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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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Strong August 14, 2017 at 5:35 pm

I was the scapegoat. It sucked, but at least it kept others from suffering more.

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SMELDER August 16, 2017 at 8:42 am

Although hard to see, the grass is always greener on the other side. I wouldn’t consider myself the golden child out of my Narc mom’s 3 sons, but def her favorite until a few years ago. Because of mom’s bad behavior toward my wife and I, I started to see who this Dark Triad really was. I called her out her behavior/abuse, and as a result she scapegoated me. I wouldn’t wish this punishment on my worst enemy, but at the same time going no contact is the only answer when dealing with a highly dysfunctional family.

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Surviving August 16, 2017 at 7:43 pm

Smelder,
I am in a similar situation. I’m the most accomplished of my siblings in many ways, but one sibling (the golden child) seems to be a worse narc than my mom. I have been lied about, smeared on social media, and blamed for “breaking up the family”. HA! I moved away years ago, out of state, but the hatred continues. It is a team approach, mother and sibling narcs, against me and another sibling, who has a disability. That sibling is not strong enough emotionally to stand up to the other two, so I get the brunt of the abuse. Confronting them hasn’t helped, and of course, they never change. It’s extremely difficult! Guessing that the narc sibling who also is the mother’s trustee, will convince mother to have me taken out of the trust. Not sure what to do about it, but since my dad passed, it’s been totally dysfunctional.

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Gina September 22, 2017 at 7:08 pm

I have the same situation going on with my NM and NS which is Moms trustee…between the two of them have put me thru alot of emotional abuse..My father passed away some years ago and there is a big estate…Mom is always dangling that inheritance to keep all my siblings in control and doing her dirty work. I lived away from my birth family for 35 yrs I moved back when dad passed away to be their to help her. From the day I moved back they all made me feel like I wasn’t wanted and I got the impression they considered me a threat to their dysfunctional life style. They made my life a living hell no matter how much I did it was never good enough…I was at the point where I was having constant anxiety attacks. I would have to medicate myself every time I would be going over there. For my peace of mind I had to go No Contact with my Mother and 4 siblings…I don’t care if I don’t inherit anything nothing is worth my peace of mind.

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Moore August 20, 2017 at 10:13 pm

I have the same problem.
There’s the golden child and my narc mom that are the team.
My baby sister stays low but always when confronted immediately takes the golden child and Marc mom’s side for fear of the ‘throw down’ that is created by the team.
I moved away but it doesn’t go away. It’s a daily struggle. Narc mom has even laughed and said the older sister has hated me since the day I was born. She plays one child against the other for attention. I’m 56 yo and it’s all I’ve ever known as far as ‘family’ … I’m the stupid one, the bad the trouble maker and I never call nor visit them. But my phone rings with games at least 3-4 times a week. I’ve blocked the golden child and my mother allows her to use her phone to harass me because she knows if I see her number on my caller IID I’m goin to answer.
TMTT… years of it

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ArtistSurvivor September 11, 2017 at 8:09 am

I’m 55 and had a similar experience as scapegoat. Older brother is golden child. Younger brother is lost/invisible child. I no longer have any relationship with mother, either brother, or my niece and nephew. I’m pretty sure they all hate me. Niece will tolerate my presence in order to sustain a relationship with my daughter. Older brother was calling me on mom’s phone after I blocked his number. He stopped when I threatened him with a restraining order. I would like to try to have a casual relationship with my mom because she’s old and sick. But, my older brother gets in the way. I would like to try to mend things with my younger brother but he no longer wants to have contact with me. It is what it is. The triangulation instigated by our mother has destroyed any chance for a relationship. There’s no telling what she has told them in order to perpetuate the rift. I was so dumb. She would say terrible things about others to me, but I never imagined that she was saying terrible things about me to others. Like I said….dumb.

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King kong August 25, 2017 at 10:16 pm

My mom had 3 daughters and I’m the middle one, the scapegoat. My older and younger sister have aligned against me, the hero and lost child. There is an unfriendliness,dark sarcasm they have towards me. I’ve been ostracized from the family. My mom is dying of cancer.
The only relief I have is my therapy, my 12 step recovery groups, and most of all God’s comfort. Thank you for this article as it answers my question why we are distant. I’m 61 and now I know why we’ve never been close. And I believe in the existence of Satan on this earth.

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Sally August 28, 2017 at 11:04 pm

It has meant a lot to me to read of other adult children’s experiences of being part of a family where the mother is narcissistic. As a 52 year old with 4 siblings I have tried to maintain a loving bond with them – I see us as veterans of the same war with scars that might take time to heal, but as fellow veterans nonetheless. My mother I have completely cut out of my life due to her destructive behaviour, however I never wanted to lose them too. I underestimated mother’s power however, because one by one they (and their children) are turning against me. Despite many conversations between us about how dreadful her treatment of us is, despite damage to each one of us that can be directly traced to her manipulation, her cruelty, her selfishness, her contempt – my decision to enforce strict boundaries around her has left me quite alone. My sister is the golden child (especially now that I refuse to be used by our mother), and she does our mother’s bidding. If I arrange to spend time with her it inevitably gets cancelled by her at the last minute – the reasons vary however can almost always be traced to our mother sabotaging the plans. My brothers, who I love dearly and who have been scapegoated by our mother all their lives, no longer keep contact with me since I have cut her out of my life. My attempts at organising special occasions for them – even encouraging them to include mother if they wish because I can still be a decent human being even if she doesn’t choose to – fizzle out completely. The message is quite clear – if mother isn’t number 1 then they can’t have a relationship with me. They just don’t dare.
I feel very sad, by standing up to her bullying I have lost most of my immediate family. I wouldn’t change it though, I refuse to swallow my voice, my values, my power any longer. I am a lovely, decent, caring, adult human being and I deserve to be treated accordingly. I must admit though, I am stunned at the extent of her power over the family! Not once have I tried to interfere in anyone else’s relationship with my mother, I only wanted to maintain and strengthen my relationships with my beloved siblings. I guess I have broken a Narcissist’s golden rule – you are either with her or against her – and she will stop at nothing to punish me for it. Right now I’m taking things a day at a time, and keeping busy with my trusted relationships (the ones my mother could never sabotage) and my work. I’m also considering seeing a counsellor because I’m feeling many mixed emotions – grief especially. I am very grateful for websites such as these to know I’m not going insane, thank you!

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DeeSimmons September 23, 2017 at 7:12 pm

Im going through the same situation with my mom and its starting to esculate. I just realize that my mom has this issue after my last boyfriend. I dated a few narssistic people and I had to take out time to see why I was attracted to these people. My baby sister is the youngest and I have another sister who is the middle child. My sisters were kicked out by my mom for her boyfriend now and they are trying emotionally being blackmailed by her and are unaware. She made a choice to abadon them and now walks in likenothing happedned.My mom has done some things a mom is not known to do and is out of contril.She has my younger sister programmed and it is really sad. Recently it seems now my younger sister turned against me and is teamed up with her and the middle child is slowly conforming. My sister chose me to pin her for her graduation and I knew this was going to fire my mom up. Of course the retaliation started now. She tries to play martyer and tries to make me look like the bad person. She has things she wants me to give to my sister and when i tell her No and she needs to give it to them , then she tells my sisters im not being the bad guy. She has always done this and I agreed in the past because I though it harmless but now I see the game she is playing. She has lost control over me and is trying every tactic to get to me . I wish my sisters can see the bigger picture as to what is going on instead of pushing me awayand turning on me.

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karen dadd September 25, 2017 at 9:10 am

JUST READ YOUR STORY, WOW I FEEL THE SAME WAY, ALONE, YOU ARE DESCRIBING MY MOTHER TO THE LETTER. 50 YEARS OF GUILT, SHAME. ALL MY FAULT AND UGLINESS WAS THE RESULT OF A NARCISSISTIC MOTHER, THE DESTRUCTIVENESS OF THEIR BEHAVIOR IS DISGUSTING, I HAVE VERY LITTLE EMPATHY OR FEELINGS TOWARDS MY MOTHER. IT IS VERY SAD.BUT I CANNOT CHANGE HER. I DO WHAT YOU ARE DOING FOCUS ON FREINDS AND MY WORK AND WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY. REMEMBER THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU, YOU ARE PERFECT.

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Evie September 6, 2017 at 12:30 am

This information is powerful and important. I wish more people were aware of this dynamic.

In my family (4 all girls) I’m the second oldest and the scapegoat. My mom is the main narcissist parent and displays almost all the classic symptoms. I remember one day when I was 15 she was saying such nasty things to me I had to leave the house. She grabbed me by the arm and dug her fingernail into me as i tried to walk away. To this day, I have a nasty 1/2 inch scar on my arm. When the family got home, she complained extensively about me and how I was “out of control” (I never touched her I just walked away)

I mentioned this now she calls me liar and says it never happened. ( like I said, I still have the scar)

The final straw happened this week. I decided to have a breast augmentation and three weeks prior I spoke to two of my sisters 28, 21 and ask them to keep my surgery date clear as I would need someone to take me to and from the hospital. I asked them both to keep their day clear because they both have children and I wanted to account for any emergencies they may have had. They both agreed when I called one of my sisters she told me I would have to reschedule because she made other plans to go out to lunch that day.

Obviously, I was livid and when I told my mom about it she told me it was my fault because I had communicated clearly I even sent her a screenshot of the conversation my sister and I had dated three weeks prior of her agreeing to keep this day clear for me so she could take me to my surgery my mom still stuck up for my sister.

I’m changing my phone number and moving out of state. I might even change my last name. I’ve decided to go completely NC for the rest of my life. If you’re reading this in your going through something similar please consider doing the same thing. Chances are you’re not crazy and you deserve to have people in your life that treat you with kindness and respect

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anon September 9, 2017 at 3:02 pm

Evie, I can totally relate. I got hit on the back of the head with a wooden rolling pin. The night before I got married she said to me ‘Don’t worry he’ll soon leave you for somebody younger and prettier than you’. There’s been so much crap thrown at me that I could write a book, all of which is now denied and my ‘memory’ called into question.
But that’s how they do it, screw with your head, by telling you your memory of events is wrong. We always get called liars when they want to rewrite what they’ve said and done, and we’re always in the wrong. The only thing is, you’re not alone, and you’re not crazy, although they try to make you feel like you are and there are times you actually question your mind, your version of events and you wonder, but it’s the game they play. It’s called gaslighting.

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Marie September 6, 2017 at 7:51 pm

I have two siblings and I’m the middle child. We’re all girls and we were all raised by my mother. I see this behavior all the time and I’ve reached my limit with it. My older sister being the narcissistic one always has competed for my moms attention. I was the golden child, then the lost one, and now I’m the screwed up one. I’ve seen all sides. The minute I or my younger sibling makes a mistake my older disabling moves into the golden child position. She turns my mother against my younger sibling and I. I’m at a point in my life where I’m tired of the behavior. I’m tired of the politics and feeling like I have to agree or be left emotionally stressed out. My house is divided and my older sis king has succeeded in making my younger sibling and I feel uncomfortable in our own house. I’m tired of being quiet.

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anon September 9, 2017 at 2:41 pm

I grew up with a narcissistic mother. I have realised over the years that I was the scapegoat, however the golden child has accused me of self pity, being dramatic, having a ‘poor me’ attitude. Yet when I mentioned something the golden child had said and they exploded, I got accused of remembering things wrong. I got a nasty email. They said ‘IF they had said that, it would have been in jest. That it was not the first time I’d mentioned it and they had questioned my memory’.

When I responded my email was replied to by going through it sentence by sentence and ripping it, and me, apart. Since then I’ve had my ‘memory’ of events thing thrown back in my face yet again.

One of my other siblings publicly trashed me on FB because I asked them not to mention my parents. I kept asking that they not mention it, and I got explosive emails and messages.

The third sibling tried to scam me by telling me a bill on a joint issue was 4 x higher than it was and I was to pay half – into their bank account. It was the paying it into their account that aroused suspicions so I checked with the company, they sent me a copy of the invoice and it was a quarter of what I’d been told. But again, it was me that got the explosion of fury and got trashed.

I’ve wondered if I even belong to this family because I don’t feel like part of a family at all. I no longer trust anyone.

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Summer J Hall September 12, 2017 at 4:52 pm

You ladies (and gentlemen) are not alone.
Don’t ever feel you are. There are more of us than you may think.
Light, love, blessings, and healing to each and every one of you.
To the author, this is one of THE most explanatory and informative articles I’ve ever read on maternal narcissism. I can’t thank you enough.

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Bertie September 13, 2017 at 6:37 am

I am one of five children, the youngest. Our NM is now very old. Looking back, it is evident that the oldest (a daughter) was always the Golden. They even look alike. I was trained to ALWAYS feel sorry for my older sister. I was trained to give her everything I had, even though I worked to have what little I had. This continued, and would be in practice today, had I finally not stopped about 10 years ago. NM also had favorites among the sons and one she said she never loved. NM would have conversations with me and matter-of-factly tell me which of the siblings hated me. And the reason was because I married a professional and “had more” than the rest of them. The Golden made some bad life choices and lost her home, etc. NM was right there, telling me that I should financially support my sister! Golden was probably 60 at the time. I told my NM that I am not responsible for my sister! From that point on, the two of them were against me. I have been blamed for not bailing her out from her monetary misfortunes, I have been blamed for not paying for hospice for a brother, I have been blamed for not paying for a better suit for my dead father when he was buried, I have been blamed for not putting on a lavish birthday party for my NM’s birthday party. One time, I got a new washer and dryer when the old washer flooded the entire lower level of our house at Christmas time. (It was a mess. We had to have people come in to clean up the water, rip up carpet, blowers were going for a week, the house stunk, etc.). My sister heard from NM that I got a new washer and dryer. She called me and curtly asked, “And what do they do?”
And I commented that the dryer spins around every once in awhile, if I don’t get down there right away to get the clothes out”. She answered back, in a curt little voice, “Well, it must be nice not to have to worry about your electricity bill!” Never mind that it came after this flooding disaster at Christmas time. I can go on, and on, and on, and on. I didn’t see anyone for about five years. It was heaven. The past couple of years I have had to reconnect with all of them. My NM did much to hurt me during these past two years. I won’t even go into detail. It is actually beyond the realm of understanding. But I will say that NM says to me, “Your Sister. There is just something so special about her!”. NM makes sure that I know that she remembers my sister’s birthday with a card, a gift, etc. And then my NM will not do anything when my birthday comes around. Ditto for Christmas. The last time I saw my sister … she is standing there … looking very mean … and she eludes to something I told her (like 20 years ago) that she could “use against me”. I couldn’t believe it. My own sister.
I had a brother die about 10 years ago. The day of the funeral none of the siblings talked to each other. After the funeral, my NM went home and spent the rest of the day alone. Later, NM said to me, “I needed my family around me! And no one was there with me!”
And I thought … well, that’s because we all hate each other.
These days, I think the only one that is on good terms with NM is the Golden. And it is a long distance relationship. I think if they were close by, it would probably not work out.

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Lynn September 24, 2017 at 10:45 pm

I am oldest of three… my brother middle child , baby sister
( by a different dad) the golden child…. I survived a self induced abortion attempt by my mother and she hated me from the day I was born till the day she passed… she made my life a living hell ….. mom played us against each other right up to her death… she even played dad against me through out my life…
I married young because she wanted me out of her life…
When mom was alive I lived as far away from the family as I could…
No one in the family contacted me unless it was because of a negative…. even when my dad passed they made all the arrangements and purposefully left me out…
I didn’t have the relationship with any of my family I wanted… to this day there is no contact…. my sister use to call me once in awhile…
But only to get reason to say negative things… middle child is a game player too
I found out a few months back my sister has brain cancer and no one told me… well not the close family… a cousin from TX told me….
I tried to contact my sister and she refuses to talk to me… she said we were arguing last time she called me….she said she didn’t think she would want to talk to me ever…
It hurt me as I’ve never had a normal family life… my brother doesn’t contact me either…
It hurt so bad…. but then I find they have said things to all the family that aren’t true…and I don’t hear even from my grown children and grandkids…
I just went through a divorce with a Narc and no one in family cared…
I live in an isolated community where I have acquaintances but no family
Real friends because of narc husband…
I am a Christian and that has been my saving grace…
I know Jesus is with me and I’m never alone….
But I do miss my family…. especially my kids…
But life is what it is… and I don’t try to defend myself to anyone anymore for God alone knows the truth……
I’m soon to be 67 and live hundreds of miles from my family
I have trust issues because of all the narcs in my life and just don’t want the drama at my age….
my sister doesn’t have long to live and it really hurts to know she hates me so much… I would love to have a relationship with her now … but she made the choice…..

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Susan Culver October 7, 2017 at 11:22 am

This article was extremely VALIDATING to me, and summed up my childhood. Currently, I’m 56, NM 92, siblings 50’s & 60’s all but one lives far away, the 1 is so deeply enmeshed with Narc mom (the golden) living next door (Both are hoarders & on the “Clutter Hoarding Scale” are both at #4 level out of 5 according to the National Study Group on Compulsive Disorganization) After a recent trip to help Narc mom in her yard, I confronted golden about her disgusting condition of her house which made her cry and go next door to NM,s home. Yes this sibling is very educated with a degree in psychology and is an RN! I truly wish all of us siblings could get together and counsel about this. I can relate to so many other individuals from their comments. i am not alone, oh my, this is more common than I knew.

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Cherie October 9, 2017 at 9:49 pm

My NM refuses to talk to me and has been giving me the “silent Treatment” for several months. My crime:

I disclosed to my three brothers that one of them (the Golden Child) sexually molested another brother for years when they were younger. I made this disclosure with the assistance of a therapist. My abused brother and I have always been the scapegoats. Two of the brothers are the Golden children while another is a lost child who avoids all conflict. Here is the last e-mail I sent to my siblings:

Dear Siblings:
I recently had my third and final session with the family therapist who I entrusted with working through the ongoing and dysfunctional Clark family history. He reviewed all the e-mails that were distributed between the siblings (except Todd who has remained uncharacteristically silent) ) which gave the therapist a good sense of the family dynamics. I was hoping mom would call and speak with the therapist, and I even paid in advance for a session for her. Unfortunately, mom chose not to contact him, so her viewpoint is, unfortunately missing. One thing the therapist stressed is that people do not “make up” these types of allegations. He reiterated that in the 30 years he has been a therapist he has never seen such a thing Further, all literature and studies support this view.
In any event, Steve’s response to my initial letter disclosing Darryl’s recollections of abuse proved to be an interesting topic of conversation during our session. The therapist did not believe my initial letter was inappropriate in view of the subject matter.
It appeared that the main purpose of Steve’s response was to belittle, ridicule, taunt, and embarrass me and paint me and Darryl as liars with a hidden agenda. His e-mail reeked of disrespect and sarcasm and consisted of three pages of verbal bullying. Steve barely addressed Darryl’s recollections, except to say that he didn’t do anything to Darryl that was not “normal” between brothers. What was glaringly missing in Steve’s response was any hint of compassion, kindness or empathy.
Of interest is that when I wrote Presentence Investigations on sex offenders and other criminals, the defendants all used this exact same deflective approach, i.e.: “The victim is jealous”, “The witness is a liar”, “I didn’t do anything that wasn’t done to me”, “they blew it way out of proportion”, blah, blah, blah. So…
To Mike and Todd:
As I don’t live close to you, you rarely see me and really have no idea of who I am and what I stand for. Me and John both have a strong sense of integrity and honesty and doing the right thing for the right reasons. Me and John discussed Darryl’s recollections repeatedly before I engaged the services of a family therapist and decided to “go public”. I would never have brought up such a sensitive issue to purposely cause undue harm to an innocent person or for other nefarious reasons.
To Darryl:
Thank you for trusting me. I know your childhood was difficult and I know you have found peace and some satisfaction by confronting and letting go of the demons. I hope you are OK with how the situation has been handled, and thanks for accompanying me to visit mom. I am proud of you, and your daughters are a credit to both you and Stacey.
To Mom:
I know these disclosures have been very hard on you, but doing the right thing can be both difficult and uncomfortable. Darryl has been vilified for years, but you have the ability to make things right. I know that If Dad were alive, he would be horrified by Darryl’s disclosures and Steve’s continued bullying and would not have allowed the situation to continue.
To Steve:
I believe every word and recollection that Darryl disclosed. In the few times you and I have spoken over the years, you rarely have anything nice or kind to say about anyone, so your response did not surprise me one bit. If you were thinking that a “strong response” would absolve you of any guilt and prove me to be a liar, you did not do yourself any favors. Your verbally bullying merely reinforced what a self-absorbed narcissistic bully you continue to be.

Also, in my humble opinion, the traits of a good person are not how long they have been married, how much money they have, the worth of the business they built or how many people they employed. I thought the definition of the characteristics of a good person below are noteworthy and something we should all be cognizant of. I also suggest that all of our children/grandchildren read this e-mail. Maybe they can be the ones who create healthier dynamics with their own families.
The Characteristics of a Good Person
Integrity – a good person is trustworthy and honest when honesty truly matters.

Respect – a good person respects the rights, differences of taste and opinion, and personal space and property of others.

Compassion – a good person cares about others and acts to help his or her fellow human beings.
He/she recognizes and makes amends for mistakes made and forgives others for their own human weaknesses. a good person holds themselves accountable.
Humility and Forgiveness- a good person is humble and does not hold grudges.
Courage – a good person has the spirit to stand up for what is fair and just. (Justice.)
Spiritual- a good person is spiritual and/or believes in a higher power.

Reason – Is the moral compass that keeps the good person pointing in the right direction. It keeps all these other characteristics in balance and leads the way toward fair and beneficial actions and decisions

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Losing it October 13, 2017 at 7:17 am

Omg! I’m not alone. I just didn’t know what to techncally call it. I just thought she was a drama queen. I’m the oldest, 59 and the scapegoat. My brother, 12 yrs younger is the golden child and the best looking. Youngest sibling is 23 yrs younger and he is the forgotten invisible child. I was used as the enforcer to keep my brothers in line and be her champion (rescuer) until I realized what she was doing and I refused to do her dirty work anymore. The only difference is that my brothers and I have banded together and are quite aware of our mothers manipulative intentions but she still tries to pit one against the other. She’s 80 and disappears for days leaving us frantic searching for her. She’s been doing this for years. Or she’ll say she’s having a medical emergency just to see if we will drop everything to come to her rescue. The stress is constant. She has managed to alienate us from other family members such as aunts, uncles and cousins since she can’t break our sibling bond. But she keeps trying. Now she wants to live with me although she has a home and a husband. Since I’m the bad one anyway I’m going to have to say no. I can’t let her poison my homelife and marriage. Feeling guilty and in survival mode.

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Bertie October 13, 2017 at 11:27 am

Dear Losing It,
Don’t feel guilty. Remain in your survival mode and be strong! My NM used her “poor health” as a weapon against us her entire life. Her entire life!!!! Even 40+ years ago, when I was a teenager, and I was upset with her, my dad would take me into another room and say, “Don’t fight with her! She could have a heart attack!”. And so, we didn’t even dare stick up for ourselves.
My oldest sister said she “ran away” to escape our mother. This was in the late 60’s. She was the oldest in the family and my NM was already having “mental problems” at that time, seeing a psychiatrist, and my dad was leaving things regarding mom to my sister. My sister was probably only about 20.
As said, my sister moved states away. She ended up in counseling, over our NM.
One thing that I remember my sister saying, decades ago, after counseling was, “Invalids have the most power”. She was taught that. The invalid was our NM.
I have already written about the things my NM has done to me. I am the youngest and female and was always EXPECTED to be the one to go home and help out when she had surgery, etc. And once I got there, she’d be so abusive to me, that it was literally insane. You talked about your NM disappearing for a week and leaving the rest of you frantic. My NM wanted me to think she was dead on one occasion. It went on for a couple of days. This followed numerous instances where I had to go home to take care of her; each time having her be mean and abusive to me, while I was there helping her out. After the incident of her wanting me to think she was dead, I had enough of it. THAT WAS THE DAY I walked away from her, so-to-speak. Things changed at that point. I finally came to the point where it was HER or ME.
I chose Me.
Even this past year, I got drug back into it again but only for a short while. She called me, said she felt funny and the ambulance was there and she was leaving for the hospital. I drove to the ER, thinking “This is it”. I get there and watch her shuffle in from the ambulance. I sit there while she tells the doctor she feels funny. The doctor is angry that she didn’t see her regular doctor as he has never even seen her before. (She’s 90).
He tells me to get her to her regular doctor. And so, I do. While in the room, the doctor says to her, “You can tell your daughter to leave the room, if you wish”. And my NM sits there, like a queen, and is expressionless. And I am sitting there, thinking, What the hell? I sit through the appointment and feel as though somehow I am a villain. I do. I think somehow NM has told her doctor bad things about me. I wouldn’t doubt it. Afterwards, I attempt to speak with her home health nurse who tells me that unless NM gives a release of information, that no one can speak to anyone about her. And as the weeks go on, my NM never gave a release. And so, once again, snubbed.
Hang in there. I think these are really, really sick people.
Please read the post by Tundra Woman under the “Never Good Enough” section of this blog. It is a recent posting.

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Bertie October 13, 2017 at 11:46 am

I would compare them to being like a spider in it’s web. And you’re the fly.

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