One of the hardest parts of having a narcissistic mother is explaining to loved ones what she actually did to me and my sisters. It’s incredibly difficult to do this because her actions were often done when no witnesses were around and they were insidious and cunningly calculated. But I think that’s what writing about my painful experiences with my mother is all about; learning to explain to people who love or even like their mothers, what it felt like and still feels like to have a despicable mother is so damn hard. So, after thinking for sometime, I thought it feels like mud. Let me explain.
I was a cute little girl. I’m not trying to be arrogant, but I was. I had long ,wavy, dark hair with almond brown eyes and perfectly arched eyebrows. I had a sweet smile. My eyes twinkled with my spunky spirit hinting who I could grow up to be one day. I loved playing all day long and socializing with the kids in my neighborhood. I got a lot of attention from older cousins who would spoil me and buy me candy and endure playing Connect Four and Battle Ship with me for hours at a time. My older Jenna, at times, resented all the attention I got. Even more so, my mother stewed at the attention and compliments I received. “She’s such a pretty little girl,” people would smile to my mom. My mom would nod with a forced smile planted on her face. When the people turned away, her smile quickly disappeared and she’d narrow her eyes and glare at me. Oh no, I thought to myself here it comes; I was exhausted by her daily fits of pure rage. Now I’m going to get it. And this is what I call mud. The belittling, rage, foul language, demonizing language, put downs, shaming, mocking, insulting…. aka… mud.
“So, you think you’re so great, do you?!” she’d hiss at me as she ushered me into the house closing the door behind her. Mud.
“Oh, you’re so precious, aren’t you!” she thundered closing in on me. Mud.
She whirled around and got in my face, “Dana is such a cutie,” she’d vehemently mimicked people. Mud.
“Ha ha,” she’d continue throwing her head back. “If they only new what a devil you are!” She spat looking at me with that manic look in her bulging big brown eyes.
I prayed again to be invisible to disappear. No one was there to help me. My sisters huddled silent and wide eye in a corner relieved that they were not the target of the hour. No adult. No one.
So, I can explain growing and still having a narcissistic mother as having a mom you bathed me in mud. Other moms, placed their little kids in the tub and scrubbed them clean with bubbles multiplying in the water and popping. You can smell the cleanliness in the air fill the small bathroom. My mother, threw mud on me. Face first, then chest, then my pretty hair and on and on; until, I wasn’t really recognizable to myself or others. That mud was her distorting my sense of self; squeezing the joy out of my heart and my eyes. The mud was also how she taught me that I was a worthless nothing unworthy of those friendships that I cherished and yearned for. Mud.