Never Good Enough for a Narcissistic Mother

by Michelle Piper

When a client tells me they never feel “good enough,” I know there is serious pain in that person’s life. As I listen, I hear how the person’s thoughts go moment-to-moment, scouring recent experience to see how he or she can be better somehow. The patient asks, compulsively, “How can I be more?”

This is especially common for children who grew up with a narcissistic parent. That habit of hyper-vigilant self assessment was needed to survive childhood. Think of itβ€”if you need to anticipate what a narcissistic adult wants from you next, hoping to avoid negative consequences or gain much needed attention, how could you avoid learning to self-tune and quickly adjust to the narcissist’s needs?

As a result, adult children of narcissistic mothers unintentionally carry forward many unreasonable standards that mom had for them while they were growing up. Though you may no longer tolerate another adult treating you as your narcissistic mother did in the past, you may replicate that same pattern in how you treat yourself. Are your expectations of yourself fair? Do you ever meet the mark you set? Do you feel satisfied with your day more often than not?

When we get stuck in never-good-enough, we become worn out by the constant search to be more productive, valuable, loved, and attractive. Yes, self assessment is a valuable skill. But, when we constantly scan and measure our worth only by what we can do, what role we play, or who approves of us, we become increasingly empty. Instead of accepting our inherent worth as a perfectly imperfect living being, we become driven by our fears.

Never-good-enough feelings can sneak into our lives in many different ways. Here are some examples:

1. You end a long day of work where nothing went wrong and no one acted negatively toward you, but you still don’t feel that your boss or fellow employees were satisfied with what you did.

2. A friend of yours thanks you for the birthday gift you just gave her, but you think you detect some small disappointment in her voice.

3. Someone says you look good that day and you automatically tally that it has been over a week since anyone has complimented you on your appearance.

4. You have leisure time but you don’t use it because you feel you must be productive. You are baffled by friends who say they are “just going to relax.”

The self-doubts can feel never ending. It is awful to feel apologetic just for being alive, but sometimes that’s how we feel when we are in a never-good-enough state. Notice: Do you treat yourself with care and love? How often?

If not, there are ways to do so. Starting now, find opportunities to be kind to yourself. The next time you feel the anxiety of a negative opinion, end your self-reflection with naming at least one thing you did right. Or, at a minimum, one thing you did not do wrong.

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Rubies July 10, 2018 at 12:29 pm

I’m glad you’ve shared all this at once.
I see NOW how truly helpful it is to get this junk out of our minds.

Sometimes I stop and think about the huge accumulation of small and large offences we both let slide thoughout our lives. By doing our best to be good daughters, we basically let them walk (Stomp) all over us. However, I think it’s really important for both us to see, that was their training, THEIR plan all along.

Narcissism is a selfish evil that ruins lives, even the narcissists.

That our mothers are left with nothing but their Goldens in their old age is not our fault. It’s theirs, and deep down they KNOW IT. I feel like you, sad and bad that my mother’s “elderly” and I’m not there for her. It’s a major part of the tragedy and heartbreak of it all. But what’s the alternative?…………… Showing up for them to emotionally stab us, again and again, essentially rewarding them for treating us poorly.
Basically giving them approval for treating ANYONE so horribly.

Our not being involved gives them their greatest excuses for leaving us nothing, which is most likely what they were going to do anyway. Truly! Their envy of the good things we do have going on in our lives, would not have allowed them to grant us any further blessings upon their passing, no matter WHAT we did for them.

I think they would trade places with us in a second, and let us be the ones at deaths door, so they could each carry on for many years more. This is not how a ‘mother’ should think and feel, but I can see it of both our mothers.

I could say more considering all you’ve written but am quite limited on time at this moment. Will try to write more before the day is done.

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Bertie July 10, 2018 at 1:49 pm

No, Rubies. You wrote enough. I cannot get over how consumed I get when things come into my mind.

I agree with you. I think they’d trade places with us if they could … and live awhile longer.

I’m not as disturbed as I may sound … meaning, I live my life … I function … I’m a good mom/wife, etc. But “this” is always there.

Yes, isn’t it interesting that they are pretty much left with only their Golden’s.

Thank you for reading what I wrote.

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Rubies July 10, 2018 at 9:45 pm

I have company coming tomorrow. Will write when I can. <3

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Rubies July 12, 2018 at 8:14 am

For those wanting to read more comments on this article, you may by repeatedly pressing “PREVIOUS COMMENTS” highlighted in light blue at the top of this list. However be advised that going to these will take up some time as only the first list of comments will appear.
———————————————————————————————————————–
I and another commenter are carrying on a conversation about our narcissistic mothers and other affected family members. Michelle, this blog’s owner wrote about the importance of “sharing” in the recovery process, either with someone on here, another trusted individual, or a therapeutic professional. Since no one else had posted a comment on this article for over three years, we decided to “share” here. Please feel WELCOME to join us if you’d like, as we’d be happy to have you. Or of course, feel free to leave your own comment for the article.

Thank You!

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Rubies July 12, 2018 at 9:13 am

Hey Bertie : )
How are you?

I feel bad I didn’t keep track of the thread switching over when I wrote the comment at the top here. I’d only read what you wrote one time, and thought I’d be able to read it all again. I’m sorry I didn’t leave it alone longer. : (

One thing I remember you speaking of is how your mother in law downsized to keep from being an added expense and burden on her family and others, unlike your mother. That your mother said of your mother in law, about the situation, that she was “stupid”. I must say, after studying narcissism as much as I have, that statement pretty much explains how Ns see truly nice and good people.

In fact, they see most people as “stupid” because they think of themselves as SO brilliant.

Truly nice people are nothing but chumps in their eyes.
Ns only ACT like nice people to fit in, so they can figure out how to take advantage of a situation, and/or be lauded as the best.

Ns also don’t get the reaons to ACTUALLY be good.
Though they most often want to look like they’re good. They (may) actually do some good things in order for people to view them as such. But it’s all for show. Being good without anyone else seeing or knowing about it, does nothing for a narcissist.

What gives them a real thrill is being mean, cold, and hateful without anyone seeing it, realizing it, or saying anything about it. What they really want, is for the impact of what they’ve done or said to be KNOWN in the hearts and minds of their victims.

Gtg for now.
Hope to hear from you.
<3

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Bertie July 12, 2018 at 1:05 pm

I know you have and/or had company. Thanks for writing.

I’m okay. Wow. What happened to me the other day?

I’ve spoken with husband, off and on, lately about all of them. He sighs … and says, “You need to just get past it all”.

How are you doing?

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Rubies July 12, 2018 at 3:05 pm

We ‘had’ company.

I’m doing okay. Thanks! Right now, I’m seriously considering going back to that project we’ve spoken about. I really really do NOT want to face any of it, but it keeps occuring to me that I do need to get “past it” at some point.

I hear you about your husband saying you need to “get past it all”. But I say again, it’s easy for someone not going through it, not feeling it, to say “get over it”. I think the best you can do is understand that he doesn’t really understand. (That’s what I do with my husband.) He wasn’t raised with these people. He didn’t spend ‘decades’ looking for and hoping for the best from them. It’s not his mother. It’s YOUR MOTHER. It’s your inner turmoil to face and try to settle in your own heart. Trouble is, it’s hard to face, and even harder to get to some settled place about it all.

One thing I picked up from you sharing the other day is how shocked you still are by all their behavior. I SO get that!!! Disturbing things are being brought forth from your memories and you’re seriously looking at them now for what they really were, rather than sugarcoating or ignoring them. I think it’s good FOR YOU, to get them out into words.

Having shared as much as I have with you, I see how I’m not feeling near the need to express any of the crazy rotten memories I have, not like I did. I’m not feeling confused or near as angry either. Mind you though, I still have Anger and am still really Hurt by it all, but I see more and more that it wasn’t so much about me, as it was about the malice, greed, envy, the rottenness of my remaining family members.

Please say all you want to me Bertie. I truly want to help you, even if it’s only ‘listening’.
Hugs!!!

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Rubies July 12, 2018 at 3:10 pm

See for yourself that all the dysfunction is not really about you, but about them, and their issues.

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Bertie July 13, 2018 at 6:25 am

I appreciate you writing, and listening, and hanging in there with me. I’m so glad that you made it to a higher level, with regard to moving past all of this.

Not too many days ago, you wrote “the dysfunction was there before you were born”.
I thought about that and wondered to myself, “Was it all about her? Is she the root problem of it all?”

I just plain couldn’t take it anymore. I think that most people think they have to put up with their families, and especially their mothers. They are continually subjected to their toxic family. And while they would not take “abuse” from other people, they feel as though they are forced to have to take it from their mothers.

Perhaps on the same day when my mother said, “I’m not envious of you” … she tied in another statement which was, “I’m not envious of other people. This is just the way that I am”. I found that to be a little comical. Once again, they don’t see anything wrong with their behavior or their thought processes.

I know I will continue to be the family scapegoat, long after she’s gone. I can see myself being verbally attacked by a relative, or one of her church buddies, in the future.

For some reason I’ve been having all sorts of distinct memories this past month. Not just about my old family, but all kinds of things.

Thanks for writing, Rubies.

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Rubies July 13, 2018 at 3:48 pm

I’m happy to be “hanging in there” with you. I truly want the best for you Bertie, and feel continuing to share is still necessary for both of us. PLEASE don’t think you have to thank me for listening. I want to.

I may be wrong, but sometimes I think you don’t want to share because you feel some things may be important to only you, and that causes you to be concerned that you may be bothering me. If that is the case, I say to you, you are NOT bothering me whatsoever. I look forward to reading what you have to say. (Perhaps I should have become a psychologist. : ) I realize your mother does not want to hear what you have to say, and your husband’s heard it, and thinks you should be over it, but believe me, I want to hear your revelations, and so do the people seeking further understanding through reading comments at sites like this.

It’s through others sharing that we all get better

Perhaps I have made it to another level of getting past this, but it’s all still really disturbing to me. I must say though, I am starting to feel settled about the idea that this is the way my life will be. That my mother won’t do the right things by me, and since I won’t argue with her about the truth anymore, (Because she repeatedly stuck to the blatant lies, and trying to reason with her was driving me crazy.) I won’t be involved with her. That she’ll pass away without things ever being worked out between us. End of story!!?!

That was hard to say, because it’s not what I want. Deep down I’d want to be close with my mother, especially before it’s too late, but more and more I’m seeing that as the ever elusive dream, that won’t come true. I’ve learned through others sharing and personal experiene, being truly close is impossible with a “narcissistic mother”.

It’s interesting your mother felt she the need to say something about not being “envious”. I think they do realize their behaviors may inadvertently be putting their thought processes out on display, which is why they make all the more effort to seem ‘nice and normal’. Ns often run their whole lives around putting out a facade of being wonderful, when the reality is they’re cold and hateful. It’s no big deal to them. It’s just more lies and more deception.

As far as being the scapegoat long after she’s gone, don’t stress about it. Really! The people that would treat you poorly, not knowing the truth of matters or bothering to hear your side, are not people you need in your life.

I’m sure my husband and I are considered the wicked ones by every member of my family, and by everyone who speaks to my mother, and the TRUE wicked one. While I didn’t want it this way, I say, they can all have each other, and hate us all they want. They’re the ones lying, and/or believing lies. And even if they hate us solely because we’re not ‘there’ any longer, they can still hate us. Remember, “Every living thing has a right to self preservation.” whether anybody else likes it, or NOT. I’m not wishing any of them ill, or hating them back, I’m just not going to live the rest of my life caring about people who don’t REALLY care about me.

Gtg! <3

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Bertie July 14, 2018 at 5:05 am

Well. Once again. It helps tremendously to hear what you have to say. (Especially regarding being scapegoat and being verbally attacked in the future). Because I know it’s going to happen. Yes, why should I care? They don’t know the inner workings of our family. They don’t know what roles the different family members have played. And it IS about self-preservation. I just wish I didn’t have to be here.

I remember one time when she had bought two houseplants; one for her and one for me. They were identical and she planted them in identical pots. I lived with a bunch of girls in an apartment so I left my plant at home. A couple of months later she told me that mine had been ripped up by the dog. She had them both outside on the deck. I thought to myself, how did she know it was mine? They were the same.

Right about the time mom was really driving me crazy, I had a good girlfriend. At that time period, her mother was in a nursing home with end stage Alzheimer’s. The girlfriend didn’t have to deal with her mom hardly at all; her sister was taking care of everything. Anyway, this friend was a good friend and she listened to me but I know that my situation was literally driving her insane. Right along with me. I stepped away because I felt knowing me/them was just too much for her. But she would listen to my stories (like the houseplant one) and she’d say, “My mom was totally unselfish”. And I remember saying to her that perhaps my mom was the way she was because she grew up during the Great Depression. My friend responded, “My mom did too. And she wasn’t like your mom at all”.

Rubies, I do think you should have been a psychologist. Counselor. Perhaps you’ve made it to some honorary level now just due to “experience” and “focused research”. πŸ™‚

I think back to when I was growing up and I recognize now that she certainly didn’t put me first (when she SHOULD HAVE). Those times I mentioned before; dragging me to dance halls, leaving me home alone. There’s a commercial that’s on TV every once in awhile about depression. It shows all the members of the family, including the dog, and they all look so sad, because they’re living with this “person” … this “depressed person”. That’s the way it was at our house. “Where’s Mom?” The answer was usually, “She’s upstairs, lying down in her bedroom”. (Middle of the day). Or she’d be drugged, smoking a cigarette, and staring out the window. Years and years of that.

And then we bounced from “years and years of that” to her doing other stuff, worse stuff, really. Showing favoritism, lying, not being a good person, and so on.

I’m sorry that you have to end up, like I am ending up, with no relationship with our mothers. But they do have their Golden’s. I hope it’s enough.

My husband and I aren’t young. We had our kids later in life. Right now, we are actually worrying a little about how long we’re going to hang in there (in the big scheme of life). I think about what kind of parents we’ve been. We’ve been good parents. All the way along. I think about my husband’s side of the family. There was very little dysfunction. And then I think about mine (it could be an Encyclopedia of Dysfunction), and it validates my feelings, my position, my decisions. I have to keep validating what I am doing as right. And I know it’s right. But I have to keep doing that.

SO GOOD TO HEAR FROM YOU. (I love the communications we have. I feel bad when I say too much. I know that I am having “one of those days” and I pour it out. And then, Poor You, you have to read it). You have helped me so much, you have no idea. I hope I am helping you in some way! I truly do.

Have a good day.

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Rubies July 14, 2018 at 8:51 am

It’s never the reading that’s a problem for me, but my slow responding and finding the time to do so on some days. Like today, Saturday, I end up with even more to do. So I have to keep this short right now.

You’ve most definitely helped me Bertie, and I’m thankful to know I’ve helped you. <3

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Rubies July 14, 2018 at 10:59 pm

Have things to say but it’ll have to wait till tomorrow………………

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Bertie July 15, 2018 at 4:28 am

No problem! Write when you can.

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Bertie July 15, 2018 at 6:54 am

Here’s one for me:

Only Goal for a Mother: Raise children that don’t have to recover from their childhood.

***

But what about recovering from adulthood too? And middle age?
ACON.

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Rubies July 15, 2018 at 1:04 pm

Recovering from the subtle and not so subtle abuse and manipulations occuring during adulthood (middle age) by a narcissistic mother seems harder to me than recovering from the obvious abuses and neglect of childhood.

I’m thinking back to my mother’s consistent pattern of OFTEN losing her cool and screaming at us, or me for extended periods when I was a kid. It was clearly, emotional and verbal abuse. However, a part of me did not internalize it. I just remember vividly thinking as a youth back then on multiple occasions, ‘She’s CRAZY’ and nothing more. Nothing but a simple and straight forward understanding! I didn’t go back and forth wondering whether I was confused, or looking at things the wrong way, or deserved this kind of treatment. I didn’t even try to come up with any other logical reason for her unreasonable behavior.

Somehow the mistreatment received in adulthood gets mixed up with thoughts of it’s not all bad, parenting is hard, she must have her reasons, she’s having a bad day, it’s a misunderstanding, etc……….

The time away after moving out can also make whatever the dysfunction is, seem tolerable. At that point, once you’re no longer their captive, they start realizing that they have to play you differently. Out comes the mixed messages, and the facade of being wonderful and/or decent, at least some of the time. So the relationship changes, but it’s still screwed up, just on a totally different level.

Only had a little time and rambled through it.
Will say more later.
Hope you’re having a nice day. : )

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Bertie July 16, 2018 at 4:32 am

I relate with what you are saying. You actually didn’t ramble through it. You made some good points.

I remember you saying that she was difficult when you were young and that she would yell and scream a lot. I think I remember that she expected perfection from you? Children seem to have resilience, thankfully, and you dealt with her.

And then, came trying to “understand”.

And you’re right again. They loose the old control they had over you and they look for other ways. Screwed up on a different level. That says a bunch.

Do you remember the day when you finally had enough? I had my turning point happen on one specific day, after one significant event. It should have happened much, much sooner. (We shouldn’t even rehash this). Suffice to say, I think the day ultimately does arrive when you are no longer a captive.

Yesterday I thought about things a bit. I thought back to all the mean little things that she’s said to me – just in the past few years. She can be really, really mean. And her voice. If I recorded that, and played that back at her church, people’s jaws would drop. There are even some photos taken of her, when she has a really mean look in her eyes. Family members know the look. I think people outside of the family would look at those photos and pick up on it, and wonder. Because it’s “there”. That mean person is literally “there” in the flesh. You know the phrase, “The eyes are the gateway to the soul”.

And to think of her sitting at her table, a year or so ago, lamenting that she’s “Had such a terrible life!” And she’s lived a very, very long time.

And to think of her standing over her parents’ graves, with the most awful expression. It was about “hating them”. A kind of “look what you did to me” kind of thing. And I stood there and thought, “What?! Where is this coming from?” And now, at the end of her life, my mom is working on her bucket list. One of the last things to check off is to smear her parents — which is alienating her from all living siblings she has left.

She never made a “connection” of any sorts to my father’s death. He is buried in the family cemetery; the first to go in our family. Sometimes, I think he was lucky. I know that is not the right thing to say or the way to feel. She’ll be buried next to him. And unlike my mother, I do not intend to stand over their graves and shoot down mean looks. I truly think I will never visit that cemetery again.

This is sounding dramatic. This wasn’t my intent.

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Bertie July 16, 2018 at 6:48 am

This morning on the national news, there was a feature on “Will Reeves” the son of Chris and Dana Reeves. He was orphaned at a young age and adopted by their neighbors. He wrote a book and read an excerpt. I am writing regarding one statement that he made. As though he were speaking to his parents, he said something to the effect of “Everything you did was to prepare me for the day when I would be without you …”.
You know, something that “good parents” are conscious of and do for their children. Raise them to be good people, instill all things good in them, prepare them to live on in this world, without them.
This is another example of selfless parenting. Emphasis was placed on the child.

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Bertie July 16, 2018 at 1:17 pm

This is something new I have not shared.

About 10 years ago, something significant happened which caused us to sell our home. We had spent more than two decades in that home and had raised our family there. We didn’t do this because we ‘wanted to’ but rather because we ‘had to’. It was heartbreaking for every member of our family. The next time I saw my mother, I tried to explain to her what we had just gone through. I did this “to share”, to elicit some sort of emotion, to try and have a normal exchange with “a mother”. She sat next to me, emotionless, expressionless, as though she were made of stone. That was just “one more thing” added to a list of 1000 other things, and at some point around that time, I went NC with her and the rest of my family. It had to be “all or none”.

Because I was NC, they didn’t know where we had moved too. They knew it was the same general area, but they didn’t know the actual address. We had bought a nicer home this time around and we knew it would “really bug them if they saw it”. (I mean, if dear old mom was upset when we got a new front door when the old one wore out after 25 years then this would have killed her. Golden too! Dear Old Golden was upset when I got a new washer and dryer when the old Kenmore’s flooded our entire downstairs two weeks before Christmas).

Eventually, I got a wedding announcement from a nephew which had been forwarded. I was close with this particular nephew and I sent him a card and some cash. He lived in an altogether different state. Within no time at all, I got a letter sent to me from my mom using our new address. Just like that, in a blink of an eye, they all must have communicated. “We know where she is!”

One of the relatives no doubt had a computer and knew you could google homes, photos, prices just paid for them, and so on. I took a phone call from my mom on Christmas Eve. Once again, I caved. Once again, she was void of any emotion. She “found me” but that’s probably all she set out to do. Within no time at all, she was asking me blunt questions about our new home. With dread in her voice, and much expression, she would ask, “How big is it? How many bathrooms do you have? Is it NICE?” I told her calmly that it was nice. I lied about the bathrooms. Well, someone must have shown her photos from the internet and she would never “let it go”. She would say to me, as months went on, “You lived in that house!” Just like a little girl, pouting. At one point, she had a “free ride” to come and see me. It wasn’t to see me, rather, she said to me, “I want to see that house”. I made up an excuse for her not to come. Her mind is probably still swirling over that particular house. I lived in it for just a few years.

I am now in a different house. Better than the first house. Not nearly as nice as the last house. She can’t stand the fact that I am in this house either. Neither can Golden.

In my mind, I suppose I could entertain the image of the three of us — sitting at the table on a summer day like today. Laughing, eating cake, drinking lemonade. Being close! You know, a mother and her daughters. The sisters and their mother.
But it would be fiction.

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Rubies July 16, 2018 at 2:38 pm

I’m glad you wrote. I was going to write more yesterday but obviously that didn’t happen.

Yes, “selfless parenting”, “preparing them to live on in this world, without them”. What we should have all received, and should all strive for with our own kids.

I must say, I know I could be better. I know I’m not the perfect parent, but I LOVE my kids and truly want the best for every one of them. I can’t even imagine how ANY mother could purposely instill in their child that they somehow don’t measure up, or ‘deserve’ to be mistreated. I sometimes look at little girls and think about you and I. How could anyone want to be a villain to these precious beings?

A great amount of the Anger that I feel towards my mother and family is based on the fact that while we were in the middle of raising our kids, we took my mother in to care for her, and stemming from that selfless act on our part, they ALL went crazy and attacked us in numerous ways. The thing that angers me is that dealing with all their madness took valuable time and attention away from our children. What’s worse, they were all willing to totally ruin our lives, without a second thought about how it would affect our children. That’s EVIL to me.

I think often about how you’ve spoken of finding your mother ‘depressed’ when you were growing up. I imagine my youngest in particular will probably always remember me going through the initial stages of getting through this separation from my mother. I think he’ll remember months of me being too depressed to function or stop myself from randomly crying. I’m just so Thankful I got to the point of being able to control my emotional self in front of my kids. And I admit to you Bertie, I spent plenty of time FAKING seeming settled and happy, for them. But to me, that’s what a good parent does, if necessary, at least to some degree, rather than disturb their kids with all their problems.

Have more to say but have run out of time.
Hope you are doing okay. <3

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Rubies July 16, 2018 at 2:42 pm

I see you added another comment. Will have to respond later.

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Rubies July 16, 2018 at 5:30 pm

I’m feel for you, not being able to have a normal happy get together with your mother and sister. I’m right there with you. I can’t tell you how many times in the distant past I envisioned spending nice times with my mother in her old age. I always imagined her happy, and I looked forward to spending some time learning more about past relatives from her, before it was too late. I feel robbed of even that.

It’s crazy how simple enjoyable interactions with these people become impossible.

Issues! Gtg!

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Bertie July 17, 2018 at 5:47 am

We have these issues in common. I look back on things, and we were dealing with my mother’s issues continually when our kids were young. You speak of your time period when you were depressed about things. I think I had a time period when I was obsessed about my mother, routinely, on a daily basis. (Like a job). We traveled to see my parents every single year on our annual vacation. That’s all we did on vacation. We saw our in-law’s too but the visit to my parent’s dominated our time. And then came all the health problems, and she relied totally on me to come home and help. The kids went along. And like you, it ended with a betrayal for us too. AFTER YEARS AND YEARS, OF ALL THAT.
Our oldest son said to us a few years ago, “I regret we never spent our vacations as a family. We always went to mom’s parents. I so regret that”. By this time, he had witnessed and lived through a lot of awful stuff. Obviously, I regret all of this very much.
But who knew it would evolve into what it all evolved into? Going into it all, you thought you were doing what you were supposed to do. Help your mother.

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Bertie July 17, 2018 at 6:42 am

I have written before about the times I went home to help my mother following her surgeries. Every single time … she did things that would fall under the “unbelievable” and “insane” categories. I went home to help, with little kids accompanying me, and I became her “target”. What she did to me was nuts. On one occasion, I begged my sister to PLEASE come home and help me! I had an infant. I look back on this now, as a wiser and older person, and I say to myself, “I shouldn’t have done it!” But my mother had no one to help her. There was no “family” for her. No extended family, even though relatives lived all around her. It befell her children to do this … and of course, the sons weren’t going to do it. Neither were the daughter-in-law’s although they lived 10 minutes away. My sister (Golden) was alone with all of her children grown and gone. I was just starting my family. But it fell on me. (I shouldn’t have done it. What would have happened? Who would have helped? Someone?). As the priest said to me that one evening, “You had means”.

I went home for two major surgeries and she was insane and cruel to me the entire time I was there (with my young children). Anyone “watching” would have said she was either insane or an evil person. But of course, no one knew but me. After two times, I vowed not to do this ever again. I’m not THAT stupid. Sure enough, she eventually needed another surgery. I called and spoke to her doctor and asked how “bad” she would be after this particular surgery. I wondered what kind of care she would need. He told me that she would fare pretty well and after a few days she’d be able to do everything. I called and told her that I would pay for someone to come in and clean the house for a week, and buy and bring home groceries, and check on her daily, etc. For One Week. She asked me for the money, instead, and she gave it to Golden and Golden used the money to fly home and visit her. Golden’s new thing was to stay home for no more than three days. So she didn’t get her house cleaned, or weekly groceries bought and delivered, or someone to check on her for seven days. She chose a brief visit from Golden which we ended up financing. Which, I do not know how to interpret. I guess I viewed it at the time as, “Well, if it makes you happy”.

I realize I am going on and on with my stories. And I thank you so much, Rubies, for listening. This very morning I woke up, thinking of my mother. She has been on my mind when I wake up lately. She is the first thing on my mind. I am also extremely angry at my much older siblings because they allowed me to be the responsible one. Writing this helps me tremendously. I have been involved in an awful real-life situation for much of my life, and I am breaking free. But it isn’t easy to do even though it’s right. Sometimes it feels very, very good. I know I’m not going to be subjected to her … or to “her”. Neither of the “her’s”. It’s over.

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Bertie July 17, 2018 at 7:39 am

I promise not to write more today. But this is pretty important. Why did this come across my mind right now? I do not know. Perhaps I am making my way to the end of it all … and all of my various recent thoughts are reminiscent of the ending of a fireworks display on the 4th of July.

As the word “narcissistic” implies, my mother fits the mold. She loves herself. She thinks she is very beautiful. She spends great time dressing for the day, and so on. She spends a lot of money on herself. Self. She also thinks that Golden looks a lot like her. And Golden does.

I ended up looking like my father. I always thought my mother loved me! Like a mother is supposed to love a child. But later on … after I was married and had kids, etc. … she would say things to me that were downright insulting. First she would say that my father was an ugly man. And then she would tell me that I look just like him. She would tell me I should have plastic surgery on my face.

I remember her saying to me, using her sickening tone and the sickening way she would talk, “Men liked Golden because of what she looked like … men liked you because of your “per …son .. al … i … ty”. Her words, highly enunciated the word personality, and were used in an evil kind of way; just exactly like a few months ago … when she called at Christmas time to insult my son about a physical characteristic that he has. She fully intended to inflict harm.

Does it get any worse than this? I sincerely don’t think so.

And Rubies, when you made the comment how we allowed all of the various offenses, both large and small … I am reminded that I was subjected to this behavior by her for years and years and years and I hung in there. It’s abuse. Plain and simple.

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Rubies July 17, 2018 at 10:32 pm

It is Abuse, and Brainwashing, and EVIL, and Insane, and this list could go on.

They’ve ALWAYS used our love for them AGAINST US.
And we let them because they’re our MOTHERS!!!

Yes, we both “hung in there” for a very, VERY long time. (And we weren’t having fun.)
I say, if you can SURVIVE IT, you can get PAST IT.

I could say much more to you Bertie, but am limited on time right now.

In fact I need to focus on some pressing matters for a few days, but I was thinking you could still write. You could write about things you feel you still need to say. Tell some stories! Share some revelations! All of the above!

Sharing Helps!!! : )

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Bertie July 18, 2018 at 4:39 am

Thanks, Rubies. I am going to TRY and live my life for the next few days without thinking of her and the rest of them. I’m going to give it my best effort. That should keep me on my toes. I’ll plan to see you back in a few.

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Rubies July 18, 2018 at 12:19 pm

Well, write if you want to, or if something happens.
Though it might be good to give your mind and heart a break.
Hugs!!! <3

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Bertie July 19, 2018 at 12:15 pm

I feel that I’ve been a broken record … whine … whine … whine. I could go on like this, probably, forever. So you know — time to move on! Get past it! As hubby said.
Yesterday I got a package in the mail. But … I’ve been in the mix with them lately, so this is just “more”.
I’m okay. Take a vacation from me/this. I’ll take one too.
Hugs.

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Rubies July 20, 2018 at 9:11 am

It’s not whining. It’s finally expressing some of the deep anger and serious hurt you’ve kept suppressed throughout your life. All these damaging memories and the accompanying thoughts and feelings have been accumulating in your soul, whether you wanted them to or not.

Give your self the freedom to do what you ‘feel’ you need to do for yourself, whatever that may be. If that means expressing more, this is the place to do it. The way I see it, once your done sharing, you want to be absolutely sure you’re done needing to.

Remember how I relayed that “recovering from this can be like taking three steps forward and two steps back”. Be sure you’re TRULY “past it” before carrying on.

I don’t think you could go on like this forever. After getting to know you, you do not come across as someone who simply loves to complain, and trust me, I know what that is. I think you want to feel settled about these things in your life, not carry on with this indefinitely. I just don’t see you bringing these memories up wihout feeling some real inner need to. I’ve definitely felt in my sharing with you, the ‘need’ to do so on numerous occasions. There’s something to that.

So, did you open the package? Was it from your mother, or the sister?

Answer whenever you want!
Meaning: keep your “vacation” going if you want. : )

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Bertie July 20, 2018 at 5:04 pm

I was happy to see that you wrote. I won’t get to write back until tomorrow as we have a “house full” right now.

I didn’t open the box yet.

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Bertie July 21, 2018 at 6:06 am

Truthfully, I am not over it yet. And you’re right, I am not known to be a complainer. Thank you for seeing that my hurtful and damaging memories are at the surface … and that I am attempting to deal with it.

I didn’t want to pollute your world, on a daily basis, by having to listen to me! I would understand that completely. I consider you a friend. I don’t know how you can get past your ordeal, by being reminded by my ordeal. And I am much more verbose!

If she were 20 years younger, there would be no urgency. The siblings and I would still be muddling along. But, you know, the behaviors “peaked” not that long ago. Everyone’s true colors came out. So all of this recent stuff is relatively new in the grand scheme of things.

I will write more later. Rubies, I am glad that you are out there.

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Rubies July 21, 2018 at 7:02 pm

You do NOT polute my world Bertie. You’ve helped me to feel understood and validated, especially when I truly needed it, and I’m here to do the same for you. I WANT to be here.

I know I’m not completely past my “ordeal”. So know, your “ordeal” does not hinder my progress in any way. Sharing with you helps me in many ways. One way, I don’t feel so alone in all this, and that means a great deal to me.

I’ve come to feel that getting “past” this is not some single event we can simply choose, but a gradual process that takes time, determination, strength of spirit, and hope. Not the hope for them to somehow change for the better, but hope for ourselves to eventually be happy in the future, without them.

Gtg for now. <3

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Bertie July 21, 2018 at 8:06 pm

I’m glad to hear this! I worried I was driving you away. (I do get carried away, some days).
Rubies, I get up every morning and look forward to seeing if you’ve written. It’s kind of like “You’ve Got Mail” with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. She was always so happy to hear that she had mail. πŸ™‚

Communicating with you about our journey through this has been a Godsend.

I will write more tomorrow.

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