I’ve reflected a lot on the “exposing your children to your narcissist abuser” issue. As stupid as it sounds (and it IS sheer ignorance), I was shocked to find that meme! To know that someone else in this world made even that critical, senseless, ridiculous error after living a lifetime of abuse, just astounds me. In the same way that I’m still frequently overwhelmed with disbelief (literal “OMFG” moments) when I read someone’s words that explain situations, feelings, events, etc. that I truly not only believed were unique to MY life, but also never discussed because describing and explaining the sometimes subtle nuances of narcissistic abuse feels impossible.
…Then you read words that actually sound like they’re coming from your own life…your own thoughts…things you’ve never discussed…and thus, couldn’t possibly be copied! It’s a real contradiction. I always feel shock first at identifying so well with someone’s words, then I feel guilt that those words from that persons torturous hell actually make me feel validated on so many levels. Then, I feel horrified that ANY other person experienced ANY thing like my life and I’m overcome with gigantic waves of compassion for that person and my heart hurts for them and my head rages with their injustices.
It’s a strange process.
As far as the exposure issue, I don’t feel, for myself, that’s forgivable. I sadly have realized it’s one thing I may never totally absolve myself from. And worse yet, it makes me furiously angry at God! Madder at God than maybe anything else I’ve been mad at God for.
My narcissist mother made this choice easy for me. I can actually thank her for that. Yes, I was still living mostly in denial (desperately trying to blame myself for all the senseless pain she inflicted in my lifetime and the life handicaps that result from that). I was still praying for the miracle that it WAS my fault, I could fix me, and she would someday maybe love me.
She made that easy. Her cruelty during my first pregnancy was blatant. Or perhaps, it was the same as it always had been and I simply was becoming more aware with wisdom, experience, therapy, and age? In spite of that blatant cruelty, I still desperately begged…and begged…pleaded and jumped hoops, essentially shoving my head so far up her ass in the desperate need for a mother’s love while experiencing all the fears a soon-to-be mother experiences. In short, I had never wanted or need a mother more than I did while pregnant. The sheer terror of being a mom, knowing how to be a mom, and ironically the fear of ensuring I didn’t repeat my mother’s example…all made me pathetically desperate for her love and acceptance.
And as any true narcissist will do, the more they sense that power of your desperation, the more cruel they become. And she did become more cruel; more openly, hatefully shamelessly cruel. Which of course, pushed me in said desperation to REALLY step up my efforts to be loved by her. Which is a snowball effect of endless insanity right there. The harder I begged, the crueler she became…the harder I begged…the crueler she became…and on and on and on…
I stupidly never intended to keep her from my child. Even when my sister gave me a blatant, chilling warning of what would happen someday if I didn’t. I STILL kept praying maybe we would FINALLY bond in motherhood. FINALLY! I might have a mother at last…and my daughter might still have a grandmother! YAY! There was hope!
No. she used it all to hurt me more even while I was finally the adult who could be and should have been safe at last from her terror…independent and ready to become a mother myself. At the time when she finally no longer held ANY power over me (other than that desperate for a mother’s love thing), I willingly HANDED that monster all the power to continue hurting me.
I called her when my narcissistic sex addict fiancé (identical to my mother) was cruel or abusive. She would antagonize and aggravate those feelings. I called her when I was reflecting on my fears of being a mother. She would pick, pick, pick at those fears…deepening them into absolute gaping terrors. I called her when I was scared of my baby’s safety in my womb, she would encourage that fear and add a few more for good measure. I called her over trivial little struggles pregnant women have, like, Mom…I stood in the shower today and cried because I couldn’t reach to shave my legs….knowing Mark (Narcissist fiancé) would tell me how disgusting I was because I was fat(i.e. 8 months pregnant) and couldn’t shave my legs. My mother said, “Most husbands would be happy to help with that. It’s too bad no one loves you enough to help you with that.”
I called her when my cheating violent fiancé went into 30 day sex rehab treatment and I had no food. After almost four straight days without food, I started having nightmares about my starving fetus. I would literally picture those kids on the Ethiopia commercials inside my womb, crying and begging for food. So I finally felt scared and guilty enough to swallow my pride and call my mother to ask if she’d send me $40 for food for the remaining 3 weeks my fiancé would be away dealing with the fact that he couldn’t keep his dick in his pants or stop beating me up after he put it inside yet another chick. My mother said, “Oh, you don’t have any food? That’s too bad. That’s what welfare is for. Go apply for welfare.” I said, “I only need a little bit of food, Mom. Mark will get food when he gets released. I feel bad applying for welfare.” She said, “People like you are why welfare was created. I don’t know what to tell you except to apply for welfare”. I got really quiet because I didn’t know what to say to this and so she changed the subject. She started telling me how she and her wealthy husband had bought too many Omaha steaks that year and they had had to give a TON away to his employees. Following that up with, “I thought about sending you some, but you don’t eat very much red meat, remember?” Which threw me into confusion because I had been a part time vegetarian TEN YEARS earlier for about 6 months.
I then had to spend the next year hearing my step-father talk about what a real piece of shit my fiancé was because a “decent human being wouldn’t let a dog go hungry, much less a pregnant woman”…and always wondering how he could say that with a straight face, never realizing that mother certainly hadn’t told him I called her asking for money for food when I was pregnant and hadn’t eaten in nearly a week! After all, he would have wanted to help me! We couldn’t tell him that kind of thing…we were “blaming that on Mark”. So, I blamed that entirely on Mark too….all but forgetting that excruciatingly painful and humiliating “go get on welfare…I can’t believe we bought too many Omaha steaks” conversation I’d had with her. After all, it was only Mark’s fault.
Fucking cruelty. And I let that monster around my children.