About ten years ago I cut off all contact with my mother. I got to that straw that broke the camel’s back moment. It was a long time coming.
My mother is a Malignant Narcissist. She doesn’t know this of course, she sees herself as a saint, a martyr and a perpetual damsel in distress victim. She plays the victim to the hilt. She used to be an actress, so she really embodies the part with every fibre of her being. And other people really believe her, poor her… until a while later when she shows her true very un-victim-like colours and they are left reeling in confusion, hit by a malevolence they have only ever seen in TV shows and film, the sort they did not know real people expressed in real life.
I’ve watched her turn sane people into blithering wrecks over and over again. No point in warning them, they think I’m evil when I do. Sometimes all the time you have to let people learn things for themselves even if it is the hard and hurtful way.
She’s been doing the same thing to me since I was born… but I got used to it. Humans have the capacity to survive almost anything when they do not have a choice, when they are alone and have to do it or die. My mother has driven me many times to the precipice of self-annihilation, only I held myself back from it. No one else could because no one else has ever known what she has done to me. Because people do not want to know, even when they do they can’t handle the truth, it’s a hard one to handle, and they often reject it. Because she is very good at pretending that she is the perfect mother, and because I helped her cover the tracks of the scars. That’s what children of Narcissists do… to survive.
My father was also a Malignant Narcissist, so he wasn’t any help, and was a great hindrance.
The final straw happened during a phone call. My mother called me evil. She had done this before, she did it regularly whenever I said ‘No’ to her. She also told other people behind my back how evil I was. It took me a long time to realise she did that. One minute people liked me, then the next they looked at me as though I was a monster. I had done nothing between those minutes, but my mother had. I think she used to tell people that I abused her.
Someone recently commented on one of my Narcissism posts that their mother did the same to them, accused them of being the abuser. Poor Narcissists, they were perfect parents until they had children!
Why did my mother call me evil that day? Because I refused to give her money. She had done this to me before, luckily this time I did not have money to give her or I might have done so to shut her up and make her go away. Why did she need the money? She had met a woman in the street who needed it. This woman was a con artist similar to those Nigerian Princes. She told my mother that she was the illegitimate child of a very wealthy Lord and she needed money to make her claim on her inheritance, which was worth millions and millions. If my mother gave her several thousand pounds she would be rewarded with a couple of million in return. This story had been going on for a while, but I had kept out of it, there was no point in my pointing out the absurdity of it to my mother. She is a Narcissist, she never listens and only hears what she chooses to hear. It was only when she decided to suck me into it, and more importantly drag my partner into it, that I reacted and refused.
My partner saved my life. Because of him, I finally got out. I owe him my life. He doesn’t see it that way. He loves me and that is love. My experience of love is that of Narcissists, so real love is new to me. It’s not easy to escape the clutches of a Narcissist, especially when that Narcissist gave birth to you. They own you. Your life is theirs. That is that.
My mother hated my partner, she could not manipulate him. She tried to get rid of him by telling him how awful I really was. This made him decide that she was awful. His immunity to her Narcissistic manipulations, which got more and more vicious, as they always do, was one of the reasons I fell in love with him. I had never met anyone immune to my parents’ Narcissistic charm and magnetism. I had always been isolated and alone, and now I had an ally. It took me a long time to truly trust that this was real and not an illusion of mine.
Ten years or so passed after that incident. My mother did try to get her hooks back into me, but my partner’s family protected us from her. She even used the Samaritans. The man I spoke to at the Samaritans had her number, he understood, that completely floored me. I had been prepared for the usual, being told about my poor mother and how much she loved me, missed me, and needed me, and what a terrible daughter I was. He said none of that. He said she obviously does not see or hear you, so it is best to leave things as they are.
Then my father died. I have not been in touch with him either for the same span of time. I found out about his death through an obituary. I thought nothing more of it other than what you think when someone you know dies.
Then I got a letter from my mother through people whom she knew knew me. This letter told me that my father was dead, that there was probably ‘something in it’ for me and Happy Birthday. That letter was sick and twisted and my mother was oblivious to how inappropriate it was. She also ordered me hysterically to hurry up and claim the inheritance. She said I only had a couple of months to do this… but she had waited one whole month after my father’s death before informing me of this. She knew he had died, the day after his death. Why had she waited, was it because she did not know how to find me? Narcissists always know how to find you, when they say they can’t, it is because they don’t want to. She needed that time to find out that she could not get her hands on my father’s inheritance without using me. She offered very generously to handle it all for me.
I hired a lawyer to communicate with her. And left it at that. I did not think my father would have left me anything, and I was not sure that I wanted what he had left me if he had left me anything because I knew that it would be a poisoned chalice.
Then I was contacted by my father’s long term companion. There was an inheritance and she wanted me to claim it because she hated my mother and did not want her to get her hands on anything. She did not say that, she said she was following my father’s wishes which amounted to the same thing.
My father had finally managed to obtain a legal divorce from my mother a few months before his death. He was very ill for many years, I think he hung on for that finalisation of divorce. My mother, of course, does not accept the divorce even though she had left my father many years before and refused to be his wife is anything but name. She certainly had no intention of looking after him during his illness. She let his companion do that, and continually harassed them, claiming that my father’s companion was a witch who had used black magic on my father. She thought this claim was very viable.
It took me a while to decide what to do about this situation. I was in shock, and tried to detach from it. That’s what I do. Detach. But I knew that I could not stay detached forever. So. Do I get involved or stay out? Do I hide or face it? I had been in hiding for a long time, perhaps it was time to deal with the past once and for all, it had chased me down. It would chase me again. I chose to face it. I’m not sure if that was the right decision.
A lot has happened since then, and a lot has not happened. This inheritance is a Gordian Knot. It is stressful and exhausting. But it has been a transformative experience for me. I have changed. My wounds are healing by being opened and exposed to air.
The lawyer I hired to handle the inheritance had to contact my mother recently for legal reasons. My mother ignored this lawyer. So I asked my other lawyer, the one hired to communicate with her, to contact her and tell her to reply to my inheritance lawyer. He did not want to do it, he had had enough of her nonsense, but he did. So she contacted my inheritance lawyer and instead of replying to their letter, she announced that she would not be able to cooperate with them until she had ‘proof of life’ that her daughter was still alive. Because she had not seen or spoken to her daughter for over ten years, she was now certain that I was dead. This is a ploy designed to deflect the reasons why my inheritance lawyer communicated with my mother. She is acting illegally, she knows she is and so she has an excuse… which of course is one which makes her the victim, as always.
My inheritance lawyer, who up until this point did not believe my claims that my mother was a ‘special kind of hell’, suddenly had a moment of believing me, and asked me how they should respond to her.
Well… frankly the person who my mother thinks is her daughter is dead. In fact she never existed except in my mother’s Narcissistic mind. Her daughter is also permanently seven years old. Easily manipulated and completely stupid. That’s the daughter my mother loves and misses and needs.
I am not that person.
When I hear a parent claim that their child is bad, evil and even dead to them… I wonder what the parent did to their child. I do not think… poor parent. It’s based on my own experience, that’s where our judgment comes from, ultimately. What is real, the truth… do any of us really know or are able to see it without the filters of our lives altering perspective.
I am a bad daughter… I tried being a good daughter, my parents convinced me that this was a bad idea for me. Besides, with Narcissists you’re good one minute and evil the next, then good again, then bad again, and so on… it’s never about you, and always all about them. You were never alive to them.