Daughter of a narcissistic mother.

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I am the daughter of a mother diagnosed with NPD. I am in my 50s. She is nearly 80 and living in assisted living now for 1.5 years due to a fall. Without going in to all the details the result was that she could no longer live alone. I am an only child. She has been very hard on me all my life making it clear that it is not in my DNA to do anything right.

Somewhere along the way I realized that no matter how much I wanted it I did not have a mother that would give me her blessings, approval, be my best friend, allow me to say "I have the sweetest mom in the world". I also realized that NPD is essentially a mental illness and having grown up with this took a heavy toll on me.

That aside.. now I am devoted to taking care of her .. doing her shopping, taking her to doctors appointments, taking her out to eat or shop if she wants to. We try to make holidays nice and have her in our home in lieu of being with our grandchildren that live away.

She continues to get nastier and nastier with me. She also has begun asking me to leave when I go each week.

I am no longer being the drug that is needed. I don't dote, serve, cajole, beg, plead, apologize or any of that any more. I did it all my life and it was to no avail. When I am asked to leave I see goodbye and go immediately.

There is more information available now on NPD than I could find even a few years ago. It is so good that this is coming to light. There seem to be many of us in the baby boomer pool struggling with this. It's tough.

The only other person she treated the way she treats me was my father. He passed away a few years ago and it has become increasingly worse for me and will continue that way as far as I am counseled.

It's a rough road. important to realize that you cannot rationalize with an NPD. You cannot have a logical conversation with an illogical person. They deny everything and put everything on you. No matter how much you "steel" yourself against this it still hurts. The more she does not get a rise out of me the harder she tries and the rougher it gets.

She is well taken care of. I know it is important that I give great care to my own emotional and physical well being as this is aging me considerably :(


Yes I hear you Daughter54. Same story here, but mom couldnt stay married long so I kept getting custody, if ya get my drift. I love her so much- but since her stroke took away the beautiful sexy woman she still was at 70, she has been mad at everyone, the world, and is so hard to be with. Almost seven years later, it's not better. Understanding NPD helps- makes me understand ( a little) this charming, lying, manipulative person who really does not see it. You are so right- logic does NOT work with illogical people- it just makes them feel we are making them wrong. Frustrating. Yes it can age one. My mom used to call me Momie. Got her to stop but I sure hated that. I have always felt older than her, and worn out, and then guilty. Hang in, really really do nourishing things for your inner being. As lonely as it seems, be to yourself the mom you wish she could have been. Blessings on us all.
Daughter54--I hear you loud and clear. My mother too has NPD along with a host of other psych issues. Growing up was just terrible. She made it clear that she wished she'd never had my sister and me but loved our brothers to death. We wanted to die so badly just to escape. I was in 2nd grade and sister in 3rd. That's the earliest I can remember her. And, you are absolutely right about them being illogical. One canNOT have a normal conversation with them because they are always and I repeat ALWAYS right and the other is always wrong. ..every single time. I'm not the only child. But my other siblings have had nothing to do with mom for several years. Had to put her into a NH 6.5 years ago and I have been the only one to care for her, bring her home to live with me when NH was neglecting her, clean her up each day..incontinence...she always fought with me too when she had poopy pampers and said she didn't..then I'd go to clean her up and she'd STILL fight with me over it. She was a terrible mother. I, like you, never got to say "my mom is a nice person"..she was NEVER nice to sister or me. Yet, she wanted nobody to know and she was a different person in front of all others that weren't in my immediate family. Dad never even knew how she tortured sister and me as he was always at work and we were not allowed to talk to him when he got home...EVER. I just thank God every day that I am not like that. It's hard growing up without a real mom and the things real mom's do for and with their kids. RedmondBabe is right..we have to be to ourselves the mom we wish they could have been. We survived childhood!!! It's still VERY hard for me to go visit her each week (used to be every 2 days) in the NH. She is still very hateful when I walk in and she is picking poop out of her butt and trying to wash it down the sink. I always start cleaning her up and am so careful what I say and how I say it....still makes no difference. She'll always be that same NPD person until she passes. Just a few days ago when I went to see her, I cleaned her up as usual in her bathroom. After that, we sat down and I said, " they tell me you were playing the piano today". She YELLS at me ...YES, I WAS!! mean!! I am the ONLY person who has ever visted her, took her to dances, shopping, to visit her relatives, dr. appts, etc. etc. When I asked her why she was being so mean and hateful to me she said, "Because YOU make me that way!!!". I said...oh, okay..I'll leave. And leave I did...SO glad to get away from her. Why should I even care if she is clean or dirty? Why do I automatically start doing the Aide's jobs every time I go? I sometimes wish she would just pass.....her mind is gone..all she does is eat, sleep and walk..and be MEAN. Only when she passes, will I be free of feeling that I need to go clean her up and visit.
My father is definitely a described NPD. I did not know there was such a disorder. My father's is in combination with his dementia. He can be very cruel to his wife, children, and caregivers. I visit my father and mother once a week to take to church. I would rather vist more often, however, my father's aggressive behavior just puts me in a depressed state. I have come to realize that they don't remember the last visits and that I can overcome the guilt associated with not visiting more than once a week. The facility were they are located has memory care and works with both of them. Mother also has dementia, however, is in a good state of mind. My father has overcome trying to be aggressive with me as I put him in this place each time, difficult and took many months to accomplish.
Wow...HOW did you put him in his place, SKIMAINE? I need to know.
I am the daughter of a mother with NPD also, but my mother expects my sister and I to move mountains for her. She is in a NH for a little over a year now because of Vascular Dementia. She lives in delusions and yet has clear thought about certain things. When my father died 10 years ago, I moved in with her because she was afraid of being alone. Along the way she started developing dementia symptoms, but because of her usual behavior, we did not realize it for a while. Life with her in this condition was horrible, because even though she did not know she was home most of the time, she still tried to "call the shots" with everything. She did not recognize me most of the time and believed I was working in her house and that the real me was out with men all the time. She would call my sister almost daily to come and get her and would pack up clothes and other weird items to go to my sisters. I would always be in an upset state at these times, and in a few hours she would want to return home. My mother clings to us and expects us to take her home each time we visit her in the NH. She writes me letters about how we took her money and she is all alone, etc. She used to have the Aides call me constantly until I had to put my foot down and not allow them to call me and upset me at home. Her conversation was always "you come and get me right now or else". Last Sunday she harangued my sister and I for the whole visit about everything...she wants to come home, etc., etc. She thinks she is working at the NH and not getting paid and that I caused this. Whenever we go she cries and hugs us..."thank God you are here, etc., etc.,". The emotional burden of this has caused my sister and I to have no lives. We feel constantly guilty even though we know it is her disease (past and present) that has sucked everything out of us. She always found fault with everything we did, what we wore, etc. But she loved us to death. She just wants to be with us and never let us go...It is daunting. I am finally realizing that I have to see her less even if she gets upset by this, because I deserve a life also. I am 64 years old and wonder when I will finally have a life. She is in a great place where they take wonderful care of her....Anyway...there are different kinds of NPD mothers....this is mine.
My father continued to try to hit me and call me names. I discovered that approaching these actions as you would a child's. Just say NO! Or say that you will not get something if you do not behave. For instance, I was taking my mother to the doctor, he threaten me, so I said based on your bahavior, you cannot go, he was very angry and the staff at the facility took over as I left with my Mom. I said to him to do NOT touch me. I had to control my feelings and remind myself that he has a sickness and I could not be submissive. He would would not act like he does if it were not for the sickness. My father is a controlling person and had been very active. The facility where they are living makes attempts to keep him active, however, he is now acting out with them. I gave them the same advice, of course, we are paying big money to make this happen. Stay Strong and remember you are the authority now!
It sounds like you have your act together so all I can say to you is keep up the good work. If this helps, I think it is kind of a blessing that you are an 'only'. My mother has five of us and I am the oldest. My father is also, I am sure, NPD and was an only child. He is also the child of an alcoholic (my grandfather) who loved him and my grandmother but embarrassed them both at times and caused my dad to 'never be a kid'. It was airing dirty laundry to discuss that this was a problem all the years he was growing up and therefore, when he married my very mean, self centered mother, who I am sure has other psychological issues too (probably BPD) he went into deny mode. Everything is rosy. And, since my mother needs a dumping ground, that was me. I do not have the 'status' most oldest kids do. I am pretty much nothing she ever wanted and was punished emotionally all my life because I was close to my grandmother, who could see how I was treated and therefore I was her 'favorite'. My dad all my life tried to tell me the things my mother did and said somehow made sense and I really actually prayed as a child that some day I would understand her. I was sure I was the one who was wrong and she was right and I just wasn't mature enough to get it. I never did get it and I still don't because it is horse manure. I understand about the fact that these people need a scapegoat. I think it's been harder because the rest of my siblings are not and never have been treated like I have been. A couple of them are so much younger that I was out of the house before they were old enough to really know what our relationship was like. And I live out of town and have for a long time. I have met people who say to me things like "Wow. You're great! Wit the stuff I heard about you I didn't know what to expect". My parents never spent much time with my kids growing up but with my siblings kids they are 'involved' grandparents. I think some of it was that when I had children they had friends to do things with and now a lot of their friends are sick or gone. I do sort of get that. But this goes as far as when my baby son, who had been in intensive care for a month after birth with spinal meningitis and then pneumonia, was able to come home and I got the call in the late afternoon from the hospital that I could come get him, my parents had plans to go boating that evening (no obligations with anyone else) and my ex husband, who was a lot like my mother, was coaching a football game and didn't take the time off either! I couldn't believe that my parents and my husband all thought that this was no big deal and I could just go get him the next day! My grandmother went with me and my three year old daughter and brought this child home, a child who had almost died!
There are so many hurts from this woman and consequently, from my dad, who looked the other way, who could see it and did nothing or tried to tell me that I was too 'sensitive', that if I dwelled on it, the emotional pain would just be too much. When my precious grandmother died, they took her to the hospital the night before and my sisters both knew too (they are nurses and I am not, so my parents tried to use that 'logic' to explain why they called them and not me). I got the call the next morning and by then she was on so much morphine that the hours when I could be there with her knowing it were gone. (I do think she knew, however, because I stayed 20 hours and she died fifteen minutes after I left). My dad told me that week not to 'grieve in front of your mother because it hurts her feelings'. Later, he also called me to meet with him and told him that my grandmother wanted me to have her diamond ring, but she didn't write it down because she didn't want to hurt anybody else's feelings. He told me he was giving it to my mother and 'when we die there will be enough jewelry to go around'. I couldn't believe he would tell me and then not honor her wishes. Yes, she should have written it down and didn't. I told my sisters then and they both thought I should have it. Now, 20 years later my mother has told them both that EACH of them are getting it and told one that "I want anybody to have it but ___ (me)". My parents have money so both sisters and both brothers seem ok with whatever they have to do, which includes siding against me, to appease my parents. I find it disgusting and won't suck up. Any time I have stood up for myself, put boundaries that need to be there up, etc. I have been threatened with being written out of the will. My mother's abuse is something I am supposed to just take and say "that's just the way she is". Well, it is, but I am having no part of it.
My parents are 77 and 81 now. My brother who is their executor called me recently because last year - LAST YEAR - I stopped my mother from rampantly gossiping about another family member. I know she things so little of me that there is no reason I would spend ten seconds listening to her rants. She uses me if she can't get ahold of anybody else and then backstabs me. She hung up twice when I tried to tell her to stop so I ended up putting it into a firm but not disrespectful email. My dad later called to ask me to apologize. I am sure she was chewing his leg right off day and night and he just wanted it to stop. He couldn't tell me what I had said that showed a lack of respect so I told him 'no'. For a year she has been sending me horrible, attacking letters and I have heard from my brother that I need to call them because they are getting 'old and you never know what will happen'. Then he got to the money part and told me that my mother wants to write me out of the will and my dad isn't sure! He said if that happened he wouldn't know what to do! I told him that if I were him I would 'do the right thing' and leave it at that. I am just done.
My husband and I are fine for the future. It would hurt to be left out but I have been ready for that all my life I think. If I somehow had to take care of my parents I would. But I wouldn't let them get to me. Safe and dry. That's it. I still feel something for my dad but I am beyond hurt that he never stood up for or protected me. I don't think I feel anything for my mother anymore. Not anger. Not love. Nothing. As for my siblings, my parents have always been good at 'divide and conquer'. They profess to be Christians. All of them. I am not the person who can judge them. I just don't want anything else to do with them for the most part.
A very touching story Frustrated2. I think you are right on tract....Do not have anything to do with them. Dysfunctional families are everywhere...I grew up in one too and am still dealing with NPD, Bipolar, and more...mom. Siblings have never cared ONE bit about her..never called, no visits, no Christmas, no birthday, no Mother's Day...NOTHING. It's as if she is dead to them and has been for 6.5 years. I want nothing to do with my siblings and told my sister (gosh, wish we chould choose our siblings)...to NEVER contact me again. She has always been self-centered and an alcoholic, bullying to me since childhood. All I ever wanted was to be accepted by her and I never got that. I'm GLAD I don't ever have to see her even though she only lives 15 min. from me and drives by my house to and from work. I am waiting to MOVE from this location as I never want to see her vehicle or HER again. And....she has cancer and is on cancer medication which states NO alcohol..yet she refuses to stop drinking every day. I can say without hesitation that I will NOT be going to her funeral.
Another caregiver to an NPD mother here, she also has paranoia, OCD and certainly age related depression. Since mom totaled her car a few years ago, I added chaffeur to the many hats I wear while being caregiver to her. She is in relatively good health and still mobile. Recently, I gave up my home and moved in with her. Needless to say, it wasn't a good choice.
I managed well with her manipulations and anger until the move was accomplished. I now feel stuck and quite stupid. I've used all the tools in my arsenal such as deflecting, walking away, leaving the house, refusing to take cash or gifts when offered (we all know strings are attached) etc which worked quite well when I had my own home. We also know that there is never enough attention in the world for an NPD. Any attention, good or bad is what they feed on. I even recognize when she is angling to set me up to appear foolish, incompetent, crazy or wrong. I've been her primary source for socialization, shopping trips etc. She now is rejecting most of it. Making ridiculous demands is her latest tool. Last evening it was a request to wash the throw away cartons from the take out dinner before tossing them into the trash. That's something she has never, ever done with trash. I thought take out would be a treat but I wound up being dessert and to top it off, I've been disowned and told to leave her house. Looks like I will need to call around and bring in professionals. I don't enjoy throwing in the towel, but I can not see staying around to see what new trick is in her bag of goodies. BTW, she is 88 and I am 65. She has driven off all her friends. Thanks for listening.
It is heartbreaking to read these stories and some hit close to home. My Mother and 2 siblings are also paranoid and narcissistic. I am also the oldest. Our lifestyle is so very different from the other two. I can't apologize for our good fortune which is the result of lots of hard work; but am made to feel at least once a week that is should have been one of my sisters and not me who married my husband.

I have been made to feel my whole life that I should be taking care of my siblings; doing their homework, getting them out of trouble and being responsible for the poor choices they made.

I spent my growing up years wondering what I did wrong and why my sisters were so loved and I felt just tolerated. Took years of therapy to realize it wasn't me and it still isn't me!

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