Oh, Elaine, my sister from another mister. My mom isn’t an alcoholic, but she’s so far off the Alanon scale her non-alcoholism may as well be the same thing. Your house sounds just like mine, right down to the 70’s colored appliances (also: rust-colored shag carpeting that hid blood stains amazingly well).
The crazy someone has to get to in order to cope with living with a violent, alcoholic, malignant narcissist is some next-level shit.
I thought it would go away when dad died last March but I think that if reality were to hit my mom square in the face today, she would literally explode. Or disintegrate completely. I don’t know.
The obsession with “pleasant” just amazed me, in situations that were the opposite. ALL. OF. THE. TIME.
I won’t go on, because I know I don’t have to convince you of how it was, or how it creeps into your blood even as you are aware, and cognizant, and fighting against it with every breath.
I married a covert narcissist and had two children with him so he is never going to go away. We’ve been divorced 8 years now, longer than we were married, and still I have to contend with his insanity on almost a daily basis. That alone is crazy-making. That he’s covert and has convinced the whole world he’s world’s greatest dad and I’m unhinged is the icing on the cake.
Just one illustration:
My father had to be the center of attention. All the time. As he got older, and the family became accustomed to this and started ignoring his outbursts (he and mom moved back to where her family was in 2000, up until then he had us all to himself way up in Alaska so no one knew what he was like before), dad upped his game. We would all be just having a cookout or something and he would drop to the floor and start “seizing” and foaming at the mouth. The first couple of times his sisters or friends or whomever was around would freak out and run over and call 911 and think he was dying. After awhile no one got too alarmed. Why?
“We just watch Sue and if she keeps on peeling potatoes we leave him alone.”
Mom didn’t even SEE these outbursts anymore, so a part of her “normal” they were.
I feel ya.