So, about 4 months ago (that's how busy I've been, but thanks to a layoff I finally found the time to finish this memoir of sorts), I had I found this article my friend who has an NMom posted on Facebook, and I'm trying my hardest not to cry, even though I'm 30 years old (at the time of writing in May 2016) and more hardened than reinforced titanium by all the bullcrap I had to put up with in my life, only because everything is SO frickin' true it hurts to even read it...
5 Reasons You Shouldn't Feel Bad About Not Talking To Toxic Parents | Bustle
Well, where do I begin? The details of my life are quite inconsequential... My childhood was quite typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we made meat helmets, and at the age of 14 my nards were ritually shaven by a Zoroastrian named Vilma -- Crap, I'm paraphrasing Dr. Evil.
Anyway, aside from the lame attempt at dispelling the tension of this post with a joke, here is all the main nuances, and the sole reasons I am posting this are:
- I am sick of running this story top to bottom every time someone wants me to reunite with my mom since it hurts to recount it (and sometimes they are STILL convinced I should still make an effort to be close to her or ignore everything I said and share my contact information with her... Thank God for Google Voice and 2 GMail accounts (so that I can change my number "for free"), and
- I am NEITHER inviting myself to trolling, flaming, or negative attention, NOR positive reinforcement. I am just simply writing an open blog post (and /r/raisedbynarcissists on Reddit) about narcissistic parenting at its finest. Or worst. Whatever. However, it is kinda therapy for me to rant about it too... But when I can't help but feel worried whenever she is near me, or having to be suspicious of her motives whenever she does something nice for me, I KNOW there's a problem, and I can't be the only one that feels this way. I mean, I'm sure there is, but still.
- Even starting with my dad (who my grandmother claimed he has been less resilient ever since marrying my mom), my mom manipulated him into marrying her early. He's a strong man for the most part, but my mom knew how to exploit him AND have me in order to keep him. My mom is an evil genius; my IQ is 132 and hers is [anecdotally speaking] probably higher; I swear if she put her wits to help people instead of being able to connive people and stay 10 steps ahead of them, I swear, she'd be a millionaire.
- The previously well-hidden Cluster B side starts to emerge. When I was still a toddler, my mom was arguing about something unrelated to me and slit my wrist and neck, then blackmailed my dad (her 2nd favorite trick) into not telling the authorities, but further reinforced it by scratching her own chest and saying that my grandmother tried to come after her and had her detained for a few days.
- How inattentive was she? I had a seizure when I was 5 or so, but she told me to "quit squirming". My dad was in the car (or how I knew was that he recounted it to me) and said it looked like a seizure and to take me to the hospital, but she was adamant about not going.
- When I was about 6 or 7, my dad got so upset with my mom, he was saying his final goodbyes and getting ready to commit suicide, and given a bunch of other mini-stories, I'm surprised he made it this long. However, his friend encouraged him to take my mom to see a psychologist (a big name in San Francisco... My dad showed me the papers but I have no idea where he stashed it or even if he kept it), but arranged it all to look like marriage counseling.
His official diagnosis to my dad was: "Mr W_______: Through my 30 years of performing marriage counseling, my job is to keep couples together. However, as your wife is highly antisocial and has the worst case of passive-aggressiveness I've ever seen, this is a rare case where I think that divorce should do you a lot of good." and proceeded to tell him that she even threw silent treatments (her trademark move) at him.
- At around that divorce, my mom argued with my dad daily and blamed him for everything, even things beyond his control (such as the failure of her restaurant... My dad was employed as a jeweler and made no business decisions). I raised myself on Top Ramen and a water boiler since neither parent cooked when they were pissed.
The arguments got so bad, my dad actually slept in my room and locked the door; I didn't learn until I was 16 that it was supposed to be my own room. Why? my mom actually tried to kill him in his sleep and he didn't feel safe on the couch or sleeping next to her. The divorce was finalized around March 1993, where I was taken to Taiwan to "visit" my grandparents and "would be back soon", along with many false promises.
- That "visit" turned into 4.5 years, where I enrolled in the local schools (instead of a school for expatriates) and started a few months in kindergarten [at 7 years old] for several months to grasp Mandarin phonetics, then skipping my way through elementary school until I was at the grade I needed to be; K-6 in 4.5 years. Of course, since I have Caucasian heritage, I was picked on. A LOT. I was even almost raped by a broomstick. Worst of all, if I wasn't wearing synthetic school uniform where I'm sweating like a pig all day, she buys the cheapest clothes possible, even if it looked gaudy (I even had a pair of pants that looked like it was for girls since it had a cartooned fox and letters embroidered down the legs).
I still suffer self-esteem issues even despite having attended therapy, though not as bad; I used to only have 7 friends at 25 years old, but still haven't so much as had my first kiss until I was 27.
Anyway, I was still abused by her; never mind the fact that corporal punishment was fully legal in Taiwan at the time, and I would get beat or silent-treated for the most ridiculous reasons, like for things as small as concentrating on my homework when the trash needed to get taken out to not finding the operating hours of a theme park attraction when it was a safety disclaimer (even after her friend verified it, she still didn't talk to me for a week).
- Fast forward to around 20 years old: My mom visited on VERY short notice (she called on Friday demanding I pick her up from the airport Monday... Long story short, the boss didn't believe me and I got fired). I was renting my friend's room for $400 a month (in suburban LA, that's dirt cheap, but she thought it was "ridiculously exorbitant"; all similar rooms with a private bath were EASILY $600 a month).
So, she learns the hard way that rooms ARE that expensive, but she'd rather be right than rational and still rents a room that is actually slightly worse for $550 a month; the landlord was a cheapskate that refused to fix anything. Then she blackmails me into moving there, stole my phone, and had her friend pull up with a U-Haul when I didn't comply. Then eluding common sense, she demands to go back to the old house to see what I need for the new house (which was immediately apparent was a "compliance check" since her method didn't make any sense). This time, she starts an argument when I even raised ONE objection, and I eventually started driving there in dead silence...
She then pulls the door open on a leftward curve (which almost ripped the door off due to centrifugal force... Remember, she's a smart one) on the freeway and tries to jump out; had I never swung towards the shoulder and even broke the window's glass since it slammed shut so hard, she would've died. She didn't even want to buy a replacement window for the car and blamed ME for getting HER upset!
- Eventually, I decided to go back to school, but I did computer consulting on the side AND took a job at a logistics company, or the busiest time in my life.
Guess what? My mom decides to make another surprise visit dead in the middle of March (when I JUST finished filing my taxes), and insisted on staying with me again! YAY!
So, she has a habit of trying to clean stuff, but she likes to put it in a completely different location so that you can't find anything, of course she doesn't know what it is that you're trying to look for when you try to find it, and worst of all, she arbitrarily decides what's worth keeping, what's not and even what to steal (yes, she does steal from me), such as a gift your dead friend gives you, the key to your first car, and most frustratingly, a good handful of my consulting receipts and contracts... ALL WITHOUT ASKING ME, AND I specifically told her to leave my home office's paperwork alone!
Even more fun? a few days later, she tells me she's getting groceries while I was still asleep, so I didn't think to ask her for the work's gate key, then I had to play hell jumping the gate since the boss didn't have a spare key... It's an entertaining story; feel free to ask how it all went down.
Worst of all, later that year? I got sued for a client's gross negligence (which if I could find the contract and waiver, I can prove I warned him about the water damage and his signature releasing my liability) AND I got audited, and I'm willing to bet all $21,000 in judgments and tax penalties that the missing receipts and contract could've saved me every penny. My mom had $250K in the bank and another huge retirement fund, but did she bother to lift a finger to at least partially help with my losses or even apologize for draining my life savings? HELL NO. "It's your fault for not filing everything"... I almost bought a plane ticket solely for the pleasure of strangling her.
- So, my life recovers more than well enough in 2010, mostly spent in non-contact, but giving the occasional call at the wost time: Sunday morning at 7AM when I was often out until 3AM, and despite suggesting Sunday afternoon when it's her late morning and my time afternoon when I'm not doing anything, she doesn't go for it, so I'm having to spend half an hour on the phone half-asleep ... After spending thousands in what is classified as high-intensity therapy where I've expelled my inner demons and learned leadership skills, my business went from scraping to SOARING... I can finally afford everything I wanted, even starting to date after having self-confidence issues, life was awesome... Or so I thought.
At the peak of everything, she waited an entire month before telling me she came back to the US, despite having the phone number and addresses of both my new house (for a housewarming gift she never got me) and business... Her friend's mom had Alzheimer's and they hired her to help with household duties and helping their mom around...
However, despite clearing out my ONLY day off for her, she still thought it was not enough. When she got let go since her patient became vegetative, she didn't let me know... She not only "forgot I had an alarm" (after I armed/disarmed the house every time she came over), part of it is my fault: I forgot to tell her my buddy left his Rottweiler with me since he had go out of town for 2 weeks... Had I not been rounding the corner, my mom would've gotten arrested since the police came shortly after. If she didn't run back outside after tripping the alarm, she would've become Harley's dinner. Mother is smart when she needs to be, but incredibly naive otherwise.
Anyway, after becoming a reluctant host to my mom and now spending almost ALL my free time with her, is that still enough? Apparently not... One of my friends started falling for me... But then my mom suddenly decides to time trips just right to come between us... San Francisco one day, Vegas the other, then suddenly buying a plane ticket to Taiwan (and expecting me to tag along without telling me so that I can make business arrangements) and wanting to take the entire day for her errands and forbidding me from contacting who could've been my girlfriend or the taker of my first kiss.
Then when I finally make it home, momma sees me on the front porch and comes chasing her away with a knife, saying that "I've spent too much time with her" then corners her and waves it in her face... "Listen you c**t, I don't want you around my son anymore. If I find you with him one more time, I'm going to kill you, are we clear?"
So I storm my car out of the garage without even closing it (and it was still open when I got back after she was confirmed to be on the plane), then a whole host of friends and my dad warned me against going to Taiwan; my best friend called my dad crying, and even a psychic friend who knew nothing about the trip suddenly called me and warned me of impending danger... Then she called everything off up since she was scared for her life even though we're not BF/GF yet, but she can't imagine what it'll be like having her as a MIL. Then after my mom leaves, I discover a 24K gold heirloom ring, my watch and a bunch of things missing. Thanks, mom.
- After that, I went no-contact for another 4 years. Instead of calling, emailing or anything, she decides to work her way back into my life in early 2013... By adding random people on my Facebook friends list, including my wealthiest friend and trying to seduce him (eww... Plus he's married and has a daughter) instead of talking to me directly...
But after learning from past failures, I informed him of what's going on and he blocked her right away, then I decided to reluctantly open communications by getting a Google Voice line and a forwarding address in case she wants an address, but thankfully she isn't coming to the US any time soon.
My dad was also battling severe depression; mostly due to flashbacks of him and my mom, as well as his current situation (he didn't plan his retirement at all plus medical problems), so he took his life on June 15, 2013. When my mom started trying to become a family member again, suddenly me taking my .45 and joining my dad seemed like a good idea (sarcasm)... But in all seriousness, my dad's death hit me pretty hard, so I fell into depression and didn't work until March 2014, but things were worsened by the fact that the first couple of jobs I got either severely underpaid me or had a good start that eventually ended in I.O.U.'s.
Then in mid-2015, she wants me to come to Taiwan to take care of paperwork, or the same reason she tried to pull me from my business in 2011, but this time around I couldn't make it since I was living paycheck-to-paycheck and couldn't afford it; I even sent her a snapshot of my account balance of $250 at the time and instead of taking her generously-sized wallet out, she insisted that since I didn't go with her to Taiwan the last time [again, last minute at the worst timing], that I pay for it and she'll reimburse me, and to borrow from my friends for airfare (which most were either equally broke or didn't want to lend that big an amount).
Instead of just taking my word for it when I can't get the money, she viciously insulted me in a family group chat, and I actually had to clear the air and re-block her. She wasn't happy that I dared to defy her, so we haven't talked since August 2015... Of course, she never shared her phone number or address, so the only way we used to talk was through LINE or Facebook, but she has blocked me on both.
I have almost no family left, and getting married and having children is my last hope for anything resembling an immediate family... My dad passed away, both my dad and I are only children so I have no aunts, uncles, brothers or sisters; only 2 grandaunts and 3rd cousins... The relatives I have in Taiwan almost never talk to me, so it's me against the world...