Something is wrong… 

Something’s wrong but I don’t know what. 

I came home from work at lunch time as always, but as T is away I had nothing to rush back for. 

On the train home I downloaded an audiobook which I haven’t done for a while and the fleeting thought rushed through my mind “Am  I trying to distract myself from something?” but I just ignored it. 

I came home, rushed around tidying the house, cleaning and putting washing on. I thought to myself as I was cleaning the sink “tidying the house helps the mind to feel tidier too”… I pushed that thought away too. 

An hour or so later I fell asleep on the sofa listening to my audiobook and I slept for about an hour and a half before being woken up by my phone ringing. I drifted back to sleep and then got woken up again by it vibrating from messages… very annoying. 
I looked at the time and thought I should probably get up but I had absolutely no energy. I felt as though maybe I had woken up from a bad dream or something, that sense of sadness/miserableness but I couldn’t remember anything. Weird. 
About half an hour ago, my fiancé came home from work and I opened the door to him and told him I hadn’t felt well this afternoon. I said I just felt exhausted and energy-less. That was true but what I didn’t say was that I suddenly felt like I was going to cry. 

He walked in the kitchen and gave me a hug (thinking I felt poorly), my eyes filled up with water and I felt right on the edge of crying. I managed to hold the tears back mainly because if he asked why I was crying I would have to say I didn’t know. 

The only things i am consciously aware of having thought about today are my mum’s looming birthday weekend away in just over a week which I’m dreading and the fact I’m meant to be going there this weekend to meet with some family friends. I’ve been thinking today I might lie and say we can’t go because Sunday was hard enough but I want to see these family friends and it has been arranged for a while now. 

But the signs are there: distracting myself with my book, the manic housecleaning, the sleeping…. 
It’s one of the worst things isn’t it, suddenly feeling so rubbish and it feeling like it’s come from nowhere and you don’t know why. 
I’ve just cried and told my fiancé what’s on my mind and at the very instant, my mum text checking we were still going Saturday. I told you the woman senses when I’m like this , it’s like she’s got a bloody camera on my feelings or something. 

My fiancé said it will be okay, it won’t be a late or heavy night and that we can come home rather than stay there. I said I know but Sunday was so awful and he said “yeah I know you said that, but I don’t really know why?”. I can’t explain that either – just seeing her and feeling that coldness and that lack of relationship hit me so hard Sunday. Clearly I’m not in a rush to repeat that feeling. 


My Mother Dissapointment 

Hey guys,

As some of you know a lot of my posts of late have been about either “Tina”, my redundancy situation or my new job (still can’t believe that!) but one thing I haven’t written about yet is what happened on Sunday. 
It’s no biggie, which is probably why I haven’t written about it but on reflection I’ve set aside any real emotional/therapy related stuff which was actually the reason for this blog in the first place so I thought I would share it. 

On Friday last week it was my step dad’s birthday. My mum text me a few days precious to remind me. That kinda annoyed me because of a few reasons. 1) when I was younger she physically hurt me because I “only” got her husband at the time a single on cd of his favourite song. According to her that wasn’t good enough and in my defence whilst she shouted at me I said the words “it’s the thought that counts”. More fool me, she attacked me and told me that on my birthday or at Christmas she would remember that and would say the same to me. It’s a small memory but one I’ve never forgotten. Reason 2) is that she doesn’t remind me when it’s anyone else’s birthday like my grandparents or my sister etc. Basically it irritated me and I knew that her reminding me wasn’t the real issue, it was my trigger to other things that hurt. 

Anyway. On his birthday I text him and wished him a good day. He replied thanking me and then I got on with my day and my weekend which consisted of having my three stepchildren and preparing for my interview. I didn’t think much of it. 

Over the weekend I brought him a card and a voucher for his favourite shop and delayed working out when exactly I would see him. Sunday came around and I knew it had to be done that day. The trouble was that as some of you know, the last time I saw my mum she was horrible and it really affected me. I wasn’t in a rush to repeat that experience and had vowed not to see my mum whilst T is away.

Sunday I decided I had to pop over and so me and my fiancé went there about 4pm. We were there about an hour. Small talk was made. My sister was there and that’s always an uncomfortable situation. When me, my mum and my sister are together there’s tension and there’s two people against the other. These days it’s the two against me. It was. I didn’t bite and I didn’t allow any awkward conversations. 

Inside however I was dying to tell my mum about the redundancy situation. I was dying to tell her that the next day I had an interview for a huge law firm. BUT, I knew better. So I didn’t say anything. 

She then asked “what are you doing about your job now?” Like she’s a bloody mind-reader! I said nothing. It felt uncomfortable. 

Soon we left and went home. I drove and had a headache. 

Soon after getting home, I was in floods of tears. I didn’t really know why and I still can’t pinpoint a reason but all I can say is this: 

It was uncomfortable, fake, cold and unfulfilling. It felt detached and horrible. She didn’t feel like family yet alone my mother. 

Lying to her felt shit. Not because she deserves more, but because I wish I had someone to share it all with…. I cried and my finance was wonderful – as ever. He comforted me and I cried. 

I told him that I didn’t want her to ruin my positive mood for my interview the following day and he made a point of boosting me back up. I told him that normally when I see her, I drink wine (as does everyone else) and that made the whole thing so much easier. Sometimes enjoyable dare I say it…. he told me that actually all I did was delay the inevitable and pointed out that I always cry the day after but that the drink allows me to get through the shitty feelings. I agreed. 

Luckily I did manage to move on somehow and I clearly did well in my interview Monday. 

When I was offered the job me and my fiancé were chatting that evening and he advised me to think about how and what I told her – when I eventually do. I said to him that I wasn’t sure what to say. He told me to protect myself because she would try to ruin it for me. I agreed. For those of you who have followed me for a while, you will remember what happened when I passed my driving test! She said I had only passed because I wouldn’t be on the road often. He said she would probably say the partner of this new law firm must be desperate and perhaps play on my guilt of leaving my current boss (and friend). He was and is right. 

So here we are. I have a new job and she doesn’t know… and that sucks. Not because it’s HER, but because it’s “my mum”. She truly is wank. 

And when I got T’s reply and she didn’t officially congratulate me, for whatever reason, it hurt again. 

Thank god for my fiancé and for you guys. 

And there we have it, another mother debarckle – here for me to read back when in doubt. 

Shit is getting real! 

Life is going too fast for me right now. I feel like I’ve been swept up into something and it’s all just happening without me doing anything! 

Last night the reality of the whole situation hit me and I cried my eyes out for about half an hour. Mainly at the fact I wouldn’t work with my fiancé anymore. I felt so upset and scared about this and I’m sure it’s triggered something somehow koz my reaction felt OTT. 

This morning the agent phoned and come back with the new firm’s revised salary. Much better, gives me a £1,500 rise from my current job which is great. So I accepted. 



This afternoon I took my boss into a meeting room and told him that I had decided to apply for voluntary redundancy and he was lovely. We chatted about it for nearly an hour and he told me that he is gutted but understands and even said at the end that he felt I was doing the right thing. He knew I was bored there. I very nearly cried but managed to hold it together. 

I then signed the VR form and sent the email off to HR… I have now officially applied for voluntary redundancy. 

Now I have to wait until the end of October/the beginning of November to see whether the firm accept or refuse my application. Feels like forever. 

In other news, T emailed back this morning. This is what she said: 

Thank you for letting me know about your potential new job. Sounds like it will be something that you could enjoy and that could potentially give you the challenge and interest you have been speaking about?

It feels you need my permission regarding dropping a session? Unfortunately I can’t do that as it’s your therapy and not mine and you are the one who knows how it feels to do that as there will be an impact on you. I agree that we need face to face space to discuss your feelings around this, your guilt, and the impact dropping a session could have on you and your therapy, when we meet after the break. I look forward to us being able to do that. In the meantime I am holding it all in mind and you are being thought about. Kindest wishes” 

It wasn’t what I was hoping for but I guess I knew it wouldn’t say much else. Typical T response isn’t it? Can’t give me her permission? Why the hell not? Haha. 

So yeah… there we go. New job offer – accepted. Voluntary redundancy application – submitted. Told boss and told T…. 

Permission to absolutely freak the fuck out now please? 

Holey Mackerel 

So right…. 

I had that interview today… I was told it was with H.R. Well it wasn’t, it was with the head of the department and her current PA! It’s just as well I did a whole load of preparation this weekend otherwise I would have been absolutely screwed! 

Anyway, it went so well. I can’t quite believe how well it went. We laughed, we smiled, it felt fairly relaxed, I answered her questions and she answered mine… I told her what I was looking for and she did the same – in short, it couldn’t have gone much better. 

The only slightly awkward part was when they asked me what my notice period was. I explained about the redundancy process and how I was applying for voluntary and that it meant I couldn’t start until the end of November… she seemed disappointed. I explained my reasons and said I would love to start sooner but there really wasn’t much I could do. I tried to sell myself and say how I would be able to get stuck in immediately though and with little training. 

Much to my pleasure, about 45 minutes later the phone rang and my agent said that they were prepared to wait for me (!!!) and an hour after that asked her to make me a formal offer 😮😮😮😮😮😮😮😮😮😮😮😮😮😮😮😮😮

(The agent then tried to undersell me so we’re currently negotiating salary) but let’s not focus on that right now. 

I can’t believe it. 

I felt elated but then I went to work and saw my fiancé, my friends and my boss and then felt really teary and sad. I will miss them and I felt scared and guilty. I think it’s just processing it all. 

Next step: I need to tell my boss I am going to apply for voluntary redundancy and ask him to back my application. I am NOT looking forward to this. What on earth am I going to say to him? Ten years we’ve worked together! Aghhh. 

Secondly: I need to tell T that I am dropping back to one session a week. I feel huge guilt about this and because she’s away, I’m worried she will think it’s some kind of acting out or something. It truly isn’t. I’ve sent her an email so await some kind of response. 

What a day!!! 

Interview tomorrow 

I’ve been totally preoccupied this week by my work situation. Mainly whether to apply for voluntary redundancy or not. 

I’m edging towards applying, and on the whole am pretty excited about finding a new job where I am challenged and where I will meet new people and be known as the person I am today and not the person I was ten years ago. I’ve signed up with 4 agencies and they have given me a confidence boost by telling me my cv is impressive and that I will be able to walk into another job! I needed to hear that. 

So, I have my first interview tomorrow morning. It’s for a very large American law firm based in London and I’m excited. I prepped all day yesterday and will do the same today to make sure I feel as confident as possible. My only reservation for the job is what the main partner is like to work for. I shouldn’t say this, but she is a very busy and well-known partner who heads up the department and my experience with working for women like that isn’t great…. I could of course be entirely wrong and so I wait to find out! I think I worry because I’ve attracted women who are narcs like my mum so I’m very cautious!

I’m 90% sure that if I leave I will be giving up my second session a week in therapy. My T doesn’t know this yet as she is away for another week still. I keep feeling guilty and am a bit worried about what she will say and of course there’s a bit of me that is worried I will regret it if I find myself struggling and needing it back.. but if I get a new job, I want to go in and prove myself and I don’t want to tell my new employer I have therapy. I want to start fresh somewhere and also, I’ve never felt the second session was as beneficial to me as it could have been (my own defences perhaps? Or maybe I got what I needed out of the Tuesday session?)…. 

I also dread having to sit my boss of 9 years down and tell him I am leaving, if I decide to. But I’m trying not to focus on that. 

Anyway… it’s all very much up in the air but I’m excited and nervous at the same time! 

Comfort Zone or New Path?

I have a day off work today so I am currently sat on the sofa in my pjs, a hoody and a blanket (with the heating on!) and a cup of tea. I swear it could be December but apparently its September!! I am now officially on a two-week therapy break but so far I have no feelings about it as I am completely preoccupied by some other life events which is what I am writing about today as I need to process these thoughts.

I was told on Friday morning that my firm are making 103 redundancies for my role and 40 of those are in my office alone. I have known this was coming for a while, but it was more speculation I guess and so I was half shocked and half not shocked by the official news.  At first I didn’t have much of a reaction but by the afternoon it seemed to hit me and I kept having fits of tears or anger. I don’t know what the anger was about really because it isn’t anyone’s fault. These things happen but either way, I was going between crying and anger.

Over the weekend I have thought about it a lot and me and my fiance sat down and spoke it all through yesterday morning for about an hour. I thought I had more or less decided what to do until I then went to a wedding last night with two of my bosses and their partners and they all said how upset they would be if I were to leave….. now I’ve woken up today and I feel totally unsure again.

Here are the facts: I have been with the company for 9 full years. I get on very well with my boss and my wider team and see them as a bit of a family I guess.  They have watched me grow from a teenager to a nearly 30-year-old woman. They’ve seen the change in me due to therapy, seen the relationships I’ve had come and go and now seen me get engaged.  I also work with my fiance, that is how we met.  I have it pretty easy at my company. I know my job inside and out and get the top-level of appraisal scoring every year without fail. I am also at the ceiling of my pay scale for my role.  They also know about my therapy and let me do special hours to enable me to go to my Thursday afternoon session and they know I have to leave on time on a Tuesday for my session too.

Reading that back makes me think I should stick it out and hope I don’t get forced to leave – I’d be mad to go when I have it so easy wouldn’t I?

However… BECAUSE they’ve known me since I was 19 years old, they still see me as that young child. Sometimes it feels as though they speak to me in ways that they wouldn’t speak to a new person of my age because we have so much time and history together. Knowing my job inside out makes for an easy and effortless day-to-day life, BUT it is boring. I have been bored in my job for a long time now but was sticking it out because I wanted to get maternity pay if me and my fiance were eventually successful in trying for a baby.  That is now on hold until after we get married next August.

In my most recent appraisal my boss said to me that he felt I had become “a bit complacent” and said that I was too much in my comfort zone. At the time I had cried a lot and I thought I had cried because I was insulted… now I think perhaps I cried because I knew he was right and I knew it was the beginning of the end of my time there.

You will know the background with my now ex friend “Tina” (not her real name).  I ended our friendship a few months ago now and obviously having to work together is not idea. I know this sounds mean, but if I were to leave, I could properly cut ties with her. I could leave that behind and that is tempting. It makes it easier for me (cowardly I know!).

Now the bit that I am embarrassed to admit… I LOVE working with my fiance. We both love it. We don’t see each other that much really but every now and again we will pass each other in the kitchen or on the working floor and occasionally we will go out for lunch together. I would really, really miss that. I feel utterly pathetic admitting this because we live together and so obviously we see one another every single night and all weekend. Why would I miss him so much? I don’t know. Perhaps its something to do with insecurity?

I feel like an idiot writing this, but as this is my journal of sorts I am going to anyway – I think deep down working together means that I don’t have to worry about him finding someone else. I know where he is and he knows where I am and its easy and I don’t panic about him. I don’t mean that in a controlling way if it reads that way.. but it’s just relaxing knowing he is there. We travel home together and I enjoy that time!! Anyway, obviously being a level-headed and less pathetic adult I know that we truly love one another, we are getting married and that not working together would not change that! I also know that I shouldn’t have to be “in his face” for him to not leave me or find someone new… I know it is totally irrational. T even said that us not working together might mean we find our time together more precious.  He says he would be gutted to not work together anymore but also said that if I left he would probably leave in a year or so and perhaps we are holding each other back in a way?

Anyway, how do you decide? I have to decide whether to apply for voluntary or not. I’ve worked out the financial offer and its approx £8,000. That is A LOT of money to me/to us. I am never going to be given a sum like that again and me and my fiance worked out that if I put say £200 a month aside, it would take me 40 months. 3.3 YEARS to save that amount!

Money aside, a new start could be good for me. I have changed so much in the last few year that this could be a really good time for me to do something new. I might find something new that challenges me again. It may wake me up a  bit in terms of my brain being used again. I would meet new people and be seen as the me now and not 10 years ago.  I would get away from Tina and I would get money….

But I am scared.

I truly am petrified. What if I am no good somewhere else? What if they don’t like me? What if I can’t get a job for months and end up spending all that money on just living? Am I being greedy just thinking about the money?

T said that she thinks a lot of my fears are just fantasies and not realities… even I can see that is probably true. When I feel a bit more confident I know I would do okay at interviewing and in a new role but it does make me nervous.  But perhaps nerves are exciting sometimes? Perhaps the nerves are actually what I need. Perhaps my boss was right when he said I was complacent and stuck in my comfort zone?

It just goes round and round in my head. One moment I am swayed to leave, the next I want to stay where I am in my familiar surroundings, with my fiance.

And one last thing.  Therapy. I can’t start a new job asking for Thursday afternoons off and more to the point, I don’t want to tell my new job any of my private struggles. I wish I had never told my current firm because it caused nothing but hassle.  But how would T feel about me dropping back to one session a week and more importantly perhaps, how would I find it?

My immediate instinct tells me that I would be fine doing one session a week again. Tuesdays are where the “work” seems to happen and Thursdays feel much more like chatting to a friend… but what if I only had the one? Would I go back to not being able to open up to her? Could we speak by phone another time? I love my therapy and I need my therapy BUT I want therapy to enhance my life, not rule it. Is that harsh? Am I kidding myself?

T is now off for 2 full weeks and 2 days so I can’t speak to her about all of this and so its all on my shoulders to decide. It feels like a HUGE decision which could change my life quite substantially.

Help me friendly readers!! Any advice would be really appreciated!!


It’s not about the therapy break!!!!

I was pretty desperate for last night’s session to come. I had stomach issues all day Monday and Tuesday and after spending all day Monday crying in the toilets at work, by last night I was really in need of some T time.

I walked in, sat down and brought Frank out of my bag. I sat him on the sofa and T commented on the fact I had him with me. I told her that as it was our last week before her 2 week holiday, I wanted to bring him with me to keep her “fresh” on him somehow. T used the subject of her holiday to tell me that she thought my email to her on Friday may have actually been an attempt to “keep her good for the break”.  I didn’t write about that email, but for background I had emailed her Friday morning to tell her I felt some sort of shift in my recovery and said that I felt very strong, optimistic and thanked her for making it all possible.

I kind of internally rolled my eyes when she said this and thought to myself “why can’t I just have been happy? Why does there have to be an unconscious ulterior motive?” but I didn’t say anything. T said she thought that perhaps if I let her know I was feeling good and was thankful to her – then the break would be easier and I wouldn’t worry about her going away and potentially not coming back if I was angry with her.  I told her that I didn’t think so, no. I genuinely felt very happy at the time. She said she didn’t doubt that possibly I did in that moment, but that similar to a bipolar episode when you are that “up” you can’t feel anything low at all – it keeps anything sad, hard, tough etc well and truly away and that it is often short-lived. She said she thought that when she read my email but thought to herself “let’s see if it holds”.

I jumped in here and said “and then you got my email on Monday” (the one where I said I was extremely sad post mother stuff). She laughed.

T said a few more things and then said she thought that potentially my mother got me in touch with my anger and that perhaps it was aimed at her for going away. I told her no, it wasn’t. I told her again that I felt okay about the break and that right now I was just preoccupied with the mother/narc stuff that was going on.

She said something else about the break/how I was probably angry with her… and I could feel myself getting a bit wound up. I looked away and thought to myself just grin and bear it, she will move on soon… I clearly can’t persuade her its nothing to do with the break. With that she said “what’s going on right now?”.

As soon as she said that I felt something in my body, it was quick and I’m not too sure what it was although on reflection today I think it was frustration. She said “are you angry?”… I paused and then said, I’m just upset and then began to cry a little.  I think looking back I was getting angrier and angrier because I felt like she wasn’t listening to me. I had said it wasn’t about the break over and over again and yet she seemed determined it was. I am always open-minded when she makes suggestions and she may even be right somewhere unconsciously but what am I meant to say if I can’t feel it??? It was irritating me because I felt like I was holding in sooooooooo much stuff from the weekend and needed a release so badly that this was wasting precious session time.  I think that perhaps I also felt like the blog I sent her Monday about how utterly sad I felt, how disappointed and how much grief I was feeling wasn’t being respected or acknowledged or something..

I can’t really remember what I said or what she said and the order of things but we discussed what happened with my mum Saturday night and I told her how the evening played out. Thankfully we moved on from the bloody break-anger at last. A while later I found myself really crying my eyes out with T encouraging me to get it all out and feel the release.  I cried a lot, I felt totally exhausted and wiped out.  I told  T that I just “hate it. I hate her sometimes so much” in a small, childish voice.  She said “of course you do, that is normal, that is okay”.

We went over lots of mother stuff and she told me that I would never win with her or with a narc in general and that the only way to stop this happening was to not engage. She acknowledged that it was understandable that I got sucked back in and suggested that next time I go to give a boundary away (like when I changed my mind about her birthday weekend which I am now regretting) I listen to the other voice in my head that says to hold off and wait and see for a while longer. I told her that I actually did have this voice in my head at the time and that I purposely went against it. I told it to be quiet. She looked sad for me and said that perhaps next time I would listen to it more, that it would be stronger.

She told me to keep myself safe during her break meaning don’t see my mum. I told her that I won’t and that the next time I will see her is the dreaded birthday weekend away. We spoke about that for a while and she suggested some ways that I could make it more manageable. She also told me that I did not have to go but clearly I feel like I do have to.  We spoke about that for a while and T said “you are so scared of her” (not in a mocking way) and I thought to myself how I hate it when she says that because I want to tell her she is wrong, but that I knew she wasn’t.  See, I can be objective!

I told T that I was worried whilst away on her birthday weekend she would invite people to our wedding in front of me again and that I had very nearly sent her a text yesterday to say I did not like what she did at the party (inviting people in front of me). I told her I didn’t send it but that I had wanted to.  T said perhaps wait and see if she does it again or that perhaps it should be done face-to-face.  T also suggested if she did it again, I should aim my response to her and say something like “Mum, the guest list is up to me and fiancé, thank you” but I said that would make me look bad and embarrass whoever the other person was.  I said it would also show her up and she would hate that. Hate that I wasn’t complying with her and hate that I would show her up and looking “rude”.  T suggested I spoke to her before that weekend and said to her ahead of time please do not do that so that if she did, she already knew what my response would be.

Conversation moved on to work and I told T that I had found out that redundancies were going to be announced this week for my job role and that I had found out they were considering accepting voluntary applications. I told her I suspected the announcement would be Friday afternoon as that seems to be the way they do things that might cause a reaction, they tell you and then send you home so that you don’t cause too much disruption to the firm. She asked me how I was feeling about it and I said I was anxious and couldn’t decide whether I wanted to apply for voluntary redundancy or not.  I told her my reasons for and against it and said that obviously a huge pull factor was escaping Tina.  It really would sever the contact between us for good. No need to see each other anymore at all and that was very attractive to me.

When I drove home I had some tears in my eyes as I thought to myself how kind, soothing and maternal I found her. How I wish when I looked in my mother’s eyes I had that same warmth instead of such an evil, coldness.  Her eyes pierce my soul sometimes. I thought to myself how much I love it when T laughs – like really laughs, sometimes she laughs loudly and throws her head back and it makes me warm inside.

So, I now have one final session with her, tomorrow afternoon and I have no idea what I want the focus of that session to be but I am not looking forward to it if she talks about the fecking break. I keep questioning myself is it that? Am I in denial? But its infuriating when you aren’t in touch with something that she so clearly thinks I am feeling – what am I meant to say to that?

I worry she is right and that it will all hit me as I leave tomorrow’s session. I know it sounds rather dramatic, but right now I am not at my strongest emotionally and I feel drained and I need tomorrow to be good, to be connecting and I absolutely can’t handle that pain of leaving her that sometimes kicks in on top of everything else. Perhaps I am compartmentalising I don’t know.

Oh and on a totally different note, I wondered to myself today if I sometimes self-sabotage. I was thinking that on Saturday when I decided I quite fancied some drinks that evening (with mother), I did have a voice in my head that said “you are really strong right now, you’ve just had a big shift in your therapy and the day with the kids has been great – why potentially ruin all of that?” and I just ignored it and said back to it that it would be fine (because I am so strong ….) Gah.  I also thought to myself that this has happened several times. I get to a good place and then I make contact to see her and it ends in tears – this is half the reason I was so annoyed with myself for falling into her trap again..  I have the knowledge there, I have that voice there trying to make me question my motives and I sometimes go against it.  I wonder why I do that.

Narcissistic hoovering 

I’m still wrapping my head around the events from Saturday night and the things that my fiancé said on Sunday about it.  I know I am a little preoccupied with it, but it had such a strong effect on me that I can’t help but try to make sense of it a bit more until it lessens its hold.

So far this is where I am at.

Ever since T told me that my mother suffered from NPD, I have made conscious efforts to keep her at arm’s length. I’ve distanced myself from her physically and emotionally. It has been hard because the only way I’ve really been able to do this, to keep that distance emotionally, has been to be on high-alert and I guess, feel angry – perhaps unconsciously.  For a long time when I saw her I felt highly defensive and have been known to be a bit passive with her.  I told T this once and said I was constantly on the look out for digs from her, insults and sometimes when she tripped herself up with lies I would make a point of questioning her.  T said it was anger then, she was right.

Then for a long while I totally switched off my feelings that I grieved for that relationship and felt “over it”.  I wrote a few months back that when T told me I still had hopes for things to be different with my mum, I got angry. It made me want to scream at her “NO I DO NOT!!!”. I reflected at the time that perhaps I was protesting too much.

Then I got engaged. I Facetimed her with my fiancé to tell her the news.  She reacted as predicted with screams etc. but it didn’t feel particularly genuine (although I don’t know if that’s me always assuming the worse or what)… the next day she sent balloons and flowers.  She didn’t tell the whole family, she let me do it – I was surprised. I was pleased.

I was allowed to tell everyone myself, she didn’t make it all about her or tell anyone at all – I thought this is good, she isn’t reacting as I predicted. This was part 1 to me being fooled.  The next thing to happen was that me and my fiancé met her, her husband, my Nan and Granddad for lunch one day.  When we walked towards them at the pub, I had hoped for a bit of a special greeting = maybe they would clap when they saw us or something but it was very normal. I was slightly disappointed secretly but not surprised. She didn’t really mention the engagement, she didn’t ask to see the ring or anything….. BUT she behaved herself well enough at the lunch and I left feeling like it had gone successfully.  Part 2.

I then secretly went to a wedding dress shop without her and found “the dress”.  I loved it and knew it was what I wanted but didn’t feel I could make any decision without her. The shop assistant suggested that I Facetimed her so she could see me in it. I did and she cried. My mother CRIED at me in my wedding dress. I felt so emotional that I cried too and I couldn’t believe she had reacted like that. The shop assistant and my sister-in-law told me how lovely my mum’s reaction had been – how I must have her all wrong (grrr) and I stupidly fell for the tears. I felt instant guilt that I hadn’t invited her to come along – after all, she reacted so well. No insults, digs, no comments that would upset me somehow…… she even PAID for my dress, in full!!!! Part 3.

The next day, she sent me a text to tell me she had transferred money (£2,000!) into my bank account. I couldn’t believe it. I was shocked and we discussed it because I didn’t think she could afford it, told her she didn’t need to etc. – I then thanked her (as did my fiancé). I was chuffed. An hour later she asked me if I was inviting someone and I replied to say no. She replied “well, that is awkward” and I thought this could be the start of it all…  I thought to myself then that I shouldn’t spend that money yet as I may need to offer it back if the money comes with a price but she didn’t kick off like I thought she would and she didn’t refer to the fact she had sent me money…. I did feel obligated but I wanted to keep firm. Part 4.

I then made an appointment at the dress shop and we both took a day off work to go and show her my dress. She cried again (I didn’t because it didn’t feel very genuine to me) and then we went for lunch afterwards. She was fine, it wasn’t the stuff dreams are made of but she behaved herelf. She even brought me my veil and a necklace that I was going to buy myself. Part 5

Me and my fiancé saw her about a week later for dinner at her house, she was on good form – good behaviour and because it was a work night, she didn’t get drunk and we left by about 9pm – another successful night! Part 6.

That leads us to Saturday where it all fell to shit. As soon as I saw her I felt it. The change had happened. The closest thing I can relate the feeling to was that I picked up on her anger. She seemed angry or jealous or both. I’m not quite sure. I’ve already written about the specifics of that evening so I won’t go into that again here.. the point is, by Saturday I had been hoovered back in.  I had been fooled that things were finally different. I foolishly thought that because the last month had been “normal” that we had somehow turned a corner where we could maintain a healthier relationship! and then I was rather brutally proved wrong.

I’ve gone over the specific events again and again since then and I think I’ve put most of them down to a lack of attention towards her, too much attention towards me and my fiancé (engagement related), her anger that me and my boyfriend were paying my aunty and uncle attention and genuinely getting along well with them (because she HATES him and constantly slags my aunty off too) and the fact that I was having a better time than her.  But I could be wrong.

I obviously don’t know what was going on inside her mind. The fact that when we got in the car to leave, the first thing she said was “[Uncle] is still a total wanker isn’t he?” to which her husband agreed and me and my fiancé blanked.  She then went on to say how close she was with my other cousin (other side of the family who wasn’t there) and how that cousin wishes she were her mum. I am pretty sure that was said to either spark envy in me or to remind me that she was attractive and wonderful and that it was only me that couldn’t see that.  I didn’t bite.  Her inviting a couple to our wedding who we do not know (and would never invite) I think was her attempt at seeing if she could still have that power over me – testing to see if I would still allow her to do that – if I would let her do what she wanted or not and her complete lack of response at me telling her we had a wedding fare on Sunday I put down to either a lack of interest and an unwillingness to pretend she cared for my sake OR jealousy.

I get the distinct impression that she hates my happiness. My happiness makes her unhappy. That is a bitter pill to swallow and one that is hard to fully comprehend. Not just my happiness, but anyone’s.  She seemed irritated that me and my boyfriend liked my aunty’s new bathroom, that we said how cool their garden was (she even said “I don’t think so – it was better before”).  It made me question, were the tears when I was in my wedding dress about how proud she felt seeing her little girl grown up and happy OR envy related?

Anyway, I feel annoyed with myself that I let my guard down because I had boundaries in place with her that I removed when I (clearly) got sucked back in… I allowed myself to be hoovered back.  I did things/said things that would make her happy – I knew it as I did it but told myself that it was okay this time “because she really was behaving”.  For example, it is her 50th birthday in a few weeks and she has invited the whole word to a weekend away “clubbing”.  I told her we could only go for the Saturday day and overnight and not the entire weekend as she had wanted. I knew it had displeased her considerably but remained firm. I didn’t even want to go but was trying to remove any further drama.  When I got sucked back in recently, I told her me and my fiancé could now come Friday and Saturday – I knew she would be happy about that and she was.  Now I am regretting it hugely.  Lesson learnt.

She also told us thta she had got us tickets to a festival recently. We didn’t know anything about it and she said “didn’t I tell you?” – well it turns out to be on my aunty’s 50th birthday. As that came out that evening she said “Oh no, you are joking! We are all going to this festival!!!”.  I have no doubt it was done on purpose. But we had said we would go.. now what! ?

I feel as though the right thing to do now is to put the boundaries back in. Reinstate the physical and emotional distance and learn my lesson that just because it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck..  doesn’t in fact mean it is one. It’s a hard lesson to learn but I guess an important one.

So now I guess I keep my distance again…. I stay away from her again until I have to see her (at her birthday now) which I am dreading. I have to go, it will be all about her – which, let’s face it is nothing new! She will be drunk and she will have all her flying monkeys there – all the family and friends that think she is the bee’s knees and all those (especially the cousin I refer to earlier) telling her how beautiful, clever, funny she is.. buying her special 50th birthday presents.. she will be absolutely LOVING the spotlight and attention and maybe that will keep any anger or jealousy away from me.. BUT I am now back to feeling angry and dissapointed and hurt and stupid and all the other things from allowing myself to be fooled and so I feel like I’m back to square one of feeling defensive around her and probably becoming passive when she does and says things that are stupid or blatant lies. I will struggle again as she is so fake towards the people she regularly slags off (like uncle for example) and will not enjoy myself at all. It’s a potentially dangerous position for me to be in because the unfairness of it all mixed with alcohol and all these people who think she is great (add for extra annoyance the “your mum misses you so much”) and it makes me want to kill her.

Clearly I wouldn’t actually do anything like that – but it does make me so angry that I find it VERY hard to bite my tongue. VERY HARD and that is the worst thing that I could do because last time I reached my limit and exploded (3 years ago) all that happened was that I “proved” my mother right – apparently she had told everyone how jealous, angry, nasty I was .. and so my explosion confirmed to them all that my poor mother was, in fact, the victim.





Empaths & Narcissists: Wising up

Hi all, happy Sunday.  I’ve been having a lot of inner-dialogue today so thought I would take some time to sit and write and clear my brain out a bit.

I feel pretty good really although busy in my brain.  The main thing occupying my brain space at the moment are thoughts about empaths and narcissists.  I’ve been Googling a lot about the toxic and dysfunctional attachment they have with each other, or more accurately, myself as empath and the narcissists in my life.

I’ve been doing my usual Googling, looking at quotes on pintrest and reading books to help really cement things in my brain and I’ve learnt a lot of stuff.  I have never really read much about empaths and what they are but I now see that I fit that label very well.

As an empath I pick up on other people’s emotions VERY quickly and easily. I can feel their emotions and I have clearly internalised growing up that it is my job to make those people feel better. To be some sort of healer or something.  I am highly sensitive. I care what other people think about me to excess. I have some sort of antenna for mood changes, facial expressions and various other things that other people probably don’t notice.  I now understand that the purpose of being so aware of these moods/emotions is basically that I have lived constantly hypervigilant.  Always living in fight or flight mode – it was for my own protection! My unconscious plan was that if I stayed alert, I would be able to quickly eradicate any perceived danger from someone who was dangerous (someone who is angry or upset that could cause me harm) and that I could learn to “fix” whatever the problem was for them, I would then be safe again. Hence why I am such a people-pleaser.  It was actually a clever defense mechanism but one that I now need to stop using.

All throughout my life I’ve been called “sensitive” and “needy”. My mother and my ex work friend (hereafter to be named “Tina”) always told me I was overly sensitive and made it clear that was a character flaw, however…… from what I now understand, that is exactly how they liked and needed me to be! If I wasn’t such an empath, if I wasn’t so “sensitive” then I wouldn’t have been able to provide such a wonderful source of narcissistic supply for them. Isn’t that ironic?

Moving on to them, the narcissists in my life – they are attracted to empathetic, people- pleasers like me because we provide them with everything they need to feel good about themselves.  Narcissists are not empathetic people, they do not have the ability to put themselves in other people’s shoes, they are not kind and considerate and they need a lot of admiration. They crave everything that an empath happily provides. So unfortunately its a sick kind of win/win situation.  Everyone’s happy.. right? Unfortunately yes, until the empath wises up to whats going on and gets some boundaries OR the narcissist decides to discard of  the empath through boredom and moves on to a new source of supply.

Narcissists come in all shapes and sizes and the two I am writing about, my mother and Tina are very different types. My mother is your more stereotypical narcissist, she is loud, a know-it-all, she is always trying to be the centre of attention, she is fake, a chameleon, she thinks she is beautiful and cares VERY much about material possessions. She is selfish and bossy and she does not care what people think of her because in her eyes, she is the creme de la creme.  Add to that the fact that she is my mother and she had a lot of control over me, plus she had all of my life to train me to please her properly.

The way that my mother controlled me was mainly by her never giving me her approval or love. She was emotionally (and physically) absent and unloving. I never felt good enough for her and so I would do and try literally anything. Every now and again, I would get a very tiny snippet of approval as a reward and I would then know what I needed to do more of .. except it was like she dangled a carrot that I would never reach.  This “approval” made me invent a whole new “self” a fake personality that was much more like her. Luckily that didn’t last and the real self is still here and fighting to get back out. Unfortunately my sister is now at this stage and is clearly becomming more and more sucked in to narcissisim herself for the same reason… our mother’s approval. It’s sad.

Tina on the other hand is a more covert narcissist. She is not physically that interested in her appearance, in fact she is obese. Her narcissism comes from her ability to play the victim card very well. She makes you feel sorry for her. She makes you want to look after her or make her feel better about her miserable life but yet, confusingly at the same time, she makes it clear that she is above you, better than you somehow and much more knowledgeable and well put together than you are. She controlled me by playing on my people-pleasing need and used to guilt-trip me into keeping her happy.  If I did not keep her happy then I would pay the price of her guilt-tripping me (look how sad I am already, are you really going to leave me like this?), making me feel I was being extremely selfish (after everything I have done for you?) or by being more passively aggressive by not talking to me for hours/days and sulking very obviously by slamming and banging things and muttering barely audible things under her breath.  She did also outrightly tell me I was selfish and “rude”.  Tina kept me in a down position. She kept me weak and vulnerable and needy. She kept me small.

And so I spent the last 8 or so years trying to keep her happy at my own expense – as an empath I had no boundaries and I didn’t know where I ended and someone else began. I genuinely didn’t realise that it wasn’t my sole purpose in life to make everyone else feel better! I didn’t even consciously know that I did this.

Its sad actually that I ever attracted Tina in the first place because what drew me to her was how different to my mother she was!! Little did I know she was actually going to be the same (in a different but toxic way).  Tina was bundles more maternal than my mother was, she had children and she doted on them. She spoke about them all the time and she sold me this story of what a wonderful mother she was. It was everything I ever wanted and so I wanted in on that. She called me her “adopted daughter” and I called her “work mum”.  Now I realise how sadly sick that was.

So, here I am now 29 years old, nearly 3 years into some pretty intense therapy for “insecurity in relationships” which actually turned into therapy for attachment based issues, having a narcissistic mother, childhood trauma of various types and other things that I am only just learning about… but I feel genuinely relieved, pleased and, dare I say it? proud that I am understanding all of this for the first time. I am seeing it through clear eyes for the first time in all its distorted, murky, twisted, sick dysfunction and it feels weirdly empowering.

This is what I’m thinking today. I am an empath – I accept that 100% and that being an empath doesn’t make you this sweet, innocent, perfectly nice girl it actually makes you give away your power. It makes you weak and vulnerable. It means you have no self-esteem and you rely on everyone else to tell you who you are. That is not good. Being an empath is a weakness, not a strength.

My mother, and Tina (and my old friend who I’ve previously written about that I walked away from last August) are all narcissists which yes, does make them all selfish and abusive to varying degrees BUT I allowed them to be that way. It is ME that let them have that power over me and ME that encouraged their control to continue.  I accept that too, I own that. [I guess I have slightly more sympathy for myself where my mother is concerned because I was a baby and child who knew no different but hopefully you know what I mean.

So I now understand what part I play in all of this and in life generally I guess. I also understand what parts they play and that means I can change it. I’ve now ended two friendships with narcissists that were bad for me and bad to me. They are now out of my life and the guilt for friend 1 has totally and completely gone. The guilt for Tina is lessening every day, particularly this weekend since I’ve read and understood all of this stuff, it’s really helped to ground me. It is very hard to undo everything you’ve ever known, and it has clearly taken me nearly 3 years of therapy to get to this stage which sounds INCREDIBLY slow doesn’t it? but I think I needed that long to get my head around this, to fight through my defences and to really accept all of it enough to be able to look at it more objectively and change it.

My mother continues to be a hard case to crack, clearly she is never going to be as easy as friend 1 and Tina – there is a lot of deeper stuff involved with her, but one thing that is helping is to know it isn’t actually about me at all. It truly isn’t – I see that now and that takes the sting out of things so much.

On that note, I was with her last night at a gathering at my aunt’s house. I sensed as soon as I saw her some sort of aggression or anger or something. It’s very hard to describe, I can sense it on her. It may be in her eyes or something.. I can FEEL it (see, empath me!) and I acknowledged that to myself. During the course of the evening she got visibly worse, probably helped by alcohol.  By the time we had left the gathering she:

  1. Completely ignored me when I told her me and my fiance were heading to a wedding show today. She literally went “umm” which in my mother’s language means “I couldn’t give two fucks”.
  2. She later called me by another girl’s name who she is friends with. That girl wasn’t even there.
  3. She clearly got jealous that I was having a good time and dancing to the music that my uncle was playing and so turned his music off and replaced it with what “everyone else wanted”. She then told me “it isn’t all about you!” which irritated me beyond belief at the time because I had nothing to do with my uncle’s choice of musi, but today I more clearly see the blatant projection of how it is actually “all about HER”.
  4. She then invited two people to my wedding in front of me! People we had only met once, a year or so ago who absolutely would not be invited to our wedding. I couldn’t believe the front of her. I am not sure whether it was done to get a reaction from me and enjoy my night, because she was visibly irritated by my enjoyment – or – whether she just invited them because she thinks she has the right.
  5. And lastly, on the way home she told me how at a party recently her and my cousin (who I dislike BECAUSE of my mother – long story) were talking together for hours and hours and how she wished my mum was her mum. She literally said “she loves me and said she just wishes I was her mother because we are so close“.  It riled me up so much at the time but today it makes me laugh. What a pathetic attempt at making me jealous! That cousin gives her everything she needs. She showers her with admiration and affection and they are “close” yes, very.. I would go as far as to say dangerously enmeshed. Good luck to them, rather her than me!

So, watch this space. I am making changes and I am feeling good about them. A new me is in the making.

removing toxic ppl

this is the part wherecant change ppl

stage 4 boundaries

Some links that I found helpful: