New to this site, my Narcissistic mother died two days ago, coming to talk

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Cathy52
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New to this site, my Narcissistic mother died two days ago, coming to talk

Post by Cathy52 » Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:17 am

Hi my name is Cathy and I just lost my mother two days ago. I have been searching online for information on how to heal and how to reconcile with a father and brother who have all been 'programmed' to view me as the mentally ill, abusive, rebellious daughter who was mean to mom. I had to make the choice after my sister died 6 years ago to divorce my mother and father due to the extreme dysfunction and the covert abuse I was receiving from my mother where no one saw it or experienced it but me. I suffer from Bipolar and for me after many years of counseling finally realized that my mother was manipulative and would trip so many of my emotional triggers that it was wreaking havoc on me trying to get better and continue positive coping strategies. Even my adult children today have this ingrained view of me through the lens of my mother that I am not sure will ever go away. I know I can't change people so I am not going to try to change my son or daughter. I know this may sound really evil, but I was actually glad my mother was gone when I got the news. My family thinks I am cold hearted but when I got the news I actually felt relief. I am grieving, but not because I lost her. I am still angry about the past and at her, and also angry at my father so her death has brought up a lot of painful memories for me and with those memories a lot of anger. I did finally go see my Dad after 6 years of no contact with him and her before she died. I tried to give support. I think he was surprised that I showed up and even my brother was viewing me with a suspicious eye, as if I had some ill intent for finally coming around. I don't know if they will ever admit all the terrible things she did. All they could talk about was what a wonderful mother, wife and grandmother she was. They seemed to have put her on that pedestal and it felt like even through the grave she still has a stranglehold on all of us. I am trying to cope. I want to reconnect now with my father and brother and hope we can put the past behind us and move forward. I am just not sure if reconciliation is possible with the way they see me sadly. I just need to vent, talk, find some people who can relate and understand. Thanks all.

Beth McHugh
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Re: New to this site, my Narcissistic mother died two days ago, coming to talk

Post by Beth McHugh » Sat Apr 09, 2016 10:31 am

Hi Cathy,
Sorry to hear about your mother, but I do understand that you also feel relief that she isn't around anymore. However, there will be grief -- but it will be grief for the mother you never had. This grieving has been going on for some time, perhaps unconsciously, but the actual death may trigger feelings of loss that belong to many areas of your life where your mother did not connect with you in a normal mother-daughter way.

I have written some articles on ageing narcissists as well as coping with the death of a narcissistic parent, which you can read on the main website if you haven't already. In regards to reconnecting with your family, you may only be able to do this if you do not talk about your mother. It sounds like she has been successfully able to manipulate your father and brother, and now is not the time to speak your truth about her, as they will be in the normal process of grieving and will naturally not want to hear anything bad about her. This may always be the case, too. Hence you may only be able to interact with your family by focussing on them and the future, rather than the past and your mother. This is not healthy for you, so you do need someone to vent to about your mother, and even to grieve about the mother you didn't have. Because you have bipolar, it makes it so easy for anything you express to your family to be seen as part of an illness, rather than reality.
This is a frustrating place to be in because they may not let you have a voice. The best you can do is just try to spend some time with them after the main grieving period after the funeral is over.
Cathy, you have had a loss your whole life in having a narcissistic mother, so expect to feel sad even though it may make no logical sense. You may also feel angry. This is normal. Losing a narcissistic parent is hard, because their character lives on, but it doesn't have to dictate your life. If you find you need help down the track in dealing with the mixed emotions that death brings, or even coping with you family, contact me for a session. I wish you all the very best and hope that you can find peace with your mother down the track.It's not easy having a narcissist for a mother.
Best wishes.

Beth
ImageBeth McHugh
B.Sc (Hons). B.Psych. Dip.Sc.
Principal, Your Online Counselor

Cathy52
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Re: New to this site, my Narcissistic mother died two days ago, coming to talk

Post by Cathy52 » Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:26 am

Beth thank you for the response. I will certainly take you up on some online counseling. Its been a tough past couple of days. My Dad is keeping me at arms length and is not allowing me to help with arrangements or anything. He has called his friends, my brother, my mothers aunt and her daughter, as well as church members to come and help him with everything. He wanted me to go home and said repeatedly he is dealing with a lot of conflicted emotions concerning me and is also trying to handle his grief. I am starting to think that for my own mental health safety I may need to just stay at a distance and if he chooses not to reconcile I will move on and live my life. I think if I continue to try and push to be apart of the family again I will only be hurting myself. I am pretty intuitive and I am picking up the vibe that I am not really wanted there and he is trying to figure out how to tell me this, but with what is going on at the moment he probably can't handle talking about it with me. I think you are absolutely right about me not talking ill about my mother. Now is definitely not the time and would feel inappropriate. There might not ever be a good time to talk about past hurts. It might not be healthy for me to try to do so with him or my other family members. The only way I can loosen the grip my mother still seems to have over me is not allowing others to treat me the way she did or to continue the abuse. I have to take care of myself even if that means having to let go of any hope of having them in my life anymore.

Beth McHugh
Posts: 206
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 9:47 am

Re: New to this site, my Narcissistic mother died two days ago, coming to talk

Post by Beth McHugh » Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:16 am

Hi Cathy,
You may be right in thinking that your family may be a source of ongoing pain for you, but you need to take care of yourself in the short-term.
You are being excluding from the funeral planning aspects but it's important to decide how to say goodbye to your mother, no matter what your current feelings are for her. It may be too confronting to go to the funeral, but you could decide to stay outside of the church, or visit her grave (if she is being buried ) at a later time. Or you could have your own ceremony at your home or in a park at the same time as your mother's ceremony is on. Whatever feels comfortable for you, because everyone grieves differently and you are entitled to grieve the way you want to.
The fact that your father indicated that he is conflicted about having you around is interesting. it means he is in two minds. He possibly wants to have the funeral his way -- yet he hasn't banished you either. It sounds like he genuinely can't deal with his wife's death and your arrival at the same time. I think this is an issue that will take time for you to work out and decide how to deal with both your family nad memories of your mother.

Best wishes,

Beth
ImageBeth McHugh
B.Sc (Hons). B.Psych. Dip.Sc.
Principal, Your Online Counselor

Cathy52
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Re: New to this site, my Narcissistic mother died two days ago, coming to talk

Post by Cathy52 » Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:08 am

I received a call from my Dad yesterday. He didn't want me to come over and pick out pictures with them. He said that he does want to reconnect at some point but right now he just can't handle all the conflicting emotions with me and the death of his wife at the same time. He is letting other people who were close to my mother handle all funeral arrangements and not family like his children or grandchildren. Apparently my mom became super close to her Aunt Dot (whom I call my Aunt Dot too, she is a 91 yr old lady), and Dots daughter. They have kinda of taken over for him. My mom always did all these things, like funeral arrangements and the planning, taking care of their grandchild whom they have custody of, (my sister died 5 years back and they adopted her child).

My daughter was upset yesterday because she felt excluded even though she was fairly close to her grandmother, but sadly some of that narcissistic behavior I fear may have wreaked havoc with my daughter toward the end because she stopped seeing her grandmother about a month prior to her dying. My mom had a way of pitting her children and grandchildren against one another in this really subtle manner. She said she went over to help with pictures yesterday and Aunt Dot and Jerry kind of shunned her. Honestly she won't tell me what actually happened with her grandmother but I have my suspicions. Interestingly enough my son who is in the Navy is very close to his grandfather but when we gave him the news of his grandmother passing he has yet to call or respond. All of this just makes me sad in a lot of ways for my kids. But they are adults now and I think they saw things toward the end that maybe they couldn't put their finger on and it may have lead to them keeping a distance. I know my brother thinks I had some doing in that even though I did not.

I asked Dad yesterday if he wanted me to come to the private viewing and church services and said that if he didn't I would understand. I told him that when and if he is ready to reconnect he knows where I am and can reach out to me. He said he does want me coming this Wednesday to the private viewing and to the church services but there will have to be baby steps with us. I told him I understood. So we left it at that. I am just really surprised at how much anger has cropped up in me. I have been having nightmares the past couple of nights with dreams of angry exchanges between my mother and I where I am calling her horrible names, telling her I am glad she is dead. I wake up with rage and anger and have to get up and do something to get my mind off of it. Honestly, I am glad that Dad and I have left it like this. It is going to take time for me too to feel trust with him. I know he has a very tainted view of me and right now it may be damaging for me to be around him. I don't know if I could handle him saying negative things to me or treating me in such a judgemental or suspicious manner. I have to be vigilant about my moods as this is a major trigger for me. I know I am already displaying some hypo manic behavior. I am just really thankful that I have some support through this.

Beth McHugh
Posts: 206
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 9:47 am

Re: New to this site, my Narcissistic mother died two days ago, coming to talk

Post by Beth McHugh » Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:10 pm

Hi Cathy,
It's great that you have the opportunity to attend the viewing and the funeral, and I think it's good to take it slowly with your father for the moment. Feel free to contact me if you feel you need counseling to get you through this transition time in your life.

Best wishes,

Beth
ImageBeth McHugh
B.Sc (Hons). B.Psych. Dip.Sc.
Principal, Your Online Counselor

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