Last week, my father called, asking if he could come by soon. We arranged it for this past Tuesday, around 12-1 p.m. When he was a bit late, I just chalked it up to the traffic jam outside my home, but soon found out why- my mother was with him, & she is always late (a control tactic). She invited herself to my home! I was caught off-guard since I hadn’t expected this but I prayed quickly before letting them in, & God didn’t disappoint! He helped me tremendously to get through the very difficult visit, as He always does.
My mother was obviously angry with me from the start. Why I’m not sure. Maybe because I didn’t invite her over (truthfully, I didn’t invite my father either but at least he asked before coming over). Maybe because she was whining about her back pain & I showed her no concern (for anyone who doesn’t know, at 19, my mother threw me into a wall so hard, I had pain for 10 years & had to quit working. Not only did she never assume responsibility for hurting me, she told everyone I was faking the injury to get out of working because I was so lazy. This is why I feel no sympathy for her pain. You reap what you sow!). Maybe she was mad because as soon as she got here, she asked if I’d gotten an email from her cousin about printing something out for her & I told her I did get it & I told her cousin to print it out herself since I’m not anyone’s secretary.
In any case, my mother was angry with me, & when she’s angry she does the normal narcissist behavior- treat me like crap & try to hurt me at every opportunity. Thanks to God helping me, I was able not only to catch onto what she did every time, but also refuse to play along. I was able to stay totally calm, which is important- showing your hurt or anger only fuels the narcissist, making her want to hurt you more & more. I also was able to set & enforce firm boundaries with her that she respected, albeit grudgingly.
The visit was a great success, considering the circumstances! Although I still ended up angry & hurt when my parents left, it wasn’t nearly as painful as it has been before. It’s taken a long time, but I finally am able to set & enforce healthy boundaries & stand up to my mother rather than tolerate her abuse silently.
My point of telling you this story, Dear Reader, is to encourage you. A good friend of mine suggested I share it to encourage you. If you are in a relationship with your narcissistic parents & unable or unwilling to go no contact, you still can deal with them if you don’t give up! Keep praying- ask God to give you whatever you need such as strength, courage, wisdom & even words to say or boundaries to set. He truly will answer that prayer!
If you have any doubts about anything she says or what you feel, ask God to tell you the truth immediately.
Also, learn as much as you can about narcissism so you are prepared for the gaslighting & other horrible behaviors. This will help you to remember that she is the problem, not you as well as to cope with those behaviors.
Talk to supportive friends. Let them encourage you!
Be calm around your narcissistic parent at all times to avoid fueling their nasty fire.
Always be consistent. If you set a boundary, stick to it. Any flexibility will be taken as a sign of weakness & she will bust through that boundary & any others as soon as she sees fit.
As you gain more experience with dealing with your narcissistic parents in a healthy way, it will become so much easier. I never thought that I would be able to tell my mother to knock off insulting my pets & have her actually listen to me! I’ve told her that before & she ignored me totally. Even when I told her either be nice to them or I’ll kick her out of my home, it still wasn’t as effective- she simply avoided my home. But Tuesday, she backed off immediately. She is finally learning that I not only am serious that I will protect my furkids no matter what, but also that I mean business with my boundaries.
You too can be strong! Don’t give up! Keep practicing the above mentioned tips, & you will be pleasantly surprised how much stronger you are. And, chances are your narcissistic mother will improve her behaviors some like mine has.