Caring for an Aging Narcissistic Mother

by Michelle Piper

Caring for an aging narcissistic mother is hard.

As the child of a narcissistic mother, chances are that when your mother needs you most, your compassion has already been worn threadbare by her ever-changing demands long before she approached her frailest years.

You may have had to tend to her needs for as long as you can remember. She always came first, and certainly came before you. If her needs went unmet, it was followed by a narcissistic rage that could move mountains.

If you wanted or needed anything, it didn’t matter.

Unless, somehow, it served her needs.

But now she needs you due to the challenges of her age. Perhaps just as you’re barely meeting multiple demands of your own family, health or career.

You hoped your aging narcissistic mother’s drive to be the center of attention and make everything about her will subside, at least a little bit. Yet, this is often not the case.

Narcissism can worsen with age, especially when she may need your assistance to help her through her daily life due to illness or the general wearing out process. Caring for an aging narcissistic mother is a complicated process on both a physical and emotional level.

Paradoxically, an elderly narcissistic mother can pull at your heartstrings because you see she doesn’t have the capacity to manipulate or fight as she did in the past as her physical energy or mental ability decreases.

She may become less rigid due to the humbling nature of the aging process. When this happens, it may appear she has “mellowed with age.”

You may have a resurgence of feeling responsible for the lack of closeness with your narcissistic mother. If so, avoid focusing on guilt about, or longing for, a relationship with your mother that never worked as you’d so badly hoped.

An intimate relationship is beyond the will or capacity of a narcissist.

Sometimes, we can’t help our mother as much as we’d wish because we need to protect our own emotional safety. Perhaps you have long accepted you will not be truly cherished by your mother and she’s incapable of respecting your needs. Maybe all you can do is feel empathy from afar because you are too angry when you are close.

Regardless of your mixed feelings regarding your narcissistic mother, you may allow yourself to feel compassion, but not responsibility for, her needs or suffering. It is the opposite of narcissism, after all.

{ 126 comments… read them below or add one }

LCJones1955 April 4, 2014 at 5:22 pm

I know this sounds terrible but I’m glad mine died. I would leave her in the street before I would care for that monster. I moved 1200 to get away from her and although she was suffering from a great many illnesses from ever since I could remember (her ability to survive was amazing) she could still hit the button on the phone that dialed my number. Mother couldn’t hear so the conversations were usually one sided….she was sick, she went to the Dr, she was sick, she called her golden child my brother to tell him “you wife is a fat ****” even I had to laugh at that one, then back to how sick she was…Oy. I finally said to her, “Jesus, for someone who has been as sick as you, how come you’re not dead yet?” Well, that stunned her stupid and shut her up . She hung up on me “YAY!!!!! Until the next time. I once told her to please stop calling because “you are sucking the soul out of me and you’re exhausting..that gave me another few months of peace
The one thing she couldn’t take from me was my wicked sense of humor and as I got older I realized she was the perfect foil to use it against.
Honestly, you should write an article on “Why adult children of NM Shouldn’t EVER feel the Need or Feel Guilt to care for their aging Momsters……not “caring for them”
I felt good writing this

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Anonymous June 30, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Hi. I have a nmil who has made my life hell for the last 15 years or so, however what I am really responding to is yr blog, yr entry really made me laugh, infact, so much so that u have prevented me from slipping into, what I call a dark spell. Hilarious, yes I agree u have a wsoh many, many thanks x

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Sherri August 13, 2014 at 3:14 pm

That was awesome. You’re my hero! I’m laughing as I type this !

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mgw August 28, 2014 at 10:59 am

LC — thank you. for saying it like it is. for saying the EXACT same words that i’ve always thought inside, but never said out loud because “gasp! you can’t mean that about your mother.” Wicked, wicked humour, what a blessing it is. So thank you. from the bottom of my wicked, black heart.

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Noel November 6, 2014 at 7:54 pm

This was a bit funny, lol.

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martha December 30, 2014 at 3:23 am

I love this. Mom is going in for surgery and all I can think is “please die on the table”. I’m not saying it with anger. The world will simply be a better place. It’s liberating to say the words.

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Nancy March 4, 2016 at 10:40 am

I want my mother to just go ahead a die too. I am so tired of dealing with her.

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Ivy October 25, 2016 at 9:25 am

Mommie Dearest is real.

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Anonymous November 27, 2015 at 1:00 pm

God bless you for writing this!

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Anonyme November 27, 2015 at 1:02 pm

God bless you for writing this!

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Jane March 6, 2016 at 4:51 pm

I’m hoping mine will die before I do. I now have heart disease that I blame on the stress(no other risk factors) of dealing with that god awful monster. The knowledge that I have a potentially life threatening condition hasn’t slowed her down one bit.

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Ems April 28, 2016 at 5:17 am

My sister calls the soul sucking thing of our mother that she’s being a ‘dementor’ – you know, like those things in Harry Potter that suck the life out of everything around them? She’s like a fun vacuum. If she’s decided she’s not happy or having fun she will just sit there and go dementor. It’s exhausting to deal with and no matter how much you try for a conversation, there’s no getting one.

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Liz Tilley May 6, 2016 at 10:49 pm

I feel the same way, my mom is 77, and I am pushing 60 trying to help the old bitch. She has lived with me for a little over 3 years now, and it’s torture.

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Lisa October 30, 2016 at 4:00 pm

Me too. I am living with and caring for my mean narc mother and it is killing me and destroying my family. Die! Prayers for those who are dealing with this.

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JAM August 5, 2016 at 11:38 am

Unfortunately this doesn’t sound terrible. It is exactly how I feel. I continue to deal with my mother, one of 6 children but we’ve all pretty much finally figured out she is Narcisssist and limit our contact. I continue to take her to drs appt and my sister in law takes her food shopping, but the rest want and need no further part of her. I continue to deal with her because I have two daughters and want to show them a good example of compassion and forgiveness but it is really hard. Conversations are always one sided, she is always bashing my brothers and sisters and as she is getting older she can’t keep track of what nasty thing she said about who and is she is slipping up, we keep catching her in lies. Yup sense of humor gets us all thru! Today she told the doctor that I was an awful person. Poor doctor didn’t know what to say. I take comfort in finally figuring out that I wasn’t the crazy one, she is!!

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karen dadd October 23, 2016 at 11:51 pm

I just found out my mom is a narcissist and what a shocker, she has been lying to me all my life. I am doing just what you are doing. the basics needs of life only because she is my mom. her soul is empty, she does not listen or give a care about what you are saying. it is sad, but I do make a lot of noise and tell everyone my stories at work and they laugh because I am trying to find humour and happiness in my life everyday .I work with a lot of beautiful young women and they are teaching NDP in universities. Moms should not be able to get away with this this shit.

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PM June 28, 2014 at 10:16 am

When I was in college, my father insisted I get help in dealing with my mom. My parents were divorced, and my dad knew what I was up against. He assured me that I wasn’t the problem. My shrink was excellent, and I did learn to manage my mom’s behavior so that we could have a functioning relationship. She moved away for many years, and we had minimal contact while I started a family and got on with my life. It’s a good life: solid, happy marriage, terrific kids. My mom did do a lot of things well in raising me, and for those things, I am grateful.

Recently, she moved back close to me because she is aging and needed family close by. At first, it really seemed she had mellowed with age, and I was so grateful. I mean, she was still her, but not as destructive. I thought that was behind us.

Lately, it’s all blowing up. My brother bought a house for her to live in because she never held a job very long and never saved for retirement, but that’s not enough. She wants him to pay for a $10,000 remodel of her kitchen (for his “investment,” not for her, of course). I’m a terrible daughter because I “don’t come see her enough,” I “never reach out to her,” and I “shut her out of my life.” I see her several times a month and call her once a week. She almost never calls, and if she does, it doesn’t count as contact between us in her eyes because she had to do the reaching out. Ninety percent of the times we get together, I’m the one who arranges it. She doesn’t know much about my life because she talks nonstop when we’re together, constantly interrupting and talking over me, putting her words and feelings into my mouth and into my head, refusing to listen if I try to correct her misperceptions.

None of this behavior is new, of course. I grew up with it and have gotten pretty good at letting it roll off my back. But now she’s trying to drive a wedge between my stepmom and me. (My dad, who is now dead, married my stepmom when I was 12; it was from her that I got the healthy mothering in my life). I’ll talk to my stepmom and head this off at the pass, but it just sucks to be back on this merry-go-round. My mom is constantly unhappy with my teenaged daughter for all the same reasons she was never happy with me when I was that age–so selfishly building her own life. Plus my daughter is an introvert, and my mom takes her natural quietness very personally. I’m trying to help my girl navigate a relationship with Grandma–trying to protect the worth and dignity of both of them while being real with my daughter.

It’s just disheartening to be back here, that’s all. And trickier. I do believe my mom did the best she could with what she had when I was a kid. I have done pretty well feeling sympathy for without enabling her. It’s just harder as she gets older and truly needs me. I want to give her what she needs without killing myself trying to fill the bottomless pit of what she wants.

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melissa March 10, 2016 at 11:42 pm

go no contact and don’t look back

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Susan September 30, 2016 at 9:16 am

Wow, this could have been written by me. I’m struggling with my aging mom who I think is narcissistic. Bottomless pit, manipulative behavior, and never ending needs which are v-e-r-y specific. Praying a lot, considering getting counseling.

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susie November 28, 2016 at 5:35 pm

Susan,
please get some counselling as it has been the only thing that has kept me sane!!
That’s when you discover your not the Horrible person you have always been told by ur mother or what ever Her Thing /Verbage was to make you feel Bad. Stand up & Take care Now for you…you can get a Mental Health Plan from your Gp for Free sessions with a counsellor go for it you deserve it. Just ask for the help & it will be the Best thing ever.x

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Joan July 6, 2014 at 3:05 pm

No, seriously you can’t be advocating taking care of a narcissistic parent. Even when elderly. That constant feeding of supply tears at your soul, you’ll have nothing left. I won’t.

And besides, it is (in my most humble opinion) good to leave her alone. Perhaps, then she will come to the end of narcissism, a small chance but maybe. That would be the most loving thing to do with a monster.

We are talking about someone that has done the most inhuman things possible. A dog doesn’t get that many resources of care and a dog is good.

When I first started reading this article, it made me feel really bad. I felt like a horrible person feeling the way I do. But then I had to think for myself. No, she will never get any resources here from me. I had 2 abusive relationships, I almost died. If someone wants me to help care for MN non-mom I will just tell them to pretend I died in one of those relationships and I am not here.

I have been bullied most of my life. I have been mistreated and used. I have been unable to work because I have mental health issues over being an abused child. I was born a captive source of supply for this pig. I am over it. Let her rot.

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anotherACON September 17, 2015 at 3:36 am

I love this post! I would just like to point out that pigs are conscientious, intelligent, considerate, sweet creatures, please don’t compare them to Beast-From-The-Swamp Narcissistic Mothers.

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Misty February 9, 2016 at 5:14 pm

Lmao!!! I love this!

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Anne Rosselot December 4, 2016 at 4:11 am

Yes. I am caring for 90 year old Narcissistic Mother who, because of lack of mobility mostly, is unable to drink alcohol anymore and is disintegrating over it. Both parents were alcoholic; my father was war damaged and she is a malignant narcissist. I used to always say, to cut a long story short, that I was “raised by wolves.” But it bothered me, because there is a certain nobility in wolves. Now I just say I was raised by hyenas.

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Rebecca Danis November 22, 2016 at 6:52 pm

Hi Joan, I am sorry you had to go through that awfulness! That really sucks. I would suggest you get your genes mapped though because the mental health issues are probably both nature and nurture. There is probably bad genes running through your family (like there is in both sides of mine) that adversely affect brain functioning. And some people in the family are meaner and more crazy and unreasonable than others, but everyone suffers from at least anxiety and depression and both, which anyone would given the circumstances, but it would be good to find out if your problems are both nature and nurture because your outcome will be better for it. For example if you get counseling only, but are genetically deficient in B6 or magnesium, your body will not be able to make happy neurotransmitters very well or calming neurotransmitters very well, so no matter how much counseling you have, you will still have feelings of anxiety and/or depression or both. Getting a gene mapping will tell you if you have genetic mutations that can affect brain functioning. 2 big mutations to look for are MTHFR and CBS . See MTHFRsupport dot net and see Dr. Jockers webpage for CBS mutations. If you cannot properly make dopamine (neurotransmitter of happiness and motivation) or serotonin (neurotransmitter of calmness and contentedness) , you will not be able to feel truly happy and motivated or calm and contented. Without Folate (MTHFR causes folate deficiency) you will not be able to make dopamine or serotonin. With a CBS mutation, you will be deficient in B6 and magnesium and these are also needed to synthesize dopamine and serotonin.

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Claire November 25, 2016 at 5:04 pm

I know how you feel. I think my life has been poisoned by the toxic monster that is my mother. I feel no need to care for her at all. Living on the other side of the world helps. All I expect from her is that she speak to me politely and she can’t do it. She has no respect for me and as a child I had to endure her bullying but no more. I have struggled so much thanks to the way she treated me. Luckily I am strong, and it annoys her enormously that I do not engage with any of her crap. She won’t change. She didn’t deserve me. I am done.

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Betsy August 5, 2014 at 11:48 am

First, I would like to thank you for this wonderful and insightful site. I am the daughter of an elderly NM. My NM has “parentified” me my entire life and even though she has “mellowed with age” I continuously have to manage the relationship. I recently shared my thoughts about NM with my sister and directed her to the Internet for some research. I am happy to say that she called me right back and could not stop saying OMG, OMG!
My NM is 87 years old ( but tells everyone she is older), lives in an apartment on my farm and is socially very active. My younger brother, age 60, lives in the apt with Mom. He knows something is wrong but thinks its him! My sister and I would like to direct him to on-line resources but so far we have not had the courage. We don’t want to upset “Mom” , he would pay the price.
My mother has always placed me in a parenting role, living sibs, scape goats and the GC, he passed away 6 yrs. ago at age 54. Mom is still not over the death of her GC, his death “hurt her more because I’m his mother”. His children tried to steal all of his possessions, sold his business and regulated Mom to the sidelines according to NM. Of course this was after telling everyone that she was to devastated to make any decisions.
As a young child my NM told me that ” I was her mother in a past life and I was mean to her then” so she was still trying to forgive me for the terrible things I did to her in that past life. Crazy!
Dealing with an aging NM has its challenges, one is that people think she is just the best living example of an older person that they have ever seen. People aspire to age as gracefully as my NM. NM has told me point blank that she is through making decisions and that she “will have whatever I’m having”. I had an elective surgery, so did she, I bought a great used car, she got one just exactly like it. I order low carb, she follows suit. We dine out, we split a meal. I buy anything and she will have one too.
I must take her to her doctor appointments because I’m the “only one” that understands her issues. She lies to the doctors and tells them such unbelievable stories regarding her medical history. I do not allow the doctors to be misinformed but I am respectful of her when I gently correct. She has fallen 6-7 times in the recent past however she refuses to use a cane or a walker which has been recommended by the doctor. I believe that she really likes the extra attention she receives from others after one of her falls. I have taken her into the ER to get checked out, stitched up, x-rayed, casted etc. and she shines with all the attention. She is quick witted, clever and “amazing for her age”. Everyone just loves my NM.
My goal is to manage our relationship, maintain my own life, include her when it works out and to provide a safe place for her to life out the remainder of her life. My siblings are involved in varying degrees with her and both really struggle to stay sane in her insane world.
I feel so fortunate that I realized very young that she just wasn’t there for me and I dealt with the loss of a nurturing mother in my teens and early twenties. There was a 5 year period where she initiated NC and truthfully it was a very blissful time for me.
I have been married for 43 years and my husband has provided unconditional love, amazing support, empathy and compassion to both me and our children. Of course, my NM disliked him deeply for about the first 33 years! Since my enabling father passed away ten years ago and NM moved from several states away to live on our farm my husband is SOOO wonderful.
I refuse to play most of her games however forcing me to parent has a few advantages since I can simply say no to her and she will back down since she does not want to lose favor with the parent figure. My siblings do not have the same advantage so she will continue to badger and harass them until she provokes an argument and then of course ” they are just mean to her”. It’s not ideal for any of us but for now it’s not costing me emotionally, financially or socially to have our NM live here. By the way I do not accept rent money from her because the strings attached are just to great. If I was her landlord she would be impossible and I would have to send her elsewhere. She does pay for her own utilities, cable and any upgrades like painting, carpeting and appliances.
Sorry to ramble but this is the first time I have been able to publically and safely express myself regarding my NM.

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Susan December 12, 2014 at 7:24 am

Thank you for this, I was going to have Mom 82, move in and modifiy the house and then she messed with my daughters wedding , that was the last of many last straws. I believe my sister and I have suffered emotional and physical damage due to this disorder. (we both had drug, alcohol, eating, sexual abuse, cancer and finally death for my 52yr old sister.)
Mom fell 10 x in the last 6 months. Once she had a room full of fireman flip her matress, stating if I have six stong men in my bedroom there are going to do something for me. I watched her deflate because she can not hear on the phone to gossip or lie about us. Now in rehab she has a new stage. She is now messing with the Grandchildren. Where is the awareness?

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Anne R. September 24, 2015 at 12:03 pm

Thank you for posting this lovely response. I too have a NM and have had a difficult time relating to her and the world up until this point. (I am a single 37 yr old female). I’ve taken my NM’s drama as my own for so long that I feel stunted in my growth as an adult. But now I see the light and I’m trying to fight my way out of this confusion. I wanted to do so, not in anger or retaliation, but with compassion and really hard boundaries. Your story gave me a glimpse into what it would look like to help my mom in a healthy way. I think I also need to find a good therapist and healthy friends/husband/community to help me out of this confusion. Thanks again and blessings to you and yours.

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Audrey November 22, 2015 at 4:57 pm

Wow, wow, wow! This was hilariously and sadly therapeutic! I can’t even respond more now as I actually feel a little ‘light on my feet’. People out there ‘get this’, are dealing with this and have navigated it all while maintaining some humour? Man, I had the call yesterday (I live in Canada, my NM in WA since I was in my early 20’s and I have still been more rocked after 1 conversation with her on the phone than I would have ever dared to admit!)…ANYWAY, after my call yesterday I had to finally say ‘no more contact’! It’s too devastating and absolutely ‘surreal’ the level of insanity of our conversations – in less than 12 minutes. And I’m a highly successful woman in every other area of life. Oh gosh, this site and these posts are life-breathing!

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gina January 18, 2016 at 11:56 am

Your description of your mom is pretty much identical to how i would describe my mom. To the detail. My mom is dead now and I stuck it out with her. It’s been almost three years and I am still swirling in the aftermath of all those years of her ailments, decline, and death. I was the only person to respond to her incessant needs. The more I participated in her life, the more she expected. I had been unaware of the literature on Narcissism until long after I had started to be “responsible” for her and I was so in her thrall that I totally lost myself. I became her slave. I thought about her day and night, did as much as I could to produce satisfaction for her as she was , in fact, incapacitated by emphysema. I felt sorry for her. I identified with her isolation (which I knew so well largely on account of her effect). I really thought I was supposed to rescue her. I was so “gone” that despite the tole it was taking on all the rest of my life, I couldn’t back off for a long time. And when I finally got information and started to see what kind of person she was and began to revise my relationship to her, withdraw some of my attention and service, the guilt I felt was no less unbearable than the effect she’d had on me. At least from time to time, she showed a mellower, appreciative aspect toward me but the guilt just never let up. I became physically ill and had a mental reaction where I could do nothing but sit still frozen and ill. My husband took me to the doctor who ordered that I not see her at all. The authority of the doctor worked. It gave me permission to feel justified to take care of myself. It erected a barrier between mom and me. The situation had almost killed me. I have since read about people who commit suicide rather than go on with such people in their lives and cannot leap over the guilt.
I had sisters who lived far away and due to the distance perhaps or personality, they were clear about what they would or wouldn’t do, which was almost nothing. That included talking to me about it. They protected themselves and let me do whatever it was I was doing. Even though they knew I was in trouble they kept their distance.
When I first got the information about Narcissism and its effect on off-spring, I shared it with them but they didn’t pick up on it. Perhaps the need wasn’t there for them as they had so little exposure to it. I see how their adult personalities are infected with documented signs of being adult children of a Narcissist. But I guess they are ok with how they are and aren’t motivated to dig very deep.
After my mom died, I thought about someone I met who’d been in a war and when he came home with PTSD he couldn’t stay with his family because he been through something they hadn’t and they thought he’d just get onto things as they had been before, as though it hadn’t happened to him. I felt that about my sisters. They weren’t there, they had no interest in what I was suffering and they wanted to go on in the same oblivion as they had during all those years.
My situation had as an adjunct relieved them of the responsibility to their mother as well as saved a lot of money that would have otherwise been spent on outside care which they inherited. They never acknowledged all this. They just got as much as they could and beat it back to where they had been all along.
I don’t know how to really get well past the anger I feel toward them. All along I thought they’d step up to the plate and help me out in some way, but they
didn’t. I am shocked to realize they are so cold toward me, so grasping. Maybe they are as Narcissistic as mom was.
This is very long. I am glad to have a potential ear to say this to. I have no one really.

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John September 22, 2016 at 2:21 pm

I appreciate what you wrote, and can relate to the drama and chaos that whirls around an entire family caught in the grips of narcissism.

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NJ Strand October 26, 2016 at 4:14 pm

Just am figuring mom out! Vain, everyone else thinks she is amazing, judgemental, gets nose way out of joint if not paid due respect by all grand kids, great grands etc, wants to run the conversation, gets mad if you ” interrupt” her…I could go on. In her early 90’s and buys, buys, buys from catalogues, wears hair to hide her hearing aides which everyone else has at her senior living place. Wanted and got a CT because she thought she had ovarian Ca. Is thrilled to be less weight but still thinks her stomach is unsightly! Her thinking is not as clear which seems to worsen everything. Everyone dissappoints her. I am so grateful that I left home at 17 & have not had to deal with NM until just 3 years ago.

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Sherri August 13, 2014 at 3:10 pm

I knew from about the age of 14 that there wasn’t a chance in hell I would have anything to do with my NM in old age. I will not pay, help care for, house her or anything of the sort. I owe here NOTHING! In fact when she’s old and alone it’ll make me feel great to know she’s alone with no one but her golden child to depend on, who is now a drug addict and will never quit so sadly my NM mother may outlive her. Too bad for both of them. There’s no savings or money to speak of because my NM has poor money management. She’s already bankrupted the family once but continues to live well beyond her means to keep up appearances. This is made possible by 2 inheritances from elderly family members that have been taken advantage of… One before dying..her will should have been contested but wasn’t. The second by her living mother who she had sell her home, took the money and moved her into the house to help with her daycare so she can leave and avoid dong her job whenever she wants. Scary she cares for children now! This woman can barely walk but is the root of the family issues. She also pays rent for her “room” she uses. So trashy!

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CJ February 20, 2015 at 8:26 am

Are we sisters? Are you sure? Because reading your post is like looking at a family album for me. I commend your strength in getting out; I kept some distance but as everyone moved away, I am stuck in the same town with my NM, and am her emergency contact. Thanks to a supportive husband, she is not sucking me dry, but it does get wearing.
You are my hero! I want to be you when I grow up…

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Chris August 16, 2014 at 8:44 pm

I was so desperate to develop some kind of meaningful connection with my narcissist mother that I offered to care for her in her old age over and over again. I even offered to move to a home with an in-law suite so she wouldn’t have to worry about anything. But alas, I am the scapegoat child and she’s told me many times that she would never live with me. She only wants my two siblings to care for her. She also loves to tell me how my two siblings are named executors of her will, but not me because there is a pecking order (and of course I’m at the bottom).

She also tells me that the reason she doesn’t love me as much as my two brothers is because I’m a girl, and she doesn’t like women. As much as her rejection hurts I should consider myself lucky. It’s my brothers that will have to listen to her talk endlessly about herself for hours on end. I made the decision to cut ties with her this week and to finally put an end to the madness. It’s about time I stop letting her control my emotions so I can focus on my own life, which includes four beautiful children.

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Anonymous June 8, 2015 at 2:35 pm

Good for you!!!

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hidding in plain sight June 9, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Bravo, you are so right she has no right to control your emotions, you are in charge of your life, not the troll NPD. Here, after 30 years of taking care of NPD mom, my brother finally has to take care of her. My brother who cheats on and has physically abused his wife, is now like “what am I a babysitter!” He throws tantrums and is supposedly a grown man to be looked up to and respected – NOT. He can try and placate the monster that raised him now and see where his abusive behavior was learned. I am just glad to be the hell away from them.

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Teri Taylor April 21, 2016 at 11:05 am

I can identify with every story on here . My father passed 21 years ago , and my NM turned to my oldest brother . 9 years ago he passed in a plane crash, and for some reason I was the one left to take over her care . My sister helps monetarily, but lives in Texas, my other brother , lives in the same town as I do with our Mother , but has walked away and left it to me . I had even asked him for help , to take her to a dr.s appt , and was turned down flat . She has had many illnesses over the last 20 years , and lately a case of cellulitis, that has landed her in the er twice in the last week,. She just shines then when she is getting the sympathy from all the nurses and dr.s but as soo n as we get home , she immediately attacks me for some reason another . Today I get a call that she cancanceled an appt made by the er dr to see a cardiologist , due to an
abnormal ecg in the er, and ofcourse immediately attacked me for voicing my
concerns about it .All I hear is that she is too sick to go to that dr, and the er dr
doesn’know what his talking about(,even though he was such a wonderful dr
yesterday and she was just so impressed by him).and I just don’t understand what she is going through and how can I be so mean to her…I have seen on here. Where many of you have just walked away , but she has threatened suicide , and I just can not have that on my conscious. She has everyone so convinced that night she is such a strong , brave , wonderful woman, to have gone thru so much . If I voice my feelings , then it, s (you mm just need to suck it up , and learn to accept she is getting older and needs you . How can you be so mean to such a wonderful person . ? OMG!! They dont know her , they dont see the real person she is , Im stuck , I dont know how to escape this hell . I have always been a caring, empathetic, person , it is not in my nature to treat someone badly, even her , even though she was so abusive , and uncaring to us as children .. I am in a quagmire that is sucking me down , and see no way out ..

going through , and then it turns to how I need to keep my mouth shut when she sees a dr .even when I was directly asked a question by him that he couldnt get her to answer because all she wanted to talk about was how bad her life is now and how hard it is for her to go on after her son died…

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Teri Taylor April 21, 2016 at 11:09 am

Geeze , I cant even write corrctly . Sorry for the fragmentation. ?

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Ems April 28, 2016 at 6:14 am

Teri, if your brother has washed his hands of her, why can’t you? You need to care for yourself first. You cannot be expected to care for someone who is ABUSING YOU for caring for her!! She is toxic. It is SO hard to step away, but this will end up wasting your life away AND it will cause you huge stress which will in turn make you ill. Next time she has a go at you for showing your concern for her maybe just say, ‘Mum, that’s it, I’ve done everything I can but I can no longer help you. You are on your own.’ – to which she’d probably say she’s always on her own anyway and that nobody helps her (that’s what my NM would claim and does claim to others, anyone who will listen).

You are in a quagmire but you DO have the means to get out. She has no way of forcing you to do the things you are doing, you ar edoing it out of your own kind heart. If there is one thing i’ve learnt as a fellow empathetic and caring person, is that thsoe like yours and my NM will take advantage of that kindness till their last breath, with NO care whatsoever how it is affecting you. You don’t live in the same house do you? If you do, It sounds like it is time to extricate yourself from that situation. YOU have control. The only control she has is that which you give to her.

Masses of love to you though, this is the toughest thing in the world. People don’t understand and they expect eveyrone to love their parents and they dont’ see the cruel side as NM’s are so good at putting on a good show for an audience. Mine is night and day different towards me and my sisters if there are people around to see her being nice to us. It doesn’t matter what others say, you have to protect yourself, she has taken so much of your precious life and energy already. She’s made her bed, now she needs to lie in it.

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Susan September 29, 2016 at 5:16 pm

Well done, just so sorry sitting here that I didn’t look out for myself and my lovely 3 children, we don’t get time back, I should have put all that energy into my own family and maybe my own marriage would have survived, life is hard but move forward, mind yourself and your loved ones, Sue

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Sonja October 2, 2016 at 12:14 pm

Thank you for this post, showing me what is important in my life.

My 93 old NM tries everything to not let me live my own life although I am 65. I am very, very tired.

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salt&pepper August 22, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Chris, I’m glad you consider yourself lucky.

I, too, am beginning to feel lucky. My nMom, who I only really just allowed myself to call it that, just died. I was always frustrated at how she made me feel as if I had to like or be nice to my unBPD sister. But it wasn’t until the last year that I started seeing how enmeshed they were. I really didn’t understand the nature of their relationship until my mother got sloppy, cracks appeared and the light showed through.

I was stunned to discover their collusion as I tried in vain to get my mom to recognize my sister’s terrible behavior. But I couldn’t get through to her. I didn’t understand why. She saw it finally, first hand. None of it made sense. Then as soon as she died and all her friends talked about what a great listener she was and how she made them feel so special, I thought, huh? You’re talking about MY mom?

I was the scapegoat. And from all I have been reading, I realize how lucky I am. I always felt slighted and dismissed by her, most likely because I was always the truth seeker and truth teller. In a way, I think she knew she couldn’t mess with me but she did.

I have perfectionistic tendencies,. I have a hard time trusting people. If someone likes me, I wonder what they’re thinking, but then if they don’t like me I feel rejected. The list goes on and on.

But every so often, someone sees the light in you and they pay you a very specific compliment about how wise you are because of …. And some part of you agrees and you’ve been reluctant for so long to assume your power and beauty.

The one thing I can say is that I have superior instincts and I don’t mean that in a narcissistic way. But I was always coached to dismiss them. Still, I know I have them and I plan to use them more and more.

I feel free finally. I’m sure there is rage that will flow when I least expect it. But I don’t care. I’m prepared for it. I watched my sister swoop in to save the day and care for my mom in the last days of her life which she keeps reminding us about. Great, I want to say, better you than me!

I do feel a bit bad that I plan to have little to no contact with my sister now that my mom is gone, because I keep reading about how these parents pit siblings against one another. But my sister is 50 and she could have chosen to work on herself. But I suppose she liked her Golden Child status too much. Well, she’s on her own now and it’s not my problem.

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Mary December 23, 2015 at 5:53 pm

@salt&pepper wow… That was beautifully written and concise. Thank you. I was just about to sit down and (once again) try and reset the boundary, brainstorm and deal with the anger from an hour in the company of Mommy Dearest… I too am the scapegoat. But youve just nailed every point for me – bringing me straight to the conclusion.
There’s never been a healthy interaction, there never will be. She is abusive and mean to me and after 45 years, it’s ok to walk away.
Xoxo

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Melissa September 9, 2014 at 9:29 am

I realised that I am the adult child of a NM about a year a ago after a light bulb moment regarding my ex NPD boyfriend and the twisted dynamics of that old relationship, he had a NPD too . I have recently revisited all of this looking more at the NP parent, and at 40 the healing in understanding the legacy of having a NPD mother has only just began.

Four years ago I moved a long way, from England to Scotland, opposite ends of the country in an attempt to carve out a new life for myself, and to develop some healthy self esteem. Thankfully I have begun to deal with the trauma that I endured as the only child of a NPD drug and alcohol addicted single parent. (She kept my father out of the picture so I only met him a handful of times before he died of an overdose when I was 14).

I was at once the scapegoat, golden child and confidant, I was also discarded at my grandparents and then cruelly re-claimed at a time in my early teens when I was beginning to feel secure and enjoy life. My mothers prostitution added another dark dimension to my childhood.

Amazingly almost my entire family and close family friends have absolutely no awareness of any of this of are in complete denial of it. On the few times that I talked about the situation at home I was not believed and treated like a liar and a traitor (this gets mentioned a lot). The fall out from my NM was horrendous and she is still, I now realise making me suffer for it.. I have been estranged from family and friends, and can see no way to engage with them given the on-going denial and the damage this does to myself.

Needless to say I had had serious issues to heal and have been seeking that path since I left home at 16..

I am still to carve out the life that I want, (and now realise deserve), with a happy relationship, family of my own (perhaps), and job that I like. Up until not I have repeated the old scape goat family dynamic by working as a carer, my NPD mother having long since sabotaged by healthy self esteem, and creative talents and natural bent.

This issue of ageing NPD parents is a worrying one for me as I can imagine the ruinous course of events that could occur when my Narcissistic drug and alcohol addled mother reaches a state of even poorer health, especially NOW when I am just beginning on my own path.

I still, sucker that I am, suffer from guilt and have for many years confused my mothers drug and alcohol problems with what I realise now is the more significant problem, her Narcissistic personality.

This above all else has been the bane of my life and crazy making…now that I am beginning to gain better boundaries and the knowledge that I am gaining from these web pages I truly DREAD the time when my mum will be looking to me for help. It sounds terrible but I do wish she would die before it comes to that. Us that have experienced it know what dark truths make a statement like that possible.

I have given her enough of myself already, and wouldn’t it be just like her to get the last laugh, by stealing an independent and happy life, in the final hour. I will keep reading and researching to recondition the brainwashing I have undergone and to remember to love myself first and foremost, after all, with NPD were talking about the most selfish people alive, nothing destroys them because they have no real feelings except for themselves.

Its amazing how conditioned you become to the treatment of the NP. Visiting these webpages, and studying the material out there is helping me to really understand the hell I went through, and the ways that it continues now, even at this distance,- as it is largely impossible to challenge. We must be the bravest breed of people alive!

I wish love, strength and happiness for us all.

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Brian August 7, 2015 at 10:45 pm

Hi Melissa,
I found the account of your life experience to be quite harrowing – and familiar. Being an only child of an extreme type of dysfunctional mother must have just been awful with no break day-after-day for what seemed like forever. Being displaced to be with your grandparents then back again meant you likely didn’t bond with ….anyone. So sad for you.

You would not have been able to count on your mom for anything and the continuous traumatic circumstances ……well, you’re a very strong person to have withstood all that and you deserve enormous credit for having the conviction to move away. One of my therapists once told me that the greatest act of self-love was self-preservation.

My background: Both of my parents were narcs with my mother being what I now know to be a covert malignant type (scary) who used my narc dad as a proxy for continuous violence. Their collective specialties were betrayal, humiliation, terrorizing and outright sadism – which they enjoyed immensely. She’s still around, he isn’t.

As someone who moved in with their elderly narcissist mother to take care of her, I implore you, I beg you to not even consider repeating my mistake. I read over your story several times and I know of the pull (or is it spell?) that a narc mother can exert on their target – for I have also been subject to it. I fell for it but please do not follow my example.

Narcs are extremely cunning and amazing actors. From my experience, they go into stealth mode, or the sweet part of their mean-sweet cycle to entrap us using our sense of guilt (which they can spin 100 different ways), obligation and empathy against us. Then their mean personality takes over – and you know how that feels.

My experience had me moving in Jan of 2014 with her moving in from the hospital on April 1. During the lead-up to April, during which i was taking her to all sorts of medical and physio appointments, all seemed …..dare i say it….normal. The exact day she moved back, my descent into Hell began.

She was showing the effects of not having “fed” for months. (My mom “feeds” on negative emotions, screaming, arguing, setting people off against each other, smearing and so on). She went to work on me with all sorts of B.S. including lying to my brothers that I’d thrown all her tax papers out. Pretty soon I felt myself regressing to an earlier time in my life – which was making me feel crazy inside: in a bad mood, isolated myself, etc. I lasted 10 weeks before my two sisters organized an intervention to end that chapter in my life and it took me a long while to recover.

So, your fears are justified and your feeling of insecurity and not feeling safe are natural. Anyone with your background would feel the same way – but hang in there and please do not despair. I have some suggestions for you. And I know about friends and family not believing you, criticizing, being skeptical and so on. People don’t want to get it because it makes them feel uncomfortable: it’s far easier to point their finger and blame.

There are narc support groups around. I just found one in the city I live in, actually. and there might be one in yours, too. Call up social service agencies and speak frankly about your situation. If your mom is near retirement age, they have all sort of ideas. Even if she isn’t, so what? Call anyway. If you’ve gone No Contact, stay that way. It will be hard, no doubt but your very survival is at stake. I hope this helps.
Brian

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MIFNP December 23, 2015 at 3:07 pm

Brian,
Thank you for your wise words. I agree with your assessment. NO CONTACT. PERIOD. My mother is a malignant narcissist and my step-father is her enabling minion. Eight years ago I was going through a rough divorce and temporarily moved back in with my NM. I was broken (just like my mom likes me to be). While I am going through one of the most painful times of my life, she “one up’s” me and starts sleeping 16 hours a day, and c/o pain in her feet. She is subsequently diagnosed with dystonia (of the neck, mind you) and asks the doctor for pain medication. He puts her on MS Contin twice daily, at a dose they typically use in hospice!
One evening about 10 pm, I was sitting on the couch, polishing my nails when my step-dad comes home. I was surprised when he opened the front door and a drop of nail polish and some water spilled on the rug. He went into the bedroom, woke my NM up to “tattle” on me, and she comes racing out of the bedroom. Drugged out, she starts screaming at me at the top of her lungs. I thought she was going to hit me because her fists were cocked. I put my arm out to defend myself and she tripped into a chair. She fell into a chair! The next thing I know she is screaming for my step-father to call the police because I “hit her.” You know where this is going,, right?
Well, needless to say, her disease-process won the day and I was arrested, went to jail, and was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence. I have never been more humiliated in my life. I was arrested in my pajamas, white crap all over my face, no bra, and no shoes. But hey, I had a beautiful manicure!
I was a new nursing administrator and I was immediately terminated. Now I lost my income. I had no where to live because I was staying with my NM during my divorce! I ended up trying to take my life because I couldn’t see a way out of that mess. It was horrible. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the Lord. Truly.
That was in 2007. It is 2015 and I am FINALLY beginning to see the light (and it not be an oncoming train!). I lost my newly-leased car because I lost my job. Then I was sued for the deficiency balance. That will fall off my record in 2016. I am earning my doctorate of nursing and will be finished in a 1 1/2 years. I have a beautiful, comfy apartment and things are in order. She “apologized” for making it all up on January 2, 2015, but the damage is done. Even though that charged has been expunged, I would never be considered fit for adoption. See there, she won after all.
I have asked myself if I love my mother and the answer is no. I have a tremendous amount of compassion and pity for her. But I do not love her. I agree with your advice to Melissa. DO NOT be fooled! Seriously, your entire future may be at stake.
Many kind regards,
MIFNP

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Selena January 14, 2016 at 4:52 am

Wow i have just been reading alot of the comments on here about the narcissistic mother…. and holy cow your story shock, amazed, and unfortunately sounds very familiar to mine.So so proud and happy that you got yourself through that extremely difficult time and happy now good on you.

But boy i would really loved to know how you done it. Unfortunately i too ended up divorce, jobless and lost my car all at the same time, like you had to moved back in with my NM who lives on a property and the nearest bus stop is kilometres away and only comes once a day.So getting a job out here without a car is almost impossible. My NM being also elderly and frail and extremely innocence looking i might add innocence my foot. her doctor wanted me to become her carer.

My mother loves to play the mind games and really gets off of turning each of us siblings against each other.Her recent dramatic evil plot really terrified me. You see her GC( my eldest brother) was once a cop who has seen horrific things during his 20yr term. And as u can imagine what mental illness it has left him ( untreated too.) She asked him to come up and do her floors which was fine or so i thought??? You see i am also an animal rescuer and love it. Its the only thing that keeps me sane. At this time i had a little wallaby named Fern who i had raised up from a tiny little pink orphan. My mother would sit for hours with this little joey on her lap, telling anyone who came into the house how much she loved her and ferny loved my Mum often kissing her. Well this weekend which was during the school holidays so my 16yr old son and his friends were crashing at the farm as well.
The weekend began my brother started the floors me keeping out of the way and my mum slowly saying things to my brother of how she hates it when my friends come over and how she is scared of my driving and i am listening to this thinking ” shit mum my Brother isn’t to keen on me as it is.” I thought man i better lay very low and keep out of the way. In the meantime my son and his 2 mates where bunking down in the lounge room getting ready to watch a movie. Ferny the wallaby was happily hopping around the lounge room with them.You see i had to keep her in at night as wallaby’s are easily frighten and can died of shock.Well i am sitting in my bedroom waiting for the shower to be free when i heard a screaming coming from outside before i had time to go see my son came in to say ” Mum something is screaming outside ” i went to look to see, and straight away notice the front door was open, mine you the front door is part of the lounge room so you can’t miss it being open. I knew then my poor little Ferny was hurt. Being in shock i did get cranky at the boys wondering how they did not notice the front door wide open which was right in front of them.

By now i had found her she had ran into the electric fence which the farmer has for his cows next door the shock of it killed her.Then it happen my brother appeared out of no where like a raging bull with scary rage he started screaming obstinacies at me, and going off at me for getting angry at the boys. Here i am holding my dead baby wallaby and my brother is going completely nuts and shit was it scary i tried to run he just grab me and pushed me over then proceeded to tell me how his poor mother has been telling him she is in fear of her life about me living with her and she never knows the day i will murder her. All the colour just ran from my face i just looked at my mum who was standing behind my brother the whole time with this sick smirk on her face and not deigning ever saying any of it. Still thing that does my head in the most is she had absolutely no remorse for the little wallaby dying at all!!! What was the crap about her going on to everyone about much she had love it and i mean every one. The next day she proceeded to tell me how much i deserved to be punish and my brother was a hero for standing up for the boys!!

I think back now and still shake my head in disbelief what an actor i mean gees she could win an Oscar my NM. I just wish i had some bloody way of getting out cause i think her scary mind games with my sick brother ( her GC) will eventually kill me

Feeling stuck 🙁

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James January 22, 2016 at 2:05 am

That is a terrible story of just how awful a narcissistic person can be. They are exceptionally dangerous people who, faced with the slightest sign of opposition or disagreement, will respond with an onslaught that includes allegations and lies which they convince themselves and others are true. She has made allegations against me in the past to my wife’s sister which I bitterly resent as I have spent at least ten years of my life caring for her and her ill husband. They thrive on the attention given to them as the poor victim. Older ones like my MIL crave attention and charm people to feed their adoration junkie habit, Behind their backs they are derided if they step out of line. Meantime family in the background, usually the daughter living nearest is faced with a daily tale of how wonderful people think that she is, as if that in itself makes her wonderful. Her love and attention is reserved for her eldest daughter some 40miles away who has a history of only visiting five or six times a year but makes sure that each short visit contains a tsunami of gushing charm, gifts and attention. This maintains her as the golden child. She does nothing practical and steadfastly refuses to visit when we are away from home. MIL makes the mistake of telling her when that is and then she appears to never answer her phone calls in case she gets landed with having to help her out. We have noticed how the visits have increased since MIL started paying her granddaughter for doing a little tidying in the two hours that she is there. Her daughter also gets paid well for doing her hair. There is always a request for a sizeable amount of money just prior to their visits and a request for replenishment soon after. She now sends cheques to the granddaughter as she is on sick leave, even though she is paid for that.
There are real dangers for people with such parents or relatives by marriage. The narcissists lies convert to truth to them almost instantly. When spread they can come to the attention of authorities and employers and can lead to terrible injustices such as in your case. This is particularly so for anyone working in a trusted caring capacity. I recently challenged my MIL for putting herself at risk by her actions and she promptly told family that I had sworn at her and called her names. I hasn’t. I was frustrated and merely asked her ” what are you doing” in a slightly raised voice. I actually consciously controlled my annoyance. She is dangerous. I used to work in a job where lies like this could have affected my job in the same way as yours but I am no longer working so it is not an issue.
In public she regularly tells people that my wife won’t let her have a dog. Wrong. My wife is not willing to get her a dog as we had to rehouse her last one when she fell over it and injured herself several times and grew tired of its urinary problems. My wife is not stopping her. She can ask someone else to get her one. I am sure some of her adoring fans would happily do this. She even brought up the issue at the Christmas dinner table to try to cause trouble in front of other people.
For joke she is reasonably independent as she approaches 90 but she is consumed with self preoccupation. She regularly needs help for some issue in the home, her heating timer needing programmed, lights replaced, all manner of things. I generally act as unpaid handyman and contact various tradesmen. As of my “words” with her she has had no contact with me and continues to try to gain support for how “badly” she was treated with family and friends. Stupidly she tells all, including her lies to the husband of my wife’s sister and she relates the story back to us. For my wife’s sake I am probably going to have to make the first move. In the world of my NPD MIL grudges last forever as do her golden eldest daughters who cut off my wife when she told her that visiting her parents once every two months was not enough. She has inherited the mother’s traits and revels in the problems that arise between my MIL and my wife. My wife is a strong person but the situation is rapidly wearing her down. She loved her father dearly but had less feeling for her mother who was abysmal at managing her husband when he had dementia. My wife resents her for this. My wife needs a way out , respite from this hell in which she is stuck caring for a woman she does not feel a lot if any real love for and who uses and abuses her. Often when she visits her mother she responds by sitting with her head down reading her newspaper and doesn’t look up, sitting there in stony silence, angry and resentful. Were the eldest daughter to walk through the door she would bounce up smiling to fuss over her and hug her. She never hugs the younger sisters. It will be interesting to see how it pans out if my MIL tres to do without my help. She might use some other suckers but as of a few weeks ago I haven’t offered her a lift in my car in bad weather to the coffee shop she likes to walk to daily as doing precisely that was when I remonstrated with her for failing to remain in the coffee shop as agreed due to the dangerous bad weather. So now she will have to sit at home more on bad days. I used to offer to drive her on the worst days as she had a habit of ignoring forecasts for gales or frost and it was in ours and her interest to try to keep her safe from falling and maybe losing her independence as a result. When she is lying on her back with broken limbs and facing permanent disability then she will realise that I was doing my best to help her. Well no actually she won’t. She will just blame me for not driving her and preventing her accident. You can’t win with people like this. The only remedy is to get away from them often or permanently.,

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wishingforNC February 7, 2016 at 11:53 pm

It’s been 2 weeks since my post about taking in my aging NM to live with me and arranging for healthcare. Bad move but no choice. Despite all the adjustments and changes in my life to manage her health, nothing is enough. And I am in the middle of what Brian fittingly describe as in the “sweet-part of her mean-sweet cycle” and “cunning acting” that I am now in the midst of a deep feeling of guilt which I feel is enough to send me to the doctors. From being healthy I am now experiencing regular headaches, difficulty breathing, body pain and have taken to going away from my family for periods of time if only to feel normal and sane. I am now searching for support groups or medical help in my part of the world… and reading everyone’s posts to help me up. Thanks.

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melissa March 10, 2016 at 11:53 pm

check out CODA , co dependents anonymous. it helped me a lot. there are usually meetings in every town.

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yikesagain October 17, 2014 at 11:40 am

It’s been 53 years and I have for the first time drawn a clear line in the sand with my mom.

She has insisted on spending time with my ex since we divorced, despite my protests that it hurt me so very, very much. Since he and his new wife have had twins, she spends more time with his family. The last time she came to visit me for a week she spent most of her time with them. And I had the weird experience of feeling both relief and pain. Since then I have let her know (again) that her visits with my ex and his family result in at best a mix of feelings for me and at worst intense anger. What I don’t tell her is that the anger is deep and ancient, reaching back to when she missed my daughter’s first two birthdays in order to be with a second cousin’s twins (what is with the twin-thing!?) and it reaches even further to times when neglect and hyper-criticism characterized her parenting.

SO… the line in the sand that I drew was to tell her that while she has made plans to spend the holidays this year with my ex and his family, I will not be seeing her during that particular visit.

This sent her into what other posts call “narcissistic rage.” That rings so true to me, resonating with the position of cowering that I am tempted to adopt. Instead of cowering, however, I am trying rather desperately to stay out of the line of fire: away from her attacks and away from my own reactions to those attacks which lead to me to act in ways I do not not like. I do not like the way I behave with my mom, so for now I am subtracting myself from the equation.

I want to finish by saying that I am loathe to categorize people, believing that we ALL can dip into the narcissistic pool, or fall into the depression canyon, or get swept up in the storm of anxiety. This doesn’t mean that all of who we are is a Narcissist, a Depressive or a Nervous Wreck. And yet narcissism seems to stand apart from other ways of being in its tenacious hold on the person who passes through it. I have had to address my own narcissism as I observe what my mom is up to but especially as I parent my own daughter. Unlearning the ways of narcissism is challenging. And I see why some us decide to cut ourselves off from the narcissistic parent: it frees up energy and head space. However I am not entirely sure that we can ever be free….

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Noel November 6, 2014 at 7:59 pm

Dear Yikesagain, yes, this type of parent knows what buttons to push to anger the heck out of their adult child. Mine has been seeing a psychiatrist for 8 years who does nothing but prescribe Klonapin/ clonazepam which makes her even more bitchy. I wonder WHY ALL the MEDICAL DOCTOR PSYCHIATRISTS she has seen, non has suggested admitting her for at least 2 weeks? Ugh.

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Anonymous October 22, 2014 at 9:11 am

After coming to terms with a malignant narcissist mother, I actually thought I could be around in her old age. What a lie I fed to myself! Because I still wanted a relationship with the GC, I got back in touch with my NM. That was a mistake. I have been traumatized all over again. I experienced her triangulating, and her rage when I did not call her exactly on the day she told me to. I got busy and called the next day. I’m 56 years old! Well, she has not changed, won’t change and for that matter has gotten worse since her husband died. Quite honestly, she doesn’t want me around anyway. She told me that she had cut me out of her will 10 years earlier. Well, I cut ties again and went NC, this time without one ounce of guilt. I didn’t cause, I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it. GC takes the lead on this. Afterall, he has enjoyed her positive projections all along. GC suffers from serious depression and wonders why. Maybe GC can figure it out one day.

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Dani January 15, 2015 at 12:04 pm

Hi, I’ve been reading all the posts about NM’s and GC’s and as a, should I say tarnished GC, I fell out of favour when Mommy Dearest could no longer compete with or control me, and I moved to another continent because I was not allowed home (for my own good, because the dog would bite me lol!) actually so I couldn’t get in her way and get my brother away from her control, or let the family secrets out of the bag!
I didn’t stay in the mafia run dance clubs she put me in, sending her every penny I earned, because I owed her for my looks, my brains, the years of dance classes she paid for, my passport, (my birth father was British and she made sure I was born in the UK) and because she loved me more than my brother, who she only gave birth to so she could trap my Stepfather into providing a wonderful life for me, which made her miserable because he was far below her brilliant IQ and it forced her to have affairs I had to cover up. He then also had the cheek to get terminally ill, so she needed even more money, I also needed to pay for my brother’s schooling because it was my fault he had to be born.
She would brag about how wonderful I was, how much money I was making, have an almost shrine to me of all my pictures and newspaper cuttings, but tell people how hard it was for her to live with a perfect daughter, and that they didn’t understand the stress I caused in her life. Welcome to the life of the GC, please feel free to help yourself to the attention and love you get lol! Oh, she would turn up in the various countries I worked too, demanding star treatment from the various venues I was working in, destroying any relationship I had that may cause my attention to waiver from her, seduction was par for the course, I warned my boyfriends in advance. To be fair though, when this was happening, I loved my mother, she was my best friend, we dressed alike, went clubbing together, she made me feel she was the only one who loved me and understood me, I had a terrible fear of her leaving me, which was always held over my head, I had no idea I was being manipulated. I was told when my stepfather finally died, she wouldn’t have to sneak off to be with me, we could be together forever and I believed her. She was still using physical violence against me until I was 29 and I finally snapped and told her I was now stronger than her, had worked for the worst of the worst for her and if she touched me again, I would break every fucking bone in her body and she’d find out how I really managed to survive and thrive in the criminal world she had insisted I live, because she thought it was glamorous! But naturally that incident never happened, in her world!
My brother had no idea of what my life was like, I never, ever wanted him to know. He thought I had it lucky and as our NM controlled most of our communication, there was no way of letting him know she had left me raped and almost dead on a beach for my first dance contract, because it was too hard for her to deal with and she couldn’t afford a private helicopter to fly down to be with me (I offered to pay for a commercial flight, but that wasn’t good enough) I was told I needed to pull myself together because I couldn’t lose the contract at the five star casino resort it happened in (the hotel was happy to hush it up) That we had both worked too hard to let her down, because I had stupidly walked on a beach I had been told was safe, could I? I told my brother years later during one of our epic fights about how I was the lucky one, it took him a few years to believe it.
I am still very much on the receiving end of my SG brother’s bitterness and paranoia, though we both love each other, he has no idea that my mother is NM and idolises and lives for her every whim. He is 41 and in therapy, I hope to find a way of breaking the news our Mother is NM to help him go forward, but I don’t want to leave him in the eye of her rages if she finds out! I am 43 btw.
I think it is very sad that the children, no matter if you were a SC or GC have such bitterness towards each other. I read how a SC hopes the GC dies too. Don’t you see that by having this mindset, you are actually letting you NM win…….. Again??? They labeled us, but we are not that label, we are family.
I know all the terrible lies my mother feeds me about my brother, how she tries to make me jealous, it doesn’t work any more. I know that he hears the same about me, sadly it mostly works, but not all the time!
Here’s an example: She was in hospital and I had whatsapped her and heard nothing back.
My brother then told me her phone wasn’t working an hour later when he had got back from seeing her. She whatsapped me at 3am telling me how she was etc and that she couldn’t talk while my brother was constantly hanging around bothering her! (Perfectly playing her little game of divide and conquer)
At that time I realised that she had probably said the same thing to my brother, that she didn’t want to talk to me because I was bothering her, and my brother wasn’t being controlling, he was trying to protect my feelings by lying to me about why our NM didn’t reply.
I will never, ever let her destroy my relationship with my brother, we were in this hell together, and we are all we have. He has very mild learning disability which she tries to make a lot more of, so she can get more sympathy. He lives with her and cares for her and it makes him feel good that he is now the one she likes more! She told him she had cut me out of the will when I went NC a few years ago. She used him to tell me that of course, he was very angry and hateful to me, and couldn’t understand how I could be such a cold, ungrateful bitch to a woman who had given me everything, but I just told him I loved him and I would give it all to him anyway, regardless of her shitty will, which I am still the executor of (surprise, she lied to him).
Sorry about the rambling but please think long and hard before throwing the baby out with the bath water so to speak when it comes to your siblings.
Wishing love and healing to all of you.

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Rebecca March 10, 2015 at 11:58 am

I agree. I was not GC, but scapegoat, and I well aware of how truly torturous self love through your child can be. It is as bad as being the garbage can, if not worse. When my GC older brother fell out of control and favor, NM barely hesitated replacing him with another son, and throwing him under the bus. Luckily we have stuck together as siblings, or try for the most part…all four of us. Some are still in more denial than others….but it was none of our faults, we have been through a lot together, as you say.

Never envy a GC.

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Annette December 14, 2014 at 8:58 am

Yikesagain, your mom is mean. Congratulations on your decision. When I divorced my first husband, my mom put his picture in a prominent place in the living room. I confronted her (telling her how much this hurt) and was attacked as being the bad one, because I had caused her so much pain with this divorce. I hated that feeling: yes, there was truth in her statement, but shouldn’t she comfort me? In order to feel her love (hah, what love?), I cowered. Today, 30 years later, I still fall into this pattern with my present husband. I have so much to learn! I am taking baby steps to react in ways I like.

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melissa March 10, 2016 at 11:57 pm

CODA codependents anon is a great group for drawing and maintaining healthy boundaries

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Kate December 15, 2014 at 3:30 pm

OMG, I cannot believe the similarities in your stories regarding exes and your NMs! I recently called my NM out on the way she treated me versus her treatment of my ex-husband many years ago. I think I just hit my limit with her that day, was sitting in the hospital AGAIN, waiting to see if this emergency episode was another manufactured drama from improperly managed diabetes….I had just spent a whole Saturday in the same spot two weeks prior, my patience was gone. Her hospital visits are her version of holding court in my mind, she loves the undivided attention. I have gotten to the point that I stay until she gets admitted or released so I can hear what the doctor says, then I get the heck out. This last episode, she was rambling on and on as she does when she has this forum, and she started talking about a friend whose son has a new girlfriend, and the friend’s concerns, how you always have to support your children…..and I snapped. I am sad that I still carry that hurt and anger with me from over 15 years ago, but come on! The hypocrisy just burns. She was stunned that I so clearly and eloquently called her BS, and she apologized…..there will be more moments like this in the future I expect because my tolerance for her crap is GONE.
Okay, rant over, I will be exploring this site further for sure! I remember the relief I felt about 10 years ago when I finally was able to figure out SHE had the problem, it wasn’t me. I appreciate the sisterhood of hearing all of your experiences too. Sucks we had to go through these things, but thank God for the chance to heal!

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Anonymous August 30, 2015 at 10:55 pm

My narc mom who chose to not talk to me for two years,even changing her number and having the police called by my narc sister when I went to my moms house to get some closure now has colon cancer. My sister,who also stopped talking to me (and lives next door) put a restating order out on me and my husband for no reason came to my fence to tell me my mom was having sugery. Our house just sold,and I’m so happy I don’t have to be in this state when my rotten mother gets worse( they found it in her lymph nodes too). My sister expected me to be the same pushover and say I’d help out,bottom line is I truly believe in car a.

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Good August 12, 2016 at 7:33 pm

Unbelievable, I can’t believe our stories are so similar.

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Teresa Alvarez December 28, 2014 at 7:35 pm

I felt so much relief when I found out about what was wrong with my “mother.” She always made me feel I was crazy and everything was my fault. She gaslights, triangulates and everything else. My sister and I have almost no contact. She always talks bad about us and plays the victim. Her neighbors think my sister and I are the worst because we never visit. She is 85 and in good health althoug she is hypochondriac. I pray to God I never have to take care of her. I would rather die first.

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Sandy January 16, 2015 at 5:48 am

Almost 53, just found out why I can’t form a healthy decent relationship w/my mom, no matter what I do. I guess you all have felt the type of relief when reading so many accounts by so many different people, that could have been written by you. Its a relief that reaches back to the earliest memories of childhood – all those instances through the years… all those times questioning ‘why is she acting that way??’ ‘why would she react like that when it should be the opposite?’ and of course the one of her aging years ‘why does she seem to almost delight in being mean to her caregiver (me), and cherish being SO nice and generous to others?’
Its a feeling of relief like no other in this lifetime!!
Only child scapegoat of a mother who I see these past few years never wanted to be married, or a mother – she was skyrocketing in her career, which was more rare considering it was the 1950s… met dad, something happened shortly after & a small wedding less than 9 mos later..oops.. stuff happens.. I’ve been apologizing for it ever since, and many decades before , w/o realizing so.
Grew up with an unhappy woman, unless she was with her friends which didn’t happen enough for my liking. Never married (wth would want THAT life???!! & no kids– ditto to wth) still pleased with my decision I don’t think she cares so thats good.
My current challenge armed with my new info, is that she’s (a relatively healthy/independent) 93, living on her own & starting to fall – like others I’ve read above, refuses to use the cane she has or the walker she was given. Poor kid – she admonishes so in the attention poured on her when she meets up with people at the mall or doctors’ offices, etc. I used to think ‘who wouldn’t’ but the extremities of it puzzled me. now they don’t.
I quit my job 5 years ago to enjoy some time with her before the inevitable. Looking back, I was just trying to gain that real relationship I was life-longingly searching for.. the love & acceptance.. sounds so mushy.
To see finally, FINALLY that thats never going to happen so I can stop searching is huge, but now I’m in this jobless situation. She’s sucked so much juice out of me all my life and especially these last 5 years… I feel like such a fool for throwing so much away in wages to care for a woman who doesn’t appear to really give a care about.
Now I’ve turned lazy because I’m not working – too condensed to say fully but I imagine some will relate: I’m pooped. Always been the scapegoat, although dad was too, I see now. We lost dad 15 yrs ago – guess who’s been getting it full on since. The GC are always the cousins – they change through the decades, but this last set are more like Golden gods to her. They’re not the ones taking her to the dr., lab, mall, show, visits for tea that at times I have to sit in on because I know whomever it is, too… wha??
Sifting through my tiny company pension I’m so grateful for & living so frugally, I’m tied to her via my only child status, and a house that was given to her and she allowed me to live in. There’s other details, but she’s gotten so much more anxious these past couple of years, and anxious with money.
Now I know my inert fears over her raging at me then changing her will, are real – her half of the house & her estate would go to my cousin I would presume to be divided up amongst her family, the Golden lot of gods.
I’ve come to personally consoling myself these past few years that maybe I’m just working this ft schedule with my mom to make dad and grandma and grandpa happy, bless their souls. To help repay their kindness, hard work & diligence. After all, I’ll be getting this house & a couple years’ worth of padding in her estate, but lately I don’t know if this is going to happen.
Trying to talk to the Ggod cousin I’m closest to, my story doesn’t seem believable (unless perhaps its attached to the dreaded alzheimers which it may be due to her age). I just appeared I know to be spoiled and having no idea about real problems since I never ‘grew up’ and got married and all that stuff.
– do I try & talk to her again w/this new knowledge? She’s a med professional, but I don’t think she’s going to believe her star Aunt isn’t as shiny as she’s come off to be, all of our lives. Mom’s been tricky with them… those are the dinners where mom loves to humiliate or poke fun at me in front of them all.
One of those eternal questions are now answered. I’m sure my cousin won’t get it.
She & her entire family have more than plenty of money. I’m drowning.
Now I have recent health troubles that I’ve never experienced. I know stress has brought it on.
Stress from jumping in ft and now I can’t escape. I tell my troubled internal organ that everything is okay now since I have found out answers I have searched for all my life. I don’t know if it was in time.
Working now to find more info of how to deal with mom – detach; its ok to lie to protect one’s survival, and practicing how to really this time, let it run like water off a duck’s back.
Haven’t read my particular life situation anywhere (only kid w/house tie-in) I am grateful for anything anyone may have to say on it.
I hope everyone here has a friend or 2 they can count on, or event just to vent to as I’ve learned you gotta get it out, somehow. I’ve been so blessed with 4 or 5 who get it – they’ve been the life savers of my life.

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Susan Peterson January 28, 2015 at 5:13 pm

My mother just died three weeks ago. I knew she was had NPD for some time but had set up some strong boundaries with her that still allowed me to have a type of relationship with her, even though it was one sided. I guess I needed to focus on what MY definition of “good daughter” was, and I think I executed that fairly well. My siblings moved out of town years ago to get away from her, so when she got sick with lung cancer I was left holding the bag. I did what I could without getting too close to get burned, but in the midst of it I also was diagnosed with cancer. I was just coming out of radiation when she started to decline. Believe me, you’d feel bad even for Hitler if you saw him suffering from cancer that has metastasized to the bone.

She was not always nice to me but I believe I did the right thing. When she died I felt a huge amount of relief, and really not much guilt. (Although a caregiver can’t seem to get away without at least some guilt I guess.) However, she left her journals out in plain sight. When my sister came home for the funeral she found them. During the last years of my mom’s life, she wrote down all of my failings in terms of what I did not give her, did not do, etc. She even wrote that I was hardhearted and possibly possessed by evil spirits. Despite 20 years of therapy around this, and a set of really strict and careful boundaries, I am still wounded by this. Even from beyond the grave, my mother could reach out and tell me that I am not, and never was, good enough for her.

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PM February 24, 2015 at 8:50 pm

Susan, my mom was just diagnosed with cancer, and I intend to do what I feel is the right thing. I’m taking the best care of her I can without dropping the boundaries I learned to set to survive. Right now, she’s appreciative, but experience has taught me this won’t last. Sooner or later, nothing I do will be good enough. I can’t undo the damage your mom’s journals did. I can only tell you that out here, somewhere, is someone who understands and thinks you are a good daughter.

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A May 4, 2015 at 10:46 pm

Detach with love. It’s something they teach at Al-Anon meetings. Continue to love, give her what you think she needs – not what she thinks she needs – and take care of yourself. Set boundaries, and imagine a bubble around yourself shielding you from the NPD darts and NPD rage. On most days, I am proud to say, my mother can’t hurt me any more. Drives her batty, but she ruined too many days of mine already. Enough.

Do I feel guilty? You bet. Every single day. Do I wish we could be closer? You bet. Every single day. But I’ve had to learn how to deal with NPD to keep myself afloat.

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melissa March 11, 2016 at 12:00 am

your mom was mentally ill. it was never about you. really. you are meant to be here.
breathe and enjoy life without mom.

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ONLY DAUGHTER August 2, 2016 at 4:17 pm

You did your best for a Monster so try to heal from the shock of those nasty journals. My NM is elderly and I already have thought about the hurtful things she could leave behind for me to discover after her death. These people are sadists through and through.

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Cher September 9, 2016 at 9:04 pm

This is how I feel. Thank you for posting. My mom had a stroke and in need of a little help and compassion. I am so torn because I don’t want to deal with her and her totally unnecessary manipulation…but I feel, not out of guilt, that I need to help her…for me. I know if I don’t then I will feel guilty. I am working on boundaries and ensuring that what I do is because I feel it’s the right thing to do…almost something I’d do for an ailing neighbor and not out of guilt. Unfortunately I only figures out she is a narcissist within the last year so I am still figuring out and discovering my issues from growing up with a woman like this. I feel like it’s bad timing and I wish I figured this out 20 years ago.

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Anonymous March 2, 2015 at 7:08 pm

Wow…

I am relieved!! Whew…

Too many issues to list with my mom…but sheesh!!! I thought that it was ME!!

Um…no…I cannot work two jobs, fight the ex-N husband in court pro-per, for custody, go through bankruptcy, attend kids’ events, listen to you kvetch and moan about the Speaker of the House, run and get your hearing aid batteries because you cannot hear (you have Passive Agressive tendencies you pretend to hear), wrap your legs due to severe edema because you eat too much, listen to you kvetch about how you are still mad at Dad for passing away five years ago, re-plumb your kitchen sink, shovel snow off of your roof, fix your car’s gas tank gas cap with a rope, go shopping for you…all the while you tell me to get my “shit together”, and crab and moan at how I treat you like crap to your sister.

I have a good relationship with a fella now…who likes my kids, we speak everyday and only see him four times per month….guess what Mom?! Somewhere in betwixt taking care of you…..I need some sex!! I am 45!! My eggs are dying, you are NOT!!!

So…while being told to “shutup and adjust” for years…and being told how miserable she is…now it’s about me….she is NOT dying…she is in love with her meds and being miserable and making me miserable….she is not making me miserable anymore.

Severe boundaries have been set. I have made a lot of people mad…including my brother…his problem. Not mine….I feel good!!

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Sandy March 3, 2015 at 6:01 am

Yep thats a schedule that is way too full. I don’t know you at all, but I know every item on that schedule is real, and happening to you.
You know, each time I read someone post that they just found out what the mom’s been all about, along with that collective sigh of RELIEF, I do it too, almost like a “cheers” as there’s nothing else like it. It wasn’t just you, wasn’t just your household, your mom and her bizzare life-long behaviour to you, it even has a name, and there are hundreds of thousands of us.
Wow!!! Talk about a life-long game changer.
Good on ya for setting boundaries, and so soon after. Nothing like getting on with things with a whole new set of thoughts.
So much on this site alone for reference as to what her reactions may be, how you may be feeling at times with your new-found knowledge (for eg I found it kind of by accident.. saw an online acquaintance “liked” a video on narcissist parents – had some time thought ‘why not’ and bam there’s my mom, over and over: instant life-long sighs of relief, days of lifelong questions now answered, anger and lots of it.. I know everyone’s different but the stories are the same).
Sincere in all the best to you with everything and everyone. Spring is right around the corner – sounds like this one will contain some fun.

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Eilean April 16, 2015 at 12:50 pm

There will never be an end…
I’m 43 (2015) and I’ve never been my own person. My Dad fed my NM’s whims and desires… He worshiped her. (why? No idea) Innocent child that I was I started off with one strike… I’m named for her. Whole name… All of it. Until I was married I WAS her. As an only child I was all of the rolls… GC, scapegoat, lost… All me. My NM is so many of the descriptors I can’t count that high. Mostly “poor me” and intellectual superior. Her father passed away when I was 6, we ended up having to put her Mom in a home because she had Alzheimer’s disease. This brought about the first of many, many forcably extracted promises… To never do that to her… Remember, I’m 7 at this point. She lives with me… And has all but 15 months of my life. From October 21, 2000 till January of 2002 I had a life of my own, a son, husband, home. Then Daddy got sicker and I didn’t want him driving her around or her driving in a car she couldn’t control. They were supposed to stay a week. She never left and Daddy left in a box. I’ve since lost my children because I won’t put them through living with her. They are safer away from her. Even at 83 she is still abusive. She has always hit me. Usually for no reason. She broke my arm in kindergarten, scared my face at 3. She raised her hand once to my son… They were gone the next day. My friend now has permanent custody (thankfully) I see them constantly but it hurts that I was forced to choose between them. And I never had a choice. The house we live in belongs to her, it was given to me as a wedding gift but typical for my family none of the paperwork was ever done. She loves to lord it over me now. I’m rambling, I know but I just need to get it out without interruption. As I’ve said I’ve never been “me” always part of her. The only thing I do she has had nothing to do with is needlework. Its also the only thing my lovely family never felt the need to insult. See, I’m the youngest of 5 cousins… My Grandmother was the original NM… My Daddy’s mom held a special distain for me. She hated my mother. And having her name rankled a lot. I was always bookish and overweight. So she would send me diet info, once she booked me to see a plastic surgeon because she didn’t like my nose… It looks like my mothers. There are few people in my life who haven’t called me names (fat, ugly, dumpy, and my personal favorite… “The other one”) So I have self esteem issues that would make a slug look good. Instead of being a supportive Mom… She would slap my stomach and yell at me to suck it in. I went to school with welts and I’ll fitting clothes… In a time when no one cared if you beat your kid. I was never allowed friends, ever. The few I had treaded very lightly around her. They ended up being the scapegoats as well. I wasn’t allowed ” out” I didn’t drive until 25 and then only because my Daddy’s sister took me to get the licence. So now I’m stuck with her, I don’t know how to be my own person, and I actively think I want her gone. Which is fine by her because each time she ends up in the hospital she goes between “my daughter is amazing” and “she wants me dead so she can steal my jewelry.” She will never stop torturing me…. She’s told me its my fault my Dad died (didn’t take care of him enough) and I’m going to hell because I’m a horrible person… Which unfortunately I believe. Coming from a very traditional southern family… You do as you are told by your parents and you sacrifice your life to take care of your elders. I’ll never escape. That kfilly my heartbreak bought my children’s freedom.

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A May 4, 2015 at 10:53 pm

Go get your kids! Your mom is sick with NPD but you’re not. Your kids need you!

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Anonymous September 18, 2015 at 1:49 pm

Yes! Get out! I am from a southern family too, and told it was my job to honor my mother and all kinds of bull. Walk out. Find a new life, even if it means moving to a new city or a new state. That is what I had to do, and it was hard but I do not regret it. You might be afraid of what you could lose by leaving, but can you REALLY lose more than she has taken? No, because she’s taken everything, and she will until you die! Narcissists suck the lifeblood out of you like vampires… get out of that house and go to an apartment with a roommate… you will find anything beats living with her. And yes you are worth it.

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Cuba November 27, 2015 at 1:02 am

Hi Eilean,
Understand one thing about your situation and that is that you, ironically as it sounds, have all the control…..by this I mean she needs to be able to ridicule & berate you in order to get her narcisstic supply….you control that supply….you owe it and this is your greatest weapon in a fight that is utterly brutal.
The best strategy for you in your situation currently is to leverage your supply and gain control of her by doing this…..now she will need your co-operation to get a small dose of the supply you control.
For example: you will need to assert your needs..’I want x,y & z’ and then you detach from her until she makes the connection that when you get what you want she gets a small dose of the N supply you own.
In the martial arts world they say you must use your attackers strength against themselves….and so it is the same with the Narcissist….whether it is a Mother,Father,Brother,Sister,Son or daughter and so on.

I personally have had to do battle with a highly skilled,manipulative & horrible NMIL but as a result I have learned one simple strategy that acts like garlic on vampires.and that is ‘extreme positivity’….so match every word and phrase of negative toxicity that they utter in your presence by reframing it with a positive reaction statement…..they cannot feed on positivity….it sickens them as if its poison…it works like a treat.
Best of luck in your life and you will succeed in regaining control and will have a relationship with your own kids…its time for all of us to say enough is enough…we are in control of our own lives are responsible only for our life….and not for others…and that includes your kids…they have to develop their own sense of self under careful guidance & positive mentorship.

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MIFNP December 23, 2015 at 3:38 pm

Thank you Cuba, for your reply.
I LOVE your advice on turning the NMs negative response into a positive statement! Ohh, I get it: LITERALLY kill them with kindness!
I sent my mother a Joseph Prince mp3 player with two of his bundles on it (it cost $500!), because THAT is what I listened to to heal my poor self-esteem from all of her abuse. My grandmother was the original narcissist, so certainly my mom suffered from my grandmothers’ abuse and maltreatment. Since I never answer her phone to her, I didn’t pick up the phone when she called the other day. She just wanted to let me know that “she got a package and she assumed it was from me, and that she wouldn’t be listening to the mp3 player because she ‘doesn’t believe in the same things I believe in'”. Well, after I listened to it, I felt crushed.
Then I realized she was manipulating me after all! She knew I bought her something expensive (BTW, this gift was an investment, so to speak. I led her to the Lord on Jan.2, 2015, but she told me to F*#K off two months later, so I initiated No Contact. She is saved, so I thought the Lord could do His work while she is listening to the tapes) so she left me that message so she could “excuse” herself from giving me anything! Mind you, I don’t want anything…strings, strings, strings!
I will try what you have suggested and see if I can’t “poison” her with goodness! What a terrific idea.
Warm regards,
MIFNP

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Kathy Kenney April 24, 2015 at 3:03 pm

It is such a relief to find this website and see so much comforting information about the realities of my mom.

So much I have to say is a repeat of others: I was left alone a lot as a child, not even taken to the dentist past the age of 10 because she was afraid of the dentist (it should be noted I grew up in an upper middle class family with the means for help and dentists). When I went to summer camp, her letters were full of all the fun she was having with an older teen girl our family knew. When I got pregnant for the first time, she climbed up on a roof and fell off (drunk), breaking her leg so she really couldn’t help. Fast forward, when I was pregnant again, she fell walking her dog and broke her shoulder. My sister (we were both assigned the scapegoat and GC roles alternately) was the first to say, “I think this may have been on purpose…” She never ever babysat. She forgot my son’s birthday (she only has 2 grandchildren). She would dine out on unflattering stories of my kids when they were little. On and on.

Now, with my enabling father dead, she is in charge of the finances. Believe me, I feel lucky that I am counting on nothing when she goes. But it is hard to watch a steady stream of people feed her supply and line their pockets. This, the woman who never exercised, now takes in home “pilates” 3 times a week. In her early 80s. I still feel very sad that she never mothered us. I knew nothing about makeup, or navigating a social life, or how to cope with the world. My father, a gigantic piece of work himself, would make us gather around her when she was in one of her childish fits of rage and tell her she was a “prefect person.” We would literally as teenagers be kneeling down saying “You are a perfect person.” It felt nuts and it was nuts.

She continues to have so many “friends” who are women my age. They love her! She tells us. She loves them! They are such great moms and wives. They work so hard. She writes checks, uses their services, gives their kids gifts. Oh, and I do get to hear how wonderful they think she is. I have made the mistake of introducing her to the Dr’s office I go to and a Realtor I used. Ugh. My bad.

I have stopped going to lunch with her or seeing her outside of once or twice a year because it is so depressing. She sits with a cranky look on her face, waits for compliments on her age-innapropriate leather jacket, jewelry and other items. I am fun to be with, kind and understand the give and take of real relationships. I am done being sad or feeling a sense of obligation. I have a wonderful daughter. She knows that I am there for her 100% and that I view myself as her biggest supporter and fan. That’s really all I can do. But I still feel sad for the fact that I was not mothered.

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melissa March 11, 2016 at 12:17 am

i relate to this , books were my best friends in high school. i never had friends to the house.ever. she did not ever have a conversation or a back and forth about anything, it was her statements and me listening. i was either the GC or scapegoat depending on her mood. turns out she was an undiagnosed bipolar, she was an alcoholic and pill shopper . she is shallow,negative,needy,controlling and makes me sad to be around her. she tried to kill herself 2 years ago. not surprising. my brother overdosed by accident on prescription meds when he found out. they both recovered and i am manning the boat so to speak. i am involved with both but have set boundaries, go to CODA (co dependents anonym) and therapy as needed.
self care is a wonderful thing but like anything it needs to be learned and practiced, its not easy for some of us to feel ok about healthy selfishness as we never learned that is normal. you will be ok. go where joy and laughter and good feelings are . you are going to be ok, really. safe travels.

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tania April 28, 2015 at 1:54 am

hallo

I am livining in the past 8 months in hell .My mother is narcissism ,which i have discovered in the past 8 month’s since i decide to help her because she had an operation.before she went at the hospital i had cut contact with her .Afterwards we discovered that she is having a serious illness and she could not get out of the house .i said to myself you will help her but keep distance.i am alone with her, her beloved son
disappeared .finally i got to the point that to thinking cut all contact with her. more than ever she shows that she hate me and besides her illness she have the strength to do terrible things

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Margot May 3, 2015 at 1:53 pm

I’m 54 and only recently admitted to myself that I have a NM. I am an only child and my mom had such a strong influence on me that, for years, I was blind about her self-centre redness and immaturity. She is now 83, lives alone and feels sorry for herself because she has no one else than me. Even though I work full time, have an intellectually disabled daughter and a husband who has to travel for work 3 weeks out if 4, I still talk to NM twice a day on the phone and visit or take her out once a week. Every time I visit, I come back home very upset. I have read all of the posts and while a can completely understand and feel the pain, I somehow cannot relate 100% because my mom was a very good mom until I reached about 13. Even after she always told me that she loved me and I could always felt that she cared. When my son was born, she even babysat him for 4 years, 9 hours a day!!! You will think I am crazy but I almost envy those of you whose moms were so bad that they can actually go about their lifes without feeling too guilty. My mom is clearly self entered and childish and NEVER enquire about how I feel or what I do. However, she has a lot of redeeming features that make it sooooo hard for me to take my distance. I don’t know what to do.the guilt is eating me up every time I even start to think a little about myself. Anyone in similar situation?

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hidding in plain sight June 9, 2015 at 4:11 pm

Yes, just remember that as some of them get older they regress, therefore it may not be she was always NPD, its just coming out now as a result of old age. Mine was always horrible, if it had only been as she got older I would not mind still helping to take care of her, but because her psychotic triangulations are so dangerous that she incites my other sibling into threatening me with bodily harm for just asking simple questions….granted the questions are ones that expose the patterns how and why their behaviors are harmful to everyone around them but they do not want to hear it, they turn it into brutalization moments. They cannot accept reality as anyone else sees it, perceive as threats even the slightest criticism. Even if your just trying to be helpful to them by getting them to realize what their doing, they never appreciate it anyway, it spoils their sadistic kicks. And most of the time they will admit to that, that they have the right to say what ever and rip this one apart and that one apart, etc etc. Adhominem attacks, never the issues. Thats why logic or rational thinking is anathema to them, its a waste of time trying to get them to understand. Education level has very much to do with it too. Women of that time were repressed so they have to do it to everyone around them too – it is all they know!

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A May 4, 2015 at 11:01 pm

Take the good parts, leave the bad, and don’t let her hurt you. She’s not capable of a loving relationship – keep reminding yourself of that. She just can’t. Be grateful for the babysitting, be grateful she was there for you when you were young. Then do something nice for yourself!

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Anonymous May 10, 2015 at 6:10 am

Thank you A. I just read your post. Today is Mother’s Day and your kind words will stay with me helping me to focuss on how wonderful it is to be a mother and not to feel too sorry for myself as a daughter or a NM…

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Margot May 10, 2015 at 6:13 am

Thank you A. I just read your post. Today is Mother’s Day and your kind words will stay with me helping me to focuss on how wonderful it is to be a mother and not to feel too sorry for myself as a daughter or a NM…

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shirley quirk June 1, 2015 at 5:14 pm

Hi i am very new to this term narcism, i have always known my mother was overly selfish and her views about things were very blinkered but being a 50s child i thought i just had a mum that was not very loving. As she has aged she is now in her 80s she has become so demanding and never a thought for me or my husband.We are her only help and we try our best to do all she asks and sometimes we may complain we are a little tired after work or the toll costs to run to and from her house she has now cut me from her will for the house. to my son who doesn’t ever go to visit or send a card at birthdays and he feels terrible about it. I know i cannot talk to her about it snd feel like i have been kicked in the teeth by her and worried how i can carry on careing more and more for her as she becomes more needy feeling so unloved by her.

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Allison October 29, 2015 at 12:44 pm

My NM is hitting my elderly father. I’m living far away but my golden brother lives near them. I don’t know what to do.My brother is trying to help but he does not understand the family dynamic.

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Ann October 29, 2015 at 1:01 pm

It is recommended you report any suspicion of elder abuse and your identity will be protected according to the National Center of Elder Abuse in the US. You don’t need to provide proof, just only have a suspicion of maltreatment of some kind; Their website states that “professionals receiving your report are prohibited from releasing your information as reporter. They may not disclose your identity to the alleged abuser or victim.”

ncea.aoa.gov/Stop_Abuse/Get_Help/Report/index.aspx

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Margie October 31, 2015 at 6:22 pm

Hi. Thanks for all your comments. It’s just lovely to hear that I’m not alone. My mum shows all these traits but not to a severe degree which makes it really hard for me to validate my own experience. My friends ‘love’ her and I feel so bad for being angry all the time. I guess I am the golden child cause she lives near me (my siblings escaped geographically).

The only times I have openly tried to differentiate from her she has crumbled into rage and threatened to disown me. That was 25 years ago and since then I have buried my sadness and anger in covert anger and resentment.

Thanks for all your help. I’m going to end the toxic resentment and see if I can do it differently cause I’m nearly 57 and life is too short. She will never “see me” and will always demand to be “seen”. Got to accept that and keep my distance. Not so easy when she relies on me. She is 85.

Warmest. Margie.

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ONLY DAUGHTER December 5, 2016 at 8:11 am

Margie, I can completely relate to your pain. Many Narc mothers are a clever and shrewd bunch who are able to bamboozle their GC children into thinking that they’re loving, caring, normal parents. Your mother most likely derived great pleasure from babysitting your child especially having you obligated and in her back pocket all the while.

I was a well-trained dancing dog for 48 years. There were SO many times I wished my narc mom would act just a little more outrageously so then I’d have a legit reason to completely withdraw from her without the constant, thumping guilt.

I’m 58 and the only child of NM who left my father when i was 18 months and she NEVER remarried. We lived with relatives until age 10 so I was partially insulated from her temper and rages. Whenever we were alone together she was hateful and took out her many frustrations on me the innocent child. As with most only children of narcs I was bounced between being the GC and Scapegoat and continue to this day. She’s always combined her identity with mine as if we’re the same person. It took me until around age 48 to understand the NPD and how truly sick she is. Until then, I was fooled into thinking she was loving and cared about me and I constantly felt guilty for not enjoying her company and being COMPLETELY exhausted after spending time with her. She had me trained like a poodle to believe her twisted reality and feed her narcissism with constant strokes and compliments, always monitoring her moods and wondering what I’d done if she was in one of her many bad moods. All the while I actually thought SHE was normal and I was the selfish and unkind one who just couldn’t stand being around my own “nice” mother.

At age 21 I moved to another city 200 miles away and she’s never forgiven me for deserting her. She was in a rage for a good 10 years for having the nerve to live somewhere else and deprive her of the ability to use me in any way she could. Her self esteem is so low that she was counting on me to burnish her image in our town by basking in what she thought was my reflected glory. If I’d stayed home in the same town I would’ve ended up killing myself. She would’ve sunk her vampire teeth into me and NEVER let go.

At 28 I married a wonderful, successful man and she behaves like he’s her husband too. She thinks she’s entitled to everything we have. Through the years when Ive come to visit her, she trotted me around town like I was her show pony and used to display a photo of me standing by my Mercedes auto in hopes to impress her peers. So pathetic and embarrassing.

She lived in my guilty brain and jerked me around until 10 years ago when I discovered the NPD. The discovery allowed me to cross the rubicon and begin reclaiming my own life. It took a while but with help of a therapist I was able to find the courage to tolerate her believing I’m a selfish and cruel daughter. In other words, I’m not constantly trying to dodge her projections because I realize that’s all they are. I had to gain the confidence to realize I wasn’t selfish and cruel. We have 2 lovely daughters in their 20’s who can’t stand her….of course she blames me. I’m the ever convenient scapegoat who is blamed for every one of her life frustrations.

Well, now she’s 84 with chronic lung disease and my goose is cooked again. It’s toppled the defenses I’ve been able to build because I’m all she has. Now I have to figure out how to navigate this situation without going BARKING MAD. I can’t stand to hear her voice, it sickens me to have to be in the same room with her and I hate having to touch her. How can I be a decent person and do what I must for her? The NPD has gotten worse and she’s using the illness to the hilt by being even more demanding and entitled. I’ve hired a in-home care agency to help her but she hates them and she sent one of the nice caregivers home in tears. She’s agreed to go to a nice, very expensive assisted care facility (that we pay for) but she MUST have the apartment remodeled to her exact standards post haste. Without our financial support she’s poor as a churchmouse but she thinks she’s entitled to anything we can afford.

I can’t wait for her to die. I imagine a fireworks display and being able to put the FUN in a funeral. She’s been nothing but a ball and chain around my neck all my life.

I’d like to contact Michelle for possible suggestions on therapists for NPD survivors in the Palm Beach County, Florida area. Or maybe skype sessions with her. God help us all because we’ve lived through hell and had our childhoods stolen.

Margie, it’s been a year since your post and I’d like to know how it’s going for you now. I’m not sure how to contact, but I’ll keep my eye on this blog page in case you read it. Warmest regards, Margaret

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Pippa January 15, 2016 at 5:55 pm

At least most of you knew your mother was a narcissist ( a Christian church going martyr). I only realised after she died,looking at my life and how I was manipulated into being parentified hero child after the death of my father. I was practically her slave and all this time I thought I was doing this out of love. I thought that she was the closest person in my life,the one I could confide in. I was not only taking care of her but an entire family and dealing and being dragged into all sorts of issues that were not for me to solve. Now at 36 I am waking up betrayed, with no family of my own. I supported her financially for years, not having a holiday for 10 years and I spent all of my savings when I had to give up work and look after her with terminal cancer. I even hate my career as I now realise that the career I am in was her dream job and she made me think that it was all my idea. All my previous relationships failed as I kept falling in love with narcissistic men ( obviously not knowing what true love is) and being an empath,that was a recipie for disaster . She not only fooled me but everyone else. All our friends and family think of her as a saint and a perfect devoted mother apart from my sister ( the scape goat child) who is now a borderline alcoholic and a full blown narcissist herself. I’m just so heart broken and I don’t even know where to start in order to re build my life. I now have major trust issues, 2 degrees for a career I do not even want to be in,no savings,no family of my own…

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wishingforNC January 29, 2016 at 2:22 am

Dear Pippa,
My wish for you is that today will be the start of your recovery and eventual happiness. You are a wonderful person and you have survived and each day will be better than yesterday. Hang on!

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mj williams August 19, 2016 at 9:00 pm

You are still young, Poppa…You fly, girl. I am 62 and still sorting things out…I had always used art to sooth me over the years and have gotten pretty good at it.

I have a NM, a GC, and I am the scapegoat…My mother is 88 and thinks she will live forever…so she still plays her games…mostly to benefit financially. She sets one sibling against the other without batting an eyelash.

I often grab myself emotionally so I don’t fall apart and I try to keep it together so that maybe after she dies, I can deal with the siblings.

I wish u the best.

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wishingforNC January 23, 2016 at 7:42 pm

Today, my NM , aged 86 and half paralyzed from a stroke but still fully alert and self-centered as ever, is coming to live with me and it was a conscious decision for me to get her. You must all probably think, huh? Did I read right after all the advice of NC? I guess every situation is different and in my culture where we take care of ailing parents and being the only one left in the country (older brother living in another country), I HAD NO CHOICE. And without any choice, I am so very grateful for Michelle’s advice and all the wonderful words of encouragement and feeling of not being alone. I “processed” myself from reading about NMs and went through all the accompanying anger, acceptance, sadness and a myriad of emotions 4 years ago (still feel all those at different times). I am now 55 and have a beautiful family (loving husband, 3 well-loved and loving children who are now independent and happy) and the years of bringing up my family in the midst of several encounters with NM (yes, the same story of gaslighting, triangulation, mind games, inciting rivalry, lying and glorifying themselves) were emotionally and psychologically draining. I am scared of the next few days of how I will regress and feel all the guilt once again and being different / not liking myself when I am with her. It will be draining as she has no financial source as well after spending all our wealth in non-essentials to glorify herself. So the financial, physical, emotional and psychological toll will be great. I can only rely on my family and all your posts and advice and words of encouragement. Please keep posting as just knowing I am not alone is very encouraging. I will just be compassionate for her but will try very hard not to let NM destroy me again. Thank you all!

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sue February 10, 2016 at 5:56 pm

Boy do I relate. My mother always held my brother (who is 13 years older than me) to cash register honesty so we were shocked and appalled when we began to realize she was blatently lying about things in her later years. My brother hit the door running when I was 6 and I limped along as her captive audience for the next several decades. Since I am a very sensitive introverted person, compassionate and empathetic, she sucked me dry long ago — but the abuse never stopped. I grew up walking on egg shells because she was too often “feeling suicidal” and I was petrified of finding her dead. You just can’t unsee that stuff. I have to say, I was really surprised when she confided to me in her 80s (!!!) after having numerous maladies and being “suicidal” all my life that she was afraid to die. I think I may have seemed uncaring when I laughed but really, it caught me by surprise. I was nearly crushed when I was 30. They say you marry your parent and the first time around I did. I knew they were like 2 peas in a pod and that her treatment of me had “primed my pump” for the abuse he then supplanted, but I had no idea this was Narcissism until recently when I stumbled upon some things on the internet and actually found “birds of my feather!!!” I finally feel like I am among people who understand and I have been going through numerous files in my entire life and can see it all it fresh light. Am I still sensitive? Yes, that is who I am to the core. Do I still have to work overtime to overcome things I learned and suffered as a child of a narc mom? Yes, I am presently in another full wave of that due to prolonged and excessive work stress. All of these old hurts have been brought back — the difference is that this time I actually have allies and society is not telling me that I have to go home and take care of my mom (the crazy lady.) I am grateful. Hugs to you all,. p.s. I have not yet gotten the courage to inform my brother about any of this and not sure if I should or how to go about it.

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Doc February 14, 2016 at 7:16 am

For the better part of my life I was shielded from my narcissistic mother. I always had someone between us who showed me love and as a result never had to depend on her emotionally. I remember when I was in high school, I begged God not to let my step father die because all of my shields were dead as well, and with my step father dying, I would be forced to love her. Those shields from my past provided me with love and compassion. They were aunts, cousins, grandparents, just good people in my path that the lord sent my way. Having them in my life, I saw the narc doing what she do, but was unbothered by it. Fast forward, I am 56 yrs young now and the narc is aging. About 15 yrs ago due to family drama over some real estate my mother retaliated by taking me to court and discarding all of my earthly possessions that was in a home that we once shared. I can even go far back as Hurricane Katrina. The world saw the devastation, but do you think she even bothered to find out if I was alive. A couple of yrs ago, my brother was diagnosed with cancer and the family came back together. I decided to forget about the lawsuit, etc, and just move forward. Well after my brother passed old feelings started surfacing and I started realizing that even though I did forget about the past I was still the only one reaching out. The only time we spoke was when I walked through her door. She never picks up the phone to see how am I doing, but when I visit she mentions all the calls she has made to other family members because she hasn’t spoken to them in a long time. All of them live in the same city as she, and I live 3 hrs. away. Then she dropped a bombshell and told me I was the beneficiary on her life insurance policy. I have other siblings (3), BUT i believe if she places the policy in one of their names, the other two will get mad and stop doing what they do for her. Such as include her on trips and grandchildren birthday parties. I have no children and have never been married. At first I ignored the fact that she was not reaching out and said I’m doing it for the life insurance money because that b****h owes me for the life of hell she created. But as time went on and I found there was no effort on her part to even pick up the phone and say hello, I just couldn’t go and visit her for the money. Besides in my mind I believe she will change the beneficiary before she dies. My problem is that she is aging, and I want to not be rude to an old lady, but she seems to show no interest in my life, or me as a person. We only share her problems and have shallow conversations careful not mention people who she can’t stand. Recently I was visiting her and decided I wasn’t going to break the silence with small talk. I was going to sit uncomfortably with the silence and she if she was going to initiate a conversation. Well, we were sitting in her den and the food network was on showing how to make french toast. After a few minutes of silence, my mother said “oh”….just that word excited a little joy because i believe my tactic was working. I was going to wait for her to break the silence and initiate conversation. So I couldn’t wait to her what was coming after the word “oh.” Possible, how was your day? how are you? do you want something to eat? Well what followed was “oh……….that’s some big french toast that they are making” I was stunned. She didn’t even look at me when she said it, just stared at the tv like I wasn’t even in the room. I still visit, but it’s empty and toxic. Ironically, she sent me valentine’s day card that I haven’t open. But she’s good at that. Sending cards as a tactic to see where you are with you emotions, or as if i is a substitute for love from parent. I know I may be rambling, but my mother and I have never had a relationship because I was always cared for by extended family member who are now dead. She is frail, but still driving, but shows not genuine interest in me. I don’t know if I’m caring for an aging lady or waiting around for her to die and just before she dies she tells me she’s sorry. She has even turned my brothers and sisters against me. Making it seem as though I’m the crazy one.

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Lori February 19, 2016 at 9:56 am

I knew my mom was messed up, always have but never had a name for it. Due to her lack of proper parenting I was molested when I was a child. I’m glad now I never told because I know I never would have gotten the reaction I really needed anyway. I used to defend her, can you believe that? I was the scapegoat child and I know I was hard to love because I called her out too much. She made my life as hard as she possibly could, she sabotaged me everyday, however she could. I am a SURVIVOR. It took a long time to finally get it, but later is better than never. The funny thing is I am the only one who really has had her back all these years. All my life I have only wanted the same from someone else, maybe now I can find that. Thanks for the truth, it helps.

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Cathy February 29, 2016 at 3:36 pm

I helped my mother after my dad died and for 7 years I felt so guilty I couldn’t help her . After my dad died she fell and broke her hips and I placed her in a rehab facility . At that post she begged to live with my family. To be honest I never would have allowed it. She and I have never gotten along and I knew she wanted to destroy my life now. She began to hate me and when I placed her in assisted living she became unbearable.
It was five more years before I heard of narcissists and it fit her like a glove. My whole life began to shape shift and I realized the depths of her hatred and sickness. She and I had a discussion and my anger
returned as strong as it was when I was a child.
So I worked slowly to disconnect and get my brother to take over her health issues ..since he was not involved due to my mother’s triangulation she want to torture me not him, her secret love child.
So you are right I am now no contact after a year of her running out of money, starting medicaid being placed in a nursing home and now hospice.
It allowed me some peace however I feel terrible not seeing her anymore..guilty I couldn’t really help her like me ..but I was losing my own health and had to let it go. Forever gone, never to fix…never to love me..never was. So very sad indeed.

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Justilou March 28, 2016 at 10:53 am

I have been managing my relationship with my NM rather well – I moved from Australia to Europe with my husband and young kids and having half a planet between us and Skype for contact is brilliant. Meanwhile, she’s dying. Has been for a while now. Three years ago she was diagnosed with lung cancer and was in hospital and not expected to survive. This is probably the happiest time of her life. Lots of drama and attention. I have had to put my life on hold twice and fly back to look after her, but she has bounced back. Shortly after she was released from hospital she was told that she didn’t have cancer after all, but she refuses to let that one go. She tells everyone it’s a mysterious form that nobody can accurately diagnose or treat. She aggressively denies having emphysema and anorexia/bulimia and tells everyone that the resulting bacterial infection (which is virtually strictly limited to anorexics, people with emphysema and aids patients) is an “Exotic form of TB” that she “caught in Bulgaria”. Yeah… Meanwhile, her ability to maintain the many, many lies is decreasing and it’s all unravelling around her ears. She has exhausted a lot of her friends and most of her family. She uses money to control people – and is extremely generous to the parasites that she “rescues” and controls. I have organised a surprise 70th birthday for her next month which I will fly out for (I arrive that day and will spend the rest of the week catching up with friends, so I’m not being a matyr). I’m expecting to be crucified for doing it wrong. Now – you all know how controlling these women are – imagine how I felt today when she told me that she had written her own eulogy for me to read out at her funeral. (She’s starting to guilt-trip me before her birthday, I’m guessing). I was so close to telling her that I really hope she has done this, as it will resolve a massive dilemma for me. To stand up and tell lies about what a loving, sweet mother she was would make me as big a liar as she is. I can’t wait to read it!!!

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Anonymous April 8, 2016 at 4:05 pm

I recently started researching everything I could about my mother’s problem. God, what a mess, I have learned that she suffered from depression since I could remember. She is living in a memory care facility which my sister placed her and my father over a year ago. But, I am her POA and as I was paying her meds; I noticed the drugs that she is on. She has bi polar or schizophrenia could be both, but she also has narcissistic behaviors. It has made me realize that my older brother and sister have always needed to compete for the attention. I am hurt, in pain, and I feel so used by all three of them. My youngest brother and I suffered so much from the sexual, emotional, and psychical abuse from the three of them. My father was the only one who showed my brother and I love. My sister and brother hated my father for such a long time, of course it was because he cared for my younger brother and I. Anyway, my dad passed away October, 2015 and I was the only at the hospital or rehab facility for three months. My own mother would not go until I told her he was dying and even then she didn’t care. I had to force her, he kept asking for her and I lied every time. I resent my sister and brother, they never came to see my dad, but now they tell me how I should care for my mom. I am her poa/durable with superpowers and they hate it. I know I am crazy living with a mother who pitted all of us against one another. She told me last Tuesday, my sister wants the will changed. I know it means that want me out and at this point, I don’t care even though I promised my father years ago that I would always take care of my mom. I am talking like early 1990’s, he knew what my sister and brother would do. I am going to talk to the attorney to release my poa even though I promised my father. I have done everything since he died but they won’t stop.

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Frustrated May 1, 2016 at 2:55 pm

Thank you for this excellent post. While my parents are not Ns, I began to suspect that both my MIL and FIL (both long divorced) were narcissistic. The more I researched narcissism, the more I began to think that both of them had narcissistic tendencies. They are both over 90 but do not fit the traditional image of wonderful grandparents that everyone has; they are rude, selfish, self-absorbed individuals who believe that they deserve to be pandered to. NMIL is the worst; she is NEVER WRONG, even if the evidence to the contrary is staring her in the face and storms off if confronted; she NEVER apologizes as she believes she never had done anything wrong; she was often verbally abusive to my stepdaughter and when confronted about it, called it ‘discipline’; I have even seen her threaten my wife with assault. Had I intervened, I expect my wife & her brother would have come to her mother’s defence. She is manipulative and dishonest, even with the legal system; she has ‘forgotten’ to register vehicles, resulting in my wife getting a ticket; she has failed to renew her driver’s license to avoid paying the $100 renewal fee; she has tried to get out of speeding tickets on the grounds of ‘I am elderly and can’t afford it’.
My wife, the SG, sadly has been conditioned by these horrible people to serve them and expects me to do the same. Her 2 older brothers are the family’s GCs, despite 1 of them being completely broke to the point that my wife bought a house for him & has been supporting him and his 2 sons for the last 6 years (he is divorced from a BPD and narcissistic personality). He lives out of states & is limited in his ability to help. The other one lives locally but has nothing to do with his father, largely due to his dad’s narcissistic behavior towards them when they were growing up.
These 2 despicable elderly people have been sucking the life out of me for most of the last 6 years. Nothing is EVER good enough for them, especially not NMIL. She bitterly resents her daughter’s marriage to me, I think, as we have taken our child (my wife’s from a previous marriage) on several trips to places like California, Florida, Germany, Austria, Scotland, England & Denmark. NMIL’s view is that we should be spending summers at home, slaving in the garden and at a dump of a cottage that NFIL used as a personal storage facility for years. They are both hoarders and this cottage has taken years to clean. Only recently has BIL #2 started to help with this hole; NMIL always made excuses for him. I almost reinjured a shoulder lifting a toilet and sink from this dump into a van. Did my wife & NMIL care? NOOOOO!
My wife’s stance has always been to support her mother and father over me. These soul-sucking elders ALWAYS come first. NFIL lives in his own home and wants to stay there (my wife & NMIL have been using his $, with his consent, to help BIL #1 [the one out of state] build a basement suite in this house my wife bought him). NFIL physically injured me 4 years ago (I tore 2 tendons lifting him out of the tub) but my wife continued to insist I help look after him.
This whole sorry mess resulted in a short-lived attempt by me to separate from this abusive situation. My wife blames my parents for it (as I had almost given up trying to communicate with her about it; she either shut down or defended her mother and father and never really liked my parents anyway; her behavior towards me indicates that she values her parents and brother first). If I were to attempt to go NO CONTACT with her parents, she would bitterly resent me going NC with her dad and going NC with her malignant mother is impossible (we live with her at my wife’s insistence; the house has been willed to my wife). My wife is also trying to limit my contact with my own parents, who live out of state. She does not want me going to visit them and resents it if they come here (she was like this in the past, too; on 1 occasion she wanted my father to leave after only 4 days, and when I rebutted with ‘you expect me to see your mom & dad every day and look after them’, her reply was ‘that’s different’). We had not had a date night in years because my wife did not want to leave her mommy at home, and NMIL is notoriously rude to restaurant staff as she believes she knows everything about how to cook things. She hasn’t even wanted to go to movies and believes I shouldn’t go to them without her. She frowns on me going to the gym and will not go with me.
I don’t entirely blame my wife for this; I believe she has been conditioned to do this by her mom & dad. I feel like my life is over at the age of 45. My wife does not believe in counseling, she thinks that the counselor and I would ‘gang up on her’. I have been going to counseling for some time in the hopes of saving this marriage but am unsure if I can save it on my own.
I apologize for the long post; this is about 6 years condensed into their posting.

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annonymousplease May 16, 2016 at 7:51 pm

I won’t go into the horror that was my childhood as the daughter of a narcissist mother. In some ways it is far too painful to revisit. My mother is in a long term care facility at the moment with alz. She is receiving excellent care. My question is, how much do I owe her in terms of visits. I do not want to see her. There are systems in place to oversee her care but I do not, can not see her. I struggle with the fear that I will regret this one day, although I doubt it. I need to put her/this behind me and move forward but I struggle. Thoughts?

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wishingforNC July 22, 2016 at 5:37 am

I wrote early this year to share how I tried, with my family, to care for my aging narcissistic mom when she moved in with me. The psychological and emotional trauma has been great and even manifested on me physically. She is back now in her home (after 4 months in mine) after imagined complaints and manipulative comments to all who drop by. The No Contact cure is really the only solution for our sanity and I am one with you in the possible struggle of regretting this. I am now in minimal contact mode and the few occasions we communicate show absolutely no improvement so I am slowly realising that I will most likely not regret anything since I have, as you did, provided for her care in the best way I could. I believe that despite our mothers not giving us the care we deserve, providing for her care makes us good daughters.

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Maggie July 27, 2016 at 5:20 pm

No need to go into that horror. Those of us with narcissist mothers know all too well and I, for one, would love to be able to erase those memories from my mind.

My 96 year old narc mom is in the same situation as yours and I, too, am struggling with the decision finally go no contact and the fear of regrets for doing so. There is nothing about any of this that is easy. However, after a visit with my mom about two months ago, when she informed me that it’s time for me to die, the chances of regret are lessening. The gist of this story is that she (CHF, dementia, plus multiple other ailments BESIDES being 96 years old) is adamant that SHE is not going to die. She only wants ME to die so she doesn’t have to deal with me any more! Went one more time five weeks later…and she said she didn’t expect to ever see me again.

Do we owe them anything? That’s been yet another struggle. In more normal circumstances, it seems like the right thing to do is visit as often as possible and make sure they are comfortable, well cared for, and safe. But that’s “normal”. There is nothing normal about a narcissist mom. We may just have to settle for knowing that we managed to get them the care, comfort and safety they needed and move on. For me, I’m tired of being blamed still for everything….even things that I could not have caused to happen. I’m tired of visiting only to hear her criticisms…I’m fat, my clothes are ugly and I should burn them when I get home, I’m neglecting my husband by not being at home with him instead of visiting with her. She never had to take care of her parents or anyone else. She got to enjoy her retirement and travel and I’d like to be able to do that now too. She told me a year ago when I took a short trip that I was thoughtless because she might die while I was gone. I told her that if she died during that time, they’d just have to put her on ice until I returned. Oddly, she accepted that comment, probably because it’s something she would have said.

I sincerely wish you well with moving forward. You deserve it….as do we all. Totally agree with wishingfor NC that we ARE good daughters for providing the care for our mothers.

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Lynde Garmon May 28, 2016 at 4:58 am

I did not even read the article, however went straight to the comments and can i just say, “Thank you Jesus that I am not alone in my disgust towards my mother!”. I have thought many times, why is my dad the one who has all the health problems and not the woman who gave birth to me??? I will NEVER take care of that woman!!! I am a hospice nurse and LOVE what I do everyday taking care of terminally ill patients at their end of life. My NM will NOT get once ounce of care out of me …….NOT EVER AGAIN!!! She has totally drained me and sucked so many years of life out of me and now at the age of 43, the words “don’t ever call me or come to my house again” came out of her mouth to me just last week!!! I, without hesitation responded, “F#@* YOU!!!!” I have never felt so free and liberated in my whole life. It’s as if she finally gave me the green light to never see her or deal with her again. Michelle Piper, this information on your website has been crazy amazing. To read this recovery handbook and to see in black and white writing, my life……well it’s just CRAZY!!! I have been the hero child and the scapegoat my whole life and it all makes sense now! I detest the woman who is called my mother. But she is my mother by title only for sure! That lady never mothered me one time. As a matter of fact, she became severely depressed at my age of 16 and was in and out of mental institutions for 6 years. To this day, she will not accept that SHE is a problem!!!! I will no longer feel guilty for my hatred towards her.

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Sad & 63 May 30, 2016 at 10:07 pm

I just lost my 98-year-old father 2 weeks ago and I told my sister “the wrong parent died.” We are stuck with an almost 90-yr-old NM who has acted like I shouldn’t have nearly the grief she has over his death. She actually told me, “YOU weren’t married to him!”, like it was absurd that I would feel pain after his death. But she has no empathy. She just doesn’t get it. We three kids and four grandkids are overcome with sadness over my Dad’s death, and mom wants US to pay attention to her needs, as usual.

But this shouldn’t surprise me, because she is just continuing in her own selfish ways. I am positive she took DES when pregnant with me. Mom miscarried after my sister was born and then she had me. DES was prescribed up until the early 1970’s for pregnant women who had had miscarriages before. Later, they found that DES causes the daughters of these women all kinds of health problems—cancer of the cervix, misshaped uterus, and even breast cancer. I have had all of that and breast cancer twice, yet mom refuses to admit she took it when pregnant with me. It would be so great to be validated if she would admit it…but knowing mom, this will never happen. She thinks she’s “perfect” and to admit taking DES would ruin that.

So I watch my health very carefully. I have been treated for ongoing severe depression since the first breast cancer diagnosis, but I guess that’s understandable. In the past, I was able to get through my health problems with the help of my Dad, but now he is gone.

Thank goodness I have a loving husband, sis, bro, kids and daughter in laws. Without their support I think my NM could have driven me crazy by now.

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susie November 8, 2016 at 1:23 pm

Oh thankyou for everyone on this forum but Sad I just lost my dad & your story is mine…my dad was the buffer zone all though he enabled her for his own peaceful life, (he worshiped the ground she walked on) I was there with him so she didnt have to watch him die BUT Im not allowed to greive my loss cos She was married to him for 60 years!!! Im 58 & im sinking fast..i have a great counsellor but I need to be @ the counsellor’s every day just to survive my mother. My mother at least did a” Narc Rage” in front of my new husband so now he knows im not dramatising what she can do when she is not being the Nice Little Old Lady that everyone else sees as Sooo Kind & generous of which noone ever Thanks her for ALL SHE HAS DONE FOR ME/ US, ant way I can fel my anger & despair rising & I dont want my Poor Me blurring the page but thnkyou for all sharing Now I know im not Nuts as my mother would put it.Thankyou

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ONLY DAUGHTER December 5, 2016 at 9:27 am

Whenever I’m having a particularly hard time with the guilt of low contact with my NM, I turn to Michele’s wonderful website/blog and it heals me. Michele, I just can’t tell you what a valuable gift this website is. I’ve felt so isolated and alone with NM- induced torture for so many years and when I finally found this it was HALLALUYA Jesus. I just wish all of the posters could somehow be in the same room together and we could actually see and hear others who have lived our nightmare. I’ve don’t personally know one single person who’s had to live the corrupted life of a child of Narc mother and it soothes my heart to now I’m not alone.

I think there should be more support and awareness for these under-the-radar children of narcs who are being quietly tortured and controlled behind closed doors. I went to a wonderful therapist for many years for depression and she was helpful BUT I now realize she hasn’t had exposure to Narcissisist Personality Disorder and though she’s a great doc she doesn’t understand the true soul sucking nature of the problem and that the only real cure is No Contact. I can only wish for NC because I’m the only child of an elderly NM who left my father when i was 18 months and she never remarried or had a significant other since. I could’t handle the personal and public shaming of going full on NC. Thank God I don’t have to depend on her financially. I really feel so badly for the people who have to rely on these monsters for an inheritance. If my sadist NM had financial power over me she’d keep her vampire fangs permanently buried in my neck.

Another interesting thing I’m learning through this website is that most adult children of NM don’t even BEGIN to understand the true sick nature of their parent until they’re way past middle age…..50 to 60+ years of age!!! This shows what clever, insidious beasts the narcs really are. 40 years ago when I was in college I almost majored in Psychology but I foolishly changed my mind. If I could have had the opportunity to read the discription of NPD in the official Psychiatric Manual I would’ve spotted the disorder and realized I wasn’t the crazy one and it would have saved me an adult lifetime of suffering. I’m happy I just happened to pick one up and thumb through it at age 48….better late than never.

Michelle thank you, Margaret

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Liliana July 11, 2016 at 10:34 pm

After reading the above article, I will say that after the last ordeal with my mother – who hasn’t spoken to me in seven and a half months because I needed my space away from her as I am going to therapy for PTSD, OCD, and BPD and to not have her personality traits show up in my own personality towards my boyfriend and instead decided to stay with his parents for Christmas – I will not be taking care of her. Just this past time she attempted to take away the money my grandmother set aside for my college tuition, get me evicted from my apartment and sued by the landlord so I would no choice but to live with her, be under her thumb, and be under surveillance by all of her buddies, told me she couldn’t be held responsible if I committed suicide because of my mental illness, if something happened to me she wouldn’t care, made sure to tell everyone that both her and I knew, knew that I was a spoiled, little bitch who thought she never needed a job and made herself appear like a poor saint being abused by her daughter and her boyfriend (who stood up to )her because he was so mad at how she treated me, pulled my health insurance, tried to take a car I co-owned and coerce me into paying $14,000 that was never agreed upon when it was bought.
I don’t ever want to speak to her again, let alone take care of her in her old age, and she isn’t even one of the more savage cases of narcissism I have ever read about! She screamed, yelled, slammed cupboard doors, wouldn’t speak to me for days at a time, incessantly criticized me – clothes, interests, college majors among many other things, and made me her lap dog when it came to her ex-husband. She did the same things to him as she did to me. She used me to rub how much she hated his daughter and thought she was a female dog in his face. I was cute, I was thin, I was smart and didn’t need tutors. However, none of that mattered when she couldn’t make herself look good. My classes didn’t matter, because working outside with her was far more important than getting turning assignments in on time and achieving good grades. She even had me lie for her to her ex-husband when they were fighting – which was all the time. I had to lie to her to escape her wrath, and when I didn’t seven and half months ago, the gates of Hell unleashed their demons.
Due to her nonsense, I have disowned many people we were friends with because they all think she is in the right and I am Satan incarnate. I have also disowned my godmother, because when my mother had a molecule of a guilty conscience my godmother would egg her on and insist that my mother was doing the right thing in terrorizing me.
So, my thought is that my mother can get her pals and my godmother to take care of her, because I want nothing to do with her. I refuse to ever spend another holiday with her. Ever again.

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Liliana July 11, 2016 at 10:36 pm

I meant to say that my mother also hates my boyfriend of four years because he stood up to her and told her she was wrong.

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TBone July 28, 2016 at 10:38 am

I’ve been NC for years and when my father died I didn’t go to the funeral. The eye opening incident occurred on 9-11. I was in an office a half block from where the Towers came down. I called “home” after the first plane hit and said to my NM “turn on the television. I’m sitting on top of this”. She said “I haven’t got time for your bullshit” and hung up on me. After the second plane hit I called “home” again, basically because I thought I was a dead man walking, and before I could say a word she said to me “Oh, you’re just starting your shit again” and hung up on me. I never called “home” again. After I went to nine funerals in a month for friends and colleagues that perished, I finally did a web search entitled “why am I the Black Sheep of my family?”. Then the world opened up to me. I came to terms with what both of my parents are… Malignant Narcissists, and the fact that I am the family scapegoat. Oddly, both of my brothers are Golden Children. Sixteen years of NC with everyone have passed and I couldn’t be happier as a person. No thanks to them. And I can’t wait for the day that I can skip my Evil Mother’s funeral. I’m going out and having fun that day because the world will be a much better place with both of them dead. Stay strong fellow ACon’s. It does get better.

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Elizabeth October 22, 2016 at 9:38 pm

Good for you! Next month I’ll be celebrating three years of NC with my narcissistic family. My GERD is gone! I suffered from acid reflux for YEARS – never realizing that it was all due to their toxicity. I don’t feel one ounce of guilt for going NC with them; especially with my NM because I realized that SHE and my NF put the “guilt” in me since childhood. I’ve taken back my power and rendered them helpless to abuse me any further. They no longer have access to their chew toy. Sure, their smear campaigns will continue – but WHO CARES??!!! I’m finally liberated from these sickos and walking around with a big smile on my face. And like you, I will not attend my NM’s funeral – nor any of my siblings’. The only regret I have is that I didn’t go NC three decades ago. With that said, I wish everyone here a peaceful life.

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MiteyMo August 15, 2016 at 11:35 am

This is so healing for me, thank you. My NM just moved into a senior apartment about a mile from me. My contact has been limited, and I am in process of setting boundaries around how much I am willing to give – period. That is not dependent on how needy she is. But I have two questions, for those in limited contact with their NM. First, what do you do with the RAGE? I did a lot of therapy, a lot of work. But I loathe her so much it is almost physical. I just hate her, looking at her face makes me sick. How do I release this? The second…of course you never ‘be yourself ‘ around your narcissist. But I feel as if it would help to have something to feed her, innocuous things to talk about. Ideas?

And thanks for being here. Nobody gets it who hasn’t lived it.

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ONLY DAUGHTER August 19, 2016 at 6:52 am

MiteyMo, it sounds like we are living the same life and feeling the same rage and repugnance when we’re with our NM. I’m literally repulsed by the sight of my NM and the sound of her voice. I have found that it’s much more effective to vow never to feed her even if you have to sit there in the room and bore her to death. Dont feel you have to make small talk. Make her realize she’ll never get her supply from you ever again. Since these people are basically animals and not human beings she’ll respect your dominance. And when she’s staring you down never look away first, even if you have to sit there and stare back for hours…keep eye contact until she looks away. It will be a big turning point. There will never be equality, it will only be one who is dominant and one who is compliant. Choose the dominant role as its much less exhausting. Youre right, no one with a normal mother can get it! So lonely!

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John September 22, 2016 at 4:46 pm

Wow…your comment truly opens my eyes to the truth about attachment trauma. Very, very valuable feedback on how a person feels in that kind of abandonment. Right now I’m learning and recovering from these family dynamics. Ross Rosenberg’s youtube channel on narcissism has been very helpful. What adds so much here is you telling the truth about how it is for you in the dynamic with your mother. Freely expressing.

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ONLY DAUGHTER December 5, 2016 at 9:37 am

Hi John, I just saw this post…..I wish I could go through and read all of your posts so I could have more of an understanding of what your situation is. Not sure what you mean by attachment trauma and how it relates to my post. Per your suggestion, I listened to one of Ross Rosenberg’s youtubes but just not sure what we, as adult children of narcs, are supposed to do with the knowledge that our parents are the way they are because of THEIR childhood mistreatment.

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mj williams August 19, 2016 at 9:12 pm

My NM has a scourge…It ages her more than her 88yrs old. It’s awful to see…

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prima5 August 24, 2016 at 10:44 am

I love my mother dearly, but growing up, I was the bad one and my sister was the good one. She pitted us against each other all our childhood and into adulthood until we caught on and made a pact to always fact check what my mother says with each other. My sister and I have because very close as adults, to which I’m eternally grateful. But now my sister is the bad one and I am the good one as adults and this is difficult for my poor sister to endure. When you go from being so close to your mother to now being the ostracized one, it’s a difficult transition. My mother and sister are currently in a battle because my mother said something hurtful to my sister. To me, my mother denies saying what she said and she rewords her comments, but others were in the room and heard what she said, so I know the truth. Now she’s snubbing my sister at family functions by turning her cheek when my sister tries to kiss her hello. That pretty much did it for my sister! She proclaimed that she’s “done” and refuses to reach out to her because we both know that my mother is trying to bait my sister and bend her will to be the one to say “we need to talk.” My mother is posting things on Facebook to try to get her attention, but we’ve decided that it’s best to ignore her comments completely so that she cannot say “well look what you said about me”. Any thought are greatly appreciated!

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Mary August 26, 2016 at 8:41 pm

I am so impressed with the fact check you & your sis do. I didn’t have that opportunity as my sibling was way too deep & would never listen. My sibling is hard headed & a control freak. One that omits people from life if they do not succumb to a life of control. I lost my mother & my sibling(golden child) & although your situation is very unfortunate, you have each other & that is wonderful. You both must be very open minded. Prayers to your sister in her decision to be done. It’s tough! I always considered the depth of love in my heart for others as an asset, however, this family situation has made me realize when a person loves deeply, they hurt deeply. Thanks for sharing.

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Mary August 26, 2016 at 9:40 am

I am a 60 year old Christian female with a NM. I stumbled on this article last night & had no idea this many people were out there with a similar situation. I found comfort in the comments I read & don’t feel as isolated w/this. Society opens eyes wide, stares & judges when a biological child distances themselves from a NM if they don’t have one themselves. I hope to chat w/nice Christian people w/this issue in hopes I can set boundaries without guilt. I just want to please the Lord but not be held captive by my family of origin. In have 1 sibling under TOTAL control, the golden child. I am nothing but have been a wonderful & loving daughter. If anyone is out there that has this issue ripping their heart out, that can help, please feel free to email or comment. Thanks & best wishes for all!

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Black Sheep December 5, 2016 at 6:54 am

Mary…Jesus was TRYING HIS BEST to get people BEYOND all that tribal guilt tripping BS! Do you remember in Luke chapter 8 where his ‘family’ came in to reign Him in? He replied “Who is mother? Who is my brother? He who does the will of God, the same is my mother and brother.”
I feel your pain because I’m in the same situation. They ALWAYS will make somebody the scapegoat, and it’s gonna be the one who doesn’t bow to their tyranny. You already have a Lord…you’re DOING the right thing. Stop beating up on yourself. Buh-lieve me, I know it’s not easy. I go thru it daily.

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ONLY DAUGHTER December 6, 2016 at 8:09 am

Here here Black Sheep

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ACT II September 14, 2016 at 8:47 am

Amazing to read all of the comments and how so many people have suffered bc of these CRAZY, evil people!!! I’m having a really hard time reading the comments bc it’s bringing up all over again the pain and suffering I’ve experienced with my Monster of a NM!!! I am a 55 year old male who has taken care of my 82 year old NM, which I’ve been doing for the past FIVE years! This is like hell on earth for me each and everyday! I’m in a cesspool of craziness now and it’s been this way as long as I can recall from as far back as a young child!!!!! Each and every comment I read here is spot on about how we all have suffered at the hands of these MONSTERS!!! My hands are literally shaking as I try to type this!! My heart hurts so bad and my anxiety is at its all time worst bc of this crazy nut I take care of!! I feel myself slipping away mentally and physically!! I just want to tell this piece of trash everything that she has done to hurt me, my kids, my sister, my father (who died 10 years ago, who she tortured for over 23 years until he left) and everyone else she has come in contact with!!! Street Angel, House Devil is the best description of her or Dr. Jeckyl, Mr. Hyde!!! My poor sister from an early age has suffered terribly along with me bc of her! She is 58 years old and my NM has mistreated her unbelievably bad since she was a little girl and as far back as I can remember!! A beaten and mistreated dog is treated better than my poor sister! My sister was always there for me, but now, bc I have stood up to this NM of mine, I even hate to call her mine, my sister and brother are too afraid to deal with the anguish of her crap so they won’t talk to me about her and they believe all of the incredible lies she tells them!!?? That’s what these NM’s like to do and get the other siblings against one and other!! Jeez, I could go on forever about this total evil person, but I think all of you understand what I’m saying and going through…My oldest sister died at the age of 6 when I was only a baby. She was such a beautiful little girl from the stories I’ve been told and the pictures I see of her. My 58 year old sister now, who told my sister in law and my wife at the time, that bc of her suffering at the hands of this NUT, said my sister who died was probably in heaven bc she was safe from this crazy person!! She also said that she wishes she was the one who died!! My sister and I have both suffered mentally and physically bc of this nut!! We both suffered through the grip of Anorexia, depression, anxiety, suicidal attempts, hospitalizations in psych units, sexual abuse and so on…Well, it’s good to read all of the comments and I’m sorry I rambled on, but like many of you who have suffered, I just want to tell this Evil person what she has done and how she has ruined many lives and caused so many problems! Then, I know it’s probably bad to say, but I just wish after telling her and it sinks into her mind, that she just goes to a place where she can’t bother anyone anymore and just die! Hopefully when I die and go to heaven with my God, she won’t be there!

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John September 22, 2016 at 4:39 pm

Your feelings and you are the most important thing. The healing can go past the rage and
into integration. Forgiveness has ZERO to do with the narcissist. It has to do with leaving home. It’s freeing to see you speak from your heart.

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Elizabeth October 22, 2016 at 10:11 pm

@ ACT II – I feel your pain, I really do. It’s heart-wrenching and heart-breaking at the same time. Even though we’ve all gone through similar circumstances with our Evil parents and other family members, each of us has chosen to deal with it in our own way. I chose LC before finally going NC three years ago. The decision I made was the right one for me – and I am at peace with it. I just wish that I could do something to ease your pain. I’m really sorry for what you’re going through and wish you all the best.

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Janis December 7, 2016 at 3:28 pm

I can totally relate with everything that is said here. After much therapy and soul searching, I have come to see my mother as damaged, however, not evil. It is a natural gut reaction to assume cruelty can only come from someone evil but when we label them evil, we give ourselves permission to lack compassion. We can also justify more rage and resentment than our own bodies can handle and we create serious illnesses for ourselves, something I know all too well from my own experience. My health and sanity are now my top priority. LC is the best I can do.

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