How Narcissistic Mothers Create Sibling Rivalry

by Michelle Piper

Sibling relationships are often a casualty of the narcissistic mother. In fact, narcissistic mothers both consciously and subconsciously create sibling rivalry.

Due to the limited resources of affection, attention and favor from the narcissistic mom, siblings have to vie for their rations. Because narcissistic mothers are incredibly self-centered, they have precious little time and effort to spare for their children. Thus, any attention, whether it be positive or negative, may be pursued by the children of a narcissistic mother even at the expense of relating to their siblings.

In functional families, sibling rivalry naturally occurs and, with adequate parenting, ideally turns into respect for each other as children mature. Siblings are encouraged to be close and love each other.

This isn’t the case in a family with a narcissist as the matriarch. Children are pitted against each other and taught from very early on that if they wanted any sort of “love” or attention from their mother, they’ll have to compete for it against each other.

If you grew up in a narcissistic family system, you may now see there’s a constant comparison between siblings—who’s doing better and who’s ranking higher in the narcissistic mother’s eyes. Because of this, you may not feel connected to your siblings, and distrustful of them because you can’t be sure what you say won’t be held against you.

You may long to feel the camaraderie and closeness you see your friends have with their siblings.

Sadly, siblings with a narcissistic mother often sacrifice relationships with each other to compete for something that doesn’t exist: their mother’s unconditional love. Narcissists have difficulty feeling love or empathy for anyone, leaving you and your siblings to bid for conditional, short-term attention that can be switched on and off at any minute.

At times you may be frustrated with yourself for feeling unworthy and inadequate and project those self-deprecating feelings onto your siblings as well. You are taught from a young age to repress their feelings and that they don’t matter.

Children are often put into shifting roles by the narcissistic mother. First, the golden child, is the hero, the mother’s other-half, or her mirror. There are pros to this role, such as getting all of the best stuff, the attention, and the ability to entertain the illusion you can do no wrong. Your accomplishments, no matter how minor, are celebrated to the fullest extent. However, it is not all sunshine and rainbows for the golden child.

You may become enmeshed with your narcissistic mother and grow up without any real knowledge of boundaries or self-identity. In this spotlight, you are just the puppet of the mother, and the one of whom the other siblings are ultimately the most jealous.

Then there’s the scapegoat. When you receive attention from your mother in this role, it’s of the negative variety. But, oh, the relief in feeling you are at last beyond her control. Of course, that feeling can be short-lived as a child because the narcissistic mother will make great effort to strip you of that control and as the adult, she often has the power to do so.

When in the scapegoat role, you shoulder the blame, shame, and anger of the family. If something goes wrong, it’s your fault. You are labeled as the “bad” one, even if you don’t fit into that category. The silver lining of the scapegoat role is that you often have a better concept of self and independence than does the golden child, which can help you later on in life.

Finally, if you are the lost child, the forgotten one that receives neither the praise nor the blame, you may do your best to remain invisible and away from your mother’s wrath. You sense it might be better to go unnoticed than to have to deal with the emotionally debilitating games your narcissistic mother plays with her other children.

Some narcissistic mothers intentionally triangulate and pit their children against one another because of their belief in the “zero sum game.” This is a narcissistic game in which one participant’s gain results from the others loss.

The net change in total wealth among participants is zero. The attention the children receive from their mother is just shifted, not shared, so as to always keep someone left out. Therefore, a gain by one child is a loss for another.

When I say “triangulate,”  it means three roles are being played. Imagine a triangle where at each one of three points there’s the villain, the victim, and the rescuer.

The villain is the one who blames, disrespects, attacks, or criticizes the victim. In turn, this tempts the rescuer to defend the victim, which can move the rescuer into the villain’s place and the villain into the victim’s place.

The roles often switch and reverse. For example, the narcissistic mother can start out as the villain and the scapegoat as her victim. If you try to become your sibling’s rescuer when your brother or sister is in the villain role, you, instead, become the villain in your mother’s eyes for betraying her. And, she in turn, is now the victim of you and tempts your sibling to become the rescuer to gain mother’s positive attention.

It is an exhausting emotional game that may never end.

She can also make active attempts to insure the competition is fierce. She may spend excessive time alone with one of her children, most likely the golden child, instead of including all of her children in an activity or outing.

She may commiserate with one child about the other’s negative behavior, so that a tag-team competition is set up as well. Some narcissistic mothers intentionally block bonding and encourage competition between siblings. Other narcissistic moms creative a vacuum of neglect where the kids are left to prey upon each other for the meager emotional resources that are available in the family environment.

Families like this can feel like an emotional desert. The result of tactics like emotional abuse, lies, and neglect, however, ensures her children are always on their toes, working to earn her conditional love.

The negative feelings you had toward your siblings while growing up can carry on well into your adult life. Siblings may never be close to each other due to the deep emotional scars and animosity they were programmed to feel towards each other by the narcissistic family environment. You may find one of your siblings is unable to let go of the old system and actively keeps the rivalry going. He or she will then miss the value of having a fellow survivor, their brother or sister, who understands what they endured.

As adult children of narcissists (ACONs), competition between your siblings can decrease if there’s a realization by all parties that what you were taught growing up is not how siblings need act towards each other. Instead, it’s possible to support and ally against the narcissistic mother’s negative behavior.  There is sometimes an opportunity to create trust and bonding between adult siblings of narcissists that was not possible as children caught in the destructive narcissistic pattern of parenting.

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

ME December 4, 2012 at 4:55 pm

This describes the dysfunction in my family perfectly. As the oldest of 6 children I watched my mother triangulate with our roles throughout my life. I even talked about with my sisters at times although I didn’t call it triangulation. Now we are all facing her impending death as she is declining quickly with Alzheimer’s, Bi-polar disease, and micro-strokes. All of the dysfunction that my mom nurtured along the way is playing itself out to the max with certain siblings criticizing others because they choose to grieve alone. As the oldest I was placed in all of the roles above as my mom made her phone calls complaining to others and often causing rifts that have still not bee resolved. And this toxicity reached across to my oldest daughter as well.
As fate would have it I am my mom’s primary caregiver and guardian. I am the one who visits with her most often as everyone else lives in other cities. At this point she can’t gossip about others or criticize me or belittle me. She seems grateful for my touch and voice. It is quite an opportunity for me to love her unconditionally as she was never able to do with me. But the rest of the siblings are causing enough stress for me to feel quite sick most of the time. After accepting that a family born to a narcissistic mother is full of toxicity, what have others out there done to live a healthy life?


Michelle Piper December 8, 2012 at 9:50 am

Hi “Me,”
I hope others on this site offer their experience in response to your question, “After accepting that a family born to a narcissistic mother is full of toxicity what have others out there done to live a healthy life?” The readers of this blog and their shared, empathetic, hard-earned wisdom is AMAZING.
You mentioned “the rest of the siblings are causing enough stress for me to feel quite sick.” So here are some quick tips.
1. Protect yourself as much as possible from the “emotional pollution” of the family dysfunction during this time through any extra self care you can muster.
2. Consider using a site like “caring bridge” to update the family on care issues regarding your mom if they are demanding your time for details. You’re already bearing the brunt of her care; Their need to know what is going on is secondary to you staying healthy and balanced on behalf of the humane care you’re trying to ensure for your mother.
3. Express frustration outside the dysfunctional family to a caring, stable other. Because end of life care is often a long journey, we often fear that we’ll burn out our support system by venting, but try addressing it like this, “If we could just take 5 minutes sometime in this conversation, I’ll get this out and then I focus on what’s happening in your life because I don’t want to be a drain but I value your support and want to hear about you.”

I hope this if of some help, Michelle


Dano22 February 23, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Nice to be able to read the story of another person who has similar experiences to me. I have known for many years that there were serious issues in my family but have only recently become aware of NPD. It offers so many answers to the things I have experienced. Its also left me shocked by just how manipulative my Mother has been, to the extent that even now I wonder (for short periods) am I imagining it and is it really my problem. But it is something my older sister has been talking about for years and I didnt see it, or wouldn’t.
Its also realising, sadly, that our lives could have been very different. But better to know than never having realised why we are so dysfunctrional.


Wounded Bird December 25, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Hi “Me”:

I know your post is old, over a year, but I still want to reach out to you with my perspective in case you are still dealing with this painful process. I honestly do not understand how you can still be caring for your mother after everything that happened. There are facilities where she may be cared for by professionals. Contrary to popular belief, these facilities are not super expensive. They are accessible even by low-income patients with MediCare or MediCal (not sure what state you live in), but now with ObamaCare, there is even more accessibility to health care which covers this type of elder care facility.

If your narcissistic mother is no longer able to care for herself, you don’t have to be her primary caregiver. You are way too kindhearted in giving up your adult life to do that. She’d be lucky to receive a visit from you considering the way she raised you. I know it may sound cold hearted, but, at least in my personal experience, my narcissistic mother abused me so much, that I was aversively conditioned to her to the extreme.

For me it is so bad, that I still suffer from PTSD-related nightmares and insomnia, even after almost a year of no contact whatsoever with her and the siblings she completely turned against me. I cannot stand her presence or even the sound of her voice. For me, the dysfunction got so bad at home, that I had to go live in a homeless shelter to begin my road to recovery.

Now that I look back at the malignant and deliberate emotional abuse I was subjected to for forty years, I have no doubt in my mind that I will never see her again. I will not visit her if she falls ill, not even if she is on her deathbed, and I most certainly will not go to her funeral. This woman represents everything dark, everything cruel, everything evil and downright most painful that I’ve experienced in my lifetime.

In my heart, I have forgiven her, not so much for her sake, but for my own health and peace of mind. She’s not even worth the energy that goes into resenting her. She is simply dead to me, and, in my mind, I buried her the moment I left most of my belongings behind in her apartment and moved to a homeless shelter.

I have cut her off completely so that she has absolutely no way to contact me even if it’s an “emergency.” I want no contact with her under any circumstances, because her NPD is so severe, that she views any and all attempts to unconditionally love her as weaknesses to take advantage of.

She has also lied to me so much, that I can no longer believe a word she says. I also cannot be moved by her crocodile tears, because she has cried wolf so many times that I feel absolutely no compassion for her, no matter how much she may cry. I lost all faith in her and the possibility of her redemption.

I know it’s sad to feel that way about the woman that brought me into this world, but I had to detach to this extent out of self preservation. My advice to you, assuming your mother was as malignant as mine, is that you run for your life and never EVER look back. Live your life and surround yourself with people that love you.

Be there for your children and make sure you never copy her behaviors. Learn from her mistakes and don’t waste your unconditional love on her. Focus on being the mother to your children that she never was to you or your siblings. Also, don’t allow your siblings to carry out her legacy of abuse against you.

Cut off all communication with your hostile siblings. They might be beyond help, and you don’t need that in your life. Love yourself and your children and enjoy your grandchildren. That is your one true family.


marie February 28, 2015 at 2:23 pm

I am so sorry you had to go through all that abuse.I went through similar, my brother was encouraged to beat me until I became unconcscious and when I came to I was always covered in big black bruises.
I can remember so clearly my mother shouting ‘don’t mark her face’ then always making my despicable half brother a cup of tea to reward him for the terrible beatings he had used his energy on. I suffered with breathing problems and my brother used to say as he watched TV,” Mum, she’s breathing again”. and Mum used to say”Well, you know what to do”.
Mother bought herself a golden cocker spaniel dog, but the dog and I bonded and the little dog proved how wonderful he was, he threw himself in front of me to protect me. I came home from school and he was gone, I will never get over it..


talibah March 16, 2015 at 6:41 pm

I was beat up by older brother at my mother’s urging.


Mary-Brigham Durand December 12, 2012 at 1:34 pm

I have been researching the origins and being-ness of a narcissistic supply because I am experiencing my sister’s narcissistic rage in such a huge way. She has been running a smear campaign against me with my family ever since my second marriage, about 4 years ago, when I stood up to her and told her that I no longer would accept her abusive calls. She has been working ever since on getting members of my family to stop talking to me, and has pretty much succeeded. She has started to send mysterious packages to me, with things she has found in her house that were originally mine from my childhood and returning them to me. She has moved, and has not given me her contact information. In trying to understand why I am so amazingly hurt by her dramatic overtures to hurt me, to understand what the wound is that will not heal, I am understanding that what I thought was my mother’s borderline personality was much more narcissism. Her mother, my grandmother, was truly malignant, viciously cruel to both my mother and my aunt, and where she learned that I can only imagine. Reading here, and elsewhere, about daughters of narcissistic mothers, my eyes are opening more about the dynamics of this horrific relationship. All of what you describe resonates with me. I have no problem feeling angry, justified, righteous, but the hurt finally takes over and then the depression and hopelessness sets in, and I am at the bottom of the pit. Which is where she wants me. Because the supply is not just about keeping her happy. It is also about watching the Promethean Bound drama play out–the near-destruction of the old supply that needs to be punished. that new form of supply is just as satisfying. I need to find what the hook is that keeps me feeling hurt.


mira December 21, 2012 at 4:33 pm

I am the daugther of a narcisistic mother. I have four sibbling who has the same role tlaked about. I am the silent invisible person and still is. For the last past two years I am waking up and smelling the coffe. My mother does not like it because she knows that i am no longer participating to her foolish game. Today I am banished from the familly. In tern never really had one. Today I am hurt, angry, feel dupped, manipulated and really realized it was for nothing but for my mom control and need…… my life was a garbage didposal ….that is what i am feeling today…


Realizing December 22, 2012 at 10:38 am

Mira I did feel the same way. I didn’t understand why I wanted a family like I saw others have. Church was difficult, feeling so much on the outside. This season I am finally seeing I have love/respect from strangers that was missing from my mother. Yes, I too am hurt, beyond anything. Hopefully realizing the problem will have me put the biological family behind me, and make the life we deserve to have. I hope for the same healing for you too.


talibah March 16, 2015 at 7:18 pm

i am sorry you have had to through banishment. i have been isolated because i didn’t play the family back bitting games and i M BETTER for it. what the devil means for bad god makes good. happiness and joy grew so much in me. it dawned on me one day, my face was hurting from smiling so much! my soul was at peace. i loved my family from a far for a very long time. no more mental emotional andphysial abuse by 8 people that i was related too! i consider them relatives not family. i developed loving relationships with distant cousins. i always been the scapegoat of my mother and siblings. as long as i know how love i will not only survive but thrive. i pray for my mother and siblings i think it so sad and unfortunate for them to be so tormented by such evil force of mental wickness. my mother was a victim of horrific circumstance as a child of abuse by her dad. and as a child of the depression era and other life long abuse. it doesn’t excuse her actions in the least but she too is victim that manifest this twisted mental state of survival. she has dementia now and can’t keep the game going full force. however she has become quite a bit more loving. it s like i got a devine gift in the midst of darkness . unfortunately my older sister has pick up the baton of sibling manipulation but in the name of jesus i ask that god will heal her and give her true joy peace and self-fulfilment instead of futile and unfulfilling abyess of self hate.


Realizing December 22, 2012 at 10:38 am

Mira I did feel the same way. I didn’t understand why I wanted a family like I saw others have. Church was difficult, feeling so much on the outside. This season I am finally seeing I have love/respect from strangers that was missing from my mother. Yes, I too am hurt, beyond anything. Hopefully realizing the problem will have me put the biological family behind me, and make the life we deserve to have. I hope for the same healing for you too.


VMS April 7, 2013 at 10:28 am

Hi Mary-Brigham and everyone,
I am in my late 40’s and through separating from an alcholic husband, have realized the matriarchal narcissism that is at the root of my life long issues AND how I ended up in a separated situation which takes my daughter away from her father. My realizations have caused quite a change in my relationship with my “best friend” sister and it has been incredibly painful. While I have been making efforts to become healthy and more balanced and AWARE (I was the scapegoat) I could feel the trust in my sister slowly eroding. Because I was raised to deny my intuitive feelings it wasn’t until I realized my and my family’s truth that I began to trust my own feelings and acknowledge what was going on.
Without ALANON and other Adult Child 12 step programs REGULARLY in my life I would be a total depressed-mess. I hate to say that my Alanon family has replaced my family of origin but to be truthful, it has and I thank God for it. I HAVE to be a balanced, healthy person and parent for the daughter that God graced me with. I may not be able to match or better the $well to do$ family image that I grew up with (yet) but I have already surpassed my childhood in having a healthy connection and truly unconditionally loving relationship with my daughter. The sadness still hits me from time to time, and always will I imagine, and when it does I am beyond grateful that I have the friendships and the tools that Alanon/Adult-Child has given me. They help keep the sadness from turning into another bought of depression. Also, all of the books by Melody Beattie among MANY other literary resources have and continue to be very helpful to me. I think a GOOD therapist can help as long as you can afford it without using health insurance (messed up!).
Of course I hope my sister comes back around at some point in our lives and is able to see and accept the depth of our mother’s dysfunction however, I have learned to focus on what I CAN control and I just have to love her from afar until she is able to treat me with respect.

Peace and good healing.


thatslife December 28, 2012 at 6:45 am

I had an Nmother from Hell; an aggressive, enabling father; and a golden child, narcissistc brother, 2 years older than I, who became the other right-hand man of “mothers” illness. That left me – the young child in this sick dynamic – the daughter.
The only way I can describe my life as is being the ever emotional, physical, and verbally abused victim of a pack of third grade, school yard bullies. There was no real home, or mature adult to go to for love, help, undertstanding and support. There was just a house – a building- where I was obligated to go to wait for the next barrage of lies, deception, abuse, pain and suffering. It happened every day for hours on end behind closed doors with Nmom being the ringleader – the root cause of all childish, jealous, lying, agressive behavior in the house. It was always her; and the two “men” were expected to take care of it.
I was blamed for everything from her miscarrige when I was three years old ( I didn’t know what it was at the time. But, I was blamed for “killing a baby”) to my fathers heart attack when I was long out of the house and married with a child of my own.
Gchild learned very early in my life, through her conditioning, to blame me for everything that went wrong in his life as well. Growing up is hard enough without any guidence or love. But to have his mistakes delgated to me as well is too much for anyone, never mind a child, to bear.
If, God forbid, I got sick, it was my fault and having to stay home from school, according to her, was done purposely to ruin her day. I recieved no care or attention. However, if Gchild was sick, bedtrays would be delivered to him, medication given, stories read to him, and she stayed with him almost constantly. Certainly, the difference was more than apparent to Gchild.
Christmas? It was the major day of the year for favoritism to be shown. My “gifts” were put under the upright piano because Gchild needed the entire room for his. I was appreciative for what I got because I didn’t get anything the rest of the year. But, as I got older, I realized that my gifts came from the dollar store while Gchilds were major, name brand, huge, expensive gifts. I could never figure out why Santa loved him more than me. Later, I knew my parents adored him and I was an imposition – albeit a “useful” one. Where else could blame be laid for this illness?
Golden childs very minor accomplishments would be grossly exaggagerated held up to the extended family to recieve the praise she was so deserving of. Anything he did that was less than “stellar” was designated to me on the outside. He got a girl pregnant, my parents paid for the abortion, and the story told to the world, which I found out decades later, was that I got pregnant and had an abortion. On the other hand, my major accomplishments in school, community and church, were not only kicked under the rug, but I was jeered at and humiliated for “thinking I was really something”. Being recognized on the outside went against me constantly hearing ” You’re nothing! You’re nobody!”, and making the Golden Child jealous – something that would not be tolerated by any of them. Golden child would instruct Efather to punish me for some madeup infraction- which, of course, he did. Gchild and Nmom would stand by to cheer him on or smirk as I was being belt-whipped, punched and slapped. The root cause? Getting an award! The children on the street where instructed not to talk to me or have anything to do with me because they were the Gchilds friends first. Emom and Efather endored this. Of course, hitting me, belittling me, spitting on me were activities these children took part in under the direction of the Gchild, if I dared to step outside.
I was the academically smarter one of the two children. I guess its because I was always trying to hide in my room with nothing but books for company. However, I was not allowed to go to college ( but I was punished for anything less than a “A”) and given no information from the school to get grants, scholarships or loans. Nmom saw to it. One call to the school put a stop to that. All the time and money went to Gchild for his education. I was told I was to stay at home and do the housework. That was going to be my place in life – a servant. Gchild’s superiority to me was now complete and continues to this day with the rest of the family and anyone who would listen for 2 seconds being pulled into their smear campaign of me – just like he did with the neighborhood kids.
I went No Contact after the last physical abuse by my father, under Nmoms and Gchilds direction, and have stayed away since. Of course, I have heard that I am a terrible daughter for abandoning my parents like that. Telling anyone what happened is met with distain for me (” Oh, I have heard about the trouble you caused your family your entire life! Your brother let us know and your mother and father have backed it up. You’re nothing but a liar, like he says”)
Believe it or not, Nfather called me to let me know he “knew what they were doing to me for a long, long, time. But, he couldn’t do anything about it because he had to watch out for himself” Nice, Hunh? I told him he was not excused. Gchild has since told people Efather never called me and I am a liar. My husband, who heard the call on speaker phone, is a “liar”, too. We have been shunned from the family and friends.
To back up this story, I was written out of the will. Gchild gets it all. But, I knew that was going to happen for “a long, long” time”.


Anonymous July 14, 2014 at 5:47 am

This sounds like my life. It helps to know that someone else has gone through it. I hope that you are happy with your new friends and family. You deserve to be.


thatslife January 24, 2015 at 8:06 am

Thank you :) As we all know, we have a long road to find who we were really meant to be and find happiness. I’m well down that path and only wish the same for you and all of us.

One thing has helped me that I will pass on for what is worth: Before I put both feet on the floor in the moring, I say loud and clear to myself, or outloud, “I’m going to champion this day today! It’s mine. It belongs to me!”

It gives me a boost at the start of the day. If I find myself getting weak or thinking about the past, I say it again. It works!


Sherri August 13, 2014 at 6:03 pm

Legally I don’t think they can write you out of the will. You can contest it. See a lawyer about this. You have rights!
Very sorry to hear of the things you endured. I hope you have found peace since you have stopped contact.


thatslife October 13, 2014 at 4:12 am

Actually, they can write you out of the “will”. Before they died they put everything – house, accounts – in Gchilds name and gave him power of attorney.
I knew this was going to happen for decades.
Honestly, I’m okay. I still have flashbacks ( which one of us doesn’t have PTSD?) But, generally speaking, I’m coming out of the fog. Once, it all had a name – Malignant Narcissisim- and was verified by professionals and blogs like this, I went through a lot of pain and at the same time relief. It was never me.
I went back to college, paying for it on my own so no one “owns” me, and completing my life the way I want it to be – Not at the hands of a hidious, jealous, lying, slandering monster and her gang of flying monkeys whose only accomplishment is to beat up and torment a little girl into womanhood.
The really sad part of the story is I have an adult daughter who is the image of her grandmothers “personality”. Yes, there is a genetic component in all this for sure. So, it continues…


Hmmm January 13, 2015 at 12:27 pm

Are you sure you are not targeting your daughter here? I am just pointing it out because I went through this and had a vasectomy when I was in my 20’s to make certain that I did not continue the cycle. Your story makes me sad. I recount my life often, and I just keep wondering what if I had not been treated like the mutt that shit on the carpet for the first 13 years of my life.


thatslife January 24, 2015 at 7:45 am

Heavens No! I’m not “targeting” my daughter. Identifying, but not targeting. I do want to point out, however, that there is research that strongly suggests Cluster B personality disorders CAN run in families. In taking a close look at my MNmothers’s family, I definately found the behavior.
She had 3 other siblings and out of those three , 2 others made one of their children – the only daughters ( my first cousins)- the family scapegoat and isolated from the extended family with slander and abuse. BTW- Both are lovely, genuine, sympathetic, intelligent women. We all suffered with diagnosed PTSD from childhood abuse. No one knew what was going on in those homes either. Once we started talking – the MN’s worst nightmare- we were shunned by the entire family.

I have posted on my daughter and the genetic connection to Cluster B below. ( Oct. 13, 2014)

talibah March 16, 2015 at 7:50 pm

my mother and siblings were and still are horrific liars and tell the world i am the liar. growing up i thought they were dislussional. but i went in to a deep depression when i realized the knew what they were doing. i was devastated trying to figure out what would make a “family” member choose to intentionally do this . the devil is the author of confusion and destruction. i try to stay in god’s safety and loving arms. and pray for their release from this evil bondage. the battle is not mine. i will let god fight those spiritual battles of wickness.
just so you know my young sister gc got my mother shortly before her diagnois of dementia to secretely put all assets and checkindlg and insurane in her name only out of eight childen. i could care less after my mom dies. god will provide. i will make my own inheritance.


Noel December 31, 2012 at 2:12 pm

55 year old daughter, w/ 2 siblings. Main roles: Me: Scapegoat Sister: Invisible Brother: Golden

Keep in mind that these positions do in fact shift at times, but for the most part remains constant. It took 54 years of triangulation events for me to finally realize there is no going back. The last one being the most devastating attack on me by my siblings and my mother since I was a teenager and the one that finally broke me.

See, I did something I’ve never done before during my mother’s last “secret meanness” episode. I fought back. I don’t know why I didn’t just run like I always do, nope, this time I gave back what she had been giving me for years. Outright sabotage.

I cannot tell you if what I did was the right or wrong decision. I can tell you that the events that led up to this caused a physical reaction that resembled PTSD. I truly was afraid of what she would hold over me the rest of my life when I finally made the decision to escape her madness. I made sure there was nothing left behind, no questions to ask, nothing. I chose to legally remove any claim to any inheritance in any form, including any childhood items she may or may not have had. Yes, it was planned. This time I refused to leave on her terms. No, I walked and fully expected what would happen afterwards and it did like clockwork.

2 years later. Still struggling to understand how big the walls are that I have erected during my life. I work hard and play little. It’s almost as if “fun” was never allowed and at my age I just don’t know how. Intimate relationships are impossible, in that, I refuse to allow myself to be vulnerable to anyone. I get that. I know that is part of the collateral damage.

For all my life my journey has been through the eyes of my mother. Everything about me was defined by her. Now, I get a chance to do it myself. I’d be crazy to think the process will be rushed. It is an entirely different way of self-discovery when you choose a path and are not thrust upon it. I miss my siblings at times, but I don’t miss the hateful words and actions. I finally let someone read what they had written to me this last time and this person asked me if I knew who these people were. I said yes, my brother and sister, she literally almost fainted. Something in seeing her reaction helped me to see mine. I’ve stopped inviting that pain back to visit.


Wounded Bird December 25, 2013 at 1:25 pm

I’m so proud of you. You remind me so much of my experience. I encourage you to join some kind of support group, as I understand exactly how lonely you must feel. I know it’s hard for us adult scapegoat daughters of narcissistic mothers to feel worthy of love. We keep others at a distance because we’re always afraid they will hurt us. It’s normal. We’re traumatized. If my own mother couldn’t love me, there must be something wrong with me, kind of reasoning. But, you know what? YOU ARE WORTHY OF LOVE. Accept that. Remind yourself of that every time you feel tempted to go back to that sick family. You will find a loving family, just pray for it, I promise you God will answer.


talibah March 16, 2015 at 7:55 pm

hallelujah you are free! peace love and joy.


helen January 14, 2013 at 3:58 am

im the scapegoat of the family,one older sister the golden child,as a child i learned to not speak thinking then i wouldnt get in trouble,i,d go to sch come home and would b totally silent,yet i still managed to b introuble,for 15 my mother got thyroid problems (ofcourse this was my thought)i was asked 2 leave,so i left sleepin on streets ,friends etc hoping sumone would cum lookin for me,they never did…my sister didnt leav home till she was nearly 30,the perfect saughter had it all..while i was beggin for food ,etc ending up in digs with my partner tht i met…..over th year after having children of my own ,iv seen my parents.,tryin for a normal fam never was ,on my fathers death bed he apologized and told me he loved me ,..which helps ,but on his funeral i wasnt involved i wasnt given a seat in car ,wasnt allowed 2 put a rose on his coffen,but i did (even flowers tht i put on grave now gets taken of by my mother)all his money is slowly been given 2 my sister while mother is alive so i cant do anything..hurtsme to b treateds lik this,but now i no its not me with th problem its then…now my mother is ill an causing arguement trangulizing again,iv decided 2 walk away for good,..


Daughter of a narcissist - Mother of a daughter March 4, 2013 at 9:13 am

I have read through all of your comments, was up all night reading whatever I could get my hands on with regard to this subject. I understand now that I am a daughter of a narcissistic mother. I am in fear though, I have a daughter now myself, and I am always in fear of projecting my experiences and fears onto her. How do I know if I am doing the same to her as my mom did to me? How do we stop the cycle? Understanding is one thing, moving on and away from this toxicity is a good thing, but how do we stop the cycle? Am I my mothers daughter? Help?


Wounded Bird December 25, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Read plenty of material about this disorder. I, too, have a child and, for a long time, I’ve been afraid of being the horrible mother to him that my mother was to me. But, by reading a lot about the disorder, I have memorized the main characteristics of the narcissist, so that I can detect them in me when they try to rear their ugly head. I am constantly reading about the NPD mother so that I can remind myself, first and foremost, to stay the heck away from her for as long as I live, but also to make sure I learn from her mistakes. Love your daughter unconditionally, be her best friend, sit with her and listen to her, become interested in her life, support her, be her shoulder to lean on, don’t ever allow yourself to compete against her, be happy for her and all her accomplishments.

It’s the best you can do for her, and, above all, pray for her and pray together.


salt&pepper August 22, 2014 at 1:28 pm

• Do you acknowledge her authentically when she does something well, versus only compliment her to others so that you look good?
• Are you more concerned about ‘what others think” than protect her adequately from any kind of threatening situation?
• Are you able to see her as a fully separate individual with different needs, desires, wants?
• Do you allow her to express her feelings and emotions without telling her not to feel them or say things like “everyone feels that way.” In other words, do you diminish her or do you listen and validate?
• Is she able to exercise her personal preferences without you scolding, diminishing or otherwise trying to change it?


thatslife October 13, 2014 at 5:14 am

Actually, I was very aware raising my daughter. I was NOT going to repeat the patterns I was subjected to. Why would I do that to my child? BUT, there’s nurture and nature. Unfortunately, nature won out.
My now adult daughter shows all signs of being a malignant narcissist. I was devistated when she was a teenager doing the exact things my mother did : smear campaigns; lying about things there was no need to – nevermind the big stuff; extremely envious and hateful of other girls; severe “get-backs” at me when I disiplined her; stealing from me; trying to find and recruit fly monkeys…
This was not normal teenage angst or rebellion.
It only got worse when she was in college: Stealing from roomates, lying, using people and disposing of them when she was finished with them ( students and professors alike) more smear campaigns – no friends… just like my ” mother”. Then the verbal and physical attacks began on me when I got wise to her.

Professional intervention did nothing as she charmed and manipulated the pants off the therapists. In addition, since she was an adult, I could have no interaction with the therapist without her permission – which, of course, wasn’t granted. She would come out of therapy gleeful that she conducted the session her way. ” I have that guy in my back pocket!”

She has since moved to another state to go to grad school, and began the same thing all over again. She knew I went No Contact with my family, and why, and took my past and applied it to herself word for word to her new audience. She has had no contact with me, or anyone who truly knows her, for 5 years. Of course! Her house of cards would come tumbling down around her.

Studies are finding there is a genetic component in all this. Raising a child in a loving, caring, supporting home does nothing if the child has the predisposition for ASPD. As a matter of fact, they use it to play the game, you think you’re doing a good job, they are depending on your love to blind-side/manipulate you, and then they hit you in the heart.

My husband is a behavioral health professional and we both didn’t see it until it was too late. Yes, they can fool anyone for a long time. Once anyone, even a parent, is on to them, its your turn to become a victim.

I’m writing this to inform: Be on the lookout for behaviors that may suggest ASPD in your children. It IS genetic. I am not a narcissit, nor have ASPD ( PTSD, yes), but I must have a recessive gene that came out in my daughter. I thought I was free after I went No Contact with my FOO and began working on my recovery… only to have this reality hit me square in the face.


Cynthia Cauley March 20, 2013 at 8:53 pm

I am 44 years old and just experienced the final event last summer that made me realize I needed to get away from my immediate family. My NPD brother had a 5 hour tantrum/breakdown that resulted in him attacking me. My N mother, who was encouraging the tantrum yet also playing the victim, called the police before he grabbed me so they could tell the police it was me who attacked. This is ludicrous as i was kneeling on the ground washing my dog. The poor policemanwho showed up had no idea who to beleive. The tantrum started, ironicly, b/c I told NPD brother that he should not own guns b/c he throws too many tantrums and threatens too many peoples lives. Sadly, the one time he left a death threat on my machine, my parents said they’d handle it (HA!). My friend told me I should have filed charges just to start the paper trail. All his antics have been paid off or covered up. But I truly feel he is the very possibly the next spree killer. Any idea how to get guns(i believe legal) away from someone in NY state? I could get a lot of people who could sign something saying they’ve witness his threats, tantrums, and threatening behavior.
Oh well, I sent the Buffalo Police an email but got no response. But I got away and I saw a surreal testament to how sick my immediate family is, that is what is most important…I got away.


Sad TOO March 30, 2013 at 11:25 am

I have been reading these posts on & off and have just summoned up the courage to write my thoughts. The way I have been treated throughout the decades has taken its toll to be sure. About 9 years ago I moved away just to get away from all the drama, triangulation and whatever else was thrown my way as the “scapegoat”. Still to this day they somehow manage to get to me. When my mother calls she never asks how have I been feeling (I do have medical issues that will remain) but instead, without fail, goes on & on about my sister being tired, she needs rest, blah.blah.blah. Only a few years I ago I discovered through a mutual friend that my mother turned over all her property to my sister without even letting me know – when I confronted her she adamantly denied doing so and then proceeded to “demand how I knew”. Mind you, property records are public records. Additionally, a niece is a felon – but she is gloated on as being caring, etc. – reality is that she is a master manipulator. Here I am, always having good jobs, making my own way (barely), put myself through college (the only one in family to do so) and I am just not good enough. When my mother is confronted about her lies she gets angry and has, in the past, told me to get out – the last incident about 3 years ago when the property transfer was discovered – I will not go back and subject myself to that treatment. She has supported my sister & niece for decades – always somehow trying to justify it by stating “the economy is very bad” but yet tells me “you can’t spend money” (which I don’t – live very, very frugally). Even the smalltown residents have remarked how could she just turn over the house to my sister – my mother’s parents are probably turning over in their grave as is my father (deceased) as they believed the home should have been a joint transfer to my sister and me. When I moved, my niece had stolen an expensive bedroom set and when I was going to file charges my mother somehow coerced me to do so – boy, am I ever sorry I did not file those theft charges (as niece’s record has numerous probation violations, illegal weapon charges, forgery, etc). Somehow I just don’t understand – my mother has even gone to the extreme of my daughter having little contact with me (believes all their lies). So my best friend now is my great rescue dog – always glad to see me, honest to the core. What a world we live in – wouldn’t it be nice if we could pick our families – holidays are the worst seeing families and neighbors together with their loved ones and here I am steering clear of folks having been betrayed so much.


talibah March 16, 2015 at 8:19 pm

my dogs are my friends too. i do have friends and distant family that provide healthy interaction


Helen H. April 30, 2013 at 8:06 am

Wow, I can so relate to everything I have read. I am 54 years old and I have spent the last ten years having my eyes opened to the dysfunction in my family. It has impacted several generations. I am the oldest of three girls. My role over the years would switch from the golden child (when I did what she wanted, or had a good job) to the invisiable one (accomplishments where totally ignored) I modeled for a statue that is on display at the National Cathederal in Washington DC when I was 15 years old. No one in my family (we live close to DC) has seen the statue except my husband and I. We saw the statue when I was 50 years old. I menetioned to my Mother that I saw the my statue for my 50th birthday. Her response “what statue?” What really amazes me in hindsight is that somehow I had also received the message to ignore this accomplishment. Because I ignored it for like 35 years. I am now in the scapegoat role because I finally stood up, when my husband and daughter were physically attacked, and moved away. When my mother asked if I was going to show her my new house. I responded with “I will think about it.” That was five months ago. Of course I am the bad daughter. How, could I move away and not tell my parents. They are up in age and ill. But when my husband and I both tried to help we were accused of just waiting for them to die so we could take over their business. I am well aware of the fact that I also will be cut out of the will. I realize that over the years I was part of the system by believing her lies about other people and I would also become her victim when I would speak up for the people she was attacking. I remember one occassion where the attack against me was really bad. I happened to have agreed with her and repeated a horrible comment she had made several times about someone else. I was confused because I had learned this hatred from her. I guess part of the way I am learning to cope is to see my self and the roles I played in the mess and I am learning to respond diffently. Even if this means removing myself from the mess. But at the same time. I realize when I am forced to face the situation (I was recently called to my Fathers bedside at the hospital, and faced anger from my younger sister) I struggle with the feelings this brings up in me. My prayer to God is help me love myself, so I can therefore love other people. To the mother who posted above wondering if she will just repeat these patterns with her daughter. I can tell her that through a lot of hard work. Learning about herself and the dysfunction she was raised in she can turn the tide. I have a grown daughter a son in law and two grandchildren I am very close to.


SP May 4, 2013 at 9:04 am

I can relate to most of the comments and the article. I am finding it helpful to read about this and educate myself about it. It is helping all of this to make sense.

My mom seems to be a narcissist, but might also be suffering from bi-polar disorder and dementia along with very poor health. I was the golden child until adolescence when I rebelled. My sister was the scapegoat and lost child until my adolescence and then she moved into the golden child role some of the time. My golden child role comes and goes and comes and goes during my adulthood, depending on my mom’s mood and depending on how well I meet her current expectation of what a “good” daughter is. My sister moves in and out of the golden child role also depending on what my status is. It amazes me that this continues to this day even though my sister and I are adults in our 40’s.

I have always believed that my mom enmeshed me as a child, as she was a single parent most of the time, and I was her “spouse and confidante”. When I became an adolescent and adult and chose to live my own life separate from her with her role as my mother, not my spouse and confidante any more, she was outraged at me and has been, off and on, ever since. She wants me to be divorced and her “spouse and confidante” again. Anything other than that means I am a “bad” daughter to her.

Recently, I found out from my sister that my mom was telling her evil gossip about me and telling her that I’ve never liked her (my sister), that I’ve always hated her (my sister) all of her life… Now I understand why I’ve never had a good relationship with my sister…

Recently, in February, my mom sent me an email that basically deleted me (and my husband, kids, and grandkids) from her life permanently. I was confused about why my sister wasn’t supportive of me during this event. Now I understand. She is happy to be the golden child, with me out of the way permanently… this isn’t the first time this has occurred in our lives.

I found out that my mom has given my sister letters written by our deceased father when we were little. It really drove home the reality that I’ve been deleted from their lives and my sister isn’t sharing the letters with me; she is keeping them to herself as I have been deleted and she likes it that way… I have realized that this has been going on for years, all of my life, and I just didn’t want to accept it because I wanted to try to have a family. The reality is that I don’t have that family. I do have my husband and kids and grandkids.

I am worn out from the abuse from my sister and mom. It’s so hard to accept. Education helps. Loving friends and family help. I’m so afraid to let go. I don’t seem to want to let go of that fantasy or illusion that I have a family. I also am afraid of what I know they will say about me: she just abandoned her family. she and her kids are a closed unit and they don’t want to have anything to do with us. blah, blah, blah. that’s what I’ve been listening to for years. the other story they repeat over and over that makes me nauseous is: she is the perfect one. she always does everything so perfectly. blah, blah, blah. I’m realizing how abusive those stories are to me. I have told them in the past to stop it, but the keep doing it and doing it. If I walk away, it will just give them more ammunition against me that I have abandoned them and have closed off my family from them.

Very confused and not sure where to go from here, but I will figure it out. Thank God for a loving husband, kids, grandkids and friends.


SP May 4, 2013 at 9:08 am

one more thing: I don’t think there is any hope for my mom to change for the better, but I can’t let go of the idea and wish that my sister would snap out of this cycle somehow and ally with me instead of with the evil person that our mom is. I haven’t given up hope for her yet. I would like to know how to fix the relationship with my sister. I don’t know what to do. I feel cornered. It seems that no matter what I do it just makes things worse.


Stepper June 8, 2013 at 2:53 am


I have read the many responses to the articles written here about the dynamics and roles of Nmothers and the effects that the siblings have toward one another as a result of this “choice” that these mothers make in parenting. In your post, you sound confused and frustrated with your family. Yes, the clinical term I believe in this constant feeling of confusion is called “crazy making” or Gas lighting. It is this deliberate state that gives the abuser or NPD their “narcissistic supply”. Depending upon the degree of significance of the family dysfuntion, it is a VERY necessary dynamic.

Think of it as the same way an alcoholic “needs” alcohol. A NPD is no different EXCEPT they are “addicted” to the “rush” of seeing somebody else hurting or being abused. It is therefore, an “emotional” drug for their survival to REMAIN a NPD.

I cannot tell you how much I have REALLY researched this topic and how many revelations I have make by just reading information about this Narcissistic Personality DISORDER. Most of the examples written here are “results” of this TOXIC family pattern of relating to one another.

In cases as this, where I was and (at times) “fall back into trying again” with certain sisters or my mom, I have found that educating myself with this DISORDER is consolation and relief of this toxic syndrome at its very best. Knowledge of it is MY power. In reading blog sites like this, too, it has given me consolation by realizing that I do NOT suffer or walk alone. MANY families are like this (it isn’t “just me” or someone else), and, if people were really “honest” most families would admit that they have this DISORDER to one degree or another. NO family is “perfectly” doesn’t exist in this world.

Because I do believe that there is a God and that I have suffered shunning and deprivation of my mom’s love and any sense of fairness from her. I believe (even if it doesn’t occur HERE on earth), GOD WILL SETTLE THIS SCORE and all of my siblings and mother will be answering for their abuse, comments, actions, slighting, etc. upon the judgement day.

In the readings about NPD, one of the hardest things that have come to terms with is that these people who abuse or have NPD, NEVER change. This is probably one of the most difficult things to accept.

I have never been an alcoholic or attended an ALANON meeting but in following the “Serenity Prayer’s ” short sentences, this all makes good sense.

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
(accepting that my mom and siblings are “sick” like this)

courage to change the things I can;
(resolve myself to only changing my involvements and reactions to their abuses…)

and wisdom to know the difference.
(To stop my OWN self torture in “hoping” that they will change…but to focus and commit to changing myself for the benefit of myself and MY immediate family)

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

–Reinhold Niebuhr

In loving memory of
Fr Bertram Griffin — 1932-2000
Requiescat in Pace

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will direct your paths.

Proverbs 3, 5-6

Good luck in “claiming” your “new and worth-while life” and to realize that you don’t need the confusion and hurt anymore. It is HARD work…but we are ALL worth it.



talibah March 16, 2015 at 8:27 pm



Thank You December 7, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Again, these blogs are life changing!


Barbara Dothan Alabama December 24, 2013 at 8:52 am

I have been disowned and shut out of my family all my 57 years. I never had a family and my mother never ever mothered me and I realize now she was never even a friend, in fact my worst enemy. I wonder when I die who will meet me on the other side, I have no family here so I know I will have no one. Does anyone else worry about who will meet them in heaven?


thatslife October 13, 2014 at 5:32 am

Yes! You will meet God and your guardian angel – both or whom has kept you strong, loves you unconditionally and is with you your entire life.
The ones who tormented and abused a child of God ( no matter if they went to church everyday of their lives) knowing what they did ( and they do) won’t be in heaven anyway.
Look up Luke Ministries. They promote a biblical view of narcissitcs and their victims that will put your mind at rest.


Jane May 12, 2014 at 4:16 pm

I am 29, I have recently cut my Nmother out of my life. Wish I had done it when I was 17 when I first left home. That is all.


Katie June 2, 2014 at 3:46 pm

So, I’m the only daughter and youngest of my family. I hate attention, and keep to myself. I never ask for anything, I practically raised my big brothers. My father is an alcoholic, my mother is like the above. When I’d be injured I was expected to take care of it myself (I once lost a nail and took care of it myself after the doctor trip as a small child.) But my brothers would be fawned over. I was never allowed to leave the house, but my brothers could come and go and stay at a friends for days on end. I was the only one in choir and my parents never went to my performances, but when my brother joined they were happy to be there every time. My brother is in college for theatre and they encourage him. But I want to own a small business and they forced me to go to college to be a teacher. I had gotten loans and grants to pay for college, and they made me use it on things for them. I ask for nothing, my brother asks for money every month. Why do they treat me like this? Is it the same, or just because I’m the only girl and the youngest? I have a plethora of talents, too, but whenever I try to use them I immediately criticize and hate myself and never even gets my ideas out of my head. Why are parents so horrible? I’m 21 and I desperately want to leave but they do everything in their power to prevent it, then run me down and blame me…


kelly June 9, 2014 at 11:23 am

Katie: pls listen to a person that experienced almost the same as you. Im 43yrs old now. So let me advice you. Pls get away from you toxic parents as quick as you can. They will not change they will only make your life miserable. I was also the baby of three girls in my family I was the scapegoat child. Everything bad was me. They never gave me one positive comment always ugly stupid black sheep u name it. It effected my adult life tremendously. I left when I was 18 cannot live in that house anymore it was a hell hole. The worst thing is my parents are rich. So all the relatives kisses upto them cause they need their help. So I was all alone but thank God there was GOD always planned for me. Met my good husband I dont hv kids in a way it’s good so no risk of projecting the bad npd to my child because as much as I want not to be like my npd mom subconsciously it still might come out. Anyhow do yourself a huge favor leave them far n don’t go bk even if they pretend to change these npds never will I fell into their traps two times now they are stillnthe same. Get away sweetie quick while its still early. Make your life anew w/o these toxicities. Belive me its all worth it. Before I use to wish hv a family is better than none. But now I finally realize if they are so toxic n not gebuine what’s the good to hv them. Be brave!!! You will have a wonderful life of your own. You will!!! u dont need these narcissistic family members to be in yours. Trust me coming from someone with past experience.


thatslife October 13, 2014 at 5:55 am

I agree with Kelly. Get away Honey, and don’t look back. Don’t think they will change and don’t be sucked back with promises, excuses or laying guilt on you for “not being a good daughter”. They’ll try anything to get you back. Once the scapegoat leaves, 2 things happen: 1) They get frantic. They have no one to blame for their perverted, sick thoughts and actions. The scapegoat is neccesary for this. 2) They will be scared to death that you will tell others what has happened to you and what THEY did. Smear campaigns will be rampant from them so you’re not believed and they gain 2 things from this: Attention and your alienazation.

You’re young. I wish I left at your age. My life would have been so different now. I too thought a rotten family is better than none. Boy, was I wrong. They’re not “family”. They’re your worst enemies and the more they know about you, and what you want in life, the more they’ll work against you. So…don’t tell them anything – especially that you’re fleeing or thinking about it.
Get into therapy with someone who is experienced in abusive realationships. You need to gain strength. It’s tough in the beginning, Honey, and the pain never really goes away. But,the rewards are SO worth it.


Wounded bird June 22, 2014 at 11:17 am

Can relate sadly. I am trying to reconnect with them since I got cancer. I feel no support and feel like a burden already. Trying to work through forgiveness and present issues. I pretty much given the past to god.


ps271 September 16, 2014 at 7:45 pm

WoW..I knew that there were others, but I never knew that something so Ugly could be worded so Beautifully. My narcissistic mother just recently passed. I had removed myself from the entire situation for the past 15 years (my life was so much better) Of course she contacts me just before she dies to try and make herself feel better (just as I knew she would) I did NOT allow it, God help me I just did not want her to die happy..I can only hope that my face was on her mind as she died..I doubt it though. I have a child & grandchildren that think I hung the moon, there was no way that I would allow her to poison my family. I still have much anger towards her but fight it every day. Of course she made sure to pit the siblings against one another before she died..Well the ones that actually cared. I personally am relieved that she is gone. I want nothing to remind me of my past life, there are my orphans that are perfectly happy. All that I can say is that if she gets into heaven, I am a shoe-in..


Thora October 16, 2014 at 1:08 pm

I too feel that my mother is a narsissist. I have said it many times over the years. And yes she has caused strife between me and my 3 sisters to this very day. I am now 55 and still destests her. I have tried and tried over the years to accept that she is probably bipolar. Blame the illness. But she is the most cruelest and hateful person I know in this world and I will never forgive her for the wedges she has put between myself and my sisters. I hate the way she mentally abuse my father and he puts up with it because of her threats to him. I only hope that the moment she dies she sees wha tan awful person she really is!!!! Now if I could only live my life with out depression.


Brightness October 18, 2014 at 7:22 am

Hello This was an interesting read, I’m an ENTJ personality type so from an early age I was very intuitive. I was adopted with my sister into a family that was either dysfunctional or became dysfunctional. At 2 years old my personality was already quite strong. I feel that adoptive sibling rivalry between two same blood youngest adopted ( I was the younger) might have triggered my mother or the NPD may have been their already. When I fell at 2.5 broke my arm my mother believed not to help me because she believed I was mentally ill as the little child ( who believed I was an adult!) got angrier and angrier until my neighbour took me for a cast!!
What I witnessed at that age was LACK OF EMPATHY ( my poor mother just didn’t connect with me…. I saw all sorts ABUSE BY PROXY with other people, myself etc this is a good thing to read or look up) it helped me understand.
I was taken into authority care at 13 and was lucky to have a brilliant social worker however had no education in care ( sadly there was some abuse in the system ) left at 17 into a council flat was petrified ) at 21 my mother wanted me back and everytime I saw her my sister got jealous and blamed me. So I got away from them all – educated myself got degrees, worked hard ( it was very very hard) lost my partner ( death cancer / heart) at 29 still trundled on. Always felt a hole not having family but remained in contact letter with my real sister ) then when I was 38 a senior lecturer, designer etc and with all the wealth I could have. My sister rang me out of the blue and wanted to see me, my intuition warned me and I ignored it.
THE HORROR. My real older sister who i was adopted with called me a for having no lines, she started bringing up the past and blaming me ( I was quite vulnerble because I always took on the blame for my sisters unhappiness. The worse thing was I saw she had turned into our mother. She told me our dad was dying as I was leaving…,
I left and I self sabbatorged myself and my life and lost everything because I was so depressed and I suppose angry seeing how she had become.she later rang me and screamed ” see you are not the special talented one now are you, I have been disinherited too which is to be expected.
After spending the last 4 years rebuilding my life and getting used to a new lifestyle! In pound land he he
What I’m glad of is that I am well adjusted, have empathy too much sometimes, and I’m lovely
I feel sorry for my mother as I understand her, sometimes I cry my eyes out, as a child of 4 years old I felt I was feeding love into a bottomless pit and at 9 years old I knew my poor mother no matter how much love I gave her ( she didn’t love herself) she was an adorable middle class teacher.
I have no contact with any of them now, I still pine sometimes for my mother and my sister but the whole unit is disfunctional because sadly no one understood the mecanisiums ( spelling) involved.
As a 43 year old and still learning. .
If your family are aiding your dreams giving you freedom to be you and do what you want to do go for it.
If they are not and you are in severe confusion with all the gas lighting etc. Triangulation
then leave, leaving is very hard and scary because there is always the control.
At a young age I found it hard to say ” I can’t deal with all of this right now – so I want to have a break and do my own thing and come back when I am ready”
I did it by exposing my mother and an angry letter.

Which later I felt guilty about as I felt sorry for her when older and more healed.
2. Get your independence
3. Get strong and find who you are and go through all the rumbles of life, read, get counselling if it doesn’t trigger or hurt too much and do what is right for you.
4. Educate about healthy relationships and watch carefully
For attracting other people with similar characteristics in relationships ( not out fault but sadly we can be attracted to familiarity.
Be VERY VERY careful of other siblings – if it doesn’t feel right let go – and if any want to see you later on in life out of the blue ( when you are doing very well ) be stronger than I was – my mother when she heard I had done well I’m afraid their was bitterness in her voice ….
My sister is now sadly abusing her kids
Anyway to all – after growing up in all of this we have very insightful minds and no matter what has happened or what we have lost – the big thing we all have and lucky to have whether young or older is that AWARENESS and insightful ness and understanding.
Love and ((((hugs))))) to you ((((all))))


Brightness October 18, 2014 at 7:38 am

Dear Thora,
I’m sending you a hug ((())) I can relate to the anger at the wedges created and what you are going through is so unjust . The beauty is you see the wedges created but maybe sadly the others don’t . It was a shame even though I tried with my sister when 26 by letter to say look she has issues and let it go or take your anger and speak to the person responsible but it never worked as some are still craving love or unable to understand or have blocked the whole thing out.
It’s a horrible situation to be in and can make you feel powerless. Some of these posts I read were from some really clued up people … and they helped me, even your post. I hope the horrible depression lifts – I find it comes and goes with me and the more I think about them all the worse it gets and I can end up in bed for a few days… But then I’m okay again – and you will be too you sound very strong .


Jane Bartels November 5, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Hi…..I’ve read all of the comments above and my heart goes out to everyone here. Narcissistic parents are the pits. I know. My dear father was not a narcissist, but he was a drunk. Married to my extreme Narcissist mother would do that to many people. It was a defensive mechanism. My mother is not only a narcissist but an emotional sadist. I am 66 and she is 94, and her venom is still pouring forth. However, in the last 4 years I have gone No Contact. It has given me room to breathe and to contemplate what has happened in this very, very dysfunctional family. I was always the scapegoat and my two brothers the golden boys. I was only ‘praised’ to people outside the family so she would look good. I never could give her enough of hand made quilts, paintings, pillows, etc. She always moved the goal posts but never for ‘her boys’. Her venom really started to pour when I achieved something. In 4 years I published 4 books and these were well received. The last and only letter I got from her stated this: “I can never be truly proud of you because you didn’t allow me into your artistry.”

Hah~ This is the leitmotiv of a real Narcissist. It doesn’t matter that she had NOTHING to do with my books (poetry mostly, and this must have grated on her because she considers herself to be a poet…and a bad one she is…) and frankly, HAD I allowed her anything to do with my work of many years…..she would have perverted it. A narcissist claims everything they can when they see an opening. She ignored me for decades, even saying that “I was not a REAL mother (on Mother’s Day) because I had adopted my son. Her cruelty and evil is not abating at all at her age. When I did call her (a couple of times because of deaths in the family) the first thing out of her mouth was: “I’m not leaving you anything.” Fine and I am NOT coming to your funeral. I am not such a hypocrite to weep over the coffin of such a person who has destroyed a family and continues to do so.

Turn your energies to actualizing yourself and your potential. Look for a good therapist who understands narcissism in all its aspects (I found an older woman who has become a mother-substitute of a sort….) and understand this: Narcissists don’t improve with age. The wiring is too twisted up. They will continue to be cruel and crazy making. I have also gone NC with the siblings because they are just puppets of the chief narcissist and have become narcissists in their own right. How much time do we want to waste on these people? They are toxic.

After decades of self-doubt, of feeling unworthy, of feeling depressed (this continues but it’s mostly an automatic thing….because it’s hard to put aside the abuse of before…our own wiring is twisted into knots…) and being told (by her and an ex husband…) that I would never amount to anything, that I was the trouble maker in the family (yeah right) I have finally come into the Light. I remember her now only for her negative examples…there is little to admire in this person, but I also strive to be mindful about my own actions towards others, and myself.

We can’t make up for all the abuse of our childhood, which does extend into our adulthood, but learning boundaries ,..something that we were denied to put into place as children….learning boundaries and sticking to them…helps now.

Narcissists never change…they just get more warped as they age. Why would they even attempt to change? It’s the world which is screwed up, not them. They are blind but we don’t have to be.


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