Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Yes, I had a Narcissist for a mom. My story.

I started this blog because I want to help support and encourage moms and women who want to be moms.  I had to learn to be a mom by myself and it was a hard skill to learn when I had no real role model.  Growing up, I didn't realize my mom was a narcissist.  She is not the flamboyant type to throw me into the public eye and want me to be a star.  She is what I would consider a covert narcissist who likes to hide in the shadows and observe without being seen (so she can talk badly about people).

My mom is the kind of person that gets what she wants at all costs.  If you do something that she is not please with, she will withdraw from your life as punishment.  This is punishment because in her mind, everyone wants to know her and be close to her.  Pushing people away is a game.  I saw her cut off relationships with her best friend and her sister with no remorse.  She felt that both women were in a competition with her and they were winning, so they had to pay by not having her in their life.

Growing up, I knew that I had to do everything my mom wanted to or pay, but I never once suspected she was so evil and could cut her grand kids and me out of her life so coldly.  It all started one fall.  My mom watched my nieces every weekend, even though she never once babysat my kids even for an hour.  In my mom's world, there was nothing wrong with this.  Playing favorites is how a person gets what they want.  The least favorite has to work hard to gain approval and feed the ego of the narcissist.  My family was planning on making the 600 mile trip when she informed me that having my three kids in her house was too much, that we needed to find a hotel.  I reminded her that she has three kids at her house every weekend and I guess it made her mad.  We decided to spend Christmas at our home instead and we didn't make the trip back.  Having all the kids in a hotel room was more than I could handle.  No place to nap, two beds and a crib in a small space.  We decided we should stay home.

I honestly don't know what happened next.  I found out from someone that my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.  I called the house and left message after message.  She never returned a call.  I knew she felt it was powerful not to answer my calls.  I could feel her smirking as I spoke to her voicemail.  At first, I called her voicemail daily.  Then I started leaving her voicemails on Saturdays.  Eventually I gave up.  I phoned her and said that for me to continue talking to an answering machine was pitiful, and that she would need to call me back.  She didnt.

I don't really know what I did.  I guess I never will.  Two years later, I was in my hometown for Christmas.  I was shopping and ran into someone from my parent's church who asked me how my dad was doing.  I decided to be honest.  I said I did not know how he was doing, that I had done something to upset them and they had not spoken to me in over 2 years.  I said I didn't know how someone could call themselves a christian and not talk to their own grand kids.

Big Mistake. Calling out a narcissist who believes themselves to be perfect is the worst thing I could have ever done.  From that point on, I was a liar.  They were not talking to me because I lied to people about them and I needed to apologize (to their answering machine).  I live 600 miles from my parents and they took "the entire family" on a last vacation with my dad and drove within a mile of my house.  I still cry when I think about that.  My family were posting pictures all over the internet. They knew it was the last vacation they would ever take and they chose to shut us out.  There was no forgiveness in their heart, there was no willingness to talk.

I did give it one last try.  I spoke to a family friend.  She gathered a group of people who knew my parents and prayed.  She said they all prayed for days before she phoned my dad.  Knowing my father to be a christian, I just knew she could get through to him.  I knew he would listen to someone from my childhood church, but my hopes were smashed. She phoned me in tears.  She said she spoke to my dad on the phone and did not even recognize him for the hate in his heart.  She said she tried to talk to him about me, but that he kept saying he refused to talk to me because I was a liar.  She asked him how someone could be a liar by speaking the truth, but she said he kept insisting that I lied to make them look bad to their church.  She said she had never known him to be so unforgiving, so hateful and so mean.  She said she finally decided to try to stop making him see that he was the one lying and asked, "What would your daughter need to do to make you love her again?".  She said that before he slammed the phone down, he said, "Nothing she can do".   Now when people say prayer works, I don't believe them.

A few nights later, I got a call from my sister.  She reprimanded me for involving an "outsider" in a "family" fight.  She said I had no right to involve someone else.  I asked her what I was supposed to do since it had now been nearly four years since our parents had spoken to me and our father was DYING.  She said he was not dying.  She was in total denial and said that she only wanted to hear sunshine and rainbows from me if I ever spoke to her again.  I still don't understand how she could be angry at me for wanting a relationship with my parents.  I knew how my parents felt through my sister's words.  They felt ambushed.  They did not want to talk to me and were not ready, so my effort was met with hostility, not forgiveness.

I was crying one day when I realized something.  If my dad died, my narcissist mom was going to expect me to be at his funeral.  She would decide that I had paid enough for whatever it was that I did to offend her simply because she didn't want people talking about her.  I decided that if my dad was able to talk to me when she made her realization, that I would be open to a reconciliation.  I also made the hardest decision I ever made in my life.  I decided that if she waited until my dad could no longer speak, that I would not acknowledge her or go to his funeral.   It had been over four years and my kids wouldn't even know them if they walked up to us.  How could I point to a dead man and say, "That is your grandpa who wanted nothing to do with you".  I couldn't.

I decided I would only be open to talking to my parents again if BOTH of them could talk and if they wanted to put my kids in their life.  I didn't get a call from my mom.  I got an email.  The day before he died.  Her email to me said, "We aren't mad, but you can apologize now".  It didn't say for what.  I pondered it for a bit, then deleted it.  If they weren't mad, then why had my kids lost a relationship with their grandparents?  Why would I need to apologize if they weren't mad?  It made no sense.  My niece phoned me that night to say that my dad had died.  I didn't call, I didn't send flowers and I didn't answer the mass email my mom sent telling people what time to be there for the funeral.  My sister said, "He made peace with god".  I never told her how hurtful that sentence was.  She said my dad could leave me here on earth crying and hurting, but since he made peace with a god, it was all OK.  My feelings meant nothing to his god.  My God would have said to make every effort to make peace with your family before dying.

I waited a month, then I made the second biggest mistake of my life.  I emailed the woman who gave birth to me and said that I would not be accepting calls or emails from her again.  I told her that what she did was called stonewalling and it is a narcissistic trait and that I would not talk to her or read emails from her again.  I decided that it had been over four years and my kids had mourned their grandparents already.  Why allow her back into my life now?  She stole the last four years of my dad's life from me and my family.  The price I had to pay was too much.  How long before I would have to pay again?  Looking back, I should not have emailed her.  She never bothered to tell me what I had done that so offended her that she cut me and my kids out of her life completely so why would I think that telling her was a good idea?    She shot back an email with "DRAMA QUEEN" as the title, but I didn't read it.  I kept my word and deleted it and blocked her email.

I thought very hard about telling my story and I am crying as I type.  I grew up in a house where you did what my mom wanted to do or you paid the price.  There was abuse, isolation and I lived in a closed off, small world.  I decided to tell my story to encourage other women to be good moms.  I grew up with a bad mom. Not the worst mom ever, but there was no joy in my life. I didn't want that for my kids.  I wanted to be a good mom who brings joy to their lives and who coaches them to be the best they can be.  I had to learn how to be a good mom.  I had to learn to cook and clean and to teach my kids.  I had to learn to raise a family without the abuse that I was subjected to...and I did.  I want that for each and every mom out there.  I want you to grow as a mom.  I want you to enjoy caring for your family and to love each other.  Where you came from is not important in your ability to be a very good mom.  You only need to want to learn to be a good parent and to be willing to put effort into it.  You need to love your kids for who they are and not try to change them.  To help them develop their skills and interests and to help them become successful in finding their path in life. I hope that I can encourage you on your way.

I hope you enjoy my blog and I hope you are able to learn from it.

But remember:

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