Your Day

It’s graduation time!  Congratulations to all the graduates!  Graduation is one of those rites of passage.  It means you accomplished your goal…and it can be for anything…swim classes, language classes, high school, college, wedding, etc.  It is a wonderful time!

Going through this rite of passage is hard with an N in your life.   Your Day becomes eaten up by the N and they can somehow suck the joy you feel with a few strategically placed words at the right time.

A post came through on Facebook about graduation a few days ago that reminded me of their subtle evilness:

I just graduated with my BSN (bachelor) and I’m going to start my MS (master) in the fall!

Comments from friends:

‘Congratulations!’

‘Way to go’

‘Congrats!’

‘That’s terrific’

‘Congrats!’

‘strong work…make sure you take a break’

‘I am happy for you’

‘Congratulations!’

‘Woooohoooo!’

I’ll let you guess which comment came from the N friend.  It is uncanny how they can some how take a joyful, happy moment and turn it into something else.  The days you are supposed to be just happy…the moments when you are in the moment…you don’t think about anything else like the future…you are just happy you accomplished it.  The next steps and all that is for tomorrow are not on your mind…today is your day.

I share with you my graduation day with my narcissistic mother.

I remembered the days leading up to my high school graduation ceremony.  My mom took me shopping and picked out the dress for me.  It wasn’t what I liked but remember thinking…at least I got a new dress.  On the morning of the ceremony I was getting ready and putting on my dress and my mom came into my room.  She was upset.

I don’t actually remember the details of what she was upset about but I remember her leaving my room and going downstairs.  I believe she was upset that I wasn’t wearing pantyhose with the dress (I have eczema on my legs and I think she wanted me to cover it up on a hot day!). I  ran downstairs to talk to her and she is standing at the bottom of the stairs.  She starts yelling and then I start yelling.  And at a certain moment my mom goes into another room.  All I remember is sitting at the bottom of the steps crying in my new dress.  I sat there crying and upset and feeling awful.  I had done something wrong.  My dad begged me not to make her more upset.  He was pleading with me to not provoke her on a day like this.  I just continued to cry.

All of a sudden my mom comes into the room and says we need to leave now.  We drove to the ceremony in silence and I was no longer looking forward to this event.  I was upset and angry.  The ceremony went smoothly and I spoke with my friends, took pictures (not really smiling), etc.  All the time feeling awful about the fight with my mom and what I had done to upset her so badly.  It was a horrible day that sticks out in my memory.

When it came time to my university graduation I didn’t bother to go or have my parents come to the university.  It was like any other day.  I was somehow ensuring that the same thing wouldn’t happen by not doing anything enjoyable to celebrate this happy moment in my life.  In the end I was preventing a repeat performance by punishing myself.

I looked up the root ‘grad’ today and found out it means progress as well as grade.  It sounded nice…progress…I think whatever next graduation I attend…a friend’s, my own children’s…I hope to have made progress…I hope to have graduated from my NM.  To all those future graduates of NMs…stay strong, we can do this together.

x

T Reddy

The Pool of Love

Summer is here!  The string of photos from my friends with children have been of them playing in the pool.  It is officially summertime…acknowledged on my Facebook newsfeed with a stream of blue that comes through as I scroll down.

It brought back a memory I had when I was 9 years old.  We had recently moved from the city of Chicago out to a nearby suburb.  I didn’t really know any other kids as school hadn’t started and there were not a lot of kids on my block.  My Dad had signed us up at the local community pool and he had been the one taking me there since summer started.  One Saturday my Dad had to work.  It was one of those lazy hot days and I wanted to go to the pool.  My Dad wasn’t available so my only option was to ask my Mom.

I spent most of the morning begging her to take me.  She kept refusing giving no particular reason.  I couldn’t understand why…when we were just sitting at home.  I wanted to go so badly.  She finally gave in, I think, to shut me up.

I got to the pool and as a minor my Mom had to go into the pool area with me.  She sat on the bench next to the pool while I swam and played.  I remember feeling guilty for begging her and I kept looking back at her on the bench.  She wasn’t watching me.  Every time I looked back at the bench she was looking in another direction away from me.  Her face clearly showing she didn’t want to be here.  I asked her to come in with me but she just turned and grunted ‘No’.

The only time she turned to look at me is when I told her I wanted to go home.  That was the first, only and last time my Mom ever took me to the pool.

It is sad to think about this memory but I am mostly sad because I never realized how loving my Dad was.  He took me to the pool and got into the pool with me to play.  He took me places when my Mom didn’t.  We were both abused by her and until recently I hadn’t realized that.  He was trying to survive too.