My story continues:
I remember when I was about 4 or 5 years old. I was trying so desperately hard to learn the days of the week. I sat on the floor of our living room and my Nmother was in a chair looking down at me as she repeated the days over and over again. "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday...." I couldn't get it right for the life of me. My Nmother grew angry and frustrated. Her face darkened with rage and she started saying the days louder and louder. I became scared and nervous. I felt stupid and frustrated. Nmohter lost all control and screamed at me "you don't get it! NO WRONG, WRONG, WRONG..why are you soooo slowwww???" I remember bawling and she got more mad as I fell apart. I think she got up and walked away from me. I remember how awkward I felt and that I only wanted to please her and that I was ashamed for making her so angry. My focus went from learning the days of the week to worrying about my mother and her emotional status. I didn't want her to be mad at me.
My Nmother dragged me through her and my father's divorce. They started to separate in our own home with my Dad sleeping in another room when I was about 15. They went back and forth in their marriage and my Nmother shared the details with me. She told me that my father had raped her. She told me about their sex escapades and tumultuous relationship. She leaned on me for support. She cried in my arms. She would fall apart emotionally and I was there to pick up the pieces for her. I was her pillar of strength and therapist. She even bragged to people about how "mature" I was and how I really "understood adults" and was so "understanding of her situation." She would complain to me about my father and brother, that they don't love her. She blamed my father for everything under the sun and I believed her. She told me my father was an evil person, horrible father, horrendous husband, etc. I believed her. I believed her every word. I believed that she was the queen and did no wrong and how could my father be such an awful man. I hated him for her reasons. I was afraid of my father because he was the "bad parent."
Nmother made fun of my father at the dinner table calling him "stupid" and "look how fast he eats!" She mimicked him and scolded him. She made fun of his handwriting and how he misspelled words. She called him slow and selfish. She complained about the gifts he gave her and insulted his taste in clothes he picked out for her. Nmother once caught me talking with my father and we were supposedly laughing a lot. She let me have it for being his "buddy-buddy." She then screamed at me for being "on his side." She raged for days about me wanting to be close with my father because I had told her that I still loved him.
My Nmother had a rage problem. She would yell and yell. She was relentless. Mornings were the worst. I never knew what is was like to wake up in the morning to a quiet room. She woke me up every morning screaming at the top of her lungs. My adrenaline would kick in overdrive so early that when I got to school, I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep. I didn't pay much attention in class because I always felt so tired. I had no more energy for anything else in my life but to uphold my Nmother and her battle against my father, brother and then me. Some mornings I would try to wake up before her just so that when I awoke, I perhaps, would hear the birds sing outside my window or just listen to something quiet.
Her rage would also carry on into the evenings when she would come home from work. She screamed about everything I didn't do for her. She wanted so badly for me to make dinner but I had no interest in cooking. She made cooking sound like the least desireable thing in the world to do because she compained incessantly about how much she hated cooking dinner for our asses. She slammed pots and pans around like a superhero. She would throw cans and bread on the counter and bang the frying pan on the stove. She would scream and scream that she was tired and hated cooking, so it is no wonder I did not want to cook! But I didn't realize this until 3 decades later. I just thought I was too dumb to cook; or something was seriously wrong with me to not "want" to cook when she told me "all the other mothers at work, their daughter ALL cook--what's wrong with my daughter?" Why or why couldn't I be like the other daughters? I seriously thought I was weird or different from everyone else. I cook with pleasure now for my husband and daughter. I smile through every part of it and love it even when I screw it up.
Nmother would parade me around in front of other mothers. She portrayed us as the best mother-daughter relationship anyone could have. She made it look like I couldn't live without her. If I didn't go to a family function for her side of the family, I was a "bad family member and a bad daughter." She literally called me the worst family member of the entire family. When I asked her why she called me the "worst family member" she told me because I didn't go to that particular function with her and that I was "supposed to be there" and "everyone else was there-all the cousins were there." I then talked with my aunt and she said told me that not one cousin showed up--not even 1 out of 19 of us showed up. I confronted Nmother and said that I'm not a bad family member because no one else showed up either; Nmother screamed and threw a tantrum "I'M YOUR MOTHER!! I'M YOUR MOTHER AND YOUR SUPPOSED TO BE WITH YOUR MOTHER!!" She began to wail and scream louder and louder...she fell apart and played the martyr, that I didn't love her and why am I "torturing" her. She began to foam at the mouth with rage. I then comforted her and held her like a baby. I realized I cornered her emotionally and I didn't do it again until 22 years later. I stood up for myself in her bathroom as she threw a toilet brush at me for not cleaning her toilet properly and she began to rage once again. I snapped it back in her face and screamed so loud I strained my vocal chords. I popped blood vessels in my face as I shouted back and told her to get out of my life. She just stood there with a blank face, unafraid and unphased and rolled her eyes. I knew right then I was dealing with a sick woman. A very sick and deranged mind that has the ability to abuse and torture at free will.
I've spent $8,000 dollars on therapy. I've joined groups. I've bought books. I've watched documentaries and talked with doctors about Narcissism and/or my Nmother's abuse. I talk to walls and the sofa cushions about my Nmother. I even talk to my steering wheel while I'm driving. I cry and mourn when I remember some good times about my Nmother. I educate myself about her past and her family and try to even the playing field. I've tried to walk in her shoes. I had a baby less than 3 years ago and held the responsibility to facilitate a relationship between her and my daughter so I went to more therapy to shore up my bulletproof vest to deflect her shots. I got more padding in that bulletproof vest and thought I had the tools and skills necessary to "let it all roll off my back." I thought I was ready for a life with my daughter and my mother around to help us out and give her love. What the hell was I thinking?
So here I am with my little bulletproof vest feeling all strong and capable of setting boundaries and guidelines and fulfilled with the knowledge of my Nmother's childhood and "understood her." I had confidence, pride and a sense of where I wanted our relationship to go and in a sense, grow. So as I set the boundaries and opened more doors of my heart as well and looked at my Nmother differently, with pity, I also treated myself differently. I put myself and my family first. No more was it about my Nmother. And in therapy, I learned that this would not go over too well with her but it was what I needed to do. I succeeded.
Nmother realized I established boundaries and tore them up like a wrecking-ball. She denied each and every rule I had, albeit there weren't a lot, but it was enough for her to realize "something" was going on. I kept putting up the walls and she kept tearing them down. Truth is, here my little bullet proof vest was great but my Nmother is a Tiger tank from WWII. No match with those!!
My Nmohter is manipulative and conniving. She distorts reality to such a degree that reality becomes unrecognizable. If I say I like the color blue, in her mind I have said that I hate all the things she has ever given me that have not been blue and that I went on a rampage about; then the next thing I buy if it happens to be blue she'll say, "Oh, I thought you hated the color blue because you said last time you hated blue and don't like blue and went on and on about all things blue...you we're so crazy about it.(laughter) I remember how you were and you stamped your feet and go so mad about it, that's how I remember this so well Bear, you don't like blue so why are you buying that in blue, I've been avoiding buying anything for you in blue!" I'm serious. I could write a book on these exact things.
When she was watching my daughter one day, I came home to see my 18 month old leaning up against the oven door as my Nmother stirred a pot of hot spaghetti sauce on the range above my daughter's head. Although she had the sauce on the back burner, I quietly and politely reminded my Nmother that it just wasn't a safe thing to do and that accidents do happen when we least expect it, we aren't perfect all the time, etc. She then said to me, "I would NEVER EVER let anything happen to my only granddaughter" I then explained that we usually don't "let it happen" that's why they are called "accidents." Nmother didn't let me forget this one as everytime she picked up my daughter or talked with her she would say things like, "Oh let's go get a cracker but not the ones next to the stove" or something like, "Hi sweetie baby-kins, let's go get a juice, oh, don't go near that stove!!"
As I was growing up, I remember being embarrassed of her. She would throw fits in stores and haggle with the sales people. She was disrespectful towards them. Other mom's of my friends used to tell me that they felt bad for me because me mom was so hard on me. I had no idea what they meant by that. After I got out of a van full of girl scouts and other mom's, all the other mom's said that they felt so sorry for Bear because her mom was so mean to her. They all said that Bear's mom was crazy and talked down Bear so badly that they couldn't stand to see and hear it. I found this out because my aunt was driving the girl scout van that day and the other mom's had no idea she was my aunt. This Aunt is on my dad's side of my family and recently told me this story because I have been on a journey to find out what other people witnessed and I asked her to tell me some stories. She told me others that a far more horrific but I'll stop at that one.
This is my journey in life. I was given an inept mother who doesn't really love me. She doesn't know what the concept of love truly means. This defies logic in a child's world. Like water flowing uphill.
My Nmother instilled so much fear in me that I fear even the mail man. I fear the neighbors and their friends. I fear that I will fail and die. I fear for my death and the death of my family on an almost daily basis. I fear that I'm not good enough and can't stand that someone may not like me. I fear that people look at me and think I'm ugly and stupid.
I had (and have) so much anxiety in my life. My Nmother's anger and rage caused my life to be utter chaos. I came down with Shingles at the age of 11 and the doctor asked my Nmom if I had lost a parent or if something horrific has happened in the family because in children that young, Shingles is a good indication of lowered immune system caused by excess stress and anxiety. My Nmom looked at him and said that my father was probably to blame. He wasn't, she was. Nontheless, the doctor was pretty shocked that he had a patient that young with Shingles. I remember that I felt bad for having the Shingles and didn't want to be a burden to my mom because SHE was the one that was stressed out. HER life was bad. SHE was the victim.
I hate her for calling me stupid and slow. I hate her for disparaging my father in front of us. She is a bully but prides herself on being a Saint.
She gives money to her church and friends, not her children even when they are filing for bankruptcy. Instead, she tells people that her son caused her divorce from my father. She can throw her own children under the bus even 30 years after the fact. She has God as "her man" and walks around with her Bible and workbooks for her Bible study groups. She says that I am jealous of her relationship with one of my cousins and that I'm "no angel." She loves my husband and says that he's her "good-son." My brother has been NC for over a decade and rightfully so.
I snapped on the night of April 11, 2010. I kicked her out on my lawn, luggage and all. I had had it. No more thinking that I was going to wait around for an inheritance because that is what I deserve. No more. I realy don't deserve it. I deserve better and so does my family.