- 5 years ago
- Wedding: September 2013
**WARNING** This post is very long. I completely understand if you don’t feel like reading it all. But I’ve been needing to get this off my chest for awhile and I decided to post it here (without going anonymous) in case there is anyone who can relate and could possibly benefit from hearing my story. I’m open to any comments, advice, support anyone would be kind enough to offer, but again, I know it’s a very long read:
My relationship with my mother has always been…rocky. She’s a good person, and she always provided for all my physical (if not spiritual or emotional) needs. But she is extremely narcissistic and mean. She’s been through a lot in her life and she thinks it gives her the right to mistreat people. If anyone should ever attempt to hold her accountable for her rudeness she just cues tears and laments her “woe is me” life story and people usually back off. As I am an only child and she was a single parent, I have born the brunt of her antics throughout my life. I have tried multiple times to explain to her that her words and actions are hurtful but she’s not open to it. I even dragged her to therapy with me. But she just spent the whole time crying about how her life has been so hard and she doesn’t know why I’m doing this to her. (btw, what I’m “doing to” her is getting married and therefore thwarting her pointed attempts to control me). She relishes making decisions for me and though I am nearly 30, she cannot handle any effort on my part to assert my independence. I have a thousand examples of times she has guilted or bullied me into doing something “her way.” Even though I knew in advance that she was leading me down the wrong path, it was easier to just give into whatever she wanted, than to have to deal with the emotional abuse that would ensue if I dared defy her. I am a professional, I have multiple degrees, am fluent in multiple languages, have my own business and have traveled the world but in my mother’s eyes, I will always be an incapable little girl. I understand that viewing me that way makes her feel needed, but it has been crippling for me. I spent years in therapy trying to overcome the complex my mother had given me. Now, I believe I’ve finally reached the point where I’m no longer willing to be a victim. While I am very proud of the person I’ve become, I think much of my well-adjusted nature is in spite of my mother’s parenting style, not because of it.
The very day after I met my fiance (we weren’t dating yet), I told her all about him. They were not able to meet because at the time the three of us were in different countries, but I let her speak with him on the phone and constantly tried to my best to talk to her about our relationship. Each time she changed the subject and refused to talk about it (which is expected, I’m 11 years old to her so how could I possibly be in a serious relationship?). Over time, I kept persisting because he was important in my life and we had plans to get engaged. Eventually she switched from indifference to disrespect, saying mean things about him and dangling her approval like a carrot in front of me. If she was happy with me, she would say “I like your boyfriend. Aren’t you relieved that I approve?” and if she was upset with me she would say “Ryan? Who’s that? Oh, is that your little friend’s name? I must’ve forgotten.” I entered a mode where I felt the need to protect myself (and our relationship) from her insults so I stopped mentioning him completely. This went on for about 4 months.
We got engaged on New Years. When I told my mother (the next day), it’s like she felt her entire world turn upside down. She began acting out in a way I’ve never seen. She was crying all the time, she cursed me out, she told me I was trying to kill her (this is after she did an overnight stint in the ER citing “fainting due to extreme shock.” She’s a doctor. She knows as well as I do that nothing at all was wrong with her). I must not love her, I’m so ungrateful, I’m choosing “some boy” over our family, I’m motivated by the devil, Satan has me right where he wants me, I must think I raised myself, I’m rude and disrespectful, I’ve been living a double life, I’ve been hiding my relationship, I’m not a good Christian because if I honored my mother and father I wouldn’t be doing this (again “this” = getting married. That’s all. I didn’t punch anyone in the face). The works. After a few days of sending me hateful text messages, she completely stopped speaking to me. I called, I texted, I sent her flowers, nothing would make her treat me like she loved me. This went on for about a month. Then one morning out of the blue, she called me crying saying she doesn’t know what to do and she doesn’t understand why I’m treating her like this. Wait, what? I repeated every mean thing she said, and she played dumb. She had no idea what I was talking about. I was literally reading the text messages directly from my phone and she was all “No, I would never say something like that! Stop lying!”
Well, I had to get on with my life. I couldn’t cater to her shenanigans any longer. I took a new job assignment and picked up and moved to another continent. I think she regrets not having spent those last few weeks bonding with me, because even though she hadn’t been speaking to me, she insisted that I let her drive me to the airport. Then when we got there she made this enormous show of sending me off. It was so weird. Anyway, after I left, I felt SO free. I just knew that a new drama-free life was awaiting me in my new country. And I do. I feel like a new person! Now all of a sudden, she’s very attached to me and calls me multiple times per week and emails me all the time and she’s always in such a great mood when she calls and it’s like she has completely forgotten how she treated me. She’s not the apology type, but I think she’s trying to show me that she’s not angry anymore and that she wants us to go back to being cool. But…and I feel like a horrible person for saying this…I’m not particularly interested in having her play a large role in my life anymore. Had she not given birth to me, I would’ve cut ties with her long ago. She has not been involved in my wedding planning and I can tell it hurts her to be treated like a regular guest, but that’s what she is. She’s not in my inner circle, she had that privilege, but purposely threw it away. I pray daily for the ability to forgive and move on and thankfully, it is happening slowly but surely. However at this time, I do not feel motivated to help her ease her conscience. I’m not sure that it’s my responsibility to pretend that I’m not hurt in order to help her feel better. She prodded a little bit yesterday for details about my dress and I told her it was already purchased and she gave me a halfhearted “good for you.” She’s trying in her own special way to show her support/approval, but I honestly don’t feel like I want her support or approval if that’s the best she can muster after the way she’s treated me. I have a strong feeling that after I get married we’ll drift apart entirely. It’s really ironic, she went to so much (misguided) effort to keep me close to her and under her control, but all it did was push me away. I fear, unfortunately, that I’ve been pushed away for good.