Thanks, Karen. Actually, though my mom says she loves me ... I'm pretty sure it's not actually true. The counselor said that NPD's don't actually have the capacity to love anyone other than themselves. So the only love she has for me is to the extent that she sees her desires being fulfilled through me or to the extent that she sees herself reflected in me.
It's really almost impossible to accept that. Probably most people want to be loved & I'm no exception. But her "love", or what she calls love, is highly conditional. And the reason I say I don't think it's real is b/c she will say she loves me & when I tell her that I don't have the skill/time/energy to do some enormous task for her, she tells me that she can't stand me. It's like an evil rollercoaster ride every time I allow her in my life.
Though I hate hospitals, there was one really kind night counselor who broke the rules & came to talk with me. I was there, long story short, b/c someone lied & told me I was hallucinating and I accepted that prima facie. No one else had ever told me told me that until this one renter who had lived with me for 6 months did. He challenged me about why did I give her opinion more weight than my own opinion. I didn't really have a good answer at the time, but have discovered it goes back to how I was raised. My mom would always try to make me out to be crazy in order to make herself seem like a better mother. My brother couldn't have been beating my sister & me b/c that would make her a bad mother, so I must have been mistaken. The bruises came from accidents that I didn't remember or didn't want to admit to. And I needed to cover them up b/c otherwise people might get the "wrong impression" that she was a bad mother.
I see how people respond to me here at HW. When I accidentally hurt them, they come right out & say they're hurt and want an apology. There's no hinting around or threatening to kill themselves or whatever. And when I do something to help someone, they're genuinely appreciative. They say so. They don't blame me for not helping them other times or tell me that at least I got it right and better make an effort to continue to do so in the future.
The simplest analogy (and it took me a long time to realize it) is to compare my mom to the mom on Two and a Half Men. She's great at her job. She can be very personable when she wants to be. But everything revolves around her. No one else is entitled to have feelings unless they are the feelings she wants us to have. We can only be happy when she wants us to be happy & heaven help us if we're sad at an inconvenient time (which is pretty much all the time). Our careers are only valued to the extent that she can brag about them & get positive attention from other people, or to the extent that the can use them to brow beat her other children. She would ridicule me for hours on end about the fact that I was raising money to help out a food pantry at a local church -- that is, until one of her friends mentioned at a luncheon that I had single-handedly raised enough to fund the program for the rest of the year. Well, all of the sudden, it was great that I was volunteering ... I just had to work harder to get my name out there (which I wasn't even remotely interested in doing).
I got so much done when she & my dad (who's view is that we shouldn't do anything to upset my mom) were out of the country. I've been thinking I'd like to work abroad myself, but it will take a couple of years to get that together and I don't want to fall apart in the meantime. I've had so many friends over the years say they can always tell when I've started talking to my mom again b/c I get really down on myself, don't get much accomplished & seem to think that I'm unworthy of their friendships (which I probably am; I have the greatest friends ever). They are beyond kind & ought to be enough for me.
I just don't get it with my mom. Even my closest friend who I had to take a break from for a while when she got herself trapped in a serious addiction (well multiple addictions, really) and became very selfish b/c of it was never as bad as my mom is. And after getting help she's back to being kind & considering others' feelings again. My mom just doesn't seem to have the capacity to do that.
When you said you mom was greedy it kinda hit on something for me. She's not so much greedy for money as she is for attention, praise, and getting things HER way. She wants me to love her unconditionally. She wants me to take care of her needs. And she says she wants to reciprocate, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how she can say that she is helping me by making up nonsense statements like "everyone else can find work right now except for you so it must just be that b/c you refuse to clean your house you have low self-esteem and that is subconsciously causing you to write crappy resumes that are sending out a message to the world that you are unorganized and unemployable." WHAT?! Wait, I mean WWWHHHAAATTTT????!!!! ***? that doesn't even make any sense in any world, time, dimension, or culture. it is just complete nonsense. The stated unemployment rate in my state is 11% and the estimated real unemployment rate is 25%. I don't value myself or anyone else by how clean their house is. I've had professionals look at my resumes and cover letters & they consistently get positive feedback. And just b/c my home isn't clean doesn't mean I'm not organized. I am.
But there's no point in trying to reason with her. She wants me to clean my house b/c she believes I should have a clean house b/c she has a clean house. She's heard the news reports about how high the unemployment rate is but chooses to ignore it when it's convenient for her to do so. And for some bizarre-o reason, she's jealous that I went to college. She has plenty of money to go to college. My dad would love to pay for her to complete her last 2 years of coursework. They have enough money that she wouldn't even have to work if she didn't want to. So, there's absolutely no reason at all to be jealous. It's just non-sense. But she keeps throwing it out there that I have a college degree and college degrees guarantee you will always have a job, according to her. My degree is in Spanish Literature. There's not to many non-teaching jobs out there for people with no business experience & no business coursework who have an LAS degree in general, but especially foreign language majors.
And yet, I get roped into defending myself. It's dumb for me to bother. It's even dumber for me to get upset. Who gets upset by an illogical argument? But I just really wish I could do something to make her accept me. I know that's not possible. I could make $800M per year, be President of the United States, be married to the next Bill Gates, and win a Nobel Peace Prize & she's still find something wrong with me -- probably the fact that my house wasn't clean. lol. So I need to find a way to not want her acceptance. Gosh, I feel like my heart is being torn out of me. This is so painful to face the truth that she will never, ever, never, ever accept me. It feels like a crushing pain in my chest. I am so sad.
Thanks for your support. i don't know how i could continue to try to fight this battle without it. Mostly people don't understand how hard it is to cut a parent mostly or entirely out of your life. I know I'll be better off for it but it's just all these feelings crashing in on me -- sadness that I'll never have the relationship I want, fear that I'll regret my decision one day, anger that it's come to this point due to her stubbornness (I don't know for sure about the NPD, but she's been dx'ed with bipolar & hasn't taken meds for 35 years except for maybe 4 days last year when she promised she'd do better), resentment, shame b/c I feel like it's wrong to stop talking to your parents, hope that I can pull my life back together b/c I've been able to do that before when I've cut her off, relief that I've made the decision (sort of), pity that she'll miss out on so much, confidence that I really do have life skills in spite of her statements to the contrary, and love b/c I think I'll probably always have some small place tucked away in the very back of my heart that will love her just b/c she is a living being, she is my mother, and she is loved by God.
okay, well, now I am just a mess & need to pull it together for my 5:00 class. hope everyone's doing okay today.