Saturday, 30 June 2012

Out comes my dirty little secret

Why am I blogging, why now after all these years? 

2 reasons I think.

1, NM is dying. she's got less than a year. So I wanted to get something out there, before she goes. I thought this was revenge. To let somebody, anybody know the truth as I saw it. Possibly.

2, My little revelation was just today and it's much much worse. I'm resisting her last attempt to force me to show sympathy. It's her final drama and I don't want to play a role. 

For many years now I've played cool, sidestepped, distracted her,  kept away, deliberately misunderstood, shook my head and smiled condescendingly, but never given her the responses she needed. Before that from about 15 to 18,  I openly provoked her, (usually about her activities and ideas that made her feel grandiose), so I could then refuse her this strange need for something or another.  

Later after becoming a father, my own family  assisted too, not because of me but because of my daughter , just to keep her at bay.

But now, after all these years, I feel cornered. I'm not sad she's going to die, it just feels unpleasant. The pressure is on, even one of her friends, unbelievably a psychotherapist from LA, contacted me and was trying to get inside my head, demanding to know how I felt. She implied that my kids would be affected by my lack of weeping and sorrow.  
This is nonsense!!!  I do have feelings and I was knocked sideways by the death of my ex father in law, best friend, best friends mother. (they died earlier than expected). Other deaths in the family have been sad. 

I read somewhere that victims of narcissists feel that somehow a little worm has been implanted into their body and even after years no contact, it wriggles and and causes discomfort. I spat and vomited mine out and stamped on it repeatedly years ago and now I feel I'm going to have another implanted against my will. Can you understand that?

It's a nightmare. What the hell am I supposed to do?


  1. Exactly what you're doing, Dave. People die the way they lived-really. And when death is imminent, they exponentially ramp up ALL the tactics they've used throughout your life. It's one last ditch effort to screw with your mind and with your family's (of Procreation and Origin) dynamics.
    Another AC had a Narc mother who was DETERMINED the AC was going to bring the NP to HER home and care for her until her death. The AC said, "NO WAY!" and made arrangements for Hospice Care in a dedicated Hospice Facility. After making all the arrangements for her Narc mother and getting NM admitted to the Hospice Facility, NM lasted 2 days at the facility before they had to discharge her because she was SO disruptive. (Yeah, nothing like getting yourself thrown out of a place that's dedicated to giving you the best possible death!) NM thought for SURE the AC would HAVE to comply with her demands, but was wrong again. NM was discharged to a local Hospital where they pulled out all the heavy duty psychotrophic meds (in effect, "Chemical Restraint") and NP died in the hospital.
    Once we finally got a dx. I cared for my late DH at home until his death. It was an honor, a privilege and the fulfillment of the promise I made the day we married: "In sickness and in health, until death do we part." It was the most demanding task of my life but I'm so glad I did.
    Hope springs eternal for all of us. Unfortunately, NPs don't change even in the face of their death. You've had a life time of experience with her and her behavior stomped out any positive feelings you had for her years ago. You've already grieved her demise-the loss of any hope for her, for a manageable relationship with her has been dashed long ago. You feel as you do and you aren't obligated in any way to anyone or to put on some sort of "Dutiful Son" show. Or outward manifestations of grief. Your kids are most certainly NOT going to be effected by your "lack" of weeping or "sadness." Not ALL deaths are "sad" either for the decedent or their loved ones.
    As we age we face the reality of our finiteness and most Elders are very realistic about their deaths. We become increasingly aware our time in this world is limited and we have far more time "behind" us than we have "ahead" of us. (Our bodies let us know for sure!) We make our arrangements and we're not frantic about this normal transition. Sure, we worry about our kids regardless of their ages but we know we've provided the foundation for them and they have all we could give them to move on with their lives. We don't want them to disrupt their lives to care for us-that's entirely unnecessary. And the demands of dying are incredible in terms of care-it becomes around the clock assistance. We've seen our contemporaries die and we know or have a really good handle on what dying means-for us, for our loved ones and friends.
    Because it's always been all about "MEEEE!" with NPs throughout their lives their deaths will continue with the same lack of insight, the same selfishness, the same demands, threats-"You'll be SORRY when I'm DEAD!" (Ahh, no!) etc. They are psychosocially arrested at about the toddler stage of development and that doesn't change. That hoped-for "Deathbed Scene" of reconciliation isn't going to happen Dave, as much as we long for a "Hollywood Ending."
    Once again, we truly die the way we lived. And nothing, even our impending demise changes that reality. The "mom" you might have hoped for was grieved for years-anticipatory grieving. Her life in this world is ending; your's continues. She has her own "tasks" to attend to at this time and no one can "do" them for her. Nor should they attempt to do so. A lifetime of pain and futility informs our feelings and thinking. Just keep doing what you're doing; any non-PD'd parent would wish for this above anything else.

    1. I can't count the number of times I've heard (or it's been implied) "you'll be sorry when I'm dead."

      And I agree about the grieving. I started this process not long ago. Giving up on the hope that things would change. Facing the reality of what was. Grieving the mother I thought (wished) I had. Pulling myself up and dealing with my new reality of the way things actually are. And grieving's hard. Lots of stages and lots of ways to do it.

  2. Just read it, busy now, thanks, answer later.

  3. Oh, Dave. I do feel for you.

    The thing with your mom's therapist friend. What a bunch of b.s.? And any therapist worth their salt knows that seeking out a stranger, demanding that you tell them your feelings, and then implying (with out actually treating you) is unethical. What a quack.

    I was thinking about you today and our similarities with our mothers (although my mom's is b.s.). But I think what pisses me off, is that she's denied me the chance to be there for her. She's pushed me into having no compassion for her. And that sucks. Because I'm not that person (as you've also said.). But any compassion on my part, any sympathy, is used against me. She sees a small opening and splits it wide open. She uses it like a weakness. I can't be there for her, because as much as it seems she wants me too, she WON'T LET ME. And if I did, it would be on her terms, in her way, and it would never be enough. It's like you said, she wants to make you a supporting actor in her final drama. Except she wants to write the script for you, determine your motivations, and make you into exactly what she needs.
    I hope that this blogging helps. I hope it makes a difference in the process for you. I don't really see this as an act of revenge on your part. There would be a lot easier ways to get even than exploring your feelings, doing all this research, and exposing yourself to strangers. Hang in there Dave. I don't think you give yourself enough credit.

  4. My dad is always telling me how I am going to regret not doing the NM dance. I finally told him last year that what I regret was getting involved at all, that it was a mistake for me to think things could ever be ok with my mother.

    He didn't write back after that until it became clear my grandmother was dying and that it might be a way to get me back in the fray. I graciously refused their offer to stay at their house after the funeral, but did not offer any excuses about why I was heading back home (we live 4.5 hours away, and the roundtrip in a day was one of the best decisions I've made in regards to them).

  5. They just never stop dictating our feelings: How we SHOULD HAVE "felt" then, how we SHOULD FEEL now and how we WILL FEEL in the future.
    How's that lil' "tactic" any different than re-writing history, loading on the guilt and fear (of our own feelings) and essentially denying one's very humanity? One's identity? One's unique experiences as an autonomous human being?
    Sounds like the same tactics that are used with POWs.

  6. Thanks everyone. I got a load of my chest by putting this up. I'm not going to dance to this macabre tune, even though they think they've got me cornered. I feel revulsion to it all, it seems so false. The're all playing nice and normal now, but they broke trust with me far too long ago.

  7. Hi Dave--I just found your blog and read this post. I understand how you feel, because I went through similar experiences with my narcissistic mother and responded to them in similar ways. During my childhood, I attempted to avoid my mother and stayed away from her by being active in every extra-curricular activity available at that time at my school. During my teens, I finally rose up to overtly rebel against her and to confront all of her raging insanity, but I found out quickly that this was going to make my life even more miserable than it already was. After I left home for college, I got into therapy immediately. Soon after that, I began to withdraw very methodically and quietly from contact with my mother, eventually into total unavailability, which I found to be the best option.

    When my mother died of cancer about ten years ago, I hadn't seen her for almost 20 years and had NOT missed her one bit. During her death, I had some encounters with family members, who attempted to lay guilt trips on me for not "being there for her." I had to let them know exactly where my boundaries were, and what I was willing and not willing to tolerate from them. They did not like it, but they had no choice but to cooperate.

    It makes me angry when I hear about a therapist attempting to manipulate someone for the sake of their toxic narcissist friend. Any mental health professional should know better than to pull an unethical and abusive stunt like that. What you feel is NONE of this therapist's business, and I wouldn't hesitate to make that point be heard.

    What helped me get through that feeling of being "cornered" was remembering that I wasn't. The bait was there, but I didn't have to take it. The choice was mine on how I would proceed, and I needed to stand firm in that choice to not be re-victimized by the dying abuser that happened to be my mother. The result was relief and release.

    I wish you the same kind of freedom.

  8. My mother died in October. For me it just opened up a whole new set of questions without answers.

    1. I feel so bad for you. I hope you find the answers you are looking for. It took me decades to unearth the answers. At first I was blind as a bat. Feeling so horrible all the time with no understanding as to why. Years of therapy helped me know the answers. I really hope you are able to resolve your issues.

  9. By now your mother must have passed on. This must have brought you peace. I would never question your desire to stay away. I am still in limited contact with my NM. She is very old now. When I saw the photo from Fright Night on your article about how to deal with a narcissistic mother, I though, "That's it. That's the terrifying force that has been attacking me through my mother all my life." It was actually a relief to see the picture. The beastly attitude barely under the surface. It doesn't take much for her to bring it forth. I could mention a taboo subject, like how hideously my older brother tormented me growing up and how she did nothing but blame me. The raging would start. She wouldn't be content to just yell. She would also curse me saying I just wanted to do this and that to demean her and I thought I was so high and smart figuring these things out.. And didn't it feel good to wrap the resentment around me like a blanket, and on and on... Glaring the whole time. Drama queen. Angry victim. So wronged and upset. You know, it's very scary when that happens to you from a young age. At first she was just cold and looked down her nose at me a lot. As I got older and began to question things, she started the rages.

    So, I can totally relate to the feeling you don't want to be under that pressure, and you don't want to play the elaborate game. There is no winning with narcissistic mothers. You aren't treated like a kid. You are called into service for her. Like staff waiting for the call. Not like children free to grow up and be celebrated for who they are.

    The only thing I don't know is if they are made that way by their own parents, or if they decide at an early age that they want it all. Everyone's soul. I know she pitted my entire family against me. Because it suited her. And they all think I have a compulsion to lie about her. She trained them to invalidate me. So, what else could happen? The whole thing is evil.