That which doesn't kill me makes me stronger...but damn, aren't I strong enough yet???
I was raised on the myth of "your family is all you will know you always have" and "family is always there for each other", blah bla blah.
Turns out it really meant that *I* was supposed to be there for everyone all the time and require nothing from them. We, too, were lepers following dday. I had always "been there" - way, way, way too much for my family. They missed the old me who catered to all their problems and held their sorry heads up when they needed it. I needed to snap out of my pity party and get back to the business of doing their bidding.
At first it was bewildering and hurtful. Luckily, I had never found myself in the situation of needing much, but WOW - I got nothing from them. I felt hurt, abandoned, mad....you name it.
IC helped a lot. Processing it. I lost the faily I thought I had, and the one I really had wasn't very appealing in the light of day. Lots of boundaries work and greiving followed.
I hear ya. BTDT. Have the t- shirt and use it as a dish-rag.
[This message edited by JustWow at 4:41 PM, July 3rd (Wednesday)]
edited for typos (I always have to!)
JustWOW, you basically nailed it....my story to a T. I have been the unofficial matriarch of my family...doing everything for everyone, never asking for anything in return. IC is helping me to see the "fallacy" in my view of my family. How I valued myself in relation to how I served everyone else. That was truly a habit that I needed to get rid of, in my marriage and in every other relationship.
Had a baby shower at my moms house last Sunday. Old me would of micromanaged the shit out of that party. I didn't. I let everyone else run around, and the lack of organization and tension on their part was palpable because I didn't engage like I used to.
Felt oddly vindicating :)
Still feel like a leper...great analogy. People feel sorry for us, but don't want to get too close because of the "icky" factor.
My mom told me she was sick of me "wasting time on (husband) when she needed me to be helping (list of sister in laws, cousins, grandparents, etc)" and she also missed the "old me."
If I talk to her about my situation, she gets angry and tosses her hair about how I'm not dealing with it like she wants me to. What she wants is a moving target: I'm either too patient or too impulsive; I'm too organized or I'm ignoring my responsibilities; my kids are too attached to me or the kids are too independent, etc.
So yeah, me, too. Your IC is spot on. I've found my best short cut with her (and people like her) is to limit what "say" she thinks she has and then to say a lot of "Hey, Mom, that idea you had? (Insert a decision I had made that I know she's going to be contentious about, but phrase it like she came up with it) You were so right! Thank you for helping me with that." She preens, I smile, and no Insta-Mom-Roadblock.
Hugs. You know your Mom. You know what to rely on and what not to. We're with you.
You're going to find out what it feels like to be a guest at someone else's holiday gathering instead of being the scullery maid. You are going to be much calmer and happier.
They are going to fight it like crazy for a while, if they're like my family. The thing with disfunction is that it likes to keep its equilibrium. You have now upset the applecart. This is going to make them resent the new you, that is okay so long as you like her. But the other thing that will happen is that without your buffer/diplomacy/catering, they are also going to see each other's warts in a whole new light and the whole dynamic is likely to change.
It is like the disfunction gets a megaphone. In our family my mom got psycho, my sister's alcoholism blew up and she became violent - still is - my distant brothers becam more distant.....
So much for the Brady Bunch. We never were. This aint pretty, but this is real. And it isn't mine to fix, Our little famiily is mine to worry about. The rest of these people are supposed to be adults.
Only children and animals can be neglected, adults are supposed to be able to take care of themselves.
It has been quite a journey. It has been 7 years, and I guess we're used to the new normal, restraining orders and all
I have an extremely narcissistic mother and can tell you, it's terrible to deal with. The only bright spot in all of it is finally knowing why I could never please her as a child and some other missing pieces.
I don't favor swearing, but "b. boots" aren't just for WS, they are also for other "relationships".
Part of this process with STBX has helped me to stand up to others and also, to not accept guilt when someone is disappointed or not getting their way. Right there, I think, is a golden key to a narcissistic parent and it's interesting that I hear it with mothers more.
I am still having a feeling of coming down from a rush of emotion after being told off by my mother because I had to say no to something she wanted. My father got it for his married life and now it is me because we're the ones who plan and have boundaries...NG (Narcissistic Grandma) can't stand that.
Anyway...I think the boundaries will be good for you, BFF, and working on how to not be guilty after a narcissistic storm is one of the most empowering feelings in the universe.
As you say, no one checks in on me either and in fact, IL's are having fights over me now and so I am backing away and having another part of life torn away from me.
I had IL's snub me about five times the last six months and one is the godmother of our child. The pain from that I cannot ever forget, or let myself be ever put in that place again.
One or two check up on me but rarely and they know the truth of all that STBX did-"the Snubbers" do not, for STBX got to them with the lies and no one has corrected it.
Just last week I was able to correct some of STBX's lies to another IL and she cried fresh tears for me, DD and baby to be when she learned the real truth of what one of their own had done.
Still another agreed with me for outing him again, because if he could turn on us, couldn't he do it to one of them? He's already done the lying with them.
So anyway...yes, I feel your pain and have much empathy. I think of IL's as a kind of species all their own.
My own family, FWIW to tell, knew of the A and did not tell me-no one of them. My mother told me when I accepted STBX back and would give me no peace until she told her piece. It was awful.
Both STBX and NG are narcissistic and compete with each other and it is full blown now. To the point of having to hear, "who gets to be in the delivery room?" Ugg.
I wish you well and I wish you peace and hope you will figure out how to handle your NM. (Narcissistic Mother).
P.S. I find myself having very little contact with mine because of how she handles life and my situation and how she grandparents. And I'm having trouble just forgiving every storm now...do you KWIM?
You gave me nothing and now it's all I've got - Bono
A person is a person, no matter how small. -Dr. Suess
Perserverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.
But I am going to guess that there are a lot of people who avoid mentioning because it was your mom who told them about it. They may feel she overstepped herself telling them or they may feel uncomfortable bringing it up if you don't.
I have known acquaintances who have been cheated on by their spouse. I did not bring it up unless they were talking about it. I certainly didn't call them up and ask about them. I felt it would be like vultures circling. I didn't want them to think I was calling for the gossip.
Just a thought.