Sunday, September 25, 2016

Should You Save Your Relationship with Your Unloving Mother?

I reviewed Peg Streep's book, "Mean Mothers, Overcoming a Legacy of Hurt" (click here to read) as well as discussed some of her points in the blog entry: Divorcing Your Mean Mother.  

In the book, one of the most powerful moments is when Streep gets the call from her brother that her estranged mother is dying (page 31), the comment from him that he thought she might want to come see her, and the decision Streep makes. I was on the edge of my seat, wondering what decision Streep would make. Ultimately, Streep's decision and her feelings about her decision mirror what I have concluded to do. Powerful passages that, as Streep says, "testifies to what can happen when a mother can't love her daughter in the way she needs to be loved" (page 33). Overall, the book was powerful, validating, and profoundly meaningful-- and highly recommended.

Now she's published an outstanding article in Psychology Today that is just too good not to share. This article hits the nail on the head multiple times and gave me 'ah ha' moments more than once. The quotation that truly connected with me is, When a parent lies, sabotages, manipulates, and treats her own child with hate there is no way a ‘relationship’ can be salvaged! I went no contact to save myself. Why would I go back like I did one hundred times, hoping things would improve just to get hurt worse, to question my self-worth, and to believe, once again, that there was something wrong with me.” Wow. Bam. That is it. 

Hopefully, this article will hit home with you, too, if you are battling through hard choices pertaining to your unloving and narcissistic mother: Can You Salvage Your Relationship With Mom? Should You?

    Wednesday, July 6, 2016

    UPDATE | Still No Contact and Life is Good

    Hello everyone! I get so many emails daily from readers asking if I am doing well and if I am still active with this blog. Yes, I am still here; however, due to time restraints, I haven't written a new blog entry in quite some time. I appreciate the emails, however, and value each one. 

    So, this post is simply a check-in to let everyone know that after 12 years, I still haven't had any contact with my mother, and after 8 years, I haven't had contact with my Dad. Neither has reached out to me, and I have not reached out to them ... and my life has been very peaceful and drama-free. 

    My child is now 9 years old. She has asked about my mother and Dad, and I have told her in generalities what happened during my childhood to present. I try to keep the information factual, simple, and matter-of-fact. I don't lay blame, but rather simply relate what happened. She is very supportive and understanding. 

    When she was younger, I was concerned that if she knew about happened between my parents and me that she would assume that was the 'norm'. I am glad that the questions didn't start until she was older so she had lots of experience with healthy family dynamics. She understands that what happened between my parents and me (as well as my brother) was / is not normal and that no contact was / is necessary. 

    My child and I have also spoken about how my brother, who was raised with the same parents in the same situation, had a totally different outcome in his life than me-- illustrating that your life is what you make of it rather than what happens to you. I chose to work hard, prosper, and muster on despite the poor circumstances; whereas, he chose to use the poor circumstances as an excuse for laziness, lack of motivation, and not trying. My child sees these differences and realizes that while my brother and I both had troubled childhoods and abusive parents, life is what you make of it. 

    So, do I have any regrets regarding no contact with my parents at this point? Absolutely not. Life has been amazingly peaceful: manipulation free and non-toxic. I have closure and have moved forward. My husband is not subjected to the drama and confusion anymore. And my child will not be put in the middle of any of the mind-games or pathology. She has a very healthy and loving relationship with my mother's sister and sister's husband (Nana and Papa) as well as my husband's parents. Thankfully, she won't have to live through the trials, tribulations, and struggles of BPD and NPD. 

    One concern has been and always will be until it happens: what will I do when they each passes-away? My child even posed this question to me. I would say that this question is the last remaining issue surrounding my parents. In regard to this, many life changing events have happened in the last decade that neither parent or those close to them have notified me. These events included my mother almost dying from 3 strokes, my Dad having serious surgery, and more. My intuition tells me that I won't find out from anyone notifying me; however, I may find out from a random post appearing on my Facebook wall which is fine. If we choose not to have a relationship during life, why would things all of the sudden change due to death? 

    Anyway, I hope to get back to blogging regularly. Work has kept me very busy (I am grateful and appreciative), and family life is always a super fun adventure (which again, I am grateful and appreciative). Until then, remember, if you are a grown child of a BPD and NPD parents, my love and best wishes go out to you. You are a war veteran in every sense of the word, and your psychic landscape, no doubt, looks something like what's left after a bombing attack-- but it CAN and WILL get better!