Releasing the past in order to find myself

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I fucking hate my mom today.  She has been dragging this bullshit out for a week now, saying she's coming but that she isn't sure but maybe she can but maybe she can't.  Oh, woe is me!!
I am so, so tired of it.  And although, in the end, if she isn't able to come and I have to miss my event, so be it.  But what sucks, is that she showed her true colors today.  She lied, over and over, on the phone to me.  She took a moment that I really, really needed her and shit on me.  It was more than the little favor it seems to be.  As I was just explaining to a friend,  I needed this break.  I needed  this time for me and my husband. It was so much more important than it appeared on the surface.  And she knew that.  She knew exactly how much it would hurt me.  She knew exactly how much it would twist in my side.  She knew that I would know exactly what she was doing for me.  And she knew that I couldn't call her on it.  That she was being so damned sneaky about it, that there was no way to confront her.  What can I say?  I don't believe your hurting?  I don't believe what you say.  DH and I were talking about confronting his brother the other day.  He finally said, "why would I have an argument that I can't win?"  And that's the point I guess.  First, it shouldn't be an argument.  But the narc will always turn it into an argument.  It will turn into winning and losing.  And the narc will not lose.  And really, how do you argue with the wind?  Something that's shifty and shapeless and invisible.   Something that moves around and can throw almost anything in your face to distract you?  Why waste your damn breathe?
She's been laying the groundwork for this for so long, it'd be almost impressive if it didn't hurt so damned bad.  If I wasn't finally forced to see her for what she is.  If I wasn't given clear proof of how much she will hurt me in order to punish me.

Oh, and I almost forgot:  how's this for narcy behavior?  I also told NM about my kid's sudden, and upcoming serious medical procedure that we found out about today (I'm being vague for my anonymity.  And while it's a serious thing, it is somewhat routine and should all be OK.)  Guess who suddenly thought she should be here for that?!  You guessed, NM!  She sure couldn't put her pain and suffering aside to help me out.  But, miss a chance for some good ole narc supply?  Hell no!  The procedure is only a week later.  I guess she'll be seeing the witch doctor and coming by a miracle cure and then she can grace us with her presence to "help us out".  Yeah, right.  I told her hell no.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Dad

My dad has a lot of narcissistic qualities.  But he's not a narcissist.  He can be quite the asshole.  But he can also be really, really tender hearted.  He's the poster child for the damaged human being, who has wrapped himself in barbed wire.  He's depressed, chronically.  He's grouchy, anal retentive, and can be mean.  However, he encouraged me as a child.  Demanded (sometimes harshly, but not always) that I stand on my own two feet.  He expected me to succeed.  He forced me to be a better person.

When I was little, my family was always divided: me and my dad, and my mom and my sister.  It wasn't a natural division.  It was like when you pair up for the science project and the two BFF grasp hands and laugh, and the rejects are left over and have to pair up.  My mother and sister were joined at the hip from the beginning.  It filtered down to the most ridiculous things.  My sister, always, always had to sit by my mother. That included at any restaurant we were at, behind my mother's seat in the car, and next to her on the couch when we watched TV.  It was always this way.  It never ever changed.   I occasionally asked to sit by my mom.  It never ended well.  My sister would through the HUGEST FIT and she would end up with my mother.  I didn't always mind.  But I did a lot.  I always felt cast off.  I always felt like the left overs.  I never understood why it wasn't more equal.

Not that I didn't spend time with my mom, but it was always with my sister.  My mother and I never spent time alone.  Ever.  In fact, it often was my sister, my mom, and me.  We were always her companions, like those little dogs you see crazy women carrying around everywhere these days. I can only recall one or two "mother-daugher" moments.  She didn't discuss my friends with me, or have heart-to-hearts about boys.  She didn't ask about school or my theater or what I was reading or watching on TV.   The only moment I remember with her was when I told her my body was "changing".  She laughed and said she didn't believe me and demanded to "see".  Apparantly, I didn't impress her much by her reaction.  The other moment revolved around my period.  When it came to puberty and periods, my mother solved the problem by buying me a book.  She tossed it to me and told me to read it.  She didn't answer any questions, she didn't talk to me about it.  Nothing.  When I got my period, she immediately informed my dad.  I was mortified.  Anyway, the moment came when I was struggling to understand how exactly a tampon was to be used before a friend's big pool party.  She again handed me a diagram and left me to my devices.  Hmmm.  (I apologize for the personal nature of this paragraph).  When I couldn't figure it out, she offered to do it for me.  I sat on the side of the pool at the party.

Anyway, much of my time I was with my dad.  Actually, much of my time I spent alone or with my sister.   But my "assigned" parent was my dad.  So, I wandered out to the garage at times.  I learned to fish.  I tried to be interested in him.  I was never daddy's little girl.  Ever.  Once I made the mistake of calling him "daddy"  (I'd heard my friends call their dads that).  He raged against me for calling him such a childish nick name and demanded that I never call him that again.

We were not close, but I was closer to him than anyone else.  He did teach me things.  He wanted me to be self sufficient.  He didn't want me to depend on anyone and made sure I could handle my own.   I thought he was hard on me.   He sometimes helped me with homework (my mother never did).  He sometimes asked how I was doing.  In fact, through the horribleness of my parents' divorce, he was the only one who asked how I as doing.

As I wrote in my last post, he was an abusive disciplinarian.  He would strike me with a  belt and leave welts.   This punishment was handed out for many minor offenses.  I feared him.  He was explosive. More so towards my sister than me, but that almost was worse.   He was angry.  He never smiled.  He was grouchy.  He was sad.  He was bitter.  He was mean.  He liked to tease.  He told me to toughen up.  He told me to quit crying.  He told me to be stronger.

My dad had a good childhood, from what I'm told and can see.  I loved my grandparents.  My grandmother, while opinionated and stubborn, always seemed loving.  And in fact, I often found her to be one of the most loving people in my life.  She and I had a lot in common and she taught me a lot.  My grandfather was one of the sweetest people I knew, from what I remember.  But there was an incident in my dad's childhood that scarred him forever.  This is not an incident that I wish to share on this blog, as it is not mine to share, but it damaged him beyond belief.  Grandma says dad was always a very sad, unhappy boy.  That he was always a stubborn and sad person.  But I know that this incident changed him forever (and for the record, I don't believe that my grandmother knew about this incident.  Of course, we've never talked about the specifics.  My dad just told me that it happened, as way of explaining why he was such an ass.  This was during my parents' divorce and I really didn't need to handle this bomb shell too).  I believe, he felt my grandmother should have protected him and he harbors resentment to this day, but I could be wrong.  I believe it was this incident that pushed him into a life-long depression that he has never, and most likely will never, come out of.  A self-hating, angry, irritable depression that has made him difficult to love and be around.

But I do love my dad.  I also live in fear of upsetting him.  I never, ever feel comfortable speaking my mind to him.  I'm guarded around him.  I've only recently stood up to him, and my stomach almost loses it's contents every time I do.  It's almost exhilarating  in the risk when I say something to him, but more often, paralyzing.   He is the only person in my family who understands me in the least bit, not that he really gets me at all.  I know that he was not present through a lot of my childhood and just let my mother run the show.  I know that he needed to step up, help me, and reach out.  But he was too busy swimming in his own shit to save me.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Your Life is Better Than Her's

I apologize ahead of time for the scatter-brained nature of this post.

NM is playing games again.  I've mentioned before that she promised me a favor.  I knew ahead of time that she'd make me pay.  And pay she has.  It started almost a month ago.  She has to travel to my home for this favor.  Normally, I'd get 500 phone calls/emails/texts wanting to discuss the trip.  She said nothing.  And she continued to say nothing about the trip.  I thought, OK, well, let's play this out.  See how far it goes.  Well, two weeks ago, she started laying the groundwork.  I knew it was coming.  Tomorrow is NSIS's  "follow-up" appointment with the doctor.  I knew she was keeping her options open, in case she had to rush to NSis's side.  So, she started mentioning little things.  Slipping in how she wasn't feeling well.  Not returning my emails when I flat asked her if she was still coming.  She left my emails dangling for three whole days (this is a woman who texts/emails/calls several times a day.  I don't answer or respond, just for the record).  Finally, she decides to reply that she's "planning on coming."    Two days later, I get an email that she's got some physical ailment that will prevent her from coming...maybe...sort of.  Now, I'm annoyed.    I called out her bullshit.  Because, even though I can replace her, I actually kind of needed this favor.  And she knew that.  And she knew that it was actually a bit of an honor for me to have asked her  for this favor.  But instead of having any sort of acknowledgement of the honor (I know that sounds weird, since she's doing the favor for me) that I would select her to do this important thing for me, she's rubbing my nose in it.  I got pissed.  I called her bluff.  I told her not to worry about it.  Of course, then she became "cured"...sort of...but most likely.  Ugh.  The game playing.  I know, I know, quit playing her game.  I am glad that I didn't rise to her bait.  I didn't react.  I measured my responses.  I didn't let her get to me.  So, I guess we'll see how it all plays out.

You'd think that's be she'd be the one most on my mind, with all her game playing, but really it's my dad.  He's been trying to get a hold of me for awhile now.  We've been playing phone tag.  As I've told you all, I've been very busy (funeral, out of town on vacation, out of town wedding, "single parent" for several nights while DH was out of town, etc.).  Plus, I've got two little kids.  Trying to fit in phone calls (and these are not five minute calls, but usually an hour or so) in between naps, lunch, baths, dinner, doctor's appointments, and school is difficult.  I usually have two free hours a day.  And by free, I mean that I get two hours to clean, cook, shower, and maybe, just maybe have some time for myself.  I'm not complaining, it's just life right now.  I can't talk on the phone when my kids are around because they start to fight for my attention.  And dad would not be happy about screaming kids in the background.  So, I tried to call him back several times, over several weeks.  Then, I knew he was going out of town on vacation.  So, I popped an email out saying that he should let me know when he gets back.  Well, as soon as he gets back, he calls and starts out with a comment about how I'm difficult to get a hold of.  Then, he makes some crack about my husband being in a profession of crooks (and just for the record, he doesn't have a high opinion of 99% of the population or their profession).  I'm starting to get annoyed.  He asks if I've heard from my sister.  I say no.  I tell him that she won't return my calls and I'm done trying to get a hold of her.  He says she won't call him back either and says he's about to write us BOTH off and quite calling us.  WTF.  How did I get lumped in with her?  He's always lumping me in with her.  He transfers his feelings about us back and forth like we are two ends of the same sea.  It takes me a minute to regroup.  My dad can be vicious.  He can also be very nice and kind.  He was much more vicious when I was a kid but he's been better for a long time now.  I'm always on alert, though.  I always expect the verbal beat down.

But I'm determined to be strong and stand up for myself.  I catch my breath and tell him that what he said was fucked up.  That lumping me in with his entitled, take everything, spoiled daughter is not cool.  That I, unlike her, have tried to call him back, several times.

 He doesn't say anything.  We move on.  We talk circles around my spoiled sister again.  He says he's tired of going circles around the same conversation (he always thinks he gets determine when a conversation is over).  We talk about my childhood.  He seems surprised when I tell him how life was with my mom and sister.  Genuinely surprised.  I wonder where the hell he was when I was a kid.  How he missed so much.  He apologizes for being such an ass when I was a kid.  He says he was a bad parent.  I believe he is sincere in his regret.  I know he's gained a lot of perspective and he knows he was abusive.   He hit us.  Not a lot, but enough.  Always for "discipline".  Problem was, the punishment never fit with the crime.  He hit us with a belt (that we had to go get) for not doing the dishes, fighting, not cleaning our rooms.  He left welts.  I have struggled for so long with this.  I always excused it.  He was only disciplining us, my child-mind rationalized.  It was  the only way he knew how.  That's what his parents did.    Everyone's parents spanked them.  I'm beginning to think they didn't.  And I don't know why, but his admitting it, made me feel free.  Like I could also speak out and say it was not OK what he did.

The conversation was heavy, but we moved on to my mother's and my sister's relationship.  I fished out a couple of things about narcissism to see how he'd react.  He agrees that my mother is deceitful.  He agrees she enables my sister.  But when I suggested that she likes to keep my sister dependent on her so that she can feel important he was stunned.  Why would a mom sabotage her own daughter? he asked, in disbelief.  I knew that he wouldn't be able to hear any more on the subject.

I tried to make it back to my original point.  See, he's been enabling NSis a lot lately too.  Sending her money, asking for no accountability from her.  Allowing her to continue to behave like a spoiled child.  I wanted him to know that I'm not trying to punish NSis.  I'm not in some petty sibling feud.  I told him that I expect her to treat me with the same dignity and respect and love that I've always treated her.  That the relationship needs to be reciprocal.  That she has obligations to me too.  He agreed.  He said that he didn't feel like it was my role to provide for her or take care of her.  I believed him.

But then he said, "But in the end, you're life is better than her's."  And there it was.  The excuse.  The dismissal.  The proof that, no matter how upset he is about how she acts towards him, he doesn't understand me at all.  That he does feel I owe her something.  Because my life is "better".  DH, when I told him this, said "well, that's awfully subjective.  I know lots of people who'd rather have her life than yours."  Which is true.  She has no responsibility.  She has no accountability.  She parties and sleeps until noon and spends money on herself.  Now, is she happy?  No.  Does she want more?  Yes.  But her life isn't some horrible mess.  And if it is, it's ALL due to choices she's made.  She's made the choice to lead her life the way she has.  And while I love my life, my kids, and my husband, it's no walk in the park all of the time.  My sister would fall apart with 2 years of three-hours-of-sleep a night, the endless routine of taking care of kids, kids puking in your hands, cleaning, cooking, and caring for others,  all to do it all over the next day.  To be responsible and think of someone besides herself would not be her cup of tea.  I love my life.  My sister, would not.  My dad would prefer my life, but not everyone thinks like my dad.    And even, let's assume, that my life is better?  Does that excuse her behavior?  Does that make me responsible for her?  Does that make her not responsible?  Does that make her unaccountable?  No, I don't think it does.

Friday, September 21, 2012


lyrics: Eddie Vedder

Son, she said, have I got a little story for you
What you thought was your daddy was nothin' but a...
While you were sittin' home alone at age thirteen
Your real daddy was dyin', sorry you didn't see him, but I'm glad we talked...
Oh I, oh, I'm still alive
Hey, I, I, oh, I'm still alive
Hey I, oh, I'm still alive

Oh, she walks slowly, across a young man's room
She said,  I'm ready...for you
I can't remember, anything, to this very day
'Cept the look, the look...
Oh, you know where, now I can't see, I just stare...
I, I'm still alive

Hey I, but, I'm still alive
Hey I, boy, I'm still alive
Hey I, I, I, I'm still alive, yeah
Ooh yeah...yeah yeah yeah...oh...oh...

Is something wrong, she said
Well of course there is!
You're still alive, she said
Oh, and do I deserve to be?
Is that the question?
And if so...if so...who answers...who answers...

I, oh, I'm still alive
Hey I, oh, I'm still alive
Hey I, but, I'm still alive
Yeah I, ooh, I'm still alive

I recommend googling a live version of this song.  I don't really know how to link (OK, I'm too lazy to work it out) but hearing this music live is why this song speaks to me.  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wisdom of a Community

So, some questions have been banging around in my head lately.  I am hoping that any of you, or all of you, will have some insights for me.  I welcome anyone, and everyone, to offer up thoughts on anything or everything.  

1.  Enmeshment:  So, I get it.  I've read a lot about it.  I've seen the defintions.  In theory, I get it.  But what does it really look like in a narcissistic family?  Do you have some examples from your life or those you've seen written about.  How can you distinguish a "close" family from an "enmeshed" family?  And I've seen the examples about the family who pressures the kids into the family business, etc.  I'm looking for more "everyday" examples...does that make sense?  Also, any good websites or articles on enmeshment would be appreciated.  

2.  How do I know if I actually am over-analyzing something?  I know that in the past I've been told I'm over-analyzing things in order to get me to back down.  It has been used against me.  But, could it be possible, that I am, at times, over analyzing?  Am I reading into things too much?  Am I stuck into thinking about narcissistic personality traits, that I'm applying them to everyone?  Or am I really just attracting narcs like fly paper?  And on the same hand (but opposite fingers), how do I know if I'm being oversensitive?  We speak a lot about sensitivity being used as a character flaw against us inappropriately.  But are their times when I am just oversensitive?  Do I need to let some things roll off my back more?  Are their times I take things personally that are not really about me?

3.  Which leads me to...where is the line between "putting myself first, prioritizing me, protecting myself" and being self-absorbed and narcissistic?  Sometimes, all of this putting myself first stuff makes me feel selfish.  Sometimes I feel, that by not reaching out and extending myself, I'm being self-absorbed.   I hope that makes sense.  I mean, where do my self-preservation begin and my fleas end?

4.  How much support should I have/should I now offer to my sister?  She didn't call me, she hasn't told me, she sends messages through my parents.  We were not on "unfriendly" terms before this but this newest development doesn't surprise me?  What are my obligations to her?  I've reached out twice.  Do I just let it go now?  NM likes to preach "taking the high road" and not dropping down to someone else's level (ironic, huh?).  But I do wonder.  Am I punishing her for not telling me by not calling her again?  How far do I extend myself out?  I don't feel like it is a vindictive move on my part to not contact her again.  I don't feel anger towards her for it.  It sometimes feels like a relief.   Finally, just getting it out of the way and giving up the "pretend" relationship.  But am I just being stubborn?

5.  Where is the difference between NC, or even LC, and "withholding" one's self?  I saw a talk show today.  The one daughter, the obvious scapegoat, was discussing her abuse with her mother.  Of course, the golden child other daughter jumped on.  This talk-show host introduced the subject as "turning her back" on her family.   Is this just what we are up against as ACoNs?  Having the fucking world think we are turning our backs by establishing boundaries, refusing to be hurt?  Is it ever a punishment someone chooses to inflict on someone by withholding themselves?  Is it just a more amped-up version of  "I'm not talking to you"?  (And, I must say as I write this, I hope no one gets offended.  I'm not judging or suggesting that any NC ACoN is playing this game.  In fact, as I wrote this, a light bulb went off and I realized...The "I'm not talking to you" game is meant to control and demand behavior out of someone else.  Going NC has nothing to do with controlling someone else, but rather, taking control of our own lives....So, maybe I answered my own question.)

And lastly, (although I think I have more questions that will pop up.  Be prepared for Post of Questions #2):

6.  How do I reconcile the fact that I do feel empathy for my mother and sister?  They are both ACoNs too. And in fact, my grandmother was a much worse narcissist than my mother.  I know that that does not excuse my NM's behavior towards me.  But she did, somewhat, try to do better than her mother (a fact she never lets me forget).   She was better.  She made progress.  Her progress has allowed me to be a better mother.   And hopefully, my kids will be better parents than me.  But progress does not excuse or erase her behavior. I empathize with what she went through.  And it's hard for me to line up these two images I have of her.  The narcissistic banshee that continually rips out my soul and the lost little girl who was treated horribly.   That somehow, didn't stand a chance.  Even my sister.  I know what she went through.  And even though she was the GC, she was also the rebel, so life could often be very, very much worse for her.  Her childhood was no picnic either.  Yet, she treats me horribly.  She treats damn near everyone horribly.  How do I let go of that little, little girl that I wanted to protect (and still want to protect) like she was my own daughter?  How do I stop allowing my empathy for my mother's wounded little girl from coloring my abilities to set boundaries in my own life?

Monday, September 17, 2012


Cal's Sis checked in on me today.  I can't tell you what that meant to me.  For someone, even if it is from blogger-land, to reach out and want to know if I'm OK.  Do you know how rarely that happens in my life?  I mean, in the "general" times when people are supposed to call, they mostly do.  But for someone to reach out, just out of nowhere meant a lot to me.

I have been stalled.  Or paralyzed.  Just stuck.  These last few weeks have been hard.  I laugh at myself from earlier in the summer.  Truly not believing that things might have changed.  That there was peace on the horizon for me.  Maybe the relationships would never be what I wanted, but I thought I could live with what I was left with and come out on the other side.  But I knew.  I knew deep down that something was coming. That it was a calm before the storm.  That it was only a matter of time before the shit hit the fan again. Sometimes I feel paranoid.  I've been told that I am always looking for trouble.  That I'm always anticipating bad things with little reason to.  But the thing is, that's life for an ACoN.  Living life on red alert.  It's not paranoia.  Because these damn things DO keep happening.  There is always crazy being lobbed at me.  It happens like a broken record playing over and over.  It's almost to such regularity that I can predict it.

What I didn't expect was that it was going to be war on all fronts.  That I would be like a narcissistic-zombie apocalypse of shit.  You know, like in the scene of the movie where the girl is running up to the old abandoned house.  Alone, isolated, and with a minimum of resources.  And the zombies are dragging them selves up the hill to the house, ringing her in from every angle.  Closing in with suffocating relentlessness.

So, to start with, I've had to people die within the last few weeks.  One a family member I loved and the other a family member of a very close friend.  Both were so sad.  Both got me thinking about life and family in very different ways.  I found out my son might need surgery (somewhat routine, but still a bit scary), attended a wedding, went on vacation, attend a funeral, and traveled twice with my young kids a significant distance by myself.  Back-to-school, a nasty throwing-up cold with my kids, and dentist and doctors appointments for two young kids.  I've had very little time to process anything and I've been exhausted by trying to deal with life on top of all the other crap.

You'll remember that my BIL and SIL were complete asses at my son's party (see "So, How did it Go?").  This is not unusual for them.  They are self-absorbed and spoiled and thoughtless.  It didn't seem to bother them that they were causing obscene amounts of drama.  DH and I wondered if we had upset them.  Two days later we all were at a family get together.  DH and I wondered if they would bring up whatever the hell they were so upset with us for.  But they said nothing.  They acted like nothing was unusual with DH.  They were friendly and talkative.  But they ignored me.  No hellos.  No goodbyes.  No, hey, how's it going.  Completely ignored me.  It's been that way for the next two weeks.  No communication.  No talking.  BIL hates confrontation and it was clear he was hoping that by ignoring me, it would all blow over.  That he would just push it all under the rug.  Like we've always done.  Whenever someone acts like an ass, we just ignore it, move on and never speak of it again.  It frustrated me.  I couldn't help but see the hypocrisy as my BIL (a minister) spoke at one of the funerals about "family" and "memories" and "good times".  I finally approaced my BIL at another family even a week later.  He was nervous and treated me like I was a great-aunt.  In a distance, general small talk way.  It pissed me off.  It added tension to situations that didn't need, and shouldn't have been that way.  It confirmed to me that any delusion of "family" with my in-laws was just that, a delusion.  The relationship with these people has eroded and eroded the last few years and I can see that it has little hope of coming around.

My sister, with the cancer, has not contacted me at all.  I continue to get "updates" from NM, but even she admits that she is "still learning" new information about it all.   She gives the impression that NSis is not being fully up front.  She updates me daily, but she also lets it slip that NSis is hardly talking to her at all.  NSis has removed all ways of communicating with her except by phone.  I did try once to call.  I tried to think about what I felt I needed to do, outside of her behavior.  She didn't deserve a call.  She hasn't acknowledged anything in my life lately.  She is sitting waiting for me to beg her for information, to be her complete sounding board, to spend hours hanging on every sob.  She wants all of my attention, time, and devotion.  She's waiting for me to prove to her she's important.  But she hasn't called, or told me actually what in the hell her diagnosis is.  She won't communicate with me (or anyone).  I hear tale that, after publicly outing herself, she's sick of all the people trying to comfort her.  But I was trying to choose a behavior based on what I felt was right, not on who the recipient would be.  So, I called her.  No surprise she didn't answer.  Or call back.  So, I'm still in the dark.  I vacillate between sadness, apathy, and anger with the situation.

NM made excuses for NSis not calling.  Her phone was off, she never saw the calls, she's tired, she's worn out, life's rough.  You know the drill.  Even when I explained that I left a message, so claiming ignorance wasn't going to work for me.  And for the record, I don't even know if NSis came up with these excuses or NM is just making them up for her.

NM has been in a tizzy.  Another bout of medical issues has befallen her.  I've been getting paragraphs-long emails describing the "horrible" details of her and several family members medical maladies.  It is exhausting.   Plus, she's supposed to help me out with something in the next few weeks.  She begged me to let her help me.  We had made firm plans.  Now, when I asked her about this favor, she's chosen to ignore me emails.  The lady who emails me twice a day at times, suddenly has "lost my number".   More fucking games.  I'm she's trying to teach me a lesson.  Trying to get me to see how she feels when I don't get back to her right away.  Trying to let me swing in the wind awhile.  Maintaining her power and feelings of control and revenge.  Drawing it out, so she can suck ever last morsel from the drama.  I'm ready to call her out on it but I wanted to see how long she'd play her little game.   I know she's seen my message, as I've seen her on social networking sites since.  And I'm guessing that in the end, she'll back out of helping me.  Claiming that she may need to be there for NSis or that someone else will need her or that she can't take any more on right now.  Whatever.  It makes me angry.  That she would play such fucking games.  That, knowing that this is an important favor, she's going to use it to hurt me.  That she doesn't give a shit that the favor I need from her is actually an honor because I chose her to do it.   That she can only be a parent to one of her kids at a time, and that kid will never be me (unless it benefits her.)

Throw in a couple of intense discussions with some friends who have been less than supportive lately.  Then a discussion with a fellow friend with a NPD mother.  She was supportive and nice.  But it was the wrong place and time for such a discussion.  I would up feeling like emotional and exposed and a bit sheepish about the whole thing.  I had never broached that personal of a conversation with her in person before (although I had on email) and I couldn't tell how she received it.  She's been great since, but I still feel stupid.

It's just all so damn overwhelming.  It's been so overwhelming for the past month.  I have dishes and laundry and mopping piled up high.  I have chores that I have no energy to do.  I haven't even had the energy to blog.  I have had stuff to say, but I've been so fuzzy that I can't get a coherent thought flowing (as evidenced by this post.)  But, everyday I'm putting one foot in front of the other.  I'm getting out of bed.  I asked DH to help pick up some of my slack.  To give me some breaks.  It's just all so much.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Sometimes, being an ACoN can seem intensely isolating.  It's been touched on in many posts, across many blogs.  The isolation, the loneliness, the feeling of being an out-cast, an outsider.  An outsider most of all in our own families.  Isolated, sometimes, in our own mind, as we struggle with reality and the reality that our narcs have created for us.  Isolated, thinking we are the only soul in the world  that feels like we do.

When I was little, I don't remember my mother encouraging me to have many friendships.  Outside of my sister.  She liked me and my sister to get along.  I get that.  I would like my kids to be friends.  But that's up to them.  They need to grow and develop their own relationship.  Anyway, I don't remember my mother asking about my friends or expressing any real interest in my social life at all.  She didn't discourage it, but she just never seemed to care.  My sister and I spent a lot of time with her.  Shopping, running errands.  Doing the things she did.  Where she went, we went.  Because I had allergies, I often couldn't stay at friends' houses for sleepovers or go visit.  So, by design, I was even more isolated.  I remember a few birthday parties.  When I did go,  I remember feeling guilty.  So, obligated, even at 8 or 9 or 10 to be with my family.  Feeling like spending time with my family was the most important thing to do.  It seems so weird to think back on.  I mean, obviously, I was picking up on those messages from NM so early.  But also, that even at 10, I did feel family was important.  I somehow, never took them for granted.  And it all seems so ironic now.

I had one or two close friends in my life.  I always had a group of friends.  I always did things.  But I had only one or two "best friends".   One moved away in sixth grade.  The other stole money from me (a lot of money), helped my sister get abused and took advantage of my sister herself (had her steal a car at 14), and then never spoke to me again.  I always seemed to be gathering the wrong kinds of friends.  I always was the "odd-man out".  On the fringe of the group, but never really fitting in.  Never having true intimacy and friendship.  I spent many days in the "friendship triangle".  The third, odd-ball girl in relationship of friends.  Think Phoebe, in friends.  Except she was happy to be the individual.  I was not the free-wheeling, independent, happy-my-self girl Phoebe was.   I always just felt left out.  Repeating, and repeating the relationship I had with my sister and mother.  Sometimes being closer to one than the other.  But never being in the "primary relationship" and always knowing they'd choose each other over me any day.

When I got to college, an acquaintance pushed me into a sorority.  I actually found a lot of kinship at first in the house.  These happened to be sweet, down to earth women.  But I soon found myself repeating the same patterns.  Feeling left out.  Being cast as the "weirdo".  Replaying same old dramas from my childhood.  All the while, my family life at home was dissolving.  Looking back, I know that some of the friendships I should have pursued, I pushed aside.  There were friendships I might have had, but I wouldn't allow myself a good friend.  There definitely were toxic women I knew, but a lot of the blame was my fucked up strategies to relationships.  Things fell more and more apart, internally, in my family and in my life.  So, feeling misunderstood and oh, so lonely in a home of 40 women, I moved out.  And I swore off friendship.

Over the years, I've only lately begun to trust women.  I don't have a lot of faith in them.  And, I believe I tend to attract woman who just want me to be their rock, be their sounding board.  I've attracted a lot of mean, spiteful women.  I've never known the true feelings of those friendships I've seen others have or on TV.   I don't have a close cousin or an aunt.   I had hoped with my in-laws that I'd develop some sort of relationship.  But, you all know how that has turned out.

So, here I sit.  Feeling like a social misfit.  It's hard to explain to people.  Why you don't have a good girlfriend.  Every woman has her friends.  People always say they don't trust women who have no women friends.  And here I sit.  I'm always much more comfortable with men.  I like that they (tend to be) more blunt, to the point, and honest.  They don't generally play games.  They don't get jealous and catty.  They talk about more than who has the cutest clothes and who needs to loose weight.  I know, I know, I'm stereotyping.  I know lots and lots of women are not like this.  But these are the women I've had in my life.

DH always says I need more women friends.  I try to explain that I don't want any.  I fear the neediness of a female relationship.  The phone calls.  The hour long emotional chats.  They needing-to-talk several times a week.   I'm so not that girl.  I hate shopping with other women.  I know, weird.  (And ironically, the only person I do like shopping with is my sister.)  I'd be OK to talk on the phone here and there.  But my mom and sister trap me on the phone and now I feel I have a phobia. Like I'll be trapped.   Hours later, I'm stuck in a repetitive conversation about the troubles they've gone through and them not wanting a solution.  I've never learned (or been able to) end a conversation without feeling guilty.  I don't trust a lot of women.  I don't believe they will be there when I need them.  I don't believe they won't sell me out.

And on top of it, I just don't feel like a lot of people can relate to me.  I see Facebook posts saying "I am so at home when my mom visits."  or "Everything is better when my mom is here."  You know, people who's mom makes life easier.  Better.  Less stressful.  I have no idea what that feels like.  And I struggle to explain me.  My life, my reality.  I've had more than one friend accuse me of being unfair to my NM or NMIL.  I've had friends, unable to see my fear of leaving my boys with the narcs, get angry for me not being able to go out.  And I have so many friends that I feel take advantage of me, use me and DH, or just disregard us when we are not useful.  The worst part is, I don't know when someone is really treating me badly and when I'm just sensitive  to being walked on (because although I hate being called "oversensitive" the reality is, sometimes I am, well, let's say "ultra sensitive".  Somethings hurt more because I've been so badly burned already.)  I have one, or two, girlfriends that I really talk to.  But even they don't understand what it's like to process all of this shit (in fact, no one knows I'm even doing all of this processing.)

I recently revealed to a friend I was feeling closer too about my NM and NMIL.  She, too, has a NM.  We were friends before, but when I found that out, I suddenly felt...I don't know, not like an outsider?  Anyway, I told her about my NM over email (we usually communicate by email when not in person.  Although impersonal, we both feel it works for us.)  I didn't get a response.  I don't know if she just is waiting to talk in person.  But it worries me.  Makes me anxious.

So, I'm lonely.  I feel like an outcast.  I have an active social life.  I know many people would say I'm their friend.  I know a lot of people would say they like me.  But even in a room filled with these people, I know now one of them truly knows me.  No one understands me.  So, although I'm surrounded by people, I'm lonely.