Letters to my Narcissistic Mother
11/04/2013 § 18 Comments
While I was in a workshop on using smartphones, a notification suddenly came up from my Narcissistic Mother who I’ve been avoiding for two years. At first, I thought it an error my phone frequently makes, but no, it was a video chat request from her. I rejected the request and blocked her address from my account.
Then I went to Yahoo Mail to confirm that she hadn’t sent me a letter there. She hadn’t. I asked her only to write to me through Yahoo through a special account I set up just for family so that they wouldn’t have access to my main address. Yet she’s written to me by every address but the one I’ve given her. That’s Narci for, “no recognition of other people’s boundaries.”
So I wrote my first letter to her in two years. My first letter since I discovered she was a Narci. I’ve thought a lot about how to address her in the past two years. I’m not going to disown her, I decided, but I’m not going to let her get away with any shit at all. It’ll be like riding a bucking bronco for the rest of my life. That’s what adults do, I guess.
We’ve had a volley of three letters now. It is like riding a bucking bronco. She pushes my buttons viciously. It takes me a good week to recover and respond mindfully. It used to take a lot longer.
I inquired about her health (she’s 84,) told to contact me only through Yahoo, and told her my wife left me 2 years ago. About Yahoo she replied, “I find it very difficult to remember what your restrictions are.” If I thought she were a sane person I would have pulled my hair out about that, but this only confirms her Narcissism. Being able to predict what she says before she says it is a huge advance, but I must say it’s breathtaking how corrosive she is.
About my divorce she asked, “Were you impossible to live with?” Need I explain why I hadn’t written her in two years? How wonderfully offensive that is! A few years ago I would have been in a bitter rage over this, and I would have felt the need to contradict her and defend myself. Now she only seems wretched and loveless to me. She has no inkling how hostile she is, nor how isolated. Truly, she cannot help herself from shitting on the people who love her. There’s a little bit of her in me, so I do feel compassion and pity for her. But I know that if I let my guard down for a second, she will crawl under my skin and set me off like a volcano. And then she will condemn me for it, saying, “I can never tell when you’re going to go ballistic.”
We hit the ball back and forth a few times, her always in control of the ball. Finally, I surprised myself by hitting it out of the park. “You of all people have no ability whatsoever to discern my feelings about anything. . . I’m still shocked that you said, in my grief, that I must be hard to live with. If you knew my feelings, then you would unambiguously apologize for that immediately. . . But you don’t, so don’t worry about it.– And only write to me on Yahoo.“
I can’t tell her she’s got NPD, the whole family will rise against me. I can’t tell her that she hurt me, she’ll smell my blood like a shark and scream bloody murder that I’m accusing her of being a bad mother. But I can show her how she gets my feelings wrong, and assert my boundaries firmly but not defensively.
It’s about fuggin’ time.