Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tactics of a Narcissistic Personality Disordered Mother

Photo used with written permission from Artist Sherit Ra via Deviant Art


© by Gail Meyers
This  insight into narcissistic personality disorder is offered from the perspective of more than 40 years as the daughter of a late narcissistic personality disordered mother, as well as years of recovery. Reading a list of diagnostic traits of narcissistic personality disorder may be a  helpful guide, but this is how some of those traits play out in everyday life.

Narcissistic personality disorder  is a serious condition that can be especially damaging to the children.  It is not just a shallow or self-centered person. It can take decades for the children of a narcissistic personality disordered mother to recognize what  the real issue is, many never do.
  
Gaslighting, forgive and forget, gossiping smear campaigns, and playing the victim while vilifying the true victim, are prevalent maneuvers of the narcissistic mother that will be discussed.   These tactics were nearly  always effective tools used to manipulate the "flying monkeys," too.   Flying monkeys is a term taken from The Wizard of Oz and used to describe the often times willfully ignorant, easily deceived or intentionally abusive friends and family the narcissistic personality disordered mother manipulates into also harming the true victim.  It is abuse by proxy that results from ignorance of the truth, lack of character to stand up for the truth or intentionally targeting a family member. Whether it is directly or indirectly,  physically or emotionally, etc., narcissists use flying monkeys to do  their dirty work.

Even though my narcissistic mother is  deceased, the flying monkeys continue to carry out her pretend world. They do not appreciate  when the scapegoat refuses to play along. However, the pretend world of  the narcissist, the rabbit hole, is intolerable. It is about like  standing on the lawn with someone who has their sunglasses on at high  noon on a sunny day. They not only insist it is dark outside and those are not sunglasses, but that you agree with them that it is dark outside and those are not sunglasses. If you refuse to play pretend or state the obvious,  then you are accused of being a troublemaker or crazy.  Now imagine growing up in the rabbit  hole as the narcissistic personality disordered mother's scapegoat.


Gaslighting definition by Dr. Martha Stout
Gaslighting definition by Dr. Martha Stout

What is Gaslighting? 


Gaslighting is a favorite for the narcissistic abusers. What is gaslighting? It is a little known, but insidious  form of abuse. The term was taken from the 1944 movie Gas Light, in which a psychopath intentionally tries to drive his wife  to insanity. Unbeknownst to his wife, he had previously murdered her  aunt, but did not get away with the jewels he wanted.  Years later he romances  the wife, they marry and he talks her into moving back into  the house where he knows the jewels are hidden, and immediately begins isolating her.

While searching  for the jewels in the attic, where he believes the jewels are hidden, he  uses a gas light. When he uses that gas light it causes the other gas  lights to dim. When his wife notices the dimming, he tells her she is  imagining things. He moves things and when she can not find them he  gives responses designed to cause her to doubt her perception of  reality. Then, if that was not enough, he gets the housemaid to join in.  So no one validates his wife's perceptions, which are 100% accurate by  the way. I do not want to ruin the movie for you, but you get the point. 

Gaslighting can take many forms, but can have the same result. It often causes the target to doubt their own sense of reality. It's what many abusers  do when they abuse you, then the next day deny it happened. This can  happen to the extent that we question our own perceptions and memories  on an increasingly grander scale.

It can become like wearing down a rock  over time, especially coupled with the exhaustion that often goes along  with dealing with a narcissist. It's psychological abuse. It can slowly  dismantle our self-confidence as we begin to question ourselves instead of the abuser. It is especially damaging in severely dysfunctional  families where the rest of the family pretends along with the abuser.  What is wrong with me? Am I losing my mind? Or, are you being abused  with an insidious form of abuse called gaslighting.

In the  movie, he intentionally moved her brooch then pretended he had not when  she was looking for it. We would likely say something like, "I could  swear I put that in my purse!" Soon you begin to doubt your memory. This is also a  variation of the gaslighting the Manson family used breaking  into a home, not stealing anything, just rearranging a few things enough  to cause distress. It is the intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Think about that for a minute. It would be  very upsetting to come home and find your home had been burglarized, but  you could at least tell yourself they were thieves looking for  fast cash. You come home to find your things moved around, but nothing  stolen, there are only a couple of possible conclusions.

You can  not comfort yourself with the idea that perhaps it was just a petty  thief who violated your home because nothing is actually missing.  Your personal belongings have just been moved. Do you doubt your own  recollection of how you left things? Do you conclude it is  something more sinister and directed personally at you, than thieves just wanting fast cash? It would be very  disturbing. In dealing with a gaslighting narcissist, just realizing what is going on, that it is not you and being able to put a name on it can  help you keep your sanity!


Narcissistic Mother's Forgive and Forget Trap quote by Gail Meyer
Narcissistic Mother's Forgive and Forget Video


The Narcissist's Forgive and Forget

In my experience some sick people love to try to beat you half to  death with the Bible. Of course, it's usually some biblical text taken  out of context being used as a pretext. That's what cults do and in my  opinion a family led by a narcissistic personality disordered parent is a little cult  family. So, I guess it should not be any big surprise. Forgive and  forget must be one of the all time favorites for abusive family members  and those who enable them, so I would like to address it.

I  think the Bible is pretty clear that God wants us to forgive, but that does not  necessarily mean what you may have been taught. It can easily become  the "forgive and forget" that has been handed down in my family for  generations, but only to certain members, of course. You are required to  "forgive and forget," period.

This is  usually followed by the implication or suggestion that you return for  more abuse in order to "prove" you "forgive and forget." Otherwise, YOU  are the one accused of being "mean," "unforgiving," or  "unChristian-like" by the narcissist and her flying monkeys. Abusers of  all kinds, as well as those who enable them, would love for you to  believe this is what forgiveness means. Among other things, this confuses the fundamental difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. Forgiveness takes one, you. Reconciliation takes two.

Of  course, the narcissist never forgives the slightest  infraction - be it real, imagined or completely fabricated. No, "forgive  and forget" is for the victim. If you hurt her feelings or even if she  hurt your feelings viciously, but told everyone you attacked her, she  has what any normal person would believe to be a long forgotten small  disagreement filed away just waiting for an opportunity to use it  against you. Bet on it, even if it happened when you were 12 and you are  now 50. She has either actively sought revenge or it is seething just  under the surface waiting for the right opportunity. God forbid there  was anything more substantial.

"Forget" does nothing but play  into the denial and the rest of the pretend world of the manipulative  narcissist. Abusers often gaslight, (see Gaslighting)  and those who do especially like to reinforce this belief because it fits right in with them pretending the abuse did not happen. There is no  mention of repentance on the narcissist's part, but the focus is on your  requirement to "forgive and forget." This is a deadly trap in my opinion and one my narcissistic mother had me in for several years as a very young adult. Besides  allowing abuse God never intended for us to endure, it can also lead to  enormous anger toward God.

"Forgive as the Lord forgave you." (Col. 3:13) How did the Lord forgive you? Did He just "forgive and  forget" your sin as you refused to repent or even acknowledge it as abusers often do?  No, you confessed your sins to Him, acknowledged your  sin, repented and He forgave you. God does not forgive a person denying  they have done wrong and continuing in their sin.

In  Luke 17:3 it says, "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he  repents, forgive him." This is to honestly, frankly, politely speak as you  tell a person how you feel that he has wronged you. It does not say a  thing about stuffing your normal human response of anger, pretending you  forgave, "forgetting" and returning for more abuse.

"If your brother sins against you, go and show him  his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have  won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others  along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two  or three witnesses. If he refused to listen to them, tell it to the  church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you  would a tax collector." (Matt. 18:15-17) (Tax collectors were hated and  ostracized because they had turned against their own people to collect  the taxes.

Secondly, they were despised because they were allowed to add  their own "fees" to the amount collected, but many would demand a much  greater amount. So they were considered traitors and thieves.) That  certainly does not sound like the "forgive and forget" I was raised to  believe God required! It's actually the "forgive and forget" abusers and  their enablers promote to knowingly or unknowingly perpetuate the cycle  of abuse.

While this is an instruction addressing an issue between two believers, even then you are not required to "forgive and  forget" ongoing abuse if you are a Christian or go back for more. Forgiveness without repentance can be dangerous.  God  does not want us to continue to be abused! 

"Forgive and forget" also  removes an opportunity for the abuser to be confronted with their  actions and repent.  Of course, that will never happen with a true  narcissist! Some people never repent, nor are they  truly remorseful. However, there are actually certain types of people the Bible  tells us to avoid altogether, which includes a narcissist who masquerades as a "selfless saint." 

On  a related note, it can be difficult to grasp that someone in your life  is this far gone, let alone the fact that someone is your parent. For  years I told myself, "All things are possible with God!" Well, all things  are possible with God, but God gave us free will. She did not want to  change. It worked for her and it worked well. 

She paraded as a  "martyred, selfless saint," and was terminally ill for two years prior  to her death. Even as her professed beliefs told her she was getting  ready to meet her Maker, there was no making amends. There was no  confession of the truth, remorse or apology for the lifetime of  jealous fits, abuse, gaslighting, slander, smear campaigns, broken relationships, damaged reputation, etc.  There were more accusations, lies and manipulation resulting in a dog  pile by the flying monkeys as the puppet master's final carefully  orchestrated earthly gesture before stepping into eternity.  

Do not  make the mistake of believing there is empathy or remorse in there  somewhere, there is not. See the following on my lessons learned if you  are waiting for an apology or dealing with a terminally ill narcissistic  personality disordered parent:

The Dangers of Expecting a Death-Bed Apology from Your Narcissistic Personality Disordered Mother

The Terminal Illness and Death of a Narcissistic Personality Disordered Mother

If there happens to be some expression presented as an apology to someone, listen to it carefully. Listen for a subtle shifting of blame away from the narcissist, which I  like to call a "non-apology." It will never happen spontaneously as you  or I would apologize to someone because we are truly sorry. For  example, you accidentally step on someone's foot and almost as a reflex  you apologize. It is never like that with a narcissist because not only  are they not sorry, but they have been plotting, seething and scheming  to do whatever they did. They are also seething that anyone could think  they did anything deserving of an apology.  

If it gives the  appearance of an apology, there is an ulterior motive in there if you  look for it. For example, the narcissist gives the "apology" not for the  benefit of the person on the receiving end, but for the benefit of an  audience who happens to be the narcissistic supply and flying monkeys.  Again, they are not truly sorry, but if they do not pretend to be it  could cost them in the eyes of their all important narcissistic supply  and flying monkeys.


Do you "forgive and forget?" Poll
12% Yes, I forgive and go back for more
31% Yes, I forgive but then I protect myself next time
29% No, I forgive but I never forget.
29% No, I do not forgive or forget
370 people have voted in this poll.  Poll closed.



The Narcissistic Mother's Smear Campaigns

Ideally, if someone has a problem with another person, they go  directly to that person to discuss it. However, that's just often not  the case in a dysfunctional family. Some people do this without bad  intentions because they have not recognized the habit or if they believe  the person will become angry or violent if they communicate directly.  However, this can be a favorite of manipulative narcissistic mother that can get  you in deep before you even realize what is happening.

Let's use  Daughter, Mother and Aunt as an example. Daughter has done something  Mother does not like, but instead of going to Daughter about it, Mother  tells Aunt about it. Aunt listens to the gossip, then involves herself  in the situation, creating the triangulation. The Mother's intentions  may or may not be bad. It could be an old habit and she may not realize  the damage she is doing unless it is pointed out to her. Daughter then  does not have the opportunity to address the issue with Mother, as well  as potentially having her reputation harmed with Aunt.


The Narcissist Plays the Innocent Victim While Vilifying the True Victims 

On the  other hand, Narcissistic Mother does this with evil intent and  it goes something like this. Narcissistic Mother just verbally  assaulted Daughter because Daughter confronted Narcissistic Mother about her  lying about Daughter. However, when Narcissistic Mother calls Aunt, she  tells Aunt that Daughter just verbally assaulted her because she confronted Daughter about her  lying (notice the flip, the projection of the bad behavior onto the  true victim).

Tactics of a Narcissistic Mother Accusations Quote by Gail Meyers

It appears to strip Narcissistic Mother of her wrong and true victim  Daughter of her virtue, killing two birds with one stone. Narcissistic personality disordered Mother then appears innocent of the abuse, damages Daughter's reputation with  Aunt and an alliance is formed against the true victim. Aunt may very well believe she is doing the right thing and standing up for the  innocent person even though she may be unknowingly being deceived, used and manipulated. 

However, there are also family members who are willfully  ignorant along the lines of being silent partners. Aunt becomes Narcissistic  Mother's flying monkey to do her dirty work and heap more abuse on  Daughter for daring to confront Narcissistic Mother about her lying. If you  choose to confront a narcissist, be prepared for the rage and  revenge.

Narcissistic Mother Playing Concerned Parent While Destroying Relationships

The gossip may also be thinly veiled as fake "concern"  for Daughter, whom the Narcissistic Mother just attacked after  Daughter confronted Mother about her lying. In this scenario, the Narcissistic Mother may lie by saying something (usually  dripping with martyrdom), followed by fake concern. "I tried to be a  good mother, but I am so worried about her irrational emotional state."

To  the undiscerning, this sounds like a caring mother expressing concern  about her daughter. It is gossip just the same, directed toward casting  doubt on Daughter's stability. If we stand back and look at it, it is  classic narcissistic behavior. The Narcissistic Mother held herself out as the innocent victim who must endure this  irrational child (who is not being irrational at all, but responding  normally to the verbal attack and abuse) and tarnished the reputation of  true victim Daughter in the mind of Flying Monkey Aunt.

Narcissistic Mother has also "explained" any upset Daughter might  display, so that Aunt will automatically attribute it to "irrational  behavior" should she see Daughter. If Aunt is a well trained Flying  Monkey Aunt, she will often turn around and give true victim Daughter a  talk about treating her mother better! (Remember, the reality of what actually happened was Daughter confronted NPD Mother about lying about  her in the first place!)

Flying Monkey with Narcissistic Mother Recruiting Flying Monkeys by Playing the Victim Quote by Gail Meyers
Do Not Become a Narcissist's Flying Monkey Video

Do not underestimate the cumulative  damage this can cause to your reputation and other relationships when a slanderous narcissistic mother repeats this stunt over a span of years. A lying, manipulative narcissist can completely destroy your relationships before  you even realize what is going on.

Tactics of a Narcissistic Mother Divide and Conquer Quote by Gail Meyers

Narcissistic Mother May Lie to Both Parties During Triangulation

Another version of this scenario often used by a narcissistic mother  is to lie to BOTH parties about the other one. They use this to divide  and conquer, even, or perhaps especially, among their own children. So  they lie to Daughter about Son, then to Son about Daughter. If Daughter  and Son are not wise to the tactics of Narcissistic Mother, they  will each be angry with or dislike the other based on the lie. When Narcissistic Mother does this for months, years or decades it can end up severing the relationship between Daughter and Son.

This is  exactly what Narcissistic Mother wants. She wants to be the hub  in the middle, the one each child goes to and she certainly does not want them comparing notes.  This also allows her to further punish a scapegoat child by manipulating and deceiving the other child or  children. Remember dysfunctional families have scapegoats, but a  scapegoat is not required unless someone is chronically refusing to take  responsibility for their behavior as narcissists are notoriously known for doing.

In my experience as the oldest of  five children, with the two oldest children being wise to the tactics to  some degree, a narcissistic mother will go to extraordinary  lengths to divide the knowing from the deceived children. Make no  mistake about it, all of the children are being used and manipulated.

While it may appear the narcissistic personality disordered mother loves one child more than the other, in reality it is just that in their current deceived state they are more useful to the narcissist. A narcissist greatly fears being exposed for one  thing and the deceived children serve as narcissistic supply as well as  flying monkeys - as long as they are deceived, easily manipulated or  willing to continue playing the narcissist's let's pretend games.

In  my experience, the narcissist was a prolific gossip (spending 8, 10, 12, 14 hours a day on the telephone gossiping), who  triangulated to divide and conquer, manipulate and punish. Watch your  back! The same narcissist who tries to guilt trip you to death  with twisted Scripture will completely overlook what the Good Book has to say about gossip!


Healing from a Narcissistic Personality Disordered Mother
After all of the hurt, anger, pain, frustration, trying, forgiving,  trying again, praying, walking away and going back, it did not change anything about my narcissistic mother. It cost me time, money, enormous energy, broken  relationships, trauma, devastation, anger, and nearly my life. She was  my mother and I loved her, but I can honestly say had I fully grasped  what the therapist was telling me decades ago - the true depth - I  would have walked away and never looked back.

No contact would have been the healthiest option for me by far.  Oh,  I did walk away, more than once, but I would have stayed far away and  never returned. I do not issue that opinion lightly. True narcissists do not change, they destroy other people, including their  own children. The biggest mistake you can make in my opinion is to  underestimate a narcissistic personality disordered individual.  

It  is important to me to be as transparent as I am able to be in my articles on this topic simply because I know there are many others out there who have dealt with or are dealing with the same situation. The simple fact  that you are not alone can aid the healing process.  I was in my 40's before I found so much as one other human being on the planet who had experienced my situation.  It was a very healing experience just to have  someone who truly understood because they have been there!

If this sounds like your mother or father, know you are not alone.  Healing is possible after a narcissist, even if the narcissist was or is your mother.  If you are on Facebook, there are narcissistic personality disordered mother pages and support groups specifically for daughters and sons of narcissistic mothers.   Narcissistic Abuse: Echo Recovery is a community page on Google+. It is intended to be a resource with a variety of articles by various authors.  Having  even this much support can make a difference.

Also, being around a narcissist was once explained to me in a way I think is good to keep in mind.  Allowing a narcissistic personality disordered or malignant narcissist to stay in your life is like being injected with a steady stream of venom, then wondering why you don't feel so good.  You  wonder because you might not be able to put your finger on exactly what  is wrong. It's not you. 

Get the viper out of your life, cut off the flow  of venom, find some healthy support and start the journey toward  healing and wholeness. Healing from a Narcissistic Mother provides some ideas and tips I have learned along the way.






Join me on The Scapegoats of a Narcissistic Mother.

*This article was previously published by Gail Meyers on October 15, 2011.

Prior to relocating it on this blog, the following comments were made:

 zionsphere  
Great article.  I  grew up with a mentally and physically ill NPD mother too. Then, as  victims often do, I entered into a 10 year marriage with an NPD man who  has more flying monkeys than all of the witches in Oz combined.  I am  still healing. Thank you for sharing you story. 

Gail Meyers  
zionsphere,   I think before we heal we are attracted to what "feels like home" even   when it was a dysfunctional home.  I'm sorry to hear you endured a   narcissistic personality disordered mother followed by a narcissist   mate, but I am very glad you are in the healing process.  Thank you for   reading and commenting.

Gail Meyers 
NancyJ left the following comment:  "Saoirse- often narcissists are mistakenly diagnosed as bipolar:"  She  then provided a live link to NBI's webpage and a scholarly manuscript  entitled, Commonalities and Differences in Characteristics of Persons at  Risk for Narcissism and Mania.  Thank you for reading and  commenting, NancyJ.  I was unable to approve your comment because it is  a violation of TOS to have links in the comments, but I  appreciate your input.

thewicked1 
I  feel for everyone of U lovely  ladies, cause this has been my life  experience as well. I am 60 yrs  old just now learning about this. I  call myself the wicked in  jest, because my soft; forgiving nature  kept me under the Evil Queen's  (my NPD mother) influence for years. It  has cost me both health and  peace of mind, and now the rest of my family  too. I am the eldest of 7;  Mom's best traditional scapegoat. I  now suffer from PTSD and major  depression. I finally "stepped away  detached" within the last year for  my own sanity & health. I'd  confronted Mom the year before when  I caught her slandering me. She  simply upped the ante & formed  a "brute squad" using my other siblings  to tag team punish me. She  hides behind her poor fragile little  old lady act; but she is a killer  of spirits. Because I had to detach  from her, my siblings retaliated:  "After all Mom's done for you!" "Deserting  her in her old age", etc.  The tantrums she threw when I wouldn't come  back for more resulted in  her having a minor stroke, which of course I  am being blamed for. But I  don't want to die of exposure to her the way  my Dad did at 54. I've  tried reasoning reconciling with all of  them (she has victimized them  too) but all they want to do is use me for  target practice and play  "emotional keep-away" as punishment. I feel  like the wolf who chewed  his own leg off to escape the jaws of the trap.  It hurts each and every  day, but I know I've done the right thing.  Don't doubt yourselves,  M'dears. It's how they keep you hooked in and  letting yourselves be  toyed with for their own malicious pleasure. We  all deserve better. It  really helps to know I'm not alone in this  experience. I have a button  which reads: "Stupidity is making the same  mistake over and over and  expecting different results." Hang tough, I'll do the same. May God be  with us All. XOXO

Gail Meyers 
thewicked1,  your situation sounds hauntingly familiar to me.  I am sorry for your  pain and your loss.  Just realize that you are not alone in that  struggle.  Thank you for reading and sharing your situation.

DougW 3 months ago   
Thank   you so much for the article.   My cousin just tried in a letter the  "Forgive and Forget" routine concerning my Mother.   The Triangulation  was so perfect that is sounded like my Mom had written the letter herself.  My Mother uses the word "Love" as a weapon.  If you look at   her actions there is absolutely nothing loving in anything she does   concerning me.  She also loves to play the victim saying she did the   best she could.  The whole thing makes me sick to my stomach.

Gail Meyers 
Doug, I unfortunately know the feeling of it making you sick to your stomach.  Thanks for reading and commenting.

LisaKoski 
Wow.  I read this just thinking it looked like a fascinating hub (which it certainly is), not expecting a near-accurate description of my mother  and twin sister. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who has to deal  with people with this disorder (although I did not actually realize  there was a term out there for the stuff those two have put me through).  Luckily, I have learned to deal with my mother but not my sister, who I  haven't talked to in about six months now (her choice, not mine.

I  have forgiven a lot and let many things go that I shouldn't have and  I've only learned in this past year to finally stand up for myself and  not just step aside and let them ruin my relationships and reputation.  What helped was having someone come into my life who saw my side and  reminded me that, no, I'm not as crazy as those two would have me  believe and I'm stronger than I think I am. It's hard for me to admit  that my mother and sister can be this way because I love them dearly but  they have done a lot of severe damage that I don't think they are  completely aware of it and makes it hard to keep them in my life.

Thanks for sharing. I look forward to reading more of your work!

Psalm91 
Gail,  thank you for sharing your insight and experience. It helps me so much  to see me in there and take this issue seriously (never underestimate  the N relatives). I can see God delivers me miraculously and I'm getting  healed from this thing called "love addiction": God help me!  I agree  with you 100% about the forgiving and forgetting conditions.  Anyways,  thank you again for our great work and support.

Gail Meyers 
Psalm91, thank you for your thoughtful response.  I am glad to hear you found the article helpful.

Saoirse 
My  mother is a malignant  narcissist.  She has been vaguely diagnosed with  bi-polar disorder (she  was never referred to a psychiatrist), and been  medicated with lithium  for over 10 years.  I didn't even realize she was  on any "mental  meds", I can't see any difference in her behavior from  20, 30 years ago  and now. She developed a condition years  ago that causes Parkinson's  like symptoms, and eventually dementia, she  entered the dementia phase  about 2 years ago.

I was  carer to my father  (congestive heart failure), and I was also caring for  my mother, since  he died I have continued to be her carer, while my  father was alive her   NPD behavior became increasingly worse and worse  (as my father's  condition deteriorated) , when he passed away her  personality  completely flipped and she became nice.

I  didn't know  what NPD was at the time, although I've always known there  is something  wrong with my mother.  Everyone seemed to think my mother  had been  stressed from caring for my father, and when he died she'd been   "freed".  But, wait, *I* was his carer, not her, she never lifted a   finger for him.  If he had one of his 'turns' in the night, she'd get   out of bed and scream at me to come and do something... she wouldn't   even call an ambulance!

Since I found out about NPD  I've  been trying to get my mother put in residential care, but no one  in the  'system' wants to listen to me.  I can't get away from her,  unless I  just up and leave.  In which case she will sit in the house  until she  dies.  She will not call anyone and tell them I've left,  she'll wait for  me to come back.  I don't doubt for a second I'd be  tracked down and  hauled up on manslaughter charges over it.

A  few months  ago I found an orphan kitten, I brought her in and took  care of her, but  she had heart and lung problems and died.  For the  first time in my  life I saw my mother cry(!) WTF she was upset about  this kitten dying?

I  told a  friend about the kitten and she said she had several strays  living in  her shed, and that I could have one of them.  She set about  "taming"  some of them for re-homing, and eventually had two that were  suitable,  but she didn't want to separate them, so I said I take both...  I  brought them home and showed them to NM, and she went berserk,  full-on N  Rage mode, yelling her head off at me to get rid of those  cats.

 She yelled for 3 days, then calmed back down, so I  assumed she'd accepted that we now had two cats...

 Wrong.

She tried to catch one of them in the door, then kicked the other one in   the face.  The following morning she 'accidentally' let them out when I   was putting the bins out.  Thankfully they'd only escaped from the   living room and were still in the house.

 The  smug grin on  her face when she was laughingly telling me "oh the cats  have run  away!!!" told me I wasn't going to be able to keep these cats.   Somehow,  some way she was going to harm them, or make sure they  really ran away.
 I called my friend to tell her and she agreed to take them back, so I took them away.

NM is absolutely delighted, she's been singing and joking around ever since, and mocking me for crying.  

Gail Meyers 5 months ago  
Saoirse,  I hate that you are having such a difficult time.  I do not know a lot  about lithium, except that it is a pretty heavy duty drug they monitor  with blood work.  I am sorry for your loss of your father.  In my  opinion what you describe about doing all of the work but your mother  taking all of the credit sounds typical.  It also sounds like you feel  like a prisoner trapped there with your mother.  

I hope you have been  successful in your attempts to get her into residential care.  I do not  know about dementia, but I know Alzheimer's patients can get mean even  without a personality disorder.  I would think someone in the system  would have to listen to you if your mother is not able to care for  herself and you state you are no longer able to care for her either .

Rainshadow1 
Just some quick tidbits about "victim anger". It is RIGHTEOUS ANGER. Now take a few moments to process that before speaking too soon. As long as I am living upon the face of this earth this anger will reside with me. I hate SIN. I am angry at SIN. I do not forgive the unrepentant and have   NOTHING for such a person except REBUKE. Jesus said, BE ANGRY and sin not. It is not a sin to keep this anger, it becomes a sin when one acts in such away that is displeasing to a holy God. If anyone on this post  claims to be a victim of narcissistic abuse and can't comprehend my  comment then either  you were NEVER a victim of true narcissistic abuse   or you are LYING to yourself and are a great OFFENSE to people who are  true victims. I can explain it to you but I can't comprehend it for  you.

Rainshadow1    
This   article expresses an authentic reality that was lived out by a pure hearted individual who will see the face of Jesus. His unrepentant flesh relative unfortunately will taste His wrath. I agree totally with the  message of this article because the Holy Spirit of a just God resides in  this fragile temple of mine and tells me this is truth. It is a bold  faced lie from Satan that we Christians are to forgive and unrepentant   sinner. The bible gives examples of shunning such by making it KNOWN that they are not worthy of forgiveness because of utter un-repentance.   My ex is a narcissist and so is my only sibling and it hurts to see  your  reputation ruin unjustly. The evil is so subtle that if you do not  have  discernment from the Spirit of God, you WILL be deceived. Blood  sisters  and brothers in the FAITH are thicker than the blood of flesh.  And I  quote, Jesus said who is my mother and father, my brothers, and  sisters.  Those who follow HIM, THAT'S WHO!

Gail Meyers 
Rainshadows1,  I think Christians are often taught they are to be nice to everyone.  I  also know some very abusive people take Biblical text out of context  and to use it as a pretext.  What you said about being so subtle and unjustly ruining reputations is spot on in my experience.  I also absolutely agree with the distinction you made about anger.  That is  another thing so many people are taught - that it's not "nice" or okay  to be angry.  Anger is a normal human response to abuse.  Jesus Himself  expressed anger in the Bible.  The reason I try to stress that point so much is that 90% of depression is said to be repressed anger.  If  someone thinks anger is "bad" or "wrong" they often stuff it or deny it,  but it ends up displaying as depression.  Anger is a healthy and  required part of the healing process, just process it in a healthy  manner.  Thank you for reading and commenting with such meaningful  comments!

FreeBird 
Last   year after 9 months struggle with the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I   divorced my mum/parents. If the whole world collapses under my feet I   will never forgive someone who is not sorry. I cannot describe how   beautiful the life is now. Sharing genes with someone who has given   birth to me does not mean she can abuse me.

Gail Meyers 
Freebird,  I could not agree with you more.  I am glad to hear you left the  situation.  They are starting to find a link between an NPD parent and  several auto immune disorders, etc.  Malignant narcissists can make the  people around them physically and emotional ill.  Another thing that  really help me is taking B12.  The stress depletes it and your nervous  system requires it.  Thanks for reading and commenting.

Ebonny 
The   peculiar thing is that, even when you begin to realize that you are   being manipulated (and the rest), for some strange reason you can still   let "guilt" get the better of you and end up going back for more.  When   it is your elderly mother, it is so very difficult to completely   estrange yourself, even though you have every right.  Even though you   feel you have no reason to feel guilty, being made to feel guilty or   ungrateful has you going back for more.

Gail Meyers 
Ebonny,  I can relate to that!  Manipulating with guilt and pity were huge in my  family of origin.  That fits right in with the inverted parenting in a  family with an narcissistic personality disorder mother.  They raise their children to meet their own  needs, instead of the parent meeting the needs of the child.

adriennebradshaw    
I   must admit my mother was also a malignant narcissist, she has since expired and awaits life a new under our Creators perfect promised  society, where there will be no more "mental illness" Revelation 21:4.5 I   truly look forward to that time!  Your write up was right on it!!!   Thank you!  

Gail Meyers 
Adrienne,  welcome to Hubpages!  I am sorry to hear you endured a malignant  narcissist mother.  Thank you for reading and commenting.

Gail Meyers  
Thank  you, Catherine.  I am so glad to hear you have found understanding and  support.  It sounds like Understanding the Borderline Mother did for you  what People of the Lie did for me.  I have not read that one, but maybe  I will check it out.  Thanks for reading and commenting.

mvillecat  
You  nailed the description of a narcissistic personality disorder mother. I too, in my forties, have  finally found others who lived through the same experiences and it is  very comforting. I have found many answers I have been looking for in  the book Understanding the Borderline Mother. It made my life of  confusion come into sharp focus. I highly recommend it. Great Hub.

Gail Meyers  
Garnetbird, I've been there and been on the receiving end of that.  Thank God there is support out there!

Gail Meyers  
I  agree with you in believing it is not all generic.  I think nurture is a  huge element, but I also believe for a person to arrive at such an  emotional, mental and spiritual state of being as narcissistic  personality disorder in particular, they made many choices along the  way.  I also believe there is a point of no return.

thewritingowl  
You   write so insight-fully on this topic that I was nodding my head all  the  way through it, brilliant hub. I don't have a NPD parent thankfully  but  I think my parents have often been part of the Narcissists   triangulation process and me often the scapegoat victim so I understand   what you are saying completely. I suppose the only consolation now is   knowing what the issues are and moving on. 'That which doth not kill you   will make you stronger,' not much comfort at the time but in the  longer  term very true. I will read more..

Gail Meyers  
Thank  you, thewritingowl.  I'm glad to hear you do not have an NPD, but sorry  to hear you are often the scapegoat.  I know it does hurt, but I think  seeing the truth is a lot better than fumbling around in the dark or  worse yet actually thinking it's you.  Thank you so much for reading and  commenting.

Garnetbird    
I have a relative like this who nearly destroyed my life. So glad there is support for this out there!!!

Nicola Tweedie 
You  have obviously suffered a great deal and have been courageous and  generous in sharing your understanding. I work clinically with people  labelled with personality disorder and I think it could be helpful to  many people. I would only say that I believed that there is a huge  element of nurture - it is not all genetic. Thank you.

HattieMattieMae  
Very much true what you're saying here. Well done! :)

Gail Meyers  
Thank you, MattieHattieMae and thanks for stopping by!

stars439  
Great  hub. There are many behaviors that are wretched. The important thing to  know is how to be ready to recognize them. You're hub helps. I often  find myself becoming a victim even when I think I am smart enough to  recognize bad behaviors. The results can be varied ramifications. Good  work. Thank you.

Gail Meyers  
Thank   you, Star.  I think it can be difficult to put your finger on what is   happening, especially before you stand back and look at it.

SONUVANARCISSIST    
One of the very worst days of my life was the day I realized my mother wasn't perfect...

Gail Meyers  
SONUVANARCISSIST,  I don't know about you but I would have loved for my mother to have been anywhere in the neighborhood of "wasn't perfect."  Thank you for  reading and commenting.  I am glad to hear from a son of a narcissist  because I know this happens with sons just like it does daughters.  My  late brother was one of them.

Millionaire Tips  
When I first started reading this hub, I was thinking, "wow, she is really angry."  But as I kept reading, I realized that I know someone with these traits, and I can't even begin to imagine being her daughter.  I do hope you continue to get the therapy to overcome this.  Voted up, you   have brought up a very important topic.

Gail Meyers  
MillionaireTips,  I think it is extremely difficult for someone who has never been in the  situation to understand just how destructive, deceitful and cruel these  people are.  So I can see how someone would think it was just anger.  I  finished with my therapy years ago, but one of the things a therapist  does is get you in touch with your anger.  That is often while many  others along the way tell an ACON to "just let it go."   

However,  according to psychiatrists (Dr. Paul Meier comes immediately to mind as  one example), you have to get in touch with your anger and process it  before you can truly let it go and true move on.  Anything less is just  burying it and it becomes like trying to hold a beach ball under water.   The repressed anger comes out somewhere - usually in unexpected ways.    It is a very important topic to me because I know there are still  hundreds of people dealing with it - many who have no idea it is NPD.   Thank you for the vote up!

GarnetBird  
awesome  Hub--I love that you clarify the Christian position.  we are to forgive  and move on, not stay and be abused over and over. That is so true. I  forgave a relative for molesting me, BUT if I had a child, I would not  allow her or him to be alone with my abuser. Forgiveness is not giving  your car keys over to a drunk driver.

justateacher  
I   was married to a narcissist for over 20 years. At first, I did think  it  was me and I was going crazy. As the years passed, I realized that  it was him with the problem.
  
Gail Meyers  
justateacher, I am glad to hear you are one of the ones who figured it out!

Donna Sundblad  
The Bible does teach us to forgive and not to keep a list of wrongs, but  it  does not teach us to be a doormat for abuse. So sad how twisted  minds  can twist even what it means to forgive.

Gail Meyers  
Donna  Sundblad, taking biblical text out of context in order to use it as a  pretext is exactly what cults do.  Being in a family with a narcissist parent is no different than being in a cult family in my  opinion.  They use many of the same tactics.

sparkster 
Both of my daughter who are very young have a future to face with a narcissistic mother, something which I can never forgive myself for.

The bible says that in the end times there will be lovers of self.

Gail Meyers  
Sparkster,  if I had it to do over I would never have allowed my child to be around  the NPD or her flying monkeys regardless of what anyone in the family  had to say about it.  It certainly appears that we are in the era of  "lovers of self."
 I found it interesting in "People of  the Lie" that M. Scott Peck, a practicing psychiatrist, believe nothing  less than the diagnosis of "evil" covered a true narcissist.  Framing it  in psychological as well as spiritual contexts seems to me to be a  comprehensive view.  When you stand back and look at it, the  characteristics of a narcissist correlate with the biblical  description of "evil."

GarnetBird  
Excellent   Hub-forgiving does not mean allowing someone to abuse or lie to you--I   feel that's enabling. I keep a lot of boundaries up--I have a relative   who is unstable and tends to involve me in her melodramas at the  expense  of my own mental health.  it hurts to turn her away, but  boundaries are  sometimes as necessary as locking one's car.

Gail Meyers  
GarnetBird,  I agree that allowing someone to abuse or lie to you is not forgiveness  but enabling.  I like your analogy of boundaries sometimes being as  necessary as locking your car.

sharebear    
I  was abused in every way possible. The day I finally called the police  he beat in two doors, spit in my face, threw me into a shelf, threw a  dish at me and tried to burn my chest with a cigarette. I realized he  used triangulation because I called his mom and she told me I make her  son hit me and if I was more loving he wouldn't hurt me and that I've been  beating him. His plan of getting out of it was being set up. Truly  disturbing. He told me in the beginning that his mom always tells him  no one is good enough for him to get rid of them. I'm glad I got out with  my life some pain and scars and court battle against a liar that got  his allies in a row. May the truth set me free.

Gail Meyers 
Sharebear, I am so glad you recognized the abuse for what it was and set yourself free!

40 comments:

  1. Great article. Both my parents did this and have destroyed "real" relationships among the four adult children. My mother used and abused "Honor thy mother and father" from scripture. This was used as a cat o' nine tails in to making you feel only for them.

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  2. Thank you, AJS. I also had that selective use, or misuse, of Scripture used by my parents. I wrote the posting, "Honor Thy Narcissistic Mother?" articulating how I personally resolved that issue. Attempting to use Scripture to reinforce abuse is reprehensible in my opinion.

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

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  3. Thank you so much. It is so helpful - it's like reading about my life and understanding about the gaslighting concept is so helpful.

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  4. Thank you, Anonymous. Gaslighting is something I think everyone should be aware of and understand.

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  5. I really appreciate what you are saying. For me, the experience is a feeling of unreality: I hear and see vile comments, complaints about others- and a false facade of being a caring person. It scares me. Do people see through the facade? If they don't then I feel that maybe I am the crazy one. I only have one other sibling that sees the behavior. The guilt trips are terrible. Who doesn't want to help their mother who is getting older? But the older one gets, I feel, the more cemented the personality traits are locked in.

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    1. Anonymous, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. The guilt trips may very well be intentionally terrible, because guilt and pity are often used to manipulate people. I feel for you in your position. I would just encourage you to keep a close eye on your boundaries and taking care of yourself.

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  6. Okay, I hope typing this time works. Just saying, a person is raised to honor their mother. But what if the mother tells you vile things privately but outwardly "pretends" to be pseudocaring? Makes this daughter feel like she is living in a bizarro world- she sees one side but publicly it cannot be proven.

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    1. Anonymous, my mother was covert and that is exactly what she did. As the daughter it definitely feels like she is living in bizarro world.

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  7. I have only just realised what my family situation is. I live at home with my parents age 28, but I have always thought they were mean to me and tried to hold me back. I am definately a scapegoat and my older brother is the favourite. He is a drug addict and my mother gives him hundreds of pounds a week for his habbit and treats him like he is god.
    I have agrophobia, now I think because of the constant humiliation, gaslighting and verbal abuse I get. What would be your advice for me, as someone with crippling social skills, no confidence and fear constantly?.
    I also get pressured into giving my brother money and sometimes they will insult me for hours until I give in.
    Hope you can help.
    hankyou.

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    1. Anonymous, I have sorry for your pain. I am not a licensed mental health professional qualified to advise you, but I encourage you to reach out for the support of a therapist. There is also Alcoholics Anonymous (and Narcotics Anonymous), as well as Al-Anon.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

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  8. Oh my God this explained my mother completely. I could never figure out what was wrong with her, why she hated and abused me but loved my brother to no end. The hardest part were all the flying monkeys and people who just could not believe my mom would do the things I was saying. She terrorized me and when I had my first child she used him to drag me through the mud. I no longer have contact with her because in my twenties I did want to get revenge, but now I leave it in Gods hands, she has to answer for all the pain and abuse she caused. Me, I am in therapy dealing with the 30 years of madness from this woman but I am so happy to not have this woman around me and my kids.

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    1. Anonymous, I am so glad you and your children are no contact and you are in therapy. I am sorry for the pain your have endured. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

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  9. There aren't enough words in the English language to say THANK YOU for this information. I am 54, masters degree in music and am just now "seeing the light". I had anxiety and panic attacks for over 20 years and am just now beginning to live my life. It's so very sad to love your Mother and deal with abuse at the same time. I'm still struggling. Thank you a million.

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    1. Thank you, Anonymous. Please join us on Facebook if you have not already done so.

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    2. Hey - I am 54, masters degree in statistics, and the child of a (covert) malignant narcissistic mother, also!! Unfortunately, I am not doing better, I am doing worse than ever. I knew she was not "normal" but it took this experience for me to realize what she was. She is the poster child of this disorder. I was independent, owned my own home, and I am not a stupid person. But she caught me at a weak moment (as they do) and caused horrific damage. Why? The best answer I can come up with - I had bought a new car, a Saab convertible. It was better than her car. No shit. Be strong, be happy.

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    3. Any time you surpass a Narc, there will be hell to pay. This, I think, is why people hide their lamp under a bushel...

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  10. WOW....Just Wow....A friend sent this to me....I had just had another meltdown that she listened to a few days ago...AGAIN. I still couldn't understand WHY. WHY she treats me/us the way she does. WHY she can't love me or my family. Why she loves others so easily. I can't do it anymore. I am tired. I don't have it in me anymore. I tried to walk away a few yrs ago..Nearly did it...My dad and niece have made that hard. NO family get togethers anymore...I can't stand her looking at me with dead eyes. I can't stand seeing her light up/smile/talk to others when she wont even say Hi to me. Treats others Better. It got worse a few yrs ago...Partially due to me confronting her. Starting with her flipping over me getting upset over something she had done. The whole situation with my other siblings(Severely disfunctional). MY STEPMOTHER...I so despirately wanted a relationship with her. I am 41 now. IT HAS BEEN OVER 30yrs. I read this with my jaw on the ground...Sounds more and more like her the further down the page I went. Memories come to mind with each section. I often feel like I am too old to be whining, Why can't she love me...No matter how many times I have been told she can't..She never will...Move on...Seeing this...Helps...Thank You

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    1. Sandie, I feel for you. Please keep learning about NPD and join us on Facebook. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences.

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  11. I heard about God asking to sacrafice the oldest child as she would look right at me(ON several occasione)...Being the oldest of 5 in a blended family...It scared me...I thought she wanted to kill me...Of coarse in the end God didn't make him....The moral is...You do what God asks of you....

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    1. I have read about this allegedly happening in cults and some secret societies, but I truly have no idea. However, I can certainly see how it would frighten a firstborn!

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  12. Nearly 60 years of this insanity - MnM and the flying monkeys - astoundingly accurate !

    Welp, hope she makes good with her source on check out!

    Thank you thank you, Gail!

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    1. I would imagine in that period of time you have seen it spiral through generations. Thank you for taking the time to read and share your thoughts.

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  13. The (all females) NPDs in My life were: My mother; My sister; and My three ex-wives.

    I was close to loosing My sanity upon loosing My third wife. Thanks to resources on codependency and NPD; I pulled back from insanity in the nick-of-time.

    Thank you Gail.

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  14. Deksper, I am glad you are doing better. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

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  15. I am too a dear Scapegoat, clown for play in my "family" of NPDs and Psychopaths. It`s all BS, it.s all lies !!

    They will NEVER aknowledge you or accept you no matter how good you are, how succesful you are, how KIND you are (especially kind and empathic, as I know most of us here are)

    Get OUT and Stay OUT !

    It.s Holidays time and everybody is going "home". Yes, I make mistakes sometimes, for who I pay dearly. I had no Home. My Home was Pain

    What disguts me the most is right now not the Matriarch Devil B*** Mother N, but my cousins proxy, who would rather Hunt and Humiliate me through games and BS, than look in their own backyard !!

    It.s ridiculous and I`ve had ENOUGH more than !! My B day is coming soon, and I had 1 cousin with whom I shared some details of my life, even "had" to appeal to him for financial help being student and you know. They blame you for their own ABUSE AND FAILURES !!

    I asked him one thing ONE, not to tell the Crazy N M where I live. He knows, he has seen that I am empathic kind, numerous times I have put him first, and not only him. People I have encountered, worked with they have nothing to complain about me, except the awful Ns ones but thats a dif story.

    Not the same about him though. Well I hear now that they prepared an ATTACK on me coming to my old place , of course fooling whoever listened it was "from Love" ! Bs!! mThey came for more DRAMA !

    The irony was that I was smarter, and there is a God out there bigger than these Psychopaths, and I wasn.t even there !! I moved a week early on ..

    The JOKE was on them .. I am especially dissaponted because he made a POINT to hurt me on purpose , one wish I had.

    They don`t give a F ON YOUR SANITY PEOPLE !! Relative or not they are OUT of my life, I.ve had enough

    Thank you for letting me vent.

    K

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  16. Gail, by far, the best article I've read about NPD, thank you! Everyone thinks my mother is so Godly, she has a bible in one hand and a halo above her head, and she talks about God all day and prays all day. She is a malignant narcissist. Your comment about being the "hub" of communication was spot on. Growing up, none of us kids could talk to our dad, we had to talk to her and she would talk to him and then she would tell us what he said. They divorced (he was mental ill as well) and she has been triangulating my brother, sister and I all these years. My sister and brother still talk to my mom, but not to each other. I'm 50 and I'm the scapegoat, and they all walked away from me in an attempt to control me, only I won't let them come back this time. My mother turned it all around, just like you said in the above post, and said "are you going to walk away from me too?" Then when she realized I was NOT going to give in to her, she wrote me a letter saying I'm crazy, begging me to get psychiatric help and saying she would even sell her house to pay for it. I told her that the only time she says I'm "crazy" is when I'm walking away from her abuse, that she is threatening a smear campaign on my good name, and she is trying to bully me into submission. I knew nothing about NPD until after I walked away from her and started reading about it. It's such a relief to finally understand, why I've been so pissed off, stressed out and full of anxiety all these years. I thought it was just my personality!!!

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    1. Just know, you are not alone! And you are NOT crazy. Gee, isn't it funny how every time I conflict with her, I am mentally ill. It comes and it goes. She says that is when it is at its worse and if I were on meds, it would stabilize these ups and downs . . . why not just give me a frontal labotomy? but then who would you pick on? Just remember - I'd rather be a scapegoat than a Flying Monkey!!!!!! Be strong, be happy!

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    2. Thank you, Kimberly. Please join us on Facebook or Google if you have not already done so. There are hundreds of others dealing with the same or similar situations. The more you read and talk to people, the more you see the patterns emerge. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences.

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  17. I am on day 5 of being awakened. Still new memories are coming. I'm floored. My mother kept the cleanest house, fixed up and washed all our clothes. Made great meals. Accepted my weeds I called flowers.

    She sang a little song to me. "Turn around when your 2, turn around when your 4, turn around when your a young woman going out my door". I would run to her saying I would never leave, and she said I would. She would get angry if I got scared of something. But would get angry if I wouldn't. She wouldn't let me get dressed or bathe by myself till I was way old enough to do it myself. Would follow me to the bus stop even in high school, and I was getting teased by all the other kids.

    When I got acne as a teenager she teased me about it. She would say the word pimple over and over, interject it in conversations. And more memories are coming.

    I will never see her again. Never call her. Not that she will care, she can't feel. I truly believe my mom has no feelings. I will never see her again. I am not going to her funeral when the time comes. Thus far and no further.

    Thanks to anyone for reading this. I really needed to get it out, thanks again.

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    1. Joan, thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. My heart goes out to you and I wish you well on your healing journey. I also had repressed memories that came back years ago during sexual abuse therapy. It was a very difficult and exhausting time, but thankfully it did get better as my therapist and I continued to work on it. It was ultimately well worth the work. I hope that is encouraging to you. Please join us on Facebook.

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  18. I can't believe I have come across this article. I have the most cold mother on the planet who has manipulated me and now tries to do the same with my children. We moved abroad last year and she has made my life hell. I have come back to visit and now she won't even speak to us. I want to get on the plane back home without making further contact, is that selfish of me? I feel terrible guilt but don't want her to poison my kids like she has done me. I'm really affected by her.

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    1. Anonymous, having your children turned against you can be a very real concern with NPD mothers. That is exactly what my mother did. Based on what you described your response sounds like a healthy one to me, as opposed to selfish. Being told you are selfish when drawing a boundary and inducing guilt trips are two things often mentioned in the literature that might be of interest to you.

      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences.

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  19. Liberating. Pure and simple. Love this blog. The flying monkeys have been at me - having parties without me and my wife, keeping us out of key family events that we included them in (i.e. not having my wife be part of my sister's wedding, although she was part of ours), listening with all-ears to the lies about me and my family - the same lies I listened to my whole life about my aunts and uncles with whom I now have little relationship because they were demonized by my mother. My dad hands over all the communication (enabling father) that I've attempted to have with him one-on-one. There's no solution. Years later, every conversation is about her, nothing asked about me or my family. She doesn't even ask for a photo of my daughters. I've sent some, unsolicited, but they didn't show up anywhere in her house - never mentioned. And yet, she still tries to take my daughters into her "loving" arms and give them treats behind my back. Love this blog. Glad to hear others are out there fighting the good fight. May positivism reign over nastiness.

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  20. Years ago, I saw the patterns in my mother. I didn't know what it was, but I knew her behavior along with my brother's, his wife, and my mother's sisters, was all very suspect...and evil. I realized that not one word I uttered could turn their hearts to understanding. Instead, they used my words to contort our good will and intentions into fantastical caricatures. Once this became clear, I walked away to save my wife and kids from any further abuse.

    Reading this article flooded my mind with memories of a childhood that was, well, odd. I've questioned my instincts for so long now, that I truly believed it was just a character flaw. Now I know it has a source. Trusting those instincts led me away from my mother. God bless her. I hope some day she and the rest of the family get help from a mental health professional. Gail, you are the first person to give me something that validates not only the decision I made, but gives meaning behind an evil I didn't understand nor even knew existed.

    Thank you. I can finally live in peace that I chose not the lesser of two evils, but something good and right and just.

    And yet I will still post as Anonymous for fear that these psychopaths will scour the internet looking for me as they have done in the past.

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  21. Hi, i've been going to a Counsellor for over 8 months after having a big bust up last christmas, i left my family home to head back to work after xmas crying thinking i was crazy, i said this is it, i have to go talk to someone because this is not normal. Since i started counselling ive just spoke about my life at home since i was born the counsellor after 8 months read back to me all the things i told her, i was amazed at what she said, i had told her all this, it really made it clear to me that this behaviour is not normal. I'm 32 and just met a guy about 3 months ago we are getting on great, but my mother is not happy with the relationship, she is trying to turn me again him with all her lies saying how everyone she know is saying what is she doing with him, he is too told for her, the poor girl, will someone help her see sence. I've thought about walking away from him as the pressure at home is unbearable, my sisters and brother are not talking to me either, she has told them all sorts of lies. I need help as i don't think i'm strong enough for her, it's so hard. i've spent my whole life believing no one only my mom, i trusted her with everything, we always thought we had no one in life only our family, Mom, 3 sisters and 1 brother, my dad died 10 years ago, he suffered her abuse also but never said anything only went to the pub to drown his sorrows he tried to talk to us (me and my sister - two scapegoats) and told us we were too young to understand but that some day when we are older and when he is no longer around that we would understand, i understand his pain now, we didn't know why he drinked so much, he was so sad, he fell out with all his family over her, we thought they didn't like us, she doesn't get on with her own family either, she has one sister and they are always fighting, she tells us things about her and we don't like her either but now im begining to wonder who is at fault here, "Mom". I'm going home on friday (i go home every weekend) and i'm so scared, no one here is talking to me. i want to go home and only see my boyfriend but she will hit the roof if i go to see him, i was with him last weekend and she was stalking us coming over to his house and turning at his gate so that i would she her, she went looking for me in a few restaurants on Sunday checking car parks etc. She has said the most horrible things about him which are not true, but my family belief her, she said that his mom told her that she did not want us to have a relationship, was i stupid that i could not see this that i'm not wanted, i don't believe my boyfriends mom said that, he said that she is delighted for us. Does my mom actually believe her lies? When i'm working away during the week im living with my sister, she is the same as my mom, i've tried for years to get my own place, but i'm not aloud. it's like leaving one hell house and going in to another hell house. my mind is going, how is this all going to end. I feel i just can't do this on my own, i wish my sisters and brother could see that there is a problem so that we could all face her together, my counsellor told me that they all prob know and that they are probably all afraid of her. Please offer some advice if you can i would really appreciate this. xx

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  22. I've had to live with my moms disorder since I can remember. Id say around 5 years old. The things I have endured.....nuts! My dad used to beat her. I realize now that she probly drove him to it. He became a different, calmer, more normal person after they divorced when I was about 7. As a child my mother had me help her steal from stores. She has accused me of flirting with her husbands, boyfriends (when I was a child). Screaming and being called a slut and more regularly. Then making me feel like I owed her an apology. Constantly playing the victim by pinning weird stories on people. Constantly badmouthing everyone, even good normal and ordinary people. "Everone is out to get her". There is so much more but I don't have all night. She has always treated my brother who is 13 years younger than me better. I'm a single mom of two kids. Me and their dad are on good terms and she hates it that he knows she crazy. Our teen daughter knows it. She is now the scapegoat. She has suffered severe mental and physical harm at the hand of my mother. My younger son is aware but not as much as my daughter. We are at low to no contact with her. Absolutely not at all without my prescence. I realized before coming accross this page that no meds or counseling will ever fix or minimize her disorder. She keeps so many people blinded. Her sickness is severe so people know by some of expressions and her overly coverig up that somethings wrong with her. But no one knows the extent. God please take away the hate and rage I have inside me. Im smashing this cycle. My kids are my air and they will not suffer at her hands ever again.

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  23. I'm in this right now at the ripe old age of 50. Trying to raise and shield my 16 yr old daughter from it. I have no car or job .. lost both due to illness which is what wound me back in this hell hole. My daughter has 2 years of school left and refuses to even speak to my NM. If I can just get her grown and on her own, I can live in a tent and get away from this. I'm just thankful mine just comes in spurts and not an every day happening. I'm even more thankful my eyes were opened a long time ago to her disorder so that I know it's HER and not me.

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  24. Thankyou Gail so so so much. The more I hear of your past especially on the audio I cannot believe your truthful observations ring so tru for me. One I especially like is that in abusive families the discussion of the abuse is the problem not the abuse itself!! tha is so true on my family. If I discussed the sexual abuse for sure no one of the family would speak to me again! Also I saw the sheer joy in my mothers face the day my son and I had a terrible row that was instilled by her evil..even though he was bleeding and had to be rushed to hospital she couldn't conceal her smile!

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  25. DOORMAT, CREAMPUFF, MARTYR...just a few of the terms of endearment my MIL has for me:
    If only I had found your blog years ago...I might still have a normal relationship with my teenage daughter. In our family the NM is my husband's mother. We use to be the best of friends, or so I thought, for many years. It wasn't until I realized she was turning my daughter against me that my husband and I confronted her. What I didn't know at the time was that THAT was a HUGE mistake. NPD's hate, no, detest being called out on their sh*t! NPD grandmother was visibly pissed, had a justification for everything and pointed out that I was being "sensitive" and resented her relationship with my daughter, as in "you're jealous"! The only resentment I had was to do with the years of her undermining my parental authority and the final wedge she drove between us. She knew what she was doing from the beginning and I was her naïve, Christian 'honor thy mother & father', doormat. The night of the confrontation my teen daughter was even defending her, see "flying monkey". What teen wouldn't want everything their way with no responsibilities or accountability. NPD grandmother bought her and her friends with gifts, parties, trips, the freedom to do whatever they chose. There are SO many examples, (hindsight's 20/20) I could, and probably should, write a book. If she was asked to please NOT do something that was her signal to do it 10x over, no one's going to tell her what she can/cannot do, even though it wasn't her decision to make. The final knife to the back was when our teen daughter moved in (ran away) to grandmother's house while still in HS but just past age 18. That was a smack in the face AND FINALLY got my husband and his dad's attention...not that they did anything, they both are so afraid of confronting her, understandably. However that left me to fight for what's right so who do you think gets the brunt of her hatred? Our family is forever changed because of this NPD. My concern now is for my health and that of my immediate family. I don't want her pulling her same nonsense with the other grandkids...and oh yes, she behaves as if she's entitled to relationships with the grandkids. It's truly twisted. This will be the first holiday of no contact, although we live in the same city and I'm sure she will have something to say about us "punishing her" by keeping her grandkids from her. It's not like that, it's about self preservation.
    ANY ADVICE ON HOW TO MAKE HER NOT WANT TO BE AROUND US??? SINCE EVERYTHING has to be her idea or she'll do what she thinks aggravates us the most. The mentality of a spoiled child is what she has. She still shows up at school & sporting events and other public functions claiming "no one's keeping me from my grandkids". (it's all about her) Truth is, no one cares if she's there and wish she'd find friends her own age to 'play' with, But considering how she is, it's no wonder she's had to turn to her teen granddaughter and her friends. She finds fault in everyone and eventually people see her true colors. It's sad.

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  26. If you put up resistance to a malignant narcissist with resorting to rudeness or violence, you'll also get labelled "passive aggressive", if they have any familiarity at all with the term. The best response to that is none at all. It's just an attempt to provoke you into "aggressive aggressive" mode, and make you look like the crazy one.

    I would just continue to leave her out of planned events. If she tries to guilt you about it, just let her know in your own words that she is a troublemaker, and that's why inviting her is not high on your list of priorities.

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