I’m the daughter of a narcissist.
Well, quite possibly I’m the daughter of two narcissists, but right now I’m thinking of my mother.
My mother couldn’t love me. She said she did, but it wasn’t true. I’m not sure if she was intentionally lying or if she thought what she gave me was really love. I guess it doesn’t matter that much which is true; the result is the same. She doesn’t love me.
I tried to make her love me. God, I tried so hard. I thought if I could just be better/smarter/happier/whatever-er, then she’d finally be able to love me. It never worked, of course. I was never enough. So I learned to believe I was unlovable. Deep down, I still believe that most of the time.
I was lucky, I guess. I found some surrogate mothers who gave me some of what I was missing from my own mother. In middle school, my English teacher, who pushed me to get into my fine arts high school. In high school, my Latin teacher, who listened to my problems for hours and was always, always kind. In college, a family I met through a church group. At Riggs, my third nursing care coordinator.
But they were never enough. My mother tore a huge hole in me, and no one, no matter how nurturing and kind, could ever fill it. I needed, or perhaps just wanted, too much. Even now, I’m 26, and I want a mom so much it hurts. We’re coming up on the big family holidays. I tell myself and everyone else that I don’t mind being alone, but I’m a liar.
I want a do-over. I want to be a child again, but this time I want a family capable of real love, willing to nurture and care about me.
It’s not fair.