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Comments on The Dangers of Expecting a Deathbed Apology from Your Narcissistic Mother

Get to the core of the shiny red apple. Gail Meyers Quote
Get to the core of the shiny red apple!

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sparkster 22 months ago from Here To Eternity Level 6 Commenter
Very interesting and informative. People often fail to realize the extent of this disorder. It took me a long time (over a decade) to realize that my (ex)partner would never admit the truth to me or apologize for her actions even when I was on my deathbed because of the abuse (and abuse by proxy).

Naima Manal 18 months ago from NY
It must be very difficult for a child to emerge from this experience without scars. But I hope that many people with this experience are able to find wholeness and closure while maintaining what is important to them from their families, even if it is at a distance.

aviannovice 6 months ago from Stillwater, OK Level 8 Commenter
Pretty amazing. I had an ex that had a narcissistic mother, and turned the same way. There were other problems, too, though.

Gail Meyers 6 months ago from United States Hub Author
That was absolutely the issue, Sparkster. At the time I failed to realize the unfathomable depth of the disorder. There was a professed Christian woman about to meet her Maker. Instead of confession and repentance that one might expect, it was one last kick in the behind.

Gail Meyers 6 months ago from United States Hub Author
Naima, NPD parent destoy lives, as well as the relationships of their targets. There is no question about it. However, healing is possible with a lot of honest hard work, prayer, the help of God and often the assistance of a good therapist. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

Gail Meyers 6 months ago from United States Hub Author
I definitely agree that it's amazing and I hope your ex has since found healing. To the casual observer who has a good grasp on NPD, the idea of expecting a deathbed apology can seem nearly comical. However, no matter what the age, I think everything in a child of a terminally ill NPD looks for resolution before the finality of the passing of the parent. It is also something that our mind may tell us is logical because it is often what people do before they die. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, aviannovice.

LongTimeMother 5 months ago from Australia Level 7 Commenter
Even though I am perfectly healthy, I tell my kids that if I ever get alzheimers, contract some awful disease or just simply turn into a ratbag, they should stay away from me and enjoy their lives. I don't ever want them feeling like they have to visit me, particularly if I was rude to them. (And I would never deliberately be rude to them.)  Your mother should have apologised. Does it help if I say "sorry" on her behalf? I am so sorry.

Gail Meyers 5 months ago from United States Hub Author
Thank you, LongTimeMother. She has been gone for several years now, but at the time I wrote this there was not any information on this particular situation to be found on the web. So, writing it helped me process it as well as making the information available to others facing the situation of a terminally ill NPD mother. The hope is always that they will change, even up to the last minute. The point is they don't. If someone can accept that reality, it is a big step in the right direction toward healing. An NPD does not do what many would expect before dying - reflect, make amends, etc. They continue on with their facade they are heavily invested in and continue the abuse as they have for decades. A terminal illness does not change the NPD for the better, but may even make the behavior worse. I am glad to hear you would not be deliberately rude to your children and I appreciate your apology on her behalf. Although it feels as if the anger and pain will never end, it did. I have come to a place of just truly pitying her. Thank you for reading and commenting.

LongTimeMother 5 months ago from Australia Level 7 Commenter
I'm not sure she deserves your pity, Gail. You obviously know more about any circumstances that may have led to her condition, and you're the one who knows what kind of difference it made to her life, so I respect your decision to pity her. From where I'm sitting though, my pity doesn't lie with her.
I am very pleased that you managed to make a life for yourself and come to terms with your past. That takes a special strength.

Gail Meyers 5 months ago from United States Hub Author
I pity her for the person she truly was, not any circumstances that led to her condition. She made many choices along the way to arrive at such an emotional and spiritual state.
In my opinion, facing reality and processing the emotions in healthy ways can go a long way in the healing process. However, in the end there are some things only God can heal. Thank God He does.

Green Art 4 months ago Level 3 Commenter
I recently talked to my narcissistic mother about past physical and verbal abuse as a child and verbal abuse as an adult. She is in her eighties and of sound mind and good health so I felt it was OK to ask her some questions. She denied ever saying or doing anything wrong and emphatically stated that she had an excellent memory. The implication being that I was lying. She has since called me once to yell at me and sent me a letter still denying that she ever did anything to me. I am not going to contact her again because at this point I feel as though nothing will change. She does not take responsibility for anything she has said or done to myself or siblings.

My mother was clever and only abused me and my siblings primarily in private. No witnesses. In fact none of us knew about the others treatment until we were adults and started bringing up things our mother had done.
I feel as though I've given her every possible chance to have a positive relationship and no longer expect it to ever happen. It's sad, but then again I feel a sense of relief that I've done enough.

Thank you for writing such a personal hub. Voted up and useful!

J. Cash 3 months ago
Wow I cried reading this and wondered who had crawled into my soul!! I felt as if I was reading my own life story. The similarity is eerie yet comforting knowing I wasn't the only one. My mother had passed, but the damage was long done. I have almost no relationships with any of my family members (flying monkeys). I realized before she died that she was a product of her raising by her mother who was the same way. While I have faith in God, I cannot go to church anymore due to past traumas caused by my mother. Thank you for sharing your story and letting me know I'm not alone, I'm not crazy and I don't have to feel bad for not wanting to be around the "flying monkeys" anymore.

Green Art 2 months ago Level 3 Commenter
Mother's Day was yesterday and I did not call, or even send a card to my Mother. It is sad and yet I felt it necessary to protect myself from further hurt.

I enjoyed my own family on Mother's day and that made it perfect:) I hope others who read this hub and other posts here find comfort that they are not alone. Peace to all of you and a good life!

Gail Meyers 2 months ago from United States Hub Author
Green Art, I am glad it appears you are finding some resolution to the situation. I think anyone in this situation is far from alone. 

Gail Meyers 2 months ago from United States Hub Author
J. Cash, thank you for reading and commenting. On one hand, I am glad you found comfort in knowing you are not the only one who has gone through something like this. On the other hand, I hate that you can relate to my experience so well because I know how painful it can be. Thank you for reading and commenting.


  1. As I read this story I could not believe how much of it mirrors my own life. My mother just passed away two weeks ago. What I am enduring now is something I could not have prepared myself for. The Flying Monkey's have been released. I have decided to not let these monkeys drag me back to a place that took me a long time to get out of. Just when I thought a good portion of my parents severe abuse could be put to rest...up jumps the abuse by proxy. A bad Legacy carries on. So so sad.

    1. Anonymous, my heart goes out to you! Please let me know how you are doing now.

  2. I can relate to all of this i confronted my mother of her physical and emotional abuse. She was upset with me and of course did not admit what she had done nor apologize. There was no contact between us for twelve years but i have to say i did expect her to one day come around. My mother was very ill and was dying and i thought for sure she would make amends with me knowing she was going to die. My mother passed away two months ago i was devastated that she did not contact me to make things right . I am still that little girl looking for my Mother`s love. I have made the decision to go to therapy in order to heal from this. I do realize that my Mother was not capable of love she was a very sick person .She had all her flying monkeys and they will continue to place blame on me because she manipulated all of them. I will have no contact with them either I choose to heal and be happy and i will not allow myself to be dragged down with the rest of them. I have no contact with my Father and siblings either and have made the decision to keep it that way. I know the truth that is all that matters.

    1. Anonymous, my heart goes out to you in your pain. I have been exactly where it sounds like you are and I want to encourage you. My mother's flying monkeys also kept on after her death, even to the point of verbally assaulting me for refusing to go along with their ridiculous comments during their grieving process. I have been no contact for nearly a decade and I do not regret it at all. Please be sure to join us on Facebook if you haven't already done so. The link is in the right margin.

    2. Thank you. My brother has just informed me my Father has cancer and is dying. I already new, I heard down pub two days before Xmas. My brother said my Mum was 'scared' to tell me because I wished him dead. The usual blame, I guess his death is my fault also! Your helpful insights remind me I am doing the right thing by keeping away. What a disgraceful legacy to leave behind. No contact is no contact, it is the only way x

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am dealing with an elderly and ill n-mother. She's practically textbook. We have gone long periods of time without contact and I've had enough therapy to sink a battleship, but I'm still struggling. I have finally come to a point where I have assured that she has high quality care, and I am in charge of the medical decisions for her, but I have no direct contact with her - only with doctors, etc. If there is any blessing here, it's that the dementia has sent her behavior spiraling out of control and she is no longer able to limit it to just me as the scapegoat. Relatives and even her pastor have sent me emails stating "NOW we understand." I would love an apology, but I believe I will get one right after I get my OWN literal flying monkeys (who I would use for errands, not for attacking innocent scapegoats). This is a great blog - thank you so much.

  4. Enjoyed the article and of course I related to everyone. My MNM recently left a voicemail with an angry apology, professing that she did nothing wrong and doesn't know why she is apologizing, but she was "sorry." I had told my stepsister that my mother had never apologized once to me in my life so I owe the "apology" to her not my mother. It was fun to listen to, I must admit. Sad actually. She does not admit to favortism, character assasination, sexual misconduct, triangulation. So I took the high road and in an email I thanked her for her apology. I have suffered so much as this women's scapegoat. I will never contact her again, nor will I attend her funeral. They will be talking about someone I never knew.

  5. Are you sure that we aren't related?
    The picture of the lady and her reflection in the mirror that also looks like a skull was hung in my bathroom by my mother when I was 7. The caption underneath it reads "all is vanity".
    My NM is in her 90s and I am still her scapegoat. I stayed no contact save by phone for 16 yrs. Only after her stroke have I seen her only to have her confirm that she will never change.

  6. Also mine tried to manipulate my siblings and me over who would make decisions for the youngest, I was still surprised to see my much older sisters still play the game...despite all their therapy. How very sad.

  7. I have a question about therapy for Adult Children of Narcissistic Mothers.

    How could it be even remotely possible in finding someone qualified who could possibly relate to what we've been through unless they were also a victim?

    Do such therapists / psychiatrists even exist?

    How could one talk about extreme narcissism with someone who has never lived through the terror and expect a meaningful connection?

    It seems to me the terms "Golden Child" and "Scapegoat" are common psychiatric jargon, but put in the context of Extreme Narcissism the drama and consequences are escalated to the nth degree.

    Does any of this make sense?

  8. Yes, they do exist. My sexual abuse therapist in the 1980's spotted it and so did my late brother's therapist during the same time period.

  9. Thank you for writing this. We truly experienced the same abuse, and now abuse by proxy. My siblings, though, did not even bother filing the will, which would have divided her assets among the six of us. She had given the two brothers power of attorney and the money disappeared. They said she had nothing left so no reason to file the will. She had always told them them she had to give me so much money, when in fact she used me, the scapegoat, to cover the fact she was mishandling her money. How do you fight this abuse by proxy and stay sane?

  10. Thank you so much for writing this. My narcissistic grandmother is in the last stages of stage 4 lung cancer, and lost in the maze of Alzheimer's. I've been wrestling with the decision to go and visit one last time or not. I know I'm not going to get any death bed apologies. I've been in therapy for four years and found a peace and happiness I've never had before. 3 of my 4 aunts are already assuming their positions and I know my dad, the remaining aunt, my brother, myself and one cousin are about to get abused as the scapegoats again. Never thought of what to call them other then grandma's minions, I like flying monkey's better. Thank you for explaining this in a way that I can relate to and understand.

  11. I have played this all out in my head already. Considering I can't stand my mother I will not be attending her final soiree. She can die alone. As far as reading of the will. There is no will. My mother will throw her three children into the pit with all of her sh** and envisions them fighting over it. This will be her last hurrah! I will not be attending. She has nothing that I want so my flying monkey hoarder sister can keep it all. I will finally be free. I wait for the day.

    1. Excellent writing. I had such a good laugh. Ya. The mama drama's last soiree. And I am far away. Gosh, I was nearly dead because of it all. It is still a struggle to get on my feet. But now I know I had to break free of it all... my only chance for possible survival.

  12. They are so predictable aren't they? My Father made sure there would b plenty of hate towards me when he died. Who does to their family? Creates absolute destruction & ensures the abused is blamed. I felt relieved as soon as I heard. But I feel anger towards the flying monkies. U hope when he dies there's a hope the truth will out, but no, he's makes sure that won't happen. My vengence is the free thinking family I raise, the happiness I feel when I connect to them,my husband, my friends and people in the street I don't even know. I feel joy despite the fact he tried to destroy me. I feel pity for the flying monkies spitting their venom, pathetic, unconscious puppets yet unknowing victims themselves. What use is it try to explain? U will always be the smart, black sheep, embrace your role and leave them to it. Good luck, light and love to you all x


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