If you are the daughter of a narcissistic mother, you had a non-mother. This woman was not capable psychologically or emotionally of being a “good enough” mother as D.W. Winnicott, the great psychoanalyst said so many years ago. This is the mother that we all yearn for. She doesn’t have to be perfect but good enough.
Daughters of narcissistic mothers didn’t have this experience at all. They were neglected, abused, dismissed, manipulated, demeaned, deceived and any combination of these dreadful experiences. You were a baby, a little child. Now you are an adult and still looking for the mother that wasn’t there. First, do not blame yourself. You were an innocent and had to survive. You did the very best you could and according to your NM–You weren’t good enough for her because she was a narcissistic personality. Children for these non-moms are narcissistic supplies that make her look wonderful. She has bragging rights about them. She can dress them up and show them off. She has pictures taken of her “beloved” kids that are on display.
Some narcissistic mothers ignore and completely neglect their children. They have screaming fits and say:
“Why the hell did I have you–You are worthless.” “You make my life a living hell–I hate you.” “You were a big accident–I wish I had aborted you” and countless crushing statements that have been repeated throughout your life. I cannot fully express in words how sorry I am that you have had to go through such horrendous abuse for so many years.
The other aspect of this is that no one believed that you were being raised by a “monster mother” who wore the crown of a fine human being. No one could accuse her of abuse. If you dared to speak the truth you were threatened within an inch of your life.
Now you are an adult still dealing with the psychological wounds of a narcissistic mother. Learn to recognize that you are a separate individual. What she did to you is not who you are.You are a unique individual, a wonderful one with many gifts and talents. You will discover the richness of your creativity and your true value as you sever your emotional and psychological relationship with your narcissistic mother. For some daughters this involves a grieving process about the mother they didn’t have. You will learn to stop wishing that she could would have felt differently toward you if you had been her perfect child. That was her pathological projection. You did your very best under the worst circumstances. Give yourself full credit for your courage and for maintaining the fire and light of your true self deep within. You protected the precious, original self that has always been there. Care now for yourself by appreciating your authenticity, your spontaneity, your humor, compassion, and of course, your empathy.
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
29 thoughts on “Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers Love and Appreciate Yourselves”
Thank you Dr. Martinez-Lewi for these helpful articles. Both of my parents were psychopaths. I have severe depression and PTSD I am struggling with, but your articles give me reassurance that I’m not crazy. I started a blog called email@example.com, which has also helped with my healing. I hope some day to be free from a lot of this pain and anxiety. Thank you so much for helping me get there.
Comment: From Mary
How interesting and thank you for your posts, I find them very helpful in order to realise it’s not me who is the problem. The more examples I read of this behaviour, the more I actually chuckle to myself when they do or say something exactly as described.
My mother didn’t tell me she wished I was never born, but made me feel that it was my fault I was and told me how difficult it was for her to have me. Derogatory comments were the norm, my “pet” names from my Mother were “fat fairy” and “baby elephant” while my younger sister’s pet name was “barbie doll”. I actually wasn’t a fat or overweight child at all. In conversation with anyone outside our family I always “looked like my father” or belonged to my fathers’ side of the family whom she despised. Nothing I did was ever good enough, there was never a “well done” for anything I did do well, only nit picking at anything that she deemed not perfect. None of my friends were liked or ever welcome at our house after school.
Unfortunately I’ve become somewhat of a perfectionist, I believe as a result of continually trying to please her. I was a “people pleaser” to all around me for a very long time, but I’m learning to say no and not give a reason if I don’t feel like it. I shut down the silly games or negative comments before they take hold, and I realise I am so much happier when I have no or little contact from her, her flying monkeys or the rest of my family.
Comment: From Cleo
Thanks Linda for this. Its taken me over 50 years to truly understand that my mother is NPD. I was either the trophy child she could boast about or the daughter who was a severe embarrassment to her. Nothing in between. Since I have understood this and have cut off all contact with my parents – my father is the classic enabling father – even though they are in their late 80s, my life just gets better and better. And its so fascinating how I now seem to be able to connect with people and seem to be able to make new friends on almost a weekly basis. Until now I have found it quite tough to make friends. Have not quite sorted out the connection between dumping my mother and this richness of new friends – but its just wonderful.
Comment: From Laurie
Can my mother be a Narcissist if she is willing to get therapy to change her dysfunctional personality?
Hello Laurie, Most narcissists are not willing to go to therapy because they believe that they are perfect and every one else is wrong. I can not tell you that your mother is a narcissist for sure. I would need to know more about her psychologically. The main characteristic of a narcissistic personality is lack of empathy. I wish you the best with your mother. Warm regards, Linda, Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Comment: From Joanne
I am going to be 50 this year and reluctantly moved back to the east coast 3 years ago to be with my fiance’, but I knew my smother was going to drive me insane. I’d asked him to move west but I didn’t want to take him away from his kids. She’s 87 and the more I read about narcissistic mothers, the more I see her in almost every description. She’s a pain in my ass. I suffer from anxiety and panic every time she calls, every time i have to go over there. She wants me at her beck and call, she wants me to take care of her now that she’s old…she even said, ‘all those nights I took care of you when you were sick when you were little!’ Like that entitles her to elder care. Every time I tell her something about my life, or my feelings or whatever, she turns it around and makes it about HER. Right b/f I moved, I was going through a divorce, packing to move, leaving my job and life of 2 decades on the west coast, and she writes me a horrible letter about how all of this affected HER. How all those years she begged me to come back and now I come back for ‘some guy’. She accused him of not loving me and wanting to get his hands on HER house and HER property to rub it in his family’s faces. I have told her over and over she had no right to do that esp. during the worst time of my life, and she disagrees. She did nothing wrong. So of course I told my guy about it…and he told a few people in town and it got back to her that people knew about the letter. She got ripped at me and said I had no right to throw her under the bus and tell him what she said!!! Now she can’t face his family at all and said she will never ever be in their presence. I said, ‘well whose fault is that?” and she said, ‘yours’. She absolutely hates his family….thinks they are ‘white trash’. She’s very embarrassed that I am part of their family now; she even tried to make me promise I wouldn’t call his mother, ‘mom’.
Another example, she asked me what kind of cupcakes I was making for a get together w/ my stepdaughter at Christmas (to which she wasn’t invited) and I said, ‘red and green’ and she goes, ‘I HATE green cupcakes’. I snapped, ‘Well I’m not making them for you am I?” Then she says, ‘what is wrong with you? can’t I have an opinion?’ I just hate the woman so much and I wish she would die but she recovers spectacularly from all her medical issues and hospitalizations. I am so stressed about going over for mother’s day and pretending that I love her when I don’t. She has this image in her head that I will stay with her when she gets out of the hospital and lovingly take care of her….I actually did a couple years ago and she was insufferable. She even forced me to come home from a weekend trip to Maine a day early b/c she needed a ride to the doctor. I have refused to stay with her after her hip replacement and a Nov. hospitalization, I told her she needs a nurse. She wants me to do it, and I cannot do it. I will not do it. For one I won’t give up my 2 precious days a week w/ my trucker fiance’, and I also have 2 high maintenance dogs that I can’t bring over there to stay. Plus I will be angry and resentful about it and I know it. That’s why I stay away. I get sick of hearing people say, ‘she’s old, she’s set in her ways’ blah blah blah. What about 20 years ago? 30? 40?
I have one afternoon a week when I’m not at all available and she continues to schedule appointments for that day/time, or calls me up to drop what I’m doing b/c she needs her trash taken to the dump, then she screams at me and cries and lays on the guilt trip b/c I tell her sorry, i’m not available. Hangs up on me. Pitches a total childish temper tantrum over it. i’m fed up with her crap. It’s taking a toll on my health and my relationship. I want to cut her out of my life. Every time I hang up on her after a fight or walk out, I hope to god she’ll just leave me alone but no, she ignores the problem and still calls. I’ve asked her to go to counseling and she said she doesn’t have the problems, I do. I could go on and on and on about how I was treated. I am an only child, btw. Anything I wanted to do as a kid, like musical instruments, etc, was put down, shot down and prohibited. Anything I wanted to do was met with a negative response. But I did it anyway. She and I have clashed since I was a little kid. An older cousin has told me how my grandmother and aunt used to beg my mom to stop picking at me or else I’d get ‘a complex’. I felt vindicated to hear that other people in the family saw what she did.
And OMG every time I am with her all she does is complain about everything. The garbage on TV, the skimpy way girls dress, she trash talks her friends and some cousins. Any time in my life that I have been upset that someone was angry at me for what appeared to be no reason, she always said, ‘well you must have done something to make them mad’. Never took up for me. Or comforted me. I was never thin enough….she always had me on diets which screwed up my metabolism so now I do have a weight problem. She hated all my friends, hated everyone I ever went out with. Called me horrible names like slut and whore, even when I wasn’t even doing anything. After she found out I lost my virginity to someone I loved very much, she screamed and yelled and put me down and threatened to kick me out. I have a feeling she was sexually molested based on her over the top hatred of sex. I couldn’t wait to get away from her and I moved from MA to CA when I was 24.
Everyone thinks she’s so nice and I’m like, yeah you should have lived with her. My father was an orphan and he was totally cowed by the mommy he clearly needed. She ran the house. And OMG the constant criticism. My self esteem is totally destroyed b/c of her, but I am the one who is ‘too sensitive’ and should ‘get over it.’ I have to hear about how embarrassed she is about my ‘bad attitude’. The ‘good family name’ and appearances mean everything to her. She cares so much about what people think. I don’t. I know it’s bad karma to wish she’d die but you have no idea how much I wish it. She likes to hold my alleged inheritance over my head but I don’t even want anything from her. She’s trying to control what happens to her house after she dies. She has it set up that my guy will ‘never get his hands on this place’. The house can only be sold to someone in her family. there’s no one left and no one wants it. I don’t even want it.
Anyway, thanks for your website and letting me vent. I’m in great turmoil right now. I can’t stand her. I’m being driven to the brink of suicide and depression thanks to the stress and always waiting for that other shoe to drop.
Comment: From Doug
Hi, my names Doug. I know this a blog about daughters of N mothers, but I had a Severe Covert Narcissist for a mother and everything in this blog fits my life just as easily as it would a daughter. She was a non mother. The sense I’ve always had is that she wished she didn’t have the responsibility of these damn kids. If only they go away, I could go to the beach and lay in the sun, play tennis anytime I wanted and it goes on. But of course being a covert, she couldn’t let anyone know how she really felt, so she put on the best mask of a perfect mother that she could and boy are these people experts when it comes to putting on masks! But when it was just the family, she never guided us, supervised us, loved us. She preferred, always, that we would go away and leave her alone. Now being boys we were thrilled to have such freedoms…but deep inside something didn’t seem right. All the other children in The neighborhood had boundaries…be back before dark, don’t go past a certain busy street, while we could do and go anywhere we wanted. When dinner was ready she’d yell for us, we’d run inside, inhale our food, ask to please be excused from the table (polite, yes, but for her, it was in part her need for control) and we’d run for the door. She didn’t want the responsibility of a mother, but she chose me as the golden child because I was intelligent, athletic, and anything else she could use to make her look good. That all changed when I reached puberty and naturally tried to become my own man. From that period on, we did nothing but fight and argue.
My mother comes across as a lady, very demure. She wasn’t the outward narcissist others may have had. But if we weren’t going to bed when we were supposed to a switch would flip and she would scream at us like a banshee, hitting us with belts, always saying things like “what did I ever do to deserve children like you” and other like screams. You see, it’s because everything is about her. Everything. She doesn’t have the capability to see beyond herself. There’s no empathy in these people, there’s no normal conversation, they are truly an island onto themselves within their minds. I discovered Linda’s Blog not too long ago and it was the last remaining piece of the puzzle of my life. It was if everything immediately took shape, fell into place and my life was understood. Linda’s blog confirmed every single feeling, every single insight, every single instinct I had about her. And I’m feeling whole for the first time in my life. I cannot overstate this. It was then that I knew what I had to do. I cut off all ties from her. I will not accept her calls, I will not, when we cross paths, even acknowledge her. I will not go back to the lies, confusions, manipulations and absolute self-centeredness of that woman. And I can tell you that I am 100% better because of that. My healing is still taking place, but now I have space to do so and a clear mind without her voice in it. I’ve thanked Linda often, she knows how I feel, but I need to also thank the others who’ve posted. I gain strength and further knowledge of these life sucking vampires. I know and understand what you’re going through, or have gone through just as you can understand what I’ve been through. We all deserve to be whole and complete human beings, we never deserved what we were born into, none of it is our fault and there can be healing!
I still find it difficult to talk about my mother like this – guilt still plays a big part in my mind. I have known for a very long time that all the lies and manipulation couldn’t be right but I was brought up with them so while I was young it was normal. My mum is now 83 and I’m 62 and finding out about NPD has been like a revelation. I had made a bullet point list a few years ago, outlining all the things that didn’t seem right and yet that I couldn’t understand. For example, feigning illness, alienating friends, saying hurtful things without apparently realising how they affected me. When my son rang her to tell about his wonderful exam results she told him she was ill and he’d have to call back – how hurtful – I couldn’t believe it. When he announced his engagement she said immediately that she wouldn’t be at the wedding. On the day of the wedding I rang her after the ceremony to tell her that it was a sunny day – “it is here” was her reply. She told neighbours that that day was the worst day of her life because everyone else was away enjoying themselves. When my dad broke the news to her that he had cancer, she rang me and told me she felt as though she’d had a sledgehammer through her head – it was all about how it affected her. When I walk to the shops with her she starts shouting “you’re not too old for a thrashing” – in her mind it’s amusing. But we have a drama in every single shop. She rings me at all hours demanding I go round with painkillers or because she’s “ill”. She’s had every xray and every test and there’s nothing the matter. I can’t stand the play acting any more. She now tells me that my five year old grandson is wicked and deceitful – I’m sure she does this because she knows I have a close bond with him. She copies the way I have my hair and has started wearing the same perfume as me. She has cut relatives and “friends” off for years always believing that she’s in the right. She is now a sad elderly lady, spending every day in her pyjamas and lying in bed. She hasn’t got a single !
friend and no-one visits her – apart from me – so it looks as though I’m stuck with it unless anyone here has any suggestions. And I’d love to hear what any readers make of the personality I’ve described – has she got NPD? Oh, and I’m an only child!
Comment: From Patricia
I have a 40 year old narcissistic daughter. I do not care what she does but I am trying to prevent her from destroying my two grand-children age 4 and 6 years. She really never wanted kids and I can tell they are a nuisance to her. We live very close to each other and the kids are very closeto me and my husband. We do what we can but I need concrete advice, advice I can implement to prevent the destruction of these girls. Their father died 3 years ago so they have no one except hubby and I. I worry very much and the stress takes a toll on me.
My ex, who was definitely a narcissist, went for therapy. That was before I met him so I’m not quite sure what his motivation was. He may have recognized that his rages were not normal or he may have been seeking to deal with his intermittent depression or sadness. It certainly didn’t cure his narcissism, a diagnosis he struggled to accept.
I am in my early thirties and really struggling with my mother. I didn’t even know what a Narcissistic Mother was until I started googling some of her hurtful behaviors and came across this term. It fits her to a T, even though I would never tell her that. I think what I’m struggling with now is the blatant disregard she has for my feelings and emotions- or even my opinions. My husband is extremely supportive and caring, and I feel like I’m doing the same thing to him now! It’s terrible! She just will not admit she did anything wrong, and we recently had a falling out on New Years Eve where I left the house with my three children because of her actions, and she had the nerve to come into my house, sit me down on the bed, and tell me I was an alcoholic (which I’m not), and that I needed to see a therapist because I’m psychotic. Since then I’ve avoided family functions and tried to just be emotionally gone when she’s around. I don’t even want to be around my aunts and uncles because I’m so embarrassed that she’s telling them I’m crazy. It’s just so draining, worrying about whether your mom is going to show up at your house and scream at you any minute. I don’t know what to do anymore. And my dad just tells me that I need to apologize (which I did do and she still didn’t like me) and get over it. But honestly, I’ve just had it. And I know my husband has as well. She’s just so careful to not show my dad any of what she does to me. And she doesn’t say the harsh things in front of my husband either (she closed the door when she came down to scream at me and when I came out, he asked if she had apologized for the day before- ha). So, I’m stuck in the horrible cycle of helplessness with her and her siblings (because I feel like they all think I’m crazy), and frankly, I’m tired of having to defend myself! So I’m letting it go. But I don’t want to deal with any of this anymore and I’m thinking about moving away again, just to get my kids and family away from her. It’s so hard to explain to anyone because the don’t!
see it. Only my husband and two best friends see what she does, and even then it took years of observation. I just want to move on but have a relationship with my dad, but I know that’s not possible. And I should say, she is positive and supportive sometimes, on rare occasions. Truly supportive, not a fake, ‘get me out of here’ support.
Comment: From Grit to Joanne
I’m an only child too and my mother is dead. It’s the same for me, and you have to wonder what kind of robots these ‘narcissists’ are because they follow the script so closely – there’s hardly any individuality. I’ve finally had an ‘expert witness’ report on my mother which identifies her as a narcissist, something I’d worked out ten years ago, and also that she didn’t have ‘testamentary capacity’. For god’s sake she left most of it to her Uriah heep solicitor ahd his ‘christian’ wife. . I understand not wanting the inheritance and walking away. I basically did in the last 6 or so years of her life. I lived overseas. I had to get away. But I decided to fight, and it’s been a long dirty fight, for reasons to do with killing her in my head. All the affidavits and the evidence just builds up an undeniable portrait of the flaccid nasty horror, the wasteful viciousness of her stupid life. I’ve found out much more about her, whereas before she was a mystery. It’s a horrible process, but without it I don’t think I’d have come to grips with things in time to get properly free of her. I’m going to enjoy her money – anyway, it was half dad’s – she just took it. So, if you get your inheritance like a slap in the face, I don’t think it’s about the money if you decide to fight – it’s about information, and self respect. And good luck – or, strength to you, more like.
Comment: From jeri
Thank you doug your post helped so much your story is identical to mine like to the t .the last puzzle piece now has been found i can now reclaim what is rightfully mine …. me !!! Im grieving but i have the truth that i have been searching since ive been 17 im now 43 .ive made it through hell my mom turned my family against me .she through my family and i in the streets ect. She has caused me yrs of horror. But im free finally free !!
Im 67 and in the grip of my 96 yr old npm. She just called me on the phone and said if I take any of her money without telling her it is elder abuse. What! She could be lots worse but it has been such a drain these last twelve years since I spent my whole life avoiding her. I hate to leave her alone but maybe I need a vacation….with her money. The bitterness I have inside me for this non mother has hurt me all my life. I have very little self esteem and it has affected my own two daughters. What a terrible thing. This site helps me so much. Thank you all for being here and being strong.
I’m not a professional and I can only speak from a point of view of a daughter of a narcissistic mother. Growing up, what she did to me made me feel terrible but I had no idea that it wasn’t normal or wrong. I knew I always felt horrible but I didn’t even knew what I did wrong. There were other grown ups who lived with us but they said nothing to my mother except don’t be so angry all the time, which didn’t work at all. They told me that I shouldn’t make her angry, that I had to be the one that behaved, which was hard because sometimes I didn’t even know what I did to make her mad. It was as if they condoned that behaviour, and by doing this they made me feel as if what happened was my fault and that I was a bad person who deserved bad things.
I just wanted to share my views that maybe if they did something as little as telling me that it was wrong of her, it would help so much with a lot of issues I currently have with abandonment, self-esteem, and self-worth. Having a person to vent after my mother exploded on me would also help immensely, so does to feel like I have someone who’s always there for me and who wouldn’t abandon me because they think I’m a bad person. It means a world of difference and for me it is the difference between that line of staying in rock bottom and having the strength to pick myself up.
Thank you for looking after your grandchildren like no one did to me when I was younger. They are lucky to have you and you are already giving them more chance of coping with a toxic parental relationship. I hope it works out great for you, and I wish all of you the best for the future.
My N mother and I have not talked for over a year now. I am so sick of her me,me, attitude. She has managed to turn my only daughter away from me with her lies. She has tried to “buy” my daughter. My daughter since this,has quit calling me and won’t have anything to do with me. She has a degree in guidance and counseling so no one beleives what I say about her…….she is very careful when she reveals her true self. She abused me growing up and it was very evident that my brother was her favorite because he did whatever she said to a “tee.” Just because I suffer from bipolar depression which is very well controlled I am crazy. She digs up things I did to her as a teenager. She is in her 70’s now and could really use me to help her and she continues to alienate me so she can get at the “grand Prize”……my daughter. My only child. She means to hurt me. Which she has. I can no longer be around the woman. She is dangerous to me. I wish she would die. She means to hurt me through saying awful things to her about me and literally not acknowledging that I am this childs parent and things must go through me too as long as her father. Her father and I are no longer together. She tells my ex and his wife lies about me. I think she wants to get back at me for something in a large way and she has succeed. I will not let her know this though. She would love it. Anybody know a good “hitman?”
Thank you for this very insightful blog. I am 43 yrs old and truly grateful for all of the feedback and comments. I too have a NM. I just came to the realization about two years ago when a few older women from church came beside me with love and grace, asking a bit about my life. A close friend at the same time pointed out something’s as well. Then that word was introduced…”narcissist” and it all clicked. It was as if I had a flash back to all the times I was compared to my sister, the time that I was left in my room with a 106 degree temperature in which my father came home and exploded on my mom because she would never take me to the hospital (I had Spinal Meningitis), the times she would never pick me up from or drop me off at school and I walked 4 miles each day but my other siblings were taken or pIckes up or how she “warned” my husband that I was “high maintenance” and that “I hope your marriage lasts” two days before my wedding (and she wore black lace gown at the beach wedding and intruded into my room the night before because “I should have got her a room” or she won’t come). It always ends up being about her, never me. My sister and my mother play tag team on who gets to call me a psycho or make some comment about what a loser I am. They make attacks in my kids etc.
Recently she asked me to meet her at a local bakery. Sat me right behind a man in his lap top. I thought it quite odd but then looking back, it was how she would “control” me. I wouldn’t get mad or upset in front of other people. We had not spoken for a month prior to this meeting. She said “meeting adjourned” and laughed like it was a joke. I was hurt that the last time we spoke she accused me of something I never did. She heard a story from my sister which was twisted, as usual, so my sister looked like some sort of hero.
Once she started speaking, I knew where it was going. She asked me to apologize gue how angry the lie made her that she would say such horrible things about me and to not only my husband but her own friends. I didn’t even know what to but stand up and tell her to get her head checked. I informed her that my whole life I have always seemed a bother, she never said “I love you”, she never hugged me or wanted to travel with me like she did with my sister. Continuously, she made excuses and never validated how u felt. Instead, like a boxer in the ring, she taunted me “Come on, I see it, you are angry, wow! Come on bring it out… Look how you are getting, look at you”. And then right there, I was done. It was evil. I cannot blame her. I blame Satan himself for bringing such ugliness to her life and my sisters. I am no saint, no perfect person. I am forgiven for my sin but it is repentance (in Greek-to turn completely) that puts me on a path to stop treating someone bad. My mother does not have any sort of remorse for how she treats me. As soon as I left, my mother called my sister and the messages I got were horrible…”You are a sick daughter. You are vile. You disgust me. To treat your mother like that you must be bipolar. You need meds. You are sick”.
Once again the two try to take me down. My response to all this…goodbye. I leave them both, surrendering them to God. Their Maker, their Creator. I stand before Him and know I have done what I can to make the relationship work and I can’t do anymore than that. My children should not be exposed to this behavior and I refuse to accept it any longer. I have bent over backwards to love them, love my niece, be the glue even when they were cruel. I feel sorry for my sister who blames everyone else for not having real friends as she continues to criticize every person she comes across. I feel as for my mother as she ages and continues to be a single woman after 30+ years after my Dad left her bitter and martyred self.
I have to take care of me, my husband and kids and be ok with leaving them in God’s Hands and not feeling guilty but doing them a favor.
My heart goes out to all of you today. Something very awesome that I did today was sit alone in my house and have a cry, speaking out loud all the nasty things that happened. True some need a therapist but I felt a bit of therapy today just talking to God about it. I pray for all those who suffer with a parent like this. My father is my rock and tells me that he saw this coming when they divorced and encourages me as the older ladies I met at church do.
I hope everyone who goes through this finds someone to be their rock and takes the time to vent to God. He is listening.
Love and best healing..
Several of these comments fit my mother to a tee, I wonder if there are varitions to this behavior, my mother is fake, she is a people pleaser, will not tell any one what she feels and lies, there are six of us, and she always talks to one about the other, she usually tells you not to tell what she is saying, this creates anger among us when she tells things. She is 87 now and still doing the same. She always nagged my father who passed 20 years ago, so much that my two brothers can’t stand for a women to stand up to them all they see is mother and the way she treated Dad. I’m 70 years old and my mother has never hugged or kissed any of us ever, even as babies, she can say some mean things to us,and she never gave a second chance, always whipped us for normal childhood mischief. I want to be free of her , but she is old and needs help I’m trying .
I always knew growing up there was something very, very wrong with my mom in comparison to other families. She was quick to have a full blown break down, scream, cuss-I remember as early as four years old her constantly swearing at the littlest things she couldn’t fix or put together around the house. She was this sweet little lady to the outside world, and all my friends thought she was very nice. I was allowed to have over friends, play, was involved in sports and girls scouts etc. On the outside she appeared a loving & involved mom, but at home she was mean and nasty. I have deep seeded memories of anytime I did something “out of line” which I can’t fathom what it would have been…as I was a very good kid( good grades, sports, making club soccer and travel softball) She would constantly compare me to my 2 best friends. She’d always say their full names -” If I called up so and so’s mom right now, I bet SHE would tell me that her daughter doesn’t act this way.” She did that so much-it’s a running joke today with my boyfriend and I. I mean this was all stuff I remember from under the age of 10. I was never good enough in her eyes…another classic was “If I went out and polled 10 people they would all agree with me, that you are a bad child, blah blah” LOL. I laugh now because I have been able to come to terms with what evil she is. She was never physically abusive-but extremely emotional abusive. She constantly whispered and talked horribly about my dad; in her eyes my dad was the narcissist, he was the bad guy, the evil guy who didn’t respect her job. As a child I didn’t know what to believe. I had never heard my dad say a single bad thing about my mom, or her career (She’s a teacher and a covert narc) But she would push his buttons so much all our lives that he would snap, and they would fight. So I almost feel that she would feed my sister and I this “dad is evil stuff” then get him to snap, and it did in fact appear as if he was very mean. Up until age 25, every time something happened or went wrong she’d use my age against me?? “You’re 20 years old, you’re 22!, you’re 25 years old, why can’t you EVER take responsibility?” In regards to something so mi-nute as a potentially broken vacuum. I remember dropping off one I borrowed when I was moving out and cleaning up a place I had with 2 roommates. The stupid thing wasn’t even broken in the end, but she refused to believe I let my roommate use it, and “I just couldn’t own up to a single thing in my life.” Just, the most ridiculous things seemed to be more important to her than me and my feelings. That’s really only one of many examples i can remember after age 20, because I started to pull away from her when I realized i was more mature than her when I hit my 20s. I mean she would scream and rage, I will never forget such rage over a vacuum, and being made to feel like a 25 year old loser. I also pulled away b/c I started to realize she made my dad out to be a villain for 18 years of my life and I truly believed it until he remarried and tried to show me what a “loving relationship” between two people was.
Anyways I could go on for days, write a book; but I went back to school and the University is a 4 min drive from her house. My boyfriend and i moved in with her to save money while I was pursing post grad work, and I had not lived with her since I was 19, so even though in the back of my head i knew she had issues, I wanted to believe if I was 30, mature, and content with my life, then she must be too. She was renting 1 of the 2 little rooms she has in her 3 bedroom condo to one of her close friends who had fallen on hard times with a divorce, and losing her job and not being able to find much teaching work beyond subbing. I thought there would be a buffer with this woman I knew, then my boyfriend who has a super mellow personality and understands having a mentally ill mother as his was too. He told me he drew boundaries with her as old as 13, something I didn’t start doing until I was 30.
Anyway, long story short, it was immediately hell. My mom’s expectations of people are very high, and if they do not live up to her expectations she becomes so angry and passive aggressive. The thing is, she will not tell anyone what she expects out of them, she just expects them to read her mind. So already, the roommate prior to us was not living up to her standards, and my mom’s pent up rage came down on me like a sledgehammer. If she wasn’t screaming at me over the roommate’s dog (I was expected to care for the dog when no one was around, yet no one told me this was my responsibility as it wasn’t my dog?) well, then she would spend countless hours on the phone badmouthing this woman to my sister. I cannot believe, since I have lived with her again, how many hours of her life she spends s*&t talking on her friends and our family. I refuse to take part in it, and have definitely become somewhat of a blacksheep. I have to say my jaw dropped a bit when i read the article on narcs being paranoid and setting traps, as my boyfriend tells me daily she “sets booby-traps” I asked him what he means-he just says she moves things around the kitchen and sets things in the fridge in weird ways to see if we touch or eat her food ( this has been another huge issue she thinks we eat her food but we buy and eat our own food) She leaves pain pills in weird little corners in cabinets to see if we will take them from her? She has decided we are drug addicts which we are not. It’s truly, truly bizarre! She watches what we eat and obsesses on it-we are both vegetarians and we don’t eat anything with gmos, we just eat really healthy and live our own lives, and she’s dead set on making us look like weird junkies? It’s so , so bizarre and sad. She has no life whatsoever, all her single female friends who were divorced around the same time she was, about 14 years ago have ALL moved on. She throws parties for holidays and no one comes anymore but other single females in our family. It’s pathetic but I cannot feel bad for her. she thrives off of misery, chaos, and drama. I’m truly glad I moved back in; while it has been hell and we are scrambling like crazy to move out, it has been an eye opening experience! I honestly would have never known nor remembered how utterly sick she was/is. She goes through our bedroom, not sure how many times, but I’ve literally been home sick from work, and if I forget to lock the door and she thinks I’m at work she walks in. My boyfriend started a business he runs from here
(ugh, god help us) and she rifled through every box of his in the garage and didn’t even try to hide the fact that she did it. She steals things from him and lies to my face. It just all comes full circle that she was the one when i was a teenager going through my room, going through my trash, listening to my phone messages on my own line she gave me as a high-schooler to find information on me. I remember asking time and time again, new messages blink, now they are not blinking,,,who is listening to my messages from my 17 yr old friends? She lied to me then, and she lies to me now.
I’m blessed that my boyfriend sort of understands all this to a degree b/c of his experience with his own mom and supports me and most importantly sees how insane she is, as many people would never believe what goes on in the house.
She is now resorting to going onto his lap top he uses for work! B/c I didn’t tell her the exact location of the house we recently looked at. We own a pit we adore, and there are so many breed discrimination laws where I live, we have had a very, very difficult time finding someone to rent to us…so we are sort of stuck here in this hell on earth. She wants to see us both fail, and we are grown adults with our own lives. She is constantly plotting the demise of us! She tells me ” I look like my dad and act like him” which doesn’t hurt me in the slightest, but i know it’s a huge insult b/c she holds onto so much anger towards him. I’m proud to stand out-i look nothing like her side of the family nor do I act and partake like they do.
I will be cutting her off physically, and i think she knows it’s coming. I’ve completely pulled away emotionally-I tell her nothing, as she already crosses huge boundaries snooping as much as she possibly can. She will most likely stop at nothing to find where I move to through other relatives so I must leave the entire family….but the kicker: my sister 2 yrs younger, the one calling her 4-5 times a week is having a baby, with an ex, who cheated on her with both men and women (and I’m the bad one with a supposed drug habit lol) So good luck being a sick, sick grandma! Lord help us all………………….Cut ties with these people, it’s the only way to heal. I cannot wait to start healing hopefully within a few months.
My heart goes out to you ALL with a mother like this.
Deb- you are describing my dreadful mother, too!!! Whenever anything needed doing, she would fein illnesses. People were always conned into believing she had bad health. I realised that it was all BS by the age of ten, as I was used as her slave from a very young age. Aged 3, me, my sister and- supposedly- my mother were all ill, I dressed up as a nurse to look after them, even tho I was just as ill, prob. more so than her the total vampiristic hypochondriac. One year ago, my father in law died a terrible death from bowel cancer. Obviously envious of the attention he got, she developed diarrhoea and ended up conning the doc into referring her to an oncologist (!!!) honestly if not so tragic would be funny- she had an endoscopy only to find bog all wrong with the old fraud. She will oulive the lot of us. I have only very recently joined the dots and realised the horror of my childhood was down to her- and my verbally, emotionally and physically abusive father of course- and can’t wait to summon the courage to never see or contact them again.
I’ll just give you the story’s ending. Mum was diagnosed with dementia and rapidly went downhill. She died at the end of December. Although dementia is a very cruel illness, it gave Mum and me valuable time together. She became more accepting and the sharp edges and nastiness diminished. We had some good times over cups of coffee and I was genuinely happy to care for her – after all, I was all she had. When I was tidying up after she’d died I found a note that she’d written to me, telling me that I was the perfect daughter! I kept my promise to myself though and threw all her diaries away without reading them because I’d felt for years that she was writing them with a view to them being read, and I think they would either have annoyed or upset me – probably both.Dementia took Mum to rock bottom but she had a kind and easy death, just sleeping away. I now have free time and I’m looking forward to it.
You just described MY MOTHER to the TEE!!! OMG!!! A friend of mine on FB gave me this website because we were talking about my mom and relationshp, and she said you NEED to read this…. I never really checked out what “Narcissim” really was…. but all the things you stated about YOUR mom is the SAME as MINE, but my mom didnt even show her “disdain” for me in front of the family… they all seen her as “PERFECT”. GAG ME!! She WAS and IS ANYTHING BUT that!!
I thank you for your RANT because I was ranting, and saying YES, YES, and YES to everything you posted because that is exactly my mother… and I have MOVED away SEVERAL times… and this LAST time I left was 3 yrs ago, and have NOT been back since then!! I dont want to be around her… but unfortunately MY daughter is around her… LONG STORY….
I am just grateful I can take this information, and learn, and heal from all those years of abuse she put on me…. I am also an only child, and was adopted on top of that!!! She couldnt have her “OWN” children. Just another reason for her to hate me because I wasnt HERS completely… but I was good enough for the “show”.
Yes, I can relate to everything you experienced. My mother of 84 died a few weeks ago and it is as though the flood gates of memories have opened. Need to work through that. Not easy. How do you grieve a NM?
My experience is spot on to yours. My mum is not dumb. She put out there the persona that she loved me but I was soooo difficult. The black sheep indeed as she told many and she tried so hard with me but that I might be bi polar or schizo so it was sooooo much hard work taking care of me. This is what she told EVERYONE so she came off the martyr looking after her wayward daughter. My parents HATED each other but she got pregnant with my sister. my sister was the apple of her eye so my parents decided to divorce and she refused to give any time to my father with her. So they planned a 2nd child which my father could have. Me. But they didn’t split. They stayed together another 30 years of hating each other. My mum says she sacrificed herself by staying with him for the sake of the kids. Truth is she didn’t want to work and she liked the money my dad brought home. So she hated my dad, my dad hated my mum and nothing she did affected him so she took it out on me. The amount of times she snarled ‘you are just like your father’. I would be rich! if I had a dollar each time. And now up to the age of 40 I played into her sneaky hands by retaliating in anger. Now I don’t have any relationship with her or my sister and she goes around justified telling everyone that will listen the hardships she went through with her crazy daughter. But I know her, and I know what she made my sister and now its time for me.
I actually think you are the golden child??? maybe. She is trying to control you like a puppet and make you jump to her every whim. Like my mum does my sister. She wants your focus on her and nothing else and wants to control you. My sister told me a couple years ago before we cut contact at my mothers doing, that she finds her consuming and like a choke hold that she is expected to do everything and she walks on eggshells to make sure she doesn’t upset her.
I hear you. My mum does the same thing. When I brought my boyfriend home (now husband) on the first meeting she told him that I was schizo. She tells all the relatives this and that I lie so don’t believe a word out of my mouth. It is hurtful but Ive learn that I just have to leave that family behind. My mum wont change but I can. I cant make everyone else believe that she is in fact the liar so maybe they will see her for what she is one day or maybe they wont. I cant deal with it any longer and have a healthy life so I choose a healthy life. My husband sees her for what she is and my now two adult boys have seen her for what she is because she didn’t have 24/7 to manipulate them. I have to be content with that and know I cant do more. I do have my dad fortunately. He knows what she is even though he will still say she is a good mum because that’s what she beat into him for 30 years. She never ever did anything wrong. Even something so simple as me asking her why she couldn’t hug or kiss my child on their first Christmas? She told me I was selfish to expect it when she had such a trying day and was so tired she could barely lift her arms (don’t imagine she cooked up xmas in this that made her so tired. She did nothing of the sort.)
My mother likes to ‘plant the seed’ as she calls it. It starts with I didn’t want to tell you this and then spills something a brother or sister or my husband supposedly told her that is negative about me and says it like its sympathetic and that as she explains when she tells others things is ‘planting the seed’. So she pits everyone up against everyone else. What a glorious thing it must be to be inside that spiteful head of hers 😉
I can relate so much of what you’ve written here. It felt like u were describing my mother. I never looked up narcissism before until my mum and i had a big blow up and i googled ‘horrible nasty mother’ and i found forums on narcissistic personality disorder. I have been NC for 3 months now and i have been up and down emotionally. Sometimes i miss her but then i remember how it was growing up at home and how abusive she was to me that i get angry again. I even dreamt that i told her that i hated her. I feel alienated from the rest of the family because she has talked badly about me to them. She’s so nice and perfect in front of other people but then backstab them afterwards. It’s unbelievable to me that they can’t see through her! That’s how good an actress she is. She never has good to say about anything or anyone. Things that come out of her mouth are mostly negative. Reading through these forums has finally validated me and i don’t feel so alone anymore. Never thought there’d be so many people who went through the same thing growing up and in some instances still have to interact with their horrible mothers to this day. I am determined to recover and heal from this and i won’t let my dysfunctional mother ruin the rest of my life.
Finally cut her off for good. I find myself acting like her and it scares me so I’m in therapy. Ugh…. Complete bitch. Sorry, but she truly is.
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