Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism
Tagged as abuse, contact, disorder, narcissism, narcissist, narcissistic, no, personality
This is long, so forgive me. Any comments or advice would be appreciated. My mom is an hour away in my home town. I’m limited contact now, just doing minimal gray rock phone calls and texts. A week or two will go by and I start to think that perhaps I could resume limited visits with her. But it seems like as soon as I start to think this, she will throw a mean comment my way that will throw me back into the FOG (fear, obligation and guilt). It is emotionally crippling each time she does this.
Last week, she sent a text message that she had visited the hospital, was home now, and tests were being run. She concluded with a sentence that said she would keep me updated “if I cared”. (i.e. throwing in the guilt and shame). I didn’t respond because I knew she was fine, and she has plenty of support from family and friends in my home town. I basically just wanted to hide from her guilt and shame.
3 days later, starting at 6:30am, a series of frantic, histrionic voicemail messages started coming. Tearful pleadings saying “please, please call your mother. I need to hear your voice”. 15 messages total on my phones. But then she started calling my best friend’s home, and even his work. And the messages to him had the same frantic, histrionic tone.
I was crippled with FOG. It was like my world was being carpet bombed. I texted back, said I was at work, and that we could talk the next day. I wrote up a “letter” will bullets about how I felt unsafe around her, but if she would back off with the guilt and shame, perhaps we could meet more often.
The next morning we chatted and she made it clear she was not interested in hearing anything I had to say. She was just so worried because she had had a dream where I was a missing person like something on one of her true crime shows. She just wanted to hear my voice to know that I was alive.
She wanted to hear my voice – but not anything I had to say.
I didn’t press further because I know in the past my words mean nothing to her. She will pretend to hear. And then a week or two later, the cycle of abuse and FOG will start all over again. I know her ultimate goal is to get me to go back to being that nice supply-giving son/doll she trained me to be since childhood. I know this will never change.
But I do feel guilty. I also know she has plenty of other supply-giving dolls to play with. Plenty of friends and family. Just not as good at giving supply as I have always been. Also, she can’t openly shame them as easily to get them to behave, since she actually cares what they think.
Again, sorry this was long. If you think this would be a post better suited for the Facebook group, please direct me there. I’m just so afraid of their privacy settings because my mother has always found everything I seemed to post there, and I just got paranoid about the whole site. .
If nothing else, it was nice to vent and write it all out!
Thank you so much for the work you do! Bless you Cynthia! You are an angel!
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Vent on anytime!! We all need to do that!! You can write it here or in my group, whichever works for you. Just FYI, the group is closed which means only other members can read what is shared in there. Also, you can hide your groups from your timeline so no one can see what groups you’re in. Go to your timeline. On the upper right side where it says “More”, click that. At the bottom of that list it says “manage selections.” Click that. On that list, deselect groups then hit save. Your groups won’t appear on your timeline anymore.
Anyway back to your post..
I get the FOG. That is a terrible thing to fight. The only way I really know how to combat it is with the truth & logic. You have no reason to feel guilty with your mother. You treat her well, especially given the circumstances. You also know what her behavior is about, instilling guilt or control. That does NOT make it the truth. This sort of thinking is hard at first but really, it gets a LOT easier the more you do it & it’ll help you a lot.
Also remember, your letter with the bullet points would work with a normal person. This sort of thing won’t work with narcissists. NEVER forget they are totally abnormal. Normal tactics don’t work on abnormal people. Saying things like, “It hurts me when you…” only gives them ammunition to use to hurt or manipulate you. Instead opt for consequences. “I told you I won’t tolerate it when you … & if you continue, I’m going to leave the room/hang up the phone.” That can be too hard to do at first, so you can try something else instead, like suddenly having to get off the phone. You can say “I just remembered, I have something to take care of. I have to go.” Which isn’t a lie- you remembered you have to take care of yourself & part of that is avoiding abuse.
Thank you so much for what you said.. you’re very sweet 🌹
“She wanted to hear my voice – but not anything I had to say.”
Thank you so much for this 🙂 It feels powerfully-helpful to me.
FWIW, I second everything Cynthia said in her reply to you, especially the thing about “Saying things like, ‘It hurts me when you…’ only gives them ammunition to use to hurt or manipulate you.” Long ago I realized that when I tell him what I like, he ridicules / stops doing it, and when I tell him what I don’t like, he says / does it more.
It’s infuriating — and exhausting — to have to filter every single thing that comes out of your mouth, gesture you make, and expression that flickers across your face.
I’m so glad it helped you! I agree. I think in the stages of grief, I am getting closer to “acceptance”.
YAAAY! Good for You! 🙂
A thing that I find very helpful regarding acceptance (and lots of other things) is to remind myself that it won’t be a straight line.
Thanks for this! It’s a reminder that I need to take steps to make sure my own oxygen mask is secure first. Because there is likely more turbulence to come.
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What an interesting way to put that!
Wow. These words you wrote:
“Saying things like, “It hurts me when you…” only gives them ammunition to use to hurt or manipulate you.”
Intellectually, I have heard that the psychopath is one step away from the malignant narcissist.
Yet in my mind the psychopath is the monster in the “Halloween” movies,
who would kill me and not care
Intuitively, I kind of know my mother would kill me if I threatened her too much. But she would never do it if it made her look bad to the outer world
The narcissist is the same, correct? Only they just keep going back for supply?
They don’t just kill the victim. They let the victim live. And they just keep going back to feed.
Are they really this evil?
Unfortunately, I think that many of them truly are that evil. Not all… some are lower on the spectrum of course but once you get into the malignant range, it’s pretty scary what you’re dealing with. They are evil. All that matters to them is them & their supply. They will do anything to get it.
I think most people think that psychopaths are like Michael Myers. Truth be told though they are very similar to narcissists, as are sociopaths. I don’t know enough about them to spell out all the differences, but they all do share many similarities such as lack of empathy & selfishness.
And if someone has the nerve to care about them back, they will abuse them even more.
This is so hard.
Because they become easy targets at that point. Sad they don’t even see them as someone to love back.
It is hard. ((((hugs))))
Thank you for your honesty.
I’m sorry for all you’re going through. It’s so rough, I know.
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