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.

{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

Elissa January 12, 2017 at 7:57 am

Hello,
I am reaching out to ask for help, wisdom, advice….and perspective. I am the only child of an *extremely* narcissistic mother; I am 53, she is 81. Together, we have forged a lifetime of misery – she, because she is capable of nothing else; she is a soul-sucker who believes that her lot in life (no money, all smoke and mirrors, former model and tv singer) is thanks to her two (dead) husbands who were simply not enough “man” to take care of her needs both emotional and financial; and I, because I have let her. It was simply too hard to do anything else. I did manage to break away and move out of state, and marry; we have no children because, I have realized, that I already HAD a child: my mother. Still, we support her, paying many of her bills at the end of each month, often before our own, as a way to keep her at bay. When she turned 65 back in 2000, she chose not to carry a Medicare card because people would know how old she is. Instead, she signed up with a crappy Medicare HMO, thinking that she would simply live forever. She also did this because it was cheap, and, we discovered recently, was enabling her makeup addiction (32 tubes of lipstick in her medicine cabinet; 15 containers of powder in her vanity). On 12/3, she fell and broke one ankle and her other foot and had 2 surgeries and is now in rehab near my house. She gave me POA and we are moving all of her money into a pooled income trust so that she can get Medicaid when she gets home. Since her accident, I am sleeping 3 hours a night. I can’t eat without getting ill. I’ve lost weight (yay). My hands tremble. I am now her primary caregiver because she has no money and no one else to step in. Help. Any ideas, greatly appreciated. I’m utterly exhausted.

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Tanja January 17, 2017 at 4:35 pm

Dear Elissa,

Thank you for sharing your problem here. It is very interesting to read about a totally different type of narcissist to the ones I met so far – among which one, my mother.
You told us you did not get a child b/c you already had your mother… still being a child. In a way narcissists are always a bit like a child, merely by all those abilities missing most people are just simply blessed with when born. Your mother however seems to be even much more a child. I can imagine your choice and I’m sorry for you having had to decide this way b/c of your mother. Myself, I also did chose to not get a child. I did so for another reason which was clear to me already in my early 20s happily. I was highly afraid of my mother’s DNA in terms of personality might be resembled in my child. What would I have done to the child then? How would I have coped with two of such nasty people so close to me? What would it have done psychologically to me still going through all the drama’s my mother created and went on creating (and still) and at the same time having to feed up a child showing similar of pretty much the same character?… I was too afraid that my child would be pretty much like my mother and therefore did not get one. Unfortunately – and happily at the same time. Happily b/c recently I did realize that her father, my grandfather, was a narcissist, too. The same holds for the mother of my father. So, among parents and grandparents out of 6 people 3 were/are narcissistic. On my mother’s side out of three beside her there is another sibling with at least quite some strong narcissistic traits. On my father’s side half of the children of his partens are suffering from narcissism. So,… I’m quite happy my mother lost her second child while up to my about 16th birthday I wished so much I would not be on my own… and I am very happy I never took the chance myself to eventually help another narcissist into this world. So, we both chose for the same, because of the same problem (a narcissistic mother), merely for different reasons within the spectrum of problems. You ask for ideas b/c you are ‘utterly exhausted’. You are functioning as her primary caregiver now.

Dear Elissa, please STOP with the roles turned around by her from about the begining. YOU are the child of her not vice versa. Foremost b/c YOU should be the most important to yourself, especially/even more b/c she as a narcissist never put you forward as you deserved. You ‘ve done all you can… even more… b/c now you are utterly exhausted. That means you already started to use up your basic battery quite well which never should happen. You know… this holds for every caretaker… you cannot take care of anyone else when you are not feeling well/being healthy yourself. First things first. YOU are first and then you’ve got a husband. You won’t do well if you go on sleeping that little. You might get even seriously ill. I do know quite some people for example who got a heart or brain infarction by too much stress, pressure, worries and also especially lack of sleep. If I were you I would let the revalidation clinic as well as your mother know that you are utterly exhausted and for the reasons I mentioned, that this way you cannot be of any help now, you first and only need to put attention to yourself… put the problem aside, it is not your problem… she is now in care there… let them look for a solution. You are ‘not fit to help’ at the moment. While recovering you might gain some distance to her and I’d wish for you that you will not go on the next years the way you did during the last years seemingly. Please take good care of yourself! Don’t go on treating yourself as you were treated by her. You do have a choice now. Why should you demand so much from yourself? You are just a human being, you got your own needs and at the moment you really showed here that your situation of health is alarming. You really need to react to that. I wish you all the best and hopefully you will soon feel better, stronger, sleep longer and… after regaining your health I do hope you’ll go on more distance with her. You might start with paying your own bills first before paying hers… ? 😉 YOU are important. You really need to be a bit egoistic now/thinking of yourself first and foremost. All the best!

(PS: I’ve so far only read your post – not one of the reactions you already got)

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Bertie January 13, 2017 at 9:25 am

Hello Elissa,
My mom is now 90. I am one of five siblings, one deceased. The first four were born one year apart and then 8 years later, me. So, I felt like the only child most of the time. We have a NM with a lot of problems and a long, awful history with her as our mother. She has had health problems in the past, has made one of us POA in the past, is now living on limited social security right now, and depends on any or all of us to do things for her, constantly. And she is downright awful, as a human being, and especially as a mother.
Having said that, i do have some advice for you:
Don’t let her move in with you.
Call the “social services” agency within your county. Tell them your dilemma. I assume your mom is from a different state? I assume she would qualify for benefits only if she were to relocate to your state?
Your mom would qualify for some sort of housing based on her income. In my state, we have elderly apartment complexes (and they are nice!), nearby the hospital and nursing home. The normal rent would be something like $3000 a month for the “services” they provide. A dining room with their main meals prepared each day! A oven located on each floor (just one!). They don’t want baking/cooking done in the apartments. Someone is on staff 24/7 in case there are problems. Someone comes in and picks up their laundry once a week and returns it clean. We looked into this recently for our mother (who turned it flat down because she is still living in her home with us doing things for her). But the place would have simply taken her “checks” that she gets each month (social security and I don’t know what else … but it totaled about $1200. In turn, they would give her this apartment, she’d be getting meals, someone to check on her, living near health care, etc.). My mom would have been given $75 for the month (for incidentals). There were also buses that would have picked her up and brought her places (in town) for a very small fee. So, she’d have still “gotten around”. What else can you do? She can’t live with you.
You deserve to have a nice life! I realize you are “on the hook” with her. But it’s not fair for her life to ruin yours. If she lived in an apartment setting, she could visit with the other older folks and they’d have activities too. I think you should try to look out for yourselves as much as possible!! And I also understand how you are not eating/sleeping right now. I wouldn’t be either. I feel for you. You will probably be on edge until you find a solution for where she goes.

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Bertie January 13, 2017 at 9:54 am

One last point: Our mom was in the ER this summer. The doctor asked if she was still living at home. Then he said to her … “You are looking down the barrel of living in an assisted-living facility. I would advise you move now … take the things you love with you… have some power over your future. If you get hurt, you are going to end up in a nursing home, for the rest of your life”.

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Jane January 14, 2017 at 9:09 pm

Elissa, I’m not an expert but suggest checking with your mom’s doctor regarding her treatment plan and for referrals to community resources to help you and your Mom plan for long term care, if needed, as well as check with Medicaid for what they will or not will cover. Good luck and get some sleep!

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Hilda January 19, 2017 at 11:06 pm

Hi, first of all let me tell you how much I appreciate that there is a website like this and you are doing an amazing work Michelle! Thank you. It’s people like you who give me hope.

I have a narcissistic mother, why else would I be here right? I have two older brothers too and all of us have been emotionally, verbally and mentally tortured by her. My brothers, now grown up – Eldest & the only other Good person who was like my parent, 32 managed to move out of the country *Dec 2016* at this stage of his life because she had financially crippled him and didn’t let him study/ build his career; my 2nd brother is the Golden Child, he is almost the exact same copy of her and so they get along far better but have ego clashes every other day.
Whereas for me, since I am 17 and under 18, with no income of my own or the means to get a part-time job, I am dependent on her absolutely. Our father is half paralysed and well, a vegetable (sorry but while he was okay he was very abusive too) and he doesn’t care about what’s going on. We live in a part of the world where the authorities won’t do anything, that is, Child Services or Abuse Centres are non-existent. I can’t depend on my eldest brother yet who is trying his hardest to make something of himself along with his wife & help me — obviously that’s going to take time.
I have a lot of patience and endurance power, believe me but she has been getting too much these days. At the smallest mistake from me, if I forgot something or wasn’t there at her beck and call, she makes a humongous deal out of it and threatens me that she won’t send me to school or take away the computer/ my phone/ room — something or the other and she actually does that from time to time.
I know the only way through this would have to be by being tactful but I am a teen for Heaven’s sake! I have no emotional attachment to her whatsoever because I realised, alone at 11 years old, that she is a narcissistic mother and it would be detrimental for me to be attached to her but what can I do now???

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Hilda January 19, 2017 at 11:14 pm

I wanted to add that I love school, however it may be and whatever stupid classmates I may have, but it is my only safe haven. I love it there, I can be myself and I am way happier and feel like I could be somebody someday. I along with my eldest bro had hoped to do our best and just become independent so we can break off from her but it is so darn difficult…
I can’t stay in school forever, can I? In the afternoon, each day, I have to return to this place called ‘home’. I am probably one of the very few people who hate holidays, Sundays and the like. I have hopes and dreams and I know, however much she may put me down, that I have talent. I want to be a poet, painter and songwriter and be there for people who are in parts of the world where they can’t get help and just simply, be Me.

Thank you once again. I feel a tad bit better after typing all that.

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Leticia Wampler January 31, 2017 at 11:45 am

Hilda

I am sorry that you are having to go through this. I truly hope things change for you. I looked this page up because my daughter told me I was a narcissistic mother. Because I sometimes tell her that I won’t take her somewhere if she doesn’t do what I say. But I love both of my girls the same. I want both of them to go to college and succeed. Maybe get married and have children if they choose that. I wish I could help you. What country do live in that doesn’t have child protective services? Hope you are having a better day.

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C February 1, 2017 at 10:00 am

Hi Hilda,
I do feel for you. I remember being your age and feeling so utterly trapped at home & by the invisible hold my mother had over me. It is very hard when you are financially dependent on her. But there is some good news…
The first good news is that many people aren’t aware what their narc mother is until much later in life. For me I was about 31. So I wasted a lot of time in my 20s trying to keep a relationship going with her, making plenty of effort only for it to end in hurt, frustration, anger & tears because I didn’t understand why with all my efforts slammed back in my face she couldn’t “just be normal”. Knowing what you know now will give you an upper hand over your own life from this point on.
Secondly again your age, the good news is you have years ahead of you! A life to really build & start. It can feel utterly impossible to see the path forward at your age however take it from me… there are paths and I recommend you start plotting your escape.
Can you speak to someone at school – teacher/ career councillor? Try to find a job placement or university/ college far away from your mother. Something fun where you will meet great new people. Failing that do some research online & speak to friend/ call people up. There are charities that will pay for you to go teach in another country for a year… Whatever you fancy there will be something that gets you away and leads to new experiences.
Once you end up wherever (and please don’t get your first job & live at home) don’t fee pressure to come home much, even for Christmas etc. I spent all my 20s going home for Xmas and they were miserable and I am now in a position where I have to see her every Xmas. Had I cut off ties 10 years ago I think it would have been much easier now. Maybe instead go travelling, see the sea/ mountains & learn to meditate. Spend time with people you love. Find happiness & joy elsewhere and learn to follow your heart.
Finally, it’s great you have talent & I encourage you to nurture that. At the same time I know from experience that without immense parental support & £ it can be hard to fund being a post/ painter so I am going to tell you what I wouldn’t tell someone with a normal & supportive family…I don’t want you to try to follow your passions & struggle to escape. Instead I recommend being quite ruthless in your persuit of money. Maybe try get a job in the financial centre of a city; you could be a lawyer or something big, or an office assistant or whatever. Be ruthless in asking for big salaries & payrises & bonuses for the next ten years and this will enable you to have the financial independence you need to have your own life & buy your own place, holidays, nice clothes etc. this will also provide you the money to peruse your passions on the side and perhaps when you reach 30 you will be in a good place to peruse them full time.
Don’t let anyone tel you you can’t, or convince yourself you can’t. Anything is possible & you deserve success & happiness!
I am just telling you what I would tell my 16/17 year old self if I could!
Good luck x

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C February 1, 2017 at 10:09 am

Ps. The way she threatens to take things away from you like your computer etc. is so typical of a narc mother as a way of exercising control. Mine would do stuff like that too when I was younger. You defo need to escape. Can you confide in your eldest brother? If he’s gone out into the world and has a good job he can probably advise you how to do the same & may want to help you do so.

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Mel February 18, 2017 at 6:17 pm

Dear Hilda, I assume your mother actually needs the physical help for herself and your father? Is there anyone else in the family who is making sure their needs are met? Or can she afford hired help? Would your nice brother consider letting you live with him, and have you looked into options for education and work in that situation? Best wishes.

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Hilda February 20, 2017 at 8:22 am

Hi… I wasn’t expecting anything after posting that you know, I have been so used to feeling invisible but thank you all so so much for making me feel like my voice is relevant!
In the country I live in, like I said Child Services are negligible because they are so hard to access plus it would be a tremendously hard job convincing them of my situation, you see society and family are very close knitted here and a ‘mother’ is supposed to be like a God who knows what’s best for her child and this & that utter bullshit. (Sorry) And I am really frustrated by this and hope to grow independent to be able to come back here to help other children going through this….
Thank you C, Mel, and Leticia! I wish you all well and hope everything is at peace with your families.
To C- I have tried talking to teachers at school but I’ve never felt comfortable telling them this because they just don’t really get it… They end up advising me that *I* am the one who should change and bend as much as I can to my mother’s wishes, after all she’s my mother……ugh. And can you believe this? There are no councilors at school.
I have been ~dreaming~ about escaping since I was 13 but of course the practical dream is to go away for college, the deal happens to be that she is so much more than just a narcissistic mother! She knows that sending me away for college means losing control, and it’s so horrendous and horrifying for me, the conversations we’ve had about my college – where she’d start by simply suggesting I go somewhere local, then after I stare at her in bewilderment and shock, I have got to suggest someplace where we have relatives because she is just not okay with the possibility that I might stay in a dorm. But that’s not enough either, she tells me she’ll move wherever it is that I am gonna stay at!
I really understand the need to completely break off from her, yes and plan on doing that once I can afford a life of my own. I’m so sorry you still have to deal with your mother! Though I find solace hoping you know by now, to not take anything she says seriously.
Thanks again, for the advice and I am definitely to set myself on that path.
To Mel- Unfortunately no, there’s no one else in the family ready to tolerate any of the two…. except of course my second brother, the Golden Child. Believe me I’ve been planning my escape since so long and trying to convince my eldest bro to do the same that we both have become quite determined to leave the past behind. The Golden Child shall get what he may after I’m gone. Just one hired helper is present for my father but as of late he actually needs two hands now…. It’s getting difficult day by day but ah, the one thing everyone of us can agree on is that he needs to be moved to a nursing home or something like that. It’s something to appear in the next half of this year, hopefully.
My eldest bro is really all I have, he’s been looking for a job since Jan, and he is getting quite nervous truly because he still hasn’t got one, like I mentioned you know with his minimum qualifications and skills, it’s difficult but thank God, my sister in law’s father understands and is letting them stay at their place but damn it is a bit embarrassing is it not? He’s done some interviews by now and enrolled in a few courses to become updated and capable you know. Things will work out, I am sure and I continue to pray so.
Thank you all so much once again! It means a tremendous lot!

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Gretel June 3, 2017 at 3:40 am

Things I wish I had practiced at your age:
Keep your mother in a box. Be careful what you put in the box.
Once you escape, you don’t have to call her or visit.
Does she go through your stuff? Rent a postal box at the post office. You can just leave the important letters in the box.
Hopefully you have a bank account already. Start stuffing money into it! Babysitting pays really well, and you get to hang out at other people’s houses. “Sorry mom, I’ll be out late babysitting! Need to save for college!”
You will get a great education no matter where you go.
Work on spinning your childhood now. “I had a complicated family life and I don’t have a relationship with my mother right now.” If people press for details, try “Why do you ask?” or “I’m not comfortable talking about this. Do you have plans for the weekend?” It took me years to realize most of my friends and neighbors have nice mothers. They thought I was a bitch for complaining about mine.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel and you are heading right for it. But be patient and kind to yourself. You might be surprised at the feelings that surface as time goes on.

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teresa June 12, 2017 at 1:33 am

This is excellent, practical advice Gretel. My life would have been completely different if I had ONLY ACTED ON WHAT I KNEW WAS TRUE FOR ME – that my mother was actually dangerous for me, and worked AGAINST my best interest. I was aware of this from a VERY young age, and with the conviction of youth ran away several times, just solidifying my position in the family as the SCAPEGOAT. Still am, aged 52 and a Grandmother!

Painful though it is to accept, your advice shows what needs to be done, and what CAN BE done if we take EMOTIONS out of it. Save those for close and trusted friends, or therapist (Both, preferably).

I spent most of my life trying to understand WHY instead of just getting on with what I needed to do for me – true, as a daughter of two mnpd parents, I have dragged a self-concept around that stinks – I was TRAINED to feel like crap for existing – I am now No Contact with my foo – but only recently (several months)- to all of you young’uns out there who know in their hearts the crazy, freakish world they were born into is NOT about them – take the leap! Get the Support! Thanks again Gretel.x

Rae June 4, 2017 at 8:39 am

I am 61 and my narcissistic mother has been dead for 9 yrs. I also have an NPD older brother and an NPD younger sister. Our father, whom I am like, died when I was 13 and that left me alone in the house with them.

I just want to say to you, Hilda, that you must remain disciplined right now as you prepare to go to college and move on with your life. We always know from that voice inside of us what we should do, ie, we know the right thing. Do the right thing for yourself.

So far in my reading in narcissisticmother.com I haven’t read that much about manipulation, but after growing up with 3 NPD people I have learned a few things the hard way. You need to be smarter than your mother in order to outsmart her. The NPD mother feeds on the fact that nobody realizes there is something wrong with her, but you know! This give you an advantage, in terms of dealing with her.

The word “oh” is a complete sentence, at times. In the US we call this “a poker face,” which means you might have a perfect set of cards when you are playing poker, but it is important not to let that show on your face or the other players will realize what is in your cards. Don’t reveal that you know she is NPD or any of your knowledge about your middle brother, because that will tip her off about you. You need to behave as though you had no idea. Be aware when she is manipulating you and be clever by figuring out ways around her.

Realize you will have to perform for her until you move away to college. Sit down alone and review your options for college. The most important factor is to find a college where you can live in the dorms, but get away from her. Perhaps you should try to go to college in another country? But don’t ever let on that you are trying to get away from her. You must pretend that you will miss her and it is going to be hard, but you need to move on to a college dorm while she remains behind at home.

The NPD mother is always looking for “Narcissistic Source.” Remember that. You need to play up to her in order to reassure her that you will still be delivering that source to her when you are living away from her.

Tell her it is going to really help you to know that she will be at home while you are going to be away at college, because it will be so comforting to be able to think of your real home while you are away. In other words, out manipulate her. Do what ever it takes for you to get good grades and move away to college, while she stays at home. This is all out war and you have to be a good strategist.

Once you are through college and can get a job, make sure you live far, far away. Send her a card and gift on her birthday and other important holidays. Be polite. We can get through just about any situation with which we are faced in life by using our good manners. That is the reason manners were invented, because it helps us to work our way around offensive people.

If you will write to her and make her feel as though you owe it all to her, perhaps she will be appeased. Once you get through college and have a good job, then you can begin to taper off of your mother. The reason I’m telling you this is that you live in another country and your choices sound like they are very limited, Hilda. You have to be smarter than your mother; that is the way you will win in the plan to go to college and get away from her.

Good luck!

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June January 22, 2017 at 10:13 am

I am so thankful to have found thissite. Things make so much sense now. I have spent my entire life trying to please my mother and never succeeding. I now know why I could never plese her and never live up to her expectations. The light bulb has finally come on! Thank you!!!

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Beth January 26, 2017 at 11:31 pm

Thank you for making a site on this, this is like finding the perfect counselor. I am in a predicament that prevents me to The effects from this sort of secretly hiding this unimaginable evil abuse, is not an easy thing to get over, especially when my healing survival method was to pretend it didn’t happen, stay as busy not to think about how it makes you feel as a person, as well as how the world sees you. Making more unbelievable to describe. (Not that is a comfortable thing to bring up, or prepared to disgust. ) This has happened in my family, a very tragic ending for our only Brother. So much makes sense to me. I feel a sense of healing, as I find learning to establish a self worth after all the damage from an EXTREME NARCISSISTIC mom, you guessed it, I was the unlovable “scapegoat ” , we lost “The Golden Child” 6 years ago, & trying to understand why we were not close. It never made sense. Now I have some healing closure from this.

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Ada February 2, 2017 at 2:03 am

Thank you for this. I have been in such fear and confusion my entire life because of this. It all makes sense. My mom whom I love dearly is a narcissist. I was scapegoated ever since I can remember. I have a sister 3 years older than myself and a brother 9 years younger. I remember always wondering what was wrong with me. Why was I such a bad person, why can’t I do anything right?. To this day, I still dont know why my mother doesn’t love me. My sister & brother usually switch roles , my sister was the hero&golden child for most of my life. Still is to this day. My younger brother is sometimes the lost child depending on what’s going on. My mom was emotionally unavailable, lacked empathy & extremely selfish in certain cases. She also strongly disliked me & made it known to everyone in our family. My grandmother was the same, held my sister to a high standard, while I did everything wrong. My sister told me that my mom said that my grandma was always unavailable to my mother. She was always partying or working & had a lot of different boyfriends. My mom was alone a lot of the time & the youngest of 6 with older siblings. Well as a kid my sister was the smart ,charming ,polite one & I was the rough around the edges , “mischievous” ,tomboy. I would get blamed for things I didn’t do. Everyone accused me of lying and losing things. My sister would do anything to look good to the adults so she would make up things to get me in trouble when she needed attention. Or talk me into doing things she knew I would get in trouble for. My sister could ask for something and get it but if I asked for the same thing I would get yelled at and sent out. I was just a burden to my grandma and her husband. At home when chores weren’t done correctly I would get whopped and screamed at and my sister would just get yelled at and would just have to finish after school the next day. But I would have to finish before school because I had volleyball practice and my mom would love to make me late and miss games over little things. She physically beat me until I was 17 years old. She disrespected me constantly and never showed me love or affection while living for my sister and brother in my face. During puberty I remember wishing she never had me. They would all be happier and be able to afford a bigger house. I have extremely low self-esteem & self worth. In Jr. High I had terrible friends that teased me and treated me badly but I never stood up for myself or told anyone about it cus I was so humiliated. Caused me to have terrible intimate relationships. I can’t believe I’ve never seen this before ,this is the beginning of my journey of healing & self love so I could finally find myself & be the person I was meant to be. ❤

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Rachel February 14, 2017 at 3:59 am

I have been in a relationship with the golden child of a narcissist ( a narc himself) for over 3 years. It has been a very painful relationship, however, things truly got bad when his narc mother found out we were having a baby! She cried and shouted that she was not ready to be a grandmother and totally ruined my pregnancy and the happiness I felt. My partner changed when his mother showed dissaproval and he was more hostile with me during our two pregnancies. I can say it was one of the hardest periods of my life. Other half has no empathy nor does his mother. Things got so bad one Christmas he left me home alone and went to his mother’s with the children… when we go there together, she is unfair towards me and he shows me up in front of everyone. I can never say anything she does to me to him as he gets extremely defensive and excuses her behaviour or worse tells me I am lying. There is a lot of emotional abuse and I feel very lonely.

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Gail February 19, 2017 at 12:09 pm

Thank you for sharing this article! I hope everyone who has been abused by a narcissistic parent will take action to get to help you need to become the healthy individual which is your birth right! I have 2 children of my own now and I’m making effort day by day to be emotional connected to them…something that was denied to me. Because of the abuse I endured I have indulged in drugs, toxic co dependent relationships, & even thoughts of suicide. I have made a commitment to let go the pains of the past & lift the veils of illusion! Today, I make a choice to change my life! To anyone who reads this remember—You are enough just as you are! You are worthy of love with flaws and all!! I love you!

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Mel February 19, 2017 at 1:10 pm

Hi Michelle. Thank you for your thoughts and experience! Any thoughts on elder NPD relatives’ care?

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cyn February 21, 2017 at 1:26 pm

My mother who I thought was on my side, had been turning all my family members against me for years. She in turn told me bad things on family members as well. Who knows if they are true or not, but I do know that all the family gets together but I’m not welcome. I only have one sister and my mother turned her against me. She made me need her at the same time that she was telling me I needed to do things for myself. I was never good enough. We’ve been No Contact since July 2016. That’s when I told her how I felt about her treatment of me.

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Tan February 22, 2017 at 9:27 am

I went NC with my NM coming up to 2 years ago this March and after 40 years have felt so much better and freeer. Slowly but surely my closest and dearest relatives have disappeared from my life to the extent that having not received a Christmas card from an old dear aunt I sent another card asking if she was ok.
A very short but curt letter came back saying that she cannot understand the way that ‘I have treated my mother’ . And is asking ‘What can have happened’. How can I respond without either providing too much ammunition to my NM but also to try and keep a relationship with my aunt ? I feel that through my own fault I have now opened up wounds again for myself (:

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Lizzy May 19, 2017 at 6:40 pm

Tan, I know your comment is a few months old, but I’d like to add my two bits in case others are having the same issue—it seems we’re all here for the same thing anyway, but you brought up a very touchy subject, and one that I can empathise with…sadly. My NM (I actually seem to be drowning in a sea of narcissism, as my MIL, stepfather of nearly 40 years, my sister, and her husband are all narcissistic…not so unusual when you realise how we gravitate toward others who are either like us (the targets) or people who treat us the way we’re accustomed to being treated) has blabbed about my personal issues (totally embellished), always in the guise of the “terribly concerned” (her words!) mother, of course, to everyone who would listen, in order to gain attention, sympathy, and general justification that I AM the cause of her lifelong struggle with depression, anxiety, overall misery and dissatisfaction with life. Not sure what she blamed for her inadequacies before I came along…oh yeah, HER mother, but never EVER herself, because that would make her “weak” or worse yet, “wrong”, which we all know is tantamount to death for a narcissist.

I played the good scapegoat for decades, providing her with every detail of every negative thing about me that I could come up in order to keep at least some semblance of “love” coming from her. Although fairly self-aware and insightful from a very young age, I failed to recognise how truly toxic our so-called relationship was: I was feeding her the bad stuff (and only the bad stuff, or the banal; neither she nor my sister were interested in how hard I worked, and my personal life wasn’t their business), and she’d go to my sister, who’d learned from our teen years under the same roof, that hearing negative things about the sister she’d always competed with, was not only good for a dopamine dump or four, it made her feel better about her own perceived shortcomings. So there I was, decade after decade, feeding ammo into the clip, while my mother and my sister spread every tidbit they possibly could to family and beyond. Fast forward to present day, and they still deny EVER “gossiping” about me, even though it’s pretty clear that my sister knows volumes she wouldn’t have know if not from my mother. They LIE, even convincing THEMSELVES, that talking out of supposed “concern” IS NOT GOSSIP! I happen to be the narcissist’s greatest nightmare: I’m a “sh*t-caller”, and although they end up in a rage, it’s quite funny to see them crack when you confront them directly. Will they stop? NOPE. Do I care? NOPE, because I finally stopped giving them anything to talk about…and it’s kind of entertaining to experience their tag-teaming of me, trying to provoke me into defending myself—usually after too much criticism, mocking, unwarranted advice (because I’m VERY stupid, and surprisingly inadequate for being the only one able to make my life work after moving 6,000 miles away from the same 20-mi suburban radius they’re both mired in, and which I’m apparently envious of…two tract-homes off of the freeway, two kids? Nah—anyway, they can only email me, because I’m assuming that their phones can’t dial my country (pfft!), as I haven’t spoken to them since I got away, and I can choose whether or not to open their nasty little emails. It’s like watching two bumbling, ugly, evil sisters run into each other in a frenzy after the princess has beaten them in a fairy tale…a little sad, a little funny, a very soul-cleansing.

My point? FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCTS! You stated yourself that you don’t want to give your mother any ammo, so don’t! Simple as that. I’ve had to give up her side of the family, and I’m okay with that because anyone who engages with her is the enemy. If this sounds a bit harsh, it’s not; you’re protecting yourself, building your armour…trust no one who has contact with her, in particular THOSE WHO SYMPATHISE WITH HER, (if this sounds like a war, it is!) which is exactly what your aunt is doing; your mother has already gotten to her, sucked her dry for her pity fuel, so just let it go. You can still send her cards, even speak to her, but don’t let her rope you into an explanation about your relationship with your mother—it’s NONE OF HER BUSINESS, and you owe her and them NOTHING. Change the subject if it’s brought up, and if she insists, tell her with joy (happy totally depletes them of power..it’s great! they really squirm when Scapey is…contented??? Nooooo! Who will we blame our issues on?? And if you ain’t happy, fake it, Honey! A smile makes an incredible shield! ) You deserve some peace and quiet and love, ditch those who don’t agree! I KNOW how isolated and lonely losing “family” can be, but honestly, they were never really there, Honey, because their presence is/was CONDITIONAL, and love just…isn’t. Even if we think we’re the biggest losers who no one could possibly love for ourselves, or we think we’ll be alone forever….make something happen. I know you’re tired and you don’t trust anyone, but going back to toxic family won’t fill the gaps, they’ll just make them bigger. Huge love to you all, and a great big hug!

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Dan February 24, 2017 at 9:21 pm

I just wanted to say thank you for all of this information. I just realized through deep research and a major recent incident that both of my parents are very toxic and dangerous naracisstic abusers. I have come to a point of clarity about it for the first time in my life and it is such a relief to be able to put into words what they are and what they do. This whole time I thought I was crazy and couldn’t explain to people what they do to me or what I’ve gone through. Having this information is such a great first step in what I assume will be a long recovery period. But it’s a start to finding happiness within myself for the first time in my life and I want to thank you for the information.

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Anonymous February 25, 2017 at 2:29 am

Thank you Michelle,

I have been studying NPD for years but only you have made a distinction that I have seen no one else make and it has helped me immensely .

The Golden child /hero should not be written that way . They are very two and very distinct categories .

I thought I was a scapegoat but instead I was actually a hero…. a hero who would always fail no matter what and was punished accordingly .

It felt like I was the scapegoat because everything was blamed on me ….but because of you I now see the reason …. I was a “failed hero”.

A true golden child (my sister ) is spoiled and given everything regardless of what they do . My sister is a NPD herself and a complete loser in life and yet she is lavished and fussed over. This is what I feel is a “golden child”.

As you can see hero and golden child are very very different .

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Shera March 12, 2017 at 1:55 am

This is what I feel too.

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Wen March 28, 2017 at 11:19 pm

I’m a son of a narcissistic mother now 40, an attorney yet ironically and unsurprisingly still living at home, where I inevitability burdened with debt having been made to believe kids were supposed to be independent and out of her house by 18 while also ensuring I focused on studies as I had no one to depend on. This while being raised in an upper class neighborhood.

My sister two years older but miles apart in maturity went Ivy league, became a top lawyer and therefore is responsible enough that she has been granted free access to the family kingdom, which has never been available being born bad. I was allowed 1 of any item for life: toys, friends, tv, car, PC. Everything my mother still makes known is hers.

My father recently passed having given me his office for use in practice. My limited time shared with my father only because he had cancer, sadly, which was the only time I share with him, which was also when I realized he had me all wrong, colored by my mother’s hateful view. Shared with my sister. The typical scenario where I’m the bad one with an attitude. In fact, I finally told my sister to understand, to read and she asked when I would be a man and move out, stop burdening mother. Wow. Everything fits.

There actually is a method to success. There is also a formula for failure. Step for step.

I see the tragedy of my life, I’ve known for some time and unfortunately will never be free until my mother passes. I was hoping the passing of my father would draw us closer, bring more appreciation, but nope, she just went right back to hating. She even took back the office my father gave to me, despite it not even mattering to her. My livelihood. She said she’ll sell it and give it to charity, as I needed to earn my own things. My own family.

Ahh, kill me now.

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Wen March 28, 2017 at 11:26 pm

I’m a son of a narcissistic mother now 40, an attorney yet ironically and unsurprisingly still living at home, where I inevitability burdened with debt having been made to believe kids were supposed to be independent and out of her house by 18 while also ensuring I focused on studies as I had no one to depend on. This while being raised in an upper class neighborhood.

My sister two years older miles apart in maturity went Ivy league, became a top lawyer and therefore is responsible enough that she has been granted free access to the family kingdom, which has never been available being born bad. I was allowed 1 of any item for life: toys, friends, tv, car, PC. Everything my mother still makes known is hers.

My father recently passed having given me his office for use in practice. My limited time shared with my father only because he had cancer, sadly, which was the only time I share with him, which was also when I realized he had me all wrong, colored by my mother’s hateful view. Shared with my sister. The typical scenario where I’m the bad one with an attitude. In fact, I finally told my sister to understand, to read and she asked when I would be a man and move out, stop burdening mother. Wow. Everything fits.

There actually is a method to success. There is also a formula for failure. Step for step.

I see the tragedy of my life, I’ve known for some time and unfortunately will never be free until my mother passes. I was hoping the passing of my father would draw us closer, bring more appreciation, but nope, she just went right back to hating. She even took back the office my father gave to me, despite it not even mattering to her. My livelihood. She said she’ll sell it and give it to charity, as I needed to earn my own things. My own family.

Ahh, kill me now.

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Alex March 10, 2017 at 4:48 am

Michelle, a thousand thanks to you for the valuable info on this site, the e-mails, and recovery e-book.
I only discovered that my mother has NPD this january, … it’s been like a light has switched on.
I have been going over events through my life and seeing things in a new way, a way that begins to explain and fit the pieces together.
I am the eldest of three brothers, and I have been cast in the role of hero child, lost child, and most recently scapegoat. My youngest brother has always been the golden child even though, or perhaps because, he has displayed psychotic behaviours, innapropriate sexual behaviours, and has other dangerous co-morbidities. He lives on welfare and does some volunteer work part-time, she thinks he is a saint. The middle borther is the lost child, he is disabled after a stroke, and is very needy of her.
I graduated in psychology and studied philosophy, however whatever I did was denigrated and devalued by her. She even asked me to quit my studies and go to France to work on her holiday home. I refused of course and gained a top qualification.
Being sent off to live with her mother at the age of 5, being threatened with being sent to an Orphanage if I did not wash up the dishes after a meal at the age of 7 or 8, constantly being told to “get lost” as a child….this is just the tip of the iceberg.
My NPD mother, I suspect, has psychopathic co-morbidity since her emotions are shallow and cold, she is deceptive, exploitative, and manipulative (married 4 times), has no empathy or remorse, and appears to relish using other people for her own ends.
I used to refer to her as “the tyrant”…She has always demanded adulation, unquestioning aceptance of her will, she is insanely defensive and will go on the attack if she senses any possible cricitism.
She lies like most people breathe, and when her lying is exposed she laughs about it and seems to think its a cute thing to do.
She has stolen our lives, none of us has children of our own, because speaking for myself I was made to feel worthless.
I have gone very low contact now,..a phone call once every six weeks, and feel much better for it.
I do feel sadness and anger for the terrible damage she has inflicted, but now is the time to heal and recover as much as is possible .
It really helps to express myself and to see that I am not alone.

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Ugly Hammer March 11, 2017 at 2:12 pm

I have recently started researching about narcissism because of how my mother in law treats my husband. She uses every opportunity she get to tell the world how he does not love her and that he Is not a good son. She told me that if she was a woman looking for a husband she would not want one like her son (how mean can one get!) Then she told my husband (before we got married) that he was not yet ready for marriage. Also, my husband has some unusual behaviours that I didn’t notice during courtship (I think he hid them from me out of fear). He has severe panic attacks, ignores his needs while fulfilling the needs of others and is not able to complete tasks that means a lot to him because of his inherent need to solve the problems of others. He also seems to be unaware of his own “self.” If I ask him to suggest a date night venue he always asks me to decide. He always has difficulty talking about himself. He is brilliant but an under achiever. I have discovered that my husband is thenchild of a narcissistic mother (He is an only child). He lived with her up to age 39. She manipulates him into doing whatever she wants whenever she wants by running guilt trips on him, punishments and constant nagging. She ensured that he never went to college and she neglected his emotional needs as a child. He was never allowed to ask questions, always told to shut up and literally groomed to believe that being at home with his mother was the safest bet for him. They started a home based business together which later failed. His mother was never married and his father lives in another country with his wife. My husband does not want children. Luckily, I have a son so I can live with that. One peculiar trait about my husband is that he apologizes for EVERYTHING. We are stuck in traffic and I get a little miserable and he says “I am so sorry Hon!” The line is too long at the supermarket and he apologizes.
I recently found this book online (Complex PTSD From Surviving To Thriving by Pete Walker) which helped me understand why he apologizes so much among the other traits that he exhibits. It is a real eye opener and points to childhood abuse. My husband is a FAWN and I am having challenges inspiring him just to read the book. He is afraid of what he will learn. It is quite frustrating watching someone you love just waste away living at the call of another without realizing his own true potential. I hope that one day he will realize that there is so much more to life than being someone else’s slave. Any advise on how to help him would be welcome.

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nicole June 12, 2017 at 2:23 am

Hi

In similar situation. Have you found answers? Any advice?

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Eyesopen March 11, 2017 at 2:56 pm

Hi I found another website recommending this site and amazed to find so many people awaking to the same realisations I am that my mother is a narcissist to the extreme! I’m an only daughter now in my 40s and my childhood is coming back to haunt me. My father left my mum remarried a cold man and was my main parental influence but I recently discovered that it’s very likely she was and still is a full on swinger. Shocking though this is to a daughter it’s not my business about her private life but as I was so neglected I am terrified what may have happened to me as a child from all her “friends” as most of my childhood was miserable or a big blank in my memory! Not sure where to go to next for advice but wondered if others had similar concerns? The nightmare for me is getting worse as she is determined to grow old disgracefully and I’m suffering from the past and need to discover the truth. She has every other sign of narcissism too and is jealous of me and flirts with my husband! Help x

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Meliza March 25, 2017 at 6:30 am

Dear all

I have read all the experiences you had with your Narcissistic mothers – I finally at age 36 discovered what my mother is all about. I can rest now, as I always thought it was my responsibility to rescue her, now I realize it was never fair and it was never my duty to rescue her – she also hated me for loving her unconditionally…. I thought of her to be possessed by a demon. I have cut all ties with her and wish not to have her in my life anymore, as she manipulates important people in my life to believe I am a sick person. She has never wished me well and she speaks death over my life. I have a 16 year old daughter with whom I have a close and meaningful relationship – my mother always speaks death over our relationship, therefore I have made a strong decision to not allow my mother into our lives at all and never again, as I know she will always try to destroy me and every relationship I have with kind and loving people that I chose to have in my life.

My daughters father is also a narcissist – how we don’t know better in the younger years, and the price we pay “abuse attracts abuse”. Until I did some research in order to understand why my mom choose to live another day of death – I discovered what a narcissist is.

My message to all of you whom had suffered and had to endure the pain and trauma a narcissist force you to endure….. I want you to know that you are soooooo strong for having made it through all of those invasiveness. Remember to love your self first and the most and to leave a guard by the door of your existence, you deserve to protect your self from any invasion from any ill person who wishes to access your true self and manipulate you into being someone who should see to a narcissist selfish needs.

I have come a long way and I wish to share with you the following, so that you can identify a narcissist rather sooner than later.

1) Be in control of your own senses and thoughts – no one can tell you what you think, what you see, what you would have done, what you were going to do, what you were going to say etc. No one is to live inside of you as if they were you/ or you are an extension of them/ part of them is living inside of you and you get emotionally abandoned for not knowing what they want, need or like etc.

2) A question deserve a answer. If you ask a question and the question gets answered with another question – you are not seen and identified as a human with your own thoughts and understanding. This is merely the steps a ill minded person follows to break you in for their own selfish needs. In other words if he/she answers your question with an answer, that would mean that they respond to you in reality. As these characters don’t want you to exist as a unique and complete soul – they will always use a language that make you feel that you are locked in a closet and they will groom and mold you on every opportunity they have to kill your real self slowly but surely until your container (body) can harbour their imaginary character or dream play mate that they have developed and created from a young already. ( I actually feel sorry for them, for they don’t know what they do and probably never will – but, its not your job to rescue them!)

A MUST READ BOOK: The verbally abusive man by Patricia Evans. Your life will change as you will understand so much more to how abusive characters got to where they are now going about hurting people the way they do. (I agree the book should have had a different title “Verbal abuse” why man only for woman abusers are also actively out to abuse)

Every second of life is a present and you deserve the gifts of live, leave the past alone it thought you and you are now more equipped with what you do not want in your future.
past – we learn from and we grow.
present – the every second gift of life, smile for your tears are over.
future – God bless you all with a future full of laughter and happy memories with people who truly are real and loves you for being you.

We have made it – Bryan Adams “IM FREE” (that’s my song – listen to the words and feel the connection)

Stay who you are and let no one convince/groom or mold you into someone you are not.

Meliza

Remember to love your self first and the most and sooooo much that you put a guard up to protect your mind, thoughts, opinions and existence.

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mary ireland March 25, 2017 at 8:07 am

I was the lost child… My 3 brothers and 2 sisters would be so cryel towards me , just like my mom. My Dad would never leave me home with them as much he could. I lived with my dad.s mom most of my younger years, Mom has passed my feeling for her is very slim , but never missed treated her .

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Michelle May 26, 2017 at 7:36 pm

Mary I’m hoping you the best for you !

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Emily April 5, 2017 at 9:53 am

Thank you so much for creating this in-depth website and the helpful emails. It’s really heartening to know I’m not alone and to be able to finally put words to a life time of emotional abuse. My mother had an affair with my friend’s father in front of me when I was around 9 and then systematically made me convinced that I was insane for noticing it, until my father found out and she then abandoned my brother and I for several years. She completely denies the existence of this ever happening and to this day would call me ‘mad’ if I brought it up. I had to ask my aunt when I was in my 20s if I really was mad or if the affair had happened and she replied, ‘yes, of course she had an affair. Did you not know? How could you not know?!’ I was a very shy person with few friends and had no-one really except for my family for a large part of my life, so it was easy for me to think that maybe I really was just a bit insane and made things up in my mind. This has made me afraid to open my mouth about anything, unless I have the facts utterly wrong. I have also gone to the other extreme and become highly paranoid about people’s intentions as I was always worried they would be people like her. Unfortunately as a result of her continued behaviour and subtly masking betrayals – saying unpleasant and personal things about me to other relatives – as ‘concern’, my whole family basically still think I’m ‘mad’ or ‘weird’ or ‘a bitch’ as this has been something I’ve been told since childhood because my mother couldn’t really handle the normal emotions of a child. I see her doing the same now to my niece and it makes me worry about how she will be with my own children. I just want to get on with leading a happy life. I’m in my 30s now and will be starting a family soon.

Luckily I have a ridiculously supportive and unconditionally loving boyfriend who has taught me what unconditional love really is and has put up with me through some very trying times where I’ve behaved abominably as a result of years of wounding that I was unable to really express to anyone.

I made a decision to entirely forgive her behaviour a few years ago when my father reminded me that she wouldn’t be here forever. I have managed to forgive her and see that she is a deeply hurt person herself and can see how it has come from her own upbringing, but I have still always had the feeling that there was something deeply wrong with me. In some ways this is probably true due to taking on some of her traits myself and leading a very insulated life. But reading the above definition of a narcissistic mother has made me FINALLY see just how damaging her behaviour was and I now know that I can’t cling on to the 5% of moments when it seems like we have a normal healthy relationship and think she might be changing, because there’s actually just some kind of transaction going on and it won’t be long before she says or does something extremely hurtful again.

But now I know who she is, I can keep her at a safe distance, while still trying my hardest to treat her with kindness and compassion.

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Nicole Sabovich Estella April 13, 2017 at 9:55 am

Some narcissists fit quite a few of these criteria, depending on whom they are with. Everything is a means to an end and achieving their end justify any means.

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jANET April 23, 2017 at 1:25 pm

I think have the disdainful narcissist mother. My mother has always acted like she did not like me, did not think smart enough….So I always felt at odds with my mother. Now I am 48 and my mother remarried about 5 years ago, it became much worse.

When she remarried she acted like she wanted my son and I to disappears. Examples are she did not want to help pick up my son once in a while when I did not have a babysitter. She would say things like don’t you have any friends…And her husband would stand behind her and tell her what to say to me…And they started to bully me in front of family members and I was trying to buy a house so they started to charge me more rent. Almost like they were trying to sabotage me.

Now my mother goes to Florida half the year and when I would call to keep in touch she just seemed annoyed I would call. So I just stopped calling and hoped she would not call me but she does..So I would try to be nic but if I mention anything about a problem just in conversation just in regular small talk she is very rude and mean to me…

I just wondered what to do because I certainly do not want to continue to be a doormat..

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jANET April 23, 2017 at 1:27 pm

I just wondered what to do because I certainly do not want to continue to be a doormat.

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jANET April 23, 2017 at 5:59 pm

🙂

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Ayca April 24, 2017 at 7:38 am

Hello,
I’m 16 years old and have a 45 years-old narcissistic mother (probably). Sometimes we get along very well, but only when something good has happened or when I look pretty/got good grades/achieved something. My mom doesnt care about me or just rages when I feel sad. Normally a parent would try to make their child feel better if they feel sad righ? Mine makes me feel a lot worse, and she looks like she enjoys making me sad. She always wants me to be happy and play like some freaking pet. So whenever we’re both happy, I know that she is not sincere. She is happy because she can show me off the her fake friend like “Oh my daughter is like this, she got an A, she is talented”. She sometimes lies and exaggrates too. Most of the time I feel like my reason exist was for her entertainment, she wants me to be like her or someone perfect. And if things doesn’t go the way she wanted she yells and shouts in order to get it the way she wants to (my mother was an economist and shouting and yelling worked when she was still working so so tries to do same thing on us (me and my dad) but of course it doesnt work). She also threatens me like “i wont drop you to school anymore/i wont buy you any clothes/ i wont cook dinner” and so… She never puts it to action and thats why I get so angry. She shouts me, why she has gave birth to me, I shouldn’t exist, whishes (a friend of mine who is not perfect but their parents tells my mom that she is perfect) was her daughter and lots other bad things. THEN SHE COMPLETELY FORGETS IT and when I bring it up she starts yelling again that I dwell on it too much and I should drop it.
She doesnt admits her mistakes and she blames others. Best example would be the time when she opened the fridge and dropped a glass jar. SHE SUDDENLY STARTED SHOUTING AT ME again. I happen to be around her when she dropped it and she blamed it all on me and told me that I’m a walking disaster. From that day on i never go near the fridge. My mom also has either mysophobia or OCD she is TOO neat. She washes her hand every 15 minutes and her hand is covered with scratches and blood and it looks disgusting. I am not messy but seeing sock on the ground is enough to make her furios and enough to make me not worthy of her.
She does these to my father too but my father is a really calm person so he usually endures or goes out for a walk. I live in Turkey (English is my second language maybe you’ve noticed that by now XD) and we reach lawfull age in 18(we get license in 18) but we are indepented in like 20’s so in 16 we are like 13-14 in US. I can’t leave home just like that or leave somewhere else or just leave the house in order to get some fresh air when I’m sad. This means that I’m always around my mom when she is in her MAXIMUM RAGE phase I can’t leave her be because she triggers me o purpose.
Today things went extreme she hit me, inserted her nails(which are very sharp) and made me bleed. The worst part is she doent feel remorse or sorry. She never apoligises too. ı dont know what to do anymore.

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J May 30, 2017 at 8:39 am

Ayca, I so wish I had access to the internet 30 years ago at your age. At least you know! I was around 40 when I knew about my mother. If you could get away as soon as possible, and go no contact as soon as you are of age. It seems kind of hard being so young, but had I known what you know now, I would have moved on the other side of the planet, and never looked back. She will be an awful grandparent, and I didn’t have children because of the abuse, so know this, that she will only get worse as she ages. I feel for you. Knowing about your mother, is the first steps to healing. Also if you have a grandparent, someplace of safe refuge. Spend more time with them instead. God bless you.

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Antoinette April 24, 2017 at 1:21 pm

Gosh, who knew there were so many versions of the NM and yet they are all the same person.
I feel fortunate to have come across this website. It speaks multitudes to me. I don’t really know which type of NM I have, she used to introduce me to strangers as ‘Antoinette, the child that nearly killed me…’. She had complications during delivery. And one day she pulled all four of the hospital birth photos for myself and my 3 siblings, and told me that we were going to play a joke on my brother. He was 6. She asked him into the room where she had laid out the photos on the table. She said, ‘it’s time you knew the truth that you were adopted. He wasn’t adopted. It was her sick mind that created this drama. Of course he was confused, said that it was not funny. She insisted. She told him to look at the photos and to see that he looked too different to be related to his 3 sisters. He ran away crying.
For years and years I have tried to relate to her and it has caused me immense pain. I was 12 when she told me that I would be a prostitute when I was older. I’m 61 now and she is 84. She has asked that our communication be in print only. I cause her pain when we speak. She recently sold her home and moved. I have a p.o. Box. No phone number. It’s good for me. I have more peace. However, when people ask about my mother, it’s hard to put into words why we don’t have a relationship. No one wants to hear the gorey details of her malicious treatment of years gone by and how when I ask her questions that she doesn’t want to answer, she shuts you out entirely. My brother is bipolar, schizophrenic and homeless. A victim for sure. My two sisters are close to her, one very close. I have no relationship with either of them. Too hard for them to be in my life and to be in hers too.
Thank you for a forum where we can be open and honest.

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Emily April 30, 2017 at 5:19 am

Ayca: “Mine makes me feel a lot worse, and she looks like she enjoys making me sad”. I recognise this. And it’s so subtle, sometimes only you would notice it. I used to try to tell my dad how mean my mum was, but he never believed me and still doesn’t. But you’re so right. Of course a normal parent would try to make their child feel better when they were sad. You are not in the wrong at all. My mum called me ‘miserable’, ‘a pain in the a***’, ‘difficult’ pretty much every day and not in a joking way and she does this now to my niece. If you tell a kid they are ‘miserable and difficult’ enough times, it can become true in the end, at least around them.

I feel so bad for you and hope you can escape the situation soon. 🙁

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Emily April 30, 2017 at 5:23 am

Ayca: That’s so awful that she is physically hurting you. Do you have any aunts or grandparents you could talk to? Stay safe.

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Emily April 30, 2017 at 5:25 am

Such sad stories on here. 🙁

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Witsend May 9, 2017 at 9:54 pm

Hello!
First thank you so much for your resources. It has been so much help to me. I’m here because I’m at my wits end with my mother in law and my husband. I’ve put up with a lot of issues over the past 5 years and honestly after trying to talk it out, confront issues I’ve had with treatment, boundaries, among other things I can’t take anymore. It’s basically the only thing my husband and I fight about. His parents. I believe his dad is just a product of the environment and complaining he’s subject to.

A little back story…

7 years ago they gifted my husband 20k to use on a wedding or as a down payment on a new home. We chose to buy a house. In the process of remodeling (we did a lot) she would come in and be dissatisfied with the progress and announce it was taking to long for her liking that she would pay to have a professional come complete it. This was done twice. And although we were grateful it was without ruling. What she said went. When it came to purchasing items for our new kitchen she went out and bought a stove. We had planned to purchase a different one but she bought it as a gift. So no need to be ungrateful. When over one day doing some work something was said and she was made to feel stupid. She walked out and went home and sulked. When her husband came home she laid into him how we mistreated her making him call and yell at my husband where it was thrown into his face if it wasn’t for her we’d have none of this (the house and everything in it).

Fast forward….
I get pregnant. Yay right!!? You’d think. She called me to tell me she was planning a surprise baby shower. I politely declined and told her I’d like to be involved and we can plan it together. She argued that it’s not my place. Where I stated that it’s my baby (he is still my only at almost 5), my first and most likely only and I want to plan it. She got so upset and told me I was ungrateful then hanging up the phone on me. Which obviously made me cry. I was pregnant.

Towards the very end of my pregnancy I had to have a personal chat with them. They would show up to our home and his mother would walk in unannounced and then loudly announce herself. No knocking. No calling. Just HEYYYY!!!!! One day they came over and she walked in and I was in a tank top and panties cooking breakfast. She loudly screamed to her husband to hold back a second because I was almost naked. I was mortified. When I sat to chat with them I asked that they please call/text before coming over and please knock at the door and allow us the time to answer it. She was angry and upset that I was telling them they could not come and go as they pleased. This i believe is when the major downfall started.

Fast forward again….
Now there was more that happened at my birth but the most important and damaging things began to happen once my son was about 6 months old. I have celiac (which is a whole other story bc they “don’t get it”) and I decided to keep my son gluten free. They did not understand why I’d do that. She constantly questioned me. They watched him a few times spuratically and every time he’d come home he’s puke (he never spit up) and then would have horrid diarrhea. The first time it happened I called the the next day and ask his mom again what they gave him. Explaining he had been sick. She got very defensive and snapped that I shouldn’t question her. Each time I’d pick him up she would loudly announce it before I could even ask. As if to beat me to the chase. Each time there were interactions there were very condesending and patronizing responses to me about things I’d asked in previous times announced loudly and before questioning. “He only had a hotdog and water. That was it. Nothing else!”

One time her and her husband watched my son at our home. I asked them to just hang with him while he finished dinner while my best friend was on her way (she was going to stay with him later while we were at work, they were just overlap between her arrival). I said she will give him a bath and get him ready for bed as she has already been shown the routine and where everything was (they had not). Our bathroom tub is messed up. You can’t just give a bath. The decided he needed a bath bc they wanted to play with him in the bath (he was about 9mo). So they did it anyways. They had to take him out because the water was too cold and he was shivering. When I found out what had happened I called to confront them and explain to them why I didn’t want them to do this. She had a total meltdown I confronted her and yelled at me saying “you act like we don’t know how to take care of a child” then when she was done talking she hung up on me. I called back to try and be an adult and talk about it. She picked up the phone and hung it back up without saying anything. This happened 3 times.

At this point I encouraged my husband who never confronted them about the issues it was always me, that we needed to sit and chat because I was not happy with how I was being treated when asking questions or speaking to her as I would speak to anyone.

We didn’t speak for weeks. My husband talked to them but I did not. And they did not see our son. At week six I told my husband enough is enough they need to come over so we can talk. Time is not going to fix this. So the day both of his parents were supposed to come over only his dad showed up. He told us she was not ready to talk yet so she went shopping.

Fast forward again because honestly I could write a book.

Right now I’ve been putting up with this type of unhealthy communication and behavior from them and my husband for years. I do not trust them with my son because they do not like to respect his allergies. He has a dairy allergy they “don’t get” and disregard me asking them to NOT give him diary. There are no boundaries at all and he walks all over them. And neither one but especially his mother do not feel comfortable taking him into the bathroom, pulling his pants down and making him pee while they are out. Then when I addressed this after he was with them for 7 hours one day and had not peed once I was informed that sometimes they don’t go all day either. I expressed my feelings and they freaked out. His mom was soooo upset she couldn’t even talk to my husband on the phone because she twisted my words. I said if you can’t meet his basic needs like getting him to goto the bathroom while in your care I’m not comfortable with you taking him. She twisted to you can never take him again. Creating a fight between my husband and I.

Now it’s just digs at everything like bringing her own container of food to holidays. Showing up with duplicates of what I’ve prepared to eat and only eating theirs. Saying goodbye to everyone in the room but me. Only contacting my husband to set up play dates. Inviting our son and my husband over for dinner or breakfast when they know I’m working or I’m out of town.

Im done talking. I had one last talk (we met 5 times over the course of 5 years.) I’m exhausted and I can’t do it anymore. My husband is whipped and is their puppet. I feel like he flip flop sides. I feel like I’ve made headway with him and then they get to him and his mother and father throw out things that make him feel awful. Their relationship is weird. They never saw us before our son much. Maybe once every couple months and every holiday of course. He never makes plans with them. He will get up from dinner and just go watch tv and leave me there or go take a nap while they are here. But I digress. Basically I put my foot down and said we need a break for the sake of our marriage. He tried to convey this to his parents. I’m not sure in which words bc he won’t talk to them in front of me. Well his dad has been sending him texts and the last one “when to I get to see my grandson again? I must be a crappy father and even worse grandfather”. He felt so guilty he called him. And then flipped on me again. So here I am typing to you after I’ve told him I can not fight about this anymore. I’ve reached my final point. He needs to choose and cut off contact with his parents. Not forever. Just for a while. I feel awful but they do what they want when they want and treat me how they want. His mother has said to me on numerous occasions “I’m queen until I die. Until then you’re just the princess”. Ok lady. She made a comment to my mom that she’s lucky she has a daughter because a daughter is always your daughter but your son is only that until he takes a wife”. I’ve tried to be her friend. I wanted that mother figure. Mine is not local.

I’m made to feel like I’m crazy. I know I have my own issues but I know what’s been going on is not ok. Please help. Thank you!

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Moonchild May 25, 2017 at 6:44 pm

Hi Witsend,

You’re not going crazy. It’s one of the very normal things that happen when dealing with a narcissist; they like to make other people look/feel crazy. I have to beg you to PLEASE never let your child alone with your in-laws again. Oh, please, please never leave him alone with them again. It’s best to not let them around him at all, but if you feel you must maintain a relationship with them, always be with your child when they’re around. I’m absolutely horrified that they’re obviously feeding him food that makes him sick. Who knows what else they’re doing that you cannot see? At the best, they’ll be telling him that you’re a bad mom. Or they might even be telling him he’s a bad child. They’re dangerous. I know I sound melodramatic, but I was raised by a narcissistic mom, and I allowed her to hurt me over and over again — until I had my child. Then I cut off all contact. Protecting our children has to be our first priority, regardless of the family members we anger or “offend.” Best wishes to you and your son!

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Jo May 18, 2017 at 11:31 am

Is it possible to consider moving to a different state? I know that would mean finding employment, putting the house up for sale, and everything that goes along with that.
But in the end, your marriage would probably improve and you would have your sanity.
Those are two biggies.

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Jack May 20, 2017 at 11:58 pm

Jo, moving state is the only option. And you have to know that the NPD Mother will try to haunt you over there as well. I moved to the other side of the world to a country of different language. Still haunted and meddled with over there – and the attacks became more bizarre. I guess looking back the attacks were more bizarre and unforeseeable only because I never imagined them in advance, but to my mother they were the ONLY POSSIBLE routes of attack, therefore she need take the only routes available.

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G May 23, 2017 at 4:32 am

My mother is narcissistic but there have been infrequent periods in my life where I have felt as if she has just dropped out of character and has actually loved me for those short lengths of time. It has felt genuine, and I can tell when she is giving me attention so I will reciprocate, so I am confused. Is it possible for a narcissistic mother with lesser degree of narcissism to love their child? Or is it completely impossible.
P.S I have dedicated a large period of time into educating myself about narcissism. I’m asking this question from a degree of knowledge.

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Walter Singleton May 25, 2017 at 10:58 am

Seth and Aiden, I hope one day you stumble upon this and read it, and realize that what you are going through is not your fault. You were always both good kids, and you are both growing into strong and intelligent young men with good hearts,and I am very proud of you. Your sister Haley misses you both very much, and she hopes very much that she can be reunited with you one day.

As for me, I am broken. I can’t fight anymore. Every day my heart and mind is consumed by my grief and longing for our relationship to be restored, but after five years, I can’t go on like this. I have to put it away and focus on other things. Should you ever decide to look me up, I will be in Orlando, like always, and not hard to find. My door and my heart will always be open to both of you. Please believe that I don’t blame you for any of this, and I’m so sorry for what you’ve had to go through.

Remember to be kind and forgiving to each other. The turmoil and strife between you two is not because of who you are, but because you have been played against each other. Don’t let the fact that you were treated differently drive a wedge between you. You are brothers, no matter what. I love you both, yesterday, today, and always.

Walter Singleton, Dad

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The Only Answer May 26, 2017 at 6:46 pm

Forgive. Forgive. Forgive..

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NicoleR June 3, 2017 at 8:59 am

I stumbled upon this website while trying to find ways to deal with my NM. I am 31 now and only realized the toxicity of her behavior after having my own children. For years she has pitted me against my sister and father, often forcing me to choose between having a relationship with her or them. I am just now starting to mend those relationships. Her ways only became apparent when I had my oldest child. She became furious when I chose my husband (then boyfriend) to be in the delivery room and not her. She was very rude to his family members when they visited us and even made the comment that my boyfriend could “leave now because we had everything we needed from him” meaning our son. I told her later that it was inappropriate and that she needed to apologize (she never did). Any time she is confronted on her bad behavior, she immediately becomes offended and plays the victim. My sister has cut off contact with her years ago and although I try to maintain minimal contact I am starting to realize I probably should do the same. She assassinates our character to anyone who will listen, saying that we are ungrateful horrible people and she doesn’t know what is wrong with us. She even talked negatively about me to my husband while he was in the hospital. She claims not to remember anything from the past that casts her in a negative light. And she NEVER does anything wrong. I realize that she is not choosing to be this way and is likely just a product of her upbringing but that does not excuse her abusive and manipulative behavior. I intended to try and talk with her about how her actions make me feel but then I found some of her journal entries (probably not an accident on her part) where she stated that she wished my sister and I had been born boys because boys are always loyal no matter how you treat them. At that point I realized that she does not have a normal thought process and it would be better for me to just remove myself. So I have been searching for coping strategies and this site has been a great help. Thanks for letting me vent!

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JayC June 13, 2017 at 10:46 am

I do not need to give my life history here, because it is already posted in all the comments above. But today I have freedom from my NM. After realizing how much she upsets me, my life, my children, my husband, my future, I have decided to pretty much blow her off. I am a part of her life still, but as soon as the trouble, manipulation, or whining begins “I have to go, Mom, talk to you later!” Click! I have become an expert at it and I just let her sit and stew in her own self-created problems until she is ready to play nice. If she can’t play nice, then more silent treatment. I am really enjoying my new life and my newfound confidence in being able to silence her without actually telling her to shut up. Try it. It may work for you.

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