My name is Melissa and I am a scapegoat!
As my sister Aydan shared yesterday, we were raised by a malignant narcissistic mother. Our family was so dysfunctional and so off kilter from what God intended families to be. We existed in a prison where one walked on eggshells for fear of incurring the rage and wrath of Mom. We learned very young that our home revolved around Mom and it was wise to do whatever to avoid the verbal, emotional or physical abuse that just about anything would trigger. The four of us siblings all had well developed self-preservation instincts and would quickly throw the other under the bus to protect ourselves.
Between the throwing under the bus and other self-preservation tactics and Mom’s constantly pitting us against each other Aydan and I were relatives that tried to be civil to each other at holiday or other family gatherings. As married adults we lived on the same street for over ten years and were not close other than proximity. Sadly until just the last year or so we both longed for close sisters yet were still falling prey to the pitting and manipulations of our Mom. Mom does not like our reconciliation and has tried to tell us lies about each other, but with us communicating and having made a pact to not throw each other under the bus anymore she has been rendered ineffective in that area.
As the eldest child I always felt I was the one that was blamed for much of life’s problems and also felt my brother and sister who were 3 and 4 ½ years younger than me paired up to gang up on me. I felt like the third wheel. Mom daily reminded me what a bad child I was, an independent brat, self-centered and a compulsive liar. She also consistently let me know how ugly and socially inept I was compared to her as a child and teen. I grew up feeling not included, bad, ugly, shameful and unacceptable.
The emotional and verbal abuses I have always been fairly aware of but fell into a trap in my thirties and forties of trying to be loved and approved by my mom. There were times if our family had plans to go do something and she wanted us to come over then we did. Shudder …I hate the times I let my kids down to appease her! God intervened by moving me across country from my family in 2008. I was surprised by the bird out of the cage feeling that came. In many ways I was free in ways I had never been before. My memories of the physical abuse returned in June 2012 and began reading and realized Mom had NPD – I mean every symptom on the checklist! The realization of how dysfunctional my family was/is and how many lies I had been told really made me doubt many perceptions of life. I had beaten into me (literally) who I was by Mom so much I believed it. Thankfully with wise advice from my pastor I began studying out who I am in Christ…what the Bible says about me as His daughter! Realizing that I am chosen, holy and beloved –Colossians 3:12, blessed, chosen, adopted, redeemed, forgiven - Ephesians chapter 1.
Aydan and I have been reconciled for just over a year and how that happened is a story for another blog post. Since we have chosen to keep in contact with our Mom with some boundaries we keep in place, the verbal and emotional abuse and manipulation continues. It is such a blessing for us as sisters, to be there for each other to lovingly support, encourage and vent as needed.
May others who read this see hope…beauty for ashes that God can in the midst of the ugliness of life create beautiful things.