Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

by Michelle Piper

The road is long and winding for the daughter of a narcissistic mother. Many twists and turns along the way, with no light guiding her. She may feel lost, not knowing which direction she should turn due to lack of guidance and without the proper care and nurturing for her to be able to find her way. Yes, it is true, being the daughter of a narcissistic mother, the route on the road to recovery is not an easy one. But, once you find your way, there is light at the end of the narcissistic tunnel.

The daughter of a narcissistic mother has been psychologically abandoned and abused since very early on in life. Whether she was the golden child or the scapegoat (most likely the scapegoat), she was not given the tools to become an authentic individual. She was made to be an extension of her narcissistic mother and play by the rules her mother has created. She was made to be a carbon copy of her narcissistic mother.

When a narcissistic mother wants the daughter to be a copy of herself, she wishes to use the child as a source of narcissistic supply. Perhaps there’s something she feels she wasn’t able to do in her youth that she expects you to do in yours, or maybe you’re blamed for stealing her life when you were born. Whatever the reason, she feels you “owe her” to be an extension of herself.

Children are naturally and innately dependent on their primary caregiver from birth and the narcissistic mother intends to keep the child dependent on her for as long as she possibly can in order to enjoy a sense of control throughout the child’s entire lifetime. Often, inheritance and financial favors are used by narcissistic parents to manipulate their children throughout their lifespan. The narcissistic mother expects her child to put her needs first, no matter how she treats you, your children or your significant other.

A narcissistic mother wants complete and total control over her daughter’s life, especially when the daughter is at the point in life when she wants to establish independence and autonomy. Her narcissistic mother will sabotage her daughter’s freedom any chance she can. She is ruthless and relentless.

Having children is seen by narcissistic mothers as the perfect answer to the desire to have a captive narcissistic supply. Unfortunately, the narcissistic mother often gets overwhelmed by the natural demands of a child. Parenthood intensifies the NM’s abusive behavior and the child may then be blamed for the narcissistic mother’s inadequacies or failures. Sadly, many DONM’s are further betrayed by a father that enables the narcissistic mother’s abuse.

She yells at you? It’s your fault.
She hit you? You stressed her out.
She ignored you? You didn’t approach her in the right way.

But, you were an innocent child, not a “mini-me” of the narcissistic mother. A child is born perfectly imperfect, with the need to be protected, accepted, sheltered and nurtured. Answering these normal biological needs are seen by narcissistic parents as favors, not a precious duty, if given at all.

Narcissistic mothers want their child to do what they want, how they want it and when they want it. Many readers of this blog have experienced an “engulfment-abandonment cycle” where the mother engulfs, through boundary-less or abusive behavior, then abandons them when confronted or when something is more interesting to the parent than the child.

As these daughters grow up and become independent beings away from their mothers in order to one day make a life for themselves, select their own choices, and be functioning people in society, the narcissistic parent struggles to retain control. She will continue to force her child into whatever role provides her the most narcissistic supply, such as the blamed scapegoat, the forgotten lost, the falsely empowered golden, or the enmeshed and parentified child.

Because of being the same gender, daughters of narcissistic mothers are especially vulnerable to being seen by mom as a copy of herself. The narcissistic mother can therefore believe she may do as she pleases, physically and emotionally, when it comes to her daughter. She may expect her child to pursue the life partner she chooses. In this case, she wants the daughter’s significant other to be the most prestigious reflection of her genetic material’s potential.

A narcissistic mother will attempt to destroy her daughter’s romantic relationships so she can keep her child around for longer or if she doesn’t see the mate as being a fit counterpart. She will flirt with her daughter’s significant other, spread lies, and manipulate in order to keep her daughter all to herself and retain the narcissistic supply.

Daughters of narcissistic mothers are shocked and saddened to catch their mothers lying directly to her own children or spouse. Narcissistic moms try to cause break ups, doing whatever she can to get her daughter back to only having one person in her life: her narcissistic mother.

Sons of narcissistic mothers aren’t immune to being objectified in similar ways by their narcissistic mother, but they may experience less blatant “copy of herself” behavior, like that of buying similar clothes, for instance. Often the narcissistic mom will see your partner alternately as competition or an ally to be manipulated against you. Your well meaning spouse may not understand they’ve a narcissistic mother-in-law and fall prey to her plea for help when you’ve set a boundary and your narcissistic parent is trying to get around it.

Daughters of narcissistic mothers can become enraged as mom refuses to see them as their own person and are therefore not treated as such. Conversely, the daughter of a narcissistic mother may not realize this is happening and thus continue to become completely enmeshed with the narcissistic parent.

There are different ways narcissistic mothers keep their daughters dependent on them to maintain this source of narcissistic supply. Below are two common tactics of the narcissistic parent.

Parentification: The narcissistic mother expects her daughter to take care of her when it should be the other way around. The daughter is made to feel responsible for the mother’s physical and emotional needs. These needs can range from an unfair share of cooking and cleaning to playing therapist while her mother talks about her relationships, sex life, and other issues. These are much bigger roles than any child should have to take on, but a narcissistic mother does not care. She only cares about her own wants and needs.

Infantilization: Never being allowed to explore her own autonomy, her daughter is kept vulnerable, naive, and scared of the world and being on his or her own. A narcissistic mother will brainwash her child into thinking the world is a cruel place in which one would never be able to survive on one’s own. This leads a child to never feel safe and fear leaving the support of the narcissistic mother, even though they may be miserable.

Both of these tactics, along with numerous other ploys, are how narcissistic mothers try to make their daughter into a clone, a copy of themselves for their own twisted satisfaction. If a daughter of a narcissistic mother tries to gain any sort of independence, it is met with rage and tactics meant to keep the child in her control, terrified of what the narcissistic mother might do if boundaries are enforced or even requested.

Daughters of narcissistic mothers keenly feel the trouble mom has in setting boundaries between the two of them. This can result in the child having psychological symptoms like “dissociating” in order to have a mental if not physical break from the narcissistic abuse.

Daughters of narcissistic mothers can also convey their distress through physical symptoms, especially at a preverbal age. Unexplained physical symptoms such as stomach aches, headaches, and muscle twitches or spasms are common non-verbal expressions of anxiety.

Narcissistic enmeshment continues into the adulthood of the daughter. The narcissistic mother will try to intrude on personal relationships, marriage, and child rearing of her child’s kids. As a narcissistic mother-in-law, she will tell her child that his or her partner’s healthy desires for privacy or boundaries are abnormal or manipulative.

Even in death, the narcissistic parent can try to control their daughters, daughter’s children and spouses from the grave by using the assets of their will and their distribution as yet another way to pit the siblings against one another. Pitting people against one another in this way is a toxic narcissistic behavior called splitting.

Sons of narcissistic mothers often are badgered by mom’s incessant desire to control their interactions with their own partners and can feel put in the middle between a mom “who means well” but is intrusive. The narcissistic mother “means well” only for herself. In the case of a narcissistic mother or mother-in-law this is, again, her inability to see her child as separate from herself. She tries to possess the child instead of support the child’s independence with love.

With an engulfing narcissistic mother, it can be very hard to get rid of her. It is important not to buy into her lies, intimidations, and manipulations. Don’t give in to her gaslighting or when she tries to tell you that you won’t be anything without her. Don’t be emotionally blackmailed by your narcissistic parent, your time is too precious.

Gain your own financial, physical, and emotional independence from her and do your best to enforce low contact or no contact (although, no contact is extremely difficult with these kinds of narcissistic mothers.) Involve the authorities if you need to or feel you’re in any danger. Protect yourself first. Set firm limits and be strong when enforcing them.

Our community is full of those who work hard to leave the old narcissistic family system. The battles a daughter of a narcissistic mother (DoNM), must fight in order to gain this hard won independence often costs time and tears. Both sons and daughters of narcissistic mothers deserve well earned peace and freedom.

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Ashley January 16, 2017 at 9:00 am

I’m in my early 20’s and just recently figured out that my mother is a narcissist. I’ve honestly always known something was not right with our family relationship but I never could quite put my finger on it. With everything having to be her way and ignoring me and my dad for days at a time if we didn’t do exactly what she wanted. She never listens to me when I say things unless it has something to do with her in some way. My brother is the golden child and can literally never do anything wrong. Even when he does mess up she has never ignored him for days at a time like she has done with me and my dad. I don’t know how to properly express my feelings and I let them build and build until about once a month I just break down and cry over the smallest things. I can’t get close to people every time I try to open up to anyone I end up just feeling dumb. What really was the last straw was over New Years I had a legitimate emotional break down. She had been ignoring me for about 4 days at this point just throwing passive aggressive looks and comments my way and when I confronted her about what I had done to make her so angry she would just tell me to leave her alone and that she didn’t want to talk about it. I just broke down and I sat in my car before work and cried for about 20 minutes until she finally realized I never left. I stupidly tried to explain to her about how sad and lonely I had been feeling for about the past year and her only words of advice were ” I know you hate your life but it’s not my fault. If you want to hate me to be able to get through life then by all means you can.” I felt like I got slapped in the face and in all honesty I wished she would have cause that probably would have hurt less. Even just this morning she lost something she bought this past weekend and spent the whole morning yelling and slamming doors and cabinets looking for it ultimately blaming me for taking and hiding it from her just to aggravate her. Saying things like I’m a stranger and she doesn’t know me anymore but that’s just because I’m not falling for her tricks or games and I’m starting to stand up for myself. The only thing is that I still live at home and I’m partially financially dependent on her which is what I’m working on this year to move out. That is the only way I am ever going to be able to lead a normal life to not be constantly under thumb. I don’t really have anyone in my life I can talk to about this and it is still new to me. If anyone would have any advice I would be greatly appreciative! I am so glad pages like this exists cause it really does make me feel less alone.

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Mel February 19, 2017 at 3:25 pm

In most cases when out family is like this we cannot ever count on them to offer real support or empathy. It is healthy to keep learning about NPD and connecting with people who actually care, feel empathy, and consistently support us getting strong

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Mel February 19, 2017 at 3:28 pm

In most cases when out family is like this we cannot ever count on them to offer real support or empathy. It is healthy to keep learning about NPD and connecting with people who actually care, feel empathy, and consistently support us getting strong. This isn’t about us. Regardless of how they may treat different people or be “nice” sometimes, it is their nature. Best wishes.

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Christine May 3, 2017 at 1:28 pm

My mother disowned me and told everyone in my family horrible things about me so they would take her side. She said “she would make sure I had no family,” and she succeeded. She moved next to my older brother, the golden child and latched onto him. She shows him off to everyone and their relationship and what a “great mother she is.” She would say that I wasn’t her daughter, I was possessed by demons and abducted by aliens. She would say I’m ungrateful and played me off to be a spoiled horrible person so everyone in my family believes her story without question.

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Galadriel June 19, 2017 at 6:37 pm

I have a NPD mum too. I am in my late twenties, married with kids and honestly I used to always think, when I didn’t know that something was wrong with her, that she really cared for my feelings and supported me. I have an awful lot of in laws and I would actually open up to her but she never responded in a way that a mother should. I was always confused. Now I know why, she loves me being in pain and being hurt so she can use that to manipulate me back into her narcissistic supply of demands. My parents at the behest of my mother never gave me any sort of privacy. Zero. My clothes were rummaged through, my school bag was checked all the time, my friends were not allowed at home. My mother according to her is the most beautiful and the most intelligent and every where she goes, she thinks that people just automatically bow down to her because of her grandeur and splendour. When I was growing up, I would play tennis in summer and when I would get home, she would comment how much of a ‘negro’ I looked because I would get super tanned (I have an olive complexion) and that how no boy would seriously be interested in me because I have an ugly face and an ugly nose. My nose was made so much fun of that I would take tongs and try and slim it down and make it less beaky. I was never allowed to wax my legs until I was at Uni (I moved away to another country altogether for Uni, yes!!!) and decided to indulge myself with my first paycheck. As soon as I got a job my spineless shit of a father and her had demanded access to my bank account. I evaded the question until at one stage she said some really mean and nasty things and I gave in because I couldn’t believe my dad and her could say such things. Growing up I was beaten to a pulp, actually I was a punching bag for their frustrations. I was a quintessential scape goat and my brother is a golden child. He never suffered any wrath of my mother. I once went to school with purple welts on my legs that I was ordered by my mother to hide with long socks. She constantly turned me against my friends, never let me hang out with them, never let me date. In one instant I did have a boyfriend, she made us break up and she literally had spies at school by bribing them so that they can report about me to her. She beat me to a pulp when she found out that I had a boyfriend and that now I am going to get pregnant at 16 and she will murder me and my child if that ever happened. I started to realise this a couple of years ago when I was going on this mega Europe trip and she started to dictate things and then I just googled why my mother is so competitive and hallelujah, I stumbled upon here. This website has been the best healing journey for me. For years I thought abuse and lies, deceit and manipulation, giving no respect were normal parts of life. My husband is an angel for putting up with me all these years but since last year I said no more. I understand her games now, I understand her delusions and it gives me power over her in a weird way. I am no longer under her control and it makes her so mad. I relish that. It was always about her image. I was sexually molested as a child (I have memories of it, so no denying that) and she keeps denying anything like that ever happened, in fact after that day (it was a school teacher) she still wanted to send me back to his house but I flat out refused and chucked a massive tantrum for which I then got beat up as well. Atleast it saved me from getting bloody sexually abused. She beat me so bad one day that the neighbours had social services involved. When I decided to move to a different city they suggested that I can move to a different country and they would pay for it. I was finally able to see a break through but then I overheard them saying that they would choose the degree for me because they know the best. I was apalled but I had no choice. It was either I stay around them or go 10,000 miles away and study whatever they want me to. I took the second option but then they started emotionally blackmailing me on how much money they are paying for me and how I am not even capable of getting a good GPA. They started to demand money of me every month towards my graduation. They would call me everyday to get a report of my day. There is so much more that I could tell about her. She called me crazy and stupid when I had a few weeks of PPD after my child. etc so much. I am finally realising all of this and trying to be a good mother for my kids. I do really get envious and full of resentment when I see a normal mother-daughter bond and how I wish it could have been different but I see life as a journey and all experiences teach you something. Stay strong all the children of NPD parents. We are unique because we have hearts of steel.

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Joanna January 17, 2017 at 2:51 pm

Ashley, I have just read your comment and I also felt less alone with my problem. These very hurtful words you heard from your mother make me think of things she has sometimes said to me, of her attempts to convince me that I was unhappy and taking out my frustrations on her … I am much older than you – in my mid-30s – and I live on my own, but I often feel that my mother does not want to accept the fact that I am an adult.

My brother is the golden child, too, and he is always ready to defend my mother. Like your mother, she is quite a bossy person who loves having things the way she wants … And I really hate the fact that she clearly thinks that she has the right to feel and express contempt for other people (unless they are people she really likes). I sometimes feel horrible during my phone conversations with her because of her cold contempt for people she does not even know and her condescending attitude towards me (when she talks about my personal life, she often makes me feel like a complete failure !).

It’s great that you have realized that your mother is behaving in a very toxic way – the mainstream message is that mothers are always wonderful and loving and I am so fed up with it ! Achieving financial independence and moving out is crucially important, but it’s not enough – I have been financially independent for many years and live on my own, but my mother does not want to treat me like an adult (I guess that her attitude would be different if I had a husband …)

I think that you should really try to find a friend to whom you could talk about your life and problems – a friend who does not think that all mothers are wonderful. When you find the right kind of friend, you will not feel dumb while talking about your mother … I fully understand you because many people assume that my mother has good intentions etc. (though the truth is that she can be very condescending or spiteful to me) and I feel so completely misunderstood when they say such things !

I really hope that your mother will never again be able to make you feel miserable. You have done absolutely nothing wrong to her – you really sound like a kind and gentle person. The fact that she said cruel things to you after you told her that you had felt sad and lonely speaks volumes about her. And of course she portrays herself as the victim of a “bad” daughter ! (My mother often does exactly the same).

Another advice: please do watch the movie “Now, Voyager” (you can watch it even on YouTube) – it is partly about a very toxic mother-daughter relationship and you will probably find it helpful and uplifting.

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Abha February 5, 2017 at 8:21 am

Dear Joanna and Ashley, I am much older than both of you- I shall be 50 this year. I am not trying to be dramatic, but my heart cried while reading your comments. Keep at it-Believe me, it is possible to become your own person and be happy about who you are and what you decide to do. For the first 30 years of my life, I was completely under her thumb… I had no self esteem,had relationship issues and was completely scared of a confrontational situation. Thankfully, my husband’s support and understanding,helped me to ‘grow up’ literally, and now I look back to find my own family to be my greatest allies. As mentioned on different websites, my mother did try to poison my kids’ minds against me, and has recently begun telling my husband that he is too indulgent towards me. Even though I am aware and stronger now, every time I chat with her over the phone, she succeeds in making me feel inadequate and sad-I guess I am a work in progress 🙂 She doesn’t like that I don’t visit her, and refrain from telling her stories from my present life.I am Indian, and therefore have an issue with breaking contact with her, but it hurts me that my brother, who she adores, feels that I am not giving her the attention and respect she deserves.My best wishes for both of you. Please know that God resides in you and you have the power to heal yourself

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Sarah February 11, 2017 at 11:21 pm

Ashley,

I can relate in many ways. I am 21 and figuring out that my mother is a narcissist. My father and two sisters are completely brainwashed and the more I realize the true dynamics of my family, the more I am ostracized.

The main thing making life difficult is that I live with them and I am also partially financially dependent on them. But the more I make big strides towards becoming independent, the more she tries to tear me down.

My grades have continually gotten better each semester of college, I have my best job so far and I’m working extra hours and I’ve also started to work out more. Well, the more I do this, the more backlash I get.

“Why are you never home? Hmm you’ve been spending an AWFUL lot of time at the library, gym, etc…” that’s her favorite phrase. Whenever I do something for a longer time than she sees fit, it’s an “awful” long time.. the more I try to better myself the more suspicious and controlling she gets.

I always get a look or negative comment whenever I say I’m going anywhere. She always needs to know where I’m going and for how long. And even when I’m home I’m constantly monitored.. I will go in the kitchen to get food and I hear her downstairs pause the TV. Once I leave the kitchen and am out of hearing range, she turns it back on. Every time. If I leave for school or work a little early it’s “where are you going?” Heaven forbid I change my shoes before I come home and it’s “aren’t you supposed to wear white shoes at work?”

I am 21 years old… I am making great progress in my life and she acts as though I am a sneaky teenager, but I have never been caught doing anything wrong because well, I dont.

I have my life together, but the only time it feels like it’s falling apart is when my mother closes in on me to the point I can’t breathe.

I can hardly take the microscope I live under. I’m blamed for not spending enough time with the family and when I do, they ignore me and watch tv. Im trying to move out asap but the more I look back on my years in the workforce, the more I see the manipulation they’ve used to keep me in their financial clutches. I am now trying to dig myself out of a hole.

It’s a long confusing and difficult process.

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Dominique March 5, 2017 at 7:57 pm

I am in my late twenties and still living with my mother. I few years ago I was seeing a therapist who told me my mother was a narcissist. I couldn’t believe it and I didn’t until one day recently, I searched “will I ever be good enough for my mother?” There it was, plain as day….what he had told me all along. The reason I still live at home, the reason why she is jealous, or always saying things like “if I wasn’t around or wait until I die” it all makes perfect sense. Just tonight, I was out and forget to do a chore, of course when she wanted it done, and boy did she do her normal routines of: “I see who’s more important” and now she isn’t speaking with me….simply because I didn’t do something on HER time, before she got home. Needless to say, when she did let me know I forgot, I ran home and did the chore immediately as to avoid conflict, but that didn’t work either. It’s always about her since I was younger. I couldn’t try out contact lenses because they didn’t work for her but when I was finally 22 years old, at the time, I was able to get them on my own. Another thing she does is constantly criticize my weight. I diet, lose weight and she tells me I am too skinny. Then, I recently gained a lot of weight and I am constantly reminded about how fat I am. It’s a constant cycle of tiptoeing or bowing down. It’s exhausting.

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Pam March 9, 2017 at 6:44 am

My mother is Narcissistic. I am nearly 58 and my brother would have been 59 (he died 5 months ago aged 58). My brother was the golden boy, the rising star, and he was very talented and popular, his downfall was drink. He died of liver failure in my arms. My mum has ALWAYS controlled me ALL my life and I have had many many rows with my husband over her. After all she’s my mum she must be right. Now she’s in a care home and is vile to everyone there, no friends and no visitors. My brother was unemployed and broke, no heating and no food, I spent as much money on him as I could afford, when that ran out (hubby doesn’t know) he wen tot our mum who refused to help him. When he was dying my auntie went to tell her and she asked where was I, to which my auntie responded, working all day, then finishing work, going to his flat to spend an hour with his kitty as it was a heatwave, then sitting at his bedside until 11.00pm until he finally died in my arms after 4 long hard weeks. Mums responses good so she should its her duty. Not a tear did she shed when he died, only when she thought she would get the “oh poor Rose has lost her son” response. I am really struggling with this loss as my brother and I were very close and he was my go to person. I am feeling scared and very very lonely.

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Anonymous March 30, 2017 at 1:02 am

So very sorry for your loss, Pam. You were a very loving sister, rising above and beyond what was dealt to you all of your life. Maybe try to work on getting even closer to your husband now? I have an elderly narcissistic mother who is mentally stable as far as her mind and memory, but she has started to lash out at me physically for the past year and a half (she is small and can do no harm). It is kind of funny watching her try to “discipline” me! I also catch her criticizing me to others behind my back (that is nothing new, though). We just have to fully realize and accept that we never really had a mom in the loving and nurturing sense. But we can love those who are close to us and who love us back. Did you ever think of volunteering in a capacity that you enjoy? I think I may do that. We need to get out of our crazy worlds and helping others is a good start – just so we are not enabling any narcissists! I hope you are doing a little better each day.

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marla July 17, 2017 at 6:34 am

hii,Before i start to over think this, im just going to type. Im in my early 20s,only child,hating every fuckin day that goes by. Ive always had a sad,depressed,dark suicidal half. My mom married young, with my pops,23 yrs married now ,her mother was a very evil whore. Litteraly grandma has 8 kids all step except for the 2 pairs of twins, my mom has a twin sis. Anyways,growing up i was spoiled i guess. MY mom wasnt a materialistic selfish cold hearted female yet. THE evil which is currently out to get me was dormmant. My father is an empty soul,doing what he has to do (work nd over time and weekends)to pay bills, etc… and to provide a somewhat lavish bullshit life that my mom wants,and gets. She will drain my father,and turn him against me just like she wa ts,he will die how he is,empty. My dad doesnt know how to control his emotions,he will just blow up when hes had it,then feel shity which resulted in a shopping spree at the mall. I miss those days. Well the shopping part. I was an angel up untill i turned 13. At 13 i lost my V wth my bf of 1 1/2 yrs,really rebeled against them. I was partying,sneaking out with my only female cousin,2yrs older. I basiclly did everything she did.still 13 i snuck of to my cousins bfs pad (they lived 2gether) where I smoked meth for my 1st time,cousin fell asleep,her bf was using obviouslly nd asked if i wanted 2 try it. Ive been through some shit. Ive always had a home to come to. I have my own room. Had the loves of my life : my pit Leena, chihuahua precious and her son joby. Leena is ashes now inside a big wooden box i hold tight to go to sleep some nights. seizures and my mothers heartless selfish soul,and me being in a room high af ,just sitting there,yelling on the phone to my mom not to put her down,she was fine i loved leena sooo much she was just 5 yrs old, lng story short my heart cracked open that night. Because of my devastated call to the vet i got her ashes. This was a year and 1/2 ago. And to top off my fuck hole of a life 1 week after they put leena dwn,My angel Joby escaped from our backyard. A Woman driving by stopped , picked him up and drove away with my baby. I havnt seen him since and now battling my addiction to meth, being heart broken , depressed, searching for joby and high all day. Emotionally draining my self out with all the things running through my mind. Everything that i should be doing to find Joby,regrets all cus of dope.etc… a lot of bullshit. but i just sit here on my bed tweeking on things and crying and smoking and crying sitting in my memories and wanting things to be how they were 1 yr 1/2 ago. My question, i guess….what does the daughter of a nm,using nd addicted,not productive, just sinking sinking into the question why the fuck cant i just end my crappy life, do,? Or anything …my mother is a disgusting person wth jealousy towards me and i hste her. I will never respect her,ever. Theres so much more but its all just her trying to destroy me. I am alone, i need joby back,i ,iss leena precious is about to join leena in dog heavan. Nd im here smoking dope, not doing anything,just keep myself down as i should for not being there for them. For choosing dope before them. And listening to my mother.
…….
Fml

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Anonymous April 8, 2017 at 1:12 am

I struggle everyday against my mothers controlling behavior and it literally tears me down. I am 18 yrs old and I had to raise my siblings and my self for that matter. I never had a stable home and i am constantly made of fun of and screamed out just as well being told to kill my self by her. I wish my mother would just love me.

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Mindy May 14, 2017 at 9:36 pm

….My heart goes out to you and others like us who had to go through this crap. I am currently ostrisiced, I suppose I ought to feel relieved. It’s easier to be shunned than to live with it, but there is always residual effects.
When I was young, I was in that “infantilization”
And wondered why I was having panic attacks at 18 and 19 years old. Oh holy hell.. I was scared to answer the damn phone. I couldn’t look at people. I thought I was going crazy. But you see, my Mom would grin and say in a evil way how she couldn’t wait to see how I handle being an adult, like I was going to get torn apart. (If someone under 18 is reading this- take heart. The world is no where near as scary as you were told. I’m a very happy person and have liked working etc. So I am sure this probably disappoints my Mother on some strange sick level.
I’m telling you, this gets better. Scars will always be there, but I’m starting to love myself for the first time in my life. I do not give a damn if that woman doesn’t talk to me. (We are at a stage where she pretends she’s too busy etc but doesn’t call on my birthday. Or go to my hubby’s funeral, she was sick. And I act like I bearly notice or expected anything different.) I was a rebel you see. I tried running away. I put myself in a foster home before I could kill myself. I actually stuck a needle full of air into my vein. The next day, without speaking to a soul about it, a social worker at school approached me. I considered that divine intervention. I suffered horrible guilt for leaving my Mother at the time, but was healthier and happier in my foster home. I’m just telling you that there are options.. definitely more than suicide.
The only thing is you might never be forgiven once you rebel. She repayed me by making me look crazy, when she was the one pressing buttons.
Whatever it takes, just do it for you. Just don’t give up on life. You can still have a great life, be a good Mom of happy kids. Lots of lessons along the way. I’m still learning. We were brainwashed. I’m learning how to build self esteem for the first time in my life, so I feel like I’m standing on Bambi legs lol. And I’m 36 years old. 🙂 If you wanna talk shoot me an email.

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Eve May 27, 2017 at 1:00 am

Thank you.

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Nicky October 6, 2017 at 9:44 am

What is your email would love to talk mindy

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Nelly April 12, 2017 at 6:35 pm

I’m 22 and live with a narcissistic mother. When I was much younger, I never defied her and so I couldn’t see it. As I grew older, however, I developed my own ideas and opinions. We started butting heads. Everything is a problem. If I disagree with her civilly, I’m contentious and irritating. If I’m silent, I’m antagonistic and selfish. She treats me as if I am an extension of herself. She does not respect boundaries at all.
For instance, last year, I said I was going to meet up with a friend for Christmas. I told her that I would be out because we live in the same house. She immediately told me that I was not going as if I had asked for her permission. Last week, she shared some very private information with a stranger. She does this regularly. When I told her about it afterwards, she picked a fight and tried to make me look like the wrong one. Yesterday, I was seated in the car quietly. I had not slept at all. She wanted to talk about something and kept going on and on. I didn’t say anything. She picked a fight with me. She nags me. She shouts and curses at me. She doesn’t hit me anymore, but she used to do so…and quite severely at that. She still threatens to. I am a student and a dependent. She does not work, but relies on friends and family to help us. If I am gifted with money or anything, she dictates what it should be used for in a passive-aggressive way or sometimes in an aggressive way. She has the entire world wrapped around her finger. Nobody can see through it. I am socially isolated because of my dependence. She also seems to be trying to sabotage my future. When I’m studying, she chooses to pick fights or call me every minute. The last big fight she picked involved her trying to chop down my door with a machete because I told my brother I was studying and could not type a document that she had sent him with to type. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I don’t know how to get out. My grades are being compromised by her behaviour, yet, to go elsewhere to study, I need money to commute. It’s a hard life. My course of study is extremely heavy.

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Bella April 18, 2017 at 6:14 am

I’m in my late 30s and reading this post has been a revelation. Of course, I always knew something was deeply wrong with my mother; she never wanted children (she said) and so it was my fault that she had never achieved what she wanted in life. My little brother could do no wrong. We were never allowed to speak about our emotions or criticize anything or even ask questions. She was verbally and physically abusive (and recently said she never hit me at all, which made me question if it even happened but my brother confirmed that yes, she used to break wooden spoons on our back). She called me a whore from the time I was 12 and told me I was ugly my whole life. When I excelled at school, she refused to pay for university because it would mean that I had achieved more than her. I left home when I was 18 and she ignored me for four year. She would hang up when I called. I have been quite successful professionally in my life and have two beautiful daughters but of course, everything I do is still wrong and ‘not enough’. My house isn’t nice enough, my children aren’t well-behaved enough, my car isn’t new enough, my hair is too grey etc. *sigh* For years I was unable to function in relationships (I never spoke my mind because I literally didn’t know how). I’m only now making progress through therapy and a very supportive husband. Thankfully, she lives an 8 hour drive away so she’s not so much in my life anymore (although she does like to drop in unannounced and make everyone change their plans to accommodate her). I still have trouble saying no to her so I suppose there is still a way to go but at least there is progress.

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Marta April 27, 2017 at 3:36 am

Same as many of you, I always knew something was off with my family and my childhood.
I’ve had bad episodes of depression, anxiety (generalised, and very bad social) and feelings of being so disconnected from my environment. I somehow always knew that it all related back to my mother, especially since any dealings with her would worsen all of my symptoms. It is all making sense to me now. Especially the constant feeling of like I’m hiding something or pretending or trying to cover up how “not good” I am. Even though I rationally know I have never done anything really bad. Up until this stage I really didn’t know what exactly was wrong with my family and I was embarrassed to even think that something might be really off. I felt like it was something for me to feel ashamed of. My therapist was the one to point out to me how much my mother sounded like someone with NPD, and I googled it, and it’s so crazy how similar everyone else’s stories are.

I come from a family of six children. I never felt connected to my mother, never felt heard by her and whenever I did try to talk about my feelings, she would change the topic and say how it makes her feel, or just try to refute my feelings. Like she could prove and convince me that I am not suppose to feel what I feel! I never felt listened by her. But she spent my whole childhood telling me how difficult life was for her, how no one cared about her, how I was so selfish. She would tell me how badly my father treated her, how he was so terrible and cheated on her and all these little stories about their relationship that people normally keep private. I remember spending hours and days and years talking to her about her feelings and worrying about her taking her own life. I always worried that either her or my dad would kill themselves (as she told me that he also threatened to take his own life or both of theirs!!) She promised to end her life very often and I just worried for her all the time, I cried going to bed thinking they might not be there the next day. Once we all thought she had actually done it, as there was a suicide note left behind. Once my dad found her and brought her home, he would look at me and tell me how I had to speak to my mother, because she is having a difficult time. He was also forcing me to deal with her problems. And that day was never spoken of again. Same as any other completely crazy situation (my dad holding a gun to his own head on Christmas eve), we never talked about it and continued on as this “NORMAL” family that we were!
I felt like I played a role in all of this and I could help her if I tried more and was less selfish.

Everything I did was somehow hurting her or annoying her or making her angry. Whenever I wanted to do anything outside of our home (a country house) she would accuse me of being selfish and list out a load of stuff that needed doing at home. Even when I said that I am happy to do all of those things and then go, or maybe we could come up with a plan where she gives me all these jobs and once I complete them I earn some away time – she completely wrote it off as a stupid and “selfish” idea. And most of the time, there really wasn’t any “work” to do at home, so I would just be made to sit by myself or sit with my family. So I was hardly ever able to really communicate with others outside of school time or outside of my family. They were my only reality. If i ever did have the rare chance of being able to go out with a friend or a boy I liked, she would make me feel terrible/selfish before. She also made sure to tell me how lazy I was and how undeserving of having time away because of that. She would make my brothers make fun of the person I wanted to see and she would make me feel “lame” for wanting to do things that I saw as fun. She would gossip about my “stupid” plans behind my back to my dad and siblings (pretty sure she knew I might be able to hear it). So I spent the whole time out with a friend feeling anxious and like shitty person (hello the beginning of my social anxiety). Especially since she had a habit of calling and checking up on me a lot. And if I did not hear the phone, she would immediately call again and again and again. I remember not hearing my phone on a school field trip, then checking it and I having like 20 missed calls in 5 minutes. And seeing that was the scariest feeling for me. It still gives me chills now. Because I knew the rage and anger that would follow when I got home. She would sometimes just give me angry stares for no reason. Normally when everyone else in my family had left the dinner table and it was just me and her sat there, she would stare at me and not turn away. And that was an angry look. And I would look up, she would keep that raged look on me and not move at all. It was terrifying and as with most of the stuff she did/does, it sounds almost unbelievable and it wasn’t something I could ever say anything about.

She was always a big rumour spreader – she would tell me mean things about my sister/brothers and kind of “gossip” about them with me. And I know she did the same with me. The more I would try to stay out of her way, the worse the stuff she said got. Like I was safe from smearing if I was near her and agreed with her, but not safe any other way. And often when she spreads this stories, she makes herself the victim in them and tries to sound like a “concerned” parent who is dealing with a bad bad child. She is excellent at this and it can be very believable.

I have lived away from her for five years now (literally moved countries) and I hear from my sister that my mother just says unbelievably horrible and mean things about me. And she doesn’t quit understand why. It is so crazy and upsetting and makes me feel terrified, especially since I really don’t tell her any private details (since she has used these against me and I see her do the same with other people’s private information) and our conversations are always polite (yet cold and she is being “pretend” nice).
When I went to my brothers wedding two years ago, I received a really mean/cold attitude from a cousin I used to get along with, and I am now really starting to realise that she may have well been behind that. As the behaviour I received was completely mean and unexpected. And she is a liked person, our family is perceived as nice and normal, so I just know that it is so much easier for people to believe her than the reality of what has actually been going on!!

I’m still convincing myself now that it really was that bad and that I am not to blame for this. I struggle every day to not to feel ashamed of myself, or to feel guilt or to feel like a bad person. I only just realised the NPD thing and am only just allowing myself to go back to some very painful memories. And I guess I have a long way of working on myself ahead of me still.

Thank you for allowing me to get this off my chest and sorry for the long post.

M

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Sarah April 29, 2017 at 10:21 pm

I found this very helpful. I just wish I knew how to break away from this 50 years ago. I now realize my mother is narsasistic along with dementia. It’s so hard to tell when it’s her dementia kicking in or her lies and a guilt trip she’s trying to put me on. I realize I was her scapegoat since I was her only daughter and have three other siblings one was the golden child. My brothers believe everything she says and I get all the flack for it. Well not no more and unfortunately one of my daughters is just like her. She has chosen their side. Breaks my heart, but nothing I can do. Hopefully one day she sees the light. I raised my daughters in a loving way, I swore I would not do to my kids what she has done to me. I was there for them unconditionally. Now my one daughter stripped me from seeing my grand baby. Which also breaks my heart. She has been sucked in to that web. And it just hurts. My one fault with her is I put her on that pedestal for many years. Spoiled her because her father walked out of our lives. I tried to makeup for everything and him not being there. My mother has chosen her as her favorite grandchild. They have a special bond, I only wish my mother and I did. As well as my daughter and I. I know she pits one against the other. And because I can finally take a stand. I lost most of my family. I love my mom and always will. But will never allow her to do this to me anymore. I have been reading books about narcissistic mothers. My father was a alcoholic but one would never know. I think I could write a book on my experience with my narcissistic family. Thank you for your awesome insight.

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Sandy May 14, 2017 at 7:06 pm

Happy Mother’s Day Sarah, same for all… all the daughters & sons of the reasons we’re on this site. Mother’s Day just got tougher every year til I found out this golden knowledge of the npd.
It is so hard to know if (when they’re old w/dementia– and isn’t it interesting so many of these women develop dementia – sure leaves one to thinking) … hard to know if its the dementia, or their torturous, tortured souls just one-upping ya.
– I’ve learned to never ever underestimate the power of their ability to strategize & manipulate, especially early on in their dementia… its a sick brain at work, they have… for one’s safety, never ever underestimate them –

Sarah I’m sorry your one daughter is treating you the way she is – I know you don’t deserve it, and that you have been a superb Mother (you learned from the ‘best’ how ‘not’ to Mother!). I join in your wishes she sees the light, and soon.
I can relate to losing the family. I don’t know them anyway.
Dads who are alcoholics who’s wives are like our moms… sure makes me wonder what or more specifically who drove them to drink…?

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Betsy May 15, 2017 at 2:24 pm

I found this web site some time ago and it has helped me to understand why it was so hard for me to just plain grow up. I’m in my sixties now and sometimes I still feel like a lost child. My mother is elderly and has some dementia, but the other day managed to come up with a completely invalidating statement as I was chatting with one of her caregivers. I have been able to let go of the need to finally, one day, get her to recognize me, to be a nurturing mother. At this point in my life I am able to love and care for her without losing my “self” in the process but that one statement kicked me in the gut. I guess you never truly get over the hurt, but I have been able to get enough distance to make my own happiness. Sarah, I understand what you are going through. I don’t have any advice – You have to work it out for yourself – but I can tell you that it is possible to let go of that longing to have those unmet needs met and learn to nurture yourself.

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SLM July 5, 2017 at 11:04 am

Betsy, this is a very good post. “Letting go of the dream”…to get some closure is the key to future happiness. I am the youngest of 7 children and was neither scapegoat nor golden child to the NM – it was more like I didn’t really exist. I was on my own and there was never really an interest in knowing me as a person. I was only her child, her youngest – never me. When I was getting close to turning 18 y/o, I was concerned that she would make me feel bad for leaving home, as she appeared to be counting down to my birthday as much as I was, but then she developed a relationship with a man (my father was dead) and within 3 months of turning 18 she sent me to live with my sister 4 states away. She bought me a one-way plane ticket and I was gone. It appeared to cause her no pain to send me away – as if she had been waiting for this opportunity for a long time.

I spent a long time wishing for that close relationship and would return home to see her, only to feel empty and dissatisfied after the visit. I did this for 20 years until it just occurred to me that there was nothing for me to find. There was no deeper relationship and, quite honestly, it was nothing personal. She has no deeper feelings for anyone and if she pretends that there is something more with one of my siblings – that’s all it is, pretending.

These days I don’t have a relationship with her to much extent. (Holiday cards and quick calls.) She has her church and her friends and I find it amusing that she spends a lot of time with my oldest sister, also a narcissist. I like the idea that the two of them use each other for their own interests. I’m pretty sure my sister is trying to get Mom to disown the other kids so she can inherit property. And, Mom is using Sis to take her places and buy her stuff and to show what a great Mom she is. Quite honestly, my freedom is worth giving up a share of the property.

I’m 48 and it has taken a long time to get to a peaceful place. That and getting and keeping some distance. For those posters here, getting out of the homes and financial dependence of your NM is paramount to healing.

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worthless son in law June 5, 2017 at 10:54 pm

I was chosen at a young age to be the son in law of a narcissist. Courted, charmed, and bribed to become someone I was not comfortable with. I am an independent person, so that means I am the target of insinuations, insults, lies, and wedges between my wife, kids, and myself.
What I have seen over almost 40 years should scare anyone.
The ability to manipulate every person and situation is a gift. Anyone that doesn’t fall in line is disposable.
Cold shoulder or ignoring my wife until she asks forgiveness for some phantom offense is common. It”s always the inheritance with my kids.
My wife”s only sibling, her brother, yes the golden child, passed away several years ago.
I became ill a couple of years ago with a grim prognoses. That was her finest hour. Plenty of attention, for her, because everything is about her. I beat it, and that really pissed her off.
I think my wife thinks all of this is normal because that is all she knows because of the inability to grow up and be her own person.

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Donna June 17, 2017 at 5:13 pm

I’m so glad to have found this site, and so sad to think there are so many of us suffering out there.

I’m fifty two now. Growing up, I always knew there was something ‘off’ about me, and that was why my mother didn’t love me. I struggled socially (and still struggle), and feel like a misfit most of the time. I became aware of my mothers NPD when I first got together with my partner ten years ago. My partner is one of 4 siblings, with a loving, normal mum and dad (dad has since passed). For the first time, I realised what a normal family looks like, where everyone loves and supports each other, despite living in different countries. They are ‘there’ for each other. And I realised what I had missed out on in my own family.

My mother was herself raised by a narcissistic mother who put her and her brothers into a children’s home when mom was nine. Then got them back when it suited her. Mom was the eldest of six children. Her desire for an education was thwarted by her father who put her to work to support the family. Her mother spent her life pitting her children against each other. There was so much rivalry, jealousy and unhappiness surrounding this woman. She had everyone running around for her. I realise now that they were all desperately trying to win her approval. Moms sister even gave up her own life to nurse her mother through her dying years. And she lived a long time. Myself and my cousin were pitted against each other, my cousin being told that I was the clever one whilst I was told how slim my cousin was and what lovely clothes she had. My cousin and I have always had an uneasy relationship and she is now an unhappy, bitter person. It shows how this abuse continues through the generations and how this unhappiness spreads like a malevolent poison.

Anyway, mom will be eighty this year and has turned into her own mother. She manipulates my own sons and makes them feel like crap. They don’t want to spend any time with her. The eldest is away at college and recently came home for a visit. He said he’d go and see her, but never got around to making plans to do so. He feels guilty for not going because she gives them such a hard time, telling them how lonely she is, how she only lives for seeing them, and how mean I am.

Now, she has started on my partner, who is the sweetest person, and has always been a source of support for my mother. When mom came for Christmas one year, she ruined it by bad mouthing my partner, deliberately so my partner could hear. Now she wants to recruit my partner as an ally against me. I assume it’s because we have recently gone no contact. It followed two events. The first was I told her we were considering moving ten miles away to be closer to my job and youngest child’s school. Mother went ballistic crying and sobbing and literally wailing down the phone. Totally inconsolable saying that we never think of her and how would she come over when we moved. Yadda, yadda yadda. I couldn’t take it in. What was so bad about moving? There are plenty of public buses.

The second event was Mother stopped speaking to me because I didn’t get around to posting a Mother’s Day card. I’d bought it, but forgot to post it, so I called her on Mother’s Day instead. Big mistake. She was tight lipped and withholding on the phone and that’s even worse than being cussed out.

Since she stopped speaking, she took the bus over to bring my son a belated Easter egg. I was really surprised to see her standing at my front door, so I did what a normal person would do. I invited her in for a coffee. She tight lipped declined and then spent the next TWO HOURS standing at the bus stop in the village waiting for the next bus back to her town. She knows the timetable. I saw her standing there when I went to the library two hours later. She didn’t acknowledge me.

I’ve started to process events in my life now, and it’s painful seeing them in the cold light of day. I can now see them for what they are. So numerous, and so hurtful. Like the time she let me oversleep on the morning I was due to go on my first residential school trip abroad and would have missed it except a teacher came to the house and got me. At the end of that trip, there was no one to meet me and take me home safely, I ended up trying to run along the street with a heavy suitcase in the middle of the night through a less than safe part of the city. I couldn’t understand why she hadn’t come for me. Everyone else had their parents come. I was twelve.

She never attended any of my concerts, or my graduation. These things are not important to her. I have become a chronic over achiever, in recovery now, I’m pleased to say. Whatever I did was never enough. However, she goes on and on about my brothers qualification despite the fact that he never used it and has has a series of part time jobs, none of which were enough to pay his way. He’s a taker and thinks it’s ok to expect others to provide for him, and so far, they have. He’s fifty one now. You guessed it, he’s the Golden child. On the other hand I have two kids of my own and three step kids, a loving partner, a professional job, my own home, and pay my taxes! And I’ve always been there for her.

Another thing she does is side with anyone that I’ve had a fall out with, telling me what a lovely friend they were to me and bring up bad memories, recasting them with a rosy glow… so and so was such a nice girl, do you remember? No, mom, I don’t, and you know why so leave it. Then she’ll say it again. She seeks out the person I’ve fallen out with and tells them how mean I am, that she agrees with their side, how I’ve got a problem.

Any embarrassing incident in my life, she will have perfect recall of and remind me of it when she feels like a dig. I know she does this stuff for her own amusement, I’ve seen the look of glee on her face. Her own mother used to do the same. We call it poison arrows.

I could go on, but it’s difficult to process these feelings. I’ll leave it at that for now.

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Sandra August 16, 2017 at 9:47 pm

The image of you running through a city in the dark on your little legs with a suitcase age 12. You must have been terrified. You mother deliberately put you in this situation. What a mind-bending situation.

It was a horrifying thing to read, it was not ok that this happened to you and it is not your fault. It was a very sad image and I have read a lot of sad things over the three years since I discovered this site.

It is so hard to get it all out, and process it, isn’t it? It gets better Donna, I salute you for trying.

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Donna June 18, 2017 at 5:00 am

I feel able to write a bit more now.

Mom has never welcomed my boyfriends, saying that no one would ever be good enough for me. What she was really afraid of was not being the most influential person in my life. She feared loss of control over me. I picked a narc husband (no surprise there) and kept my misery with him secret. After years of abuse, emotional, sexual, financial, he finally left me for someone else (it lasted six months). Mother saw it as an opportunity to regain control of me, which she did for a while. After two years or so, I met my partner, and mother saw this as a threat to her position and tried to convince me to break up the relationship (hence the incident at Christmas in the post above). Incidentally, mother also told my narc husband to break up with me, slurring drunkenly, “Leave her alone, leave her to her own devices.” I will always remember that.

My own father was an alcoholic abuser and regularly beat my mom front of us kids. He also beat us, too, for the most minor misdemeanour. He’d use his belt on our bare bottoms. Mom denies this ever happened, but I know my own reality. I remember it in detail. She would just leave the room and let him get on with it.

As a child, I would ‘run away’ if we had a rare family day out somewhere. If we visited a stately home or park, I would deliberately ‘get lost’. I wasn’t lost really, I always knew exactly where they were, but was keeping my distance so they wouldn’t find me. I always knew there would be hell to pay when I rejoined them at the end of the day. But the hours of freedom were worth it.

She eventually had the courage to leave this man, and return to her home country, bringing my brother and me with her. I was 11 at the time. When I was 13, and my brother was 12, she married my stepfather. My brother refused to go to the wedding, hiding under the bed. He stayed home that day, saying he didn’t like my stepdad. It was the first time I realised that my brother was dealing with emotional problems of his own. My stepdad was a fine person, I was not close to him, but he never interfered with my life, or with the way mother raised us. Maybe he felt it wasn’t his place.

When mother divorced him (her decision), my brother, now in his thirties, remained living with stepfather, rent free. This continued for the next decade or so. Stepfather passed away three years ago now, intestate, meaning my stepbrothers inherited the house. Mother encouraged my brother in his erroneous belief that he should have inherited the house, further creating divisions between him and our stepbrothers. The stepbrothers let my brother live in the house rent free for a further two years before seeking legal action to get him to leave. Brother left, badmouthing them all the way, and landed in mothers lap. Long story short, it was a disaster. Mother drained myself and my partner at that time with her constant need for ‘help’ with her son.

Following her divorce, mother sought counselling to cope with her feelings. Mother’s counsellor told her straight out that her big problem was that she didn’t have enough emotional separation from me and that she didn’t recognise my boundaries. Mother told me this, but she did not change her behaviour towards me.

Brother has emotional issues and stopped speaking to me as a teenager because I changed the tv channel to another station when he left the room. He chased me round the house with a knife for that, and I only survived because I managed to lock myself in the bathroom before he could get me. Mother encouraged his hatred of me, saying that I deliberately set out to upset him over this, and other, incidents. She seems to really believe that, and so does he. She minimises the knife incidents (there was more than one), saying that “it wasn’t that bad”, that I’m being “too sensitive” or “exaggerating”. Again, I know my own reality. Home was never a safe place after that. After graduation, I went to live with my narc husband and his depressed mother (another story).

When it came time to have my own children, mother was there, stirring up misery. We took mother for a fancy dinner to tell her of my first pregnancy, it was meant to be a special occasion. The look of horror and disappointment on her face was typical. “Oh, no Donna. No, no, no, tell me it’s not happening”. I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t happy for me. As the birth approached, I rang her for reassurance. I felt completely blindsided when she told me how painful and catastrophic the birth would be. I came off the phone a nervous wreck. All I wanted was some comfort.

From the day eldest son was born, he was a Golden child, so is son number two. Whenever she rings up, it’s always to talk to them, never to me. My partner pointed it out to me, and it had never crossed my mind to expect anything else. When me youngest son comes off the phone from speaking to her, it takes him awhile to recover, he will be upset, or angry or frustrated for allowing himself to be guilt tripped into seeing her. I have stopped letting her speak to him on the phone now, so she has started ringing his mobile. She leaves bitter, angry messages on the house phone, saying she loves them, but that I “don’t (sic) seem to bother” with her.

In the past, we have tried to include her in family days out, holiday meals, children’s concerts, but she overdoes the sugar coating with the sons and ignores me.

She has always criticised my housekeeping (she bought me cleaning products and tried to clean my house), she won’t eat any food in my house and sits in another room while we have dinner, or at the table between my two sons, with nothing on her plate. I don’t need to explain that she has ‘food issues’ and ‘fat/skinny’ issues. As a teenager, I always felt she was in competition with me about fat/skinny. It’s so painful.

As a child, I was desperate to learn a musical instrument. When I was nine, my two best friends were allowed to play the flute and I remember feeling so jealous of their little flute cases. My music teacher at school told my parents that I had an aptitude for music and that I should be allowed an instrument. She said that I ‘lit up’ during music lessons. They told me this then refused to let me have music lessons (they could well afford it at the time). I know I over compensate by buying my son the most expensive instruments I can (and cannot!) afford. He does appreciate them and plays them all, he’s gifted and could play professionally one day. In contrast, I was not allowed to even touch my fathers piano, and when we moved house, it was put outside to rot in the rain.

I bought a piano for myself at auction as a teenager. However, my mother gave it away for free through a small ad in the post office window. I remember a couple coming to take it away in a van, despite my protests in vain, and watching it being driven away up the street through my bedroom window. It was so sad. Mother had a habit of going through my things, giving them away, reading my diary (I stopped keeping a journal after that). I’d see girls walking along the street wearing my clothes that she’d given away.

It’s helpful to me to write this down. And it’s even more helpful to read other survivors stories and know that I’m not alone. I hope my story will help someone else feel less alone.

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Fraoch July 17, 2017 at 10:59 am

Parentification – that was my moms narcissitic tendency for me. Reading all the above comments is so refreshing – you feel your going insane, that it has to be you! How do all your friends have such amazing moms….. frustrating is a polite word for it. My friends were blown away at my mom and her antics – one used to have a few drinks just to chill her out in prep for being in my moms company! My mom single handedly managed to destroy another of my friendships with not the slightest bit of remorse! A line I love was: But your mom is sooo convincing, its hard not to believe her – shes the queen bee of BS in my mind, and the crazy thing is she believes all her BS!!
My little brother regards her as a distant friend – polite to her when he see hers, otherwise just doesnt bother! I stopped talking to my mom a few years ago (for self preservation) – I finally had enough… no matter what I did there was always a drama. Its tough always defending people you dont know, or forever fielding negative comments about you, your dad, your brothers….. exhausting and no appreciation for anything. I believed all humans would possess the ability to have both empathy and compassion…. Nope… my mother has heard of neither, or is in fierce denial of both!
I have no regret in cutting ties, and on the whole have been so much happier for it. Of course, she tried to turn my whole family against me…. however the old expression of crying “Wolf” got repetitive and boring for them – I stayed quiet throughout, which I think speaks volumes! After stopping all communication she went on 7 holidays with friends within a few years…. obviously not too big a distress not talking to her only daughter.
She admitted, she would take her social life over her kids any day. She has hurt me no end, and my brothers – well my heart bleeds for them (for the things shes said to and about them)…. it has made my younger brother and I extremely close as we get each others pain and frustation of this complete nut job we refer to as mom. It also helped me stay sane knowing I was not the only one in the family to experience such utter bullshit at the hand of the one person who was suppose to be there unconditionally for you forever (she never got that memo… or chose to ignore it!!!) 3 words to best describe her – malicious, vindictive, patronising.
They say you choose your parents – thats an interesting one, I am who I am because of them, I cant change them, so I have to move on, i am a strong, independent (maybe too much so) and successful young woman, however I cant have kids, have been raped (which mother somehow managed to make all about her esp in the courtroom!!!??), nor have I met that special guy for me to settle with – which I know I will soon 😉 A friend told me once the reason I chose my parents was because it thought me the opposite – how to have unconditional love for those who I love (friends and family) – i never forgotten that and its my go to when feeling particularly alone.
Yes, I cried on mothers day this year when I saw grown kids hug there mom and see her love for them – never have I experienced anything resembling that. I will have many days where I have this overwhelming anger toward my mother and I am starting to understand that its ok to feel that way…. my cousins mom died last year – i stood at the back of the church so mom didnt know I was there! I cried, not for my aunt perse, but more for the relationship my aunt and cousin had which was so beautifully amazing and here I was with a mother who i would happily relievingly have preferred to be in that coffin that day, and allow my cousin and her mom more time together!!!
I am lucky, I have the strength to cut all ties, it took years to finally do it, but most definitely one of the best decisions of my life! I get everyones frustration on here and wish you all the best. You are all beautiful people inside and out (which my mom and many moms didnt believe!!) and you need to remember that always.
F

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Glo August 3, 2017 at 7:28 am

Michelle, I hope this catches the eye of your victims of narcissistic abuse. Here are my top ten suggestions after discovering my mother was a narcissist. She was 92 at the time and I was 62. I went no contact in 2015. She is now 95. Here goes:
1) get counseling from a licensed therapist that is well versed in narcissism
2) stop giving your narcissist money, regardless of their age and need; you have your own life and family to think about
3) journal your life and discover the mean things she/he did to you; refer to it often and tell your therapist
4) do NOT give up your life for theirs: STOP doing the 3 C’s as I call them…cooking, cleaning, caregiving
5) listen to YOUR heart NOT theirs; keep your dreams and goals a secret from them as they will try to crush or stop them
6) realize that your siblings, cousins and even your own friends will be subject to triangulation. They will leave you for the narcissist. God only knows what lies they’ve been fed. Face the fact that this will be inevitable and you will survive.
7) Fight fire with fire and protect your spouse and children from the narcissist. They will tempt them with promises of money or gifts and will tell them vicious lies about you. Head the narcissist off at the pass and tell your children they are mentally ill before the evil begins. The narcissist will eat your young.
8) If someone says, “But she’s you mother”. Give them a couple of juicy examples of the abuse that occurred (mental or physical). If they still do not believe you, explain to them it was a traumatic experience and it is too hurtful to describe.
9) Do not run to the narcissist every time they have some sort of medical emergency. My own mother has pulled this crap too often. She has been dying for the last ten years and I have wasted my time and money caring for a person that doesn’t even say thank you or hug me. When you have a medical emergency or need a parent there for you…they will be cold and deny your pain even exists.
10) Go NO CONTACT….the sooner the better.

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blue August 13, 2017 at 10:10 am

It’s funny how narcissists even manage to dominate web searches. No matter how I word my search, it always pops up with the narcissist being the main focus. I keep trying to search for daughter with terminal cancer narcissistic mom, terminal child narcissistic mom, sister dying of cancer mom is narcissistic…..and many other variations. No matter how I word it or use quotes it only comes back with narcissistic mom with terminal cancer. Only the narcissist mom with illness. I think my sister has narcissistic tendencies also, but she is dying and I need info from the point of view of our mom being a problem. My sister has terminal cancer. I don’t think she will last very long. She, our mom, and I all live in different states. My mom and sister haven’t spoken in ….probably ten or more years. My sis and I drift apart – back and forth over the years. My sister probably thinks I am the golden child, even though I was the one neglected my whole young life. I’m just all my mom has left because she blew it with my sister. I know my mom has worked to alienate my sister from the family because she is mad at her, and she has pretty much succeeded. I came to the conclusion a few years ago that I don’t believe my sister ever really cared about me and just stopped trying to get along with her. It’s always been work to maintain the relationship and I usually walk away wounded. We had a majorly dysfunctional upbringing but only in recent years have I suspected that my mother has narcissistic tendencies. I think my sister does too because for all their hate for each other, they are certainly so much alike. My response has always been to just exit stage left and keep myself distant. But, because we are the only daughters, I try to get along with my mom. I will be that daughter who always tries to love her, and wants her to feel loved. It is a tightrope walk…..I recently wrote a letter to an uncle that I never sent about how I was going to go to my hometown, try to get my father to go with me to see my sister, but if he wouldn’t, I was going on alone to see her. I made the mistake of saying that to my mom who excitedly said, oh, if he won’t go with you, I will. (They are divorced and supposedly despise each other, even though to me they seem continually obsessed with each other). My heart dropped because I cannot take my mother with me, but I don’t want to hurt her feelings. Parents are both late seventies. My sister adamantly does not want to see my mother. I cannot fathom my sister dying without resolving her issues with mom….but I will honor my sisters wishes. I will not question them, I will not try to breach the gap. My sister is dying and all I can do is make the effort to let her know that I will visit her, and show her I care for her. I hope she would tell me to fuck off if she isn’t interested. I visited her once, briefly a couple of months ago in the hospital and she saw me. It seemed we fell back into our easy way of just talking to each other no matter how many years it’d been. She very well could have backstabbed me after I left…..I wouldn’t be surprised, but it doesn’t hurt my feelings. I know her, and I don’t have expectations on that front. She is broken, so are we both. But she is still my sister. I am heartbroken that she is going through this. I always imagined that we would always swing back into each others orbit even to our old age. I’m fifty six, she is fifty eight. Our dad was physically abusive, sadistic, just downright mean. Mom was just never around. Working all the time. Dad worked out of town mostly. He would come home, angry that mom was no where around, no groceries, one or another utility just about always cut off…..and I’m the one that bore the brunt of his anger. In my forties, when I started having certain realizations and began confronting them both….my moms response was always – welcome to my world, welcome to my club, now you know how I felt…and was inundated with stories of the evil father. Finally in my fifties I said no, you were the adult, I was the child. You could pack your bags and leave, I couldn’t! Then I got that crap about how she ‘loved him and thought she could change him’, which is funny because I can remember from a very young age always hearing ‘I hate your father’. Lately she has just resorted to re-writing history – constantly waxing nostalgic with stories of being this great mom that I have no memory of. She’ll even tell these long stories about doing things with my sons that were actually me, not her. I had to take my first born in for blood tests because of jaundice for the first twelve days of his life…..my mom relates that now as HER taking my son for the blood tests everyday! Or conferences with teachers when they were in school…..she tells it as her doing that…..she NEVER had a conference with my kids teachers. I left my home state when my kids were in first grade and kindergarten and never went back. My sons have encountered friends of my moms that talk like my mom raised my kids……??? How? We were in different states! Anyway – letter to uncle (mother’s brother), I was trying to explain why I would not take my mom with me to visit sis. I said, Oddly, if dad pisses me off, I can and do confront him and bitch at him without having to worry about what underhanded repercussions I’ll suffer later. And I don’t hesitate to threaten to beat his ass. At least with him it’s all up front. He may be sick and twisted, but so is mom. She’s just a helluva lot better at hiding it. His meanness is hanging out there for all to see, he doesn’t carefully cloak it in a sweet ole grandpa persona. I guess maybe what I am saying is with him, at least you know what you are getting. With Mom, you have to be very careful, and it’s work. With him, he may throw something at you, but you have a chance of dodging it and yelling fuck you back at him. With her, it’ll be a knife in the back that you don’t see coming and you’ll never be able to convince anyone it came from her. My sister has been deeply wounded by that and she is just never ever going to play that anymore. Sister says to me that she is surprised that I still speak to mom. I don’t know that I forgive, if that it what it is…..but she’s my mom. She just is what she is. With all her weaknesses and faults, she’s my mom, so I’m always gonna try to love her and I do want her to feel loved. People have always stated that idea about us and dad, that, well, he’s our father, so we’re going to try to see the best in him, etc. But that’s equally true for mom too. At least for me anyway. Have to accept them warts and all, ya know. I struggle continually with the …..struggle to love my parents. At the end of the day I just have to strive to be a good person, and my choice for me is to do my best to love my parents. There is still a lot of good about both of them, they are just broken, like most everyone else. I, too, can hold a helluva grudge. I just try not to with my family. I think I’m just still willing to take the risk and sis just came to the end of her willingness to take the risk with mom. That reservoir ran dry for her. If I thought for one second that mom could resist being selfish, I would try harder to see if I could mend the breach between them. But I don’t really believe she could resist. Hell as it is, mom can’t resist backbiting sis every chance she gets and it’s getting really old. One of my sisters daughters is beginning to express discomfort with it (granny is losing her shine with this young woman) and one of my sons is on the verge of cussing her out and never speaking to her again. I wish mom could understand that she is losing the respect of her grandkids in her never ending endeavors to put my sister down ….make sister the bad guy no matter what. I’m thinking, wow, mom is slipping in her old age, she used to be a lot better at this. I even suspect that mom is worried that her daughter dying without speaking to her makes her look bad and might just make people wonder about her own part in the rift, so she has to furiously make sure that everyone believes it is all my sister. I also believe mom is pissed because she is missing out on all the attention she’d get as the sad mom. I know my sister believes that. Mom likes to make everything about her. Like every time I have a medical procedure, my mom will schedule one for the same time. Last year, I had a cardiac ablation for severe AFib, my moms response was, ‘oh, I can come over there and get cataract surgery at the same time and take care of you’. Like if she got cataract surgery, then my sons would have to be catering to her. How exactly would she be ‘taking care of me’? She pretty much openly competes for attention. So, this is work dealing with this stuff, so I’m googling, hoping to find something that helps me deal, but ironically, the narcissistic mother being ill, or terminal dominates all the returns. I could just use some help in navigating trying to be there for my terminal sister, deflecting moms narcissistic tendencies, while convincing other family members to respect my sisters wish to never see our mother. Trying to impart understanding for my sisters point of view leaves me sounding like I’m being a vicious bitch to this sweet ole granny. I have found it impossible to try – no matter how carefully – to explain that my mother is not the sweet, wonderful person everyone thinks she is. Since I still work to maintain a relationship with her, I end up looking like the backstabber. I’m furious to think that my sis has to go to her grave being the ‘bad guy’, while my mom gets all the sympathy for being the poor long suffering mom dissed by her daughter. And I know that is part of my sister’s resentment toward our mom. ….but no matter how I search, all I get is the ill narcissistic mom….nothing on the dying daughter of a narcissistic mom….it figures……

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Lulu September 15, 2017 at 3:58 pm

My narcissistic mother had me believing that I was useless at everything I did. By the time I was 7 yo I had been sexually molested by the uncle that was living with us for at least 1 yr. I wanted to tell my Dad but because of the constant physical, verbal and emotional abuse I received from our mother when my Dad was at work (which was most of the time) I was afraid to say anything. I grew up the eldest of 7 children and was practically the mother of my 3 youngest brothers. They made me happy, knowing that they loved me just for me. My sister was the golden child. Our mother would put me down and say terrible things about me and her daughter would sit beside her and they would laugh out loud trying to make me cry and when I wouldn’t cry our mother would hit me until I cried. I hated them both but all I wanted was for them to care about me. When I was 12 yo our Dad had an accident on his motorbike and hit his head putting him in hospital with traumatic head injury for months, so I became the slave. That was the first time I suffered from depression. I just wanted to die but I had my younger brothers to take care of so my terrible life went on. After months of constant abuse knowing that my Dad wasn’t coming home I ran away. My best friend at the time had an abusive father who would beat her and her mother after getting drunk and angry with his friends so we both made a plan to get away from our abusers. We ended up living in a cabin with bushmen for neighbors. They were like family to us feeding us and sharing whatever we needed, and we would cook meals and help out taking in laundry. Then one of them had a birthday party inviting friends and family for a barbie and drinks and we both got so drunk someone called an ambulance and we had to go home. I ran away again and kept running away until finally I was put into foster care, I felt guilty leaving my brothers but I couldn’t stay there. When I started having my children our mother was like a totally different person, so I let my guard down. Then I began to realize it was all a big show for her new friends. She started criticizing how I was taking care of my babies, making me feel like a bad mother so I cut her out of our lives, not for good but I was sure never going to trust her to look after my children. I would take my kids to see their grandma for a visit to give her the Christmas gifts they had bought/made for her, then we would go and spend time with my brothers and other family that I liked. I waited my whole life for our mother to say she cared for me but even as she was dying and had no speech I knew I wasn’t the one she wanted, but our sister was too busy to be with her for her last few weeks, so all she had was me.
I’m thankful that I can look back now and know that what I did, not letting her into my Sons and my lives was the best thing I could ever have done. She had a massive stroke ten yrs before she died of cancer, and when my Sons became adults they would go and visit their Nan in the nursing home and take her gifts. She had no speech so she could only smile and nod and I’m happy that my Sons got to know her in a calm and gentle way. Rest in Peace Mama.

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Anonymous September 18, 2017 at 11:10 pm

All I can do is cry reading through all of these posts. You are all going through what I am going through and have been dealing with all the 34 years of my life! I can’t say or do anything right. She holds my brother up like he’s a Good and I’m not even fit to be the dirt upon which she stands! All these years I have felt so alone and she has taken over my therapy sessions and has all of them believing that I have Oppositional Defiant Disorder, I’m lazy, I’m a horrible parent, I only pick losers to date, I can never take my daughter with me when I stay at my boyfriend s house. I’m forgetful and I will end up burning the house down eventually if she isn’t there to monitor me at all times. She hates my boyfriend and talks bad about him and how horrible it is that I stay with him to any and all who will listen to it! I am so shy I don’t even socialize with my own family! I have a growing resentment towards my brother and it isn’t even his fault! She can praise him, but she never stops critiquing me. She says it is to make me the best person I can be. Heaven forbid I stand up for myself because then I’m just an ingrate and I’ll need her a million times more than she’ll EVER need me! Before I was divorced, she barged INTO MY HOUSE yelling at me to get in her car “GET IN MY F*ING CAR NOW, YOU PSYCHO LITTLE B*TCH!!!” To the extent that I did so that the neighbors wouldn’t overhear a nasty argument. I even took my daughter. I’m so ashamed of myself! I started to walk the 13 miles back to my house when she went to the bathroom and thank the Lord my brother seen me and my daughter walking on that hot day and he took us back to my house. After my divorce I was forced to move in with my parents with my daughter and my mom repeatedly tried to turn my now 12 year old daughter against me at every turn. I have even screamed at my mom that I would rather live on the street than live with her and she promises that things will get better, and they do, but only for a brief moment in time. I may sound like a horrible person, but I kinda hoped that she wasn’t going to make it through her heart surgery. We had been fighting all that month before that because I go to stay every other weekend at my boyfriend’s house even though she won’t let me take my daughter. I told her I needed that time away from all the stress of the house. She hasn’t succeeded in breaking up my relationship with my daughter or my boyfriend and my daughter is so miserable she wants to move far away and never talk to my mom ever again. I am trying so hard to find a good job so I can take care of just her and me and get us a home, but no factories want to hire someone who has no factory experience and no one is willing to even give me a chance to prove myself to them, that I am determined to get out and get away from her for good. I cry because I will miss my dad, but I need to do this so that my daughter will have a chance to lead a much better life than what I had to endure.

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