As i have previously shared, i am on a journey of healing from narcissistic abuse and trauma stemming from a young age. It took a lot of time, learning, counseling, and mindfulness, and i am not healed yet, but i am much better than i was.
For the last 7 or so months, i have had no contact with my mother. My mother adopted me as a baby, but i never really lived up to the expectations she had of me. Our relationship has always been very hard, and i decided in the spring that it was either lose my ever loving mind or stop speaking to her. So, i stopped speaking. The entire thing blew up in my face, because she triangulated everyone in my family, causing them to believe lies that she had made up so that i would be totally isolated. What was self defense against her, became self defense against my entire family. It is really hard to be faced with a dozen people who all believe the worst of you, without ever asking you what was really going on. But i guess we all have our problems…
i was learning to live without a family, because i had to. But my ex contacted my mother about my move out of state, which led him to tell me about it out of spite. He had implied that she was somehow on his side of the legal battle, so i made the decision to make the phone call to my mother after so many months.
She answered pretty quickly and told me it was nice to hear my voice. The conversation took over an hour and a half. And ultimately she blamed me for the issues i was having with her. She asked me what i needed from her in order to rekindle a relationship. i told her she had to tell me very clearly that she is not the center of the family, and is not entitled to more regard or respect than anyone else. She literally could not get the words out, and with every apology she gave, there was always a “but, you are also guilty of XYZ”. i am a firm believer in the saying “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer”, so i agreed to visit her the next day. Lars and i sort of agreed that it would be better to see her and know what is going on with her, than to let my ex twist things to suit him.
So i went to her house. And i gray rocked the heck out of her.
If you aren’t familiar with the term “gray rock”, the best description is from this site.
Gray Rock is where you become as exciting and interesting as, well, a gray rock. The goal is to blend into the background, and become the most boring, unreactive person they’ve ever met. The reason being is that if you can quit being a source of supply for their drama and attention, they will eventually leave you alone.
i actually learned about this method during the summer, when i was trying to figure out how i could move forward in a relationship with my mother, without getting hurt further. The idea of gray rocking really offended me at the time, and still kind of does, because i am absolutely not a gray rock. i am a sparkling, glittering, wonderful thing, with valid thoughts, emotions, and opinions. But narcissism doesn’t recognize equality just for the simple fact of being human, and therefore, my sparkle can go to hell. But when we visited my mother, i totally gray rocked. i didn’t even realize it until after we were safely home. But i definitely did it.
And honestly, it wasn’t as horrifying as i expected it to be. i didn’t engage at all. i was honestly very boring and robotic. And i didn’t even try to be. i wonder if it is like a background mental form of self defense? And if so, is it possible to get caught in it? my honest fear with the gray rock method is that i will shut myself off emotionally so regularly that i will forget to turn myself back on. That is the problem with narcissistic abuse- it is so cyclical, that once you have caught on, you can predict the next move, brace for it, and move on. It is too easy to brace… and keep holding on.
Part of healing has been submitting, and being 100% open with Lars about everything, even if it seems mundane. i can’t bottle it up with Him like i can with others, and our connection is precious. Sometimes i think “oh this has to be too much drama, i wish i could be simpler”, but then there is so much support from Him. i can not tell you how relieving it is for Him to witness my family’s antics, especially those of my mother, and to hear Him tell me that it is not all in my head. That’s the problem with narcissists- they gaslight you into thinking you’re crazy, and you end up so mixed up that you agree with them.
The thing is, i am not crazy. My memory is just fine, thank you. My experiences are mine. And i am not a damn gray rock. i am more precious than gold.