Narcissistic Mother

Narcissistic mothers cause pain, but there’s much you can do to reclaim your life and thrive despite having one.

As a psychotherapist in private practice, I’m often asked, “What can you do when you have a narcissistic mother?”

It is a poignant question because we’re all an extension of our mother in some way or another. You, for instance, may have similar physical features or personality characteristics that make people realize you are a product of your mom.

But, how do you protect yourself when your narcissistic mother, the very woman who gave you life or raised you, demands you provide her with the unconditional, one-way love that she feels entitled to…no matter how she treats you?

When this is the case, your narcissistic mother may see you as something that she created with the hope to have a copy of herself for her own amusement. Or, she may see you as an object, like a piece of luggage that should serve her when she needs it and be out of the away when she does not.

If so, you may have been treated with such disrespect and abuse that makes it difficult for you to develop any sort of real relationship with your mother, let alone feel the love towards your mom that she expects you to give. To the outside world, everything may have appeared perfect, but behind closed doors? That’s where the horror was released.

Many a narcissistic mother is aware of her demanding ways and believes everyone should treat her in the fantastical way that she sees herself. She may live in their own little world where her accomplishments, real or fake, are of grand proportions that no one else can live up to.

To this day, her expectations of you may be ever-changing and not truly attainable.  If you have a narcissistic mother, you may feel you are never good enough, or that you must compete with your siblings for her approval or affection. And, no matter how much you achieve or strive to accommodate her, you will not measure up to her unrealistic expectations.

Why do narcissistic moms have children?

When a narcissist has a child, it is not for the same reason that others procreate. She does so because she wants that child to satisfy her unmet needs.

These can vary from the need to feel like she will always be loved by you, or the hope she’ll be more bonded to her husband by providing a child, or the belief she’ll never be alone, or to have the illusion of another chance at life and so on.

Some narcissistic mothers essentially want a real-life extension of themselves, only to be deeply upset about the fact that they did not receive that “mini-me” from you. If, due to being a child, you could not meet her needs, your mother may have withdrawn from you or have become demeaning, critical, and manipulative. In short, it wasn’t acceptable for you to be a child because a child is, by its very nature, needy and “perfectly imperfect.”

The narcissistic mother’s love is typically volatile and conditional.   Below are three common roles in which the sons and daughters of narcissistic mothers often find themselves cast.


The roles can be projected by the narcissist onto one sibling then the next and the roles can last for moments or years.  Even more confusing, you may have been cast in different roles at different time in your childhood.  Read below to try to recall what roles you played and when you were cast.

Lost Child

This role involves a great deal of neglect.  Your narcissistic mother was simply not aware of, or interested in, your needs.  You could be sent to school with clothing too big or small, dirty, or unmatched.

You may have been teased by other kids because you did not have enough positive attention paid to you at home to know what was socially acceptable behavior. You often felt unlovable or unworthy because you were not treated as inherently valuable.

Scapegoated Child

Nothing you did was ever good enough. What may have satisfied your narcissistic mother one day could disappoint her the next.

If you expressed you felt your mother treated you unfairly, she might have led you to believe that you were crazy and ungrateful.  The “love” and “thoughtfulness” she gave you through her constant criticism was to be treasured.

If you did something of value and worth, you may have been cut down and made to believe that your accomplishments had no meaning in your narcissistic mother’s eyes.   Or, you could have been elevated and bragged about to the point of objectification.  (See Chosen, Hero or Golden child below.)

Chosen, Hero or Golden Child

To be the Chosen, Hero or Golden child of a narcissistic mother is usually the complete opposite of the scapegoat child. You are worshipped and idolized by your mother from the moment you are born.

You are the one person in her life that can do nothing wrong and every accomplishment, no matter how small, deserves a parade in her eyes. You’re a representation of the best of her, the golden child.

You may become even more important than her spouse in a sometimes provocative and psychologically seductive way.

Lost Child, Scapegoat & Chosen, Hero or Golden Child in a Narcissistic Family System:

Many times, there’s a golden child and a scapegoat in the narcissistic family. The golden child is a “favorite” of the mother’s choosing. Then there’s the scapegoat, the one who gets the blame for everything, the one who can never be as good as the mother or the golden child.

The scapegoat never measures up in the mother’s eyes. She can win awards, get good grades, get into a great school, but it goes unnoticed or unacknowledged.

If it’s noted, it’s usually done so in a way that makes the mother look good, saying that everything the child has learned is because of the mother’s parenting efforts.

The Lost Child will sometimes be relieved to hide from the narcissistic mother and at other times be pulled into more attention getting roles.

Why Don’t Narcissistic Mothers Change?

Narcissistic moms blame everyone else, and too often their children, for the consequences their own self absorbed choices have caused. It often falls to friends and family members to point out the extreme oddity of the narcissistic mother’s ways and recommend treatment. Even when offered help, a narcissist is more likely to be offended than to seek treatment.

Ironically, though the people around the narcissistic mother can identify the source of their suffering, the narcissist does not believe she is the one who should change.

Therefore, it is unlikely your mother sought treatment for narcissism.  In contrast, she may have put you in treatment with the hope that you would become easier to deal with.

Children and spouses are the ones who often suffer most, not the narcissist themselves, because the narcissist doesn’t feel that their chronically self-absorbed behavior is just that. Quite the opposite, actually. The narcissistic mother feels that everyone else is at fault when things go wrong.

As a child, you had to learn from very early on how to please your mother enough to survive. You may have grown up to think that nothing you ever do is good enough and that you are not worthy of the love you desire.

Narcissism, at its extreme, is a mental disorder called Narcissistic Personality Disorder, (NPD), characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, fantasies of success, power, and physical attractiveness that the person may or may not possess, a constant need for attention and admiration, and obsessive self-interest. These are the obvious symptoms that people think of when they think of the term “narcissism.”

There are a cluster of personality disorders, including NPD, that are on the narcissistic spectrum described by the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) and they include Borderline Personality Disorder as well as Histrionic Personality Disorder.

These disorders describe different chronic behavioral patterns often exhibited by a narcissistic mother who may not even be aware of how she is treating you.

In sum, the first step in dealing with a narcissist is to identify the repetitive hurtful behaviors rooted in how you were cast in the roles identified above.  Accept that your narcissistic mother is highly resistant to change.  Then, learn how to best respond to her negative behaviors in order to protect your happiness.

Why Narcissists Have Children

Why do narcissists even have kids in the first place?

I’m going to cut straight to the chase on this one. Narcissists do not have children for the same reason that emotionally healthy people do.

They have them because they need more mirrors, more images to remind themselves of how great they are and how they brought someone into the world that is like them.

Unfortunately for the narcissistic parent, this isn’t the case 99.9% of the time because as children age, they develop their own sense of self and their own personality apart from their parents. Then they become more of a burden than a blessing on their narcissistic parent.

Some narcissists become parents out of accident or because of an ill-thought out plan they created to have someone there to love and admire them without having to give it back in return.

They’re looking for the narcissistic supply which they try to obtain from anyone and everyone. They believe that having a child will give them an endless supply because their child must love them and has to be a part of their lives, while they’re young at least.

Narcissists see their kids as someone they can put their name on, a product that they can put out into the world with their branding all over it. They use their children to gain self-esteem and as someone they can easily walk all over. They want their children to take care of them and reverse the roles of how parent-child interactions should be.

Narcissistic parents try to control their children in every facet of their lives.

They try to keep their children from growing up and gaining their own identity, fearing it will lead their children to leave them and go on to live their own lives.

Narcissistic parents try to control their children in four different ways:

  1. Guilt-driven: They make their children feel guilty and making them feel like a burden on the narcissistic parent. They say things like, “I sacrificed my life, my body, for you…”
  2. Dependence-driven: The narcissistic parent makes their child feel that they could not go on living without their child in their life. They tell their kids that they need them and that they cannot take care of themselves, their lives, and their well-being by themselves.
  3. Goal-driven: I like to call this the Tiger Mom Effect. This means that the narcissistic parent, not necessarily the mother (although it usually is), is always striving or making their child strive to be the best no matter what and no matter if the child is truly interested in the goal or not. They live vicariously through their child and ride on the coattails of their achievements. They may say things like, “We have a goal we need to achieve…”
  4. Explicit: This type of control is based on negative repercussions if their child does not do what they want or say. They withhold rewards and give excessive punishment if they do not get their way. This can be very draining on the child because they feel that they can never do anything right.

 

Most narcissistic mothers see motherhood as a burden and like to let it be known how much work it is. They do not take into account that children are not merely mirrors of themselves and that they are actual human beings with wants, needs, and feelings different than their own.

They often pick a favorite, or a golden child, who can do no wrong and grows up with unrealistic expectations of praise and worth. They also have children that are the scapegoats, the ones who all the blame is put on and are never worthy enough no matter how great their achievements may be.

They play the children off of each other for their own amusement, which causes riffs between the siblings that may not be mended easily. The narcissistic parent is always comparing the children and blaming them for his or her shortcomings.

Narcissistic parents treat their children in different ways. They either try to control them, ignore them completely, or engulf them and make it so they cannot develop into their own self.

A narcissistic mother fails to treat her child as an authentic person with wants and needs which may not match up with hers. She is completely self-centered and needs the attention to be all about her no matter what. If her child’s accomplishment is something to be admired, she’ll take all the credit for it while at the same time telling their child that they could’ve done better.

Parenthood is never about anyone else but them. For most people, having a child means having someone to take care of and love, not the other way around. A narcissist cares about no one but themselves and not even having a child can change their mindset.

Narcissistic Types

There are many faces of narcissism. Some of these may not be scientific or politically correct terms, but I feel that if you have a narcissistic mother in your life, you may be able to recognize some of these and nod your head in agreement.

  1. The Time Hostage: Your mom gets mad at you when you need to reschedule but assumes you will reschedule with her and/or repeatedly cancels on you last minute.
  2. The Quietly Self-Absorbed Narcissist: She’s socially withdrawn and odd thinking, with morose self-doubts and a relentless search for power and has fantasies of great achievements.
  3. The Nice Narcissist: She’s nice. She just needs you to agree with her at all times or she won’t like you.
  4. The Victim: She is unable to take accountability for her choices.  She looks at a problem and blames it on something out of her control instead of searching for anything in the situation she can change.
  5. The Attacker: She comes at you with attacks to see if you admit to anything or, as a way of expressing her fears.
  6. The Downer: She is so busy talking about why everything is lacking that she isn’t emotionally present to you.
  7. The Assessor: It is her job to critique how you measure up and point out anything you could improve on, not to give at least equal time to telling you what you do right.
  8. The Credit Taker: She takes credit for everything, whether she deserves it or not. She passes the blame onto others, whether justified or not. She’s always right, never wrong.
  9. The Jealous Narcissist: If you have it, she wants it or will strive to make it seem worth less than it is and devalue it.
  10. The Competitor: She lets you know you may be good but she is better, or prettier, or smarter, or more accomplished than you’ll ever be.
  11. The Operator: She work’s her own agenda at all times. She’s walled off in her plans for you and everyone else whether you agree with her or not.
  12. The Fading Beauty: She is not handling the aging process well and looks at your comparable youth as an affront.
  13. The Beauty Queen: She identifies herself strongly with her attractiveness and may have been the homecoming queen, the best dressed, or known for her beauty.  She’s especially bothered if you don’t try to make the most of your looks.
  14. The Innocent Narcissist: She’s highly defensive and extremely hostile but masks it behind a “poor me” facade of vulnerability.
  15. The Enraged Narcissist: She screams to get her needs met and projects rage without a filter, not caring who sees it. She doesn’t apologize for her actions.
  16. The Vengeful Narcissist: She enjoys inflicting pain on others and getting back at them if she does not get her way.
  17. The Passive Aggressive Narcissist: She sulks and gives the silent treatment and plots how to punish those who don’t give her what she wants. She is vindictive and capable of becoming a stalker.
  18. The Stealth Narcissist: She fakes an interest in other people and their needs and knows that acting concerned with get her what she wants.
  19. The Cruel Narcissist: She is never fair and her discipline shows that. She knowingly causes you pain and enjoys knowing that you are miserable.
  20. The Character Assassinator: She is always trying to tarnish your reputation by lying, exaggerating, or manipulating the facts to make you look bad and to make her look good.
  21. The Stingy Narcissist: Gifts, compliments, advice and money are given, but look out when you inevitably fail.
  22. The Wounded Narcissist: She feels victimized and the world is against her. She needs you to take care of her and aid in her every want and need.
  23. The Disdainful Narcissist: You are treated as though you are less than what she expected, a disappointment or failure.
  24. The Scapegoating Narcissist: Her life would be better if you were better, or whoever she’s choosing to scapegoat was better. And it will not be better until this person changes.
  25. The User Narcissist: She takes advantage of you and treats you as more of an employee than anything else. She uses you to get ahead in her own life.
  26. The Boundary-less Narcissist: There is no difference between you and her, you are an extension of her and therefore she has no limits. She intrudes on your space and looks through your personal belongings. She embarrasses you constantly.
  27. The Amnesia Narcissist: No matter what healthy requests you’ve made, it is as if you have to repeat yourself every time. For example, “Please don’t hug me or kiss me, it makes me feel uncomfortable,” is ignored.
  28. The Needy Narcissist: “You don’t give me enough calls” or attention. She wants more from you than anyone could deliver.
  29. The Time-Sucker Narcissist: You could spend every minute with this person and they would still feel neglected.
  30. The Mind-Reader Narcissist: You didn’t say it, you didn’t think it, and yet they have read into something and insist it is true.
  31. The Clairvoyant Narcissist: You didn’t say it, you didn’t think it, but once they have said it you realize it’s true and it’s usually something negative about them (can cause identity confusion for you).
  32. The Touchy-Feely Narcissist: You are expected to tolerate her touching you however and whenever they want.
  33. The Holiday Narcissist: You don’t exist unless it is their birthday or a holiday where she feels the need for family time.
  34. The Glamour Narcissist: She is all about making herself look good. She buys the most expensive clothes, gets her hair and nails done, and doesn’t care about the amount of money she spends.
  35. The Rockstar Narcissist: She believes that she is the center of attention and it should always be that way. She’s the main attraction and wants everyone to idolize her, even if she really has no talents or reason to be in the limelight.
  36. The World Traveler Narcissist: She brags about places she’s been and makes up stories about the places she hasn’t been, but tells people she has. She has grandiose fantasies about how worldly she is.
  37. The Professor/Elite Intellectual Narcissist: She is brainy and seeks admiration for her intelligence. She uses her intellect to put others down and make them feel stupid.
  38. The Stage Mom/The Promoter: She lives her fantasies through you. She makes you do the things she wish she could [still] do and believes your achievements are her own.
  39. The Fashionista: She tells you how to dress and what not to wear—often when you’re already wearing it!
  40. Miss Manners: She still meticulously points out your etiquette failures– from how you eat to what family events you should attend.
  41. The Publicist: She brags about you to others but is excessively critical of you when you are alone.
  42. The Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde Narcissist: She is nice in public, but mean under her breath or when alone.
  43. The Forever Young Narcissist: When did you become more mature than your mother? How old is she, really, emotionally?
  44. The Hot Mama Narcissist: Sexualized and distracted.
  45. The Lovesick Narcissist: Always chasing that ideal mate or trying to win the affection of her partner.
  46.  The Enabler Mom: She is too distracted with your rebel siblings’ problems or her partner’s addictive behaviors and seems to get a bit of a rush or power out of rescuing.
  47. The Social Butterfly: Everyone in town loves her, she is a generous host, but she can’t be bothered to make time for you.
  48. The Hypochondriac Narcissist: She believes something’s physically wrong with her, you should be checking in on her. And, if you don’t, as luck would have it, she unfortunately has something real going on every once in awhile. Or, it’s nothing a reputable doctor will confirm but she’s fighting off her cancer, leprosy, etc. with special treatments she’s managed to find through her own sheer will to survive.
  49. The Financially-Challenged Narcissistic: She just needs a little bit of help for this umpteenth self created crisis and she’s sorry she hasn’t paid you back yet for the last time you lent her money.
  50. The Martyr Narcissist: Her refrain is “How Can You Do This to Me?”  She tells you that you make her miserable, suicidal, isolated, or some other negative emotion. You are told that, in one way or another, you control her emotions and that if you would just do what she wanted she would be fine.
  51. The BFF (Best Friends Forever) Narcissist: You are her best friend, she doesn’t know what she would do without you, unless she had a better offer, in that case you’ll just have to wait until the next time she’s lonely. You are brought out like a doll when she wants attention then ignored when she doesn’t need it (but seriously, when doesn’t she need it?). This is also a description of what is experienced when someone is another’s “narcissistic supply.”
  52. The Expensive Narcissist: She has ruined your credit through manipulation to use your credit.
  53. The Criminal Narcissist: Some narcissists exploit their children or others through identity theft, mismanagement of trust funds, and fraudulent financial dealings. You may or may not have been the target of her crime, but she doesn’t see the rule of law applies to her. She may have Antisocial Personality Disorder, which is a pattern of manipulating, exploiting, or violating the rights of others. As if the narcissism wasn’t enough!

If you found this article, I encourage you to read my free eBook The 7 Steps to Recovering from a Narcissistic Mother.

 

Free Book: 7 Steps to Recovering from a Narcissistic Mother

 

 

Hi, my name is Michelle Piper. I’m a Marriage and Family Therapist serving a range of clients from US Navy Seals for PTSD, to teenagers that self-mutiliate, to couples struggling in their relationships.


I have both a professional and personal interest narcissistic mothers and the damage they can cause in their children. To aid others struggling to survive this kind of abuse, I’ve distilled 12 years of clinical practice into a book titled: The 7 Steps to Recovering from a Narcissistic Mother.


To request a free copy of this ebook and to receive my recovery tips by email, fill out the form below.

 

 

 

 

 

{ 812 comments… read them below or add one }

Dora February 27, 2015 at 6:09 pm

K., wow….that’s a lot of extreme narcissism. I could almost see it as a horrible movie. The bus story for your college orientation was just devastating. So sick! I’m so, so sorry you went through that..and congrats on three beautiful kids! So many of us here broke the chain…it’s really encouraging and awesome.
Both of my parents are/were narcissists. I haven’t seen that a lot on this site. My late father was a malicious, cruel, and destructive narcissist. My mother was much less intelligent, and morphed her narcissism into “he’s the greatest man alive and I’m married to him so I’m great”. Her narcissism was actually a million times more painful to me though, maybe because of the mother role. Anyway, I think both parents can be narcissists if there is a dominant one that is “propped up”. I don’t really know!
I hope you stay with us here K! It really is amazing how similar our stories are…..and what a sad comfort that is.

Reply

LindyLou February 28, 2015 at 7:21 pm

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts. My hope is that by continuing to learn about the harm done to us in early life, we can overcome the effects once we recognize how these mothers still control us. It’s working in my case; the more I learn about this, the better I am able to help myself recover from it.

I’m 66 years old, both parents are now dead. My father had a career in the military, so our family moved often, from one side of the country to the other. He was also literally absent (on assignment) sometimes for months at a time. I think this added to the power of this terrible mother, since she was never in any place long enough for other people to really see her for what she was. Also, that was a time when people looked away more, believing it was not their business to interfere, even if a child was being treated badly.

My younger brother and I ( a girl) were adopted, and Mother told me often, “We love you children even more than other parents do, because we chose you.” If what she showed me was love, then black is white. I became the SG the moment my brother arrived when I was three years old – he was always the GC, perfect in every way. She also told me constantly, “We treat you children equally in every way.” I now know that it’s very harmful for children always to be told that what is clearly true from their own eyes is exactly the opposite to what they are always being told. My mother never loved me, and her treatment of her children was never equal. Her lies made me doubt my own observations all my life. This has also caused me to tolerate a lot of bad behaviour from other people over the years. If they behave as though what they are doing is okay, I tend to accept it. I was taught to be like this.

My mother was vicious toward me. She demeaned, belittled, neglected, criticized, undermined and tortured me every chance she got. She beat me with her wooden mixing spoon (14 inches long and made of hardwood) and left welts so bad I couldn’t sit for two days. She slapped me and deliberately tried to punch me on the head. My father was never around to see this, she chose her times, but I think my brother was allowed to observe. This went on until I was 15 years old, when I suddenly realized during a beating that she had to aim upward, because I was taller than her. I must have given her a look, because she never raised a hand against me again. I think she saw in my eyes that I had realized I could fight back, and I would next time. But there was good that came out of this for me. I can recognize a bully when I see one, and I know the only way to deal with a bully is to stand up for yourself. And I won’t tolerate watching someone else be bullied. I will speak up, and I will intervene. That’s a good thing, I think.

She controlled the family budget, and begrudged every cent that was spent on me. If I asked for anything, I was told I was being selfish. If I needed money (say for a class contribution for a gift for the teacher) it was given to me only after I heard what a hardship it was, how it was taking away from the family, how I was always asking for money (sigh). The effect on me has been this: I don’t think I deserve anything nice. I wear my clothes until they are ragged, while I have lovely things in the closet, given to me by my husband and my daughter. I don’t want to wear those clothes because I feel I might ruin them, and that would be my fault. We are comfortable financially, but I shop at thrift shops, hunt for bargains, mend and repair things, always pick the cheapest thing on the menu, and pinch every nickel. I’m trying to reform myself. To wear my nice clothes, to order the food I want, to tell myself I deserve nice things. It’s an uphill battle, that.

One thing I don’t see often mentioned about narcissistic mums. My mother had contempt for all other women. They were all stupid. They were all weak, contemptible, foolish, easily-led, under their husband’s thumbs. She was the only woman of her acquaintance she admired. As a girl, of course for me, this was quite a message: women are all inferior (except for her). I’m still sorting that one out.

As for my brother, the GC, well, he is a mess, her child-project, now another narcissist. He believes he is smarter, more handsome, more talented, and superior to everyone else on the planet. He has no career, is constantly in financial trouble, and has been a terrible parent to his two children. She taught him to treat me like dirt, and I no longer answer his calls (thank you call display). Just yesterday, he called me on his own birthday to wish me happy birthday (which happened a month ago). She pitted us against each other all our lives, encouraged him to rat me out to her, took his side in every childhood battle, and gave him all the things she never gave me. His occasional phone calls are only his wish to put himself back in my life so he can get something from me. So that’s another thing this woman did – she robbed us of the relationship we might have had.

I don’t want people to think this is a story that ends badly. I have a loving husband and daughter (who are sometimes perplexed at my quirks as a recovering child of a narcissist). I had a great career, and I did that all on my own with no help or recognition from my mother or brother. I believe I am a kind person, and helpful to other people when I can be.

Two more things. I ran away to get married at the age of 19. It was the wrong man and it went wrong. But it got me away from this terrible woman, and the minute I was away from her I began to find out who I really was. Second, I fell apart when she died. My husband got me to a therapist fast, and in five one-hour sessions I learned what had been done to me. I fell apart because I realized I could never get her to love me and now she was dead. Therapy helped me see she never loved me, I could never accomplish that, and it was not my fault.

My very best regards to everyone. I’ll come back to see how it’s going with you.

Reply

LindaES March 15, 2015 at 11:26 am

LindyLou, Apart from my not be adopted, our childhood experiences with Narcissistic mothers are almost identical. I have 2 younger brothers, one was the golden child and I was the scapegoat. When I was 10 years old (my brothers were 9 and 3) my father left the family home but contintued to provide financial support. As my father had always been more nurturing towards me than my mother, naturally I was emotionally closer to him. After he separated from my mother she made my life a living hell. I was physically and mentally abused. As a punishment for breaking a china cup she attacked me with a rubber swimming flipper which left my skin covered in welts and i had to wear thick woolen tights to school in the middle of summer to hide the marks. She threw a heavy glass ashtray in my face which chipped a bone in my nose and blackened my eye (my fault ofcourse for not moving out of the way of the flying missile)…always my fault according to her! At the age of 11 I slipped on ice and broke my collar bone. She was furious as a trip to A&E was inconvienent and while waiting for an X-ray she told me “it had bloody better be broken or I’ll break it for you” I was absolutely terrified of this highly volitile and unbalanced violent woman who was my mother. She is still alive, alone, no friends, no family (apart from her adult children) and does not interact well with her neighbours. She is now 83 and I visit one a week to help her with shopping etc. then leave her to her lonely miserable life. She is an embittered old woman who knows a day of reckoning is coming soon and is terrified of dying. I could go on and on relating numerous tales of horror from my childhood but I am sure you will know exactly what it was like, having experienced it yourself. My heart go out to you.

Reply

LindyLou March 15, 2015 at 9:07 pm

LindaES, and my heart is out to you equally. I believe it helps to know that others have had (and survived) similar experiences. For so many years I couldn’t recognize and accept that I had been unloved – if your own mother doesn’t love you, you must be unlovable, right? It’s taken me a long time to understand she was the cause, not me. There wan’t anything I could have done to make her love me.

You mention that your mother justified her violence by saying it was your fault. Same here. However, there were times I had no clue what had set her off. She would say I had given her a look, or said something smart-alecky, or had a bad attitude. I couldn’t see what I had done at all. I now believe something else had happened to her that day, nothing to do with me, that made her unhappy. She couldn’t get back at whoever had slighted or angered her, so she turned to her personal punching bag and made herself feel better by handing out some abuse. I tiptoed ver carefully around that woman, but no matter how hard I tried to stay out of her radar, just out of the blue she’d be in a fury and throwing things or slapping me. It makes a kid so insecure and timid to never know if a glance or a shrug of the shoulders will set off a tirade.

You mention your mother is afraid of dying – so was mine. Because there are only two possibilities afterwards, right? Either you believe there will be a judgment day when you are held to account. Or you believe the lights go out and that’s the end. To a narcissist, either possibility must be terrifying. If there’s a judgment day, oops. If the lights go out, there will be no more fabulous YOU in the world.

My mother eventually became increasingly demented. This was interesting because she lost her ability to keep track of her deceptions, and to maintain her facade. It did not, however, decrease her meanness – she kept that to the end. Her last words to me were, in a nasty accusing tone, “Where’s my laundry? You didn’t bring my laundry.” At the time, she was in a palliative care facility and I had nothing to do with her laundry. I had foolishly hoped she might say, “I’m so happy you came across the continent to spend time with me. I love you.” Not.

Reply

LindaES March 16, 2015 at 8:19 am

How awful!…imaging those being your last words to your daughter. Like you, I have a loving husband (well, he has his moments) and a wonderful daughter who I adore and I cannot imagine not having a loving relationship with either of them. These narcissistic mothers really don’t know what they have missed, fun, love, laughter and trust. Weird, self-absorbed beings. I have never loved my mother, all I feel is a slight sense of obligation (goodness knows why) but I truly mourn the loss of having my father in my life. When he remarried I was 22 years old and his second wife forbade him from having any contact with his adult children and supposedly he agreed to this as he “just wanted a normal life”. At the time I didn’t know any of this, but many years later it was his sister (my lovely Aunt) who tried to explain it to me. Whilst I appreciate he needed some sort of normality after 11 years with my narcissistic mother, I still feel he should have grown a backbone and insisted he remain in contact with his adult children. Enough now…I have grown into a strong and capable woman who has had a great career, a lovely home and a loving family but still feel there is this void in my life which should have been filled with loving parents. Who needs messed up parents anyway! What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger eh!

LindyLou March 22, 2015 at 7:50 pm

LindaES
Like I said, my mother’s advancing dementia lowered her inhibitions – she couldn’t keep herself from saying things, where she had previously been able to paste a good appearance over her bad thoughts. I too felt a slight sense of obligation, and didn’t know why, but my clear-sighted daughter helped me with this. She said, “Mum, she knows how to push the buttons on you, she installed them.” Indeed.

One of the things such mothers do is cut their victims off from anyone (like Dad) who could be a lifeline. However, I don’t think your Dad chose a “normal life” the second time around. He chose another woman who cut him off, again, from his children. That was his choice, it was not a reflection on whether you were lovable enough for him to grow a spine. Your husband and daughter love you. Your Dad keeps choosing women who decide who he is allowed to love – his problem, not your lack of being lovable.

But as you say, our biggest victory is in overcoming the past and becoming people who don’t walk the path our parents formed us for. We find a better way.
We’re a bit damaged, a bit puzzled about why we were never good enough to be loved when we were pretty decent little kids, but we get on. That’s being alive.

Karl February 28, 2015 at 5:46 am

K,

Welcome. I am so sorry for what you had to endure growing up. Spend as much time here as you can, esp in the next few weeks–it won’t be time wasted. I hope there is no question in your mind that you mother is a narcissist–there’s no question in mine. I was very moved by your pain. I know that “crying out” feeling all too well–“WTF is this?!” ” Why should any child have to grow up like this??” It’s true. No one should have to grow up as you have. Bravo for all you have accomplished. The list of achievements is considerable for someone who has a mother like yours (and ours). We were all kidnapped at birth and kept locked in a metaphorical basement. But finding our way to this site means we are out the basement now. Don’t ever lose sight of that. You are free. (Though I sense that we are all still running away, with the feeling that the dreaded nm is right behind us. But she’s not. We can slow down. She can’t hurt us unless we allow her to.) One thing that might help you (it helped me) is to go through the long list of characteristics that you note, and address yourself in a calm centered voice on each of them. For example, write:

–How unfair it is to have a mother who always plays the role of victim? Nothing that she does is wrong, in her eyes, because she refuses to do what adults do: take accountability for their actions and choices. As soon as a problem emerges, she looks to blame it on someone else. She is like a child that way, and probably this is something she learned to do in childhood and never gained the emotional maturity to grow out of. It hurt me all the time when she did this, and it hurts still, but I don’t have to let it hurt me. I see clearly that she is wrong to do this. Normal mothers don’t do this. I don’t do this to my children. I can’t change her, but I can teach myself to never lose sight of her destructive nature.

See what I am suggesting? You can become your own good mother. We all can. Stay in touch,
Karl

Reply

Molly March 2, 2015 at 5:42 pm

“You can become your own good mother.” Excellent!

Reply

Charlie February 28, 2015 at 10:39 pm

Every day I am renewed by the people who write in to this site. I am so sorry that each one of you had to endure your NM, but I am always comforted by knowing I am not alone. Your strength inspires.

I have a question. Is anyone else haunted by what you cannot remember? One of my first memories is when I was three and screaming my hatred at my NM. I knew I was all alone in the world, I knew she did not love me, I knew that down deep she even hated me. What could have occurred in three short years that left me to feel this way?

Reply

LindyLou March 1, 2015 at 7:05 pm

Charlie, yes I have large gaps in my memory. And as the years go by, strange vivid memories surface. I must have had a bad dental checkup when I was about six years old (and perhaps the dentist told her she needed to pay more attention to teeth-brushing). Her response was to give me the nickname “Yellow Fang,” which she and my GC brother chortled over every time she said it. I had forgotten that, until it came back to me.

My cousin reminded me of an incident when she and I had gone to a place forbidden, while I was visiting the old family home. I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to go there, nobody had told me. Apparently she beat me so bad she made my grandmother cry. It was only when my cousin told me about it that I remembered it.

The mind protects itself. It puts horrible things in boxes and locks them up because they are too hard to bear. Then later we remember those things, they float up to the surface, maybe when we are ready to see what really happened. It’s a lifelong process, I think.

Reply

Molly March 2, 2015 at 5:44 pm

Wow! I never thought that my poor childhood memory might be related to growing up with NM. Thank you for that insight.

Reply

Karl March 1, 2015 at 6:47 am

Charlie–
I’m haunted by what I don’t remember (lots) AND what I do remember. For example, I (and my siblings) are tremendously fearful of incurring the wrath of mom. Yet, I don’t have memories of her anger. And the few good memories of childhood have me up in a tree, literally. Maybe I felt safe, free, and happy.

As for your last question: regardless of what may have happened that you don’t remember, having a narcissistic mother means you weren’t loved properly. That’s probably the worst thing she did to you, day after day, week after week. You cried (hungry, wet, needing burping, whatever) and she didn’t respond as a loving mother would. In responding this way, she taught you to believe that being unloved meant you were unloveable. (Very recently, my nm proudly told me that she didn’t want my older brother (+18 months) to feel jealous when I came along, so, when I was newborn, whenever I cried for something when she was doing something with him, she would let him decide when she should go to me. How f*cked up is that? Kill two babies with one stone.) Whatever the differences in all our stories, this fact of being unloved, and feeling unloveable, is the wound we all share, imo. It’s a wound that can heal, I believe–maybe not quickly, and maybe with scar tissue that never goes away–by learning to love oneself (the inner child who can still be played and harassed by these crazy mothers of ours).

Thanks to everyone who reads and writes–
Karl

Reply

sarah March 1, 2015 at 9:42 am

I think there is a lot we don’t remember as we try and reconcile our upbringing with “normality” in our minds and that is not what occured so we blank it out.

Reply

Molly March 2, 2015 at 9:10 pm

I’m looking for a ‘like’ button.

Reply

LindyLou March 2, 2015 at 10:56 pm

The problem for all children is they assume their family is the way all families are. So as a child in that family, if you get neglected, if you get hit, if you get abused, you just think this is the way it is in every home – how would you know any different? And you also have a narcissist parent who is telling you he/she is better than all other parents.

It is a very hard job to go back in time, remember what was done to you in your childhood, really look at it, and then conclude it was wrong. Especially since you were being told all along in your childhood that it was right.

Reply

k March 1, 2015 at 10:08 am

Thank you Dora, and Karl for your responses. Karl, you are very articulate and I think you have a fantastic way of communicating your thoughts clearly, with wisdom and compassion to all. I thank you for that, it means so much to me as I am not currently seeing a therapist, so this is very helpful therapy to me indeed!

Reply

Dora March 3, 2015 at 3:29 am

….I second that 100% K!

Reply

CC March 1, 2015 at 4:38 pm

Reading this forum, I read a great line but I forgot exactly what it was, and where it was! Can someone help ?

It went something like this ” We are responsible for being compassionate people but not responsible for (NM)’s behavior/choices/life.”
Something to that effect. Profound but I don’t think I got it 100% right. Perhaps Karl said it? I am not sure.
Thanks
Apologize if this is duplicated; I also posted this same question in the FORUM section

Reply

Dora March 4, 2015 at 8:34 am

….on the subject of childhood memories. I remember being 3 and thinking, “My mom never looks at me. The other moms look at their kids”. Still a toddler, I had to hear 24/7 how she shouldn’t have gotten married, and she shouldn’t have had kids right away (I was born a year after their marriage). Then I had to hear about how all the marriage problems (WW3) were due to the fact that they had kids right away. I had colic, and she told me that she really understood how people could throw their children out the window. Around 5 she started screaming at me 24/7. Because of the horrific infant/ toddler years, I was severely depressed. Her screams and smacks were, “You bring everyone in the house down!” I’d be eating my breakfast and get smacked across the room because she didn’t like the look on my face. I remember from the earliest age thinking, “Why doesn’t she ever ask me what is wrong?”. She attacked me for being depressed…but never cared why. After the 24/7 screaming and smacking I would go to my closet and write “I hate mom”….like 1000 times. She never once asked me about this. She never asked me, “Why do you feel that way?”.
I went to college across the country. I came home one week at Christmas, and one week in the summer. Never was asked why. I remember thinking, “I better go home or it’s going to embarrass her in front of her friends”.
My first pregnancy….sulking, “You’re going to make me feel old”.
My sixth pregnancy, doctor called it “life-threatening”. My sister (hero/ attack-dog) called me to tell me, “Mom is not going to acknowledge this pregnancy, and I totally support her”. My parents did not acknowledge the pregnancy. The devout Catholics did not attend his Baptism. They didn’t acknowledge that precious guy until he was one. I guess I needed to be punished for having too many children….?? (Our house was beautiful and orderly, and my husband is a saint).
My mother was, at that time, a “pastoral counselor” at a Church. I hope that dose of mind-boggling hypocrisy is a comfort to others who have had to live with that too.
It never ended. In my adult life I would estimate that she has been “not speaking to me” for half my adult life. (Another quick memory…I didn’t like the wallpaper she chose for my bedroom in 8th grade. She didn’t speak to me for 3 days. I finally said, “OK”. I looked at that wallpaper for the next 5 years thinking, “I don’t matter at all”
All this……and deep down inside I feel guilty about going NC (almost a year now). I haven’t heard one single word from my mother…who lives 5 miles away. I feel like I’m imagining how bad she is/ was. AND, why do I feel so incredibly sorry for her.
I really appreciate having friends on this site who understand! Thanks for letting me vent!

Reply

Karl March 5, 2015 at 6:41 am

Oh, dear Dora. Thanks for putting this all out there. What madness you grew up with–and what presence of mind you had even at a very young age. (It’ only recently I picked up on the fact that my nm doesn’t look at me. It’s a really creepy thing to discover. And a profound wound: Not Being Seen. Big, big fear that I realized I had to address in my marriage, too. If I feel my wife has turned me off, I shut down–something I learned from dear old mom.) I hope you realize how extraordinary it is that you are not passing along this vast sickness to your children. It’s amazing, frankly.

And the guilt about going NC? I hereby banish it!! (Would that it could be so!) It’s no surprise to me, with an ignoring nm, that you haven’t heard from her. You cut off her supply. Would stop for gas at a station with “No Gas” signs hanging from all the pumps? Everyone, including our beloved children, are responsible for the lives they have. All the personal development, changes, etc have to come from them. Your mother has chosen her life, even it she did so on autopilot. She doesn’t feel sorry for herself, or for you in having to grow up without a mother. (in my gentlest voice) Why should you feel sorry for her?

Are you reading in the forum? Sarah just posted a great piece (with a link) that you might find helpful. I think it’s called Guess what Normal is.

Okay, now I have to dish: Ach, these Catholic narcissists! My nm is a pastoral counselor, too! Even before I had a name for NPD I felt sorry for the people my nm came into contact with. (I imagined her showing them her diploma and talking about how difficult the coursework was!)

AND: six kids in my family, and the most difficult marriage of all of ours for my nm, hands down, was my youngest brother’s…because he was marrying into a family that was MORE Catholic than ours! (My SIL’s oldest brother was a priest; he married them.) I wonder if that’s the reason she didn’t accept your sixth child is because she felt outCatholiced?

Peace to you today, Dora.

And thanks so much (to k and other, too) for the kind words about my posts.

Karl

Reply

Dora March 5, 2015 at 6:48 pm

Karl, of course I’m totally blown away by your note! I don’t know where to start…

First, I think it’s just amazing that your mom was a “pastoral counselor”…I mean, who’s ever even heard of that?! Yes, you nailed it with the MORE Catholic conflict. I grew up in the most anti-Catholic, Catholic home you could imagine. Yes, you read that right! The Pope’s an idiot, every priest is an idiot, all the teachings are moronic….etc., etc. “We know better than everyone…we’d do everything better, we’d preach better, we’d be more pastoral (LOL), etc., etc.” From the earliest age I would think, “why the heck are we going to Mass?” It was nothing but another opportunity to rip people to shreds (and be superior).

Enter my beloved husband. He introduces me to “orthodox catholicism” (a simple and “obedient” form of Catholicism…not liberal, not conservative). I loved it. We were despised…I mean DESPISED for our beliefs (that we NEVER talked about!). When I read tragic stories about gay people coming out to their parents and getting kicked out of the house and totally rejected…I think, “conservatives do not have a monopoly on that level of cruelty…”. While my parents had 5 kids, my brother and I were pre-birth control era, and all but one was a birth control and even sterilization accidents. Each child I had was desperately wanted…and I got the cold shoulder for each and every one of them (and I never, ever, ever asked for or wanted any help from them).

Narcissism!

Anyway, I loved the forum about “what is normal”…thank you.

Karl, YOU really should be a counselor! Thank you so much for these wise and encouraging words today. I felt my whole brain chemistry shift (for the better!) when I read your note.

Right now I feel blessed to have escaped from the prison of trying to belong and be loved by my family of origin. My friends on this site affirm reality (and normalcy) for me. I am eternally grateful to you Karl. I am so grateful for all of you!

Friendship and understanding is such a gift!

Reply

Dora March 6, 2015 at 5:44 am

…I’m on a roll, I can’t stop!

Another memory: My parents asked me one Christmas (again, mother is a “pastoral counselor attached to the Church rectory, late Dad went to Mass daily…????) if we could find a Jewish babysitter on Christmas Day and come over without the kids because they “unnerved Dad”. (We had about 3 kids/ babies at the time). I very nicely said no.

And yet, I’m only now (20 + years later) realizing how truly horrific and unbelievable that request was!

Ok, enough about me! Hope everyone has a great day. This is our last snow day…..17 degrees today, and Spring starts tomorrow :)

Reply

Michelle March 6, 2015 at 8:28 pm

The most amazing thing about her is that she doesn’t give up. She may lay dormant for while but then she’ll send out her feelers eventually cumulating in a emergency that involves giving up you life’s blood for her or one of her children. Notice I didn’t say sibling. That’s b/c it’s never a sibling asking for help. It’s my mother insisting that I become both parent and spouse. When I was a child I it was largely emotional parenting and of course endless chores. But as an adult it’s a never ending run at my bank account and demands that I relocated to become a source of sustenance for her endless and irrational demands!

Reply

Colin March 7, 2015 at 3:51 pm

Took a big step forward today and got in contact with a counseling service that we have available through my job. I have low contact with my narcissistic parents but unfortunately there still affecting my life as there always on my mind, some days more than others. My wife and I have waisted so much time discussing my fcuked up family and with a second baby on the way approximately 7 weeks time then i need to get my head right.
Can any of you give me an idea of what to expect by going to a counseller/Theripist to deal with these issues we have and how it will help? I am a bit apprehensive about going to discuss my issues with a complete stranger.Be very interested to hear your experiences

Reply

Molly March 7, 2015 at 9:55 pm

Colin:

My bereavement counselor helped me give a name (narcissist) to my mother. It was incredibly empowering and positive. Unlike me, you will be coming into counseling with a definition already assigned to your mom. You can skip over all of the ‘definition’ stuff and get down to the nitty-gritty. I am happy for you and your family. You can be the parent you never had. Your children are blessed. I send lots of love your way.

Molly

Reply

Colin March 9, 2015 at 1:44 pm

Thanks for the reply and good wishes Molly. I have my first counseling session tomorrow evening. I will let you know how i get on.

Reply

Karl March 8, 2015 at 8:00 am

Congratulations to you and your wife, Colin! This is a great topic you raise. (I’d suggest posting it on the Forum, as I suspect you’d get more responses.)

You and your wife haven’t wasted time–I suspect these are important conversations for both of you. But maybe they don’t feel productive? (Around and around?) Some of that may be inevitable, but a good counselor may be able to help you move along the road to recovery.

If it were me, I’d want to have a conversation first about narcissism. You’ve read a lot here and elsewhere I bet, and you have strong feelings about what you are facing with your nm. Be sure you and a counselor are on the same page, esp if there are other counselors you could see.

This may not happen to you, but I’ll share in case it does: I had a very strong reaction in therapist’s office when I suddenly faced the emotional truth of being unloved by my nm. A dark week followed. In the end, it was a very important turning point, and I’m glad it happened, but I wish my therapist had been more helpful. Unloved feels like unlovable. (I wish he had said that. Perhaps I wouldn’t have been able to process it, but still, I wish he had said it.)

Hope this helps–

Reply

Colin March 9, 2015 at 1:54 pm

Thanks for the reply Karl and well wishes of course! You are very good at reading situations and you are indeed correct regarding this being a very important topic for myself and my wife. It has taken up so much of our lives already talking about my family and how it affects our lives.
I have my first session tomorrow evening and i spoke to the counsellor/therapist already today on the phone and she seemed like a very nice women so i will go with an open mind and see how it goes. I will certainly take your advice on board. I will know in my gut if shes the right one or not for me.I will let you know how it goes.

Reply

Dora March 10, 2015 at 3:55 am

Renee…how are you doing? Thinking of you!

Reply

Nadya March 10, 2015 at 11:02 am

I’m reading all of these comments with an ache in my heart. I’ve known for about a year now that my mother is NPD. From the earliest ages, I remember doing nothing but making her angry if I didn’t do what she wanted, from getting the haircut she liked to playing with Barbie’s instead of GI Joes. There are large gaps in memory of my childhood, what feels like years gone. One of the clearest memories is her beating me so badly she knocked a tooth out, when I was five, all because I was coloring the carpet with crayons. My aunt had to pull her off of me. She stopped hitting me when I got big enough And brave enough to fight back, but that hasn’t stopped the psychological torture. I’m almost 5 months pregnant now, and my husband is a wonder and my support in this with the evil one. She recently had a total conniption because we are not nameing our son after dad. I let some of my anger gonadntold her what I felt. It felt good to do that and now we are considering going non contact again, permanently. Part of me still feels guilt from all her gas lighting, but if we are being truthful here….I hate her.

Reply

Molly March 10, 2015 at 10:20 pm

It’s her, not you. That understanding can make both of you happy. To her, the fact that ‘it’s her, not you’ validates her belief system. It IS all about her. To you, ‘it’s her, not you’ puts the burden exactly where it needs to be. You were an innocent and did nothing to deserve or cause her bad behavior.

Reply

Molly March 10, 2015 at 10:24 pm

P.S. My NM told me I suffered a subdural hematoma (head) when I was young. I wish I knew what caused it – but I suspect it was her doing. I hadn’t thought about this in years – until I read Nadya’s post.

Reply

Nadya March 12, 2015 at 7:18 am

Yikes. Wow. I’m sorry sweetie. I know and understand the anger. Mine forced me to undergo a medical procedure BC she thought I had a bladder infection even tho the doc told her I didn’t. She made up a bunch of lies about me peeing the bed and stuff and I had to be held down while a catheter was shoved into me without any pain medication. I have never forgotten that.

Reply

Nadya March 10, 2015 at 11:07 am

I’m sick of hearing about how bad her life is (its not) his they never have money and I should support them (they have all they need) and how she is just in soooooooo much pain all the time. I try to call and talk about the baby and she wants to cry and dob about how bad her life is. Oh, yeah, lest I forget, the VERY NIGHT we called to tell my parents we had conceived, she tells me “I just don’t want you to get your hopes up” as a background, she’s bitter over losing her first child (stillborn) three years before me. DH thinks she’s jealous and I agree. She’s hateful, unsupportive, vindictive, and has turned my father completely against his son and his grandkids (my half brother and nephews). She’s evil and sometimes I swear she’s possessed. Im sorry…I am venting…but I just want to scream in rage sometimes. If I have to hear her cry one more time about how bad her life supposedly is, I might puke and yell and cry all at once.

Reply

Rebecca March 10, 2015 at 11:28 am

I am older and have only really acknowledged the truth recently. My parents stayed together for 55 years. They have their church convinced they are saints. The children are the collateral damage.

Your parents spent decades denying their behavior and covering it up with bully tactics……and then when they are old and fragile society expects you to show nothing but forgiveness and mercy. Where in that equation do you develop and heal?

I have been on a crash course, knowing I will always love my parents regardless, but realizing I cannot abide by the warped rules of engagement until the end. The drama is excruciating. They actually made a power struggle out of advanced directives, and left us in two near death situations with no ground rules. They both came out glorious, so much attention and power…..the children were torn apart. Mom was in ICU giving my dad the finger when he gave her simple hospital directives to sign. Finally the cleric could take no more and went into the room to scold them. They just never enpathisize with us kids…only their warped relationship.

Is that selfish or what? I know they only have a few years left at best. I get told I will have regrets if I lay down parameters now. But I do not see it that way. I feel that if I hold out false hope of true caring and empathy, I will be hurt far worse when they pass on. A part of you always thinks they are going to get it and there will be a death bed scene, telling you how much they valued you.

Then I realized my mom was near death twice this last year, and not once did she call any of us kids in to for the talk. She just worried about herself and the little details of power and control like she always did. I know that scene will never come.

Reply

Karl March 11, 2015 at 5:14 am

So sorry for the pain your are feeling, Rebecca. I have a saintly mother, too. (IHO.) I’d love to know more about the love you feel for your parents. Is it like the love you feel for others in your life? I feel a sense of gratitude to my nm for being in this world, but that’s it. Loving her would be like trying to love a stone. Her “love” is all about her needs, and those needs are constant. I wish you the greatest peace in the next months and years. I feel pretty sure you won’t have the death bed scene you would love to have, and that you don’t need to hurry about with either parent in their final days, for all the talking has been done. That you have survived your upbringing, and see the world around you as clearly as you do, is a great testament to your own abilities to overcome two crazy parents. Sending prayers!

Reply

Renee March 13, 2015 at 11:16 am

Rebecca,

I know the pains of being told, ‘that’s your mother! How can you say those things about her? She loves you and would never want to hurt you. Are you sure you’re not imagining it? Can you try just one more time, for your mother?’

That was so terribly hard and painful for me. In earlier posts I asked, if my nm were raping me, would people tell me to forgive her because she’s my mother? I can say that it took about 10 years for my co-workers, story after story after story after event after event ……………….. that they finally get it. Just the other day I was in a conversation and a friend told another co-worker (who questioned how a mother could do things like that) that my mother was psychologically ill and HAS done these terrible things. To have someone ‘get it’ and defend your relay of a story is SO incredibly empowering ….. almost to tears.

My nm my dad’s directives to appear that I would not respect his wishes. Death and the process, another very powerful tool of an nm.

You are not selfish but beginning the steps of self-preservation. You are seeing that other’s suggestions do not sit ‘right’ with you ………….. and hang onto that. When it doesn’t sit right with you, that is your own internal life preserver inflating, a warning light. I agree with your feelings of holding out and that you feel it correctly. While miracles can and do exist, in the case of narcissism, there is no hope because the illness is just so deep and invasive and demanding and engulfing. Agreeing with Karl, there will be no death bed scene or revelation but likely to be turned on you that their demise is all your fault …………… as it was turned on me in my dad’s last days (look back several pages for my post).

Take care of you. The only ‘win’ you will find is the win when you take care of yourself. I’m so sorry for the pain and agony you are in. Read, walk with us, continue to share, and be proactive in protecting yourself. The first couple of steps are hard. The more you practice taking action to protect yourself, it does get easier …… and the power shifts.

The very best to you.

Reply

LindyLou March 15, 2015 at 9:26 pm

I agree with Karl and Renee, there will be no resolution before narcissists die. How could they say they were wrong and should have loved you better? Impossible, because their whole lives have been consumed with creating an image of themselves as perfect, wonderful people. They’re not going to let that image go before they die.

Reply

Nadya March 11, 2015 at 7:20 am

Thanks Molly, it helps to speak with others who have suffered at the hands of their parents. Karl, I said I hate my mother. In many ways, I do, but I also get how Rebecca feels…when growing up, for a good while ( until I joined the army and got a bigger grasp on the world, and met my husband) I was warped into believing her nonsense, supported by my father backing her up. I was daddy’s girl…and daddy would defend me if I was right…i was wrong. I grew up indulging my mothers pity parties (I STILL catch myself doing that just so that there’s smooth waters for a while). Point being, at least for me, I love who I thought she was. I love my father, but am angrybatvhim for being her enabler, and allowing me to be subjected to verbal, psychological, and physical abuse. I love the mother I wish I had, and though I pray on this every night, I detest the one I have.
Around other people, I was her angel. I did this, tat, and the other to make her proud. Behind closed doors, and away from my father, I was the ungrateful, hateful child that “she brought into this world, so I’d better listen to her because she could take me out of it too” when I was a teenager, we would argue, and when dad would come home, she would tell her version, which involved a lot of boo hooing and finger pointing at me. Which resulted in the man never believing that mom instigated it all, even kicking me out over eating raw cookie dough. Literally. She thinks its funny that I “made her so mad she had to smack me senseless.” She literally laughs when its brought up, not realizing she’s the o ly one laughing. She has tried to cause problems with me and my husband (failed-we are very strong together) and endlessly blames him now for her problems with me. She believes she should be my priority, because I apparently am hers. She gets mad when I correct her and tell her that my husband and my son are my priorities. Then I turns into ” I spent twelve hours at the ER and now I have 3 more health problems because you hurt me so bad” she is a relentless hypochondriac, addicted to xanax and soma, and thinks my world revolves around her. She manipulated the disability hearing she had so she could get full disability for her ” back problem..” Meaning she went to literally 15 different doctors to get the diagnosis she wanted (she’s been a nurse for 30 years-she knows how yp play the system) but yet she has the ability to cart around 100lb camera equipment for her “love” photography.
She has choked me, beaten me with her hands, a flyswatter(the metal end) a belt buckle, and then manipulated my father into believing I earned it somehow. And then she tells me all she wants is a normal relationship with her little girl..
When I started acting out as a teen, she had me put on all kinds of medication and took me to different shrinks so I could be labeled as having a mood disorder and then she could cry about that to everyone. No exaggeration. I haven’t taken medication since I was 19 and I have improved greatly.
I didn’t realize any of this until last year, when during a horrific argument she started with my husband and I, she threatened us with her gun. It was then I began doing research and realized my entire life has been a lie, this isn’t a normal mother, and what I thought was tough love is actually abuse. I am terrified of what I don’t remember..and there is a whole lot of gaps.

Reply

Georgie March 12, 2015 at 6:13 pm

I just found this page but already I feel a huge weight lifted. I felt vindicated and empowered from what I have read here immediately. I’ve been fighting a battle I didn’t even know I was fighting and with no weapons to defend myself. I feel like Matt Damon in that scene from “Good Will Hunting” where Robin Williams just keeps repeating “It’s not your fault…It’s not your fault. ” I’m already starting to handle my mother in a totally different way and I feel a new sense of calm beginning to emerge.

Reply

Renee March 13, 2015 at 11:01 am

So glad to hear Georgie.

Reply

Georgie March 14, 2015 at 8:31 am

Thanks Renee :)

Reply

Karl March 13, 2015 at 4:54 am

This! “I’ve been fighting a battle I didn’t even know I was fighting and with no weapons to defend myself.”

That’s it exactly, isn’t it? That’s why the remembering is so hard (“combat fatigue: aka PTSD), why you (we) feel off balance all the time, weary, inadequate to the job, shame. So glad you have found us. I would love to hear more of your story, Georgie.

Renee, I’m joining Dora in wondering how you are doing. Would love to hear from you!

Reply

Georgie March 14, 2015 at 8:32 am

Thanks Karl :)

Reply

Renee March 13, 2015 at 11:00 am

Hi All ~

Thank so much for the shout-out! I’ve just been super swamped with family endeavors.

It is bittersweet to see all the new-comers to this site, I’m happy you all have found this incredible healing tool and also very sad for the events and discover that have brought you here. Nevertheless, walk with us. I’ve found that, in this extended family, we find the love, comfort, support, encouragement, and balance we were willfully cheated out of as children and adults.

As for me, I’ve had more ‘oh, that’s what that was’ puzzle solutions. All those moments when my nm would blurt out something that just made me scratch my head and wonder ‘how did this get back to being about her?’ And even though I have an explanation for it, it still miffs me that she stole my courage, my achievements and redirected them to champion herself.

For me, right now, it’s just old and I don’t feel I want to ‘go there’. I don’t miss the nm, I don’t want to have anything to do with her, I’m not mad at her, I have no feelings for her, she is and it is no matter to me. Is this yet another growth spurt??!! I don’t feel numb or sad. She has her groupies that believe I am evil and I cannot change that, I am who I am and it is not what she portrays. She’s in the life she built.

So with that, I continue to love, encourage, and challenge us all to take good care of ourselves, love ourselves and each other, and take leaps of faith for ourselves. We rock!

Reply

Georgie March 14, 2015 at 8:30 am

Karl thanks for your kind welcome! To everyone I am so glad to have found this community. I’m totally new to this revelation about my mother (I mean I just discovered this had a name this week) so the tendency to slip into bad thought patterns is too easy. I saw this quote earlier and thought it would be worth sharing. “The majority of narcissists are not, as we once used to think, anxious, insecure individuals who unconsciously compensate for underlying feelings of low self-worth by presenting a facade of competence and haughtiness, but rather individuals who do indeed think far too much of themselves and who, in their sincere belief in their “special” status, harbor problematic attitudes of entitlement.” – Dr. George Simon. I was also wondering if anyone has suggestions for other tools i.e movies, books, websites to reinforce the positive and discourage the negative. I thought of it because I am a movie buff and I am watching “August Osage County” for the 4th or 5th time and it dawned on me how textbook nm Meryl Streep’s character is! No wonder I have watched it so many times! And I just thought I was just a big Meryl Streep fan. Any other suggestions?

Reply

Georgie March 14, 2015 at 9:04 am

“Gaslight” 1944 was suggested on a Facebook page.

Reply

Georgie March 14, 2015 at 9:48 am

Wow just an addendum to the comment about “August Osage County” NM is present in several characters as well as children of NMs. This is brilliant.

Reply

Dora March 14, 2015 at 2:58 pm

Georgie, I asked the same question about narcissistic parents portrayed in movies/ film in the “Forum” section of this website (thanks Karl for the “heads up” about the “Forum”…I love it).

I wrote about my great “light bulb moment” watching the movie “Ordinary People” as a high schooler….it was the first time I felt any understanding (in my own mind) about my mother (and the SG/ GC roles). It would take another 20 plus years to have the label “narcissist”.

Others mentioned “White Oleander” and “Terms of Endearment”, and the TV show “Damages” (malignant narcissist). Can’t remember the other recommendations…

Renee, SUPER RENEE, glad you’re doing OK!

Thanks everyone for these great insights and the great support.

Reply

Georgie March 14, 2015 at 3:40 pm

Thanks so much Dora! It’s been a little while since I watched “Ordinary People” but I can definitely remember the narcissistic behavior you are talking about in that movie. I’ll be looking for that and the others and the forum section :)

Anna March 17, 2015 at 11:38 am

Thanks to everybody here for their bravery in posting their stories.

It’s been a month since I went no contact with my mother and I’m doing ok but keep getting ill with flu etc and it’s when I feel most vulnerable and tend to feel guilty and think it wasn’t so bad.

It was bad. I know it was and I am frustrated with myself for having to read about narcissism over and over again. My head gets it but my feeling don’t. I am so tired of it, so done.
My mother left it to my eldest sister to bring me up, from when she was about 9 she was doing most things for me. My mother went on to be a social worker for a children’s charity, helping safeguard the rights of children who had been a used and neglected. You couldn’t make it up could you? Meanwhile I was suffering such indignities like bleeding all over a chair at school age 15 because I didn’t have money for sanitary pads. I hate her. Some part of me will never ever truly get it.
Love to all here x

Reply

Emma March 17, 2015 at 11:32 pm

Anna,

I do understand. Especially the part where you find yourself not wanting to believe how bad things really were as a child. Our head knows what our heart does not always want to accept. But down deep we know; we know the fear, the loneliness, the neglect, and the pain of years of abuse.

My nm was also the kind who worked to help children, just not her own. To her, my brother and I were never children. I’m not sure she even saw us as human beings, we were merely objects to be toyed with when she had nothing better to do. Yeah, I know the hatred you feel.

Fortunately we have found a haven here. Friends want to understand, but until you have lived in our hell, no one can. And remember this, you wouldn’t have all these conflicting emotions if you were not a far, far better person than your mother.

Reply

Dora March 18, 2015 at 5:01 am

Hi Anna and Emma….I just posted your question about health issues on the “Forum” section. I’ve experienced the same thing, and I’ll be very interested to read the feedback. I’m glad your both here!

Reply

Anna March 19, 2015 at 1:35 am

Thank you both for your replies I means so much in these dark days. I am recovering from the flu and feel a lot better today. I just read a book by Carine McCandless, sister of Chris McCandless who died in a bus in Alaska. For anybody coping with parental narcissistic abuse it is a must-read. I read Jon Krakauer’s book “Into the Wild” and then saw the film of the same name.

His story has always fascinated me, I knew there must have been more to the story than how he was portrayed by some in the media, that he was a selfish young man who broke the hearts of his family by breaking contact with them and then dying a stupid death. He wasn’t stupid. Carine sat on the truth for decades and could stand it no longer. The book outlines narcissistic abuse that would turn your hair white. It really brought it home to me that parents like this will say and do ANYTHING to deny their abuse.

I don’t know what I would be without my sister, she has been the constant in my life despite being a parent so young. We were all doing my mother’s chores for her way before we were able. No support, constant unrelenting neglect.

Carine eventually told her parents to get bent too. Yay girl!

Thank you sincerely for your replies. It was a very very dark day and I cried for most of it but it was long overdue and you helped.

It is important to remember that this is grief we are going through. Except that normally with the death of your parents you get support from everybody, from society. In this situation it is very hard to find anybody who really understands, and talking about it is often taboo. A real mind-melt, that one. I hope you’re all doing ok here, I will go and check out that other thread now x

Reply

Anna March 19, 2015 at 1:55 am

I found it interesting that Narcissistic Personality Disorder was not named in the book. My first therapist told me 10 years ago that my parents were “toxic” but without a name for the disorder, I struggled with believing that they were more toxic than me. A side-effect, and a totally undeserved one, of NPD abuse is feeling like you are a horrible toxic person. This abuse has a name and it needs to be used in the literature, in stories about people like Chris McCandless. One of my regrets is that I didn’t get a name for this abuse 10 years ago, and could have acted on it then. I could have researched it, at least I could have understood it intellectually. I love Jon Krakauer. I read all his books on mountaineering before I stumbled on this one, which I read just because I love his writing. He writes about people who are “extreme”, and suggests a common theme of some “extreme” people is an unhappy home-life as a kid. I might drop the man an email, maybe suggest if Carine is doing a reprint that they might have a section about NPD in it.

Could have been me in that bus. In fact I lived for years in a shed with no mains gas and electric and which was infested with rats until I sorted it out and made a palace of it. I didn’t want to die no more than he, but I was on the run and desperate to sort out my thoughts. It was a good place but I’m glad I’m not there now. I think Chris’s desire not to leave a big footprint in the world in a material, ecological way maybe came out of his early years, it is a positive reaction to a harsh reality – that your parents don’t notice you, that you do not have a right to “be”. So then you notice all the disadvantaged people, animals, habitats, and you try to not be a bastard. I have 20 years on Chris at the time he died, and I think he was coming to the conclusion too that being too extreme was not necessarily a good thing, that there are good people out there, you just have to choose wisely. And if you want a washing machine and some clothes that are not from a charity shop this does not make you a bad person lol

Reply

Anonymous March 20, 2015 at 10:06 pm

Wow! I relate so much to this nugget of clarity.

‘I think Chris’s desire not to leave a big footprint in the world in a material, ecological way maybe came out of his early years, it is a positive reaction to a harsh reality – that your parents don’t notice you, that you do not have a right to “be”.’

Reply

Florence March 21, 2015 at 5:24 pm

A great, informative page. Thank you. I am in the process of “waking up” to this torment. I played Scapegoat and Invisible. Never good or worthy enough. This abuse is very damaging. I’m looking at harm done to me. I hope to break the chain by getting out of the role. I feel consistent fear. Sometimes it’s all consuming. There were never hugs or empathy. When I was beaten at school, it was dismissed as me being a nuciance. I could never disclose CSA because I wouldn’t have been believed. I’m an addict in recovery with clean time. I’m a typical scapegoat! I don’t have children and have chosen not to. Sad but wise. I am glad to have the support of friends in order to recover.

Reply

Molly March 22, 2015 at 6:34 pm

I wonder how many of us (like you and me) do not have children and that our choice not to is related to NM? I used to joke that the reason I didn’t have children was because I had a 37-year old kid (my narcissistic husband). But, inside, I was fearful I would subject a child to way too much drama with my choice of husband. I was afraid I couldn’t manage two helpless needy beings, all alone. I learn so much here.

Reply

Anna March 23, 2015 at 1:38 am

I’m 41 and don’t have kids by choice either.

Reply

Karl March 23, 2015 at 5:49 am

Wow. I have two daughters, but the decision to have children came from my wife, not me. If she had not wanted to have children, I would have been fine with that. (I feel lucky to have married someone who wanted kids.) I don’t know if the reason I was so ambivalent about fatherhood is because my NM always felt like an unwanted child in my life (and I didn’t need more of that), or because because my own childhood was so emotionally barren, and I didn’t see that a childhood didn’t have to be emotionally barren and didn’t want to inflict that on someone else. (Probably more the latter.) I agree with Molly’s comment: so many wise insights here.

Reply

Dora March 23, 2015 at 7:53 am

Hi friends and new friends.

Anna, I just finished the book “The Wild Truth”. Wow! I also just watched the movie (twice) “August: Osage County” (I’ve never seen better acting).

I don’t know why, but it is so cathartic for me to see/ read the twisted lives in the narcissistic family structure. The fact that hits me so hard is that we are all so hardwired to belong in our families. What we’ll put up with….UNBELIEVABLE. I told my husband that I just don’t understand why I need…..over and over….to be reassured that I’m not crazy, and I have nothing to feel guilty about. It is one of the many reasons I treasure everyone on this site, and all of the wisdom, insights and support I rec’v here.

Karl, I’ve been wanting to tell you how glad I am that your health issues were not serious! What a pathetic story of mom wanting the attention during your surgery…so sad. I remember my NF sulking at every new baby I had because the baby got attention…seriously! I really admire you for getting out. It sounds like you were a hero child (with a little LC), and I’ve always thought that would be the most challenging role to extricate yourself from the family (some manipulative rewards….).

I never wanted kids in a million years. I also never wanted to get married in a million years. I ended up with a wonderful man and six kids. It seems to me that those of us who grow up without empathy and true care develop SUPER POWERS of empathy and care for others. So, whether or not we have biological kids…we give a lot to others and sometimes I’m thankful that I’ve developed those qualities. Pollyanna?! Hope not.

Hope everyone has a great day.

Reply

shannon fitzgerald March 23, 2015 at 9:14 am

You should all read The Fantasy Bond by Dr Robert Firestone. It deals with the NM and specifically how we cope and build very specific survival mechanisms. It is life changing.

Reply

Molly March 24, 2015 at 10:01 pm

Thank you. I just downloaded the Kindle book.

Reply

Charlie March 23, 2015 at 9:51 pm

I knew by the time I was 12 that I could never bring a child into my world. Many times I heard my nm say, “My mother did this to me, and I want you to know what it was like!” I was terrified that one day I might say hear those words coming out of my own mouth, so I chose to stop the cycle.

Reply

Renee March 24, 2015 at 1:34 pm

Hi All!

Just checking in. I see that we have some new additions to our group and, in usual style, they are embraced and surrounded with the care we were not destined to have (because of our ill nms).

It is very painful to read the angst of those just starting on their journey to healing. I recall those tortuous days; not able to figure out what was wrong with me when everything was so wrong around me, accomplishing epic things that seemed trite against my sister (gc) and her brother who my parents treated like Jesus’ brother, etc. My heart aches for you all and the one thing I can share is that I really feel like I made it out of the barrel. I struggled, it took years, and then it just is and I let it be ….. without being in it. Although I appeared happy on the outside, I now feel more happier on the inside and just adore everyone I can happily chat with.

Growing up I was more oriented to having a career (and I had one; a national human resources training specialist for a top fortune 100 company). I was happy in what I was doing and really didn’t have time for children in my life. Actually my first husband was already a handful and I didn’t feel he was responsible (financially) enough to handle children.

And then my life flipped upside down and I moved back home. I met my husband (celebrating 20 years this year + the 4 years we dated!!!). We were engaged and he gave me a black lab puppy as an engagement gift. I knew then we were a family and were going to grow and have this really cool lifestyle.

A year later our first born came. My pregnancy I was mad most of the time because I hated what it did to my body (I taught fitness so you can figure it!!) but everyone thought I didn’t want the baby! No, I just wanted to tuck in my shirt and wear a belt. I remember making a comment to my ‘concerned’ nm that I didn’t know how to be a mother. Well, she got all shook up thinking that I was going to do something stupid. Looking back, it makes sense now because I really didn’t have a mother figure to role model after so I think I was blindly navigating this new adventure.

She was born and there was never a child that was more loved than her. She was our world and it revolved around her, happily and with no strings of guilt. She is 18 and I don’t regret one instant of having children. I think my children have helped me to have good relationships, with boundaries, with women (after the first woman I ever came to know was a beast, my nm). I am a richer person for having our children and some of our greatest adventures and memories are with our children. And that’s just me.

I see that some choose not to have children for a variety of reasons, sometimes from fear of passing along abnormal behavior ……. and that is respectable and admirable. And then there are some that discover what a treasure their children are and become the parent that they were denied themselves. Whatever one’s choice is, it is one’s choice.

Just wanted to share ……………… peace, healing, balance, acceptance, and love

Reply

Dina March 26, 2015 at 11:07 am

Hi I can relate in a way to the nativist mom. But my mom drinks and its always been a very hard thing to tolerate and deal with. I now have 21 years of sobriety from alcoholism and am a mother of my precious son who is 8. Unfortunately I have to live with my mom due to a traumatic thing that has happened to my husband. My mother is constantly disrespecting me in front of my son. I’m now very protective of my son due to my mom at times can be very toxic. My son is special needs so I homeschool which has been great. But everything I do she is always criticizing me. A couple of years ago she did the worst thing anyone has go through when you have a child she called cps and the worker found no problem with me my son is very healthy and very sociable I am always taking him to field trips he’s in all kinds of sports now he is in karate he just got his orange blog this Easter weekend we are going to be in Vegas for the international tournament for karate. 2 yrs ago the cps worker closed the case. On a personal note she asked me About my mom I told its a challenge and that she never approved anything I do and she suggests sometimes its the mom that’s not the healthy one she new it was my mom who reported me and was trying to hint that to me and I separated from her because she can effect me in such a way it gets me very sick. But unfortunately I’ve had to move back

Reply

Dina March 26, 2015 at 11:16 am

My typo error due to my iPhone sorry i couldn’t finish writing I now live with my mom after 2 yrs separated from her so hurt by what she did calling cps. I now live with her with my son my son adores his grandma but at night I have to leave because that is when she drinks and I have to stay away from her so me and my son spend time eating dinner out. She is extremely controlling when it comes to food I also have an eating disorder so I’m trying to protect my son from her when she drinks.

Reply

Dina March 26, 2015 at 12:03 pm

The hard part of having anyone beleive me because she is very well liked she has a lot of friends and the crazy part of all this is she speaks very highly of me to them. Could of fooled me because she is extrey critical of me very dictating and she would be real good in working for the warden for the women prison because that is how she treats me at home. And this is all in front of my son. I need to find my own place and be compley separated from her but she is real convincing of my 8 year old son who my son adores but I know the real person she is extremely manipulating and fun to be with but at night when she drinks that’s a whole new story

Reply

Molly March 26, 2015 at 7:45 pm

I ‘cared’ for my NM for the last five years of her life. After her death, I was diagnosed with depression and was prescribed citalopram. Currently I take 20 mg daily. I have attempted to taper off twice (took three months to taper each time) during the past 5 years since diagnosis. Both times my symptoms (hopelessness, irritability, fuzzy-headedness) came back. I think this diagnosis didn’t reflect an isolated incidence of depression and was simply the luck of the draw event (seeing a doctor and bursting into sobs during my appointment). I have been plagued with depression/OCD/anxiety conditions all of my life. I find myself wanting to try to taper off again, even though I isolate and drink too much and find very little to enjoy about life (except for my little dog friends I get to care for occasionally). I believe this desire is simply my ‘hope’ that I am no longer the damaged person I was raised to be and BY GOD I’LL PROVE HER WRONG. It exhausts me to think about it.

Reply

Karl March 27, 2015 at 5:02 am

So sorry you have such pain, Molly. I don’t know the specifics of the drug you are taking, but I do know that tapering off on your own can be hard to do, and even dangerous. And I know firsthand the urge to self-medicate with alcohol. I have two thoughts: 1. can you find another doctor who can help taper off the drug, if that’s the best approach?, 2. let go of beating yourself up about being a damaged person. We are all damaged people. Let’s embrace that. We have survived despite the damage, and we will thrive despite the damage. All of us (i.e you, too!!). You don’t say anything about nutrition and exercise, so I ask: are you eating well and moving the body? If no to either, I would start there. For a week. Set short goals: walking every day for thirty minutes or an hour, and eating nutritious meals. Just for a week to see how you feel. I hope this helps, and I hope you see your damage as a badge of honor, because the chain of abuse that your mother visited on you goes back a long, long way, and it is stopping at your door. Bravo for that!

Reply

Kai March 27, 2015 at 2:58 pm

I have just recently started doing research on this topic.

I’ll give a brief description at first, and if anyone can relate to it, I can get more detailed .

I was born out of wedlock, and abortion was only considered “for two weeks”. And I should be grateful that she GAVE UP her life and future for me. (I ruined it)

I feel as though I can’t trust anything she buys for me (which is rare now a days I’ve learned to provide much more on my own) – anything, including my high school tuition , can and will be used against me at some point. Like any act of kindness in general.

I feel so worthless by her words and actions sometimes, that I have made multiple suicide attempts. And was outpatient in the psych ward for 2 weeks my senior year of high school. But to her, this was for attention( and I am a martyr .

She threatens me if I respond to her attacks. Acts as if I am out of line.

She makes me feel worthless, a burden, and it gives me anxiety to be around her. I am constantly walking on eggshells.

She tries to convince me my boyfriend is an evil trash ball manipulator that will ruin my life. (Even though I accept he’s made mistakes and we’ve worked through them. )

I take her for granted, and do not contribute to the family or work up to her standards. For instance, she owns a business, which i worked at since around the age 12-13. And even as a little girl, if I did not clean enough, or work hard enough or act a certain way. I would dread getting into the car and going home. Knowing a scolding was sure to follow. Along with a very distant attitude and silent treatment .

I was hit a lot as a kid by both my mom and dad. Even as a senior in high school. She would hit me, punch me, jump on top of me and attack me. Once, before my biggest suicide attempt (as a senior) she grabbed my face so hard and clawed it so that there were marks, and blood was drawn.

My father now makes excuses for her, such as excessive stress, from her 4 other children. And life in general.

She also wants to control everything . Although she firmly asserts the fact that it is because she is helpful and caring.

I’ve had many many mental breakdowns, and the stress had caused me seizures. The worst part is, is knowing I am a good and grateful daughter. But being treated as though I am the exact opposite. I’m always “plotting” against her. She does the mind reading thing often, and even if it is completely false, she will go to any extent to get me to admit It is true.

Please someone, tell me what this behavior is. I need support from anyone who understands. And I will get into detail if necessary.
I’m anxious constantly, medicated and depressed. Her behavior makes me feel worthless, but I cannot express this. Or else it is an attack, and I am ungrateful (in her eyes)

Any info would be greatly appreciated .

Reply

Emma March 28, 2015 at 10:22 pm

Kai,

Welcome friend. Thank you for trusting us enough to open up and share your life. We do understand and want to help you on this journey. Just the fact that you wrote in proves you have courage and hope. Hold on to that. You are far stronger than you often feel.

I’ve experienced many of the things you have. I worked hard for years in the family business, only to be told that nothing I ever did was right or good enough. I know what it is like to have her “bait you” into a confrontation, then blame everything on you. I understand what it is like to live with a control freak. And I know what it is like to have a father who either cannot or will not see the truth. Most of all, I know the black despair, the thoughts of suicide, of just wanting to the pain to end. But we both know there is something better out there somewhere.

So hang in there and let’s make this journey together. We don’t have all the answers, but we do have each other. Each day that you survive, each day that you treat those around you honestly and fairly, each day do a small kindness for someone else, each day that you find something to love about yourself proves that your mother is WRONG about you. And trust me, proving her wrong can become quite addictive!

Reply

Karl March 27, 2015 at 3:15 pm

Kai,
Welcome! You have come to the right place. Your mother suffers from some kind(s) of mental illness(es), which probably includes narcissism. This isn’t about you, it’s about her. Folks here can help you sort out what to do next, and how to plan for a more healthy future. (Nobody has to be defined by one’s past.) Read, read, read around this site. You might want to copy and paste your intro into a new thread in the forum section. Many more readers there, I sense, so you’ll get a bigger response. I’ll write more soon, so stay with us!

Reply

Kate March 28, 2015 at 5:58 pm

Hello Everyone. This post and the subsequent comments have been very enlightening. My situation is a bit different, and I feel I’m at my wit’s end nonetheless. I am married to the nicest, kindest man. We’ve been married just over three years. He has four children who range in age from 13-24. I suspect his ex-wife is a NM, and her behavior has seemed to escalate since my arrival in the picture to the point now where the three oldest kids no longer have a relationship with my husband. It’s been heart breaking to watch, and it riddles me with guilt for being the impetus behind the escalation of her damaging behavior.

Without going into detail which would take an hour to write, my question is this: when do kids begin to realize how manipulative their mother has been? Will they ever want a relationship with their dad again? Will they realize how poisoned and brain washed they were? I can’t even imagine the depth and extent of the lies they’ve been told. I can see which two are the SCs and which two are the GCs, but despite that, all four seem firmly entrenched in mom’s camp. I’ve never felt such intense dislike for anyone as I do this evil woman, and I find myself obsessing over it. It is so cruel and unfair. My husband and I can’t do anything right. Do good deed goes unpunished. We are to the point of retreating completely and hoping that time will heal this wound one day.

Reply

Leave a Comment