With all the money I’ve spent on therapy, you’d think I’d have a handle on this. I don’t. Today I am a relationally inept, sobbing moron.
My shrink’s general take is that my mother was a narcissist, meaning that my needs were never important, so now I have this deep cry to have people see my needs coupled with a crippling inability to make my needs known. I’m not sure what I think about that first part (I’ve always thought she was more inept than narcissistic…but in this book I’m reading, I’m pretty much the poster child for a narcissist’s progeny. So there’s that.) At any rate, whatever the reason, I’ve successfully ensured that I have zero support from pretty much everyone in my life except my husband and my shrink.
Ok…not true. What I don’t have is the support that I want from the people that I want it from. That’s more accurate. And today it’s coming to a head. For starters, I stayed home from church to avoid being asked why I’m not going to a baby shower for my friend’s “oops” baby. Background: I MC’d her wedding in August, then she called me afterwards to say she was preggers and keep it on the DL…she literally said, “It was one of those ‘first time’s the charm’ things.” (No, it wasn’t. You don’t have to say that. Quite frankly I don’t give a shit whether or not you were having sex before you got married, but fuck you so very much for getting pregnant on accident when you didn’t want to.) That was my internal monologue. Externally, I said a lot of nice and supportive things and then hung up the phone and wept for an hour.
I contemplated attending her shower, but my DH talked some sense into me and told me I absolutely did not have to do that. So I didn’t. But the shower was immediately after church with a bunch of church ladies, so I skipped church. This is why I’m sitting at home.
Aaaaaand I get a bunch of emails from my sister. The anniversary of my Dad’s death was a few days ago, and today she sent me all these sobby emails about how her kids will never know their grandfather. Granted, that sucks. But guess what? She gets the chance to know her kids, so that’s nice. Also, she knows I’m doing IVF and hasn’t reached out to me about it once. Not once. Not a word since I told her about it at Christmas. She’s my fucking sister. She sucks. I’m not sure why she doesn’t make any attempts on this front, but she doesn’t.
Oh, then there’s my potentially-but-we’re-not-sure-yet narcissist mother. She doesn’t know that I’m on the brink of menopause or that I’m doing IVF. I had planned on telling her when I was down at Christmas, but there was not a moment of genuine communication between us, and I thought, why? She is a source of precisely zero support – we’ve spoken about my miscarriage on exactly one occasion…months after the fact…and she offered (by way of comfort, I assume) that she thought she might have had a miscarriage once but she wasn’t sure. So I figured I’d save the energy of bringing her into the loop on this simply because she gave birth to me. There’s really no other reason I’d want her to be involved.
Finally, (only nowhere close to finally – I haven’t even started on my in-laws or other friends – but finally for what I’m saying here) my SIL, typically very self-involved, has actually been showing some interest and expressing concern about this, so, feeling a need to connect with someone, I reached out to her today and let her know where I was at in the process and that we’d probably know the # of eggs late next week. There was some promising back and forth about what the process is actually like, and a little sympathy, which was nice. Then – POW! “Then they grow up to be snotty teenagers. Parenting’s really hard for us right now. You can be praying about that.” It was the last straw for me. I’m sick of taking it up the ass and pretending that people’s myopic comments don’t bug me. I’m sick of the high road. It’s painful and lonely. So I struck back: “Well, you have living children, so that’s a bonus.” Stupid, but whatever. She, alarmed that the conversation was turning away from her, wrote back about what their emergency actually was…and she begged me not to tell anyone so I won’t. But seriously. I’m sure it seems big to them, but it’s basically a teenage rite of passage and they need to calm the hell down. I haven’t written back, because I can only think of dismissive things to say.
I think with this post I’ve officially crossed the line and will now never be able to make this blog public.
I’m angry and sad and lonely and hopped up on a lot of drugs right now. I’m terrified that it won’t work and terrified that it will. Work is stressful, life is hectic, and I am barely holding on. I wish people could understand that without me having to say all of that point blank and begging them to pretend that my shit matters for 10 minutes. I probably need to work on being vulnerable – but I’m afraid I might actually be surrounded by particularly shitty people. Of course, children of narcissists tend to think that they’re surrounded by particularly shitty people. So I probably need to work on being vulnerable. Some other day. If I try today, I’m just going to piss everybody off.
My SIL apologized for being insensitive. Unexpected. Impressive. I also apologized for being insensitive, we are now both back to trying to be supportive, and I shall remove her from the List of People I Shall Never Trust Again. (Can you see what it’s like to live in my head? Exhausting.)
My mom still totally sucks, though.
Look at that. I’ve made it through another day.