Narcissitic mother(19 Posts)
Caution - shit storm ahead. Long post.
I have come to realise my mother is a narcissist. I am really struggling to keep my cool with her and I'm not sure what to do.
Previously when things got too much I would take a break from her, not see her for a couple of weeks. I didn't realise she was a narcissist at that point, just that I would need a break from her - and of course it was my fault because I was difficult. Now, I have a little boy and I want him to have a relationship with his grandparents so make the effort to see her twice a week. It's too much. I can't cope with her. Yesterday at a BBQ she fell out with me because I said I didn't like haggis!!!!! 'Well, you liked it when you were younger'. Well I've grown some tastebuds and a conscience. I don't like it. She has made it more than clear she feels I was a nightmare child and if she could go back and change things she wouldn't have had me when she did. She hates that I am in touch with my birth dad and his family and I can't help but feel she is jealous of my home and caring partner. I get the impression she would be secretly pleased if it all came crashing down around me as she would be there to pick up the pieces (on a side note, i realised tonight that when an Ex and I used to fight I always thought my mum and I got on better. I thought this was because of me, like I was easier to get on with or something. But tonight I realised, no it's her - happier as she could 'rescue me'). She almost enjoys telling me 'that ship has sailed' when I moan about DP not proposing yet. One time I joked and said he loved me more than her as he bought me an Easter egg and she didn't. She said 'no he just doesn't know you as well as i do. That'll change, don't worry' it was nasty, it wasn't meant to be funny. She goes out of her way to treat me like a child I am 30, I am a mother. My son was 2 months old (ish), she came to visit. She was here about an hour and said 'is it wrong I just want to get going so I can drive my new car?'. Don't let me stop you. It's getting to a point I can't stand to be around her. I had a realisation the other day that if she wasn't my mother I would have nothing to do with her, I would not be her friend.
I don't want to lose the relationship with my mother. I want her to have a relationship with my son. But part of me thinks - do I want her around him. Poisoning him?! Talking crap about me, putting me down. Complaining about how far away we live (45mins) and how she only gets to see him twice a week?! I don't want her attitude around my son. I don't want him to learn her ways.
I used to share her attitude. The 'I don't care what you think' attitude. But I moved out when i was 18 (a whole other pile of i was thrown out/no you weren't shit. (Yes I was)) and worked my way into a good job (another seeming bone of contention) and I was trained in how to communicate and motivate and be a good leader. And I studied a business management degree and I learned that no it's not ok to talk to people like shit and yes it is your problem if someone is offended by something you have said. And I have learned apathy. But you ask her and she talks about me like I'm horrible, like I'm difficult. And I think, yes I am difficult. I'm difficult to you! Because i am constantly biting my tongue. Biting my tongue to your self praise, to you putting me down, to your snide remarks and laced compliments. How nothing is ever good enough, how there is always a but.
I have dreams where i sit and tell her everything. But I know I can't, it wouldn't make any difference. Her narcissism is so intense that she would never believe me anyway. She'd tell me it's me taking it wrong, that I'm remembering things wrong or that it's my fault she behaves that way.
I don't know what to do. I really don't.
Didn't want to leave this un answered.
See her less, my mum lived away when my kids were born she now lives half an hour away, I see her once a fortnight. She has a perfectly fine and loving relationship with my kids.
PS mum has narcissistic tendencies too. She's never happier when she can do 'rescuing'.
Its not really because she cares because all she does when not rescuing whoever in the family she's forced herself onto, she just bitches about it.
She complains that we only see her twice a week. I don't know how to reduce it. I know it would hurt her and i don't want to do that. But I also know if I don't then I'm going to explode at some point.
Thanks for replying fish. I know she bitches about me to my dad (step). I don't know why but she definitely does.
i think you just need to be firm and clear and then stick to it. She will try and make you feel guilty and unreasonable but just dont let her. Choose an amount to see her and then tell her what is going to happen ie 'we are coming ever other week to see you' then dont get into an argument or even explain just stick to it. Try and not get emotionally drawn in as this is what people like that thrive on. You would be doing teh right thing for your children to reduce contact. Anyone who undermines you or is overly negative about you in front of your children is not someone that it is healthy for them to be around. xxx
I agree, I am going to have to cut down the contact. I am set to see her on Tuesday so will keep with that as my Dad will be there and she isn't as bad when he is around. But I think I will have to say no to the second visit on Friday. I'm not entirely sure what my excuse will be yet.
I've looked in to confronting her and basically there is no point. I don't think I'm strong enough to not let her cloud my judgement and memories. I have a weak memory anyway and because I actually want to believe she is not this narcissist I'm easily convinced. She would only kick off. But I think the next time she puts me down I will stand up to her and say I don't want her doing that around my Son. That will result in denial and accusations of me being touchy but maybe something will stick.
I have considers having a chat with my dad. Saying I am struggling with her and I'm not sure what to do. Maybe drop the N word and gauge his reaction before going further. Not sure how he would react. I sometimes get the impression he's given in. Just going along for an easy life. Or it could be the opposite and he's an unwitting enabler. If nothing else it may make him think twice when she starts moaning about me in future.
My Mother did have a NP. I challenged her throughout her life and only got some closure at the end of it (and an apology, which then meant nothing).
I regret having as much contact with her, as I did.
It was damaging. Your Mother is someone who you should be emotionally sharing your life with. It should be a positive relationship.
It upset my DDs, that things weren't 'normal' and it spoilt what should have been happy occasions.
She stopped holding back, as they got older and I then told her straight, which was upsetting for everyone.
I had to let go what my Mum would possibly say about the situation, to other people.
I don't want to bogart your thread but this sounds a lot like my mother and her relationship with us, especially DSis. Does anyone have recommendations for advice websites/channels?
I went on the " but we took you to Stately Homes" thread, in Relationships and read the links recommended.
Some of the general abusive relationship links are good as well. It makes you realise that no-one, including close family has the right to treat you badly, or rather, you don't have to accept it.
Disco I have just discovered a long running thread on here that might be good for you too - have a search for stately homes 2016 and you should find it. I have just posted in it. I have also found some helpful info on Pinterest if you are on there.
Birds - I wouldn't describe the relationship I have with my mother as positive. It used to be I think but as I've gained more independence it's just spiralled. I think I need to come to terms with that as you have.
Have a look at the website
"Daughters of narcissistic mothers"
And Susan forward toxic parents book (there's a free pdf of the book if you google)
I don't think you are really qualified to diagnose her as a 'narcissist'. From the examples you give, treating you like a child, saying "well you liked it when you were younger", these are things that parents do. I certainly don't think they are symptoms of serious mental illness.
And as for this:
One time I joked and said he loved me more than her as he bought me an Easter egg and she didn't. She said 'no he just doesn't know you as well as i do. That'll change, don't worry'.
I am sorry, but you asked for that.
Marcheline you're talking bollocks. How on earth did the OP ask for that?! Her mother sounds like she has a NP. You're in no position to say otherwise as you're not the OP.
Unfortunately there is a lot more to this than the examples I've given. Of the list of traits she ticks every box at varying degrees. Her siblings, my siblings, my DP and in laws have all experienced it. The self bravado and praise, the rage if you dare to disagree. Her demands of favouritism and OTT loyalty. She knows best and will very very quickly become offended if you think differently or question her. And if you dont like it she will only say you are being touchy! And you believe her, you think she is right and pander to her, trying to keep her happy.
And besides, it wasn't me who diagnosed her - it was my friend who is trained. I had no idea what narcissism even was until I was complaining to her one day and she told me to look up personality disorder. She recommends no/low contact but I was hoping there was some other way. But doesn't look like there is.
I looked in to Daighters of NM's but I found it quite extreme and not really helpful in pointing me in the right direction to solve the problem, but I'm learning that it's because you can't. Maybe I'll look again as my realisations have come on a bit since I last looked.
I think it's painful and hard to have to accept not only that your mother is highly likely NPD but also that it is impossible to have a true relationship with her.
Minimal contact and walk away completely if (when?) you need to.
I think you would be wise to start reducing the amount you see your mum. It's often best to simply state that you will not be seeing her on such and such a date. Don't make excuses and justify yourself, just state what is happening. Don't be drawn into an argument either. You may need at times to switch off phones and ignore her, eventually you may need to block her calls altogether if she becomes verbally abusive and aggressive.
Although it is hard to detach from family members, you will start to feel the benefit of reduced contact. The less you see each other or speak, the less opportunity she has to argue, criticise, wind you up, and interfere in your life. Be wary of sharing too much.
It is extremely difficult to have a normal relationship with someone like your mum, so you have o do what is best for you and your DC. If that means low or no contact, that's how it will be. Your DC needs protecting from her influence.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.