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.

New Realization

10/30/2014 § Leave a comment


I had a realization yesterday at work that there’s proof that I’m recovering, even since June when I had my huge breakthrough, because I’m handling my job completely differently every single day.
I’ll say more in an update.

Managing Mother

09/08/2014 § 2 Comments

On Training Your 4’9″ Narcissitic Monster

I started this entry feeling hopeless about my latest round of correspondence with Little Betty. I fell asleep, inadvertently losing everything I wrote in this post because I didn’t save it.  When I woke up, the problem was already solved.

Her letter appeared in my Yahoo mailbox like a call to arms. “Happy Birthday,” it began, before slapping me in the face. “I know I’m not allowed to write you, but I just want to wish you a happy birthday, your 60th?”

My 59th, but no matter. This was very difficult to translate. For the past week I interpreted it as, “Sure, you told me it’s okay to write you in Yahoo, but it didn’t register because I never listen to a thing you say. So I’ll cover it up by snarkily implying that you hate me.”

But last night, just as I fell asleep without saving my post, I realized that this was the first time since I started the mailbox account five years ago just for mom that she has actually used it. In other words, I called her bluff and she finally showed her weak hand, and coughed so that I wouldn’t realize that I had won.  What a freak!  And I didn’t for a whole week, too.

So I woke up feeling real good.  I can’t do 100% No Contact, but this 97 % is working out for me.

Quantum Leap Journal #13 5/20/14

06/08/2014 § Leave a comment

Hired and Fired in 2 days (from my personal diary) 5/20/14

It just keeps getting worse and worse, dont it?  Im always several steps behind my baser affects. 

Two thoughts; two items:1) Now I know my records at M___ Elementary School are tainted.  What with?  It might be very hard to get hired without Divine Intervention. But, maybe its a good thing it was exposed and now I know about it. 

2) By going through the orientation at F____ Board of Education, I realized that I really didnt want to work there again, but felt like I had no other choice– I couldnt fool around with the visa sponsorship.  But this whole set-up sucks.  They called me in at the last minute, and gave me no time–, not even one night– to think about it.  They had a shotgun to my head with a visa dangling in front of me.  How did I get into this?  

A friend texted to me about this, “See, I told you [that company] was evil!”

Working again for this school system would have made for a miserable 10 months.  The Japanese Coordinators (JC) call the shots; the curriculum they write is heavy with English mistakes but sacrosanct to them, they only want pronunciation assistance and power drilling from the Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs); no grammar, no vocabulary–, that’s what the JCs are for; and they want no disagreement between the ALT and JC.  

Looking back at my work 3 years ago there, I was a naive wreck.  I simply didnt get it that the Japanese want the Japanese-English Pidjin Language that they invented, and not the real language I teach.  Any attempts on my part to change their agenda was destined to blow up in my face.  The job I had after that was just the same. Boy did I blow it the last time. 

I’m going to have to start looking for Plan B options more seriously.  I may not get my visa.   

The Quantum Leap Journal #15; 5/22/14

06/07/2014 § Leave a comment

Darkening of the Light 5/22/14

Continued: Now it gets hard. I woke up yesterday morning with a new job. today I wake up without one again. What the hell did they find in my records?
I decide to go forward as if I never went to the interview. Just keep searching the way I had before.
But I couldnt. I was frozen.
It wasnt just dumb luck. It wasnt just divine intervention to keep from starting a job that I was going to hate.
There was something bad in my records that caused them to pull me out. What the hell was it?
Whatever it was, I failed again. Again! I keep telling myself my fucking-up days are over. Theyre not over! I’ll always be a fuck up. And this time, I’m not going to get my visa extended, and I’m going to have to go back to America. With only just enough money for plane fare. No savings, no home to go to– I’m in No Contact with my family– no job prospects. Oh, this is the beginning of the long slippery downhill slope. My big decline has begun.
Oh, this is going to be painful.
This was a hard, dark week. But I went through a dark passage and came out the other side.

The Quantum Leap Journal #12; 5/20/14

05/27/2014 § Leave a comment

Brushwork- 008 Teh
I left the agency office with a job Monday evening, but the job started the next day.
I didn’t like that.
I go home and prepare my suit and papers and get ready. Gotta be at the big meeting all with all the other ALTs the next day at 8:45 am.
I did my yoga, and meditation, and prayer. I wanted to do a lot more. This wasn’t how I wanted it. This wasn’t a Quantum Leap. This was the same old shitty job. But I was going to get my visa sponsorship right away.
When I got there, I immediately started seeing people I didn’t want to see. My old co-teacher I got along with horribly. And there was the head of the BoE, Mr. Hato. Surely he heard bad stories from her.
My new co-teacher seemed really nice. « Read the rest of this entry »

The Quantum Leap Journal #7; 5/9/14

05/11/2014 § Leave a comment


I can’t tell my friends about my job search because this isnt your normal job search.

I’m using everything Ive got to pull a broken life together.  I dont need to explain my personal limitations and shortcomings to mere acquaintances and fair-weather friends who invariably think I’m just making excuses for myself.  « Read the rest of this entry »

The Quantum Leap Journal # 6, 5/5/14

05/07/2014 § Leave a comment


My fear is suspended in ether
it justs hangs like flower-petal dust
floating, bobbing, quavering

focusing on the fear
my body remembers old hurts

avoiding the fear I forget myself
medicating in food and drink and games and music
and Hogswart and Westeros

my survival strategy
balances my fear
on the edge of disaster



Photo by Richard Gagui

The Quantum Leap Diary #2; 4/29/14

04/30/2014 § Leave a comment


Same as yesterday, I plan to start job hunting on the internet, but first set out to work more on the papers, which I had hoped to have done by now.  So I’m hoping to split my chores job hunting and writing on the same days.  No luck so far, though.

I got home from Chiba Hospital late last night, and instead of going to bet right away as I planned, I found a whole new cache of videos on YouTube of clips from the latest episode of Game of Thrones on HBO that premiered two nights ago, Japan time.  So I stay up til midnight watch Jaime and Tyrion discuss his upcoming trial, Locke set up Jon Snow to kill him for Roose Bolton, and the White Walkers kidnap little babies.  Half of this stuff was never in the books at all; the books and TV show are diverging. « Read the rest of this entry »

The Quantum Leap Diary #1; 4/28/14

04/30/2014 § 1 Comment


I’m going to try something different; a journal throughout May.  I have 7 weeks to find a full-time job for a school that can sponsor my visa. If I don’t get one, I have to go back to the US with my tail between my legs with nothing up front to show for being here (Japan)16 years.   My spiritual resources, oracles and intuition all say I’m going to make a Quantum Leap in my life this next month.  But its up to me to do it.  « Read the rest of this entry »

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