She didn’t deserve you

I was feeling rather confident going into my therapy session on Monday.

After all, I made it through Mother’s Day relatively unscathed. I felt a small sense of pride in being able to handle the holiday as well as I did. Mother’s Day is one of, if not the most, difficult holiday of the year for me.

Mother’s Day is not a pleasant holiday when your mother is a narcissistic sociopath. Mother’s Day is a horrible, painful reminder when your own mother was also your abuser.

I felt like writing those cards to myself and to my egg donor that Saturday night really put me on a better path. I got out most of what I needed to say. I read the card I wrote to myself over and over, trying to absorb its truth. And I think, in some ways, I did.

I brought the cards with me to therapy on Monday, just in case there was nothing else to talk about and I needed to fill time (Who am I kidding – there is ALWAYS something to talk about and there is NEVER enough time). I mentioned them to my therapist. She asked if I would be willing to share the one I wrote to myself. I hesitated a bit, and then downplayed the whole thing as lame. After all, who writes to themselves? It’s such a weird thing.

I got over the weirdness and took my card out of my bag. I managed to read the card all the way through without getting overly emotional. I had already read it to myself so many times within the two days prior, that the words were starting to become me. I told my therapist how I spent the day, the positive steps I took, the negative ones I avoided. She was proud of me.

But even with all of the positive things I did on that day, I found myself still missing, still grieving the absence of a mother. I laid in bed that night and stared at a picture of my egg donor for a good half an hour or so. It’s the only picture I have of her. I found it on Facebook on another person’s page awhile back and saved it to my phone. I don’t know why I did it; I don’t need any pictures of that woman. But I can’t seem to find it in my heart to delete it. So I stared at it, and went through a plethora of emotions, from sadness to anger to just feeling…blank. Here was this woman who no one really knows, pretending to be normal and decent. She even cracked a quarter of a smile. It wasn’t genuine, but at a quick glance, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

After a while, I made myself put my phone down. I was not going to torture myself any longer. It wasn’t fair to me.

I told my therapist about that moment, about all of the emotions I was going through, about my lack of understanding on why I did it. I told her about the card I wrote to my egg donor. My therapist then asked if I would be willing to share it with her. Whew. I don’t know. My emotions were running pretty high when I wrote it. It actually took me awhile to write it, as I would write a paragraph and then put it aside and decompress for a bit before starting to write again.

I took a deep breath, got the card out, and showed my therapist what I had written on the front of the card. A little twisted humor, maybe, but truthful humor at that. I started to read it out loud. As I got closer to the middle of the card, talking about how I thought something was wrong with me, I felt the emotions starting to come up. As I read the words I lived in fear of my own mother, I started to cry. I remembered what it was like to live in fear. As an adult, I realize how unfair that was to my child self. No child should have to fear their own parent. But that was my normal.

Through tears, I continued to read the rest of the card. By the end, I was a bit of a controlled emotional mess. I was angry, sad, lost, and empowered all at the same time. I was able to recognize that I didn’t need my mother anymore, but that didn’t change the fact that I needed a mother before and never had one.

I wanted it to be my mother that I was reading the card to. I wanted her to hear my words, to know how she has affected me. I wanted it to be her feeling for me, and not my therapist. But that will never happen. And even if it did, it wouldn’t matter. My mother is incapable of empathy. She doesn’t think she has done anything wrong. If it’s not about her, she doesn’t care. I can’t change that.

As I wiped my tears away, my therapist said “she didn’t deserve you.”

For how much of a decent human being I am, how caring and good-hearted I am, and all of that, my mother did not deserve me as a daughter. I never thought of it that way. All of this time I had been focusing on the fact that I deserved a real mother; I never thought that my mother didn’t deserve me. But my therapist. That woman didn’t deserve me. She doesn’t now.

She will never deserve me.

Runaway

I listen to music every day: while I’m walking to work in the morning, while I’m riding on the bus, while I’m working, while I’m walking about the neighborhood, and even while I’m at home working on other things. Music helps distract me when I need distraction. It helps keep me focused when I need to drown out whatever is going on in my head. Music is a big part of my life.

When I really take time and listen to the lyrics, there are some songs that resonate with me. I was sitting at my desk earlier today with my iTunes on shuffle, and P!nk’s Runaway started playing. I started really paying attention to the lyrics and I realized there were parts of it that so closely related to my earlier life.

I was just trying to be myself
You go your way, I’ll meet you in hell
All these secrets that I shouldn’t tell, I’ve got to run away
It’s hypocritical of you
Do as you say not as you do
I’ll never be your perfect girl
I’ve got to run away

I’m too young to be
Taken seriously
But I’m too old to believe
All this hypocrisy
And I wonder
How long it’ll take them to see my bed is made
And I wonder
If I was a mistake

I might have nowhere left to go
But I know that I cannot go home
These voices trapped inside my head
Tell me to run before I’m dead
Chase the rainbows in my mind
And I will try to stay alive
Maybe the world will know my name
God won’t you help me run away!

-P!nk

Throughout my life, I tried to be a good daughter. It took me some time to realize that no matter what I did, I would never be good enough for my mother. She didn’t want me to be good enough, because that meant that some of the attention was taken from her. Narcissists don’t like that.

Secrets. I was tired of keeping secrets. I got to a point where I wanted to shout to the world exactly what I was going through, exactly the type of person my mother was. I started to, little by little. I was tired of staying silent. And that put me in a dangerous situation, because I was still living with the very person I was starting to speak out against.

When I talk about my journey to freedom, I sometimes (without thinking) refer to my new life in terms of running away from my old life. I’ll say “when I ran away from home”. People don’t really understand what I mean when I say that. I’m an adult. Adults don’t run away from home. They just come and go as they please.

Except I couldn’t. I was living in what was essentially a prison.  When I left on July 10th, I ran away. At 29 years old, I ran away from home. I may have left out the front door, but that’s only because I was three stories up and had no other exit.

I wasn’t really 100% sure where I was going to end up, but I knew at that point that I had to leave. If I had stayed much longer, I would not be sitting here today. And I recognize that reality. So much was going on in the months before my escape. It was dangerous. It was a dangerous place to be. I knew when I ran out the front door that day, I could never go back.

I did not run away from life; I ran towards it. Those first 29 years and four months of my existence were not life.

I ran away so I could live.

An Open Letter to the Children of Toxic Mothers

If you are reading this right now, I want you to know some things.

Everything you are feeling is valid.

You are allowed to be angry. You are allowed to be sad. You are allowed to be frustrated, pissed off, and mad at the world. You are allowed to feel any way you want and need to feel.

You don’t have to love your mother. Despite what society tells you, some mothers aren’t all that great. Sometimes, they are downright toxic. They may have hurt you, abused you, maligned you, or made you feel worthless. These mothers don’t deserve your love and respect. They didn’t earn that yet, and they possibly never will.

You are not a bad person for not loving your mother. Sometimes, it takes as much strength not to love as it does to love.

And if you do love your mother, even after all she’s done to you, that’s okay, too.

You know why? Because everything you feel is valid. Your heart and mind know the truth; the truth that people on the outside can’t see (or choose not to see).

Never let anyone make you feel bad for how you feel.

Go ahead and let out that anger. Go ahead and cry. You are allowed to grieve the loss of the mother you should have had, the relationship you deserved.

You are not obligated to anyone but yourself. You don’t owe your mother anything, despite what she or others may tell you.

You deserved more than a toxic mother.

I know it hurts. I feel the pain every day. I feel the emptiness within my heart where my mother should be, but isn’t. It’s a pain that only those of us with toxic mothers can understand. It’s a pain that lingers and never quite goes away. A piece of you feels like it’s missing.

You can still find that missing piece. You can still find that love and care you should have gotten from your mother. Sometimes, you find it in other family. Sometimes, you find it in friends. It may already be within you. You just have to connect the pieces.

You are worth it.

Take care of yourself. Be your own mother. You deserve it.

Don’t believe her, she’s bipolar.

My mother worked hard to isolate me from the rest of the world.

She did it in childhood by instilling into me a fear of the outside. As I grew up, she isolated me by telling everyone else I was crazy and a liar.

I knew for years that she was telling people I was close to lies about me. She was telling people at my work, and people I considered my friends. It was pointless to fight against her. She had her game down pat. She would talk all of her shit about me, and then would tell a sob story about how she was so hurt by my behaviors, how she just didn’t understand why I treated her so badly, why I hated her so much.

Why I treated her so badly? Guess who was paying the bills, cooking meals for the ‘family’, and cleaning up after everyone. Me. Who bought a vehicle for her? Me. I certainly didn’t need the vehicle; I’ve never even had a license. I did all of that because that’s what she instilled in me since youth. If I didn’t support her financially, I was selfish and bad. Yet even when I did support her, she’d still tell people I was selfish and bad. I could never win.

The biggest blow came last spring, when I realized just how low my mother would go to sabotage my life. I woke up to a series of text messages from my mother. My mother allegedly thought she was texting my brother the whole time, and then conveniently realized her mistake a few texts later and then started texting me this sob story about how she was so concerned about me and blah blah blah. I say blah blah blah because that’s all it was. Lies and nonsense. I could see right through her. And I would bet my life savings that her texting me this was no accident. My brother and I have names on complete opposite sides of the alphabet. For a woman so careful in every action of her life, she would never make a mistake like that. She wanted me to read this. She wanted me to know that she was in control of everything and everyone, even the people I called friends.

My mother told everyone she met that I was bipolar, as if it were the main descriptive criterion of my entire existence. She never told anyone how intelligent I was, how selfless I was, how hard I worked…no, instead she told everyone that her daughter was crazy. Even worse, I don’t even have bipolar disorder. She liked to throw that diagnosis around because it came with all the added stigma that played perfectly into her game.

What kind of person tells everyone that their child hurts themselves as a part of regular conversation? I guess she used it to add on to my “crazy” label. But why did nobody question WHY I was hurting myself for the last 19 years? Ten year-old children don’t normally understand self-injury, and they shouldn’t comprehend that type of pain. That is a red flag that everyone just kept ignoring.

Why did nobody question why this woman’s other child, her adult son, my brother, was also hurting himself? What are the odds that a perfectly innocent parent raises two children who end up with psychological problems and extensive self-injury? If I had to hazard a guess, I would say those odds are pretty low. But damnit, my mother just played on people’s emotions like a violin. The odds never mattered because all people could focus on was my mother’s fictitious plight.

She just picks up and leaves without saying anything to anyone! Oh my God, someone call the police! I say that jokingly, but my mother would threaten to call the cops in the rare times I managed to escape from home prison for a few hours unsupervised. But why did no one see an issue with this? Why would her 29 year-old daughter need to ask permission to leave the house? THIS IS NOT NORMAL BEHAVIOR. It angers me that people did not question her at all. It really angers me. They enabled her, allowing her behavior to continue until the day I finally left.

She doesn’t want friends. Wow. I longed for friends. I never had real friends as a child. I was never allowed to spend time with anyone outside of school, and I was never allowed to have anyone over our house. I was alone my entire life. I looked forward to work because that was the only way I could have friendships. Unfortunately, that also meant my friendships were easier for my mother to control, because she had access to everyone I also had access to. I can’t imagine how many people she told these same lies to. I can’t think about all of the people I could have gotten closer to had my mother not poisoned their opinions of me with her lies. I actually had a few people come forward in the months after I left and told me similar stories – that my mother had told them I didn’t want any friends, that I didn’t like anyone, and that I thought I was too good for people. I would be lying if I said it doesn’t hurt me. It hurts me to this day.

She thinks she’s better than everyone else. That could not be farther from the truth. I still struggle with my own self-worth. My problem is I don’t think enough of myself, not that I think too much of myself. I downplay my intelligence and my abilities. I treat myself like shit often because that’s how my parents treated me. I never thought I was better than everyone else. I thought I was worthless and undeserving of life. I figured I never had any friends because I didn’t deserve them. I didn’t realize that my mother played a hand in every aspect of my life, even my potential relationships with others.

The truth is that my mother thinks she is better than everyone else. She believes that she is worthy of respect, that she is above the law, and that she deserves everything to be handed to her.

I can’t find it in my heart to delete these screenshots from my phone. The day this happened, I realized that I could trust no one. I realized that my mother had poisoned everything and everyone around me. It hurt then, and it still hurts now.

It hurts because I know my mother continues to tell lies about me, even to other members in our family. She tells people I have problems, that I make up stories. For so many years, I didn’t fight back.

Today, I have chosen to fight back. I sent a letter to my grandmother tonight. I told her why I left. I told her the truth about me. She deserves to know the truth, and not the lies my mother has continued to tell. I will not continue to be torn down by this woman any longer. I don’t deserve it.

 

My mother, the sociopath

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.