I decide to make a concession to my 86 year old Narcissistic Mother
02/27/2016 § 1 Comment
I finally realized that anything that I say that is off that creepy little script in her head will elicit a flat out attack from her. No discussion, no negotiation, no agreeing on boundaries. If she breaks the ice with a potent insult, I can’t call her on it without her declaring war on me. If I retreat and withdraw to take care of myself, she feels abandoned and calls the whole family tree to circle the wagons around her. If I ever escalate, she will always raise the stakes to the point where I’ll want to kill her, at which point she wins. She is utterly incapable of backing down or re-evaluating her position. It’s not because shes evil, its because she’s checked out of her body a lifetime ago, leaving her robot on autopilot. Yet I have to pretend she’s real.
She wrote to me out of the blue around her last birthday, that she had written me out of her will but my Narcissistic brother talked her out of it. This was because of a comment I’d made 6th months earlier that she took completely out of context. That’s how reactive she is. It may be the first time anyone in the family has ever stood up for me; I’d given up any possibility of inheritance as a lost cause long ago.
So I decided to come in out of the cold. Not as a conquering hero, but not with my tail between my legs either. I healed what I needed to heal and learned what I needed to learn. If I continue to cut myself off from them, it would be absolute. Shes the matriarch, shes Queen Lear the Mad and I’m her exiled son-in-drag Cordelia. I wrote her this metaphor recently and she was not amused; anything not in her script is an offense. Thats when I realized that I cant get her to take any responsibility whatsoever in our relationship, ever, but I can anticipate her and protect myself from her abusive behavior. Either I take responsibility or no one will; I have to adapt to her or because she will never adapt to me.
Most of all, I learned that if I think of her as the mother I so desperately need, I will lose in her Little War. The last time I did that she almost annihilated me. Thats a whole other story. This way, I can open my heart to the beautiful soul she once, briefly, was, and still protect myself from the robot who never protected me. I had to weigh whether I can heal my wounded heart better within my toxic family or out here in the Wilderness. Because to the Jewish-American family where I come from, the Wilderness is populated with Nazis and other monsters. The Wilderness is not to be even considered, not for a second. But for me, the idea that Mom had used her xenophobia and power to ostracize any family member many times to get what she wanted disgusted me.
So finally, I took to the dark and bitter hiway of Nazis and ghouls in order to begin to heal the traumatic effect of being the Scapegoat of a family of Narcissists; I’d choose imaginary Stormtroopers over this ratpack any day of the week. And I healed, very very slowly. And when I got married, my mother, jealous of my bride, wouldnt relinquish her toxic animosity over me, so I banned her from coming to the wedding. In the end, that ban doomed our marriage, but it was doomed either way, really.
So I Skyped with N-bro several times after the news he defended me about the will, heavily guarding myself. Something has changed but I dont know what. My Golden sister sent me a holiday card. Sure theyre always trying to pull me back in, because they mustnt see themselves as sending me to the Nazis. Im not fooled.
Ultimately, I think Im exercising more Free Will by choosing family than by choosing this life in exile. The family will NEVER understand what Im doing. I can never explain myself. I remain in both worlds this way.
Just last night I got a reply from mom on my proposal to reset our relationship. It was as creepy as I expected. “Ive waited my whole life to get this letter from you.” I couldnt read more. As always, shes totally in her experience, never in mine.
What do you think of the choices? Sorry, this may read more like a story than a post, but explaining the background required some exposition. Thank you for reading this. V. S.