Hello, my name is Raeyn (well okay, it’s not REALLY, ha ha), and I am the adult child of a narcissist.
I’ve been trying to find the right words to encapsulate this concept for long years now, you see. I’ve known for a very long time that my relationship with my parents was problematic and abusive, but I didn’t have the framework to express it. And then, going around Wikipedia, I found two relevant articles:
I realized fairly young that my mother only seemed to treat me as if I existed as an extension of herself. I found this problematic, especially coupled with the fact I was told at age four (yes, four, the same age as my baby girl) that I had to be a grown-up to help raise my (then) two siblings (later three). So not only did I end up having to fill in as the parental unit from a young age, I also was expected to be the emotional support for hell, both parents. So ‘technically’, I’ve been an adult for 28 years. But you know, I’m not supposed to be my own person. Yeah, doesn’t make sense to me either.
Now, I’d initially thought about coming on here with a laundry list of all the crap I’d been put through, to make some big denunciation… but I changed my mind. For one, why do I want to give her a list of things for her to claim I’d made up to hurt her? You know, like I’ve apparently made up my diagnosed bipolar; I’ve been reliably told she is claiming (or at the very least, implying) this. I don’t know why I’m surprised — this is the same woman who would loudly tell people I made up my sexuality, who told me to quit making stuff up when I begged in high school to get checked for ADHD because I was doing so poorly. Who, well… as said, it’s easy to get listing. Suffices to say, I am 32 and in poor health because it was established early on that I was ‘making up’ anything and everything about my health. I feel that here, in my health space, I should state that much though. Y’all know I’m busting my butt to turn that around though, and I hope that 2015 or 2016 will see things on a much better keel.
I had chosen back in February to go no contact with my mother/parents. I won’t get into the specific chain of events (once again, no fuel for the fire), but I finally hit a point where I couldn’t take it anymore and started blocking her everywhere. I hadn’t even heard the phrase ‘no contact’ then — I just knew I had finally (rather belatedly) gotten long past the point where I should tolerate having my exceedingly clearly defined borders violated. I wasn’t even mad, and I’m still not mad — I just had to accept that no matter what I did, I was going to be treated like I was wrong, and that I deserved better. I do deserve better, and asked myself the simplest of questions — would I let anyone else treat me like this? The answer was an emphatic no. I would not, and had not for a very long time. So why should blood excuse it? Simple answer — it doesn’t.
Since then, I talked to friends who had undergone similar decisions, as well as combing the internet for those right words to frame the situation for me. I figure that the name of my blog alone gives a pretty big clue to my desire to label and compartmentalize things, hee hee. And of course, finding useful blogs and resources to double-check that my instincts on things were on the ball. For anyone else who thinks this sort of stuff sounds familiar, here’s some good resources:
As for no contact, it’s what it says on the tin — you don’t talk to them ever again. End of. You don’t respond to their emails or calls, you don’t acknowledge mail that comes, and that’s that. Yes, it’s a nuclear option, but the fact of the matter is that we set our own damned boundaries. If someone, parent or otherwise, cannot respect them, then they should not be in your life (exception: small children. They’re still learning, obviously). If going no contact is something you have considered, here’s a couple of good reads:
Both of those blogs are pretty darn solid on the whole, and are great resources. I’ve already taken care of contacting family members that I wish to preserve relationships with, so they knew that I had gone no contact and why. I’ve also let friends know that I have gone no contact, and asked them to respect their access to me, and my privacy. So far, it’s been an overwhelmingly positive response, because my friends know me to be a competent, confident person who knows and respects herself. And I do — in spite of the massive amounts of damage growing up in this situation has done to me, going no contact was so ridiculously freeing because I could start picking apart some of it.
And sure, I’ve got a lot of work yet to do, but I can see that I am pretty darn awesome and worthwhile. That I am not a malicious person, that in spite of constant gaslighting and minimizing, I am sure of myself and my actions. I accept that I cannot have a relationship with my mother or her husband, and I am at peace with it. And with this letting go into this space, I am free. I am free. I am free. I am free to live my life for myself and my family. I am freed of the weight of my past, and can finally make the most of the fresh start life gave me… seven years ago. Ah well, better late than never, am I right?
Mind, I still am going to be a bit quiet about some of my life stuff for the time being. I refuse to be budged from my established public space, but I continue to make use of my private word spaces on the daily to fill in any gaps that I cannot express here at this time. So no, I’m not denying myself any writing need, hee hee. I can say that the depressive spell has passed though, and my sleep has been a bit better and less pained! I’ve had a pretty high level of functionality in the past week, which I’m not counting on lasting, but I’ve certainly been enjoying. My family is well, and my life can only be classed as awesome and fulfilling. This is definitely an amazing year for us all.