And Life Got Even More Interesting..

Last Thursday evening, I ended up in a heated discussion with my parents over the phone.  It got ugly.  Really ugly.  Honestly, I don’t remember all of the details of the conversation. I was so hurt by it all I blocked a lot out immediately.

 

Funzies.  Not.

 
My father called Thursday night.  He apologized as soon as I answered for not going to the mother in-law’s funeral.  “We would’ve gone, but we didn’t know until we read it in the paper..”   I noticed his tone was kinda shaming, like I should’ve told him, but I ignored that.  I said, “Why would you have gone?”  “We wanted to pay our respects!”  “To a woman who hated me from the day we met & treated me like dirt?”  He went on to say they wanted to pay their respects & see my father in-law.  I said she treated me like s**t for years, why give her any respect?  He started back peddling & said, “I told your mother that..”  Yea, spare me.  I don’t believe that for a moment.  Somewhere in the conversation, I forget exactly where, I also told him I felt betrayed that he cared more about her than me.  He didn’t say a word in response.  When he spoke though, he did ask if we’re still married.  Apparently since I didn’t attend her funeral, my father assumed we were separated.

 

He then brought up the cemetery plots my parents bought Eric & I so we could be buried with them probably 15 years ago by now.  (Mind you, they never asked us if we wanted that, or even if we wanted to be buried over cremated.  It was decided we would be buried with them, period.).  He asked what I wanted them to do with them.  I said get rid of them. I’m being cremated & Eric doesn’t want to be buried in Glen Burnie any more than I would.  He said he was sure Eric’s father had Eric’s plot anyway, since he’d want to be with his son.  Really?!  Also, why do we need to discuss this now?!  I told him Eric would figure out where he wants to be buried, & I can’t deal with any of this conversation right now, because I lost one of my babies.  He said he was sorry to hear that, & I thanked him.  Also said please don’t tell mom, because I don’t want to hear the usual “she’s better off dead than with me as her mom” comments.  He said he wouldn’t, but I’m not holding my breath.  Then my father asked if Eric was home, & I said no.  “Oh. Mom wants to talk to him.”  I said tough, he’s not here.  “I guess she’ll have to talk to you then..”   How nice.  Oh joy…
So my mother got on the phone & started the same apologizing for “disappointing my father in-law” by not being at the funeral.  Yea, like he lost sleep over this. He’s seen my parents in person twice in almost the 22 years Eric & I have been together.  Guessing they weren’t even a blip on his radar since he was busy burying his wife of 65 years!   I said “You too eh?  Nice.  Why are you two so damned worried about her?!  Why do you care at all after how badly she treated me all those years?!”  My mother said, “That’s Eric’s mother!”  I said, “But I’m your daughter!  I feel really betrayed!”  You could’ve heard crickets.  Dead silence for a few seconds.   Then my mother asked if I would’ve been mad if they went.  I said, “Yes!  She treated me like dirt!  Don’t you know anything about loyalty?!  She then said, “But she’s his MOTHER!”  I reminded her that this lovely mother in-law of mine choked me when we told her we got married.  More crickets.  SERIOUSLY?!  Not a peep?!  I sarcastically thanked my mother for caring so much more about Eric’s mother than me.  That’s really fricken awesome.  I said more but I forget what it was.  My mother kept playing deaf saying, “I can’t hear you Honey- you need to speak up!”  I was yelling!   It was a game to her to make me yell more.  I know it well- she does it often.  (in all honesty she has hearing trouble, but she also uses it when convenient to her.)  So I said “Yanno, I can’t deal with you & this topic.  I’m done talking about it.  What else do you have to talk about anyway?”  “Well my back hurts….”  “I’ve seen Dr. Silva twice since I went to the hospital…”  (went to the ER a couple of weeks ago & learned she has vertigo- nothing serious).   I said, “Of course.. whatever.”  That really ticked her off & she said, “Well I guess I should let you go then.”   She was obviously really mad I didn’t  care about her health complaints.  I said, “Yes, you really should.  Goodbye.”  We both pretty much hung up on each other at that point.

 

Sadly, I knew a fight was coming when my husband said his mother’s obituary would be in the local papers earlier in the week.  My parents get a local paper & my mother reads the obituaries first thing.  I knew my mother would want to make some fuss over this to me, rather than simply send her condolences to my husband.  I didn’t expect her to say they should’ve gone to the funeral though.  Unfortunately because of grieving after losing my precious little kitty last Monday, I’m more sensitive than usual.  That along with the surprise of attending the funeral being an option hit me harder than it normally would have.

 

Normally, I don’t flip out on my parents or cuss at them.  I’m a pretty reasonable person, & able to tolerate a lot of hurtful words & actions from them because I am so accustomed to them.  You would think they would’ve been surprised I raised my voice & used bad language, but they acted like this happens every day.  They both were completely unaffected by my reaction.  Stone cold!  Neither had one word to say when I said I felt betrayed that they cared more for someone who has hurt me than me.  Honestly, being ignored like that hurt more than when my mother has told me I’m stupid for feeling a certain way.  Being ignored is the ultimate invalidation, I think.  It says, “You’re not even worth acknowledging.  You don’t matter enough for me to use my breath to speak to you.”

 

So now, I don’t know what’s going to happen.  I really don’t.  My mother was extremely angry with me last night, so she may not want to speak to me again.  And frankly, I’m fine with that.  I’ve opted to go low contact for years now, & it’s been hard.  (No contact never really felt right which is why I stuck with low contact)  Maybe this is God’s way of ending it.  I don’t know.   Time will tell, I suppose.

 

I did get a call from my father yesterday morning.  He said he was sorry- he & my mother thought they should pay their respects to the Rug family, it wasn’t anything against me, I matter (could’ve fooled me!) & also there was no excuse for how badly my late mother in-law treated me.  My father likes to say what he thinks you expect him to say, but truthfully, he doesn’t have the empathy to understand truly what I feel.  There was more to the conversation, but it wasn’t even worth talking about.  I’m sure he thinks it means all is fine now, but it’s not fine.  In fact, I wasn’t even going to answer his call, but I know my father- if I didn’t take that call, he’d call me back constantly until I answered.  I hate that, so I figured I might as well get it over with.

 

I also wonder… I firmly believe that if you opt to confront narcissists, your best bet is to be calm & collected.  Don’t show that you’re hurt or angry because it only gives them more ammunition to hurt you.  During our argument, I was completely the opposite of that.  I wonder if that was what they needed.  Neither of my parents get consequences for their actions from anyone but me, & I have let a LOT slide.  Maybe it was time they saw all the pain that their actions have caused.  Maybe it sunk in on some level that they caused me a great deal of hurt by caring more about complete strangers than their own daughter.  I doubt it, but I sure hope so.  I hope this all wasn’t in vain, & there was a real purpose for it.  I believe God can make something good come out of anything, so He can do it with this situation too.

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20 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

20 responses to “And Life Got Even More Interesting..

  1. It really hurts to come to this point (I call it the last straw moment) for any of us who’ve been abused by parents. But it can be a good thing. I had one of these very hurtful incidents 5 years before I finally went NC. I told myself that I could survive/tolerate low contact and that I could even help my mother to understand how much her words and actions hurt her children. I really tried for all that time and was the best, most supportive and loving daughter I could be. It didn’t change a thing. So when the next incident occurred, on Christmas Day of all days, I knew that it was the end of my hope that things could be better. I realized that I’d never be truly free or happy unless I cut off all contact because she would never change. I’ve paid a heavy price for my decision but the upside has outweighed the downside. And thanks to the extensive study by Rene Pittelli of what the Bible has to say about abusive parents and going no contact with them we can rest assured that we aren’t bad people for refusing to be hurt ever again, even if that means that we no longer see or speak to our parents.

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    • There is something good though. You know you did everything you could before going no contact. You have a clear conscious which is a wonderful thing. It’s so sad that things come down to no contact so often, isn’t it? They care more about their dysfunction than their own children.

      I love Renee.. she is a lovely lady & very wise. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Many good things have come to me since going NC and as I said the good outweighs the bad.
        I agree about Rene. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that she saved me from a life of emotional and spiritual torment. Like you she has used her suffering to be a blessing to others.
        I hope and pray that you will have peace no matter what you decide to do.

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        • I’m sure it has. I think most people who opt to go no contact weigh things out & are absolutely positive they are making the right choice for them.

          I believe that. She’s great. Her teaching is so eye opening. She’s a lovely woman too- I’ve been blessed with her friendship & treasure it.

          Thank you. I will have peace, I’m sure. I don’t want to make any decisions right now- emotionally, I’m in too bad of a place to think rationally. I need some time to grieve & heal first.

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  9. Hi Cynthia,

    I realize that you wrote this post over a year ago. But I just found your blog today, thanks to someone I follow reblogging one of your articles, and for the past hour or so I have been skipping around on your blog, reading different posts here and there, and relating to every word.

    And then I read this…. Your mother-in-law CHOKED you when she found out that you were going to marry her son?? And despite that, your parents were MAD AT YOU for failing to notify them of her death, so they could PAY THEIR RESPECTS to the woman who once CHOKED THEIR DAUGHTER!!

    Oh, my dear. Whew. Wow. The inexplicable evil of narcissism knows no bounds.

    My oldest child was born on August 8, 1971. So I am old enough to be your mom. (Barely. I married my first narcissistic ex at 16 and had my first child when I was 18.) Do you know what I would do to someone who ever CHOKED one of my kids?????? It sure as heck would not involve “paying respects”!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Lynda Lee!

      Thank you so much for saying this. I’ve felt a lot of guilt for being no contact with my parents at this point in their lives, especially the last couple of days. What you said helped me to regain the clarity I needed. So thank you again.

      I really am astounded still, over a year after this happened. It’s like you said.. “the inexplicable evil of narcissism knows no bounds.” I guess to those of us who aren’t narcissists will never fully understand how they can do what they do.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I know that guilty feeling well, even when you know, deep down inside, that you are not to blame, and you are doing the right thing by going no contact.

        When I was 16 years old, my doctor urged me to get as far away from my family as I could get, as soon as possible, and never go back. “I have spoken at length with every adult in your family,” he said. “Your parents and your grandparents. And I have never met a more self-centered, hateful, hostile, unreasonable group of people in my life. I keep wondering how it’s even possible that you are related to them!” (After having my dna racial profile done by ancestry dot com a couple of years ago, I probably am not related to half of them. My dad’s racial heritage is entirely missing from my dna, and ancestry keeps sending me links to “probable cousins” with last names I’ve never heard of.)

        Although it felt wonderful to be validated by an outside person, especially a professional, can you guess how long it took me to go completely no contact? My doctor gave me that wise advice in December 1969, and I sent my “I’m going no contact and here’s why” letter to my momster in January 2013. That’s 44 years and 1 month that I kept going back to the dry well, hoping for water.

        True malignant narcissists only get worse with age. But still sometimes I feel “guilty” and second guess myself. Because she’s in her 80s and she’s widowed and she’s “my mom”.

        No, she never was “my mom”. Everything, as you say, is always all about HER.

        I believe we are hardwired to love our parents, to long for family, and to yearn to be near them. It’s a survival instinct instilled by our Creator, like the instinct of a newborn to suckle — even when there is no milk to be had.

        Blessings,
        Lynda

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        • Wow! How incredibly validating to hear those words come from your doctor! That must have been such a relief to hear, even if you didn’t go no contact for years later. I can understand that, by the way. It is an incredibly difficult, painful decision to make.

          I think you’re right, that we are hardwired to love our parents & long for family. It’s what helps children survive, when they have good parents, that is. It’s a shame something so good turns into a bad thing when we have abusive, evil, narcissistic parents.

          That is true, they get worse with age. It’s a disturbing thing to watch evolve. My mother became quieter & more vicious with her verbal abuse, & my father suddenly became very overt with me. He’s still covert around others & extremely good at playing the victim role.

          The guilt & second guessing is hard, but it seems quite normal, especially when the narcissist is elderly. Normal people want to help others, so it’s hard to not only not help your elderly parent, but not to have them in your life at all. I just thank God for those confirmations that it’s the right thing to do.

          Have you ever considered writing your story? It sounds like it’d be very interesting to me & no doubt helpful to others. Just curious!

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          • Lol. I laugh, because I have been trying to write my story since I was 22 years old. I now have a granddaughter older than that, in Harvard! (Which blows my mind. Both the age thing, and the Harvard thing.)

            My story is extreme and, as I know you know, writing about it can HURT. But the good news is that I have been having weekly neurofeedback treatments since early February for my developmental/complex PTSD — for the first couple of months, the treatments were done twice weekly — and hallelujah, I am now reaching the point where I can think about, talk about, and write about my history, without feeling like I am being skinned alive. So I hope to have my memoir finished within a few more months. My working title is: Growing Up Crazy, The Ultimate Gaslight: Surviving Narcissistic Abuse, from Horror to Healing.

            After that, I hope to write a memoir called Mr and Mrs PTSD: Not Your Typical Love Story. My bfh (best friend husband) is on 100% permanent disability for PTSD caused by combat in Vietnam.

            In one of your great posts that I read here yesterday, you talked about how unhelpful it is for us to compare our traumas with others and think maybe our traumas weren’t so bad. Like people who compare a childhood full of verbal abuse and no love, with a child who was beaten severely, who had concussions and broken bones, was raped multiple times, etc, and think that the verbal abuse and lack of love is “no big deal” in comparison.

            I want you to know that I agree 100%. Although my trauma history isn’t the worst I have ever heard, some of it was very severe. Mom trying to gas us all to death, that kind of thing. And yet, of all the traumas I have gone through in my life, the one thing that has hurt me by far the most, was simply not being loved by my own parents. Being lied about, being scapegoated, and being verbally put down, even in subtle ways, like rolling the eyes, heavy sighs, etc…. just never being CARED ABOUT… that, by far, is the most painful and damaging trauma, in my experience. Worse than sexual abuse, worse than physical abuse, worse than being locked up in a notorious state insane asylum at age 14, which also happened to me, because I had a post traumatic breakdown more than a decade before PTSD became an official psychiatric diagnosis in 1980. Worse than ANYTHING, in my 64 years of experience, is the pain of Not Being Loved.

            Thank God for His wonderful, amazing, healing LOVE!!!!!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Isn’t it incredible how fast time flies?! Congratulations to your granddaughter- Harvard is pretty impressive!

              That is wonderful you’re able to work on your memoir! Congratulations on that!! It’s incredibly difficult, seeing everything in writing, I know. But, it’s also very validating & healing as well. Writing mine in 2012 was about the most difficult & painful yet also freeing things I’ve ever done.

              Mr & Mrs PTSD sounds really good as well! Such a pity your friend’s husband is on disability for PTSD. A friend of mine is too, from combat in the middle east, I just can’t recall where at the moment.

              Thank you! I agree, it’s just never wise to compare experiences! It seems like someone always has it worse, no matter how traumatic your story was, which leaves you feeling like a wimp for being affected by your own. What good could possibly come of that?!

              Wow.. you have been through some horrible things! ((((hugs)))) I’m so sorry! You’ve come out of it strong though. Thank God for helping you to do that!

              If you’re interested, I have a facebook group. You’re more than welcome to join if you like. It’s full of some pretty amazing people- kind, supportive, not judgmental, & strong in their Christian faith. No pressure to join of course- just thought I’d make the offer. It sounds like you’d be able to help & inspire others in it & I’m sure they could return the favor to you. I’ll put the link below if you’d like to check it out.

              https://www.facebook.com/groups/FansOfCynthiaBaileyRug/

              Liked by 2 people

              • First, sorry for the confusion, the husband with PTSD is mine! I call him my bfh, which means that he is both my best friend, and my husband. So the Mr and Mrs PTSD love story is about the two of us. 🙂

                Thank you so much for your kind invitation to join your FB group. I will — but first I need to go back on FB. I was happily on FB way back in 2008, before the whole world discovered it. It was such fun reconnecting with elementary school class mates and coworkers from decades ago. But then my family of origin got on there, and I was bullied unbelievably. Here I was, in my late 50s, and my family was harassing me on social media, resurrecting old scapegoating lies that my momster had told about me almost half a century ago, to “justify” locking me in a mental institution, against my doctor’s advice.

                This was in the days before you could block accounts on FB. So I ended my account, and it was years before I could even look at the ubiquitous FB logo without flashing back! My husband, on the other hand, still has FB and goes on there several times a day. He has a few thousand friends, mostly military combat vets with PTSD, and fellow bikers.

                It has been awesome chatting with you, Cynthia. You are a truly lovely, caring, tender hearted person. I am looking forward to reading more of your terrific blog. For now though, I need to get some stuff done, we have a big day planned for tomorrow. ((HUG))

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                • PS. I have your memoir on my Must Buy list.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • oops… I thought you meant your best friend’s husband with bfh. My bad! I still think it sounds fascinating & I’d love to read it someday!

                    Unbelievable! That is terrible about your experiences with Facebook! No wonder you closed your account! I’m so sorry! Thank God there are so many ways to block people now.

                    Your husband must be a good man, talking to all those guys with PTSD. That can’t be easy!

                    Thank you so much! You’re too kind! I’ve enjoyed chatting with you too! Looking forward to getting to know you better in my group too. 🙂

                    Thank you again! Considering your situation, I’m sure you’ll be able to relate all too well to my memoir.

                    Hope your day is a good one! xoxo

                    Liked by 1 person

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