Treading Carefully

I’ve talked a lot about issues I’ve had in my life, but there’s a major one that I’ve refrained from discussing for a variety of reasons.  However, I truly believe that it’s impossible to work through your issues without discussing them, so I feel it’s time to do just that.  It’s a difficult one for me to talk about, though, because it involves my mother.

For most of my childhood, she was my best friend; I told her everything that was going on in my life.  And, like most kids, she was my guide for how to behave in the world.  But, as I became a teenager, I started to see some of her words and actions differently; there were hypocrisies and failings that bothered me a lot.  I eventually learned that everyone is human and that we all have issues we’re working through, but some of her inconsistencies bothered me more than a little.  And, when I moved away from home and began to see more of the world and more of how other people react and interact with each other, my memories of my “wonderful” relationship with her became less shiny and happy than before.

A major blow to our relationship came when I married Craig and we tried to gain custody of his daughter, Athena.  We both felt that Athena’s mother was doing what’s called Gaslighting to her and hoped–if we brought this to the judge’s attention–it would strengthen our case to remove her from that negative home life.

In researching Gaslighting, I found that it’s a common trait among people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), so I began to do more research on that and found more and more traits that I believed Athena’s mother possessed.  However, I also started seeing some similarities in these articles in my own life.

This was a VERY hard realization to come to, because I didn’t want to think of my mother in this light (who does?), but the more articles I read, the more things resonated with my childhood.  And the more I discussed this with my own therapist, the more I had to finally accept that yes, I am a child of a parent with NPD.

Now, I will fully state that I’m NOT a psychologist, psychiatrist, or anyone skilled enough in the mental health fields to make an actual diagnosis.  For me to say that my mother has NPD is merely my opinion,  though it is based on LOTS of research and articles written by mental health professionals, which I will share with you in upcoming blogs.

I also want to state that I don’t think my mother is a bad person.  She has a huge heart and is very nice and wise in many ways.  But people with NPD have this tendency to think much of their wants/needs are more important, and their actions towards others often reflect this (consciously or otherwise).  The biggest cause of the trouble right now is that I tried to set some boundaries between us (in order to maintain my sanity in this issue and work through it), but she didn’t like that thought and it escalated from there.

And, please understand, this is NOT something I’m saying lightly.  It’s taken me nearly three years of research and therapy for me to come to this conclusion.  And it’s not a subject that anyone should take lightly.  As you’ll see in the articles and blogs I’ll post over the next few months, this is a very detrimental form of mental abuse.  In many cases it’s not an intentional abuse (I certainly don’t believe my mother intended to hurt me at all), but the effects are just as damaging as if it were.

Because this is such an involved topic, I’ve decided to write about it in blogs separate from my regular monthly ones.  I don’t have any set dates in mind for when I’ll post them, but it won’t be more than once a month.  I’m spacing them out because there’s SO much information out there to be disseminated, and trying to do it all at once can feel like an overload.  I know I felt overloaded and depressed when I tried to read more than five articles in one sitting.

I will also say that I’m venturing into this topic with quite a bit of trepidation.  The subject of mothers and their roles in our lives is a very delicate one.  The media, our families, movies and TV (and just about every other venue out there) depicts mothers as the most wonderful parent.  The most nurturing.  The one that holds the family together, and who we’ll all miss when she goes.  That role is held up on a pedestal (unfairly so), so to even think of saying anything against that institution can be dangerous.  But these blogs will be about MY relationship with my mother (the good and bad), so I have to be as honest as I can.

I also hear the apologies in my tone while I’m writing this (which I’ll explain in a future blog), but the more I deal with this issue, the stronger I’ll get.

Stay tuned.

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Natalia
    Jan 15, 2016 @ 04:36:19

    Beautiful post. Congratulations on dealing with this problem so openly, you’ll sure help others identify it if they are in this situation and ‘overcome’ it; it’s an incredible hard thing to do actually. It’s like being an alcoholic, you’ll always be one, you just need to keep it under control, always watchful so that it doesn’t sneak up on you and either become your mother or keep on being that codependent person they made you into, need and thrive on. Looking forward to your future posts on the subject

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Jan 15, 2016 @ 08:06:33

      Thanks, Natalia. You’re right, that it’s a struggle to not carry the NPD on in yourself (some of the articles I’ve read touch on that exact point), & I’ve seen some traits in me (& in my past) that were NPD-like. Now that I’m aware of what’s going on, though, I’ve been more conscious to NOT react like that, because I don’t want to carry this onward.

      Thanks for your support . . . there’s lots of interesting stuff to come.

      Reply

  2. kerryemckenna
    Jan 15, 2016 @ 09:11:37

    Oooooh, boy, girl. I get it!

    Reply

  3. csmithsq
    Jan 15, 2016 @ 09:23:01

    Congratulations Baby, on your courage to talk about this in an open forum. We’ll all be as supportive as we can. I love you.

    Reply

  4. Malena
    Jan 16, 2016 @ 12:50:51

    Wow, Alyx, this is some heavy stuff that you are dealing with. And it takes a lot of courage to write about something so personal. I thank you for that, since I think my mother-in-law suffers from NPD, so reading about your journey will no doubt help me with coping with her.
    Write on!

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Jan 16, 2016 @ 14:07:40

      Thanks, Malena. Yes, it is tough, but the research I’ve done has helped clear up a LOT of stuff in my head.

      As you read on, I’m sure you’ll see NPD traits in many people you know, but you’ll also see that many of us exhibit an NPD trait from time to time, & certainly not everyone who exhibits a few of those traits would be diagnosed with NPD. But yes, if your Mother-in-Law has NPD, I hope the upcoming articles will help you learn how to deal with it.

      Thanks for your support, & for reading. :o)

      Reply

  5. Trackback: A Different Reality | Droppings From the Mind of Alyx
  6. Trackback: Wrapping It Up | Droppings From the Mind of Alyx

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