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Does this sound like a narcissistic mother

(21 Posts)
merrygoround51 Wed 20-May-20 19:03:33

No agenda here as in no intention of cutting out or limiting contact but I do wonder if my DM is a tad narcissistic

1. She must be the worst off in every situation . She was a single parent for a long while and money was very tight. Examples are her friend has cancer and it’s ‘oh she’s making a meal of it’. Unlike mum I had an education and am well paid but any time I might complain of travelling etc it’s ‘well you have it easy’ I’m never allowed feel anything really

She also has to relay how wondering people think she is when she does something for them - even if it’s something small. Like ‘ X was so delighted I visited her, a visit from me lifted her whole mood, I mean so much to her...’

2. Has always disliked all my friends - we are a pretty dull bunch really so generally don’t inspire strong opinions from anyone ! Also dislikes my husband and accused me of taking my DD8 side in an argument with her which I found very bizarre

3. Always always always criticises when she comes to my home

4. Nothing is ever enough During the first 5 weeks of lockdown I visited 5 times a week from the garden, did the shopping, dropped in flowers, meals etc to cheer up. This was all thrown in my face when in front of my cousin who visited her garden at the same time she said ‘Merry is over the top, wouldn’t come in and only sat drinking wine with me once’ DM has bad lungs so I was very careful re contact and brought my own coffee etc to sit in the garden and wouldn’t let the children get close. She took this as an insult. Other examples are hotel booked not nice enough, concert tickets not good enough etc

5 Despite many other examples of this kind of behaviour she would look after my children when I work (albeit for a childminders wage ) and do ironing and cooking etc. She can be kind and engaging but there is always a sort of menace just below the surface
Over the years I have learned my own ways of dealing with her (undoubtedly I have sometimes been unfair) but I am wondering if she is quite narcissistic

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TorkTorkBam Wed 20-May-20 19:06:47

Well, she's definitely a cowbag.

Why do you spend so much time with her? It seems like she hates it and so do you.

Windmillwhirl Wed 20-May-20 19:08:41

This is a great resource:

merrygoround51 Wed 20-May-20 19:08:50

I suppose I feel i owe her for raising me

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Windmillwhirl Wed 20-May-20 19:11:48

As a mother it was her duty. As it is all mothers x

peanutbutter00 Wed 20-May-20 19:12:46

I've recently been looking into the signs of a narcissistic parent after a suggestion on here about my own mother. These do seem to be some of the signs.

Particularly inserting herself into situations where she isn't the focus like your example of "X was so delighted I visited her". Next time you speak look for how many times she says I when it's not quite relevant, with my own mum I notice this is much higher than with any other person I speak to.

merrygoround51 Wed 20-May-20 19:12:51

Yes windmill I think that is what I need to keep reminding myself

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peanutbutter00 Wed 20-May-20 19:13:44

You don't owe her, she is making you feel that you owe her. Another trait is living through their children and 'owning' them

TorkTorkBam Wed 20-May-20 19:13:58

Do you expect your DD to owe you for raising her?

Why do you even think like that? Did your mum put that idea in your head that you have to eat her shit because she didn't put you up for adoption?

merrygoround51 Wed 20-May-20 19:16:19

Tork tork yes she has always said that she is due respect because she raised us.

No I absolutely do not think my DDs will owe me, I want them to prosper and fly

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Aunty5ocial Wed 20-May-20 19:16:46

No matter what you do not how hard you try you will NEVER please your mother. How do you feel about that?

longtimecomin Wed 20-May-20 19:17:29

She just sounds really bitter, like her life wasn't what she dreamed it would be and bitterness spills out of her regularly.

merrygoround51 Wed 20-May-20 19:18:35

@Aunty5ocial Actually ok since a realisation over the last few days. I will of course still visit and show my mother kindness but I will not try and please her anymore, it can’t be done. Which actually does make me sad

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TorkTorkBam Wed 20-May-20 19:20:12

Your relationship with your mother is an emotionally abusive one.

Your DD is learning how to deal with emotional abusers by watching you deal with your mum.

You are not teaching the right lessons.

ScabbyHorse Wed 20-May-20 19:22:18

Yes because it is all about her.

Perfectstorm12 Wed 20-May-20 19:40:58

Yes, because she doesn't see you as a person. I don't know why you go the extra mile for her (flowers, wine, sitting in her garden) in lockdown, but if you want to avoid the same syndrome that you extremely eloquently describe of her in your 1st point I would knock those gestures on the head. She gave birth to you, and was there when you were growing up. There are many messages around about how much we 'owe' our parents. None of us owe anyone anything. Give yourself some space and give her some too. You won't get back from her what you want. Ever.

1235kbm Wed 20-May-20 19:54:19

OP everyone is narcissistic, everyone. Narcissistic personality disorder is rare and tends to be mainly men. I get really tired of everyone and their dog being a narcissist.

She sounds like she has low self esteem and she projects a lot onto you. Your relationship sounds enmeshed. She's made you feel guilty for bringing you into this world. She chose to have you and therefore, it's up to her to bring you up. You don't owe her anything OP.

You're a people pleaser because nothing you did was ever good enough and, it never will be OP. What little self esteem she has, comes from keeping one foot on your head.

It's entirely up to you whether or not you continue this dysfunctional dance with her. I suggest you get some therapy in order to give you the support and strength to move on with your life.

Ihaveoflate Wed 20-May-20 20:08:06

I don’t have any specific thoughts about the narcissist label, but a book called ‘Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents‘ by Lindsay Gibson really helped me understand and deal with my own parents.

Also, look up the Karpman ‘drama triangle’ and how to escape it. I haven’t quite managed it yet with my own mother, but it has made me more away of the unhealthy relationship dynamic.

merrygoround51 Wed 20-May-20 20:25:32

Thank you for the book recommendation. I think you are right, emotionally immature is probably more like it

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Fanthorpe Wed 20-May-20 20:44:14

Your statement ‘I’m never allowed to feel anything’ sums it up. You’re making yourself smaller and less yourself in order to make her happy, but as you’ve found it’s not working.

It sounds like she lacks empathy and is overly concerned with her own sense of self which are certainly narcissistic traits. But what matters is that you’re feeling diminished. You might find the Stately Homes thread helpful, it’s in relationships.

merrygoround51 Wed 20-May-20 21:47:31

Thanks fanthorpe that’s exactly it, I will have a look at that thread

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