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 :(

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You have all pretty much described my mother to a T. She`s been in a NH for 2.5 years, now bed ridden and barely able to speak, mostly sleeping and too weak to be obnoxious. The last few days she`s been refusing food and when I visited yesterday I couldn`t even get her to sip some apple juice. I expect she will pass shortly. As I left she said ``Thanks for coming, have a good life`` which really creeped me out.

I don`t know what I feel at this point, pretty much just sad for what might have been. Having spent her life yearning for bigger, better, fancier, abusing and trampling on anyone who crossed her path she has no friends and, apart from me, she`s dying alone. I don`t think she`s ever been really happy.. Karma, some would say, but it`s just sad.
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What I did neglect to add and this was actually my point, is that my mother comes from very 'long genes' on both sides. And dementia. My dad's side, who I take after in so many ways (found out my RA is inherited from his side of the family, they did DNA mapping, etc) all seem to live to about mid-80's. It's ironic and a little funny to me that most likely, my mother will lose her mind (it's already been going on and it is awful how my dad makes excuses for it as do both my NURSE sisters. He recently bought her a new car and she should NOT be driving). She will probably need to be in a LTC facility and my dad will go first. Because he is in denial, he has not set things up financially to make sure she can't blow through the money and has set up my brother, a CPA to handle it and her. He is not forceful but he thinks he is. He also was as much of a black sheep as I was to them and they have 'tapped him' for this 'honor' knowing how much it makes him feel lin their good graces, something that he never had for over 50 years. They know how to work everybody and pit everyone against each other. It is almost brilliant. Anyway, I laugh when I think of the scenario that: a) my dad passes away soon, b) my mother has dementia and is in this huge house and piece of property c) she has access to a ton of cash that she spends like crazy (He has never reined her in and she shops daily; a good friend recently saw her at a store standing in front of sunglasses for 45 minutes trying to pick a pair out. She can't even see out of non script sunglasses) d) she drives everyone crazy who cannot contain her behavior and she runs through the money they all seem to care about and e) I am dead long before her! I do not hate her but I really don't think I love her. I am glad I have other siblings who have to and will deal with this. If I had to I would find her a place to be and rarely see her. I have run out of any empathy or sympathy for her and would just 'do the right thing'.
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I will be 60 later this year. I had to cut my parents off a couple of years ago. My mother has admitted to me that she 'never really bonded with you as a baby' as an explanation as to why she is so cold to me. She would of course never admit that; says the things, well, said! the things she does with no audience but me so she can deny it. Very histrionic and cries and puts on an award winning show for my dad, who is in denial and an enabler. I think he's NPD as well. Both alive, living in their own little fiefdom, four acres with a huge house and three of my four siblings living in the same neighborhood where my dad was a developer. Of course, he has the biggest house, the largest property, and expects everyone to come to his house and do yard work. It's a test of commitment and love. Paying for it would not do. They have to 'give of themselves'. Yuck. I was diagnosed two months ago, after many years of awful pain, with RA. Before that, due to a car accident injury as a child when my mother was driving and I hit the windshield, I ended up with degenerative disc disease and had to quit working (I was in my fifties). We live 1200 miles from them and I never heard what a s--head I was because I didn't make the trek up to see them - by car - again, a test of love and commitment. They would turn this around even and say how often THEY visited US as if that meant they 'cared' more than we/I did. Let's not mention we live on a golf course in Florida, my father, now 84 and my mother who has some dementia problems, now 80, LOVED to come here to golf, shop, and be waited on hand and foot! Three weeks at a time of my mother having temper tantrums, my dad making excuses, smoking in his room and the back of our house and lying about it - what? I cant' smell that? I have RA induced asthma. Any time I wasn't up for something and say politely I wasn't feeling too hot I'd hear how "Just wait till you get to be OUR age". RA is not an 'age' thing and of course, caring only about themselves, had no interest in being educated about it. When I finally drew parameters around how they, particularly my mother, treated me and my husband backed me up, the sh hit the fan. I got a campaign of crazy and nasty letters quoting the Bible, calling me a terrible daughter, you name it from 'her'. I have been divorced - married a guy exactly like my mother when I was 21, imagine that! - so the letters started coming to "(my first name) (my maiden name) (my first married name) (my now married name) followed with (or whatever you call yourself now)". She told her minister, my children, everyone she knew what a horrible person I am and I know she lies. My husband called both of them and told them to lose our number and never contact us again. She has damaged beyond repair any relationships I had with my oldest daughter who seems to have the same traits her dad and grandmother have. Lies are ok if they accomplish the end goal. It is heartbreaking but nothing can be done. I turn it over and pray about it. It's been sad to be diagnosed with a chronic illness and deal with the rough treatments and know your family could care less. They have money and my siblings either want a piece of that action (I don't care) or are as dysfunctional as they are. Sad but gotta be strong.
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I feel for you friend, as you are in the same boat as me. My mother was also nasty, vindictive, mistrusting, cruel, unsupportive, and never my friend. She always spoke to me abusively behind closed doors, and was the loving mother in front of others or when speaking of me. I was her slave and her possession. She loved hitting me and my sister and verbally making my father's life miserable too. She would get off on hitting me and humiliating me in front of my friends, but never in my father's company. He worked day and night. I guess to get away from her. My narc mother is now turning 92, buried my father 11 years ago. She never worked a day in her life, and is still able to live comfortably in her own house on my father's hard earned money and paying an aid to torment now too. I can't tell you how many aids we have gone through in the last 3 years. They can't stand her and I am surprised they haven't beat her. I still do shopping, errands, phone calls, cleaning, and pay her bills. My friends, that I grew up with, who witnessed her abuse, can't believe I do anything for her. But, she is a human being and I just can't walk away. I guess she still has that power over me in a way. And at least I know I am not numb, like her. But, I have come a long way since my dad died and saw her for the cold, evil, uncaring women she is. Incapable of any compassion for anyone but herself.
So you are not alone, my friend. Don't let your mother kill you. You will be dead and buried and she'll still be here, only missing you because she can no longer torment you.
Good luck to you.
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I too have an NPD mother who has is basically bed ridden. I have left my home and childen several times to live with her and care for her, only to be thrown out or screamed at for being late with her lunch. We have guardienship now and are trying to find a nursing home, Of course she refuses to go to the doctor for a physical, I assume she thinks its for the nursing home, (which it is) but she does not know yet. My Sister and I are going crazy trying to get her somewhere, her health is not good either. Even though we love her, shes not the mother I remember, she calls the police on us with false accusations, my sister cant even be around her because she accused her of beating her, my sister called the cops and they ended up baker acting my mother, because she pulled a gun on my sister, which her now fired caregiver gave her. I lost my son 3 years ago, 3 months after he returned from Iraq, the only light in my life i have is my new grandbaby, but i never get to see her, because Im here taking care of my mom. She does not appreciate anything you do for her, complains, accuses people of stealing, screams like a demon over nothing. We need help, i just cant do it anymore, i dont want to end up hating my mom.
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JessieBelle- I think you really hit on something with why so many people on this board have NPD parents. That makes alot of sense. My MIL did not ask if she could live with us so much as she told us. My own mother was narcissistic, although I did not know what the issue was, other than something was not right. Even after they are gone, they can still mess with our heads. It's important to understand what NPD is and how it affects you, so you can finally let it go. I think that is why my MIl does not get to me in that way. I won't let her. I can be objective and I know the games she is playing. That is why I also have no hard feelings towards my SIL for not wanting to take her in. It would make her life miserable. I can see my husband has been cast in the role of golden boy and my SIL as the dumping ground. My concern is without anyone stepping in to take over that role, it seems like she may be eyeing our teenage son for that. I will not, and cannot, let that happen. I have been that child and will never let that happen to one of mine.
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Whenisotover2, Yes. the goldenchild is the flipside of the coin of abuse. My brother has had his issues with being the perfect child, keeping up appearances and sadly, oddly, he married a woman very much like our NPD mother.He and I played both roles at times as children.::sigh:: We've been talking out our feelings and memories over the last decade and a half. Both of us are finally on the same page regarding mom and have a healthy mutually supportive relationship. As for your own NPD, I hope you find the help you need to get mom and sis squared away.
Ahhh::chuckle:: my icon is a graphic I made from a photo I took of my male cat. He decided that my medittion cushion was perfect for a nap. Pippin is my best guru!
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Shivaya, I understand your comment about the "golden child" since both my parents put me in that position when they wanted to prove (by comparison) that my sister was defective. If it makes you feel any better, it's another form of abuse because I could never be real, or show emotions because a perfect child wouldn't annoy their parents with anger or tears. I was suffering and lonely and could not ask for help because obviously a perfect child doesn't need help. My real personality was invisible and it took years of counselling to uncover who I am. Studies have shown that children who observe abuse are effected in the same way that the abused child is affected. No one escapes the game unharmed. I notice your icon is a meditation album/book?. That's how I cope too. Buddhist lessons in awareness are currently keeping me sane. I try to do the best I can and then detach from the outcome. It's not easy, but then, it's a path - not a destination.
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Thank you all for sharing your stories. My mother (86) has NPD which we did not understand until my cousin became a psychologist and explained it to us. Now that she is 86 and needs a caregiver, my sister and I are clear that it cannot be one of us since we would not survive her abuse. My mother has gone so far as to tell me that my sister (the primary dumping ground for her venom) needs to die before she does so she doesn't "ruin everything". Unfortunately my sister is so enmeshed with my mother that I fear she will kill herself after Mom's death. When I told Mom that, her face lit up like she had just won the lottery!!!! I hired a caretaking company a few days ago to stay in the house 24/7 but the dramas are already starting and I am feeding the administrator bits and pieces of information each day by email. I fear I will lose their services if they know what she is really like. She has fallen a number of times but not been hospitalized. I am actually looking forward to the first time she is admitted so that I can tell someone the whole story and hopefully get her placed somewhere that will take good care of her. It feels good to tell someone this. My only advice to children of NPD parents is what two counsellors and a lawyer have told me - if you want to be responsible, do it from a distance.
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TY for your comments and kind support. Both of you! JessieBelle, I couldn't "not" give her this one last chance. I didn't want to be wrong again. I think that is one of the most dangerous "gifts" given us by our NPD's Were were made to be wrong, fear to be wrong from childhood.
teachergear, you know you are not always wrong. We will never be able to prove to our NPD mom's that we are lovable, capable women and do hundreds of right and good things everyday. We can become the single most powerful authority about who we are by constantly reminding ourselves of who we really are, not get sucked in by our moms tape playing in our heads.
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