Last week, my husband came down with the flu. A few days ago, I caught it too. Yippie..
Last night, my mother called. She said she wanted to know how hubby was feeling, but I could tell the real reason she called was that she was angry with me. I told her he’s doing better, just not quite over it yet. A few minutes later, before hanging up, she said, “Glad he’s feeling better. You didn’t catch it, did you?” (She had to know I was sick- I sound horrible!) I admitted I did. Her response? “Oh. I remember the last time I had the flu. Do you remember that? You took me to the doctor..” Not a surprising response, but still hurtful that she cares so little.
When writing about the incident in my journal a little while ago, I realized something. My mother makes comments along these lines often. If I mention a problem, she changes the subject, tells me about someone who has it way worse than me (at least in her mind) or tells me how she thinks I need to fix it. She also employs another tactic- she blatantly ignores me, a while later mentions someone with the exact same problem, & how sorry she feels for that person.
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar to you?
I believe comments & actions like this are made to make me feel like I don’t matter. She is the only important one, in her eyes.
Narcissists love to make their victims feel as if they don’t matter. One reason is the lower the self esteem, the easier the victim is to manipulate. The victim can see herself as too stupid to know better than the narcissist, or not strong enough to stand up to the narcissist. Another reason is narcissists feel powerful when they can tear their victims down. Having such control over someone gives them the illusion that they have power.
As much as the narcissist benefits from making the victim believe she doesn’t matter, the victim is hurt. Feeling this way can contribute to a root of toxic shame, which affects every area of a person’s life.
The next time this happens to you, I would like to encourage you to do as I just did a while ago when writing about this incident in my journal. Not only did I get my feelings out, but I also told myself my narcissistic mother is wrong. I told myself that I *do* matter. Just because she thinks I don’t doesn’t mean it’s true. My mother thinking I don’t matter is only her opinion, not a fact.
The same is true for you, too, Dear Reader! Just because someone treats you as if you don’t matter, even if that someone is your mother, doesn’t mean it’s true! You matter! You matter to God, you matter to your significant other, you matter to your kids (furry or human or both) & you matter to everyone in your life who loves you. Don’t let the sick manipulations of a narcissist convince you otherwise! You deserve better than that! Trust that you do matter & if you’re having trouble doing that, ask God to help you. Ask Him to show you if you matter to Him. He will do so & gladly!