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The Narcissistic Mother

Forum for significant others, family and friends of people with mental illness to discuss relevant issues they face.
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This is a support forum for the family, partners and friends of those with mental health issues. This forum is intended to be a safe place to discuss information, give and receive support and learn about all the issues related to being involved with a person with a disorder. Whilst it can be healthy to express various emotions, please remember to be respectful about the disorder itself. This is a place for constructive discussions, not a venting forum.

The issues experienced by the significant others of those with disorders cannot always be discussed in the other parts of the site in a way that does not trigger those with disorders. Moderators may therefore move threads from other forums into this one at their discretion.

Re: The Narcissistic Mother

Postby pajaro » Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:24 pm

Reading through the threads here have shown me what I have been exposed to was nothing more than abuse, guised as care and affection.

Welcome to the world of ACON's, Rushda. The more loudly and frequently an N-mother tells her kids she loves them, the more viciously she tries to hurt them. My mother was consumed with the most toxic jealousy I've ever seen in any human being. Jealousy completed destroyed what started out as a very good, intelligent mind. By the time she died, she had turned her jealousy on every other human being who crossed her path, and she ended up alone and abandoned to the care of me, the very child she most deeply hated and abused (in the name of the purest of pure loves, of course!). I didn't understand all this at the time, and just loved her as I always had, taking care of her happily and willingly. It was years later before I realized how severely abusive she had been and how traumatic my childhood had been. She had made me believe from the day I was born that I was a "monster," "evil," "sent from Satan to destroy her," etc. So I tried my hardest not to be evil, loved her, took care of her, and chose a life and career of caring for others to try to mitigate the horrible person that I was. In the end, I won. She drove herself to an early grave with her psychosis, and I have lived a happy and successful life. Yes, she victimized me for many years. But try as hard she could, she did not change who I was. She could not turn me into the monster she wanted me to be. I was just who I was, and nothing she did to me could change that. And in the end, she had to recognize that just a little bit, when she had to rely on me for every tiny thing in her life. It was a shock to her that I was a kind enough person to keep coming back and taking care of her after everything she had done to me. She knew she had nothing to sucker me with or leverage me with or hoover me with, and she finally had to recognize that there was such a thing as genuine love, and that I had it. It was just a tiny step forward for her, but I think it was an important one.

I still live with the legacy of her abuse, and probably always will. A lot of therapy has helped, but my permanent case of PTSD will never fully go away. Still, I would a million times rather be me than be her!!!!!!!!!! We are the winners, despite the appearance of victimhood. The true victims are the ones who fall prey to their own fear of being open and loving and truthful human beings. The truly strong ones are those of us who are strong enough to look the truth in the eye, and continue to love others despite the great risks and dangers. It takes courage to love and be open to others, especially after 20 o3 30 or 40 years of relentless abuse. That's what NPD's don't understand. We are the truly courageous people!
We can have a million and one acquaintances, but if none of our connections feel intimate and meaningful, we will ultimately feel alone.
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Re: The Narcissistic Mother

Postby redsonya » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:49 pm


That description of a narcissistic mother fits mine to a tee. The "coldness" unless you were the "special one" at the time or she wanted something from you. The punishments (being locked in our rooms overnight with no food or put to bed at 5pm when it was still light out) when she was angry at her husband or just life in general. Marrying and staying married to a man who had sexually abused his own daughter and allowing him to abuse me and my brother (his son) so she wouldn't have to be on her own and work. She only actually left him when he got a new girlfriend and they were having a baby together. She would pretend to believe me that he had abused me (he was inappropriate in FRONT of her and she was not surprised at all when another adult confronted her about it) and then go behind my back to tell the police that I was lying so she could keep him around and out of trouble.

I went years without talking to her after that - she only met my husband of 14 years once, until we found out he had terminal cancer. She had wanted to move to my area for a long time, but couldn't afford it because she has "fibromalgia" and cannot work (she does "pioneer" for the Jehovah's Witnesses though, meaning walking door to door 40 hours a week). She swooped in and helped me take care of him on hospice until he passed. I was pregnant at the time with our first baby so she helped me with my daughter. I actually thought that maybe she had changed and totally forgave her - we actually had a good relationship. Looking back of course, we had a good relationship because I was giving her what she wanted at the time: she was able to move back to my area and live with me for free, I gave her my husband's car to drive and a credit card that she used for whatever she wanted (it was supposed to be for groceries and gas only). She actually refused to leave after 18 months. I found out later it was because she had found a man in the local JW church that she was working on so she could marry him/stay in my area (this is her fourth marriage). She succeeded of course - he is about 20 years older than her, but has a house and a little money. After that, I was no longer "necessary" so she did whatever she wanted. Including turning my husbands funeral at my home into a 30 minute JW speech and bible lesson, inviting her JW friends (who I didn't even know), and handing out JW magazines. She refused to apologize and her husband actually told me "that I should be grateful to have the chance to get out the JW message". We didn't talk for 9 months until my dad died on my birthday. She messaged me two weeks later to tell me what a horrible mother I am, how I am teaching my daughter hatred just like my father did to me, etc, etc - because I wouldn't let her see my daughter without apologizing and agreeing to respect my very well known boundaries. Its been almost three years since then, and she has reached out one time by "liking" photos of my deceased husband on my MILs social media page. This is also typical of her. She will not apologize, unless its done in a way that makes it clear that none of it was really her fault, but instead will wait until a sufficient enough time has passed (in her mind) to reach out somehow and wait for me to show interest in her. Then once I do, any discussion of what happened previously is off the table if I want her around.

Anyone else have the entire extended family wrapped up in this as well? My sisters, my aunts, my cousins.... I've taken leave of all of them, with just a bit of superficial contact for my daughter's sake for a couple years now. I still have moments of fear that I "need" them and thoughts of just calling and saying whatever they want me to say to be "taken back", but frankly, I am the happiest and most calm I have been in years out of that fray.
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Re: The Narcissistic Mother

Postby TAngel » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:48 am

This is my mother! I was raised by my grandmother who loved me and cared about me. When my grandma died, my mother told me the news by a text. I never felt loved from my own mother but she will tell the world how much she sacrificed for me. She will tell me and every family member how much I owe her and I'm always not good enough on anything. When I was 13, she told me my height is built with the money she spent on me, and i need to pay her back one day, and the amount will be the cash that get stack together to my own height. She will never call me unless shes in trouble or needs help from me. When I help her she will never think it's good enough and calls me incompetent. When I was accepted to university she doubted me and tells me if I can graduate. I part time to make money. She has two houses where I help pay her property tax, but I had to take out a full loan myself to attend school. I feel she sucks out every part of my soul and I feel guilty for hating her and blaming her. The society doesn't understand and none of the people around me would understand. When it's a holiday she will call me to remind me to buy her gifts so she can show off to her friends. I finally learned to say no, and she pretends to be vulnerable and guilt trip me again. When I politely turn her down, she will be very sarcastic. I thought of ending my life so I can feel relieved and also because I feel no one on this earth truly cares about me. Then I know she will just use that to play into her favor to show the world that she's always the victim. I let go, I forgive myself for hating her. She was so absent in my life and I decided from now on to be absent in her life. I have a choice too.
Because of her, I'm scared to have kids, all my friends have kids but I'll never be ready, I don't want to be like her. I still have to pay for her insurance and phone plan. That's all I can do for her even though I know I don't have to. In the end, she did spent money on me when I was little. I didnt choose to be born, she decided for me, so it was her responsibility to raise me, but she is a horrible manipulative mother.
Last edited by realityhere on Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Privacy.
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Re: The Narcissistic Mother

Postby JanieP » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:33 pm

It was as though I was reading about my NM and siblings. I had to stop and catch my breath a few times. I only wish I had known all of this years ago. My NM has passed and I have NC with my siblings. She left this world and our relationships just as she wanted. So very sad. I find myself jealous of those who have meaningful loving relationships with their siblings. It is as if I am an only child.
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Re: The Narcissistic Mother

Postby Rosie12 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:02 pm

After reading the description of a narcissistic mother, my mother ticks most of the symptoms. There is so much I want to say she has done to me but there is to much to write about. What she has done has caused a lot of effects on my psyche. Just like another member posted I too suffer from second guessing myself, needing guidance on certain life directions etc because my mother has always had control over me.

I will give one of the things she did to me.

For 14 years I have been battling my weight, one year I was motivated I went from 180 lbs to 163 lbs in six weeks. I was so pleased with myself, I could finally go out to places I wanted to go, wear nice clothing and I felt on top of the world health wise.

During the time I was on my slender side my mother would corner me and say in a "concerned" voice "You looked so much better at 180 lbs (No I didn't, I was clearly overweight and close to obese) as you are now far to thin (Wrong again, I was just on the cusp of healthy/overweight and wasn't thin at all.)" When she saw that wasn't working and I continued on my health mission she tried another tatic "You are only losing your weight because your boyfriend told you to. He wants to have a thin girlfriend. He said so himself." I ignored her as my boyfriend told me I was sexy no matter what size.

Because of ignoring her, she thought up a different plan that ultimately sabotaged my weight loss. She knew I exercised early in the morning from 5:30 am and I would exercise before bed at around 11 pm when everyone was asleep. I did this because I hate everyone watching me work out. She would make snide comments when I worked out and laughed if I had trouble with certain exercises. Within time she started getting up at 5 am and rush to the living room and put on the TV so I couldn't exercise. Then she started to stay up until 12 am so she knew I was to tired to exercise. She also started to serve me my favourite food at dinner time.

Before I knew it I gained back the lost weight and even more. She was so smug when I gained it back. Even thought it was funny when I had to buy size 16 clothes. When I started to become seriously ill from my weight gain of 227lbs she was no longer laughing. Now it is all "concerns" and I need to lose weight. It really pissed me off. If she left me alone in the first place I am sure I would be super healthy.
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Re: The Narcissistic Mother

Postby jjm » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:57 pm

THIS describes my mother to a T and I didn't realize/didn't want to admit that she was a narcissist because she raised me all of my life to glorify her in all that she does.
I began having issues with her when I started dating my current boyfriend almost 2 years ago. We are very serious (im 21 he is 23) and blending him into the family is very important to me. I've always been big on family, and his family is great at making me feel welcome and at home. I always feel very comfortable. My family (my mom, rather) on the other hand, does a very poor job. Since day 1 she has been completely unwelcoming. She goes out of her way to not include him and never wants him around. She doesn't invite him to family events, or casual nights for dinner to try and get to know him, she doesn't talk to him when he's around unless its about her and she hates how much time I spend with him (twice a week..). I have tried countless times to confront her on the issue along with other family members. All she does is get defensive, saying she has been more than nice that she invites him sometimes and he doesn't need to be everywhere and claims that she talks to him. Things haven't changed. It is my dad's birthday this friday and she said we are going out for dinner and hasn't mentioned or invited my boyfriend to come along. I don't know where to go from here, what to say or what to do. It seems like im always repeating myself but Im losing sleep over it and am anxious and I really feel hopeless. PLEASE help me. :(
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Re: The Narcissistic Mother

Postby realityhere » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:04 pm

Sometimes one has to go around a controlling person.

If your dad knows about his birthday plans, how about asking him if he can invite the boyfriend over to join in his celebration, so that you guys can get better acquainted? Barring that, the boyfriend could crash the party, provided he pays for his and your tab? You're adults and can figure something out. Your mom may not like the intrusion, but that's her problem, not yours.

Sounds as though your mom is not so "big" on family inclusion...what an irony.
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Re: The Narcissistic Mother

Postby Bcofone1 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:41 am

Both my mother and father were narcissists so my ability to function in relationships with others was very negatively impacted. They both made it clear to me that my existence was solely to support their needs in life ...my desires were meaningless to them. They never did anything for me that they didn’t have to do and they always had to benefit, whether it was my mom buying me a Christmas gift she wanted for herself or my father taking us to his favorite hotdog place so he could eat his fav hotdogs... nothing was done just for us. They never gave me any attention unless I did something for them or did something they could boast about to others to make them look good. I was ignored and rarely given any attention unless criticized or asked to do domething for them. My mother acted like a child crying if she didn’t get her way. She was jealous of any attention I got from my father or her mother. She always belittled my appearance. She was never happy for me when I accomplished something wonderful for myself and often saw the negative possibility of anything good that happened to me. She felt no empathy for me when kids bullied me... she always said things to make me feel it was my fault. She always made me feel others were favored over me and excluded me in her interactions with others outside the home... she always made me feel inferior to everyone. She sided with others who treated me badly. She was never in the same room with me. She only did things with me like taking me to ballet which was to improve my bad posture ..everything was done to improve my flaws which I heard about incessantly..but ashe aways went shopping while I was in class.. she never was there supporting me. She took me once to see a movie only because my father wouldn’t go with her. it was Gigi.. ironically a movie about a young girl who has a narcissistic mother who is too focused with her opera singing to be with her so the grandmother raised her. I could go on and on about the selfish control. Sadly I have always attracted selfish controlling people in my life and have countless versions of them come into my life. I have chosen to be alone because the alternative has been unbearable.
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Re: The Narcissistic Mother

Postby Bellicose » Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:12 am

With respect to the above statement,

Just a thought but I have always found it odd when someone says they attract this person or that person. I think it's a statement that removes any responsibility that you have over the people you let in your life.
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Re: The Narcissistic Mother

Postby KarenLouise » Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:28 pm

Unfortunately like I have seen so many others here this perfectly describes my mother too.

She has always undermined me and belittled me. Trying to prevent me from finishing my secondary school. Making me believe I wouldn't be able to take care of myself if I were to move out.

Eventually I did move out, found a lovely job as a legal secretary, and after a relationship of six years with the wrong man, found myself pregnant and single.

I made the mistake to move back in with her, but while I was pregnant it was like she was a different person, she was so kind, I couldn't believe it. But things changed drastically once I had given birth, I hardly got to spend time with my son at all was constantly being criticized on my mothering skills.
Wasn't allowed to get a job, she'd threaten when I would come home one day she would have moved away with my son.

In fairness I didn't get the worst end of the stick, my sister who is 13 years my junior, was never allowed to even finish her primary school.
She had a bit of a poor immune system but nothing serious, and for her it was the perfect excuse to slowly but surely get her under full control.
She used to get tutoring from home once a week for two hours from a teacher, but as time went on weeks were skipped and then months.
Until the Belgian educational department sent investigators to our door and they were copping on that my sister had not been given the education appropriate to her age. They wanted her to get extra tutoring and eventually have her enrolled in a secondary school once she had caught up. She was 14 at the time.

Instead what my mother did was sell my parents and her house and moved to Spain, still silly goose me, I went along because I had no financial means and I was hoping I could start a new life in Spain too.

My son was 3 and a half and I did get a job, I paid half my wages towards her rent, and when I got home at 21:00 I was still expected to cook dinner and tidy up the house.
Constantly complaining she was minding my son for me and that I should do something for a change. So in the weekends I would be cleaning the house, washing and ironing their clothes...

I secretly started talking to someone and went on a date while my son was with my best friend since childhood, who also was his godmother. It didn't turn into anything.
But my mother got word of this and went bezerk.
She started screaming at me I wasn't to leave the house and start my own life, stealing her grandson away from her, pushed me to the floor, threw herself on top of me and started punching me everywhere she could. My father dragged her off of me.
At night I woke up hearing her talk to my younger sister thinking of ways how to kill me and dispose of me so that she could keep my son safe as I was no good for anything anyway.

The next day I went into work colleagues of course saw this and told me to go to the police. I couldn't because my mother had threatened to move away with my son and I would never see him again. I posted my CV online and instead found a job in Ireland.
But she knew she was on thin ice and reluctantly let me go.
She made me promise to leave my son with her for at least a year until I got settled, I agreed to this but thought to myself as soon as I have a house and childcare sorted I am coming back for him.

I got luckier then I would've thought and met my other half.

Before she had even met him she would tell him I was a bad person and a mother after I had gotten into a fight with her. Telling all sorts to try and break us up.
I had told her I was coming to visit and she straight away saw it as a threat and said I promised I would leave my son with them for at least a year and I would not get them back.

I still led her to believe that I was only coming to visit as I didn't want to alarm her and kidnap my son.

It was very hard to get him back but in the end she knew she hadn't a leg to stand on. And we moved to Ireland, my son started preschool and started to bond well with his stepdad.

She could not stand it and was always trying to find ways to start an argument between me and my other half.

Still, because my son had grown up with them, I felt I couldn't rip him away from his grandparents whom he loved so much and I let him stay with his granny for a few weeks a year.
In those times I wouldn't get to Skype him she would always find an excuse oh he's asleep or too busy playing.
And each time I came back for him there would be a fight, her asking for more time and my other half would stand up for me and say I am his mother and she should be very happy with the time she got already. That it was only me making an effort flying halfway the world for her to see him and then her denying me to even speak to him when he was away.

I fell out with her for a few months and then that guilt that she had shoved down my throat all those years started gnawing at my insides again so I allowed contact via video.

She was going to participate in a Belgian tv-program for a B&B competition.
My other half tried to reason with me and talk sense into me not to go but I felt I had to help her.

She had two donkeys a stallion, 4 dogs, etc that needed minding and I dropped my son off a week before all this would start.

She dragged my son out of my arms when we arrived at 23pm not even giving me a hello.
When her only friend who was there reprimanded and said - J I don't believe you you haven't seen your daughter for over a year and she doesn't even get a hello let alone a hug?
My mother just snickered and said aw she's used to that and started doting on my son.

When we arrived a week later my son jumped into his stepdads' arms and as soon as we were alone begged us to go back to Ireland as granny was asking such strange questions and wouldn't listen to him when he answered.
She'd ask him if his stepdad hurt him. He would say no.
Then she would buy him boxing gloves so that next time he'd hurt him he could punch him back in the nose.
But I keep telling granny that you never hurt me daddy. Only that when I get really bold sometimes you get angry with me. But granny gets angry with me too when I am naughty.

She was even falling out with the camera crew and the other contestants and was just a ticking time bomb.
Fed up with how she was treating me and finding out what she had been doing to my son we left a few days earlier without saying a word.

That's when she started threatening she would get in touch with Interpol, she said we had discovered we were find out by her for child abuse and we would not leave the airport if I did not meet with her alone.

Of course I didn't and flew back home. There the threats continued. She threatened to get in touch with my ex and his parents (myt sons other grandparents) and tell them my son was being abused. And then they would take him away as my ex could regain parental rights.

Through facebook I found out that he (my ex and my sons biological father) had changed his number because his crazy ex MIL was not leaving him alone.

She sent the police to our door. And threatened with child services.

The police did arrive at our door and of course could only determine that my son was safe and happy with us. So he said he was going to inform her not to waste theirs or tusla's time as it was an offence to spread false allegations and waste police time.

We went to a lawyer and he told us to ignore her completely. Not to take action and just wait for the storm to blow over.

And for these past two years she sent nice messages - we had a little boy - and she would send me how proud she was of me how I achieved what she never had, contributing to the family. But then an hour later she would delete that message.

Last week she sent another message to which I didn't respond, and last Sunday morning I got a text from a stranger saying she thought I should know.
Apparently she had posted something on a group that I was a member from urging me to get in touch with her or she'd out us for what we are.

I'm at my wits end and my other half and I are having a discussion about what to do next.
He says to ignore it, she hasn't even dared mention his name and has been using false names to hint at child abuse (she did however use my real name).
I've been in touch with a Belgian lawyer in the meantime, as she has moved back, and he suggested to start a procedure for slander, with a threat of a fine of € 500 per breach but my other half doesn't want to do this as he says no matter what we do she won't ever stop, no matter what the consequences. And that this might actually drive her over the edge to do more serious damage.

And I was wondering, with so many of you having to have to deal with narcissistic mothers, what do you think is the best action to take?

Keep ignoring her or indeed take legal action?

Thanks in advance for your advice
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