Can your mother empathize with you?
Can she get past her defensiveness and put herself in your place?
What do you do if the answer is no?
But what if you need to get past this to move on, claim your life for yourself and parent to your daughter. How do you do this?
This can be hard. Very hard.
Those of us who have traveled this road can tell you, there are some things that don’t get better just because you continue to try. There may come a time when you need to be your own witness.
As hard as this is, it may be the only way to freedom.
Trapped in the role of the “good daughter” of your Narcissistic Mother, you bear the mark of your mother’s pain.
You have put your mother’s needs ahead of your own. In the relationship dynamic, you had no choice.
To end this cycle, you might need to face the fact that justice is only going to come from you, and that will have to be enough.
For most of us, this is hard, really hard. The little girl in you wants for mom to understand and approve of you.
You have worked so hard to be good for mom.
But what if you need for her to understand that she is hurting you and she just can’t give you that one?
Because of her limitations, she can’t put herself in your shoes and see things from your perspective.
Some mothers just can’t.
And you have your own little girl looking at you…needing you. She needs you to be there for her. It is decision time.
At some point, the only relevant question becomes whether or not you are going to spend a lifetime trying to be heard and seen by someone who just can’t see you or hear you.
If you’ve talked yourself blue in the face and find yourself always on the defensive, chances are there isn’t anyone home- psychologically speaking.
At least not enough of reflective self to take in what you have to say.
Whether she is narcissistic, borderline, histrionic, depressed, addicted, a toxic combo or you have simply hit a hot-button issue, she might be incapable of taking in what you have to say.
How do I know?
I’ve heard many a daughter, trapped in the role of the Good Daughter on my therapy couch describe this same scenario over and over………… and have lived that one myself.
Unconsciously, we blame ourselves and stay tied to a mother who can’t truly empathize with us falsely thinking if we only get it right then mom will understand and accept us.
If mom can’t empathize with you, you cannot experience the understanding you hungry for.
So, one more explanation that falls on deaf ears is one too many.
Let me save you some time, trouble and possible therapy dollars.
As difficult as it is, at some point, you are better off cutting your losses, grieving and moving on.
Calmly, peacefully and thoughtfully, but definitively.
To continue in the exhausting exercise of explaining yourself reaches a point of diminishing returns.
No one can tell you where this point of diminishing return is. You have to sort it through for yourself.
No contact, low contact or reconfigured contact.
But somewhere, sometime, you will need to let go of explaining yourself to get free.
Whether you are giving up being understood on a certain hot-button issue or need more of a relationship overhaul, that is up to you.
Either way, giving up and letting it drop is hard.
Hard and involves some level of loss. You need support while making the shift.
Here’s the good news!
Once you make the shift…… you can stop being resentful of your daughter’s needs and start moving into a positive emotional space with her. Paradoxically, when you let go, then you can fill up.
You can learn to live from a place of confidence and empowerment instead of exhausting yourself trying to make everyone happy.
With help and guidance, you can be the loving presence for your daughter you wished you had gotten from your own mother. There are ways to do this. You can learn this.
You were marked with your mother’s pain. You don’t have to pass that mark on to your daughter.
Is it time to talk?
This article originally appeared on http://daughtersrising.info Katherine’s sister site.