On Mother’s Day, I came across a very good article called “A Mother’s Day Card For The Disposable Child.” One sentence in particular hit home with me.. “She walked away from me and shamed me for asking for a healthier way of relating. If I wanted to go back to the old way, I suspect she’d accept me as her daughter again.” Reading this sentence, I thought about my parents & that is exactly our situation.
As usual when reminded of something so dysfunctional about my parents, it really made me sad. I knew I needed to deal with this rather than bury it, but I just wanted to finish the article first. As I scrolled down I read the letter the author wrote to her mother, but never sent. Upon reading this, what I needed to do clicked in my mind. I needed to write a letter to each of my parents, but never send them.
Have you ever done this, Dear Reader? Have you ever written out what you would love to say to your parents if it was completely safe to do so? If not, I urge you to do this.
Writing things out can be a very therapeutic experience. There is something validating about seeing things in writing rather than simply remembering them. It makes experiences seem more real.
Also, by writing things out, you are in charge of who sees what you write. You can hide it so no one but you & God know about it (I like an online, password protected diary), or you can add to it & turn it into a book. You are totally in control. When speaking things out, there can be interruptions, or others can hear what you don’t want them to hear.
By writing things out, you’re safe. If you confront your narcissistic parents, you are far from safe. Narcissists don’t do confrontation. They refuse to accept responsibility for things they’ve done since that might make them look or feel bad. They will do or say anything to avoid accepting responsibility. Denial, projection, gaslighting are all distinct possible scenarios. Why subject yourself to them if it’s not necessary? Yet, you still may need to purge the awful emotions you’re experiencing. That is where writing letters you don’t send come into play.
Writing letters like this helps you to get out your feelings in a completely safe manner. You can say anything you like, in any way you like, without fear of judgment or narcissistic mind games. When I write these letters, I don’t worry about bad language or using “I” statements or anything- I let it all out, no matter how ugly it is.
Once the letter is done, I’ve noticed I feel very tired & a bit raw emotionally. It doesn’t last long, thankfully. This seems to be a typical phenomenon after doing heavy emotional work on healing. When it happens to you, just remember to be especially gentle with yourself. Do whatever self-care things make you feel loved & nurtured.