I’ve been having a rough time this week.
Tomorrow is my mother’s birthday, and a milestone birthday at that. I’ve had a lot of mixed emotions about it.
Birthdays are the most important holidays for narcissists; my mother was no exception. She believed she deserved the world every day, but even more so on her birthday. I always dreaded that day. I dreaded the obligation to get her a gift, and a gift that met her approval. I dreaded when she didn’t get what she wanted and went on a rampage.
And even though this is the first time that I don’t have to deal with her birthday bullshit, I’m still going through the same emotions as if I did. I’m also angry that she is still breathing. She’s still going on with life as if nothing ever happened, as if she never hurt anyone. She has blown out her candles every year and made her self-centered wishes, while I had spent the last 18 years wishing for my death. It’s not fair.
I hesitantly brought up my feelings in therapy yesterday. A part of me wanted so badly to cry, but another part was strongly resisting, leaving me in an uncomfortable position of feeling emotions on the inside but being unable to express them on the outside. But at least I had feelings.
My therapist then brought up my mother’s complete lack of emotion and feeling. My mother has never felt remorse, guilt, or empathy. But, as my therapist brought up, my mother has also never felt happiness or joy, she has never experienced laughter or love. I never thought of it that way, but my therapist was right. While my mother lacks all negative emotions, she also lacks the positive ones. She will never experience genuine positive feelings. She can’t. She’s a sociopath.
My mother can’t feel anything. Her emotional expressions, when they do occur, aren’t genuine. She can’t maintain any real relationships with people because she can’t connect on any meaningful level with another human being. She is aggressive and volatile, flying into fits of rage whenever she doesn’t get her way. She is impulsive, and acts without thinking. She has no empathy; she doesn’t even understand what empathy is. She manipulates everyone around her to serve her own purpose. And she lies. About everything. She would make the most blatantly incorrect statement and not care who went against her, because she believed that she was right.
My mother has no regard for right and wrong. She neglects and abuses animals, she abused (and likely continues to abuse) her own children and others, and continues to do whatever she wants without regard to legality or morality. She would often refuse to pay her bills and believed she was above any consequences. She didn’t understand why our electricity was cut off when she hadn’t paid the bill in months. The rules never applied to her. They still don’t.
I knew my mother was a sociopath as soon as I learned what antisocial personality disorder was. She fit nearly every criteria. Even worse, she is a narcissistic sociopath, a double whammy. She will never realize her defect. She will never get help. There is no help for people like her.
I struggle with what I want to do with this knowledge. A part of me wants to understand my mother and why she does the things she does. But I also don’t want her personality defect to become an excuse for her behavior.
I should be grateful I don’t have to deal with her anymore, but it’s not that easy. My therapist said that while I escaped the physical prison my mother created, I’m still inside the walls of the emotional prison she made through her programming. Those walls will take longer to tear down. I am free without being free.
My therapist suggested that I should celebrate myself tomorrow. I shouldn’t make it a day about my mother, but make it a day to celebrate me and everything I’ve done. Bake a cake, do something special. I told her I had homework to do, but she said that wouldn’t take the whole day.
I can’t get away with anything with that woman.