My 88 year old mother is a narcissist.

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Thank you everyone for your comments. They are very helpful to me.


I chuckled over the dinner announcement, so thanks for the laughter. It doesn't happen often for me. Don't feet bad about your mom's feelings, you can't control her. I have learned the hard way that I can't control what comes out of my mom's mouth, but I can control how I deal with it.

Mountainmoose had the best advice, just ignore it and walk away. They will feed off of your anger, frustration, and comments. Just don't give it to them. I actually, get scientific sometimes when my mom makes comments.

Lynn, her narcissism will only escalate more as she gets older and possibly even worse with alz or dementia. No guilt, no grief, no excuses....just live for what is left of your life and enjoy your grandchildren.

Lynn190, please try not to feel guilty. You don't deserve to foist that on yourself. With your mother's narcissism and the fact your ex was also, I think you've been trained or conditioned to cater those people. Try hard to reject that conditioning.

I've been abused by my two narc sisters since I left my home in another state to be my mom's live-in caregiver. They made my life hell. Thanks to this site and the reading I did saved my life or the very least my emotional health. I found sites on the Internet that wrote that the victim CANNOT win against a narc. The best you can do is avoid them as much as possible, present your comments in factual sentences then step away.

Good for you for deciding to not take on her caregiving. As Barb above wrote there are several narc threads on this site. Read them. Take them to heart.

I just checked and typed in "narcissism" books. The list of books is eye-watering. Please check your local library.

Since she seems to be in reasonable health and able to take care of herself (is that right?) with the abuse she's heaping on you, you can choose to step away...forever. No one deserves to be abused and insulted.

Lynn: You are not responsible for your mom's happiness. You might want to write that on a Post it and put in on your bathroom mirror, to be repeated 10 times every morning and evening.

It sounds as though your mom is terribly self-centered, if not mentally ill. NO ONE from the outside can make another person happy. Happy comes from within.

You are not responsible for caring for her, either. If you are a generous person (and it sounds like you are) as she gets older, you can help to arrange for her care, using HER resources. She won't be happy with whatever you set up, so think carefully before you do it.  She can as well be unhappy with the care SHE sets up, or that the State sets up.

Also, I want you to read Atul Gawande's "On Being Mortal". It's about end of life planning and decisions. Also Roz Chast's "Can't we talk about something more pleasant?".

There are lots of threads about narcissistic parents on this site. You'll find them instructive, I think.


I'm sorry. I wrote a very long story which did not show up. Mom does not live with me. That is never going to happen but leaves me feeling guilty. I am an only child. Right now my step-dad is caring for her but it is taking a toll on him. There really is not much wrong with her other than normal aches and pains that comes with aging. She just likes to be catered to, always has. My dad doted on her and so does my step-dad even though she is, and was, verbally and emotionally abusive. My father committed suicide when he was just 45 years old. I was 25. For two years my father called me everyday in tears because of something she said or did to him until he had enough. After the funeral, we returned to the house and my mother started pulling his clothes from the closet. Couldn't wait to get rid of him.
Very rarely do I leave after a visit or a phone call with her without either being angry or in tears. She cannot go one visit without criticizing me or someone else. She is a body shamer. She will find any flaw you may have and criticize you. With me, my eyebrows are too dark and I have skin tags on my neck. I hold my breathe when an overweight person crosses her path because a comment is coming..."my, God. Look at her a**", or "why doesn't she do something about that?" She makes sure she speaks loud enough for them to hear. One Thanksgiving we were sitting around the table talking after dinner and she says to me, "do you remember in 6th grade when you wet your pants in school?" "Well, no I didn't mom but thanks for sharing" with my children, grandchildren husband, step-dad and my granddaughter's boyfriend.
I cannot take care of her and the guilt is overwhelming. I'm sure people wonder why I am not caring for my mother, for God's sake. When I try to explain, they say, "she's just getting old." NO. She's been like this my entire life. I was married to a narcissist. It took me 15 years to recover after my divorce (actually a constant work in progress) to even like myself again. I refuse to allow myself to be put in that verbal, emotional and psychological environment again.

Was she always narcissistic or is this a recent development?

Why is she living with you? Just on the face of it, having a narcissist live with you is not easy and generally not a good thing to agree to.