Narcissistic Mother

the road to recovery

Narcissistic Mother
Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

Growing up in a family with a mother who was narcissistic and faked mental disorders in order to get pills in her later years and a father who wanted to be absent but was caught in the Narcissistic web, both abusive. It was a hard road growing up with not one but two parents who didn't care about you.

My earliest memory is that of my mother blaming me for my fathers abuse, how if I was never born he wouldn't be hitting her, I was four years old and cowering in the closet as I witnessed my mother be striked down in front of me. I was terrified and those words carried with me into my adulthood "Your fault", it rang in the back of my head no matter what happened around me, it could be anything from someone dropping a tray in the school cafeteria, it was some how my fault just because of my existence.

At the age of five years old, my brother was born, I became no longer responsible for just me but him as well, I was left alone with a baby, I had to learn to cook and take care of another life, I was thrown into the role of mother. Why would a child be left alone so early on especially to take care of an infant? My father went to drink at the bar my mother worked at, making sure she was watched, my mother also drank while on the job, doing shots when someone bought them for her, this caused fights where my father would physical confront someone for doing such a thing and being flirtatious with my mother. This often resulted in temporary jail time for my father.

I felt little love growing up, the closest I had was my grandma but most of the time her love was in the form of giving gifts, when I needed comfort and care. Otherwise my mother only showed love for me in front of others, as the years went on she had two more children, how many of us were my fathers I have no idea, she used sex as a weapon to try and hurt others. As I grew older and raised my siblings I ended up becoming very angry inside, angry for the father I had, angry for the abuse I had endured, angry that the mother who is meant to protect never protected me but knew about the abuse, ALL of the abuse, and still did nothing but save her own ass and allowed me to be abused in order to get what she wanted. If it meant my life was threatened well if she had her desires met it was a small price to pay, I was so angry over this, over the years of being desensitized by the fact of my life on the line by my father threatening to shoot us, by someone spitting into my food, by not always being able to eat, by the fact that I could not safely sleep in my bed, and I mourned the child I never got to be, the friends I never got to have because of the abuse.

School should have been my safe haven but I hated that too, I hated that I was bullied by other kids, the teachers saw but turned a blind eye to it, unless I stood up for myself, then it was me who got suspensions and detentions. I spoke up about the abuse at home in the form of writing as a teenager, I spoke up about how the closest thing to a hero I had was a friend who helped me cope through the abuse I was encountering, the teacher said nothing but this was not what she asked for. Why a mandated reporter never reached out to the government to help me I will never understand. So I stayed and kept enduring the abuse. I began to self harm to cope better, my suicide attempts got closer and closer to me no longer not wanting to die and wanting help to just ending it all.

My mother had me put on anti-depressants because I wasn't her ideal child, I wasn't happy enough for her liking, I was meant to play the role of blissfully happy while I watched real families love each other and embrace each other. I became jealous and began looking for the mother I never got from other people. I never found what I was looking for and let go.

I left at the age of 17 and lived on my own, the night before I left was one of the worst days of my life as my mother felt the need to emotionally hurt me the best she can. She put my brother in charge who had already molested my younger siblings, so she could go out and have fun. Her reasoning was she didn't trust me. I had my breaking point with her and had a full break down and panic attack, it was my last suicide attempt.

I moved out, I could finally breath, but my mother still had communication with me, and that is why even though I could breath I still felt like there was a bag slowly being pushed over my face. I married at 18, I married someone who was just like my parents, this person choked me to the point I would black out and then blame me for not obeying them. My life was a true nightmare.

I got pregnant, and I had no where to go so I stayed until one night when my daughter was three months old, I watched how my now ex-husband looked at her as I gave my daughter a bath, it sent a shiver down my spine as I watched him get this sick look, I quickly finished her bath and made a plan, my aunt sent me a phone so that I could call for help and get out of my situation, I used it to get the resources I needed to. I prepared. I left and didn't look back.

It took me years and time away from my mother in order to grow as a person and know who I am, it took years of learning to be patient with myself, I tried going back after believing I may have really been the problem growing up, but realized that was a bad idea to try to have a relationship with her, I watched as my mother told me she felt bad for my abusers. I watched as I cut contact and she tried to use my abusers to take my children from me, if that meant kidnapping them, well she wasn't above doing that. Thankfully my kids had me, my mother stalked us, and my children didn't understand what was going on, they just understood the person they assumed cared about them wanted them to get in her car for ice cream, my children at the time were two and three years old. I began to save up in order to move away as well as continued No contact from my narcissistic mother.

A few days before I moved my tires were slashed, yes it was upsetting, but I was lucky enough to have been prepared enough for events like that, so I had it fixed and I took my kids halfway across the country where we started a new life.

Recovery hasn't been easy, I have been diagnosed with post traumatic disorder, I have to center myself for my well being and for my kids to have the mom they need, I take time for myself to meditate or even just listen to podcasts that interest me or self help videos. I remind myself I am worthy of love and I don't deserve to be abused, I had to force myself to look into the mirror and love myself. That was the hardest part was learning to love myself, I took myself out on dates, I held my own hand and gently showed myself that I am strong as I sucked up the anxiety of being alone and began to love it and myself, I worked on me, I loved me, and I found dating myself was the best way to fall in love with who I am.

I even tattooed a reminder that every relationship needs flexibility, love, and trust. Without those it's probably not a healthy relationship for me. I am still on the road to recovery but I am loving myself and my life. I have grown far away from who I used to be and am now a mother of four and the thought of what I endured happening to my babies is enough to make me upset, but even at that it shows a reminder that I will never be her because I care and I'll never stop fighting for and loving my kids.

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Tierra K Esterline
See all posts by Tierra K Esterline