Tag Archives: Rumination

Escaping the Narcissistic Mother

*Trigger warning*

Yesterday was the first therapy session with Paul in almost two weeks. The last time we met, my rumination over family dynamics had reached saturation point and the narcissistic mother was at the helm. We had no idea she was already planning her next cunning move.

Paul was already on holiday by the time news filtered through about my mother and sister visiting my home city, London. The potential fiasco happened last weekend and I honestly thought refusing to meet might trigger an onslaught of self-recriminations and hours in the company of our old friend, Mr Rumination.

As soon as I finished writing my last post, I had an amazing sense of peace surrounding my decision. For the first time in my life, I had taken a stance against these people without battling with the usual self-doubt and guilt. When the martyr’s plane touches down at London’s Heathrow Airport, it can often feel like a tornado landing, but this time it was no more than a gentle breeze.

On Saturday morning, I received text number two from my sister, “We’re on our way to the Chelsea Flower Show,” which is only 20min from where I live. I had already stonewalled my mother a couple of weeks earlier, but it appears she conveniently forgot while manipulating my sister into organising the trip. This is an old trick of the martyr’s, but I’ve never been able to see through it.

I had two choices. Reply and risk our contact snowballing into anger or refrain from any involvement by simply not answering the text. I chose the latter. I waited all day for the guilt to creep in, I even searched in case it was hiding, but I could not find it anywhere.

I doubt anyone could resolve relationship problems within a predominantly narcissistic family because the narcissists only believe in the faults of other people. Nevertheless, I’m tired of pretending everything is okay. I can no longer make feeble excuses and, “Sorry, I’m too busy,” is only colluding with the dysfunction.

Realising mother is a textbook narcissist is liberating and this might be difficult for most people to understand. Narcissists are faultless and will always need a scapegoat to direct their blame and to boost their own histrionic ego. To feel free of this weight is a tremendous relief. I will write a couple of posts about it next week.

I know this is the end of our relationship because the only thing that chained us together was my guilt. I told Paul that I feel different, very different. I am feeling free of the childhood trauma and of the ‘Scapegoat’ title that came from within the same dysfunctional family that caused the trauma in the first place.

Paul said I look and sound different. I’m more confident and decisive, as though I can finally see clearly for the first time in my life. This is exactly how I feel and it was especially nice to hear Paul acknowledge this amazing transition.

The slippery Slope & Anger

I wrote a post at the beginning of April about the need to change the bad habit ofthUCIKPC8U excessive ruminating. Initial attempts were reasonably successful for three short weeks, until last Friday when I started to ruminate my way down a slippery slope. Yes, I slipped on my weary ass and it feels like a humiliating defeat.

By the time I arrived at Paul’s therapy room on Thursday, I was sick to the back teeth of hearing my own voice banging on day and night about the same dysfunctional family dynamics. It’s ridiculous how I go to great lengths to keep certain people at a distance, while allowing them to live within a daily stream of endless rumination. What is the point?

I do believe rumination can be a worthwhile part of the healing process, but I need to make space in therapy for analysing my own shit within. The first problem to raise its ugly head is my fiercest enemy, anger.

Even though I need to speak my mind, it’s seldom in anger. This is less to do with being a cool and controlled Cat, and more about feeling terrified of my own anger and the other person’s response.

th8OFY8HOSSomething deep within says that anger is bad and I am bad for feeling or expressing it. Anger might provoke a furious response, or antagonise the threat of aggression and violence. Anger is wrong and can only end in rejection. This is ridiculous, I know, but those are the early ingrained messages. It’s easy to see how depression is anger turned inwards.

When I was in confrontation mode with Dr C at last week’s group therapy, every part of my body trembled while my voice quivered through our tense interaction. I wasn’t necessarily fearful of her response or worried that my anger might spiral out of control, but this tiny winy bit of agitation I had towards Dr C, felt like the last straw to a mountain of anger I’ve supressed over the years.

Anger has always been an extremely self-destructive emotion. Years ago, I would go off on drug and alcohol binges, each one conceived in anger. My reckless lifestyle would titter on the edge of danger until my health finally gave way.

In hindsight, it’s easy to see how that behaviour was less about addiction and more to do with self-destruction. Nevertheless, the anger didn’t go anywhere, but instead it evolved into chronic depression.

I don’t want to focus on my parents or childhood because that would only stir up thethKHLE167Z dreaded rumination and I really do need a break.

If we receive punishment and rejection for feeling angry as children, there is little opportunity to learn how to express this emotion as adults. If those early messages say we are bad, ungrateful and selfish for feeling anger, it’s hardly surprising that we systematically turn our rage inwards.

The Narcassistic Mother dilema

I spent most of yesterday’s therapy session talking about the difficult relationship Ith share with my mother and the decision I need to make about our future relationship.

Whenever I experience any kind of problem, whether it’s childhood trauma, or feeling unable to share in the group, I can never just simply change by willpower alone. I tend to become embroiled in an endless ruminating battle inside my head, desperately searching for a satisfactory conclusion.

All the mindfulness and self-affirmation routines mean little in my quest for healing. While these techniques do support positive change, the key to overcoming my own problem is to start by ascertaining the origin.

I am in no way qualified to diagnose a mental health disorder, but when I stumbled upon information on Narcissistic Mother’s, it was like reading a report on my own mother’s behaviour. Narcissism seemed to slot into place, but the realisation was bittersweet.

It was bitter because some of the information seemed to encourage a common understanding and compassion for a narcissistic mother and suggests making allowances for what is actually a mental illness.

The sweet part of it offered validation that I was not entirely responsible for the history of our conflict and it’s highly unlikely I possess all those horrible characteristics ascribed to my personality.

This does little for the ingrained guilt and self-blame or the anger and resentment that run between us today. What makes it more problematic is the realisation that she truly believes I am a horrible, heartless, and self-centred person.

This woman cannot see past her own narcissism. The hurt and disappointment she feels are genuine. One of the most difficult things to accept is being the cause of another person’s emotional and psychological pain, the guilt is very tough to deal with.

It’s as though the rumination is trying to justify my position or reach a decision over the best way forward, although I fail to see any viable options that might lead to a peaceful resolve.

There was a time when I used to drive 350 miles, twice a year, to spend a few days visiting each one of them, but mum was unhappy because I didn’t visit very often. I finally relented and increased the trips to every three months, but then she was disappointed because I wasn’t in their company for long enough.

“Do you realise how much you’re upsetting us with these flying visits?” She would say, “You’re more interested in other things and other people than your own family.”

thVLOWI8NEI can see only one decision that would lead to a peaceful resolution. She possesses no insight or ability to change, but I can’t make allowances for her narcissistic character traits, especially when I am the poor sod who’s in the line of fire.

I was wondering yesterday if my rumination is a warped way of holding onto the relationship… of subconsciously holding back from finally doing the “dastardly deed” of cutting off The Narcissistic Mother.