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Must I be the ghostly girl?

Hi Cary,

I have been reading your column for the last year and it has helped me a lot. Your insights have deeply inspired me. Thank you!

Please forgive me if I make some mistakes in this letter, English is not my native language.

I had a troubled upbringing and my teenage years were hell. My relationship with my parents was a nightmare. My mother was very violent, controlling, manipulative and volatile. I suspect now that she has narcissistic personality disorder. I spent most of my time as a child being afraid of her, trying my best to be invisible to her, but when I hit puberty I became extremely rebellious. She had a very clear idea of who I should be as a person. I had to fight very hard to keep being myself, and I have had to fight even harder not to feel worthless by being me. Even now, after a lot of years, when she is in a rage she tells me I am nothing just because I don't fit in with her ideas of success. I have very limited contact with her for sake of my sanity.

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