My Mom Archive

A Loving Mother

Posted March 20, 2015 By kmarrs

Narcissistic Mother and Borderline Personality DisorderI thought I should balance out the negative of the, what I assume to be hurtful to my mother, news of her having narcissistic traits, and being invalidating in many ways, I would list as many of her good mothering qualities as I could.  These are in no order, just as they come to me.

  • I have never doubted her love for me.  She has never given me reason to.  Even when she’s being hurtful she’s loving enough that I know it’s there and real.
  • She is one of the strongest women I know.  In the past year and a half she has lost her sister and a brother, and now she faces losing a daughter.  I don’t know how she keeps going, but she does.
  • Anytime I leave her house after dark, she makes sure to tell me to text her once I’m home safely.  That’s the love of a mother.
  • Chicken crescent squares.  My favorite meal that she makes when I need it the most, on special occasions, and sometimes just because.
  • She is a very loving grandmother.  She is very involved in their lives and openly adores my kids.
  • She has always complimented my veins.  This one came up in the hospital while visiting my sister, as my sister is severely anemic and having trouble offering up good veins to the nurses for them to poke.  Anyway, my mom has been a med tech for decades now and has always complimented my veins.  As weird as that sounds, from my mom that is a high compliment.
  • She always compliments my math skills.
  • I have mad budgeting skills that my mom gives props to.  I can go into a store with a list and a fifty dollar budget and spent 49.99.  It’s a gift.
  • With all that is going on with my sister, my mom has kept up-to-date with all appointments and every single individual detail of everything in my sister’s medical life.  She’s also very proactive in getting my sister healthy and is organizing the search for a donor list that will take her.
  • Mom has never been one to say no to books.  Parents can’t say yes to everything their kids ask for.  Even if they can afford to, that’s how you raise spoiled brats.  My mom, like all moms, said no her fair share of the time.  However, when it came to books, I heard yes a lot more often than I heard no.  It was my mom’s way of validating what really mattered to me.

That list could and should go on but I got distracted by a dying sister and watching my mom’s shining strength in a horrid situation.  I am confident that if I were the sick one, and my sister healthy, my mom would be doing the very same for me.

I can’t say my mom is emotionally neglectful.  Not fully.  You hear all these stories, including from my readers, and that just isn’t and wasn’t my mom.  She says hurtful things and she struggles to validate.  However, it’s worth pointing out I can be very closed off, so it is possible the problem isn’t all her.

When I had that conversation with my mom, it wasn’t in therapy like planned.  It was sitting in a hospital cafeteria the day before that post went live, because it was the best we could do in the chaos around us.  It was looking like mom wasn’t going to be able to make it to the therapy appointment, for valid reasons, and so I just got it out-of-the-way.

I had already typed up what I wanted to say.  My words offered validation to my mom while still sharing the observation I had made.  I made it quite clear I’m not accusing her of anything, because I’m really not.  I didn’t offer up more than one example as to how she is hurtful or invalidating, because I didn’t want this to be about all the things she did wrong, and a huge mudslinging debate.

I instead asked her to consider my words.  I asked that I be allowed to write about it.  I asked that she be willing to consider a filter between brain and mouth, with assurances it isn’t all her, and I’m working on mine.

I listed and validated that I am a very closed off person in many ways and I see I may not have been easy to validate or that mom may not have known how to, but I still put forth that isn’t the full of it, and she accepts that.

She isn’t emotionally neglectful, she is lacking in skills on how best to approach.  There is a huge difference there.  At least to me.  The difference being that she wants to learn how better to validate.  She wants to learn when she’s being hurtful so she can not do it again.  We’ve even agreed on a “safe word” of sorts where I say “relationship”, when she’s said something that could hurt our relationship, and she will reflect on what she just said and try to learn from it.  She can’t get mad at me for using the word, and I will try to be patient with the learning curve.  Because she wants to learn, and I want to teach.

As I lose my sister to a horrible disease, a disease where her days are literally numbered, it has made us all the more aware how precious relationships really are.  My mom is not this big horrible figure of pain and agony from my childhood or even now.  No, she isn’t perfect but she’s willing to learn.  And even when she is being hurtful, she still in her ways is able to show her love.

Yes, her narcissistic traits have helped shape my BPD, but I am able to say without a doubt that she didn’t create that.

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An Invalidating Childhood

Posted March 18, 2015 By kmarrs

Narcissistic Mother and Borderline Personality Disorder This is hard for me to write.  Mostly because I fear how my mother will respond.  So it’s worth saying I’m not accusing, but instead suggesting a possibility, and it’s effect on my life and mental health.  If all has gone as planned, I have already had this conversation with my mother semi-privately, in a joint therapy session where she got all the validation she could be offered as to how she is a good mother, and the many things she has done right.  She has done many things right, and nothing is specifically or generally her fault.

But the fact remains, my mother is not the most validating of people.  She in fact has a wide spread history of saying things that aren’t just hurtful, but are also downright cruel.  There is every indication, though no confirmed diagnosis, that my mother is in fact a narcissist.  This is by no means her fault, or her choice, just as Borderline Personality is neither my fault nor my choice.

The reason I bring this up?

It took me a long time to realize this about my mother.  For years I thought I was a rare case of Borderline Personality Disorder with a great upbringing.  And you know?  It was a great upbringing.  I wasn’t abused.  I wasn’t neglected.  There was no lack of love.

I just wasn’t validated.  Even as an adult, I hear a lot more about what I do wrong as a daughter, mother, person, that what I do right.

As it turns out, a lack of validation goes a long way towards encouraging someone towards BPD.  I will always argue that because of my DNA, I would have been mentally ill either way, but I’m finally willing to face the fact that my mother’s inability (as I don’t think it’s a choice, but a skill she can’t help but to lack) doesn’t help.

And who knows.  Maybe finally sitting down and talking this through with her will have gone a long way towards helping to make her aware of the problem.  Knowing there is a problem, and admitting it to yourself, is half the battle of fixing it.

What do I want from all this?  That’s exactly when my therapist asked when I asked her for the joint session with my mother.

Well, I want to be able to write about it.  Writing about my experience with BPD and not writing about my mother to some degree, would be like writing about lung cancer and not owning up to 30 years of smoking.

I also have hope that my mom cares enough, as I know she does, to take this knowledge and use it to help her think before she speaks.  A skillset we all need.  But now she’ll know why.

I love my mom.  I don’t doubt she loves me.  I have hope this can better our relationship and not bring it harm.

A side note:

For the rest of you with mothers like mine to any degree, I highly recommend reading Will I Ever Be Good Enough by Dr. Karyl McBride Ph.D. as it is far more than helpful. It’s 9 dollars that helped my open my eyes, gain insight, gain courage, and start to heal.  And no, I was not paid to tell you that.  That comes from my heart.

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Raising a BPD DaughterSo we all damn well better give her a round of applause!

Mom,

I have no clue if you still read over here?  I know you were an avid fan for years but as I went quiet in the past year or so, I can imagine you maybe just assumed I’m still quiet.  Either way, happy birthday to you, mom.  I love you.  Thank you so deeply for all the support over the past year and a half.  I know I’ve all but bleed you dry.  It’s been a rough one.

Sorry this present isn’t as awesome as what I gave you last year.

FYI for readers: I gave her tickets to see Phantom of the Opera live.  There was no beating that.

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I Don’t Have Photographic Evidence

Posted March 26, 2013 By kmarrs

Hippopotamus and the BloggessOn the 19th of March, my mom, sister and I piled into my mom’s car and drove.  Her GPS “Maddy” took us the scenic route past farms, cows, horses and trains, without an interstate in sight.  But we were in no hurry.  We gave ourselves 5 hours to make a 2 hour drive.

We got to the bookstore in Dayton with plenty of time, so we parked the car and decided we’d go into the bookstore to look around, and find out event details.

Around this time, I realized my husband had given me a 50 with the idea that he didn’t like me wondering so far from home without any sort of cash.  I sent him a quick note warning him he’d set me loose in a bookstore with cash.  He made it clear he had been aware longer than I had, of the situation, and that I would indeed owe him.

There was one survivor.  He goes by Washington.

Funny how all three of us bookworms didn’t really realize that the book signing in a book store would involve, you know, many, many books.  I think we blocked that part out in our quest.

Our quest to meet The Bloggess.

After we spent ourselves broke, we wandered to a nearby subway for an early dinner and then a few other shops to poke around.  But with only an hour and a half left before the signing started, we made our way back to the bookstore to find our place in line.  With a heads-up from the vixen Dawnie, I knew we needed to be there well in advance.  We were the second group in line, but it grew well before 6, when we could find seats.  By the time The Bloggess was presented at 7, it was standing room only.

We had front row seats.  Score!

The Dayton reading had the privilege to be the audience that was not allowed to witness a single curse word, as she read a chapter from her book.  So Jenny, in advance, set about finding the chapter with the fewest F-bombs, and friends.  The winning chapter had only 12 words that needed replaced with hippopotamus.  You heard me, hippopotamus.  But oh you should have heard her!

We laughed, we cried, we laughed some more.

Then we single file got to meet the Goddess that is the Bloggess and have her sign our books.  Our coveted books of inappropriate hilarity.  I was lucky enough to be able to have 2 copies signed.  I bought the paperback version for myself (with a new bonus chapter, yo!) and had my older hardback version signed for my good friend Lisa who was spending the day back in Columbus growing older.  No, seriously, it was her birthday.  When I mentioned this to Jenny, she was sure to wish her a happy birthday in writing.  Lisa is one lucky hippopotamus!

We are all very lucky hippopotamuses.  Not just that this book has been written by someone so very real and honest and inappropriately hilarious.

But that this single person could make it clear to all of us who are so very isolated and alone, that we are in fact one of millions and not so different after all, is something we all needed.  We aren’t the only one with chronic pain.  We aren’t the only one with crippling anxiety.  We aren’t the only one with depression so bad we can’t leave our bed for days if not weeks.  We aren’t the only one who has cut to feel something.  We aren’t the only one.  You, I, Jenny.  We are all so unique but in the ways we need to be the same, to not be alone, Jenny has made it clear we are a community.  She has given us that gift.

So we are very lucky hippopotami indeed!

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Ginny Rose

Posted November 11, 2012 By kmarrs

This is little Ginny Rose, whom is named for my Maternal Grandmother Virginia. Little Ginny is forever perched on my right shoulder.  Her and her books.

Years ago, my mom and sister got matching cherry blossoms. With Rachel and I having been born right outside DC, it was a way to tie my mom and sister together in a way the was meaningful to their beginnings as mother and daughter.

For awhile there, I too was maybe going to get a cherry blossom, but my sister respectfully requested that remain just her and my mom.  So my mom, ready for her second tattoo, opted to pick something new for just her and I.  With me having been old enough to remember her mother and having forged a close bond, we selected an owl which was something her mother collected and would forever tie the 3 generations even if her mother would never be inked or see ours.

I then suggested to take it a step farther and have a stack of books since we are/were all 3 known for our love of books.  Mom elected to keep hers to just the owl, and she did inverse the colors, but hers is equally adorable and forever perched on her left shoulder.

So is how am I celebrating turning 29 very very soon.  My first tattoo and a celebration of generations.

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10 Glitter Bits

Posted March 26, 2012 By kmarrs

Last week? Sucked! So it is way past time to discuss the moments in my life that were epic this past little bit.

1. I got to work out some anger towards a PR bitch who wanted me to blatantly lie to you guys.  For 10 dollars. Not that 10,000 would have made the difference. The 10 dollar part was simply insult to injury. Where I am willing to be sponsored or link ads to the right places, I won’t lie about it. Period. And I’ll only support what I am willing to stand behind.  I did take great joy in sending her a link to the dictionary definition of “authentic”, though.

2. One of the local Kmarts isn’t able to renew their lease due to the rent being randomly doubled.  Which sucks but they are in “please buy everything we have as fast as possible” mode and my mom took me to cash in on some good deals.  I was smart enough to stick to a list of things we’ve actually been needing for a long while.  Cuts down on the “you spent what on me?” remorse.  Plus, some will be paid back when I get my bonus in May.  So, there is that.  She/we bought:

  • Shoe rack for the bazillion pairs of shoes we have lying about.  5 people does not simply equal 5 pairs of shoes.  Nope.  We’d been using a laundry basket to dump them in.  See below.
  • Laundry baskets.  10 of them for 15$.  Yes, they are cheap and small, but still better than what I’m replacing.
  • Laundry hamper that I heart so bad! Old one? Also falling apart.
  • Shoes for me.  White dress sandals because I had a serious gap in that department.  Black flats to replace ones that are falling a apart.  And a pair of flip flops that are comfy as fuck and were like 6$.
  • Summer clothes for Sammy.  We are keeping it simply because I’m thinking it’ll be hot as Hades this year, so we stocked on onesies and some cute little sundresses
  • Trash cans.  Buying trash cans isn’t glamorous unless you have been in serious need for a couple new ones for a long ass time but can never seem to get around to it.  20% off already inexpensive?  Yeah, we can get to that!

3. Wendy’s has this new sandwich that involves spicy chicken, bacon and guacamole.  OMG I have never had a fast food sandwich that tasted even half that good.

4. I took the time to really sit and study Sammy as she rolls from back to belly.  That shit is funny, yo.  But oh the adorables!  Also?  While I wouldn’t call her mobile, she is far from stationary.  Only, she can only really go in reverse.  And girl missed the line to have review mirrors installed.

5. I was able to prove maybe I’m more ahead of the ADHD game with my 4yo than I thought.  Fidget beads are a huge success!

6. I am taking the Chibi Challenge!  If you would like to aid in my mental health ego, you are welcome to comment with 3 words that describe me.  Think positive! The results are going to be built into a word cloud, not unlike what I posted all day Sunday.  They are fun to make though.  You can make them on Wordle.

7. I am in talks with Becky and while I’m not currently a Brain Behind The Band, my return is in the future once I get the rest of my life squared away.  I just need to focus on other things so that I have the energy free to give the band all the energy that I choose to give.

9. I am to the point where while a Mt Dew would sound awesome, I would no longer kill for it.  Just maybe maim.

10. My husband is seeing and commenting on noticeable signs of improvement in my mood over this time last week.  So maybe I am right that yes I can be off my meds, this past week just really did suck.  I got a lot of feedback from others as well that dude, the week sucked.  BUT if I can survive that week med free, I can survive anything med free.

So those are my glitter spots that I’m hanging onto.  Do you have any you care to share?

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