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I'm starting to look like my vile abusive mother

(8 Posts)
sparechange Sun 15-Jan-17 10:17:59

And hate what looks back at me in the mirror.
I told my brother this and he said that when I had my hair highlighted last summer, he had such flashbacks to when she had similar highlights that he had to avoid me sad for a bit while he got his head around it

I was always told as a child that I was the spitting image of my mother so it is now surprise, but Im finding really horrible.
Wise MNers, what do I do? Do I get used to it, does it become less obvious?
I'm the age now that she was when I last lived with her/saw her so I don't really know what she looks like now so she is is frozen in time in my head.
I don't want to age just to escape her image!

Cricrichan Sun 15-Jan-17 10:27:26

Hi lovely. My kids and dh look a lot like his narcissistic mother but they're not her. I love them to pieces and their personalities are completely different which is the important bit! It doesn't matter who you look like, it's who you take after.

exWifebeginsat40 Sun 15-Jan-17 10:35:32

i'm NC with my mother - have been for 10 years. sometimes i catch a glimpse of her in the mirror and i hate it. really, viscerally hate it.

i really understand, OP. i don't know what to do about it but i get it.

heppi Sun 15-Jan-17 10:44:02

I know how it feels. I don't think I look loads like my mother, but when I cut my hair short I was shocked to see her in the mirror. I kept it short for a while because it was so much easier, but part of my decision to grow it out was because I could never really get it out of my head.

Can you do something completely different with your hair?

I don't know, it's probably better to practice seeing 'you' in the mirror. Notice the differences. Some kind of affirmation mantra thing that you are your own person.

It's hard though, my sympathies.

juneau Sun 15-Jan-17 10:46:42

It's alarming, isn't it, how in middle age our features somehow coalesce to make us resemble one of our parents, even if we didn't before? I could never see my dad's face in mine until recently, but now, in my 40s I can.

However, short of plastic surgery there is only so much you can do. If it's really painful for you, I'd consider doing something radically different with my hair - a style/colour that you would never associate with her. Ditto make up - perhaps go and have a consultation to update your look and draw a line between your face and hers. Have you had your brows shaped? That can alter the look of someone's face quite a bit.

If all that sounds like too much faff or expense just remind yourself that you're you, not her. We aren't predestined to be like our parents or to repeat their mistakes. You've chosen to cut her out of your life, so she's gone. Try not to think about her too much or cast too long a shadow over your life.

Ineedmorelemonpledge Sun 15-Jan-17 11:16:38

Another who agrees but can't offer helpful advice. I also look a lot like her sister (my lovely aunty) who couldn't be more different, so I cling to that!

Added to that the mannerisms and looks my DS is developing mirror his Narc father.

You are not her, as others have said. Embrace the fact that your soul and personality are different.

ThinkPinkStink Sun 15-Jan-17 11:25:26

I empathise hard with this, I had an addict (and likely sociopath) for a father. He systematically broke my childhood and affected a good part of my early adulthood (until I went NC aged 20). I am the spit of his mother, and there is so much of him that I see in my face and hear in my voice.

My situation is less difficult as my father wasn't directly abusive (he didn't single me out on his distain for everyone) and, of course, he was male whilst I am a woman so the comparison is weaker.

What a pp said about positive affirmations really resonated with me. I'm not usually into self help or mindfulness or meditation - but I do find a positive mantra really useful when times are tough.

I also second what another pp said that you could change your appearance (let's face it, that means hair) to take some control back, but really it's about changing your perception of yourself, remembering you are a warrior and a survivor and not letting the darkness in your past take away any of your brightness now.

sparechange Sun 15-Jan-17 11:38:05

I have very very dark hair, so getting highlights was as radical as I can her but my brother said that it reminded him too much of a time when our mother had them. I don't remember it but he does and it set of some sort of flashback for him that I don't want to recreate!

I'm ango-Indian so there isn't a huge amount of revolutionary appearance changes I can make without it looking very weird.
She didn't really take any care of her appearance, or wear make up so by giving half a shit about what I look like is moving away from her!

I have no idea what she looks like or how she dresses now. The only time I've seen her in 20 years was at her dad (my beloved grandad's) funeral. I noticed we were both wearing nearly identical shoes. They were brogue loafers so not an unusual or weird thing for 2 people to wear but it freaked me out.

But as exwife said, it's the sideways glimpse of my reflection, or seeing myself when I'm taking my make up off, and seeing how unmistakably like her I am that just turns my stomach.

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