Is No Contact Vengeance?

No contact from our families may seem cold and callous, but let me assure you, when the family dynamic is narcissistic, no contact if often the best option for it’s victims.  This was sure the case for me.

It’s not vengeance either – its the card I was dealt. I didn’t break all contact to be vengeful, it was for self-protection, it was so that I could heal and recover. So many think it’s insanely harsh to obliterate parents from their lives, and in my case, siblings as well as extended family of origin. But I assure you, when you have experienced the insidious abuse I have that only exponentially got worse through the years, you would totally understand why it was my only option – and so, when God opened that door to take my leave about seven years ago – I took it – I ran for it actually, and when on the other side, I nailed it shut.

When you have been smeared, gaslighted, and triangulated to name a few tactics of the abuse I suffered, and no one wants to talk about it – it’s rejection – and there’s not much left for one to do, but walk away.  Let me assure you, I was rejected long before I took that doorway out.

When you have family talking about you, in a bad way – smearing you, behind your back – the kind of talk that actually severs relationships and causes them to pull away from you – you are being rejected. When you find out they are going out for family dinners (even without my abuser) without you, excluding you and your family from other family events without explanation – you are being rejected. When you are enduring long drawn out seasons of silence (the silent treatment) – you are being rejected.

What many don’t understand about the narcissistic family unit is that the scapegoat (which was me) is the one targeted as the evil one, the one who is ‘airing dirty laundry’ – yet, I was the one exposing the evil, which we are supposed to do as believers. I was airing what needed to be aired – it stunk, it was putrid – and it had to be dealt with but no one wanted to address this big elephant in the room – guess they all became ‘nose blind.’  The last thing family members said to me, after confronting them, informing them the details about my mother’s abuse, was, “We don’t want to hear about it and we don’t want to talk about it.” From the scapegoat’s point of view – this is ultimate rejection.  The last thing my mother said to me, blaming me for her inability to love me, “You were always so hard to love.” (Me – the subservient one that was always trying to earn her love and affection … for years.) Rejection.

So fast forward seven years after going strict no contact, the abuse still haunts you.  Strict no contact is no contact in any way, shape, or form whatsoever. This means no emails, no written correspondence of any kind actually, no phone calls, no texting, no contact via social media (where my family of origin is conveniently blocked from even finding me.) No contact means no contact in any way whatsoever … and even with that, recovering from this abuse is still painstaking.

Some on the outside who don’t come from this dynamic of family, have no freaking idea how painful it is as it strikes to the core of our beings. With me being the family scapegoat, the family sin rag – I was the one that got the family dysfunction dumped on them. For instance, with my abusive mother, when she would dump her sins on me – I’d get called a whore, a slut (and she did this by saying I was like an aunt she hated – she would compare me to her and then tell me I was just like her), she’d tell me I was selfish, she conditioned me to think I was a dunce, that I was inept. Then because one person doing this isn’t enough, they recruit other family members and family friends, even try to recruit in-laws, to carry on this behaviour (abuse by proxy).  More rejection. How does a victim of this horrifying behaviour supposed to endure this?! The thing is, we don’t – we die inside.  Eventually, I died inside – and it’s been a long, arduous and painful journey back to wholeness!

People who don’t understand this asinine abuse, are always ready to respond to my no contact with family with, “But she’s your mother!” or “But he’s your father!” or “But that’s your family!” And my response to all of those is the same, “You don’t know them and you don’t know what I endured!” (This is why I write about it – people have to know it’s real and how much of a soul rape it is.)

Many also think that now that my parents are getting older, that it’s somehow up to me to ‘make nice.’  That somehow it’s up to me for put things behind me and reconcile with my parents and family. And I have to ask people who think this way, ‘Why is it up to the victim to do this?? Why is no one confronting the abusers to make things right with their victim?’  The reality and truth is that it’s actually up to the abuser to make things right with those they’ve wronged. I know with my mother that she knows exactly what she did to me because she knew when to hide it from people – she’s the one who turned their hearts against me and my little family.  She knows and I know what she did and it’s not up to me to fix what she broke. I also know she will never fix it – she will never make the first move, because to do so would require her to admit fault, to admit she’s abused me since I was just a little girl and she’s built up too much of a facade, filled with smears and lies, to reveal her true nature – she’d be rejected if she did. So … my refusing to make things right with her or them is not vengeful – it’s self preservation, it’s self protection. I kindly refuse to get involved with people who will not admit the truth or see the truth of the abuse and pain they have caused. I will not enter back into toxic relationships that has been taking me years to heal from.

It should be noted too that while I was in their lives, in my mother’s life, I tried to make things right. I confronted her about how she was treating me and she gave me excuses for her behaviour without changing her behaviour.  I tried, for years, to love her into loving me back – that didn’t work; in fact, it made her abuse of me worse if you can believe it!  I tried everything I could think of and I gave her, literally, hundreds of chances to make things right with me and it just made things worse – to the point where it was either ‘take the abuse’ or ‘run.’  I chose the latter.

So many think that things should be patched up as parents get old … and in some cases, maybe it can be done depending on the circumstances, but not with narcissistic parent(s) and the narcissistic family dynamic. To enter back into these relationships where there has been no change or admission of fault on the abuser’s part is downright dangerous! I know in my gut, that without their acknowledgment of the abuse, I will again become the scapegoat and it will be far worse than it was before. No, thank you.  Did you know that just thinking about being in relationship with these people causes me severe anxiety as I feel my body tense up and go numb?? No??  Doesn’t surprise me – most people don’t – but this is what I live with … even seven years later.

What brought this up, is that is was brought to my attention recently that my father is not doing well health-wise.  The illness is bad enough that most kids would be by their side to do what they can for them.  Sadly, it will not be me. Why would it be up to me to come to his aide when he rejected me – when they all rejected me??  Seven years of silence not only validates their rejection of me – but it loudly exclaims it. It’s very clear to me that they don’t want me in their lives and I have humbly accepted that.

No one ever thinks of things from the victim’s point of view.  So, I will paint a picture for you. As a victim of narcissistic abuse, having been rejected and discarded long before the Lord opened a door (at the worst time by the way) for me to take my leave seven years ago, leaves me having no allegiance to this family. Why would I run to anyone who has abused me, abused me by proxy, who have rejected me using the silent treatment as well as rejecting me because I refused to be silent about the abuse?? When this family has made no effort to make things right with me, why should I run to their aide??  It’s not because I am hateful or vengeful – it was because I was rejected – it’s because I was shut out without explanation by the way. Why would I go running back to a family who clearly didn’t want me – they never came after me to make things right, in fact I was told I needed therapy, that I was crazy and was being a drama queen – anyone who knows me knows I am not crazy or a drama queen.  I did seek therapy because I needed to know if I really was crazy – I found out that I am NOT the crazy one.

I confronted my family of origin asking them that if they thought I was a liar that there was then no point of ‘relationship’ – them thinking I was a liar was confirmed when no one responded. And consider this too – how can I possibly have healthy relationships with people who think I am a liar – that I would lie about the way my own mother (who I loved by the way) treated me?!?! Why would I make that up?? They clearly believed my abuser over me and there is nothing I can do about that – but never assume or think that I should be the one going back to that. That will not happen. It was communicated to me seven years ago by them in so many words to ‘shut up and put up’ – and that was something I couldn’t do – not anymore. And if going back to them required me to stay ‘shut up and putting up’ – that is something I will not and cannot do!  I have fought far too long to overcome and heal from this abuse – to become the stronger woman I am now, and to go back into relationship with people who think they have done nothing wrong to me is not an option for me, for any reason.

I no longer consider my family of origin my family. I see myself as being orphaned – as being dead to them. And if dead, how can the dead be there for them?  Trust me when I say, refusing to ‘make nice’ to make amends is not vengeance – it’s simply no contact from a horrific abuse that I never want to experience again for the rest of my life – abuse that my body reacts to when I am reminded of the abuse – reactions that I have no control over.  It’s about self protection as well as protecting my children from a very toxic legacy.

I took the path God laid out for me and so, when He opened that door, I took it.  He has been there for me when no one else was, by giving me a very loving husband – a man He knew I needed. God also blessed us with three children … to whom I get to pass on a far better legacy than the one I was given … and there is nothing vengeful about that.

Saoirse Quill

 

 

 

When They Triangulate

Triangulation.  It’s sneaky. It works behind-the-scenes with the intent to destroy their target. Abusers who use this tactic, which is very typical of malignant narcissists, could probably work at being spies because they have to be deceptive and very convincing – which they most definitely are, especially when they play the victim doing it.

When I was a teen is when I started to see that how she treated me wasn’t ‘right’. But because I grew up under this, it was still my normal, but there was something that tweaked at my gut telling me that how she was treating just wasn’t right – something was wrong. When I confronted my mother, I was told it was all in my head, that I was too sensitive – this is gaslighting – which is making their target feel crazy and unhinged, like we aren’t seeing and experiencing what we are really seeing and experiencing. This is when my eyes started to open as there are some things I could not dismiss – it was too in-my-face.  Having the truth of her behaviour slowly being unveiled to me, was like peeking through a dense heavy curtain that could only reveal so much view a little at a time. I started to really notice her favouritism of her favourite child, which she didn’t even try to hide – aunts, uncles and family friends could see it. That is when, recalling memories from childhood, that it was true – this particular sister had always been her favourite and did get preferential treatment. One of my mother’s favourite expressions was, “I treat my kids all the same.” A lie she’d always tell herself to appease her guilty conscience, I’d wager, because she never did treat us all the same – at least where I was concerned anyway.

My mother involved my siblings in this triangulation and what this does is break any bonds that we should have otherwise had. Mother never encouraged us to stick up for one another – and why would she when we weren’t even allowed to stick up for ourselves against our parents – to do so was to be disrespectful, to be dishonourable. As I got older, my mother would recruit other people into her triangulating, like friends for instance and they had no idea how they were being manipulated.

My mother would smear me to my siblings (and others), making me appear incredibly inept and deeply flawed, evil even. She talked of me to them in such a way that made them pull away from me, so that with siblings a sibling bond would not be formed and no siblings bonds were formed until I was in my early twenties and a certain incidence occurred that caused my youngest sister to confide in me and I was there to console her. She was the only sibling I was close to after that – for a time anyway. I will never know all the lies mother fed them, but whatever she told, it was enough for them to keep their distance, relationship wise, and she was convincing enough for my siblings to believe her wholeheartedly. By the time I was a teen, I felt like the family outcast and the older I got the worse it got – and when I became a Christian at age 26, it got exponentially worse. This is what triangulation does – it alienates.  It paints an undesirable picture of the narcissist’s victim, the scapegoat, which in my family, was me. I was the ‘screw-up’, the inept one, the stupid one.  The naive one.  And I was naive because my mother didn’t teach me things she should have in order to wise me up to the world, relationships, and teaching me about men for instance – her failing to prepare me did leave me feeling stupid and deeply flawed which also set me up for heartache and failure. When it came to going out into the world, I was not prepared and was left to figure it out on my own and when I made mistakes or wrong choices, I was ridiculed and demeaned for them, which reminded of how deeply flawed I was. As most mothers mentor their daughters into adulthood, my mother did not – she took joy in seeing me go into life totally unprepared. The only thing I knew how to do well is to keep a home because she made me clean her house by myself 90 percent of the time, by myself. (The other 10% the ‘favourite’ was supposed to help – but she got to spend time with her friends on Saturdays, I was not and my friends still remember that.) It’s like she took sick joy in seeing me fumble and make mistakes that could have been avoided – and then hold those things against me to make me feel even worse. What mother does that to a child they love?

Triangulation turns the hearts of those you love against you.  If not for that one instance with my youngest sister, that actually created a bond between her and I for a time, I would have never been close to any of my siblings. It was so bad up until that instance, that I was not included in things that siblings did – I was often excluded from family outings too especially in the last year or two before I went strict no contact with all family of origin seven years ago. There was a separation that was felt emotionally and physically. I don’t know how my mother did it exactly – but she was pro at it – making sure there was no sibling bond as far as I was concerned. This instance with my youngest sister created a bond that would not have been created if my mother wasn’t away that particular weekend, if I hadn’t dropped in at my mother’s house on that particular day. This sister and I were close for a good many years – at least I thought we were – until eight to nine years ago, she started to pull away from me and give me the silent treatment my mother always used to – this performance is called ‘abuse by proxy.’ It hurt deeply and it made me insanely angry – no one talks in my family about this stuff – at least not concerning parents.  We were conditioned to keep their behaviours secret – to not air our dirty laundry in public, as they called it – I guess that translated to not talking about their behaviour with each other as well, no matter how wrong it was. When children – even adult children – are conditioned to think and behave this way, it allows abusive behaviour to get passed down to the next generation because nothing get corrected – it permeates and affects future generations until someone takes a stand – which is exactly what I did and I was ostracized for it. In a narcissistic family, if anyone does take a stand, it is almost always the scapegoat that does – they are the ones who see the dysfunction very clearly after a time. In our family, I was that scapegoat and I did take a stand and try to expose and talk about the dysfunction and abuse and in doing so, as if I didn’t feel rejected before that, now I really did and it was unbearable – I got the impression that they felt like I betrayed them by exposing the real family dynamic that was both toxic and abusive, especially for me.

So as you can see, triangulation also discourages communication between siblings and anyone else the malignant narcissist pulls into their toxic web of lies. So when my sister (that I developed a bond with) started giving me the silent treatment, there was no talking about it.  I knew this was a ‘punishment’ tactic for not conforming and staying silent – if there was other reason for it, I never knew what the hell I had done to warrant it, not even when my mother implemented it. I was supposed to read everyone’s mind I guess. I knew my mother was feeding this particular sister lies and it turned her heart against me – especially when I knew I did nothing wrong, at least not that I could see anyway.

The thing with malignant narcissists is that they paint themselves as the victim while vilifying their real victim, which in this case, was me.  Mother would tell people that I was treating her the way she was actually treating me.  My mother would accuse me of even treating my children the way she was actually treating me – and because she is so believable, she had my siblings convinced that I was the evil one – and not just siblings, family friends and I suspect, even in-laws. When rejection jumps to this level, I cannot tell you how heartbreaking it is. It’s like having people stolen from you – people you loved who you thought loved you. It was hard to bear and still sometimes is.

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I omitted my mother from my life about 17 years ago because I could no longer endure her abuse – the smearing and lies, shaming and humiliations, degradations, along with silent treatments, being gaslighted, triangulated, to name a few – I was reduced to an empty-shell person, I was void of any identity and worth – she stripped me of it all. I felt like a walking black void of nothingness. And even though I was no longer in her life, she was still smearing me, discrediting me, creating lies about me. So when a decade later (about 7 years ago), after my one sister who I thought I had a bond with, suddenly started to distance herself from me, giving me the silent treatment and looking at me with a look they all often gave me – I knew that there was nothing left to hang onto. Nothing. It was a look as if they were seeing me as a facade – how they were seeing me was the picture my mother was painting of me instead of seeing me as who I really was, and am. Instead of questioning my mother’s facade and her warped depiction of me, they were believing the one my mother painted me with. And because our mother knew none of them would question her – because to do so was construed as dishonour or disrespect – she knew that their brains would consume what she said without question.  Not once did it occur to any of them to ask me if what she was saying was true – especially the one sister who I thought really knew me. None of them thought to challenge anything my mother was saying. It blew me away that this sister would believe our mother’s smears of me instead of believing what she actually knew about me. It broke my heart.

My mother even used this tactic with me against my own father while they were still married and was in my teens and early twenties. Whenever he wasn’t around, mother would smear him – insult him, put him down, going so far as to insult his family and his family name. She’d go on about things she despised about the man, calling him selfish – that was the big one – then she’d look at me with the cold stare that shot daggers at your heart and between seething teeth exclaim, “And you’re just like him, you’re such a (his surname)!!”  She would do this in attempt to turn my heart against my father – but because she did this to me behind my back as well, it didn’t work! This was an example of how I started to see my mother for what she really was – that I could finally see the real her behind the facade she presented to everyone else. By telling me all these things she hated about him, calling him selfish and such, saying I was just like him was her way of insulting me all at the same time.  It rattled me to my core. It wasn’t hard for me to figure out that she had no great love for me, being I am such a (surname here)!

My mother really hated one of his sisters too.  I don’t know what happened between them, but my mother would cruelly berate this aunt, referring to her as a whore, a slut, and how selfish she was, and she’d go on and on … and then again, she’d seethe at me with her dead-eye, dagger-throwing stare that struck the heart of me every single time, “And you’re just like her!” This was her way of berating me in a triangulating manner.  It struck me to the core every single time. The damage that it does goes into your most innermost parts that eats away at your soul and psyche … until you just can’t take it anymore.

I am convinced that abuser’s triangulate to deflect onto others their own sins – and lucky me – I was that target, I was her scapegoat, her sin rag. They do this to take the focus of their own shortcomings and sins.  They do this to attempt to make themselves seem saintly, which they are not. They are covert deceivers. They don’t like it when their scapegoats rebel by revealing the truth about their nature. It’s all deflection – it takes their focus off of themselves so no one thinks they are the actual awful person, they put all their flaws and sins on their victims so that no one questions them or hates them, but their target. It’s an awful form of abuse that is just one of the tactics disordered narcissists use – especially covert malignant narcissists.

I am a firm believer that if you are in a family like this, no contact is really the only viable and healthy option – but it’s a choice you have to make on your own, no one can make it for you.  Many victims of this abuse try limited contact for months or years only to find out that even that doesn’t work – in fact, in can make the abuse worse. It sure did in my case. Strict no contact was the best option for me.  It was the only way I could heal and be a better mom and wife for my kids and my husband.

The Lord Himself provided a door at the most inopportune time for me to take my leave seven years ago, and when the Lord opens a door, you take it – and I did. It was the hardest most painful decision, but it was also the wisest. I do no regret my decision and looking back, I would make that same choice all over again. When I was presented with, ‘stay with my family’ or ‘go with God’ – I chose God.  After all, He chose me and He saved my soul – He blessed me in ways no human being every could. He has given me a life I only ever used to dream about – a loving husband and great kids who I love deeply and who love me.

When you choose God and trust in Him with your circumstances, in time the blessings will come and they will exceed anything you could have expected – at least this was my experience because I was always waiting for my bottom to fall out, for the ground to crumble underneath me. So when the Lord comes into your life and gives you a solid rock to stand on – that alone is the greatest blessing there is. Yes, there have been hard times and healing from this abuse is not delightful, it’s long and it’s arduous – but with God by my side – I will always choose Him. He had me when no one else did.

Living with and enduring the antics of an abusive narcissistic family is not a way to live.  I grew up being robbed of my worth and even my own identity … and to stay in a family like that, in my humble opinion, just isn’t worth it. The Lord says He rescues the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds … and that is exactly what He did … for me.

~ Saoirse Quill

More on triangulation … http://www.daughtersofnarcissisticmothers.com/triangulation/

 

Hard to Love?

The last thing she said to me was, “You were always so hard to love.”

To many, it seems just like a simply-said-statement, but if you understand the manipulations and darkness of a disordered narcissist, this is a blame-shifting statement.  This was her blaming me for her inability to love me.  Classic NPD behaviour.

She did this to me all the time, saying things like this, putting me at blame for things when they didn’t work out, especially in our relationship – if you can call it a relationship.  Everything was my fault that she couldn’t love me, show me affection, accept me, respect me, you get the gist. This is what it’s like being the family scapegoat.

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I grew up under this tyranny.  When you grow up being the scapegoat from a young age, a child turns inward always questioning their every action – I was always self-evaluating which made me so guarded about everything so as to not upset my narcissistic disordered mother.  For as long as I can remember, I was always walking on eggshells.  I always tried to be on my best behaviour around my mother in hopes that she’d be pleased with me – so that she’d love me, which never happened – she was always distant and cold towards me, nothing I did was good enough – no matter how hard I tried.  I do not remember her ever being affectionate. I tried for years to be good, to be the best I could be, trying so hard to earn her love and affection by bending over backwards doing things for her and being subservient and compliant – and none of it worked.  This is how a child gets conditioned to believe that love is not unconditional, but extremely conditional – it’s based on behaviour and good deeds, on what you can do for that person, and when the parent is a disordered narcissist, anything you do is never good enough.  I tried to be angelically good, I even tried to be the person she wanted me to be in hopes that she’d love and accept me – that didn’t work.  I tried everything I could think of to win her love and approval.  As I got into my early twenties, I snapped one day, realizing that it was all futile and I stopped trying to earn her affection and acceptance and that is when her abuse started to get even worse.  You see, the narcissistic parent wants to control you – to keep you under their thumb, to keep you compliant and subservient to her and the family unit.  You were not allowed to be who you are, but who they want you to be – and if you try to come out from underneath it, they will try to crush you with disdainful stares, silent treatments, along with demeaning you, shaming you, mocking you, and embarrassing you.  My mother’s silent treatments could last for months and months sometimes.  The disdainful stares and abuse were apparent at every visit.  Every. visit. And after every visit, I cried all the way home.

Being a scapegoat translates to being your abuser’s sin rag.  Disordered narcissist’s never genuinely admit fault to anything, unless it’s via sarcasm which makes their admission of fault phony and insincere.  Their fake apologies never result in changed behaviour, they just keep being abusive.  As a scapegoat, or sin rag, they mirror onto their victims their sins, their flaws and or things they hate.  For instance, there was a woman my mother loathed – hated with a passion – and she would list off everything she hated about her and she’d give me the deadly hate stare as she ranted, ending with, “… and you’re just like her!!”  She did this a lot. I didn’t know it then, but my mother really didn’t know me at all, but I believed she did.  I truly believed that my mother knew me better than I knew myself – which is easy to do when a child has stifled, stuffed down, their own identity to be who the parent wants them to be.  So instead of a mother mirroring onto her children that they are loved and accepted so they grow up feeling whole and confident, her children instead grow up feeling insanely flawed, broken and worthless.  Children who grow up under this take this into other relationships, setting us up for more abuse if we aren’t brave enough to see it, acknowledge it and change it. For years I carried my mother’s sins and any other family sins that were thrown on me.  For instance, it was made for me to feel at fault for betraying the family if I wasn’t allowing myself to be manipulated like a puppet on strings, doing what they expected of me no matter how wrong it was, or how much it required me to deny my authentic self for their appeasement. This toxic way of ‘keeping the family together’ was then somehow my fault because I wasn’t doing my part in the puppet show – the public had to believe we were a perfect, loving family and to many it looked like that from the outside – but behind closed doors, not so much.

All my life, I thought I was the one who was seriously broken.  All my life, I thought that I was unworthy, unloveable, and seriously flawed.  If my own mother couldn’t love me than how on earth could anyone else?  And I carried that with me – for years. It set me up for unhealthy relationships, putting up with other abuses that no self-confident woman would have ever put up with. So imagine my discomfort and bewilderment when I meet a man in my mid-twenties (two weeks after crying out to God who I wasn’t sure even existed at the time, who I confessed all my sins to – but that’s another story within this one) who was actually pursuing me – my first reaction was to pull away, I thought to myself, ‘This man has no idea what he’s pursuing.  He’s not going to want me when he finds out how flawed and broken I am.’  But still, he pursued me even after I tried to slough him off.  We started dating still and over time he treated me as someone with worth even though I didn’t feel it.  It was through him that I became a Christian and we eventually got married and have been married now for over 20 years.  I married a good man, the kind of man that my mother said would never want me – yes, she actually said that to me.  Thank God she was wrong!  I got the best man ever – my husband is proof that God loves me.

I remember when I was struggling with omitting my mother from my life 17 years ago, somehow my husband and I got talking about this mess at that time, and he asked me, “Don’t you know your worth?”  I broke!  The floodgates burst, and in between sobs, I choked out, “No, honey, I don’t.”  Then he went on to inform me of my worth and how I was worth something to him.  I cried so hard – no one ever told me what I was worth before.  Those words were salve to my broken spirit and shredded soul – but it was just the beginning of my journey and it has not been an easy one.

This is the damage that disordered narcissistic parents do to their kids.  It’s like a brainwashing – the narcissistic family is a wee cult all of it’s own – filling a child up with lies and burdening them with not only the child’s own faults/sins but the parents’ as well.  When I broke ties with all family of origin about seven years ago, it was like this huge boulder fell off my back.  I didn’t even know I was carrying it until I was relieved of it.  It was like a stronghold had been broken and I felt more free, lighter on my feet even.

It’s a long, arduous journey out of this diabolical and insidious abuse which I have come to believe is demonic in nature and it’s very often a generational bond.  Looking back on my family of origin, I can see where this madness has been passed down through the generations, and the Lord enabled me to break it so I didn’t pass it on to my kids.  What great joy it is that the Lord brought me out of this so that I could pass on a greater legacy to my kids than the one I was given.

The most tragic thing in all the world is a child growing up thinking and feeling that they are unloved and unloveable.  Love in action is everything – it’s what grows and nourishes the human soul.  It’s what builds us up and gives us confidence, it’s love that showers the receiver with affection and acceptance.  I had to learn how to be a good and loving parent, taking a Christian parenting course.  I had to learn what real love looks like and implement it.  I had to unlearn so many toxic things and learn godly principles for not only being a good mom, but even a wife, a woman.

To break free from this abuse, from an abusive family (as other members also abuse by proxy) is the hardest decision anyone can ever make and should not be taken lightly.  It was a decision I didn’t take lightly or quickly and I spent months deliberating.  I hated that I was forced to make a decision because I just couldn’t take the abuse anymore.  After making the decision to cut ties, I did not feel good about it – in fact, I hated it.  It’s not what I wanted, but I had to, no one in my family wanted to hear about it or talk about it – they told me that.  But as I healed, it proved to be the wisest decision of my life.  I am glad I was brave enough to take a stand and make hard choices that would be not only to my benefit, but to the benefit of my marriage and my children.  I don’t regret the decision to cut ties – the Lord has blessed me in spite of it.

He promised me, in one of the visions He gave me 17 years ago, that He would be all the Father and mother to me that I would ever need and He has upheld that promise.  I am awed by His love for me and my husband and our children.  We have been so blessed by doing what was the hard thing, by taking a stand for what was right – it was the right thing to do when it’s more than just my soul at stake, but also the souls of my children.

“No greater love has no man than this, than he who lays down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) … or in my case, our children.

The Agony of Sorrow

Some things are so painful to write about.  A week and a half ago, my daughter graduated.  And the week or two preceding that is when I started falling apart emotionally.  Not only was my only daughter graduating high school, but my oldest son is applying to our country’s military.  With both these things looming over me, I became emotionally undone, unraveled.  It was bad – always on the verge of loosing the deep ugly cry.  Even as I write this, I feel my heart clenching and my eyes are welling up with tears.  I’ve been having a hard time with processing these intense feelings, careful to not let them out in front of anyone.  It would be the kind of sob that would scare someone – it comes from a secret place of deep, deep sorrow.  Not only is it emotions that I am battling, but anxiety as well.  I went through three or four days of extreme anxiety recently and it was so bad I thought my heart was going to give out.

crying 3

Parents see their kids graduate and step into their own lives every day and I wonder if every mother experiences what I have been experiencing.  All through my daughter’s graduation, it took all the strength I had – all freaking day – to not go into body-rocking sobs.  Even the days leading up to her graduation were hard – even as she was getting her hair done at the salon the morning of.  The looming idea that my son could be accepted into the military is also tugging at my heart-strings.  The last time I experienced such sadness – if this is actually sadness – was when I made the brutally anguishing decision to omit my abusive mother from my life.

I didn’t experience this when my oldest son graduated, which was a few years ago, because  he chose to not go to his ceremonies.  He only wanted to go to the dinner and dance with his friends because he knew that sitting through his commencement would be more than he could take.  He didn’t even want to get graduation photos as he hates his picture taken.  But his dad and I made him a deal – ‘no commencement means we get grad portraits – it’s either we get portraits or we’re all going to commencement.’  He chose the graduation photos which turned out beautifully.  My daughter’s graduation was so drawn out that when I came home, I thanked my oldest son for not putting us through a brutal commencement ceremony.  Even my daughter found it too long – it was agony even for her.  Don’t get me wrong, watching my daughter (or son if he went)  walk across the stage to get a certificate was very much one of those once-in-a-lifetime kind of things – but when there are over 450 students, it was too long especially for how emotional I was.  By the time I got home there was not a spec of eye makeup left and my eyes were puffy.  I speculate that had we went to our oldest’s commencement and celebration – these very emotions would have surfaced even then.  I remember how emotional I was then and I know, had I gone to his commencement, I would have been an emotional mess at his as well and I know he wouldn’t know how to react to his emotional mother.  But because we didn’t go to my son’s graduation – the emotions didn’t hit as hard.  But I recall still having a hard time choking back the emotions as I was dealing with my kid growing up.  And now with my second child, my daughter, it was hitting at a force I did not expect.

I was trying so hard to process these emotions, still am actually.  They were, are,  rooted at the core of me and it was so hard to keep them under wraps – like trying to restrict rising dough that has been tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.  It was, is, a containment ready to burst.  Amazingly, I got through it without my emotional floodgates bursting with tears and sobs. I am still bottling it – I am never alone enough to just let it out, but I know I have to allow myself time alone to do it – because if I let it out in front of my family – I really do think it would scare them.

I just remembered – just now – that there was another time I cried like this and it was just after my first child, a son was born.  I cried body-rocking sobs for three to four days – but the crying took a full week (maybe a bit more) to subside.  He was a caesarean birth and I was in hospital for for the first three days and during those three days I found it very hard to stop crying and I cried hard – body-rocking sobs and they were so bad that the nurses were really scared for me because they could not console me.  My emotions have been at this same intensity lately.   Even when I cried like that after the birth of my son, I could not make heads or tails of it.  Nurses would ask me what was wrong and I’d choke out, “I don’t know.”  At least when I omitted my mother from my life (which was when I was pregnant with my third child) – I knew the reason for the intensity of that sorrow.  But the birth of my son, I didn’t understand.  I don’t know why so much ‘sorrow’ was felt.  And then, now – it has hit me again.  This time a double whammy!  Son wanting to go into the military and my daughter graduating – both of them eager to build lives of their own.  Is it normal to feel this intense emotion that usually comes with great loss??  When my kids are just entering a new phase of their lives??

I don’t know why this sorrow is hitting me like it is.  I don’t think other mothers feel these emotions so intensely when their kids hit these milestones in their lives, or do they??

I don’t know if this is normal.  My mother never ever cried for me – not when anything bad happened to me and not when I celebrated any life milestones like graduating and getting married, or having babies, like most mothers do.

Is it loss that I feel?  A sense of loss??  Is it because I feel like I am losing them??  Does it have anything to do with my abusive mother??  Does it have to do with the fact that my family of origin blew me off – abandoning me, forsaking me to appease my abusive mother and to uphold the narcissistic family facade??  Am I feeling forsaken again??  Is it feeling like I am losing people I love – again??  I think this is going to take time for me to process … all I know is the sadness and loss I feel is insanely intense.  The emotions are one thing … the anxiety I have been experiencing makes it even worse.  And because they are so intense, I know I have to let it out and that I can’t do it in front of anyone.  I think its scary for other people when they don’t understand where it is coming from.  I can’t put my finger on it – why I feel the intense emotions I do – but I have an idea where they come from.

So even though these emotions are scary because of their intensity, they are not scary in that they will lead to anything terrible like self harm.  I know it’s a release of some kind – I just can’t put my finger on why – and I hope I have some alone time soon where I can finally just let it out because it’s really hard to contain.  These emotions loom just beneath the surface – so ready to burst that even lately,  little things can trigger it.  I know I just have to find a safe place to let it out.

Has anyone else experienced emotions of this magnitude before??

~ Saoirse Quill

Is It About THEM?!

An epitome that hit me today when talking to other victim-survivors of abusive narcissistic mothers like mine is this – when our abuser and her enablers tell us to ‘just get over it‘ – what are they really saying??  And it hit me  …

Could it be that they tell us to just get over it because they – THEY – don’t want to hear about it or talk about it?!   Could it be that it’s them who doesn’t want to deal with what truth might be exposed??  I think it makes them uncomfortable to have to deal with something they don’t want to have to face or accept.  I think it is also partially fear on their part – fear that a certain someone is really not the person they think they are.  Because, what if it’s true?  And if it’s true, they’d have to act on it.  There would be no going back.  They didn’t want to be put in a position of having to choose sides.  They didn’t want to be a witness on the witness stand.   They made it about THEM!!   To protect themselves.  To protect my abuser.  To protect the facade that our family is close and nice and good and ‘normal’.  But they forget that by not making a choice is also making a choice – their not making a choice resulted in them choosing the side of my abuser.  And choosing the side of my abuser makes them enablers.

I was always confused about the members of my family of origin saying to me that they didn’t want to hear about it and they didn’t want to talk about it.  I thought to myself, ‘Am I not worth it??  Am I not valued enough??  Am I not loved enough??  Am I not worth being heard?!  I am telling them that my mother (their mother, my father’s ex-wife) abused me, hates me, and they were trying to shut me up?!!’   When different family members on different occasions, tell me verbatim, “We don’t want to hear about it and we don’t want to talk about it” translated to me that they didn’t care one iota about me, but really – I think it was about them.  They didn’t want the ‘crazy person’ saying anything even if it was true.  One of them even told me, “We don’t want to hear about any more of your crap!” (Which is amazing because anytime I tried to talk about it or tell them – I was shut down – no one wanted to hear it.)  No love.  No concern.  No willingness to even hear what I had to say – they didn’t want to know of anything she had done to me.  They didn’t ask questions.  It was like they didn’t want to hear it because maybe, deep down, they knew they wouldn’t be able to handle it if it was true, or maybe it was really because they flat out didn’t believe me.  Maybe they were deathly afraid of what other people would think!  For years, I believed it was the latter, but now, I cannot help but wonder if it was because they didn’t know how they’d handle it – maybe they couldn’t handle it – that they were too afraid to stand up for me.  Maybe they didn’t want to know that it could be true.  Could it really be that they wanted me to ‘get over it’ because it made THEM uncomfortable??    Could they have really made it about THEM?!?!  Do they have no idea that they made me feel victimized all over again by dismissing me the way they did??  Probably not.

Whatever the reason – it matters not – the end result would have still been the same.  Their not willing to ‘deal with it’ still left me on the outside (as always) standing completely and utterly alone.  At the time, I assumed they thought me a liar and I told them all, via email, (as this was safest for me and I communicate way better by written word anyway where I can say what I need to say without flubbing up and getting choked up) that if they thought I was lying then I saw no point in having relationships.  You cannot have healthy relationships with anyone who thinks you’re a liar.  You just can’t.  It hits me right now too that you can’t have relationships with people who also refuse to stick up for you, who won’t even come to your defence  – or at least be willing to hear you.  How can you??

What hurts is that they so easily let go of me after that – they didn’t fight for me.  Not one of them reached out to hear my truth.  Sure I got a few notes in the mail afterward – but it was not to hear my truth.  I think they would have loved for me to come back into the family fold as long as I never brought up my mother’s abuse again – as long as I pretended nothing ever happened.  I could not do that.  I would not do that.  Again, potential truth that this was about them and not the abuse I endured.  Not one of them had any idea how scary and difficult it was to out my mother’s abuse of me.  They don’t know how, for years, I dismissed her abuse because I did not want to believe the woman hated me and did in fact abuse me.  It was hard for me to face and it was hard for me to accept especially when there was a period of time where I worked so hard trying to win my mother’s approval and affection.  Part of me was embarrassed that I waited so long, but part of me hoped that someone would just ask or notice and they never did.  I just couldn’t live with bottling it up anymore.  I was tired of covering up my mother’s vile evil toward me, and frankly, I couldn’t take it anymore – I was dying inside.  I was an empty shell, a walking black void of nothingness.  This is what my mother did to me, what she reduced me to.  They actually tried to shut me up which had nothing to do with me, it was about them protecting themselves from the truth getting out.

It’s heartbreaking to learn that I wasn’t worth ‘keeping.’  When I know how much I’d  fight for my kids – how much I’d do almost anything to restore relationship if, God forbid, I ever had to, it breaks my heart – no, more than that, it shatters it.  They weren’t even willing to do that for me – they weren’t even willing to listen.  They made me feel like an outcast – which is no surprise by the way.  I felt like an outcast most of my life anyway as my mother’s and my siblings’ scapegoat.  This action of rejection was blatant confirmation that I really was the family scapegoat and that I wasn’t cared for enough to rip the lid off of this vile can of worms and confront my mother.

No one wanted to to confront the manipulative controller of the family – the one who smeared me (smear campaigns) to others long before I figured out that she was actually abusing me.  So it’s no wonder, that when I did finally speak out about it, I was labelled ‘crazy.’  I was the one who was sarcastically told to ‘get therapy.’  (I did seek therapy and I was so scared that I was the crazy one – but I learned that I was actually the sane one.)

‘Just get over it!’ … oh, how I wish I could!  I think that when one’s parents reject you, as well as siblings, it is not something you can ever just get over.  Many people could think that I rejected them, but what they don’t know is that they rejected me first – long before I ever called them on it, long before I came out about the abuse in detail and made choices for myself, to protect myself – for my own emotional and mental health.

And once again, I am reminded of the vision God gave me when praying and wrestling over omitting my mother from my life in the year 2000 – which was an agonizing decision to make.  In that vision God said to me, “Though your father and mother forsake you, I will take you up.   You are mine.”  At the time, I understood fully about being forsaken by my mother – it is something I always felt – always.  Being forsaken by my father I didn’t understand, but I knew a day would come when it would make sense and left it in God’s hands.  I knew it in my gut – that God’s Words would come to pass some way, somehow.  To my surprise, my father eventually did forsake me, in the year  2010 – which was the year that I confronted my family and came forward about my mother’s abuse in detail.   My father told me that he didn’t want to hear about it or talk about it.  He said this to my face.  And when he left my house that day, I knew it would be the last time I ever saw him – and it was.  Just as my mother had forsaken me, so had my father.

parents forsake

So, don’t ever tell me, or other victim-survivors like me, to ‘just get over it‘.  A part of us will never get over it.  A person never truly gets over being forsaken (rejected, abandoned) by a parent – no matter why or how it happens.  We will heal to the point where it no longer consumes us; we will heal to the point where hate is replaced with indifference, but will we ever be ‘over it’??  No.  We never will. For us to ever be completely over it would make us the monsters our abusers are, in my humble opinion.  We are not the monsters we have been made out to be by our parents and families.

 

~ Saoirse Quill

Father’s Day

Father’s Day doesn’t usually trigger me as much as Mother’s Day does, but it does a little.  Not so much because he was abusive like she was – it was because he didn’t stand up for me.

Six years ago, when I confessed to everyone the details of my mother’s abuse, my father called me and asked if he could come talk to me.  I agreed.  I thought that when he came that he was going to be my advocate.  I thought he understood when I shared with him little bits and pieces over the years as to why I cut my mother (his ex-wife) out of my life ten years prior. I was wrong.  I don’t think he understood anything and he certainly didn’t come with the intention of being my advocate.  It didn’t surprise me either – he had never been a protector.  I remember when in relationship with a guy for over three years in my early twenties (before I was a Christian) and when my mother informed him of our breakup the first thing he asked was, “Did he hit her?” … What father would watch his daughter be in relationship with a guy that he saw as a potential danger??  What loving father would do that?!  That incident and this one proved that he didn’t love me.  He didn’t love me enough to take a stand for me, to defend me, to protect me.  He failed me.

He showed up at my house where I got him a coffee and we got into discussion without much pleasantry.  He was basically asking me to suck it up.  He told me that he can get along with my mother now and why couldn’t I for the sake of the family. (It had been a very ugly divorce).  I told him, “You have no idea what that woman has put me through (I started crying) – you cannot ask me to do that.  I won’t do that.”  He didn’t know what to say to that.

Other things were said, of which are vague now, but then he said to me, “Well, we don’t want to hear about it and we don’t want to talk about it?”  … hmmm … ‘we’?   Who is ‘we’ I thought to myself??  A day or two later, a sister would utter those very same words to me verbatim – did they have a family meeting?  My guess is they did.  They discussed me behind my back and I am pretty sure this wasn’t the first time.  About two years ago is when my father and his wife started having family gatherings/occasions together with my mother present and that is when my siblings seemed to start pulling away.  This is when I would find out about lunches my father would take my siblings and their kids out for and we were never invited.   I knew I was being excluded.   This was triangulation at work – this is what triangulation looks like and my mother was/is the controller.

When my father left my house that day, I watched him walk down my sidewalk and get into his car, and I knew it would be the last time I would ever see him.  And it was.

walking away

Via email shortly after that, I was told to get over it and seek therapy – among other things.  And then it hit me.  I emailed them all saying, “IF you think I’m lying I don’t want relationships with any of you.”  After all, you can’t have relationships with people who think  you are a liar – who think you are lying about a parent’s abuse.   I never heard from them again.  I guess I just wasn’t worth it.  This was no shocker for me – it was a confirmation of what I already knew to be true in my gut.  I had always been the black sheep.  I had always been the sin rag.  This just confirmed my hunches about not really ever being a part of this family.  I was tolerated.  I was put up with.  I always felt like I was on the outside looking in – even as a small child.

My heart was broken – again.  He chose to not take a stand which in itself is taking a stand and it’s a cowardly one.  When someone chooses to not take a stand, they choose the side of the abuser – and that is what my father did.  That is what my siblings and their families did.  No one wanted to deal with the big fat elephant in the room – I knew I couldn’t be the only one who saw it.  They just chose to not see it.  Choosing not to see something does not make it go away.  I wonder now how they are enjoying their delusion.

Then a few years after that (which was two to three years ago now), I hear that my father runs into one of my husband’s sisters and pours out this sob story about how he can’t see his grandchildren (my kids.)  Apparently, he even produced a tear.  I never said he couldn’t.  He was ‘friends’ with them on Facebook, and did he reach out to have contact with them?  NO!!  And yet, here he was, lying just like my mother does to get sympathy from people (husband’s sisters in this case) who have no idea about our family dynamic.  Because of him and my mother poisoning other’s opinions of me by way of lying … my sisters-in-law showed up at my house a few years ago and proceeded to give me the same hate filled looks of disdain my mother always gave me and they didn’t relent.  Then they start giving my children affection as though they were neglected – which they are not!!!  I have done everything in my power to not parent in any way the way I was raised.  I even took a Christian parenting course!  My sisters-in-law blindly believed them – as they’d run into both parents on occasion.  My family would smear me to these people and then I got to experience being abused by proxy.  While they gave me the hate stares from hell and not talking to me – in MY HOUSE … my anxiety soared – I felt like I was going to have a heart attack.  When they left, I told my husband that if they ever do that again, they are OUT!  I would have said something at the time, but I had no idea if my husband would support me.  Now that I know he will stand up for me – I won’t hesitate if there is a next time.

So, yeah … is Father’s Day hard for me?  Yes it is.  A daughter doesn’t forget about a father who didn’t defend her, stand up for her, protect her.  He did none of that. Ever.

Tomorrow as I celebrate Father’s Day – I will be basking in my love for my heavenly Father who did come to my rescue – who is my Defender and my Advocate (among many other things).  And I will celebrate my husband who is the father that my own birth father never was – who is our family’s defender, advocate, supporter, provider.

Father’s have no idea how important their roles are when it comes to defending and protecting their children and teaching their children how to be good citizens.  When a father doesn’t do this – it puts his kids at risk at being screw-ups making terrible life choices.  When a father doesn’t protect and defend, it puts his kids at risk at being abused – be it sexually, emotionally, verbally or mentally.  When a father doesn’t step up, he is setting his children up for failure.  A father cannot be a coward – there has to be a warrior inside of him.  My husband is that guy with a warrior inside … and so is the Lord my God, my Adonai!

So … to the fathers who are warriors, who are protectors, defenders and advocates for their children and their children’s mother … I salute you!  God bless you – and may you have a great Father’s Day knowing that you are valued more than you know.

 

~ Saoirse Quill

 

 

Best Day? Worst Day? 2

If one of these kind of days wasn’t enough, wouldn’t you know, I got a second one!!

The first one was sixteen years ago and the second happened a decade after that – six years ago.  The first one was bad enough, the second one was just as devastating.  Rejection is not something you get used to.

Six years ago, my youngest sibling was getting married.  I was invited to his wedding.  And I really battled with the idea of going – but really wanted to, because the other thing was my brother’s bride-to-be was dying of cancer.  I discussed it with my husband and he was ready to be my sturdy Oak if we went.  We already decided that we would not bring our children if we did go – I did not want my children around my mother.  As the day approached, the anxiety attacks were getting worse and more frequent – I couldn’t help but wonder about what things my mother might say or do to crush me while there – also causing a scene at my brother’s wedding.  I told my husband that I couldn’t go if my mother is still the same person she was – the idea that she could humiliate or degrade me publicly again was more than I could entertain.  I couldn’t endure it again – not even once.  I wasn’t strong enough.

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So, I had contacted my mother by email (that I got from a sibling) – who hadn’t physically been in my life for ten years at that point but there was still very limited contact via post mail – it was all I would permit – that was the boundary I set.  So, anyway, I wanted to get in contact with my mother to get a feel to see if she had changed at all over the past ten years.  (At this point I still knew nothing about narcissism or Narcissistic Personality Disorder.)  She replied.

She writes as though nothing ever happened between us and she went on about how nice it will be to have all her children under one roof again … red flag number one!   I cannot remember all the content of what I wrote or what she wrote, although I recall remaining amiable and calm – attempting to give her the benefit of doubt.  All it took was one exchange and, even in my trying to be objective, I knew that she hadn’t changed at all and I knew that by me showing up, to her it would mean that everything was washed under the bridge in her world.  No way could I give that impression – no way was I sending her that message!!  No way was I going to brush off all her cruelty and abuse and give her the satisfaction of ‘winning.’  In the last email she sent me, she wrote, “You were always so hard to love.”  Red flag number two!  Now, I’m angry.  She always pulled statements like these – blame-shifting statements!  This one blaming me for her inability to love me.  This  was rich!  This infuriated me as I had tried so hard for so many years, being who I thought she wanted me to be, bending over backwards for her in hopes that she would love me – and nothing worked!!  Nothing I did curbed her abuse of me.   I was so done.  I was really done this time!  After these one or two exchanges, I knew very well that this woman was never ever going to change.  If she hadn’t changed after a decade, I was, and am, convinced that she never, ever will.

Now that I knew I couldn’t go to the wedding, I had to let my brother know and I very nicely explained that I thought I could do it, but can’t and told him the truth – it was because of our mother – I profusely apologized for not being able to be there for them.  I felt awful about feeling this way, because I really wanted to be there for them – for him and his wife-to-be, who had no idea how much time she had left.  But my mother, I didn’t want to risk her making a scene with me at his wedding!  I was very torn.  I also knew that if we went, my husband would have to deal with me having a full blown anxiety attack 20 minutes drive away from the venue – and we’d have to turn around and go home.  I just couldn’t do it.  If you have ever had a full blown panic attack, believe me – you’d opt out too.  They feel like what I think a heart attack would feel like.  Your heart races so hard that it feels like it’s trying to violently beat it’s way out of your chest,  your chest feels compressed, you find it hard to breathe, your body goes weak and violently shakes, and because that’s not enough – let’s throw in nausea!  Yeah.  It’s not nice and they take some doing getting them under wraps once in full swing too.

Well, as you can imagine – news of my not coming spread like wildfire.  I got emails from other siblings telling me to get over it.  No one asking me why – just jumping in with nasty ‘get over it’ comments.  This is when I got so angry, I was shaking.  Amazing how they could be so flippant in telling me to ‘get over it’ when they have no idea what they are asking me to get over – not one of them ever wanted to truly know.  Anytime I tried to bring it up it was hushed.  But, now was the time, although badly timed, to unload it all.  I prayed about it – and then I wrote.  They all got a full description of what my mother did to me.  Yes, the timing was insanely bad and, in many an eye, in very bad taste.  But I refused to be pushed into something that was just likely going to be drama hell – and I did not want to be the object of that drama at my brother’s wedding.  So yeah, it was like being stuck between a rock and a hard place.  I was damned if I did and damned if I didn’t.

After my email, it was obvious they all had a family meeting about me.  One sister called asking why I didn’t say this stuff to them in person.  I told her, “Believe me, be glad you got it in writing – my words are nicer.  I had to edit several times.”  I explained to her I can explain myself better in writing and if I did tell them all in person – I would have been quickly hushed, likely attacked and told it was all in my head – because that is what they always did.  I told her, “The letter is better.”  At one point in my phone conversation with my sister, she dropped this:  “We don’t want to hear about it and we don’t want to talk about it.” I was also told by another sister, “We don’t want to hear any more of your crap.”  That confused me because whenever I tried to talk about my mother’s abuse, it never went anywhere. No one wanted to hear about it, and believe me, I know body language – when I could see they didn’t want to hear about it, I stopped talking … I guess because to them accusations of being abused is nothing to be concerned about.

At this point in my life with them – I was already the black sheep not only with my mother, but now with all of them.  I knew this.  Ever since I was little, I was always on the outside looking in and it was now more apparent than ever.  The last two years before this incident, my siblings and father had pulled away from me, my husband and my kids, emotionally and physically.  I can only imagine (well, I can’t actually) what lies and fabricated tall stories my mother has told them to smear me – to cause them to pull away from me.  So because this had been happening, I had nothing to lose sending them this detailed letter of abuse because the reality was, I already lost them.  And confronting them proved it.

The next day, my father – who had been divorced from my mother for a good many years at that point – asks if he can come to my house to talk to me, I complied.  This was a joke.  He asked a few questions and when he didn’t like my answers, he stared off into space without response.  Then, he says, “Well, we don’t want to hear about it and we don’t want to talk about it.”  These words were my sister’s words verbatim.  When he left my house that day, I knew in my heart that it would be the last time I would ever see him, and I was right.

It dawned on me shortly after that visit, that they must think I’m lying.  It wasn’t a far-fetched idea because my mother was famous for spreading lies about me – sometimes she would just change details to make me look worse than I was, other times she would totally fabricate things I never did.  So … final letter to all, “IF you think I’m lying, I don’t want anything to do with any of you.”  After all, how on earth can you be in a healthy relationship with anyone if they think you’re a liar??  How can you be in healthy relationship with anyone who thinks you’d lie about a mother’s abuse??  Especially when all I ever wanted was a healthy, loving relationship with my mother that she didn’t want??

I got a card from one sister not long after that, and I think I got one from the other one as well.  In both, I replied, “I mean it, IF you think I’m lying then I want nothing to do with any of you.” and briefly explained why … no responses.

Already living with the brokenness caused by my mother’s abuse, this broke me even more.  I was an emotional mess and only my husband and children saw what it did to me.  After no response from calling them out on me being a liar, I knew it was over.  Ties were cut.  It was like all these heart strings that had been stretched to their full capacity were suddenly violently cut which created a most bloody mess … and it was all on the inside – all the pain and anguish that no one could see – except God Himself – and am I ever thankful He could!

Since those exchanges, I have been strict no contact with my family of origin and even extended family of origin – aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews – all because my mother’s poisonous words and deeds went that deep.  I felt like I could trust no one.  I even severed ties with any mutual family friends – too risky.  No emails, no post mail, no phone, no social media … NOTHING.   It’s been six years.

I thought I was freed the first time I had a best day and worst day in one day … but this time, the second time, I really was now more free than ever even though I was a total mess at the time.  The true state of their hearts were revealed.  They believed a liar over the truth-teller – that’s how deep the deception was and is.

A few days after I saw my father, I was googling ‘abusive mothers’, and that is when I came across the term ‘Narcissistic Personality Disorder’ which described my mother perfectly.  Finally, I knew – it wasn’t ALL ME!  In fact, 90% of what I thought was me, was actually her!   … It was a like a 300 pound weight fell off of me.  This is when my healing journey went into overdrive, that was when I sought and found a Christian therapist who was well educated about Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Thank God for her – I don’t know how I would have processed everything without her!

Even though I had a long ways to go at that time – with those ties broken, I was no longer cutting my feet walking on eggshells around them, I was no longer anticipating the anxiety that would come when being around my family of origin.  I was on my way to total freedom from abuse and abuse by proxy.

Best Day?  Yes.  Truth was exposed and hearts were revealed.

Worst Day?  Yes.  It was the day I lost a family because of deception and lies.

Six years later … I am happier, more whole.  Yes, my heart, my mind and my soul still have scars from being sliced and shredded … and they still bleed once in awhile.  But I can tell you – the bleeding is under control and I can live my life with a clear mind and clear conscience.  It was ugly.  The timing was awful.  But I am glad it happened because now I am truly free.

God is good.

 

~ Saoirse Quill

 

 

Best Day? Worst Day?

Going through my laptop, cleaning up files, I came across this little write up that I actually wrote on January 14, 2013 … and thought it worth sharing …

city slickers
Phil, Mitch, and Ed

In the movie, “City Slickers,” there is a scene where three best friends are on horses and they talk about what the best day and worst day in each of their lives were.  Mitch shares his best day, then his worst day.  Then it’s Ed’s turn:

 “I’m 14 and my mother and father are fighting again.  You know, because she caught him again.  Caught him?!  This time, the girl drove by the house to pick him up.  And I finally realized, he wasn’t just cheating on my mother, he was cheating on us. So I told him, I said, ‘You’re bad to us.  We don’t love you.  I’ll take care of my mother and my sister.  We don’t need you anymore.’  And he made like he was gonna hit me, but I didn’t budge. Then he turned around and he left. Never bothered us again. But I took care of my mother and my sister from that day on.  That’s my best day.”

 Phil, taken aback asks, “What was your worst day?”

 Ed sadly replies, “Same day.”

This scene always chokes me up, even now as I read it again, tears form.  I know its because I’ve experienced this same kind of loss in my own life.  It was the day I chose to omit my mother from my life, “You’re bad to me.  You don’t love me.”  It was a long, drawn out and anguishing decision, where I weighed all the pros and cons.  I even considered how this choice would ripple into the lives of others.  It was not a decision I took lightly or hastily.  Being forced to have to even make a decision was excruciating.  I had taken so much abuse and I just couldn’t take it anymore.  I not only felt like an empty shell, void, sucked dry – but I actually was those things.  I had nothing left to give – to anyone – I was utterly spent.  What drove this decision was when she insulted and humiliated me once again in my own home at my kidlet’s birthday party.  When everyone left after the party, I broke.  I looked at my husband, choking back tears, “What is it about me that she can’t love me??” … and then it came.  The answer.  This is when God spoke – this voice that came from outside myself, gently and bluntly, “There is nothing you could ever do or say that will ever make her love you.”  And everything in me broke – not just my heart, but my mind and my body as well.  A part of me died that day.  The Lord has always known that I need to hear things bluntly and clearly.  He was right, of course – experience had shown me that this was as true as His words were.  I tried so hard to have a healthy relationship with her, I tried so hard to love her in hopes that she’d love me back and nothing worked.  In fact, the abuse got worse.  I knew that there was nothing I could do or say or be that would ever be enough.

So if you asked me which day was my best day, it was the day that God showed me the truth about my mother – later backed by two visions and a whole lot of scripture verses, one being 2 Timothy 3:1-5 that described my mother as I know her that also says, ‘from such turn away.’  I could finally be free of her tyranny!  That was my best day.

And my worst day?  Same freaking day.  As emancipating as it was that I could be free, I was also grieving the death of something I had high hopes of one day having – a healthy relationship with my mother where she loved me and respected me, where she was finally kind to me and not holding everything I ever did over my head – including the things she fabricated.  That dream was dead.  Gone.  I mourned the death of that hope for well over two months.  No one knows, except my husband, how hard a time that was for me.

My best day and worst day … same day.  As bittersweet as it was then – sixteen years ago – and having mourned the loss of something that could never be, the Lord gave me so much more than I ever expected.  He’s healing me, restoring me, and building me back up.  He has been my Rock on this journey.

Because of that excruciating decision, He moulded me, and continues to mould me, into a woman whose heart is completely His.  He moulded me into a better wife and a better mother … so that I could pass down a great legacy than the one I was given.  You could say that I am living proof that great things are born out of great pain.

~ Saoirse Quill 

 

 

 

 

THIS IS NOT OKAY!!!

This is a revised comment I made on ‘The Messy Mrs.’, after a reader attacked her out of complete ignorance, in my humble opinion.  It goes to show that on the outside looking in, people don’t see what victims/survivors of malignant narcissism have endured.  They have no idea what it has done to our hearts, minds and our very souls!!  This is my rant defending the writer … it really gets my dander up when people spew hurtful words about things they have never experienced or simply don’t understand!  It is the most frustrating thing for victims/survivors of abuse by malignant narcissists – not being understood or even believed.  This is my very emotional RANT!!

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Way to go, Messy Mrs.!!!  People are so ready to attack us when we ‘appear’ to have loving/caring mothers – who are great at putting on ‘the show’ and only when it suits them to.  Providing just physical needs for children is not enough!!  Not even freaking close!   Emotional abuse and neglect is not okay!  Being conditioned by one’s mother to believe you’re unloveable and the dregs of the earth, is not okay.  Being ridiculed for being who you are, is not okay!!  Bending over backwards to be someone you’re not to try to win your mother’s love, is not okay!!  My mother did this too – and yes, like you, I am grateful for a roof over my head and clothes on my back as a child – which I’m sure she only provided so that no one could say she was a bad mother and thus not have Child Protective Services knocking on her door to take away her much needed scapegoat!!  Everything narcissistic abusers do is not for other people – it’s for themselves – for their own selfish reasons!  People have no idea that parents like ours have caused us irreparable damage – I am now 50 years old and I will never be ‘over it.’  I still live with C-PTSD, although it’s not near as bad as it used to be.  I still have anxiety attacks.  I will say though, that I am over the abuse enough though where it no longer consumes my thoughts 24-7, but it has forever changed me – I still have no real identity of my own.   The damage these kind of abusers do is over the top!  Believe me, if we could produce the scars on our hearts and soul so they showed on our skin – believe me when I say, we would produce scarring that would make us appear to have been beaten unrecognizable!!   

People tend to think we are overreacting, that we have a ruffled feather over what they think are trivial things – this is SO not the case!!  Many don’t realize that their abuse is subtle to others but never to their victim who actually knows the full brunt force behind their words because of the brutal verbal and emotional abuse that happens in private.  Most are completely unaware of what goes on behind closed doors.  They don’t even know that our abuser is actually two different people – one is a monster behind a mask, and the other a most caring saint!!   Guess which one is the real one?!  Not the latter!!   Most of our mothers’ abuses are done when no one else is around and it’s their word against ours!  When she did abuse in front of certain people – it was safe for her to do so for she had already won their allegiance!  She knew they’d say nothing and side with her.  Our mothers who, in my case anyway, would tell people I was lying and making things up when I was the one telling the bloody truth!!!  It bothers me when people go into attack mode without, at least, asking more questions!  People don’t understand what it is like being raised by an abusive malignant narcissist parent – and in our case, it was our mothers – who should have bloody loved us by the way!!  Like you, I gave my abusive and evil mother countless chances to change, countless chances to apologize, countless times I extended mulligans when she said cruel and cutting things – and what did it do??  Absolutely nothing!  In fact, trying to love her into loving me didn’t even work – it just incurred more abuse.  People have no idea what we endured being these women’s daughters (except those of course who have had them.)  None.  They have no idea how much we sacrificed who we are for them, how hard we tried being who they wanted us to be – which by the way, was never enough either, leaving us feeling utterly worthless, a walking black void of nothingness – and that is not an exaggeration either!!  They have no idea how hard we tried to win them over – and nothing worked.  Nothing!

They don’t get that we tried to develop healthy relationships with our mothers – oh, man, did we try!  That mother-daughter bond, in my opinion, was a bond that was never meant to be cut – which I am sure is why it felt excruciating doing it – I cut ties 16 years ago and I am still heartbroken over the fact that I had to do it.  I am sure that for you, as it was for me, it was the most freaking painful thing I have ever had to do – that I didn’t ever want to do and never intended to do before my mother’s abuse became unbearable.  Never in my life did I ever think I would have to cut my mother from my life one day – but for my own sanity and, yes, even my physical health, I had to.  For the lives and welfare of my own young children, I had to!!  Even for my marriage, I had to!  She left me no other choice.   

Thank you for being one of the brave ones – for speaking out against insidious and diabolical evil (like I also do) … the Lord commands us to not cover up evil – but to expose it.  Keep speaking truth, Messy Mrs., and know you have sisters who have also endured this kind of abuse and we are behind you.  We have your back!  Always.

To go into attack mode with someone, without all the facts, is NOT OKAY!!!   People think they know about this kind of abuse, but believe me when I say – no one can even begin to understand it unless they’ve lived it!!  No one can even grasp how painful and debilitating it is until they have walked in our shoes for at least 20 years because it takes that freaking long for you to know the full effects of this kind of abuse.  So, if you haven’t experienced this kind of abuse … you don’t get to speak against it.  If you have questions, great!  Ask away … but do not ever, ever, ever assume you think you know what it is like to endure this kind of abuse … because, if you haven’t walked this walk, you will never know – you won’t even be able to imagine it on a small scale!! … Spouting off about things you have no knowledge of is … NOT OKAY!!!

~ Saoirse Quill

 

If you want to check out the blog and the comments where I left my original comment, you can check it out here:

http://www.themessymrs.com/2016/05/the-hallmark-panic-attack.html#.V1NhlFccpSV

 

Pray? For Them?!

When my mother was in my life, I recall how much I prayed that the Lord would change her heart, I prayed that He would soften her heart that she might cry out to Him and recognize all the evil she had done, namely to me.  I did that for years.  I even tried loving her into loving me – which, in hindsight, may not have been very effective because I grew up with such a warped definition of love.  Loving others has never been my strong suit, the fear of being rejected is still present in my life.  When rejected by a mother and then a decade later by your father and siblings, its a wound that remains really raw for a really long time.

I prayed everyday for her when she was in my life and my whole family.  I wanted them to know this indescribable joy and peace beyond understanding in Yeshua for themselves.  They didn’t want it – especially my mother who loves the occult (palm readings, tarot card readings, tea leaf readings – you get the gist).  The more I prayed for her and the more I tried to love her into loving me with God’s love, the more she rejected and abused me.  Every single visit was extremely painful because she debased me and humiliated me every chance she got, which was every time I saw her.  Every time.  After every visit, I would drive the 40-minute drive home bawling my eyes out while trying to see the road in front of me.  It was awful and I’d ask myself why she couldn’t love me – I never once asked myself back then why I put myself through that.  The answer is, I believe, is the mother-daughter bond.  Just like the marriage bond, it wasn’t meant to be broken until death and I believe it to also be true of the parent-child bond.  It felt unnatural and wrong to want to omit this person from my life, my mother, even though she was insanely toxic and verbally and emotionally abusive.  This thinking eventually led me to omit my mother from my life, which was 16 years ago now.  It was about six years ago that ties were broken with my father and my siblings and their families after they basically accused me of lying about my mother’s abuse.  I confronted them on the insinuation via email (because I write better than I speak and getting everyone in one room was impossible), “IF you think I’m lying, I don’t want relationships with any of you – how can anyone have healthy relationships with anyone who thinks you’re a liar?!”  … And wouldn’t you know, that was the last time I ever heard from any of them, except a note that came a week or two after that from one of my younger sisters that came across as insultingly condescending.  I sent it back with a note saying again, “IF you think I’m lying I don’t want a relationship with you.”  I never heard from her again.  I was tired of being treated like an ingrate, like someone mentally challenged, naive and weak.  I was so done.

So, back to prayer.  So often in Christian circles we are encouraged to pray for our enemies, as we should be as God’s Word commands it.  But man, is it ever hard to pray for those who have hurt you the most, who have broken your heart beyond repair.  My heart and my soul will never be completely healed, but the Lord has healed it enough to where the pain no longer consumes me every minute of every day.  I couldn’t find it in my heart to pray for them like I used to, and even after all these years, it’s still hard for me and I am very rarely prompted to pray for them, but when I am, my prayer for them is simple, “Lord, may Your will be done concerning them.”  Maybe over time, that prayer may change, but for now, this is all I can muster because no other words come to pray for them.  I don’t wish them disaster or illness.  I can honestly say I don’t hate them, but there is no affectionate feeling for them either.  It is purely out of God’s love that I pray for them what I do, as it is, as God’s love is not based on fleeting feelings.  God’s love is kindness in action.  My hope is that by praying this prayer that the Lord will bring them into the knowledge of His truth and will reveal the truth about my mother being an evil abuser.  I call her evil because that is how God’s Word describes someone like her who does the terrible things she does – the deceptive, insidious, and manipulative things she does – who did everything she could to thwart any happiness in my life.

My mother, even though I confronted her on her behaviour toward me, her abuse of me, she indignantly denounced any such thing.  She’d tell me it was all in my head – which I know it wasn’t when it would reoccur over and over and over again.  It didn’t bother her at all how much she shredded me – in her mind, which she actually confessed to me once or twice, she didn’t do anything wrong and that as a mother it was her right to treat me however she wanted.  This was her ‘Get out of jail free‘ card!  Like I said, “Evil.”

What do you do with people who refuse to see truth, who will side with an abuser by choosing to be neutral, to ignore the evil that rips a family apart?  What do you do when souls are unrepentant?  You walk.  It’s the only thing left to do especially when my mother’s abuse would not stop, and in fact got increasingly worse over the years.  Then to make it worse, my father, siblings, and even extended family believe the lies they spew – you can’t have healthy relationships with people who choose to remain neutral – choosing to be neutral means they have sided with the oppressor, with the abuser.

“If you are in neutral situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”                               ~ Desmond Tutu

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So, I chose to walk …

“And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them.  Verily I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.”                 ~ Yeshua, Mark 6:11

So for now, I pray that the Lord’s will be done and that truth is revealed in their lives – His truth and mine.  Wouldn’t that be something if the Lord actually came to save the lot of them??  It would be really great if He did that even though it doesn’t mean they necessarily get to be in my life again if it does happen – there’s been too much hurt and all trust has been broken.  … And with that, I leave it all in the Lord’s hands, to do as He wills concerning them.

~ Saoirse Quill