Where does it go? 

As I was sat in the hairdressers this morning I reflected back on the events that unfolded since my session Thursday. I thought about the initial upset, then the anger, the missatunement, the confusion, more anger and then yesterday’s decision to tell T how I was feeling. 

LUCKILY for me, T responded quickly and said she heard I was angry with her (I bet she nearly fell off her chair!) and she asked me if I was able to come for another session that same day – only two hours later actually! 

Unfortunately I couldn’t go, as much as I would have loved to, because I was at work but I really love that she offered. 

I told her I couldn’t, but would have really loved to and she replied to say that as that wasn’t going to work she was “here” and thinking of me, that she understood the anger and confusion and acknowledged that her missatunement (is that an agreement?) had got me in touch with my anger and pain. 

She suggested that I kept writing and told me she would not retaliate and told me to “hang in there“. 

I felt instantly better. Like within moments and that hasn’t changed since. In fact today I feel happy and have been singing along to my tunes in the car. 

I dreamt of “her” last night. I say “her” like that because it was meant to be her but I’m not sure her face was right – I don’t actually recall a face but I knew it was T if that makes sense. [side question: does anyone struggle to call up an image of their T? I can’t picture her when I’m not in fromt of her at all. I would struggle to draw a picture of her or describe her to someone]

Anyway, the dream was that I was at her family home with her dream husband and daughter. Me and her daughter were playing together and I stayed over and had dinner the next day. We went outside to her garden which was absolutely beautiful and huge. It even had pink blossom trees and a stream! We sat and played games and it was heavenly. 

I remember in the dream that they had some suitcases out in a room on the floor and had started to pack for a skiing trip. I think I was sad about that but trying to push that out of my mind. 

My sister was with me too, she was very young in the dream and lost a tooth which I looked after for her. 

When we were leaving T gave me a melon, some yogurts and an open can of baked beans (how odd!!) I loved that she gave me those things and didn’t want to leave. I left and drove me and my little sister home. 

I woke up and shortly after I fell back to sleep, this time I dreamt of what I can only describe as a giant heart shape made of grass and hedges and I was pushing the centre of the heart desperately trying to get inside. 

To break through the heart. Symbolic much? 

Dreams aside, I’m just wondering, why I feel so much better just because T knows? I wonder psychologically speaking why that helps so much? How has it completely removed the anger? Why do I feel so adult and content today when I felt so desperate then? 

Not that I’m complaining of course, I just wonder why it’s made such a huge difference. 

Anger, Sadness, Confusion and Misattunement

I can’t cuddle Frank right now. Actually I can’t even look at him so I threw him off the side of the bed last night. My boyfriend said, “ooh is someone angry with T?” Yes. Yes I am. He asked why but I felt far too vulnerable to tell him. Poor innocent little Frank though.

I am feeling angry but I’m also feeling hurt and misunderstood and rejected although I’m not actually sure why I feel rejected! On top of that I feel some guilt because (and as a reader pointed out earlier) I have a suspicion in the back of my mind that my anger may be disproportionate and misdirected.

Here’s what happened from my perspective:

I left T yesterday and felt instantly uneasy. I felt a mixture of sadness and anger. I later managed to write and realised the feelings (which were quite young) were that I felt I hadn’t “had enough” of T yet before I had to leave her again and be without her for another 5 days.  I cried quite a lot and was really in touch with the sad feelings.

I then decided to reach out and email T to tell her this was how I was feeling. I felt vulnerable doing this because there was a risk that she may think I was being over the top and extreme – it is, after all, only a few days. But I did it anyway and I really hoped she was going to reply and say she understood that it felt it wasn’t enough, that I didn’t want to leave, that I would miss her and that I would soon be back…or in my fantasy that she would tell me to come back on Saturday or something and that she missed me too (obvs I know that wouldn’t happen but a girl can dream!)

BUT

But what happened was that she replied nicely, very kindly – but in my eyes, to me, about the wrong thing. It felt she got it wrong and the anger that brought up in me was pretty scary. I was so angry that she hadn’t “got it”.

It wasn’t about the child bit not having been tended to in session (as she said) it wasn’t that! It was just that I didn’t want to leave her again. I didn’t want to have to go away from her. I suspect there is some transference going on here – perhaps I am feeling something from my past or whatever, perhaps its an emotional flashback.  It feels to me that it is about the break and about missing her and being left alone again already or something. Perhaps I am scared she will be gone too long – I don’t know but what I do know is that it isn’t that the child bit didn’t feel it got what it needed – it wasn’t that. It’s just that I will miss her.

I got so angry because I felt so unseen and T has never made me feel like that before. I felt so much anger that she missed the point – that she had read my writing and was being so misattuned to me – that was so painful. She’s meant to be perfect – she’s meant to be a mind-reader AND she’s meant to just get it and make it feel better but she didn’t and that felt horrific. She made it worse and now I hated her for that. I felt so disappointed.

I shouted “no!!! no!!!!” out loud through my sobs to myself – no, please don’t get it wrong, please don’t make me feel worse, please don’t be imperfect, don’t let me be angry with you. Because she is the only person that I’m NEVER angry with you know? She is the safe person, the safe place. She is the good mother and I don’t want to turn her bad.

 

T has said to me in the past that sometimes in therapy our psyche can distort things to get us to where we need to be. So with that in mind, perhaps I have “made” some anger at T as I need an excuse to direct my anger somewhere? But obviously if that is the case it is unconscious and so it doesn’t FEEL like that.

It could be misdirected and actually be about anger I have towards my mother (I will call her bitchface from now on I think).. but that hasn’t been my style before, so why now?

OR it could be that being angry with T is easier than having to feel that horrible, painful longing for her that I was feeling before she “got it wrong”. I don’t miss her now I’m angry although I am desperate for this to be resolved.

Who knows.

That now leaves me here and wondering what to do for the best. Half of me wants to contact her again, take another risk (although that feels very scary). I half want to tell her that I’ve felt angry since she replied yesterday because it feels she didn’t “get it”. To tell her that it triggered a strong reaction in me of anger and that I’ve felt uncomfortable about it since. To tell her that my response was typed very bluntly (but I wasn’t sure she had picked up on that or not) and as she then hadn’t replied it felt even worse (hello, why aren’t you a mind-reader??).  Oh and that kind regards, best wishes and all other sign-offs were pissing me off too because they felt cold and clinical and that her name and a kiss would feel much warmer (LOL).

Or do I just sit with it and wait until I see her next Tuesday night?

That is potentially safer in that there can be no more misattunement – no more understandings and therefore no more potential anger or sadness to have to deal with BUT the likelihood is that I will push it all down and away and come Tuesday I will feel as though I am “over it” although I probably won’t be and I won’t tell her because I won’t feel it necessary and then and even if I did, the feelings would be removed and it would all feel rather unimportant and small. That doesn’t feel particularly healthy or productive.

What is best, not risking more misattunement and not getting anything resolved or risking more misattunement and more anger but getting some reassurance?

I hate it when these things crop up at the end of the week and then you have to go into your Friday and weekend feeling confused and hurt and upset and rejected. I don’t want to have to carry that all weekend and i don’t seem to be much good right now at “holding” it (if I ever have been).

T has said to me in the past that when my anger comes I may find her emails set me off and that we can’t deal with the anger via email because it can make it worse – she said it almost becomes a case of damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t in regards to responding to a client in that situation and that she may have to reply to say we would speak about it in session – to “bring the anger into the room” – and can you imagine if she did that? IF best wishes set me off, what would that do?

Is there a chance that T IS right? am I misunderstanding my own feelings? Because if I am, then clearly I do not want to be telling her all of this and then look like a total tit! My gut is telling me that she isn’t right but I am now so confused by everything I am doubting myself.

Yeserday in session T said how there will be a part of me that is still hoping my mother will change and I said no there isn’t. She said there will be even if I am not consciously aware of it and I said again, no there isn’t. Not any more. I felt a bit of resistance in me. A little tiny bit of anger I guess – NO I DON’T!!! but I imagine that could be because she is right and I am wrong. Is this the same? I don’t think so, but???

WWWWWAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

 

Ps, bitchface text me about ten minutes after T’s response – can you believe that?

 

 

 

FFS

Read previous blog first or this won’t make any sense

I’ve never felt anger towards my T before. Never. Not consciously anyway.

Until just now.

I emailed her to tell her how upset I am and why. I even put in quotes the sentence about wishing I could sit on her lap for longer etc.

She replied just now, it’s a very kind and gentle reply but she didn’t understand. She said how tough it is for me that my child part didn’t get tended to today because I only ever take my adult self on a Thursday. But that isn’t the problem!

I know this probably doesn’t seem like a big deal to people but I felt so hurt and upset and disappointed and (I can’t believe it but..) angry!

I burst into tears and said out loud “no, no!!!”.

Now I wish I hadn’t told her! Now it’s worse.

I replied quite bluntly (another first!) and said it wasn’t about that. It was the break stuff. I don’t think she will reply because I kinda closed the convo down but maybe if she picked up on some anger somehow that would help? But why would she pick up on anger – I didn’t tell her I was angry. Clearly she’s not a mind-reader!

Oh also. What’s with fucking kind wishes or best wishes or whatever – why does that feel so horribly cold and professional?!

AGGHHHHHH!!

I Haven’t Sat On Her Lap For Long Enough Yet.

When I left my session this afternoon I walked to my car and felt like I had a heavy weight inside my chest. It was heavy and strong. I knew that meant  that I was upset, that I needed to cry.   I got in the car, started the engine and put my seatbelt on and then I just sat there for a moment to see what was going on.

My eyes filled up with tears but it didn’t feel like I could get in touch with these feelings sat outside T’s house and so I drove off.  A few more tears rolled down my face a few minutes later. I tried to figure out what the tears were about  and a fleeting ‘voice’ in my head said it was because I was driving away from T’s. I quickly rejected that thought, nah, it couldn’t be that.

I drove to the gym despite the fact I really couldn’t be bothered to go. I thought that perhaps I could run it out. Usually it helps to release some tension but it didn’t because I couldn’t catch a thought long enough to use it fuel me.

I left the gym and drove home. On the way home my road rage found its way out again, I found myself screaming “fucking go then!!!!! IDIOT!!” and could feel how wound up and tense I was.  I questioned myself – am I angry?

That didn’t feel right either (although the road rage clearly is an anger release). I WAS angry but I was also other things. Anger was too simple.

I got home and went and had a shower and then I sat on the bed and burst into tears. Ah thank God. That release was sooo needed. I remembered to be nice to myself and I tried to talk to my inner child (in my head) asking what was upsetting her , asking what she needed?

Some fleeting thoughts came and went and they seem to be a mixture of  a reaction of the material I spoke about in therapy and leaving therapy today.

Why am I upset about leaving my session though? I haven’t worked this through properly in my head yet but the thoughts unfiltered are something like this: She only just came back and now I have to leave her again. I want her to stay for longer. I wish I could have stayed for longer. I haven’t had enough yet, it doesn’t feel like I should have to go away again yet …… [insert floods of tears here – hang on….].

Okay.. that got me.

I shouldn’t have to go away again yet/already – SHE shouldn’t be gone away again/already….

I know logically of course that she is now back from her break. That we are back to normal sessions but something about leaving my session has set me off. I don’t know why.

If I try to liken the situation to a real-life past event I can think that my mother regularly went away on holiday and then when she came back I would see her for a day or two before being shipped back off to someone else as she went out clubbing etc. Is that what I am remembering/feeling? Perhaps somewhere inside it feels as though I’ve seen her a little bit (but not enough) and now I am going to be away from her for another 5 days. 5 days feeling like forever right now when in fact it isn’t a long time and factually speaking it’s 4 days as I see her on the evening of the 5th…

I just feel I haven’t had enough yet. I don’t feel like I’ve made the most of her – I haven’t absorbed her enough yet. Her face and voice feel a bit faded at the moment.  It isn’t quite strong enough yet. She doesn’t seem “here” enough yet.

I haven’t sat on her lap for long enought yet to be able to go off and play happily. I still want to sit there and I want to cuddle her and smell her perfume and take her in for a bit longer before I have to leave her again. (Metaphorically speaking.)

I’ve had tears running down my face the whole time I’ve been typing this – they haven’t eased off yet.

I feel I have not had enough yet. I shouldn’t be back on my own again yet. It isn’t fair. She is too far away already and again and it hurts right now. It really, really hurts like hell.

Taking Stock

Hello gentle readers!

I have just written the following and realised as I went to publish it that it is one of the only positive posts I’ve put on for a long while. I wanted to apologise for the doom and gloom in my posts lately but it has been a very hard time for me. Today I feel very empowered. I wrote this because I finally get to see T tonight after 12 days and I wanted to figure out before seeing her exactly where I was. I needed to stand still for a while and take it all in and I am really glad I did.  My brain feels like it’s had a bit of a tidy-up.

According to an article I read this morning, these are the phases in recovering from parental narc abuse:

  • Developing self-compassion
  • Eliminate inner critic and toxic shame
  • Build self-trust
  • Exercise self-care

I was mentally going over the list and seeing where I was in this process and I had the following thoughts.

Developing self-compassion
I’ve actually surprised myself with this one. I think I do alright in the self-compassion stakes these days. I could certainly give myself much more of a hard time than I presently do. I’ve noticed that I understand WHY I have done things in the past where previously I would have beaten myself up for it.  I am surprised that I haven’t turned on myself which is apparently very common. I do wonder how I’ve managed to develop self-compassion given that it was never modelled to me. Perhaps having a very kind and gentle boyfriend has helped with this? I do think that between him and T, they have helped to show me what it is to be empathetic to your `self`, and not just to others. T particularly has repeated certain things over and over to me which have started to stick in my brain. I can hear her words sometimes which can only be a good thing!

Eliminate inner critic and toxic shame
I guess this goes hand in hand with developing self-compassion really doesn’t it. You can’t really be compassionate towards yourself if you still have a vicious inner critic, can you? I am aware of my inner critic these days. I can listen to the things she says. I personally view my inner critic as my mother. I tell myself that the words are her words – not mine and that helps me to want to disagree with them – to go against them or to prove them wrong.

Toxic shame
I think I still struggle with shame but at least I am more aware of it than I’ve ever been before. I can identify and acknowledge when I feel shame whereas before it was just part of who I was – not an emotion. I can also identify WHY I feel the shame and as before, I know it isn’t mine to own. Shame feels awful and when I am very caught up in it, it is definitely a child-state for me, I rarely feel shame when I am in my adult brain. Shame for me tends to be brought on by feelings of rejection, mainly from my mother and my father but I am starting to try to go against this pattern now. Slowly but surely there is progress.

Build self-trust
Do I trust myself? That’s a weird question and not one I’ve ever thought about before. In terms of the inner child and learning to comfort her, I am certainly on my way to doing this well. Recently in light of new feelings towards my parents I’ve had a very strong image of little me – my inner child. That image makes me upset because the child looks so lonely and sad and vulnerable. To think that people could hurt her makes me very protective and angry. I am learning when I am upset or lonely or crying or triggered to talk to my inner child and try to comfort her. I try to understand and validate her rather than criticise or reject her (reject myself I suppose). So this is also a work in progress.

Exercise self-care
I whole-heartedly agree with the article that being a child of a narc means you are so focussed on meeting their needs and keeping them happy that what you want seems to fall by the wayside. I realised a year or so ago that I didn’t even know myself. I didn’t know what I did and didn’t want or what I did and didn’t like. I had no real opinion – I guess that was always given to me! BUT I am gradually starting to build up a sense of self. I am trying new things and dipping my toe in the water so to speak with various aspects of my life. It is sad sometimes to realise quite how much I’ve been held back. I often wonder what I could have done and could have been, but I am lucky that I am young enough to spend the rest of my life differently.

Yesterday that book I mentioned was delivered the “inner self listography”. I haven’t had chance to do it yet but I am looking forward to it. Getting to know yourself, starting again – changing the internal message.

Another article I read sets out the stages of grief in recovery from narc parents as below:

  • Acceptance: We have to accept first that the parent has limited love and empathy to give, or we cannot allow ourselves out of the denial and learn how to feel our feelings. Acceptance is the first step in recovery, after you realize the problem.

  • Denial: As children, we had to deny that our parents were incapable of love and empathy so we could survive. A child yearns for love above all else, and we needed the denial to keep growing and surviving.

  • Bargaining: We have been bargaining our whole life with the narcissistic parent, both internally and with them. We have been wishing and hoping that they will change, that they will be different the next time we need them. We have tried many things over the years to win their love and approval.

  • Anger: We feel intense anger and sometimes rage when we realize that our emotional needs were not met and that this neglect has affected our lives in severe, adverse ways. We feel angry with the parent and ourselves for allowing patterns to develop and for being stuck.

  • Depression: We feel intense sadness that we have to let go of the hope for and the vision of the kind of parent we wanted. We realize that they will never be as loving as we want them to be. We feel like orphans or un-parented children. We let go of all expectations. We grieve the loss of the vision of these expectations.

I was stuck in denial my entire life. I was still in denial for a large part of my therapy. Even after intellectually understanding the fact she was a narc. It took a very long time for the denial to lessen and eventually (now) pass.  Bargaining was something that I did my entire life (as it correctly identifies).  I think* I have finally given up that hope. Right now at least, I genuinely accept that she will never be what I want her to be. I accept that she is damaged and limited in ways it is hard to comprehend. I do not forgive her yet. I am nowhere remotely close to forgiveness, BUT the hope of her having an epiphany has gone. That has to be a big step, right?

For me personally I was in the “depression” phase as it is called here for a lot of the last…. Well, since about October last year I think. On and off. The sad feelings and enormity of them would hit now and again, like a tidal wave and floor me completely. Then I would recover a bit before the next wave. I have no doubt that this will continue. I think right now I am bouncing around in the anger and acceptance phase. Seeing the abuse clearly – seeing her clearly is a huge step in this recovery.  The anger is new for me but has ramped up steadily over the last few weeks. I think I finally understand why T has said anger is healthy for so many years (anger that I had repressed and was not in touch with). I now understand that the reason it is healthy is because you can only really feel in touch with the anger when you love and respect yourself enough to care about what has happened to you. How could we not feel angry? I am currently caught somewhere between scared of – and embracing my anger. As another article says (and hits the nail on the head for me!) “Whatever glorified image a person had of their narcissistic parent is now completely shattered”.

I said this in my “letter” to my mother yesterday and I meant it – I must be resilient and I must be strong regardless of the false messages my mother gave me (does anyone else struggle to use the words mum or mummy when dealing with this stuff? I may have to think of a new word). I feel strong today and ready and capable and just very, very pleased (proud?) that I am learning the truth and that I will one day look back on all of this and it will be in the past. That I am turning my life around and that I’m doing it all for ME and not for someone else – not for her.

I feel empowered. I wish that would last!!

 

 

Articles referred to:

http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/how-to-heal-from-narcissistic-abuse-of-parent-1116165

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-legacy-distorted-love/201205/it-s-all-about-me-recovery-adult-children-narcissist

Escape

How has it taken me 29 years to see you for what you are?

29 years I have had a distorted image of you. I’ve managed to protect you all the while hurting myself. That is the story of my life you know, you coming first. You did it to me and then I took over where you left off and continued to put you before me, too.

No more.

It’s like I’ve had blurred vision my entire life. How on earth did I ever look at you and think you beautiful? Why the hell did I look to you for guidance? Why did I come to you when I was crying just to be made to feel ashamed? Why did I do things to please you when that was an unachievable task? I killed off who I really was for you and even that fake version of me wasn’t good enough.

The answer to that is that I did all those things because I had to. Because feeling the pain of the truth is horrific. Having to see, understand and accept – to FEEL in your soul that your mother is a selfish bitch is actually pretty soul-destroying.

It’s weird though, you would think now that I understand it isn’t me I would feel happier, relieved, but actually what I feel is anger. Pure anger. I have so much anger inside me at the moment it is giving me a physical headache. Your face keeps popping up in my head and I hate it. Go away!

I suddenly see the ways in which you not only didn’t protect me – you actively put me in danger – repeatedly and why? For your gain. Always for your gain. Do you even understand that mothers are meant to protect their children? Do you even understand that is what was expected from you when you decided to become a mother? I genuinely am not sure whether you think people have children for their own gain or whether you just sucked at being a parent. I’m not sure which is worse, which I’d rather?

I have had some random memories come back the last few days, seemingly out of nowhere and it’s like someone is showing me things which I cannot deny. Things I had previously forgotten about, repressed, pushed away because I was protecting myself from feeling what I feel today.

You sicken me. You are literally disgusting.

How could you?

I want to hold you and shake you and scream at you and ask you WHY????? But what is the point? There is no answer that would make sense, no answer that would make me feel any better and no answer that would undo everything you have done.

What is wrong with you? It’s like you were born missing some crucial parts – like, maybe a heart? A brain? I’d say you were sick but that feels unfair to people who are unwell.

Children are innocent. Children need love, acceptance, understanding they need protection. All you did was treat me like a handy little mate to accompany you in your quests to meet men or to go to the shop and buy you mixers for your drinks. The rest of the time I was purely an inconvenience. But I didn’t ask to be born!!!!

I don’t get it, why would you want me there? Why would you want me to have to do things with men your age when I was so young? I can’t see how that benefited you in any way? Please don’t tell me it was a some sort of protection. God that makes me feel sick.

It’s sick. It’s like you wanted me to be abused and I can’t wrap my head around this. Jesus my head hurts. Why would you want your daughter to go through those things?

I knew that narcissists are selfish but selfish doesn’t even come close, does it? Selfish seems far too nice. You are evil.

I can’t bear to look at you. When you text me and your name flashes up on my phone, I HATE It. It makes me angry. When you turned up at the pub the other night, you ruined my entire evening. You ruin my moment, my day. WHAT DO YOU WANT????????????????? I want you to leave me alone. I want you to leave me alone forever. I want you to never contact me again. I never want to have to pacify you again. I am so fed up with putting on some front that makes it possible to get through another pointless and empty encounter with you. Why do I do it? For who’s benefit? It sure as hell isn’t for mine. It’s for YOURS again. Everything always for you.

How do you do this? You get everyone to do things for you, you make everyone think you are beautiful, fun, caring, kind, gentle and you are none of those things. None. You might be able to fool some of your “friends” because they see you in limited amounts but who has spent the most time with you out of everyone in your entire life – me. That’s who. Because men haven’t stuck around and neither have friends. I, unfortunately had no bloody choice did I? I was trapped with you and even I ran away from you, even I went to stay with other people and even I moved out as early as I could afford to.

Yet you have the cheek to tell people who you can’t understand why “TT never comes round” why “TT never phones”. Awww, poor you. That must be horrible. It must really hurt you to feel so unloved by someone who is “meant” to love you. How does that make you feel? Does it make you feel like you are missing something? Like there is a hole in your heart? Like you are faulty, broken – no of course it doesn’t because it is NEVER your fault is it. You have no ability whatsoever to put yourself in anyone else’s shoes, no ability to take any blame to look at a situation with open eyes and see if perhaps you could have done/do something differently. To apologise. Ha! The thought of you apologising is so unbelievable that it’s almost funny! You are perfection in your eyes and that amazes me today because you see perfection and beauty and I see the devil.

I don’t know how I am going to be able to tolerate seeing you now. I don’t know if I can ever look at you again.

I want to move away, run away, I want to have an excuse to never see or speak to you again but even more, I don’t want to have to hear about you from anyone. That isn’t possible unfortunately and so I still feel trapped. How do you do this to me? I can’t move because I have commitments here but I want to. Some physical distance would be lovely. I had a bit of physical distance once but you managed to convince me to come back to you and my sister – I jumped at the idea you missed me and wanted me closer to you. What a fool. No actually, not a fool, I was just still caught up in hoping to somehow win your love and who could blame me for that. It took a long time to give up that hope.

Having said that, running away from you isn’t the answer – though it is a fantasy. Running away won’t change anything really but it feels good in my head. I’d move to Australia, you wouldn’t come and visit and that would take all blame and guilt away from me. How lovely. But realistically, you don’t come and visit now anyway so that wouldn’t solve anything. I just hate the fact that you could be around. You could be in the shop or the restaurant or you could be at a pub…. Keeping me on my toes, constantly living in fear. I don’t like that and living somewhere else (like the other side of the world) would stop that apprehension I guess.

You are a monster. An evil, bitter, twisted, psychotic monster. An ugly, red-eyed, wrinkly faced, nasty, cold arsehole of a monster and you have the cheek to call yourself my mother. Anyone’s mother actually.

A mother is everything you are not. I haven’t ever had a mother and I sure as hell don’t have one now. I don’t want to call you that. I haven’t been able to call you that for a while but right now the word makes me want to vomit. I didn’t have a mother and I didn’t have a “home” either. The idea that home is where the heart is, is where you are most relaxed was foreign to me growing up. It is only now with [boyfriend] that I am starting to understand that feeling. No wonder I used to cry when I came home from weekends with Nan. Leaving a “homely” environment and returning to hell with you. How could you make an innocent little girl feel so lonely and so unwanted? How didn’t you see the sadness in her eyes and just want to hold her?

Last night I was watching a programme where the contestant’s parents arrived and they all cried and hugged each-other and told their adult kids how proud they were of them and I cried. I cried because I have never had that and I wanted it so badly. You have never done that and neither has Dad. The loss was so obvious. I took my stepson out shopping yesterday and when I walked into the shopping centre, had a sudden memory of you and Nan putting me in that indoor child-care/play centre place for hours whilst you two shopped, child-free. I hated it there. I cried the whole time and you didn’t care. I felt that pain in my chest yesterday and it nearly floored me. How could you? I could suddenly remember sitting on the floor with my knees pulled into my chest crying and crying and knowing I had hours left until you would come back to pick me up. I felt so alone.

You ripped away from me the chance to grow up feeling safe. Safe, loved, warm, accepted.. and plenty more where that came from. How dare you. How could you?

You are hollow. You are a shell of a woman with nothing inside but greed, envy and venom. I don’t feel related to you at all. I don’t feel like we are alike in any way. I am so pleased that I didn’t morph into what you wanted me to. I thank my lucky stars that I didn’t turn into you. I am twice the woman you will ever be because I’ve survived your abuse for all of my life and somehow I still managed to hold onto my kindness. I must be resilient despite what you call me. I must have strength despite what you say.

So now I am 29 years old and I don’t have to please you anymore what do I do about this? I don’t even know where to start and the worst thing about it all, is that you are so totally clueless. Although in a way that is a blessing too. It’s like I get to plan my safe escape and you can’t do anything about it. I get to work out what I want for a change and all the while, you are totally unaware. The power is mine for once.

It’s all very hard to comprehend and right now I am struggling to contain all the feelings I’m having. It’s weirdly hypocritical that I have so much anger towards you, so much desire to get away from you and yet I have absolutely no desire to speak to you about it, to try to make you see, I have no desire to try and make this right. None whatsoever….. it’s like I’m just done with you and that is a very strange way to feel about your mother.

For now I plan to just sit with these feelings and see how they develop. I’m not acting out or trying to get your attention by being loud or naughty. I am waiting to decide what is best FOR ME.

Flashback & Anger 

Possible trigger warning: flashback (not CSA). 
Last night me and my boyfriend were driving home from the pub and we went on a bit of a detour as we were enjoying singing along to the radio. We went down some country lanes and all of a sudden I had this flashback/memory, whatever you want to call it. 

It was really random and out of the blue. The memory was about one evening many years ago where me and my mum ended up in a taxi going to some guy’s house. There were two men there and me and her. We all got into a hot tub and we’re drinking and chatting. The men were her age and I was in my late teens. I remember feeling awkward but trying to act grown up (as ever). 

It became clear very quickly that the idea was for her to get with one of the men and that seemed to somehow imply that I was to get with the other. Perhaps to keep me out of the way? 

My mother started to get, let’s say rather heated, with one of the men in the hot tub and I felt uncomfortable and so I got out. I went into a room to get changed and the other man barged in. He made it clear he wanted something to happen. I did not. Anyway long story short, I had to more or less scream and beg my mother to leave (who managed to find time to have sex in a bedroom beforehand) leaving me with the other creep. 

I was furious when we left. 

That memory has not entered my head in YEARS. Like at least 9/10 years. I know the memory could have been much worse and that memory is actually nothing compared to some other memories, but something about it made my stomach turn. It scared me that I had forgotten this and yet now remembered it so clearly. I believe that the memory hit me when it did because of the lane we were driving down, perhaps it was the same lane? Maybe the song that was playing or maybe it was a complete coincidence. 

I’ve thought about this a lot today. It’s really made me feel weird. 

Then earlier this afternoon we were in the car and a van pulled out on us, we narrowly missed it and I shouted in the car what an idiot the driver was – with more expletives… my boyfriend seemed almost annoyed and said he didn’t understand why I got such bad road rage and that I was so impatient. He then proceeded to drive REALLY slowly down our road (on purpose) which was irritating me badly. I could feel my entire body filling with so much anger! I was trying hard not to scream because I knew my reaction wasn’t about the van or the slow driving. 

I then suffered with an awful headache all afternoon. I took pain killers and it wouldn’t go. 

A few hours ago, I needed to get my hamster out and into his ball and asked my bf to help open the cage but he couldn’t do it and wow… the anger… or perhaps more accurately the rage that came over me!!! It was so extreme!! I suddenly felt absolutely boiling hot, I shouted at him, I swore at him and it was all a bit mad…. I went upstairs and burst into tears. I felt so guilty but also so, so angry and so hot and just…. euuuggghhhhh. 

I apologised to my bf the second I came downstairs and he gave me a hug and said how out of character it was for me and he understood it was nothing to do with him. I’ve cried a couple of times since, just subtle tears and I now feel emotionally drained. 

I know the anger is about my mother. It’s about the memory in part but more specifically the fact that suddenly everything is making me so sick and so angry and just wow…. I don’t know. It’s all so… shit! 

Clearly I’m in touch with some anger … and that old memory coming back has made me so angry. 

How could she do that? How could she take me there and happily leave me with that man? Why would she want me to sleep with him just so she could get some? Man it’s so fucked up !!!!!!!!!! 

Everything’s becoming so obvious and I don’t like it. 

Where am I in healing from my mother wound? 

How am I feeling about her at the moment? 

Where am I in this journey to heal from the mother wound – of being an unloved daughter of a narcissist? 

I don’t know. 

This is the thing, everything is so confusing in this recovery. It all seems to overlap and intertwine, nothing seems clear cut and obvious, nothing is easy to articulate or process. I think that’s what makes it harder. You make progress in one aspect and then you fall back in another. 

I often wish someone would give me some sort of map of recovery, so I could see what stages there were, which stages I had “completed” and which stages were yet to come. I question myself why? Why do I want that? and I think the answer is that I want to know I’m getting somewhere and I need to know there’s an end in sight somewhere – the feeling that this pain and confusion is never-ending is too much to take. 

It’s like peeling a very large onion. You learn something (that she’s a narc for example) a layer comes off as you take that in and you learn what that means. That takes years and then your understanding and awareness deepens a bit and you learn something else, maybe that you feel guilty for thinking badly about her – you explore that, where that comes from and why and another layer comes off. This goes on and on. 

I have no idea how many layers I’ve peeled off this onion now, but it feels like a hell of a lot and it feels as though its scarily never-ending. It’s the fear of what’s to come and how much more pain is yet to make its way into my heart. 

My latest realisation this week is how scared I am of her. I knew I was scared of certain things, but this week I’ve seen and felt the true strength of this fear in a way that I’ve never “seen” before. It’s shaken me up a bit to be honest. 

Was that small child as scared as this? I mean, if I’m this scared with my adult knowledge, life experience and safety, how the hell did a helpless child feel who had to live with her night and day? The answer is that the child made it her fault. Mummy was good – she was bad. And that’s stuck. I don’t know what’s worse. 

She couldn’t get away. It makes me feel sick. 

So I’ve been asking myself, what exactly am I scared of? 

I just don’t know the answer. I guess it’s just the way my inner child has been programmed. It’s not a conscious thought process. The way I reacted and how easily I was triggered Wednesday was excessive – she was dangerous. The way I felt and the way my body reacted Saturday evening before going to her house tells me I was very scared. 

I know logically there is nothing to be scared of. I’m an adult now – I no longer need her for survival. I don’t need her approval now. I have my own life, house and family and I don’t even have any warm feelings towards her – I dislike her and I HATE the lack of connection between us and how raw that feels to me. 

Avoiding her for as long as possible seems the best and safest option. 

Yet I now have the option to cut her out completely and yet I choose against it? Why? The truth is (and it’s hard to even admit this), that it’s for her sake. 

I see her for her sake. To keep her happy. How fucked up is that? I don’t see her because I miss her or because I enjoy her company. I subject myself to the anxiety before visiting her, the false-self during my visits and then the pain and sadness that follow the day after when I inevitably cry and mourn a little more the difference between what I want and what I have. 

It’s like self-punishment. I punish myself for her gain over and over again. 

I know that T, my boyfriend and probably my readers will be thinking that I don’t need to do those things, that I don’t owe her anything and that it’s probably infuriating to read – yet the idea that I could live without her seems impossible. Which again makes no sense because she does nothing for me!!! What would I miss other than the apprehension, anxiety and fear? 

I think perhaps I’m scared of her ability to manipulate me and how easily she can do it. 

I’m scared she will suck me back in without me realising. 

I’m scared she will turn me bad – make me do and say things that are not really me as I morph into the people-pleasing me I used to be with her. 

I’m scared she will ruin my life. She will damage my relationship with my boyfriend, with my other family members, with friends or my boyfriend’ family…. and why? Because she can and because she has done before. The risk is real. 

I’m scared of what could happen if we got into an argument. Of what I would do or say. Yet there’s a part of me wishing for an excuse to let rip and have an excuse to break ties. 

I’m scared of having to feel the depths of my feelings about her. 

I’m still scared I’ve got it all wrong even though logically I know i haven’t. 

I’m still scared that everything else in my life is borrowed and that I may find myself alone one day and need her. That ultimately she’s the only thing I’m guaranteed to “keep”. 
I don’t like her and I don’t like who I am around her. It’s all too fake. I feel I loose touch with myself when I am there and it’s scary how naturally that happens, how quickly and how effortlessly. 

I don’t feel love for her as a daughter “should” and I can’t handle the disconnect that’s recently become so obvious. That hurts me deeply. 

The denial has left (for the most part) and the harsh reality that’s left is frankly sickening. 

I find myself caught in cycles of self-pity, mourning and grief, anger then depression. 

I wish I could go back in time with this new knowledge and grow myself up properly, differently. I wish I could save my inner child from the feelings I had to endure. I wish someone could save me from enduring them now too.

So much damage has already been done, what more am I scared of? Family relationships have been ruined. Family members think things about me that aren’t true because of her and I’m dealing with that – though it’s a struggle because it’s unfair – I’m learning to accept that’s how this is going to go, I’ve given up the fight. 

I don’t need anyone’s approval anymore. I don’t want her’s and if I can’t get my Nan’s or my sister’s or whoever else’s then so be it. 

But I do want to get to a place where I fully support myself. Where I have less doubt and far less fear. When will I feel strong on my own?

I’m only uncovering the truth, my truth and yet I feel like I’m being deceitful in doing so. I’m sick of the blame being on my shoulders. I keep telling myself, if she wanted me to speak nicer about her, she should have given me nicer things to tell.. 

It all comes down to the fact that I am hurt so very deeply by her. My heart physically breaks when I’m in touch with these feelings. It feels like it will be eternal. I can’t intellectualise this away. It’s not possible. My mother is too self absorbed and selfish and narcissistic to love me how I needed and still need to be loved. I didn’t have the mum I needed – or deserved and I never will. 

How do you heal that hole in your heart? 

Why didn’t I get that? I’m learning it wasn’t my fault, I’m believing this, slowly… yet I need explanations. I need logic to help me accept it and there isn’t any. I have to feel this to loosen its hold. 

I know it’s not true, but it feels like I’m the only daughter who wasn’t loved by her mum and dad in the world. It feels so acutely personal. 
There’s grief, sadness, anger, hate, disbelief and it’s all muddled up and confused. 

People talk about me setting boundaries with her that would enable a more beneficial relationship between us and there is nothing I can think of that would enable this to happen because as awful as it sounds, it’s not boundaries I need, it’s an entirely different mother. 

Sure I could suggest we meet at a different location, a restaurant for example so it’s less on her territory. I could lay down the law and ban certain subjects of conversation etc but none of this seems appealing to me because none of those adjustments would give me what I need. It doesn’t feel as though a middle ground is achievable or even wanted. 

So what, I would rather put myself through this self punishment than even try and apply helpful boundaries? Yep. How distorted is that?! 

In an ideal world, she would do something so undeniably awful to me that I could evidence and then I’d cut her off forever. Nobody could think badly of me because “look what she did!!” They wouldn’t be able to take her side, they wouldn’t pity her and I would be guilt-free. I could finally cut the ties and walk away with my head held high. Some readers may be thinking that she’s already done that in so many ways and you’d be right, but none of it is easy to prove and even she isn’t able to admit any wrongdoing yet alone apologise to me. So there’s still that doubt that I have it wrong. That I would be making a huge mistake. 

Then there’s all the people that tell me I should try to emphasise with my mum and understand that she loved me the only way she knew how, that clearly she has wounds herself that affected her parenting ability and then the guilt is back in my hands – it’s me in the wrong again. 

Tell me this gets easier please? I feel like I could drown in the confusion and pain this brings. 

Reaching Out Or Self-Soothing? 

Would reaching out to T actually help? 

I’m torn. Do I try and handle this by myself and prove to myself. and to T, that I am able to regulate myself and hold it in her absence? Will she be proud of me if I do? 

I want to give her a break – that’s what she needs. It’s why she’s taken time off. 

Yet at the same time I’m thinking that she’s always encouraged me to reach out when I need to and encouraged that I don’t go into self-sufficient mode as I always did as a child. 

I think she would rather help to regulate me than hear later that I struggled with it alone. Wouldn’t she? I don’t know. 

I don’t want to isolate myself through shame. I’m trying to fight that pattern. 

I’m okay. I’m surviving it. Like it’s painful and I’m sad and I was thrown into an emotional flashback for sure, BUT I’ve made sense of it now and I’m allowing the sad feelings to come. I’m allowing myself to cry and listen to the child part talking. I’m not falling apart. 

What could she say that would help? She would probably validate my feelings but I’ve already done that for myself (and so have some kind readers) so I don’t think I need that. 
Then there’s the issue that as I don’t know where she is, she may not read or reply to me for hours and hours and that could potentially throw me into abandonment stuff which I don’t need right now. 

She may even reply kindly but it may set off the feeling it’s “not enough” again and so perhaps I’m safer staying at a distance and handling it myself? 

Things have gone south: Emotional Flashback 

Things have gone south. 

I went to the quiz night last night with my boyfriend and his parents. The evening was pleasant until… 

3 women walk towards our table and as I look up, it’s my mother and two of her friends. 

Oh My God. 

I felt a weird panic. Shock, fear, awkwardness. I couldn’t believe she was here. This was my local and she knew I drank here sometimes and that we did this quiz with my boyfriends’s parents…. what was she doing here? And on a Wednesday night? She had never been here before my birthday. Childish I’m like “this is my place. Not your’s”. 

Everyone said hello to one another but the awkwardness was really obvious. My mother put her fake posh look and voice on and said “we came for supper”… supper??? Sorry who are you? Before I knew it, I was saying “Supper? Since when do you use that word?”. Looking back I guess that was a bit aggressive but the words had flown out of my mouth before I had processed them. She was trying to put on an act of some sort of poshness because she thinks my boyfriend’s parents are posh. 

The difference between my boyfriend’s parents and her (and her friends) was so obvious. I really wasn’t enjoying this one bit. I wasn’t prepared for it.

There were a few moments of small talk and then she and her friends left. Nothing more was said. I felt so weird… so uncomfortable…. and I’m not sure if everyone did, or if it was just me, but suddenly it felt as though there was an elephant in the room. Things weren’t being said that were being thought – I wonder if I’m wrong? 

I panicked because I’m scared (or the little me) is that she will tell them I’ve been bad – that I AM bad. Because that’s what she did to me when I was young. She always made stories up to my grandparents and told them in front of me so that they disapproved. She would phone them or my aunty or my sister’s dad or get her latest fling to tell me off. I think that young fear is still there. 

I’m a different person with her to with them. Please don’t ruin this for me…. please don’t tell them I’m bad!!  She always won the crowd – the audience, whoever was watching. How ashamed I was. 

Anyway we got on with our evening and she wasn’t mentioned again. Me and my boyfriend came home and I went straight to bed as it was late and as my head hit the pillows and I grabbed Frank, I cried. 

I didn’t know then what I was crying for and I’m not entirely sure now but I woke up for work this morning and (sorry for tmi) had a very upset tummy. I called in sick and am now in bed with a thumping headache. 

I know not everyone believes in the mind and body link, but I do and so I don’t think it’s any coincidence that this happened, that I cried and that I’m feeling crap. But I can’t put my finger on what upset me so much. 

I’ve had my mind and body book out and looked up my symptoms to see if that helped, diarrhoea mainly pointing towards not being able to hold on to something anymore, being scared shitless or feeling as though you’ve been hit in the guts. The headache points to too much time in the head and repressed feelings. 

The thing is I’ve been aware that I’ve been really overeating. I feel constantly hungry at the moment and I’ve not been caring what I’m eating or how much. And I haven’t been to the gym like I usually do. This is a huge change from previous months where I’ve been eating a certain amount of calories and exercising a lot. I put this down to the break but now I’m not so sure. It’s no surprise my stomach is chucking it all out, there’s too much!! It’s also made me think back to a time when I used to starve myself and hide my food in my bedroom bin and then get told off… no I’m doing the opposite. 

My boyfriend had to go to work and I really wanted him to stay and cuddle me. Problem is he’s scared of getting ill and so won’t come near me when I’m sick. 

I’m really in touch with this needy feeling of needing to be looked after. As I write this tears are dripping down my face. 

I wish I could expand on that a bit, but I don’t think I can. I just have this craving to be looked after and made better. I wish someone was here to give me a cuddle, let me cry on them, maybe cook me soup at lunch and make me feel loved. I need love.

I’m crying because I need love. I want love and affection and to feel looked after. Instead I’m eating food and that’s making me ill as my stomach tries to tell me “no, that’s not helping!”. Apparently the hole can’t be filled with food.

Maybe I’m a bit regressed and I’m feeling like a child that needs her mummy.

I had a dream earlier this morning that I had made my hamster a new cage up as he had wrecked his. His tube had broken and he was seconds away from escaping and his fur was matted. I bathed him, held him and fixed his cage and tubes. I mothered him. 

That’s why I’m crying isn’t it? This sucks so bad. I feel heartbroken. 

And today and I would normally see T but she’s gone and that makes it hurt even more. 

I need a mummy and she’s gone. Both in the sense that the mummy I wanted never was mine and my therapy mummy is away. I’m feeling alone and in need of being looked after like a child. That mother hole constantly getting bigger. 

I’ve just cried a whole river. Snotty, noisey crying. Wow that was horrible. 

Damn it.