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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{ 75 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.


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.


Surviving August 16, 2017 at 7:43 pm

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.


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.


Oliviana January 27, 2018 at 7:59 am

I am so sorry Gina. Your life sounds so much like my life. I was a middle child of 5 children. My mother just passed away and left her inheritance to 2 of her most greedy children. My sister and I always felt like the underdog. I did not feel a loss when my mother passed away a few days ago. My mother did not try to keep her children together. So sad, how families can be torn apart.

Susan December 24, 2017 at 7:23 pm

The day she passes hire a good estate or family attorney…possibly interviews before this happens & have one ready to hire. Then argue the estate & unless she took the extra step in her will to leave u a $1 to prove to the judge she meant to give you nothing…however, most judges would believe that all siblings deserve the assists to be split down the middle unlesss one or mor is doing exceptionally well financially…if she doesn’t have much to leave I’d just move on & save the attorney fees & as morbid as this will sound…yoi will finally be free as the narcs don’t seem to stop even their old age….


Annette Hale February 25, 2018 at 2:12 am

I am living the exact madness you have described since my Dad passed in Oct. My Mother excluded me a week before my Dad died and the hits have continued. I totally feel my older sister(a narc herself) has totally manipulated my Mom even to the extent of trying to write me out of the will. It feels like the ultimate betrayal and have not even been able to grieve my Dad.


Mike June 27, 2018 at 4:27 pm

OK everyone! we are all in this together…I can relate to all.. I moved away to have a better life than my messed up childhood (3 dads and a Narc Mother) and since I left and was able to put that part of my childhood away she has made things worse.. I became the scapegoat when stood up for my wife, who cares my wife means more than these people do, it still hurts but time to move on, As for my sibling we have not spoke for 11 years due to the fact mom has made things difficult. I feel bad as I have spent the last 25 years away trying to make things better or keep the peace but in the end I feel totally manipulated and lied to….Mom is now living with an older man who has money so she is happy now and acts as she was the best mother and cant understand why you would be upset.. She still stabs my wife in the back and spreads her hate for my wife… Btw she took this guy for $30,000 on a facelift, she is 70 now….. That money should have gone to his own children… I don’t get it….It is all about her

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


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.


Margot March 28, 2018 at 11:26 pm

You are not dumb. There are unfortunately many in situations like you have endured..myself included. My situation is virtually exactly the same as yours. We are both victims….not dumb….just people who are NOT natcissists & have empathy in our being. Thankgoodness for that…as it means we are able to love & not ‘pretend’ we know what it is.
Of course that doesn’t mean ongoing damage hasn’t been done. I naively didn’t recognize what was occurring in my family dynamics until well after my own children were adults, exposing them to their narcissistic grandmother, bully flying monkey grandfather & very destructive narcissistic older brother golden child. As many narcissists are very covert in their abuse it is difficult to recognize their behaviour for what it is….afterall generally as a scapegoat…you are made to feel responsible for everything negative. This doesn’t mean you are dumb…you have / are being abused & bullied into believing this type of manipulation.


anotherscapegoat December 4, 2017 at 7:31 pm

I can really relate. It’s so painful. Why does it have to be this way?! 🙁


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.


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!


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.


karen dadd September 25, 2017 at 9:10 am



Cassandra December 22, 2017 at 1:14 am

I’m 23 years old and have began to push my mother out of my life and after reading your story i can say im not the only one. Unfortunately i am the scapegoat between my 2 brothers (im the only girl) and i can no longer tolerate her manipulative abusive behavior. The oldest is the golden child and the youngest is the invisible one and they both mean everything to me but since i have pushed my mother away they also have began pushing away from me. No longer do they call or speak to me as much but when i do see them we get along so well but as soon as my mother walks into the room both siblings give me the cold shoulder as if im no longer in the room. Recently my mother and soon after my siblings have cut my grandmother out of there life but i have refused to cut my nanny out of my life, because of that it has caused a huge rift between my family and I.The arguments, isolation, glares have increased and as far as being called a traitor. i just couldnt take it anymore so i blocked it out and i completely ignore it now for example when i walk into my aunts house and my mother is there she will begin to order me around or start an argument so i excuse myself from the family and leave knowing this upsets her she screams and yells after me for a reaction (before i would always give in). I think ignoring and spending the majority of my time with friends, other family and boyfriend have helped calm my nerves and give me a piece of mind but by doing this i feel like it has made things a lot worse between my mother and siblings. I walked into my job the other day and my supervisor pulled me to the side saying my mom came to my job wanting to speak with him about the personal issues i was having with her and that there was something deeply wrong with me, luckily my supervisor told her that doesnt concern him and she should take it up with me and that I was a great person in and out of work. She could have jeopardized my job easily.


Sonia July 23, 2018 at 1:26 am

“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.”

When you said this, you described my mother and resulting family dynamic exactly. It’s been that way for years. My role is that of scapegoat. My middle sister, the golden child, and the youngest is the invisible one. My father is the most sympathetic toward me, but his fear of dealing with my mother (who, my sisters and I also agree has other psychiatric issues stemming from trauma) should she detect any relationship with me that did not directly involve her prevents him from having any kind of deeper relationship with me. He does not have the emotional fortitude to stand up to her. As a teenager, this decimated me emotionally as he did not protect me from her abuse. As an adult, it saddens me, but I have had years of learning how to cope with that. My siblings will throw me under the bus in order to curry favor with her in a heartbeat, and unfortunately, I have also engaged in this behavior. I recognize this and also understand why I have done it. We all want what little bits of “love” and acceptance we can get from our NM. This dynamic has all but destroyed my relationship with my golden child sister. We’ve managed to play nice at holidays so far, but the truth is, I am very resentful of my NM for quite openly perpetuating this dynamic and even more resentful that my sister will do absolutely anything to maintain her position, bully others, lie, seek negative attention, whatever.

My intention now is to pull myself out of the game. No more listening to NM’s complaints about others and doing the sick dance of triangulation to win her love. I have found that the thing that makes me feel the best but also terrifies/angers them the most–is when I demonstrate no dependence on them for anything. Whenever I pull away because I need a break from the madness, the madness intensifies. Trying to find a way to balance things better. I keep telling myself to act authentically, expect nothing, and refuse to engage in trash talk. I think it’s a good start.


Artist Survivor September 26, 2018 at 1:51 pm

“They just don’t dare.” Those words resonated with me. I, too, am grieving the loss of my entire family of origin. It’s horrible. It’s worse than had they all died in a plane crash…because, they’re still alive, but they despise me and don’t ever want to see or talk to me again. I’m not perfect. Far from it. But, I’ve never done anything to them to deserve being cut out of their lives completely. I’ve been told by the people who know me best (my husband of 31 years, my best friend of 41 years, and my daughter) have all told me that I’m a good person. But, I “dared” to go no contact with my malignant narcissist golden child older brother and enforce strict boundaries with my narcissist borderline mother. That’s all I did. That was my sin. And, they both systematically turned the rest of the family against me. Mom had been laying the ground work for this since we were small children by pitting us against each other at every turn. I’m sure she was talking crap about me to them just as much as she was talking crap about them to me for our whole lives. So, it was probably easy to convince them all that I’m insane and sadly I won’t get the help that I need and that she had no choice but to protect herself from me. Wham, Bam, Thank you mam. I’m the villain. She’s the victim. Easy peasy. But, I suspect that, deep down, they know who she is and what she is. And, they dare not cross her or they’ll end up like me.


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


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.


heidi selig October 24, 2017 at 10:51 am

yes…yes… yes, so sorry it happened to you too, but so glad for your sharing…thank you.


Margot March 28, 2018 at 11:42 pm

….Gaslighting is a huge part of a narcissists tactics, to make you feel ‘crazy’ & to belttle you into submission


Darlene Gost August 31, 2018 at 8:48 pm

Yes it’s very painful to go through this mind boggling dynamic with out lien family members. Your suggestions are exactly where I’m at now! It’s unfortunate others don’t understand how this affects our psyche in our adult years. This all began when my parents both become ill. My mother pitted her children against each other and it’s apparent, weak minded individuals believe whatever they hear to justify how they truly feel about us. I’m done with all the chaos and lies and manipulation.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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…..


Juliana October 2, 2018 at 1:13 pm

Hi Lynn, It was never your fault. Your narc mom set it all up that way. She triangulated all of the siblings against each other. She talked badly behind your back and lied about you all to get your siblings to not only turn against you, but to cause all of you to fight each other for her love and validation. Narcs get a HUGE feeling of power from getting siblings to fight for their love, it makes them feel so powerful. All they care about is getting a rush for their ego trip and they don’t care one single bit about the psychological devastation they cause and ruining the relationships between siblings. They are truly sick people to treat their own children like this. THESE NARCS are all to blame for this, not you. You did nothing wrong as a child to cause any of this and you didn’t deserve it.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


julia October 26, 2017 at 2:02 am

My wife and I took my narcissistic Mom to the emergency room & stayed with her for 9 1/2 hrs., & I stayed overnight with her to be sure she was safe. In the morning, when I suggested we follow the recommendations of the ER Dr., she screamed at us both, made bizarre false accusations, and we finally had to leave.
She had a friend drive 2 hrs. to drive her 2 blocks to the hosp. and told her not to tell myself or my bro. she was there. I found out from my cousin who lives an hr. away who had heard it 2nd or 3rd hand. This is the type of emotionally abusive b.s. she has been subjecting us to for the 24 yrs. my wife and I have been together. I cannot stand it, or her rants, anymore. I have let her ruin our lives and my health.
She ruined my brother’s formal wedding, does petty and mean things to his wife, and makes him her emotional husband. She told him she changed her will and to disregard me and anything I say. All this is meant to pit us against one another.
I recently warned him to not wake up and find himself 53 yrs. old and absolutely miserable because of the affect his mother’s mind games have on his marriage and his health. He has asked his wife to come with him to care for her even tho they live far away. She agreed but said she didnt want to be left alone with her. They are going to let her ruin their lives, too. This makes me emotionally and physically ill to even contemplate.


Dionna November 7, 2017 at 9:51 am

I have the same issue, my mom has always pinned us against one another. My oldest sister hated me growing up because, she feels my mom put me on a pedestal. I don’t see that, but she does, and abused me growing up. Later on she told me she felt that way growing.. because she felt my mom treated me better.. My mom also abused drugs, and often left us alone as young children. Leaving my sister who is 3 yrs older to than me to take care of me, and now she resents me for that. She always talks about us to the other siblings. Causing unnecessary riffs between us. She is also always making us feel like we have to take care of her. Mind you we all have children and families to take care of on our own, and often calls us to discipline our younger siblings , well my older sister still does, I don’t , I have my own children to raise, and I see that it was causing a problem, there are 5 of us in total. Which drives a wedge between us, because no one wants to be told what to do by a sibling, you look for you parents to do that. I try to avoid contact with my mom , but it awkward because she watches my daughter for me , as she runs a daycare from home, and some times we can get along and be cordial. But most times its issues. Its been this way for a while. if YOU DONT GO ALONG WITH HER, ITS HELL TO PAY.


Scapegoat1 November 14, 2017 at 11:54 am

I am the youngest of 3. Older sister and Older brother. My oldest sister claims I’m the golden child and she is the scapegoat. My mother triangulates my older sister and myself. My brother is the middle child, most loved by my mother, yet invisible, or perhaps she loves him enough not to subject him to her abuse? In any event, it is mainly between my sister and myself. My sister was in constant trouble as a teen, my mother would cry and cry. I tried my best not to do anything that would upset her as my sister did, I couldn’t bare to see her cry. So, unknowingly to me, I set myself up to appear to be the golden child. I was really always the scapegoat. My mom would set me up to come to her defense and as I grew older, I never failed to do so. She was very good to tell me the horrid decisions my sister would make, how she would hurt her so much that she just might die right there for the sadness! Of course, she was also very good to make me feel sorry for my poor poor sister, the lifestyle that she had, never had any money, lived off the government, my poor poor sad sack sister. She always inferred that I was somehow responsible for her, financially and because of her bad decisions. Looking back it was very confusing. Was I supposed to be upset with her because she wasn’t responsible with decisions, or, should I take responsibility for her? I always worked for all that I had, while my sister, perfectly able to work, chose to live off the government. The triangulation has caused a permanent disconnection between my sister and myself. She has no problem telling me how much she hates me. I have never ever said the same to her. My sister has continued the triangulation with her children and other family members. My sister is firmly convinced that I am a narc. It’s made me question myself because it’s hard to understand why your family hates you so much. I finally decided… wait… I don’t have these problems with other people? Just my family. I was silence for so many years about the hate my family had for me. It had to be me, right? I have finally broken the silence and have much support with friends, church family and coworkers. I finally realized that the whole family hated me, yet they would run to me with family issues? I would take up the cause and champion for them, and they would run back to their corners, leaving me to battle alone? Once I finally got that, I decided it was time to love at a distance. I had to walk away from all of them. Still keep contact with mother and father though. Sure, I’ve shed many tears, prayed for true reconciliation, analyzed and prayed some more.
To what end? I don’t think it will ever change.
God bless anyone that has been alienated and hated this much by your family. It is unimaginable if you have a ‘normal’ family. My children tell me, Mom, you have a great family right here that loves you. May the cycle be broken! Amen!


Ashley Zimmerman November 21, 2017 at 8:03 pm

I have dealt with a narcissistic mom all my life, but it didnt get bad til my parents divorced! My Mom and dad have made my younger brother their golden child! Its only us 2 kids !! Ive been with my husband 14 years and never been on any trips or had a relationship with my mom since then! But my 8 year younger brother gets a gf and my mom replaces me with her, she even gave her a job when she could have gave it to her own kid, me! She treats my brother and his now wife as her kids , shes even admitted shes closer with his wife, his wife just got breast implants so shes just like her, the only time she writes me or talks to me is to make plans for thanksgiving or Christmas! But for 12 years ive had to watch while my brother and his wife get all Alabama football and basketball tickets, but when i ask , she says she doesnt get them anymore, but its funny, cuz the company that gives them to her tells me she still gets all of them! On her facebook page there is 1 pic of me and its from 20 years ago, im 35! But on her facebook is filled with pics of her and them , And i have to watch her go to the condo in destin florida she also claims she doesn’t get, but its her and my brother and his wife and moms new hubby, they go 2 times a year or more every year! And trips to vegas, new york and chicago! Theres alot more, but someone please tell me what to do! Im losing my mind , my mom is very narcissistic, appearance is everything, but i wonder why nobody i know on her facebook wonders where is your real daughter?? Im losing my mind always crying because i dont ever feel good enough! My self esteem is zero at this point! Because of her! Need advice, should i just cut them out of life or keep trying to get her to care? Or will there ever be a time when she will care!??? I feel anger and want to get back at them, but i realize she would probably just laugh in my face! She doesnt love me! But you have to love your child some, you birthed them! Right???? Help please!!!!


Vitalia March 27, 2018 at 1:48 am

Sorry Ashley I am in the same predicament as you, i don’t believe my mom loves me. But the more I think about it the more I realize she doesn’t love anybody and never did, it was all fake acting. Narcissistic moms are not capable of love and would never feel love even if you were the most perfect daughter. Just caused she gave birth to you and shares your DNA does not automatically mean that she will love you. Its a reflection of her not you. DO NOT assess your self-worth based on her treatment of you.

Do not get even, do not try and make her love you because you will fail on both fronts. She just is not capable of love. Walk away and find friends and partner that love you. her opinion does not matter. Good luck


Artist Survivor September 26, 2018 at 3:11 pm

I noticed that you are from Alabama. I am too. I’ve lived in Prattville since 1973. I’m in my fifties. Your story resonated with me because my mother replaced me with my older brother’s girlfriend five years ago…I think because I set some boundaries with her. Basically, I dared to hell her “no”. She had congestive heart failure and had 5 stints placed in her heart. She couldn’t live by herself for 6-8 weeks after the surgery. Since I’m the only local family member who doesn’t work, I offered for her to move in with my husband and I so I could take care of her. She wanted us to move into her house and take care of her. I couldn’t do that. First, I’m disabled myself and I couldn’t take care of her and two houses. Second, my husband didn’t want to do that and he is my first priority. Third, my narcissistic golden child older brother would have been over at her house every day ordering me around and criticizing everything I did. I absolutely wasn’t going to subject myself to that. So, I said “no”. She immediately replaced me with his girlfriend. I mean, she tossed me away as though I was a piece of trash or something. The hurt I felt was beyond the pale. I had to get therapy to get through it. So, I can certainly relate to how you feel. It’s horrible to realize that our own mothers don’t love us…and maybe never did. Hang in there. I try not to give advice on blogs because I’m not qualified. But, I will say that I haven’t had any contact with my mother or older brother in nearly 4 years and despite losing my entire family of origin, I’m a happier, healthier person. Like you, I have a new family now and they love me unconditionally. That’s the gist of it.


Ashley Zimmerman November 21, 2017 at 8:09 pm

Oh yeah and she gave my brother our childhood home, she said she was gonna sale it and give me $10,000.00 from sale, but gave it to my brother! My brother was already buying a house and i was trying to move back to Tuscaloosa but i was never considered!


Linda November 26, 2017 at 1:35 am

There are so many different angles these narcissistic people use. I have noticed the husbands usually die before their time. I know mine father did. Having a large family
it seems more difficult to name the players. I feel their are several scapegoats, one golden and one lost. I definitely identify with this group. I have noticed that upon first hearing of the narcissist parent, my person began to feel guilt for looking for a solution
for my pain. Pain garnered from a life of narcissistic familiar abuse. It is my hope that we all continue to grow and learn how to heal.


Artist Survivor September 26, 2018 at 4:21 pm

Agree about the husbands. My father was a classic codependent with my narc mother. She sucked him dry. At some point, he ceased to be a person. He was just an extension of her. It was so sad. One morning in 1996, he got out of bed, got dressed, walked out the back door, sat down Indian style against the house, put a pistol in his mouth and pulled the trigger. I think he just reached a point where he couldn’t stand it anymore. He couldn’t bare to live with her anyone. But, he didn’t know how to live without her. It still breaks my heart to think about it.


Ali November 28, 2017 at 7:45 pm

I am according to this post the Golden Child. It is no picnic to choose to love your mother unconditionally even when you know she was not an effective parent but claims “she did the best she could.” What I cannot tolerate from this post is all the blame and victim rationalizing I am hearing here. It’s all pointless.

As a golden child I was and still am tormented by the lack of love from my older brother and sister whom feel because I was the favourite I am to be shunned. I have heavily spoken out against the narcissism both my brother C and sister G have hurled toward me in my life only to be told I am the harassing one.

That is such bull. As long as people buy into the label psychologists are putting out their “scapegoat” “golden child” etc there will remain dysfunction.

As the golden child I have more issues with my mother than either of my siblings because I see her all the time. I am now going to enter into counselling because I can no longer deal with my mothers total lack of empathy for anyone other than her husband and herself.

N women should not have children. My mother is 83 and is so vain that she doesn’t comprehend my her hair is thinning.

Today I asked why she has never shared one thought or feeling about herself with anyone. It’s because of her vanity.

So for those of you who aren’t golden children, consider yourself lucky. Golden children are often responsible for their mothers emotional well being, sacrifice relationships out of respect for the mother. It is a silenced voice that no one here’s.

My sister cut me out of her life when I was 14 I never knew why, 40 years later she cannot understand why I am angry that she shows me no love. She considers herself scapegoated. My brother was always jealous of me, I treated him very well until his jealousy became so intolerable that I would not take it anymore and lashed back.

They both initiated no contact, not my idea of adult behaviour but you no contact people seem very good at narcissistically cutting people off. So good for you. Don’t forget those you left behind or your part in the dance.

In summation as a golden child and believer in growing up and getting on with life I find this blame game futile.

Tomorrow, however and a big however I will see a psychologist because I see that not only is my mother suffering from dementia now she is also killing my soul.

She won’t attend therapy because Christmas lights and lunch at restaurants is more important currently so I will go it alone.

Please stop all the titling i.e. golden child, scapegoat. It solves nothing. Let go of the name calling and start talking.

At the same time if you are truly being not loved in a comfortable way then I suggest you do move on. My sister and brother have born me nothing but jealousy, trying to reach out to these people does not work. I have even had the police called on me for harassment.

Thats what reaching out gets you so do be careful those scapegoats can be fairly malicious when they think they are right.


Janet December 10, 2017 at 3:34 am

I wasn’t going to respond to your post. But, yours is the typical reaction of a GC when the scapegoated sibling enacts No Contact. You know you were the “favorite child” over your siblings but don’t go into details of how you were favored. Obviously, you know your mother showed you more positive attention than the others. This didn’t bother you? You had a choice. But went with the flow because you benefited.

Your mother is old now and you have the responsibility. But, that’s exactly how she designed it. She preferred you and now you have to take the bad with All that good you got and don’t like it too much.

I am the family scapegoat. And, Yes, I will use the term because that’s exactly what it is. Don’t like being ” not loved in a comfortable way” ? What Love? The narcissist isn’t capable of love, not for the GC or the scapegoat. But, being the scapegoat means being the recipient of emotional, verbal, psychological and, yes, physical abuse since childhood. That’s not being loved in a “comfortable way”.

Since you’re NM is very old right now and ailing, you seem to have an “epiphany”. But you still blame the scapegoat siblings. Don’t you think that’s why they don’t want any part of this? It’s Dysfunctional!

Why were you reaching out? So, they could take on the responsibilities of your mother? I was NC when my family was calling me to take care of my ailing mother. No Way! Am I cold and heartless? Hardly! It’s called self-preservation and cutting off my abuser and her flying monkeys. Most of us scapegoats have CPTSD as adults and fully aware of what the GC/ NM dynamics are. Going back, in any way, only opens us to more abuse because that how the family functioned since its conception.

“so do be careful those scapegoats can be fairly malicious when they think they are right.” Typical N shame/blaming/labeling. They’re not jealous of you. You have a long way to go before you understand. But, from that last comment alone, which is a smearing, character assassination of your siblings and ALL scapegoats ( a classic trait of all narcissists) I highly doubt you ever will.


AnotherOne February 21, 2018 at 6:47 pm

@Ali, That is one thing I agree with about talking. I think the golden child, scapegoat, ignored one, can shift throughout life. How sad that everyone has to but cut off from one another. I do agree with the psychological mumbo jumbo of pat answers.
My sister is now taking over in my mother’s life making sure I am removed from the scene. That is how she came into the world, and that is how she is going out.
She is ice cold. Can’t do a thing about it. I tried. She cares about herself & making sure she has mom all to herself. Sick.
I agree with your strategy.. until people start talking & quit pointing fingers nothing changes.


CC scapegoat March 12, 2018 at 9:11 am

Ali, I understand your pain. The golden child is the victim of conditional love, too. But while you at least felt SOMETHING in return from your mom – the scapegoat got nothing but ridicule and blame. What my sibling golden child is beginning to see is that she wasn’t better or any more loved than the rest of us – she just met the narcissistic, pathetic needs of a woman with an empty soul. We were all manipulated and damaged each in our own special way.
There is no talking it out in our family. You see, mom molded most of her daughters in her own image. One of my siblings would just love to be close to me – if only I; would apologize to her for all the horrible things she did to me. No thanks.


Linda May 20, 2018 at 6:46 pm

I don’t think you are or were the Golden Child, sounds like the whole family’s scapegoat.


Pippa December 9, 2017 at 7:15 am

After my NM passed, my youngest sister (60) previously the lost child, has taken on the role of NM. Out of the blue, she wants unconditional ‘loyalty’…either you are for or against her, can’t be questioned on anything, a complete control freak. Also doesn’t want to talk on a regular basis with me, said outright I am not one of her priorities. We live 6000 miles away from each other. When I suggested we set up phone dates (because we keep missing each other on the phone), she said she didn’t want to feel obligated to talk to me at a set time. So now I feel like going NC with her.


suzie December 11, 2017 at 9:14 am

Perhaps your sister is trying to form boundaries to protect herself now that your NM has passed. Boundaries are not allowed in a family with a NM. She is the lost child, which is a person who suffered greatly. What role did you have? Were you the golden child? Were you the scapegoat (always criticized, never acknowledged)? She may be afraid of you, and feels that you are an extension of NM? Less pressure, and more kindness, less judgement, more acceptance. Think that way and see what comes of it. But remember if you are golden child, you won’t really relate to what i just said. You are probably morphing into NM yourself, like most golden children do. I hope you aren’t, but just being honest.


Scapegoat1 December 18, 2017 at 7:13 am

I was adopted by my narc mother when I was nine years old. She is part of my biological family and has been married to her husband (my now father) for twenty years. She adopted my brother (13) and I at the same time and adopted her nephew (9) a couple years later. She has two biological children as well. One is 14 (golden child) and one is 9. I have six more months before I am able to move out but I do not know how much longer I am going to be able to deal with it. My father knows that she treats me horrible and recognizes that I am the scapegoat and is always there to support me. He is only still with my mother because he does not want to leave my other siblings to her because he knows that when I leave she will only choose another one of them to blame for her problems. She takes the golden child everywhere she wants, lets her talk back, turns her against the rest of us, turns her against my father, and always tries to make her the center of attention. The golden child thinks that I am the one causing all the trouble because mom has made her oblivious. She makes me and my brother share a room (the golden child gets her own) and the other day the youngest daughter was in our room talking. My mom call her out of the room and tells her that she does not want her talking to me or my brother. She told her she had to stay out of my room and was only allowed to talk to her or the golden child. My dad assures me that she will get what she deserves in the end but I can’t deal with it much longer. I leave in 6 months (planning to enlist in the Air Force) but I do not want my brother will become scapegoat2 and I know my dad will keep having to deal with her. I never had a good relationship with a mother because I was taken from my biological mom and I just wish she would change. She is always jealous because I don’t bow down to her and kiss her butt and is also jealous of my relationship with my dad. I do not know why I am the target child because I get all a’s and do not get in trouble.


loulu December 20, 2017 at 6:30 pm

Been there.. done that… im the scapegoat.. black sheep if you will.. when Mom didn’t like one of us.. she would become allies with me to create ill feelings towards that sibling she was upset with.. most of the time however i am the one she hates the most.. i spoke out more than anyone and defended myself and siblings from her physical, verbal and mental abuse.
she made our youngest sibling, her pet..her (minime) she has alienated myself and my adult children. who don’t want anything to do with her as she tried to pit them against me,by excluding me in family events and only wanting my children. She would not only bad mouth me behind my back, but would direct the foul words and opinions on to my hhildren. I taught. t them to never speak out of turn or to disrespect their elders and this left them helpless and defenseless against the insults and ridicule against me their own mother..Now sadly in their adult lives they don’t want her in anything pertaining to their lives unless I am involved or included. (Not by my instruction of influences) They are reminded to respect their grandma .. and still they refuse and I can and will not force a relationship..but by their experiences as retold in their own voices. being helpless as a child being told horrible stories and lies about their mother..has made them leary and distrustful of her.many times she stated she wished to punish me for things from my rebellious abusive childhood. I reported her to children services many times and was punished physically and humililated in school when she showed up with dirty laundry and dumped it in front of the class during recess break.yelling because i did not do my chores…now its Christmas time and there is conflict and separation in my family. guilt for being with my children and not with my aging mother.


Cassandra December 22, 2017 at 2:04 am

I’m 23 years old and have began to push my mother out of my life and after reading your story i can say im the only one. Unfortunately i am the scapegoat between my 2 brothers (im the only girl) and i can no longer tolerate her manipulative abusive behavior. The oldest is the golden child and the youngest is the invisible one and they both mean everything to me but since i have pushed my mother away they also have began pushing away from me. No longer do they call or speak to me as much but when i do see them we get along so well but as soon as my mother walks into the room both siblings give me the cold shoulder as if im no longer in the room. Recently my mother and soon after my siblings have cut my grandmother out of there life but i have refused to cut my nanny out of my life, because of that it has caused a huge rift between my family and I.The arguments, isolation, glares have increased and as far as being called a traitor. i just couldnt take it anymore so i blocked it out and i completely ignore it now for example when i walk into my aunts house and my mother is there she will begin to order me around or start an argument so i excuse myself from the family and leave knowing this upsets her she screams and yells after me for a reaction (before i would always give in). I think ignoring and spending the majority of my time with friends, other family and boyfriend have helped calm my nerves and give me a piece of mind but by doing this i feel like it has made things a lot worse between my mother and siblings. I walked into my job the other day and my supervisor pulled me to the side saying my mom came to my job wanting to speak with him about the personal issues i was having with her and that there was something deeply wrong with me, luckily my supervisor told her that doesnt concern him and she should take it up with me and that I was a great person in and out of work. She could have jeopardized my job easily.


Sophya December 23, 2017 at 2:07 pm

I would like to mention that sometimes, the father can be the one who creates the rivalry. Well, I wasn’t a rival, but my older sister always saw me as one.


Shattered January 16, 2018 at 6:35 am

I have been abused, lied about, belittled, things threw at me, being told at 7 yrs old “you’ll be the reason my soul goes to hell” etc. Had a 1/2 brother 5 yrs older & sister 4 yrs younger. HAD to watch over the yrs my BROTHER beat unmerciful by my DAD, my mother instigated alot of them. Remember grabbing my Dad’s arm from behind when had my brother on floor & Dad turned around & beat me black & blue with leather belt while Mom watched. My Dad beat me ever more because I couldn’t stand up after wrapping belt around my legs & yanking my legs out from under me. Needless to say my brother could get away when he was lil older, ran off from home to my aunt’s. Brother joined military to get away. In the middle of this my ‘golden child” sister could do NO WRONG! At 13 I had major stomach surgery & cussed out by my mom for asking doctor to come home. Come to find out YRS LATER they had insurance paid for hospitalized days. After home 3 days my sister yanked pillow out from under head & ripped STITCHES. Nothing done to her! Remember being beat with water hose pieces as my mother watched, belt buckles etc. My mother has told PPL ‘I WAS ONLY TROUBLE”!! Looking back over my life at 60 yrs old I realize NOW the reason I tolerated abusive men & from my Mom,& Dad as long as I did was because that’s ALL I HAVE EVER KNOWN IS ABUSE 1 WAY OR OTHER except from my brother! I left home at 17 yo get AWAY as BROTHER in military! Mom is dying with cancer & STILL is lying about me, sister is on pedestal as the GOLDEN CHILD ! I LOST MY BROTHER at 55 from lung casncer & was his caregiver. 27 days later lost my Dad. Didn’t shed a tear when Dad died as knew he couldn’t beat me anymore or call me IGNORANT (growing up begin to think IGNORANT WAS MY NAME). My Dad actually knocked me down on cement carport at 32 yrs old over my Mom’s lying! “GOLDEN CHILD ” called & went to BROTHER’S EMOLOYER DEMANDING HER PART IF LIFE INS LESS THAN 7 HRS AFTER HE PASSED AWAY! HE LEFT HER NOTHING!! I HAVE tried MY ENTIRE LIFE to BE GOOD ENOUGH & MEASURE UP, TO BE LOVED & I’M DONE!! MY 2 ADULT CHILDREN 32 YR old son & 23 YR OLD DAUGHTER despises my Mom & did my Dad as well for the abuse to me as have seen it!! My older son 34 yrs old stays in good graces as turned on me & his siblings in order to HOPE HE inherits something as my Mom has $!! MY SISTER WILL GET ALL! TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AS I HAVE LEARNED TO LATE AT ALMOST 61 NO MATTER HOW HARD OR LONG YOU TRY *YOU NEVER MEASURE UP OR BE GOOD ENOUGH IN A “NARCCISTIC RELATIONSHIP!* GOD BLESS!


Shattered January 16, 2018 at 6:56 am

I have been abused, lied about, belittled, things threw at me, being told at 7 yrs old “you’ll be the reason my soul goes to hell” etc. Had a 1/2 brother 5 yrs older & sister 4 yrs younger. HAD to watch over the yrs my BROTHER beat unmerciful by my DAD, my mother instigated alot of them. Remember grabbing my Dad’s arm from behind when had my brother on floor & Dad turned around & beat me black & blue with leather belt while Mom watched. My Dad beat me ever more because I couldn’t stand up after wrapping belt around my legs & yanking my legs out from under me. Needless to say my brother could get away when he was lil older, ran off from home to my aunt’s. Brother joined military to get away. In the middle of this my ‘golden child” sister could do NO WRONG! At 13 I had major stomach surgery & cussed out by my mom for asking doctor to come home. Come to find out YRS LATER they had insurance paid for hospitalized days. After home 3 days my sister yanked pillow out from under head & ripped STITCHES. Nothing done to her! Remember being beat with water hose pieces as my mother watched, belt buckles etc. My mother has told PPL ‘I WAS ONLY TROUBLE”!! Looking back over my life at 60 yrs old I realize NOW the reason I tolerated abusive men & from my Mom,& Dad as long as I did was because that’s ALL I HAVE EVER KNOWN IS ABUSE 1 WAY OR OTHER except from my brother! I left home at 17 to get AWAY as BROTHER in military! Mom is dying with cancer & STILL is lying about me, sister is on pedestal as the GOLDEN CHILD ! I LOST MY BROTHER at 55 from lung cancer & was his caregiver. 27 days later lost my Dad. Didn’t shed a tear when Dad died as knew he couldn’t beat me anymore or call me IGNORANT (growing up begin to think IGNORANT WAS MY NAME). My Dad actually knocked me down on cement carport at 32 yrs old over my Mom’s lying! “GOLDEN CHILD ” called & went to BROTHER’S EMPLOYER DEMANDING HER PART OF LIFE INS LESS THAN 7 HRS AFTER HE PASSED AWAY! HE LEFT HER NOTHING!! I HAVE TRIED MY ENTIRE LIFE to BE GOOD ENOUGH & MEASURE UP, TO BE LOVED & I’M DONE!! MY 2 ADULT CHILDREN 32 YR old son & 23 YR OLD DAUGHTER despises my Mom & did my Dad as well for the abuse to me as have seen it!! My older son 34 yrs old stays in good graces with Mom as turned on me & his siblings in order to HOPE HE INHERITS something as my Mom has $!! MY SISTER WILL GET ALL! TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AS I HAVE LEARNED TO LATE AT ALMOST 61 NO MATTER HOW HARD OR LONG YOU TRY *YOU NEVER MEASURE UP OR BE GOOD ENOUGH IN A “NARCCISTIC RELATIONSHIP!* GOD BLESS!


Molly February 2, 2018 at 1:39 pm

Michelle, I have a question. My mother got divorced when I was 5. My sister was the hero child, my older brother and I were both lost children and neglected-unseen. When my bother was older he became a drug addict/scapegoat. After I got married my mother started behaving ugly to me. In a super covert way. I think in part, because as I got to know my husband’s(warm and with boundaries) family I realized how dysfunctional my mom is and wouldn’t comply anymore. Anyway, I would try to talk to my sister about the neglect and abuse, but she didn’t experience what I did. She is 8 years older than me and I think my mother functioned much better when she was married. For years my sister unknowingly gas-lighted me by telling me my mother loves me and made excuses for my mother. I felt crazy! I decided to quit talking to my sister about my mother. Do you think that is the right thing to do? I know my mother tries to divide us. For example, my mom will tell my sister how fortunate I am, and then tell me my sister is jealous of me. I don’t tell my sister what my mom says because my sister feels loved by my mom. I also heard that there can be no intimacy with triangulation. My sister gives me a hard time about my limited contact with my mom. What do you think?


Scapegoat1 February 21, 2018 at 1:59 pm

I dealt with the same issues, and still am. My sister thinks my mother is loves me very much and does a lot for me in reality she does not like me at all (she told me she did not love me or care about me two days ago). If you want to know a little more about my story I wrote it earlier in here ( I am the Scapegoat1 that was adopted). The main thing to keep in mind is that your sister is blinded by your mother. Since your sister was the golden child she has never experienced what your mom put you and your brother through so she will not understand. I have noticed in my own situation that there is no way to change what my sister thinks because she can’t relate and her mother has really, really, blinded her to her negativity.


Trish March 3, 2018 at 8:02 am

My family is a mixture of both parents having narcissist traits. I have 3 sisters. The oldest was the scapegoat and my youngest sister is the golden child and so are her children and grandchildren. I was the invisible child. My other sister became a full blown narc at a very young age. My abuse came from every member in one form or another from everyone except my scapegoat sister. My narcissist sister has abused me incessantly all my life. When I hit puberty before her she would poke at my breasts and say Eww. I was 12 years old and it made me feel bad about my body. My mother is bipolar and a hypochondriac. So if we stood up to her she would blame her mental illness and she always seeks attention through illness and her verbal attacks. My father is a lifetime military man and he was unemotional, physically abusive, and very black and white. My youngest sibling, the golden child was also physically abusive toward me and my sister’s. I was never allowed to embarrass my family. Especially in public. If I did, my mother would take me to the bathroom and beat me. Her terrifying threat all my life was “go to your room and wait for your father to come home”. As an adult I have vied for them to love me, be proud of me, and every time I just feel worse about myself. I have body image issues. I have been treated for depression all my adult life. I’m 47 years old now. I have hated being anything like my NM and when I find myself being like her, I beat myself up inside. I have a very hard time speaking my feelings and trusting anyone. I don’t even really know who I am because I have spent my life trying to please people who can not be pleased.
On an uplifting note. I have spoke to my children about what I have learned about my family and my greatest fear was that I was possibly a Narc mom. I did everything in my power to not be like my family when I was raising my children. I can say without any doubt that I have broke the cycle. My children are healthy and happy adults. They are my greatest accomplishments and I am so blessed to have them. I have a lot of work to do to help myself but knowledge is power and this article has helped emensly. My story will not end until I’m able to love myself unconditionally. God bless all of you. We can overcome our past!


Q March 4, 2018 at 8:31 pm

I am 17 years old and I’m in deep trouble. I’m literally living with a narcissist and a half (I don’t know if my father is truly one) with all three of my siblings with their own roles. The two youngest are the golden children/flying monkeys, me as a scapegoat, and my third oldest sister kind of that mix between flying monkey and lost child.

A few years ago my parents divorced because my mother cheated. The unfortunate thing is that social workers are involved in this (due to the number of police reports filed for noise and arguing late at night). I didn’t realize my mother is a narcissist until I found this video on Psych2Go that explained narcissistic parenting about a year and a half ago. I was so hooked to go more in-depth in having a better understanding of what it was all about, that’s when the two pieces clicked to me and my whole world started doing backflips. What kills me is that I just found out that there are even roles to narcissistic families just recently. I didn’t realize how much all this relates to what I’m dealing with. Like my mother is so hypocritical and shes said and done so much to hurt me, it affects my own health and my performance in school. The sad thing about all this is that I have no say so in anything since the social workers are around. I cant say anything negative about my family to the social workers because if I do then me and my siblings would more than likely go to foster care (the referee even threatened my family that we would be taken away at one point). I actually caused more trouble for my parents because they put me through therapy and the therapist reported something that was “uncalled for” and “false”. I don’t like hiding the truth that should be told but with my parents that would do everything in their power to keep my mouth shut and keep them from looking bad, I have no say so. Since then, I was scapegoated and was told that I betrayed my mother and I’m a huge liar. I will never forget the way my mother called me a bitch and how I don’t belong in the family because I look superior (I’m mixed with black and white but Im mostly white and everyone in my family is mostly black) and how my father said that it would be my fault that my siblings go to foster care and he has a mental breakdown because of me. I cannot let any of that go. I’m always the one to be blamed for the divorce and I actually feel relieved that I’m not alone in this endless void of confusion, pain, and grief.

My situation is this:
I want to leave. I want to leave my family behind. No contact and all, even though I’m not financially stable nor old enough to leave ( I even asked a couple of my friends if I could be able to stay with them when I do decide to leave and they accepted that including their parents). I refuse to wait another year until I’m 18 to leave. If I don’t leave, I might start tendencies I shouldn’t be starting. I know that the only way that I can leave is by telling the social worker about my parents’ true nature behind closed doors, however I know this would put me and my siblings at risk of going to foster care (I did research and asked people that went to foster care in my area about the experience and they all said that its really bad). I don’t want my siblings going to foster care but I also don’t want to leave my siblings to suffer the same way I have been. And I’m aware of the consequences of spilling the beans to the social worker. I would be talked down to by my parents, my parents might even get even physical with me and that narcissistic rage will explode onto me, they’ll spread lies about me to the public and ruin my reputation, etc. I’ll always be blamed for splitting the family apart, but it’s for my siblings’ and my own sake that I do this. And I also want the publics’ opinion on this. What should I do? Should I keep my mouth shut about my narcissistic parents or should I just confess? I have until April 10th to make my mind up when court day comes.

I appreciate all those who read what I have to say and thank you.

Until Then,


Mike Addison March 6, 2018 at 9:11 am

Wow! I’m in tears. Finally I have understanding…


D March 11, 2018 at 7:05 pm

To Q:
I was 17 once too. A long time ago. Micro-managed and badly abused. Parents were the narcissistic duo. Got pregnant and married in that order and went from frying pan to fire. My sibs and Mom are still alive and I will never live that history down. It’s caused me heaps of trouble. Trouble for my kids too. So I know how desperate you can get and you are in a bad spot.

BUT…this narcissism stuff never goes away and what I learned through the journey is that you cannot help anyone until and unless you help yourself first. Don’t jump ship just yet. Hang in there if you can and find someone at school who you can talk to confidentially. Keep learning. Films, you tube, books, support groups, friends are all fair game. Meditation is super important. That one skill will keep you detached from them and able to focus on you. You need to learn this family dynamic so well that you can remove yourself emotionally and spiritually. Not an easy thing when it’s in your face everyday, but vital if you are to understand it clearly and be able to be there for your sibs later. That is the real gift you can give them. Be there for them as you wanted your parents to be there for you.

You are a good soul, Q. Skip those “tendencies” you know you shouldn’t be starting. Your letter shows a lot of strength, some of which you have come to through this very trial. Once you are 18, you can fly. Start working on how you can do that independently right now.


Q March 13, 2018 at 4:39 pm


I appreciate your support and I’ll keep all that in mind. Thank you for your advice.


f Gragg March 20, 2018 at 11:24 am

I am sorry if my post becomes a book…
I have always been scapegoat, I believe my mom really can’t love anybody but herself, I chased for acknowledge from my mom for years, I have 2 brothers, my mom mainly worked on me and my older brother, we are 2 yrs. apart in age, while the youngest is 11 years younger than me, she doted the most her youngest, but stood my older brother so high, I could never be as good, she told me she never wanted me,she tried to abort me herself, she told me this when I was around 5 years old, and would tell me this up until I was in my 20s that is when i went No Contact close to 12 years now, I have only heard from her 2 times in 12 years, she never called,or came by to even ask why I stopped contact, I guess I expected her to miss me or something, my GC brother is NC too, the No Contact from both of us was when we both got married, my mom was just starting to try to turn our partners agaisnt each other, and his wife was hit the hardest because he was her Favorite, my mom Did horrible things, mainly was her lies, she would lie about Anything.
Growing up my mom never really was physcially abusive, but she NEVER said she loved me, there were no hugs,no kisses,no Words of encouragement. My mom has been married 4 times now, I do not know her currant husband, I imagine he has money, because that is something else my mom is capable of loving, in between husbands she had many boyfriends, all of which had money, or woild fix her house up, once the money is gone,so is the guy. My mom took vacations without me, but took my brothers, she moved me in with a stranger when I was 14, thank god the man she give me to was a good person, I lived with him for a few years and then went to live with a friend until I was 18, and could get a job and a place of my own, I did not finish school, let me add I was not the best child, and I guess my mom did what she thought was right, I would argue back with her, and call her out on her lies, I was a rebel, I am sure I was not pleasant.
Trying to stay in her family after adulthood, My mom never really called me,or come to visit me, I was the one who would visit her, our visits were good, mostly, we did talk when I stopped by, we had normal holidays, she always gave gifts…which she us quick to tell you, her defense is I always gave yall good christmas’s and good birthdays… which was true, other than after I was moved out, she has never told me Happy Birthday since I was 14. I probably talked to/seen my mom maybe 8 times a year, until I met the person I ended up married to, then we went to see my mom more often, at that time my GC brother started dating his wife… Let me add my GC brother lived with my mom until he was 28, she sent him to a good college, but he did not finish, (LONG story, but my mom made out like my brother finished college, only to find out my Mom pocketed his last semester tution, and his fees were not paid, so he could not finish) she built a wedge between me and my brother that even now Me and my brothers do not talk much, but I don’t blame him because there are things she done to him too, especially when he got married.
Looking back I am glad i was the scapegoat. My bother moved 2 houses down from her when he married, at this point was when my mom started on our wives… She really hated his wife, one christmas she got my wife LOTS of gifts, more than she give the grankids, and only give my brothers wife 1 thing, which upset both wives, at the time we didnt know my mom had issues as such. But beforehand my mom would tell my brothers wife that my wife was saying stuff about her… On my honeymoon, Yes while I was on my honeymoon, we get a phone call from my brother, asking why my wife was saying something about his girlfriend… I married first, and had her first grandchild, which she never really cared for, I asked my mom to watch my new baby 1 time, which she yelled ITS MY TIME NOW! So she has never spent anytime alone with ANY of her grandkids, not even the GCs kids, but to me and my wife she acted like she always had his kids…
There were cookouts that she had but did not invite me to, but acted like she did, there is so much I could add…
I have NEVER kept her from seeing or calling her grandkids, I have NEVER told her why I stopped seeing her, she has never asked, but she does claim to be a victim,whos sons left her, I have had people I don’t know to call me and tell me to call my mom on her birthday, my number has always been the same, I live on the same place I have since I went NC, my mom called me 1 time and asked me for my brothers number. My brother did try to talk to her, he was told she could not forgive his wife yet, my brother has taken this hard, because he did think his mom loved him, for me I do feel shame, and guilt that I don’t see her, it hurts, but I had to go NC for me, and my kids safety, in about a 4 year span my mom did horrible things mainly lies, she could lie about me,and made my brother mad, but then when she started on his wife, he finally seen the woman I always did…


Justme May 7, 2018 at 7:25 pm

My Mom and Dad got divorced when I was very young and I only had my brother as my sibling and when it was me, my brother, and my mom living together he was the golden child. Then I was a mix of the the forgotten child and the scapegoat. Every time there was a fight my mom always tried to make herself be the victim in her “game” So it was either me or my brother calling her out. When it was my brother calling her out I would support him and help him with his point. Then when I would call her out she would play the victim and try to make me feel guilty and bad for her and then I would stop but after a while that stopped working and then I would ignore her trying to guilt me cause that doesn’t excuse what she has done. But then my brother would be the rescuer and rescue her and then they would make me feel bad. I have never had a good relationship with my brother I used to think it was because of our age gap (which is nine years) but I have come to the conclusion that it was definitely not that. It was because of our mother. I have only figured this out recently because my mom told me when we were fighting that my brother thought that I was a brat. Now at the time I didn’t know if this was true or not mainly because of the fact that my mom lies a lot and the fact that me and my brother never had a good relationship and he also picked up the habit of lying plus we have always had a rivalry. That stemmed from the fact that we were always competing for my mother’s attention since we rarely got it. My brother told me that he never said to my mother that he thought I was a brat till this day I don’t know who lied to me. My brother lives with my dad and I still unfortunately live with my mom. But every time when I would go over there because I got in a fight with my mom and I couldn’t stand to stay there my brother used to say that “You need to stop being mean to Mom” or “ You need to just ignore her it is not that bad” But the second I tell him “Ok if it’s so easy than why don’t you stay with her for a month and I stay here for a month” he says “No I did my time already” One time he asked me “Have you had any tantrums lately” I was confused and asked him what he meant and he said he meant if I had fought with our mother lately. He saying just that makes me so angry and makes me want to cry because that is what he thought it was like. I just hate the fact that she has made it so hard for my brother to see what she is doing and that she has made him think like her there are times I sometimes see her in him and it honestly scares me cause I don’t want the same thing to happen to his kids that happened to us. It has come to a point where I am so tired and sick of fighting that I just hold all of it it in cause I really don’t want to fight I just want to have a normal relationship with my mother. But it never works and it always ends up in a big fight where I just let everything out and it always makes me think “What did I do? What did I do to deserve this? Why did I have to have a mother like her? Why couldn’t my stepmom be my real mom?” The one thought that always scares me is that I always end up thinking “This would be so much easier for everyone if I wasn’t alive or if I was never even born” Because then my brother wouldn’t have someone to have a rivalry, my dad wouldn’t have to worry all the time if I was getting along with my mom, and he wouldn’t have to deal with her anymore and he wouldn’t have to work so hard for me. That thought and the feeling that comes with it scares me so much because even though it would be easier for everyone the pain they would go through because of me I would never want them to go through. I just hope that someday me and my brother can be close and that I would be able to remember that even though everything I went through tore me apart and made me feel empty. I will able to rise up from it and leave it behind me and help other people. Because really all I want is to finally feel like I am good enough and I am worthy of love and that my opinion matters and that I deserve better than what I have gotten.


CYNTHIA STOKES May 20, 2018 at 6:47 pm

Wow… my life story. I recently was trying to “red pill” my brother (the golden child) who is almost 50 and fears adult conversation. He sees every conversation as something to be won or lost. (zero sum game). He shut down completely and I mourn that. I recently woke up to all that my mother was doing during the stress of my father’s recent death. I am realizing it will be me and her and there is no buffer. And my brother lives the closest but I can’t trust him to keep watch over her as a caregiver because he will never be wiling to move beyond being the one cared for.


Linda May 20, 2018 at 6:57 pm

I don’t think you are or were the Golden Child, sounds like the whole family’s scapegoat.


Kristy Evans May 29, 2018 at 4:33 pm

Hi my is Kristy I’m 35 years old growing up my mother took me and my siblings away from her family because she didn’t have a great relationship with them she didn’t want is to have one.As children me and my brother since we were the most close in age we shared birthdays together and we were pretty close.My mother and father has martial problems and separated from ten years of marriage.I was about 12 that was the worst day of my life my father leaving that all I had known.That is when things started to go down hill my mother messed with several different mean and I had multiple men in my life some that were violent to my mother and I witnessed the violence.As a kid I use to ask myself why would my mother leave my father to be with a man that beats her.That effected me as a little girl badly.Why would my mother ththen get with another man that didn’t like how I talked back or whatever and my mother made me leave the house at 16.Because the man she was with said I had to go fast forward me and my mother’s relationship is horrible she has never encouraged sibling unity.My brother and I are not close my sister we are not close the family is messed up.My mother when she speaks about my brother she will say my son


Mike June 27, 2018 at 1:37 pm

Here is what I have to share….
Mom who is 71 now, was married 3 times and in between those had other men lined up. My Birth father had left when I was 2 and my sister was 4. She remarried for another 5 years before he left.. I did not remember the first father at all and he had brought 3 other children into that. When I had asked what happened she only could say that he went crazy, made him out to be a monster etc…the second husband was what I could remember was a drinker and not a happy one at that after 5 years with that one she remarried again now I am 7 and he seemed alright, by then I could not really find myself to calling him Dad at 7 I knew and saw too much, after 7 years with him things were going off the rails and they split up, she dated and was going nuts on both my sister and I, She was like a child who was self medicating.. Not very good for a son who is 14 and a daughter at 16. My Sister and I had each other to lean on until she moved out based that this Narc mother was too much for her to handle. The step father #3 came back after 6 months and things were back to normal, or were they.. these two fought, argued, and made it difficult to be around. Both were very selfish and any children of theirs had to compete for any attention. From those years 12 to 19 my self esteem was low and I only knew I had to impress or go above and beyond to get any attention from anyone. At the age of 21 I got away after meeting someone who saw me for the person I am, I was out of state in another world from what I knew and even went to school to better myself etc… when things were looking up for both my wife and I Mom, Dad #3, and Sister had become pretty jealous which made my wife dislike them as she had never seen this kind of family. Mom had seen my sister getting jealous of us as my wife and I were joined at the hip and as her marriage was breaking. She used this to make her feel bad and then switch and badmouth my wife basically pinning us against each other to get her things. The more mom tried to break my wife and I up it just made our marriage stronger as we saw what was happening. Step father #3 died 11 years ago, before he past away he had taken both mom and sisters side, I knew then that after all of this I made the best choice to always stand by my wife and ignore these dysfunctional family members. Mom even pinned the rest of her family against me too, making them feel sorry for her so she would get attention, I am so sick of this behavior so after still being with my only wife for over 28 years I decided that at 50 I am going to go on living life to its fullest with out the games from basically people that will never change. My sister and I have not spoke for 11 years and mom and I have not spoke for 6 months now.


James September 3, 2018 at 11:12 pm

Thank you for the article and opportunity for an outlet, Michelle.

I am one of two NC siblings. I am 43, and both our lives are still deeply affected by our NM. Over the years, my sister and I traded places as GC and Scapegoat. It still happens today. I have finally exercised No Contact with NM, what is heartbreaking for me is, my sister is still playing into my NM’s hand, while still convinced that she is being autonomous. My sister and I just fought today, because I could not help her comprehend that if some of her decisions are impacted by NM’s wishes, she is not free from the NM. It is already causing a divide between us, and I fear she doesn’t see that as long as she confers with NM to our sibling decisions, it does not end well, as the NM sees our mutual cooperation as coordinated mutiny.

Looking back, this has been a constant – whenever my sister and I were close, or evident that we were in constant contact, NM would create situations to divide us, successfully, I might add. Four decades after my birth, and it’s still happening today.

Despite my enlightenment and frustrations, I cannot force this information onto my sister; she is strong willed, but when that energy is manipulated/misdirected by NM, it causes almost irreparable damage between us.

To those weighing the No Contact option vs an NM, if you are already considering it, I recommend you try it, save your sanity, and use the peace gained for introspection. One should approach a parent with fears of fighting, rejection, belittling, manipulation, and lying before even picking up the phone. This isn’t normal!!! Why did I put up with that for so long???

If the NM were a stranger or acquaintance that treated you thus, you wouldn’t hesitate to ghost them by No Contact. So what remains that tries to draw us back? A sense of duty, perhaps, or residual NM guilt that’s been reinforced for decades. That question is better answered after giving yourself the peace and quiet thought you deserve.

To everyone that has suffered NM abuse, I am sorry, I have lived your stories too in some form, over and over. My heart is heavy for you and you are not alone. In my mind, I have hugged all of you. Reach out to your support system, and talk it out. A lot. Get feedback, gauge if you are spiraling into a dark place. Don’t go there. NM’s want you there.

I hope one day my sister will finally denounce contact with our NM. Sis, if you happen to encounter this, it’s never about choosing between me or mom. I love you and you are always part of me. Deep down you know she’s pitting us against each other. Our incubator of an NM has been abusing us since birth; she can’t change, and if so, there will never be a relationship with her that won’t be fraught with distrust, lies, blame, and fear. It’s near impossible to separate what NM tell us about each other and us have a genuine relationship. “Egg” is not just sick, she is abusive, and never, ever understood that true love does not come with strings attached. Love you sis. Love yourself by freeing yourself of NM’s rhetoric, and to truly be free from it is No Contact. There is nothing redemptive about our birth mother. The abuse is unforgivable. If I don’t talk to you for a long stretch, it’s to protect both of us – on one hand so that our NM doesn’t mistreat you for talking to me, and on the other, so that I do not misplace my words to you due to an environment our NM created. Forgive me, so as long as you bend your ear to ma, it’s near impossible for us to communicate freely.

May all of the afflicted find your path to peace. I will think of you, especially when the going gets tough.


Nan September 8, 2018 at 6:42 pm

So comforting to know that I’m not alone. My step mother is a narcissist and I didn’t learn this until I was 48 years old. I am the scapegoat, when I go no contact, three of four siblings follow her lead. She pays their bills, owns their houses. What’s sad is they all have favorites amongst their own children, so the cycle will continue for them. I’m blessed to have been raised by a normal mother. All kids treated equally! I do wish I had learned about narcissism much earlier on in my life it would have spared me so much pain. The final words my narc step mother said to me….your father never trusted you or respected your decisions, ironic because he was my biggest mentor. She said this less than one months after his passing. These ppl are horrible ppl and my heart goes out to all of the scape goated children on this world.


Jennie September 12, 2018 at 1:21 am

All the you tube and online information has been very healing for me knowing I am not alone. It’s as if I had written it all myself. Seeing a therapist for the past few months to understand and be educated on narc mother and worse narcissist sister my whole life.
Being educated is the TRUTH. Not easy but the belief this stuff only happens to others is not reality. Better late than never learning.


Lee September 23, 2018 at 12:10 pm

I always use to say “we all get a turn” and it never stops. This article explains it very well.
The crazy making game that will drive you off your mind.

Naturally i am on the internet tonight, because something is happening AGAIN, and I need to just read and find a sentence to remind me that ït’s not me.

I am angry, because I was born healthy, no one has the right to take that from you, not even a parent – so you know what Mother (f- you) you sick b.

I know that is very bad language – but I need to get it out. At 44 I am still hurting, still being abused emotionally, I am tired so tired.

Thank you, the article clarifies so much.

Just get out, is the advice I have – run


Lu October 15, 2018 at 8:51 pm

I’m glad to find this site. I’ve 3 siblings. My mom had me at 16 and had to give up her salutatorian status in hs. I got little attention, loving or nurturing from my mom. I’m the only one who has had a successful business. I’ve never used drugs, no drinking issues, never in trouble with the police. My kids are doing well. My one sibling is a drug addict and my brother is in a mental institution. My sister the “Golden child” has such nepotism shown toward she and her kids, that it’s just accepted in the family.
My mom gave my sister half her property I just found out. There are so many secrets and lies amongst my mom and sister. It’s a true triangulation. My mom and my sister have always criticized and judged me. Yet my mom brags about my looks and success in business. My two sisters and her kids have borrowed so much money from my mom. I don’t borrow from anyone. My mom feels so sorry for my sisters, but not me. Neither have worked much, mostly living off welfare and my mom.
Mom had a stroke 8 yrs ago and is legally blind. I don’t want Any confrontations in her current condition. I’m 61 yrs old and all this nepotism still stings bad!
My mom defended my sister 10 yrs ago and beat me up in the front yard cursing at me, ” I’m so trying of trying to convince you I love you.” It’s all so toxic. There’s so much dissension between us. I don’t know what to do.


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