Saturday, October 27, 2012

Heart of Darkness

I don't blog to gather a supportive crowd of people. I don't blog to complain about my childhood. Though both these have their good sides, it's not what this is about for me. I blog to expose to the light the heart of darkness that gets passed on in my family from generation to generation. I want to continue growing into a more authentic, honest, real, and truly loving and vital human being.

Communicating honestly with other people who get this and want the same thing is an excellent way to do this. There are people in this community that I have grown to deeply love and respect, although I've never met them. I don't want to name any, simply because I'm afraid I'll forget someone. You know who you are.

I don't want to feel safe here. I don't want to never be questioned, analyzed, reacted negatively to. If you point out my narcissistic defenses to me, I'll thank you for it. If you call me out on any BS, you'll be helping me achieve my goals. (If you, however, just tell me that I'm an asshole belonging to a pack of evil bullies, I won't be able to do anything constructive with this information.) 

My last post really wasn't meant to be about taking sides - I wrote about my emotional and cognitive processes and reactions to different people. There were potentially negative things there about several persons involved in the conflict.

Here's, however, another interesting observation of a couple of facts, that does in itself differentiate between individuals, or, even, if you will, "sides":

Jonsi's here self-reflecting in an awesomely brave post.

Caliban's Sister is gone.

(Was I the last straw? Would she have stayed if I had continued to talk to her in a nice way, pretending not to have noticed anything I found disturbing in her comments and posts? Would she have wanted me to? I'll never know. But I know, if the shoe was on the other foot, I wouldn't have wanted that. From her or anyone else.)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

It's Personal

I've had an epiphany. I don't actually need to stay out of any personal confrontation - I just need to not be unfair and not pass general judgments and not take sides in any black-and-white ideological schism. What I can and in fact want to do is express my personal feelings, impressions, and thoughts on certain bloggers and their actions. I don't have to do this. But, by coming out honestly with my feelings, I hope I can ensure that I'm not fake in any online conversation from now on. If people take offense, they can challenge my reactions, or refuse to engage me in conversation again, or shout curses at me. That's perfectly acceptable in my book. My biggest fear right now is being fake.

These are the people I've had emotional reactions to:

Charity: I was horrified as I read her original offending comment. It sounded exactly like the evil narcissistic voice inside my own head, which is usually directed at myself. When she came out as one of our own, I was terrified. I thought it somehow meant I could, as an ACoN, one day do something horrible like this, and, during this initial shock, anger directed at Charity felt like it could possibly be directed at me. At this point, the comments made by Caliban's sister, although they weren't worded as I would have liked to see them worded, placated something inside me.

But I later grew and realized I'm never going to do something like this simply because I don't have any desire to, and if I ever did anything so hurtful I would certainly NOT want others to offer me instant forgiveness and welcome back and we love you and let bygones be bygones and let's forget all about it. I would want anyone I hurt to express all the anger they felt like expressing, so I knew exactly where we stood. I certainly encourage my children to do this, so why not my friends?

upsi: My respect for upsi has been growing exponentially throughout this thing. I have gone through her writing on this entire big topic several times, and each time I end up admiring her more. Authentically expressing her feelings, period. No judgment, no writing people off, no instant forgiveness. Just being herself, really. I want to be upsi when I grow up.

Jonsi: I'm just going to come out and say it: Jonsi sometimes scares the hell out of me! Her occasionally snarky, incisive, cursing posts and comments are often way out of my comfort zone. Sometimes I feel she accuses people of infractions too easily - for instance, Caliban's Sister really could have deleted those replies by mistake - it's conceivable. I've tested it on my blog. We can never know what was in her mind when those comments disappeared.

But I have grown to trust Jonsi's honesty and her instincts. If I needed someone to assess whether a person was trustworthy, honest, and real, I'd take her as my personal investigator and buy her a beer or three for her trouble.

And if I translate what she says into more polite discourse, I get very useful and trustworthy information. For instance, "narc" or "bitch," translated into "this person is narcissistically defended to the point where it might not be wise to trust him/her, or impossible to engage them in authentic conversation" are helpful and usually rather accurate.

Caliban's Sister: As I said, CS's calls for peace initially really placated something inside me. And I've always enjoyed her clear, intellectual style, and her insights about her family. I usually tend to feel comfortable around polite, civilized, calm people. I was still very unclear on the whole mess when I left a couple of neutral comments on her Nobody's Straw Man. The first was to the effect that I still saw us as a community, and communities of adults, unlike narcissistic families, don't have to present a united front, and can fight. It was meant to apply generally to the whole fight in the whole community, but she responded by maintaining that she didn't demand anyone to present a united front. I hadn't implied she had, so I retorted, briefly, that she was among my favorite voices out there, to which she replied in a way that made me personally feel like it was understood that this meant I had now taken her side. This was the main reason I deleted my comments.

I also deleted them to see what would happen to the rest of the thread, and I tested this on my blog, too. When the author of a blog decides to delete a comment, the replies to this comment disappear as well, and the author is only informed of this in small letters at the bottom of the page. It is conceivable that CS's deletion of Jonsi's comments was an accident.

I didn't enjoy the feeling that I got from CS's subsequent comments and posts, in which she seemed eager to gather polite and civilized followers who were offered protection from the nasties. It could be my own fleas feeling this, as CS has already inferred once - in my family, we had to be nice and polite all the time. No anger or any other expressed emotion. We were better than other families who fought. We were civilized. Some people, I suppose, felt their parents' rages when they read Jonsi's aggressive comments. Quite honestly, Jonsi's comments shocked me too. But I felt my family's stifling atmosphere in CS's long, sweet, nice ones.

I didn't like that CS removed upsi's and Jonsi's blogs from her blog list right in the middle of the fight, it seemed to me. It seemed sudden and rash and so easy. I didn't like what I read between the lines of her next posts: In ACoNS Blog for Different Reasons, she basically implied (with "Some people blog to find new bonds with others--friends who will leap to their defense whenever they've received insults, genuine or imagined") that upsi and Jonsi and possibly Q (or who did she mean? who else could she have meant?) blog to rally a herd of blind supporters, which, frankly, I haven't noticed. If any of these people have "blind supporters," it's not because they went out of their way to collect them, and to claim that this is anyone's primary motivation for blogging is unfair at best and a projection at worst.

When Jonsi posted her scathing, swearing, brutal, but analytical, honest, and open attack on her, Caliban's Sister posted What Makes Me Feel Stronger, in which she allegedly writes about her NM: "She wrote me a letter that was over-the-top full of projections and crap that was really about her, and not about me at all. I had changed the game on her, and she went ballistic. I finally saw her for what she was. My reply to her horrible letter, which was full of fabrications, slander, hypocrisy and twisted thinking, was simply this: I could not disagree with you more. But you're entitled to your opinion. Instead of "rebutting" her point by point, I told her I completely disagreed with her construction of me, but that she could think what she liked."

Translation: Jonsi is just like my mean, projecting, narcissistic mother. She can write her long lists of lies, but I won't even dignify them with an answer.

This is still engaging in the fight, only in a covert way. It only seems safer, nicer, and more polite.

I sometimes have behaviors like these, and don't like them, and want to change them. In many ways I'm similar to CS. I'm not writing CS off, like I'm not writing myself off, but in order to remain honest and open, I need to point these things out. Otherwise, I can't continue to engage CS in conversation without feeling like a fake hypocrite.

Q1605: Q is a mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped... no, wait. Right now, he seems to me like a cute bunny wrapped in dynamite and heavy armor and barbed wire. Or something.

Ready To Kill

I'm actually not afraid of conflict as such. Either I have changed in the last day or so or I had misinterpreted my feelings or I had temporarily regressed to an earlier stage of development.

I was afraid of being asked to "pick a side" in a black-and-white, should-always-and-shouldn't-ever, right-or-wrong-behavior ideological conflict. I was never asked to do this, of course. I wonder why I always ask myself to do this - perhaps it's safer to think in ideological terms than in personal ones.

Yesterday, I realized that I could actually respond to this conflict in personal terms, if I chose to. I could write a long post expressing my thoughts, reactions, and feelings about every action of every blogger in this entire conflict. And I could be wrong, as I often am. But those would be my personal errors in judgment that I could take responsibility for and own.

I wouldn't be afraid to do this and I'd be willing to accept that I might easily be wrong. Because it would be just me speaking personally for myself, and not taking an ideological stance - which used to be safer.

I almost wrote that post. I might still do it, if I choose to. No one's asking me to, for sure.

Part of the reason the whole conflict upset me was that I still wasn't ready to kill narcissistic parts of my personality. I was afraid someone would disturb them in me. But now I realize this is precisely what I need and precisely why I'm here.

I'm ready to kill now. Really. To kill my own inner narcissist.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Staying Out

The post-Charity-earthquake-tremors have shown me just how far away I am from healthy in my healing journey.

Today, I did something I'm ashamed of. Something I don't remember ever doing. I deleted some of my comments on a blog where a long argument has developed, an argument that has me feeling scared and sad and anxious. I deleted my comments primarily because I am still not in a place where I can say something that can be seen as taking a side in an interpersonal conflict.

I have liked different people in that conflict for sometimes similar and sometimes different reasons. But that's not the only reason I feel I must Stay Out.

I always Stay Out. Still. Whenever anything personal transpires that even smells of potential conflict. I can only debate and discuss general ideas. Never have anything even remotely to do with any confrontation about anything personal. I have no idea if this will ever change.

In my family, conflict was simply forbidden. We were to be nice, polite, and civil to each other at all times, even in the privacy of our home. Of course, the only way to do this in a family is to completely keep its members from being emotionally involved with each other. I'm still somewhat trapped there. I feel safer in my FOC, and can now even sometimes have a bit of a fight with my husband. Friends, family, others? No way.

I used to deal by not being emotionally involved. Now I've changed that. I've somewhat unblocked the ability to have feelings for people. I "even" have feelings for people in this community. It only makes my problem worse. I used to think, while I was still largely narcissistically defended, that I was somehow "above" personal conflicts. I realize now I'm still much, much "below" them. I feel like a child whose parents are fighting - helpless, sad, unable to do anything but hope it'll be over soon.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hard Work vs. Easy Work

There are two ways to break the cycle of narcissistic abuse in your family.

You can do the hard work - realize your parents were abusive in some ways, understand how this has affected you, take a long deep hard look at yourself, your thinking, your feelings, your relationships, change, stop defending, start truly loving. It takes years of being bare, exposed, helpless, lost. You're likely to carry some problems and some fleas forever, but you're determined to be open and honest and vulnerable about this.

Or you can do the easy work - realize your parents were abusive in some ways, do things differently because you're better, feel good about yourself as a great parent because you don't even do x to your kids, and your parents did xyz to you. You're still largely narcissistic, although not as abusive as your parents.

Only today did I realize that I didn't have to think of these two "options" in black-and-white terms.

Both actually deserve credit - to differing degrees.

My parents consciously refused to engage in some forms of abuse, manipulation, and parentifying that their parents used liberally. I remember this. I picked up on it. I can now give them some credit for this.

Which doesn't mean they weren't narcissistic enough to majorly screw me up. But I'm still happy I didn't have to be raised by exact carbon copies of my extremely narcissistic grandparents.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

(Still) Tangled

Disney's Tangled reaaally hit a nerve. I cried throughout the first time I watched it. It doesn't really matter which personality disorder mother Gothel can be diagnosed with (although, of course, I believe it's NPD), the important thing is that she symbolizes the parent who is not "real" because she is unable to love her child unconditionally.

She keeps Rapunzel trapped solely because her magical hair provides her with an ever-fresh source of youth and energy and narcissistic supply. Rapunzel has learned well that she is only needed and loved for her hair and the services it provides.

Which is why Eugene cutting her hair off is such a cathartic moment. He refuses to use her magical hair to save his life and cuts it off, setting her free.

Although "love will save you" and waiting for a prince on a white horse to rescue you are dangerous concepts because a person or a relationship will not do your hard work for you, I do believe we ACoNs need someone - a spouse, a friend, a relative, a therapist - to show us that unconditional love and acceptance exist and what kind of work we need to do. Someone who won't leave us when we say "no."

Someone who'll cut our magical hair off.

My husband is here to do that for me. I just don't seem to completely be able to let him. I still hold on to it. I don't want to upset him. I want to do stuff for him. I want to be useful to him. We're both aware of this problem in our relationship and his current method of fighting it is gentle humor.

Here's to cutting our magical hair off!

My only session (so far)

I feel like writing down a few snippets from the introductory session with the therapist I'm not going to see any more, not only because she just got a desk opposite mine at work. The therapist is young, ambitious, optimistic. She was happy about the blogging and the support we give each other, but said something kind of silly:

T: You can also see on those blogs that people with similar backgrounds to yours become all sorts of successful professionals and that's a positive example.

PA: (thinking WTF?!) Many of us indeed are quite successful outwardly, some only too successful, but...

T: So people can overcome bad childhoods!

Another annoying snippet:

T: What you need to do is accept yourself unconditionally.

PA: Sounds good, but how does one who was never accepted unconditionally for the first couple of decades of her life learn to accept herself unconditionally?

T: Don't give me that excuse!

PA: It's not an excuse. (Thinking later: A sentence beginning with "how" is, at least officially, a question. It may be a rhetorical question, but it is not automatically an excuse.) It's my reality. I don't know what you mean by your words. Imagine being born in Plato's cave, and being told you just need to go live in the sun. You don't even know what the sun is. You don't know which way to go.

T: But you can't use this as an excuse not to be moving out.

PA: I'm moving out. I've been slowly moving out for a couple of years now. But it's not going to just happen if you say it should.

(Thinking much later of the perfect analogy: You tell me you can see I'm hungry so I should just go to the restaurant across the street. I tell you I was raised in this room in absolute darkness and have never ventured out. You tell me that's an excuse - all I need to do is get out, go down the stairs, cross the street and enter the restaurant. I tell you I've heard these words before, but I don't know how to recognize "stairs," "street" and "restaurant," I might fall down the stairs, or a car might hit me, or I might get lost. So you have to show me, not tell me I need to get there or even how to get there. Telling me I just need to accept myself is cute, but won't produce any results.)

REBT is really not for me. The main technique seems to be constantly challenging the client's views, feelings, and perceptions. ACoNs DON'T need more of that, even if our constructs need changing. I noticed myself acting in a narcissistically defensive way and/or resorting to JADE a lot during the session - behaviors I thought were somewhat behind me.

Incredibly, I found a great therapist with a lot of training and experience online. He even has a blog, in which he reveals himself as empathetic, intuitive, extremely flexible, only too ready to admit he'd been thinking too rigidly about something before, but a client or a trainee challenges that and he accepts this... and also, he recommends Alice Miller's books. I wrote to him and he accepted me as a client, even with the condition that I can only afford one session per month.

I was so happy with the exchange, especially because I'd written to 4-5 other therapists and they all replied in manners which had red flags all over them ("What do you mean if I've worked with children or the personality disordered? I don't know, my clients don't have the expertise to diagnose their parents." "I'd ask you what it means to you that your parent is disordered, how you have accepted and interpreted and constructed that in your life" etc.)

Just the fact that there is a therapist in my country who's very much into Alice Miller and seems extremely open to understanding and validating and helping me truly experience my insights has had a huge positive effect. I've felt more in the last few days. I've relived some moments from my childhood, actually feeling them this time around. I felt betrayal, anger, and sadness. I have a pretty good feeling about this - I hope I've developed enough intuition and gut feeling by now. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Blame and Anger

Here's a confession I'm NOT ashamed to make: I blame my parents and I'm angry at them.

I realize these are negative emotions that are not entirely healthy, constructive, or productive. So what? They still represent great progress for me that I'm not prepared to relinquish.

If I'm angry at my parents, then great. It's the first authentic emotion I've had in decades. If something more vital, healthy, and fulfilling should arise and take the place of anger, I'm not averse to that. But I'm not suppressing my one authentic emotion for my parents just because it might make someone uncomfortable or "it is not constructive." I've been functional and constructive for too long.

If I blame my parents for my problems, it is only because I'm still drowning in the blame game. I was born in it. Only, I used to blame myself for all my deficiencies, problems, and failings. For being cold, selfish, and reserved. Now I plucked the knife out of my own heart and am pointing it at my parents - not even stabbing them with it, just pointing in their general direction. Perhaps at some point I'll use the knife to chop veggies for a nice, healthy salad full of vitamins. I'm not there yet. I don't know what it means not to blame one's parents and assume responsibility for one's actions and emotions - to me, it sounds like I should just go back to blaming myself. As I've no intention of placing the knife back into my heart, this is where I am right now.

Blaming and angry.

Friday, October 12, 2012


All the questions I got from you, all the things I've thought about after the first session, all the weighing I've done trying to figure out whether the therapist I saw on Wednesday was a good fit? Moot.

The colleague who referred me did so because I told her I wouldn't mind talking to her personally, only because we worked together it might be awkward. That's WHY she referred me.

Right now, my new therapist is sitting a desk away from me at work. She just started teaching at my university as a TA for the colleague who referred her because we were working together and it would be awkward... etc. You get the picture.

This is MORE awkward. I feel betrayed. This is insane! At least the teacher who gave me the reference would have been spending most of the time in her own office, but now I have to sit here much of the time right opposite a person I've spent over 2 hours exposing all my problems, deficiencies and vulnerabilities to.

It sucks. I feel so exposed and ashamed and anxious that I think I might go straight into narcissistic mode.

EDIT: I just had the opportunity to talk to her in private. It was a coincidence. She was offered the job AFTER our session. We had a conversation about the awkward feelings and now I feel much better.

Still. Back to square one or even less than that. Venturing out again and trusting sounds scarier now.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Questions for a potential therapist?

Fellow ACoNs who've been to therapy: how did you choose your therapist? How did you interview? What did you look for in a therapist? What did you see as red flags?

What was your explicit therapy goal? How did you phrase it to the therapist? If I had to phrase mine, it would be to truly emotionally go through the insights I've had  - facing negative feelings (grief, lack of parental love, fear) - and thus somehow unblock "normal" positive feelings (love).

One of the reasons I'm considering therapy is that I feel I've hit a wall - rationally, I've had some important insights, but emotionally, I just can't catch up with them and maybe I never will on my own. I know my parents never loved me and I don't remember ever loving them. I have no emotions related to them apart from a bit of anger. I have few emotions in everyday life apart from anxiety, some depression, some anger and drops of very simple love and joy.

What questions would you ask? What questions should I ask? Any advice at all?

I'm no longer scared of therapy - if I don't like this person I'm seeing tomorrow, I'll just pass. I won't let anyone manipulate me or abuse me - I don't have the time or the patience for that anymore. But, in order to avoid this waste of time and money, I need a plan.

Now I'm just rambling. I have an appointment in exactly 22 hours. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you!

A Short Dictionary of ACoNese

One of the things that worry me about therapy is the tendency I've observed in some therapists to push forgiveness on clients. First forgive your parents, and after this amazing breakthrough we can start making real progress. This is especially dangerous for ACoNs, because we seem to have different definitions of this and other key terms, more toxic to us.

I had fun writing A Short Dictionary of Narcissese. This one, not so much. I'll try to find out what insane definitions I've made for key emotional terms. While Ns are eerily similar, ACoNs differ in ways we react to them, so I'll really be grateful for your own contributions to the dictionary!

For some words, I have more than one definition, depending on the situation:

Anger: The unforgivable sin.

Courage: Withstanding torture without a complaint is ideal courage. Some people defend themselves and can still be considered brave, but it would not be moral for me to ever stand up for myself.

Empathy: 1. Understanding and excusing others.

2. Weakness.

3. Fake.

Family: A cold prison.

Father: 1. Doting, loving, involved, constantly worrying warden.

2. Controlling, engulfing, easily offended dangerous tyrant.

Forgiveness: 1. Understanding and excusing someone's hurtful behavior, fully expecting it to be repeated.

2. Absolving someone from all blame and admitting they're perfect and you adore them.

3. Not caring what someone has done to you because you have no feelings about it, or them, or anything anyway.

Independence: 1. According to my parents, being lonely, cold, stuck-up.

2. Something I must achieve at all costs, though, of course, it will make me lonely, cold, stuck-up.

Involved: Enmeshed, engulfing.

Love: 1. What is used to control me. Both the carrot and the stick. What entitles them to do with me as they please. What can be taken away instantly, at the slightest provocation.

2. A fake, invented emotion. No one truly feels it, everyone's just dependent on each other and pretends that's love, when it's really weakness and fear of loneliness.

3. Allowing someone to hurt you and bravely withstanding the torture without a complaint. If that's not love, what is?

Mother: 1. Cheerful, loud, interested in appearances, fake.

2. Depressed, cowardly, weak mass of formless goo.

Respect: 1. Being an adoring slave.

2. Fear.

Success: 1. Something real and tangible I have to achieve to prove I'm not worthless.

2. Something real and tangible I must never achieve or I'll be destroyed for it.

Supportive: 1. Enmeshed, engulfing.

2. Criticizing.

Worry: 1. What they do all the time about you, so you constantly need to report to them and listen to criticism.

2. What I have to do all the time. Will they be angry? Will someone be angry? Am I doing enough? Am I fulfilling my potentials? Am I wasting my life?

Do you have other definitions? Do you have other words? Add to the dictionary!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Plato's cave

Charity's original hurtful comment made me realize what we're really all doing here.

Born to narcissistic parents, we grew up without love. We didn't even know what it was or that we lacked it. Just like prisoners in Plato's cave, all we knew were shackles and shadows. We were lied to and told that was all there was, and the fire that created the shadows was the only light that existed.

Then we either realized we were in shackles looking at shadows (if we learned about NPD) or we caught a glimpse of the sun (if we had a real human relationship with someone real) and we decided we wanted to live outside in the sun. So we started our journey out, helping each other on the way and sharing directions. Supporting each other out as the sun hurts our unaccustomed eyes.

And then, someone will say "Stop whining! My shackles are tight and I have to lie on the cold floor starving and I'm being tortured, and you're shackled to a soft bed and have plenty to eat! I wish I could be that lucky! You should be grateful! Get back in here!"

And it makes me at least feel guilty and ashamed. I shouldn't be whining. I shouldn't be blaming. I shouldn't be angry. I should be grateful my parents didn't torture me, starve me, rape me, or try to kill me. I am.

But that's completely beside the point. It's not about listing abuses, or complaining, or blaming. Narcissists do those things in order to control others by making them feel guilty. I'm not interested in doing that.

I'm just interested in telling my truth: I was born in a dark cave, and I'm getting out into the sun.

charity and Charity

I couldn't bring myself to comment on any Charity-related posts. I've been sad, scared, and confused about the whole thing, unable to articulate quite what was so disturbing about it.

I'm sad and angry that upsi has to deal with even more invalidating, hurtful shit. It's not fair.

I'm sad and scared that someone is so damaged and disturbed as to pull something like this.

But, ultimately, it boils down to me. I'm terrified because I've been living in a black-and-white world. Us, ACoN bloggers, we're the good guys, right? We have understood our legacy and our insights are helping us to break free, right? Our narcissistic parents are the bad guys because they'd never even start doing the hard work that is necessary to undo years of conditioning, right?

So, when a fellow blogger who has obviously been doing some hard work in therapy and blogging does something like this and basically exhibits malignant narcissistic behavior, asking where she fits now in this black-and-white ACoN world, what does it mean for us?

Aren't we all damaged? Weren't our parents also ACoNs? Weren't some of them also scapegoats who were AWARE of their own narcissistic parents' abuse? How much hope is there for us really?

I keep wondering how much charity (i.e. love) there really is in me, and how much Charity (i.e. narcissistically conditioned damaged hurtful behavior) lurks below the surface.

How much do we really love each other? Charity seemed nice and supportive. Are we sometimes nice for narcissistic reasons in our public personas, so we are not rejected? I'm honestly asking this of myself, because I'm not sure I'll ever know for certain what my most real feelings and motivations are and what "love" truly is. I'm afraid of myself. I've had "cold," "selfish," and "unloving" projected on me for too long to ever trust myself with being truly loving and supportive.

I'm seeing a therapist for the first time on Wednesday. I'm sure this incident had something to do with prompting it. Blogging, awareness, insights, DIY might just not be sufficient.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

motherless daughters

She lost it again. She was in her daughter’s face, having a toddler-like temper tantrum. Except that she was thirty and a mother and should be able to control herself. And should be able to control her daughter’s behavior, at least a little bit. This was all she had left after about three hours of reasoning, begging, and sternly, but unpersuasively saying “Calm down. Now.” Three hours of threatening, pleading, and even hitting her. Twice.

The little girl was angry. Or scared. Or both.

“You’re not my mother. You stole me from my real parents. Admit the truth!”

Poor little Rapunzel. Seeing mother Gothel for who she is. At last.


Later, at night, her dead mother pays her a visit.

“You know,” she says, “You thought your father was sterile and we used a sperm donor to make you.”

“We did have a donor. We used donor eggs. I’m not your real mother.”

She’s smirking cruelly as she says that.


I don’t remember that cruel smirk from when she was alive.

I do realize this now makes three generations of motherless daughters. The sins of the mothers.