Adult Children of Narcissists

by Michelle Piper

Adult Children of Narcissists (ACON’s) sometime fear that narcissism breeds narcissism.

While this may hold true in a minority of cases, it is not always what happens, especially when a child grows to realize that the family he or she was brought up in is not the norm. You may realize and that your childhood experiences are not something you want to replicate in the new life you are making for yourself.

Narcissistic parents are incredibly jealous and envious of their children when they see them grow and develop into an independent self. As you may know, they will do anything in their power to keep you with them as long as possible, to keep stroking their thirsty but fragile egos.

What happens when you grow up, venture out onto your own (reluctantly allowed to do so by your narcissistic parent) and realize that life outside of that narcissistic bubble isn’t what real life is about? It is enough to make anybody’s head reel from the contradictions of what “love” was when you were growing up, to what “love” actually is.

When you, an adult child of narcissistic parents, grows up, you may feel something is wrong but cannot necessarily identify what that is. You may have always associated love and appreciation with conforming to the demands of your parents and therefore assume that is how it all works.

You were “parentified” as a kid, taking on the role of a parent to be emotionally and psychologically responsible for the well-being of your narcissistic parent, when it really should have been the other way around.

You may not have realized the stigmatizing effects that this has had on you until you grew up into your own person. It takes a toll on the self-esteem, self-concept, self-worth, and altogether life satisfaction. During childhood, siblings often mistake “parentification” as favoritism and resent or compete with you.  Quite the burden, I’d say.

There are typically two types of responses displayed by parentified children. Let me know if these sound familiar.

You have the compliant response and the siege response.

The compliant response is much what it sounds like, complacency reigns supreme in your adult life. You may spend a great deal of time caring for others (much like you had to do growing up), always trying to please those around you, and do whatever it takes to maintain a harmonious atmosphere, which usually means that your needs are put on the back burner. This may have caused you to be self-deprecating, feeling that you can give and give, but it will never be good enough.

Then there is the siege response, the complete opposite of the compliant adult child of a narcissist. If this is/was you, then you were probably defiant and rebellious, protecting yourself by becoming less sensitive or walled off and extremely independent.

You would do whatever you had to do to manipulate others and treat them as if they are the parents who wanted you to meet their every expectation. This is more or less a passive-aggressive attack on your parents through other people, doing to others what you wish you could’ve done to your narcissistic parent.

The fear of abandonment is a common theme among children with a narcissistic parent, as you may know. Always having to earn love from them and knowing that it can be taken away if the needs of your parent are not met is a heavy load for any child to carry, especially when you are the one that needs to be nurtured, shown empathy, and be taken care of.

This can carry on into adulthood, feeling that you need to perform to the standards set by your spouse or significant other. You might feel that you are only there to serve your counterpart, always feeling less skilled and deserving than the other, and doing whatever is needed to prove yourself in the relationship.

In many families with a narcissistic parent, children are used as pawns and played off one another for the amusement of the parent. If you have brothers and/or sisters this may be familiar to you. There is typically a golden child and one or more scapegoats. Usually, the daughters of narcissistic mothers are chosen as the scapegoats, while the son(s) are chosen as the golden child(ren).

Your narcissistic mother may have cast you in all of these roles, abruptly changing your purpose when it suited her needs. This sudden demotion or promotion can be enraging or devastating to a child. Which role or roles did you play?

The golden child is the extension of the narcissistic parent, the perfect child that can do no wrong and is mirrored as a replication of the parent’s wonderfulness. Proper boundaries are not made between the golden child and the narcissistic parent, giving a sense of oneness between the two that leaves little or no room for the child to develop his or her own identity. As this adult child of a narcissist grows, he or she feels entitled to this same treatment, expecting others to act in the same way the parent did. Sound familiar?

Then there is the scapegoat, the outcast, the family member or members that take the blame for anything and everything that goes wrong. This child can never measure up to the golden child, even if he or she has greater accomplishments or does better in their life than the puppet of the parent.

Scapegoats are always seeking approval only to be turned down and made to feel inadequate for even attempting to outshine the golden child. This can cause a major rift between siblings, always competing with one another in a lose-lose situation where the referee is not fairly judging the players. Does that hit close to home?

As the scapegoat grows and ventures out into the world of freedom, they have a firmer grasp on their independence than the golden child does, as that child has never been allowed to be independent in their life.

I guess you can say that, retrospectively, the scapegoat is the lucky one. You may or may not agree. Typically, scapegoats can break free from the twisted and distorted dynamics of their dysfunctional family, and break the ties binding them to the abusive life that they were forced to lead. They have more of an opportunity to create a healthy life outside of their family.

However, the burdens they carried from childhood can still play a role in their adult lives. In the workplace, the scapegoat has a tendency to be overworked and underpaid even if their work is superior to others. They can be marginalized and never have the sense that they fit in comfortably with those around them, much like how they felt during childhood.

Scapegoats often do realize that this is a problem and are more apt to seek out professional help and psychotherapy than their other family members. If you happened to be the scapegoat in your family and have taken the steps to recover, you may have sought support from many different sources including meditation, spirituality, and truly loving relationships. What things have helped you to heal and have a better life? I would greatly appreciate your feedback.

With your narcissistic parent, you were most likely devalued and extremely under-appreciated. In the larger world away from the old narcissistic family system, you have the opportunity to be valued for your opinions, values and needs.

You find you can find others who allow you to express yourself and give a nurturing response to your own beliefs and needs. It can help you to recognize that you are an adequate human with positive attributes and skills to share with the world.

You learn that it is not your fault that your parent did not love you or show any empathy towards you, which is something that you really need—to be rid of the guilt and weight you have borne for so long.

I think The Beatles had it right: all you need is love.  And, for those who had narcissistic parents, sometimes it takes awhile to figure out what love is.

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{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

karen July 6, 2016 at 5:19 am

I’m 34 years old and just realised my father has NPD. I never knew, although I knew that he was abusive both emotionally and physically. I thought all of that was in the past, but thinking about it, we live in different continents and I never see him longer than a few days every few years, so perhaps I couldn’t spend enough time that really he hadn’t changed all that much after all. From what I know he has only been physically abusive to me, not to my brother, my mother or his new wife (my mum died when I was 15)

Anyway, this month is the first time that I have spent more than a few days with him. After day two he already started his usual anger patterns, but after being in therapy for 2 years and learning how to set boundaries I tried to communicate with him that I cannot be spoken to like that any more and we need to find new ways of communicating. He was actually very understanding and I thought that’d be the end of it. A few days ago though he had an anger outburst that I haven’t experienced for nearly 20 years, since I was 15 years old and he abused me physically which resulted in me trying to run away from home. He had the same crazy glaring eyes like he is looking at the devil. His rage towards me is so terrifying. And it made me realise he still hasn’t changed one bit. I find it terrifying that he thinks he has the right over my body like that, and that he blames me for it because he says I am the only one that can make him this angry. So he demanded to apologise to him for making him angry. It is so insane to me, thank god I realise now that it is seriously wrong. And thank god I found this site, I realise now that he is a narcissist and always has been. That I did nothing wrong, that it’s ok for me to set boundaries.

I am wondering what to do now. I feel like there is no way I can explain to him what he has done to me. But his new wife (who really believes in ‘the family’ ) urges me to speak to him before I leave. She wants us all to be one big happy family, but I cannot imagine how that can be possible. I will keep educating myself through different blogs and sites, and see what I will do. For the last four days I have been terrified just to hear his voice in the next room, I got rushes of anxiety so I know I cannot speak to him face to face. I imagine the only thing forward now is distance. He uses the things he does for me as amunition and makes me feel guilty for not doing what he wants, like I am selfish for having boundaries. And I must be selfish because look at all the amazing things he does for me (driving me to places, giving me money. all material things, but he never asks about my life, my pain, or anything that feels real to me)

Anyway thank you for this site and I hope I can keep finding answers from reading people’s stories.


Lydia August 3, 2016 at 1:49 pm

Hi Karen,
I am new here too but have a few years of experience “knowing” that I grew up with at least one NP (my mom) and most likely both (ie, my dad). I am definitely the SG and my brothers are both The GC’s to my parents. I am responding to you b/c I’m about 18 years ahead of where it sounds like you are.

At 24 I married an N.(Can you guess why I could not tell he was an N?) We have two wonderful, smart kids. But as the marriage went on, his controlling behavior, his complaints and abusiveness (and gaslighting) took such a toll on all of us —unbelievable. Got divorced in 2011. And it was pure hell, getting away from his control with my kids intact. But on top of my EX having a problem, my NP’s were mad at me because my divorce “made them look bad.” (In their words). Yes, a dutiful daughter should put up with an N crazy-making marriage just to keep her parents “looking good.*

If I could tell my 34 year old self anything, it would be this : Go back home (to the other continent) and read as much as you can about NPD and stay away from your NP. Ms. Piper had great resources. Find support. Please do not go back (or email or call) your NP to “explain” what you’ve learned about him. He has his own issues. Part of the problem with NPD’s is that you can talk til you are blue…. for years. But to them, the problem always has and will remain with You. It barely matters that you are talking to them. They aren’t listening.

My parents live 3 states away (ahem, they are also 22 years divorced, btw). At 34 I tried talking to my mother about my feelings. Heart to heart. I got nowhere. Now 18 years later I’m post divorce, they are mad at me and — I feel wonderfully free. Like I don’t have to babysit the horrible neighborhood kids anymore!

Finding this website has helped me reconfirm my commitment to recover from my NP’s…..After the latest crazy-call from my mom June 30, I decided to go NC for 365. I’m not going to drop out completely (ie, stay on social media, not interact much, and send cards,) but have *as little* in person contact as possible. I didn’t tell her, I just started. And guess what? My life has peace now.

Can I regain 50+ years of life back? No I cannot. So what I’m saying to you is to go now, be free; go home; do the thing your NP probably said was a ridiculous idea. Take time for your life now. In our childhoods, the Big Bad Wolf of fairy tales was ALSO living WITH us — and in charge of our lives. Most people don’t get this– at all. So let it go trying to convince others. Just keep your life moving in a positive direction.

Yes it stings not to have “normal” (ie, loving) parents like the rest of the world seems to have at holiday time. But you are worthy and thoughtful. And have done all you can do. Leave the ball in you NP’s court. If he wants to play, simple rules must be followed. Be ready if he doesn’t want to play too. Wishing you many happy years ahead!


Lydia August 6, 2016 at 11:29 am

Learning the Lingo…
I guess I am not going NC above but LC.
Thanks for your patience!


Alison January 29, 2017 at 10:28 pm

Just compelled to respond for the first time ever, after reading your message; God bless you and thank you so very much for your honesty and understanding! So refreshing to read your message and grasp your experiences and expression! It’s been 10 years of NC with my narcissistic mother, and she’s made a great effort to try to get me to unreal and open that TOXIC DOOR. I struggle daily, yet know there’s nothing positive on the other side of that door, and remind myself daily. Was needing to read some heartfelt words to stand firm once again, and I warmly thank you for sharing! Bless you for helping me tonight.


Joy October 28, 2016 at 9:33 am

Karen, I can totally relate to you. Your situation is very similar to my own. You can try and have a relationship with these people, but now matter what you do you will always be to blame for something. I find that even if I avoid them by not going to family functions, I’m still the black sheep of the family. There really is no winning with these people. No matter what you do, say, feel, etc. It’s never the right performance, word, emotion or I’ve even had them say that my expression on my face is totally wrong. The expression one is my personal favorite. I just want to scream and say, pardon the hell out of me but if you don’t like it then don’t look at it. After all, this is the face God gave me! I bet you have had those moments too. I’m glad we have this blog! It feels good to be able to talk to people who understand something that has taken me almost 50 years to figure out! Keep reading the posts of the others and keep your head up! You are stronger than you think! I find myself a little stronger every time I read another post & I bet you will too!


Joy November 6, 2016 at 4:41 pm

HI Joy…believe it or not, my name is also Joy.

I had an epiphany just yesterday. That my mother is indeed, a narcissistic mother. Making this discovery has made me feel light and “free”. hard to explain. But everything seems to make sense now. Not that I am at all happy about this revelation, but I always carried around a sense that there was something wrong with ME. Or why would my own mother be so cold and uncaring. It’s taken me 53 years of disappointments, trying to please her, trying to win her approval, her month long silences. And now I know, SHE IS NARCISSISTIC.

If you would like to chat, please contact me.


Joy A. Jones November 7, 2016 at 6:18 am

Hi Joy! Wow, that seems so very strange! Yes, I would like very much to communicate with you. It would be so nice to talk to someone who knows exactly what narcissism feels like. Just let me know how I can get in contact with you. I’m very leery of giving out information on a public forum. You can never be to safe with identity thieves and all the other types of electronic trolls out there! I wasn’t smart enough on my own to figure out things with my father. My husband actually was the one to use the term “narcissist”. The very moment he said that word, the floodgate opened for me! I saw things from a totally different point of view. I guess, now more than ever, I’m just angry at myself for being suckered into his mind games. I recently found out that he has committed tax fraud, which just further confirms that he is a LIAR. You are not alone. Having a parent like this makes you question everything you know about love. My biggest fear was that I might be doing the same things he has done to my family. I spent several days reading and looking for information on this. When I read the statement that narcissists will never admit that anything is wrong — there was an instant sigh of relief. I was able to see for myself that I can admit when things I do or say are WRONG! My father cannot and will not accept responsibility for anything he has ever done. It is always the other parties problem etc. Yes, I would like very much to communicate with you. We have a lot in common! Just keep reading the posts! When I’m having a weak moment, I come to this site and start reading! It helps me to center my thoughts and snap out of that vicious thought cycle that narcissists like to keep us caught up in. Break free my friend!


Claire November 25, 2016 at 5:28 pm

It was a relief when I realized my mother was a narc. She also has OCD, depression and was such a nasty, self-centered bully that I knew something was wrong with her. I felt so much shame, finding out about OCD was a help, now with the narc info I feel so much better. None of the craziness was my fault. For decades I thought there was something wrong with me, apart from being lazy, ungrateful, selfish, clumsy, fat, etc etc as my mother reminded me daily. I hated her so much. No one understood. But I do, finally understand what was going on, and it is liberating.


Alison January 29, 2017 at 10:41 pm

Thanks Joy for your warm offer of; if I would like to chat. I would, as I have learned that moving forward and staying positive for me requires more than NC, daily yoga, prayers, physical exercise, and creative projects. I’m 51, retired Educator, and learned about narcissistic behavior due to my ex-fiance’ s nightmare actions. The more I read and learned about narcissistic behavior, the more I realized my mother was one as well. So much makes sense now, and I’m thrilled I am single, living a peaceful, grateful, and joyful life!!


Taylor May 22, 2017 at 11:34 am

For the 1st time I finally feel empowered. I just read how your mom talks about the expression on your face….My mom talks about my big forehead and how my eyes are different sizes. No family functions for me..I’ve been robbed of a childhood, and she has been and still is using whatever tactic she can to keep me from having close relationships with family…. still not sure what she tells them but they just look at me funny and talk over me when I try to fit in as a adult. Lonely life…she’s on her death bed and the scapegoat (ME of course) stuck caring for her. My sister and brother have no empathy for me, they say just ignore her or that’s just my imagination….I could go on and on but THANK YOU for sharing. ..I think I found the path now I’ve been looking for 🙂


Zil January 16, 2017 at 4:08 pm

Hi Karen
Its so hard when you desperately want them to ‘get it’ – get it and care.

But how do you get a blind person to ‘get’ the colour blue ?
How do you get a deaf person to ‘get’ the sound of music ?

Of course we cannot – because we understand that they are born without sight or born without hearing.
And a Narc is ‘born’ without empathy. Who knows when that birth took place but its there and they prove it time and time again.

The problem seems to lie in our need to get empathy from them and thinking that because we can care, all humans are capable of ‘care’.

I love to remind myself that I could go out and acquire myself a piano – but that does not make me a pianist. Worse – I could be tone deaf and THINK I was banging away and those sounds so satisfying to my tone deaf ears – so damaging to others – but if I am also blind – well I cant register the reactions on their faces.

A human can so easily acquire a child – all it takes is a five minute event !! But that does not make them ‘a parent’.

When my father died i wept and was puzzled becasue I loathed him. My good friend who was a psychologist gave a simple yet profound insight. You are not weeping for the father you lost yesterday, but for the realisation that any hope of having the father you hoped for is finally dashed.


Nina July 19, 2016 at 8:33 am

I am a 58 years old and realized my mother has NPD 16 years ago. I was her parent nearly all my life, a reversal of our roles. It all started when I was 15, my brother, the golden child was sent away to college and my dad escaped her by going to his garden outside the city. I was left in charge. She decided for me all my life, from boyfriend to work and to husband. I fell in love and got engaged with I was 18, my NPD mother started an affair with my fiance’s brother, he was 20 and she was in her late forties. She made such a mess that I ended up in bed for one year with nervous break down. She sent me to another country when I turned 24 with 200 usd in my pocket. I still cannot figure out why she did that? To tell her friends and relatives that she has a daughter studying in America?
I cried my eyes out when I was forced to marry a guy I did not love and moved to Europe. Again I agreed and decided to make the best out of my married life. She came on a visit, stayed for 3 months and I allowed her to ruin my 12 years of marriage.
After my divorce, I moved to a third country in Europe and started a new life this time all on my own. I bought my own furniture, my own taste, my own house and fell in love again with a lovely man. All this time I was responsible for her well being, finances and emotions. Her phone calls at midnight terrorized me. She came for another long visit, huge fights, tantrums, anger, the crazy look…she even cut her long hair short herself with kitchen scissors. I begged her to stop and had another nervous break down. She was so cold I never forget the way she looked at me when the paramedics took me to the hospital. Again to please her I allowed her to ruin my life.
One day I came across an article about NPD and realized that my mother is sick. I kept my life in Europe and visited her as much as I could, the golden child was not speaking to her anymore, she was getting old and lonely. I felt responsible and had compassion.
She had a bad fall a few months ago, for two months, I stayed up at nights and took care of her during the day doing all the possible care and work. One day she told me that I should leave, then she sent my brother to ask me to leave several time. I was food poisoned and could not do as much work for her, again she sent my brother to my room to ask me to leave. She said that I should not forget that she was the sick person. The last episode happened when I was helping her in the bathroom, she looked at me with rage and crazy eyes and said I wished her dead. I said why do you dislike me so much? and she replied I dont dislike you, I hate you. I stayed on for two more weeks to help her getting back on her feet. Once again she told me in a very normal tone and look that I wished her dead. I booked my ticket and returned to my life.
I am going through a rough period, blaming myself for being so naiive, wanting her love all my life, hating her, feeling sorry for her because she has NPD….she does not call me as often, her golden child is back to her and they are very happy together. I am almost completely excluded from the family. I am reading a lot and seeking professional help. I am firm with her and do not allow her to talk about herself much. My contact with her is very limited, I miss her calls because I am used to it all my life, I am a NPD escape goat.


sheva February 10, 2017 at 6:57 pm

Nina what a story of survival.


Rai August 2, 2016 at 7:01 pm

I don’t ever reply to stories or posts Nina, but I just had to with yours! The way Scapegoat children of narcissists do the ‘right thing ‘by their parents, are honorable and loyal and kind, is amazing. They are good people. I understand how shattering it is. I get the abuse. The longing. The confusion. The compassion. I understand every emotion. But it is time for you now. It is time to live your life. I just feel the need to say to you, go do your journey. Be kind, loyal, honorable to yourself. You have a lot to give the world, learn how to give to people who will honor you for it. It’s a long road, but the right one. I wish you every happiness.


Jessika Rankins August 7, 2016 at 3:34 am

My mother and father and both grandmothers are narcissistic my mother threw me on the streets like a dog twice out of anger and insecuritys she let my step dad mistreat me and my sisters constantly and blamed us for making him mad and saying he did more for us than our real dad i tell you my mom slept with 3 diffrent men to have us so me and my sisters have 3 diffrent fathers plus she had abortons and even aborted my step dads child she put my dad on child support for my sister knowing his best friend fathered my sister and he’s mad at her about her evilness and punishes and mistrests. Me and she tries to control my life who I’m dating my friends my jobs my car where i stay she picks all of that if i stand up for myself she gives me the silent treatment or aabandon me and try to make herself out as the victim and turn my sisters against me because they are afraid of her i am not I’m just ready to snapp im mentally exhaused i got stuck in a flood snd my car interior was flooded but the car was fine when i asked her to pick me up from a gas station i remind you the water was up to my knees she was worried about the car not me i was tired wet i had to walk thru water filled with snakes sewage etc i could have drowned the first thing sje did was fuss at me about the car not caring about me i hate her so much and then recently. Myy window on my car fell in we thought someone broke into my car this happened at the apartments she picked for me to move in crime ridden and dangerous apartments she gone blame me for the window by saying it was my fault the theft (we thought a theft) took the window because i quit my job so i if i wouldnt quit my job i could have moved hmmm see what i mean


CC August 7, 2016 at 8:17 pm

I see myself in so much of this. My mother was hugely narcissistic and I, as her youngest daughter was placed in both the role of Golden child and then Scapegoat, bounced back and forth between the two extremes. To make this 1000x worse and make me feel completely crazy and hopeless, my mother also sexually abused me and I was placed in the role of caretaker, spouse, confidante, sex therapist, perfect extension of her. I was Golden as long as I never, ever showed any iota of independence or desire to connect with any other family member, friend, outside support. When she became depressed she told me she was saving up her pills and would kill me then herself, to “save us from the pain of this world”. I am 45 and still caught in her clutches though I hate her, yet pity her, and still wonder if I am simply crazy and have made everything up. But I haven’t. Often I think the only way to free myself from this mess is through suicide. It is so hard to deal with the fact that my own mother would do the things she has done to me. Everyone else sees me as the drama queen, bad guy, one who is making her life difficult. No one supports me and the truth of what really went on as a child or what continues to go on to this day. I really see no way out.


Jan September 20, 2016 at 1:20 pm

You must believe this: You are not a drama queen. You are not a bad person. This is ALL your mother’s doing. You were trained from birth by this twisted woman to always believe there is something wrong with YOU. There isn’t. The trauma and confusion you feel is NORMAL when dealing with these sick monsters. Like you, I ping-ponged between Golden and Scapegoat. Like you, I was abused by a family member with knowledge of other family members. You are not the bad guy. (1) Please see a therapist who is trained in healing from abuse. (2) Research Narcissistic Mothers on the internet — there are hundreds of thousands of us damaged daughters out there. Join blogs that resonate with you. You are NOT alone. (3) Consider stopping or severely limiting your contact with your toxic mother. (4) Hang in there! I am 54 and I can tell you it does get better….


Andrew M September 7, 2016 at 4:13 am

My mother is the most horrific sadistic narcissist. Her abuses; physical and psychological are so disgusting it’s just not worth writing them here. What has constantly amazed (and depressed me at times) is that it took so many years for me to see the reality of the situation and begin to understand that my childhood and adolescence was in no way “normal”(ie, a loving, caring family) . I was about 43. Since then I’ve been in therapy for over three years and cut my parents out of my life about two years ago and no longer see them at all. I can honestly say that I had no healthy self esteem or self regard whatsoever, for the vast majority of my life…..I find it mind-boggling. which in turn, leads to me asking myself “am I making this all up?” “did it really happen?”, as looking at reality and accepting and admitting what happened to me has seemed virtually impossible at times.

However, I do feel that therapy is the answer (for me at least). It’s taken way longer than I thought it would take, has been way harder than I ever imagined possible, and has been a lonelier journey than anyone would wish to experience…but….it’s worth it and I do have Hope, i do have a sense of self. I have learnt to “love” myself and my crushed inner child. It’s not easy and there are many times when i’ve thought “I can’t do this” or “I’m never going to recover from the past” but I’ve kept going, and intend to carry on with the therapeutic journey. Any time I really feel like I want to give up I just think about the past and about how I was and i realize that there isn’t really a choice; I have to keep going as there is no way that I’m ever going back to living as the abused child.


Ken G September 11, 2016 at 9:11 am


I, too, am a survivor of a NM’s abuse and manipulations. I cut off all contact with my parents 10 and 1/2 years ago. I had just turned 40 years old at the time of the cut off.

I went through therapy for 13 years, on and off….equal amounts given to both on and off, and had been told by my therapist that I simply had normal reactions to highly abnormal situations, and that the only thing wrong with me was continuing to remain in abusive situations…even attracting such situations through the other avenues in my life such as friends, coworkers, etc. She told me that I had a virtual tape recorder in my mind that was continuously playing on a loop and that I needed to learn how to shut off that virtual tape recording, as it was continuing to unravel my life….even though I’d been moved out on my own for some years. She told me that my self-esteem was very low and that any parental approval that I was seeking would never come and to learn how to be more self-approving.

Yes, I had countless moments where I thought of throwing in the proverbial towel, thinking that I would never get better. This was due to the fact that I was still in contact with my NM and my enabling father and taking their abuse all along. There were many moments when I thought to myself, “Did I really concoct this whole abuse/manipulation thing in my head, just like she always said I did? Is my reality really so altered that maybe I misunderstood everything and really did make myself crazy?” I truly thought that maybe I was beyond any help and many times wondered if I should stop seeking therapy. At one time, I thought that maybe my counselor was giving me the wrong advice and had been seeking to dismantle my life. But I kept going anyway and finally, in 2000, I realized that I needed to make changes in my life and get rid of the source of my pain. Thing is, it didn’t truly happen until March of 2006. That was when I finally let go of my parents and decided I wasn’t going to feel better if I kept them in my life. I’d just turned 40 years old a month before, and I finally realized that my life was going nowhere fast unless I got rid of the very heavy baggage that I’d been carrying around my entire life up to that point.

I did feel guilt after exiting the scene….even beating myself up because I thought, “How could I do this to them, they are my parents!” It was the better part of 3 years before that guilt finally faded and my reality began to change. My life took a better turn and the depression, guilt and panic attacks had finally calmed down. I also began to realize that I was capable of some pretty amazing things, despite having been told all my life what a loser I was and how I always messed things up.

No, my life isn’t filled with riches and wealth, materially speaking. However, the wealth of knowledge I’ve gained through the hurt and pain I went through has now become and invaluable tool and I do try to help others around me who are in pain. It has caused me to become more sympathetic and compassionate toward others and my own experiences with the pain have helped me gain so much insight into the inner-workings of the human heart, mind and spirit. I live my life for the experiences, as I know I can’t take material wealth with my to the grave. I share nothing but love and concern for others who are in pain and who need a hand to reach out to them. But I am also careful not to fall for everyone who tells me their sob stories either….as I am aware that there are many who wish to take advantage of me and let me enable them, rather than helping them get themselves back on their feet again. But the knowledge and the wisdom I’ve gained from my own pain and the journey to wellness and being able to help others has been overwhelmingly rewarding and even my success in my own job….it has all shown me that I was right about myself when I was a child, just before the abuse and manipulation began (around age 8)….that I was a good person.

So keep up the therapy and keep your eyes facing forward. If guilt or self-doubt arises, just tell yourself out loud, “It’s a lie and I’m not listening to you!” There truly IS life, love and new horizons awaiting you and it really IS possible to come out from underneath all that toxicity that has been a huge part of your life for all these years!! I’m living proof and speak from 50 years of experience that healing is truly possible and that guilt and manipulation have no more place in my life anymore!

Good luck and best wishes!


Jan September 20, 2016 at 1:07 pm

Great article. I think when I was young I sort of the Golden Child #2 with my brother being GC #1. I can as an adult relate to Scapegoat completely. I was stunned at the description of the Scapegoat in the workplace — yes yes yes! I sought out years of therapy which none of my 4 siblings did, or did half-heartedly. From what I have read, I agree that the Scapegoat is usually the only one to gain freedom from the Narcissistic Parent(s) by going No Contact. The others are too invested in being lesser Narcissists or Enablers. So, in a strange way, it can be a blessing. Another blessing is that, after a lifetime of dysfunctional relationships, at 54 I am in a 15 year marriage with a man who completely loves and accepts me right down to my toes. This, along with Cognitive therapy, has given me the vision and the strength to go No Contact and to work to undo some of the damage.


Bonnie Mae September 26, 2016 at 10:55 pm

I’ve just black holed my Narc mother for the last time. As I’ve been here before and then gotten pulled back into her supply. But, I can’t forgive her anymore, she tried to ruin the most special time in my life with her controlling games, manipulations, guilt ridden demands, obligations disguised fickle generosity.
It all broke loose when I told my Nmum and enabling father to leave my house (it’s actually her house, that my partner and I are renting from her) cause I couldn’t trust their behaviour anymore.
I had just given birth to my first baby, my narc mum made my birth and post partem time all about her, she told me how I was meant to include her, and because I ignored her demands – I got the silent treatment for the week after I gave birth. I live next door to my mother so it felt extra cruel – as she deliberately ignored messages and the pictures I sent of my new baby. She then turned I at my house unnounced (another of her boundary stomping techniques) acting as if nothing happened. I had it out with her, told her I felt so abandoned at such a vulnerable time in my life. She actually apologised assured my she was sorry and was actually really sick so couldn’t call me (even though she called my brother during this time to discuss plans to look after his son, and my partner saw her at the local markets even though she was ‘so’ sick), I wanted to keep the peace so I accepted it her apology..
She and my father then continued their routine of turning up unannounced to see the ‘her’ baby, they would ignore me, not ask after my wellbeing or how we were going as new parents. She didn’t give a hoot.. My father even said i needed to let my mother have my newborn to give me a ‘break’ to which I refused. They got hostile I asked them to leave. I said I am sick of her not respecting me as a new mother. – she told me to ‘get over it’. Must have been all the years of cumulative emotional abuse, the entitlement they felt they had over my new baby and the complete disregard for me as their daughter – but I told the to get out, I’m not proud of my anger outburst, but while ask them to leave I told my mother ‘I don’t like you’.
She then threatened to kick me out of her house, and assured me that she will show me how nasty she can get.
And She did, that night her and my father ‘served’ me, my partner and my 3 week old a ‘notice of termination of tenancy’ – a kick out notice.
Fickle love she felt for her new grandchild indeed.
I’ve protected myself with legal advice – she can’t actually kick us it until late 2017. I Have cut all contact, my partner is communicating to her about her pathetic attempts to still control is with money owing in bills. I won’t be forgiving her again. – or rug sweeping as the other side of the coin goes.
Instead I have dropped he rope and focused on my own wellbeing, self care and protecting my child from her toxic influence – even though I still live next door, I am detaching and getting my strength back. I refuse to give her a supply. She has no way of controlling me if I give her nothing. And the more strength I get back, the more sad and pathetic I see the situation as.
But,I love myself enough to realise there is no relationship to have with her that doesn’t result in me releasing all of myself to her. And thanks. – but no thanks. My own family deserves a mother that is happy and secure, not miserable always seeking approval.


Jan M September 28, 2016 at 7:33 am

I have been the scapegoat for five decades. My mother had seven children to meet her needs, and I was pegged the bad one. We didn’t get bedtime stories. Instead we had to cream her back before bedtime. I nevr had time for homework–meal prep and clean-up intervened. We were and are her minions. She is now 85. My father just passed away: he told me on his deathbed that my siblings were so good and helpful. I was told, “You are the one we had our ups and downs with.” He begged me to become a good person! Yup, I tried so hard, but it never worked. Decades ago, my sister asked me to be her bridesmaid–my mom talked her out of it. “You were never close to Jan.” She took my boyfriends aside to tell them how selfish I was. I was the only univeristy graduate without roses. They didn’t bother, but oh, yes, my sisters got them. On and on. She told me when I majored in psychology at university that maybe I could figure out why I was so crazy. At that time I believed it. This is a mom that had one of her daughters, one of the most obedient, not me, stay home from Grade 12 classes one day every week to babysit the little ones, so my mom could lunch with the ladies. Needless to say, I became so crippled emotionally I never married until 44 and gave up having children. I felt entirely worthless. But now I feel like I have a second chance at age 62. I am finally strong enough to break away–when I refused to sign a document giving up all rights to my father’s will to my mother–the family said they were taking legal action against me. So I was forced to sign. I knew then I had to leave. I am being blamed for being mean to my mother! But now I feel free–the control with money is nothing compared to freedom.


jo October 10, 2016 at 8:39 pm

Jan Your story is so similar to mine. I walked away from my family at 50 when they made me choose between my fiance or them. The whole family Mum, Dad, Sister and her son ganged up on me. They felt he was boring. Not their cup of tea. He is such a decent and kind hearted man and the best thing to ever come into my life. I choose him. It cost me a family a lot of money but in the end I got my freedom. It has taken a number of years to release the guilt to understand that the lack of self esteem and the abandonment issues I had all stemmed from my upbringing. I had spent years attracting men that were narcistic or, violent, controlling addicted to substances. I too was addicted to alcohol. But all that has changed, I have cleaned up my health, I have made choices to heal my heart my inner child and give her the love she never received. I have made peace with my child hood I have set my family free. In my heart I have forgiven them and let them go. I will never see them again I know this and recently I did a google search and found my father had passed away. Sad way to find out about it but at least I know he is in peace now and free of my NM. I wish them no harm but I also have no desire to connect with them again. I will move forward healing myself and developing genuine heart felt relationships with others. I never gave up on myself and at the end of the day I am learning to truly appreciate myself. Like one of the other people in this forum wrote I have much more compassion for people who struggle with self esteem issues and self worth. I love to connect with these people and help them to see a better future for them selves. The most amazing thing happens when you walk away from this toxic environment a greater appreciation for real people and normal environments. I am now truly blessed in my life to be with a wonderful compassionate and caring man who without his strength and belief in me I may never have had the strength to walk away from the families influence. Be strong believe in your self and listen to that broken soul telling you to get out. It will be the best thing you could do for yourself. Blessings to you all.


Sandy October 18, 2016 at 12:50 pm

I am not sure where to start but I know my mother is a NP. I have know for many years but each time something occurs it still hurts. I am 58 and came to realize this after I widowed at 38 maybe it was the shock of the loss that threw me into therapy that truly helped. I’ve spent the last 20 some years with an on and off relationship with her. One of the saddest things about all this is the distance Ive had with my aunts and uncles because of how she has made me appear and things she has done. It has been recent that her sisters and brothers have come to see who she truly is.Even though I’ve been through you know where and back I still do love her. And sometimes I am not sure even why. It could be obligation or I am not sure. Now mother is sick has dementia and for the last few years had been involved with a man. This man has taken ostracized her from her family and has caused even bigger riff in our relationship. Ive been trying to get guardianship of her because she is not being taken care of properly by him. And again I begin to question why I am doing the?? Any takers? I will say I am a different person mother wife that she is. And I have hopefully broken this circle of crazy so I do not pass it down to my daughters. I am hoping to get some insight by being on this website and also maybe some support. Its hard for others to understand what you are going through when they themselves have never felt like this. I use to feel like that little doggie in the window wanting to belong. I sometimes still feel that way. But I know that I am loved and I love freely and that part of me I am so proud of you. I know I many flaws related to my relationship with my mother. I do recognize them and try very hard each day to not follow in her footsteps. I can only hope that someone on this site can help me if needed or I can be a help to them. I am the typical SC that feels compelled to take care of others. Ive had many success in my life with my 2nd husband my wonderful daughters and love and support of countless friends.


Peter D. October 24, 2016 at 7:51 pm

Many thanks for this – it was very helpful. At the tender age of 51 I was, for the first time, able to come out and say: ‘I don’t like my mother…’ a few months ago. This was a difficult thing to do – in part because it goes against deeply ingrained cultural norms and values: mothers are supposed to be loving and caring and as children we are supposed to love them in return. Additionally there is the baggage which comes with having a narcissistic mother, who puts herself first and who has either purposefully or by the handicaps of her own personality, imprinted on her children tremendous fear of openness.

My mother is now 90 years old – she remains mentally alert and if anything she has waxed in her self-absorption and self-deceit. Today we scattered my father’s ashes – I’ve spent the weekend in my home town (former Mill Town, in the north of England). However I chose to stay in a hotel, rather than stay with my mother. This is because anything more than an hour or so of her undiluted company and there will be a row. I came to the conclusion several years ago that she does not regard her children as human beings, with their own needs or wants. She sees her three children as possessions and has no thought for their feelings or even the simple decencies of ordinary relationships. Today – after a relatively good few days together (although I was carefully to spend no more than a few hours with my mother on each day) the inevitable row took place.

I’d noticed a school friend in the street, whom I hadn’t spoken to for some 25 years. He didn’t see me, my mother and I were in the car. I mentioned I’d seen him. My mother responded: ‘Oh he’s been in prison.’ I said that I didn’t think this was true – and as an aside said it wasn’t wise to go around saying someone had been in prison when they hadn’t. In fact it was my school friend’s brother who had had a run in with the law, although I don’t think he went to prison. At this point my mother, very nastily said: ‘Shut up and stop going on about it…’ ‘Shut up’ said through clenched teeth is a common retort of my mother’s. We were heading out for lunch and so I turned the car around and headed back to her retirement apartment block. She asked what I was doing and I replied: ‘I’m 52 and I am not being spoken like this – so you can have lunch on your own, I’m heading back to London.’ Well she started, screaming and shouting – saying how I was like my much older brother and sister – that everyone shouts at her… So I said she was an evil old woman who played everyone against each other (she spent much of the morning saying hateful (untrue or out of context half truths) things about my brother and sister. At this point she hit me – she regularly hit all of her children – at a family funeral a few years ago she hit me across my head and sent my glasses flying across a table… much to the shock of my cousins and family friends – and I was in my 40s then.

Well, today I did take her for lunch in the end, but it was a cheerless affair and then I ran her home. I said goodbye on the doorstep and then had that wonderful feeling of exhilaration I feel as I get in my car and begin the 200 mile journey back to London and the very different life I lead as a university lecturer, with my partner of 14 years and the domestic bliss of our life, where there are never any raised voices – or even any cross words. Yes, we bicker, but we usually end up laughing. Yet this relationship did not begin – nor would it have been possible – until I was in my late 30s.

I was lucky in that I went through a devout religious phase in late adolescence and this resulted in several years in a contemplative Christian monastery. This surrogate family – itself highly dysfunctional in some ways (as is the case in many monasteries and convents! – at least gave some structure to my life and gave me a sense of self-worth. I’d done poorly at school and left school with no useful qualifications – any job I did, my mother in particular, would tell me I would fail at… However, bolstered up by my season in a monastery, I went on to eventually gain a PhD from a good UK university and I now teach social science and social work. I have moved on.

Today, on the long drive back to London I have decided that it is time to move on – on one level I have to accept my mother, now almost 91, is not going to change and that in future I will follow my brother’s lead of just spending small portions of time with her. Another part of me feels like just washing my hands of her altogether, but (from my experience working in end of life social work in several hospices) I think this is not possible now – and I don’t know what I would feel like if she died and I had cut all contact with her. She is in a prison of her own devising – although I am not particularly religious now, I am reminded of the words of a minor theologian: ‘The horror of evil, is its refusal to change…’ – and that sums up my mother’s plight. She has no self-perspicacity – as with all narcissists she has a tremendous sense of entitlement. She does not think of others – or perhaps more truthfully, she likes to think the worst of others (she never has a nice word to say about ANYONE) – I have come to realise this is just a backhanded way of thinking better of herself.

I will ponder what to do next. My mother no longer has the same hold over me – as I will just walk away. However she is able to exert considerable influence on my emotions when I am with her. Again, not atypical with narcissists, she sits like a spider in a web – woven from lies (which she believes herself) trying to pull the family’s heart strings – there are no real friends, as folk soon tire of her (and to be fair, she has outlived many of her contemporaries).

Today I feel like cutting all ties, but for reasons already noted, I know I probably won’t do that… I just wish I could like her, but to like her would mean I condone and accept her treachery – and she is a perfidious individual. So instead I’ll continue to suffer the odd visit – not unlike I suffer the flu… Knowing it will pass and I can get in my car and head home, sooner rather than later.


ONLY DAUGHTER April 17, 2017 at 9:12 am

Dear Peter D.,
I so enjoyed your essay on being the adult child of a narcissist. You described my experiences and feelings also. After years of psychological abuse I was also at the “tender year of 51” when I finally passed through the golden window of knowledge of NPD.

You description of suffering the odd the visit is like suffering the flu was so apt. My NM no longer has a hold over me but I’m an only child and will have to suffer the perfunctory visits like a 2 day long dentist appointment. It’s never anything but a filthy chore.

So sad for them in their old age because they’ve used up all their childrens’ good will through decades of abuse, deception, obfuscation, denial and projection. There’s no longer any energy left to help and support them during their age related issues.

I wish you the best in gritting it out in the final years.



Joy October 26, 2016 at 10:37 am

I’ve recently seen the light when it comes to narcissism. My father is the very text book definition of the word. My mother passed away when I was 22. Shortly thereafter, dear old dad married himself one more gold digger, I refer to her as wife #2. Before he ever wed this woman, I tried to talk with him and all he would say to me is, “you need to pray about it, that’s your problem and you need help.” I’ve endured decades of gas-lighting from him, my sister and now my niece. The cycle is never ending.

I know how it feels to be completely alone with no one ever to take your side and stand up for you.

From birth we are told that are parents are here to protect us, but what do you do when you need protection from them? What do you do when you try and talk with them calmly but they keep insisting you are crazy and belong in a mental ward? I have completely distanced myself from them, but live in a small town and everywhere you go people are always asking about them. I so want to tell them to just call him about his third wife’s house. Their number is in the phone book. I’ve even said it a couple of times.

I’ll have no more of their mind games & treachery. I am done dealing with their cruel intentions. These people go around saying that they “love everyone” but only when everyone agrees completely with them. The second you disagree, you become public enemy #1.


Felix December 17, 2016 at 10:24 am

So where in this dysfunctional family system does the adult narcissism derive from? I continue to see these mythical ‘roles’ described but I see a disconnect from both empirically-derived sources, and as well, the extension into adulthood of childhood roles that adequately track how the narcissist came to be. Is there any evidence that is published in peer-reviewed journals that elevates the discussion, or is this limited to urban legend? Thanks.


Mo December 18, 2016 at 11:10 am

Dear Felix,
Well, to start, narcissistic personality disorder itself is a far cry from urban legend. It is a bonafide diagnosis in the DSM V (Diagnostic and Stastical Manual), which is adhered to by the American Medical Association.

As for terms such as scapegoat and golden child, these are regularly referred to by many psychologists, marriage anf family therapists, social workers, etc — although sometimes other terms are used (i.e. ‘golden child’ can also be known as the ‘hero child’, etc). Other family role types used commonly by liscenced and degreed mental health professionals, include “the lost child” and “the middle child” — and a few others I cant recall.

I am not a professional, but I imagine this topic of family roles has been frequently published in journals and peer-reviewed literature, over the course of many years. If anyone knows this for certain, please comment … and i will do some googling myself in the meantime. I will be back with what i find.


Caroline December 27, 2016 at 8:36 pm

Yes it would be see some evidence in published in peer-reviewed journals. Nonetheless, people, namely Adult . . . Children (is that an oxymoron?) are suffering.


Sandy January 19, 2017 at 7:52 am

Felix, here’s another “angle” to it, I think. Is it not true that myths are actually based on some premise of reality?
I believe it sheds another light on the aspect of the “family curse(s)”.
Sending hopes you find those academic studies that will explain the origins of it with more specific analysis.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending upon one’s pursuit) those who have been raised by these people only have to look at their family histories, some still alive and in action, to prove where and how these roles originated.
Caroline, I’ve come to refusing to use that oxymoronic term – Adult Children (why is there no word for this?? interesting that..)
I just refer to myself as an offspring.
The best to everybody dealing with this.


NicoleK January 2, 2017 at 5:59 pm

Wow – I found this site on Christmas Eve, just a few days ago. I spent the holidays alone, despite that my entire family was gathered within an hour of where I live. I absolutely refuse to allow the abuse to continue and I relate so strongly to everyone here. It’s amazing how their lies and manipulation can make us question our own sanity – and even more amazing how even outsiders can be pulled into the system and can hop on board just as eager to minimize, gaslight, abuse. I have always been the scapegoat in my family, have been told that I was a mean, angry child, and was told that “only your mother would tell you the truth about who you are”. I was ganged up on and beat by my mother, father, siblings. I was similarly bullied outside the home, even by teachers, and I was never believed when I tried to defend myself and say I hadn’t done something wrong. And my mom participated in the cruelty that originated outside the home, too. I had an elementary school teacher who took a dislike to me and sent me home daily with sad faces on a report card type of thing used to track my behavior, and my mom said she promised me a toy if I got a happy face, but because I never did, I never got a toy. That is one of the least overt things that she did when I think of all the physical and emotional abuse, but for some reason it makes me so sad to think of myself as a tiny little girl who her teacher didn’t like, and who her mom didn’t defend, hoping for a toy and never getting one. I posted elsewhere, but I too always thought that my family was right and that I was a disgusting evil person. I am a few months away from graduating medical school and they have been absolutely unforgivably cruel to me for the past four years, ostracizing me when I most needed support. I started to think I was insane because of the trauma of it all – the sudden and unjustified disappearance of my mom after months of talking 2 – 3 times daily, and each time another sibling would also grow cold and callous toward me. Her brainwashing. I was so anxious I couldn’t sleep for more than a few hours a night and so depressed that I wanted to die and so confused about why I was so damn bad that no one loved or cared about me – because surely if they all agree, I must be wrong? I saw a psychiatrist because I became convinced they were right and that I was messed up, and I wanted so badly for him to give me a pill that would fix my so-called character defects!! I hadn’t done anything wrong except reacted as a sane person would to crazy sabotaging behavior designed to ruin me financially, professionally, emotionally. My family is SICK and I am so, so sad to lose what I thought was my family but since I found this and other forums and have read a couple books, I realize that they are cruel and my best and only chance at recovering is cutting them off – giving them zero access to my emotional life and right no I am NO CONTACT – I am afraid of them truth be told after watching their behavior escalate over the past few years, and am truly considering disappearing from their radars once I graduate from medical school, and cutting ties with any mutual contacts. Thank God for an explanation for why I’ve hated myself so intensely all these years, and now I understand it was all lies. It’s a long way up, but anything is better than the hell I’ve endured at their hands for 30 + years. Be strong fellow scapegoats.


Jane West January 10, 2017 at 7:05 pm

Spot on.I had two older sisters.Mum raised them by herself mostly because Dad was in the Navy.I was born when they came to Australia,a premmie.Dad used to say proudly I cost the price of a brand new Ford to be nursed to full health in the 60s,Mum said I should be glad that I didn’t kill her.All my life I kept hearing her tell people from the moment she was born she was pushing people away when they tried to cuddle her.I have a very clear memory of the one time my mother cuddled me as a child,she was feeling very happy,which was highly unusual.She didn’t like touching me,and she wouldn’t let Dad çuddle me,but he always gave me big hugs when we went fishing or I went to work with him.He saved me.But we never told him that she used to beat us with the coat hangers,hair brushes and whatever else she could find.We thought she wouldn’t love us anymore.Dad died not so long back and I was badly traumatized,I was terrified that she would somehow get back into my life because I was at the weakest I had ever been in my life.It felt like I was 6 yrs old all over again.He had protected me from her when they divorced,he was my voice of reason.I am doing better now she has just gone into a nursing home so I know I can’t just bump into her.She has her new supply my other sister has gone back into her life ,just as my mother would have planned it,but she didn’t get me,I’m damned if I will give her the satisfaction.I hope she is stewing in frustrated anger that her plan didn’t work.Never again will she have the opportunity.


Ann January 12, 2017 at 12:40 pm

I always suspected something was wrong with my mom. She was so cold whenever I had problems as a kid. Whenever I stood up for myself she would either act like she was having a breakdown and my dad would step in or I would get the silent treatment. I managed to get away somewhat when I was married and my husbands family became my surrogate family, the problem I have now is that she wants back in my life at 47 and she’s 78. The caveat is if I submit like I did when I was younger. I feel she wants back in because my dad is older and wants me to be a back up as she is able to control him… I have told her I want to be civil relationship which she is not ok with. My husband saw her control over me and said he would not stay if that was to happen. I did go to therapy and had my mom meet her but she wouldn’t go back. Jump ahead a year later and had a horrible Christmas as she refused to come because I treat her as a stranger. I became so angry went to my therapist and she said that I’m making things up n my head and do I hear voices. I was shocked and felt so betrayed. I sent my therapist an email stating that I won’t be back. She said she’s not sure how but it was miscommunicated what was said. I’m at my wits end. I just keep saying to myself one day at a time…good luck to everyone going through this.


Caroline January 16, 2017 at 7:02 pm

Be very careful when hiring a therapist. Some have baggage and can be detrimental.


Lindy January 15, 2017 at 5:17 pm

Hi, I’m 48, an only child & my mother behaved in a Narcissistic manner since I remember from when I was 5 or 6 . She was verbally aggrovating my dad every week, she hated his family though they were quite ordinary. She was wrapped up in her own image. Shoes, clothes,makeup. I was told “you speak when you’re spoken to & don’t get showing me up!”. She made me dresses on her sewing machine every couple of weeks & she’d say firmly “keep still” . Next thing id have a sewing pin dug in me & it was (she claimed) my fault, while she pinned the pieces together. She screamed at me every week & she would make me say Sorry. She pushed me into a dance class I didn’t like, because she wanted to do ballet as a child. Her manner was always like a Fish Wife, harsh. I was 6 when I was given an Easter egg by my dad’s dad. She swiped it off me & put it on top of a 6 foot cupboard. After 20 mins,she was struggling to scrape peelings in a bin bag. I said “Dad puts the bag over the drawer & scrapes them into the bag”. Next thing she ran to the egg, grabbed it & said “you want this then?”, & with a tight mouth, wide eyed, smashed it. Later that eve, she gave me bits of the egg on a plate, all broken. She was always a very jealous woman, believing she looked better than everyone. She critised everyone and as I got older, she git worse. She would open my bedroom suddenly while I was in it and scream about the mess, kick my things round my room and tell me to go downstairs & get a bin liner. I came back upstairs to see her thru the gap in the door,sat at my dressing table smelling my perfume bottles (relatives gave me) and putting the perfume on her neck/wrists. It didn’t stop there, she frequently screamed “I was cut from here to here(demonstrating left to right) and look what they pulled out of me!” Another one was “I’ve got stretch marks on the backs of my legs because of you, you’ve ruined my body!” She shouted these numerous times at me. I was only 9. Things got worse. She took my things out of dressing table drawer without my permission, always asking to borrow my things, anything I had, she wanted. Competed with female next door & she wanted a sports car like her. My dad bought her one. She ordered clothes every week from catalogues, paid late & filled her life with herself, screaming at my dad and I, “you two have held me back for years! She constantly threatened to leave but never did.. My dad took her up a cup of tea after theyd rowed, she shouted “take it away, I want nothing from you!”. When I kept away from her, she complained i didn’t have the decency to ask if she wanted a cup of tea!?. She was a drama queen, cause arguenents then faked heart trouble, she even pretended to be complaining about me on the phone to my dad, but turned out she was talking to a phone with nobody on the other side & didn’t actually call him. It was frightening as she behaved hysterically as I stood there. I was called bitch, slut,trollop and witch when I was as young as 10. She muscled into my school friends & took a liking to a friend of mine aged 10 & on nunerous occasions she would scream at me”why can’t you be like….? She wouldn’t behave like this!” Yet I was just a normal child. I was laughing upstairs with my friends & she wiuld stop them coming round again. She also gave a friend of mine a nick name “chip oil”. She imitated everyone & told me to get the most expensive ring when I get engaged when I’m older. When I was 17, she claimed by dad’s mum was trying to take me away from her, just because id started going to London with her for the day. My mother pilfered through my personal possessions in my bedroom while I was at work, and stop a job application form from my drawer and filled it out herself and posted it. I never got the job. One day I wrote a message ‘Keep out of my drawers!” I came him from work, opened the drawer and it was really chilling, she had written underneath, NO! , in her very crooked handwriting. At that point, I thought I’ve got to get out here. I was planning to live as a lodger in my cousins new house, but she stopped it. I was 19. When she suspected I was seeing a,young nan, she was fuming to the point of tears and blatantly shouted “Gave you been having sex with him?” I tokd her to mind her own business then she claimed “if you have, you could get pregnant!.” I laughed and walked to my room. I was 20 at the time. As soon as she thought there was a tiff between me and him, she and my dad made a phone call to him threatening him and tho I was living in a flat by then, they took my rubbish bag tied up outside, they took it home with them &went through it. Though my mother had the problems, over there years my dad took on her way of thinking at times, so I felt quite hounded by them. My mother was lazy, demanding, she told lies about her past, manipulated people, told me I’m being talked about and that people are laughing at me. When ny dad worked the late shift every other week, so I was just me and her, she couldn’t cook& there was hardly any food in the house, yet my dad gave her food money every week. As a result, I was underweight for years. Every week she didn’t give me jy dinner money. It was so often , my teacher shouted at me “tell your mother to give you your dinner money”. She’d buy poor quality food & spend the rest on her clothes & shoes. She was the coldest woman for miles. Everyone was a burden, she arrogant, jealous, obvessive(constantly ranting about the neighbour she no longer was friend with). She also took revenge on me by ignoring my birthdays. Once I moved out, she started the king silences of weeks to months. Just as I was starting to get the body and shape I loved by 30, she referred to me as Chunky, big backside and big arms! I could no longer stand her more than 5 mins. By 32 I severed all contact from her after a row when I told her to stop obbssessibg about her neighbour all the time. She said “ill talk about what I like”. That was it. 16 years later, she stalked my daughter on a social network website by sending two odd messages, one in which she claimed my Dads mother has narcissistic personality disorder, yet my dads mother was a nice, normal lady. My daughter felt very uneasy. She created a page filled with photos of mt daughter aged 7 (age we last saw her) and one of the titles said the words ‘Happy days until stupid relatives spoilt it all’ I reckon I’m supposed to be the stupid relative. I typed a letter to my father telling him about the messages and to remove the web page immediately or we’ll go to the police. The next day it was removed. Her behaviour was always bizarre but even in her 60s she’s still doing stupid things. She and my dad came out of the blue after 16 yrs because they saw my daughter has 2 children. We changed our surname 12 years ago and nobody knew, but mt dad worked in the post office sorting the mail, must have handled my mail m, told my mother who then stalked us on our social pages. I’ve had to make all my photos private. I’ve done ok over the years with out them, until I met a man on a dating site in 2013 who basically was a male version of my mother. I had to stop all contact with him also. I can’t use my dating page anymore as he’s placed messages on there after I posted him a 6 page typed letter listing a,selection of his lies, mood swings, deceit etc

I have read his messages as he often sent me nasty late night abusive texts that id have to pay to read.. He knows,where I live but instead of dropping a letter to me or texting, he stalked me on the website. If I go on there he’ll see i’ve been online & assume I’m single. They are stalkers, obtaining info about you but make contact in rediculous ways. I feel like lately my hard work of getting away from the past has been put back because of the man I met have started reading up on the disorder quite a bit, as both blamed me for their bad behaviour. It really is best to cut contact with them as they are never sorry, everything is your fault, they’re always right. I never thought id have to experience it all over again. I tracked down this,mans older & asked him for info as he was acting badly & it all came out
Arrogant, opinionated, habitual liar, deceitful, wants money from women but not a relationship with them. Benefit fraud, unfit father, alcohol dependent and took thousands off his mother and he was violent towards his,ex. Ive turned out ok in my life, I’m fine despite my mother being as she is. However I think that the mother of the man I was seeing above may have some problems as he claimed she treated him badly and didn’t want him as a child, but I never met her as he wouldn’t take me to meet her.


Bertie January 16, 2017 at 2:39 pm

I am only going to leave a tid bit. When I was a little kid, and I would become upset with my mom, my dad would quickly tell me “Don’t get mad at her! She has a bad heart!” And so, I wouldn’t. For as long as I can remember, she was always in a state of severe depression. When I noticed she was “missing” about the house, I’d know that I would find her upstairs, lying on her bed. I’d walk up there and stand in the doorway. She’d know I was there. She’d tell me to “go away”. I just hated it. I was just a little kid.
When I was older, and in high school, I had a long bus ride to and from school. I would actually kind of forget about her during the day. But when the school bus arrived at my house, the thought of her would pop right into my mind. I always approached the house with a heavy heart, thinking that some day I might find her hanging from a noose.
I never did.
And now, a life time later, my mom is still alive. She would have never killed herself.
If her life were to be written, the title should be: “An Unhappy Life”


Brennie February 3, 2017 at 7:55 am

I grew up with 2 narcissistic parents and a brother who turned out just like my Dad. I was the scapegoat in the family. I am almost 60 and just discovered my mother whom I’ve felt sorry for my entire life is a Narc. She turns fAmily family members against me and she is so sneaky and deceitful and has absolutely no accountability. I haven’t ever heard her tell me she lives me and when she hugs me she is stiff. I could go on and on and on. My Dad was an alcoholic and never did anything wrong and his punishment of Me was brutal. I grew up thinking they hated me and something was wrong with me. I never felt loved or accepted. My brother was the golden child. Football star…At 58 he now has no friends and is a drunk. Mean as he can be just like my Dad! I suffered by looking for someone to love me. It never was good enough for me. After 7 narcissistic marriages ,alcohol abuse, and still trying to gain acceptance from my parents…….I finally figured it out! I have been sober now for 7 years and sureouns myself with healthy people. I no longer look for my happiness from others and have not had a desire to be with a man in 6 years. I still have lots of healing to do and I don’t know that I ever will but I try. I am new at this because I knew what a narcissistic man was but I am just learning about children of narcissistic parents and the affects it has on our lives! I am astounded and so happy I found this site. By accident! It was a God thing!


Bunny February 5, 2017 at 11:02 pm

I’ve realised over the past few months that I have a NM, she was always a very self centred drama queen who left my Dad one day with my brother and I without telling him she was leaving. She left him for a paedophile who she was completely obsessed with. Whilst my previous life before this had lacked normal love and nurturing from her it was nothing compared with what was to follow.

She stood by whilst this man abused us physically, emotionally and me sexually. She didn’t feed us properly, couldn’t be bothered to get out of bed in a morning to get us ready for school. I did a lot of the chores when I got home from school. She was (and still is) in complete denial about what happened to us, has taken no responsibility for anything that has happened. I’ve had a few medical issues over the years and I found out recently she’d told my brother and sister that I was a hypercondriach and there was nothing wrong with me.

I’m now 48 and after finally telling my younger sister (15 years younger than me and from mum’s 3rd marriage) what happened to me as a child. Apparently it’s ok that we were neglected and abused, but the second you say my mother knew what was going wrong, well, that was a step too far and I’m a horrible daughter!

She has gone from being devastated to calling me a liar and disowning me in just under three months! Quite frankly I’m surprised it took her that long.

My brother who lived through our horrible childhood has turned his back on me and is completely in my mothers thrall, this has been more upsetting than anything else. I’ve realised how manipulative he’s been, and I’m seeing the same traits in him that mum has, I’m thinking it’s no loss.

I get married next week, my mum and brother won’t be there and I’m so relieved I no longer have to feel obliged to have a relationship with this awful woman just because she gave birth to me, who failed us in every way possible. When she had yet another chance to do the right thing she once again failed again.

I’d realised a few years ago I didn’t love my mother and it really upset me, as it’s such an unconventional thing to admit people look at you askance, I follow it up with, you probably didn’t grow up with a mother like mine!

She has been over critical of me throughout my life, and even today I don’t know who the real me is, I find this quite sad, I’m about to go into some specialist counselling and I’ve a long list of issues I now want to work on, it’s never too late to have the lightbulb moment.

I’ve had no contact with my mother now since last November and it’s great. No more getting stressed at having to slap a smile on my face and do the happy families rubbish.

I don’t know if there are many people posting here who are from the UK, there doesn’t seem to be as much information in the UK about NM for some reason.

It’s very liberating to be able to tell people without feeling any shame that you were neglected by your mother.

It’s very strange that people only see what they want to see, most people think my mother is a really nice person. They don’t see that she’s selfish, rude, sarcastic (which is a cover for being plain nasty) or that she has no empathy unless it’s for her cats.

I’ve realised after reading this website and posts that my fear of abandonment, low self esteem, lack of confidence, my anger issues all stem from my mother.

Every time I do or say something now that reminds me of her I stop myself and consider if there’s a better way to do or say it.

So things are looking up, it’s no picnic though and it’s VERY challenging, onwards and upwards.

I realise that’s a bit more up beat than I currently feel but, like the Tom Petty song, ‘I won’t back down’.

Be strong – it’ll really eat at them if they see you’re doing well withou them.


CITIZENSHIP April 11, 2017 at 3:20 pm

You’re post resonated with me completely. Yea, I got married and that upset miserable mother and her golden son. She didn’t even care. That’s when I went NO CONTACT. No SAD SACK WOLVERINES BITING MY LEGS! The hatred they have toward me is unfounded. UK blood here. Like I said in my long post. I won’t shed a tear for my mother when she dies.

I was thinking of the Tom Petty song, “Free Girl Now”.


Shelagh February 9, 2017 at 4:17 am

I found this website about two weeks ago when I googled “my sister has destroyed my relationship with my mother” and was surprised to find that just about everything that came up was about narcissistic mothers. As I read I found myself crying. I had been hiding from the fact that I have a narcissistic mother for decades. I did the Piper Narcissistic Abuse Score and got quite a shock when I read the results. I think it’s still sinking in. Since leaving school decades ago I have seen many counsellors. It always came back to my sister being the problem – no-one ever suggested that it might be my mother until now. I think the reality is that they are both narcissists. I have had very little contact with either of them since the end of November. The thought of contact with them, esp. my sister sends me into a panic attack. It’s been like this with my sister for years but reading the 7 Steps handbook I can see that my mother has been at the root of the problem all along. At the moment my sister is living with my mother. My mother is elderly but she is in pretty good health for her age. My sister has been worried about my mother dying for about 20 years now and piles guilt onto the rest of the family. I think they are both enmeshed with each other – I’m not sure who is the most dominant in their relationship any more. I don’t really know why I am sending this comment today. I just feel a bit lost.


sheva February 10, 2017 at 7:11 pm

I’m the SC. My brother is the GC. I grew up being the parent of a Narcissistic Mother who tried so hard to control and manipulate me. The death looks, the screaming, the degrading words. It is ALL ABOUT HER. She called my friends and said I was a bad daughter, my family would say that I must be so lucky to have a mother who loved me so much. In reality she was exhausting and needy and evil. Unfortunately I can’t runaway from her. My dad suffered a massive stroke and she is going to be the caretaker for him. I LOVE my dad so much. And admired the way he handled her. I would NEVER leave my dad. My mother is already complaining about how tired she is. Anyways I look for GOD for help to give me strength to ignore her sickness.


Peachy February 16, 2017 at 9:23 am

Reading everyone’s comments that have more experience with this seem that NC is the best way to handle a NM. I’m in my early 30s have just started therapy as I have a NM/BPD combo my husband & my children live a couple states away from my family which by the way is enmeshed so my relationship with my mom pretty much the whole family gets involved saying what is wrong with me, etc? My therapist has asked me when did I stop being my mother’s spouse & when did I stop being my mother’s mom? I have a very supportive healthy relationship with my husband we’ve been married for almost 10 years. My mom has not been there for the big events in my life wedding, pregnancies, etc but like she does just enough so it seems she’s there it’s never her fault she changes her story & never takes responsibility she tries to blame my husband & his family for me not liking her but has never gotten to know my husband. I have been having LC as I try to talk to her at the most 1x a week & limited text messages I was planning on visiting my family recently but I had to make a clear boundary to her via phone & she couldn’t respect it or my feelings. I’ve been nice in the past & this time I just had to tell her bluntly. So then after our argument she tells everyone else in the family & I get harassing messages from them & they bring my husband & his family into it & say bad things about them. I’m just trying to figure things out & I’m at a loss of what to do? I have a very happy healthy life mentally & physically besides my family. My husband says at this point I’m just volunteering
Myself to be treated badly.


Shera February 19, 2017 at 5:08 am many similarities. I have had to go down the NC route. I don’t know if that will change in the future. I struggle with feelings of guilt for having NC but the alternative is too stressful and affects the health of my children as well as my husband and I.


Bertie February 25, 2017 at 5:46 am

I did NC for about 2 straight years, not many years ago. I had a daily dose of guilt, which I felt daily, but I was 100% happier and mentally healthier. When I am in routine contact with my NM or my dysfunctional siblings, I get “filled up” with feelings of anger. I wake up in the morning. “They” (my dysfunctional family) are in my head. I do things throughout the day and they are in my head. I try to go to sleep at night and they are in my head. Every time I get drug back in, it is ALWAYS THE SAME. I am now about 3 months out on NC. I vow not to get drug back in again, no matter what. I have had a very good past three months. I have been healthy and happy and sane. My own family has been healthy and happy and sane.


Bertie February 25, 2017 at 6:37 am

I decided to write another post today and tell another little story about my NM. The word “lack of empathy” comes up when describing NM’s, right? My NM’s lack of empathy is always combined with a dose of “paying you back”. So, “Lack of Empathy” + “Paying You Back”. Several years ago, one of my brothers was dying from a really horrific form of cancer and was told he would not be alive by spring. It was Christmas time and he was confined to his home and spent his days bedridden and ill. My NM wanted to see him on Christmas Eve. One of the siblings drove him to my NM’s house for a brief visit. My brother phoned me a few times in the weeks leading up to his death. He MADE A POINT of telling me about this Christmas Eve visit to Mom’s. He said that he got in the house, and he hugged her, and she wouldn’t hug him back, and stood there, stiff as a board.
I said, “Oh, that’s awful”. (We both were well aware what she is like).
He died from cancer less than two weeks after that incident.
She was mad at him, during the last few weeks of his life, because he didn’t want her to stop at the house and visit him. And when he did go to see her, (and he was nearly at the end of his life — he was so sick), she deliberately refused to hug him back.
I find this to be beyond description. For a mother to do this to a dying son.
Many months later, while my mom and I were in some of our little “bouts” with each other, I told her that I knew about the fact that she didn’t hug him, on that one particular day. She said to me, very quickly, and very abrupt, “Who told you that?”
And I gave my brother’s name. (Who else would have known? They were the only two in that exchange?). She didn’t say a word.


Bertie February 25, 2017 at 7:12 am

I’m sorry I am writing so much today. But I had another thought recently which I want to share. My NM always taught that “gifts” were the same thing as expressing “love”. SHE WAS THE ONE who wanted/expected gifts and often. And she wanted nice gifts, pricey gifts. This went on for my entire life/relationship with her. I thought of something the other day. I envision some sort of sacrificial site/altar and people throwing something onto it … their sacrifice. I picture my mom being this big, ugly, mountainous head in the jungle, and that we kids run up to, and place a really nice gift onto it, and then stand back. Did we please her? Is she happy now? Did we “do good”? She did this to ALL OF US KIDS, and even to whichever GRANDCHILD gave her some attention. It was ALL ABOUT gifts.
And she’ll be sure to tell you if she does or does not like what you bought her.


Bertie February 25, 2017 at 8:25 am

I have one more thing to share today. Obviously, my NM is on my mind and I am “trying to figure her out”. When I pause to do this, I think of interesting things from the past which caused me to “pause” even back then … to think it strange and not normal behavior … or at least, not the same behavior as mine. Here are two: The first seems rather benign and involves houseplants. My NM loves houseplants and has many. She would always say to me that when she gets tired of having a particular plant she just pitches it out. She said the pot is worth something, the plant is not. This is despite how nice the plant was, how long she had it, etc. A couple of years ago, my own family made a big move. All of the “move information” supplied by the movers advises you to “give away your houseplants” because they will not “make the trip”. I’ve moved before and this is pretty much true. They get beat up along the way. And so, despite LOVING MY PLANTS, I found homes for nearly all of them. A few I put in the back part of our car. These were the only ones I got to keep. I did not pitch one plant in order to keep one single pot. Many were in nice pots, ceramic ones, and even some were made by potters. I would not have dreamt of pitching the plants (which I loved and nourished for years and years) to claim their pots. Maybe many people would agree with my mom’s method. I don’t fault you, if you do.
Another little story regarding my mom and houseplants is worth telling. One year she bought each of us a Easter cactus. She planted each in matching pots: one for me and one for her. It was customary for her to put them outside for the summer, and sometimes underneath a tree. She did this with our Easter cacti one summer. (I was a teenager at the time). One day she announced to me that an animal had gotten into, and destroyed, one of the Easter cacti. (They were identical). I asked her, “How did you know it was mine and not your’s?” I don’t remember what she said, but mine was the one that was destroyed. Funny, huh?
The other thing that I thought of this morning is about the little dog she happens to have right now. From what I have observed, she isn’t nice to her and should not have a pet. One day, she tied her to a cupboard handle with a short leash. NM stayed gone for about 7 hours. She got home, the dog is just about hanging itself, she takes the dog off the leash, brings her outside, puts her on an outside lead, and shuts the door on her. Doesn’t feel bad for how the little dog spent its day, doesn’t greet her upon returning, and doesn’t pet her or show her any love or attention. The dog has been literally a prisoner to the cupboard with about two inches of lead for an entire day. Even though the dog has been “named” for 3 years, my NM still contemplates changing her name, because she doesn’t particularly like the name she came with. My NM still contemplates “getting rid of her”. She tells me, “If I get rid of her, I’ll sell her”. (Money is everything to my NM). I’ve tried to get the dog from her, by offering to buy her, but she still wants the dog. When we go to visit my mom, the dog looks so unhappy, and when we approach her, she rolls on her back (which is a sign of submission). When people have been around for awhile, she is much happier. Sometimes in the middle of the night, I wake up and it bothers me that this dog lives with her. Even the little dog haunts me.
The bottom line of these two stories is that I find my NM to be cold-hearted.


Bertie February 25, 2017 at 9:54 am

I promise. I promise. This is my last post. When I was young, growing up, and still living at home … one of my favorite things of the year was decorating the Christmas tree. One day, as a teenager, I got off the bus, walked in the front door, and was surprised to see the tree all decorated. Mom had not waited for me! I said to her, “You decorated the tree! You didn’t wait for me!” She answered, “You don’t care about decorating the tree”. That was the answer. And it meant the world to me. I didn’t say a word. And from that year onward, I never got to decorate the tree.
The GC in our family is my only sister — the eldest — and numerous years older than me. I try not to have much to do with her. Actually, I try to have nothing to do with her. Now we are both quite older — senior citizens. I find it interesting that she “uses the same tactic” with me — even though she and I barely communicate over the past decade. She will say something to me like, “Oh, you don’t care about that”. Or, “That’s not important”. Something like that. The same exact tactic my mom uses.


Sandy February 26, 2017 at 7:15 pm

I’m so sorry about losing your brother & of course the ice-hug from the maternal unit in his final days. Thank God you and he were able to discuss it fully.
The no empathy and the payback– hard to believe yet so true. Hard to believe she’ll probably be like that til her dying day but yep chances are. They’re all so the same. Its so weird. That eternal silent response whenever they get called on something. Blech.

Knowing too well as well the first thoughts upon waking… throughout the day….. they’re in the head. Get out.
I’m so anxious to have those feelings you mentioned– the ones of happiness and pure joy. Sanity. I’m thrilled for you that you have those days!!! Except when drug back in… perfect that you have figured them out, and you know how good life feels when they’re not in it actively.

The best to everyone dealing with this crap. What is life when it can’t or won’t be enjoyed – refusal to be happy. All their lives. And make those around them as miserable as they are, or try to, til they die. Like wtf is up with that.


Bertie February 27, 2017 at 2:28 pm

Thank you for kind words. All my best to you also! I have already made it past two recent incidences of them trying to “get me back in” with “problems”. I haven’t answered their text messages. And I’m not going too. I’m in the midst of making that permanent break.


Vicky Totino March 6, 2017 at 10:42 pm

I am so grateful for this site. I have been battling the scapegoat role I played while growing up. I figured out about 20 yrs ago that my mother was a narcissist when I ran across a definition in an article I was reading. It was as if a weight was lifted and I had a name to attach to my issues with my family. I had already distanced myself by 750 miles and had been away for over 10 years. When I look back at my last days near my family I remember being so depressed that I stopped all interaction and communication and hid out from everyone. I fear I may have been close to suicide. I was married to an alcoholic because I truly thought that was the best I deserved. Wow, how scary to even write that sentence. Fast forward to the present, I will be 60 this year. After 30 years of soul searching and re-evaluating every questionable experience in my life, I am very proud of the person I have become. Yes I still do what I can to make those around me happy and yes I still feel damaged. All in all though, I have come a long way on my own. My mom blocked me from her life back in 1997 without an explanation but I’m sure it’s because she has no use for me since I learned to stand up to her. I worked very hard to accept it and I know I am better off but I am a family type of person and it is hard because she has somehow convinced everyone else in my family (7 sibs) to alienate me as well. I believe there is more healing to accomplish if I could find a way to forgive her. I have always been able to forgive anyone else for anything. I can put issues in the past and move on without much trouble. My mom is another story. The best way I know how to explain it is that I have spent decades learning to put up a strong and independent front with her. I fear that to forgive I would be making myself vulnerable to her and I just can’t do that. Even though the forgiveness won’t be in her presence. I also feel that by forgiving someone you believe the behavior would not be repeated. I know that’s not the case here . Can I get any thoughts or suggestions?


Bertie March 8, 2017 at 10:13 am

Hello Vicky,
I hope you get some input from others. All I can say to you is this: Michelle’s website and this blog has helped me for numerous reasons. One big reason is that I am able to “get it out” of me. Another reason is that I can later read what I wrote and I can validate myself for feeling the way that I do. I always say to my husband, “Aren’t I right in being angry? Aren’t I right in not wanting to have anything to do with her? With them?” I am always looking for validation. He answers, “Yes, you are right”. I realize you are looking to forgive her, and everyone says that forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. It is for obvious reasons. It is so hard to live with this situation in that it is never okay or things that are going on are never right or normal. I don’t know that I can forgive mine. I hope someone will provide some insight and advice for you about this! All I can say is that it helps me to read what my life with them has been like. I give myself permission to be angry and to stay NC with them all.


Bertie March 17, 2017 at 1:47 pm

I’ve been watching to see if Vicky gets a response. About the only thing I could think of to offer was “acceptance” … You know, “The Serenity Prayer”. And I also thought of the “Stages of Grief”, does forgiveness of this sort belong in there somewhere? I don’t know.
With regards to my own situation, I was watching TV morning news today. It begins with a 3 minute spot called “Winner’s Minute” and is a Christian mini-message. The speaker (always the same man) spoke today about Abraham Lincoln. Doris Kearns, a famous presidential historian said that Lincoln wrote and kept what were referred to as “hot letters”. When he was angry at a particular person, he wrote them a letter, but he never signed it, and he never sent it. They found the letters later.
I thought to myself, with regards to my anger vented here, “Am I writing the equivalent of hot letters?” I remember a counselor I saw, years ago, with regard to my mother and dysfunctional family told me to “Not Engage”.
The other thing I wanted to mention is that I had a light bulb go off in my head today. All these years I always thought that one of my brother’s was scapegoat. My mother had confessed to me a long time ago that she “never loved him”. I know. How horrible, and really, how can a mother think it, and worse yet, vocalize it to anyone, much less one of the siblings? But I realized today that I am and have always been The Scapegoat.
This has been going on for me for Years and Years and Years. How could I have not figured it out. Sorry if I write too often. I am in NC these days. Month Number Four.


Rubies March 19, 2017 at 2:51 pm


I don’t think you write too often, nor should you feel sorry. I believe that venting, and reflecting on our past and present is why Michelle has put this comment feature on her blog. I believe we all understand the need to be heard, as our voices were more than just drowned out in our families. Our mothers do not care what we have to say, because we won’t play their games, at least not anymore. So throw your words out into the world, knowing that you have the right to speak, to be heard, and to be understood. Besides it is hearing other voices suffering such similar plights, with what seems like the same mother, which can be so validating of our own experiences. We can know we are not the only one dealing with the heartbreak, and the memories running roughshod over our thoughts.

I had written a long “hot letter” to members of my family and was going to send it. However, I realized that no matter how hard I tried in it to set things right, it would only cause more problems, and more hatred. They don’t want to hear the truth, they don’t want to look at their evil behavior. It’s so much easier for them to consider you the problem, than to change and actually behave like decent people. In fact, I believe it’s almost impossible for them to change unless God intervenes. And He only comes into hearts when they invite Him in. Not likely to happen with almost all of these types of people.

It’s truly tragic to hear about your brother getting the cold stiff non-hug from your mother shortly before he died. Thank God he had you to listen to him, and understand. I’ve always gotten the stiff non-hugs from my mother. I stopped trying to get real hugs from her in my twenties. Three of my four brothers have passed away, and I don’t believe my mother shed one tear for any of them. She didn’t shed one tear when her husband of over fifty years passed either. One of my brothers just passed away on Christmas eve, and while I’m extremely low contact, a lady at the same assisted living facility told me my mother was “quite a happy lady”. This only a month after she loses a child that had been in her life for fifty seven years. I think she’s “happy” because she’s getting all sorts of attention right now. I know how my mother is playing the situation. They all probably consider her an inspiration to have such a good outlook considering this tragedy in her life. What they don’t realize is that she really didn’t care about him. He was a lost child in this dysfunctional family dynamic, and an overt narcissist. In fact she’s probably glad he’s gone. It’s sad to say that, but I don’t doubt it. I was never close to that brother, in fact we had some serious issues going on between us, but I can say I will hold on to a few fond memories of him when we were kids.

I also wanted to say, even though you don’t know me, that I’m proud of you. I’m proud and impressed that you spoke up for your brother. You had the courage to say the truth to her about her ice cold act upon him. She probably figured it was just another passive aggressive action amongst thousands that she would get away with, as usual. She figured no one but him would know. Of course, instead of possibly considering herself a cold hearted witch, she’ll probably just consider your brother a traitor for telling you. They are NEVER the bad guy in any situation.

I also wanted to tell you that while I totally understand your empathy and desire to save the dog from your mother, I imagine the more she knows you want it, the less likely you are to get it. I know that’s the way my mother would be. In fact I wouldn’t put it past her to treat it badly on purpose in front of me, just to upset me, and then claim I’m being irrational. I could go into how many things my mother promised to give me, and then gave to someone else. She even put things she knew I wanted in a yard sale. Better to make twenty bucks (that she doesn’t need) than to pass that heirloom down to her daughter that she KNOWS wants it. She even sued me for a silverware set she had given me, that she’d promised me practically my whole life, because I dared to defy her wishes. She ended up winning the case. I didn’t appeal it. She had totally ruined the whole meaning of giving them to me with that action. She told me as I sat next to her at my father’s military funeral, that my dad wanted me to have the flag from atop his casket. I felt so honored by my father when she told me that. Yet she ended up giving it to one of my brothers. When I voiced my hurt and shock that she would do that, she told me to “stop being so selfish, I have to give something to your brother”. As if somehow I was already given too much, because I took her leftover craft supplies, random books, and furniture nobody else wanted when she broke up house. Anyway, I know all about, and I’ve read that others have learned about the game of “keep away”. They love knowing they have something you want, or keeping you from getting it. My mother promised me her mother’s ruby necklace when she died, and when I decided to go low to no contact I knew she would be sure I wouldn’t get it. But then I figured she’d probably make sure I didn’t get it in the end anyway, even if I did stay in the subservient position I was in. So we live and we learn. And we have learned some seriously hard truths in life.

I feel guilty in some ways speaking the truth about her. I know having read so many stories that she could have been much worse, and I’m thankful that she wasn’t. I guess I’m just really angry about the mixed messages. Telling me she loves me, while bad mouthing me behind my back practically my whole life. Getting to 50 yrs. old and realizing she has been one of my greatest enemies has been a hard pill to swallow. I feel like my whole life has been a set up, so she could rip up any peace and joy I had created for myself. So she could rob me of my inheritance in order to spoil her golden ones, and to be sure I knew that I had never REALLY mattered to her.

These are truly sick people. Just remember, you are not alone. (((((HUGS))))) & <3 !!!


Rubies March 21, 2017 at 11:18 am


I don’t know whether you’ll check back to see if you received any responses to your post but I’d like you to know that I feel for you. I’m still fresh from understanding how devastating it can be to have your own mother not only drop you, but also turn on you. You mentioned realizing she was narcissistic about the same time. I imagine she realized you were onto her, and figured she’d better dump you and smear you before you could get anyone else to understand. You also mentioned that you felt so depressed, that you stopped interacting and communicating. Unfortunately, while your soul needed a time out, you were unable to fulfill her expectations. Imagine Bertie’s idea of a “sacrificial site/alter and people throwing something onto it …their sacrifice”. Only imagine it’s not just for gifts, but also time, attention, admiration, servitude, understanding, blind devotion. By not supplying your required offerings, you dared to anger the godhead. So (in their sick minds) you deserve to be both blackened and ostracized. I’ve imagined a Queen, and that life depends upon staying in her favor. (She gave you your life, so you owe her your life.) Understand! Woeful insolence will NOT be tolerated!!! You must be made an example of what happens to traitors, before you cause any other loyal subjects to rebel. If you are not willing to grovel and beg, you will never be allowed in her presence again. They put us in these roles of antagonists for their dramas long before we knew, and then pushed us into playing our parts. Acting like a reasonable adult or loving parent, would mean they can’t play the part of martyred victim, or righteous brave survivor. Being decent would mean no one getting hurt, and no one seeing how special they are. Well that’s just NO FUN for a narcissist, and quite wasteful of a perfect opportunity to gain more attention.

You sound like you’ve come a long way from where you were. Congratulations! To be able to say that you’re proud of who you have become is truly an accomplishment in life.

As far as forgiveness goes, I see it as one of those words which can have a different meaning, depending on who you’re talking to. I know some people think it means never having to say they’re sorry. I don’t think forgiveness necessarily means reconciliation, a restoration of the relationship, even if they truly are repentant. And let’s face it, these people are usually FAR from repentant. In fact in most of these situations, they spin it in such a way, that it seems you should be apologizing to them. My mother left us with her debt, wanted me to sign away any rights to my inheritance, and spins it all so my husband and I sound like the thieves who took advantage of her. I don’t think forgiveness should be actually GIVEN to a person unless they are truly repentant. That is if the matter was TRULY offensive. Narcissist can easily get offended over anything. You didn’t think to bring a bottle of wine to their dinner party. How rude!!! My mother took offense to my choice to nurse each of my babies. She took it as a repudiation of the fact she gave us bottles. My explaining it was for the health benefits, was an total affront to her. She’d state that the doctors told her a bottle was just as good as nursing, so she felt she was a GOOD MOTHER for doing it that way. I’d say that I’m sure bottle feeding is fine, but it was too late. I’d already made it sound like nursing was better, and I continued to do it. I’m positive my mother chalked that up in her mind as yet another offense, from that daughter. Separate opinions are not acceptable. Doing something different is the same as telling her she’s wrong, and of course she can’t be wrong, because she ALWAYS right.

Back to the idea of forgiveness. I think when people say that forgiveness is for you, I think what is meant is to let go of the anger and any need for revenge. Most “normal” people can’t just go on to find peace and joy in their lives, while simultaneously wishing ill upon another, even if they deserve it. My mother’s golden GRANDCHILD (over thirty year old chronically unemployed bartender and quite talented sociopath) deserves more than simple revenge for all the manipulations he’s devised, and executed. While I’m not wanting him to suffer eternally, I would like TRUTH and justice to prevail. Of course both he and my mother would see that as wishing them evil. In dealing with them, I have simply followed the motto, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” So they really don’t have much to prove that WE are the villains in this drama they created.
I will say that writing on here about them feels like I’m getting some sort of revenge. Am I dishonoring my mother if no one ever knows her name, or mine? I don’t know. God forgive me!!! I feel I have to get this anger out somewhere, or I’ll never be free of it. I also hope and pray that my sharing can help others to understand what they may be dealing with. To help them to see the signs and realize they need to tread carefully, or escape wisely as soon as possible.

I’m sure it still hurts Vicky, but you escaped, while many others will succumb to their mother’s hatred and control. They will never make it out alive. Rejoice in your FREEDOM!!!


Bertie March 26, 2017 at 2:25 pm

I haven’t checked the blog until this afternoon. I felt as though I was overdoing it, and purposely didn’t check on it until today. Thank you for writing. Thank you for sharing. What you said to me mattered … and helped.
I will write more soon.


Bertie March 26, 2017 at 5:43 pm

To Rubies (& Others),
Since about the first of the year, I started to write a running journal of “every bad thing” that I could remember, about my dysfunctional family. Most entries are a short paragraph and most are about my mother, the remainder about my siblings. I’m typing it on my laptop. Right now, it’s 157 pages long. And I can keep going. And what I write about aren’t little petty things … they’re big …. and it’s “messed up” stuff.
I’m writing this only to “leave behind”.
I hadn’t read or been told or counseled about “NM” or the classifications of the children and their roles. I hadn’t read that until Michelle’s site.
While I read my 157 pages, I can see the pattern of abuse and it is “textbook”.
I know by my entries on this blog that I’m obviously angry.
I’m angry that I spent THIS MUCH of my life bending over backwards for someone who was playing me her entire life. And some of my siblings played me too. As I’ve written on this blog, when I finally started to say no, and fight back, Mom and my sister became cruel. It goes on and on. There’s no “coming back from it”.
So, I hope the younger ones reading this can identify this cycle of abuse early on and not let it take years out of their lives. And also not let it become part of the lives of their “own” families.
The past five years or so, my mom has been punishing me in more creative ways. She mentioned a particular crocheted afghan she gave me in the mid 80’s. (I always kept it in a special place because I didn’t want to use it much/wash it too much/wear it out). She told me recently, “Do you know why I gave you that?” No, I say. She says, “Because I didn’t like it”. I asked for a particular old photo of me years ago. To date, she will not let me have ANY of my old photos. I am pretty certain that she destroyed them all. You have no idea how much this hurts. This ranks way up there.
She told me mean and hurtful things about my father. “He didn’t want to drive and pick you up when you came home on vacation … what do you think about your precious dad now????” Stuff like that. She lets me know that I’m not pretty. But my sister is.
She’s giving most things (heirloom kinds of things) to my sister. She’s even giving my sister items that I gave her. She’s not giving me anything.
When I went NC at the start of 2017, I knew I was making a big decision with big repercussions. My mom is very old. I viewed everything as “it’s either them or me … and I have to choose me”. Their behaviors were literally driving me nuts. Nothing associated with my family was “normal”. It was always “nuts”. I asked myself the question if I can live with myself (guilt wise). I think I can. I know that I’ll never get anything from “home”. Does it bother me? Yes, but I’ll get over it.
And so …. what wisdom to take from coming from a mother like this … a highly dysfunctional/toxic family? I know I won’t repeat it. I know that I’m grieving all of this right now. I think daily about getting the phone call when someone tells me that she died. I already know that I will feel excruciating grief, and sadness, despite how it has been. She is my “mother”.


Rubies March 30, 2017 at 4:50 pm


I’m glad to know that what I wrote “mattered” to you. I don’t usually comment, but I felt a need to respond to you. I certainly understand all the pain and anger needing to be poured out into words somewhere. Journaling, “hot letters”, and commenting on blogs, can feel like life preservers, when the memories seem like huge waves intent on drowning us. I also have a small recorder that I vent to. Actually I don’t record my feelings, but facts. Because some days I miss my mother, and others, I don’t want to see her again, but you can’t argue with facts. (Well a narcissist will argue with facts, but I can’t.) Cold hard facts helps one to see REALITY. I think my soul keeps running these facts and memories through my mind as a form of protection. To be sure that I don’t fall back into her control again, back into the “FOG” again. ( “FOG” stands for Fear, Obligation, and Guilt, in narcissistic community lingo)

I know that if my mother were to be HONEST, apologise, and make things right between us, I would go right back to being the devoted sacrificial daughter, and that scares me. I’m afraid before long I’d be right back to being used and abused. Either that, or being set up for round four of unbelievable drama. My mother has tried to “Hoover” me several times now, but it’s clear she doesn’t care about making things right. She just wants things to go back to normal. That’s me trying to earn her love, and her keeping it as the perpetual carrot on a stick. I can tell by what she’s written, she wants me to think that she doesn’t remember, or realize how rotten she’s been to me. My mother is “very old” as well, 89yrs, and one could easily excuse all her behavior due to her age. She could fool anyone else, but I know she’s still a very sharp woman, who knows exactly what’s she’s doing. I’ve read far too many stories now, about N parents who are well into their nineties still wreaking havoc in their children’s lives, disrespecting them while on their deathbeds, and somehow causing even more trouble from beyond their graves. I can’t take anymore now.

TRUTH is my line in the sand. (I really mean my line painted on concrete.) If she can’t be honest about things, then I feel fully justified in not dealing with her. Of course TRUTH is anathema to a narcissist. You’re NEVER suppose to look at what they actually did, you’re suppose to listen to what they tell you, and look for all the ways that you’ve failed them. They expect you to see their mountains as molehills, and your molehills as mountains.

I’ve learned many things in the last couple of years since starting to study narcissism. I’ve realized I’ve had the tendency to look past offenses far too easily. (I don’t wonder where that came from.) Rather than taking an appropriate stand at the right time, I’ve just let things slide, and hoped for the best. Then, when things go WAY too far, I get too emotional trying to deal with them. My mother has used this fact in her favor one too many times. I’ve now learned to step back from situations, rather than react. They say your first reaction in a situation with a narcissist is usually wrong, because it’s what the N expects, and then uses in their favor. I’ve learned to respond wisely, and even more importantly, that I do not have to respond at all. In fact there’s a saying that goes: “How do you deal with a narcissist? YOU DON’T!!!” Or as your counselor told you, to “Not Engage”.

Seeing the best in others and being understanding of another’s faults is usually a good thing, but it’s absolutely disastrous in dealing with narcissists. They just see it as a green light to walk all over you, and when you finally wimper or scream, you’re the problem. How dare you complain? Keep your mouth shut, and keep on taking whatever we throw at you, no matter what it is. Of course we can rob you, and make you out to be the scum of the earth. And you’d better just take it with a smile on your face, love in your heart, and consider it your duty.

I’ve always gotten the impression from my mother that she’s the ONLY one deserving of respect in our relationship, and that I forever owe it to her. Yet when I look at the FACTS, she really deserves my contempt. It’s hard for me to say that, because I still love my mother. I wish I didn’t. It would make all of this SO much easier to deal with. Thing is, my mother has been good to me as well, but it never felt like love. It would just feel like I owed her even more. And that all the good I’ve done for her does NOT count against this overwhelming debt. I feel like I was born owing her. Have you felt this way?

There’s so much I could say to you Bertie, and to any others who have just come to the realization that their Mother has NPD. I must say that getting it all out in writing or on recording is awesome. Not only are you bringing things to light for yourself, but knowing you can access it easily can give you a sense of security. I know when I have my moments of wanting to go see her, in order to try to work things out yet again, I can just go to all my recorded facts and snap myself out of the delusion that she’ll be reasonable.
I actually have a recording of my last conversation with my mother. It’s about forty five minutes of me trying to make sense of matters, and her gaslighting, negating, spinning, lying, telling half truths, exaggerating, dismissing, distracting, accusing, complaining, and telling me that she wishes she wasn’t alive anymore. The last one being a statement she has used too many times before. They know how upsetting such a statement is to a child who loves them. It makes you just want to drop whatever the matter is, and make them feel better. I remember you stating earlier that you were afraid to find your mom hanging from a noose, when you were a teenager. How horrible that is. I’m SO SORRY to hear that Bertie. I hate to think of any kid having to fear such a thing, even once. Never mind on a constant basis.

I’m also very sorry to hear about your pictures, though I imagine she may still have some, or all of them. I revert to what I said to you before. She may be just keeping them from you, because she knows you really want them. I’ve learned narcissists will use anything and everything to keep you right where they want you. She knows you have to keep dealing with her, if you ever want the possibllity of getting those pictures. My mother actually has other heirloom pieces, besides the ruby necklace, that she knows I really want. However, through all my studying of narcissism, and looking back on her own behavior with me, I’ve realized there’s no point hoping for those things. It was extremely hard to come to that conclusion, but I had to put a stop to the madness somehow. I’ll never forget one comment I read on a narcissism blog, quite a long time ago now. The lady basically stated that she would rather sleep in her car and bathe in a river before she had anything to do with her family again. That helped to put some things into perspective for me. I know however that pictures are irreplaceable. It’s truly evil if she ruined them, and if she didn’t, it’s still evil to keep you from them.

I also have to say, you don’t have to believe what she said about your Dad. I’m imagining he’s already passed on. Correct me if I’m wrong. First of all, narcissists don’t want you to think well of anyone, but them, or their golden ones. And Narcissistic women often times hate their husbands, even if they stay married to them. The defining trait of a narcissist is THEY DON’T CARE. So why not ruin your “precious” memories of your father? I think my mother hated me and my husband more than she would have, simply because she knew we were my father’s favorites, though my dad always tried to be fair about everything. I’ll tell you another narcissism joke, which you may have heard before, but I believe it fits this situation. “How can you tell when a narcissist is lying? Their lips are moving.”

Anyway, I’ve got to go accomplish things in real life right now. I hope you’re doing well, and know I will check back to see if you respond. I must say that some of the most educational comments I’ve read, while learning about narcissism, have been when people have had back and forth conversations with each other.

Just remember you’re not alone!!! <3


CITIZENSHIP April 11, 2017 at 12:49 pm

My reply is lengthy!!! This gets to “How I am Doing RECOVERY”. Thank you for this article. I relate to those here saying to vent out, share this pain and to be free of it. Not to be consumed by it, but to write it out because NOW I understand everything. In my 30’s I’ve been NO CONTACT for 6 months with my Covert Narc Mother and I am FLOURISHING without her. My life is beautiful and lived in love WITHOUT my mother. She will never be a part of my life again. Ever.

I say ‘COVERT NARC MOTHER’ because her friends will tell you I’m ‘lying’ and how great she is.

I am the Scapegoat daughter and my brother is the Golden Child. Told that I was mentally ill, year after year by my Psychologist Covert Narc Mother and knowing deep down that I was a healthy person. I’ve always possessed integrity, drive, ambition and a conscience. That I am nothing like the evil meanness she wished upon me for so many years. For many years I battled anxiety, self-loathing and beating myself physically beginning in my teen years until I was bruised. I was never depressed or truly hated myself. I just wanted a life where I could financially care for myself away from NARC MOM. This I was not even conscious of until I went NO CONTACT. For years I tried helping her clean the house, clean her closet, and help her doing errands and help her buy cars and hang out with her and her friends and read self-help books together so one day (far in the future) I might be successful. (Which she never wanted, I just didn’t know it).

All I ever wanted was to become a successful adult. Mother hated my ambition; which she called ‘Triggers’ and “Perfectionist”. The twisted GASLIGHTING of my own sanity is why I went NO CONTACT. My husband and others will tell you I function completely fine in the ‘real world’ in her absence. In the blossoming taking place by giving myself the gift of NO CONTACT, I know forever my life is my own and NOT NARC MOM’s. For my health I cannot EVER see her again.

The dangers of my Narc Mom is that she’s a Psychologist without patients except my brother and myself. To a large extent my father enabled her but I don’t think he is conscious of this. He just got tired of the battle and went ‘Ostrich in the Sand’. Since going NO CONTACT, I now consider whether my Mother ever loved my Father who always worked hard and provided for the family. My father always furthered himself. I do love my Father, but now I can’t see him. I do better with no association to the family.

My mother has done nothing but create drama and triangulate the whole family. Only when we were upset would she pay attention; offering all her psychological analysis on what was wrong with me. As well as getting my father and brother to agree I’m ‘mentally ill’. It’s incredible I’m actually confident and have done all things she was too afraid to do. Start a business, live overseas, public speaking and CHOOSE a very loving, compatible man to marry. Her meanness toward my very decent spouse is one more reason for NO CONTACT.

In going NO CONTACT I see she only ever chose weak sad sack friends; people with lots of depression and problems–Unity through suffering and she plays Psychologist. Friends of hers have told me “I love your mom”.

My mother suffered tragic loss early in life; I now understand this attributed to decades later suffering of myself and sibling growing up. She loved telling me, “Having children was the worst thing she ever did”. And “How much she sacrificed”. There has been guilt in everything she ever did for me. Also that I would be a ‘terrible mother’.

I used to have issues with the feminine, womanhood and clearly, motherhood. Away from my mother I recognize I enjoy kids and have been good with kids, but in this life, I’m not having a child. I now see I COULD be a good parent if my husband and I chose to have a child. Or I can contribute to a young person’s life via mentoring etc. I feel like there’s some lost years and if I had figured out the family situation with my NARC MOM a decade earlier, I might have had time to have a kid.

It hurts to have a mother that does not want me to be an adult or care for anything else except her. This she would deny. I finally comprehend that my mother actually has wanted me to fail in life at everything. To be mentally ill and need her. She only ever gave me attention when I was anxious or in panic, worried about my capabilities. When in fact I have accomplished and fearlessly done many things she has NEVER done.

My Narc Mom is very paranoid about me and this paranoia she has aided in my going NO CONTACT. She never hugged me in recent years. My mother is afraid I’ll take her things. Or put her in a home. Or I don’t know what. Ironically, I always cared about NARC MOM, until I went NO CONTACT. Now I see the real her. The abandonment she did to me. That she didn’t really care. She always told me I was a burden.

Narc Mom turned Golden Child brother against me which I only now understand. My Narc Mom is a vile force of misery. I wish I could explain to my brother how everything makes sense now. To tell him to ‘save himself’. Our Narc Mom FEEDS off my brother’s soul and flesh. He lives with Narc Mom who ruined my brother’s relationship with a wonderful young woman. He’s suffered through drug use and I know he is actually capable, but NARC MOM is always right there saving her little boy. My Covert Narc Mother has attempted to INFANTILIZE us both for years. But I’m the Scapegoat daughter that got out. Too bad, I can’t save my brother because he acts like he has Stockholm Syndrome and will constantly defend NARC MOM.

6 months out in the absence of my Narc Mom I see how sick she is and how she destroyed my entire family. I will not cry when my mother dies and I will NOT attend her funeral. Her last parting words to me after all were “I don’t want to see you for a long time”. Well, I get to decide how long is ‘a long time’.

I’m sure she will tell you how awful I am. She won’t ever tell you how I confided my dreams to her and enthusiastically told her the great things I wanted to do in life. She won’t tell you how she rolled her eyes at me or replied with a shrug of the shoulders when I told her the love of my life and I were getting married. She won’t tell you how she invalidated my every emotion and POV.

So won’t tell you that she only bought me gifts when I was in her web. Now that I’m NO CONTACT she gives me nothing. She never ever gave me money. Only gifts that she controlled where she controlled the entire gifting process. A meaningless thing in a color that she bought. The sense of abandonment is profound. That’s the greatest pain. She was never proud of me or cared about my dreams. She would just say ‘That might not be what she wants”. She has used finances against me. Promised me things she never gave me.

Looking back, I wanted so much to have an adult life even as a kid. I was focused on career before my teens because I knew financial success meant I could hold some power and care for myself. My mother was never in any of my future dreams.

She never empowered me. All the empowerment is FROM MYSELF. She just said ‘Something will work out’. Like I was a passive witness to life. Which somehow for her life of drama, nothing ever did work out. The problems persist, this pattern I recognized in recent years. I will NOT ever do her DANCE again. She would tell you she validated me and that I was ‘inconsolable’.

Healing myself is that beautiful latent side affect of going NO CONTACT. Silence is my power. There is nothing left to say to my mother or family. The largest pain is in knowing Mother wishes failure for her own daughter. I’m sure she has tried to tell her relatives how awful I am. That also hurts, but her pond is small. I tried explaining this to my father many times to no avail. The scariest aspect of the NARC MOM is the desire to destroy me. The gaslighting of my mental health. She never ever talked to anyone about her own.

I’ve been keeping a dream journal. Which has been fascinating. In one dream I announce to my narc mother that I am happily pregnant and she gives me a pamphlet for abortion. How is that for symbolic!!?!

So NO CONTACT is the only path forward. I am happy, married to my best friend. I see how life can be so calm. Quiet evenings. Laser focus on my goals. Each step clear to me. How much I am accomplishing in a short period of time. Laughter. The knowing that life IS OKAY!

If my brother read this, I would tell him to take care of himself and leave our NARC MOM. See life, see the world. I don’t hate my brother, but I know he hates me through my mother. Maybe years from now we will know each other again and maybe we won’t. We actually got along as siblings away from NARC MOM. On a couple trips we took together. That was the only time in my adult life where we got along.
The infantilizing I did not understand until going NO CONTACT.

I never wanted my mother to suffer, but I can’t be suffocated and gaslighted in my life. I WILL NOT take any more of her. If she could get help, good for her. The rest of my life is for me and my husband.

I still deal with the anger sometimes. That is the last big sword for me. In NO CONTACT I sometimes reflect on years of prior events and NOW understand them. I shed tears of relief and loss in the realization that I do love myself and that there was nothing wrong with me all these years even though my mother lead the family against me so they all would tell me I was mentally ill. I recognize my mother won’t get better and accept that she never loved me or wanted me to be happy. That none of her gifts meant anything from the heart. They were to control me and make me guilty for her giving to me.

I have healed in learning new things. New languages, new people and a second business that NONE of of the old people in my life know about!!!! They have all trashed my existing business and without them in my life it is ALL doing better! I axed all contact with any one associated with my mother. I choose who I want to socialize with. I do nothing out of obligation. It’s like I was just re-born without the weight of my mother. OH YEA! I QUIT ALL SELF-HELP! (Aside from writing). I no longer devour SELF-IMPROVEMENT. I watch old movies and read fun books, learn history, and write stories and cook. I no longer make a list of ‘’Where I want to be in a couple years”.

I recognize life is finite and the universe is far larger than the pain for my mother’s pathetic life and the pain she inflicted on myself.

Right now my goals are happening, Yea Mother. IN YOUR ABSENCE. Instead of being anxious anymore, I am strong and working in joy on everything I ever wanted to achieve. Everyone around me knows I am sane! Even likable! Even inspirational! I feel compassion for life. Ambition has always been the true me.

AND THAT is my 6 month NO CONTACT ‘write it out’. Thank you for reading.


Rubies April 14, 2017 at 4:52 pm


You are “inspirational”. You’re going on to live a happy and successful life “in love” despite the seriously rough start. Which is exactly what she didn’t want you to do. What’s worse for her, you’re doing it WITHOUT HER, without her being able to ruin it for you.

I don’t want to hit a touchy subject for you, or anyone else reading this, but I feel the need to say that one should not judge motherhood by what a narcissist says about it. (Remember they love appearing to be sacrificial martyrs.) I have three children, two of them even have autism and I would never say that having children was the worst thing I ever did, or ever complain about the sacrifices. Yes children can be a lot of work but also a lot of fun. It’s going by too fast for me. When I look back on how involved my mother was with us when we were kids, I spend more time with my kids in one week than she did my whole childhood, unless you count when she screamed at us. When I was young, I feared I would be like my mother to my kids


Rubies April 14, 2017 at 5:17 pm

Sorry, that accidentally posted before I finished. To continue: I feared I would be like my mother to my kids, but I found that I adored my kids instead. I can’t even imagine acting like my kids are a burden, or that they owe me. I just wanted to say that to anyone choosing not to have children out of fear they would be the same way as their mother. I’m not saying that’s you Citizenship. I’ve just heard it expressed before, and hate to think someone who wants kids would choose not to because of their mother’s issues. Sorry if these statements don’t come across the right way.

Anyway, I just wanted to wish you well, and hope you succeed in all endeavors. : )


Rubies April 15, 2017 at 5:37 pm

I’m now wishing I had not posted what I did yesterday. Unfortunately I can’t undo it. I had wanted to be encouraging to Citizenship and wish I had just left it at that. I keep imagining that some people reading these comments will have made the decision not to have children out of fear of being like their mother, and I may have brought up a disconcerting subject for them. I realize we’re all a tough bunch considering our upbringing, but I’m stll SORRY to anyone who may feel upset by it. I’m SORRY to Citizenship as well.

I also hope I didn’t come across as though I want people to think I’m some kind of GREAT mother. I know I’m not. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m just an average mom who simply LOVES her kids.

Wish all of you well, and a HAPPY EASTER.


Jo May 20, 2017 at 9:29 am

So the other day I was “waited on” by a 25 year old para-professional at a printing company. She brought up “her father” and said how he has been so much help to her, in her life. She said, “I can’t wait to give back to my parents! They have done so much for me!”
I probably made some sort of noise in my throat. I said nothing.
I think I have done ONE MILLION MORE THINGS for my parent (NM) than she ever did for me. In comparison, I am much older, and have a much older parent … but I wonder about those who grew up in the Great Depression (my NM) and how no matter what I do for her, or what she gets materially, it is never Grand Enough or Good Enough for her. I don’t get it.


Bob Paine May 22, 2017 at 4:11 pm

Will you give me some ideas for starting a support group for adult children of narcissistic mothers/parent? I’ve not found anything in my area and have contacted local hospitals and a treatment center. My idea is a group similar to Al-Anon. However this is just one possibility and other ideas are welcome. Thanks very much.


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