I know my mom is a narcissist. Or maybe I am. I don’t know. I hope not….My question is … how do you tell?
Little bit of back story… I started watching Bates Motel and I’m noticing some overlap when the show is juxtaposed with my real life, her mood swings, her manipulation of words and emotions to get the desired reaction or effect. Most of all, my mother didn’t think I should have secrets. Not from her,not from my sister but if I were to tell anyone what was going on in our house, I was not only beaten but ostracized and ridiculed. I remember the day my sister told her that I had given someone my number. First off, my sister was no saint. This is my younger sister by the way. She started sleeping with boys at 12. I was sixteen with no sexual or romantic experience when I gave the guy my number but in my mother’s head that was wrong. She pretended to be okay with it that night. She told me that she thought it was great that I was getting out but the next morning she disappeared under the guise of grocery shopping. She went to his place of work and told everyone that I had a crush on him, how long I had a crush on him and how I had never had a boyfriend before. I didn’t find out until she sent me to that same store the next day and I noticed that some of the older women who worked there were laughing and looking at me. One of the guys took me aside and reprimanded me for not telling them how old I was. I was sixteen and I thought the guy was too. He told me that she had stopped by but after that day, the guy I had a crush on never spoke to me again. I hadn’t intended to have sex with him. I just thought he was cute but I guess that having someone cute and male to things with was asking too much. It suited her fine though. She had just gotten dumped and she needed someone to cheer her up. Suddenly, I was invited into her room, to lay in her bed and watch TV or to put my head down on a pillow in her lap. Attention she rarely showed. But she met someone else quickly and then it was her private space again. I didn’t have my own space. I had to share a room with my sister, who had her own let een though I had a job. I didn’t have friends, I didn’t really have a life. All I got was my mother and grandmother. I still call her sometimes, but the conversation is usually about her. I do the same thing sometimes and it scares me. It scares me so much that I’m afraid to be close to anyone. People will ask me how I’m doing and I can’t make myself tell the truth most times. Other times it just spills out. What the hell is wrong with me?
View related questions: crush, grandmother, never had a boyfriend
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A female reader, janniepeg + ♥, writes (13 October 2018):
I don’t think either of you are narcissistic. Don’t know why you would think you are becoming like her. Probably because you never had good female role models growing up, to guide you on how to have good relationships. You are still attached to her, physically and mentally because that’s all you have. To grow up, you need to disidentify from her and be your own person. You are 26-29 and I don’t know what made you remember the times when you were 16. When you try to attach with a person and the result is often unpleasant, the bond is parasitic and needs to be cut off.It is hard to tell people that your family is dysfunctional but more people can relate to you than you think. Many people have trouble buying a Hallmark’s Mother’s Day card because the sweet words in the card do not match how they feel towards their mothers. That store can make a lot of people feel lonely. My relationship with my mother only improved when we live far away from each other. That way we can only see each other at our bests, like once a year. Your relationship with your mom should not define your future with other people. The past is what you grew up with, the rest, the future is up to you.
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