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Reply with quote  #16 
For me, it's been very helpful to separate my feelings about my mother from "the bigger picture", so to speak.  On my feelings level, I absolutely want the pain and destruction she causes to go away.  My mother is toxic and chaotic, and I wish that she and her cauldron of pain would just disappear forever. 

But on another level, I know there is so much more going on.  The story doesn't end with my pain. 

I know that deep within her lies some hidden shames and traumas that cause her to act the way she does.  Even though she has tried for so many years to make these things about me and others, I now know that her behavior is not about me or anyone else.  It's completely about her. 

So from this vantage point, I am able to have compassion for her.  So while I still want her chaos to stop, and I have many boundaries in place to protect myself, I secretly hope that the reason she is still here is so we can both learn how to love more deeply.  In my heart, I truly think that is what this whole journey called life is all about.

Having a mother like this has really forced me to investigate what this value "love" is to me, because on the surface, there is very little for a daughter to like about my mother.  I really like Thomas Aquinas' definition of love, which is to do things that are good for the other person (with good sometimes meaning discipline and correction.) 

So I love my mother, in spite of how she treats me, and to me that is really what love is about.  If I only did things because she deserved them or because of positive feelings I have for her, then I would do very little.  But the way I understand love, we are called to love everyone, not just the people we like.  So even though my mom is horrifically broken, and she doesn't seem to want to fix anything, I still must love her. 

As I said before, I really believe she and I are still here to give us both opportunities to learn how to love better. I don't know if she's here to teach me something more, or I am here to teach her something more, but I do sense there is a higher purpose to why things are the way they are.  Otherwise, all the craziness and trauma would make no sense to me.

When I am honest with myself, I can see that my mother has taught me so much about love, just not in the traditional way.  So while I still want the games and drama and pain to be over, my mother has certainly given me many chances to practice love.  Sometimes I fail miserably, and other times, I do pretty well, but the gift of having narcissistic parents (if you want to call it that) is that they give us many chances to practice virtue.

So when my mother passes, that is what I am going to cling to.

Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #17 
Hi. I have just realized the extent of my situation when my mother is now dying of cancer.
Shes becoming more N and BPD thab ever and i am at my wits end.
How can I possibly pull away now even though I fear for my own life more than hers.
Now my father has even sides with her.
Mourning both parents and neither are dead.
Posted a longer explanation in another thread.

Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #18 
more amazing wisdom throughout this thread from splotchy, thank you, splotchy. ~moineau
Reply with quote  #19 
To be honest losing a narcissistic parent opens up a whole can of worms. The grief is complicated and unrelenting.While most other kids move on after a parents death, 2 yrs later I still burst into tears at odd moments.
I had been NC before she passed.Sociopathic sister swooped in and took full control of her finished her money and dumped her in a nursing home. I stepped in to 'rescue' her but now realise she didn't want to be rescued.
She died within a month of being put in the nursing home. Seeing her so frail and alone made my heart break.I simply couldn't believe the cruelties I was witnessing and yet felt so helpless.
Even though she had been a tyrant and a cruel mean woman while she was alive I loved her, although I technically should hate her. Every counsellor I saw said I should be relieved but there's no relief just pain and guilt.
But am now truly ready to move on.
So my advice is do what you can for them but a deathbed is a catalyst for all the dysfunction to come rearing its ugly head.Theres a lot of greed and ugliness I was unprepared for.
Today I know she is in a better place but slowly a lot of suppressed memories are surfacing and I think I was a lot more abused than I thought I was so there's a lot to heal.
I also realised I don't need to beat myself up over what I didn't do because it really didn't matter!
Mike Gamble

Super Moderators
Posts: 54
Reply with quote  #20 
Unfortunately, it sounds like you are grieving for the mother you wish you had ... not the mother who caused so many problems in your life. There's nothing you can do to "fix" the past. Eventually, your memories of her abusive behavior will fade.

Instead of regretting the past, it's time to live in the present, being grateful for what you have now, and look forward to the future. Perhaps it would help you to begin a journal ... write down one thing you are grateful for each day.
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