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furious with my mother since becoming a mother....(48 Posts)
I have read a lot of the stuff on here about NPD and that website about the daughters of narcissistic mothers had me in shock for a couple of days.
I am so furious tonight with my mother. It's been like this, off and on, since I had my son almost two years ago - to give you an idea of what she's like, I rang her before anyone else from the labour ward, after a long drawn out labour, to be yelled at - 'oh, I've had the baby, she says, we have been SO WORRIED!'..... ummm, sorry I didn't call, I was kind of busy
Anyway, I just wanted to hear how other people get over the anger. I just keep thinking of different things she did over the years, and she seems to be getting worse as she ages. It's difficult being around here as she is so icily cold, sits there as if she's at a funeral, doesn't make conversation, can't look me in the eye. She has this aura of hatred towards me.... and I can't deal with it anymore.
I am thinking of going 'low contact' but it makes me so sad. Even though she's so cold she's my mother, and I feel sorry for my dad. I have moved back to the same city as them partly to give them a chance to see my DS but they never really help, the one time I asked them to babysit they arrived so late it was almost pointless (despite regularly going over to my sister's house - aka golden child - to help her clean etc).
Where does it go from here? She is probably starting to realise I am pulling away as I have stopped visiting as much and am not going there for dinner on sunday night. It's a hard decision but I just can't handle being around here.
baby awake now but thanks in advance for any advice/sharing of experiences.
My only advice would be not to have a confrontation. It will end up hurting you more because she will turn it all around on you and deny theres a problem.
Im going through similar and honestly its really hard. But I dont have any advice
I have went no contact though because I didnt feel I could continue being hurt by her behaviour.
I think once you have a child it does give you a perspective on your parents you didn't have before - which isn't always a nice experience!
I get on well with, and am close to my Mum, BUT, having read some of the narcissistic parents threads have come to the conclusion that my Dad has a lot of those characteristics - I have very little contact with him as it just winds me up and I don't actually like him very much - he lives a long way away so it's quite easy to do this. However, my annoyance with my Mum has also stemmed from some conversations about 'how could you let x or y happen?' In my case, I'm not sure rehashing these feelings will do any good, my Mum was in a difficult position at the time (they are divorced now) and we are in a good relationship now. Things like my Dad did not really like having me around as a child and I was foisted off onto my Grandparents (who were ace) a lot of the time. My Mum got upset when I asked her why she let that happen so much if she didn't want it to.
My advice, FWIW, is to try not to beat yourself up about it, there isn't much you can do to change your Mum and she will never see things the way you do. Keep contact at a level that you are comfortable with. I find meeting my Dad for lunch/dinner a couple of times a year is enough for me.
Your mother being self absorbed, has no empathy whatsoever and only cares about her own self would fit the NPD criteria. This will not change and trying to appeal to a narc's better nature is about as effective as spitting in the sea i.e a pointless action. You did not make her this way; her own birth family did that. What do you know about her own childhood btw?.
I would not feel too sorry for your dad in all this - all narcissistic mothers need a willing enabler to assist them and your dad is one such person. These weak men often act out of self preservation and want of a quiet life. I daresay too he has never managed - or even wanted to protect you or your sister properly from the excesses of your mother's behaviours. He was just glad that you copped the excesses of her behaviour on occasion rather than him.
In my view distance from them both emotional and physical is key. It is not possible to my mind to have a relationship with a narcissist as the goalposts keep moving all the time.
BTW your sister as golden child - well that is a role itself not without price. People from dysfunctional families play roles; yours is scapegoat. Your dad's role is bystander. Many children now adults of toxic parents have FOG - fear, obligation and guilt so your sadness is understandable. However, you have to protect both you and your son from such people because they will keep on hurting you emotionally.
You are doing so well to stay away; hard as it is I would keep staying away and instead surround yourself and your son with positive role models rather than people who will delight in hurting you emotionally as well as letting you down often.
The only thing you can change is your reaction. If you're angry with something specific, articulate it rather than bottle it up. If you don't want to get angry, ignore the antics and spend less time with her. Above all be realistic. Don't, for example, set unreasonable expectations of how she should behave towards your DS ... if you've got Mortisha Addams she is not going to turn into Mary Poppins... because that's setting everyone up for failure and disappointment.
I know a confrontation is a bad idea. It will end with her going all fragile and shocked and me being made to feel like the bad one. Plus she'll just deny everything. She claims having no memory of her violence towards me as a child, which is odd as I remember it very well
It's funny what you say beamur about being foisted off onto your grandparents because I was too. My grandparents did a huge amount of childcare and I think really gave me that feeling of home, security, acceptance. I wish I could talk to them now and find out what they thought about that.
wannabeadomestic goddess it IS hard. I feel sometimes as if it has totally warped my feelings about women - I am frightened of them . And I am so worried I will turn out like her. My main concern is not having my DS feel about me like I do about her.
I've just gone 'low contact' with my mother. It's the right thing to do.
We didn't talk to one another for 2 years (I iniciated, she knew my phone number/address etc) & then only got in contact because I got pregnant & thought it was 'right' that DC grew up knowing their Grandmother... overlooking that she's an utter cunt.
It feels like I'm doing something wrong denying DS contact with her but for me I can't be arsed dealing with her games, drama & failure to accept she was a shit mum.
I get more resentful towards her as DS is growing & I realise how little she looked, and it feels really unfair seeing how wonderful a relationship DH has with PIL, knowing I can never have that.
What wannabe says is how I feel too, a confrontation would be wasted.
I would pull away all contact from her & leave the ball in her court.
If she cba to come & see you/DS why should she be entitled to a relationship with you?
My best friend's mum has always been a 'mum' to me & she's a 'nana' to DS, so DS will have another loving family/house to visit when he's older...basically I'm rehashing what Attila said!
I am sorry that you, and anyone else has to go through this. ((unMN hug))
You won't turn out like your mother because you would not dream of treating your son in the abusive ways in which your mother (and father) treated you as a child. Also you have both insight and empathy; qualities that the narcissist lacks.
Attilla she was sent to boarding school in another country at the age of six . She won't really talk about it though. Looking at her I sometimes think she's still a six-year-old.
thanks so much for your words of encouragement. I know I need to do it. And yes I am glad I'm not the golden child in many ways - she has very little privacy, and seems completely in denial about our mother's personality.
Cogito We don't really do 'articulate' in our family. There are so many elephants in the room - my mother's true nature, for a start - that nothing ever really gets said, I find the lack of free, unrestrained conversation one of the hardest things about being around them. Good point about being realistic. I knew the babysitting wasn't going to work deep down. I suppose the problem is what to do with the fury that I feel towards her. It's so pointless, she won't change, but I'm still angry. I just want to feel acceptance.
Attila give some very good advice. I would simply add, you'll never change any of this because it's all in the past. All you can change is the present and future. Gradual withdrawal is best. Having a confrontation will not help you, it'll only upset you, and her warped way of looking at the world means it will only serve to support her existing attitude towards you, no matter how wrong it is.
Just be busy, fit her in occasionally, and concentrate on surrounding yourself and your son with happiness. You deserve it, and so does he.
'overlooking that she's an utter cunt' made me laugh even though I'm crying. I really did need to cry about this.... and laugh. thanks.
thanks attilla. It is very hard to believe that sometimes as she's always labelled me as selfish, hard as nails, amoral .
I worry constantly that I will follow my mothers path. She kept me very isolated as a child, especially in my teens. Because of this I prefer my own company and push others away.
I worry that I will start to push DD away as she gets older.
For me, right now it feels like I am grieving for the parents I should have had. But the hardest part is that they had a good relationship with DD and now nothing. I blame myself even though its not my fault.
I also spent a lot of my early childhood with my dads mum. But when I favoured the warmth and security of that home my mum put a stop to it and isolated me further. Its really only now, at 25 that I have finally been able to admit it was abuse. Previously I had thought that because there was no violence it wasnt.
Tangerine - you may have hit the nail on the head there - it is possible that boarding school was so traumatic that it arrested her emotional development.
Tangerine, crying is good. Let the feelings out. Dont bottle it up and tell yourself its wrong to cry. You are right to feel whatever you feel.
I think that in order to come to terms with it you need to cry and rant and get pissed off. Write her letters that you never send. Because getting it out of your system is better than keeping it in. Hopefully in time the anger will ease and you will be able to move on. It will be hard. But it can get better!
It makes you wonder what sort of parents thought it fit to send a six year old year to a boarding school in another country. That's where her NPD started, it was in her childhood. This is why I stated you did not make her this way.
Interesting that you mentioned the "six year old" reference.
If you had a narcissist for a parent, you lived in a world governed by whim enforced without mercy.
Narcissists have normal, even superior, intellectual development while remaining emotionally and morally immature. Dealing with them can give you the sense of trying to have a reasonable discussion with a very clever six-year-old -- this is an age when normal children are grandiose and exhibitionistic, when they are very resistant to taking the blame for their own misbehavior, when they understand what the rules are (e.g., that lying, cheating, and stealing are prohibited) but are still trying to wriggle out of accepting those rules for themselves. This is the year, by the way, when children were traditionally thought to reach the age of reason and when first communions (and first confessions) were made.
Having a narcissist for a mother is a lot like living under the supervision of a six-year-old. Narcissists are always pretending, and with a narcissistic mother it's a lot like, "Let's play house. I'll pretend to be the mother and you pretend to be the baby," though, as the baby, you'll be expected to act like a doll (keep smiling, no matter what) and you'll be treated like a doll -- as an inanimate object, as a toy to be manipulated, dressed and undressed, walked around and have words put in your mouth; something that can be broken but not hurt, something that will be dropped and forgotten when when something more interesting comes along. With narcissists, there's also usually a fair element of "playing doctor," as well -- of childish sexual curiosity that may find expression in "seductive" behavior towards the child, such as inappropriate touching of the genitals, or it can also come out as "hypochondriacal" worries about the child's health and/or being most interested and attentive when the child is ill (thus teaching the child that the way to get Mother's kind attention is to get sick). Having a sick child can also be a way for the narcissistic mother to get the sympathetic attention of authority figures, such as doctors and teachers.
Also six year olds grow up, narcissists get stuck emotionally at six and not move on.
I have NPD relations and I have found that the only way to deal effectively with such people is to tell them nothing at all about my life and have as little contact with them as possible. Infact if these were my parents I would have cut all contact with them as soon as humanely possible because they are that ghastly.
wannabeadomesticgoddess that is so sad your mum isolated you so much. At least you are aware of your tendency to sometimes push people away - that is surely half the battle.
I do think being aware of what was lacking - which seems to become so much clearer once you are a mother - means you will avoid the same mistakes yourself.
It is hard, though, it's exactly like grieving. I think I'm more upset by the fact that my dad won't see my DS as much, but I don't think my mum actually cares that much. She likes tiny little newborns but once they get older she loses interest.
Op I feel so similar to you.
90% of the time Im ok and get on with life, but the other 10% creeps up on me and I feel such rage and anger and what my parents have put us through. Today I feel even depressed with all the bad things playing out in my memory.
I have tried no contact at all but it made me feel no better either.
I still want parents.
I have had no real contact until last week, it has helped hugely although through my contact this week it is now glaringly obvious my mum has NPD, dd staying at her house, violently ill, her main concern is that dd won't remember her house as a fun place to be but will have negative memories, yes mum, that is what is important.
Reduce contact helps a lot
wannabe as well gives good advice re writing letters that you will never send.
It needs to be expressed in a safe and controlled environment, I would consider counselling for your own self. However, counsellors are like shoes so you need to find one that fits. Also you would need to see a counsellor that has knowledge of narcissistic personality disorder. BACP are good and do not charge the earth.
I would reiterate that you won't turn out like your mother because you know that what happened to you as a child was abusive.
Re your comment:-
"For me, right now it feels like I am grieving for the parents I should have had.
"But the hardest part is that they had a good relationship with DD and now nothing. I blame myself even though its not my fault".
Narcissitic grandparents often lose interest in grandchildren when they are older and answer back. They are of no interest to such people. TBH your DD is far better off without having such damaged people in her life sucking her very being dry. Blaming your own self is commonly expressed but it is a feeling that is truly misplaced.
You may also want to read "Children of the Self Absorbed" (this is for those raised by a narcissist parent/s). I cannot recall the author offhand but its available on amazon's website.
I actually dont know if my mum is narcissistic. A lot of the things attilla has described really arent her. But a lot of my experiences are like those of a child of a mother with NPD.
My mum is just cold. Low self esteem. Probably depressed. Selfish but not in an outward way. She denies everything I would ever say. She would twist details of events and then shout at me for correcting her. Shes paranoid too.
Shes the same with the newborn thing. Loves babies but loses interest. Probably why shes not fussed that she hasnt seen DD for months. My brother is the golden child. Im the difficult one.
Is she a narc or something else?
Yup furious with my parents. My love for my children has made me wonder even more how my parents didn't have any maternal/paternal instinct and even more cross and confused as to how they could act/ not act the way they did.
I didn't have any family to take care of me so dragged self up but now could really do with someone to lean on. self pity day here.
Has anyone else experienced their parents trying to turn the whole extended family agaisnt them?
Attilla that is amazing - the six-year-old comparison. I wonder about her parents too. They were quite cold, as I recall. It was my father's parents who really looked after us.
I've always thought of my parents as childlike - it was as if we were all cared for by my grandparents. And one of the things that has really made me uneasy since having my DS is the way that if he's crying or unhappy she'll say, 'what's da matter, what's da matter?' in this weird sing song voice.
It's as if she's talking to a doll. And it does my head in!! And know I know why....!
schoolworries . I did go and see a very good therapist for just one session when I first got home (sadly psychotherapy is really expensive here) and she said something about getting in touch with your child-self and caring for her yourself. It might sound a bit self-helpy but I do try and give myself a break now. I was such a trainwreck in my teens and 20s but take better care of myself now. I know what you mean though, it would be so much easier to just have had normal average boring parents. It's the atmosphere I remember most from childhood, just this horrible feeling of insecurity and dread.
anyway it's good to talk on here at least.
I am an only child and my mother in narcisstic, my father died suddenly in April and it's gotten worse since she has been on her own. My cousin is "the golden child" whereas I am simply rotten to the core.
All I want is a "parent". Sometimes it feels like role reversal though and she is the child because of the way she acts. I see dh with his parents and I positively crave what he has with them.
Yes schoolworries. Its too long to go into but the only contact I have with any of my family now is one aunt who is only aunt by marriage. My mum has been cutting me off from my family since I was 10 and this year she finally finished her mission.
"We don't really do 'articulate' in our family"
We never used to in my family either... everyone saying nothing but getting peeved that there was an atmosphere was a big part of the problem. You don't have to be aggressive or deliberately confrontational to be effective. Simply standing up for yourself occasionally and saying 'I'm not happy about this' or, even more simply, 'that's enough' can be all it takes to break the ice. It may have no impact whatsoever on anyone else, they may react with shock, they may even cast you out into the metaphorical snow, but I certainly feel far better about myself when I have the nuts to speak up.... and I'm the most important person as far as I'm concerned.
Beatricebean that is it - I always thought I would understand my mother when I had a child. Only then would I realise how hard it had all been. But I've been increasingly baffled. My DS has been an absolute joy - and I can't stop myself from loving him. But with her it was as if there was no love there at all.
Self pity day here too!
Attilla I think I might need to go and see a therapist again. I had a fantastic one in my old home so might just find the cash somehow.
insecurity and dread here too
My mother is alcoholic and bi-polar and completely unable to care for anyone but herself (and even that's questionable). Father means well I think these days but was completely neglectful as a parent. Fimbo - that's exactly how I feel now. I want a parent so much and obviously isn't something you can advertise for but am so tried and tired of struggling sometimes I just want someone there for me.
Fimbo I know that feeling. My DH's family is pretty dysfunctional also but I had an ex with a really close family and I think I loved the family more than him.
I miss my ex-s family. I stayed with them in uni holidays so had a taste of what a "home" could be like! When I had my first daughter all I wanted to do was ring them to tell them but it would be so inappropriate.
Op its so hard. Sometimes I want to send a letter to my entire family saying I hate my parents, cant take it anymore, I want to cut them out of my life Im sure you will side with them anyway but thats up to up you. But im scared of rejection and that everyone really will just cut me out.
I feel like I have been robbed of a completly normal happy life as my parents have caused so many scars.
Wannabe that is horrible. The sense of rejection and isolation must be overwhelming
Another child of narcissists here. I recognise so much of what you are all saying. It feels hard because it is bloody hard. I went low contact with my parents about a year ago - I phone them once a month, haven't seen them for 6 months. In between my phonecalls I hear absolutely nothing from them. In their eyes, it's my job to bear full responsibility for our relationship, and I have a lot of making up to do for daring to move away from them and live my own life. It's a warped way of seeing things and I do feel very very sad for them. They are the most miserable people I know.
OP, I don't have children but I recognise your fear of turning out like your mother. This may sound very weird, but narc parents have such poor boundaries that they she may only see you as an extension of her, rather than a person in your own right. Because she has always seen you this way, and treated you this way, it's not surprising that you have difficulty seeing yourself as a separate person. But you are! Just the fact that you are so aware of how damaging her behaviour is, and knowing that you would never ever treat your DS the way your mother treated you, means that you are not turning into her.
The thing that has helped me the most is psychotherapy. It's bloody hard work and the pain almost kills me at times but it's the best thing I have ever done. I can feel the guilt lessening and my confidence growing. Remember the FOG - fear, obligation, guilt. It helps me to recognise what these feeling are when I start to doubt myself and feel like a 'bad daughter'. Keep on posting - you will get loads of support on here and it has certainly helped me to feel like I'm not the only one.
The final straw was when she went to visit my aunt (her sister) and usually I would go too. But I didnt go because at xmas i had a row with my aunt (caused by my mother) in which my aunt told me I was no longer her niece.
Anyway I didnt go this time and when my mum was telling me about it she said "It was actually better that you werent there." and kept repeating it.
She wasnt being nasty. She genuinely thought it was an acceptable thing to say. I drove home in tears and I havent been back. No drama. No confrontation. Im pregnant and she didnt even ask my due date. I have given up now.
DPs family think it will get fixed. But I know it never will now.
Tangerine and others please don't allow yourself to be plagued by worries about turning out like your mother.
You are obviously emotionally intelligent, thoughtful, aware and analytical.
Sadly your own childhood can come into sharp relief when you have your own children. Focus on the fact that you are determined to parent in a happy environment, and nothing is worth compromising that. You will not miss your mum, but you will miss the relationship that should have been.
That is the sad legacy of an abusive childhood, and if you find you can't get past it I would recommend speaking to your GP if they are approachable. Mine was brilliant - I am lucky.
lottapianos my parents are exactly the same - they think it's 100% up to me to be there for them. When they used to visit me at my old place they wouldn't even tell me when they were arriving; it was as if they wanted me to be waiting nervously on standby for a couple of days - which I did!
You are right about having to see myself as a separate person. she has such warped boundaries, they are getting better as I think she knows now that I've wised up to her a bit and she has to behave herself - hence the icy silence and funereal atmosphere - but she'd still walk all over them given half a chance. Her new tactic seems to be callousness and a kind of simmering silence.
Fog is a great acronym. So true. It is a fog. And glad to hear you are feeling stronger; I hope it continues for you. I have to go now (late here), but thanks so much to everyone for your support.
Yes that's the thing too, people on the outside can't understand how your relationship with your mother can be so well abnormal. I am sure dh's family as lovely as they are, don't really understand and think dh and I make things out to be worse than they actually are.
My mother is excellent at turning on the waterworks. She could actually have her own soap opera.
wannabe what a horrible thing for her to say. I know what you mean about knowing it won't be fixed. I feel like that too. It's a feeling from within, because you finally see them for who they really are. There's a certain freedom in it, at least. Sometimes I do feel optimistic at the thought of not having her so huge in my life.
Yes fimbo. People cant imagine what its really like. DPs family have their faults ofcourse but they are genuinely lovely and help us so much. I think its knowing them that has highlighted my "weird" family even more.
They have treated me more like a daughter than my own family! But until you are in the situation people just cant believe they are so bad
I am in a similar boat OP. I am due my baby any day, and while i have always (well since my teens) realised my parents treated me differently then other parents do their children, it is only now i am so angry about it. I do think reduce contact and setting boundaries is the best solution tho. No good comes of confrontation because they just wont accept it and you are left feeling mad and frustrated. They get angry shouting 'oh yeah we were shit parents - that's why you turned out so bad' (forgetting i basically raised myself) or taking the piss out of me 'oh it was the 70/80s everyone left their kids at home for days on end when drinking' erm, no actually, no they didn't!
When i told them i was pregnant they were so horrible, and in the interests of bridge building i invited them to the hospital when i am in labour/had the baby - as usual they agreed, but now i'm getting the phone calls saying, 'it's quite far to go' (40 mins drive) and 'we could be waiting around for ages' (I'm an only child and this is 1st grandchild, but can't wait for a bit in the hospital). I just said 'yes you are right, best if you don't come' ad left it at that. I could tell they wanted me to beg them and are now a bit miffed with me.
I call/email mum daily with a i'm fine type phone call, but don't go out of my way to visit them and they have only visited me twice in a year.
im sure you have lots of other issues with her aside from her being angry at the labour/birth update.
i wouldnt personally count that - infact it sounds postive you can get angry when you are really worried about someone and you dont know whats going on....
however i admit since i have had my children i am amazed at what my parents and my older siblings exposed me too as a child....in terms of bad behaviour etc...
I had no idea my family were as dysfunctional as I now know they were until I was an adult and out of it. I've had many years of being utterly furious with my Dad but I now have a sense of calm about it (provided I have minimal contact with him!) I know I'm a different parent to my child and I don't blame myself for what has occurred so I'm not worried about repeating the pattern. But I do also feel the pang of wishing to have a Father who was more interested in me and cared more.
It's awful I fully understand, I had a thread here recently and just about trying to come to terms with my mothers behaviour. I've always known she didn't really like me or my sister, whenever I had my DS by CS I had to stay with her for 3 weeks as my husband was abroad, I was a pain in the neck to her, the day I left with my 3 week old son she said under her breath thank goodness they are going, yet after that I rang her for advice and ended up with severe pnd, when I confided in her that I was started on tablets for depression she told me to throw them in the bin. 14 years later and I'm still getting it from her, I keep running back for more I had counselling and couldn't cope with it, I only went for 3 sessions and pretended I was fine, I couldn't trust or spill my feelings, I wish I had the strength to end it all with her, yet I suppose with clarity I recognise now my own feelings, I have compassion for her, I'm a nurse and I can see that she is ill, but I also see that she's messed me up as well.
Shan't tell you what I think you ought to do but after one too many emails from my mother listing my faults, I went low contact with her this year.
It's the best thing I could have done, I am more than happy for her to see my DD whenever she likes (although I instigate almost every meeting) but I draw the line at intimacy, seeking advice or reassurance, looking for an opinion or anyone one of the many ways she used to poke at me. My relationships are off limits too.
I'm much happier now; I genuinely don't think she's noticed anything's different in our relationship though.
Cogito it's interesting that you say 'I'm the most important person as far as I'm concerned'. I've been so trained by my mother to think it's unacceptable to feel that way.....she paints herself as a saint, and me as so selfish, and i've always believed it until recently. But it's actually a healthy way to be wrt to a difficult 'original' family, as I think of them now.
spuddybean that is crap that your parents were so rude about coming to the hospital. I know how that feels. But it may be better not to have them there - it's such a special time and the start of a new life with your baby and the last thing you want is a pair of Debbie Downers hanging around
thanks olgaga. I am so grateful for my son, he really has taught me so much about just living in the present and being open to life. i never would have realised how detached my own mother was if I hadn't had him (denial is unbelievably powerful), but it's still been worth it.
springsquill she sounds awful. what a thing to say to your daughter who has just had a CS. You sound very strong to feel compassion for her.
queenofpirates I am going to go low contact. It's been decided . It will make life easier for me and my DH who cops my anger if my mum upsets me. I don't think she will actually notice either - it is quite incredible how thick skinned and unaware she can be. It is sad that it has to be like this but there isn't really an alternative - i know she won't change now.
Some of this sounds like my Dad's mother... She was very selfish and controlling from what I can gather and I think he was manipulated quite a bit when he was young. He and his sister left home as soon as they could and I don't think she ever forgave them.
Anyway, my point is this - he is a great parent. I think he is still sometimes taken aback by the unconditional love that he got from me and my sister when we were little and also by the support we all show each other now we are grown up. His childhood was nothing like ours but it didn't mean that he wasn't able to shake it all off and be a better parent than his mum evidently was.
So all of you worrying that you will turn out like your parents, stop it!
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