It’s finally time that I discuss my parents on this blog. And there is SO MUCH history, it will have to be broken up into multiple posts. However, the basic point is that both my mother and father are narcissists. What’s interesting is that they show their narcissism in very different ways, which I will get into later.
I remember in college, a couple of my best girlfriends and I would go to my best friend’s parents’ home to visit for the weekend, as her parents only lived about 20 minutes from our sorority. When we were there, we’d all drink wine and my friends and I would tell my friend’s mother hilarious stories about our crazy drunken nights in the bars. And my friend’s mother would just laugh. I remember thinking, “wow, how amazing would it be to have a mother that I could actually talk to and share my experiences with?” My relationship with my mother (both parents, actually) is the complete opposite of this.
As some background, I was adopted from an asian country when I was 2 years old. My mom and dad already had two boys and wanted to a little girl. I grew up in a small town. My dad is a farmer (a very successful one) and my mom has always been a stay-at-home mom. My grandfathers on both sides were alcoholics, so when my mom and dad got married, they decided they would not drink.
I remember growing up I felt very self-conscious because I was one of very few asian kids in my town. I remember kids would make fun of me, by pulling their eyes back so they looked “slanted.” I also remember feeling very self-conscious because my mother and I looked so different.
My parents were SUPER paranoid, protective and controlling. An example, my mom would mention to me that she didn’t want me to walk to the store with a friend when I was 12 years old because I could get kidnapped and held for ransom. So early on, I learned I had to be careful about what I said to my mom because she was so paranoid.
What I now realize is that my parents both suffer from codependency, which is a result of growing up in alcoholic households. They have a need to control and even though I am now 35, they still try to control me.
I don’t want to make this post extremely long, so over the next few weeks, I’ll release different painful moments from my childhood. But what prompted this post was an incident that occurred tonight.
Back in 2000, near the end of my freshman year in college, the right side of my jaw locked up. My parents took me to see a dentist who specialized in TMJ issues and he made me a night guard to wear at night, to help my jaw. I wore it pretty religiously throughout college, but over time, I stopped wearing it. Then, 3 years ago I got veneers, so the old night guard no longer fit. I’ve been meaning to get a new one made, but you know how that goes…
A few days ago, I started having some throbbing pain near my joint, which was then shooting to the top and bottom teeth at times. I called my old doctor, and he referred me to someone new in my area. I went in today and the doctor ran a bunch of tests and determined that the pain was not necessarily from my jaw joint, but rather from extremely tight muscles in my face, which are probably a result of clenching. He said my face muscles on both sides, as well as my neck and shoulder muscles were extremely tight.
I called my mom to tell her about this. I said, “I’ve been having bad jaw pain.” A normal mother would probably respond with “Oh no, that’s too bad” or maybe even “Oh, what’s going on?” But not my mother. The first words out of her mouth are: “Well, that’s no surprise since you never wore your mouth guard.” First of all, my mother constantly says things that are untrue, such as this statement. Secondly, she always finds a way to point out something I did wrong or make everything my fault.
Like I said, there is sooo much more to this story, but I don’t want this post to drag on forever. But a big part of my recovery is grieving the relationship I never had and will never have with supportive, loving parents. And sometimes it makes me feel like I really hate them.