30 September 2009

The Response from Ground Zero

After everything that happened last week, I finally received a communication from my parents - a two-line missive from my father stating that my mother had found my makeup kit (that I'd accidentally left behind), and that they'd be mailing it out tomorrow.

That's it.

OMG. I've known warmer icebergs.

28 September 2009


Can't sleep.

Food tastes like sawdust.

I keep going over events from my childhood/young adulthood, seeing them with fresh eyes, and the horror begins anew.

I hate this.

27 September 2009


After the whole vacation fiasco, I've been doing a great deal of thinking. Thinking, reminiscing, and analyzing.

In short, I was drawing parallels between my mother's behavior and that of my ex-husband. And I came to an earth-shattering conclusion: my mother is a narcissist.

Granted, I'm neither a psychiatrist nor a licensed therapist, but it explains so much, both about her behavior and my own responses.

Unfortunately, along with this enlightenment comes pain, grief, and a gut-wrenching sense of betrayal.

Check out this link to a very telling list of characteristics of narcissistic mothers. My mother meets 20 of the 24 characteristics on this list.

I am still reeling from this revelation, shaken to the very core of my being. It's like a veil has been lifted, and everything I thought I knew is an illusion.

There is no going back from this point. Now, there is only recovery.

26 September 2009

My Terrible, Awful, No Good, Very Bad Vacation

My last vacation = one week of my life I'll never get back. In fact, it was one of the worst weeks of my life. In addition to being jet-lagged and travel-weary, I feel like complete and total crap.

What happened, you ask?

Well, without going into details, suffice to say that my mother, who has always been very religious, has become an intolerant, judgmental zealot. Add alcohol into the mix, and she's completely off her rocker. I had an inkling she was unhappy about something from the moment we arrived, but things didn't come to a head until our fourth night in my parents' house.

Having nitpicked at him for days - including telling him, on the very anniversary of his mother's death, that he should be glad his mother died the way she did (suddenly, painfully, of pancreatic cancer) - my mother's seemingly irrational hatred of my husband boiled over. Off came the kid gloves. That night she baited, harassed, and outright insulted my husband, who left the table rather than lose his temper with her. Then she argued with me when I had the temerity to stand up for him and call her on her outrageous behavior. Despite my best efforts, I found there was no reasoning with her.

Even though she drove us from the dinner table, she still wouldn't let things go. And when we decided we'd taken enough abuse (around 8:30 that night), she chortled, jeered, and all but danced with malicious delight as we packed our bags and left. And my father, who I have always considered to be a logical, thoughtful, rational individual, stood by her side and said not one word to stop her.

We spent the last two days and nights of our vacation in hotels, trying to salvage what was left of our week - while I tried to make some sort of sense of what just happened.

I am flabbergasted. Gobsmacked. And, it goes without saying, completely devastated. That person who hurled insults and cackled at our anger and discomfort is not my mother. It seems that when she turned 80 this past February, some switch was thrown in her head, turning her into one of the ugliest, hateful, most passive-aggressive women I've ever had the misfortune to know. Dementia? Mild cognitive impairment? Possibly. I may never know the real reason. All I do know is the person who needled and jeered at us is a stranger. An irrational, abusive, fanatical stranger.

My mother has always said that when I turned 13, I became someone she didn't know. Now I suppose it's my turn. She wouldn't even entertain the possibility that she had crossed a line. Wrapped in an impenetrable cloak of self-righteousness, even when we were leaving in the dark of night, she staunchly maintained the tenet that She Is Right. Always.

I hope she enjoys being right. Because without a genuine and sincere apology - and a demonstrated change in behavior - it's cost her a daughter.

14 September 2009

I'm Still Here...Mostly

If it seems like I haven't been posting a lot lately, that's because, well - I haven't.

My new, extra-important project at work started about two weeks ago (the one that set my colleagues on their "favorites" rant), and ever since then I've felt like I've been floundering. The work is tough, yes, and to complicate matters, not everything else in my life is going as smoothly as I'd like, either.

Right now I'm stressed out of my gourd (again), and trying not to let myself get overwhelmed at work. It's not easy; I frequently feel like a fish out of water, and that's very frustrating. Those of you who know me well also know what a perfectionist I am, and that perfectionism is both a benefit and a curse. And I've been doing a lot of cursing lately, at least to myself.

I guess I should be satisfied with doing the dogpaddle, at least until I can get myself to shallower water. I'll let you know when I'm there.