Sunday, November 22, 2015

You can't get there from here.




When people tell me they had a narcissist parent, two words come to mind.  "Squandered Potential." Narcissist always take more than they give, and they take their half right out of the middle. Which is to say they take the best for themselves and leave crumbs behind for others.
As I come nearer to the end of my life. I can't help but look back with regret. Knowing that I am blameless for the chaos that consumed my family takes little of the sting out. It won't bring the dead back to life. It won't fill the coffers that were left emptied. It will only silence the chaos in my head.
I posted a comment on a blog about how we can't make people love us. And we can't make people do the right thing. And we can't. No more that we can stop the world from turning or stop the tide's ebb and flow.
The smartest thing is to do is also the easiest. Let it go and let the powers that be sort it out. Treat the people that come behind us with the compassion our elders found impossible to bestow on us.  And hope that our children will pay it forward and pay it forward again, until the hostility visited on us as children is  just a memory.

21 comments:

Joan S said...

I have trouble with the letting go part. Letting go of the anger part, that is. When I look back on my life, I regret so much, its hard to let it go, and say what is done is done. I do give compassion to the little ones though. I remember back to 2005 and taking care of mother when her boyfriend dumped her. I took compassion on the worm, little did I know she was eating away at me, the little I had to deal with life. I was an emotional basketcase when we went no contact. I should have known better. When she had psycho meltdowns or rages, it forced me to be more kinder, and I regret that a lot. Should have thrown her out. Out into the streets, into the cold in the middle of the night. I know this sounds bad but I wish she would die a horrible suffering death. I really do. I heard last winter she broke her arm, and at her age not a good thing to do. I hope that causes pain. I hope to be like Anna V someday, and have total indifference. Somedays I do have indifference, and other days I do not.

I think the day I can finally kick her out of my head will be a day to celebrate. I do have some success sometimes, and other times I'm back into the anger. But through it all I am learning. Perhaps there is a price to pay for the learning, and that is the anger. Only the anger brings back some of the horrible memories. I hate the memories, but then I remember, "Oh yeah, I think that way because of this..." and so on and so on.

See, its the scars of my own roughed up emotions, and they get smoothed out when I realize the stupidity of it. If you woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed, mother would find some way of cutting off your tail.

q1605 said...

They want you to be there for them, buy they are never there for you. My mother would act like a decent person, but only long enough to gather enough info to use against you later.

mulderfan said...

That was beautifully written Q! Can I steal it?

Tundra Woman said...

Joan, there's no time limit for grieving nor is a a linear path: It meanders, doubles back on itself and so forth. Anger is a very normal, important part of grieving. You grieve so many, many losses as an ACoN including but not limited to the loss of any hope of having a relationship with the CB "parent." The loss of who you might have been had you not had the "parent" you had, the loss of years, decades dedicated to attempting to please and appease the person who was never and could never be either beyond a temporary cessation of hostilities. The loss of unconditional love so necessary for children to feel safe, to grow and flourish, to become confident adults, to have experienced Boundaries around your body and soul, to be respected and accepted as an independent and loveable human being in your own right rather than some kind of card board cut out, a fatally flawed human being. Oh, there's many, many more real losses and we grieve and grieve. IMO, anger is a strong emotion and one we were never "allowed" to express towards them just as we were not "allowed" to say NO and have it respected. Anger feels like we're somehow bad or wrong instead of honest and right. Takes a lot of courage to just be present with your own grief-and grieving is the hardest "work" I've ever done.
"But through it all I am learning. Perhaps there is a price to pay for the learning and that is the anger." I think you're right. Confronting those memories requires courage and fortitude and you have both-in spades. I know you don't see that, but FWIW I do.
TW

q1605 said...

Mulderfan. But of course. Or you could pay me royalties in Canadian money which would be the same as stealing it.
T.W. I was just sitting here going down the daily tick sheet of all the ways I hate my mother and realized that unless I live so be 114 I have spent more that half my life hating her and gnashing my teeth about it. So I am just about done with it. The next crop of fashionably hip Acons will have to figure it out by themselves.

mulderfan said...

Oddly, I still feel no hate toward my narcs. Kinda like, no hate, no anger, no love, just nothingness.
Joan, I've finally figured out there's nothing to grieve. The "happy family" game we all played was just a front for the outside world. Hard to grieve something that never existed in the 1st place.

q1605 said...

Some days I hate more than others. From what I can tell my infractions were to divorce my exwife for cheating and to not buy into my mothers facade because I knew she was a liar. For that I must pay.

Joan S said...

Aw, thanks TW, I sure appreciate that. That was well written, all the stuff we grieve. We are learning through the anger and other intense emotions. It will give us more freedom in the end, for we need to know how everything got started to improve our lives. I know that I react to some things badly, and that is because of triggers, I need to be aware of. And of course how do we know what those triggers are unless we have the memories, and with that comes anger.

Of course, MF, we really do have nothing to grieve, but we do it and it happens. I know my happy family never existed. It was all pretend in my mind. When I see a certain shade of green it triggers my bad feelings. That is just one example.

Its not like I wish a broken arm on an old woman and laugh, I feel badly for feeling that way. But I have to go through that to get to the next part. oh well.

Judith said...

Wait, my mother left crumbs? Why didn't I get any crumbs?

q1605 said...

Some of us prefer to call it detritus.

Judith said...

LMAO. She can keep that shit.

Bess said...

Crumbs, dingleberries...potato, potahto.

q1605 said...

Hairy Raisins!

mulderfan said...

I think I once had a little tiny dog that had two hairy raisins.

Jonsi said...

My Dad has a theory that it takes three generations to eradicate dysfunction (but that's three generations of hard work. It's not merely the passage of time and the "passing of the buck" to the next generation that invokes the change). I heard that often growing up. My dad says he's the first generation of change within his own FOO. He had to let go of the things he couldn't change, and fight like hell to change the shit in him that they fucked up. And he is still working at it. I think he always will be - it's a never ending fight. But I think the fight is worth it - my dad is a pretty amazing person and when I've found myself in shitty situations (of my own making) I've always managed to fight my way back out because I kind of think to myself, "My dad changed. So can I." It takes an unbelievable amount of will and strength to do what your asshole parent(s) didn't want you to do: succeed, in any capacity. The assholes and narcissists are always out there somewhere, hoping you'll fail at something. At everything.

q1605 said...

That's why I don't buy the shit from people that perpetuate abuse by saying they were abused too. You of all people should know how wrong it all is. People with the self awareness of your father are few and far between. But maybe we'll get there sooner than later or they'll all kill each other off.

Joan S said...

I'm just realizing now how close my kids are to eachother. They talk to eachother in ways I have never heard of in my FOO, and are talking about how they feel, share intimate conversations. And in turn, they are encouraging this same thing in their children. While they are small, there are some fights, but I don't see the gaslighting, the triangulation, they encourage talking things out. If I were to die tomorrow, I KNOW they will have eachother, no matter what they do.

q1605 said...

And they know it too. Most of the good will me and my sister has for each is that we leaned on each other without trying to stick a knife in one anothers back.
I was telling someone about a good thing from my ex being left everything was that my mother was asking me to do to my sister what my ex did to us. And it got that weight off my shoulders.

Five Hundred Pound Peep said...

Good post Q and good comments from you TW.

Yes we have our grief and our regrets. ACONs are emotional orphans early on. It sucks.

I have my good days and bad days too.

I had some odd revelation, too recently like about how their lies took over my life. Unshouldering some of that garbage. I'll be writing about it soon probably tommorow if I can get my brain to focus. Their insane expectations that almost led to my destruction. I'm tired of being afraid and feeling beaten down because of those creeps. I think I'm on another verge of another break-through for myself. Time does heal, I feel like I'm loosening some of the last of the chains.

One part of letting go is realizing their lies, and no longer applying them to our lives and throwing those weights away too.

q1605 said...

Peep I was just thinking about my mothers disposition of her assets. I think I thought it would fix things she ruined. But it wouldn't. No matter how much money she left or didn't leave us wouldn't change my father death, the farm would still be paved over, my health would still suck. It would have increased my net worth but that's about it.
Now I can look my self in the mirror and that's worth as much as all the other.

Five Hundred Pound Peep said...

No it wouldn't fix everything they ruined. Even if I was in my mother's will, I'd still be sick too. Even if my father had looked out for me, the damage had already been done. I agree being able to look at one's self in the mirror is worth it. I had to face that decision to even go NC, even if I had not been cut out. What they did to me, every dime wouldn't have been enough to equal things or bring justice to the situation.