I had the best Mother’s Day ever!!! I spent it “mothering.” And I loved every minute of it!! Even though this was supposed to be my third Mother’s Day, in reality, this was my very first one.

My first Mother’s Day, we were abroad and my husband didn’t even bother to wish me a happy day. Instead, he was more concerned about getting an Internet connection and FaceTime to work so he could call his mother. By the way, his cell phone worked in that country. He could have easily called his mother and get over with it. But instead, he kept on bugging me for most of the day to help him fixed his iPad.

I remember being so mad and feeling so hurt that he didn’t even bother to say ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ to me (let’s not even mention that he did nothing at all for me that day) and that he made such drama because his iPad would not work. That’s how I will always remember my first Mother’s Day. I guess you are never as important to a narc as his own mother. At least that’s how it has always been with my husband. If it came down to choosing between something his mother wanted or something I wanted or needed, I had no chance. It was always his mother first. Unfortunately, I didn’t see this until after we got married.

The second year, he got me a card that was extremely generic, as well as a trimming knife. He casually said “oh, happy Mother’s Day, by the way” around 7:00 PM and handed me a previously used gift bag that he got from my very own stash of used gift bags and wrapping paper. Yes, you guessed it: He uses the knife more than I do.

But now that I know the timeline for the divorce preparation and filing, it makes sense to some degree that he put little to no effort last year. Either way, divorce in the makings or not, he was never really good at giving gifts at all. Why would Mother’s Day be any different?

The other thing about that second Mother’s Day is that I had decided to do something special with my daughter, instead of making it a day about me. I mean, I wanted to do that to celebrate Mother’s Day. Since I work full-time, being able to spend a fun day with my daughter is like a celebration in and out of itself to me since we do nothing ever as a family: My husband does not want to spend money, not even on many basic needs. Therefore, forget it about getting anything for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, or Mother’s Day. The few times he gave me something was some free stuff he got from the trade shows he would have to attend for his job. Apart from that, when he would give me something at all, it was something that he could use or that I had no use for.

Anyway, Thomas The Tank Engine was coming to a nearby city. My daughter loves Thomas and I love to see my daughter get excited, giddy, and happy. So why not do that? I had invited all grandparents to tag along, too. My mom was delighted to join us. However, his parents didn’t join us since they went to visit their other son and his family who live out of state. Therefore, it was just my mom, him, our daughter, and me.

Without his own family there and stuck with me and my mom, he made no effort to hide how bored he was. I would see other parents and, yes, there were the few who seemed tired and would have preferred to be somewhere else. But most parents were as excited as their children and they were taking part of the activities, enjoying even the smallest of things, as if they were children once again. Why couldn’t my husband be like that, for once, for his own daughter? I guess it’s just not in some people, especially when those are narcissistic people.

While my mom and I enjoyed seeing my daughter having a wonderful time and so happy just being a kid, he was clearly not enjoying the outing and making it difficult for the rest of us whenever he could. Of course, he didn’t spend one dollar on his daughter or me or us that day. My credit card was as busy as my daughter was running after Thomas, the other children, chasing bubbles, trying to get to the carousel, and playing with her newly acquired Thomas blanket. Needless to say, I didn’t mind doing all of that for my daughter and taking care of my mom’s needs and wants, as well. After all, she’s my mother and I was celebrating her, too. My point is that it was Mother’s Day and he could have picked up at least part of the tab.

Of course, I will always cherished the best moments of that day. However, as good as that day was, it could have been better, even great, if my husband wouldn’t have made a point of showing how bored he was. Maybe one day I’ll be able to filter our the damp memories of that day and just focus on the great parts of it. But I don’t know. To some degree, I do not want to idealize the past, either, by purposely forgetting what he has done. I need to remember so I don’t make the same mistakes in the future. No other reason. I do not hold a grudge. But I want to remember so I can learn.

Narcissist cannot tolerate when they can’t be the center of attention and they feel they’re competing with another person. They may try to ruin your plans, sabotage them, or even steal the attention by means of creating drama where there was none.

This year, he “gave me permission” to go out with my mom and my daughter without him. Yes, you read that right. That Thursday before Mother’s Day, he said to me that if I wanted to spend the whole day with my mom and our daughter, to just let him know. In the past, he never really let me spend time with them without him or just me with our daughter. And knowing him, I have a feeling he’ll pull something pretty soon, to create drama and manipulate me, saying as he has done in the past “But you had her all day on Mother’s Day! Now it’s my turn!” And of course, I have no problems if he wants to spend Father’s Day with her without me. That’s fine by me. But our daughter’s birthday is coming up and I’m already scared that he will want to spend the whole day with her and give me no chance of spending some hour with her. I pray that that doesn’t happen. We’ll see.

For this past Mother’s Day, we once again went to see Thomas. What a difference!!! We had such a blast!!! And we didn’t even remember my husband at all! Not once! And nobody was there to keep tabs on how many times we had ridden the carousel or paid for food! The kiddo behaved very well. She did get upset and frustrated when having to wait at the carousel line. But that’s normal with a 2-year old who doesn’t understand the concept of time and waiting, yet. Nonetheless, she behaved very well and she enjoyed everything we tried.

My mom was also enjoying herself. Unfortunately, I became aware of how much older she has gotten in just one year. Her walk is an exhausted one. Her balance is not as good as it used to be. Her spirit was better than other days, but it wasn’t quite there. This whole divorce business has affected her tremendously. I sometimes feel guilty. I know it’s not my fault. I didn’t ask for the divorce and I certainly didn’t want her to suffer. I try to protect her as much as I can. But my husband has dragged her into the divorce battle by accusing her of things she has not done. (My mom watches our daughter while we’re both at work.)

He has also manipulated and lied to her during the years of my marriage. That makes me very angry. It was enough for him to lie to me and manipulate me and do all of the things he did to me. But doing some of that to my mother, as well? I guess he had to keep the act together. That might have been his justification. However, I am angry because I can see how much my mother’s health has been affected. I didn’t bring her to this country to live out her last years like this. I wanted her to have a peaceful, comfortable life. And by getting married to my narc of a husband, I have jeopardized my original plan.

I already put some changes in place to protect her as much as I can. Some of the changes I made are changing her cell phone number, changing her home phone number, I try to take care of even more chores at her place than what I was already, I was able to get my boss to approve my working from home one day and I do so from her place so she gets some rest from watching my Energizer Bunny of a daughter I have. But being my mother the way many moms are, she tries to hide many of things from me so I don’t worry about her with everything that I have already going on for me. I guess I will eventually do the same with my own daughter. I guess we all moms do this in order to protect those we love the most. I just hope that sooner than later, I can get our lives back on track and I can start helping her more and celebrating her more, not just on Mother’s Day or special occasions. Now that I’m a mom myself, I have realized even more how fast life goes by. I want my mom to be here for…ever. But we will all become dust eventually. Therefore, the more I can enjoy our lives here on Earth, the more grateful I am.

These days I have to be grateful for any little thing that brightens my days. It is also another one of my Tools for Healing. I keep a Gratitude Log and I write something in it every day, no matter how small. When you’re going through hardship, something as simple as a gratitude log can help you to get going. The last few days, I have been very grateful for having been able to spend a great Sunday out with my mom and my daughter. I pray that God grants me with more days like this past Mother’s Day in the future and with the strength to handle my current load, something that many days I doubt I can do. But it’s those days like Mother’s Day that get me going. I cling with all my claws to the good memories I am trying to build with my mom and my daughter.