Narcissistic Mother

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!

Do you have any types to share?

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{ 269 comments… read them below or add one }

Renee August 18, 2014 at 9:52 am

I found myself deep in mourning yet again and am in need of ….. well, I’m not really sure.

Just this past Friday I unexpectedly met up with my husband and younger daughter for lunch …. super last minute. On my way, my husband told me, ‘by the way, your mother just walked in the door.’

My subconscious, initial response was to flip a U-turn and drive in the opposite direction. Gladly, the better of me caught myself and I proceeded, with determination and drive and confidence, to drive straight to the eaterie.

A billion-and-a-half thoughts raced through my head, what if, what if, what if ………. and as I pulled into the parking lot, I knowingly parked right next to her car. This was my attempt to take back my control.

I walked in and found my family. I don’t think my NM saw me. Then as I went to fill my drink, I smiled to her and said, ‘hello’. I was pleasant, approachable, friendly. Insanely I thought, ‘well, if she responds positively, perhaps I could engage her in what great things the children are doing (my oldest was just featured in the paper for a high school program she is a leader in). She looked at me and said, ‘hi’, colder than the boundary of deep space, dismissive, flat affect, I didn’t exist or merit to her. Anyone watching would never could guess that we share dna.

Initially I found it humorous. This empty shell of a woman but so full of righteous with her venom. As my NM’s friend met her and they sat, I could hear my NM’s friend so caringly ask her, ‘are you ok?’. Their conversation of ‘she’ ………. ‘she’ ………. ‘she’. Yes, I was curious of what my NM was so driven to share with her friend, all the horrid things I’ve done to her. Ironically, since she initiated NC over the last 18 months, just what in the heck could I have done to her now? good grief!

Driving back to work, her hatred fell deep into me, catching me by surprise and mercilessly stabbing unexpectedly. I was falling down the scapegoat well, once again questioning how a mother can hate a child so very much.

My friends at work new immediately something was wrong and I could only just hold on until the end of the work day. I was very quiet at home and my family knew something was up … just not sure. It was just too painful to feel, too ashamed to even share how I feel. Now it’s not that I’m responsible for her treatment but just how one person

That evening it volcano-ed out of me. I hysterically, deeply wept it out to my husband. And I’m back here again?????? Again ??????? AGAIN ???????? How can she (my NM)? Why does she (my NM)? What is it about me (my NM)????????? To be so meagerly acknowledged to one’s face. It just struck the soft, vulnerable, loving part of my core.

My husband was very calm and gentle and the words that helped the most were, ‘your mother is sick and this is a disorder she won’t get help for’. There was no other explanation and probably the most healing, acknowledging, succinct, validating words a NM survivor could absorb.

This is my 3rd day after the incident and I’m getting myself wrapped around it and sorted out. I don’t whip on myself for ‘going there’ (an attempt to be kind to my NM). I don’t regret how I handled the situation and myself. I’m getting back on track with another lesson under my belt. Still feel a little fragile but know resilience is just around the corner (happy face).

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DONM September 11, 2014 at 4:31 pm

I haven’t spoken to mom since my birthday, which she didn’t acknowledge until 10 minutes into the visit after she got all her demands out of the way. Nothing for my birthday and no birthday lunch or dinner. She is not changing, so I must learn to take care of myself. It’s finally time for me after 59 years. This is the longest I’ve gone without talking to her (over a month). She has recruited all of her “flying monkeys”. She got so desperate that she’s even calling our “unaccepted by her” gay son. Today it was her attorney to whom she lied and said I am not paying her bills and we aren’t keeping her informed about her house sale. LIES LIES and MORE LIES! Then she wonders why I don’t answer her calls or visit more often. Geesh.

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Renee August 18, 2014 at 9:53 am

Nice to see you back Cherie!

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Christine August 18, 2014 at 2:16 pm

For years, I’ve been trying to figure out what exactly is wrong with me and my relationship with my mother. Now I realize that I’m not the one with the problem – she is.

She has demeaned me my entire life, starting with when she told me that she only had children in the first place because she didn’t want to have to go to work.

She has always criticized my looks – either I’m not wearing enough make up, I have too much make up, my lips have a funny shape, I need to do more sit ups, etc. This all started when I was in grammar school. To this day, I won’t wear lipstick because I think I have ugly-shaped lips.

As I got older and started bringing boys home to meet my parents, my mother immediately would flock to his side, apologize for the way I am, feel sorry for him that he’s dating me, then laugh and would tell me I’m “so sensitive” as I would sit there in total humiliation. Most of my boyfriends couldn’t see through her act. They thought she was funny and couldn’t understand why I would get so upset at her jokes.

I have one other sibling (an older brother) who constantly told me, as we were growing up, that there was something wrong with our mother, but I chose not to believe him. He actually was the “golden child” and could do NO wrong in her eyes. He left home when he was 18 and never spoke to either one of my parents again. She still, to this day, my mother talks about him incessantly, how talented he is, how smart he was, etc. She has photographs of him plastered all over the house.

My mother has at least three or four ‘medical emergencies’ a year , and these usually involve some kind of heart attack, nervous breakdown or freak accident that forces my father to call an ambulance, then to call me (no matter what I’m in the middle of, and usually it’s some kind of major event, like Christmas Eve dinner). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven to the hospital and found out that there’s nothing wrong with her, as she sits there smiling at all the visitors that came to her side.

My mother also has an unnatural obsession with sick people. No matter who the person is, if my mother discovers the person has a horrible disease, she rushes to that person’s side, then is sure to make announcements in front of large groups of people about all she “does” for so-and-so in that person’s time of need.

My mother never makes an effort to see me, and often acts like I’m bothering her if I call her. She sleeps 80% of the day, and absolutely detests being woken up out of her sleep. But she doesn’t hesitate to tell anyone that will listen to her that she such an “uncaring” daughter. I’ve even driven to her house before, knowing she’s home, waiting for her to answer the door. Then she’ll call me the next day and pretend like she didn’t know I was standing outside.

This past spring, after I witnessed my mother’s last sob attack, I finally decided to cut her out of my life. We haven’t spoken since then.

I sent my father a text message, explaining why I can’t be around her anymore, and he called me the next day and said he agrees with me 100%, he doesn’t know why she acts the way she does , but wanted me to try and make it to Mother’s Day lunch. I called him back and told him I can’t make it, and he never spoke to me again. I called him on Father’s Day and he hung up on me.

So now my brother left at 18 years old, and both of my parents are out of my life. The only person that understands truly how my mother is (besides my father), is my mother’s twin sister, who my mom also has a bad relationship with (my aunt cut my mom off years ago for the same reasons I did). My aunt and I are very close, and I am so thankful she’s in my life.

Most days I’m fine with all this, but sometimes I get very depressed when I think about my parents. I think she’s a NM and I think he’s an enabler. What’s so frustrating is that both of them think I’m a horrible daughter. I’ve given up trying to have a relationship with them.

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Michael August 20, 2014 at 7:10 am

Hello Christine,

The drama, the quarterly “emergencies”, the rush to the sick (sicker the better) are classics! The narcissist has to be the center of attention (ME! ME! ME!) and will manipulate people and environment to achieve such. I could easily replace your mom with my mom and we wouldn’t know the difference (except for the body, of course). It fascinates me how narcissists are so predictable once you have identified them. Your description of the traits of a narcissists are very accurate.

For a description of the pain and damage caused, Renee articulately describes it. It gnaws at you. It requires enormous strength to let go of a narcissistic mother in part because there is a natural force to gravitate back to maternal love. It’s in every animal species and the early maternal nurturing is an essential element towards a healthy adulthood. Without such, there is a deficiency, a “hole” of sorts and it never fills. There is a feeling of walking as if you are damaged… and you are… but others won’t understand it or acknowledge it. That makes it worst and you question yourself and feel guilty – are you seeing yourself in some of this?

I wish I could tell you the solution but I don’t have one. I struggle with this as well. I have a “no contact” philosophy with my mom – it’s not an overt policy, it’s just that I’m trying to mentally categorize her as irrelevant in my life. But it’s an ongoing struggle between the logical mind and self-preservation versus the emotional need for maternal nurturing. Drives me crazy sometimes!

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Christine August 22, 2014 at 7:11 am

Michael,

Do you find that other people just don’t see your mom for what she is? My mom has everyone believing she is the greatest, most caring person ever….which makes all this so much more frustrating for me.

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Michael August 22, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Anyone that has dealt with and now recognize narcissists would see my mom for what she is and would avoid her. But there are still some who fall for the manipulative games. “She’s so nice… so thoughtful and caring…”. As she’s growing older, now in her 70′s, I find she’s alone more and that kicks her narcissism into overdrive. Just got an email from my mom yesterday.. she’s excited and announces that she’s moving in November (clue: come pack my stuff and move it). I haven’t responded.

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Bridget August 24, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Yes! No one believes me. They see this sweet, caring mother, and she tells them how disrespectful and horrible I am! My mom is hosting my wedding shower because she doesn’t think anyone else can do as good of a job as she can. You should see the amount of presents she alone has bought. I want to be grateful, but I know it is all for show.

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Meredith September 2, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Yes, that is one of the most frustrating things about having a NM. My NM has waged a decades-long campaign to portray herself to everyone as a sweet, caring, hopeful, tender-hearted little dear, meanwhile heaping abuse on me in private and spreading lies about me. I gave up trying to fight back, but it makes me so sad, because our relatives believe her and they will criticize me too: “Why are you treating your mother so badly? I’d trade yours for mine in a heartbeat!” My aunt saw through her but she died a few years ago. Anyone who doesn’t do what my mother wants gets ostracized, so even people who think she’s odd will toe the lie so they don’t get cut out. She has succeeded in isolating me from many of my relatives.

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Bridget August 24, 2014 at 1:56 pm

I so relate with everything you just said. My mother only has “chest pains” when she is mad or in a hysterical breakdown. If I don’t respond with sympathy, she becomes angrier, but somehow the apparent chest pains go away. I, too, can never look good enough, or be smart enough, or be popular enough for her liking. She also has me terrified to gain weight. I am so sorry to read your story. Just know you are not alone.

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Grandma In Utah August 19, 2014 at 1:25 am

I just found this page and am hoping to receive some insight.

I feel I’m dealing with a Narcissistic personality nestled in my ex-daughter-in-law.
She displays approximately 37 of the 53 listed traits.
Truly, she’s a very self-absorbed person.

Where this is my “issue” lies with my grandie-girls; one is 15, the other 13 and the story of sadness spans the girls entire life.

They were taken out of our lives for years on end (after having divorced, “mommy” moved to New Mexico, Arizona and lastly to Florida.) She has lied to, severely ill-treated and has neglected crucial medical care on numerous occasions. Though not a hand was lifted, the abuses are many.

My son, my husband and I have spent countless dollars going back and forth in a struggle to “open the eyes” of the court with her shenanigans and finally has joint custody of one daughter (the youngest is the product of an affair she had, but she’s ours none-the-less.)

For brevity’s sake, I’ll not go into the details but suffice it to say, it was a and still is a nightmare.
Fortunately “mommy” has found herself in a particular situation which requires the girls to stay with us (at least until she and her current spouse are able to sell their out-of-state home), she is uglier to the girls when they stay at our son’s as he has 2 step-sons of the same age (she calls them whores and sluts), hence we “share” in this weird state of emotions.

It’s been 2 month’s since the girls have arrived; during the first 2 weeks it was the most conversation we’d had with the girls in years, I had to let the girls “switch-hit” evenings as I could only handle one child at a time with tear filled nights, pouring their souls out to me.

I still find myself struggling not to go back into the “role” of pacifying “mommy” to see a glimpse of our girls, and slowly my fears of being forever taken away are dwindling, but her claws are so deeply entrenched in the girls; they’ve asked no one confront her about such horrid treatment and behavior as they’re fearful of the consequences and possibly that she’ll take them out of the country. It’s sad.

My “now” daughter-in-law is a psychology major (2 semesters away) and is helping to deal with some of the stressors and is truly a gem, but we’re all trying to find a way to deal with this “witch” of a person and help the girls realize they’re no longer “babies” that have to call their narcissistic mother – “mommy” and not be afraid of her. The oldest is wanting to live with dad but doesn’t want to subject her sibling to “mommy’s” ugliness alone.

Their lack of health care has become obvious as my son had to schedule the oldest for surgery (she has a tumor on her knee that was diagnosed 1.5 years ago and left to “drink water” to make it better.) Geez, the stories could go on for a book I’m sure.

I’m frustrated, yet elated to have my girl with us, they’re bright (naturally honor roll … mommy dearest ensured they never drop below 85%) and are so very sweet. The youngest was (and still is) furious after we sat her down and told her the truth about her “faceless” dad that “mommy dearest” said wanted nothing to do with her, the anger she felt toward my son for “not wanting her” was also alleviated when he finally had some face-time to let her know that yes, she’s not his “blood child” but she is his and will always be, as well as her biological dads. She went so far as telling the youngest, that no one wanted her but she did cause she’s always been there for her and “molded” her into who she is. SICK!

Both girls exhibit wounded spirits that even our new friends who’ve never heard the story of our grandies commented on a sadness in their eyes (we recently moved to a new neighborhood a year ago.) I do think they’re losing some of the sadness but, one never knows as emotions are stuffed by the oldest and overly needy-ness from the youngest.

We have approximately 5 months (their house isn’t selling so they signed a 6 month lease for a 1 bdrm apt.) to somehow make a little difference in their lives to help but, what type of boundaries do we make?
All 4 step-siblings (my daughter-in-law’s 2 boys and my son’s 2 girls) are going to the Military Academy here (just started today) and “mommy dearest” insists on being “in-the-know” about every detail (though she’s not paid a cent in the matter.) She texts the girls constantly, if they don’t reply, they’re threatened to have their phones taken away. They are required to text her when they go to bed and upon awakening in the morning by or before 8 am (I’m tempted to purchase a different phone for them and let her take the phones she gave them away but eventually they’ll be moving back with her, it’ll be even more of a nightmare for them.)

Needless to say since school started, I told them if they felt it necessary to text her about their sleep habits they can but it isn’t a rule in my house, especially now with school having started, I said it wasn’t necessary as they’ve got enough to do prior to school.

She’s so controlling, her disciplin is ridiculously off the totally f’d up chart, and she SMILES the whole time with her desire for adoration. The girls told me she texted them right after school today that her new “vanity” license plate arrived …
Wait for it …
EM PRESS
Seriously???

I know many would say go to court again but we’ve exhausted our minds and close to our resources to “bark up that tree” one more time. It has been fruitless as “mommy” had massive disposal income as an exotic dancer. No slam to most in that profession but “mommy” cleared over $50K in 5 months, makes one wonder how that’s attainable with working 6 days a month; so she’s told me (now that’s audacity.)

Ahhhkkkk, with typing this, I’m finding myself even more enraged … I type and delete.
I don’t want this to be a vent but a cry for help with some sound advice.
I wish she were completely out of their lives and not just for a little while.

Thank you for your ear and for your advice,
Gma in Utah

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Renee August 21, 2014 at 10:52 am

Your are welcomed and cared for in this site. You will find many who have been treated and feel the same as you do. There are very wise folks here. Read and absorb. As it has been said, ‘this is a process’. Continue to be a part of this sweet, loving, gentle community. Validation, I have found, has helped me tremendously.

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Keller August 30, 2014 at 9:33 am

New here as well… and I am so touched by your story. It must be extremely difficult to have the girls, yet you don’t “have” them. I can say that they are finally at the age they can make sense of this mess (especially with the support you are all giving them just by listening alone)! The compassion and sense of belonging you and your family are providing them during this stay, is something they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. They will be able to get away from her eventually and I know where they will be going!

I do wonder, however, if there isn’t some way to do a little reverse manipulating on this NM? It might sound crazy, but if she felt like they were being more needy of her, texting her much more than she asks etc., would she push them away some (and maybe have them stay with you longer). I mean people like her only think of themselves & we all know this. Jealousy eats at her. She may have felt like the girls were too happy with Dad (making up a reason like the boys, to satisfy that need). She needed you to take them because she couldn’t, and is still able to control the girls by not allowing them to be too close to Dad. It seems like she is jealous of their happiness to put it broadly. If she believed that the girls were a little more miserable with you guys, would she have as much of a need to get them back, or would it comfort her? I wouldn’t be surprised if this little break from them is a bit self-serving on her part, too.

I don’t know if any of that makes sense, but it’s just a thought. It seems like NMs like to isolate children who are miserable around them, and push away children who crave their affection.

It’s kind of crazy… the reason I came here is because of a NM who is also a stripper. Her 10 y/o daughter and my 10 y/o daughter were friends. I had to regretfully distance us from them because her daughter was acting out in ways that were not good for my little girl. Her Mom always had to come over with her, as well, and she is very loud and provocative (to put it nicely). It actually improved for several months and I allowed them to play together again after the NM left her husband for a guy much younger & moved several states away with him! Her daughter was much more pleasant at that time. But, as abruptly as she deserted them, she was back. I feel so bad for her daughter & husband. She manipulated her way back with the sob story that she was beat by the other guy. She is such a spitfire that I would bet she hit him and he ditched her. Now I get the pleasure of seeing her Mon-Fri as she walks to pick her daughter up from school. She is always dressed in revealing clothes with bright red dyed hair, flaunting a g-string and huge tramp stamp. She does get a ton of attention, but isn’t noticing that people are laughing, mocking, or shaking their heads in disbelief once she walks by. So sad.

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Lyn September 6, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Dear-Grand-mom,-Please-forgiue-my-broken-keyboard.-I-want-to-tell-you-how-braue-you-are.-And-that-no-amount-of-loue-is-going-to-eradicate-this-woman’s-lack-of-real-loue-for-her-children.-The-best-you=can-do-you-are-doing.-I-think-he-key-is-to-auoid-as-many-”upsets”-in-the-kids’-future-as-you-can.-Be-constantly-auailable.-And-get-them-therapy-NOW!-Through-school-or-on-your-own.-Establish-a-pattern-of-abuse-so-that-when-the-kids-reach-the-age-of-decision-they-haue-more-than-two-legs-to-stand-on!-Keep-doing-what-you’re-doing-and-don’t-be-afraid.-I-am-hoping-the-best-for-your-girls.

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Cathy Smith August 20, 2014 at 2:17 am

I have just come across this site and after completing more therapy, my counsellor thinks that my mum may be a NM and she suggested I read a book called “The Fragmented Mirror’. So I have started looking on forums to grasp some understanding.
I am fifty- three and an only child. There were no other adults present apart from my Mum and Dad in our family unit while I was growing up
My Father used to ridicule me and wait for a reaction and tell me I was a horrible little little girl and never have any friends. My Mum would say I can’t help you , you will have to put up with it. She never interacted with me and I was sent away at seven to a boarding school. I remember wondering why people washed their hands after going to the loo or brushed their teeth. Basically she was a figure head in my life only. I wasn’t allowed to touch her in case I messed with her hair.
It was when I was a teenager I start to question things. Why she never went to parent evenings or helped with school work. I was just told it was the schools responsibility.
I was about twelve when I was abused by someone who worked for them and asked my Mother for help, she laughed and said his wife would be after me. I was bullied at home and at school and desperate to belong somewhere. I was pregnant at fifteen, I did know how you get pregnant not that she had every told me. I just thought I could be special to someone if we were intimate. When I told her the only thing she said was “the neighbours”. She took me for an abortion without it being discussed futher. I was brought up as a catholic and the boarding school was a convent. They suggested I would be more suited to a school nearer home I was also about twelve at the time and I remember thinking, now I done it, she will be so angry now.
I can’t remember if I tried to end my life before I was pregnant or after. I had thought long and hard about it, I was without friends at school and invisible at home apart from criticism. I waited for a day that I hoped they wouldn’t be too angry. I can still remember the words I would expect them to say if I was successful, “all the things we have to think about and you do this to us”.
Obviously, I didn’t succeed. The school nurse asked if I had taken anything and I said no. My Mum stood behind the nurse and it was suggested I went home. I went to my room and she never asked or came to me. I had taken a bottle of a hundred aspirin.
These are just a few of the things which have made me feel I was a bad daughter and I was to blame for her anger. I have greater understanding now, and even though I am aware it was not my fault I still here her accusing voice and gallery laugh.
She will never have any reason to believe she has any responsibiliy in my growing up.
I moved overseas six years ago, just before I left she told me she have another daughter who was five years older. They were in contact but didn’t tell me as she didn’t know how I would react and that my father who died seventeen years ago always threatened to tell me to hurt her. She said that I was her number one daughter though. She brought out photos laughed, and said I can leave these out now.
I have two lovely girls who will never know of the isolation I still feel, they are well grounded and have good foundations. I am only in contact with my Mother by letter high days and holidays. She is eighty-six and one day I hope to have my freedom emotionally.
I still have a few more hurdles yet but I now know however I try to please she will just expect
and won’t change.

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Michael August 20, 2014 at 7:25 am

Hello Cathy,

Thanks for sharing your story. I think many will see themselves in the pain you are describing. The narcissistic mother will give you just enough “nurturing” to keep you on the hook so you keep coming back. But it’s not “nurturing” or “love”, it’s manipulation so that her narcissism is kept fed. She may be self-conscious of this… maybe not; but it’s up to you to break free of that very toxic relationship. Others outside of a narcissistic relationship will not understand you, compounding the problem.

Your happiness lies with others – let go of that anchor!

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Keller August 30, 2014 at 10:00 am

Hello Cathy… your childhood was a travesty! It’s so amazing that you were able to persevere and use your maternal instincts along with everything you learned by probably watching others & wishing you had the love! I’m so sorry you didn’t have the kind of parents that you have become & I wish you all the best in life

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Renee August 21, 2014 at 10:49 am

to my NM~

wishing…………

I wish that you found health and happiness in your life. I didn’t get that wish.

I wish that you could find the courage to face your demons that torture both of us. Didn’t get that wish.

I wish I hadn’t spend a lifetime trying to please a person who could never have been pleased.
I wish my children had a loving, balance grandmother. Didn’t get these wishes.

I wish to not ride the rollercoaster of emotional triumph and deep sadness because of you.
I wish you could see I’m not the disappointment you so brazenly declare me to be.
I wish that you never told me you believed I’m a failure.
I wish that you never told me that I’m the sole cause of your depression, health issues, and strife in your marriage. I didn’t get these wishes either.

I wish your mother and dad didn’t fight in front of you.
I wish you weren’t sent away to live with your grandmother and grandfather and be without your parents.
I wish you didn’t have rheumatic fever as a teen that developed into a lifetime of excruciating arthritis.
I wish your mother hadn’t told you that your birth hurt her so bad that she couldn’t look at or hold you for 3 days.
I wish you didn’t blame me for your lack of self-esteem.

I wish you could enjoy my children for the bright, lovely people they are.
I wish you could sit and laugh with me watching my dogs play sweetly amongst themselves.
I wish you could have been with us when we sprinkled dad near his beloved rifle range. I didn’t get these wishes.

I wish you hadn’t said and done all the awful things to my children that you did.
I wish you hadn’t said and done all the awful things to me that you did.
I wish you could see that you were being mean instead of believing you were helping us.

I wish you hadn’t compared and pitted my sister against me and to let us be who we are.
I wish that you and dad regarded me higher than my sister’s husband.
I wish I had a dad that defended to me to you, even though he knew the truth all along.
I wish I had a mother. Didn’t get any of these wishes.

I wish I could get off the rollercoaster

I wish I wasn’t compelled to write this.

I wish you weren’t my mother.

I wish I could stop wishing.

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Michael August 22, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Hello Renee, my sister says that she got over mom years ago. She sees mom for what she is and has moved on. To me, I find that stunning. How can she so easily dismiss the void that the narcissistic mother leaves? I’m amazed at my sister’s strength and I have told her so.

So why is it taking longer for you and I to let go of that anchor? We both know it is dragging us down.

Maybe we are dreamers… holding on to a glimmer of hope of a better tomorrow?
Maybe our self-esteem has been crippled to the extent that we believe only mom can repair?
Maybe we believe that we are the failure in the relationship and we refuse to accept that notion?
Maybe…?

My sister says to let it go and move on. I think she’s right.

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Renee August 25, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Hi Michael,

I do envy your sister. I’m not sure if it is strength or resolve ….. maybe we are just a bit more sensitive to things ~ which is a dual-edged sword.

I like your diagnostic query;
if Walt Disney hadn’t dreamed, I wouldn’t get to love the Tiki Room so much!
As I spread my wings into new adventures, I’m reminded of my capablities.
And I’m aware it’s my mother’s own self-esteem that is severely crippled (not ours!!!)
In my heart of hearts, I know that I am not the failure and that there is nothing that I can do to fix her issue. Not that I’m egotistical (sp?) but I just know this, as you too :)

Most days I let it go and I think you and your sister are right. My heart is just one of those softies that aches for all aches of the universe. Sometimes its a drag!! But for me to stop feeling would be to stop breathing.

I think it’s the cruelty that just sinks me ……. even when I see others being treated cruelly, it brings me to tears and my heart cries. Cruelty is pointless and needless.

Both of my children were in the local papers, which my NM is a subscriber. I know that she reads about their triumphs and achievements. Here’s going out on the limb; does it make her sad (and the paper articles aren’t published to make her feel bad ~ which I believe she thinks that I purposefully do it to torture her …. LOL/REALLY) or does it just fuel her venom all that much more? Will never know nor care too!!!

I’m discovering this is just going to be a lifelong battle, kinda like the passing of a loved one. We don’t get over it but get used to them not being with us (of course, those of us with the ‘luck’ of having a NM, we’re better without them!!)

Just another ‘down’ episode. Getting better (actually busy hands, brains, and hearts help a bunch!!).

Love and healing to all~~

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Tammy August 22, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Recently I have discovered that I am a daughter of a NM. My entire life has been a roller coaster of emotional abuse. I was never allowed to have a voice, never allowed to be happy, sad, frightened or even ill. She never offered affection of any kind. My father has been everything to me growing up he took on the nurturing roll as much as she would allow, most of the time they would actually fight over if I should be taken to the hospital. My middle brother and I were the scapegoats and the youngest brother was the Golden Child.

I was always the butt of her mean jokes and criticism. She would even try to get my oldest daughter involved when she was little. She would say things like don’t worry your mom will shut up in a minute. If I was talking and my daughter wanted to continue playing. Over the years I would try to make her accept me but no matter what I did, where I lived no matter what was never good enough.

The last three years she has just had less and less to do with my family. Only inviting us to Holidays or her Birthday and snubbing all of my invitations with very short bitchy responses. The last straw was her snubbing my youngest daughters 16th birthday party. The only person from my family who came was my middle brother. He was two hours late and came with his own Narcissistic personality. Guessing the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The Golden child brother said yes to the invite and then did not show.
My daughter also over heard a phone conversation between my father and my mother, when he was asking my NM for permission to have my daughter, his grand daughter, to their house. She heard my mother tell him ,”No, I don’t want her here.” Because my brother the Golden child was going to be there. This was too much for me and I snapped. I confronted my father and asked him why didn’t my mother love me? He actually was honest and admitted to me that she did not love me. I was crushed for two weeks I have been so depressed almost suicidal at times. I have seen my doctor who is wonderful. My husband and girls are very supportive. I just feel so awakened and for the first time actually free to not care.
Taking off the mask. It’s time to be free, free to feel, free to be real, free to take my stand, free to ask for your helping hand. Look and see, this time it is the real me.

I am working now on recovering from 45 years of abuse and trying to still have a relationship with my dear sweet father with out whom I would not have survived. I am working on overcoming the anger and grief so that I can for the first time in my life experience love the way it should be felt and know that I am worthy of every bit of it. I know this is going to be a long journey but maybe for the first time I feel like my life has a purpose.

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Bridget August 24, 2014 at 1:49 pm

I had never heard about this disorder until recently, when I was desperately seeking answers as to why my mother acts the way she does. To preface, I am 25 years old, have a Master’s degree and am engaged to a doctor. We are getting married in just a few months.

I have always accepted my mother’s behavior as normal. To this day, I struggle with anxiety and constantly have a fear of “getting in trouble”. I was always held at a higher standard than other children my age. I am all for pushing your kids to become great adults, but it was to the point that if I didn’t receive every award in school, or if I made a B, I would be punished and compared to other children my age and called a failure and a quitter. My mother is an expert at easing herself into my business. She would sit and read every email, instant message, and text message I received, often going through my personal belongings (phone, diary, etc.) I was bullied severely in school, and my mother would ease information out of me to eventually use against me. When I look back, one of the turning moments for me was when my mother found out that I had a MySpace. This was very early in the social media craze, so we had created them at school. One day, my parents told me that while I was at school, a man had called our house wanting to speak to me because he had found my page, and my mother kept going on and on about how he had said vulgar things about me and that she was afraid for my life. She demanded that I take down my page. I was confused, because I knew not to put any personal information online , but I was compliant and removed my page. Months later, I found out that everything they had told me was a lie. I had never felt so betrayed before, and that was the moment I lost a lot of respect for my parents.

I could go on and on about things that my mother did. She easily manipulated my father, which eventually led them to divorcing, and now that I look back, I think my dad eventually saw her true colors and wanted out. I can’t say that I blame him. Many relationships I have attempted to have, were destroyed by her antics. Once I realized that she was the cause of my relationship strain, I began to have closer friendships and was able to be in a great relationship and actually start to enjoy life.

The biggest challenge I have faced so far, is the upcoming wedding. I am paying for my wedding myself, mainly because I know my parents can’t afford it. However, I do feel that most decisions should be made by myself and my groom. It has been a constant emotional roller coaster of wailing, screaming, hitting, and crying throughout this whole process. Instead of moving out during college, I stayed at home to be with her to help her cope with the divorce, and now I can’t leave because there is no way to get a lease for the short amount of time from now until the wedding, and if I moved in with my fiancé, I would be utterly shunned and ridiculed by her. She already calls me derogatory names. She won’t allow me to go to my fiance’s house; he has to come here every time we want to see each other, but when he does come here, she sits in the same room as us. We are 25 and 30 and we have to be chaperoned.

I never know what kind of a mood she is going to be in. Some nights, she is fine and happy. Others, she is laying on the couch, crying hysterically, saying that I’m going to change and become a failure. Most frequently, she is giving me the silent treatment until she blows up and says completely mean, hurtful things to make me doubt myself, my friends, and most of all, my fiancé. She tells me my marriage will fail because I am leaving her. Everyone around me sees how tense and afraid I am all the time. I don’t necessarily feel physically in danger, unless she is in what I call “rage mode”, but I am constantly walking on egg shells trying to please her and keep her happy. I’ve tried so hard to be the perfect daughter. I have a Master’s degree, I’ve worked since I was 16 (sometimes working multiple jobs), and I sacrificed my early twenties to try to be there for her, dealing with ridiculous curfews as a young adult to being made feel guilty for trying to do anything fun that most people my age do.

I just wanted to share my story. There are so many details I could give about how ridiculous my life is, but I am hoping that once I marry the love of my life and can finally live, things will start looking up. It helps a lot to know I’m not the only person going through this.

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Dora September 6, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Dear Bridget, congrats on your upcoming wedding! I think it’s fantastic that you know that you are the daughter of NM at age 25. I’m 47 and I wish I had understood this fact at your age.

I have six children and a fantastic husband. I want to share some advice.

As the scapegoat daughter, I was able to see my mother’s cruelty and hypocrisy from my toddler years. As a mother myself, my motto was to do everything completely differently–the opposite! It worked. My kids are kind, hard-working, and compassionate.

I want to tell you, and all of the beautiful people on this site (who have helped me so much…thank you!) about Montessori. The Montessori philosophy taught me how to treat my children and really break this cycle!

Regardless of whether or not you can send your children to Montessori Schools…you can learn how to parent and how to create a beautiful, orderly, calm happy home studying this philosophy.

Yes, we’re rejecting the chaos, control, and cruelty of our own upbringing. Montessori (or other “respect-based parenting programs”) can help us fill the void and LEARN WHAT TO DO INSTEAD!

Spreading the wisdom of Montessori is my passion, and it’s helped me channel my anger in a positive direction.

I wish you the best Bridget! Break the cycle forever! Dora

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Bridget September 6, 2014 at 9:16 pm

Dora,

Thank you for sharing that with me! I am unfamiliar with that program, but I will definitely look into it. That is one of the biggest hesitations I have about having children. I don’t want to become like this. I’m so glad that I have been able to figure out what is wrong now. Knowing that I’m not alone helps me cope a lot.

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CC September 16, 2014 at 10:22 am

Wow Bridget, it’s like looking in a mirror.

Unfortunately for my father he’s still in denial, but she has successfully sucked the joy and life out of him that I fondly recall from my childhood.

I too am 25, and while we should be grateful for being younger and figuring out our mothers so early on, one can’t help but feel the effects of the years wasted before.

But just keep on trucking, it sounds like you’re doing great! Good luck with the wedding ordeal – I just finished mine and frankly it was terrible and only fun for my mother.

The funny part is, my husband and I agreed that our honeymoon would be OUR wedding since “our wedding” was her wedding. Naturally, now my mother is saying things like we shouldn’t be spending so much money on our honeymoon. Yes, god forbid people celebrate their marriage with a little romance and privacy.

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Renee August 25, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Tammy and Bridget,

I’m sad that you are two more innocent victims of this vicious, venomous disorder AND you’ve joined a community that ‘gets it’. You will find nurturing, comfort, validation, information, and moreso, true friendship.

Please read through this website as much as you can. You will quickly see that this is not about you but about manipulation, transparent bullying, shallow self-esteem and exploding egos of people; NMs and their enablers.

The fact that you have arrived and are very articulate about your situation lends to the first steps in YOUR recovery. I can tell you that two of the most helpful articles that pulled me out of the ‘it just has to be me, the bad daughter’ was Parrish Miller’s Narcassistic Mother and Ms. Piper’s various articles ~ and the forum.

I’ve been in recovery myself just only a couple of years and even still, I just exited from another jolt by my NM. You have to do the work, walk the walk, and you’ll most likely slip back into ways that you know ….. not that they are healthy for you but because you are familiar with them. Each person’s recovery timeline, methods, and processes are unique but as you read, read, read, you’ll find many threads of commonality. Commonality you are not aware of yet but will be.

You are not alone. This is not your burden to bear. It is your responsibility for your healing and recovery and we are all here to help. The dynamics of sick relationship is not your fault. What twists it tighter is the idea of what a mother is supposed to be and when we don’t have that, well, it the defect must be us. Guess what ……………. NOPE!!

Gotta race off. You both are on the right path. Healing, Peace, Love

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R.N. August 25, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Hi all…I too have a NM (Big Time). I made this discovery a few years ago and believe that I have come a long way since then, but I still have a lot more healing to do. The biggest challenge I have is setting boundaries when it comes to my children. She is constantly pushing her way into the “mommy” role with my children (believe me it’s BAD) and when I have tried explaining to her that it hurts my feelings when they call her mom, or when they run away from me when I pick them up from her house and tell me “I don’t want to go!”, etc., etc., etc., (believe me there’s ALOT more….tons and tons of heartache on my part) my NM simply tells me to “stop taking it personal…it’s not about you!”

Anyhow, I am constantly on an emotional roller-coaster. I have come to terms with having a NM, yet I am still so fearful of displeasing my mother. There’s only two conditions when it comes to dealing with her, either 1) walking on egg shells to avoid the anger, or being the brunt of her rage and/or silent treatment.

I am glad to have found this blog…and it’s recent too! I plan on reading and writing regularly. Never done this before so I’m a bit nervous.

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Renee August 27, 2014 at 2:56 pm

R.N.
You are in good company. Sometimes you have to step out of a comfort zone to FIND a safe zone. You are here and will be well cared for by those of us who live it and get it. Read, read, read. Work your process in the manner you’re comfy with. We all walk with you.

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R.N. August 25, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Hi all…I too have a NM (Big Time). I made this discovery a few years ago and believe that I have come a long way since then, but I still have a lot more healing to do. The biggest challenge I have is setting boundaries when it comes to my children. She is constantly pushing her way into the “mommy” role with my children (believe me it’s BAD) and when I have tried explaining to her that it hurts my feelings when they call her mom, or when they run away from me when I pick them up from her house and tell me “I don’t want to go!”, etc., etc., etc., (believe me there’s ALOT more….tons and tons of heartache on my part) my NM simply tells me to “stop taking it personal…it’s not about you!”

Anyhow, I am constantly on an emotional roller-coaster. I have come to terms with having a NM, yet I am still so fearful of displeasing my mother. There’s only two conditions when it comes to dealing with her, either 1) walking on egg shells to avoid the anger, or being the brunt of her rage and/or silent treatment.

I am glad to have found this blog…and it’s recent too! I plan on reading and writing regularly. Never done this before so I’m a bit nervous.

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B.C. August 26, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Hello,

It has taken me years to make the decision to break communication with my N.M. The problem is that she won’t let me go. She emails me constantly, invites herself over anytime she wants, drives by my house to see if I’m home, etc. She relentlessly texts my teenage children with guilt-soaked messages, and has managed to turn my 3 siblings against me by crying to them about how I feel that I am “too good” for them and her. With the holidays approaching, I need advice about how to turn down her invitations to family affairs that turn into drunken screaming matches. I can’t expose my kids to her antics anymore…Advice?

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Renee August 27, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Michael told me that because my NM cut me off, that I graduated~~ that I no longer provide the ‘hit’ my NM needs and am of no use to her. That summed it up for me, super clearly! (thanks Michael!!!)

In review, are you certain you have gone NC with her? I think that if you give an NM any morsel of acknowledgement, they are a shark and gobble you up. You mention that she invites herself over … who opens the door? Does she have a key? Perhaps contact your wireless carrier and block her phone number to your children’s. I’d hate to do it but have considered changing my children’s cell numbers (when they were younger and ‘grandma’ would call them, oozing her ick onto them). You really shouldn’t have to change your life but sometimes you might need to take some drastic action.

One thing to really remember, behavior always gets worse before it gets better ….. meaning if you really cut all access to your own family from her, she could ramp up. Hold your ground. My NM overstepped me many times but I still stood my ground. It was as if she had the right to turn a deaf ear to me. I was ready to file a restraining order but thank goodness it didn’t go that far. I’ve even have a note at the children’s schools that my NM or GC sister and her husband are not to have access; pick up, attend events, contact, visit, etc. The principals have always been thankful to have the head’s up.

Once in one of my NM’s fits of ‘your dad’s cancer is worse and it’s all your fault’, with my youngest in the back of her car as they were going out for a lovely day of shopping (uh, yeah, right), my NM was hysterical. I just couldn’t have my NM driving away in that state of upset with my sweet, innocent daughter in the back seat. When I told my NM to let my daughter out of the car, she threw her car in reverse and screamed at me that she didn’t need to do anything I said. I told her to stop the car. She didn’t. I don’t know where I found the strength or courage, and never in a million years would I ever have thought I’d be ‘here’, but I told her that if she didn’t stop her car and let my daughter out, I will call the police, have her stopped and remove my daughter. Well, that rattled her cage and don’t think for a minute I was bluffing! Of course, the story later turned into ‘what daughter would call the police on her mother’! Sicko.

Ok ~ in summary, dear B.C., no means no. NO MEANS NO and you have to stand behind it. I’ve found that I don’t owe my NM an explanation or ‘why’, just ‘no’. no. NO. I’ve kept the conversations short and to the point and cordial.

We all will slip and slide in our recovery. We find balance too. Look back at my posts. I’m all over the road but my NM is out of our lives and we are a very peaceful family. Even our dogs are very happy.

Stay with us. Journey and recover with us. Let us know how things work out for you.

(sorry, in a rush …… didn’t check for typos!)

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Dora September 6, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Renee, I can’t tell you how much I’ve appreciated all of your comments (and precious Michael’s).

Anybody live in Seattle? Gosh I’d love to have coffee with any/ all of you!

Seriously, I’m 47 and have just initiated NC with my entire family. I notified them that all contact would be rejected (phone, door, email). I think God was with me when I bravely made that extremely strong decision. If I had IN ANY WAY left even the TINIEST CRACK OPEN it would have tortured me ( I would have felt sick every time I opened my computer), and it would have tempted them to……….be cruel, vindictive, destructive.

My beloved pastor told me that this is, in fact, the best way to help them. He said, “stop enabling”! I was the worst enabler because I was desperate for any “love” I could get. Finally…no more.

I appreciate all the words about how much God needs us today. All of my efforts with my family….and they were extreme….really didn’t do anything. I’m free, and now I can really do what God wants/ needs me to do.

Yes, it’s time to “shake off the dust from my feet”!

I’ll always have pain. A lot of pain! Not ever experiencing maternal love IS HUGE. It’s really huge when you experienced hate, slander, and extreme abuse from your own mother. It’s really, really, really huge when you were the only child that had that treatment (scapegoat child)! I offer up this pain for my daughter, who needs some prayers. If you understand the concept of “offering up” pain, it can really help channel the pain in a positive direction.

Thank you so much dear friends on this site! As all of you know, it’s EXTREMELY RARE to find anyone who can remotely understand this situation. As many of you know, the NM is able to charm and fool everyone, and destructively turn them against you!

This site is a blessing!

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arin August 27, 2014 at 11:52 am

Dear all,

I’ve just come across this wonderful site.

I’m the scapegoat daughter of a mother with NPD. I haven’t seen her for three years and don’t speak much on the phone because I get the usual barrage of coldness, criticism etc.

My dreadful relationship with her made me decide not to have my own kids but to adopt instead and I have found a young girl who is going to be placed with me and hubby. We will love and care for her with all our hearts. I know I will make a good mom because I will be everything my mom is not. Crucially, I will treat this child as an entity in their own right who has freedom of thought, expression, and will unconditionally love and care at all times.

The question I have is that how to I stop letting the negative thoughts about my mum flood into my life. Even though I don’t see her I still find myself getting caught up in the cycle of negative memories about what she’s done. For the first twenty years of my life I was confused not knowing why she was the way she was, for the last 10, after finding out about NPD I was both relieved (about knowing it wasn’t me but her) but also tortured by the past. I’ve tried everything but am still in the same rut.

Please help someone, I need to stop going over the negative stuff over and over again so that I can live in the present. I don’t mind thinking about it from time to time, as to block it out would do far more damage but a happy medium would be great.

Yours thoughts would be most welcome.

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Renee August 27, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Sweet Arin,

Stay on this blog. Look back at everyone’s journey and interactions. You will be a fabulous mother. I’m kinda thinking that children of NMs are some of the greatest parents. We give to our children what we were not …… a testimony to recovery.

Again, as with B.C., read, read, read. Read as many posts on this site as you can. You’ll see the patterns. Perhaps a technique someone shares will connect with you. Align with people who get it and support you.

The one additional book I’ve been reading is the Adult Children of Alcoholics. It’s not all about alcoholism but also about family dysfunction. It breaks discovery and recovery into daily ‘bites’ with a resolution at the bottom about identifying illness, health, well-being, and recovery. This book supports Michelle’s material and really breaks issues down into manageable pieces. It’s really helped me.

You are in a loving community that understands. Like B.C., walk with us.

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Anonymous August 27, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Renee,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. You have very eloquently summed up what I know to be true in my heart: I want to break off communication with my NM but have not stood my ground. I still let her take my kids for the day, still let her guilt me into doing things I do not want to do, etc. I am coming to terms with the complexities of her disorder. I thought that if I stopped going to “family functions” that my message would be clear. I am beginning to understand that my mother has twisted my actions to suit her emotional needs: i.e.. she has simply told my siblings that I am the problem…further estranging me from them. I also find it interesting that you have begun to research the “Adult Children of Alcoholics” books and psychology. I have done this too. My father was an abusive alcoholic who died young. My mother uses this as part of her manipulations, as she holds herself up as the savior who rescued the family from this man. I have been physically ill for the last few days because I turned her down for a “fun family Labor Day celebration.” I haven’t heard from her since and I know this means that she is plotting. Last week she showed up at my church (I am a devout Catholic and she hasn’t been to church in years) and knelt next to me in mass and then proceeded to accost the priest afterward to show how “devout” she is. I don’t know what to expect next and like all others on this board I could go on forever about the nutty things that she has done. Bottom line: I have so much work to do to learn how to deal with this. Thank you for supporting me as I begin this journey. Also, Arin, I agree with Renee about reading as much as you can about this and following the stories on this blog. It is so good not to be alone.

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Renee August 29, 2014 at 8:15 am

B.C.

How ya doin these days? I remember the pain of those days ~ still have pain jags from time to time ~ but recovery and resilience is a bit faster a few years into my knowledge about this wicked, thieving, conniving disorder/illness.

As I sent you the message I sincerely hope that you didn’t think that I was thumping on you …. truly, because I wasn’t! My intent was for you to honestly evaluate your actions to see if you were NC. You are courageous to take that journey and realize that there will be some work to do ….. difficult work. That is a HUGE step and congrats. This process is not for the faint of heart but survivors of a NM have the most remarkable, resilient hearts, empathy and patience ~ quite a breed we are!! LOL!!!

And a note here, I am in no means a trained professional. Although I have my two degrees, narcissism is really getting the ‘light’ it deserves. As Michelle mentioned, it is a difficult disorder to study because the narcissist adamantly believes there is not one thing wrong with them and it is everyone else. It’s kinda like trying to dam up Niagara falls with a toothpick!!!

Dump that thought that a NM will get subtle messages, like inattendance to an event. For me, clear, concise, firm statements to my NM left no room for debate. Ya, she tried but I didn’t go farther than beyond my prior statements. And I’ll tell you, NM will escalate to the point of infantile stupidity!! You may even see the humor in how ridiculous ~ a 60,70 year old NM have a tantrum that parallels a 2 year old screaming because they didn’t get their way …. but don’t laugh in their face. I think it is disrespectful and that is not your goal.

You are right ….. your NM is plotting. They consume themselves in their next ‘attack’ to get what they want ~~ which is YOU!! You are the ‘fix’ to her junkie addiction and she wants a big, juicy HIT!! Move through your illness, feelings, and don’t be mad at yourself. That’s the process and you’ve on the road!!!! Good for you! Those first couple of steps are scary. And the more steps you take and begin to feel that it is good to claim your power back, it’s a little easier each time. And yeah, we ALL have the nuttiest stories to share ….. join the crowd!!!! Take comfort in we all get it …. and getting it is such a great stride!!

Enjoy your Labor Day ….. this is a super duper holiday for you, the first of many to come because you took you first step. My thoughts; do not cave. Do not take calls. Let her ring your doorbell a million times. Maybe leave the house for the day. Take YOU back!!!! You ARE worthy of a life of peace and contentment. Let us know how it works out for you.

Sending you courage, happiness, peace, healing, and balance.

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arin August 28, 2014 at 8:20 am

Dear Renee,

Thanks for your kind words and support. I will carry on reading and learning more, which will remind me of what it’s all been like, and will keep checking out these posts as well. One of the most difficult things has been being told ‘it’s all in my head’ when I know that it’s not.

Thanks again xx

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Renee August 29, 2014 at 8:36 am

Arin~

You are so welcome and I really do appreciate your kindness.

As you read, you’re really going to find, OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER, that the majority of us have been convinced by our NMs, their blinded friends, the gushing sympathizers for your ‘poor mother’, that all of the crazy that she has done to you is in your head. Well, ok, because that is where your memory is stored!! Right??? And your very intelligent organ called the ‘brain’ that has been trying to convince you that it isn’t you even though your ears hear ‘it’s all you, it’s in your head’. Ironically humorous, eh?

I’m finding victims of NM mostly turn out to be the best parents. I would NEVER want my children to be conflicted, hear me saw the most awful things to them. I think we make pretty rock’in parents. And there are those that choose not to have relationships and children. That’s ok too. Who’s to judge? I try not to. My NM would probably rank amongst the top psychos ever and I still had children. I’m not the perfect mother and while my children have success, they are eggheads too and we (my husband and I) have their backs, pick ‘em up, dust ‘em off, and tell them their merits, strengths, and sometimes life is sh*^&y, but that’s life ………………….. now go get your dreams kids!

I think that your going over the past is just part of you attempting to be able to dump junk. You’ll get there. When you’re in a community that is supporting, believes you, and ‘gets it’, you don’t have to keep the junk and it’s clinginess to you begins to ‘uncling’. It’ll always be there but it isn’t so ‘frontal’ in your mind. Does that make sense? It was decades for me. I hope it won’t take you that length but that was just my timeframe to get to where I am. Again, as I said before, I’ll ‘drive’ straight for a while and then I’ll find myself skidding and augering. I’m finding that’s just how I am. I think if I can do well at about 95% to keep my NM history in check, well, 5% isn’t too bad. You’ll find your happy medium. I think you’ll find more than the fulcrum ….. you’ll have more weight in the peaceful side than on the sad side.

Stay with us ….. fellow survivors ~~ weigh in!!!

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Sonja August 29, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Dearest friends (as that is how you feel to me).

Thank you for sharing – I have a NM mum and my sister (35) has just started demonstrating all the traits of her and moved into scapegoating me because my mum is scared I will refuse her contact with my daughter as I have pulled her up on the behaviour before. My NM mum has scapegoated me all my life and used terms like “disowning because I got engaged at 26, ‘Banned from having children’ at 30 and then refused information about a family genetic disorder while I was getting pregnant – the stress caused me to lose the baby. A lot of control issues amongst many other problems and the narcissistic rage is frightening. Anyway, I’ve had 10 years of cognitive behaviour therapy (including tune up sessions) to deal with the problems and subsequent stress and I am finally on the journey to the last milestone of ‘self care’. I understand the grief and loss over not having a good mum, however now I am no longer wanting to spend energy on her and my maternal family as it steals energy from bringing up my daughter in a better way. So please hang in there and find a good thing to hang meaning to so you can let go of trying to have a good mother by being a better child. It saddens me to think I missed this experience, but the joy of not repeating this to my child is filling this hole in my bucket! Once you understand that your mum is sick and there is nothing you can do to fix it and even your empathy can undo you just activate a ‘forcefield’ similar to a nurse in a hospital you won’t get emotionally caught in the same traps. Much happiness to you all. Sonja

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Sonja August 29, 2014 at 2:11 pm

Sorry – I know that may sound simplistic but I guess its a long journey I am finally at the end of and these are the tools I now use to survive any encounters. Each of you will find some meaning that can help you let go of the past – just don’t give up looking as you will find peace once you get there. I am always in awe of people in a caring profession as they seem to departmentalise better than we can in family, because they have professional boundaries. That’s how I now put my mother into perspective – she is ill and it won’t be solved as she won’t get help.There is only so much you can do in that circumstance and you have to let go of the need to fix it for her because she has trained you very well to try. Narcissism is emotional abuse and no child deserves that treatment.

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Renee September 10, 2014 at 8:26 am

Sonja,

Your post was not simplistic but to a point. I love that you see the opportunity this community has; putting our finger in the narcissistic hole of our ‘life’ buckets and stopping the energy from draining out. Perfection! I believe that is our gift. I have always felt, ‘better me than my children’. Yep, I feel bad for me but I’m so lucky that I was awakened in time to not push this illness onto my children.

Good for you Sonja and I (sadly) enjoyed your share and adore that you are on your path.

Healing, Peace, & Joy

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Rachan August 30, 2014 at 11:09 pm

This is my mother to a “T”.

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B.C. -- Barbara August 31, 2014 at 8:40 am

Friends,
Well, here it is: 11:30 a.m. on Labor Day. If you’ve read my previous post you know that I am sick to my stomach because I turned down my mother’s “Labor Day Celebration” invite. Anything can happen next. She could drive over and scream through the door, leave 20 messages on my phone and text my kids nonstop. My first impulse is to send her a nice email to apologize for being a “horrible and ungrateful daughter” but I won’t. It’s really sick that she has trained me to do this and I am aware of that, but years of being beaten down takes its toll. Ugghh. This day is going to be awful…Hope the rest of you are well.

Barbara

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Hayden August 31, 2014 at 6:46 pm

I really like this website.

For a long time now I’ve just been wondering if it was me who was in the wrong like my parents always say. I’m 17, they say, so I must be exaggerating. Since they’re ‘adults,’ they get to scream and boss around and scapegoat and hit and punish as much as they want. I’m going to be an ‘adult’ too, eventually– in a month I will be 18. But something tells me that just because I hit the magic number that these problems won’t just go away.

I took the test in the test section of this website. Red around everything except support, which was yellow. I kind of laughed at that– so I’m NOT insane or stupid or immature. Well, maybe I am, but according to that test, I’m just a kid with stupid parents.

My mom likes to say I ‘hound her’ and ‘bully her’ when really it’s the other way around. Just today I’ve had a horrible pinched nerve in my back, piles of homework (the last few assignments I have to do before I can move on to college courses), my room isn’t clean, my laundry needs to be done, etc. I’ve got a lot to do. And when mom asks me to make dinner, I think ‘I don’t have time for this.’ But I say ‘maybe’ anyway. A few hours later, mom tells me that she can make dinner, so I take her up on it. A few MORE hours later, she’s got the grandkids over, (7, 5, and 2, respectively) and has to make dinner, but she’s never made the recipe she wants to make. I have, so she calls me upstairs to ‘get her started on the recipe.’ I take this as ‘help me figure out how to start the recipe,’ so I go upstairs, and she demands that I start MAKING dinner. She’s in hysterics over having three kids in the house (two of which are just playing video games, the youngest following her around harmlessly) and orders me to make dinner. Seeing as she’s acting kind of crazy, I tell her to calm down so I can help, and she flips her friggin lid.

“DON’T TELL ME TO CALM DOWN. THAT’S DISRESPECTFUL. MAKE DINNER.” Etc.

I, by then, have had enough of this, and leave the kitchen. I’m not hungry, she is. I have better things to do with my time than be yelled at. And I don’t have to deal with this.

As I leave she starts crying at my dad, her husband, about how I’m ungrateful and disrespectful and how she has so much to do. I mean, I can understand having a lot to do, because I’m trying to go to friggin college, but making a simple dinner (Mushrooms and Chicken. Come on.) really isn’t the pinnacle of doomsday, and having a baby following her around is a little easier to overcome than the sun going supernova and swallowing earth… in my opinion.

…. If you think I’m just a stupid teenager at this point, you could be right. Maybe I am immature. But if you really think my mom was right in this situation, to scream and cry over my not making dinner when she said she’d do it, I have to say I disagree with you. And that my friends disagree with you.

Should I even be on this site? I’m so confused, and like I said at the beginning of this little rant, it’s possible my parents are right about me… but I really hope they’re not, because they’ve said and done some pretty terrible things to me.

I dunno.

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Renee September 10, 2014 at 9:36 am

Hayden,

I want to read and digest your post a bit more. You feel what you feel. Youth does not mean that you are inexperienced or unknowledgeable. The fact that you find homework important and that you are preparing for college sounds pretty darn responsible to me.

I encourage you to read more on this site. Read as much as you can ….. but don’t drown in this well of posts. Sometimes I can only take small bites at a time.

Frankly, if it turns out that your mother has narcissistic tendencies, I envy you. Crazy, huh? Why? Because you’ll find that the majority of this community is in our 40s, 50s, 60s, etc. I can only begin to fathom the difference in my life if I had discovered early on that all of this ‘wasn’t me’ and was the manufacturing of a NM.

Read and I would encourage you to check in with this site. You sound like a sweet girl to me.

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rakhee s September 1, 2014 at 8:39 am

I just read these comments and saw my life flash in front of me. My mother is a nm. I feel so ecstatic to have found somewhere to vent. I feel almost overwhelmed that other people understand me. My mother you see is the amazing gorgeous loving caring funny beautiful woman to all that know her. Though secretly I think they know that there is something amiss. I see another side. When I was growing up my life was unbelievably tainted by the fact that I was sexually abused my my mother’s sister since age seven. When I told my mum aged 18 she simply shed a single tear and then proceeded to go on holiday with her dirty sister. As I was growing up my life was unbearable. Simply hell. Limited love. No softness. If I pleased I would be rewarded for a moment. Changed minds. One day she would say one thing then change her mind on a whim. She would whisper to other family members to control me. She was nasty. Very very nasty. No cuddles kisses. No even a hand on my head. I had bulimia due to the abuse and the behaviour of my family. I left home aged 17. Never went back. But she reached my neck for years. Tears. Temper.no love. Criticism. Ugly words. All followed. I went through a divorce with a small boy. She told me a few weeks before that her counselor told her that he sister was just exploring her body. My dad followed suit and told me that he felt I was using abuse as a means to get divorced. I lost a baby to years prior and she told me that when I was pregnant I didn’t cook for her. I pleaded that I was pregnant But she said everyone loses babies.. you didn’t cook for me. I was already dead inside. She killed me as I lay in hospital grieving. She always need the upper hand the last word the best family the most beautiful daughters the most amazing home.. but in all of that she ignored me and made me feel like a worthless dog. She citizised me when I was young for being to dark skinned. I bleached my face sore. She told me that she was disappointed and couldn’t even look at me. I cried in my sleep every night for years. I hate her. I hate her. And now I realise that my life can go on. I have a beautiful cheeky gorgeous amazing happy little boy. A great life. A lovely boyfriend. I can beat this. I can. I moved out all by myself that day when I got divorced. Not even a text from my family. I will move on. I am a good person. Amazing actually. I would love to hear from you all Rakhee

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Renee September 10, 2014 at 9:44 am

Rakhee,

OMGolly, I’m just in tears! This just makes me sick on so many levels.

You have found the community you have longed for. Here you will find love, experiences similar to yours, acceptance, guidance, understanding …… all the things we should have received along the way but just that our NMs don’t have within them to give. And that is no reason for a parent to treat their child or spouse to awful.

As before, read. Continue to reach out and stay in touch with us. I hope I can speak for us all, we are here for you. Welcome.

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Navy September 1, 2014 at 7:28 pm

It was only about 6 months ago that a new therapist clearly identified “her” as a Narcissist. With a capital “N”.
The last decade or so of my 45 years has been a renaissance of understanding and insight… and a few therapists and a lot of refills of Prozac.
“She” is now allowed to be referenced as “the woman who gave birth to me”. WWGBTM has never been interested in being MY mother so I now give myself permission to NOT BE HER DAUGHTER.
I have gone full-scale No Contact/No Communication. It is the ONLY thing to do since I have realized that:
1- I will always be a disappointment to her NO MATTER WHAT I DO OR DO NOT DO. So, clearly, my very presence is a sore spot in her life because I CAN DO NO RIGHT.
2- She will NEVER be a person who can fill the role as “Mother” in my life. A great weight has been lifted from my being since I have released her from being “my Mother”.
Since those two assertions will never change, I would be stupid to get in her presence, and expect anything but bitterness and disappointment in BOTH of our hearts. Who on God’s green earth needs that? She does not any more than I do.
I understand that since I am a source of negativity in her life, it is clearly appropriate to remove myself and add no further stress; that is actually the Christian thing to do.
All families have issues and individuals that have problems. If I were an alcoholic and stayed away because of a lifestyle of intoxication, everybody would be OK with that since I wouldn’t likely be welcome to expect others to put up with my sickness. If I went through rehab to get recovery and sobriety, I would probably be re-welcomed by family.
The problem here though is that when I get recovery and get healthy, the WWGBTM can tolerate me less and less. My skewed view of “model behavior” was my coping mechanism to survive my childhood under my parents’ roof.
My childhood is over and I can use whatever coping mechanisms that I chose now. The question I use on myself all the time is “doing what I am doing, am I getting the results I want to get?” If the answer is
“no” I give myself the option to try something else to in the quest for the results I want. Of course, the corollary question is “what is the result I want?” Clearly in this situation with the WWGBTM, it is NOT to cause angst, disappointment, ire, irritation, etc. to EITHER one of us. So, if every single interaction leaves us vulnerable to heartache, what is the best course of action? NO CONTACT/NO COMMUNICATION.
Knowing this, it is up to me to take ownership of the information. The WWGBTM will always be in denial of her NPD. She will never change, but I can. It is un-Christianly to INTENTIONALLY cause her heartache, and that is exactly what happens as my own heart heals and I am no longer the dysfunctional child she decided to tolerate.
The ONLY thing that matters is taking care of myself and that is the only thing that matters because God created me and I am responsible to take care of God’s creation. I have a heart- a big tender one, and I do not have it in me to be cruel, malicious or cause ill-will. In a curious irony, now I know that I can be nothing but disappointment to her, and I don’t have it in me to cause her that harm AND, I have the self-respect to protect myself from harm she does to me. I have a responsibility to nurture and protect the mind, body and soul God gave me.
I try hard not to delve into my ugly childhood- all of your stories are my story with a few details changed.
NOW, I just decline to participate in the relationship with the WWGBTM. I know I have a choice to engage in a “relationship” with her or NOT engage in a “relationship” with her. Thanks, but no thanks.
(NC/NC is easier now that my father sadly passed away last year. The WWGBTM waited until a few minutes after he died a few miles away from here (long cancer battle) to leave me a creepy voice mail saying he died. That kept me from being able to say goodbye to him. And, she didn’t return my immediate calls back. Oh, and I was not invited to his funeral. I had to “crash” my own father’s funeral! AWKWARD. And, I was left out of his will, I guess- I never even heard and received nothing. I just share this story because it might show that I have indeed earned membership to this club. :)
And, last but not least, I even ditched the birth name the WWGBTM christened me with. I leagally changed my name to “Navy”. I AM ME.
Love to all who are on a forever road to recovery with me.

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anon September 4, 2014 at 8:11 am

Thank you for the pep talk! I so needed it after hearing from my Mom on my son’s birthday. She gave me such a downer but I do have the responsibility to nurture and protect the mind, body, and soul God gave me.

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Navy September 4, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Dear “anon” on Sept. 4. All the best to you on your journey. I am rooting for you!

I have an acquaintance that is going though some “stuff”, as all of us do from time to time. I wrote her an email, and I share an excerpt with you now… I will never tell anybody else what to do, but I can share my tools and maybe help others to use them.
WHAT WORKS FOR ME: I ask THE Question. (THE Question is : “Doing what I am doing, am I getting the results I want to get? ) I know to use the gifts that God gave me in mind, body and soul to identify the results I want, and come up with strategies to get my results. If I need to be creative and try something else, I do that. The process is full of growth. I thank God for what I was able to accomplish. This is the only formula you will really ever need. To end with gratitude to God is to better your relationship with God- and that is really all that is important in life. When we live that lesson, we will teach it to our children.
The beautiful thing about being Human is our relationship with our Maker. He made us with the ability to accomplish a lifetime of achievements. Some people call this list of achievements areas of “dysfunction”or “not being perfect”. The very fact that we are “IMperfect” gives us an unlimited supply of areas where we can grow, and where we grow, we have the choice and free will to grow in our relationship with God. Embrace these areas. These areas are a gift. These areas are the places where we really come to our gratitude for God. True gratitude for God is to be bestowed with Grace.
I think it was a remarkable discovery to embrace my “dysfunctional”areas- and boy howdy do I have my share of imperfections. It is kind of a love/not-so-much-love thing sometimes, especially at first. Then you accept the journey. You ask THE Question. You thank God. The process becomes routine. BUT, the joy you experience in being fully immersed with gratitude to God is what it is all about.
This is how I come to “take ownership” in my life. The interesting part is that no matter what the issue, or the circumstance, or the person, or their spew, I know that no thing, no person, no outside source, has any right to come into the relationship I have with God. I take full ownership of that, too. Not my husband, no my 2 sons, not the Woman Who Gave Birth To Me (formerly referred to as my mother) not even family- I take full ownership of the relationship I have with God. I take ownership of making it full of gratitude. And, that is what works for me.

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anon September 4, 2014 at 7:57 am

I am a 50+ daughter of a narcissist mom. I finally got my sister to take my mom on after 17 years of taking care and trying to please my mom. Of course it is a long story, but I am relatively new to the idea that Mom is a narcissist. Anyway, my sister lives far away and I thought my mom could not get hold of me, but alas she does. I have asked her to not contact me in anyway 2x’s since her move a few months ago. I would contact her when I was ready. Did she honor those wishes? Hell no. The latest is today. She emails me an email on my son’s birthday that she regrets saying those things. Game playing I know. How do I get her OUT of my Head?

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Cherie September 4, 2014 at 3:03 pm

It seems to me that everybody has just disappeared from the scene.

As a last word I would like to wish you all true happiness on your journey forward.

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Cherie September 4, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Now I really do not know what is happening on this site. All the above mail was not visible for me when I came on this blog tonight! However, you all sound happy with the feedback from each other.

Take care.

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Renee September 10, 2014 at 9:58 am

Cherie!

Hi Girl! Glad to see you back. Missed you. Hope that you are doing well. Like you, life sometimes just demands your attention (like a 2 year-old’s tantrum!) and that’s my story … LOL!

Michael ~ yooooooooooooooo whoooooooooooooooooo? Are ya still around? Pop up and let us know how you’re doing. I miss your insight. It’s always so refreshing and spot-on.

Carly ~ you too doll! How are ya?

I do have to thread back through the site to see replies to posts and I’m finding I missed quite a bit. Hope everyone is well. Seeing that we have more souls joining our community. I just see this as one of the greatest indulgences I give myself; this site to share, humbly help, love and embrace, and find peace.

Love and Peace to all

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barbara coen September 4, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Haven’t blogged here since Labor Day–which, thankfully passed without incident. My mother did not pound on my door, but as Renee predicted, she has simply slipped back as she plans her next “attack.” Today she sent another guilt-laden email about how she is old and lonely…This coming from a woman who is out every night of the week, who doesn’t work, who does nothing but plan how to get her way. I haven’t responded. I am still in the waiting stage here and see the dreaded showdown on the horizon!

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Renee September 10, 2014 at 9:27 am

Barbara~

I’ve been busy but I’m back on today.

This was a reply to your post pre-Labor Day:
Stand your ground. Stand up and take what is rightfully yours; YOUR LIFE. Sweet dear, I will share with you the gallons of puke I have expelled from my body. Decades of poisonous, toxic, emotional mess. Once my husband even told me that in all the years we’ve been together, he’s never seen me throw up as much as I was (at that time). I kinda think sometimes the body just has to get rid of residual, biological storage.

Now, please understand I’m not telling you to stick your fingers down your gullet!! I just found when I let my body take care of itself, that was a cathartic process for me ….. not for everyone but for me. Maybe you?

I have impulses too (and I’ve talked about them before). There still are times when I ‘go there’; maybe I should drop ‘mother’ a note, invite her to the children’s event ……. and then I catch myself. I think some of us will always have a ‘hope hole’ that just isn’t going to be ‘fixed’ ……………… but guess what? You caught yourself!! Congrats!!!! That’s a super big step. Excellent!!!

Your NM wants to leave 20 messages on your phone? You have a delete button right? The minute you hear her voice …. DELETE. Kinda like she dismisses and deletes you and your essence. So she texts the children a billion times. Perhaps your carrier can block her number to your children’s cell lines. Instead of being reactive (which is our natural instinct cuz we wanna smooth those ruffly feathers), be PROACTIVE. Ok, if she screams through your door, maybe you need to call the police because she is acting aggressive and dangerous. (Read my post about how I had to tell my mother to stop her car and let my daughter out or I would have the police stop her (my NM) and remove my daughter. I hated it but, as a truly protective mother, I now will pull no stops to protect my children from my NM.) No means NO and a NM will challenge you up to the point they dismiss you (Right Michael?) And then when they do dismiss, like Michael said, you’ve really graduated. You’ll serve no purpose to your NM.

And my reply after reading your 9-4-14 post:
What a victory for you!! So very proud of you. You are on the path.

Ok, I’ve been there, awaiting the punishment for standing my ground. And you are waiting too, right? STOP waiting and get on with your living. I know it sounds easy and it’s not. We all get it. I have found that when I stop waiting for an attack from my NM, she no longer is a defensive priority in my life and has less and less power.

NMs; they’ll spend an incredible amount of energy on darkness, manipulation, torture, tactics to get even for the pain of what they perceive you have done to them. I sometimes wonder what the world would achieve if these ill people could redirect their energy into a positive direction. Fa la la la la!!! LOL!

Barbara, no dreaded showdown for you. It takes two to argue and engage. If you don’t fight your NM, let her spin off in her crazy direction like a tornado (eh?) and that twisted energy eventually spins down.

Changing behavior most often gets worse before it gets better. Nothing to fear …. it just is. Now go live your beautiful life with your family.

(sorry if there’s typos …… too many things to do today and not enough time!)

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Linda September 7, 2014 at 2:07 am

I,at 56 am just now discovering my mother ,now passed,was a narcissist.I was a puppet for a very long time.My mother died 7 years ago.I had so many nervous ticks.One was biting my fingernails to the quick.I held her hand as she died.The gates to my life opened that day.From the moment she died I have never bit my nails since.When she died,I couldn’t cry.I remember this thought crossed my mind “The dragon lay sleeping,” She was diagnosed Bi-Polar one when I was 7.She refused meds for it on the grounds she would put on a few pounds.She lived for the lookd of a man and her looks were everything.She was an amphetamine addict.She was an LVN and worked as a floating head nurse.She looked alot like Marilyn Monroe.
She didn’t pass the pills to the old people but brought them home in little pleated paper cups.They were in every drawer in our house except my sister and my bedroom.We would take the pills and make puzzles out of them.My father ,since I was the age of five would drop me off at parks in our city.He would drive me to a park and tell me to get out.If I did not he would reach over and open the door then push me out by his foot and lock the door and drive off while laughing.

He would be gone around 2 hours or so.I had to wait for the most part where he left me.When I turned 7 my two years younger sister(His golden child to the hilt) was 5 and dropped off with me.Her and my father(Might be a narcissist as well) were sex addicts,They would tell my sister,the golden child and I how tired we made them and they had to take a nap.She crushed up pills and put the pills in pudding or applesauce and said we needed a snack and made us eat it.We slept where we fell.She put pills in our food at meal time.At 5 years old,they took me to a psychiatrist to see what was wrong with me.This psychiatrist let me play with a dollhouse which I loved while she asked me questions.After about 6 months she took me by the hand to my parents and told them,”There is nothing wrong with her” They just looked at eachother.I am 56 and both parents are now gone.It is so nice to find out that I wasn’t the problem afterall,but the fall guy.I have been diagnosed “The identified patient” of the family.I love this new discovery of who and what and putting all the names to behaviors.I feel like I can stand up tall and hold my head up.I am not as bad as they made me out to be.Now playing catch up with life.Thank you for all this wonderful information and helping us with this.Linda

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Linda September 7, 2014 at 2:51 am

My father would voyer on me when I took a bath from age 4 to age 13 when he finally left us.I wouls shut the door when I went into the bathroom and the door,in our new house would come open.I would close it and it would again come open.Once I got mad and slammed it and locked it.He got so mad he told me never to lock the door ,if I fell in the tub,how would he get in to save me.Sooo much happened to me as a child .I am writing abook at two therapists suggestions.My mother was so jealous of him and fought him daily.She used every swear word and by the age of five,I knew all the dirty words.The fighting of my mother against my father who never said a word consisted of throwing things when he got home from work around 2 am.He was a trombonist.My bedroom backed the dining room wall.When the first thing she threw hit my wall,I was up and crying while she threatened to leave him because she accused him of cheating.This went on three or four nights a week.The screaming and cursing went on all the time.I was afraid of both parents and never trusted them.I never ever did anything all through school.At the parent teacher confrences the teachers were so impressed with my parents.On finding some report cards a few years back I see where the teachers would write things like”It’s wonderful you try so hard to help Linda with her school work.She seems smart if only she’d apply herself” well they didn’t help one iota with anything having to do with my school work.My sister the golden child got all A’s,all through school and usually was the teachers pet.I would go to bed at night reading three or four World Book encyclopedias I had stacked beside my bed.I used to write out each kids name in my class in Egyptian because the books had the Egyptian alphabet in the front of each book.I would go home at lunch and go in the garage and hide until a parent came home.I loved the quiet coolness of the garage.I moved out of my mothers house the day I trned 17.Do you know it took 7 years for her voice to stop screaming in my head.I think my slight hearing loss as a teenager was from the screaming.My mother, when my stepfathers friends would say I was becoming a looker at 15,my mother from then on fed me macaroni with onions and tomato sauce,She and my stepfather were 36 years old when I was 15.They bought a brand new motorhome.I didn’t get clothes or much else and wore the clothes my father left behind when he moved out when I was 13.My sister went with dad when he left., to high school.My mother would ship me off to whoever would let me spend the weekend while they went off for the weekend in their motorhome.My mother would make me look bad infront of her 9 siblings.If she got the whim she would call them,manipulate the story so she was my victim and they would end up coming to get her to save her from me.When I was 19 my husband and I made the mistake of moving into a home to rent on an acre of land she owned which had three houses on it.She had been buying cross top beans at 5.00 a jar and paying 7.00 a pill for black beauties in 1976.Her drug seller s house was being watched by the police.My mother made me go over there to buy her drugs.I never did drugs and didn’t even know what I was doing.I was powerless to say no to her.It was some years later I realised my mother sent me so if the house were raided while I was there,I would be the one to go to jail or prison whatever.Thanks mom,but that was her all over.At 22 years old I was around 500 lbs. I had a live in job and took care of a senior woman 2 1/2 years 24/7.My mother of course had to come and get her nose into everything and we finally had an argument and she left.I didn’t speak to her for over two years.I lost most of that weight until she started coming around again.Oh life with my mother and father was Mr. Toads wild ride from hell.I had so many tics,pulled my hair out,had touch issues with things like bedsheets,bit my nails etc,etc,etc.My mother had me on so many diets as a kid.She loved me on the diet of shots made from French pregnant womens urine and 500 calories the best.I would get so hungry I would eat the edgings off the blankets,my sisters hamster’s food,weeds in the backyard,the shammy cloth my father used to dry his car,etc,etc.I was starving but mommy wanted me to look thin like her.I have sooooo many stories I could tell.I thank God I am alive and lived through all that.Now I am becoming the person I want to be,finally.I love 12 step groups and am in Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous ( foodaddicts,org ) What a gift this program has been for me.There is help no matter what your age is.Just keep reaching out for that helping hand.

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Dora September 7, 2014 at 4:32 am

That’s a heartbreaking story Linda. God bless you in your healing and recovery!

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CC September 16, 2014 at 9:53 am

I too used food for comfort when it came to dealing with my family. I feel your pain and admire your strength.

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McKenzie September 7, 2014 at 7:30 am

Thank god for this website. For 20 Years I’ve been trying to figure out what exactly is wrong with me and my relationship with my mother. Now I realize that she is the problem not me! I have chosen to cut off all contact with her. Its hard because i have a 6 month old daughter, but i have to protect my child. If she put me thru this hell you bet she would drag my daughter into it as she gets older. Idk how to feel about my mother anymore. I am a lost soul. I feel stuck. I hide my pain and emotions for my boyfriend and daughters sake. My mothers side of the family is just life her so that doesnt help. I feel so alone in this battle. I dont have many friends. And if i do they all go on and on about there problems. I dont trust many people either so that doesnt help. I mean how can i trust? after the one person who is your foundation of trust broke it? I was the scape goat child in my household growing up. I HATED my mother. I would always run away, but she always have me crawling back to her like a puppy with its tail between its legs.. She would humilate me degrade me… god i could go on and on. I guess i just needed to vent? lol

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Casey September 7, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Adult only child/daughter of NM. Just realizing there is a title for this horrid personality disorder. Suffice it to say, my mother is a reigning NPD Queen. She separated from my alcoholic father when i was 5. Had multiple boyfriends and husbands, plucked me out of schools as we moved to accommodate her next situation. All the while, my father would show up in our lives as they continued to have affairs my entire life. I moved away after college and began a career – I sought therapy as I felt something wasn’t right and therapists told me to emancipate myself from my mother – that we were enmeshed. I made excuses for her and said she did the best she could. They said ‘ no, she didn’t.’ All these years later, I’m 40 and recently married to a terrific husband who always thought my mom was quirky. Well – her 3rd and most recent husband passed away last year. We flew to be with her and help her manage all of her affairs for 2 weeks. Husband handles everything – I never quite understood why it was all a secret but realize now it is because she can’t handle or understand things. Thinks she is all knowing but is completely inept. We helped her bury her husband and manage her affairs, list and sell her home and prepare her to move close to use a few states away. We helped transfer her car, sign apt lease and were on call and apeaking to her daily. When she moved in with us for 6 weeks before her apartment was ready, we gave her a key and went on our way. I was excited to have my mom around as it had been forever since we lived near each other. Something was amiss. She acted anxious, nervous, talked about meaningless and incorrect things. She was clumsy and denied anything was wrong. There’s a full story here but let’s skip to the present issue. I got pregnant almost exactly when she moved nearby. She was distant throughout my pregnancy. Come to find out she had a long distance boyfriend from back home and when I gave birth, she disappeared. Now, several months later she is sending letters that she’s remarried, sorry and hopes we can be a family again. There’s no way she’s getting near my baby and I spent months crying myself to sleep – I want nothing to do with her now and either does my husband but it’s brutally painful. Any words you may have to help me cope are truly appreciated.

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Casey September 7, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Retread my post and noticed I may have left out specific examples of her nm traits. Can’t possibly list them all. She’s been lying, using triangulation w the few family members we have. Straight out denial and the list goes on.

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Nic September 8, 2014 at 6:34 am

I only started looking at whether my mother is a NM when I briefly mentioned a few things to my counsellor whilst talking about something vaguely related, and she said, ‘ah, interesting, a NM’.

I hadn’t considered it before. My mother (outwardly) is the sweet person everyone flocks to and only does things ‘out of love’. Until now I never wondered why she and her brother stopped speaking about 50 years ago, why her and her father barely spoke up til his death, why my father barely speaks to his one surviving sibling, and didn’t speak to his brother. There was always a justification for some huge wrongs done. I didn’t take time to look for the common denominator.

Through school I drifted through under my own steam, recognition only came if I had been singled out as a chatterbox or not concentrating enough etc. My brother had undiagnosed dyslexia and dyspraxia and was barely ever at school, and academically did not achieve – this was lauded, whilst my own exam success barely noticed. I was then thought of as selfish for going to cllege (this view came from my mother and father) when I should have been out starting work and bringing in money.

My brother left school ad drifted from dead-end job to unemployment and back and forth for years. Always financially supported and aided by my parents. When I did move out my parents bought a smaller house so there was actually nowhere for me to stay if I wanted to visited, so I used to sleep on cushions on the floor whilst my unemployed brother laid in bed.

I joined the military (subconciously moving away, I now see it). Outwardly proud, they didn’t even decide whether to come to my pass-out until the day before. They didn’t come to my second wedding as they didn’t approve of who I was marrying and thought ‘it was just Nic’s normal stupid messes’. Nasty about my struggles to have children, refuses even now to acknowledge I lost 5 pregnancies, outright refused to come and help after the birth of our first baby, despite my having developed pre-eclampsia at 32 weeks. I could go on. And on.

3 weeks ago, my family and I travelled 400 miles to go stay near them to visit. We had to stay in a tent in horrific weather as they now only have the most tiny home (although with one spare room). Even before we went I asked if she actually wanted us to come down. The answer was yes, but with constant questions of what we planned to do, making it clear we needed to entertain ourselves. As it turned out, the weather was so bad we had to leave early. It was so awful being in a freezing tent in the pouring rain and wind, I could not subject my little ones to it any longer.

Without going into every teeny detail this eventually erupted in the expected ‘telling off’ a week ago. She has always done this periodic tongue lashing, which is intended to put me in my place and ‘show some respect’. For some reason this time she went further than ever, ever before and literally left not one aspect of my life untouched in the ferocity of her attack. I have had 2 texts since, insisting it’s ‘because she loves’ me. I have responded I cannot forget the things she’s said and we’ve had no contact since.

I’m not struggling with not having contact – I live nowhere near her, I can’t actually imagine a proper conversation after the things she’s said. I’m just thinking about it constantly, and would love any advice on how to work through the hurt, anger and sense of being unjustly accused of so much. She’s completely alienated my brother from me, and it’s quite clear everything I have been thinking is right, because what loving mother wouldn’t get in touch and say ‘I’m sorry, I went too far’.

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Casey September 8, 2014 at 9:31 am

Uncanny how familiar the behavior sounds. Raging, disrespectful, no boundaries. We are warriors for moving forward and raising healthy families with stability and comfort. There’s a special place in hell for NMs. Mine is calling/texting/sending letters. Where was she when I gave birth a few months ago. No matter, we are much better off. NC is the way to go w NMs. Period. The grieving process was the worst for me and I still feel sad for my inner child but my baby won’t experience that mess. E-V-E-R.

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Anonymous September 8, 2014 at 1:34 pm

I’m struggling right now to make sense of any of this. I’m adopted so it kinda feels like being rejected twice. Not a good place :-/

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Renee September 9, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Hi All!!

I’m still here but just been super busy with my children. Just had a birthday (54 ROCKS!!) and I will soon share my experience. Actually, I didn’t have one and that’s one of the invisible weaponry of a narcissistic. They’re kinda like a bomb. Even if you’re in NC, they’ll blow, may not blow, lay just under the surface, and another layer in this sick disorder.

I’ll share more ………… running out the door to yet another philanthropic/school meeting. Will chat soon. Miss you all and hope you are still doing the good work that we all do.

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Cherie September 10, 2014 at 11:40 am

Darling Renee

Happy Birthday! You are such a gem and such a star! Making time to answer and welcome all the newcomers. I miss you all too! I keep on saying good bye and then I am back again!

I have the flu and my work is deadline driven to the max! Off to my our family farm in October for a well deserved break! Things will get better and then I will be able to contribute more.

Hi Michael and Carly. Are you still there?

Love to all. xx

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Jane September 11, 2014 at 9:50 pm

I have only recently discovered my mother is a narcissist – and suddenly everything fell into place. This year has been my worst year with her and we are now barely on speaking terms – only when I call her once a week and even then – only for ten minutes of awkward judgemental conversation with the eventual “I have to go now and have a shower” to get off the phone from me.

From the age of 13, my mother would repeatedly ignore me, isolate me, demean me, lie about me and pretend I didn’t exist for months on end – the worst bout of it lasted for 9 months during my sixteenth year, but more frequently these bouts would last for at least 3 months at a minimum. I moved out when I was 19 and moved back when I was 21 just prior to going overseas. Within a month of moving back, another bout lasting 9 months and then I left for overseas.

Through my 20′s and now 30′s, the cycle continues and the bouts last for between 6 months and 12 months now. The smallest thing will set her off. This year, the silence passed through her open heart surgery and recovery period. Her monkey, my Aunt, insisted on passing messages through to me despite my protests with the last message, “If you call her you could kill her as her heart is weak and she doesn’t want you to know about the surgery.”

I understood and accepted in my teens that she may die during a bout of silence – in fact she was in one of these bouts when my father had open heart surgery 20 years ago – and she answered my questions about my father’s progress through my Aunt in the waiting room (when we were waiting to hear if he was dead or alive)

I understand and accept now that I am a victim of abuse and that this abuse continues to escalate and get more out of control as she ages. I am interested to hear from anyone who is still in touch with their mother and may be experiencing an escalation in the abuse with age?

I felt she may have turned a corner after her surgery and for a minute there maybe she did. She decided to come and pay me a visit and we spoke about things. I asked her if she felt I deserved what I got when I was younger – and she told me no – I only deserved the best in life.

Perhaps for a moment there we were looking at the same landscape, on the same page. But within a few short weeks, she resumed her distance through withholding phone calls – because that’s all that’s left to withhold. She knows how I feel about being the only one to call – that it’s unfair and it should be a two-way street.

So it’s just so sad that the only weapon she has now is used with such venom – such absolute resolve. It’s certainly a sickness and it must be exhausting and confusing to play out. I think many people forget that narcissists are victims too – victims of a sickness that appears to have no solution.

I watched a touching video of a mother and daughter the other day – the mother had alzeimers but had a moment of clarity where she recognised her daughter. It was such a touching moment and I related to it in many ways – my mother’s near death experience gave us a brief reprieve – if only for a moment – from her illness.

But then all too soon the illness has taken over and again and I’m heartbroken – still looking to her for a healing that I know will never come.

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Nic September 12, 2014 at 3:55 am

Hi Jane,

I can completely relate, having like you only just come to the reluctant conclusion that my mum fits into this category. Even now, as I sist here, her conditioning of me over the years is running around my head in the form of ‘you know, all this is because you’re such a bad daughter, such an awful person’.

I am not sure whether THEY get worse with age, or our tolerance slowly diminishes. My watershed came when I found out she had tried to interrogate my children (8 and 9) behind my back to discover if I was in contact with someone she is paranoid I am (I’m not!). I will not tolerate her moving this onto the grand children.

It has also got worse for me whenever I stand up to her. Shr redoubles her efforts to make the telling off make me finally do exaclty as she wants, and doesn’t care what she throws to try to diminish me enough to concede. It’s been two weeks since I had any contact. I won’t lie, it’s bloody hard. But again, it’s very freeing only having concersations that don’t have a subtext, or won’t be thrown at you later down the line. I’m trying to really focus on the wonderful friends I have around me, instead of pouring energy into someone who just needs to subsume me. It is absolutely heartbreaking, and a huge wall to hit, the fact that our MOTHERS have caused us so much hurt and angst, and not loved us like we imagine mothers should.

I know this has really reminded me how much I love my girls, and how I need to be a launchpad for their blossoming souls, and not the foot that stamps on them at every opportunity.

take care xxx

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Debra September 12, 2014 at 2:10 pm

It was mentioned in Michelle Piper’s free download booklet that there are ACoNs support groups. I am unable to find the site. Can you please help find meetings in or near Fremont, CA (Northern)? Thank you.

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Jane September 13, 2014 at 1:35 am

Hi Nic,

I just returned to this site tonight and saw your response to my post – thanks for taking the time to share. Regarding my question around the disease advancing as they get older – your idea that our tolerance slowly diminishes is definitely true.

Awareness of the illness makes it more difficult to stomach and yes my tolerance is waning. There’s also a feeling of hopelessness when I can now clearly see the signs of the disease and at the same time – understanding that there’s no solution.

All of that said – and again perhaps it is a lower tolerance combined with an awareness – but something inside of me tells me there’s something more. The behaviour is becoming more childish for want of a better word – and the negative will behind the actions is brutally strong.

The continuous poor judgement when it comes to me – and this innate need to punish me over and over is escalating. I have read a lot about the illness – but nothing about it’s advances as people age. Have you come across any resources that may help?

Jane.

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Jane September 13, 2014 at 4:26 am

Hi All,

I’ve just taken the time to read through these heartbreaking stories and if it makes any difference – I hear you all and you are not alone.

And yes we are very strong people for having not only survived – we’ve passed through all of those hopeless, downtrodden moments to see the answer is the illness.

Each and every one of us could have just as easily believed we were worthless – and I think it’s a testament to the human spirit that we’ve come out the other side – certainly sadder and certainly stronger.

I feel as though I’ve been living in a crime and punishment novel and now I’ve walked off those pages for a new story.

I can’t bring myself to go No Contact – with no judgement on others whatsoever – I believe we’ve all had enough of that – !

For me personally, and perhaps because of the extreme silence I’ve been subjected to – it just feels as though I’d be wielding her cruel axe of silence – and I refuse to pick up any of her tools.

I’ve reduced contact to an absolute minimum – I no longer attend any family functions, birthdays, christmases, easters – no visiting and no visits to my home.

It’s down to phone calls only and once a week and afterwards I go for a massage and treat myself to a lovely lunch.

Today’s massage not so good – a mother and daughter were having a pedicure when another mother and daughter passed by. They were all friends and happy to run into each other at the beauty salon. As I watched the effortless ease in which they all communicated, even down to their relaxed physical presence with one another….

I shed a few tears. Friends didn’t come to visit me because the house was always under some extreme emotional duress. I was so young but old enough to know it would be inappropriate to subject others to the abuse.

My brother and I had no space to bond and we didn’t get to know each others friends.

My brother and I learned to communicate with physical gestures through the silence.

Sometimes a door slamming would be answer enough – yes she was still in a silent rage.

Sometimes I’d get home and he’d already be home – I’d raise my eyebrows and he’d shake his head if she was still in a rage.

Sometimes we’d have a quiet moment to whisper, but most of the time this wasn’t possible.

My strongest memory of our family home is the colour and texture of the carpet – I was the girl that walked around with her head down – hoping to avoid triggering yet another bout of silence.

I get that I am hyper-vigillent because I grew up in a house where screaming, grunts, slamming doors and silence were the only forms of communication on offer.

I get that my brother and I never had a chance to bond as teenagers or adults because my mother’s drama was all encompassing. We just never had a chance.

I get that there’s no answer, no solution and nothing that can be done about any of it.

And getting that this is an illness helped for a while, but that’s no longer of any solace.

Sorry to end on a downer – I’ve just had one of “those days”

Jane.

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Anonymous September 13, 2014 at 8:17 am

Hi Jane.
I’m so sorry about your background…it’s very similar to mine.
I have a very odd quirk in my memory….whenever I picture the home I grew up in, it has no walls! Like a doll house… no protection, no safety…open to the elements. Seriously, I can’t picture walls!
Anyway, I too get that knife in the heart whenever I see mother-daughter love, or any paternal self-sacrifice for that matter. Growing up I would live for the Waltons TV show because they were mature, virtuous, and they put their children first. I’m very grateful for that show….
I’m recently in a NC situation. I know everyone’s situation is different, but I thank God that there is not the slightest crack in my NC. They’ve been told that all communication with me must go through my husband. It’s a firewall! I have peace and security for the first time (sadness is a constant battle though…).
If there was even a crack in NC, they would be vindictive and cruel. The worst part would be ANTICIPATING their cruelty. It really doesn’t take much to destroy me either…because every cold shoulder, every little cheap shot, etc. brings back HORRIFIC memories. I’m sure everyone on this site knows exactly what I mean!
I’m grateful to everyone on this site. It’s amazing how similar our stories are. I’ve never known anyone to have a mother who really and truly does not love them, or to be the only sane member of your family and be accused of being the one crazy one!
It is a consolation to have this community. Thanks everyone!

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Jane September 13, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Hi Anonymous,

I read your post and really related to your comments on anticipating the cruelty and the slightest cruelty bringing back horrific memories. I am exactly the same as you in this respect.

It’s almost as if someone presses play on a movie reel in my head and I’m powerless over what I remember or how long it plays for.

I don’t know if you’ve ever watched Joan and Melissa – Joan knows best? The recent death of Joan Rivers has stirred something up in me too – I loved their honest and raw bond.

Even though everything was hammed up for TV – you could see the love Joan had for her daughter and grandson – it oozed from her.

You kept mentioning “they” was it more than your Mother in your past – ?

My father was an enabler and mostly absent. He never really stood up to her, except for one birthday when he walked in the door while she was in the middle of telling me why I didn’t deserve a birthday cake.

He left quietly and returned with a store bought cake from the supermarket. He also quietly protested and told my mother, “you can’t do that to her.” It was one of perhaps three rare moments that I can remember any sort of intervention.

A second time – after my mother removed everything from my room and made me sleep on the floor as a punishment, my father must have intervened because it only lasted a couple of nights.

However when everything was returned (including my bed) I continued to sleep on the floor. I was about 14 at the time and don’t recall thinking much at all about it, beyond I didn’t deserve to be comfortable in a bed. My father came into my room in the middle of the night, gently sobbing, lifted me off the floor and tucked me back into bed.

No walls – ? Do you have any sort of inkling as to why this might be your memory? Something to do with no boundaries?

I don’t know what it is – but coming to this site feels like it’s helping me. It’s one thing to talk to friends or counsellors – but they don’t really get it. They mean well – but they don’t get it.

It’s another thing entirely to be in a place where you know the other people get it – I’ve never had this experience before.

Jane.

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CC September 16, 2014 at 9:25 am

Wow. I’m so glad I found this post.

I’ve recently been coming to terms with my narcissistic mother, who relies on guilt.

It’s strange, because she seemed to be totally normal up until she started having back problems. That’s when the narcissism began.

She was constantly cared for at home and treated like a patient by the family, which I think made her decide she was the star of the show.

After that, she started putting me on diets. I remember one time I told her I was happy with my body, and the next morning she got me up at 6am and forced me onto the scale, screaming, “I KNEW YOU’D GAINED WEIGHT.”

She would also come into my room when I was sleeping and cry over my bed. When I’d wake up she’d say, “I’m sorry you turned out the way you did. I wish I did better to make you better.”

Guilt guilt guilt.

She also stalked me online. Wouldn’t give me any privacy. I had no friends at school and was a social outcast, so I started turning to MySpace and Facebook and online forums. My mother would make accounts and follow me on them. Even today at 25 years old, my mother will try to find out what websites I use and then follow me on to them. I asked her years ago to respect my privacy and stop following me online, because sometimes people need a place AWAY from their mother. She cried and told me she almost died giving birth to me (she didn’t).

The worst was when I went to college. She would send me hate mail…every couple days I’d get an email telling me I was a traitor and how I’d ruined her life and I don’t care about anyone but myself. Meanwhile, I was starting to have epileptic seizures (not only did she not want me to seek medical help – she simply didn’t care). Naturally, I had a nervous breakdown. Ended up flunking all my classes and dropping out of school – she loved telling people about that.

My husband is the reason I’ve begun to see and accept my mother for what she is. It became a lot harder for her to hide who she was when I started seeing my husband. He’s so supportive of me, she hates it.

One time, we told her we were going to move 7 hours away by car for work. She had been drinking (tequila – that’s important to remember for what I’m going to mention soon), and then told us she was ALMOST raped when she lived where we wanted to move. Well not really, but a guy walking by her on the street said “unspeakable things” to her, and that’s why we shouldn’t move. She started crying hysterically, snot running from her nose, but she kept drinking the tequila. My dad stepped out to get more wine, and then my mom spilled all over her dress.

Keep in mind my husband (boyfriend of two months at the time) was there, watching this whole ordeal.

Anyway, after she spilled on herself, I brought her into the bedroom to help her change. It was awful, and frankly, disturbing. She laughed like a baby and refused to let me dress her (struggling like an infant with a diaper). I had to find a pullover dress and put that on her. The minute the dress was on her, she threw up on herself. And it wasn’t one of those surprise vomits that can’t be stopped, no, she actively and decisively threw up on the dress. And then she laughed.

So I had to change her again, and again she struggled with her clothes.

This brings me to why I wanted to mention the tequila. A couple years later, I had my wedding. I didn’t want to have a wedding, I wanted to get the papers signed and call it a day, but my mother guilt tripped me into having her “only child’s” wedding. She said she wanted to make it special and my day. So, I agreed. Then, she stopped wanting to do it. She refused to help in any way. My best friend and I had to plan and design the whole wedding. The only time my mother wanted to help was when it came to ordering the alcohol. I told her again and again: I don’t want ANY tequila at the wedding, that is not an alcohol for a wedding and frankly your behavior on tequila is disturbing and I’m uncomfortable with it.

She then proceeded to order a giant bottle of tequila for the wedding. She had the delivery guys sneak it by me. Naturally, knowing my NM, I knew she was going to do that, so I had told the bartender to bring me the bottle the minute it was given to him.

She then spent the wedding hammered and telling everyone how I wouldn’t let her have tequila.
I spent my wedding doing everything the bride’s mother was supposed to do. It was awful, I still cry about it. I guess I’m still mourning over the fact that my mother couldn’t even fake loving me for the one day you’re supposed to.

Oh, and last year I had a miscarriage on my birthday. She not only showed me no emotional support for the miscarriage, but she also didn’t mention or celebrate my birthday in any fashion.

Unfortunately due to the economy we are currently under her thumb. We live on one of her properties (she owns two houses and a boat and buys herself expensive clothes but whenever I need something we “can’t afford” it) and she takes full advantage of that fact. However, I”m working very hard to accept what she is and learn from this experience. We’re saving up money and playing it cool, but quietly preparing for our escape.

The worst part is facing the guilt. She successfully raised me to be a neurotic with severe anxiety, and often I can guilt myself into a frenzy. But now that I’m aware of what she is and what she has done to me, I’m starting to have an easier time letting go of my pain.

I look forward to moving away.

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