Sanctuary for the Abused

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Narcissistic Mothers' Characteristics

1. Everything she does is deniable.
There is always a facile excuse or an explanation. Cruelties are couched in loving terms. Aggressive and hostile acts are paraded as thoughtfulness. Selfish manipulations are presented as gifts. Criticism and slander is slyly disguised as concern. She only wants what is best for you. She only wants to "help" you.

She rarely says right out that she thinks you’re inadequate. Instead, any time that you tell her you’ve done something good, she counters with something your sibling did that was better or she simply ignores you or she hears you out without saying anything, then in a short time does something cruel to you so you understand not to get above yourself. She will carefully separate cause (your joy in your accomplishment) from effect (refusing to let you borrow the car to go to the awards ceremony) by enough time that someone who didn’t live through her abuse would never believe the connection.

Many of her putdowns are simply by comparison. She’ll talk about how wonderful someone else is or what a wonderful job they did on something you’ve also done or how highly she thinks of them. The contrast is left up to you. She has let you know that you’re no good without saying a word. She’ll spoil your pleasure in something by simply congratulating you for it in an angry, envious voice that conveys how unhappy she is, again, completely deniably. It is impossible to confront someone over their tone of voice, their demeanor or they way they look at you, but once your narcissistic mother has you trained, she can promise terrible punishment without a word. As a result, you’re always afraid, always in the wrong, and can never exactly put your finger on why.

Because her abusiveness is part of a lifelong campaign of control and because she is careful to rationalize her abuse, it is extremely difficult to explain to other people what is so bad about her. She’s also careful about when and how she engages in her abuses. She’s very secretive, a characteristic of almost all abusers (“Don’t wash our dirty laundry in public!”) and will punish you for telling anyone else what she’s done. The times and locations of her worst abuses are carefully chosen so that no one who might intervene will hear or see her bad behavior, and she will seem like a completely different person in public. She’ll slam you to other people, but will always embed her devaluing nuggets of snide gossip in protestations of concern, love and understanding (“I feel so sorry for poor Cynthia. She always seems to have such a hard time, but I just don’t know what I can do for her!”)

As a consequence the children of narcissists universally report that no one believes them (“I have to tell you that she always talks about YOU in the most caring way!"). Unfortunately therapists, given the deniable actions of the narcissist and eager to defend a fellow parent, will often jump to the narcissist’s defense as well, reinforcing your sense of isolation and helplessness (“I’m sure she didn’t mean it like that!”)

2. She violates your boundaries.
You feel like an extension of her. Your property is given away without your consent, sometimes in front of you. Your food is eaten off your plate or given to others off your plate. Your property may be repossessed and no reason given other than that it was never yours. Your time is committed without consulting you, and opinions purported to be yours are expressed for you. (She LOVES going to the fair! He would never want anything like that. She wouldn’t like kumquats.) You are discussed in your presence as though you are not there.

She keeps tabs on your bodily functions and humiliates you by divulging the information she gleans, especially when it can be used to demonstrate her devotion and highlight her martyrdom to your needs (“Mike had that problem with frequent urination too, only his was much worse. I was so worried about him!”) You have never known what it is like to have privacy in the bathroom or in your bedroom, and she goes through your things regularly. She asks nosy questions, snoops into your email/letters/diary/conversations. She will want to dig into your feelings, particularly painful ones and is always looking for negative information on you which can be used against you. She does things against your expressed wishes frequently. All of this is done without seeming embarrassment or thought.

Any attempt at autonomy on your part is strongly resisted. Normal rites of passage (learning to shave, wearing makeup, dating) are grudgingly allowed only if you insist, and you’re punished for your insistence (“Since you’re old enough to date, I think you’re old enough to pay for your own clothes!”) If you demand age-appropriate clothing, grooming, control over your own life, or rights, you are difficult and she ridicules your “independence.”

3. She favoritizes.
Narcissistic mothers commonly choose one (sometimes more) child to be the golden child and one (sometimes more) to be the scapegoat.
The narcissist identifies with the golden child and provides privileges to him or her as long as the golden child does just as she wants. The golden child has to be cared for assiduously by everyone in the family. The scapegoat has no needs and instead gets to do the caring. The golden child can do nothing wrong. The scapegoat is always at fault. This creates divisions between the children, one of whom has a large investment in the mother being wise and wonderful, and the other(s) who hate her. That division will be fostered by the narcissist with lies and with blatantly unfair and favoritizing behavior. The golden child will defend the mother and indirectly perpetuate the abuse by finding reasons to blame the scapegoat for the mother’s actions. The golden child may also directly take on the narcissistic mother’s tasks by physically abusing the scapegoat so the narcissistic mother doesn’t have to do that herself.

4. She undermines.
Your accomplishments are acknowledged only to the extent that she can take credit for them. Any success or accomplishment for which she cannot take credit is ignored or diminished. Any time you are to be center stage and there is no opportunity for her to be the center of attention, she will try to prevent the occasion altogether, or she doesn’t come, or she leaves early, or she acts like it’s no big deal, or she steals the spotlight or she slips in little wounding comments about how much better someone else did or how what you did wasn’t as much as you could have done or as you think it is. She undermines you by picking fights with you or being especially unpleasant just before you have to make a major effort. She acts put out if she has to do anything to support your opportunities or will outright refuse to do even small things in support of you. She will be nasty to you about things that are peripherally connected with your successes so that you find your joy in what you’ve done is tarnished, without her ever saying anything directly about it. No matter what your success, she has to take you down a peg about it.

5. She demeans, criticizes and denigrates.
She lets you know in all sorts of little ways that she thinks less of you than she does of your siblings or of other people in general. If you complain about mistreatment by someone else, she will take that person’s side even if she doesn’t know them at all. She doesn’t care about those people or the justice of your complaints. She just wants to let you know that you’re never right.

She will deliver generalized barbs that are almost impossible to rebut (always in a loving, caring tone): “You were always difficult” “You can be very difficult to love” “You never seemed to be able to finish anything” “You were very hard to live with” “You’re always causing trouble” “No one could put up with the things you do.”

She will deliver slams in a sidelong way - for example she’ll complain about how “no one” loves her, does anything f1or her, or cares about her, or she’ll complain that “everyone” is so selfish, when you’re the only person in the room. As always, this combines criticism with deniability.

She will slip little comments into conversation that she really enjoyed something she did with someone else - something she did with you too, but didn’t like as much. She’ll let you know that her relationship with some other person you both know is wonderful in a way your relationship with her isn’t - the carefully unspoken message being that you don’t matter much to her.

She minimizes, discounts or ignores your opinions and experiences. Your insights are met with condescension, denials and accusations (“I think you read too much!”) and she will brush off your information even on subjects on which you are an acknowledged expert. Whatever you say is met with smirks and amused sounding or exaggerated exclamations (“Uh hunh!” “You don’t say!” “Really!”). She’ll then make it clear that she didn’t listen to a word you said.

6. She makes you look crazy.
If you try to confront her about something she’s done, she’ll tell you that you have “a very vivid imagination” or that you "made it all up" (this is a phrase commonly used by abusers of all sorts to invalidate your experience of their abuse) that you don’t know what you’re talking about, or that she has no idea what you’re talking about. She will claim not to remember even very memorable events, flatly denying they ever happened, nor will she ever acknowledge any possibility that she might have forgotten.

This is an extremely aggressive and exceptionally infuriating tactic called “gaslighting,” common to abusers of all kinds. Your perceptions of reality are continually undermined so that you end up without any confidence in your intuition, your memory or your powers of reasoning. This makes you a much better victim for the abuser.

Narcissists gaslight routinely. The narcissist will either insinuate or will tell you and others outright that you’re unstable, otherwise you wouldn’t believe such ridiculous things or be so uncooperative.
You’re oversensitive.
You’re imagining things.
You’re hysterical.
You’re completely unreasonable.
You’re over-reacting, like you always do.
She’ll talk to you when you’ve calmed down and aren’t so irrational.
She may even characterize you as being neurotic or psychotic.

Once she’s constructed these fantasies of your emotional pathologies, she’ll tell others about them, as always, presenting her smears as expressions of concern and declaring her own helpless victimhood.
She didn’t do anything.
She has no idea why you’re so irrationally angry with her.
You’ve hurt her terribly.
She thinks you may need psychotherapy.
She loves you very much and would do anything to make you happy, but she just doesn’t know what to do.
You keep pushing her away when all she wants to do is help you.

She has simultaneously absolved herself of any responsibility for your obvious antipathy towards her, implied that it’s something fundamentally wrong with you that makes you angry with her, and undermined your credibility with her listeners. She plays the role of the doting mother so perfectly that no one will believe you.

7. She’s envious.
Any time you get something nice she’s angry and envious and her envy will be apparent when she admires whatever it is. She’ll try to get it from you, spoil it for you, or get the same or better for herself. She’s always working on ways to get what other people have. The envy of narcissistic mothers often includes competing sexually with their daughters or daughters-in-law. They’ll attempt to forbid their daughters to wear makeup, to groom themselves in an age-appropriate way or to date. They will criticize the appearance of their daughters and daughters-in-law. This envy extends to relationships. Narcissistic mothers infamously attempt to damage their children’s marriages and interfere in the upbringing of their grandchildren.

8. She’s a liar in too many ways to count.
Any time she talks about something that has emotional significance for her, it’s a fair bet that she’s lying. Lying is one way that she creates conflict in the relationships and lives of those around her - she’ll lie to them about what other people have said, what they’ve done, or how they feel. She’ll lie about her relationship with them, about your behavior or about your situation in order to inflate herself and to undermine your credibility.

The narcissist is very careful about how she lies. To outsiders she’ll lie thoughtfully and deliberately, always in a way that can be covered up if she’s confronted with her lie. She spins what you said rather than makes something up wholesale. She puts dishonest interpretations on things you actually did. If she’s recently done something particularly egregious she may engage in preventative lying: she lies in advance to discount what you might say before you even say it. Then when you talk to anyone about what she did you’ll be cut off with “I already know all about it…your mother told me… (self-justifications and lies).” Because she is so careful about her deniability, it may be very hard to catch her in her lies and the more gullible of her friends may never realize how dishonest she is.

To you, she’ll lie blatantly. She will claim to be unable to remember bad things she has done, even if she did one of them recently and even if it was something very memorable. Of course, if you try to jog her memory by recounting the circumstances “You have a very vivid imagination” or “That was so long ago. Why do you have to dredge up your old grudges?” Your conversations with her are full of casual brush-offs and diversionary lies and she doesn’t respect you enough to bother making it sound good. For example she’ll start with a self-serving lie: “If I don’t take you as a dependent on my taxes I’ll lose three thousand dollars!” You refute her lie with an obvious truth: “No, three thousand dollars is the amount of the dependent exemption. You’ll only lose about eight hundred dollars.” Her response: “Isn’t that what I said?” You are now in a game with only one rule: You can’t win.

On the rare occasions she is forced to acknowledge some bad behavior, she will couch the admission deniably. She “guesses” that “maybe” she “might have” done something wrong. The wrongdoing is always heavily spun and trimmed to make it sound better. The words “I guess,” “maybe,” and “might have” are in and of themselves lies because she knows exactly what she did - no guessing, no might haves, no maybes.

9. She has to be the center of attention all the time.
This need is a defining trait of narcissists and particularly of narcissistic mothers for whom their children exist to be sources of attention and adoration. Narcissistic mothers love to be waited on and often pepper their children with little requests. “While you’re up…” or its equivalent is one of their favorite phrases. You couldn’t just be assigned a chore at the beginning of the week or of the day, instead, you had to do it on demand, preferably at a time that was inconvenient for you, or you had to “help” her do it, fetching and carrying for her while she made up to herself for the menial work she had to do as your mother by glorying in your attentions.

A narcissistic mother may create odd occasions at which she can be the center of attention, such as memorials for someone close to her who died long ago, or major celebrations of small personal milestones. She may love to entertain so she can be the life of her own party. She will try to steal the spotlight or will try to spoil any occasion where someone else is the center of attention, particularly the child she has cast as the scapegoat. She often invites herself along where she isn’t welcome. If she visits you or you visit her, you are required to spend all your time with her. Entertaining herself is unthinkable. She has always pouted, manipulated or raged if you tried to do anything without her, didn’t want to entertain her, refused to wait on her, stymied her plans for a drama or otherwise deprived her of attention.

Older narcissistic mothers often use the natural limitations of aging to manipulate dramas, often by neglecting their health or by doing things they know will make them ill. This gives them the opportunity to cash in on the investment they made when they trained you to wait on them as a child. Then they call you (or better still, get the neighbor or the nursing home administrator to call you) demanding your immediate attendance. You are to rush to her side, pat her hand, weep over her pain and listen sympathetically to her unending complaints about how hard and awful it is. (“Never get old!”) It’s almost never the case that you can actually do anything useful, and the causes of her disability may have been completely avoidable, but you’ve been put in an extremely difficult position. If you don’t provide the audience and attention she’s manipulating to get, you look extremely bad to everyone else and may even have legal culpability. (Narcissistic behaviors commonly accompany Alzheimer’s disease, so this behavior may also occur in perfectly normal mothers as they age.)

10. She manipulates your emotions in order to feed on your pain.
This exceptionally sick and bizarre behavior is so common among narcissistic mothers that their children often call them “emotional vampires.” Some of this emotional feeding comes in the form of pure sadism. She does and says things just to be wounding or she engages in tormenting teasing or she needles you about things you’re sensitive about, all the while a smile plays over her lips. She may have taken you to scary movies or told you horrifying stories, then mocked you for being a baby when you cried, She will slip a wounding comment into conversation and smile delightedly into your hurt face. You can hear the laughter in her voice as she pressures you or says distressing things to you. Later she’ll gloat over how much she upset you, gaily telling other people that you’re so much fun to tease, and recruiting others to share in her amusement. . She enjoys her cruelties and makes no effort to disguise that. She wants you to know that your pain entertains her. She may bring up subjects that are painful for you and probe you about them, all the while watching you carefully. This is emotional vampirism in its purest form. She’s feeding emotionally off your pain.

A peculiar form of this emotional vampirism combines attention-seeking behavior with a demand that the audience suffer. Since narcissistic mothers often play the martyr this may take the form of wrenching, self-pitying dramas which she carefully produces, and in which she is the star performer. She sobs and wails that no one loves her and everyone is so selfish, and she doesn’t want to live, she wants to die! She wants to die! She will not seem to care how much the manipulation of their emotions and the self-pity repels other people. One weird behavior that is very common to narcissists: her dramas may also center around the tragedies of other people, often relating how much she suffered by association and trying to distress her listeners, as she cries over the horrible murder of someone she wouldn’t recognize if they had passed her on the street.

11. She’s selfish and willful.
She always makes sure she has the best of everything. She insists on having her own way all the time and she will ruthlessly, manipulatively pursue it, even if what she wants isn’t worth all the effort she’s putting into it and even if that effort goes far beyond normal behavior. She will make a huge effort to get something you denied her, even if it was entirely your right to do so and even if her demand was selfish and unreasonable. If you tell her she cannot bring her friends to your party she will show up with them anyway, and she will have told them that they were invited so that you either have to give in, or be the bad guy to these poor dupes on your doorstep. If you tell her she can’t come over to your house tonight she’ll call your spouse and try get him or her to agree that she can, and to not say anything to you about it because it’s a “surprise.” She has to show you that you can’t tell her “no.”

One near-universal characteristic of narcissists: because they are so selfish and self-centered, they are very bad gift givers. They’ll give you hand-me-downs or market things for themselves as gifts for you (“I thought I’d give you my old bicycle and buy myself a new one!” “I know how much you love Italian food, so I’m going to take you to my favorite restaurant for your birthday!”) New gifts are often obviously cheap and are usually things that don’t suit you or that you can’t use or are a quid pro quo: if you buy her the gift she wants, she will buy you an item of your choice. She’ll make it clear that it pains her to give you anything. She may buy you a gift and get the identical item for herself, or take you shopping for a gift and get herself something nice at the same time to make herself feel better.

12. She’s self-absorbed. Her feelings, needs and wants are very important; yours are insignificant to the point that her least whim takes precedence over your most basic needs.
Her problems deserve your immediate and full attention; yours are brushed aside. Her wishes always take precedence; if she does something for you, she reminds you constantly of her munificence in doing so and will often try to extract some sort of payment. She will complain constantly, even though your situation may be much worse than hers. If you point that out, she will effortlessly, thoughtlessly brush it aside as of no importance ("It’s easy for you…/It’s different for you…/You aren't as sick as I am").

13. She is insanely defensive and is extremely sensitive to any criticism.
If you criticize her or defy her she will explode with fury, threaten, storm, rage, destroy and may become violent, beating, confining, putting her child outdoors in bad weather or otherwise engaging in classic physical abuse.

14. She terrorized. For all abusers, fear is a powerful means of control of the victim, and your narcissistic mother used it ruthlessly to train you.
Narcissists teach you to beware their wrath even when they aren’t present. The only alternative is constant placation. If you give her everything she wants all the time, you might be spared. If you don’t, the punishments will come. Even adult children of narcissists still feel that carefully inculcated fear. Your narcissistic mother can turn it on with a silence or a look that tells the child in you she’s thinking about how she’s going to get even.

Not all narcissists abuse physically, but most do, often in subtle, deniable ways. It allows them to vent their rage at your failure to be the solution to their internal havoc and simultaneously to teach you to fear them. You may not have been beaten, but you were almost certainly left to endure physical pain when a normal mother would have made an effort to relieve your misery. This deniable form of battery allows her to store up her rage and dole out the punishment at a later time when she’s worked out an airtight rationale for her abuse, so she never risks exposure.
You were left hungry because “you eat too much.” (Someone asked her if she was pregnant. She isn’t).
You always went to school with stomach flu because “you don’t have a fever. You’re just trying to get out of school.” (She resents having to take care of you. You have a lot of nerve getting sick and adding to her burdens.)
She refuses to look at your bloody heels and instead the shoes that wore those blisters on your heels are put back on your feet and you’re sent to the store in them because “You wanted those shoes. Now you can wear them.” (You said the ones she wanted to get you were ugly. She liked them because they were just like what she wore 30 years ago).
The dentist was told not to give you Novocaine when he drilled your tooth because “he has to learn to take better care of his teeth.” (She has to pay for a filling and she’s furious at having to spend money on you.)

Narcissistic mothers also abuse by loosing others on you or by failing to protect you when a normal mother would have. Sometimes the narcissist’s golden child will be encouraged to abuse the scapegoat. Narcissists also abuse by exposing you to violence. If one of your siblings got beaten, she made sure you saw. She effortlessly put the fear of Mom into you, without raising a hand.

15. She’s infantile and petty.
Narcissistic mothers are often simply childish. If you refuse to let her manipulate you into doing something, she will cry that you don’t love her because if you loved her you would do as she wanted. If you hurt her feelings she will aggressively whine to you that you’ll be sorry when she’s dead that you didn’t treat her better. These babyish complaints and responses may sound laughable, but the narcissist is dead serious about them. When you were a child, if you ask her to stop some bad behavior, she would justify it by pointing out something that you did that she feels is comparable, as though the childish behavior of a child is justification for the childish behavior of an adult. “Getting even” is a large part of her dealings with you. Anytime you fail to give her the deference, attention or service she feels she deserves, or you thwart her wishes, she has to show you.

16. She’s aggressive and shameless. She doesn’t ask. She demands.
She makes outrageous requests and she’ll take anything she wants if she thinks she can get away with it. Her demands of her children are posed in a very aggressive way, as are her criticisms. She won’t take no for an answer, pushing and arm-twisting and manipulating to get you to give in.

17. She “parentifies.”
She shed her responsibilities to you as soon as she was able, leaving you to take care of yourself as best you could (i.e. covert incest). She denied you medical care, necessary transportation or basic comforts that she would never have considered giving up for herself. She never gave you a birthday party or let you have sleepovers. Your friends were never welcome in her house. She didn’t like to drive you anywhere, so you turned down invitations because you had no way to get there. She wouldn’t buy your school pictures even if she could easily have afforded it. As soon as you got a job, every request for school supplies, clothing or toiletries was met with “Now that you’re making money, why don’t you pay for that yourself?” You worked three jobs to pay for that cheap college and when you finally got mononucleosis she chirped at you that she was “so happy you could take care of yourself.”

She also gave you tasks that were rightfully hers and should not have been placed on a child. You may have been a primary caregiver for young siblings or an incapacitated parent. You may have had responsibility for excessive household tasks. Above all, you were always her emotional caregiver which is one reason any defection from that role caused such enormous eruptions of rage. You were never allowed to be needy or have bad feelings or problems. Those experiences were only for her, and you were responsible for making it right for her. From the time you were very young she would randomly lash out at you any time she was stressed or angry with your father or felt that life was unfair to her, because it made her feel better to hurt you. You were often punished out of the blue, for manufactured offenses. As you got older she directly placed responsibility for her welfare and her emotions on you, weeping on your shoulder and unloading on you any time something went awry for her.

18. She’s exploitative.
She will manipulate to get work, money, or objects she envies out of other people for nothing. This includes her children, of course. If she set up a bank account for you, she was trustee on the account with the right to withdraw money. As you put money into it, she took it out. She may have stolen your identity. She took you as a dependent on her income taxes so you couldn’t file independently without exposing her to criminal penalties. If she made an agreement with you, it was violated the minute it no longer served her needs. If you brought it up demanding she adhere to the agreement, she brushed you off and later punished you so you would know not to defy her again.

Sometimes the narcissist will exploit a child to absorb punishment that would have been hers from an abusive partner. The husband comes home in a drunken rage, and the mother immediately complains about the child’s bad behavior so the rage is vented on to the child. Sometimes the narcissistic mother simply uses the child to keep a sick marriage intact because the alternative is being divorced or having to go to work. The child is sexually molested but the mother never notices, or worse, calls the child a liar when she tells the mother about the molestation.

19. She projects.
This sounds a little like psycho-babble, but it is something that narcissists all do. Projection means that she will put her own bad behavior, character and traits on you so she can deny them in herself and punish you. This can be very difficult to see if you have traits that she can project on to.

An eating-disordered woman who obsesses over her daughter’s weight is projecting. The daughter may not realize it because she has probably internalized an absurdly thin vision of women’s weight and so accepts her mother’s projection. When the narcissist tells the daughter that she eats too much, needs to exercise more, or has to wear extra-large size clothes, the daughter believes it, even if it isn’t true.

However, she will sometimes project even though it makes no sense at all. This happens when she feels shamed and needs to put it on her scapegoat child and the projection therefore comes across as being an attack out of the blue. For example: She makes an outrageous request, and you casually refuse to let her have her way. She’s enraged by your refusal and snarls at you that you’ll talk about it when you’ve calmed down and are no longer hysterical.

You aren’t hysterical at all; she is, but your refusal has made her feel the shame that should have stopped her from making shameless demands in the first place. That’s intolerable. She can transfer that shame to you and rationalize away your response: you only refused her because you’re so unreasonable. Having done that she can reassert her shamelessness and indulge her childish willfulness by turning an unequivocal refusal into a subject for further discussion. You’ll talk about it again “later” - probably when she’s worn you down with histrionics, pouting and the silent treatment so you’re more inclined to do what she wants.

20. She is never wrong about anything. No matter what she’s done, she won’t ever genuinely apologize for anything.
Instead, any time she feels she is being made to apologize she will sulk and pout, issue an insulting apology or negate the apology she has just made with justifications, qualifications or self pity: “I’m sorry you felt that I humiliated you” “I’m sorry if I made you feel bad” “If I did that it was wrong” “I’m sorry, but I there’s nothing I can do about it” “I’m sorry I made you feel clumsy, stupid and disgusting” “I’m sorry but it was just a joke. You’re so over-sensitive” “I’m sorry that my own child feels she has to upset me and make me feel bad.” The last insulting apology is also an example of projection.

21. She seems to have no awareness that other people even have feelings.
She’ll occasionally slip and say something jaw-droppingly callous because of this lack of empathy. It isn’t that she doesn’t care at all about other people’s feelings, though she doesn’t. It would simply never occur to her to think about their feelings.

An absence of empathy is the defining trait of a narcissist and underlies most of the other traits I have described. Unlike psychopaths, narcissists do understand right, wrong, and consequences, so they are not ordinarily criminal.
She beat you, but not to the point where you went to the hospital.
She left you standing out in the cold until you were miserable, but not until you had hypothermia.
She put you in the basement in the dark with no clothes on, but she only left you there for two hours.

22. She blames. She’ll blame you for everything that isn’t right in her life or for what other people do or for whatever has happened.
Always, she’ll blame you for her abuse. You made her do it. If only you weren’t so difficult. You upset her so much that she can’t think straight. Things were hard for her and your backtalk pushed her over the brink. This blaming is often so subtle that all you know is that you thought you were wronged and now you feel guilty.
Your brother beats you and her response is to bemoan how uncivilized children are.
Your boyfriend dumped you, but she can understand - after all, she herself has seen how difficult you are to love.
She’ll do something egregiously exploitative to you, and when confronted will screech at you that she can’t believe you were so selfish as to upset her over such a trivial thing.
She’ll also blame you for your reaction to her selfish, cruel and exploitative behavior. She can’t believe you are so petty, so small, and so childish as to object to her giving your favorite dress to her friend. She thought you would be happy to let her do something nice for someone else.

Narcissists are masters of multitasking as this example shows. Simultaneously your narcissistic mother is:
1) Lying. She knows what she did was wrong and she knows your reaction is reasonable.
2) Manipulating. She’s making you look like the bad guy for objecting to her cruelties.
3) Being selfish. She doesn’t mind making you feel horrible as long as she gets her own way.
4) Blaming. She did something wrong, but it’s all your fault.
5) Projecting. Her petty, small and childish behavior has become yours.
6) Putting on a self-pitying drama. She’s a martyr who believed the best of you, and you’ve let her down.
7) Parentifying. You’re responsible for her feelings, she has no responsibility for yours.

23. She destroys your relationships.
Narcissistic mothers are like tornadoes: wherever they touch down families are torn apart and wounds are inflicted. Unless the father has control over the narcissist and holds the family together, adult siblings in families with narcissistic mothers characteristically have painful relationships. Typically all communication between siblings is superficial and driven by duty, or they may never talk to each other at all. In part, these women foster dissension between their children because they enjoy the control it gives them. If those children don’t communicate except through the mother, she can decide what everyone hears. Narcissists also love the excitement and drama they create by interfering in their children’s lives. Watching people’s lives explode is better than soap operas, especially when you don’t have any empathy for their misery.

The narcissist nurtures anger, contempt and envy - the most corrosive emotions - to drive her children apart. While her children are still living at home, any child who stands up to the narcissist guarantees punishment for the rest. In her zest for revenge, the narcissist purposefully turns the siblings’ anger on the dissenter by including everyone in her retaliation. (“I can see that nobody here loves me! Well I’ll just take these Christmas presents back to the store. None of you would want anything I got you anyway!”) The other children, long trained by the narcissist to give in, are furious with the troublemaking child, instead of with the narcissist who actually deserves their anger.

The narcissist also uses favoritism and gossip to poison her childrens’ relationships. The scapegoat sees the mother as a creature of caprice and cruelty. As is typical of the privileged, the other children don’t see her unfairness and they excuse her abuses. Indeed, they are often recruited by the narcissist to adopt her contemptuous and entitled attitude towards the scapegoat and with her tacit or explicit permission, will inflict further abuse. The scapegoat predictably responds with fury and equal contempt. After her children move on with adult lives, the narcissist makes sure to keep each apprised of the doings of the others, passing on the most discreditable and juicy gossip (as always, disguised as “concern”) about the other children, again, in a way that engenders contempt rather than compassion.

Having been raised by a narcissist, her children are predisposed to be envious, and she takes full advantage of the opportunity that presents. While she may never praise you to your face, she will likely crow about your victories to the very sibling who is not doing well. She’ll tell you about the generosity she displayed towards that child, leaving you wondering why you got left out and irrationally angry at the favored child rather than at the narcissist who told you about it.

The end result is a family in which almost all communication is triangular. The narcissist, the spider in the middle of the family web, sensitively monitors all the children for information she can use to retain her unchallenged control over the family. She then passes that on to the others, creating the resentments that prevent them from communicating directly and freely with each other. The result is that the only communication between the children is through the narcissist, exactly the way she wants it.

24. As a last resort she goes pathetic.
When she’s confronted with unavoidable consequences for her own bad behavior, including your anger, she will melt into a soggy puddle of weepy helplessness. It’s all her fault. She can’t do anything right. She feels so bad. What she doesn’t do: own the responsibility for her bad conduct and make it right. Instead, as always, it’s all about her, and her helpless self-pitying weepiness dumps the responsibility for her consequences AND for her unhappiness about it on you.

As so often with narcissists, it is also a manipulative behavior. If you fail to excuse her bad behavior and make her feel better, YOU are the bad person for being cold, heartless and unfeeling when your poor mother feels so awful.


FACEBOOK GROUP FOR DAUGHTERS OF NARCISSISTIC MOTHERS: DoNM FREEDOM! (closed group - you must apply to join via Facebook and be 100% No Contact)

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shared by Barbara at 12:48 AM



Last contact ever to my Mother the Narcissist:

Mother I could never accept your offer to move back home if I lose my house
because NO ONE in this family will help me with a simple short term loan.

I left home 12 years ago after you nearly killed me on several occasions.

I am amazed at how well Ive done in life and how brave
and strong I am after the HELLISH abuse I grew up with.

It was ALL dormant inside me. All the pain. Until I came back to ******* this year.

I can not function here because I AM haunted everywhere I turn by your explosive anger
and rage at me.

I understand intellectually that you are mentally ill and are not responsible for your actions,
but it still does not take away the hurt that you inflicted on me.

Things are NOT all grey. Yes there were happy times.
While you were holding onto a thread of sanity
you tried at times to teach me, care for me and be 'happy together'

But and I hate to say this, but must say it, the abuse outweighed the goodness.

This is why I could never ever move to any home you own and be around you ever again.
This is why I would rather do anything than be in your physical presence again.
It does not matter how sorry you are or how you blame other people.
I can not trust that sometime you might snap and have another psychotic break and try and kill me again.

1. When I was 3 or 4 you freaked out when i was playing in your jewelry box.
You screamed and rage at me all night long and grabbed my little arms and clawed at me with your pointy nails.
2. when i was about 5 you asked me what our last name was. i didnt know it was Manuel and answered Roberts , your maiden name, by mistake
you chased me into a corner of my bedroom and i cowered in a little ball as you screamed
at me for several hours just because i didnt know my surname

3. after every family gathering, such as thanksgiving/christmas, from the age of 6-7 onwards you would deprive me of sleep in order to rant and rave
about how people treated you or that gifts upset you
you spent 90% of your xmas budget on other people and would force me to wrap gifts all xmas eve.
but my own gifts would be left unwrapped because you were too 'fatigued'

4. instead of getting a normal education you kept me out of school a lot. you were even arrested for it when i was 13.
you went into catatonic state for 5 weeks and my grandparents took care of me.
You are highly intelligent and passed on your ivy education and brains to me.
the drawback is that i was no properly socialized and never had a chance to go to college with my brains
plus you spent money on your poodles instead on my clothes so i was an outcast having to wear dirty smelly clothes repeatedly on the days you let me go to school
when i would come home from school as a teenager,
you had fallen apart and even with your parents support and being able to stay home, I came home to a filthy place
animal excrement covered with talc powder instead of picking it up.Instead you forced me to clean the house as you slept all day.
You would get up at night and then keep me from getting proper sleep. You spent hours telling me all about your life growing up.
If I got upset and begged to sleep , you got angry, slapped me and scared me into staying awake.

Often when i would finally be falling asleep you would barge in my bedroom to tell me some revelation you had.
5. Whenever your Mother, my Grandmother wrote you letters that upset me, you would make me call her and talk for you
and tell her horrible things. If I didnt sound mean enouhg you would scratch my arm or shove me.

One time you were annoyed at a note she gave you so you took your anger out at me.
You decided to park at the Graveyard at the Church of the ***** in ******* late at night.
I was trapped in the car with you and you made me sit for 5 hours while you raved and ranted about some
how you felt snubbed by your Mother. When I had enough and said I had to pee and begged to simply go pee in the graveyard you unleashed
insane demented fury and pummeled my left breast and left arm until I was so bruised that I turned black and blue for 3 weeks.

6. You always wanted to go shopping and wanted as much money from your parents as possible.
You would drive over to their house and make me look for money/checks from them.
I knew I would get in big trouble if I failed you.
It was very scary and nerveracking.
If they changed the locks you would smash thru the glass door with your bare arm.

7. Whenever I tried to leave home you would fall apart. The time away from you living with Dad at 15 and 16 was bliss.
Your abuse amplified when I suggested moving to Cali with him full time.
After getting away from home for 5 precious days when i was 19 to see my Daddy, I returned home to find you made tons of garbage bags in the hot summer and left them inside your bedroom and the kitchen
you made me clean maggoty cat pans and 1/2 inches of warm putrid filth from the hallways when i got home.
I wrote him repeatedly and you threw away all his responses. That was pure evil.

8. When I started to mature as a teenager you started to get meaner and your physical and verbal abuse escalated.
Because you raised me I was already brainwashed into believing what you told me about myself.
Money I made from modeling you hoarded for yourself. You told me I wasnt pretty enough or smart enough
to model or fend for myself but I didnt believe you.
You told me my grandmother wanted me aborted and you should've listened.
You lied and sickly told me you were raped by Dad and had me because you couldnt own up to having sex and not being pure since you got knocked up unmarried.
You told me I was Judas, the devil, evil, wicked, defective, retarded.
You threatened my life hundreds of times between my teens and my escape from home.

9. The one time I should up for myself and the police came to the house, you grabbed me and told me you would kill me , yourself an dmy grandparents if I went to the door.

10. I was so beaten and controlled by you that I gave in and became a shut in for several years in my early 20s.
My whole life revolved around spending a few hours a week to myself without you screaming, hitting, flailing at me.
I was your servent and confidante.

And you in your mental illness believed that I should be.
You kicked me out of my bedroom and i was forced to sleep on that filthy dirty old matress in the unfinished cellar next to the oil tank.
You wouldnt let anyone inside the house because of the filth.

You would spend vast sums of money on beautiful objects that would become destroyed and ruined.
So when the plumbing broke, there was no bathroom.
You chose instead to defecate on newspapers or pee in jars.
i would wait until i could go public library like a freak
I feel so bad for the poor trashmen who collected that waste all those years. Its beyond vile.

Finally I somehow convinced you to go visit your boyfriend in australia.
That was wonderful to be alone and i started to wake up to how you would end up killing me if i stayed.
when you returned home you beat me for telling i wanted to move out/
A month later I told you a computer would help you stay in touch with your BF in australia.
that a computer would be wonderful new thing to have.
That saved my life.
When you werent abusing and torturing me, I would sneak off and made friends online.

I intensified the one friendship i had with a longtime penpal and let him know the abuse was getting worse.
After I had surgery for my nose you fractured in a rage and came home with a splint on my nose from surgery, you were told by the doctor that I was to remain resting.
Instead of letting me rest, the same night I came home from the Hospital you ATTACKED me.
You were set off in a psychotic break because you got mad that your parents TOLD you to take good care of me.

Instead you spille dhot tomato soup on me. and shoved me
I cried so hard my splint was dislodged.
Then when I ran from you into the dining room, you grabbed me and pushed me into a piece of old metal exrecise equipment.

And then you would not let me sleep even though I was in pain AND AGONY.
that was the final straw.
I asked your Mother to please help me escape.
She lied and said she had no money to help me and instead told me to go to abused woman's shelter.
I made a plan to leave. Finally before my plan was ready you flipped out again and told me you would kill me because i wasnt able to dig the car out of 3 feet of snow.
I dug for 6 hours straight and when i came in the house you threatened me and then locked me outside in the cold.
When you beat me and threw me down stairs next day I knew I had to flee before you actually killed me.

No I dont hate you *****, you were my Mother at one time, I did love you and I do not wish you any ill.
But I will never spend time with you in this lifetime, i will never ever come live with you or come near you again.
I would rather die. There are things worth than death and having ones mother beat and torture has to be one of the worst things ever
Forgiveness is NOT mine to give, it between you and God.


2:25 AM  

Did it work? Did she leave you alone? I sent a similar letter, and am now being harassed... or would it be considered threatened... My Mother's response to my similar letter was to TEXT me "You are wrong. Dead Wrong." I honestly don't know what her next move will be, but I know she'll do something. Please Help.

1:09 AM  

Best thing to do? NO CONTACT!
Block emails & IMs
Return all mail & packages UNOPENED with DELIVERY REFUSED written across the front
Let all phone messages go to voicemail/ machine and ERASE WITHOUT LISTENING
If she tracks you down or comes to your home - call the police that you are being stalked and insist they come out and make a report. Tell them you have 'no contact with your mother and she knows she is not supposed to see or talk to you and that you believe she is DANGEROUS.'

If she still doesn't get it - go to legal aid and have someone draw up a Cease & Desist form and explain how to serve it to her.

5:29 PM  

I have had no contact with N mom since last year.She continues to call once twice a week ( she's call blocked) and has sent toxic letters to me accusing me of keeping her from her grand daughters. My children have always been forced to have contact with this woman and are quite relieved not to have to have any contact with her. If I was to send her a letter it would be a weapon in her hand. You can't reason with a sociopath...

7:56 PM  

This is frightening to me. I get that my husband is an N, and only just realized my father has N tendencies, but if my mother is, too? Does that mean that I see an N behind every bush? It's the deniability that scares me. All her behavior is so covert that even now, I doubt my own sanity.

If most of the above is true, as in being a significant part of my childhood and adult experience, how do you survive this? How do you come to trust your own perceptions?

I feel like the crazy one if there's some sense that others are out to get me. But what if it's true? How do you maintain in the presence of these variables (PDs) in your life, with everybody denying everything and accusing you of being crazy, of "making things up"?

1:27 PM  

theotherbed - as the Adult Child of a Narc mom I can only recommend COUNSELING.

Again - as you can see you are NOT codependent. You are a target.

Anonymous - you have every right to return this mail, UNOPENED, with DELIVERY REFUSED in big red letters on it - same for packages, etc.

I had to do that with my NarcMom

3:23 PM  


I haven't been writing on my own blog because I've been suffering from confusion, or more to the point, my head is being f**ked with.

I found this post, written by a psychologist, about gaslighting, and thought some of your readers might be interested.

I'm hoping for a success story, from someone whose every primary caretaker has been NPD. Everyone around you maintains perfect denial of culpability, and insists that you are mistaken, or just plain crazy. How does one in such a situation learn to trust their perceptions?

But I'm also wondering if it is possible to start a campaign to make emotional abuse illegal. There are verifiable emotional, physical, financial, and mental consequences. I have contacted safehouses only to be told they don't deal with victims of emotional abuse, yet the danger and the consequences are real and at times severe. What do you think of this idea? It is just one way I thought I could turn this suffering into something meaningful.

10:36 PM  

Wow. The majority of examples on this blog pertain to me and my relationship with an N mother. Until recently, I was convinced that my actions were the cause of her irrational behavior. Likewise, I was convinced that I had no basis in reality and that I was most definitely going insane. This is great therapy for me to make notes about the similarities under each example so I no longer have to carry this secret around with me everywhere I go. I only wish there was a live support group I could join to voice my experiences and seek ideas for how others have dealt with this issue.


6:05 PM  

There is a support group, Anonymous - you didn't check my links at left.


12:31 AM  


some states now recognize emotional/ verbal abuse as a reason for divorce and unacceptable.

Trying to make it illegal is another whole issue... mostly because some don't believe it, some don't want to know, some are doing it themselves.

You could start a petition to your State legislators - once you hit 1000 signatures you would have to make an appt to deliver it in person. That's a lot of work for someone still being abused.

BTW - safehouses don't want to deal with disabled abused women either.

12:34 AM  

I will say this much - My mother had many of these traits, calling me fat, when she was the anorexic, gaslighting, waking me up screaming at me at all hours of the night, you name it, but at 61 (I'm 39), she still demands that I quit work, come care for her and take care of her because Gosh forbid something happen and I would feel guilty. There were many, many many things about this woman that I would call sociopath until I learned the truth about narcissistic mothers, not to mention the fact that she is a drug addict. But, I've had no contact since Christmas. I've tried to tell her why, but she doesn't listen, so I just learned to ignore her and her crazy letters about how she just doesn't understand why I hate her so much. I've informed siblings to not have contact. I've moved with my son and I've left no forwardin address. You know what, the further you are from the situation, the better it gets. Its amazing how clear your mind becomes, how you realize how wonderful you are, how you learn self-confidence, how you grow as a person and recognize your gifts. The woman will probably die soon, but I have no pity. I cannot continue to be a dumping post for her and allow her to ruin my life. No contact for 7 months and its great.

5:07 PM  

Three years ago I requested that the woman who gave me birth (giving birth does not constitute being a mother), honor three requests. 1) Respect my time. 2) Respect my decisions 3) Respect my relationships.

I have yet to hear her response. She has made exactly two attempts one with a vague reference to my christmas celebrations. The second one to tell me an old neighbor said hello.

People who have met the woman who gave me birth always say, "You are the son of a Bitch!".

I was unable to see the abuse until I was able to set boundaries with her. Now I am dumbfounded by my realizations. Her control was so complete, I overlooked the fact that the family physician had to threaten to call Child Protective Services in order to convincer her that I needed to stay home and recover from pneumonia.

To those out there who are reading this. You are a good person. You have value. You did not ask for this person to raise you and you did the best you could to grow up as normal as you knew how. Your value comes from within not from validation from others. I know how hard these words are for you to believe. I know of your pain.


If people cannot recognize that in you, perhaps those types of people are best left out of your life.

8:58 AM  

I've just discovered, via this site and others, that my mother is a classic Narcissist. Can't tell you what a relief it is to finally discover this, and that it is a readily identifiable disorder.

I'm 62 years old now, and have struggle with her, and her covert abuse, all my life, chained by the unrealistic expectation that one day she would change. She has done her upmost to covertly damage every important relationship I've ever had, under the guise of her hideous 'love.'

BUT I'm as free as bird now, armed with information, knowledge and experience. No longer doubting myself. I feel my body is recovering on a cellular level. I feel like I could dance Swan Lake! I am truly Myself, Free, Free, Free. Alive and happy in a way I've never felt before, and able to readily perceive Narcissistic tendencies in my other relationships (it's as though I've been primed to be drawn to these vampires). I no longer feel bad now about protecting myself - cutting and running....

However, I do feel truly sorry for her (but not in that bamboozled way anymore), realising how lost and damaged she is, as though huge chunks are missing from her very soul.

But on a certain level, the danger in that is a bit like having sympathy for the devil, or sympathy for Hitler. Nevertheless, she is my mother, and somehow she grew to be that way, so something must have gone seriously wrong in her childhood, and for that I can only feel sorrow. By the way, she has six sisters, three of whom are also Narcissists, so you can imagine the mad scenarios!

Since sensing the changes in me, and her inability to draw energy from me, she now hates me and wants me out of her life (but of course, using self pitying and lies to justify this).

She has a husband, my age, whom she turned into her "Golden Child." She married him when I was 18. For that point onwards, I become the Scapegoat, full time, and he the Golden Child, and her behaviour and (carefully hidden) depravity grew far worse. He is like a brainwashed robot. Poor thing. It's as though he were kidnapped by a huge sect! You'd have to see it to believe it.

For everyone else suffering as a result of these deranged people who are our parents, I say now you know what they are all about, be happy that you are free now via the truth. You cannot help or change them. Don't resent them. Just move on, knowing that you can protect yourself and see them coming at you with their lies and manipulations, and for the first time ever know the reasons. Just KNOWing is your protection, which will go out before you and make a beautiful space for you in this world.

You haven't suffered without reason. God has a purpose for everything.

I love you all as though you were my brothers and sisters.

(Ballet) Dancer

9:19 AM  

As I type I had to stop myself from thinking "If you type this she is going to retaliate". Realizing its ok to continue because she doesn't think she does ANYTHING wrong. 2 weeks ago I went on a trip so I could see a sick cousin. I wanted to go alone, but she insisted we should go as a family including her sister & drive her vehcle because it was "better" & ready to travel although she made us late leaving 6 hours because she needed new tires. Once on the road she sat in the front seat dictating every turn and lane change. Once @ our destination my aunt insisted on seperating to see friends leaving me alone to stay w/my mother 25 miles away from all family memebers and the hospital. I was only able to see my cousin once after that 12 hour ride, which she monopolized the entire visit. She spoke of her marriage to my father as if it were current and she has been married a 2nd time for 18 years. The entire trip she manipulated me into driving her around to aimless destinations daily for 4-6 hrs per day. Using her diabetes as a crutch not to drive,& refusing to let me drive or ride w/ others to visit my dying cousin. She constantly ate things that were bad for her and used the effects of her behavior to get sympathy & insisting I stay w/her when #'s from her glucose checks in front of family members were high, when I was able to see them under her terms. Preparing to leave I began to smile thinking of my husband and children who love me unconditionally. I was ordered to pack the truck, but I would not be driving her car. Huh? I was puzzled but didn't care .....almost home! Starting out I was told to sit in the seat behind her, and we would be taking the backroads (2 hrs) longer because she didn't want to take the highway. She then slid the seat back as far as it could go on to my knees. She acted as if she did not hear my yelp @ pain, and did not move the seat. My aunt looked back w/sympathy but sd nothing. She then told me to wait my turn to go into the stores @ gas stops, and when her and my aunt returned sd we had no time for me to go in. 8 hrs into the trip my aunt asked my mom if she had to use the restroom. She sd no and sd she was to tired. She stopped at a rest stop and my aunt motioned for me to come in. I immediately bolted from the car. My aunt and I were laughing walking in at our victory, my mom called her name out the window and she continued walking...omg I thought we are going to pay for this. When we returned to the car she sd nothing for 2 hours. We pulled into our last gas stop before home pulled off, and it started! She told my aunt to make a SAFE merge. My aunt told her "look I have to focus please stop yelling, afterall u refuse to drive or let anyone else drive because of your diabetes right. She immediately told us how she was able to do anything she needed, and demaned she pull over now! Taking the driver seat she yelled scripture. I looked down, and began to text w/ a smile. She then told me she would contact the police to remove me from the car. God must of known her heart during that biblical quoting tyraid because a text came from my husband that read "you tell her in the sternest tone you have, "when you call the police I will tell them of your attempt to abandone me on this is against the law" then call me...stop texting, and call me. Your mom does not control the air..God does and we both will not leave or forsake you."I did just as texted and she tured driving home. I made it to my hubby who met us 50 miles away. Since then we have not spoken and finally I'm ok w/that! :) God broke that chain and I'm free. I know its only been 2 weeks, but its been the best two weeks of my life! I still get panic attacks when I see cars like hers or calls come in from her # unanswered, God only knows what the future holds.

7:57 PM  

I was so relieved to see this blog, and the responses it got! I have been living with a NMIL for about 3 years now. I have two amazing children, which I want to shield from MIL's abuse, but my husband has not yet realized what is going on. I could spend paragraphs and paragraphs on the abuse I have suffered at MIL's hand, but I don't want to waste the energy remembering it all - one example is my 2 year-old daughter coming home after spending time with MIL calling me a bitch. I could go on, but obviously, you all know the story. It mirrors most of your own. How do I get my wonderful husband to realize 1) he has been abused his whole life, and 2) we HAVE to keep our children away from this woman?! I have asked him to read the info that I have found, but he keeps dragging his feet. I think he realizes she is bad, but I don't think he understands what damage she could inflict on our children. Any advice would be more than welcome!

12:02 AM  

Your H lived with her abuse so he's probably blind to it.

Only one way to deal with her... NO CONTACT! cut her off. Asap.

8:00 AM  

Each and everything described here has happened to me 100 fold. I cannot explain to you how hard it is for me to wake up each day and look in the mirror.

The scars left on my face are the love left to me by my mother. Isn't there another name we can call for a monster such as this?

My mother dressed in designer clothes, had child support I knew nothing of, stold money I saved or earned, chopped up my hair while sleeping because she was jealous that she didn't have the same hair, numerous visits to the ER stitched up my face repeatedly. I was an animal kept in a cage called a room only to be called out to be beaten or punished for some invisible thing they would decide I had done.

I found out that thirty people who were supposed to be my family had known I was not an only child, but had sibling that had been given away.

My grandmother was an organized hoarder who kept everything she ever owned. My 7th grade wardrobe for school consisted of my own mothers childhood clothes. Yes in the seventies I was wearing clothing from the nineteen fifties to school with them telling me how good it looked!

Anything I ever loved would disappear including my dog. I was told I was ugly and stupid everyday of my life.

For years I spent money I could not afford to buy things for this woman something that I thought might make her love me. She never did.

I was the girl who never smoked a cigarette. I was the girl who never disobeyed curfew. I was the girl who never had sex. I was the girl who rarely asked for anything, even the dolls I played with had been my mothers..never had anything of my own.
I was the girl who went out and got a job at fifteen to pay my own book rental, clothing, save for a car, oh and pay her rent!
I was the girl who saved all of the money sent to me for a inexpensive bicicle wanting so badly one with curly handlebars like the other kids to find my money stolen, told I was crazy, and wake up to an adult harvest gold(she knew I hated that color because he entire house was gold and avocado green!)bike that was obviously for my mother and not for me. Even asking for it when my son was born was told NO, that is your mothers bike!

Ever since I can remember I wanted to die. Now I sit here with cancer and knowing even before they told me for certain that I am not going to fight it. Its my answer to years of prayers for this nightmare to be over.

My story is far more brutal than anything I can find on the much so its hard to speak of or afraid that I wouldn't be believed because of course we are taught that it is us that is crazy right?

I tried to write a brief synopsis only to be told it was too long.

1:15 AM  

I've only realized today that i am in the same boat as the rest of you but my case is the most extreme. Below I will set out the main points
my mother continues to wage a 45 year war of silence with my dads sister
She has total control over my father who has no back bone and is terrified of her.
She set brother against brother always keeping one on her side. a family of 3 boys.
She sent one away to Australia for 20 years to be rid of him. He is now an alcoholic.
She refused to go to my wedding unless the date was changed to suit her.
She then fell out with my wife after the event and froze her out for 10 years.
our marriage failed as a result of all of this.
I began a new relationship and when we got serious, she befriended my ex and uses her as a weapon to inflict hurt through her support of her and has her on a pedestal now.
She has isolated me and my new wife and refused to go to our wedding
She would not let my elderly father go to the wedding either.
She has isolated me, my wife and our 5 year old daughter for 5 years with her silence.
She made me buy the family business I worked in ... for her for 26 years, my dads business for over a Million Euro or face being thrown on the side of the road.
I went into the business at 17 and was promised the sun moon and stars, it never happened.
I was told by her I should be on my Knees Genuflecting to her, and without her I would be out on the street with my arse through my pants.
She assists my ex in her court efforts for maintenance by divulging personal information.
She supplied my ex with a 10 page letter she wrote blackening my charachter about me to a Marriage Tribunal.
When my father got sick recently, she committed him to a nursing home, even though he did not want to go . She had her home modified to cater for an elderly wheelchair bound person , but still sent him away to a home.
She has been summonsed to act against me in court by me ex and is stirring it up still 10 years on.
She told my father who is in the nursing home that in view of my " horrible Behaviour" to end all contact with me. I obeyed, only for his mental health as he would not have been able to cope if we both visited at the same time.
She has set one of my brothers against me, he is the Golden child.
She is very wealthy and uses her wealth and power with false promises for obedience.
last week my father was gravely ill and I came to visit, He told me to go as he had to side with her even if she was in the wrong.
I tried communicating by letter , e mail and text.... she reported me to the police for harassment. I was ordered not to make any effort to contact her or she would press charges as my contact was not wanted nor warranted.
I find it very hard to remain strong, but with the love and support and understanding I have from a wonderful wife, I am standing tall. this is my story
I would appreciate some feedback.

6:44 PM  

Facebook has a group called DAUGHTERS OF NARCISSISTIC MOTHERS which may help.

Your mother sounds like a sociopath and your case is far from the most extreme I've ever heard. You can't fix it all. Just keep yourself and your children away from her.

12:37 AM  

Brilliant post Barbara. You really nailed it, this fits my elderly 'N' mother to a tee. The sadistic comments, the gaslighting, selfish exploitive behavior, the 'jaw dropping lack of empathy' in her remarks, the intrusiveness and assigning of blame. She never apologizes for anything. Chronic lying, about everything. People on the outside just don't get it, because the abuse is covert and she seems so nice. I'm 'oversensitive' or 'unhappy'or otherwise seen as 'the problem'. Check to the triangulation with my sisters, and her intent to destroy all my relationships.(in the past)When my sister got married, the first words out of my mother's mouth were 'When you get divorced'. Yes my sister fulfilled my mother's prophecy. I put my mother on no contact for several years, then minimal contact(on birthdays and holidays)since she's in her eighties. My little sister is 'the golden child' and the executor on my mother's will(a slap in the face, I'm the oldest) Little sis can do no wrong, always getting compared unfavorably. The good news is, I know now to 'go where the love is' and not to take her personally, she's always going to be an 'N'.Just because she says something, doesn't make it true. Just remembered being abused by my pedophile father from age eight through the end of my teens. My mother did nothing to stop it.She blamed me and stood by him! It was about losing face for her, she was the primary breadwinner. The last straw-she called me an 'old maid' last time we spoke.(I'm unmarried)She blamed me for 'picking a fight'when I called her on her comment.I hung up on her. Took care of her last winter for 3 weeks when she came out of the hospital.(live 3000 miles away) She's nice when she's sick, but an asshole when she's well.Not interested in being a victim.I always say something when she crosses the line, or I detach and put her on a time out. The temper tantrums they throw,the drama, like a child. Not intimidated by this BS anymore,but they do always try to make you look bad. Thanks. Contemplating printing this out and sending it to her LOL.

6:51 PM  

Jen - don't do it! She won't see herself and it will just cause her to rip into you again. NC and Silence will speak louder than anything.

1:28 AM  


I thought my Dad was the NPD...he was violent and resentful of ANY attention we got from our mom.
After reading this, i am beggining to realize that MYMOM is the narcissist.

Yes My Dad used to throw temper tantrums like a two year old, i was the scapegoat, thrown to the floor, dad would climb on top of me and beat me with fists...then the whole family would blame me for what happened. My Dad actually Killed my dog...and the whole time i was never good enough, and Dad INSISTED on taking in foster kids, he prefered boys...i was a girl.
I got to endure all the hatred he had for his sister and mom.

But the kicker is mom exhibits so many of the NPD mom traits in this list it is scary.
My brother was the golden child...

To this day i am haunted by the abuse i suffered through as i got treated like the family servant (doing all mom's housework FOR HER and taking care of younger brother) Dad's punching bag and emotional whipping post all in this day the family BLAMES ME for the abuse i was VERY MUCH LIKE GROWING UP IN A CONCENTRATION CAMP.
I was the only one who would call BS...and say the emperor has no clothes on..and i suffered MASSIVELY FOR IT.I HAD NO ONE.

I have just CUT THEM OFF a few months ago it has taken 40 years to see it.(thank god for my husband's help and that of a good christian friend)

at first my mother completely IGNORED my request for a cessation in communication and in fact became MORE invasive; her need to piss with me was more important than my need to heal and not face constant depression afte4r talking to her

..last time i moved i did not give her my address as i explained to her that i wanted to be left alone "for awhile"...she tearfully said "we will respect your wishes"..uhmmmm
I hate to break it to her but she doesn't have a choice.
the constant gaslighting and lying , i don't care how much of her precious money she thinks she can use to bribe me..all the money in the world is not enough for me to risk my sanity again.

Watching her give my things away when i had no place to put them because i was homeless...and being told that i either took them with me or she was giving them away.
Now she doesn't understand why i do not want anything of hers...her precious jewelry and nice things she would have lost if she divorced me dad...and besides she blames me for not divorcing him anyway.

I have gone through life feeling utterly i am realizing maybe it is not what is wrong with me, but what is right with me...

I wiould be willing to bet that we are stronger and more pput together than most of us have been made to feel.

Thank you for the article and letting em talk.
Bless every single on of you out there who have livedw through N moms...from the bottom of my heart.
PEACE, Bunny

3:35 PM  

Mri's checking for psychopathy should be a something EVERYONE has access to. And, I disagree with the part of this article that says there's a difference between narcissist and psychopath, the video "I, Psychopath" on Youtube proves it. Psychopaths "know" right from wrong but it means nothing to them. In the video series (on Youtube) "BBC Horizon Are You Born Good or Evil" Dr. James Fallon, who is a psychopath, shares how he KNOWS that if a "loved" one dies he SHOULD go to the funeral but he'd rather go to a party and he doesn't give a sh**!

And remember, they are ALWAYS angry. They know that there are things that society considers okay to be justifiably mad about, so oftentimes they will rant and rave on "legitimate" issues. Or they display their anger but inducing strife and anger in others so that others will run around angry, and this can be a "fix" for this type of psychopath.

It is hopeless for everyone if we don't teach them about psychopathy. That it is "nothing" more than the way these people are born and the way that their brains function. That there is no cure, that they hate everyone but love themselves. They must cause harm to others whether this represents in physical, emotional, mental, financial, or spiritual harm, THEY ALWAYS HARM.

The man in the post above, talking about his mother and her reign of terror. Sadly, this is so typical of psychopaths. She clearly had more power than some but look at this man's life. All the destruction. Does it occur to anybody else that if we weren't constantly battling psychopaths, we might actually be able to HELP each other?

There is an emerging branch of law now called neuroscience law. It is because we now know that MANY things are not the result of imperfect childhoods, but are simply the way that these people are born. It is "nothing" more than a genetic trait but PRETENDING it is something else is just a lie. Go to a Bible website and type in "lie" or "deceive" and check out some of the Bible verses that come up. All fit descriptions of the devil and all fit descriptions about people who have the brain functioning of a psychopath.

1:26 PM  

So glad to know I am not the only one in the world with one. Just wish I had learned it at 18 instead of 48.

10:52 AM  

children judge themselves through the eyes of their parents. Adults shouldn't although most continue to do so well into adulthood if not death of their parents.

8:06 AM  

My girlfriend is 20 and her mum fits all of this :/ last night she phoned the police and the police believed her mum and not her. It's so hard and she now has to rely on her neighbour for accommodation as she has been kicked out of the house for good. I honestly don't know what to do because I'm in my final a level year.

I have showed and read my girlfriend what I think and about this informative site and she is beginning to believe. I'm just afraid because I personally can't do anything as I don't have the money and my parents wouldn't understand and would just say "she's going to ruin your grades".

Last night she was hidin in her loo and phone the police but when they came she was made out to be some crazy phyco :/ it's so scary and I wish I could help more but I can't. I've even been accused of abusing and hitting my girlfriend and she's told people that as well and ive never hit anyone in my life :/

Are there anything sites or numbers to phone in England?
Or jus anything, I've been looking for the past week but it's either just information or American hell and numbers.
She's phone the police and they didn believe her, even got showed the texts she has been sent with her mum threatening her and me with people she can 'call' and how we should feel sorry for one another.
I was over yesterday, well standing outside of her house and she shouted at me saying "I don't want you outside my house f**k off and so on." I retaliated as natural but as soon as I said I would phone the police that was it from her, until about an hour later with her saying she has just phoned them and explain everything and how my girlfriend steals from we when it's the other way round!
I'm just lost and so is she.
I can't do anything and the police aren't helping :(

Please If there is any help at all for her (living in England) would be greatly aprriciated.

Manu thanks


8:42 PM  

Print this out for her
Have her go to a Women's Center or Domestic Violence Center and ask to see an advocate
Hopefully the advocate will know where she can get help

2:10 AM  

I have just read this and am so relieved that I'm not completely crazy. Your words describe my childhood to a 'T', unfortunately, but at least I know now it's real, I'm not alone with this, I'm 28 and am currently going through a messy divorce, with an abusive ex, only to now discover my N mother has threatened to take me to court tonight over the kids. I'm unsure why as I haven't denied access yet. She had my father invite me round for a 3 hour session of ranting and raving, accusations and making me relive my account of the abusive marraige painfully for her amusement. I don't want her near my kids, never have, and up till recently had kept away from her but after the marraige failing ( oh she did her best to break it off for 10 years) I was a mess and she cared, made out it was all his fault we haven't been getting on, that my imagination runs away with me when I questioned her behaviour when I was young, stupidly I accepted her help. Now to find I was right all along, it comes at a price. My sister is the golden child who used to beat me up when mum wasn't there, she's as crazy as mum. She's always done everything right. I haven't. My mum woke me up once, 2pm in the night by emptying all my drawers of my desk on the floor and beating me til I was awake, all because she was having an argument with dad about him working away. Not normal.....but I was told I had a vivid dad walked in and saw and he says nothing!! She controls him, everyone. She alienated us from all family for 20 years, my aunties and uncles have finally confirmed its not in my head, they noticed why I was little that she was different with me and when they confronted her, she disowned them. She used to beat my dad up, me and my sister saw that regularly. From the age of 6 to now she has always called me sis being a perfect size 8 and me a now size 10 (when I was pregnant the comments were obscene). All my presents that I wanted for birthdays and Christmases my sister got, I would ask for a doll, my sister would get it. It's so cruel what she has done, and now in cohoots with the ex husband plotting god only knows what!! I don't know what to do, my children are not safe. An abusive father who I've moved them away from til he goes to court, and a N mother who's demanding access. My life feels screwed and no one will believe me. I just don't know what to do.
But thank you for writing this, I came online to find help tonight and I stumbled on this article....fate....luck.... Which ever it is I'm grateful for no longer feeling insane

8:32 PM  

At what point does one move from step 1-Identifying the problem and how it has made your life unmanageable to Step 2-Doing something about the problem. By not moving on and staying stuck on the problem, one continues to be a victim versus a survivor. Let's support one another in recovery (and that is probably the most difficult)versus focusing on the problem ad nausea. New people may then read about recovery. This is our story, this is what we are doing to be "released", and see how we support one another in the process. I am an adult, I have choices, I choose to be a survivor instead of a victim.

1:21 PM  

That's fine but many NarcMothers leave their children with C-PTSD. C-PTSD is about being stuck; and it's no ones fault.

Professional, competent help is the only thing I know of to end the 'stuck' problem with C-PTSD.

2:00 AM  

Wow, when did you meet Mama? That's her!

3:44 PM  

I've been no contact with my n mother for 8 weeks now I'm getting all these 'i don't deserve this' ' I can't smile without u' emotional blackmail texts I feel sick and sad inside I feel gulty then angry and this continues in cycles it's no fun I await counselling :( any advice be appreciated thnks

5:19 PM  

I don"t remember anything before age three. Baby pictures of me are few. At age 51 I finally realize that my mother was a sadistic narcissisticinsults. She made me hate myself..... She can shoot you a look that can only be described as murderous. I am 51 and still terrified of her. As a young girl i just tried to stay out of her way. She"d dig ner nails into my hands and leave deep moon shaped marks. She'd beat me violently, and hurled vicious

11:29 PM  

I sometimes feel I'm wrong and crazy due to her conniving evil ways. I tell myself maybe if I just do what she wants I could live in peace

3:32 AM  

I will be homeless soon with my four children because of her mean fullness yet all my brothers excuse her behavior and tell me I need to respect there mother and grow up and quit blaming my imperfections on there darling mother. She does so many conniving things to our relationships and families and everyone else is so blind to her evilness. I pray to God that I don't end up like her and wish I had the money to get as far away from her and my brothers and sister. I love my nieces and nephews and some of my sister in laws. I wish our entire family could be happy with one another but there mother will never allow that while she's alive. She's tried to get my kids taken from me so many times and hasn't had any success. She continuously puts evil into my husband to have him leave me. She has had two of my older brothers beat me on separate occasions. I feel like the outcast all the time having to walk on egg shells. She tells my children in going to kill them. She constantly tries to make me hate my Dad for all he's done to her and I always let her know I'm not interested in knowing what I didn't live. I don't understand why she wants me to hate my father or the test of our family. She makes our kids fight and even holds them down so they beat eachother. She has had one success so far in separating one of my brothers to his wife. She is upsest with each one of them it's so freaky. I've been the worthless piss of crud in everyone's eyes because of her. I've yet to get away from all of this. But to be truly honest I feel to worthless to begin to move. I don't know where to go. I hate life. Don't feel like I matter. My depression and anxiety are very high and I have no one. I know I have to move and care for my children but it's as if I'm paralyzed!!! I have no sight of a rainbow anywhere near me and it scares me. I find myself so torn that I don't even know how to coexist any longer!!! I always try and stay away from my family and the world due to my mothers way of life for us as her kids. She is evil

4:02 AM  

"I sometimes feel I'm wrong and crazy due to her conniving evil ways. I tell myself maybe if I just do what she wants I could live in peace"

Nope. That will NEVER EVER EVER happen. That's fear talking, not reality.

Call your local DV or Women's Shelter (you should NOT tell your story on the phone) Make an urgent appointment with and advocate and go. Now.

Why? She's sick beyond repair and she will NEVER EVER get it. Get away from that toxic creature immediately.

6:36 AM  

This is the best post I have ever read regarding a NM! It could have been written about my childhood. My mother did take my Christmas presents back, she never came to one horse show and when I got my first boyfriend she happily told me sold my horse to the meat market and described how they whipped and beat her to get her on the trailer. She put me on spinach and hard boiled egg diets in elementary school because she was bulemic. I was made to take care of my elderly grandparents at a young age. I was severely critisized and left alone while she habitually dated different men. She would growl at me through clenched teeth and threaten me to never bother anyone of my lifestyle. She always told me my dad didn't care or love me when come to find she never gave me cards and gifts he sent me every christmas and birthday. Iwas so excited about my first boyfriend and she said what does he see in you? She's like a child, greedy, cruel, selfish and abusive. Ialways thought there was something wrong with me until I discovered her disorder. At 50 I've finally cut off contact. I moved out at 16 and have supported myself she's never given me a dime but there was never food in the house and she told me at 15 I was so difficult that she had decided to live for herself and disown me I was stressing her out too much. Come to find out I was having anxiety attacks because my grandpa had died and I loved him so. I now am growing stronger but suffer from depression and PTSD. I hate her and struggle with how to get over the anger.

9:33 PM  

My mother is a very accomplished person with many qualities, she is very generous and gracious.
But there is a vicious side of her that she chooses to direct only towards me and it is very close to the list above.
I have been always confused by her behavior and abuse: she is like Mother Theresa on the outside but so cruel to me.
There are many family secrets: she is 80 and not 76 like my father and some of my baby pictures show a dark haired baby( I was almost bold and blonde in all other pictures) and have a date handwritten by her on the back of a month before I was born. She seemed to have loved me when I was born, but my father's continuous philandering made her seek for a separation and I was sent to live 12 hours away from her with
my Dad and my beloved paternal grandmother from age 1 to 2-1/2.
They reconciled and my sister was born, she became the golden child and I the scapegoat. Another sister was born after that, she looks a lot like me and gets some of the manipulation and criticism as well, but not as badly as myself. Growing up my mother called me a monster, she didn't want me to hug her because she said I smelled badly or had bad breath, she even accused me once of getting "too close" to her private parts ( At age six or seven) She did nothing to help me after I was repeatedly raped and abused by a troubled teenage half-brother. She refused to parent me or take care of me. She would tell me everything about her and my father's problems. She put ne on a diet at 9 and is always criticizing my body, my hair, my clothes No matter what I do or I accomplish in life, she manages to put me down and hurt me terribly.Today, at 47 I went to her house to get something for my Dad and to return a package of sweets she had used to insult and offend me. She put on a spectacular drama and called me a bad daughter and said she never wanted me to see me again and wished me the worst with my own two children. Luckily, my Dad, who has also a narcissistic personality a who used to beat me as a child chose not to hurt me this time.
I was feeling relieved earlier, but the old pangs of guilt are telling me that she is too old and that I should apologize for having the gull to object to her cruelty.
But then I found your blog and feel a little better. Thanks!

7:05 PM  

After years of being put down and compared to siblings, having to compete for NMs attention, i got sick of it. I wrote her a letter stating i wouldnt be trying to get her attentionanymore and reminding her of her gaslighting.

One example
She called my children spoilt brats, bad behavior.... She was trying to groom them to her web.. but i reminded her of it and that her later denial of it really concerned me.

Another example .. your sister is doing fo well..... Pride comes before a fall..... Youll reep wat u sow......

And a classic...
Because she tookme out of her will.... She said.... Money is honest.... Money goes where its honest.... I took it to mean that i wasnt getting any bevause of my behavior

Others.... Family is always there for you... Dont be disloyal to your family....... Your father has a lot to answer for....

Just letting these out there... Sort of relieving to let it out.

I sent her the letter 2 yrs ago... She rang me 3 or 4 times... Classic pathetic behaviout ... Helpless on the pjone..... I have nothing here ... Im gonna sell up and move to melbourne... No one wants me here...... Then sent me a cheque wirh a card .. the card said.... Just amustard seed can grow to a tall tree.......

Then she sister went to my ex wifes to visit my kids and cuddled up to her saying how bad i was...

See im such a strong figure in the family and ive always been nice... They expect it without question..... Now theyll never get it again

Last time i spoke wirh NM i told her never wanna see her again....

Im still angry at wat she got away with so long and happy to ruin my life....

I got it back at 41 .. now im 43.... Haha.... Im living and i love it....

U know wat.... You are allowed to live YOUR life... Enjoy your time ... Do wat you want...

If you want to sit in bed all day... Do it... If you want go overseas... Do it... Work harder... Do it... Holiday... Eat...... Be good to urself ... Watever.... Doooooo it.... Its U... Ur allowed to be UUUU.

12:51 PM  

I was just looking for advice. My almost 18 yr old brother called cps to save me from step dad sexual abuse. I now live with a family member but my N mother blames me of course says I'm a liar, continues to lie to our whole family and has manipulated my brother into thinking I lied and he destroyed our family by calling. My brother is now failing school broke up with her girl of two yrs. will my brother ever see the truth, will he snap out of this once the truths are told or have I lost him for years to come?

4:41 PM  

As I'm reading everyone's words I've come to the sickening conclusion,"they're writing about my life!" My mom is 60 years and her narc has affected me, my sisters, aunt and uncle. I'm just now learning about all the f***ed up things she has done to my entire family, because she isolated me and my younger sister from the rest of the family. I finally had enough 6 days ago when I came home to find my sister beat up to hell (b/c she didn't corroborate my moms lies to the cops when she kicked me out again) Reading ya'lls words has helped me reassure myself that I made the right choice. Thank you for your words and courage

6:25 AM  

My brother is currently in the family law court trying to get his son back from our mother.

I have been through hell with this woman... She was extremely narcisstic and it was horrible... I was misdiagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder because psych professionals thought i was lying about the abuse and the things she did, and they listened to her.

I think the best thing I did was stop my own treatment... and I started reading about narcisstic mothers. It helped tremendously for me to say to the psych teams no, its not me.

I am 32 now and my mother is so out of control. I wish there was more information out there to help deal with the things she does. She continues to do out of control things but there is ABSOLUTELY nothing you can do about it but sit there and put up with it.

I have not spoken to my mother for nearly a year now. She will not be coming near me or my children.

I am getting married soon and I am just waiting for the unleash from hell when she finds out.

12:20 AM  

I am 53 yrs old and haven't seen or spoken to my N. mother in about 20 yrs. I am more calm and I like who I am.
When I did things wrong or made a mistake as a child she asked,"How could you do this to me? I won't be able to show my face.".
I drank 2 beers at age 16 and was so sick. When my younger sister did the same thing she stood her in front of the bathroom mirror and told her to look at herself. She said you make me sick you look like your sister, that being me.
Well, I didn't do anything to her and I know that now. She will never understand that.
The only thing I feel for her now is sorrow, and pity the fact that she is so miserable with herself.
You are not responsible for your mother. Take care of yourself first and be happy. Remove the negitive people in your life even if that includes family.
Live, Love, Laugh and God Bless

4:36 PM  

Brilliant article - thank you so much for all the details. So many, many, many matched my experience. The joint bank account that she embezzled from, the cheap gifts, the sabotage of my education, the sheer busy-ness of her constant evil, the isolation, the inappropriate hair styles and clothing and hideous colors she insisted on.

The lying was beyond anything I could make sense of. I did figure out that she was a "bottomless pit" for entertainment, domination, envy. I was sleep deprived and starved most of my time with her. I finally married and moved 2 time zones away and instinctively went No Contact although she worked at harassing me from a distance. She passed away when I was 47 years old and such a sigh of relief !!

I appreciate all the information which I just began learning at age 54. Yes - I wish I knew at a much earlier age. I am now 58 years old and I both celebrate my freedom and day dream about having that freedom much earlier. I read an article recently that said information at any stage can bring closure - yes - I can now stop obsessing and start getting to know myself. I feel silly sometimes about becoming ME in my 50's. But you know what - so many other precious people are living the same story. When I think about them, I can go on and claim my SELF and start living free.

It's bitter sweet - looking for meaning and choosing to heal. But now I have my answers and every article like this reinforces me and helps me reclaim my truth.

I always knew something was dreadfully wrong, but I lacked that last 5% of naming the beast. Without a clear name, I could not bring it all into focus. This article is brilliant - and so spot on - thank you !!

As far as recovery, my first step was to own my favorite color and paint rooms and buy clothes that matched my taste. Narc Mother liked blue - I like green. No more blue rooms at my house !! My favorite meal is lunch, not dinner. I like pets and I have a whole slew of them. I'm living large and sleeping a full 8 hours every night - only those of us who were sleep deprived and hyper vigilant can know what a victory that is.

Thank you for this site - thank you for all you do for all of us !!!!

Cinnamon Girl

11:34 AM  

Wow, did I get off easy! Some 20 years ago I made the mistake o mentioning that I was lonely. Myths made this statement : "I don't have time for your problems..." Gee, I didn't think my loneliness was a crises, but evidently narcs need to make mountains out of molehills. Now 20 years later myths has a serious problem - one she created through her own irresponsible habits. And I'm supposed to go out on a limb? Ha! Paybacks are a mutha-hubba.

1:12 PM  

Isn't it odd how these mothers treat their own as enemies? They get joy from their children's sadness, hurt, crisis, and/or sickness.

4:06 PM  

thank you for this site it has given me insight of why they act the way do. How I can to thd solution to move past the problem. We always blame ourselves for not being good enough to our mothers. its her not us, she has the sickness . God said parents do not provoke your children.

7:44 PM  

The items outlined in this article are brilliantly written and 'spot on'. I read it with a sense of tremendous relief in realizing I had not been imagining the decades of systematic emotional and physical abuse my mother exacted on me. Right down to the details of adult siblings not speaking anymore, I see the legacy of her 'parenting'. While in my siblings there was definitely one 'golden child', the role of 'scapegoat' was fluidly placed on the rest of us as it suited or suits her. My oldest brother wisely, like myself, has only the most superficial and intermittent contact with her. But it really attests to what effective manipulators they are when, as an adult, they can reel you back into their sick, dysfunctional world very quickly. I think part of that is predicated on the knowledge and exploitation of the very natural biological desire of children to have connection with their blood relatives. For me, I have no 'family'. I don't even know what that means. Her damage to each of us as individuals and as a group has been so thorough,t here is no 'fixing' any of it. I had been appointed the sacrificial lamb or the landfill for all their neurotic angst and rage and when I refused to play the part anymore, they all turned on me in their own ways and I know it pleased that thing called 'mother' to no end. Thankfully, I have realized there are OTHER people in the world. Nice people, kind people, friendly people. Even though I am still primarily a very isolated person, I don't want connection with others enough to risk even one more moment in my life of being emotionally abused. Her physical abuse, grabbing anything within reach to beat me, was NOTHING compared to the daily, severe, and constant emotional abuse. She is old now and as far as I'm concerned, her life or death make little difference in my own. When she dies, I will grieve not for the mother I did have, but the mother I did NOT have.

1:21 PM  

Be proud of yourself! Jesus loves you and doesn't want people to take advantage of you!

4:17 AM  

I believe that narcissism breeds narcissism. Its a horrible gift that keeps on giving. And its highly likely that if you were raised by a narcissist (raised is not what they do) in other words if your parent or parents were narcissists its a good chance that some of the narcissism rubbed off on you.
I also believe that there are two types of narcissists. The benign narcissist who doesnt need to cause pain to others and who is capable of loving unconditionally, who is compassionate and is empathetic.
The other type is the malignant narcissist this type is a passive aggressive manipulator, who hates, who is not capable of love, who is jealous, selfish, evil.
my mother is a full blown malignant narcissist. It took me my entire life to finally realize exactly what the problem was. I have learned that I am an inverted narcissist. I am co dependent relying on malignant narcissits. Only the only thing a narcissist will do is ruin a person. And I am proof of that. I love the wrong type of people. People who cant and wont ever love me back. I dont feel right unless im in the company of a narcissist. Its a never ending losing battle. But the only way I know how to exist. Does anyone know if a good therapist in so California. A therapist who specializes in helping adult children of narcissistic parents. I know what my problems are I just really need help to over come them. Fifty years of hell and I believe I want to be happy and loved I just wont ever find it where I look.

2:05 PM  

@tilted...There is no such thing as a narcissist that can love unconditionally and who doesn't cause pain. No narcissist is empathetic. They have no empathy. You are a narcisstic supply. Never heard of an inverted N, maybe another term for the same thing? But not a good one, as a supply is not an N.

My N mother, when I was severely ill in hospital and was ready to be discharged told me she 'didn't have time to look after an invalid'. She was a stay at home mom. I wished I had died in hospital.
I also was falsely diagnosed with borderline personality disorder about 30 years ago when I sought help, like another poster was. I guess because nothing was known about N mothers and no one was willing to shatter the pedestals on which we place mothers. N mothers know that and take advantage.

5:29 PM  

I read this article with tears streaming down my face as I remembered everything that I HATED about my mother, but as a child couldn't explain.
My N mother took me to psychologists from the age of 5 years old until she lost custody of me when I was 12. She would go into the offices after reading books on bipolar or watching a special on ADHD. She would restrain me and put her hand over my mouth and nose forcing me to either; vomit, pass out, or bite her/hit and kick to get her off of me so I could breathe again. As soon as she had a mark it was off to the hospital for aggression. I was on Adderall, Adderall XR, Lithium, Depakote, Seroquel, Clonidine, Zoloft, Melatonin, Midrin, and probably others by the time I was 11... Most at the same time. And when I was just so trapped because I knew she would just send me to a hospital if I didn't somehow become a perfect child in an hour and repent for my sins, I would just start to cry "Please someone just help me!" and she would smile that damned smile I wish I could permanently smack off of her stupid face; "We'll get you the help you need." Soft and condescending. When I was raped at the age of 8 she used to hold me down and spread my legs open just to trigger me and lock me up for being manic.
When my sister was raped also she used to drop her off at the perpetrators house for babysitting because she "had nowhere else to put you!" When I was younger I had bathroom issues and she used to rub the soiled underwear in my face and make it a point to let everyone we spent the night with that I was a bedwetter. I tried to make these psychologists believe me but they just went off of what my mother had told them and my entire family thought I was a bad child. I'm still fighting the diagnosis I got as a child. But it was just such a relief to read through this at 24 and realize for one that I'm not crazy, and for two that there is a name for what my siblings and I went through as children. My brother would be the golden child btw.

11:26 AM  

Your narcissist mother will make you feel like your'e a cigarette. She sucks the required drug out of you and stumps you under her shoe. And all over a gain.

1:11 PM  

OMG - 90% of this is my mother. She has ruined my life and I think about her for hours a day and not in a good way. She has screwed me up completely. Thank God I'm not alone.
So many of the patronising quotes here she has said to me.
My brother is the golden child - or blue eyed boy as my dad and I call him.
My relationship with my mother made me ill. So I have no contact with her.
She plays the game and tells people she cannot understand me - so they blame me. Her abuse happened away from public.
Now she controls me where she can through my own child.
Thank you for calling it abuse - because it is.

5:11 AM  

Almost 4 years NC, hang in there, it is not always going to be easy but you got the strength to endure , never give up on yourself. Let yourself be both strong and weak. It is ok, you are ok.

2:17 PM  

Is there hope that the golden child of Narcissistic mother can improve and be less narcissistic after the death of the Narcissistic parent? In our situation the scapegoat is the only family member with insight and healthy. All other children who abused scapegoat at Narcissistic mothers pleasure are narcissists abusing and scapegoating their spouses. Repeated divorces

2:05 AM  

Is there hope that the golden child of Narcissistic mother can improve and be less narcissistic after the death of the Narcissistic parent? In our situation the scapegoat is the only family member with insight and healthy. All other children who abused scapegoat at Narcissistic mothers pleasure are narcissists abusing and scapegoating their spouses. Repeated divorces

2:06 AM  

This is an amazing blog. I couldn't believe how many traits my mother, aunt, and grandmother have that relate to this. But my situation is a little different. I realize now that my grandmother and aunt have always been this way; but my mother wasn't. She honestly was a wonderful mother until about 5 years ago when I went to the police about my father's sexual abuse on me. Not only did she not take my side when he went to jail, but she became a completely different person. I was blamed for everything that went wrong for her, she lied about everything, became childish and selfish, stopped caring for my three younger siblings and became extremely neglectful and verbally/emotionally abusive.

My aunt is worse. She thinks she's perfect and that she and my uncle are always right. She'll say she's on your side when you're alone with her, but as soon as you're not around she changes her story and denies everything. My grandmother pulls the strings in the background saying my poor mother needs support and that I'm a cold hearted monster.

This Christmas my husband and I made it clear we weren't attending the mandatory family party, and everything hit the fan. She flips out that I'm keeping my 1 year old son from her, and cries that she doesn't know why I hate her after everything she's done for me. I've blocked her and my aunts numbers and haven't had contact in a moth, which is a big deal in my family. I recently heard from my brother that she's planning on coming to my house to verbally attack me and I don't know what to do. Do I ignore her and stay upstairs with my son- or do I keep him upstairs and confront her once and for all outside my house.

I feel bad because she is my mom, but at the same time I'm sick of always having to feel bad and be made out to look like a liar and a b**ch when it's not me, it's her!

2:48 PM  

My mother does everything on your list to . I tried to tell her how I felt and she wrote me a hateful letter even threatening to sick family on me. She use to beat me in front of sisters and their dates for just being in the room. When I left home cause I could not take it, she lied to the entire family. For years now I can't come around family with her treating me like a scapegoat and even giving my siblings a look, as if to remind them to shut me out to. One them will order me to do something or approach me right after. Three out of four siblings have tried to bully me in front of mother and she just showed them love and compassion. I know longer consider her my mother. Abuse has led to a lifetime of nightmares and anxiety attacks. None of my friends like the way she treats. She use to hit and scream at my step dad for protecting me from her abuse. Once he told her to stop talking down to me, and she punched him in the stomach. No one in the family cares for me or my child because she has brainwashed them. She used like I was a slave for years and use to make foul expression when I would hand her my daughter when she was a baby. When I went into labor she called my sister to go to hospital or to get someone else yet she rushed for my sisters kids being born. I was told in secret by family member that she told then she doesn't want to be there for me and will not. She tells everyone I'm the wild one of her drinks, yet I went to college, dont do drugs, no violence and I got married. She refers to me as "the other daughter" people learn quickly that her scapegoat and my youngest sister is her goldenchild so they join in on the bad treatment. A friend of my big sister felt so bad at brothers funeral she insisted I join her. When I tried to go with her and my sister out afterwards, my sister fell quiet and walked away. She did not want me to go out with them. I'm only one year younger and 37 years old. I have no choice but to stay away fro. My family. Now I'm sick and do not know, I only pray that I'm dying from a broken heart, it feels like my body is shutting down and I feel strains in my heart and was admitted for heart rate dropping dangerousely low. They almost couldn't bring it up. My husband is worried and says I don't look well, like life is being sucked of me. I urge people to keep us distance from people who great u that way, it can kill our spirit like it killed mine and weaken you. My husband father married a narcissist (his mother) and she sucked him dry and left him when he was no longer any use to her and he died of sudden heart failure right after. He got weak and his heart just stopped. So far mine almost did twice while my mother was treating me as bad as she could. At this point I know if I went hospital again they will say heart rate not good. I can feel it. I pray for everyone. If u don't stay away from our narcissist, u will get sick.

12:34 AM  

Another thing I wanted to mention, my mother even went as far as saying I had an anger problem to hide her emotional and mental abuse. She made me see a doctor, who eventually said I did not and that something was triggering my upset and to just monitor me. It was my mother abuses me cause claimed she didn't like that I thought I was pretty. She would come home late night wake me up and harass me. Say " you think ur so f n cute." And slap me and choke me. She was very strict with me and only beat me. Though sisters did drugs and had babies while being teenagers. Which is why I just left out of her house one day and never went back. For 20 years she has worked to ruin my life. The list goes on. She was making me drive her places and escort her around for hours like I work for her. She forces me to s
Walk a few steps behind her like a pet and if I don't she will scream my name loudly to make me. This is in public. My x came to propose and she told him I was engaged. I didn't make up mind quite yet with who I was seeing. I was in the midst of loosing my baby at 8 months pregnant while I was at her hoiuse and she just looked at me and said " clean myself up and go to hospital" and kept cooking and eating. The hospital was close so I went and she never went went with me. I lost the baby. I could go on. I decided she is like w plague in my life that I must avoid.

12:56 AM  

Growing up, you tried to make me believe that my dad didn't care about me...MY DAD WOULD DIE FOR ME!!! My dad always has and always will love me. You treated him like trash when you two were married. You treat me like trash now!!! You treat me like some kind of slave; telling me what to do and when to do it, mostly when it is inconvenient for me. You don't care about my feelings...When ever I have something to say, you don't want to hear it, but when you wanna talk you demand my full attention!!! IT DOESN'T WORK LIKE THAT. How dare you!!!! How dare you take me for granted!!!!! Your own child. We argue every day!!!!! Don't you ever get tired of the drama??? I just want to be happy!!!! I refuse to allow you to ruin my life!!!!!!!!!!! You kick me when I'm down and laugh at my pain!!! When ever I am happy you try to kill my joy, or down play anything good that happens to me. I said it before and I'll say it again....YOU NEED HELP!!!!!!!!!!!

12:55 AM  

I posted the story above that starts off " Anonymous said...
Last contact ever to my Mother the Narcissist:

Mother I could never accept your offer to move back home if I lose my house
because NO ONE in this family will help me with a simple short term loan."

Somehow years later, I have so "randomly" stumbled upon this link.
I wasn't looking for it. I was searching for something totally unrelated. Something happy.
So I am still scratching my head that the link turned up in my first 10 search results on Google.
(Different computer, different ip, different locale then when I posted years ago, so it's not as if Google was personalizing results to my query)

Anyway I will take this as a strong, jaw dropping sign to update things.

I never of course moved back in with my Mother, but I made the awful mistake of starting to speak to her again.

My grandmother has made it her dying wish for me to start talking and keeping talking to my Mother again.

Even though my Grandmother was a good support system to me when I left home, I see now that I should never have fulfilled her dying wishes and started talking to my Mother again.

I still resisted the idea of ever talking to her again. But then she had a spectacular breakdown and the local county had to remove her and put her in a psych ward.
Social workers kept badgering me. I still don't know how they tracked me down. Even when I told them my Mother had tried to kill me and had kept me basically locked in the house for years, they just would drone on about how she is my Mother and and she was 'sorry' for what she did.

8:57 PM  


I finally broke down and started to talk to her again. W O R S T M I S T A K E of my life.

Things started to go completely downhill in my life and for the last several years I've been fighting my way out of a pit of misfortune.

I did finally share my story in a letter to my immediate and extended family members. Instead of offering any sympathy, they completely shut me out. They were always more concerned with appearances and surface stuff and couldn't handle dealing with the family's skeletons. I don't feel that saddened by their coldness. It's more that I feel like a complete orphan.

Finding this old post has completely reinvigorated me. It was also a cold slap in the face that nearly all the progress I made when I ran away from home so many years ago was almost wiped away by speaking to her again.

Even though I read this post last night, I still gave in and made a quick call to my Mother.
I know that she will start making up stories and calling the authorities if I immediately stop.

The calls never last long and I dont call more than 2-3 times per month. But each time eats away at my peace of mind and clarity.

I was kidding myself that I was handling it fine all these years since I posted the above post.

I was healthier, saner, happier, calmer and to be honest a lot thinner before I started speaking to her.

I guess what I want to implore anyone reading this is to NOT give and EVER break contact.
Don't let ANYONE manipulate you into doing so no matter how much you respect/care about the person asking you to break/make contact.

To illustrate how well I was doing BEFORE I started speaking to her again, I was having a few financial troubles because the economy started to crap out ('07/'08)

I was given the wrong mortgage. Broker lied to me and suddenly I had huge payments.

But in spite of this I was mentally happy and in good health.

But within 1 year of speaking to her again I had gone from a girl with a bright future, to someone who could barely think straight, started staying up all night from insomnia.

Within 2 years, I couldn't hold anything together and finances and health were wrecked.

Put on many pounds, in particular around my waist.
Was in flight or fight panic attack mode, stopped socializing.
I went from someone who was basically a clone of the actress Jennifer Lawrence (zany, upbeat, carefree, pretty attractive) to a stressed out, gloomy wreck.

But even though I feel temporarily stuck in a loop calling my Mother, I do feel a 100% more awake and lucid after re reading my post on here from years ago.

So again, I can not stress strongly enough HOW important is to be STRONG and never make contact again.

My heart goes out to everyone who has to see and interact with their NMs.

Please try and rework your lives so you can move on and away from them.

8:57 PM  

I am 42 and just realized I am an ACON. Everything above described my mom. I am shocked that I've never come across this information before, and I've been to half a dozen therapists, and get this - I am a psychologist!

I am so glad I'm not alone, but I'm sad to know that there are so many of us out there.

5:06 PM  

yes it is, not odd, but insane..I have both a N mother and N father..where one didn't have the horrible behavior the other picked up where the other left off, so to's a cruel was to "grow up" takes years before we get away, and become clear-headed...

3:52 PM  

I have Catholic N mother (special species of hell-inflicting creature)and a violent,alcoholic, chauvinistic enabler of a father, who always wanted sons, but got 3 daughters - he was not best pleased.
I'm 34 and sane, LC since 18 (I moved to a different time zone), NC since 28 when found out that my little sister was sexually abused from the age of 8 by an uncle, and when she told our N mother, she heard that's because she asked for it! I didn't know until then either, and it got me ill for weeks. I'm the 'Golden child', and for those who may think that we are destine to become N - well, it is not true (This label still didn't save me from the nausea- inflicting beatings and from being accused of having a abortion when I grieved my miscarried child) Ever since I can remember I knew that I got 'a special treatment' and I hated that; hated it because I saw that my sisters are not treated the same way, even if they needed parents much more then I did.
I loved them then, and I love them now, when they are struggling to stand upright as a 'whole' people (one LC, one NC).
I think this is what made us survive - we stuck together, maybe because long time ago I decided to love, need and trust only the kind and lovely people in my life that were my sisters, I don't know.
It was some trip, and now, apart from the mild irony of having a physical person called a mother devoid of any characteristics one should have, I'm only sad. I don't hate them anymore, I nothing them.

Bottom line is, get rid of the poison out of your life as radically and quickly as you would a cancer from your body.

4:43 PM  

OMG. The majority of this post is how things were for me growing up. My mother swapped her golden child around between my sister and myself. She blew hot and cold, one day you were the favorite, the next you were not, she pit my sister and I against each other to the point we would physically fight....she'd geet drunk and beat us....My father got sick from renal failure and the whole time he was sick she was horrible to him. They lived 400 miles away at that point and she'd phone every damn day, she'd not even say hello...she'd launch into "your bloody fathers done this...." or "guess what that bloody man's done this time" wore me down, I was so exhausted. 2 days before he died he and I had a frank conversation. He hated her, had hated her for years. He knew she beat us (he worked overseas) and he knew she drank but he didn't know how to stop it. He was so sorry but he was to blame as well for ignoring it.

As soon as I started to get boobs she made inappropriate sexual comments often, made sure there were xxx rated music videos on the tv when I was in the room, she'd buy me underware and ask me to model them for her. I think if I'd have said yes she'd have loved it. She was such a prude though! when she read my diary and found out I'd slept with my boyfriend at 17 she didn't speak to me for 3 days.....but once I was in my 20's she'd ask how big my boyfrineds penis was or how good he was in bed. She constantly wanted to talk about my period, and other bodily functions.

I get married soon and had to make contact after 5 years of blissful peace because hse had two rings that she'd promissed my grandmother she'd pass on to my sister and myself. I copied my aunt (her sister) into the message....her sisiter recently re-established contact after 10 years (my mother always made sure the only contact was through her, it was never direct) I've told her sister how it was growing up with her and I don't think she believes me. I copied her into the message so she could see the response I knew I'd mother is playing the "woe is me, poor me, i had to sell the rings to pay for a pet cremation, you only got in contact becaus eyou want something from me, you don't want me at your wedding, i cannot contribute (I never asked her to), you've made a life without me, you don't need or want me in your life, just say the word and I will bow out gracefully" I've just sent a message asking who she sold the rings to so I can see about buying them back....I dont think she's sold them, she's controlling what I can and cannot have and right now she won't answer because she hasn't thought of an answer she can give so far.

I've asked to join the facebook group, I think it will help me greatly if they accept me.

My sister is as bad as she was, she'd call 4 or 5 times a week and sit and talk at me for 2 hours at a time all about her life, I've also cut her out of my life as she's very negative. I feel FREE at last!!

10:51 AM  

wow, this is amazing, it's like you were with me during my life. I have always felt crazy, sick, guilty, sad, depressed, and couldnt make sense of why she hated me so much. She called me, "The Bad Seed", seemed to love and mother my other 4 siblings, but I was just bad for as long as I can remember.Even my siblings treat me different, like I am not related to them. Thank you for writing about this subject. I wish I had understood it before for the age of 48, it might have made a difference in my life.

8:18 AM  

my husbands ex is a full blown narcissist and after 23 years together i am pleased to say my step daughter has finally come around to admitting that her mother nuts!!!
we lost contact with our step daughter for about two years as we had to let go and let her figure it out on her own. she is an adult. we have two kids of our own and their life was being affected by this
at this time the N ex wife tried to reach her claws into our marriage saying I was the problem. Flat out lying about my relationship with my step daughter and things that i supposedly said. This did affect our marriage until i put my foot down and said enough. Thank God our marriage was strong enough and we were able to have a few years of peace.
My step daughter has thankfully come back around and our relationship is great. Will I ever be able to completely put my wall down? probably not but my step daughter is slowly proving to me that our relationship helps her feel like she has a loving caring "mother" figure

11:05 AM  

thank u nw i know whts wrng with my mom & that i'm not alone thank you for posting this really thanks:)

11:31 AM  

I'm glad there was a post like this on the Internet. I always knew my mother was a narcissist. I was the "golden child" and I knew it. As my siblings got the full brunt of unreasonable treatments I deviated away from my "role" and chose instead to challenge my mother.

Growing up from then on was always confusing. One minute I'm being doted on, the next both my mother and I are furious at each other. Now it's been 5 years since I last seen her in person and I'm surprised she even managed to get my new phone number.

I can only give my own personal advice. Take a step back. Try not letting things become personal with you. Instead take a different stance, become an observer. Observe her actions and instead of breaking down and adhering to demands take the life lessons given by figures such as Gandhi and MLK. Even if you can't get through to them eventually you WILL be independent.

12:33 AM  

Wow. You are so strong. I hear you. And I love your last line. "Forgiveness is not mine to give; Its between you and God."
Try and Forgive for yourself. I'm in process of TRYING to doing the same. And it's not easy.

5:26 PM  

I am not alone.

10:04 PM  

my mom hated me from start,cuz she wanted to have a son but sadly i was born and i ruined her fucking repute in her fucking family,she was 18,less educated and thought a son will give her all the respect from her family and her husband.her own family didnt let her study and kicked her out by arrange marriage when she was 16.all she do is blame me for her shit life and failed 2 brothers are a pride for her sadly their birth didnt made her respected.
verbally abuses me,compares me to her sisters daughter .cousin who constantly makes fun of my low grades,says i talk shit cuz have low i.q level and i m mother is a slut and whore always take her side alot and buy her gifts and never spends money on my studies cuz of her i never enjoyed my own pocket money.
i m waste of money for her,she is a fat cow and always call me ugly,stupid and fat.
i know she has lesbian relations with her niece thats why gave me threats she will end my studies in order to make her my friend,she tell my dad and people lies that her niece and i m bff which is lie.if i say no she barks your image will be ruined,she constantly tells people my complaints that i m not friend with her niece.
her niece treats me like shit and only becomes my friend when her own bff cousin is not knows it but still favours her.i m 26 and living a miserable life.
she never let me study or have a job with peace.always give me mental tortures.
mom always eats my mind that she educated and i did masters due ti her didnt supported me but takes all the credit.always call me slut whereas she had an affair with her sisters husband.
if dad divorces her and if she dies ,i will be happy forever.
may she die along with her sisters and niece,amen.

11:30 AM  

I think the diagnosis of BPD is all too often made for children of the narcissistic sociopath. These people know how to manipulate and cruelly punish their children until they are depressed and frustrated, and because the NS can hide their behavior so well, outsiders don't see it and blame the victim. I hope this pattern become more obvious to mental health professionals.

3:45 PM  

My mother was narcissistic. I was raised on guilt. My mother was an orphan and had a tough childhood and in some ways she was like the 6 year old orphan in that she needed to be at the center of everything. She was 5 1/2 when her parents died and she was separated from her brothers and sent to an orphanage. I was very young when I realized that nothing in my life was as bad as what she went through, therefore I felt guilty disagreeing with my mother on anything. My job was to make her feel secure, no easy task for a child. When I am reading these posts however, it seems to me that some of these moms go way beyond being narcissistic. They are sociopaths and abusers. To the extend that their actions would be considered child abuse,and against the law, I would group them separately. My mother took good care of us physically and could be very loving. She was not a sociopath. But, whereas my brothers were allowed more freedom and autonomy, my life was so closely controlled that I could not make choices. I had no privacy in my bedroom or bathroom and I didn't dare share any of the common childhood or teenage problems with my mother because she would either blame me or jump in and take over. I lived in fear of being blamed for things that were not within my control. She once told me that I could never trust girlfriends because misery likes company and they would always throw me under the bus. In my life I am most thankful for the friendships I have with other women. She would tease me about my appearance. Although I was nice looking, I wasn't beautiful like her. She would tease that my skin was too light, for example and my hair too fine. I was not allowed to experience the normal childhood rites of passage until I insisted and then I was grudgingly allowed to wear make up, shave my legs etc. Even as an adult, it was hard to set boundaries. She could compliment me only if she didn't feel I was in competition with her, which she imagined often. She would flirt with my boyfriends and take over conversations. But, the saddest thing was that my mother believed that good manners and beauty was the only way to have a voice or get ahead. And that is truly sad, because it was true in her world. Without a mother or other females family to guide her, she was exploited for her looks. She was never someone I could depend on unless it was on her terms, but I hate that her view of the world and her narcissism was developed through experiences in a world of men who did exploit her. In the end it was me who saw her through a fatal illness. I also realized after her death that I had to take charge of my life and learn to set boundaries. It was difficult because I chose partners who, not surprising, were self centered and controlling. My father had been a patient man who treated my mother like a queen. He tried to make up for my mother by using kind, supportive words to me always, even though he could never stand up to her. And, I would not have wanted the responsibility of causing any disharmony in their relationship. Once I learned to set boundaries, understand that I don't have to be perfect and it is OK to make mistakes, and that I was responsible for my own happiness, I was able to forgive her and understand that she was abused and damaged early on. I think I raised my children to know that they have my permission to make choices and follow their dreams, as long as they take responsibility for their own journey and I think I have done that because they have no problems disagreeing with me and having their say :).

2:34 PM  

This is my mother!! I have stopped contact with her and I have no relationship with my siblings and have just recently tried to reconnect with my sister only to find out she is still spreading lies. I told her the truth about what my mother did and she has not answered me since. I sent her this link as my brother is and has always been the golden boy and my sister and I the scapegoat hoping she will see the list of similarities my mother shares with it. Has anyone else ever managed to have a relationship with their sibling without the interferance of their mother or am I hoping for something that will never happen??

7:26 PM  

Anyone here from Australia, that knows a therapist who specialises in children of narcissists? Im having trouble finding anyone that can tell ne HOW to deal with this specifically. Last therapist i went to just made me draw a tree and write a letter to myself to burn :/
Any help would be MUCH appreciated.

9:19 PM  

Anonymous from Australia:

I was given these two resources:

Queensland - Dr John Rogers - Psychiatrist, 39 Fulham Rd, Pimlico QLD 4812, (07) 4725 7003

8:29 PM  

I agree..we are all enough.My NM blamed me for everything and has beaten me up for anything I did. She hated it when I smiled or laughed. She never encouragde me..made it very clear that Iam ugly and worthless. She stole my money and spread horrible lies about me. She tried to drive me nuts and it almost worked out. She will be 62 in two weeks and I wonder that she is stilk alive because she was a heavy drinker. When her time is up I won't grieve becaused U already grieved for a mother I never had. Am I Sad? Yes because she betrayed me and tookaway what should have beena good childhood. Thanks for nothing.

11:03 AM  

Oh my gosh. I read this whole article. Every point applies. I am 60 years old STILL dealing with all this craziness. I never knew all this as wrong! I felt all the pain of being treated in such an inhuman way by a MOTHER who should instinctually LOVE her daughter. I was immediately tempted to respond to each point, as others have here. But I don't have that kind of energy. All I can say is YES YES YES YES ad nauseum.

My question here is this to anyone....PLEASE. What do we do with all this??? We KNOW that to prove this is them, and that it is WRONG, would be an excercise in futility, they are talented at turning it around to you it's so very painful. There is no repair, no justification, no resolve.

I'm too old for this, and I'm struggling here. Please I need some thoughts.....

10:42 AM  

To: Debborah Dale,

There is little you can do, I went no contact with my own family four years ago. No contact means no communication with them at all, ever again. My NM is in a home with 4th stage dementia and does not know who I am.

My eldest golden child sister has taken up the N reins in the family. She controls them all with similar games and manipulations. She's an alcoholic, as are four other siblings. I've been the only one who escaped without a substance abuse problem.

Have been in therapy on and off for years. My last therapist wanted me to reconnect with my NM. Since I was supposedly cured I would no longer be affected.

Reconnected with my family for one day, and it was the same old abuse. As long as you stay in your designated role, in my case 'scapegoat' all is well. I've not been scapegoat since I left home at 16. At 59 I've refused to step back into my "we're close" deluded family role. I no longer see them or communicate with them at all. My spouse is my only family.

What I've done is work on myself. Began to look into the inner critic, and other difficulties I've had and re-adjusted myself and care for myself. Finding out who YOU are is the
key, self determination is the only way to walk out of this lifetime of abuse and come out intact and alive.

5:34 PM  

My mother also thinks everything is about her. She texts me constantly and if I don't answer her swiftly enough when I am at work she will call me. Everything with her is bloody urgent and she has to have it now or know exactly when she will have it. I was sick for four days with a stomach virus recently and every day she pestered me about when I was going to be able to go to the store for her. Mind you, she lives with her sister and her sister can drive the 5 minutes to the store whereas I live 20 minutes away. She wouldn't come to my birthday dinner because she said she wouldn't be able to breathe good. She is on oxygen 24/7 but she uses her breathing to make people feel sorry for her. She can be gasping for breath one minute then fine the next once someone is paying attention to her. She cared more about my stepfather than she did me and chose him over me many times. He was crazy and even shot up our kitchen one night because he was so drunk and high but she made me stay there with her. I was in high school. Then she made me make him breakfast the next day to make up. He died and now she expects me to be at her beck and call 24/7. I could just go on and on, this page has opened my eyes to what I guess I thought was normal. She never abused me though I was always worried about making her mad. I rarely got to go anywhere and friends hardly ever came over. I have so much pent up anger and resentment I don't even want to be around her but I know that we are supposed to honor our parents... I guess I love her, but I don't like her. I'm tired of her. I'm tired of being on her chain and I don't know how I can break away. She is 77 now and I am her only child. I feel like I am a bad person when I don't help her but she was never there for me other than slipping me money to make up for the fact that she wouldn't spend any time with me because her husband would get mad. Gosh I have rambled on. Thank you for this page. I think the venting helped.

11:55 AM  

Look for HUD housing in your area they will place you in a home within 3 to 6 months... Go to your county welfare office and get a list of homes and see about help... Hope I could help you a little

4:20 AM  

This is so my mother...always makes sure to call me fat im 5'4 160 pounds.... Lif I get close to anyone she tries to mess it up..examples telling people I'm slow...telling people im a evil person...she favors my brother whom I use to love but my mom drove a wage between that...always putting me down...always lien...can't keep a clean house...swears she's never wrong....can't keep a friend (they all run away from here after so long they start to dislike her)..... I was every B****,H**,MotherF***,N*** at the age of 5 till 18 when I told her I would beat her a$$ if she cussed at me like that again then shortly moved out...she tried to get my kids taken on many different occasions but it didn't work...even had a CPS (child protective sevices) lady tell me I need to leave my mother alone....always started things with me every day...tries to call me a bad mom because I want to finish school...but she would go out every weekend when I was a kid and leave me and my brother in the hoyse alone all night fri and sat.....she never apologizes... At one point her and my N grandma called me everyday and harassed me to the point I wanted to kill myself...I had to call a counselor who put me on depression meds....mind you at one point I stopped answering the phone and had never felt so relaxed and happy didn't even need the meds...she literally drove me crazy.....when I meet people they can't belive or understand why my mother is the way she is...and I could never explain why she treats me the way she does... But this article was eye opening.... You can make sense out of something that doesn't make sense.... No use in trying to get a N to understand their wrong or your freelings it's their world were just living in it smh

4:33 AM  

amazing infos and thank you for share with us like this post

12:16 PM  

This is very close to the bone, yet I feel so guilty recognising that. She does the emotional abuse, most of the things on this list, and I'm the scapegoat of the family and can do no right. It is definitely very hard to explain it to other people without sounding like a completely selfish idiot myself. Luckily I live at the other end of the country and would never go back to live near her. If I object to her most awful behaviours or comments, there's a row and my father emails me to tell me to be more patient and tells me not to reply to the email (because she will read it). She has never once apologised to me. One of the most hurtful things she did was to turn her back when I told her I was pregnant with my first baby, completely ruining what should have been a happy day for me. She didn't say a word. But there are so many examples. Your blog has prompted me to send messages to my brothers who have both also suffered, despite one of them being the golden child, because she was so jealous of their wives. All three of us are divorced. We all live with the constant suspicion that we are not good enough. I am a counsellor but have never been able to address this problem because it is so huge and I feel like I will have to wait until she has died before I do it. What I do to cope is be myself, hold on to the truth, and not let her get to me, which is hard. I do visit them once or twice a year, and this is usually very difficult and it's a relief to get away. In every phone call my mother deliberately upsets me in some way, usually by implying that I am selfish, stupid, self-absorbed, over-dramatic, just plain wrong, and that I am a failure. I am none of those things. I think she is jealous of me, as she is worse when my father is in the room, as if she's trying to make me look bad compared to her. He is very indulgent of her, but his life must be difficult, I know that. I could go on! Thanks for your blog and I hope that everyone commenting on here finds ways to deal with this, that suits them.

2:29 PM  

Thank you!
I have one brother and one sister that were taught by our NM to taunt and misuse me.
So I truly thank you for your last comment, "I love you as though you were my ...sister(s)."
I needed that!
And I believe you!
Thank you!!!

12:54 AM  

You are a beautiful sweet darling mom with a sad lonely child's life story. I'm sorry you have cancer, and I'll pray for your healing.
But I'm writing this to share the common thread we have in being the girl that wasn't a problem. Always did as told, took care of younger sib, did not smoke or drink or use ugly words, or even talk back! A lot of what you wrote was lived by me also. My parent is trying to do the same to my son now. She is awful!
I paid my own way through school/college. Only slept with one man, my husband of 40 yrs.
None of that is good enough in the NM eyes. Too bad for her. I've decided no contact is the answer. 3months later it's been easier as time goes by. Helping son do the same. He deserves happiness. Not a hateful grandmother. (His only living grandparent by the way). Such a shame.
You are not crazy. You are enough.
Stop any/all contact with your NM. Stop thinking of her in any way. Don't entertain the NM on any subject, any level, for any amount of time.
Begin today taking care of YOU.
Enjoy what life is yours to live. Make memories of laughing and full of love with your child/children. Thank your husband for being wonderful and staying by you. Give yourself the gift of peace and comfort by loving your children and husband the way you never were. With ALL your heart! God bless you.

1:35 AM  

Do whatever it takes to have ZERO contact with your NM!
No, None, Never contact her!
I promise it becomes sooooooooo much easier to live your life.

1:40 AM  

Bunny, I love you like the sister I wish I had...instead of the golden child sister that doesn't believe anything I say. Thanks for saying, "we are stronger and more put together...".
We all need to hear that!

1:48 AM  

Seriously is like the author of this has been a fly on the wall spying on my mother for my entire life. So accurate it's scary.

5:02 PM  

I have wondered all my adult life why my mother frequently tells lies about me, why I'm not close with my sister, and why we didn't do "normal" family things. My mother is seen as a "saint" by the community, but is very cruel to me and my husband. Learning about Mothers with Narcissistic Personality Disorder has really helped me. I feel I can "protect" myself better now that I can anticipate what she'll do. It's impossible to have "No Contact"....age 88...I'm caregiver....but I'll try for superficial contact...can't reveal my true self or feelings because she'll either fly into rage or use info to hurt me. Thanks for the information. Love and Good Luck to all who suffer.

3:46 PM  

These people just suck the life out of you. I, too, had to leave - what a relief. The few times I've been back I am relegated to the scapegoat (will never change) role as I always was. Was treated as invisible, adult sister 57 years old did not even talk to me and almost slammed the door into my back when she was going into the house. When I had surgery this past fall not one family member called at all, ever.

12:22 PM  

This is very accurate,My mother id manipulative.She likes to compare me to her friends daughter's.She tries to make me believe that im the reason everything went bad in her life.She has no boundaries and is always invading my privacy.She's constantly putting me down telling me that I'll never be as good as her.She's always trying to "help" but she's actually being helpful so everyone can see how great she is.And likes to spread rumors about me as well.And when i try to confront her she calls me horrible daughter and threatens to kill herself.

11:43 PM  

This is 100% my mother. My family and I can't ever win against her. She's been hurting my dad and she thinks he's being a "drama queen" when he yells in pain. That it's all a comedic act. She got angry when I stopped her yesterday and now she's upset at me for interrupting. She becomes so petty at the slightest things that discomfort her or ruin her fun. My dad has learned to take it and says he can't do anything. She shit talks him all of the time. She's not welcomed into any of his friends' homes because of how badly she bad mouths him. she does nothing but degrade him especially behind his back. She has no actual friends. The only friends she wants are ones that will listen to her bad mouth her husband and tell her she's right. Which she hasn't found any. She always says, "I've been nothing but an angel to this family. I'm so perfect and I've done nothing wrong! Pay more attention to me! Take me someplace fancy! You guys never appreciate me!" And she doesn't pay any of the bills anymore. It started when she would look suspiciously at my dad and say, "Well, I don't make as much as you. You have enough to pay all of the bills. How about YOU pay first and IF you really need help, I'll help you." But when time comes that he needs help, she says, "I don't have any money. I spent it all." Even when she promises to help pay. My dad has been paying all of the bills (with some help from my siblings.)

I don't know what to do. I care about her feelings but she's just such a child. She hurts our feelings, my dad's feelings and hurts him physically in the name of "playing around." It's so exhausting and I want my dad to stop being abused. She looks up online "Abusive husband-- need help" when he says anything back to her about her abuse. She comes to us if he is especially fed up with her and makes a sudden movement (angrily getting out of the chair to leave the room. He never hurts her.) and she starts crying and saying he's out to hurt her and kill her . Then she compares him to her previous husband who actually WAS abusive physically, and compares him to my oldest sister's ex (who was manipulative and abusive and killed my sister due to it.) I just want everyone to be happy.

6:31 PM  

I was browsing around the web after a relative of mine recently suggested that my mother might be narcissistic. It’s honestly very scary to read through these and while the list is long, I couldn’t pull away and read every single characteristic. These describe exactly what I suffered through growing up. I am the oldest of 3 siblings and my mother created an unbearable situation where I was the scapegoat and my younger brother was the golden child. My brother was incapable of doing anything wrong and his accomplishments were loudly celebrated while any minor mistake, or error on my part was quickly and ruthlessly disciplined with physical violence and putdowns. My accomplishments were acknowledged, but were never celebrated and were done so in a way where I was reminded that whatever I had done wasn’t good enough and I should do “better”. My childhood consisted of endless comparisons to my much older cousins by my parents which made me feel inferior and forged in me a belief that I could never reach their potential and that my life and my accomplishments were not as important as theirs. This method of abuse resulted in a constant fear of failing at anything and everything throughout much of my young adult life which has only lessened with time and distance from my entire family.

It unfortunately didn’t take long for my brother to realize how this system worked and in his teenage years, began to humiliate and use physical violence against me whenever we had a disagreement. My mother would always step in to protect him from retaliation and I would be blamed for the fights. My brother fell in with the wrong crowd in his high school years and developed alcohol and drug addiction. This also could not possibly have been his own personal choice and my mother would loudly proclaim to anyone that would listen that it was all his “friends” fault. A good boy could not possibly make such horrible choices on their own. This situation eventually came to the point where my mother projected on to me his drug use. She got out of bed one morning and accused me of going out to do drugs with my girlfriend at the time. I had absolutely no idea why she decided to say that to me since I had never and to this day, have never touched a drug in my life. I was simply taking my girlfriend/now wife to Disneyland. Her accusations of drug abuse against me and my girlfriend continued for years while my brothers life slowly spiraled out of control. It’s very sad to now realize that after years of false accusations and verbal punishments, my mother could have invested all that energy into getting my brother some help. Instead, she would force my father to constantly bail him out of jail and he would jump from 1 violent relationship to the next all while my mother and father slowly became his enablers by literally paying for his mistakes and allowing him to come home whenever he needed a place to stay.

I have since been married and live my life in relative peace, but it was not easy to escape the madness that has consumed their lives. To this day, I am reminded through relatives that they continue to accuse me of abandoning my family/sick brother and that my wife and her family have brainwashed me into thinking that they are bad people. I’m very thankful to have found this website and hope that anyone suffering through the horrors of parental narcissism can eventually get out and never turn back. No contact. None. These monsters DO NOT CHANGE!

3:12 PM  

I read every last word. I just got into an altercation with my mother. I am 25 yrs old and just now realizing she is a toxic mother. She has been this way every since I was little. Thr only difference is that I never said anything, I just let her get away with the emotional abuse because I knew better. Now as an adult I can't handle it anymore, so I am beginning to speak up and it's just getting worse and worse. She can just be so mean almost evil. I remember in hs I took track to appease her because she constantly talked about my weight and compared me to a childhood friend who lost weight by running track. Then she would constantly compare me to my best friend asking why was she so popular why didn't I have friends like her, which was a false statement. Then I remember when I got pregnant at 20 by my ex boyfriend at the time, I was scared to tell her because I knew she'd be upset but I didn't expect her nasty comments. She dmeander I get an abortion and insinuated that I got pregnant on purpose just so my ex boyfriend would get back with me. Everytime we have a "discussion" it leads to nasty digs and the blame game. I feel like I'm going crazy. I don't know how much more I can take from her.

2:09 PM  

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