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 helpful, I encourage you to read my free eBook The 7 Steps to Recovering from a Narcissistic Mother.

{ 887 comments… read them below or add one }

lcarter April 18, 2015 at 10:14 am

My NM recently passed and left my NS everything so “I couldn’t hurt anyone in the family with anything she had.” What?? SO my NS is spending the small amount of $ on acting lessons and photoshoots (she is 57) thinking she will be the next Meryl Streep I guess. The grandchildren each got $3K and I got a letter. In it it had every email she disagreed with, how she said she was “afraid” of me (because I called her out on her BS and asked for the truth.) Even at her funeral she rewrote scripture so it could pertain to her more. And ended with how much she loved her family and they all knew that. I am now in PTSD therapy and am very hesitatant to be in amy type of relationship with NS. They are very manipulative and I think my anger is clouding my strength. When I read WINNING was their untimate goal, it could not have said it better myself!!

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Sandy April 21, 2015 at 9:09 am

Michelle,
Thank you so much for your emails. I’m 60 years old and just now am a little over a year, with no contact with my mother. I’ve tried for my whole life to please her and do more and more and more for her, and it was never enough. What you wrote today about transactional and relational relationships hit me to the core. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer,and I told my mother; the first thing she said to me is who is gonna take me shopping and do all I need done now? You think that would be my breaking point, but I still tried minamal conatact. Well here I am after all the years of grief I am at no contact. It is THE ONLY WAY to heal my depression and anxiety I have because of years of her manipulation and control. Really and truly appreciate all your emails, thank you for helping me to heal. Sandy

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awakenow May 14, 2015 at 7:14 pm

Sandy I am so sorry. I am 42 and now seeing why NC is critical to happiness and overall emotional well-being. My son’s are in their late teens. I know that once I send them off to grow as young adults the NC will begin. I am currently in light contact. I pray your strength!

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Debra May 13, 2015 at 7:53 pm

My name is Debra my mother is killing me, she as ruined my life emotionally physically draining me. My dad was a alcoholic and her to. He sexually abused me too and she knew everything. Everything you say is my life with her. The rest of the family to that just don’t see it because that don’t life with her. I can’t get out of here there’s no way out. I’m 50 and just want to be happy. My kids as suffered to. Because I didn’t learn how to live right in my life so much pain and still stuck in it. Trying to heal but so hard here.. I want to live some in this life. If I stay here she will win I will die here. I know she as lifeinsurance on me I know she well fighter it out. She does not care for me I see straight through her. Help me

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awakenow May 14, 2015 at 7:07 pm

You have to get out! YOUR CRY FOR HELP on this site is the first step. Where are you? How can I help??? I am praying for you! There are shelters and safe havens. I can research for you. Just say the word. Please get out soon!

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awakenow May 14, 2015 at 7:10 pm

Debra I hear your cry and it is breaking my heart. Please get down on your knees and pray. Seek God! It costs nothing but your heart and time. Seek Him. He will guide you. She can’t take prayer and love from you. Don’t let her steal the very essence of who you are, a child of God! He is your lifeline! He is your refuge!

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Tory May 26, 2015 at 10:55 pm

Debra leave!

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Eden June 9, 2015 at 7:59 am

Hi, Debra, I am the same age as you. I cut contact and moved as far as I could away from my Mother, she was poison also. I had a phone call off an old school friend telling me my mother had died. I had no emotions, nothing. I asked how she died And was told ‘Painfully’. I was pleased.
My Sisters and I was starved, beaten and emotionally abused until we could leave home or in my mothers case until she could legally throw us out. Move as far away as possible and cut all links.

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Chris June 25, 2015 at 6:02 pm

You should definitely leave, enjoy your life, you deserve it :) Some people are poison, and unfortunately sometimes they are parents. Please make sure you don’t make the same mistakes with your kids. Best of luck to you, I hope you free yourself :)

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awakenow May 14, 2015 at 7:04 pm

I recently told my mother that she needs therapy. Her reply – Maybe I do, what about you? Narcissists are masters at pulling you into their Web of self deceit. When I confronted her with truths about her trashing me to other people she stated that she would never do such a thing. And… “why would I do something like that knowing it would hurt you?” “Can you be woman enough to tell me who they are so that I can confront them?” Me – “No I do not want to uncapped drama” She responds with “Why should I believe you?” My response “You don’t have to believe me” Her response “You believe them?” “Who are they, this is for me not for you. My response “Yes because their detailed accounts on events were correct”. Her response ” well if I did say anything it was to blank and blank….. and blank. My response ” I thought you didn’t trash people.” Her response “You are :-)” “You want to hold this” Now at this point I have caught her in a lie but know that with exhibit a-z in her face she will still deny wrongdoing. She can’t be trusted. She put up a facade for so long that I literally thought she was close to perfect. Now I know she is a liar. She used to attend church like a drug addict. Giving all her money to the church in exchange for a fake prophetic gift. I always believed what she shared, or at least the little she shared. Yet when zi asked her to expound or give further insight on a revelation she would hold it or keep it to herself and say that God said she couldn’t share it and that people wouldn’t understand or they “weren’t ready” I hung on her every word waiting for the rest of the prophecy… the revaltion that would never come. Now I realize that she never held the rest of the prophecy and if she did, she “revealed” things as confirmation after information became common knowledge. One example was when my fiance’s father was murdered, my mother told him after the murder that she had a dream that he had multiple holes throughout his body where like could shine straight through. Mind you his father died of multiple stab wombs. Now why is it that if you know you have a gift and you dream something questionable or even down write horrible about someone you are able to identify, wouldn’t you give at least an ounce of warning? I can go on and on. I am a 42 yr old African American woman and my mother is 62. I share my race because mental health is something that we don’t talk about or even want to deal with in the African American community. It is shameful to many. I believe that is why mental and behavioral health issues are so prevalent. Couple that with rigid southern values and a wealth of mistrust in society and you have thousands of disordered individuals that essentially may be ticking time bombs. I have more to write and will follow up once I put my baby girl to bed. God bless all!

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Jaquae Perkins May 15, 2015 at 10:56 am

Hi… as I was reading this article, I found myself having to stop and think and repeat some sentences. Not because I didn’t understand but because it blows me that I finally found meaning of why my mother displays this type of behavior. I am more of the scapegoated child. I am 23 years old and the only child. I was confused with my feelings. Asking myself am I wrong for thinking such things about my mother? Is God mad at me because I am kind of pushing myself away from my mom and her negative ways. Lately I have been trying to reach out to her by using different approaches but they all failed. She would insist I was always at fault for how our relationship is. Our other family members do not know my mom is really like this… Or do they, I ask myself. She makes up lies about me or exaggerates things to them that makes me out to be disrespectful or ungrateful. Like she’s this super mom that does no wrong and her ungrateful daughter is rebelling against her, which is definitely not the case. I have always been treated less like a family member because of the different route I went down in life. Like not going straight to college after high school, for an example.
It has gotten worse because I am 9 months pregnant and I have been putting my foot down lately. I refuse to act like there’s not a problem anymore. I refuse let my child (her granddaughter) be treated in the way I was treated. I blamed myself for many years. Sometimes I still do. It hurts me that she only considers me as the problem. I have been seeing a psychiatrist and even she is pretty much saying the same thing about my mother. A BIG THING My mom does is do for me as in spend money and get me this or that when I don’t ask which is a blessing BUT she uses this as a controlling way to threaten me if I don’t do certain things in life as in making decisions HER way. I just need a little advice on how to handle this now that she has pretty much displayed she’s not going to change even after I give birth to my child in the next 3 weeks…..

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Karl May 17, 2015 at 5:53 pm

Copy and paste this post to the recovery forum section, Jaquae. Many more folks there who will probably give you great advice. You are lucky to be figuring this out when you are so young. Life will get better. Welcome!

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Anonymous May 21, 2015 at 4:02 am

Thank you so much

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shauna June 9, 2015 at 11:50 pm

Jaquae…Oh my gosh…its like I just read something I would write 100% completely the same. Everything is exactly how you explained it with my mother. I’m telling you, its such a great feeling to get confirmation it is true, my mother is a narcissist and I am going to be okay now that I know. It will be the same for you. Its like now that I know, everything is crystal clear to me. Its so easy not to fall for her crap anymore because I can see right through it. I am doing no contact but she is still trying her hardest pulling out all the tricks in the book to get me to talk to her gain. Thank you for your comment and affirmation you provided and reminded me of.

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Sue June 1, 2015 at 8:52 pm

Hi I have a question about no or low contact . I have tried many times but what brings me back is my kids and my nieces and nephews. But family gatherings with all of us are so painful for me after years of being scapegoated. It has been so bad that my NM has called my ex and my kids on their cell phones inviting them to family events. Knowing I wouldn’t go. She never wants to be around me or my kids except for family holidays and birthdays. My 2 sisters have sided with NM leaving me alone. Even their husbands have gained up on me at family gatherings . My NM once suggested counseling for the family but AFTER she and the rest of my family had already gone without me.of course I refused and was astonished that she thought I would t see through this …framing me as the problem.i have had so much anger and depression ar times. A few months ago I finally went on an anti depressant which has helped me . I have a successful business and 2 teens I need to be on my A game without all this energy sucking drama.I got divorced when my kids were little and no help from the family who lived 5miles away. I moved 40 miles away 9 years ago and my sisters never come and my parents 2-3 times a year. I got NO support from anyone in my family. Only judgement.They accused me of being needy…. I could go on and on but my main question is how Can I go No contact and deal with this with my kids and my nieces and nephews who I am sure now (they are adults)side with their parents (my sisters) I was totally involved in their childhoods but that didn’t matter to my sisters when I had kids. NO involvement in my Iife my NM recently accused me Of shutting them out ! How do I explain this to my kids when they get it now that my family isn’t very close (they used to cry about no one coming to see them when they were younger or coming for very short visits.)But they like the money and gifts my NM gives them and my kids have thought it was mean of me when I would refuse to attend certain functions.Of course, they don’t get the whole picture only part. Thank you for reading my ramble

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Eden June 9, 2015 at 8:02 am

If your kids are old enough to understand your pain, explain to them how you feel cut off all contact with your Family. Best thing I ever did.

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Melodee June 11, 2015 at 2:30 am

I’m so glad I found this. Reading everything has opened my eyes. I just cut my NM out of our lives. I have a 2 year old that I don’t want to subject them to her bizarre behaviors.

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Ramey Chisum June 15, 2015 at 5:43 pm

I told my mother that because she refuses to change her abusive habits and treat me as an adult I don’t want her in my life anymore. I felt good about it at first and now I am getting scared of what she will do to me in retaliation. She has committed such vicious acts against me any time I’ve attempted to escape her and now thst she will be firced to give up control I don’t know what to do. I want to believe she can’t hurt me anymore or make me her slave as I am 36, live on my own, I have a child and another on the way but like she’s proved to be true so many times: She brought me into this world she can take me out. Help please…

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anon June 27, 2015 at 2:44 am

Ramey, I am 32 with 2 kids and I can relate to your fear. I just confronted my “egg donor” and she’s furious with me and retaliating. She’s started to go for my kids, but fortunately the love we have for each other makes it easier for them to see grandma is not right in the head. It’s a very bitter reality, but take care and keep your kids far away. Love, love, love them so they know what to look for in their own personal lives. I was so confused by love that when I found it I had to adapt. I thank God for my husband’s patience with me in this process. Most men would have kicked me to the curb.

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anon June 27, 2015 at 3:00 am

Be very open with your man and share this with him. My mother got between my husband and me. If we argued, he’d call her. It wasn’t until after I started to share my childhood experiences with him that we both realized he was suckered also. Now she’s no longer buddy, buddy with him.

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Kate June 16, 2015 at 1:33 am

Just want to say, Its never too late but the sooner you act the better life will be. My mother died last year.She was 86 and I was her care-giver. I am 55. Boy am I angry. Angry angry angry. I only found out about narcissistic information websites recently and wish so much I had known 30 years ago. I always thought there was something wrong with me, my brother thought there was something wrong with him but she was so clever at manipulation that we never discussed it (or anything else) until a few weeks before he died 8 years ago. Although its a relief to discover that the family I was born into were dysfunctional I can’t shift the anger and hate.. Even after they are dead NM’s can still affect you. My advice to anyone with parents like mine – get out, move on, talk to those you can trust (I have major issues with trust) but GET OUT. They harm and harm and harm. All those wasted years I thought I owed her love and duty. She owes me! Good luck and lots of love to all of you trying to have your own lives. We weren’t given an easy path to tread.

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Ramey Chisum June 16, 2015 at 6:57 am

So now my mother told my baby’s dad to leave me because I won’t let her abuse me. She’s ruining my life again and again. If he does leave his little girl will be asking for her daddy and his little boy will never get to see him. I know she wants me to believe this is all my fault but I never told him to leave, she did.

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Ramey Chisum June 16, 2015 at 7:16 am

I’ve decided I will take the approach used on this site and all like it, ignore the problem and it will go away. I guess I can now…

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Anonymous June 16, 2015 at 7:26 pm

Went to Mom’s today. Walked in and told her how pretty her flowers were and would she like me to slice the strawberries I brought her. She told me to put the strawberries on the table and sit down because she needed to talk to me……………..never a good thing, I have learned. She proceeded to accuse me of withdrawing my financial support from her (I no longer could afford to do it) because she wouldn’t go somewhere with her. She also told me that she had all of those anxiety attacks because I didn’t call her on Sundays,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,although I think the phone works both ways. She went on to tell me that I am an old unhappy woman who thinks I never do anything wrong. When I told her I wasn’t going to listen to her, she accused me of stealing her Xanex. She was also angry because I wouldn’t give a quilt back to her so she could give it to someone else. I hate this woman. Hate her, hate her, hate her.

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marilyn June 16, 2015 at 7:29 pm

Went to Mom’s today. Walked in and told her how pretty her flowers were and would she like me to slice the strawberries I brought her. She told me to put the strawberries on the table and sit down because she needed to talk to me……………..never a good thing, I have learned. She proceeded to accuse me of withdrawing my financial support from her (I no longer could afford to do it) because she wouldn’t go somewhere with her. She also told me that she had all of those anxiety attacks because I didn’t call her on Sundays,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,although I think the phone works both ways. She went on to tell me that I am an old unhappy woman who thinks I never do anything wrong. When I told her I wasn’t going to listen to her, she accused me of stealing her Xanex. She was also angry because I wouldn’t give a quilt back to her so she could give it to someone else. I hate this woman. Hate her, hate her, hate her.

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gladi'mnotalone June 19, 2015 at 6:14 pm

Thank you for the information. I was the scapegoat growing up.My sister was and still is the golden child, my mother was very into beauty and fashion, and my sister was tall and thin. She even encouraged us at around 12 years of age to wear make up and dress much older then we were.I even had permission to go to bars under age. Yes my mom played and still does play my sister and i against each other. Everything was always my fault, then my father passed away and i became the hero. She has even dragged my adult kids into the mess. I have had to put up very strict boundaries with her. She has lied to me, kept secrets from me, played mind games, played the victim, gotten angry at me when i didn’t/do attend to her constant needs. Today is wanted to know when i was coming to see her, well i have already seen her twice this week, so i told her i’ll see her next week, she got very angry and said DO WHAT YOU WANT, i know what that really means, do what she wants, i felt so guilty and almost called her back to set up another day to visit her.then i found this site. :)

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Renee June 24, 2015 at 7:47 am

Hi All~

Just checking in to see how everyone is doing.

Some thoughts to share ~ On this 45 year journey (the first 30 I really didn’t know I was even on!!), I NEVER thought that I could write that I have reached a ‘balance’ in dealing with my nm. It is a road I would not wish on anyone, even the most evil people that walk the planet.

My nm actually made it very easy for me (looking back). She cut me off but continued her saga to my in-laws and children. My children have always known and now my in-laws finally get it too BUT it took a very, very, very long time for them to see and accept it.

I don’t really feel anything; no anger or resentment ~ although I am miffed at the antics she has pulled on my poor children. She has just faded. There is no power. There are no tears, weeping, longing, soul searching for what I did wrong, there’s nothing. And I can exhale. There is no confrontational angst or dread. And, again, I can exhale and breath without weight.

I am sharing because I want everyone to know that this is possible and everyone can achieve what I am feeling. And it wasn’t all my work; kudos to my husband, my children, my lifetime friends, and this website (thank GOD for this website). And, if I may suggest, when you reach the top of the mountain, please reach out to others that are still seeking, begging, crying, longing for help.

The very best to everyone. I will keep you all in my thoughts as you continue to heal.

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Michele Fralick June 29, 2015 at 8:40 am

“when you reach the top of the mountain, please reach out to others that are still seeking, begging, crying, longing for help”

Thank you for sharing your story, Renee.

You’ve given the gift of HOPE (to at least one CONFIRMED person who was once blind and “longing for help”) …

* elated, knowing you’re finally free, exhaling
* no longer feeling frustrated but rather, validated
* certain that your words are Divinely Scribed
* waiting to exhale, eager to help others like us
* BEYOND BLESSED

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Anon June 26, 2015 at 12:31 am

Thank you for the excellent list. I would like to add one more: The physically abusive narcissistic mother. My mother beat the hell out of my brother and me. I was terrified of her and it was a perfect addition to her twisted mind games. To disagree meant beatings.
She turned us all against each other, lied, manipulated. I was picked on horribly in school because of the stupid clothes she made me wear and her intentionally going out of the way to make me an outcast. She has absolutely destroyed my whole family’s life.
I am a complete loser. Work as a janitor because I have social anxiety and it’s about the only work you can do completely by yourself. I’m afraid to drive in traffic or go to the store.

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Pam June 26, 2015 at 3:10 pm

This website has given me the courage to leave my NM immediately. She allowed her ex-husband to sexually abuse me when I was 7 years old and it didn’t end until I was 10. She claimed she didn’t know about it. I am 53 and feel as if I have no one on my side because she has manipulated my siblings to believe I am the problem. Now I realized she seem to have every trait I just read of a narcissis. Now I know my mind is not playing trick on me because of the dreams I’m have over and over of her taking money from men to leave me with them. Oh my God.

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Michele Fralick June 29, 2015 at 9:28 am

STAY STRONG, PAM! Your mind isn’t “playing tricks on you”. Perhaps such train of thought is nothing more than a survival mechanism? Though I don’t know for sure, I do know what it’s like to think you may be tripp’in with such thoughts about your mother. I also know what it’s like to be a 7-year-old girl, raped and beaten up throughout her childhood and into her teenage years while her NM either “turned a blind eye” … continuously witness her NM “play the victim” when confronted with a demand for answers by a now adult daughter … a 40-year-old woman, painted as a monster to her younger sister …

“she has manipulated my siblings to believe I am the problem”

I am now left to wonder if the sibling(s) are truly clueless OR are they just as “manipulating” as the original culprit …

THOUGHTS, ANYONE???

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Michele Fralick June 29, 2015 at 7:27 am

THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

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Anonymous June 29, 2015 at 9:28 am

STAY STRONG, PAM! Your mind isn’t “playing tricks on you”. Perhaps such train of thought is nothing more than a survival mechanism? Though I don’t know for sure, I do know what it’s like to think you may be tripp’in with such thoughts about your mother. I also know what it’s like to be a 7-year-old girl, raped and beaten up throughout her childhood and into her teenage years while her NM either “turned a blind eye” … continuously witness her NM “play the victim” when confronted with a demand for answers by a now adult daughter … a 40-year-old woman, painted as a monster to her younger sister …

“she has manipulated my siblings to believe I am the problem”

I am now left to wonder if the sibling(s) are truly clueless OR are they just as “manipulating” as the original culprit …

THOUGHTS, ANYONE???

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Michele Monica Fralick June 29, 2015 at 9:30 am

STAY STRONG, PAM! Your mind isn’t “playing tricks on you”. Perhaps such train of thought is nothing more than a survival mechanism? Though I don’t know for sure, I do know what it’s like to think you may be tripp’in with such thoughts about your mother. I also know what it’s like to be a 7-year-old girl, raped and beaten up throughout her childhood and into her teenage years while her NM either “turned a blind eye” … continuously witness her NM “play the victim” when confronted with a demand for answers by a now adult daughter … a 40-year-old woman, painted as a monster to her younger sister …

“she has manipulated my siblings to believe I am the problem”

I am now left to wonder if the sibling(s) are truly clueless OR are they just as “manipulating” as the original culprit …

THOUGHTS, ANYONE???

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Michele Monica July 1, 2015 at 11:31 am

Michele,

Thank you for your kind message. This is certainly not a journey for the faint!!

I would like to weigh in on my sibling. In my particular case, initially I did love my sister; protected her, watched over her, etc. I was angry, moreso at my parents than her, because they babied her while I had to most of the chores a ‘boy’ would do. But, even at a young age, I knew it wasn’t her fault.

I guess I was always an outgoing kid while my sister was shy or maybe she just didn’t put herself out there. It was when I went away to college and came home to find that she had taken, with adoring permission from my parents, to take over my closed and drawers in my room. I lived out of my suitcase during the holidays and summers until I officially moved out of the house (second year of college).

Getting older, I saw that my nm liked to baby my sister; shopping trips because they wore the same size (I was an athletic girl and never a size 7 or 9), she made lunch for my sister, on and on and my sister just ate it up. I now my sister has dreamed of being an only child, intially because she was jealous of who I was (nobody but just that people seemed to like me) but now it is for the inheritance she will no doubt collect.

My sister, and her husband, knew full well what they were doing and manipulating both of my parents. It is what it is. So in my case, it was done knowledgeably and with mal-intent.

They can have each other. My emotional peace is worth $350k (my share of what my sister will get). Even with every penny my sister will get, she will have no peace as she has sold her morals, ethics, and soul to the devil.

Hope that helps.

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Genevieve July 2, 2015 at 3:01 pm

My parents joined the DOS when my siblings and I were young. On our way to our first 3rd world post, my mom tried to abandon us all in the airport. My dad had to beg her to stay with her family. That trend continued throughout our lives. I have distinct memories of the three of us young kids sobbing and begging her not to leave us on multiple occasions when she would begin packing her suitcases and demanding our dad buy her tickets to go back home. So rude.

In addition, there were the grandiose spankings, where many a wooden spoon would crack after one or two whacks on our backs (or the poor cats..). She would instruct one of us to touch our toes so she could hit our behind better and the other two had to watch. This was usually her response to one of us not picking up socks off the floor or something else horrendous we did, all under age 10.

She never hugged us or told us she loved us. I only remember anger and screaming. She would wake up and from the first moment be screaming at us or my Dad, over NOTHING. She loved to play the helpless card, and we all despised it. In grocery stores she would take items off the shelf as she walked and hold it behind her, waiting for someone to jump to attention and take it from her and place it in the cart 1/2 foot away, because she simply couldn’t be bothered. Or she’d invite her friends over to the house, scream for one of us to come to the living room and then order us to ask HER adult friends if we could get them a drink. She could have easily done that herself, but she loved showing how powerful she was over us. Disgusting. Her friends always would compliment her, saying “Wow, you have the best behaved kids I’ve ever seen! They just sit quietly for hours!” It was because we were terrified of her and we loathed her. If we had the audacity to speak in front of other people, we would be in huge trouble when we got home.

What’s really hurtful is that she clearly hated the family she had, but she LOVED every other family she came across. If you had asked anyone else who had exposure to our family unit, no one would ever guess my mother was a crazed tyrant. To the outside world, she was charming and fun and would make cakes for anyone who mentioned good news, etc. But for our birthdays – Nothing. No cake, no gifts, no celebration. She didn’t believe in our birthdays, but for our friends? Oh, they deserved the world.

Later in life, she divorced my father and he has gone onto much greener pastures, luckily for him. Of course, now it’s me and my other responsible sibling left to deal with the trash he left behind. My mother has squandered every last dime making childish decisions, only relying on advice people she barely knows give her, totally discounting the honest help my, now adult, siblings and I try to provide her.

I’m torn now because she is poor and has no life skills and only gets jobs that pay pennies. She refuses to go to a trade school for training to better herself. I can sense that she is hoping that any day now, I will invite her to forget all her problems and move in with my husband and I. Well, f— that! Never gonna happen.

She has made so many dumb mistakes out of her impulsive nature that she is in a deep financial hole, but I feel no obligation to assist her anymore. I have helped her with money in the past and things only got worse. I have always felt like I was HER mother and I hate it! None of my siblings or I ever wanted children, and now none of us have any. Our other family members wonder when we’ll give them grandkids, etc, but little do they know that I am aware children ruin lives and will never bring a kid into a world where I may have my Mother’s traits to impose onto them.

Somehow, the three of us kids ended up alright, but every single day I struggle with immense guilt over not giving her more money, not opening my home to her, etc. People say you should give your mother anything, but I just can’t see it that way. Thus, I am struggling emotionally and logically.

Thanks, Mom!!

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Terri July 4, 2015 at 5:53 am

Hello,
I am 60 years old and recently found this site. Although I have been estranged from my NM since
age 35 she still continues to make me feel guilty. My younger brother became the golden
child and is taking care of her today. She has been diagnosed with altheimers. Praise God!
Now I won’t have to ever deal with her. She was so mean growing up, constantly playing
games and manipulating us. At age 35 I decided that I didn’t want my daughter to have
any contact with her. She has turned my brother against me. He has no contact with
me and told my father to not tell me that he’s moved into her home to care for her. He
has the chance to inherit lots of money. I’m so glad to be away from her but still feel there
is so much work to do on myself. I have a lot of friends and a great husband. But at times
I feel I”m living a very secret life. People on the outside think I”m the most postive, happy
upbeat person. But when alone I spend a lot of time crying and being depressed. I just
wish I could get past this sadness and start to be happy. Any suggestions on what
has worked for you? Thanks!

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Anna Starr July 5, 2015 at 8:06 pm

This site is a god sent

I am a 17 year old daughter of a wicked NM. There really isn’t a place to express the hurt and trauma of these kind of mothers, and no one in real life believes how toxic and abuse they are. My story is long, but if you have the time to read and give a reply, I’d greatly appriciate it :)

I was born to two narcessistic parents, my mother fed my sister and I to obesity from birth to 12 (when I developed anorexia, from her weighing me in front of all my family numbers at a family gathering and constantly calling me fat… there was bullying involded from peers but she had a larger impact) but I believe she was a “feeder” to control us. Think about it, when you’re heavy and excluded, who wants to be with you? Children are mean. So mother dearest was the only “friend” I had. She would saw me as the scrapegoat and my NS as the golden child. My NS never questioned our mother and got praise fron her. I am not a robot and will not be treated like one, thus the shaming and negelct got worse. Even when I was her minion, she called me a “loser”, “failure”, “weirdo”, and “fat”. Those wounds never healed.

When I was about 12, she began to loath me for being thinner and younger than her. I realized she was angry, the feeder/feedie relationship fell apart and we no longer had that BFF relationship. She wouldn’t let my go places or shop for clothes myself; a new way to control me. Later that year, she put me in a truck and said we were going to the doctors office; not an emergancy room. I was locked in a hospital psych ward for 2 months (unconsentualy from her..) and I came out worse. She screamed like a two year old on crack and I asked the staff to not let me go home. Cause I knew what was coming. My style changed and she blew up like a rocket. I could not be different or eccentric to society.

Moving on to high school. I became the queen bee of my group, I got excessive attention from boys (and a few girls!) and it felt like love. But it wasn’t. That led to a horrible sex addiction and multiple suicide attempts at 15. I started partying that year and tried every common drug by 16. I know, theres no excuses for that. I tried to come out as bisexual (which was *very* hard to do) and she laughed, “No you aren’t. You’re confused’ I was in a long term relationship with a girl and I had to hide it. She always asked why she couldn’t meet my parents and I never had a reason why…

Now this year (17), I threatened to call legal authorities and reveal her long string of abuse. Shes renting me an appartment, but we got in a fight and she cut me off financially so I cant afford to buy basic things I need. I hope to temporarlily patch things up until I get a job and education (no one said I had to do either… I’n such a wreck… but I was enabled so I had to rely on her). I dont know what to do. I have 1200, enough for a bit of food and a months rent. Kinda sucks, but I am so angry and resentful towards her.

Im not trying to slander her, this is from multiple people so why not say it? Shes almost 50, shops in the juniors section and victorias secret (she follows and pretends its age appropriate), coddles two chihuahuas and feeds them 3 people sized meals of fast food and other human cr&p, talks in a baby voice like michelle duggar, spends a ton of money on hair/makeup/etc, mocks people for self harming *cough*, and tries to control everyone around her.

BTW, shes killed 3 animals from overfeeding (health problems). Her dogs are allowd to deficate anywhere they please; including my old room. And bark to high h*ll, nobody likes them accept for her.

Thanks for hearing my story, Im open to any addice or suggestions for dealing with a beast like her. Good luck to anyone who is recovering from a mom like this!

Hugs from the northwest,
~Anna Starr

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anon July 6, 2015 at 10:48 am

Hey Anna,

First off, kudos for you seeing your nmom for what she is at a young age. You might check into legally divorcing or emancipation so you’d qualify for housing assistance and food stamps. I don’t know much about the process, but you will need to prove that you have plans to attend school or work to provide for yourself. Some lawyers offer free consultation and you might find a lawyer to help you out pro bono.
My nmom created a lot of self esteem issues for me. I am a busty woman and in my teens she’d make comments like, “I always thought I wanted large breasts, but after seeing how fast you go through bras, I’m glad I don’t.” She also constantly nagged me about being too skinny, cut my hair into mullets and made me wear the dumbest clothes. It made me a super easy target for the mean kids.
Don’t be ashamed of your past choices. When you have no real guidance it’s hard to make choices between right and wrong. I made some pretty dumb decisions as a teen also. Everyone makes mistakes, but if you recognize them and learn from them you will be just fine.

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Anna Starr July 6, 2015 at 10:29 pm

Thanks for the reply! It is an option, but I need plastic surgery to reverse the effects of a hormonal disorder that wrecked my face, so seperating from her may have to come aa bit later, or it’ll come out of my future paychecks.

That’s horrible! It would be bad enough to have your mom pick on you for your chest size, but even worse, make you a target. Most mothers would throw a hissy fit if you wore those kinds of clothes and a mullet?? I appriciate your advice and hopefully things will get better. We have to stand up to these kinds of moms or leave. Oh well, I hope you feel better about yourself now cause I bet you well diserve to.

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Monica July 7, 2015 at 3:09 pm

This is a great website. It’s validating to hear other’s stories about narcissistic parents. For decades, I saw the odd psychotherapist, and together we could never figure out my problem: a narcissistic mother. Now, thanks to the Internet, there is help and healing available. I read others’ stories and nearly every one has something in common with my own. A narcissist is a narcissist, only she expresses it in different ways.

It’s taken seven years, but I think I’m approaching normality, or as normal as I’m ever going to be. My mother is approaching the end of her life, and I believe I’m going to feel relieved when I get that phone call. I do not intend to be there. I feel like I got my final rejection from her when she asked me, a few weeks ago, why I was in a psychiatric hospital (I was 16 and just wanted the bullying to stop, both at home and at school, and expressed a desire to die to a school counselor.) Four decades later, and she couldn’t be bothered to ever ask. (I told her that I was getting beatings. A short time later, I found a post-it note on a larger pile of accusations against me that said, “Monica says she was getting beaten at school. This could be bullying. Ha! “Could be!” Or perhaps, of course, I deserved it, being the screw-up I was.) Back home, after that hospitalization, I asked if she wouldn’t rather have the money if I killed myself…she jumped up, gave a sob, and put her arms around me in a hug, and left the room. It’s been only lately, after decades of denigration, that I realized that was a “yes, please, I’d like that.”

I healed when I realized that my mother’s often loudly-repeated assessment of me as a worthless, helpless, sorry piece of junk was lies, lies, lies. It started the neuronal trains in my head going in a different direction. “I’m stupid” was overtaken by “No, actually, I’m very smart.” Two locomotives often vied for the train trestle, until “I don’t deserve to be alive” was pushed into the river by “I have as much right to live as anyone else.” (It was very noisy up there some days!)

I resent the thirty years of adult life I’ve basically lost because of my mother’s narcissism. But I intend to make up for lost time.

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awakenow May 14, 2015 at 6:39 pm

Carrie I know how hard it is. I have yet to tell my story about my biomom, but believe me, I share your pain. Although I am almost at the level of no contact, complex circumstances make it very hard to initiate. She is very enmeshed with my teenage sons. She uses them when ever she sees an inch to do so. I could go on and on… I applaud you for your no contact efforts. From my understanding they will never give up on what was once their primary source of supply. You will have to be strong with your boundaries.

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