The Fine Artwork of Carolyn McFann
Today my mother and I got into a verbal fight. I generally am calm and cool about her rants and rudeness but being really screamed at really got to me and I yelled back. I'm not proud of it but she was right up in my face. It was horrible. She thinks she owns me and that I'm her servant. And that anything she does goes in some "bank" somewhere where it makes me somehow indebted to her later. It's a sick, twisted non-logic that always pits me as the horrible, disobedient daughter. I'm 47, not five. I don't deserve to be treated with such cruelty and she hit a boundary so I had to stand up for myself. It hurts. I want to love her but she just won't let me with her controlling, over-the-top aggressive behavior. I wish I had a dollar for every time they have tried to "disown" me for not doing what she says. The bullying is insane and I don't back down. I am close to just not dealing with either of them anymore, since dad just blindly follows anything she says. I'm not that weak, and I won't be controlled by the likes of her.
What started this rukus, you may ask? Something stupid, of course. Mom wanted to buy a $5 glass pitcher at the garage sale of my next door neighbor. She hands me $5 and tells me to get it for her (from home, on the phone). I agree to this. The neighbor then is not out and isn't available for the next few days. I stop at her place and she's not around. Mom, in the meantime, is on the phone, barking orders at me, trying to force me to bug the lady. I don't do that. No big deal, when she's around, I'll get it from her, not anything to freak out about. Mom gets more and more aggressive..
This morning is when I usually visit my parents for breakfast. On my way out the door, I stopped to see if the neighbor was around, she wasn't. Went to my parents without the pitcher. Mom went ballistic, screaming, furious that I haven't "obeyed" her and gotten her her pitcher today. I told her that I am SICK of her abuse and that I can't stand her anymore. That I have had it with being the scapegoat of the family. She rolls her eyes and looks at my father like "what a disobedient brat". They told me I am being disobedient. I told them from now on she can get her stuff herself, that I was stuck in the middle of this and don't appreciate it. And I will no longer be their scapegoat, AND, that I am NOT her servant. She got up in my face, screamiing and looking completely scary and I told her to stop being a bitch and get out of my face. Her eyes bugged out of her head, as she carried on, always trying to escalate, blame and shame. I left, wanting no part of anymore warfare. I HATE aggression and just tried to do her a favor, and now she's attacking me for not doing what she wants. It's like my childhood all over again. And why my school intervened and removed me-for my safety-from my parents, for being abused. As an adult, I can say "enough is enough". And as much as I've tried to be loyal, I am done being her whipping post.
Every week, mom demands, angrily, that I (a visiting guest in their house by their invitation) set the table when I visit for breakfast. I tell her not to order me around, but she thinks she is entitled to do it. I stand my ground, helping out some but not doing everything she demands and try not to let her get to me. It is usually a standoff. This is sick and not the way a "normal" family is. How does one love a mother who is so aggressive, histrionic and scarily unstable? She is capable of physically attacking me (hasn't happened in a long time but it has happened in the past) and I am always aware of this. But, I will not be bullied into submission. She loves to pit my father against me, he just does whatever she wants, as he's been controlled by her all these years. Why, God, why give me a mother like this? I want to be loyal and caring but it is impossible when she doesn't really care what I have to say, doesn't listen to me most of the time, talks over me and acts as if I'm scum of the earth when I don't do what she wants? It's blackmail and meant to make her look big and tough. There is nothing that hurts me more inside, to know that she will never be stable, without an agenda. She is smart and very cunning, is good at manipulating amd getting her way. But I don't fall for her games. This is why we just don't get along. I resist, she screams, blames and carries on World War III, knocking my character, sanity and anything else she can think of to make dad see her way. It's sickening. If she outlives my dear father, I will have nothing to do with her. I just cannot take her crap anymore.
So, here I am at home, where it's gloriously peaceful. I spent the day with a lovely 12-year-old girl who lives next to my parents, a fellow horse-lover. I spoiled the girl rotten, we went to a stable, found a good place to go riding, got her a riding helmet, and then hung out at my place. While there I picked up that blasted glass pitcher mom had wanted, since the people were finally around to get it from them. I dropped it off when I brought the girl back home. If I had been a mother, I would have probably been a pretty good one. I know how to be calm, logical, dependable and supportive. I don't pick fights with people (though I will defend myself on occasion if totally necessary). Maraiah, the girl I spent the day with, had witnessed some of my parents' cruel dealings with me and told me "they are mean to you". I took it in stride and told her, "I know how NOT to be, by their behavior and it's ok, I won't let them get to me". I was calm and collected. It's embarrassing when people see me treated like that but I downplayed it so not to scare Maraiah or escalate anything. I know better.
All I ever wanted in life was a good relationship with my mother. Since I cannot have that, and don't have children, I enjoy spoiling and being with Maraiah and her family. They are family to me in their own way. They don't scapegoat, get mad or disrespectful towards me. Nobody other than my parents do. Both my parents are spoiled rotten, think their way of thinking is the ONLY way of thinking and that nobody (me) should disobey, ever. I am not like them, thank you God. Years of counseling, especially with my favorite therapist, Janeen Carrell-Brown many years ago, taught me to live my own life, be my own person and don't use abusive people as role models in life. In turn, I find it important, imperative, to be a good role model to young kids. Ok, I'm a big kid with lots of my own faults, but I have a good heart and am genuine. I don't play the phony games that abusive people play, trying to think I'm better than others. I know I'm not. And who cares? We all have our strengths and weaknesses. My strength is my artwork. My weakness is trying to "fix" a family that isn't fixable. That is downright unhealthy most of the time. What do I do? How I wish I had all the answers, but I don't.
So, tonight, I'm ok. Maraiah is home with her family, happy and excited about our day today. I feel good because being a fellow horse-lover, I can help her start to ride horses and enjoy the sport. Memories in my youth of people who helped me made me want to do the same for her. It feels great to be cared about, and to be able to care for others. I'm not alone. I am strong and life goes on. Life is wonderful..here, without abuse, drama or fighting. Some people don't understand why I prefer being independent, it's because I love an uncomplicated, peaceful life. I can have friends and adopted family, but come home to total peace. Glorious peace. I never feel lonely. I'm the happiest I've ever been in my life. Nobody defines me, I define myself. :)
This article explains EXACTLY what I have been going through all these years. This is an extremely accurate portrayal of who my mother is. It's hard to read if you have a loving mother..not pretty but psychologically, it is EXACTLY who my mother is and why I just can't take it anymore.
http://parrishmiller.com/narcissists.htmlIf this link doesn't work, click the title of this post to go to it instead.