Mourning the Mother's we never had.

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Does anyone else who is caring for an aging Mother find Mother's day leaving you empty and spent?

Often I mourn the Mother I never had. It seems most evident when trying to pick a Mother's Day card. (It was the same with Father's Day too). The thoughtful, "thank you for all the love, support, etc", just doesnt fit. It takes some to find a card appropriate to the situation.

Now that Mom is 87 and seems to be reverted to the hateful and narcisstic days of her youth, it is even harder. All my life I have been made to feel responsible for her happiness, feelings, etc. It had taken an unbelievable toll on my life although I have had much counseling and other help in becoming a happy balanced adult.

And yes, one stinging awful projectile of her hate and jealousy and I am right back to a 5 year old, wondering why my Mother hurts me so.

There are many, many post on these forums about how the parent can be mean and even jealous with their primary care giver. Reading these help but the pain is still there . I wonder sometimes, how do I bring this awful treatment on myself? Detaching is usually the answer to the immediate problem but even that comes back to bite me.

Reading about the lack of filter people with dementia may have is also helpful but the words and actions still pain, especially when trying to do everything possible to help the person.

What is the purpose of my Mother's Day post? Not entirely sure except to share my current pain, which seems to help so much.

A big hug and love and peace sent to all people on this forum experiencing the same today.

32 Comments

Liz so many of us here with narcissistic mothers feel the same way about mothers day. My narc mother is in a nursing home not far away and I've been dreading going there (had a go around with her again 2 days ago and it makes me feel unwell). With Parkinsons, dementia and numerous strokes, she's unable to sit up or stand so taking her anywhere is out of the question - thank goodness as she does nothing but complain and has quite the potty mouth.

Yesterday I took a ton of pictures in and around the house, gardens and the back 40, along with a lot of pictures of the pets, and put them on a flash drive. I'll take a laptop computer with me and show her all the pictures. Hopefully that distraction will keep her from being utterly obnoxious.
I have a narcissistic mother that lives in a assisted living facility. I`ve been by her side for the last 5 years doing everything and anything to make her happy. It can`t be done, all she cares about is herself and trying to have that mother daughter relationship that normal families experience wil never happen for me. As hard as it will be for me I have to distance myself from her but still making sure she has what she needs. I`ve told to contact a home health agency and hire someone to check in on her once a week and bring whatever supplies she may need etc. Can anyone out there tell me that they are in the same boat and have any suggestions. Any ideas would be helpful.
Mockingbird nothing will ever make a narc happy. They must be the centre of attention at all times. In their minds they are entitled to slaves 24/7/365 to wait on them hand and foot at a snap of the fingers. It's all me, me, me, me, want, want, want, want but, should they get what they want either it's not good enough or they don't want it any more.

My mother is 88 now, and has been a manipulative, mean and spiteful narc all her adult life. She has no friends and I'm the only family. As her daily phone call screaming tantrums were making me ill, a few months ago I changed my phone number and I've always been careful not to let her have my address - 20 years ago she called the cops on me when I didn't answer the phone and she wasn't looney tunes back then, it was just control.

Detachment is the only answer when dealing with a narc. I only visit every week or two now. She has no way otherwise to get at me and I'm starting to heal. We will never be truly free until the narc dies and even then, if we've suffered with a narc for a lifetime, I don't think we'll ever truly recover. It's like having PTSD forever.
my mom is in a psychiatric hospital today, i am going for a visit during visiting hours from 2-4. i bought her a card, using a $1 extra buck coupon that i got at CVS, from buying groceries there with food stamps.

she is sitting on $2M in cash plus another $1M in RE while i have literally almost starved to death right under he nose (my father was the same way, to this day neither of them has paid for my food since the day i turned 21, i am 56). i am on the verge of bankruptcy, there's a good chance i'll lose my failing business this week, because i'm short a hundred dollars or so, that's about all it would take to keep it going, get me out of trouble with my creditors. i do have a POA, possibly obsolete now in the state of FL. nevertheless i guess i'll try to exercise it this week, only because my mother has unpaid bills coming to the house that i don't feel comfortable signing for. my brother has even bigger greed issues about money, if he ever sues me i don't want any reason for him to have the slightest reason to nail me, regardless of the fact that he cheating on his income taxes for years, per his ex-wife, in my humble opinion belongs in a federal prison.

i choose to ignore all this, brush it under the rug so to speak, and try to have a pleasant day. a nice visit with my mother, Mass before or after the visit. and if i can somehow get motivated, maybe even take care of my pitiful run down appearance, for a change. i look and smell like a toilet, much as i try to put on a cheerful front i think my brain is fried from so many years of being used as a doormat.
Thank you all for sharing your stories. It is very, very sad, the pain you have all endured and for no good reason. Mother is supposed to be at least marginally supportive and loving . Very unfair when it is the opposite.

I think the unkindest cut, is how this treatment has effected our entire lives from our health, partner and job choices, etc. I see so clearly now why I chose the men I did and why I never got married. Most of them were just like her. And I was always afraid to have children. Fearful I wouldnt know how to be a good mother because I didnt have one.

I was diagnosed an alcoholic at the age of 21. And have felt more shame and damage about that ever since, even though I know it is a disease and largely genetic.

Actually being diagnosed at a young age probably have saved my life because it forced me into counseling and treatment. I have been sober over thirty years. Of course having the label of an alcoholic only worsened my relationship with my Mother and the rest of my family. It is their "go to" fault of mine when needed, even though I am 30 years sober.

It is amazing how unfeeling and caring my Mother was during my hard times. Totally abandoned me and it is still thrown up in my face. The upside is my life is usually very happy and I am at peace with much. At least partially due to having to come to grips with my alcoholism and learn other coping skills. I am however constantly amazed how unfeeling she is about that part of my life regarding her desire to put drinking so high in any family gathering. (No, she is probably not an alcoholic.)

Sadly every incident with her throws me for a loop and back into a period, even if only a few days, of gloom, loathing etc. Even though I know her words are not true, it all hurts. Coupled with my father's misogyny (sp), and you have a recipe for disaster.

Again, thankfully I have overcome most of it. However, although many would consider me a very accomplished and strong person, I wonder if I some how attract this whipping post position in my family. Any suggestions are helpful. I do stand up for myself, create boundaries etc., but every time something like this happens I question how did I attract it and what can I do to avoid in the future. Maybe there is never any avoiding it.
Today is the first Mother's Day without my mom. And a small part of me misses her, but mostly I am just relieved. I think Mother's Day adds immeasurable stress to those with narc moms because everyday must be a celebrated mom's day. My mom's birthday was also in May and she "simply would not suffer the indignities of celebrating them together." One year, I had to because I was going on my honeymoon. My mom called the cruise ship and told them It was an emergency. We were in port so I had to be located and excorted back to the ship. When I called and asked what the emergency was she said, "well there would've been one if you hadn't called back. It's my birthday and a good daighter always thinks of her mother regardless what she is doing. I wanted to share in your honeymoon and know you hadn't forgotten me." I immediately hung up and fumed the rest of the day.
I feel similar Liz. I don't have any suggestions other be true to yourself. Sometimes it takes a while because you don't even know who you are because you've been so busy wasting yourself placating a parent.
Try to soak up some sun, some love. Cheers to you all!
hopefully we all took our parents shortcomings and tried to improve ourselves by them.
parenting is a thankless gig. i think we should have a " be a parent " day with legal amnesty. it'd be something like festivus.
you could tell the kids what you thought of their halfa**edness and if ya caught em blocking you out or if they tried an end run around you, you could . by law , bust em over the head with the aluminum pole.
i have a couple of grown friends who wont take advice but call me when their idiocy blows up in their faces.
my 7 day experiment in civility ended about like id expected. ( pointless )
if your'e my kid or my friend im going to swing the cutting torch under your azz every now and then -- asbestos underwear b**ches..
I too want to thank you for sharing your stories (and a big hug, Shakingdustoff). Mothers Day is so hard with a narc, and trying to explain it to a normal just makes it worse. I tried that a few times, and my friends just stared at me like I had two heads. A narc mother goes against everything that society holds mothers to be, so people with normal mothers just don't even GET it. I no longer bring this up with anyone I don't know REALLY well.

And like someone earlier, I too didn't have children. My experience with narcMom soured me on the whole Motherhood thing. I'm not sure if I was afraid that I wouldn't be a good mom, or that I didn't have any good personal experience, so I just couldn't relate. She always subtly discouraged it because I think she wanted me to be available to cater to her and enabling father and brother with a disability.

She's been being VERY nice lately, and it's head-wrecking. I know she's trying to figure out how to somehow line me up as a primary caregiver to the three of them. DH and I are retired but don't live nearby (by design), and I think she's trying to entice us to move closer so they can stay in their enormous home and we can be their live-in or live-near housekeeper/cook/handyman/gardener/laundress/chauffeur/slave. Uh, not going to happen.

So I learn a lot from these posts, from those of you that have been much more in-person caregiving and are kind enough to share. My heart kind of breaks when I read these, because I really understand what it is like to be so let down, when all we yearn for is the simple unconditional love of a parent for its child. And look how something so basic has wounded us all so deeply and for so long.

Thank you again for sharing. When you pour your heart out, I hope it is therapeutic for you, but I also wanted to assure you that it is very helpful for someone like me staring down the abyss of potential future caregiving.
Honeymoons are not shared with ANYONE other than the new spouse!! Good. Grief.

I also do not know what keeps us tied to the hurts from our upbringing (or lack thereof). The knots do seem to unravel a little with the passing of time, and much reflection, but there always seems to be another layer of them underneath.
Thank you so much everyone that posted. Unraveling the threads is such a good analogy. It's like "I get it", do the work, heal and move on and then something else happens. Part of it, I believe is mourning the Mother we never had. I want to believe, at times, I had that great mother, but deep in my heart I know I didnt.

We did have a period of years before she started losing her faculities to age that we were closer. I even thought many of these wounds were healed. Maybe that is why it is doubly difficult to go back to the snake pit again. Surely part of it is to age and feeling helpless etc. But she could live a long, long time and I will not let my health go down here as others have warned.

What is the jealousy factor in all of it? When she is mad she throws up the things I do to stay healthy like eat right, exercise, use alternative relaxation methods etc. Once again, it is the core of my being that the Mother seems to detest. That is a very, very difficult thing to hear over and over again. That there is something inherent and unfixable, (in her warped mind), about me. I realize that is a sign of the narcissist.

I am not sure how to move forward from here but she has suggested I set her up on automatic bill pay so I wont have to help her with her bills. That is probably a good idea although it will require time on my part to set it up.

Ugh! Sorry for the on and on rambling. It is the only way I know to get the poison out of me.

Peace to all the daughters and sons of narcisstic mothers. You deserved better and are loved just the way you are.

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