After being physically, mentally, and emotionally abused by sociopathic parents, I often wondered when the trauma would stop.
Would it get better as they aged?
Or would I be relentlessly tormented until they passed away?
The answer: neither. After their passing, their legacy continued to haunt me.
My father was the violent, malevolent sociopath. Yet, my mother caused by far more pain. You see, my mother was a master of deceit. If you offended her (or worse, threatened to expose her), she would effortlessly spin webs of lies around you. Incite her anger, and suddenly you are Alice in Wonderland – sucked into her rabbit hole where nothing is at it seems, wondering what just happened to you.
Sadly, many people experienced her wrath. I used to get phone calls from some of her targets who feared losing their jobs because of her lies. “What did we do wrong?”, they would ask me.
No one understood that helpless feeling better than those of us at ground zero: her children.
Out of all five of us kids, I was probably tormented the most. This is because my older siblings detached from her early on. As adults, they protected themselves by setting up strict boundaries with her.
I, however, was the “softie.” Sociopaths LOVE compassionate people. They FEED off of them. I didn’t know this then.
Perhaps the biggest wake-up call for me came after mom passed away.
The senior center where mom lived had a luncheon in her “honor.” My siblings, feeling very guarded, declined to attend. Then there was me. The Softie. I will go, I said. I also brought beverages and offered to help serve.
Again, my siblings were rightfully wary. Unbeknownst to me, mom had convinced her “friends” that her kids – especially me – were evil and abusive to her. Her “friends” took turns at the microphone expressing their admiration for her after “all her kids put her through.” The stories that came out of their mouths would’ve made Stephen King proud.
I calmly went to the bathroom, sat in the stall, and silently cried my eyes out. I then composed myself and went to the kitchen to help serve the people who just slandered my siblings and I. At best, I received cold stares. At worst, I received comments like “I hope you’re happy now – your mom is dead.”
Why did I stay? Because if I’d walked out (or given them a piece of my mind), mom would win again. It was almost as if she was still there, taunting me: Do it! Get angry! Show them what a rotten little daughter you are…..
That was easily one of the most painful days of my life. Public humiliation and mom’s evilness aside, I still mourned. I mourned the loss of the lady who gave birth to me. And I mourned the fact that, on that day, I realized that I never really had a mom at all.