Well, I’ve ridden the rollercoaster of emotions, courtesy of my mother, once again this week. Attending my niece and nephew’s birthday party should not be complicated, but when there’s a narcissist on the loose, nothing is simple. Or so I thought.
Starting at the beginning would be a disservice to humanity. For one, I’ve come to realize that no one cares about how hard you had it growing up, at least not until you’re rich or famous. And then, people only want the sordid details because of some sick need for voyeurism. So no, I won’t bore you with endless details and examples of the cruelty I’ve experienced. I will, however, sum it up thusly:
- I am the scapegoat of all 3 of my Malignantly Narcissistic parents. Google it.
- As such, I am on a No Contact basis with all of them.
- How I comfort myself when I feel the repressed rage that comes with all of this, is that at least my mother didn’t pimp me out. And I mean that, literally. Although she probably would have tried to, at least indirectly, if I weren’t a stronger person.
- My mother is insanely jealous of everyone, especially me. She also has a very weak relationship with the truth. Good times.
There you have it. So when my sister asked me if I would attend the twins’ birthday party even if my “mother” attended, I said Yes. Because F that B. But then I began to obsess over how to shut down the inevitable disrespect, boundary stomps, snide comments and back-handed compliments. I also felt compelled to be extra fabulous, because nothing chaps a narcissist’s hide more than seeing other people happy and winning.
After a couple of weeks, I noticed that my thoughts were more and more preoccupied with our pending showdown, which is now going down in 6 days. But I found the peace and closure that all my ruminating attempted to provide me, and in the most unexpected way.
I decided to bake her a cake. That’s it. I might not even make the damn cake in the end, but deciding to bake a cake made me feel instantly lighter. I think it’s mostly to do with the fact that making a decision, any decision, is empowering. I’ve also been baking since childhood, so it’s a very “me” thing to do. It’s my coping mechanism when I feel anxiety about going to some party or get-together. So the cake represents putting my best foot forward in a socially awkward situation.
However, beyond all this, The Cake represents my desire to not give this woman any more of my thoughts, time or energy. I’ve struggled so much because of her, that she doesn’t deserve any more of my life. But baking is something I do for people I either don’t know well or don’t like. I mean, I also bake for loved ones, but when I do it for people I’m only tolerating, it feels much more like a transaction. “Here is this cake, now we have something to talk about.”
Part of me is worried that my “mother” will think of this as some sort of tribute. Narcissists need to feel worshiped. But I can’t control how she processes the things I do and say. Experience has taught me that she feels threatened when I do well, and happy as a pig in shit when I don’t, which explains all her smear campaigns and sabotage. To reiterate, F that B.
Yes, I am a Christian, and no, we won’t be reconciling. My sister claims that my mother wants to apologize to me, in some vain attempt to get me back in her clutches. I’ve been hearing the same rhetoric for years. In the end, she’ll rewrite history so that everything between us will be the fault of her abusive ex-husband. But she was cruel, selfish and shady before she met him. They truly suited each other. Now that the only two people in the world that will talk to her are my sisters, I guess she feels lonely. But she can’t go longer than 6 months without throwing someone under the bus, so…
As a Christian, it is my job to forgive, but it is also my job to be healthy. My family is counting on a even-tempered, mentally-healthy wife and mother, and I fully intend to remain so. My “mother” threatens my mental health, and so, beyond an annual birthday party, we will maintain the bliss of No Contact. I honor my very sick parents by being a better person and a better parent than they were. I will let my life be a better legacy than they deserve, which is the very definition of grace.
But no faux apology or olive branch can ever make me forget that what is in their hearts is darkness, shame and dishonesty.