Hi. My name is blah blah and my mother is a covert narcissist. Say what now?
This is a conversation that every single child (adult or not) dreads to have with anyone who is not aware of the narcissistic parent. And just my luck, I happen to have a complete set.
My early years were confusing to say the least, always wondering what I did to provoke such an intense level of anger from my mother. Strongly believing that if only I was pretty enough and skinny enough and smart enough, then she would love me. She was clearly capable of love because she doted on my younger brother. (Actually this is a lie, the love shown towards my brother was just part of the tools in her arsenal, but at age 10 I didn’t know this)
For the longest time I thought I was adopted. Looking through photo albums and discreetly questioning family members I discovered the sad news that yes, I am biologically linked to this woman. So scratch the escape and look for my ‘real’ parents plan. Ask me about my childhood and I clam up. I’m not interested in reliving the worst part of my life. I don’t want to think about the sadness and the isolation and the suicide. No let’s not mention the suicide. Never attempted but always contemplated.
I don’t understand that little rhyme we were taught as kids: Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.
Words hurt. They fucking hurt to the core.
Words that will stay with me forever: Why is your nose so flat? You will never find a husband being this fat. Why are your lips so big, can’t you keep them in?
These words were not thrown at me by school yard bullies. These words and many other were gifted to me by Mother Dearest herself. She only told me she loved me on birthday cards. Happy Birthday. Love M (for mom) She never showed any physical affection unless we had company over (Keeping up appearances are crucial) She made me beg for everything. Everything was a huge sacrifice. Doing the family laundry was a sacrifice. Making us food was a sacrifice. Buying said food was a sacrifice. Paying for my education was a sacrifice. Basically my entire existence “drained” her financially and I was a burden.
If you ever have the honour of meeting Mother you will love her. You really will. She draws people in and most people think I’m insane or have a vendetta against her because she’s so friendly and lovable and kind hearted (insert eye roll here)
Satan and I have not had contact since 2008. And while it hasn’t been easy, I am experiencing a better quality of life since she is no longer part of it. To the person blessed with a wonderful NORMAL mother that is reading this with confusion,shock and horror, I do apologise but this story needs to be told for the many silent sufferers.
Society is very willing to accept the dead beat dad with ‘oh he is such a pig’ or ‘don’t worry you are better off without him’, but mothers are sacred. Anyone who decides to disown their mother is met with ‘but what did she do?’ or ‘Surely it couldn’t have been that bad?’ or ‘Where is your spreadsheet proving that she did these things, she is your mother, you can’t do this’
This blog is about my life, and a huge chunk of what shaped my identity as a person is growing up with a narcissistic mother. If this offends or confuses you…tough shits. This was my reality for 21 years. 21 long, miserable lonely years.
The story of MD (Mother Dearest) cannot be told in one blog post. I am not sure how many posts it will take but keep your eyes peeled for the next one. You might just learn something.
While you are waiting do a bit of reading:
- Mean Mothers by Peg Streep
- Mother’s who can’t love by Susan Forward
- Will I ever be good enough by Karyl McBride