I was 12 years old sitting in another group home.
My mother had discarded me.
But this time, infuriatingly for her, I ended up in a group home which introduced me to an entirely new perception of the world.
For the first time, I was able to experience the beauty I had always believed in.
The beauty I escaped to as a way of coping with the horrible reality of being discarded by my mother over and again.
Because you see, stealing my soul was my mother’s greatest victory. But what she couldn’t have foreseen was it being the greatest gift she could have given me.
This group home was like what I imagined only the rich and untouchable could live in.
The floors were hardwood and the living room boasted a beautiful, grand stone fireplace. You know, the kind that takes your breath away?
In the front room, sunlight danced from the wall of windows at each end. Flowers bloomed all year long. The room was further embellished with white deep seated chairs you could sink into and look out and extend your dream of dancing in this castle.
In the eat-in kitchen, there was a brick wall with a wall oven! And a banquet! I had never sat at a banquet before. There was milk in the fridge and if a box of cereal ran out, you simply went to the food pantry and got another box. I had never met anyone who had a food pantry before.
My bedroom had white furniture, including two beds, dressers and even a desk. And guess what? It had comforters and even those matched!
I was living a dream and I was in awe of all the possibilities that came with it.
Without realizing it, my mother manifested for me what she always accused me of. Thinking I was better than her.
She would snarl at me and say.
“You always thought you were better than us.”
“You’re imagining things.”
She made sure I was broken so deeply I could never breathe freely again.
You can imagine how infuriated she was when she sent me to a life of darkness and rejection, but I ended up being greeted with open arms and encouraged to live the fairytale my heart knew so well.
The fantasy world I had spent my life running too when my toxic world became too much was now my reality.
With both feet planted on the ground, I had to now try to feel worthy of this world and learn to trust that I could be safe. I had to overcome believing I was crazy, that everything my gut told me was in fact true and not my imagination.
But my mother wouldn’t let me slip away so easily.
When she felt I was distancing myself she began to send out her calling and made sure she was heard through my siblings.
“You always thought you were better than us.”
My mother knew these words were like an irie ballad swaying in the dark, subliminally luring its young back to the nest where she could continue to brainwash me into thinking that maybe one day, when I’d been good enough, she would allow me to feel her love.
She won that battle. I left the fantasy castle which temporarily saved me and returned to the confinement of her gaslighting.
But what she didn’t win was the war of the perception I had been introduced to...
NOTHING IS PROBABLE UNTIL IT’S PART OF YOUR PERCEPTION
During my time in that group home, I was introduced to the greater probability of what my world could be like.
A world of beauty that didn’t just exist in my mind.
It was filled with possibilities waiting for me to uncover.
All I needed to do was look for the beauty and I would find it.
And now that it was part of my perception, I was granted the ability to create it.
It took years after this group home experience and leaving my mother’s grip, but I finally felt alive and joyful - experiences which had been so foreign for me.
For the first time in my life, I had a real family. I was married with two children. My husband and I owned a construction company and we were living the dream.
I began to dream with my eyes wide open.
I became curious and excited with each new possibility. I loved adventures more than ever before. I had so much to live for and so much love in my life. This was a completely new adventure of self-awareness and growth for me.
I was finding myself, learning to enjoy my own company and beginning to see my own beauty. Until…
SHE NOT ONLY STOLE MY SOUL...SHE OWNED IT!
Fast forward many years, and after months of being bedridden from a back injury, that I found myself stripped from all emotional strength and losing grip with the world once again.
There came Pandora’s box, aka: my childhood wounds, never missing a chance to come lurking when I had no fight left in me.
In my most vulnerable moments, I could always count on her to remind me that my heart was broken. This time, I was given no choice.
She blew me wide open and propelled me into the underground world of rage and grief. No matter how much healing I experienced, I had always secretly struggled with feeling safe in the world but never knew why.
Until someone asked me to describe a narcissist. I said, “they steal your soul!”
In that moment, as the words came out of my mouth, the world slowed to a crawl. Realizing that my mother stole my soul was so profound for me.
But it wasn’t until I lost my 20-year-old son to a car accident that I realized the deep impact this narcissist had on my life. After years of grieving, I could finally accept the possibility of finding moments of softness with the loss of my son.
But the one thing I couldn’t find peace with was the thought of my mother. She had such a deep hold on me that she even had the power to taint my grief.
The more I thought of my mother, the more furious I became. In moments of rage, she literally repulsed me. I would scream in my mind.
“How is it possible to lose my son, and still be consumed by her?!”
“How can she have a greater hold on me than the grief I feel for my son?!”
And there it was...the answer I had longed for, for so very long. She not only stole my soul, she owned my soul and me as well.
In that moment I felt a sense of peace come over me.
It was as if simply recognizing the answer granted me the possibly to feel safe in the world. My rage began to soften, and I could think more rationally once again.
Curiously, I Google ‘daughters with narcissistic mothers.’
What I found blew my mind away! The more I read, the more I was floored. I was reading my life story, word for word.
But with each word I read, the more self-empowered I felt.
I wasn’t crazy like she told me.
I realized I wasn’t making it up like she said.
I realized that I wasn’t worthless like she had me believe.
But what I also discovered stopped my rage flat and shocked me into a reality I couldn’t have expected.
NARCISSISM IS A MENTAL ILLNESS.
This completely made sense. I thought…”OMG! She’s the one who’s crazy! Not me!”
Again, floored by my findings, I heard Nancy Duarte share her relationship with her narcissist mother in the ‘Illuminate’ talk she and Patti Sanchez presented in Talks at Google.
Nancy said “A narcissist doesn’t have the empathy gene. It’s actually a mental illness where the empathy gene is just vacant…”
This provided me with an entirely deeper level of understanding of my mother. It completely made sense why she was so selfish and why, no matter how much I fought her battles and protected her, it was never enough to prove how much I loved her.
My mother was unable to feel how anyone else felt.
And it certainly explained why the only thing she loved more than herself was guaranteeing her rein by creating rejection and terror within her family.
This had me thinking...my mother never missed an opportunity to benefit from appearing like a victim and yet she never spoke of her childhood trauma.
I wondered if she had desensitized herself from feeling pain and locked it away along with her empathy?
This is when I heard my inner voice saying.
“She did the best she could with the tools she was equipped with as you did the best you could with the tools you were equipped with.”
This didn’t excuse the emotional trauma she had caused me. But it was time to choose, not to be at the receiving end of her narcist attacks. And it was finally time to find empathy for HER.
In finding empathy for her, I was able to find empathy for myself and loosen the grip she had on my soul.
Through feeling my childhood sadness, I finally understood that no matter what I would have done, I could have never felt her love. She was simply incapable of loving anyone, including herself.
I was her emotional prisoner, shackled with her verbal attacks.
The narcissist will make sure you never rise from your knees. They are this powerful when they steal your soul. Because you’re under constant attack, you learn real quick to not feel safe in the world. And you learn to NEVER trust.
When you learn not to trust, you put boundaries in place when it comes to new relationships. But when it comes to existing relationships you wear blinders. It’s like an unspoken mutual agreement that you will continue letting your heart bleed, so predators can continue to reign over you.
But this (old habit) I learned came from childhood conditioning which derived from a long blood line and ancestral lineage.
Someone once told me,
“I will never understand the word family! Why are blood relatives granted permission to treat us like we are worthless and why do we continue to go back for more?”
Today, I honestly feel that the only time ‘blood’ is even talked about is when we are born in a toxic family. Even a dysfunctional family won’t hold you hostage because you’re a blood relative.
Only the toxic families with a leading matriarch will permit themselves to remind you that you owe them with your blood. So, no, ‘blood relatives’ should hold no value on the colour of blood you bleed.
EVERYTHING I TOUCH TURNS INTO GOLD
Thanks to my mother, I have become more than I could have imagined.
She continuously pushed me to be everything I didn’t want to become. And yes, she succeeded beautifully. But thanks to her, I also see my beauty.
And the more I see my beauty, the more I love what I see.
She taught me to be relentless in everything I do. Be curious, never settle for mediocrity. Always leave my dreams open-ended because I haven’t grown into all I can be just yet.
Thanks to her, my dreams saved me because my dreams allowed me to see that everything, I touch turns into gold.
When asked “who or what was your greatest catalyst in your life?”, people assume it’s the death of my son. But he was not!
My mother was my greatest catalyst in propelling me forward to become everything I never wanted to be. Because of my mother, I did everything in my power to continue getting up when I was down, to keep pushing through because I wasn’t gonna let her win! If you were to ask me what my greatest take away was with my mother, I’d say:
“Use your greatest pain to propel you forward!”
Be everything against the grain of your greatest catalyst. Allow this narcissist to fuel your drive until you see the reflection of your beauty and you find yourself humbled by the reflection of your own greatness.
The gift my son gave me was opening my heart to feeling love like I could have never dreamt possible. But that’s a journey for another day...
Imagine choosing differently.
Imagine a world filled with beauty.
Imagine that you have a choice…You get to choose again.
You can allow the toxicity of your life to be who you are, or you can choose over and again to create beauty in your life.
The Universe is filled with beauty just waiting to be discovered and I’ve made it my life’s passion to believe in the beauty of the world and to share this beauty with the world.
Thanks to my mother, I learned to master reading energy. I learned to zero in with laser precision into the heart of the matter and turn temporary relief into lasting results of self-empowerment.
Today, I mentor the greats.
The movers and shakers.
The rockstars of the world.
I teach them to own their own beauty and truly walk into their greatness.
You can walk this same path, by finding the greatest gifts that your catalyst gave to you.