This morning, father is silent. He fusses in the kitchen and doesn't respond to questions. No 'hello' or 'good morning'. But I know he's listening to everything. Silence is never innocent with a #narcissist. It's a weapon.
Tension builds. I tell husband something will happen. Maybe not today, but probably before we leave. Whenever that may be. The movers will give us a call 24 hours before they arrive. I want this time with mom more than anything. She's in her seventies, sick with an autoimmune disease, struggling with MCI. I can't stand the way father talks to her, like she's a spoiled and incapable child. Her defence is silence. Speaking only prompts more derision. More #verbalabuse.
I ask mom if she wants to live with me.
'If he gets worse, I will.'
Breaks my heart. When will it finally be enough?
Father and I drink tea and sit by the fire. I take a sip and mention 'I love tea in a glass, for some reason. It tastes better to me.'
The word is a razor blade slashing my cheek, but I laugh. 'That was really rude.'
'I don't really care how you like your tea.'
'Telling someone what they've said isn't important is really hurtful.' My eyes narrow. 'Never do it again.'
'I say whatever all the time.' A smirk and condescending chuckle. 'It doesn't mean the same thing to me that it does to you.'
Only a moment ago, he told me exactly what he meant. One of those times anyone suffering #narcissisticabuse wishes they'd recorded the conversation so the #gaslighting will end. I keep my cool, stand my ground, and quote him.
Smirk. Chuckle. Smirk.
I tell him this a boundary. He'll never use that word with me again. His arguments are flawed, filled with more gaslighting and condescension. But I don't take the bait.
'I'm angry at you, but I'm not yelling. I'm calm and telling you that you won't use that word with me. You won't use it with daughter, either. You know it will hurt her, you know it hurts me. Just apologise.'
'Oh, but I did apologise. I'll even say it again.' Another smirk. 'I'm so sorry.'
The exact opposite of an apology, which I point out. But this will become an endless loop soon, so I make my point about his rudeness one more time and leave.
Daughter waits in the hallway. 'You guys didn't know I was in the kitchen, mom. I'm so proud of you for speaking up. And he never apologised, that was such a lie.'
We walk arm in arm to our bedroom, chatting about what happened. I broke the silence, but there's more altercations to come. I feel it in my bones. There's no end to abuse in a #narcissistichome. It never stops.