The day I went for my assessment was an emotional one. The fear of what may happen and general emotions of the day left me with a feeling, if I’m going to do this therapy, I need to do it wholeheartedly. That meant I had one problem I haven’t tackled…my narcasistic mother and step father.
The week prior I had written a letter to my mother, never to be sent but to say just what I wanted to her. This started as a tidy letter with no direction and ended up a six page mass of emotional scribbles. It helped to release things I have never let myself say. I have drifted through my life shrouded by F.O.G. keeping it all in no matter what was said or done to hurt me. In writing this letter I gave myself permission to feel and it helped. Once done it was ripped into pieces and hidden in the bin for fear she may ever see it.
The feeling that I should be able to say how I feel stuck with me. I am slowly unlocking restrictions on myself and learning to read my own emotions. I will never get better if I don’t face my biggest problem head on. Whilst already feeling in at the deep end I wrote another letter. This time I kept it factual and kept emotions out of it as much as possible, after all that would be sharing too much of myself. I simply stated that their behaviour wasn’t right, it had to stop and I needed them to be different with me. I gave recent examples and noted that they don’t have an interest in mental health or struggles (of which they are aware). I spent three days making sure it was what I wanted it to be and on the fourth day my mouse hovered over the send button. I was shaking and feeling ill with nerves, I have never been able to speak my mind with them. They do not take criticism and are not known for their emotional side towards me. My driving force is that my children need a stable family and good role models. I cannot allow them to go through what I did with their grandparents. So I sent it and then had a stiff drink!
They aknowledged that it was received and replied within a day, which wasn’t too bad. There was no massive rant that I feared. However there was a complete wall of denial, I was wrong on every point and would not change their minds. The upshot is that they want to see my kids and basically tolerate myself and my husband to get that access. My mother had more scathing points to make but at least she is predictable in her responses. What shocked me most was there was no acknowledgment of my emotions or struggles besides a basic ‘what more can I do attitude’. I thought perhaps there may have been a comforting word somewhere. This has to stem from my belief that they aren’t as bad as others you read about, they can see I am hurting right? Well it was wishful thinking sadly. While they weren’t cruel they were certainly blind to any of my needs.
My initial response was one of relief. I had said my piece and felt lighter for letting that out. This lasted for a few days until it started to sink in that my mother and step father are all that I feared they were. You see for all these years I have grown so used to their outrageous behaviour and stunts from my mother, it still even now takes others to point it out to me how dysfunctional they are. I have always had this voice saying ‘its you, you’re too sensitive, these people couldn’t be that bad, they wouldn’t do these things on purpose there has to to another explanation’. You name it my mind has done it to minimalise it all.
What I am now facing is years of memories and hurt coming back, only now with the truth in the open. They don’t love me unconditionally and I don’t think my mother even likes me. All the times I heard the nastiness in her voice, it was real. It’s not like I didn’t know any of it, so I’m not starting from scratch but it’s not easy to face. I have come this far and I will keep going. I will give myself time to adjust and take it in. If the last year has done anything, its shown me how strong I can be. Perhaps the quote I found up top is right? This may set me free.
They will need to be thought of as acquaintances from now on and my recovery will keep going without them, supported by my loved ones. I could not be more grateful that I have them right now.