Like her and . . . Not

I stood in the line at the grocery store, ordering my groceries so they got bagged in a simpler order. I walked through the parking lot, looking at the at the hefty receipt. I was muttering “I’m so glad I came for only a few things.” I came home, put my groceries away into various jars and bins. Flipped a load of laundry. Found myself thinking I needed to sit down with a cup of coffee. If you knew my mother, I just described her. Perfectly.

I finished my grocery shopping early because for the first time in my dating career, I was stood up. My friends were all one would want in this situation. They agreed that he was lame, a jerk. Mostly I just wanted to know if I got some sort of badge or trophy.

In truth, it might have been a missed communication, he might have been abducted by aliens or maybe he just stood me up. I don’t know. I choose not to take it personally.

My mother spent most of her life a classical narcissist. Fundamentally, everything was about her. With a narcissist, when someone wrongs them, it is personal. Wrongs turn into vendettas, grudges and grievances.

I worry about becoming my mother. I worry about causing the damage she did. I worry that leadership will become control. Don’t tell me I won’t, NPD is a mix of genetics and upbringing. I have told you I am her daughter. I had a traumatic childhood.

So, I try not to make things about me.┬áThis was Brene Brown’s gift to me. The idea that on the whole of it, most people are doing the best they can. I choose to believe that, not because I’m a pollyanna who doesn’t want to see bad, but because believing this changes me. I get the power to let go, to not hate, to not be angry, to not resent.

I thought about all of this, sitting on my front porch, drinking my coffee. About the good and the bad. The ways I miss my mum and the ways I try to live differently.

She died three years ago today. I miss her. And I don’t. I am my mother. And I’m not.

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