Narcissistic Mothers Get Away with Their Secret Cruelties

Narcissistic mothers have always existed. Their styles fit certain eras. These days many narcissistic mothers are in highly competitive careers. I think that the rise of women to become prominent in many professions is exceedingly vital to every individual in the society. I am not talking about working women who become mothers, love their children and are very responsible raising them. I am speaking about the narcissistic mother who has her children specifically for the sake of her all important image which includes bragging rights and calculated displays of her perfect kids. Some narcissistic mothers insist on molding each child. She is like a puppet master, working the strings of her daughters and sons. She checks each one to see which she will choose to reflect and mirror her the best. The chosen child is often attractive, bright, talented in some way and athletic. This child is a standout in the family from the mother’s perspective. She knows this child’s destiny from the beginning. She showers this chosen one with undeserved praise and this son or daughter is given no limitations with regard to cruel behaviors toward brothers and sisters.

I have heard so many appalling life stories of children who grew up with a narcissistic mother and weren’t chosen to be the star of the family. These mothers are such hypocrites. In public they know exactly how to present themselves in the mothering role. That’s exactly what it is–a performance. Relatives, friends, even close ones believe that these mothers are extraordinary and that they genuinely love and care for their children.

The opposite is true. Narcissistic mothers are exceedingly critical, at times physically violent and psychologically horrifying with their children. Adult children of narcissistic mothers tell stories of terrifying punishments that they received even as very small children. Often they were subjected to hours of threats, told that they should never have been born but should have been aborted. Kids were forced to clean their rooms until they were spotless. Even when the chores were perfectly done, mother didn’t approve and picked the child apart, calling them names like “stupid”, “ugly”, “worthless”, “dumb”.  These names coming from a narcissistic mother were deeply embedded into the children who received this abusive treatment. As adults, children of narcissistic mothers still can hear “mother’s” hateful raised voice shouting epithets at them.

Narcissistic mothers terrify their children by pitting one against the other, promising one daughter or son that he or she will be the favorite. All of this is a cruel game the narcissistic mother sadistically employs to control her children, to make them bend completely to her iron will.

These dark hidden punishments and chronic patterns of neglect are kept secret within the family. No one must ever say or even admit to himself or herself the truth about “mother.” That is the seal of secrecy that feels like a matter or life or death. These children feel so trapped. They know no one will believe them–not even other relatives or family friends. That is the essence of the narcissistic mother’s dark psychological and emotional treachery.

Some children of narcissistic mothers not only survive to tell  the true tale of their lives but they heal and evolve and create. I have found that these adult children are among some of the most empathic human beings I have ever encountered.

Let your healing begin. It is a long pathway. Begin by knowing and accepting the truth about what happened to you. Next–Take hold of the truth about yourself and what a wonderful, unique human being you are. Remember your special gifts and if you don’t, ask that they will be revealed to you. Be receptive to your intuition as you move toward healing and wholeness. I am in your corner always. I have great faith in you. Honor your true self and you will grow with unbounded abundance and deep inner peace.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

60 thoughts on “Narcissistic Mothers Get Away with Their Secret Cruelties”

  1. Comment: ANP
    Thank you so much for this post. I grew up with ultimate sorrow and sadness. My mother was very cruel to me and my siblings. Always calling us names and treating us in the most despicable manner. Isolated the family; having ‘preferred’ or favorite children. We were emotionally, physically and psychologically mistreated by both my mother and her siblings. Not a day passed that we were not reminded of how undeserving we were. It was torture. I can identify with everything you have written. This was my harsh reality for my childhood and teen hood. Today, am not capable of establishing meaningful relationships. I gravitate towards abusive men. Over and over, I attract men who are demeaning, cruel and ultimately evil in my life. I have broken many great relationships in the past because I do not know how to relate to them. Often times, my heart is filled with great sorrow and loneliness. Yet, I am kind, generous, caring and empathetic. I have strong spiritual beliefs that help me to overcome most sadness and difficult situations. I can probably write more. But I trust you will see how narcissistic my mother was. I worry I may have those traces myself in some weird ways despite having the best interests in those that mean much to me. Thank you for reading my reply.

  2. Comment:Therese
    Hi Linda,

    I have to say that reading your comments and your book has helped me enlighten myself about my appalling upbringing. It explains so much about my life so far. At 52 I am actually beginning to feel something. I had numbed myself to deal with the verbal, psychological and physical abuse I endure from my mother and from the nuns who educated me. I don’t want to go on but I wanted to share two things that might give others hope.
    1) The other day my 16 year old son was sick and I was sitting beside him him holding a bowl and towel. I put my hand on his shoulder and asked ” Are you okay darling? Is there anything I can do?” and I felt something I had never felt before – it was empathy. OMG! What a feeling. I was overwhelmed with relief. I am not the Tin Man after all. For years I had “practised” being a good mother and I thought I knew what love was but ….. and I’ve been married for 21 years and I realised that I had never really felt love.- or joy.
    2) I am currently enjoying not an “out of body” experience but an “in body” one. I feel like it is safe to be me – to get to know my authentic self. I have finally come out of hiding.
    It has taken years of work and therapy – disconnecting from my family completely for four years then reconnecting for the sake of my children. The big breakthrough for me has been research and study – and realising that my mother is a sad women who was probably never loved or cherished herself. It doesn’t mean that I can forgive her but it does mean that I can let go of hope and expectation. I ‘mother’ myself now and cherish the little girl I never got to be.
    Thanks for your support and guidance. It’s always timely and useful.

  3. Comment:From Brenda
    Our daughter in law is our family’s narcissist. She has cut our son and only grandchildren our of our lives. We have been estranged for two years and the hurt just keeps rolling in.

  4. Comment: From Valda
    Hi! It is so interesting to see how we all deal with a narcissistic mother differently. I instinctively was very agreeable and then followed my own path. My mother would become quite exasperated with me, but I would fool her every time with my agreeableness. I fortunately have always been compassionate, empathetic and affectionate, but then I wasn’t educated by abusive nuns. Somehow I was able to shield myself from my mother and my sister, but I have had years of grieving for the family I never had. Blessings to you, Valda

  5. Comment: From Valda
    Dr. Martinez-Lewi, Thank you so much for your ongoing support. It is appreciated so much! Warmly, Valda

  6. Comment:From Anna
    Linda, I love your articles…my life as a narcissistic daughter has been a rough one. No one ever believed me until my Dad got cancer and died this last July, when we watched her sadistic cruelty to my precious dad , while he was going to die! My younger sister saw her for real and basically had a small breakdown, but her and I are recovering and I, personally, have cut all ties to my mother, for me, there is no hope for a relationship and I am not wasting my time trying, I love life and I am happy…I share your articles with my sister and she loves them, it is helping her greatly! Thank you!! Anna

  7. Comment:From Anna
    Linda, I love your articles…my life as a narcissistic daughter has been a rough one. No one ever believed me until my Dad got cancer and died this last July, when we watched her sadistic cruelty to my precious dad , while he was going to die! My younger sister saw her for real and basically had a small breakdown, but her and I are recovering and I, personally, have cut all ties to my mother, for me, there is no hope for a relationship and I am not wasting my time trying, I love life and I am happy…I share your articles with my sister and she loves them, it is helping her greatly! Thank you!! Anna

  8. Comment:From Java Jean
    This is such an accurate description of my family dynamic. My dad called my mom “ironpants” it used to make her so angry. She was tough as iron and she tried to wear the pants in the family. We had a strong, loving dad, who tempered my “narcissistic” mom when he was alive. When you talked about a will of iron it reminded me of that.

  9. Comment:From Elaine
    I’m pretty sure my mom has NPD. I’m 55 now and still trying to figure her out. She is 80 and has dementia, but the narcissism
    that has always been such a part of her is still there and in some ways is more prominent than ever. I guess I’m still not COMPLETELY sure about her being NPD. I remember some caring aspects, yet when asked to draw a picture of her (years later when I was in my 20’s and in and out of therapy), I drew a black and red open mouth that was all huge, jagged teeth. Even now, I’m frightened of her. It’s a fear that seems to come from deep within me. I’m frightened to speak to her – even on the phone. So her my daughter. When I look in her eyes there is still that look that grips me with an unexplained fear – if I’ve disagreed with her about “one of her big issues.”
    I’ve always felt guilty for disagreeing with her. I remember once when I was about six or seven as she was driving me home from a daycare that I was disagreeing with her about something. Suddenly she became enraged and said, “If you contradict me one more time, I will drive into the next oncoming car.” That terrified me and silenced me. There were other weird and scary things in my past. I remember she used to hide behind doors in our house when I was little, then jump out from behind them, sending my heart racing. I recall her criticizing me a lot, calling me fat. Once in front of others when I said I was nervous about doing something (singing and playing the piano for a group we were involved in) she announced loudly that she was “surrounded by misfits!” She smiled, shaking her head, laughing. I remember over the years the way she laughed. She had this little laugh she tacked on after saying something deprecating about me, some one else or some situation she didn’t like. I remember wondering why she always had to do that. Well, I’ve aired enough. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to have my say. You all are wonderful. Keep believing in yourselves:)

  10. Comment: Elaine
    Forgot to mention…Don’t know if anyone else has experienced this with their moms, but mine has “disowned” me so many times I wouldn’t be able to count them. Now that I have a family of my own, she routinely says she’s calling her attorney to take us out of her will. Recently, I emailed her that she needs to do just that = so she won’t have to keep wasting her breath by repeating herself.

  11. Comment:From Anna
    This is my first time on this blog and I can completely identify with what’s been written. I’m 53 and our family is torn apart. My mother was emotionally and physically abusive when we were children. She had a violent temper and would scream at us that she wished we were dead and had never been born. She would shake us until we were sick and we were terrified of us as children. When I was 13 she lost her temper with my younger brother who was 2 at the time, I don’t know what happened to me, I just lost it and took control. I intervened and grabbed my brother and got my youngest sister to take him outside. My other sister and I locked her under the stairs. She never hit me again and she begged me not to let my Dad know. It’s a long horrible story, I’ve had depression on and off for years and have had a few breakdowns and I took an overdose years ago. When my Dad was dying she was horrible to him. He wasn’t allowed to come downstairs until she rang a bell which gave him permission and she resented any visitors calling. Our family is now completely messed up and our relationships are toxic. I have cut ties with them as we are not capable of normal adult relationships. One of my sisters made a malicious report to social services about me to gain advantage in a family row. It was a horrible allegation and the social worker was sympathetic as it was clearly unfounded. Some of my other siblings knew and did nothing, not even call to support me or intervene on my behalf. I work hard at keeping well and I am blessed with a little boy. I have told him every day from the day he was born that I love him. We can only try to stop the cycle of pain at our generation or for ourselves and make sure that it never passes down.
    My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has ever suffered at the hands of a narcisstic mother. I could never tell anyone when I was a child as it just sounded so unbelievable….not only do children suffer rejection, no warmth or care, but you don’t have a voice or anywhere to express your pain.

  12. Comment:Suzanna
    i have a narcissistic mother who will do anything to make my life a living hell. i was 45 before i put her out of my life for good. if i thought my life was bad enough with her in it the worst was yet to come. she turned everyone including my grown up children.against me, she is so false its unbelievable. she fools everyone and anyone. i haven’t got one good memory of her. she murdered her own mother who she treated badly as well. and convinced everyone it was suicide. she had sex with my ex husband. so she has him even though she has a husband and he has a wife, she has ruined anything i was good at. and has taken everyone and everything i ever had. but no one will believe me. she had been grooming my children for years behind my back. they all know what she’s like but no one would dare to stand up to her and question her. not even the police, this has got to stop or it will go on for generations to come. i’m at my wits end. i thought i was the only one with a mother like that. reading about others with narcissistic has helped as i’m writing a book in the hope it will help others who have or not even realized they too have narcissistic mothers . as they will never change and continue to make you feel worthless,useless, you’ll always be stuck in a rut but it’s her rut not yours. but you’ll be made to feel it’s all your fault.i wish you all the best. when our biggest rival and our biggest enemy are our mothers what chance do we stand.

  13. Comment:From Tara

    Wonderfully affirming to read these articles, and to feel your support within.

    I grew up with a narcissistic mother, and a golden child brother, who still to this day can do no wrong.

    I could write for hours now on what makes her fit the description perfectly, but let’s just say that at the age of 43, I experienced an event involving my mother that made everything crystal clear. I finally had proof that so much of what I’d experienced growing up had been due to an extremely messed up parent, and NOT because I was undeserving, or worthless. A small event changed my life, and for the better, indeed! I realized very clearly at long last that it wasn’t my fault she always hated me, undermined my opinions and emotions. It wasn’t my fault that I could never please her, or get her to empathize with my feelings. I realized quite plainly after this event that I really DID deserve to be heard, respected, and understood, and that my emotions really ARE important and valid.

    Anyway, before this incident, I’d had about 7 years of estrangement, (and some excellent psychotherapy during those years), when my mother came back into my life in early 2013. Foolishly, I expected that our time apart had allowed us both a chance to learn and grow, and I believed things had changed until THIS eye-opener:

    I had a beloved pet cat die suddenly on August 12th of last year. The following day I called my mother in tears, sobbing for the loss of my pet. I wanted to talk, to share how I felt about this tragic loss.
    After a few minutes of crying, my mother became impatient – as always, whenever I was upset about something that didn’t involve her primarily – and began her usual responses; “That’s enough now… stop crying”… “I mean it, Tara! That’s ENOUGH!”… (said in such a tone as to imply that I was misbehaving by shedding tears, of course.)
    I got angry at this – my usual reaction, combined with a vague sense of shame at having bothered her, (something I was working on; having learned in therapy that MY emotions weren’t anything to be ASHAMED OF, thankfully) – and this set her off, making her angry with ME in return.
    Eventually, during this little exchange, she did what she does best. If she couldn’t make me stop crying, she would insult me or berate me in an attempt to make me feel guilty for doing so. And not so subtly let me know that SHE would handle things “better.”

    She said to me, and I quote: “Tara, I too have been through some goddamned shit in my life, but you don’t see ME sitting around whining!”
    … THIS, on the DAY AFTER MY CAT HAD DIED.
    I hung up on her in a rage, and wrote a letter through email, telling her how much her words had hurt and angered me.
    She wrote back, stating that 1) I needed “psychological help,” 2) “I most certainly was NOT trying to make you feel bad!” and 3) “By the way, Tara, I said WAILING, not WHINING!”
    (Yeah, I know… WTF? How is “wailing” any less hurtful? And of course, she was wrong. She had said “whining.” I’ve a very high IQ, and could often quote entire conversations back to her. Not that she’d care.)

    This exchange brought home to me IN COLD, STARK AND HORRIFYING TERMS the undeniable fact that she couldn’t be bothered to respect or acknowledge my grief, (or emotions in general) and that she actually felt I was in the wrong for crying over my cat. It demonstrated to me in a way I could no longer ignore that it was – as it ALWAYS WAS – all about HER.
    It hurt like heck, but I told her goodbye! after that, and grieved the loss of a mother as if she had died. I’m VERY thankful that I had some terrific therapy in the years of our previous estrangement, and time away from her in order to find my voice. That day, and in each day after that, I am still finding my voice. And it is getting clearer each day. 🙂

    About my “golden boy” brother: In all past arguments with my mother, my brother would interject himself, taking her side without even knowing the details. He’s done it all our lives, and still does. If SHE was angry or “disappointed” with me, so would he be as well. The same goes in reverse; I’m the bad kid who doesn’t know a thing, and my brother is the expert she defers to, regardless. She once asked me a question about a television commercial’s music; “What time signature is this, Tara?” I had studied music theory in college, so I quickly gave her an answer. When my brother showed up a few hours later, she asked him the very same question, right in front of me, and added: “It’s been driving us crazy, trying to figure it out.”
    … Yep, she’s a narcissistic piece of work. I didn’t even exist to her. I was only the girl who swept the floors. (And not very well, if you counted the disappointing comments every day when she got home from work.)

    If any of you reading this can relate, I hope that you too will find the strength to walk away, and get some help and support. It DOES work to put space between you, and know that you ARE valuable. Your narcissistic mother will NOT change with more “love,” “obedience,” or “hard work.” And by the way, if you have a golden sibling, walk away from them too. My brother can’t see or understand ANYTHING of what I’ve been through with our mother. He has/had a completely different relationship with her than my own. I would share with him her nasty barbs, insults and guilt trips, and he would accuse me of lying. His comments and lack of understanding over the years have been just as harmful to my self-esteem as hers has been.

  14. I am 39 years old, and have just in the past two years found out that my Mom has NPD and Borderline Personality disorder. This is thanks to after being treated badly by my Mom, I googled “Why does my Mother hate me”, which led me to a web page on daughters of narcissistic mothers, bingo, that’s my Mom.
    After all of these years I have finally been validated in the fact that it is my Mom, not me.
    My brother is the golden child and I am the scapegoat, and boy does she know how to triangulate!! I have never been able to have a relationship with my brother or my Dad. I cannot remember even having a real conversation with my brother, we communicate through her.. If we even communicate at all. In doing this, she has the power to keep us at odds. I had not realized this before; she keeps us at odds so I am isolated. I cannot have a relationship with my Dad, keeping me isolated. When going through cosmetology school, I cut my Dad’s hair for practice; Mom flipped out on me. She made sure that I understood that she is and will continue to be the only one who cuts his hair! Dad and I were sitting on the porch, he was telling me about his friend that just died, he was a bit sad. I walked in the house where my Mom was sitting and she asked me in such an accusatory and jealous tone, “What were y’all doing out there!” It was as if I was not her daughter but some random woman that she had caught talking to her husband. Extremely strange. He is not allowed to buy me presents, spend much time alone with me, or really do anything for me.
    I am struggling through the grieving process of not having a warm, supportive, present, loving Mom right now. I feel better when I am not in contact with her, but at the same time I don’t feel it is necessary to completely cut myself off from her. She is also physically ill and I am worried that I will regret something that I did, or didn’t do after she is gone.
    It is very helpful to read these comments, I’m not alone! (Or crazy)

    Greatful,
    Angie

  15. I’m fed up with my narcissistic mother and ready to cut all tithes wit h her. I am not her punching bag and I’ve discovered that they all need one or two. I’m hoping that it does not come to this but I have to protect me. I’m now 47 and made the discovery of what was wrong with my mom. And I agree you cannot argue or fight mor confront a narcissist. You will be drained for days. Its jot a loss but a waste of time. Nothing will be resolved. That will start another war. I just wonder at times Why Me?? I’m very strong willed and compassionate to others. So I wasn’t damaged from the years of abuse. I am just beginning to learn how to trust a man and give my heart. Because the reality is how can someone else love you more than your own mother? When you have a narcissist as one it’s very possible. Good luck to everyone who reads this post and I pray that we all find our peace with our unfortunate situation.

  16. Thank you Tara. This post was part of another confirmation that I am not crazy and that I am not alone. The damage my mother has done with my sister’s help is finally being healed. Thank you.

  17. Well I’m the scapegoat.There was my golden child sister and then me.I remember the screaming,yelling at me and malicing me.I believe my dad is a narcissist also.My mom yanked me by the hair to take me to church one day while my sister stayed home sleeping and it was horrible.Not to mention She took a bottle and knocked my teeth out because she thought I said something to her.My dad punched me in the mouth at 5 yrs old for not understanding how he explained my homework and my mom beat me mercilessly for no reason the same day and would laugh afterwards calling it a birthday beating.My dad clogged the toilet up with poop and the water overflowed and he dragged me in the water and made me clean up the shit.My life has been hell.And I’m tired.Did I mention their siblings are narcissists and they abused me too mentally and physically.

  18. Hi Valda
    I didn’t have siblings, it was just myself and my mother which made it extremely intense for me as I was the only person from whom she could get her emotional/mental satisfactions. I have only recently realised that there is a name for her behaviour and dominance and cruelty to me. I know why she is like this, her mother didn’t love her and showed it and also she was educated by nuns and the damage caused is still ongoing. Unfortunately knowing all this still doesn’t really help me because she still works hard at controlling me and I revert to a 12 year old feeling like a pathetic fly caught in a clever spider’s web…..

  19. Hi Elaine
    Again, as with Valda, I can relate to a lot of what you say. I struggle with the NPD label as my mother does have her good points…but then I realise that when she gives there are ALWAYS conditions attached that involve me slaving over her. For years i managed to just see her twice a year or so and I can honestly say I have cried with hurt, frustration and rage EVERY single time I saw/see her. She doesn’t know of course as she would invalidate my feelings immediately…she has caused me so much damage but I am now 52 and have managed to become my own person despite her efforts. She also is 80 and has terminal cancer…but still going strong…I think sheer arrogance is keeping her on the planet!
    I don’t think she likes the idea of me being left to my own devices.
    Even though our relationship has improved somewhat, she will still spend the first 24/48 hours ‘putting me in my place’ with her nasty tongue just so i don’t get ideas above my station. I still have a panic attack when she rings and sometimes in the past i couldn’t talk to her unless i’d had a drink…

  20. I have only recently at the age of 52, realised that my mother is narcissistic and have given it much thought and read a lot on the subject (She was very damaged by her mother, convent education and much absence from home because she was a sickly child, among other things. I believe these are the reasons). It has been really difficult for me to come to terms with because the guilt I feel for even CONSIDERING it ,is at times overwhelming and my compassion for her makes me deny it. Then I spend time with her and I see that she IS just that. I always just called her controlling and domineering. She was a single parent, I was an only child. She would barely let me out of her sight as a child and wouldn’t allow me to socialise with local children, (citing “Because I Said So!, or “I’ll get lonely”) depending on her mood which just opened me up to severe bullying as they all thought she was a wierdo anyway. My whole childhood was miserable and I did not learn things like how to make good decisions, how to be assertive, how to trust my self; also it was drummed into me that other people always knew better than me, I was so insignificant in her eyes and wasn’t allowed opinions unless she agreed with them. My God the trouble that has caused me; so many things lead me down a destructive path. The thing is, I had real promise as a child, educationally etc yet she absolutely REFUSED to acknowledge any achievement, instead focussing angrily on what I was not good at, maths for instance. I internalised, becoming numb, silent and scared; I simply did not know how to deal with her and would be shot down in flames if I did try. I’ve never forgotten as a 13 year old being shrieked and screamed at that I was “Psychotic! just like your father. He RAPED ME”. I just stood there as usual, numb, silent, waiting for my opportunity to escape and wondering what psychotic was and trying NOT to think of the rape, to this day i have not worked out how to respond to that.
    These days, having done a huge amount of work eg counselling, self help etc etc and also with the love and support of my husband I am in a good place. Of course my mother sees it and doesn’t like it but there’s nothing she can do about it except bad mouth my husband which but i leave the room if she does. but 30 years of my life were a series of disasters and bad decisions. i always took the ‘don’t blame your childhood’ line and ‘i am responsible for me’ etc etc but I find myself not so much blaming as realising that actually , because of my fractured childhood and her NPD that yes, it does stem from there. No doubt. I’ve always had this vision that if I hadn’t got out as soon as i was 16, I would have ended up wearing ugly glasses, her choice in clothes (always designed to make me look middle aged when i was a teen, deeply embarrassing) shuffling along behind her carrying the bags, being barked at. If my father who I am quite sure was also a narcissist (his mother was a sick woman who was ‘in love with him’ and taught him the world was waiting just for him. It wasn’t) hadn’t died in mysterious circumstances I know they would have crushed me between them. He used to sit me in a chair and make me stay absolutely still for hours ( I was 3/4 at the time) and would not talk but snap his fingers at me, commanding. Like training a dog. I have no memory but my mother told me….the thing that struck me was the note of admiration in her voice.
    So thank you for writing and allowing people like me to write answers, it helps to make sense of things.

  21. Read “your not crazy, it’s your mother”.
    I observed the behaviour you describe in my mother in law for years.
    I did come to realise that both her and my wife’s father were narcissists. Don’t put up with her behaviour. It’s her behaviour that’s wrong, not yours. Sadly though, if you do, you will likely lose your father in the process. Even if he has an exceptionally strong personality and love for you, the narcissists pull and emotional trauma they inflict is usually to much to bare and the other family members (including your father) will likely side with her…. Or suffer her wrath

  22. Having been married to a women with two Narcissists parent, I can relate to the learning to trust you suffer. I do wonder where your father is in this equation. Because of the abuse my wife suffered, I also believe she suffers from NPD.
    I’m glad that you appear to have broken that cycle. I can only imagine the mental abuse you must have suffered growing up and the difficulty you probably experience in attaching to and trusting another person. It sounds like your well on your way though.
    I read “your not crazy, it’s your mother” shortly after separating from my wife. I found it really helpful and validated a lot of what I felt I had experienced, and, my children continue to experience.

  23. My mother was so abusive to my father, but there was nothing I could do. He stayed married to her for 50 years, God bless him. When my father died, my mother turned her full wrath on me. She was so vicious and yet she viewed herself as the victim. I would set limits on her behavior, but of course it didn’t help. I don’t know why I continued to look out for her and to help her in her old years. She recently died and it was such a relief for me. She left everything to my identical twin sister, also an extreme narcissist. In hindsight I should have ended all those relationships a long, long time ago.

  24. If I was to describe my mother it is mean, vindictive, manipulative, heartless, evil and she just plain took pleasure in hurting me or humiliating me. I have no contact with her now and never will again. I still mourn the fact that I never had a mom like my friends did. My mom had a smile smirk every time she hurt me or put me in my place. I never stood up for myself because I knew the repercussions would be bad and you never knew when she would fly off the handle or covertly stab you in the back.

  25. I too had a very jealous mother, she could not stand my dad paying any attention to me, For 50 years I had to downplay any affection towards him as well he did to me. She shut me out of all family activities, holidays, funerals, you name it. She would lie and tell people that she had called and informed me but I never called back or she would tell people she had lost my number. All her manipulations and backstabbings came to an end when my dad got sick suddenly and died. She shut me out of being with him on his deathbed and his funeral. I was totally shocked later to find out she had included me in the obituary. I have not spoken to her since and never will. Your mom will never change either. She will hurt you until you die. She is like a jealous girlfriend when it comes to your relationship with your dad. She will hurt you until her last breath. I know you do not want to go No contact and hope things will get better but it will not. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her and remember the mean things she did to me. It took me having a daughter and grandson of my own to know unconditional love, her game playing and deceit will always be forefront to her. Best of luck and remember that it can get better but you may have to totally cut her out of your life. Probably when your dad dies you may have the courage to do so. I thank God now to have some relief from that sad relationship.

  26. James, I read “your not crazy, its your mother” and it really opened my eyes, congrats for getting away from this woman, you seem like a sweet caring person and you deserve better, best of luck and don’t marry the same thing again, haha..

  27. Linda,
    You are not alone. My dad died three years ago although he and my NPD mother had been divorced from him well over six years she managed to still have Power of Attorney . While he was in the hospital she cause so much division and conflict with other family and friends Swat had to come to the hospital. She laughed and joked about what she did. But the hurtful part was when the doctors called both my sister and I to make the decision to take him off life support ( mind you we live in a different city than my parents). My Sociopath NPD mother found out and the day my sister and I were suppose to say our final goodbyes my PSYCHO mother had them to take him off life support!!! Then she called family members laughing saying ” Yep I always said he was worth more to me dead than alive”!!! to top it off his body was still warm when she ranted and raved at the funeral director to give her a death certificate so she can get paid. Our dad always said if something were to happen to him his life insurance would take care of us ( not that we needed the money) at any rate, when my sister and I started planning his funeral the insurance company said someone had called claiming to be his wife cancelled it months ago. She also caused so much division during his funeral a lot of family and friends didn’t show up to the funeral because she told them my sister and I had a hit out on her, of course the idiots believed her. My sister still has so so contact with her as for me I cut hr completely OFF NO CONTACT!! with me my husband nor our kids. I’ve found that my life is better for it I buried her in my mind. Don’t feel guilty about cutting ties with her trust me they don’t change.

    Lastly , before my dads death when I would be around my mother I would literally cringe…. I knew then I had to get away from her. This women has also gone so far as to tell my husband I was having an affair LOL!!! thank God he and I have a close loving marriage otherwise had he believed her lie no telling what would have become of our then 15 year marriage. Oh and lest I forget when our second daughter was born ( this happen before the above mentioned) my NPD told my husband he may want to get a paternity test because our daughter may not be his since she came out a lighter complexion than him. My husband is of darker tone and I light brown. our first darker tool on his complexion and the second one took on mind. Trust me I can write ten best sellers on what this women has done. But it wasn’t until three years ago I cut ALL TIES. Although I went through what I like to call my “mourning period” I’m thankful my loving husband and kids supported me. Holidays, birthdays, mothers day does NOT bother me! Oh almost forgot she recently has told certain family members she wants me “DEAD” you see Linda I told you they get worst. You may ask and I scared? NOPE do you know why? because I am Covered in the BLOOD OF JESUS!!!! Hang in there my sister pretty soon your sorrows will turn into triumphant.

  28. I read all the comments and I saw something simiar. The fathers die first and the NPD mothers live a long time. My parents have been married 49 years and my father has one food in the grave while she looks radient. And she is the one going to the Doctors more than him while he is trapped in his mind from stroke. We are all responsible for our actions and although he is a good person, he was too weak to stand up to her, in short enabled her. Now everyday she gets worse and worse. you ‘d think people get wiser as they age. I can’t tell you much about my childhood because it was all blur and lots of unaccounted years. I recently found out my amnesia was because of dessociatiion or something. I was in denial about my mothers problems. I am now 48 and when I was 46ish i looked at myself and realized I had a probem. For someone who came from happy family(that’s what we tell people in my family) I had too much problems like my health (weight problems and many other problems like dark circles undereyes, belly, cellulite etc) and I have no self confidence, I have problems with my relationships like I don’t like affection. When I started to do some self help stuff, my mother got really worse with her abuse. So I started to investigate and I searched online and found out she has ALL the symptoms of NPD. I didn’t know whether to be relieved or mad. I started to pay attention to her behaviour I found out I am definitely scapegoat and my brother and sister were goden child. She put us against each other. fortunately I wrote all my sibling and told them and they listened to me and she hates me even more. I knew I am the scapegoat because she buys nice expensive present for him from overseas and and she gives me smelly cheap looking clothes and jewlery from dollar general. she never directly does anything but she is genius at implying and talking in circles and saying mean things to me by insinuating. eg. one time she was telling my brother she went to have her ears checked. he said you are such hypochondiac and I laughed. I know if I have said that to her she would have had a fit. anyway she said I cant heat anything esp when people mumble pointing in my direction with her head. I was so upset. wheneve I do something she didnt like she plans her wrathful punishment with her words. I have decided she is non violent sadist as well. I hated her for a long time now I feel sorry for her since I went No contact. I went NC because she was already working on my kids to turn them against me. I am now losing weight , happy, more confident and still getting better and better.

  29. Our mom was very similar. I am the middle of three sisters. I was the biggest and strongest at a young age, and I was also her least favorite. Additionally, I stood up to her, and became her official target, although life was tough on all. You just really never knew from one minute to the next what she was going to do to make your life miserable. I have one good memory of her. She never told me she loved me. Never tucked me into bed, never made me lunches, we got her friend’s kids hand-me-downs, and my family had money. I cooked us girls dinners, she didn’t even eat with us (we kind of liked that, actually we liked any time she wasn’t there)! She mostly verbally abused, and put-down and interrogated, and would wake us up in the middle of the night to do whatever in the hell she felt was so important… Mommy Dearest, I am 54

  30. My sisters and I haven’t spoken to our mom in well over 25 years, and when I go to town for a reunion or anything, she asks my cousins to keep an eye on her home for her because she is “afraid” that I will “rob” her. They laugh at her and tell her that I don’t want anything she has.

    She is still bad-mouthing me to people, it never ended. I even heard that she called up an old friend of hers and was complaining to her about me a few months ago… I haven’t talked to her in over 25 years, she was complaining about something that happened when I was a child when I had a bike stolen from me. People feel so bad for me. I’m like, don’t worry about it, but frankly I’m surprised she hasn’t just moved on.

  31. Thank you so much for all your posts. It has taken me 50 years to get to the bottom of what I had initially thought was wrong with me to suddenly realize that it most certainly wasn’t me but my mother.

    God knows why she had 6 children ( all damaged and in denial like her) I am the only one who has dared raised my voice and I have paid for it.my mother was the most vicious and cruel woman alive( and a primary school teacher to boot)she is and was always loved by outsiders because she presents a wonderful facade.

    Years of therapy and copious amounts of tears later I feel that I might have just reached a point of no more denial.My mother ruined my life but I am no longer going to let her continue any more.She has bowel cancer now and what I have noticed is that she refuses treatment so as to play the sick role. I didn’t understand why I was so ANGRY at her until I read about Narc Supply. I always felt that my mother had sucked me dry and she continues to do so. I was crying today and the words I kept blabbing were that ‘I have no more to give you’ I realised that I had given my mother my life and today I reached a point of no return.I have a life to live too, MY LIFE! So my mother is NOT going to take MY life away from me anymore . I am ready for her to die now.

    I can finally put this to rest and open up to genuine love .she sucked the life out of me and it was never enough.i will leave my remaining siblings to be her supply.freedom. I simply hate my mother and it’s time to love mySELF!!

    Thank you fellow survivors for posting here. I absolutely didn’t want to diagnose my mother but I was always eager to diagnose myself with any disorder going! She trained me well that mother of mine! She was genius master manipulator

  32. My mother was keenly aware of my ‘spirit’ for adventure, even before I knew it myself. Hence, the constant put-downs and her desperate attempts to change me.

    She went to priests, astrologists, counselors, and my siblings in an effort to get them to at least hear what she had to say about me. She bawled her eyes out with her own mother about me…

    because? She knew that I would live the life I was meant to live, at least partially, and she never, never did…

    For all of your weeping and wailing, mother, I try to forgive you. In fact, I pitied you.

  33. scatpep, I too am an only (with an eerily similar story about how we’re trying not to be the third generation of this kind of behavior).

    I wonder a lot about the theme I’ve seen a lot of therapeutic professionals appear to pursue … which is that there can only be one narcissist and one enabler in a given marital/parental unit.

    Given that I’ve seen a whole lot of the same traits in my dad, I can’t help but wonder if the profession as a whole wants to start considering the possibility that one person can be both narcissist and enabler.

    I know what you mean about that childhood reversion. It sometimes makes it better for me that even “normal” people feel like that, apparently; maybe a little meditation on that might help you too …?

  34. Oh Linda thank you so much for putting this subject out there! Mine has also disowned me! She’s done it twice so far.. both times I confronted her with proof of her lies and called her on her BS! When she can’t find a way to lie and weasel her way out her reaction is to ‘wipe me’ out of her life. I thought I was alone in this and wondered if she is right is indeed myself that is evil or at least just a horrible person.. otherwise how could your own mother disown you right?!

  35. I am a 39 year old man.

    My twin and I suffered a lot of pyschological and emotional abuse from my narcissistic mother. I have only just realised that is what she is. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders because all these years we thought we did something wrong.

    My elder brother was the golden child and we were the scapegoats. For years mum and my elder brother used to gang up on us and terrorise us. When I got older I got fed up and started socialising with my friends more which meant less time at home to put my mum’s interests first. I used to drink a fair bit to make myself feel better. However I was definitely a ‘happy drunk’ rather than a violent one.

    I have had all manner of issues, some of which still hound me today. I have low sefl esteem and I cant stand any conflict. I actually shut off when someone is shouting at me now. I ended up marrying a woman who also treated me very badly so I really hope to break this cycle of abuse.

    My twin suffers from depression, I always had sports at least to let out my frustration but my twin was never sporty meaning he spent more time at home, listening to my mum slagging us off to anyone who would listen. Both my twin and I are now divorced and back living with mum. It is an unfortunate situation that despite all the abuse we suffered, we still feel guilty that mum is on her own. Sadly my mum has not changed and still gives up no respect, regularly oversteps boundaries and I have now noticed how she lies to others to make us seem bad.When I question her about it she gets defensive but will NEVER apologise or admit her fault.

    It is quite therapeutic writing this as after many years I can finally get it off my chest and realise myself and my twin are good people. Its not just daughters who suffer from narcissistic abuse.

  36. I can pick things out of every one of these stories that I can relate to. I also found out about NPD by typing in “why doesn’t my mom love me” in google. It was at a family reunion – we were going to go somewhere together and her and my dad left without me. We had planned to go together the night before; I hadn’t heard from her so I called. My dad (her pawn, which sickens me) said that they hadn’t heard from me so they just left.

    While this may not sound like a big deal, it’s just one of a million examples of how I have been made to feel unimportant for the last 46 years. I never knew why I always felt drained and depressed after talking to her or why she never seemed to be proud no matter what I accomplished.

    While I was never physically abused by her, thank God, the emotional abuse was severe. I was repeatedly told that I was sick, crazy, evil, mean. Mainly this was done at the dinner table with my GC sister watching.

    I knew I would get out of that house asap and left when I was 17. I have a good career and am relatively happy now, but only after many years of depression, drinking, cutting, shitty relationship, and self-hatred.

    I have been NC with NM since the reunion a few months ago and NC with GC sister for about eight months. Healthiest thing I’ve ever done. So grateful for websites like this one <3.

  37. I appreciate so much the information on this site. And everyone’s replies have helped me tremendously. See, I was feeling stupid because I didn’t figure this stuff out until I was 60. But you all made me realize that we will “hear” when we are mentally ready to understand.

    I was the “whipping boy” chosen by my NPD mother. The only person who truly loved me (out of 4 siblings and two parents) was my brother. But when he was 17 and I was 16 he committed suicide. Ten months later my mom died (which was a relief) and ten months after that my dad married a woman with 5 kids of her own. I had decided my brother had the right idea but I wanted to wait until Dad died before committing suicide myself because I didn’t want to do that to Dad (I now think it wouldn’t have effected him too much). Well, the day after he died, I quit my job, moved, and tried to figure out if suicide was the answer. Finally decided it wasn’t and then had to rebuild my life. I was starting from scratch. Talk about being born again.

    With the help of great therapists over the years, EFT and Byron Katie’s The Work, I finally accepted my brother’s death, my mom’s bizarre behavior and started to actually like myself. What a concept – I wasn’t this loser my mom made me think I was. But once I started feeling better, my siblings tried to pull me back down. They were extremely hateful and did the most bizarre things to me. One therapist recommended The Dance of Anger, a good book about family dynamics. I understood they wanted to keep me in the form they were familiar with because if I decided what we had been taught as kids was wrong, they might have to change and treat me like a human being. Well, they couldn’t accept that!

    I finally cut ties with the 2 youngest (I was the middle child) and kept in contact with the older brother. Then he did something that really upset me so I went back into therapy. It had been years since I had been in therapy so I found a new therapist. It only took her about 30 minutes to figure out what was going on. She asked me what happened and asked a little about my family history and said it was a classic case of the family whipping boy. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I had always referred to myself as the family whipping boy, but I really didn’t think that families actually did that on purpose. That was truly evil and couldn’t be true! I really thought all these years that there was something wrong with me.

    Now that I know the truth, I feel better than I ever have. This realization came less than a year ago and since that time my life has gotten better and better. So take it from me, if you feel something is not “quite right” with you and/or with your family dynamics, search for the answers. You will find them. And when you do, your life will be better than you ever imagined. Keep searching. Be valiant in your quest. Blessings on you all.

  38. I am a 17 year old girl. I believe that my mother is a narcissist. She threw me out in april. 2 days after my 17th birthday. She told my Dad that she would not tolerate my bad attitude. Now I understand this sounds like a typical teenagers complaints but please hear me out. She told my Dad she didn’t want me back and she was throwing me out. I moved in with him and his girlfriend of over 5 years. I used to be mean to my Dad’s girlfriend but after moving in with them I have a lot of respect for her. My mother is always bashing my Dad’s girlfriend and my Dad to my sister and me. My sister is 13. My sister has not seen my dad since I was thrown out. She has sided with my mother. And both of them are bashing me and my Dad’s girlfriend on social media. My mother told my Dad, his girlfriend and everyone who will listen that she thinks I am bipolar and need hospitalization. My mother claims to have had no contact with me for the last 6 months but has written email and texts nearly daily, tried to break into my social media and email accounts as well as my Dad’s girlfriends.
    My sister recently posted on social media that if she had one broken relationship that she wanted to fix that and I will quote
    If you could restore one broken relationship, which would it be?
    me and my sister ? I miss the psycho
    In august my mother and sister went to a concert with tickets that were my birthday present. My mother took them away when she threw me out. My mother and sister posted on facebook and snapchat videos and a play by play of the concert including the ride there and then tagged me in it. My father yelled at them and said it was wrong of them. The next day my sister claimed she had to have our mother go to visit my Dad’s mom in the nursing home because she could not be around me or my dad’s girlfriend. My dad allowed it. and He backed off of saying they were wrong for doing what they have done.
    My mother claims she never threw me out that my Dad told her that. Then she changed it to my Dad’s girlfriend told me that. My sister is now claiming she does not come here to visit because of my Dad’s girlfriend. My sister used to be very attached to his girlfriend and always loved her. I was the one who had a problem because my mother is constantly bashing my dad’s girlfriend. My dad will not listen and now he is saying he wants to throw his girlfriend out so my sister can visit. He told his girlfriend that she is the cause of all that has happened between my mother and me and my sister.
    How can I get my father to listen to his girlfriend and me. They are destroying my relationship with my Dad and his relationship with his girlfriend. I just don’t know what to do. The only one I can talk to is my Dad’s girlfriend and my boyfriend. Why can’t my mother leave me alone and let me be happy. Why can’t she let my Dad and his girlfriend be happy. My mother cheated on my Dad with a bunch of guys including the one she married a few years ago. She made us lose the home we grew up in she wasn’t paying the bills. She always has blamed my Dad but it was her not him. I am so lost. Everyone believes everything my mother says. I am not crazy. Please any advice. My dad wont even hear what his girlfriend tells him anymore.

  39. Examples of my narcissistic mother’s behaviour:
    Once, when I picked flowers that I was not allowed to, she spanked me. Then later, she called me in front of her friend and asked if I had picked the flowers. I said I had, believing that the punishment was over. No, she slapped me hard in front of her friend.
    One day, while helping her clean, I made a mistake. She turned to me and screamed “Do u want mommy to go away and never come back?” I was shaking and crying. She banished me to the bathroom because I would not stop crying?

  40. My mother is bpd. Everyone has abandoned her. she hates everyone and they are scared of her horrible temper. My father died last week, she started opening up about the abuse she received from her mother as a young child. Yes, her mother was pretty creepy. My father was an angel. He wanted to leave her and take us away. We were scared and begged him to stay. He endured hell. He had severe heart problems and died slowly over the last summer. She kept him in nursing homes and hospitals, while he wanted to come home. I wanted him with me. she absolutely refused always stating how sick he was and he wasn’t going anywhere. Last week he died, I found out she was frequently visiting the funeral home throughout the year. she is helpless in most anything else she does, or at least she claims. This shocked me and angered me she could do the funeral home thing. She didnt want a funeral for my dad saying he didnt want one. She just wanted him cremated. The real reason is she didnt want to face relatives she ticked off. She finally agreed we would have a private ceremony with just me and my kids. Now she is angry with me saying I cared more about my dads health than hers. I just cant win.

  41. i am 30 and still suffering from my childhood.. till this day i am still the target and like you said no one wants to admit mother has a problem. I had to seperate her from my daughter because she began to treat her the same.. My father died early from heart failure truthfully i think he died from heart break and stress from my mom.. she would put him down and blame it on the way he treated her when they dated yyeeears ago.. even now i can hear my moms voice when i make a mistake and for a while i would attack myself and tell myself the same ugly things she told me.. i just want to be free from her bondage of hate. in the public eye she is a great grandmother, church goer and community worker but home we where not perfect enough. she would always praise my friends even though i knew they lived lives she was not aware of.. she would tell me how she wish she could slap my face off my shoulders, and how if she had an accessible knife she would cut my throat.. but in public if i ever confessed she would say i was a liar. she even lies on me openly in my face to others and uses her “image” to say that im such a bad person for saying she is a liar.. i know this is wrong and i do pray but i have hate for her, not so much for what she has done but how she continues to hold tight to a fake image publicly of who she wants people to believe she is.. i have two older siblings, one who because she supports her financially she will always side with my mother, and my brother moved away to get from her grasp. she sees no wrong in what she does.. how do i begin my healing so this hurt, anger and pain that have doesnt hinder me from living my life

  42. One of the most common characteristics of “highly disordered” people seems to be the “mask of benevolence.” If it’s too good to be true, maybe it is? However “presentation is everything” is an excellent marketing strategy. But for all of those who have seen what is really behind all the glossy packaging, it’s not love and light! In reality “The Emperor has no clothes” although others sing the praises of his ornate garb.

    Their behavior can be like trying to figure out Quantum Physics…..”Is it a particle or a wave?” or “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” They operate in a world of counter-logic, and there are countless variables involved in what made them who they are (You can’t believe the pity stories they give you about how they became that way…that is only to manipulate you even if it is partially true.).

    My mother seems to have had some commonalities to how you say yours operated. I treat my cats much better than she did her own children. Having said that we have to humble ourselves a bit and say “there are moments when I am not operating from a place of empathy….even if my main psychological desire is not to destroy others.”

    We all need to learn to observe ourselves and then realize the effect our behavior is having on others. Sometimes, everyone can disconnect a bit. But there are people who live in permanent disconnect. So, I don’t think they should be completely otherized…maybe permanently avoided.

    I feel like I know how a person like this operates inside and out, but I think that in the process of trying to “figure them out completely”, maybe I was retraumatizing myself more often than necessary.

    What I would suggest (based on my experience) is for people dealing with these people to purify their life of them (permanent no-contact), purify their thoughts of them (no ruminating about them), and give themselves years (yes, years) to slowly heal.

    I am in my 50’s and I still deal with the ramifications. You spend your whole life suffering and struggling, then trying to integrate it all. Sometimes you relaspe….like when you unconsciously pick an abusive partner, but those little retraumatizations can bring more awareness about how your own unconscious/subconscious needs to process and heal.

  43. Full recovery from the harm caused by a narcissistic mother is rare. Total disconnect may be helpful while the mother is alive, and even more so once she is deceased. It was entirely pleasant to avoid mine like the plague. Purely out of curiosity, I paid her a brief visit toward the end of her life. She was in a convalescent facility. I had not had any contact with her in about thirty years. “So, what do you want? Good of you to neglect me, call and find out if I’m still alive. I don’t suppose you’re doing anything of any consequence. I don’t have any idea what you’ll do without me. You can go now, I need my rest.” Three days later, she died. I read about it in the newspaper. Good riddance.

  44. Susanna the same thing has happened to me, the evil so called mother turned my children against me too! They told me so many wicked things she told them about me but in the end stood by her and her lies! I miss them and my grandchildren too and almost had a breakdown, thanks to my eldest sister who hates her came to my rescue and saved my sanity. She said “you have to break the mould” leave them all behind and they will come to see the truth when she’s gone. I do struggle as I love my grown children and grandchildren but she wont be around forever, my sister is right. I wait as patiently as I possibly can for the day when I have my children back from her clutches. She also flirted terribly with my ex husband in front of me and one day I saw him in the car with her on his dinner break from work! I do not know why they behave so terribly towards their own children it is evil, wicked, vindictive and very cruel indeed.

  45. To All of You who Posted here…

    I envelope you in my arms and heart…I love you without knowing you personally. Empaths survive because we are so strong.

    Remember that. You are strong and beautiful, loving and kind.

    Embrace that knowledge and thrive…now and always!

    May the Universe protect you…

  46. I am 56 yrs old, the oldest of five children 3 girls/2 boys and have dealt on and off with a evil narcissistic Mother my entire life. She has alienated most of our family, aunts, uncles, cousins and split our family apart. When Mom recently (the last 5yrs) decided to pretend I was dead and shut me out, because I gave my sister a wedding shower and my sister invited family Mother doesn’t speak to, my sister wanted everyone there. Mother showed up with my youngest sister and her daughter late, but they came. My Mother had never been in my home before this, she already had an attitude before she came thru the door, brushed past me and proceeded to the deck outside where the party was. She was probably there all of 30mins. and stormed out, no explanation and the other two followed. The 2 of four siblings that live with her never spoke to me either, including my one and only niece/goddaughter to my youngest sister. I could write volumes about it, but I won’t. What I need to talk about is the last and final straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. My youngest sister was diagnosed with cancer, she lost her battle after two years. I found out she died when my husband read her obituary in the paper, which excluded myself and the other two siblings of which Mother has alienated as well. The pain of this has been weighing so heavy on my heart and mind. I went to the wake with my husband, my other sister and her husband. My sister Dee wanted to invite the 3 of them back to her house, I told her I thought it was a bad idea but I would be there for her. The service was over at 7:00 p.m. they arrived shortly after and that is when all hell broke loose. My Mother’s mouth never stopped, bringing up the past lies and embellishing on them, ripping my baby brother apart, who was not there to defend himself because of her evil ways. Then it was my sister’s turn and then me. Unbelievable! You just essentially buried a daughter and you come here and do this…WHY? I am physically and mentally sick over this. I believe that I should just continue with my life the way it is, happy with my husband, his loving family (Thank God for them), my friends and my two cats. It took me so long to realize that I’m not a bad person, it’s not me, normal families don’t act like this.

  47. Hi Tara, I just see your post now after again me trying to affirm my mother is a NPD. All I recall my whole life and still now is her always taking the side of my sister and my sister still the favourite, my mum will always say things like I dont know why you think or say that its not true. If I go through any hardship in life she will always respond, “oh yeh been there done that”, like get over it. I too remember a time with a pet that she took our family dog to the vet without me knowing, I was about 25 at the time so not living with her, she called me up to say that our dog had to be put down. I was in tears and didnt take it well, and felt that I would of liked the opportunity of knowing this might happen before she did it, she quickly turned it back at me as they do and said, oh its always about you, I am upset too, and got angry at me. If there is any give aways from her she will call me up and say “oh I have a lounge suite, or something that she was about to chuck out, do you want it? I will say no why dont you see if my sister wants it? She will say every single time Ive already asked my sister and she doesnt want it, its so funny that she doesnt even know she does it. One of my worst memories of her is my friend and I used to plat our hair into lots and lots of plats to make it look crinkly when you took the plats out, common in the 70’s. We went to bed on them and in the morning we took them out and we were about to go out and get a bus and go somewhere, I was 15 at the time. My mum grabbed me by my hair and called me a slut in front of my friend and forced my head into the hand basin and washed my hair to wet it to get rid of the curls, it was just a fashion look at the time, was nothing wrong with it. I cried and cried and was so embarrassed in front of my friend. Another time I had my contraceptive pills in my hand bag, I was 18, I hadnt done anything, I was a late starter, she would always go through my personal things so I had to hide my hand bag under the bed, she found it, found the pills and called me a slut and called my other friend a slut as she had apparently had seen her that day at the family planning centre. I pleaded with her to take me to the doctors to show I hadnt ever had any sex but she refused, she just made me feel worthless, when I think back now I realise how she could manipulate me so well and I started thinking I had done some something wrong, I mean I was 18 and old enough to make my own choices. My sister and I dont get on and its because of the constant interfering by my mother, I have never been good enough and my sister always the favourite. I never wanted to be the favourite just treated the same, my mum has never assisted me financially, but I have never asked. My partner and I have done very well and bought property and she shows no interest in that as cant take the glory for it either, she will often say to me though oh you get your humour from me, and you are good at sales because of me, its like its always to do with her and never my dad who she puts down all the time, but she and him are still together. I asked her recently if you wanted to just call in on one of our rentals as she wanted to catch up, I dont see her often, and can go for a year without seeing her and just the odd phone call. She said on the phone she was not interested in seeing our rental, we had been there every sing day for a whole month, fixing it up, painting etc to rent it out, no help from her at all, even the gardens needed doing but no help from her, despite her thinking she is a great gardener. She yelled out to my dad when she was on the phone to me and said “Dave you are not interesting in seeing Kathy’s rental are you”, he said NO! I immediately lost it at her as again she showed no interest in anything I have achieved, I hung up on her and about an hour went past and a email came through headed up” Im in trouble again, you know doing the whole deflection game”. She made up another lie, and said they just didnt know how to get there and dad would get lost, this was never discussed on the phone, and our rental is easier to find in fact than where we live. She went on to turn everything around and said I have deep seated issues, and I am never happy and nothing she does is good enough and she doesnt tick any of my boxes. I left it for a while and had no communication from her, about 2 months went past and I called her, and she immediately had a go at me and said why I hadnt been in contact and what has she done wrong now? I mean, I was calling her and she hadnt called me, this is what I get the whole time. she told me that she had been to see one of her friends who lives and hour and a half away from her so much further than our rental, so her and dad made it there fine and made that effort but not for me when I asked. I feel she is jealous of what I have achieved and that I look a bit like her so possibly the younger version of her? I still speak to her but its on my terms and when I want to so I dont have to endure her constant bull shit and manipulation. My sister and I have quite different memories as she wasnt treated the way I was and mum just runs around after her. All I remember when growing up was, why I wasnt like her friends kids, bla bla, and that if she had her life over again she wouldnt have any kids, and I should be grateful for what she did for me etc etc. Am I right in thinking I have a NPD? I am most interested to hear anyones comments, I was made to think and I think I still do to some extent the issues lie with me and I just expect too much. Thanks so much for reading, be funny if she read this, she would think I have made it up or its about someone else….

  48. Ladies and Gentlemen,
    I believe that my mother have you all beat in every department. I am my mothers only child and she continue to play mental games with me. People who do not know her swear for God that she is the perfect mother. But its all a front. My mother even took custody of my children to give them to my ex. My mother acts as if she cares but she do not at all. I have learned to ignore her cynical comments about my life. She feels as though she is always right. She have ridiculed me on social media with made up stories. I can go on and on. As i see it, i have no mother. I only deal with her for my kids and thats it. She even down talks my kids about everything. I can only say shes the devils advocate.

  49. I’m writing with tearfilled eyes. Partly in sadness for what you ladies have survived, and partly feeling some odd sense of relief that I’m not on this island alone. I’m surrounded by friends and neighbors with amazing moms. They are loving, supportive, dependable. I have none of that. I spent my 20’s thinking I must deserve this, and the first half of my 30’s hating her. She doesn’t love me. She never has and she never will. If I so much as speak one sentence to her about my feelings I’m selfish, a liar, over dramatic, pathetic. Then she’s the victim. How could a daughter be so mean to her poor mother. I’ve never done anything right. I’m fat, my house isn’t good enough, my husband’s job isn’t good enough. Any glimmer of a compliment comes with the tone of pity. She doesn’t know the meaning of the word genuine. Loyalty doesn’t exist. If I defy her she runs around speaking terrible things about me to anyone who will listen. She worked for a dentist, and quit bc she can’t hold a job. I wanted to continue using this dentist for my family and she exploded. She was writing me off over a dentist. If isn’t not her way, it’s wrong. If she can’t project this image of perfection she loses her mind. I grew up in a house of horrors. She was extremely physically and emotionally abusive. I can remember being woken up at 6am and made pick all the weeds in the flowerbeds. I cannot remember what I had done wrong, I was maybe 11. When I was 13 I found the nerve to call my dad at work and tell him that she had a boyfriend. She didn’t speak to me for weeks. Of course I was a liar. I wasn’t lying. If I tried to speak with her today about any of this stuff today she calls me a liar. None of it ever happened. I’m the crazy one, out to get her. She’s always the victim, a martyr for putting up with such an awful daughter. It’s exhausting.

  50. I am so sorry for your upbringing. My narc.was a stepfather. Now, it is the mother of my grandaughter. I feel that she has some mental problems besides that. Now, the granddaughter is treating me like her mother has, and she’s only 5.
    I am afraid that something is going on. Until about 2 months ago, she loved coming to my home, and the first thing she would do is take her tightly pulled hair down, saying she just wants to be free.

    The mother tries to call when she wants, then is demeaning to me in texts. The child knows she can call whenever, if she chooses, but she always declines if prompted.

    Last weekend, as soon as her daddy dropped her off she told me she is calling her mom to pick her up. I advised that we are headed to grandmas tonight. She started throwing a fit and said “mom said!”.

    I didn’t give in, as the mother has always tried to sabatoge our relationship, and we have always had a good time. She cried and fell asleep in the car. When I brought her in, she hugged me tight and we had a great weekend.

    Today,.we celebrated her Daddy’s bday, and the mother wouldn’t let the grand come to my house (during his work hours), so she wouldn’t even let my son have her on his assigned holiday, bc she was going to come to my home.

    This is nothing short of sabatoging a relationship between grandmother and child, and father and child.

    When the gdaughter said I had to let her call to let her mom pick her up, since dad went to work.(that 850 dollars in child support has to come from somewhere), when I said “no”, it was some gigantic fit, and when the sassypants told me that her mom said she could go home, I told her that she lied then…now, I don’t get to see her at all, I guess.

    What idiotic games of manioulation! Even this am, when he went to pick her up, not even going to grandmas, she fought and had a meltdown again, that her mother who preaches “obey me!” to her, wouldn’t help at all. My son reminded her that it is in the decree. The mom said, “well, lets try going somewhere and getting her a donut and ballon, and promise you wont take her to your moms this evening while you work.”

    Its interesting that she started asking him to have her for overnights, on his nights, a few months ago, but she is always insistant that she get her way. I had her for overnights, and until a couple of months ago, everything was fine. Nothing is ever right with her or her mother.

    That child was taught the skill of manipulating peoole to get her way. I’m not playing the game!

  51. Yes, I consider that myself too! I think the theory goes that sometimes if we suffer the abuse of a narcissistic parent as children, we attempt to cover our pain and prevent the abuse from happening again by developing narcisstic traits ourselves! Then it becomes a battle and can make things worse! I think that’s where borderline personality comes in and why they share similar traits!

  52. MY narcissistic mother didn’t even tell me my own father had recently died she invited my own adult younger sister to our fathers funeral but I didn’t even know that he had Infact died ..I found out the awwful truth last Saturday just gone .. by reading my sisters Facebook page when the awwful shockingly truth that my sister in Manchester had recently taken time off work for a family bereavement then under neath reveals Our fathers funeral I collapsed in a heap of immense shock and horror ..I cried and cried and cried my friends have all been supporting me the last few days ..My mum spent her whole life telling me I was thick & stupid Just because I had a mild learning disabilities and other disabilities she bullied me as a child and also when I had got married she bullied me even Infront of other family members ..I was very close to my father But What my mother did by Not even telling me my own father had died is very cruel & extremely callous evil thing to do towards anyone ..Even I wouldn’t have done that to my own children if I had kids ..but I don’t have children but I wouldn’t have done that to anyone ..I’m very Hurt by what she did but she also did that when both my grandparents had died i was not told about their funerals either & found out after woulds .. I noticed she did this to the very people I was in fact closest to …She is a very toxic person &a true classic narcissistic mother …

  53. The family pitting is a classic example. My mother actually throws in my face how close some families are with each other. She takes no responsibility for talking smack about each of her children behind their backs to another one of her children. If you accomplish the stuff she needs in order to be her trophy child then she tries to dethrone you and torture you about how you will not be able to maintain this stature. The bottom line is they don’t love anybody but themselves and the kids need to quit trying for approval because it is a sick game. If they can one kids self esteem low enough then they can always have them working for something they can not obtain, the moms approval.

  54. Thank you for this post. I am 41 and grew up as an only child. with two parents who I “thought” or told myself were loving and supportive even though that never seemed true. Have been in therapy since I was 8 years old because I was having suicidal thoughts. Had night terrors and my mom even took me to a priest asking about exorcism.. The central message from my child hood was something’s wrong with you” you need to do what ever the therapists say to fix it and get better so you can be happy. My dad was an orbiter and in enabler of this behavior. I don’t believe he is a narcissists however he is emotionally distant, self centered, and childish.. and has often spoken to me in invalidating and shaming ways. As a result of being raised as an isolated only child in an environment devoid of emotional support I have literally spent my entire life in and out of therapy looking for what is wrong with me to fix it and feeling ashamed because I have always felt empty and unhappy. Now I am feeling stronger and joyful but also I am saddens with the realization of how much of my life has been lost to living this lie that I was broken. Things like passion, romance, family, children, playfulness, desires, love, pretty much everything good about the human Spencerian has seemed elusive to me. Like those things were meant for other people.. people that were happy and did not have problems. Everything I was taught about myself by these people has been a lie.

  55. Hi Abbey,

    That is really very very cruel. I am so sorry your mother did that to you. It seems there are no limits for some people. I too have a mother like this, who lies and says mean spiteful things, and has over the years turned all the family against each other. I used to get on very well with my dad as a child, who was often kind and a good company. She was so jealous of this relationship, she did everything she could to turn my father against me. It was trerlly heartbreaking.

    There has never been one once of remorse for any of her behaviour. I strongly believe that these people are beyond help, as sad as that is. Get support from good friends. There are many kind people in the world, not everyone is cruel and twisted like our mothers.

  56. Hi Elaine,

    I too have a horror car story. I think I was 12 and my sister 13, we were getting in car to be driven to bus stop for school. My mother was insisting that we put on these really awful oldfashioned coats. We were wearing our normal ones and said we were fine with those.

    I remember she was in the driving seat, roaring at us to put the other coats on. She started reving up the car, really loudly and saying that she would drive over the kerb and kill us all if we didn’t do what she said. As you can imagine we were roaring crying and screaming for her not to do it.

    We put on the coats and she drove us to the bus stop and dropped us off like it was a normal day! We went to school and everyone was mocking us because of the coats which were of a style from 10 years previous she had been given by someone. We never told anyone as we felt too ashamed and thought we were the ones in the wrong as my mother was so dogmatic, you could never question her.

    I have many stories of this kind. It is very sad really when I think back to my childhood and see how cruelly we were treated. I envy people who have had loving, balanced homes because it really is very hard to be normal when you have been brought up in such a dysfunctional home.

  57. It took courage for you to share this. Thank you. What you describe is painfully similar to my own experience with a narcissistic parent. I was told “you are not my daughter” whenever I failed to please her. I was expected to serve her needs by answering her demands – or else. It was not until middle-age that I found the courage to say NO MORE and I ended regular contact with her. The pattern had to stop and I had to be the one to stop it.
    Last week, my mother’s dog was killed by a train. I have dogs myself. I was devastated when I heard. I phoned her to say I was sorry.
    It turns out she was “in a rush to meet a friend for lunch” so when she heard the train whistle, she was determined to beat the train so she wouldn’t have to wait for it to pass. When she reached and crossed the tracks (without her dog), she commanded her dog to “COME” – in front of the speeding train. And her (trusting and obedient) dog came…
    I still feel sick about what happened, because I understand WHY her dog is dead. Unlike her poor dog, I was able to stop being “trusting and obedient.” And I am still alive. No coincidence.
    And if anyone thinks I am being “unfair” in my observations? The first 2 things my mother said: “This is all my friend’s fault because she doesn’t like it when I am late,” and “I am getting another dog.”
    Nuff said.

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