Good afternoon, Dear Readers! I hope this post finds you well.
I am making progress on my new book about narcissistic mothers. As of today, it’s at 38,500 words (needs to be 40-60,000). Gettin’ there! And thank God for that, because this is one very hard book to write! I’m very surprised at just how challenging it is. After writing my autobiography, “Emerging From The Chrysalis,” I was sure everything else I’d ever write would be a walk in the park. Seeing the traumatic events of my life written out in black & white was very hard for me, yet validating at the same time. This book is not the same..not even close!
Devoting an entire book to the topic of maternal narcissism has been a daunting task. I know a lot on the topic, but I was unsure if I had enough to fill up a whole book. I have asked God to help me out- make sure I leave nothing out of this book, & please teach me what I didn’t know that He wanted to be included. He has answered those prayers. I have been learning a lot! Things to include about the book as well as things in my personal life that I never thought of as abusive before.
For example, today I was writing about isolation being the favorite tool of all abusers, why they do it, & how engulfing narcissitic mothers (like mine) excel at isolating their children from others. After writing some on the topic, I decided to research it online, to see if there was anything I forgot. What I read slapped me in the face. Hard. Here is a portion of it:
“The abuser may “assign” the victim numerous domestic duties designed to keep her at home. “
(see the full article here: http://www.abigails.org/Saul&David/control%20&%20isolation.htm)
Wow. I never thought of this as abusive behavior! My ex-husband’s mother used to do this to me during the brief time we lived with his parents. I never understood why I had to work so much for her. I was responsible for all housework, balancing her checkbook, & maintaining paperwork & records for my ex’s father’s trucking business. Other miscellaneous tasks were assigned to me as well. There were three other adults in the house- why was so much on me? I now wonder if was because my ex was very much into isolating me, & if she was “helping” him by keeping me so busy. They were a very dysfunctional family, so that is a distinct possibility. Also the only answer I can come up with at the moment.
Thinking back, she also didn’t like me spending time with friends or having them over to our house. Another isolating behavior.
Whatever the reasoning behind this behavior, this new realization hurts. I loved his mother a great deal- she & I were good friends, & often had a lot of fun together, in spite of the frequent problems in our relationship during the time of living together.
Something else to process. Yay for me.. not.
Sometimes it seems like healing is the most frustrating, never-ending thing in the world, & sometimes I get so tired of new revelations that show me just how abused I have been in my life. Honestly, it gets depressing! I don’t like feeling sorry for myself, but it is hard to avoid 100% of the time. I know it can be healthy to indulge in a bit of self-pity sometimes, but even so, it doesn’t feel nice. Learning these things also makes me wonder what is it about me that makes people think it’s ok to abuse me?! Do I behave in a certain way that says “Go ahead- hurt me. Treat me like dirt. It’s fine!” UGH!
In spite of my lousy mood, though, I’m still glad that God is helping me to heal, learn & grow. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it can be frustrating. However, it also is helping me understand behaviors & people a lot better. It’s answering some questions, like why do I get angry or hurt when people behave a certain way. Like with my ex- mother in-law. Her list of “duties” for me to do every day used to really make me angry at the unfairness of the amount of duties I had to contend with compared to everyone else in the house. But, I never knew why until today. Now, I understand, & feel validated. Angry, but validated, & at least the anger won’t last long- I am usually pretty quick to forgive.
This really lousy mood is telling me that it’s time to relax. Maybe stop working on the book for a little while, too. Relax, turn on some good music or watch a good movie or tv show, do some nurturing behavior that makes me feel good like crafting or snuggling the furkids. & no cooking- hubby is either taking me out tonight or we will have something delivered.