Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mother's Day When Your Mom Is A Narcissist

My mom is a covert narc.  She wanted me to fail at life.  When that didn't work, she had to make new plans.  My dad got cancer and one day my mom decided to stop taking my calls.  For a while I begged her machine.  I had no idea what a narc was at the time, but I knew that I had a mom who had to have everything her way or someone was going to pay.

So I did something and I needed to pay.  What did I do?  I'm not sure and I will never know.   I was not the first person she had cut out of her life.  She feels that cutting her out of your life is punishment.  Everyone wants to be her friend and she hates them all.   I saw her cut her sister out of her life.  My grandma was declining and the siblings decided they would take turns having my grandma at their house.  My mom had her for a week and tried to phone my aunt to take her off her hands.  My aunt was on vacation and it made my mom so angry that she never spoke to her again.  She pretended she spoke to her sometimes when people would ask, but I knew she was not taking her calls.  I saw her screening them with my own eyes. 

She also cut a friend out of her life.  This friend would have done anything for us.  My mom refused to drive a car and on the times one of us got sick at school, our neighbor would go get us from school.  She never once complained about it.  She also took us to activities sometimes and I was always grateful for everything she did for us.  My mom on the other hand seethed with resentment.  I am not exactly sure at what point she decided that she would never speak to our neighbor again, but I recall her being insanely jealous over a new car and some carpet.  If you buy something my mom can't afford, you are out of her life.  

These are just two examples of the times I saw my mom cut people out of her life for no decent reason besides that she was done using them, but it happened regularly.  I just never thought it would happen to me, her daughter.  It did.  

At first, I begged.  Then I left her a message that said, "For me to continue to call your answering machine and leave messages seems pitiful, so when you are ready to talk to me again, call me".  

She never phoned me. 

There is much more to the story, but in the end, I decided that stealing the last four years of my dad's life from me and my kids was too great of a price to pay, and when she decided we needed to talk, I told her that she chose to shut us out of her life, and I was choosing not to allow her back into it. 

But Mother's Day hurts. 

I decided that we can celebrate Mother's Day, just like other people do.  

First off, if you are no contact with your mom and you have mourned your mom (I talk about that HERE), go to the grave you made for the mom you never had.  Buy a card and leave it at the grave.  You deserved a mother who loves you and you did not get that.  It's time to mourn the mom you always wanted.  

If you have kids, this day is about you, not your mom.  Celebrate with your kids! Make a new ritual that you do every year with your kids.  I always cook waffles with strawberries on Mother's Day, then if it's raining, we go to a certain museum and if it's not, we go to the botanical garden and walk around.  I tell my kids what I want for them in their lives while we are there.   Find something you can do every year and start your own tradition.  

If you do not have kids and are no contact with your mom, you can still have a tradition that you do each and every year. Make it about you!  What is your favorite thing to do?  Spend alone time reading a book?  Visit a garden and explore?  Take a hike on a trail?  Work on your favorite hobby?  This is a day for you to look forward, not back.  Set some goals or make a vision board.  

If you live with your mom, sorry.  This is one of my pet peeves.  If you live with your mom, you just have to deal.  You are under her roof, she is supporting you, you have to do things her way.  Make a plan to move out.  I find it hard to believe that people talk badly about someone who pays their bills and puts a roof over their head.  Move out. 

If you are stuck with low contact send a card.   This is also a time for you to point out that your spouse has a mom too, and tell her that you can only spend every other Mother's Day with her.  Arrive respectably late and have a specific time that you need to leave.  While you are with your mom, watch out for bait.  When she exclaims that your hair looks like something a 2 year old hacked at, agree with her.  When she says she is sorry that you can't seem to control your weight, agree with her.  If you choose low contract, you have to put up with a certain amount of trivial abuses.  If she asks how is your job, "It's fine".  Try to be as vague as possible and keep the topics light.  If she decides it's time to discuss your religion, change the subject.  Plan ahead for this.  She is your mom, you know what she loves to talk about.  If your mom loves to garden, bring up the church garden and how hers is 100 times better, then you are off on a new subject.  Avoid taking bait.  There is no requirement to answer any question.  Silence can be an answer, then change the subject to her favorite topic, herself.   If you don't feel like this is possible, it's time for No contact.  

Anyone can mourn the mom they always wanted, the article listed above tells how that is done.  It was one thing that helped me get through my first Mother's Day with No Contact.  I also had some good books to read to help me through the day. 

If you need advice on how to handle everyone else, try this article

What does your mom do to make Mother's Day impossible for you?

If you have a few days, I'd suggest ordering a book to read.  There are plenty out there.  Here are my favorites:

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