It wasn't a game

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Hilltop

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It wasn't a game
« on: August 17, 2021, 04:02:34 AM »
So recently I wrote a topic about my mother not responding to a happy birthday text I sent her and I thought she was playing games.  I was wrong.  Two days later she sent back a "thank you" text.  That was it, two words, thank you.  Fine, whatever, I didn't respond because there was no need to.  Then four days later I get another message all nice and friendly talking about some local news and then asking what I'm up to, if I had done XYZ.  I was a little surprised. However as usual I texted back responding about the local news and left it at that.  I gave no personal information.  She then replied instantly and sent one line texting "Have you done XYZ".  I didn't respond.  About 15 mins later I got another text from her which was suppose to be for someone else saying "I will meet you outside that coffee shop in 20mins".

It then hit me, she isn't playing games, this is just her, self absorbed and narcissistic.  I wasn't really worth responding to on her birthday but on the day she was planning to meet a friend for coffee she needed gossip and so cue the sweet friendly text.  It wasn't about me, she wasn't checking in with me, it was all about her.

It just sort of hit home and it finally sunk in. I just finally get how little she has put into having a relationship and yet expects to be given personal information on command to use as gossip.   

I shudder when I think about the really personal stuff she has gossiped about in the past when I thought I was talking to a concerned mother.  I was so naïve.  It was an eye opener when I found out and yet it still didn't hit home like this simple text did today.  I'm not sure why but I just got it, I really got how she's not there for me at all, she doesn't have my back and we don't really have any semblance of a relationship at all.  I get that this is simply about her and what she wants, that's it.

So going forward I will text at birthday and one holiday and I will reply to any messages she sends but not with anything personal.  It will all be routine, mundane texts.  I won't ever give her anything personal again.  However I also see this isn't a game she is playing, this is simply her, so narcissistic that other people's feelings and privacy don't matter at all.  I would say I'm hurt but interestingly I'm not that hurt, I feel resigned to it, like its finally given me an out.  Like I can really give up and its ok and sort of a relief.  Its a relief because I finally understand I have nothing on the other side to work with, its a one way street, a dead end.

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Boat Babe

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Re: It wasn't a game
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2021, 04:54:01 AM »
Your thinking on this is crystal clear and your self protection is excellent. Well done. Must leave a bad taste in your mouth, so go do something nice for yourself and move on. ❤️
It gets better. It has to.

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Honey_B

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Re: It wasn't a game
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2021, 07:19:52 AM »
It then hit me, she isn't playing games, this is just her, self absorbed and narcissistic.  I wasn't really worth responding to on her birthday but on the day she was planning to meet a friend for coffee she needed gossip and so cue the sweet friendly text.  It wasn't about me, she wasn't checking in with me, it was all about her.

That's right on target, it's all about her and what she needs/wants. If she is in the mood for cozy talk and personal confessions, you have to show up and give that to her. If she is in the mood for birthday wishes, you have to give them. If she is in the mood for control, she will demand information and actions from you. It's all about what you can deliver to her needs.

And when someone else can better deliver what she wants, she will go to them. When that no longer works, she may go back to you or somewhere else where she can get what she wants. It's very predictable behavior!

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Hilltop

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Re: It wasn't a game
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2021, 07:56:29 AM »
Thanks Boat Babe and Honey B.  I was thinking it was a two way street so because of that so many things stumped me,  but really the truth is its simply about her.  Yes its time to move on and to mentally change gears


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blacksheep7

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Re: It wasn't a game
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2021, 10:50:57 AM »
Oh Hilltop.  I'm sure we've all been through that before coming ottf, not wanting to believe that our M is more interested about herself, her best interests instead of her own children.  It's a tough pill to swallow for sure.  Mine also wanted to know everything about me, telling me «you never talk about yourself, only to your friends».  She got that right.  ;D I knew I couldn't trust her after a bad breakup (my first love).  She did not comfort or support me, frivolous as usual.  When I told her she didn't understand, she slapped me  :aaauuugh: She was good at gossip and criticizing her own kids...who does that?? Now we know and we are not alone.

Take care of yourself now :kisscheek:
I may be the black sheep of the family, but some of the white sheep are not as white as they try to appear.

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: It wasn't a game
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2021, 01:02:02 PM »
Thank you for sharing this, Hilltop. I've been putting distance between myself and PDmom, and she's reacted similarly. I've also wondered if it's a game or not, because in the past, I would have been punished for not calling her at least once a week. I would have been hearing all about her dissatisfaction from various flying monkeys until I complied. But she seems to have "accepted" it.

Except... she believes the only reason for the distance was that I was grieving for my brother in law, and what I told her was that I wasn't up to talking on the phone as much. So part of me is glad that she hasn't been harassing me the way she would have in the past. The other part of me thinks it's pretty bizarre to not try to contact me via other means when I'm going through a loss like this. I email with enDad several times a week, so she knows that's a way to contact me. Putting it all together made me realize, like you, that no... I don't think this is part of the game. Nor has she "accepted" it. I think she's simply lost interest since I stopped giving her a regular supply of resources in the manner she is accustomed. She wants regular phone calls, and if I can't give that to her, she'll get her supply somewhere else.

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Honey_B

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Re: It wasn't a game
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2021, 06:38:34 AM »
Thanks Boat Babe and Honey B.  I was thinking it was a two way street so because of that so many things stumped me,  but really the truth is its simply about her.  Yes its time to move on and to mentally change gears

There are so many victim blaming clichés like "its a two way street", "it takes two to tango" and so on. Implying that if there is a conflict, the parties involved are always equally responsible. This is bullshit! Remember, its very important when you are dealing with a narc/personality disturbed person. IT*S BS! There is not equal responsibility, however, it's such an ingrown cliché, that PDs know how to take advantage of it and make you second guess yourself and your own sanity.

Sadly a lot of therapists also buy into this and will claim that you have some blame in the conflict. Run if you ever meet a therapist like that, they don't understand personality disorders.

PDs/narcs will always play games and escalate a conflict, they are not interested in solving anything, only to create more drama. So it doesn't matter what you do to solve the issue, therefore its never "a two way street". You can only talk about a "two way street" when you have two normally functioning people who are both interested in solving the conflict.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2021, 06:41:40 AM by Honey_B »

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Hilltop

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Re: It wasn't a game
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2021, 08:04:35 AM »
Thanks everyone.  Its funny I was thinking I was going fine and then I get hit by the weirdest thing.  I know its not a straight line but its up and down.  Its nice to know others have similar experiences, well not nice in the way that others go through it as well but at least none of us are alone with it and there is support here.  Its really appreciated.

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moglow

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Re: It wasn't a game
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2021, 10:26:53 AM »
Hilltop, same here, so much of what you say. Mine called/made contact to drive drama. When I stopped responding to all the ugliness and told her I wouldn't be talking about it in future, she pulled back. Mothers interpretation was that I'm trying to control her and we're not having that! She claims I'm giving her silent treatment - if that's what it takes to stop the ugliness, so be it.

I wish we didn't all understand it either, but glad we're not alone finally.
"Expectations are disappointments under construction.”  ~ Cap'n Spanky

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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SunnyMeadow

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Re: It wasn't a game
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2021, 11:04:22 AM »
I shudder when I think about the really personal stuff she has gossiped about in the past when I thought I was talking to a concerned mother.  I was so naïve.  It was an eye opener when I found out and yet it still didn't hit home like this simple text did today.  I'm not sure why but I just got it, I really got how she's not there for me at all, she doesn't have my back and we don't really have any semblance of a relationship at all.  I get that this is simply about her and what she wants, that's it.

It's a shocking and sad realization when we finally see this. I learned the same about my mother and it truly shocked me. For years I though this woman was my confidant and best friend then realized she was probably gossiping about things I told her in confidence.


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Leonor

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Re: It wasn't a game
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2021, 11:06:28 AM »
Oh so hard.

That realization has been, for me, the toughest part of healing.

I figured out she was ... busy.

Then I figured out she was ... moody.

Then I figured out she could be ... unfair.

Then I figured out she was probably traumatized.

Then I figured out she was abusive.

Then I figured out she was disordered.

But through it all there was like this secret underground river of maternal love. I just had to find it somehow, say the right thing, let her know I forgive her, make her see it will be ok ... and she would be able to love me.

As long as that hope was alive, I could keep trying And denying. She's upset because I never told her this before. She's contradicting me because she had a different experience. She's denying this because she doesn't remember. She's dealing with this in this weird way because she's not in therapy. She's not talking to me because what I said triggered her pain.

But the truth is, there really is no underground font of love, no damaged inner child, no wounded but beating heart. It's an empty space, where words bounce around as thin and meaningless as echoes, and reality is no more than an old scratchy movie on a blank wall. The outside is just an act. It's frightening.

You're right that it's just her narcissism. She is just her narcissism. It's painful, you're not alone. I'm sorry.





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moglow

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Re: It wasn't a game
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2021, 01:19:51 PM »
Quote
I shudder when I think about the really personal stuff she has gossiped about in the past when I thought I was talking to a concerned mother.  I was so naïve.

I did the same, then somewhere along the way I realized mother was telling me about other people's very personal business with the caveat "don't tell xyz I told you this but ..." I mean repeatedly, things I had no reason to be told and she had no business repeating. And it *still* took a while for it to sink in that she was telling mine to whoever. So I set her up, told her this big "secret" that came right back to me within days. Uh huh. "Funny" part is, mother never followed up to see how I was doing after this "secret" event, she just kept rolling. STILL no interest because it wasn't about her.

Quote from: Leonor
But the truth is, there really is no underground font of love, no damaged inner child, no wounded but beating heart. It's an empty space, where words bounce around as thin and meaningless as echoes, and reality is no more than an old scratchy movie on a blank wall. The outside is just an act. It's frightening.

Truth - it's frightening, and that it took us literally a lifetime to see it. I'll take yours and raise you one. My most basic belief at this point is we [children of] are where we are *because of* that facade and intermittent reinforcement, because the parents fooled so many people all these years, while we were guilted and goaded and pushed and prodded to "do the right thing" "be the bigger person" and "s/he's your mother/father after all" etc etc ad nauseum. That sad foundation was put in place by these severely impaired parents, and all their minions and the world at large reinforced that foundation.
"Expectations are disappointments under construction.”  ~ Cap'n Spanky

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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JenniferSmith

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Re: It wasn't a game
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2021, 06:07:53 PM »
I am long-term NC with my Nmother, but I recall having one of these revelations in the time leading up to going NC. Sometimes the smallest thing can suddenly trigger deep insight about issues we've struggled with for years. 

In my case, I had been dealing with on-going health issues and my doctor had finally referred me to a specialist to test me for a very serious, horrible disease. I was terrified. I remember telling her over the phone and the first thing she said was "I'll let everyone in the family know."   

Similar to your feeling - it just hit me so deeply that she didn't express one iota of concern or care for me - but immediately wanted to "let everyone know" - like why would I care if anyone else knew at that point? Here I was, quite young,  facing a diagnosis comparable to something like cancer and feeling horribly scared ... and she had nothing to offer in terms of my feelings at all.  An empty well.

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: It wasn't a game
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2021, 07:01:01 PM »
In my case, I had been dealing with on-going health issues and my doctor had finally referred me to a specialist to test me for a very serious, horrible disease. I was terrified. I remember telling her over the phone and the first thing she said was "I'll let everyone in the family know."   

Similar to your feeling - it just hit me so deeply that she didn't express one iota of concern or care for me - but immediately wanted to "let everyone know" - like why would I care if anyone else knew at that point? Here I was, quite young,  facing a diagnosis comparable to something like cancer and feeling horribly scared ... and she had nothing to offer in terms of my feelings at all.  An empty well.

 :aaauuugh: My mother's response to a similar situation was a long pause and then, "Well... thanks for letting us know, I guess." I think she was angry that I hadn't confided in her sooner, but her response kind of illustrates exactly why I didn't.

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: It wasn't a game
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2021, 09:14:36 PM »
JenniferSmith, I’ve been there too. In my case the response to my health problem was, “Well I hope you don’t expect ME to take care of you. I have so much going on my own life.”

All about her, in any circumstances.