Matt Forney
Spread the Word!

Mommie’s Duress: How Narcissistic Mothers Break Their Children

This is a guest post by Eve Penman.

Some time ago, I saw one of Matt Forney’s articles in my Twitter feed entitled “5 Reasons Why Girls with Tattoos and Piercings are Broken.” My initial knee-jerk reaction was to think, “Hey, I resemble that remark!,” but since I do resemble it, getting upset over it would do me no good. I did not read the article since I did not want to be reminded of my imperfect brokenness at that time; the title spoke to me as truth and that was enough.

In my biased defense, my body mods are small, sweet and discreet. But just because I am not sleeved out in skulls nor have dangle-bobs hanging off my face it does not mean I am not broken, because I am broken and I work hard to hide it.

But why am I broken? That is the question I have not been able to answer until the past few weeks. I always thought it was just me being a fucked-up girl by design and that was how I was born. I had never considered that my brokenness may come from somewhere or from someone I least suspect. Once I discovered this bitter root which has caused me to become broken, I knew that I had to write about it to help others understand where their brokenness may come from and/or the brokenness of people in their lives.

narcissistic-motherThe crux of this crazy conundrum is that I cannot write about it on my own blog due to my abuser—the cause of my brokenness—reading my blog. Not so much because they will abuse me any more than they already do by disregarding my feelings and condescendingly laughing at me, but because they live in a state of denial that no one can shatter. Secondly, a blog post inspired by them (even if it is to expose them) would only make their powers grow since, due to the denial, they are unable to be confronted nor are they able to accept what they are.

Big thanks to Matt for helping me reach people, especially men, through his site. Men must know what to be aware of and understand what some adult women have lived in, and what they, the men themselves, may have lived in without knowing it; or more accurately, what they may have lived under: the thumb of a narcissistic mother. Because of this, I do not blame men for not wanting women in their lives any more than they can tolerate. Trust me, sometimes I am all the woman I can tolerate, so I get it.

Now, I do not use the words “narcissist” or “abuser” lightly, but it is my truth based upon research when compared to the scary spot-on similarities in my own life. Granted, there are at least two sides to every story, so bear in mind you are only hearing one side to this story, yet it is the side that needs to be heard since it is often disregarded and ridiculed by narcissistic abusers.

Due to the work of professionals who have shared their knowledge and insight online for people to research freely, I feel that I can now say with a strong sense of assurance that my brokenness is ultimately the result of having a narcissistic mother who, more likely than not, only had children to serve her whims, mimic her likeness, and make her look good for others. Oh, the disappointment I have been!

You see, a narcissist does not have children because they want to love and nurture little humans so they can grow into healthy individuals and be successful on their terms. Rather, a narcissist has children because they need reassurance in their own self, they need to feed their ego, and because they want someone to unquestionably do their bidding; so say I, the lackey gas-pumping, errand-running, house-cleaning daughter, but I digress.

To deny that I was abused during my formative years (and am currently still being abused) is only a sign of how abused I am; talk about a totally FUBAR situation! Sure, I may not be physically bruised, nor do I have black eyes or marks from a wire hanger; however, my spirit is severely bruised, my sense of self has been beaten out of me time and time again to the point that I question if I am the crazy one who belongs in an institution, and to top it off I have entertained suicidal thoughts since the age of 13 (over 20 years of my life). The empirical fact that I have survived without ever taking pharmaceuticals for my mental stability is a testament to an ineffable force that lies within me. Thus, that which does not kills us makes us.

And yet, in spite of this mirage that I have lived in my whole life, I do love my mother and I want her to be well, even though the research tells me that will not likely happen since narcissists are unable to recognize what they are. Such is the twisted futility of my life and, more likely than not, the lives of many others.

narcissistic-motherSince this is how I feel about myself due to being raised under a neglectful and self-centered parent, it tells me there are others suffering from the same lot and may not know it, just like I didn’t know it. I am not so far gone in my subconsciously-inherited narcissistic traits to think I am the only one like this in the world; I know I am not that special. Sadly, that is also a sign of my abuse under a narcissistic mother, to put myself down because I cannot be that special since that is what she has made me believe about myself. FUBAR, indeed!

Well, the good news is that knowing is half the battle; the rest of the battle lies in kicking ass and fighting back. Now that I know what the root of my problem is—a narcissistic mother—I can now prepare myself with tools via knowledge in order to fight the battles on my terms. It is not my intention to place blame and leave it at that, far from it, but without first recognizing where my problems come from I cannot move forward into a healthier and, relatively speaking, mentally stable life.

Being raised by a narcissist makes it more likely for me to become narcissistic and take on those traits unknowingly; monkey see, monkey do, your kids learn by watching you. The more I learn about narcissistic mothers, the more I see where some of my traits come from which scares me on many levels; not for my own self but for the people in (and no longer in) my life who have been subjected to my unhealthy behaviors without my knowledge.

As well, I now have to reexamine all my relationships with the people I have let into my life over the years, both in person and online, because I most likely have—no, I know I have—unhealthy relational patterns based on my upbringing. The same as women that fall for a man who abuses them because that is how they were raised, growing up as a female with an abusive, narcissistic mother has blinded me to knowing what is healthy in a relationship with anyone, whether it be men or women.

You see, when you don’t know what you don’t know, it is hard to correct what you don’t know, because you don’t know that you don’t know it; and if other people don’t know it, then they don’t know what they don’t know and they are unable to help. Thus, the FUBAR cycle will repeat ad nauseam.

Fortunately, the light of hope that comes from discovering all this darkness is that I now have the tools and the talent to change myself by correcting the narcissistic traits through knowledge and insight, from not only professionals but daughters who have fought the battles and lived to share their stories in order to help others.

So, what are the traits of a narcissistic person? Herein enters the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; more commonly referred to as the DSM, versions IV and V (4 and 5) are the most current editions.

Traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder according to the DSM-IV and V (begins on Page 9):

  • Grandiose sense of self-importance, exaggerates achievements & talents;
  • Preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, beauty, brilliance;
  • Believes themselves to be special or unique, and can only be understood by others of high status;
  • Requires excessive admiration;
  • A sense of entitlement such as unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment or automatic compliance with their expectations;
  • Interpersonally exploitative by taking advantage of others to achieve their own ends;
  • Lacks empathy, unwilling to recognize or identify needs and feelings of others;
  • Often envious of others or believes others are envious of them;
  • Displays arrogant, haughty behaviors and attitudes.

narcissistic-motherPlease keep in mind that this is a professional diagnostic manual that is continuously being revised and is designed to be used by trained professionals. There are many factors that go into diagnosing a person with any condition listed in the manual and these are only a handful of the factors; professionals disagree amongst themselves as to proper diagnoses when using this manual; as well, the manual has come under scrutiny by professionals as to whether the manual itself is bias towards certain individuals. Hence, caveat lector: let the reader beware.

However, sooner or later a person must think for themselves and apply what they know and have experienced firsthand; so say I, the writer of this article. I am not a mental health professional, though I have taken down testimony of numerous mental health experts and professionals via court proceedings; I have had the DSM applied by professional psychologists on myself for depression, anxiety, and PTSD; plus, I research information by professionals. I encourage others to think independently, read as much as possible from experts and professionals, and consult with professionals should a person feel the need.

Therein lies the beauty of the Internet; there is tons of information provided by trained and working professionals who apply the DSM in their daily work, and those professionals offer resources in laymen’s terms that non-professionals can understand, relatively speaking of course. A couple resources I have utilized through my research that may help others are as follows.

1. “Mothers Who Are Jealous of Their Daughters”

This is a Psychology Today article by Karyl McBride, Ph.D., marriage and family therapist and author of Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers. It’s an excellent starting point as it was my first introduction to the idea of narcissistic mothers after Googling “mothers jealous of their daughters.”

A helpful survey entitled “Is This Your Mom?” is linked at the bottom along with other resources. I recommend reading the survey as a starting point to determine if you, or someone you know, may have been impacted by a narcissistic mother.

2. NarcissisticMother.com

This site is run by Michelle Piper, marriage and family therapist. She has a free 38-page e-book available to download (I highly recommend); it includes a self-assessment and score sheet and provides easy-to-understand oversight to address and cope with the reality of having a narcissistic mother.

In order to download the e-book, you need to sign up for the email list (I also recommend), which offers helpful emails every few days that address how to cope and overcome the damage of having a narcissistic mother in one’s life. The site’s main page features a helpful 10-minute video of Michelle Piper discussing the impact of narcissistic mothers on children and the categories children are divided into.

A few more websites that are helpful starting points which offer resources via information, forums, stories, guidance, and tools to help people learn how to deal with a narcissistic mother are:

Please keep in mind that professionals offer services; their free information is a way to promote and sell their services and/or books. However, that does not mean the information is incorrect. These are not the only websites that deal with this topic and I encourage people to continue researching until they feel for themselves that they have found what it is they are looking for that will help them best. As I stated already, think for yourself; apply what you know for yourself because everyone’s situation is different.

I do not make any money by recommending the information from these professionals. If you would like to thank me for my writing services by way of a donation, a private e-mail, or hire me to write for you, please do so here. This article is written in the hopes of helping others understand the gravity and underlying impact of narcissistic mothers so that they may help themselves and/or help people in their own lives that may be (unknowingly) living in such a FUBAR situation. Thank you.

Eve Penman is a former court reporter, a Jill with mad skills, and a renegade with a cause. Learn more about her by visiting her blog.

Read Next: “You’re Just a Troll”: The Manosphere vs. the Narcissistic Left

  • jzb

    Man raised by a narcissist mother here.

    This describes her to the T. Man it was hell being her son. Never any affirmation or emotional support. No empathy, and unrelentless/unreasonable demands of all kinds. In essence, I exist so ensure that her every wish comes true. FML

  • Eve Penman

    thank you so much for posting this and making the title better!

  • Eve Penman

    sorry to hear you’ve had to live through that. i hope you’re able to find some resources that help you; knowing you’re not alone is a good beginning. i’m only in the early stages of learning how to deal with this & every day brings something new emotionally depending on what’s going on; i am currently visiting my parents & staying with them. some days i don’t know if i’ll make it through, but each day brings me closer to leaving and that helps to keep me going….that and silly hashtag games on twitter! sometimes escape is the best medicine when dealing with a heavy burden. stay strong; you’re not alone.

  • ZeeQueue22

    “Here’s the difference, to me, between boys and girls: Boys fuck things up; Girls are fucked up. That’s the difference. Boys just do damage to your house that you can measure in dollars, like a hurricane. Girls, like, leave scars in your psyche that you find later, like a genocide or an atrocity… That’s the difference between boys and girls. And it becomes the difference between men and women, really. A man will, like, steal your car or burn your house down or beat the shit out of you, but a woman will ruin your fuckin’ life. Do you see the difference? Like, a man will cut your arm off and throw it in a river, but he’ll leave you as a human being intact. He won’t fuck with who you are. Women are nonviolent, but they will shit inside of your heart.”
    Louis CK

  • jzb

    Hey Eve,

    Thank you for the kind words.

    I mourned the loss of my mother many years ago, when it became apparent that she was never going to change. I was very religious a long time ago, so I held out hope for some sort of miracle, but I came to my sense and realized it was never going to happen.

    The article describes my mother to the T. She was not fit to be a mother, she did not have the ability to emotionally nurture and care for children. I think along with her narcissism she was also bi-polar. She was an unstable, emotionally time-bomb. You never knew what was going to set her off. You could knock over a glass of water one day and she would beat the shit out of you. The next day you could do the same thing and she wouldn’t give a shit.

    Nonetheless all of her relationships were about how the other person could serve her needs and desires. If there was any pushback, the other person was the problem and didn’t love or respect her. With us as children, our purpose in life was to do as she wanted. No empathy, no respect, no concern for our needs or desires or wants. She wanted us to obey, and so she broke our spirits so that we would obey.

    For a long time I wrestled with a guilt complex because I felt an obligation to lover her, afterall she’s my mom. In my early twenties I was finally able to realize that she was fucking nuts and beyond hope, and if I continued to try to placate her I would be forever miserable.

    She continually makes unreasonable demands ( I should spend one full day a week with her, I should give her money, I should survive to make her happy). She doesn’t have any concern for the challenges or difficulties you face. Whatever makes her look good, is how she will/would talk about her children in front of other people. She was/is a merciless selfish tyrant.

    So I can say with some level of thankfulness that I’m not like my mother. That I am rational and empathetic. However, I don’t know that I understand the full psychological aftermath of growing up with her.

    One of the major issues is that I have major people pleasing tendencies (the book no more mr nice guy has been awesome at helping me work through that). The other issue is that I have a serious problem with self worth, I literally wake up every day and feel like a fucking failure at life even though the external indicators show otherwise. I also have big issues asserting my will, and I lack serious motivation/have a hard time giving a shit about anything.

    To be honest I’m amazed that my siblings and I survived and became functioning adults. We are all well educated, successful, and have families. Of course you can see the baggage manifested in two of my siblings – one is much like my mother, although not a severe. And my sister (who took the brunt of it the worst) has serious anger issues.

    Anyway thanks for the post and the kind words. I am thankful for the post because it does such a wonderful job of articulating what I experienced. I hope that you are able to progress and work through the challenges as well. I know what it’s like, I wish you the best.

  • Jones

    I found this touching. Sorry to hear of your struggles, and I hope you overcome them.

  • Eve Penman

    thank you for sharing!

    i’m sorry to hear that’s what you’ve experienced but i’m glad that you recognized it early on and distanced yourself from it, at least emotionally if not physically. it’s a hard thing that no human should have to endure, recognizing that their own parent that spawned them did not love them as a parent should. i mean it’s just fucked, totally, and it can really screw with a person’s head.

    lately i think of the chris rock movie ‘i think i love my wife’ and apply it to my mom; i think i love my mom, but only because society tells me over and over i have to love my mom. but some moms aren’t moms; they’re narcissists who gave birth. i’m starting to see these traits in more women too & i take it as a sign to keep my distance.

    it’s interesting what you say about your sister; i’m the only girl with an older brother and i definitely have anger issues; being around my mom never helps. when i moved 700 miles away to montana with them in washington i joked that i’m closer with my mother the further away i am. i think i got it worse than my brother since i’m the more empathetic and emotional one; i open myself up to only be beaten down later. it’s to the point now where i don’t like sharing any of my life with her, even my online successes, because it will be used against me sooner or later. she’s like the police and the ultimate hater all in one; she even tried to leave argumentative comments on my blog once but she couldn’t figure out how to post it, thankfully.

    when i shared this research with my brother, he sounded hesitant to believe it; i told him to not discount what i say until he has read everything i have read; the fact that he instantly wants to deny what i tell him is a sign of the abuse to me; plus i’m the one my mom complains about to everybody, including family, so people are more likely to believe her over me. we were pitted against each other as children a lot and most likely put into different roles; we’re pretty estranged from each other now and what brings us together is dealing with aging parents, a whole other stress factor.

    i understand pleasing people too much, feeling like a failure for no good reason, and not asserting my will when i should; it’s amazing the similarities children of narcissists have. i’m also the problem solver; that’s all i’ve been doing the past month. every time i hear a whine, a complaint, a grumble or sigh of frustration that’s a sign to me that something has to be fixed, if for no other reason to keep her from continuing with the complaints. but it doesn’t matter because it’s always something, it’s never good enough; the things i do fix i get thanked for begrudgingly.

    i wouldn’t be surprised if my mom is bi-polar as well; she did the prozac thing back in the late ’80s and i don’t think it helped her any; it only tuned her out to addressing the problems she loves to ignore so she can continue on in her dreamland. i also am beginning to question people with hoarding tendencies and if they have narcissistic personality traits, since my mom can’t seem to get rid of anything; it gives her attention, having people move her stuff from house to house so she can pull things out and tell them stories to make her look good. i say it jokingly but deep down it’s the truth, that someday i hope to be as important as her stuff. i know that won’t happen so i know not to waste energy on that hope.

    for all the fucked up shit people like us have lived through, the miracle i see is that there aren’t more people going postal in this world. thanks again for sharing; it makes me feel good knowing others have recognized their situations and have taken steps to make their lives better for themselves, not their mothers.

  • Eve Penman

    thank you, i appreciate that!

  • wow. Good stuff Matt.

  • Pingback: "My Child Goes Well With the Drapes" - Freedom's Floodgates()

  • Pingback: 3 Reasons Why Most Female Writers Are Garbage()

  • Savanna

    Agreed. THiS article is good stuff.

  • Scott J

    These forums help me a lot.
    I can really identify with them. I think you can read about the disorder, but
    hearing someone who has been through the experience, offers something I don’t
    think you can get anywhere else. I find myself saying “yep, yep that’s exactly
    how it went in my family.” I feel like my mom should be put in jail for
    the crimes she committed against children, all while saying she was doing
    everything for us, we are ungrateful spoiled brats, she is a saint, she is the
    victim, who no one could really understand her, poor her.

    What do you do if you are
    the son of an npd mother, and you were her golden son your whole life, you
    spent your life being the perfect successful son she wanted, living in the rich
    snobbish towns we would move to, she isolated us(my sisters and I) physically
    from any family, and psychologically from friends, saying they were bad, then
    when you were seventeen years old, she divorced your dad, and randomly moved
    three thousand miles away into the woods, leaving you behind in the rich town,
    she then preceded to tell your sisters she had to move because you were
    unstable, and ungrateful? Now you’re left with no family, difficulty keeping
    friends, and completely confused about where you came from, and where to go, if
    you try to bring up that there may have been problems in the family, the npd
    mother laughs at you and says it’s all in your head. This is my story, I feel
    like no one can understand, what do I do?

  • ZeeQueue22

    Awareness is half of the battle bro. Forgiveness is the other half. And you’re not doing it for her, you’d be doing it for you. These people take too much from other people. Hating them just means they get to keep on taking from you.

  • Reese Daniel

    Male narcissists/psychopaths are the same way. They also shit inside your heart, mess with your head and suck your soul out. It’s all the same type of evil spirit and it behaves similiarly in both men and women. Your analogy of “men vs women” is really an analogy of violent but not narcissistic/sociopathic men vs NARCISSISTIC SOCIOPATHIC women. Normal women are not that way. We have compassion and empathy and narcopaths of BOTH sexes will target us, just as they will target a normal human man. Your analogy is sexist and erroneously lumps all women into the “shit inside your heart” category and all men as violent barbarians but otherwise “human.” Total nonsense.

  • ZeeQueue22

    Hey Reese.. it’s a comedy routine by Louis C.K.! I’m guessing you shouldn’t search out more of his material. I think he’s brilliant (and brave to speak his mind like he does.)

    I’d love to live in a world where true equality between the sexes existed. Admitting that men are not inherently bad actors and evil and that women are not inherently good and nurturing (but always the victim any any given situation) would be a wonderful first step towards that goal.

  • larry wheeler

    Wow, you described my mom. You figured it out early, no doubt it may take along time to heal. I’m still suffering the abuse. My brother is her favored one, and he manipulates any benefit he can get out of it. I’m the whipping boy, and anytime I speak up to bring the truth to the twisted world they live in, my mom verbally goes off on me. She does my brothers dirty work for him as he is a wormy narcissist himself. I refer to myself as cinder fella sometimes.

  • Connie Brown

    Wow, the reflection of my fears, feelings, and neuroses is blinding me. If not for my husband and his loving family and my mother’s manipulations and selfishness in my family’s time of need, I may never have realized what is wrong with her or myself. My 2 boys would probably be just as fucked up as me. I know she uses my kids to retaliate against me since I began standing up to her. I must have humiliated her by telling her “no, I don’t have to do it your way. I’m a grown fucking woman who has been taking care of my own family without your help for several years!” She plotted against me and my husband for 6 months and made our lives as difficult as possible while she was “helping” us by letting us move in during our financial crisis. Side note: she has no job, been sponging off my dad for ten years…whom she divorced 35 years ago and told me 5 different stories why. Her favorite line for me as a kid: You’re just like your daddy; all book smart and no common sense! ” But he’s her meal ticket again so I’m sure she doesn’t say that in public anymore. All of my childhood has been turned upside down researching narcissistic personality disorder. I’ve never easily trusted and now I’m downright paranoid. I grieved my mother’s death when I realized she never loved me. She’s incapable of loving anyone and that’s not my fault…that’s what I have to remind myself frequently. My sister didn’t like it when I told her that…she attacked me. That was 2 1/2 yrs ago. We haven’t spoken since.My problem now is protecting my children. It’s starting to feel more urgent since my oldest has started to see what I see and limited his contact. But my 9 yr old would be heartbroken if I try to limit grandpa time and my dad is stubbornly non-confrontational and a really patient and giving person. He is also being manipulated but doesnt make rash judgements based on one person’s tireless complaints and nagging. Sorry for disorganized ramble if anyone even sees this. My actual question is : where can I find resources to help make decisions concerning my kids/mother’s relationship?

  • AngelDust

    am at a loss about what to do with my feelings
    regarding my childhood scarring. I feel like I’ve been wrestling with
    this scar which looks like an 8 headed demon that rears a different head
    each year- either I see it in lack of confidence, in a deep sorrow, in
    anger, in trying to people please etc. It has many heads but in the end
    its the same demon… the same childhood wounding: my mother’s emotional
    abuse. She would negate my feelings, putting her needs always ahead of
    me, terrorize and rage at me, and blame all this treatment on my being a
    “bad” child. The depth of my sorry is more than I can express in
    writing or words. Its a sorrow that lives at the core of my chest and
    has for decades. I fear that I may live with it for the rest of my life.

    I
    have made various attempts to heal myself. The first happened at age 22
    when I spiraled into an eating disorder and had to go into a 12 step
    program. My healing began then and I started to confront the darkness of
    my past. Later I progressed to counseling with a therapist and even
    hypnotist to unearth the past. It seems silly to me now…but I was so
    unaware that my childhood had been anything but normal. It didn’t occur
    to me that it was unusual that a 14 year old girl would want to end her
    life. Or that having zero friends was ok. Or that cutting my fingers
    with blades to feel physical pain rather than emotional pain was a sign
    of deep distress. That crying almost every night to sleep was not
    normal. Btw my parents knew none of what I was going through. I was
    alone in my pain. My mother wasn’t someone I could confide in –
    especially when she was the perpetrator. My father turned into a
    workaholic and would only return home when we were asleep.

    What
    would set me free of the past? What do I want from my mom?
    Understanding and an apology in the most simple terms. I want her to
    understand firsthand the terror of being yelled at and threatened at
    every turn. I want her to understand the wrenching pain of thinking one
    isn’t good enough and deserves this abuse. I want her to understand the
    pain of all this so much that she cries, falls to the floor and begs
    forgiveness for having put me through this. I want her to see everything
    from my eyes. Will she ever tho? Sadly in my story – there will
    probably be no happy ending. You see…my mother has a mental illness.
    Everyone around her from her relatives to therapists think there is
    something very wrong with her. One therapist I worked with thought she
    had a narcissitic personality disorder. She believes she is God. She has
    even claimed this openly. She makes no mistakes. She is never at fault.
    I think at some point I confused the real God with being something like
    this mom God I had in the past. Mom God in the past controlled every
    aspect of my life. If things were harsh in my environment it was because
    I hadn’t obeyed the rules laid out by Mom God. It was because I was a
    “bad” kid. When things go wrong in my life today, I think or perhaps
    used to think that it was because I disobeyed real God. In essence that I
    deserved the bad things in my life and had brought it on myself.

    Only
    now have I begun to try to challenge that thought and belief: That I
    never deserved the abuse at my mom’s hand or word. That life and the
    real God isn’t treating me based on whether I’m good or bad….life is
    just happening as it needs to irrespective of me and God is trying to
    support me through the hard times. But I’m early in challenging these
    thoughts. I have no doubt I’ll regress to my old way of thinking…but I
    pray I slowly make it to full recovery. Whatever THAT looks like. I
    don’t know what full recovery means. I don’t know what frame of mind
    people who haven’t been emotionally abused live in. I imagine it must be
    amazing.

    I guess I’m putting my story out there to the World
    and Universe, because I hope your support whether visible to me or not
    will help me make it through my dark times. I want to be a healthier
    happier person. Not just for myself but for my two children. They are
    the gems of my life. I want to give them the healthy parenting that I
    never got. I want them to live a life free of the 8 headed demon I carry
    in my chest.

  • Dan Hester

    yes i cut contact with my mother 2 and half years ago, she has tried everything to suck me back in, except apologize for outright hurtful things, these sick evil people cannot and will not under any circumstances issue any apology for anything, doing so would be admittance of a mistake and deemed a loss of control or inadequacy, my parents have used my ex-wife (cheating x wife) as tool they are best Friends now and have tried to use my own son against me, they will not stop at anything to keep you under their evil trench, I am a strong, proud survivor and my life has been a lot better since, i had a recent re-affirmation of this , as last week my parents showed up at the door and wanted to “talk” I immediately asked for an apology for a specific incident and was was met immediately with a hostile response which at that point they were told to leave and never contact me again, to some this may seem like it brought everything back , but actually walked away with a strong smile and a the feeling that i am never going to be a victim again. I was definitely the scapegoat child and my other sister is definitely the golden one, the exact description of this entire process could not fit any better. Once you free yourself and bring some distance from it it all starts to become clear. Now i have noticed others that are in this same destructive situation since seeing the light and have been handing out this same information to help them……. Sincerly proud and FREE, Dan H

  • Dan Hester

    as hard as it seems, if your others (family members are stuck in this as they are manipulated into evrything as well and taught that your the crazy one, you have to walk away from all of them, it does suck , but i moved on , surrounded myself with what i call new family and new friends, and it did take a while, but i learned that there is no such thing as family loyalty when you are involved in this. It gets easier i am going on 2-1/2 years and now becoming an advocate to try to make others aware and realise that you have to admit this is you and do something about it…that in itself is a big step and takes a lot of balls to do.. Dan

  • Jenn4548

    Aside from completely severing ties, what can be done? I’ve written my mother off completely. It’s been years now. But as a result my father isn’t allowed (by her) to speak to me. The one time he defied her she threatened suicide to keep him from seeing me. He is her doormat. I was her doormat. But I eventually got to a point where I couldn’t do it anymore. I quit. I had to. It’s extremely hard to go through life with no parents. I have an amazing husband. He’s extremely supportive. He’s my best friend, my rock, I’d be lost without him. That worries me, too.

  • Pingback: Why You Should Beware Of “Inverted” Narcissist Women()

  • TA

    It is at least comforting to know that we are not the crazy ones!! Everything you said is exactly what happened in my life. My Dad is the doormat, and so is everyone else who knowingly or unknowingly volunteers for the job. The whole world exists to make my mother’s life comfortable. And as the article above points out, kids exists to satisfy the narcissist. How F’d up is that! I have very, very infrequent contact, and it makes my life so much better!!

  • Veronica

    It really doesn’t matter how to deal with a NPD because even if you go “no contact” they work the board around you by bad talking you to common friends and family members. Eventually you learn of their attack at family gatherings, even if they are not invited. In my case my mother disallows me to see my father. This is her last hold on me and her last “hurrah” since she is 82 years old, it is also my punishment for not mindlessly abiding by what she says and thinks. My father was put in a nursing home after my flying monkey sister over medicated him. I was upset but I had no recourse because she grabbed POA. I was able to visit him so I did. I got a PFA delivered by two officers at my front door from my sister (Flying Monkey) stating I was to stay away from my father. We went to court, $850.00 later. The judge sided with me and stated I had the right to see my dad. I went to visit him only to learn my mother had him removed from the nursing home and now has him living in the Flying Monkeys house. They then put him in an adult daycare two days per week. So I visit and call him there which is nice. Mother and her flying monkey found out and now they threaten him not to speak to me or accept my visits. I called yesterday to speak to him and he would not take the phone. I see he is being used as their pawn and I will have to let go for his own peace of mind. I love him in Spirit. My relationship with my dad has always been close and they know that everyday I don’t see him or talk to him a piece of me dies. They tell my Aunts and cousins that I choose not to visit and how horrible I am because my dad has dementia and will eventually forget me. They say I tried to take him out of the nursing home and that is why they removed him from the facility, that I am after his money, that I am a drug addict, that I am unemployed, that I am harassing them through phone calls, that I am a lesbian (?). None of it true. I am a Nurse Practitioner with three beautiful productive children who all graduated from college, I own my own home, I work for the State of PA, I go to Yoga 3x per week, I go camping every so often in my camper, I go on vacation twice per year and meditate 3x per day. I own my own vehicle, I have two grandchildren I see often, I raise chickens and have a small self sustainable farm, I can my own vegetables, and eat whole food, bake my own bread and have my own all natural vegan bath and body business I don’t drink, i don’t do drugs. Now that sounds nothing like the picture they paint of me. So I say wtf no matter what a person does they continue their campaign. There really is no way to get rid of them. They are crazy, dangerous, and harmful to the soul. I guess I should be grateful they do not call anymore, that is a win. I feel as if they always have the upper hand and there is no shame in their game. My sister is physically violent so I do have to be careful of her outbursts and I make sure not to meet up with her at family functions. I exist, I am sad, and nobody gets it, unless they have been subjected to a Narcissist in their life. The books explain what NPD is, psychiatrists handle symptoms of the disorder, the court system allows public humiliation, people around you don’t get it and say well family is important so let bygones be bygones LOL There is no fixing it and that is why in the movies the Narcissistic person usually gets thrown through a plate glass window or down the staircase with anger and force (that must actually feel real good). I try to look at the upside to this abuse and came up with this which I always say: living with the lies has taught me the importance of honesty, living with the hate, envy and judgement has taught me to be loving and accepting and non judgmental, living with gossip has taught me not to spread rumors, living with the constant self pity has taught me to be grateful, living with the loneliness has taught me to be present and alive everyday, living with an NPD mother has taught me to be a better person, than that which raised me, with my own family and friends. An uphill climb….Everyday. Thx for listening <3

  • toni

    The fact that you’re afraid to speak the truth about your mother on your own blog speaks volumes about the amount of emotional control she still has over you. Break free because sadly, and I speak from experience with my own mother, she doesn’t give a damn about you or your needs.

  • chris wizo

    I was raised by a narc mom. I work in an office and the women there will try to gossip and say I’m still stuck to her umbilical cord and criticize my shortcomings. They don’t know I’ve been attacked and brainwashed for years and suffer from social anxiety. So they just think I’m a mamas boy lol. They don’t know I hate her guts and don’t even talk to her. It’s crazy how these moms will talk trash about you behind closed doors but once company comes they will act like they are good moms that do everything for you. These moms don’t want you to grow and find yourself as they never found themselves. I remember I was talking to a cousin and she’d get all mad that I’m talking normally. That right there told me this was a psycho I was dealing with. I remember when I was 23 and moved out over her bullshit. She came over to the house and told me I could live rent free and she would not scream at me. That was a lie and she attacked me 3x harder than before and the times I was down and she knew I couldn’t leave she tried to break my spirit. They have no empathy they are perpetual little children emotionally. It’s sad. They think they are hot shit too

  • tracey

    It took me 53 years to find my answer to everything I knew had been wrong in my life, its as though I have been putting a jigsaw puzzle of my life together, year by year, but it was missing one vital piece, the one piece that would finally link together all the rest to make up an answer I had long given up hope of ever finding, the completion of this puzzle has set me free, the realisation that my mother was a narcissist has changed my life, now everything makes sense, I have read so many harrowing posts over the past weeks, all from daughters of narc mothers, I have been reading my life story in every single one them, and all of them describe my own mother with so much accuracy that it has even brought to the surface many of my childhood memory’s that I had long forgotten, finally I have a name for the frequent violence, the verbal abuse, the screaming, and the crying, that my sister and I lived with, it wasn’t anger, it was narcissist rage, the hurtful degrading comments that have lived within me most of my life can no longer hurt me,
    The realisation that my childhood was not normal started to become apparent shortly after the birth of my second daughter, I had become abnormally
    fearful for my first child, I lived in constant fear of losing her, because I loved her so much I felt I was bound to lose her, I kept it to my self untill my second child came along, and my agony doubled, now I loved two daughters, I felt I was going to lose, I finally broke down, the people who came to help me advised my husband that I needed to see a psychiatrist who had agreed to see me the next day, I owe so much to this wonderful doctor, he gave me my life back, by going back into my childhood we had found the root cause and the reason why I had been living an everyday nightmare that had began with the birth of my first child, something I had experienced as a child had resulted in what he had called a repressed memory, I would have to go back into my childhood to find, and deal with, whatever had happened to cause me to psychologically
    Shut down, reverting back to your own childhood is an ordeal, and it does need a great deal of courage when you remember just how torn up you were at six years of age, I remembered living in fear of Wednesday’s, when my mother would bring out her yellow and black ouiji board turn out all the lights in the house, I remembered the chanting, the twelve people, With their hands over a small glass in the centre of the board, but most of all I remembered that she had told me that the spirit moving the glass, would predict things to come, and what was going to happen in the near future ,
    Later that night, I came downstairs and asked her if the spirit called up that night had told them anything, her answer was yes, and then calmly said, I am going to die two days after Christmas this year, I was six years old, I cried every day for the next 5 months, the pain I felt was indescribable, I went through the greaving prossess for something that was not going to happen,
    Here then was the reason my love for my children had been torturing me,
    From that moment on I was resolved to learn all I could about child psychology, and I was determined that one day I would see them grow into confident, well adjusted adults, that was twenty Severn years ago, I look at them now and I am so proud of them, I will never forget the day that they said to me, that their childhood was the best years of their lives, and wish they could be kids again, even if it were just for a day,
    I only have one regret, that, being the belief that I could help my mother heal within herself through love and understanding, I included her in every thing we did as a family, but it was to no avail, and I went NC six years ago, I took all I was going to take of her abuse, the thing I found odd is the fact that my sister was treated the same way herself, there was no golden child, the most heartbreaking part of this for me is the fact that it was my own eldest child who was to become the golden child ( I have four kids) I foolishly believed that forgiving her and trusting her with my kids, I could help heal her, and bring her some happiness, the result is, I no longer see my eldest daughter, I no longer exist as far as she is concerned, the last time I saw her was in 2014, it’s sad to hear that her brother and sisters try to avoid her most of the time, my mother passed away last year, but the poison of narcissism persists, my daughter has become my mother.

  • ETB

    My foster mother was a narcissist apparently. She adopted my sisters and I. I was the youngest. As I grew older I realized she did it for attention and admiration of others. She hated me and I wasn’t a bad child. I truly, did nothing that was out of the ordinary. I found out later on that i didn’t kiss her a$$ enough and boost her ego. I left at 18, joined the military and never went back. I thought that I was fine since I was no longer in that situation. Unfortunately after dealing with 13 years of isolation, physical, emotional, and mental abuse I had problems. I was diagnosed with PTSD and SAD. I thought that I was crazy and realized that I had developed the negative thought process that she had beaten into me. At the age of 26, I am still trying to undo the damage that has been done.

  • ETB

    My foster dad was a doormat and allowed my foster mom to do whatever she wanted. Besides, she was the bread winner. I am triggered whenever I see a woman who behaves similarly to my mother (i.e. manipulative, liar, controlling, self-absorbed, etc.)

  • I know a woman like this. Her adopted kids didn’t appreciate and worship her enough for “saving them” so she demonized them (even though they were perfectly good, sweet kids) and treated them like absolute trash. At 18 she kicked them out instantly. I know in her case she was abandoned by her own mother in early childhood, and this is why she behaves so atrociously. It does not excuse it whatsoever. But I hope for her kids (and for you) that they can heal and move on. I’m sorry that this happened to you.

  • jenn j

    my mother is the devil- abusive monster on another level. Growing up she wasn’t that bad, her abuse began when I was an adult- and she is extreme. I can only say that my parents are trying to bring me down during a time when I was going through a hurricane and had some damage to a fence. Sick people

  • Reese Daniel

    Your “mother” is exactly where she belongs now..

  • Reese Daniel

    Actually, they are pure evil and the Bible describes them in Psalm 58:3-5 and Genesis 3:15. It’s one of the most guarded secrets in this present world. They don’t want us to know they exist so that they can FEED on us (emotionally, psychologically, financially, etc.). Jesus also mentions them in Matthew Chapter 13 in the parable of the wheat and the (toxic) tares that look just like wheat but aren’t the same.

  • Reese Daniel

    Yep I felt a bit nauseous reading her “tip toeing” all around the evil witch. These beasts are heartless, soulless and pure evil. I don’t care what form they are in “Mother” etc. They do not deserve our love they just use it to control and abuse us and try to destroy us.

  • Reese Daniel

    I know exactly how you feel.

  • Reese Daniel

    Too bad your dad didn’t call her bluff. Every time one of these beasts dies, the world is a better place. Unfortunately, it seems that the non-narcissitic people AROUND the narc die first. I’m not talking about the main scapegoat but the real human beings around these monsters. They always get sick and die early and the narcs and their little ass kissers become more and more concentrated.

  • Reese Daniel

    Narcissists have a god complex. They want to be “god” just like their spiritual daddy. And I think we all know deep down who that is.

  • Reese Daniel

    Your mother doesn’t have a “mental” illness. It’s a spiritual problem. Read Genesis 3:15, Psalm 58:3-5 and Matthew Chpt 13 The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares. Narcissists are Tares.

  • Honestly Speaking

    Thank you for your article. 3 years ago I finally figured my parents, specifically our mother was full blown narcissist. Of course, my sister took the brunt of the sick behavior dealt out to all my 3 siblings. Thankfully I am emotionally healthier and happier than I have ever been but still deal with the effects of our upbring daily. Finally, it was great to figure out It was not who I was and turn away from the deception, mean spiritedness of two narcissistic people who should have neither had kids nor deserved them. I enjoy your articles very much as the are a great source in confirming my beliefs.
    Thanks Rob,
    Honestly Speaking

  • Honestly Speaking

    You already have the strength. Salvation and strength are in the realization of the problem and turning in the opposite direction. Memories don’t go away but they do fade. Be happy you walked away and are free of further manipulation and abuse.?

  • MG

    Wow its like you read my diary. I couldve wrote this word for word except i have a brother and he is my moms “flying monkey” Thank you so much for telling your truth. Reading these things assures me that someone out there understands..and im not crazy.

  • MG

    I also have social anxiety because of the abuse from my mother and all her mind games and gaslighting and the fact that she did these things in private and the rest of the family never believed me so i was always the crazy one. My mom would listen to me talk about the things i like and then go tell everyone those things were her favorite to take away anything that made me happy she made it “her favorite” from movies to books to anything that made me happy. She also talks about herself in 3rd person…

  • chris wizo

    Yea they are legit crazy people.

  • Marcy

    Dan, I was very moved by your response. I felt empowered and inspired by your words. I read the article. I complained and suffered for years, was the escape goat, too. I thought she was narcissistically wounded. This summer I stayed with a friend who has a narcissistic personality and behaved like my mom. I finally asked questions, saw the light and did research.
    I feel like I am practically DISCOVERING how to live NOW. I now have license to, since it isn’t my fault… I feel a little clueless, like a child or college grad just stepping out. The learning curves!! I don’t possess shame anymore. That and much more is due to enormous spiritual and emotional work. Power of the knowledge of all this is what is helping my practical life in forward movement. I am still scared unconsciously that I am “bad” or it is just a residual feeling that rises and hurts. How dare I live…have my life. Anyway, I read a lot of responses. I’m researching, gently. I don’t need a thousand pages of disease discussion. I gather, gently, info to apprise and advise me…
    With gratitude and a little love, I’m saying thank you to you, if you receive this. If that isn’t too weird.
    :) Marcy

  • Karen Treanor

    Hi there can you tell me what emotional/spiritual work you’ve done to help with shame from N-mom I’ve been doing loads but it’s not really working thanks in advance

  • Marcy

    Hi Karen! I first replied directly from the email notification of your message. Can one can receive a reply that way? I’m new to this!

    I’m searching myself for the right answer. The whole issue is a very large one. The process for healing is so multifaceted. Also, I want to be as brave as I can and tell you my truth because that is the point right? Ultimately, my relief from shame came by grace and by education. Knowledge is power.

    First, I spent many years doing all the emotional cleaning and clearing work, all the shedding, all the shredding, recovery from the trauma, exhuming all the hurt and the anger and hate. Still I was baffled by my parents. I was still used and abused, badly, through all recovery work. I still lacked thorough knowledge of the nature of the natural disorder and what happens when the disorder, the narcissism, is in control.

    My story – 10 years ago I started a spiritual practice and therapeutic processing. My personal experience was that my life was going nowhere until I dealt with it. And it wasn’t. When you truly wish/desire healing, you find it. I was desperate, fortunately. Each moment each month each year, the people, the processes, the rituals and practices, the exercises, the outlets, the individuals, everything you need will show up and find you if you truly seek…Healing is awful exhausting terrifying frightening and so painful. It is absolutely, unspeakably overwhelmingly, WORTH it. Freedom always is. My experience has been that once you are free of something it has not the same power over you again. Even if you have a remembrance of pain, your spirit is rejuvenated if you did the work. It pops back out and up like a tent inside.

    Shame – has a large relationship with behavior. Behavior change is A MUST. Otherwise pain keeps returning. I stopped associating with poisonous and toxic people. At work, church, socially, old friends, new neighbors, whomever. I stopped overactivity out of guilt. I stopped other “exhausting ” behaviors. I launched greater and greater levels of self-care. I never believed anyone when they told me I should put my attention on self-care. I was wrong and the answer was always so simple. Look at happy people. Does it look like they’re making a gigantic effort? They are just people who are taking good care of themselves, doing what they love.

    From these steps I gained ground. With the relief I felt -lack of exhaustion, overwhelm and injury – I had more energy, I was forgetting some bad feelings, nothing around to keep them alive. I began to be my own best friend then. I spontaneously started to realize things about my mom. I started to accept that they could not parent me properly. At least not until I took over the job and gave them directions. ;)
    This summer I decided I would not tell them everything and just inform them of what they need to know and would approve of. I wound up having the best summer ever as they had no “fuel” to hurt me with. They could say nothing. They couldn’t look down or put down. Keep in mind I am not speaking of anything weird. You know this. Normal stuff is turned into awful stuff by this sickness. Due to their “lack of material” to work with, they had nothing to harm me over. I got the ENTIRE summer off from being shamed… And for other readers, we don’t look for this, we are just beaten as a routine. This was a break in the routine lol.

    The effect on me and my heart and my confidence was considerable. Boundaries. I loved it. Then grace happened. I spent the end of the summer visiting a childhood friend. Amazingly, I discovered she suffers from a full-blown narcissistic personality disorder. It was tough and scary. But I owe her everything. I got to see what my mother was like in every way. Up close. Not as the child or the target. I got to are. It wasn’t me! It wasn’t my fault! Another friend filled me in with more psychilological info. That’s when I really did my research and filled in all the blanks on all of it. All the attributes, the dynamics, the testimonies from adult children and adults. I know I am not alone. I know what it is. I know why she clung to me and used me. I know why I dreamt of being drained and bleed by her physically and psychically over the years. I know why my sister was so awful to me and others. I know she has it. I know my aunt does and her husband “managed” her. Knowing is another relief from the shame. KNOWING is power. And power is beneficial to warding off shame. Frankly, simply the growth/return of confidence and vindicating my life has lent me power. And cast out shame which is LIE.

    When I went home for Cmas… game over – little did they know. And this was the amazing thing. There was no need for retaliation. No aloofness, no passive-aggressive behavior from the wounded daughter. Only compassion. Now I see. I SEE. How sick, how lonely, how blasted emotionally they are. So dangerous, but so so smashed. I see how I am not required to be their bag of punches. I see her accusations are lies. I had her number, without hating anyone. With love. No need to doubt or second guess. I was able to be kind in all the right moments. While she missed her opportunities to hurt. My friend said to me what they do seems like a game you can win, like the cups and ball magic trick. But it’s not. It’s a trick. You cannot win if you play. Winning is achieved by NOT playing the game. All of this, too – is Grace.

    Last major thing – spiritual life was KEY. When all else fails or seems lost or impossible – it is the one thing that will never fail you, Love. Love never quits on you, love never fails… It will find you a way home. ? Love will relieve you greatly of shame itself if you don’t feed the dog and start full-time care of the lost baby girl? ;)

    Gosh, I probably wrote too much! Ahaha!! Whoops Lol!!?️‍?

    Any clarification please ask. I appreciate the sharing and your support too!!

  • Marcy

    Also, I forgot to say that when I visited and all family/family dynamic was there…I would physically move away, change the subject or need to go “get something” in another room. I had pre-planned events with friends. I dodged my parents harm. I did NOT play…the trick. I treated her the way you treat the ill. Carefully, kindly and watching out for myself.

  • Gayle

    It has been my experience with my own kids that if I can forgive myself, I can nurture them. I blamed myself for so long, knew I was crazy, never good enough. Then I had kids of my own. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for them, and that led to the realization that led to the research that led to the revelation that my mother was a narc. In order to be a healthy parent I have had to divorce the narcissist who fathered them and separate myself from the one who raised me. Both are in their lives, because I can’t find a way to extricate them yet. I make mistakes, and so do they, and in order to forgive these kids I felt like I didn’t deserve I’ve had to learn to forgive myself. The result has (surprisingly) been that the more I let myself be human, they happier they are. It’s been like starting over, and I screw up a lot, but I finally know what it’s supposed to be like. I will never have that, but I can give it to my children. They have saved my life, and I will repay them by being as thoughtful, loving, flawed, human, kind, faithful, and available as is humanly possible. I have been able to experience faith for the first time in years, and I constantly marvel at how little I actually feel judged by the God I rejected years ago because of her. This journey is in its 4th year, and that’s how old I feel some days. It’s work, very hard work, but so worth it. Love yourself, it’s ok, it doesn’t mean you are her. You want your kids to love themselves, then you’ve got to figure out how to do it first and show them it’s not perfect but it’s ok.

  • Marcy

    Karen, maybe this better. Simpler answer. I did normal talk-therapy. I did a workshop that allowed me to express all my anger, beat up a piece of furniture and be heard in safe place, I hiked a lot, I continued with therapy married with prayer practice. My prayer practice took off when I began all of this work with just a simple class on the Artist’s Way. There was a ton of journaling, dailly. The journaling and the initial six week commitment to praying for the duration of the Artist Way class began to EXHUME all the muck up from inside. All my rage and hate ran out of my mouth and fingers through the start of writing. That’s how it began, with prayer. I remember the first time I sat and prayed. A very, very gentle voice said to me, “you are brave.”

    I kept going with prayer and some journaling after the 6 week class. I allowed myself energy work when opportunities and suggestions came to me to do so. Energy work with good, clear healers, removes loose energy, hurting stuff on the surface. It is hard to let suffering go, I discovered. It’s like a baby to us, a possession. I had to be willing to be poor and without it, I discovered. FYI;)

    Healing work, even massage, allowed more of the suffering to be released. I allowed myself grieving and crying. I talked to a spiritual director, just a nun I would visit. I actually experienced a serious healing from them, out of nowhere. Everything at first (without exactly understanding that I was doing this and how it was happening) was all about EXTRACTING suffering/pain/damage. I was like a woman weeding, out of my body, pulling up and out all the dark stuff. Later down the line I felt and met even a little of my own narcissism, learned from the parent. Didn’t like that one! lol! It was a JOURNEY. Not done overnight. I got a dog, my travel companion.;) Yoga and hiking also helped.

    I know that when you are committed, so is the whole Universe. All force is on your side. I faced many things. One at a time. Kept up with forms of therapy, individual and workshops, growth-leap workshops once I was ready. Made mistakes. Tripped and fell. Continued to suffer from being victim and fool. I kept going. My only choice.

    Really, though, all along I just needed faith that it WAS happening. To relax, let it be, allow it. Give myself a break. Take it easy. It’s a journey.

    By grace, many things lifted that I could not lift. My prayer practice didn’t cease for over 12 years. I nodded off one year, but came back. Piece by piece, it happens. This past summer I really began to LET GO of family dynamic and guilt and see through them. I had gained personal power back through lots of little victories. I was ready to buck their system. I no longer set myself up for abuse. I disallowed them information. I gave myself an entire summer free and they were without any ammunition to harm me. ALL SUMMER. It was the best escape ever. But it wasn’t escaping. It was FREEDOM!!! FREEDOM! And it was AMAZING to win. I set myself up to win.

    I realize I don’t OWE them anything. I don’t have to answer to them. Just honor and love them. Right treatment. Not blood! Not my body! I experienced the RELIEF of no abuse, as I didn’t give them the opportunities they used to have. Another victory. Another WIN. This is BEHAVIORAL CHANGE. It inspires more change! It is imperative to change your behavior, once one has the STRENGTH. You cannot engage your family the way you do. What it does is keeps the pain alive. And that’s what stays you in a cage. Change behavior. Change interaction. Change how when you call.

    I was light from so much released. I was fortified with emotional balance, healing and spiritual strength. Now I could start living if I just made some CHANGES. I was the underachiever/scapegoat. Now achievement is not a problem. With healing, it hurts and is messy. And you are on the right track if you get really messy and it’s really hard and you feel really lost and washed up. And you keep going anyway. With support I hope. You are on your way to the most wonderful place ever, without fail, guaranteed…YOURSELF in love.

    It is sad to be alone, like an orphan, with a family. It is about leaving the way they are and being alone in a way, as the parents want less to do with you as you develop and grow, and that is sad. I see them and I’m there, but I’m independent now. And that is not a cause for happiness as it would be in a normal family life, it is a threat. I just lean away and stay back when they start up. No cup and ball magic tricks for me anymore. I do not engage that at all now. But I love them. Even right after I just dodged them. lol But this past fall I started to regain my brother’s love (golden kid). He is so impressed by my new found confidence. He also gave me a huge gift in October. All of this is genuine. I could never have imagined it happening! I am winning him back!! So you cannot ever guess the gifts and blessings that will come to you if go the distance…and they do come.
    And they have just begun for me.

    YOU CAN WIN. Sometimes I think those of us empaths, brave souls, who took on monstrous things in childhood, we are made of great things, we are made for good and wonderful things!! I bet you know it down inside. All suffering, once CLEARED OUT, causes a great massive cavern to be open and hollow and free. A giant space ready to be filled with JOY and happiness that no one can know as well as we, because we have suffered.

    If only we come all the way through the mire.

    HEALING, I’ve learned is about SUBTRACTION. No gaining, fixing, getting. It’s not “American” lol! Letting go, releasing, exhuming, trashing, digging, tossing, facing, renewing, seeing, allowing, burning, shredding, returning…back to you. Automatically all is well there. It is WELL. It is a backing up process that leads us home and forward. Whatever you need, you will be presented with it, stumble on it, or have it pop up in your life or mind, that’s a next step. It is a SIMPLE process. So, your process and others processes are different. Custom built. One step in front of the next.

    Forgive me if I have said too much. Peace to you, Always.

  • Rap Thoughts

    I have great empathy for all of you. My story is a little different in that I married a Narcissistic woman and had children with her. I was definitely the focus of her wrath. I could do nothing right and found my self working non-stop to please her, but of course, I never could. I was locked out emotionally and she used intimacy as a way to ensure control of my behavior. The kids were my salvation. I spent as much time as I could with them and in the garage on the various projects I was doing trying to please my wife. She isolated me from my family and denigrated my friends. I tried to tell her numerous times that I wasn’t happy and that I felt she wasn’t treating me fairly and that I didn’t feel loved. But anytime I brought it up there would be a very long argument where she would twist everything I said to mean something else. In the end, I couldn’t tell if I was the problem and if I was going crazy because I saw things so differently from her. Eventually she had us move an hour away from my work (keep in mind she could work from home) to a location far away from anyone. I did this move as my last ditch effort to please her. Guess what, it didn’t work. I could see in my kids that they were damaged. They lacked facial expression, having a blank affect much of the time. A little “children of the corn” ish. That was enough, I planned to leave, if not for myself then for the kids to see something other than this damaged, abusive relationship. I hoped I could become that man I once was, where they could be proud of me as their father. I had lost almost all of the confidence I once had. Before I left I had to teach her how to cook and I did various things around the house so that the kids had a large play structure in the backyard where they could go to avoid her after I had left. It was the most difficult decision of my life, to leave the kids with that monster.
    I left and got myself settled as quickly as I could with my sister and started up the “coparenting” situation as quickly as I could. Because of my shift work, I could only get the kids 45 percent of the time, so I worked hard to work my way up at work to get them more.
    Since I left she has been non stop bashing me and my new and wonderful wife. It worked with my eldest child, who was her “golden child”. As a result my eldest child became a narcissist and my ex alienated my eldest child from me and then carefully lied to her to alienate her from my 84 year old father and my whole extended family as a result.

    Now I have two sons who are amazing young men, but damaged. One has very low self esteem and seems unable to express his opinion easily and seems to easily believe any nonsense my ex spouts. My youngest son is more aware of her games but is also showing some signs of lacking empathy at times, that scares me.
    My sons recently bravely told a “child centered” mediator the many evils done to them by there mother, including things as basic as not enough food in the house, but also most of the things you all have been mentioning above. the boys did this in an attempt to change the parenting schedule to get more time with me. But like many of my experiences with this all along, despite the boys saying nothing negative about their experience with me and unbelievably awful behavior by their mother, at great risk to themselves because of the awaiting punishment, the mediator still felt there was no need to increase their time with me and decrease their time with their mother. After receiving the final decision of the mediator, my ex took their sister on a trip to Cuba and left the boys at home as punishment for taking. She is now pressuring them heavily to increase time at her house. The clear message being that if they don’t further punishments await?
    What I want to ask all of you is what can I say or do for the boys that will help them know that the way they are treated by their mother is not their fault? Also, what can I do to help them have the strength to say no to their mother when she makes these demands with the threat of future punishments if they don’t comply? And how do I tell them the truth, without being that asshole that speaks badly of his ex to his kids?