“I should have aborted you when I had the chance.” These are the last words I heard from my mother when I decided enough was enough and I needed to cut ties with her.
Sure my childhood was hard, but my adult years had been the hardest years of my entire life. You would think dealing with a Narcissistic Mother would get easier as you got older; but this is when the verbal abuse she is throwing at you really makes your heart ache.
I think people believe that I just woke up one day and decided I was going to stop talking to my mother because she was “horrible” to me; what they don’t realise is that this was a decision that took me 8 long painful years to finally come to.
It was like the more independent I got with age, the harder she tried to make me crumble. College was when things really started to get bad, I was slowly becoming my own person and I had more freedom; up until the age of 16 I wasn’t really allowed to do much outside of school, so I felt like this was a whole new chapter for me. I could finally become grown and show my mother what I could achieve. Boy, was I wrong.
I used to think she didn’t trust me, for example when I stayed over at friends houses at the age of 17 she would ring me at 7am demanding I needed to be home by 8am. Obviously I was not awake at 7am, so I’d wake up to a ton of abusive messages; I would have to wake my friend up to let her know I had to leave and rush home never making the unrealistic deadline. So that resulted in me being grounded because I couldn’t be trusted to follow instructions.
Half the time when I was invited out, I would turn my friends down. It was sometimes easier than having to deal with one of my mother’s psychotic moods. Even if I had caught her in a good mood, I couldn’t predict how she would be feeling towards the end of the day and if I would get a call telling me I had 10 minutes to get home or she was locking the door.
It was driving me crazy living with my mother. I tried to make the steps to move out on so many occasions. I was going to move out when I started university, but she would tell me that I would never survive in the real world, as I am lazy and don’t know how to look after myself. I started to believe her, she hadn’t taught me any life skills. How would I look after myself?
I really regret staying! I never had time to focus on my coursework. I was always being shouted at for not doing anything in the house. (By the way, my mother did not have a job; so was always home. She is also a hoarder so wouldn’t even notice when I did clean). If I tried to explain to her that I was in the middle of a 5000 word essay she would go into a rage, her favourite response was “I’m sorry, I forgot I’m uneducated and you’re better than me”. I had never once told my mother this was something I thought, but she liked to believe I had and used it against me any opportunity she got.
It got to the point where I just couldn’t focus anymore. I used to babysit for this lovely family, and they would let me pretend they were going out so I could sit in the corner of their living room and study in peace. My mother soon started sabotaging this though. She didn’t like that this family were providing me with a sense of freedom. So she would tell me I had to say I was busy if they asked me to babysit. I couldn’t say no to her. She would probably kick me out.
When I was 19 I couldn’t continue to live this way. My mother was now pregnant again, we weren’t talking and I was staying with a friend for a few weeks. During this time my mother hacked into my Facebook and read all my private messages. This was a time where Facebook was extremely popular and was everyone’s main form of communication; so she found out a lot. I was determined to move out so I found myself accommodation through my university. When I confronted my mother and told her I was leaving she tried to manipulate me into cutting off more people; clearly the people that had given me the strength to make this decision. She told me I should be careful who I speak to because she knew things about me. She also said I would never see my siblings again and threatened to abort the baby in order to get me to stay.
I needed to be rid of this malicious being. So I stood my ground and moved out anyway. Our relationship actually got better after I left, I assumed it was because we just couldn’t live with each other and I was pleased I was finally building a relationship with my mother.
However, I needed to move back home when I was 21. I remember thinking it would be fine now. My new baby brother bought a lot of joy to the household and I was working so would have my own money. I had also been living independently for a year so surely I had proved to my mother I had this life thing covered. Things never stay this simple though when you have a Narcissistic Mother
I had become quite close with my manager; Natalie and she shortly became my best friend, we were inseparable. Within weeks we had already booked a 3 week holiday to The Bahamas, my mother was not pleased about this in the slightest and tried to talk me out of it. She said I didn’t even know Natalie that well and she tried to stop me from seeing her completely. I had to be home by a certain time after work otherwise she would lock the door and not let me in. When I was “allowed” to visit Natalie, my mother would call me in the evenings and tell me to get home or not to bother ever coming back.
I started lying to my mother and telling her I was doing overtime at work just so I could meet Natalie and hang out with her. It was ridiculous that at the age of 21 I was on a curfew.
It wasn’t long before I was off to The Bahamas; as well travelled as I am now, still to this day this remains my best holiday ever! It was my first taste of absolute freedom and I loved it. Yet within 20 minutes of landing back in the UK after these 3 weeks of bliss, my mother was on the phone ready to burst my bubble. It was 7am and I called her to let her know I had landed and I was going to Natalie’s to sleep off my jetlag; with my brother at toddler age there was no way I would have been able to do this at home. My mother kicked off and that Narcissistic Rage I had been free from for the last 3 weeks showed its face. I was definitely back in reality.
My mother was going crazy, as I had just spent 3 weeks with ‘this girl’ and started screaming down the phone saying if I didn’t come home not to bother. I couldn’t deal with her at that moment so I just hung up. I went back to Natalie’s and slept for a few hours before I headed home. This was a really brave act on my part as I knew there would be serious consequences. When I got home my bed had been dismantled and all my stuff was packed up. I couldn’t believe it. I rung Natalie and told her what happened and she told me to just pack my essentials and come back to hers.
I couldn’t believe my mother managed to get all of this done in a few hours; especially while looking after a toddler. As I was packing she came into my room and said it didn’t need to end like this. I asked her how there was any going back when she has gone to great lengths to even dismantle a bed. She told me I had to choose; between Natalie and seeing my siblings. I was not going to be held to ransom, there was no way I was going to cut off the ONE person that had given me the courage to believe in myself and be strong. So I left, in floods of tears, not knowing when or if I would see my siblings again.
My mother was still trying to hurt me in every way possible. I had gone against her demands and this does not sit well with a Narcissist. She messaged Natalie, which was a message addressed to me saying “ You are a disgusting, dirty bitch, your so called friend will soon see what you are like and get rid of you just like everyone else”
She knew that without Natalie I would have no one to lean on, so she was gas lighting to try and ruin the friendship I had built with Natalie, but this girl is my best friend for a reason; she knows me better than I know myself, so she straight away saw through my mother’s lies.
The next couple of months were extremely difficult for me. I cried myself to sleep every night and was close to accepting defeat. I do not know how I would have survived without Natalie; she literally saved my life. I will forever feel indebted to her as I don’t think she realises; even to this day, how much of a godsend she was.
I cut most of my other friends off during this time; they just couldn’t understand why I would not be talking to my mother. All they kept saying was “but she is your mum, you have to forgive her”. It infuriated me that they would want me to go back to a situation where I questioned my existence. I think this is also the reason it took me so long to tell my story, I was convinced people wouldn’t understand so I had to just put on a front and get on with it.
I had been so scared of my mothers Narcissistic rages my whole life, I had formed a habit of making other people happy, rather than making myself happy. So I did exactly that for years. Until recently when the amazing support network I now have made me realise my happiness is the most important thing to me.
I was free. However, this was not the end for my mother and I just yet…