I've came back from my long holiday with DB, and it was awesome on so many levels.
One of the levels was, that I've realized, again, that I am capable of living on my own, without NM constantly sniffing my behind, begging and growling for breadcrumbs of attention, like a stray dog. Actually, life is much more enjoyable this way.
As soon as we got back, she tries to put on the same record again. What amazes me is how deeply she is unable to understand, imagine or even hear anything that is outside her mind.
I've become tired of explaining why I don't want to visit them and chit-chat, when I get home from work around 11PM. I simply don't explain and don't go. She invites, or tries to force, or anything related, I ignore.
We have been talking about economy and politics with EF, obviously NM had to bark in with all her negativity. EF escaped as usual and left me there with NM who constantly kept on whining about how the world will continuously get worse, including all the people, and showered us with conspiracy theories and negativity. Instead of trying to reflect on what she said, I asked her suggestions on changing the world's course. It soon turned out that she had absolutely no clue about what she was talking about. Since she did not expect this turn of events (being questioned instead of getting her usual dose of narcissistic supply), she unconsciously started exposing her uncertainty, how she is constantly in a state of 'learnt helplessness' and how alone and bitter she feels in the world, and her life
And I've just realized how much NM wanted to make me like her... I
have been living in learned helplessness for so long, it still seems
weird when I do something on my own, for myself.
I've bought some books for myself. In my FOO, buying something for yourself, for your own happiness, without asking for anyone's permission for it, without explaining it in detail why you would otherwise die/starve/freeze to death was a sin that was comparable to killing your own family members. It was a scary experience to buy something for myself. But also, a wonderful one.
It is so much easier to see the patterns, when I don't feel emotionally enmeshed with her.
Also, life seems more peaceful.
Keeping the Gestalt prayer in mind helps me.
"I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I,
and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.
If not, it can't be helped."
(Fritz Perls, "Gestalt Therapy Verbatim", 1969)