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Narcissistic daughter - please help!

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Narcissistic daughter - please help!

Postby tiredmum » Fri May 18, 2012 9:43 am

Can anyone give me some words of advice – after doing some research recently I have reluctantly come to the conclusion my 24 year old daughter has got NPD. She has been my “golden girl”, beautiful, charismatic, outgoing and charming beyond belief. Maybe I am part of the cause – her dad abandoned her for six years which caused her immense distress and during that time, I, as a single mum, tried to compensate and gave her my every attention. I simply adored her. However, 2 years ago, she began to change and I started to notice an alarming side to her normally lovely nature. She used her charm for manipulation and if it didn’t work I would get the silent treatment or cold distain. I attempted to discuss issues with her but she would simply defend herself by attacking me. I saw no empathy, no compassion – I realised now that everything was only about herself. Then suddenly out of nowhere she arranged reconciliation with her father and I was pushed out of her life without a backward glance. I was totally devastated – in fact I even had suicidal thoughts – she bought me to the lowest point in my life.
Since then she has been away travelling. I can see this has given her the ideal platform to feed her NPD traits. She has had an adoring audience in every country and when she has encountered problems, she can just take off again and find a new gang of followers. I have witnessed from afar how she has befriended individuals and then discarded them without a thought.
We still keep in touch – me lots, her – when she needs me to organise something and only then does she appear a loving daughter.
She is due to return back home very shortly after a year away. Although I should be ecstatic that she is returning home, I am actually dreading it. The past year has been peaceful, without the emotional turmoil and I know that it will start again once she is home. She is my flesh and blood whom I am to love unconditionally so I cannot cut her out my life (believe me, if I had a NPD partner or friend I would without hesitation) – but what can I do to keep me sane when she returns? If I told her I thought she had NPD she would never speak to me again as she believes she is perfect. Please can you offer me some tips?
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Re: Narcissistic daughter - please help!

Postby lodi dodi » Fri May 18, 2012 11:25 am

It's good to know she has someone she can count on with the rate she alienates others.
You're a champ for hanging in there but she is emotionally/mentally a child, so knowing that, go ahead and assume the role of an adult with strong boundaries.
You could break the news and that could be the catalyst of turning things around, but imo it'll be a while 'till she takes responsibility.
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Re: Narcissistic daughter - please help!

Postby funky » Fri May 18, 2012 11:38 am

Tiredmum, all that I'd add, is, make sure that you have one good friend whom you trust, to talk to in complete honesty about how you feel. Don't cut yourself off from other people, or blame yourself.
Perhaps you can still enjoy times with your daughter when she is in a positive mood, and try not to take it personally when she isn't. Like lodi said, set boundaries. Try to help your daughter without becoming too wounded and overwhelmed by things.
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Re: Narcissistic daughter - please help!

Postby margharris » Sat May 19, 2012 4:24 am

A lot of the younger generation go through a phase of narcissistic behaviour. Rather than have children at 24 and learn about focusing on others. They are still finding themselves in a highly egocentric way.
Honestly, all you say is on my radar as well. Then out of the blue they can surprise you. I remember despairing over one of my sons. He returned from tenting around Africa. He had bought a large bowl in Mali and carried it on his back up Mt Kenya. It was so heavy but it was for me and he didn't want to risk breaking it. They can be absolutely shockingly selfish for years but then in a single moment they can show you they care.
Hang in there with your love. They will do whatever they think they can get away with so always call her out when she has crossed over. You have got feelings and they need reminders.
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Re: Narcissistic daughter - please help!

Postby Euler » Sat May 19, 2012 10:59 pm

I guess in your research you forgot to look at how NPD develops. It takes a unique form of abuse and neglect to make NPD; so if she has it, then one or both of her parents abused her. Spoiling a kid just makes a person spoiled but it won't create NPD.

Marg is right imo. Many, if not most, people are selfish idiots throughout the first half of their 20's. Then they tend to realize how smart their parents are..."wait, you mean to tell me that you figured out how to juggle 8 bills every month like clockwork". Then they tend to have adult-to-adult relationships with them. For some this happens right away, for some it might happen in they're 40's.
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Re: Narcissistic daughter - please help!

Postby tiredmum » Sun May 20, 2012 12:21 am

Thanks for all your replies. As for the previous post, yes, she suffered for years of terrible emotional abuse from her father and I over compensated in the hope I could repair some of the damage. As I said in my post, I have "reluctantly" come to the conclusion she suffers from NPD after reading a great deal about it. I would gladly put it down to "kids being kids" but, believe me, this is in a different league. I can tick every diagnostic box for NPD and then some! I know statistically it is more uncommon for women to have NPD but my opinion is there are plenty out there but they are more clever and manipulative as to not make it completely obvious from the onset. My only hope is that as she is still in her 20's, something in life may give her a jolt to reassess herself and she consciously makes a change.
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Re: Narcissistic daughter - please help!

Postby MsAvoidant » Sun May 20, 2012 12:43 am

Tiredmum (I'll bet you are!), I am going to PM you right now.
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Re: Narcissistic daughter - please help!

Postby harleydog » Sun May 20, 2012 1:16 am

Tiredmum, you are perfectly right, there are lots of female narcs out there, many fly under the radar, they are great at disguising. Plus they rage other ways, men are more outward, the female variety are very subtle. They know how to work people. I think this is the reason more men are diagnosed while many female narcs fly under the radar, they have excuses after all women are more emotional, more hormonal, they always have excuses for their behavior these days and the mental health professionals enable all of them. these are my thoughts.
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Re: Narcissistic daughter - please help!

Postby lodi dodi » Sun May 20, 2012 1:25 am

while many female narcs fly under the radar


Creepin' under the radar. :D
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Re: Narcissistic daughter - please help!

Postby margharris » Sun May 20, 2012 3:19 am

There is little doubt that your husband's emotional abuse of your daughter will have affected her. She will have walked away from this parent with issues to resolve. Whether she can have a trusting relationship with a man is often the first red flag to look out for. She will be entering adult life trying to solve the problems she felt you didn't. Her own abusive behaviours towards you might be viewed as just telling it like it is and 'being brave.' These aren't credentials that would have sat well with you but it is how the younger generation think. Just keeping it real as they say.
Keep true to your own credentials of a mother. Love and forgiveness have stood the test of time. Life has a way of giving us the lessons we need so she is likely to have her day when your hand is what she really wants. Take time out to look after yourself. Mothering is a really tough job.
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