Friday, July 13, 2012

The First Epiphany

My first epiphany regarding my mother wasn't when I connected her with NPD. It came after a series of events too specific and identifying for me to be comfortable posting. In sum, a very important family decision was made with out me, I was given incorrect information by NM, and when I tried to discuss different options based on the incorrect information, I became the bad guy. To be fair I was acutely aware of being the dissenter and was on hyper alert for signs of attack. As such, I readily admit I am not entirely blameless in the situation that followed. Ironically, the initial ensuing conflict regarding my dissent did not directly involve NM, but she threw herself into because she loves to be a martyr. This, "The Incident" as I like to call it, was the beginning of the path that would lead up to "The Confrontation". If you are interested in the details of said event(s), you are welcome to e-mail me for more information and if I feel confident you are in no way associated with my family I'll share the whole blown out of proportion mess, the two straws that broke the camel's back, so to speak.

After basically being told what a horrible person I was and having my pain and suffering utterly invalidated by NM (story of my life), I had the epiphany over dinner with my best friend. The words of a wise professor came floating back to me. I don't remember them exactly, but it was something along the lines of  "When somebody tells you to stop crying or you're being too sensitive, it's because they can't handle your feelings." That your feelings are yours and they can't be wrong, nobody can tell you they are wrong because they are yours and only you truly know them, and so on. Suddenly, I realized I was not the one with a problem. It was NM's problem if she didn't like or couldn't handle the feelings I had. It wasn't my problem, it never was. It was hers, it was always hers. She, for whatever reason, could not deal with my feelings. I was practically giddy with delight at this realization. Well, there might have been a little wine involved in that, too.

Connecting those words with my NM was the first step toward the truth. I remember it very clearly, right down to where in the room my professor was standing when he said them. I remember liking those words, but not connecting them at all to NM at the time. When I did connect them, it was amazing, a weight I had carried all my life was gone. I hadn't learned the proper term for NM's behavior yet (invalidation), but I knew the concept. And knowing it was incredible. I wasn't completely ready to act on it though. That would come later, after I had connected NPD to my mother and learned more about it, when the second and final straw came, that I call "The Second Incident" lead me to confront her about about her behavior, especially her invalidation.


  1. I'm not sure why you feel you should take on any blame in this situation. Maybe the particulars make you think so, but from what I understand of this post, it seems to me that just because you knew you were the outsider doesn't mean that you are to blame for not towing the party line. It doesn't make you a bad guy or responsible for whatever shenanigans that came before.

    I dunno. I'm just tired of children of narcisissts feeling like because they have awareness and brains in their head, they somehow hold responsibility for any crappy thing that incidentally touches your life crossed with the narcissist. It's unfair to you. It's like you're taking away some of their culpability because you are willing to see more sides to a situation than they are.

    1. Oh, I don't feel I did anything wrong in offering a dissenting opinion, but I did say something else later that was uncalled for at the time I said it. And that made things worse. I don't regret saying it because at the time I felt I had to say it to make things clear, but it was in hindsight, I picked a REALLY bad time and place to say it.

      Unlike NM and Esis though, I can own up to wrong doings on my part instead of trying to weasel out of it by pretending things I said weren't meant that way.

      But I appreciate the unwavering support, Vicarious! :) I suppose if they had just respected my feelings and honored the request I made not to talk about a certain subject around me, I'd have never been pushed to the point of lashing out like I did. Still, they were my words and I gotta own them.

  2. " As such, I readily admit I am not entirely blameless in the situation that followed."
    Could this be self awareness?
    Try getting that from the lynch mob.

    1. Oh yes, complete lack of self awareness, despite how enlightened and empathetic NM thinks she is.

      These people seem to think that if they say something "wasn't meant that way" that they are magically absolved of all wrongdoing, and that it's your fault for "misinterpreting" them.

      Never mind what they say is usually meant EXACTLY that way.

  3. Hallelujah! Epiphany's are great! It's the first step to realizing the problem lies with your mother, you are merely the victim of whatever she leaves in her wake, the problem is NOT YOU! Your choices become much clearer when you know what her problem is.... You can remove yourself from her wake or you can brace until your ride (each encounter) is over. It's not as easy as it sounds, this is a process, thankfully the Blog world is a very supportive community.