Open Letter To My Narcissistic Mother

Updated: Dec 30, 2021

A lot of things happened this year, that I'd love to tell you, mom. But I can't. Because you wouldn't listen anyway. Or maybe you would actually, in order to weaponize any acquired information. To use it against me later on.

None of this would be healthy for either of us. You would ignore me or rage at me. And I would be devastated once more. Neither of us needs any of this. And I have to decided that I am worthy of protection from you, mom. So I don't tell you. I write it down instead. Because I need to say what I am dying to say. Without you ever hearing it.

This has been a hell of a year. Shortly before it began, actually, I started my first semester as a psychology student. Without believing I could ever be able to make it. Because you, mom, always told me that I was stupid. At age 13 you told me to always take care of my body, so I could make a living of stripping later in my life. Because you were convinced I was too dumb for anything else. I wonder, if actually you weren't all that convinced, mom. Many times I asked myself if that was only a projection of your own inadequacies. I am not saying, that it is you who is stupid, but I know that your own parents made you feel that way. Anyway, I would love for you to see my grades, mom. I am doing quite well and I am proud of that. I worked my ass off this entire year, battling depression as well as being hospitalized with a disk prolapse in my cervical spine (stress related) while learning for my last exam this summer. Still, even this last grade turned out well. Somehow I managed all this, while falling apart, once again. I wish I could tell you all this, mom. I wish I could make you proud, as well. Not to prove you wrong. I accomplished that already, but because I still want your approval, even though I know, it will never come.

Also shortly before this year started, I began going to therapy. I found an amazing therapist. He turned out to be the first person who fully got what I was going through. It was him, who educated me on how narcissistic you actually are, mom. I could see the pain in his eyes when I sat in his office, crying over how much heart break you had caused me. Then, finally I understood, how bad it really has been. My childhood. Our relationship. Your psychological impairment. Well, my therapist left his office. This was devastating to me. It happened in April this year, after just seeing him for six months. This means, for eight months, I couldn't make myself writing about that, here on my blog. I grieved it like an end of a relationship. Which it was of course, just not in a common sense. So for next year, I plan on finding someone as amazing as he was. I know, this is going to be tough, but giving up isn't really an option, is it? So in the mean time, while I was griving and crying over yet another loss, I continued to work on myself. I observed my own behaviour and reflected on why I did what I did. You would be amazed, what you could learn, if you did that, mom. Though, I know you'd never try. You, mom, would look into in abyss of eternal emptiness. You are a shape shifter. You do and say whatever gets you validation. Just to feel alive. Because really, mom, inside you are dead. Therefore you can never love. In order to love someone you would need to love yourself. But you do not have a real self. There is no core who is really yours. No values or dreams, that uniquely belong to you. Really, there is no you. Only an empty shell.

By observing me, I learned that I was utterly terrified of people. Which makes sence, given that I got the diagnosis of complex post traumatic stress disorder. This disorder is caused not by one single big event, like "normal" ptsd, but by many smaller ones occuring over time. Well, having a narcissistic mother is a huge stressor. You were the one person in this world who was supposed to protect me the most, mom. But you didn't. You sacrificed me for your own selfish needs. You neglected me, whenever something or someone more fancy distracted you. You parentified me, made me your mother. I had t0 listen to your problems from the age of 7. You did not even spare me informations of your sex life. No, I knew everything that was going on in detail. These are just two examples of the abuse you subjected me to. Basically, everything that thwarts the child's individuation and separation is abuse.

So I learned, people could not be trusted. I learned that I was worthless and that people would never love me. How could anyone love me, if you, mom, couldn't love me?

Of course, none of this is true. I realized, that I am lovable. That there are people who loved me. It is really you, mom, who is broken and cannot love. It is sad. A real tragedy. And it wasn't my fault. Yes, there are others like you out there, mom. Other abusers who would use me and abuse me if I let them. But not everyone is like this. Instead of being afraid of the world, I can learn to distinguish the abusive from the nurturing people and put into place some boundaries and get rid of my walls. To let the kind and warm people in and to leave the narcissisic ones outside. I just never believed I was worthy of love and kindness. That was my problem right there. Even if I received love, I couldn't accept it. You see my dilemma, mom? So I gradually fostered kindness, compassion and warmth within myself. I developped the belief that if I was warm and loving, I would also be worthy of love. And it worked, mom! Can you believe it? I used my chance to approach new people as uni started to open the doors again. Covid didn't do me an favor in that regard for an entire year. So uni opening up again was my moment. I was kind and supportive of others and I got back kindness and support. Whenever I felt like someone only wanted to use me, I kindly declined.

Also I am less afraid of social gatherings, now. Just because I did this shift in my thinking. I will probably never be the life of the party kind of girl, but that's okay. I am very greatful, that I reflected and learned some important lessons. And I will keep doing that, until I find a new therapist to work with.

As this year comes to an end, mom, I realize that I have no desire to get in touch with you, whatsoever. It sounds contracictory, you think? Because I am writing this letter to you? Though, it is not. I would love to be able to tell you all these things, mom. But also I don't want to. I am dying for you to understand. I really am. But at the same time, mom, I have accepted that you are sick and incapable of understanding or reflecting. I guess, finally, after almost 3 years of working through this mess, I have come to a place of acceptance. However, I have to tell you, that I will have days or even weeks, were I will relapse and struggle to cope and that's also okay. For now, I accept that you cannot love. Your parents broke you as a little girl and that is a tragedy. You will never be able to experience real joy or meaning in your life. Therefore ,you will never really live. I find that tragic.

Remember last summer, when I cried so hard at grandmas's funeral? I cried so much and so long, because her life as well, was wasted. It was the same case as yours, mom. She as well had been broken as a little girl, by her parents, making it impossible for her to love or to even be. She as well was empty inside. I can see the intergenerational trauma cycle playing out in our family, mom. I see it. And it breaks my heart. So much wasted life. So much wasted love. A real life tragedy.

At the sam time, none of this is my fault, mom. I cant't change it, even if I wanted to. And I did want to cure you, to love you enough. To be enough for you, mom. You had conditioned me so well. It almost broke me, to be your therapist, surrogate spouse, life coach, trophy and punching bag, mom. Though, nothing ever got better and I can't do it anymore. I really feel for you, mom. But I need to take responsibility for my own life. I need to heal the wounds, you inflicted on me and I need to focus on my school, on my healthy relationships and on my future. I finally learned that I, as a person, am valuable regardless of your approval, or the absense of it. I cannot continue to be devalued by you and grow at the same time. Sadly, mom, you would dim my light, whenever I let you. So I need to stop letting you. From my perspective as your daughter, this is a tragedy, too. I never get to have a loving and safe haven. I never get to be loved unconditionally, 'cause you were the only person who could have (and should have) done that when I was a child. I never get to be nurtured and protected and to feel safe. All I am today, everything I know, I have taught myself.

Instead I have been caught in your web of lies. Your artificial reality. The difference between you and me, mom, is that I could and did get out.

This christmas, I am going to celebrate with my husband, my very dear friend and her family. And I am very grateful for that, too.

I wish everyone merry christmas. Remember, whatever you are going through, you are not alone. You got this!

I am sending you hugs!

XXX Josi

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