Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New blog

When I started this blog, I did not intend for it to become a place where all I do is complain about my mother. My recent "discovery" of her NPD has thrown me for a loop and is a huge issue in my life but it is NOT my whole life by any means. I have created a separate blog to write about my struggles with my mother so that this blog can be a positive space once again; a blog that I'd like to share with my son someday. Not sure yet if I'll move the "mother" posts from here to there or if I'll leave them. I am looking forward to posting about the good stuff in my life again, while also having an outlet for the ugliness. I'm not going to link the two blogs, at least for now. If you're interested in reading the other blog, let me know but please don't feel obligated in any way.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Glad they're safe!

My in laws live in NJ and their area was hit badly by hurricane Ire.ne. As Russ was talking to them this morning, the water kept rising until it was eventually seeping into their house through the floor. They are both older and not in the best health. Mary (MIL) has very bad legs from a car accident years ago and uses a motorized cart to get around and Don (FIL) is diabetic and has no feeling in his feet so he's very unsteady. Their garage is not attached to the house and had a lot of water in it so even if they could have gotten to it, it's doubtful whether their vehicles would even start. Russ called the fire department and they came to evacuate them with a pontoon boat. Very scary stuff! They had a house fire about six years ago that totally destroyed their home and they had to live in a very small trailer for months while waiting for the insurance paperwork to go through so they could rebuild. From the way it sounds, this house may also be a total loss. We are of course thankful that they were not hurt during either of these events, but what an ordeal to go through. I know that Russ feels helpless because we no longer live just a few minutes away from them. He was planning on going for Monday and Tuesday to help because he has an important delivery to make on Wednesday, but there is nothing that can really be done right now until the water recedes. His sister also wants to go and "help" and she may go anyway which will make things more difficult for them rather than being helpful. Deb is very pushy and feels that they are too old to be living on their own and wants them to move closer to her. Don was born and raised there and has lots of friends there and I doubt he will ever move. Mary would be willing to move but the aftermath of something like this is just not the time to try and force her will on them. As if they aren't stressed enough. After the fire Deb pushed very hard trying to get them to move and tried to convince them that they could no longer handle the house on their own. I am just so very thankful that they are safe and sound!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Either way I lose

This is my last week working at the daycare (yay!) and I am off tomorrow. I had planned to clean my house and perhaps go submit some more job applications. My mother sent me an email saying her and my dad have eye appts and want to come for lunch. I am so emotionally fragile right now and am really in no shape to deal with her. Since finding the info on Narcissistic Personality Disorder (npd), my whole world has changed. I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that things will never improve and I will never have the kind of relationship with my mother that I have always desired. I am slowly coming to grips with the reality that my mother will never love me and it is devastating to say the least. At the same time, it is also very freeing and I have come to realize that the only way to protect myself is to have little or no contact with her. Of course she has no idea what I discovered about npd and would never in a million years admit that she has it and so she has no idea how much things have changed between us. The thought of having them in my house and watching them pretend to be loving grandparents makes me physically ill. My dilemma lies in deciding whether to protect myself or allow them to come so that they cannot claim that I am keeping John from them. They act very loving towards John (everything is an act with them) and he is obviously too young to see through their manipulations. I want to shield him from the truth which he is too young to comprehend and I want him to have happy memories of his grandparents. So do I suck it up and bow at her altar as I have been trained to do, or do I put myself first for once?

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Russ and I processed our second batch of tomatoes today. The past two years we got the blight and didn't get even one tomato. Russ loves tomatoes and was so disappointed. This year has more than made up for it! We have eaten a ton of them, given a lot away to neighbors and made two batches of sauce and stewed tomatoes. The total was 7 quarts and 15 pints of stewed tomatoes and 10 quarts and 31 pints of sauce! It's a lot of work but we will be so grateful to have garden tomatoes all year long.

From today!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

One More Week!

I turned in my letter of resignation on Monday. Shaunna was not at all surprised and did not even ask me why I was leaving. After she read it she said "wow, you wrote it in a letter. Thanks, that's nice." Um yeah, that's the professional way to resign duh. I am totally convinced that she wanted me to quit because she has someone else in mind for the job, most likely a family member. There are so many kids there that are related to her and she favors them over the other kids. Things have gotten so much worse there and I am so excited to be leaving. The girl I work with the most, Karen, is miserable there too and can't stand Shaunna. There are three new kids starting on Monday and they are all below the "minimum age" of 3 and are not potty trained, which the handbook (ha) says they are supposed to be. Guess what, they are also related to Shaunna too. I am just going to do my best to make it through the next week and concentrate on finding another job. My parents and brother went to NJ to pick up his "new" vehicle and it has actually been a relief to know that my mother isn't around. I enjoyed a peaceful day at home with Russ and John playing, coloring and cuddling on the couch with popcorn and a movie. I just love my little family of three! Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Monday, August 15, 2011

I guess she's not a morning person

So, we went to my parents' house to have cake for my brother's birthday on Saturday evening and it was as awful as I anticipated. I can no longer even look my mother in the eye. It has been 3 1/2 weeks since they last saw John and she said "has it been that long?" Um, yeah it has. So much for all the "family time" she promised if we moved here. And she had missed him so much that she spent all of her time photographing the deer in her yard. The deer that are there every day. This is her newest obsession and she sees herself as a photographer and says "everyone" wants to buy her pictures. She said she has been getting up at 6:30 to see them so she can get the best photos. She has always slept until at least 10 or 11, so this is big for her. You'll see why it's big for us too in just a bit.

I basically knew the answer already but I asked her if it would be possible for her to watch John one or two days a week so that I could substitute. I am leaving the daycare (had enough) and substituting would be the job that would pay the most other than teaching full time which isn't an option until John goes to school. She didn't answer me and quickly changed the subject, which spoke volumes. So yesterday we went grocery shopping and I applied at Wal.mart and a grocery store. At this point I will have to work evenings after Russ gets home and on weekends because it's obvious that we don't have ANY family support here. Which is fine, our family of three will survive on our own as we've been doing. The extra money would have helped us move sooner but we will still reach our goals.

While John was napping, my mother called to let me know that she had been thinking and thinking about watching John and she just didn't think she could do it. I told her we had already figured that out and we would be fine. She said that it would be too early for her to get up in the mornings! But yet she can get up to take pictures of deer? Nice. And she said she was scared to drive in the snow and ice and she doesn't know the roads very well. First of all, she grew up here, in this very house as a matter of fact! Second of all, if there is snow and ice the schools close. She did say that she could watch John in an "emergency" such as when Russ has to go on trips and I'm scheduled to work IF I get a job near her house and drop him off. Isn't that nice of her?

She went on to say that she does still want to see John though. Well isn't that nice considering you are his grandmother (by blood anyway) and we moved here for that reason. I told her "well, we aren't keeping him from you." And she said that she knows how "busy" we are and we "do things" every weekend. How dare we do things when John's grandmother might call and ask to see him. Yeah, that hasn't happened even once since we moved here. Then she told me that she might know someone who would buy our house. Our house which is not for sale! Even if we sold our house immediately, we have a lot of debt that must be paid before we could even think of moving, which we have told her. I asked her if she was telling people our house was for sale and she denied it but obviously she is. By this time I was so furious that I had Russ call our phone so she would hear our call waiting and I could hang up. In retrospect it was a bit cowardly on my part but if I had continued to listen to her I would have ended up yelling at her and that would give her more ammunition to play the victim. A few minutes later she sent me the following in an email:
I didn't tell anyone that your house is for sale, or that you want to move out of the area, or would I!  That is your business to tell/do whatever you want.  I was trying to talk personally between YOU and ME only after all that you said before.  I guess I can't talk/tell you anything any more.  That's the sad part.  I LOVE having you here and thought we'd be doing more together, especially craft fairs, etc. 
Sorry I got you upset again!!!!
Love Ya <3 * * *
And once again it's all about her. It's my fault that we don't do more together! I'm so frustrated and can't wait to get out of here. While I was applying at Wal.mart one of the girls that works part time at the daycare and at Wal.mart asked why I was applying there. She said everyone else is trying to get out of Wal.mart. So, it will be no secret that I'm looking for another job so Russ said I should hand in my notice today. I was going to wait until I found something else but I guess that's been taken out of my hands now. So today I'm taking a step towards our future. It's scary but I'm so glad to be leaving the daycare. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I didn't get it

Well, I just got the letter in the mail-I didn't get the job. I'm disappointed, but not for the "right" reasons. I was hesitant about the job because of the "vibe" I got at the interview. I suspect that the children will be particularly difficult, which I have extensive experience with but at this point in my life I just don't have the energy to devote to a job like that. The people that interviewed me also had an air of arrogance about them and I'm not sure I would have enjoyed working with/for them. The reason I sort of wanted the job was for the money, which is the wrong reason. We got our new schedules at work yesterday and Shaunna has really screwed me with the schedule. She cut me down to 16 1/2 hours per week, when I was hired at 32 1/2. She also scheduled me to come in during nap time which would be very disruptive with John. I told her when we had our meeting that it wouldn't be worth it for me to come in for 3 hours and it would mess up John's nap time because he'd have to nap at home and be up in time to get to work. She didn't take any of that into consideration and has finalized the schedule. I am so sick of that place that I wanted to get this job so I could leave there. I am so disgusted that I am going to leave even though I didn't get this other job. It may mean working evenings and weekends but I'm not going to stand for being treated badly. Russ and I were just discussing our options when the mail came with my rejection letter. It took the wind out of my sails, that's for sure. I have never been rejected for any teaching position that I applied for and it has thrown me for a loop. I need to get my head on right and figure out my next move. It's not helping that we are going to my parents' house tonight to have birthday cake for my brother. Really not looking forward to seeing my mother, especially now. But I will put on my happy face and be pleasant because my son deserves that.

Friday, August 12, 2011


As I mentioned, I sent in my resume for a part time teaching position at a nearby school district because I do not like my current job. The school year starts very soon here so I knew they would have to hire someone quickly. The submission deadline was last week and I hadn't heard anything and I was second guessing the way I redid my resume, so I figured I wouldn't even be asked to interview. Well, on Tuesday I was called and asked to interview. Since I am currently off on Wednesdays, we scheduled it for the next day. After the issue with my mother, I didn't want to ask her to watch John so Russ came home early from work. The interview was a bit "strange" and I'm honestly not sure how well it went. I'm also not sure if I want it to have gone well. The position is for an emotional support teacher and will be four hours a day but they don't know yet which four hours they will be. They asked a lot of questions about discipline and if I've ever had restraint and crisis training, which leads me to believe that the students will be quite "challenging." I have a lot of experience with severe students but at this stage in my life I'm not too keen on physically restraining anyone. I also didn't think this was permitted in a public school. At times in the interview I felt bombarded even though there were only two interviewers. I'm not sure whether they will offer me the job and I'm not sure I would want them to. Even though it's "only" four hours a day, I'd have to be away from John.  I'm not sure if the daycare where I work would keep him if I quit and it would be very difficult to find another one so quickly and I hate the idea of asking my mother to watch him, if she even would. But of course the pay is way, way more than what I'm making now, which would help us to move sooner. He said they would be making a decision quickly, possibly by the end of this week. Which means possibly today. Which leaves me with a stomach in knots wondering if I'll be offered a job I'm not sure I want but which would put us closer to our goal of moving. As an interesting twist, when he found out that I was "highly qualified" in several subjects, he asked me how committed I was to staying in our town. I nearly laughed out loud as I answered 'not very." He has several places that desperately need highly qualified teachers but I told him I'm not looking for full time right now and he was disappointed. And so I wait.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The fair, and my first posted picture!

We took John to the fair last night. It's a county fair but it is really small and pretty cheesy. There were only three rides he was allowed to ride on because of their height restrictions. He's 42 inches at his doctors office and the rides said 42 inches was the minimum height but their stick was still about 1/2 inch higher than him and they wouldn't let him ride. He took it in stride though and had fun riding the ones he could. He's just such a happy, loving little boy and I'm over the moon in love with him. I'm going to attempt to post my first picture, hope it works!

He eats like a bird

When he can, Russ picks John up at daycare on his way home from work. This gives them "guy time" together. When I walked in the door on Tuesday, John was drinking from his sippy cup and he said "mama, this tastes funny." I took the lid off and discovered the reason: Russ had given him the hummingbird food I'd made that morning! Of course by this time he had drank about 3/4 of it! That was the most sugar he's ever had in his life, lol!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Well what do ya know? I'm NOT crazy!

After the events of last night, I couldn't sleep so I started looking up things online to help me understand why my mother is the way she is. I am absolutely dumbfounded by what I found: my mother has narcissistic personality disorder (npd) and she's a classic case. As I read the case studies, it was almost as if someone were talking about my life! The experiences I've had, the pain I've dealt with, it can all be explained by my mother's npd! There are numerous sites dealing with daughters of mothers with npd, because it apparently is particularly damaging to daughters. I read these sites with my mouth literally open and tears flowing down my cheeks. At last it finally makes some sense! I'm not crazy and it's NOT my fault! I began college majoring in elementary ed and minoring in psychology, so I feel like maybe I should have recognized this sooner, but it was only after we moved away that I realized how badly she has damaged me. But every sentence on these sites spoke to me in a way I can't explain fully. I am going to put a few here, hope I'm not breaking any copyright laws but I know that I will need to read them again and again.

We maybe still think our mother loves us because she tells us she does, and we don't know any better to realise that normally love doesn't manifest in such sly put-downs, such undermining, such neglect. And of course our culture tells us, loud and clear and over and over, that our mother loves us, and that we need to love her. And because of this, our friends just don't - cannot - understand any of this, and that's lonely too.
And we believe we love her because, well, that's what daughters do. And as normal loving girls we crave to love.

We feel we cannot be our authentic true selves, even assuming we can figure out who that authentic self even is.
We suffer from low self-esteem, often to the level of self-loathing, and we struggle with self-care. We almost certainly cannot love ourselves, and all this is evidenced by our negative self-talk.
We may believe we have no right to exist, and almost certainly feel that we're never good enough, that we're not acceptable, that at some deep down level we're inherently flawed.
We either are forever self-sabotaging, or burdened with impossible perfectionism.
Although there is often euphoria when we make this discovery about NPD, as we realise we're not crazy, that can be quickly followed by anger, grief and bereavement, sadness, shame and guilt, and maybe even hatred.
We perhaps still always feel like a little girl, and we're probably scared to own, or access, our own power - and that keeps us feeling powerless too. We've had years of being told we're too sensitive, and possibly we are, now. 
We have difficulty setting boundaries, whether that's with our family or with others.
We may well be overly fearful of authority figures, or people being angry with us.
We worry about whether we ourselves are narcissistic.
We may have body issues - either being overweight, or terrified of gaining weight.
We may find ourselves still experiencing huge fear of her, no matter how old we are or how assertive in other parts of our lives.
We may find that we're still trying - in vain, of course - to get her approval, or to get her attention.
We may want to severely limit our contact with her, or even to cut off all contact- but be worried and confused about that.
We no doubt have difficulties in forming relationships, or maybe we're attracted to unhealthy and abusive relationships. We have a constant fear of abandonment, and huge trust issues. We carry a constant feeling that the world isn't safe.
We also have massive issues around deserving. Deep down we may feel that we don't deserve good things, or good relationships, or even that we don't deserve to heal.  We may also have beliefs around healing that healing means she gets away with it, for example, which block us, or the belief that being unhappy is a badge of proof that this happened.
A lot of Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers also have huge difficulty saying nice things about themselves, or celebrating their own successes.
We no doubt have limiting beliefs. They vary from woman to woman but could be things like, It's not safe to be successful, or I have to be quiet and not cause any trouble.
The thing about these beliefs is that often they're so deep down that we don't even know they're there - but they're running, and often ruining, our lives. 
We may feel the burden of keeping family secrets, and feel guilt and shame around those.
We are torn between cutting off all contact - but that's so big a decision - and having to deal with her on a regular basis.

  I cannot fully explain what this information means to me. It is a lot to process and it makes me feel good and terrible all at the same time. The section on enabling fathers nearly crushed me because I used to see my father as perfect and I've recently begun to see him as he truly is and that breaks my heart. The man who was my hero growing up seems so small and weak to me now. It's a good thing this blog isn't written on paper because it would be tear soaked by now. I am really struggling right now but so many things are starting to make sense to me. Each sentence resonated with me more than the previous ones. Several years ago I started saving the I.Ms with my mother so I could read them later when she denied everything and made me feel crazy. Even last night's conversation followed the classic traits of npd when she stated she didn't deserve to be loved:
As a last resort she goes pathetic. When she’s confronted with unavoidable consequences for her own bad behavior, including your anger, she will melt into a soggy puddle of weepy helplessness. It’s all her fault. She can’t do anything right. She feels so bad. What she doesn’t do: own the responsibility for her bad conduct and make it right. Instead, as always, it’s all about her, and her helpless self-pitying weepiness dumps the responsibility for her consequences AND for her unhappiness about it on you. As so often with narcissists, it is also a manipulative behavior. If you fail to excuse her bad behavior and make her feel better, YOU are the bad person for being cold, heartless and unfeeling when your poor mother feels so awful.

Wow. Just wow. I have so much to process right now and I am already running late getting ready for work so I need to get going. So much going on in my head right now.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The poo hit the fan

I just had a "conversation" with my mother via I.M and I am beside myself right now. I had planned on not telling her that we want to move. It is financially impossible right now anyway so why bother?  Well, she gave me such grief about not going to the family reunion that I just caved. Blabbed. Spilled the beans. Sang like a canary. Whatever you want to call it, I told her we are very unhappy here and that we want to move when we can afford it. Of course everything became about HER because everything in the world is about HER. She said she is not happy here either and she wants to move too. And then the "poor me" started and the guilt trip. She actually said "I guess I'm not worthy of anyone's love." Where does that even come from? How does the fact that we want to move mean she is unlovable? My whole life, she has done stuff like this. If anyone dares have an opinion or a goal different from hers, it becomes an attack on her and she gets very dramatic. I cannot count the number of times she threatened suicide or said she was leaving. Then she would either lock herself in her bedroom or go speeding off in her car, leaving all of us in fear that this time she might actually do it. I used to fall for her game and I'd go running after her and tell her she was right all along and she was the best mother ever. I'd sob outside her locked door that I was sorry and I'd never do "it" again.  Somewhere along the way I lost interest in this game. I refuse to chase after her anymore, literally or figuratively. I am living my life and I refuse to apologize for that. In tonight's "conversation" she again threatened to leave, to move far away from everybody, including my father. She tried to take the blame for our unhappiness here, saying they weren't "filling our need." I told her that she is not responsible for my happiness and I don't blame her. To be honest though, I do somewhat blame her because she sold us a fairytale to convince us to move here. But I blame myself most of all. This was my decision and I have to live with it, at least for now. Not sure how things will play out from here on, but I'm sure it will be interesting.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Just random stuff

This post will just be some random things that I want to record but which do not merit a post of their own. First off, I've decided to stop referring to my husband as "R" and use his name, which is Russ. I was using an initial on the off chance that someone in my family would stumble upon my blog. It's unlikely that they would, but if they did I'm sure they would not be pleased because my family is very concerned with appearances. It doesn't matter how screwed up we really are, as long as we appear perfect to the world. Ok then, moving on. Sorry for the bullets, but they will help me keep some order to this post. At least in theory.
* It seems that I am surrounded by pregnant women these days. Many of my friends, cousins etc are expecting and I am so pleased to report that it is not making me wish that we were having another one. At all. In fact, I had a dream the other night that I was pregnant and even in my dream I was not thrilled. I am very happy with our family of three and have no desire for any more children.
* Because I hate my job so very much, I have opened my mind to the possibility of teaching again. I am not actively searching for a job but I prayed that if God wanted me to teach again, that He would make it very clear to me and basically drop something into my lap. Last week there was a job in the paper for a part time special ed position and I applied for it. Not sure if anything will come of it and I'm not thrilled about the possibility of being away from John but it would help us get out of debt faster and perhaps it would be possible for us to move sooner.
* Yes, I still want to move. Very badly. I don't think this is the place for us. The "family connection" my mother said would be here for us has not materialized and in fact I'm more alone here than in Virginia. We had great friends and a wonderful church in Virginia and we may consider moving back there. It would have to be in a different county however, because the school in the county where we lived was terrible. Not sure we want to go back there; it would be fun to start fresh in a new place like we did when we moved to Virginia. That was scary but exciting too.
* When we were planning our move here, I was so excited to attend the yearly family reunion that my mother's family holds. I was craving family and believed that we would be welcomed here. The first year we couldn't go because John was sick and I was so disappointed. Last year we went and barely anyone spoke to us. This year's reunion is today and we are not going. Why should we go and basically be ignored? My mother is very angry at me because she won't be able to pretend that she is a good gramma and show off John. Bitter? Not me.
* There is a flea market near us that is held the first weekend of every month from may to October. I love going to it and have been eager to go again since last month. There is a kitchen "store" and I want to buy some new cookie cutters and baking doodads. I love baking and I'm going to try selling some things at one of the craft shows this year. Perhaps the best part though is the yard sales on the way; there are tons of them. Yard sales and a flea market in the same day makes for a very happy me!
* Russ got a phone call during supper Thursday and found out he had to work late on Friday and would have to work on Sunday as well. He works for a winery and they have a festival this weekend. He wasn't supposed to have to work but the vehicle they were going to take broke down and he's the only one that can drive their big truck. He would have to help them set up Friday and then return on Sunday to bring them back. When they got there (after hours of traffic) there was no security on the grounds so the boss asked Russ to stay overnight and set up in the morning. Which means no early trip to the flea market. Plus it's raining. We need the rain so bad but I will admit to being pretty bummed. There is one yard sale at a church that will be indoors so John and I are going to head there as soon as I post this. If it clears up we may go to the flea market this afternoon when Russ gets home or perhaps it will be nicer tomorrow and we can go in the morning before he has to leave. No yard sales on Sundays though. I'm disappointed but we will make the best of it. I made some chili so we'll have a cozy supper together tonight, my family of three.
* I am over the moon in love with my son. He amazes me every day and I cherish the time I am able to spend with him. We went to McD.s for supper last night after work and then grocery shopping. It was a long day and we were both exhausted by the time we got home but he's really such a good kid. There was a kid throwing a fit and John's eyes just got so wide looking at him. John is really not the kind of kid that has tantrums. Don't get me wrong, he gets upset over things I think are silly sometimes but he gets over them pretty quickly too. Love that boy.

Well, I think that's it for now. Hope you have a great weekend!