"Knowing what I know now, about God and His Sovereignty...
Somewhere there is a heart willing to listen to this story about this little girl, orange carpet, hollyhocks, a small town ...and violence. Somewhere there is surely someone who will read Your story and see the Grace and Mercy in your life...and God will use you to touch that person, for His Glory.

Your story touches my heart, Pat "

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Another Dutiful Call

  What not to expect when you call a narcissist.
Don't expect that they will be glad to hear from you, even if it has been nearly a year since you last spoke.
Don't expect they will ask you how you are or if they should, that they would genuinely care.
Don't expect just because they have only two grandchildren that they would be interested that one is getting married.
Don't expect them to be well or happy or sane.

Not all phone calls to someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are like this. It is just so for me, my narcissist isn't exactly text book. She doesn't fool others well. Narcissists are usually smart, clever even, but a healthy dose of hypochondria and a heavy inclination toward lying easily and quickly give my narcissist away. She fools no one, perplexes many, but fools no one.
Still it was Christmas and I felt I should call, not being able to bring myself to it on the actual holiday, I mustered the will the day after. The deep pit of my stomach lead the way and it takes but a moment to wish I hadn't called.
Sometimes hope sneaks in and you think it may be a good day, maybe a civil day- not today.
If you only call once or twice a year it is easier to stay with the pleasantries, the weather, the dog, just chit chat.
Just have no expectations......at least high ones.
I gave up those years ago, I even gave up hope. I set boundaries to keep the damage to a minimum, the damage a phone call could do to me. Hatred and anger cannot be allowed to spew freely. 
Still somehow, silly me, I thought a recently received Christmas letter written from her only child as a new empty nester  and the engagement announcement of her only granddaughter MIGHT spark a question or two.
Just health issues...hers, real or imagined
talks of committing her husband

It is ok, I once again was reminded to lay down expectations from those who cannot fulfill them, to mourn for those who cannot or will not see any blessing or good in their life, and to chalk it up as another dutiful phone call.
We had a merry Christmas as a family.
  My husband and I now have the house to ourselves...a soon to be new son in law, new worries over the choices our children make and will make....life changes everyday, and it is not done yet.
I choose to look at blessings and I wish my mother could see them, even one.
I choose to live life and to love it, sometimes I guess I need a phone call to remember that.


BumbleBeeLane said...

Hard to imagine a person like that unfortunately we have one who visits periodicly and insist on being part of family gatherings.I so know how hard it is to walk on those eggshells of what not to say.Yes count your blessings.This to shall pass.~Amy

The Path Traveled said...

Welcome back, Shannon! I have missed seeing you on the blog. We all fall in those same shoes at different times of our life's.

meme said...

How very sad she doesn't see all the precious blessings she is missing.

jana said...

The only control we have in life, is that over our feelings and our reactions. Remember you are loved by many, and you will always be a bright spot in the memories of my heart. Keep your spirit high, as she does love you, just cannot find the right way to show you. You were the center of her life for so long.....I know, as I witnessed it. Love you Shannon!!

nannykim said...

Hey, Shannon, I have known people like that--it is a sad life, but the ones I have known had terrible childhoods or something traumatic in their past life (that other family members didn't know about).

This comment format that allows the reply to each comment has caused some people not to be able to comment. Goggle is working on it. It works fine for google chrome users but has given problems for some on IE and some on foxfire.

Ava said...

Shannon, I read this when you first posted. I found it so touching but couldn't find the words I wanted to reply. Sending you love xx

Karen said...

Shannon, I could have written this post about someone near to my husband. The self-centered behavior is childish and annoying. When I first went to adult children of alcoholics meetings they told me there that I wouldn't go to the hardware store seeking a loaf of bread, so I was to try to think of going to my father for love and acceptance the same way. I wasn't going to find it there with him, because he didn't have it to give.

I admire you for calling, though, and glad you didn't ruin the holiday itself. You are a wonderfully strong woman.

Herb Sissom said...

In thinking physiologically, we all are Narcissists to some degree. We have to be. Each of us can only see the world through our own eyes, think with our own brain, therefore, each of us are at the center of the universe from our own perspective. Most of us are able to empathize with others, and understand the worth of individuals other than ourselves. Not being able to do that is what makes a true narcissist. I can sort of understand it, I think. When I was married to this woman, she needed a lot of care, but her lying and promiscuity were the things that did us in. I wish I had tried harder to have you stay with me, but your Grandparents begged for you to come, and agreed to watch out for you. Sounds like that didn't happen.