Tactics of a Narcissistic Mother by Gail Meyers

Christmas with Narcissistic Personality Disordered Mother

George C. Scott as Scrooge by Robert Doucette
 http://bobdoucette.com/ via Wikimedia Commons

© by Gail Meyers
Bahumbug!  Narcissistic personality disordered mothers are Scrooges at Christmas.  They delight in ruining your holidays and celebrations. Whether it is Thanksgiving, Christmas, your wedding, birthday or graduation, they will ruin it.  Yes, it's that time of the year again.

The first and foremost objective of this article is to provide validation and support to the adult sons and daughters of narcissistic personality disordered parents. As you relate to these scenarios, you are also encouraged to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section.

First of all, let's stick to reality and be honest.  Daughters of narcissistic personality disordered mothers need to drop the fantasy that this will be the year we have the family Christmas we always wanted.

I do not mean to be a scrooge, but my point is to be realistic.  If every Christmas with your narcissistic personality disordered mother has been a disaster, chances are it will be the same as it has always been.  Narcissists high on the spectrum do not really change.  So what is an adult son or daughter to do?

No contact can be a beautiful thing if your mother is high on the narcissism spectrum with a corresponding high level of toxicity.  If you have gone no contact, then you have a much better chance of having that wonderful Christmas!  This is a great time to begin establishing new, healthier family holiday traditions.

Prior to going no contact I think writing out your thoughts or listing the reasons you are making this choice is helpful in making that choice.  If you are feeling guilty during the holidays because you have gone no contact, now is a good time to keep your list handy.

If you have not made that list, now might be a good time to write it out.  It helped me to look at the situation as if it was a friend of mine, then do what I would hope my friend would do. That aids in removing all of the unhealthy dysfunctional family rules that have been to unfairly applied to the scapegoat over the years.  If you internalized those rules, replacing yourself with a dear friend in the scenario can really help.

What if you have no choice?  We are being honest here.  We have a choice.  So, if you choose to say you have no choice what you may actually mean is you would rather not rock the boat by not going.  Just realize you do have a choice.

So you decide the go, but you tell yourself you made this choice instead of that you had no choice.  What can you do to survive this Christmas with narcissistic mother?

  • Detach emotionally.  This is going to take some healing work on your part to be able to successfully pull this one off.  You are choosing to go, but you are not going to take the bait.  Forget the fantasy that you are going to fix the narcissist.  You are not going to succeed where a team of therapists would fail.  Drop that delusion that you are going to help narcissist mother.  Narcissist mother does not want to be fixed or helped.   Give up the fantasy that this year the narcissist will appreciate your efforts, gifts, etc.

  • Do not accept being the slave.  Oh, narcissistic personality disordered mother may indeed want this kind of help.  You know, the help where the scapegoat daughter does all of the dishes after the meal while everyone else sits around.  Or, the help where one of her children always buys most of the food for the meal.  Do what you feel comfortable doing, but not because you have to do it.  It is pretty easy to see the unwritten dysfunctional family rules when you replace one person with another.  For example, switch the role of the golden child and the scapegoat.  The differences in the expectations are the unfair, unwritten dysfunctional family rules. 

  • Be prepared to leave the minute things get ugly.  The backhanded jokes, the snide comments about gifts, etc.  Do not be the hostess.  If you are going to spend the holidays with a known narcissist, make sure it is at a restaurant or home where you can grab your things, husband, kids, etc., and make a quick exit if you need to.

This isn't exactly inspiring the holiday spirit, but if you are spending Christmas with a narcissistic personality disordered mother, it's about surviving as unscathed as possible.  Survival.

Here are some of my Christmas experiences with a narcissistic personality disordered mother.  Please feel free to share your experiences in the comments.

Childhood Christmas with Narcissistic Mother
I grew up the oldest of five children. By the age of 10 years old I was told, "Christmas is for children." Since my narcissistic mother regarded me as a peer rather than a child, I was expected to understand this and show some maturity. By maturity, I mean I was supposed to understand why the younger kids got presents they wanted while I got crap off of the dollar rack no one would want.

My siblings' presents were not usually thrilling as I recall, but they were at least something they wanted.  Of course, no one opened presents or had the Christmas meal in peace. I can not recall even one holiday season during my childhood that did not involve a major ordeal of screaming, arguing, physical abuse, etc.  Merry Christmas everyone! 

Christmas as a Young Adult with Narcissistic Mother
As a young adult, following the early demise of my step-father, my narcissistic mother repeated the exact same routine every holiday season for several years. Just prior to the start of the holiday season my mother would start a fight with me. Absolutely out of nowhere she would start a fight with me. She would then verbally assault me and tell me to get out of her life. This meant I was no longer invited to the extended family holiday gatherings.

Slowly but surely after the holidays were over, I would begin to hear rumors. She always concealed her abuse with a flipped tale, telling that I had verbally assaulted her. I call it a flipped tale, but it is also referred to as vilifying the victim.  She would then tell that I either did not attend the holiday gatherings because I was angry or because I had not apologized to her.

At some point after the holidays she would then stand right to my face and very convincingly tell me how I had attacked her and owed her an apology. For the first several years as a young adult she was so convincing that I thought well maybe it is just two different perceptions.

Soon I started actually writing out exactly what happened in anticipation of the gaslighting and slander. I got to the point that when she started an argument from out of nowhere, I would tell her I am not taking the blame.

I would actually try to interrupt her script or tell her to stop, but to no avail. Right in the middle of a friendly conversation she would suddenly start saying she is not going to put up with this, etc. She may well have been having one side of a conversation for whomever was her audience while she was on the phone to me. That is how unnatural it was when she started.

It literally did not matter what I said or did not say, even if I said I had seen this routine before. She would simply carry on with her melodrama regardless of what I said. She would tell me to get out of her life, tell everyone I had done that to her and after the holidays act like she deserved an apology.

By that time, she had most of the family mad at me because she had told them some ridiculous lie about what happened. When a narcissist does this to a target over many years, many people just assume it is true. They will destroy other relationships in just this manner before you have the slightest idea what is going on. 

Note:  Narcissists are notorious for giving really bad, cheap gifts. Dr. M. Scott Peck noted this narcissist characteristic in his book, People of the Lie.  

Read A Christmas Message by Anna Valerious on Narcissists Suck.

Some families are so toxic that your physical and emotional health is in danger – and in these cases you must carefully weigh how much damage seeing and interacting with your family will bring and whether it is worth going. Toxic Families: Going Home for Thanksgiving by Eileen Bailey on Health Central.

Photo: Scrooge by Robert Doucette http://bobdoucette.com/ via Wikimedia Commons http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:George_c_scott_as_scrooge.jpg


  1. Awesome article that includes a lot of elements from my own experiences of Christmas with my NPD mother ((HUGS))

  2. Thank you, Dorothy. I wish you a much merrier Christmas this year! ((HUGS))

  3. During the holiday season when my daughter was six, my narcissistic mother announced in front of everyone that her doll wasn't real and asked why she was talking to it? Obviously, my mother has no understanding of child development. It makes me wonder how I survived my childhood and the physical abuse she allowed my father to mete out!

  4. Anonymous, it makes you wonder doesn't it! Thank you for reading and commenting.

  5. I had to laugh about the cheap gifts. Are they that by the book? Thanks for these articles. They really help me. So typical. I am preparing for the day now and will be better.

  6. M. Scott Peck certainly pinpointed my narcissistic personality disordered mother in People of the Lie! Yes, clear down to the cheap Christmas presents. lol I am glad to hear this blog is helpful to you. I hope you have a great holiday!

    1. The cheap Christmas gifts! lol Mine were in a little pile under a piano bench so the rest of the room could hold the GC sons expensive, over-the-top gifts. As I got older I realized my "gifts" were bought in the clearence aisle of a drug store.
      Every year for my birthday, I recieved the same gift for decades - a subscription to a magazine.

  7. This one REALLY made me laugh!! For my daughters first Christmas, my mom gave her a diaper bag!! LOLOL

    But what really cracked me up was "You owe me an apology!"

    For the last three years, all the flying monkeys in my family have been asking me why I wont "just apologize" to my mother so I can be invited back into the family.

    Also, I remember a Christmas about 5 years back where she gave my youngest brother the electric guitar that my middle brother had asked for while my middle brother was given something in a $20 price range. I felt so bad that I bought my brother his guitar, then my mother ended up taking it away from because he "didn't deserve it.".

    1. My mother,,, as the one above,,, is a sadist , probably high on psychopathy.. This isn't random gift giving, this is thought out punishing 'P' behavior. My mother would give me pajamas only, then watch my reactions with the N smirk on her evil lips,, and say 'you are never satisfied are you?'...This was a well thought out punishing game she heaped on me every year. She was feeding off my pain .... I would look at my two brothers who usually got a toy... They too would learn how to beat me up. They were abuse by proxy for sadist mom.

  8. It's great when you can detach enough to laugh about it. I think if I had to do over I might just consider being excluded a blessing in disguise!

    That sounds spot on for a narcissistic personality disordered mother to use Christmas presents as weapons and/or insults, then not allow someone else to correct the "punishment" or injustice.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

  9. Great article. Once I was no longer a "little" kid (believed in Santa, wrote a letter to him, etc), I was told I was a horrible selfish *$&^%*$^% for asking for anything. (I vividly remember being screamed at in front of a crowded mall of people when I asked for a pair of shoes for Christmas around the age of 11/12) How could I could I be so awful, etc. By the time I was 13, "mother" had given up on the holidays, wouldn't do a tree and would only decorate a house plant, and stopped cooking. We had to go along with it because its "what mother wants". Its only now, in my 30's, that I'm realizing the depths of strangeness that went on around the holidays in our house. The shiny apple with a worm in it is one of the best analogies I've heard to date. I wish nothing but strength during the holiday season to those out there who are dealing with this, and dealing with the legacy of this.

  10. Thank you, Anonymous. I'm actually getting ready to do a review of Dr. McBride's book, Will I Ever Be Good Enough? I believe that is where the analogy of "the shiny red apple with the worm in it" originated.

    I wish you peace and strength for this holiday season. Thank for you for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

  11. hoping one day as a scapegoat child myself to see another NEW classic holiday movie production creation intended both to inform and amuse. The title of the this great must see holiday movie event?....
    "Christmas with the Narcissists" with scripting ideas straight from the blogs of scapegoats!
    Such a movie could help the uninformed realize they are in a mess that can be fixed!

  12. Dark humor and sarcasm for the holidays? Certainly not a new concept for the children of narcissists, but it just might provide some comic relief and insight.

  13. Thank you for this post. My MIL is the main narcissist here, with the rest of the family fitting right into the dysfunction. In the last year my husband has gone from minimal contact to no contact. What pushed him to no contact was the loss of his very dear friend and the retaliation that followed because apparently she did not get enough attention from this event. Additionally, my own father has been fighting cancer. My husband shared this information with her via email and she had nothing to say. Nothing. I've been in the family about 15 years - always loving and supportive (no, really!) and this is how she responds.
    Last year the MIL knitted a blanket for a Xmas gift and sent it to us. It doesn't sound so bad except that she completely doused it in her perfume as if to say "don't you ever forget me." My husband almost vomited. This year, we've been wondering what joyful treat we would receive in response to my husband going no contact. We hadn't received anything and thought we might be out of the woods, but just a short bit ago we received the mail. And, in it, a lovely xmas card calling my husband the Grinch. "Bah Humbug" it says, right next to the word "love" and huge pink lipstick kiss from his near-30 year old sister.
    Happy Holidays, right?
    We know there is humor in there somewhere, but when you are grieving the loss of a dear friend and dealing with a loved one's illness, it doesn't feel so funny. :(

  14. Anonymous, I know how overwhelming it can be to have a sick loved one. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. What you have described sounds just like something a narcissistic mother would do. No empathy, compassion or support - just a jab. Thankfully, your husband has drawn the no contact boundary. Hopefully, the two of you will be "out of the woods" for the rest of the holiday.

    Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.

    1. Thank you. :) Just reading your blog gives us a small nugget of peace and hope. I am sorry for everyone else here who has to deal with this degree of NPD. Hopefully, through sharing, we can all find our way to happier, healthier lives.

  15. Well mum ruined my christmas again. Picked a fight and now she has my dog. I was supposed to go to her for Christmas Eve and christmas but I felt ill today. I told her to come back in a couple of hours and she came back to take me over two hours after for calling me and started attacking me and did not want to hear about how I was ill. She now has my dog, as my dog comes with me and she gave me a choice and I said I wanted to come over a couple of hours later and I could just walk over. Nope. I am now spending christmas on my own, no dog and I will be waking up on chistmas alone. Apparently coming through to her house in the late afternoon or evening is not on. I was quite ill. Now I will be waking up on christmas by myself - as she still has my dog. Really angry. She has ruined my christmas - again. I am now going tomorrow in the afternoon at a certain time and if I dont go at that time I am spending christmas alone. Why did she do this to me. Its not my fault I felt ill today.

    1. Elizabeth, I am sorry you are having a difficult Christmas. I hope you are able to enjoy your holiday tomorrow.

  16. I don't know why I keep giving her chances. She has been on her 'best behaviour' for a couple of months, and asked what I would really like for Christmas (within a set amount) and I said a limited edition signed book by my favourite author, and showed her exactly where to pre order it. I should have known better, I have received the bog standard hardback and the 'change' in cash. My husband has received exactly what he asked for, and my brother (golden child) a new TV! Why do I bother? I'm not greedy, the book was not expensive, why did I trust her? Gosh I sound so shallow. Meanwhile I have got her the exact perfume she wanted, but I'll probably have to forgo putting gas in the car and walk for a week. Merry Christmas....

    1. Anonymous, that sounds so familiar to me! It's like they just can't resist the urge to ruin any kind of holiday or celebration. I do not think you sound greedy or shallow. I think you sound disappointed, and rightfully so.

      Merry Christmas...

    2. Reading it, yes it sounds very familar. My mum ruined my christmas last year by giving me cheap nasty presents. She gave stuff she bought from a supermarket and stuff that my neice likes. She knows I have been using organic skincare and beauty care products for nearly 4 years. One "present" was a gift set of chemical-laden sweet-shop smelling beauty products and shower gel that my neices likes. etc etc,,,,,,all the presents I got was from a supermarket. Some of the household stuff was OK but she gave my neice a new guitar - I couldnt helping feeling disappointed and very hurt. Couldn't she have asked what organic skincare brands I liked to buy me a nice gift set that I can actually use. I bought her some nice so...every year. Its like she doesn't even know me or cannot be bothered. I am dreading my now ruined christmas - only going now to give presents to my uncle and niece and to collect my dog back. Having a upsetting and lonely christmas morning so far. Luckily this year I bought a nice beauty gift set for myself, wrapped it and put it under my tree - I will not be staying for long. Might for christmas dinner so I dont need to bother making something on my own. She could have least dropped off my dog back to my flat so I can have my dog with me for christmas morning. Guess it is punishment for not coming to her house when she came for me - even though I was ill. I try and not let her bother me, but since I moved into a flat she has become worse with me. She gets worse every year with me. She turned on me when I was 15. She enjoys to ruin and sabatage my christmas presents I carefully buy and wrap for my neices and nephrews of my brother. The daugher in law is the golden child and she never stops going on about how wonderful she is and how creative she is - even though I make cold-process soaps from scratch as she hates cold-process soaps and are "greasy" and hates bath bombs.

    3. I am sorry you had an upsetting Christmas, Elizabeth. I can relate to your story of receiving a gift that she knows or should know you are not going to like. The way that routine works is then if you express anything but gratitude, she will act as if she is the one with the hurt feelings. Then make it appear that you are ungrateful and materialistic, when she knew exactly what she was doing when she chose the gift.

      A narcissistic mother blatantly plays favorites just the same as is done in an alcoholic family system. My mother and grandmother both did the exact same thing, going on about their golden child. It can feel like a double whammy when combined with the gift she knows you are not going to like.

      I am glad you did not stay long and got yourself a nice present to put under the tree.

  17. I feel so lucky to be an only child....However, my husband is not, and oddly enough both of us have narcissists as parents and neither of us were ever a "golden child.". For decades, we have hosted Christmas and/or Thanksgiving with no particular thanks except some moral equivalent of "nice to see you again." And oddly, we still both sort of hope that this year, things will be different -- every year. We never went no contact with his family and my own much smaller family lived far away. Mercifully. Each year, his stepmother, to a round of applause from herself, invariably purchased gifts for us and our children at thrift stores and his father never purchased even a card for anybody. These people were NOT poor thanks to family money. They were not so thrifty when it came to themselves. So odd. Not so long ago, my father-in-law died and we go through the motions of being nice to the stepmother-widow to this day. This is choice: on her last birthday, we drove down to her house, and so did our daughter and her boyfriend, with gifts, food, dessert etc. etc. I believe she provided a bottle of champagne but that may have been my daughter. The next day the stepmother called my husband and raged at him for an hour because of her unhappiness over the non-cake we brought for dessert. We'd bought pieces of cheese cake only -- but then, she'd said she'd provide the cake. She demanded a "make good" on her birthday celebration because shed' ALWAYS had this, that and the other thing on her birthday. This from a woman who had NEVER sent my husband a card in 30 years on his birthday (and neither did his father -- he delegated human relationships to her). Well, she has dementia now, but her new normal is not that different from her old normal. There is nothing in the way she ever was that makes us feel bad for her in her present condition. We DO have each other and are beyond being seriously disappointed with that generation of our families after so many years. On the plus side, all but one of our parents/step-parents were so absent emotionally, we won't be feeling much grief when their bodies follow their hearts and minds. We'll feel some, of course, but nothing like we'd feel if one of our kids died. Having our own children taught us how odd our own parents' lack of feeling for us was, but it is hard to love a parent who never much cared for you and at best thought of you as boring, an intrusion or a burden. We are old ourselves now and can take the long view.

  18. Anonymous, I could not help but chuckle when I read, "to a round of applause from herself." Then you make such an effort and she gives you a slap in the face as a thank you.

    I agree that it becomes clearer and clearer the older you get about how strange the narcissistic behavior is toward the child. It really stands out when you have children of your own. You look at how innocent, dependent and vulnerable a child is and think how in the world.

    Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts and experiences.

  19. Mine invited herself over for Xmas day, promised to buy all the groceries the day before but felt ill so didn't - so I had to do it after work in the evening. As soon as she got to my house she started ranting about how awful the drive had been (it was 2 miles) - because I refused to pick her up. The atmosphere was awful and every comment she made had a barbed meaning - she even had to bring up my exhusband (divorced 15 years ago). My late teenagers are now seeing it. How do I ban her from my Christmases in the future when she has cut herself off from people and lives alone in a flat nearby? The saddest aspect is that my brother is the Golden Boy even though he rarely bothers with her (lives in a different town altogether and only does the odd duty visit). What do I do?

  20. Anonymous, in my experience I have seen more than one golden child end up feeling suffocated by the narcissistic mother. What you are describing sounds just like my late Grandmother. I know it can be a difficult situation. I can't tell you what you should do.

    What I finally had to do with my Grandmother was draw some clear, firm boundaries. She immediately tried to plow over them and manipulate her way around them, but I kept them in place. In my experience, that is when the venom can really spew, as well as the guilt trips attempting to manipulate with guilt and pity, etc.

  21. Anonymous only child again. In my husband's family, the Golden Child became pretty drug dependent like the narcissists and was constantly on the family dole. The gold tarnished, but as the narcissist father had been the same with his father and mother, it was difficult for the narcissist fathe to to articulate a principled objection to his narcissist son's requests for money.. Dad WAS annoyed, however, and the Golden Child los this luster. Tragically, the drug use on the Golden Child's part was a sort of homage to the Narcissist father. When Narcissist son found himself displaced materially by the narcissist's father's - co-narcissict wife, the Golden Child could hardly believe it. He hadn't prepared for old age without money from his father and may actually have been fortunate to die about two years after his father. My husband had to pay for the cremation of both of them as one widow didn't care to spend the money and the other didn't have the money to spend. I don't know if NO CONTACT is always the best choice with narcissist parents for the non-Golden Children (guilt, forgetting how bad they really were etc.). But courteous distancing and independence are absolutely necessary. The narcissist WILL take you down emotionally and every other way he/she can if you get up close and personal. Whether exposing the grandchildren to the narcissists' grandiosity is wise is a whole other question. In my experience, the narcissist will undermine the non-Golden child in the eyes of his/her children. But if you don't expose the grandchildren to their grandparents, the risk of the grandchildren idealizing the narcissists is high. 'Cause you know, the grandchildren WILL be invited to adore the glamorous one and it can take awhile for children to understand (don't we know it?) that people are what they do not what they say they are. It's too damn bad no matter what your generation.

  22. That is a sad ending to the life of the golden child you mentioned.

    I wholeheartedly support no contact to sons and daughters with narcissistic personality disordered parents for a vast multitude of reasons, not the least of which was witnessing firsthand the cumulative effects of the treachery when it took my brother down and out and took me down and nearly out too. What happened and how it was done is all very clear in hindsight. So I would like to shout no contact from the rooftops to every son and daughter in the younger generations, with as much emotional and physical distance as you can put in between the two of you. Like, another continent would not be a bad idea. However, I realize situations vary and courteous distancing may work for some.

    That has been my experience as well, the narcissist undermining the grandchildren and turning them against their non golden child parents. That is especially true of the scapegoat, the scapegoat's children and grandchildren. I think keeping the children completely away is much, much less of a risk. Idealizing the grandparents is a tiny risk compared to exposing them and have them brainwashed, turned against you, manipulated, feeling sorry for and defending the supposed innocent martyred narcissist who vilified you as the big monster, then taught the bag of dirty tricks. You may never even realize it until you start having trouble with your kid, unless you sit there the whole time and make sure they are not filling your kid full of it.

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

  23. By the way, my brother was courteously distancing himself, setting healthy boundaries and calling her on it in a civilized manner, while also even helping her at times with what would stereotypically be considered the male chores of owning a house while she was going around behind his back destroying his reputation and family relationships leading to his abuse by proxy and ostracism. I also nearly always took the "high road." However, she proved herself, in true narcissist style, to be sneaky, deceitful, vengeful, treacherous individual. She died in her late 50's. So I can not say whether she would have been exposed at some point in time. She died with many believing she was who she masqueraded herself to be and that he was the treacherous son when the exact opposite is true.

  24. You probably are right. Only time will tell whether my children have learned the true nature of narcissism, alcoholism and their impact on their families. I have been hysterical with rage and regret over our decision to stay in contact. Maybe I'm naïve to think that it's impossible for everyone -- it wasn't easy for us and we still see the damage done to our son.

  25. I can very much relate to feeling rage and regret over maintaining contact.

  26. Anonymous, there are a lot of resources in the right margin of this page and other parts of this blog, if you need someone to talk to. There are online support groups, online therapists, sliding scale therapists on the About page, etc.

    I feel for you in your pain.

  27. I experienced a classic N Christmas the year my father died. I wanted to spend the day with my mother and family of course. So I ring my mother up and talk about it. She tells me my single brother and divorced sister are going to be spending the day with her and she doesn't think she can cope with the workload of any more people.(immediate martyr status added to 'grieving widow' status). I tell her we are happy to help out etc. She tells me that 'just this once she s going to think of herself for a change'. Bwahahahaha! I give up, not realising that I am being played.

    Two weeks after this I receive a phone call from my mother. She is bright and breezy and tells me in her excited little girl voice (reserved for gushing to relatives) that she is going interstate to visit my other sister who didn't get to spend Christmas with her. This is the golden child who deliberately lives a couple of hours away by plane and rarely visits anyone including her mother.

    I am appalled at the double standards and tell my mother so. She gets very upset with me and tells me that "I must be jealous". Completely deflated, I simply agree with her. "Yes Ma, I must be jealous" (she misses the irony). Since I agreed with her and am clearly deflated she is now happy and suddenly goes back to her gushy little girl voice and tells me that maybe we can go out together when she gets back. So I decide to hold her to it.

    Two months later when she decides finally to go out and have a coffee with me after avoiding and excusing it for weeks, she sits in the coffee shop sullen and pouty and I try and have a conversation with her. She makes it completely obvious that she doesn't want to be there and leaves as soon as possible.

    1. My NPD mother has that "baby voice" too, as if she is innocent. No way. She also is obsessed with making me {and others) jealous of her. It's funny because NPD's are envious and jealous. It's projection when she accuses you of those emotions which really belong to her, she won't acknowledge them in herself.

      As my narcissistic mothers scapegoat, she too would be sullen and pouty when I insisted on the same treatment she so graciously gave my siblings. I had to come to the realization that it was nothing about me, never had been about me; it was always about her. I was just a pawn in this game. I just happened to be the designated scapegoat. I am now in NC.

  28. Anita, I, too, have been wondering about the "little girl voice." My elderly NMIL (who also seems to have HPD tendencies) sounds like she is 3 years old. Totally fake and turns it on when she's looking for attention. I've been scouring the internet for more information about the voice as an indicator of NPD and have found very little.
    I've also been searching for methods to better deal with my husband's brothers and a SIL who are in complete denial of MIL's atrocious behavior (my SIL likes to pretend that it is an elder issue rather than a personality disorder based on SIL's Asian culture. She actually said this to me when I was trying to explain what I had found out through research and talking to a counselor. I was floored about her insistence that it was accepted elderly behavior). I have attempted to go NC for the sake of my teen children not wanting them exposed to hurtful and irresponsible behaviors. My husband and I are honest with our children and do not hide nor minimize their grandmother's behavior. The others do not like that when it comes to our children, we have chosen not to ignore/downplay MIL's antics (their cousins have been taught her behavior is acceptable). Since I refuse to play the game, MIL has bad mouthed me to the rest of the family. None of the ILs will have a relationship with me or my kids that doesn't get funneled through MIL so at this point there is NC with the cousins since I won't entertain MIL.Truly bizarre.
    My husband doesn't feel that he can go NC. I have asked that he deals with her over the summer so Christmas won't be an issue, but he won't be proactive and says it wouldn't matter anyway. She makes a stink that I won't play the Walton Family Christmas and then her break down is blameshifted onto me. This has happened 3 Christmases in row even if I am not physically present. Each year, once the holidays are over, I'm already trying to make plans so that my kids and I do not have to engage her. She has now figured this out so by March she is already one step ahead trying to lock down Christmas with my husband so that she can write in her Christmas letter that she spent Christmas with us, trying to look good to her so called friends. Just incredible. Never having had to deal with someone like this before and with no family support, I feel as if I have been thrown to the wolves at times.

  29. Gail your blog really hits home for me. This blog at least made me laugh as well. My mother in law is a textbook treacherous NPD. But to make it worse she is an NPD who takes Xanax every 4 hours and drinks every day. Her mouth has no filter. My husband is the "scapgoat and ONLY child" and my father in law the proverbial "flying monkey" or doormat the books refer to. At the beginning of our marriage things got so bad that there was a confrontation causing me ( newly married) to go to NO CONTACT with her for a full 7 months. It was great however the strain on my husband caused me to have a sit down with her where she denied what she said and claimed she never meant to make me feel that way and would be mindful of her words. (fyi she accused me of being a gold digger because I was resentful of signing a prenup SHE DESIGNED even though I have a great job and make more money than my husband ) But back to Christmas---What grinds my gears is the fact that her husband is Jewish she a denounced Catholic declared herself athiest and a "Druid" (?? dont ask I Have no clue) . I can accept someone saying they are athiest but she bashes Catholiocism every chance she gets even threatened my husband that she and her husband would disown him not to"dissapoint her" if he allowed me to baptize my infant son. Yet claims she loves Christmas more than anyone (uses her money as example) and demands we spend the holiday with her even though she claims she hates cooking. (power plays) My husband and I lived 4 hours away at the start of our relationship. The decision was made and initiated by him for me to move in with him when we got engaged. His parents live 5 min away. I have endured 3 years of abuse from this woman. They have a vacation home in another part of country.The part that INFURIATES me is her expecation every year is that we pick up and fly to her vacation home for holidays. Every year I have firmly told my husband and her using various excuses (being pregnant, no vacation days left, etc) ABSOLUTELY NOT and that I Moved away from my famiy to be with him and live near his parents why do I need to get on a plane to see them? they live 5 min away .. And leave my family out of the picture? On the holidays that we have shared with both families she has managed to insult my guests (accusing our cardiologist friend of "not being a real doctor" should i go on? LOL) and she will also analyze the calorie content of the holiday meals calling them "devastating" and ask if there are any "healthy diet choices" despite the fact she drinks Wine and Soda all day. Isnt that devastating? Last year she also announced to my devout Catholic mother that she believed Jesus was gay and how else would a man that age be single and belittled her for beliving in the virgin Mary. Now my mother has found out how my mother in law humiliated me a few weeks back by saying to me (in front of my son) "I dont know who you look like in your family but I Think we can all agree we hope your son gets his fathers nose." My mother is refusing to spend any holidays at my home. So Now how do I let the NPD MIL know that my mom knows? Its actually quite funny as my mother would like to address it. I dont even know how to. If I address what she said she will deny it. but I do need to let her know that she cannot talk to me like that in front of my son. any advice?

  30. I been trying to figure out what was wrong with my mother for so long and now I'm finally finding out how many other people are affected by a N.M. thank you so much for sharing. These hit so close to home. I am the youngest of 7 a daughter and she has so many of my siblings completely brain washed it keeps me up all night..i can't stay away from her she has done me so much emotional damage that I constantly seek her approval in hopes she will change ...its such a vicious cycle ...I struggle with staying away mainly because I have a son now and she is my only family...but I am seeing the little things she says to him and I am more consious to stay clear of her war path now thank you all..

  31. The Holiday Season is here again. Both my MNmother and Efather are in the grave after I was No contact for 10 years. The first few years were a bit rough. I missed what I thought was Christmas with the "family". After No Contact, my husband and I spent it alone. But, I decided I was going to celebrate Christmas my way. I decorate the house with carols blasting, bake cookies and decorate a tree. We go out for rides at night scoring the houses on their Christmas displays. We find holiday events in town and go - there's always a tree lighting or Christmas parade somewhere. We buy gifts for the neighbors children and a childrens ward in the local hospital. We attend church service on Christmas Eve. We buy each other little gifts and tickets to a show - something to look forward to.
    The best gift is being free of the drama, accusations, putdowns, yelling and insults that I bore for decades and the smearing afterwards from the "parental units" and their flying monkeys.

    Too all those who suffered for decades at the hands of a "family" headed by a severe narcissist, I wish you peace and love. We are all so deserving of it. It's out there.

  32. Thank you for posting an intelligent, thoughtful, honest account of the NPD parent and for providing a safe place for NPD children to voice their story.

    While I never believed that I could fix Mom's narcissism, I did think that with age she might soften on her own. The reverse is true - she got more devious.
    When I was a child, I remember that my narcissistic mother would go to great lengths to create a beautiful sparkling holiday, baking gifts for all of the neighbors and dropping in on them on Christmas Eve to deliver her gifts. She bought presents for all of us. We listened to Christmas music had a tree every year that we decorated together.
    Invariably on Christmas Eve she would create some imagined drama that she escalated to violence or shocking abuse of the holiday: She proudly told everyone that she gave us kids a shot of wine and an aspirin to make us go to sleep so she could place the "Santa gifts" under the tree. Christmas Eve or Christmas morning became a dreadful repetitive Her trademark was throwing her gifts from our dad as well as our gifts from "Santa" into the blazing fireplace.
    Nothing says loving like burned Christmas presents.
    Over time, Dad slowly became a raging alcoholic and stopped coming home on Christmas Eve, while Mom had a number of affairs that ripped our family apart.
    The Golden Children in our family have gone No contact with Mom via abrupt ostracism and due to their special brand of triangulation, I was cut off as well. It placed enormous pressure on my shoulders while nursing my husband through 4th stage cancer. They were informed of his condition, diagnosed just before Christmas and they used it as opportunity to denigrate me further. With virtually no family support of any kind, I nursed him through his treatments alone, then took care of Mom through her loss of her special children after they turned on her.
    I learned recently that Mom is still sabotaging me to others - her general practitioner's office staff, her hairdressers and her best friend, all of whom have acted on the slander by verbally attacking me and one actually laid hands on me masked as a hug - this person violently wrenched my arm in a vice hold while telling me that my mother is a "Great person."

    Realizing that Mom's smear campaign has been ongoing behind the scenes that touched virtually every facet of my life answered a lot of questions - why I was beaten so often by my siblings or why their friend's siblings who were my age beat me at school without provocation - slander was effective. Those blitz attacks were frightening to the point where I would get 'sick' to avoid going to school.

    Low contact is the best path from here on out.

    The looming foreboding of doom that traditionally flavors the holidays is being slowly dissolved as my husband and I adopt holiday traditions that focus on peace, calm, humor and kindness.

    Hope that everyone is touched by happiness during the holidays and the years to come.

  33. Been no contact for over 8 years. 45 years old, and still struggling with fear, unwittingly inviting other narcs into my life, etc...BUT....I SEE IT...and for some crazy reason, that gives me hope. No contact was the best decision I ever made. I wish I had done it sooner. I wish I hadn't lost any time after going nc by spending any time on the resultant smear campaign constructed to explain away my absence, I actually tried damage control or explaining my side to flying monkeys, can you imagine? Lol. I have fear and worry and stress and not much certainty in my life...but I am FREE. Wishes for a peaceful and sane Christmas.

  34. I haven't been here in a while, apparently a mistake because I learned a lot today about narcissist mothers badmouthing the non-Golden Child, well the Scapegoat actually. My narcissistic mother dumped me off on her own mother quite a bit while I was growing up (acting as agent of her malignant narcissist second husband -- my mother has some borderline co-morbidity but was not as malignant as him.). I bonded with my grandmother., who has been dead now for many years. Now my mother has Alzheimers , and I am in possession of her diaries, letters to my grandmother and literary efforts. Reading the letters to my grandmother I am just stunned by some of the things she said: such as I was growing up to be a manhater (which my mother actually did become several years later) and worst of all really, that the reason I married my first husband was to acquire wedding gifts. That was so purposelessly malicious, I at first assumed my stepfather was the source of that incredible libel and he may well have been. But my own mother repeated it! In a letter to my grandmother! The reason she made up that story was that I sent out thank you notes to people who gave me gifts. I was trying to be 'good," God help me. I doubt my grandmother believed it for a minute, but it must have pained my grandmother to think that her daughter would even tolerate anyone taking that position must less adopting and repeating it. She must have thought my mother was weird (hardly a consoling thought) and poignantly, my grandmother must have pitied me. Once when I was living with her (senior year in high school), my grandmother must have gotten some news or something from my mother (this would have been years before I married). In any event, to my astonishment, my grandmother broke down crying in front of me, the only time I ever saw her cry, and she sobbed that she'd wished she'd taken me when I was a little girl. I am older now, and I can so imagine what must have gone on behind the scenes, so to speak, between my mother and her mother. Maybe that's why my mother was so eager to repeat my stepfather's cruel attack about my wedding -- as revenge because she saw me as her competition for her mother's love. I think these family dynamics occur more often than people realize. Well, more than I realized for decades. Every time I think I fully comprehend, I get a bite in the ass. And by the way, I was an only child, which just goes to show, you don't need a Golden Child sibling to be a scapegoat!!!

  35. Christmas Day has traditionally been my N mother's day to put on her show as I can only describe it. This includes the big meal with all her favorites, being showered with gifts and attention from her children and grandchildren (but not giving anything age appropriate or suitable), and hosting her scapegoat "alone" sister to show off her "perfect" adoring family and excessively decorated home (her "wealth"). She is the giving, loving matriarch in her mind. Nothing is loving and sincere about the gathering. Everyone gives her what she wants. Although I have been no contact with my mother and alcoholic enabling father and the rest of the family for over four years, they continue to try to contact us every single year expecting us to come over for Christmas. We have had to block all of their numbers (due to triangulation with other family members trying to convince me to apologize), then change our phone number to try to prevent them from calling. We are considering moving- far.This year they disguised a Christmas card with different handwriting and a fake return address so that we would open it as I informed them years ago I would not accept their mail. The card invited us for Christmas again and asked us to keep open my dad's 75th birthday party/family reunion next summer. I suspect they haven't even told anyone that we are estranged. So, our attendance would also be in their image's best interest. My dad disowned me around the time we went no contact when I asked him to please stop bad mouthing me to my teenage daughters. He told me I had no rights to my own children. And what a burden I have always been, etc...My golden child brother is now contacting my 20 year old daughter asking her to get me to talk to them. I know they don't care how I feel, will never change, and I have no desire to ever see any of them ever again. But why will they not just leave us alone in peace? They seem to have a delusion that we will show up for Christmas and they can have their perfect family back. Never mind that my lifetime of abuse will never be reconciled or even acknowledged. I still can't wrap my mind around how they think!

    My last Christmas gift I received years ago was a vacuum cleaner when I had no carpet in my house (it was such a good deal). The last gift I gave my mother was a beautiful, expensive nightgown which I know she never had and I even cleared it with my dad. She opened the box and immediately said it didn't fit even though she did not take it out the box to look at. And even though there was a gift receipt she made me drive across the city and return it and give her the money.

  36. 2014. This will be my first Christmas without my narcissistic mother. Two months ago, her father died, the only person left, which was able to hold us together. - I miss him and my dead granny so much.

    She is very toxic for me and the pre Christmas time was hell, although I am living on my own since 3 years.

    Since a few days I'm convinced that she has a npd. Suddenly there are explanations for the very first time in my life for her behavior.

    Nevertheless, I feel torn and guilty. :(

    I'm thankful for having the help of my boyfriend s family. ..Where I'm this year.

  37. Although everyone has to find the right balance for her or his life, No Contact has truly been a blessing for my family and me during the past five years. Our financial cost of separation can be calculated close to $1 million, but we are happy and content without it or them.
    My first NPD Christmas memory took place after a visit to Santa when I was five. "He's not real, you know," my father retorted at my childish excitement. "She needs to know the truth," my mother agreed. Why play the traditional game and then deliberately smash a child's dreams before the holiday? That was their idea of compassionate parenthood.
    I put up with the nonsense and degradation for almost five more decades until my mother, Golden Child sister, and sleezy brother-in-law manipulated my family out of the inheritance we had been promised by my father. We signed over the half of mother's house they couldn't move and told her to use it for retirement center fees since she said she couldn't afford them otherwise. (This woman owns a 1500-acre ranch)
    Yes, I do think of them and feel a tiny bit guilty, but the rational me knows this was the best of all possible outcomes. Let the Chosen One take care of Mom in her old age; she received all of their resources plus the inheritances from several other relatives. The value of freedom cannot be calculated.

  38. Thinking about last year when I hosted my family of origin at Christmas for the first time in 12 years. If it had not been for my stepfather it would not have happened. He was sick with emphysema but wanted to come anyway. My NPD mother tried to cancel a few times. She kept my brothers and stepfather away from me for years due to her smear campaigns about me. In the end, my stepfather began to figure this out. I hadn't seen one of my brothers in 12 years. Because my stepfather was sick, he never went home, he died two weeks later in the hospital. But we all got together for that one brief Christmas. For the past 6 months, my NPD mother has started another smear campaign. Blaming me, of course, for starting something with her. This time she started trying to fight with me, then another phone call raging at me. I never said anything...I hung up the phone. Her last words to me..."I don't have a daughter..." Here we go again.

  39. NM told my sister the exact same things as in this post. She is the oldest of 5 of us. She was told at 10 years old that she was too old and had to help NM with the gifts. This broke her heart. I had to check to see if she wrote the post! She is now a FM and is used to get me back in the fold, but it doesnt work.

  40. Christmas with FIL's widow again. I hosted for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day -- she spent the night between at our house. Pushing 90, dementia, the old passive aggression and self-infatuation showed through stronger than ever. Gave us each a 1/2 pound of ground coffee and throw-away film cameras, some of them with the film already exposed. My husband got a picture of his father with his sibs when they were all young. Kept asking what happened to the two bottles of champagne she also brought. and scarcely believed they'd been consumed. At one point I mistakenly speculated whether she had given one of them to my daughter to take home, which drove her into a rage. About my daughter she snarled, "I've had enough of her wedding, her party and her baby -- I've given plenty already to her. Why would I give her a bottle of champagne?" So far as I know, her only contribution to wedding etc. was a silver cake server that my daughter's paternal grandparents purchased in 1952 to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. Hardly a great sacrifice -- she never even met them and unlike my daughter, is not related to them by blood. Of some present I gave her, she said she was going to share it with "the family." We are her only family as she has no children of her own, she despises the unoffending sister of my husband even more than she does us, my husband's brother is dead and she quarreled with his widow. She must have some phantom relations who are more adoring and deferential than we are. I need another plan for next year...Maybe I should get some phantom relations of my own to invite me over.

  41. Oh, that, "Here we go again" resonates. Sixty Christmas' with the crazy lady finding something, anything to latch onto, to have the screeching, sobbing, screaming, throwing, melt down for hours and hours. And, the despicable enabling husband (that would be my father) sympathizing and encouraging and telling her how right she is. Every Christmas, New Years, Easter and Thanksgiving "ruined". I put "ruined" in quotation marks because I long ago gave up any idea that the holiday would be other than a horror show. So, it really is, "Here we go again."

    Twenty years ago she declared Christmas "no gifts", so she could avoid buying any gifts. But, then, every time some acquaintance gave her a box of chocolates or cookies, she would show it to me and say, "I'm going to put this under the tree, so I have something to open on Christmas morning."

    Ten years ago she declared "no decorating" Christmas, and then complains that no one has the Christmas spirit

    The only people who can understand-- really understand-- are the other children of narcissistic mothers. Thank you all for posting and for surviving.

  42. This reminds me of my high school graduation. We found out earlier in the year that my sister was getting married. My sister lives out of state but my narcissistic mom demanded that she have her wedding here, although my sister did not want to. So my mom planned my sister's bridal shower the weekend of my graduation, even though she knew that I was planning on having a graduation party. Not only did I not get to have my party, she made the entire weekend about my sister. She made invitations and passed them out to the entire family. I had to do all of my graduation stuff alone. I even ordered my own cake and she got mad at me for that. She got upset because the morning of graduation I was busy getting everything done and asked her to pick up my cake. She started yelling at me about how I should be able to get my own cake because she had to cook for my sister since she'd just made it to town.

    1. Hey, screw her. Happy Graduation! You did it! One day all her BS will make you stronger. Keep going strong, look ahead and move the hell away asap :)

    2. the minute you planned your celebration, NPD mom grabbed onto {herself/GC }and planned a celebration for her,,,in order, to beat you up and shun you , the SG....Amazing story, but shows us that the Golden child represents the sick NPD mother

  43. Just yesterday, I had a sad insight about my narcissistic mother. You see, I care for her, now that she's 101 years old, and I live in her house, after having lost my own home to foreclosure in part due to workplace bullying (which I now understand I was "prepped" for by my N mother) causing me to lose several jobs. I draw bullies wherever I go, due to what I think of as "scabs" left from my childhood--wounds from which I've largely healed, but the scars of which will be forever visible to other narcissists.
    Anyhow, I'm lucky in that she's fairly non-malignant--more the anxious-self absorbed sort of narcissist than the sadistic sort. Yes, that makes me lucky compared to other children of N mothers, but once you cross the threshold into the land of narcissism, can anyone who is the child of a narcissist really be called lucky? She has always exhibited the traits that both non-malignant and malignant narcissists share: utterly without true empathy, needs to be the center of attention at all times, completely manipulative, lies every time she opens her mouth, no boundaries, everything that's yours is hers, cuts you down emotionally at every turn, and of course, you are never right while she is always right.
    So yesterday, I was recalling one of my favorite childhood memories--one so far unsullied by my mother’s influence. When I was 9 years old (I'm 59 now), a family friend gave me a wondrous Christmas present. I’ve always loved reading--as a child, it was my favorite activity. And I've always loved fairy stories. The family friend noticed these things and gave me a beautiful book of fairy tales, with the most exquisite illustrations I'd ever seen. Our family was visiting her house at the time and to this day I recall how over-the-moon I was about receiving this book. I was completely enchanted by it--the illustrations fed my imagination, and the stories carried me away to fantastic lands so different from the emotional desert I survived in at home. I'm sure my gratitude and joy were obvious to all.
    But then, I never saw the book again. I do recall going home and after a short while asking my mother repeatedly where the book I'd received for Christmas had gone. No one seemed to know what happened to this marvelous Christmas present, one I'd so obviously cherished above all other gifts that year. Over the years, every once in a while, I'd ask her whether she ever ran across it, stuffed in some forgotten corner of the attic or garage. But no, it appeared to be gone forever. But it was never gone from my memory. I never forgot that book and sometimes described it to others, for I did not recall its name, nor its author, and hoped someday to find it again, on some used bookstore shelf. But of course it didn't ring a bell with anyone I'd ever described it to. (POST CONTINUED BELOW)

  44. (POST CONTINUED FROM ABOVE) When I met my husband, I told him about the book, in some discussion we had about favorite presents, and also told him how I'd somehow lost the book soon after receiving it and since then, had hoped to find it again--mostly by recognizing the cover and the beautiful illustrations. Yesterday, I gave one last try to see if I could find the book using a google search. I'd tried searching for it before, but apparently hadn't used the right words. Anyhow, as soon as I typed in "vintage fairy tale book"--wouldn't you know but up it popped. At first, I was uncertain if it was truly the book of my childhood memories (after all, it’s been 50 years since I received it), but after examining the illustrations I realized yes, this was my long lost book. My long lost book! Tears came to my eyes as I bought a vintage copy of it on ebay. Then I told my husband that I'd finally found my book, the one I'd been looking for for 50 years. And as I showed him a photo, the small voice of knowledge inside of me--the one that isn't made of logic or anger or blame, but the one that speaks the truth that only intuition can bring--told me why my book had disappeared so soon after I received it.
    My mother gave it away. My mother, seeing my joy, seeing how enraptured my 9 year old self was when I received it, couldn't stand that a gift was causing me more joy than she'd ever felt about anything, couldn't stand that it was a friend of the family, not her, whose gift was causing me to feel so enchanted, so thrilled. Her envy and rage must have been intolerable. And so, as she always has with my belongings, she gave it away "to some other child who is poor, who doesn't have any lovely things."
    How do I know this for certain? I can't logically know, of course--but it isn't logic that tells me this. It is that small voice inside, the one that, as I was telling my husband about finding the book, stopped me short in my tracks, so that in mid-sentence I interrupted myself, and in a soft voice, looked him in the eye and said "She gave it away." He, of course, tried to convince me that I couldn't know that, that I was assuming something I had no proof of. Logically, he is right, of course. But that voice inside, the voice of intuitive truth, which is so rarely wrong for any of us, did know. Didn't guess, or blame, or "figure it out" somehow--that voice inside knew that my book disappeared because it was given away to assuage my mother's envy and rage. And I believe that voice--for it has never misguided me.
    With my new understanding of what happened to my book, I lost my last shred of hope that somewhere deep inside, my mother loved me just a little bit. I'd long ago jettisoned the rest of my hope about our relationship, and thankfully so. But that last tiny bit flitted away yesterday. I’m not sorry that my hope is gone. My healing over the years has been about accepting the reality of what my mother is, that she was never a real mother to me, that I was really an object born to serve her needs. Yet it is with a pang of grief that I watched my hope disappear. For, after all, everyone wants Mother to love them.
    Yet I forgive her, for her life is worse in many ways than my own life has ever been--because she’s never experienced the joy of loving another human being. And despite the many wounds I received from her, I'd rather have the ability to love than any other human gift. (If you're curious, the book in question is titled "The Giant Golden Book of Elves and Fairies," published in 1951.)

    1. I looked it up. It looks wonderful. :) I loved reading your story and I'm glad you found it.

    2. My NPD mother gave away the things I loved. I didn't have much, she never gave toys for Xmas,,,but if I won one , or bought one with my saved up money,,,she would give it away. I started hiding things on my top shelf in my closet. I had no idea how evil she was, I just knew that I better hide anything of value because when I came home from school, it probably would be given away and then me shamed,,, because after all,,,, NPD mom would say "I didn't need it cause there were poor children."

  45. Ah, the one-sided conversations. Yes. My father would then start telling her to hang up on me and berating me. It's astounding really. It's as if there is a script for this that they share.

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

    1. This was likely a hack because when I have deleted a comment, I do not leave the announcement on the blog. - Gail

  47. MIL is horrible. She is the definition of a narcissist. 1. One sided conversations that I’ve listened to the past 6 year. It’s her sob story I hear over and over again. Got pregnant and got married to young. Husband cheated on me. We tried to work it out and moved. Got a divorce it’s so hard. Then she continues with her latest “dream” job, shop owner, baker, clerk, restaurant manager, and flight attendant. Just in the last 6 years. Doesn’t even ask “how’s it been going with you?” Any kind of reply is met with a vague expression, like I’ve merely distracted her from her story line. 2. The Outbursts meant to wound. We got married this summer and we mentioned to her ahead of time that we invited her ex-husbands fiancé’ to my bridal shower. It was met with, “You don’t care about my feelings. That’s so embarrassing. You’re horrible, you can forget me going at all. Mark me off the list.” Wedding comes around and we invited the fiancé’s kids to help hand out programs. She freaked and said the same things, she wasn’t coming. She came to both, she just likes to say things meant to hurt her son. It disgusts me. 3. Showing up unannounced- because her presence is such a gift to everyone. Expected to drop everything, if plans are not changed she throws a fit. Runs crying to her friends and tells her friends how horrible her children are to her. (One of her friends came up to me at our wedding and said, “Don’t you let that husband treat you the way he treats his mom.” WTH? 4. The Lies that break my heart- When we were on better terms with her we went to visit her soon after my SIL had a miscarriage. MIL wasn’t happy about the pregnancy and she said hurtful things to her other son. When we visited she told us it was my SIL fault she lost the baby, drinking, smoking, etc.. All lies. She was never around anyway, we were and didn’t witness any of that. 5. The Golden Child- Her third son is chronic liar and narcissist just like her. They lie to each other and everyone around them but neither can do any wrong their eyes. Its messed up from an outsider looking in. The brother is literally dating a girl who is the incarnation of his mother. Yuck! 6. The Cheap Gifts- Mrs. Flight attendant needs to pick up every trinket at the airports for gifts. You know the kind I’m talking I <3 NY t shirt, cheap jewelry, bobble heads of famous people I’ve never heard of. I’d rather get nothing at all, its cluttering my house. Please stop. 6. Asking for money- She makes okay money but lives a “particular” lifestyle. Like she splurges all her money on shoes, purses, fancy dinners (to post on FB), live shows, and frivolous crap. 2 days after the post is made she calls her kids for money or asks them to buy her stuff because “she changed their diapers.” -_-
    I can’t wait for Christmas. I think my husband is going minimal contact over the holidays, I think he is starting to see the cycle. She has a melt down over something minor, says something hurtful (like the latest, “You won’t have to worry about me for the rest of your life!”) then ensue the passive aggressive Facebook posts. 2 weeks later she pretends it didn’t happen or apologizes without actually apologizing. (ie blaming it on someone else, avoids the issue, backhanded apology) Give it a month or two after that and it happens all over again. I’m patiently waiting for the day he decides no contact is best.

  48. So glad I found this blog! Thank you a million times.
    Reading the comments gives me the support I need to go NC this time of year. The hardest part is doubting yourself, because to anyone else it's "not such a big deal"...But it is! Being devalued, humiliated and insulted in tiny doses for years takes its toll. This is going to be the first time in my entire life that the end of year will be narc drama-free. I wonder what that's like :)
    As far as I can remember, every single celebration was either preceded, accompanied or followed by a huge arguement, accusations, guilt-tripping and general hysteria. This year I've decided enough is enough.
    It is hard to admit, but ACONs are at least in part attached to the drama, no matter how crap it makes us feel it is still hard to shake that bad habit.
    I wish strength and happy holidays to all reading this, you deserve to be happy (or at least less unhappy) and to take care of yourself!

  49. My mom has 'cancelled' the last two Christmas's last minute deciding not to show up for no apparent reason, which meant I was able to enjoy the actual holiday with my in-laws but then had to suffer through the stilted ritual of Stockings (with notes to Santa that I usually had to throw out before the kids could see how Santa thought they should 'improve', the presents that screamed 'I was up at 3am and watched too much QVC, and the dinner my mom 'cooked' which if it didn't come out of a can you hoped it was edible.
    This year we're no longer local and she invited us down, but with her record I told her she was invited here. There is no way I'm spending 4 days of the holidays in the car or over a grand in airfare so she can ditch us again. She decided to come, but couldn't find an 'affordable' flight except on Christmas night, (looking up the airfare online, we are worth $150 but not $225 round trip) so she will only arrive after everyone has Christmas dinner the presents are opened and the kids have had a long day. She also cancelled presents for the adults, because "without a list it's just too hard". Her Christmas card to me was a note to read the kid's letter to them because it was in cursive. It's gotten to the point that we got ornaments from her for the kids and one came with my name on it, and I said, "hey look, Mom got me something!" I had no idea cheap gifts was a narcissistic trait to lump into all the other weirdness.
    I'm trying to get prepared to deal with her for 5 days over the holidays. Reading what others go through helps.

  50. Yes, I'm grateful I can love. My mother told me when she was about 50 years old that she didn't know if she ever wanted to take care of another living being ever again. WOW! Isn't that what life is about? I was 14 years younger than my then husband and she had moved in with us in hopes of a care free life. :( many years latter I fell for it again. I thought she actually wanted to be with ME. :( No she just thought I had something to offer her. I am not especially religious as far as a particular religion, but I believe I survived childhood without rape (as far as I can remember) due to protection from a higher power. That HAS given me faith. Because "mother" and "sister" did NOT love and protect me. I have an older sider who was rather mean to me and wants a big thank you for not suffocating me in my sleep and allowing me to live in her household with her mother. Did I mention my mother implied to me when I was about 12 that I am a product of rape? The half Mexican dirty child. I'm tired. They starved me. My sister was so mean to me and is to this day. My mother is cold hearted and makes herself as the victim. She apparently kept me out of pity and forced my sister to look after me. My sister has a GOD complex and thinks she is due gratitude and everlasting respect, when she actually needs to atone for the cruelties she inflicted on me in childhood. I was so dirty. I was not given baths or clothes that fit. I was so hungry, I chewed on candle wax and ate clover leaves on the lawn. I reached through a fence and ate what looked like rhubarb. So yes I do believe in a higher power or I would not be alive. My memory is so bad I can't even say if I was molested by an adult or not. I have few memories of childhood. I know when I graduated High School no body gave me a card, but yet I am expected to care for my "Mother" and make her mashed potatoes on Christmas and that my "sister" is pretending not to have my address because I did not send her Majesty a royal invitation to my new mailing address. I know something they don't know: At exactly 10 minutes into a mundane conversation that they initiated their "agenda" comes out. It's always exactly 10 minutes into the phone conversation. I advise anyone still keeping contact to take notes, word for word and write down patterns like this so you know it's 9 minutes what's their agenda? Do they want a ride? Oh they don't drive cars! HA! Are you kidding?! No, no joke they don't drive or have a car, so they are dependent ! So much easier to play the poor waif helpless victim. Well I am the one in servitude here. Oh.... They have wine tastes on a beer budget and it's everyone's problem to make it happen. They only eat certain foods that are WAY expensive like they will die if they don't get those things and they announce it to everyone because they are superhuman special people!
    So, my question to myself is: Am I going to make those manipulated mashed potatoes or am I going to show up with raw potatoes and throw them with an emotionless face into the microwave? Because, I am expected to serve this holiday meal not be served. I am expected to pay for the food regardless of how many organs my husband has had removed or how much pain he is in. So is THIS the year I throw F-KN raw potatoes in the microwave - even though I am an excellent cook-? It should be

    1. I'm sorry for your pain, Anonymous. I am not a licensed therapist, but a survivor. That being said, I also had chunks of time, years of my childhood, blocked out, in the beginning of my childhood sexual abuse therapy many years ago. As I progressed through this therapy, with an excellent therapist, the repressed memories poured out of me, with many flashbacks during the process. I kept a notebook and pen on my nightstand. As soon as I woke up, I wrote down any dreams I could remember. It was an exhausting and agonizing, but miraculous process, that I consider to have been worth every ounce of blood, sweat and tears because of the recovery it brought with it. It is also said, and is consistent with my own recovery process, that repressing those years was my mind protecting me, and that those memories only came up when I felt safe (within the context of a trusting relationship with a qualified professional) enough for them to. The very question my therapist began with was to ask me if there are blocks of time in my childhood where I had no memories. I had about 9 years blocked out, and those were the 9 years I was molested by my late step-father. This is just to share the thoughts that came to mind. I wish you the best on your healing journey. - Gail

  51. I hope you all walked away from them. It's a very hard thing to do but you will benefit from the freedom. I wish it done it sooner then my father might not have had the chance to do to my daughter what was done to me. With my mother and sisters full knowledge and glee...

  52. My MIL is a malignant narcissist- black belt level. Every single Christmas, birthday, Mother's Day, any special occasion is an opportunity to inflict hurt.

    I know she hates me, but only telegraphs it by passive aggressive actions that are diametrically opposed to what she says to my face. She is saccharin 100% fake. " I gained a daughter!" Pretends to like me, trashes me behind my back. Her daughter and I have birthdays a week apart. Naturally, they'd get lumped together. Her daughter would get a pearl necklace / I get a card. No inscription. Another year SIL got a thick gold necklace - I got a promise that she'd babysit my children for an afternoon so I could go to an art museum that I have wanted to go. Yes, babysitting her own grandkids for an afternoon is my birthday gift. That was two years ago. Still waiting. My three kids have birthdays that aren't even in the same month. She always tries to lump them together for one family birthday celebration. She won't even get the kids their own cake. She'll light the candles three times and have the kids take turns blowing them out. What? Naturally I do separate birthday parties for each child. She expects to be invited to children's parties at bowling alleys and Chuck E. Cheese's and was incensed when I told her no will see her at the family celebration this was for friends. She has no sense of boundaries. BTW her own birthday she expects to celebrate multiple times. She's very vocal and expressing what she wants in terms of gifts. If you give her something and it doesn't fit she has no problem asking you to return it and get her something else. My own kids have gotten the crappiest, stupidest gifts. One year she gave my three-year-old keychain for his birthday. A keychain!
    Once she asked what my son might like and I told her Legos and she said she couldn't afford them. She has millions. Literally. Wealthy woman.

    Moving on to Mother's Day. Obviously this is a day we share but she has always called the shots. Every single year we have done It her way- namely, dinner st her place. because restaurants are too crowded and she can take the credit for having slaved away over dinner. My offer is to cook always rejected. By the way anytime I have dinner and they come over she brings her own portion of food. Won't eat what I make.
    One year we dared to tell her in advance that we wanted to take our children to the children's museum on Mother's Day. We have a child on the autism spectrum and we figured it would be lightly attended that day and more bearable for him. ( we were right!) We invited her to come along – and at the same time offered to take her out for breakfast to her favorite restaurant that morning. She turned it down, furious. Told us to celebrate alone. We felt bad so before going to the museum we drove by her place to drop off flowers and a gift. Guess who was just returning from breakfast with her daughter? From the restaurant we offer to take her to? Why couldn't we have gone with them? Anyway the next day to punish us she did not show up to her grandson's communion party. It may help to note that they were one of only three invited guests. It was not even a phone call with a phony excuse. Just a no show.

  53. My mom is npd. Haven't spoken to her in a month and she uninvited my husband and I to Christmas, only to send us a text the next day saying how sad she would be if we didn't come. I told her I was not coming and set up boundaries. My father is an enabler and appeases her instead of standing up for me. I want both of their gifts out of my house, and unfortunately I cannot return them. Do I send them or call it a wash?


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