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Just realised I have a narcissistic mother and not sure what to do about contact with my kids(6 Posts)
I have recently started therapy sessions to cope with extreme anxiety. My therapist explained that it sounds as though my mother is a narcissist, and after doing some research I realise that she is. So I am preparing to start dealing with this, but I'm really worried about the contact she has with my children, who are 4 and 2. I and the rest of my family have realised that there is something not normal about the relationship with my children. My eldest is definitely the 'golden child' and the two year old she is slightly more relaxed with, I don't think she scapegoats her. She idolises both of them, I try to set boundaries about the food, presents she gives and way she to talks to them which has met with varying degrees of success. She gives them no boundaries, over praises, requests biweekly visits and after one week she couldn't see them for a few weeks over the phone I heard her saying to my son, "Granny misses you so much, when mummy decides to let me see you again...". So that kind of thing, all the time. At the moment she gets about 2 hours of contact alone with them, which I could stop, the rest of the time I'm there. It would destroy her not to see them, and she constantly compares to the access my mil gets. Despite everything I love my mum. And the children have fun with her, love her, and I have always felt as though I can buffer her influence and protect them. But now I am starting to read and realise the extent of how my childhood with her has affected me I'm concerned. I am also worried about how the rest of my family would react if I started to decrease her contact.
I am going to go through this obviously at length in my therapy sessions but I have posted the odd thing here before and have always received very honest advice, even if slightly brutal ;). And I'm interested to hear people's opinions and advice and especially of those who are dealing with similar situations. Tia
If she is a true Narc then she should be the with them until they develop more of a personality and they don't conform to her view of them as an extension of herself.
Just keep a close eye on it and be prepared to cut contact if you think the relationship is harmful - and prepare for the backlash.
Should add I cut off my narc father when I found out I was pregnant as there was no way he was getting within 10 feet of my child.
It is not about whether you love her (all children love their mums, however awful) or whether your children love her. It is about what is right for your kids. You must prioritise that over what other relatives think.
Do come join us on the Stately Homes thread in Relationships if you like - lots of people have low or structured contact with narc parents.
I would say the first thing you have to do is give yourself permission to stop caring what other people think. Who is really worried about how it will look: you, or your mother in your head?
Emotionally healthy people will understand if you say you have reduced contact because of concerns about how your mother treats your DC and how she treated you. People who react in any other way are not worth placating. People who value keeping up appearances are not worth placating.
Time to make some rules. You decide how much contact you want. Stop letting it be unsupervised. Stop worrying about destroying her; if you are forced to set more boundaries and stop contact that will be her doing not yours.
PS if people ask why you are reducing contact with her, here is a useful response that my therapist suggested:
"Haven't you noticed how narcissistic she is?"
Answer no: well now you know.
Answer yes: well why are you asking.
Another Stately Home resident here. You will find the thread helpful
Watch what happens with your DC. Are your DC her only grandchildren. It won't be long before they realize that one is the golden child.
My mum has a real bee in her bonnet about how much time was spent with my ILs. She wouldn't say it to my face but to other people. She thought we went there every week. That wasn't the case and we saw each side of the family equally.
You don't say how far away they live. Mine leave a a couple hour's drive so we don't just pop there for as cup of tea. As the children got older their activities took up most of the weekend so visits naturally decreased
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