Do I Have a Narcissistic Mother? 21 Signs of a Narcissistic Mother

” I do not love; I do not love anybody except myself. That is a rather shocking thing to admit. I have none of the selfless love of my mother. I have none of the plodding, practical love….I am, to be blunt and concise, in love only with myself, my puny being with its small inadequate breasts and meager, thin talents. I am capable of affection for those who reflect my own world.“ ~Sylvia Plath

Does your mother fail to show any genuine love for you…or empathy? The trademark of a narcissistic mother is her inability to give love or empathy to her child. One of the hallmark symptoms of a narcissist is her inability to perceive others as people with needs of their own. A narcissistic mother is only able to see her children as extensions of herself-little mirrors that reflect back to her. She values her children only so much as the children can benefit her; she is exceptionally self absorbed, sometimes to the point of grandiosity. A mother with narcissism may demand that her children excel in school and sports for the simple reason that it will make her look like an admirable mother to people outside of the immediate family. It is of no importance to her whether or not the children develop, or even learn, from these achievements as long as her reputation remains intact.

Characteristic signs of a narcissistic mother would also include excessive preoccupation with herself and with her self-image. She is unable to give her children even the most basic emotional support that they need to grow up to be well-adjusted adults. Narcissists can go into a “narcissistic rage” over the littlest thing which results in belittling, emotionally abusing and, not infrequently, physically abusing her children. The typical narcissistic mother is almost impossible to please no matter what the circumstances. She often snubs or scorns her children’s attempts for affection.

A narcissistic mother does not have children for the same reasons a healthy person would. She does not look forward to their births to see what they look like or watch their personalities develop. She has them strictly for the sake of having more mirrors to look at herself in she wants little miniatures of herself. She resents all the work that goes into child rearing and sees it as a burden. She “hands off” child rearing, inappropriately, to the child itself as soon as she can. A narcissistic mother may come off as a loving, caring parent because she will have an exclusive and possessively close relationship with her children in order to control and manipulate them. Although most parents watch with pride as their child begins to learn independence, a narcissistic mother feels every step away from her is an absolute act of betrayal.

Other characteristic signs of a narcissistic mother are habitual lying and constant criticism of the child under the guise of being a caring parent. She lets them know in no uncertain terms, verbally and nonverbally, that they are not as good as other people.

Her narcissistic tendencies do not end in childhood but continue on through adulthood where she continues to interfere and damage their self esteem and any relationships they might form. Children of narcissistic parents frequently experience difficulty forming healthy relationships and are at increased risk for depression and anxiety.

21 signs of a narcissistic mother (be concerned if she has many of them)

  1. She has to be the center of attention all the time. This is a defining feature of narcissism. She will steal the spotlight or spoil any occasion if someone else is the center of attention.
  2. She demeans, criticizes and makes derogatory remarks to you. She always lets you know that she thinks less of you than your siblings or other people.
  3. She violates your boundaries. You feel like an extension of her. There is no privacy in your bathroom or bedroom; she regularly goes through your things to find information she then uses against you.
  4. She ‘favoritizes’. Narcissistic mothers often have one child who is “the golden child” and another who is the scapegoat.
  5. She undermines She will pick a fight with you or be especially critical and unpleasant just before you have to make a major effort.
  6. Everything she does is ‘deniable’. Cruelties are couched in loving terms; aggressive acts are paraded as thoughtfulness.
  7. She makes YOU look crazy. When you confront her with something she’s done, she’ll tell you that you have “a very vivid imagination” (common phrase that abusers use to invalidate your experience of their abuse) or that she has “no idea what you are talking about”.
  8. She’s jealous. If you get something nice, she’ll take it from you, spoil it for you or get something the same or better for herself.
  9. She’s a continuous liar. To you, she lies blatantly. To outsiders, she lies thoughtfully and in ways that can always be covered up.
  10. She manipulates your emotions in order to “feed on your pain”. This behavior is so common among narcissistic mothers that they are often referred to as “emotional vampires”.
  11. She is selfish and willful. She makes sure SHE has the best of everything and always has to have her way.
  12. She is self-absorbed. Her feelings, needs and wants are Very Important and yours are irrelevant or insignificant.
  13. She is almost absurdly defensive and extremely sensitive to criticism.
  14. She terrorized you. Narcissists teach you to beware of their wrath. If you give her everything she wants, you might be spared; but if you don’t-the punishments WILL come.
  15. She’s childish and petty; “getting even” with you is important to her.
  16. She is aggressive and shameless. She doesn’t ask, she demands. She won’t take no for an answer-she will push, arm-twist, or otherwise manipulate or abuse you until you give in.
  17. She “parentifies”. She sheds her parental responsibilities to the child as soon as she is able.
  18. She is exploitive. She will go to any length to get things from others for nothing (work, money, objects)- including taking money out of her children’s account or even stealing their identities.
  19. She projects. She will put her own poor behavior or character onto you so she can punish you. For example, you refuse an especially outlandish request of hers, she becomes enraged and furious at your refusal, then screams at you, “we’ll talk about it after you’ve calmed down and aren’t hysterical”.
  20. She is never wrong about anything. She will never, ever genuinely apologize for anything she has done or said.
  21. She is not aware that other people have feelings. She will occasionally slip up in public, and because of her lack of sympathy, will say something so callous it causes disbelief in people. The absence of empathy is another defining trait of narcissism and underlies most of the other signs that are on this list.

References:

  1. http://psychcentral.com/lib/2010/narcissistic-mothers/
  2. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-signs-of-a-narcissistic-mother.htm
  3. http://parrishmiller.com/narcissists.html
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About Alexander Burgemeester

218 Responses to “Do I Have a Narcissistic Mother? 21 Signs of a Narcissistic Mother”

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  1. Amy says:

    Thank you for your contribution. I feel I have finally come to understand my upbringing and it aches that I don’t have a different relationship with my mother, but she has nothing to give me emotionally, she is hazardous. I am nearly forty and I think I may have come to a turning point in my life to understand having a narcissistic mother. I thought when I left home I would be rid of her torment, but I’m still healing. Being able to verify that something is wrong with her helps and your list shows us what is fact.

    • Nicole says:

      I know exactly how you feel. I’m in my 30’s also and I didn’t even know anything about NPD until I was 31. In my 20’s I was living the aftermath of my upbringing but I was so unaware of it at the time. I think as we get older we become more reflective. I am differently still healing, I think it’s natural for it to take a long time. Remember we grew up with parents that didn’t not parent. So we can’t compare ourselves to people who did. We will always have that hole in us. But we can make it smaller and engage in self-love and self care. I have never been in love and probably never will. It requires a certain amount of trust. And that is a hard one for me. My walls have been up for so long they are apart of who I am now. But I’m working on it, some days are better than others. This is the hand we were dealt in life. All you can do is make the best of it.

      • Jennifer says:

        Nicole,
        I relate to you 100%.
        Please if you need someone to talk to please contact me. I am in need of a support group or something to keep me sane. My mom is 75, I’m 39 and my daughter is 4. We all live together and
        I need someone like you.

        • Cee Jayee says:

          I just went to a workshop given by Bethanny… She is the owner of the http://www.womboflight.com Her resources are tremendous and I have signed up for her home study course. If you sign up you can be included in her secret facebook group where it is safe to connect and talk to other women.

        • Bjørk says:

          Hi Jennifer

          I’m also a daughter from a narcissistic mother. My mother is soon to be 75. I’m in my 40’s. Sorry if my English is poor, but it’s not my first language – I’m danish. I have a blog with true crime book reviews, and I wonder if I could help other women linking to books about narcissistic mothers. In face I’ve known for years something was wrong with my mom, just didn’t know what. Some days ago I figured it out, and this is so helpful.

          I’d like to start some kind of help forum for us. So we perhaps can help each other

          Please feal free to contact me – this also goes out to all you ladies of narcissistic mothers, feel free to contact me

          • Rita says:

            For so long I really thought it was me. My mother saying that my sister is really not what she portraits to be. For a very long time she had my sister and I arguing over the trivial stuff, making us doubt and not trusting each other. She made me believe I was not normal. That I did not behave the way other women did. WOW! It’s only when my sister and I started discussing the matter that we realized it was not us. (How can a mother treat her own children the way she did my sister and I? not as much her son)
            My sister is the one who discover this site. I’m very greateful for my sister and relieve to now know who we are dealing with.
            I pity anyone who have gone through this and I really feel sad for those who are going through it. Thank you for speaking out.

          • Debora Peterson says:

            Hi, I have also thought something was wrong with my mom!…but could never figure it out…til now! You know how a certain smell or word will trigger a memory? Well that happened about 4 wks ago! And my mother was the person who said that certain word! I have never talked about my childhood with anybody…not even my husband of going on 27 years now! So just take a wild guess what that certain word triggered? You guessed it!…my childhood! And now after 46 years I now know why I felt there was something wrong where my mother was concerned!!! I caught it to late for my children!! And I regret that…because she treated my children the same way she treated my brother and I! At least now she can’t treat another generation like that!! I have 4 grandchildren with one on the way! I WILL not let my mother happen to them!!! Thank you for reading my comment!!!

          • Heidi says:

            I can relate to you Bjork! My mother is from Norway and is 83 and I am 47. Only in the last year have I come to the conclusion after being in a relationship with a narcissistic boyfriend/breakup and have read intensively on this disorder. It is especially difficult now because she has Alzheimer’s. I have to deal with her in the worst way these days and it is very hurtful. Anyway, I understand the difficulties with this disorder. Thanks, Heidi

          • Shelly says:

            I am 48 years old and I found out my Mother is Narcissistic 3 weeks ago. It has been a game changer for me. I always knew there was something really off with her relationship but I couldnt place my finger on it until I stumbled upon an online article regarding Narcissistic Mothers, and I was like: OMG THIS is HER!! So its been a process. Ive been dealing with a lot of raw emotions, anger, resentment etc… but knowing it also helps and now I am learning how to deal with it while I still live with her at home. I can now see each and everyone of her movements toward abusing me before it starts, so instead of reacting I simply try to respond or ignore her (sometimes she makes me blow up just to remark that I am so aggressive) I am info9rming myself as I believe it is part of the healing. Also sharing and starting a website, page, forum, etc assists with our healing. Thank you so much for creating this space for us.

        • anonymous says:

          Hi Jennifer,
          We are in the same boat.
          Do email me so we can morally support each other.
          Take care and let’s talk soon.
          Your friend

        • Jean says:

          Jennifer –

          I am 36, my mother is 71 and my kids are 17 and 9…..we all live together too and I should share with you things I’ve learned about my narcissistic mother and how she is manipulative with my kids.

          Feel free to contact me!

        • Jan says:

          I’m 53 yrs old and my mom is 75. I am an only child so I had to take her to live with us. It is so hard to be nice to her because she is still so mean and hateful. I can never get away from her. She is mean to my daughter who still lives at home and to my husband. I’m in therapy but it’s still so hard. Any advice?

      • Sue says:

        I like your attitude that since this is the hand in life we’ve been dealt than (as u commented), we may as we’ll make the best of it!!! I had exact conversation with a friend who worries, ruminates & can’t break free of his scapegoat role in almost cult family led by sadistic ambient narcisstic ‘mom’!!! he’s NOT BAD & only misfortune is his fate of birth which he can REINVENT HIMSELF knowing he deserves happiness & not get stuck in pain but gain knowledge & re-deal a winning hand –working on becoming a better version & know that happiness is a choice worth the stakes!!!
        He suffers & desperately needs to get to a safe place due to ritual duration of most horrific abuse iv seen 1st hand or researched!
        I feel lucky that I got out at age 16…he’s 49! So …I thank you for letting me kno I’m not alone

    • Brownhare says:

      Here’s a few things from my experience and I am 42.

      It’s not the lack of relationship with my N mother that hurts me as deeply as the lack of one that I have with myself.

      I’ve realised that the slow drip of poisonous & subliminal hate over the years has been something that I’ve internalized as ‘I cannot be loved. I am only able to love others.’

      My Mother controlled my body, she made me sit for hours at the table and threatened to force feed my my own sick when I gagged on cold food that she rammed into my mouth. She sat me on the toilet for hours to pee in front of her on command, she scrubbed my genitals in the bath until they were stinging and raw.

      She prided herself on being strict. Bragged about it to others.

      There were no hugs, my hair was cut short like a boy when I asked for pig tails and bobbles like the girls at school. My clothes were dark, unflattering and either victorian ie pinafores or for boys.

      if I complained I was ungrateful, selfish, above myself, cheeky, bad mannered, wilful or wayward.
      She inflicted her nudity on me and flaunted her adult breasts and body when I was a young teen.

      When she was on a diet I had to eat her diet food as well.

      I wasn;t allowed anywhere near the fridge, food choices were denied, music choices in my room had to be what she liked and the ever present threat of being called a slut and associating with boys was thrown at me long before I even matured enough to be interested in boys.

      I was expected to excel outside the home, whilst being knocked down to size in case I ‘got above myself’in the home.

      Eggshells every day, sudden slaps out of nowhere for cheek or an insolent ‘look’ she used to hit my face, dig her nails into my arm, pinch me, lots of rough handling, pushes, shoves, screaming in my face.

      She put all the old furniture in my bedroom, the new furniture and nice stuff in her own.

      She told my teachers and other relatives that I drove her to drink, that I was uncontrollable ( funny considering that I spent most of my childhood hiding in cupboards or behind sofas or up in trees and trying to go unnoticed by her.
      To be noticed was to be criticized for existing, for being, for having a face that didn’t suit her mood.

      As her drinking increased she sabotaged my relationships outside the home, friends were not allowed in the house, I wasn’t allowed to stay at other houses, relatives were called and informed of a long list of my ills and sins.

      People began to keep away from me, she turned me into what she felt inside, enacted her self hate and paranoia upon me, painted me in her colours, until I was the scapegoat for all my mothers sins and poor choices.
      As a young woman boyfriends were told to leave me because I was a liar and only she knew the ‘real’ me.

      Luckily most of my boyfriends were from normal homes and thought she was mad, this started to validate my reality more.

      But what I did was stuff the pain and the perfectly implanted suggestion that I didn’t deserve to be loved by anyone deep inside and behave outwardly like a normal loving person.

      I had to learn to say no to people and to say yes.
      I had to learn that no and yes are not interchangeable terms that mean the same depending on the day, the weather, the hemline of my skirt or the authority of the person attempting to love, bully, help or abuse me.

      I didn’t know up from down or left from right when I left her house.
      I have been an excellent target for other narcissists as I have grown through the years.

      BUT at 42 it’s been a journey down into that secret locked box of self hate, step by hard step. relationship by relationship, year by year.

      Now I am in it, I have the door off and I am standing in the pain that she put inside me, I am standing tit deep in the well of poison and I am feeling it and touching it and knowing it.

      It has a name and the name is disassociated self-hood caused by narcissistic abuse.

      I am learning that I belong to a family of humanity and that they are not controlled by my Mother, that she cannot poison the world against me and that her best shot was to make me believe she could do just that and to attempt to make me believe that EVERYONE saw me as she did.

      I’ve exposed the lie that she stitched into the hem of my patched together dress, the one made from stolen scraps of hope, the lie that followed me through life, the lie that made me doubt I had any right to be loved or liked by anyone.
      I’m standing holding it in my hand.

      After ten years a letter confronting her (minus vitriol) on EVERY cruelty and action and gas light and abuse brought her out of the dark and into my light.

      The hate the threats poured forth like a glorious validation of my pain and the years of struggle.
      As I listened to the poison and the name calling and the violent abusive and threatening language I smiled because SHE validated me, finally after all these years I held the truth like a hair or a tiny feather and with every word that hair or feather grew more like a set of big beautiful wings accompanied by a fine pair of pretty six year old pigtails.

      As she spewed venom the label fell away and it was washed back towards her and today I feel cleansed, reborn if you like, and it was a re immersion in the poison with a bit of wisdom that washed my heart clean of her sins and those wrongs that she had written upon my skin and soul using the knife of my need for love.

      My Mother took me as a little child and as a growing girl and she used me as a skip or garbage bin for her every hateful thought towards herself.
      It takes a long time to reach back in to the pain, we have layers of coping and holding up and pretending and making do to peel back, that’s what we do through the years, we make do.

      This is a mark of courage and something to self love for, you limped and you kept limping onward, trying to love, trying to heal, trying to trust the world the narcissist wrote upon you like a story of your doomed future.
      The day comes when you wake up and limping is not good enough for your soul, the day comes when joy is needed like a parched woman yearns for water.

      The day comes when something excruciatingly beautiful like an act of random human kindness or the story of a whale rescued by humans or a dog saving a child brings you to the point that you need to join that world and leave hers behind.

      The tears will take you to the pain, let the tears come and follow them down to the ragamuffin child, dirty and crying that you have in your heart.
      Pick her up and hold her tight and then, if you want the truth, confront the poison one last time.

      It will be enough if you are ready to heal, it will be enough to hear that bile one last time, that shrieking voice coming from the pit of darkness that isn’t yours, to turn around holding the child to your soul and to let the rest of the world love you the way she refused to allow you to believe it could.

      Be brave you beautiful girls and women and know this one thing, the world is waiting to love you.

      • Angie says:

        You have written this so expertly, and with so much compassion towards yourself, it’s really a super masterpiece of discovery. Please be proud of yourself, I, so happy for you, that self awareness and love has surfaced for you. I too am a daughter of a hateful, vicious N mother, whom the world thinks is just ‘charming Loretta’ . But ‘Loretta’ is a bastard monster who would slap me in the face randomly, would throw my food at me before I would go to work, put my dog to sleep, have my toys away, took kids into my bedroom and told them to take anything they wanted, and if I dared say anything, I was brutishly attacked, sometimes I had bruises on my arms, and once I had a black eye, my weak father told me to say I had ‘walked in to a door’. Those days, there were no child laws, so she got away with almost murder. I was attacked physically until I was 18, and I was thrown over the top of our stairs and dangled there as a little girl. I had her long awful pointed red nails pushed into my young arm and she would pinch me if I was looking at clothes she didn’t like. I’m 51 now, thankGod, with lovely children, I made sure I tell them I love them everyday, I adore them, I’ve never had to discipline my kids because they are naturally good people, their souls are pure goodness. Dear people, I. Eg you,please dear hurt people, get yourself a graphologist, learn graphology, the study of handwriting, in this way, you will never have to deal with these people we may attract towards us, because the madness is in the handwriting, I promise you. I’m having. MY children train in this field, because it will save your lives, it’s all in the scrawl, my late friend and graphologist Roxanne Perri would say. She saved me many times. Get away from the evil creatures, they are monsters, monsters who suck out our energy.
        Many blessings, may God help us all recover.

      • Rebecca says:

        Brownhare,

        Some of the things you have described are not so unlike what my mother did to me. My mother was not as bad as yours but she certainly did her share of damage. I have just turned 41, in July. I wished I was dead to be honest. The last male I was with cruelly discarded me. He was a narcissistic person like my mother. None of my relationships with men worked out because all of them were with cruel narcissistic men. Why? Because my own mother was the model I knew and unconsciously, I have been drawn to men who are cruel in the same ways she was. They have set me up on guilt trips as she used to. They have threatened abandonment and carried that out as she did. They have made me afraid of being alone exactly as she did during my formative years. They threatened to take away what meant the most to me if I did not do as they said, exactly as she used to to get her own way from me. She would spend hours ranting to my father about my mistakes. On one hand she would be very nice if I did what she wanted but if I did not, she would threaten to sell the holiday house she owned, that she knew I loved, if I did not do as she said. She did the same thing of one boyfriend I had. I did not like him much but she created a huge drama out of my friendship with him, putting words into my mouth and making me ashamed, confirming the worst I had ever imagined would happen if I ever went out with a male. My mother, set me up to brainwash myself to hate men, so she could later blame me and point the finger at me when I failed in relationships. She was obsessed with me having babies so much so that I had an abortion at 28 years of age when I got pregnant and begged the surgeon to sterilise me so I would never have children. I feel I made the responsible choice there. I am grateful to the doctor who tied my tubes. No miserable children will ever come from me.

        I was terrified of getting fat. My mother had spent her life comparing her body to mine and going on about diets. She had poor self-image herself and was not able to lose weight after having children. I decided never to have children because they would make me fat. I am glad I did not have them. She made me feel terrible about my body and feel disgust towards men. She would read out all the rape cases out of the newspaper aloud and turn up the radio full bore whenever there was news of a sexual assault on somebody to remind me that this was what happened to women because they were female. I lived in horror that it would happen to me. I steered clear of anything male and my mother started to point out to me that I “should be liking men”. I hated her for saying that. The more she talked the more I gritted my teeth in anger. If I said anything to try and stand up for myself, she had a big lecture on sex for me. She would tell me about her sexual experiences with my father in great detail. Then she would point to the bed sometimes after my father had been masturbating (they did not sleep together) to “show me” the filth that even my father did.

        On one hand she went on and on about children being so important – gifts from God – and on the other, she would use violence or psychologically manipulative tactics that would leave me with nausea when she would start her threats. I developed an OCD problem of scab-picking. When she saw me tearing at my scalp till it bled, she would strap my hands with a leather bottle opener then ask me to put the milk bottles out at the gate. She would tell me after these punishments that “I now had something to howl about”. I still have that same OCD problem today, I am ashamed to confess. It went away briefly at one time when I had seemed to be with a man who cared about me. But he turned out later to be one of the worst narcissistic partners I have ever met.

        My mother does not understand why I turned in hatred of her later in life. My father has tried to talk to her because I told him what she did. He dealt with her problems by avoidance. He saw a little of what she did and tried to stop her, but a lot more went on that he had not known about and at the time, being so young, I could not speak out. I did nto have the words to explain the way my mother was manipulating me and destroying my confidence. She constantly was watching my every move as I grew up and telling me what my feelings were supposed to be, who I was as a person, what my moral opinions were and whether or not I would put on weight. I would tell her everything. There were no secrets. I became an extension of her. I did not know how to make my own decisions really. If I had my own opinions at all, they were locked deep in my subconscious. Those opinions were strong ones about how I could prevent myself from ever having children; how I could avoid never being involved with men; and how I could ensure nobody would sexually abuse me. Those were secrets in my mind that I could not talk about. On the surface, I would agree with everything my mother said. My behaviour was moulded by her words. Sometimes the very things she hammered into me, I would repeat at times like a parrot. Incredibly, she would then use what I said against me to warn me that if I thought like that bad things would happen to me.

        I was codependent on my mother as a child and went back for more. I learnt to endure psychological abuse. I was told as church we had to endure tests that God set us. I took this so seriously and I thought that my mother’s cruelty was not her fault and that I had to put up with it because God wanted me to. My mother sometimes said I was the perfect daughter. On others she would say she had never wanted a daughter. I endured hell at times. She would deliberately say things she knew would wind me up. She would tease me about men that she imagined I would go out with. I became angry and would shout at her that I would never go out with men -ever! Then she would say sex was normal and one day I would be having sex and I would “like it”. When she talked like that I would become hysterical and cry. She would say I did not have a sense of humour and I needed to develop a thicker skin. She then would tell me all about the details of what rape was. The result was I was terrified of men and my opinions sometimes were voiced about this publicly. People who heard me say things like: “Men should all be castrated” were appalled. Nobody knew why or what was going on in my life with my Mother. I had so many social problems with people. I avoided younger men like the plague. When I was 18 years old, I suffered terrible confusion when I actually did like a man. I liked him because he had lost his fingers in an accident. Instinctively, that told me he would not be able to hurt me if he had no fingers, so it was possible to like him in my mind. And like him I did though he did not know. My imagination about this man turned into a crush that made me ill. I started to rebel against my mother at 18 years of age. It made me bitter and frustrated and angry with my mother. It was a thing I could not talk about. She had no idea about the secret feelings I had for that man. I confided in my younger brother who was only 8 years old. Here I was at 18 telling my 8 year old brother of the terrible grief I was going through over that man. My brother was just a child! Ironically, I was beginning to do what my mother was doing I now realise. That was, discussing adult problems with a child which was highly inappropriate. My younger brother never told mum. He kept it a secret. He let me talk and talk. That man never knew I had a crush on him. I just grieved for 4 years about him until one day, at the age of 26, a narcissistic male 18 years older than me conned me into the first disastrous relationship I ever had.

        My mother had never stopped talking about how perverted sex was my entire formative years. After telling me about hideous acts men could do to girls, she would then talk about sex was normal and how I was supposed to marry and have kids. I just could not. Not only that, she was always watching me, and criticising my every move. She was happy to use me while telling me that she had not wanted a daughter because girls have such a bad life for being female.

        Later in life, I became involved with perverted men who abused me in many of the ways my mother described men doing when I was in my teens. The things men did to me were not learning experiences as the world of politically correct sickly liberals like to tell people like me, they were gruelling emotional experiences of misogyny. People would say to me, “you now know what the problem is so don’t repeat your mistakes .” They did not know my past of course. Many of the things were not unlike things my mother had done. The hateful irony hit me every time, and I felt so terrible about myself, I stayed with these men or went to another man trying to find someone who would not hurt me, hoping it would be happy this time. It was like they were a magnet to my kind though and the same thing happen each time, and was worse every time. My mother was quick to tell me it was because “I was jumping into their beds exactly as she had told me not to”.

        The difference between my mother and yours is that I think my mother does have some bone of remorse in her for what she caused in my life. But then I do not know. She always liked to be able to “pick up the pieces” from my broken shards of life. When it bordered on suicide, she realised things were really not okay with me. It had earlier dawned on her, in 2002, that my choice to have an abortion and sterilisation meant that I was serious (for some reason) that I did not want to have children and was keeping my word and meant it.

        After reading some of the things people have said here, I realise I probably have been a narcissist myself at times out of sheer reactions to situations I have been landed with. The greatest pain in my life has been knowing I was never loved by any of the men who I tried to connect with. I took the relationships very seriously. There had to be committment. It was humiliating to have to leave two of them and even worse when the last one left me in an abusive way. None of them loved me. I thought I loved them. That last male who left me was a cruel one and strongly narcissistic himself. I am still suffering after what he did. The irony for me is that my mother who abused me, has ended up helping me out of each disaster with men who abused me. This hurts so much.

      • Kelly says:

        You are Amazing! You describe it beautifully. I admire you for getting through it all, and am grateful for you that you are coming out on the other side. You are an incredible writer, I felt as I read. I hope and pray the best for you…you are certainly an inspiration…thank you…

        Me…I am 54 and just realized a few months ago what it was that is wrong with my mother. I was and still am so relieved. I haven’t spoken to her or my enabling father since Oct. of 2013. I just stopped, the last day of her abuse was it for me. Then I started researching what it is that is so wrong with me that the woman has to hate me so much. Why can’t she just love me the way she loves my sister and brother. And why has it been like this all of my life? I found it. And my life has found a sense of peace.

        I’m not saying it has been easy. Hard to live life with no immediate family. But, I am all I have. I chose not to have children. So, it can be lonely out here. Especially, if one sees others as not wanting to love you. I hardly ever feel as though I deserve to be loved…or that anyone would want to love me. But, I am getting better at it.

        I will learn and probably grow to forgive my parents for the abuse…however, I really don’t see myself having a relationship with them again. So yes, I am grieving them as though they have died. That’s the only way I can do it. It hurts like heck, but, it is also healthier than fighting for literally…decades. I am also grieving my sister and her family. My mother turned them against me. That’s nine people I am grieving at one time.

        I do however, have compassion for myself. I am starting to love myself and have a relationship with myself. I know I can grow through this. God is my pillar. I lean on Him daily…he is so faithful and is always there for me. Without Him I literally would not be here. So, I thank each of you for teaching me that I am important and not here on this earth to be abused by my parents. And God Bless You…All of You!

      • Minnow says:

        God bless you for putting your thoughts and feelings into such beautiful words. So many of the things you said are things that I have been struggling to put into words for fifteen or twenty years. It is TIME to love mySELF, it is time to join the world.

      • anoynomous says:

        Thank you……from Mississippi to Boston….I have a long road ahead of me..but what doesn’t kill me will make me stronger…..Very powerful words you have written….

      • Cat71 says:

        That is an excruciatingly raw and insightful reflection. What an amazing expression.

    • Stacey says:

      I am also almost 40 and coming to terms with the difficult and painful relationship my mother and I have always had. I was an only child and my father left when I was 3. For the longest time I wanted to improve things with my mother. She would offer to send me to counselling, but never acknowledge any reason for her to participate. I am in actively working on acceptance. I have appreciated this forum. Thank you.

      • Cathy Smith says:

        Dear Stacey, I am also an only child and dealing with a painful relationship with my mother. I now have no contact with her, she is 86. All her anger and negativity was focused on me but it was my duty to be there for her. I have spent years trying to understand why I never met with her approval. Like you, I am trying to accept she will not change and its not my fault. I am 53 and battle with what I may be doing to her

    • T.G says:

      Im sorry you have a mother like this too.. I am 37 and and have been in hell w her, yet still today.

  2. Nicky says:

    I have never understood until recently just what lengths my mother will go to in order to get her way. She is spiteful and she somehow always makes me feel as if I am not doing enough for her. I am 50 and feel really dumb for not seeing this sooner…..but its never too late.
    I dont want this to define my future.
    Too many yes answers for me on your list….its a relief and yet facing the truth is very painful,

  3. Jissel says:

    As I read this, it all hurt because it was how I’ve seen my mother as: Ice cold and very distant. Even if I’ve lived with her my entire life(almost, I hadn’t seen her for 4 years from when I was 4 to 8 years old) and I always see her, I really do feel very far from her. I cannot imagine how it happened that she was my mother. I am different from her in so many ways. I actually do accept the times I’ve being wrong, unlike her. It’s funny because she says I’m the one who always thinks is right and can never accept am not. She does have a favorite and gets SERIOUSLY mad whenever I joke with her about that. She already pulled me away from the rest of my family members by telling them I do this and that wrong. Honestly, I never hated someone that much before. And I’m stuck like this until I got to college, some 3 years from now. Ppl say we look like sisters, and mom gives them a fake smile in return while I just look away hating the fact I look like the person I hate the most. Seriously, I mean nothing to her but an inferior. She makes that truly obvious but won’t accept the fact that I know that! Her mind: am wrong ALL the time, she’s right ALL the time. Thanks for the article, I understand more now about my narcissistic mother. Well, besides being a whacko (I really do mean that, all her past relationships and I agree) she is also narcissistic. Wish me luck

    • Jessica says:

      I don’t believe that I have ever felt a connection with anyone until I read your comment about” hating that I look like the person I hate most” .. I’ve gone to the extreme of plastic surgery. I always knew since I’m 5 she was an evil lieing miserable jealous person and my father was just as bad as her for allowing the drunkenness and beatings like a coward. Now 36 years later, after my 11 and 14 yr old children have said that they are not normal people and researched on their own and showed me this, do I understand. I’m just terrified of being anything like my parents now I really question myself daily. Do any of you?

      • Jennifer says:

        Yes, I do. I’m so afraid I’m going to pick up on mom’s cruelty and relay it to my 4 yr old.

      • melania elena says:

        Hi! First, english is not my first language. Now: I am also a daughter of a narcissistic mother who was and still is very toxic for me. About my father, I learned from him that it is not enough for a man to be a good man. He also has to be a strong man, one who does not wrongly think that accepting the ugly truth equals betraying his commitment. He was also her victim, but unlike me, he had a choise. The thing is he chose to remain faithfull to his imagined dream, even when that meant to use his job to stay 4 -6 days per week away from town and alcohol to endure the remaining days. He also used alcohol to get more drunk than ever, ever before, one day, when I was about 17 and try to commit suicide. Even if that woman`s physical abuses against me started for real ( that is with a memorable “introduction”, leaving aside the small, previous “loving” corrections) at about 4 years of age and continued combined abundantly with emotional abuses up until that very moment, even if I had witnessed many times the emotional abuses against my father, when his attempted suicide happened, I still couldn`t realise just HOW MUCH PAIN there must have been gathered in his soul, over the years, that drove him to such an extreme decision. And, the next day, since he was stopped by neighbours, by the fact he was to drunk to properly coordinate his actions, and maybe by the fact that even with all that pain he still loved her so much that he still couldn`t let go of his dream, he listened to my pleading to not leave and continued exactly the same, as if nothing had happened. While I have been used by her to tell him some of the things she hated about him, he was also used by her to “discipline” me, very rarelly, to be honest, like 2, maximum 3 times during all our father-daughter relationship, that ended with his death by lung cancer when I was 24. In all the rest of the time, he has been more interested to be a husband and chivalrously faithfull to his dream woman than he cared to be a father for a innocent child. He used to tell me, when I was voicing against him the fruits of her manipulations, that the day will come when I will understand what is really going on and I will regret every harsh word I was throwing at him right then. Two weeks before his death, after a 1.5 month period in which he knew the diagnostic, time he spent no doubt making the resume of his entire life, during one of that woman`s tantrums thrown at me, in which she was just metaphorically dumping buckets and buckets of her shit on my head, just to make her self feel better, as I was just doing my things, without any apparent reaction or words, he held my hand and told me: ” Forgive me my dear, because I get to leave, but you get to stay, and you will have to endure all this all by yourself. And this is all my fault, because I enabled it. If only I had slapped her a BIG ONE, years ago, when she pulled the first tantrum, she never would have pulled the second one. But I loved her and so I was week and couldn`t forsee all the implications, so I ignored and overlooked the hole thing. And now, you have to pay the consequences for my silence. Just hang on and endure!” That came from the man that not only had never even once raised his hand at her, much less lower it, but who had never even clenched a fist or his teeth when she was spewing venom not only against him, but also against his dead mother, who had died when he was 13, whom she never had met and whom he worshiped like a saint. My “mother” knew how much love and respect her husband had for his mother, who had been trully a very good woman and mother and she was on purpose attacking her memory to hurt him. Besides many, many, many other verbal and emotional abuses . And he was still remaining a gentleman, in love with his dream and hiding in it. After he died, it took me three years to cry for his death, and after that, for a while I regretted, just as he said I would, the harsh words I threw at him when she was manipulating me. However, after a while, I realised that I had never been given a choise, or the right to consider any of that as being wrong, or the right to say “that`s it, no more, I`m out of this charade”, I was never allowed the escape route that would have freed me from that sick story – no relatives, no alternatives, no place to go, no one to talk to, no money of my own to get as far as the bus station – NO WAY OUT. My father, on the other hand, had entered the relationship as an adult, with financial and intelectual independence, not to mention all his identity clearly established and unstollen by anyone at anytime. And he kept choosing to stay, and kept choosing to endure the situation, without correcting the issue, even if he was perfectly aware of what the issue was. And so I balanced my mistake of letting myself be used from time to time to tell him how wrong his alcoholism is, without realising his alcoholism had been caused by her disease – I compared that to his continuous choise to ignore not only what she was doing to him, but also what she was doing to me. He had choises and possibilities to change something or to get out; I had NONE of all that; I was completely dependent on HER or on HIM. So I learned that in deed it`s not enough for a man to have a good and kind soul, it is also necessary for him to have his feet firmly planted on the ground, even if his head is in the clouds, and it`s necessary for him to be strong enough to take the decisions dictated by the reality on the ground, not week enough as to hide in the clouds when things on the ground get ugly and leave those that are defenceless all alone at the mercy of the ugliness on the ground. Now, many month after I realised these things, I lost the guilt I had for having allowed her to use me against him and I lost the anger against my father for having abandoned me, as he was the only other adult, besides that woman, present in my life and who could have done something to fix the wrong. I have lost the anger even if I`ll probably never stop being upset with him for having abandoned me. I have retained, however, the real gratitude I had for his words from that day, 2 weeks before his death. They were the greatest, most precious validation that I had ever received until that day and since then, that confirmed what I had known all along – that something is very wrong in that family picture and IT WASN`T ME, or my father. After his death, in time or in the meantime, ALL BY MYSELF, with NO help, (because she managed to destroy all my relationships and isolate me from everyone), I have been thru some very painfull years, in which I realised and understood by myself just how toxic she is. I have been able to grow up on my own and see all the things of the past in their true light. The emotional abuse, the invalidation of feelings, the fact that I never meant someone on my own, just a puppet on strings, meant to move as she dictated and wanted, to make HER story unfold, the gaslighting, ….. I realised that I always knew that something was wrong, and WHAT EXACTLY was wrong, I just couldn`t NAME it – couldn`t identify and name each and every technique separately. I always correctly identified the gaslighting, considering it first and later naming it “throwing of sand in the eyes” and it bothered me, because it was defying logic and invalidating my own perception, but I was also forced by any kind of manipulation to stand there with my eyes wide open and take all that sand in the eyes AND say “thanks for the light of truth! NOW I can bask in it and I have YOU to thank for that!” … so on, so on. But because no one would support my perception and validate it – she also broke all relationships with ALL the other members of the family or family friends, totally isolating us three from every one and everything – after a while I would just start doubt my self and make a compromise in which I still didn`t like it or do it holeheartedlly, but I was at least playing along, to avoid even more sand in the eyes or tantrums. I always knew, for another example, that a normal gift is one that belongs only to the receiver, not one that is being offered with drums and trumpets, requiring great manifestations of love and deep gratitude, only to be used exclusivelly by the giver, because the receiver is to young to know what to do with it and a good unselfish child always shares their things, that is what is normal in a loving family. It always bothered me, I never considered such practice to be normal, but I had to silence my opinions. These are but isolated tips of the iceberg and I don`t wish to talk of the really bed things, every one here has to deal with their own suffering, which is more than enough…. the thing is that even when I didn`t know WHAT EXACTLY was wrong and HOW DEEPLY WRONG is it and in HOW MANY WAYS is it so wrong, I STILL KNEW THAT SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG and THAT IT IS NOT ME. Granted, I knew all that in the deepest of my soul, because nobody would validate that, while on the surface of my thinking I was afraid that I really am the monster she tells me I am, because at every scandal, I was supposed to assume the role of vicious monster, vicious to the bone, that has yet again made a weeping martyr of her and that now can only repent and beg for her forgivness, to ease the atrocious suffering inflicted on her by not submitting completelly and totally and unconditionally to her will and to the action of adoring her day and night with every thought and breath, while having no other interest for my self. Everything in the end was coming down to this: she was the holy martyr mother, who had sacrificed beauty, and fame or at least personal great succes and really anything a human being might have about themselves for an ungrateful unloving disrespectful child that wasn`t even her own, whom she had the mercy to adopt, to take out of the hell of an orphange only to be hitt by the child`s monstruosity, ……. so on, .. so on…. In those times, how did Iknow that something was wrong with her? A normal person doesn`t break into about 3 – 5 inches pieces a 6 feet long PVC pipe like stick by beating the water and all the understanding out of a 4 year old girl, who doesn`t even know where that is coming from. About 30 years later when I asked her WHY ALL THAT, she kind of laughed and said it was because since I was the only one in my kindergarden year that could tie with a bow the shoelaces, I was doing that for every child that would come to me and ask me, so I was always the last one to go out to play in the garden and that pissed her off : why couldn`t I have the wish to be always the first, why was I OK with being the last. I was completely speechless in the face of her explanation and of her dumb guilty smile. And I realised, like many other times before that and since then, that for one thing she had no ability to see things in perspective, as in: look, the child knows more than others at her age and is unselfish enough to not mind helping others for no particular benefit. And secondly, she knew very well that what she had done was wrong, morally and logically and in any other way you wish to evaluate it. AND THAT I HAD NOT BEEN WRONG, MORALLY OR LOGICALLY. And I knew it as well, all along, during all those years and all that nightmare, because I could never let go of the memory of the moment and of the question: WHY ???. So, knowing these 2 things is what gave her that dumb smile, because she had been exposed so suddenly and didn`t have the time to hide her true face, while knowing how unsightly that face is. How else I knew deep down inside that something was wrong with her and not with me? Well, you don`t keep a child, 10 year old at that time but of any age for that matter, on her knees, at your feet, literally begging you, in tears, for really half a day, to not sent her back to the orphanage if she keeps being disobedient to you – that is in simple english if she keeps insisting to think on her own, to have her own opinions about things and her own likes and dislikes, and, even more outrageously, imagine she has the wright to want to do what she likes or thinks is better logically. That was my crime and revolting betrayal : to dare think on my own, thoughts that she had not put in my head, to like or dislike on my own things she had not told that I am supposed and required to like, to do things according to my own logic, to have a will of my own, one that is not in fact hers. So she had to bring me back to the flock, under her total control. But despite my own ability to think and analyse logically many things even at a rather young age, I was still a child programed by default to want to be a part of a family and to feel terrified at the perspective of being cast out of the only home I knew. So, even if I knew that had been very wrong, after she “generously” accepted to think about it for a while more, to give me one last chance, I made a compromise with my own inborn common sense and I kissed her and embraced her and promised her to blindly obey her every whim, so on, so on…. But because I never stopped knowing how wrong SHE was, not I, I could never forget it, I could never stop being hurt and feel “raped” and forced to live with the rapist and love the rapist – she had ” raped” my self respect, by forcing me to say I will not think on my own or take a decision on my own, despite the fact that I had a functional brain of my own and feelings of my own and a personality of my own, all that in exchange of her not throwing me out of the only home and family I knew – I could not talk about this for years, to anyone, not even in therapy, at the age of about 21, when for a brief time a psycologist tried to make me realise what was going on, just didn`t try hard enough. I only talked about this after the age of about 32, to my bestfriend. When I was wondering if I too am a monster with no feelings, I would remind my self of how long it took me to talk about this episode and realised that a blow can`t hurt you if your brain can`t receive the pain, so I do have feelings. I found that once you start the procces of healing. it just can`t be stopped, it keeps unfolding and happening and fixing and cleaning all that has to be flushed away – guilt, self doubt, nightmares, …- even without you being aware of the actual process, even if you think you take a temporary break when overwhelmed by doubts or memories, even when you think you`re not doing anything active for the recovery process at that particular moment. It keeps working in the background, like a wound on the skin producing crust and scar even if something or someone (memories, self doubt, unfortunate encounters with people that played a role in the events, …)keep removing sistematically the crust – each time the new crust is removed, the opened wound will be 2 % smaller than it was at the last removal of the crust, and so on…. You get my message. The proof that you can`t be like her is that you think you might be like her and hurt others because of that AND THAT FRIGHTENS YOU out of your being. Narcissist don`t care about inflicting pain on others, they would rather do that than have to accept their shortcomings. They project: they throw the disease of their soul on others. They know all the things that are wrong about them – hence the incredibly low self respect – and they want to dump all wrongness on anyone else around them; they know that doing that is wrong and society condemns it and so they try to hide it by gaslighting, emotional abuse, …. They don`t come forward and say “what if I`ll hurt someone like that as well?”. The person that thinks he/she can do no wrong is the most likely to do wrong; all the others will think twice before even saying a word; they will think about the many possible implications of that word, in what ways it could touch someone`s heart, self respect, …. If you worry about hurting someone, it means that you at least have love of people in your heart, and that is one thing narcissist don`t have. And love cures seek pride, so even if you find pride in you, it is of the right kind, the kind that protects you. As long as you find your self worrying about possibly hurting other`s feelings, you`ll stop and think twice about doing or saying something, and even if you were about to hurt them in some way, out of haste, you will have the chance to correct that in good time. I am sorry I wrote so much, I think it might have gotten tedious on the way, but I thought it had a meaning.

      • melania elena says:

        This is the second time I answer to your question, since the first answer somehow got lost into the internet air. I said a few things in the first answer, explaining my own experience with a narcissistic adoptive mother and an adoptive father who was also her victim as well as the enabling parent. Long story short(er), he found refuge in his job out of town 4-5 days per week and in alcohol the remaining days. This narcissistic mother has managed to break all the relationships of her immediate family – that is her self, her husband and me – with all the relatives and friends, isolating her self and us all from everyone and anyone. It was hard for me to survive her abuses with all my inborne unaltered common sense because I could not have any feedback that would confirm that it is her, not me, the sick one. As is the case with the vast majority of narcissistic mothers, she could very well put up a show that would, without a fail, fool everyone that heard it – making a show of what a great, selfsacrificing and selflessly loving sweet mother she is. I learned that if I told anybody of what is happening to me (the verbal and physical abuses – that is what I could understand at the time that is really wrong) she would put up such a show that she would convince everyone I am inventing and she is an angel that, on top of sacrificing personal succes, youth and beauty, personal freedom and comfort, really everything for a child that is not even hers, she also has to put up with the child`s sick imagination and ingratitude. I remember it was very painful to understand that people did not believe me and prefered to think I was making the hole thing up. It was not only painful, but also offending and gaslighting – that on top of her own gaslighting. So when my father, who was dying of lung cancer, told me, two weeks before his death, during one of her tantrums – verbally abusing me just for the sake of insulting me so she could let off steam – ” My dear, forgive me, because I am leaving and you get to stay and endure all this all by yourself, and this is all my fault: if I had slapped her a big one the first time she pulled such a tantrum, never again would she have thought it is a good idea to pull another one. But I didn`t and now, you have to pay the price. Just shut up and endure. So forgive me.” – him having said that to me was a great validation and the first of such kind that I ever got to confirm to me that I was wright all along to be bothered and to complain about her behaviour – I was not the monster of sick imagination and ingratitude that she was making me out to be. The fact that during all the time until then – before and after his attempted suicide, some seven years before – he prefered to suffer in silence the verbal abuses against him and to just ignore what was being done to me, made me take his words in that very moment with quite an unresponsive attitude; but after he died, after a very short while, when she was being as aggressive as she could, as often as she could, his words from that day started to work and give me strength. And they became very dear to me, giving me a lot of comfort and of reassurance, even if I never told her about them – I thought it would be very painful for a woman who has to spend the rest of her life alone – that is without a husband – to find out that her late husband had such thoughts about her character just two weeks before his death. Despite all the so very very painful offending words that she had thrown into my face years after years, with the only objective of putting me down as down as she could, just to make herself look higher, I still thought that I should not take away from her the thought that her husband loved her entirely till the very end. Frankly, even now, after I learned about her being a narcissistic and therefor unable to feel empathy or to really care about anyone other than herself, I still think I made the wright decision to not ever tell her about his thoughts, even if I am doing this purely out of humanity, since she has managed to break any and all connections of affection and love that should normally exist, by the nature of things, between a child and his/her mother. As for my father, while I was finding his words from that day so very helpful and supportive, I started to feel very guilty about all the moments when, like a child that still had no idea about what exactly is so wrong with her mother, I allowed her to manipulate me into telling my father about all the things she did not like about him. In those moments, he would listen to me silently and then he would say that I will regret one day all those words I am throwing into his face while manipulated by her, that I will regret those words when I will understand what is really going on, that I will regret having talked to him in that way. And, in deed, I had regrets and felt so guilty for my attitude and lack of wisdom to understand what he was going thru and for not having been wise enough to understand the amount of pain that he must have gathered inside his heart in order to try to kill himself. And then, after a while it hit me: I was a child, a baby, that had only her common sense to rely on – common sense that was being constantly put down by her gaslighting on one hand and by the isolation that she raised around me on the other hand. She pushed away anyone that might have exposed her behaviour for how abnormal it really was; she isolated me from anyone that might have given me a normal feed-back and help me understand what she is doing and how wrong is it what she is doing. I literally had no escape and no alternative – not an aunt, not a cousin, not a grandparent, not a family friend – she proceeded to complete social isolation – there was no one there to confirm to me what is right and what is wrong, there was no one there to support me or to protect me from her physical and verbal abuses or at least to tell her how wrong and sick her behaviour is. On the other hand, I was a child that normally constantly needed her mother and so it is understandable and forgivable for me to have tried to maintain the relationship with her, despite all the compromises that I was forced to make – compromises with my logic, with my self respect ( and I have made some, quite painful), with my common sense,… But my father, he was an adult when he entered that relationship, he was supposed to have all the wisdom and all the common sense already properly calibrated to know what is right and what is wrong and he was supposed to have overcome the child`s need for a female figure in his life at all costs. As it turns out he had mixed some dreams, in a normal, understandable, not in the least sick way – that is another story – but still, he was an adult – he was expected to have stronger defense mechanisms against such a narcissistic vampire. And he realized that something was wrong – or else he would not have told me that I will regret my words to him when I will understand what is actually going on. He also knew that he could do something to improve the situation – at least tell her to her face how wrong her behaviour is and stop her when she was doing it – not necessarily slap her, to give her a reason to cry what a martir she is. One should never underestimate the therapeutic value of logical simple explanations, when backed up by a strong, determined man`s voice, especially in a traditional society! But, instead, he chosed to remain faithful to his chivalrous dream about the perfect woman, to whom he could not say one single unpleasant word, even if it was a truth as huge as the Everest and it harmed like hell – her pride would feel so offended that she would fall out of love with him – and we could not have that, now could we?! And when I realized how much and decisively he enabled her sickness – even before knowing of what disease she suffered and that an enabling parent is needed for the sickness to continue and thrive – when I realized all that, my guilt cured itself. And for a while I was very angry with him for having betrayed me in the loving way that he did – I don`t know if I will ever forgive him for that – at the end of the day, after all doors were shut and all problems were out in the open just between us three, with no one from the outside present, he was the only one that could have said something and could have done something to stop or at least keep her sickness under some control. And precisely him, the only one who could have made a difference chosed to do nothing and let me endure – he was so focused on being a good husband to his dream wife that he neglected to be a good father to an innocent and helpless child. He was like the step dad that is being married to the child`s mother and lives there and brings money home but who does not involve him self in the child`s life as in taking decisions or actual care because he does not have enough rights – not being the real father. It depends on how one defines forgiveness – is it stop hating the person (and how does one define hatred: no anger any more or no wish for revenge, …), is it not minding anymore what the person has done to you, … If it envolves no anger any more, then I have forgiven him – all that is left is dissapointment and regrets and distrust in his parenting abilities; if it means not minding anymore about his abandonment and betrayal, not feeling hurt anymore about that, then I have a hard time believing that I will soon be able to let go – maybe after some years – everything dries out and falls down in time – even if I`ll still have to suffer the consequences of his lack of action. And still, despite the fact that – I am pretty sure – I have not yet forgiven him, I still remember with warmth his kindness as a human being, him being a fun and easy to be around dad – even if only step dad , I still remember that the few occasions in which I was told real good things about myself came from him, with one or two exceptions. I still find comfort and validation in his words from that day, before his death and I realize nothing or only very very few things in the world are white and black. This hole story does not wish, by no means, to minimize the suffering that you probably feel because of your father`s actions – I have no idea what happened in your case and I realize he probably had a different personality than my father. It was just me sharing my experience with my enabling father. As for your fear about not making the same mistakes as your mother, remember that these people don`t think they could be wrong or do anything wrong, and they don`t care about others` feelings, so they don`t believe they could do anything to hurt those feelings; plus they feel entitled – to say whatever, to do whatever, to treat people like garbage and expect people to feel blessed and grateful about that. So, if you care about others` feelings and feel that hurting them would be wrong of you, then you are not a narcissist and therefor you do have in yourself the self control- read common sense- needed to adjust your behaviour to the norms of right and moral and humane. I have noticed that many authors mention this risk, of becoming a narcissist if you were raised by one, but I have also, at the same time noticed those people`s tendency to hunt for witches more than to heal wounds – and that seems to me like a big lack of love of people. The ones who will become narcissists themselves also are not in touch with their feelings and so they don`t feel hurt by their parents` behaviour – hence they will not look for healing. The ones that do look for healing do so because of how much they have suffered – they are in touch with their feelings; and being worried about possibly hurting others, they do have empathy; and respect for people. It`s that simple. Those authors that keep emphasizing that possibility – I don`t think they have real understanding of the pain a narcissist`s victim caries in their heart and about how painful it is to the actual victim for the narcissist to make them-the victims be the villains of the story. A narcissist`s victim has had to spend years in a sick relationship, in which the abuser was throwing all their own dirt and sickness on the victim; they have been told again and again, in any way invented by the abuser that they-the victims are the monsters of the story. The audience has been manipulated into believing that and despising and hating and punishing the victim for not providing enough N supply to the narcissist. The victim has had to survive in these conditions and maintain faith in their own common sense and their own rightness, maintaining their own conscience and their own self respect, despite all these abuses. Maintaining confidence in your self is not very easy when so many around you tell you that you are wrong – basically tell you the same story as the narcissist – that you are so flawed, in every way, for constantly torturing the poor narcissist. The last thing a narcissist`s victim needs is for an author – deeming them self an authority – to tell them that there are very high chances for the victim to be an actual monster. One who is not a narcissist and therefor admits there is a possibility to make mistakes will be willing to take such a statement into consideration; after all, “if two people tell you that you are drunk, then go get some sleep”( because you must probably be drunk). My point here is that I understand how inclined we are to believe that there might be something wrong with us when a so called authority – with no love of people – tells us something like that. We were pressured for the most of our lives to believe that we are more flawed than most of those around us. But every time we cared about someone else`s feelings, every time we did something selfless or out of forgiveness, or every time we were able to see more sides to a story, not just our point of view or our rightness – in each of these times we behaved NOT like a narcissist and so proved to the universe that we are not like them. There is one more aspect: before you is THE LIGHT; behind you is THE DARKNESS; now what do you do: do you run away from the darkness or do you run ahead towards the light??! Because there really is a difference between these two : if you run away from the darkness you will be looking behind you and you will not be able to to properly see where you put your next step – so you might make a wrong turn. If, on the other hand, you run ahead towards the light, with every step that you get closer to the light, more shadows behind you are dissolved by the increasing light. And so the light fights your battles against the darkness, just as long you keep standing in the light – and getting closer to the best of your abilities – even if you keep standing in the same spot of light, that in itself means you are not getting closer the darkness or lost by making a wrong turn. Hope this time, my message gets to you, despite its length, longer than the first one`s. And excuse the english, it is not my first.

    • ps271 says:

      I know exactly what you mean about looking like the person that you hate the most..The day I finally made up my mind to walk away, was the BEST Thing that I ever did..

  4. Gmama says:

    This site is completely describing my granddaughters mother.

    She freezes when her mother comes in room. She waits terrified if
    she is in any type of trouble (and the trouble she gets into, doesn’t make sense!)

    She constantly says her daughter is her “mini me”
    She takes gifts away, saying she is more deserving!
    She says she “owns” her.

    It’s all horrible and I feel at a loss.

    My heart goes out to all of you!

    • Georgia says:

      Honey, you have got to share this stuff with a therapist or a social worker stat. Narcissistic parents always abuse their children. If your granddaughter freezes when her mother enters the room that’s a sign of an attachment disorder. I’m going to go ahead and guess for you that it’s anxious/avoidant type. Poor kiddo needs to be helped stat. Go talk to someone, get her some help because if you do not and watch idly on what is happening to her you are just as guilty for how she turns out. My family stood by while I was abused, knowing full well what was happening to us at home. They were lovely when we were with them, but they returned us to our parent knowing we were vulnerable to abuse in the home. I refuse any contact with all of them, except for one aunt who has earned forgiveness. Act with confidence knowing you are saving her or at least so that you can look her in the yes one day and tell her that you tried.

    • notimportant says:

      If it is your daughter in Law, i feel for you.
      If it is your own daughter who treats her daughter like that, she must have learned that from somewhere!

      I hate the lies and the false beliefs that were handed to me. I thought so often about her being dead that I didn’t grieve her being alive and tormenting me.

      That is what I will do now, GRIEVE. Grieve the mother i never had. I don’t know what that would feel like to have a mother who loves me for the authentic me, not some weird performance piece i put on for her and I guess for protection of my authentic being.

      But i realise I have the power to love and validate me. No one else can do this. The more i do this the more natural it becomes for people to respect me etc.
      For years i did not, could not respect myself. I still have feelings of worthlessness. I still feel suicidal when stuff gets too hard. But there is a light within, a spark that will NOT let me give up on me the way she did.
      She lies and gas lights and makes me feel like i made the whole thing up. But then i just think on all the times i cried in my bed as a little girl wishing an angel would rescue me and a new mother would be given to me. ( I am now that new mother). I remember hoping things would be different. Why would i make up the horror when all i wanted was a decent kind mother who could love herself enough to be able to love her daughter, me.

      I am beautiful. I am worthy. I love myself unconditionally and I FORGIVE MYSELF!

      Have a beautiful time ladies you are all unique wonderful beings! Bless ya all!

  5. sarmistha says:

    thank u alexander for helping me feel that i am nt totally crazy in thinking abt my mother the way i do .. and for confirming that she seriously hav done some real damages to my lyf. i havent known wats actually wrong till i googled this a couple of days ago and i was horrified and strangely relieved. the points u mentioned here confirms my sanity and urges me more to lead a better life for myself outside her shadow. i lost my dad 5 months back and her abuses have just increased. favoritism for my brother too. i needed an article like this to think seriously abt my future and myself…. thank u so very much..

  6. AmyB says:

    Wow, I have always struggled to understand why I was “unlovable”. I was the “bad” child, my brother was perfect. I was an embarrassment and he was her pride. She turned one of my children away from me by telling them things about me (untrue!) since they were tiny. I didn’t know that she was doing it. If a parent had done what she did while getting a divorce it would have been illegal. I caught her stealing money from me and when I demanded proof of the debt before I paid another dime, she refused and flipped out on me calling me a thief. I have NO family left now. All believe I am a thief. Everyone in the small area where I used to live believes this. I can no longer go back. I stopped calling her over a year ago and she cared not at all. Not even about my other 5 kids. She sees the oldest as he is 18 now and under her lies. I struggle to love myself and cry nonstop about the fact that I feel completely worthless. I struggle to be a good mom to my kids and notice a few traits in myself that I am constantly trying to overcome. I never want to be like her. I’d rather die than hurt my kids like she hurt me.

    • Rita says:

      Please be strong! I had the same fears and my anxiety was so distracting. acupuncture helped my mind and spirit heal.

    • pam says:

      I know exactly what you are saying. I have four siblings and three kids of my own as well as four grandchildren. I have at this point in my life no relationship with my siblings at all nor their families and no contact with my oldest and youngest children and therefore, their kids (my grandchildren) either.
      My oldest daughter and my mother are the same and my ex, my kids’ father who I married very young (we were 21 and 25) is also NPD. I believe there is a strong inherited component to this type of personality as well as the fact that family dynamics and those we marry and end up with are all so ‘natural’ and dysfunctional that it propagates itself. When I think I am going to describe the pain and craziness and begin, I find myself pages later, deciding it is all too involved and exhausting to go in to. So I give up.
      There is just no happy ending with NPD’s and co dependents that bounce off them in a family and in your life if you think you can ‘have relationships’ somehow with these people. I think you either have to save yourself or decide to permanently sign up for pain and craziness till you die.
      My mother, daughter and ex are all like a little drop of poison in a whole barrel of clean water – they render it undrinkable. The rest of the family IS that whole barrel. The levels of lies and manipulations when you are the one who holds the mirror up to their faces will rise beyond unbearable. My mother sent me monthly horrendous – and on the surface (plausibly deniable) – religious and Biblical – crazy grams while threatening to call MY pastor to tell him how horrible I am and raving about how she ‘tells all my friends at church about you. We laugh’…she lives in another town and I will never go back there. She has slandered me to people who don’t know me at all. My reason for this, which was now three years ago, was telling her not to gossip about my sister any more to me. (My mother loves drama and attention naturally and so will talk to anybody about anybody. Since I am definitely the scape goat child I know she has no interest in serving anybody’s best interest and I do not want to be a part of any of that, so I cut it off. She flew into a rage and that’s when it began relentlessly. After I cut her off from my email address, she began mailing things incessantly to which I never responded. That made her furious – being ignored – and it got worse and worse. Finally my wonderful now husband called both my parents – dad is the enabler who looks the other way and acts like none of it ever really happens – to lose their number. My brother had been calling and telling me for the third time in my life that I needed to repair things with them because they were going to ‘write you out of the will’. When my husband called them and held them accountable and said we don’t need one thing you have. Lose our number. !!!. LOVE MY HUSBAND.). There is so much drama and triangulation in my family and now, for the past year, I haven’t had to deal with one bit of it. My daughter is drawn in to it too and has had her own rages that have caused me to cut her off as well. It is very sad but it is what it is. I don’t hate any of them. I love myself. My middle child and his wife and new baby are delightful and loving. He appreciates the parenting that he had with love and commitment and has nothing to do with his sisters at all, not in my defense but because he has had his own bad experiences. I pray for them all and just get on with the good in my life. I find I am better able to do more in love for the rest of the people God has blessed me with in my life not being bogged down by all of them (family). I have no desire to pursue and fix things with them nor do I want revenge so I think I am where I need to be.
      When my husband and I married 11 years ago I was not talking to my parents then. My brother had called me to say that he was getting a divorce and didn’t want me to tell them, which I didn’t. When they found out I knew, my mother became furious and time #2, I was being threatened with being written out of the will! My husband couldn’t believe things could really be this bad and convinced me that these are my parents, and I should give it another try. He now, after knowing them all this time, tells me he is sorry he ‘forced’ me to do that (he didn’t'; I agreed and thought maybe he was right and I was willing to admit my ‘faults’ and try again). He says these are the worst people he has ever met in his life and wish he had not asked me to go through that. I am not really sorry. I am glad that he was able to see it for himself and I know I did everything possible to be a good daughter, mother and person with these people.
      My parents have money and they use that lever with all of us. They are getting old and the rest of my siblings seems preoccupied with that. I guess we were raised that way, but it never interested to me. It was always clearly a trap; the carrot that was just hanging there to keep you going. I always knew I could take care of myself. More importantly, I knew my source was God and He would never let me down.
      Try to love yourself as God does and know this misery is not what he wants for you. You are not your mother but you are for better and for worse a product of her. That doesn’t have to be an all bad thing!

      • Sympathetic says:

        “My brother had been calling and telling me for the third time in my life that I needed to repair things with them because they were going to ‘write you out of the will’. When my husband called them and held them accountable and said we don’t need one thing you have. Lose our number. !!!. LOVE MY HUSBAND.).”

        God Bless you and your husband. The family sounds as toxic as any I’ve ever heard of. Glad you don’t need them or their filthy lucre!

        P.S. NOT speaking to them drives them nuts! Keep up the good work. 😉

        • HaveALifeNow says:

          Not speaking to them DOES drive them nuts!

          I had a feeling my parents wrote me out of the will decades ago in favor of their Golden child son. Yet, it didn’t stop them from calling me, callng me names and threatening me when I went No Contact. Their childish, out of control behavior really goes into the red line when they think they’ve lost their scapegoat.

          They died, the GC got everything (as usual), GC had a stroke a year after NM passed (who would validate his evil behavior now?), and I am happily living my life without any of them. Pure Bliss.

      • carla says:

        Sorry to say this but you sound NPD yourself you have your golden boy an everyone else is shit not saying your parents didn’t create you to be like this but right now as I’m reading this it looks like your trying to manipulate the blog if what I say makes you angry maybe you should check your own personality traits especial when it comes to your kids

        • melania elena says:

          carla, if you really know about the narcissists, you know how they like to throw sand into people`s eyes – gaslighting – and how they force them to stand with their eyes opened and take all the sand in their eyes and declare that it was not blinding or hurtful or painful at all, but in deed eye opening and the light of truth; which they have poured upon the poor inferior audience as a unselfish, loving blessing. That, in simple english, means they do hurtful things to you and you are not allowed to consider that hurtful, you are not allowed to think on your own, or to feel. You are only supposed to stand there like an inert bowl in which they pour what ever thoughts and feelings them look good and you are supposed to hold those thoughts and feelings and consider them yours. Should you have the audacity to to not accept those and, instead, be filled with your own thoughts and feelings – that say what they did was logically and morally wrong and hurtful to your dignity and feelings – that is a betrayal against them, as you demonstrate something other than unconditional and complete admiration and worship towards them, and it is also a threat against them, as you demonstrate having your own brain and personality, therefor you could at any moment now think and feel on your own and easily take the decision to walk away from them. Because of all these realities in NPD, it is a matter of survival for them to convince you in any way possible or to bully you, if necessary, into not giving the right name to what they did, into not recognizing how hurtful it was and why, into basically erasing all your own perception about the event and replacing it with their interpretation. And all these include in one breath the gaslighting, the emotional manipulation, the invalidation of feelings, so on,…. The toxic result is that in time, their victims will have it extremely difficult to explain to others exactly what was done to them, in what ways – because when NPD`s do it to someone, they never stick to just one tecnique, they do it in many, many ways, just to be sure they cover all their bases, as you say – and, as is tipical with many abuses, the victims don`t always say it all in one breath or say what is the most important to explain the NPD`s acts. They have had to live with the abuser for years and the quantity of abuses inflicted on them is as large as the quantity of memories a nonabused person has from all their life. It is very hard to extract from the amount of painful memories exactly those most telling or to always connect them in a way that would satisfy or convince any disbeliever. Also the victims of NPD`s are painfully acustomed with people not believing them while believing blindly the NPD. I don`t think there is one single victim that hasn`t, at least at one point in their life, been put in the position of having to prove them selves with explanations in front of people that had already decided the truth is in favor of the the NPD abuser. Only that in itself is so painful and invalidating and isolating that only a true victim of a NPD would really or fully understand. Such an experience is, without any fear of exageration, crippling for the trust that the victims have in their own capacity to speak for them selves and to express them selves in general. I my self have been through something like that and still have to deal with that, so I know painfully well how hard it is to find your words when you are being constantly invalidated by the NPD or by their worshipers or just by strangers who can`t even grasp what I am really going through, but just think that I will starve to death spiritually if they don`t do the christian thing and give me condescendantly their opinion of how much I misinterpret things and how disrespectfully and ilogically I overreact to the unselfish noble deeds of the NPD or to the ups and downs of life in general. If you think now I sound coherent, it`s been a very long way, and I am nowhere near where I should be at my age and my education – that is a little more than, say, four classes. Not that my coherence in asserting my self is the only thing that needs improvement, as a consequence of what I had and have to deal with. And if you wish to mention my english, it is not my first language. I am ENTITLED to make some mistakes.

        • Katerina says:

          My thoughts exactly Carla. I’m glad I’m not the only one to have felt that.

      • Rebecca says:

        I like this response. I totally get the you can write for hours about it. Basically you look mad if you try to explain it to those who are unfamiliar with this relentless madness. Like you I was the one, always pointing out the insanity, and of course made to feel like I was the worse one.
        You just end up wanting a quite and pleasant life, free from drama. I have very strict rules to adhere to my family. Dont stay with them. Only visit. Make those visits short. Have ready the phrase, “is that the time”? I have to get going. and then walk away, leaving the drama behind………….

    • stephanie says:

      What stands out in your description of your mom that was true of mine is her always telling my son and only child how worthless I was as a mother. I might have went on believing her but my son finally was taken to the right doctor by me who told him of some of the things I have done that make me a good mother and the abuses I’ve suffered at the hands of his beloved grandmother. Finally his eyes were opened. This was not the reason that I had taken him to this doctor. He had issues of his own that were greatly enhanced by the damage she had done.

      My mother had never done anything for me or for him either. She is the most selfish person on the face of the earth. I have all but spent my last dime helping my son in every way that he needed help in order to make the most of his life. I have always put him before myself. In fact, when I gave birth to him and over the years I had become aware of what it means to love a child. By contrast, I learned what I didn’t have. He was always expressing anger at me for every little thing whereas I had always accepted her miserable behavior as something I must have deserved. He showed me that I should be angry with her. And when he separated himself from me to grow as a person I missed him like hell but wanted this growth for him so much. And if it was better for him to be away from me I prayed for the strength to leave him alone. By contrast, my mother screamed if I moved down the street. It was always about her. Little by little I began to see for myself who really was the better mother. Still, I could not shove it down his throat. He would have to see this for himself. I thank God that he did and we had some wonderful years together before he died. He did see the damage she had done. He asked why I had not defended myself. I told him that he had enough to deal with and I didn’t want to make it worse by acting like her. I suppose that while I had taken the long route, it was the right one. He did see for himself which one of us really loved him and with my love and prayers and this doctor’s help, he could recover prior to his death. She is gone as well and I have to say that I do not miss her as one would miss a parent. I missed my dad terribly but not her. She had done so much damage to so many. And she too favored my brother. He could do no wrong where I could do very little right. She never bragged about my grades as a child but would tell me about how for instance my cousin, who had the same grades as I had done so well in school. She refused to pay for my college because I was “stupid”. I managed to go on my own and got mostly As in undergrad and all As but one in grad school. Her jealousy was so apparent. Actually, after my freshman year, she decided that if I could do this, anyone could so she started at a local community college where she couldn’t do better than a D in the one course she had taken. She amazingly blamed me for this. Oh, life with her was a joy and I am never short of stories. How do we survive on such extreme emotional abuse?

    • I Feel ya says:

      Unfortunately it is not illegal for a parent in a divorce to poison the mind of a child. I just went through that. Took 8 months of counseling to undo the damage she did to my little boy. I cried when he finally hugged me again. Narcissists make up 30 percent of the population. They damage so many people every day.

  7. Debbie says:

    Hi everyone.
    I’ve suspected for a couple of years that my mother has a narcissistic personality after coming across an article on the internet. I recently saw a book about the subject and it got me thinking about it seriously.
    My story is far too long to go into in detail-I am 57 and have had to put up with my mother’s behaviour as long as I can remember. She is 95 now and her anger and hatred of me and lots of things in life, I swear, keeps her going in to a long old age. Ironically, I have inherited one aspect of her personality, her refusal to give in about anything, which means that I have never completely given in to her demands, (which is why we have fallen out a million times over the years). However, I have never managed to break away either because I have always had a strong sense of responsibility- after all she is my mum. She continues to torture me even through a 4 month illness I had recently and continues to bully, accuse, lie, turn other people against me etc. I counted 19 of the traits described above that she has always had and she is actually worse now than ever. I know that I will only get peace when she is no longer here and I expect to still feel guilt even then-the effects of her ways will never completely go away.
    But to all those out there who suffer- PLEASE BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. You are NOT mad, bad, useless. The very fact you know something is wrong proves you are NOT like her. Try to break away and if that isn’t possible, keep contact to a minimum and refuse to get sucked in. You are a GOOD person-that is why you recognise she is bad. You will feel guilt because that is how she has trained you but it also means you are a compassionate person but don’t let the guilt immobilise you. You are a worthy person. GO GET YOUR LIFE! Kindest regards and good luck to you all.

    • Michelle says:

      Debbie, what a lovely end to your message, you have been through so much but still think of others as you tell your story. I am so sorry for you that your story has lasted a lifetime & it sounds like you have made the decision to maintain contact & that must have been so tough for you to know that you will endure this pain of your mothers disorder until the day she dies. I hope you find the inner strength to deal with it. Knowledge in this instance is definitely power. If you know who your mother is & that it isn’t your fault, she can’t hurt you any more. Just pity her. Best wishes xx

    • Cheryl says:

      Debby, I am 67 and have been going through much the same as you. When I was a child my Mom used to joke to other people in front of me that when I was presented to her as a baby she told the nurse, “Take it away, I don’t want it.” My Mother has almost all of the ‘traits’ also.

      Recently my Sister, who is my Mom’s care giver, broke her arm badly and asked me to help. My Mom can not drive or fully take care of herself, but she still did not want me to travel where they live to help. She was very nasty to me, being overly patronizing one moment then treating me like what I did was not good enough the next. She is very demanding and has to be the center of attention, even trying to hijack attention my Sister was getting from a medical care person. She became very angry because the care person remained focused on my Sister. She stormed off, reappeared a few minutes later, stating she was sick, then defecated on the floor instead of putting a ‘depends’ on. I had to clean it up, she never said a word.

      Then she manipulated a situation so that I would get upset and feel like what I had gotten her for Christmas was not good enough to unwrap. It sat unwrapped for days, while she made a big deal out of every one elses’ presents. I told her she had hurt my feelings. Wrong move. She became violently hostile with me.

      Your words are magic! Thank you.

    • Isabella Murphy says:

      Hi Debbie.. Your story grabbed at me.. My mother has each and everyone of these traits above.. It just gets worse everyday.. I have bent over backwards my whole life and nothing is ever good enough..It’s just goes on and on and I actually have a book I’m writing.. There was sexual abuse from my dad and when I finally remembered some of these horrors which were deeply seeded in my memory I brought it up to my mom.. Her answer was that it was all my fault and well poor her she couldn’t and didn’t want to talk about it anymore cause it would give her nightmares.. The list goes on and on..She’s 83 years old and I wonder will I ever get any peace.. I recently found out this past year that I had another brother that she gave away to some friends..Then I find out that this brother that she never told any of siblings about was murdered at 21 years old.. The women has no heart to be able to keep such a horrible secret all these years.. I could have known him until I was 16.. I really shouldn’t say nobody new about this cause I received the news paper clipping of this article from a relative.. The past 3 years I have been at my wits end with my mom, she never stops causing drama with the family and the arguments I’m having with her are so nasty.. I’m 58 now. My own children hate her and have nothing to do with her..Yes there is a “Golden Child” my brother who never does anything wrong in her eyes and that makes me the scapegoat..Her and I just had an argument and I’m finally getting out what’s on my mind.. I am really finding it very hard not to blurt out what I know about this other brother that was murdered.. I promised the family member that made me aware of this that I wouldn’t.. So I can’t reveal it.. My mother would probably drop dead on the spot..well I could go on and on but it’s to exhausting.. Thanks it sure makes me feel better in a small way to know there are others who go through this

      • Kathy says:

        Isabella Murphy – scream it from the rooftops! Expose the dirty little secrets these narcissists keep hidden, truth lets in the light and narcissists hate it!

        I don’t keep their dirty little secrets anymore and it is very freeing! Drives them all nuts too!

      • Meli says:

        Isabella, I read your post and thought, ‘so, it never really ends’ (the arguments I mean). I have this hopeful feeling that all the junk she spews will eventually come to a halt, that she will come to her senses…but I’ve got to get real. It just isn’t going to happen. She will carry on with her projections and tantrums and the excuses to be angry with me (and they truly are excuses as far as I can see). Sigh.

        Why do I keep wishing and hoping for something different? I have been trying to figure out how to stop hoping – which is basically accepting the situation as it is, as she is. And then?

    • Kirsty says:

      Debbie, thank you so much for affirming everything I have been thinking about these past few years. I feel like my 20s have been stolen. My family forced me to leave my home country by bankrupting me, and telling me I would be ruining my younger brothers lives by not moving. They then borrowed all my credit when I got to this country. Making me a less than viable candidate for my own mortgage and building my own life. I looked after her while she allegedly had cancer. Now I’m being used as a bookmark while they figure out their next move. Thank you, for telling me I deserve my own life. I am working against years of being told I’m not as good as my siblings, that I’m selfish and horrible and a bitch. Thank you, for being positive and reaffirming it’s ok not to accept this and to have my own life. Thank you.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Debbie
      I am 62 years old and my mother has always been the same. I have just returned from a visit today to do her hair/nails/chat etc. as I have done for the last who knows how many years. My husband wanders why I keep going back for ‘more of the same treatment’ from her. A lot of elderly (she is 93) people become quieter with age she has become more aggressive and nastier. I feel that I am just a hairdresser to her in fact she probably likes the hairdresser more. Your last paragraph was so wonderful to read. I know that I am a good person who would never hurt anyone else with words or actions and I have decided to not go and see her so much. She lives with my twin brothers (aged 65) and is the same to one but not the other but he is able to cope with her words much better than I can. Thank you so much for making me see that I do not have to feel guilty. Good Luck too you.

    • Britannia says:

      Debbie, your story echoes that of my own in so many ways.Thank you for sharing your story and helping me to feel as if I am not a freak of nature because I am experiencing this hideously cold relationship with my elderly mother.I echo your thoughts on the guilt of wanting to be free but feeling as if is you who have failed.

  8. Ali says:

    Thank you for this great article.

    The more I read about narcissism, the more things now make sense to me.

    I’ve tried to set boundaries with my mum, but this ultimately went down like a lead balloon. My brother has been ‘enlisted’ onto her side, and I’m not allowed to see my niece anymore. It’s my mum’s way of punishing and blaming me, but I’m coming to terms with the fact that she is unable to admit to her own cruel behaviour.

    Luckily, I have a great partner and his family have much less drama! From breaking away, I’m learning to trust my own voice.

    To anyone else going through ‘no contact’ – keep up the strength! I’ve spent so much time being an extension of somebody else, that I’m only just learning to have my own identity. Life is much more peaceful, and I can protect my family from the same cycle repeating itself.

    Counselling/therapy has helped me tremendously. I recommend this to anyone who suspects that something is not quite right with their mother. It took me months to admit what I already knew, but a good therapist will help uncover and deal with things.

    Happy healing to everybody with a narcissistic mother – you’re not alone :)

    • Ryann says:

      Wow Ali! Thank you for your comment. It is refreshing to know that I’m not alone. I too am in recovery and am learning to trust my own inner voice and to break the unhealthy emotional dependency I had developed. My mother prided herself on me being her mini me. After having enough of her continually violating my boundaries and my spouses (emotional, physical, monetarily, etc.) and confronting her about the behavior which she denied and took offense to.

      I have been disowned by my other family members(my sister’s and father) because of lies she’s told them about me which stem from me no longer financially supporting her unsustainable lifestyle.

      My sister’s and I are only valued for how good we make her look. If we do something differently than what she envisioned she abandons or threatens. She completely sabotaged my wedding telling everyone that she was going to host another event that was going to be even grander than my actual wedding that my now husband and I had to pay for out of pocket. The event she told all of our guests in attendance never came into fruition… It was as though what I had planned wasn’t good enough…The book “Will I Ever Be Good Enough” by Dr. Karyl McBride has been a God Send. I am so grateful to have found this book before my fast approaching 30th birthday so that I may live the next 30 years more peacefully with love and understanding in my heart instead of resentment.

  9. EASurvivor says:

    Hi

    I have been looking at this issue for myself all of this year. My mother is a narcissist and I think that she has most if not all of the traits. I am the scapegoat and this has had a massive negative impact on my adult life. It was since my parents divorce over 20 years ago that my mum was punishing me for not breaking off with my dad. It took me years to realise that it was not me that was the problem, but her. She really is warped and twisted, unfortunately, as my dad said.

    My mum has turned my three siblings away from me and our relationships may never be the same again. It is very sad and sometimes I can’t believe this is real and I think ‘why me?’.

    I am trying to break away from her (again) after she has said that she will not attend the family counselling that my sister set up. My mother has tried any way she can to get to me – even phoning my fiance and lying to him by saying that I was abusive at previous counselling that she did attend (a couple of times). Now I will return any mail from her and I have found a phone app that lets you block texts and calls. I just need a break from the nightmare of twenty years, which is how long I have been striving to make things right with eveyone. I am also proteting my children from her.

    There are things about her that I like though and I will miss but that will get better and easier. I had hypnotherapy to help me to emotionally detach because my inner voice had gone on overdrive and I was constantly going over the old ground in my mind and trying to work out what the solution was. It turns out the solution is to keep away from my mum, which I do find sad. We could have been such a great family. My inner voice has come back a bit recently since my mum texted a wind up message around my daughter’s birthday.

    I do wish she could suddenly see the light, get therapy and explain to my siblings that she treated me badly and not to take it out on me but I know the liklihood of this is very slim.

    I just need the inner voice to go away again, as it did before and to get on with my life. I’m not sure what my mum could do next to wind me up.

    • ?? says:

      EASurvivor -How is it going for you? It’s been over a year since I went NC w my Mom and the voices are hard. Wish I knew someone else like me. It is so hard when they wind you up…

      Anyway good luck to you!!

    • Meli says:

      I’m just curious about where you’re at with your N mother now, a year later. I’m in a similar situ. It’s because we answer back, and they can’t stand it.

      I have a brother who tells her exactly what she wants to hear, so he’s the golden boy. It’s really sickening, because the guy has just grown up learning how to con everyone by using the right words on them, but he has zero substance. Doesn’t even make a living, and my parents assist him in everything.

      She really has ruined out family, and we too could have been really good.

  10. Judy says:

    My mother has all the signs that is listed above. She sucks the life out of me. She can never accept that she is wrong. Nothing wrong with her thats what she believes. She is incapable of loving or showing concern to other people. When I was still single she wants me to work in another country with higher pay because she wants me to buy her a house, she demands me to send her money so she can live a comfortable life while I work till I die. By the way, she never worked and depended on my grandmother all her life. Meaning she is not the one who send us to school. What she does all her life was to literally eat, sleep and watch TV. Then my grandmther can’t afford to send me to college anymore, I worked partime so I can send myself to school. When I graduated and earning money my narcissistic mother starts to ask money up to this day. She live her life depending on other people to survive. All she wants to do is to eat, sleep and watch TV. What a wasted life! When I got married and had a child, she gets furiously mad and until now she would make me feel guilty that she will tell me that I should have not get married and have a child because what she wants is to have a comfortable life having a monthly allowance from me and I should have bought her a house. She would even tell my kid ” because of you, I did not get my dream house” crazy, she is really crazy! When she asks money, and I tell her I don’t have money to give, she will throw tantrums, yell at me, tell me hurtful words, then I give in to the point of burying myself to debts, so much debts because I always give in to her request. She would blackmail me, and will tell me that she will tell other people of my secrets that will ruin my life if I don’t give in to her demands. She also bad mouth me to other people and constantly lies. She betrays me by befriending my enemies and will use things I have said against me…Well I’m not talking about the devil here…What is so painful is…I’m talking about my very own MOTHER. What I am sure about, I don’t want to be like her.

  11. Berenice says:

    To me the hardest part is that my mum has convinced people how good she is and how terrible the kids are for treating her the way we do. Most of my brothers could not escape her trap and I think it is harder for boys to admit that their mum is the abuser. I think the natural instinct for a boy is to protect their mother. I love my mum, make no mistake, but I also know now to wait for that love in return is never going to happen. I have so many questions but will never find the answer.

  12. gabrielle says:

    This article described my mother to the last sentence! I’m soon to turn 65 and she has been dead several years and I have yet to shed one tear over her death. The abuse I suffered at her evil hands has been said to be the same as Nazi concentration prisoners. I never once as a child connected or bonded with her and feel nothing towards her even now.

  13. Jennifer says:

    As a teenager my mother used to tell everyone I was her friend or younger sister. She would try to set me up with older men. She would talk to me about her relationships with men. She blamed me when relationships fell apart. My mother was married 5 times. She used to show me off at parties. She told my siblings and I that she regretted having children. She would say horrible things and then cry if anyone argued or showed anger towards her.
    As an adult, she has criticized me as a mother. She has tried to take my children from me. She has lied to the court about me. She has helped my abusive ex husband and now she is helping my ex in court to take custody of our daughter. She has told lies about me to family and friends. She has told the church to pray for me. She has recently called my boss to tell him her one sided sob story playing the victim. He called and told me that it was obvious her intent was to sabotage my position at work. My mother has told so many lies about me to family that I don’t know how to combat it. She has lawyer friends and therapists that tell her to be aggressive with me even though they do not know the whole story. The only times in my life that we got along, I had to tell her I appreciated her and never argue with her. She always has an excuse for saying horrible things about me. We didn’t see each other for years and then I tried to have a relationship again, she manipulated me and I told her off, immediately afterwards I began to hear rumor that she said I was “violent” and an “angry person”. She refuses to acknowledge that she can upset a person and if anyone ever shows resentment or regret or any opposition to her, she strategically destroys them. My sister and mother got a long for a few years, as soon as my sister started talking to me, our mother stopped talking to her. She demands that you take her side in all arguments. She is very intelligent, and manipulative and she knows how to twist a story to fit her agenda.

    Is this a narcissist or just a bad parent?

    • Carrie says:

      I do feel for you so much. I am now in my sixties and it took me until a couple of years ago to realise what was wrong with my mother too. I would say from your description, particularly the malicious and manipulative things she does to undermine you and your relationships with others if you don’t do as she considers you should, that she is a fairly typical narcissistic ‘parent’. I too have been paraded for others to admire when in favour, and then vilified and lied about when I have tried to stand up to her, and lately to get her out of my life entirely. She is an old woman now, which of course is her trump card in convincing others what a terrible person I am in trying to distance myself from her and not allow her into my current (happy) relationship. The antics you describe with your ex and your children are not forgiveable, and not the actions of a parent who has got things a bit wrong. Not everyone will be fooled by her (your boss saw through her) and I sincerely hope that the court will too. Keep remembering that there are people like me (many of us) who do know what you are going through and wish you much deserved peace and happiness in the future.

    • Georgia says:

      Oh honey, get a good lawyer! And write everything down that you can rember from your childhood. Every horrible little thing. Oh I feel for you big time. She’s definitely got a personality disorder, and I would assume it’s probably NPD. The goals of the NPD grandmother are always to take the scapegoats children away to harm the scapegoat child. I was both a scapegoat for my NPD mother, and the flying monkey for my NPD grandmother, as well as the scapegoat to her interchangeably. I am so thankful that my husband and I moved when we did, taking the children far away. If we hadn’t I shudder to think of the possibilities. Thankfully I’ve made a good paper trail with both MCFD and a therapist to protect us with. I hope you do the same!

    • Diana says:

      Hi Jennifer,

      It has been awhile since you wrote this, a year almost, and I hope you have made some headway in dealing with this. Firstly with acceptance of the fact that your mother is obviously mentally/emotionally ill, and secondly by taking steps to protect yourself from that. I am responding to your post because I have nearly identical experiences and, just like you, I was/am still having trouble absorbing the fact that none of it was my fault. I have been so conditioned over the years to take the fall, that it is the only truly comfortable place I have in life – and it has destroyed my ability to live normally completely.
      My mother was a single mother, she has been married three times so far, and in one long term relationship which I consider a marriage, every single one of her husbands was an extreme alcoholic, and she had many, many boyfriends all degenerates of one order or another. I can’t tell you how much of my life I spent around men I hated or that hated me, or both. She utterly disregarded my comfort or my opinions when it came to her relationships and inevitably blamed me for ” chasing him away” when it ended. Believe me, I wished I’d had that ability. In fact, my comfort and my opinions were never on her radar at all.
      She was charismatic and warm to me if she needed me to be a stand-in for a friend or a spouse, she shared way, way too much with me about adult life and she left me alone and to fend for myself more than I care to even recall. I shudder to think now, of how little I was when I started taking care of myself. her moods were impossible to gauge, I was constantly terrified of her, and I never quite learned exactly how to be just what she wanted at any given time. She always had very high expectations of me, and she consistently filled my ears with manipulations to make me believe that I was a bad girl, that no one liked me, that people complained to her about me when I wasn’t around, that her family disliked me, that her sisters and brothers thought I was a terrible child and didn’t want to be around me etc. Which I believed for a very long time, causing me to be utterly alienated as a teenager from the adults around me, from my larger family and from authority figures in general. My self esteem was extremely low, and she was again filling my ears with ideas about how fucked up I was, how I obviously needed psychological evaluation, convincing me that I was depressed and mixed up. She would fly off the handle and beat me on occasion, from the time I was quite small, around 6. As a teenager she chased me with a broom, punched me in the face with a fist, and told me no one would care if I killed myself. I moved out at the age of 14 and she seemed to be relieved to be able to skip town, which is exactly what she did, sending me a letter to request that I start collecting welfare because she couldn’t afford to support me anymore. She also called my school to have them send my report card to her so she could keep tabs on my failures. She repeatedly contacted boyfriends during my twenties to have “discussions” with them about my mental emotional issues, depressions and difficult behaviours, commiserating with them about how difficult it is to be around me. She has refused counselling or psychoanalysis, and has never once uttered responsibility for a single episode. How many birthdays, how many christmases, and of course, poetically, my own wedding day have been ruined, never to be recovered. At this point she has gone to war over my choices as a parent, has tried to turn my child against me, and has called social services on me twice. She is currently threatening to sue me for custody. ( I’m sure you can imagine how the irony of it is particularly galling to me, is almost comical in its ridiculousness ) One good thing has come of this. After all the years my own therapist told me she was BPD ( I now realize NPD is a better fit ) and to sever ties as quickly as possible to minimize damage – I never did out of my sense of guilt and my hope for a loving relationship that I still crave so deeply, but I have finally reached the bitter end of my bitter rope and disowned her. Time will tell if I face her in court or not, but if and when I do, she is not going to like what my lawyer tells the judge. I wish you all the love and luck in the world, and to everyone here who feels the way I do, broken and really not understanding why you were chosen to be broken this way. Feeling insane because you are just so shocked by the behaviour of those around you. Take heart. YOU KNOW THE TRUTH.

  14. Julie says:

    For those of you who have narcissistic parents, How did you survive?! My step son’s mother falls under all these symptoms. He sometimes seems like he understands who his mother is and does not want to be like her but when he goes to her house for the weekend, he comes back acting like her!! He tells her how horrible we are as parents and my husband gets text messages about what he tells her. When we comfort him, he says his mother is lying but later admits he plays the game to get on his moms good side. We too have gone to court and she is one of the best liars I have met. I have never spoken to her and she calls me names and tells her children that I am a horrible person.
    How do you survive a narcissistic parent and not become like them? How do you learn right from wrong when some parents teach their children to be manipulative? Some children learn how to behave by watching parents, how do you overcome this?

    • * says:

      I don’t know but maybe it’s important he is made aware of the different types of mechanisms, so that he can become more aware. Perhaps also support him more in his interests and talents, so that he can develop authenticity, favorable talents that aren’t self-absorbed.

  15. Julie says:

    My step son has a mother that fits these descriptions. The worst of all, she is the best manipulator. She manipulated her father against us now that she lives back with him; when for the last 4yrs we were able to get along with him. When my husband and I had just started to date and his ex found out, she tried to run over my husband at his house with the oldest son in her car in the front seat watching everything! Then a couple years ago, her boyfriend called the cops on her before he finally broke up with her. Before she moved out of his house she watered all of his bushes, flowers and lawn with bleach. How does a child over come a parent that is narcissistic when they are manipulated to the point they don’t know how to behave!?! How did any of you survive and turn out normal!!?? I just don’t understand, how does a child NOT become a narcissist? Is there anything their Dad or I can do to help the children!?

    • * says:

      I think maybe one should ask a therapist what the best solution is in such a case. You ask one, not have the kid involved. Just ask to get ideas.

  16. Michelle says:

    Thank you for this great article. I have read both this and Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers website, and feel like a huge weight has been lifted and the burden that has engulfed me for as much of my 35yrs as I can remember has been lifted. The checklist was very befitting of my own mother with only a couple not ‘fitting the bill’.

    Unlike some of the traits I have read, my mother never used emotional pulls to manipulate my brother or I; she is quite a cold, cutting person so “I love you” is something I haven’t heard since she put me to bed aged 4.

    Rather than emotion, she used money as her way of giving (or making herself look like a loving parent) – but spend it as I tell you how to, if you refuse to accept it I will be angry and you are ungrateful, and by the way, you owe me (not money, but anything else she wants. Be it your time or resources, she can demand it when she likes and if you refuse or it doesn’t suit your schedule, you are ungrateful, selfish, “not a nice person”).

    I have been compliant my entire life and from a very early age, always trying to please her. Only this week i realised that with my mum, there is no right or wrong answer for anything: she hasnt decided the answer or formed an opinion until I give mine. And then, hers is the opposite.
    She would mention something (it was never a discussion; she didnt want me to get too above myself and think we were close enough to have conversations!) and then I would remember it the next time I saw her and she would completely deny having said it. “CRAZY MAKING”!!!!

    As a child, I would sit in my bedroom feeling what I could only describe as ‘homesick’, like I didn’t belong. My brother wasn’t born until I was 9 so it was a lonely existence in the home as the only one trying to work out what i had done wrong. I never felt she was to blame, i loved her and strived to make her love me.

    My brother and i are very close, but i remember one time being annoyed with him for something and it was very trivial, but I mentioned it in the car with my mum and her reply was, “he’s not a nice person, I don’t know why you bother with him, just cut him out of your life”. This is her son! And he is a lovely person, a great brother and very well rounded (considering! But he had a loving dad who played a huge part in his childhood after the divorce, so she has had less of an impact on him).

    I only stopped contact with my mother 6 days ago, but I feel different now than I have ever felt and it was always her who was the instigator in cutting contact (on the few occassions i failed to comply) and then returning when it suited her. This time, it is my choice. After some cutting remarks in the car, I told her to stop the car, that it was the last time she would speak to me in that way and that she could contact me when she is capable of treating me with respect. My husband has been my rock & my only regret is that she has destroyed her relationship with her 3yr old grandson (who stopped wanting to spend time with her because of how she speaks).

    Thanks again for your insightful article x

    • Joanie says:

      Michelle,

      I am you, I could have written your comment. Thank you, and yes it is a great article and checklist.

      Joanie

  17. Peter says:

    Me to my mother:
    I bring news of a great achievement to her, she murmurs an “um, really?” then she starts any form of critisism or tells me to do what I hate.
    She constantly tells me how evil members of the opposite sex are and then asks me why I don’t have a girlfriend.
    She tells me how great a mother’s love is and then when I get treated unfairly at work, then she tells me “so get treated unfairly then”.
    She tells me how much she loves me, then decide I should leave the house because me and her boyfriend get into a fight.
    She then tells family members that I just want to play all day so it’s better I live outside (of course she also adds that she obviously did try to have me stay, for the sake of saving face and being branded a “bad mother”)
    She claims that “real men” should be outside all day and basically chases me out of the house (see what I’m getting at here?)
    My dad gets custody of my brother and I, my dad thinking that he was unfair to my mom, decides to give one of us to her, she then claims that he should bear sole responsibility to our upbringing. She pushes all responsibility to my dad, clean and spotless, no flaws.
    And now she expects us to help pay her mortgage, hope she pays all her bills before she croaks. I don’t want to be liable for any of her rubbish.
    She knows she “was” beautiful, but she’s alone and no one loves her except guys who need to have a quick bang and then she remains the slut she always was. Quite surprised my dad still has feelings for her, quite disgusted having this type of mother.

    • Chris says:

      Cut all ties with her as soon as possible. She will be absolutely enraged at first and then try to stalk you, however, you will feel so much better after. And go to a counselor and seek support from people who absolutely believe and side with you. I know from experience. The false guilt will bother you for a while, but standing straight up to her and cutting all communications off will be best for you. Trust me, you will feel better. None of this is your fault, she is mentally ill and anything you say or do will not change her for one second. Just be yourself. She hates herself and that hate transfers to all who are in her path.

  18. Peter says:

    Wow, they’re good, they know where it hurts the most. 15 years of guilt, shame, deceit, lies and oh yes, she is extremely religious. Kinda already having a backup for her crimes and assuming she will obviously be forgiven at the same time already knowing what shit she has done so she really hopes to get forgiven.
    She publicizes her work for god, for the sake of publicizing but her works not carried out from the heart.
    I always thought I wouldn’t be able to survive without her (one of their brainwashing schemes), here I am staying alone, happy as ever.

  19. Gerri says:

    I have a narcissistic mother. I am no contact with her. But as a twist I haven’t read about here yet is the mother who appears to be loving then turns and another demon appears. But unable to use violence as you get older the emotional abuse ,which is hard to see until it’s too late ,is used.So the crazy making of a mother like this is that it’s hard to believe she is a narcissist and that it’s you who are mad. Good web site is Daughtersofnarcissisticmothers. Full of mind blowing and cover blowing of the narcissistic. Good luck to everyone. Don’t forget to look out for the narcissists who will appear in your life due to your programming. Eventually you will start to sniff them out. They are clever but they can’t keep it up. We are all warriors. We are waking up.

  20. tina says:

    I’ve read few of the comments, and I can relate. I have been working on my own recovery just read the book “will I ever be enough” by author Mcbride. Its helped a lot. I’m wondering if anyone is interested in skpying one another or setting up a support network with all of us women who have been so hurt to share experiences and support. We got to heal because we are not like our mothers.

  21. CaliforniaGirl says:

    I found out about this narcissistic mother thing early last year.
    By then I already had no contact to her since 2007.
    The contact before was basically emails and phone calls and two visits since 2001. For most of my life I have seen my mother only to family occasions and never alone. Approximately every three years.

    Since I found out what was wrong with my mother the healing began.
    I don’t think I really believed something was wrong with me, but I could not explain why my mother did what she did.

    I grew up with my mother and my father who was an alcoholic.
    They divorced when I was 12 and it was a relief, my father was physical abusive when drunk. And he was mostly drunk.

    A few months after the divorce my mother met a new man,
    He had his own house and a house was her biggest wish since forever.
    I had to move to the new city only to find out that the new man was also an abusive drinker,he only covered it up better.

    Long story short, me and my sister didn’t want to stay and my mother sended us back to our father.

    I could never understand how a mother can chose a house over her children.
    She also didn’t keep in contact much.
    It was like I was not existing.

    At the age of 13 I ran away from my father and started a ten years long drug addiction.

    I got out of that alive and I have seen a lot.
    But I have never met a person that I find more disgusting than my mother.
    I have only contempt for her.

    It is not good to feel that way about anybody.
    And I have made a lot of progress in the degree of my emotions.
    Not in the general way I feel about my mother.

    I am thinking less of her and less intense.
    Realizing that she is a very sick person and will not change has helped me a lot.

  22. Mechelle says:

    I am so glad to know I am not the only one. My mother has most of these. My fiancé would always try to help me see it, and now I finally do, even without his help. But he has opened my eyes to so much. My mother is very manipulative, she also steals and lies. Every time, every day. When I try to confront her about the things i have proof she has lied about she will quickly deny it. She has 2 favorites. My 11 yr old brother and 15 year old sister. She babies them, even when they do wrong. They steal and lie to us as well (Me and my fiancé), we have told them we knew and gave them true examples, but they will just freeze up for a moment and lie about it any way. We have tried to ask them why but nothing. They all will try eating all the food from me and my fiancé, and when we need some thing they pretend we never asked for it, but when they ask us for some thing, we are quick to try an get it. I am fed up with them. I really don’t know what to do. I’ve been trying to talk to them about it for 2 yrs straight. No one has change. They just keep getting worse. The funny part is: They don’t like my fiancé because he has told me the truth about them. What pisses me off the most is that i have my own mind and body and when i tell them no, or confront them, they start talking crap about me and my fiancé and saying that he is the one who told me to talk to them, or the one that tells me to tell them no. When i admitted to it not being him, because it isn’t. They give me stupid looks and say okay. Me and my fiancé are two honest ppl. We have never lied to them or anyone, but because they all lie so much to one another, they accuse us of lying as well. It’s frustrating. Their is A LOT more. Now the new thing is, income tax time is coming around, and my mom is letting me carry my sinlings on my taxes. (I take care of them either way), I have already told her depending on how much i get back i will give her 1500, but now today she is talking about how she wants more money. No. Not from me. She claims she needs it for the kids and rent, but i’ll do all of that. I won’t give her a single penny. I’ll do it for her. Because everytime we give her money she uses it for horrible reason. Not anymore. If any will be willing to help and listen i will be thankful. Thank you. (:

  23. Sarah says:

    I’ve learned to cope with my narcissistic mother and am mostly indifferent to her. Living in another country certainly helps!
    There are times though when she does something which is just too much, and it taps in a deep well of anger that I have buried deep inside.

    My mother always leached off of my grandmother and never left home. She had no little interest in parental duties and never even did basic things like cooking for the family or housework. It was grandma who cooked, cleaned, woke me up in the morning, got me ready for school, bathed and dressed me when I little, and pretty much everything else. Mum liked to sleep in till 11am, and so I had to be extremely quiet in the mornings when Grandma was getting me ready for school. If I accidentally woke her up she would scream at me in a fury. The evenings were not much better, at the dinner table (meal provided by grandma of course) she always talked over everyone else, and after that spent the entire evening watching TV. I had to remain quiet and still the whole time until I went to bed, as otherwise I would be “interrupting her programs”.
    When I was about 12 she bought me a TV for my room, and I was basically exiled to my room. Grandma suffered the same fate several years before that, and was not welcome in the living room in the evening — even though it was her house.
    As an adult I’m still extremely quiet as my mother instilled in me a fear of speaking. At best I would start a sentence and she would interrupt and talk over me as if I didn’t exist, but usually I would just be told to shut up because nothing I had to say was of any interest to anyone and merely an annoyance.

    • Natasha says:

      I have recently just discovered the term narcissistic mother. It’s great to finally realise what is wrong with my mum and not just something I have conjured up in my mind. I have suffered for 41 years, it’s mainly been silent because know one in my family seemed to care that my mother wasn’t right, it was easy for everyone to say ” she’s got depression, she can’t help it”. I don’t think they ever saw the real side to her. My main memories of my childhood were walking on egg shells all time, I never knew what mood my mum was going to be in. I was always anxious around her. Some days I would come home for my lunch and she’d still be in her dressing gown…she would be cold and angry towards me. Then she’d start crying and saying that she’d be better of dead because no one cared about her, I would feel sorry for her and try to comfort her but she would push me away. Eventually I left home at 16 , I soon realised I still would escape her . She is very good at being pleasant but the moment you drop your guard she will take advantage. She has no shame she’s expected me to look after financially , she’s never really worked because that would be beneath her, if I get anything nice she has to have it too. She never buys me nice gifts, she uses gifts to manipulate me. When I turned 21 she took me shopping and told me she was going to buy me a lovely bangle, when it came to my birthday she just sent me a card. She said she returned the bangle and would buy me something else…that was 21 years ago. She is like jelkel and Hyde and can turn from one to the other just like that. She is emotionally draining, always demanding my attention and wanting to be centre of attention…and look out if it’s me that is centre of attention. This is one thing she can’t stand. When I had my 2nd child I got really sick with heart failure and had to go back to hospital. She told everyone it was nothing, she was suppose to be staying with my husband to help him with our new baby while I was in hospital, but she wouldn’t help instead did nothing and then expected him to take her around town so she could go shopping. He told her she should be visiting me in hospital but she just got angry at him, in the end she threatens to take an overdose of medication. If she gets confronted about her behaviour this is what she does, I’m so glad to finally see I’m not the only one who has experienced this, what I struggle with the most is the guilt.. The feelings of hate I have for her and how guilty I feel for feeling that way

      • Sopia says:

        Wow..i am crying read this because the situation is same to me. First, don’t know the mood the mother was going to be. If the mood was okay, we were fine. Second, use gifts to manipulate us. One day she promised me to buy me a set of textbook because i have my final test that year but next day she told me she will not buy it because I forgot to cook the rice for dinner. I was 17. She promised if I get a good result, she will give me a new shoes but she never did.
        When I was 23, i asked my mother a permission to go my friend’s house in other state. I was allowed but when i involved in the accident, she told my father that she don’t gave the permission to me. She don’t want to getting the blame. While i was in hospital, she insisted my father to take her around the town too, like your mother did.
        When i got my first salary, i took my whole family to a fine restaurant to have nice dinner but the happy occasion turn to hateful one. My mother who taught us about patience, shouted and angry to the waitress because the bad service. I still remember i ate my meal with tears in my eyes. I feel ashamed and burdened. I feel sorry to my father cos I knew he feel ashamed too with my mother behavior.
        Now I am 30, still single and living with my parents. She sometimes asked when i would leave the house. She insisted me to go a date, but sometimes told me nobody would love me, nobody would take me as daughter in laws. How came I would love someone if I never trust my own mother. How could someone love and make me believe he love me too if i never felt love from my mother.

  24. Susan says:

    I feel guilty even now about talking about my mother, but I am so desperate
    that I need to share.everyone thinks my mother is a sweet, little lady of 86 years. What they don’t know is the emotional abuse she has inflicted upon my 90 year old dad for 67 years! Se has belittled him, screamed at him, called him stupid, and anything else to make him feel worthless. He is the sweetest gentleman you could ever meet, and he never talks back or gets angry!
    I am 62 years old and am still trying to please my mother every day in every
    possible way. I have always been expected to call her every day or I am made to feel guilty about worrying her. She lies to avoid taking the blame for the damage
    she is doing to my health. I am the primary caregiver since my dad has been
    ill for 6 years, and I realize that the only thing that is going to save my sanity,
    and prevent a heart attack is to not see her, but I can’t leave my dad vulnerable
    and passive.I have told my mom that she is killing me, and that I need to be well for my daughter’s wedding, since my husband passed away 10 years ago
    from cancer, and this wedding is going to be a very emotional one for my
    daughter and me! My daughter and I have an amazing relationship, and I am
    the complete opposite extreme to my mother in every way! I am afraid to even go to mom and dad’s because the anticipation of an argument throws me into
    a severe panic attack and causes my heart to race and skip beats until I almost
    pass out. I felt that my mom had NPD so I looked it up and she is the classic
    textbook case. It is the lies, yelling at my dad, manipulative behaviour, etc.
    that bother me the most! Why do I still come back for more? I am sure it is because of my dad and also feelings of guilt because she is my mother .

    • Susan2 says:

      I understand the compassion you have for your father and the need to help him. To see such an unhealthy dynamic play out between your parents over your life must have been so difficult. I have watched the same thing and always had feelings of wanting to “save” my Dad even as a child. But lately ( I am 48) I realize that my Dad must have gotten something out of it or he would not have stayed and endured in this relationship.

      So you can still love your Dad and try to help him, but don’t sacrifice your sanity to do it. He made the choice as an adult and of his own free will to be with and stay with your Mom all of these yrs. and you can’t say after all these years he didn’t know what he was dealing with. And he chose to stay anyways

      So bottom line do not beat yourself up. You are a caring daughter and mother, but you don’t deserve abuse from anyone, esp your own mother. Love your dad but accept that he made the choices he made and you can’t protect him and save him at the expense of your own health. And minimize contact with your Mom. You need to take care of yourself.

    • Melanie says:

      YIKES! I read your comment and thought I wote it! Susan 2 is so right. My dad, rest in peace, was a classic enabler. I don’t think he even knew what the term meant. He just did what he had to do to survive. Why a person would put up with that treatment is beyond me but they do.

  25. Carol says:

    It is such a relief to hear other stories similar to mine and know that I am not alone!

  26. Nicole says:

    I have struggled my whole life because of my mother always telling me how worthless I was. I suffer severe depression and anxiety and do not feel like I even belong on this earth. I hate my mother for what she did to me, I cut off all contact with her about a year ago because I refuse to put myself through any more of her abuse. She thrives on my misery and wants nothing good for me. It has been hard to break away and believe that I am ok, I have been programmed to believe otherwise. Everybody else in my family believes she is just the sweetest person on earth and it makes me sick. She plays the victim all the time, like she has never done anything wrong. I have tried many failed attempts to discuss things with her but she only yells at me and says she wont listen to such nonsense. Thats why I finally said enough, I am only torturing myself. I have started therapy and I feel like the therapist dont even believe my stories, as if I am exaggerating or making things up. I cant find support anywhere. I am relieved to know there are other victims out there and that I am really not alone. Thanks for all your posts.

    • Taylor says:

      Dear Nicole, I encourage you to find a therapist that knows a lot about narcissistic personality disorder. Seeing a therapist who knows nothing about this is not going to help you heal as you should.
      Also, I highly recommend finding ACA meetings in your area (ACA is Adult Children of Alcoholics) though it is not just alcoholics, but adult children who come from dysfunctional homes.
      There is a lot of healing in those rooms. You will be among people who are in pain and are taking care of themselves for the first time in their lives. Age range from 20 to 80 yr. olds. Amazing stuff.
      Step One I love: “came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity’

      Blessings to you and all of us.
      It’s a painful journey. I’m only in the beginning of finally putting a name to my mothers twisted, odd ways of abusing me. I’ve never been able to put my finger on it. I am grateful for the awakening. Beautiful things are yet to come. We are NOT their story. We are our own person. We must work on ourselves and KEEP THE FOCUS ON OURSELVES (not them) peace and love to all of us

  27. Mary says:

    I always knew there was something wrong with my mother. I never realized there was a name for the way she has always treated me. I am so thankful I am not alone in this!

  28. Susan says:

    This better helped me to understand what my 10-year old stepdaughter goes through with her biological mother. I have seen too many things that have directed me to truly believe her mother is a narcissist. There are times I will see those same traits in my stepdaughter, and it makes me want to pull away from her. But from what I have read in other articles/books, she will need the love of her father and me, or she could repeat her mother’s pattern in her life. It’s terrible to think that a mother could be so cruel and unloving to a child, I hope as my stepdaughter gets older, she realizes that it’s just that her mother is incapable of loving her the way a mother should, and is no fault of her own.

  29. Laurie says:

    Hi Susan,

    I stopped talking to my mother almost 5 years ago. It was very difficult on the beginning but now each day is a breath of fresh air. Please email me whenever you like!

    Laurie.lenahan@gmail.com

  30. In the Midst says:

    This is my mother. After 23 years I have finally moved out. It was an ugly experience because “I was betraying her!” and left with her screaming. In all actuality, it was the best thing I have ever done for myself; I was suffocating. However, now once I moved out she has been overly nice to me. I am taking it with a grain of salt. Because now I am engaged, and she is sending me “wedding ideas “. I appreciate the ideas; however, I feel like if she gets majorly involved that she will just turn into a motherzilla.

  31. Sharon says:

    Thank you for this post, about a narcissist mother. I never knew what was going on in her head that was geared toward me. I knew from a young child that I wasn’t loved or cared for. So I started running away at age 6. My sisters were and are Still her favorite. No matter what I do is enough and matter how I try to help its Never good enough. She tries to make me neglect everything and everyone else I love and put her first about even God! There’s no way! This behavior will continue in my life because I refuse to entertain it and I found out ways to get around her demand and demeaning behavior towards me. I guess you can’t miss what you’ve Never had. Is my motto…. A mother and one that Loves you for who you are and not what you can do for them. This poison ends with me. It will not take root in my heart and cause me to change how I care and Love my children and grandchildren nor others including her. She’s beating a dead horse! I pray for her maybe not enough. Now I realize that we may need counseling. God can mend broken hearts.

  32. Liz says:

    Thank you for writing this. Thank you for posting up the increasingly “yup! Uh-huh! Check mark on that one!” list of traits. I hope that this page, if people looking for it find it helps others who are also realizing that “It’s not me- it’s her” and are finally cluing in on the lifetime blitzkrieg of emotional torture that is being the child of a narcissistic parent.

  33. Helen says:

    Describes my mother to a point. She sabotages me whenever I try and get my education together, she wants me to get a better paying job to help her with her debt and she looks at everyone else to do it. She doesn’t want to look at the way in which her own bad planning led her to this mess. I’ve had enough of her and this crazy ride, as soon as I can I’ll be getting myself back into counselling for the 3rd time over her. I’ve realised that she’ll side with abusive personalities because that is what she is herself. She cares more about the man in her life than the welfare of her children. I’m going no contact so that she leaves me alone and stops destroying my life.

  34. Mango says:

    Hi

    Is it possible for someone to have some traits but not all. The problem I have with labelling people narcisstic, borderline etc. is that all the characteristics are listed as though we’re discussing a cartoon character like Cruella De Ville, when in fact, people are much more complex beings, and a horrible bitch one minute can actually act very kindly and lovingly the next. I feel my mother has narcisstic traits with a splash of borderline personality disorder at times, they get worse when crisis is in her life, when someone dies or she is struggling with her demons. However, she is not simply just that nor does she do a lot of what is described above, she has always given us stuff and nevber stolen from her children at all, she has given a lot down the years. So I can’t simply just say “Yes, that’s her, the old cow, dam her!”, if only it were that simple.

    Maybe she is a milder case of this. But people are so much more than the sum of their parts and I wish that more discussion was out there about dealing with these narcisstic sides of people and borderline personality traits etc, without walking away from the person, sometimes it’s not the answer when you love the person.

    • Lynne says:

      Perhaps she does have a milder case of narcissism. It comes in varying degrees from mild to malignant.

      If your mother is not physically, verbally, or emotionally abusive, perhaps you can stay. If she doesn’t attempt, successfully, to ruin or run your life, cause strife between you and your family members, or conduct smear campaigns against you, the degree of her personality disorder may not be bad and can be dealt with or tolerated. It’s not all about financial or material stealing or rewarding – not even close.

      BTW – A true, full-blown narcissitic mother IS Cruella De Ville on steroids. The Disney film runs a little over an hour. The narcissistic mother is for life.

      • Sarah B says:

        Hi Mango,
        I think I can relate to what you are saying. I recently figured out that there is a name for the reason my mom acts as she does. When I look at the list if traits there are some I can say my mom never did; she is a wonderful gift giver, for instance, she looked after me when I was a kid, didn’t pass me off to others, protected me & believed me when I told her a family friend was being inappropriate with me, etc. I watched her take loving care of her parents, my grandparents. She appeared to be capable of empathy and even love. But as I got older, any tiny move towards independence or seperation from her (physical or emotional) was met with what I always felt to be a withdrawal of her love for me. So I learned pretty quickly to do and say what I knew she would like and approve of. I loved her so much and desperately wanted her approval (I see now how I have been seeking approval from others my whole life, as well as getting a feeling of shame with even the slightest disapproval. Now it’s so clear to me where this originated. My mom sees me (still, I’m in my 40s with a beautiful marriage & kids of my own) as an extension of her & for a long time things between us were (sort of) “good” but as soon as I disagreed with her, down came the subtle criticism, always couched in concern & love for me. Recently I denied her something she wanted and she just blew up, which caused me to finally really see her as she is, not simply someone with some minor flaws, but someone with a whole level of manipulation that I was largely unable to see, although looking back on my old journals I can see how I struggled all my life to make sense of why I felt so sad and worthless if I was “so loved” and came from “such a good loving family” (she said these things all the time, trying to convince me against my instincts that the great love was CONDITIONAL, so it’s just not the same feeling of being truly actually SEEN and truly loved for who you are, not what you do or how you behave. Like many here, since I’ve “taken a break” from my mom and all of her blame, denial, criticism, demands (“Susan tells me her daughter has lunch with her every week!”) my life has opened up do miraculously and I’ve begun to let go of many if the things about myself that have held me back from being my very best self. I found a quote once that said if you have to choose between being loved and being yourself, that’s not love. My mom may not have all of the traits listed above, but she has enough of them that I can see where it has negatively effected me. I’m done feeling like I have to choose. I choose me. Blessings and love to all here on your journeys.

    • Ali says:

      Narcissism is a disorder, you either have it or you don’t. There are personality traits you can have that narcissists also have, but there are no varying degrees of narcissism. It is or it isn’t. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder

      • Ali says:

        What I mean to say is, sometimes people are just a**holes without a “disorder” to blame it on. Some people are just bad parents.

  35. GuitarSong says:

    Mango, I have some agreement with you. My mother does not fit a caricature Narcissistic Mother Cruella de Ville as you say – or fulfill all the criteria – which makes it all the more confusing for me. She was not sadistic or particularly nasty when I was growing up. She just was uninvolved, didn’t really bother with me, and left it to other caretakers e.g. childminders to do the work. Even when she was there “physically” she wasn’t there “emotionally”.

    In a way, she couldn’t wait to get rid of me, which she did very quickly once I got to adolescence. But after this and during the following decades we did keep up a relationship of sorts (though mostly she couldn’t be bothered with me then, and was completely uninterested in where I lived or worked, what I studied, who I went out with etc). But that’s when the narcissistic rages came more to the fore, including against other people. Some of them felt devastating to me. Some of them were so disgusting I decided not to contact her, but she usually wiggled her way back. Her pure selfishness was also revealed, her paranoia, her lack of reality, her negativity and her cynicism. Her refusal to support me, even when it cost her nothing. She could not take any reasoned criticism. I finally saw there was a mask in operation – the real feelings of a real human being were out of reach for most of the time.

    However, I was not battered or abused or belittled as a child. Just ignored really. But I still consider her to have very strong N traits, and can also have a very negative effect. I definitely have an “orphan complex”, I definitely found it hard to have relationships and trust.

  36. Lynne says:

    I’m 60 years old and had the “all points” narcissistic mother to the extreme. She made me the family scapegoat by the time I was 4 years old. It began, in my memory, when she blamed me for her miscarriage. Yes, I was four years old, had no idea what she was talking about, but knew I didn’t “kill her baby”. The punishment, for my “sin” was brutal. Physical abuse was the norm for anything from “dusting the white keys on the piano before the black” to accidentally knocking over a plastic salt shaker on a plastic table cloth. I wasn’t allowed to go outside, or have anyone near me, when I had “The Welts”. I thought I was sick. I was in enough pain. I had an Enabling father and a golden child brother – 2 years older than I. They were enlisted into her army of sadistic bullies. The Golden Child held a knife at my throat, in front of Nmother, because she was playing the “pit-one-against-the-other” game. No problem. It was ignored or rather denied.

    Yes, she could turn the tables and present a personality that was sweet and charming at will. This “person” came out in public (who IS this?) OR when she wanted something from me. I was willing to meet her request when she was this “person”. She was acting as a normal individual would and I was willing to engage hoping she would see that I was not a bad person. No such luck. She had what she wanted from me and not only did she return to her real self but deny that I ever did anything for her, tell people I was a liar, and they should/would shun me (isolation of a victim is another hallmark). This was all being done behind I back.

    Her smear campaign of me was going on for decades before I finally figured it out. By that time, I had no one to turn to because I had no family or friends left. She, and her gang of bullies, saw to that. No one would believe that the “sweet, perfect woman” they knew could ever be capable of doing to me what I said she did. So, according to them, SHE was right!

    The emotional and verbal abuse was all there, too. “You’re nothing! You’re nobody!” “You’re stupid”, “Shut Up, You!”Were phrases I heard each and every day when I tried to speak. I had no voice. It wasn’t allowed. (I’m still working on that today) Public humiliation, in the form of out-and-out lies was the norm. It was 3 against 1 and they enjoyed it far too much.

    I believe as abused children, we longed for those moments of normalcy with our mother and gave in to have them. But, it was all about her. I never received any love, help, empathy or sympathy back – Ever.

    Walking away and going No Contact was the only option left to me. I was an adult, 46 years old, married with children, and she commanded the Enabler to attack me for “walking down the stairs too loudly”. He dislocated my shoulder. She looked on with that smirk. Of course, no one was there to see it, so it was deniable – as usual.

    For some, or most of us, going No Contact is the only avenue open for survival of body and mind.

    Most of us have lived a lifetime waiting for our narcissistic mothers to love or even respect us. It doesn’t happen. We try to be “good daughters” as we are expected to be by them and society. But, where’s the accountability/ expectation for being a “good mother”? Society has stacked the cards in their favor. Ever buy a card on Mother’s Day that describes YOUR mother? I couldn’t. “Mothers” don’t have narcissism; they’re not sociopaths, and they’re never evil, manipulative, pathological liars, scheming, vindictive, and victimize children. That’s for other people. That is what society has ingrained in us.

    Narcissistic mothers hide behind that built-in, well-accepted stereotype. Their public persona is a well-practiced manipulation of others perception. They know it. They know EXACTLY what they are doing. But, more importantly – WE know it.

    • Alison says:

      You are so very lucky to be alive when it’s that severe. There are Nmother children living in homes where some helpless baby is kept starving in a closet in their own excrement while the family live seemingly normal lives around them. This is a psychological phenomenon that takes a group mind dysfunction to enable and usually has a downward spiral in early childhood, especially in larger broods. Or children who are fobbed off on relations who don’t want them, and keep them locked down in squalor. It’s a bizarre psychology to observe but it’s passed on, because I had to fight my own early instinct to emotionally disconnect with my beloved daughter tooth and nail so that I could love her as much as I do now.

  37. Greg says:

    I wonder why I had to be the dumbass that married one. Everything is spot on. I just love my kids to death and hope they can get through the constant garbage. These people can’t love anyone otherthan themselves and verbally abuse and threaten to get there way. It’s nuts and hard to explain to anybody that has never experienced this. They have no problem throwing there kid under the bus….it is just terrible. Zero empathy! I’m divorced now and I pray everyday that Life will get better for myself and for my kids. I also pray for her that she will someday see her ways and get help.

    • Lynne says:

      So sorry to hear you fell into the trap of a narcissist. You aren’t a “dumbass” – not even close – because you realized what she was about and stepped up to save your children from ongoing abuse. I highly respect you for that. Most husbands would comply with her wishes to “keep the peace”. You, on the other hand, saw through her (behind closed doors, I’m sure), and took action. Well Done!

      As far as hoping she gets help: It shows your humanity, empathy and sympathy. However, there is no hope for narcissists or sociopaths in therapy. It’s just another game where they will use their well-practiced performance to be believed and win over the therapist. Sad really. A doctor may put them on meds to somewhat control anxiety and/or depression. But, that’s about it. The core of the problem stays unaffected.

      Best of Luck and All Good Wishes to You and your Children

    • Heart broken says:

      I am so glad to hear that you left her. I am an only child of a N Mom and she treated my dad horribly all of my life. We just buried him a few weeks ago. I have seen so much mental abuse in my life it’s astounding to me. Because there are not any other siblings to go after I am a constant target. After much counseling I have moved far away from her but did have to go home to take care of her for my fathers death and burial. I did this out of respect for my father. Even though I still talk to my mother over the phone quite often she has much less of an impact on me. Being at home for such a stretch of time was however unbelievably miserable. I am pretty much still suicidal over it even though I’ve been home for about three weeks now. Side note – please don’t worry, I will be fine. This is a natural cycle of my life. She continues to call me daily and I invite her to stay with us because my father ingrained it in me to be her scapegoat and caretaker, she won’t. She is “too afraid” of me. Ugh. I do not know where she comes up with this stuff. While I was at her house, taking care of her and the funeral arrangements on two separate occasions she threw things at me. That’s the mild stuff. The words were much worse. While she doesn’t fit all of the criteria on the list she fits most. This is not an existence I would wish on anyone. I once told my father that I was really worried I would turn out like her and I thought I should let my ex raise my kids. You know what he said? Give them to the ex. That was it. He never crossed my mother but I expect he knew how awful she was and how jealous she has always been of our (my father and mine) relationship. It’s sickening. Heartbreaking. I do know that I do my best every day to not be like her so hopefully I’m doing good by my children. I think I just have a general fear of mothers because I love my kids to the moon and back and could not imagine my life without them.

      So Greg, please know you’ve done the right thing but do more. Try. Anyway you can to get less visitation for her. It’s crucially detrimental. I seriously would not wish this on Satan himself. Take care of your babies, they deserve a knight in shining armor!

      Good luck!

    • Gary says:

      Greg, I married a narcissist also. Been divorced since 2007 but my concern (like yourself) are for my 2 kids who are now 21 and 23. Mainly my son because he is in denial, although he knows there is a problem but maybe he thinks it’s gonna get better. I’ve known about her narcissistic tendencies before the divorce and was (still am) terrified for my kids. Greg, it might help both of us if we connect by email since our situations are so much alike. Mine is garypiona@att.net. Feel free to contact me. Thanks.

  38. jos j says:

    OMG,
    My sister and I read this back earlier last year. So much of it explains our life with our mom. I am 45 and have really struggled the last 7 years as to how I move forward. I have so much guilt for not wanting to be too close to our mother that it eats me up at times. I got married 7 years ago to my second wife and she pointed all this out right away. We have struggled with how it impacts me from day one. I was married in my 20’S and my mother called us so much and at such crazy times it caused constant problems with my first wife.
    My sister and I have never got along much and after reading this we have been able to sit and figure out that our mom was constantly interfering with our relationship. My sister was always the good one and I was the scapegoat. She pit us against eachother and we never realized how or when. Last year our roles reversed and we were able to see the pattern all because of this article. My mom and I had a blow out over my sisters divorce on my birthday because I stuck up for my sister. She immediately tried to turn me against her. I caught her in the middle of her game and I am not sure I would have seen it coming if we had not found this article and continued our research. I come back to this and read it again every time my mother tries or does pull me back into her web. So Thank you for writing and publishing this.

    • Natasha says:

      I can totally understand how you feel guilty, I have had times when I don’t speak to my mother and then I have to deal with the disapproval from the rest of my family. My dad is the enabler he keeps quite because then he’s not in the spot light, my grandmother is the same. She tells me that ” it’s just the way your mother is, it’s tragic but she’s still your mother and you should still love her no matter what…after all she has a heart of gold! I think she has no heart at all, however my family treat me like I am the cold hearted one. I do yearn for her love, especially when she is being nice to me but I am wary and no that it’s not genuine and won’t last long. My sister is the golden child, I’ve always known this although she thinks mum is mad she never argues with her and just goes silent when I complain to her about her unfair treatment of me. I’m going back to my home town next weekend to celebrate my grandparents 65 wedding anniversary I really would like to tell my mother what I have found on this website but I no that she wouldn’t take it very well. I have found everyone’s comments to be a mirror of my own experiences and I feel so blessed to now no that it’s not just me… I have always doubted myself since my mum told me at age 12 I was mental and needed to be taken to a psychologist.

    • Meli says:

      Jos, I can really relate to this, but it’s taken my husband a lot longer to see my mother for who she is. So, it’s great that your wife can be there to support you. My husband has finally seen the light – it’s really strange how these N people manage to fool so many people. I often wonder though if it’s just people’s way of keeping peace.

      Anyway, I haven’t spoken to my mother for nearly 2 months now, and although I have that strange guilt feeling that I am trying to work through, I have to admit, I have more outward peace. I am waiting for the inner peace now.

      There’s no drama, and it’s really comfortable. I just have to get rid of the guilt, but I suspect it’s about accepting that they will just never change. I know that part of my problem is that I keep hoping she will. Hoping is not acceptance.

      I heard a nice saying the other day. You might not resolve it with the person, but you can find a solution for yourself. I’m trying to let go of the hope, and move to acceptance so I can minimise this guilt! Good luck on your journey.

  39. skimp says:

    I am currently going into “no contact” mode with my narcissistic mother. It was a long and miserable road before i realised what was going on. I left an abusive relationship with two young children and started my life again. Began studying nursing. My mother and other family members offeted support in the form of childcare…i had formal arrangements in place too so didnt rely on family too heavily. Anyway, she let me down on two separate occasions spectacularly….went back on her offer to help at crucial times during my study. She hasnt spoken to me now for 8 weeks and there was no argument, nothing. She simply says to peoole she is scared of me. Wonder why? Because she sabotaged my career? .

    I had to quit the course because, as everyone knew, it was not possible without family support.

    I took time and realised i was angry at myself for believing my mother wpuld help. Walked right into her trap. She would never help, only sabotage anything i tried to do. And them the floodgates opened and all the suppressed moments from childhood came flooding back.

    Being sent to school in filthy underwear, but the jumpers were always clean. My room piled high with dirty clothes, i was only 5-9 years old.

    Learning to cook and use washing machine before i shoild have needed to

    Being exploited when i left school and got a job. Majority of my wages were taken as rent (she said it was for my own good amd was being put away for when i went to uni)

    I was offered a place to study journalism at a prestigious uni…i wasnt allowed to go. Apparently i spent too much time out having fun and wasting my money and why should she or my dad (who worked offshore) pay my way if i wasnt prepared to save more…never did see the money she took off me again.

    I met a guy. He was bad news. But didnt realise at the time. Spent one night at his. I was 18. The next day my belongings were delivered in bin bags alongside rubbish and dumped on his parents doorstep. I was never allowed back home. Ended up renting a place with him and 10 years later i had two kids and was subjected to years of physical and emotional abuse from him. I never left because i had literally nothing without him. Until my kids came along. Then i ran and never looked back. They werent going to go through that life. Once the drama was there so was my mum…she liked it when i was in turmoil and fed off everything i was gping through.

    When things settled she disappeared. Hardly saw her. She never showed on days off or came to see her grandchildren unless it was bed time because that was the time of day she had nothing else better to do. There was never any effort to be useful or fit.around other peoples schedules. She would keep the children up late and i felt i should let her…how else would the kids see her?

    Im 30 now and throughout my life there was never a cuddle, no affection, no luching or shopping or doing anything together. She was totally absemt emotionally.

    I confronted her amd she made a lot of excuses, like i did my best it was never good enough for you, i just dont know what you want from me you are so demanding, your father and i should be enjoying our lives together now (implying my existence and small reliance on them is a hinderance).
    She has been an ignoring mother all my life amd has gaslighted, lied and manipulated other family members to the extent that i feel totally alone. Im close to a breakdown now.amd have ordered the book and am considering moving. I feel bad for my kods. They have no contact with their father or his family, and if i move them theynwont ha e the scraps of attention my family offer. But i dont wamt them growing up knowing the misery i have. Id prefer them to think theyre geographically unavailable rather than uninterested.

    I often wonder if it is me. Am i the one with the problem? But i do care about other peoples feelings so i cant be the narcissist in the family.
    All i know is ive just realised the truth amd have a long way to go before i can heal. No contact is the only way. She has avoided me anyway since i asked her why she was so cruel to me. Made out one last time i was the damaged one :(

  40. skimp says:

    I would like to add that my early childhood well, i cant remember much of it. It was miserable. I wasnt allowed friends. No one was allowed to visit my home. No sleepovers. Never had a birthday party. The first friemd to see inside my house was one who invited herself when i was 15. And she was accused of stealing cigarettes. She didnt smoke. My brother and i fought like cat and dog. He was never in the wrong it was always me. I never had a leg to stand on. From very ypung he realised he was favoured over me and would get away with anything just by pointing a finger at me. I wasnt allowed to see my grandparents for years and was told they favoured my cousins over me and i wasnt seeing them because they didnt love me the same. Ultimately i was like a little prisoner until my teens. And then i wasnt able to do anything because i was dirt poor because all my wages were taken away.

  41. Michael says:

    Gosh, this is confusing – out of the blue, 2 years ago, my brother suggested that my wife might have NPD.

    After truly alarming research, I started coming out of the fog of self-reproachment and doubt I’d been stumbling about in for years – I agreed that, if my wife did not have NPD, she was a long way down the road to it. Then, independently, her family suggested the same thing, it all made sense …… except for the kids:

    I see her narcissistic behaviour clearly in her aggressive bullying, the utterly cruel depths she will go to in barbed words and deeds, blatant lying, the compartmentalization of people in her circle to maintain falsehoods, the deniability of everything, never being wrong about anything, physical abuse, being enraged by criticism and on and on …… but when it comes to the kids, 2 step-children for me and a younger one of ours, I can only describe her as a loving and caring mother. Yes, there are slight shades of ‘golden child & scapegoat’, she can be domineering and demanding of them at times – there’s also a lot of love and affection and sacrifice so they get a great education.

    If being an atrocious mother is a defining hallmark of NPD – It leaves me not knowing where I am again. She has always had a very high income and has the kids – I’m on the cusp of divorce, fearing her wrath & for my beautiful little daughter.

    How is it possible for her to be so uncomprehendingly cruel and to be a good Mum?

  42. GKC says:

    I am the 55-year-old daughter of a narcissistic mother. She has ruined my life as I have severe bipolar disorder and battled alcoholism, eating problems and fear of intimacy. I truly feel that I have been severely scapegoated by my pathologically angry father who died last year and a deceitful sister who is the ‘golden child’ and co-dependent. After years of covert emotional and psychological abuse I changed my phone numbers last year and am determined to have no further contact. She is a classic narcissistic abuser who was critical of me throughout my entire childhood and was an immature parent with a specialism in ‘screaming and smacking’ on a very inconsistent basis – then engulfing me with her ‘love’. She has caused irreparable damage and always plays the victim and the martyr. I feel I have been trying for my entire life to win my Father’s and her approval only to be put down and exploited when it suited them. She is a dangerous liar and the only good to come out of this is that I will never see her again. God forgive me but I fucking hate her for what she has done & the pathetic ‘poor me’ victim she has played within the family- pitting me against my younger sister & ringing around the family and friends of mine she barely knows crying and playing the victim. My mother has a favourite song…it goes ‘Me me me me me me …’ My therapist says she is a ‘total destroyer’ – my sister has bulimia and married a jerk. My whole life my father goaded me and put me down. I am at least grateful not to have had children of my own – sad though I am about it at at times – because I would never forgive myself if I had passed down this awful parenting. Imam praying to forgive her but right now I hate her. GKC

  43. Kassel says:

    What is it with all these mothers specifically. I wonder whether the act of childbirth makes their latent idiocy worse. At any rate it seems to feed the entitled-to-treat-everybody-like-crap syndrome.
    I’m not generally one to categorize but I am glad there is a name for this and the proliferation of material on the internet in the last few years has made it all easier to break down and deal with. If you can get to the stage where you can suspend emotion and know she is playing games the whole time and NOT give a rap about it whatsoever, you are at least 90% healed believe me.
    I live a way away from my mother, do not visit or offer to help her and keep contact brief and not-got-time-to-mess-about. She knows I don’t give a sh*t and moreover will not take any sh*t. She loves to play games with cards, and always complains about the ones I give her, so I sent her one for Mother’s Day which had printed inside it “I hope you have the Mother’s Day you DESERVE” HO HO HO! I figure that if she wants to complain (and she will regardless) that I might as well give her a damn good reason once in a while!!
    I am 40 now and don’t have the need anymore to talk to her about my problems, plans for the future, relationships or otherwise. She is only interested in tittle tattle, what someone did on TV (which I don’t watch), and who did what to whom in the family…her intellect is severely limited so she is incapable of appreciating the creative work I do and I might as well talk to the wall. But like I said I appreciate there is nothing worth working with as regards our relationship and I won’t waste time. I am civil in an insincere and backhanded way to her myself now, but she knows there is no love there.
    The general stance I have been adopting of late has also been helpful in other areas of life where certain suspect persons needed to be
    “weeded out”. I have made it abundantly clear what I will and will not put up with – not directly to them, just mentioned in general conversation. The fakers are obviously embarrassed by their two faced behaviour towards me and have retreated. I am not running after them I have to say!!!!! Gone are the days of bending over backwards to make relationships work!
    I am just very glad that I do not have my own kids, otherwise my mother would probably seek to influence them too. Nothing my dad or I did was ever good enough for her and she spent most of her time wishing we were someone else. Still she would probably have done that regardless of who we had been. It’s important to realize that these people are fundamentally unhappy. All the more reason to work on being really content with and secure in yourself and do the stuff you enjoy in life.
    I console myself with the fact that she will have to die at some stage and whenever I think of her, try to speed the process along by saying “die, die, die”. I had a revelation that she would die from lack of love and if the realization that she is unloved can sap her energy, then so much the better. Because narcissists really do feel the lack of love much more than most. She knows I don’t give a sh*t anymore and although part of that is probably what she always wanted, another part of her is disturbed and knows it’s not right ….ha! I just view everything that comes out of her mouth as garbage and am glad I don’t have to put up with it on a regular basis. I have previously been told I am too nice and honest with people but frankly there is some advantage in being a bit meaner.

  44. Lauren says:

    19 out of 21 of those signs, pretty much sums up my mom. She always has the spotlight, and when I have one thing I have to say, I am taking all the attention all the time. She always pulls the “what if you were me” card. As if her life is so hard. She doesn’t realize and emotional damage she has done to me since she divorced my dad quickly moved onto my step dad. This year I have been not doing so well grade wise because of all the family issues and bullying issues. She has put her problems and my problems on me. Its my fault for everything. And I really don’t know what to do. Move on with the rest of my life without her?

    • Jessica Toering says:

      Oh hunny, I hope you have at least just 1 friend who can be there for you. Kids just don’t realize some of us are alone and the stuff at home latches on you and I honestly believe that it makes you an easy target. my name and email is shown you can always email me and talk if you ever need someone to listen and understand.

    • * says:

      I’d focus on creating spaces were you can fully retreat and recuperate. Also think a little about the future and in which direction you would like to go, focus on being able to support yourself and strengthen yourself. As a guideance.

  45. jamie says:

    I am 59 years old and I have come to realize over the six years since my father died just how selfish, arrogant and determined to have her way that my mother actually is. Yes, she isn’t a full-blown narcissist as I have come to read those traits. But in reading over some of the literature about narcissism and having some incredible ‘aha’ moments. I always wondered why and I never could understand certain things about my childhood. I grew up feeling like I wasn’t loved. Us kids had a lot of activities after school and would need to be picked up by my mother afterwards. I remembering waiting and waiting and waiting for her to come, way past when all the other kids had left, standing in the dark by the side of the locked church and thinking, she’s not coming. She’s left me here. It happened time after time after time. I will never forget that feeling. So much so that when I had my daughter and would need to pick her up at the babysitter after work, I was practically neurotically obsessively on time because I didn’t want her to think I didn’t love her. My mother never apologized. She was very strict and I grew up hearing ‘no’ to everything I wanted to do. So much so that I had trouble saying ‘no’ to my daughter, until I realized I had to set some boundaries and that saying ‘yes’ all the time would not work. When people commented on what a lovely family we were, I felt like they didn’t know what went on behind closed doors. My father was definitely the enabler. My mother was the best thing since sliced bread to him and we all we told over and over how wonderful she was. We would have to give three cheers after dinner to thank her for preparing it. We were told over and over how great my mother was. I believed it and wanted to be just like her. My mother controlled the house and my father was the weak one. She put him down (his family was full of depressives and she frequently made derogatory remarks about the “XXXX family” (my father’s last name). She always got her way. There was no argument, no discussion. That was it. She has no relationship with her sister. From the little information I have gleaned about her childhood, she was the golden child of the two girls in her family. To my mother, appearance is more important than feelings. She sat us four kids down before my father’s memorial service and reminded us that we had “guests” and were to act accordingly. I could never understand feeling competitive with other women; recently, I realized how when my mother dresses up for an occasion, or buys something new, she makes an appearance and waits for me to compliment her, then asks for more compliments. If I do the same, she doesn’t say anything.

    I recently went on vacation with my mother for ten days to a warm place in the winter. She goes there for a month every year. She has invited me and my one brother every year (my other brother lives overseas). She has NEVER in the past 15 or 20 years that she has been going there, EVER invited my sister. I feel so guilty every year. At the last vacation, I tried speaking to her about us spending time together shopping (she wanted to go at a certain time and I asked to go an hour later) and she refused to discuss it and happily went by herself at the time she wanted to go. She seems to not care about what I might want. I have started voicing my desires, carefully and respectfully. She ignores what I say and doesn’t respond. I was so turned off after the vacation this year that I didn’t want to speak to my mother for awhile. I usually call her once a week (we live in different states). I haven’t reached out since February. She hasn’t called me. I was depressed last September and she knew it. I didn’t call her and she didn’t call me for an entire month. When I confronted her about it, we had words and she hung up on me. When I tell her something about plans I have, she responds by telling me plans of her own. If I tell her something of an emotional nature, she changes the subject.

    I am slowly coming to terms about my mother. Gradually over the past six years, I have begun to see her much differently since my father died. I don’t know where my recognition has come from. It is hurtful to think she doesn’t really care about me at all. I kept trying and trying and trying to connect emotionally with her all these years and IT WAS A SETUP. I was setting myself up for disappointment after disappointment. I think I’m still in the grieving stage honestly. I don’t know what to do yet. I feel sad. But I feel FREE too. That feels really liberating. Giving myself permission to live my life and not contact her just now. I just don’t feel like it. I think she fits the ignoring mother type and frankly it isn’t hard to not contact her because she does not reach out.

    In a family of four kids, my sister is a year older, and my two brothers are two and four years younger than me. I was the golden child and my sister was the scapegoat. She could never do anything right. I was the one who made friends, got good grades, was the pretty one. It was all so untrue of my sister and I FELT SO GUILTY MY WHOLE LIFE. In college, my sister would introduce me to her friends and say isn’t my sister pretty? I have always been leery and had uncomfortable feelings about somebody envying me. My sister cut contact with my entire family years ago. After her second marriage, she gradually made her way back. She and I are close and I love her and value her friendship and am grateful that she is in my life.

    It has been really helpful to read all of your stories. Thank you for sharing them. I feel like I am waking up slowing and understanding so much right now.

  46. Jessica Toering says:

    Every person here, Thank You. I truly can not put into words the amount of overwhelming emotions I have right now. My entire life I have felt like no matter what, I am in the end the reason for everything. I either ‘ pushed buttons’ had a ‘ high and mighty attitude’ ‘ snotty attitude’ ‘ lier’ ‘ stirred the pot’ ‘ cause trouble everywhere I go’ etc… My husband has been a God sent from heaven and has done everything in his power to convince me it is my family and not me, but deep down, I still rationalized it that there were 3 ( mom, dad and brother) of them saying agreeing its me so I must be the stuck up ‘ bitch’ they say. My mother was a violent abusive drunk and started the” flying lessons” with me the night before my 1st day of kindergarten and my dad allowed it. It went on for years ( 22) but the emotional and verbal – to this day. She gets bored and attacks by public sites with vicious lies twisting and turning truth and events, I believe she drank so heavily she has destroyed her body her mobility is VERY limited but this is her new ” feel sorry for me” trick. She will purposely fall, cry out in pain at just sitting, urinate or pass bowel in her pants if I don’t feed into her gossip about people on our way to a store and I have to clean her up. Its just insane and the lies!!! At the age of 63, she is worse than the Jr high girls! I can’t wait to get away from her when I’m forced to be around her, I will ignore her calls, I have become a lier to make excuses to avoid her. My kids refuse to spend time with her or my father anymore and I feel awful because I agree with them but I am looking out for my kids, that is my #1 job and they are more important. She told me yesterday I am” dead to her and may God have mercy on my soul” and as cruel as I will appear, I am RELIEVED!! However I do want to tell my father I see him as a coward for not protecting me. Is that wrong? Did any of you have a chance to vent or get it out ?

  47. Chloe says:

    This is my mother to a ‘T’, nobody believes me except my sister and brother who have also dealt with her wrath, she had to control everything if she didn’t like something I did I would sit through a 4 hour long intervention where she was the only one who would speak and the only way for it to be over was by giving in and telling her id do exactly what she wants. She went to 5 or 6 different doctors until one of them finally agreed with her and diagnosed her with fibromyalgia, all so she could use it as a reason to be waited on hand and foot all she had to say was I’m having a bad day I need this this and this done etc if I were ever sick with a bad flu, and once bitten by a spider she seriously couldn’t care less I still had to do everything for myself plus because I was up she’d request I make her a cup of tea, she wouldn’t offer me Panadol etc because I didn’t know what pain was if I ever injured myself she’d laugh it off and say well my back hurts now your getting a taste of how I feel on a daily basis. She also fed my grandparents aunts and cousins lies about me as soon as I turned 18 and was legal to drink on the rare occasion at a family BBQ I’d have a drink if another relative was and people would say “don’t you drink enough on the weekends?” ” shouldn’t you be spending your money on more important things then feeding your addiction?” All because I decided to go out drinking with a couple of friends one night , and because I came home a bit hungover she told everyone I was an out of control alcoholic and that she was worried about me that week she decided to put my rent up another $25 a week all because she didn’t agree with me. I no longer have a relationship with my mother she has been nothing but poison in relationships to friendships and she always pushed me into doing what she wanted, say goodbye to her wicked ways your much better off in the long run!

  48. Renee evans says:

    I am 48 my mother is disconected but cutt off i was very neglected alcoholic dad he could be great she could i loved my dad i did not have close friendship like i have with my 24 yr old daughter my mom now is uppity rude mkes me nervious wreck doesent like my husband spending time when she has visited or i her it was a disaster shes mean to my kids interferes trying to minipulate my son with money same as my daughter we dont allow my child hood ws hell she did not make me feel special importnt dont remeber her ever going to my school function no involvment always diferent men several husbands lways putt my brotther through lot we moved constntlely from the chaos my she left me alone alot i was always having chest pains now that im older have had real panick attacks alot worse i suffer with depression im proud im a good mom broke the cycle. My husband doesent dring is. Hard working wonderfull man my dughter his step daughter you cant even tell no blood they love eachother so much, my mother wants me to be a companion because shes lonely. But pretends to want her grandkids around ages 24, 12 greatgrand, 7 & 2. I dont know if shes narcastic or just a selfish jerk

  49. Renee evans says:

    For some reason it still hurts shes 73 yrs old her husband left her few years ago broke My heart its hard to love & hurt for a mother whos never been involved in my life unless it benifited her she acts like shes worried to death she might have to help with something. makes me feel guilty but i recent her for how she treats my husband & my kids i guess we never stop needing a Mother even when were older & it feels like im being rejected all over again it does get easier as you get older wisdom independence choice im free

  50. Jekyll Hyde says:

    Yup that’s my mother, right there. The only time I felt genuine love for her was when she lay dying of a brain tumour and was helpless and de-venomed. I finally found pity for this person who had shown none (except for herself). Never had ‘the chat’ though to try and broker an apology, or even some acknowledgement of her damaging behaviour.

  51. Anita says:

    21 signs of a Narcassistic mother-the above article COMPLETELY refers to my sister (not my mother). Her rage and hatred of me comes from when I was 16 years old and her husband at the time came on to me. He had been doing so since I was about 10 or 12 ( she is 9 years older than me). When I was 16 she and her then husband decided it was time to let me smoke a joint for the first time. As soon as they had given me this joint she gets up and goes to bed. He then sleazes over and starts to kiss me/touch me inappropriately. I push him off and go to bed, but for years she has been telling whoever will listen (friends, sisters, nieces etc) that “something happened between us and thus SHE has started a lifetime of being the centre of attention and the object of pity. He probably told her something did happen as he was a mind f*cker who used to love making her feel insecure. I on the other hand know that I was set up and groomed by both of them.
    My “sister” ticks EVERY box and in recent times (I have been retired from work as I have MS) she has been telling (nieces, sisters, friends, cousins, aunties even) that I am unworthy of what I have, has been jealous of the purpose built house I have built for myself (for my MS) with MY superannuation and rehashed the ex husband kissing story ad nauseam. She owns a million dollar home outright, has two lots of super she lives on and has yearly overseas holidays. I have not had a holiday in over 15 years and yet she is still insanely jealous of any attention I get and was particularly jealous when I was diagnosed. She flies into rages when people do things like forget her birthday or don’t show her the appropriate attention! I have sort counselling for the first time in my life (despite a traumatic childhood with a violent father). She on the other hand has seen countless counsellors etc over the years and still has not addressed her “rage” issues. I have gotten to the stage where I no longer want to see or speak to her ever again. Living with her over the years was like walking on eggshells. You always gave into everything she said or did. As I recently got to the stage where I contemplated suicide (because she has dirtied my name so much), I decided that she is so not worth it and that living the best life I could would be a better way or exacting some sort of payback on her as she would “HATE” to see me happy. Besides I am TIRED!

  52. Aloretta says:

    I, now in my 60s and my mother being dead less than a year, still feel intense sadness in never having had a loving, close relationship with her. She kept me at arm’s length my entire life, resented me, picked fights with me, embarrassed me on any occasion. I never had a champion, a cheerleader, a role model, a backer or an advocate. I feel like I was under the thumb of a domineering, mean woman who made me feel like she didn’t partic. want me in her life–that is until she got old and needed many favors. Of 3 children, there was really only one who got the “real mother.” I’m sure he mourns her death and misses his mommy, since he was the only one of the 3 of us who had one. When I was a teenager I used to wish I had any other mother but my own. I can clearly remember being around 17 when she ruined my senior prom night and vowing to myself that when I got out of the house I’d never have anything to do with her again. I stuck with it though for the sake of the father I loved, and even many years after his death, I endured her jabs, her coldness toward me. She ultimately lied to me up until a year and a half before she died, a huge lie, that finally made me say ‘enough’ – and she was fine with not seeing me. After all she had the child she adored, still in her life. She did not need me any longer, not even for “favors.” Now that she is dead, I feel such sadness, but I am not grieving for the loss of her, but the fact that all those years went by without anything changing, and that I have to see women everywhere cherishing and celebrating this most wonderful, special bond, a bond I never knew. I tell myself that my life is so good in so many ways, have two lovely attentive children of my own, and an adoring husband and a happy marriage–but that relationship (or lack of one) always lingers in my heart as a great sadness and I guess I’ll feel that way until the day I’m gone too. I advise mothers any chance I get to hug, hold, kiss their children and listen to them, their stories, no matter how old they get or how boring their stories are–be interested. You can’t get back the time and believe me, your children will never forget the way you make them feel. Good or bad.

    • Michelle says:

      Thanks for sharing. We are going thru the “needing no favors” phase. We did so much for her and when she’s confronted or we simply can’t do something for her…. She tosses us away like yesterday’s trash. She’s fine with it too. Amazing, huh..well thanks we seen the light. !!! Blessings and stand strong!!

  53. Youn says:

    When I’m happy, my mom likes to bring me down. She knows I don’t like gossips, but she keeps talking about gossips with me. Is she a narcissist person?

  54. Michelle says:

    Boy, am I glad I found this website. I cannot begin to tell you the pain my MIL has caused my family. When I married my husband I had no clue he was the escape goat child. My Mother in law had two faces. She had a successful position w a law firm and to her coworkers and outsiders looked like the best thing in the world. However, she had a different face behind closed doors.
    She put my husband down to the point he ended up needing hospitalized for depression/anxiety, etc. and to me she would say “I don’t know what’s wrong w him”. She would put me in the middle often in tears asking for my help or can’t we please get together at Christmas, holidays, etc. I encouraged my husband to be with her “your mom seems so lonely”, “your moms such a nice person”. His mom told sob stories about her ex husband treated her bad. She would tell me how she always wanted a daughter and only had two sons . She would say I was the daughter she never had. Me being 21 and young thought this was the best thing in the world. I missed signs and regret ever being in a relationship with her or encouraging one for my husband. It’s 18 years later and it’s been a hellish road. She has caused so much pain and torment in our life I could write a book. She lies and manipulates everyone and everything she gets her hands on. After caring for her and her extended family all these years, I am run down and sick. She is no where to be found. She now tells my husband she never liked me and I’ve always been a problem. She tells him she has no interest in being friends with me. She has deeply hurt my son who is 12. She said she would see our son but has to go thru us and she doesnt care about us. My son heard this and was hurt.
    When we lost our first baby she actually told me not to cry and get over it. On the way to the funneral she told us she doesn’t care it’s not her grandchild.Then at office she cried and told everyone how sad she was for us. Then when our son was born she had to be the one and only. She always bought the biggest gifts and put everyone else down. As our son got older and would question her as to why she was acting the way she was she began to treat him badly as well. All the while still putting on the act in front of her friends.
    Her ability to lie is unreal. She tells stories that are not quite a lie yet they are.
    We’ve had no contact for 4 months and it’s been the best time of our lives. She then made contact about a family friend who passed away. We went to the funneral and in front of her friends she introduced us etc. I gave her a cane to use as she hurt her knee. I called her to see if she was any better and she hung up on me. When my husband called to confront her she says she never did that. She said we are making it up.
    Now my husbands brother ignored us and treated us awful at the funneral. He is the golden child. I can’t imagine what’s she’s says to him. He is like her to a tee.
    I could go on and on. She is a cruel evil person who has lived two lives. On the outside she’s adored on the inside it’s a whole new ball game. I don’t understand how she can keep up this game. How others cannot see the truth. We are moving forward with counseling and no contact. Thanks to everyone who shared it’s a big help!!!

  55. KtMM says:

    The day before I found out any information on this (unfortunately I found out both my parents are this way, and that I’m the scapegoat child… I assume it’s because I’m the youngest and the only daughter at the same time.) My mother said, very seriously, that her hair was turning white like an elf’s and she was going to have to get a pair of elf ears. I was the first one to ever thoroughly enjoy fantasy stories and games, my mother just always jumps onto the bandwagon for everything and then acts like she was the first to like something. I felt that was extremely ludicrous, and offended because elves are my favorite fantasy creature. So all I said, in a plain voice was “You don’t have the right face shape to be an elf…” her face is rounded, and elves have a sharper face, so I wasn’t exactly lying. Suddenly she glared at me as if she could blast fire from her pupils and she positively shrieked at the top of her lungs “AND WHAT KIND OF FACE DO ELVES HAVE THEN?!” and she got so ridiculously offended by that one statement that she was mad and screaming about it all the way until she left for work!

    Also, my mother gets horribly jealous of me when I buy myself anything with my own money. And she forced me to wear bras that were way too small, and underwear that’s way too big, since I was in middle school… Almost as if saying I have a huge backside, and small chest. (To make a point, I have 44DDD bras, and she forced me to wear 32B. Insisting when I bought my own (after trying on a million types and sizes) that I am wearing the wrong size.)

    If I buy food, she automatically assumes it’s hers (Same with dad.) And they get majorly offended to the point that they almost kick me out if I even so much as write “Please ask before eating. Thank you.” On any of my food. Also, my brother and I have a running joke that any injury I’d get (down to a completely obliterated leg bone) my parents would both tell me to just “Walk it off!” whereas when they so much as get a paper cut, the world must know.

    My least favorite thing that my mom does is (she’s had 10+ boyfriends her life and had sexually been with all of them. I have only one boyfriend and am still happily a virgin.) She tells me my boyfriend is no good for me and I will never be able to see him (we’re long distance) so I MUST break up with him. He’s the only thing keeping me sane. The difference between my boyfriend and my dad is that my boyfriend constantly tells me I’m beautiful (though I always deny it, I have horrible self esteem.) and writes me poems and stuff (dad does nothing for mom.) And my nickname from my friends is Meg because I get treated just like Meg Griffin from family guy.

    Also, even though I’m youngest, my parents pretty much shed their parental responsibilities and I had to take them up and watch over my family as a very small child. When I was four, I could cook. I had to because my eldest brother was too impatient to wait and once made my other brother and I eat a pizza he cooked for 5 minutes. Yuck… I still remember how doughy the crust tastes and how cold it was…

    ALSO, my mother took every bit of money from me I ever got as a child, and when I turned 18 she nearly refused letting me have my own personal bank account. (I didn’t want her stealing my graduation money and college loans, like she stole the money I got for first communion and confirmation. Of which she denies ever doing, as though my memories are imagination.)

    And, recently, I had to quit one of my jobs because I was being horribly horribly abused by my boss and my manager (to the point that I could have been gone for a week and blamed for a mess that wasn’t cleaned in that week, as if I was there.) I sat down next to mom and had full intentions of having a calm adult chat about it. All I said was a very calm “So.. I quit my job tonight…” because she knew I was being treated badly. and suddenly she flew into hysterics and the whole time I remained calm, but she blamed me for being hysterical. At one point she said to get out of “HER” house, when it’s a rental house we have while our house is being fixed. But I shrugged and went to leave. She VICE GRIPPED my arm and asked me where I was going. Calmly I repeated what she said, and she yelled “WELL I DIDN’T MEAN IT!” so I asked “Then why did you say it if you didn’t mean it?” all she said back was “GO TO YOUR ROOM!” and now that I have no job yet and dad is retired she goes on about how she’s the only one who works, when she’ll be done for the year in 3 days.

    Worst off is, as hard as I try I can’t get a job that will pay me well and even if I do my parents come up with about a billion expenses that make me lose most of my money, so it’s impossible for me to move out and I DO NOT WANT TO BE HERE!! I’m 21, I thought I’d be able to move out as soon as I was 18!! I feel so trapped like there’s nothing I can do… But I know this for a fact. If I can pay off my student and car loans that they forced me to get, I will save up enough money and then I won’t hesitate to leave and move to my boyfriend’s. They always tell me to move out but when I even try to do so they prevent it.

  56. Sopia says:

    Hi, i am asian woman. My English is limited but i want to tell my story. I think i have been emotionally abused by my mother since I was a kid. She never complimented me and make me feel worse. The funny is my mother was my own home room teacher, all the pupils loved her and she hugged, kissed and complimented for the good work but never say something nice to me. My friends love her so much and adore her wish she were their mother. But for me her own daughter, i always thought i was an adopted child, i wish my real mother would turn and take me away. She never combed my hair since i could remember and I am sure either she nrver ever bragged about me to other. Now, my youngest sister is getting married fyi i am 30, single, living with my parents, what make feel down because my mother always compared us. Never comfort me but say something bad to me because her beautiful daughter she adored will getting marry someone who is less fortune than us. She hope i will get someone like that not my sister. Sometimes she ask me to date, other times she said i am not worth to be someone’s wife. She showed favoritism among me and my sibling. She also badmouth to us to make us into a fight and then she will take side except for me. When i buy anything nice, i would buy for her and my sister too. People said i am nice but the truth is if i bought only for myself, she will buy anything nicest for her and my sister and make me isolated. When she do the housework which i forgot or busy to do, she will play the most dramatical act to show my sibling how tired she was without my help. She forgot that i also support the family economically. Thanks for islamic belief, i never shout or rude to her but in my heart only god know how i hate her. I wish i could move to other places ans getting married and then show to her how a mother should be.

  57. tamme says:

    Everyday is a living hell for me. I am a nurse assistant and I work nights. I have a good day til I have to call my mother. She’s like a fucking wind up doll. She reapeats the same thing over and over and if I do not want to hear it she gets mad, if I tell her I’m going to a party or anything that consist of friends, I love them more than her, she wants things done @ her conveniece.

    .

  58. DDT says:

    I did your questionnaire and answered yes to all but 4, which I put a question mark beside.
    I am the scapegoat, my 9 years younger than me sister is and has always been the golden child, the favorite. If she did this quiz, I’m dead sure her answers would be completely different. I see the sister about once a year. We live in the same city.
    I’m 49 and this has been the story of my life. It’s far too long to go into, but I identify with having things of mine, gifts people gave me, be taken right away from me because she wanted them. (There was a short wave radio about 30 years ago that she just took and a small tv when I was 13 from my grandparents to keep in my room.She took that away as well.)
    She loved an outfit I was wearing several years ago, so stupidly I took her to the store and she bought the same outfit. I kid you not, I came over when my sister and one of my mom’s exes were here and she was wearing exactly the same thing as me – that outfit. Being her house, she shoud be the one to change clothes, right? Wrong. She refused. I ended up going home. No way was I going anywhere with the 3 of them looking like a Bobsey twin with my *mother* (I use that term very loosely.) God how I hate her.
    The inability to really feel for anyone? That’s her.
    One Christmas, I came over. I said the F word once. She gave me a 10 minute lecture on how that word is NEVER appropriate. Then, my sister arrived – the favorite. Within minutes, she was in the kitchen trying to cook something and we heard 4 or 5 F**ks come out of her mouth. I looked at my mother and her face did not register anything. That one story tells of how it’s been for a lifetime for me. People wouldn’t even believe it, so I don’t tell them.
    She’s made sure that my sister and I have never been close. I read somewhere that’s called triangulation.
    She’s got so many people fooled. That’s the sickest part of it. I could never explain to absolutely everyone what she’s like in reality.
    My sister’s having a baby. She’s a few days late. when that baby is born, it will spew gold from every orifice, in my mother’s eyes. I know they’re afraid the baby will be born on the same date I was born, it could easily happen.
    The thing about never apologizing? In 49 years, I’ve never once hear my mother say I’m sorry, or I was wrong. I know for a fact that I never will hear those words coming from her. Why is it so hard to say those things? When I’m wrong, I admit it, I’m only human. I’m also able to say I’m sorry and truly mean it.

    I have breast cancer. It’s advanced and I’ve known for over a year and a half. I have no desire to fight it. Guess why? I am living with my mother now, because I can’t work and I pay rent to her.
    I pray for death. I have no hope left in me, she’s crushed all of my dreams. She’s stood there with a blank stare when people who meet her tell her how great they think I am. She didn’t in any of those cases say Thanks! or I know, my daughter is pretty special; just nothing. Silence and blank stares.

    I can’t fight this anymore. There is no way to get away from her. Nowhere else for me to live. If there is someone answering prayers, then please let me die already. I’m sure that a lifetime of this abuse is what has given me cancer.
    Thank you so much for this article.

    • * says:

      please look up tumeric + cancer. also the ted talk (youtube) on William Li: Can we eat to starve cancer? delete your viewing history if she has access

      I hope you can find a way and peace in your heart for your self

    • E says:

      Please look after your self. I’m so sorry, that sounds like hell, not to be able to escape.

    • Tracey says:

      I’m so saddened to read your article please, please stay strong! I feel so much pain & sadness for you & all the others across the world who like me are in a constant battle with the spawns of the devil.
      I have felt disconnected & different to many people all my life.
      I feel narcissisism is a hereditary gene from 2 or 3 generations ago & it’s been passed down in my family. This explains the misery & poison projected onto me from my mother.
      I used to be so close to my sisters but when I was 11 & my parents divorced my mother threw me out onto the streets, I was passed from pillar to post in children’s homes & around family members not knowing where I belonged. My mother started with the triangulation with my sisters & then the rest of my family so I’m now isolated.
      My mother came from a family of 11 & my dads family was made up of 13 brothers & sisters which from research I discovered everyone of them either got married to a narcissist or ended up divorcing a human being to marry one including the demon wife my dad married who is now slowly killing him.

      He has battled with cancer & suffered a heart attack he looks dead already.
      My contact to him was cut off when he left my mother after years of affairs & he went to live with this demon & her demon daughter.

      I have been soul searching the last 6 months looking for answers, reading articles & books after seeing & experiencing far too much evil in my life that I just can’t comprehend let alone understand.
      Somedays I feel like i am dying & I am living in hell with no way out.
      I am tired, & pray for peace to come.
      Things just don’t add up & I’ve struggled with so much trying to make sense of it all.
      I am hoping to write a book & make a difference in this world before my time is up.

      They say “everything happens for a reason” & people come into our life’s to teach us something.
      But what gets me is the fact I never looked for or invited any of them into my life I was born into it with no choice.
      I always held the belief that evil people are lonely but from the ones I’ve encountered they seem constantly surrounded by people & working there way through numbers.
      I still have a soul & no matter how hard I try to escape these demons they are everywhere & it’s on the increase.
      I have just ended another relationship with a psychopath and he truly is the devils spawn which finally opened my eyes & the word narcissism which explains what as consumed my life.

      I’ve had two mental breakdowns, the first one was 7 years ago after suffering at the hands of evil & I spent 5 years trying to recover. I thought he was a lesson learned & never to be forgotten until last august 2013 when I met the devil in disguise.
      I saw the light 2 weeks ago & told him it was over, changed my number & blocked every angle of my life so he can’t get back in.
      My last words to him were “you will be my last ride on the devils back” & will be the making of me that much I promise!
      I pray so hard for you & all the people out there who endure the wrath of a narc, please never give up on yourselfs!!!
      These people are the bottom feeders of society, they want to take your soul & will go to no ends to get it. They are even mentioned somewhere in the bible as a stern warning.
      Love to you all x

  59. christine button says:

    At last I now know that I am normal. I am 57 and have suffered at the hands of a controlling and evil mother. she has always been ill and wants constant attention from everybody, she puts me down to my two brothers, says I take too much to heart and makes me out to be over the top with my feelings. I try to b a good daughter but I’m never good enough.

    when I was a little girl I stayed with my grandparents a lot she did not want to know and would tell tales to my dad about me and get me into trouble. I did the housework always but she would say I was a lazy cow when he get in from work. she is not tactile and u always have to go to her.

    my relationship with my dad has improved over the years but I cannot help him anymore as on sunday she abused my feelings again, my husband and son have told me to stay away. I have now decided to do this but I know I’m going to miss my dad but I feel he is weak he goes out playing golf and in the garden to get away from her. his life is not good he has ill health, but she is always worse than him.

    I suffer with depression and low self esteem but now I want to enjoy my life and I am not going to b blackmailed by her anymore. she has ruined my ability to trust. one failed abusive marriage, constant arguments, no love, no cuddles no support.

  60. Ella says:

    Finding these posts on this page has given me a sense of comfort and feeling that i am not alone. I am 43 years old, my mother always said i was a mini version of her, so i always believed that. My mother was very cold with me when i was growing up, no cuddles, no “i love yous”, my mum was an attention seeker, she talked badly about everyone, including people who were supposed to be her friends and also my sisters and even told me once my dad had an affair which made me distant from my dad my whole life. She always joked with people and said she was my sister and not my mother, i never knew why she did that, it just made me feel sad. When i was 18 years old i had an incredible offer to live /work in canada so i left the UK and stayed in Canada for a total of 15 years, i saw my family when i visited for 2 weeks every 2 years, having little contact with them allowed me the space to grow and be myself. I became a Christian and had a wonderful church family and great friends. However, 10 years ago my mother manipulated me (over 2 years calling me every week) constantly telling me she was ill and i should come back to UK. I finally sold my house in canada, left my friends and my life behind and moved back to the UK. What a big mistake ! After 2 weeks of staying at my parents home, i went to use the home computer and saw an open email..it was probably wrong for me to look at it, but i think it may have been left open for me to read..It was an email from my mother to one of her friends saying she cant wait for me to move and find a place to live. (I was so shocked and sad, i had only just got over the jetlag and tiredness from moving countries). I found a government job within a month and a room to let, so i was away from my parents home within 2 months of relocating back to the UK. My sister didnt talk to me and i never knew why, my mum said her lifestyle is different and she doesnt like the Christian life i led, but i now wonder if my mother poisoned her mind toward me, as she did with me about my sister. I felt very alone. I married within 1 year and we now have 2 children. Unfortunately i had 2 c-sections and my mother never helped or supported me at all. When our 2nd child was 1 month old, we moved away for my husbands job. My family never ever supported me and my husband with our children, and since his parents were deceased, we were left in a very lonely position. My self esteem/confidence has disappeared. I didnt have any confidence to walk into mother/toddler groups, so i was very isolated. I became depressed and cried out to my mother several times, telling her i found moving back to UK, relocating and not knowing anyone very difficult. I may as well have talked to a brick wall.. she never called me, came to help me with the children…NOTHING. She agreed finally to come visit 1 weekend each month, but we had to pay for a hotel for them since they wanted some space. For 3 years we paid for them to stay in nice hotels near our home, one weekend each month..(we had purchased a very nice sofa bed and had plenty of room for them to stay with us, but my mother said she wanted space). When they visited, my husband and i would be caring for our kids and i would cook lovely dinners for my parents and catering to their every need. My mother seemed happy with that, but it left my husband and i exhausted. Sixteen days ago i had a major operation, i had asked my parents to come and help with our two primary school age children while i recover, they agreed but my mother was looking for a house to rent for 2 months near to where we live, she didn’t actually find one, so reluctantly agreed to stay in our spare bedroom. On arriving home from hospital after my operation 2 weeks ago, i found my mother very prickly with me and she seemed to have a bad attitude, i feel so low and sad. When my dad is around she is ok, but when i am alone with her she becomes argumentative. I like peace and feel very nervous when alone with her. The worst part of this is..she decided to go home a week ago (they live 4 hours drive away, she got my dad to drive her home), she didnt want to stay and help with our children (her grandchildren). She waited for us to be alone and tried to start an argument, i refused and told her i will not argue and i am recovering from surgery and please dont attack me. She told my dad that i disrespect and intimidate her and she wants to go home, so he took her home. She is so very self centered, cynical and nacissistic. I am so disappointed she could not help us, not even once.

  61. Tina says:

    Wow just wow! I also knew something was wrong with her! It’s so nice realize I’m not nuts!

  62. cindy says:

    It breaks my heart to read this list, and that any child would have to live with a parent like this YET my child cut my husband and I off claiming we were narcissists.nothing on your list fits with anything we have done and no it’s not denial. I spent months in counseling and took every test possible to explore if there was anything that might have even a smidgen of truth that I could work on. After a year of respecting our adult child’s request to stay away, no contact etc we were told any attempt to contact in any fashion would be viewed as stalking. I love my child dearly and feel so very very sad for my child, but if this is what they want, and they are happy, happily married this is what we hope for our children even if it pains me to not to be part of their life.
    may you all find sweet joy and peace in your lives
    sad mama

  63. evertonian says:

    Wow – such sad stories and yet it has helped me so much to read them, knowing that I am not the only one who has a dysfunctional relationship with my mum. I have just made the decision to try and disconnect with her a bit (I am 55), but even as I am writing this, I can feel all the guilt coming up inside of me. “She is my mum; I shouldn’t have to do that; a good daughter would have a close loving relationship with her, etc., etc. ”

    As well as the many tendencies above, my mum had a sexual relationship with my first husband many many years ago. We last spoke about it 5 years ago (when I was very emotional and unwell mentally myself) and she still justifies it saying that she did it “to save my marriage” (to me this always implied that I couldn’t keep my husband happy and only she could). She always told me when I was a teenager that I’d “never keep a man happy”. I have been through a 12 step recovery program and thought that I had forgiven her, but last weekend at my son’s wedding – she sat on the opposite side of the room cosying up to my ex husband (who is now married to someone else), and holding hands with him. I thinks she thinks I have got over it, but even though it is so long ago, it bought back all the old hurt from years ago. I left the wedding, after explaining to my son, and didn’t say goodbye to her. And yet, despite all of this, I am sitting here, thinking that I should phone her and apologise for my rude behaviour at not saying goodbye. My new husband (who is wonderful), says that I shouldn’t and I have an obsessional desire to please her………….but I just feel so selfish and nasty if I don’t make up with her. I would appreciate anyone’s honest comments. Thank you.

    • lisa says:

      Hi, one thing don´t even dare to apologize to her, she doesn´t have empathy for you what so ever. What was she thinking even to sleep with your ex, a normal person would find that sick. To me she´s insecure and jealous of you.
      You have to look into yourself for your happiness and peace of mind, she is not helping you in that way, she is destroying you and enjoying it, that´s probably what she wants. I know it´s hard, there are many of us alike. I´ve just realised it myself with my mother. There´s a saying ´we can´t choose our family but we can choose our friends´ Look after yourself and love yourself because she certainly hasn´t loved you the way you deserve. xx

    • anna says:

      :( she is a sick woman I’m so sorry she did this to you. Narcs are very good at manipulating to the point that you doubt your own sanity. Mine has done it since the day I was born and it is a strange confusing hell. Your husband sounds like a wonderful man, please don’t give in to her games. His love is normal and healthy, hers is not. Xx

  64. Laura says:

    I was her “golden child” but I felt like her trophy. I was one of six kids . I was her ticket into the parent social groups. My friends, activities, clothes, and even what I said was chosen for me. Though I wasn’t physically abused I felt the guilt of watching my brother beat with a broomstick on my behalf. I was “mom” in every way except by name to my younger siblings, and still am as an adult. And now that my mother is 72 years old I am the only one willing to take care of her in her old age. Not one of my other five siblings will even call her. She can’t abuse physically anymore but she has perfected emotional abuse. In public she play the roll of victim. She will cringe when I come near her, ask my permission to buy something or use the bathroom and then apologize for needing to. I promise she only does this public. She also refuses to take her medicine or she will eat something that she knows will make her sick to prevent me from leaving . Especially on Sunday when I want to go to church. I gave up a $60,000 annual job to care for her already. So how much is reasonable to sacrifice to care for her? Am I being petty by wanting to attend church?

  65. Tara says:

    Thank you for posting this. After reading your list I realized my own mother hit 18 out of 21. It’s extremely helpful and you’ve assisted in releasing me from my own maternal narcissist, one who’s been increasingly destructive (no surprise there). I’m looking forward to reading more.

  66. Elle says:

    Thank you for posting this. Every single points made was my mother to the tee. At first, I thought it was a normal thing. That every mom is this way.

    Until I went to college, I met my husband and both his mothers (his parents are divorced) and they loved their children unconditionally! It was so refreshing to see what a true mom should be. I’m still going through a healing period, but it still very early in the game. I’m 25, married, started a business, have strong relationships with my family, friends and in-laws, bought a home.. hoping that this would gain my mother’s approval. I don’t know why I’m still trying to gain for approval but I’m starting to realize.. I will never be the best. What’s funny though… when times are “good”, meaning she’s not in a drama stage where she gets enraged with stupid, petty stuff with me… she tells people what a great job she’s done with me. How I’m so successful at 25 and how I have my shit together. She tells everyone that I’m just like her and that it’s all her hard work and sacrifice she’s done to make the way I am today. Once again, it’s always about her. Mind you, I’ve been living on my own since I was 17 but yet…all my success is her success just because as she would put it.. “I bore you. I carried you for 9 months and I fed and clothe you”. Last i check, that’s a bare minimum a mom should do. My mother-in-law chuckles at that.. because she can’t believe any true mom would ever say that to their kids!

    Recently, I posted a Happy Father’s Day post on Facebook for my dad. My dad and I have an amazing relationship, which is good. To show you how narcissistic she was, this was her comment ” I hope you know who is the pillar of the relationship and who took this picture of you to reminisce”. For God’s sake, it’s Father’s Day. Can my dad get the honors he deserve for once? She thought I deleted her comment, which I never did. And then proceeded to delete me off from Facebook. When I found out she deleted me, I was sad and shocked. At first, I thought it was my fault. What did I do wrong? Did I hurt her? Maybe I’m just overreacting with my feelings…. she didn’t mean to delete me! I called both my sisters to see what’s going on.. and they said not to bother about it and that mom is overreacting. Nonetheless, I felt really sad. A couple of hours later, she replied.. Oh, it must be a technical glitch! Add me back now. Notice how she won’t add me? I must add her. Still enraged, I ignored her message to recompose myself. I’ve realized that replying her in an angry state does no good for she lacks empathy. So instead, I replied.. we will talk about this soon.

    Big mistake.

    A therapist told me.. Instead of telling her what she’s done wrong.. tell her this instead “Mom, I just want to let you know that I felt hurt” So when we were due for a Skype session, I brought up the situation. Instead of telling her what she did was petty and stupid, I brought up my feelings and said I was hurt. Well, most mothers will say.. I’m sorry that you felt that way. I didn’t realized that but let’s move on from here. Instead, she turned her glaring eyes, crossed her arms, with the biggest smirk on her face with such contempt.. “If you are expecting an apology out of me from this Skype session, you are not getting it”. I’ve never felt so hurt that my mom would rather choose her ego and pride over her kid. And then of course, it spiraled into me being ungrateful, that I can’t look past this issue and it is MY problem for not being able to just get over it.

    Wow.

    Until today, I still feel a deep sadness and loss in my heart for not having a real mother. It’s something I’m still trying to heal and it’s going to be a long process. And I just want to let everyone know that you are not alone. We just have to be the stronger ones and build our resilience from this. Perhaps the best we can do is to create that distance and only feel pity for them. It sucks… because you want or yearn to have an actual relationship with them. The moment they start acting normal, it seems like there’s a glimmer of hope and you get sucked in. In every relationship, it is normal to have disagreements. But narcissists are energy vampires. They want to give you nothing but they want to take everything from you.

    Keep that energy for yourself and other people who truly cares about you. Someone who loves you is capable of true love. And true love is unconditional.

    Sorry for the long message. Have a wonderful week everyone! :)

  67. anna says:

    I’m really struggling to deal with my narcissistic mother. I am 29 and the scapegoat. My younger sister is the golden child but over the last few years she is starting to speak out against the abuse just as I always have. Shortly after we were born my mother became ‘ill’ with a mysterious illness (docs said there was nothing wrong and encouraged her to get mental help but she always refused). She lay in a bed for 13 years while we looked after her, she would scream and throw things at people. She would write ‘i want to die’ over the mirrors in red lipstick, smash everything in the house and lie on the floor and wait for us to come home from school as young children and find her. She’d force us to eat cold stew for breakfast if we didn’t eat it the night before. We’d be shut in rooms alone for hours on end. We never had affection or love from her, we were a burden and our role was to please her and adore her and be quiet. As the scapegoat I was made responsible for her ‘illness’ and still am to this day. When I was a teen she would go through my things constantly, tell me I am not loved and shameful, kick me out overnight, physically attack me. If you have a feeling or an opinion that she doesn’t like you are punished for weeks or months with hysterics, swearing, anger, manipulation and emotional abuse. Whatever she does, she will tell me I’m insane and that it never happened. I am so thankful that my sister and I had each other because I genuinely can’t imagine going through it alone. My father of course supports her and flies into his own terrifying rage in her support. About 10 years ago I eventually had a breakdown, I ended up absolutely hating myself. I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and unfortunately I was in a very weak place and I let my mother take control of (manipulate) my care. She spoke with a different doctor who I had barely spoken to and had no knowledge of my past and she had me diagnosed with BPD, whilst smiling with glee. I was in treatment cleared of BPD and treated for anxiety instead, but to this day she makes sure to tell our family how I am mentally ill, that I imagine things, how awful I am and what a martyr she is for ‘helping’ me. She has recently taken it upon herself following a hysterectomy to become addited to morphine and is increasingly unstable. On suggesting she try other treatments she pinned me to a wall while I was holding my terrified 2 year old son and would not even let me hand him to my brother in law to get him out of the situation. I have just received a text message from my father saying that this never happened (even though he witnessed it and allowed it to happen). They have slipped up this time though because my brother in law saw everything. For once there was someone else there who saw the horror of her behaviour. I have dealt with her my whole life, I know how damaging it is and I don’t want my son experiencing it. I am worried now about his safety around her. I never, ever want him to feel the way I felt throughout my childhood. I feel now that I want to cut the ties from this toxic relationship but it is so difficult. Aside from my sister and brother in law, everyone in our family has been fooled but her lies and manipulation and self pity acts. Having my son has made me realise what real love is, and in turn made me realise what we didn’t have. My son has been the making of me, it has made me stronger. It has made me realise that I am capable of choosing not to have toxic people on my life any more and to protect him from it at all costs. And coming to the realisation that I never deserved her treatment and still don’t is very empowering. Sending lots of love to all who were born to narc parents. It isn’t you, you deserve better, embrace the love in your life from friends and partners, be the parents that your own parents couldn’t be, don’t doubt yourself for a second :)

  68. Christy says:

    I am just now realizing that I have a narcissistic mother. I think it took me so long because my mother who is a counselor herself spent most of my life accusing me of having a personality disorder, being depressed or delusional whenever I challenged her. I have never felt love from her, instead she liked to tell my how weird I was, how awkward I was and I still fight those voices in particular when I meet new people. Despite the fact that I have a very large social circle, a loving husband and children who adore me I still sometimes struggle with feelings of being unlovable. The last couple years we have had conflict and she has made a point to exclude me from family gatherings. I will say that having my own children has helped. I can be the mother to them that I always craved, a mother that tells them they are loved, that celebrates them as they are, that builds them up instead of tearing them down.

  69. S.C. says:

    My mother hits 95% of the textbook signs of someone with NPD. It was horrific being her child. I was constantly emotionally abuse, ‘gas lighted’, all of it. The whole 9 yards. Add to it her alcoholism and just…ugh. I am the youngest but çame along late and my older sister made surd I knew I was a ‘mistake’. My older sis has been our mother’s dependent for 30 years and never broke the umbilical chord, because they are exactly the same and live in this insane dance of shared enabling and dependency. I left home and got on with my life, but she tried to stall that. I traveled the world, had a career and skill and she was snarky, snide, and manipulated my older sibs to play her game. The truth is, I have zero respect for them, for choosing willful ignorance and demented, dysfunctional ‘role playing’ well into late adulthood. I am No Contact and while I have relatives in them, they are by no means ‘family’. My family is composed of friends and my dog. There is nothing they have that I need or want that is worth the price of their deluded company. A steady diet of lies and manipulations is all they learned and instead of breaking away, they ‘fake it’ in hopes when she dies they’ll get something. All I will have is the knowledge that thru no fault of my own, I was born to a woman whose title was ‘mother’, but that’s all it was…a word. Without any positive,loving, nurturing meaning. I won’t lie for her nor allow it around me and wow she resents me for it. She’s never liked me because I’m more like my father, whom she will always despise, not without reason.BUT, unlike her, he could face, admit to, and be truly sorry for his failures. She wouldnlt have a clue what that means. And now, she’s effectively turned my older sis into an NPD who is just as self serving, manipulative, materialistic and spoiled as she is.

    Leave them behind and never look back. You owe an abusive parent or relatives NOTHING. Good riddance. Send her a note that says ‘See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya’ and enjoy your life.

  70. emily says:

    My mother has many of the qualities listed, but not all. She never stole my money, but she would go out and buy the exact same item of clothing I had recently gotten. My mom constantly criticizes me with every aspect of my life and used to be physically abusive (she stopped for 3 years and then started up again a few days ago). I’m 18 years old and the other day my mom grabbed me by my hair and attempted to push me down the stairs. I called the police on her, and of course her boyfriend (who she met while he was married and had an affair with him for 3 years who now lives with her) told them I was lying. He was not in the hallway where it happened but he heard me cry out and tell her to.get her fucking hands.off me. So my mom kicked me out for calling the police on her. Her boyfriend had said to me.earlier that day while my mom was screaming bloody murder at me that I am the cause of how she acts because i “triggered” her. He is almost as bad as her, and has never stucken up for me because he’s afraid of her reaction. My mom will make up stories in order to make herself look better, lies about things shes said or done as of they never happened. She used to be obssessed when I did acting and even though I stopped she still tried to push me back into it. The most hurtful things can come.out of that woman’s mouth such as “you are a piece of shit trailer trash, who is just like your father” (my father sexually abused me, so yes that is hurtful) or “I wish you would just die”. But regardless of all these things she can be caring and loving, rarely of course. So my question is, is there different levels of NPD? Some worse then others, and to any of you is does this disorder seem to fit my mom?

  71. Alicia says:

    Hi, I am wondering after all this time, I have now figured out what is wrong with the someday mother- in-law of mine… Is there any way to help the people that are affected by her. Its not only her son she is the narrisisstic Mother too, but also a mother-in-law and also a grandmother…. I need some answers before I lose Him for good, If anyone can help me out that would be great. my boyfriend is only a maybe wopping 120 to 125 lbs and is being also starved by his own mother, if he tries to leave, she will follow him where ever he goes, uninvited or even invited, but yet he is too afraid to leave her… I am his only hope and TOday he asked for help, by his actions…. I haven’t seen him in over a week until 7/7/14 I believe it is more than that she is a narcissistic mother, but there is more going on to have others see what I have seen… PLEASE HELP…

  72. penny says:

    I stopped talking to my mother a month ago. I could tell stories that would shock any one. My mother will pick a fight with me, and call every one in our family and tell them I am abusing her and treating her nasty. hardly any one talks to me now, and the ones that do, my mother won’t speak to them because they won’t believe her wild crazy tales. she even tried to tell my 20 year old son I was a needle junckie!!! I am 47 own a business. I just couldn’t handle her behavior any more. The sickest thing about her is she all ways wants me to suffer, wishes awful things to happen to me. posts untrue things about me on facebook. when I was a child she told everyone I was a monster then as a teen I was making her life hell. now it is my fault she is so unhappy blames me for her sadness. Threatens to have me arrested. I ask her once for what?….She picked up her pant leg and said “see this bruise? I will say you did that to me”. My mother wants to be thought of as the poor suffering concerned mother that is being abused by a wicked daughter. it is just insane. the best thing I ever did was break a way from her and not have her in my life. and now she doesn’t have any one to blame her unhappiness on, so she is picking fights with the adult grandkids.

  73. Jenni says:

    Wow. This is reading my own life. My brother has always been the golden child, even though he is 49 and still can’t hold down a job. I can do nothing right even though I have earned my masters and have worked in my chosen field for more than 20 years. She tells my kids what a bad mother I am whenever she gets the chance trying to turn them against me. I don’t want her around my kids. I don’t feel they nor I are safe around her. (She has gone after my daughter with fists before, and if I hadn’t stopped her she would have hit my girl like she used to hit me.) In this case my son is the golden child again.
    She originally didn’t want me to adopt 2 African American children because it would “look” bad. Now she tries to tell everyone that she told me to do it and what a good person she is for raising me without racial eyes, though she always puts down my own Native American heritage from my father’s side, as well as anyone who is not of the same heritage as she believes she is. She insists that she is Irish, but after doing the research I found she is Scottish.
    She only does things that make her out to be a hero or a martyr. She even left a church because they wouldn’t pay her to do a volunteer job.
    I was blamed for the dissolving of her 1st and 2nd marriages. The first because I was a financial burden at the age of 3 and the 2nd because I “let” her husband rape me. (I was 7.) Then I was blamed for her getting back together with my biological father after I was passed around from 1 family member to another. They told her she had to stand up and act as a mother. She made sure I knew she wasn’t happy with the arrangement. From that time on I was either called the little B#($h or a w#&%e.
    Now she is lying to the police in my hometown saying that my father is trying to hurt her while he is so sick on chemo and radiation he can barely stand on his own. (The crazy part is they believe her.) I want to spend time with my dad before he dies, but I can’t handle the lies, the yelling, the manipulation, and the guilt she tries to dole out.
    I only feel I can go if my husband goes with me because I need a second set of eyes for my protection. I will be the sole care taker of my parents as more things happen to them, as my brother is just like my mother and tries to blame everyone but himself for his actions. But I really can’t handle being around her. I know my dad needs me, But I can’t handle her. I really don’t know what to do.

  74. shannon says:

    guess i always knew something was wierd with my mom. I was the scapegoat. My sister the golden child. We have different fathers. My father was her first husband. My sister was a product of an affair during her marriage. My father was a raging alcohlic masking a bipolar issue. I was treated differently by everyone in our family. I didnt look like their family. I had dark skin, dark eyes, i was heavy(continue to have weight issues). My mom and my gramma had a very co- dependent relationship. As i got older i excelled in school whereas my goldenchild sister had to literally be dragged from the house to the car to be taken to school. I was made fun of in school but i loved it. High school was even better. By this time my sister had quit school in the 9th grade and was pregnant by age 16. I had enrolled in a program at school that gave me academic credits for working. I already had an after school job so i would get paid and further my grades. My mother absolutely hated this. She began to say things like ” you think youre better than everybody else.” I just blew her off. I would buy myself new underwear and my sister would use them as her period underwear. I would tell my mom that this was disgusting. She just said ” oh shut up. Stop being such a drama queen”. I loved my grandmother very much but she had her own stuff going on. Not narcissistic but something. If i expressed a wanting to go to a concert to see my favorite group i was told, “if you go someone will stick you with a needle and we’ll never see you again.” So naturally, i being a teenager became deathly afraid of going to concerts. Then it came time to decide what i wanted to do in college. I had been taking french and spanish since 7th grade. I loved it. So i began to lean toward travel. Like cruise ships or flight attendant. I had someone from North Miami University come to my house and give me information on my SCHOLARSHIP, which i had no idea i had gotten. I was so excited. Mom on the other hand said you shouldnt go to college. I have a bad feeling. Someone might rape you. She had the shit scared outta me. Guess what? I never went to college. But i continued working, met my husband had my first child at 20 and began looking for an apartment. I was determined to get outta there. I was paying 300 a month to her for rent(house payment was only 550). I found a townhouse apartment( public housing cuz i was desperate) and went to sign all of the final paperwork. But before i left, she cornered me in the bathroom and said ” im not worried. You’ll be back. You need me. Youre always gonna need me”. It crazy to look at her relationship with her mom and how enmeshed they were and now look at my sisters relationship with our mom and what mirror images they are. When we were growing up i slept with my gramma(she made me feel safe), my sister slept with my mom. But at a certain age it just began to feel wierd to me. So i started sleeping in my own room. My sister slept with my mom until she was 17 YEARS OLD!!! She had a 1 year old daughter! In 1997 i purchased my own house. It wasnt extravagant and actually needed more repairs than what the realtor told me but i raised my kids there. My husband was addicted to crack and my life was pretty shitty. But i kept working and raising my kids. The whole time i keep hearing how i think im better than everybody else. I dont get it. In 2000 my husband went to jail for 8 months for violating his probation. It was tax time so i decided to sign up for a weightloss program. I worked that program to the letter and by November of 2000, i had lost 92 lbs. I felt great. I had never been able to sit on the couch and bring my knees to my chest. I was so happy. My mom said, ” you look sick. You just arent our Shannon anymore.” Or at thanksgiving i skipped the mashed potatoes and gravy and dessert and said, ” i dont want any of that” what i got back is, ” yeah shes too good for our food anymore.” My husband had been dealing with a crack habit. He had it when i met him, i just didnt know it. And it got bad. Real bad. My mother was a “born again” christian and went to church religiously. Shes what you might call a convenient christian. She told me to pray and god would answer my prayers. Nothing happened. I would talk about leaving him and she would say, ” to be worthy you must longsuffer” her way of keeping me in that destructive relationship because i actually thinks liked seeing me like that. So in 2006 a man who had loved me for a very long time told me if i wanted out of that city he would help me get out. So i began packing. My mom: ” why are all these boxes packed?” ” Because im moving” ” oh no youre not. Youre not taking my grand kids anywhere.” I shortsold my home in july of 2007 and all the way up to the time we put the last things into the truck she was saying, youre not going anywhere. I moved to green bay and have only been back twice to see her. She still says that i think im better than anyone else. She also treats her siblings like this too. My aunt an older sister says she doesnt understand why my mom is the way she is. But i realize that i do know why. Her sisters and i all share several things in common: we have(had) a man in our life that truly loves us. We have a decent car to drive, we have or had or always had a nice place to live. We were independent from our parents. We raised our children to be honest and loving and accepting and respectful. And our children love being around us. Sadly, my sisters lufe has fallen prey to my mother. She is on her 3rd marriage, has no education, has to bet center of attention. Has no apathy, sympathy or empathy. She says whatever she wants no matter who it hurts and shes just ” being honest” . She also says that im pompous but i just live better. My mom screams at me if i dont agree with her on something. She found out that i was talking to my aunt and almosth a cow. Saying, ” well you just think you know everything dont you? That youre so fucking smart, huh?” I hung up on her. The next day she called me back and acted like it never happened. I brought it up and she screamed at me through the receiver, ” i dont owe you or anybody else an apology!!!” I havent talked to her in over 2 months now. I dont care if i do or not. I text my sister every now and then but let them stew in that thing they call a relationship. Im doing just fine. I have. 2 year old grandson that i make sure knows that i love him. My kids too. I taught my kids to love each other and never to be embarrassed to tell each other that. And they do. All the time. Im proud of myself. Because i know that I did all of this, not my mom.

  75. bella says:

    My body freezes in terror when my mother enters the room and when I am in close proximity to her for a long period of time, say in the car I can hardly breathe and go from anxious to scared to angry to sad all in a matter of minutes. It makes me feel like I am going crazy. Every movement from her is like a angry powerful whip. Every time she slams down her knife and fork, everytime she talks at me not to me. Its like I am not there. Its like I am everything she thinks I am and not really me. I can not feel things anymore. I feel paralysed, like if I express, I will be punished. If not physically, then emotionally degraded. She smashed me in the face and dislocated my jaw when I was 21 as I was having a cry in the kitchen after the boy I had been seeing since I was 16 cheated on me and cracked onto my sister. She didn’t care, she sent me to a mental hospital because she didn’t want me at her house. I am now 33, and after coming out of another abusive long-term relationship, am staying at her house even though she made it very clear she didn’t want me. I am now starting to wake up. It is her. I am not the one with the mental issues just because she looks at me with pity as if I am too sensitive. I am awake to her now and even though it is so very painful to know she never has and never will love me, I have to break away and I mean really break away 100% as my life depends on it.

    • melania elena says:

      I don`t know about others, but I also used to have panic attacks when she was approaching me, manifestations that I recognized as what they were and why and learned to control. I was also having panic attacks before in childhood, in a different way, but all doctors were convinced they are a heart condition since she was posing in front of them as the most loving devoted mother ever. I myself realized what those were many years latter. I had no heart condition in reality. I also have problems with loud noises, cramped spaces,… – know what and why they are and keep my reactions under control. I can`t control having them, but i can control the fear and the bodily reactions – the heavy breathing, … Once you start realizing what it really was going on all along, about her narcissism, the process of healing begins and you will see that it will keep unfolding and happening even without you doing much to keep it advancing. It takes a while for it to be triggered, but once it starts, you can`t stop it. My advice to you is to not go thru this alone. Just because no doctor was able so far to realize what was happening to you – or this is the idea I got – that does not mean there is no doctor that can help you. Also, she seems very violent and possibly an actual physical threat. Talk to someone, ask for support – I know how difficult it can be – they know very well how to fool people to make themselves look as the greatest person in the world and make the victim look crazy or the villain. The thing is they need to make you think you can`t take care of yourself, so you would remain dependent on them, so they could offend you or abuse you in exchange of the little they pretend to give you, while making you accept their offenses and/or abuses and still needing their so called favors. If you really try, there really is a way to take care of your self. Put it this way: if tomorrow you were left completely alone in the world, would you not find a way to take care of yourself, would you not find a way to survive honourably? I am not saying it will be easy: self doubts will probably be a great enemy, maybe fainting courage or determination,… which is why I am saying: don`t do this alone – find a doctor to give you advice, to remind you that you deserve a normal life, free of any abuses, to support you – don`t do this alone but DO IT. You have the right to do it, it is not wrong to break away from a wrong situation and YOU CAN DO IT. If this seems a little artificial to you, I am sorry, I am not trying to patronize you or something. Really. It`s just that I know it can be very difficult to actually take the decision to break away from such a family / mother. As long as you still retain the slightest hope of ever making things right in your relationship with the narcissist, you will shy away from making a final decision, and that can drag for years. The thing is a narcissist never changes. They might mask their ways for a while but only with a certain purpose in mind – to maintain or repair their image or to gain a leverage(and they love having the most leverage they can have). They them selves never change. So there is no way you can make things right with a narcissist. You can either find a way to live with them in a relative not highly conflictual yet still unstable situation ( if that had been so easy, you would have found it years ago, and it would not have been an unstable one) by establishing very strict limits around your personal space, that are off limits to them, or you break completely any contact with them. If you maintain some contact, they will act like a fluid that has found an access way to infiltrate back into your life in order to take it over again. So breaking all contacts with them is in fact legitimate self defense and a matter of personal survival without going crazy yourself, and not at all an act of disrespect, disloyalty or revenge or any other thing you might think of. Wish you luck and courage and determination.

  76. Michael Brandon says:

    I am grateful to read this important information. I am not concerned with my own mother but with my kids mother. I got here trying to find out why my kids mother told my oldest daughter that I didn’t love her or her sister while I told my daughter that I loved her and to tell her sister too. I came upon this site and by reading all of the signs and symptoms I now know exactly what is wrong with my kids mother. Every single sign numbered on here, I have experienced them with her. Every single one. I honestly thought it was Münchausen syndrome. She was diagnosed with bi polar disorder but I thought she was just raised to be spoiled.
    The whole time she tried to make it sound like I was the crazy one in our relationship I tried to find out why she acts the way she does and why she does what she does. I have passed this site on to her but like usual she called me crazy on top of a few other words and just blamed me for all of her problems. I am going to try and get some kind of help for her as soon as possible because I want us to have a healthy relationship with our kids especially. I hope everybody on here can find a way to their problems and find help to cure it.

  77. Lisa says:

    My mother is narcissistic. My brother is the golden child. She never has to have the spotlight though, none of those things. She seems to hate everything. I have her only grandchild. When he was little she told me I was a horrible mother & if she could take him away from me she would. Now she tells him how bad I am and thinks they have a secret special relationship and he keeps secrets from me to agree with her. This sounds crazy writing it! I’m 50 yrs old & all I hear on my head is her shaming me. I we struggled w major depression & anxiety bc of it have struggled w jobs. Its ruined me it seems. My son is still dependent and I am now I’ll w/no savings. Guess who has plenty of money!? Not only does she terrorize me about it she won’t come to help while I’m I’ll. Leaves it to a teenager go care for his sick mother go go school, house chores, all of it. My brother lives on the other side of the country & we have no one else. I would take my life & get away from all this if it weren’t for my great kid. I would never abandon him to be left with this monster. I pray to overcome all the time . I feel weak & as incompetent as she tells me I am. I sometimes think she is the devil.

  78. tanya says:

    I have always known that my mother is toxic, but this helps me put a name to her condition. She has EVERY single predictor for NPD. That’s incredible. I had no idea so many people had mothers like this.

  79. Carol says:

    This article is amazingly accurate!
    It’s a great reminder not to take the abusive treatment from your mother, to heart. Very validating to read .. thank you

  80. Chastity says:

    I read the list of the sighns and there are so many things on that list that describes my mother. I think hat the abuse was worse when I was a young child. But in a way it’s still just as bad. I was a good child who rarely got into trouble but, my mom treated me as if I was the most badly troubled child in existence. Here’s an example of what my childhood was like. I would sit in my room with music on or watch some tv.While doing some type of art like drawing and, all of a sudden, my mom would barge in the room, hit me, grab my hair and pulled me towards the door, while yelling at me. She would then push me to the spot where she wanted me after she was done pulling my hair. She would do this because of something that was so stupid, such as, forgetting to take out he garbage. I was around the age of 10. I’m human, I forget things. When I was in kindergarten, up to 8th grade, my mom would make me walk up to kmart ( which is 4 hours away with walking.) to get school clothes because she didn’t want to pay 7 dollars for a taxi. She’s so greedy with money it’s ridiculous and she has never worked a day in her life. Which means, she has never actually earned the money she has had. She has secret staches of money laying around for a rainy day but, when a rainy day comes, she doesn’t use any of it. Not even a penny.

  81. Diana Thornton says:

    I am so glad I came across this. Sue, who is my so called mother fits all of this. I’m the Scapegoat in a dysfunctional family, and my sister who was killed in a car accident was the hero child. Daddy tried to take his life Mom has restricted me from daddy. She blames me with it of course she can never take fault at anything she has ever done. Daddy had to sneak to call me when she wasn’t around, she blocked me from calling there.
    Daddy told his sister Pat it was like he lost another daughter and his world ended and had nothing to live for. Mom was doing dad really wrong, and he wasn’t mentally stable. Barbara and ray acted liked they were trying to help him. Mom told daddy she was going to divorce him, get a divorce off the internet for 60 dollars, she was going to take the house, told him she has lost respect for him, because he was in psychiatric hospital. She caused him to be in there. when sister died in a car accident my mother asked me at the funeral home why it wasn’t me? Through the years I had to live in my sister’s footsteps. In Feb on 2014, my parent’s went to Hawaii. My dad apparently had another stoke on the way, and it got to the point he needed to go back home. She stayed in Hawaii, put him on an airplane by himself with him thinking he had another stroke she jumped all over him for trying to ruin her vacation, and hid everything from me. I can’t understand why my mother is blaming me for everything she has done. My sister’s last Christmas in 1982 i was at my grandmother Thornton’s home. My mother went off the deep end. She beat up my sister, took her Christmas presents away, hit daddy over the head with an umbrella, my grandaddy Bell had to go to mom’s friend Sheron’s when she lived in Waverly at the time, and had to get my sister’s Christmas present’s out of the trunk of her car. We went to my grandaddy Bell’s to eat for Christmas mom has this envelope and gets my sister’s attention. She told my sister she is taking her to court for pulling her hair out. My sister didn’t do it. Mom in a rage yanked a chunk of her own hair out, had a huge bald spot Mom always beat me and my sister up, mentally abused us, and my poor daddy. She packed him up and threw him out I don’t know how many times See I’m from a dysfunctional family. my psychologist and psychiatrists told me I’m the scapegoat in a dysfunctional family Yep… I can’t figure out why I was born into a crazy family. I’m having a hard time now forgiving people that knew about us being beaten, and saw the bruises as to why they never tried to help us. What mother takes her child, and has intercourse with another man? She did. I keep having more flashbacks.
    Deputy Dudley who was a deputy for my grandaddy when he was sheriff. My grandaddy fired him, because of it.
    When my baby died, she told me my sister took her, because she couldn’t have any children. Two red heads in heaven she said. I have found a great Trauma Specialist. I start hypnotherapy soon. Hypnotherapy for PTSD is an evidence-based treatment and can effectively treat the symptoms as well as the underlying causes. The people who have the most severe PTSD symptoms and who will likely benefit greatly from hypnotherapy are people who have had previous trauma or stressful experiences during childhood. Here are some of the unique ways that hypnotherapy is effectively used in the treatment of PTSD: Immediate installation of powerful stress reduction exercises that can be recorded so the PTSD client can replay recordings of these exercises daily or as often as needed after leaving the treatment facility Titration of symptoms so that the PTSD client can slowly reduce his or her reactions to the common triggers Identifying each trigger so that the client experiences more control of situations in their life Hypnotherapy to go even deeper into individual memories to see if other, previous stressful events are adding fuel to the PTSD wildfire
    My mother did not want me to have this done before, because she knew all of her dirty secrets will be reviled. I know one day I will be able to function in this world. I should already be able to now. I’m 43 years old

  82. IR says:

    Now I see the term about an abusive mother. Unfortunately I was living under control from a mother like this, always so picky with me, making me to work hard since I was a kid, housekeeping, home work and school. All straight, such as always blaming when my dad was giving money to me, then my mom interrupt blaming and complaining that I never should ask for money, that I should be so responsible and to work so hard for to obtain money, because I would be a lazy person. But always her idea was: ‘All for me and nothing for you”.
    I never have an experience about to have a girlfriend, she said that when sons get girlfriends they end up abandoning the mother, my mom she did the possible for to break up my couplings, throwing objects, threats such as to seize my car (when I was 18 years old), such as using any object for to beat me up, belts, cutting boards, pans, brooms, sticks, and pans.
    The bad thing is that there’s no time refund.

  83. Anna says:

    Thank you for this article.
    I have always tought my mother is one of a kind but this describes her perfectly

    But, I wonder WHAT TO DO ????

    is there any way to “cure” a person from this disease ??

    • Ali says:

      There is no cure for narcissism. It occurs in the early development of a child’s brain. When a child does not receive love and recognition from a parent (or substitute) the pathways in the brain develop differently from a normal brain. A narcissist is unable to feel sympathy and therefore can not truly care for someone even if they wanted to. There is no cure and no therapy. Even if a narcissist recognizes that they are treating others badly, they don’t care, because they can’t.

  84. Tony says:

    It’s really interesting that most of the people posting on this site seem to have suffered for most of their lives and realise their Mother to have this narcissistic personality so late in life.

    I to have realised the same and I’m 34 now. I looked for a cure to see if I can salvage any relationship with my mother at all but it looks like there is nothing. A personality is difficult to change! I think it’s best to just accept that we’ve never had a real mother, as hard as that is. It’s the best way.

    I wonder if there is a correlation between unplanned births and narcissism towards that child?

    I just hope that I can help myself out of the depression and anxiety I have faced in the past so they stay in the past and that my daughter is not affected. I don’t want my mother to get too involved in raising my daughter but my siblings have told me in the past….it’s her only grand daughter, she deserves to be around her etc etc.

    Let me know if you have any views.

    • Nicole says:

      ……I wonder if there is a correlation between unplanned births and narcissism towards that child?…… Just wanted to answer your question.

      I too grew up with a horrible narcissistic mother. just disgusting really. but I have to say that neither of my children where planned and I have never treated them like she treated me. I think that it is just something within the person nothing to do with an unplanned pregnancy.

      I also am trying to keep my mother from damaging my own children. sometimes I come off as the crazy person for laying into her for it but you know what I have realized… I am an adult and she has no say about what I do or what my children do. I try to approach her nicely but she always gets so defensive and says I’m rude for saying anything to her (the queen I have come to referrer to her as) that I end up yelling but ya know what!! I’m gonna protect my children no matter what. I never want them to feel the way I did growing up.

  85. Lost says:

    I have a narcissist for a mother. It’s the worst thing in the world! She has two other children that are so co dependent on her so, since I’m different, she calls me the narcissist. It’s all so frustrating. I tried no contact about a year ago. I was done. Through. Didn’t care. She couldn’t handle it. She actually apologized and we had the most heartfelt conservation ever. I was actually able to tell her how I felt. She finally seemed to understand. She claimed she was so embarrassed and that I never deserved all that. Wow. She gets it!!! Well, things were ok for a bit. A good bit. Now they’re back. Now I hate myself for even giving her the chance again. I should’ve known. The worst thing is that I seem to never learn. As if she doesn’t make me feel inadequate enough as it is. Why do I still, after knowing how she is, why do I still yearn for her approval. I hate myself for that!!! Damn her!! It’s not fair. It like I just want a normal, supportive loving mother. Like most people. Why didn’t I get that???? Why???

  86. Amelia says:

    I’m in my early 40s, single mom, and only just now understanding this stuff and that maybe I am not so horrible a person. Thing is, my mom just tricked me into living with her again. This is the first I’ve seen her be crazy and I’m terrified. I am trapped and no idea how to get out (I have little money and not enough to get an apt). Long story. I so to understand any of it. I am so confused. I don’t think I’ll make it very long. And I will wish I hadn’t posted this because things will be better if I go back to not knowing.

  87. Michelle Lowe says:

    I just realized today reading the stories all of you strong women that this is what my mother was. She passed away in 2010 at age 65 and as sad as I was at the time I also new I was free. I am 43 and have suffered from many of the same problems with relationships many of you have described. I am also adopted so this was adding fuel to the fire. My life and my belief in myself has drastically changed for the better since my mother passed away but it makes me sad reading some of your stories where you still feel stuck. All I can say is you are not who your mother says you are or tells people you are. You are beautiful strong women who have been through a hellish upbringing and adulthood and I pray that you see yourselves as the shining light that you all are. Be well.

    • Nicole says:

      Wow i really feel for all of you . I am now 39yo and lived with a narcissistic mother my whole life. however I only just found this article and realized it and it has totally explained my life. My issue not is trying to keep her from torturing my own children. We have gone thru a financial hardship (foreclosure) my husband I and my two teenage girls have had to move into my parents house temporary while we get our shit back together. This has been the worst 3 months of my life. My poor father is wonderful I feel bad for him because he has had to deal with this everyday for over 40 years. She loves to cut people down in from of other people. I have had to reprimand her many times for attacking my youngest daughter (14). She loves to order her around when she has a friend over. Now these are great kids. My kids are never disrespectful they never leave a messes around because they know the rather of their grandmother will come if anything isn’t where or how she left it. My heart aches because my youngest is stuck at home with her while my husband and I are at work. I do not ask or need her to “babysit” since she is 14 however my mother thinks that she needs to tell her what to do and not do in my absence or when I am there doesn’t matter. Then if I approach her about it or anything she has done I am rude and disrespectful. She takes it out on my daughter later giving her attitude or dirty looks I can’t let her tourture my child but I have nowhere else to go right now. I know i should appreciate the roof over our heads (however I am paying ALL the bills… util and mortgage) but as I’m sure any of you know with this type of mother I am reminded everyday that this is her house. She acts like we should treat her like a queen like she does no wrong and is so perfect. for example we will make dinner usually me my father and my mother will do a little something and then tell everyone else how to do everything. then after dinner she will sit back in her chair and push her plate forward waiting her us to clean up everything and pickup her plate and clear it for her. I teach my children my example I woul never sit back like that and expect them to wait on me without doing my part too. Does anyone have any suggestions for dealing with a narcissistic mother and now grandmother. HELP!! I am truly beginning to hate my mother and cant even look at her anymore without feeling like I want to slap her. I know this is not right and is a bad thing but come on how long can someone take this type of behavior.

  88. Josephine says:

    I read the article with great relief and the comments left with empathy. Excuse my English it is not my mother tongue.
    I am 55yrs and although my mum is now going through senile dementia I have been reflecting lately if she wasnt narcissitic. She is 82yrs. I am alone very much so as I dont have contact with my siblings since about a year when mum had a stroke (last Aug). I fell out with them because mainly I want my mum in a home were she can be properly cared for. I also wanted to get away from them …a comment my brother made while we were discussing what we should do about my mother after the stroke was ‘We settle this and we all go our separate ways’. … How awful of him…so I went my separate way cutting off all ties with all of them including my nieces and nephews who are still all below 10 years. I suppose I wanted to be in control… I moved away from them before they slowly did. I dont know…

    We are four children and my dad killed himself some 40 years ago. I have reflected over our upbringing and what has brought us to this situation …we have always been dysfunctional … my mother to control us pitted us against each other and going round telling friends and family how bad we behaved. In fact I think I have spent the best part of my life trying to please them all (siblings in particular) including her.

    Alot of the points described in the article fit …jealous, rage etc not much love or sentiment or affection unless it is acknowledging the receipt of something material like money jewellry etc and then not always either. She is childlike not now from years before. She is very negative of course my father’s death didnt help but she was never happy and never realising that her manipulation of us was causing turmoil and unhappiness.

    I was married for a brief time and my ex husband said one thing to me which has remained with me till this day…’your mother never loved you. You are not loved’. And it hurt … it still does but it is true because with my brother’s comment of going our separate ways I have felt very unloved. For the young children I have swallowed a lot of ill threatment … we grow up isolated from all my dad’s familly mostly because of my mother so I have always wanted to be an aunt to my nephews and nieces. A rock.

    Up till a couple of months ago after I figured everything out including how she manipulated us throughout our lives etc and saw through all the fights etc I thought … oh dear now with her fragility and her dementia it is too late to talk and discuss and perhaps love each other. Now today I know that even if she was mentally healthy ie no dementia she would still be narcissistic and there is no way she will have an honest discussing leading to a hug and a cuddle.

    I have never know her to hug me or cuddle me… and I always kissed her everyday of my life because I was always so afraid I would lose her but I never really had her.

    I visit her almost everyday and although she is verbally abusive about my siblings and to me I know that I will still keep on visiting because she is my mother and that is what makes the difference between me and her. I forgave her sometime ago.

    I dont have contact with my siblings and I dont want to. I dont want to end up like her unloving but I dont want to have to put up with how deceptive my siblings are. How unloving and uncaring they are. It is lonely but I have learnt to live with myself … relationships are hard very hard. It is difficult to trust and I guess to accept love.

    Thanks for all the comments I feel that I am not as alone as I thought I was and I hope that I am not narcissistic too.

  89. mick says:

    my heart breaks for everyone here but it is so inspiring to see other women (& men too!) finally coming to the realization of their Narcissistic mother/father & the toll they have taken on our lives. I am 50 and have had 20+ years of therapy; however, it wasn’t until I could no longer afford therapy that I started doing research for myself and ended up here (& there), discovering the N parent.

    i have spent my WHOLE life feeling utterly worthless, unloved & alone in a family of 3 children. My older siblings most likely feel the same way; however, they will not talk about their childhood. They are reclusive, insulated loners & I am not too far off that path. None of us has ever married; my brother has 2 adult children but was not in their lives. We each have struggled with every aspect of life.

    My mother is a classic Narcissist. She has always been beautiful, the center of attention, everyone outside our home always said “I LOVE your mother”…..well then, you can have her. Now she is almost 80 and is more miserable than ever.

    I won’t relay the details of our oppressive, mean-spirited upbringing (that also included a violent Narcissistic father) but I am finding myself desperately treading water & desperately trying to find an identity for myself, this late in life.

    I am a musician, a good singer (won competitions in school, etc.) but I can’t even write music hardly anymore. My voice is all but silenced. I never finish writing songs for the HORRIBLE FEAR of judgement from others. My mother only “encouraged” my music if I played or sang the songs SHE wanted me to
    (i.e. “happy songs”). Let’s just say we do not have the same tastes in music….esp. my own music, so I just stopped being a musician altogether in order to keep the peace.

    (Side bar: I’m sure some of this stems from the fact that I totally fear that I will be seen as arrogant if I embrace my talents/skills/gifts–as this is how I saw my N father–always bragging, beating his chest about “how great” he was & how “no one seemed to understand that.” Yes, I am extremely fearful of other people thinking I am arrogant).

    I am wondering if any of you have suffered such repeated blows to your esteem that you feel like a NOBODY? Like you have NOTHING TO OFFER THE WORLD unless you are DOING SOMETHING FOR SOMEBODY ELSE?
    I know now that this is from having Narcissistic parents; the feeling of no identity, of worthlessness, feelings of being in enormous debt to these N parents (esp my mother). I GET IT. I understand psychologically now HOW I got to this place; however, I do not know how to GET OUT OF THIS PLACE.

    Years of therapy have helped me in a lot of ways. I am more aware now than any time in my life of the repeated abuses., but I still somehow canNOT make the leap.

    My songs are full of rage, hopelessness and are pretty dark. My singing voice is loud, gets peoples’ attention pretty quickly and put these together & you have a LOUD GIRL SCREAMING HER LUNGS OUT about the pain & suffering she has endured. My mind immediately goes to, “WHO the hell wants to hear about THAT?” “Everyone will think you are DARK & LOUD &
    ANGRY”, “WHO do I think I AM?”, “People only want JOYOUS, LOVE SONGS”, “THE WORLD IS PAINFUL ENOUGH—nobody wants to hear YOUR pain” and the litany goes on……

    so I have remained shut down. My musician friends moved on. One even
    voicing his aggravation & saying “You are so talented. I don’t know WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.” Each leaving me, one by one and going on & having musical lives and “normal” lives (i.e. marriage, house, children, etc.)

    I know there may not be many 50 yr old rock star-wannabes out there, but can anyone relate to this? And if so, does anyone know what I can do BESIDES therapy (again, 20+ years already) to reclaim myself? I fear dying like this honestly.

    Thanks for listening!

  90. Britannia says:

    I am 56 and still having to cope with the constant theatrical and explosive outbursts of my 82 year old mother.Although we are physically estranged, she will make phone calls a nightmare by picking and provoking until she gets the defensive response she is looking for from me.There is no love, empathy, joy or support from her to me during our conversations and she always has to be the main subject of the chat at all times. The worst thing about my relationship is the twisting of the truth to others and the ensuing character assassination which results.She will give other people her version of events and portrays herself as the wronged,martyred misunderstood victim of a heartless daughter.Most people seem to swallow this as she makes sure she is always sweet and kind to other people.The injustice makes me feel ill sometimes.

  91. jules says:

    hi
    i have just come across this site and i cant believe im the only one with this problem.
    im 36, an only child and my father left when i was 11, i am now a mother to my 4yr old daughter and having had a week from hell thanks to my mother AGAIN im starting to think i should stay away as my health has suffered badly thanks to her behaviour.
    too many ticks on the list but im relieved that this is the reason.
    im a single parent and would welcome any groups, blogs, forums where i could chat with others in a similiar situation with their mother.
    so glad i came across this….
    :)

  92. Ahriman says:

    I am nearly 50, male, and only recently suspected that my wicked step-mother was narcissistic. “Steppy”, as I call her, is short for step-mother. I will not even grant her the respect of calling her “Mom”. She never earned it. What took me so long to grasp this was that Steppy was, and is, an arch-hypocrite who steeps herself in patriotism, religion, morality, and seemingly unselfish social / community efforts!

    I realize that, due to both a medical condition and having a high-IQ, I was not the easiest child to bring up. Due to my medical needs, I had and have to be selfish to survive. Steppy never had that excuse. She did grow up poor, which made her greedy. But she never realized that, despite early poverty and a humble beginning, that she was part of a very privileged generation.

    It was a very good thing that I was an only child. If not, Steppy would have found a favourite, and that favourite would not have been me.

    1 – Hypocritical about it. Steppy had to be the centre of attention, all right. She had to be the “Jewish mother” of the neighbourhood, the “most unselfish” community volunteer, busiest cook for church picnics, etc.
    2 – Not siblings, of course, but Steppy would always compare me to people my age who were the most hypocritical bullies, and find me wanting.
    3 – And for my own good, too.
    4 – See #2.
    5 – She would always take everyone else’s side: teachers, bullies, bad bosses, etc.
    6 – See above.
    7 – Not only was Steppy that way, abut also a “sanity Nazi” about it, always finding me crazy (and selfish, criminal, traitorous, etc.), and crusading against craziness and abnormality.
    8 – Especially about my brains, my hobbies/ interests, and about the little happiness that I had. She acted as if I made her life a living hell because of my special needs, and as punishment, I had no right to be happy.
    9 – Liar and somewhat delusional. Crazy but convinced she’s the most normal person in the world. (Which BTW is not only undesirable but impossible.)
    10 – Sadist, bully, coward – and 100% in denial.
    11 – Hypocritical: sees herself and wants others to see her as great unselfish humanitarian. Pol Pot in Mother Teresa’s clothes.
    12 – Self-absorbed, and the Queen of Negation!
    13 – Yep.
    14 – Let others terrorize me. I wouldn’t be surprised if Steppy plotted to frame me for an actual crime just to sic the cops on me. Mind you, it would make her look very bad too, having a son in prison.
    15 – She is like that to everyone, and hypo about it.
    16 – Steppy is aggressive and shameless to the point where she literally hears what she wants to hear, rather than what others actually say.
    17 – n/a
    18 – Takes pride in my accomplishments at school for her purposes only – but degrades my hobbies because they are not ones that bring fame.
    19 – Steppy puts words into everyone’s mouth.
    20 – Never wrong, also no regret or remorse.
    21 – Steppy is from a generation and background not known for empathy, which helps her with her peers. They never suspect. When I got to the point in my life where I had real friends, many of them were shocked about my parents, and what they “got away with”.

    Other points about Steppy. She is dehumanizing: literally treating other humans like lumps of flesh with no intellectual or emotional needs. As expected, all the abuse in my life was emotional, never physical or sexual. And as expected, Steppy was closer to plants than to animals or human beings, and had superficial relationships at best.

    Steppy was also defensive of family secrets and skeletons in closets; to the point of discouraging family members from seeking any sort of professional help for dealing with family dysfunction. She was also extremely misandrist while small-c conservative at the same time. For example, she was against abortion, and believed a woman’s place was in the kitchen, but had the privilege to be passively cruel to men.

  93. Barb says:

    I always know there was something wrong. My father took me to live with my aunt at a young age because she was not taking care of me. She left when I was a teenager than came back several years later. I don’t know what kind of person I would have become if my father had not done me that favor. Everyone thinks so is so nice, sweet and caring, even her family. I am so grateful I am not like her. I have had trouble with relationships, anger, aggression, abandonment issues. Now I have had her living with at an old age because I didn’t want to see her in a nursing home. But nursing home time has come. I can let go of the manipulation and abuse. Thank god for personal growth.

  94. Laura says:

    Thank you for this article. Every day I am reminded again and again that I fall into the ‘scapegoat’ category whilst my sibling, who is pandered to and adored, fall into the ‘golden child’ category. I’m coming to a turning point with my narcissistic mother in which I feel that I can no longer do anything but keep her at a distance because her very presence (or non-presence) in my life is toxic. She contacts me only to bemoan her own problems. She speaks to me only when it pleases her. She consistently makes a competition out of my achievements, belittling them whilst at the same time playing up the achievements of just about everybody else there is. She isolates and ostracises me, making me feel like I am unwelcome; that ‘the family’ has moved on without me.

    I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was my double miscarriage in which she told me that “all she’d wanted for Christmas was a grandchild” – followed by her flat out asking me “So, what do you want from me? Support?” There was no hug. No consolation. No comfort. I had not lost my children, I had lost her grandchildren and, when my brother’s wife became pregnant I never heard from her at all, but she goes to pains to remind me that the baby does this and the baby does that and the baby favours her above all else. She loves him so much, she tell me, that all the problems of her difficult existence pale into insignificance.

    It hurts, all of this. Each and every time she overlooks my achievements or my needs and pours all of her attentions, affections and concerns so blatantly onto everyone else it feels like just another barb. Just another jab to the heart. To my mother, I am nothing and, by extension, to my family I am nothing too. I am the undeserving ‘black sheep’ who is trying so very hard not to let it get to me but I can’t deny that each and every interaction I have with this woman leaves me feeling worthless, unwanted and unloved.

    How do we stop caring, though? How do we put a distance between us and them? It’s hard. Really, really hard.

    • Ahriman says:

      “”I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was my double miscarriage in which she told me that “all she’d wanted for Christmas was a grandchild” – followed by her flat out asking me “So, what do you want from me? Support?”””

      Is your mother named Nicolae Ceausescu, by any chance?
      What a cold-blooded piece of shit.

      You’re right, keep her at a distance. Don’t speak to that parental unit anymore – and if she harasses you, tell her you are going for the police. Parents can be stalkers too, and the ones who are deserve the same treatment as any other stalker.

      “”How do we stop caring, though? How do we put a distance between us and them? It’s hard. Really, really hard.””

      Yes, I know. They keep saying, “let go, forgive” – but sometimes you can use your anger as a weapon to defend yourself. Never forget how she objectified you and your child.

      With great power comes great responsibility … words for any parent. Of course, the good ones don’t need to be reminded. And nothing will change the bad ones. I know this sounds very black-and-white.

    • Gabrielle says:

      I don’t know if it’s possible to stop caring all together. What may help is thinking logically about it. Is any love she can possibly give you worth all this pain and all the tears? Probably not. The bad outweighs any possible good you may be hoping for.

      You are not worthless, don’t allow her to make you believe the lies she says about you. If she truly thought you were worthless she would not put so much effort into hurting you. It’s because you have worth that she competes with you. She feels insecure about herself so she feels the need to try to diminish your worth so that she can feel better about herself. She kicks you while you are down to try to weaken you.

      Allow yourself to begin the healing process. You can’t force her to change, but you can protect your heart. Learn the signs of her looking to pick a fight and then do not take the bait. Listen to your gut if it is telling you she is going to try something. When you go through decades of this you kind of develop a sixth sense for her incoming attacks, but you probably ignore it because you want to give her the benefit of the doubt. I wish you and everyone well on their journey of healing.

  95. Ahriman says:

    “Parents like that” are the ultimate traitors. What kind of human being betrays their children? And for what? Any parent who expects children, much less babies, to be living plastic dolls deserves to be sterilized. Children are by their very nature messy, dirty, noisy, etc. That includes holier-than-thou parents, too, when they were the same ages as their children.

    Why there is still so much abuse of children is mostly due to the “rose coloured glasses” syndrome. Most people, even from abusive or dysfunctional homes and schools, forget the bad stuff but not the good. They find it hard to believe that other people went through hell. They even think that other people dealing with a hellish past are somehow liars, ingrates, etc. We are somehow the “traitors” for facing the TRUTH, and trying to put our lives together, after years or even decades of BEING BETRAYED.

  96. Wanted to name me Melanie says:

    I am so glad to have found this site.

    We never had a mother-child relationship. She bullied me and my siblings and made us feel like we owed her something for having us. She made us feel guilty for living. She was miserable and made sure we were, too.

    – Forced her self-loathing onto us. Wouldn’t get into pictures because she was “fat”.
    – Made us feel guilty and ashamed for growing up and going through puberty
    – Never educated us about puberty, just gave me and my sisters a paper pamphlet
    – Taught us that anything “down there” was “dirty”
    – Slapped our hands if we scratched an itch below the waist
    – Taught us to hate our bodies
    – Taught us to eat disordered – she never ate in front of anyone, but binged when nobody was around. Then claimed she “never ate” but had a weight problem.
    – Forced us to kiss her good night but rebuffed any request for a hug
    – Never read to us or “tucked us in”
    – Mantra “I’m the parent”
    – Jealous of any attention our dad gave us
    – Taught us to fear everything
    – Didn’t teach us coping skills
    – Always blamed someone else and made us fearful that something bad was going to happen (robbery if the doors weren’t double locked, fire from leaving an appliance plugged in or a light on, drowning and therefore never taught us to swim bc she had a “near drowning” incident as a child)
    – Spanked openly and publicly, pants down, for minor infractions (spilling milk, asking “why”), often left red marks on face or thighs before school from slapping
    – Yelled at us frequently
    – Called us “rotten b-stard kids”
    – We couldn’t use the word “fart” but she used every known swear word, every day of our lives.
    – As kids, she never listened to our concerns so we used to write her notes. She would make fun of us, mocking us “oh, another NOTE”
    – We studied a foreign language at school, and my siblings and I would practice during homework. She got mad that she didn’t understand it and refused to let us speak it to each other because she thought we were talking about her.

    As adults
    – Divorced, she expects her daughters to provide all social interaction
    – Never took responsibility for herself; declared bankruptcy, lost two homes to foreclosure because she never paid bills, and she lives on social security and in senior housing
    – Lived with my sister for 15 years
    – Relies on us for all of her social interaction
    – Makes up medical emergencies for attention
    – Complains “nobody takes her out” to dinner or on vacation enough
    – She says that “as the mother” she shouldn’t have to call us, we should call her. When we do, she complains that she “hasn’t heard from you”
    – When she visits, she expects to be waited on (pour the coffee in her cup, the sugar and milk, stir it, serve food on her plate)
    – She expects expensive gifts
    – After a huge surprise 60th bday party that cost more than $1200 and involved months of planning and 50 guests, she complained that her children “didn’t get her anything” for her birthday
    – Got mad at my cat because it didn’t come running to the door when she came over
    – Every phone call involves 20-40 minutes of her complaining about her many (perceived) medical problems
    – When we see her, if we don’t run up to her and give her a greeting immediately, she makes a remark “am I not good enough to say hi to” even if we’ve got packages or kids or pets in our hands
    – At holidays, she repeatedly talks about how much money she spent making a certain dish or gifts that she gives, and then says that “she can’t afford it but did it anyway”
    – I once paid her medical bill and she got mad and said “next time you want to give me money, give me a walmart gift card or something like that”

    She is a miserable, passive aggressive person who makes me shudder whenever I know i am going to see or talk to her. She gets defensive when we try to talk to her. I feel like I never had a mother and never will. It breaks my heart even after 27 years of therapy.

  97. Paige says:

    This is my mom.
    Every single one of them.
    Right down to the identity theft.

  98. Teea says:

    Oh my god! I broke down into tears reading so many of these replys. Especially the comment of the woman who had gone to the extreme of having plastic surgery to NOT look like her mother whom she hated. That is exactly how I feel. I have always been told i look like my mother. And there is nothing worse. My story is very long and heart breaking as well. But I just wanted to share that I have gone to great lengths to be so far removed for my mother figure that I took my then 2 year old daughter and moved to the other side of the earth (Australia) to be away from her. I haven’t spoken to her in 5 years not has my daughter who is now 9. My husband (bless him) told me he didn’t like my mother and noticed something was wrong with her and the way she treated me was wrong She is toxic. A very wise person asked me if I would accept anyone else treating me the way she does. My answer was no, I shouldn’t. And therefore I don’t. She is out of my life and out of my daughters.

  99. Teea says:

    My mother figure is all these replies. I am happy to have found this site. I connected most with the comment about plastic surgery. I am actually contemplating surgery so I don’t look like my mother figure.

  100. Meli says:

    I had to scroll down quite a bit to comment – and I’m so glad I am not alone! It’s importent to know, because these N mothers can really make you feel like it’s all your fault that they are as mean and bitchy as they are.

    My mother left me and my sister for 10 years with the parents that she herself can’t even stomach seeing. It was a tough environment but I console myself knowing that my grandparents treated all their kids equally badly. No one was singled out as a favorite or golden child. But, my grandmother has actually now seen the error of her ways, and we seem to be rebuilding a bridge.

    My mother on the other hand…I just don’t know when it will ever happen. After 10 years of not seeing her when we were kids, there was hardly a hug, hardly a curiosity about who we were, hardly anything when we did see her again. It was just a ‘shut-up and put up’ attitude that persists to this day.

    I refuse to shut up, and this is what causes her all the problems. She needs to live in denial to cope with herself, and everyone must abide by that. Otherwise, she’ll fly into a rage. I have quite a tempter too, so we often clash.

    To keep a tiny bit of peace, I either have to pretend to be interested or we argue (because the hypocrisy has gotten to me). What I really dislike is when she starts talking bad about one of my siblings, and then I start defending them and then, I am the bad one. It’s really ruining our family.

    Because then, she does that with them too, but my dumb brother (her golden child) doesn’t get it. He’s falls into the trap and calls me to get on my case. I then have to quickly put him in his place.

    There seems to be too much firefighting all the time. Or, you just have to shut up and put up. It’s really not a viable set of choices.

    Unfortunately, with so much arguing going on, no one ever really speaks to each other. I speak to my brothers maybe once a year. I do have a very close relationship with my sister (we were both with my grandparents), but my brothers are from my mothers second marriage and she favours them generally.

    She says things like, ‘J never gives me any problems. He soothes me.’ She said that the last time I spoke to her (2 months ago).

    When we did live with her and were arguing regularly, other people would say, ‘you know, she really does love you.’ I would sometimes answer back, ‘I wish it was that obvious to me.’

    For me, I can’t get over how truly insensitive she can be, and her game of favourites is so distasteful that I can’t not speak up. It’s causing so many problems.

    Each one of us kids has had a breakdown at some point, and she just carries on in her ways. My dad is oblivious, and just cares about himself under the guise of looking out for everyone financially.

    The added complication is that we have a disabled brother that she uses to hide behind. She doesn’t have energy for anyone else. Having a disabled son shouldn’t prevent the parents from showing some love to the others. But in my family, my brother is the reason for everything. Oh, but when I point out that my disabled brother wasn’t even born when she abandoned me and my sister, she flies into a rage.

    Everything is everyone else’s fault. She does no wrong.

    She doesn’t see how she is tearing everyone apart.

  101. anni says:

    im 13 and im in yr 9 in secondary school. In a pshe lesson we did about emotional abuse at home and a lady from childline came in to talk to us about it. I finally realised there that my mother doesn’t carry suitable maternal traits. I’ve never known her to have more than one month without having a huge mood swing and getting really angry. She has taken from me in total 460 pounds, 300 pounds from when i was below the age of 10 and the rest now, without my permission. She hasn’t payed me back because apparently she does enough for me already and she deserves to take it. She’ll go through my phone when im not in the house and go through my room, she has read my personal diary and in that i wrote some stuff about her when i was in bad moods and she started throwing stuff at me, even her lighter, calling me an ungrateful slut, tramp, bastard etc… I’m also quite clever and get straight A’s across all subjects, but once I received a C grade in an end of year test last year and she threw my books at me and grounded me. Back in March, on the 6th, I couldn’t deal with this stress and it pushed me into self harming. She still hasn’t noticed today. It makes me feel awful that she doesn’t notice anything about me, or even cares. I’ve never known her to give me any form of cooked meal on a school day or even vegetables for that matter, because apparently if I have fruit or vegetables I’m “dieting” and becoming anorexic. She then argues with me if I have salad at school because I personally want to not have scurvy and then she’ll say stuff like “have a hot meal at school because I don’t have time to cook you a ****ing meal everyday” (she is unemployed and has everyday home alone because my dad is always working till late)
    I’m a size 6-8 in clothing yet even when I tell her that she gets me size 12 which always makes me feel awful because she is size 16 and i swear she is trying to make me that size. Its horrible.
    I’m not a snooper, but im not stupid either. When i was born i was 3 months premature and had an ear that got broken and has stuck out my whole life and i was very insecure about it so in april i had an operation to correct it. Now my mother claims she has back problems and needs a surgery which will be next week. But she is using the surgeon who did my ear, which is cosmetic. This is when i first realised she may be lying to me. Then on the computer history i foudn stuff about tummy tucks on there and i also found a receipt for 8,200.00 pounds for fleur de lys abdominoplasty with liposuction on the flanks. Using my knowledge i figured it was a tummy tuck with fat cut off the thighs.
    Yet still when I asked her what surgery she is going to get she still says its for her back but when i ask for what the doctor needs to do she is very vague and has no explicit knowledge particular to her operation which she must have by now if the operation is next week.
    Im really sick of this but then i think to myself, every mum shouts at their child from time to time and this is normal, but ireally dont know and would appreciate any replies or advice. It would mean a lot.

    And sorry for the bad grammar, i typed this in a hurry because my parents have just driven down to bristol and left me home alone (im in essex) because my brother told his best friend about what was going on at home ( my mum read through his phone). She said she is goign to disown him for this and change the locks on the house so he cant come back.

    Thank u soooo much.

  102. Anon31 says:

    Crying as I read some of the replies. I am 31 and discovered NPD last year. I finally broke down and Googled my problems with my mother- finally found this site/blog.

    It’s difficult, thinking I’ve hit a good stride, and then she thinks up a way to bait me or to blame me, an I can tell she is treating me differently than everyone else.

    Please feel free to reply! Needing some support.

    Also wondering how I can find a way to have some sort of healthy relationship with my mother since I would like my children to at least get to know my father. It seems like trial and error- mostly error and mostly she finds a new way to get me back into her cycle. :(

    • Jean says:

      Here’s my 2 cents…..The hardest part for me is living with my parents and watching my mother manipulate my kids. She undermines every decision or rule I have made. It has taught my kids not to respect me.
      My advice is to supervise her with your kids and if it starts turning ugly, leave. Allow your kids to do things both your dad and them will enjoy and preferably on a day when your mother is busy. If she’s anything like mine, she’ll complain that she wasn’t invited but it’s what’s in the best interest of your kids.

      Best of luck

    • Rebecca says:

      I have found that you can never get that heart desired intamacy with the said parent. But cutting them off made me feel bad. I go for short visits, and I am careful to avoid the drama, however thats not always possible. Last time I was around my Mum I organized to meet her in a cafe at midday. I got there at 11.53. I walked around a table to see her get up, put her coffee cup in the rubbish, and go to leave, I followed her, after plenty of therapy I know this, this is a set up to create drama, later it would be where were you? bla bla bla on and on, instead I pulled her up, and said, what are you doing? She gave her most charming smile and avoided the questions saying it wonderful to see me and could she buy me lunch. After $20K of therapy, I have a bit of fun with it all now, and think DAMN right you can buy me lunch. The following week we arranged to meet at her apartment at 12pm, which she was out, the emails and phone msgs afterward of the victim mother, Oh where were you I waited. I made a joke to my flatmate at the time, (as I was about to move far far away from the family, again) that they should have to pay me from now on if they cause trouble, actually only joking. She showed up to my fare well dinner with a card and $200 in it. Sure pays to think positively! I have moved away again now, and never will I return. I did my time as an abused child. Ive come back a functioning realistically happy person, and I have ticked the boxes of spending time with family. Now to live my own life……….

  103. Ron says:

    Hello,

    Thanks for such a great article. I am 23 year old male and fortunately my mother is the most caring, affectionate, sacrificing mother and I love her a lot. But I would like to have an opinion from you and would really appreciate if you give my problem some thought.

    My question is about the mother of my nephew (she is my cousin). I am dead sure she suffers from NPD. Her husband and parents don’t dare speak when he speaks or argue on something when she takes a decision. She gets offended even if you ask her something (for example, “do you know xyz thing that is eaten in that country”). She even insulted me when I met with a road accident, was hospitalized and my parents were in a different country.

    My nephew became 13 this August. I have known him since he was a boy aged 4. He had always been very close to me, and always flocked around me whenever i met him. Therefore, we have always been on good terms, and I am kind of like his friend since age of 6. We are best buddies that’s what he called it. We would stay together, play games, pranks and it was special relationship for me. My guess is he might have wanted some fun. I met him last on Christmas of 2012 and I had a really good time with him. I had a lot of unconditional love for him and he was one of my bestest friends ever.

    But when his mother insulted me, treated me so harshly forgetting all the good things I have done for their family, I was devastated. All alone in a foreign country and that also after a terrible accident. What hurt me most was my nephew never contacted me in any way. Sometimes I pity him for having such mother. Sometimes I feel hurt by him, thinking he is just like his narcissist mother. He just used me for fun and because he was bored. Don’t know, a painful memory that is latched with my life. I miss him on all his birthdays, i was first one to wish him, without any reminder or anything.

  104. Liander says:

    Thanks so much for this post – it very closely describes my mother. And I recognize bits and pieces of my childhood in many of the comments. For many years I tried to figure out what kind of demon lived behind my mother’s very charming, personable mask. I didn’t know enough about narcissistic traits to recognize what she was. I welcome the opportunity to tell my story too, because there plenty of us out there, and it’s good to know we are not alone. I’ve been searching online to understand how things came to be this way.

    I am in my 50’s, and decided 2 years ago to totally disassociate myself from my mother. I was laid off from my job (I’m working again)- she was so contemptuous of me that my relationship with her, never a good one, became absolutely intolerable to me. I am still dealing with the emotional consequences and guilt, but wish I had made this decision 30 years ago and made some kind of normal life out from under her thumb. I have spent my life believing I was literally subhuman – a worthless burden – genetically inferior – a loser. She has told me these things and others all my life, but never when anyone else was present. I believe it was so she could control and dominate me without revealing her evilness to other people. She needs me to be this way so she can impress her friends with her nobleness in raising me despite my utter selfishness and worthlessness, and to make sure my self-esteem is too low to survive on my own so I am always there to serve her. She doesn’t care how it has hurt me and twisted my life. In fact she has no interest in my life outside of what I do for her at all. And she will do anything, say anything to get her way.

    She has always lied and accused me of saying and doing things I never said or did (as she did to my father and her 2nd husband – both gone), because it gets her a lot of attention from friends who think she is absolutely wonderful and feel sorry for her. And she feeds off the power she has to crush and humiliate me. I have a lifetime of memories of her smug little smile – like a cat who just had cream – every time she crushed me and I failed to do anything but cringe in humiliation. And in my middle-age I’m still too weak to stick up for myself and call her out for the latest little lie or humiliation.

    Her accusations in recent years are more extreme, and I worry that they will be believed and lead to a criminal charge. She is charming, attractive, and believable – I’m not. Another reason I need to disassociate myself from her is to protect myself. And I just can’t stand to be around her anymore. I’m sick to death of being told I’m selfish and disappointment. I’ve never pursued my own interests, because I would always be accused of selfishness. After all these years, her contempt for me doesn’t wound me quite so much anymore; however, it is deeply wounding to realize I have spent my entire adult life unable to grow the spine to become my own person, and determine my own future.

    She has substantial assets – inherited not earned. She likes to pit me and the sibs against each other over her inheritable assets to create a never-ending drama centered on her. And she has tried to control what I do with threats of disinheritance. The only good thing she ever did for me was tell me that I wouldn’t inherit a dime – though I know it was a manipulative tactic to create drama. So I have earned what I have, and want and expect nothing of hers. Not her house, not her stuff, not her money. I live below my means, got rid of all debt, and save. I’ve made sure I can take care of myself. I will always need to be very frugal because I don’t make much, but it’s better than being a puppet in her dramas.

    I had hoped to be able to maintain a family relationship with my mother and sibs; however, my siblings want me to move in with her when she gets too old to take care of herself, because they do not want their inheritance depleted, and they are used to me taking care of things and ‘sacrificing’ my needs. No one will accept that I won’t sacrifice the rest of my life for her (actual recent quote – “you will do as you are told!”). And it would be a sacrifice – she would swallow me whole. I would live in a continual state of shame and humiliation because that is how she wants me to be. I know my life would return to the hopelessness and sheer, depressing grotesqueness of my youth. I would rather die than live with my mother or live in her house.

    So I won’t do it. I am opting out. No compromise is possible. I don’t care anymore if my family and my mother’s friends think badly of me for it. She has sufficient assets to pay for long-term care when the time comes, and I don’t care if her money is depleted before the sibs can inherit; so I have no guilt regarding any of that. I’m done with the lot of them. If I’m lucky, I will still have a good 20 years or so to build a good life for myself – I will pursue my interests, and be able to live with being thought ‘selfish’ for doing so.

    Thanks for the space to unload and rant. Bless us all and grant us the strength to move beyond our pasts.

  105. Jean says:

    Reading about narcissistic mothers has made me realize that’s EXACTLY what my mother is. Sadly, part of me thinks that I have picked up on some of these things in my own parenting. I can read through the list as a daughter and say they all apply. As a mother, not all of them, but more than I’d care to admit. I’m hoping that this realization isn’t too late and I can work on changing and making the relationship with my daughter better.
    The hardest part is that not only is she 17 and about to graduate and head off to the Navy but my narcissistic mother has manipulated her – triangulation – so that my daughter has little to no respect for me.
    My head is spinning a little trying to take all of this in and understand it. Hopefully my therapist can make sense of it all.
    I highly recommend seeing a professional if it’s within your ability.
    And I wish you all healing as I understand deeply how growing up this way can make you feel. The relationships I’ve been in and certain choices I’ve made are all becoming clearer. Sad that the person who is supposed to love us the most, has caused us so much pain. I would be devastated to think I’ve caused my children (or anyone) this type of trauma.

    Feel free to contact me if you have any advice or just want to discuss.

  106. Rebecca says:

    I spent 10 years in therapy for this reason. THEN I started a series of 4 years, of dating two men, both with the same thing. I had a whole string of encounters like my childhood, that finally after integrating my therapy, and no longer a defensiveness child, I could fight back, see the situation, choose to leave it, and be on my way. However, I do think at 44, what a waste of a life. To get abused for 15 years until I left home, then I abused myself for 15 and became an addict, then spent 10 years in therapy, then 5 re experiencing what I had been through. Now I am single, but happy, I feel I am a lot healthier and functioning (but still self aware myself as those traits of Narcissism slip out from time to time too), but what a world eh. Its my opinion and from reading and therapy that we are now more than ever in a Narcissistic culture. Its very damaging. As its every where now, in small doses, its annoying and superficial and boring.

  107. Amelia says:

    I just wanted to post something to see if I really do have a narcissistic mother. I’m unsure because she isn’t super mean or super strict. I love her dearly because she’s been sacrificing stuff in life for me.

    I thought I’d break it down to a brief background of her; a brief background on me; and then little signs I’ve picked up through the years that might make her out to be a narcissistic person.

    Her background:
    She grew up in a alcoholic family (but got help thankfully)
    she was a single mother ( with not a lot of help; mainly my now deceased grandmother); divorced and separated from my deceased father
    She works in law and works forty plus hours a week. Any other job and we would not be living in relative luxury. It’s good she has this job because I’m a twenty something who has gone to uni for her BA but cannot find employment

    I think she feels screwed over in life because she did not have a great upbringing or a good marriage and then had a child with a mild disability. She’s always worried about money, having never really had ‘enough’. She’s smart and resents, to a degree correctly, that people don’t get all that much money for going to school for a short while. Plus she never had a good relationship with her siblings. I love her dearly though.

    My background
    I was born with a stutter- it’s mild now; it impacted my social self when I was younger
    However, I’m an introvert
    I have no siblings

    Over the years she’d say to me about some person who we knew both and had done some accomplishment or who was working, ” So and so will go far. They’re really smart’. Did she say that to me, in that context, ever? NO.

    She wants me to be independent, yet she has always done things for me.
    (ie. When I was younger, she’d answer questions so I wouldn’t have to say a thing)

    She’ll say one thing and then renege on it.

    She feels like she has to do everything, on top of her stressful job. It’s sort of like a reverse psychology thing I guess: she doesn’t see that she’s already stress, so she thinks, might as well add more stress to this stress cocktail!

    I feel like I’m looking for approval from people. Like someone said, I feel like I need ‘fixing’ of some kind. I sometimes wonder if I’m capable. Are these signs that I should book an appointment with a shrink?? Should I be concerned that I was abused, without really realizing it?

    I mean, she says that she’s sacrificed stuff for me, but I wonder about that….
    Not that I’m ungrateful for her paying for my education and things I need in life.

  108. Sonia says:

    Thank you for this post, it finally made me understand my mother and myself better. I am 29, still living with my parents. A couple of times I made an attempt to liberate myself by living far away from her as possible, but I always seem to return because she will always talk about how ‘sick’ she is and how much she needs me to take care of her. I always seem to have a soft spot yet when I return I feel like I’m pushed down as low as possible and substituting her role as a mother in the house. I am the 3rd out of 5 childred. I have 2 older siblings who are married and are doing well with their own lives, my younger sister is studying abroad, so it’s just me, dad and my lil sis (the golden child). She makes me and my dad look for as much money to support her lifestyle and will get unreasonably upset if her wishes are not met. She seems to hate every guy I date without any logical reason and will do whatever she can to keep me in the house like a puppet. I’m so frustrated sometimes that I even feel like I’m also losing empathy… I’m starting to not feel sorry that she’s sick.

    I thought about leaving again but I really feel for my dad who has been striving to meet all her needs through even the hardest and even the most emotionally abusing times. It really makes me depressed..

  109. Mikki says:

    I can so relate to Mick. I come from a home of two narcissistic parents and a brother who has taken it to the next (sociopathic) level. At almost 56 and after looking after my mother since my Dad died nine years ago I have reached the walk away point.

    I am the scapegoat to my brother’s golden child. I have called him “Golden Boy” for many years….he was never held accountable for anything he did, from small things like wrecking Dad’s car (twice) or big things like refusing to take Dad to the hospital when it looked like he’d had a stroke (he was the only one with a car).

    In the nine years since my Dad died I had to leave my life to take care of Mom who had no clue how to pay bills, pump gas, use a debit card or balance a check book. I was reduced to cutting to get through the first few years to just deal with the pain. I should have listened to my two aunts who had come over from England to help with Dad but he died while they were in flight. They spent three weeks with us and about two weeks in after witnessing how my mother treated me, actually showing her how she should respond to me they each pulled me aside individually and told me I should not stay with Mom, that it was very bad for me for to be around her.

    The brother has done nothing in the nine years except criticize me. When asked to come to a family meeting to discuss Mom’s health and welfare he refused, later leaving a message that he would come but only if I was not at the family meeting as he had “grave concerns” about my plans for Mom. I am a certified nursing assistant and recreational therapist who specialized in the care of the elderly and those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. In knowing I would have to look after my mother I spent the last 6 years creating my own business where I can work from home and so be able to take her to her doctor’s appointments and over see her care. I moved her to a senior living apartment complex and took the apartment next to hers.

    My brother insinuated a few years ago that he would contest any will she left that included me and would also sue me personally for undue influence. He won’t deal with me, speak to me. He makes up the most outrageous lies to make me look bad, seem like the crazy one…he says I’m mentally unstable a lot. One thing he told Mom was I tried to one-up him by having more children than he did…he has two. BUT I don’t have any, I refused to pass on the genes of my family…my mother has said I was two years old when I first said I didn’t want to have a family. Coincidentally that was the age of my first memory of recognition that something was wrong…with me, because it couldn’t be them.

    Last year I reached my breaking point….the stress of living under threat of law suit, being completely responsible for Mom while running my demanding business was just too much. I gave Mom a year to get my brother off my back by documenting all the reasons why she chose to live with me, recounting all the horrid things he had done to her and my Dad so that I would have some evidence when he sued me. I also told her that I felt betrayed and hurt when she allowed him to say such horrid and untrue things about me and asked that she stand up for me and give him some consequences for what he does.

    The year is up next week. Nothing has been done. Yesterday I called it to a head, asked her if she was going to stand up for me…..she said no. I drew up papers that basically said I quit claim to her estate and would no longer be her caregiver. I e-mailed my brother telling him I had done so and that he was now responsible for his mother. That I would be removing her phone from my account (yes I pay for her phone) so he would need to get her a new one.

    It’s not easy. It’s heart breaking. I’m not a person who walks away from people who need help. I didn’t even refuse when my brother needed help and missed a deadline on a project I’d been working 6 months on because of it. I’m described as an empath….the worst thing you can be when born into a family of narcissists. Last night I had a nightmare that had me waking up screaming my head off…being thrown into a well by my mother while my brother stood by laughing.

    I’ve been trying to climb out of that well all my life. Now I will do it because like Mick I fear dying like this, caught in the web of narcissism that is my family.

  110. Amanda says:

    I have been trying to figure out what is wrong with me for years, even to the point I am 6 months shy of my bachelors of science/psychology….my mother has ALWAYS made me feel so inadequate, lonely, crazy, and dismissed. If I call her, upset about anything, desperate for consolation, she attacks me, tells me I am a drama queen, and have always been problematic. Never will she tell me she’s sorry if she’s wronged me in any way. She might say something like, “I was just thinking about you and I am really sorry that you feel this way or that way OR I’m sorry that you think I’m a bad mother.” It’s NEVER a true apology where she takes responsibility for her actions or the horrid, underhanded, disregarding things she says to me. She stands on this pedestal of pride, degrades me to friends and family members, and wonders why I don’t want to attend family functions…but she’s a saint. I feel like I’ve been set up to be a loser in her eyes and whenever anything goes wrong in the family—I am to blame, somehow-someway indirectly, it’s my fault down the line! She treats my 4th child awful, but the other grandchildren good. I thought it was all me! It’s just been a relief to know that I’m not really imagining the way I’ve been treated all of my life in this HUGE imagination I’ve been toting around (creating scenarios of mistreatment for myself).

  111. sd says:

    I recently became aware of the depth of my mother’s perspective on life. I have spent 53 years feeling guilty for being conceived (out of wedlock) and did not discover until I was 25 that the sexually abusive dad was not my father. The conditioning of my two brothers to view me as evil has been one of the most difficult things to accept. I was their caretaker, in charge of feeding changing and babysitting and love them as much as I love my 3 son’s.
    My husband has read a bit about the Narcissistic mother and told me he always thought I was a bit too sensitive to things that appeared to be harmless; he now understands that I automatically understand the underlying meaning of mother’s words and actions.
    Recently mother has taken to hugging and rubbing her body on my husband when saying hello or goodbye from a family function (like my wedding). She as always treated me like a person to compete with, to the point of telling me that while her husband was molesting me for 8 years that I was trying to take him away from her. At other times, she has said that it was my duty to put up with it so that she could have a nice place to live.
    I find myself now wondering if she was not also being sexually inappropriate with both of my brothers. The older of the two has been accused of molesting one of my friend’s daughters and is addicted to internet relationships with girls from other countries. He speaks in very graphic terms about sexual things while on the phone with me. He sees no issue with a 50-year-old man having relations with an 18-year-old girl. Now that in itself may sound twisted, however; much of what comes out of his mouth occurs while his two daughters are sitting right next to him. Of course, I hang up on him when he starts this type of talk, but worry about my niece’s development. I feel powerless to prevent this type of influence on them.
    Everyone favors the youngest “Golden Child”; he lives a life of great success career wise. He calls both of his parents every day and thrives on everyone adoring him. He is living so far in the back of the closet that there must be dust balls on him. I ran across some information while visiting him some years ago and now know that he has a terminal virus, which most likely was contracted, from his last “roommate”. His roommate was a wonderful man who had love for my children and me he is missed.
    I have found the inner peace that comes from forgiveness, well at least I am on that road. I have been able to forgive the dad who beat and molested me for years. Let us not confuse forgiveness with forgetting or trusting one’s grandchildren around him.
    Finding forgiveness for my mother will take some more time, forgiving her for not putting me up for adoption and keeping me “because she never OWNED anything before I was born” will take a lot of inner strength.
    The best way to love our selves is to accept that our mothers cannot fight the compulsion to compete, crush, and destroy the most precious people around them. Forgiveness does not mean that we have to accept the horrible things they say to or about us.
    I am at the point now of questioning what traits I have in my own personality that is like hers. This is now a worry I have to examine and hope to find glaring differences.
    Thank you all for posting on this issue. I am not alone anymore and might just be a really good person after all!!!

  112. Justa says:

    @Mick: What about volunteer work? Helping other people or causes can be the thing that helps you reclaim who you are, and help keep you from falling into those narcissistic tendencies that you are fearful of. And when we are busy helping others our lives take on a whole new perspective. Humane shelters, soup kitchens, mentoring programs, the list is endless. Giving of ourselves, that’s where true fulfilliment comes from.

  113. Jade Ford says:

    I’m mother of 3 girl and im 29 yes old.it wasn’t until tonight reading these articles I have come to realize my mom is a narcissistic. I’ve been searching for years what could be the problem, her poor relationship with me.she acts like she excited to hear from me when she needs something from me,then I can call her the next day after she has gotten whatever she wanted from me and she acts as if she doesn’t want to be bothered.and every time she acts like that I have to ask myself have I done anything to her.for years I’ve allowed her to mistreat me.Any good news or accomplishment I have.she has to make it about her.I been knew she doesn’t want any of her kids to get as far as she has gotten.I was molested by my step dad of 13 years(he was around me every since I was 1).her initial reaction was to take me to the police station, but what she did after that I don’t understand how any mother could.So he was on the run for molesting me.she start having sex with him again,she start taking me and my siblings with her to go spend the night with him being that he was on the run.she start letting this man that stuck his penis in my mouth while I was asleep and came on my lips start taking me, my sister and brothers to school again.they even went so far as to tell me to go to the police and say I lied.they said you’ll get like community service or something.well they finally caught him and she played 1hell of a roll in the investigation room.asking him what happened?And why did he do that to me?He got 13 years.I stilled remained to have a relationship with her after that.I didn’t wantto think about it long enough bbecause I would begin to hate her.So I stuffed it inside.And I would do anything for her and just to feel loved.but recently I decided enough is enough,and I will no longer to let her continue to mistreat me.I will love her from a distance.if you ladies or men can give me some advice .please do.in search for guidance!!!!!

  114. Alison says:

    These past 5 days I have turned around for the first time in my 42 years to confront an NPD mother who has recently started verbally abusing my sweet daughter as badly as she verbally abused and insulted me. I lived away from home for 23 years for good reasons, but recently had to move back. I ignored her outbursts mostly for the past year that it has been financially necessary to live with her, but touch my child and you’re toast. There is nothing more satisfying than hauling *ss as a middle aged adult on the aggressive, belittling NPD of someone who should have really loved me as a vulnerable child and didn’t. The second my daughter started getting it my hackles went up and now they’re verbally shooting like poison porcupine quills. I spent my childhood terrified and walking on eggshells. Now it’s time for the momster to get force fed 42 years of her own poop omelet.

    This is how I have hauled *ss on NPD. Everyone gets precisely what they feed me AND my daughter, in true Anton LaVey fashion. No more benefit of the doubt, no more giving an inch. If you feed us kindness, you will eat kindness. If you feed us sh!t, you will eat sh!t. It is now your choice what you want to eat at my table, because I will feed to you exactly what you feed me, goodness matched with goodness, force matched with force.

    The rules apply to everyone. NPD is not healed with kindness, it feeds on kindness, and I will always have to keep feeding it at my expense until I decide to smack it down. The later I do this the more traumatic the change to everyone; negative for the NPD, positive for me. Otherwise NPD always takes the advantage. When NPD takes the advantage, I must take the superior position immediately.

    My daughter came down half an hour ago to tell me that the bullies at her school aren’t giving her so many problems because she’s been standing up to them the last several days- corresponding, of course, to me finally turning around and shouting down the sugar monster, (my mother). When it comes to kids, what happens at home happens outside. Standing up to a parent with NPD will always have positive repercussions, no matter how much cupboard-slamming she does or silent treatment I get for barking down the sugar monster when my child is harangued, belittled, or insulted out of turn. She roars, I roar louder, she serves me sh!t, I feed it to her, until the only options left are silence, communication, and kindness.

    As Bill Hicks said, we have a choice between fear and love. If your narcissism gets in the way of loving me, and I have given you the ten thousand chances that an emotionally wounded child gives any parent, (and I gave this woman chances that included a sexually humiliating episode when I was 12 where I was not allowed to apply my own thrush/yeast medication because she wanted to “protect my hymen”, which was just pervertspeak for her own fscked up twisted curiosity) then by perdition’s forces and all the hellspawn of the Abyss, you will fear my verbal fangs upon your ego until you address me exclusively with kindness.

  115. taby says:

    I am 22 years old, i start to realize that there is something wrong with my mom not me. i am just married but i must fighted with my mom because i didnt want to listen my mom. she was very angry, everyone in my house against me now. i am married with a western so we must hide our self from them. we still can not meet them because we dont want any influence again from them.
    when i was kid my mom said i was ugly, stupid, failure, and always sick. my mom more choose her money than me. even when i was born, i was sick and needed attention from hospital, it was expensive for her but she choosed me to die than she must spent alot of her money. she never gave me birthday party or even a gift, if she must give, one day i must pay her back.
    and my sister always become number 1 in our family, even she stole my clothes she never care it is new or not. she just weared it and stop to wear when it was broken. when i fighted with my sister, my mom said i must give everything what my sister wants. i could not be angry in that house, and it was not allowed for me. only mom and sister were allowed to be angry and got everything. my mom always said that she has no money but many times i saw her bought alot of things. but she always said that she is poor. my mom was jelous if someone gave me nice things, even she wanted my shoes which my boyfriend who become my husband now gave to me. she always cried if i could not agree with her and then she would curse me.
    that is my story of narcissistic mom i have, but i still love her but it does not mean that i must do everything what she says.

    thanks

  116. Donna says:

    OMGosh!!! Finally someone saying it’s not me!!! Thank you so much for this article!!

  117. M Jones says:

    Thanks so very much for this article for it has truly forced me to accept my 68-year-old mother is and has always been a narcissistic parent. The numerous replies have helped me to realize I am not alone. My only sibling passed in 1999 at the age of 34 and four days ago my mother compared me to my dead sibling. I was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer 11 months ago and unlike my older sibling, I, at a very young age, sensed my mother did not possess the maternal instinct and subconsciously chose to live my life in a different manner. For example, I chose to complete my college education and never become dependent on anyone financially. I had a very successful career before retiring last year at the age of 45 due to health reasons and my hard work resulted in blessings such as a great retirement pension and wonderful health insurance. My dear sister had neither and she spent her last few months under “the care” of my mother. She belittled her dying daughter because she had become dependent on my mother for shelter, food and clothing. My mother compared her to me and questioned why she wasn’t more like me. Well, now I am a horrible daughter because I have slowly been pulling away for months. My mother has been to treatment with me three times in 10 months. She was not there for mybone marrow consultation a week ago. My son, her only grandchild avoids her at all costs. She has caused relationship problems, both personal and professional, with others I love and respect. However, after Friday night and some brutal reflection and honesty, I have accepted she is Not emotionally or physically good for me. I am now just praying for the continued strength to remove this toxicity from my life.

  118. Regina Thompson says:

    Thank you so much for this article. It helps me to better understand my nephew’s Mom and this puts a label to the attitudes.

  119. Christine says:

    I was told, I was “the mistake”, and; “if they had abortions back then, I would have had one.”
    I was the youngest of three. My brother was the “golden child”.
    My sister resented me because I was an equestrian champion, many years in my state, when I was younger.
    Nobody was even proud of that or even came to watch me.
    My brother ended up getting cancer and died in 2009.
    My mother, who I ended up caring for, died in 2012.
    My mother left my sister a life insurance policy of $350,000.00, annuities, and expensive jewelry.
    She made me the trustee so she would make sure I saw, I got nothing.
    She gave my sister birthday checks of $10,000.00 for 8 years, and she gave her a birthday check on my birthday as well!
    I found all the check stubs for a probate hearing.
    I also found a letter, that I was “disowned”.
    This is not about money.
    It is about not being recognized in your own family, although, now I realize, that I was not born into a family. I am not sure what they qualify as.

    I made a wonderful life and have been married for 24 years, and we have a empathetic, and kind son.
    Do not let your sick parents define who you are.
    All I heard was, “You are worthless, you will never amount to anything”.
    I believed all of that, most of my life.
    What a waste of time.
    Leave them behind, and walk away.
    I wish I had done it sooner.
    How embarrassing that all of probate and the attorneys, see how I was singled out to be hated and unacknowledged.
    Love is what I have, and I would not trade it for all the trusts funds on the planet~

  120. tired emi says:

    my mom has 18 of the 21 signs
    I have read your comments and relate to all 110%, so many were like reading my about my own life. I am 56, and I have never been able to understand why I just couldn’t fit in anywhere (still can’t) why, my brother cannot do anything wrong (and I tell you I have caught him lying and stealing so many times but his mother just defends him and calls me the crazy one) and I cannot do anything right. Yes, outwardly she will say nice things about me to whatever new friends are flattering her and prasing her, but at home her comments always make me feel guilty as i am not good enough when she compares others to me. She has terrible things to say about everybody but whoever is “her friend” at the time, and they really don’t know what she is like. at 86, she has made my life miserable, and I never understood why. I am thinking seriously about going to a psychologist I need help, my anguish is overwhelming and though i have great support in my own family, my husband and daughters, i am just crying all the time and feel empty inside, I feel my whole life has been a lie. I am in a turmoil inside.

  121. Tawi says:

    Thank you to everyone here for sharing their experiences. Although I sincerely wish for no one to undergo what I have lived through, I nevertheless feel strengthened by everyone’s openness. The past year and a half has been extremely painful for me as all of the bitterness and rage I felt at the way I was raised by a narcissistic mother and enabling father finally came pouring out after a terrible family ordeal. All of the memories of her sabotaging my opportunities for education, her unceasing attacks on my physical appearance, her relentless smothering and depletion of all life from me, her belittling, her physical abuse–they all came rushing out and filled me with such anger that I was at a complete loss as to how to control my emotions. I was overwhelmed with fear that I would turn out like her with my own children. Only now after eighteen months am I able to breathe. My coping mechanisms are that I try and look at the positive accomplishments in my life: becoming an award-winning writer, finishing college in three years, putting myself through law school, becoming a prosecutor, opening my own private practice, and finding the most wonderful husband in the world, with whom I share four amazing children. I cling to these things not for vanity’s sake, but for sanity’s sake, to remind myself that while I may always be a victim, I did manage to become a survivor. At times it is difficult to tune out my parents’ remarks that I’m a crap mother (despite managing my full-time solo law practice while still managing to pick up the kids after school, do their homework, bring them to their sports, bring them to outings, go on vacations, and continuing to work late into the night after they are in bed just so that I can be there for them all over again the next day). I still have that need for their approval, but I’m slowly learning to override that and just let it go. I take solace in the fact that unlike them, I am completely invested in my children’s well-being and their futures and want them to succeed in everything they wish to pursue. I will not sabotage their lives as mine had been, and I will give them all the support that they need. It is a slow recovery for me, and I have moments of such intense rage and indignation sometimes that I just break down and cry in my husband’s arms. I don’t know how long this recovery will last, but I know I have to let it take its course so that I can continue to heal. Thank you to everyone that reads this. I hope that I can pass on the same sense of hope that everyone before me has done.

  122. Thank you. I’m the scapegoat, to a lesser extent so was one of my sisters. We have never been able to figure out why my mother is the way she is – we have gone to counseling, and no one every pointed out our mother was a narcissist. To have you list these 21 points – that were present every day of our childhood, and then to read the ‘golden child scapegoat’ post as well…. that was my childhood – exactly. Again, thank you. Andrew

  123. Candace says:

    My Mother was pure evil.
    It was the word “Mother”, the “Title”, that served as a smokescreen, allowing her to go undetected, as she unleashed her reign of sheer terror upon an unsuspecting trusting child, that went unnoticed, without question, for two decades.
    Only behind closed doors, would Mother remove her mask that concealed from all others, the real Vivianne, the true monster that she was. The Mother that I knew far too well and loathed with a passion.
    My childhood memories consist primarily of a demoniac ruthless lady, that for know apparent reason, other than because I was born, hated and dispised me with every fiber of her nasty condescending, fake & phoney, belligerent, venomous, vindictive, parasite infested, self-absorbed, decaying, callous, merciless, sinister white-trash deplorable being, and that’s putting it mild!!
    Mother’s wrath instilled a permanent on-going fear in my soul that gnaws at me to this day.
    Mother’s relentless verbal abuse (Vivianne from Bedford New Hampshire) was projected & perpetrated on to me purposely with the intent to shatter, discolor and stain my innocense of which she subjected me to on a daily basis.
    Mother’s moods swung like a pendelum, accused me of things that I didn’t even know what she was talking about, “liar” should have been my first name, constantly criticized me and reminded me repeatedly that I was worthless and I was never going to be good enough, no matter how hard I tried.
    Mother taught me, very early on that my mere presence irritated the hell out of her & could easily escalate to infuriate, without me uttering a word, then proceed with this repulsive look on her triple-chinned face, to tell me that I disgusted her and to get out of her sight or go play in the traffic, I won’t be missed.
    During all these incidents of cruelty and abuse that went on everyday at home, there were people on the outside that thought highly of her. Oh ya, she was the greatest, nicest lady they ever knew. It used to make me want to put my finger down my throat and barf all over em!
    Mother died two years ago and she’s still in control, manipulating the weak fools that she duped and hoodwinked when she was alive. These suckers with no minds of their own, would defend that witch in a heartbeat. Now that’s sick and demented.
    And do I think she’s burning in hell for the unspeakable crimes that she so very much enjoyed commiting……….Nope, not on your life.
    Mother was cunning and methodical with a flawless record at being stealth.
    As per usual, I’m sure lied and got her way.

  124. Michelle says:

    I had to scroll down 199 comments just to be the 200th comment on how this article has exposed every inch of what my mother is. She hits every one of those bullet points straight on. I am currently the SG and my little brother the GC, she has ruined my life in so many ways. Ruined my friendships, relationships, career, isolated me, emotionally abused me. She undermines me, no one is better than her and she is never wrong, she’s super selfish & greedy. I’m used as her extension and she passed on “parental” responsibilities to me to control me early on in life and I am now used to take care of her child now since she’s “too lazy to be a mom” and then blames me when he does something wrong. Well she’s wrong if she thinks i’m sticking around to take her constant narcesstic raging any longer. At 26, I’m calling it quits. Don’t call me crazy, she’s the one fooling the public with her bipolar behaviour. Only recently I realized how she really is as a mother and everyday since that moment of realization I wish I was never born instead or chose to not let her control me or isolate me from others so that least I had the chance to get out of this mess.

  125. Debbie says:

    I moved out at 17 or 18 years and promised myself never to go back, life has been easier since I left home. I have formed relationships with other healthier people along the way and finally have broken all ties to my parents about 8 years ago. I have to say, the best thing I did was disengage and break the ties 100%. There is no way to change these type of people and I truly believe in self preservation. So move away and get along with your life, find friends, support, counseling, books whatever it takes and model your life after those with mutual respect for loved ones. You can break the cycle and learn to be a loving respectful parent.

  126. Heidi says:

    Spot on! I’ve been dealing with a narcissistic mother all my life and this confirms all my doubts of her. It’s sad to be so abusive to your own children. Once you realize this, it helps one to let go and realize it is a psychological disorder and is not your fault. <3 Thank you!

  127. Marisa says:

    I’m the middle child in a family of 3 girls, and I’m positive my mum is narcissistic, she doesn’t show all 21 signs but most of them. I think my younger sister is definitely “the golden child” and i’m the scapegoat. My older sister isn’t the “favourite” but she isn’t disliked as much as I appear to be. It’s really hard to tell if my mum is in a good mood towards me or not and i always have to watch what i say around her. She seems very passive-aggressive 90% of the time towards me and often completely ignores me, even when i directly talk to her. Ever since i can remember she has always told me that i’m fat (i’ve always been chubby) and that i need to lose weight, often publicly humiliating me when we go out to eat, telling me to stop eating, etc. She almost always complains about how i “do nothing to help the family or contribute to the family” and how she has so many injuries and that i am useless. It has affected me more than i thought and pushed me into a pretty depressed state and i even started to self harm. I’m 16 years old and as dramatic as it sounds, i’m just waiting to finish high school so i can move out into a emergency youth foyer until i find my own accommodation.

  128. Lara says:

    So THIS is what’s wrong with my mom! I turned 47 last October, and she’s been “off” as long as I can remember. At least since I was 5 or 6, I still have vague memories of her shouting, stomping her feet, looking all wild eyed and saying, “I’m gonna get you now, but you just wait until your Daddy gets home!”

    I am an only child, so I got the brunt of the bad treatment. If she had a rough day at work, I was a built-in punching bag because I didn’t fight back or understand. Even when I did understand, it didn’t matter because she was bigger than me and could control me. For weapons, she used whatever she could get her hands on — hair brushes, fly swatters, belts with metal rings and big buckles and “switches” off trees outside she’d make me go find and cut myself.

    The thing is, I never really knew WHY it was happening, and I wasn’t allowed to ask questions. I just had to go get what she wanted me to get. And she’d hit until she exhausted herself and I lied there bleeding … still not allowed to ask questions. I wasn’t a bad kid. I must have wondered aloud about lots of things as children are wont to do, which infuriated her to no end. She had no patience.

    The next year she began working at my elementary school as a parapro, no doubt to keep an eye on me.

    The next year during recess I got caught chasing a male classmate who snatched my hat off head and wouldn’t give it back. I wasn’t putting up with that, so off we went — with me in full pursuit. At least until the teacher came back into the room, then all you heard was a loud “SCREEEEEEEEEECH!” Since my mom worked there, the teacher went and found her, then both classmates got a spanking out in the hall. Again, since I got it at school (whether it was my fault or not), I got it again from Daddy when I got home and he always used either a belt or a switch.

    Now I was no means a bad kid. About the worst I ever got in trouble for was chewing gum. I knew to be on my best behavior because if I wasn’t, Mom would find out about it. Then there’d be hell to pay. It also turned me into a backwards, shy, scaredy cat who was terrified of meeting kids my age. I much preferred hanging out with adults.

    Throughout my teen years and onward past the first couple of jobs, nothing changed. Then I got married and found a job in customer service that helped me hurdle over my shyness VERY quickly. A few years later, I waltzed into the offices of my hometown newspaper with resumé in hand and no shyness whatsoever, telling them I was looking for a job. At the time, I didn’t even know if they had any openings or not. But they had one — newsroom assistant. They sat me up for an interview the next day.

    At the interview, I brought copies of things I had written and published. That was all I had to go on, because my parents had stifled my dream of becoming a journalist. But there was something they saw in me … maybe my eagerness coupled with all the examples of my work … and decided to take a chance. The next day when the editor called and told me I had the job, he said I was welcome to write about anything I wanted anytime I wanted.

    Imagine my glee when I told my parents the news, after they’d told me years before that “You’ll never be a journalist. You’re too shy. You’ll never have to nerve to go chasing after people, interviewing people you don’t know then writing about them.”

    But I did … and I proved them wrong for almost the next 12 years.

    Now I’m on disability due to Stage 4 kidney disease, advanced breast cancer (in remission 5 years), and terrible foot problems. Because of this, I have to live with my parents again. The other day, they were talking about my disability and said, “The next time you go to the doctor, don’t say anything about what you’ve been able to do at the gym or the rest. You’ll lose your disability.” I said, “When they weigh me, see how toned I am and see how much better my blood work looks, they’ll know. The numbers won’t lie.”

    They said, “Yep, and they’ll cut your disability off.” I said, “I’ll be happy! I don’t like being on disability. I don’t like not working!” They said, “We don’t want you to be stuck without disability and not be able to find a job.”

    I said, “Look. Jesus says in the Bible that as long as you keep the kingdom of his first, not to worry about food, clothing or shelter. He said, “Look at the birds. They don’t worry, hoard food or anything. The Lord provides them And you’re worth more than them! Look at the lilies! How freshly they’re dressed, how beautiful they look every morning! They’re dressed greater than King Solomon! Will worrying about everything add one day to your life? No. If not, then what’s the purpose of doing it? Worry about today only, and let tomorrow take care of itself.”

    Mom’s response to that (keeping in mind they go to church every time the doors are open)? “Stop preaching to me back there. I don’t wanna hear it.”

    I’ve come to the conclusion they want a public persona they can control and only let certain areas of their lives be seen by the public. They also want a private persona where the remaining areas are free to be shown without hinderance. That’s why they tell me repeatedly, “WHAT HAPPENS IN THIS HOUSE STAYS IN THIS HOUSE. DON’T TALK TO ANYONE ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS IN THIS HOUSE.” Mom takes on this totally fake, syrupy-sweet, Southern accent when she’s talking to her friends, another family member or whoever. She even does it when she PRAYS! Does she not know that God sees what’s going on in her heart and that being two-faced with Him will not work? Her friends may not see past it, but God does!

  129. Insha says:

    It’s not me I’m worried about, it’s my three younger siblings. The way she’s bringing them up (I live with my grandparents) it seems as though she’s making them despise our cousins just because she hasn’t got a good history with them. I can relate with most of these. I often wonder how my dad handles her, and I give him credits for doing so. She’s still immature, I understand that she hasn’t had it easy, but she’s lead herself to those situations. Who am I to judge, but if my sisters fail in the future, we know who to blame (parents usually get blamed for upbringing). At the end of the day she’s still my mom and I love her, but there are major put offs. We can only hope for the best.

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