A while back, an obituary made rounds online. It was written for an incredibly cruel, abusive mother. I saw this article about said obituary, explaining why the obit was written:
The story is heartbreaking, & although I’m unsure I could do the same thing, I applaud the daughter for doing what was right for her as well as her siblings, in spite of the harsh judgments & criticisms they have received as a result of doing this.
It also made me think – if my narcissistic, abusive mother dies before me, what would I say in her obituary? Would I tell the truth about the abusive monster she has been, or would I simply stick to the basic facts such as date of birth & death, details of the viewing & funeral arrangements?
I think I would stick to the basic facts. Not that I condemn the actions of anyone who would do otherwise, of course, it’s just that I have been working on my healing for a long time. I don’t see how this would help me to heal any more than anything else I have done. Plus, most people don’t believe that my mother is capable of monstrous acts, so when they read her obituary, I would simply be invalidated & judged further for “speaking so badly” of my mother (even though I would speak only the truth). I also have experienced the death of my mother’s narcissistic mother, which I believe gave me a glance into what I can expect to feel when my mother dies. Chances are, I’ll be sad things weren’t good between us, & relieved it’s all over, just as I was when my grandmother died. It’s doubtful feelings such as those would leave me feeling the need to expose her abusive ways.
What would you do if you had to write your narcissistic mother’s obituary? Maybe the thought is rather morbid, but it’s still an interesting question, don’t you think?
Being an author, obviously I’m a fan of writing for many reasons. Writing anything. One of those reasons is that writing can be therapeutic. I have an online journal, plus I have written many letters to my mother that I’ve never sent her. Something about getting out my feelings & seeing them in writing has been extremely helpful to me. It purges a lot of the anger. I think it is also partly why I won’t be writing such an obituary for my mother. I don’t harbor anger at her any longer. I get angry when she acts up, but I also let it go pretty quickly.
Have you tried writing about your feelings & experiences during healing from the narcissistic abuse you have experienced? If not, I strongly encourage you to do so! Let it all out when you write to experience the full benefits. If you are concerned someone may find out what you’ve written, then once you’ve written things out, burn the letter or diary. That act in itself can be quite cathartic, watching what you wrote going up in smoke. For me, it’s as if the smoke dissipating into the air takes some of my anger with it.
A couple of years ago, I wrote my autobiography, “Emerging From The Chrysalis.” It was a very difficult task, but also a very rewarding one. Seeing many of the horrific events in my life in black & white made things even more real to me. It showed me how strong I really am – I have survived some rough, terrible things!
Writing your own autobiography or creating a blog about your experiences may do the same thing for you. If you prefer privacy, nothing says you have to publish your writing – just keep it for yourself. But, if you decide to speak publicly via a blog or publishing your autobiography, your story will help & inspire many people! That can help you to heal as well, because others will validate your pain & your strength to survive such things.
If you do decide to write publicly, I strongly recommend that you pray long & hard before doing so. Having survived narcissistic abuse, you are all too aware of the importance of secrecy. Narcissists love secrecy, & demand it from their victims in order to protect their abusive ways. When this happens to a child, the child grows into an adult who still feels that fear from childhood at the thought of exposing the abuse. As a result, talking publically about the abuse can be very hard to do. It may be so hard in fact that you refuse to speak out, even when you know in your heart it will help you or it’s what God wants you to do.
I understand this fear all too well! As much as I’ve written in the last couple of years about my own experiences, sometimes it still scares me a little. I wonder what will happen if & when my mother finds out what I write about. Thankfully she doesn’t have a computer, which works in my favor. She also never asks how my writing is going or what I write about, as she thinks it’s all a “waste of time” & “trash no one wants to read.” Yet even so, there is still a chance she could find out. She has friends & relatives who have computers, & would be glad to look up my work to tell her what I write. I often feel like I’m waiting for that call when she tells me I am spewing lies or whatever else she would say about my writing.
To give me the courage to write about what I know God wants me to write about, I remember a few things. These can help you as well.
First, I know in my heart that it is God’s will I write about these topics. He won’t give me a task that I can’t handle. He loves me & He protects me, just as He loves & protects you!
Second, I ask myself what can my mother really do that can hurt me anymore? She is 75 years old, & physically no longer a threat. She still can scream & rage if she is so inclined, & call me terrible names. However, I’m so used to that, nothing she says can phase me anymore. She also once threatened to call my landlord & report me for having more cats than the landlord allowed. Now I am a homeowner & have no landlord to answer to. Plus, I have a legal amount of pets in this county. She really can’t harm me anymore! So what is the worst that can happen to you for telling your story?
Third, there is a very good quote that strengthened me enough to get through writing my autobiography. Unfortunately, I can’t remember who wrote it, but the quote says something similar to this, “Tell your story. If others wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have treated you better!”
And lastly, I always tell the truth. I try to avoid telling only what happened to me- if I did something wrong, I admit it. I also try to tell stories objectively, minus any name calling or accusations. I stick to the facts only, so no one can accuse me of exaggerating or embellishing my story. Do the same if you talk about your story.