My mom is a narcissist, a pathological liar and a manipulator. She twists and turns stories to be a victim and plays sweet little old lady. I’m always the troubled “teenager” even though I’m nearly 40. She never tells people that I cut contact because she’s a sick woman. She just sighs and cries about how horrible I am. She’s nearly 70, so other older ladies buy it.
One of the people she has manipulated is a neighbor of mine. This lady lives across the street from me with her adult son and adult daughter, and she is the neighborhood busy body. She’s nice enough, but she is in everyone’s business–including mine. I’ve owned my home for almost 17 years, and she used to come over and chat with me. Sometimes she’d encounter my mom here, and my mom would play sweet and nice, so she came to like my mom. After I cut contact four glorious years ago, the neighbor used to come over and ask how my mom was doing. I’d tersely remind her that I have nothing to do with the woman because she’s not as nice as she seems. Finally, the neighbor stopped trying to be neighborly with me.
A couple years ago, I had a scare with an irregular heartbeat, and I called 911. I went to the hospital in an ambulance and was admitted. I didn’t tell anyone in my “family.” However, the police called for me at the hospital and asked if they had my permission to tell my mother what was going on because she was calling and asking for information. I had one of those moments where you feel like your heart stopped. I felt like I was unsafe. How in the world did my mother know I was in the hospital? Why did the police violate my privacy and acknowledge to her that I was? Why were they asking me if they could give her more details? How much did she know? Was she going to show up in my room bullying and harassing me? I didn’t feel safe. I felt sick. I felt numb. I was not even safe if I went to the hospital for my health.
I hung up the phone and still felt numb and dazed. I talked to the nurse and explained my problem–that my mother was a personality disordered chronic abuser and I felt violated that she knew anything about my personal business and my health problems. I felt terrified that she would come and make a scene. I was also very confused about how she knew I was there. Was she stalking me? Was she driving by my house? All these questions started going through my mind, and I called the police station to try to get answers. How was it that my mom happened to contact them? Who told her? Had they violated my medical privacy to contact her? If so, how and why? If she contacted them, how in the world did she know to? Finally, we pieced together a story. My mom had told the police that my neighbor told her I went to the hospital, so she called them for more information. When I got home, the neighbor confirmed that my mother had given her her phone number so she could call my mom with any information.
I had such a sinking feeling. I had to go home knowing that my every move was being watched by the neighbor who thought my mother was wonderful and was reporting on me. How long had this been going on? If I went on a date, did my mom know? If I took my kids to the park, did she know? If we played in the yard, was she watching? Could I feel safe in my own home? Or did I have to feel like every move was being recorded? It’s not like I can just sell my house and go away very easily.
The neighbor’s adult son has also known me as long as I’ve lived here. He has always stopped by from time to time, and now he’s the only one who does. He’s always friendly and has been friendlier lately. The last couple times he’s stopped by, he has side, “I don’t care what they say about you, I have always liked you.” I know he doesn’t mean to upset me, but the fact that “they” say anything about me bothers me. It lets me know that my mom has smeared me to my neighbors, and possibly to other people who live near me and now have a warped view of who I am. It lets me know that when I leave my house, the woman across the street is paying attention, judging me, holding a false impression of me, and quite likely, telling my abusive, violating mother my personal business that is not HER business in any way.
Tonight, the neighbor’s son came over and said something like that again. He said he’d helped me out by mowing my yard, but he asked me not to tell anyone. He didn’t outright say it, but I understood that his mother didn’t approve of his being nice to me. And I know it’s because my mother has smeared me so badly under the guise of being concerned about her “wayward” daughter. I try to remind myself that an old neighbor woman believing lies from a narcissist is the least of my problems, but it still leaves me feeling unsafe and violated.
So yes, I have a crazy woman stalking me. It’s the very woman who should have made me feel safe and loved from the time I was a child. Instead, she is obsessed with destroying my reputation and violating my boundaries until I don’t feel safe in my own home.