It seems I have had enough.
I am actually bored with this stuff endlessly rattling around in my head making noise so I cant concentrate on anything else.
"Bugger it!" pretty much sums up how I feelright now.
Bugger wanting the unattainable - wanting this Narcissistic person to want me. Wanting to matter to them.
But she doesn't (my mother)- she doesn't want me enough enough to say..."Hello", or "Sorry" or "I was wrong." Not enough to put aside whatever it is that drives her to do this.
I have grieved for that relationship and beaten myself up far too much these last years.
I don't know what she has done with her time and I am finished with wondering about that.
I'm not just saying that in the hope that saying it will make it true, I'm not even angry, I'm just flat, uninterested, done.
Because I am ENOUGH.
This, me right here, is enough.
I have spent a great deal of time wondering if I made enough effort. Wondering if I could have tried harder? Could I have been better? Would it have been possible for me to have done more? Maybe I didn't try hard enough?
It's horrible to always doubt yourself. It eats away at you.
When people say nice things you slide a barrier between you and the niceness. One that says in the silence of your head "Perhaps? Maybe?" but really, "I could have done better"
Well it turns out I have been looking at this stuff the wrong way round.
What I had been thinking was:
When I left home I phoned , but not enough.
When I left home I visited - but not enough.
When I showed affection, through acts , through gifts through words, through time spent, it wasn't enough.
When I achieved things in my own life, they were..not enough.
My involvement and responsibility for that family, was not enough.
I was not enough.
I have gone through my life seeking the approval of others - seeking to see approval in their eyes - including some people I really shouldn't have wanted the approval of. People who took advantage. People who used me.
I had no boundaries - no self esteem, "Just like me - please like me - I am trying as hard as I can."
"Maybe I have a little more to give.
Maybe I can humiliate myself in a funny way.
Maybe if I reduce myself to nothing...just like me pleeeeeese."
It doesn't work - its not healthy - and its all back to front.
The thing I should have asked, the thing we, as children of narcissists are deflected from asking is:
What would have been enough?
If I had phoned every day, or every hour.
Visited every weekend.
Gave them everything I earned?
The scale of response would have gone - "not enough - still not enough - even now, not enough"...and then straight to - "There is something wrong with you !"
It would never have gone:
"Oh! that is perfect. That is exactly right"
What I got was a very distant hope of approval, set deliberately out of my reach.
and in that gap ? That gap between what and who I was and their approval were all their excuses.
Everything became my fault because I wasn't trying hard enough.
I wasn't meeting their expectations.
They, after all, just wanted me to be the best person I could be. That's why who I was now was never good enough - and they were being nice to me pointing this out.
I internalized that as a child and have brought it all the way to today and still she hasn't given me her approval. I don't think she can.
She didn't give it to anybody else after all - Not her own parents - Not my sibling - Not her brother, her husband ..Not anyone I know. She didn't approve of any of them. So I guess it would be illogical to take it personally any more.
I'm not carrying her burden any more either. She was wrong - that standard she set - that impossible standard was not my burden to carry. She didn't live up to that standard herself, the standard was only for people other than her.
I hoped for something beyond her capability to give, and yes - I do see the irony in that.
Yet she held out the hope of it. She really used it as a method of control and a way to get me to comply with her wants, needs, and the way she wanted things to be. So she constantly held her love and her approval just out of reach, always moving it away from me. Totally conditional. It is a sad, sick, lazy way to parent.
She is moving house. She will think I don't know.
I do in fact only know by accident - she will be moving somewhere smaller, easier to manage, - perhaps a retirement home? - and she will be throwing away all the family momentoes. The photographs, the ornaments, the things that made the landscape of our childhood.
I had though once she was dead I would walk around my childhood home again,but it is not going to happen.
I was sad about this for a very short while but that faded away quite quickly. I realised I don't really want to put my things away to have her clutter in our lives. To bring unease to rooms I love with objects that I don't need and that bring queezy memories with them. Or even to have sealed boxes in the loft I may never face.
Not that this is necessarily an option - but if I could - I wouldn't. It is a dead thing this past - She has things she has chosen around her, they are not, and never were, mine. Even things I coveted as a child are not things I want any more.
They were shiny with stories about their value, their uniqueness or their place in family history. But remove that and they are just bits of glass and glitter and not things I would want to catch my eye and have the goosebumps creep up my spine as I remember her 'polishing' them.
I know now, that she will not make even the smallest effort to reconcile - that she will not pursue me, I also know that I am enough without her or her approval. Even as her absence from my life is intended to make a lie of this. I suspect her absence is intended to prove I am not enough, and yet it achives the opposite. I am not punished by her absence. I am not made less whole by it. People do not judge me poorly because she is not in my life.
This final ultimate judgement she has made of me, "Not good enough to be my daughter," has not changed a single persons opinion of me to my detriment. Quiet the reverse in fact. Many people are relieved for me. Happy that things have changed for me. And I am happy that I seem to have finally come into focus for myself.
I can see how the stories of other people who knew us both fit into this now. I have been listening to them describe her and her behaviour for a long time, but I have not really heard or understood them. They saw much more clearly who both of us were, and tried hard to tell me over the years. But now from a distance ( ah hindsight) I can see her through their eyes too, just as I am learning to see myself through their compassion.
She found reason to complain about everything I do or am when she could just as easily found something to praise. Something to think worthy. After all other people care for me, think me clever, talented, lovable,
People I have met as strangers have come to love me, find value in my company, laugh with me, and sorrow for me because I grieve.
After all, I have a worth.
I am ...enough.