Saturday, June 16, 2012

My Birth Mother--NAM's Nemesis

NAM hated my birth mother.  She never said anything good about her, or even anything neutral.  She also used to tell me--whenever I did something she really didn't like, or when she was So Concerned about me--that I was acting just like Alice Jo.  

"You're doing just like she did, and you're gonna turn out just like her, no matter how hard I've tried to keep it from happening.  I just don't know what to do anymore."

She would tell me about the traits of my birth mother that she didn't like, such as how she dressed, or how her clothes fit her.  Ridiculous things that meant nothing.  I think she had to disparage and devalue my birth mother so that she would feel superior by comparison.  The common theme of "tearing others down to build yourself up" was her life's mission.  I think they kept the adoption open just so I would have an idea of who my birth mother was and would think she was inferior compared to my adopters, and so they could show how much better they were doing with me and my brother than she did.  With a closed adoption, she would never see how big our house was or that we had a pool.  A closed adoption doesn't allow a narcissist the chance to show the birth parent how much better off the child is with the adopters. 

I'm trying to remember what specific "offenses" would get her up on this cross, but I'm thinking it was mainly anything to do with me not reading her mind, acting a certain way around other people, or just being a person who was separate from her.

She also loved telling me something I'd done wrong after it happened.  For example, if we were somewhere around lots of others who knew us, and I was able to be myself for a bit because she was not glaring at me and watching my every move and policing my every word, she would tell me (either on the way home or the next day) how I had "showed my butt" or "made them think I was snooty and better than everyone else."

"Showed your butt"--usually meant she didn't like how I acted because someone complimented me to her, or it meant that I acted confident and less like I hated myself, and other people saw.  It could also mean I acted like I was hurt by her actions, and other people saw this, or she feared I had told someone what she had done.

I look back on these things and realize how pathetic and fearful she was.  If only I had known about narcissism back then, I could have been spared much heartache and self-blame. 


Anonymous said...

What is up with narcissist and their propensity to adopt children?
I can't state it as fact, but I am pretty goddamn sure that the only reason my mother had me and my sister was to placate and keep her hooks in my father so she would have a roof over her head and be able to run amok all day while he was gone.
It's conjecture but you would have had to been there.
She would be all lovey dovey until he left for the day. Then it was every man for himself.
It has to somehow be connected to the adoption thing. Not that the motivations were exactly the same. But that the whole impetus behind having kids has nothing to do with being a parent.

Sweetness said...

For years I was led to believe that they adopted me and my brother because she shouldn't have more children for health reasons. When I turned 29, she told me they did because they "wanted to share the Lord's blessings with the less fortunate." She also told me she regretted it. I think you're right about your mother's reasons. Usually when they stop being able to manipulate the spouse as much, they decide to get knocked up so they can create their own little robots to love them "unconditionally." They take advantage of children's natural innocence and trust. In the hands of a Narc parent, a child has no chance.

Anonymous said...

"wanted to share the Lord's blessings with the less fortunate."

I think I just threw up a little bit in the back of my throat.

kam said...

Oh my gosh I just landed here following a link from q1605's blog so I have only read a couple of your postings...but I nearly fell off my chair when I got to the "showed your butt" part. I'm an adult only child who was adopted and my NM sounds eerily similar to your description of your NM, right down to an oft used phrase: "you showed your ass" I also heard this after some gathering or function, usually because I had smiled too much or laughed too loud or mildly disagreed with her or showed disappointment about something.

Your NM must have felt very noble and admirable to have deigned to take in "the less fortunate." Ugh, what an arrogant way to put it, as though it was only about her doing a good deed rather than choosing and cherishing you for the lovely child I'm sure you were. I'm with Q, I threw up a little in my mouth.

I was adopted by a relative of my birth mother because both of my birth parents died when I was an infant. I can't count the number of times I have been told told by NM how horrible my birth father's family was and how lucky I am that they adopted me instead of leaving me to be raised by "that trash"

Anyway, I just had to comment because I am blown away at how narcissistic parents seem to be reading off the exact same script.

Sweetness said...

Hey! I'm glad you found me. I used to hear how "bad" I' would have turned out had my birth mother raised me too. I never heard anything good about her from my adoptive mother. I'm sorry about your parents though. That had to be hard to deal with growing up. So many people don't understand that adoptive parents can be abusers too. I've had people look at me like I grew a second head when I told them that I had abusive adoptive parents.

Pamela Jones said...

Glad to find ur blog. We share a lot! is my blog. I'm going to follow u now. :)

Anonymous said...

As all of your posts, this is eye opening. I've known about narcissism for about a year now, and went NC with NM almost a year ago.
I can't have children naturally, and so we've decided to get medical help. When I first mentioned this option to my NM 7 years ago, she got right into my head and tried to put me off it. She said that it was unnatural and unchristian to get medical help. And that I should adopt a "poor little baby who needs a family". Saying that it's rewarding to save a child. Somehow, I knew this was not right way to think about adoption. It made the whole process kind of fake. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for adoption, but for the right reasons. Not so that I can tell the child how lucky (s)he is. For all I know I'm too f***ed up to be a good parent anyway.
Well now, thanks to your post, I know I was right. That her vision of adoption is pathetic.
Thank you for sharing!