Tears and manipulations

I spent the final day of 2017 in tears. I was already a little fragile but what ripped me open was some hurtful, although well meaning, comments from some older friends that I have come to care for deeply, people I’ve seen as good role models and as “Mum and Dad”.

We had visited and just sat down to lunch with them, they asked how things with mum are going. Having seen her sitting with us at our Christian Worship in the morning, they were happily assuming that improvements in our fractured relationship had been made. Mindful that my children were present I choose words carefully to express the circumstances were not favourable.

She started “You need to treat your Mother with love! It doesn’t matter what she has done, she’s your mother and you should be thankful you have her around.”

I felt the air leave my chest in a woosh, actually, it felt as off all of the oxygen had been sucked out of the room. I stammered as I tried to find the words to explain again that our relationship wasn’t like the one she had with her mother, but I have had a childhood and my adulthood filled with psychological abuse from her (and physical abuse by others because she didn’t care enough to stop it).

Then he continued “We think you should stop calling us Mum and Dad, it’s not appropriate and we don’t like it. You should use our first names and the kids should call us Mr and Mrs, not Grandad and Granny.”

They said they hoped we were not offended and I smiled and said that of course we would respect their feelings.

In my head I’m recalling the last few times we visited and that I mentioned that my mother doesn’t like that we have created a family within our congregation for ourselves and our kids, a congregation filled with loving mums and dads, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles. I realise that they’ve been thinking of this and do not feel it is appropriate as my mother is there, but she has told us very clearly that she doesn’t want us in her life unless it is on her terms.  

We don’t have a family if we don’t create one of our own with others, my children miss out on love and care of grandparents without our mishmash family. As a mother myself I don’t want my babies to suffer that like I did.

This judgement isn’t new, for years people have been drawing incorrect conclusions about myself and my husband, many of whom have openly expressed their disapproval that we have distanced ourselves and our children from her.

My mother is an expert manipulator and currently she is in fine form. In the past 2 weeks four of my husband and my close friends have come to us telling us to look after her, pointing out her age and health, and financial crisis (she has been on more than 30 holidays in the past 5 years though), reminding us of our spiritual duty to look after an elderly parent.

No, I wasn’t offended by our friends desire to look out for her, but I was absolutely shattered in my soul. How can people who know us, know me, those who have experienced our open and generous, loving hearts and genuine Christian kindness, fall victim to her machinations, and look at us in a negative light like that?

And why can she not leave us be? It is her who has refused our multiple attempts to make peace, not us.

Starting the year with this black cloud in my heart is not ideal, but it is nothing outstandingly different. Life as a narcissists daughter is exhausting.

9 thoughts on “Tears and manipulations

  1. This describes a relationship with a narc parent perfectly. They are always the victim. There is nothing that can be less validating of what abuse you went through that hearing “you should love her and still do things for her”. As if that would even matter to her anyway. You can do things until you’re dead and she would still find something to be a victim about. As if love equals constantly subjecting yourself to psychological abuse which takes a toll on your emotional health. They might as well say “how you feel and what you go through doesn’t matter”. I had several people in my moms family always tell me “but she is your mother”. I don’t speak to many people on her family side anymore. A few years ago one of the relatives who would say this got into a situation with her. They got to witness exactly what I have lived my whole life. I felt like saying to them “she is your sister, you should forgive her. You should still love her and do things for her and spend time with her” (insert evil smiley face).

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  2. I read three of your blogs. I used to blog quite often but I have been unable to for quite some time. But I absolutely love your blogs- you describe exactly how I am feeling- I totally understand your pain. Keep on writing and remember God Loves you. And I am guessing that your husband and children love you. I don’t even know you but I love you.

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  3. Yup. I’m pretty solid, hard to fluster. Despite having a temper, I am considered very patient with people. My similar situation has me gnashing my teeth and seeing red, constantly. Most people don’t see the inside track of such things. they see the surface, and the orchestrated presentation of the person and not behind the scenery. Yet . . . it feels like self inflicted amputation . . you cut the ties and wait for the repercussions. Until you realize that suddenly you feel weightless . . . .distance is the only real defense – because allowing them close just restarts the cycle. You have a right to peace without persecution.

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    1. I have cut the ties several times, the last time was the easiest though to do. However, the last time, she immediately started turning up at our congregation. Weeping, and sitting alone. I took pity and went and got her, asking her to join us as a family. Big mistake, I was played!

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  4. Much love to you beautiful girl. You cannot change other people’s behaviour. Especially such a broken person. Remember your own beautiful husband and children know how genuine your heart and spirit is. As does your God. I hope you are feeling gentler and more peaceful now. xx

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  5. I saw a meme on one of the several Narc Abuse Survival blogs I follow: “Love cannot be found where it doesn’t exist. There’s a difference between being patient with someone and wasting your time.” People who haven’t been abused or just “involved” in some way/shape/form with a Narcissist do NOT understand this… they just don’t. And, I hate to say this, but our Christian friends are the WORST at understanding… Try as we may to “enlighten” them… they’ll just never get it. I divorced my Narc and my relationship with MY parents has suffered in a way I never thought possible… I finally had to accept the fact that I just can’t talk about it with them (as much as that kills me because I love them and want to lean on them for love/support). I have to reserve my Narc talks only with my friends who’ve also been subjected to it and my therapist. Writing blog posts helps too 🙂 Love and hugs to you from across the pond, my friend. ~Laura

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