Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I Know What You're Going Through . . .

Those were the last words my mother spoke to me before I emotionally exploded.

I've never had what I would consider a normal relationship with my mother.

Growing up she was very domineering and controlling, emotionally abusive and manipulative, and sometimes physically abusive.

It's been a hard road.

Since my independence day (the day I left for college) our relationship has morphed. She no longer can control my choices by executing her maternal authority.

Her weapon of choice

emotional terrorism

She's completely self absorbed and thinks the whole world revolves around her.

She's the type of person who always has a story about how she went through something similar or how she has it worse.

For the most part I put up with it. Time after time when she hurts me with her lack of interest in my life or her inability to understand or empathize.

She called me Friday ... I think it was Friday

Like every conversation she starts out.. "what are you doing?"

She asks probing questions that give a false facade to lead me to believe that maybe she really is interested in my life. But the questions are only there to open the door so she can tell you about her life.

She asks

So I tell her

"Harry and I aren't going to buy a house because when can't afford IVF and a mortgage."

Thus begins the 5 minute diatribe about how she struggled with a mortgage. How hard it was for her to balance bills and a mortgage.

At first I thought about interjecting but then thought...

"I wonder if I am silent, how long will she go on for without any response from me?"

I remember thinking how my SIL and I would get a giggle over how long before my mother said, "Are you there?"

1 minute,

2 minutes,

3 minutes

how long would it take?

After 5 minutes she was still on a roll. I heard her harrowing story of how she refinance her car loan to buy groceries, how she had to get a job because my dad's check didn't cut it.

I listened in silence

until she uttered these words . . .

"So, I know exactly what you're going through . . .

At first I sat there in shock... did she say what I think she said... she still was babbling on about her emphatic knowledge when my body ignited in a rage I don't think I've ever felt before.

The Incredible Pink Hulk erupted in a torrent of tears, sobs, and screams . . .






The rest is a blur. Harry came running into the room to find me sobbing uncontrollably in a huddled mess with the phone extended in my hand unable to answer his requests.

I don't want her to know what I am going through

She can't know... No one can know...

All I want is a sympathetic ear, a hand to hold, a shoulder to cry on...

All I've ever wanted was someone who cared about me . . .


formerteacher said...

My husband has a father who is the same way. He could care less about anyone but himself. It has sent us both into therapy. They were awful about our infertility situation. Just awful. Like making me cry awful.

The term for your mother is narcissistic. Hope I spelled that right. I used to think this word merely meant selfish or self-centered, but it means so much more. My husband and I kept shaking our heads when we read the criteria, his father met almost every. single. one.

My husband had a hard time coming to grips with the fact that his father was never going to be a father like one thinks a father should be. He could care less about anything unless it benefits HIM. Look it up on the internet.
This is by no means your fault. It happens very early on in their own lives, and the person will NEVER change, no matter how many times you try to sit and reason with them.

It's been a hard road for my hubby and me. You'd think that a parent could help and support you at a time like this, but some parents are too absorbed in their own lives to give a damn.

GLouise said...

Wow- what a narcissistic mother you have. I am so sorry!

Squirelguirrel said...

You are loved

You are valued

You are a beautiful, intelligent, compassionate and insightful person.

Her shortcomings have nothing to do with you.

You are loved beyond imagination.

(The joke in this very serious post = merely calling her incredible lack of sanity a shortcoming - that is the exageration of a lifetime!!)

Sunny Jenny said...

:) Squirelguirrel - that's my SIL :) Thanks! I heart you.

Jo said...

Dang. What is it with people. NO one can EVER know "exactly what you are going though"
When my first IVF ended up ectopic (and a blighted twin I JUST found out about) I was told by someone close to me the same.damn.words. This person missed a period and THOUGHT she was P.. so she knew what I was going through.Good Lord, some people need a good smackdown.

Best advise I can give you is to take what she says with a grain of salt. Be the better person and just give her a mental pat on the head and send her on her way. I know how hard that has to be as this is your Mom. Still, you need to have your head straight and your emotions settled. Do not let your self be drawn into the game that is being played. Since you are aware of what she does, try to steer the converstaion the way YOU want it to go. Realise it has to be all about her and don't let her control you and play you emotionally anymore. It is hard, but after the first time you do, you will feel wonderful. Trust me on this.

I still wish there was a way you could actually get a house as well. The distraction of looking around may be just what you need, plus the equity can be used if needed.

I hope you get all the hugs you need : )

Angie said...

{{BIG HUGS}} to you!

Just another Jenny said...

Oh Sunny, I feel your pain, I really do. The #1 reason I haven't told my mom about our infertility life is because I know she will tell me she knows what I am going through (because it took her all of 10mnths to get pg with my brother). Your mother is a total shit. I hope that Harry can help fill that void of love for you.

Sunnie said...

We care. :( I'm sorry that this is such a strained relationship

Bea said...

I'm so sorry. This is why I don't tell people unless I'm sure they won't let me down like that. I wish the person letting you down wasn't your own mother. That's so hard.


Barely Sane said...

No advice from me.... just big cyber hugs. And perhaps a cyber bitch-slap for your mom - but I'm sure she'll have a story to one up me on that too.

Bugger her - YOU ROCK and deserve the very best. Hugs, hugs, hugs.


seattlegal said...

I am so sorry you have such a narcissistic mom! The last thing you need is someone who can't listen to you!

Mary Ellen and Steve said...

I am so sorry that you had to go through that Jenny. Your mother sounds like a real piece of work. No one can possibly understand what you and Harry have been through. Sending you a hug.

steph said...

At this moment, I am absolutely stunned to hear that my Mother has another daughter. You just described MY life and MY mother in this excerpt. Taking a moment to consume the wierdness of this.....

It's called a personality disorder. It took me years of therapy and research to really pin it down. I knew I had to deal with it (analyze it) or it would consume me. Or worse, I would become her. Now I'm a social worker working with other 'hers'.

I don't want to go on and on in this comment section, but if you want to discuss it further let me know. Empathy, sympathy, anything. Been there, done that; doing that. Still alive and kicking!!!