I'm wondering how does it affect the adult/senior daughters of these mean, degrading mothers.
What has been going on in your life that you noticed that it has affected you, whether positive or negative.

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I had codependent narcissistic parents. I grew up expecting nothing, settling for very little, debilitating low self esteem. I was never smart enough, pretty enough, this enough or that enough. I loved art and wanted to go to college to major in art. My teachers were very encouraging. Mom and Dad, no way. Not sending you to college. So, I told myself I might was well not study since I had no opportunities. So I didn't for a few years. No one notice even though I had been a straight A student.

I always felt unattractive. Dad used to call me "Mousey" when I would come to breakfast in the morning. Nice......I had alot of boyfriends and realize now I was very attractive. I only noticed the negative.

When I married I thought it was an asset to be cheap. That was what I knew. It almost ended my marriage. Today I am fortunate to be married to a good man, and I am able to retire early. But he is still too cheap and I accept never getting gifts or taking vacations. That was what I learned.I don't deserve it.

What I really see now at 60 is all of the anger. I was so angry at my Dad's funeral. Angry that he never even tried to have a relationship with me, angry about his verbal abuse, and sad I didn't love him.

Now I see Mom for who she is and that is hopeless too. i have educated myself enough to know with narcissists you can never have a real loving relationship. So I have distanced myself.

Yes, i would say narcissism has had far too much of an affect on my life. But I have cut ties and things are getting better.

It would be the rare individual who can say, my parent(s) were narcissist and it had no affect on me. You parents are the first people to tell you who you are. Then it is up to you to change that story.
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Narcissistic Personality Disorder is classified as a mental illness , along with the other personality disorders. However, narcissism exists in varying degrees, and may be just a personality trait. Most of us have some narcissism in us, and that is healthy - promoting us to care for self. When it is severe enough, it will affect relationships,

Here is a list of traits that exists in unhealthy narcissism by Thomas, D , author of Narcissism: Behind the Mask (2010)
Thomas suggests that narcissists typically display most, and sometimes all, of the following traits:[5]
An obvious self-focus in interpersonal exchanges
Problems in sustaining satisfying relationships
A lack of psychological awareness
Difficulty with empathy
Problems distinguishing the self from others (see narcissism and boundaries)
Hypersensitivity to any insults or imagined insults (see criticism and narcissists, narcissistic rage and narcissistic injury)
Vulnerability to shame rather than guilt
Haughty body language
Flattery towards people who admire and affirm them (narcissistic supply)
Detesting those who do not admire them (narcissistic abuse)
Using other people without considering the cost of doing so
Pretending to be more important than they really are
Bragging (subtly but persistently) and exaggerating their achievements
Claiming to be an "expert" at many things
Inability to view the world from the perspective of other people
Denial of remorse and gratitudude

My mother has Borderline Personality Disorder along with narcissism. They often go together. I can see most of the above in her. I believe the older theory is that it develops due to ihadequate parenting/bad childhood experiences, but it is now believed to, in some cases, have a genetic basis. I am convinced in my mother's case it is genetic, as there were several people in her family with it. My daughter also shows some of those traits, as does my sister. Mother's siblings were all the nicest people in the world, and told me she had been difficult all along.

These conditions may be treatable to a degree, but not curable. They are only treatable if the individual acknowledges they have problems, seeks therapy, and cooperates. I think a minority do that.

RebeccaLynn - there was a discussion somewhere on this site a while ago, about those who are caregivers being more empathetic than others. I am very empathetic too and, at times, have to not act on it. We have to be careful not to become codependent i.e. put the feelings and interests of others before our own.

To your question, midwest, I have suffered from all the things mentioned by others, and still struggle with some of them. Problems with trusting myself, feeling inadequate, expressing feelings, especially anger, and so on. I have gone for therapy as I needed it thoughout my adult life.

From the website Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents, here are some guidelines for recovery for Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents:

Begin working through the grieving process - allow yourself to grieve the parent you never had.
Acknowledge that you've never learned how to properly deal with feelings, and begin to start working through these feelings.
Work toward loving that little child inside you in the ways your Narcissistic Parent never did.
Stop hoping that your Narcissistic Parent will change - he or she will not change.
Remind yourself every day that you need to take care of yourself - those needs for self-care are incredibly important.
Remember - you matter too. A lot.
You do not need to harm yourself or hate yourself. You're a great person, worthy of love and devotion.

One suggestion they make, that I really agree with, is that as your parent ages, "Go through a third party as your Narcissistic Parent ages - do not allow them to rely upon you and you alone as they need care." Psychologist Pauline Boss also recommends going through a third party, and only overseeing the care of a narcissistic parent. She says - be humane, but protect yourself from further harm.

Detaching is such an important part of surviving, a narcissistic parent, and also setting strong boundaries.

I find by reading and learning about the problems, it helps me to cope. Mother was diagnosed only a few years ago. It was a real affirmation for me. I think it is a failure of the medical system that she was not diagnosed earlier. I had informally diagnosed her years ago, and it helped me to cope. A diagnosis early on would have explained why things were as they were, and helped me, and others in the family to cope with her.

Good luck to everyone. It is a tough way to grow up, and they are tough to care for in their older years.

♥ and hugs Joan
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anonymous815183 Sep 2018
My mother was a pip. Totally self-absorbed. Always wanted to be the star in every event and gathering. Hateful to her children, and sweet as pie to outsiders, who would compliment me on having such a lovely and charming mother, refusing to believe how evil she was. Took me 70 years to figure it out and to change my life for the better. Every doctor she saw called her charming. Not one appears to have caught on. These ppl are pretty tricky. I put an ocean between us at a young age and later settled a couple of thousand miles away from her. When she died, not a tear. So glad I didn't have to "care" for her, because I would not have. I'm not as nice as many of you are.
Good grief, yes, mother is a narcissist !! And yes I was daddy's little girl so I guess that's why I, and not my older sister, get the brunt of her manipulation and personal assaults. It was always that way as I was growing up. My sister could do no wrong. I , on the other hand , was a "problem child". It's taken me a long time to realize that I wasn't the problem. It was her. She still puts me down all the time, and she relies on the fact that I am a gentle soul and never want to hurt anyone's feelings. I'm too empathetic for my own good. To this day, I look at other mother/daughter relationships (even on TV) and feel envious when I see a mother who hugs her daughter and calls them honey and things like that. It's kind of embarrassing to even admit that but it's the truth. What I wouldn't give to hear my mother call me honey....
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Midwest, I agree with about it being embarrassing to admit to friends what sort of mother one has. Those who have not experienced this particular type of maternal toxicity might wonder what sort of "brat" is so "ungrateful" to the paragon of maternal virtue that brought them into the world. Having a mother who was so extremely skilled at hiding her manipulative, hateful self under a sweet, longsuffering and gentle pretense would cause others to question my sanity if I spoke of what really transpired behind the doors of our fake world. That are have enough self possession in the absence of witnesses to know what your were dealing with is a grace. Having siblings only helps if they admit the truth and there was equally bad treatment so that intimate witnesses could affirm the woman is in fact a monster. If siblings are involved in carrying out her manipulative abuse and get stroked by her for being abusive to the child she has chosen to vent her hatred on, then siblings do far more harm than good. I've found generally the Narcissist mother is skilled at dividing and conquering siblings and burying the bodies so that no witness speak to each about the mind games going on. My own siblings benefited financially by burying the secrets and calling me crazy for not being willing to. Fortunately, I had a cousin with a similar life experience that validated with her observations the truth of the monster in the home. Can I share this with people whom my mother has hoodwinked, never. She is so convincing an actress that they are clueless.
For example mother's friend regularly calls with whom she sweetly states oh Elizabeth you are such a dear friend and so sweet, (on and on and on) and when she hangs up mommy dearest comments that woman is a stupid moron. Elizabeth is non the wiser of my mother's contempt. People want to believe that mothers are unselfish and loving and so it is beyond their comprehension what a demonically inspired monster called mother would look like
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You are so right about changing "that story".
My recent experience with my mother staying with me for 2 month visit has really opened my eyes. To bad I did not educate myself earlier in my life, that my mother was a narcissist to the core.I would have cut her out of my life when I got married at 23 and tried to heal. But being a daughter of a narcissist makes you come back and hope for the "normal" life.
Thank goodness I had a good man during my married life, he always protected me from her and he was a good listener. But I had remnants from the years of abuse prior to my marriage and when I think about it, my mother continued her abuse until now. Now she is old and worse.
I do know I always had this inner drive to do better and constantly wanting to look better, because no matter what I did, it was never good enough. Sort of "yes, that's nice.....BUT......" I finally figured it out last week. Narcissist don't know how to love. Period.
If you have a good support system and you think you are generally normal, get a grip of yourself and analyze yourself and know that you are ok, it's the narcissistic individual who is not normal, although they can pull it off real well with others who don't know them. They have two faces.

Hey everyone, keep the comments coming.
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I've been in therapy most of my life because of my personality disordered parents. One thing I wish would have happened that never did is that no therapist said to me - "Fairydust, wake the hell up! These people are going to get old and you will be on the hook for their care as an only child, make plans accordingly! And they may get old fast and not wait until they are 80 to need you." One of the hardest parts of such a parent is that they've already been using you up your whole life but once they have elderly issues they've finally got an official "right" to do so in the eyes of many.
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anonymous815183 Sep 2018
Let the many think that. But don't let 'em make you do what they would not do, if offered the opportunity to make nice with your sick parent. Save your own life and let the parents save their own. That's my stand and I'm sticking to it.
My mother has several mental health diagnoses and one might of thought she was narcissistic in her younger years, but it took years of having her institutionalized until she was diagnosed properly. Her diagnosis is Bipolar ll, rapid cycling with a Histrionic Personality Disorder.
Generally, more men are diagnosed with Narcissism than women. There are no cures for any of the above mentioned diagnoses and can be passed on genetically. They have to seek psychiatric care. I was fortunate that my mother's son got those genes. I suffered the punishment.
It took over 50 years and menopause before I finally broke down and had to see a mental health counselor to deal with my past. It was the best thing I ever did for myself. I now know how to deal not only with my own feelings from the past, but also how to deal with my mother.
Before I knew what her diagnosis truly was; I'd of guessed at narcissism, but that was only a small part of a very large picture that it took years to pull it apart to see how all of her pieces were put together.
I, myself suffered from "Humpty Dumpty Syndrome!" I had to allow myself to be completely broken in order to put my own self back together again.
I had the hardest and thickest shell of anyone I'd ever known! I allowed nothing, but nothing to penetrate or break me down. Amazing what happens when your hormones go bonkers!
Due to my mother and her son's inherited illness, I became an advocate for individuals with special needs, all the time allowing a furnace to start smoldering deep inside and never realized it, until I lost all control of my own emotional self.
It took a good 5 years of healing and research to understand. I understand why they did the things they did. I had to totally divorce my mother's son from my life and I deal with her as needed; but at least now I know how to deal with her.
First make certain that you are looking at the correct diagnosis, secondly find help for yourself and third, learn as much as you can about the diagnosis and it's causes.
They hurt you, I know; I felt as though I was doomed, but remember this; no one ever said they wanted to born with a disability and they know not what they do, for they are sick. Just as if you were to ask an entire 1st grade class what they wanted to be when they grew up; I'll bet you not even one of them would say, "I want to be mentally ill or homeless," yet we see it all the time.
Heal yourself and learn how to deal with your relatives; that's the best advice I can give you. You'll be thankful that you did.
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I just realized way too late that my mother was a narcissist. I Googled narcissistic personality disorder and found an article that explained the 15 traits of a narcissist. My mother exhibited at least 12 of the 15. All my life I just thought I had a difficult mother. She could never keep a friend for very long unless they were willing to put up with her personality and the fighting that came along with it. It seems to me that the NPD transitioned into dementia somewhere in her eighties. She had a massive stroke at 88. Now she is 92 and I am her 24/7 caregiver. Now that she is in the late stage of dementia the NPD is less all the time, but now I understand her life better. Of course, my life is a mess because of it, but at least I understand it better now.
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Rebeccalynn, yes, I have had that thought of seeing other mothers and daughters and wishing I could have had a nice loving relationship with my own mother, not to be ever, but I did have a wonderful mother-in law, she was kind, soft and loving. She lived with me for over 17 years once she became a widow, the last 3 years she had Altzheimers. She was a lovely woman. I was loved.
Mamoogins, narcissistic people are not mentally ill, they are just mean spirited. Nasty to the core.There is no cure for narcissism.

Keep the comments coming, I keep learning that there are many people out there that have suffered under these nasty, mental vampires.
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Dear Bryce,
Obviously your mother has done dispicable things to you for you to be where you are right now. I would hope that you have gone to see a counselor who can help put things in perspective. I did, although I haven't suffered to your extent.

Draw deep from within yourself and find the kid that was hurt. Who is that person? Draw that person out and let them unlock the chains that they were bound with. Your mother has no hold on you now. It is your mind holding you back. You're free to be as you would be without all the trauma. Make a list of positive things about you. Post it in a common place and look at it daily.

Death is not a relief, instead embrace the person you were meant to be and explore how YOU will control your life. It's yours and no one can take it away from you.

You do not belong to her as in property and what she thinks or says or does is of no consequence to you anymore. Don't let her win, fight to regain who YOU are.
God's blessings to you.
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