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Narcissistic family traits(11 Posts)
I'm pretty sure that my DM is a narcissist, however the penny has only dropped very recently, the only thing is... I'm not sure that the rest of my family quite fit the mould and I wondered if a one who has experience of this can offer some advice or even just knowledge of whether we still do?
I'm the youngest of 2 children; pretty sure that my role has been the scapegoat all these years, nothing I do is right and anything mum does to 'help' me seems to actually be for her. I have a great relationship with my DF, always have done so it's she's not caused a huge amount of damage, other than wreak havoc in my personal relationships with boyfriends by getting overly involved in our private business. DF fits the 'enabler' mould but he does put DM in her place a lot, he gets annoyed by her easily, but thinking about it, I think she pushes him for an emotional response.
DB is the golden child and struggles to see DMs behaviour for what it is; he thinks she has good intentions and tbh all he's done appears to be celebrated and constantly talked about, although we actually have very similar achievements and have the same line of work! Despite this, DB and I have always gotten along brilliantly, he's a great DB and I don't feel jealous of him at all. I really look up to him.
He also has no narcissistic personality traits himself, but instead lacks self esteem and will do anything to help anyone, always putting himself last. He never had a girlfriend until he reached 35 and then fell in Love and got married, my SIL and Dm do not get along as SIL is very strong and won't let her dominate their lives, I quite like her, she loves DB but I see why DM and her clash. My poor DB feels in the middle. I am still struggling with relationships and try to keep DM from meddling in my personal life but it's hard.
Do we fit the mould for having a narcissistic DM? From what I have read I would have expected DB to have become a narcissist himself (couldn't be more different) and we have a great relationship rather than a bad one, I don't envy him at all like my research suggests I would. I do worry about her getting in the way of any future relationships and I fear for recently married DB as DM is already piling on the pressure.
Tips? Knowledge? Advice?
We have a narc mum. None of us are.
My mum had a narc dad. She is.
You can't squeeze every family into one mound. Everyone deals with their situation differently. Some golden child will become narcs. Others will drown in the pressure.
Have you read the stately homes thread?
I have a narc mother.
She swaps round golden child and scapegoat, at the moment one of my elder siblings is golden child, I'm scapegoat, after my DH killed himself. Prior to that, I was golden child, (husband was aristocracy, and my mother is a Hyacinth Bucket type). Tbh, I prefer being the scapegoat, at least we don't have to keep up the pretense of liking each other.
She's nearly 80, and goes for a "fast walk" every morning wearing tight jogging bottoms (Juicy Couture style) with "Boom Boom" emblazoned across the arse. According to her, all the men in her village have set their alarms so they can peer out of their windows to watch Her Gorgeousness. Some even follow her. She's like an 80 y/o female Pied Piper.
She's nearly 80, and goes for a "fast walk" every morning wearing tight jogging bottoms (Juicy Couture style) with "Boom Boom" emblazoned across the arse That is so funny Rubbish and to think she is 80.
tosle I have some experience of this too. I think Psychologists do their best to analyse and codify how things work, but I don't know if things always work out exactly according to those expected patterns.
To some extent there are always problems within families, the question is just how bad.
It is difficult to know how far you fit the mould from what you say except your brother being golden and you being the scapegoat. It s lucky you do not feel any lasting damage has been done as it must have been hard on you. In the future could you keep her at arms length from your boyfriends?
Your brother seems to have picked a wife who will protect him from your mother.
I wonder if your nice father protected you from her at all.
Hahaha. Rubbish: the "boom boom" juicy couture bottoms sound absolutely hilarious! Atleast you can laugh at her! She must be the talk of the town for reasons other than what she believes!
My DM gets deluded about things that she does too: from the 'wonderful' presents that she buys people to her fantastic home making and business skills which she boasts about to anyone who will listen.
Is perfectionism a narcissistic trait too? Mum has to get everything 'right' and will faff over the most mundane decisions. She also sticks her ore in to other people's business telling them how they can get it 'right' too.
Why are you trying to shoe horn your whole family into someone else's idea of a classic pattern?
You think your mother is a narc. Why isn't it enough to begin and end there?
tots have you heard of OCPD (not to be confused with OCD)? It's a personality disorder associated with excessive perfectionism (and the expectation thereof in everyone else). Was going to link to a great website listing the traits, but it seems to have closed down. Look up 'things OCPD people say'. MIL has it.
My mother is a narcissist. I have been no contact for nearly two years now. I was definitely the escape goat and my brother the golden child. Turns out he was abusive too (I went no contact when he physically attacked me in front of my kids) but I would always choose to be the scapegoat again. I have so much more freedom to walk away. And I think also analyse the situation and not buy into it. What I would say though is it still has an effect on you even if you or your brother is not ultimately a narcissist. Nrac parents are very damaging.
I'm not sure that labelling someone a narcissist really helps; I think that generally that should be left for the professionals.
But it's clear that you have a self-centred, selfish and egotistical mother. The key there is how you deal with her.
- give her minimal information about yourself
- put up boundaries quietly but firmly. The calmer you stay, the more effective it is.
- Try to ensure that your vulnerabilities are firmly hidden away
- grieve the loss of hope for a loving, caring mother who puts her children first
- detach, detach, detach
It sounds actually like your brother might have suffered more than you. You can see what's gone on and while having a mother like this affects everyone, being the focal point of a person like this is profoundly distorting:
but instead lacks self esteem and will do anything to help anyone, always putting himself last
That's the sign of 1) someone who's learned that his own needs aren't important and 2) someone who might extend that undervaluing to his wife/child. It's not always unselfishness, but often conditioned emotional survival.
I think the best thing you can do here is to support your brother quietly in standing up to his mother. Does his wife encourage his genuine independence btw? Or has he fallen back into what he knows by marrying someone who actually wants to control him? (it might be either; people often either replay the patterns of childhood and find a dominant partner, who can be either a force for good or the opposite)
If you've managed to keep a very good relationship with your brother, that's brilliant and a real source of strength for you both.
Toxic Parents by Susan Forward is a really, really good book for the children of parents like this. Toxic Parents in Law might be a great xmas present for your SIL too, if she's a good sort.
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