Tactics of a Narcissistic Mother by Gail Meyers

Narcissistic Grandmother and Your Children

Narcissistic Grandmother and Your Children by Gail Meyers
Narcissistic Grandmother and Your Children by Gail Meyers


© by Gail Meyers
If you have children who have been exposed to your narcissistic personality disordered mother, protect them from further exposure. That is what I would say to a dear friend dealing with a narcissistic personality disordered or malignant narcissist mother. I do not make the suggestion lightly, but as a mother and grandmother myself, years after my narcissistic personality disordered mother's death.

Things are much clearer in hindsight and I see ripples still going strong through the generations. A narcissist will delight in turning your own children against you in such a deceitful, sneaky way that you may not realize it is happening. A narcissistic personality disordered mother can and often does sever family relationships for generations.

Narcissistic Mothers Divide and Conquer

Before realizing my mother had this disorder, I realized she instigated fights between her children, even when we were adults. I recall thinking I had never seen another mother who did not teach the children to love and respect each other, but actually provoked discord, disrespect and even flat out abuse.

She does this for the purpose of control.  She wants to divide and conquer.  There will not be so much as one thought of the pain to the current and future generations. The narcissist wants to be the hub in the middle, as well as keeping the "knowing" children alienated from the flying monkey narcissistic supply children at all costs.


Narcissistic Mothers Divide and Conquer the Children quote by Gail Meyers


For example, pitting the golden child against the scapegoat, who in turn raise their own children divided from their sibling and their sibling's children (nieces and nephews). This is still going strong generations later, including the narcissist's children, grandchildren and starting in the generation of the great-grandchildren.

In the same way a narcissistic mother teaches the siblings as children that it is okay to disrespect, blame and abuse the scapegoat child, she will teach your children the same thing.  It may be very subtle, but the results are devastating.  The child quickly sees how you are being treated, but is unlikely to understand the dynamics that started it.   

Narcissistic Grandmothers Teach Their Manipulative Ways 

Additionally, the narcissistic grandmother has many unhealthy, toxic ways of being.  A child can quickly learn these manipulative, deceitful behaviors and how well they seem to be working for Grandma.  So while you are worrying about someone telling you it is "harsh" to go no contact, Toxic Grandmother is focused on planting the seeds of destruction that can flourish and blossom to inflict hell on the second half of your life as your children are trained by this treacherous woman.

A narcissistic personality disordered grandmother is not a safe or healthy person to expose your children to.  The pretend world of the narcissist and the flying monkeys do not change that fact. Even if, or perhaps especially if, the whole world believes she is a sweet, little old lady, she is still not a safe person for your children to be around. In my experience, the purer and sweeter the image a narcissist tries to project, the more evil they actually are.

You may think your mother would never harm her own grandchildren emotionally or physically. Well, she abused her own children so what would cause anyone to believe grandchildren are any different. Children are vulnerable, easily manipulated and indoctrinated narcissistic supply in the hands of a narcissist.  Don't think for a minute the narcissistic grandmother won't stoop that low.  Moreover, if you were the scapegoat, it is highly unlikely your children or grandchildren are going to be treated fairly in the narcissist's unhealthy rabbit hole. 

Your children are a very important reason to exit the narcissistic mother's abusive pretend world. Protect your children from an narcissistic personality disordered grandmother just like you would any other kind of predator, because that is exactly what she is.

If someone tells you that is "harsh," consider this.  You cave in and allow your mother access to your children.  In true narcissist fashion, she manipulates them with martyr tales.  You know the kind where she plays the victim and vilifies the true victim, you.    

Now the nightmare continues, and just when you thought it could not get any worse than you having a mother like this.  Oh, but it can and it will if you do not prevent it!  Now, you are fighting with your children who are picking up all the nasty little bag of dirty tricks and defending poor Grandma against you, the big bad monster.  Yes, and the nightmare continues into the second half of your life now as your little darling becomes your mother's flying monkey.

Now that is harsh, but by the time you realize the damage, the person who was telling you how harsh it is to go no contact with mom is long gone - probably enjoying their children!  It is you who is left now on the receiving end of the same behavior from your children who were indoctrinated by Grandma so someone who has no idea what they are talking about would not think you were harsh.







Comments

  1. It wasn't until the past ten years that I realized that normal mothers encourage their children to love one another and to be kind to one another. Growing up, my mother never did this. I can never remember thinking that I LOVED my siblings as children because I perceived them as a threat to me in my pursuit of love from my mother. What a horrible thing to do to your children. It was only in adulthood that I began to have real positive feelings for my siblings. As a child, it was almost a "survival of the fittest" situation in my family. Narcissistic mothers are evil............I call it sin.

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    1. and what to do when it's a son in law? My daughters husband fits every single item, including a mother who, to THIS DAY, pits her 2 sons against each other. One is better at everything, the other. EVERYTHING! the other feels like a complete failure...at least that's what she tells them. She actually tells one he is not as good at anything as his brother, including his LOOKS!!!!!! This man/child is now controlling, narcissistic and paranoid, and more....understandably! However, he is harming his immediate family in so many ways, blames everyone else for anything and everything he perceives 'Wrong" in his life, KNOWS EVERYTHING, is a habitual liar, anything to make himself look better at anyone's expense, including his wife and children. Heartbreaking to see, even more heartbreaking to know it is totally up to him to find help and her to not allow the abuse. That;s all. Good luck to those that suffer with living with people like this. Payers for us all.

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    2. marilyn - you are not alone. I too never knew what it was like to have a mom who encouraged their children to love and be kind. my mother pitted us against each other, and made everything a competition. she had her favorites and (I call it) her crap children or her target children. I was one of her crap children. we got blamed for everything, while the favorites got away with murder. I remember thinking as a child that there should be something like love and encouragement in a family, but never having known what that looked like, I could only fantasize. I always thought something was wrong with our family, but I never new (or would have believed) that a mother could be pure EVIL. I truly believe it now.

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    3. My grandmother is what we believe a sociopath. She has ruled with an Iron fist and a lack of physical or emotional love. We have all been damaged by her. My uncle (her zombie), my mother (the most damaged), my cousins (who disconnected years ago), my children and I. I'm the aggressive one and I've tried for years to get her to admit when she's wrong, but she's going to her grave believing that she never does anything to apologize for.

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  2. My psychopathic mother turned all three of my children on me making my oldest her golden child and the other two I suspect are indoctrinated minions or "Flying Monkeys" as you coin them from the "Wizard of Oz and other Narcissists." I too had no clue my mother was a psychopath and she not only had access to my children, I lived with her post my divorce and she provided my primary child care (if you call just being physically present care). As an only child, my father on his death bed guilted me essentially into staying with my mother and helping her maintain his family home reasoning it was paid for, mother would lose it, and my children would have a decent home to grow up in within a safe neighborhood as I went to school and developed my career if I could just over look her abuses and use our combined resources wisely. His reasoning seemed like common sense with the noted exception I could not stand my mother's tantrums, verbal abuses, name calling, denigration, and total lack of remorse for her abusive episodes. Yet when my dad broke down and cried and resorting to begging, I couldn't stand it and gave in to his plan for all of us. I can't help wondering if she was the one who instigated this in the first place. My father became very dependent upon her in his old age as his sight failed, his hearing, and his physical health. I believe he was a broken man from the strain of living years upon years under her tyrannies and abuses which were very carefully hidden. He would have done anything for a measure of peace at any cost. I loved my children more than anything in the world and I would have done anything, given anything to them; so it never occurred to me a time would come that on her orders they would all estrange me for not pleasing her or giving in to her demands. The insidious slow processes of manipulation, abuses, and mind control she had to deploy to take them over and twist them into believing I deserved this and this was correct chills me to my very soul. Also, she literally plays herself to be the victim in need of protection from me with my adult children dancing in attendance to her lies when in fact she financially exploited me, verbally abused me, and threatened me constantly with just absurd things. It never occurred to me to realize that her treatment of my children was subtly different from her treatment of me. I was just relieved she did not seem to be verbally bombarding them with the venom and viciousness she always laid on me. In fact that made my situation livable as stupid as it sounds. As long as I could not ascertain that she was overtly abusing my children, I could rationalize it was in all our best interests to continue status quo just as dear old dad said we should. What a nightmare it is to have a psychopath as a parent. I'm still waking up.

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    1. My NM did exactly the same thing...turned my daughter into her GC and then my daughter successfully indoctrinated her brothers. I ignorantly participated, thinking that access to her grandchildren would soften my mother towards me. Instead, through a series of master manipulations and wholly outrageous lies, she stole my kids, got a permanent guardianship in another state, then took them to a third state where she gave them up for adoption to her adored but childless younger brother and his wife, who had failed their state's adoption home study on three different occasions.

      The truth came out eight years later and I was reunited with my kids, but by then the damage was done...my daughter had been told I had abandoned my kids, that I didn't want them and despite mountains of evidence to the contrary (including one of my uncles who admitted he perjured himself in court at my NM's behest), my daughter clung to her grandmother's lies like a lifeline. It should surprise nobody that, when she died, my sons and I were disinherited and my daughter shared my mother's 6 figure estate with my Golden Child brother.

      If I knew then what I know now, I would have gone into hiding with the birth of my first child and never, ever, told anyone in the family about my kids...and told my kids that I was an orphan. It would have saved all four of us (me and the kids) years of conflict, anger, and pain.

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    2. Sweet Violet - I feel your pain. If I had known 35 years ago what I know now about what my mother really is, I too would have fled as far away as possible to protect my own daughter from this evil woman.

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    3. Dorthy, mine did the same. Thank you for sharing.

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  3. Marilyn, I can very must relate to what you have written. I remember so many times when I was younger thinking I did not know any other mothers who pit their children against one another.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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    1. DEAR GAIL I AM A VICTIM OF NARCISTIC GRANDMOTHER I WS S TAKEN FROM MYVFAMILY AT A VRRY YOUNG AGE AND WAS LEAD TO BELIEVE TOTAL LIES NOT ONLY DID SHE LIE BUT HER SONS LIED WITH HER

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  4. Much of your blog seems hauntingly familiar to me as if you took the words right out of my memories and applied them into your own family situation. If there were types of NPD's or Psychopaths ours are the same type. However, the more I read and I study on psychopathy, Narcissists, Sociopaths, Cults and Serial killers the more I conclude that these soul dead, conscienceless, vampires are in so many ways all alike. Abusive women, men, and even children who rightly should be diagnosed as psychopaths living right among all of us, family members, working beside us on jobs, friends (by design) and lovers (by manipulation). This is very under diagnosed in my opinion. The American Psychiatric Community has failed to properly diagnosis or to even really recognize these people exist and in great numbers for decades. Judging from all the books, blogs, support groups, and chatter on the world wide web, I would say that psychopathy is an epidemic. Some of the APA high mucky, mucks even argue this is not a disorder and that it is a functional state of being rather than a proper psychiatric disorder. These people argue many who could be identified as psychopaths are functional due to the fact they are successful business people, politicians, entertainers, and leaders in some capacity - success is defined as acquiring money, fame, power, and things obviously. God knows the idea of a being an ethical person of good character seems to have totally become irrelevant to these people. Goes to show the crazies are in charge of the psychiatric ward or maybe even the world at this point more than we know. I mean do these wise decision makers really need it explained to them that people who are incapable of love, have no empathy, no restraints of conscience, and whose deviance in many cases is only limited in expression by their opportunity, abilities, and other circumstances are dangerous and deviant? These are evil beings who hurt and exploit people often for no defensible reason and to coin an observation from "The Mask of Sanity" ....yet "they have no obvious defect"....yet they do such terrible things and feel no remorse what so ever. Yet for decades the APA has systematically virtually ignored the existence of these people except in subsets of violent abusive men, sex predators, serial killers, and other criminals whose repeat offenses make it necessary to do something about them because of public outcries. I would go so far as to say it appears the APA has deliberately obscured the existence of psychopaths among us by continually changing their diagnostic name and attempting fruitlessly to break down their behaviors into subsets of disorders with various codings and names making it confusing for everyone to determine what they are and making it very difficult to connect the dots to really see how many people around us are psychopaths. The original name of the disorder was psychopath, renamed sociopath, renamed anti-social, renamed into spectrum disorders including Narcissism. No wonder we who suffer under the tyranny of these horrible people only discover who and what they are through cross referencing our experiences with those of other victims and by doing our own research in most cases. So much of the violence, crime, and so many perpetrators across multiple situations and genders could be consolidated into a central diagnostic profile and this needs to happen and should happen. I think I just went into a tangent, but I as I have read through many of your blog posts I am just struck by how you speak my language. We know so many of the same things. If we out here are putting this together, why are the people in charge of making the DSM's functional for people in the field unable to accomplish this?

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    1. So articulate, so true and so validating. Thank you.

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    2. I disagree. You can't label all people on the same level of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. There are varying degrees, as with other physical and psychological conditions. My allergies are not life threatening, but others have died from their allergies, therefore one can't say that all allergies will kill everyone. I do think that research has been useful in breaking down the degrees of narcissism, which is valuable in understanding how people react. I have some narc tendencies, as do a lot of people, but not to the degree that my mother has. Should I be labeled a true NPD person? I don't think so. A true NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) person lacks complete empathy and insight, and that's the real problem. They are very damaged from their own upbringing and dump that onto others to somehow try to recover whatever they lacked from their family. It's very sad, really, and seeing how damaged my mom is and trying to somehow fix her has kept me stuck for 50 years.

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  5. Dorothy, I have been contemplating a couple of articles on these aspects. First of all, the helping professions are predominately secular and are unlikely to consider a spiritual element to narcissism. This is one reason why I so often recommend M. Scott Peck's book People of the Lie. He was a practicing psychiatrist, meaning a medical doctor focusing on psychiatry, in practice for at least three decades. One of the points he is trying to make is that psychiatry is ill equipped to deal with this phenomenon and even suggested a category of evil. He called malignant narcissism human evil. His book was very controversial at the time and perhaps some professionals are hesitant to recommend it for that reason (although that is just my conjecture).

    Based on what I have seen, as a whole the profession hints at being able to treat it at least until the narcissism is too high on the spectrum. Then I am not aware of anyone claiming they can successfully treat it. They will also note a narcissist high on the spectrum will rarely enter therapy, especially not with honest intentions.

    I noticed early on the striking similarities between alleged cult maneuvers and those of malignant narcissists. I say alleged simply because I have never been a member of one in order to have firsthand knowledge. The only thing I was able to find in my family history is my great grandfather and grandmother have secret society insignias on their headstones. Then I believe there is some involvement by a couple of members of the current generation in alleged occult activity. However, much of the havoc was before their time. If a person has any knowledge of the Bible, it is really difficult not to notice the striking similarities between malignant narcissist characteristics and what the Bible calls evil.

    I do not recall where I read it in order to reference it, but I was reading not long ago that it is often actually the healthier ones, if you will, who end up in prison. The most treacherous are apparently not as often incarcerated. Of course, personal characteristics are not illegal. It is the acts that are illegal. So if the sickest ones are also the most deceitful, calculating, cunning and protective of their image, I guess it would follow that they are not caught as often.

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  6. I too am very impressed with the work of Dr. Peck and recently reread "The People of the lie" and followed this up with his later work "Glimpses of the Devil." I too believe the concept of spirit cannot be ignored in my quest for answers. I found it noteworthy that St. Augustine and a conclave of priests grappled with the question of who and what these people are centuries ago and debated whether these people were born with an immortal soul or not. I don't know if I agree with their findings, but these Catholic church luminaries ruled that all people are born with an immortal soul and that through making sinful decisions like choosing to exploit, lie, bear false witness, pride, and selfishness that over time their souls erode, withers and dies. This theological discussion is not all that far off from Peck's discussion in "People of the Lie" of Hans Buber who postulated a slide into evil and an invisible line of some sort that once crossed there appears to be no return. Peck speculated if an intervention prior to this invisible line was successfully deployed the individual could choose to pull themselves back from this point of no return. Peck also talked about those individuals who he considers perfectly evil, but not in his opinion possessed. I found Peck's thoughts on this quite intriguing as well. He described the perfectly evil as people who had no inner conflict with their evil natures and who had given themselves totally over to evil whereas those in the slide into evil, but not wholly evil were potentially redeemable as they still had guilt and inner conflict leading them to resist their evil natures. It seems to me that a philosophical discussion of evil and the characteristics of evil people should be part of every college curriculum especially for social workers, counselors, psychologists, criminal justice majors, lawyers, medical doctors....and so on. I assess the lack of discussion on this subject was a major gap in my training and education. However, in terms of a person like my mother the psychopath, it was dangerous thinking on my part to believe there was ever any inner conflict within her resisting her own evil nature. I think this belief of a slide into evil and the concept that we can save, change, or redeem these people is a trap for many of us who believe this because we want so badly for it to be true without ever considering or even knowing about the deep philosophical discussions of luminaries trying to pith out who and what these people are. The idea that psychopaths may not be wholly evil keeps many of us susceptible to being "hoovered" back in when they mouth apologies or show a temporary improvement or make some appearance of understanding or the appearance of empathy. Knowing myself, there are certain things I just could not do because I know how they would make other people feel and something within me recoils and suffers in response to their suffering. These perpetrators do not have those restraints so debating whether or not they are perfectly evil, in a slide into evil, or possessed although interesting needs to be pursued with great delicacy. Just my thoughts to this point in my journey anyway.

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  7. I have to add that I disagree with those who postulate the healthier psychopaths end up in prison. My research indicates that the degree of violence, a lack of intelligence, and out of control perversions are what generally lands people in prison. In contrast there are many so called functional psychopaths who hold jobs, rise up to be leaders, raise very controlled and abused families, and who seem to understand very well they must hide their true nature and act the way people expect in order to manipulate the conned for their own purposes. Indeed, many of these "successful" psychopaths only reveal themselves to their spouses, children, other helpless subordinates, and those victims they decide to target for whatever reason. If these people amass enough wealth, this wealth hides them and they are envied and even admired. These psychopaths create loyal followers and surround themselves with flying monkeys essentially barricading themselves in layers of loyal followers and they are adept at using their army of the conned or compliant to eliminate either opposition or any threats to their position or image. It seems to me it is only when these particular psychopaths become so drunk with their own success, power amassed, and their sense of superiority and their sense of omnipotence becomes truly delusional that they get caught because their excesses become so excessive they can no longer be hidden, rationalized, or dismissed. A great example of this is the TYCO CEO who used company money to rent an island for a birthday party and who flew in a well known rock group to entertain his friends. Ultimately giving in to his sense of entitlement, he almost broke the company. Wall street gave us numerous examples in just the last decade as fictitious investment schemes, cooked books, and compliant boards of directors looking the other way justifying their over site based on profitable looking financial reports that drove stock prices higher. Yet in reality these lies brought the companies they had stewardship over to the point of collapse stripping people of jobs, retirement plans, and savings. Obviously integrity, honesty, and truthfulness are not values shared by the really powerful people in our country for the most part. Greedy to a delusional idea of omnipotence as the psychopaths cups are never full enough, their privileges and wealth never satisfy their needs or fill the hole within them. But, but if one measures success in terms of wealth, power, things, celebrity and position - they can be considered very successful people. Clearly members of the APA are quite enamored with them and with starry eyed envy over look their dysfunction as their wealth and privilege dazzles them. If these "successful" psychopaths are kept in relative check from that slide into delusional omnipotence, I think they live what most of us call "the american dream" even though they accomplished this through lies, dishonest manipulations, betrayals, and walking across the bodies of anyone who got in their way. And most importantly their "american dream" was a nightmare to their children, spouses, subordinates, unfortunate investors, and other nameless countless victims they decided were a threat to them or who inspired their jealousy. Also, without people of integrity over them and under them, their companies became a house of cards. However, except for Bernie Madolf who in an NPD rage admitted he did what he did, most of these "successful" psychopaths silver tongue everyone to the point of confusion and they use their abilities to circumvent any serious personal consequences. Most of them suffered nothing more inconvenient than a fine to their organization and having to give up their bonus's for awhile.

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  8. Dorothy, I think it also fits in with the Christian Bible's ideas of free will and a seared conscience. In this instance, one expresses their free will by choosing evil. Each evil choice takes one further down the path, violating the conscience until the conscience no longer protests. This to me seems much for reasonable and accurate than the idea that NPD was thrust upon someone who had no choice in the matter as I have seen some claim. It seems to me that is inaccurate. I have said before that I believe they may no longer have a choice at some point, but before they crossed that line they made many negative choices.

    You will also see some professionals in the field claim a narcissists has no idea what they are doing. My response is always that they have obviously never seen a narcissist instantaneously transform from raging to sweet angel when someone walks in the room. They know very well what they are doing or they would not hide it.

    I wholeheartedly agree that believing a person in this condition will change is a trap. It was a trap I fell into as a young adult. I told myself "with God all things are possible." Indeed, all things are possible with God. However, God gave us free will. She had no desire to change. It worked for her and it worked well in the sense that she deceived many people and often got her way. She never expressed one ounce of remorse or even acknowledged any of the things she had done, even on her deathbed. I think we also have to be very clear that small kind gestures sprinkled among consistent abuse is not acceptable. Actually, that is one of the elements required for Stockholm Syndrome to develop.

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    1. I agree.. they would not hide their behavior from others or be covert. They know it's wrong and even when caught it's not their fault.

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    2. Gail, I have gone almost non-contact. I struggle with the thought that when my ill mom dies, I will have many regrets and a huge amount of guilt. I know that she will not change, but I also struggle with the question of should I confront her for her treatment of me, and now my children?

      I just really do not want to feel guilt when she passes.
      What emotions did you go through when your mom passed?

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  9. Dorothy, there are definitely "functional" psychopaths in the workforce. There is also apparently quite a bit of gang stalking, gaslighting and workplace mobbing going on today.

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  10. Stockholm's syndrome, cults, and serial killers are exactly where my research is focused at this time. The family dynamics created by the very ordinary sub-criminal psychopath definitely functions like a cult. I think the clues for why people become so controlled by them are in this body of research which in fact illuminates the hierarchies and complex relationships within the psychopath's tortured and very abused families. I will not rest until I have satisfied all of my questions regarding what happened to my children and to me. I can only hope as I move forward in my own quest for truth that some good will come from the ashes of the destruction that my mother orchestrated so masterfully in my own life. I consider what she launched on me as my own personal Armageddon and in retrospect I realized she had planned it for years. But I have survived her full scale effort to utterly destroy me. And.... if takes the rest of my life, I will not stop speaking out on this subject and putting the research together until I am satisfied that she is absolutely revealed as the sadistic, evil, manipulative, shapeshifting beast I know she is in reality. I too have dealt many conned and seduced people and extended family members who either innocently or indifferently believe she is a "sweet little old lady" and that there is something wrong with me or even that I have been mean to her which is the exact opposite of the truth. I too know the psychopath knows exactly what they are doing and I absolutely believe that their behavior is planned and carefully orchestrated. I have seen the airs, acts, and sudden personality changes and watched the raging maniac turn into a sweet, calm, lovely lady with the entrance of another person or just in the process of stepping out of a car door or through a door. I try my best not to despise these people who fall these academy award winning performances as fools, imbeciles, and idiots. After all I can hardly point my finger at them without turning it on myself. Who was a bigger fool than me? I lived right with the snake and I was as blinded and as conned as any of these people in so many ways. My personal stronghold of lies evolved around her having some kind of mental illness or hidden history of childhood abuse which negated her responsibility for her actions. However, I want to know why I remained so blinded and so trapped for decades and if my personal search for truth helps others find their truth and survive their personal holocausts from the tyrannies of these people - well nothing would please more..

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  11. I will be interested to see where your research leads you. I hope you are able to find answers, as well as resolution.

    I know well the Academy award winning performances of a narcissistic personality disordered mother. I once referred to my own mother as Scarlett O'Hara. My late brother and I noticed that as children, but I am not aware of any of the younger children seeing through the facade.

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  12. My awakening was in Feb 2013. The light bulb went off for me to research more about my mother's problem was when she initiated a rant of strange and rantful text messages to my 18 yo daughter at the time. Rants and accusations to my daughter about why she doesn't stay in touch with her, and "Don't burn your bridges". Among other crazy rants that didn't make any sense . My daughter and I have a very healthy, relationship she showed me immediately and ask "what is wrong with Nana, I don't understand what she is talking about". I her to ignore it. Believe me I wasn't going to let either of my daughters take her wrath and especially with no reason. I tried calls over the next couple days to talk normally and discuss exactly what was her issue. She never returned my calls. My flying monkey Dad heard me out one day when I explained that I was no longer going to deal with her crap. He seemed to understand where I was coming from and I explained to him that No, I was no longer going to run to her and just let her blow it off anymore. I'm 46 yrs old and I'm done kissing up to her and letting her get away with inappropriate behavior. Of course she never acknowledged anything and always had him try to call. She did send several scathing text messages to me to ask "what is wrong with you", "How dare you act like this", etc. I ended up speaking to NM once in early March just to get a statement off my chest (which by the way she answered the phone like nothing at all had happened for a month back then, and answered sweet as pie) I proceeded to simply say "First of all there is nothing wrong with me, and I'm not going to deal with any drama, game playing or guilt trips". Well the sweetness went away in a snap and her response was "Oh Really, so now do you want to hear what I have to say". I knew all along it wasn't going to be pretty, so I was prepared. She proceeded to tell me that she and my Dad were feeling ignored and that I should MAKE my daughters call her every week. I told her No and that I talk to her every week anyway, so if they are around they are always happy to talk with her. That wasn't good enough for her at all. She proceeded to go into more of her narcisstic rage, until I finally just hung up the phone. Of course that really set her off, she sent me a scathing text to say many ugly things. This was the one and only time I have spoken with the woman in 10 mos.That was the key moment that I knew No Contact was the only option. So, I or anyone in my family has not spoken or seen her or my Dad in 10 months. My GC brother (who by the way lives on the same street as my parents) has made absolutely no contact with me whateoever. That's just fine, since I have since realized that our relationship was always based on my NM's triangulation between us. There have been various attempts across the months to contact my daughters directly via texting them or trying to facebook message my oldest daughter. My daughter long ago had unfriended her, so she doesn't have access to post crazy stuff anymore. All attempts on my crazy mother or enabling flying monkey father have been ignored. Especially the voicemail message she left on my work phone saying "you're one sick, ungrateful bitch" (in the most venomous tone you can think of) back around the time my daughter was going to graduate from high school. Luckily she has never shown up at an event or my home, but I do find myself worried about that happening someday. This blog specifically made me think of what she's trying to pull with my children. They are now 19 and 13 years old, she still thinks and tries every in possible to get to them. They just ignore her attempts, but it makes me sick that she tries and with all the fake sweetness you can fathom. I guess I would just love any tips or methods to deal with this what seems to be a lifelong issues or her continuing to try to contact them.

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  13. Anonymous, the venomous narcissistic rage you describe sounds very typical to me. I do not know about every narcissist, but in my mother's case she looked at everything and everyone as either belonging to her or me, her or my scapegoat brother, etc. If there was anyone she even sensed saw through her or she could not charm and manipulate, she would be all over them whether it was a child, someone's boyfriend, a mutual acquaintance, etc.

    I was one of those people who was told how harsh it was for me to maintain no contact with my mother, as well as having her lie about the reason the estrangement began. If I had it to do over, I would not have exposed my child to any of them at all. Period. Regardless of who thought it was harsh. Nothing and no one is as harsh and merciless as a true narcissist.

    So the only real tip I have is to encourage you to continue protecting your children and yourself if your mother has toxic narcissism. Some adult daughters have shared experiences where they have involved the authorities when their mothers escalated to the point of physical or telephone harassment. If it escalates or persists very long I would definitely seek professional involvement, someone you can explain the whole situation to and they can advise you with more specificity.

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

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  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Curious to know why my comment was removed by the blogs administrator?

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    2. Anonymous, it was actually published and had to be unpublished when I saw that it had her full name in the last sentence. I want you to be able to freely express yourself, but I can not publish a long, disparaging comment with the person's full name in the last sentence.

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  15. Gail, thank you for answering my question. I dont know what I was thinking when I included her full name. Your posts have helped me to understand a reality that I had been brainwashed to deny. I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate your insight.
    Can you please offer me advice on the best way (if there is a way) to get my adult daughters to understand that they have been brainwashed by my mother....I am desperate and devastated unbarable the damage and loss.
    Again, thank you so so much!!

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  16. Anonymous, thank you. I am glad we were able to clear the air.

    I wish I had a better answer for you, but I do not know the best way for you to convince your adult daughters they have been brainwashed. That is definitely something to discuss with a therapist, pastor, etc.

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  17. This post is my husband's family to a t, I actually got shivers when reading it. I now have huge concerns for my children's physical safety. My problem is my husband is her golden child, oddly enough our children are far from her favourites, her daughter's oldest son is her favourite, (she only has one daughter who has no self esteem and they all live together, the father is not around). I can only put it down to the fact that my husband abandoned her if you like when he met me. My problem is that she appears to adore everyone on the surface but in reality doesn't care at all about the safety and well-being of children. On our last visit I noticed she didn't even protect her favourite grandchild from harms way. We were at a restaurant and she was in charge of the children, she faced away from them and it was as if she hadn't brought them, there was a busy road and very busy car park where they could easily have come to some harm, then when an Aunty sternly asked her 3 times where the boys were she got very angry (I assume because she was made to look like she wasn't looking after them) and very sternly made them sit down. She is very lazy physically and is all too good with buying and spending money etc but will not keep young children safe while in her care. I have seen countless accidents occur due to basic neglect. Now back to my problem, my husband has seen all the things I have seen yet STILL would rather send our 1 year old and 2 1/2 year old to her for a couple of days. This thought terrifies me and I have had many arguments with him. He seems more intent on pleasing his mother over the safety of our children, I also think he desperately wants her to ''love' our children like she 'loves' her favoured grandchild. How do I make him see when he is so blind to her? There are many narcissists on his mother's side of the family, all women strangely enough. I will never leave my children with her ever and he obviously can't physically make me but it really causes conflict amongst us as he refuses to admit to what even he is seeing, it's quite terrifying. Can you offer any help?

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    1. Anonymous, my heart goes out to you. I commend you for protecting your children even though it causes conflict. This definitely sounds like an issue to discuss with a licensed mental health professional. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences.

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  18. I had children much later due being under FOG - Fear, Obligation and Guilt. We moved far way when our children were babies, and going on 3 yrs NC. My husband said the other day that God was protecting our family at the time. I do not doubt for one second that they would of tried to pit our children against us, or if that didn't work, they would begin slandering our children to everyone behind our backs, until our children are isolated, voiceless, judged, belittled by sarcasm, invalidated and ignored. It would be a matter of time.

    When my mother visited me three weeks after the birth of my youngest, it caused me a lot of stress. She kind of pushed her visit on me. That said, my older toddler had two deep scratches from her grandma tickling. One scratched even drew blood. She dismissed it as me being too soft. Another thing had disturbed me....when I was breast feeding the baby in the living room, I watched my toddler walk to the back bedroom where her grandma was. It wasn't more than 4 minutes later when I heard my daughter screaming unlike ever before. After putting the baby down in the Moses basket, I ran back and my daughter was standing next to my mother screaming. My mother continued to have her back towards me, rearranging my closets. She said my wedding photo/frame had fallen on her toe. I looked over to the picture, and it was still sitting on night stand, not broken or anything. So follow the logic: if my daughter had in fact grabbed the frame and it had fallen innocently on her toe, then why did she pick up the frame, place it back where it was and not be found comforting her grandchild when I ran back to the bedroom? Wow, that's cold. Her toenail was black, red and throbbing. My daughter was also standing right next to her grandmother, not near the unaffected frame on the nightstand. At the time of the visit, I accepted my mother's explanation. Two months later, it hit me clearly. What if my mother staring down at her beautiful, sweet granddaughter, child of her scapegoat daughter, took that frame and slammed it down on her toe, then place frame back on stand? Horrible image, isn't it? So when I finally had the courage to ask her what happened, she went into a full rage. I stayed very quiet, and was just devastated. I found out from my sister-in-law, that my mother said I screamed at her, and accused her, which is not only a lie, but a major red flag. Why lie if she had nothing to hide?

    I think what they do is get you so isolated, and others so brainwashed against you, that it's then they can start abusing you and yours. Who's going to believe you? That was it for me.

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    1. Anonymous, that is exactly how I have seen it work especially with my late scapegoat brother. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences that may hold the key for someone else as they read it.

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  19. How many of you experienced them creating false realities for you? They give you distorted information, even crazy-sounding scenarios, then when you act on that info, they distanced themselves from you, and make you look like the disturbed one, not them. In my situation, I was always the protector/confront others rather than talk behind their backs kind, they exploited that strength and made it my weakness. I would never stoop to their 2-face behavior, and have witnessed it on more than one occasion. It is quite disturbing to hear them viciously tare someone apart on Tuesday, and see them gush to that person's face on Friday. It's like they have multiple personalities. Would the real Slim Shady please stand up?!?!?! How can they look themselves in the mirror each day?

    I am the most hated person in my FOO. God only knows what's been said. I plead with God in my prayers, why don't you expose the truth? Don't wish them any harm, just for the truth to be exposed so that family relationships can be restored somewhat, and they can lose their power over others, that people wouldn't be so readily willing to believe them. Then I will be able to not always have to look over my shoulder. Then a few weeks ago, the pastor taught from Exodus....Exodus 14:14 The Lord will fight for you while you remain silent.

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    1. Anonymous, I have may times seen that exact scenario. Another example is giving two different family members bogus or spun information about each other to fuel a conflict. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences.

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  20. I only recently learned the true depths of evil my mother created in my family. My daughter is her golden grandchild and my oldest son is her scapegoat. My two year old is not even recognized by her (thank god!) But she has made my daughter hate me. She has called dfcs to say I am psychologically abusive because I severed contact with her after years of trying to be who she wanted. I only now realize her expectations were fluid and changed quicker that I could change so I was never going to be good enough. She helped my ex husband (a fellow NPD) start a custody battle and had my son ripped out of my home and the very state he lives in but kept my daughter's life "normal" under her roof. Additionally she has enlisted my golden child brother to help her in this endeavor. My attorney sees this and is helping me to get a restraining order that will keep her away from all of my children but the damage is done. My daughter is 16 and has been taught since birth she did not have to listen to me because my mother would override everything I tried to do for her. My son, who like me is the scapegoat, hates her and I may be wrong but I told him that it was OK to feel that way because in truth I hate her for everything she has and is putting me through. I have been praying for the ability to forgive her but I know that will take time. I love my daughter dearly but I cannot trust her and I am scared of the reprecussions of getting her back with the restraining order in place. I cannot have my family torn apart again. She did this to my father as well because she only wanted her family in her home so she had his 3 kids from his first marriage taken away from him. She is an evil woman who has hurt many people. On a plus note, she has no credibility with dfcs anymore as she called on me twice in one week and all allegations were proven unfounded. I was never investigated and never charged based off the workers conversations with my children, my neighbors, my employer (the local high school) and others who knew me as a parent. She also forgot to mention my 2 year old in her list of concerns for the safety of my children so the worker was shocked when he got to my home and saw my toddler running around happy as a lark. Some people hear what I just described and think it is too far fetched to be true but I promise you it is. That is how narcissist work. They convince everyone you are crazy.

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    1. Kathy, I am sorry for your pain and glad to hear you are working with an attorney. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences as it provides great validation for other adult sons and daughters of narcissists.

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  21. Hi there

    Yes I can relate and in fact I have self-esteem because I have had an ignoring mother.

    the question for me is about validation.

    there have over the years been so many lies said about me I didn't recognise the person they were saying I was.

    I was the scapegoated one. Independent, strong, creative etc.

    What hurts the most is the truth. The lies have separated me from my brothers and other close family. Over the years my mother has said things to people behind my back and they just cut off! I became aware of this pattern only in the last few years, once I had realised that my mother had some issues.

    I love my mum and despite my years of attempts and trying to resolve or discuss anything with her, although at some points she did acknowledge that it was her and not me, and that I have been protected from the dysfunctional family elements.

    Validation and truth matters to me. I have tried to find the truth, but also have realised that by others knowing the truth it will leave my mother in a situation that she refuses to be put in, so she does the divide and conquer and all communication is through her. Siblings are separated and my brother believes everything she says. People say she is nice and have the wrong idea of me, even my neice, who I hadn't been allowed to see for the first 18 years of her life, sends a FB messages, saying that she is told that I am psychopathic, a lier, etc etc - all the things that my mother is.

    My auntie has confirmed my understanding (rather sadly) because her own experience of my mum has been the same.

    How can I be free from the lies and slander over my name, identity, personality etc etc.

    Will the family close to my mother always believe her and 'hate' me.

    I have been described as the nicest one out of all of them, the creative, sensitive and intelligent one.

    I am ok just have a deep sadness and a strong feeling of rejection which I need to continue to put into perspective.

    how do I stop her from continously lying about me, despite her denial every time.

    I am not in her life much at all, and haven't been for the last 30 years (because of her rejection of me) despite my efforts over the years. But what upsets me the most are the lies and slander even today, the gossip - this awful false portrayal of me. Well the Scapegoated person that is me.

    how can I get her to stop this slander once and for all and let me live in peace from today?

    Many thanks

    sara

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    1. Anonymous, that is exactly what my late NPD mother did to the very two children who saw and spoke the truth about her. That is precisely what she accused people of - the very things she did. I do not mean to be a discouragement, but she never stopped - even on her deathbed.

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  22. Thank you for the blog and the posts, and I wanted to comment here from my own experiences. Personally my life was almost ruined by my narcissistic grandmother, who I now maintain minimal contact with. If I wish anything it would be that my mom would have kept me away from her after all the abuse she went through as well.


    See my mom let my grandmother convince her that she was a monster incapable of raising a child and emotionally abused her to gain custody of me. My mother being the scapegoat and controlled by this woman for years believed her, and decided to leave me in her care and be involved through visits.

    It was horrific. My grandmother physically and psychologically abused me, as well as dropped me off at my father's house knowing there was rampant sexual abuse. I ended up developing DID and it was only as a teenager suffering from crippling mental illness did I start to learn about the history of abuse and see the dynamics between the family members and realize it was her, not me; I blamed myself my whole life otherwise. She used many of the tactics others have mentioned, making up bogus stories to start fights, being enraged and cold when no one was around and then lavishing as soon as others were and she wanted them to think she was perfect and doting. She has ripped apart the relationships between my cousins and I from an early age, and she would tell me constantly how my mother was crazy, bad etc and I needed to do everything to not be like her; she even threatened to kidnap me as a teenager so my mother would never see me again despite my protests about that. I'm finally out of living with her after a particularly creepy situation of abuse and living with my mom, reconciling our relationship. However I do wish my mom would have accepted that everything my grandmother did to her she would do to me too and leaving me alone with her was a horrible idea. Please, if you're the daughter of an abusive narcissistic mother, particularly a malignant one try to keep minimal contact with your children and certainly don't fall for their manipulations about how they would be the better parent. It will save everyone a lot of heart ache and if they are like my grandmother they do not get better with age; honestly sometimes I fear she's getting worse.

    I thought I would add my piece in hoping it might protect some other grandchild out there from having to feel like this and live with this. I know it's hard breaking contact, but it's so so important to at least consider for your family's safety

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    1. Thank you for sharing your side. It helps me to be a stronger mom. I just have to find the way and the strength to protect my boys from further harm and manipulation. My well meaning father has made it easy financially to live next door so he can enjoy watching my boys grow up although my mother didn't make it easy for him when I was a child. I don't want to punish him or my kids who adore him because my dad is a good enough person to support and share living space with the @@woman who took his child from him 35 years earlier. I will keep your words close to me while I pray for a solution for my family.

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  23. Anonymous, I am sorry for your pain. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences.

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  24. Thank you for this blog, I can completely relate to your advice. I recently became aware that my preteen daughter has been targeted by my NMIL exactly as you describe and can see how your predictions could come true without serious intervention. This experience has created havoc and been difficult to correct as Nanny succeeded in distorting our daughter's perception all at an age where life is a confusing emotional roller coaster for a young girl.This led to us to identify the Ntraits my MIL possesses. As we work through this, it's been enlightening to discover the label as it has provided clarity on behaviours that have boggled our minds for years. It's funny how we often sense there is something amiss, but we like to give others the benefit of the doubt. We rationalise: "She's a bit of a control freak" or "she's feeling guilty and compensating for mistakes of the past". In our truth, there is an agenda being carried out by a selfish and exploitative person whose ruthless desire to have her own needs met, knows no boundaries. The "mistakes of the past" were built on the very same foundation.There are patterns of behaviour that are truly destructive and diabolical, they are cunningly and craftily disguised. MIL is masterfully deceitful, her very self is an illusion. If you met her, you would have difficulty believing she could be anything but sweet, charming and loving. We didn't even recognise that we were dealing with narcissism until Nanny set her claws into our baby, now EVERYTHING makes sense. Left unchecked for too long, at a critical stage of child development, by a person you trust and give authority to, I can easily imagine how the damage could be lifelong. You are also right about fracturing families for years, that is also true in our case and Nanny is steering the ship.

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  25. My father says things like we need to get you away from your mother to my son when he was 2. He lives in another state and is actively lobbying for my son to spend a month at a time with him and his wife who is awful too. My son choked on a foreign object this week and my dad made a joke about it and kept minimizing what my son and us as parents went though like it was no big deal. He said so he suffered no ill effects to get the last word. My son was in the hospital overnight with an iv because the object was lodged in his esophagus.He also has firearms in his house and waved them around last visit and put in a desk drawer within my sons reach. When I flipped out about it he complained how I insulted him. His wife is super rude to me and has always been yet she is really into my son and wants to have grandmother status. He has a pool and jokes that my son will learn to swim if he falls in. My dad calls me and says I am just calling for my boy. He likes to diminish me lately and focus entirely on my son. To boot he is very rich and semi famous for his good deeds. I want to move home to be near my Mom and Sister but don't want to live anywhere near him because he will stop at nothing. He also was inappropriate with me and my sister. There are times when I try to get on a good footing with him but his bad side comes out when least expected. I did a quick list of some of his worst behavior. When writing it I think I am making it up but I am not. I also have a fear he will find out I am posting about him.

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    1. Stay far away from him.

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  26. My mom’s method of control was to talk about the other sister behind her back to the other sisters. One man in & one man out as we use to say. If we spoke back she would hang up or walk out & not talk to the “offender” for at least 1 year. Everything was about her. She would encourage her children to lie to the other on her behalf. The “golden child” & her husband happily complied (I was the scapegoat). Now she is gone & there is discord & distrust. My children have trust issues with their aunt & uncle.
    What strikes me is both my sons saw this in their grandmother. Pre-adolescent they said, “Nana’s elevator does not go all the way to the top.” They probably compared their friends’ grandparents & saw unhealthy differences. I have worked hard to not be like her. I cannot even imagine being so mad at my children to not talk to them for more than an hour cooling off period. Both sons are intelligent. One became an aerospace engineer at 22, works with former astronauts & graduated top of his class at UCLA. The other is a marketing manager & very mature & a people person. Our doctor neighbor asks him to go on hikes & has discussions about sports. Both are Eagle Scouts. We raised our sons to be intelligent caring contributors to society.
    You have the power to stop the cycle of abuse. My husband told me, “You cannot change people, only yourself.” I could never be as self-centered or cold as my mom. Use the experience as an opportunity to learn & grow.
    We sisters are trying to reunite & reconnect. Recently I told the “golden” sister I could not trust her because of lies she has told & she did not get it (pattern here?). I gave her examples; all she said was oh. She does not understand if my mom ripped us up behind our backs, she did the same to her & her family. I am not too stupid to know she did the same to me & mine (my brother-in-law & other sister told me some of the things).
    When my “golden” sister’s son dropped out of junior college, my mom ripped both parents apart behind their backs for being drop outs themselves & not seeking help for him when he first struggled in elementary school. His mom always claimed to not have funds to help him, yet he got an iPhone, iPod & designer clothes in elementary school & she always had money for designer clothes, hair weaves, acrylic nail manicures and pedicures (pattern?). My mom went crazy to me on the phone & said her friend’s children all graduated college, how could she raise such a dumb daughter? I told her maybe her friends supported their children & made them a priority. This was the first time she said to me I was right. She was dying from cancer so maybe I caught her in a weak moment – first time for everything!
    When I turned 18 my mom wrote my birthday card with what I owned her for rent, food, insurance & a used car she had gave for my 16th birthday; I had to buy it from her if I wanted to drive it to college – my cousin said it was her way of getting the $3000 I inherited from my dad who died when I was 14. They were divorced. I told my mom I was going to college. She told me I would never graduate. I moved out 1 day after turning 18. I worked many jobs sometimes more than 50 hours a week & graduated with honors & a BS degree in 3 ½ years.
    My mom is gone now & can’t hurt me anymore my other sister said. So it was acknowledged, but still swept under the carpet. They miss her, & I really do not. Not one of her friends sent a condolence because none were talking to her in the end. What a sad life!
    I do get tired of the “golden” sister posting comments on my Facebook about who did we call when we needed advice. Really? When I asked my mom what subject I should major in college, she responded do I want to be rich and famous? I said, sure. She told me be a prostitute! That was my mom, I did not call her for advice. It is what it is. But sad how things go, the “golden” one is now stuck in this cycle.

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    1. Anonymous, I am sorry for your pain and frustration. Congratulations on recognizing and breaking out of the cycle. I can certainly relate to your comments, as I am sure many others will be able to also. Thank you.

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  27. Kathy P...OMG its like I stepped into your life.
    I am 5 days into researching this disorder, my search of Google started with "how do I explain someone with a mental that not everyone can see" and went from there. The reason I started "googling" is because I was attending an appointment with a child psychologist as part of the childrens court (with my 2 oldest children 11 & 7) to explain why I want to maintain an intervention order against my mother.
    To explain the abuse clearly, articlarly and consciously is near impossible: it looks and sounds like a "few nasty words", she didn't really mean to put her granddaughter down, she is the most caring grandmother and practically raised the 2 oldest children, she only wants to see the 2 oldests as she doesnt think she can handle the younger ones -but she will in time, explaining to my 10 year daughter that part of the reason her father and I separated was because I made him believe our son wasn't his etc etc the list goes on.
    She is a long term drug addict, addicted to marijuana for approx. 40 years (but the drug should be legal because there is nothing wrong with it!). Trying to explain to a court the slight put down the grandchildren have been repeating, my daughter coming home and telling me that "nanny says you have mental problems", going from absolutely hating my ex partner whilst we were in a relationship and for 3 years afterwards, to now being one of his support people (he went to her house for time out when he broke up with his fiancé last year). I don't believe she even really likes him now, she tolerates him because when he has contact with our children he takes them straight to her. She has caused such huge family law issues that my ex and I now no longer communicate and we both distrust each other. She doesn't like my husband becuase I think she knew she couldn't put it over him, he comes a massive extended family that is very close and just good country folk, and he picked up in the first few months of us dating that something wasn't right with her. He always found her highly competitive with me and said he knew when I'd seen her because i was either upset or moody as I had just been put down over something else I was perceived to have done wrong in her eyes. At our engagement party she went around putting me down and trash talking to my friends essentially telling them she was a victim of my behaviour and could they intereven - not realising most of my close friends were onto her or well aware of our turbulent relationship and that i was starting to stick up for myself. The most humiliating moment came when a guest wrote to my now husband after the engagement party telling him to be careful of his new mother-in-law if she could speak about her daughter the way she did at her engagement party (10 days after giving birth to our first child!) then she was someone for him to watch. Sad and humiliating.

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    1. It still sometimes amazes me how it is so often the same schemes over and over! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

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  28. Cont...From then I began moving away from her physically and emotionally, and the more I did the more she contacted my ex, to the point she started having dinner with him and his fiancé (who saw the light and left). She would find belongings of mine and bag them up such as trophies and hand them to my daughter (9 yrs old at the time) and said she was cleaning out her house and no longer wanted them. When my daughter asked why she didn't give them herself she said she was too busy to come around. She was 1.2km from our house after driving 3 hours to attend a "family party" for my then 5 turning 6 year old son organised by my ex. So many more examples that just cause a great big knot, lots of crying, lots of OMG moments. Thank god my younger don't know her and my husband no longer tries to fix the "rift". He used to believe that our kids were somehow missing out and she would only very rarely make the effort to see them, now he's happy to keep her away especially since all my Aunties and Uncles are supporting our actions and can see the behaviour patterns, the abuse and the affect that it has had on my 2 oldest children. They unfortunately have felt some backlash from her, she has now added them to her destructive list, and I find it so hard that someone like her gets to roam around causing complete havoc with peoples families and lives and I have had to take the drastic action of going to court to "identify" the abuse, seek and intervention whilst she has already indicated regardless of whether or not it stays in place she is considering going to the family court to apply to have time with my children.
    The stress that this has caused is enormous! When my legal representative suggested to the court that we attend this clinic for the purpose of the psychologist assessing the family dynamics and speaking with the children about what they had seen or heard - she resisted hard and until last minute of the day when the judge was proceeding to allow myself and the children to attend without her, she jumped up and said she changed her mind she wanted in.
    Where are we now, me = theraphy, my children touchwood people can start to see and listen to what is going on and that whilst its not in your face violence, its not physically its real, its damaging, its intentional, its designed to cause relationship destruction on top of the use of drugs.

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  29. cont 2...
    The ex I cant work out if he is an enabler or a "flying monkey". However, he is supporting her in court and has been through my statement as a checklist and discussed it with our daughter and blatantly told her that things are not how she remembers them, she was never called pathetic, people (like nan) do drugs because they have a void inside them that they cant fill and sometimes they say things they don't mean etc etc.
    I have been told by many people I should write a book, my life in chapters, and I would like to (with 4 kids and work haha) but memories and feelings are still raw and im am currently living in a state of bewilderment of why did I not know of this disorder before, does that explain my behaviour since the age of 16 by continually running away from her, moving interstate?? However I did move back and did turn to my mother and step father when I first separated from the ex (he left when I was pregnant with our second child because he didn't want to turn 30 and have 2 kids and no real life!, then proceeded to rub salt into the wound claiming 6 months into my pregnancy and after attending doctor visits that he didn't think the child was his).
    I joke and say I sound like I belong on the Jerry Springer show, fact is I have a high paying job, I'm university educated, I worked 2 jobs as a single mother and still had one week day off with my then 2 kids to save for my own house, I don't consider myself stupid, I love and care, have lots of hang ups and insecurities, I have an abusive ex who is a police officer and got himself placed in our local precinct ("for the sake of being close to the children") and a very manipulative and vindictive mother.

    Thank you for the forum and in a way while my heart breaks to find out there is more of me out there, its comforting to know I am not alone and others have also walked this same journey and now I am aware of it I can starting healing.

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  30. The reason I cut off all contact with my NM and started really researching her disorder was because of the last time she spent with my 7 year old daughter on her own. She spent that last time relaying stories to turn her against her Grandfather (My father left her after 20 years as her co-dependent husband and has not spoken to her in 18 years) she also tried to pump my daughter for information that was not appropriate for a child to even be aware of. Once confronted she turned it on my child and said "she takes after me, you know what she is like, I had to tell her the truth of the situation", I felt like vomiting, my daughter was upset and contemplative for days over what her Nanna had told her about her marriage to her Grandfather. I knew I could not let her poison damage another generation, especially as I am the scapegoat and I could see she was already turning my daughter into another scapegoat. Thank you for this article

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    1. Era, I am so glad to hear you recognized and interrupted the cycle!

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  31. With my mother, it's not so diabolical. Most of the things I read are about the ignoring type of NM -- I WISH! My mother is the engulfing type. She has formed a very unhealthy attachment to my 2-y-o daughter. My daughter greatly prefers my mother to all three of her other grandparents, to the point that she will run from them whenever my mother approaches and beg for her. The minute I enter the room with my daughter, my mom latches on to her, takes her from my arms and carries her off to another room. She bribes her with things I don't allow and tells her I'm mean. She sits RIGHT next to her and guides her through every step of every little thing she does, almost as if my daughter is a doll and must have everything done "to" her. My mother sits over her shoulder telling her what to pretend and how. She tells her what to say and how to say it - makes my daughter repeat it in exactly the same tone she uses and everything. She makes her do the same simple actions over and over until she does it just like my mom wants her to. I've noticed that my mom doesn't do "normal" grandparent activities with her, like going to the park, etc. She did finally get a kiddie pool this summer, but instead of putting my daughter in the pool and letting her play, my mother got a lime and a cup and made my daughter put the lime into the cup over and over and over. Random weird stuff like that. Doesn't sound so sinister but these things are HUGE with a two-year-old! I hate watching my mother's delight as she manipulates my daughter into doing what she wants her to do - toddlers are easy targets and can be outsmarted a little easier than my mom's usual prey. It's scary to see the transformation in my daughter from a playful, imaginative little girl, to a timid, questioning child always looking up for direction and saying she can't do it. One of my biggest concerns is the subtle way my mom shows my daughter to disrespect me, just by her own disrespect of me. As far as I know she doesn't instruct my child in this, just allows her to learn by example who is in charge and who matters. My mother will completely ignore me if my daughter is around. She will speak to my daughter and not to me, and will even cut me off mid-sentence to start talking to my daughter. Also, my mother barely even acknowledges my 7-month-old son. The only real mention she ever makes of him is to tell my daughter how he's "just a baby" and "can't do anything" and "wants to be exactly like you" and "is taking all the attention" etc. I see her planting the same seeds she planted in me and my siblings. She always made my older siblings believe that I idolized them and no matter what I did it was just in an effort to be like them, which was far from true and made me feel invisible. She made everything about competition and who's getting attention - always such a huge emphasis on attention! I saw other families where no one got particularly more attention than anyone else, and no one fought for it. It was just natural, whoever was talking was listened to, etc. In normal families, the siblings weren't constantly compared and challenged to be like the others, and people just developed as natural. I've decided not to allow my mother to babysit ever again, but I'm still trying to figure out how to go about it. My mother believes that she is extremely important in my daughter's life and insists that my daughter be given a "grandma day" every week or more often. She in no way sees babysitting as a favor to me or a privilege for her, but a right that I owe her. I am still a little under her spell myself and she always manages to talk me into it again by reasoning that I could use a break and some time with my husband, that she misses my daughter so much. I read articles like this in hopes of finding something to help me with this process... still looking for answers

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    1. Anonymous, in my experience there can be a whole lot of little subtle seeds planted that can have a devastating (cumulative) effect. Relocating or firm boundaries are the main solutions I have seen discussed. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

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    2. This particular comment by "anon" above hits really close to home.

      I grew up thinking flying off the handle was normal and surely my behavior justified her rage. Looking back I realize that it's not okay to talk to people like that. It's only really been the past 5-10 years that I truly realized that there is something wrong with my Mother and our relationship. It's only been the past year or two that I have realized the extent of the issues. I only tagged her as a NM a couple days ago. I am thankful for all the stories to help solidify this disorder for me.

      I started looking into this because my NM has flown off the handle again...
      I got a phone call Saturday and my Mother told me that she had errands to run. I told her not to worry about attending my son's soccer practice. She probed and probed about whether I had all three of my kids with me, whether my husband was going to be there to help me, etc. I reassured her that I was fine and didn't need help at practice, that I had it covered. She agreed not to come.

      I pull into the parking lot, park my car, and start to get my stroller and stuff out. She pulls in the lot behind me. I accepted that she was there and reminded her that I didn't need help. I started to get the kids out and she intervened, insisting on helping, and got my middle child out of the car. I put the baby in the stroller and my oldest son and we all headed to the field.

      We got to the field and she insisted that it was too cold and the kids were going to get sick. She started telling them that they were cold, despite the fact that they were fine 30 seconds before that. She had them bundled in blankets and they were crying and whining that it was cold.

      I took my middle child to the field and started to practice with him to help him warm up (and get away from her) and I hear the baby crying. I look over and my Mother is struggling to put a blanket on the baby. The baby is kicking the blanket, pulling it off, and screaming. She was so focused on getting a blanket on the baby because that's what she wanted that she didn't see that she was upsetting the baby who didn't want the blanket.

      I walked over and asked her to stop. She refused and said she wouldn't, that these were her grandchildren. I could tell she was getting ragey. I picked the baby up from the stroller and carried her on the field. I turn around and look back and she is fussing over my oldest son who is now covered in all the blankets.

      It's Tuesday now and I haven't talked to her since the game Saturday morning.

      Saturday night we had a family event and she basically ignored me. She paid attention to the kids but completely ignored me. She didn't even say goodbye when I specifically said goodbye to her.

      Just like the commenter, I am struggling with finding a way to limit her interaction with my kids. Right now she watches them two days a week. She feels that seeing her grandchildren is her right, not a privilege we allow.

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  32. I'm not sure if my mother is a narcissist but she has done a lot of horrible things over the years. It seems like she liked me when I was a young child and started hating me as I got older. She insulted me, talked behind my back to siblings, compared me unfavorably to others (e.g. "Her friend is so much prettier than her"), even bad mouthed me to an ex boyfriend who called her. She also did some more extreme things, one of which was sending a private investigator to find out information about me when I was 18, and making up that I was a drug addict who had AIDS and spreading these lies to relatives. Meanwhile, I was a straight A student and am now a university prof. I never did drugs. Once, when I told her that I got my first research job, she answered "tell me the truth, you work in a bar". She constantly sent me a negative image of myself as a worthless, unattractive person. Over the years, there was more and more proof that I wasn't this loser and while she bragged about it to others, taking credit for my accomplishments, she never said a positive thing to me. Also, when I was younger she sent me away a few times, first to a foster home to spend the night because she couldn't stand me anymore. I think I was 10 years old, best student in my class. NOT a wild child by any means. I was still playing with my dolls...Another time she sent me away to live with my father. Meanwhile, my sister and her spent countless hours trashing everyone and everything, and I was a favorite object of gossip. My sister became a horribly nasty person who herself did a lot to hurt me. Once she contacted an ex boyfriend of mine and had dinner with him. She then left me a long voice mail telling me that he had said a lot of nasty things about me, all the while she was laughing her head off. I no longer speak to my sister. My sister no longer speaks to my mother because my mother attended my wedding and my sister cannot forgive her for it. Last year, my mom sent me an email saying "if she doesn't speak to me it's your fault. You were such a horrible person who made us all suffer, of course she can't accept that I actually attended your wedding". Now I have one child and my mother wants a relationship with him. She clearly loves him but I worry that she will start hating him as soon as he shows signs of independence. A few days ago she sent me a message saying I don't appreciate what she does for me (which is nothing!) and that it is my duty to call her once a week and put my child on Skype for her. She then complained that she was sure my husband contacted his mother at least weekly, and then sent me an article about a grand-parent who went to court to get grand-parent rights to see their grand-child. My anger boiled over and I sent her a long email pissed about her latest stunt and everything else I have never been able to forgive. She answered that she never wanted to speak to me again, which she has said at least once a year since I can remember. I always end up feeling guilty but I realized that she never feels guilty about anything. She claims that she did everything for my own good and still insists that I was involved in drugs. I do not trust her and I am terrified she would start talking to my child behind my back. How can I handle this? It feels like it's a lose-lose situation.

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    1. Anonymous, you are not alone in your situation. I can not tell anyone else what the right choice is for them, but I can tell you what I believe I would do if I had it to do over. I would never have exposed my child to my extended family of origins at all. The child can learn these unhealthy behavior patterns, be subject to overt or covert abuse, brainwashing, taught to disrespect you, etc. In other words, I would cut my losses as opposed to being manipulated with guilt or continuing to hope or believe things would change. A well educated and trusted therapist can be a lifesaver.

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  33. I've done quite a bit of research about NM and the effects it can have on their children. My research began with searching for maybe a reason why my Mother always had these random tantrums when things didn't go her way. My Father is a nice, quiet man (now battling Parkinson's Disease), who always does what my Mother says. My fiancé is actually the one who got me to see the light of everything my Mother is. For a long time, I was the "golden" child, simply because I was always obedient and never talked back. My Mother so clearly created a huge gap between my little sister and I (I only see it now). My sister was very independent, even at a young age, and always fought back with my Mother. My Mother would openly talk about how she hated my sister (even when she was as young as 12 years old). I always believed my Mother and would talk behind my sister's back, just to get approval from my Mother. I was always such an insecure person and am still battling my low self-esteem. It's sad though, now that I see it. We were so close as little girls and now we don't have much of a relationship. I'm 21 now and have been living far away for 3 years now. My sister just graduated from high school and only now, do we start talking. My Mother was furious when I moved out and I decided to move far away from her. I only see her about once a year during Christmas. After that (rebellious decision) she immediately changed her daughter preference. I became the bad child and my sister became the "golden" child (well sort-of). My sister only recently told me my Mother was a it again, sending her threatening texts. That was always my Mother's way into scaring us. We lived in the country far away from anything. We were always stuck at home with her, especially during the Summers (believe it or not, she's an elementary teacher).

    So, in a couple of years, I'd like to get married to my loving fiance (who can't stand my Mother) and start a family. I'm already worrying about how I will handle having children with her around. This is the first website I found that spoke about the effect of Grandmothers on their grandchildren. It's frightening and terrible to say the least. I was always very close to my Mother's side of the family (my Grandmother, my two ends and my 4 cousins). I want to have limited contact with my Mother, but know that that will mean I will also not have much contact with my extended family either. Everyone loves my Mother and don't seem to see her flaws (other than my Grandmother sometimes). I feel like I need to stay in contact in order to not have everyone hate me (I know I am a people-pleaser and I can't help it). I don't have many friends who live in this big city (everyone stayed closer to home). And I'm scared to feel alone. But then, I want to be able to heal and grow as a person and I can't if I stay in contact with my Mother. Not to mention that I love my father and can't be in contact with him, without being in contact with her.

    It's so hard having to make all these decisions. Every Christmas, I always seem to fall for her tricks once again and it's so hard. Even when we talk on the phone, all she talks about is her and she never seems to care what I have to say. I used to go to my bestfriend's house and would always love being around her Mother who was always so sweet and generous. My Mother has never given me anything, without asking for something in return. I've always been a hard-worker, simply because I had to be.

    I feel broken knowing I never really had a Mother and I guess it's up-to myself to heal and became the best Mother I can for my future children. Thank you for the article. I learned a lot.

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    1. Anonymous, my heart goes out to you. While it is a difficult situation, it is definitely in your favor that you and your sister have spotted the game - and especially at such young ages. If you have not already done so, please join us on Facebook. The link is in the right margin.

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  34. I have read what you wrote with a sense of both empathy, and awe. You so succinctly describe what it is to be around a narcissist - most importantly, the fact that such people are rarely, if ever, diagnosed and treated as pathological, or mentally/emotionally ill (which is what they actually NEED to be seen and treated as).
    I live in the UK; it is much the same here, as in the US. Conventional Psychiatry, and the "mental health professions" tend to focus on the blatantly obvious only (I should know, I've worked in them). We have a term in the UK "crisis intervention", which basically sums up the situation. Mental health services only tend to respond to obvious crises - full-blown psychosis with delusions and hallucinations; Schizophrenics who threaten suicide - where a person is significantly ill, but presents to the outside world (i.e. those around them who know them, but are not necessarily close) as "well" or "functioning" then very little, if anything, is done.
    Personally, I think that society has a VERY ignorant attitude towards mental ill health - a complete lack of understanding. What society THINKS it knows actually amounts to VERY LITTLE. The glaringly obvious is easy to spot! Perhaps that is the problem? Humans like answers; things that are easy to spot, and solve. Things that are simple to explain. Uncertainty; and things that appear one thing, but are actually another; are deeply uncomfortable, and I don't believe that humans deal with them very well. I suspect that it may be easier for many humans to simply overlook such things - try to ignore them, and to pretend they don't exist.
    Maybe I'm not explaining it particularly well? What I am attempting to say is that such things as strongly-voiced delusions of grandeur or persecution; suicide attempts or threats; feelings of being somebody else; aggressive outbursts... things that present as clear evidence that something is seriously wrong cannot, and do not, go unnoticed. Services are all over them! But these things are only a PART of the whole. Mental ill health appears to get noticed, and treated, if it is somehow "pigeonholeable"... If it demonstrates clear, overt evidence of "breakdown", "disintegration", "self-destructiveness", "psychosis". In a nutshell - if it is EASY TO SPOT, AND TO CATEGORIZE (which fits in well with your concerns regarding the DSM, and ICD criteria for diagnosis of mental illness).

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  35. (Contin)
    Psychopaths, Sociopaths, Narcissists... whatever they might currently, or historically, be termed have many things in common. But, in my eyes, it is ONE trait above all others that defines such people - THEY ARE CONTROL FREAKS/MASTER MANIPULATORS. These individuals are rarely spotted quickly, quite simply because they present to different people in different ways. They keep people off-balance, because they display such a multitude of personae! They WANT to control EVERY situation they are in; EVERY person they are around. They have NO boundaries - other people are extensions of themselves. Worse still, it is rare that one EVER sees the REAL THEM. For some reason - perhaps yet unknown, and certainly not fully explored - these people are very adept at FAKING. They can make themselves seem many things to many people; and are bizarrely convincing. In this sense, they can actually become pretty successful, and sometimes wealthy, esteemed individuals.
    Now, I hypothesize that society DOES NOT LIKE to "punish" such "esteemed" people. We have a fantastic example of this in the UK - JIMMY SAVILLE. This man's life PROVES beyond a doubt that, where a person is metaphorically placed upon a pedestal, they can get away with the most heinous of acts, and remain undetected as a problem for many years. I believe that the narcissist/psychopath/sociopath is well aware of this fact - present as outwardly "nice", "sane", "successful", "ambitious", "admirable"... anything, basically, that other humans look up to, or praise, and you can "get away with murder" (possibly literally, in some cases). These individuals know just what to do in order to "fly below the radar"; they know who to befriend, who to suck up to, who to impress, who to pacify, who to keep in with.
    It amuses me somewhat to read books such as "Snakes In Suits" by Hare & Babiak, and to see just how many psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists inhabit the worlds of Politics, big business, finance, the media, and so forth… I say amuses… Perhaps what I should actually say is that it is a wry humor, tempered by both distress, and disgust! It is evident that such individuals are clearly well able to function in certain environments; AND prove difficult to spot. It is also evident, from the literature that sociopaths/psychopaths/narcissists are FACILITATED by society – they rely in part upon OUR OWN COGNITIVE ERRORS AND BIASES in order to get away with whatever they are up to. In part, WE permit them to stay hidden!

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  36. (Cont)
    Research in the field of Social Psychology shows that humans perceive benefits to living societally, and to forming groups. Aristotle, in his discourse “Politics”, wrote that humans are social animals. THIS is something that psychopaths/sociopaths/narcissists play on. There is significant evidence that humans are drawn to charismatic individuals, especially as leaders. It would appear that humans associate charisma with emotional intelligence (thus viewing it as a positive quality) Work by Riggio (1988) and Avolio (2005) suggests that people see charisma as comprising certain components – 6 basic “building blocks” of personal charisma. Of these, such things as social control, social expressivity, and emotional control are significant – the psychopath/sociopath/narcissist is possessed of these components, or is certainly able to present as possessed of them. Such individuals are often fluent, persuasive, convincing orators; calm under pressure; highly manipulative; charming – everyone’s “best mate”. It would appear that others around such narcissists (or whatever they may be termed) view them as socially adept, as emotionally literate – as charismatic – when in reality their appearance as such is mere sham. Surely, we are all familiar with the term “GLIB”?
    Another thing that allows narcissists/psychopaths/sociopaths to so easily manipulate is the fact that humans do not like uncertainty. NOR do they like to be faced with the fact of having incorrectly assessed and evaluated another’s personality. Put these two things together, and they combine to provide the narcissist/psychopath/sociopath with yet another way of getting at people. After all, such individuals do NOT wish to take responsibility for their own actions – so, what better than to be able to say it was the victim’s fault, “so and so misinterpreted me, they got it wrong – if they feel hurt, it’s their fault”! The narcissist (or whatever we may call them) hides easily behind inscrutability; they are hard to read, in that they are many things to many people. So, what one person sees, another does not – making it VERY EASY for the narcissist to say that OTHERS MISINTERPRET THEM. That alone must feel VERY GOOD to the narcissist, because it gives them both a sense of invulnerability, and of being able to blame others.
    I’d hazard that people tend to like to think that others will be pleasant, and pleasant towards them. It is disconcerting to think that other people may be genuinely unpleasant; and, worse, pleasant to one’s face, with the ulterior motive of harming, manipulating, and “trashing”. THIS is what the narcissist does – USES people whilst they are beneficial, then “trashes” them when they have outlived their purpose. People are, to a narcissist, just “things” – tools (in more ways than one!). I emphasize the double-meaning in the word “tool”; colloquial usage suggests a derogatory term, indicating that a person thus “labeled” is thought of as stupid, ignorant or foolish (and worse). The narcissist DISRESPECTS other people – they are seen as “tools”.

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  37. (Cont)
    Perhaps this is why mental health services do not seem to identify and attempt to treat such individuals? … They pass as “functional”, maybe even “normal” for a time. Once it is realized that they ARE malignant, it’s sometimes already too late. They have done their damage subtly, “behind closed doors”, AND with a façade of being likeable, pleasant people. Believing that a narcissist/psychopath/sociopath IS a narcissist (or whatever) is difficult. Who backs who, when opinions as to the reality of said person differ? Such individuals divide, and thus attempt to conquer.
    Furthermore, THEY are not the sorts who will present before the G.P. asking for counseling/therapy. THEY will not show evidence of distress, or “breakdown”. On the contrary, they most likely do not even see themselves as troubled, or unwell. The vast majority of individuals who are treated by mental health services are, as I have already pointed out, either BLATANTLY pathological, or else self-refer. The latter possess a trait that the narcissist clearly does not – INSIGHT. The former may lack insight, but are so obviously mentally “unstable” as to be picked up on. The narcissist, meanwhile, sees no reason whatsoever to be on the receiving end of an “intervention”; the narcissist’s behavior is beneficial (to him/her). In all likelihood, it is the sort of behavior that would (if picked up by mental health services) be labeled as “personality disordered” – and, sadly, mental health services do not tend to see personality disordered individuals as particularly treatable (so, presumably, they are better left alone). Personality disorder cannot simply be medicated.
    The mental health professions are just NOT UP TO DEALING WITH SUCH PEOPLE. Contrary to what you may believe regarding notions of “evil”, and so forth, this is NOT (in my opinion) anything to do with spiritualism, or religion. A person DOES NOT need to have any belief in God, the devil, the supernatural, or any other “higher force” in order to know simple RIGHT FROM WRONG. The matter is more a question of what society appears to “let slide” – it is an issue of moral and social acceptability. Put bluntly, if a person commits murder; or beats up another individual; or steals a car, or jewelry; or sets a building deliberately on fire… THIS IS OBVIOUSLY BAD. So, they get punished. If a person slits their wrists; takes an overdose; believes they are hearing voices; is convinced they are someone else… THIS IS OBVIOUSLY “NUTS”. So they get referred to mental health services. We are back again with the issue of the BLATANTLY OBVIOUS.
    However, if a person is pleasant to your face, whilst simultaneously secretly “badmouthing” you to all your colleagues and business clients, with the ultimate goal of stealing your work, and eventually beating you to a promotion (and perhaps even deliberately getting you fired)… WHO’S TO COMMENT? After all, EVEN if you become aware that this IS what’s happening, WHO ELSE WILL BELIEVE YOU? It’s YOUR word against that of the narcissist/psychopath/sociopath; who, by the way, has been very pleasant to everyone else in the office, and is generally o.k. to your face. AND, what’s more, IS stealing your job and wrecking your career actually an offence? THAT is how these individuals operate. They are LIFE WRECKERS – BUT NOT IN AN OBVIOUS, EASY-TO-SPOT WAY. Once people do begin to notice their trail of destruction, it’s likely that they have already moved onto the next victim. ALL people around them are potential sources of “narcissistic supply”, potential “facilitators” or “codependents”. It’s just up to the narcissist to spot which person is easiest to manipulate, and in which situation they can most easily get away with hiding what they are doing.

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    1. Anonymous, I think most of us make the mistake of believing everyone is like us, which allows good people to be blindsided by these people, be it at work or in personal relationships. Often what appears to be obvious, does not reflect the reality of the situation.

      One example is the significant other who enters into a relationship with someone who intentionally and systematically sets out to gaslight them until they actually cause a mental breakdown. As I think you rightly pointed out, control freak extraordinaire does appear to be a common factor. Another example is a psycho coworker or supervisor initiating a workplace mobbing toward a subordinate or coworker. Then there is the extreme of gang or cause stalking, orchestrated by psychopaths, some being snakes in suits. These and other situations can result in breakdowns, depression, anxiety, paranoia, psychosis, often through no fault or true illness of the victim. So what may appear obvious, and is easy to pigeonhole and medicate, may not be as obvious as it appears to a mental health professional. In each of these instances, the real problem is the perpetrator / psychopath / sociopath / narcissist. It is absolutely disgusting to me to know that there are individuals walking around on this planet who actually study these things in order to use them to discredit or destroy innocent people.

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  38. (Cont)
    In my mind, the simple, but hard-to-swallow FACT is this – SOME PEOPLE ARE DOWNRIGHT “NASTY”, AND ARE PERHAPS MADE THAT WAY (OR THEY BECOME THAT WAY BECAUSE OF CIRCUMSTANCES, BOTH PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL IN NATURE). Whatever the reason, narcissists/psychopaths/sociopaths EXIST, and they ARE a problem. They are a problem that society in general is ill-equipped to deal with (never mind mental health services). They are a problem that society, in part, perpetuates; and permits to evade responsibility and punishment for its actions. They are a problem that society has made itself unable to tackle, because it is society (our social codes, our expectations, our judgments) that has given such people a “mask” to hide behind.
    Whilst our society continues to view human “success” as the accumulation of wealth, or the ownership of status symbols, or the ability to impress, or to look good… narcissists/psychopaths/sociopaths will continue to thrive. Whilst our society continues to praise and reward people in the workplace who come across as ambitious, hard-headed, smooth-tongued… narcissists/sociopaths/psychopaths will continue to thrive. Whilst our society continues to see NO problem in parents who control their children’s lives; living vicariously through them; demanding they get high grades at school, get a top job, secure a good marriage… insisting that their offspring’s behavior should always reflect well upon the parent… narcissists/sociopaths/psychopaths will continue to thrive. Whilst our society continues to condone nepotism, cronyism, “old boy networks”, cabals and secret societies… narcissists/psychopaths/sociopaths will continue to thrive. GIVE THEM A PLACE TO HIDE AND TO CARRY OUT THEIR COVERT, DEVIOUS AND ULTIMATELY TREACHEROUS ACTIVITY – AND THEY WILL BE THERE!

    The sooner society in general – and mental health services in particular – wise up to this fact, the better.

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    1. While I believe more needs to be done, I do not blame society for the behavior of such people. I think awareness needs to raised. It appears to be a consistent theme that psychopaths / sociopaths / narcissists believe they are being 'brilliant,' when in fact their behavior is often nothing less than evil. Of course, I am not one who believes anyone ultimately 'gets away' with anything. Be it by God or man, we are all accountable for our actions no matter how much some attempt to convince themselves otherwise.

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    2. No need to bring God into it, though. You loose all credibility as soon as you make this a religious issue. This is all about science based behaviors, not spirituality.

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    3. On the contrary, Anonymous, but thank you so much for giving me your unsolicited opinion regarding what I should post on my blog, as well as what it is "all about."

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  39. (Cont)
    By the way… I can completely identify with much that has already been written, both as part of the original article, and as content within the responses. I’ve lived most of my life around people whom I would consider to be narcissists/sociopaths/psychopaths (including family members, and workplace colleagues). I’ve grown up with TWO highly authoritarian, controlling parents; parents who saw ME as a mere extension of them. I’ve known the endless fighting for attention, the constantly changing “goalposts”, the withholding of affection, the never being told you are worthwhile or loved. I’ve grown up in the understanding that I should do as my parents say, or be punished – their obsession concerning my academic grades, my appearance, whether my friends were “appropriate”, how my behavior reflected upon them. I was brought up not to question my parents’ authority, and orders; not to talk back. In my family siblings were compared, cousins compared – everyone traded off against everyone else... My desperation to leave home and to live my OWN life (as opposed to one laid out for me by someone else) has been overwhelming…
    THEN, alas, I made the huge mistake of marrying into yet another family pretty much like my own. I guess when you are groomed from birth to be a “codependent”, to provide “narcissistic supply”, you get used to doing it!
    I was a Social Worker for a while – now I’m studying Psychology postgrad. I’d like to think that my personal experience might be helpful to somebody else (even if it’s never been much use to me). So, when I found this blog, it felt somehow like familiar territory… People living with, or around, narcissists NEED support from somewhere; and support seems so hard to come by. We spend much of our time doubting ourselves, trying to get our heads around what is going on. Much of our struggle is alone, and unaided… because, as I said, SOCIETY permits narcissists/psychopaths/sociopaths to get away with much of what they do.
    I only hope that one day this changes; and that maybe some of us can help bring about this change.

    SO sorry for the lengthy response.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences. I wish you well in your post graduate program and career. It sounds as if you have a great deal to offer as a psychologist.

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  40. I'm currently pregnant with our first child & my Nmom's first grandchild. I've had a strained relationship with her for years because of her narcissistic ways. I'm contemplating cutting her off before our baby arrives. Right now she is on very limited contact after a horrible narcissist behaviour filled visit a couple of months ago. She's been acting worse and worse over the past couple of years & significantly worse since finding out about this pregnancy. Thank you for writing this article and giving me a lot to think about regarding this. I know she is a toxic person and I know the best thing for my baby is to keep my Nmom far away from my child, but it just hurts to know that I can't have her around my child. I've been reading through the other comments and I know I'm doing the right thing. It just doesn't feel like the right thing.

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  41. I have to start off by thanking you, for not only writing this in depth blog but taking the time to respond to every comment. That is sincere dedication and a sign of someone with a heart of gold in my book. I read many of the comments, hoping to find someone with an issue similar to mine looking for some guidance/advice and either my situation is slightly unique, or I just didn't read enough of the comments, so here's my dilemma: I have a 7 yr old daughter "Sarah" that I strongly believe is manipulated against me by my mother-in-law. My daughters father "Jay" (who is much older than me) & I aren't married but have been together for nearly 10 years. He's a hands on, loving dad, great provider & deep down has a good heart but he seems to be both a victim of his mothers manipulation and has narcissistic ways, especially when it comes to defending his mother. About a year ago or so, his mother told me, "I asked Sarah who she loves more, you or her daddy and you know what she told me? She said that she loves her daddy more!" I kept my cool not letting her get the best of me, telling her I'm happy Sarah loves her dad but it was totally uncalled for to make a her feel like she HAD to choose or even plant that idea in her mind. I immediately told Jay what happened & initially he was very upset & said he would have a talk with her & let her know she was wrong. I was honestly stunned by his reaction because typically he defends her no matter what but I thought maybe this was different because now she's crossed the line with Sarah. After having whatever whacked out conversation he had with his mom, he goes into total defend mommy mode & tried to convince me that it wasn't like that and it was all said in a jokingly manner & it's really not a big deal. I told him that if that's how he truly felt, then I do not want Sarah around his mother unless I'm there because now I just don't trust her or you. That rule stuck for a while but slowly, Jay started bringing Sarah with him to visit his mother & everything seemed to be going ok until the past couple of weeks. I've been helping my mother with some projects, so I haven't been home as much and Sarah says to me in a stern voice, "mommy I am so disappointed with you, youre spending too much time at Nana's when you should be here with me and daddy, you should be ashamed!" Mind you, I'm a stay at home mom & Sarah is one of the sweetest most kind little girl, so it stopped me in my tracks & left me confused & speechless. I thought well, maybe she's just missing me? Then a couple days later out of the blue while we were cleaning her room she asks me, in a very snarky & sarcastic tone, "mommy, who do you love more, me or Nana?!" I told her that I love you both and it hurts my heart that you would ever have to think about such a thing. My stomach was in knots thinking here we go again! So, I spoke to Jay about the 2 incidents & he completely shrugged it off, again telling me oh it's normal, that's what kids do! I don't have any recollection of asking much less thinking things like that as a child and I come from a family of 5 siblings & a mother & father who engraved in us strong family values. Maybe in Jays childhood that was a norm, or is it just normal like he says it is? I don't believe so but I am interested in hearing some outside opinions. So sorry for writing this small novel, I just think certain details help to paint a better picture of my conundrum

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  42. My narcissistic mother managed to use Grandparents Laws to get partial custody of my children. Do you have any suggestions on how we can prove that her narcissism is emotional abuse?

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    1. There are some lawyers who are familiar with this. I have a folder on the FB page. There are also a few articles written about it, but not many as of my last search.

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  43. In reading all you've written, i think its as if id spoken it myself.....these "people" are monsters...glad ive put an ocean between me and my narcs. Unfortunately, both parents and sibs were all narcs, it was hell. Also, many knew about the abuse and did nothing, some other narcs actually blamed me. no contact is the only way

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  44. My NM passed away two months ago. I was the scapegoat and never had a close relationship with her. My older GC sister was raised with no discipline and got everything she wanted. The GC had to get married because she was pregnant. NM was furious! To get even, my NM made her new granddaughter the GC. My GC sister treats her daughter like she did me with insults and cuts her down at every turn. I went NC with GC sister 3 years ago. My NM treated my son better than me, but made it clear she had no time for him. My enabling father stood by and did nothing. NM had people fooled for years or so I thought. There wasn't a big crowd for the calling or funeral. People knew what she was. Of course GC sister got everything....the house and jewelry plus a mental illness that goes on forever. I got to keep my sanity! Bad parents make bad grandparents.

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  45. I was telling my sweetheart last night that I could have written all of this myself. My narc mother and enabling father tried to remove my oldest son when he was a baby. With the help of my then-husband, I went no contact; they didn't even know my youngest son was born for months and then only learned about it from other family. Neither of them saw my kids from the time my oldest was 6 months old until they were 12 and 10 and understood about my mother's issues. Other than that one short visit, the kids have had no other contact with my narc mother.

    I'm a family lawyer and for both cases and my own situation, I'm pretty familiar with grandparent law. Most states are leaning heavily toward the Troxel presumption that a fit parent makes decisions in the best interests of their children, and that if a parent doesn't want their own parents to have contact, the courts will defer. The only real exception is if a grandparent can get a child protection case going through social services. That's the narc grandparent's best chance to snatch custody theses days.

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    1. not a criticism, just a word of caution: please dont give out instructions for NPD grandparents even if it is meant as advice for the parents (anyone can read this)

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  46. Sweet Violet I had a VERY similar situation to you.
    As soon as I let her into my life she wanted full custody, could not stand to see the joy between my son and I. She achieved her goal by telling lies to social workers. I get to see him every few weeks only just now, she may up it but to me that is just more of her emotional abuse - "if" "maybe" "we will see". Treating me like a naughty child who has to beg to see their own kid even though I have done nothing wrong - sickening. I can tell by some photos I seen today he is the "ignored" child, i saw a video too. She was constantly speaking over him, not even looking at him, ignoring him, his feelings and anything he had to say. - So cruel. I pray the courts give him back to me when I apply!

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  47. This happened to me.

    I did not know my mother had narcissism until I was in my 40's. By that time, I had tried to commit suicide multiple times. I had always assumed the problem was me. My mother always told me the problem was me, so I wanted to die.

    Because it wasn't until my 40's when I learned the REAL problem was her narcissism and the dynamics, my first born daughter was around her alot growing up. She had groomed her for a long time, unknown to me at the time.

    Fast forward 20 years later. My daughter started repeating things to me such as, "Your over-reacting, Your too sensitive" and so forth. I remember the first time my daughter so those words to me, my hair stood up on my back. I immediately asked her, "Who taught you to speak to me like that?" She denied any involvement with my mother.

    To sum this long story short, I later found out my daughter was lying. She was indeed in contact with her and A LOT. I am pissed that she used my own daughter as the flying monkey! Now my daughter treats me just like she does and I've had to cut all contact with my daughter.

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    1. I am so sad for you! I too learned late in life about my own mother being a severe narcissist. She too used my own daughter, lied to her, and they both snuck around behind my back. my daughter is now 35 and thinks grammy walks on water, and I am the monster! I am being prevented from seeing my own granddaughter because my mother and my daughter have labeled ME the problem. All I can do is pray! pray that my granddaughter will learn what her own mommy has turned into, and that she is stronger than I am and can break free of this generational curse. I pray for you too. I understand what you are going thru!

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    2. Ditto. I went NC with my daughters too.

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  48. Thank you for writing this! The most powerful statement that you made for me was the part about "the people who said it was harsh to go no contact are long since gone". It is so true. My kids are 10 and 7 now and I'm afraid of the very things you've written about. The final straw was my mother in law slapped my son in the face, screamed & cussed at the kids for no reason, threw a toy across the yard and stormed off leaving me to attend to the kids (ages 4-10) who were in tears. My husband and his father were in the garage, but didn't even turn around or stop her. I tried to bring it up at the time and was attacked. I no longer will let my kids go over w/out me there. Trust has been broken. She has turned into a complete martyr and will not discuss the fact that she hit my son or physically abused my husband as a boy. She is sending cards, texts, trying to give gifts and all else. It's taken a lot of work to see through her manipulations. She's even tried to enlist the golden child sister in law on my husband. Luckily, I've taken advantage of the distance from the past 6 mos to get husband into therapy, to study narcissistic families & was able to predict her behavior before it happened. I read your article months ago and it helped me to make the decision to not let my kids go over anymore. Thank you! Trust your intuition, it's not wrong. Don't give up either, I've been dealing w/this family for 16 years and you can get a hold on it!!

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  49. I have read a few websites that have given insight to this disorder that cannot be diagnosed because the people with it won't admit they have problems. I have been for a lot of help being diagnosed by my ex and the mother. They are not licensed phsycologists but drug store or internet educated.
    While married to this person ( a lengthy marriage- resulting in four children) I experienced the effects of narcissism first hand. It was a devasting time but I got out of the situation, however in my cowardess I left the four children exposed to two very disturbed people. Three of the children have unlimited exposure to the ex and the mother, I am currently fighting to keep the fourth. I cannot have this child be another to look at me with digust and put me down. This child has not been damaged beyond repair- yet. With the tireless efforts to completely cut me off from my own children they have succeeded. One does want to start up a relationship again so the ex has moved the child right in with the mother so that the child cannot ever be without their constant supervision and brainwashing( this is real to).
    This is a real disorder and the damage is real, they do not care, I will never know my future in-laws nor will I ever know future grandchildren. I won't see graduations or weddings, I won't see any of the future I once dreamt of as each child was placed into my arms. Sometimes the anguish is so overwhelming I cannot breath then hot tears flow from my eyes. I pray that someday that feeling won't be as overwhelming because this pain is new.
    I write to those of you who can identify these feelings because the narsissist( the ever victimized) just do not care. They just keep on their tormented little missions. They live in a world of not taking any resposibility for the irreversible damage they have created.
    I have remarried and have more children that I protect continuously. I started to understand early in the new marriage that things were very wrong with the former marriage and the in-laws in it. There wasn't fights every two months( with me being the instigater with every one). There were normal conversations, not accusation assults and a distance between my new spouse and the family that was healthy. We live to this day with healthy boundaries and a marriage without constant interference. Without being in this marriage and talking with actual licensed phsycologists I would have spiraled into a deep situation that I may not have been able to get out of.
    I hope for the sake of my children they see things as I did and find a healthy path in which to follow. The only way to be free is to completely sever the relationships because the manipulation is a game with an apponent that does not lose.

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  50. I am my husband's 3rd wife. I clearly know why now. His mother is exactly what you have described and so did my therapist. Yes, it has sent me to therapy. My hubby's son lived with us the first 2 years of marriage, but she made it the worst!
    "She (me/stepmom) is not your mother to tell you to do chores or homework"
    "your dad doesn't care about you because he got remarried"
    "they told you to go to your room because your grounded, but here I am picking you up to take you to my house"
    Needless to say, my stepson lives with his grandmother now. I have banned husband to take my daughters to his parents house because they feel like they are scolded for everything & were not spoken to other than to be scolded. Nope, not my kids!
    He (stepson) never answers his dad's call, texts or wants to spend time with him. My husband feels horrible & his mom could care less.
    She (NGM) has not spoken to my husband for 2 years & we see them around the same town we live in. NGM has alienated my husband from all his relatives...cousins, aunts, uncles, sister and his dad! She freaking rules the house. Sad truth.
    Sometimes I feel like divorcing my husband so he can have his family (parents, etc.) back. but I don't think I'd be doing him a favor by allowing him to return to that hell of a NGM.
    I wish my husband to rekindle his relationships with his son, sister and father. I don't know if that would ever happen his her whispering in their ears her words.
    Help with advice...
    Sincerely,
    Why me?

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    1. I hope that things have gotten better since you wrote this. And hopefully therapy helped, at least the coping part. Whether you were there or not, this behavior would have happened in one way or another, with your husband involved negatively in it, one way or another. All you can do is to listen to your therapist, and I hope it's been worked through!

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  51. Any insights as to WHY narci moms and grandmoms do what they do? I've read many of the comments and most of them appear to this outsider looking in as just unexplained pure bitchiness. I suppose which is why many outside observers just turn and walk away, because how do you believe something that has no flipping explanation? It has to have an explanation to make sense, right?

    I'm just now clueing in and really accepting what MY mother is, and what HER mother turned out to be as well. For all those years, it was always explained away as being because of the abuse that was suffered at the hands of my grandfather. My mother suffered abuse by men as well, so I always blamed the men. It was the "obvious" answer. Who wouldn't be angry?

    But, all men aside, years later the damage has really piled up. And so have the clues. The creepy way of relating to her that borders on WORSHIP. In any dispute, past or present, HER version of events is the truth or else. There is no room for other sides of the story. You can get out if your even seen as thinking about it.
    In other words, the day you begin to think for yourself, you are amputated and catharized. Bye-bye. Do not pass "go". Do not collect $200.

    So, back to my original question, in all my years of ruminating on the matter from afar, I've arrived at some ugly, unspoken truths about my mother and grandmother that may offer some cold comfort in explaining their behavior. I say MAY because "evil" just ain't satisfactory for me. Knowledge is power, names are stones thrown during retreat. I've come to think that my grandmother resented having kids (core issue) and has been punishing them ever since simply for existing. My mother is quite spoiled and is doing the same thing. She is also immensely vain, and I grew up with people telling me how pretty I was. Coincidentally, all throughout my youth, my mother seemed to be on a full-on offensive to absolutely crush me in every way she could get away with.

    Also a coincidence, my grandmother tends to be stuck on status, wealth, and LOOKS.

    Of course, what child sees this happening, so how are you expected to fight it? This was in the days of "children are seen and not heard." To go against anything an elder said meant that you were "disobedient and difficult" and treated less kindly based on that alone.

    With that said, I feel VERY strongly that it's important to know why these women do the things they do in order to lessen the chances of you becoming your mother. I understand that this will be difficult to do for most, considering how toxic mothers are powered by secrets, lies, and other people's hesitation to discuss difficult issues. So they remain just that...difficult. And forever one of their personal tools.

    But sometimes you may have to bear with it for a bit because running won't really solve the problem if, in your haste, you've left half the truth her table. I've tried it, and keep finding myself back at their door. Only to discover each time a little more of the truth that I've left behind.
    The truth that make me more and more resolute that I will not, cannot damage my family that way.

    On more parting thought, I also have a daughter, and I've always encouraged her to think for herself. I also never hid things from her the way things were always hidden from me. So she KNOWS what her mother and grandmother are. She's playing with a full set, not just the cards they want her to have, like they did to me. She is also stubborn. It is sometimes an exasperation to me, but it's all worth it when I see my mother trying to "pick the lock" on her mind and can't get in. She only winds up resetting it, and walks away angry.

    I do believe that train has reached the end of the line.

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  52. I am the Scapegoat and my older sister the GC in a family of 4 children. I left home at 16 and never went back. I am now 58. I have 5 children who have barely seen their narcissistic grandmother who is now 87. They have also had very little to do with their cousins sadly. This weekend we have a family wedding - the marriage of a cousin who is the next generation's GC. She has been groomed by Narcissistic Grandma all her life. My own daughter was 18 this month - no card, no present of course. The wedding will see grandma lavishing money on the GC cousin, which hurts my 5 children. The favouritism goes on and on and on. I got a card from my NM this month detailing my inheritance. It had 8 bits of crap on it, and two were crossed out (so I could clearly see that they were the only nice things).
    Although I have suffered from the lack of mother love and been terribly jealous of my siblings and their children sometimes, I have to say that going NC is absolutely worth it. She can only hurt me and my children once in a while when we have to come across her, rather than the daily torture she inflicts on the children and grandchildren she still sees. I can confirm that she NEVER EVER CHANGES nor will she. I am by far the most successful and mentally healthy of my siblings and my children are the happiest grandchildren. (I send her pictures of my kids meeting the Queen and working with the Prime Minister!) I accept that I will be disinherited when she dies, but I was disinherited the day I was born, through no fault of my own. I urge all of you to cut ties today, immediately, stay away, do your mourning, loads of therapy and keep your children as far away from your NM as possible. You can live a happy, successful life without her and so can they.

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  53. We had very limited contact with my narcissistic mil and now she is taking us to court in true fashion so that she may have control over when and where she sees our children with total disregard for us as parents. She is playing the "poor old grandma" part, but has left out all of the toxic behaviour she has displayed in front of our children and the manipulation she used on them, "tell Daddy you want to see Nana more often" and "Nana is so lonely, no one cares for me when I'm sick". Fingers crossed we can get some sort of protection against further abuse, yet her self appointed entitlement to our children will not be quenched so easily.

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  54. My NM hates that I'm happy, independent and successful (believe me it took years and years of therapy to get here). Because I don't provide her with narcissistic supply she has pretty much left me alone for years, other than the odd phone call where she tries to create self doubt and to stir up friction between me and my siblings. Unfortunately I've had a child that she sees as the spitting image of her (something I wasn't) and she is now trying to hone in on her. I also have a child that she sees as nothing like her. What do you know, she has a new golden child and a new scapegoat in the form of grandchildren. The only sane thing to do was to save my children from what me and my siblings went through and I've packed up and moved away - many hours drive away. When she visits I make sure she's never alone with the kids and I have the phone on speaker when she's talking on the phone. Amazingly when she leaves after her visits (about twice a year) the golden child is unsettled and full of attitude. Even with constant monitoring her presence has a negative effect on all of us. Imagine if we lived in the same city? Free babysitting and the ideal of extended family is not worth the reality of a toxic influence on your children's lives. Don't let them go through what you went through. Cut loose and do your best to be happy - you deserve it.

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  55. extremely minimal contact with the grandma going on two years and definately sense a lifting of depression I didn't realize had been sucking the joy out of our lives.

    After years of mind bending crap going on within my family, trying to constantly figure out what the problems were, watching every word that came out of my mouth...realizing that no matter what we did or didnt do, it wouldn't matter. There were going to be problems and discord that had no solution because it was all made-up crap.

    While this is not the solution i would like to see going on, its the only solution we have right now to save our sanity.

    These people will destroy you and your family if given the chance. And it doesn't matter a bit to them.

    Going no contact was hard to step up to, hard to implement with out a huge feeling of guilt, but really a milestone in gaining control of our lives.

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  56. My family is currently suffering through circumstances that seem unreal and would have been two years ago when my grandmother passed away. Since then the "psychopaths" have been set free from all Reason. First my aunt and now my mother. My brothers and I are at the point of despair and I am having sleepless nights. I came across this article just now when it finally occurred to me that this must all be the work of some kind of syndrome and that others must have gone through similar experiences. This article was more than I hoped to find. More harsh, more true and more revealing. To say I am grateful for having found it is like saying thank you to someone who just stabbed me to death. I immediately shared it with my brother, the "Scapegoat", who has literally just been pushed out of the family home, as were the chosen goats of the chosen people. HARSH is surely the word for it and reading this was like being mentally grappled to the floor and having the truth ground into your eyelids and then standing up and dropping to your knees again clawing in tears, crying, "Thank you, thank you, but did you really need to dig your knees into my chest, no, really, thank you, I'm sure it was warranted" over and over again. Harsh indeed. But moreover it is TIMELY. Harsh is how I've felt lately. I am the eldest of my siblings. 37. No children and no partner. I live 3000 miles away from my ancestral home. And right now that all feels like wisdom, like a blessing. My two younger brothers have children and live 'back home' in the Caribbean. Since my grandmother's passing my mother has been like a recurring hurricane, visiting my family back home every six months. The other six she is with me and there is no storm of drama and fighting. She just leaves that in her suitcase ready for her next disastrous trip to the islands. No one here to set against me I suppose. A convenient pretense; we seem to get along.

    Back Home. One brother is the flying monkey. The other, the scapegoat. The youngest, my sister, is unquestionably the golden child. All play their parts perfectly. So perfectly that reading this every sentence knocked my legs from under me. Even reading the comments and testimonials of others was like peaking into my own family's psychotherapist's notebook, had my family a therapist. We surely need one, or a team.

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  57. I am at a loss. I'm 36 years old and I have a 3 year old daughter. I kicked her abusive father out when she was 4 months old and I have worked so hard at keeping her healthy and safe. Play therapy every week after her dad was granted unsupervised visits. But now while I'm in grad school, my daughter and i are living with my mother and I'm able to sew how abusive she is. She's the malignant Christian abuser. She constantly puts me down, makes me question myself, I always carry this feeling of guilt and that I'm incapable. Living with her again has been so unhealthy for me. And the most heartbreaking part is that it's impacting how I am functioning as a mother. My mom gaslights me until I explode and then throws it in my face and tells me I'm a bad mother for yelling in front of my daughter. The only thing I have ever been confident about being good at in my life is being a good mother. And I'm losing that. It's impacting my daughter. She knows when depressed, stressed, and she becomes anxious and clings to me even more. It's almost suffocating. The only support I have had for someone to care for my daughter while I'm in school is my mom. So now with everything unraveling and getting worse, I don't know how to cope. How do I protect my daughter in this situation? How do I get healthy? I don't have the financial means to leave her house. And she uses that to hold over my head. When I had my daughter I was determined not to let her spirit be crushed. I didn't want her to end up like me. I left an awful situation to protect her and now I'm finding out my mom was my original abuser. It makes me sick what she's doing. And I'm devastated for my daughter. She's only 3 and she's seen so much dysfunction between my mom and I. And I haven't even been mentally present to support her.

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  58. How do I cope with any of this? My family of origin is a pit of narcissistic dysfunction, joined by my ex-husband. They are steadily turning my children against me. I have done what I can to limit contact between my kids and them, but my adult children choose to spend lots of time with them and my ex husband takes the other kids to see them. I see no way out.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Anonymous. Keep reading and learning, get a good therapist and legal counsel, if needed, etc.

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  59. My mother and I had a blow out about 6 months ago-she's 77 and I'm 54- ya it took that long. I'm a single mom with 2 boys and she's the financial safety net which I pay for everyday, I give up my autonomy, my self worth and independence in order to compensate her for her generosity. Now i am indebted to the bank instead of her and the freedom this allows me is monumental! I realize I have made no obvious mention of the NM but I believe one can read btw the lines. It would take a novel to explain it all and who wants to spend all this time on the "ugly".

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  60. My narcissistic mother teamed up with my narcissistic ex to turn my 13 year old daughter against me. They told her I wanted an abortion before she was born. She hasn't spoken to me since January. I had a nervous breakdown after the years of scapegoating. I have gone no contact. Some days I can pretend I am ok but others, like today Father's Day, I cannot function and I am crying all day. It's like being killed over and over again.

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  61. It's the sweet old ladies you have to watch out for. For 20+ years I thought I had the perfect MIL and grandmother for my children. When I started therapy for other issues, the dysfunctional family dynamic became crystal clear and I saw that my MIL was not who she projected to the world. She was so enmeshed with my family and had an immense psychological stronghold on my children. When I began to set boundaries with her, the bizarre narcissistic behavior surfaced. She was used to running the show and setting all the rules in a covert fashion. When I took control of MY life, I became the bad guy who was being 'mean' to grandma. My children turned on me. She told them every single thing we discussed, played the martyr, feigned illnesses. The dramatics were unreal! My kids (and my husband to some degree) fell for it! Well I didn't back down.

    Long story short - she stole the hearts of my children at an early age. My oldest son is her GC and they have a very dysfunctional enmeshed relationship. There's nothing I can do except live my own life and pray that his eyes are opened. My youngest two have found a middle ground somewhat, but still have grandma on a pedestal.

    Do not - I repeat - do not give grandparents unfettered access to your children. Good grandparents will respect boundaries and have their own lives that are separate from yours. Enmeshing and narcissistic grandparents will make their grandchildren the center of their lives and in turn, will cause the grandchildren to idolize them and create a dysfunctional dynamic. If I had it to do all over again, I would have NEVER allowed this woman unlimited access to my children. I didn't know about boundaries when I was younger, and oh how I wish I had! This is a warning to you parents with younger children. If the red flags are going up, take action. Limit exposure to the grandparent that you feel is overstepping boundaries. I can say that I subjected my children to abuse - narcissistic abuse - and didn't even know it. Trust your instincts and do what's right for your children, and don't worry what anyone else thinks or how they will react when you put healthy boundaries in place.

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    1. Well said. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences thereby helping to enriching the information for the benefit of others. - Gail

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  62. To all, thank you for taking the time to write/share your realities. Wow! So many of these stories really confirmed my thoughts of what I have been going through. It saddens me to hear your pain. Take an emotional break. Do something to take care of you. Even if only for a short period. Put on headphones and listen to music that you love, watch a movie, talk to a good friend, take a bubble bath, get a massage, mani or pedi, take a bike ride, go to the dog store & hold/pet a puppy, or just take a big long nap! When I get emotionally drained and depressed and want to just let it all out, I go sit in my car turn the music up real loud, have a good cry, curse, scream as much as I want. When I am finished I feel so relieved even for a short time. Maybe it can work for you? I hope your situations get better in every way.

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  63. I am 36 with a 2 year old. I have a very very close family with 3 other siblings I am the oldest. Ever since I began dating my future wife my mom changing . Fast forward and my mom and wife are always at it. My mom plays victim to my siblings and they all buy her bullshit. My family shunned me out for 4 months bc my mom couldn't handle a convo with my wife and cried hysterically about it. Now my sister is not inviting me to her wedding and I am being shunned out of the family. My siblings all side with their mommy and they are 33 31 21. Really hurts for me.

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