When recovering from something – anything, really.. At some point, enough has to be enough, don’t you think? I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. Not so much in respect of my narcissistic mother, but in respect of my chemo treatment.
Today, it’s been three weeks since I had my last chemo. Today is the day where I celebrate I’m not having another one.
I decided a long time ago that once I’d had my last chemo, I would leave it behind as soon as possible. Of course, I had to go through all the effects of chemo, and I allowed myself three weeks as the treatment cycle has been. Thus celebrating that I’m not having another one today, three weeks later.
Before I started chemo, I was very clear that this will not be the worst I’ve done. I’ve been through way worse – and I stand by that statement.
But never before have I had such a strange, unnatural, poisonous physical experience. I have never been in such a bad shape, physically, as I’ve been during this treatment. And yet, I think I’m one of those who managed to slip through it fairly easy, compared to how chemo therapy is portrayed in media.
I noticed between treatments that I tended to forget, or rather surpress, the memories of what my last treatment was like. I’ve spoken to friends who have done this, and they had the same experience. I think that’s necessary, if you want to go through it keeping some sort of sanity. And I can relate, when it comes to growing up with my narc mother. I have very few clear memories of my time with her. I had to dissociate at some level, to survive.
The difference between growing up with a narc mother and having gone through chemo therapy is that the latter is much easier to leave behind. The suffering was real for sure, but once it stops, it’s gone.
One thing (among many others) I’ve realized during this experience is the importance of finding the moment when enough is enough.
My chemo therapy – well, for me, it’s no big deal leaving it behind. Aside from the fact I had to go through it as a precaution, health care system considers me cancer free. Surgeons gave me very positive news (tumour’s gone, nothing left), so I never felt that I had to worry about anything. Had I recieved bad news with a worse diagnoses, perhaps they wouldn’t have been able to remove the entire tumour – well, then I probably would’ve felt differently. Perhaps the journey would’ve been longer and more difficult to handle.
But as it is, I am almost done (radiation starts on Monday). And I have no problem whatsoever leaving this behind. I spoke to a friend the other day for several hours, and never did the topic come up. Of course, for me, my journey of recovery from the chemo starts now – and I have no idea of what to expect in terms of how long that’ll take. I’ve heard everything between couple of months to up to a year. We’ll see how long it takes for me.
But still – the chemo therapy, the worst part – it is behind me. And I really learned that lesson. I really did learn to leave the past where it belongs – behind my back.
When it comes to a narcissistic mother, however, it is different. I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again – I consider myself lucky that my narc mother is dead and gone since many, many years. It’s taken me years and years to find my way to recovering and healing – even to understanding that I had to change if I wanted to feel better, but had she been alive – oh, bloody hell, things would have been sooooo much more difficult.
But enough is enough.
Perhaps it is the fact that while I follow numerous Youtube channels dealing with narcissism, I no longer watch any videos that come up. I don’t, because I no longer want to remind myself that I am a daughter of a covert narcissist. I know that already, and for large parts – I am through it. I have come out on the other side, and at this point there are other things in life that are more attractive to me. Like – not constantly reminding myself that I am wounded, that I need healing, that I had a shitty mom.
I don’t need that anymore.
Enough is enough.
It’s like closing the door to the past, really. My background has turned into a thick, white fog. Chemo has divided my life into now and then. Of course, some parts of my then, I like to keep. My dad, my dog and my cats who were left behind (they’re dead), for example. I’ll always carry them with me.
But for the most part, I think that enough is enough stands for – well, obviously, enough is enough. But also for allowing myself to be who I am now, not who I was. To not be burdened by my personal history like I’ve been before. To embrace the present and see life spread out before me, instead of being pulled back by my past.
This is also the reason why I’m not going to buy any books about narcissism, or by people who have been through narcissistic abuse and lived to tell the tale. I am absolutely certain that there are amazing books out there. I just no longer want to take part in it. I want to release not only my past, but also myself. Perhaps mainly myself, now that I think about it.
Now, everything has it’s time and place. It’s taken me many, many years to get to where I’m at right now. Having grown up with a narcissistic mother (or other parent/important adult) is no easy task – I think we all know this.
Like I said above – I consider myself lucky that my mom is dead. Thinking about all of you who still have your mothers present, or at least alive, makes me cringe in regret and sadness for you. But we’re all different, and perhaps you’ve reached this point earlier than I did. Sometimes I feel like I’m a bit slow, being as old as I am, and my mom having been gone for so long. I don’t really have an excuse for that. Perhaps I’m just lazy.
But right now, I’m pretty darn proud of myself, that’s for sure. ♥