It's taken me 48 years to realise!
For as long as I can remember I have strived to do what is right to keep our relationship positive by being the daughter she demanded. If did did or said something she didn't approve of then I'd change to suit her else suffer the consequences. Pretending to be someone I'm not has caused depression, low self esteem and anxiety for me.
Last year I met the most wonderful, supportive, thoughtful man who adores me and me him. He proposed and I accepted. We have both been married before and want the wedding to be quiet and about us and our love for each other so we decided to get married alone abroad.
We invited my Mum and her partner out to dinner to share our news that we had booked the wedding (she already knew of his proposal).....
Me "Mum, we invited you both here tonight to share some happy news, we have booked and paid for our wedding next year."
Her "and you don't want me there"
Me "It's not that we don't want you there, it's that we don't want anyone there. It's second time around for both of us so we don't want fuss and also his family would not be able to afford it. However when we get back we would love to take everyone out for a special meal to celebrate"
She sat and cried.
I held my hands out to her across the table and she didn't meet them. I got up and went to cuddle her saying "Please be happy for us"
No bottle of champagne.
The following day I'd hoped for a phone call, a text.......anything. I spent all day feeling guilty, beating myself and miserable. My wedding bubble had been well and truly burst.
The day after that me and OH decided to go out for the day to share some 'us' time. We went by train and had the most wonderful day laughing, walking, taking photos, a great meal and sharing a bottle of wine. Time and space away helped clear my guilt temporarily.
On arriving home our neighbours came around with a bottle of champagne and a bunch of flowers from Mum. She had been around and as we weren't in left them. No text, no phone call to say what she'd done.
As it was late I didn't call her but instead the following morning texted her to say thank you. I couldn't bring myself to call her. I found myself feeling angry..... Why couldn't she be like normal Mum's?
Since then we've had 3 phone calls all which I have initiated. No mention of the wedding has been made. She has been cold towards me, constantly complaining of how nothing in her life goes her way. My mood has been low, my anxiety high and the wedding glow somewhat tarnished.
That was almost 3 weeks ago and yesterday I googled "My Mother doesn't acknowledge my wedding."
That was my epiphany moment!!! I had no idea of NPD and I have spent the last 24 hours reading and reading. I have lost count of the times I've said Oh that's me...or she does that....
I realise now that I have spent so many years trying to be the perfect daughter in order to gain her approval, which of course I'll never get.
Where I am going to go from here, I'm not sure but for sure I am NOT going back to being old me! It will be hard I know but I have to move forward and mend. I have to think of myself and my future husband.