My mother was a narcissist all my life. I was never good enough. I was abused both mentally and physically. When I turned sixteen, she held over my head until I turned eighteen that I had to move out when I turned eighteen. Two weeks before my birthday, she reminded me of my moveout date, so I made a frantic look for a place to live. I move out on my birthday. Two months later I ran in to my mother at a store, and she asked me why I moved out. I told her, and her reply was, “I just wanted you to ask me to stay.” I didn’t talk to here for several years, until I got married and wanted my dad to give me away. Things had changed a bit, and we were amicable. Then my dad died two years after my wedding. I was crushed. For some reason, my mom didn’t seem affected by it at all. She just expected us kids to do all the things dad did for her. She was 50 years old! Why should we have to do her bidding? I sure wasn’t going to. After that I stopped calling and doing things for her. We did birthdays and Christmas, and “why don’t you call me!” Was her thing. She’d even play the game of “Did you just call me?” I’d say no.. then she say, “Well you should have!” Guilt trip after guilt trip. Well she got to be 80 and started falling once in awhile. Last Spring, she started falling at least once a month. Us kids started asking her about assisted living, or moving to a retirement home. No way she says. Well her fallings starts getting more often and one day she ends up with 15 stitches in her head. She then agrees to the retirement home. We get her all situated, but all she does is complain about it. Like she did with her house being too much to upkeep. She’s just not happy wherever she’s at. When she moved into the apt, I kept close tabs on her. Going over there at least once a week, and calling everyday. Last month I called and she didn’t pick up. I rushed over there, and sure enough, she had fallen and had been on the floor for 18 hours. We got her to the hospital to have her checked out, and I had to leave so my brother came to take her home. He helped her out of the car and one step out, she slipped and fell and broke her leg. Back to the hospital. She had surgery the next morning. Because of her being on the floor for so long, and the pain of the leg and not wanting to get up because of it, she developed pneumonia, and complications. She died 12 days later. I love my mom, because I love all people, and I don’t wish anyone ill will. My problem is this. I don’t know how to forgive her. It eats me up, more each day. I hate it. I’ve gone to counselor after counselor, looking for help, and I get nothing, but guilt. Maybe you have an answer I haven’t heard of yet. Thanks in advance.
True forgiveness is a form of grace. Working at it is a good idea. Claiming to have it and to bestow it without doing the heavy lifting first..? Well, far be it from any of us to know what is in another's heart; but I do sometimes wonder who's kidding who.
When I say it's a form of grace, it's because my shining example of forgiveness is a lady whose son was wantonly murdered thirteen years ago and who forgave his killers in a statement that was quite unforgettable. The young man's name was Anthony Walker, may he rest in peace and may his memory be for a blessing.
It can be convenient — for others — when you re-write your “survival script” to satisfy the therapist du jour, the friend/relative who is uncomfortable with your strong feelings or the person who wronged you.
But is the re-write authentic?
Does the new perspective still accurately reflect your truth?
If yes, go forward with your new peace.
If no, that’s fine. Own it. No apologies. (Quite frankly, it’s nobody’s darn business.)
And please note, I am not saying that the non-forgivers should be confrontational, keep picking at the scab, demand explanations, etc.
Just extending my support to those who give thoughtful consideration to every angle, and choose not to forgive.
It’s a legitimate choice.
I couldn't agree more with what you said. I know too many women who have gotten a serious illness like cancer to realize how much pain we were carrying inside. It is time for some many caregivers to step back and be okay with taking care of ourselves first.
I know its a lot easier said than done. I know I've always been the type to turn myself inside out to appease another person but I realize now what a terrible mistake that can be.
Sending you all love and hugs.
I hated for a long time. Not myself but for the abusive alcoholic dad I had. When he died I felt guilty. But at the time I had a young family and other elder family problems I too.
I HAD to move on, for my family and my own mental state. I made a deal with myself. It was not my fault. I had done my very best (which is all we can do) When I realised if wasn't my fault, I stopped feeling as guilty.
I moved on.
I was lucky, I had my young family. Find something. Anything. Church, voluntary work, gardening, scrub floors (that used to work for me when I had PMT. :) ) Smile here.
Come here any time and let it all out. Oh good days tell us. You will be sharing love and that is always good. On bad days come and share. What is it they say? A trouble shared is a trouble halved. Sooooo true.
Hugs and smiles sent to you. Buzzy
Maybe "forgive and forget" means different things to all of us. But at the end of our discussion, it just plain important to move on. We should all look forward and dream of the future!
"Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace"
For my father, the shocking thing was that when he died, my sisters and I found it hard to believe that it was all over. The monster was dead and now simply irrelevant. Twenty years later, I just don’t think of him often, only when I am asked about the past.
Suffering a major fraudulent legal claim from neighbours, who are still there on the next property, is different. They made our lives a nightmare for seven years, and now traduce us because they lost. We know that their reputation is appalling widely in the district, but even this still hurts. Revenge would be good, but too risky. All I can do is my best to stop thinking about them. Remove as many triggers as possible.
If you can ‘forgive’, of course it would be pleasant and morally uplifting. Forgetting as much as possible is probably more realistic. Just don’t get caught in a guilt trip because you can’t ‘forgive’.
And you raise a point of paramount importance, BREAKING THE CYCLE! Awareness will hopefully help us to not carry the consequences of narcissism to the next generation. It’s a disease we need to stop!
I see with my question I’m not alone, and I am so happy about that, not because there are other people being abused, but so we can come together and help stop the cycle in the next generation if possible.
Many hugs to all,
I am what is referred to as the middle child; if you have taken pysch 101, there is such a thing as the middle child syndrome. My Mother has always called it...Drama Queen or you're imagining these things, that never happened.......
Well they did happen.
I was in the 6th grade and we were required to participate in track/field for P.E. The teacher who was helping the P.E. teacher decided that all of the girls had to do the high jump.
It was my turn and when I landed, I twisted my ankle so bad that I had to be carried to the nurse's office. She called my Mother and since my name is spelled differently than it is pronounced, the nurse used the pronunciation as Diane.
My Mother rushes to the school from her job, walks in and sees me lying on the cot, turns around asking for the school nurse and tells her "if you had told me it was (insert my name here) I would not have rushed so fast". I COULD NOT WALK ON THAT FOOT AT ALL. NO PRESSURE WHATSOEVER ON THAT FOOT.
She called our family doctor and I had to wait for Dad to come home from work (all the while I was in so much pain, but afraid to cry "drama queen") that when the doctor had the x-ray done; told my parents that I would have been better off if I had broken the ankle instead I had a hairline fracture from the bottom of the ankle that it would not do any good to place my foot in a cast.
I had to use crutches, which my Dad brought home from the drug store without me going so as to measure for fit, that it hurt just as bad under my arms as my ankle did. Neither parent would even drive me to school so I had to walk using crutches.
My grandmother came over that weekend and looked at my ankle which was so swollen by this time, I didn't want anybody to touch it. I'd go to my room and cry it hurt so bad. Grandma sent my Dad to the drug store and told him to get some particular suave. She had Mom bring her a pillow case that she tore into strips. Dad got home with this stuff, grandma warmed it and Mom gave her a spatula.
Next thing I know, grandma took off the stretch bandage that was wrapped around my ankle, iced my ankle like a cake with this stuff that looked like smooth peanut butter (felt good because it was warm) wrapped my ankle up with these cotton strips from the pillow case. Within 2-3 days, I was able to walk without those damned crutches. I wasn't allowed to do any P.E. until the doctor approved it, but my grandma took the time to do something old school for me and gave me the attention for an injury that Mom thought was just "drama queen".
I was even punished if I knew my older sister did something (as teenagers) and she was caught. YES, I was grounded etc even though I was not the one that did whatever it was.....GUILTY BY ASSOCIATION.
About 5-6 yrs ago, my younger sister did something that she had to go to prison (white collar crime, same sister the nurse used to pronounce my name back in the 6th grade) telling me that she didn't do what she was accused of doing. Mom didn't have all of the details as to what had happened, so I told her I would research everything since Mom would get upset as she felt none of us ever told her the truth about anything.
I got all of the answers, called Mom (I live out of State) and told her that if she wanted the truth instead of what she had been told I would tell her and I had all of the documentation for her.
Her response: "there you go. You have never liked your ______ and all you want to do is make sure that you are right and everybody else is wrong! You won't be happy unless you are able to prove that ______ never does anything right. I don't want to know what you supposedly found. I don't think _____ did what ____ is accused of doing", SLAMMED the phone down.
This is the same Mother that called me while we were at work (we worked for the same institution/same bldg) and drive her to another city court because _____ was being charged with a crime. Took her to the city court, sat through the hearing and when the Judge asked if there was anyone willing to post bail I had to hold my Mother's hands down. I told her that she wasn't going to take the chance of losing her home over my ______. That ______ could spend what time ____ had to in jail, too bad so sad.
I had to fly in so that I could call the Principal of the grade school where my Dad's then mistress worked. I had to ask if ____was at work. No ____ had called in that day. I then informed the Principal that ______ was in fact in _____ at the ______ motel with my Father. Needless to say, _________ who is now my Father's wife, not my step-mother; I never call her anything that would inferr that she is a part of my family, got her butt in a lot of trouble with the Principal. So much so that my Father threatened ME with legal action.
When any of this is ever brought up by anyone in the family, Mom would say "ooh, ask D______ what happened because she knows everything".
Yes, I do see a therapist. Yes, I do have the guilt of feeling that my Mom AND Dad placed me in this position. Even today, my older ______ has convinced Mom that I am the one who has caused all the family problems to the point that Mom said that she knew I was the reason the doctors kept her in the hospital all of December 2016. She was basically dying from a UTI that had become so bad her kidneys were failing!!!
Our daughter just came back this past week from visiting her former co-workers back home. She stopped to visit Mom for me and because she doesn't know if that would be the last time she would see her grandmother alive. Our daughter is an RN and is very good at hiding her emotions.
She called me and sent text to me about the horrid conditions Mom and my step-father are living. My older ______ has all these social workers thinking that _____ is their 24/7 caregiver. Mom looks like Miss Havesham from Charles Dickins' Great Expectations and the house too. I finally reported this to APS and feel so guilty I cry most nights now. My daughter has a 10m minute video on her cellphone of Mom trying to get up from the sofa to use the bathroom and it took her 10 MINUTES. My _____was not at the home that ____ doesn't pay rent, utilities etc. Our daughter has cried and feels that she should not have moved here, but should have stayed to take care of her grandmother.
Guilt! That was the system that so many Mothers used to get their children under control not only as children, but as adult; only it has worked on me for 64 yrs and my 3 siblings could give a rat's ____.
Guilt! Why do I feel like I do about both Mom and Dad? Why can't I let go of these feelings after all of these years? Why do they still hold things over my head from the past, yet I'm supposed to forgive and forget? What did I ever do to anybody in my family except to make them happy? DAMN, I graduated from high school early because Mom/Dad had become grandparents at the age of 38 while my ___ was still in high school (it was still tabboo then) and Mom was on the edge of having another nervous breakdown. What could I do to make her happy.....I'll graduate early from high school so she's have something better to talk about to her co-workers, friends and family. That lasted about a month if that much.
Guilt! What can I do to help her now? My _____ who lives there doesn't lift a finger to help in any way, but has those that need to know thinking that ___ walks on water. I was at the house a year ago, I've seen the conditions before they became what they have and to the point I finally reported it to Adult Protective Services! I HAD TO REPORT MY ______ TO THE STATE!!!
Guilt! Mom has dementia, who knows what else my _____ has or hasn't done. I do know for a fact that my ____ doesn't make sure that all of the bills are paid. I went through all of the bills stacking up last year and called all of the customer service departments to make sure of what was going on; not my _____ who became so mad with me about it that _____ physically got nose to nose with me and it was all ____ could do to keep from throwing a punch. I told _____ that ____ had 1 chance and 1 chance only if ____ was going to do it.
Guilt! What am I going to do if Mom dies and _______ doesn't tell me or Mom's siblings?
Guilt! The shame that Mom feels when the paramedics have to come to the house, clean her up to take her to the hospital and I'm not there to help her?
Guilt! What/how is all of this effecting my marriage? My husband's Mother is deceased so he never had to go through any thing like this.
Guilt! WHY ME? WHY NOT INCLUDE THE OTHERS? WHY IS IT ME?
It isn't forgiving your Mother as I have learned from my therapist. I can't forgive myself for not being there for her like I have always been and it's out of my control. I can't forgive myself because I can't protect her from my siblings harming her or mistreating her in any way shape or form.
I have to forgive myself. I have to forgive myself and I don't know if I ever will. She is my Mother and it doesn't matter how old one is, you don't treat your Mother like this EVEN if you always wanted to do so.
I don't know if I will ever be able to FORGIVE MYSELF. I have to work on it every day and so far, I'm lucky if I can get through a day or two. Now with what I know is happening in her home; I am so over whelmed with guilt I don't know what else I can do for her at the present. I know what I can do once APS is involved and my siblings will not be happy with me and I don't give a damn!
I will be able to control the situation and do exactly what is best for both my Mom and step-father and they won't be able to do a thing about it.
THAT'S WHEN I WILL BEGIN TO HEAL AND FORGIVE MOM, BUT NOT MY SIBLINGS FOR NOT CARING ENOUGH.
Quilt! IT IS A CONSTANT CIRCLE FOR ME.
Find a therapist who specializes in this area. You should be able to find assistance through the social services provided by your State or your own health insurer. Mental anguish can fester into anxiety causing so many other issues for you.
I pray that you will keep seeking the help you need so as to not just have a bandaid to hold it together, but that you will be able to rip it totally off and be healed.
Maybe worth a try: Pick a date in the near future to "be done with the guilt & anger of it all." How about April 1st? Oh the irony!
Use the rubber band trick & letter writing method starting NOW to help you to your goal date. Both VERY doable to at least try.
Am so grateful I found this site....all of your responses are insightful & helpful for me as well. Thank you all ....xxx000
Your siblings' attitude could be a simple matter of selfishness -- that's a very common trait in today's society ("me first" and "I'm always right").
In any event, time will ease the pain - I've lost a brother, both parents, and a husband. I don't think you ever lose the hurt and loss, they just gradually lose their constant presence and impact on you -- that will also happen with resentment. The brain is logical, but emotions and feelings are not.
Maybe an option is you could just put your own well being and self care as the goal and give yourself the life and nurturing she didn't and still according to your post doesn't. Wishing you the best and healing too