As I mentioned in this post, recently, my parents came by for a visit. I thought it went very well- I set boundaries & didn’t let my mother get away with her usual nasty games. It went so well in fact, that I knew my mother was extremely angry with me. So angry, she didn’t even call me on my birthday last Tuesday for the first time ever.
The following day though, she called. It was a very hurtful conversation, & I didn’t handle it very well. During the visit & seemed to have the right answers for every situation. During the call though? I had nothing. I wasn’t feeling well at all & was tired, plus her call caught me by surprise. I shouldn’t have answered the phone, but did anyway, against my better judgment, & ended up very hurt & angry.
I was beating myself up about this situation. Here I’ve been telling other adult children of narcissistic parents to be strong & how to do it, yet I failed miserably at following my own advice. Talk about feeling like a hypocrite! Not a nice feeling.
I realized some things from this experience though.
We all make mistakes. My mistake was picking up the phone & ignoring my instincts that told me to let it ring. Instead of beating myself up for making a mistake, now I’m looking at it as a reminder to listen to my instincts every single time.
I also learned to be mentally prepared for her calls. Always, without fail ever, it’s best to remember to pray before answering her calls, asking God for strength, courage, the right words to say & whatever I need to successfully deal with her. That is exactly what I prayed before my last visit with my parents, & God certainly didn’t disappoint me! He never has when I’ve prayed those things. In fact, I may start praying for them daily just in case she calls when I’m not expecting it so I can be prepared.
Also, I’ve been beating myself up for being so hurt by my mother’s usual nastiness. She made sure I knew she wasn’t listening to or cared about anything I had to say, as she so often does. Being in a weakened state, it hurt more than usual, & it usually hurts pretty bad. When telling a very good friend about this, she reminded me that all children, no matter what age, want their mother’s love. It’s normal. Even though logically I know my mother hates me & won’t change either that fact or the way she treats me, on some level, I wish things were different. That is normal. Thanks to my friend, I was reminded that it’s not right to beat yourself up for wishing things were different or being hurt by your narcissistic mother.
Lastly, I took a very bold step to take care of myself too. I blocked my parents’ phone number on my phone. Not permanently, but for a few days until I feel better & stronger, more able to deal with her if I need to. This way, I have guaranteed myself some peace for a while. I’ve never done this before, but I think it’s a good move. I won’t have the usual debate I have inside when the phone rings & I see their number on the caller ID- Can I handle them right now? Can I deal with the fallout later by not answering this call? There’s no debate because I don’t see their number.
I hope what I learned will help you, Dear Reader. Don’t beat yourself up for making mistakes regarding your narcissistic mother. No one is perfect! Don’t wallow in those weak moments, but instead look at them as learning experiences. Stop judging & criticising yourself, & instead just glean knowledge from those moments & go on.