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Letter to narcissist mum

(18 Posts)
MillyMollyMandy78 Wed 17-Apr-13 12:44:34

Not going to bore you with all the details but have had years of abuse from my mum. She is bullying, rude, manipulative and self-centred. Last night she phoned me for help with an ongoing situation and because i didn't give the correct response, she hung up on me (this is pretty common). I had not been rude and was genuinely trying to help.

Anyway, I've had enough of the way she treats me and would be pretty happy if i never saw her again. So i have decided to write her a letter, as she is refusing to pick up her phone to me. The only sticking point is my dad - he admits she is abusive and controlling but will not apreciate me causing him more grief at home etc. Therefore, it is important that my letter is to the point, not rude or abusive at all, because she will try to turn it around regardless. I couldn't care less if i never see her again but wish to continue a relationship with my dad.

Here is the letter, please tell me what you think:

I am not happy with the way you sometimes speak to me or the rest of the family. I have been nothing but supportive over e last few weeks and was trying to help you on Tuesday when you phoned me. I did not appreciate you shouting at me and hanging up the phone because i did not say what you wanted to hear.

I am entitled to disagree with you without you becoming abusive, hanging up the phone or walking out of a room. I am also unwilling to be involved in the lies and stories that you tell about dad, me and the rest of the family.

It appears that even after being sectioned you have no intention of changing your ways. I deserve to be treated with more respect than this, so I am not prepared to accept this sort of behaviour anymore. the only way we can move forward is if you apologise and treat me with more respect.

So, what do you think? Does that sound fair? Btw i do not expect an apology, but thought wud be unfair to not offer a possible solution. The balls in her court then.

YoothaJoist Wed 17-Apr-13 12:46:37

Why write a letter? If you don't want to see her again, don't. You can't fight your dad's battles.

DogEgg Wed 17-Apr-13 13:14:55

I decided to try to reason with my Narc Dad, to give him the chance to try to explain why he treated me and others the way he did and to beg him to help me find a solution. I did it in person not by letter.

Before I spoke with him I sought advice here on Mumsnet and some wise MNetters said "talk to him if you think it will help you, but be clear what you're hoping to achieve - don't expect an apology or resolution and be prepared for him to ignore you, deny, rage, lie and portray himself as the victim and you as the aggressor." Exactly all of those things happened as though he was following a script.

Narcs are unable to reason unless there's something in it for them and are uninterested in helping others find a solution that would make anyone elses life more tolerable unless that suits their own needs.

That said, my words might not have meant anything to him - but they did to me. I'm proud I'd said them, I feel better for having tried and my friends tell me I was brave to have tried to resolve it with him. Since it happened I've had no contact with him.........the confrontation was the catalyst for this.

If you want to send the letter then do....but be realistic about the outcome and be prepared for her to reveal herself to you as such an irredemably flawed person that you decide to walk away. It might be easier to just write the letter (getting those words out helps a lot doesn't it) and burn it.

One last thing - your Dad choosing to not want to rock the boat enables her to get away with being what she is i.e. horrible to his own daughter......so don't let him inform your decision about whether to act or not, his life's his own and so is yours. Good luck whatever you decide.

MillyMollyMandy78 Wed 17-Apr-13 13:19:04

Thank you for your replies.Would be interested to kow what other people think too.

I guess i wrote the letter for closure and to say my piece. She treats people like this all the time, and i think if i didnt write a letter it would end up with me just going along as tho nothing happened again, or another arguement. I have tried talking to her several times in past and it doesn't work because she just shouts abuse or storms off.

I don't expect her to change, but i did want to write things down clearly. Tbh i am fed up of her drama.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 17-Apr-13 13:32:52

I would not send such a letter because it could easily be used against you by your mother and or Dad (along the lines of well look what you've done now, you've upset her).

Also I would not let your Dad off the hook here because such women always but always need a willing enabler to help them in this case your Dad. He has also failed to protect you from her malign influences, he is also responsible here. His role in this overall dysfunction is one of bystander; i.e act out of self preservation and want of a quiet life.

Such people as well never apologise nor accept any responsibility for their actions so for this relationship to move at all forward anyway is an impossibility. All you can do is detach from both of them.

Would suggest you look at the website entitled Daughters of Narcissistic mothers and read "Children of the Self Absorbed" written by Nina W Brown.

Walkacrossthesand Wed 17-Apr-13 13:39:10

Hi Milly. I don't have any first hand knowledge of trying to communicate with a narc, but my comment would be that the 'message' of your letter isn't particularly clear. It starts by saying 'I'm not happy'... but I'm sure your unhappiness or otherwise is of very little interest to her. How about starting 'Tuesdays phone call was the last straw; I was trying to help you and did not appreciate you shouting at me and hanging up the phone because i did not say what you wanted to hear. Can i remind you that i am entitled to disagree with you without you becoming abusive, hanging up the phone or walking out of a room. I have also had enough of hearing the lies and stories that you tell about dad, and I am not prepared to accept this sort of behaviour anymore. If you feel you can apologise, and treat me with more respect from now on, we can move forward from this - otherwise, I will be withdrawing from any encounters with you at the first sign of any of the behaviours mentioned above'. Or something like that! It won't get you an apology, or any change in behaviour of course - but you may feel better for having sent it.

noddyholder Wed 17-Apr-13 13:41:59

I sent my mum a similar letter last year and she never spoke to me again. I showed the letter to a few friends who all thought it was nicely worded and that she would probably like it and be grateful that I was so kind considering her antics. How wrong they were she sent me an awful letter back criticising me to the very core. SO with people who are true narcissists you have to be prepared for a terrible response as they are never wrong

MoaningYoniWhingesAgain Wed 17-Apr-13 13:42:54

Write more, get it all out, but don't send it.

I have been there.

This is what I am worried might happen -

I am not happy with the way you sometimes speak to me or the rest of the family. I have been nothing but supportive over e last few weeks and was trying to help you on Tuesday when you phoned me. I did not appreciate you shouting at me and hanging up the phone because i did not say what you wanted to hear.

well I was really upset, you are such an ungrateful daughter, after all I have done for you I had to hang up the phone because you made me so upset, you are so selfish.Why are you such a cow

I am entitled to disagree with you without you becoming abusive, hanging up the phone or walking out of a room. I am also unwilling to be involved in the lies and stories that you tell about dad, me and the rest of the family. well it's not all about what you are entitled to is it? See, just selfish all the time aren't you. I am your mother, you should treat me with respect, it's the least I deserve

It appears that even after being sectioned you have no intention of changing your ways. I deserve to be treated with more respect than this, so I am not prepared to accept this sort of behaviour anymore. the only way we can move forward is if you apologise and treat me with more respect.

I am only sorry that I managed to bring up such a selfish spiteful daughter. You should be saying sorry to me. Yes I was sectioned, you know how ILL I am and you shouldn't be upsetting me like this. You and your Dad are also picking on me like this, even when you know I am so ill, I will have to see the doctor again it is making me bad, you are making me worse

bishboschone Wed 17-Apr-13 13:48:26

In my experience of dealing with narc mil. You are wasting your time . They are never wrong hmm

slug Wed 17-Apr-13 13:52:09

Just withdraw contact. You are only putting yourself at the risk of her spite if you send the letter.

I did this with my Narc sister. It took her nearly 10 years and the rest of the family doing the same thing before she realised.

GoodtoBetter Wed 17-Apr-13 13:53:33

Moaning that it pretty much word for word what my Mum would say! It's like a script they learn, isn't it?

MoaningYoniWhingesAgain Wed 17-Apr-13 13:54:37

Yep sad Write it, get it off your chest, but there is no point sending it to a narc.

2margarinesonthego Wed 17-Apr-13 14:00:59

Absolutely write it (and more besides) but don't send it.
You are thinking about how YOU would feel, what YOU would do and how YOU would react if you received such a letter. Your mother doesn't think like you - that's the problem - and she won't react in the reasonable way that you are hoping. She will just use it as ammo.

Please don't send it - you'll only end up being hurt even more.

spottyparrot Wed 17-Apr-13 14:01:41

A narc will not see herself as having done wrong and will probably have an angry response inflaming te situation further. I would not send it, I do not see how it could achieve anything for you. That's not to say the letter is unreasonable, however the recipient is!

bakingaddict Wed 17-Apr-13 14:33:57

You have to detach emotionally from them, i'm not saying stop loving them but realise that even when they seek your help what they are hoping to achieve is to have their own POV justified.

When my mum gets like this I just let her hear the sound of her own voice and say a few soothing words to speed the conversation along, at no point waste energy trying to get a narc to see your perspective it just doesn't work that way. It's only over recent years that i've built this protective shield against mum, I think she does love me deep down but is totally unable to see anybody else's needs.

MillyMollyMandy78 Wed 17-Apr-13 18:40:05

Thanks for all your replies. They are very helpful and have given me food for thought. I have decided not to send the letter (at least for now).

I appreciate that my first post may have been a bit confusing to read. Let me clarify: I have no interest in having a relationship with my mum. She only ever phones me if she wants something and I stopped loving her years ago. I fantasise about never seeing her again, but this is made difficult because dad would get the fallout if i did that. His health has really suffered with the stress of it all - particularly over the lat year. He is not a well man. I completely accept that he is not faultless in this and he enables her, but he is a kind hearted man who has been ground down by her constant abuse. I do not mean to make excuses for him, but i have no wish to confront him about his part in this.

I do not believe that she will apologise and i know that this will all be about me being the selfish and disrespectful one. I know that the letter will be shown around as 'proof' of my failings as a daughter. That is completely fine with me. I guess that is why i have worded my letter carefully instead of letting rip with the full extent of my feelings. I figure that I am in a stronger position with my dad & my own self respect if rather than cutting her off completely, I am merely asking for an apology and t be treated better (even tho the end result will be the same)

What i am hoping will happen is: i send the letter, mum goes mad resulting in phonecall from dad etc. i then explain that i am merely asking to be treated with kindness/ respect and that i am not 'creating' any situation. She was rude (which my dad already agrees was out of order), i asked for an apology (which i am perfectly entitled to) and she refuses to apologise. Therefore, it is actually her that is making this into a big family feud - not me. End result: mum refuses to apologise so i avoid her bullshit in the future. Dad eventually quits trying to sort things, and if anything, gives mum grief for not apologising, and I can pick up things with dad and forget she ever existed.

Does that make sense? Does anyone have a better idea? I have tried in the past to talk and its a waste of time, but Dad will never forgive me if i just refuse contact altogether. It really is not like me to play games like this, but I am so tired of all the drama. I tried removing myself emotionally a few years ago and even had counselling - that helped a bit. Her actions don't upset me much now, but i feel unwilling to listen to all her rubbish. Even tho it does not hurt me really, I feel like I'm being a mug letting her get away with things. I would not tolerate anyone else behaving the way she does so why should she get away with it?

Djangounhinged Wed 17-Apr-13 19:21:48

I agree with what lots of others are saying here, and it sounds like you already know that you'll never get her to change her ways....

So I think what bakingaddict says makes a lot of sense. If you can accept that, when you're in contact with her, you need to tolerate her drama and just give her platitudes when she starts, and try to move the conversation on to something else, then her bad behaviour will affect you less. And minimise that contact with her, because it just grinds you down.

This isn't game playing, it's taking back control.

I've had to do this with my own narc mother. I don't always achieve it, and I sometimes feel dreadfully sorry for myself that I don't have the mother I want or need, it's so bloody unfair - but when I'm on form I find that giving platitudes and outright ignoring inflaming comments from her makes me feel better, and makes her get back in her box a bit quicker than she used to.

I do a lot of ignoring too - just looking away and staying silent when she is rude, or ignoring texts making demands like "I thought you might have dropped round today, were you too busy".

Not sure if that's at all helpful, but I empathise with your situation - good luck with whatever you decide to do.

MillyMollyMandy78 Wed 17-Apr-13 20:54:08

Thank you. I just had a strange experience with mum actually ... Phoned on a bit of a whim, to tell her how rude her behaviour has been, and she actually gave an apology! Don't think she's ever apologised when called on her behaviour before.

I phoned her to get back a bit of control/ show her I'm not a doormat etc. she answered the phone as normal and I said 'so have u got an apology for hanging up on me yesterday.' (Fully expected her to throw her usual tantrum). she said 'not sure, really'. I said 'well phone me when you are' and put the phone down.

She rang back a minute later and gave a grovelling apology, whilst making excuses for her behaviour. I accepted the apology but refused the excuses, telling her that she needs to sort out her behaviour. She agreed with everything - very weird, lol!

I don't actually think she means a word of it and she wont change, but it felt good to call her on her behaviour (sorry, if this makes me sound heartless).

Also had a conversation wi dad earlier and explained how I wasnt prepared to put up with her behaviour and whatever went on with mum, i love him and want a relationship with him. Was a good chat and he said all the right things. So much has gone on the last few months that he doesnt make the excuses for her that he used to. It's sad really, cos after so many years of bullying he does not feel that he could manage on his own.

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