05 January 2010

"Don't Go Away Mad...."

Smiling and laughing, my narcissistic mother uttered those words to me and DH as the two of us decamped (prematurely and in haste) from my parents' home last September, after having had our fill of insults and humiliation.

She stopped smiling when I finished that infamous phrase for her: "Just go away - right, Mom?"

Now, of course, she and my father are trying to act like that debacle never happened, down to sending me gifts for appropriate occasions. But the thing is, now the gifts are mere tokens, articles that manage to convey their disapproval, yet show the world they're making an effort. The token gesture this Christmas was a one-pound tin of stale, chocolate covered nuts, addressed just to me.

Can you feel the love?

I received another such item last night, in a telltale Amazon box. (My birthday is approaching, you see.) With the care of a bomb squad agent, I gingerly opened the gift receipt before even looking at the wrapped item within: it was a cookie cookbook, with the gift message "Now you can continue to be a hit where you work!" Gee, thanks. As if my two promotions last year hinged exclusively on my culinary skills. The title might as well have been Baking for Bootlicks. Nice.

I would have been happier had they sent nothing at all, but appearances are everything to my parents. And of course, if I don't send a proper thank you, they'll whinge to everyone and sundry about what an ungrateful child I am. I'm sure they've already sung that song, but what's one more refrain?

Aarrrggghhh! I'm furious and despondent by turns. The rational part of me knows they'll never change, never admit wrongdoing. The irrational part of me, the part that still holds a shred of hope, is dying a slow death.

But I will not bow down to tyrants, bullies, and narcissists - been there, done that, and my self-esteem is still paying the price. I'm returning this "gift" to get something I really want, and moving forward with my life.


Nancy J. Parra said...

You go!

People are so...interesting. Aren't they? (Interesting being the best word I can come up with at the moment.) Sheesh.

At least you could return it for something you really wanted.

I hope you send them a nice thank you that says how you know it's the thought that counts. :P Hmmm, does sarcasm translate well in a card?
Hugs and we should get coffee when I get back to celebrate your birthday!