Walking in Her Shoes

It suddenly struck me. Just yesterday. How miserable she must be. There is no happiness in her life. She is in an abusive relationship with a malignant narcissist. The relationship I tried to get her out of for years. With no success. I stood by her side all those years helping her, playing her unpaid therapist. Nothing ever got better, though. Until I finally woke up. She had emotionally abused me. I was parentified. I was used. There were no boundaries in my childhood with my mother. Not even today does she recognize where she ends and I begin. She does not know the concept of boundaries. She does not know the concept of compassion or empathy. She does not know how to love. She wasn't taught was love really is. And so she has a very skewed view of it. I am sad for her. Despite of everything she has done to me.

What kind of mother would let her daughter lie on the bathroom floor crying, ignoring her pain?

What kind of mother would bully her daughter, telling her she was to stupid to achieve anything in life?

What kind of mother would tell her underage daughter every single detail about her sex life, turning her into a confidant?

What kind of mother would put her abusive boyfriends narcissistic needs before her daughter's needs, gaslighting her into believing that he isn't that bad, when in fact, he is?

What kind of mother would forget about the rape her daughter endured?

What kind of mother would emotionally starve her daughter?

The honest answer might be: a mother who does not have the strength to face the ugly truth about herself and her own dysfunctional upbringing. I sincerely believe that she is convinced she did her best. And may be what happened was, in fact, the best she could have given. I dont't kow. And I never will. The twisted reality is that abuse runs in my family for many generations. My grandmother was abused her entire life. First by her own parents. Then by my grandfather. She, in her own disturbed view, had no other choice than surrender to my grandfather's mistreating demeanor. Together they broke the spirit of my mother. They destroyed her lively spirit, her joy in life. They destroyed her confidence and her ability to love.

It amazes me, how the human psyche works. We pass on what we don't face. Whatever demon we don't confront will control our subconcious. Which brings me back to my mom. Yes, she abused me emotionally. Big time. I strongly believe that my little brother died because of her emptiness inside during fifth month of pregnancy. And yet, I feel for her. I cannot imagine the horrors that shaped her day to day life growing up with my malignant narcissistic grandfather. He beat her when she brought home anything other than straight A's. I am aware that none of her past traumas does excuse her abusing her own daughter - me. However, it does explain, why she does not understand that this is what she did - abusing me. She cannot help behaving the way she does. I think of it as someone drowning - gasping for air. If you were drowning, you would do anything to get your air supply. You wouldn't care about the feelings of other people if your very life was in danger. This is how she must feel. Every second. All of the time. And it makes me so incredibly sad.

I remember when she was with us in Australia on a road trip. She missed out on the amazing colours, the feeling of the sand underneath her feet, of the salty water on her skin, she missed out on the incredible sounds of the birds, the wind hitting the tree tops, the waves crashing down. She was completely oblivious to the beauty that surrounded her. To the countless tiny miracles that happened right in front of her. And this makes me so sad for her. All she wanted, needed, was someone listening to her, taking care of her. Just like the drowning person gasping for air did she seek attention. At the time I when I started to understand what was wrong with her - or even that something was wrong with her (not me) I was mad. I came to understand that she was controlled by a personality disorder, but it didn't make sense. How could she do all this to me? There was no getting through to her. No matter how gently or precisely I tried to line out for her how I felt, she only felt attacked and deflected everything. She plays the victim so well. What she feels is so incredibly real to her, that she cannot understand that her feelings are symptoms of a mental disorder which requires treatment.

My grandparents have destroyed her. They shaped her neuro-biology in a way, that she is now unable to self reflect. She cannot see her own errors. She does not understand that her treatment of me is the reason I distanced myself fromher as a self protective measure. She is gasping for air all of the time. I do not think of her as evil. At least not anymore. I do understand that her behaviour is a response to trauma that resulted from abuse.

What I do ask myself, though, is were I do go from here. I get it. To the full extend. What she did was not right. Her history does not give her a get out of jail free card. It is just so sad. If only she could be able to see her own errors.... If only... I know that this will never happen. Obviously deflection and blame-shifting is what she needs to do in order to emotionally survive.

Just as her parents did.

It is up to us to break the toxic cycle. Without any emotional support from loving family members. Sometimes I wish to be adopted by some other family. Considering my age this is an odd thing to wish for and yet I do. Obviously this shows how deep these traumatic losses go.

Well, I don't have all the answers.

Xxx, Josi

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