A Day in Contrast

What is Mother’s Day when you have a narcissistic, toxic parent?  It is not a pleasant day.  Growing up it was never pleasant.  Presents could be rejected as soon as you present them.  Cards and gifts remain unopened as they were deemed unworthy or not good enough.  It was not a pleasant day.  *Just an FYI, this did not just apply to Mother’s Day but all holidays involving presents.  Years ago I gave up on cards after being told for many years they were unwanted.  Still I bought them as it was the right thing to do.  My final straw was in 2007.  My card was rejected again.  They usually were left unopened on the coffee table with the other cards she opened from her favorite child or grandkids.

At that time I was not working and had little income so I had gone to Barnes and Nobel and picked out the best card I could find.  It cost me $8.00.  My thoughts were, if I cannot buy a big gift, then get the best card money could buy.  I did have money enough for a $25.00 gift certificate at a local salon where she got her brows done.  That gift card to this day has never been used.  $25.00 wasted.  That was the last time I threw money away.

When I became a parent that was never acknowledged. In fact, I was told repeatedly that she was the mother, the head of the family.  So Mother’s Days were her days.  That did not sit well with me at all.  I figured something like that would be happening but the very first mothers day I was expecting something.  After all, my child almost did not make it into this world, coming early at 7 months.  I had to move in with my parents for a little while because my child was so small and needed me to be there all the time. So,  I was not working for a while after she was born.

Nothing.  Not even a verbal recognition.  I realized what was happening so I went to the outside garden and clipped a few flowers and put then in a glass jar in my room.  It was a little gift to me.  My toxic parent did not like that…that I had clipped the flowers for my Mother’s Day.  I was with my parents because my husband and I were separated.  He decided he did not want a family anymore so nothing came from him either.  Regardless I was hoping he would do something.  I did confront him about that…no card. no acknowledgment my very first Mother’s Day. Nothing from anyone. It was a hard day and I tried to keep those feelings inside.  I” vowed that in the future they were be about me even if I had to treat myself to something.  That has worked well.  I have no expectations to be remembered on special days by anyone except my child.

Joy comes in the morning.  Joy in Mother’s Day came when my daughter became old enough to recognize me as her mother.  My joy comes from her.  I have cherished every hand made card, store bought card, gift and adventures we have gone on for Mother’s Day.  We have a wonderful time every year.  Today was no different.  I have been under the weather for the past 4 days..I lost my voice…cough…cold.  So today my plans to go out and do something did not happen.

My daughter made a wonderful, thoughtful video for me today.  It is about 7 minutes long and I had all the tears.  She told me all the things that make me a wonderful mother.  She even had examples from when she was a wee lass.  She makes me so proud and lets me know that I am special in her life and I have made a difference.  She recognizes the sacrifices I have made as her mother.  And those sacrifices have been so worth it!  Happy Mother’s Day to all.  It is very possible to keep the toxic people out of your life on special days.  They are not worthy of your time.  Do not let them steal one more minute of happiness from your soul!

Not all parents are good parents and we cannot pick which type we end up with.  If we have the toxic parent, set boundaries when you are strong enough to do so even if it means totally removing that person from your life.  Life it too short to be dealing with that drama and insanity.  Joy comes in the morning. Do not let anyone steal yours.

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