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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{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

dancingmyself July 18, 2012 at 12:17 am

Which few of these criteria AREN’T my mother.

The horrible part is how long I walked around thinking I was evil and born broken.

Looking forward to keeping up with your blog :)

Reply

Michelle Piper August 25, 2012 at 4:27 pm

You are very welcome! One of the things Kohut, a psychological theorist said is that, ideally, parents are supposed to mirror back who we really are. But, a narcissist provides a distorted mirror, like an old fashioned “fun-house” mirror that reflects back a fat, wavy image. Or, as you said a “broken” mirror. Think of how confusing it is to a child to grow up believing that is their true self when it is not. I am glad you no longer trust that old mirror!

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Marie August 2, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Thank you so much Michelle, for
creating this blog. I just came to the realization that my mother is a narcisist. I happen to be the
scapegoat child. My younger sister is the golden child; a role she assumes nicely since she has very little
Internal drive toward independence even though she is 27 years old.
It’s painful to grow up this way and I am trying to become a better person by learning how to love
myself more and stop hoping it will ever come from her. I don’t like to think that my mother doesnt love me. I think that sounds a little more harsh than the reality. She knows she loves me; she just has a completely distorted version of our relationship and what love means to everyone else. She truly believes that she loves me so I pity her lack of perspective. The relationship between us is a series of repetitive hills and valleys and now I finally understand why. I even hated the hills because I knew they were only a precursor to the next valley. That made the good times less meaningful each time they existed and ultimately fake.
I wonder how to deal with her in the future once I feel I have healed myself so that I don’t get caught up in this destructive behavior again. As you know, narcissistic mothers are very good at a facade and can real thier children in only to pounce on them again. How do I avoid this? I am afraid that she will break me again.

This blog is very vauable and a great resource to help me on my journey and to know that I am
Not alone. Thank you again.

Reply

Michelle Piper August 25, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Hi Marie,

I apologize for the delay in my reply. I am new to blogging and am getting used to the technology of it… and an excessive fear of typos.

Your comment addresses the mixed feelings most of us feel when dealing with a loved one who’s a narcissist. Often, we want them to be accountable for their hurtfulness so they can stop their narcissistic behavior and we are unsure if they are able to do so.

You ask how can you avoid getting reeled in and then pounced upon by your mom. Great question. I will try to provide every resource I can on the blog to support not getting reeled in by narcissist behavior. In the meantime, I’ve noticed that children of narcissistic parents are successful in this when they become lovingly protective of their own peace of mind and joy.

That may sound vague so I will try to describe it further. It is as if, when we cultivate that loving space in our life for ourselves (of serenity, self-love, etc.) and consider it precious enough to guard and nurture, it then helps us defend our happiness in every response to the maniupulative, narcissistic behavior of others. It is like a “narcissistic mother repellant.” The old manipulations simply don’t have as much power if the first question to yourself in response to your mother’s behavior is, “how does my response protect my happiness and peace in my life?”

I hope this is of some help. Thanks again for sharing.

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Beans March 17, 2014 at 4:30 am

My mother exhibits 18 of these strongly and several others once in a while. I was the golden child. The scapegoat killed himself. Thanks mom. I wish you had left me on a doorstep at birth.

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barwin October 5, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Hi michelle,
I tried to post just now but I’m nor sure if I was successful.
Just want to say thank you for this blog, it helps so much to get
This information and hear how others have struggled and survived.
I found your last point above so helpful:
The old manipulations simply don’t have as much power if the first
question to yourself in response to your mother’s behavior is, “how
does my response protect my happiness and peace in my life?”

Reply

Michelle Piper October 27, 2012 at 8:28 am

Thank you, Barwin!
I’m finally going from barely capable to novice regarding the technology for my blog, so please forgive delay in reply. Thank you so much for sharing what was helpful. The comment you brought to our attention,
….The old manipulations simply don’t have as much power if the first question to yourself in response to your mother’s behavior is, “how does my response protect my happiness and peace in my life?”
is one of a few that each of us can keep in mind around narcissistic moms (and narcissistic mother in laws) that can serve as a “security firewall” for well being. My guess is many of us in this community have more of these protective questions to share. Thanks for your thoughtful response.

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Dawn M. Goodman October 11, 2012 at 4:44 pm

My mother can become any of the Narcissist types you described at will. I moved away from home as as I was old enough got married and had two daughters she initially wanted me to abort. When I refused to abort them she badgered me for unsupervised visits with them at her house. My mother convinced my daughters that my desire to be independent of her was abusive to them. I subjected them to living in poverty rather than giving up my independence to live in my mother’s house. After all of these years of her influence our relationship is completely destroyed. Both of them declare that I have treated them exactly as my mother treated me and I have no reason not to visit her whenever she wants it. Yesterday I received 45 emails from one of my daughter’s because I told her that I would visit grandmother and won’t accept anymore of her abuse. My mother is 84 desperate for my independence to finally end, my daughters want revenge, and are as abusive to me as their Granny. After all of these lies, nastiness, and abuse from them due to her complaint about me I don’t want to do a damn thing for her I don’t want to see her! This whole situation is despicable I know that those girls want to be rid of us both. I know that they plan to cut me off totally once they get me to move in with their Granny. I have a third daughter from my second marriage that my mother did not raise and does not influence thank God for her. She is 84 and still causing misery.

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Michelle Piper October 27, 2012 at 8:36 am

The destruction a narcissistic mother causes can feel like a dirty bomb, especially when it affects your relationship with your own children. Thank you for sharing part of your story. The “pitting against “each other created initially by the narcissistic mother can manifest itself the most strongly when the family experiences the type of strife you described.

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Roger January 14, 2013 at 1:34 pm

My NM was the same way. It was like she would just turn a switch on and become someone new. It was so confusing because I never really knew who she was. How she acted at home was the complete opposite of how she acted around her friends and how she acted out in public.

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Patty August 5, 2013 at 10:29 am

My mother was worse.. I was not a fit mother… and my son is so great and wonderful— but my mother complains… ” he does not talk much”… I think he sees the problems.

My sister told me I was not qualified to be an aunt, so I never really knew my neice.. in fact while she would like to call me “aunt” when she was little.. I told her no — I need not be in your life with people like this.

The funny part is that my mother tells us that she had none of this behavior in her home growing up. My father did not have it in his home.. Where did this unkindness betweeen me and my siblings come from?? Like it is our fault.
I have no contact with my siblings at all…

I used to come home after being with my mom and just cry…. what did I do that was so awful? I never could answer the question…… I never played victim… I just never understood.

NO CONTACT — that is how you survive!

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Rather Not Say August 5, 2013 at 10:40 am

Dawn– my son has told me I am just like my mom too, and I think growing up with them we are going to be similar.. that is all we know, but our mothers have had an influence on our children. the real change did not come till by son was about 12… and then my mother changed when my sister returned after being gone for 16 years… That is when it got REALLY bad.. it was so bad I had to get protective services in to protect my mom from my sister… they saw it on their visit. These people are lethal..

What I am doing now is sharing this material with my son, explaining and apologizing for any hurt actions I caused him…. it was not intentional. I have been reassured by my therapist that I am like my mother….

My son’s father passed away, and when that happened he began to blame me for things I did not have control over. My auto accident that was serious cupped with losing a job for other reasons has put a burden on my son, and I am working through it… I am trying to do it all on my own, but sometimes you need help.

I am hoping that this is not a generation to generation issue.. I do not want to be seen as my mother.

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Kathryn October 14, 2012 at 8:08 am

Thank you for providing this blog. Don’t worry about typos or being new at this; I never have done a blog either. I can relate to this in two ways: my mother, her mother, and my ex-husband. As the oldest, I was raised/touted as the golden child. So, my sister, the middle child, became the scapegoat. Now we are the opposite. I can also see where my narc upbringing molded me into a narc as described above, the lovesick narc. I can also identify with some of these others who are writing in to express their backgrounds and situations. Marie, and Dawn, my mother is 83. I had lived away for 30 years and moved back “home” just 2 years ago. Mom has had some health issues that have taken over a year to be corrected. Therefore, there have been multiple times where I would be taking her first to one appointment, then another, every week. Friday I learned she will be going to a wound clinic every week, which will take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. She will also be seeing another dr. each week as she has for many months, also which take up to 3 hours.
She still tries to reel me in; she does not acknowledge boundaries: ie, closed or nearly closed doors. She wants to know who I am texting or talking to. If I am not in the room where she is, she will call me and expect me to drop what I am doing to help her, like she will find some problem she expects me to solve at midnite. After the first time of this, I learned I had to say no, because I could not sleep afterwards.
Like I said, now the roles are reversed between my sister and myself. She is the golden child because she is teaching at Headstart (following in Mom’s and her mom’s footsteps). I have been unemployed for two years; with all the running around for mom, there’s no time and I have more anxiety now…go figure!
Our brother is/was the spoiled one, since he was the baby of the family. He will be the executor of the house when she dies (because he’s the boy). My sister has had the right to make decisions for mom in the hospital, etc. Where does this leave me? As the scapegoat, I suppose.
Sorry, I can go on and on. I understand these other women’s point of view. I’m sorry for them as well. For Dawn, I would recommend a good lawyer to ensure you get your share of your mom’s estate, if you want it. At this point in my life (will be 55 in Dec.), I don’t care; there are few things I want out of Mom’s house, besides the piano. I’m toying with the idea of what other memorabilia I will try to keep. When my grandmother died, and her house was being sold, my brother and sister and their spouses went through her house, got rid of broken things, divided up what they wanted, and I got a few leftovers. How nice.
Since I am living at home, Mom pays my bills. I was living in my room again, but now my daughter and her husband and their baby are living in it. I am sleeping on the twin bed my brother used to sleep on. Amazingly, Mom never replaced it (well, it’s still good). She never changed our rooms when we moved out. My brother expects to find his things still here when he returns, hardly never. His present wife and mom don’t see eye to eye, or perhaps they do…and can’t stand each other! I am expected to clean house every Saturday regardless of what I want to do; help dry the dishes every night (she has a dishwasher, but feels we don’t have enough to fill it…I beg to differ, but she won’t listen). Oh, I’m also on probation, so add those restrictions into the mix…I have no social life belyond the computer. I have a boyfriend two states away, who I get to see maybe every other month.
The man I married turned out to be a narc, he could really do cutdowns quite well. He also has asberger’s, so I was doubly emotionally abandoned. We had four kids, three boys, then our daughter. At least two are completely emotionally withdrawn like him, the other two are stinted, but can function within society and their families. If I call the two who live with him, we won’t be on the phone for long. I have to go to them and spend more than a couple hours in order to get them to open up and talk. My ex and I can spend more time talking about our mutual tv shows instead of our lives; otherwise, he is always on the comp as usual.
I’m sorry, I probably have carried on for too long and maybe about too much that doesn’t apply. I have receiv ed counseling for all I have been through. The last counselor helped me to stand up to mom and set boundaries, which I have passed on to my daughter so she is not stuck like me.
If I can help, let me know. It does help to talk about our problems. My hat is off to you as you pursue our mutual problem of having had/having a narcissistic mother or other member of the family. I will pass this site on to a niece of mine because her step-mom was more like that of the wicken stepmother in Cinderella. Thank you again.

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Michelle Piper October 27, 2012 at 8:43 am

Hi Kathryn,
Thanks very much for your encouragement for the blog! One thing that struck me about your story is that you have broken the narcissistic cycle by empowering your daughter to be free. It is amazing how much we can give our children when we were given so little by the narcissistic parent.

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Stacy November 29, 2012 at 2:40 pm

I moved away from my family after college and the distance helped me gain self respect as I spent time with family who were capable of love. I have long been able to see the traits that are wrong in my mother’s parenting but continued to work toward being a better daughter. This blog has help me switch to the path of understanding the relationship can only be superficial at that and my mother internally suffers but I cannot fix it nor take blame. I am on the road to recovery and as the ignored emotionally I believe I was able to escape some of her abuse. I do not have any relationship with my sister to my mother’s doing and recognize the same traits in her. My mother uses money as control and continually blames her upbringing, generation, or others around for her mistakes. She can point them out but never take responsibility or apologize. I am hoping this is an internal commitment by her to change as it is an improvement … as a child she could do no wrong. She also expresses that she treats her daughters equally and loves unconditionally that has created mixed messages. I am now able to recognize and guard myself against her. It is not feesible to physically distance and so I am working on the emotional distance with the help of my husband. I have two children who see her traits and help them to understand it is not of their doing. Thank you for your post.

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Michelle Piper November 29, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Hi Stacy,
The understanding you’ve stated, “my mother internally suffers but I cannot fix it nor take blame” is a powerful one because it addresses the warring feelings many daughters of narcissistic mothers feel. The desire to fix and be close to mom versus the hurt and anger that mom’s narcissistic behavior causes can be excruciating. It helps to focus your on those that aren’t narcissists in your life and keep your emotional energy detached from someone unlikely to change. Thank you for sharing part of your path of recovery from a narcissistic parent.

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Maggie January 31, 2013 at 2:04 pm

I was like this with my mother. I refused to take responsibilty for her behavior and told her that. I was only responsible for mine. I stopped feeling angry, when I figured out that she lived to always want me unhappy. One time my mother attacked me when calling her from work, just to see how she was doing. I literally got attacked, ” Now mind you when asking how are you doing? Her response was, ” Why are you so happy?!!!!! You don’t have to be happy all the time!!!! I am serious, I said ok? Well have a great day and hung up. I told a peer of mine and said, my mother’s having one of her episodes again.

If she didn’t do this, it was not natural for her. So I understood that she was very unstable and had to limit my time with her; however she became a better grandmother than she ever was a mother? I am serious. My half-brother her step son was the golden child, I am an only child from her birthwise. Yet, I was always treated like the scapegoat. The half-brother whose her step son also a narccisist, my oldest half-sister same disorder. The oldest-half brother does not have it, but is a gambler.

I am the youngest, yet the oldest. At one time I felt resentment, but I let go, let God and said I have choice, we all do. I never allowed my mother to define me. People can change if they want to. By the age of 15 I decided that if I had never gotten acceptance from my mom by then, I never would.

I have my own identity, never allowed anyone to tell me who to be. I told my mother on another occasion to quit trying to be me or make me like her, I said, I am already taken and so are you. Be yourself because I plan on continuing to do the same.

She was livid. But I left shaking my head and because she was not given any type of empowerment over me. IT mad her more upset. See this disorder lives to create victims from what I have learned. As to being like my mom, nope. I am like my father. I always had a hard time buying mother’s day cards for my mom when she was living. She passed away a few years ago, she never changed. I never heard and I love you once in my life from her. She would write it on a card? But never expressed it verbally to me. She didn’t know how. But I learned how to love myself, after all it is the greatest love of all and decided by the age of 15, I had a purpose in life and it wasn’t to be her punching bag.

I left and moved away…And it changed my life for the better. Michele the desire to fix or be close never happens with mom’s like this or anyone for that matter. Nothings ever their fault. By the way, I was blamed for being born too. My mother never wanted kid of her own. But yet took care of three that weren’t even hers. But along comes me, of course because of my dad too. And she tormented me for it. So while I was here, I was to be her servant. NOT! Yet I still helped her with money til her last days.

I was the one who buried her with my husband, took care of the funeral arrangements, all of it. The other three did nothing! How do you figure Michele? None of it angers me, when she died I had mixed feelings after all she trained me to have them for her. But I felt that she was finally at peace, she couldn’t hurt anyone anymore or suffer from this disorder that plagued her.

The victimization was gone. This is my experience and how I healed from this and I am almost 60 now. Life goes on, and by God thats what we were given a life to live it the way we choose.

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Colleen November 30, 2012 at 9:02 am

Struggling with so many things in my life right now and trying to determine if *I* am a narcissistic mother and what I can do about it.
Is this issue/reaction defining me as a narcissist?
My son got a girl pregnant and subsequently married her. I met her once prior to their marriage as he was stationed in CA at the time. They spent a few days at my home for the holidays about a month or so before. She was ungrateful (never ONCE saying ‘thank you’ for anything), pouted if anything didn’t suit her at the time, laughed at (and called ‘stupid’) my nickname for my son. In general, we did not connect.
Nevertheless, I was POA for my son when he went to Afghanistan and planned a trip to CA to help her find/purchase a car. My youngest son was flying in to see me in Nashville at the close of my tip to CA. Due to the same pouting issues, I had to delay my return & have a neighbor pick my son up from the airport. When my grandson was born, I flew out to meet my grandbaby. I had to ask, twice, for my son/d-i-l to take me to the hospital to see him (he was in NICU). The day I was leaving her family came over an hour before I left and stayed. My grandbaby had come home the day before, so this was my last time with him for a while (her family lives there). My son was transferred to an area closer to me, but still a 14 hour drive or $500 flight. I’m a nurse, so my time off is pretty limited. I work a lot of holidays. The last of the major holidays I spent with my son/d-i-l/grandson was Christmas 2010 & that was 2 days. They came for a few days the end of May (after having told me in January they would come for Mother’s Day/my birthday-which was the same day this year-since I hadn’t seen my son on Mother’s Day since 2004).
I ended up deleting my d-i-l from facebook after repeatedly asking them to send me pics via email so I didn’t have to download them and having my friends (people my d-i-l has never even met) call me and ask how my grandson was doing and was he still sick because they read it on facebook. I didn’t even know there was anything wrong.
Now they are moving back to CA. I spoke with my son a week ago. Nothing was said about details of plans. In fact, I asked about if d-i-l/grandson were staying there. I suggested them flying into Nashville & I could drive them back to WI so we could see them one last time. I found out last night from my mother, they will be driving out for Christmas and my d-i-l/grandson will be staying there, my son will be packing things up and moving in late Feb/March.
Does it make me narcissistic to want to be told these things? It’s not like they ‘ran into’ someone at the store and chatted a bit.

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Michelle Piper December 1, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Dear Colleen,
It sounds like you are going through a great deal of introspection. To know if you are truly a pathological narcissist is beyond my “capability by blog” of course and you will be the ultimate person to decide. The “recommended books” article on this site can help with examining what is narcissistic behavior. One reaction or issue doesn’t define a narcissist, and you wanting to be told these things you’ve listed is natural. The way you react to that desire, however, will affect your relationship with your son and grandchild, who you clearly care about.

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Angela April 13, 2013 at 11:11 pm

Michelle I have to thank you from the bottom of my heart for creating this blog (ironically on my birthday which is July 10th!)

I’m one of 6 children but the only one between my parents. My birth was basically a business deal. My father severely messed up his first two children and wanted a last chance baby (conceived at age 50) and my mother wanted financial stability. My father was brutally physically abusive to my mother’s children, my brother and two sisters. My brother left when I was 4 and he was 16 never to speak to either of them again–apart from one letter addressed to her outlining a very long list of wrongs she had done throughout his life. Among them was the knowledge of his rape on his 8th birthday by one of her life-long friend’s son and her refusal to believe him, turning a blind eye to my father’s repeated physical abuse, and not accepting that he was gay. The weird thing is, despite his having excommunicated her for over 20 years…she still continues to boast his achievements that she hears from my sisters to all of her friends. Your blog on “keeping up appearances” really hit the nail on the head with that one.

I have never even heard of Narcissistic Personality Disorder until today…when I was using google to try and understand why when my father was beating me (which was far less often than any of my siblings) she would simply close the door of her office and pretend it wasn’t happening. Then when it was all over and I was left weeping in the corner she would come and tell me it was all going to be ok. Strangely enough, that’s the only memories I have of actually feeling loved by her. I think in retrospect it wasn’t real love…but maybe some sort of programmed response so that she could look at it later and claim no fault.

For a few years after my brother left it was us three girls living together. “H”, the oldest, and “K” were from the same father and close in age so they were attached at the hip. “H” was pretty much in charge of raising me and being the protector of “K” who had no self-esteem and was constantly bullied at school. It was pretty obvious that “K” was the favorite, and my mother and her spent all of their time devoted to a fraternal organization that she joined while “H” stayed home to babysit me. When “H” left for college “K” had a nervous breakdown and blamed it on my mother and excommunicated her for 5 years. This left me to be the only child. I thought….this is it…my time with mommy. This is when she will love me.

Well….if you call forcing me to join that stupid cult and basically trying to make me a replacement “K” love then I guess she did in her own perverted way. I didn’t want to be there, but it was the only time I got to spend with her and eventually she stopped even coming to that but expected me to continue and thrive in a place I didn’t want to be in the first place. My time as an only child was spent doing chores after school (never well enough to be met with approval) while my mother found more and more things to keep her out of the house as long as possible. When she came home she would go straight into her home office with her Budweiser and close the door. The only communication I received from her was generally progressively more and more angry notes. I remember getting emails about how “I hurt her feelings” when we were sitting in the same house at the same time but in our respective rooms. She would eventually get so frustrated she would sic my dad on me, knowing how quick to anger and how relentless he was. She knew that over the simplest issue like telling me to clean my room or a bad grade that he would follow me around the house outlining every failure I’ve ever committed in my life and that if I tried to talk back he would get physical.

Then when “K” came back into her life I basically didn’t even exist anymore other than something to yell at every day when I inevitably did something wrong. I would try to go to my mother with my problems so that maybe we could connect more and it would always seem like such a waste of her time to pull herself away from her computer gambling game or iceskating special on TV. I could feel she was only feeding me generic responses to get me out of her office as soon as possible. She would answer phone calls in the middle of me trying to talk with her and then wave me out of her office to go away. And yet, her and “K” seemed to have the perfect mother-daughter connection even though “K” wouldn’t even speak to her for 5 years.

My mother and her mother had an extremely close relationship from what I understand. My mother was a very successful competitive swimmer…so based on what I have been reading about this disorder, maybe my grandmother gave her too many compliments. Or maybe her love, too, was conditional based on my mothers successes with swimming. I don’t know—these aren’t the kinds of conversations she’ll have with me. Only with “K”. But I do know that they were very close….I would think that she would want to have that same relationship with all of her children.

I finally was able to move out and have been living on my own for a little over 3 years now and my communication with them has been pretty limited. The only time we talk is when I make the effort or around Holidays which are particularly important to her. Except all of a sudden the last 2 years they’ve been getting cancelled. But what cancelled really means is she tells me that she is having financial issues and that her car is messed up…and then I find out she drove 6 hours to go “surprise” K.

I have been struggling my entire life wondering why it is my mother seemed incapable of connecting with me on any real level. It always seemed so strange to me that she has made a habit of bragging about my accomplishments to her many friends (social butterfly) but never actually took an interest in them. I started writing music in high school and since then I’ve devoted my life to the craft. She always says she is going to try and come to a show and then last minute pulls out, and the only reason she’s ever heard any of my music is when she finds it on facebook so she can re-post it and say how proud she is.

I didn’t even know about Narcissistic Personality Disorder until today and I’ve spent the entire day researching it and reading your blog. I know this comment is long and all over the place but I just wanted to share this with some people who understand what its like. I feel like I sound childish…but I’m so angry with her. I know the best thing to do is to stop contact. But how do I do this? Do I tell her why or do I just do it? I know she has tried to contact my brother several times and he has never responded…I don’t know if she has ever actually apologized any of those times, though.

I’m just really glad to know that I’m not crazy and that there is something very wrong here. I’ve been extremely fortunate as the “scapegoat” or “lost child” that I have, in fact, learned to seek love from other people and have had very fulfilling relationships in my life. But still…I have so much anger with her that I’ve never gotten to express because I always felt I needed her. I know I don’t need her anymore…but I don’t know how to go about the next step.

Thank you for listening…I promise to try and be more grammatically correct and coherent next time…but I just wanted to get it out. Thank you so much for listening, and for having this blog.

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Taylor June 29, 2013 at 7:39 am

Your experience angela is very similar to my family. The trying to connect and being met with walls or excuses of extreme busyness only to realize that biweekly they are driving 6 hours to see the golden child. That in particular broke my sisters heart, she moved back to the hometown to try to have a relationship with her dad (narcissist mom was her step mom). Despite driving by her house twice a day she would only get to see him if she tagged along while he went grocery shopping (which was an all day an thoroughly boring experience as he would write down every price he literally carried a clipboard with 20 odd pages of items) whereby he would visit every grocery store in town. She is suicidal today.

Speaking of suicide it is rampant in our family. Nearly half of the kids have attempted or have seeked treatment and one succeeded after multiple attempts. When you put this into perspective in that there are 7 kids – it is aggregious indeed.

When the golden child left home any semblance of “family” ended. I got kicked out 6 weeks later, and my brother was urged to get out a few months later. Christmas festivities ended abruptly as did the other annual holidays as she would spend them exclusively with my golden child sister. Despite coming down to the city every two weeks to see my sister the parents did not come and visit my home for over six years. I would call them to say hello only to learn that they just got back from seeing my sister, who lives 20 minutes away. In 16 years of living here, i have received maybe 2 phonecalls from my golden child sister, and one of those was to express her disagreement with me posting on facebook a link to the parishmiller.com article on narcissistic mothers and saying tyis described her to a tee. Prior to that, my phone calls to her were never returned, so i stopped calling.

Of the 7 kids, 1 is dead, 2 refuse to ever speak to them again, and 3 feel like outsiders within their own family. Even the golden child sister is in perpetual therapy. When my sister died of suicide, only the golden child sister was even offered to speak, despite that it was me and my brother who talked with her still in her final years after she, too, had excommunicated herself from her parents. She had good reason to, my narcissistic mother had both of her kids taken away from her and adopted out – and she refused to even try to connect her with her own kids. During one suicude attempt, after my brother found her lying in a pool of blood and called the ambulance, my mother went through her house and took everything of value, giving it all to my golden child sister because she would “just end up selling it for.drugs anyway”.

With all of the kids living in the city, one by one our cats that we left there for safekeeping met unfortunate demises. They were country cats and we were loathe to bring them to the city until we had stable houses with real yards. Within 4 years 5 cats died of “accidental” deaths. That these same cats managed to live and thrive for over 8 years before they all became so stupid as to get in the way of the wheels of the same car that had not so much as scratched them for so long before is and was implausible. She likely just had them put down.

Being a scapegoat myself i was not allowed to succeed, even on a meagre level. She even ensured that i could not get welfare, along with getting in the way of me getting a job at wal mart or as a line cook. The further away from her orbit i got the easier i noticed it became to succeed. Im an investment banker now; although to hear from family and her friends, i dont have a real job, i am a non functioning alcoholic one step from skid row, and i will never amou t to anything. My sail boat is a rickety death trap just waiting to kill everyone on board and the yacht club im a member of would welcome charles manson.

Every girlfriend ive had has gotten “the talk”. The talk being pulled away privately for a walk and told that they are too good for me, that i am violent and dangerous, and that i may sexually abuse their kids. The one girl that i got engaged to when i was very far out of their orbit found my fiancees mothers number at the engagement party and took it upon herself to call her and warn her about what a danger i posed to her daughter. The engagement did not last.

Like some commenters have noted, she exposed me and my friends to her pedophile brother who molested my friend, my cousin, and tried to molest me. Then when i revealed this to her she promptly forgot all about it and went into overdrive on the cover up. When i finally reported it to the police she ran into the police station to make her report before i could even get in to make my own statement, told her brother what i had done and where i lived (he even ran into the police station before i could give my statement) and she tried to get the police to arrest me. Luckily they didnt buy what she was selling, i am a respected member of my community and i sit on the local community policing committee – if they look up my file they see boatloads of reports: with me doing the reporting and on one occasion, the arrest – or they could look into the local newspaper to see pictures of me with the chief inspector and city councillors demanding more of a police presence in a high crime hot spot.

Cut all contact, that is what i did and while im still periodically frustrated by realizations that make me sad or angry, im plugged out of her constant backhanded compliments and sabotage and hurtful actions.

When your own mother does not even trust you to borrow a bicycle at 33 years old its a high sign that your not going to get much of value out of a relationship like that. I could afford to buy her three replacements a month if i broke the 10 year old thing no problem. To.add insult to injury it has sat in the garage unused for 5 years.

The kids are only allowed to visit one at a time – a classic narcissistic symptom. If i happened to be in town, i could not so much as even drop by to say hi if my sister or nephew were around. Really, really weird.

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Michelle Piper April 14, 2013 at 10:08 am

Dear Angela,
I’m so glad you shared your story with our community. You will find many bright, articulate and supportive people here. Wow, what a “birthday present” to have the first post on your birthday. No need to apologize for grammar/spelling here. We all do our best and the most important thing is to let yourself share in a safe place.
More information is coming, keep your eyes open for my ebook (free)– I hope to be posting a notice once it is proofread this week.

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Alicia Mangham April 15, 2013 at 7:51 am

My name is Alicia. I am 53 years old. My Mother turned 14 the month before I was born. She left me with her Mother until I was 14. Her Mother was my sole caretaker. She was uneducated and her own kind of horror. For the first fourteen years of my life the only contact I had from my Mom was a handful of letters. She built a new life with her new husband and his Mother and brother who both lived with them. When I was 14 my Mom decided she needed me. I moved in with this strange family. Two half-sisters, two half brothers, a Grandmother and a gay Uncle. I tried to kill myself and when I returned from the emergency room I was beaten with a belt. My youngest sister was 8 months old when I moved in. My Mom taught me to sterilize her bottles and she became my first responsibility.
All these years later I can honestly say I have a wonderful life seperate from the chaos of that dysfunctional group of people. One of my brothers committed suicide at 31 years of age and left a wife and three children. One of my sisters has suffered from an undiagnosed eating dissorder for years. She has had stage 4 breast cancer and suffers every day from the effects of her childhood. My youngest sister is married to a great guy, has a beautiful son and has cut off all contact with my Mother. Three years ago my Father died of MDS. He had some serious issues but he loved us and tried to protect us.
My youngest brother is 43 years old now. He has two biogical children from failed marriages. He was the golden child and in so many ways he suffered the most from that special privelage.
I realized at a very young age something was terribly wrong with my Mother but I didn’t know what. Narcissistic personality dissorder answers all my questions. She is classic. She qualifies for all nine criteria when only five are required. She is sixty-seven now and lives ten miles away from me. After my Father passed away she attacked me out of the blue and shut off all communication with her for two years. Several months ago I started visiting her again and hoped that my afather’s passing had changed her in positive ways. It hasn’t. She is still the same monster she has always been. I was having lunch with her and my sister and held my coffee cup up to be filled. My hand started shaking so badly I almost poured the coffee in my sister’s lap. Amazing, every time I think I have survived her abuse I am forced to see the results. It helps so much to at least be able to begin to understand.

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Alicia Mangham April 15, 2013 at 1:07 pm

I was reading over what I wrote and feel I need to correct something. I should have said my single uncle rather than my gay uncle. My Uncle lived with my parents for a lot of years. He recently passed away at the age of 81 a life long alcoholic and an extreme hoarder. He had a lot of issues. None of them had anything to do with his sexual orientation and it was not my intention to sound prejudicial.

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Anonymous August 8, 2013 at 6:26 am

Bless you for posting I’m 51 and just beginning to have the strength to deal with not only my mother, but my siblings who have all moved next door to her (she’s 76 and has a lot of $) and the hostility toward me nearly finished me over this last winter. I had all the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder- flying into a panic when I heard from any of them. I finally cut off all contact with all of them and moved to another state 3 weeks ago. I at first thought the abuse began when my mother moved out to NY and bought a house next door to my sister- but then my brother moved there and it was extreme. But through this site I’ve been able to recognize the narcississtic abuse and illness in my family since day one. I’m grieving, especially the loss of a relationship with my sister and nieces and nephews. But at least I’m not blaming myself now. Such a big waste and so sad. I wish I had figured this out sooner- sometimes it’s just too painful to accept you aren’t loved.

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Amy Swayze May 1, 2013 at 8:29 am

So… I am a 40 year old daughter recovering from a Narcissitic Mother. It took all this time… two bad marraiges for me… to realize the only person I could help and control and fix was myself. My mother has controlled me for many years… Do as I say and I will give you what you need… She has controlled me with financial help… She has tried to use my own daughter to control me. I have come to realize that my Mom is the way she is beacuse she never had what she needed growing up either… She didnt have a loving… nurtuting… empathetic mother. So here we are in this cycle. I cannot tell you how glad I am, even after all this time, that I realized what was going on and that I needed help. I needed to learn to love myself. I needed to learn that I couldnt find what I didnt get from my Mom somewhere else… which I have been trying to do for so… I have had to totally no contact my Mom. It was hard… still is… I hear her voice still when I go to make decisions about things… but I have to keep myself healthy… for myself and my daughter. My Mom got so bad that she was actually almost the definition of malignant. She would reach out to be mean. Unsolicited. It was awful… Now I am dealing with the fact that since I cannot be around or have conversation with my Mom… I have also decided that I cannot allow my daughter to endure it either… I mean how can I in good conscience say, “This behavior is bad enough that I am removing myself…” but then allow my mother to then use my daughter to continue it ? Nope. So now she has told me she will never forgive me etc… Again… all we can do is recognize… get ourselves healthy …. surround ourselves with loving people… read… I read tons of books… and be happy… we cannot control them… so sometimes we have to let go. I still have hope… but that hope dwindles with the time and the severity of my Mom’s NPD. Hugs to all out there dealing with this… not knowing that they are dealing with it… and us in recovery from it.

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Cathy May 11, 2013 at 5:32 am

Wow is all I can say! I too am in my 40′s and have just ended my relationship with my “mother”. I’m looking to heal and the only way is to separate myself from her and all of this pain she has caused. It saddens me that tomorrow is Mother’s Day and I have done this to her (guilt sets in). I just refuse to be like her! I haven’t spoken to her since Christmas. She shared some private and personal matters with a person I don’t even know. Its a private matter for me as it had to deal with childhood abuse when I was growing up. She tells me that others have had it worse!!! She has turned all of my family, on her side against me. It has been a long and difficult road. I analyze everything I do just so I don’t do as she has done to me. I struggle with everyday life and as you stated, no one knows except for my loving husband and now you. I am tired and tired of being quiet. So thankful for my husband who has been by my side. I am blessed that he has stayed by my side through all of this for the past 23 yrs!!! He is a Godsend. She tried to ruin this for me too. I struggle in many ways and I have trouble being a part of society at times…social anxiety. I am finally standing up for myself. I have children and they don’t know their “grandmother” like most children do. I have tried to keep them away. That hurts too but it is the best thing I could do for them. I really don’t like to say I am glad to see others can relate because no one should have to go through this! Stay strong and maybe together we can do this.

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Amy Swayze June 3, 2013 at 8:44 am

So I had to update… I have tried the no contact but what do you do when the Narcissistic Mother reaches out unsolicited. I reached out to my Cousin, who is close to my Mom… I thought we could have our own relationship… That has proven to be a task… I reached out to my Cousin because I am not married and have a 13 year old daughter. Heavan forbid something happen to me, my daughter wants to be with my cousin. And then the drama ensues:
From my Mom: So Amy, you are completely erasing us from XXXX (daughter)? I saw the email you sent to XXXX(Cousin) asking her to step in if something happened to you?

I text my Cousin… WTH?

From Cousin: I said I was worried that you were taking off for a trip and making arrangements if you died. That concerned me. I didn’t say she was out of picture. I said Caitlin wants to see u. She feels cut out and very hurt. I don’t feel in the middle. I just feel like you are erratic with XXXX (boyfriend), skipped XXXX’s(daughters)spring break (to cousin), wushu washy on summer, payments to XXX(father)??? I can be concerned right?
My Response to Cousin: Be concerned to me. Not her. I have asked you XXX. Your relationship with her is yours. Leave me out if it please. I am not erratic. I am broke and trying to get above water. So that I can make plans and do things. Please don’t have me leave u out in fear that everything I say goes to mom. U can imagine how I feel now? I didn’t want to worry about this shit. And now I have her in my ear. Yuck.
I Will not engage in this anymore with her. I hope sometime u will realize that she is selfish. She is a victim. And has lost control. She is mean to me. She only wants to talk to me to be mean. Just because I haven’t afforded trips does not make me erratic. Just because I haven’t paid your dad yet doesn’t make me erratic. I’m getting my life together and happy. Everything is finally coming together. Have some faith and give me some grace please. And don’t feed my mothers fires with my business. Please. I love you very much. I really didn’t want this to happen. I just wanted to have a loving responsible convo with you about worst case scenario which has nothing to do with Argo. I could get in an accident on way to work. XXXX (daughter) is EVERYTHING to me. I want the best for her. No matter what.
Response to my MOM: Haven’t erased you at all. You are more than welcome to call her. Write her. See her. You have done nothing. I don’t even need to tell u this. U r the grown up in that relationship. I am not married. No reason to be. But I could get hit by a bus any minute and need to have a plan for sis. Her wishes count and she would like to grow with Cousin in LA should anything ever happen. It’s not meant to hurt u or cut u out. It makes sense. Let it go. I don’t even need to justify this. But am doing so out of respect. You are her grandmother and can see her. Talk to her. Write her when you wish. U have lost nothing but ur own daughter. Stop making things worse.

Response to me from Cousin: Ok. Sorry. Didn’t mean to hurt anyone or stir anything up.

Response to Cousin from Me: U didn’t do it intentionally. But anything about me to mom well she will stir it. She lives for it Cousin. I’m sorry. I’ve lived it way tooooo long.

So I let it all go… I head out on trip… Get back safe and sound…

Text from my Mom last night: Amy, just want you to know that you have “won and lost ” at the same time. You have single Handily broken both step dad and my hearts. You win. Just want you informed that I have changed our will and you will never prosper from my death. I considered a trust for daughter but as you control her, I have been adviced thats not the best thing to do. You don’t need to worry about our relationship or yours with Stepdad. We have been to this rodeo too many times and Stepdad is telling me to let it go. I wish you god speed Amy. Love mom

Group Text from Cousin: First of all, I do not feel put in the middle by either of you as I have received copied texts from both of you whom I love dearly. I’m also sad. I just want you both to know that I feel extreme guilt over having somehow, totally unintentionally, started this severing of ties between a mother and daughter by sharing my concern about Amy with Aunt. I truly did that out of love for my cousin. Sometimes I can’t share my concerns directly with u Amy because your response is mostly about how much I don’t know, how I dont know the full picture, what you’ve gone through, etc. True, I do not pretend to know all of the events and issues of either of your lives and/or relationship history with each other. The mother -daughter relationship is very complicated. This I DO fully understand. Having said that, I am so sorry and have great remorse that my expressing my genuine concern has led to this. I have obviously hurt both of you and I apologize. I was worried about the “needing to get a plan and affairs in order if something happens to me” stuff that Amy out of the blue shared with me. XXXX (daughter) choosing me as guardian, etc. It just shocked me. I would take that kid tomorrow, you know that, I was just kind of taken aback. I have a history of depression and I don’t take any hint of that stuff lightly. If I overreacted, blame me, not your mom, I was erring on the side of caution. If my sharing of that info, Aunt, contributed to your broken heart, I feel terrible. I hate that this is happening and that I had a hand in starting it. Please forgive me. I hope you both do not have a spirit of anger and bitterness toward me. If you do, I will wait until you are ready to communicate. I love you. Cousin

Mom: I couldn’t love you more Cousin. StepDad put the lock down on Amy because it is upsetting me so. Please don’t worry about us! I will always be there. Stepdad wants me to remove Amy for awhile and he’s absolutely right. To use XXXX (daughter) as a pawn makes me ill. This is not on you baby girl. I have to separate from Amy for awhile. I’m not strong enough right now.
I love you baby girl
It’s best for no more back and forth. I am concentrating on my sister. Don’t need to know Amy’s responses. The only thing I am going to focus on is my sister.
Not going to respond to anymore emails from Amy.
Cousin: Agreed
I haven’t gotten any, I just meant I agree that’s probably best for both of you. Too tender. Too sad for both.

So if this isnt a nightmare and hurtful etc. I am not sure what is… I am posting this because sometimes there is so much craziness… I start to think it is me again… I did email my cousin… Here is what I sent … and just so we are clear I have not responded to my Mom.
“I am responding to this whole mess and your last text with a little bit clearer brain today.
I didn’t ask for this… and while you really didn’t either… and I hate to say it so I won’t… but…. A little bird may have told you so.
I am not sure what you mean when you say that you reached out to my Mom in concern for me? Concern because I was taking the steps that most responsible adults do in case something were to ever happen to them? I am sure it is a given that with you and your husband should something happen to the other, well the other is already there… Seeing how I don’t have that… I need to make more of a point to make those wishes known. What did you think my Mom would do? Reach out to me in concern? Be a loving concerned parent?
And, as far as you not being able to reach out to me with your concern?… GARBAGE… You have always been able to talk to me… I have ALWAYS been here…When it comes to my mother… well you don’t know everything but I certainly have never told you to not come to me. I don’t claim to know everything at all about the dynamics with your Mom… but I am always here for you… always have been here for you… to listen… be a shoulder…
Honestly I am still very unclear as to your concern. Presented with my explanation… where is there concern? You mention depression…? Well I can assure you that most people that are depressed don’t reach out and say… “Hey I am going on a trip out of state… and heaven forbid something happen to me… which mind you, could every day on my way to work, please step in, because that is XXXX’s wish.”
Sometimes things stated and said, simply are what they are… nothing more nothing less…
The bottom line is that, this started long ago… Probably with the watch, did things get really fired up in this “TRIO”. I took that responsibility off you and tried to let Mom know the deal… What us cousins had decided… Everything has gone downhill from there.
I think I mentioned this to you long ago… Mom doesn’t allow these relationships. She likes to isolate you so you have no one… only her… She has done it to me with my father, my brother…. now you. You will see it one day when you have been in her life long enough to see the patterns.

I have never tried to hurt my mother. I have only loved my mother and begged her to love me back. I have never used my daughter as a pawn with my mother, or anyone for that matter. My mother has chosen to use me as an excuse to not talk to Sis… not write her or visit with her. My mother has been very irresponsible with that relationship. I will never be guilty of that loss or responsible for her laziness…
This email is not lashing out at you. If you take it that way I am very sorry for that and your perception… but am responsible for neither. I have tried and tried… to make peace with her. To keep things good with you and I… To check on you when you are having rough times to just see how you are…. To try to have a relationship independent of my mother… but somehow the circle is unending… and it isn’t for my lack of trying.
I can tell you now… that you do not know my pain… you do not know my feelings… and you cannot fix things for me and my mother, no matter how much you know about a mother daughter relationship. You haven’t lived this relationship with me… you have no idea the years of hurt and torture I have endured from her and have continued to endure… unsolicited. Only thing I haven’t endured yet is a funeral… and I am actually considering a mock one… just so I can have closure and move on from this nightmare of a Mother-Daughter relationship… I can tell you that I HAVE NEVER ever done anything that would warrant this treatment… and I will find a way to sever this so that I will not allow myself to be hurt anymore…

And, all her dramatics about not having a back and forth in texts yesterday… not responding to my emails? How very dramatic… I never responded… I haven’t emailed or communicated with her in quite some time as I tried to block her. Only reason she had my phone was so that she could talk to Sis and frankly have a contact for me for emergency purposes… she chose to use it the wrong way…

And yes I did make a comment about Baby girl. Not to make you feel bad… To make you realize how awful it is really? Can you only imagine how I felt when I got her text, unsolicited again, Not even, “you are out of my will…. Cause the money with her is all I have clearly cared about…???…. then for her to talk about me…in front of me in this group text… calling me Amy over and over as she done for years to disassociate herself from her daughter…? To say how she will focus on her Sister… on you..? How she loves you so… How she isnt strong enough for this? This being what she created? How she is the victim of her own doings? Imagine it Cousin… Just imagine…

You can’t imagine… No need for you to be sorry anymore… No need for you to be sad about this lost relationship. Maybe you should be sorry and sad for a woman who had a wonderful loving daughter and amazing grandaugter. That her daughter, despite all the hardships and failings of her own mother… has worked so hard and made something so amazing despite it all, in XXXX. Be sad for that person… be sorry for that person… because she doesn’t even know what she has done… or lost… and can never get back… but will continue to lie and twist to the truth to keep others in her life… I will not live the lie anymore…

All the therapy you have been through… All the stuff you have learned… I guess I question WHY in the world, you would want a person like this in your life, because she can pretend real good? Because she is “family” and is “focusing” on you and yours now after all the unexplained time gone? Where is the benefit in anyone’s life of these types’ relationships? She has NEVER in her life had to be responsible for her actions… and it continues.

This family… and all the jokes we make about it being a circus etc… Well it isn’t a joke anymore and my mom is the ring leader… I am out… Chris and Susie are awful in their own right… but to their own children? Nope… What does that say?”

I hope this gives comfort to someone out there that there are so many Narcississtic Mothers out there and how they continue this. It is awful and sad… I am 40… When will I stop being hurt and crying about my mother.??? Sorry for the length…

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FlippedFlop June 18, 2013 at 7:12 am

What’s wrong with Mom? My family has often asked this to try and explain the behaviors my mother exhibited that are outlined in your narcissistic types. I am an only child of a mother who is 83. There is no hope of her making changes in her life. My morals force me to take care of her financial and business affairs.
I pondered my dilemma for decades as my family suffered. A family conflict with Mom lead us to professional counseling one time early in our marriage. Of course Mom rejected any notion that there was something on her part that was wrong and she needed help. That lasted one session.
Over the years Mom was always an excessive talker. She was excessive in the quantity as well as the detailed content that brought out details no one really wanted to hear. Now, this excessive talk makes it unbearable to be any where near her at family gatherings. Excessive talking is the research I followed that finally lead me to find narcissistic mothers as the explanation of all those years of abuse.
I would like to add Excessive Talking to the Narcissistic Types: Speaks at length about irrelevant personal subjects in great detail insisting that you listen. She insists that you give her your undivided attention no matter how boring and monotonous her word have become.

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Withheld June 23, 2013 at 3:09 pm

My narcissistic mother is one of the most spiteful women I have ever known. I tolerated and repressed most of the behavior she demonstrated toward me throughout my life until I realized what she was doing to my father at the end of his. I wanted so badly to report her for the emotional elder-abuse she inflicted upon him, but I knew in my mind and heart that he would be gone before protective services could initiate a thorough investigation. I was both correct in my assumption and thankful that he didn’t linger and was out of her clutches. During dad’s illness, mother had a support system that most people would kill to have, but true to her narcissistic form, she didn’t embrace or appreciate any of it. From the day I declined her request (expectation) that I quit my much needed full-time job to take care of him FOR her (instead of with her), she became the martyred caretaker and sabotaged any and all assistance I was able to give or arrange. After dad passed, and knowing that I visited the cemetery regularly, mother had him disentombed and moved without my knowledge. Can you imagine my shock?? Needless to say, we no longer have a relationship. I have accepted what I know I cannot change and have moved on with my life, centered around those with whom I share love and a cherished existence. Do I wish things could be different? Sure I do, but not enough to keep me from making the remainder of my life what I want it to be. I have relinquished enough to a woman who is incapable of fulfilling her choice to be a mother. To all who are reading this…….narcissism is becoming epidemic in all aspects of life — personal, social and career. Regardless of who these people are, vow today not to let them upend your life….YOU DO NOT OWE IT TO THEM!!

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Amy Swayze June 24, 2013 at 9:25 am

Very well written WITHHELD… Very well.

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Andrea June 25, 2013 at 11:58 pm

Receiving Michelle’s emails are keeping me moving in the right direction at the moment!! I discovered late last year my mother has npd. She is the engulfing type. I have had the most insidious comments and emotional abuse and destruction for as long as I can remember. My father is an enabler and in his eyes, it’s ‘Poor Mum, you’re so nasty to her. She loves you so much’ and the ultimate…’she’s changed!! Why won’t you just forgive her?!’ I am 39 years old and always have lived a life threatened and intimated by my mother, with low self esteem and severe insecurity issues,but never knowing why. I always knew my mother was unusual and strange, and I’d concluded she had bipolar. My husband and I have been married for 15 years. When we met, my mother leaned across the dinner table one night when no one else was there and said “You do realise he’s going to dump you don’t you. You’re not good enough for him. You’ll never be good enough for anyone”. After we married, I felt I had to share all personal details with her and get her permission for everything. I am creative and talented and obtained university entrance with art subjects. However, I never got there. NPD mother ripped up all the pamphlets I had sent away for saying she had decided I would be a kindergarten teacher instead. She stood over me forcing me to fill in the forms while I sobbed and cried and pleaded I didn’t want to go. I did end up going teaching, and the stress of it became so much that I become chronically ill with CFS/ME and have been sick the last 15 years. We have an only child, a daughter who is nearly 8. Around 6 years ago, I decided ENOUGH and that I couldn’t take my mother’s manipulation and control anymore. I was terrified of her, but slowly started to stand up to her. And boy have I paid for it!! She became wild and desperate, every attempt I made to say, actually that doesn’t suit me, or do not speak to me like that, I was confronted with either sobbing “you’re being nasty to me!!” or screaming and slamming down the phone on me. I have one older sister. She has been married 3 times, has several children to different men, has committed serious fraud, has addiction issues, etc. We have always been very close and shared our struggles together with our mother. So, once I started putting boundaries in place with Mother, I started getting very strange calls from my father. Yelling at me down the phone “why won’t you be close to your mother!!! She wants to be close!!! She needs you as a best friend!!” To which I would reply “but I do have a relationship with her!!” and he’d explode “it’s not enough!!!! She wants to be close!!!!” This went on for years. Two years ago, my husband and I hit a crisis in our marriage and I needed to leave for a week. So I went to my parents’, not knowing what I was walking into. Mother was all over me like a rash, baking for me, telling me how much she loved me, fussing over me, pampering me. All of a sudden I had the mother I always should have had! Until….I came back home, sorted things in my marriage and went back to boundaries with Mother. Well, that was the beginning of the end. She became outrageous. If I didn’t return a phone call when she wanted, she left an abusive message at a time when she knew I’d be at school collecting my daughter. The slamming down the phone in my ear got severe, followed by weeping and promises of change. Enter my father who joined in, saying I was an ungrateful spoilt brat for not being ‘best friends’ with her. Then, to my horror, my sister joined in. Claiming I was being horrible to poor Mum (the same mother she has spent her whole life slandering and hating). I stepped right back, but my sister refused to speak to me. I had my health stable, but all the stress caused a relapse and I’m still in it. My mother then started in on my husband, saying I was psychotic and needed assessment by a psychiatrist. I started googling controlling and manipulative mothers and came across the concept of npd, which I initially ignored. But when I eventually did start reading it, I was gaping in shock as I ticked yes to each and every one of the questions of my Mother’s lifetime of bizarre behaviour. Finally, a diagnosis!! Finally, a reason!! And finally, I began to believe and see the abuse for what it really was. I saw a counsellor but he was of the thought that I should have some contact with my parents. He did say she definitely had NPD in his opinion. We cut the contact with them November last year. I have tried and tried in vain to contact my sister but she just refuses. Before that, my mother told me that I had apparently been ‘so nasty’ to my sister that she didn’t want anything to do with me. I kept pleading I hadn’t said a thing!! But she just kept saying it was all my fault, and that I was mentally unwell. Earlier this year, I contacted my father and committed the cardinal sin of trying to say Mum has NPD. Initially, he was open to hearing about it. But slowly, it all started up that she had changed and she just loved me so much, but that I wouldn’t allow her to love me in a ‘very close mother daughter relationship’. He agreed to have low contact, but before this took place, he blew the whole thing by sending me an email entitled ‘life changing’ where he went on this huge campaign to say that if I didn’t have a ‘best friend close loving mother daughter relationship’ with my mother like she wanted, I would be destroying the rest of my life. He came after me like a druggie needing his next fix and it was obvious if she didn’t get out of me what she wanted, he would cop it at home. I had been battling him on my own, but at this point my husband stepped in, rang my father and we cut the contact, changed our phone number and are moving on with our lives. Before my father sent me that email, I tried contacting my sister again, emailing her and asking for reconciliation. She sent me a rude nasty email back. So, dear Mum has successfully turned the whole family against me with no accountability for her actions, and I am somehow all to blame for this. How very typical….

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Patty August 5, 2013 at 10:19 am

OH yes, been there, done that… you have your family.. stick with them…. I cut off my mother because the minister of my church told me if I did not get help… if I did not cut the cord.. I would not have healthy relationships… I loved my mom, and still do…. but you can not be around them, and as she has aged, it has gotten even worse. Worse, my sister aids and abets her behavior… so you have two of them.. NO THANK YOU.. I have coped with her weirdness since I can remember at the age of 4….. until this day, she still accusses me of — ready for this???—- INTENTIONALLY running across the grass in my brand new shoes after she told me not too… I WAS 4!

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Andrea September 7, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Hi Patty, well done to your minister for seeing sense and recommending you cut the ties. I too have memories that started around the age of 4, very vivid ones. I have thought about approaching the pastor of my church with this, but am nervous I would be told to ‘reconcile’ and that he wouldn’t understand NPD. Yesterday, I found out my mother had been calling my husband at work. I rang dearest Mother to see if I could go and chat with her and enabling father. I was hoping perhaps for a bit of peace, but when I got there, and I questioned why she had been contacting my husband at work both parents ordered me to get out of the house and started on about protection orders?! I said I would like to try and rationally talk about things. More fool me. They sneered, laughed, accused, lied, denied, and said my sister was the favourite because she didn’t say ‘nasty things’ to them (here’s me trying to defend myself all these years while she has been too scared). They said Dearest Mum didn’t have NPD, I did. I had all sorts of examples of things she had done, but she flatly scoffed at them all and denied them. They said I have created a huge family fued and am vicious and volatile. So she has managed to make me look like the nutcase, while she just sat there looking smug. In the end, I said I was leaving and got up to go. My father was yelling at me and screaming abuse. I grabbed my bag from the hallway, opened the front door, and he came after me and literally shoved me out the door and slammed it saying I was trespassing. I feel so traumatised, and it’s wreaking havoc in my marriage too.

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Alexis July 10, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Wow! Reading this blog is incredible. And reading the comments I don’t know if it is good to say, makes me feel a little bit better of my situation in that I am not alone. I believe there is no such thing as a normal family. What is normal? I don’t know. One can say it should be this or it should be that, but reality is that everyone’s definition or perception of normal or right is different. Is it right to have a child to bond with a man? Some people say….Yes, that is what procreation is all about. What if this child is used to entrap a man into marriage for financial reasons? Then the answer maybe very different. What if this man has been misleading a woman for years and this is her only chance to have a child? See another variable may or may not change your answer. When I was growing up, I believed everything was very black or white in other word right and wrong. Now, with a bit of experience I am not so sure. I see a lot of grey. My experiences are very different than anyone else even my own brother because of family dynamics. Now about NPD. I am a woman 41 yars old. From my core family, I am the only one that is educated and has taken the time out to ask why to many things. Yes, I have been switched from golden child to scapegoat to I don’t know what’s next. I am first generation from a very ethnic family from Europe that plays a big role in my family. I absolutely hate that, because I believe it just gave more power (gained sympathy) from me for parents to do what they wanted to do. My brother from the day he was born was my mother’s savior and meal ticket, but he did not have it easy. He is older and could do whatever he wanted from a child. I forgot to mention, that my father went back to his country for six months to pick out a bride to bring back to the US. The story goes she was 24 he was 34, was introduced thru her aunt and within two weeks she was married. My father came back to the US promptly and sent for her, and my mother along with my father’s mother was on a plane six months later heading for the US. So here is this woman 24, married a divorced man who had a child (not living in the US) and left her family to a country she did not know anything or anyone for what reason? Money.
She claims that she wanted to get away from her family and that she was jealous that a few of her friends left for the US, but now that I’m older and observant of her words and actions, it has always been about the money. My father is no saint. He had a girlfiend here that he was seeing for years but was not from his ethnic background. She still was around after he was married until my mother came. But who really knows when and what happened, but he says he was really “hurt” and didn’t want to have anything to do with her because his girlfriend called his “a god damn (his ethnicity).” Awww, he couldn’t be married and have an educated girlfriend too?
So why am I telling this story? Because my parents I believe both are NPD and while growing up have lied about there lives. My father bought a young woman with his money to control, abuse and put up with him and my mother married my father for his money to leave her circumstances and start a new life. I also want to mention at this time that my mother was living with her male neighbor that did not want to marry her but was getting the milk for free.
So this was a good start to a healthy and loving marriage. Yeah right! BTW this is the real story, not the fabricated one both my mother and father used to tell me when I was growing up. Both my parents were extremely attractive and both very promiscuous. This was not ok with my father and wanted to ship her back to her country when alas she got pregnant with the son! The golden child from the day he was born. My mother got her own house, new furniture, etc all because she had a son. Father continued his own life. Then came the second child (me) and my father “because he was too tired from work” was not even at the hospital. So the story my father always says is that when my brother was born he was dreaming someone was giving him red roses. When I was born, he said he “did not have girls.” It did not matter that my family was full of girls, but he could not of possibly produced a girl and his mother my grandmother agreed.
Then he manipulated. He told my mother that before his daughter was born he thought of women like trash and he changed because he did not want anyone to treat his daughter like trash. Yes, he did a very nice triangulation between mother-daughter, mother-mother/in-law, grandmother-daughter, that now everyone hated me at birth because I was the ” one that changed my father” and now my mother, grandmother, cousins, brother hated me because he gave me fake attention and praise. I call it fake, because it was. It was again to control his environment and have everyone jump for his favor. Anyway, how do you this my mother, grandmother, brother, cousins treated me? Yes very NPD.
Because of my father’s inflated huge ego, and my mother’s need for survival and also unmistakeable need to show off….the children were/are just tools and showpieces.
With my brother, he was taught absolutely no boundaries, did whatever he wanted to do, was belittled by my father and my mother’s pawn for anything she wanted. He is a sociopath. He has no boundaries, he does whatever he wants, went thru my father’s money from a teenager like water, has been arrested several times from age 14, promiscuous, drugs, theft, depression, suicidal supposed attempts, lack of discipline, lack of empathy (severely abused me from the day I was born and my mother gained great sadistic satisfaction from this), anti-social, cunning, lying, horrible in school but guess what? My mother and father’s golden child. To the outer world, they bragged about anything good he did while covering up his mistakes. Behind closed doors, they belittled him and abused him. And me…..to the outer world, “don’t call her pretty because she will become stuck up”. behind closed doors…”you have A’s and B’s but you can’t make all A’s, just because you skipped 7th grade doesn’t make you special or smart, we don’t celebrate your birthday because it’s too close to Christmas…we will celebrate it with your brother’s in July, your brother can follow you..do whatever he wants to you because he has a right to! He is your brother!” Verbal and physical abuse toward their scapegoat was “normal” and my mother actually got off on it until I turned 16 and told her if she hits me again, I will hit her back badly. My brother’s physical abuse took 1 more year because I dropped his brand new motorcycle and he was about to hit me at age 17. Yes, new cars and motorcycles from age 16 and to me my father always told me he was broke he couldn’t afford me. So at age 15, tried to get my first job and was sabotaged. At age 17, got my first job and started to try to get some independence. For my 18th birthday, after six month working, I gathered enough money to go to Cancun with my girlfriends. I had planned this all in secret because they never allowed me to do anything on my own. My brother came to my prom with a girlfriend of mine. LOL. Anyway,
I told them about this a few days before I left they said no and then called from the airport where they could not of stopped me. They were livid! And to be honest with you now as an adult I agree with them, but for me at the time it was a huge statement that 1) you are not going to tell me what to do and 2) I paid for it by myself! We were four college girls and honestly we were smart as we stuck together, didn’t drink too much, and lucky and safe came back home. I don’t remember if I was beat when I came back or not. I just had my 18th bday, but I do remember my brother was extremely jealous and hostile and so he will not get his girlfriend at the time pregnant and to punish me a bit, they sent him to a 3 month all paid vacation to Europe the following summer while I was to work. So the big message here is…..be bad son and I will reward you with a vacation, be bad daughter and I will punish you….be good daughter and work and it still isn’t good enough….you are worthless. By 19, I had met a guy six years older than me and because things had become so toxic at my house I was spending a lot to time at his parents house and sleeping over. He was not from my ethnic background and my parents were again livid but there was nothing they can do. They had closed the door on him, hung up on him, name calling, really cruel things. He had just finished his career as an athlete and we opened up a little business. My parents did not attend opening. They did not even acknowledge him, until I offered my troubled brother a job working with my boyfriend’s father. He was not a good guy until he did something for them. NPD. And I was so wanting to help my brother, be accepted by my family that any crumb of affection they gave I was starving. This step was good right? I was 22 years old…going to school full-time, working 2 part time jobs, and now had moved into an apartment with BF. I hate to say this, but was also asked several times to model. So things were starting to look better. My brother was getting a little direction, my parents were coming around, and then we started making money. Boom. My BF bought me a used but gorgeous old Jaguar and we were getting serious. I didn’t ask for much, but whatever I wanted I got. Boom. Guess what? Mother envy kicked in full gear! My BF and I were out of town for a weekend and my mother went and “borrowed” my jaguar. She never even told me about it till my father said they had she had run out of gas! Lol. Remember my model looks? She called me fat because I had DD and a size 6 and she was flat chested if front of my BF and in his desperate attempt to to be accepted and “keep me” he joined in on the belittlement. I was furious! I didn’t realize at the time that my mother was deliberately sabotaging my relationship. Mother envy. I also had a cousin (who was actually a hidden but real prostitute) that was 10 years older than me and single that became very close to me to ruin my relationship. Cousin envy. Now the kicker. I wanted to become an attorney but we were making really good money so I was talked into switching my bachelors to education instead of criminal justice. I was talked into this by my father (this is a female occupation and you’ll have summers off to go with your children vacation), and my BF (it will be good for our kids, plus it does not matter what you do because we are making money), cousin(kids are fun and not a lot of work), mother(your father did not want you to go to college plus you’re a woman don’t get too smart). So career was redirected for everyone else’s use. Continued success in business and BF becoming money hungry and tired from too much work. Mother and cousin are becoming closer and planting many seeds of doubt and ugliness. BF thinks of a new business that needs capital to start and my father to put “his son” in business comes up with it. So BF and brother start business (I do paperwork) and struggle but succeed and make profit and continue. Seeds of restlessness, boredom, pressure of business and distance from BF grow and I am not happy and engagement is called off 2 months before wedding. I have to mention here my mother sent me by myself to Europe for 3 months masked as a graduation gift. She was trying to put a wedge in my relationship. At my engagement there are photos of mother, father, cousin and family that look like they were so sad. After the engagement it had become a mission on my cousin to break us up and for Memorial Day weekend suggested we go to Bahammas. After seeing a wedding on a beach and much confusion, the question came….Are you happy? I was not. Came home and packed my things and went back to my parents after so many years. BF shocked and devastated. When people found out he only question they asked was….what is your brother going to do? WTF?
Parents instead of coming home to see if I was okay, extended their vacation in Europe and when they came back it was not even spoken of. Like I never left home, opened a business, was engaged. My father told me to give him everything and just come home. (You are worthless). Now the kicker, my BF was calling my mother for a full year to talk. She never told me he was calling her. But I remember a time she was crying on the phone and I asked her what happened? I remember she said he will not call me again. I remember hugging her while she cried and said it was ok, I thought it was her brother in Europe because they had a bad relationship. I did not know at the time that my mother was crying because my ex fiancé was not going to call her anymore after a full year. And I was consoling her. Can you imagine the betrayal I felt when he told me 10 years later he was calling my mother for a full year and talking to my brother and cousin daily to see me? I was unaware of all of it.
Okay, so I’m freed up from a relationship and business get my Lsat and accepted into Northwestern College of Law. Any parents dream and my dream was going to become reality. My brother gets testicular cancer and what was he going to do? My father for the second time in his life turns to me and begs me to open a business with my brother. He even manipulates me by saying were are not going to let your ex become more successful than our family. You know the answer. I carry the business by myself for 3 years my brother’s sick and in chemo and he overcomes the cancer. I starts again a successful business. Because of my brother’s fragile ego, his small contribution is glorified. My work minimized. He takes quite a bit of the profit. He is introduced to a cousin of a work partner and she is very interested. I was introduced to a friend of a friend but was very fully aware that the business was my responsibility. New BF did not like that I was a businesswoman and we break up. Brother’s girlfriend becomes aware that brother wants to break up and entrapment him with a pregnancy. So now the business profit was going to “set up” my brother because he was starting a family. I remained calm until it became very clear to me that gold digging wife wanted it all. Furthermore, my brother believed it was a “miracle” he got her pregnant and he was entitled to profits and started taking it. I was working full time running family business when my father decided it was also time for him to build his dream house in Europe. So my brother and his new family and my mother and father all went to Europe for 2 months looking for property to build. Oh guess who was working? Also guess who also didn’t have anything in her name while my troubled brother had accumulated properties. I exploded! I became another person! From being this angelic personality, I became so angry and was called satin quite a bit. And then because of all this stress and pressure, I became ill and needed an operation. I had my operation on a Friday and went back to work on a Monday. I wanted to get back in my routine. I also wanted a vacation. So I planned a 2 month vacation just as family did the previous year. My brother became furious! When he found out I went to another European country, he opened up another company secretly and funds from the business. I found out about it a few months later and confronted him. He didn’t deny it. I went to my father for help with this situation and he told me “that he does not need you anymore” and “go find a job.” That I should give all the profits to my brother because he has a family now and “give it all to him he will give it to you back.”
Yes NPD. It was all about them. They sabotaged and stole my youth, my work and my good heart. Now their troubled son stole their nest egg. Funny how the golden child life will become.

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Patty August 5, 2013 at 10:13 am

I feel like you wrote my life story here … a little different. The one thing I knew when I got out of the house was that I never wanted to be like my mom. People tell me I am a carbon copy of her.. maybe in looks, but I think we are two different people…… very different people.. that is why I was the scapegoat more than not.

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Mungagungadin July 17, 2013 at 12:54 pm

I would add another type of narcissist to the list:

The Authoritarian/religious Narcissist: All activities and public actions are calculated to reflect glory on some organization, church, affiliation that she feels ownership of and which affirms all her positions. This is best accomplished with an entity that claims total, unshared authority over everyone whether or not all people are members of the organization, church or affiliation.

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Kim August 2, 2013 at 6:49 pm

I am 57 and still find myself in tears. My doctor told me to stay away from her. I am happier, but the past is not going to go away. I try. I have a double whammy, I was born with a medical issue and she would tell me to not tell anybody because I was an embarrassment to her. I got punished if I did. Everything I did was wrong. She would always compare me. She would do things to upset me. It worked. I now have a loving husband and some friends who are my support. I really didn’t realize that this was the problem. I thought that I was the problem. I wasn’t sure if I could ever love somebody because I didn’t know how to be loved. I have PTSD now. Thank you for writing this. It is good input to let me know “why?”.

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Patty August 5, 2013 at 10:10 am

I am in the same boat.. read this article it is right on, I also recommend..going to U-tube and type in narcissitic people… there is on lady… she was working on her BA.. very simple, and her videos are funny…. her friend will come to a window and hollar for her so she has to stop her presentation or her grand daughter comes into the room .. but she is good, and she has a LOT to offer.

ONCE you truly get it…. then you can heal. I think in the past few months — and being in therapy now for almost 3 years, I got it. I never connected the dots…. you probably are an amazing person… you just get thrown under a bus repeatedly.

I cut my mom off about a year ago.. I am doing a lot better without her.

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Scared August 14, 2013 at 8:37 am

Patty, How did you cut your mother off? How did you feel at first? I am so close to doing the same thing, but I also feel like a bad person for feeling this way, for even wanting to cut her off. I have so many mixed feelings, because she did raise us, even though our lives were full of abuse from mental, sexual, and verbal abuse. from my stepfather, and denial from her which I feel is abusive as well. But I also feel obligated to her because she is my mother. I just found my biological fathers family, who has told us that she kept us away from them, and now knowing this I feel very hurt, but yet still obligated to my mother.
So many mixed emotions right now, and looking for an understanding to all of this.

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Patty August 5, 2013 at 9:55 am

YOU ARE SO RIGHT ON! I am blown away… My only question is this… do this mothers go strickly by these divisions or do they rotate them. I feel like I was a scapegoat… but I also think at sometimes, if I gave prestige to her, she made me a golden child for a short time… I also feel my mother is several of the narcissistic types. I am going to have to examine this further. I feel like after my grandfather died, and he may have kept her narcissistic ways in check… and I went off to college a few months later, she changed. I saw her verbally abuse my father, but the way it came off, I think it was a game my father coped with and he died a little too early, but he did have a good life. He seemed to be happy…..

Once my dad died, I never saw my mother cry.. not ONE tear.. Everyone else did, but not my mom. Since his death of 13 years ago… my mother turned on me, and turned up her narcissistic ways and after being in an accident, she totally broke me to the point where I did not function anymore.

She turned my son against me…. telling me and other that she and my sister who is without doubt the “golden girl” and knows it all….. that he should just ignore me, wants to know why he wastes his time with me, and that my sister and brother are there to take care of him ( and today he almost 28). My boyfriend at the time thought that he comments were bizarre…. and to me, they are just normal.

My mother moved out of her convalescent home. She has not told me where she is, and now, my son has cut off the communication. He has not told me where she is, and he watched as she degraded me and I got up and walked out on her on my last birthday. It has been months since I have had much conversation with my mother… I dont want to see her, infact, she tells me that I dont count cause I disowned the family. That is true.. but I hate how she undermines me as a parent, tells me I am no good, you can do better, she says….. she does not like the way I speak, she wants to see you, when you get there, 3 minutes does not go by when you just have to leave and wonder why you tried. No man is ever good enough.. she does like this person, that person etc. She kept us away from our paternal grandparents.. they were off limits more or less.. we could visit with my father.. We never saw our aunts, uncle or cousins… we never had extended family, something I yearned for.

I am accomplished, but in my own mind, I am nothing… She did not like my professional job so she told people that I was a clerk in my field… something I had trained years to do…. I am and was no good, when I had to change careers due to legislative changes, she told me i would be no good at this job, no good at that job. finally, after years of struggling.. I found something, and she thought I had hit the nail on the head, but quickly… she turned it on me.. YOU NEED TO BE TRUTHFUL.. I am, but when you got done with me, I was as low as you can go… and no good. Now that I have gotten this business up and going … she thinks I should change careers.. this is not the right field for me.

I have years ahead of me to make a difference, Not that I realize what my mother is about, I am not going to let her in. I know I should visit, but it brings me so far down. I fight feelings today… I want to love my mom, I do, but I can not be around her. I have no communication with my siblings…. I have no one other than my son, for my son, his father’s 2nd family has siblings for him, and he interacts with them…. He does blame me for not getting along with anyone in the family… but you cant. My brother disowned me.. god knows for what,, my sister is the core problem… and she told my mom that a psychiatrist labeled her with borderline personality disorder, but I don t know if that is really true…She stole the entire family trust, and I am suppose to forgive her because at first her cancer meds made her do it… now because people dont believe my mom, she has increased her cancer condition to brain cancer….. When was that? I asked my mom—”oh you know, when she had cancer in 2002″…but she recovered.. she recovered cause she never had brain cancer.

I feel that all these post I have read are about me…. I feel like I have a lot of sisters her who have the same deep pain and loss of identity that I do… as well as emotional emptiness. One lady I met in Washington DC got up frpm her reception chair to come and give me a hug… tell me I had a great son, that I had raised him so well, and I deserved a hug… You know, I did not know how to respond. No one had ever told me that, and I began to cry….. I knew when he was born that I wanted to love and care for him, give him as normal of a life as I could given that his dad left when he was 6 months… I tried to make everything normal… but my son blames me a lot, does not talk to me much, and hears what is going on, but never says a word. I am sure this is driving my mother nuts cause she can not get to me… and vice versa. I have no idea where she is– and there is no contact.

I have read where you can not share highs, you can not share lows… well I figured that out long ago so I dont have a lot to talk about… she accusses me of being secretive… I used to tell her about the issues I had with my son when he was growing up… and then she would go after him…. he got upset and still holds a grudge.

I hope I can turn things around as far as my son and I are concerned…. I am now dependent on my son to help me while I get this business up and running. I know it is hard on him, but I have made strides… I just need to build it now… everything is in place.

I think I might succeed this time because without my mother in the picture now… at least for now, maybe I can get some momentum. I think walking away from your mom is extremely difficult. I think the emotions you live with are off base, and I hope I find a special man to share my life.

I want to heal and prepare for the next chapter of my life. I want to experience love.. I dont think I know what it really is.

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Tina August 6, 2013 at 11:52 pm

What’s the name of …. when a mother hates her sons girl friends. Or wives?

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N. Mac August 13, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I am always worried that I am doing something wrong towards my kids. I am worried that I am also narcissistic as well and because I am clueless that I am, I am hurting my children without even realizing it. I don’t speak to my mother anymore and her birthday was three days ago, it has put me in a huge depression. I thought about sending her a card but I don’t want her back in my life. My siblings and I don’t speak, the family is very divided. Both of my parents are narcissistic but my Dad has tried to make amends and has actually apologized for a lot of things. My mother left when I was 10, she didn’t say goodbye, didn’t give me a letter, she just left and I didn’t know if she was dead or alive. When she came back, she told me and my siblings that she did it because my father was trying to kill her. I remembered being so torn and not knowing who to believe. I have been married for 20 years, I have gone to therapy on and off most of my life. Lately, I have been very sad and just wish it had all been different.

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Scared August 14, 2013 at 8:25 am

Yesterday my mother asked me to take her somewhere to pay something, I asked her if it has to paid today? Because its across town, and I can pay it the next day because I work next door to the place, she had gotten enraged and said “you pick that boy up” my son. She then proceeded to run at me to hit me. Everything I say and do is ALWAYS Wrong. Is hitting someone part of this disorder? Her golden child one my sisters could have said the same thing and there would have been nothing said other than ok. I am thinking about moving out in the next month, I am ready to break off all ties to my mother, but at the same time I feel guilty for feeling this way. My mother is 70 years old, and I am the only one who helps her. I take her the her Doctors appts, the only one who cooks for her, I am the only one with her right not trying to take care of her but for my on sanity my sister has expressed for me to leave, and find a place of my own. And I have started this procedure. I almost don’t want anything to do with her after I move, Is this wrong? I am so torn, I am also sad about all of this. I have also found a counselor for myself. I am currently in Law School and she is making it hard for me to even concentrate on finishing school, and my studies. I am scared that she will do something to my son and myself. We both stay in the room from the time we get home till bed. When I’m not working or in School I stay in my room about 22 1/2 hours per day, not wanting to upset her
Am I on the right path? Should I leave her?

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Anonymous August 21, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Yes, run for the hills for your and your son’s sake!

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Meg August 22, 2013 at 8:57 pm

E Yes, you are on the right path. Whether or not this is normal behavior for this disorder doesn’t make it ok. Get your son and get out. Even if she never touches him, witnessing this is not good for him. Don’t let her guilt you. There is probably a reason you’re the only one who helps her. Get on board with the others who are unwilling to deal with an unreasonable person.

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elenor August 21, 2013 at 8:03 am

Thank you for this website. It has helped me a great deal to realize that I am not the only one who has a mother like this, that I was always embarrassed by, and made excuses for. Her idea of parenting was planting fear into me, forcing me to lie, because I never knew how she was going to react to what, that had absolutely nothing to do with her, or any impact on her life. Never mind me not meeting her expectations by not achieving the grade she desired, or doing exceptional in sports, which she took me out of for every summer, to dump me onto my grandparents, but expected me to get right back to it in the fall and win medals. Anyway, I have enough of making excuses for her, and living the delusional life of talking and thinking about her being a great mom, and how she did her best, when it’s all bull&$%^. It was terror, horror growing up with her, and it carries to my adult life. If it wasn’t for friends, their parents, my grandparents, and figuring things out for myself once I decided to get away and move to another continent, and never go back, because of her, I am not sure where I would be today. Unfortunately now I am expecting a baby, and she is making it clear how she wants to be in the life of HER GRANDCHILD. My husband has a hard time understanding how I feel about this, and why, he would very much like our child to have a relationship with her/his grandparent, but I really don’t need the stress of her in my life, especially at this time, when I want to enjoy my baby with us, as a family, also I am not sure what kind of grandparents they make. But I am pretty sure she’d be ready to take over, respect none of my boundaries. Any advise about them becoming grandparents?

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Meg August 22, 2013 at 8:51 pm

My son is now noticing at 5 years old how “bossy” how grandmother is. Half the time he would rather not spend time with her. So I don’t make him. If you moved to another continent because your mother’s personality was so severe, keep your distance. Send her pictures and if you can handle it when the baby is talking, let them speak on the phone. It took me a long time to see what my husband was talking about with regards to his narcissistic mother, but I see it now. Because of the distance it may be hard for your husband to see her issues. Hold steady. You know how she can be. If you don’t want her there for the pregnancy or birth, don’t invite her. If she shows up on your door step reassure her you are fine and though you appreciate the offer of help, you have it under control.

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Anonymous August 23, 2013 at 9:18 am

Thank you, Meg. I’ve started some reading, and the best line I read was that them becoming a grandmother doesn’t change who they are, meaning they are still the same narcissist. Expecting a baby just completely confused my well established dynamics with my family of narcissistic mother, and her pet, my golden child. my sister cannot do wrong in my mothers eyes. every time i talk to my mother, she always turns the conversation onto my sister, and starts going on about how pretty she is, how smart she is and how everyone loves her at her work (where she got her in by the way), how nice she dresses. and how i shouldnt do this and that, eg working out, because it makes women ugly once they grow some muscles. lol just an example. anyway. I had a good routine worked out of civil long distance communication. Now her pushing for a visit and staying with us, and desperatly wanting to ‘babysit for us’, as she puts it, stresses me out to the T. I keep postponing the time when it’s good for us to have her/them here. I already told my sister that I’m not comfortable with having my mom here on her own, because she stresses me out, also I don’t trust her with my baby. I usually call her once a week, but now I’m hesitant, because every time I phone, it’s the same question eventually, So, when do you need me to come and watch the baby? When can I see my grandchild? I hope to see my grandchild when he/she is still young.

I know it sounds silly, but I’m scared that she might put an evil spell on her/him, if she touches or looks at my baby. Or something evil will inhibit him/her through my mother. I don’t want to sound mean but this is the first time I wished my mother was dead, so I never have to share my baby with her to any degree.

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Eleanor August 27, 2013 at 10:51 am

Do you allow your narcissistic mother to have a relationship with your babies? ‘Her grandchildren’? How do u go about it?

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Amy Swayze August 28, 2013 at 1:54 pm

If it is harmful to you?… why would you allow someone that treats you badly around your own children? I had to ask myself this very question. My mother only wanted to involve my daughter so that she had a backdoor to control me. Unfortunately, there is no benefit to a relationship with your children… I am sorry… I cannot tell you the hurt and relief I feel at 86ing my Mother… I still miss her and then I remind myself how happy I am to make decisions and finally not hear her voice… It gets better… Promise.

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Joy September 6, 2013 at 8:51 am

And now that is the truth, having a narcissistic parent makes life complicated, no wonder it takes such focus to realize it is something of a great effort to accept, grieve and finally walk away from and that is what I need to do to preserve my own life and sanity, thank you for helping me!

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Misty September 8, 2013 at 8:38 pm

I have struggled all my life feeling woefully ill-prepared to be an adult. I take jobs where I am underpaid and a martyr, work harder then most just to not be recognized or rewarded over and over again. In my youth I chased bad boys and did drugs, got into abusive relationships, etc, but I climbed out of all of that. I even went to Al-anon to learn how to leave an abusive boyfriend and found much wisdom there, but it was always just a piece of the puzzle. I am not an underachiever, I just succeed to the point of having to push through to a higher level and either self destruct or disappear.

Now I realize that I have a narcissistic mother. WOW… Suddenly everything clicks into place. It feels good to put a label on it. But now what…

I am almost 48, very well educated and trained in skilled work, but using non of it. I am afraid of trying. I am frozen into a life of mediocrity that doesn’t feel real. I avoid friendships, they make me uncomfortable as I always feel like I am trying to “find my role to play”

I am physically separated from my Mother but still in communication, I have educated myself and found a solid relationship, but I am miserable, and lost, and truly unsure of what I really want. It is as if when I look inside myself there is a fog around what is truly me and I cant see through it. Meanwhile, just standing there, peering at that fog I am surrounded by a maelstrom of critical voices and doubts.

I am not a pity person, I really thought I had gotten past all of this, but as the years grind on I feel like I am grinding to a halt. Life just isn’t fun anymore. I have less and less, I want less and less, and I can’t seem to find the energy to try.

Which plays into her plan perfectly because all she ever wants me to do is move home,…if I keep this up I will have no other choice.

I have been “in siege” for decades, I think I am chronically tired in my soul.

I will keep looking for answers, these articles have helped me a great deal. Understanding what happened to me has helped me put a face to it, now I need a path back to myself.

Looking forward to not doing it alone…

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shin September 9, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Well-written article and very enlightening. Thank you for this!

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Judy February 5, 2014 at 11:54 pm

MISTY! What you have so eloquently written reflects the vicious cycle that I am in.

“”I am miserable, and lost, and truly unsure of what I really want. It is as if when I look inside myself there is a fog around what is truly me and I cant see through it. Meanwhile, just standing there, peering at that fog I am surrounded by a maelstrom of critical voices and doubts.”"

I am fighting to find my own joy and peace and have ended the physical contact with my NPD mother. The mental contact is welded to my soul.

I have hundreds of vivid painful memories. I cried so much as a child, I believed it was how life was. I was molested by my mothers, doting boss. For two years he put his hands down my pants or up my skirt into my panties to feel , “How much I’ve grown”. He gave me my first orgasm at 4 years old. He showed me how to masturbate. He would pull down my panties pull me up on his lap and rub my crotch up and down his leg until I had an orgasm.. He gave me food, candy and money and the attention I craved. I went to his house willingly to see him for the caresses, hugs and touching. I was almost 6 years old when he made me “kiss” his penis, and then shoved it into my mouth. I was terrorized. I had never seen one of those “ugly” things before. I ran the 3 blocks home. Even as a young child, I felt so dirty, I got into the bath tub to clean myself. I was softly crying and scrubbing when my Mom came into the bathroom to pee. I told her everything, she stayed sitting on the toilet with her pants and panties around her ankles, just glaring at me. I knew I was in trouble. When I started to sob, she darted off of the toilet with her panties and pants still around her ankles and punched me in the face. She told me to shut up and that I was a liar and I wasn’t going to ruin her job. All of the noise made my dad come in. (My Dad spent his marriage “floating” in the background.) Nothing ever happened to the man that molested me. ( He also molested my two sisters)

As a “house wife”, Mom would throw us kids out of the house and tell us not to come home until the sun set. The house was always filthy dirty. Dishes and cockroaches competed for empty space on the counters. My bother and I usually were told, by Dad, to help our Mother. We had to stand up to the sink on orange plastic chairs so we could reach the faucet. We washed and dried dishes for hours. Most days, Mom would go into her bedroom and cry and wail. She would eventually get quiet and then wail even louder when my Dad came home. At twelve, I had to get a job so I could get my tooth fixed, buy some clothes for school and a bike. When I was sixteen I had a sexual relationship with a married 40 year old man. She encouraged it. Her eyes lit up when I told her in detail nearly every day about what sex activity occurred. I liked to shock her, I got her attention. She liked him. He said nice things to her and brought her presents.

I moved out the day after I turned 17, to join the military. I stayed for 20 years and retired. Six months after I retired, my dad died. My dad died the day after my mom fell and broke her hip. Mom was completely dependent on my dad. Mom didn’t drive, wouldn’t drive, even after I taught her and got her a permit.

I spent two months cleaning out that filthy house and setting her up to move in with me. Two months in, with her living with me, I couldn’t handle the 24/7 stress, so she bought a mobile home a mile away.

Still felt I had to take care of her, please her, do all the jobs she wanted done and clean her house. She never offered to pay me. When I had to be at work or was sick, she would hire outsiders to do the same things I did. Mom would rave and praise about them endlessly while telling me I need to correct this and that, that they had neglected to do.

I was her willing and devoted slave for the 10 years. I still craved her praise and love. Ten years later, I became seriously ill, bedridden. She never called me. No cards. No flowers. She would call weekly to my house for a “favor” from my husband to take her shopping or to her appointments. My health got better, I was off all the tons of meds. I was so hurt by mom’s selfishness, it was the final straw.

I had confronted her over the years, reminding her of her actions and her response was she “Doesn’t know about it” or “Can’t remember anything like that ever happening.”. I asked my mother for an apology, for all the abuse she and pain she caused me. I needed her acknowledgement of the pain she caused me and hoped that she would take at least some responsibility for her behavior. When I told her how bad I felt and about all the hurt she caused all she said was ,”I’M SORRY YOU FEEL THAT WAY”.

I was at the grocery store when I saw her. I felt sick. I hoped she wouldn’t see me. Then she saw me and yelled my name. I went to her and hugged her. I asked how she was…then I got hot, my face turned red. I was angry. I asked why she didn’t call me or come see me. I told her how badly she hurt me. She said, “I’M SORRY YOU FEEL THAT WAY. ”

I could’ve punched her, but instead, with gritted teeth and my hands gripped on her shopping cart, I told her to stay out of my life and to leave my husband alone. Don’t ever call! I felt so empowered when I saw the fear in her eyes. I was now in control. As I walked away, I cried.

I explained to my family that I had to end my relationship with my mother and brought back up all of my/our pain and abuses over the years. My family tells me to get over it and go get some sun and relax, or you need to fix yourself. Or worse they gloss over it like it was a distance nightmare that doesn’t affect them. That works for them, really?

This happens when my family calls Mom: Mom tells them, for example: “I have emotional problems” and “I’m taking too much medication” and that she doesn’t understand why I abandoned her, why I don’t love her anymore.

The anger, rage, pain and guilt keep repeating their cycles. As soon as I feel close to acceptance and peace, the cycle repeats itself. It is exhausting, demoralizing, demeaning and selfishly cruel. I am doing this to myself.

I have no friends, because I pushed everyone away. I have no trust, to build a new friendship. As a human, I crave the love of a human, yet I am filled with terror and dread at the actual prospect of a relationship. I drink too much beer and cry in frustration. I feel so alone. My therapist said to ignore it, refocus and use breathing exercises. I take all of this boiling love in my heart and poor it into my dogs. I jog as fast as my body will allow.
I need the closure of an apology and forgiveness.

I fantasize of getting the phone call from a hospital or coronor saying my mother is dead.

I need to feel relief. I am responsible for my own happiness. I will find my joy again.

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Eleanor September 9, 2013 at 6:35 pm

During my pregnancy it all clicked into place for me. My mother desperatly wanted to be around when my due date was coming up, to be our house guest and offer her unsolicited help, or being able to see or spend time with HER grandchild. She told me she was looking into buying a ticket when I told her not to. My husband didnt understand why I wouldn’t want to share such a joyful time with my own mom, and I was wondering myself why I was so horrified by her presence. I came across this blog and helped me understand a great deal. I have come to peace with who she is, and to the conclusion, that i am grateful for her to be the mother she was to me, and all I can do is thank her for showing me what kind of mother I will never ever be to my son.

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Elizabeth October 2, 2013 at 7:38 am

My mother is a narcissist, who of course has caused all kinds of turmoil in our family.
The Golden Child, my youngest brother recently got married and it’s clear my mother is angry that he didn’t get married in the Catholic Church. He and his wife took off and got married in Las Vegas. Only when they returned, did he tell everyone that they had married. I suspect he chose to do things that way because of the way she treated me many years ago when my husband and I got married outside in front of an old home that looked like a barn! No Catholic wedding there either! I’ve noticed an interesting pattern of her behavior. When she is trying to conceal her anger that she was unable to control the situation, and she knows she can’t outright attack her adult children in public, she’ll pick a target to be angry with and mutter something denigrating about that person to someone in the family. For instance during my wedding, she told my brother that she didn’t want to sit next to my mother in law because she was divorced! Due to the terrible relationship that I have with my mother, this was the first time the two women had met. All my mother knew about her, was that she was divorced. So she had my brother sit between them. Never mind that mom has divorced friends. Then at my brother’s reception, my narcissistic mother made a rude comment to my other brother that the bride’s mother “means nothing to me”. My brother said the brides mother is a very sweet woman and he was appalled that mom would have such venom towards her. I’m sure there is some technical psychological term for this type of game she plays. Of course neither of my mother’s targets ever find out about the nasty comments and attitudes because its always a member of the dysfunctional family that gets fed the poison.

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Loretta October 12, 2013 at 3:54 pm

I’m so glad I came upon this website! I really appreciate the honesty expressed in the comments I read, several life experiences were almost identical to my own. It has taken me most of my adult life to come to terms with the fact that my mother is a narcissus. She is almost idealized by her friends (church and otherwise). Yet she is emotionally cold and judgmental of some of her own family members, most specifically me. I am the classic middle child/scapegoat in our extremely dysfunctional family and have had deep seated trust issues and lack of self esteem for as long as I can remember. I became the juvenile delinquent in the family and ended up being sent to a group home for 8th grade. The only thing that saved me from spiraling further down that road was discovering my theatrical talents in the 9th grade. I continued performing in high school and managed to make it into college. Once I moved out of the state (away from mom) I flourished and even became an honor student. I became involved in the theatre dept. and got my B.A. in theater arts. Fast forward 35 years, and two divorces later (didn’t remarry a 3rd time), I recently got in contact with my 1st husband and he told me he could never figure out why someone as beautiful & intelligent as me, could be so insecure. I pondered that comment, and after much soul searching, counseling, and reading (over the years), I realized that I was emotionally handicapped, and that it was a direct result of my the poisonous environment I grew up in, which revolved around pleasing my narcissistic mother. I hate to use labels BUT, my mother is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and it seems as if I’m the only one who knows it. My father was indeed the enabler, whenever he was around (which was hardly ever because he was a workaholic). My mother won’t even entertain a discussion about our unhappy childhood because in her minds eye, it wasn’t as bad as we/I make it sound (as if she lived it). I read Trapped in the Mirror by Elan Golomb, PhD, which was very eye-opening and helpful for me, and I’m almost done reading Will I Ever Be Good Enough by Karyl McBride, PhD, which has also been enlightening and gives me some important homework to do. I hope I can rise to the occasion. I must say that discovering this site/blog has been an important find for me because it somehow softens the blow to know that other people have very similar life experiences and are willing to share them. Thank you so much, I feel less alone in this world now. Thanks Michelle for starting this blog and for the words of wisdom that precede it!

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Bean town October 16, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I was reliving my childhood and thinking about how much my N mother slandered others. I finally realized that she was doing the same thing to me. I saw good people just stop socializing with her. Her attacks were persistent. My mom was blind to the fact that folk become fatigued with constant conflict. I realized that my mom was treating me the same way. I am her scapegoat. I am the reason for her emotional pain. Reducing your contact with a nm is vital for your happiness. You would never walk close to a Dogo Argentino holding a kitten in your arms. The potential for someone getting hurt is too high. Why would you keep someone who wants to destroy your life close to you. My mom now knows very few details about my life. She is well off and now dangles the thought of her passing her property on to me. I will get the old houses and the other relatives will get the investment account holdings. Her stuff isn’t worth my soul and I do not trust her intentions. She wants to get me close to launch an attack. She needs to generate hate and pain to get more energy. Think of it like a hate/pain eating monster. Protect your sanity.

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Jane October 22, 2013 at 7:33 pm

I really enjoyed reading this article. It is sad that abuse in the court system can only be recognized in the physical form. I grew up with a mother who is extremely narcissistic and childish when it comes to me living my own life. I never felt like she really loved me. She had no respect for me as a seperate person, and i never felt like she was really proud of me for anything i ever accomplished. Almost jealous in a way. It’s affected my relationships, my job, and my school. I can’t escape her jealousy towards my success, but I also can’t enjoy any success in my life. Anytime I speak up about how it’s harmed my OWN life, my family thinks I’m betraying them.

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Barbara December 17, 2013 at 10:11 am

From the time I was a very small girl I knew my mom was different than other moms. Now with my two older brothers I could see the dramatic difference in how they were treated and how she always treated me. If I ever had a toy, doll, or collection that I loved it would magically disappear. She never ever came to my school functions, gave me a birthday party, took me shopping for special dress, it was like these things were just a bother to her. I can’t remember her ever just holding me, or brushing my hair or any of the small things you do with a little girl. I learned what I know from watching how other people were. There are no pictures of me in my moms house, but it is like a museum to my 2 older brothers. She always shut me of any family functions, she would tell my dad and anyone else that would listen that she had called me, wrote me, etc. to invite me but in reality she never contacted me at all. Then she would turn it all around and tell people that I hadn’t responded back to her. She would never ever have a gift for me at the xmas gift time. She would go to her bedroom and find something that she could regift to me. Sometimes they would even have the persons name and where they had given it to her. She was always so jealous of my relationship with my dad. He was nice to me and I loved him but we were always kinda cool around her because she would do a slow boil, then get back at me later when it suited her and she could do it where no one else could see her do it. When at 50 my dad got sick and was hospitalized , she again shut me out totally from visiting my dad as he lay there dying. I will never forgive her or forget the things she has done to me. She treated my like I was a nothing, now she is a nothing to me. I went NC 7 years ago and I will never ever speak to her again..

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Lynda December 26, 2013 at 7:48 am

I am 38 and last night I finally was able to put a name to the on and off hell my mother has put me thru since birth. What is so strange is that I have training in counseling but never saw my mothers treatment of me as pathological until some people on a chronic pain group I am a part of commented to me that my mom was probably a maternal narcissist. I had never considered it because I usually associated this personality type with being in love with ones appearance and my mom isn’t particularly vain about her looks. I didn’t realize that her attitude of control freak, her hurtful words, looks, and such were symptoms of narcissism. To explain what started me on this road of insight was the horrible Christmas I just endured. On the 19th I married a wonderful man that I believe with all my heart is my soulmate. My mother cannot and will not accept him. She has claimed from his and my first meetings that he is a liar, theif, con artist and is just using me to get at their savings. Yes, to be honest Ray has a bizarre family background and something’s about him seemed so out there that I even questioned them for awhile until I was forced to make a choice. Take her side and lose the most loyal and genuine protector I have ever known or believe him about his past and let it go so that we can have a future. I chose the later and my mom just cat forgive me. Strangely, Ray has seen thru my mom since the very first dinner we all had together. She spent most of that night ridiculing, embarrassing, and basically talking about me like a dog right in her presence. My father I so used to her treatment of me that he has labeled it daughter/mothers quibbles and in his mind he makes it a small issue so that he doesn’t have to acknowledge her verbal abuse of me or rock the boat of their 40 year plus marriage by confronting her. My mother I my dads college girlfriend and my moms “best friend”. My mother has severe health problems and even though she despises my Godmother because my dad has already stated that if my mom has a stroke etc which she has been told by doctors is very liable to happen, he plans to marry my godmother. Most people in my town already assume daddy is having an affair with my godmother, I don’t personally think it is in any way physical but there is an emotional fair of sorts going on there. I have just simply accepted that this is the strange working of my family. What brought me to this point is that my mom is so hostile to Ray, but if I challenge her on it she says “I don’t have nothing against him” we presented them with a framed wedding portrait for Christmas and my mom just stared at it as if she could burn it with her eyes. I was told Santa didn’t visit this year and my punishment for going against her wishes and marrying was that we received nothing in return for Christmas nor were we invited to Christmas dinner with my grandfather. My mom claims I have an attitude problem because I finally started drawing lines of my own as far as her overreaching boundaries went. She has always feel that because I am her daughter she can do or say anything to me. I have had no privacy in my life and all my decisions prior to my relationship with Ray were influenced by my mom and what she wanted. I have lived 38 yrs feeling like I would never be good enough for her. No matter what my accomplishment she found something negative to say about me. When I made a mistake I lived in pure terror of her wrath. She could take away my self esteem with just a few words. She even acknowledges and is proud other psychological terror tactics in raising me. She claims it was the only way she knew for sure she could keep me in line. As a child her mother, my grandmother did all of the nurturing of me and tried hard to shield me from my moms wrath. She knew I was scared of mommy. When I confronted my mom last year about her treatment of me she claimed I was making stuff up in my head and that she had been the best mother possible and that I was just trying to make her feel bad and that she wouldn’t fall for my antics because she knew she had been a great mom. The thing is that as long as I let her control my life she’s ok but when I try to be independent there is hell to pay. She helped destroy my first marriage with her meddling and I refuse to let her near my new relationship. She has in the past made me fear her, made me live under the burden of guilt when I displeased her and made me doubt my own ability to function on my own. As a result of years of this stress and a bad marriage I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2005. My mom supports me at times but others I am told to suck it up and that I talk about my disease too much and it turns people off. At this point I cannot be around mommy without her finding ways still to put me down, her dictating for me to do this or that, or listening to her complain about how horrible her life is. She revolves everything around money and how much she has had to spend helping me with bills etc during the two years since my divorce. Ilive in my grandmothers house which is in my dad’s name. Ray and I pay all utility bills but mom claims the house should be hers because they pay the property taxes. Also I took up smoking 3 years ago and I literally cannot have one conversation without my mom saying something to me about it. She has told me that if I don’t quit they will cut me off, that she can’t be around me because I stink etc. Ray sees thru her and says that it’s all a control issue and unless they had hand picked my next husband she would have problems. For the most part Ray has nothing to do with her. I am an only child and though I know the only solution is for me and Ray to move and put physical distance between me and her I am riddled with guilt. I only see her maybe once a month now because I get so upset when I visit her. I know I need help but I live in a small rural town where good psychological care is difficult to find. I have suffered from various cycles of depression and my doctors have usually treated it. I need to know where to go from here to get help so I can heal.

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oversensitive December 27, 2013 at 5:48 am

In the past 3 days, I’ve read ravenously about this topic and it’s finally given me a name for my family situation and my N mother.

I have a question some of you may help me with. I am – and have known for years that – I’m the scapegoat. Another dx for this is IP – Identified Patient. I’m the one who “always” had to “be different” (like it was a bad thing) and who was blamed for causing friction in the family. Oversensitive (like it was a bad thing). Argumentative. The Problem Child (I heard this many times growing up).

*Here’s my question – why, then, is my N mother a seemingly attentive & devoted grandmother? She’s a genuinely doting grandmother & rarely criticized me about my parenting. It leaves me wondering if in her head she realizes what a Sh** she’s been to me and is trying to make amends the second time around, via my children.

When N mother was prego, I was blamed for “making her go 5-weeks overdue.” Yeh, like as a fetus I was already her inconvenience. She fails to tell anyone that she was pissed at & refused to see her OB/GYN in the last month! Sometimes I wish I would’ve died in utero then she’d not have me to blame & I would’ve been at peace.

She constantly “spins” the truth to make her look victimized. Poor me I just tried to help and she (meaning me) wouldn’t let me.

She projects her loathful, disappointment, upset, angry feelings onto me.

My older sister (also a N) and younger brother are the golden children. Funny thing is, the older one is in social work & is applauded by her peers as “wonderful.” But she’s skilled at hiding her emotional abuses of me – just like good ‘ole mom. Young bro is a compulsive, over zealous Christian. I guess he throws himself into spirituality – mom is so proud of him.

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Michelle Piper January 12, 2014 at 11:08 pm

Dear Oversensitive,

The term oversensitive makes my heart hurt, because it is often a way people are labeled and minimized by those who lack empathy. The description above sounds like you had a family system full of such people.

Your question “…why, then, is my N mother a seemingly attentive & devoted grandmother? She’s a genuinely doting grandmother & rarely criticized me about my parenting. It leaves me wondering if in her head she realizes what a Sh** she’s been to me and is trying to make amends the second time around, via my children.”

It is bittersweet to see the mother who, for whatever reason, gave you so little then appear to be able to give more to others, especially your own dear children.

Always remember narcissistic moms do things to satisfy their own deficiencies. She will treat your children well as long as it serves her needs. Hopefully, that’s for a long time, but often as the grandchildren grow more independent the doting narcissistic grandmother can show some nasty old traits.

In the meantime, protect your heart, appreciate the positive while it lasts and be prepared if something shifts.

Sincerely,
Michelle Piper

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Karen January 2, 2014 at 8:44 am

Just about every time I talk to any of my brothers, I discover something I never knew or realized my narcissistic mother pulled. This time it revolved around my brother Pete, (not real name). He was talking about how mom got him kicked out of the house at the age of 17.
She had been on her usual war path berating Pete non stop. She did this to all of us kids except of course Golden Boy brother Jim. Mom had gone on nagging Pete for several days, making his life a living hell. Mom would get right in your face with her venomous insults and put downs and lecturing. According to control freak mother, she claimed that Pat attacked her, digging his finger nails into her the whole length of her arm. She had her whole arm wrapped in gauze. I recall her showing me the track marks of where Pete allegedly raked her arm. Now over 30 years later, I realized the mom purposely raked her own claws down her arm, as Pet was stunned when I told him about the “injury” and gauze wrapped arm. He said that he pushed her away and that was it. She stormed off. He never knew anything about her wrapping her arm with gauze or the “injury”, as my spineless enabling father kicked my brother out of the house, much to the delight of narcissistic mother. In the past 10 years or so, I have put many puzzle pieces of the controlling and manipulative behavior of my mother. She has pulled a lot garbage on everyone, mostly psychological games. So the realizati0n that she intentionally injured herself in order to manipulate my father into kicking out my brother who was 17 at the time is blowing me away. I knew she played many manipulative and controlling head games, but intentionally injuring herself takes it to a whole new level. I cut my parents off over 10 years ago and occasionally think that just maybe in their old age, they’d change and we could once again have some kind of a relationship, but this newest revelation reinforces my complete distrust in them. The games will not end until each breathes their last.

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Todd January 12, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Michelle,

Thank you for your work. A bit over three years ago my former wife divorced me and filed for sole physical and legal custody of our children. I spent $120,000 so that I could see my children again and be a dad to them. I have read a substantial amount of work done by the likes of Bill Eddy from the Conflict Resolution Institute and in particular his work on identifying Borderline Personality Disorder permeating family courts when high conflict is involved. The lawyer which I retained and the head of her law firm have nearly 40 years of family law experience both repeatedly told me that they had never seen anything so cruel and out of control. Further they often talked about the abundance of evidence against my former wife as the most they had ever had. Unfortunately because I ran out of money just prior to the court hearing I had to settle for limited time with my children. I write this because I had been married for 14 years by the time the divorce was finalized. For the first 12 of those years we lived as a family 6 hours from my former wife’s mother and father. The last two years of our marriage we lived two blocks from my former in-laws. The first 12 years of marriage was so often described by my ex-wife as wonderful. She often talked about how happy she was being married to me and how she valued our relationship. The last two years while we lived two blocks from my in-laws our marriage quickly degraded into my former wife intensely distrusting me believing that I was hiding money, mentally deranged and emotionally disturbed, dysfunctional, a terrible father and husband, a financial disaster, and in love with chaos. All psychological testing, financial statements, career successes, testimony from teachers and neighbors and mutual friends overwhelmed her accusations. So much of what you have written resonates with me as I try to work through what happened. My former wife is frankly a golden child in the eyes of her mother and one of her two sisters is the scapegoat. Of the three girls there have now been six marriages and five divorces. In every case each on-going and former sons-in-law have ultimately been seen as horrible men and strongly by the mother-in-law to be divorced. My former mother-in-law was raped by her own father at age 15 and never sought help. I cannot describe how intensely hurt and afraid my child have been since all of this came down. It is impossible to describe my own hurt and struggle to find a way forward though thanks to good friends and family and my children’s continuing belief that I will never give up on them and that I treasure them I and the kids are finding a way to become whole. Every time I see my kids they describe their on-going frustration of their mother’s mother – their grandmother. Sadly, they have for the last year described their own mother’s behavior and words as that of a mother disposed toward a good number of the traits you and others have described as that of a narcissistic mother. They are many things tragic about all of this but one thing that saddens me is the fact that my former wife was so healthy and understood so much about her mother’s unhealthy relational and psychological tendencies only to become so much of what she hated in her own mother. I don’t know what a perfect man is and I don’t believe that I was perfect but I sure loved my former wife and cherished our life together even when it turned south the last couple of years. In those last two years I knew what was coming but tried to hope for the best and hope that we could get past the distrust and her accompanying anger and resentment. It didn’t happen obviously. She is a successful business person and highly talented but very insecure. Our last couple of years of marriage I spent mostly caring for the children at home. They were considered by teachers and all who knew them as very happy, very well behaved, well adjusted, and secure. Please keep up the good work. And again, thank you for your work as it helps a person like me to find a way to work through this nightmare of a chapter in my children’s lives and my life. When my kids open up to me as they often do your work and the work of others help me to walk through their journey with them. I love being a dad and for me this long dark chapter in our lives is the highest calling of my life and one for which I will never give up on. Blessings to you!
Todd

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Michelle Piper January 12, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Dear Todd,
I’m glad you found our community. I’m grateful to hear your kids open up to you and you continue to search for ways to respect their humanity and reinforce their spirit. Your dedication to their happiness and growth will never be lost on them.
Sincerely,
Michelle Piper

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withheld January 28, 2014 at 11:48 am

Dr. Michelle, Please help me know how to respond. My NM will ask me a question. I answer. Then she says, “That’s not my question” and will ask another similar to the first. I feel tricked. Please tell me how to respond to her habitual “that’s not my question” communication.

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Judy February 6, 2014 at 12:22 am

Dear Dr, Michelle,
Just having the opportunity to write my story, gave me some relief. Thank you so much for providing this forum. I feel that within this forum, my experiences and pain are taken seriously by others, as I believe theirs, coming from similar circumstances.

You’ve made “it” a little better to know that I’m not alone

I posted my story by ” Misty’s”

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Cynthia February 10, 2014 at 2:32 am

I just feel like under the “criminal narcissist” physical abuse of children should be included. I wasn’t really able to put her horrendous physical abuse in perspective until I was able to admit to myself that it was criminal. It’s against the law to brutally beat your child on a regular basis up until the time they leave home. It’s criminal. Period.

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Pauline February 22, 2014 at 7:27 pm

I finally wrote my own blog.

I have never needed to depend on my histrionic narcissistic mother, thank goodness, but she effects me now, in my 50s as she now lives close by (I have not lived with her as was raised by my grandparents i.e. her parents).

I watched the film “August, Osage, Orange County”, which had so many similarities to my own family and biological mother I was emotionally raw for days and it kicked off a fairly heavy depression. Be warned. So many things in that film. My mother isn’t a pill popper/alcoholic, but the rest is true.

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LeeAnn Train April 3, 2014 at 2:07 pm

This article describes Mama exactly.She recently passed and I don’t miss her.I lost her along time ago.Her golden child was my daughter. She used her to make all her other grandchildren and children jealous.She put me down,made f u n of my artwork.When my daughter made Christmas gifts she said”well,we all know who the real artist is.” I gave her a shawl and she said “that’s the most impractical gift I ever got.” She treated all of us badly. Her mini me was the middle sister who surname t o her every demand. Even after this sister had a heart attack and stroke ,the very day she got home Mama expected her to wait on her. She did. I couldn’t take her any longer and saw mama very little. I refused to be hurt and manipulated any further. My daughter,whom she called”facey” was destroyed by her Mama’s death. I hope some day she can see that Mama was a user.

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LCJones1955 April 4, 2014 at 5:02 pm

This is the on NM best I have read so far…this is my biography, the story of my life. I often wonder how she treat me in while I was still in the crib. Once I was old enough to have memories I remember sitting in my closet at 2 or 3 yrs of age and rocking really fast. She found it amusing and would laugh at me. Little did I know I was self soothing myself.
She died last year. I was told to make peace with her….why,she owed me a million apologies that never came, her last words were mean and evil. My father wouldn’t allow me to see the witch in her last days least I upset her LOL. Can you believe it upset her? Still, after all those years he was still protecting his “little doll”
Well, how do you fix a life that’s so broken that to me getting out of bed, taking care of the pets and making a semi attempt to keep the house reasonably neat is in my mind a victory ( not really I feel like I have failed at live)
She was so by the book N that when I got upset because she told a waiting room full of strangers that a gyno asked if a discharge I had “stunk” (I was 12 and having to go to the gyno back in 1967 was bad enough) and I begged her to please not go on about it, she went into a rage because I dared to tell her what to do and “She was the mother”
I unfortunately was the kind of kid that was anxious to begin with….she totally wrecked me. I really think I could have bloomed under the right parents…..

I thank you because you validate us. For all my friends..and Facebook reunites us with people we never thought we would ever see again…..that keep saying how much fun mother dear was. You here all know she wasn’t. I don’t need to explain the horrors she inflicted.
Again, thank you!

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Anonymous April 7, 2014 at 12:26 pm

I am incredibly fortunate to come across your info on the net and downloaded your booklet. As I sat in the car at my daughter’s dance school, I read and read ….. fully immersed. And now I’m at your site for the first time. I’m anxious to read the vast amounts of experiences and information on your site. It took me 50 years, even though my friends have been telling me for the last 35 and my poor husband the last 23 years, that it wasn’t me. I’m almost 54 and am awakened but awake without a mom. It’s not because of me but it’s about me. Clarity is empowering and but so deeply, ‘little-girl-tears’ painful. The memories of lifetime snippettes are not muddled any more but are transparent, defined and validated. I learned and survived from the very, very, very best, most imbalanced poor soul if there ever were one (‘Barb’). I am gratefully indebted to an associate who shared an article with me that propped me up on the hearth to healing, so eternally grateful. I’ll forward to you. I’m anxious to share my stories (and we all have some pretty big whoppers!!) with all who are interested because each narcissist has their own set of blueprints (and I have a BA in Clinical Psychology!!). Good news everyone; knowledge is power, we are not alone, we are very, very sane and balanced and kind and giving and gentle and lovely, AND we are parents that DO NOT ALLOW this to touch our precious children. Truly, if I can start to make it back, we all can. Peace, healing, balance, and love to all ~~

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Anonymous April 8, 2014 at 6:06 am

Hi All~ what another journey the last 24 hours have been. Finding inspiration, strength, & courage to reach out, I am gathering the written notes of my ill mother. I actually feel fortunate that I’ve kept these articles of proof over the years as it is the ‘smoking gun’, her legacy of ownership. It is liberating to finally realize actualization, “it’s not me!!!”

Techno-challenged (lol!), I will be starting a blog (watch for it) – for the sole purpose of lighting a way for those who still seek answers (and to heal and balance me).

I believe the answer is us, my dear community. It is us. And for all of us, there are many stabbing wounds that we remember vividly, inflicted so individually, and some we come to realize once the dust settles. And through the days, years, and decades of sorrow, lonliness, sanity questioning, indescribable pain of perceived abandonement, the why’s and self review that leads to nothing, the depths of low, the incredible effort to be acknowledged and unconditionally loved, we survive. We survive and rebuild …. and that speaks to our constitution.

The article is just spoke about is by Parish Miller. It literally saved my sanity.

I feel bad for my mother, glad for me, and sad for her. I, along with my family, escaped and I’m ok without my abuser. Our family is more peaceful than ever. Do I miss her? Yep …. like a junkie that wants a hit because it feels familiar. And eventually it needs to be vomited up and out.

Today is another new day I wake up …… and I know it’s not me! And I ask for peace, healing and love for all.

Michelle~ thank you for your important work. This is an awakening of epic porportions.

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