I’d appreciate others’ thoughts and perspectives on what I’m facing right now.
It’s a long story but I have been NC over the last 3-4 years with my brother (narcissist), mother (narcissist) and younger sister (J) (flying monkey). I have another sister (the other scapegoat) who the whole family had been estranged from for 12+ years until I began making contact just after the time things blew up with the rest of the family. It’s taken some time to nurture but I now have a meaningfully healthy reciprocal relationship with this sister (F) and her family. I realise how she has been ostracised and marginalised by our mother in particular for most of her life.
Our mother is 86 and lives in the same city as all of her daughters. Her son lives in another country and is very wealthy and able to provide our mother with access to private medical care etc. that she wouldn’t get in our country. He has been twice divorced (very nastily and publicly), and has had countless short term relationships that all seem to go sour when his narcissist nature gets in the way of the relationship. Our whole family blew apart when his second wife (who was lovely) walked out on him. Being a narcissist, walking out on him was the worst thing (in his eyes) that she could have done. She was the brave one suffering so much emotional, economic, and mental abuse from him. I kept in contact with our sister-in-law because she was important to me. When he found this out, I was cast to the kerb along with my family. Then the lies began on his part to denigrate and discredit us. People believed him, and still do – that’s the worst part.
Our mother moved into a retirement village just over 2 years ago. I had no part in this, even though I part-owned the townhouse she was living in. I have not seen or heard from her since she told me to “Go to Hell” over the phone Oct 2014, when she was caught out lying and spreading malicious gossip about my family. Only the youngest daughter (J) and the son have anything to do with our mother. She has made my life a misery in so many ways that I have only begun to understand recently. I’m 60, successful and well thought of in the community. I’m a teacher turned business owner with a very happy marriage of 40 years and two children in their twenties. I had decided long ago that I would not be attending our mother’s funeral as I didn’t want to sit there listening to people saying nice things about what a lovely, kind, caring lady she was – when I know differently. I’ve been on the receiving end of so much hostility and the usual outbursts characteristic of a narcissist. She has managed to spread a smear campaign against me and my family, so that aunts and uncles that I thought I had a reasonable relationship with, don’t feature in our lives now at all.
Last evening my brother messaged me and my sister (F) to say that our mother is failing in health. It is implied in the message that we should go to see her. I replied back, “Thank you for the information. I’m sure she is being well cared for.” F messaged him saying that it is not exactly unexpected at aged 86, and enquired whether he was with her at the present time (remembering that he lives abroad). He replied back a rant about how he had flown over to see her 4 times in the last year, and how his two children had been over in the last 2 weeks to see her. He said he was coming over again on Friday. The irony is that F has had cancer and when the mother, brother and younger sister (J) found out, they sent messages (rather cold and impersonal) and my younger sister (J) even suggested they meet for coffee. F had said that the only one who was there to support her in her traumatic time of dealing with cancer was me. That seemed to ignite a streak in both my brother and J. F ignored that message as J hadn’t had contact with her for such a long time and didn’t see why, that just because she knew she had cancer, that she had any reason to think she had a right back into her life. Our brother acted as if he cared about the fact that she’d had cancer but when F reflects back – he didn’t bother to come to see her on any of those 4 trips back to his home town. His caring is all a hoax. So now we have the information that he is visiting the same city we all live in this week. I won’t be going to see our mother, nor will F. We are both adamant about that.
The interesting thing is that my husband’s sister died last week, and my mother sent a card which I received yesterday. The message she wrote was strange, with “Please accept my condolences. …” – we wondered why the word please was underlined. Was this a half-hearted attempt to say she was sorry? We ‘re probably reading too much into that. She’d never actually come out and apologise as that’s not in a narcissist’s repertoire, I know.
I have read lots of material on narcissist mothers and I’m currently jotting my thoughts and experiences into a journal which has been quite cathartic. I have read that going to see our mother could be closure and that I might regret not seeing her before she dies. I’ve also read that going to the funeral is closure and something I’d regret if I don’t go. Then, I read of another person’s experience who was in a similar situation, where she did go to the funeral but said it was the worst thing she could have done and wished she hadn’t.
What suggestions do the audience have in dealing with similar situations?