Any contact with my mother – and these days it’s usually on the phone – leaves me with an emotional hang-over that lasts at the very minimum 48-hours. It’s like a migraine and leaves me with feelings of nausea, pain, misery and anxiety.
I’ll tell you the reason why; every phone call with my mother involves me having to treat her with the utmost care and attention and walk on eggshells. Every phone call involves a conversation that centers around her ‘I’. Every conversation goes something like this, ‘mum, it’s OK, don’t worry. Just remember you are strong, you can do this. How are you? Tell me about that, tell me about what is going on in your life.’
Every phone call starts with me being upbeat and positive and charming. It starts like this, and goes on like this for twenty minutes: ‘Hi Mum, it’s Miranda. How are you? Oh gosh, you’re stressed. Tell me why. Can I help? Really, don’t feel down. You’ll feel better tomorrow. It will be OK. You’re having your hair done later? That sounds lovely. And you’re thinking of going to that country for a holiday. Well, you deserve a nice treat.’
If I ask her, ‘mum are you remembering to take your tablets?’ I get abused. ‘Don’t you dare say that to me, as if I am an idiot, I can remember to take my tablets. I am not stupid.’
‘I never said that mum. I was just asking. I just want to make sure you’re OK, that”s all. I am just ringing you to make sure you’re OK.’ And if she’s feeling moody which is often, she’ll saying nasty to me like ‘don’t you dare criticise me’ or she’ll say ‘shut up’ and then slam the phone down on me. She always hangs up the phone on me. The message is: you’re intolerable. I’ve lived with this treatment since my teens.
Now, if you’re just reading this you might not think this is all that bad. You might just picture an old woman who’s tired, but she is not that, she is pure venom.
No telephone conversation ever moves away from her. It’s always about her life, how everyone loves her, and how she’s the sparkling toast of the town (she has no friends actually). She is reasonably OK at pottery (my words) and makes plates and jugs and pots on her kiln, and apparently everyone admires her artwork because she is extra-specially talented, or so she thinks.
I have won awards in my line of work – she has never acknowledged any of my awards. I have two grown up sons and she can’t remember their names or so she pretends. She has never given me a birthday present, or at least she stopped giving me birthday presents when I turned 13.
It was around the age of 13 that her ire and hatred of me started to become really visible to me. I believe now looking back in time, that this was because I was burgeoning into a young lady and I was sprouting breasts and I was pretty and she hated me for that. Isn’t that utterly, utterly pathetic, that a mother can be jealous of her own daughter, truly jealous.
I am going to stop now because these words are too painful to write. I need to take a moment and steady my breathing.
But for anyone reading this, who has a narcissist in their family, I’ve found this amazing source of information, so please enjoy and share it with anyone you love who needs supporting.
It’s a blog by Julie L. Hall called The Narcissist Family Files and it’s highly worth reading and sharing.
Love Miranda x