[Story] The Good and Effed Journal to Prevent Me from Writing a Suicide Note

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Somberly_

Somberly_

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Apr 21, 2020
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I have one thing that's bothering me, and I've been struggling with it today. In post 25, I told a story about my mom pulling some classic victim blaming. The post didn't get any reacts or comments, and yet it's the one I most wanted support for, even as I started this thread not seeking support so much as a method to explore and a platform for doing so. I'm uncomfortable saying I want support for that post, and in thinking about it today, I've come up with all sorts of defenses about why it's okay to ask for attention for that, as if I were preemptively defensive when no one has given me reason in this thread to feel like I have to validate my need or want.

So I'm going to be aware of my discomfort here, remind myself that vulnerability can be very rewarding, and make this request: Would someone please be so kind as to comment on their perspective of the story in post 25?
Nothing wrong at all with wanting feedback :) When I initially read that entry, my take was that it wasn't finished yet. I'd wait for the rest and then maybe comment on it if I had anything worth adding. I think I had that assumption just because it seemed shorter, maybe less fleshed out? I just got the feeling that you would talk about that aspect of her more.

Anyone with any shred of empathy can see that your mom's response was psychotic and unnatural. She lied to someone who trusted her and couldnt have known better, then used that misinformation to hurt and blame them later... Just manipulating and hurting for the sole end goal of ???. 11 also seems like a far outlier of an age to let a child believe something like that intentionally. Maybe she continued because she liked to confirm her twisted view of:

"Haha, my daughter is flawed. She cant even realize the easter bunny isn't real! Anyone would treat her the way I do if they had to deal with her!"

I'm making big assumptions, but it's the type of mental gymnastics I'd expect from someone whose actions you've described.

As far as likes/reacts, that is new to me. I'm not used to thinking about how someone might want that confirmation on their post. I'ts pretty likely I will fail to be vigilant about it too, since I am forgetful and get lost in my thoughts about what their post/comment is about. But wanting some reassurance and/or insight is normal when talking about things this personal and guarded, so don't feel conceited for wanting that :)
 
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GoodPersonEffed

GoodPersonEffed

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@Somberly_ , thank you. Mental gymnastics is a good way to describe it.

She was really weird about the Santa thing (and other things). She liked the idea of the spirit of Santa Claus. I never got the impression she was doing it to be cruel, but to in some way keep alive a fantasy of her own. Keeping me believing kept something alive for her. But then she also had to maintain it, even as I was getting too old. She is okay with lying as long as it serves a purpose she approves of, and for some irrational reason, she thought it was okay to keep lying to me when I directly and repeatedly asked for the truth. Maybe she was angry because I made her face the truth, poking another painful wound in the process. (Thank you! I needed to work that out!)

As far as reacts, I view them as an acknowledgment, as a part of the conversation. I'm not particularly attached to them, and I chose to stop getting notifications of them because I don't want to fall into an ego trap of people agreeing with me. For some members, they are really helpful in feeling heard and cared about, and I don't judge that. This thread is one of the rare times that I particularly value reacts.
 
B

Brackenshire

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Feb 23, 2020
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Thank you to everyone who's read so far, and to those who have commented. I've never shared so much of the story of family abuse in one place. I've talked to therapists and past friends, but I've never told all of it to any one person. It's been very cathartic to get it out and to receive feedback in the form of comments and reacts. I still have more to process in this thread, and it's nice that I don't feel worried about writing so much, because if someone is willing or motivated to read, I at least know that I write in an engaging way. I'm working through enough stuff without having to simultaneously work through issues of self-judgment.

Thank you for all of the comments. I wasn't expecting much more than to work out my process here, maybe a few insightful comments, but I've really benefitted from the support. It's been helpful to hear others' perspectives and it brings sanity, especially considering that my drives to serve my parents' best interests were not rational.

I have one thing that's bothering me, and I've been struggling with it today. In post 25, I told a story about my mom pulling some classic victim blaming. The post didn't get any reacts or comments, and yet it's the one I most wanted support for, even as I started this thread not seeking support so much as a method to explore and a platform for doing so. I'm uncomfortable saying I want support for that post, and in thinking about it today, I've come up with all sorts of defenses about why it's okay to ask for attention for that, as if I were preemptively defensive when no one has given me reason in this thread to feel like I have to validate my need or want.

So I'm going to be aware of my discomfort here, remind myself that vulnerability can be very rewarding, and make this request: Would someone please be so kind as to comment on their perspective of the story in post 25?
You are not alone
 
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Underscore

Underscore

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Makes me grateful I had a good upbringing with caring parents.
I was pretty gullible as a child and teenager.

I believed what my mother said, and she made sure I did. Which is why this story is particularly shitty.

I asked Mom many times during my childhood if Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny were real. I asked about Santa more than anything, and her response was always that he was real. Other kids stopped believing, but I didn't, and of course they made fun of me for it, but I believed my mom.

The Christmas I was eleven, I received a gift from Mrs. Santa Claus, with a note that it would be the last Christmas Santa would be delivering to me.

Months later, when I was twelve, one of my last baby teeth came out. I had a difficult time keeping secrets, but I didn't tell my parents, and I put it under my pillow.

The next morning, I'm sure you can figure out what was under my pillow.

I found my mother in the bathroom doing her hair. I held out the tooth, full of triumph, and said, "There's no Tooth Fairy!"

The look in her eyes was the one I always associated with the threat that she would kill me.

She said, "Well there's no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny, either!"

I was hurt.

I cried.

I said that she told me they were real.

And she blamed me for believing.

She said it was my fault, because I wanted them to be real.

Psycho much?
Well it does sound like a cruel, heartless thing, crushing someone's innocence, especially if that innocence was persistent for so long. Like building you up just to shoot you down to cause maximum pain. TBH, I don't understand how anyone could do that.

I'm not sure when I stopped believing - I think it was pretty early on.
 
GoodPersonEffed

GoodPersonEffed

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These are some more of the ways my mother was controlling in my adulthood, and how both of my parents were irrational, including my dad as her enabler.

_________________

My parents knew each other a very short while when they got married, and rather than deal with my father's mother, who would have wanted to control the wedding, they eloped, and they were always happy with the decision. So when it came time for my wedding in my early twenties, my ex and I decided to keep it small, just the pastor and each of our two best friends as witnesses, and my parents seemed totally okay with it. They'd only met my ex a couple of times, there was no bond there, but I didn't know his parents well, either.

As we were planning the wedding, my ex mentioned several times that he'd had a friend whose wedding was filmed, and for some reason it was a disaster, so he made it clear that was something he didn't want, and I agreed.

Some months after the wedding, my mother admitted to me that she and her neighbor's son, a guy around my age, went to the church before the ceremony and hid in the balcony. They filmed the wedding.

When I told my ex, he was pissed. He wanted the tape.

My mother had a fit about it, and she (and my father) refused to have anything more to do with my husband. So for a year and half, I had to keep the relationships separate.

When I told her that I was thinking about leaving my ex, she told me I'd better follow through on it, or my parents would take me out of their will. That didn't sway my decision, nor was it the only time I was threatened with being taken out of the will.

______________________

Years later, I bought a condo. I made the mistake of having the mother of the guy who crashed my wedding act as my real estate agent, and my mom knew way more about my business than she should have, as well as had access to the condo before I moved in. As a housewarming gift, my parents had wood blinds installed that cost almost $2,000 dollars. They were gorgeous, and I was grateful.

But months later, I wanted my best friend to move in with me, along with her dog. For some reason, my mom had begun to hate my best friend, who she barely knew, much as she'd hated my ex, who she also barely knew. She didn't want my friend to move in with me, we argued, she demanded, her arguments were not valid, and the excuse she settled on was that the dog would harm the blinds, and my mom said she was sorry they'd had them installed. We had a huge fight because I wouldn't give in, and didn't speak for four months.

When I got my student loan money at the start of the next semester, I wrote a check for the cost of the blinds and put it in my parent's mailbox. My mom called that night and said, "You didn't have to do that." I asked her, "What would you have done in the same situation with your mom?" She lowered her voice and said, "I probably would have done the same thing." She didn't offer the money back, she didn't apologize, and we moved on without discussing it again.

__________________

My mom's brother was an overbearing ass. Before I moved into the condo, I had a fight with his obnoxious wife on the phone (not the aunt I'd loved when I was little), and I hit my limit and told her to fuck off. He got on the phone and yelled at me, told me to never talk to his wife that way again, and I hung up on him. After years of his bullshit, it felt great to be done with him. I told my parents that I got to choose whether or not to have him in my life and I was finished. They seemed to be okay with it, they knew what he was like.

Months later, I made plans to go to a baseball game with my best friend and sit with my parents (this was before my mom decided she hated her). While we were in the restaurant at the ballpark before going to our seats, guess who walked up? My uncle and his wife. My mom had arranged it. I was pleasant but basically ignored my uncle and his wife the whole evening, and never spoke to them again after that. My mother was wise enough to never bring it up. If it had happened now, I would have left the ballpark, and afterward made it very clear to my mom to butt out.

Her brother died a few months after I moved out of state, and I didn't come home for the funeral. She knew my stance, that funerals are for the living, that I didn't mourn him, and she had enough support without me being there. She didn't offer a ticket, and she never seemed to hold it against me that I didn't come, which still surprises me.

____________________

As I mentioned in a previous post, my parents refused to come visit me after I moved out of state. The few times I visited over eight years, I had to pay for my own plane tickets, and rent cars because they would never let me borrow one of theirs (I wasn't even allowed to get my driver's license until I bought my own car at 19). They would lend things to other people, do anything to help a neighbor or friend, but never me. If my dad offered to let me borrow something, whether a car or a power tool, Mom would always override him and say no.

The last time I saw them, I was supposed to come home for Christmas. I told my mom I was going to spend a couple of nights at my best friend's parents, and she lost her shit. The argument escalated, and she said that if I went to my friend's, to not bother coming home at all. So with the exception of one night, I stayed at my friend's. I spent the majority of that trip reading the book Emotional Blackmail, as usual focusing on how I could get through to my parents. Toward the end of the trip, my friend's parents let me borrow a car, and I went unannounced to my parents' house.

We had a long talk in the living room, where I sat near my dad on the loveseat. Mom and I were communicating, but he wouldn't even look at me. I cried and told them that I'd spent my whole life worried that I could one day do something that they would stop speaking to me for, and I couldn't live like that anymore. I moved next to my dad, put his arm around me, and cried on his chest. He just sat there, didn't move his arm away, but didn't hold me either. It was always his way that mom and I would have massive arguments, but he would take a long time to warm up to me again even though she and I made up and the argument had nothing to do with him. So the last memory I have of being physically close to him is of cold rejection.

I stayed the night, and that was the last time I them. A year later, I started experiencing PTSD symptoms, and got the diagnosis about my old injury. I wrote to my dad explaining the injury (as a death investigator he would have understood the severity of a blunt-force trauma), and sent him information about the emotional and physical harm spanking can cause, how it can make the child act in the very ways it was intended to "correct," and included an article I've shared on this forum about how abusing a child can create cognitive dissonance so that the abuser has to believe they are right and that the child is therefore the enemy and wrong. I asked for help managing my bills as I couldn't work due to the PTSD. Even though I'd put in the message header that the email was private for my father only, I think it was my mother who replied to the email with one line: "Sorry we can't help you with your bills."

We didn't speak again for four years, when they refused my attempt to reconcile and shunned me. I'll write more about that in another post, and how after that they truly showed their asses and their irrationality. It was so much more than just the shunning, they did some inexcusable shit.
 
GoodPersonEffed

GoodPersonEffed

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I was the scapegoat child

I'd get no respect for privacy.

See what narcissists do is they make their child's world revolve around them, they never let the child be their own person. Instead the child has a responsibility to take care of their needs, to make sure that they're happy.

In my case my father would provoke me and bully me and when he got a reaction he'd take the opportunity to hit and to take away everything I enjoyed such as my phone, laptop, books, anything that was valuable to me really.

So many who were abused by narcissists end up being co-dependant with them.

Worst part is when you do stand up for yourself and tell them how they hurt you they gaslight and manipulate.

So I'm the villain of this story.
The above quotes are from a comment posted by @blueberryshake on a thread about narcissist parents. As I've mentioned, my mother has narcissistic traits.

The parts I put in bold speak directly to the purpose of this thread: focusing on making my parents feel better and making things easier for them in spite of the fact that they did really shitty and abusive things, and don't place the same value on my well-being. I've also mentioned how I spent an entire vacation focusing on getting through to them; much of my early years of therapy, and much of my life, was devoted to getting through to them so they would change -- that's co-dependence, thinking one has any control when it comes to the actions of another.

I, too, was scapegoated for the abuse and for everything that was wrong with the family. If my dad allowed me to do something because I asked him first, then according to her I was trying to split up my parents' marriage. What was really happening was that I was put outside of their marriage so that it wasn't so much a family but a marriage with an interloper.

My mother used to take things away, and was sadistic about it. She'd buy a surprise for me, like a toy, and then when I got in trouble for something she'd show it to me and say she was returning it. Usually she ended up giving it to me later, it was about the torture. Or she would make me choose my favorite item from a special collection for her to take away, and I would cry and feel such anguish, and later she would return it. She also fined me as punishment once I started earning money, and I don't ever remember her returning the money.

When Mom would get ready to hit me, I couldn't see because she was behind me, so sometimes she'd move and I'd flinch and start crying. She'd deride me and say, "Oh, I haven't even touched you yet." Another example would be saying horrible things and I would cry, and she'd say to stop or she'd give me something to cry about. When I see people in public cruelly work their kids up and then threaten them because of their natural reactions, I have a PTSD response.

I'll be posting later about the lack of privacy. It was a particularly bad experience and I need to work out some things about it. My mom went through my things regularly, and one incident resulted in a tragedy. It's crazy how narcissistic abuse can condition one to go along with and even support it. Narcissistic abuse is an awful mind fuck.

Thank you, @blueberryshake, for your insightful post on the other thread. It really helped me here. The co-dependence thing is a bitch.
 
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Suez

Suez

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Feb 27, 2020
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The above quotes are from a comment posted by @blueberryshake on a thread about narcissist parents. As I've mentioned, my mother has narcissistic traits.

The parts I put in bold speak directly to the purpose of this thread: focusing on making my parents feel better and making things easier for them in spite of the fact that they did really shitty and abusive things, and don't place the same value on my well-being. I've also mentioned how I spent an entire vacation focusing on getting through to them; much of my early years of therapy, and much of my life, was devoted to getting through to them so they would change -- that's co-dependence, thinking one has any control when it comes to the actions of another.

I, too, was scapegoated for the abuse and for everything that was wrong with the family. If my dad allowed me to do something because I asked him first, then according to her I was trying to split up my parents' marriage. What was really happening was that I was put outside of their marriage so that it wasn't so much a family but a marriage with an interloper.

My mother used to take things away, and was sadistic about it. She'd buy a surprise for me, like a toy, and then when I got in trouble for something she'd show it to me and say she was returning it. Usually she ended up giving it to me later, it was about the torture. Or she would make me choose my favorite item from a special collection for her to take away, and I would cry and feel such anguish, and later she would return it. She also fined me as punishment once I started earning money, and I don't ever remember her returning the money.

When Mom would get ready to hit me, I couldn't see because she was behind me, so sometimes she'd move and I'd flinch and start crying. She'd deride me and say, "Oh, I haven't even touched you yet." Another example would be saying horrible things and I would cry, and she'd say to stop or she'd give me something to cry about. When I see people in public cruelly work their kids up and then threaten them because of their natural reactions, I have a PTSD response.

I'll be posting later about the lack of privacy. It was a particularly bad experience and I need to work out some things about it. My mom went through my things regularly, and one incident resulted in a tragedy. It's crazy how narcissistic abuse can condition one to go along with and even support it. Narcissistic abuse is an awful mind fuck.

Thank you, @blueberryshake, for your insightful post on the other thread. It really helped me here. The co-dependence thing is a bitch.
OMG i see myself in both @blueberyshake and @GoodPersonEffed .I remember when i first saw a Psychologist about my father, she described him as a Narcissist, someone constantly wanting to be the focus of attention, always putting me down. The way he would punish me would be through emotional blackmail, that was his thing, he was always trying to make me feel guilty as a way of getting me to do what he wanted. I remember she told me about this concept called FOG which is essentially what emotional blackmailers like my father rely on for success. Victims of emotional blackmail can be manipulated because they FEEL scared of them and their OBLIGATED to them and GUILTY for not doing what theyve been asked. ive never forgotten that. My dad knew very well this is how i felt and he knew which parts of this were the most effective to manipulate. He learnt all my emotional triggers, how to activate them and get the response he wanted. he was a master manipulator and master narcissist. Its like a game to them. You talked about the sadistic games your mum played with you around your toys, in a way that had to be so calculated and well thought out dont you think? She knew your fear, she knew that she could manipulate that fear as well in a way that would benefit her and trust that she could manipulate her position as a "mother" to evoke a feeling of guilt in you to ensure that you follow through. I wonder if my dad, or your mum had any maternal or paternal feelings towards us? I often wonder this when i think about how i was just a piece in a game, does that even make sense?
 
GoodPersonEffed

GoodPersonEffed

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OMG i see myself in both @blueberyshake and @GoodPersonEffed .I remember when i first saw a Psychologist about my father, she described him as a Narcissist, someone constantly wanting to be the focus of attention, always putting me down. The way he would punish me would be through emotional blackmail, that was his thing, he was always trying to make me feel guilty as a way of getting me to do what he wanted. I remember she told me about this concept called FOG which is essentially what emotional blackmailers like my father rely on for success. Victims of emotional blackmail can be manipulated because they FEEL scared of them and their OBLIGATED to them and GUILTY for not doing what theyve been asked. ive never forgotten that. My dad knew very well this is how i felt and he knew which parts of this were the most effective to manipulate. He learnt all my emotional triggers, how to activate them and get the response he wanted. he was a master manipulator and master narcissist. Its like a game to them. You talked about the sadistic games your mum played with you around your toys, in a way that had to be so calculated and well thought out dont you think? She knew your fear, she knew that she could manipulate that fear as well in a way that would benefit her and trust that she could manipulate her position as a "mother" to evoke a feeling of guilt in you to ensure that you follow through. I wonder if my dad, or your mum had any maternal or paternal feelings towards us? I often wonder this when i think about how i was just a piece in a game, does that even make sense?
Interesting observations. In retrospect, her feelings were not generally maternal. She wasn't much for comforting me, and often went on the attack or negated when I was in need of comfort, especially when it came to physical injuries or having been traumatized by something she didn't cause. Fear, obligation, and guilt were definitely tools, especially the first and the third. She preferred I fear and love her. She wasn't so much calculating as out of control, raging, and punishing.

As far as guilt, we had a huge argument once, and I kept hanging up on her, and she kept calling back. The next time she called, she laid some undeserved guilt on me and I said, "I'm not going to take this guilt trip." She yelled, "Oh yes you are gonna take this guilt tri--" Me: click.

Interesting that guilt and obligation were her mother-in-law's primary tactics, and my parents went no contact with her when I was ten, yet they couldn't see Mom used similar irrational and controlling emotional blackmail techniques on me.

Since I was a child, I've never been able reconcile her utter irrationality, especially because in some ways she is so capable and common sense. So many books and YouTube videos talk about how to recognize narcissism and covert manipulation, and offer the ubiquitous advice to go permanent no contact, but where are the resources to effectively recover, to take oneself back, to reclaim and embody sanity, rationality, and autonomy? The book Boundaries has a lot of helpful tools, but I've yet to come across effective techniques for recovering from gaslighting and narcissism.

@Suez, why didn't your mom protect you (and herself) and leave? Or did she?
 
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Suez

Suez

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Interesting observations. In retrospect, her feelings were not generally maternal. She wasn't much for comforting me, and often went on the attack or negated when I was in need of comfort. Fear, obligation, and guilt were definitely tools, especially the first and the third. She preferred I fear and love her. She wasn't so much calculating as out of control, raging, and punishing.

As far as guilt, we had a huge argument once, and I kept hanging up on her, and she kept calling back. The next time she called, she laid some undeserved guilt on me and I said, "I'm not going to take this guilt trip." She yelled, "Oh yes you are gonna take this guilt tri--" Me: click.

Interesting that guilt and obligation were her mother-in-law's primary tactics, and my parents went no contact with her when I was ten, yet they couldn't see Mom used similar irrational and controlling emotional blackmail techniques on me.

Since I was a child, I've never been able reconcile her utter irrationality, especially because in some ways she is so capable and common sense. So many books and YouTube videos talk about how to recognize narcissism and covert manipulation, and offer the ubiquitous advice to go permanent no contact, but where are the resources to effectively recover, to take oneself back, to reclaim and embody sanity, rationality, and autonomy?

@Suez, why didn't your mom protect you (and herself) and leave? Or did she?
Firstly addressing my mum, this was at a time when my mum, having just left my father ended up having to return as we had no home, no money etc. My mum did approach her mother for help but her response was "you made your bed...." so we had noone to turn to that would help. My father was physically&mentally abusive towards my mum as well. My mum would stick up for me then get bashed.
I know what you mean about resources...In terms of my "recovery" actually i hate that fucking word, but i cant think of another one at the moment, but the first thing i learnt was that i had to give up any expectation that Tony (Ill call him Tony as he was no father) will acknowledge any part in the difficulties i experienced throughout my life or change his behavior in any appreciable way owing to the impact that it had on me over the years. The hardest part in giving up that expectation was listening to the distortions of truth, his dramatically different version of events, his inability for honest self evaluation. Letting go.....That is the hardest part for me. Because for my sanity I need to let go.
 
GoodPersonEffed

GoodPersonEffed

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@Suez, sorry that you went through all that, but so glad your mom stuck up for you. All those hardest things about your sperm donor are indeed very hard things.
 
Suez

Suez

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@Suez, sorry that you went through all that, but so glad your mom stuck up for you. All those hardest things about your sperm donor are indeed very hard things.
Thankyou for using the correct term "sperm donor" as that is usually how i refer to him. I cant go into details here as it is too graffic but my SD was proficient at torture.But at least I was fortunate to have an incredible mum who did stick up for me., unlike you. Im so sorry, I cannot imagine what it must have been like for you, a young girl having neither parent willing to go to bat for her. That should never have happened to you. Every child deserves the love of at least one parent. If my mum were still here she would have offered herself up as a prospective adoptive parent for you :) . Over the years many of my friends came to live with us who were estranged from their parents. We even became a bit of a LGBT hub as my mum was accepting of everyone and so many of our LGBT friends were being kicked out of home by parents who just didnt understand.
 
GoodPersonEffed

GoodPersonEffed

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About the mind fuck my mom pulled on me in post 25 that I asked for and received support about...

I was a looking at the Manipulation Tactics thread today and this jumped out at me:

Projecting the blame (blaming others): Manipulator scapegoats in often subtle, hard-to-detect ways...Manipulators will also claim that the victim is the one who is at fault for believing lies that they were conned into believing, as if the victim forced the manipulator to be deceitful. All blame...is done in order to make the victim feel guilty about making healthy choices, correct thinking and good behaviors.

That so nailed it. I made a healthy choice and used correct thinking in hiding the tooth, and when I called out the tooth truth (hah), she scapegoated me; blamed me for believing the lies she coerced/unduly influenced me into believing, as if I forced her to be deceitful because I wanted it (like a rape ffs?); and tried to gaslight me with a different narrative than what actually happened.

For those who don't know, the above quote comes from George Simon's book In Sheep's Clothing. One of the biggest takeaways I got from that book was that one doesn't need to know why someone is manipulative, only to recognize they are, and whenever possible, to go no-contact.

Another takeaway was that covert manipulators always want to win, and view things as win/lose even when others don't.

From before I could walk, my mother viewed me as being in competition with her, and had to always win and maintain power. Her shit didn't make sense, from thinking I was trying to come between her and my father to split them up, to this story of manipulating me into believing fairy tales and losing that invisible war, and everything in between and after. And still I struggle to make sense to her (and Dad), to get through, and I sometimes do it with others rather than letting it slide off and walking away. What is it that blocks it from completely sliding off when I've come so far in being able to do so?

As I learned from George Simon, I don't have to understand my mother or father, or figure out why they are the way they are, but for my own sanity and well-being, I have to accept this is the way they are and they will not change. I have to accept that it hurts and always has. I have to honor and love myself, and keep working on accepting the reality I always knew, even as I was confused as fuck by her gaslighting and coercive actions. It's tough. It's hard to feel love for someone who did such shit things, and it makes me question what it's like to truly love if who I loved was not worthy of it and didn't truly love me. It makes me question why I put her and my dad first and care so much about how hurt they'll be when I was surrounded by and forced to participate in their insanity. I need to stop feeling such pain for their fucked-upness instead of pain for myself for having been abused by it so that it can be recognized and get oxygen to heal.

I need someone to read this and say, "It was insanity." I hope someone will give me that kind of feedback, something honest from outside the fog I'm breaking through. I know the shit was surreal, but there is still something clinging to me. There is an internal message to not hate, but what then do I feel? What do I do with the good memories and laughter? What do I do with the love that was coerced and unduly influenced, that my parents didn't and don't deserve from me? How do I find my grounding and centeredness in this process of detaching and recovering as I keep recognizing how false my foundations were? What is my foundation, and have I already found it but just haven't slid it yet into place underneath me to keep firm footing? This knowledge of their insanity won't destroy me, it's always been there to some degree and kept me from totally losing my own sanity, but I feel I'm lacking something foundational and safe.

After I process this new learning for a bit, I'm going to follow up with a post about something else that confused the fuck out of me, and maybe I'll finally get some of the same kind of clarity I'm getting about the Santa/Tooth Fairy/Easter Bunny coercions. Damn, my parents were fucked up. They played the normal game so well, and they believed in it, too. Everyone around them believes it. Maybe my fantasy about writing to those they lie to about me isn't such a bad idea after all, to do it for me, and to stop owning the foundation of family and friend support that they don't deserve, at least not at my expense. However, if I say nothing and do ctb, they're going to have to deal with the consequences of their lies. They likely already do in some ways. Why get revenge when they've set it up for themselves already?

Goddamn, gaslighting sucks. I see all these people who had it so much worse, with full-on narcs, and yet I'm discovering anew that the shit I went through was pretty bad. I gotta honor that.
 
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GoodPersonEffed

GoodPersonEffed

Ain't it all just ridiculous?
Jan 11, 2020
4,084
8,377
I think this will be my last post in this journal. I did a lot of reading the past several days on narcissistic mothers and gained more understanding of how my parents functioned. My mom is incapable of empathy, but demands it from others. She hated most of my friends and significant others because she perceived they had influence over me. Kicking me out was a way to take away support so that I would remain reliant on her, though that backfired. Me moving away kept me out of her control and influence. She needed an enabler, and my dad needed a controller; she verbally abused him, too, and emasculated him. Because of his own issues, it was easier for him to separate himself from me because he needed her, and he needed her to be right since he didn't know how to connect in himself with what was right and stand up for it, whether for himself or for me. The pity I felt was the focus that was always demanded to be on her as the center and focus of the family. She was jealous of me and needed to knock me down, she needed to be bigger and better than me.

I also read about the different types of roles the children of narcissists are put into: the scapegoat, the golden child, and the ignored child. If she did me any favors, it was by making me the scapegoat, because children in those roles tend to be the ones who see what is going on, call out abuse, and have a sense of justice. They tend to react to the abuse with strength, so because of how she set it up, she made me stronger, and to her own detriment also made me her foe rather than her toady.

I feel much more free of my parents now. More free to do what I want, and no guilt if I choose to ctb. I knew these things rationally, but my feelings are much more aligned with my thoughts now, and I feel calmer and more centered.

I don't feel the need now to post any more stories I mentioned in other posts that I would, except for the final one, as well as one that I didn't mention. I'll tell that one first.

_________________________

Several years ago, my mom and I were having a conversation about the abuse in her home when she was growing up. Her father was an alcoholic for many years and both passionately loved and physically abused her mother. Her mother was physically abusive. My mom didn't talk much about the abuse, but she and her brother used to laugh about how one of them could pass my grandmother in the hall, and out of nowhere, she would slap one of them in the face.

During this conversation, I said to my mom how hard and scary it must have been to grow up in such an environment of physical abuse. I showed her empathy. She got kind of quiet and responded, "Yeah, I guess I brought some of that to you." It was the only time she acknowledged she abused me. She did not apologize. It was the tiniest step, and nothing further developed. It brought no significant healing to our relationship. But she has a tendency to remember her father as a kind of saint, and her childhood as a simpler and happier time, a golden era in her life. In retrospect, the conversation we had reveals to me that she cannot face what she did to me if she cannot face the reality of her past. She doesn't have the inner strength and support for a different foundation than the false one on which she relies. I can't fix that. I can't fix her. And it's not emotionally safe or sane to have her in my life as long as she functions like that. As she said when I was a teenager, "We're not going to change, you are." She and Dad did not change. I have only improved, with decades of effort and, recently, reaffirming and embracing my awareness of the fuckedupness, now with more groundedness and understanding. It's been quite healing to stop owning her shit, which is what a narcissistic mother wants those around her to do.

____________________

The final story.

When I wrote to my parents demanding they take responsibility for the abuse, they said no. We didn't speak for about four years. I moved out of the country, and at one point I had an irrational feeling that something had happened to one of my parents and called them. I spoke to my mom, they were fine, I told her where I was living and the good things that were happening in my life (narcissistic mothers don't like this, I had done things without her consent, approval, or involvement). I wrote her an email, including saying that I forgave her, and she took several days to respond.

When she finally wrote back, she told me things that were going on in their lives. She said that they couldn't take "the blame games" anymore, and while they would always love me and wished me the best, they were ending contact with me. She signed the email from her, my dad, and the pets, two of whom I'd never met.

I wrote her back and blasted her, and said at the end that it was ridiculous the pets were telling me goodbye, first because they wouldn't, and second because two of them didn't even know I existed. She never responded.

I would occasionally check Facebook to see if she ever opened an account, and she did. I blocked her and used a fake name so that she could never find my account. A couple of years after the final shunning, I checked her account one day. Her profile photo was a picture of her and I from an event when I was 19, the one year I was compliant. The event was thrown for me by a close friend of hers.

Lots of people liked and commented on the photo. The woman who threw the event asked if it was from that day, and my mother replied, "Yes, and GoodPersonEffed and I still thank you for it!"

Clearly all this time, my upstanding parents had been lying to extended family and their friends that we still had a close and loving relationship.

I took a week or so to process my strong anger and consider rationally how to manage the situation.

I sent her an email. I told her that she had one week to delete the photo from Facebook, or I would write to every person who liked or commented the photo and tell them the actual status of our relationship.

Within hours, she put up a new profile photo, but did not delete the one I told her to. She also blocked the list of her friends.

I waited five days and wrote to her again. I reminded her that she had two more days to delete the photo completely, and I sent her screenshots of the list of people who had reacted, and all of the comments. Within an hour, the photo was deleted.

Several months later, I was suicidal and went to an ER. From there I was transferred to a "Behavioral Health Center," that is, a stand-alone psych ward that exists to suck up Medicare funds. It was a horrific place, full of gaslighting and abuses by staff. One tiny example was that I was crying in my bed one night, and a nurse told me if I kept crying that I would be sent over to the unit where the seriously out of control folks were. There were patient-on-patient sexual assaults at the center. At one point, I was under threat of assault. I knew it likely wouldn't work in my favor, but because of the fear, I called my parents' house. My dad answered. I told him I had been suicidal, had checked myself in to a psych facility to get help, that assaults were happening, and I was in danger. (Reminder: my dad is a retired cop.) He said, "What do you want us to do about it? There's nothing more we can do." I asked if Mom was there, and he said, "Why?" Then he said something that at the time I didn't understand: "What did you do to get put in jail?" I said, "I just told you I'm in the hospital because I'm suicidal! Fuck you!" and hung up. I had never told either of my parents to fuck off. Only later did I make the connection that the name of the hospital was the name of the jail in another state where he had been a cop, so that's what he saw on the caller ID.

So that conversation was the last I ever had with my father, and the email about the photo was the last conversation I ever had with my mother.

Up until just the past month, I felt very conflicted about how I managed the situation with the Facebook photo. On the one hand, I felt very empowered. I set a boundary, and I gave it the teeth of consequences. It was effective and got results. On the other hand, it troubled me that I didn't exercise more patience and reason with her. It bothered me that she had coerced me throughout my life, and in order to get my need met, I resorted to coercion, rather than patiently taking it in stages to reach my goal: reason and explain, suggest, then escalate to demands and consequences. I jumped straight to a demand and a threat that I wouldn't have even followed through on, although I respect that I gave her a reasonable amount of time to comply, and even a reminder when she clearly wasn't interested in meeting the deadline. In the grand scheme of things, it's not that huge of a deal that I didn't manage it at some level of ethical purity. I needed the empowerment and victory, I needed to fill up what she had drained for so long, and I still feel that wonderful power. However, I accept I am not perfect, I am not a saint, and there are stages to reaching that level of inner strength, groundedness, and self-assurance that would have assisted me in managing the conflict resolution steps that would have been more balanced and more powerful, if not as immediately and gratifyingly empowering. I needed that step of growth in fighting back against the bully. I didn't cause her harm, and I didn't get addicted to the feeling of power. I still enjoy that feeling, but it does not direct me, and now, neither does the guilt. I earned that moment of victory, I'm allowed to enjoy the power of it. I progressed, I did no harm, and that is more than sufficient for now, and for a long time.

One of the last books I read was about emotionally immature parents, who often view things in black and white, as my parents do. The author said that part of emotional maturity and intelligence is about being able to manage that many things in life are emotionally complex and conflicting. There is more than one way of viewing and experiencing how I responded to the Facebook situation, and it's a sign of healing and grounding that I can deal with the complexity, the lack and the fulfillment, the winning and the wanting to have done better. It is a sign of emotional maturity that I can feel both anger and compassion toward my parents, without being ungrounded by it and falling back into the pity sandtrap.
__________________

Thank you to any and all who have read this post or any of the others on this thread. It has been much more effective and empowering to write all this here on a forum than in a journal. I have felt heard and supported. It has given me more strength and clarity. I have felt not alone, as I would have with a journal. I have been experiencing for days the benefits and empowerment of having done this here, and it has been integrative. Again, thank you.
 
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I

idonk

Master
Jan 3, 2020
469
1,660
@GoodPersonEffed im sorry your parents have caused you so much pain and grief. i hope someday you can let go of memories of how your parents treated you. of course it easier said than done. i dont know you but from reading your post i get the sense that you are an independant and strong person. good traits to have in order to survive this crazy world. i too suffer from being emotional and physical abuse from my father but i dont think too much about it now. i refuse to let his past behaviour dictate who i am as an adult. but i know that he has left emotional scars in me which will never heal.
 
GoodPersonEffed

GoodPersonEffed

Ain't it all just ridiculous?
Jan 11, 2020
4,084
8,377
@GoodPersonEffed im sorry your parents have caused you so much pain and grief. i hope someday you can let go of memories of how your parents treated you. of course it easier said than done. i dont know you but from reading your post i get the sense that you are an independant and strong person. good traits to have in order to survive this crazy world. i too suffer from being emotional and physical abuse from my father but i dont think too much about it now. i refuse to let his past behaviour dictate who i am as an adult. but i know that he has left emotional scars in me which will never heal.
Thank you for your kind words and intentions.

I do not want to let go of the memories as they are my lived experience, but change how they impact me and release the emotional charges and their power to control me. I have been going back into some memories and changing the experience. In one, my mother forced me when I was very young to do something that terrified me, and she was very cruel and completely without empathy; I imagined growing several feet taller than her and bullying her down, and allowing what she wanted me to do to just sit there and not be done at all.

Yes, I am independent and strong. The challenge is in recognizing when I need others, such as writing here, as well as recognizing when others are not safe supports, so that I experience the reciprocity of shared strength, neither having strength bled from me nor having to use more resources than I possess to be strong for myself.

I am glad for you that you do not think so much now about your father's abuse. Another user posted just recently about a narcissistic family member she went no contact with, and after something like 10-15 years, she stopped thinking about that person every day. I consider it a good example and goal for myself to not think about the abuse so often as you have accomplished. Thank you for sharing that. And thank you for sharing that his actions do not dictate who you are, that is also something I am emerging from and appreciate the example. I wish only the best for you in your healing and in all things.
 
Lorntroubles

Lorntroubles

Mouchette
Jan 19, 2020
2,132
1,706
A week ago, I wrote a lengthy post in this journal sharing some of the abuses I have endured but felt I was over-sharing so I deleted it. This is for you, and I respect that. I know what it's like to be the scapegoat. In my case, the famous quote is, "you're the one always causing problems." It was never okay for me to stick up for myself and call out brainwashing tactics. Glad you gathered up some strength to move forward in processing your thoughts. I'll never have the cajones to share about my life as you have done because I have major trust issues so kudos for letting us peep a little into your life.
 
GoodPersonEffed

GoodPersonEffed

Ain't it all just ridiculous?
Jan 11, 2020
4,084
8,377
A week ago, I wrote a lengthy post in this journal sharing some of the abuses I have endured but felt I was over-sharing so I deleted it. This is for you, and I respect that. I know what it's like to be the scapegoat. In my case, the famous quote is, "you're the one always causing problems." It was never okay for me to stick up for myself and call out brainwashing tactics. Glad you gathered up some strength to move forward in processing your thoughts. I'll never have the cajones to share about my life as you have done because I have major trust issues so kudos for letting us peep a little into your life.
I really appreciate that you let the journal be about me. I also think that maybe it inspired you to let some stuff out, even though you deleted it, and I hope that brought you some benefit.

I also appreciate that you shared here your very similar experience of scapegoating, not being allowed to stick up for yourself, and not being allowed to call out the brainwashing tactics. I found and still find that to be maddening. It is meant to disempower.

Finally, I appreciate that my processing here was respected and valued. Not everyone appreciates such threads and posts, and I respect that, but it's both comforting and reaffirming that what I've done here connected with someone, that I connected with someone, in a safe and healthy way. Conscientious vulnerability can be very rewarding.

I wish you the best. I enjoy many of your posts. You often have keen insights, thank you for sharing some of them here.
 
Pryras

Pryras

...last resort
Feb 11, 2020
383
1,000
23
Canada
While not completely the same circumstances, I feel very similar towards my own mother and I empathize with you.

My dad abandoned me when I was born because he didn’t want to live with the shame of having a daughter. My mom raised me on her own and was extremely controlling and physical with me. You could spend HOURS talking, explaining to her in plain layman’s English what you needed to feel better and she would do the exact opposite. Everything went straight through one ear and out the other. I was thinking about writing a note before leaving too but she wouldn’t respect my wishes even if I were dead. She would go after everyone, make a scene and make a fool out of me and herself.
 
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GoodPersonEffed

GoodPersonEffed

Ain't it all just ridiculous?
Jan 11, 2020
4,084
8,377
While not completely the same circumstances, I feel very similar towards my own mother and I empathize with you.

My dad abandoned me when I was born because he didn’t want to live with the shame of having a daughter. My mom raised me on her own and was extremely controlling and physical with me. You could spend HOURS talking, explaining to her in plain layman’s English what you needed to feel better and she would do the exact opposite. Everything went straight through one ear and out the other. I was thinking about writing a note before leaving too but she wouldn’t respect my wishes even if I were dead. She would go after everyone, make a scene and make a fool out of me and herself.
Thank you for the empathy.

There are no words for the idiocy of your father. Oh wait, there are. Since sperm determines the child's gender, he should have gotten a vasectomy or, you know, self-castrated, before his own testicles had a chance to betray him so egregiously.

And your mother - what a frustrating person to have/had in your life!

If there are wishes for you want after you died and they are important to you, then if you wrote the opposite, would that prompt her to do what you actually wanted? Like if you wanted to be cremated, say how much you hate cremation and really want to be buried? Or if you wanted no funeral, to say how important a funeral is to you and write up detailed instructions?
 
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Pryras

Pryras

...last resort
Feb 11, 2020
383
1,000
23
Canada
Thank you for the empathy.

There are no words for the idiocy of your father. Oh wait, there are. Since sperm determines the child's gender, he should have gotten a vasectomy or, you know, self-castrated, before his own testicles had a chance to betray him so egregiously.

And your mother - what a frustrating person to have/had in your life!

If there are wishes for you want after you died and they are important to you, then if you wrote the opposite, would that prompt her to do what you actually wanted? Like if you wanted to be cremated, say how much you hate cremation and really want to be buried? Or if you wanted no funeral, to say how important a funeral is to you and write up detailed instructions?
He’s an idiot for sure, wreaking havoc wherever he is. I never knew him, his name, what he looked like, I have nothing since my mother burned it all and forbids me to ever bring him up.

She is very close minded and I’ve accepted that she’s stuck in her ways. Anything I would write or wish for would be dismissed if it wasn’t what she wanted. She is hardwired different, and I’m convinced she actually believes she’s doing the outmost for her children when she’s doing the exact opposite. I wouldn’t be surprised if she just did the exact opposite of what I wanted out of spite. People are incredible I tell ya
 
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Suez

Suez

Wise
Feb 27, 2020
270
379
I think this will be my last post in this journal. I did a lot of reading the past several days on narcissistic mothers and gained more understanding of how my parents functioned. My mom is incapable of empathy, but demands it from others. She hated most of my friends and significant others because she perceived they had influence over me. Kicking me out was a way to take away support so that I would remain reliant on her, though that backfired. Me moving away kept me out of her control and influence. She needed an enabler, and my dad needed a controller; she verbally abused him, too, and emasculated him. Because of his own issues, it was easier for him to separate himself from me because he needed her, and he needed her to be right since he didn't know how to connect in himself with what was right and stand up for it, whether for himself or for me. The pity I felt was the focus that was always demanded to be on her as the center and focus of the family. She was jealous of me and needed to knock me down, she needed to be bigger and better than me.

I also read about the different types of roles the children of narcissists are put into: the scapegoat, the golden child, and the ignored child. If she did me any favors, it was by making me the scapegoat, because children in those roles tend to be the ones who see what is going on, call out abuse, and have a sense of justice. They tend to react to the abuse with strength, so because of how she set it up, she made me stronger, and to her own detriment also made me her foe rather than her toady.

I feel much more free of my parents now. More free to do what I want, and no guilt if I choose to ctb. I knew these things rationally, but my feelings are much more aligned with my thoughts now, and I feel calmer and more centered.

I don't feel the need now to post any more stories I mentioned in other posts that I would, except for the final one, as well as one that I didn't mention. I'll tell that one first.

_________________________

Several years ago, my mom and I were having a conversation about the abuse in her home when she was growing up. Her father was an alcoholic for many years and both passionately loved and physically abused her mother. Her mother was physically abusive. My mom didn't talk much about the abuse, but she and her brother used to laugh about how one of them could pass my grandmother in the hall, and out of nowhere, she would slap one of them in the face.

During this conversation, I said to my mom how hard and scary it must have been to grow up in such an environment of physical abuse. I showed her empathy. She got kind of quiet and responded, "Yeah, I guess I brought some of that to you." It was the only time she acknowledged she abused me. She did not apologize. It was the tiniest step, and nothing further developed. It brought no significant healing to our relationship. But she has a tendency to remember her father as a kind of saint, and her childhood as a simpler and happier time, a golden era in her life. In retrospect, the conversation we had reveals to me that she cannot face what she did to me if she cannot face the reality of her past. She doesn't have the inner strength and support for a different foundation than the false one on which she relies. I can't fix that. I can't fix her. And it's not emotionally safe or sane to have her in my life as long as she functions like that. As she said when I was a teenager, "We're not going to change, you are." She and Dad did not change. I have only improved, with decades of effort and, recently, reaffirming and embracing my awareness of the fuckedupness, now with more groundedness and understanding. It's been quite healing to stop owning her shit, which is what a narcissistic mother wants those around her to do.

____________________

The final story.

When I wrote to my parents demanding they take responsibility for the abuse, they said no. We didn't speak for about four years. I moved out of the country, and at one point I had an irrational feeling that something had happened to one of my parents and called them. I spoke to my mom, they were fine, I told her where I was living and the good things that were happening in my life (narcissistic mothers don't like this, I had done things without her consent, approval, or involvement). I wrote her an email, including saying that I forgave her, and she took several days to respond.

When she finally wrote back, she told me things that were going on in their lives. She said that they couldn't take "the blame games" anymore, and while they would always love me and wished me the best, they were ending contact with me. She signed the email from her, my dad, and the pets, two of whom I'd never met.

I wrote her back and blasted her, and said at the end that it was ridiculous the pets were telling me goodbye, first because they wouldn't, and second because two of them didn't even know I existed. She never responded.

I would occasionally check Facebook to see if she ever opened an account, and she did. I blocked her and used a fake name so that she could never find my account. A couple of years after the final shunning, I checked her account one day. Her profile photo was a picture of her and I from an event when I was 19, the one year I was compliant. The event was thrown for me by a close friend of hers.

Lots of people liked and commented on the photo. The woman who threw the event asked if it was from that day, and my mother replied, "Yes, and GoodPersonEffed and I still thank you for it!"

Clearly all this time, my upstanding parents had been lying to extended family and their friends that we still had a close and loving relationship.

I took a week or so to process my strong anger and consider rationally how to manage the situation.

I sent her an email. I told her that she had one week to delete the photo from Facebook, or I would write to every person who liked or commented the photo and tell them the actual status of our relationship.

Within hours, she put up a new profile photo, but did not delete the one I told her to. She also blocked the list of her friends.

I waited five days and wrote to her again. I reminded her that she had two more days to delete the photo completely, and I sent her screenshots of the list of people who had reacted, and all of the comments. Within an hour, the photo was deleted.

Several months later, I was suicidal and went to an ER. From there I was transferred to a "Behavioral Health Center," that is, a stand-alone psych ward that exists to suck up Medicare funds. It was a horrific place, full of gaslighting and abuses by staff. One tiny example was that I was crying in my bed one night, and a nurse told me if I kept crying that I would be sent over to the unit where the seriously out of control folks were. There were patient-on-patient sexual assaults at the center. At one point, I was under threat of assault. I knew it likely wouldn't work in my favor, but because of the fear, I called my parents' house. My dad answered. I told him I had been suicidal, had checked myself in to a psych facility to get help, that assaults were happening, and I was in danger. (Reminder: my dad is a retired cop.) He said, "What do you want us to do about it? There's nothing more we can do." I asked if Mom was there, and he said, "Why?" Then he said something that at the time I didn't understand: "What did you do to get put in jail?" I said, "I just told you I'm in the hospital because I'm suicidal! Fuck you!" and hung up. I had never told either of my parents to fuck off. Only later did I make the connection that the name of the hospital was the name of the jail in another state where he had been a cop, so that's what he saw on the caller ID.

So that conversation was the last I ever had with my father, and the email about the photo was the last conversation I ever had with my mother.

Up until just the past month, I felt very conflicted about how I managed the situation with the Facebook photo. On the one hand, I felt very empowered. I set a boundary, and I gave it the teeth of consequences. It was effective and got results. On the other hand, it troubled me that I didn't exercise more patience and reason with her. It bothered me that she had coerced me throughout my life, and in order to get my need met, I resorted to coercion, rather than patiently taking it in stages to reach my goal: reason and explain, suggest, then escalate to demands and consequences. I jumped straight to a demand and a threat that I wouldn't have even followed through on, although I respect that I gave her a reasonable amount of time to comply, and even a reminder when she clearly wasn't interested in meeting the deadline. In the grand scheme of things, it's not that huge of a deal that I didn't manage it at some level of ethical purity. I needed the empowerment and victory, I needed to fill up what she had drained for so long, and I still feel that wonderful power. However, I accept I am not perfect, I am not a saint, and there are stages to reaching that level of inner strength, groundedness, and self-assurance that would have assisted me in managing the conflict resolution steps that would have been more balanced and more powerful, if not as immediately and gratifyingly empowering. I needed that step of growth in fighting back against the bully. I didn't cause her harm, and I didn't get addicted to the feeling of power. I still enjoy that feeling, but it does not direct me, and now, neither does the guilt. I earned that moment of victory, I'm allowed to enjoy the power of it. I progressed, I did no harm, and that is more than sufficient for now, and for a long time.

One of the last books I read was about emotionally immature parents, who often view things in black and white, as my parents do. The author said that part of emotional maturity and intelligence is about being able to manage that many things in life are emotionally complex and conflicting. There is more than one way of viewing and experiencing how I responded to the Facebook situation, and it's a sign of healing and grounding that I can deal with the complexity, the lack and the fulfillment, the winning and the wanting to have done better. It is a sign of emotional maturity that I can feel both anger and compassion toward my parents, without being ungrounded by it and falling back into the pity sandtrap.
__________________

Thank you to any and all who have read this post or any of the others on this thread. It has been much more effective and empowering to write all this here on a forum than in a journal. I have felt heard and supported. It has given me more strength and clarity. I have felt not alone, as I would have with a journal. I have been experiencing for days the benefits and empowerment of having done this here, and it has been integrative. Again, thank you.
In one of your posts you said "It was insanity" ...and its that insanity that undermines the development of identity, leaving a daughter of a Narcissistic parent wondering if she has the right to exist. Our mothers are our foundations and our attachments to the world. When that attachment is instead tarnished by emotional and verbal abuse it leaves life long scars which can take a life time to heal. Narcissistic mothers through direction and criticism, try to shape their daughters into their idealized self, they also try to control and manipulate their needs and feelings when they can. Acceptance for just being herself, is something she would rarely feel, she must often chose between sacrificing herself and losing her mothers love. Her real self is rejected, first by her mother and then by herself. The internalized shame and the belief that you are not someone that can ever be loved is played out in every aspect of your life, after all, who could love you, when your own mother doesnt love you?
Undermining that development of identity through repeated shaming and control adds to the growing insecurity that is building in the child of a Narcissistic mother. Over time she is no longer able to even trust her own feelings and she blames herself that her mother is displeased with her, she is unable to establish for herself at that stage that her mother will never be satisfied with her behaviour no matter what she does. Sometimes daughters feel so bad that they have become such a disapointment to their mothers that they start to feel that they should never have been born, so now not only does the Narcissistic mother fail to protect you early on from the terrors of the outside world, she becomes the source of the terror.......so yes Id have to agree with you Goodpersoneffed..It was insanity. Where your mother should have been giving you the building blocks of a healthy self-esteem your mum distorted your self perception, &gave you a toxic inner critic.
Narcissistic parenting distorts our self-perception; instead of being given the building blocks of a healthy self-esteem, we internalize
 
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Burzolog

Elementalist
Apr 5, 2018
760
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Comments are welcome, including similar experiences. However, saying "this is what you have to do" for any reason, even with altruistic intentions, is not welcome. I'm already doing what I have to do. I know some folks just talk that way, but I'll take it as controlling even if that's not the intention, and this thread is about breaking control over me.
Reading your post gave rise to more thoughts (slightly more than usual) that I'm willing and able to put into language... I'm glad that the feelings of my family are not of my concern when it comes to my planned suicide. And I'm glad to hear that your experience has made you stronger.

But anyway, what I wanted to say is that I can relate to not welcoming manipulative moves. So often we (humans) use "You statements" where "I statement" would not only be more considerate but is also better representing... objective reality. "Here's my advice", "this is what in my opinion you have to do", you know what I'm talking about. (hehe)
 
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GoodPersonEffed

Ain't it all just ridiculous?
Jan 11, 2020
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In one of your posts you said "It was insanity" ...and its that insanity that undermines the development of identity, leaving a daughter of a Narcissistic parent wondering if she has the right to exist. Our mothers are our foundations and our attachments to the world. When that attachment is instead tarnished by emotional and verbal abuse it leaves life long scars which can take a life time to heal. Narcissistic mothers through direction and criticism, try to shape their daughters into their idealized self, they also try to control and manipulate their needs and feelings when they can. Acceptance for just being herself, is something she would rarely feel, she must often chose between sacrificing herself and losing her mothers love. Her real self is rejected, first by her mother and then by herself. The internalized shame and the belief that you are not someone that can ever be loved is played out in every aspect of your life, after all, who could love you, when your own mother doesnt love you?
Undermining that development of identity through repeated shaming and control adds to the growing insecurity that is building in the child of a Narcissistic mother. Over time she is no longer able to even trust her own feelings and she blames herself that her mother is displeased with her, she is unable to establish for herself at that stage that her mother will never be satisfied with her behaviour no matter what she does. Sometimes daughters feel so bad that they have become such a disapointment to their mothers that they start to feel that they should never have been born, so now not only does the Narcissistic mother fail to protect you early on from the terrors of the outside world, she becomes the source of the terror.......so yes Id have to agree with you Goodpersoneffed..It was insanity. Where your mother should have been giving you the building blocks of a healthy self-esteem your mum distorted your self perception, &gave you a toxic inner critic.
Narcissistic parenting distorts our self-perception; instead of being given the building blocks of a healthy self-esteem, we internalize
I remember reading and pondering that quote in one of the narcissistic mother books I just read.

The insanity I experienced with my mother was that her words and reactions did not match reality, she told me that different things were happening than actually were, or that I have different motivations for my actions than I actually did. It was constant gaslighting, albeit not intentionally manipulative on her part but a reflection of how she perceived things which she took as and insisted was fact, and that is what felt like insanity. She saw something utterly different than reality, and insisted it was reality, and while my father bought into her narratives, I did not, so I was beaten for disagreeing, kicked out, and ultimately shunned, leaving me countless times from the earliest age angry and confused and alone. Outside support challenged her authority to define reality, and so I was isolated and removed from all healthy and rational supports like therapy and the parents of other children, which is likely why I didn't get to spend nearly enough times in the homes of my friends, because their parents would have had a stabilizing influence.

The explanations in the book of how a child of a narcissist develops didn't accurately describe how I developed, or perhaps how it was worded didn't resonate with my lived experience, because it tended to focus heavily on the child who did not develop an identity, and I developed a strong one that had distortions but did have at least some strength and grounding in reality, which brought up in me such strong feelings of anger, impotence, and rebellion. It was another book that described the roles assigned by a narcissistic mother which addressed my experience, that of the scapegoat, which helped me see how I responded with rebelliousness and a much stronger sense of self than many children of narcissistic parents. I definitely had inner critic issues and self hatred as quoted above, but I also was able to maintain throughout a sense that she was to blame for her abusiveness rather than me. I still had some inherent inner foundation and sense of self that she wasn't able to break. She forced independence on me many times to make me crumble, and made me her enemy so that I would concede, and while I was tossed around by her storms, I still had some roots that kept me from being completely blown away and was able to remain a self that was not thoroughly enmeshed with her, not totally defeated and sublimated by her. I think that because she wasn't a full-on narcissicist but had narcissistic tendencies, she was not so fully manipulative that she could mold me; instead, she was taken over by narcissistic rages that were meant to brandish anger to such a degree that I (and sometimes my father) would back off to her will, only I never fully did, so whatever she tried to create with me, she fucked it up herself by losing control to her rages, a stark contrast to the self-control, sufficiency, and "normalcy" she seems to embody in daily life, which makes others think she is extremely capable and grounded. It is a very strong facade, and the rages break it, and I (and occasionally my father) were the scapegoats for her losing self-control and challenging her false perceptions of and dominion over the reality of the home, which, as a mother, she tried to extend into my autonomous experience of life outside the home. Perhaps that is one reason I was so isolated; she could not "trust" me that I would carry her reality out into the world with me when she was not present to control me. Because I am so different from her (in great part because I am adopted), I have never been a representation of her at home or in the world, I had an identity she could not break, I was not pliant and could not be molded. And so I was at fault. I was "wild." It never occurred to her to reward good behaviors to reinforce them, they were simply expected, only to punish that which didn't fit her narrative and expectations, but it was impossible for me to be otherwise because I do not share her or my father's DNA, I am inherently not like them. And so I didn't feel so much shame as in your quote, I felt like she considered me a bad investment (adoption is expensive), and I did not bring the returns she expected.

Once again, this external thinking has helped bring to the surface and work out things that have troubled me for years. It may have seemed as if I was arguing with or negating you, but I was struggling with the quote and the definitions it was placing on my that didn't quite fit. By debating with it, and relating it to other sources, the struggle brought up more things I was seeking to answer, and I did. Once again, this thread has been rewarding for me. Thanks for engaging.
 
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FusRohDracarys

But what do I know
Mar 31, 2020
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@GoodPersonEffed sending love and support your way. Thank you for sharing. I'm so sorry you've been through what you have. You have a beautiful light, and you seem such a gentle, thoughtful soul. I wish you well on your continued recovery and offer any support I can.
 
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GoodPersonEffed

Ain't it all just ridiculous?
Jan 11, 2020
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@GoodPersonEffed sending love and support your way. Thank you for sharing. I'm so sorry you've been through what you have. You have a beautiful light, and you seem such a gentle, thoughtful soul. I wish you well on your continued recovery and offer any support I can.
Thank you, @FusRohDracarys. I appreciate your empathy and compassion, and telling me what you see in me based on what I reveal about myself through my telling and processing.

It makes me think about one of my major frustrations in life, the impotence I feel at the same time as my strength, compassion, and sense of justice. I would prefer to be gentle, I am definitely thoughtful, and I have always had a light. But what to do with all that when I come across those who, similarly to my mother, I just can't get through to? What do I do when there are such things around me that negatively affect me and others? What do I do about those I cannot get away from or positively impact who either can't or won't face when they do something harmful to me or to another? I don't talk about my external situation that causes me to consider suicide as the most rational response, but even as I continue to heal and grow, it is not a situation that I have any agency to impact. I know I have the capacity to do good for others, and to receive reciprocal benefit as I have here by sharing, I know that I have power, especially in my writing skills. I know that the world will not be better without me in it, but the world that has this kind of crazy-making gaslighting and dumping of one's issues onto others is a world I cannot escape from and will not allow me to help it get better; it feeds off co-dependence, but it takes no responsibility for the harm it does to others, only shifts blame and focus. I can make an impact for others who have been victimized and want to heal as well, who want to support and be supported, but it seems like a temporary thing -- for any steps forward, I and we will continually be pushed back. I don't want to live an world of win-or-lose, and it's set up in such a toxic, narcissistic way that I cannot win, and any wins will be turned against me so that I perpetually lose. I like the light in me, and I do not want to turn it out, yet it is also constantly assaulted. I feel like I live in a perpetual double-bind. I am both strong and tired, full of potential with nowhere to spend it, always strengthening within but forever thwarted without. I have ability to recover, I have ability to help others and be helped, to experience the best of humanity, but the world seems to use it like a cat plays with its prey. I am both tough and gentle, and I do not have the type of personality to play the hard games like a career politician, I would have to give up too much of myself and/or take on qualities and skills that do harm. I think of Nelson Mandela, how he was a terrorist, went to prison, got into Stoicism, made changes in more peaceful ways, but he still had to play the games, he still had to function in toxic environments and make concessions, and so while he may have made progress, it seems from my perspective that it's just more of the predatory world toying with its prey, making it seem there is progress but using it for a darker agenda. I am so frustrated. I hurt. I feel like I lose if I ctb, I lose and am manipulated if I keep struggling to heal and grow and do good, to be of benefit to myself and those around me.

I said in antoher comment above that I have learned about emotional maturity and intelligence, that it is a sign of such things to be able to remain grounded and to manage conflicting feelings, as nothing is black or white, but I am overwhelmed and overburdened, I do not know how to manage these things I've spoken of here.

My response to your compassion was to pour this out. I don't know to what result, but thank you for saying things that made me feel validated, appreciated, and encouraged and supported to bring these things out of myself and onto the page.
 
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FusRohDracarys

But what do I know
Mar 31, 2020
204
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@GoodPersonEffed

I might have misread here, but I can't help but get the sense that we might have different connotations to the word "gentle". To my understanding, someone who is gentle is someone with the capacity to use force but consciously restrains themselves so they might minimize the detrimental impact they might have. For instance, when stroking a kitten, you use lesser force than you're capable of. Likewise, when speaking to an emotionally distraught friend, you might choose your words more carefully than you would otherwise. This is the gentle person I perceive you as, at least here in SS.

After reading:

It makes me think about one of my major frustrations in life, the impotence I feel at the same time as my strength, compassion, and sense of justice. I would prefer to be gentle, I am definitely thoughtful, and I have always had a light.
I can't help but wonder if perhaps the connotation to gentleness for you is more to do with frailty and weakness. In which case, I would like to assure you that was not my intent.

As for the rest, I'm honestly not sure what I can say. I'll simply opt for a gentle reminder that you owe nothing to no one. Your happiness, your suffering, your peace, your comfort, your autonomy and independence all come first. Some people find fulfillment or healing in taking that political or public route, like you described. It's okay if that's not for you. Do what's best for you.
 
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GoodPersonEffed

Ain't it all just ridiculous?
Jan 11, 2020
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@GoodPersonEffed

I might have misread here, but I can't help but get the sense that we might have different connotations to the word "gentle". To my understanding, someone who is gentle is someone with the capacity to use force but consciously restrains themselves so they might minimize the detrimental impact they might have. For instance, when stroking a kitten, you use lesser force than you're capable of. Likewise, when speaking to an emotionally distraught friend, you might choose your words more carefully than you would otherwise. This is the gentle person I perceive you as, at least here in SS.

After reading:



I can't help but wonder if perhaps the connotation to gentleness for you is more to do with frailty and weakness. In which case, I would like to assure you that was not my intent.

As for the rest, I'm honestly not sure what I can say. I'll simply opt for a gentle reminder that you owe nothing to no one. Your happiness, your suffering, your peace, your comfort, your autonomy and independence all come first. Some people find fulfillment or healing in taking that political or public route, like you described. It's okay if that's not for you. Do what's best for you.

I really like how you described gentleness, I agree with that.

And thanks for your response. Hope you didn't take it as me dumping it on you, I was dumping it in the space of the thread. But I appreciate how you viewed it and I will do some processing on that. Seems I'm still working through layers of co-dependence, other-focus, and being valued/valuable. I'm not quite sure what to do with just me, and like my childhood, I think I'm still struggling with external situations defining me, although I think to some degree most humans deal with that as we are interactive with both other living beings and environments. I wish I could remember the source on that, I may need to do some digging as it had a positive impact once and may merit revisiting now.

Thanks again. Enjoying talking with you here and on other threads. Good insights and ability to clarify.
 
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Remember to forget

Remember to forget

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Mar 6, 2020
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I really like how you described gentleness, I agree with that.

And thanks for your response. Hope you didn't take it as me dumping it on you, I was dumping it in the space of the thread. But I appreciate how you viewed it and I will do some processing on that. Seems I'm still working through layers of co-dependence, other-focus, and being valued/valuable. I'm not quite sure what to do with just me, and like my childhood, I think I'm still struggling with external situations defining me, although I think to some degree most humans deal with that as we are interactive with both other living beings and environments. I wish I could remember the source on that, I may need to do some digging as it had a positive impact once and may merit revisiting now.

Thanks again. Enjoying talking with you here and on other threads. Good insights and ability to clarify.
It's a difficult task getting over being abandoned by your family. I still struggle with dealing with being hit, my mums mental health issues and being left to look after my family while I was still a kid. I can cope the physical pain but I think the mental games she played and being abandoned took a lot more to get over.
Thank you for sharing your story x
 
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