You are correct. I don’t know what it’s like for MY child to want to snuff herself out. Even though I treat of and think of my stepdaughter that I raised beginning at age 11 full time as my own, it is different than it being my own child. But you presume that it means that my pain is less than yours.
I know I always speak of my adoptive parents saying how they thought of me as their own but that I always felt the difference and that I always knew deep down that I was second best to them. They wanted their own biological child first, when they couldn’t have that child, they sought out the “backup plan” which was adoption…ME. And when I didn’t live up to their expectations, they were quick to point out how my genetics were to blame. My adoptive parents are Narcissists. They never wanted what was best for me. They wanted what was best for themselves. They wanted a child for themselves, so that THEY could feel loved, so that THEY could fill the hole they felt.
The difference is, that where my adoptive parents told me the chosen child story, the reality of it was that I was the backup plan. But I really did chose my life with my stepchildren. I fell in love with the thought of a life with them. And that was never something I would have seen for myself at 23. And despite everything I went through in raising them, being extremely young, fighting a battle against a mother who made me out to be a monster, fighting my own demons, and feeling like my stepchildren despised me, I stood by my stepchildren and you through it all.
And even when things got so hard that my stepdaughter and I parted ways, even when I was so hurt that I couldn’t even look at her when she was in the room, we began to work through it a couple of years later. And now, we are in such a good place and we understand each other and are extremely close, a place I never imagined 10 years ago that we would ever be.
Despite how much hurt I endured, how much I put in to my relationship with my step kids, to feel rejection time and time again for so long, my biggest fear because of my birth story, I still opened myself up to it again and took a chance again with both of them.
So although it is different for me than it is for you when you juxtapose how you feel about your daughter wanting to snuff herself out with how I feel about my stepdaughter wanting to snuff herself out, please don’t presume that you know how I feel. Because you don’t. It might be different, but that doesn’t mean that my pain is any less than yours. I do have a biological child, so I can compare and put myself in the headspace of what it might feel like if it was my biological daughter. You have never been a stepparent, you have never been an Adoptee, you have never experienced what I have experienced and still continued to care and come back because you can’t stop loving those children. My adoptive parents never modeled unconditional love for me, and yet somehow I found out what that was through being a stepparent, because despite my many mistakes through their teenage years, I did always try and have tried to better myself and have worked on things so that I can be a better stepmom for them, something my adoptive parents never afforded me. So, my pain should not be looked down upon or invalidated simply because she’s my stepdaughter. You have no clue what my experience has been, so please, stop comparing our pain just to show how much worse your life is than mine right now.
There are two emotions that I feel very predominantly in my life: Guilt and Fear. I have felt them for as long as I can remember. Many people throughout my life have instilled those two emotions in me and then perpetuated their continuation. Due to my comfort zone of “sameness”, I have allowed it to continue. I have come to the realization that so much of my guilt and fear (aside from the fear that is actual survival type Darwinian fear), stems from many of the characters throughout my life holding alot of shame about their own actions or about their own identities. Because they were so ashamed of themselves and feared others opinions, they instilled fear and guilt in me in an attempt to silence me. But it is out of their own shame. And so, doing something like what I am doing here, writing for myself, to get things out of my head, to vent, to complete strangers, under an alias, secretively, still causes me stress, guilt and fear. I fear that someone I am writing about will find this and be angry with me for expressing things I am “not allowed” to express otherwise. I feel guilty for not being able to say some of these things directly to these people because our communication is so far gone, and I am partially to blame for that as well, but I am broken. But I am trying. I try every day, all day, to fix myself. That is what I am trying to do here. But it wouldn’t be viewed as that. It would be viewed as me talking about them “behind their backs”. But I do honestly live by the fact that I wouldn’t say anything about someone behind their backs that I wouldn’t be willing to admit that I said about them to their face if confronted. And if I had a better communication line with these people, I would be able to work through these things with them. But somewhere along the line, fear was created in me and caused me to withdraw in to myself which prohibits me from having the ability to confront the things I am feeling directly with them. Or sometimes there are things that they are just not able to grasp because we are in different places of development as souls on this journey in life. I, personally, don’t think that I am doing anything wrong here by writing and expressing how I feel. And if any of the people I write about were doing the same about me, if they said things that I were hurt by, I would have a different reaction then they would. I wouldn’t be mad at them. I would be hurt. I would be hurt that they felt they couldn’t talk to me about how they were feeling. Especially if it was a flaw about me that I needed to work on. If they were being catty, then it just says something about them, and then that is their problem and then yes, I would be mad at them if they were calling me names. That’s a little different. But if they were just writing about their honest feelings and I came across it, I would just be hurt. But I am pretty confident that those I write about would be mad at me and take it out on me in some way thinking I shouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. And on the one hand, yes I should have the courage to speak to them about it rather than “talking to strangers” about it, the reason I don’t is again fear. Because I have been met with so much anger in the past whenever I do try to bring up things that need to be worked out, that I don’t feel that much gets accomplished, or I don’t feel heard, or I feel invalidated, or I feel we go around in circles, or some other emotion is evoked that scares me or is pointless. But living with the constant thoughts that swirl in my head without being able to express them has truly been killing me for the past several years, and I need some outlet it has been a big contributor to my depression, and I need something, and this is one of my something’s. So I guess I will continue to live with the guilt and fear of being found out because it still beats the depression of living with the pent up thoughts and inner arguments and tail chasing. Because I do know that I am not wrong for doing this. I will deal with the consequences should I ever be found out for doing this. Sometimes fate inserts itself for a reason.
So, yesterday’s bully situation exploded in my face today. When doesn’t standing up for myself or my daughter backfires. Learning to love myself entails using my voice, defending what needs defending and not letting people walk all over me (or my daughter) any longer. And of course, just because I didn’t hear any of the specific words that were said by the girl running her mouth, I can’t really defend my position and it becomes hearsay/he said she said. The girl went and “told” on me to the teacher and her mother, who then emailed the school. She claims that someone else said something derogatory about my daughter and that she was defending my daughter. So, I get a call from the principal today to kindly reprimand me for my assumption about what it was that she was saying since I hadn’t actually heard what she said because the mother of the girl also emailed the teacher. So now I’m painted to be the bad guy because I didn’t approach the teacher. But I have approached teachers before, and in fact, my daughter one and only friend, her best friend, had issues with kids in the class and her mom had a conference with the teacher, guidance counselor and principal earlier this year and my daughter became a huge topic of her own conference about her daughter. Because she pointed out to all of them that her daughter is constantly put in the middle and kids tell her she can only hang out with their group at recess if she ditches my daughter. She told them all how mean the kids are to my daughter. Has anything changed this year when teachers and principals are told? No. By the end of this year my daughter is wanting to change schools for next year. I’m tired of leaving it up to everyone else. No one advocates for my daughter. The girl who was talking about my daughter has been known to say and do mean things to my daughter in the past, so I have NO reason in the world to believe that she has a sudden change of heart and is coming to my daughter’s defense. Her mother is also part of the “in crowd” over there at the school because my daughter attends a private school where those who volunteer and give lots of money to the school will always come out on top. And I’m not one of them. So of course I’m the bad parent who is making bad assumptions and scolding kids according to them that should have been handled by a teacher.
Everytime I speak out throughout my entire life, people try to shut me up and/or tell me I’m wrong. It is so defeating. I am tired of being complacent and feeling like everyone else in this world is right…..except me. Everyone else can get away with the same exact stuff that I say and do and defend, but it’s only ever me that gets told I’m wrong every single time, it’s only me who is constantly shoved down so far to the bottom of the trash pile that I do my own compacting. When I’m told over and over and over and over and over and over and over again that I am wrong, it’s pretty hard to tell myself and believe that I am right. Ever. It’s pretty hard to build self esteem and self love and have confidence enough to defend my honor and the honor of my daughter when everyone constantly tells me that everything I do or the way I do it is fucking wrong. I write here because this is the only place I feel validated. Very few in my real world of people validate me. Somehow, they tell me I’m wrong, or challenge everything I say or play devil’s advocate or tell me it’s not as bad as I make it out to be or compare it to something in their lives that are worse. I’m just done with it all. I’m tired of feeling guilty for speaking up. I’m tired of people telling me where my place is in this world. I decide where my place is in this world. Everyone else needs to stop trying to rule over me and put me in some sort of little box they can contain.
I’m tired of people being so insistent on holding all the cards and for feeling the need to dominate me and disagree with me and all my ways. I’ve let this type of thing push me back in to my shell every time I get push back. But this time it might just be the fuel to my fire. It might just be the anger drive I need to keep my convictions that I will stand ground and hold the power that they all actually do see and are trying to hold back because they are actually afraid of what could be unleashed if I am not contained. I think everyone who keeps pushing down on me sees me bubbling at the surface and is wholly afraid of real truth rather than their controlled world of “truth” and they know they need to keep me at Bay. So I will not be shaken by this. I refuse to feel guilty because I know how my daughter is treated there. I’ve seen it with my own two eyes time and again. And no one ever defends my child except her best friend. Ever. I had every right to do what I did and I don’t care if it wasn’t within the little container inside which the niceness committee wants to operate. Because their niceness is not going very far in protecting my child from the meanness she experiences, regardless of their claims for not tolerating that behavior. It happens every day right in front of their noses and when my friend brought it up to them in the meeting how mean everyone is to my daughter they all said they had no clue about that….Because no one there cares about her well being nor do they really watch or listen for what truly goes on over there. I’ve been a classroom teacher before and I know you can’t catch everything, but I also know that they are missing far more than they should. And I have every right to say that as a teacher who knows EXACTLY what it’s like.
So they can continue their assumptions about me, and I will continue mine about all of them…
My song of the day: Disappear by Evanescence…….This song is very personal for me for how I feel about someone in my life that struggles with addiction and my own demons with people and addiction (since it was addiction to prescription drugs that was the catalyst for my adoptive mom to become a background presence in my life but then to turn things around on me and become jealous and angry with me when I became closer to my adoptive NPD father). So continuing to hang around in the hopes that I will finally become more important than the addiction hurts over and over, every single day and I don’t know how long to hold on and keep hoping and believing I will win in the end and finally be number one in someone’s life for once.
It’s as if they aimed today’s word prompt right at me. Narcissism is something I am all too familiar with. I always knew my home life wasn’t quite right growing up. But it wasn’t until 3 years ago when my adoptive dad created a huge situation over my daughter’s communion, that resonated back to situations over my wedding that was 12 years prior to that, when I finally realized that he truly had Narcissistic Personality Disorder and exactly what that entailed. Prior to that, I was still blaming myself, questioning myself, second guessing myself, still wanting to think the best about my adoptive parents. But it was during that time frame that the veil came down and I could see everything so clearly for the first time. Everything that was dysfunctional about my perspectives were because of what THEY had done to me, not because of me being inherently a messed up person like they always led me to believe.
I have been working very hard for the past 3 years to find myself and learn to shed the voice of my Narcissist that always rules my head. I had struggled for a long time to figure out quite what my adoptive mother is. She herself doesn’t have Narcissistic Personality Disorder as she is not vain in the way my father is, she does not have a grandiose sense of self, she does not manipulate the whole world in the same way my father does. But I realized within these past 3 years many truths about her as well. I figured out that she will always defend my father over me, she will always believe my father over me, even when he has done so many horrific things to her. The only thing I really did to her was to not give her the kind of love she craved. I realized I was her pawn, she saw me as a way to get unconditional love rather than give it, since her own mother was incapable of giving it to her. And as an Adoptee, I needed extra love myself after the trauma I had gone through. And she didn’t give me the love I needed. So I didn’t have any love to give her back. I wasn’t being shown what love was by anyone.
I lost the only mother I knew at birth and had no language to reason why I was abandoned. She was replaced by strangers first for two months (foster care) until I was adopted. As I got older, when I didn’t show my adoptive mother the love she wanted from me, she then didn’t love me the way I needed love. I came to the conclusion that after her hysterectomy when I was 7 which led in to her becoming addicted to sleeping pills and tranquilizers, followed by the death of my grandfather when I was 9, my adoptive mother essentially disappeared from my life. Prior to that, she was the one who took me to dance class, she was the one who took me to vacation Bible school, she was the one who took me to Brownies. After that, it was my dad who took me to dance class, it was my dad who became the co-leader to my junior, Cadette and Senior Girl Scout Troops and it was my dad who was on the Band Parents Board of Directors when I was in high school. And then she went on to actually complain to me and be mad at me (read: jealous) when I had a better relationship with my dad. That was because he picked up the slack when she became non-existent. And then when he decided to use me as his surrogate wife/companion through all of these activities, her jealousy caused her to hate me. She saw me as some sort of competition for her husband.
I posted the above meme on one of my other posts, but this was how my life was as a child. A while ago I had given my mother this set for Mother’s Day that were these get to know you cards that have questions on them where she answers it, then mails it to me, I answer the same question and mail it back and she keeps them all together. She did them for a while, until one of them where the question asked: “What was the best gift you ever received”….Her answer: When your dad gave me my engagement ring at Christmas (and more details about that) My answer: My daughter……..She never sent another after that. She probably knew exactly how she looked with her response and then my response.
After recently reading an article on narcissistic parents, I realized that while my mother might not have Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I think she is a Narcissistic parent. She was parented by someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, my grandmother was a very wicked woman-thats another couple of blog posts in an of themselves. And she was married to a Narcissist. Plus she craved the love she wasn’t getting from either of her Narcissists, so she was trying to use Narcissists parenting techniques to extract the love from me that she wanted, or to use me for the attention she wanted from her husband. So I was really parented by two Narcissistic parents.
I realized within these past 3 years of my “Great Depression” that I am truly alone. My mother will never defend me. She will always be on his side. Even though he was in a relationship with another man while they’ve been married for maybe 15 years until the man passed away. Somehow, my father does no wrong in her eyes. She has never sided with me, but both of them expected me to side with them when they put me in the middle of all of their issues when I was a child, when they spoke badly about each other to me as if I was the pawn child between two divorced parents, yet they weren’t. The fighting was so bad between them, I wished for my.parents to get divorced, beginning from the time I was 7, and everyone told me be careful what I wished for and that was such a horrible thing to say. But they knew nothing of the war zone I grew up in. It may not have been physically abusive between them (they saved the wooden spoon and belt for me), the verbal and psychological torture was more than I could bear.
Deconstructing every little reaction and thought process, now that I know all of my background and all of the effect it had had on me, has had a harrowing effect on the jail cell of my mind as well. As if it wasn’t hard enough to figure out that all of the people.in your world were not who you thought they were, or that you were deceived in some huge way all within a short period of time (the reasons for my depression-other people involved as well)- to learn to dissect how all of these elements of these important people in my life affect who I am and how I can change those patterns is an entirely different ballgame.
This one came up just yesterday in a small spat between my husband and I. I was trying to clarify something he was asking me to do on the phone to be sure I was understanding him properly. He got frustrated with me not understanding him or asking too many questions which upset me. But I do that in order to avoid doing it wrong because I don’t want him getting mad at me for doing it wrong because then I feel stupid which triggers emotions that lead me right back to my dad as well as an abusive ex boyfriend I had. So much of who I am stems back to my childhood.
And then there is always the narcissism of my husband’s ex-wife that I get to deal with from time to time. And such irony that this is the topic of the day when today was one of the days I had to deal with her when I hadn’t seen her in about a year and a half. Had to see her today because of my stepsons gender reveal party for his new baby that his girlfriend is pregnant with. And she is such a narcissist that she had her daughter from another man ask my step daughters friend to give them a ride to the party (even though my stepdaughter hasn’t spoken to her in over 4 years), her friend agreed only because it was my stepdaughters sister asking her. But then this morning my husband’s ex-wife (who has never had her driver’s license), had the nerve to tell the friend who was driving them that she needed to be home an hour and a half after the party started….Beggars can’t be choosers you narcissist. My stepdaughter took everything she had in her and stood up to the mother she doesn’t speak to and told her she’d have to get an Uber or another ride home because she wasn’t going to make her best friend leave the party early just because she made other plans, the day of no less.
I am learning how to cope with my Narcissists and learning how replace their voices with my own. Most people can only do what my stepdaughter has done, which is cut them out of their lives. I guess I’m a chicken for not being able to do that. The added guilt that was programmed in to me early in life of them being my savior’s as an Adoptee might have done a number on my psyche over it as well. I just try to remain three steps ahead all the time (while everyone else thinks I over think everything and think I’m nuts for thinking every single thing is a game or has a hidden agenda), and I will keep working on healing my reactions and my thoughts as much as I can and to the best of my ability. But most people cut the narcissism out of their lives. I guess I still don’t believe I’m worthy of love since I continue to torture myself by keeping them in my life. I keep still believing somehow that they still do enough good for me or try the best they can. They still have enough people convinced to convince me that they aren’t the worst people in the world. And so, I stick around. Unable to have enough self-esteem to believe that no one else knows what I’ve endured. No one else could possibly see them the way I do because they still only see a fraction of their true side. Because my Narcissists are the actors extraordinare.
My Song of the Day: This songs holds such irony for me because the person who is Narcissus in my life is the reason I don’t use a Hammer and a Nail enough and that I do look behind my ears for the green too much and that my sweat smells clean more than it should. While he did make me work in one sense and I don’t have a sense of entitlement, I also wasn’t ever taught the basics of life and simple things that should be common sense around the house types of chores for a grown woman. Because he never really did much of anything for himself either, he just called someone to do it for him, and so the incompetence was passed right along…
“Hammer And A Nail”
By: The Indigo Girls
a blistered hand on the handle of a shovel
I’ve been digging too deep, I always do.
I see my face on the surface
I look a lot like narcissus
A dark abyss of an emptiness
Standing on the edge of a drowning blue.
I look behind my ears for the green
Even my sweat smells clean
Glare off the white hurts my eyes
Gotta get out of bed get a hammer and a nail
Learn how to use my hands, not just my head
I think myself into jail
Now I know a refuge never grows
From a chin in a hand in a thoughtful pose
Gotta tend the earth if you want a rose.
I had a lot of good intentions
Sit around for fifty years and then collect a pension,
Started seeing the road to hell and just where it starts.
But my life is more than a vision
The sweetest part is acting after making a decision
I started seeing the whole as a sum of its parts.
My life is part of the global life
I’d found myself becoming more immobile
When I’d think a little girl in the world can’t do anything.
A distant nation my community
A street person my responsibility
If I have a care in the world I have a gift to bring.
As I sat and listened today on my daughter’s field trip to “Ben Franklin” speak about himself to the 5th graders, it triggered a memory in me. He spoke of Poor Richards Almanack that he wrote and how he wrote it under a pseudonym and how it differed from the other almanacs of the time. This reminded me of the research report I had done on him in grade school and how I had become a bit fascinated by him for a while. Particularly the Poor Richards Almanack. This triggered me to remember creating my own version of the Poor Richards Almanack, and it gives me pause to wonder if that was the first thing to infect me with my love of quotes. I didn’t start my collection of quotes in journals till college, but I distinctly remember creating my own Poor Richards Almanack book out of folded paper and writing all sorts of things in it as a kid. These types of memories when they come flooding back always seem to be filled with some sort of insight, if only I can read them accurately.
But switching topics almost entirely to another “Poor Richard”, my all too familiar Narcissist, I created my latest YouTube video for my new Channel where I delivered deep in to a different quote in each video and give my own perspective through the lens of my own experiences and insight. I thank my Narcissist for his ability to infect me with his poison so that I may purge it out of my system in order to cleanse my soul and be a beacon of light for others as I ascend and learn from my hard knocks. May I be able to convert what I have experienced in to something that can help others through their own journey of thorns.
I hope that you will stop by my YouTube channel, watch my new video on my Quote for today, and please subscribe while you’re there as I hope to continue to grow and expand this channel and my Quote video series.