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Narcissistic Parents

(23 Posts)
Theymakemefeellikeshit Fri 01-May-15 22:01:54

Have name changed for this and I am sorry if this has been covered before.

I have read threads on here but after a chat with someone this morning where this person said her mother was narcissistic and mine sounds the similar. My mum is more of a problem but my dad can be pretty hurtful as well.

The one thing that makes me waver to how narcissistic they are is that their behaviour seems to be directed to me way more than my sisters (in fact the one is the golden child). Do narcissistic parents have favourites or are they evil to everyone?

To be honest whether they do or not for some reason talking about it today has really upset me and am not sure how I haven't spent the day sobbing. I am very stressed at work which usually means that I find it much harder to cope with problems outside of work so I imagine this why I am struggling at the moment.

I need a coping strategy. Going NC is not an option but thankfully due to distance contact is only a handful of times a year.

Thank you if you have managed to make any sense of this

Aussiebean Fri 01-May-15 22:14:31

All I can do is let you know that this is their problem and give you some practical advice on how to move foward.

To start, go to the stately homes thread, read other people's experiences an look at the resources in the first post.

Pay attention to the the scapegoat, which sounds like you are.

Also look at the enabler, which sounds like your dad.

Next is to start putting up firm boundaries. You don't have to tell them that that is what you are doing. You have to work out what works for you, but I would start not giving them any personal information about your life. Work is fine, kids are fine, everything is fine. Don't ask for their advice, don't tell them about a job promotion, don't tell them anything that they can use to put you down.

Also, think about how much you talk to them. Is it everyday or week? Start taking that down a little bit. Be less available.

This is a long and unfair process which will take years to unravel. But you aren't alone and you will be better for it.

Teacuptravells Fri 01-May-15 22:24:09

Dont want to derail the thread with my experience, but I've been wondering similar after browsing threads on here. Only difference is I do have contact with mine as live locally yet my sibling "golden child" has his children doted on and I'm the "scapegoat". I'm fine that I've recognised it - its just how to deal with it, the disappointment that I'm never going to earn their love, how to move on rather than putting myself in situations of hurt...

Theymakemefeellikeshit Fri 01-May-15 22:40:58

Aussiebean - thanks for replying so quickly.

I saw them them about a week ago and it is the first time since Christmas and I think I have only spoken to them once since Christmas as well so that bit is easy. I do round robin e-mails (very brief) to all the family so that I can't be accused of ignoring them totally. I keep it to we are going to watch a play or meeting friends for dinner.

I would love to have the opportunity to say work is fine but they have never asked me. Never had a 'hope your first day in your new job goes well'. It makes me really sad.

I am so going to out myself now (but here goes!!!). After a few years of being a SAHM I got a job in an estate agent. I was so excited as I had been up against people with experience so wasn't expecting to get the job but the interviewers thought that personality was more important than experience. My dad said he would be less embarrassed to say I was a prostitute than admitting that I work for an estate agent.

I work for a religious organization now and considering he is not a church goer he had a lot to say about me working for the other side. Even now after number of years he is still making comments but without asking me how I am getting on. Might be blowing my own trumpet but I work really hard and I think in general I am quiet well thought of.

Although I give myself less opportunities now I find it hard (impossible) to forget what has been said in the past. The comment about the estate agent is from 17 odd years ago.

I often say to my DH that if we were in trouble I would rather live in the car than go to them for help.

Theymakemefeellikeshit Fri 01-May-15 22:56:13

Teacuptravells You are not derailing and hearing others experience does help as we know we are not alone.

To be honest I think I need to accept that this is how it is and I sort of do accept it but I just can't get over how hurt I feel over it.

I spoke one of my sisters (not the favourite one) not long ago and although she could sort of see where I was coming from but didn't seem to have such a problem with it. I wonder if part of of this is because she doesn't have children so isn't so affected by the fact that favourite DD is also mother of favourite grandchild.

I have always made a point of not saying anything in front of my DC but they often say who the favourite is. My DM has said some hurtful things to my DC as well.

Teacuptravells Fri 01-May-15 23:29:31

Similar outing myself - but my mother often decides I've offended her in some way (never tells me what the supposed thing is. Sometimes I ask my dad (separated) and its to do with the tone of voice I used talking about my brother... or something similar, but I'm never given the chance to defend myself.

4-5 weeks ago, a week before we were due to go away on a big trip, my mother decided she was "too busy" to see me the day we had arranged, or indeed any other day that week. She doesn't say why, or give me anything to justify myself with, just that she cant fit me in. I found mysellf in the pityful situation of saying "but what about the mother's day flowers I made you..." I had made some at a craft group and was so proud of them and was instantly carted back to the role of a sad child.

But now I know I need to change the relationship. Its awkward as my mother has been behaving normally with my dad (divorced but friends) and golden boy and his kids (doting, spending time with) but she appears to have no interest in mine.

It swings though - so when she is in a "good" phases, and I make the effort (and yes it is me that arranges/rings/suggests) I quite like it. But realistically I don't think I can keep putting myself in this position of being hurt.

Whatever I do will be noted by everyone else. I don't want to cause a scene, I don't want to be bitchy "well, if you wanted to know you should have asked". But I don't really know how to have a non-relationship relationship with her when it happens. It would be easier if I just didn't see her.

I'm not sure she has the mental capactiy to have a "what you do really hurts me" type conversation. Or even to be challenged at all. It all makes sense in her head.

My childhood was shit. Being not-important-enough to warrent love or attention has serious consequences and I don't like being in my 30s and still hung up about my parents sad

Aussiebean Fri 01-May-15 23:29:43

You will find it easier to accept the further you read and understand the dynamic. Councelling will also help.

I found i went through a very long grieving process with all the stages.

It didn't help that I didn't understand the whole narc idea for a lot of it. But I knew that I wasn't as bad as I was being told. When I finally worked it out, it was so easy to accept because it explained what I was thinking for so long.

The anger was the longest stage. How dare she treat me this way, not be a loving mother and the whole unfairness of it.

Eventually The energy that that anger took up was exhausting and took up too much energy so i was read to let it go.

Now I am very limited contact. Texts at birthdays and if she happens to be around, while I am with other family members, I will say hello but she is uninterested in me since I refuse to engage in her crap.

Don't worry about your sister. My brother who is 10 years older is only now starting to understand where I am coming from after years of minimising and excusing her bahaviour. Concentrate on your own journey. Everyone experiences things differently. Don't let them tell you that your experience is wrong or nothing.

I would imagine that at some point you will get to the stage where your dad says something horrible about your work. You will roll your eyes, say yes dad and then change the subject. All the while not letting it hurt you.

Aussiebean Fri 01-May-15 23:35:14

Also, never try and make sense of what they are thinking. Changing the goal posts is a typical narc tactic. You won't be told but you will be punished.

Getting to the point where you don't care, don't respond to their tantrums, stop feeding their narc supply is hard. But will benefit you. And in the end, you are the one that counts.

Teacuptravells Fri 01-May-15 23:37:58

You say, "dont let them tell you your experience is wrong or nothing" - but how do you do that. I kind of am getting to a point where I understand that to never challenge it is to go oalong with the family dynamic of me as scapegoat.

But I dont want to be blamed for causing a fall out of all of them. I kind of need a nonthreatening way to say "no thats not the case" without going on the defensive and getting all retalitary. I think because its so emotional for me I dont know how to calmly defend myself (partly to as I've never done it!)We've all kind of gone along with waiting for my mum to speak to me a few months later and assuming "Teacup" is now in her good books....

Teacuptravells Fri 01-May-15 23:43:03

Oh Aussie you are so right. The time I spend trying to work out what on earth I did to offend her/why does she think like that. Why didnt either parent want to parent me/ why did they allow xyz to happen.

Far too much time spent thinking about their past and what makes them tick and why they might be as they are.....

YES to the "being punished".

I SO want to get to a point where I don't care - but right now I think I feel it acutely. I'm struggling a bit with one thing and another and feel a bit lonely, and very aware of the support/family/friendship my brother is getting from them. If I thought they COULDNT do it it would be so much easier - but seeing them manage withhim makes me think "whats wrong with me".

Also there are so few stimulating relationships locally/I have little family I seem wired to keep seeking it from them. I want someone to ring when I get back from holiday/ child gets a swim badge/ they go up a bookband. I want them to fulfil that role and I'm repeatedly disappointing myself with expectations. They do manage occasionally but its so seldem its not worth it sad

I suspect I will see my mother at a gathering at my brothers and I need to wotk out how to calmly handle it (she will either blank me or act as if nothing has happened.) I wish I could articulate (or even understand) my own position well enough that I didnt worry about it, but the reality is I've always bent my reality in the past to fit what I think she's wanted to hear....

I need life to be different.

Teacuptravells Fri 01-May-15 23:44:25

Theymake -

I think having DC has made the whole issue more of a hot issue for me - has it for you? It sounds so similar seeing them interact with other grandkids but not your own. Whereas we're used to being scapegoats ourselves it seems so wrong to see our own kids in that role...

Aussiebean Sat 02-May-15 00:10:40

The first post of the stately homes thread will give you some calm comebacks if you want or need them.

But to be honest. I found that there is no point having these conversations with a narc. You will bang your head against the wall. I tried with mine. All she did was make up something my dad supposedly said when I was 11 (he passed when I was 15 so no chance to defend himself) and decided that that was why I was so horrible to her. It all came down to that. No acknowledgement of her behaviour, or if there was, it was someone else's fault.

Personally, I just disconnected, rarely engaged and stopped including her in any part of my life. I am lucky in that she was happy with that and barely spoken to me since. Btw. 38 weeks pregnant and she hasn't asked me one question about the baby or how I am. Others see that as horrible, I see it as a blessing because her actually being involved would be nasty, judgemental and cause more stress then actually having a baby.

You may want to say your piece, but I think you should only do it if you have no vested interest in the outcome. Ie. You don't expect them to change.

Teacuptravells Sat 02-May-15 00:16:23

I will go find the stately homes thread (didn't mean to hijack this oen at all - I think when you see the siilarities and are workign through similar issues it all comes out!).

There's several of them aren't there? Do I just search stately home - do you mean the first of the series?

I think you're right about the acknowledgemnet - its never goign to happen. And she too claims I'm horrid to her (after all the things I've done for her - I spent the day after my wedding wtih her in hospital as Id dint like the thought of her being sectioned alone). Shes not been interested in my pregnancies etc. I get glimpses of her wanting to be a mum/ wanting a relationship/ torn by guilt about her parenting. But they really are tiny glimpses in what is a lot of crap/pain coming my way. They certainly arent worth me living my life around her for/

I I think I need to similarly disconnect. I will encounter her though, and may have phone contact I guess once she decides Im not the enemy. Or maybe she wont ever decide Im not the enemy if I break the bpattern by not chasing after her....

I wish it were easier to sad

Aussiebean Sat 02-May-15 00:29:16

I you go to the current one on the forum you will see the thread. The first post has links to all the other threads and to support websites. Which you can look at in your own time.

The light bulb moment for me was when someone said her mother actually said to her 'I love you but I don't like you'
Then all these other women said 'oh yes, my mum said that to me too'

I remember exactaly where I was when my mum said that to me when I was 13. It made me realise that she wasn't special, she was full of shit and was following a control script that they somehow all know.

Hopefully you two will have that moment too.

Teacuptravells Sat 02-May-15 00:34:06

THanks Aussie. Its so reassuring (allthough sad) to hear others have been through it. Will go find it.

Theymakemefeellikeshit Sat 02-May-15 19:10:54

Have been having problems with internet so if I can get this posted I will be pleased. have typed out a reply a few times and then lost teh connection

Again thanks for everyone's replies and I will be off to read the stately home thread. Love the title although my parents can't even say that but I imagine they think they were wonderful as they paid for my private education (isn't that way up on the list of good parenting)

I think my dad is scared of my mum so he joins in to keep on her good side. She can half speak to him like shit sometimes.

My grandparents lived abroad so never saw them so don't know how my mum's relationship was with her mum. Is it history repeating itself? I am so scared that I will be like my mum. My DD could be bitching about me now never mind in the future.

My worst moment and when I thought she really couldn't say anything worse was when I told her was I was pregnant (in my late 20's) with her first grandchild. No whoops of joys, hugs and congratulations but 'why would you want to waste your life' and 'if I had my time again I wouldn't have children'

See you on the other thread!

mummyjen2 Sat 18-Jul-15 00:05:02

Hello everyone, reading some of your thread made me realise just how similar the experience I've been through with my Narc mother. I've had a very traumatic and difficult life from a young child and I've decided to go no contact with my parents for 7 months now and I'm not going to deny it....I'm still crumbling inside and often still hoping that they'll change and forgive them but deep down I know they'll never change. Here's afew lowlights of my life that I'd like to share and I would appreciate any comments to remind me that I should feel happy to be free from these evil people.
1) When I was 3 my mother throwed away my only princess dress (that was given to me from my cousin) and watched me cry. She said these are tarty clothes and I shouldn't be allowed to wear them.
2) She beat me with (apparently a very thin stick) that I ended in hospital with my leg hung up. She lied and said 'I only hit you lightly but then you suddenly couldn't walk so we took you to hospital and they said you had tonsilitis' but then I briefly remember everyone said they saw my leg hanging up when they visited me, surely tonsilitis can't brake a leg? I was only 3.
3) She killed my new born stray kittens when I was 6. She said they were bad luck and when she discovered I was caring for these kittens in the garden she grabbed them both and throwed them high into the alley way. I screamed and I hit her but she just kept going. I was traumatised and lyed on the garden floor for ages in tears, she didn't care. Then I went to the alley to look for the kittens only to discover one was surely dead the other was still breathing but with blood in its mouth and slowly died in my hands. I ran to her screaming why why why? she still showed not remorse.
4) She always told me I was thick, dumb, useless and wish she had an abortion with me and wish she strangled me as soon as I was born so she wouldn't have to suffer from looking after such a difficult child.
5) Growing up was difficult as I was constantly bullied and only looking to please others and not think about myself. I grew depressed as I was constantly belittled and laughed at by my family. I had a name for being the dumb child and it didn't matter if I passed my exams or not because they understand I'm not exactly bright.
6) My mother picked on me so much my dad noticed and tried to help me only to get criticised and accused of having feelings for me then she tormented my dad and called him sick which made him steer clear for standing up for me.
7) My parents were constantly fighting. My mother would constantly threatened to kill herself, then me and my siblings would chase her out in the dark to stop her. I would tell her I love her and beg her not to do that and hug her. But then it happened so often we learnt to ignore her and learnt that she'll never kill herself and that its all theatrical.
8) both my parents would leave us at home while they go casino. I was only 10. I had to mother both my younger sisters while they enjoy gambling.
9) I became a graphic designer (the dumb child wasn't that dumb afterall. And all I wanted to do was to please them so I bought them both tickets to go on holidays and buy them nice gifts but only to have them thrown back at me when we argued. I was so upset.
10) I was pregnant with my first child and my mother warned me that if I don't treat her nice something bad will happen to her unborn grandson. I was crying with distraught. Why why would she do such thing?
11) There have been more incidents but the final blow was when she got aggressive because my hubby took his family me and kids on holiday and didn't ask her and my dad. She went crazy and threatened all sorts (this was infront of my 5, 7 and 3yr old kids.) My children got so scared they stumbled across the floor crying. Me and and my hubby decided this was the last of it. But they still manage to twist things round to my siblings and say my husband and I was the aggressive ones!

There have been more bad incidents but I could go on. Please please can someone tell me I'm doing the right thing to go no contact with this crazy mother of mine. I'm having therapy and seeing Drs to help me overcome depression because I still have this urge to forgive and want to go back. Its driving my husband crazy as he's doing all he can to protect his children from the toxic behaviour from my parents. I'm still crumbling and worry this may destroy my marriage. I'm so badly conditioned to want to go back to please my parents and get abused I don't know what to do. I worry about their health etc..... I'm so lost.

Hope you all feeling alot better than I am.
J x

Aussiebean Sat 18-Jul-15 07:03:12

Jen. Sorry that you too have joined the ranks of children abused by their parents.

Go to the stately hones thread and read them. Look at the resources and arrange counselling.

Think about it as your chance to give your children the love and protection that you never got.

Good luck.

sashh Sat 18-Jul-15 07:52:10

I suspect I will see my mother at a gathering at my brothers and I need to wotk out how to calmly handle it (she will either blank me or act as if nothing has happened.) I wish I could articulate (or even understand) my own position well enough that I didnt worry about it, but the reality is I've always bent my reality in the past to fit what I think she's wanted to hear....

It is this uncertainty they thrive on, it's like a drug to them, they need you to be uncertain.

So plan what you are going to do. You know what she will do and you have 2 plans for dealing with each.

I used to play little games to throw this back at my mother, there were certain photos everyone else in the family saw but not her, I'd just happen to have the photo in my bag but not when I visited her.

Or other family would find out I'd been in hospital and she would be so angry that she wasn't 'in the loop' - obviously oblivious to the fact most parents would care why their child was n hospital.

I don't recommend this game, it has the potential to turn nasty but it amused me.

Sweetsecret Sat 18-Jul-15 08:34:12

From what I read Narcissistic parents do tend to have a golden child/one they favour.
I read up on Narcissistic mother syndrome some while back and it summed mine up 100%, there is a thread on here that I did a few days ago called "I can't believe what just happened" and it sums up my experience with mine.
it is a horrible situation to be in, and I have just made the decision to go NC with mine.
It is still quite new but I already feel relieved.thanks

Sweetsecret Sat 18-Jul-15 09:08:49

Just a query, why is NC not an option? sometimes that may just be the only option, it's good that they are far away.
But with comments like you have said will eat away at your confidence I would hate for you to end up like me with zero self esteem.thanks

Ladyconstance Sat 18-Jul-15 09:41:53

I relate to this 100%. I'm just finishing 4 months of psychiatric hospital treatment due to a narcissistic mother. Please consider getting professional help. What you've been through has been lifelong, and the deliberate actions of the person who should have cherished and cared for you must hurt you deeply. Sharing a few insights that I hope will help and support you, and give you courage to face the truth of the past. Once the horrible power of those experiences has been broken, you will be free from their spell, to be the real you. I promise it's true.
- reach out to others to help you. I found a support group, specifically meeting others in person, very reassuring.
- your mum's not going to change so don't waste your energy trying to talk to her. She won't make it right. But you can, by loving and caring for yourself and the people in your life now that really matter e.g. your kids.
- your siblings won't necessarily share your experiences or feel the way you do. That doesn't mean they love you any less.
- I found that talking out loud and saying the words about what happened to me and what mother did loosened the shame I felt.
- the treatment that unlocked my pain, grief, anger and sadness was psychodrama.. sounds weird and scary, doesn't it! It's basically a process of replaying your experiences in a safe and non judgemental way, where you can express your feelings fully. It's a way of actually saying and showing all those feelings you would tell your mother (and others). You can cry, tell her to fuck off, tell her how much she hurt you. It gets it out of your system without the fallout if you did it in real life. It also helps you wrap it up and walk away psychologically from her. Definitely go to your GP and ask for counselling.

You were a kid but now you're a big person and you don't need to carry her problems any more. I wish you love and all the best.

mummyjen2 Sat 18-Jul-15 11:29:36

Thank you Aussiebean for the info....I'll have a look at it. Ladyconstance reading your post really helps me taking that one step closer to want to live life happier without feeling guilt. I'm going to ask my therapist if there is groups around where I am. Theymakemefeellikeshit......I totally feel your anger and pain. I hope you'll find your way to happiness and not let these emotionless people upset you. I'm done with it. Going no contact is my safest option after the voilent scene infront of kids. I setted boundaries but that just got worse. I will focus on my family and give my children all the love I mever had. I wish everyone here find their way to happiness without the guilt. All the best. Xx

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