Editor’s Note: This story was submitted by a fellow survivor of narcissistic abuse. You can submit your story here.
Something weird recently happened to me with my narcissist mother. Last Tuesday, I got an email in my junk folder (all of my mother’s emails go there automatically because they present like phishing or scam emails – how ironic that this is exactly what they are meant to do!!!).
The message was a Pinterest sermon entitled “Just because she’s your mom.”
It looked strange to me because she never refers to herself as “Mom.” And why would she? She never raised me and about seven years ago, she told me that she had two daughters. (She has three daughters and I am the eldest).
I typed the title into a search engine and found the same Pinterest sermon. Basically, there was a list of everything she had done to offend me. She was saying that I had done all of these things to her.
In summary, “I’m your mother so don’t clap back at me or it will hurt my feelings. I’m the only mother you have so you had better stop resisting my efforts to control your emotions through guilt and shame”. It was such an obvious attempt to manipulate me that I had a laugh out loud.
What sparked this narcissistic clapback, anyway?
During the last week of December 2017, my mother sent me a subject only email (no message content) in all caps demanding that I buy furniture for her new home. (She already has two in two different countries).
She was inviting me to visit her in the United States but only if I bought the furniture for her new condo.
The thing is, I was seriously ill and was in the hospital. She had no idea because she did not ever contact me to find out how I was doing. My mother was told over a year before that I have a chronic, incurable condition that causes me crippling pain. My treatment is expensive and I need to spend a lot of time in a hospital. I can’t socialize, travel or do many leisure activities.
So, I reminded her that (a) I was sick and in the hospital and that (b) I needed the cash to pay for my medical treatment. Her response was “I don’t know of anything being wrong with you.”
I reminded her of our conversation a year earlier. I also said that it was extremely rude and vulgar to demand money from anyone via email. She wrote back to me, saying that I was the one with bad communication skills.
Then, I told her I was not okay with not receiving an apology or being blamed about something that she herself had done. I also told her that I was accustomed to her acting immaturely. Then, I reminded her that I was in a lot of pain and would have to sacrifice medical treatment to buy her furniture. She did not rescind her request. In response to that, I told her I would no longer send her money.
I was sick and needed my downtime to recover.
“Please leave me alone so I can heal. Do not send me any more messages. I do not want to be spoken to.”
I sent photos of myself being wheeled from one examination room to the next.
Luckily, I was able to set the hard boundary because I was in therapy for codependency and complex post-traumatic stress syndrome. My therapist told me that once the toxic parent notices that I am sticking to my healthy boundaries, I was going to be getting exactly this kind of pushback. They would tell lies and do everything in their power to guilt me into changing my mind. I was told to completely cut off contact and never discuss my feelings or intentions with the toxic person until I was able to fully accept that they did not care about me. I did not expect her to respond like that. Blaming me for everything she herself did? Color me shocked.
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