Today I woke up with a heavy heart. It was today in 2019 that my mother passed. I had been to the UT/Vandy game in Knoxville. I drove back to Nashville, that drives was the longest, saddest drive of my life.
As you have read in my blog, my mother was a narcissist. I know many of your jaws drop when I put that label on my mother but it’s true and it’s time that I talk about it because I know I’m not alone. I believe it’s ok to say that our families are not perfect, dysfunctional, have labels, just because they are blood doesn’t exempt them from any of that stuff. Talking about it not only lets others know they are not alone but gives insight on how to manage toxic family relationships, if you want to manage and not walk away.
One jewel I hold in my crown is I have accepted my mother being a narcissist. Here’s the thing, she did the best she could with her toolbox. She was raised by an alcoholic father and had 10 siblings. That alone sounds painful. She was born during the depression and comparing that to the pandemic, I think that changes everyone’s mental health. I’m not making excuses I am saying she gave me all she had but it wasn’t enough for me. I am a 10-gallon person and my mother gave all her pint-size love. A pint will never fill up 10 gallons. That’s what we have to understand and accept. Some folks including family just can’t love you the way you need to be loved. So I think we take the things we need and leave the rest. Leaving the rest means holding your boundaries not to let the messy stuff spillover.
I try to let the good outweigh the bad. I think of all the positives she did. Because she was a narcissist I know about body image, how to eat right, exercise, and take care of myself. Because of her work ethic, I learned to be alone and independent. I credit my spiritual beliefs in being raised to know God and to put my faith in him and never in a man. Finding positive qualities in anyone will dilute the toxic and negative. Dilute not dismiss! We must not dismiss what exists, acknowledge it and manage it the best we can.
Here’s to you mom, thank you for giving me all you could give. You did the best you could and I’m sorry for what happened to you. It wasn’t your fault for what happened to you, you just didn’t find a way to heal. It’s ok now because you’re no longer in pain and I’m telling the world they are not alone.