Hi Mom, [Originally published: 11-20-2019; Updated August 2020]
How are you? Did you get the Frangos? Little blast from the past, eh! I know you always liked them. Enjoy or as I always say in Julia Child’s honking voice when I serve Michael his dinner, “Bon Appétit!”
Long time, Mom. Seven years!
Well, you’ve had time to read almost five years’ worth of Narcissism Meets Normalcy. Every word I write is for you, Mom. The other 1.58 million readers are welcome but it’s you I write for, Mom. It’s you. I hope you’ve learned a lot and your narcissism/cult brainwashing and mind control have been shattered.
The Macy’s gift receipt on the Frangos didn’t allow much room to include a note so I had to be succinct and punctuation-free (shudder!), so this article is my way of rounding it out and saying what the gift receipt didn’t leave room for.
There’s one person in this world you never stop loving: your mother. I love you, Mom. Always have, always will. You gave me life and I’m so grateful because I’m rather enjoying myself!
You can’t do or say anything to make me stop loving you (and neither can your attorney. Seriously, Mom!? I never thought you’d stoop so low. That was some weak tea, Mom, very weak tea indeed
. That wasn’t you. The Mom I know would never do that. You know I’ve never been a liar even when you punished me, I still told you the truth. Defamation, my ass!)
I thought I had a very, very good mother, at least, until I became a teenager. So let’s talk about you, Mom, cause you’re one fascinating lady.
Actually, I see you as two people, not one. Just as I also see your mother as two people, not one.
First, there’s the sweet, loving, sensitive, unconfident, babied, infantalized, codependent and immature young woman who met a man when the ink on his divorce decree was still wet*. A good, kind, happy woman with her heart in the right place.
Mom, you married a very controlling, angry man-on-the-rebound who used God to wield his power over you. Everyone saw it. Everyone was worried about you, Mom. Yeah, they’ve told me in no uncertain terms. Friends, neighbors, relatives, even Dad’s coworkers from 20, 30, 40 years ago! They all knew something was wrong with our family, were shocked by your extreme submission to Dad’s blatant domination and were very worried about you and me. “What goes on in that house where the curtains and shades are drawn?” they wondered.
I tell them they were right to worry. I tell them what went on especially his blackout rages. Yes, I broke Cardinal Rule #1 of Abusive Families: Don’t talk. Keep it all secret. I broke that rule because you told me to never keep abuse a secret, Mom. Narcissism Meets Normalcy exists with half a million views yearly because I’m just obeying what you told me.
In words and “on paper” we’re just the perfect, loving family. All about safety and God. But actions, Mom! Look at actions. That’s where the truth lies. We were living a farce.
The other Mom is, well, the narcissist Mom. The one I had selective amnesia about until I listed almost 200 times you were jealous, controlling, accusatory, thought the worst of me, bashed my boundaries, pouted or were just downright cruel to me, most of them after I turned eighteen. How’s about them apples!?
By age 31, I’d lost my Will to Live, Mom, and you, your neediness, your selfishness, your miserliness and your love of my rent money drove me to despair. My twenties sucked! In my opinion, you basically wanted me grown up enough to serve you and pay…but not grown up enough to have any of the things you didn’t have like a career, freedom, friends, a happy romantic relationship, etc.
Living alone in 2011 was far superior to what my childhood home had become. I was so blissfully happy after I was allowed to move out, you have no idea.
I choose to think that’s not really you, Mom. You’re better than that. You’re the young, happy, sweet, loving woman who introduced me to poetry and beauty and art and music and flowers and God as a very young child. You gave me the greatest gift one person can give another: a happy, magical childhood. Thanks to you, there were fairies dancing in the Weeping Willow and elves winking at me from behind every rock.
Everything good in me, from my love of beauty to my desire to be kind to my morals, I owe it all to you, Mom. You done good, Mom. You done real good. My friends stand in awe of the mother you were and the child you raised…so why have you always looked for the worst, assumed the worst, even called me “spoiled”!?! You’d never have raised a spoiled kid! God forbid!
So this letter is to my Good Mother…if she still exists.
During all of my many illnesses, all those grilled cheese sandwiches on the pink Tupperware tray, all those tears you dried, all the times you made me laugh, all the treats you bought me, all the lessons you taught me, you were a wonderful mother. What happened to that Good Mom?? Did she ever exist? Or was she just a façade covering a cold woman who discussed me as “she,” never using my name. Yes, I witnessed that when I was twelve and you were coldly deciding that “she” would wear men’s boxer shorts.
Oh, and one more thing, your mother is a big problem. Granny’s a textbook narc and the reason you married a narc. She’s not cute, she’s not sweet, she’s NOT the poor, poor little old lady victim she’s always pretended to be to manipulate you into giving her Narcissistic Supply. She has single-handedly ruined her children and torn her own family apart…then played the victim for it. I feel that you chose your mother over your own daughter. Dump her! She’s poison.
That screaming you do in the basement, is because you’re righteously angry at your mom. That crankiness and anger you felt when she came around (and took out on me, btw), were because of her…not the overwhelming stench of her fabric softener. You are rightfully furious at your mother. Let it out, Mom. Acknowledge it. Accept it. It’s valid and just. Go No Contact. Oh, f*ck her money! Stop trusting in money and start trusting in God. You’ll be surprised that He always comes thru, often through the kindness and generosity of friends. Don’t be too proud to start a GoFundMe so kind people can help you with Dad’s medical bills and your retirement savings aren’t destroyed.
When you defended Granny and played the “poor, poor old lady with the pacemaker” card in your blog comment of Feb. 2016…”give her money back”…seriously, Mom!?! I’d just written about her victim-playing. And then you played the victim-card for the woman who’s ruined your life!?! C’mon, Mom! You’re better than this! You’re more logical and smarter than this!
Or are you seriously choosing your narc mother over your only child who has always tried to help you??? I never did you wrong, even when I was being groomed.
Are you seriously choosing the man who broke you and then called you “chicken shit” behind your back and never lifted a finger to rebuild your confidence or encourage you to drive again… over me who did everything I could to make you mobile and independent again!?!
Slap me upside the head cause I just don’t get it! And there was something that happened frequently that I want you to know about.
Since we last spoke in 2013, I’ve not been idle on your behalf. I’ve been trying to find ways to help you.
Things have been kinda tight so my dream of sending you a stack of books about narcissism didn’t work out. It’s just now that (thanks to my readers!) I have a little extra that the idea of sending you my words and my love courtesy of Macy’s Candy Department kept nagging and bugging and I have a rule: “When you think of someone three times, get off your ass and do something about it.” So I did. Yeah, I, the big champion of No Contact, has violated No Contact. I’ll be in my closet, dressed in sackcloth and ashes, applying thumb screws.
Now, listen, Mom. I’ve contacted therapists (Heather S.) in your area. Even local women’s Shelters. But they all say that you, Mom, must raise your hand if you’ve finally had enough. It’s obvious that you had/have OCD-spartanism, OCD-trichotillomania, Generalized Anxiety, Trauma Bonding, Stockholm Syndrome (no, the world is NOT that dangerous) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from all the emotional and spiritual abuse you’ve born. I’ve been professionally diagnosed with all-of-the-above too; pretty sure you’d get the same diagnosis as me.
If you’ve finally had your bellyful of narcissism, narcissistic abuse and want help to escape that damned cult of our family, the help is there for the asking. But I can’t do it for you. You must raise your hand and help yourself. That’s how it should be. I wish someone, anyone, had done this for me when I turned 18.
Don’t let fear stop you as I allowed it to stop me. Don’t be proud. Don’t worry about money or possessions. Don’t be a coward as I was waiting for permission to leave! Damn-and-blast Stockholm Syndrome and misplaced loyalty and duty and submission. Choose light and air and freedom. It’s great out here, Mom! You’re not called to submit to abuse, even if it’s not physical.
There’s a lot of things I want to tell you and a lot of things I’d like to ask you, Mom. My brainwashing…that’s gone. Shattered. Never to be restored. I’ve put the truth together, piece by piece. What happened in ’95 is obvious once I allowed myself to see the truth. But I still want to hear your side of the story. Don’t you deserve to be heard and don’t I deserve the truth at last!?! That year wracked and ruined our lives and no one had the decency to tell me what was going on. I’m a Big Girl now, Mom. Nothing can shock me so tell the truth and shame the Devil.
I think you have other things to tell me. Things you hoped I’ve forgotten. Well, I didn’t. Just took a while for the memories to burble to the surface. You owe me the truth, Mom. Spill! 🙂
If you’re at all blaming Michael for me leaving the family…don’t. He only said one thing: “Your family seems cultish” because he had an aunt who was in cults so he knew something about it. I took that clue and ran with it. So don’t blame him. No Contact was 150% my solo decision. But I’ll tell you this: He is everything you ever taught me that a Good Husband should be. By every statistic, I should’ve married a narc. Somehow, I didn’t…but that’s through God’s Protection, not my wisdom. I just want you to know, Michael’s the best thing that ever happened to me and in a way, even Dad’s precious cancer was a blessing. It made me unafraid to marry someone who was sick. Michael’s a hoot-‘n-a-half.
Oh, one more thing and I’ve wanted to tell you this for ages. Y’know that HSP thing? Yeah, I think that’s only one tiny aspect. I think you’re an Aspie, Mom. Yep, I’m 99% sure. That would explain a lot of the times we just didn’t connect quite right. You’re Aspergers; I’m neurotypical. The communication is tricky. Look it up!
There! Whew! I’ve been wanting to say this stuff for years. Feels good to finally get it off my chest.
I just hope you’re enjoying your life, Mom. Michael’s taught me to be a bit hedonistic. Spend some money to make yourself happier, Mom, because every day might be your last. Take that pottery class you always wanted, Mom. Don’t just exist. Invest in your life. It always felt like we were just hoping to get through life unscathed and we’d do our living in Heaven. What a waste of our precious lives! I wish you’d set me an example of a more independent woman who valued and cared for herself…not just everyone else.
If you want to understand me Read C. S. Lewis! I particularly recommend The Screwtape Letters, That Hideous Strength and Mere Christianity.
Here’s what I’d love for you to do: Get a cat, or even better, get two cats so they have playmates! I hate to think of you being alone all day. Cats are great company, hilariously funny, can be left alone for hours and so, so loving…furry arms around your neck, raspy purrs, squeaky “meow” conversations. They’re great conversationalists. Not “cold and aloof” but spectacularly smart, clean and easy to care for and there’s nothing quite as sweet as waking up with whiskers tickling your cheeks, a snoring kitten nose-to-nose sharing your pillow…or sometimes fast asleep with their head in your mouth! LOL
Well, that’s about it. Um, you doing okay? Getting to your dentist appointments? Get your thyroid checked, Mom! I’m guessing you might be hypothyroid and possibly insulin resistant (or hypoglycemic???) like me. That’s why we have so little energy.
Oh, I know you’re fine but I took care of you so long it’s an instinct. Are you going clothes shopping sometimes? Getting fresh air? Going out to eat? I’d like to think you’re driving again…maybe even got a second car so you can enjoy freedom. Saw the house recently. Neat as a pin, as ever. Like the windchime. Very cute!
I should pray for you more than I do. But I’m so damn angry at how unconscionably you treated me in my teens and twenties. Did you delight in thinking badly of me? The whole mote/beam thing seems to apply. I sincerely hope you get help. You should be delighted in the daughter you raised. I honestly don’t know how I survived my teens and twenties; guess I’m stronger than anyone thinks.
Enjoy the Frangos, Mom. Thank you for being The Good Mother to me and in time, I’ll be able to forgive you for the rest. At least the bad I experienced enabled me to write this blog, helping others and even saving lives.
I love you.
Love Always, Your Daughter,
* She’s very sorry about everything, btw. Very regretful. Been wonderfully kind to me. Very happy for you both. Glad Dad got to have the child he always wanted. I hope this brings you and Dad both closure and peace. She says he was a wonderful husband who never raged at her and is deeply regretful of the past. I have empathy for you, Mom, now that I understand the situation better.