Posts Tagged ‘PTSD’

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.

I’ll be 36 years old this year, and it was only last week that I discovered that my mother and sister are Narcissists. Finding information on this was a total fluke!

I am taking a creative writing unit through distance learning because that’s another thing that I’ve always wanted to do but shelved (being an author). I wrote a story about my sister for my first short story assignment. Personally I think it’s more flash fiction than a short story with a word count of only 1,000 words, but I digress. I sent out what I thought was a relatively good draft to friends for their comments. Things seemed really clear to me, but the readers weren’t getting what I was trying to say. I guess my brain was automatically filling in the blanks that were not made really clear in the writing itself. Some of the feedback I received was to make the character more multi-dimensional and that the character based on my sister was very confusing and contradictory. She is a very confusing and contradictory person.

Anyway, I knew that she was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) so I started to research more into this to find out more characteristic behaviours of BPD. My first stop was the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association. (I was pursuing a Psych degree before the PTSD kicked in; some say that might have triggered it.) I chanced upon Narcissistic Personality Disorders (NPD) grouped under the same heading of Cluster B Personality Disorders. I was curious – I’m always voracious for more information. I have a tendency to over-research a lot of things, especially for my Psych units. The diagnostic criteria for NPD rang all sorts of bells in my head. But I’m no mental health professional so I researched online some more.

I came across several blog posts and comments that made me go “WHOA!” They were words that were taken out of my mouth – if I had the words to describe what I lived through. I felt an immediate sense of relief. All my life I kept feeling like I was a weakling who couldn’t toughen up and “get on with it”. Reading the stories of so many others made me realize that I wasn’t alone and that there wasn’t something wrong with me, but with them.

I went for my appointment with the psychiatrist at the Pain Unit today armed with this information and asked him what he thought about me arriving at the conclusion that my mother and sister are narcissists. The response – “Absolutely, 100%”. I felt validated and know that I’m on the right track. He also told me that I need to be aware of the consequences – being sucked dry and left empty. Now that I’ve got a “label” for them, it seems to make things a lot more understandable.

How did you discover that the toxic people in your life were narcissists?