After reading through living with a narcissist's blog entries, I felt like writing a little about my own experience of living with my NMother.
Living with your mother is supposed to be a source of some of one's fondest memories in life, right? Nice long talks over coffee, warm home-cooked meals, having fun just doing the simple things life together - these are probably some of the typical thoughts that come to mind when you think of society's depiction of the ideal mother anyone would be pleased to have.
I'd be lying if I said those things weren't part of my life. I'm not going to be unfair and paint my NM as a perpetual monster who is relentlessly abusive and cruel to me. I'd be nothing more than a gaslighting liar myself, no better than my NM. Yes, I can admit that my NM can be a great person to be around when she's in one of her good moods. She can be a lot of fun to talk to and has a way of giving me a sense of security and confidence when it comes to making decisions. All of my friends who talk to her on the phone/meet her often tell me how she's "so nice" and how much they like her.
That's because they don't know there's a catch to her kindness - it's fleeting and vanishes quicker than smoke when something doesn't go her way. So long as I appease her and do not put up an opposition in any way, shape, or form, my NM will maintain her "kindness mode" (as I like to term it) and these pleasant phases can last for very long stretches of time - which makes it very easy for me to fall into the same mistakes of telling her my innermost feelings and fears that serve as her weapons against me later in her aggressive attacks.
It's actually pretty surprising how little it takes for me to push my NM into one of her attack modes. It can be something as stupid as a disagreement over something on television. Basically any difference in opinion has the potential to lead into an escalating and gaslighting argument that may or may not include physical abuse and days of silent treatment afterwards.
But even when my NM and I are not fighting and she is in a good mood, life can still be unbearable because she is engulfing and has no sense of boundaries. She has no shame in looking through my personal belongings. I have to clear the history and cookies on my laptop every time I use it to ensure she won't stalk my internet activity. I have to put screen locks on my cell phone and iPod. I can't read certain books (for example, books on NPD) because she'd DEFINITELY find it.
I basically do not have any privacy - anything I do is up for complete questioning and my NM feels completely entitled to an answer. If I text someone on my phone or sees me typing, she asks who I write to. I actually find myself conditioned to telling her who I'm talking with and what I'm talking to them about before she even asks - which is truly a sick and abnormal reality.
It pretty much feels like my NM is a ticking bomb without a visible timer - you know she's bound to explode at some point, but you can never quite tell until you hear the huge boom. Every time my NM seems quiet or "weird", I get extremely uneasy and keep asking her if she's okay. I feel so scared that she is upset about something I am unaware about and that it's a matter of time before she explodes at me. It's a heavy, terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach - pure dread. If she's not raging at me, my NM loves the good old-fashioned silent treatment as her choice of torment. So I can never tell if my NM is mad at me or my father (he's just as much a victim of her as me) for something we "did to upset her" or if she is genuinely tired/worried about something unrelated to us and her NPD.
Living with her is one of the biggest challenges in my life because at times, she makes me feel like I am losing my mind. I look forward to the day that I'm free.