August 12, 2013 at 5:29 pm #40310
I was raised to be the quiet and submissive woman. I was raised to be a homemaker, wife, daughter, Mom, have kids, go to church, be who everyone wants me to be. I’ve played this role very good. I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety because of it but everyone was happy with me. I’ve stayed quiet and made everyone feel good about themselves and control me even if it hurt me big time. Since I turned 30 in December I’ve really been working on myself. To be a strong woman that I am proud of. I am now going through a divorce. I’m at peace with this decision. I am also trying to set boundaries with my narcissistic Mom. I am doing better every day with this even though I feel in some ways I was brainwashed by her to feel guilty anytime I do something that upsets her.
This month has been hard. I have a best friend. We have been friends for about 12 years. She is seeing the changes I am making and at first was supportive but now puts me down. She’s being rude and hateful. I’ve always seen her treat her husband, Mom and kids this way but she’s never been this way to me. Last week she had slightly upset me and I guess she knew she did because she knows she speaks before she thinks. I told her I was ok and not to worry about it. She kept pushing me to tell her what was wrong (I didn’t want to because I know her and I know me and knew I would get over it….it wasn’t that big of a deal). I finally just told her because she wouldn’t stop telling me to tell her. I told her I would get over it then she starts yelling at me for my feelings. I’ve never argued with her and I lost it and told her if she ever talked to me in that tone again (she was screaming and demanding) that I would hang up and turn my ringer off. I felt bad but I don’t want to be talked to that way. I’ve put up with my Mom and my ex talking to me that way and I can’t from a friend. We seemed to have settled things until this weekend when I was there visiting her. My kids go back to school next week so we got all of our kids together for the weekend. The night before last she said something that was hurtful. I just sat there and said nothing but then I could feel I was about to cry. I excused myself and went to the bathroom. She came banging on the door and told me to open it up. I said hold on a minute and she said no open it now. So I did. She saw me crying and said what is it now? I said I just am really hurt by what you said but I’ll get over it. She told me that it was stupid for me to be hurt and that none of her other friends would have been hurt (another put down). I said I’m sorry but i’m not everyone else and I don’t hold grudges it just hurt and I won’t stay mad. Last night we went to go get a coffee and on the drive home she said, “I really do not understand why that hurt you last night. Noone else would have taken it the way you did. I just can’t say anything to you anymore and I don’t know if we need to stay friends”. I was shocked. We got to her house and I was getting out and she said, “don’t get out of this car we need to fix this.” I had to go in because I was going to bust into tears. I close the door and she speeds off. I went in and her husband saw me and asked me what happened. I told him I am so sorry I never meant to take what she said the wrong way, maybe it is because I am super stressed right now. He then says, “No, I understand why you did. I heard her talking to you and was shocked myself”. It made me feel good to know that not everyone like she says would have not taken it the way I did. We went to bed and she wouldn’t talk to me. I get up this morning to go home, take a shower and am sitting on the floor and she walks out of her room and storms down the stairs after giving me a hateful look. I went downstairs a few minutes later and said, “I don’t understand what is wrong. I have the right to be hurt and just because I am doesn’t mean I think any less of you.” She screams at me to not talk to her and this is her house and for me to get out of her kitchen. I’m shocked, hurt and wondering because of all of my changes am I becoming this horrible person. My ex is upset with me, my Mom is upset because she doesn’t have control of me and now the one person I thought would always be there is treating me this way. I am trying to just have peace within myself and I feel like I haven’t done anything wrong but why is everyone so upset with me?August 12, 2013 at 6:57 pm #40315
My goodness! I can’t believe how stable minded and calm you were in such situations. I don’t think I would have responded half as well, and I know it is painful but if you step back and look at how incredible you are, perhaps some of the “why is everyone mad at me” will turn into “why are they mad”.
I want to be frank. It sounds like some of the people in your life try to use you as a toilet for their stress. They rant and rave at you, and when you take it in and make it about you, they get to feel better while you feel worse. When people who have patterns of manipulation and control dont get to play their game, they get mad. To me, this is what I read in your story.
Their vibrant emotional bursts have nothing to do with you. They are suffering from whatever, try to use you to wipe their energy off, you don’t play their game, they explode. Its not your responsibility to take others’ karma for them, and I feel you did well. It is important to set boundaries, and they were wrong to ignore them and insist through them. It is important to cry when we are upset, and they were wrong to shame you for your emotions and try to invalidate your feelings. Its crazy! Its just crazy!
I almost went back and deleted some of what I wrote, its the mamma bear roaring a little. I decided to leave it though, even if it is a little judgmental. Please don’t take it personal, their responses are a sign that as you grow, create boundaries, and express you feelings that the lack of health on their side might produce vibrant responses. This is like a kid throwing a temper tantrum because you tell them no candy before dinner. Its not about you, and from what I read you were doing the most nourishing thing you could in the moment.
Keep going, don’t let their actions blow out the delicate candle of your heartfelt self esteem. Perhaps you could check out Pia Mellody’s books on codependency. It may help you see why it is really important to be firm with boundaries, especially with narcissistic people.
MattAugust 12, 2013 at 7:38 pm #40322
It sounds like you are doing wonderful work on yourself. Your responses to people’s angry expressions toward you seemed measured and appropriate. What is not appropriate is the way in which you are being treated. It sounds like some of the people in your life do not want to respect your boundaries. My sense is that perhaps they feel threatened by your new-found feeling of health and freedom and are worried that since you are changing, the nature of your relationship with them might change and they may lose you. They are afraid of being abandoned perhaps because of their own low self-esteem. But low self-esteem or not that gives them no right to yell at you. That is almost always never ok. They have perhaps learned to keep people in their lives through the use of put-downs, fear-tactics, and shaming. That is too bad. They must be in a lot of pain and feel very desperate to have to resort to such tactics in the face of your own self-transformation. Liberation is scary to those who are enslaved by their own negative thought patterns and emotions. I am sorry that you are going through such a hard time. It may be a good idea to look for some groups in your area who share your new found patterns of thought and goal of healing and transformation. I found such company once in an al-anon group even though I was not an alcoholic but I did have a father who was an alcoholic. Perhaps your friend that you have now will come around in time – or perhaps not. But staying in this abusive relationship is not fair to you and will not help either you or your friend. A relationship like that may rob you of your self-esteem and make you doubt your own perceptions of things. Friendships should never be like that. I also second Matt’s suggestion of finding literature on co-dependency. This sounds like a classic case. Oh, that reminds me – I am not sure where you live but I do know that in larger cities there are support groups for codependents. I looked for some in my city once but to no avail. That might be something worth checking out. If anything it will put you in contact with people who can be a positive source of support for you. Stay strong and know that if you are doing what’s right and promotes health and healing for you then it is the right thing!
-J.D.August 12, 2013 at 8:00 pm #40324
Thank you both so much for your responses and kind words. It feels good to hear the things you both said. I’ve always been a firm believer in “treat others as you would want to be treated”. I’ve always tried (I’m not perfect) to do this and it has gotten me walked on most of my life. I am now realizing I can do this but I also have to realize others don’t treat people the way I do. So I have to be careful not to get walked all over all the time. It’s hard setting these boundaries. It’s even harder to try to set them with someone I didn’t realize could be so cruel/hateful to me. I’m trying to stay positive, meditating and reading uplifting things online and in books. I will check out the books on co-dependency. I need to read about it and I am going to look into local groups here.August 13, 2013 at 5:25 am #40338
It really sounds like there were some unhelathy lack of boundaries – as in – this woman didnt respect the boundaries of the friendship. Shouting and screaming and abusing, is not acceptable, and you would, from what you have said, do well to step away from this woman, as it seems she has anger issues, which is her part to deal with, on her side. She also sounds intimidating and frightening, so all you can do is step away, for your own self – preservation, and wish her well in her struggles – as she clearly is having major struggles with herself.
Nurture yourself, and be kind to yourself. You do not deserve to be mistreated, so just have detatched poise, and walk away.
As you are going through a stressfull time with a divorce, deffinitely try to surround yourself with good people, or join some groups, go for walks, just do nice things for you, as you deserve it ! 🙂
Barbs.August 13, 2013 at 12:19 pm #40369
I recently had to remove myself from a girlfriend just like yours. She was rude with everyone including me at times. She didn’t respect the time I gave to listen to her and demanded more. She never listened to me vent or complain. If I started to, the topic would quickly turn back on her or all of a sudden she had to end the conversation. Although I went out of my way for her often, she only did the same out of convenience and just enough times so that the relationship could survive. She didn’t respect boundaries.I just felt so emotionally drained around her because she was so negative all the time. Her energy began to wear off on me. Other things happened too, which is way too much to go into detail about.
I finally decided to cut her out when I began my healing process from a narcissistic mom and prior abuse. I couldn’t focus on healing myself and attending to her every need at the same time. She too wasn’t supportive of my decision to heal. Things didn’t get easy. They got nasty. Luckily, not as nasty as your “friend” but still nasty. Guilt trips as to why I don’t make time for her and mean text messages. We have mutual friends so it was very hard to avoid her. Most of us keep her at a distance and a few have cut her out completely. I was the only person she really had left from the group. So this hurt her and she let me know via text message. (I stopped taking her calls). She stated she knows she can be rude, unpredictable and moody but this was no reason to exclude her. I simply apologized for her feeling hurt, stated that my intention was not to hurt her and that I wished her the best. I haven’t talked to her since then. It’s been about a month. I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. At the same time, there is sadness because we were friends for 6 years. However, I know this is best. I learned three important things from our friendship:
1. All things are temporary
2. Listen to your intuition. When I first met her, I didn’t like her because of the way she treated other people. When picking friends or a partner, if they are rude to everyone one but you, know that eventually they will treat you the same. So watch how people treat others.
3. Be firm yet gentle. I am learning to set boundaries and to be firm yet gentle at the same. I was going to extremes. Setting no boundaries then being hurt by people walking over me. Or right off the bat setting firm boundaries without even giving people a chance, just out of fear that they might cross them.
You have the right just as anyone else to feel upset or even angry about the way others treat you and to voice that. Don’t let anyone shame you or make you feel guilty. Also don’t feel guilty for taking care of yourself and bringing good things into your life. You deserve it, especially after spending so much time on others.
Someone on this site shared this link with me. I was surprised that this classification fit perfectly with both my mother and former friend. You might already know about it but I hope this helps: http://www.daughtersofnarcissisticmothers.com/mothers-with-narcissistic-personality-disorder.html
Sending you much love,
ZenhenAugust 13, 2013 at 8:30 pm #40397
Thank you both for the support and kind words. What’s so funny (not really funny but ya know) is that my separation is better than the relationship I have with my Mom and my friend. I feel like my soon to be ex and I will be great co-parents. We both love our children. I know he is a great Father to them. I just know he is not a great husband. We are so different and we both need things in life or from each other that the other person can’t give. He needs a wife that doesn’t need to feel loved or appreciated. I would one day love to be in a relationship that we are both equals and love and support each other. I want a best friend in a husband and my ex can’t or won’t even try to be that for me. I also know I can’t be a doormat for him for the rest of my life. I hold no grudges towards him I am just having to accept that we aren’t right for each other as far as husband and wife but we are great parents together.
My “friend” called me today and started to talk as if nothing happened. I feel that I am to tired from everything going on to fight. I just know that I can’t talk to her like I always have. She has a wonderful husband that will and does do anything for her. She has children. She has money. She has a nice house and new cars and goes on any vacation she wants. She has what can be a wonderful, happy life. Yet she wants to complain all the time. She says her husband isn’t there for her enough so she started to connect with this other man. For almost a year she blew me off and pretty much told her husband she didn’t love him and never did. She crushed him. He still stood by her and tried to make it work. Now she isn’t talking to this other guy as much (he stopped talking to her because she would call constantly and send e-mails and get upset when he didn’t reply). She now wants us to be friends like it never happened but I am still hurt that she pretty much threw our friendship away for some man that lives on the other side of the United States. I am a forgiving person and maybe even have such low self confidence that I will let someone treat me however they want. I work hard for any relationship I have. I guess I’m just tired of being the person that takes everyone else’s crap. The past month with her going off on me and telling me I am too sensitive and her playing the victim when she is the one who lost her temper is to much . I do not think I can do it much more. I do not think it is healthy for me.
My relationship with my Mom is difficult to since she is a narcissist. I am apart of the forums on the Narcissist Mother website and I love it there. I am finding great support. When I read about a narcissist before and how they treat their children I was shocked, hurt and relieved that I wasn’t alone. It’s sad how they can treat people and not care.