Posted by: Judy | November 7, 2013

I need to change…

…but I don’t know how.

I’ve shared here how I’ve learned to survive living with a narcissist by avoiding as much contact as possible. As I’ve become healthier, being around the narcissist has become increasingly difficult. The demands that used to simply annoy me now scream across my nerves.

“I love you” is lobbed at me like a hand grenade, usually in front of EF, so I look like a shrew when I don’t reply. I’m slowly but surely coming to terms with it. I have a flash of rage, and it’s over. Never thought I’d reach that point.

I do not want to be cruel or unkind.

It’s impossible to explain what it’s like to continue to live the conditions that caused the C-PTSD. The other day on FB, a quote about those with PTSD need to learn to live in the present. This would help them. This is true. However, I’m still living in the insanity. NM is not a safe person. Interestingly enough, more people are recognizing this. One never knows when she’s going to spit out something truly hurtful, until it’s too late.

I have been asked why I don’t simply explain the problem, i.e., “When you do this…”

Been there. Done that. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat…

It is either ignored or turned around to be my fault. I will never forget the last time it happened. She turned it so fast, it was done and my fault before I could blink. It really wasn’t my fault, but I was apologizing anyway. It isn’t what the N wants, so I am unreasonable.

I understand that I cannot change them. Because I cannot change them does not mean I must accept their continued abuse.

What a abuse, some may ask.

I think about it, and question my concerns.

After all, I haven’t been insulted, lately. Granted, if I’m in the same room I frequently find my personal space invaded. I will be preparing food at the counter, and the N must be right beside me, every moment. When I leave the room, N will also leave the room, even if N started something like dishes in order to stand right beside me. Suddenly, the dishes no longer matter when I walk out.  I am asked about how my sister is doing. I am expected to “tell” on my siblings. However, if I talk about anything the N doesn’t approve of to someone else, in exactly the same manner as I have about someone else to her, such as things N has said, I am betraying a trust. The complexity of the twists and turns is mind boggling.

So, what has been bothering me of late?

If N is able to invade my personal space, N does so without apology. In fact, I am an inconsiderate child if I don’t allow it. We’re not talking about a personal space of four or five feet. We’re talking a personal space of inches. She easily blocks paths within the house. I must touch her in order to pass by her. She will step in my way and act surprised I’m there (I’ve mentioned I’m 90 lb overweight right? kind of hard to miss) and complain about almost being knocked over. The insanity goes beyond mind boggling.

The touches I remember from N included spankings, strangling hugs, and sloppy, wet kisses. Those shouldn’t evoke such a violent response in me, should they? Icky but not violent… but violent it is. I do control myself, but shadow boxing when I’m safely alone is great.

N accuses me of pushing away, but I have never done so. Not physically.

With the holidays approaching, N’s need to cling intensifies to a death grip. It happens every year. The need for the “happy families” image mushrooms.

Again, I am terrified of being alone with N anymore. I do my best to be polite. I am on edge wondering if I will be complimented or sliced and diced or interrogated. Mind you, the compliments mean absolutely nothing… they’re so much hot air, tinkling brass. I never know how the slice and dice will come, either straight forward or something underhanded. I’m learning to keep answers short to the interrogations, sticking strictly to facts, such as the last time I saw the person I’m being interrogated about. Sometimes it’s my sister. Sometimes it’s my younger brother or his family. Sometimes, it’s one of my friends they’ve met or I’ve foolishly mentioned.

Is there anything I can possibly do to make this situation better?

I wonder if I’m missing something obvious.

Beside the moving out option, which isn’t an option at this point.


  1. I wish I had some fresh ideas. :/ Keeping you in my prayers.

    • Thanks, Mary. I know it helps.

  2. I don’t know what you can do. But feel for you. ((Hugs)) Maybe a good dog would help. Or running away. I’m full of great ideas.

    • Hugs are good, from safe friends. Thanks ((Beth)) Dog isn’t an option, as it becomes a weapon to use against me. I love the running away idea.

      • Well, one out of two. A Christmas present to yourself.

        • 😀

  3. I’m unsure whether this would be of any benefit at all in your situation, but a very long time ago, when I was being smothered by someone who insisted on always being very close to me (constantly invading my personal space), I went through a phase where I intentionally tried to play into their obsession. For me, the way I did it was to pretend I was an actor, and put on my acting hat for a short while. They were used to me avoiding them, and putting distance between us, so when I became clingy and constantly invaded THEIR personal space, they were off-balance, and didn’t know how to react, and ended up avoiding me completely.

    It was an extreme move on my part, and made me nauseous to even be stuck in the charade, (especially since I hate playing games), but the result was effective, at least for a while. My situation was much different than yours, but maybe some variation of “giving them what they think they want”, in an exaggerated form, could set them so off-balance, that it might buy you some space, and peace. Of course, I have no direct experience with the narcissistic dynamic, so this tactic could be completely wrong for that sort of situation. But the one thing I remember is that even though it tested the limits of my ability to stomach the charade, the effect was instantaneous, and they were so completely out of their comfort zone, that they avoided me altogether.

    Wishing you continued strength and peace of mind. Hang in there.

    • No matter what I give, it isn’t enough. This is someone who required I leave bathroom doors unlocked so she could walk in at anytime, no matter what I was doing. Makes my skin crawl even now… Oh. Why do I forget some of this stuff? I guess I haven’t forgiven her for violating… oh, for violating me… except I don’t want revenge… maybe a little but I know to Whom it belongs. I’m okay with turning it over to Him. I don’t trust her.

      In the past, I usually wait her out. She grows bored with the game and goes back to ignoring me. Holidays are worse because she wants everything lovey-dovey regardless of how much barbed wire she throws. I don’t trust her with good reason.

      She not only still wants forgiveness, she expects it to mean that I trust her and will give her whatever she asks as proof. She wants absolution, and I can’t give it. It isn’t mine to give.


      Thanks ((ntexas99)) Peace of mind is mine again.

  4. Hugs…When they ask them about me, smile and say, “Ask her yourself.” Or if you are feeling feisty you could try, “Planning to move to Siberia.” Just a thought. Might not go with your truth campaign but giving random totally off the wall statements might be entertaining.

    • LOL!! ((Ruth))

  5. Nothing is simple here, and I so wish you had the option to move out and get away from constant violation. Your response here is far too familiar to me. “In the past, I usually wait her out. She grows bored with the game and goes back to ignoring me. Holidays are worse because she wants everything lovey-dovey regardless of how much barbed wire she throws. I don’t trust her with good reason.” I am trying not to get sucked in this year. So strange though, how when she does give me space I tend to have the urge to call her, as her silence makes me feel guilty. Nope, nothing simple here. xx

    • This is too familiar to me. And what an odd thing to not trust your own mother. But there it is. And seriously, what is it about the silence that makes us feel so guilty. I had a few wonderful days of no contact from my mother, and all I could wonder was what she was up to or why she must be angry with me. I so wish I could let that go and not get sucked in either and just enjoy the silence.

    • ((rootstoblosssom)) ((Jessie)) I hate when I catch myself wondering why she’s ignoring me. It doesn’t happen much anymore. When it does, I allow the thought to pass and remind myself it’s normal for children to want to please their mothers. What is not normal is the abusive relationship mine entailed. I don’t know about either of you, but I think too that the silence scares me a little. What is she planning next? At least she’s front and center on the radar when she’s in my face. It isn’t the silence that bothers me, it’s knowing the silence WILL end and wonder HOW it will end. It’s the anticipation, knowing one way or another I’m not going to like it. I don’t think I’d worry so much about the silence if I knew it would continue.

      • That’s exactly it Judy: I always know it will end badly. My mother bombards me with emails, texts, and FB messages for weeks on end. And then suddenly, nothing, radio silence. And it almost ALWAYS is because I’ve upset her in someway or she’s testing me to see if I’ll be concerned about her. Or something. It’s always something. It’s never because she’s busy or got things going on. It’s because something is in the works.
        It’s something I’m working on, but it’s a deeply ingrained behavior in me. The constant feeling that I need to “reach out” and fix things.

        • And sadly, we’ve been raised to believe we can fix things when the truth is we can’t. They are the only ones who can fix their lives, and they aren’t willing to do what needs to be done. Hang in there, Jessie.

  6. ((Judy)) I am so sorry. I am not nearly as entrapped by my Ns as you, but I know the feeling, that smothering, claustrophobic feeling of being penned in by them. I so wish there was another option for you; and I understand that there is not any at the moment.
    RE: This –“Those shouldn’t evoke such a violent response in me, should they? Icky but not violent…” I would imagine that is your body responding to severe boundary violations. Your body trying to protect itself. I don’t think it is necessarily an inappropriate feeling to be having. It is extremely difficult and anxiety provoking to constantly have some someone in your personal space. And I know I’ve felt the same way when it’s been done to me.
    This stuff is so hard and I wish I had something to offer besides understanding of your struggles. But I get it, how it’s never enough, how it is strangling and suffocation, how you are forced to (appear to) be a shrew or else forced to profess feelings for someone you don’t feel, to be expected to give absolution to someone who does not deserve it and hasn’t even tried to earn it.
    Sending you strength and hugs. And empathy.

    • Understanding, sometimes, really is enough. Thanks for the strength, hugs, and empathy, Jessie. It honestly helps.

  7. (((Judy)))

    • (((TR)))

  8. I wish I could think of something comforting to say. I’d rather live under a bridge than have to live with my mother ever again. I don’t know how you tolerate it at all. Hugs.

    • I don’t know either, and then I make it through another day, so I guess I made it. The sense of humor is absolutely invaluable. Blessedly, I have amazing friends who make sure I don’t forget I’m of worth. (((Pandora Viltis)))

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: