Surviving a Narcissistic Mother

by Michelle Piper

Surviving a narcissistic mother is a process, not an event.

You can’t just wake up one day and decide that you no longer wish to have a narcissistic mother and then, poof, she–and the pain she caused–is gone. Anyone who’s taken the journey from being in a narcissist’s gravitational pull to breaking free knows it’s a bit more complicated than this with many risks involved.

But, the reward is worth the risk, as you may come to find out. Getting out of a relationship with a narcissistic mother or narcissistic parent can be the best thing you ever do.

Growing up with a narcissistic mother, she never really listened to you or cared about your wants and needs. She turned everything around to be all about her, no matter what the situation was. She constantly criticized you, making you feel nothing you ever did was good enough or up to her impossible standards, and would turn on you if you didn’t follow orders.

When you have a narcissistic mother, it can lead you to develop an inferiority complex that can continue when you become an adult child of a narcissist (ACON). A feeling of being “less than” can be highly intensified to the degree you feel you’ll never be able to compensate for your weaknesses. It was instilled in your head very early on to be this way. You can’t help it if it is all you have ever known.

Narcissistic mothers are incapable parents. It may be hard to do, but you need to accept the fact you never had a healthy mother. Emotionally healthy mothers put their children’s needs and care before their own. They show empathy and give proper praise to their children for the good deeds they do.

Functional mothers care. Narcissistic mothers care too, but only about themselves.

In order to survive a narcissistic mother, allow yourself to grieve. It is an essential process which helps you to accept and move on from the life you were forced to lead.

As first created by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, there are five stages of grief. It used to be the stages were conceptualized for those dealing with death, but it has been extended to those experiencing any sort of loss.

Grief applies to leaving a narcissistic mother because you are losing someone you love, even if they never loved you back.

Not always necessarily in chronological order, the five stages of grief go like this:

  1. Denial. This is a temporary defense, conscious or unconscious refusal to accept the fact you have a narcissistic mother. People can become locked in this stage as a defense mechanism, not wanting to accept the fact their mother never loved or cared for them.
  2. Anger. When you realize denial can no longer continue, it can be replaced with rage and envy. You may be angry with yourself for allowing yourself to live this way for so long, or you may be angry with others, especially your narcissistic mother for abusing you the way she did and jealous of others who have healthy relationships with their mothers.
  3. Bargaining. You hope your narcissistic mother can change or you can postpone leaving her. You may try to negotiate a compromise, maybe even with some sort of higher power. This stage rarely provides a sustainable and healthy solution.
  4. Depression. This is when you begin to understand the certainty of losing the fantasy that your mom was emotionally healthy, realizing that you may never connect with your narcissistic mother. This stage allows you to disconnect from her and let the grief of the situation sink in. The depression stage can be referred to as “the dress rehearsal for the aftermath”. After you decide to cut off ties, whether it be emotionally, physically, or both, from your narcissistic mother, there will be a great sense of sadness and uncertainty from doing so. This only means that you are beginning to accept the situation.
  5. Acceptance. You are beginning to come to terms with the tragedy of losing your narcissistic mother. You accept the relationship is over and begin to move forwards with your own life separate from her. It can take a long time to get to this stage, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Different people grieve in different ways. However it happens for you, it is an important process for healing.

During this time, consider forgiving your narcissistic mother, not for her sake but your own. Forgiveness does not mean tolerating bad behavior from a narcissistic parent.  It does mean you give your narcissistic mother less of your precious and limited energy.

You cannot change her, but you can change your situation and how you relate to your narcissistic mother.

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{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

Caryn November 8, 2012 at 4:48 pm

I was lead to this website after watching Dr.Phil. I am amazed at the women on the show…and just really in shock that there is such a LABEL for crappy, selfish mothers!


Michelle Piper November 8, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Welome! It is sad that the hurtful behavior of Narcissistic Mothers is common enough to attract media attention, but I’m grateful for how supportive the Adult Children of Narcissists are to one another. To suffer such a confusing, painful way of growing up and give compassion back to the world is a triumph. Thanks for reading!


Julie November 9, 2012 at 6:43 am

I came here, too, after seeing the Dr. Phil Show and being introduced to the narcissistic mother. I had a narcissistic stepmother and, my being an only child further disadvantaged me in that she felt she had to compete for my father’s affections. I couldn’t be smarter, wittier, and had to dumb myself down and not speak unless I was spoken to, in her words. Yes, it was all about her to the point where she would lay out my clothes every day even in high school and some of the clothes were her own! A narcissistic parent is controlling in the nth degree in my experience, yet with absolutely no empathy or consideration whatsoever. She has passed away and it has greatly helped my healing, but it has taken a long, long time–many years, many experiences, and many heartaches from physical, mental and the emotional abuse. I hope understanding the narcissistic parent will give sufferers that strength to overcome, be beautiful and be strong.


Michelle Piper November 9, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Hi Julie,
Thanks for sharing your experience and wishing fellow ACONs well! You are the first to comment on a narcissistic stepmother and I’m sure there are more children of narcissistic step-parents out there, too. The blog has only been up since July 2012 and since then, I’ve been reminded daily of how many people are out there who have overcome such a baffling, painful childhood. Welcome to our community:)


Betsy November 9, 2012 at 11:02 am

I am dealing with this issue, as well, with my mother and it has been very difficult for my brother and I. I guess our breaking point was when our mother sent us both a very hurtful letter (photo copied and express mailed) about how ashamed she is of us and how we are both just after her money. Before this letter she had asked our advise on a financial decision she was making(she wanted to give her boyfriend one of her houses). When we didn’t agree with her decision and told her to be careful she exploded. We havent spoken to her since August. This caused me to begin reading and I came across NPD. My brother and I agreed that the similarities are uncanny. I am also seeing a therapist but I’m on my 5th insurance paid visit and I don’t feel much relief. I’m not sure the therapist understands the extent of my mother’s NPD. I found your article refering to the 5 stages helpful. I am still deciding wether to approach my mother in the future. My brother and I talk a lot, I really feel like I need to support him as much as possible because he is so hurt too and lives only 5 minutes away from her. She has tried to contact my children but I have a hard time looking at this as a positive. She has never shown any interest in my children in the past and I feel like she thinks this how she can LOOK like the better person (I have 16 yr old teen girls that she has started texting).
I didn’t see the Dr. Phil program (Does that make you more famous than him?) but I will look for it. Thank you for the article, and for taking the time to read this comment. I think more people should be informed about this disorder so that it isn’t repeated through generations.
Please let me know if you have any suggested literature on this topic.
Betsy (43yrs)


Michelle Piper November 9, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Hi Betsy,
There’s a list of books here on the blog, but the one I would start with is “Walking on Eggshells,” if you haven’t run across that yet. I’m working on a free e-book on the topic so make sure to sign up for the blog’s email list and then you’ll be notified as soon as it is finished. I like your joke about Dr. Phil, ha! Your point about your mom wanting to LOOK like a better person is a wise one. So many people with NPD are trapped in that behavior and have little insight as to how much in hurts others, especially their children.


Racquel July 7, 2017 at 11:11 pm

Yes the “looks” really count & I wasn’t really accepting of this part of the manipulation until recently when I recognised I was becoming intensely anxious of my son’s outfits he was wearing to family occasions/visits & the denial I’d placed around this key issue… It’s all part of the facade & part of the (controlling)
Be-LIEf appearance matters…
I was entered by NM into a local beauty contest & ended up going through & eventually winning at national level… Every penny won was spent on clothes by her on mini me clothes which I have to laugh about now as I was 8″ taller ha! . they of course were inappropriate & so she gained a decent wardrobe of several thousand pounds…
Back to present day Observations… My young son took to only wearing super hero clothes & the wardrobe became a battle ground until the moment a few days ago before a family reunion, recognising my issue & I said truthfully … “I really don’t mind what you wear… Please dress in whatever you want darling” … He said OK & took off supersuit & put on great smart outfit of his own creation! I’m letting him choose to wear dirty clothes & one’s that are too small at home too… & tell him truthfully, I’m glad he has clean underwear on & feels good in his clothes!
Thank you Betsy & Michelle


Mary November 15, 2012 at 9:51 am

I found this site a few days ago, and immediately bookmarked it. It helps to feel you’re not alone, and that you are understood and believed. A lot of people in our lives have a hard time comprehending a NPD mother, so you can’t talk to just anybody.

I’m fortunate to have two sisters I can rant or decompress with. We support each other, and don’t fall for the attempts to drive a wedge between us, or make one of us the golden child or the scapegoat.

My specific concerns are dealing with an elderly NPD mom. It can be difficult to filter out what are normal and appropriate levels of involvement and help for an aged parent, as opposed to caving to the manipulations of a narcissist. I would love to share some stories and hear about others, in the attempt to figure out what I think my obligations are, and how to protect myself.


Michelle Piper November 16, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Hi Mary,
I hope your comment draws some support from those who have experience with an elderly narcissistic mother in this community. Well earned tips from experience are welcome! Also, I will post about this before end of month.
Thanks for your careful read,


Lorie December 28, 2012 at 8:25 pm

I am thrilled to have found this site.thank you… I am also very concerned about my elderly NPD mother. I have distanced my self from her both emotionally and geographically, but worry what will happen when she can no longer care for herself.. She will not discuss money with me as she is certain my objective is to extort money from her, so I have no idea if she has money set aside for long term care, or if she has insurance. She was an only child and took care of her parents until they passed. My sister has had no contact in 5 years, so it would be up to me. After everything I have read here today, I realize that I have considerable work to do regarding this relationship…On one hand, I would rather be set on fire than care for her in her old age, and on the other hand, I am consumed with saddness imaging her all alone. For all of the pain she has caused me, I still feel guilty…this is my greatest obtacle in truly healing…


Peggy January 4, 2013 at 5:07 pm

All of the posts I read describe my mother exactly. She is 99 (yes, NINETY NINE) and the NPD in her has only gotten worse the older she gets. I could write pages of info about her, but will keep this as short as possible. I have read previously that this personality disorder gets worse with age, and I totally agree with that. During the years she was married (twice), she controlled her husbands, belittled them, etc. etc., eventually driving them to their graves. Now, I am the only family member left and I am the one who is supposed to “take care” of her. Fortunately, she moved into an assisted living facility 3 years ago, so I don’t feel any pressure in having her move in with me……..although she begged and begged for a year. I do live 5 hours from her, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. When people ask me why I don’t move her here close to me, I have shortened my answer to, ” We have never had a good relationship”. Friends do not understand this bad relationship, so it’s easier to just give a short answer. Several years ago when a therapist told me my mom was narcissistic, I asked, “What is that?” At that point, I realized what the real problem was………..her, and not me. In these final years of her life, she is miserably unhappy and depressed most of the time. No one at the facility wants to be around her, and she thinks they act “like old people”. She tells grandiose stories about herself, which aren’t true, such as………she used to be an author, writing numerous books, she used to work for the FBI, she was a teacher (she actually worked in the office), she graduated with a doctorate (she actually never went to college), and she’ll tell anyone who wants to listen that the rings she wears are all diamonds, give to her by by my father, 60 years ago (it’s all worthless costume jewelry). Just about the time I think we’re going to have a decent conversation, she starts telling her “stories” again. Christmas a year ago is the last time she will come to my house. She is unbearable, wanting things her way and crying when i won’t agree, such as turning the thermostat up to 80. Anyway, for those of you who have older narcissistic mothers, the first thing to do is realize they will never change and probably only get worse. We have to come to the decision that there will never be a relationship, let alone a good one, and what we do for them is only what we feel is absolutely necessary. Getting rid of the bad relationship in our lives takes a long time, and it really is heart-breaking to think that we never had a mother who knew what it was to truly love their daughter.


J Cahn March 23, 2013 at 2:32 am

Amazing and thank you, Peggy, for your post. I am awake in the middle of the night because of my 90 year-old mother who I realized a few years ago is classic NPD. She lives in an assisted living facility and has had what I refer to as a revolving door of aides to help her. It is rare that anyone can stay to help her for long periods of time. (I had to switch health care provider agencies 4 times!)
It has taken me 55 year to finally go No Contact. My older brother did that 25 years ago and it took years before I truly understood. Nevertheless, around holiday time it is difficult. While my cognitive understanding accepts my mother’s NPD, the emotional understanding remains a challenge. We all live with a fantasy of what is a normal mother-daughter relationship. (I am blessed, though, and worked to have a normal mother-daughter relationship with my own daughter. It is one of mutual respect and understanding of boundaries. As I was raising my own children, I lived by the motto: “If your mother can’t be a model, then let her be a warning.” )
The day I decided No Contact with my elderly mother was four months ago and I remember it as a day of enormous relief. It was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and that constant gnawing feeling created by no-win situations and never knowing the right thing to do, was gone. I needed to be rid of her laundry list of criticisms about me, never doing enough for her, her claim that she deserves “payback” for everything she has ever done raising me, her complaints to her grandchildren about me – their mother, her attempts to “teach me a lesson” by trying to undermine my friendships with others in the community, and other ridiculous, child-like behaviors. Yet, thinking about society’s views about what a daughter of an elderly mother should do, stirs pangs of guilt. I realize that it takes time to truly integrate an understanding that there can be no normalcy, that the relationship was based on her dysfunction. However, any normal, empathic person is saddened at the thought that my 90-year-old mother – along with other elderly who have NPD – suffer their last years alone.


Susan June 30, 2015 at 6:34 pm

Thank you for the post and all the comments. They are comforting. At 46 (6 years ago) I walked into a therapist’s office to talk about my divorce. I began talking about my mother and never stopped. I always knew there was something “not right” about her. She is 83 and a classic narcissist. At this point I have read “Walking on Egg Shells”, “Will I Ever be Good Enough”, books on boundaries, and emotional intelligence, My heart goes out to everyone who has grown up without support and empathy. My story has a different twist. She adopted me and my brother. Talk about payback. There is an expectation that she deserves payback for rescuing us from what “could have been or how our lives could have been.” She tells the story over and over of how disappointed she has been with both us. I was fortunate enough to realize there was something “wrong” and I moved out at 17, worked my way through college and have always supported myself. Unfortunately, my brother did not survive the criticism and belittling and chose to kill himself. My father (he was co-dependent and never spoke up) passed away after years of belittling and criticism. The last Christmas we were together, I talked to him a little about how harsh she always was and his answer to me was ” what was I suppose to do?” Her sisters have not spoken to her for years. After 5 years of therapy with a therapist who was empathetic and understanding, I have made my way to acceptance and forgiveness. I still waffle back and forth between grief and anger. I am grateful for where I am today. I have a new job, support myself and my teenage boys. She has all of my Grandparents money so there is no need for me to be at her beck and call. I still have limited contact but I decide when to answer the phone. She has absolutely no relationship with her grandchildren and I believe she doesn’t even know that she doesn’t have relationships with people. She only knows who does for her and who doesn’t. She is the master at guilt and shame. I believe my biology saved me and gave me my strength. I do feel sadness for her. I step out of the box (as my therapist taught me) and listen to her talk and talk. There is no emotion, no expression, no empathy. Her eyes have no soul.


NotALostChildAnymore November 22, 2012 at 6:03 am

This post describes my mother to a T. I was the product of a teenage pregnancy, therefore I successfully upon my conception ruined her life. I mean, she would never come out and directly say that, but she would tell me things like “it would be better to have your arm cut off and be handicapped rather than have a baby” etc etc. As I grew older it was worse. I am very thin naturally and it always seemed she was in some kind of competition with me bc she was always trying to lose weight when she looked great! And she’s always sick. Whatever social event is going on she will be sick at it. Oh, and every man in our town is “after her” or has been after her and she just turns them all down, you know cuz she looks so great and can do that. This topic has been brought up in every conversation with her my entire life. She can’t talk with you, she talks to you and guess what her favorite point of discussion is? Herself! She embarrasses me. I have lived my entire life trying to be so different from her. I am proud of the mother I have become to my daughter. It has taken some time and healing from the things my toxic mother put me through, the constant criticism, rare praise, the emotional turmoil and verbal abuse to be that mother and we still have a way to go, but I’m pulling thru. So thankful for some place to safely vent and not be looked down on bc most people don’t understand what its like living/dealing with someone like that.


Michelle Piper December 1, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Welcome! A lot of my clients express the same thing “…people don’t understand what its like living/dealing with someone like that.” One said, “I don’t even tell people about her because it makes me sound like I’m lying or I’m crazy.” Many get platitudes from children of normal parents (CONPs-ha!) like, “She’s still your mother.” It is hard for people to believe narcissistic mothers exist yet everyone in this community seems to know one. You certainly don’t sound lost anymore and express love for your own daughter, so here’s to breaking the narcissistic cycle.


Anonymous June 30, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Reading what you have written just confirms what I already knew about my mother. You have described my mother to a T. I have suspected for many years that this is what she is. My situation now is that my parents are divorcing and it’s my fault. I know that to not be true. I used to wear myself down because I always believed it was me or my fault that our relationship was in shambles. Thankfully now I know that to not be the truth. My brother cut all ties with her a few years ago and with me as well. I don’t believe that to be my fault but only because I was a link to her and her “unbalanced personality”. People in our small town don’t know the monster I have called my mother. Some actually think she is a good person. I used to try and believe that myself. I have dealt with praise from her only to be ridiculed moments later. I have struggled for many years with this. Wanting her acceptance but finally realizing that will never happen. I have accepted that, finally!! It is a freedom I have never known!! It feels excillerating to know it’s not me!! Like weight that has been lifted! The only thing I pray for now is the patience and grace to deal with her and her tantrums. I do it on a daily, if not hourly basis. Needless to say I pray quite often!! Most days I get thru just fine but now I’m not sure how this will go. I understand it’s not me but she who has the problem and it’s NOT my fault or burden to “fix” it. Only she can.


Ravyn November 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm

WOW! What a supportive website. The stories. Everything from the “gaslighting” to the “competition”. The first emotion I started out with in the grieving process is – WHY ME? LOL 35 – have had no children or successful romantic relationships. Mother told me my whole life that I would make a horrible parent. And how was my body – her decision. Well let’s just say – I’ve SUFFERED terribly, emotionally, because of those words. I’ve done things to myself that are pretty horrible just to make sure she wouldn’t be upset or ashamed of me. The buck stops here. And if I ever told her that the way she made me feel was the cause for a lot of my behavior, addictions, therapy – she would get her normal high pitch squeal voice, AND GASLIGHT and say “Ravyn, I never made you do any of that – you did that all on your own.” yeah right – go mind screw someone else. (Yes, I’m dealing with my anger issues with my therapist – lol)


Michelle Piper December 1, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Hi Again:),
The way your sense of reality was toyed with by your narcissistic mother would definitely be cause for anger.
If you ever want to post your story, you’re welcome send it to my email address and we’ll post it on the survivor stories part of the blog.


Katy Alexander December 3, 2012 at 7:10 am

Thanks for this website, it is really amazingly helpful-I have been emailing bits to my older brother and sister, who were both scapegoated, while I was the lost child and scapegoat-very powerful place to be when you can see everyone else from a distance, as it were, and feel the lash. The golden children in my family (daughter 2 and the youngest, also a girl) have found themselves very lost as they got older, because their attention was no longer as required, especially as they, as narcissists themselves, become more troublesome and demanding-although they still cannot be wrong. My brother does not see his parents at all, which is a pity, as we all have warm feelings for our father, which is not really ‘allowed’-my older sister still sees her parents, and is regularly hurt by them, as she is very successful and a clever woman, which Cannot Be Tolerated-and I see them, but only once in a while-my father is ill (a diabetic), and my mother and the youngest, who still live in the same home, do Nothing to assist him, because “He will shout at them”-he is very self sufficient as he is not used to getting nurturing care or attention from his wife, or his youngest child-but I dont want my dad to die because my mom wont phone the hospital. She has me labelled as saviour child now, which is a bit tedious, as there is a pretence at a warm relationship which does not really exist-but what you said about grieving is very true, because I had to acknowledge and accept that the mother I have is not the person I wished she was, and no amount of good bad or indifferent behaviour will make her that woman-she just isnt-that person was a figment of my imagination, and does not exist-and that, essentially, we are all alone, in ourselves, and when we build relationships of trust we have to have gifts to give as well as be able to recieve from the other person. that in relationships there is equivalence and differing levels of expertise-


shelly December 11, 2012 at 5:15 am

HI Michelle
So great to have found your website. I have recognized for a good few years now that my mother is a narcissist. She displays all the major traits – and more. Although I have known this and read a lot about narcissists, I don’t seem to have been able to separate myself emotionally very successfully. She still upsets me greatly and her anger actually scares me. I am 52, she is a frail 86! I so desperately want to “put her in a box” and see her for what she is and NOT BE AFFECTED BY HER ANYMORE. I have an appointment to see a therapist next week as I am desperate to stop the emotional affect she has on my life. I think at one level i want to GET EVEN. I want her to understand how damaging and nasty she has been. I know this is not possible, but I find it so difficult to really accept that. So pleased to have found you. Thanks you for your kindness in setting up this site.


LIlly December 12, 2012 at 2:05 pm

I am so happy to find this information you can’t believe how much this helped me to understand why I have this kind of parent . I have always asked my self maybe I’m adopted and not the biological child to my mother, that would have been easier to understand the torture I was going through y life growing up and even now in my 50’s. Thank you.


Tarren December 19, 2012 at 5:49 am

I am so happy i found this…. i cannot believe it has taken me so long to realise that i am not the disguisting, selfish, little b*tch that my mother drilled into me whn even i dont follow her plans or rules. I am an only child (daughter) f a single mother which i have now stumbled upon realising she has in fact NPD. The thing that frustrated me the most was the false “praise” or “encouragement” to others or about insignificant events (like making a doctors appointment… really?! that is nothing to be proud of) but i my face i am nothing but ungrateful for everything she sacrificed in order for me to have everything i ever wanted as a child….. hmmmmm…. she obviously has a poor memory, as all i ever wanted was love and compassion as i didnt have both parents. I constantly suffer from guilt and feelings of inadequacy as whenever i do things for myself o on my terms, i have this voice of my mother making me feeli like i am selfish or doing wrong. FINALLY i have a little piece of mind and perhaps i can start standing up for myself and live MY WAY. I am so tired of the lies, the disregard for others feelings and the constant manipulation of stories and events to make her look like the victim. Surely you start to see the common factor when EVERY one in your life, including the little family you have, leaves because it become just too hard and painful to deal with you? I am the last man standing…. and not for much longer. THANK YOU for helping me realise that i can say no, and i can distance myself and i am NOT a bad daughter. Phew 🙂


Mickey January 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Tarred, I am an only child (daughter) of a single NPD mother as well, you can read my post below. You are not a bad daughter, and neither am I. But I suspect we heard a lot of the same statements about how much our mothers sacrificed for us to have everything we needed, how ungrateful we are, selfish, unappreciative. That we can’t seem to do anything right. It weighs on you, brings you down more and more. But now, we get it!

Nope…..we are not bad daughters. It’s not us, it’s them.


Caz January 26, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Tarren – Find your anger. It is justified.


Marc C. Loro December 26, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Does a narcisstic mother love her mother? How about her husband and her sisters? Does she ever cry at funerals of “loved” ones and family members?


tatum December 27, 2012 at 8:32 pm

My experience with my MIL is yes they do. My MIL even broke into tears when she scolded me for not calling her when her sister passed away. Some narc moms have a flair for the dramatic, so they do express emotions. Sometimes it’s genuine…other times, it’s an act. Remember, narc moms often wear masks or parade themselves around as “normal” even though they’re not.


Roger January 18, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Narcissists don’t love anyone, maybe not even themselves. They are great at faking it to get what they want from people. I thought my NM loved me, but you don’t treat the people you love the way she treated me and others people as well. It is hard to comprehend that someone doesn’t love their own kids or their husband, but in this case, it’s true.


Sophie411 December 28, 2012 at 8:16 am

Thank you so much posting these stories and insights. I just come upon this information on narcissistic mothers yesterday when a friend mentioned my mother might have this disorder. It has been eerie and very supporting to know that my childhood and adult experiences are similar to so many others. My mother has actually flipped between making me the scapegoat and golden child along with my brother and sister. It is a constant “game” on top of guessing what mood she is in – nice or sad and depressed – leaving one to wonder what is going on – but knowing nothing most likely. Luckily, my sister and I are able to discuss it and talk to each other – I never knew what was wrong with my mother until yesterday. We always joked who was #1 – sad but true. My mother always constantly loved to tell me about horrible news – someone having cancer or a horrible car crash – often times people she didn’t even know. This is all in addition to growing up never feeling good enough or never being told good job or this may sound vain, but never being told you are beautiful or even look pretty – major complex for self-esteem when growing up. The “walking on eggshells” is a term used frequently at family gatherings because that is literally what we do – everyone trying so hard not to upset the delicate balance of one person.

I have also noticed, while I have a large extended family, only one aunt is really apart of our lives. My dad’s family was never allowed to be a part of our lives – until my sister found them on her own and they are truly amazing – and my mom disowned my other aunt at my wedding. Not sure if they is a common thing among narcissistic mothers.

More recently, I have noticed and wondered how other people deal with how their mother treats their spouses. I see a lot online about how narcissistic mothers treat daughter-in-laws, but not much about son-in-laws. My mother is absolutely awful to my husband – not outright of course – more like silently ignoring him or constantly changing the subject when he talks or if either of us talk about our lives or just going silent during conversations which is glaringly obviously when she is usually the center of attention. Having grown up with her treatment, her snide comments and demeanor do not aggravate me as much anymore because I eventually just came to the realization that she was insane. But for my husband, who has a beautiful loving family, is not used to the craziness and her treatment of him is very aggravating and hurtful. Needless to say, we are not returning her home/area for a long time. Just wondering if anyone else has advice/experience with the son-in-law aspect too.

Thanks again for setting up this website – truly helpful and enlightening to no end. I feel like a fog is lifting and things are making sense finally – well as much as they can.


AN February 4, 2016 at 11:02 am

Sophie: I also have experience with my narcissistic mother treating my husband poorly. When I talk to her over the phone, she never asks about him. Unless we’re sitting at the same table, she generally ignores him. Up until the day we got married, he was never allowed to call her by her first name. She’s made it clear for the past nine years that we’ve been together that she’d rather him not be around. My husband has noticed the bad energy in my parents’ home, pointing out that just being there makes it obvious that something isn’t right. It’s a huge contrast to his own family’s home, which is warm and inviting and allows each person to be an individual rather than having to cater to one person’s emotional state all the time.


Lorie December 28, 2012 at 12:28 pm

I am so grateful to have found this amazing, supportive site…I have known for many years that my mother was narcissistic, but have still been hanging on to the “dream” that she would just wake up one day and “get it” and we would be healed!!!….I spent several hours last evening on this site and feel a sense of relief, yet at the same time a huge sense of dread….I know it is not me…I know she is NEVER going to get it….I am not the only one who has endured a mother like this… I have, in many ways disconnected from her…I live 100 miles from her (thank god) and have not seen her in person in over a year…I lied to her and told her I had to sell my car, so I have no way of visiting her…I limit my calls to 15 min every 2 weeks, and if she starts in with her narcissistic behavior I say “Oh sorry Mom, someone just walked into my office..Gotta go!”
My sister and I alternated between golden child and scapegoat depending on what we were doing at the time to either please or disappoint her… My sister has not had any contact with her in 5 years and does not struggle with it in the least….I on the other hand, am riddled with guilt and sadness…my mom is in her mid 70’s, and not in the best of health..I do not feel bad enough to want to go visit her, but still catch myself “hoping”…I have an amazing life overall, which is so surprising considering my childhood and of course her “predictions” for me. I have created an amazing “family” of caring, emotionally healthy people, who love me as I am, but I have not been able to find a partner however (divorced for over 20 years)….It makes sense based on what I have read here, but infuriates me because it is just what she has always told me…”Well honey…you’re not a you really think that there is ANY man on this planet who would ever want you?” or my favorite…”What a shame…It’s too bad you were never able to find someone, back when you were pretty.” or “Oh honey….Why do you even bother??? Relationships just NEVER work out for you” Yikes… 51, I am still quite attractive, active, successful, happy, funny,…yet terrified to put myself out there..This makes me sick, because it means she wins….what is my next step????


Mickey January 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Lorie, I can identify with you. When I divorced my ex (who is also a narcissist) one of the first things my mother said to me was ” You are divorced with kids. You have baggage. And you’re getting older. What man is gonna want to date you? No man will want you.” I was so hurt by that. How mean to say to anyone, let alone her own daughter! Just cruel.

She doesn’t win, Lorie. Put her statements out of your head. Talk to yourself, make statements to yourself that are the exact opposite of what she said to you. Psych yourself out. Then decide on one small step you can make to put yourself back out there. And you don’t have to share any of it with her, so she can’t deflate you. You know she’s wrong, so prove her wrong. You can totally do it!


Lorie January 8, 2013 at 11:15 pm

Thank you Mickey…I have started this new new year very much like you have suggested. I am taking steps away from her and toward a new life. It is time to be free of her. This site is just amazing. I feel very supported here.


Kathy December 31, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Wow I love this website! So nice to know I am not alone in such suffering. Mom is truly a narc and maybe Dad too. I was the scapegoat alternating with my brother of 10 years older and my sister of 8 years older. Seven years ago my mother conftonted me and told me the man I was about to marry was a sex offender. I told her so what, you and Dad are too but just not prosicuted. My mother inherited a fortune from a grandfather I did not know and forever more hung this over our heads for fleeting bits of love on condition. We had to do vile bonding things with Dad as well as play the game of keep up her image of high society.
Well I had enough. Maybe I couldn’t work through it with my parents but I sure got an education from my hubby to be. I married him any way. His job with the Army paid for my counceling. Yes there are registered sex offenders serving in the military. I divorced him too. I am on a roll now. I take care of my self but I have a really hard time keeping a job or finding anything above mininum wage.
I found out via the internet that my Dad had died. Nobody told me and I was left out of the obituary and the will. For the first time in 7 years I contacted my Mom. She is still furious at me for exposing the family secrets aloud. I had told her back then that she was a bad mother, Dad was a pervert and her grandkids are into drugs and sex too. My sister was the golden child and her kids are the only grand kids. They will inherit the family fortune only to be sold or lost for drugs. I struggle to survive. Last winter I had no heat and I live in Iowa only 7 miles from Mom.
I dropped off flowers and a card on her front porch. She sent a card of thanks. Then I sent a letter and she wrote back that” her husband of 61 years had died and she was mourning. She did not wish to communicate with me further and to please respect her wishes”.
So I guess I am bouncing all over the grief scale and wondering what to do. I know I should be glad we do not have a relationship but I want the money! She is evil. She is truly a narcissist. Any thoughts at how I can beat her at her own game. She is 83 and I am 50 and unemployed. I also had gone to the police on my parents several years ago and was told that it wasn’t worth their time because a conviction would be too hard to prove on the sex offence stuff.
Also my brother and sister hate me and will not speak to me…..they also want the money. Please tell me what to do. Thanks


Mickey January 5, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Kathy, I feel for you. I hear the pain in your words, and I feel awful that you had to endure all that. Do you think even if you were able to get the money, that it would be worth the path you’ll have to take to get it? Obviously it would be a challenge, and you may wind up having to do or say things you wouldn’t normally do. I know I wouldn’t know where to begin either.

I am so sorry you are struggling. Hang in there. Something has to give.


Kathy January 14, 2013 at 7:00 am

Thanks Mickey! I decided to reach out to my aunt and cousins that were forbidden to be a part of “the family”. I am finding out so much stuff that was beyond belief and yet now I can see clearly that it was never me. Normal Moms don’t do what she did, but what she did was really done well to her purpose. I can’t help but think that on some level she knew she was making bad choices but she can’t stop and the internal conflict built. She hasn’t the skills to cope and so is angry at me for her short comings. How rediculous! She is caught in a trap and like a wild animal and is chewing her leg off to free herself ,so to speak. She hates everyone( but mostly herself) and cuts those (who matter the most to her) down to build herself up.
Being able to see the entire situation from a distance is freeing. I have decided to get a lawyer and go the legal route. I am building up a support group of good people and I am still scared but it is easier. Afterall she and Dad were just people, imperfect like everybody else and a little more so. They are no longer 10 feet tall and must be obeyed. Anything goes now. I am in charge of me and I choose to be good and kind and feel good about myself. Maybe I will never be anything more than that but that is more than my rich, miserable parents will ever accomplish.
I think I am finding the right path. I hope you will too. Narcissistic parents are truly miserable but that is their choice. I love how you find humor in what your mom does. I hope you can continue to distance your family from her manipulation. You have the power now. You inspire me!


Anonymous July 23, 2015 at 9:10 pm

You might be able to bring a civil suit for abuse against her. Check out the laws in your state. It could be well worth it!


Mickey January 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm

I am a 43 year old daughter (and only child) of an NPD mother. This web site has been a god send to me to better understand NPD. Despite the countless hours of therapy I have gone through over the years to help me deal with my relationship with my mother, it was never recognized as an NPD situation. But now, it all makes sense. This site gave me my “ah ha” moment, and it’s a relief. Now I can share my experiences with others who will understand where I am coming from, people who can identify! Here’s some of my story I am sure many of you will identify with.

I always thought the problem wasn’t with me, but with her, but had a hard time putting my finger on it. I always thought she was just a control freak. But I slowly figured it out. The guilt trips, silent treatments, backhanded compliments, lies about how she raised me, her taking credit for everything I have and have done, criticisms and disapproving glares, as well as straight out insults (sometimes in front of my kids) all add up to her narcisissm, and precisely why I have felt so “unacceptable” to her. Nothing I do or say has ever been good enough. The bar was set at an unreachable level.

Since I am an only child, the “golden child” has usually been one of her friends’ daughters. The statement “why can’t you be more like…..” has been flung at me several times, starting in my pre-teens, and continuing into my thirties. Now in my forties, I know she prefers her best friend’s daughters over me. They can do no wrong. She brags about them and everything they do. And I am certain she talks about her disappointments in me to them. I stopped interacting with them a while ago to separate myself from their relationship with my mother. They used to say they were my “2nd family”, but they have never reached out to me, only her. Which I am sure was her desire.

The moment I knew the problem was her and not me, was when a friend of mine said to me “Gifts from your mom seem to come with strings attached.” That was a light bulb moment for sure, because now someone from the outside was stating what I felt! Then I realized that one of my mother’s favorite phrases is “you owe me.” Oh yes, “you owe me.” Whether I owe her $10, or owe her for everything I have or have done, or owe her for giving birth to me, I owe her everything and then some. That same friend said to me “Does she ever talk with you and not at you? Does she ever cut you any slack?” We’ll, no, she doesn’t. My mother’s second favorite phrase is, “I am always right, I am never wrong.” This is not implied but stated outright. Over ANY subject, whether she knows what she is talking about or not, she proclaims she is always right. So, she talks at me barking orders, pointing out what I do wrong, and that I need to do it her way because she is always right. Even if everyone around her says she is wrong, she will insist she knows better. Or she will say”Fine, you know everything, I know nothing, I’m the bad guy.” (Insert rolling eyes here)

I have read every blog on here, and how to survive an NPD mother. I, unfortunately, can’t go “no contact.” Because I am a single, divorced mom who works full time, she picks up my son from school every day and stays with him till I get home. My father died when I was young, and no other family (aunts, cousins, etc) live anywhere near me. So I see her M-F, whether I like it or not. Plus, she lives in my neighborhood. She will barge into my house whenever she wants with no prior phone call (no boundaries), and she used to read my mail until I protested enough. I feel like I can’t date, or even do anything with friends, because she gets irate over my showing attention towards anyone but her. So if I do anything with a friend, as simple as meeting for a drink or going to a movie, I don’t share it with her. If she finds out later, I get the silent treatment, which I now consider “peace and quiet!”

So, how do I cope? I avoid contact with her on weekends whenever possible. I don’t call her or go to her house for anything. I will not answer my phone if need be. I don’t spend any time with her if I don’t absolutely have to (like holidays or birthdays). Mother’s Day is the worst! Every year she expects Mother’s Day to only be focused on her, and on her terms. Last year when she complained about our plans for Mother’s Day with my kids, I said “it’s MY Mother’s Day too, so I get a say in what we do too!” A look of shock came over her face. Of course I get the silent treatment, which again is lovely “peace and quiet.”

I have actually been able to develop a bit of a sense of humor about some of the things she does. Since she’s in my house 5 days a week (I know…it’s way too much) and she knows no boundaries, sometimes I come home to things rearranged or changed in one form or another….rugs moved or replaced, pictures changed, kitchen stuff moved. I call those days “makeover days.” Ahhh yes, she decided to do what she wants with my home again, it’s a makeover day! I don’t acknowledge those changes to her, which ticks her off, and that amuses me. Sickening, I know, but I really find it cathartic. This in turn starts her martyr behavior….”everything is left to me to take care of! I do everything! I deserve more appreciation!” But if I were to tell her not to do those things all hell would break loose. So, I don’t acknowledge that behavior at all. I stopped acknowledging a lot of things she does a long time ago. Like her double standards. what’s ok for her is not ok for me. For example, conversations. She talks non-stop, making every conversation about her, hates to be interrupted and expects undivided attention on her. But when I talk, she interrupts, talks over me, and she even walks away while I am speaking. That’s just one of many examples. Again, it’s all about her. Sometimes, again to slightly amuse myself, as she talks nonstop on the phone I will put her on mute and speaker so I can multitask. I have actually gotten quite a lot done that way! By the time the hour of her rambling is over, my chores are done and I can relax! Ahhhhhh…..

As I mentioned, silent treatments have become “peace and quiet” time. When I was younger I used to chase after her to talk to me and tell me what was wrong. I wouldn’t have a clue, and she would ignore me. When I started to catch onto the manipulation, I stopped chasing. And I embrace the quiet time. In fact, I told her i wouldn’t chase her anymore if she gives me silent treatment. So she knows i changed the rules of the game. The silent treatments don’t stop, but they are now bliss! It’s a lot easier for me to deal with now, but she gives my kids the same treatment. Which has posed quite a challenge for me in terms of parenting. How do I keep my kids from falling into the same trap without disrespecting their grandparent? I am still trying to figure that out. Although my oldest (almost 20) is catching on all by himself.

One of the things that sort of baffles me is that she, to this day, still criticizes me for things I did in my teens. You know, stupid typical teen stuff, nothing horrible. But wow, hear her talk about it and it sounds like I was the worst daughter on the planet…even though she was extremely controlling. Yet in the same breath she’ll say how much she did for me, gave me, how i had a good life, she paid for my education, she provided a nice home….but I was horrible. I never stole, never dropped out of school, I made curfew, I didn’t wind up pregnant or in jail. But I was horrible. I went to college, have four degrees, have a good job, nice home, healthy and well behaved kids, but I am a failure. That she said in front of my kids. I keep a neat house, despite kids and pets, but she calls me a slob. Okay…..fine. Believe your delusional NPD thoughts, lady. I don’t care. Trust me, I am not envious that your creepy NPD voices only talk to you! Have at it.

Bottom line, she is who she is and will never change. She has gotten worse as she has gotten older. She’s 74, and I have watched her NPD grow by leaps and bounds. I have coped well with some of her behaviors, others I am still trying to navigate. I have shed a lot of guilt I used to feel, and when a twinge of guilt arises I think of the many times she stated she wished I were more like someone else’s daughter, or when she called me a failure in front of my kids, then the twinge goes away. I used to worry that I would be like her as a mother, but I am nothing like her, and that makes me happy. I also wonder if my father watches from above, and what he would say in response to things she has done and said to me. One day, I will find out. But I can say in all certainty…’s not me, it’s her!

Hugs to my fellow survivors!


Lorie January 8, 2013 at 11:52 pm

Mickey you are such an inspiration….we truly have similar stories. I have also learned (the hard way) not to acknowledge any narc behavior. I do not tell her ANYTHING…The only thing she loves more than kicking me when I am down, is kicking me when I am up…I give very vague answers to her inquiries about my life, and sometimes I just make up stuff up so she will quit asking me questions. She mostly communicates through email, so I tend to be able to ignore her somewhat easily. I do not ever want her to know how good my life is, as she would just find some way to tarnish it. It is just like you mentioned…back handed compliments, insults and criticism, the guilt trips, etc. She has always been resentful of my friendships, and oddly I have a tremendous group of loving friends. I love your humorous approach to dealing with your narc mom, and I am going to incorporate a bit of humor into my dealings with mine. I have spent so many years resenting her, clenching my teeth in rage, like I did as a child, only to find that NOTHING has changed. A little laughter may be in order. It will minimize her control over me, and reduce the joy she gets from my reactions…I am liking where this could go…You deserve a medal or at least a case of wine for willingly seeing your mom 5 days a week…now that is some resilience…


Mickey January 10, 2013 at 9:48 am

Thanks, Lorie! I appreciate your kind words. I do have my days where I carry more anger towards her than I care to. I try to shake it off. Most of the time I do, but sometimes it can be difficult. Particularly if she flung a new insult at me, or new backhanded compliment I have not heard before. She sometimes digs something up that I don’t see coming. She has even made things up! Actually it’s the made up ones that I marvel at afterwards. I sit there, replay it in my head, ponder where the hell she got that load of imaginary b.s. from, and I even sometimes give it a rating. Like, “That was definitely a four star b.s. lie. Better than the last one!” I have a good friend I share my experiences with, and even he laughs at some of the crap she pulls. Simply because it can be so ridiculous sometimes. He thinks the lies she comes up with simply to take a jab at me are the best because he says, “she is grasping at straws.” I tend to agree.

I don’t share much with her either. I have made things up as well if I felt it added distance between us. You just have to do whatever works for you.

I do have to admit that I envy people that have a normal, unconditional loving relationship with their mothers. I would love to have that!!! It would be so nice to spend time with a mother that doesn’t continually judge me, criticize me, shoot her disapproving glances at me, or just plain puts me down. But I had to come to terms with the fact that I have never had and will never have that sort of relationship with her. It won’t ever happen. How sad. And really, how sad for her! Her only child doesn’t want anything to do with her because of years of her nasty, abusive behavior, and she doesn’t get it. She will never get it. Because in her mind she has done nothing wrong, she is always right, she is blameless. Everyone else has issues but her. In fact, she has stated many times she doesn’t believe in therapy, well at least not for herself. Other people need therapy, but not her. Come to think of it, she told me several years ago (in response to my inviting her to therapy with me to try and fix our relationship), she doesn’t believe in therapy because therapists blame everything on the mother. The irony of that statement is not lost on me!

I think I am in need of that case of wine now. Ugh………


Mary February 16, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Mickey, on reading your blog I thought that somehow we were secret sisters, even though we are onl children, you could be exactly describing my mother. Doesnt believe in therapy, she is blameless, can’t see it is in any way her fault that her only child and grandchildren want nothing to do with her because of the nasty spiteful way she treated them. She has also treated her 3 sisters this way and they also want nothing to do with her. She has nobody now that my father has died, but it is everyone elses fault, we “take her the wrong way”. She treated my father like dirt, telling him he was “no use to anyone” when he had terminal cancer, and my father pleaded with me not to say anything or challenge her in any way, the way he saw it she was right he wasnt any use. It is such a relief to finally realise we are not alone. I came to the conclusions over the years that everyone else on here has, but to see it written down and shared is a revelation. Thank you all so much.


Belle February 17, 2013 at 6:05 pm

These stories sound similar to my mom and make me feel like I’m not alone in this. Last year I suffered a major life trauma and my mom, instead of comforting me, used it as an opportunity to come visit me (she lives several states away) and go shopping in my home for my possessions as “payment” for coming to “help” me. I was physically attacked and yet she complained if I wanted to nap, pointed her finger in my face the moment she got in my driveway, warning me to “never go back to him.” As if this had somehow happened before (it hadn’t). She wanted my chandelier in my living room once I moved out and lost my home (gee, thanks for the vote of confidence that I’ll get to keep my home, mom) and my lawn mower because my stepdad “really liked it and I wasn’t going to be using it anyway.”

She also told me that I looked tired once I had driven 13 hours straight to come pick up my kids when she and my stepdad watched them for 12 days while I was in recovery and going to court. I reminded her those were *black eyes* and she just ignored me. My physical injuries were ignored by her. She also pointed out how she always knew my ex was a bad guy even though it was she who urged me to marry him when I was on the fence.

Growing up she told me I had “weak eyes” and to this day I look at myself in the mirror and feel like I look weak eyed without makeup on. Ironically, I am told by others that I have beautiful eyes and am a beautiful woman. She never told me I was beautiful. She actually told me I was the smart one and my half sister was the pretty one. This made me feel ugly and my sister feel stupid.

When her mother died it was all about her. She has 3 siblings but she was the one who had to be supported by them, not the other way around. She faked collapsing on the way to the funeral. She yelled at me and insulted me as we got ready that morning. She couldn’t realize I’d lost my grandmother. And when my cousin died my mom wrote a cheesy poem about him and handed out copies of it all over town. He had a 16-year battle with cancer and he was known around town. I came into town for the funeral and at his parent’s house my mom barged in and handed me a copy of the poem and said “See, you’re not the only writer in the family.” I politely pointed out to her that I wrote political speeches and this was a funeral, not a competition.

And just yesterday she called me to see, ostensibly, how I was doing. I told her it had been a hard day because I’d received the first communication from my ex now that the courts allowed it. He had written letters to the kids and had finally sent me money for support. I was emotional because I lost a 20-year marriage in a matter of minutes and am now a single parent with no family in the state. She said “But yeah, how are YOU doing? I don’t want to hear about him.” I tried to tell her how what happened to me is still raw and it is about me. She said “If it was me I’d just shut the door and never think about him again.” No empathy, no nothing.

It made me realize she is a narcissistic mother. Growing up she joined in with my friends and boyfriends when they came over, trying to be one of us. She put me down in front of friends even though I was in the top of the class and was on all the sports teams (usually as a captain) and was popular. She would brag about me to others but in person she constantly criticized me. She now does this to my children, saying they are not like her “other” grandkids. My kids hate her. It is no coincidence I live so far away. She was a teenaged mom and although she hasn’t ever blamed me for her failure to graduate high school, I wonder if having me so early (barely 18) stunted her emotional development. She seems stuck in adolescence, as if her brain is forever neotonous. I think that may be the key because her parents were not like this. They were old school in that they didn’t coddle their kids but who knows.

I just know I am a very available mother to my kids. I give them true unconditional love and I tell them each how much I love them and how beautiful they are, inside and out. I never tell them anything critical about their appearance or being because I don’t see anything wrong with my kids. I love them. And I don’t think my mom hates me, I just think that she is a wounded animal, trying hard to prove her worth to the world, to herself. I threaten that because I have been successful. She is competition with me. It is so sad.

I have made my own family as a result. I have great friends. I visit only once a year and I only have phone calls with her when I can stomach it. I had to block her on Facebook because she lied publicly or would reveal private things. Once this summer when we were in hiding due to the criminal nature of what my ex did, my mom posted publicly on Facebook where my kids were even though she knew not to! That was it for me. Her need to be seen as the “hero” trumped the safety of her own grandkids. So now I think of her as a woman who is deeply troubled, who offers me no comfort, who is someone I will not allow in anymore. I will tolerate her once a year. It’s the healthiest thing I can do for me and my kids.


Royalty January 7, 2013 at 4:41 am

I came to this site after watching Dr Phil and I’ve just clicked that I have a narcissistic mother which would explain why I always feel like I have to defend myself even now at 41 she makes me feel inadequate. I love her but so angry at her too! I just didn’t know there was a name for this type of parenting. I thought I was going crazy and she’s always makes me feel like everything I do is not good enough. I have an 11 yr old daughter and I’m just starting to realize that I may be doing the same thing to her, I criticize her performances by comparing her to her cousin. I’m stopping this abuse today! I’m not going to repeat this dysfunction. I’m a single mum and mother always takes great pleasure in telling me everything I do wrong, I just ignore her but I do have pent up anger toward her. I just never tell her, I can’t wait for her to pass away sometimes so the criticism and control will stop. I feel guilty for even thinking that, it’s awful. But that’s how bad she is. I’ve confronted her but she can’t change and I kind of ended up looking like a psycho. It’s a long story. I feel better already.


Nicole January 8, 2013 at 3:31 pm

I’m just coming out of denial, although I’m the last man standing. It’s such a complicated scenario with NPDs it would take volumes of explaining, but we know it all by heart. I’m so fortuneate to have a sister who already broke ties with our Mom almost five years ago, so as I am having a flood of things making sense now, she is right their coaching me through it cause we know it all so well. Today’s discovery is that my love and fear if her are intertwined and that sense of fear has manifested in other ways that I’m just beginning to understand and undo. I’ve decided to walk away, and my closure with her is silence as opposed to adding even a drop to fuel her fire. I’m 38 and happily married, we have a little boy, and I need to conserve my energy that I normally would dedicate to her, to making sure I’m in a clear and healthy state of mind to raise our son with love and sincerity. I also need to develop my connections with the rest of my family that I have been manipulated away from by my mother. I have more important, life affirming, normal things to go do now.
What a relief.


Caz January 26, 2013 at 6:04 pm

I am a survivor of a crazy, abusive mother, with some combination of narcissistic personality disorder, borderline or histrionic. She beat me abut three times a week from the time I was a toddler until I was 12 and big enough to resist her. I hate her f%&$g guts. I hope she gets to sit in her own shit for hours every day at a nursing home where no-one will visit her, and where orderlies will smack her around for being difficult. Anger is so empowering! I was severely depressed as a child and slipped into suicidal thinking for most of my teen years. But then I came to realize it was not me at all. It was her! My anger filled me with ambition to build a new life. These days, I am a happy, successful person, but I notice that I just do not have certain emotional tools that others have. Still, I declare myself a success after such a terrible start.


Kenneth February 3, 2013 at 4:25 pm


Twenty five years ago when I was ten I lost my father to suicide. The reasons are grey, and many factors contributed to his action. Only recently have I come to understand privately that my mother was one of them.

After his death she turned to alcohol, Yet today still denies the events that took place then – a ten year old should not have to water his mothers whiskey down, blanket her on the floor unable to lift her into bed, and excuse her own threats of suicide if I did not agree with her – alone as an only child.

She was not a bad mother, always. She pulled herself away from the bottle, eventually. Though I did not really begin a process of grief for my father until I was twenty – after I had left home for more than a year. Then I reasoned that my own depression and difficulties were largely a product of my fathers death, and my response. In a way I blamed myself, not for his death, but for my actions after.

Now, thirty five, I realize the impact of my mother. Today I can see her actions as manipulative. Burdening me with guilt with any opportunity. Controlling. I never rebelled for fear that she would follow the same path as my father. And she would make certain I would be seen as causing her suffering.

Yet still today, her pattern continues. She might ask me what I have planned for the weekend, and then if I have something planned, ask me to help her out with a chore at her home, or to take her somewhere. Then, when I turn up she has gone. She remembers, though she can then continue to tell others that I did not and never do help her out. This is just one method of many. The screaming, isolation, her delusions and other madness over the years, out of sight, was just part of growing up.

Only recently after understanding what narcissism in a parent is, can I see that she ticks almost every box on the list. This is her, And only with that clarity of knowledge have I recently begun to feel relief. Can I consider forgiving her not for her, but for myself. So that I can avoid falling prey to the same type of relationship in the future. For the family I hope to have one day. For my future wife and children. And my friends. Not to save the world, as I have for so long felt I needed to do.

Love Kenneth.


Survivor February 4, 2013 at 5:05 am

Both my parents are narcs im in my early thirties and have recently realised this. My father would control everything we did, eat, thought, said. I would get beaten daily its all i ever knew i was told by them that everyone gets hit. I was not allowed to form close bonds with other children they moves us around sometimes twice a year. When I was 13 I formed a close bond with someone at school we had been in the same area for longer than we had before. I was finally allowed ot have a sleep over. My friend disobeyed her parents and i was waiting for her to get hit. She was scolded but not hit. I asked her and even asked her mother and they both informed me getting beaten was not right it was child abuse. I had never heard this word before i didnt know what it was. I remember it vividly being in total shock that not every kid got hit. When my dad cheated on my mum and it all came out he left her for one of his women claiming she cheated and she might have too but my mum got soo bad.

When she was with my dad she loved to play the victim and the sweet lil wifey when he left she took on his role and hers. Before when she was with him she would dob us in to him for anything and everything knowing full well the beating we would get. She would hit us sometimes with wooden spoons till they broke but not as bad as my father.

After he left she had a string of boyf’s and gave me the responsibility of getting my siblings up in the morning ready for school. When she got re married barely a year after her divorce with my father. She treated me like a 5 year old . I was 16 at the time and all the responsibilities that she thrust upon me were taken away i was then set up by her and my step dad to take the blame for anything that went wrong. SHE Laughed at me when i showed concern for my siblings and tried to help them saying your not their mother. But she was never there before she re married she was always off her head pissed at the pub or at a freinds house or coming down the stairs half dressed after having a mid day sex session with her boyf.

What makes me sick to cut a long long long story short is that she is a minister of awell known church organisation she is also a qualified councellor. If they knew who she really was and what she still does she would not have that job. She met het latest boyfriend a year ago when he was with another woman they kinda because buddies and have been dating for 7 weeks. Two weeks into her relationship they declared their undying love for one another and annouced their marriage. Its the same shiz on a different day. She rushes into every relationship she gets into. When i told her my concern she said..

darling did you ever really think your opinion means anytihng to me? Did you really ever think id take anything you say seriously? Oh by the way sweetie youve been in the dark you dont know everything therefor you cannot speak on this at all. You see two years ago i forgave her let her back in my life for two frekin years as she was going through her second divorce she made out that she loved me cared and needed me. She said i see you not jsut as a daughter but as a friend. She told me personal things and i thought she had let me in. It was a lie..

The second i say something she did not want to hear i was destroyed. When she is with a man nothing else and no one else matters her parents describe her as someone who cannot love more than one person at a time. I have decided to let her go. I dont want her in my life she constantly disrespects my wishes and trashes my feelings. Either i let her in my life and live with her sick ways or i eject her out for good. I have decided that i cant do fake. I am not her i want real connections with people including her not a fake relationship where i am only allowed to say nice things to her and agree with her only. I have blocked her from email and i am in the process of changing mu numbers there is no reasoning with her im not even going to tell her what im doing she will just try to call me and wont be able to she do sent deserve me or my precious son in her life. She cares about labels and titles she measures success in dollar format and her favourite person is the person with the most amount of money its sick. I could write a novel about her and about the narc boyfriends i had not knowing what i was falling back into . I didn’t know any better then but i do know i am taking action, ive grived, ive cried, ive been angry, ive said my peace and it was ignored now is time for action. I refuse to give into the guilt that tries to prevent me from doing this.


Lisa February 9, 2013 at 1:50 am

I glad for finding this site. I have no energy to write my whole story but my breaking point has been.a jagged journey this week, culminating in an anxiety attack.and.a.crying jag where I felt pain I had no idea wad thrte. Several times, I said to myself, I should just die. No husband, no children, ….she’s tirn me diwn, so has my Dad. They are both Narcassists. A friend suggested my Mom might be a NM. I said maybr but tonight all the lights came on it was devestating! The glares, critiques, micromanaging, walking away ad I am talking. Nothing is ever goid enough. She told my adopted sister she considrted me a huge failure in life. She always covets everything I am eearing, and will come right out and ask me if she can have it. One day I heard her talking to her fiance and plagurized my life and told my story ad if it was hers! She is obssesed with celebrities and stayus and monry.
It is crazy. She also typed me a lteer and photocopied and put it in my bookbag for me to find @school. She signed it, with her full name a contrsct. She was angry I had lost my virginity. The first sentence was”You are thr worst daughter anyone could wish for. I did not raise you to be a whore!”
When I met the live of my lifr. She told me ,”He’s so handsome, you better be careful, I don’t know why he is intrrested in you, I wouldn’t bet on him really loving you. Just be careful”. Smh
The events this eeek take the cake but I am aware I am just venting. I am also writing from my teeny phone. Forgive the mispellings.
I just want to thank you! If I hadn’t read any of this I don’t knoe
If i’d still be around, “walking on eggshells”, not breathing too loudly. Sumbering everything not to set her iff. I just woke up to the pain, abuse, my loss of parents, my loss of a good relationships, babies, and wasted relationshipd with other narccasists. Wth? I am 42 years old. I almost choked on that. My whole lufe. I am an only child, I introduced someone into my family to take the pressure off me. She became the Hero Child, I was the loser, scapegoat but believe it or not it was a relief to be the bad one.
I am bannling. Thank you all for sharing. You saved ne. Belueve that. I feel hoprful noe. This is crazymaking s@#t


Barbara February 11, 2013 at 9:33 pm

If you’re No Contact from your NarcMom and in therapy, join us:
DoNM Freedom


Lena March 7, 2013 at 7:30 pm

I really enjoyed reading this blog, I especially liked the last part where you said You can not change her but you can change the way you relate to the situation… true!And you can also change the way’s you’ve adapted yourself due to the way she raised you. Then you can become who you truly are. I found this other blog very interesting on the subject of narcissistic parents….


Adam March 16, 2013 at 10:06 am

It has been great to read all of the stories and experiences from so many, it makes me finally feel like I’m not alone. I have a narcissistic mother and she is only getting worse with age. Don’t get me wrong I have a wonderful wife who is very supportive of me and does understand but it’s different then having actually gone through it. I have a sister who is 3 years older and is just like my mother. It is uncanny but I swear she is the same person. I also have a brother that is 5 years younger and he just doesn’t see my mother for what she is. He has always been the goldenchild and as such he just thinks she is loving person and always means well. I could go on for hours writing about all of the selfish, mean and abusive things she has done to me and my sister over the years but we all know what I am talking about. Everything was about her and how it would reflect onto her. If something didn’t reflect well to her she would just deny that it ever happened. For a long time I tried to reason with her or make her understand my side but then one day I just said to her “fine I will never talk to you about my feelings or emotions again” and her reply was “Perfect! You have made my year!”. After that I just knew there was nothing for me to say to her, so we have said nothing but “hi” to each other at large family functions since. The harder part for me to except has been my father. He refuses to see any of what she does and just defends her. If there is no argument to make against what I have said about her then he will just yell at me until I walk away because he just can’t face it. He final said to me “there is nothing in the world that a parent could ever do to justify a child ever questioning them”. Again this statement just left me wondering what to do or if there is anything I could do. I am coming to terms that I just don’t have normal or healthy parents but it is a hard and long process that most people just don’t understand.


Free at last March 18, 2013 at 2:59 pm

This website is great. Reading how others have handled their NM is reassuring that I can get past this. Within the last month, the lightbulb went off and I realized my mom is narcisstic. For 45 years, I’ve been dealing with this and never once identified what it was. Until, she recently started in on my 18 year old that is in her senior year of high school. It came through as a scathing text message at 10pm on a Sunday night (of all things, since when did she starting texting??) Anyway, it basically accused my daughter of not responding to her on facebook (which was completely untrue), calling her a liar when my daughet tried to explain that she did indeed always reply to her questions, then proceeded to threaten with the “you better be careful and not burn bridges”. What?? It was completely ridiculous and made my daughter feel terrible and left wondering what she did and why her grandma was acting this way. It immediately made me flashback to my senior year of high school, when my mom made it terrible. I specifically remember my graduation day being ruined, because she got mad at me for something and decided to ignore me all day and restrict me from going to do anything with friends after. I though “Oh No” this is not going to happen to my daughter. Mamma Bear came out and was ready to defend. I tried calling her the next morning to ask what was up….no answer…left message. Called the next day….no answer….left another message. At this point, I knew she was ignoring me, because she had to know what I was calling about. As well as prohibiting my enabling father from answering the call as well. I then was so frustrated, that I begin doing research on-line to find out what exactly was her deal. My search starting with a couple words “Toxic parent”. Which then narrowed it down until I saw “Narcissistic Mother”. I was shocked and amazed that this fit her to the tee. Eye opening to say the least. My husband and I could identify the many characteristics she had and reflect back on many situations. It was so reassuring to see it in print and read more and more. To continue on with the story, she never did call back so I knew the only way I might reach my Dad is to call him on his cell and hope he was away from the house. I was in luck, and he was out doing errands. He proceeded to listen to my questions, and how I was not happy with her behavior. He always seems to understand and agree, but for my whole life never does anything about it. His answers is always for me to go running to her and make it better, even though I explained
“No way was I going over there, because for one I or my daughter did nothing wrong” He told me he would go home and tell her I called him, which I’m sure didn’t go over well at all. I could picture the rage. Anyway, went another week or so with no calls and I was not going to call her. Suddenly 10 mins after I arrive at work one day, I get a nasty gram of a text message. This after 4 weeks of not seeing or talking to her. She proceeded to say “What is wrong with you? I don’t get all this cold attitude from you lately. What did we do to have you treat us this way. All this because we are concerned about our grandchild. As grandparents we are always going to care about our grandchildren and love them even if you’re telling them otherwise. If you want to talk you can call or better yet come to our house so we can find out what is going on. Love you”. My reactions was WHAT???? Are you kidding me. This is the message you sent me when you haven’t spoken a word in a month. I don’t think so. I didn’t respond at all. Not to mention noting that the message quoted “We”, which is not the case because I know it’s not my dad. It’s all her! Then 2 days later my Dad gets out of the house to call me on his cell phone again. He basically is asking me again “can you come by to talk to her”. I said “absolutely not”. He had no idea what her nasty gram said, so I told him. I said I wasn’t going to take her crap anymore, or run to the bedroom door to make her come out. If she wanted to call me she could and I would talk. He said ok though of course wanted it to all wash away and ignore it like it always had been done in the past. That night we get home from a function to find a NASTY voicemail on the machine at home. Here’s how it went (imagine a really mean voice that was obviously not happy she was having to make the call) ….Long pause….”It’s your Mother, so this is how it’s going to be huh? Phone tag, ok bye”. We couldn’t believe it, so obvious that she was forced to call and that’s the first spoke word she has said to me in a month. Nice. So, needless to say I wasn’t going to return such a call. Next night again out of the house and return to a slightly nicer tone, but like she was fake smiling “It’s me again, I’ve tried twice, so now its your turn”. I didn’t even want to speak to her because I knew what the conversation was going to be like, but the next day I decided to call because I had a knot in my stomach and felt nauseous frequently for a month, so I knew I had to get it off my chest….for once in my life. I proceeded to call the next day during a break at work when I would have an easy way out to get off the phone if needed. The 1st phone call I made she picked up like Mrs. Happy, like nothing at all had been going on. She was busy doing hair, so I told her I would call her back in awhile. She said “Oh okay, talk to you later”. I had to build up my strength to make the next call and wrote down exactly what I needed to say to get it out correctly. She answered all Happy yet again. I proceeded to say “I’m calling to let you know whats happening and where I stand” She said OK in still a semi-pleasant way. My next statement was the doozy “To answer your question from your text the other day, “What is wrong with me?, nothing is Wrong with me. I’m just clear now that I’m no longer going to deal with negativity, blame, guilt trips, and unnecessary drama”. I had much more to say if needed, but my gut told me to take a pause to see what her response would be. The wrath begins…..her statement “Oh really, so now do you want to hear what I have to say..are you going to listen?” I said I was listening. She proceeded to say “We are feeling ignored”. I asked why would that be. She then proceeded to tell me I should be making my kids call them once a week. I proceeded to explain that they are busy and don’t really talk on the phone much even to friends, but are always happy to talk to her if she calls or when I was calling them once a week. Well, all of those comments sent her off. She basically said “Oh that’s always the excuse, your all busy, you should make them call me, etc. etc. I didn’t back down on not making them call her, and that angered her even more. I proceeded to tell her in a little bit of a more stern voice that I was the one calling her once a week to check in because I couldn’t remember the last time she called our house. She told me “Don’t yell at me”. I said I’m not yelling, I’m stating a fact. She said “well no one is ever there”. I said well then “Leave a message, we return calls”. She didn’t like that and proceeded to call me a liar and that she calls me way more than I call her. The conversation was getting nowhere fast. She proceeded to get louder and yell, I had enough. I hung up. I actually felt the knot in my stomach go away instantly. Just getting out that one statement, even though it set her off and it was all about her after that. I got to state in plain and simple terms I wasn’t going to deal with her crap. An hour later, I got a nasty text message, saying “Thanks for hanging up on me, That shows a lot of respect. All your telling us if we have to do as you say, huh! I guess what you want is for us to not be seen or heard from until it fits into your busy schedule. We always thought you would be the child who would be there for us. Dad and I are very hurt by the comments you made and not trying to understand what we are feeling. Very selfish of you. Don’t think a call to us is as important..just 5 mins of your precious time. So unless we agree to your terms we don’t have a say or respect”. That was it, and I haven’t spoken to her since. That was 10 days ago. That phone call made everything so clear really. There is no way she will ever listen or care what anyone else has to say or feels. She didn’t listen to one word I said or cared to change, so I’m done. I don’t want her negativity or worrying about the next time we are all out or together of what negative thing she’ll say or complain about. It’s always something. I don’t want my kids to be around that either, it’s toxic. She doesn’t like it once anyone has a mind of their own or crosses her. You are the enemy the minute you don’t agree and do what she says. Enough is enough, and now I’m working to move forward with no contact and peace and happiness in my home. I’m working hard to not let me mind go to the guilty place she has always put me in, but I’m determined to let go of all that from now on.


David April 19, 2013 at 9:49 am

My mother has total NPD. I distanced myself from her 20 years ago. But problems were: 1) friends would distance themselves from me if I said anything about what she is like; 2) broke up with a G/F and my network of friends stopped being friends and had no support network to get over breaking up so stupidly looked to my mother who used it to her advantage putting me in financial trouble so was forced to keep a relationship with my NPD mother; 3) similar at work ran into a few narcissists and without friends / colleagues that understand looked to my NPD mother for support and management hoped the NPD co-worker would change. So hard to go ‘no contract’ with a NPD mother as what happens when break up with friends / Girlfriends or bump into narcissists at work in terms of who then can look to for support other than the NPD mother?


David April 19, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Further to my earlier post. As always going to run intol narcissist people like a boss or co-worker or so called friend who turns out to be a narcissist or one who is a G/F / wife you cannot avoid running into a narcissist. And with the economy if have a narcissist boss you may not be able to get a different job to get away from them. So sadly you cannot go ‘no contact’ with everyone who is a narcissist. So my mother having total NPD mental condition retrospectively I think is better to deal with the devil you know than the devil you don’t know as even though my mother has total NPD she would have if worked her helped me deal with all the narcissist bosses / co-workers / G/F’s I have known. My Dad got it right he is mega-smart he gets what he wants by making his NPD wife believe she is getting what she wants. Sort of manipulating the NPD manipulator even though he is mega-nice and not a NPD person he worked out how to make her feel she was getting what she wanted so he got what he wanted. As a child of a NPD mother my advise upon reflection is learn how to deal with them as even if hide by ‘no contact’ from a NPD mother you probably will only get a NPD boss that say due to the market you cannot move jobs and are stuck with.


FinallyHealing May 6, 2013 at 9:27 am

I started therapy when I was 30. Now I’m 63. I left therapy for about five years. Recently returned. I learned my mother was narcissistic eleven years ago, when my life hit total rock bottom. Well, part of my feeling “can’t hold on anymore” was menopause, which I realized in retrospect, but by then I’d been on soc sec disability about four years. I am the only one of five who has been to therapy. So, that made me, in everyone’s eyes, “crazy”. I was just about to believe it myself, until it kicked in: they “needed” me to be, so they can believe they are all right. That’s when I began to distance myself. They all have issues, from drug addiction, former drug addict who lives with his daughter with whom he sleeps in the same bed, but everyone closes their eyes to it, to workaholics, and the golden child (one of the workaholics), the youngest, is a control freak, demeaning, and behaving more and more like my mother. She is about 50 yrs old now, married about five years ago to a passive/aggressive twenty years older, whom she demeans. There’s so much to tell, there’s not enough room here. I just read “Leaving Home”– “The art of separating from your difficult family”. If only I’d known this from the get go, my life would have turned out so differently. But here I am at 63 and still wanting to have a life. I have a BA which I got at 40, but couldn’t complete my master’s. 🙁 I never found a job I wanted to keep, even though I wanted very much to work. If only I could complete my masters, but I can’t pay for it, and certainly education costs have skyrocketed. I can’t take out a loan, as my defaulted old loan(s) are being garnished from the pitiful funds I receive from ssdi. I only rent a room. It’s all I can afford. I hate living here. Can I still figure out a way to earn a living? I want to. I want to so much.


Gudi July 8, 2014 at 8:12 am

This is where I needed to be!

I’m so happy to have finally figured her out, now I can get better and live the rest of my life in peace, 2 days ago my children were seriously in danger of becoming orphans, it’s been going on for years of course.

I don’t really want to go into a lot of detail just because now my time is precious, I’ve wasted far too many years on her.

Thank you



Jill September 8, 2014 at 12:32 am

Hello fellow survivors. Thank you all for your posts, I have found them to be a revelation to me having suffered all my life and being totally confused and frustrated as to why this was happening to me. Of late, I have found that my intense anger towards my mother has shifted to my father. He is a kind and good man, but a classic “enabler”. He has stood by and witnessed the outrageous abuse from my mother without blinking. I know he loves me, but continually turns a blind eye. Why can’t he stick up for me??? I’m interested to hear from others who may have experienced this and how they have dealt with it. Thanks in advance.


Cary December 17, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Hi guys, I too am looking for some support and understanding. I was adopted by a narcissistic, controlling and has psychopathic tendencies – I came across a statement once that totaled it up for me “If a psychopath isn’t manipulating someone they are not having any fun”. Well, my dad too is a complete enabler which is extremely frustrating. I am 49 (damn that looks old) and have another adopted brother who lives in Scotland and two natural born younger siblings – one brother who lived with my parents until he was 45 and a sister two years younger who is her golden child (as well as the brother) but she basically lives for my sister and her three grandchildren who she is completely in charge of making sure they are raised to turn out just the way she wished I had – now my adoptive brother in Scotland – his kids she does nothing but trash them and when they come to visit she acts so nice and the kids love her and have no idea how she really feels and it breaks my heart. Currently I am the center of one of her Narcissistic Rages brought on by finding out I asked my sister and brother about six months ago not to mention I had just quit my job because we were going on vacation and I just didn’t want to deal with it – we yesterday my sister told her I the situation and she tore my dad up and down and won’t speak to any of us (my guess is she will talk to my sister) – but see – she won’t talk to me – never has, she has my father call me, so I talk to him and I guess he never mentioned that I started my own business so in her mind it is all a big conspiracy (I guess a controller who feels they are not in control go crazy). Well, this is just the current matter but my whole life has been a mess – I feel worthless and can’t hold a job – my last boss told me I was insecure and had no self esteem – whatever something like that but I already know that and just can’t seem to hide it very well and it leads to major problems in every aspect of my life.
Sorry for the long email – I just don’t understand how my dad deals with her and how he doesn’t take control of the situation – he caters to her every whim and she treats him like a hired hand but he sticks up for and beside her all the way! I get it – I really do, especially because he is the only one who ever showed me any love at all. Leaving her means I leave him and that is her threat to me which she actually stated. She has complete control over him. I would love to be a support buddy for you – sometimes its important just to have someone who really does “get it”. Hope to hear from you or anyone else.


Suz October 25, 2015 at 5:03 am

Hi. Jil my father is treated the same. He lets my mother do this I can hardly bear to hear it I try to stand up for him sometimes but it is difficult because I know she will turn on me and I am already suffering. I have been many times upset that my father has let her abuse me all my life and done nothing. What can I expect If he allows it to be done to him. I am 58 years old and have had a lightbulb moment realising that My mother is a narc and that I am in a triangle. My father is the enbler and is passive, my brother is also a narc like my mother but even worse than her,they bounce off each other. And I am the scapegoat lost child. I have only just realised that there is no point going to my brother any more for support as he is one also andthe golden child and hero and that his interest lies in being looked after and totally Supported by my mother so he always sides with her. I have found this so hurtful and I. Am lonely. My poor husband who is so quiet and passive has heard me for years being upset and made Unwell with mymental health I do not ring my mum so much now and try to keep all conversation light. I tell her nothing about my life so she cant pick on things. It is the only way I can get some peace and sanity.


Giedre December 4, 2014 at 6:03 pm

It is difficult to imagine how to live with narcisistic mother. I have already 38 years and often wonder how my life would have been different if i had a normal loving mother. Over the years she used to disparage me, as if i was the worst person in the world. It is really hard to understand. Only recently i came across narcisistic disorder and only then my have started to understand why all these things happened in my life. However i think that now i am still in a state of denial, as trying to remember some good moments i have shared with her. In any case i might be needing a therapy, as even at night in my dreams i quarrel with her trying her to see amd imagine how i feel and felt over these years. And narcisistic behaviuor only gets worse wit the years, as every email i recieve from her makes me emotionally terified as she always complains how misarable she feels, how i made her life miserable, everything always abou her and her. I am guilty for her illneses, for her fights with her boyfriend, for everything. Well, it is really sad.


RR December 27, 2014 at 3:58 pm

A letter to my NM:

From a very early age, I have sense something in you, something that made me feel like I don’t matter. It’s a deep feeling, one that makes me feel a deep sorrow and hollowness. I can remember so many times where I needed you to just be there for me emotionally and your feelings were elsewhere. I don’t think I have many memories of you sharing any feelings with me, yours of sharing in my feelings as I was experiencing them. These past years I feel like something is off with you and It colours my whole history. Looking back, I used to understand on some level that you didn’t know who I was or ho I felt, but I thought we had a silent understand or love between us, and I thought I was normal that I did not feel much of anything. I felt that under the surface, if I had any feelings or emotional needs, it would make you very angry so I swallowed it all, and I suffered a lot because of it. I could not handle a lot of the feelings around the divorce and non top of that; I was emotionally abandoned by you time and time again.
Since coming moving back home, I now see what it means for me to have feelings and to bring them and my rights to this family. I have never been so severely punished and so fully blamed, not only for things that I did not do, but for yours and other people’s mistakes. It feels like you want me to pay the price for something and that price is my whole life, that you tried and try to do everything within your power to make me feel like dirt, including enabling others who have treated me poorly. I watch as you hide the truth and twist the facts to accomplish this and I wonder what your motives possibly could be. I wonder where your values lie, how come you lie, and why you work so hard to keep yourself in the center of a hurtful chaos that causes so much suffering for others. I wonder if you have any sense of your own spirit or soul or how come you have caused so much pain. I wonder why you did not put your own abuse into any type of context and work towards developing compassion and empathy for yourself or others to save your own children and grandchildren from this horrible fate of abuse and why you are so deeply cruel to the people you love. I don’t understand why you can’t talk about yourself honestly or your experiences or your deeds with honesty. I don’t know why you pretend or make things out to be different than they are or were. I don’t know what you have gained from destroying your family. I never knew you were so empty or how threatened you really were by any positive power in me, by the confidence that I had earned, by the basic respect for my own feelings which I depended upon, for the beautiful voice I had for singing and expressing my thoughts, and most of all, for the love and care that I felt for others. I never knew you hated the best of me. I never knew you felt so black inside and I didn’t know that that blackness had turned into such rage and contempt and hatred after you lived with it for so long. I have never known such cruelty, such unending and out of control lack of perspective and seepage, as I have in the last 4 years when you have twisted the lives of every single member of your family into ruins. I wonder what is so dark and twisted in you that you could not face and I pray that the darkness you have brought upon this family and me fades with time.


Miika January 7, 2015 at 9:20 pm

Thanks for these posts. I just turned 20 in December and I fully understand that my mother has NPD. It took so many years of pain, constantly living in fear and social anxiety, depression and confusion to figure this out. I am still dependent on her because I’m taking college classes (and jobless lol) but I’ve silently decided this year will be the last. I can’t keep walking on eggshells every-single-freakin-day with her and always doing whatever she wants me to out of pure fear that she’ll yell at me again… I’m the “golden child” of my family and it sucks. I just can’t keep living here anymore. She’ll take my happiness away, and after a few months of therapy I realized I deserve quality of life. At least I think I do. … I am so, so glad I found out what NPD was about last year. It was like a lightbulb. It wasn’t my fault all this time that she was so demanding and mean, just to say “I’m only saying/doing this to help you”! To make fun of my anxiety and get angry at my depression and constantly pressure me to be perfect. I do deserve quality of life. I see a future where I am happy, and I want to keep walking toward that future, even if she tries to trip me along the way. This will be my last year in this house, whether she likes it or not. She’s gonna have to call in someone else to help her with menial tasks! These posts are such lifesavers. Thank you. 😀


Susanna January 25, 2015 at 3:46 pm

I’m in my fifth year of no contact with my narcissistic mother. I spent the first forty years of my life in denial about the fact that my own mother didn’t love me. I made excuses in my mind about why she never spent time with me, ignored and ridiculed me and ultimately, abandoned me during a health crisis that left me in ICU for four days, with a pulmonary embolism. She shshowed up once, for twenty minutes, talked about herself the entire time — how bad the traffic and the parking was. Also, she didn’t tell any of our family that I was in the hospital, in serious condition, and that it was possible I wouldn’t make it.

When I called her on the second day I was in ICU, she acted like she was too busy to hear about the procedure the doctors wanted to do, which was pretty risky, she sounded disinterested. When I was discharged two days later, she came to the hospital to bring me the change of clothes I’d asked her to bring, but she was angered because she had to wait until they’d finished the echocardiogram on my heart, to clear me to be discharged.

She left complaining about the traffic. I took the bus home.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I despise this woman. Its taken me YEARS to forgive myself for allowing her to be within ten feet of me! It took three years of therapy to come to terms with the fact that my own mother didn’t love me, and she is incapable of loving anyone. My younger brother is the golden child. She showered him with love and attention and taught him how to despise me. I was isolated and uninvited to family holidays. I wanted to die. I have two nephews I loved more than anything, and because of all of this. I haven’t been able to watch them grow up.

Depression came and part of it, or most of it came from the fact I couldn’t face the truth. That my Mother is a narcissist and she never loved me. I despise her so much that it is hard to deal with. Though my rage has gotten better thanks to my therapist. I had guilt over being angry about what she’s done to me. But now I know it’s okay.

The therapy helped the severe depression, the suicidal thoughts. But the pain was deep. Sometimes I manage not to feel sadness about it. Other times, like Christmas, I feel like my head will explode.

Even with that, I’m better off now outside of the sick triangle of my Mother, brother and me. That for sure would’ve killed me.

Thank you for giving me a place to tell my story.


Kara December 27, 2016 at 10:10 pm

I hear you Susanna! We have the same type of sick mother. Mine would let out a little giggle whenever I told her that someone hurt me. Made me want revenge. The only way to get revenge is to have a better life than them and not include them in it.


Jane March 1, 2016 at 3:40 pm

I’ve been gradually detaching from my narcissist mother after realizing that this was imperative to my emotional well-being. Since my father passed away a few years ago, she has become increasingly emotionally abusive. I have been her primary target. With therapy, I’ve emotionally survived all of this, and I am moving forward with my life in a more meaningful way. I am grieving and have reached acceptance that we cannot have a healthy relationship with each other. But despite my mother’s cruelties directed toward me, which have included serious gaslighting, smear campaigning involving family and friends, false allegations of criminal conduct, and other tactics; and despite the fact that my cutting ties may trigger additional cruelties, I nevertheless feel myself feeling sad for her. She does not know how to behave any differently, based on her relationship with her own mother, and she is not able or willing to change her belief system. I must take leave, and she won’t feel the loss. But I wish it could have been different for her, and for my relationship with her. Ironic.


Dave July 17, 2016 at 4:37 am

fwiw, I’ll add a male voice in hopes it will help someone. It’s been 25 years since I’ve cut it off with the NM. The benefit of hindsight is being able to recognize all the patterns and damage.

She was a gold digger, bouncing from one relationship or marriage to another to fulfill her often alcohol-fueled country club diva fantasy. The men I admire the most are my dad (who, despite not having custody of me, worked hard to provide a stable, normal environment for my visits), her second husband (who had insight to recognize her for what she was and divorce her after only a year), …and me. Her hunting ground was country clubs (even going so far as to ask my stepmother if she should marry a millionaire she’d snagged).

Along the way her relationship currency has been real estate. A newly built house as condition of the second divorce. Another newly built house plus vacation condo from her wimp of a third husband (her proxy).

Similarly, her relationship with me was transactional, especially since I was adopted, expressed as, “…after all I’ve done for you….” As a child, any mention I’d make of having fun with Dad or even mentioning a curiosity about my birthparents was enough to send her into a blind rage.

I disconnected from her in stages, starting by going away to college. There were other incidents as I matured and our visits became less frequent. They came to visit when I’d landed my dream job. The snarky, snotty remark, “It must be nice to have such a fancy house,” set such a bad tone that by the time I was driving them to the airport I was fed up. I pulled off the expressway, got out to unlock the trunk and told her she could either shut up or walk. And I was prepared to leave them right there on the side of the road. Best thing I ever did. It was a few years yet before the final break.

My step-sister tells me it continued. The NM would completely ignore her grandchildren. And, while her wimp husband lay in the hospital for heart surgery (which he didn’t survive), she went out to buy tennis shoes. Even today, when my step-sister has picked her up from the airport, it’s an hour’s drive full of bitchy critiques about the vehicle’s cleanliness with nary a thank you for the taxi service.

As I’ve examined it, she despises strong, principled men like my dad or her second husband (who took on a second career as a first responder following his retirement). She prefers wimps like her third husband. And, honestly, like my step-brother. And like her perpetually-drunk, sloppy, lowlife nephew.

Yeah, I’ll revel in some schadenfreude. She’s got her seasonal vacation condo and an empty too-large home in a nondescript country club community where she’s now too old to enjoy any standing as a tennis diva.


John February 14, 2017 at 6:18 pm

Just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have been so injured by these issues over the years, but hearing the stories make me feel less alone. I am just so very grateful. My heart goes out to the other children of narcissistic mothers who have suffered.


Marion Schuller September 21, 2016 at 2:21 pm

My mother died April 15. The golden child, my younger brother, died 3 years ago. Although the woman did not disinherit me (that would have looked bad) she made sure that my children would get zip, zilch, zero if I predeceased my brother, and the estate would go to my brother’s children. The final dig. They just never quit, even after death……….Karma was benificent


Becky November 19, 2016 at 4:43 am

Omg !!!


Becky November 19, 2016 at 4:42 am

Thank goodness for this site . I’m one of 4 kids and my NM has had a field day with us all over the years . My Younger sister and eldest brother are the golden children and my twin brother and myself are the scapegoats . Do these mothers know what they are doing ?


Racquel July 7, 2017 at 10:32 pm

Sincere Gratitude for yOur Balanced Wisdom & this article which the title led me to this site… Yes I want to Survive… & this moment I say a prayer for all Souls who didn’t… To grant them peace & transformation…
My earliest memory is of my mother beating me – because I spat out the food she was feeding me into the bib… I knew then, even at that very early age to spit as she walked away to do something else (I was 6mths old) & so began a life of Inner conflict & rage at every injustice… [I’d be beaten for my brother’s plentiful misdemeanours as well as mine which were usually minor & just realised this moment, generally involved food… (taking syrup, fruit, chocolate from cupboard) poor little darling girl just realised I was trying to take control (food) & stop pain (sugar)]… & extreme self loathing only outdone by the fear & anxiety & inability to move beyond the sphere of control created by the selfish & extreme manipulation of my loyalty & loving devotion which is a part of my nature… Yet on the outside I was envied for my beauty & intelligence & musical ability… Ha! This facade & ultimate denial continued to my 47th year… Last summer… Synchronised with Chiron Retrograde … Yes… The Wounded Healer… Who Heals OneSelf… This has been a long lonely sad journey… & reading of the Acceptance… That was a key component last year… Acceptance of Narcissist & forgiveness… Now the Acceptance of the Moment is accepting the tragedy & miserable circumstances that happened as a result of the inner turmoil…
Like many I didn’t tell a soul… Telling family now (cousins) there is disbelief… Her behaviour has always been inappropriate yet her charismatic persona, spiritual discipline & healthy regime portray her success as a human whilst supporting her RIGHTNESS of viewpoint & confused my ability to separate the Narcissist from the mother. My father & ally (because he was a big softie like myself not because he stopped beatings or outrageous behaviour) had a brain haemorrhage when I was 10yrs & they divorced so I was then removed from his family network & moved to new place as a young teenager… Needless to say I was a train wreck that survived many near fatal crashes… Success in work or creative endeavour was only when I supported a Narcissist…

I became a mother late & with someone who supported my dysfunctional conditioning so am dealing with “undoing” this relationship with Conscious Awareness yet finding it most difficult when behaviour from partner triggers what I now know is PTSD…
My Son is 6yrs old & saves my life every day with the love that flows to overcome the self care issues that are taking their toll after years of neglect … & yet as the birds begin to sing as dawn rises after a full moon & tears have flowed freely I write this as a Survivor… WHO WANTS TO SURVIVE! … & quite honestly this is a new feeling… It’s a good sign of self Esteem… I’m worth surviving!
& So again, THANK YOU MICHELLE for your benevolent wisdom & transformative, healthy advice in this essential support tool & website …
I wish all of you searching to Survive a Narcissistic Mother, Peaceful Loving Inner Validation… Know, sincerely I hold you in my heart thoughts daily… & remember & trust as Michelle says… It’s a Process… All Love Dear Survivors


Anonymous July 21, 2018 at 4:26 am

So glad I found this website!!! About 2 years ago I started counselling funnily enough after mother’s day!! I would look at Facebook and other social media and always asked myself why do I not have a good relationship with my mother. I have no contact with her anymore and I feel like a completely different person. I feel so peaceful, happy, light and most of all have regained my self esteem!! My only issue is she still tries to manipulate other people around me. My mother in law and my husband all feel sorry for her. She puts on a show, plays (and believes herself) the victim. Of course nobody understands me because they didn’t have my childhood and my parents. Your poor mother, she is still your mother, you owe her your life. I can tell u now I am a much better person without her but she is still trying to manipulate people around me to control the situation and make me go back to her.. and I am sooooo tired!


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