Archive for the ‘Therapy’ Category

Many people who have been abused seek validation. Validation to me is basically someone saying that “Yes, that was right/wrong” or believing you when you say something. Just listening to a person and understanding where they are coming from makes a lot of difference.

The subject of validation came to me after another conversation with my mother yesterday. It’s nice to know that she’s good for something (inspiring blog posts)! Some time ago, my mother had said something and after I hung up, I was like “Crap, I could have said something there!” That annoyed me for days, but I eventually let it go. She brought the subject up again yesterday, and I was not letting it slide this time. There’s a reason my hubby calls me “a rabid pitbull with a bone”!

She started telling me about how my cousin who was pretty much like her third daughter betrayed her. (It still amazes me that she didn’t know what to do with me but could find the time to communicate with everyone else.) I had heard this story from her before and so I just took a back seat and listened. I was determined not to let anything she say get to me. I observed the conversation, picking out all the Narcissistic cues.

After she had finished her story, she told me that “It’s when you are hurt by those who are close to you, that makes it unbearable.” I told her that she now knew what I felt when my Narc sister lied about me and when my mother chose to take the side of my Narc sister rather than even giving me the benefit of the doubt. I had finally told her the stuff of my nightmares (not that I would give her the satisfaction of knowing that I had them). I told her that she immediately believed my Narc sister and yelled at me 4 years ago – piling on the additional hurt and disbelief (which eventually led to the delayed onset of PTSD).

Ring the Narc alarm bells! Narcissists never/cannot (or should I say delusionally choose not to) believe that anything they do could be wrong. I had called her out on something that was blatantly wrong on her part. Her response? Totally unrelated and irrelevant. She started giving me back story (all the way from when she was 16) about how “naive” and “gullible” she was, believing what everyone says at face value and how she never knew that the Narc sister was having an affair. She insisted that she didn’t know about the affair. Me thinks she doth protest too much. Especially since someone told me that she had told her sister about the Narc sister’s affair when she was drunk.

She later tried to push the blame or fault back to me, by saying “If you knew, why didn’t you tell me?” I replied that all my life she had never believed a word I’d said about the Narc sister, why would she start then?! I returned the blame to where it was due. Her response to that one? Blatant disregard. She ignored it and went silent as though I had not spoken.

I felt proud that I told her what my issues were. But I didn’t have any expectations of her validating them. She was not capable of doing that. Apart from feeling accomplished at what I told her, I felt – absolutely nothing. No hurt, no anger – nada. But my chest pain (which is a physical manifestation of my PTSD) got bad very quickly. While the chest pain used to scare me a lot 2 years ago, today, it almost acts as my guide. When my chest starts hurting, I start to take stock of my thought processes and figure out why it’s hurting. Sometimes I have no clue, but very often, if my chest hurts, it means that I need to acknowledge something.

This time, I had to acknowledge that I am not feeling. I am rationalizing everything again. Telling myself that I didn’t expect to get validation from my mother, so it was all good. But it was not. It’s NOT right for a person who has hurt you to ignore it and pretend like it didn’t happen. I should have felt hurt, disappointment, anger like every normal human being would have. But I felt nothing. I am still working with my therapist on this. Fortunately for me, I have a great therapeutic relationship and I do get validated by her.

I guess after my ranting and raving, what I am trying to say is that it may take ages to finally confront a Narc about what they’ve done, but they are NOT going to validate what you are feeling. Basically, they want you to shut up and take your issues with them and bury them as deep as possible, never to see the light.

Phone Call

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I have implemented Low Contact with my mother for a few months now. This is because I have finally realised that no matter what I said or did she is not going to listen to a word I’ve said. And since finding out that there’s a label for people like her, I’m more aware and it hurts less – on a conscious level at least!

Being Easter and all, I sent mum and dad a text message on Easter Sunday, wishing them a Blessed Easter. And I was indeed “blessed” with a phone call from her yesterday. It started with a “Hello, how are you? I am paying for this call, can you Skype?” Without waiting for an answer because she’s so used to me asking “how high” when she has asked me to jump, she said “I’ll wait for you.” My computer has been inhabited by gremlins over the past few days changing settings on me while I’m asleep and I lost a heap of my desktop icons, bookmarks and saved passwords. So I told her that I’ll try to see if I could get on Skype because of computer issues. She soon hung up.

Enter chest pains with a vengeance! Hubby patted me on the back and sympathetically wished me luck just before I went for a smoke to calm my frayed nerves. With a wry smile I replied that I was glad that my weekly session of therapy was brought forward to yesterday instead of Thursday, because chances are I’ll be needing it! Looking back on it today, it really is quite sad for a daughter to get a panic attack at the prospect of having a phone call with her mother!

Since reading The Harpy’s Child a few weeks ago, I have been picking up so many things that can be related to both my Narcissistic mother and “golden child” sister who is a Narcissist herself. I will be posting examples in a series of posts because they are WAY too long for a single post. Anyway, yesterday’s phone call was no different.

Got Skype up and running and the phone call began. She started griping about how much trouble my intellectually disabled brother gave her on the plane back from the golden child’s place and how embarrassed she was. My brother was merely absolutely terrified of getting on a plane after they exposed him daily to the plane crash of MH370! Duh! Normal, functional adults are afraid of flying – let alone an adult with the mind of a child! Sheesh! I did tell her off for that but got a “there was no choice because it was on”! I mean, really??? There’s always a choice! And then hubby and I got berated for not following the news on the ship that sunk in Korea because we need to be informed of what’s going on in the world. We’re not big fans of the news unless something’s happening locally. As hubby quoted from somewhere – “The news is the only place where they wish you a good morning / afternoon / evening and then proceed to tell you why it isn’t!”

Then I heard about the money spent when she went to visit the golden child. She was solely responsible for that cos she should have thought about it before fleeing there. And of course, our little house got mentioned… again. She said that she had actually wanted to come over here but our house was too small to accommodate them. That’s probably the ONLY reason that I’m glad we live in this little shoe box!

I also had an inquisition into why I wasn’t continuing with my Psych degree. I told her that I was taking a break from it, and she demanded at least 4 times with “Reason?” The Hubby was quite funny. He whispered something to the effect of “because she raised her daughter in such a f***ed up manner”. I was so tempted to tell her that, but thought against it. I’d already told her about the PTSD previously which was received with a “but that was so long ago!” She obviously does not get PTSD and its long-lasting effects even though I explained it to her. Personally, I think she prefers not to understand what I’m going through, especially because she’s part of the cause.

I eventually told her that my mental state was still off. I told her that I was doing a creative writing unit instead. Her reply was priceless. “Are you sure? If your mental state’s that way how can you write?” I told her that this year I’m doing things that I’ve always wanted to do and I’ve always wanted to be an author. And I also told her about trying out belly dancing as well because that was something I wanted to do. She asked me how much it was and I told her that I got a great online deal. The next thing I hear is about how the golden child always finds cheap deals online like massages, etc. And I want to hear about this, why?

She kept steering the conversation back to the golden child. She asked if we spent Easter with the rellies and when I told her that we did, she proceeded to say that she loved where we went (Hubby and I were married there) and that where the golden child lived reminded her of that place *rolling my eyes*. I think I’ll have to restate the boundary that I don’t want to know anything about the golden child. Because knowing her, if any word went out about the precious one, I’ll be the first one she’ll blame. Uh-uh. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, so bugger off!

And of course no conversation is complete without at least one contradiction. First she went on about how she’s been hearing about lots of people dying and that life didn’t have meaning anymore and that she was just waiting to die, pretty much. Her phrasing included me as well, so I blatantly told her that I disagreed because I have my two beautiful boys to live for (bad me forgot to include hubby in that!). She quickly changed her mind to say that she was just living for my brother *cue violins*.

I just had to laugh. If I didn’t, I’d cry.

My therapist told me that I’m taking everything very well without showing disappointment or anger. I told her that I think most of my problems stem from my conscious and my sub conscious not being in sync. Consciously I know that I cannot change them, but I can change myself (by dropping the care factor to -257). Consciously I am grateful because I am now a better parent than my mother ever was by learning to do what she DIDN’T do (Getting validated for my efforts by my therapist has been a great help and a source of pride). Consciously I am thankful that I have broken the vicious narcissistic cycle through my marriage to a wonderful man and inherited an amazing extended family in the process. But sub consciously I think there’s still the hope that things might get better, and I’m pretty sure there are lots of little people in there marching on in protest that it is unfair to be put through so much by my biological family.

I need to start paying more attention to those protesting people marching around in my head.