good times we did share and disappointment over the lost chance to ever have a decent relationship. I understand your sadness over not having her in your life. I wish my mom could be a positive presence in my life. When I was her golden child and did everything she always wanted, she was so nice and loving and we did have some great times together. Now, when I see her, she's standoffish and cold, and so I may as well be NC since that nice mother I used to know is long gone now that I've taken control of my life.

    I wish I had some words of advice or comfort! I hope that some day you do overcome your sadness and that you eventually heal.

  2. DA, I was really sad to read that you feel "less than" your other DoNM sisters because you can't bring your self to feel like the death of your NM would be a relief. Narcissism - the NPD person and their loved ones - are affected by different degrees and have different attitudes. None more right - none showing more a sophisticated state of healing.

    I mourn the relationship I wanted with my mother. If she was to die before this was all worked out, I would mourn the permanent loss of that relationship. As long as she is alive and I'm alive, I feel there is hope (however small and seemingly unrealistic) that we can do exactly what I had asked of her 2 years ago - to move forward in a healthier direction. And aside from the chaos and hurt we cause eachother, I love her and I would grieve her if she was gone forever.

    Sure - I'd be lying if there wasn't some sort of relief of the conflict and the tension that surrounds this relationship - but more than the relief I would feel - I would feel the sadness even more.

    And for those woman who would feel nothing but relief - they have there reasons to feel that way. Valid ones and it doesn't make them more right or more wrong to feel that way. Grief, relief or any mixture of the two - are all authentic feelings for such a painful, unimaginable experience of being a DoNM.


  3. Thanks sooo much for this post. This is the exact issue that I am dealing with now. I am 53 years old and always knew that my mom had a mean streak. I learned at an early age that if I was good, gave her what she wanted I would escape her wrath. I constantly walked around on eggshells.I have 2 younger sisters, one who has been nc for 30 years. The other is the gc who is who continues to stay incontact with her. This is my first Christmas in 53 years without her. She is 81 and I worry that she may pass and I may regret my decision for nc. I must tell you that I had a bad stroke 4 years ago. I was left with obvious physical impairment which I try too work through daily. Anyway on Thanksgiving morning I suffered a bout of vertigo, which landed me at the ER.Having never had vertigo before..we thought I was having another stroke. My sister was hosting a dinner at her house for close friends and mom of course. I managed to arrive at her house 3 hours late...but blessed that I wasn't having another stroke. Everyone there welcomed me, expressed joy that I was safe from another stroke. Except mom. She didnt acknowledge me and ignored me. She didn't hug me, nor did she express any concern. Later that afternoon, she took the opportunity to dig at me with vicious comments...which were out of earshot of everyone..except for me. I looked at her and said..if you cant speak nice to me, dont talk to me. With that I turned away from her in my wheelchair and left her there speechless. I have felt so much guilt over her at home alone for Christmas. My mom isn't right in the head. I lived all of my adult life as the dutiful daughter. I now have to keep going and stick up for myself.The true blessing that came with all of these revelations, was that my 17 year old daughter just ended a year and a half relationship with a fellow whose mother is an NM. She treats her son terribly and of course that abuse spilled over and affected my daughter greatly.I knew she was mean as a snake, but couldn't pinpoint her problem. Then thru internet research, I discovered she was just like my mom and that was why we couldn't get along.I admit I have bunches to learn and piles of junk to get through..but now that I know that it isn't me...I'll make it.

  4. @ 3strawhats - if you're not already a member over at the DoNM board, I'd like to invite you to pop on over and have a peek. I think you'll find lots of information as well as tons of support from others who've been where you are or are there now and know what you're going through. The address is There should be a link to the discussion forum at the right of the main page.

    Hope to see you there! (If I haven't already!) ;)

    DA xx

  5. DA, I'm sorry you felt 'less than' other DoNMs because you view this topic differently. That should never be the case, and I'm glad you expressed your feelings here. Just as what we endured varies, so does how we relate to it. After being in full NC with my FOO for many years now, I don't regret the decision. I've accepted my NM won't ever change. However, if she were to pass away tomorrow, I would be sad. Sad at what could have been and wasn't. But she made that choice. As you said, it's such a waste.

  6. I too have contemplated this subject as I am NC from not only my NM but my Nsis and now my NF.

    I grieve and mourn the loss of something I never had. Something I wish I had, but realize I never will.

    I do not grieve or mourn the verbal and emotional abuse.

    I try to remind myself that I am WORTH being a daughter and a sister and that their rejection of ME is their issue. They are missing out and I am just as worthy.

    I understand all the levels of emotions tied to this issue. For most it isn't an easy decision to go NC, it is just what has to happen to keep oneself safe and sane. So we mourn that loss. It isn't what we would want. We want to love and be loved. We can't make them love us. They just aren't capable.