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.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Lorixo April 12, 2016 at 5:28 pm

Wow I’m very thankful for this article and these comments. At 29 I have decided to start seeing a therapist so that I can learn to get along better with my mother. With therapy and with some books that I’ve read, I have come to realize that I am the daughter of a full blown narcissist. Someone who has played the victim and blamed me for her depression my entire life. No matter what I do, to her I never loved her enough. Never mind the fact that my father died when I was seven and I have had to endure many of her boyfriends and other marriages. Never once did I have a chance as a child or even now to come to terms with my own emotions. Whenever I showed any sign of crying I was told I was being overdramatic. I was never allowed to be the child. I have had to be her mother emotionally and even financially. She ruined my credit and I got her a credit card when I was still in college. She makes me feel guilty for any success I’ve had in my life. She sends herself to the hospital for a panic attack or for 1 million other health reasons when she senses that I am not giving her attention. Whenever I go on a trip with my husband or do something good for me, it’s always how come I haven’t done anything like that for her. She has ruined almost every holiday I have spent with her, yet the fear and sadness I feel when I picture her alone results and me seeing her on a holiday. Every holiday she tells me how she is so depressed that she wants to kill herself and that I don’t love her enough and that’s why she’s depressed. I am realizing now I cannot heal her pain, and it is wrong for her to expect that of me. have now begun the road to healing by seeking out therapy, and I am learning that my childhood and my relationship with my mother was toxic . Luckily, I have an amazing husband and a great network of friends and now a good therapist, so now I must learn to distance myself from my mother and come to terms with the fact that I will never have the nurturing mother I was hoping for

Reply

Jan April 17, 2016 at 7:09 pm

I started to look at multiple Narrcisitc mother articles due to my mom of course. I’m in my teens and still living with her.
I first got curious about the by realizing that my relationship with my mom is distant, she barley knows me.
She tells me how to dress even though most of the stuff I wear is what she wanted, she makes me give her a full on spa treatment sometimes with messages, nails, hair etc.

She explodes when she’s wrong even if you have supportive evidence, she’ll shove it off and goes “Humf” or “that’s a problem with you and God..”

She’s very insucure, mainly about me. I’m a shy kid so when ever I’m to quite in front of someone after where far from sight she’ll lecture me and say how I humiliated myself when I don’t feel that way at all.
And she’s very worried about my acne which surprisingly she apologized for in the past once, but it’s in vain becuase she keeps doing the same pattern.
Now I’m trying to understand her, so I can talk to her, have fun with her. I love my mom I give her hugs everyday and even though she has her faults she tries her best and we do have our great moments. We just need to talk more because I’m kinda done making a fake persona in front of her.
Actually there has been some change in her, for all the years in my life until this year she obsessed on my grade marks. It was the report card day and I got 73 percent in PE I went into the car looked at my mom and I started crying expecting the worst from her. She looked at it and said “it’s ok” I was very shocked I was thinking “wow I must be dreaming.” Changes like this in her I write in my journal. So yup that’s my wordy story.

Reply

Charlotte May 19, 2016 at 2:40 am

Hi Jan, I can totally understand where you are coming from, especially as a teen. I’m 22 myself and have just recently these past 4 years come to realise what my mum is really like and why. It’s like walking on eggshells constantly and I feel that’s where my most of my anxiety disorder has come from. Please send me an email if you would like to talk more about this, it’s reasurring to have others, especially around the same generation to be going through this! Stay strong X

Reply

Anya April 22, 2016 at 3:44 pm

Hi There

Would love to read your book.

Cannot find your book on this site. 🙁

Anya

Reply

Nancy Robinson April 30, 2016 at 11:51 am

Well, this has been very interesting. Not only was my mother a narcissist I also married two men that are narcissists in different ways, I’m lucky I’m still alive. I would like to read this book about recovery

Thank you so much.

Nancy

Reply

Julia May 5, 2016 at 7:53 am

I would like to know more

Reply

Dora May 5, 2016 at 11:46 am

Thank you so so much for this post. I just cannot convey how much stress, pain and turmoil I’ve been through trying to reach through my mother. I thought it was a matter of her being not as highly-educated, but it’s really because she is 100% what you have described.

I have been blamed for her lost years growing up as a kid, expected to pay back in money for the love she’s giving me growing up now that I’m an adult to prove I that I love her, calls me selfish whenever I refuse, pitted me against my half-siblings to compete for her love, ruined my HS and university graduations with her yelling at me because I wanted more support from her not to praise her for my graduation, my success at school was because of her involvement getting me tutors, not my hard work, was yelled at when I told her I was engaged to a wonderfully supportive guy, was warned that children are a burden and that I’d be suffering with them because they give you nothing but trouble…

Couple everything with a notable language barrier, a refusal for my mother to grow past the 1970’s culture from another world, and different levels of education.. it’s been a nightmare being near this person.

This has all been a torrential tsunami of a realization for me. Insanity….

Reply

Lorna May 7, 2016 at 2:52 pm

Very interesting .. My Mother displayed virtually all the traits listed above..I was told from an very early age that the only reason she had a child was as an insurance to be looked after in her old age.. 15 years ago I decided I could know longer have her in my life and I disengaged, I wrote her a letter explaining that her behaviour was unacceptable – I never heard from her again. My life has improved vastly! I lead a happy and fulfilled life with my husband of 3 years..

Reply

Jake May 7, 2016 at 5:55 pm

I was the scapegoat after I recive the diagnosis of ADHA. Proabley my ADHD was the result of a incredibly disfunction household. I cannot couture the nuber of times I flew under my bed sobbing because I belive I was going to be killed. Hitting me was of little concern, except when I had to go to the ER. Scariest words were “you know I can send you away anytime to the asylum.” To cut to the chase, I am now 63 & the only woman I had a loving realonship with , I lost to a Narcissist. All the women I have been with were Narcissist. I hate myself, have failed at everthing, and now stay closed up in my house and friendless, just cannot trust myself or anyone else. I have done a lifetime of therapy. Damage was too severe and no one got it. It is different now, and I hope all children are heard. The damage can be helped just do not wait.

Reply

h May 8, 2016 at 6:40 pm

Thank you so much .. This is my monster mother.. This has been a hard Mother’s Day but after reading this I feel better..

Reply

Renee May 9, 2016 at 11:51 am

Hi All~

I thought about all of us pre Mother’s Day and Mother’s Day and hoped that everyone was taking care of themselves.

I had a very nice Mother’s Day; my children surprised me with a very thoughtful gift and had my extended family over for a family dinner. Did I think about my nm? Well, yes, I did. I thought about how sad it is that she created this situation, that she is a bitter, old, lonely woman who could be surrounded by family but chooses to revel in the fact of her twisted righteousness and be alone. She thought because she has money that she has power over us …………… and that finally isn’t the case.

As the day came nearer, I couldn’t swallow another MD commercial. Not all moms are like our nms and unless one has walked in our shoes, there is no clue. It sounds too crazy. I think this is one of the difficult holidays for us, honoring the mother-figure. It’s difficult to be on the train when you’ve been steamrolled by one over and over and over and over.

Exhale ~ we made it. Love yourselves for the strong survivors that we are. There’s no right or wrong way, you just have to find your way. The process is working through it and it’s not an easy one. My friends, if I can find a way, so can you. I’ve faced one of the most horrible fears of my life, losing my mother while she was alive. It took work, I did the work, am still doing the work, and I’m ok. Actually I’m so much better.

And you will be too.

Balance, Peace, and Love to you all~

Reply

Jayne May 10, 2016 at 3:26 am

At 55 I now have an answer to why my mother is the way she is. It took a nursing home social worker to shed the light for me. I’m eternally grateful to this person. I was an only child to my mother and played all the rolls scapegoat seem to be her favorite for me. I am so incrediably sad to really accept that she does not love me and is not capable I thought we’d get through this. It’s hard to accept she will die and hate me with her last breath. It will always be a sad spot in my heart but I’m grateful that I have faith and at least have a reason

Reply

Anonymous May 10, 2016 at 1:24 pm

Growing up I always wondered why my mother never seemed to like me. It seemed like she didn’t love me, but no kid can believe their own mother doesn’t love them so the strongest I could conclude was she didn’t like me. Recently I have displeased her and she has completely cut me out of her life. I am a mother myself and cannot understand how she has always been so willing to throw me away. Thus began my search into mothers who cannot love unconditionally. I have never heard of narcissistic mothers but now see that this is exactly my mom. The tears have just been pouring for weeks as I realize that I have to give up on hoping for the loving, nurturing mother I never had.
As Mother’s day came I too could barely stomach all the commercials. This is the first year in my 51 years I did not call or see my mother, her choice. I am learning I have to accept it. My biggest fear is that I will be or am like her although as I had children I was always aware that my mother wasn’t a very good mom and tried to do things differently especially with giving acceptance and unconditional love.

Reply

Anonymous May 12, 2016 at 3:54 am

I have cried for the first time in decades having read your post. I’m 61 years old and have found out, for the first time, why our family is so ‘distant’ with each other.
As a son (with other siblings) I now realise why there never was any love in our family. I have always felt that it would be a great relief and release to me when my mother dies but never knew why I felt that way (and was too ashamed to express it to anyone else). I feel so sorry for her. She has destroyed her own life and has certainly messed up mine, and my siblings, as well.
I’m not ready yet to walk away from my mother and completely cut her out of my life but I feel that my relationship with her will be very different going into the future. It will be on my terms. And if she’s not prepared to accept this I will not hesitate to walk away and cut her completely out of my life, without the slightest feeling of guilt.

Reply

Denna Weber May 14, 2016 at 10:00 am

Mothers Day 6 years ago I walked around a flower shop and had to leave. I’d just learned something horrible that left me numb. No wonder all my siblings and extensions had been pulling away from me for years. If I’d really done everything M manipulated them into believing, I’d cut me off too! Ive never told them of real incidents; I didn’t want to cause resentment. Our older sis died too young– intuitively and experiential knowing much of what you say. Back and forth, up and down and sideways explains Mom. She seemed reasonably content and included all for periods of time. It didn’t last. One thing in your long list of types that I’ve expressed to my husband is BFF. My father finally came to me b4 he died when he realized the damage and unwitting involvement. BFF is only if you go along and do what she does. Now all other siblings and extensions despise me and have no communication with our children either. That hurts the most. It’s terribly lonely and sad, isn’t it– even when surrounded by people who love you, and with resolve not leave any of you own children feeling they’re on a totem pole of love/hate, golden/scapegoat, in/out? My dad finally saw the picture. but the poor man was afraid to speak up. I’d like to know more about torn loyalties– the fear of seeming disrespecful, reluctance to come forward, perpetuation of same illness. Plus, I wish there were a different label than “narcissist”. The unknowing commonly think of Cinderella; they don’t want to hear it. That might mean change, and it’s more comfortable being “in” and pointing the finger outward

Reply

Denna Weber May 14, 2016 at 10:05 am

The BFF is one type I’ve not heard used except by my father and me. Is there any use in telling one’s siblings of incidents and the REAL story? When they’re “all in” they’ve learned patterns. We all have.

Reply

Rebecca C. May 15, 2016 at 2:35 am

My grand-daughters are being raised by a narcissist who is an aunt to their father. Their father divorced my daughter. His family paid for the divorce and insisted he keep the 2 girls. They sent my daughter to live with her grandmother in another state. My daughter just wanted harmony for the girls. He abused the girls and the younger one told her teacher at school. The children were removed from his care that very day….and he never got them back. He has since signed away his parental rights. My daughter never signed anything. The state of Kansas gave the girls to this narcissist aunt even after telling my daughter the woman was viewed as being very manipulative. I would call my grandchildren on the phone and be allowed to speak to them for 5 minutes or less and then have to listen to her for the next 55 minutes telling “How” I should be speaking to the girls. Her husband is a pompous ass. About 2 years ago he squeezed his wife so hard he broke her ribs. They are both very controlling. They threw away a gift I paid $85. to $100. for. They claim it wasn’t thrown out but the child never got it after I called to say a package was coming and husband demanded to know where I shipped it. My mother and I were told one Christmas what we should send and bicycles were on the list. My mother and I each paid for one bicycle and had them shipped. They cost $90. a piece. The husband told me that one child was not going to like her bicycle I picked out and wanted to know if she could exchange it sight unseen. They never sent me any pictures of the girls with their bicycles so I don’t know if they were allowed to have them or not. We sent bike helmets and many other things. They won’t share the girls with us in any way. I asked for them for Christmas one year when our family was all going to be together. The aunt said the girls were not going anywhere without her. My own grandchildren. Their mother won 5-10 minutes a week to speak to the girls on the phone. It breaks my heart. I know the aunt has spoken so nasty about us as she has tried to tell me the same things she tells the girls like I wouldn’t know the difference. They feel like they have to do what she says so they don’t want to like their mother. We didn’t have the money for an attorney to fight these people. They are pretty wealthy. I could go on and on about these people its useless. When I was sad on the girls birthday’s the woman would come to my Facebook page and write mean things. She won everything….why do you need to be mean to me too? I finally unfriended and blocked all members of her family and I felt better. But now I don’t ever see any pictures of the girls. The woman’s two girls married and moved to different states….one clear across the country. But when that girl was talking to her mother about wallpaper she planned to put up the mother decided her daughter was not capable of picking out wallpaper by herself and got on a plane and flew cross country to pick out her daughters wallpaper. It was my oldest grand-daughters birthday….but who cares she had to leave to go pick out wallpaper. My grandchildren are only important when it suits her. What can I do? Any advice?

Reply

HG May 20, 2016 at 5:05 am

Wow, it has taken me 43 years to get to the point where I can now see that my Mum will never change, and nothing that I do will ever be ‘good enough’ for her. I have spent my whole life being negatively compared to everyone else’s children and their achievements. Being around my Mum is mentally draining, but she thinks that she is perfect in every way. It is reassuring to know that I am not the only daughter in this situation. I now understand that she will never change, as she does not see any problems with her behaviour. I would love to read your book.

Reply

Charlotte May 20, 2016 at 11:21 am

I found this article very insightful. I have recently discovered the defintion of what my mother is through Narcissism. I love my mum but I feel that I’ve never had a true relationship with her like I’ve seen with other daughters and their mums. I think my mother is partly to do with my anxiety and slight depression disorder that I have recently been diagnosed with.

My mum is very self centred and when she has one of her ‘funny’ days she takes everything wrong out on me. I’m 22 now and I’m aware that I am wrapped around her finger, even when I’m at university for a couple weeks.

I dread the days that she has off work and I’m in the house with her because it ultimately 80% of the time ends in an argument if I don’t do what she wants. (e.g. forgetting to make her a tea, having a different opinion, not giving her attention, not doing a chore straight away when she asks) I feel that I’m constantly on egg shells when she is around on her bad days and I know that’s a horrible thing to say. She ends up saying to me things like: “why are you not looking? do you not love me? I’ll just go and live on my own then. You are very selfish for not doing that”

At the moment I’m off for summer and I like to do drawing as a hobby. Ive had to lie to her and tell her it’s work for uni as I won’t get a moment’s peace if it isn’t. Even when it is work she still wants everything around her, its exhausting and I don’t know how much I can take before I lose my rag and have a full panic attack.

People tell me to just ignore her but it’s so hard.

There are a thousand things that I could say more about my relationship with her but I wish this could change.

Reply

Jasmine May 20, 2016 at 8:33 pm

My sisters and I first became aware of NPD because it was something my NM used to describe our father. She encouraged us to research the disorder to help us see how “sick” he was. When we started to look at the facts, it became clear that although my dad had some mental health issues for sure, our mother ticked way more boxes than he did. Actually: she ticked most of the boxes.
Now that I have entered into therapy and treatment for depression and suicidal thoughts, the extent of the effect her illness has had on my siblings and I is becoming horrifyingly apparent.
I have been no contact with my NM for almost a year, and although my sisters are still unfortunately in contact with her, she is no longer able to triangulate and pit us against one another. My sisters and I have begun speaking openly about NPD and are in the process of repairing the damage she willingly inflicted on our bond in order to maintain control.
The unique challenge of dealing with a mother with this illness has been extremely difficult and isolating at times, but I draw my strength from knowing that my sisters and I are working to break this cycle so our children will never suffer like we have and we can be a loving family.
I often cry reading the stories of those with NPD parents, especially those who are now themselves seniors who are only just learning they were victims of child abuse. I think of all of these poor children with mothers that cannot love them, who have become adults that believe it is because they themselves are unlovable. I cannot imagine anything more awful, but I am so grateful we found resources like these when we did. Recognising this abuse has been the first step in healing my family and myself. Thank you so much.

Reply

Maria May 25, 2016 at 10:20 am

My Narcissistic evil mother has destroyed my family as well. She has brainwashed my adult children who are now in a relationship with her instead of their own mum! She has caused so much havoc and destruction in the family and siblings haven’t spoken to each other for years either. My children saw first hand what she was capable of a long time ago (I kept them away from her) now she has her revenge on me by telling lies to my adult children and causing destruction to what we had. She has won. My children believe her lies and I am left heartbroken from my estranged children. The only end to this nightmare is she will be gone one day, then I hopefully can have my children back.

Reply

Maria May 25, 2016 at 10:41 am

I was the Scapegoat in the family and was targeted by her destruction I was called the crazy one. All because I spoke out about abuse, it’s true what they say that the Narcissist hates being exposed and will go to any extremes to belittle and damage the reputation of the one who speaks out. It’s terrible for anyone who suffers at the hands of them. I feel for all of you. Stay strong.

Reply

Maia May 28, 2016 at 10:17 am

Thank you so much for this article.
I’m 29, married and mom-to-be. I’ve spend so many years trying to understand what was wrong with ME. I’ve always been the one other kids teased, sometimes even bullied. Growing up, things did non change much; I still have problems dealing with others. I thought it was beacuse of my artistic personality (and maybe this is one of the answers) but when i’ve found out about narcissistic parents (only recently) I’ve finally understood that most of the problem is not me – it’s my mother.
I’ve waited and hoped for her to change for decades, not understanding what was the problem. Now, I’m pregnant and she has found a way to be the centre of attention again: yeas, I’m pregnant, but I’m feeling well and all, on the contrary she’s so miserable, bcause my father is unwell (I have to underline here that my father has been havign health problems for decades; and he’s been worse and worse since last year. I’ve told my mother one hundred times he needed constant assistance, because he was getting worse. She never listened. Until recently… when the world found out I’m pregnant, since my bump can’t be hidden anymore). She calls me from the hospital crying that my father is so unwell (the doctors, of the contrary, say his condition are as bad as they’ve been for months) and never asks: “How are you?”
But finally I’m understanding what game she’s playing, I hope to be strong enough to endure everything.
Thanks again!

Reply

Leave a Comment