'What I loved most about your wedding is that you were happy I was there'

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Saywhat

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This is the last statement my mother made in our very last conversation before I went NC.

Two months earlier, she had attended our wedding. I had my hopes up for the event. I thought that my mother, who had originally excused her abuse of me by saying that 'she was worried about me' because 'I had chosen a wrong relationship', would finally be able to relax when she saw that my husband and I actually had a great relationship of mutual respect and love.

The ceremony and wedding was beautiful and deeply emotional. I was overjoyed and deeply peaceful to be marrying the love of my life.

My mother's reaction, however, was of disgust and disdain. Don't want to go into details, but her behaviour was despicable and deeply narcissistic. No sign that she was happy for me or 'relieved' to see that I was doing well and she should in fact not worry about me at all.

Which made me realize that her 'protective' abuse of me was not protective but just plain abuse.

Which made me ask questions.

My very last question was 'what did you like most about my wedding?', to which she answered 'I liked that you were happy I was there'.

So much about me and my happiness. So much about who I really am and you embracing that person instead of 'loving' me for what I can do for you.

So much about my preferences and interests, for which you have never shown any interest in at all. Instead you bullied me all the way up until I got married for everything that was important for me. Yoga, reading, writing, nature, deep conversation, friends I loved and cared about and ultimately my DH. You told me I was heading down a wrong path and emotionally and physically bullied me into giving up on my own truth.

What did you love about me exactly? Was it that I was compliant? A good girl? An A student? A people pleaser? A punching bag?

Is there anything genuine about me that you loved?

All she ever praised about me was things that were not me. My 'perfectionism' (Oh boy, did she take pride in telling her friends what a 'good perfectionist' I was!). My fear of speaking up ('Saywhat is always so careful to not make anybody uncomfortable!'). How much I physically resembled her ('Saywhat is so beautiful, just like me! Inside she is despicable like her father though' I don't even think I resemble her so much physically. I think she mentally blocked out how much I also resembled my father, whom she considered inferior in every way).

A deeply uncomfortable question emerges in me, which is: Do narcissists really love their children at all? Can you love someone you don't even see? Is it really love when you are bullying someone for who they really are and instead praising them for what they are not and for what they can give you? Is that not closer to slavery than it is to love? Can we as children of narcissists accept that we were never loved? Or is this not exactly the truth? Were we loved in some deep, abstract level which never materialized itself or came to light?

I'm so confused.

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daughter

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NMs view their children for their reflection on their self-worth, over-identifying with their GC children, and rejecting their SG children.  Occasionally the non-GC children can still provide reflected glory upon their NMs, such as when your visible happiness at your wedding provided your NM with a sense of self-worth reinforcement that she probably didn't recognize as anything more than "Saywhat's happy that I'm here, because I'm what made it happen". 

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practical

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I'm sorry for how she behaved on your wedding and that she couldn't be there for you, be happy for you.

Such a difficult question and one I have and am struggling with. Where I am at the moment is that M and F might have ha moments where they were able to love, where they stepped outside their illness/the illness was in the background. These were short moments. The other thing is that I think it happened more when my age was below their emotional maturity age. F varies between 2 and 10 years, M was between 2 and 17 (17 in the sense of teenage issues not in the sense of emotional maturity unfortunately).

Another issue is that neither of my parents I think has and self-love in the none-narcissistic way. They don't actually love who they are, they love an image of themselves, just like they "love" images of us rather than who we are. I don't see how a person who cannot love themselves in the real sense would be able to love somebody else for who they are.

It is really depressing to contemplate that we never received unconditional love from our parents or at most for flickering moments.
If Im not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Im only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)