Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Scapegoat of the Narcissistic Personality Disordered Mother

Scapegoat paintingby Markus Anderson with Gail Meyers quote
The Scapegoat of a Narcissistic Mother by Gail Meyers 
Photo - Markus Anderson CC-SA-30 via Wikimedia Commons

© by Gail Meyers
The children are assigned rigid roles in dysfunctional families where alcoholism, sexual abuse or mental illness is an everyday reality. I have often seen it claimed that a narcissist must marry an enabling partner in order for the marriage to stay together.  The spouse is focused on the needs of the narcissist rather than the children.  However, in my experience a narcissist married another narcissist. So an adult child of a narcissist may very well be dealing with parents with more than one or even all of these issues. 

The assignment of these roles usually happens in early childhood, long before the child could possibly have any idea what is going on. A child may not be able to articulate it, but children very quickly understand the unwritten family rules that exist in dysfunctional families.

These roles are taken very seriously because at some level the family members realize the survival of the whole dysfunctional family system depends on everyone playing their part. If you try to get out of your role, the entire dysfunctional family system will often go to extremes to put you back in your place.

The role I want to discuss is that of the scapegoat, because chances are if you are reading this you are the scapegoat. While the golden child also suffers many consequences from his assigned role, he is not likely to go looking for answers as to why narcissist mom thinks he is so wonderful!

Narcissistic Mother's Scapegoat

If you are the scapegoat, I have good news and bad news. The good news is you are the one most likely to go searching for answers - and find them. That is because you are the one in the most pain from carrying the burden of blame for the family. The scapegoats are also usually the truly strong ones in the family, as well as being the truth tellers.

I guess you know the bad news. You are blamed for everything. The scapegoats are the ones who allow the rest of the family to appear to be "normal," purged of their wrongs. Narcissistic personality disordered mothers chronically scapegoat. If everything is the scapegoat's fault (and it's not), then the rest of the family can continue to avoid the real issue. The narcissistic mother can keep pretending to be "normal," since you are supposedly the problem. "While they [malignant narcissists] seem to lack any motivation to be good, they intensely desire to appear good. Their "goodness" is all on a level of pretense." The People of the Lie by M. Scott Peck, M.D.

The very existence of a scapegoat in the family signals a problem, because a scapegoat is only required in a family when someone consistently refuses to take responsibility for their own actions. Instead of taking responsibility, the narcissistic personality disorder parent often uses projection and scapegoating. Projection involves the narcissistic parent projecting their negative character traits onto others.


It may not take long for the other siblings in a dysfunctional family to realize they can blame the scapegoat too. In extremely dysfunctional families like my own family of origin, the narcissistic parent will actually encourage the other children to abuse the scapegoat child. This does not stop once the scapegoat is an adult, but continues as adult child abuse. Narcissistic personality disordered mothers love to manipulate and use their flying monkeys to help do their dirty work.

Now for the great news! You may think that golden child has the cherished role, but in the long run the scapegoat is the one most likely to escape, heal and lead a healthier life. Those same qualities of strength and emotional honesty or truth telling will greatly work in your favor in the healing process. If you are the scapegoat, you have the strength to escape, heal and lead a healthier life. As hard as it may be, try not to internalize all of the blaming and scapegoating. Realize you are dealing with a very sick parent. The truth hurts, but then it really does set you free.


Narcissism and the History of the Scapegoat

So most of us have heard the term used and probably even used it ourselves to describe the situation. We understand the popular use of the word today, but where did the idea of someone using or being a scapegoat originate? How did we arrive at the use of the term we use today and decide to apply it to dysfunctional families?

There is some mention of a scapegoating rite in Ancient Greece. However, our current use of the word comes from the English translation of the Hebrew term from the Bible. Our current usage literally means "an individual, group or country singled out for unmerited negative treatment or blame."

The Bible documents the use of a scapegoat dating back to the accounts of the children of Israel. In Leviticus 16, the scapegoat was actually a goat. The sins of the people were ceremonially placed on the head of the goat. The goat was then cast out of the community and into the desert alone. If you are the scapegoat of a narcissistic personality disorder mother or father, you may know the feeling.

In the Bible the forgiveness of sin required these animal sacrifices before Christ died a sacrificial death on the cross, but that requirement ended at the cross. The New Testament (after Christ) view holds that Christ took the sins of humanity on His own head. There is no longer any need for a true scapegoat as we each are accountable before God for our own actions. Christ is the only One who can wash away sins.


As the scapegoat you already know you are blamed for everything in order the the narcissist to continue to appear innocent of their wrongs and avoid personal responsibility. In a very real way, a scapegoat has already been "cast out" even while physically standing in the room with the rest of the family. However, a narcissistic mother will also systematically destroy your relationships with lies and innuendos.

By the time you realize the extent of the damage, you may find yourself standing out in the desert alone with nothing but the blame piled on your head. After the narcissistic personality disordered mother strips the scapegoat of all they hold dear, intentionally inflicts great emotional pain and puts the blame on the scapegoat for their own endless evil, the narcissist will cast the scapegoat child out without a second thought.

Do not expect any empathy or remorse, ever. Do not let the narcissistic parent push you this far down the scapegoat path! Take steps as early as possible to protect yourself. Find a qualified professional familiar with this disorder, read as much as you can about it, join an online DOMN or ACON group. There are sources of insight and support available.

It's not you, it's the narcissist. The scapegoat represents both the evidence of the truth that could shatter the narcissist mother's pretend world and the blame for the trail of destruction the narcissistic personality disorder mother leaves behind. Remember, the scapegoats are the truth tellers. The narcissist mothers are manipulative pretenders. Make no mistake about it, a true narcissist parent who is high enough on the narcissism spectrum to be narcissistic personality disordered, will choose to destroy all evidence of the truth, rather than be exposed and be held accountable.

The Scapegoat child of a narcissistic mother quote by Gail Meyers


Interestingly, also in the Bible is an account of the first two human beings God created trying to shift the blame for their choices onto someone else. Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent. God did not buy any of it, but held each one accountable for their own actions.  References: Wikipedia, NIV Study Bible.

The "Christian" Narcissist Mother and the Scapegoat

The narcissistic personality disordered usually pretend to be exactly everything he or she is not, including a "selfless saint" or "martyred mother." The "Christian" narcissist mother may play the "martyred mother" when it suits her purposes, but it is well established that the "martyred mother" in a dysfunctional family is the one controlling and manipulating the entire family. When you hear something like, "I tried to be a good mother, but..." you know the martyr is on stage manipulating.

This is the absolute epitome of how a narcissist pretends to be exactly oppose of what they actually are. A malignant narcissist, what some consider the very embodiment of evil, parading as a "selfless saint" and "martyred Christian" mother. This is the epitome of a wolf in sheep's clothing!

So this malignant narcissist parading as a "selfless saint" Christian consistently bypasses Christ's death on the cross, the single most important foundational belief of their professed Christianity, and instead attempts to load her sins onto the head of another human being. To top it all off, not any human being, but her own child.

This same narcissist will try to turn around and beat their child into submission with the biblical text taken out of context in order to use it as a pretext for manipulation, abuse and control. That is exactly what cults do, take biblical text out of context in order to use it as a pretext. This is just one more similarity between families with narcissist parents and cults. The two closely parallel one another.

Healing for the Scapegoat of a Narcissistic Mother

If you are an adult child son or daughter of a narcissistic personality disordered mother, you likely have many broken relationships resulting from the lies, scapegoating and manipulation of the narcissist parent. So do not allow a narcissist personality disordered parent to also destroy your relationship with God or your Higher Power. It's normal for a child to grow up believing on some level that God is like their parents, but it is beneficial in the healing process to separate the two in your heart and mind.


Many recovery programs encourage belief in a higher power as you understand the higher power to be. God gave us free will, which He also gave the narcissist. It is a choice we all must make for ourselves, but the point is that belief in God or a Creator is considered by many as a part of being mentally healthy. It is the narcissist who refuses to submit to God or a higher power.


"Malignant narcissism is characterized by an unsubmitted will.  All adults who are mentally healthy submit themselves one way or another to something higher than themselves, be it God or truth or love or some other ideal."  People of the Lie by M. Scott Peck, M.D.


Also see The Scapegoating Narcissistic Mother on The Scapegoats of a Narcissistic Mother by Gail Meyers.







--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*This article was originally published on September 23, 2012, prior to moving to this blog.


71 comments:

  1. My great aunt adopted me. I was emotionally abused all my life, and especially manipulated. I got married as soon as I could, and moved far away. If it wasn't for my husband. I would have severed ties! She is extremely toxic! Her mother (my great grandmother) wasn't just as bad! No one attended her funeral! I never dreamed I'd ever live with my Mother again, but somehow I moved back I with her 9 year's ago with my husband, and 3 boy's. Even as an adult nearing 50 years old. I'm on the edge! I'm on an anti-depressant, and off and on suicidal. I have come to realize her illness, but it doesn't make it any easier for me to deal with her. It only makes me realize there is no hope for her to ever change, or love me unconditionally. The worst is she lies all the time, and talks shit, and makes up terrible stories that she tells anyone when she thinks we aren't around. We (my family) have never been fooled by her, but keep our mouths shut for fear of her exploding! She is extremely volatable! I don't know how much longer I stay alive under the sme roof as my elderly mother (that adopted me). She has no one else! Your article is extremely true and right on the mark! People who are extreme narcissist shouldn't raise a child, and don't know/understand what love is!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous, please reach out for help if you need it. The 211 resource page on this blog can help you find a therapist in your area. I hope you and your family are able to move soon! Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts and experiences.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am ,it seems, the adult scapegoat son of two narcissists. I am 65 and have just discovered this. It is disturbing and traumatic . I am still in shock. I will recover and be stronger for the knowledge of this. I have seven children and my father molested one of my daughters. I think because I recovered from alcoholism and he couldn't. I needed to be put in my place and his pedophilia prevailed. When I confronted him ,he disowned me and brought, with places in his will, people who would say my daughter was a liar. My brother was approached with a similar ultimatum and lost his inheritance of several millions because he told the truth. My narcissist mother was part of this disgusting behavior and now my psychotherapist sister tells me she supports them . This is because my father died and she is in the will and does not need supporting anymore. This lead my brother and I to review her behavior and exchange notes and come to conclude most reluctantly that she is branded by this narcissism as well. She and her two children are the main beneficiaries. She originally exposed the molestation with another psychotherapist breaking my daughters confidence in a meeting thereby splitting our family. She picked my father as narcissistic but "missed" my mother even though she is classic. She neglected to tell me of the family dynamic even though it is extreme and I can only surmise this was deliberate to hide herself . This is a tragedy for me as I have loved her all my life. But she laughed at me when she told me the bad news(for her about the money.for me the betrayal) It was a casual dismissal of me and my brother Without empathy for my daughter,or any of us. We had reached our use by date, mine 60 years. When I read these and other pages I feel for the people who are deceived . I thought this may be of help to you as it is not only churches who harbor these wolves in sheep's clothing

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous, I feel for you. It is disturbing and shocking at any age. Based on my own experience and the many other adult children of narcissists who have shared their stories, incest is often involved. I feel for your daughter in her recovery. I am not a therapist, but I think both sexual abuse and narcissism can often be traced back in a family as far as the eye can see.
    It is not uncommon for a narcissistic personality disordered parent to raise a narcissistic child. In fact, it is common.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience.

    ReplyDelete
  5. There were many things in my relationship with my mother that I didn't understand, but it is getting clearer all the time. There were many ugly episodes while I was growing up. One particular incident has always baffled me..............until now. My middle brother was sexually exploring my youngest brother and my mother caught them in the act. She asked my middle brother where he got the idea to do that and he, trying to avoid her wrath walked around the house until he found a Seventeen magazine I had checked out of the library. He told mom he got the idea from that magazine. She got angry at me and told me not to bring those"filthy" magzines home. another incident comes to mind. I was graduating from nursing school and graduation was to be at a nearby college. All morning long my fellow graduates greeted their parents, friends, and family as they brought the well wishes, flowers, and gifts to celebrate the occasion. I knew my parents would be at graduation, so I looked forward to that. When we got there and marched in, I did not see them, and when we marched out, I did not see them. I was so disappointed, but I had my fiancé there and he was doing his best to cheer me up. Well finally, I saw them walking toward me. My Dad said something to me and I told him that I thought they hadn't come. My Mom just stood there. I could tell she was mad at my Daddy about something because she always gave us all the silent treatment. She didn't say much............just pouted. They didn't ask to take us out to lunch, didn't bring a gift or card. It hurt me so much, but I knew Mom did not want Daddy helping me financially through nursing school, so she was ruining my special day. I still cry when I think of it. I was the scapegoat...............I never knew till now. I am 63 years old and tears are streaming down my face. Just yesterday I decided to sever ties with my mother. I can.t take her abuse any more. I have tried to be a good daughter all these years, but I am just now realizing that God does not want me to be abused by her.........and I won't any longer.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous, I am sorry for your pain. Narcissistic mothers love to ruin holidays and special occasions like graduations. My mother did not attend any of my graduations until law school. It does hurt when everyone else is getting flowers, presents, cars, etc., from their beaming parents. When I graduated from law school she gave me a card by an artist with the same name as my biological father. It was signed prominently on the front at the bottom with only that first name. During each graduation since junior high, she always made me think he was in the crowd somewhere. Actually, he never was and ignored me all but a few months of my entire life. The card itself was a backhanded insult about being surprised I possessed the intellect to graduate law school. There was no compliment, meal or present. There was no financial help with my education, but plenty of brow beating and undermining along with way. So, I know very well how badly it can hurt.

    I am glad to hear you no longer intend to allow her abuse. There are a lot of resources and support online if you need it. I have several of them listed along the right margin. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  7. Gail,
    I have been looking for a blog like yours for a long time! Thanks for the info and keep up the great work!! I'll be stopping by often!
    Wendi

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wendi Bear, thank you and welcome! I look forward to hearing from you again soon.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You have captured the profile of the "christian" covert narcissistic mother exactly. Your article is relateable to anyone who has truly experienced this hideous abuse. I think it's normal and completely justified for anyone who has been through abuse at the hands of these monsters to have some "personal bias" . I actually felt you showed a great deal of restraint. You are so right when you talk about how dangerous they are. I was not sexually abused but the physical and emotional abuse was devastating and covert enough that my baptist deacon father and martyr mother were able to hide it for years and deny it still. My parents and their flying monkey (my sister) literally sabotaged every aspect of my life -I think just because they could. The results of their sabotage have been disastrous. They set me up to fail then mocked me for trying. I never even felt like a real person. I feel like a cat toy. I am still seeking some way to come to terms with the loss of life and potential. I am worn out and the dreams that kept me going for years are dead. My life was stolen. They taunt me and tell me to take responsibility for my own life. I agree that we are all responsible for our own outcomes but we also are subject to the mental programming we receive as young children and the actions of the parents. At this point I am filled with rage and anger. I know this is destructive to me but I want them exposed and held accountable. These creatures are not human. They are venomous vampires. I want revenge. I want justice. They have tried my whole life to make people think i am crazy. I assure you I am not. I am no saint but honesty and personal integrity are important to me. It seems no matter what rotten thing they do they always seem to come out smelling like a rose. They are expert covert saboteurs. They provoke me incessantly then if i react they call me crazy. As kids my sister would lie to get me in trouble and watch me get beaten with a huge cheshire grin on her face. She is even more sadistic than my mother. I have tried to go no contact with but they always find some way to worm their way back into my life. They need me to fail so they can feel powerful and successful- They are a waitress and a secretary who live together. I am really struggling. I vacillate wildly between loving and hating them and sometimes feeling sad that they will never live authentically and I mourn the lives my children and I have lost. My life was hijacked and the anger and frustration is destroying me. I know this is not productive. I still have many original ideas and sometimes dream of making them real but after a lifetime of this i am worn out. My mother has suggested suicide.but i know that they would just say "see we told you she was crazy". I won't give them that. I have read of inflicted suicide and I can assure you it is a very real phenomenon. I used to have so much drive energy and determination but now I just feel sick and weak most of the time. I have been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. I do not share your religous beliefs but your writings are some of the most accurate I have come across. You really had to have had the experience or you would never have the insight to communicate this. It has been somewhat cathartic for me to write this but when I wake up tomorrow I will still be me. I want to change my life. I want another chance. I sometimes think that exposing them would help but it seems nobody cares. I dont have time or money for years of therapy. I have some things to be grateful for. I have a great brother who is very supportive,a wonderful dog who is the most loving genuine being i have ever known of any species. How did you deal with the anger? I don t want to hate anyone. I just want relief. I know If I cant find some way to deal with it -it will be my undoing.














    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous, I am sorry for your pain and loss. I can very much relate to the experiences you have shared. It is exhausting and there are many others in similar situations who have expressed the same feeling.

      I am not comfortable directly advising you, except to say what I would do if I had it to do over again knowing what I know now. I know how difficult and painful it can be, but if I had it to do over again I would have done my best to cut my losses much earlier. I would have walked away from the entire sick family, none of whom have ever gotten therapy to this day with the exception of my late brother. I would have gone no contact with the whole bunch, then focused on recovery and building a life with healthier people. I would use the full extent of the law if need be to keep the firm boundaries in place.

      I think anger is a huge part of the healing process. There have been two periods of time when I was overcome with anger, rage really. The first time was during sexual abuse therapy as a very young adult. I got in touch with my anger and the rage just spewed out of me. It frightened me it was so strong. I thought it would never end. I filled journals, exercise, I had an excellent therapist for three years during that time. The anger did subside and emerged from that three years of therapy a very different person.

      The second time was when the denial surrounding my narcissistic mother shattered and I got in touch with the emotions, all anger and rage in the beginning. I was angry for at least five years, but I continued to process it and it did eventually subside too.

      I personally think revenge is just a bad idea in general, even though I can understand the desire for it at times. My faith has a lot to do with that attitude, because I think vengeance is God's - He will repay. However, I also think it keeps us chained to the abuser, besides so often leading to trouble. I think it is important to find healthy ways to process it. There is a suggested exercise of sitting two chairs face to face and imagining the offender in the other chair, then telling them everything you need to get off of your chest. You can write letters, but I would not suggest sending them. Journal, talk to a trusted friend, join a Facebook or Yahoo adult children of narcissistic mothers group, get a therapist, etc. Be sure to keep strong boundaries and I nearly always think no contact is a healthy choice.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts and experiences.

      Delete
    2. Your mother has suggested suicide?

      I can very much understand wanting everyone to be honest, whole and healthy, but we can not change or fix anyone else.

      Delete
    3. My spiritual mother, my cousin, and the only older female figure I had in my life after my NM died suggested suicide as well. For me that was letting her mask slip and I knew right then who was the evil one. She also let me know she was saying imprecatory prayers against me (witchcraft.) There's more, but thats enough for you to get the picture. My dear Anonymous, if you are still in that house, get out and go no contact immediately. Happy New Year to you.

      Delete
  10. I love this article. It describes the narcissistic family perfectly. Only about a year ago at the age of 47 I discovered the root cause of this sick world I've been living in, finally getting some answers to the craziness that's been going on in my family of both narcissistic parents and 7 siblings. I've become "cast out" of the family as of several years ago, with "Christian" mom triangulating me from the rest of them, being my sole source of information and the one who "consoles" me when others in the family do their evil deeds. Sick, sick, sick. I'm so grateful for you, Gail Meyers, who so eloquently describes this world that is really only understood by those of us who live in it. I've been on a spiritual journey since my discovery a year ago, and God has done some amazing things in my life. Wow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Anonymous. I receive a lot of feedback from women our age and older saying they wish they would have known sooner. I feel that way, too. However, I think there are many who never learn about this. So I think the insight is good at any age, but the sooner the better. Narcissistic mothers love to be the hub in the middle, pitting their children against one another.

      I am thrilled to hear God has done amazing things in your life! Thank you for reading and taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences.

      Delete
  11. Thanks Gail,
    I really appreciate you responding.
    I am going to look for a group to join. I agree anger can be healthy but I have been stuck in it way too long with no forward movement. I want to feel better-be better. I don't want the poison of hate in me. I want to feel better -live better now! I love my dog so much:) he is such a gift and when I interact with him my heart floods with love. I like the way that feels. I want more of that. I appreciate your sharing all of this info. It has helped me and my brother a great deal. I feel like I am reading about my own life. Yes, my mother has suggested suicide on at least 3 or 4 occasions when I told her how great my pain was and how I felt too worn out to move forward. I asked her what do you do when you're too worn down to keep going. I wasn't threatening suicide just expressing how lost I felt. She told me if that's the way I feel i should get it over with and just do it. I think she sees me a a potential threat because I have told her I plan to expose her. She would then play the grieving mother but secretly she would be relieved. Plus she could then finally have real evidence of my "problems". I guess I never should have opened up to her. My suffering is rocket fuel for her- She has even deliberately set me up with situations she knew would hurt me terribly and then fed on my reaction. She has always said I'm too sensitive. I think she would drive anyone nuts. The weird thing is I do love her and my sister-I just have to accept that it will never be the way I want. It's confusing to swing back and forth from love to hate. Maybe I will find friends that can be like family. I seem to attract narcissistic bosses, friends and definitely men. until I heal and change what I am attracting i plan to stay to myself. I'd rather be alone than with more of these same monsters.It is encouraging that you have found a way to heal. I had described all these characteristics to others but never had a name for what went on in our family. I googled the phrase "why do my mom and sister gang up on me" and there it was. Your site describes so accurately what our family was/is. I would love to know more specifics on how to heal. I may try some of the books on your site. It is validating to know I am not the only one and that there is hope. Thanks for that-
    M

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. M, there are many personality disorders and mental illnesses with overlapping criteria. Based on what you have articulated your mother appears very toxic and dangerous. I encourage you to seek professional help from a licensed therapist, as well as taking steps to protect yourself. If money is an issue, 211.org is a national database with service such as sliding scale therapy. Also, know that you are not alone. There are many adult sons and daughters who understand.

      Delete
    2. To suggest suicide to anyone is just not normal. We may love them, the N`s more they love us, while they are in fact not capable of love. My Father commited suicide, in two days it will be 16 years since . Thogh my M divorced him in 1973 he run all his life , also in to other relationships from day 1. When his last relationship ended after his anxiety showed up and he was paranoid. My N sister took him under her wings and he lived by her Family wit her husband and 2 kids. I was living then With my Family 90 miles apart from all of them and Our firsborn son had started his Journey on drugs and it seemed to me as their problems increased much at the same time. I had made an attempt of flee 3 N`s from my hometown My M, sister, and my MIL are N`s. I wanted to start With my Family so we could build Our Family but it was an insane attempt who mad it even worser. I am the scapegoat and my husband I have reasons to believe is N himself though he has some noble traits as well My father made his first attempt on suicide while he lived as his GC daughter who also is one of 2 golden child. She told me on the phone that he had changed from being the tough and macho guy to be the opposite. Poor him! I was not able to help him but managed to visit him after he had been "helped" by my sister to move in on a center for elders when he was only 67 years old. On the day he died I was in a state of huge irritation adn despair I couldn` t locate where came from. Both my golden siblings used to visit him a lot and when they lived nearby and while my other Brother also lived in the same town he didn`t. I used to think that we who was emphaths should have visited him more while the GC had the Whole arena for themselves. I was always the scapegoat and my other Brother and had attacks of Our father. I was heartbroken when he died. Now my mother have got lunge cancer and after I joined her to the hospital and was trapped in a situation With my N sister and mother . I am soon to become 60 and have to og on With my life, and my sister and mother smelled blood when I got separated from my husband. Though they had knowledge about that I was exhausted they had an attitude of demands where all was about my N mother who, though she had not got diagnosed yet had become more fragile from her old strong and robust self I have post traumatic stress syndrom and my sister as a auxiliary nurse in psychiatry who has witnessed when I lost my first born and from the second marriage where two of my kids turned out to have Gauche, a metabolic disease, she know about everything, and was seemingly upset about my X husband, pretended she was responsive and stuck the knife in my back in the next moment. yes, I also have opened up to many times to the N `s, and also bought their cheap chocolate they offered when I basically had no desire or need for it . They are buying us for nothing and in Return you have to pay back much more expensive . The thing is that N makes ppl in a suicidal statement. Now they have this Cards against me while my M has cancer, I tried , but they want Your life. Maybe They play With their Cards and when I was in contact With them I felt their hate towards me. It was then I knew I had to start real NO C while I tried a couple of years ago but didn`t manage to continue. It is Clear to me that N don`t love, while they are so concerned for you bc you don`t answer their Phones and tries to use the triangulation and contact relatives. MY X fortunately said he was now divorced and could not answer anything on my behalf, It is a menthal pressure when it would ne Natural for me to support a relative who is sick, but I am in a state where I need support from healtch care my self.

      Delete
  12. I have always been aware of what was happening and fully conscious of how wrong it was which is why I have been angry for decades. I just never had the terminology or any validation and when I tried to tell anyone it sounded so crazy nobody believed me. I am ready to leave the anger behind-accept what is and the fact that I cannot change it. I want to build a new life. If you can recommend a book or group that might help that would be great. Thanks again for all you have done here. The world needs to know about this type of abuse that doesn't break bones but instead lives and spirits.
    M

    ReplyDelete
  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm sorry for your pain, Carole. I know how badly it can hurt. My relationship with God has made all the difference for me. It sounds like it is the same for you. I hope as you process the feelings, some of the sting is beginning to come out of it.

    Thank you for reading and taking the time to share your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've been switched between the golden child and scapegoat. It's a terrible position to be in. I was the puppet for both narcissistic parents, who treated me and my children as if we could do no wrong; all my siblings treated us with contempt. NM "slipped" a couple of times and I caught her in big lies, and I subsequently went online and discovered the world of narcissistic abuse. There was no doubt that's what was happening in my family. I pretty much went no contact. NM immediately started a smear campaign against me and treated us as if my children and I didn't matter at all. It is certainly true that there is no winning with a narcissist. Recently I became engaged after being alone and struggling for many years. You guessed it; not a word of congratulations. It doesn't matter. They can't take away my joy.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous, congratulations on your engagement! Narcissists love to ruin celebrations and holidays. It is a terrible position to be in and I am sorry for your pain. Thank you for reading and taking the time to share your experiences.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I did not know why my life was so frustrating and that I felt such guilt about my love/hate relationship with my mother until a few years ago. (I am the mother of 2 grown children who finally see that I am not the problem and feel badly that "grandma" treats me so cruelly.) My husband doesn't see the problem as horribly as I and thinks I should just give in to her and keep peace. Many times, my late father felt the same way. (Just ignore her)......
    I was reading about her "symptoms' and realized that she had severe NPD! She was a classic narcissist! As you said, Gail, in your first article re: the "scapegoat," it is good and bad news!
    Fortunately, I had a loving, normal father who adored me, and he came from a "normal" family that adored each other. That was one of my salvations! The other, was my meeting Jesus Christ personally in college during the "Jesus" movement. He has never left me and my healing has been amazing because of Him.
    I am struggling with one thing: The commandment to honor your mother and father. My father was easy! He has passed away and I have tried very hard to honor my narcissist mother.
    My mother, through her gas lighting and narcissism, has separated herself from me out of anger. Her anger has come from me being defensive (almost like David when running away from King Saul's arrows!)
    The weird thing is that I feel such peace and happiness. She has divorced me. Not the other way around. The only guilt I feel in my newfound wonderful freedom, is that commandment.
    I pray for her, and I bring honor by not speaking ill of her anymore, but I have not found any basis in the Bible for this example and honoring a "dishonorable" mother. If you have "dealt" with this, please comment on what you have found.
    Thank you for your good articles. Anonymous 2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Auro Kioshi TakaraJune 17, 2014 at 3:55 AM

      In the church is common to follow the order:
      1-Repentance;
      2-Confession;
      3-Penance;
      4-Forgiveness
      So if someone tells you to just forgive and forget, without the least repentance and confession, you are in the presence of an abusive person.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous2, there is an article on this blog entitled Honor Thy Narcissistic Mother? Additionally, I have a folder by the same name on the Facebook page.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous, I am glad to hear you had a good relationship with your father. Also, that you are saved and have found healing. I did deal with this for many years, including consulting several pastors about it. Unfortunately, I generally got a pat answer.

    Generally, it was some version of "forgive and forget" and honor my mother, even in the midst of the ongoing abusive relationship. There was never any mention of boundaries, accountability on her part, exceptions, etc. It was always put back on me to forgive and honor her, which I believe was unscriptural as well as dangerous advice. I have addressed both of these issues for the very reason that they can get so tangled. "The Narcissist's Forgive and Forget" is on Narcissistic Abuse No More. "Honor Thy Narcissistic Mother?" is on this blog.

    While the Bible does teach forgiveness, I do not believe it teaches "forgive and forget" as it was practiced by my narcissistic personality disordered mother. "Forgive and forget" in action during an abusive relationship amounts to a free pass for unacceptable behavior and abuse. It is not harsh, un-biblical or un-Christian-like to refuse to play a narcissist's forgive and forget. It plays into the denial, gaslighting, cycles of abuse, etc.

    I do not think there is one answer that fits all because narcissism itself is on a spectrum. However, I do not believe the Bible honors evil. Yes, all of us have sinned. However, what I am referring to is the person who has the consistent, enduring pattern of evil behavior with no remorse or desire to change as was the case with my narcissistic personality disordered mother. Yet, she held herself out as a martyred Christian mother. That is a wolf in sheep's clothing if ever there was one. The Bible instructs us to stay away from such a person.

    I do not know your situation, but I wonder if God has not already given you your answer since you have peace about it. It sounds like this is a blessing in disguise! Remember also that the Bible tells you if your mother and father forsake you, the Lord will take you up. Psalm 27:10. So it sounds like you are definitely on the right path, but just need to resolve the guilt. The guilt may be self-induced false guilt or induced by society, rather than true guilt.

    While this is my personal experience, the best source on this topic I am aware of to refer you to is Sister Renee Pittelli. She is an expert in this area with a lot of experience. She is an adult child recovery advocate and founder of Luke 17:3 Ministries. She has written books on the topic, including Narcissistic Predicaments, Breaking the Bonds of Adult Child Abuse and Narcissistic Confrontations. Luke 17:3 Ministries also has a blog and Facebook page.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have been reading about this subject for several years now. I remember being relieved at first to have validation of this topic. I was raised by a NM and an absent (military) father. The rage/anger I feel for her is palpable, but now she has dementia and no one to care for her, but me. I do love her, I know she doesn't realize how narcissistic she is. She has told me that she will thwart my every effort and haunt and peck me until the end. I am nearly at the point of just leaving her to die in her self imposed squalor/hoarding/gamble the farm mentality. But then I am reminded that to have traveled so far just to leave her when she needs me most would be unconscionable....I simply cannot bring myself to do it. I really need help in dealing with the rage and self loathing I have. I sometimes believe that I have no purpose in this life but to validate her opinion of me and to be abused by her until the bitter end. I am in therapy...therapist says to just leave...not much help because the state can throw me in jail if I don't take care of her, but the state refuses to declare her incompetent so I can make those decisions for her.....it is a no win and abusive situation which the state says is not abuse of me because she is the one with dementia, so I just have to "deal" with it until she becomes an actual danger to herself or others....emotions don't count. I am at my wits end. How do you help someone who doesn't want your help and how do you walk away when you have been threatened with jail (by APS) if you do? She is in otherwise decent health and could live another 20 years! Anyway, any answer would be helpful!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous, there is a national Alzheimer's and Dementia Caregiver Center with a 24/7 helpline at 1-800-272-3900. You can also put your zip code in for local services in your area, including support groups and classes. They have undoubtedly seen similar situations, and should be able to advise you of the options available to you. Different states offer different services. For example, I have seen someone come in who cooked and cleaned two hours a day, five days a week. They should also have information specific to dementia to help you deal with the situation. A local elder law attorney might also be helpful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Gail. I will call them.

      Delete
  21. What do DOMN and ACON stand for. Did a search for the acronyms, but nothig came up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DONM stands for daughter of a narcissistic mother. ACON stands for adult child of a narcissist.

      Delete
  22. great blog! so much truth and articulation of things that sometimes are hard to articulate. you have a wide angle on the topic and it is wonderful. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Very interesting. My fiancé was married to a narcissist/sociopath for many years, and is now continuing a four-year-long battle to be a significant part of his 7-year-old son's life. This article deals with a child being made a scapegoat for the parent(s), but I see a parallel in my ifancé's situation in that his ex-wife is making him the scapegoat for all of their son's emotional and behavioral problems, which are very clearly caused directly by her parenting of him, and indirectly by her unrelenting campaign to keep his loving father out of his life. She tells everyone--from the court, to her friends and family, to doctors, teachers, day care providers, literally everyone she meets--that their child's problems are all because of his father. Obviously, she never takes even a shred of responsibility for her own contributions to the problems.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CorningNY, I hope this situation improves, especially for the child's sake.

      Delete
  24. Actually both my mum and aunt are malignant narcissists. Both have only daughters and have eternally competed against each other using their daughters. Both were actually unfit to be mothers because they each of them have such a lot of issues. It is interesting how the daughters (me and my cousin) have become high achievers in our own right but it is never enough for our mother's who must always find fault in one way or another. Still I see that as their problem and have washed my hands of all their issues, they are not my issues. They are incapable of appreciating other human beings for themselves, but always desire that their nearest and dearest should be somebody else, this is of course an illusion but like I say it is their problem and ultimately they lose out as they lose the opportunity to form a wonderful relationship with that person. It is ultimately they who will suffer much more from lack of love than the "scapegoat"(I don't like using that term) because the "scapegoat" ultimately becomes hard and tough and can take care of itself, it doesn't necessarily need "love" to function.
    It is so funny how narcissists absolutely abhor the truth. I have said a few things recently to test how various people REALLY feel towards me and the results have been interesting and guilted some of the pretenders into revealing quite extraordinary behaviour. My mother's behaviour was no surprise at all since she is a textbook narcissist and I do not use that term lightly.To give an idea of what I did, I basically dropped into conversation that I was not interested in bitching, other people's rubbish, people pretending to be my friend, etc. I openly said: I'm not into that, and the (embarrassed) response from people I have said that to has been withdrawal.
    I just smile, go on my way and do whatever I have to do for others well, with a businesslike manner, and am personable, but not falling over myself too much with them.
    As far as I am concerned the malignant family members will all die pretty soon anyway as they are at that age. I feel that I am in a better position than my mother as I am still fairly young, strong, and in a productive phase of my life.
    Often people, not just family members, are jealous of people who work hard on themselves and at doing what they do, but all I can say is, just keep going. If you keep going for long enough and don't invest energies into these other people, don't have time for them in other words, you will ultimately do well and they will still be seething in their own morass.
    I do feel a bit sorry for my cousin because my aunt was adamant she was going to become a doctor and woe betide if she didn't. So this girl became a doctor. My mother tried to dictate my career but suffice to say although I took a degree in that particular subject and have had remuneration from related areas of work, I have never got any work in that area. She also destroyed my dad's career by making him do a job for which he was unsuited, and then had the audacity to complain about it. She had never worked!!!!!! This is why I flat out refuse to bend to her will at the age of 40. It's my life not hers and whilst I am perfectly polite to her I very obviously am totally defiant in my actions, as if to say, what are you going to do about it?? I have to be that way, it is the only way to make headway and the only way to protect oneself, that goes for others in my life too, it is the only way to take back one's power, otherwise they just would walk all over one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous, I love it!! I love the way you handled the pretenders. I once thought some of my extended family was completely blind and ignorant, then I discovered they are intentional pretenders. They know damn well what they are doing and have done. Thanks for sharing what is working for you. I wish you well on your healing journey. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

      Delete
  25. This is EXACTLY what is happening to me! I'm 22, adopted & found my biological family about 4 years ago. It's been complete hell and back, I cant even begin to tell you. Every. little. thing. that. goes. wrong. in. this. family.! is all MY fault somehow! My bio grandmother, is the nastiest person you will ever know-and all my brothers and sisters, 13 of them, are right by her side! They say I belong in an institution, that I'm mentally Ill, they accuse me of stuff that THEY do! I could go on and on but if your reading this, you already know. I cant even begin to tell you how freaking sick and digusting and screwed up in the head my biological family are. Thank GOD! I broke free. Blood doesn't make a family, LOVE does and I have SO MUCH LOVE! where I'm at and who is actually in my life. Thank God for that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. flordiachick3333, I hope you are protecting yourself keeping the good ones in your life and the scapegoating ones out! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences.

      Delete
  26. You pegged my NM. She played martyr to the hilt. She was so fake, so cruel, shamed me at every turn. She beat me when I broke my arm and told me I embarrassed her in front of the neighbors and would not take me to the doctor. I cried in pain all afternoon when my father finally took me. The next day I had my tonsils out and nearly bled to death. I was hemorrhaging out of my mouth and nose, ten years old and alone and all my thoughts were about how much trouble I was in for making a mess, trying to clean up the endless flow of blood, not being able to breathe because my nose and mouth were pouring blood. Had my father not come back into the room, I definitely would have died. I'm quite sure my mother was upset because I didn't die.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous, I am sorry for the pain you have endured at the hands of your mother.

      Delete
  27. This seems to make sense to me. It wasn't until my early 20s that I became aware of being scapegoated by my parents and 10 siblings. It wasn't until recently that I began researching reasons for scapegoating. The research says that it is common in families with alcoholism and incest. I began keeping text message conversations with family members. Anytime that I bring up the past, the family members get extremely defensive and tell me that I am delusional and need to move on...but the texts also reveal that my sister was sexually abused by my brother in law at an early age. This is something that I didn't know. This is just an example. It was a wild, party animal family and I wasn't. Now, they see ramifications but don't like anyone pointing them out. Instead, I am silenced and even blamed for bringing it up. I guess in there mind, if no one mentions it then it never happened. The person bringing it up must be delusional and silenced.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous, in my own experience of childhood sexual abuse therapy I caught the most grief from my mother and grandmother. It was all the typical...shrinks are for crazy people, don't air our dirty laundry, etc. Then my fabulous therapist told me sexual abuse can often be traced back in an extended family as far as the eye can see. So when one gets therapy, in my case the first one ever in the family, that can bring the fury of hell down on you...as it did me at the time. You may be threatening a lot more skeletons in the closet than you realize. Since that time sexual abuse has been revealed in various parts of the extended family. If even a non-narcissistic mother did not deal with her own abuse for example, she is certainly not going to able to help her child deal with their abuse. On the contrary, with me it actually caused the two of them to target me. The other side of that, which my therapist was also right about, was that most mothers know their children are being sexually abused. That turned out to be the case with my mother and my childhood sexual abuse. That was my experience, I hope it helps.

      Delete
  28. This is all very familiar. My parents enabled each other to abuse me, she enabling him to use me as a sex slave for years, he enabling her NPD in pretending that I was mentally ill to report the abuse, so that she could feign concern and flatter herself that she was a loving mother. At the same she 'had to' kick me out of the house for being disruptive, and to make it even more disgusting, a gang of humbug 'mental health professionals' further enabled both of these people, and the police refused to take me seriously. Failure to report was a felony, with my younger sister in the house, at risk, fourteen years of age. All these people should have gone to jail - my father for life, with his accumulated crimes - and yet I was the scapegoat. So my heart goes out to you as another unloved child who was tortured and whose life was ruined.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shelagh, that is pretty close to my childhood experience so I can definitely feel your pain. However, I thank God for my sexual abuse therapist I had in my early 20's. She undoubtedly saved my life. I also did not share your experience with the police, but it must have been very frustrating. It caused years of pain and suffering, but I have outlived them all and I don't consider my life ruined. I hope you have not given up on recovery either.

      Delete
  29. Thank you so much for this post. I have experienced depression and a dysfunctional life in my late teens and early 20s and few therapists were able to identify what was going on in my family of origin. Posts like this make me feel less alone and remind me to be strong when those abusers continue to tell me that its all in my head, that they're not abusing me that I'm just sick. So thank you so much

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you're not alone. thanks to this blog I am starting shed some Light on the truth. Families are highly emotional systems. Murray Bowen pointed this out years ago in his theories. Over generations patterns of behavior develop that are instinctual perhaps, but unhealthy and abusive to the system. I see now that I've become an adult scapegoat in my family system. the abusers continue to tell me that its all in my head" .this is textbook scapegoating.: denial- projection-blame. I can relate.

      Delete
    2. Meg, please join us on Facebook. I think you will find a lot of support and validation there. The link is in the right margin.

      Delete
  30. Thank you so much for this article, after years of looking in other directions for "psychological" answers I have finally been able to seek answers and understand the abuse I endured. This was a real "ah hah" article for me, I just read it 3 times!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Era, I don't know about you, but I love those "ah hah" moments of recovery. Thank you for taking the time to let me know. I wish you well on your healing journey.

      Delete
  31. I don't remember how, but a few years ago (thank God; sadly, I'm in my forties and lost a lot of my life), I finally figured out what was wrong with me and why I struggle so much in all relationships. I was scapegoated by my family--maybe subtly, and not physically abused, but it was plenty damaging to my mental health. My mother does not seem to fit many of the criteria for narcissism, so I couldn't figure out how she could have needed a scapegoat. When I read the section on Christian mothers, I couldn't believe my eyes. That is my mother to a "T." Thank you for supplying this additional piece of the puzzle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous, the subtle abuse is so much more difficult for most of us to recognize. The presence of the scapegoat role signals someone is chronically refusing to take responsibility for their own actions, etc. So there are many other situations in which there are scapegoats in a family. I wish you well on your healing journey and I thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences.

      Delete
  32. Thanks for this article, Gail. I found it to be most helpful. My mother is an alcoholic, my father is an enabler, my sister is the Golden Child, and my brother is just lost. My mother is the main narcissist but my father is as well. They have been abusive my whole life, but now I've decided to limit contact because I'm past being sad - I'm just more no nonsense about it. I want a better life for my two small children, and to be a good parent, I need to try to be happy. I've been happier without them, but have told them that they can talk to/see the kids whenever - I just don't want to personally engage with them. They haven't bothered contacting my children, and have instead adopted a victim role - I'm "preventing them from feeling comfortable enough to call here and talk to their grandchildren." It never ends, but the only real audience is the "flying monkeys" as you put it. The message is always clear - their feelings matter more than mine, more than even my children's. If that's not narcissism, I don't know what is.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Sadly, at the age of 51 I am just coming to the realization that my mother had NPD. What a mess she made of her family. My only sister is her mini me who continues on this path of destruction. I cannot believe I did not see this. All this time I thought there was something wrong with me.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Gail, after 50 years of abuse by my mother, at 67 I am finally aware that what happened to me at her hands was not my fault. Narcissists, and especially Malignant Narcissists just love to show their sadistic side...and it usually becomes the technique of choice for them. It works, gives them 'power' and pleasure so it becomes entrenched. At 94, my mother is only worse, and there is NO WAY that they become 'normal'.
    However, I did go No Contact 4 years ago, and in that time, I published 4 books with fifth coming this next spring and for the first time in my life...I feel 'whole' and at peace. And the creativity that was so denied (by both her and myself and the flying monkeys of my siblings) for decades has come flooding back. After 8 years of therapy with an older Bavarian woman who became a wonderful and supportive 'mother figure' I have finally felt that 'mother love' that I was denied....actually, it was impossible because of her pathologies. Narcissists know nothing about love.
    I was also at risk of becoming something of an abuser to my only son, and it almost destroyed our relationship. But realizing that I was patterning my maternal behavior after only what I knew from my own experience with 'the mother'....I was able to pull out of this abusive behavior. It has taken a while to reclaim our relationship, but he is marvelously understanding, knowing how abusive she remains.
    Two years ago after publishing my 3rd book, I received the last letter from her: "I can never be truly proud of you because you didn't allow me (her) into your artistry."

    I have to laugh: this is the leitmotiv of a true narcissist! They MUST see and claim themselves in others work or they dismiss it. But had I allowed her in my 'artistry' as she calls it, there would BE no books, no paintings, no me. Narcissists of on this end of the spectrum eat up and discard constantly.

    Finally, after attempting to learn the ins and outs of narcissism and pathological disorders for 10 years, I have been able to put this whole toxic family behind me and go on. My husband, child and others, especially myself, deserve the distance from this dysfunctional family.

    Jane

    ReplyDelete
  35. To think that I have spent all of my life on this issue is so sad. I am 52 years old now, my NPD mother is near 80. I had all my family here at my house for Christmas last year (a reunion after a decade). My stepfather was getting sick but afraid to tell my NPD mother because she gets angry at him, they came anyway. In front of all of us, she raged at him for cancelling an event to see other relatives. He was just too sick to go. Two weeks later he died in the hospital. They never made it home. Well, needless to say, two months after the memorial service, this whole thing has turned on me. I helped my mother settle back in...went down to see her a couple of times to help. While I was there I noted the favoritism with my brother; I had to put up a physical boundary when she grabbed my bottom, then tested me again. She told me that she had taken me out of her will; at another time she asked me, "When did you fall in love with (her husband's name)? I started to back off a little when I got home and when I did not call for a couple of days, she called me and raged..."my life is over; don't be surprised if (the neighbor) calls and there has been a suicide next door." (She has said that she might die since I was a child) I said nothing and hung up the phone. You guessed it, the circulating story is reversed. Obviously, I am traumatized but with friends who know me and this history, I have great support. I had been in therapy working on issues with my mother a number of years ago. I was unsure if she was NPD. I now have my answer. I am in NC.

    ReplyDelete
  36. It is heartbreaking to see how N are treating ppl and how Your stepfather suffered from her abuse and afterwards died on a hospital after te NPD M`s behaviour against him. NPD mother are 81 and after I started examine myself on narcissim you look into something who gets more ugly and far more worse than you even imagined N also tends to say inappopriate things to their children, like when yr M did (and my M did also, like thye are children) but she told me as a SG more than to some of my siblings. My heart pounds out to my own father who I now realize was a victim od N abuse. He played the macho role for so long and it is heartbreaking to realize I was involved in this Family dynamic. Tomorrow is 16 yrs since he commited suicide It was a crucial moment to me according to me visiting my M, but it was only a slow start. Something changed and the illusional cozy feeling you had before on some of the Family to her never returned. The irony is that when my father lived though he was divorced from my M since 1973 he always encouraged me to stay in contact with her, which surprised me a bit. It could be that he was an enabler while his behaviour was loud and my M more silent ( though she is not, just acting) you always got the impression on something that was more opposite, She could hide behind his acting out behaviours, and he got the blame and also took it on himself, like a voluntarily scapegoat. N are mean and have no sense of moral and dignity while they sometimes are acting like holier than the holiest on others account. By grabbing Your bottom in an inappropriate way, it`s like an sexual assault, and it reminds me how my M made slicky touching to my pregnant tummy many years ago, and when I think about it, it was like a curse on my unborn son. I went to the hosital with my M where she trapped me into a situation just as an attempt to hurt me by favourism my NPD sister,, who played a long with her! They have been on me with attempts in triangulation which failed by calling my X husband. She made that Call behind my back and AFTER that failed , she wrote me a letter I never opened and returned. Then approximately at the time when the flying monkey N S thought I`ve read it she sent a delusional mail to me. It was an attack and all attacks from a N are painfull but was a desperate one. By this you see how crucial it is to keep staying NO contact and It is Nice to read you have friends and receive theraphy. I have recieved lights of encouragements when I least have started on a road where light and love are instead of stumbling in the darkness. It is no other way than to stay NC.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Dear Ladynyo
    I am so proud of you. Writing is probably the best catharsis for having been damaged. It is hard to believe that narcissism exists to the degree that it does...in our own parents!
    My mother was diagnosed with NPD years ago. She is now deceased. In ways, she was not as awful as your mother...but she was uncaring (even said she did not care). We were an obvious burden to her life. She lied about her inner need for adventure, but it came out in therapy.
    The last thing she should have been was a mother. She should have been an archeologist or physician. She hated her children. Yes, you read that right. We got in her way.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hi, I just want to thank you so much for opening up so much understanding about this condition. Its very lonely not knowing, it's very lonely anyway as nobody seems to understand what it really is to be emotionally hunted, used and humiliated by your own mother; well adopted mother.
    When she was dying of lung cancer I so wanted to be near her. She had caused so much pain in my life and had been on a major campaign of devious lies to ruin relationships with people I dearly loved. I wouldn't say anything against her and so she wiped the floor with me. During her death I almost commited suicide as they formed a protective ring around her and many would not speak to me or even tell me how she was. I paced and cried not knowing if she were in pain, my only connection was my brother who gradually became more understanding of my situation and we began to grow close again like we used to be. Then the day arrived when I got a call from him, not only to tell me she had died but that she had been dead a over a week and that he had just left the funeral. This was her request, that know one was to tell me. I felt like I had just been in an emotional car wreak, I was glancing inside myself in numb shock trying to assess the damage. How badly hurt was I? would I ever be ok?
    I've had horrible moments when I feel I am going to have a complete brake down. I have felt like I have been broken and I am out there amongst "normal" people trying to hold all the pieces of my self together to fool them into thinking I'm ok but I'm not. My brother did the gas lighting thing you explained after that. He rang up out of the blue and shouted at me down the phone for no reason, then claimed I was rude back to him and for this reason refuses to speak to me anymore. That was a year and a half ago. My Mums Mum died last October and certain members of the family ignored me completely during the funeral. I was the only one in the family not left anything in her will as my mother had conviced her that I was a thief.
    I have to stay strong for my children but it is so hard, and gradually I am cutting friends out of my life and don't know why. I don't believe in God and would only feel alienated in that world, I believe in my children and have to somehow start believing in myself again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so sorry for your pain. Thank you for sharing some of your story with us. Please reach out for help if you need it. You can find some resources, validation and many other survivors if you would like to join us on FB. The link is in the right margin.

      Delete
  39. I so feel and understand your pain, Anonymous. My NM passed away almost 3 months ago and I had NC with her for the last 2 years. I was her only child. I was not allowed to help with any of the funeral arrangments and was almost forbidden to come. I did go, but I was shunned by many of the people there. I and my 3 sons were left out of any memorial pictures at the funeral. It was so hurtful. Of course, we were left out of her will too. I had to get a therapist as it was just too complex an issue for anyone to understand. I know exactly how you feel out in public and telling people your mother has died is the worst. Find a therapist who specializes in Narcissism, get out and exercise once the anger arrises and deal with these emotions and just get it out. You get to live now a totally free life of her and the misery. You are in charge and you are all the wiser now. Good luck and take good care of yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Wow,..I have just read this entire thread of horrific family experiences with N parents. My heart goes out to every single one of you in the unbelievable pain and trauma having to be endured.I am dealing with the final end of my step siblings relationship..2 step sisters one step brother. I have been estranged from them off and on most of my life they live in the same area but I was 1600 miles away THANK GOD. Our mother was married 7 times we all had different fathers only two of the four of us get along due to feeding off of each others dysfunction and co dependency otherwise they would not even get along. I wondered why my entire life I always tried to reach back and retry every single time to have some kind of a relationship with them only to realize I was too healthy after getting therapy as I had set my boundaries with them upon recontact my experiences with them turned in to horrible emotionally damaging moments that I wish never to repeat and finally mustered the strength within myself to completely severe all ties with all three of them for my own sanity and life I have left to be enjoyable and peaceful.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Horrific is the word, Anonymous. Unlike you, I am the result of 'parents who stayed together' but I wish never even met each other. The character of George Costanza said that on one episode...'the result of parents who stayed together...' and I so relate to George on certain levels.

    People who never experienced extremely narcissistic parents don't understand what we go through. If we work among other healthier adults we stick out like sore thumbs. And get bullied and ostrasized. The pain goes on for the rest of our lives. It is a no-win situation.

    Look at Tsaranov....they are pleading that people consider his upbringing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gail, I love your blog. This is the second time I have read in the comments section that they are bullied at work and that everyone just seems to know to pick on them. This person says that we stick out like sore thumbs. Gail, I am desperate to hold a job. What are they seeing that lets them know to pick on us? Thanks so much for your blog sister, it is a lifeline from heaven.

      Delete
  42. My father died two weeks ago. He was an alcoholic and mentally abusive to me and to my younger brother when we were teenagers and to me through my adult years. My father died of cancer, and he drank right up until his diagnosis.

    I have gotten a lot of negative correspondence from family members within the last six months because of conflict within my family (I went limited contact with my Dad, and we barely had a relationship for 16 years, and I also went no contact last year with my mother, who I believe is NPD). I’ve been told everything from “you aren’t a real Christian because you don't honor your father and mother” to “you are selfish and don’t deserve a baby of your own (because I can't have children)” to even “you are insane and need medication” by other family members. Now that Dad is gone I’ve been entirely blamed for the lack of a healthy relationship he and I had.

    I know many people don’t understand why I wasn’t around all these years, why I wasn’t at his side when he died and why I was absent from his memorial. My brother told me he resents me for not being around. I tried with Dad for many years. I tried to tell him he was an alcoholic and his lifestyle was not only hurting himself but also others. I received cruel and violent responses every time. I tried writing to him last year because I’d heard he was confused about why I wasn’t around. I tried to explain I couldn’t be around him because of how much he drank, and that when he drank he was abusive. I also wrote to him that I held no grudges, that I had forgiven him for the past and that I hoped he and my stepmother were happy and had a wonderful life together. My dad took it all the wrong way (that I was being mean), and he and my stepmother spread around the family what an awful person I was. I had minimal contact with him because being around him was so uncomfortable and awkward (because he was constantly drinking), and I didn’t want to have hard feelings towards him or hold any resentment. I walked away from him so I wouldn’t feel those things. I stayed away because I didn’t want any more conflict.

    About a week before he was diagnosed (which was right before Christmas) I got some awful things sent to me from my stepmother (and from Dad) in the mail. My brother told me I deserved them because of how I had treated Dad. My husband confronted Dad on the phone, after Dad had called him cussing him out. After that I decided to go no contact.

    I have also gone no contact with my mother. My relationship with Mom has always been severely one-sided (me always helping her, even when I came to her needing help when I was really hurting), and I got tired of being put down by her. I know a lot people don’t understand why I did this. I hated to end it, but it wasn’t a healthy relationship either. I’m not angry with her, nor do I resent her. I just can’t be around her anymore.

    My brother and I have not been on the best terms either because of things with Dad and because I went no contact with Mom. He had called and told me before Christmas not to contact him until I learned how to treat family and hung up on me. He called back later and apologized.

    I felt terrible when I found out Dad was sick, but because of what happened before I didn’t call him. I didn’t know what state of mind Dad was in, and I didn’t want any more fighting. I guess I’ve always been afraid of him. I just didn't have any warm feelings towards Dad anymore like a daughter would. I was never a daughter to him.

    ReplyDelete
  43. part 2

    My brother didn’t call me for months during Dad’s illness, and I didn’t call him either. I thought things were OK between us, and I didn’t know my brother had been needing to talk to me. At the end of April my brother's wife contacted me, telling me Dad’s condition was really bad (I had kept up with her some through text). I tried to reach my brother and he wouldn’t take my calls. Finally he called me back and told me I was a disgusting human being and that he hated me because I hadn’t been there for him (later he told me he purposely never called me to test me and see if I would call him and said the cruel things he did to hurt me on purpose). He also told me Dad refused to call me and talk to me but that I had to go to him because “it’s MY cancer.”

    I had gone back and forth about calling and seeing Dad, but because of that comment I didn’t go. I was scared to go because I had no idea what he might say or if he would chew me out again. I also didn’t go because now both my stepmother and brother despised me. I was concerned it would be a hostile situation. It’s the same reason I didn’t go to the funeral.

    And then Dad died. I found out through the death notice in the newspaper.

    I was told I wasn’t notified because I didn’t deserve a phone call. I guess not. I wasn’t part of the family for many years.

    When I attempted to explain to other family why I have stayed away I was told I was insane.

    During the last six months I have questioned everything about myself, and my stepmother accused me of awful things and said that everyone in the family agrees they are true. I wondered if they were true, even though my family (my husband and stepdaughter) and my close friends have assured me they are not. Part of me believed my stepmother's claims, brother's claims and claims from other family that I really am the selfish person they all say I am.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Narcissistic people generally have two sides. One acts honorable, sweet, nice, kind, the other well you know. Why is it I don't hear of the other side to the N mother? Mine was amazing, and at the same time sabotaging my life. This is so confusing. Mine also admitted, and apologized, shed a tear for a half a second.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thank you. Very familiar to me. I was the scapegoat. My mother was the narcissist and my father her enabler, and his motive for enabling was that my mother earned a big salary while he stayed home and sexually molested me. That was my home life growing up - being my father's sex slave. He was so calculating that he left my sisters alone so that no one would support my testimony. He was not driven - he just knew he had a good thing going. When I reported my father's crimes, my mother assumed the role of the wronged but forgiving parent of a slanderous mentally ill child. Now that's gaslighting for you. She dropped little hints about my alleged mental illness and my father took advantage of the cover. They trained my sisters to ridicule me as the 'crazy sister' and to transfer all their resentments at our mother's neglect upon me as the alleged source of all the family's problems.

    ReplyDelete
  46. My mother has some narcissistic traits as far as being extremely controlling and having to take credit for everything that's good but blaming for everything that's bad, but I doubt that she has complete NPD. Yet, I am the scapegoat; I think that I replaced my older sister as the scapegoat after she developed a mental illness and had to leave.

    My mother was extremely religious and while most of her beliefs are based upon the Bible, which is good, some of them are things that she has twisted to suit her goals. For instance, she prohibited all of the girls from ever dating, which is understandable in a bad neighborhood. However, she would say that when we were adults, we could get married and finally have sex. After we reached adulthood, then she said that marriage was bad and it was prohibited in the Book of Revelations. Finally, she prohibited us from ever having sex because she said that if we could live our entire lives as virgins, never having even kissed a man, we would probably be treated better in Heaven.

    I was in my mid-twenties by the time that the final prohibition of sex was issued and I was stunned! I had waited my whole life and never touched a man at all thinking that I would get married only for that to be prohibited when I became of age. Furthermore, we were to always tell her our every move outside of the house through texting or calling, etc. I was not allowed to even walk down the street from the house unless she was standing outside watching the entire time. Moving out later became prohibited, because we would "go to H***". At the end of all of this, one of my siblings rebelled terribly and was diagnosed clinically with a mental illness, two others left and are treated coldly and although it has not been diagnosed, I believe that they have a mental illness because they do very strange things. None of them have been able to have a normal romantic relationship.

    Lastly, there is one sister that is older than me remaining in the house and I am the youngest, now in my thirties. I began to think about how all of my siblings turned out. I moved out and face a lot of resistance and resentment from my mother and my older sister. Nonetheless, my sister is extremely dependent on my mother and she will not even go to work unless my mother tells her to go. She has really regressed because she used to have a little bit of an independent streak and now all of it is gone. At near 40, she has never ever gone on a date. She has let her near perfect figure go because she feels that she will never have a husband due to my mother's rules. However, she is too scared to move out.

    Also, my sister now lashes out at me because I actually do all of the things that were prohibited (within reason, not being sinful)... I watch my weight, eat more vegetables and water than meat (also was prohibited because "all of our women are fat in the family so no one can be different"), I have lost a lot of weight and I am in shape, I take care of my hair so it has grown a lot (conditioning hair every few days was prohibited), and being free of the stress has allowed me to be able to pursue my Ph.D. and work full-time. My sister now yells at me for every little thing and tries to make my mother mad at me every time that I visit by exaggerating or lying about me simply because she is not happy with her life but she is too stuck in a rut to change. If either of them knew that I'm about to get married, they would fall over!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hello Gail,
    I am the scapegoat daughter of a harridan from hell.I married a man just like her and now have a child just like her!My mother dominate my every waking moment in some way or the other.
    she is dying now, and I have been NC for the last 2 yrs.I have no wish to go see that gasbag , but she is getting desperate and keeps sending minions over to my house...will it get worse?.should I move?It will be very expensive for me but would it be worth it.At least I will be rid of one irritant.
    Thanks Gail

    ReplyDelete
  48. I am 36 years old and just now really putting a name to what I've been dealing with my whole life. Reading all of your stories is like reliving my 36 years again. I have a narcissistic mother & sister who love to "tag team" me. I've always been very forgiving and let things go. However this year my mother deliberately went after my 7 year old son. & in turn, his twin sister. At this time I've cut off all ties to them as the lies my mother has told my father about myself caused my him to physically attack me & my husband. I am glad I found this group & I'm hoping to learn more & heal.

    ReplyDelete