When the bedroom door closes, whatever goes on is between the couple.
We can never know enough to make accurate or even fair or unfair judgments and conclude why a couple split up.
Both or one of them may present a false persona to the public.
What we see them showing to us may not necessarily be what’s really going on in their relationship.
Usually, it isn’t.
Hence, no one is in any position to pass any wrongful judgment on either or both parties when they decide to part ways or when one “suddenly” and unexpectedly takes off.
First of all, there is no “sudden” decision to leave; it is usually an accumulation of on-going unresolvable issues — the overly used but quite real irreconcilable differences.
Second, those who see the separation as “unexpected” are either not privy to what is truly going on — outsiders in particular — or they may be in denial — in the case of the party left behind.
The same applies to family situations — to a daughter deciding to go no-contact with her mother.
A woman may project an image to the outside world of how lovable and caring a mother she is.
And when lying, deception, and manipulation are her strongest suits, it is no surprise that the mother can make others believe her — those outside of the home or the mother-daughter relationship — with so much success and without much convincing effort.
To con others to see her as the epitome of a “perfect” mother.
A mother who others wish they have.
The time comes when a daughter wakes up to the reality of the situation — how unhealthy her relationship with her mother is, and how damaging it is to her psyche.
The daughter makes the bold, unthinkable yet empowering and rightful decision to sever her ties from her mother — for her sanity and well-being, to keep her emotional and mental health stable and well.
By then, though, the mother has amply prepared the outside world to give their full support to her — the “abandoned” mother.
For the world to have pity on the mother.
For all the sympathy to be directed at her.
And for the daughter to be cursed and crucified — unfairly.
To the outside world who has no idea what truly transpired between the mother and daughter, the world that has only seen and was manipulated by the mother to only see her “good,” self-sacrificing side, the daughter has abandoned the mother.
What the world does not realize and was never made to see is how, much earlier on, the mother had abandoned her daughter when she neglected the daughter by failing to meet the child’s emotional development needs, and how unloving and neglectful she was to her daughter.
Such is the drama of a narcissistic mother.
Such is one of the manipulative ways of how a narcissistic mother can win the sympathy of the outside world — and make the daughter be perceived and judged as the ungrateful one.
And such was the drama of my biological mother.
A drama that she played out so convincingly well that the audience gave her a standing ovation at the end of her third act.
What the outside world does not realize is there will be an epilogue where the big picture and back story will be revealed.
Where the pieces of the puzzle will be put together.
The dots will be connected to reveal an image that was long hidden, buried, and swept under the rug.
That image is the reality and truism that —
Not all mothers are capable of loving their daughters unconditionally.
Not all mothers treat their children equally and fairly — there are favored children, and there are neglected and invisible ones.
Not all mothers are prepared for the emotional responsibilities that come with motherhood.
Hard to swallow or believe, but that’s an accurate assessment. Research has proven so — and it is much more common than society thinks. [See related post here.]
Society has placed mothers in a pedestal so high that they have been wrongly perceived as infallible — they are not. [See related post, Honor Thy Children: The Other Side Of Honoring Thy Father & Mother.]
Society must not perpetuate such a false belief.
There ARE mothers who make horrific choices.
There ARE mothers who behave in wicked ways.
Narcissists project a different persona — lovable, the “good” one, etc. — to the outside world.
That way, no one will believe those with whom they interact closely and regularly — such as family or romantic partners — when these individuals talk about the narcissist’s wickedness, evil, and horrific ways.
Just as my mother had done so effectively with her marriage to my father.
My mother had set the stage for the world to sympathize with her.
To be the pitiful one.
When my parents finally separated after 34 miserable years, the world had nothing but hatred and repulsion towards my father — even without knowing the entire story or hearing both sides.
As I’ve said, no one is in any position to pass any wrongful judgment towards anyone.
Kawawang-kawawa. Iniwan ng asawa. Walang iniwan sa kanya. Pinagpalit sa ibang babae na ang habol lang ay ang kanyang pera. Iniwan ang pamilya para lang sa walang kakwenta-kwentang babae.
[How pitiful. She was abandoned by her husband. Left with nothing. Her husband left his family for a cheap, good-for-nothing woman who is only after her husband’s money.]
As part of my mother’s ridiculous drama, even if she had the finest and an abundance of good quality clothing, she would wear a maid’s uniform!!! One way for her to show the world how my father had deprived her financially and left her with nothing!
Oh, if only the world knew…..
My mother succeeded in influencing and making others believe that there was black magic involved — that it was how the other woman made my father fall for her. [Takes one to know one, eh? See related post, My Mother’s Association With Black Magic .]
When my parents separated, I, among five children, was the ONLY ONE who took my father’s side and stayed with him.
Following my mother’s [twisted] logic, does it also mean that black magic was likewise performed on me, the reason and only [acceptable] explanation for why I chose to be with my father?
So, was black magic also performed on me, which is why I chose eventually to go no-contact from my mother and siblings?
Oh, I do believe in spells and black magic.
We must not give our power away by making it the default or only explanation and rationale why people make what appears to us as “ridiculous” or unfathomable choices.
My mother had set the stage so effectively for her to be the pitiful one, the “saint,” with my father as the “sinner.”
Oh, don’t get me wrong. My father was no ‘saint.’ Far from it.
He was such an abusive parent and philandering husband.
Here’s the thing, though.
The difference is the abusive ways of my father were overt, while those of my mother were covert.
That is why it was so much easier to conclude that my father was the [only] villain, and my mother, the [pitiful] victim.
The reality, though, is my mother was just an expert on lies, deception, and manipulation!
And what makes it dumbfounding is she did it so subtly — and masterfully — that you wouldn’t know or feel that she was already manipulating you!
Just as narcissists, being the epitome of manipulation, are wont to do.
Playing victim has been one of my mother’s strongest suits. She would easily switch to being the perpetrator.
I, on the other hand, played the rescuer role so effortlessly.
The Karpman Drama Triangle — the model that describes the energy dynamics in dysfunctional social situations, particularly abusive home and family environments.
Our family was so deeply entrenched in it, switching roles between the perpetrator, victim, and rescuer.
Thus, perpetuating the cycle of abuse and dysfunctionality.
As I wrote in a previous post, I mediated between my parents when I was 18 when they had one of their major fights.
Truth be told, I do not and will never know all that transpired between my parents — especially since they have both passed away.
Based on what I had witnessed, intuited, and was made known and revealed to me, though, especially by both of my parents — it merited my decision to side with my father.
A decision that my mother most certainly did not appreciate. She detested and resented it. She took it against me — quite understandably.
After all, I ruined her drama!
I’ve had a strong felt sense, and I firmly believe that my mother had never forgiven me for having sided with my father when they separated.
To my mother, I got in the way of her drama and messed it up. [“Panggulo,” in Filipino.]
Had all five of us, children sided with her, she would have been vindicated and proven right. It would have left no room for any doubt.
It would have validated the drama that she had played all along — how she had been so disadvantaged by my father, how she was at the losing end of their marriage, and how she had been victimized — that it was only my father, who had been wrong and at fault all along.
That’s also why, I firmly believe that my mother was desperate to reconnect with me after I went no-contact — just to prove that I was only rebelling and went astray, and in the end, I went back to her “loving arms” and reconciled with her.
That’s all. Nothing else.
Her attempts to search for and reconnect with me weren’t because of genuine concern or love for me.
It was only to show the world how “good” a mother she is.
She could then proclaim to the world once more,
“O, see. Yung mga anak ko lang talaga ang walanghiya. Walang mali at pagkukulang sa akin.
[Oh, see. It is really just all my children who are disobedient and rebellious. There is nothing wrong with me. I did not have any shortcomings.]”
A typical narcissistic mother’s drama.
I was already a neglected and rejected child, to begin with. [See related post, The Beginning Of A Core Wounding – Being Rejected By My Mother At Birth.]
Siding with my father gave my mother reason all the more to continue neglecting and dismissing me.
Was she aware of what she was doing? Did she do it intentionally?
Narcissists — in general, not only narcissistic mothers — are quite vindictive. They hold grudges. They withhold their love as a form of punishment. Another one of their many manipulative ways.
And the few who know my mother’s real character know fully well how frighteningly vindictive and spiteful my mother could be!!!
So, do the math.
Sadly, my mother was so deeply trapped and drowned in the vast sea of maleficence, evil, and dark forces, that she made unthinkable and unimaginable choices.
My mother was constantly battling with her inner demons.
And she did not — and refused to — work through and deal with her inner turmoil and conflicts, which she projected and spewed on to her children.
My mother did not welcome and believe that she needed counseling and therapy, rejecting my attempts to help bring about her healing. [See related post, Healing of our Family Tree]
Sadly, my mother’s own web of lies and manipulation kept her imprisoned in the labyrinth of lies, deception, and false narratives — which she herself created.
And equally as sadly, her imprisonment rendered us, her children, captives as well, in all the confusion, chaos, turmoil, drama, and all — creating much divisiveness amongst us, siblings.
Thankfully, I found my way out and escaped the madness and craziness of maternal narcissism — for my sanity, mental health, and emotional well-being.
And there are ways that we, wounded daughters, can heal and recover from the unkind treatments that we were subjected to by our narcissistic and psychologically unsound mothers.
There is hope. We can recover. We can find our way out of the horrific abyss of abuse and toxicity.
Just as I was able to.
Just as I continue to do so — with writing truthfully and conscientiously about my journey being a huge part of my healing and recovery.
And my sharing of which, I hope, will help encourage and inspire fellow wounded, unmothered, and unloved daughters to take steps towards healing and recovery, and create new patterns — even a new life — away from the toxicity, dysfunctionality, and abuse of the venomous fangs and deadly claws of maternal narcissism.
Sometimes, it is for our sanity, safety, and survival.