Saturday, 24 March 2012

The descent into NC (part 1)

Choosing to go No Contact was surprisingly easy. My NM had found herself in trouble with the law in late 2010 and, being unenlightened at the time, I leaped to the rescue. With hindsight, receiving a call from NM asking me to go to her house, 3 months pregnant on a 40C day to climb an 8 foot corrugated iron fence to feed her pets because she had been imprisoned on a string of charges should have made me think a little. But no. being the "good" daughter I am, I went to her house, fed her pets, tried not to vomit at the state of the place, got her new hot water system installed, and arranged her bail.

One of her bail conditions was that she lived with me and my family. That did not go well. She insisted upon sleeping in our pool room, and refused to come into the house. She used our back yard as a toilet, and then insisted it was our young children doing it. She took the kids to the park: they would come home telling us about the various ways Grandma was going to be dead or never coming back to make everyone sad. She told our then 3 year old to go and stand in a nearby busy road and get squashed by a truck, because Mummy and Daddy would be happier without her. She threw our two year old son through a door. We refused to have her dog with us: she brought it anyway, and it kept attacking the children. Unmitigated disaster.

Eventually the dog bit the children once too often and we told her the dog had to go. Naturally, she had a temper tantrum, and proceeded to scream at the three year old (who had just had the dog try and bite her face off) that she was never going to see her again, it was all her fault, etc etc. NM and her dog were gone within the hour.

Several weeks later, we had cause to drop in on her. I telephoned first. She told us to come by. NM was extremely drunk, which was in breach of bail conditions, and in the mood to torture someone. She choose me, and decided to get at me by using the children. Anyone with a NM knows how that goes. So, I packed the kids and drove away, as she screamed abuse down the road at me. Standard stuff "you'll never see me again. You need to apologise for speaking to me like that. You're pushing me away. Your children will suffer without me." etc etc. All because I refused an offer of coffee because she was drunk, and I had repeatedly told her that I would not tolerate drunkenness around the children.

The last words I heard were "never contact me again". So I reported her for breach of bail, got myself removed as her guarantor, and proceeded to never contact her again. Three days later, while sitting in hospital myself having some prenatal tests done, I got a call from the local hospital: she had been admitted under police guard. I couldn't bring myself to care a lot. She chose to drink, she chose to be rude, she chose to be abusive, if she didn't like the consequences, that was her problem.

Fast forward to August 2011. NM appears on the doorstep like nothing had happened. In the few months break, I had thought of her occasionally, but only when fielding her debtors. Turns out she had been providing my phone number as hers when signing up for services, like home phone, internet, her dog registration, utilities bills... No apology, no acknowledgement that anything vaguely untoward had happened, absolutely nothing. I know now that this a common technique among N's, but it had always been something that baffled me. We had a new baby by then, so she gave us her "new" phone numbers, that she had changed to prevent us calling her, in case we needed her help. This is the woman who refused to touch her second grandchild until he was 6 months old because he was male.

Needless to say, we have never dialled the numbers.

Friday, 23 March 2012

So this is me...

There wasn't a big moment or an event. It was just a gradual realisation that even if all the right words were said, and the right things were done, they would all just bounce off, because I don't care enough to be involved anymore.

I'm writing this blog because after 32 years, I've gotten away. It never occurred to me that something was wrong in the relationship with my mother. I mean, everyone knew she was an alcoholic, and drinking was always used to explain her behaviour. But being drunk didn't explain everything, and some of her more disturbing behaviours have been increasingly apparent in her occasional stints into sobriety.

An afternoon exploring Google on the subject of what to do with an alcoholic parent when you reach breaking point lead me to a site about narcissistic mothers. I read more. I read more again. I Googled more. I read about adult children of narcissistic mothers, and was in equal measures shocked and delighted to read my life. It's not just me. I'm not crazy. There are lots of women out there like my mother: they employ the same tricks, the same tactics, the same mind sets, the same mind games, and abuse their children in the same ways. Yes, the word I use, and the word others use, is ABUSE.

I'm putting this blog out there for my friends, family members and acquaintances first. I will NOT be quiet any longer. I will NOT protect my mother. I will NOT aid her in her lies, her deceptions, and her distorting of reality. I HAVE HAD ENOUGH. I imagine that for the normal people (of which I am not one), who have had a normal upbringing in a regular family, it is hard to believe there are people who operate like this, let alone subject those around them to their evil schemes. I can tell you, they exist. That's part of what makes this whole abusive situation so hard: the abuser presents a good front to the world. In secret, they torment and belittle those in their power, but it's done so skillfully and carefully, it's not obvious to the outside world. And no one tangled up as the target of the narcissist will tell the outside world, because the target has spent so long being told they are crazy, they are delusional, they will never be believed. The official term is "gaslighting".

My immediate family (husband and children) have been planning to move across the country for the last 2 years. We did it this year. Courtesy of events before and immediately after the move, we have found ourselves in a position to go No Contact (NC) with my narcissist mother. She has not taken it well. I'm intending to use this blog to document the NC process and what it means in terms of who I am. Because, you see, I have no idea who I am. That's what these creatures do: they steal your very soul.

I've cut out the puppermaster. Now I need to cut off the strings, sand the back the exterior, and see what happens next.