Something strange is happening lately, but I don’t dare get my hopes up yet. My mother, who I’ve described many times on this blog, is an apparently unredeemable and hardened malignant narcissist who just recently talked trash about me to my own son and tried to keep him from allowing me to visit him. (That was described in my recent post “Back on the Couch”). I know she reads my other blog (Lucky Otter’s Haven) but I don’t think she knows about this one (though I could be wrong).
In that same post, I talked about my son’s revelation to me that my deceased dad’s wife never hated me (as I had believed). I realized I’ve just been projecting onto her, just because she’s not emotionally demonstrative and I misunderstood her aloofness and matter-of-factness as coldness and hatred. She even wants me to call her soon. While my father was always disordered (either BPD or covert narcissism, or both), he was never malignant and I always knew that he did love me, even if his expression of love for his youngest daughter left a lot to be desired.
After years of thinking I hated my mother, I’ve realized I really do love her. I wasn’t able to let go of my hatred of her until I let go of my hatred of all people with NPD. In fact, I’ve developed compassion for her and although I remain (and intend to remain) No Contact with her (because she makes me so crazy and I have to), I spend a lot of time in prayer for her deliverance from NPD, which has ruined both her life and the lives of those who have had the misfortune of being close to her.
A few days ago, she Liked a few of my posts on Facebook, including the photographs I took while I was in Florida with my son. She also made a comment under one of my shared blog posts (I don’t share all my posts to Facebook –just the less personal ones–because so many of my family members would see them and I prefer they don’t).
Her comment was this:
“I think you are a fantastic writer. I always love to read what you have to say. You have so much talent.”
I almost felt lightheaded from the shock of this. I read it again, this time between the lines. There were no barbs, no judgment, no criticism of any kind. Just an acknowlegment that she recognized that I’m a good writer. No, better than that. A very good, talented writer. And that she loved what I had to say.
This, after referring to my blog as “that thing” just a few weeks ago.
Of course, there’s a distinct possibility (in fact, likelihood) that she’s just hoovering me or love bombing me for some reason, with both that comment and all her recent Likes. Maybe she’s trying to draw me back into her web for some reason–after all, she’s quite up there in age, and probably realizes she doesn’t have much longer on this earth.
Or maybe she’s recognizing that she can no longer control me (I went to see my son anyway and we had a wonderful time, and I didn’t have the “bad influence” over him the way she had warned him). Maybe she has some grudging respect for me now, after years of looking down on me. I doubt it, but it’s not impossible.
Or maybe….my prayers are working. Maybe God has listened to my pleas and is going to deliver her from her narcissism, so that she and I can have that 100-Kleenex reconciliation before she finally shucks off this mortal coil.
I’m not going to get my hopes up, because the reality is, very, VERY few people as malignant as she is can ever change, especially at such a late age. But miracles do happen in this world, and God can do anything if it’s in his will to do so.
I’m going to remain No Contact, because she could well be just hoovering me, and I’m no longer so gullible to believe everything a narcissist tells me, or so desperate to hang onto the slightest sign of love that I get all starry eyed and “malignantly optimistic” about the true state of their heart.
I love sappy movie endings, and always want life to work out the way they do in the movies. I always cry whenever a hardened narcissist turns into a good guy or gal at the end and tearfully makes amends for all the pain they have caused their loved ones. I know life isn’t a movie. But still…miracles can happen. The timing of her behavior on Facebook is odd, and it dovetails with all my prayers for her deliverance. So only time will tell.
How beautiful and perfect if my mother’s decades-long hardened heart finally unfolds and she’s freed of her narcissism in time for us to finally have the mother-daughter, heart to heart talk we never, ever had and I never dared to hope for. How lovely and bittersweet if we could finally hold each other the way normal mothers and daughters do, both of us weeping with regret and sorrow over the past and yet with gratitude and joy for the present.
If this is what’s happening, I don’t think it would ever have happened had I not let go of my hatred and fear of people with NPD.