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Does anyone have an adult child with NPD (and gone NC)(12 Posts)
namechanged for this and wasn't sure whether to post on the Stately Homes thread, which I've been reading, or start a new one as the Stately Homes one seems more or less exclusively for those with NPD parents. Decided to start a new one to ask if anyone else has an adult DC with what I suspect is NPD or similar.
Very hesitant to post about this as I'm at such a low ebb at the moment and seriously doubting my own sanity. I've been dealing with this for about 12 years all in all with DD. XH (her father) is very similar - we broke up over 10 years ago, he was an emotional abuser and bully. I did go NC with DD for a period of about 2 years which was a last resort when she became physically aggressive. Obviously that was extremely difficult and painful but those 2 years were the most peaceful 2 years of my adult life. She made contact with me again when she was pg and seemed to have made genuine progress in terms of self-help. I didn't entirely trust her but wanted it to work and definitely wanted a relationship with GS, so I opened the door again. At the time I suggested we do not attempt to talk about past issues as she was heavily pg so it was brushed under the carpet.
There has recently been a major crisis in her life and although the crisis is neither her nor my fault, the stress of it all has caused our relationship to deteriorate again so I've distanced myself and am considering going NC again. She reflects everything back on me to the point I start to wonder if I'm the one with the personality disorder. Certainly I am depressed and anxious. I'm also furious and hurt and feeling quite heartbroken at GS being used as a weapon to manipulate me. If I go NC then this will almost certainly mean no contact with GS as well. She has a partner (GS' dad) who seems more or less a normal bloke, but he is understandably wary of me because I dread to think what DD has told him about me. Basically she characterises me as a poisonous bitch. Obviously I haven't discussed this with him. I don't think it's in GS' best interests if I stick my oar into his parents' relationship. I don't blame him for having a poor opinion of me and hope that what he's experienced of me in person in terms of the support I've given and my relationship with GS has shown that I'm not the evil person DD believes me to be.
I'm getting help from my GP and recognise that I need talking therapy to work through this awfulness. I had a short period of counselling a few years ago after a physical assault but I was still in the thick of it then and didn't feel able to confront it all in therapy. I had a few sessions of hypnotherapy during the period of NC to help with the feelings of distress, guilt and what is probably some form of PTSD, which helped a bit at the time. I've been bumping along just about coping for years but feeling too shit about myself to seek help, but when this recent crisis happened and DD started verbally abusing me again I felt suicidal so I decided I had to get some professional help.
I just wondered if anyone else had been through something like this and can offer any words of advice. I realise I haven't given much detail about the whole sorry saga but I am frightened of outing myself. I've been on mn for many years (remember mad tablecloth lady, she who must not be named saga, cod etc etc). I just feel like such a complete and utter failure. She's my child and I love her and want her to be well, and for us to have a healthy relationship, but I don't think that's going to be possible. FWIW I have a good relationship with DS and the rest of my family and a loving supportive partner. I don't know what I'm hoping for with this post really. I feel like I'm the mad one and honestly I think DD has gaslighted me, but I'm in such a state I am seriously worried that she's right and I am the problem.
Has anyone been in the same boat?
Well, no one should have to put up with abuse no matter what the relationship is, but I would tell my child when she is ready to talk to me with respect and like normal mature adults (and if she got professional help too), I am ready to talk to her.
But I would be concern about her child if she is that bad off.
Whilst there is never any excuse for physical or verbal abuse what actually stands out from your op is...
Your daughter had an abusive childhood living with, in your words, an emotionally abusive bully of a father and a mother who for whatever reason did not feel able to get her out of there until 2 years after she had started showing worrying behaviour.
For 2 years she did not have the support of either parent and was entirely cut off from her mother.
When you reestablished contact she was told she wasn't allowed to talk about the past or raise any issues.
She is facing some major issues at the moment and thankfully seems to have a supportive partner to help her.
Has she been diagnosed with NPD and been offered professional support to deal with her childhood and resulting issues?
Would you consider family counselling to resolve the issues between the two of you and give her the chance to access any professional support that she needs?
And, no, of course you wouldn't have a relationship with your grandchild if you cut your child out. Why would you?
I think throwing around terms like NPD is unhelpful to be honest. Unless you are clinically trained to diagnose this condition then it can be very devicive and can be used to dismiss the feelings of others to legitimise our own position.
As brighteyes said it sound like she had a horrible childhood. Have you actually gone through professional therapy with her so she can express her side of events and start to heal? She sounds like she has a lot of anger towards you that she needs to express more effectively than through conflict.
Obviously physical violence is not acceptable at all but it sounds like learnt behaviour to me. Did she witness this as a child?
If she is angry with you she doesn't trust you therefore she wouldn't let you near her DC. Is she maybe trying to protect them from what she experienced growing up?
Thanks for taking the time to reply both of you.
I didn't give much detail in my OP so it's understandable that you've made a bunch of assumptions. When I say XH was a bully, he bullied me during the marriage, but particularly after we separated. Yes that was abusive towards me and (less directly) the DCs. I got out when I was able to get out. Yes I do feel guilt at what DD has gone through (which was something that actually occurred after her father and I had split up, and at the hands of someone else), as any parent would when their child has come to harm and they have been unable to protect them. As a consequence of that DD went completely off the rails and has poor mental health. The assumption that she had no family support when I went NC with her is incorrect. It was a last resort. When there is physical aggression then you have to draw a boundary which is what I did.
Anyway, I don't know what I expected by posting here since it's difficult for me to give the whole story without being immediately identifiable should someone who knows me in RL read it. I see a lot of posts and threads about EA and NPD at the hands of partners and parents or siblings and much support and advice being shared. Sometimes it happens at the hands of your own child. I guess I was hoping someone else who had been in a similar boat might come along who can empathise with the situation I find myself in. But as I say I am getting professional help with this.
No there was no violence by her dad or me when she was growing up at all.
So she suffered at the hands of someone else when you split up from her dad and you were unable to protect her?
Genuine question but why couldn't you protect her if it was at the hands of someone else?
I'm genuinely feeling very sad for her the more you post
In the kindest possible way I think maybe it would be helpful for you to work on your own issues with professional support whilst encouraging your daughter to seek professional support and help IF she wishes to without pressure or judgement.
It's getting more and more clear that you're a little all over the place at the moment by the contradictions in your posts and it's not fair to make your daughter responsible for any of that.
Your husband was an emotionally abusive bully v everything was fine until after you divorced.
Your husband is emotionally abusive and you went NC for 2 years ie she had a parental support v she was very well supported.
Your daughter is following in her EA fathers footsteps and most likely has NPD and you'd probably be better going NC v something awful happened to your daughter which had a severe impact on her mental health, she's doing an awesome job of moving on (stable relationship with a great guy, DS, etc) but may need extra tlc and support IF she wants it.
Hope you get the professional support and clarity you need OP.
Typically, those who want to talk about the relationship is the one who want to heal. And those who want to avoid the topic like nothing happened don't.
I think you're getting a hard time here. I'm not sure Mumsnet is the best place to post for this sort of issue. Are there any honest specialized forums for estranged parents? (there are some that if you read carefully, are basically pretty dishonest. Hopefully there are some that are more helpful).
Therapy does sound a good idea. At the least it can help you cope with the situation, and at best it can help cast a new light on past events and behaviour which might give you new ideas on how to approach her.
I'm not sure that diagnosing her helps much, though you must be searching desperately for some reason for her behaviour, some answers.
Talking openly about the past is healing, but only if you can -both- approach it honestly and listen openly to each other, her as well as you. The genuinely listening is crucial.
This must be utterly worrying for your grandchild too. Do wish you the best.
I recognise your courage in posting here and it would seem that reaching out on the internet is something of a last resort for you.
However, before giving any opinion on your OP, I would like to know the circumstances which gave rise to your dd physically attacking you. How old was she when the incident took place? Was she living with you at the time and, if not, at what age did she leave home?
Having detailed the various therapies that you've accessed, what help has your dd received or sought in order to remedy the poor mental health that was apparent to you at the time she "went off the rails" and, subsequently, to resolve her conflict with you?
Is dd your only child and is she similarly conflicted with her df, your ex?
goddess the OP says she has a good relationship with her son and the rest of her family & her partner <mildly>
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