Narcissistic Mother, Lost Child, Scapegoat & Golden Child

by Michelle Piper

Two broad categories of narcissistic mothers are the engulfing narcissistic mother and the ignoring narcissistic mother.

When you are engulfed, you are often put in the golden child role or the scapegoated role.  When you are ignored you may be in the lost child role or, again, the scapegoated role.  Sometimes, the narcissistic mom will switch between the styles. Below is a brief description of both.

Engulfing narcissistic mother: Even though an engulfing mother pries into your business, never leaves you alone, and believes you are an extension of her, at least it can show she might care.

As for an ignoring narcissistic mother, she is the complete opposite.

Ignoring narcissistic mother: She shows no interest in you and makes it apparent you’re not loved by her. You were never paid attention to by her and although she was physically there, there was no sense of emotional attachment whatsoever.

In fact, it might have seemed she was even annoyed that you were around, jealous of you soaking up any attention she believed she deserved.

If your narcissistic mother was of the ignoring variety, chances are she didn’t pay much attention to you when you were younger.

You were forced to care for yourself and were in charge of your own grooming, bathing, eating, and clothing habits. As a child, that is a lot to handle, especially if you were never taught how to properly care for yourself.

She may not have payed attention to what was going on in your life. If you got good grades, it went unnoticed. If you won the spelling bee, scored the game winning goal in your soccer game, or sold the most cookies in girl scouts, she didn’t even blink in your direction.

If those accomplishments did not benefit her, she didn’t care. If it was not all about her, then forget about it.

It can be seen as both a blessing and a curse to have an ignoring narcissistic mother.

Though you are hurt by her inattention, her emotional or physical absence can feel like a welcome respite in contrast to the engulfing narcissistic mother who is demanding of you and always in your business.

If she ignores you, then you don’t have to worry as much about her trying to take over all aspects of your life.

Both types of narcissistic mother can be abusive emotionally, but at least if you decide to cut off contact with her, chances are she will let you go, which is often better for you in the long run.

Either extreme can be exhausting, emotionally damaging, and take a major psychological toll on you.

The thing that can drive anyone crazy is having a narcissistic mom who believes she is a great mother. In her mind, she is doing all the right things and makes you feel ungrateful for questioning her parenting.

In fact, she may even think that she is better than most moms at what she does and that it is your fault if things don’t go right in your life. In reality, she doesn’t even pretend to care about you and what you do.

Ignoring narcissistic mothers under-parent to the extent that there is no guidance, support, or attention provided. You are invisible to her, a lost child. She may not treat her other children this way though.

She may have her favorite, the golden child, and completely engulf him or her to the point that they become enmeshed and you are ignored. This can switch at any time. One day, she may not even know you exist, and the next she won’t leave you alone. It is confusing for you and your siblings to never know where any of you stand with her.

If you don’t give her an adequate amount of narcissistic supply, she may ignore you as a punishment, thus scapegoating you.

She may “forget” your birthday or “forget” to pick you up from school to get back at you.  You then may experience feeling the lost child role. Because her children are just objects to her, it is easy for her to dispose of her motherly duties and treat her children like old furniture.

There is a way to overcome this.

Set boundaries with her or establish a complete no contact policy. When you cut her out of your life, you open up the possibilities to healing the emotional wounds of having a narcissistic mother who did not care for you the way she should have. Be strong and firm with the boundaries you set and with time you can put a stop to the abuse.

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Roger January 11, 2013 at 11:16 am

I had an ignoring NM who left me in charge to completely care for myself. I had no idea that as I got older I had to shower more and after I played sports or anything like that. She never bought me new clothes. I had to pay for my own. If she did buy me clothes, they would be from a garage sale or a thrift store or something like that. If I wanted anything I was on my own to get it. That’s why I got my first job when I was 13 years old. I never understood this and thought it was kind of strange that I was the only one out of my friends who had to pay for everything myself. None of my other friends had to get jobs, their parents gave them money, allowances, etc. When I would go to my friends’ houses their parents would pay more attention to me than my own NM. I just thought that they were really nice and never put the pieces together that my mom was the exception, not the rule. Parents are supposed to treat their kids with love and kindness, not ignore them and leave them to fend for themselves. It has been truly eye opening to find this site and see that I’m not alone.


elizabeth February 8, 2013 at 2:27 am

My mother treated me as a scapegoat and ignored me… I use to hide under my bed and just fall asleep as a child. I could never do any good in her eyes. My sister was the golden child, right up to mother died 2 years ago. She would always spend over board amounts on her. Leather sofas, rent paid, power bills and food.I was lucky if she remembered my birthday.As a child the other children would make fun of my hygiene, as I had no idea as a young child. My best friend’s mother helped me. I believe she hated me, and thats the truth. She would constantly tell me she wished she never got pregnant with me. I heard that so often. It got to the point I believed she would poison me, so I would hide my food at 10 years of age. I lost weight, began to have fainting spells and never once did she take me to a doctor. She would get really nasty if I went out with my friends. Why? because she wanted me to go out with her golden child who was 5 years older than me. She would buy me clothes to make me look older so I could get into clubs.. All at 13 years of age. Then the worse thing happened. I was abducted out the front of one of these clubs and my sister didnt even mention it when she arrived back home. I was found under a bridge hours later. My mother blamed me.. She told me “look what you have done and when the police ask you questions you must say what your sister says”.. Appauling!!!!! I left home not long after that. My safely was at risk. Two years ago mum died and I do not miss her one bit. I am releived she has gone… Yes I do get therapy with a wonderful doctor who has made me see my childhood for what it was. CHILD ABUSE!!!!!!! nothing less than child abuse.


Courtney July 29, 2018 at 8:21 am

Roger your mom sounds very similar to mine. Thank you for sharing


Melissa March 2, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Thank you both for sharing your stories. My heart goes out to our healing. This website is very helpful, confirming, affirming, and hard to swallow. But I am glad I am. My mother would flip roles, but mostly I was the lost child…it’s a sad upbringing. Glad to be an adult and embracing the potential of healing.


eleonora March 17, 2013 at 9:01 am

My youngest sister is the lost child, the middle one the golden child and pride of place I’m the scapegoat. But its interesting i was the golden girl/ golden child from 0-5 and then again at different times plus always get idealized on and off so my sisters always thought i was the golden child. But i thought it was my middle sister. My mother triangulates & talks about us to the other. This is the saddest thing i have felt in my life.. Most of time i feel lost & unloved. Why? When all i did was love. Love my mother, father,sisters, friends other peoples children. I am shell shocked.


Anonymous August 14, 2014 at 7:28 pm

This is so heartbreaking this is my mother and sisters and brother as well I don’t think I can take this any more I just don’t no what to do at this point it’s very very hurtful


carole August 20, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Listen honey there is nothing you can do.
you can’t fix something you did not break.
understand this she has a personality disorder!
not you.can promise
you will get threw this I did at the age of 61.
you could not believe what she did to me in the name of love.
belive me when you cut the ties you will be replaced and very
soon, forget the guilty feelings after cutting the ties.
I can promise you that she is not even thinking about you
they are masters at this they are habitbitchal liers.
where everyone beloved them.
I’m writing a book unpublished so I can pass around all these
copies to the family she managed to exile my twin and myself
and to all those people she lied to.
remember what goes around comes around and your actions does
have consequences, and she will pay a big price maybe not in this world but the next.
. just let it go


carole August 20, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Baby when you can run away not walk there is always the authority’s therapist who well understand this behavior and will totally
belive you trust me honey it’s not worth your life
I lost count how many times I’d want to stop breathing,baby I’m 61 belive
me you are not alone.
you are the scapegoat and most likely there’s a golden child,right it will
never change they can’t they have to be the center of attention all the time and when you
dare stand up to them they can be brutally cruel thier sick not you.
you did nothing wrong none of us did.
do you realize how many of us are suffering from a nariccissticmothers? Hundreds and hundreds of us crying out saying why? Why?.
they are masters of this,all the time claiming that they love you and want only the best for you,
when they beat you or throw you out a second story window, or locking you out in all kinds
of weather,you cannot beat them at this game they will lie threw thier teeth and have others believing them, let it go and if you can’t leave endure it till you can and for gods don’t get pregnant as a way out trust me. Don’t do anything stupid its not worth it I promise things will get better
its to late for me as I’m 61 don’t make the same mistake


wendy April 1, 2013 at 7:02 am

wow I totally identify with this. I was always the scapegoat. my next youngest sister is also a scapegoat. the youngest is the golden child. but I am seeing that she is a Narcissistic Golden Child. she is worse than my mother. I hate them both and have been no contact with that evil sis and extremely extremely low contact with mean mother. she calls once in a blue moon to gripe about the other two, and I just listen and say mmm hmm and then we hang up. I no longer feed into her triangulation. it is sick. they are sick. my psychologist is helping me so much. she says not to feel guilty about not wanting toxic people in my life.


kimberly May 27, 2014 at 12:13 pm

I totally agree with you..i was emotionally and mentally abused by my adopted American mom for 30 years,it took me this long to figured out that she’ s narcissistic..i hate that old bitch s I wish would die soon..


les June 9, 2014 at 2:01 pm

I have just started standing up to my mum and she started ignoring me now I feel like she had me to use me. What do you all feel when you saw the light? what is the best way to handle this and move on? What happened when you stood up for yourself? Do you think its strange when I don’t do stuff she ignores me


June August 13, 2014 at 9:01 am

Hi Les,

Keep reading and keep seeking. The same happened to me…I have managed this myself over the last 5 yrs and yes she has pulled back completely. When I look back I wish I got support going through this, counselling (I’m in the uk). My journey lead to me going NC with her. Every persons journey is different though. I had a lot of healing to do and realised that I had to go to that extreme boundary, I am not young so don’t want to waste anytime over the family fall out ( my family it would have been worse for me in the long run and I figured nothing gained by telling her she is an abuser, so I just severed contact. My bro understood but he is still in contact, his choice.

I’m sure she has BPD or NPD or both. I never got anywhere trying to talk it out with her. She has a new family (divorced twice) so I think I will leave her it. Since going NC, months now…it has given me a lot of space for reflecting and healing.

Good luck with your future


June August 13, 2014 at 9:05 am

oh… to answers your ‘light’ question…when first pieced it jaw hit the floor.. I simply couldn’t believe it was true. I tried to give her benefit of the doubt and prove my theory wrong but when I couldn’t I realised what the missing bits of the puzzle were, its still a shock to be honest, I mean…its my mother!


Anonymous September 19, 2014 at 12:24 am

I am right there with you. Part of me wants to stay in denial because she’s my mom and I suppose all those times when I DID feel special to her it was when I was being rotated through the golden child scapegoat role. My younger sister now wears her golden child badge with pride–the NPD sort of “pride” I could say. The more I learn about the typical behaviors of NMs, however the more I know this is the problem with her. But… how do you get over the guilt of confirming what you already knew but can’t seem to accept fully? That is the part I am struggling with. My spouse whom she tried since our wedding day to push away has had it with her patterns and it took him to finally help me get the strength to pull away from her grasp. I have been more so the scapegoat since I married him. She almost ruined our destination wedding by raging at him because she felt she paid for the expenses so she should have the right to make the whole trip about her. She has never liked my or my brother’s spouse. He (my brother /fellow scapegoat) went no contact about 2 years ago but because I participated in her triangulating schemes by taking her side and her word for the truth & the result– he also stopped contact with me. Now I want to talk to him so bad and validate him for his feelings.


FORGIVE July 2, 2014 at 4:23 am

This is absolutelly one of the best articles on this topic I have ever read. I had NM of neglecting type and I grew up alone taking care of myself. I recognize my childhood in every single description here. If I would speak about the fact she had never ever bought me a single thing, left me deprived of every heritage, never kissed me, nor gave me a hug, moreover, she abandoned me when I was 2 leaving me to her mother that was narcisstic as well , luckily, in a much smaller extent. She distroied a familly of her next huspand, made her younger son *my half-brother her golden child and brought hell to everebody in her life. God, forgive her for tears, sadness and pain she inflicted to at least 10 people whose lifes she attempted to destroy. the list is long. i forgive her , since she is not bitch, she is not evil, SHE IS ONLY VERY<, VERY SICK! And this diesease is very malevolent since it is very unrecognizable for the rest of the world.


Ruby October 18, 2018 at 12:49 pm

I like the last sentence. Unrecognizable to the outside world. That’s what keeps the scapegoat isolated and mother knows this.


Ruby October 18, 2018 at 12:55 pm

N mothers like to blow out the candle of the scapegoat in efforts to make the golden child shine more. The outside world buys into this. It causes years and years of isolation.


desdemonamcphee December 22, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Isn’t it fun being shifted from one role to another? :-/I was the golden child until I hit my teenage years. I didn’t turn out like my mom was “picturing.” I was goofy, quirky, artsy. She wanted a bland and robotic clone of herself, and I just couldn’t pretend any more. While I was enduring humiliation and cruelty as a scapegoat, my lost child sister got a brief turn in the spotlight as the golden child. She quickly found out it’s not all it’s cracked up to be! She became very troubled for many years, even ending up homeless for quite a while.


JustMe June 30, 2015 at 8:36 pm

Wow, this post really hit home. Thank you. It has been a long struggle and up until two years ago I thought she was bipolar. So I started to recover and pull away two years ago… and did relatively well at not feeling guilty. I did it for myself and my children. It was MY DECISION. Finally I did something that was my decision!!! Unfortunately it back fired and she lied to CPS and a psycho social worker to take my kids based on lies. I had witnesses that proved their lies were wrong but the courts didn’t care— its an assembly line system.. and they make money and keep their jobs.. by taking children (many that should NOT be taken… yet give back kids that shouldn’t be given back– messed up system…). According to parenting courses I am a very good mother– which I always doubted.. I thought I was a horrible mother… I am gaining confidence and just recently got my children back. I am currently divorcing a narcissist as well— funny part is that they hate eachother and think its the “other one” that is “evil” (mother and soon-to-be ex-husband)!!! I cant help but laugh. I am terrified to do no contact, but I must. I am currently doing “no contact” with her (have restraining order on him), as much as social services allows.. since I have my babies back.. they suffered so much with her. They are so happy to be home. We have a peaceful home without her around… and I finally met a mentally/emotionally healthy man who is patient with me and my kids… I guess I finally suffered enough to be worthy of happiness… I am grateful. Forever grateful for my children, my boyfriend and our happiness. I am finally experiencing some of my most precious dreams as real life. I just wish my nightly nightmares and ptsd would stop…. Thank you again… and sorry for the long post…


Sheri July 14, 2015 at 8:25 am

My mother in law is a narcissist and her adult children and I just became aware of what that is. She has a daughter and younger son (my husband) that are both in their late 40’s. As we read and learn about how she operates it has been hard to find specific help for the role my husband has been in. I do find the articles here to be more enlightening since so much out there seems to focus on healing the scapegoat. When my mother in law had young children she was a neglectful narcissist. Most of the time both of her children were lost children. It seems to me that the roles of golden child and scapegoat did switch around some as her children became successful adults but in the end my husband ended up being the golden child and his sister (and I) became scapegoats. I met my husband when I was 16 and have been “a part of this family” ever since. It seems my mother in law thinks of me very much in the same way she thinks of her own daughter, but maybe worse because I am her competition when it comes to her son. My husband clearly recognizes the damage his mother has caused in his life. It didn’t really begin to play out until a few years ago. We all spent many years just joking about how he was the favorite. Now I see that since he was a forgotten child in his youth he obviously was attracted to being the golden child in his adult life. We are now at a point where he can begin to heal and move on but I wish there was more information out there to help the golden child that “got away”. I know he is struggling with how to stand up to his mother and her “affectionate love”. He is also hurting and angry over the neglect suffered in his childhood.


Eowyn November 17, 2015 at 4:52 am

I have just come to this site today after the realisation that my mother is narcissistic and my father virtually the same. I have been the scapegoat in my immediate family and my extended family, my younger sister is the golden girl and my brother is also very loved. Fortunately I am married with children which gives me my own family. However, the legacy, as described by people on here, never goes away and I find that no one around me actually understands what I’ve been through and the damage it’s done and can still do. I have always had a reasonable but distant relationship with my siblings, but my brother is in denial and stopped speaking to me when I distanced myself from my parents five years ago. My sister has never stopped being jealous and just recently inexplicably ignores me! Perhaps due to her marital failure against my happy marriage? Who knows, but the severing of this last link has been difficult to accept.

To those people wondering what to do, I can only speak for myself but it was only when I cut my parents out of my life (at age 39) that I could finally move forward and think about a future instead of lamenting the past losses, pain and sense of inadequacy. Previously every meeting with my parents had been depressing and painful and it felt like I was picking the scab off a wound that could never heal. After cutting the ties I started a course for personal interest that eventually led to a university degree. I found that I am not useless but very capable when given the right environment and mental conditions. The main difficulties can be overcome if you can find I way of seeing a positive future and stop looking back.

Best wishes


Anonymous December 17, 2015 at 11:43 am

My mother is an ignoring one. I remember i was crying everytime my mother was feeding, talking or caressing the cat. I was feeling jealous and she knew that but didn’t care. Never gave me any attention, maybe only for a short period of my teenage but only because she enjoyed having my friends over, offering them coffe and letting them smoke. She wanted to be considered a cool mom. She was also wearing my clothes. I actually enjoyed that time, it was the closest to felling loved i had ever been. Now i am 30, i live abroad for 9 years and even though i come home once a year, she still likes to humilite me and to joke about my phisical appearance first thing she sees me, but she is the one overweight. She is really mean, a bully


Heidi blye May 2, 2016 at 7:42 am

I was born a “long awaited and wanted” child but my father (much older than my mother) doted on me and my mother did not become the “star wonderful princess mom) she envisioned she would be. According to her, she almost died giving birth to me, already in her stomach I didnt move around like later my wonderful little sister. My father was slowly but surely shunned and ridiculed, I was allowed to be abused by my mothers older sister, my aunt. I was watched and discussed, supposedly was ( at 4 or 5) oversexed, greedy and selfish. I supposedly never smiled ( only with my sweet grandmother) and was unsocial……blah, blah, blah I could go on forever.

Then my wonderful little sister was born. I was not allowed near her or hold her because I was not to be trusted, an aggressive child. She discussed me at length with all her friends wo believed her…….my sister … You guessed……Was the golden one, and it felt awful to come home from school and see her in my mothers arms, being kissed and “loved”.

Later i was sent to schools where my mother already warned the teachers I was sooo difficult etc……got no underwear as i became teenage, only clothes on top to look good. And sister went to a school that was way to difficult for her her but mother “manipulated” her thru being social with her principal, teachers, etc, whereas in my case the nuns (a horrible catholic schoon to straighten me out) already were told about me, the misfit, and abused me more and told my mom to pray for me!

Meanwhile my father lives in his own room, world, and misery, excluded from everything. My mother, sister and I slept in the same big room bc my mother, in addition to a livingroom with a concert piano no one knew how to play, had a huge “salon” with silk furniture. And I had no brassiere at 14 and stitchedh one of her old ones together for myself. Sewed my own clothes on the old seewing machine when I was 11.

God must have loved me, I was proud to be different, defied her taste in clothes and what I shoud do, dated boys I met, different nationals, mainly bc my mother could not talk to them in german!

On and on, could write a book, left this disfunctional shit place for America, made a success of my life and dont begrudge my poor little sister the cars mom bought for her, the apartment (to hold on to her) etc. etc.

When I visited my mother yearly, later in the nursing home, I elicited as much family history from her as I could, after my father died she went completely crazy and had her own psychic who told her she was a holy countess, and even then my mother attempted to control me by speaking in oh tones of my elegant, wonderfully married, sister. Whatever I had achieved was never acknowledged but behind my back bragged about to her friends.

My sister and I stay close via facetime and knowing where we come from, I overlook a lot of character flaws as long as they dont affect me adversely. She has many friends from our youth (i live on another continent) and all of them were over decades informed that I was the “black sheep” for nebulous reasons.

Well, here I am, proud of all my “misdeeds” which were really my healthy rebellion growing up and acting out. I left the martyr and guilt driven religion of my upbringing and instead thank God every day for my happy and contented life. There are trees, rivers,lakes birds, nature…..and good people…and love.

Any advice I can give……distance yourself emotionally, then make and save money to distance yourself geographically, I mean it! THEY were the sick ones. The needy ones. Talked about love a lot but never felt it. Never could. AMEN.


tb August 7, 2016 at 10:24 pm

Dear Readers,
I am a middle-aged person who was a scapegoat, my sibling was the golden child. Since my father was not around, my mother got to treat us however she wanted. My sibling and mother would always gang up on me, it was always always them against me. I was always miserable and it was so awful and hopeless. I prayed to God so much, but nothing ever changed. I was always crying. When they were not mean to me, they ignored me a lot. Once or twice my mother was so horrible to me, even my sibling questioned it and thought it a bit much. Anyways, I assumed that I could marry a nice spouse and find my happiness that way instead. But no, I just ended up with very abusive boyfriends who were on the lookout for perfect victims, which I am apparently I guess. Even employers and colleagues, sometimes even friends are abusive to me as well, because I guess they can see that it is easy to be that way with me. I am middle-aged now, have had lots of counselling, and I do try very hard to overcome all this. But I am still so lonely, I want a loving family, and I will never, ever find this. I thought I could get a loving spouse at least, but I guess not. And I guess I will always be a victim at work. I used to have a lot of friends, but then they got married and had families and I was the only one who could not achieve this. Why can’t I just be loved? If my mother changed tomorrow, I would be so grateful I would not even ask questions or complain, or anything. I would just be thrilled for her support. The reason I know this is because she was supportive for a short time, I am not sure why exactly, but she was. And I never felt so wonderful. Then, she withdrew that support and I was back to feeling lousy again. All I want is a loving family of some kind, I guess a marriage too. But there seems no hope, and I am already middle-aged anyways. Does anyone have any advice for me? All I have ever, ever wanted was a loving family. Why can’t I have something, some form of love somehow? Why aren’t I deserving of this? And why can’t I find this? Why has the whole world abandoned me? Don’t I matter? Why don’t I just die off of cancer or something? I just don’t understand it. I feel worthless.


Paks August 24, 2016 at 12:48 am

You do deserve love, tb, and I’ll pray that you will find it.


Martina September 17, 2016 at 5:40 pm

You’re in a victim mode, and as such a perfect match for a narcissist/anyone to take advantage of you. A desperate attitude isn’t helping you, but is a perfect magnet for potential abusers to sense their pray. Please, don’t fall for their tricks anymore, just because you are starved emotionaly. Maybe the point of your suffering is that you find your worth that doesn’t depend on anyone outside of you. The hardest situations can be transmuted into the most pressures gemstones with time-and nothing brings the same power and growth as these hard situations! But first you need to learn to forgive others and yourself and worry less!


Toby Cheff November 26, 2017 at 4:45 pm

I agree… knowledge is power to heal, only through suffering may we experience true enlightenment. Acknowledging is knowledge, watch videos, share the suffering with others to lessen the burden. Use unconditional love of self, then to others.


Anny June 22, 2017 at 11:27 pm

I feel your pain. I feel the exact same way you feel. I don’t have any good advice to give to you other than your life does matter. It matters very much. It matters to a stranger like me because your words made me identify with you in a painful way yet, gave me hope that I am not alone in this world and that although I do not know you, I feel kindness toward you.
I cannot give you good advice because I’m just finding out my mom could be a NM and I don’t know if I have picked up on her traits just like my mother picked up on her mother’s and my grandmother picked up on her mother’s (who I recently found out poisoned her father with the help of her mother). It’s a sick cycle that I wish to break on my end.


Anonymous December 26, 2016 at 11:45 am

I’m a child of a narcissistic mother…golden child. I have found that the most powerful training for me to get support with healing or taking my power back from NM came from my classes at Landmark education. It helped me put who she was in perspective without hating her…and it let me know the places I give away my power because dealing with a NM is so difficult. I got to a place where I could stand up to her for myself. I realized being raised by a NM left me with the feeling that “I can’t have what I want” so my whole life had become about …feeling guilty for getting what I want or I settling for less than I wanted or tolerating something for too long. I discovered that NM teaches us that we can’t win. I was able to get to a place where I can see that and make choices consistent with my truth. It’s not easy but I feel more at peace and I feel like I can choose how I want to interact with her or not. My mom has since passed away. I’m glad I made peace with my mom while she was her. My grief is about the moments where she was the ideal mom and the mother I waneed her to be.


NM Child April 15, 2017 at 3:39 pm

Reading this blog and all the stories has been SO helpfull to me. I recently started doing more research on NMs just to find some understanding and to determine if my mother fit this description. She definitely does! Growing up with my younger brother, she was always sad, hurt, angry or upset about somethung. I may have been the golden child until a few years old. But my brother was the golden child most of our lives even though both of us were mostly ignored or treated as a burden as children. Ince in awhile she would try to act like a ‘normal mom’ but it never lasted long. I couldn’t join school functions bc I never had a ride to them. My brother joined the football team for one year, and Cub Scouts for one year, she all for that and bragged the rest of her life about him being a football player and Scout. I joined girlscouts 1 yr, she never came to anything. We moved a lot. 7 schools in 10 school years & 4 states. He could do no wrong even tho he was always in trouble at school & was generally mean brat. He was an alcoholic by 18 yrs old, went on to drugs. Left home & traveled as a vagrant most of his adult life. Still our mom praised him and lived around his phone calls. Meanwhile I left home & got married at 16, mom didn’t come to the wedding, said she couldn’t miss work. I had & lost a daughter at 17. She did come to the hospital to visit bc her boss told her to take the time off and go. I decided to break free from my families BS and even tho I was divorced at 18 and had a son at 19. I went back to school, got a GED, then went to nirsing school & just focused on raising my son with a better life. My mom at times wanted to be in my life after I had her grandson but still mostly focused on my brother. My brother was killed in ’06. After that, mom’s attentions turned to me and my son. We became her golden children. But with that came the emotional rollercoasters, manipulations and I began to miss being the ignored one. I moved with my son cross country when he graduated high school. Mom acted like I purposely abandoned her. I was doing great! I became happier, healthier, stress free after getting settled, lost over 50lbs. She visited a couple times. Sold her house in Ohio and bought one an hour from me in AZ. I didn’t notice for a long time but since she moved here and is constantly trying to intrude in my life again, I’ve gone back to being stressed often, not exercising as much, eating more comfort food, gained my wt back. Just recently noticed the possibility of her issues and mine. Now just searching for ways to help myself again. Sorry this is so long, been holding in a lot for along time.


Anny June 22, 2017 at 11:03 pm

This breaks my heart. I’ve been struggling with my NM and it just feels like it’s gotten worse over the years.


Tee El July 8, 2017 at 4:48 pm

This sounds like my mother. She was ignoring type to me. I feel like I alternated between the lost child and the scapegoat. Any attention I was given was negative (being yelled at, beat or talked about negatively), to avoid the abuse I isolated myself. I was the loner, always reading, creating, watching TV and as a teenager found my ‘life’ on the internet. I am now in my 30s and trying to recover from 15+ years of intense social isolation. My mother, I feel, also infantilized us… something I am just learning about although I’ve always wondered why we had such a hard time ‘growing up’. We all still live at home and deal with her drama and triangulating daily. I’m trying so hard to break free and allow myself to become more independent. I feel so behind and honestly lost.


Michelle wilson September 2, 2017 at 4:52 am

I have a friend who i believe is a narcissistic mother she as six children who are suffering because of the way they live the oldest boys are parenti
ng the parents and there siblings they do everything in the home its bad to see this and i just dont knw wat to do to help these children its heart breaking i need to do something but what can i do HELP !!!!


Toby Cheff November 26, 2017 at 5:18 pm

I feel the same way, and I think it’s best to try, rather seek, an understanding so that you can attach unconditional love to the person, idea, belief, or even pain/resentment. I recently uncovered my scapegoat role in a family with a covert narcissist mother, my narcissist estranged wife, and cunning narcissist soul mate I still adore and can’t seem to leave. Today I realized I’m a codependent with borderline personality disorder, hitting 9/9 criteria.
I had a nervous breakdown when I came to several realizations, epiphanies rather, about my lifelong anxiety & self-esteem issues, and how the covert Narcissism had destroyed my sense of belonging & sense of self. My suffering this allowed me to see their pain, so scared as little girls they had to put up these walls, unable to share in the joy and pain, of suffering and loving unconditionally. How cruel and sad and ALONE were they? Antithesis emotionally, yet born out of much the same lack of love. I can find love, and always give unconditional love to my self, and to others, especially to my son.
without the pain in understanding this, I wouldn’t have found myself or have ever fully understood what drives my inner workings. I am a healer, and I have much love to share with all living things. I am breaking the cycle!!
I uncovered so much more than this, it felt like a thousand lifetimes of sadness… the most unbearable heartache and loneliness… I had a nervous breakdown. Forgiveness/understanding/unconditional love/liberation.


Toby Cheff November 26, 2017 at 5:47 pm

We have found our tribe, others that listen and care, and wish to understand, affirm, give hope and ultimately to help. To nurture. We are the ones who can help others on the fringes of society the most. We see reflections of ourselves in the disenfranchised. We want strangers to know the world is inherently good, lousy with loving souls. Kindness truly expressed in random acts of selflessness. We suffer inside more than most could pretend to fathom, us codependent crying crew, but we are the ones who stand up for others, for justice, and ultimately ourselves– join me in force, the breakers of the cycle, enders of suffering, tellers of the truth. Focus inwardly with much wisdom, character & temperament– able to take credit for your good deeds, and self, able to now help others suffering in life and love. We are much like brothers and sisters, or better yet those that unconditionally nurture– willing to give a part of ourselves & share in our stories of PAST STRUGGLES…of such great emotional pain, loneliness, and often inexplicable suffering. We are all connected through suffering. We could’ve missed the pain, but we’d of had to miss the dance.


Scapegoat December 10, 2017 at 12:02 pm

Son of ignoring mom, who turned all her sons agaisnt each other, who list her scapegoat,me, first, and Did not bat an eye, she only notices I am gone when she can be the poor woman whos son don’t care… but when my Golden Child brother went NC, she CALLED me! IT HURTS. So thank YOU CATHY with a C… you got what you wanted your time….


Forgotton December 10, 2017 at 12:41 pm

My mom was ignoring to me, the middle child, She was in love with my older brother dad, who was married, and probably still is in love with him today… She married my dad while she was pregnant with older brother, she claims she married my dad because he offered to take care of her, my older brother is named after my dad, i think she felt more of a bond with him then me and I thibk she loved him in her own way, She told me she never loved my dad,never wanted me, tried to abort me, I heard this at a very young age. She ran my dad out of state,so we never had a chance. I tried my whole life to please her… She never beat me…we had food, clothes, due to her dating men with money,when she spent all their money they were gone. She married 4 times abd had many men, even married men. Her 2nd husband who we called Pops, they had my younger brother, who is still trapped in her cluthes.
I was a problem child, she left me at home alone while she took my brothers on vacations, my brothers were perfect… my older brother shot me with a bb gun, i still have a bb ib my back, she said i would be ok… now I know it was wrong, but I shot my little brother YEARS later with a bb gun, and she went crazy in me, ran him to the hospital, and moved me in with a preacher she worked with, because I was evil, the preacher took good care of me, thank goodness! I was kicked out of her house at 14, but my brothers were there into their 20s… her husband Pops, he had to embezzle money to keep her happy, when he got caught, he was gone, she acted like she had no idea, but she had him stealing! And she made him pay her house off while she married her 3rd husband…he was gone when he got MS, and didnt bring money anymore.
Sorry for my life story, just hard to get it all off my chest… now fast forward 2 sons get marrid GC and ne the SG… I had her first grandchild who was born early and had issues with him, and wife after birth, My mom NEVER came to see her First Grandchild who was sick…when I needed my mom she sent her 2nd husband Pops to help… my son and wife get better, and I ask her to watch her grandson, she yells and says I raised my kids,its my time! So she NEVER had her grandson. GC gets married, has a child, mom never has anytime for his kids either, but tells me she is always with my brothers child, anther way to pit me agaisnt him… has cookouts, does not tell me, then acts like I dont come when i have no idea… finally the GC wife starts to notice. So i webt NC on a mothers day 12 years ago, she did not care…


Heidi January 3, 2018 at 6:15 pm

Although the golden child/scapegoat dynamic existed in our house, my mother fits more into the Sadistic personality criteria proposed for the DSM III, or was it IV? My dad has a lot of narcissism and even today I get emails from him detailing how much I have disappointed him (interwoven with enough I love you’s) to be extremely confusing, not to mention hurtful. Any blogs for those with sadistic moms? and Narcissistic dad?

I was the golden child to begin with, my brother was the scapegoat. I feel guilt for this still, even though I did not create it. My second brother became the new gold child. ..later in my late teens early 20s I became the scapegoat.


Vivi March 16, 2018 at 10:33 am

Oh wow, isn’t that the most real life situation article I’ve ever read. I don’t have siblings (well, I do, we’ve just never met due to family complications), but for me and my cousins, this describes us perfectly. I have two cousins (technically three, but he moved out when I was ten), one older, one younger. My older cousin is the Golden Child (she’s only half a year older than I), even though it’s obvious she’s a bully and way too self-absorbed, she can do no wrong. Then my younger cousin (a year younger) is the Scapegoat, he gets angry at his father easily, he does (did?) drugs and he got expelled from school, abut he wasn’t like that before. Before when we were younger (before my uncle got remarried and brought the Golden Child in from a previous marriage), he was super nice and we played, and he slept easily (he has trouble falling asleep and my uncle gets angry he stays up with me). Then there’s me, the Scapegoat/Lost Child. I’ve got okay grades, and my temper is actually pretty chill most of time (try to convince that “Family is always there for you”, and I snap). For instance, when I told my cousins to NOT JUMP ON MY BED (several times) (we were 15ish), and they did it anyway, the frame broke. When I got angry, I was yelled at for yelling. I had to sleep on an air mattress for around a month. Honestly, that’s just one of the instances in which I was the bad one for standing up for myself, and then there is the fact that everyone likes to isolate me because my interests are different. I read, I don’t like to socialize too much, I like speaking english instead of spanish, my humor is dark and not vulgar, and I’m extremely blunt due to the fact I’ve taken care of myself since I was 10…


JMi October 12, 2018 at 10:42 am

Wow. Very good information. I was a scapegoat child, the 5th of 10 children, first girl. I was ignored and my sister 2 years younger was the golden child. (Several golden brothers in the family and scapegoat/ignored children.) I did not think of events in my life until I became a mother and had a daughter. It was then that I remembered the ignored and abusive events of my younger life. I remember knowing I was on my own at 5. I was always responsible beyond my years and did not get recognized, had to bath myself and my siblings, helped with homework, chores, celebrated holidays and siblings birthdays, and went to work early. My mother complained about me and let my older brothers just bully me to their content. My mother was alcoholic. As I got older, I would not buy or support her drinking so I was even more disliked. Even though I was responsible and helped my siblings throughout their lives as best I could, because my mother made fun of and complained about me and ignored me, many of my siblings do not have anything to do with me now. I was in touch with my NM until she passed, when my NM died the family property was divided up between the golden siblings.The golden sister received NM jewelry and I was given an unliked ring once owned by NM’s mother (whom she hated) and was laughingly told I looked like the grandmother (which I never knew). I have 1 sister who was also a scapegoat/ignored child that keeps in contact with me. Several of my siblings are alcoholic and their lives show signs of early abuse. It was difficult growing up with a NM. I grew up knowing what I did not want to do to my children and today I believe I am a good mother. Having been ignored as a child helped me to be strong. I have a strong faith life, and know that with God’s help my past can be healed and that the gifts He gave me have enabled me to survive then and now.


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