We, children of narcissistic parents, are often too afraid to be honest, because of the consequences of going against what is expected of you. I admire you In June of , I was 19 and ballsy. I sent my narcissistic sociopath father a "I'm sorry for the loss of your daughter" sympathy card severing all contact. With the exception of a restraining order in , I hadn't seen him until my aunt's memorial service in So Stupid! I ended up FB messaging. After refusing to give him my cell , he went to giving me his rewrites of history as himself as the victim instead of villian.
It seems like all the mean people never die. Going by my personal experience I believe that yes, absolutely, these issues can develop from having a mother who may not fit the definition of "Narcissistic Personality Disorder," and yet she is, for whatever reason s , often unloving, unavailable, lacking in empathy, and non-nurturing toward her offspring. This a book written by therapists, for therapists, and priced accordingly. However it is easy enough for the layperson to understand and well worth the price, in my opinion.
As the Pressmans explain in their book, there are many situations that can create a family dynamic that is non-nurturing to the children. It may be due to things that are in no way the parents' fault, such as very poor physical or mental health. Anything that causes the needs of the children to be neglected or put on the back burner can be result in a "Narcissistic Family System," even if no one in that family has NPD.
I agree: thank you for bringing more awareness to the public of just how damaging it is to be raised by narcissistic pd parents. My mother had borderline pd formally diagnosed in her 40's and I think she also had narcissistic pd as a co-morbidity. Due to the traumas she inflicted on me and my younger sister during our vulnerable, formative years, I think allowing a child to be left alone to be cared for by someone with my mother's level of emotional dysfunction is EQUALLY as shockingly inappropriate as allowing a known pedophile who prefers preschoolers to run a child daycare center.
It takes a whopping amount of abuse, neglect or betrayal to drive your own child away from you. You can't "love" someone if you lack the capacity to feel empathy or compassion for them. Annie, I don't know what you do for a living.
But this is an amazing insight. You should take this to your congressmen and representatives, I think your point is extremely valid. The social services that deal with child abuse have an unwittingly absurd opinion that the child is best suited in the home of his or her biological parent s no matter what But even then, once "rectified", they push for reunification.
I agree with you, they are very similar. And not to criminalize mental illness, but when their are minors involved, it should be treated with the same severity. Please share your message. Push it through. Talk to college professors about it.
funny how things turn out love death and unsuitable husbands a mother and daughter story Manual
You are on to something that society at large needs to hear. Annie, I gonna tell you just how right you are. My mother is a full blown NPD, she has always disliked being a darkskin African American woman she would tell me as a child that if she had the chance she would come back as a white male , being that I too, her daughter has dark skin she has never cared for me. She has always been a shallow person. Telling me as a child, "You should only hang out with good-looking people like I do", and she did. The golden child in my family is my brother.
He was born the day after my mother's birthday so automatically he was and still is loved best. He's 6 years older than me and when my mother and father weren't home it was my brother who was in charge. My father a co-dependant and NPD has been legally blind all my life. Because he couldn't drive he was solely dependent on my mother and others for rides anywhere. I believe the fact that he was a black man who was blind and dependent on the help of others caused him to be "the mean man in the basement" as my brother described him is later years cause all my father did was hang out in the basement watching tv all day and all night collecting a disability check and a armed forces pension.
In turn my father often turned to beating me or the dogs for the smallest of infractions. I remember getting a sever beating for getting dressed to early, being left back in the second grade, etc Needless to say my parents had issues so in order to validate themselves to excuse their promiscuous, alcohol, drug induced, party with friends lifestyle they constantly would step on me to make themselves feel better. Telling me how smart they were as a child or how good they were in all sports or how funny and clever my brother was. But here's my point as to how right you are.
All the times my brother was left in charge he was busy molesting me. One time while my parents were "partying downstairs" my own brother spike my soda with nightquil and raped me. When I I was in my 20's I told my mother all about my brother. But she never said one thing to my brother, in fact for the next 20 years she just wanted me to never say anything to anyone for fear that it would make her and my father look like terrible parents, they are. I'm now in my 40's and I just recently approached my brother about the things her did to me as a child. My brother only said that he was sorry and felt ashamed that's why he never said anything to me.
I don't think he will ever no how much he has taken away from me. Not for me. My mother even went as far as to victim shame me because I made it known how she, my father and my brother treated me as a child. She screamed at me, "I should've aborted you". So yes in some case Pediophilia and NPD go hand in hand. My parents continue to hold my brother in the highest of regard despite knowing the truth. I on the other hand? No so much but its getting better for me now.
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I don't have to pretend that they care about me. Living in the truth is the probably the best healing process I could ever ask for. What do we know about the effect of narcissism down the generational lines? I'm the grand daughter of a narcissist diagnosed late in life. Now I'm raising Andean daughter and I'm troubled about bringing my own layers of crazy to mothering her.
For me, this probably amounts to a tendency to dissociate and probably under react to her drama as goodness knows my mom and grandma made plenty of drama. I never know if I hit it right. Anyway, are there studies on grandchildren, etc. I'm reading this one week before my mother and father descent upon me for a visit. I live blessed, sweet miles away from them. I do not look forward to their visits nor do I love them. Only in the last two years have I allowed myself to say, I don't have a problem with not loving them. They emotionally and verbally abused me a bit of physical abuse too my whole life.
There is nothing good from them, only obligatory sentiment and expensive gifts. This isn't enough for a honest relationship. Every good thing that I do for my own family, I taught myself. Every kind word, every sacrifice, every choice I make for my husband and five children is because I had to go against what I was taught to be loving and to be a good mother.
Every argument I've ever had with my husband is a result of me believing that he was like them, that he intended to hurt me, that he could not be trusted, that he was lying. My adult life can be summed up in this: Do the opposite of what you were taught. Why would I love people who infected me with their toxic disease since I was a baby? When my mother visits, she is looking for me and my children to tell her how great she is. She will spend the first third of her visit telling me all her stories about my hometown and things that have happened to her -- most of which will portray her as a hero.
I've learned that these stories are all exaggerations. Then she will spend the second third of her visit staring at me. She will not ask me about my life, she will not engage my children in conversation she hasn't seen them since June. Then she will spend the last third of her visit attacking me. She will corner me, try to get me alone, and then berate me or remind me where I've failed. She will find something small, like a stain on my kid's clothes, and lay into me about it. Then she'll leave, angry, that we didn't fall at her feet and tell her how wonderful she was. Why visit? I wish I could go no contact with them.
She wants to live the pretense that she's an active part of my children's lives and I can endure two visits a year to accommodate this. But my older children are asking questions and starting to see how much pain she causes me and how she is far more than the gifts she brings. Perhaps their exposure to her will give them a wisdom about toxic relationships, so that they can identify the sick from the healthy. I'm not going to make them have a relationship with her. If I went no contact, then it would give her a reason to tell lies about me and my husband.
She already thinks he has poisoned me against her. She did that all by herself. As I edit this post, I realize that I'm coming across as really, really angry. I'm sure that other readers who live in similar situations as mine understand the tone how it didn't just spring up out of a vacuum, and it's not about being ungrateful. They understand that a lifetime of abuse can't be reduced to comment in a blog. Perhaps my angry vent is here because her visit and Mother's Day is approaching and my emotions are on the surface.
I am so very grateful for blogs like this one that remind me that I am not crazy. My emotional condition is normal for an adult child of a narcissist. My current situation -- living so far from them, having an emotionally healthy husband, children to love me and remind me of what is good -- has done so much for my own healing and happiness.
The last thing I want to say is this: I will not be defined by my abusers. I am free from their poison. I won't tolerate their attacks. I know who I am. My family will be healthy. From now on. I don't think you are crazy at all. I can completely sympathize with your life — I am also very impressed that you found a healthy husband and I think you have so much courage to break away from the toxic relations. I realize now that I am in my 40s how much everything you wrote is true — bottom line do the opposite of what our toxic family wants from us.
Fortunately, I have found yoga and learned to accept what life offers without judgment or regrets. Best of luck to your family for continuous growth and love. Your mom sounds like mine. Down to the pattern of how the visits go. I don't want anything from either of them because I know I will eventually have to return it however they see fit. A gift is not just a gift.
Everything is about her and what she wants and how she can get it. If you haven't been through it then you can't expect other to understand. Your post validates the point that I'm not crazy and it makes me feel comforted in the fact that I'm not alone. So thank you! I'm glad you wrote exactly how you feel and I feel the same. My mother lays the guilt trip on me all the time because I never call her, but why would I?
I have finally taken the step to not stay in contact with her except I only live 5 miles from her and we have lived here all our lives and every one worships the ground that she walks on and I am always hearing how great a mother I have - if they only knew. I think this page is great that others like me can see that I am not alone in this matter. Thanks for your honesty. I too have trust issues with my husband due to being brought up by a narcisstic mother! I was one of five children second youngest , three older brothers and a younger sister.
The eldest brother and me the eldest daughter were the scapegoats within the family. The youngest brother had learning difficulties so was more or less exempt from the politics of family life. It seems that the eldest boy and the eldest girl were the targets of my mother and the younger brother and sister! The younger brother and sister were her aides and they went out of their way all of our lives continuing to this day - and I am 58 to gossip, lie, embarass, humiliate, criticise and put their older siblings down.
They say all sort of things about us and blatantly lie and it doesn't end with us - it is our families and spouses families! When we try to redress the balance by confronting them we are labelled troublemakers and told to shut up. They even goad us by telling us that we were never loved and we are craving our mothers attention. When I confronted my mother and asked her why she allowed them to behave like this and even encouraged it and joined in she told me because she doted on them and that they were special!!!!
I am a mother and grandmother myself and my mother is now 87 and she still shocks me with what she comes out with! Ironically it is me who is left to care for her and do all the running around on her behalf! I try to deal with it all by telling myself I can only be the daughter and behave as I see fit and am not responsible for the nasty mother she is!
Her favoured two children don't have a decent word to say about her and treat her abysmally but she admires them all the more for it!!!! I am now at the stage of withdrawing from this toxic family as they have always caused trouble with me and my husband. If I let them know I am happy or excited about something I know that within hours or days there will be some form of backlash.
Everything I do or say is negated by them. My husband has now said he's had enough of them as they have insulted and offended him through targetting his wife and children. They make remarks to me about my husband and sons which are suggestive and when I ask them to elaborate or make clear what they are trying to say they then smirk and walk away or say they are not saying anything. Needless to say i ask my husband or sons if there is any substance to what they are implying and this causes arguments within my family.
Basically they are playing with my emotions.
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I get so angry. I have cut ties recently with both the offending sister and brother but my mother is going to be a little more difficult I feel. I would feel guilty abandoning an 87 year old woman although I know that this is the only answer and I need to reclaim my life and live it on my terms not theirs any more!!!!! Thanks for you post and honesty. How disappointing and hurtful to have a mother who can't see you for who you are - a warm caring mother and precious person.
I too have a mother is sits fairly far on the narcissism scale and is very limited in her ability to take me in as me. For most of my life, she had used me as a mirror to reflect back what she wanted and would then abuse me when I didn't or couldn't perform. I could cry fire over the ways she has treated me. I've done a lot of work with a really good therapist and benefited from a codependent recovery group. I'm glad to have read your post and found this article. Hi I think you do well to accept vistits from your parents.
Both mine were abusive. Mentally mostly from my mum And physically from my dad My two siblings were darlings and treated much better. I left home at 17 and didnt contact them until much later. They cant really hurt you so much when your older My dad has since died. I wasnt allowed to attend the funeral.
My mum is now at arms length Its kept to birthday and xmas cards. Dont send a mothers day one as a rule Not sure if its forgive to forget Bless you and everyone else who has posted a comment. Thank you for the post, It is really an eye opener, I never imagined that the feelings I had for my mother can be felt by someone else too. It is like echo of my thoughts. I am 40 now and its now that I realized that a lot of pain and hurt in my life could have been avoided if I had a mother who loved me. As I m from India, I must highlight the craze here for male child, and my mother was totally oblivious to me after birth of my younger bro.
She never loved me and hide the bad behavior of other family members towards me under the pretext of her always-good nature. It affected me badly as I always felt the need for her love. I faced many problems due to the non-supportive parenting and I braved all my storms alone. I was waiting till last month for an expression of love from her, but ultimately i got over it and decided enough is enough.
The self-realization that she can never love or understand came as a relief and I stopped pretended communications with her over cell phone.
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I have twin teenage daughters who are very lovingly and I find total solace in them. They are like a blessing and all my love needs seem fulfilled in loving and caring for them. I am very careful that they should never feel that emptiness and lack of love that I felt. They should not feel the lack of support system that is built inside a house by every mother.
Now that they are adults and understand me inside out I m confidant that I will get over the nagging feeling of something missing in form of mothers love. I am not ashamed to say that I really do not love the mother who had no time for me or no genuine feelings towards my upbringing and well being. I will no longer bear the brunt of being a non-loving child thanks to you again What a relief to read someone acknowledging my inner guilt at not feeling what others do around Mother's Day!
For me, it's every holiday, including my birthday, that sets me on edge: my mother felt the need to fly into rages if anything during those special days went awry. I definitely love my mother, but I also hate the way she treats me, sets my sibling against me and tries to manipulate me with delusional thinking and threats. She is a negative force that I cannot afford to have in my life if I want to be sane.
Part of this change is that I am pregnant at 32 - this is my first baby. I am so excited and full of hope and love for this little person, and suddenly for everyone else too. It's been a complete miracle for me: I am finally able to show love to other women and not worry about the consequences, or if they'll turn cold on me, attack me, or manipulate me. I am so grateful for this experience.
In contrast to this is the way my mother and my sister have treated me since I told them of my pregnancy: they've threatened me, told me to abort the pregnancy because there is a recession, discussed how fat and hormonal I'm getting, and expressed their desire to not be near the child or part of this process.
Their opinion is just not true and I don't understand why they both treat me this way, but it really hurts and I'm so, so done with these two people. There is no way in hell I would ever have these two people near my child. It still pains me when people say things like "they'll come around," or "give it time. To tell myself otherwise is just delusional. My sister is still pretty young and I'm not sure which way she'll go. I see myself in a very unique position now as a soon-to-be parent: I know what emotional neglect looks and feels like, and I want to be a different parent so much more than I fear being my mother.
Luckily, I have a lot of great moms around me, and my boyfriend and his family are kind, loving and warm people. They are my teachers. How wonderful it is that you have recognized your situation and have taken steps to make your life and your childs life one full of love. I absolutely agree that your family will not change - they may tone down a bit but they will always have that meanness in their heart which will come out in the most vulnerable moments that will hurt and make you ask why with all your effort this cycle can't end.
That has been my experience with my sister and mother. As a result of their meanness I have chosen to live away from the family and focus on building a career and life of travel but what I realize through all my experience is that we need to have love and close relationships and we can't have that until we come to terms with the dysfunction of our families.
Best of luck to you - it sounds like you are building a new family that will be loving and happy together. Excellent article! Thank you for clarifying that there are many people who see Mother's Day as a time of pain and sadness rather than appreciation. Those of us who have had extremely dysfunctional relationships with our mothers can absolutely love them anyway, in spite of not receiving love back. I did everything I could think of, for almost fifty years, to get my mother to show love for me.
And from early on, I loved her very deeply -- she was strong, independent, energetic, creative, and often the life of the party. Thank you for giving voice to so many of us who are made to feel ashamed that we couldn't get our parents' love. Thank you for this post, it's so important for those of us with narcissistic parents to have a voice. Both of my parents are narcissists and I went no contact about five years ago. Both Mother's and Father's Day are totally alien to me, I have no idea what it feels like to be supported or accepted by a parent.
It is a time of numbness, isolation and grief that eases a little every year but is still present. I loved and adored my parents until I realised that my love was being sucked into a black hole and there would never be anything given to me in return. I wish they loved me, but they don't, so I need to give my love to people who deserve and appreciate it. The truth is that if you love a narcissistic parent you can become yourself a narscissist. I don't understand how anybody can love abusive parents. Sorry doctor. But narcissists aren't capable of love, so if someone loves a narcissist they can't be a narcissist themselves.
I don't think that your statement is exactly true. Maybe if you blindly love a narcissistic parent without awareness of their narcissism, yes the legacy may continue. I mean, that's probably what happened to them. But it is possible to go through your own recovery for your 'mother wounds' and find love in your heart for them. Even if you decide to cut them out of your life.
I know this because it is where I am at. I hope that this does not make me a narcissist! I do believe I have broken the chain. I've done a lot of grief work. Anger, rage, sadness, depression the lot! None of it is easy. I do understand your comment though. As a small child, you love your parents automatically. So you do love a narcissistic mother. Of course she betrays you; the one bond that should be of love is not from her end. Took me 40 years or so to realize she was a narcissist and a lot of counseling.
It is a tough nut to crack. I was in a lot of denial. I am an only child with a narcissistic mother who has verbally abused me all of my life. She was pampered by my father who allowed her to yell, scream and put me down in order to "keep peace in the family. Then in order to keep her happy, Dad would come home and yell and scream like she did in order to discipline me. This woman hurt me and I had to tell her I was sorry. Ultimately she turned everyone against me explaining to family members and all of her friends that I am a spoiled good-for-nothing spoiled brat who disrespects her parents.
Unfortunately all these people were fooled to believe this and now I have no family on either side. I had two long term relationships which didn't work because as I found, they too had narcissistic personality disorder, although not verbally abusive. I had no idea what love was and I felt unworthy so I kept on choosing unhealthy male relationships. For years I suffered from anxiety and depression. Now I have a fragile immune system as well as an over-active adrenal disorder that my doctor says she only sees with a person who was verbally abused as a child.
I hope that you are able to work towards healing yourself and can leave your hurt in the past. You still have a purpose on this earth and deserve happiness. The way you tell it, your father is just as responsible for the way you were treated as your mother. It is the task of the parent to protect their child -even if it has to be protected against the other parent!
I hope you find the courage to live your own life and deal with all the hardships that come with having lived such a difficult youth. I hope you will find enough truth and beauty in everyday life so that you can leave behind your years as a victim and become free and enjoy all that is still ahead of you.
An only-child will soon find that there is nowhere to turn. If the mother has narcissistic personality disorder and verbally abuses her child and the father goes along with this, what do you think happens to this child? The child will have to come up with some survival mechanism to deal with this. Perhaps he will run away or live in it and turn to drugs. He or she will grow up having no idea what love is, never feeling validated or accepted.
Years later when the child is an adult, he will see how all those years of verbal abuse affected his body. What happens is you try really hard in your younger years to pretend that nothing is wrong. You don't want your friends to know you well. They might find out you are worthless. Oh, mom might not have said those exact words but things like, "just get out of the way and let me do it.
Can't you do anything right? You start becoming a hermit without even knowing it. The idea of being around people makes you shake with anxiety. Contact with anyone is just another opportunity for the world to know you are a burden just by your presence. You seek to find out what is wrong with you so you can be "normal" like everyone else through therapy, meds, drugs, getting a degree in counseling which is just very expensive therapy , etc.
You avoid anything that might bring you closer to being a parent such as intimacy and sex. You know already that there is no way to prevent your child from the same fate. That is the irony--the one thing you did not want to become is the very thing you become. There is no relief--only waiting for your turn to die.
This is the reality of my life.
I often think that if just once I got to hear something good about myself, it might have made a difference. Just one thing to hang my hat on. The really sad thing is I know I have potential. I'm just so afraid to put myself in the world to fulfill that potential. I've stopped praying that this day will be my last. It doesn't happen anyway. Now I just put on the mask to keep other people from asking about me, deflect any attempt to direct the conversation to me, and take a deep breath.
I'm sure others have this experience-one parent who is just hateful and the other parent who has the luxury of getting in a car and going someplace different. You, however, got to stay and be the available victim. One who hurt and one who left you behind without looking back. And my mother doesn't understand why I don't trust people. I can relate to your words about having one thing to hang your hat on. In high school, I decided that the one thing would be a literally perfect score without error in Algebra for an entire year.
I poured myself into each new problem until I more than used the formula, it made sense and would be just the formula I would create to solve such a problem. I made the formulas mine. For 12 solid weeks, I never made a single error on any paper or any test. Then one day, I had a piece of gum in my mouth not even chewing it just shifting it occasionally and my hateful teacher gave me an solid F on a 6 week perfect test, half my grade for that 12 weeks!! I never cracked the book again. It was the ONE and only thing in life I cared about any more. Years earlier she gave the entire Freshman class twelve extremely hard problems to solve.
No one got past the 3rd one. I solved all 12 with a perfect score. What did I get for my trouble?? I was accused of cheating! I was so jaded that later in high school I just aimed for a C, so in social studies, I, on the Friday tests would alternately get an F with no questions answered to getting a perfect A with all questions answered. I wanted them to know I could do it but that I could care less. I prayed to die every night. Finally I made a little card with boxes. Every Friday, I put a check in a box marking off how long I had before I could leave, never to return.
I took the damage with me from the insults and all the beatings. Then, I attracted men who knew I was damaged. When you leave a blood trail in water, you attract sharks My Mother has destroyed all family relationships. My Father finally left it to her as to who they regarded as friends.
We were her property, not their kids. Plus, it seems that my brother is actually my half brother. She even tried to seduce my husband on a visit! She wanted something she could laugh behind my back about. She can go to hell anytime hell is ready for her.
There actually is a support group e-mail list online for mostly the daughters of Narcissistic Mothers:. Karyl McBride, Ph. Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers. Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Back Magazine. Subscribe Issue Archive. Back Today. The Fallacy in "Evidence-Based" Treatment. Unintended Consequences and the Cerebral Cortex. Karyl McBride Ph. Follow me on Twitter.
Friend me on Faceook. Connect with me on LinkedIn. I hope you the best with your daughter Submitted by Anonymous on April 28, - am. She died in , aged Judith Bruce is her daughter, and Funny How Things Turn Out- part biography, part memoir - tells the story of both women, which in turn traces the unprecedented changes to women's lives during the 20th Century.
The first half of the book chronicles Muriel's world through the Zeppelin raids of WW1, a painfully stilted class system, and marriage and motherhood in the s - then her daughter, Judith, picks up the first-person narrative as a mischievous child in the s and we stay with her until the end of the book. Woven artfully through the episodic chapters are the loves, aspirations and disappointments of two 'ordinary' women.
As we move through the post-war years from austerity and to prosperity, and Judith's working life at the BBC, the voice could almost be that of Alan Bennett. Even more so when charting the poignancy of Muriel's fading days, failing body and disappearing memory. A remarkable and accomplished portrait of life, love and changing fortunes. Read more Read less. Amazon Global Store International products have separate terms, are sold from abroad and may differ from local products, including fit, age ratings, and language of product, labeling or instructions.
Any warranty descriptions were intended for US purchasers. No customer reviews. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. March 1, - Published on Amazon. I can't recommend this book highly enough! I thoroughly enjoy the fantastic depiction the writer treated me to, of the life my Grandmother and my Mother must have lived. The differences in our culture over the past years, and the wonder of how much our culture will change again in the next years.
I fell in love with Muriel, the Mother in this book, giggled with her as much as I pondered and even cried. Judith's candid account of her childhood and inner thoughts were awe inspiring and enlightening.