My youngest daughter came home today announcing she was chosen for class monitor, she is also a student tutor to her peers, just started her own paper run for extra pocket money and was telling me how she will be saving most of it for Uni. She is super diligent and thoughtful.
The last few weeks have been manic for my husband and I with busy work days, late nights and 4 busy teenagers. I came home one night dredding the mount of washing that was waiting just to find my youngest had folded it all for me.
Tonight she tagged along to hospital as I went to visit a sick husband and chatting away I realised how much she has grown and how truly independent she has become. Some volunteer staff from St John’s popped in and she was chatting away and being a real little social butterfly. After coming home and feeling exhausted I was spoilt with a cup of coffee. Sitting in bed catching up on work with her sitting next to me reading her book was just so nice.
I was dreading sleeping alone, but she has fallen fast asleep and I’m enjoying the calmest moment I have had today with her snoring away next to me. Seeing those long legs sticking out under the duvet I realise she is not so little anymore, that little princess is growing up way too fast.
For now I’ll just sit here and enjoy her soft snoring 😴
I have been doing a lot of reading on abuse, neglect, divorce, parenting … basically everything I can get my hands on to try and understand the way certain people act the way they do, how they rationalize things, how the justify their actions… also trying to understand my own reactions to certain situations etc. I came across this article and found it very interesting, I always maintained that no matter what, everyone is ultimately accountable for their actions or inactions, no matter the background..
What does the empty mirror reflect for you?
“Published on March 14, 2011 by Karyl McBride, Ph.D. in The Legacy of Distorted Love”
The six faces of maternal narcissism are identified as: the psychosomatic, the addicted, the secretly mean, and the emotionally needy. A parent can be a mixture of these types and often that is the case. Although brief, the following will explain each type.
The Flamboyant-Extrovert: This is the mother about whom movies are made. She’s a public entertainer, loved by the masses, but secretly feared by her intimate house partners and children. She’s the show biz or stage mom and is all about performing. She’s noticeable, flashy, fun and “out there.” Some love her but you despise the masquerade she performs for the world. You know that you don’t really matter to her and her show, except in how you make her look to the rest of the world.
The Accomplishment-Oriented: To the accomplishment-oriented mother, what you achieve in your life is paramount. Success depends on what you do, not who you are. This mom is about grades, best colleges and pertinent degrees. But… if you don’t accomplish what she thinks you should, she is deeply embarrassed and may even respond with fury and rage.
The Psychosomatic: The psychosomatic mother uses illness and aches and pains to manipulate others, to get her way, and to focus attention on herself. She cares little for those around her. The way to get attention from this kind of mother is to take care of her. This kind of mother uses illness to escape from her own feelings or from having to deal with difficulties in life. You cannot be sicker than she. She will up the ante.
The Addicted: A parent with a substance abuse issue will always seem narcissistic because the addiction will speak louder than anything else. Sometimes when the addict sobers up the narcissism seems less but not always. The bottle or drug of choice will always come before the child.
The Secretly Mean: The secretly mean mother does not want others to know that she is abusive to her children. She will have a public self and a private self, which are quite different. These mothers can be kind and loving in public but are abusive and cruel at home. The unpredictable, opposite messages to the child are crazy-making.
The Emotionally Needy: While all narcissistic mothers are emotionally needy, this mother shows the characteristic more openly than others. This is the mother you have to emotionally take care of which is a losing proposition to the child. The child’s feelings are neglected and the child is unlikely to receive the same nurturance that he or she is expected to provide for the parent.
If your parent had some of the above traits, it is important to note that they were not born that way. They likely had their own insurmountable barriers to receiving love and empathy when they were children. This does not take away your pain. We cannot ever condone child abuse. But, this knowledge does help accomplish a deeper understanding.
If your mirror is empty and your childhood lacked in proper nurturing, remember as an adult that recovery is the answer. It is mostly internal work that must be done. The healing five-step recovery model is outlined in Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers. Once we understand, we can move forward and build an internal mother who is always there when you need her. Unlike the narcissistic mother who is always there when she needs you.
How do you love a child? The topic of children and their love and respect towards their parents have come up in many of my conversations with people.
I honestly believe that children unlike dogs, do not love you unconditionally just because you are their parent. I’m not saying they won’t forever love you, but the degree of that love still remains earned, not a given.
As a parent you cannot shout and swear and maybe physically harm your child and expect that child to speak to you with respect and love and adore you. As a parent we still have an obligation to our children to show them respect to earn respect in return, to show them love and the many ways in which love can be shown in return. To form bond of trust so that they learn to trust others. To argue and have conflict but deal with it in a way that teaches them how to functionally manage conflict they’ll face in life.
It’s absolutely heartbreaking seeing a child in tears, torn between the excuses they are making to rationalize why their parent lashed out at them aggressively….or seeing a beautifully lit up face drop when they see their parent either completely drunk, or the embarrassment after a phone conversation where they are being screamed and yelled at.
Your child loves and adores you! But that love is not unconditional…it’s going to fade and you’ll be loved, but never respected. Visits will end up being fewer and fewer as you get older, and your child won’t miss you much.
Take responsibility! Don’t blame your bad habits on depression or circumstance, you ultimately choose to pick up that beer or to smoke that cigarette, or to smack and even choke your child. You choose to shout and disrespect.
At the end of the day it’s a choice between choosing your relationship with your child, or your relationship with your bad and harmful habits. It’s never too late to mend a fractured bond, but once it shatters, gathering the pieces and trying to repair it might take a very long time, time you might end up not having.
I would love to beg and grovel and try to talk some sense into you! Your kids love you! You’ll never be replaced, ever… Just love them back, respect them enough to stop the habits that fill them with so much hurt…. Please!!!