I've read with interest threads about adults in relationships with narcissistic partners. As an adult, one has the choice to walk away and end the relationship. However, it's different when it's a child growing with a narcissistic parent. A child can't just walk away.
My mother was narcissistic and manipulative. She always had to have things her way. When the rest of the family would want to go somewhere, we couldn't go if she didn't want to. Once, as a kid, I told her we all agreed to go, except her, so the majority wins. Her typical reaction to this situation would be to sulk for a while until finally she would scream at us and tell us how selfish we all were. We only cared about ourselves and didn't care how she felt. At this point, she would usually burst into tears. My father never stood up to her, he would just tell us that because she didn't want to go, then none of us could.
On the rare ocasions that she would agree to let us go out with our father while she stayed home, she would do everything to sabotage it. Once for my birthday, my father said he'd take me to a baseball game. It meant that I couldn't do the dishes that night. My mother screamed at us both--we were so selfish because she would have to do the dishes that night!
I could go on and on with more examples. On top of that, strangers saw her as a very nice and charming person. When I would tell people of her behavior plus how verbally, emotionally and sometimes physically abusive she was, they would never believe me. Worse yet, she would call up relatives and tell them that I was lazy and didn't do any housework while she did it all. In reality, I was treated as an indentured servant. Often relatives would call and ask to speak to me. They would yell at me and ask why I wasn't helping my mother. As a kid, I was raised never to contradict elders or argue with them. The most I could (would) do is tell them that I indeed did help her. Then I would be asked to list just exactly what I did around the house. After giving them the list, the stock answer would be "well, obviously, you're not doing enough". I never knew how to respond to that when I was very young.
My mother passed away over 8 years ago and still she negatively impacts our lives. She had one symptom that is often found in narcissistic personalities--she would get insanely jealous of any woman my father mentioned. If he had a co-worker and he told my mother of an innocent workplace conversation, in no time at all, she would be convinced that he was having an affair. About 25 years ago, she left him because she was convinced he was having an affair with a young woman he was mentoring at work. She moved in with my aunt (her sister) and uncle for a few months. I decided that I wouldn't get into the middle of this and would only talk to my parents or visit them if they called me. That way, I thought (naively) that no one would be keeping score ("you called him more than you called me"). Was I wrong! My aunt really turned on my husband and me. I can only imagine what my mother must have said (all lies). Even after my parents got together again, my aunt was still mean to me. She defends--to this day--all my mother's actions. My mother was an alcoholic and I pointed this out to my aunt, who yelled at me and said "be careful what you say!" To which I said I had to live with her and that's how it was. Of course, she had a ready excuse--your mother went through a lot in her life. Okay--fine, whatever...
My father remarried a year after she died. He rushed into a bad marriage and now is getting divorced. Even after he remarried, he always kept telling me that he missed my mother! Honestly, I don't know why!
So...what can a child do when s/he has to live with a narcissistic parent, especially one that is so manipulative? Tell another adult? If the adult has met the parent, no one believes the child. Plus, the child is brainwashed to think that nothing is the parent's fault so...if I tried harder, she'll be happier. And, of course, the narcissist never is happy.
You had interesting past to tell.
There are people like that. My stepmother was one of them.
Now years after I too can see many details differently. I understand why certain things happened the way they did.
Many times I have been looking answers to childhood that was shaped certain way because her behaviour was little odd to say the least.
Life is learning!
Make the best out of yours and smile.
Are you asking this question about what a child can do, or an adult that lived with that as a child? The reason I ask is that children can have very little control, if any. I suppose that someone could call child protective services, but then what? If the child was not being physically abused, and there were no other signs of abuse, who would protect that child? I fear that there are many children who are now experiencing what you experienced.
My husbands mother was insane, and I am not being glib. She was jealous, egotistical, vain, paranoid, depressed...and in the end I believe schizophrenic (if not the whole time). My husband witnessed her viciously attack her husband for the whole time he lived at home. My husband had no friends growing up, he was kept very close to the vest. And when he didn't do what she wanted she would dissolve in tears, shaming him that he was not a good son...nor a good person. My husband grew up with severe clinical depression which I have been helping him battle for 25 years now. Even when she moved away from us, out of state, 10 years ago he was still suffering terribly. Mostly guilt for not calling her more and visiting her.
She just died about 4 few months ago. My husband has not been depressed since then. In fact, he has been almost like the man I first met. One day he told me that he was relieved. He was very open about it. He said that he felt no shame in this. She was a powerful influence just being alive.
Now I know that sounds harsh, but I am just relaying what has happened here.
Your mother was mentally ill. It's a hard thing to say. Parents are not supposed to be like this. At least you seem to have some very specific self awareness. Your poor Dad was the product of living with that kind of person.
I have no advice for you really. I guess I just saw your post and wanted to relay what has just recently happened at our home. I was so worried about my husband on the advent of my MIL's death, and then the most surprising thing happened. It was like the exorcism of demons.
One thing I do know...you gotta stop talking about your mother to those relatives. Let sleeping dogs lie. And it might help if you start talking about your mother to a professional. You need to wrap your brain around this. Are you saying she is still negatively impacting your life because of your Father, or your personal life? Is your abuse causing you problems in your life aside from others?
I know there are some great posts on similar situations. Try to google mother in this forum and see what you come up with.
I hope that you find peace. I hope my husband has truly found peace too.
I have not talked to my narcissistic dad in over a year. He is getting on, and I know that our time is short, but I don't want to talk to him. I love him very much, and I still do feel extreme guilt for not talking to the Poor-old-man-who-won't-be-around-much-longer. Extreme guilt, which I try to push away, or down, but manifests in gallbladder problems, fairly heavy consumption of wine, and low-level depression. I have worked very hard to heal from him, I hate the guilt, because there is a healthy part of me that knows that I did not earn, but was taught, this sense of guilt. It was handed to me, and dad insisted I ake it, and incorporate it into my hard wiring. I am very proud of all my changes, but wish that I could be set free from the constant knowing that he is only 30 miles up the road, and I don't see or speak to him. As a girl, dad would ruin our holidays often by crying about the family he didn't see, or he would cry about what he could have been had he not stopped his playboy life in order to take us from my mother (kidnapping). My sis and I would do backflips at Xmas. Once I bought him an iron weight set and was too young to drive, so I borrowed a wagon and walked all the way to the store and toted the weights back. They were very heavy for a 13 year old to drag. We wrapped them in individual packages, and he guessed what they were before he opened them and then cried all day about the family. We felt like hell, I will tell you that. I learned my guilt there. Today it is knowing that he is alone while I am at my boyfriends familys' house. I do the best I can to "live with it" - I wonder how it ever COULD go completely away. I will feel relieved when he passes, I know it, but will I still carry the guilt, only this time it is because I feel guilty for feeling relieved?? Does anyone understand this, and can you tell me, if you overcame it, how you did it? I want that freedom. That is the one scary scary thing about trying to recover from the effects of being raised by an NPD - I fear that I am stuck with this "Lurking Presence" forever. It "LURKS"!! And I mean it, it stands in the corner and looks at me with accusing eyes, this Lurking Guilt, especially when I am enjoying myself. And no one knows it but me. It can stop me cold in the middle of a hearty laugh, it stares at me while I watch a sunset and breathe in gods' good air. I hate it. Because I am not free. I only experience brief moments of absolute freedom - when I do, I just expand and it is the most wonderful feeling, better than s*x, but it is brief. I think a person should be able to feel that feeling more. So how, friends??I am open, I have done so much work, can do more, am better than I ever was. Ant input is appreciated...merry christmas, curezone.
The WORDS used to express any idea/concept [that we shold FEEL] are important because VERY often they are undefined, innaccurate, invalid, out of context, subjective bias, not specific, etc.
NOBODY on earth has ever or can BE "guilty". A person can ONLY be guilty OF SOMETHING.
So, the first thing to do is DEFINE what you are guilty OF (I have no doubt that you will find something by using your self-persecuting imagination). Given time, you will learn mercy for yourself (I second that motion). Get off your case, you are here at Curezone because your wish is that everything in general could be BETTER (you are progressive...UNCOMMON).
Coming from a dysfunctional family myself, I understand the effects of a bad family life and the long-lasting GUILT we steal (and parents inflict on their own blood, also society's habit against the children of the world) from our guilty parents and place on the innocent (US, we were only "the child"). We are CONVICTING THE INNOCENT (we should be mad at ourselves for doing that...did you say you are depressed?, now you know why) and we are EXCUSING THE GUILTY (your conscience can find you guilty of that too).
You could honor your father by letting him deal with his own guilt instead of stealing it from him, GUILT THIEF!.
Do you have reason to be angry? I believe you do (whether you or your critics agree). Some people aren't flattered by your anger (relatives, close friends of your dad, etc.), some people are indifferent and simply don't care (strangers, people who CALL themselves friends, etc.), but I don't just BELIEVE, I KNOW you have reason to be angry. Whether anyone wants to extend you the RIGHT to be angry, no one should DENY you the right to be angry (it hurts to be denied that right) even when they simply don't have the ABILITY to RELATE to your experiences of life (it is a human right and they deny/disregard your humanity, but will give $1 a month to charity in order to be "politically correct").
Your reason for being angry/upset is completely legitimate and you should be the first to validate your anger (real friends will also validate your anger IF they have the ability to relate, and will try when they don't).
(what LURKS is your "conscience" because you are convicting an innocent person).
It is not very nice to tell a person "Oh, just LIVE WITH IT" or "Ah, SNAP OUT OF IT", it's like giving them the finger, so don't do it to yourself either. Get in the habit of doing nice things for yourself, like buying flowers for yourself, or buying little knick-knacks for yourself (no matter how silly they are, it's done just to please the person you look up to...yourself).
I was interested in your posts about narcissistic parents. I found them to be very helpful to me who has been in a life long trap with one, being my Mother, who was a control freak since I was born. She denied me of even knowing who and the what abouts about my real father. Then she married a man who spent his life defending her from me for even if I kept my mouth shut and was practically non existence that wasn't enough to stop her attacks against me. She even complained that I was like a little mouse. I started going crazy and went to a psychiatrist when I was 16 when I ran away and was made a ward of the court. After a short stay in the hospital (a psychiatric unit) I had to return home with them. My home life with them was very unlovable and she complained that I complained about the lack of love saying it was all in my fault and it was all in my head. Meanwhile she always put my very superficial step brother on a pedestal. She decide she didn't like his fiancee who is now a Doctor too so he moved in with a gay person and became convinced he was gay. She still puts him on a pedestal despite some of the most ugly things (sex orgy in my dead cousins bed room) that he did. She blamed my aunt for not telling her about it and said the most spitefull things about her. I told her she, the Aunt, should have called the cops on him. I've gone over board with Mom all these years seeking her approval and being a huge gift giver. She won't even acknowledge her grandson-my son. I've decided after this last visit to her home in Florida-I live in Italy with my husband and son to call it quits. She opened an account for inheritance money she planned to put on it then said while I was sleeping on the couch at three o'clock in the morning that it wasn't for my husband to use. He had been working in her garden and her renters garden under the hot sun, grocery shopping and cooking their meals with me as well for them. She showed no appreciation and wouldn't even give as a lift to the grocery store. We had to walk and carry the groceries home under the hot Florida sun.
I feel guilty because I've always loved her dearly despite herself and the child abuse I had to endure (her spitting in my face at bed time when I desperately longed for a hug) for no reason at age 8. Her telling me how horrible I am to expect and want more after "all" the material things she's done for me-next to nothing. The sad think about it is that I've always cared about this non existent relationship but she not only doesn't care about me she doesn't even care to know her own grandson who is now 27. I find it hard to believe that people can be so cruel and unloving to their own children. As far as she is concerned I was just a bad seed. So how does one pick up the pieces of a shattered heart and put them together to go on facing the world as if we were ever meant to be or of any worth at all? Who was I anyway?What does one do about the pain?
As I understand your post, Blue Rose, the only narcissistic person you refer to is your mother who passed away. Are you saying that you are wondering what you could have done in the past to improve the family situation?...NOTHING, a child can do absolutely nothing. It was your father's duty to put a stop to your mother's narcissism and ensure the integrity of the family, but he probably would have ended up in jail for hitting her or for some trumped up charge because your mother didn't want him around any more (I'm serious).
Stopping narcissistic behavior in A LOVED ONE is almost impossible without causing bodily harm to them. Narcissistic people will not respond to mere threats from a loved one,...simply because the narcissist KNOWS that the loved one won't hit them, nevertheless, it was his responsibility to put a stop to it, NOT YOURS, but, as I said before, outside of violence, there's NOTHING that can be done about a narcissist. It would be a MIRACLE if one would agree to go to therapy or a counselor. Narcissists are the most dangerously wreckless people on earth to their relationships because nothing can be done about them short of drugging them or using violence.
I grew up in a dysfunctional family. Narcissistic people are narcissistic BECAUSE (and only when) they know they can get away with it (with certain people...FAMILY MEMBERS, employees, etc.). Forget about all the clinical and scientific research, narcissism is not an involuntary behavior.
Control freaks are, essentially, "spoiled brats" who never grew up and still want their way, but narcissists are people who have found someone to control and manipulate day after day, they are people who KNOW that you won't hit them because you are either a
1) loving person that won't hit them
2) are an employee and won't hit them.
either way, they are "narcissistic" because they know that the particular situation is "safe".
There's nothing a child can do (except if you threatened her with violence AND she took you seriously). I had to learn to realize that also.
Telling another adult is worse than useless. It would have been reported to a child protection agency and if anything was done, you would have ended up in foster care (which is almost always much worse for everyone, especially the child).
Thank you all for posting! To answer your posts:
27214--Yes, often it takes the wisdom of age to understand and sort through things.
Molly--I was just pointing out that kids don't have the option of walking away as adults do. I generally don't talk about my mother to the relatives--just bite my tongue. Such as the time my aunt said "your mother took such good care of herself". NOT! She smoked heavily (quit 10 years before she died) and drank heavily and ended up with lung and liver cancer plus Alzheimer's. I commend you for being at your husband's side as he dealt with his difficult childhood. And, no, it doesn't sound harsh to say that he was relieved when she died. I, for one, didn't cry when my mother died.
Yes, been there done that, it was up to my father to do something but he took the coward's way out--even telling us to let her say and do whatever she wanted so she wouldn't yell at him later! Foster care, yes, could be worse. Even so, in the 60s child abuse was considered to be broken bones and/or a maiming physical injury. So it was doubtful that Child Protective Services would ever have intervened.
I grew up with a narcissit mother and have LOTS of stories to tell about the mean spirited control and manipulation techniques she uses. Like many narcissists, she has to be the center of attention and is jealous of time that my father takes away from her to spend with his grown children. My mother pulled what has to be the lowest of the low that a narcissist can pull. My parents brought some clothes for my brother who was dying from cancer. As you can imagine, my brother had very little strength and was suffering from great pain. My mother pulled her phony crying routine, complained to my father that Bob was not "thankful enough" for the clothes they brought! My father, who has to be the biggest coward and enabler, angrily confronted Bob that he had "hurt" his mother! At first Bob went along with the phony teary performance, feeling guilty that he had not been thankful enough. Then all of a sudden he recognized the game and gave both of my parents a big piece of his mind.
I could not believe mother's total lack of empathy. Here was my brother in the final stages of cancer, obviously suffering and her only concern was he wasn't thankful enought for the clothes. What was really going on, was that my Dad was spending too much time with his dying son and she was jealous that she had not been the center of attention. So she pulled the crying routine and my cowardly father went along with her garbage! My brother passed away Dec. 23 and my mother was busily preparing for his funeral as if it were a wedding. When my grandfather died, my mother was a basket case and no good as far as preparing for a funeral. Here, her own son had just died and it was like she couldn't wait for the big day to come so that she could be the center of attention, and also the victim (because her son had died).
Of course the ladies in her church group would make a big deal over her and her "loss". I have tremendous anger towards my mother for all the garbage she pulled over the years. I am equally angry at my father for being such a coward
and going along with whatever scheme she concocted. I do not know if I love my mother. I will have to wait till she dies to see if I grieve.
My brother died 23 years ago. It was on my father's birthday and the suicide note was addressed to my mother (kinda makes a statement about the family, doesn't it?). The situation you spoke of is typical of a severely (if there is something such as "SEVERELY") dysfunctional family.
Two years ago, I outlived my whole family without a tear. So far, I survive by forgetting that there is a past (I ignore the past 51 years...or TRY to). I'm free now and my prison is that I have to ignore my past (my sanity has been redefined). It's strange, but in all the dreams I've had about my parents, I haven't expressed any resentment or hatred towards my parents (how can I?...I have no past, did they exist?). I would grieve for myself if it would accomplish something, but grieving doesn't change the past. In order to forget, I have to acknowledge that there is a past (it's a "no-win" situation). When I want to love them, all I have to do is remember the hell they put me in (it would be insanity to shed a tear). Grieving is like justice,...justice serves no practical purpose AFTER the fact (after the past, after the deeds have been done, there is no justice).
Free yourself now so that you don't feel obligated to grieve for them when the time comes. Become free, you don't owe them a tear, you never will. Even if you do shed tears for them, those tears will force you to remember and drive you insane (FORGET the past!).
Out of all humanity, the NPD (it only takes one to ruin a family) is the worst enemy of a family. There's nothing you can do except FORGET and be FREE (my new type of logic/sanity).
Please accept my deepest sympathies for the loss you have suffered due to your brother's death.
I will not relate my all too similar tales regarding my narcissistic mother. However, I will put out the best personal stratedy for surviving and living happily and abundantly... turn away and protect yourself. You will not regret it. Your narcissist will put all of their energy into making you feel guilty at "abandoning" them and may even enlist others, including casual acquaintances, to help with the Guilt Game. IT IS YOUR CHOICE NOT TO PLAY THIS GAME. You cannot be a player if you do not show up!!! This will most likely make them angry and they may be the ones to withdraw. Hooray! One should NEVER blame themselves or feel guilty or shameful when they turn away from a toxic relationship (no one would feel guilty or chastise a person for divorcing a wife beater). If you do not naturally possess self-defensive strategies, watch others, read, get counselling and PRACTICE in your mind enacting and using those strategies. You will find that you are happier, calmer and at peace knowing that your attacker cannot harm you any more because you have taken away their power to harm. If you live miles away, you are very lucky and should use that to your advantage. If you live close by, create a schedule of activities and 'private times' when you are not available to be mistreated. It just could be ALL DAY, ALL MONTH, ALL YEAR! Remember, you have a RIGHT to live a peacefilled life without the toxic intruder; no matter who they are.
I agree with ceasing all contact unfortunately for me both my parents are NPD, the marriage didn't last too long as you can imagine. My very ill mother continued to abuse me even in frail health. For my own sanity and the need to attend to my children properly, I ceased all contact. Don't feel a bit of quilt because I genuinely tried my best to have her in my life and she remained destructive. The judgement and condemnation from my family has been unbelievable. I have now surrounded myself with loving friends and cease all contact with some family members including my sister who sat in my house and in front of my niece and children decided to tell me how unhealthy it was that I had no contact with our mother,trying to berate me as if she was so superior. She herself having suffered greatly at her hand. I realize that I don't need that in my life. I see myself as a survivor and more importantly, I am protecting my children from accepting this abuse. Unfortunately their father is also NPD and my teenage children can see right thru him and on their own ceased all contact after his behavior escalated, I support them fully and have actually rehearse ways to maintan proper boundaries and honor their feelings. I feel if I did not live thru this I would never understand... I am happy I have survived and moved on, my life has meaning. NO on deserve to live under these monster's thumb
BadSalley--I read your post last week and couldn't get it out of mind. I'm so sorry for your loss of your brother. As you know, from my original post, I certainly can relate to having a narcissistic mother and a father who threw us kids to the wolves. When my mother died, I didn't cry. If I grieved at all, it was for never having had a better relationship with her. It was not for lack of trying on my part, either. I've since learned, looking back, that it would never have been possible. I understand your anger towards both your parents. To this day, I haven't forgiven. I'm told that it's the healthy thing to do--forgive--but it takes a lot of work. One of my brothers said he has forgiven her but I don't buy it--he still has a lot of anger in him. One thing I do know, I don't believe in "forgive and forget"--there is no forgetting. I've been reading up on various points of view regarding forgiveness. Some people say don't forgive, others say you won't find peace until you do. In the meantime, I've found that the best course for me has been to make sure that I am a better person than my mother was. I didn't verbally or physically abuse my daughter, I encouraged and supported her in her endeavors, and I always knew (something my mother never did know) that the world doesn't revolve around me.
So...just strive to be the best person that you can be. I doubt that you can ever get any closure from your mother. I tried that with mine---she would just scream at me and tell me that I was crazy and none of those things ever happened. Of course my father would take her side even though he knew better. Later on, he would always take me aside and tell me never to bring up this subject again! As for getting closure from your father, that, too, depends on his personality. My father, when the subject came up, always would say either 1) things weren't that bad and your mother treated all you kids well or 2) "what was I supposed to do? I was just trying to keep peace in the house?" What was he supposed to do... oh, well...how about growing a spine and standing up to her!
No, you can't change the past but you can look to a better future. Again, I'm so sorry about your brother. I wish you all the best in the present and future.
Hello, Could someone give me some advice? I have dealt with my mother's narcissism my entire life. I did not know what it was called until I found this forum a few weeks ago. Over the years I thought maybe she was what is termed manic depressive. Even though she had some of, or many of the signs, it just didn't fit. Then someone I knew who worked in the pharmaceutical industry (and had a little bit of understanding of these things, but was no expert) suggested my mother was schizophrenic, after that person got to know her and received the explosive tirade (she only does this to people she is close to or feels "safe" to pull these stunts upon) that she reserves for those close to her. Even though the term schizophrenia does seem to describe a lot of her personality, it was not completely accurate either. I found this forum and I could not believe some of your stories, because it was as if I was reading a story about my mother.
Anyway, she had this kind of behavior towards my grandparents their whole lives. Now that the are both dead, the only person left is me, and then of course my wife as well. My wife has had to listen to this for nearly twenty years now. When I have tried to stop her from verbally attacking my wife, insulting her, etc. it becomes worse. I did not back down though. When she pulls this stunt I break off contact for awhile, anywhere from a few weeks to six months at a time. Then I would go back and try to talk to her and work things out. She would seem alright and act as if she wanted to work things out. But her apology was never total. She always claimed her behavior was partly my fault, and so it really was not an apology. As my wife has said, I had to practically drag even that much of an apology out of her. She just simply is not one to apologize. Things would go alright for a short time and then she would revert right back to her behavior. I loved her and wanted to try to get along with her but it just was impossible to get along with her. The only other alternative as far as my wife and I could see was just to never speak to her again.
Most of my life she has kept me stirred up, and what I mean by that is, she will have one of her tirades, a stream of false accusations towards me, multiple comments in a period of just a few minutes. When I have tried to just take one comment and respond and show her it is false, then she has another stream of accusations. She did this to my grandparents too, but they just sat there and took it from her. I am never allowed to respond to any of the accusations. The accusations can be anything from something she didn't like ten minutes ago to something ten years ago. It doesn't matter, she just says anything she wants and doesn't care if there is any truth to what she is saying, or how hurtful her comments are. She makes the accusations, and when I tried to discuss it with her, she became even more irrational, overbearing, threatening, domineering, yelling, etc. She has done this about once or twice a week for most of my life. Once in a while she will go a month without blowing up, but usually it has been once or twice a week. When it happens it feels like my head is in a thick fog for about two days. Then a few days later she pulls the same stunt again. Like an illness that just about the time you are healing from it, it comes back.....for decades! She is an extremely jealous and envious person, has her nose in everyone's business, and thinks she is the only one doing her share of work in her department at her job. She also has the "false humility" some of you have commented on in your stories. She also is constantly comparing what has to what others have. If they have more of something, then somehow that is wrong. Of course if she has "more" of something than someone else, that of course is fine with her.
About four years ago I decided I was no longer going to let her get me stirred up any more to the point where I can't even think straight. I decided as soon as she starts in, I would just simply deal with the accusations one at a time. I would not let her get me upset anymore. The accusations she was making were false anyway, so why let a collection of nonsense and outright lies upset me? I told my wife I would give this some time and when my conscience was clear that I had tried everything I could, then we would be done with my mother forever. My wife asked how long I was going to give it and I responded that I didn't know. I told her I was not trying to avoid answering her question, but I just didn't know. Even though I didn't think anything would change, I had to at least try to deal with this without letting her get me upset. If I did not let her get me upset, then she could no longer claim I was partly at fault. I was not expecting to spend four years on it though, looking back I should have not given it even four more days.
This made things even worse that she was not upsetting me any longer. She became even more bizarre with her accusations and when none of her verbal tirade worked she would just become even more explosive, and haughty in her behavior. For example, she would explode at me on the phone for some (who knows why) reason. Then I would go to her home that evening and ask if I could talk to her. She would sit down and we would start talking and I would try to deal with just one of the comments she made earlier in the day. She would make some comments or accusations, then it would usually get me off track, then I would come back to the original accusation I had tried to deal with when I arrived. She would become angry and irrational, yell at me, and then tell me to leave. As I was leaving, she would follow me out to my car running her mouth the whole time, and stand next to the car, still running her mouth, while I pulled out of the driveway. I may give it a day or two and then I would go to her home and start over trying to deal with it again, to no avail.
Over the last four years of trying this way of dealing with it the following happened:
For about six months it was nothing but turmoil and attempts to reason with her, ongoing with no progress. Then I broke off contact for about two months. Then we talked with her and it was somewhat alright for about four months. Then it started up again for six or seven months of nothing but turmoil and attempts to reason with her. Then broke off contact for two more months. Then talked to her and it was somewhat alright for about two or three months. Then she blew up ONE time and I ended contact immediately for about six months. Then went and talked to her and things when somewhat alright for almost six months. But, my wife said to me the only reason things went smoothly for nearly six months was because I just started ignoring most of what my mother said and that I sat and listened as my mother talked endlessly about herself. Then she blew up again and I ended contact after the ONE tirade (it had now become that as soon as she blew up one time I would break off contact because I was nearing the end of the relationship) for about six more months. We talked things over with her again and things went somewhat smoothly for another four or so months. She blew up again and we broke off contact for a week or so. Then things were somewhat alright for a few months, until about a month and a half ago when she blew up again and attacked both me and my wife. At this point I was through with dealing with her. I told my mother our relationship had come to an end. She responded that I had "used" her!!!! Believe it or not, after spending nearly four years of our lives, not including all the previous years, trying to work things out with her, she then accuses me of using her!!! So I walked away from her, she then went into her crying act and asked if we could talk about it, to which I responded; "NO."
I did not plan on giving it four years, but I now know that there is no way to deal with her. I tried everything and nothing worked. My wife said that as time went on our relationship with my mother became nothing more than sitting and listening to my mother talk about herself and when I would say anything my mother would either stare off in the distance until it was her turn to speak, or would interrupt me and start to talk about herself again. Sadly, it took me awhile to notice that. By the way, "narcissist" is is really good word because she will sit in front of a mirror and look at her face for long periods of time. Sometimes on her days off work she will completely reapply her makeup three times in a day.
My question is, what do you do when you have spent most of your life dealing with this, when someone asks you why you have not accomplished anything with your life, how do you say to someone; "Listen, you have no idea what this woman has done to my life. I have spent almost all of my life dealing with this and it has wrecked my life."
It sounds so crazy, but it is true. It just seems like she has this perverse desire to see me never accomplish anything. Every time I have tried to accomplish anything, she knows just when to throw the wrench in the works, and if she didn't do that, just being stirred up on a regular basis made sure there would be no progress. My wife has stood by me this whole time and has been unbelievably wonderful. My mom is almost insanely jealous of my wife, sad thing is early on my wife liked my mom but now can not stand her due entirely to my mother's behavior. Anyway, your advice would be appreciated.
So….Probably too long a story to tell, maybe I should take inspiration from Christina Crawford's book and write one myself. It took me to the age of 60 to figure this out, but always knew there was a pysch dx for that witch that claims to be my "mother". 10 years ago, I thought I'd figured out that is was primary Munchausen syndrome, though I have discovered those symptoms fit with NPD. I have tried no contact for years at a time and was never happier in my life, but I let my guard down after 3 contacts a year for 15 years, and discovered whatever this mental illness is its worse than ever. Of course my long suffering father pulls me back in because he's 88 and he is somewhat sick himself and needs help. My brother a rapist, crack addict, pedafile is the golden child. He agrees with everything she says, apologizing constantly for his YUK YUK shortcomings. Since he is a manipulator and a liar, in her image, she actually defends his crimes. I'm the "bad" one for finally cutting out of him out of my life. I'm going to hell don't you know for not accepting him in my life. All he does is call them and say I am soo, soo grateful for you, and I'm going to mass and praying, (yes their fanatic Catholics) and they eat it up. 7 years ago during what I call a "slip of sanity" on my part I agreed with them, as they were aging, to move close to our summer home, we were planning on retiring there soon. BIG MISTAKE! Told that women repeatedly when they were making these plans that I did not have the kind of money they have and I need an income to survive, so there would be no free care. My husband doesn't make the kind of salary my dad did and my father received a huge pension. After 20 years of asking for nothing (she has spent tens of thousands on her worthless sex offender, crack addict son and still does) I made the mistake in desperation of asking for some help, I REALLY needed a small amount of financial help, at this time and had been caring for them for 3 years, juggling a part time nursing job, and keeping my business from imploding. That woman literally (and this isn't the first or last time,) turned into something from the exorcist, and attacked me. I walked out and made up my mind no more, I have to save myself. Cut off contact with them and had 2 months of bliss. Of course she changed their Will almost immediately to make my brother POA, Guardian, and Advanced directive authority. I was pulled back in when she had a hip fracture and as always "dad" was on the phone to me. My brother has NEVER had a job he was not fired from. NEVER had a car (all bought by my mother) that he didn't total, and has managed to not be imprisoned for his multiple sex crimes, as revealing sexual abuse is such a no-no. These people look good to some people on the outside, but more intuitive people realize there is something "wrong" with them. My father says I just have to go along with everything she says, she's just old and not mentally well. He's got the mental part right, but as I've said a hundred times to him it has nothing to do with her age, she has been like this all my life. There are years of mental abuse I have suffered and I am now recovering from cancer myself, of course my surgery and radiation are no big deal, and of course she insists I went to the wrong doctors, as I always do the wrong thing, making my disease my fault. Actually my cancer was a gift, it has given my some time off from the insanity and given me the time to research what is really wrong here. I will not shed a tear, maybe you will, but I know I have been abused and I will not grieve my abusers. My concern at this point is avoiding them as much as possible, and doing as little as possible. If she dies whatever we all do, if he dies she will finally be subject to my whims, as there is no one else to help her. I hope a loving God will forgive me for these terrible feelings but 60 years of this is enough!
My heart goes out to you, my husband's mother has Narcissistic personality disorder and his childhood and that of his brother was very much as you have described.
There is no winning against a person like this even though she is your mother. She is not capable of feeling for another person. She is capable only of loving herself. She has no empathy for others.
When I first met my husband I didn't quite believe the things he said about the way his mother acted. I thought he was exagerating. Sadly it was all true. On first appearances this lady and her husband seemed likeable and well adjusted. His father didn't have NPD, an intelligent and sensitive man and I don't know why he could not stand up for his children, he never challenged her and knew what she was like. He would often break down in tears because she verbally abused him in the most dreadful way.
She has interfered, intruded into and ruined every relationship my husband has had.
She has turned his own children against him because he is with me. The things she has down are bizarre. She is truly the cruelest person I have ever met.
It is late at night and I am tired but I will write again. I have only just found this site.