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70 Years With a Narcissistic Mother

I have an elderly narcissistic parent -- my mother.  The heartache is that I am now 70 and she is 95 and I no longer have the energy to deal with her.  Her mind is sharp and she lives on her own but she makes everyone's life a misery who has to interact with her.  She has always fit the disorder characteristics: exaggerates her own talents, house, garden, clothes, etc.; a serious sense of entitlement (gets as much as she can for free from family members, neighbors, friends, government agencies, product manufactures, etc.; exploits others (mostly myself and to a lesser degree my husband and brothers); a complete lack of empathy (similar to Hyacinth on "Keeping Up Appearances" -- another narcissistic individual; envies others (neighbors who have pensions.  My mother never worked but still envies others who did because they have a pension.  Other people's clothes, haircuts, houses, etc .  It goes on.

When we retired and moved closer to my mother, at my insistence my mother and I went to a psychologist  to see if we could have a better relationship.  It didn't work as she can't/won't admit that she ever did/done anything wrong.  Calls lies "misunderstandings".  Treated myself, my brothers, father and grandmother terribly (the latter two always said that there was something wrong with my mother, that she was "crazy" that her behaviors were not normal, etc.) But we didn't know what it was.  It wasn't until about 10 years that I typed her behaviors into google search and found out that there was such a term as a narcissistic personality disorder.

A few years ago my mother tried out living in a senior retirement community.  Even though she had been interviewed at great lengh by the staff, she wasn't there but a few days when the nurse called and said "this is not the same woman we interviewed for an hour and a half.  She is a completely different person from the woman we met and don't know if you know it or not, but she has several serious personality disorders."  For me, that was affirmation of what I believed about my mother's behavior.  At last someone in the medical profession could now see her as she really was.  I mentioned the nurses' observations to my mother's doctor but he wasn't interested.  He probably knew that there wan't anything that could be done.  Because of this disorder, she can't change, but I can, and that is what I have done. 

I ended up going to a different counselor myself and looked at my two options.  Engage with her on my terms. I set the agenda for what I can and cannot do for her, etc.  I have tried that for 3 years and again, it has not worked.  My second option was to cut myself off completely from interacting and engaging with her.  At my age, she continues to abuse me verbally; is jealous of my relationships with my brothers and lies to them about what I do and do not do for her --it's never enough.  Threatens to cut me out of her will (that' o.k. with me) and tries to turn my brothers against me (for the record, my brothers and I have never had a cross word pass between us.  We have always been close and supported each other and I think my mother is jealous of this closeness.) 

I have now begun excluding myself from her life.  She has resources to pay people to do things for her around the house, take her shopping and to the doctors.  She has taken advantage of my good nature all my life but I have reached the point where I have to take care of myself first, and then my husband and have enough energy left for 6 children and 14 grandchildren  whom I love dearly and are dearly loved by them in return. 

Thank you for allowing me to vent to people who know the road I've travelled for almost 70 years.

Mariaelana Mariaelana 66-70, F 42 Responses Sep 23, 2009

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I cannot imagine how you have survived. I am 20 years younger than you, my mother about 15 years younger than yours. Already I feel that I cannot take another day.

Before I knew what I was dealing with, I did everything I could to please my mother. I made excellent grades, amassed a closet full of trophies from 7th-12 grade, never dented a car, never got into any kind of trouble, graduated the University she insisted I attend, worked on television, got a full scholarship to law school, graduated summa *** laude and valedictorian, worked for one of the best law firms in the world for a decade, had a beautiful child . . .

After years in therapy myself, I now understand that my mother is a sadistic malignant narcissist, and other events have revealed that she is now well into dementia and she lives in a web of delusions--false beliefs--that are outrageous fabrications.

She will not see any kind of therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist willingly. She has been put on psych meds that might have helped her during hospitalizations, but she refused to get the Rx filled.

She now claims to be afraid of me. I have been afraid of her for years--she lives in a house full of guns and she wants me to give her my child to raise because she is lonely. Never mind that my child is terrified of her b/c of her raging behavior, never mind that my spouse and I have been together for almost 10 years and our child loves us both as we love our child. I honestly think that she believes that if she "accidentally" killed me on a visit, that she would get to keep our child.

She constantly demands that I turn my spouse out of our home (1000+ km away from hers). I ask her why she would want me to be a single mum, why she would want our child to be separated from the father he loves so dearly, why would she want me to be separated from the man I love (who loves me and treats me as I want and deserve to be treated), and doesn't she know the damage a broken home can do? She does not care how I feel, who I love, or who I am. She simply isn't interested in those things and seems to have no respect AT ALL for me as a person.

I cannot hang on for as long as you have done. Already I am a shadow of myself. I am all she has, but she is killing me a little every day.

Good for you! Some people enjoy sucking the life out of people because they are unhappy and miserable. As a mother she should be ashamed of herself but because she has no love for herself she will NEVER get it or understand the love she should have for others. She will have the rest of her time on earth separated from a daughter who expects nothing from her but love and respect which to me is better than anything money can buy. Its so great to know you are so much different. .

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My mom became what I call a trigger point for PTSD.not any different from all of you, I was trapped as a young child and forced to grow up in this extremely volitile abusive environment with a father that was so blinded by love he fed the monster instead of stopping it. Certain smells sights sounds whatever would send me off my rocker and cause panic attacks now I'm living with the trigger point . My money grubbing brother kicked her out as soon as he got a high paying job and I had to take her. Just tryingg to process all this pain and worry so I'll keep it brief for now . The only bright spot is this morning she argued her clothes she has been wearing for the past 6 months were not hers. Is it wrong to think maybe just maybe Alzheimer's may be starting and maybe it will take away the bad side of her?

You are doing the right thing, You have your family your children and grand children. It's too bad that she is old, but you have your life to live. Take good care, you are doing great!

I am 54 years old, and have just now cut off any contact with my Mom, but have to do the same with my siblings too. My mother told me and another family member that my Dad has Alzheimer's, and I believe he does - but - it's too inconvenient to her to have a sick husband so she wont' make a call to the doctor to help him. The Golden Child brother is given total control over them legally and financially, and he and I got in a fight over the fact that she won't call or help my Dad. My brother calls me un-compassionate and mean, for me saying it's bullogne for speaking out against the neglect of my Dad. My Dad was the only thing I had besides my sister to take care of me. Now I get to watch him waste away and my brother is complicit in the neglect - because she might pick up a hanky and start to cry - and that's all she needs to do to manipulate him. I'm lucky, I have my sister who talks me down from completely losing my mind over what my mother does to us. I could go on and on about the neglect and undermining of me and my sister that my mother has done. We just figured she went around telling everyone he has Alzheimer's because it was Father's Day, and she wanted to take attention away from his nice day and bring it on herself. Make everyone feel sorry for HER. I didn't sleep for two days after hearing it. Now I've decided I have no control, I can't help, and I know it's not long for my Dad, she's worn him down to a nub anyhow. I'm just putting off contact from everyone for a long long time now. I have to save myself from crazy carnival and take care of myself for now.

You can tell your doctor what's going on and ask your doctor to call adult elder services to report the abuse or you can report the abuse yourself.

These ******* live forever. Trust me.

Congrats. I am only sorry it took until you were 70 years old to break free. Your story gives me hope though. I am 50 and just relized my mothers is NPD to the tea. We have actually referred to her as the queen for years . We just moved her into an assisted living center and she exspects my sister and I to spend all day with her. She exhaust me. I am working on it and educating myself.

Wish me luck

Good luck mine was in one also briefly but she wanted to drink and smoke and that didn't last long. Hopefully yours will stay put. Trick with this is you can't stay there all day and they use that as a control tactic. Remember they are always looking for total control of everything.

Thank You for sharing all these stories. I am now 42, only child with fantastic partner, and these responses resonate strongly with my NPD mother (split from father when i was 5) who is manipulative and self centered with the world resolving around her at all times. I had a reasonable upbringing but was always extremely shy and am now only just realising that it was mental destruction of self worth with any praise being directed at herself rather than me with a constant verbal poisoning of myself and my father. I have met some great people in the world but always had problems connecting or keeping relationships and am now only just understanding why. It is a great feeling to know that questioning all my own actions in a negative manner is not part of me and am slowly starting to interact with people on a normal level rather than being afraid of normal interaction. My mother constantly berates anyone who has said something perceived as not bigging her up and any conversation has to revolve around what she is thinking or else its ruined. When finding out her on/off best friend of 50+ years had the big C was furious because another friend was told first and she is now a doctor in her own mind constantly giving medical advice to the poor lady who is being treated well! Any family member/friend is either adored (due to her nurturing) or hated (due to a perceived slight). Anyone who fights back is lied about even telling everyone she saved an aunt from committing suicide while absolutely berating her. She is secretary at a small company but saves the company daily from disaster and has a deep understanding of any subject she has her focus on for that 5 minutes or so. My relationship has improved slightly as i see her twice a year for a day or so and let her speak about how great she is for an hour every couple of weeks while doing other things. She is even occasionally asking how i am now as an afterthought. I apologise for ranting abut its great to know many people are going through the same sort of issues. Every situation is unique and personal and I wish everyone luck dealing with this issue as it is an illness that will never be accepted by the parent who is always right on every occasion.

preaching to the chore here, my mother loves to talk about 1. her health and the history of her health. 2. health insurance. I broke off talking to her a month ago. Her last melt down was one straw too many for me. I found out my own mother was telling every one I was a needle junckie!!! even my son whom is 20. I went through too many suicide attempts with her to keep count. The last couple in front of my then 10 year old daughter now 14. My son and my niece don't believe her and told her so, now she is mad at them. just insane!

I blogged my experience with my terminally ill narcissistic personality disorder mother on Narcissistic Abuse: Echo Recovery.

I am 46 and the only child of a Narcissistic Mother. She never worked a day in her life. I've been working since I was 16. She never married my father, who supported her until he died 15 years ago. She has no other family, she is 71 yrs old and has Parkinson's.

I am about to go crazy. I have spent all of my savings to pay for her home, utilitirs, medical care, etc. I just lost my very high paying job and I don't even have money to pay for rent next month.....and she doesn't even care. She just wants more money. She even wants me to go back to my ex-husband for money.

I am desperate. I can't live like this any longer.

Dear Mariaelana, This is a long time since you wrote your account. However, I am writing a response to you as a mental health professional (PhD) and as a child of a NPD mother in her 90s. It is not an easy row to hoe. However, I would like to tell you that I have had patients who did manage to stay in touch with their NPD parent and also to thrive. That includes myself and so I am speaking from personal experience. To stay in touch - on your terms - is by far the preferable choice. You need to define yourself in a mature and self-responsible way. That is your destiny. If you cut yourself off (Google Dr. Murray Bowen), you will have traded temporary peace for true maturity. We all have challenges in life. Having a NPD parent is truly challenging, but it is really a challenge to becoming mature in yourself. That means becoming able to define how you will be treated, AND how you allow your own emotions to drive you. It also means that you can develop love and compassion for someone who is difficult, but who suffers. That is the truth about NPD sufferers. They do live in a world of anguish and fear, which is why they behave the way they do. I hope this encourages you a little and that you will enjoy a peaceful and loving life as we are entitled (that is true entitlement) to have once you have wrestled the NPD dynamic to the ground for yourself.

I am the woman who wrote "70 years with a narcissistic mother. " I am now 73 and my mother died last year at the age of 98. Since I broke off contact with her two years before she died, I enjoyed some of the most peaceful and stress free years of my life. One of my brothers took over managing her affairs and finally realized how difficult it had been for me for so many years. I never felt guilty, only sad that I was unable to have a real relationship with my mother.
I spoke with her twice before she died - once two months before she died and the second time one month before her death (which was unexpected and sudden - she had stopped taking some medication and wasn't following the doctor's recommendations regarding other aspects of her health. She could have lived longer if she had followed his advice.) In the phone conversations I told her I loved her and that I forgave her for all the mean things she had done and said to me, I told her she could die at peace knowing she was forgiven and that I loved her. I don't know that she really understood what she had done or said to me that was so terrible. All she managed to say was that she would try not to be so demanding. She died peacefully in her sleep without any pain or suffering and for that I am very grateful. After reading your comment I do believe she lived in a world of anguish and fear and could not understand the chaos she caused. I feel really bad about that but she caused so much anguish and fear in the lives of her family that it was necessary to separate myself from her. It was very disturbing cleaning out her home where she had lived since 1949 as I found many items of mine that had been missing since I was a teenager and special dresses of mine that had been cut up, wrapped in balls and stuffed in bags in the attic and garage. This disturbing evidence showed me how she must have hated me and resented items other people gave me or made for me. It was a very sick and sad situation and I am happy that her house (with all its painful memories) had been sold and that I am in a very peaceful time of my life. Thank you everyone for commenting on my story "70 years with a narcissistic mother."

Hi HelenVoto,
I found this thread while tearfully searching the internet to figure out how to deal with my narcissistic mother for the umpteenth time. There are so many stories and examples I can give of her behavior, but I just wanted to say that I totally feel for you and understand your suffering. As the oldest of two daughters, I played whipping dog, while my sister played fix-it counselor for my messed-up mom. When you mentioned the dresses you found cut up and stuffed in balls, well, that resonated with me. I was the target of her jealousy, and she is still jealous of me today. For example, after being a 4.0 student in high school with advanced honors (and wanting to go to college to be a dr.), she privately told my paternal grandparents to withhold college money for me, as I was "too immature" for college. I was devastated. There is so much more to mention, as you can imagine. I have a family now, and am happy. But my mom's aging, coupled with her disorder, is now affecting my daughter, which is NOT ok. Funny how a narcissist can disguise their behavior, direct it onto one, hold it back somewhat with another. I do think they tend to find someone to vilify, to put into that role. I addressed these issues in counseling at age 30 (I am 45 now). That was the first time I was told that I was ok, and she was not behaving properly. I had no clue! I thought I was the cause! After delving into this, and working with the counselor, she did give me ways to try to have some sort of relationship with my mother, but she also said I may have to sever that toxic relationship. So I just wanted to say that I applaud your decision to take a drastic measure to take care of YOU. I am almost to that point, with some recent events involving my minor daughter. While I agree with other posters/professionals that it is good to try to stay in relationship in a healthy manner, sometimes it is just not possible to do so without sacrificing your own sanity, self-worth, dignity, and quality of life. Sometimes something is so toxic, you have to put distance. Not hate, but just distance, as you would with a partner who was abusing you physically or emotionally. I wish you happiness, and I am glad you found some peace in your decision. My counselor has now advised me to consider exiting the relationship, so not all therapists think you have to "find a way" to maintain the relationship. It really is a case by case basis, and very personal decision. Most people have NO understanding of this phenomenon with a mother... I feel like a lone ranger at times!

I learned much reading this web page. my mother would cut all my hair off. I had long strawberry blond spiral curly. and she cut it all off and made me wear it short till I refused to cut it as I got older. even as a teen ager my mom told my dad that my long hair was clogging up the drain and I should have it cut off. I never could understand why she disapproved every thing about the way I looked. all ways putting me down. telling me my hair was to wild, nothing pleased her. I guess cutting clothes up is the same as the my hair story. thank you for sharing, the more I read about this things about my mother make sence some how. peace

I have been reading many of these comments as I have a 90, almost 91 year old mother who I believe has narcissism. Last May I started to live with her, partly for her health and that she is older, and partly to try to save some money (which I haven't been able to save much) as she is not charging me rent. I only discovered narcissism about a year ago in a book called: Difficult Mothers. I've been trying to understand this all my life. I'm now 66 and part of my low income has been because of my mother control (even from afar) of my emotions. I'm not blaming her as we are not supposed to blame, but one big reason I didn't pursue getting a teaching job after going to college and graduating at age 40 is because I was so afraid of dealing with any kids that might be weirdly manipulating me like my mom has. As I write this today, I remember that back when I was a teenager I thought the problem seemed to have something to do with emotions. It was like maybe the problems my mother and I had had something to do with her belief that she shouldn't express emotions. So, when I had my sons (believing maybe there was a genetic mental health problem in the family) I off and on worked so hard to teach my sons how to express how they felt, in words. So, right now I am almost 100% sure that she has had this problem all her life. And, there has always been this mystery about my mom. I really care for her, but she does not allow me to express my thoughts and emotions, if they differ from hers. Now she is having heart issues and to be honest, I don't know if she is going to live or die. This has been so stressful to me. A few days ago my left arm was sensing up, I'm sure not from my heart, but from stress. This happened as she has told me how her heart rate has gone from 60 and up to 101. Her blood pressure has been a little irregular with the diastolic number going up to the 80s. The other day when we were talking and she decided we would no longer talk about a certain subject, I told her that I wasn't done talking. She then told me that I would be arguing with her until the day she dies. I wasn't arguing. I just had a louder voice and said I wanted to continue to talk. After she told me I would argue with her until she dies, I lost interest in even talking to her. This morning when she told me pulse rate and blood pressure and I had sympathy with her, she cut me short again as she realized I had told my son (by phone) that his grandmother was having these heart issues. She got mad at me for telling him, saying it in her monotone voice. Once again, she causes me to lose interest in even trying to talk to her. Being a little sarcastic to myself, this is like babysitting for Captain Bligh. I care for her as she's my mother, but her having to have all this control of me is one stupid, crappy thing. I'm seeing a counselor that is in training through a seminary as she is $10 for 50 minutes. She is really nice and understanding, but she hasn't had any experience with narcissism. She has talked about triangulation and I can see this between my mother and brother (and his wife) and me. I am so afraid my mother has convinced my brother that I am abusing my mother emotionally or something. The truth is that she is abusing me. I'm sure this won't happen and it is just my dramatic thought, but what if #1 her ultimate control of me is somehow for me the die along with her dying or #2 she calls my brother telling him I am being abusive or something and he comes over here with a gun to protect her. I think he has more sense than to do that, but I have overheard some of their conversations as she has had speaker phone on and they can be like two peas in a pod talking about my supposed emotional instability. This whole thing kind of scares me.

When I told my mother that I did not think that she wanted me, and put off getting pregnant for as long as she could (she had 2 children by two brief previous failed marriages before she married my father, who had no children but wanted one), her first reaction was "Who told you that?" Only 15 minutes or so later did it occur to her to deny it and say how very much she DID want me. Why then, I asked, did you make my father wait for five years? He was willing to raise her two school-age children, both of which she had immediately for her two previous husbands.

She made him wait. She finally gave in. I was the only girl. I was the reason she packed on the pounds and ruined her figure. I was the reason she couldn't do as she pleased with her life (they were rich business owners and she could have done anything she wanted, anytime). When I was older (14-17), she carped about me and my dad going anywhere together because "People would think that 'that old sugar daddy has got him a young gold-digger girlfriend on the side'."

When I was in elementary school, I was put in her boudoir chair and hit on one side of the head and the the other until I was bleeding so profusely that she got upset that I was ruining her chair--all because she had concluded that I was a s**t who was having sex with boys and had turned out, as she said to my father "Just like I told you she would." At the time, I had only had a first kiss with one boy.

I was used to being beaten. I could dissociate and not feel the pain of blows yet still feel the strike, I clearly could hear what they were screaming in my face but it seemed like the shouting was across a field, or down a long hallway. There was no one I could tell--it would only get back to my parents (who could act completely normal and talk their way out of anything) and when they got me home, I couldn't imagine what they would do to me for "embarrassing" them so.

I accepted long ago that my mother does not (probably cannot) love me, and I didn't think it mattered that much. Now that I have a child of my own, I know what I missed. After all is said and done, that's the only thing I still lament: I wish I had had a mentally healthy mother capable of loving me.

keeping in touch with my mother means 5 phone calls a day. and if I do not answer, she will crazy calls till I do. It has been a month since I talked to her. I needed time off from all the drama. been putting up with it for 47 years. Her illness has gotten worse as she gotten older 82, and since my Farther & Sister passing away. She has most of my family believeing I am a abusing mean nasty daughter, and if you don't agree with her she will stop talking to you and say I turned you against her. she has 2 sides and the nasty would one all ways seemed just for me, but now I am not talking to her , the ugly is starting to reveal it self to others in my family. wild stories and down right lies about me. Why me her youngest daughter. My Mother will blow up over the smallest thing and then start threatening me, getting quote her" you wait you little son of a *****, I will get you back. I will make sure every one knows what a mean ***** you are. how you treat me".........most of the time this is said in front of my kids. Her last couple of suicide attemps were witnessed in front of my daughter when she was 10....I told my mother "if your going to kill your self do it and get over with it, I dont' believe you would any way, any one focus on your health like you are wouldn't do them selves in."....and never ever do that again in front of my kids. my brother ans sister do not believe my mom is ill. my oldest sister visits 2 to 3 times a year. she said mom is fine. she is my moms favorite child. but I am the one that does all the taking care of her plus run my own business. cause leah is works....pam is self employed I own a barber shop and must be there to cut hair and earn money, but my mother thinks I should take her shopping and to all her doctor appointments some times 2 a week....there is nothing work with her. very mild asthma like me, but she acts like she should be put in a iron lung. she needs special every thing. I can go on and on.

She reminds me a little of my mom.

4 More Responses

I have put up with my mother's increasingly bad behaviour for the last 62 years. To be fair while my Dad was alive, he somehow managed to make her see some sort of normal sense, but since he died 25 years ago things have got increasingly worse.

Since the beginning of this year she has kept my family and me on tenterhooks wondering what mood she would be in, or what would go wrong today. She has fallen out with neighbours, friends, caregivers, housekeepers, gardeners, doctors, over the smallest of things, and is never NEVER wrong! She truly believes that because she is 85 no one has the right to challenge her behaviour, or question her motives, but in return respects no one, least of all her family.

I am an only child, married to an only child, with an only child, maybe because of this family seems doubly important to us. We have all suffered through my mother's moods, and tried to keep her happy, comfortable and wanted.

However two things happened this year. I repeated one of my mother's outrageous outbursts to a friend of mine, who said "Who does she think gives her the right to talk to you like that?" and I realised that I did. By constantly apologising, crawling over broken glass to mend the latest upset and by never challenging her right to be so horrible to us all.

Three months ago my mother came to dinner, everything was going smoothly, when she took offence at an imagined slight my dear husband had made against her, and she demanded in a rage to be taken home, as she "had no family". I took her home, and have not seen her since.

I wrote her a note explaining why I had not been to see her (she never contacts any of us unless she needs something) - no reply.

My gorgeous son, who is about to get married wrote to her, and again - no reply, despite the fact that she said she was hoping to go to the wedding. So basically she has made her choice, rather a lonely sad life contemplating how mean everyone has been to her, than apologise for an outburst of bad temper, and outrageous behaviour.

The last three months for me, apart from the initial grieving, have been like waking up from a very bad dream. I am now free to live my life, enjoy my life and my family, and be myself without that awful Black Fairy that was constantly on the edge of my existence.

If anyone out there reading this sees a little of their situation in this, please don't wait as long as I did. I wish I'd made the break years ago.


I feel less guilt about making the decision I have. I just can't deal with the endless lies, guilt trips, self-pity, manipulation and verbal abuse anymore. I am in my late 50s my mother is 90 and will probably live to 100.

Thanks Penstermon.

I say thanks, too.

I am 64 and my Narcissistic mother is 90, still a fierce force, an iron will to get things her way although she is feeble and unable to do much for herself. I too finally saw the light, that is to say I collapsed and began my journey away from the entanglement. It's not happening over night. She is currently in a retirement home, placed in there directly from a stay in the hospital since her doctor said she wouldn't release her home without 24 hour care. Now she is plotting how to get home and arrange care in her home although she can't get along with anyone who will stick it out longer than a little while. I will not participate in her life any more. She also took advantage of my good nature all my life. I appreciate reading about others in similar situations as it gives me support for my decision to break away from the entanglement. A life time of brain washing takes some time to overturn. Thank you for posting.

I also feel like I am being brainwashed. It is good to read all of these.

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I found out the diagnosis from a therapist approximately two weeks ago. I am reeling with thoughts and questions. This site has been a God send. We area all sisters in our experience.<br />
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My mother is 94 and has congestive hear failure and I have been the good daughter as I have ALL my life trying to be soooo good she would love me. Recently when I found out my ex had been sexually harassing his own daughter in law and moy bst friend said he had done the same thing to her therefore she did not want to be around him. I asked Mom if he had eve made a pass at her. She stated" It's non of your business" Why did she not say no giving me relief or yes, explaining that she did not want to hurt me by telling me.<br />
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My mother was a beautiful intelligent accomplished woman. I was the only child and was always ashamed of the label because people would think I grew up spoiled but when you have such a mother who never says she loves you, has never hugged you even to say hello after a long absence, has never complimented you or patted you or kissed you on the cheek, had you dresser poorer than the other girls, ignored you, never allowed to ask for anything, even medical care, put down of any small accomplishment, then you were not spoiled.<br />
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I was a shadow of a child, very low self esteem, thought I was adopted or my mother had to get married because she was pregnant...I checked this out but it is not true.<br />
I grew up, went to college, married a philandering alcoholic and was married ove 50 years to him. <br />
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I always wondered what was wrong with me..I remember as a little girl of 7o that I would try to be the "perfect' child" just in order to get someone to love me.<br />
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After seeing the therapist a couple of weeks ago when she labeled my motherr so I could understand her thinking I decided to let it all out for the first time in my life and let her know how I had never felt loved and why, ask her why she was loyal to my ex even though he had ruined my life, hoping through a break through...At this time even<br />
seeing my pain and pathetic hop she would say she was sorry or that she did love such luck leven though she is 94 and has congestive heart failure.<br />
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She would always try to get me to dislike my own Dad who loved me,, my grandmother who loved me and my stepmom who was a wonderful and loving woman. She would constantly say nasty things about them and try to get me to dislike them.<br />
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The put downs about my appearance...a little overweight, a mole on my face should have a face lift etc.even though I was a college beauty queen, she would steal my clothes, and always put down any accomplishment. If I ever repeated a compliment someone had given me she would always attribute it to their ulterior motive but would constantly repeat any compliment given to her about how young she looked etc. She would always do these digs in private where only I could hear. Very sneaky!<br />
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My Mom and I never had a fight, I never put her down, I never said anything at all until last week.<br />
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Now, I'm have some problems, claustrophobic, lack of trust in people, battling low self esteem though I have wonderful children and was vey successful in my career.<br />
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It is good to know that there was not somethng essentially unlovable about me from the time I was a small child but a personality disorder in my mohter who I always looked at at all powerful and always right...I would always dread her visits waiting for the curel and hurtful jab...<br />
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Now....I decided to keep on seeing her...put away the fact she does not love me and seems to be jealous of ALL women..She never had a close girlfriend and would always say something nasty about any woman who had a beautiful asset.<br />
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I wish more people understood about this disorder because if I had known before age 75 my life would have been different.<br />
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I can so relate to the lack of affection in your story. Especially the no warm welcome after a long absence. You are the only person I have ever known to go through that besides me.

I am very proud of you. It is not your fault that your mother is a narcisist. You do not deserve to be abused by anyone and the fact that she is your mother just makes her worst. A mother is suppose to love, nurture and care for her child more than her own life. A personality disorder is just putting a name on her conduct. Personality disordered or not, she is still accountable for her conduct. In seeing that her conduct hurt you, her daughter, she could have chosen to seek help through therapy and medication if she wanted to. So as a daughter of a narcissistic BPD mother myself, I totally understand you and I am surprised that you did not cut ties earlier in life. So please don't feel guilty. She sure doesn't feel guilty about her treatment of you, narcisist never do. I wish you the best!

I just found out my mother who I was sure did not love me and wondered why she was so mean is a narcisistic. it is sad that we find out after most of our life is over. I'm 74 and she just told me that if my philandering ex made a pass at her that it is none of my business and my thoughts should be with him even though he was a womanizing alcoholic. This puts my whole past life being i low self esteem and trying so hard to be perfect in perspective. Thanks for sharing<br />

I cannot beleive all your experiences. I am 57 years and both my parents a narcissists. What are the chances of attracts like. I never quite understood my mom's cruelty till my older sister, who has a master's in counselling, used narcissist to describe our mother. There were five siblings. My brother died almost four years ago. To the horror of my wonderful girls, my 80 plus mother and the "golden child," or youngest stirred up lies to accuse my brother's wife of killing my brother. My brother, who was much beloved, died of heart disease. Simple as that. mother could never pass a mirror without admiring herself. She flirted with my oldest sister's boyfriend's, never ever went to a school event, or graduation, forgot our birthday's, never visited me till I forced her to get in my car when my children were teenagers, pulled our hair, spoke trash to each child about the other, etc. etc. I preference this with, "The Golden Child" did not suffer as the rest of us. The Golden Child was manipulative and backbiting. From childhood, they were of "like-mind." The Golden Child relished the damage and neglect dealt to the scapegoats. It was her way to stay "safe" from the Monster. Today, "The Golden Child" has a convenient memory. My narcissist "father," is 90 years. I have seen him twice in the last 15 years. He sexually molested when I was five. I remember, as clear as yesterday, the incident.....all on my own. I went to the Monster. To her credit she called the doctor, and told my <br />
beloved grandfather. He got a lawyer and threatened my father. This was 1960. I my face my mom calls my father, "the *********," but to my siblings, "how could a five year old child remember, anything. Yet this narcissist, loves to tell everyone when she was one year old and feeling embarrassed that her diaper hung down. Can you beleive such ****??...yet, the Monster came to me when I was 12 years old to ask if I remember what my dad did to me. Her clever little plan was to get me to go to the courts and testify against my father so she could finalise her divorce. My father was causing her troubles. I looked at this witch, and said, "nope.". I hated for throughout the rest of my teenage years. Living with my narcissist mother was a lonely and sad experience. She particularly abused my gorgeous oldest sister. She would scratch her up and call her the most awful names. Though, the narcissist is 88 years, she has been telling everyone my sister stole all my grandparents money. And, she told me that she never loved my sister. The Monster has always envied my stunningly beautiful, brilliant, accomplished and kind sister. My other older sister married young into an academic Harvard family, and raised truly fantastic children. The three of was have consciously moved towards established a sisterly love we never had because of a mother would kept was separate. The youngest, the "Golden Child, " never has a kind or sympathetic word to say about her is all negative. She is distressed the three of us are moving towards a genuine and intimate relationship. We are upsetting the order of things. As for my father, he is a "pig" and not just because of the molestation. I will not attend his funeral, and if I did, I would say to him, on his deathbed, "their coming to take out the trash." And, for The Monster, I have cut off all ties. It is a relief.....Her soul will find no rest, nor my father. God help is not up to me!

I too have the same problem with my 71 year old mother. My husband told her off good about a year ago, and we did live beside her, but couldnt stand her any longer so we moved. She acted as if she did not have a key to our house, and then came in when we were not there, and she would call my husband and say, she is not here JIm, and he said I know Betty, she is with me. She wanted to cause me harm in my marriage. My stepdad had just passed and she told me she did not shed a tear. I had already googled what in the world was wrong with her, so when I was about 46-47, I finally had an answer why she acted as she did. I have had no contact in 9 months and it is so peaceful. No calling, demading me to do this or that. Always telling us we were going to pay for things on her property. Just a complete nut. She would go nuts when we told her no. Then when we moved and returned the keys, my husband told her she was evil, and she went nuts.....I did grieve her, I know I will never have a normal mother, she is horrible, She has my two brothers barely speaking to me, but I dont care. They know how she is we have all discussed it. So the last laugh is on her. What a trouble maker.......good bye, so called Mother.

My 84 year old Mother is a full blown Narcissist age has not eroded her ability to manipulate family members. and cause chaos. I am 58 and lived my entire life as her scapegoat. I did learn until recently what is wrong with her. Now that my Father has passed away she is eager for me to move in with her and take up the role of her supporter. Two of my children display Narcissist traits after several years of her influence. They that I am the enemy and they will be free to live their own life once I shut up and move in with her. I know that I would be ripped off, my belongings sold behind my back, and sucked dry of my remaining Spiritual energy. She has sold things of mine in the past, if I told her I had savings she would ask me for it. They can forget it now that she has her hooks in them she will drain them too until she passes away. My Late Aunt went into hiding before she died to escape my mother's mission for money. They are threatening not to help care for me when I get older if I don't move in with her. I'll just go to a Nursing home.I would rather have my sanity.

Oh, and Witches are good!

Take it from someone who suffered though childhood, and then adulthood with an NPD father that you will never be free of the constant assualts on your personhood as long as they are in contact with you. And the pain you have inside to deal with may take a lifetime to understand, and, if you are very diligent, heal from. <br />
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The only way to deal with them if you want to keep them in your life is to adopt a very firm policy of how to deal with them. Set dates and times with limited time fr<x>ames with which to see them or talk to them. Say you have one hour, and leave after one hour. Tell them when you call that you have about 10 minutes, or whatever. You have to limit and control how much OPPORTUNITY they have to hurt you. Give them an opportunity, and they will take it. Be the boss. If they start hurting you, say goodbye and hang up, or leave. <br />
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I became ill and disabled in adulthood and had to turn to my father for help. He was completely sadistic about it and said things to me that I couldn't repeat. To become dependant on an NPD is pure hell. My father died from cancer rather unexpectedly. I told him I loved him and tried to make his passing peaceful for all. He was so hateful toward me my own mother was scapegoating me badly for all of my life. When he died I was free to from the struggle of whether or not I should love him. I was finally free to stop loving him at all. Knowing that my father was the victim of child abuse himself has not really helped me understand why I had to live squashed by his sadistic, evil temper and abuse. <br />
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So, if you CAN stay away from them, that is a good thing. Otherwise, as I said above, get complete control over the time you are with them.

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Me too, i have a mother like that, i'm 39y, she's 68y, and i'm an only child. My father died 12y ago, and she escalated her evil behaviour towards me. I always knew (since i was like 8y), that something was very wrong with my parents, but it was very hard to explain to others, because my mother is the perfect lady for the outside world...Only in 2007/8 i discovered this npd, from a french debate in cable tv. I thought i was seeing my own was great to know that i'm not alone in this, and that is nothing wrong with me, it's her! <br />
But here, in Portugal, neither psychiatrists or psychologists, ever heard about this...they label you as crazy and paranoid, and other disorders. The most prestiged portuguese psychiatrist refused to read the several articles about the subject that i gave him, and told me, in bad manners, that he thinks that "narcissistic mothers don't exist, the net is full of crazy people", he said, "all parents/mothers make mistakes, but they want the best for you, and love you and support you always".<br />
As she sabotages me all the way, i am yet to finish my degree, and the with the severe crisis, it's virtually impossible to get a job. I'm trying to get out of our house, away from her, but i cannot afford the high price of renting a small flat. My hope is beeing able to rent a room, sharing house with some other ppl, but it's difficult...<br />
Thank God i have a few good friens, that help me stay focused, and i'm a very positive, resilient person, but...if you can give some pointers, i'll appreciate your advice, thanks.

Two days ago, after telling my therapist about a recent incident with my mother, she nailed her perfectly. She "diagnosed" her as a Narcissist. Also, my mother may have a borderline personality disorder (BPD). Immediately, I came home and researched Narcissistic Mother. The articles I have read online fit my mother EXACTLY! What a relief at my age to FINALLY know what she is. Here's my question to you others. How does a daughter coexist with a narcissistic mother? Help!

Thank you all for sharing.

Reading all these stories brings me such comfort! Finding out you're not alone is everything! You can read the stories of all these wonderful women & feel their pain &... you can tell this isn't "made up"... My mother needed (& still needs) for me to be the perfect girl/daughter & always say the "right" thing... to make her feel better... (imagine the great insecurity in her soul to need your daughter to make you feel "whole"...) But this "obligation" finally broke me @ 52... after a lifetime of this duty I found I carried this responsibility to every other aspect of my life...! & it's almost destroyed me! After hitting rock bottom & having a nervous breakdown, I hope I'm finding the courage to stand up for myself w/ her & others.

so helpful i feel like i am reading a book on my life too. thanks for your comments

My mother is in a nursing home now. she broke her hip 19 months ago. I was doing everything for her until she accused me of stealing her money...which I did not do. Her GOLDEN CHILD, my brother stepped in, and did exactly what she had accused me of. He took her car, money, and I'm not sure what else...then he left town. I do not have contact with my mother anymore. She has made my life miserable. She writes letters because she wants to use me again since her son dissappeared. I throw them out unopened. I am 55, and have just found out how wonderful a normal life is....none of her demands, or phone calls. She is in her sixth nursing home...nobody can stand her. She has a court appointed guardian since her son dumped her, and left town. My only regret is that I didn't walk away years ago.

sounds very familer .my mom acused me of all kinds of things and writes these poison pen letters and ends each letter with I will always love you no matter what.

You have given me the courage to stop taking the rubbish I get from my mother. More power to you and thanks:)

I wanted to scream when I read you have been dealing with her and you are 70 years old. That is not fair. I'm complaining and I am 55, I just can not imagine another 15 years.<br />
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Really makes me think about not contacting her so often, now. Thank you so much and I am so very very sorry that you still don't have peace.

Wow...reading these made me realize I am not alone. I have always felt my mother was jealous of my relationship with my father (he was an amazing father but died when I was 12) and of the relationship with my aunt but it seemed so absurd I felt guilty for thinking I realize I was right. My mother always talks about how much people love her...never how much she loves others. She is exceptionally manipulative and unfortunately a very adept liar ( she was a doctorate in education.) My entire life I have tried to jump through hoops to please her but it has never been enough. My entire academic life, i was a straight A student. I have always been responsible and sensible. I have been married for 21 years ( to my first boyfriend) . I've worked hard all my life; as a kid, my mother never wanted to buy me clothes or other things so became independent at an early age and I have paid for everything that I needed since I was 13 by working for babysitting money and tutoring kids. She did pay for the roof over my head but that was about it....and not because she didn't have money, it was because she wanted to torment and control me. Growing up she would hit me with anything she could grab when she entered one of her moods. I dealt with it as best i could and concentrated on school. After graduating college, I was lucky enough to work for a great Technology company .I worked hard, have had a very successful career, and have been fortunate to make a lot of money in stocks. Most importantly, I have been blessed by God with three incredible children. Throughout my entire life, my mom has abused and tormented me and has denied her approval, support, and acceptance... She used to tell me I must have the devil inside me because I wanted to go out with my friends. We just helped her move into a retirement community. My husband and I completely renovated her apartment and spent every weekend ( for months and sometimes 14 hours a day) doing most of the job ourselves. As you may have guessed, we also spent thousands of dollars buying almost everything new. She never said thank you...I swear...she could't bring herself to say it...she only points out the defects (minor ones) . No matter what I do, it's never never enough... I realize I am no longer willing to endure her temper tantrums and her drama fits. I am done....She is so ungrateful and so mean...she will never change. Life has taught her absolutely nothing.<br />
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One thing for sure, i know exactly what NOT to do as a mother with my kids. My kids are amazing people who I think will help make this world a better place; they are noble, good hearted, and are filled with love for others. They make me proud every single day. I think I may have earned some good karma somewhere.