Author Topic: Narcissist Moms and Mother's Day  (Read 227 times)

sunblue

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Narcissist Moms and Mother's Day
« on: May 14, 2017, 01:00:33 PM »
Well today is Mother's Day.  For those of us with Narcissist moms, it is a painful day.  My social feeds are filled with stories of how other's moms showed them throughout their lives they were special.  They talked of the sacrifices they made  They post heartfelt, funny and loving photos of the two of them.  They share memories of how their moms helped them follow their passions, become better human beings and learn from their lessons of love as they raised their own families.  They tell of the special ways they will spend today with their moms.  They even proudly post pics of the Hallmark cards, flowers and gifts they presented their grateful moms.

Being raised by a Narcissist mom, I have really none of those experiences.  Days like today remind me of just how much I missed.  I never had a mom who encouraged me, cared about my interests or helped me find happiness.  I never had a mom who wanted to be a mom.  I never had a mom who appreciated the special gifts and cards and gestures I made every Mother's Day.  I never had a mom who cared about MY life....only hers.  I never had a mom I could talk to or share my problems and fears.  Yet my mom was and is still here.  A mom, but not a mom.  What I had was a marginal parent-----who fulfilled her responsibilities to feed, clothe and educate her children...but really nothing else. 

I was not lucky in that I was also not blessed with my own family.  I could not take the lessons I learned in how not to be a mom and apply it to my own family.  But I think sometimes the best those of us who were raised in Narcissistic families can do is make a promise not ever to repeat those mistakes....to raise their children with love and attention and affection, to be generous with themselves and not selfish, to be a Mom....and not just a parent.

Today hurts....a lot.  I look around and see what so many others have and have had in their life----and what an incredible difference it made in the happiness and successes they were able to achieve as adults.  I also know there are lots of us out there-----who did not have those benefits, who were raised in emotionally and physically abusive homes.  But society has deemed today is not a day for us.  It is a day for them.....those who already have had so many days in their lives of celebration. 

So I come here today to share a bit and vent....with those in this world who understand.  For those of you lucky enough to be Moms today, I wish you a heartfelt and happy Mother's Day.  I hope you have been able to find some joy in your motherhood and I hope today that you are being rightfully celebrated.

And for the rest of us....who were not blessed...but who have, through our empathetic hearts and actions---contributed to the lives of others and their children----as aunts, friends, daughters, cousins----let us remember that we matter in this world too.  Even though our own mothers never taught us that we had value and were worthwhile of anything good in this life.

Happy Mother's Day and wishing those of us in pain today.....strength and unity.

Sunblue. 

JustKathy

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Re: Narcissist Moms and Mother's Day
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2017, 02:09:22 PM »
Thank you so much for posting what I'm sure most of us here are feeling today. Mother's Day, for me, is like Valentine's Day for a lonely single person. We are excluded. Like you, my Facebook feed is filled with those posting loving tributes, profile photos changed to those of a beloved mother, and perhaps the worst, the poems about a mother's love that we're told to "share to show how much you love your mom."

Sunblue, one thing we have in common is that I, too, have no children. I was never able to take the plunge, for myriad reasons, all relating to my upbringing. My N-mother's idea of preventing a teen pregnancy was not to educate me on birth control, but to tell me horror stories about women who died in childbirth. After therapy got me past that one, I still felt unworthy and ill-prepared to raise a child. Hardest of all was the constant fear that I would repeat what my own mother did to me. I've been told that daughters of Ns tend to overcompensate, and give their children all the love and support they were denied themselves, and then some. That seems to be true, but still .... I just couldn't.

I tried to log onto FB today, but promptly left and won't be returning until this awful onslaught is over. I did, however, see one thing that caught my attention. One woman who I have friended posted this:

To all my sweet friends, hope your Mother's Day is a good one. No mother ever raises a child alone...my gratitude to family, friends, teachers, professors, doctors, nurses, coaches, book writers, artists, musicians and to all that love children.

I felt a little better after reading that one.

Stay strong,

Kathy

Twoapenny

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Re: Narcissist Moms and Mother's Day
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2017, 03:31:32 PM »
It is hard, Sunblue, and Just Kathy, and anyone else that is going through this today.  Maybe there should be an 'I survived abuse' day or something like that, it surely is about time that those of us who've made it through difficult times should be able to stand up and be proud of what we've been through and the fact that we're still hanging on in there, painful though it is.

It's very tough because it feels like everyone else has a perfect family, but I really do think people tend to talk more about good things than bad, especially on social media.  It took me a long time not to feel resentful about the things I didn't have as a child that others take for granted.  I remember being at a little drinks party once and parents became a topic of conversation.  One lady was talking about how wonderful her mum was and how much she'd done for her over the years, and then she asked me about my mum.  I told her a little bit and her face just fell, she couldn't believe that a mum can be like that to her own child.  I think unless you've been through it it's just something unfathomable to so many others.

Well anyway, happy 'Surviving Your Mother' day to so many who will be feeling lost and alone today instead of celebrating with their mums (it's not Mother's Day here in the UK, I think it was some time last month :) ).

Hopalong

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Re: Narcissist Moms and Mother's Day
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2017, 09:29:33 AM »
I got through it pretty well yesterday, though Saturday was heightened lonesome. Should have planned for that but was tired so spent the whole day lolling about. A friend had offered a belated bday dinner and was flexible on when, so I said how about on M Day? She was fine with that; knows all about my D.

The Mday pain is awkward for me. I did have an Nmom (not as bad an N as many described here though, so was able to forgive and was healed by the time she died). But it's not painful memories of Nmom's intractable disorder that make it a hard day. It's that I haven't heard from my D in 5 years. Only child, only family.

I have zero expectation of D any more, though, so as long as I proactively plan for the day (skip church, be sure to have a pleasant plan with a friend) it's a pang but not agony as it was the first few years of her estrangement. And another close friend called just to say she was thinking of me. My most Nish friend didn't, seldom seems to. Re-evaluating that one a lot these days. I think the way this friend blows hot and cold is painful for me.

It's odd. I think of D almost every day but lately I've grown less interested in what's happening right now. Instead, I'm allowing myself to still enjoy happy memories of her childhood and the immense joy I experienced in being her Mom for so long. It's like, they're creeping back. I am reclaiming my right to my own memories and experiences, which her stance now doesn't invalidate. It can't. She can revise her own history in whatever way makes sense to her, but she can't revise mine. That's been a help to realize.

I subscribe to the newsletter of Dr. Joshua Coleman that supports parents of estranged adult children, which is very helpful. Once a week there's an article very specific to this particular pain. This recent one was very helpful to me.

THE ROLE OF MENTAL ILLNESS IN ESTRANGEMENT

 There are many ways that mental illness in a child would cause them to treat the parent in an abusive or distant way:

*       Their mental illness might interfere with their ability to regulate their thoughts, feelings, or affect

*       It may interfere with their ability to make correct causal links between their past and the parent's behavior. In other words, they may develop theories about why the parent behaved in the way that they did, or how that parent affected the child that have little-to-no basis in reality

*       It may cause them to feel in some way defective or flawed and need to blame the parent as a way to feel less shameful. In other words, blaming and abusing the parent is a way to preserve a sense of themselves as ideal and say that if they had had better parenting they wouldn't be burdened with the flaws they have or the way that their lives turned out

*     It may disrupt their ability to manage normal and inevitable conflicts between the parent and adult child. Because of their difficulty managing emotions, making causal links, or tolerating anxiety, a mentally ill child may be unable to adapt to the normal, expectable, and inevitable slings and arrows that come with family life

*     It may cause them to have unrealistic expectations of the parent or what they're entitled to receive in the parent-child relationship. In other words a child's mental illness may cause them to believe that the parent should make accommodations or provisions for the child that are far out of line with normal parent-adult child relationships

*    It may make them more vulnerable to manipulation from a more troubled person such as a SIL/DIL, your ex- spouse or other family member


I'm glad Mday is behind us and glad that spring is so beautiful. Having the windows open for days (under deep eaves) is a joy for me. Birds are going nuts. Have two new flower beds. Irises like crazy.

love to all,
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

JustKathy

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Re: Narcissist Moms and Mother's Day
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2017, 03:26:24 PM »
Awwwww, Hops. You got hit with a double whammy there. I was away from the board for a few years, so donít know the details, but I completely understand how the estrangement from your own daughter would be far worse than the memories of your N-Mother. Much different situation when the mother genuinely loves the estranged daughter. That must be very painful for you and Iím just so sorry.

Your situation makes me wonder what my NM felt when I blew off Motherís Day, which I always did. It was the one ďholidayĒ that I wanted nothing to do with. We celebrated it when I was a child, but as an adult, I never went to visit, never sent a gift, or even a card. Especially not a card. The greetings inside an M-Day card all offer emotional sentiments of love and praise for a job well done. There was no way I was going to send something like that to a child abuser. Iíd send her a birthday card, but I just couldnít bring myself to acknowledge Motherís Day.

Iím guessing that NM she was never hurt by this. More likely, she was angry, resentful, hateful towards me for not worshiping her on her special day. Truthfully, she was probably relieved that I was a no show. She didnít want me around anyway, and my absence would have given her the opportunity to go full drama queen, crying and telling others how her beloved daughter had shunned her, and she didnít even know why. Heck, maybe she wasnít even angry. Maybe she LIKED it!

Twoapenny

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Re: Narcissist Moms and Mother's Day
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2017, 02:31:11 PM »
Hops, I'm sorry you didn't hear from your D.  It made me realise that I hadn't thought about mum's that don't see their kids, for whatever reason, and people who loved their mums very much but they've now passed or perhaps are unwell and not really lucid anymore.  There are so many ways a celebration can be painful for people who can't join in.  I'm really glad you're cherishing those memories of happy times, though, and I still hope that something changes for your D at some point and she's able to talk things through with you xx

Hopalong

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Re: Narcissist Moms and Mother's Day
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2017, 08:56:22 PM »
Thanks, Kathy and Tupp--I appreciate it.

Five years now, so I no longer hope for a call. My bday is shortly before MDay so I just kind of toughen up and practice being grateful for the love I DO have in my life, and plan proactively for distraction.

I'm a whole lot better than when the grief was fresh. Gratitude helps, plus I've completely forgiven her. She maybe really truly can't help it, and some of the good articles, especially from the doc who specializes, really make me view her behavior with compassion.

I'd be both overjoyed and careful if she reappeared in my life, and do dream of the day. But not so much that I build any fantasies about it. Many estrangements last forever.

love
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: Narcissist Moms and Mother's Day
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2017, 02:29:42 AM »
Thanks, Kathy and Tupp--I appreciate it.

Five years now, so I no longer hope for a call. My bday is shortly before MDay so I just kind of toughen up and practice being grateful for the love I DO have in my life, and plan proactively for distraction.

I'm a whole lot better than when the grief was fresh. Gratitude helps, plus I've completely forgiven her. She maybe really truly can't help it, and some of the good articles, especially from the doc who specializes, really make me view her behavior with compassion.

I'd be both overjoyed and careful if she reappeared in my life, and do dream of the day. But not so much that I build any fantasies about it. Many estrangements last forever.

love
Hops

I think being able to understand the problems of the other person does give you another way of coping, doesn't it, when you can see it's an illness or health problem that's at the root of the situation.  I can kind of see my mum can't really do anything about the way her mind works and the more I've learnt over the years the more I can there's an issue with the way she sees the world.  I hope she finds a way to get past whatever the root of the problem is, she would be so lucky to have your love in her life (and pooch!).  Life's so bizarre in the way it pairs us up with people, there are parents who don't want their kids and vice versa yet we always seem to be matched up with people we love and do want around but it can't happen for whatever reason.  Belated Happy Birthday to you, too xx

sunblue

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Re: Narcissist Moms and Mother's Day
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2017, 03:23:11 PM »
It is both sad and comforting to read about all of your experiences around this topic.  Anyone who has struggled with this issue for any length of time understandings (at least intellectually) that there is no good solution.  They will never change.  They will never even want to change.  And while these narcissists may be our mothers, they never were our mothers, nor will they ever become the mothers we want and deserve, just as any child deserves a mother who cares about them.  They are either incapable of it or undeserving of it...except in those situations that benefits them.

I have so much respect for those who have the courage to move on, move away, start over.  I"m trying to develop the courage to do that.....for I realize my own N mom never cared, will not care and will never acknowledge the great pain she caused.  I still struggle with understanding why I was so much more damaged than my siblings---why they were able to move on in life, develop relationships, have success in life---while I was not.  Perhaps it is because I frankly have more of a heart than they do; perhaps it is because I have great empathy and they don't.....perhaps they were just lucky and I'm not.  Regardless, it is a hard, hard thing to fully understand that you are alone in this world....that not even those individuals who are your "family" care nothing about you.  Acceptance is both slow and difficult.  Thanks to all of you for listening and sharing.

Bettyanne

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Re: Narcissist Moms and Mother's Day
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2017, 12:59:06 AM »
Thanks Sunblue for your words.....
Having N mother is such a sad things in our lives.....it is so hard to make sense out of a woman having a baby wanting to have no bonding with it.....no love or empathy or sympathy ......none no matter what you say to them......but the part that always got to me.....was when in front of strangers or her good friends could act so nice and so fake. 
My mother would say on Mother's day that it is not just for one day that Mother's Day should be everyday....omg
how sick this women who wanted nothing to do with me wanted me to celebrate her everyday.

For years I would buy the nice Mother's day cards.....the hallmark cards with all the right words....loving etc.
But then when I found out she was a N in therapy.....I bought generic cards.....the basic basic ones.....the cheapest ones....and my MIL was a N as well so sent them both the same card.  I remember I hated looking for Mother's day cards ....

Sunblue.....I regret not going NC with my mother.  Please love yourself enough to do that for yourself.....no one needs to keep having a women who brought you into this world be so abusive to you for her entire life.  Mine lived to 100 and she never changed the same until the end.  Free yourself of her abuse ....and move on.....I am saying I will cheer you on your way .....Bettyanne

sunblue

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Re: Narcissist Moms and Mother's Day
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2017, 01:42:49 PM »
Thank you BettyAnne for your shared experiences and kind words.

One thing I know for sure...is that an N mom will never change.....ever.  Sometimes they even get worse as they age.

In think in the case of my N mom, while she didn't want to ever be a real  mom, she was in love with the "idea" of motherhood.  Throughout the house are paintings or pictures of a mother with children....always very small children.  My N mom has one grandchild---a granddaughter----and she adored her when she was a baby.  In fact, she would never allow me to hold her when babysitting, insisting that she be the only one to cater to the baby's whim.  Once, when i asked to hold my niece, my Nmom refused, explaining that the baby was scared of me because I was wearing a black jacket.  Imagine! 

However, as my niece moved beyond the toddler years where a child starts to develop its own personality and individuality, my Nmom was no longer interested in engaging.  When my Nmom would babysit, she would sit in a chair reading her newspaper, expecting my 6-year-old niece to come to her and engage with Her!...

And yes, she expected to be treated like the Queen every day of the year.  And essentially, she was, thanks to my co-dependent dad who just wanted to keep the peace.  I only purchased Hallmark cards....but she rarely reciprocated, explaining she believed it was a waste of money.  She never bought my dad an anniversary card.
So now, like you, I look for the most generic cards I can find....because all those Hallmark messages simply are not true and I can't see my way to buying them.

It's also amazing to me that my mom takes such incredible interest in other people's children, can empathize with their situations, but refuse to acknowledge the pain or traumas I suffer in life. 

Right now I feel stuck.  My "golden child" sister and "sort of scapegoat" brother who all but abandoned the family (except in situations when it's convenient) are not there for my mother....and will never be.  So, even though I have no right to feel guilt, I do because I know that the other two would not be there for her if she became ill or needed help.  I'm the only one with any kind of heart in the family and i guess I feel a kind of human obligation.

I know others have gone no contact and it seems to work for them.  I know I have to overcome this and accept the aloneness before I can move forward.  So sad sometimes it makes me immobile.

Thanks for the listen and the sharing.