(This post is the most viewed post on this blog with over 18,000 views and 146 comments at the present time–2019.)
As a life coach and now as a spiritual counselor, I have experience helping HSPs with emotional wounds from childhood often stemming from one or both parents being a malignant narcissist. Emotional abuse is an especially horrible experience for a highly sensitive child. It may be that you felt there was no caring about your feelings whatsoever. You may have felt invisible and as if you don’t matter. …As if your feelings don’t matter! If you were emotionally abused or continually diminished as a child by your parent it’s not healthy to hold that in! Let it out–voice it or write out the truth, acknowledge what happened and then continue to practice letting it go–releasing it–sending it out away from you to be replaced by comfort, compassion, and love for yourself. It’s not healthy to hold onto blame–but admitting it is important and the start to healing repressed and denied emotions.
At under age 2, when we can’t express ourselves with words, we can only cry to get our needs met. A sensitive child becomes obedient out of mortal fear but you can’t tell–they don’t look afraid because they have repressed it. As an obedient highly sensitive child, you put your own needs away and focus on pleasing others–but lying under the surface those unmet needs are still there! Begging for attention! Longing for love! There is nothing wrong with you! You are just afraid to speak up and ask for what you deserve.
And in some families there is no genuine love to be given. And even as a tiny child you know it. As the sensitive child in the family you felt it’s absence and it hurt like hell! And you cried and complained and may have had tantrums of despair in the grocery store! But then at some point it was too much and you stopped crying or complaining and you stopped being …YOU. The fear of being hit or just the mean look from their eyes would feel like a spear of pain through your heart and it would shut you up over and over again until you gave up and became obedient. And that is the trauma! The pain so unbearable to a child that you cannot survive it and so the repression happens. (See Alice Millers’ book, The Drama of the Gifted Child.)
If you experienced this too, the fear you had to repress also held down your true self and all the feelings that went with it. You became obedient and fearful from the trauma but instead of expressing your rage at the injustice of it all, you pushed your feelings down so deep you hid them even from yourself. You didn’t know ’til now that you have such a rich and deep inner life, and a wonderful, loving personality. It was all hiding in fear. Until now.
Now it is safe to come out. For whatever reason, your beginning years were spent in an environment of fear and no love, but there is love out there to be found! Get some support and start a life with stronger boundaries so that you can fully heal. You may need to cut the strings so you can feel safe and free. You deserve to live a life of peace that is free from guilt-inducing manipulations, negative comments undermining your confidence, fear-inducing threats, comments about the rewards others will get for being “good”.
It’s wrong to take care of the feelings of anyone who continually diminishes you in any way at the expense of yourself. It’s difficult but very necessary to set boundaries with malignant narcissists. It’s especially hard being blamed and turned into the bad guy more than anything. It’s excruciating! But you are worth the fight and you must be strong. You have to take care of yourself and your health. You will also feel a sense of exhilaration and freedom and pride in yourself for being honest and no longer pretending like you approve of how they treat you. With support from your new loved ones in your life you can move forward and go for your dreams! You can learn to comfort yourself through the hard times. Know the truth and be strong and hang on ”til the good times–“the sweet tasting good life”… I love that song…”Way Over Yonder. …the sun shinin’ golden, shinin’ right down on me.”
For more on the subjects I have written about today please click on “Recommended Books”. Thank you so much for reading. Please leave a comment about your story. It will help others to know they are not alone.
Way Over Yonder lyrics
Songwriter: King, Carole
Way over yonder is a place that I know
Where I can find shelter from the hunger and cold
And the sweet tasting good life is so easily found
Way over yonder, that’s where I’m bound, that’s where I’m bound
I know when I get there, the first thing I’ll see
Is the sun shinin’ golden, shinin’ right down on me
Then trouble’s gonna lose me, worry, leave me behind
And I’ll stand up proudly in true peace of mind
Talkin’ about a, talkin’ about a
Way over yonder is the place I have seen
In the garden of wisdom from some long ago dream
And maybe tomorrow, I’ll find my way
To the land where the honey runs in the rivers each day
And the sweet tasting good life is so easily found, yes it is
Way over yonder, that’s where I’m
That’s where I’m bound, talkin’ about, talkin’ about
Way over yonder, that’s where I’m bound
I’m deeply touched and grateful that I have found your blog. I marvel at your insight and journey. I found you via Cyndi’s blog and I could not be more tickled right now that I did.
The eternal night are the words I chose to describe the childhood I arose from. I feel a deep connection reading through all that you have said in just this one post. I’m highly sensitive, I’m learning the term “empath” for the first time.
And the mention of the book, The Drama of the Gifted Child, just makes me want to race off to the bookstore this morning.
Thank you for being here in the world.
Dawn, Thank you so much for your comment. I appreciate so much your kind words. I understand what you call “the eternal night” and also feel a deep connection to you in how you express yourself in your blog. I hope you like the Alice Miller book–please let me know what you think of it–it was pivotal in my journey to finding my voice. Thank you so much for expressing your gratefulness, Roxanne
First let me just say OMG, I am exactly 48 yrs of age. Your story resembles just over ninety percent to my life. I was exactly the person as you mentioned in your writing an obedient, submissive young boy.
I discovered this just about a year ago that I was abused for over 25 years (at least I realise from that point of life as discomforts were noticeable to me) by my own covert narcissist father. I understand that everyone has their own way of feeling but pain we share even at this age after discovering this fact put myself in a huge shock. Literally, I felt all paralysed due to trauma of knowing this truth for several weeks. I was able to recall each of the abusive episodes in my life, which I was never able to relate to, and just fitting every piece of puzzle into way of NPD manipulation. I have now understood about this, and sometimes wonder how many innocents still victimised in absolute darkness, and relieved so much just as the song says. Scenes have turned beautiful now.
This man, I feel ashamed to call him my father even though I firmly hook my beliefs in honouring parent, who destroyed several other people. Believe it nor not, his rage and treatment caused death of nearby relatives as they were so badly demoralised for a very minor error. He was able to convince these poor souls that these sensitive were the horribly wrong people on earth. Besides his narc treatment to several other victims resulted into poisoning their morals and psyche and this man was deriving gratification to his ego that he is centre of everything, godlike and spiritual being. Who would know such matter without a deeper investigation of the mind games they play?
Well, it will be too long to share everything. I just would like to sincerely thank you for a wonderful writing that helps people.
Would love to hear from you as well.
Mukti, Thank you so much for your comment and for sharing your story! Yes, it is quite a shock, and an awakening of sorts, when you discover the truth and that there is a different way to live–in freedom! I too hope that those many victimized innocents who are still in darkness find their way to this blog and to the comments to realize they are not alone and that there is hope–as you have so eloquently described in sharing your own situation. I’m so happy I was able to be helpful! Wishing you much comfort and support as you recover the layers of painful truth that will lead to your finding joy and vitality in life, Roxanne 😀 Welcome to our community!!
Thank-you so much for writing this. It has given me the courage to break contact with my parents. from cara.x
cara, Thank you for your comment. Warmest wishes to you as you embark on your healing journey, Roxanne
hi Roxanne, im so glad i found this site. i had a narcisisstic father & my mothers love is conditional-she tells me off if i dont behave the way she wants, for being myself & for asking questions about anything! i cant leave her because i have a severe physical disability & we moved to the usa from australia due to my other medical problems. how do i cope with her? i feel like im going nuts & heart-broken. any advice greatly appreciated, thankyou.
Fiona, Thank you so much for your comment and welcome to our community! Keep reading my blog and my recommended books for support and keep reaching out to other hsps! You have a strong spirit and a strong voice to stand up for yourself–you are stronger than you know!!! Keep shining strong, Fiona! With love and light, Roxanne
Roxanne, I want to thank you for responding to my recent email…about my N father and the insanity he continues to dump on our family….I am grateful to connect with someone like you, who knows the experience and can relate to mine.
I have dealt with trying to please by bending in his direction, but also standing up for truth…battling the denial with my siblings, who are playing the roles of either survivalist, or repressed indentured servants, or submissive denial. My only hope is that we will be loving and supportive in the end regardless of what my father does or does not do. understaning the reality and dealing with it in a healthy way is my desire.
I have battled with unworthiness and self doubt all my life. And going from hope, confidence and focus on what matters to feeling like I’m being thrown into a pit with no way out…..This creates a strong determination and a desire to abort life “as is” and seek a whole new existance……but feeling alone too. Being true to my authenic and loving self with strong,healthy boundaries is the only answer and solution to breaking the chains that bind my yearning heart..
thanks for your understanding and loving words
evenus, thank you so much for your eloquent comment. I do believe you are a gifted writer. The way you are able to put your pain and frustration into such descriptive words shows you are an HSP with much insight and depth and talent. You write “going from hope, confidence and focus on what matters to feeling like I’m being thrown into a pit with no way out”. I think all of us with N parents can relate to this back and forth feeling. Then when you say “this creates a strong determination and a desire to abort life “as is” and seek a whole new existance….but feeling alone too.” This describes a kind of “awakening” that your spirit is going through–a painful and scary time, yet exhilarating as you discover your strength in the expression of the lonely feelings. As you express this aloneness you are going to discover that you do not feel alone anymore as you connect to the well of giving and love inside of your true self and that you are connected to God and the Universe. Your words help support those who feel as you do but cannot yet put it into words–this is the gift of an HSP–you are helping others by sharing your growth. And then, you summed it up perfectly with “Being true to my authentic and loving self with strong, healthy boundaries is the only answer and solution to breaking the chains that bind my yearning heart! Wow. Yes. This really is the only answer and I am so proud of you and so glad you are feeling so strong. Remember your own eloquent words and they will help you in the future as painful feelings come up to heal. Thank you so much for reaching out to me in your email and for your kind words of gratitude. I am so happy to meet you and connect with you. With Love, Roxanne
Tonight I am googling “how to break up with your mother” and such things, because I have to really do it this time. I’ve tried before, and done a great job! But she won’t let me do it, and it is just like trying to break up with some of the men I’ve dated, or my friends have, and the break up doesn’t take, or they stalk you. Of course now I realize that all started with my mother. When I was young, I thought all my parental abuse was from my Dad. But after his passing, and some years now since then, I’ve realized, though that was going on also, it was my mother that may have done the most harm to me emotionally. Well, I can’t say which, but I know that Dad did right by me before the end, and while Mom is still alive, she treats me terribly, just terribly, and has my siblings doing the same thing.
Anyway, I wanted to say this is a great post, and I appreciate it very much. Wish me luck, I have to walk away from her for good this time so that I can get on with my new found career and with hopefully finding truly loving relationships that have eluded me. I’m 43 years old, and have already experienced the extreme, debilitating anxiety and fear you described, for me it was part of “early” peri-menopause a few years ago. Sadly, I was so ill I had to move in with, that’s right…my mother. This is when I started to see what was really going on.
Thank you so much for your comment. I am sorry for taking so long to reply. I understand this “breaking up with your mother”. I often fear this “stalking” happening to me as well after my mother realizes that punishing me with silence is not really punishing me–she will try a new tactic to control me. I’m sure you did do a great job! How wonderful that you know it and express it! I also understand about realizing about more abuse as you get older and changing your view of the other parent. Our illusions protect us from the truth until we are strong enough to deal with it. You sound very strong. I know it’s difficult when the siblings are put against you too. I do wish you luck but you will be fine because you can express the truth about your mother’s treatment of you and you KNOW you deserve better! Best wishes with your new found career–I believe that you will attract these truly loving relationships as you continue to love and honor your self and all of your feelings. Yes, I understand about peri-menopause symptoms and how illness can be part of our awakening to the truth of who we really are and what we want and feel. I also understand how moving back home can make the truth very clear. So glad I have been helpful to you. Thank you so much for sharing your journey and your appreciation!
8 years ago I went no contact with my mother. She was going to force me to keep pretending my father didnt sexually abuse me. I gave a letter to other family members explaining why, as best I could, then took my daughter and left the district without giving anyone except one real friend my new contact details.( this friend gave me $1000 to escape incidentally and saw me off at the airport shouting out “I believe in you Sue”).
I cut off contact with my birth family and a pathologically abusive ex in one go.
I am one of the most loyal and family orientated people I know so I can be pretty sure that I HAD to do this. I dont think I really grasped why at the time but Im getting clearer about that now: I wasnt going to be able to stay around my mother and the world she dominated and heal from child sexual abuse.I had to protect my daughter from the pain I saw being passed down to the next generation. I saw behind her motherly mask as she argued my reality with me one day and there was a cold, calculating , empty person at the core of her.I was struck with the realisation that person was dangerous to me.
I arrived in my new city with 2 suitcases and a daughter to make a life with. It was hard; I felt disorientated, lonely and I worried that my daughters family had shrunk to just me. In the last 8 years I have made this place my home, been there for my daughter( with all my strengths and vulnerabilities) made a living for my family, made friendships, coped with guilt at leaving my family. One sister found me early on andsort of accepted my boundaries of just one to one connection in the present another has just made contact and I will have to establish that boundary with her as she has told me twice its my mothers 80th birthday this month. My relationship with my sisters is always going to be dammaged ; I am not a part of my mothers world and they are.
I havent for a minute regretted moving or going no contact.It was the right thing to do. I am still working on the guilt and the feelings of being worthless. My daughter is worried that Im bad at self care and I hurt myself (compulsive overeating) She will never have that problem because she was loved and cuddled and listened to. She knows she is an treasure. I wish you happiness
Thank you for this sentence: “It is wrong to take care of them at the expense of myself.”
I walk with the weight of my families baggage on my shoulders, waiting for them to do their work…but it has been decades and evidently they are not going to take a look at themselves. Instead, the message has been “Put up and shut up- be here for us or dont be here.”
Recently I have refused to be treated like I dont exist and have been called weird, trouble-maker, etc. I refuse to stuff/deny my feelings (the essence of my self) anymore for the sake of my mothers forced reality.
She thinks she is the director in a movie and can dictate to people the kind of response she expects. She walks on me/stomps me out/teats me like I dont matter and expects me to not have an opinion, but to go along with exactly how she wants things. If I dont go along, I am a trouble-maker, difficult to get along with, and have real problems.
The truth is that she is not in contol; God is in control. I feel that we as humans are all made to bring to the table our opinions, ideas, truths etc. We share the floor with humility and respect- LOVE for each other- God in the center. In my mothers world, she is the center. I fear losing my mother in the process of standing up for myself. That is the toughest part. But I can no longer sacrifice myself for her.
And, I have every right to my feelings and to stand up for myself.
Thank you God for walking with me and believing in me.
You are very welcome! Thank you for your comment. I agree with every single thing you said completely and wholeheartedly! SO WELL SAID!! I also thank God for walking with me and believing in me. Wishing you continued strength. Light and Love, Roxanne
I too am in my 40s and just realizing the impact my mom’s narcissism has had on me. Why I would often feel so confused and numb, why I could never feel safe ecxpressing my feelings, why I started ppulling out my hair at age 5 to comfort myself, why I continually sought out relationships with people who were emotionally unavailable or downright narcissisitic themselves! I have been reading Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman and realizing that the way my mom related to me constituted an ongoing trauma – the trauma of never having my own Self acknowledged or validated except as some fulfillment of my om’s vision. No wonder I still seek approval from others at my age. But no more. I want more and better for myself. I spent the 1st half of my life struggling with this awful legacy of broken memory, shame, and emotional isolation. Now I am in therapy to face it fully, and to live the 2nd half of my life with fredom and dignity, and, hopefully, the joy of real relationships where love is given and received.
Thanks for posting your story. It helps so much to know others are out there dealing with this same hidden horror… it might not be my mom’s fault that she is the way she is — her childhood was full of abuse & trauma. I know she loves me in her own limited way. But that doesn’t mean I have to live in her sphere of influence or deny the damage she did to me!!!
Hi Katmom, Thank you so much for your comment. Thanks for sharing how your feelings of confusion, numbness, fears of self-expression, self-destructive comforting behaviors, and being attracted to narcissists were all the direct effect of having a narcissistic mother! I agree completely. And thanks for telling me about this book–I am going to check it out. I also just recently read somewhere else about how the day-in-day-out lack of being acknowledged constitutes an ongoing trauma that is as devestating as any severe life-threatening trauma. This is so validating to hear this, isn’t it!? And we were validated by our moms ONLY when it was “fulfilling to her vision”. Yes! Conditional love is not love and we must grieve for never being truly loved.
Congratulations on seeking out and finding support for yourself that will lead you to the joy and love in life that you truly deserve! I’m so glad you were helped by my story. You are helping others too by sharing yours. All of our narcissistic mothers’ childhoods are full of abuse and trauma, the big difference between us and them is their blaming and lack of remorse and passing the abuse onward. Good for you for removing yourself from her “sphere of influence” and stepping out of denial and into the light! What a wonderful example of inner strength and overcoming emotional abuse. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Wishing you continued strength and love in your new future facing forward. With love, Roxanne
Katmom, I relate to almost everything you said, thank you for posting, it is still helping me to hear about other people with the same problems.
An update on my situation for Elaine and whoever it may help, I have gone through a variety of very difficult emotions and physical reactions to my final “break-up” with my Mom, but I am so much happier and have so many moments of clarity that are coming through. I am very happy with my decision, and though I still have dreams with her being very cruel sometimes, it is less frequent. Most importantly, I finally feel like an ADULT! It’s hard to describe, but empowering and freeing at the same time. I’m moving on better with my life, even without making the huge efforts I normally have to make just to cope.
Still struggling, but life is so much better from starting to let go and accept that it wasn’t up to me to be someone I’m not, for family or for the world, and it wasn’t my fault (pick a blame lol).
Hi Purplebath! Thank you SO much for updating me on how it’s going! I understand the difficult emotions you may have experienced breaking up with your Mom–and thanks for mentioning the “physical reactions” too that are so much a part of the feelings that come up when we get strong and stand up for our selves. I know how hard this can be and want you to know I am with you. I am so glad you are so much happier and I have also experienced these moments of clarity you speak of–they were a nice surprise. I am glad your unpleasant dreams are less frequent. I actually liked when I had dreams of her being cruel because the guilt from the times I remembered her being nice were what kept me from having peace about our estrangement–the dreams of her cruelty helped me see I had a right to get away so I liked them–but only probably because in the dreams I was fighting back and speaking my mind! ha ha.
About the feeling like an ADULT–Yes! I understand this completely–feeling empowered and free! A huge weight lifted off but also… powerful! So glad you are experiencing this. You might really like Alice Miller’s book called The Body Never Lies–she talks about this becoming-an-adult feeling and the physical reactions from having an N parent. I like how you say “it wasn’t up to me to be someone I’m not…and it wasn’t my fault”. Strong helpful words when we were blamed for everything and given credit for nothing. I am going to borrow my blog friend Upsi’s quote and tell you what Dr. Seuss had to say: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind”. Isn’t that the greatest?! I Love It! (Thanks Upsi!:) ) Thank you so much for updating me (us) on how you are doing.
I especially appreciate what you said in your reply about the change in the dreams, I agree!
My latest is that I experienced a few days (less than a week) of very scary severe depression, since I last commented here. It has been like a cracking of my “self”, like the real me trying to come out. I had absolutely no idea that I had covered up so much all these years, acted so much like my own mother instead of like me (especially in social situations, people pleasing, and being enthusiastic even when that wasn’t how I felt).
I have never felt that type of feeling, or lack of feeling. I continued seeking a therapist in my area, and finally found one that may allow me to barter for partial payment of services. (The issue of finding help in the US is off topic, but it angers me to no end.)
I helped myself during the darkest days by writing, journaling, and poetry, and came out with some very good stuff. So you guys reading this, don’t give up. Write! 🙂 Honestly, I also just sat and waited it out. Not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.
Now I’m feeling better (haven’t even seen the new counselor yet) and I’m on another reading binge, including some of the books suggested here.
Thank you Roxanne and all posters, so helpful to have this right now!
Hi Purplebath, Thank you for sharing about the feelings you are experiencing in your recovery. I understand what you mean especially when you say “like the real me trying to come out”. I had this experience a couple times and I believe it was unbearable emotional pain coming up to heal because I was strong enough and ready to feel and release the truth. It is scary if you don’t know what is happening but it sounds like you got through it understanding it was part of your healing. Good for you! It’s great that you gained valuable insight about the false self behaviors, that were like your mother’s, that you developed to survive.
I’m sorry you’ve had a hard time finding the right therapist situation. I understand how frustrating this can be. So great for you to share that writing, journaling, and poetry helped you during your darkest days–Yes! Thank you for saying that–and I’ll bet it is “some very good stuff”!
I really relate when you said you also sat and waited it out. This really resonated with me about one time when the pain that came up was physical. My body was reacting with terror–my heart literally shaking and it was scary but I knew it was from childhood and was able to comfort myself through it and like you said I “waited it out”–like it had to go it’s course and then the next day I felt better and it felt like another layer had been released and healed. Not for the faint of heart, yes. Most people need a safe person like myself or a counselor who understands inner child healing to help in this process for support to work through these scary feelings and physical reactions.
I understand the reading binges too–the books are so helpful, aren’t they? You are on a healing path Purplebath and you are doing such a great job working through this complex and confusing process! Your sharing is helping others so much. Much love and Hugs as you heal, Roxanne
I found this blog after searching the internet under “life is not worth living”. I get the narcissitic mother and emotionally disabled sibling thing completely. I am the youngest and only girl with three elder brothers.
After travelling the world, I moved back home (temporarily, supposedly) with family while my apartment was being let. It didn’t stay that way. I started a business at home, got sucked into family dramas and have been thoroughly drained by my toxic family.
I used to be a dynamic and vibrant person, but now I just feel so bereft. My mother is emotionally manipulative and lays the guilt trip on big time. my brothers are no f—–g use and are all energy vampires one way or another. The eldest one is overbearing, domineering and aggressive.
My mother is a chronic attention seeker and has what I call Munchausen Disease by house. So many things keep going wrong in the house so that she can call a handyman, plumber in (or see one of my brothers) and get attention. She’s terrified that if she doesn’t get attention, she’ll die. Very survivalist and awful to be around.
She could drain the life out of Dracula and today has been particularly exhausting and tiring. I am pmt and quite suicidal. This has been going on for years and when I start to feel good about something, she senses it and then becomes a crazymaker draining my energy.
I feel as though I’m losing hope. I haven’t worked for years, having been a professional with my own apartment. I feel drained, completely lost my sense of self and feel so lost.
What can I do when I live with my mother and therefore am exposed to her toxic energies all of the time? And not only that she also attracts visits from other members of the extended family as well, which are tiresome and I normally ensure that I’m out.
But I’m a shadow of the person I was before. I repress so much of my true self, my creativity (I sense jealousy amongst the siblings about my creativity, they normally make fun of it).
I no longer have any friends. I live in an area where I don’t relate to the people around me. I can’t afford counseling and treat myself with EFT and also helplines. But this is limited as the vibrational stew I’m in is so toxic. I feel as though I’m living in quicksand.
Hi bluesky. You did the right thing reaching out to me–everything is going to be all right. I can tell you are a highly sensitive gifted person with much insight and inner wisdom. You understand how your living situation with your toxic family has turned into a viscious cycle of energy loss and negativity and you are exactly right in your description of the situation. You know you must get away and I can help you step by step get stronger and away from them. You deserve freedom and vitality and your life back. With support you can do it! I completely understand your feelings–you are doing such a good job surviving horribly unhealthy and unsupportive relationships in your living space! I would like to respond to your comment in more detail but it will have to wait until tomorrow if that is okay with you. Please be kind, gentle, and loving to yourself first of all–forgive yourself for trusting them…but now you know the truth. You do not owe them anything. You have a right to be angry for being used and abused. Try to savor up the energy this righteous anger provides only for your self and a plan to get back out on your own and on your own 2 feet! There is nothing wrong with you–the fault is with your toxic family and you do not belong there! Your kind heart and spirit is meant for better things and you are stronger than you know. Stay strong and I will talk to you more tomorrow. With love, Roxanne
I just want to say I know what you feel like, very similar to what it was like when I had to live with my mom a few years ago. Roxanne has replied, and it’s not really my place to say much here, but just wanted you to know you’re not alone, and I got out of it, even though it was…loss for words really. You said it well yourself.
Hi Bluesky. I hope you are doing well. I am concerned since you said you are suicidal that you may need some assistance of a more clinical nature and I want you to continue to reach out to others in addition to whatever advice I give you. Severe PMT (pre-menstrual tension) can cause some women to feel suicidal due to severe hormone imbalance and an antidepressant might be advisable temporarily until you get your hormones in balance and you are stronger. Severe stress can cause hormone imbalances due to increased cortisol. This depletes your adrenals which in turn depletes your progesterone levels which messes everything up! I experienced this adrenal depletion myself but never to the extent of feeling suicidal. First and foremost, you must not take your suicidal feelings lightly. If my messages of support do not alleviate your suicidal feelings, please tell a doctor immediately so you can get the help you need!
I found this blog after searching the internet under “life is not worth living”. I am so glad you found me. I understand, you must be feeling unbearable emotional pain to feel that life is not worth living. You may be experiencing post traumatic stress—feelings from your childhood which were too painful to survive because you were such a sensitive soul. When we experience being rejected for expressing our brilliant selves as children, the pain is so excruciating that we repress it and numb ourselves out, only for it to finally start coming up later in life and it is very hard to bear and understand without emotional support. I get the narcissitic mother and emotionally disabled sibling thing completely. It is so good that you understand this. I am the youngest and only girl with three elder brothers. I am also the youngest girl with three older siblings so I can relate.
After travelling the world, Wow, so you must have many wonderful gifts to have achieved this—academic success in school, a career that was financially viable, and financial success to the point of having extra money to travel. Congratulations! Well, done! I moved back home (temporarily, supposedly) with family while my apartment was being let. It didn’t stay that way. Yes, I understand the desire to go back home only to be surprised that my achievements and gifts were not appreciated and were even ignored. This can cause self-doubt and confusion about your worth as a person. I started a business at home, Wow, fantastic! got sucked into family dramas yes and have been thoroughly drained by my toxic family. Yes, it is so good that you understand exactly what happened here.
I used to be a dynamic and vibrant person, but now I just feel so bereft. Yes, of course you feel bereft—you deserve so much love and support from your family. My mother is emotionally manipulative and lays the guilt trip on big time. This guilt-inducing is an abuse to make herself feel better at your expense. my brothers are no f—–g use they are having a negative impact on your life and are all energy vampires one way or another. It is so good that you understand about them being energy vampires. I agree and understand this completely. The eldest one is overbearing, domineering and aggressive. Yes, I agree these are especially toxic traits for you to be around.
My mother is a chronic attention seeker and has what I call Munchausen Disease by house. It is good that you can see this clearly. You have much insight into your mothers dysfunction. So many things keep going wrong in the house so that she can call a handyman, plumber in (or see one of my brothers) and get attention. She’s terrified that if she doesn’t get attention, she’ll die. Yes, this is dysfunction originating from her childhood—but there is no insight or desire to change–it is not your responsibility to help her. Very survivalist and awful to be around. Yes, awful.
She could drain the life out of Dracula, yes and today has been particularly exhausting and tiring. I am so sorry it has been so hard for you. I am pmt (pre-menstrual tension?) and quite suicidal. This is serious and not to be taken lightly as I mentioned above! This has been going on for years, I am so sorry for what you have had to endure and when I start to feel good about something, she senses it and then becomes a crazymaker draining my energy. Yes! It is so very good that you see this and understand this is happening. I agree with this term “crazymaker”. This is like my mother—she knows the buttons to push to undermine my confidence—she feels better about herself by confusing me and causing self-doubt like she feeds off of it in some sick way. She can appear loving at times but this just adds to the confusion. Once you get that you cannot be around this mental unhealthiness any longer you will feel much relief from your confusion. It is insidious and deceptive—she does not have your best interest at heart and never will. The fact that you recognize this dynamic happening when you start feeling good about something is really good and crucial. Narcissism is a mental disorder that you cannot change because she does not want to change. Conditional love is NOT LOVE and her love for you sounds only conditional. You need and deserve love in your life and it must start with self love. You MUST get away from her for your health—spiritually, mentally, and physically.
I feel as though I’m losing hope. Yes, it is very difficult to remain hopeful around people who do not acknowledge your “self” and your gifts. To survive we develop a false self that is acceptable to them, but the cost to our true dreams, goals, and potential is devastating. I haven’t worked for years, I am so sorry, having been a professional with my own apartment. Yes, I can see how this happened through no fault of your own, you did your best and did not know how poisonous your surroundings were and how negatively they would affect you. I feel drained, completely lost my sense of self and feel so lost. Yes, I understand completely. You are exactly right, in your description of this.
What can I do when I live with my mother and therefore am exposed to her toxic energies all of the time? This is very difficult but not impossible. You must start making a plan to get out of there. And not only that she also attracts visits from other members of the extended family as well, which are tiresome and I normally ensure that I’m out. Okay, this is good that you see this very clearly and you have the ability to get out of the house. That means when you get out of the house, you can recharge your energies and possibly think more clearly and see the truth of this situation. When you leave the house and go somewhere quiet where you can think without distraction, start writing in a journal a new plan for your life. Keep it a secret for your eyes only and it will help you immensely to have this refuge of truth for you to start building yourself back up. You must be your own best friend. You have much knowledge and insight and wisdom inside of you that you have expressed to me and that is what is going to help you through this. Your own wise true self is stronger than you know. You can do this!
But I’m a shadow of the person I was before. Yes I repress so much of my true self, yes my creativity yes (I sense jealousy amongst the siblings about my creativity, yes, you are exactly right in these observations they normally make fun of it). That is awful that they make fun of your creativity. That is not the love and support you need and deserve. You deserve so much more in life.
I no longer have any friends. I am so sorry about this. Often those of us in recovery from abuse must take a break from the wrong friends anyway so we can learn to be our own best friend first—and then we will start attracting the right kind of positive friends into our lives again. I live in an area where I don’t relate to the people around me. Yes, I understand this. Most of us HSPs feel this way in every area that we live. Larger cities have HSP groups called meet-up groups that meet to give each other support. But for those of us not near these larger cities, we can find support online by reading the HSP websites and blogs and blogs about narcissistic parents. I can’t afford counseling yes, I understand this and treat myself with EFT this is so wonderful! I have heard great things about EFT and that it really works at relieving the pain of post traumatic stress and also helplines. I am unfamiliar with this but I am so pleased that you are helping your self in these ways. As difficult as your situation is, I find much to be hopeful about in what you write to me. You KNOW you don’t belong there and that it is hurting you. Your energy is almost completely depleted but you may have not gotten in touch with your anger yet. You have much to be angry about but I do not want you to express any of this anger to your family members. I want you to write it out in your journal when you are outside of your house and devise a plan step by step for you to get financially independent again. You can do it! I know it seems overwhelming but your righteous anger (you have the right to feel angry) is going to provide you with a new found energy that you must focus and direct towards moving forward to the positive and good life that you know in your heart that you deserve. I believe your gifts are God given and God does not want you to suffer. This is a wonderful new beginning for you, and the lessons you have learned about yourself are ones that you will never forget. But this is limited as the vibrational stew I’m in is so toxic. Yes, this “vibrational stew” is a great description of it which shows that you understand about “energy” and how vital it is that you remove yourself from this negative energy that you are absorbing. Do not beat yourself up for not feeling stronger when you are in the house. It is very difficult, even with shielding techniques by the most strong willed HSP to not feel really bad when surrounded by such negative energy. There is a technique that I use that is helpful: imagine yourself surrounded by a cylinder shaped mirror that is facing outwards. Inside you are safe and it is filled with positive energy, bliss, light and love from above. The mirror repels negativity—when negativity sees itself it is repelled and will leave you alone. This is a powerful visualization that can help an HSP relax and feel safe. I feel as though I’m living in quicksand. Yes, I understand. Getting out of the house, more and more, allowing nature, and your belief in the goodness of your potential (God), to recharge your energy more and more will help so much. And releasing your truth, feelings, desires, and wisdom into a journal for your eyes only will help you to start seeing clearly how to devise a secret plan to get back on your feet financially–until the day you can move out of there and stay out of communication with them. Put your self and your needs first. Do not talk to them about your plan—only talk to a safe person who is supportive and can support your feelings. And talk to your own wise self in your journal. I cannot underestimate how valuable a private journal can be to someone in your situation. And when you go back and read your own words of wisdom and strength, you will start to change your beliefs about yourself and your energy will start coming back.
Bluesky, you must save yourself, rescue yourself, and get away! Do not feel guilty about having a secret plan to get out of there! Start small by thinking of a way you can pay the rent on a small safe place of your own—a place where you can gradually heal with lots of time alone. And if my words of support have not been helpful with your suicidal feelings, please seek help elsewhere! Please let me know if I have been helpful to you and in what specific ways so that I may continue to grow in my ability to help others. My warmest wishes and prayers are with you, Bluesky.
Light and Love, Roxanne
This comment reply is written in the format that I use in my Email Coaching for any of you out there that may have wondered what it was like.
I don’t know if you still read this blog. I just want you to know that you are not alone, as your message let me know that I am not alone. My heart was aching as I read your story. There are so many similarities between our life experiences. I moved from a big city back to a small city to live with my parents 10 years ago, and most of your descriptions and feelings resonate with mine….. just wow! I can’t believe there’s someone in this universe that went through so much suffering as I did, and so similar. I have always felt alone and been treated indifferently by my family all my life, except the time when they talk to me only to take advantage of me, belittle me to make themselves feel superior (mainly my parents). The way you described your mom, it’s like my mom. LIke you, I was once suicidal, yet, at my darkest moment, an epiphamy / inner voice (or whatever higher power– but I prefer considering it the voice from the little girl within calling for help, asking the adult not to kill her ) said, “Why take your own life for the hurt done by people who don’t even care about you?”
I just began researching on narc parents 2 weeks ago, and it has come crystal clear that eventually I need to go into no contact. I know it’s difficult to plan and make the escape. But it will happen, I believe. Elaine’s reply to you also gives me tremendous strength. Thank you, Elaine! and Bluesky, stay strong! Fight for yourself!
Sarah, Thank you for your comment and for your lovely reply to bluesky. Bluesky’s story has helped many, many people see the hope in their own situations by relating to her eloquent description of her truth. So happy you are seeing the light and the hope of getting to freedom! Keep your sights on your vision of a better life! Dreams do come true–I am living proof! With loving support, comfort, and caring, Roxanne :D!!!
Blessings to you – I just found this post after realizing for the first time that my mother is indeed NPD. It was a revelation that changed my life and for the first time I’m starting to realize that these wounds can be healed, that I’m ok, that I’m not a horrible person.
Thank you for sharing your story.
Hi Sheila, Thank you so much for your comment. I am so happy for you that realizing the truth about your mother is helping you to heal. It is so true–when you realize that the problem is with her (NPD) and not with you, it is such a relief and a start to a new and healthy life! Yay for you! I appreciate your gratefulness for my post very much. Love and Light, Roxanne
Thank you for your article Roxanne.
I have recently started looking into narcissistic parents when my aunt sent me a link to Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers. I found I could relate to some of the issues there, yet not everything matched up. And after straying further afield, I realised it is because most of it is written from the view point of the “Scapegoat” children.
I am not sure if I am the Golden Child, because it still strikes me that this position is the indicator of some sort of favour. In fact I feel I dropped into this position mainly because my nature is passive, as opposed to the contentious behaviour of my two siblings, both who resent me as they feel I am my mother’s favourite. I feel that this has just put me in a bad position as I do not really gain any benefit from my parents, and my siblings resent me. This has left me supportless.
It is only recently that I started to stand up for myself and try to extricate myself from her clutches. I was having terrible physical symptoms and debilitating gastro problems to the point I was unable to work. After becoming terribly depressed, my partner took me to a psychologist and we only started identifying problems. Perfectionism, an all or nothing approach, lack of self-esteem, dependence, debilitating need for validation of any decisions, etc. All symptoms of the child of narcissistic parents.
I really wanted to thank you for a viewpoint of a (former) Golden Child, as I was starting to think that even as a daughter of a narcissistic mother I was still an outcast because I was not the Scapegoat and there was little sympathy, support, or resources for children in this position who have similar problems but are unable to find help.
Lisselle, Thank you so much for your comment. I am sorry for my delay in responding–I was on a mini vacation for the Thanksgiving holiday. I really appreciate your viewpoint about the mixed feelings about the label of “Golden Child” in the family–I agree with you about how it appears to others to be a position of favor. In fact it is very much an inner prison for the highly sensitive person who is required to be obedient in order to win the love of a narcissistic parent. The fear of being rejected is so internalized we don’t even realize there is so much more to who we really are and a rich, and creative living experience is awaiting us. Our illusions and beliefs about ourselves formed in childhood keep us inprisoned until we begin to see the truth and allow ourselves to feel the unbearable pain and release it as the truth–our true selves were not allowed to be expressed!
Thank you for letting me know that you feel that my blog is unique in that it expresses the painful journey of the obedient sibling (Golden Child) as opposed to the experience of the scapegoat child–I had not really thought of it in those terms and this helps clarify an important issue with my readers. I relate to what you say so much about having the siblings resent you because you were favored but the N parent’s love is conditional upon you not being yourself so you are left with no support at all! So Well Said!
I also understand how difficult it is to begin “extricating yourself from her clutches” and how the physical and emotional symptoms that are fear-based from childhood suddenly abound. How wonderful for you that you were able to find a psychologist that was able to identify your symptoms as being that of a child of narcissistic parents! Unless a psychologist has experienced such abuse themselves or has had a relationship with a narcissistic person, they often cannot understand or adequately help in the healing process. Thank you for sharing that as it is so helpful to my readers.
I am so glad that, through my blog, I am able to help you, a fellow highly sensitive person, feel support and compassion for the “outcast” feeling that we all can relate to. Welcome to our community of HSP survivors. Thank you again so much for your kind words and for sharing your viewpoint so eloquently.
With love, Roxanne
Hi thanks for the post. I use to blame my father for his NPD abuse and neglect but in the course of therapy I decided to visit. He of course acted like a little child, then I realized he was a little child and emotionally never developed passed age 6 or so. Which somehow gave me the insight to forgive. I don’t advocate forgiveness for horrible abuse, it is not something anyone can be guilted into, it just happened to me with this insight. Up until recently I chose girlfriends who were narcissistic continually repeating this pattern because I was indoctrinated into believing love is being exploited and disregarded. I realize now there is a whole other area of healing inregards to the love I wish to receive. I had severed ties with my father for years and when I went back I realized I could have only a very limited relationship. He was not merely NPD he was also an alcoholic. I had to stay away from him in order to have any life at all and then from age 17 – 32 I lived through post-traumatic stress disorder and the intense grief of recovery. Now at 39 my father has passed away over Xmas. And I realized more clearly that my brother is NPD at my father’s funeral. Blessing to us all and I hope true healing can come to us all including the Narcissistic ones in our lives, if at all possible.
Thank you, Matthew, for your comment and for sharing your experiences and insights as a survivor of an N parent. I understand about your father being stuck at the age of 6 and how knowing this insight helped you–my own mother seems to be stuck at the age of two. You describe well the hardships and recovery that many of us can relate to–post traumatic stress and the grieving process of recovery. True healing can come for those of us willing to look within, have compassion for ourselves, and heal the feelings and childhood wounds. Unfortunately, this is exactly what the Narcissists in our lives are unwilling or unable to do. Blessings to you as well. You have become wise because of your ordeal and able to spot narcissists better now and have compassion for others. Thank you again for your comment.
I too am finding that the further I get in recovery, the more I can feel compassion for my mom. Her narcissism was the result of terrible childhood abuse — she was never able to develop a complete sense of self. I have raged and mourned for the losses, the terrible loneliness and emotional poverty of my upbringing, but I do know that whatever her limitaitons, whatever boundaries I need to set now, my mother gave me what she could. Letting myself feel all the pain, anger and sadness about the past now makes it easier for me to move on and discover new possibilities…
And I so identify with the realization that there must be a better kind of love. I’m working on making that possible right now…
Best wishes to all for continued healing…
Katmom, Thank you for your comment. I like how you say “letting myself feel all the pain…about the past makes it easier to move on and discover new possiblies.” And absolutely yes, there is a better kind of love out there. When we are able to feel love and compassion for ourselves then we begin to attract this “real love” into our lives. Glad to hear you are doing so well and you are releasing the pain, healing the wounds, and learning compassion for yourself and what you went through as a child, first and formost. Warmest wishes on your continued healing, Katmom.
To clarify to my readers: There is a big difference between a parent who “had” a narcissistic disturbance and a parent who is a malignant narcissist. A parent who is able to feel and express genuine remorse, look inward and grow, learn compassion and love for themselves, and then finally express this love to you deserves compassion and forgiveness. The malignant narcissist on the other hand can be more like a sociopath and mimmick this remorse and apology as they can be brilliant and convincing actors who can be insidious, master manipulators who can guilt you into forgiving them too quickly. This can leave highly sensitive souls feeling confused, enmeshed and revictimized all over again. There are many levels of narcissistic abuse and we each will have different requirements in our healing.
Many of our N parents were abused as children. But that is no excuse for those who continue the cycle of abuse that they subject their children to out of ignorance and no remorse. There are many people who are emotionally abused who do not go on to blame, lash out, disempower, control, induce guilt, and intentionally cripple the self-esteem of their children with this sense of entitlement. Please do not feel as though compassion for your N parent “should” be your goal when in fact compassion for your self and what you went through can be impeded if you try to empathetically understand your N parent.
A malignant sociopathic narcissist can twist the truth, deny all wrongdoing, and guilt you into feeling sorry for “them”. It is dangerous for highly sensitive souls who have been victimized by such a “dark soul”, that puts on an act of “poor me I didn’t mean to”, to forgive these acts of conditional love and exploitation when the true healing has just begun. Each person must decide for themselves the extent of malignancy of their N parent and not feel guilt if the answer is to put their own feelings first and stop all contact and not extend compassion or forgiveness in order to protect themselves from a dangerous, emotionally unhealthy person. It takes time to know whether your parent is capable of a new relationship with adult-to-adult give-and-take with new healthy boundaries in place. In time, when you can love yourself again with full compassion for what you went through and become the true self you were meant to be, you will have learned the painful lesson of how to protect yourself from dangerous people, and then “forgiveness” of all that happened to you before, to bring you to this point of inner peace and self-discovery, will just naturally happen.
Hi — I hope my post didn’t imply that I think forgiveness is the goal of recovery. I like the way you describe it as a by-product of self-care. But I should qualify/clarify: I guess what I feel isn’t a state of total forgiveness, but moments of understanding that grow as time goes on.
I don’t know if my mom is a malignant narcissist or just badly damaged. But I do know I will never trust my mother emotionally. Knowing that puts me in a position in which she can’t hurt me any more, and I no longer have to live in the distorted world created by her influence.
It’s a paradox, really — to understand how badly damaged she was by her upbringing, and to have a modicum of natural compassion for that without excusing or dismissing the damage she did to me. To keep myself in focus: my feelings matter. My pain and my joy matter. I matter.
Many thanks to you, Roxanne, for creating this forum.
Hi Katmom, Thank you so much for your important comment. I don’t think that your comment implied that forgiveness should be the goal of recovery at all–but many of my clients and readers who email me are stuck in guilt about forgiveness, so I was just being pro-active for others not as far along as you are. It helps that you say that you “will never trust my mother emotionally”. So many people believe that forgiveness means letting them back into our lives and even well-intentioned counselors pressure their clients in this harmful way.
I love how you say “I no longer have to live in the “distorted world” created by her influence.” YES! You understand how damaging it is to even be near or go along with the distorted world view that narcissists create and demand that we abide by. Yes, the paradox is frustrating but it is so wonderful that you cope by keeping the focus on that your feelings matter! Many people who are struggling with guilt still need to get in touch with their repressed anger from childhood and it takes a long time to work through all of the anger and release it as the beginning to having compassion for themselves and that their feelings matter. Guilt and anxiety can be thought of as “anger turned inward”.
You are doing so well, Katmom and have much wisdom to share now as you have healed the deeper wounds and now put your self and your feelings first –I can feel the compassion for others that you exude as you shine your light onto others through your thoughtful comments. Thanks to you for helping to make this a forum where we can talk about these complex things that support each other as highly sensitive survivors!
I am glad I found your blog. It took me 30 years to come to terms with the fact that it’s not me. It’s them. And I can blame them because it is truly their fault. For the first time last night I admitted to my boyfriend that I was scared and that I know I am dysfunctional. Growing up in a family with a N-mum, N-sister and an enabling father, has left me unable to recognise emotions. I’m not even sure I know how to love. Funny thing is, I first felt relief when I found out about NPD, I felt a sudden surge of freedom, now I just feel so disgusted with myself for being a victim. I feel hatred for them and I don’t know why but I just find myself sitting in a corner crying today.
AJ, Thank you for your comment. Sounds like you are making great progress in processing your truth as a victim of abuse–now you are expressing your true voice to others and this is very healing. Your family was dysfunctional to treat you this way as a child but you are not “dysfunctional”–you are in recovery now which means you are finally “functioning” and on your way to finding your true self and your vitality which is your birthright! Admitting you don’t recognize emotions and how to love is HUGE in your healing journey. Congratulations! You understand that releasing the confusion and the truth of what happened to you is part of the healing process.
Thank you for describing your feelings about the relief and surge of freedom followed by disgust and crying. Let me explain: Often our N family shamed us when we would express our freedom and happiness so that when we felt strong and good as children we, every time, ended up feeling disgusted with ourselves and crying in despair. You are experiencing sort of a post traumatic stress to feeling “free”. This feeling free was a trigger for you and brought up the childhood pain that was repressed and wanting to be healed. You are strong enough and ready to release it. It is a scary process if you do not know what is happening to you–causing many people to give up again and again because you as a child were made to give up. But you AJ, are healing and the truth from your childhood that you repressed is coming up to heal and be released. It is not about anything that is going on in your current life–the feelings are from childhood. Comfort yourself through these feelings when they come up as a loving parent would do for any child in emotional pain. I believe acknowledging the childhood hatred is important and a positive step as well. I can support you in this process of healing and would love to be your Coach to support you further. Thank you for sharing your feelings, your words will help others who are really confused by what they are feeling as well. Warmest wishes, Roxanne
It has been so hard to find old friends telling me they are afraid that my no contact with my family will cut me off from my siblings. One of these comments even came from a friend who is a school psychologist. I thought she would better understand the risk of staying with two NPD parents, my mother and stepfather. They both had such strong personalities that it was like WWIII in the house. This friend enjoyed my company more when I was feeling weak. It breaks my heart. Meanwhile, a cousin of mine who asked me to be in her wedding has made an about-face, letting me know that she thinks my parents might be perfectly okay after all eventhough my mother failed to call her to let her know a great aunt. who did not have kids of her own and treated us as if she was our grandmother. had died and the funeral was in the very city where my cousin was working. Her own parents (my mother’s brother and his wife) were in Central America on a trip, but as a side note I am surprised they did not get word to her. She little found out after she got home that her beloved great aunt had already been buried and down the street. However, she has managed to wipe it from her memory and tell me that my parents seem fine. This is all in time for her wedding, which I agreed to be in the beginning. Now I have to see my parents after a year and a half of no contact. Thankfully, my mother’s sister can see through the charade and I am staying with her. It makes me feel crazy to get so little validation. None of my other siblings have stood up to my parents either. I believe my older brother is NPD since I am starting to get flashbacks of some of his really mean behavior. Plus, he loves to take on my parents battles, calling me and leaving potentially guilt-inducing messages. I have not taken the bait. It is all so sad.
Lily, Thank you for your comment. I understand your frustration with your friends and extended family and your sadness about their lack of support for your actions. I know what you mean about It being surprising coming from professionals in psychology–often if they have not experienced the pain of having a narcissist in their own life they do not support the necessity of no contact (or they are in denial about their own repressed pain and are in helping professions to help those who they judge as “weaker” which is in reality not true–those appearing weaker to the less self-aware have incredible inner “strength” which is a gift!–their “help” can feel very condescending and it would be wise for hsps to “move on” from these types of helping professionals). It is awful that your Mom did not contact your cousin–your cousin is trying to avoid all conflict for her wedding and not take sides–weddings are stressful. Since she doesn’t support you, you don’t “have” to be in her wedding but you sound strong like you could do it with support from your Aunt.–thank goodness for her! You are really fortunate to have her in all this–try to be grateful for that and lean on her when you need to. She knows the truth! Her validation can make up for the lack of it from the rest of your family of origin (foo). Remember, often it only takes one true friend to make all the difference in our lives and help us to feel really sane and validated. Sorry about your brother’s aggression. Yes, it is all so sad. But you are amazingly strong and insightful and have so much to give others. You are correct in all of your insightful observations. Stay strong and warmest wishes to you, Roxanne
Hey! I can’t stop writing! I wanted to share that my dream is to one day weave my personal experience into recent current events since my personal experience with NPD very much ties into our recent national experience with individuals with NPD, since my parents had corrupt high powered jobs in the financial sector. However, given that my stepfather is a corporate litigator, I think I would need defamation insurance, although I would never use real names. When I split from the house all I kept saying is “I will not be bought” (by all my parents money). I left with my stuff in trash bags since I did not have enough suit cases, and I told them I moved to Colorado for a temporary job, since my stepdad needs a lot of control. (By saying I was moving far away for a temporary job without consulting him it was like saying I don’t need you.) He changed the locks on the house and then called me to say that I should feel free to let him and my mother know my future plans. By the way, the only times he ever mentions my mom is to use her as a tool to induce guilt. Otherwise, he treats her like she does not exist. She was also a high powered attorney but she worked for the government and they met in a meeting, although she was supposed to be regulating the companies he represented. Meanwhile, his own father will go on and on about how terrible the crises has been for the country without ever recognizing his own son’s work in the very industry he is deriding. At moments, I was sure I was losing my mind. I would stare at the TV, watch the very names I would hear in my house mentioned on the news and then say to myself “I am staring at them – these people can not see themselves.” That was when I split. I had seen enough. I am still in shock. How could these people ever have been my parents? At the time I thought wow, they sound terrible and then I thought, well, my life has been terrible. I guess I need to start admitting it. Only the German Shepard was sad to see me go, he kept pacing the front stoop as i threw stuff into the car.
Lily, Thank you for this comment as well, Sharing your story helps others who are still gathering the courage to leave (and gives us insight into the national financial crisis 🙂 ). I like how you said to yourself “I will not be bought” to give you the courage to leave. I understand this, my own parents dangled their possessions, antiques, and contents of their wills as a carrot to get me to obey. When I realized they gave away something I had wanted just to punish me and scare me about the rest, I no longer wanted any of it and it was a great relief to let it all go. I hope you are continuuing to see that you deserved so much more from parents–where is the love? Yes, the dog knew the truth about you–you were the only positive energy and shining light on in the house sounds like. Thank you for sharing! Love and light, Roxanne
Thank you for this site – it has allowed me to feel less alone. All of my life my NM would say that I wasn’t as pretty, wasn’t as smart, wasn’t as appealing to men as she had been, etc. You name it – I was NEVER good enough. She has blamed me for not being able to continue at her “fantastic job” she had before she had me, and is fond of saying that she and my ED (enabling dad) spent ALL of their money on family vacations. The worst thing she has done is to tell my friends at my 12th birthday party that I was conceived in a tent trailer because another couple had been “getting busy” on the other side and they were bored. Yes – that will increase a young girl’s self esteem!! She has groomed me into an over achiever who is haunted by guilt about not having a loving relationship with my mom. I realize that my son who is 6 is not important to her, and is a pawn in her destructive path to keep me “guilt entrenched”. I am going no contact even though she lives 5 minutes away and at 37 years of age, deserve to stop giving all of my money to help her & my family simply because my husband and I have worked hard our entire life. I don’t know what the future will hold, but I know that the present relationship with my mom is OVER and this is because I don’t want my son and husband to deal with their toxicity. I love my son and am thankful that I learned how NOT TO PARENT from my NM and ED.
nic, Thank you for your comment and for your kind words about this site. You are not alone–welcome to our community! I am so sorry for all you have endured from such an unloving mother. I hope that this site continues to give you support as you finally put yourself first. Good to focus on what you learned about how NOT TO PARENT–Good for you! Warm wishes to you as you continue to heal and move forward, Roxanne
You have simply described me to a tee. I am a 48 year old who has just realized that I have a narcissist for a mother and a sister as well. My father has his own issues and this in itself is another lengthy commentary. I have just closed the door to reclaim not only my life but that of my tween aged child who I can see now was clearly the next in line for the “scapegoat” award. My recovery will be long and difficult but I will not sacrifice any more of my life. Thank you for expressing your situation so eloquently and candidly and for conveying that we are not as alone in this journey as we may have initially thought.
Cath19, Thank you for your comment. I am so happy for you that you are taking steps to move forward for yourself and your child–away from the narcissists in your life. Congrats on finding your voice and “reclaiming your life” and saying you “will not sacrifice any more of my life”!! Yes!! Welcome to healing and recovery amongst those who understand what you are going through. I so appreciate you words of gratitude for my post–Yes, you are not alone! Sending you warm wishes of support as you embark on your healing journey, Roxanne
Thanks so much for your blog. It has such a lovely flavour to it. Less angry and more supportive than other Narcissism sites.
I kicked off my no-contact process about a month ago after NM looked after my two kids, 6 and 3 for the day (only the 2nd time she has looked after them in 4 years). My 6 year old came home from that day acting like he had been taken to a horror movie. It took days and days to get out of him a few of the nasty things NM had said about me (THEIR MUM!) to them. It was heartbreaking to realise that she was injecting her poison into the next generation, my kids’ hearts. I knew I had to do something massive.
It’s taken much soul-searching and many teary conversations with my beautiful husband to accept that I must stop this pattern of abuse. Funny thing is that I let her abuse me emotionally for 35 years and it took her starting on my kids for me to take action. I take heart that there must still be a modicum of self-esteem and love in me to want to do something about it.
So, I told her we no longer have a relationship last night. As expected – no reply. I actually believe that there will not be a reply. Ever.
The most insidious feature of narcissistic abuse is that it is invisible. It is kept firmly within the walls of the family. It’s so, so, hard to enunciate how it feels to be the child of a narcissist. It is literally impossible to explain to others what it does to your spirit. Places like your blog are essential for people like us who get sick of feeling guilty or being made to feel guilty about using the words: “My feelings.” My feelings do matter and I guess that’s my first step on this process.
Thanks for your great blog and all the best with all you do.
Thank you Lorna, for wonderful comment full of strength, insight, and wisdom. Welcome and warm wishes as you continue to heal, Roxanne
I wanted to write because I can relate your motivation to begin no contact with your mother – your kids. I, myself actually do not have kids, but, hold on I am about to relate : ), what motivated me to see my N mother and N stepfather as they were was watching them treat babies like the way they were treating me. You see, my younger half sister and half brother are a fair bit younger than me. I actually developed a closer bond with my younger brother than with my younger sister (and older full-brother). It killed me to watch my mom and step-dad abuse my little brother as a 1 year old…2 year old…3 year old and now (I am sure) as a 23 year-old, which is a major reason why I am no longer in their lives.
It was my ability to relate to him and watch him grow-up in my abusive family that helped motivate me to locate the word and description of narcissism at age 19, while back from college (I searched my parents symptoms, which kind of makes me laugh because I have always been passionate about anything in the sciences, so I can see my true self in that young girl – scared but looking up symptoms after watching her parents at dinner). In fact, I said to myself in college “What sucks for me is that I can not pick my major. It is going to be in the sciences, but it is going to have to have to focus on narcissism because getting away from them is going to take all my effort.” Then I begin to build my own emotional world that I told my N mom and N stepfather less and less about until one day I told them I had a phony job half-way across the country and then I gave them a bad address. (My N stepfather is very controlling so saying I took another job without clearing it by him was like telling him to go &#$% himself – and I knew that.) This final, no contact came years later and, again, my ability to relate to the little boy I saw being abused at home made me, I think, much stronger.
I believe it is unbelievably common for women to step up and gain strength over what they see happen to children (especially their own), so that is only human and not a sign that you have only a modicum of self-esteem. It is so hard to be in these families. Unfortunately, my younger brother has cut off contact with me and chosen, at least for now, to side with my parents, so at least you can protect your kids. That’s awesome.
I can’t help but share that I had memorized all my younger brother’s interests when I thought I was going to get him out too, and if I could remove the image of his eyelashes clumping as he cried, I would. Finally, after years of picking him up and hiding him from our parents when he would run away he now mocked (at a wedding) my choice to cut off contact, and I see on Facebook that he is not yet following his dreams.
Thank you… just this week I discovered that my father is a narcissist and I’ve suffered greatly as a result.
I ask God for the answers, no matter how hard they are, and they come to me as I am ready to see them.
This week I finally realized that I am allowing myself to be used and abused- and I have the power to say no and to respect myself in the process.
Reading this blog is very healing for me and I am feeling very good about myself and my newly made choice to not dishonor myself anymore by giving out more of myself than I feel necessary- and to not be pressured into it.
Thank you again.
gs, Thank you for your comment. There is much wisdom in all that you say here. It is a spiritual healing journey that you are on and your energy is best saved for a highly enlightened future and brighter things ahead. I am so happy to hear that my blog is helping you to heal. Welcome to our healing and compassionate community! Sending you comfort and warm thoughts as you continue to heal, Roxanne
Happy Holidays to you and your family. I was compelled to write this email even though I am still no talking to her. It felt freeing and guess what she just called left nomessage I address to both my Mom and sister who they seem to be very much alike. here it is just wanted to share.
New Living Translation (NLT)
9 Love prospers when a fault is forgiven,
but dwelling on it separates close friends.
New Living Translation (NLT)
2 Fools have no interest in understanding;
they only want to air their own opinions.
Dear Mom and Sam,
I am guilty of these actions when I was under demonic influences of being intoxicated. revenge is a lousy way to deal with unresolved grief. (mean phone calls) I am making my amends to you both. I love Proverbs and I highly suggest reading a NLT bible for further today’s understanding. My pride was a mask for fear that I thought I had no value as a person. God has given me back my sense of worth because I see myself through His eyes, not people. People have a distorted view of what love is. I love this saying in the bible proverbs 16:25 “there is a way that seems right to man but in the end is death. My root issue is a spirit of rejection- alcohol that is the symptom . When critical or judge merciless I reject myself. A learned behavior from a very very long time ago. trying to gain approval from people that never gave it but held in me condemnation of past present and probably my future. A spirit of rejection convinces you that you will be rejected and then every word and action of other people is interpreted through the eyes of rejection. I have deep emotional scars with rejection that is why even in a smallest incident feels like a knife in the heart. . I am now starving that spirit of rejection and its destruction and I only look to God to fill me up with the power and love and knowledge and the unconditional forgiving Lord who holds me not condemnation but with His everlasting love.
I will not be reminded (shamed) for my past drunk behavior (when I have asked for your forgivness in the past and not been forgiven) unless you want to allow it to fester like unhealed wound. I am forgiven. I will not do it again. Lesson learned. Amazing about me is my compassion- my empathy (LOVE) and my mercy I learned that in the holy bible.
As long as I able I will never allow another person is to feel unloved I will encourage and read scripture with the lost. I will not be prideful full of boosting of myself. Critical faultfinding is not from God. I will make it i know in my soul. Having my family cut me off is fine because this has drawn me closer to Jesus Christ. Unforgivness eats your soul I know all too well. The key to this life is true forgiveness for ourselves and for others. I don’t ever need a long list of what someone has or hasn’t done for me. That is faultfinding and keeping score. My scorecard has been erased by the Holy sprit of God.
As you enjoy your holiday season think of the real reason for Christmas. Love and serve. Proud of you sam for doing what your doing with the homeless.
From you Sister and Daughter God bless you both Dana
why make someone a priority /when you are merely an option to them. Me and NP Mother
Dana, wiser words were rarely ever spoken! I think I’m going to write down your words and post them where I can see them several times each day……..I agree with you………and I wonder why I myself keep on trying and trying…….and persevering and persevering………to have a “relationship” with my mother when there is no way on this earth it will ever happen, as she is totally incapable of it. I guess childhood wishes and dreams die a slow, agonizing death……at least in my case, it seems. Thank you.
I don’t know about other HSPs with narcissistic mothers, but I personally find Christmas to be a time filled with a sadness which almost defies description. It’s taken me days to even diagnose what’s going on with me. So many high expectations I have, or maybe they’re not high……..maybe they’re merely normal expectations which only seem to be too high because of the way I grew up.
“Christmas with a Narcissist”……..wow, now that’d make an interesting movie title, wouldn’t it? It amazes me……it just simply amazes me…….how my mother can take any situation in life and turn it around so that it is always, and I do mean ALWAYS, about HER!!
Death in someone else’s family? Yep, she turns it around so she can talk about all the deaths she’s gone through, and how she feels, and what she did, and where the people are buried, and what flowers the person had at the graveyard.
You’re ill this season? Near death? Hospitalized? Well, somehow she manages to make that all about her, too. How she does this is mindboggling. She will talk about all herself, about how she’s never gotten sick and never missed but 2 days of work in 25 years!……and what SHE did when her parents were in the hospital and near death……and so on and so on. She won’t listen to you……she won’t connect……..she’s too busy thinking about herself to even notice that you’re in the room.
Just got laid off? Worried about paying for Christmas gifts for your family? Have no fear! Super-Narcissist can even turn that into an excellent opportunity to discuss her past woes with money or, more likely, about how she has NEVER experienced any monetary woes…….never, not once, in her whole life. And how she just “can’t understand” why you’re having any financial worries because, after all, SHE has never had any financial worries.
The world revolves around the narcissistic mother.
It sure doesn’t help to be an HSP when you have a narcissistic mother. It is crazy-making at its worst to be around people like her, much less to actually have grown up with a person who barely acknowledges your existence.
Christmas………ah, Christmas………a time I love in many ways. But to be around my mother at Christmas is just another opportunity in which to feel neglected, forgotten, overlooked, ignored, compared, judged, and unloved.
Anyone else relate? It can be a very tough time of year.
I start getting depressed around 20 days before Christmas and will be like that a couple of days afterwards in a mixture of feeling relieved because I survived and sadness that I cannot have the festive feeling some other people enjoy.
I always thought about building my own festive traditions but as long as I have to see my parents, this is not working, with all my energy being used to prepare myself for another potential attack on my Self.
Yes, my mother manages to make it all about her as well. I am on sick leave at the moment, suffering from adjustment disorder and being unable to work. Part of the cause is that I experienced emotional abuse at work that I just cannot deal with – it was too close to what my family used to do to me.
Fool that I was, I told my mother and of course after about 2 minutes we were talking about no one cared about her and she was suffering and I was never there for her.
And she will not change. She will never be safe to be around with. It is like having an open wound and every time I talk to her, she sees to it that it will not close.
I have always been a failure in the eyes of my mother, never doing anything right, and she always wanders what she has done wrong – coming from her, she never wants to hear my version of what has gone wrong.
Her life might have been hard, she had some really bad experiences herself, but that does not give her the right to undermine my Self and hurt me.
I am currently thinking about breaking up with my parents. The picture that comes to my mind is grieving parents and it is very hard to bear. However, they are grieving for all sorts of reasons, maybe even for their lost child. But that child is not me. I am not making them grieve. I tried everything I could to make things better and since I am not responsible I failed.
It is so good to hear that others have managed to rip away from their families and are feeling better. And it really helps me to see how long this can take. I always felt ashamed about being 37 and not really grown-up enough to have my own life. The posts here show how hard it is to deal and come to terms with a NP. But also that it can be done.
With a bit of luck, maybe this year will be the first merry Christmas of my life. And if not, at least maybe I will now stand a chance to have one.
Hi and thank you for your message. I refuse to talk to her I just wont. Look she is emotionaly toxic (abusive) even with presents. I used to hear from her I put you in 3 rehabs (lies) and I bought you a car (no that was my grandmothers left money when she passed) boy I still remember who control her in calif. me in florida I almost said forget it I was hasseled so much it was unjust. What I bought and I did this and I did that UGH shut up…Last straw was my aunt called me and I am including the email blast she sent to all my family memembers except me. Then when I called her and aks her about this reunion she lied said only her brothers and sisters. This was in beaufort where my grandmother grew up she was haveing a cermony for my dead grandmother with reunion?? How odd dont ya think./My aunt is the one who told me about it. My sisters already had plans to go etc. what a slap in the face I tell you what. She called my aunt her mom died from alc0holism and was a very heavy drinker not like me. She told her that why would I want a drunk there? Mind you she my mother has been very drunk in front of all family memebers more than I can tell you what a joke. and a liar. I called drunk and told her what I thought of her RAGE inside of me I could not control. She saved that message to later make case with her brother and sister and I received emails from both of them about this I quote “distrubing” emails and how I need long term treatment. etc. She pulled in her allieds to make her case. Me worng her right. The woman my mother and sisters and other family went and I heard it was over the top. Of course my Aunt didnt go she has my mothers number and told her when she called that This was all about her and nothing to do with grandmother well of course my mother started in got mean .. You disagree with her she will cut your balls off. I just look for that letter email maybe I deleted it. I know I have a copy because it is going into my enventually book I am writing.
The most incredible deal is here with us though is we all actually turn out “OK” I mean really even with all my truma and allot of crap in my life I am ok really. Look and found out about what i could do to help myself and learn how to change me. I dont deserve what she dishes out. No more. Yes it hurts like hell and I dont care anymore about having her around me because it always go back to her and all about her. selfish self centered image mask no mercy ego driven pridful bitch. Charming and funny and beautiful but I know who she is inside.
The Smear Campaign
Charming in public: exuding warmth and charm, she smiles and tells jokes, praises and flatters you, outwardly supports you with a show of approval and reassurance, makes you feel valuable and appears to be your friend, appears to be supportive and attentive to your needs. She always appears to be helpful.
Rumor-monger in private: criticizing you behind your back, she may suggest that you have personal or emotional problems, carefully building a case against you via calculated misinformation passed on to others behind the scenes. She manipulates others into criticizing you and then rewards them for their participation in her plot to undermine your image in every way.
Two-faced: She pretends to support you while planning to destroy you; then when you challenge her, she suddenly transforms from supportive to bullying. Her soft-spoken manner hides her destructive intentions, her flattering words hide her desire to control you, and her seemingly warm personality hides her take-no-prisoners attitude.
So what i am saying is “would you have a person like this around you or your kids”? hell no no more/// I dont trust her and I have a deep betrayl from her LIES LIES LIES. Know when she lying when she is talking. Self absorbed. I can spot a NP a mile now. I had to also deleted other NP out of my life completely. I attracted what i knew before I knew. Ex’s so called friends all freaken gone. I refuse… To have any NP in my life . I rather alone than deal with a socipath. She told me she was a good mother yea in your lifetime?
It will always be the same and I cant change her. She is unhealthy ill mentally ill. So do yourself the best favor you could ever do and love you ,more and take care of you. You have love and emapthy she wil lnever have those things. that is how you spot a NP no love-no emapthy
by Janet Byers, 4/26/2010
Cloudy gray sky, silent tears and rain
Glad to be leaving years and years of pain
Sorrow rises up but my wings are spread wide
Leaving my past; good riddance, good-bye
Too many years of your guilt and your games
Finally, freedom from your put downs and blame
Relief rises up, wings spreading, flying far
Leaving you; taking back my shattered heart
Rising into sunshine; finally breaking free
Taking deep, clean breaths; it’s okay to be me
Your sick games and lies will haunt me no more
Left your shackles behind, walked out your door
Walking Out The Door by Peter Normand
I’m free, I’m done…at last, I’m forever through
Hearing the questions: “What’s wrong with you?”
And “Why can’t you ever do anything right?”
Too many tears cried into pillows at night
Sucked my thumb for years, scared in my own bed
Haunted by your condemnations deep in my head
First time I ran away from you I was only three
First desperate attempt to be free; to be me
To stay sane and relevant in spite of you
Kept running away; years of fighting for truth
Your narcissistic insanity ruled all my thoughts
Seems all I am to you…is everything I’m not
I never lived up to your expectations or dreams
There simply was no way I could please the queen
I was your punching bag; a scapegoat to abuse
I know now that who you really hate…is you
God gave me pity for you, showed me the truth
To feel good you have to crush those around you
You have to elevate yourself because you’re weak
Still, I’m disgusted by you; by the havoc you wreak
Nothing will ever satisfy the monster inside you
I’m SO over your drama and trauma; yes, I am through
I’m done being your source of narcissistic supply
It’s over, I’m gone; good riddance, good-bye
Help My np just email me mother dearest and said merry christmas /your soberity and peace are always in my prayers??? Peace are you kidding. //She thinks she brings me peace? Or prays for me to have peace? WHAT??? then proceeds to say I have your christmas present and asking me about shoes? what shoes? I have not responded. Its such a mind screw here. Nothing about what are your plans or anything about what she is doing or my sisters nothing just i have your presents. I have no one here I no kids no matie . I do have plans to go to christmas dinner at this real nice place because he is alone as well. I sometimes feel like I am this horrible person that is so BAD that donest deserve to be with them its so not right thinking I know but damn it it hurts //please some suggestions ..
dana, You are doing a good job of separating from your family’s dysfunction and inability to be loving to you by knowing that it is harmful to you to talk to your mother–it is good expressing all that you have been expressing here lately–it is healthy anger and truth. But it is also harmful to you to read what she writes or listen to her messages. You have a part of you that is still a wounded child and you need to be away from all crazy-making negative energy so that you can heal and get stronger. When you are communicating in any way with them, and that means listening too, you open yourself up to that negative energy that they are exuding. We HSPs we absorb it and feel it and think it is ours. But it is their negative energy and bad feelings we are feeling. They have always caused you to doubt yourself–that is a wound that keeps getting open. It is okay to protect yourself and take care of yourself and put your healing needs first. Guilt-inducing is an abuse! Loving, healthy people don’t make other people feel guilty to control them. It is okay to be angry about the guilt that comes up at holiday time. Say to yourself, No, I don’t have anything to feel guilty about! And use the anger energy to do nice comforting healing things for yourself. Enjoy your dinner plans with your friend–that is wonderful! And remember, your family… they have each other and all their negative energy to wallow around in together…they will survive and you are not missing anything good or healthy. No contact would be the healthy thing to do–you deserve a wonderful life away from them. May I suggest a book that I believe would be helpful to you?: Living with Joy by Sanaya Roman–for sensitive enlightened souls who are healing. Wishing you peace and love at Christmas, Roxanne
Dana, I know other people have already commented supporting you, I just wanted to say I am going through this right now. I had my last confrontation with my Dad a few months ago, and every now and then I get a message that makes me furious! But as each one comes, I realise, its expected, that it is his way of getting what he wants without having to admit his faults, saying he is thinking of me when he is making me look like the problem to the rest of my family. The more I stand up for my self, the more his reaction confirms that I am doing the right thing, and soon, other people will see it too. I just wish that my sisters don’t have to get as hurt as me before they realise this… because he is constantly making them feel sorry for him, even though they know he uses them. I pray it doesn’t drive them crazy. My poor brother is depressed because he has never been able to please Dad.
Anyway, seeing that other people are going through the same thing gives me hope that I can get through this, and there is hope that I can at least regain sanity… Even though I can’t remember ever being sane… I wanted to end my life so many times. But ever since I became a Mum 4 years ago I made it my mission to become a healthier person, cutting him out of my life may be the best decision I have ever made.
Thank you so much Roxanne I needed that confurmation. / I will get that book today.. i love that writer my favorite book is :Personal power through awarness”
I love that part about you wrote : Loving, healthy people don’t make other people feel guilty to control them. There is still the wounded child I know this be true. that comes to the dsurface soemtimes now not like it used to be however still presently wounded.
I love your website Roxanne and I I pray you have a loving peaceful Hoilday too.
So glad I was helpful. I LOVE Personal Power Through Awareness! Carried it around with me for the longest time! Essential for empaths. That is Book 2 in the series. Living with Joy is Book 1! Also on my website–The very 1st few posts on my blog (starting Jan. 2010) are about me dealing with the guilt of going no contact. Hope they are helpful. Warmest wishes, Roxanne
Dana, I can really relate to your messages. Christmas is a hard time of year for me too, since I have been maintaining no contact with my N mother and N step-father for two years now. It was hardest for me to move on in the beginning because it actually felt like I had lost something by not being in their lives. Even though they made my life hell, I missed our traditions, such as eating Swiss food on Christmas, but thank God I left. My life has grown exponentially better through hard work in therapy and time away from them to heal. (I literally had a friend listen to my older brother’s message once when I was just beginning to maintain no contact rather than listen to him myself, which would have been too hard.)
Now, I can see how much I have healed in little ways: I no longer say I left my family. Instead, I say I stood up for myself and, as a result, my parents had a break down and will not seek help.
When I was still in my family, I had plenty of weaknesses that they picked on – I had the lowest SAT scores in the family, drank too much etc. and they reminded me of these facts. Now, I am excelling in my job and have a drink or two every month. It has been HARD to get to this point, especially when I would see that I was getting better and then have another set-back, but thank goodness things have started snow-balling in a positive direction.
Right now, none of my three siblings will call me, but I feel sorry for them even though I still have some anger towards their lack of consideration for me. However, I would not trade my life for theirs as they are still putting up my N mother and step-father.
Dana, my heart is with you this holiday season! Our expectations for the holidays can be so high and that is especially tough given the families in which we were “raised”/managed to survive.
Thank you so much for your email. I love that name Lily. I did email her back even though we did not talk on the phone but I am mad myseklf for doing so when I waited and then thought about it and then did anyway. I have not heard back from her but thats ok. I will just start again with the NC. My poor lil sister who moved to cally to be near my mom /not a peek from her and i really feel sorry for her because she is the over achiver works and has a husband whom my NP dispises and has so many degress but huge depression and on so many anti depressants -axienty-weight problems-. / My other sister she called and said this I was like what?? she is voluteering with her catholic church working with homeless and stated that i need to go into a shelter to get help? whatever that is so stupid and so crazy statement. She was like what do you want to come here with me and my 3 kids? She is exactly like my mom . She too has that stubborn pride. Anyway I dont talk to either sister and i am sure that pleases my NP. . NP says the crazy statements i have ever heard.off THE CHAIN STUFF. I like what you said about the weakness i know that all too well. Shaming me . the scorecard keeper. She operates out of guilt. I think. The presents are usuall y high end stuff. Like for my birthday she gfot me 500-6– thread sheets and ralph lauren real nice comforter set. I would love her if she loved me or spent time with me with the same cost as the high presents she gives me. but that is just not gonna happen I know this in my heart.
Thankxs again for writing Dana
Thank you for your beautiful insights, Roxanne. They resonate with me in a way that creates an internal sigh of peace.
I read this post while listening to Way Over Yonder – one of my fav songs now! I also recommend Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson. Both the rhythm and lyrics of Breakaway inspire you to do just that: Breakaway.
Stating your age stood out to me. One of my obstacles in healing has been a certain shame in waiting this long in taking action. The, ‘There must be something wrong with me if it took this long to realise and correct’. There is no shame now (or I hope, less of it) by daring to post it online. Shame is usually something you don’t want to show to the light. The Web is as consistently alive and lighted up as anything I can think of – maybe except the Sun.
A positive – revelation to me – of finally starting this journey of healing is that my writing has improved! Writing is a fundamental way of expressing yourself; I found that my writing was stunted – at some point, thought I couldn’t write at all. I’m reading all the journalism books I can get my hands on now in preparation for a bit of freelance journalism. From non-writing to journalism: A challenge to daunt an adult, yet an adventure to dazzle the inner child.
Off to read your other posts…
After discovering the love of my life had NP, and why I idealized him.. , ..another revelation my mom is NP( it took me 41 years) , everthing comes together .. since then I´ve had mixed feelings, relieved, sadness,rage.. sudden cries..good days and bad days .. A very strange feeling of physical interior separation from my mother- as if someone ripped from the inside the feelings I had for her .. it´s difficult to explain.. I see her clearly now.. her true intentions.. I know it´s a long journey .. but now I know better.. and everthing is about me.
Roxanne, thank you so much for sharing!! Congratulations on your realization, on your strength, on your ability to recognize and to feel.. I also stumbled on this in looking for info on my own relationship with my mom which is compounded by the fact that there are still young siblings at home who are under her tight reins,,, thanks for sharing and for sharing courage…
I am so thankful for the sharing and the blogs I came upon regarding narcissistic mothers and scapegoated daughters. For the first time in my life I feel that someone undertstands what it is like to be “shunned” from your own family and not understand why. Healing has already begun just from reading what others have been brave enough to share. It is a painful journey we walk alone. The times I have given others a small glimpse of what I am experiencing, I was advised “If you would just forgive them…” or “maybe if you just let the past go, things would be ok” or my favorite “are you still letting this bother you? Don’t you think it’s time to move on?” The last piece of advice I received was from a relative who is a psychologist (my mother’s brother!) who said “sometimes we just have to accept people as they are”. I think it is so hard for others to imagine that a mother could actually single one person out to place all the blame and ridicule. My family members have good relationships with others and are very personable – just don’t cross them. You are either “in” or “out” at their discretion. As any enabler worth their salt, I assumed if I could prove that I was a nice and thoughtful, worthwhile person they would somehow be able to change their view of me. I tried to do everything I could think of to win their affection, but my scapegoat role was already well established and working perfectly for everyone else; I was never give a chance to confront the lies told and apologize for things I may have done. I would always be invisible and worthless in their eyes. The last time I met with my mother, she asked “how, exactly, do you see yourself coming back into the family?”. I felt like I was at a job interview. No warmth, no “I miss you” – nothing. That was the last time I saw her, two years ago. No interest in me, my daughters, our life. I try not to think about it, but hearing about others families and how they love each other and desire to spend time together; it seems like an open wound that can never heal. Holidays, birthdays – celebrations can be so painful when you are cut off from your family. Yet being with them causes even more distress – it is a no-win situation to be sure.
Fellow daughters of narcissistic mothers, I salute you and wish you the very best. We are brave souls, living in a fog of pain and rejection and trying to carve out a life in the midst of finding out who we are and how to relate to others. Combine that with depression, anxiety, low to no self-esteem – it is amazing that we get out of bed in the morning! But we do – we hold jobs, parent, try and be a friend, be married, neighbor – without the foundation or nurturing to figure it all out. Without the grace of God and the work He has done in my life, I don’t know where I’d be. Even so, there are many days that I feel defeated before I start. I want you to know, though, that my load is lighter and my outlook a little brighter now that I know that there are others out there who understand my pain. God bless you all and keep being of good courage – you are worth it!!!
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14
There are so many things to think about as I read over the postings – and so many things I can relate to. I can surely relate to feeling as though I have no friends to speak of. I am realizing that I never learned how to be a friend – how could I when being raised in a narcessistic family who only cared about themselves? I feel so awkward in social situations; the needy part of me wants to have a friend and be loved so much that I think I’ve either smothered people over the years, or acted indifferent. I have daughters and it is so painful trying to give them normalcy, especially when it requires social savvy in school situations, friends, etc. Everything in me wants to pull the covers over my head and hide. My lack of social skills seems to be worse as I get older, I guess because there are so many different kinds of situations I need them in. My lack of experience is showing greatly or maybe I am just more aware of it now.
I, too, realize that my friendships over the years have been with NPs and they were not healthy. I did the majority of the work and did not ask for much. I can now see that I don’t know how to receive kindness. If someone offers friendship or concern as a good friend would likely do, I am completely overwhelmed and flustered. My m-in-law also has a NP (aspergers); I have lost most of my friends over the years. My family has let our relatives and family friends know that I have “issues” – I can feel the judgment and coldness if I see them. I feel I need to apologize or tell them I am not who my family says I am, even though I don’t know what I’d be apologizing for. I haven’t had the experience of warm and loving people in my life. Even though it is what I desperately want, I don’t know how to handle it or recognize it if it comes my way. I don’t think I know how to be a good, healthy friend, either and I feel very sad about this.
I am thankful for this site – I cry when I read the posts because I can relate to what you are all sharing. I walk around most days feeling disconnected. The Lord is doing a great work and I am able to speak up much more than I used to, but I have a long way to go. Being more vocal is what led to my mother finally losing it and telling me that all of the problems in the family were my fault over the past 20 years. When I asked her what I did, she told me about incidences from 10, 15 years ago that were so minor. I asked her why she didn’t tell me at the time, but she ignored me. I believe she was so angry because I discovered her “secret” and she upped the rejection ante on me. The Emperor certainly was exposed. The increasing cold shoulder and disinterest was causing me to doubt my sanity. I tried several times to reconcile, but she said she didn’t like talking about the past. I asked her to stop talking about me behind my back and deal with our issues between the two of us, but she wouldn’t answer. I was held to some kind of standard, yet no one would tell me what the standard was. I always felt like I was failing. Going no contact 8 years ago was the only thing to do as I was greatly concerned for my mental health. I know it is for the best, but I think there was a secret hope that if I ever left, she would miss me. In reality she seems happy I’m not around anymore. I think that is what hurts the most. Intellectually I know that being away from my family is best, but my heart hasn’t quite caught up. I miss not having a mom to seek advice from and my sisters to share life with. When I cut off contact, my whole family and surrounding relatives and friends went, too. My mom was always good at being the “victim” and securing much sympathy from others. It was a huge price to pay for standing up for myself and here I am.
Thanks for a safe place to share. Since I never had feedback growing up to know whether or not what I am doing or saying is making sense, etc., I will post here and there and hope that it is ok and that I haven’t said anything stupid or offensive. If I have, please let me know – it would help me a lot!
Thank you for listening – you are all in my prayers.
Beth, Thank you so much for your comments. All you say is a breath of fresh air as you describe the truth so eloquently. Your true voice is strong and I am grateful for your strength in expressing all of your frustrations that resonate with all of us. Welcome to our community! Stay strong and continue on your path–it is good that you discovered that life away from your narcissistic mother is the healthy direction for you and your children. As you learn to love your self, and pour out your truth in a journal for your eyes only, you can heal your wounded inner child and then you will start attracting loving sensitive people into your life and create a new extended family in time. You are the sane one, Beth! Your highly evolved soul shines brightly and it is obvious you were meant for higher things–first of all raising your children to feel good about themselves–be glad they are not around such toxic people. I hope that you will continue to comment often and find support in the other posts on my blog as well. Sending my prayers and warmest wishes to you and your children as you all deserve much love, compassion, acceptance and understanding, Roxanne
Your post makes so much sense and is very eloquently written! No where do you say anything stupid or offensive. Also, I relate to so much of what you wrote.
In terms of my own experience with people who are narcissistic personality disordered, this week, I began to put together a guest list for a going away party someone is throwing me, and although I have lived in the same city for 27 years, I think about 20 people will attend. Why? 1)Splitting from my family (NP mother, NP stepfather and three siblings) caused a rift between me and their extended relations, and 2) as I worked my recovery in therapy, I realized just how many of my old friends I no longer felt close to, since I was growing emotionally while, quite frankly, they were not. Indeed, the drastic break in relationships I experienced when I cut myself off from my NP mother and stepfather was horrific, but I am grateful for each day that I joined a hiking group or went to church instead of turning around and befriending the very people who were willing to remain in my disordered parents’ sphere of influence.
For a while my life got worse before it got better: I decided to switch careers, I had to spend $30k of my own savings while interning for a 23 year-old in my new, desired career, and, in the meantime, I got hurt while on no health insurance. This was all while I was not dating anyone, and I was, again, cut off from my immediate family.
However, a month ago, after all my hard work, I got a full ride plus living expenses to a PhD program in psychology. Ironically, in some ways it hurt more to receive an offer of a lifetime than it was to plow through the dark times because it showed me just how much my mother was not there to celebrate with me. In fact, I saw a close friend of my mother’s after I received this offer, since this woman’s husband had died and I decided to bring her flowers. When she saw me on her porch with the flowers she cracked her front door like I was going to rob her. Let me tell you, it can make you feel like a criminal when people treat you that way. I left doubting myself, and then, after talking to new friends I have made, I remembered just how I am happy with what I am doing and have accomplished. Also, this experience has helped me to see that, in terms of my parents’ friends, I am now okay with simply sending them a card in such circumstances.
Finally, again, in some ways, I think I feared doing well just as much as I feared failure. One reason is that my mom hated if I did either one. In addition, I believe I feared the pain I would feel when I began to build a new life – one I could never share with my mother on any deep, emotional level. Thankfully, I was and am still willing to plow ahead because now I am starting to feel the joy of my successes for myself. For me, what it took was attempting to better my life while also cleaning out my trauma in therapy. (I had to shop around as I did not find very good therapists in the beginning.) It is so hard to move forward and also work to talk about the past at the same time! Indeed, this is a tough road, but it feels tough because we are in fact doing real work that will matter in our lives as we move forward.
My heart is with you,
Dear Roxanne and Lily,
Thank you so very much for your kind words and encouragement, it means a great deal to me. Just knowing that others can relate helps, and yet I am so sorry that anyone would have to experience the pain of an NP mother and the relational and emotional fallout it brings.
Lily, what an accomplishment to receive a full ride and living expenses for your PhD!! I am so glad to hear that you are able to begin to feel the joy of your successes for yourself and I would imagine you have worked very hard to be where you are now. I feel that is such an important part of our growth and healing to be able to experience that joy.
I am sorry to hear about what happened when you brought flowers to your mom’s friend. When we have heartfelt and pure motives to do something kind for someone and we are treated as you said, like a criminal, it feels like getting sucker-punched. I have had experiences like this, too, and it is very painful. It usually takes me a while to rebound and it can set me back emotionally. I end up doubting whether or not I should make gestures like this in the future. I think you have wise insight in knowing that a card would be better in situations like that. I am trying to learn that is isn’t the kindness that is the problem, but that I should be more savvy about who I extend kindness to, even if my motives are good.
I told my husband the other day that not receiving feedback or appropriate responses to interactions can make me feel out of balance and unsteady. I ended up overfunctioning in several relationships; fortunately, although it was very painful, many of them have ended, many that I have had since childhood. I can definitely relate to your situation of being in the same area for such a long time and yet not having a lot of close relationships. The hope is for new relationships that are deeper and mutually fulfilling, it is something that I continually ask the Lord to bring into my life. I am just now beginning to fully realize the depth and magnitude of how much these dysfunctional interactions and relationships have crippled my ability to relate properly. Sometimes I am afraid to meet people who appear healthy or friendly because I know that I have not developed the muscles I need to upkeep healthy relationships – it can be overwhelming. I think I was trying to take on too many things at once over the years, so I am working on a few areas at a time, which helps. I have been focusing on my relationship with the Lord and His promises which always lifts me up. My main focus recently is to be aware of others and how to truly listen and be a friend in small ways. Not in an overfunctioning way, but just listening. I am trying very hard to wait until they ask me to help instead of jumping in and offering. One step at a time – I guess I get frustrated because I see my daughters having better social skills! My 18 year old has been picking up on my insecurities lately and it is humbling to say the least. One thing that is very challenging is to try and raise them to be healthy while I am attempting to heal myself!! I am glad to see them think for themselves and know that they can say “no” without explanation or doubt. I am hoping that I can keep the NP influence to a minimum as much as I can.
It sounds like you have been through a lot in making the split from your family. And we lose so much at one time. We grieve several loved ones at once and yet we have to do by ourselves. Having a career change in the midst of that must have been so difficult. And you are right, it seems worse if we are successful – I think it validates what they think about us and share with others if or when we fail or fulfull the negative impressions they have. As difficult as it is, I do believe no contact will help us heal.
Take care and again, congratulations! I will pray for your continued successes, both personally and professionally. You are an inspiration!
Thank you for making this blog! Most people on websites I have found are escaping husbands/wives and partners… I really hope I am in the same place you are soon… I feel completely insane, I try hard not to obsess over my Dad’s behavior, but I suffer anxiety problems, so its a bit tricky. It became clear to me that he will never change, when I finally confronted him about conning money out of me and my siblings – this time I had proof – but for any Narc, proof is still never enough. He continued to lie. And when I kept pointing out how the things he was saying isn’t even making sense anymore, he said: ‘You have no right to judge me, take a good hard look at your self’. He started yelling at me. At the time I was having problems with my fiance so he threw all that in my face. But he didn’t even mention anything wrong with me, he just said my fiance was a loser. He isn’t perfect, but he doesn’t lie to me, or cheat on me, or do any of the horrible things Dad did to my Mum… I told him to stay away from me for good this time. A month later he came to my door, with presents for my Son (he had a habit of buying gifts and then later making me feel bad that he had spent money on them so he could get money out of me), so I said ‘how much do you want for them’ lol (My Mum, having suffered many forms of abuse from my Dad, was shocked at how blunt I have been with my Dad, and is constantly worried about him hurting me). I guess I am a lot stronger than I used to be, when I would just put up with the emotional abuse, and manipulations… After I rejected the gifts, he said ‘Don’t be like that, I still don’t know why you are mad at me’ (we hadn’t spoken since that fight, I thought it was obvious), just as I was about to tell him exactly why I was so hurt, he stormed off. Normally, he gets his victims to apologise to him, he makes me feel like I’m the unreasonable one, because he wants his kids to believe that he has the right to do with us what he wants, even though we are now adults… But he lost this time, and acted like a child, not getting his own way. I am never going to give into his manipulations, because I have accepted the simple fact: he is just manipulating me and everyone around him (many social workers and therapists, would try convincing me that it isn’t normal, but he had such a hold on me, using guilt and the fear he instilled in me that I could not see it for so long). I felt so proud for standing up to him this time, of course my anxiety problems still get the best of me every now and then, it gets hard to focus on my life. I am doing cognitive therapy to help control my thoughts about my Dad. I still have a lot to work on to turn my feelings of rage, stress and depression into acceptance. People like you give me the strength I need, so again, thank you 🙂
What beautiful post. I feel for every daughter of a mother who just cannot love. I so sorry. I’m also on the road of healing and have decided to go no contact with my NMom. I cannot take the abuse and the blame. She just cannot love and everything is about her. I’ve learned that even though we walk away and try to salvage ourselves from all the damage our mother has done. I know that she will never accept responsibility for anything. I’ve lost all my family members because of her toxic behavior. You must save yourself. We as daughters and our families deserve happiness and to live in love and acceptance. Something our Mother know nothing about. Life is meant to be lived and with these types of parents one can never live the life you were born to live. I wish you all happiness and to be free of a parent who just cannot give and who just cannot love anyone but herself. I know they can’t really love themselves. I have watched my mother destroy people. At 56 it’s time to stop wishing and hoping that she will see me and love me.
Bless you all and may your lives be filled with peace. Thank you for sharing your stories and giving me the strength to know I do deserve to have peace.
I feel so sorry for my mother but she is just to toxic to be around and face a life of staying in her life is just too much to ask. For you see I’m the scapegoat.
I’m sorry our mother’s can’t love us, it does hurt.
Congratulations on removing yourself from your Nmother! That is not an easy step. Even if you are having unpleasant feelings about the seperation – you are being wise and brave. I know it is painful to at the same time lose your family members who are caught in her web. I still mourn the lose of any immediately family in my life.
It is a rich life now with a career I love and friends I enjoy. However, I am not dating anyone at the moment and I am about to make a big move to a new town. The loneliness is awful. For me, recently, I have been willing to look up and see how much my decision to separate from my narcissistic parents have left a void, but it is getting smaller and smaller as my new, real life has taken shape. The last two and half years have been intense but worth the work it has taken to rebuild myself on my own.
Thanks for letting me share. Each one of these people want us to feel like we are alone since we are not pleasing them, which is why it is so important to write to each other. My heart is with you!
Thank you so much for your encoragement!! I hope that your life will be beautiful and peaceful. In time you will find that special someone who will love
you for just being you. I wish you all the very best in your life and happiness and joy in your new town. The loss of our family is so hard to
accept at times. But to go back would only be facing more pain and heartache.
Little by little they don’t enter our minds and as time goes on they go away and we find happiness in our lives. The hardest part at first is the guilt of leaving a mother but the memories of her and her behavior made it easy to stay away and happines and peace does start to come over us. I lost my two dear brother just 5 months apart from each other and my dad has passed as well. It’s easier now since all that is left is my mom and me and it helps to stay the course of NC knowing all the damage she did to them as well. I found with an N you really can’t mourn the loss of your family it is always about them. I
I wish you the very best in life Lily! Thank you so much for your kind words I feel like we can all make it from our toxic parents and start a new life and one that was meant for us from the beginning. Blessings to you!!
This might be a long one. And you might have to excuse my language, I feel very strongly about this one. Here is my life if you care to read it.
I’m a university student that recently moved out. This morning at about 5am I finally figured out after many long years what it is that is wrong with the mind of the twisted monster that gave birth to me. In one word or three simple letters, the name of a disorder completely encompasses everything that they did to me without losing a single event or any detail.
A few months ago I finally managed to get myself to therapy. I’m on my therapy hiatus since last week for a month or two before I go back. My main goal to tackle there was a particularly abusive relationship but I spoke about the parents first (it took me weeks to get the other issue out).
I was not obedient, but a rebel. Well, as far as I could be without getting beaten up. They hit me across the head when they weren’t happy with something I had done, but they never explained what they were angry about. I was a high achiever at highschool (school dux achiever, didnt get it due to a disagreement with a teacher which can be wholly attributed to my botched upbringing) but NPD mom and uninvolved, unemployed, disinterested, denial dad could never be proud of me.
Looking at my face made NPD mom ‘sick’. She’d ‘never be proud of me’ because I was a complete and utter failure. They hit and taunted. Or did they? I clearly have “false memories” and need severe psychological help. How could I be so selfish and ungrateful after everything she’s done for me? How could I be so self absorbed?
I never spoke or told her anything because she’d pick everything apart and obsessively interrogate and bring up sensitive or personal things. “why did the last ex dump you? There has to be a reason. Tell me, I want to know. You need to find these things out in life. You never know anything! You never do anything right. You’re such a failure and you always disappoint me”. When I made the awful mistake of telling her about my day she would stop my at some small inessential detail that was irrelevant to the story and ask why I hadn’t done something differently and starting criticising.
The result was that I stopped telling her anything. When she asks me questions i give one word answers. When she asked about my day I made up something generic and boring. I hid absolutely everything from her at all costs. I feel guilt if I lie, I couldn’t be dishonest in a big way with a friend nowadays. Back then it became completely natural and necessary to lie to her and conceal everything. She doesn’t know anything about my interests or the music I like or the food I eat. A further result of this result is that I couldn’t put ideas into words; I understood concepts in school that few others did and was top of almost every class, but I wouldn’t have been able to explain a thing to anyone. I have a minor health problem that she tormented me about that I had seen doctors about and that they said was fine. But no, she knew I needed surgery, she knows so much better than the doctors. She sent me to the doctor repeatedly until they concluded too that they would operate or put me on medication and I’ve had blood taken and scans done, all were fine. But no, all knowing NPD mom was adamant that I needed surgery, and since I was so ‘fat’ it would only be a matter of time till it got worse.
My avoidance of her conversation were just further evidence of my selfish and deluded state.
She bitched about me to disinterested dad. ” ‘K.’ (I’ll give myself a letter for now.) is so fat and selfish.”
“I know” DD would agree. He can’t be bothered with a fight. I CAN HEAR YOU, YOU PRICKS.
Now, I have never been fat or overweight in any way. My bmi used to be underweight in fact, as I was tall and thin compared with my peers. But if I was fat, how would telling my that to my face every day of my life be helpful to me?
She doesn’t ask for favours. She demands. If those demands are not met I am selfish. DD would say “just do it, so I don’t have to hear her shouting” and he’d get aggressive too. She’d scream and shout and it was clearly my selfish fault. So DD would scream and shout too because I would not obey.
I have memories of things that I should not have in comparison with ‘normal’ upbringings. (It wasn’t all bad; when I was very small I used to cook with mom and play games with dad.) When I was very young, he once called me an idiot. Later he apologised –a thing that was never to happen again.
Sometimes when they got violent I ran. They chased me to my room screaming and I’d manage to force the door shut. When I was very young I would try to sit against the door as they battered it (why was I crying “like a baby?” she would ferally scream) I was injured by the door as they battered it against my back. When I got older I would learn to pull up the handle as I wasn’t heavy enough to hold it shut. This was much more effective. They would hit the door and shout, but they’d give up after ten minutes. Later on, NPD mom would talk to me as though all were normal and she were the picture of perfect parenting. Why oh why wouldn’t I speak to her? How could I be so ungrateful and selfish?
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get the door closed every single time. If I was a split second too late in pushing it shut and they managed to force their way in, or if I was simply sitting in my room and they felt like some good old abuse towards the unwitting inmate, there was hell to pay. I think DD, though he is nowadays completely unaffected and uninvolved, was the worst for drive-by abuses as I will now call them. When I was small I had a colourful plastic side table with my toys on it. I had lots of cat figures and Lego lion figures that I had collected because I loved cats. There was a time when he show up at my door and kick the table making everything on it fall over. It would greatly amuse him and he’d kick it again laughing as I shouted and got distressed and upset.
We used to have a plastic ball that was quite solid. I would be sitting on the couch unsuspecting, and he would throw the ball hard at my face. I was young and frustrated and tried to throw it back at him, but of course I couldn’t throw strong enough hurt him back. He would just cheerfully throw the ball at my face again.
Until today, I haven’t thought about many of the things that I will put down since I moved out. I haven’t had a chance to think about them objectively yet. I only knew them before as things that I couldn’t change and couldn’t make them see sense about. God, I’m probably not going to get anything in the way of studying done today, am I?
We used to have a crappy USB modem for the internet that would need to be reinstalled on a laptop every so often. It broke on my laptop once, tried a couple of times to fix it but it wouldnt work. Wonderful technophobe NPD mom would fix it somehow ( I honestly don’t know how she did that. She just spent an entire day repeatedly putting in the CD and reinstalling and it magically worked. She’s never fixed anything herself in her life). Anyway, it stopped working on her laptop and she demanded that I fix it for her. I don’t know how! My dad was in my doorway blocking my exit and demanding that I obey. I said “she can do it” (I was never good with words, I did mean more that she actually had fixed it before and that I couldn’t fix it). For my insubordination I was swiftly and without another word punched in the mouth. From what I remember of things happening around the same time I think I was 14 years old.
GC (or spoiled little shit, as I prefer to call it) was somehow my minding responsibility. I was made to go outside whenever it wanted to go outside to keep an eye on it and make sure nothing happened to their precious favourite. I spent years when I should’ve had friends or been doing primary school homework sitting on my front doorstep in all weathers being an unpaid sitter for something I hated and despised and that wasn’t my responsibility. They made me watch tv because it needed company watching the cartoon channel (that I wasn’t allowed to watch when I was the same age). The cartoons were all repeated many times over the same day, in the same order. I was made to sit there for hours on end (do we really have to watch them all again? Really?) I felt myself wasting away in front of the idiot box. I wasn’t doing anything with my life. I didn’t have any friends and I didn’t have time to do any school work. I hated the tv and wanted away from it. Cartoon Network is actually a brutal form of torture.
When I was in secondary school I was horrendously depressed. The people that I attached myself to as friends were stupid and rejected by the other kids too. I didn’t talk much. I was with them because I was taunted for preferring to sit on my own, and because they accepted me. Some of them were twisted people that tried to bully me. I’d never say that I was bullied at school, it makes me sound like too much of a victim. I was picked on for being odd and I think they did make a valiant effort. I wasn’t fully socially aware and I laughed when they taunted me, but what could they do? They didn’t have control over me and their insults were pathetic and childish. They were smaller than me. They could in no way whatsoever harm my being with violence or snide comments.
One summer when I was 14 NPD mom was going crazy because I had to take shampoo bottles to the recycling bin which is located right outside our back door. She went to the effort of throwing them in the hallway and going downstairs rather than just taking them out herself. I must take out my shampoo bottles, she demands. So I took out my shampoo bottles. I didn’t take out hers too, so she flipped. She was screaming and she had a grip of my hair. I don’t remember clearly what happened there, but I was screaming. I must have run to the kitchen. I cried there and I watched a rather large amount of my hair falling out. It was a horrifying thing to see. (my dad would later get annoyed at me that I hadn’t cleaned up my hair out of the kitchen.) At that point I got social workers involved. I emailed child protection my address and my situation. We had police and social worker visits for the next couple of days, which scared the shit out of NPD mom. They didn’t hit me much after that. She took me to the social services office and lied to them that we’d talked and sorted everything out, while I was made to sit and agree. I would later be told that with my selfish stunt I had “betrayed my family” and wasn’t allowed to watch tv because I’d clearly copied it from there. She kicked the shit out of me! I couldn’t take it anymore!
When I was younger I used to cut my self to cope with the violence. One of my stupid friends told my guidance teacher who called the parents. It was just another ‘stupid thing’ I was doing to shame them and so they got more violent. Good one, confidential guidance system.
When I was 15 I entered abusive relationship number one. I won’t write that here (there was some trauma involved and my therapist knows about it now). When the aftermath came there were no parents to run to. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep and I didn’t know how I was still standing. Every time I woke up, I had to be sick. I told them nothing, and they noticed nothing. I made myself go out and meet friends so I wouldn’t sit in the house in a state. I always got there late and drained of energy, but I don’t think they minded. I never told them but the unwittingly helped me cope with the worst even of my life (I live with one of them now, still doesn’t know, I’m not sure if I’ll tell).
She taunted me about the elite university that I didn’t make it into. I had the perfect grades I needed for it and got an interview after the test, so I might not have screwed that up if I wasn’t brought up by her. She kicked up hell because I didn’t tell her I was applying for uni in another city.
She kicked up hell because I wanted to move into halls for my first year of uni. On the day after the application deadline for accommodation she said to me “oh well, I would have paid for it, but you can’t apply anymore.” Well go fuck yourself you bitch.
I wasn’t allowed back into my house after a certain time, because I would disturb her precious sleep. I was to be home before she went to bed or I wasn’t allowed back in at all, meaning that I couldn’t have a social life with everyone else. If I wasn’t back in the early afternoon she would spend the rest of the day obsessively phoning me to interrogate me on why I wasn’t back.
Whenever I had exams she’d scream at me to study, or that the holidays were coming and I should get a job, producing exactly the opposite effect. I couldn’t cope with that and my exams at the same time. Last academic year on more than one occasion during winter exams, I stormed out of my loud house and angrily slid around all over the place as I made my way 3 miles over the ice to my university building. There I would sit in the peaceful deserted silence and freezing cold, having calmed down, working my way for hours through course upon course until I could take in no more information.
For the next set of exams she flipped once when I went to bed ‘too early’, threw all my stuff around my room and at me and kicked me out of the house. Over the next few days I slept on friends floors and studied on friends couches and sat exams. I had never been so relaxed in my entire life before that.
I never before had an objective view of anything that happened to me; of my relationships that I now realise I was completely dependent on, however abusive they were and I knew it, I never saw it. I could survive only by not seeing it. All my unbearable hate that I felt towards the people that owned my life, that I thought was all disproportionate because I was a teenager and hormonal imbalances made it ‘normal’ –it was all completely justified and appropriately placed. My hatred that caused me shame and depression was, still unhealthy but BUT, it kept safe at least some of my sense of self. My insomnia is a normal reaction to trauma and anxiety. My anxiety was created by them. The views I can now express here and to myself, that I could not before as a defence because I could not fix NPD psychopath, and they are correct all along.
I thought we’d get along better now that I didn’t live with her. This thought was rather quickly killed when she locked me in the bathroom at my gran’s house at Christmas for not meeting the demand that I help with the tree (my cousin had already told her he’d help with the tree but no, I must do it, how dare she not be obeyed!) before chasing me through the house screaming into my room there, where I then sat under the door holding the handle up and screaming back. She called DD who wasn’t with us to take my arguments at her completely out of context and make me look like I started the whole thing. I sat firmly holding that door handle long after she’d given up at the door. It reminded me of how I used to hide in the bathroom either at home or visiting my gran’s house when she got abusive. I used to have to sit in there for about half an hour crying till I collected myself and she’d given up harassing me and gone to do something else instead. You could say I ‘repressed’ those memories, though it isn’t like I didn’t know they were there, I just had to push them out of my head in order to keep living. I was living in a hell of a fucked up way when I was very young. I dreamed of the day I could say that is in the past, and now I can! I’m not in that hell anymore.
(My gran, bless her, started a long screaming match with NPD mom (her NPD daughter) that she “ruined Christmas” when she never gets to see me and that she “did this shit last year too”. Gran is usually a bit eccentric and hilariously blunt.)
NPD mom started having a go at me out of nowhere, about my “false memories” of her abuse in my youth and that was a messed up thing I needed a psychiatrist for, as we seated ourselves on the plane back home. I put my earphones in my ears and ignored her just as she deserves.
I brought myself up through all my little problems and insecurities without a parent to run to for any sort of support. I live now and I am fixing myself. I have friends. I have one friend that is like me (no NPD mom but arguably worse abusive relationships) and we share our woes, not as sufferers, but as the escaped and survived. I love this friend to pieces. Although they can get god damn unreasonable at times and it annoys me, we can actually talk about it and work it out without arguing. I fully welcome a firm opinion of my character dealing with an issue if I haven’t been quite reasonable. I have moved myself away from crappy friends that tease me for hearing difficulties and don’t include me in activities, and I have made new ones that I can live a mostly normal life around without them knowing anything about my NPD mom or anything else (my roomate is annoying as hell but hey, you can’t win at everything). I am academically successful so far and know various computer programming languages. I know various crafts and I enjoy learning new skills for myself and I don’t watch tv because I hate it. I have started reading classic books and massively improved my shambolic communication skills. I can actually convey an idea to someone in words. I can talk about my day without being interrogated and belittled for irrelevant details in what I’m saying.
Nmom isn’t mine. She isn’t even a person. She’s a self absorbed, angsty, sadistic parasite that created me to drain me of power and self worth to feed her fucked up inflated ego.
She does pay my rent, but this comes with all sorts of emotional blackmail. She keeps turning up at my house and inviting herself in, nagging at me in front of my roomie and refusing to leave. She asks questions about my life to an obsessive level. She forces me to come to dinner, and while I’m there, food will be taken from my plate if the GC wants it. How dare I keep food from their favourite, who clearly needs it more than me because I’m fat anyway.
I haven’t been to dinner for weeks now, using the excuse that I had exams.
I’ve been excused from those to sit the next diet while I sort my life out and I’m eternally grateful to my therapist who helped me be excused for just cause, though it was stressful as hell and she had to send multiple letters that were met by an unsympathetic Adviser of Studies. She still knows nothing.
The free money is nice in the beginning, but now I choose between her money and owning my own life.
You know what? I’m getting a student loan and I’m getting the fuck out of here to a place she won’t find me. I’m changing my phone numbers and all online links. If she somehow finds out where I am I’m going straight to the police. If she turns up at my door and threatens me I will punch her in the face, see how she likes it. I don’t give a shit if I’m on the will when she dies. I will own my life for myself and I will be safe. If the money stops then that will be a shame, but I don’t want it any more.
I made my discovery after finding threads like this one. I discovered that there are people out in the world who suffered here too! I have not had enough sleep at all and I want to tell my therapist about my astounding epiphany. I think I’ll wait until I see her again, I could well be heading for a manic episode the way I’m feeling right now. I think I might throw up. Freaked out a bit this afternoon.
I’ll wait and see how life goes for now. How ever will I do without being owned by a mere N?
A. Friend, Thank you for your comment. It’s horrible how you were treated–you speak the truth and have clarity about what happened to you. You are right–when you can let go of the stuff and the money then the next step of no contact is much easier. Extreme self-care and being very kind to yourself will help you as you move on to a new life. You are on your way. Warmest wishes to you, Roxanne
Having worked hard at recovery I am still shocked to find an “obedient” child is still there and interfering with my expression. The fear of being ignored or made invisible by N Mother is still there after all these years ! Hard not to get mad at myself for such a long time wasted, but I know that child inside is protecting herself. I am 65 and back in therapy still struggling with the results after 20 years of trying and seven of those knowing about NPD.
Like many here I have made bad friend choices who have not validated my journey with my mother…”oh she wouldn’t do that!” or as mentioned above not receiving feedback or appropriate responses…I am so tired of it, and so lonely !
And yet I will not give up !
May we all find healing by sharing these stories.
A few thoughts as I reflect over the posts I’ve read and my own experiences. One of the things that surprised me as read a variety of posts both here and on other sites was the ages of those who wrote. This gave me great comfort, as I have heard over the years things like “it’s time to move on”, “why don’t you just let go and forgive”, “why does this still bother you after all of these years” and so on. I am 51 and, although time does heal, the ache of rejection and pain can leave me feeling so vulnerable and anxious. I am coming to terms with the fact that this will always be part of my history, yet it does not have to define who I am. The longer I am away from the family vortex that kept me at the bottom, the healthier I become; yet deep down I still desire to reconnect and be part of my extended family. How can we not want the love and acceptance of our mothers and families?
This is a special group and I have been blessed by the sharing of each persons’ story. There is great comfort in knowing we are not alone. The Lord has been my strength and has provided me with the opportunity to experience healthier relationships, although it has taken a long time and it’s been recent. He showed me my NP traits and I did not like what I saw. Only in seeing my own NP patterns could I begin to re-learn what it means to truly love and care for others and I am still pretty bad at it. One day at a time and one relationship at a time, too – I’m learning to be patient. It’s a great blessing to connect with someone out of love for them – for so many years I convinced myself that I was loving others but in reality, I was trying to get my own needs met, as the pain was so great and so blinding – I had difficulty seeing others and could only see my own pain. I had learned to fake concern for them, just as I learned from my own mother – my hypocracy and detachment caused me to distance myself from others as I was overwhelmed with feeling both inadequate and ill-equipped to handle both their problems and mine. Coupled with being a people-pleaser, it was a never-ending cycle of feeling used and needing self-protection.
I am also the obedient child. When I heard the story of the prodigal son years ago and later learned about the son who stayed home – I was devastated. I am the obedient and loyal “son” who stayed home. I took a lot of pride in my loyalty. I couldn’t fathom forgiving someone who had blatently and selfishly left and hurt their father. Yet over the years, as I learned about this son’s sin, I realized that my obedience was out of fear and self-preservation. I had unknowingly become very self-righteous and hard-hearted. Yet there was a kindness that was deep inside – the kindness that had been taken advantage of for so many years. Dissecting and preserving who I am from what I had become was a tedious and difficult process and I am still working on it. I now have learned to do things from my heart, which means that often times I allow myself to say “no” and not feel guilty – a big step in my life!
Hi Beth, I think one of the hardest things to come to terms with is society’s invalidation of us by them saying “get over it…” etc. We’ve been invalidated once enough by our narcissists and their gaslighting ways, but to keep it happening by others ignorance is cruel
Hi I just wanted to leave an message that the book “Will I ever be good enough” by dr. karly Mcbride helped healed me /as well as this site . thank you for al the postings and this is VIP whatever you do remember /do not define yourself through her distorted views/opinions. The Np mother is ill/mentally ill. i had to leave my expectations behind and I love me more today. I had to feel every oz. of horrible trauma and pain. I had to change the way I think. I thank God that I learned about love through God. See yourself through His eyes. I pray for my Mom to have peace because I know she too went through a horrible childhood. (even though she denys it ) but we all know that is just another lie. She created a “fantasy bond” like I did. Except I came through mine she is still there. I have something she doesnt -I have empathy-compassion-mercy and she will never take that away from me. This comes after healing and there is still triggers and i have triggered recently however I have tools now, For me its healthy to keep my distance and the bonding loving relationship will never happen. Acceptance is a must for me. Not easy however I dont allow her to control me any longer and even with her slingers at times it doesnt go through my soul like it did in the past. Healing is the ONLY way out/-and nurture yourself. re-parent yourself. Your are worth it. thank you everyone and God bless you and help you through your healing journey . I will be praying for all of us. xoxo
Thank you again Roxanne…for helping me through this journey the last 2 1/2 years… and I feel “safe” when I am here and I thank you for that…..
I came across what you wrote on here. I’ve been trying to.figure out what is wrong with my mother beings I didn’t grow up with her now I no…I’ve recently told her I can’t handle being around her. I’m 40 years old now and I feel free I feel I can breath now. Sometimes letting go is all u can do
Traceyt, Thank you for your comment and for sharing your feelings and experience with us. So glad to help you gain some clarity about your mother. Welcome! Warmly, Roxanne
wow. wow. wow! You’re an amazing comunicator – thanks for your vulnerability and beautiful expression of your experience. You will help a lot of hurting people with your writing. Thank you for putting yourself out there. 🙂
Wow! Thanks so much for the kind words. I really appreciate you sharing your comment! You are a bright light shining encouragement to others. 😀 Thanks again!, Roxanne
Roxanne…thanks for this…you’ve got my wheels turning now.
Hi Jonathon, Thank you for your comment–I thought I replied to this comment but something happened to it… Anyway, wheels turning is a good thing! 🙂 I really like your blog. Thank you for checking out mine. Welcome! Warmest wishes to you, Roxanne
Thank you so much! You have helped me beyond words. I’m fighting the guilt now but I know I must keep on the road of No Contact or face a life of misery. Try telling myself she wasn’t a mother to me and a cruel one. I must start a new life and look yonder for a brighter future and life. Thanks Roxanne for letting us see we can do this for us! Sincerely,
Provoking and empowering, a moment of clarity in grief that never seems to dispate once touched by a narcarsist.
A shame so many can relate but a victory in finding closure in shared grief.
Roxanne – your blog has helped me a great deal. My wife, Rachel, has suffered for many years – mostly I had no idea how much – at the hands of her narcissistic mother (Mean, controlling, jealous). Rachel turned 40 last year – later that year her mother decides to leave her father after 40 years of marriage.
Rachel and I have had a fantastic marriage – no major issues except for the occasional argument. Both very loving and closely bonded. After her mother left her father and my wife started to question her mother’s tactics her mother showed incredible coldness by not acknowledging my wife’s right to have any feelings about the matter or anything else for that matter. Turns out this is what her mother had done since Rachel was about 10 years old. She would dump on Rachel about how awful her father was but never gave Rachel the right to ask questions – even normal questions that a young girl needs to ask her mother.
They had a final confrontation and Rachel’s mother again refused to allow my wife to have a voice. Rachel had so much anger built up over all those years and had repressed it all – she literally transformed into a different person.
She began drinking excessively to numb the pain her mother was causing. I noticed a significant change in her but denied the extent of it. She withdrew from me even though we both denied it was really happening.
This downturn culminated in her cheating on me with a complete stranger. Another effort to dull the pain and to do whatever it takes to not become like her mother. You have to understand that this was completely out of character for her. When I found out – it was like she came back to life after being a zombie for a month. She couldn’t tell me why she did what she did – she wasn’t unhappy with me, she didn’t feel neglected or any of the typical things you hear about when things like this happen. We didn’t know the real cause but after our 2nd counseling session she broke down and poured out everything about her mother that had been bottled up for so long.
I have tried to get a grip on the importance of the mother-daughter relationship and how devastating it is when it’s bad – I know I’ll never really understand it but your site has really helped me gain an appreciation for it.
I am the 5th child of seven in a catholic family of 6 girls and 1 boy. My father was a raving suicidal manic depressive. He was sexually molested by his father as were his two sisters. My mother was the daughter of an alcoholic mother who was molested by her mother’s boyfriends. My mother’s alcoholic father threw himself in front of a train when she was twelve. Does the universe have a divine purpose when it throws together these two monsters, a physically, sexually and emotionally abusive father with a narcissist mother? Was nature laughing? more than one scapegoat and more than one golden child later as you can suspect..,the worst trainwreck and carnage imaginable. I was one of the scapegoats and thank god, even though I am broken and hurting I now know why, while my golden child older sister is entrapped in delusions of self grandeur and thinks herself infinitely above us all. When she talks about our mother she says “my mother”. I would laugh if the whole thing didn’t hurt so bad. She ran away from home at 16 and was brought back with gentleness and no repercussions. The day she came home I was beaten black and blue in front of the entire family and dragged into my parents bedroom, door slammed shut and beaten some more or whatever horridness I can’t face. My mother did nothing. NOTHING. Oh well, scapegoat girl was the problem. I hope both my father and mother rot in hell and I never have to encounter their abuse again. Amen.
To Sammy – it’s so sad to hear that. My parents both were not very healthy, but nowhere as outright as yours. However, my upbringing experience DID damage me, through emotional neglect. Until I grew up and met a man who took the pain away. It seemed love would solve all my problems and get me away from the family I couldn’t stand.
But in the end he was more damaged than I was! His own family were too busy to care for him and so he rebelled. He was not a good match, but I just couldn’t see why. I thought something is wrong me, I must change, and that will eventually change him. Of course it did nothing. I was reliving my childhood with an unloving man (like my dad), who I hoped might one day love me.
Thankfully eventually I woke up and my eyes could see. It has been sad, but better to face it isn’t it? No matter how sad the truth is, I think the truth is easier to cope with than a lie. A lie has no hope. May God bless and heal you from the revolting bad choices of your parents.
I just lost everything i just wrote anyway allow my NP back in i really felt that loving feeling through my weakness of what was going on wioth finally leaving my relation here with an alcholic controling ex. anway my np sent me money-care pkg with lost of cool hair beauty products money for bank account and a ticket for thanksgiving. been sober and been feekling good and trying to contunie on my path—screech……….. My ex gets drunbk knowing i am leaving for calif. have to stay cuz of dogs, i drink call my np mom…bad idea…why did i do this? we got agruement due to the fact she was like why are you angry after all i have doen for you? I forced to put all the alchol up in the house. when i told her she been more drank when we sisters were teenagers than they have never saw me drunk except the BS you say to them to make me wrong and yiour right.. How she was more concern for bob her husband of 7 years now.. very wealthy-she finally got the merceeds-the 3 carat dimaond ring-3-4 million house in palm springs– there is no way in hell she is going to allow her drunk ass daughter to ruin everything she has worked (?) for to get where she is. iTS AMAZING TO ME now with money she is worse than she was before..I feel like a fool and i feel like i am the one who FU up due to calling her drinking and her smart comet about me drinking in front of sisters and that childhood memeory about a MAN. i just went off. I ruin everything…the guilt i feel is horrible- i feel sick physically. i feel i cannot shake this and everything i have worked through feels like a stand still and i feel abandon for speaking my truth even drinking. i think i go tmore vivous the more i feel her in control.. i screwed up big time. and i feel like she was helping me in a werid way.. this is help i need from someone to tell me what you think or feel or suggestions. I also called the cops on my roommate for drinking and drinking this last weekend and he got pulled and got duir and i just didnt want him coming back here after drinking more i kjust didnt want here.. on and off for 10 years ambluances with .6/.6 1/2 yeah that right.6 and still alive and i am regretting hell from his mom and also him and i just wanted to scare him not hurt him…I feel my life has completely come to a stop…..everything i have done in 48 hours has changed my life…for the worst…i am stuck and have been for about 4 a long time… this too has been a wake up call for me…
Please forgive yourself and move forward from this. It is okay–you did your best–we HSPs are all still learning things all the time from everything that happens to us. You learned a lot from this. Maybe it is even good that it happened–now you know more than you did before about your mother. You cannot win with her–she does not want to change. You are doing much self improvement work–she is not doing any, never will, and doesn’t want to change. You are at a higher level of consciousness than her and your siblings. You do not belong with them. You have a higher purpose. The riches a highly sensitive person experiences are worth so much more than all the material things in the world. You already have every”thing” you need to be happy–it is your emotional compassion and inner connection to something greater than yourself. They will never understand this. Accept your higher existance and grieve the loss of what could have been. The potential of being close to them will never happen because they are not capable of the level of empathy that is easy for you. Sometimes it helps to think about “intentions”–forgive yourself–your intentions were good and you meant well and would never intentionally hurt anyone. Now think of their intentions–see the difference? You deserve forgiveness. I changed my life when I realized no one was going to rescue me–I had to rescue my self. I did it! You can do it too! Take care of you and only you for as long as it takes to develop healthy boundaries. Wishing you comfort and caring for your grief during this time of self healing, Roxanne
Thank you so much Roxanne…
ES: “As an obedient child, you put your own needs away and focus on pleasing others–but lying under the surface those unmet needs are still there! Begging for attention! Longing for love! There is nothing wrong with you! You are just afraid to speak up and ask for what you deserve. And in some families there is no genuine love to be given. And even as a tiny child you know it!”
Wow, this is so true! What a relief as one of the survivors to hear this said so eloquently and graciously. Thanks for having courage to share your story. Your words really touch my heart and helped set me free. Although what you shared is sad on one hand, it also made me feel really good, because I am not alone. I FELT that pain of yours and was comforted to know someone else KNEW and was sharing it. You standing up for yourself, makes me want to stand up for me! I feel affirmed, and that I DO count. Just because a few (selfish) people said I don’t count, doesn’t make it true!
I felt compassion for my little self at last; and said out loud with tears – ‘I WAS abused!’. It was a relief to do that; not as a ‘victim-fest’, but by OWNING IT, I can mend, and I will. My abusers may never agree that abuse happened, but it did. Although they tried to crush me, they failed. I think they can’t understand how I survived; but I believe the grace of God made it possible, to show how much greater is His love and power, than their evil motives, to tear down and destroy.
A big part of my healing is to know I’m not alone and others care. It’s been hard to believe till now, but I do know – not everyone is a fake or a user! Now I’m looking for authentic, honest people, and leaving the empty, soulless ones behind. It will be a big adjustment, but I know it’s right. I hope like you, to eventually to share my own story with other women, to lift them up from feeling alone or downtrodden.
Hi Roxanne; others,
just 1 day after writing here (above), an opportunity came up to tell my NP that I wouldn’t be able to reconcile, after a falling out. I explained my disappointment that they weren’t willing to apologise or admit any wrong in the problems we’ve had.
I got angry for a change and didn’t cave in, to get their approval. Before this, I’d always ‘put the relationship first’; to the detriment of myself. This time I knew I had to be honest and not ‘pretend’ all was ok (which is the approach they were taking).
Although I came under the usual attack, this time it was different. I stood up for myself, and said my truth as respectfully as I could. But I didn’t back down, ’cause this time I had nothing to lose. There was nothing left to bother ‘trying to make it work’ for. I laid out what my values were and that we weren’t a match. Rather than try to change my NP, (doesn’t work!), I said I have no energy left for counselling or talking further; we’ll just have to agree to disagree. We are two different people, with very different views on life that aren’t going to change.
It was sad and also A RELIEF.
Of course the NP said: ‘You have to forgive.’
I said ‘I do forgive. I forgive, but I don’t forget.’ Forgetting would be damaging.
Reading this I felt as if I was reading a journal
entry from my own life!! Thank you so very much for sharing this post and please keep doing so:) It is exhilarating to see that you are doing great (its been 4 years for me and I must say the best most liberating years of my life)
I come from the same kind of mother.she verbally and physically abused me from the early age of 5.she made me feel horrible about mysely and showed me no love.made me think i was crazy,even put me in a home when i was only 6 years old,then dumping me in hospitals all through my teen years.for a long time i thought i was crazy and asked.god why did mymm hate me and treat me so bad.whats wrong with me?im 40 years old and my husband and his family are my only support system .i finally am taking control of my life and know im not crazy.there is nothing wrong with me.i am a good person and the only sad part of this is that my mother is a very distured women who tryed to destroy me.but i am very strong and she did not suceed in her mission.i am standing strong and taking care of my responabilities everyday despite having come from that kind of horrible abuse from your own mother….
Hi Vanessa, Thank you for your comment. I am so sorry about the horrible abuse you had to endure. Yes, you are strong! Wow! You attracted a healthy husband and support for yourself and created a new life–so the goodness deep within you can never be broken. You are a shining light of God’s love on others and an inspiration to us all! Welcome to our community! Warmest wishes for continued inner strength and awakening to your inner wisdom, Roxanne
Thank you for this blog – I happened upon it while searching for breaking up with your mother. I have tried several times over the years (I am 41) and an only child to break up with my very NM. There have been multiple reasons guilt, family, friends, husband. Until you actually live the never ending drama and emotional abuse it is hard for others to understand. I have become emotionally dead to her and I find that works best as she no longer gets a reaction from me so our interactions are limited and usually end in her being frustrated as it is always about her. She has gone as far as emailing our Pastor, talking to my boss, telling friends at our sons birthday party just awful untrue things about us since SHE worries and loses sleep about us yeah right. I have an amazing husband that at first would try to smooth things over between us, because who does not have a relationship with their mother? He and my core group of friends now are fully aware that she is literally crazy. The challenge I do have is she literally pops up at places to make a scene, my workplace, church our home – I just never know when or what it will be. Moving is not an option we are very connected in our community our jobs and our friends that have stuck through all of her chaos. What suggestions do you have to really have no contact when we are in the same small town? The limited interactions we do have leave me drained and hopeless – praying for her to have peace is not working.
Alleysun, I am so glad you found my blog. 🙂 Thank you for letting me know how you found it and for sharing your story! Yes, It is hard for others to understand unless they have experienced it–but you managed to help your friends and husband understand and now you have a CORE group of support that is priceless in my opinion! You are fortunate to have this kind of support and it makes sense that you would not “want to” move away from that–many hspsurivivors are so wounded since childhood that they find patterns of attracting equally unsupportive friends and partners into their lives until they learn to love themselves, change their core beliefs, and develop and enforce healthy boundaries from unsafe people.
That sounds so awful having your NM pop in your life causing stressful “scenes”! Becoming emotionally dead when she is around is a survival technique you learned to cope but consider that this is not a healthy thing for you to have to do–you are blocking so much joy, relaxation, and maybe even your ability to be loving and emotionally available to your children and husband. They are sure to be affected having a stressed, drained, and “hopeless” Mom and wife. Lightshouse.org has helpful tips on how to write a no contact letter and enforcing it in the most difficult of cases so please take a look at this link: http://www.lightshouse.org/low-contactno-contact.html#axzz2RaVAzGvP. Please let us know if it is helpful or not. Any other readers remaining in the same town with your NM?– please share your stories of support. Wishing you inner peace, safety, and freedom from a Mom who refuses to see that her unloving, controlling ways are drainiing your precious energy that you need for YOUR life. You have come to the right place–we all understand this unique kind of horror! You deserve a happy life, Alleysun. Welcome to our Community of HSP Survivors! With warmest wishes for inner strength and future peace, Roxanne
thanks so much for your writings, I’m 32 and have been out of ‘her’ home and influence for just over a year now, a therapist told me she is a narcissist, and it’s such a relief to find your writings and support for INFJS & HSPs like me. I am So grateful to my also sensitive partner who was the only person ever to really see how I would change and go back into fear when I went back to her house.
When I finally left I went around like a woman leaving an abusive husband, she had no idea, i had to steal money from her and go to a women’s crisis centre. I am eternally grateful for all those who helped me get out (though some of my possessions are still at her house, I go there with my partner when she’s out and collect them, that’s The only way I can be there at all.) If I had not left then, I would still be the small, stunted & impoverished child-adult I was being ‘bonsai’d’ as! yuck!
It’s her birthday this week and I haven’t called her back or made any plans (no wonder my left neck & shoulder and lower back is aching so much – no support & a strangling of my expression!! ) (Also my birthday was last month, and she visited and made it all about her, as usual). I would love to ‘break up’ with her fully, but for now I limit the contact severely and pick up stuff when I can.
Thanks again for your writings and sharing your story, I was going to contact you for counselling, but shall keep an eye out and read your blog.
many blessings and gratitude xxx Amelia
Amelia, Thank you so much for your comment and for sharing your story! I understand that feeling of being powerless to speak up for yourself in her presence–you are doing the right thing! You speak the truth and it is powerful for others to read how courageous you are on your own behalf to get free and stay free. Welcome to our Community! With warmest wishes as you continue to heal, Roxanne
At 45 years old I was just blessed with the realization that I have suffered horribly under a narcissitic disorder mother. Although I am breathing huge sighs of relief ( I too was a sensitive child). My question is: Now what do I do. All of a sudden I’ve learned my whole childhood and life has been a farce. I feel like I can never even look my mother in the eye again. Everything is so clear to me now. I can’t even be angry with her it’s almost like she never existed and my whole miserable life was just a facade. Help
Hi Kay, Thank you for your comment and for sharing about yourself! Congratulations on awakening to the truth about your mother. It’s never to late to begin to heal from our childhoods and you can start by being very kind to yourself every day. Reframing your life with this new knowledge takes time and compassion for yourself to grieve the loss of a healthy childhood. This is a lengthy process–but as you heal the layers you will have more and more of true self available to you to support your new freedom to be YOU! I have lots of supportive books on my recommended books list–Healing the Child Within by Charles Whitfield is wonderful and comes to mind for you. You might also like Sanaya Roman’s book Living with Joy if you are wanting some spiritual support. Reading my blog and the comment sections will help you feel supported by others like yourself in the same boat– Welcome to our Community!
My Mother is malignant NPD and I feel so glad I found this community. Thank you for this wonderful space to heal in. Although I have been in recovery for many, many years, the reverberations of my abuse continue. I am taking steps to get stronger and stronger. I have a good therapist. I’ve initiated NC with my NPD sister. I am evaluating my marriage. I am formulating recovery plans. In short, I was blind but now I see. Most importantly, I will no longer tolerate being made the scapegoat and being the subject of NPD rage. I was the golden child. My goal is to not see my Mom without another person present who supports me. I may change this to NC. Removing myself from the NPD people in my life is insidious, just like the disease itself. I see it can be done. I am INFJ also.
Emma, Thank you so much for sharing your story with us–I am so glad you found our community too! 😀 Welcome! You are taking healthy, wise, and important steps toward your own healing and recovery–Congratulations. Your story will help other golden children of an N parent to take steps in their own behalf. Thanks for sharing that you are an INFJ as well. I hope my posts will continue to be a support to you. Stay strong, Emma and keep shining! With warmest, healing wishes to you, Roxanne 😀
OMG…I just broke up with my mother for the 2nd time (well, for real) today. I’m still feeling like I’m swimming in a whirlpool, but I know that I will be able to calm myself to find that inner peace that you talk about…hopefully! Thank you for helping me to understand that there are so many people who live with emotional abuse, just like I did, and that sometimes, you just can’t expect that person to change, they don’t have the love to give. I really hope that I can finally feel good, start to enjoy my life with my husband and my 2 year old son. I’m so drained everyday when I get home from work that I can’t function! It feels horrible! I hope that I can voice my feelings to everyone else in my life who makes me feel this way…but my mother was the worst. Thanks for understanding. My parents just got divorced 2 years ago because my dad couldn’t take it anymore either. He’s such a strong man. I’m lucky to have him!
Emily, Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. 😀 I understand the whirlpool feeling–be very kind to yourself as you comfort yourself feeling the induced shame of standing up for yourself. Inducing shame is how N’s controlled us as children and it is very engrained but this “inner critic” can be overcome. It takes extreme-self-care and time. Journaling for your eyes only will help you keep in touch with your true voice–you don’t have to express it outwardly to the less sensitive–also learn to protect yourself and your newfound boundaries, your energy, and your wounds as you heal and you will get stronger and stronger. It will do wonders for you having one parent to support you–most of us have none and just get strength from our belief in a higher power and that the Universe loves and supports us. Sending you warmest wishes as you get through the storm–blue skies and sunshine are ahead if you believe you deserve it. You do!! 😀 Roxanne
Great blog – such a relief to find other people in my shoes. Believe it or not, I’ve been the scapegoat my entire life and have just been able to leave my toxic family for good. I saved up enough money to buy a house outright and move far enough away from them to feel safe. I now live in a wonderful community with great neighbors and feel so liberated. I am contemplating moving out of the country (within the next 2-3 years) so that I will never again have to see any of them or their flying monkeys. However, I do have something on my mind that’s currently bothering me, and I was wondering if you might have a solution to my problem. It dawned on me the other day that my NM will be turning 80 in January of 2015, and my N siblings will be throwing her a huge birthday bash. I can just see it now – my NM reveling in all of her supposed glory with her flying monkeys parading around and paying homage to her royal highness. It makes me ill just thinking about it. My predicament? I live only two hours away from them and will be expected to attend the party. Bottom line – I DO NOT WANT TO ATTEND but don’t know how to graciously decline. Any suggestions? Also, if anyone on this blog has any suggestions for me, I would appreciate hearing from you because this is beginning to concern me – even though the event is over a year away from now (this is what years of scapegoating will do to someone). Thank you for any suggestions that you (or anyone else here) may have for me.
Thank you for your comment, Noelle, and for your kind words about my blog–your attitude is refreshing–you have so much clarity and strength! 😀 I know about the fear of not wanting to make waves because of the backlash–you cannot win no matter what you say or do as you know so here is a thought: What if, when you get the invitation, you do “nothing”–they won’t know if maybe you never got the invitation or you are busy–you do not owe them an explanation. If you feel you must RSVP, perhaps you might like saying “I will not be attending–best wishes to all.” If you truly want to move on with peace in your life then you can wish them peace and move on. Perhaps say, I wish you peace, please leave me in peace. If you are truly committed to going no contact then stop looking at messages from them that are just going to upset you. It is scary at first but so freeing once you decide to delete a vm or email without reading it or listening to it. You probably go over and over in your head all the possibilities of how you could say something and their response and you know their is no winning for you in this and that is why you are asking for us to help you with this–This worry going round and round is wasted time and energy you could be spending on your own healing and creating your dreams and desires coming true for yourself. You are not alone–we as a community are with you in your seeking a more supportive “family” of like-minded souls. Sending you prayers, love, and light as you overcome your fear of disappointing anyone. You are the opposite of disappointing, Noelle, you are a gifted, sensitive soul who hears a higher calling to break free from conditional love–no explanations necessary! 😀 Wishing you inner peace, Roxanne
Noelle, I had been in this situation a few times before my family realized that I was not going to attend any more functions. A couple of things to consider; first of all, it is a long time between now and when you may receive an invitation; many things could come up in the mean time that could make replying a non-issue – you would be worrying needlessly. Secondly, I have found that replying as you would to anyone else whose invitation you needed to decline will help you be at peace. I responded to my family by thanking them for the invitation and thinking of me, but letting them know that I would not be able to make it that day. No explanation is necessary, but I found that responding with kindness made me feel better about me; I have learned over the years to interact with people based on my character and not who they are, etc.; it helped me feel more confident and less anxious about my responses. I have to say, it took me a while to learn this, as I wanted to say how I truly felt, but knew that would make me look even worse than I already do in the eyes of my family (if that were possible!).
Hope this helps ~Beth
Hi, I agree with others comments – like about being kind, and probably anything you say they won’t like – but here’s my experience:
I used to be afraid to say no to my in-laws and family, feeling overly responsible, like I was ‘letting them down’, but eventually realised I had been weak, and needed to stand up for myself, which included declining events. It was terrifying at first, but over time got easier, I feel good for setting those limits.
In your situation I’d say nicely, ‘oh sorry, I can’t attend.’ If they say ‘Why?’, I’d reply ‘I’ve got something on, on that day.’ (You don’t have to say you’ll be home doing laundry or reading a book (haha), but it’s true you DO have something else on that day, anything but attending the birthday!) In the last year I’ve learnt to do this and as I said it gets easier.
They may push or nag to see if you mean it; get abusive, guilt-trip, etc. But calmly say the same thing, ‘sorry I can’t’. If they get nasty or go on and on, say ‘sorry I’m not coming, gotta go. talk later, bye’, then end the call even if they’re still ranting. They soon seem to realise you’re not going to engage. If you’re consistent, they stop expecting so much from you.
Let us know how it goes!
I have read your comments, and I thank you for them. Currently, I am taking things one day at a time and trying not to become overly anxious about this matter. After all, the reason we have all become scapegoats in our FOO is that we’re strong and sensitive individuals. So, I am now gently reminding myself that when the time comes, I will know exactly what to say and do.
But I wanted to share something else with all of you – I call it my breakthrough and gift from the Divine. I mentioned in my earlier post that I’ve moved to a new location. I want to let you know that my next-door neighbor (an older, retired woman) has taken me under her wings. She is involved in a lot of volunteer work and has been inviting me to many functions.
Yesterday, we went to a function and she picked up three of her other friends – so there were five of us riding in her car. Not one of them ever mentioned anything unkind about anyone. When someone’s name was mentioned, only kind things were said about that individual.
During this event, I made a silly mistake and felt embarrassed by it. My neighbor put her arm around me and reassured me that everything would be okay. It was a very genuine and soothing moment for me. I immediately felt better and some of the ‘blame and shame’ that my FOO so cursed me with over the years seemed to dissolve in that instant. On the way back home, the ladies discussed getting together next week for lunch, and I’m really looking forward to it.
When I got home later that afternoon, I wondered what it would have been like had I accompanied my FOO to this function. The ride would have been disastrous because they would have invariably colluded and slandered several people, and I would have been ridiculed for my ‘mistake.’ I shudder to even think about how dreadful it would have all been.
Well, I just wanted to share my new life with all of you. I now have to grow accustomed to being treated with love and respect by well-meaning individuals. I’m really on my way to healing. May we all heal with dignity.
Noelle, Thank you so much for sharing with us this inspiring turn of events for you! You now have what most of us aspire to have!–a CARLOAD of highly sensitive friends!!! Yes, what a divine future you have created and attracted for yourself! You soothing words help us all relax and know to stay calm and that we will KNOW what to do when stressful events arise! What a shining, inspirational gift you are to our community, Noelle! Your beautiful name describes you well–may we remember it and it’s meaning of peace as we approach the holiday season ahead. With love and light, Roxanne
Thank you so much Elaine. I felt the same way growing up. I am no where near where you are. I’m 52.
My blocking point is that instead of being obedient I became the opposite. I rebelled, became promiscuous, seeking love anywhere I could get it. Even if it was not really love at all.
Please tell me how I stop feeling that because I was rebellious, I deserved the emotional, mental and physical abuse.
It is my greatest stuck point.
Blessings to you and your new family!
HI Kate, Thank you for your comment. 😀 Think of any child you know, do they deserve to be abused if they are not obedient?–of course not–they deserve for someone to recognize their innate spunk and moxy as a gift and give them guidance in a compassionate way. Rebellious children with narcissistic parents are in the same pain as obedient children but they have something unique–there’s something inside them that says “I’ll show them!” that obedient children don’t have. Neither of these types of children deserve punishment–punishing a highly sensitive child is very damaging to their kind and gentle souls. You, Kate, would have thrived with a safe person to go to that would have seen the “determination” in your need for love and understanding as a gift to be encouraged and appreciated. You can learn to give this love and appreciation to yourself! In healing childhood wounds, compassion for yourself is rule #1. Forgive yourself!–you did the best you could when there was no love to be found. You are and always have been a “force” of shining light!–Keep shining! Sending you caring wishes for healing and inner peace, Roxanne
Hello! It was nice to read your encouraging post, and recomforting to see so many people share their stories, which sound similar to mine.
Many of the people’s feelings that go sort of like “I was a wonder child, but now I realize it was fake, oh!” sound familiar to me. But that stage I already grew out of, that is the initial rebellion stage when things get so overwhelming that you start realizing that there was no real love from the parent’s side and he/she does not really care about what the real you is. Luckily I am lightyears away from THAT stage in particular, and no longer preoccupied with my mother’s attitude towards this or that or me, altough the recovery process in my case has been slow and full of twists and turns.
It has been 4 years since I definitely cut contact with my parents. This is the second time I cut contact, the first time I managed to do it for 3 years however I was innocent enough to suppose that contact could be still maintained from a distance and reinitiated it (being a good child and person) with periodical visits until I ended up back at their place. Now I know this was a mistake and this time I am determined never again to do that. I am an only child and what hurts is when I tell someone about it and the first reaction is “you SHOULD reinitiate contact BECAUSE after all, they are your parents”. I bet many have heard this and it really makes one feel alone in the fight.
Now the problem I am facing is the following: I am having flashbacks and suddenly memories appear when I least expect them. For the first time in my life I have a home of my own, peace and beauty and many things have changed in me inside but sometimes I surprise myself remembering degrading statements made by my father or for example thinking about what my parent’s possible reaction would be to seeing my current home and feeling sad about how these people never wanted me to have what I have now. And that probably if they would see how I live they would feel envious, maskerading this envy. And at the end of this thought process it feels like “I don’t deserve this”….. and at the very end it feels like “YES I deserve this, uffffff I am sooooo lucky to be away from there”… and then fear kicks in like this: “Oh my gosh I hope NEVER again a situation comes in which we well be in contact again because I am so lucky to have escaped”… and finally “I must be positive and all negativity will go away, don’t be silly that past will never return”. And this is the catharsis. This internal process I usually go through several times a week on average. So, the people who make comments like the above “You should regain contact” example have no idea of what they are talking about. If I had to regain contact with those people, I swear I’d go nuts.
I know that this flashback memories stage I am going through now is just one more stage to get over. And it was relieving to post my comment here so I wrote down my feelings and I can see it is just a thought process so I should not get into such internal panic, because when the fear kicks in that I tell you is horrible. I am really happy to be managing my life independently and able to experience the full range of my emotional world, and do things because I enjoy doing them, not to obtain someone else’s reaction or attention. Only a balanced partner is missing (because the type of guys I choose seem to be all narcissists also) but at least I have a few admirers from other types of men, so don’t feel lonely.
Good luck to everybody!
Irina, Thank you so much for your sharing and for your awareness! 😀 Welcome to our community! Sending you warm caring wishes as you continue to heal, Roxanne
I came across your site after searching on emotional abuse/confusion/desperation. I learnt last year from a counsellor the label narcissistic in terms of certainly my dad but, and this is also backed up by descriptions from contributors here, my mum to some degree as well. I only managed to go to 4 sessions of help though before it came too painful.
Over the last 12 months my life has largely collapsed in that I left work because I couldn’t stand up to a bullying manager (and am now in no emotional state to find another), I’ve had depression, I’ve been trying to defend and support various members of my family in their life problems when all they get from my dad is judgment and condemnation, and after a series of bullying and blackmailing emails, I’ve not spoken to him for 8 weeks. I have now started seeing another counsellor but, while I can describe events and consequences, I struggle to say how I really feel.
It has been a bit of comfort to read about the experiences of others on this blog, but before I can even process how I’m going to move forward, I have to find a way to cope with the emotional and physical state I’m in at the moment. I’m guessing that a lot of people writing here have probably been through something similar, but may be partly because it is so hard to describe the desperation and pain felt, it isn’t much written about. I just don’t feel I can cope with any of this much longer and, while I’m so lucky to have a loving and supportive partner, even she isn’t able to understand how much I’m hurting and close to tipping point I am. I would truly value any advice or thoughts other people have.
Molly, Try to remember that the painful things that happened to us as children made us feel hopeless because our parents were our whole world. These feelings remain until we can comfort ourselves through them and know that “the past is over–we are safe now–noone can hurt us as much as when we were children and our core selves were just being formed.” We can recover by loving ourselves and soothing the deep wounds from childhood taking life one day a time. Writing out our confusion helps us connect to our compassionate right side of the brain and gets us out of the left side of the brain where the inner critic spirals out of control sometimes–writing helps us find our voice again. It’s awful what happened to you as a child that keeps you from feeling strong–you are strong though and everything is going to be all right. Reach out to your partner–ask her to just listen and be a witness for you and let the pain out until it has run it’s course and you will feel better. You’ve learned a lot! You’ll find a better job with more positive manager’s and you are ready to move forward to a better life. Compassion for yourself is rule #1. Be very very kind to yourself as you grieve the painful past and grow new wings to rise up above all the people who tried to bring you down because you are more highly evolved than they are. Believe in that presence in you that observes all that happened to you–that is your true self and it is everpresent, everaware and everloving. Keep reading my blog when you feel down and check out my recommended books. Haved a blessed Thanksgiving with your loving and supportive partner!–what a blessing to have her!!! Thank you so much for sharing your story here on this blog–we are with you as a community and we care! Welcome to our community! With love and light, Roxanne
Many thanks for your reply and advice Roxanne. A friend once suggested I should write a journal, but I’ve always been very reluctant to write any of my feelings down….just in case he found them. Yep, not that likely when you have your own home and he doesn’t visit but still hard to let that worry go.
It is such a comfort just to have found this blog and to read about other people’s experiences – thank you
Hello I loved your blog it’s so true. I am an obedient child I am 55 years old and have been servicing my Mother for over 20 years. Taking her to all the doctors appointments that she feels she needs t o have to get her need for attention met. She is not sick but she needs the constant attention of doctors to make her feel important.I see so much of her in your blog. Myself also. Please remove all the snowflakes it looks pretty but slow computers make it hard to read.I realize that sounds narcissistic but it took me over 2 hours to read this and leave a message. I am sure I am not the only one. I have been in therapy for over 3 years. It has helped me to at least know what is wrong with my family. But I have not been able to move forward from there.I think I understand more since I have read this. I thank you so much Janet Witt
Janet, Thank you for your comment and for sharing your story. Welcome to our community! Sorry about the snowflakes–thanks for letting me know. Is this background better or is it the little balls of snow that make it hard to read? In recovery from N parents, compassion for yourself is rule #1–we often must grieve our childhood before we can move forward–there is much to be sad about for a bit and this open us up to feel the joy that is our birthright. Joy and peace to you, Janet, you have a strong light to shine to help others who will appreciate you and not “use” you for their own needs. I am putting a new book on my recommended books page called, Boundaries by Dr. Charles Whitfield–it may be of help to you. Keep shining that inner light of yours, Janet. Blessings and inner peace to you, Roxanne
I just broke up with my mother yesterday and I your words are my words. Thank you for helping me see I am not alone, I was not crazy and she will never change. I realize that my choice will alientate me from my extended family, but I have only this one life and in order for me to live it to the fullest, I have no choice but to remove myself from all situations and people that steal my vital energy. Thank you for your inspiration/confirmation!
Christy, Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Welcome to our community! Know our hearts are with you and that we understand and send you comforting, caring wishes. Be kind to yourself as you move forward to preserve your vitality and take care of yourself. With love and light, Roxanne
I don’t know if my mother is a narcissist or not, but at the age of 45 I have finally had enough.
A little back ground:
I have 1 sister that is 2 yrs older than me and has spend her life tormenting me. I have always wanted to be her friend. When we were young and in school she would tell everyone that she did not know who I was and that she did not have a sister. When ever I found join in anything she would destroy it. Example: When I was 7yrs old, down the road from our house was an empty lot where I use to go to play, I discovered an ant hill and started bring the ants candy and water. I was the kind of kid that loved everything. When she discovered this she covered my ant hill in ant killer and killed them all. These are only 2 example, the list goes on and on. A year and a half ago I finally went no contact with her. It has been a blessing but also very painful, I am in mourning for the sister I always wanted and will never have.
My mother: She has spend her life going from 1 tragedy to the next and I have been her only support. When I was in the 5th grade I was the one she would have sit at the table while she cried and served me alcohol so that she would have someone to drink with and that was my life going forward. She never wanted me to leave home. At the age of 30 I finally broke free or I thought I had. I moved 1500 miles away and she would come and stay every other month for an entire month. I have an at home business so I was stuck there with her all day every day for the whole month each time she came to stay. I am a very social person and love to do things with my friends, When ever I was going out she would look sad and lonely, which in turn would make me feel guilty for leaving her.
After years of this I couldn’t take it anymore and told her she can not come that often or stay that long. I told her if I had to I would leave my home and live in a tent in the woods to have my freedom, Now those were my exact words. Her response was ” I will find you”.
How terrible it was to discover that mother did care how I felt. After these blow-ups of mine I would always go back to what she wanted me to be.
At the age of 41 I got married to a wonderful man, He is truly my best friend. I still continued to have problems with my mother visiting all the time and stay for a month. My Husband and I are very busy people, He works 6 days 60 hrs a week and our only day together is Sunday, I have told my mother this and that I wanted to spend Sunday alone with my Husband and that she would have to find something to do outside the house, She agreed. Then Sunday came, She sat on the back porch visiting with my husband until 2 in the afternoon when I finally told my husband “Lets go, we are going out to do something” at that point when we were getting ready to leave she finally left because she knew we wouldn’t be there anyway. She was only gone for a couple of hours and then came back. I have told her she can not use me for her life entertainment and that she needs counseling, she said she would but has not in the 3 years after this. When I finally put my foot down, again and told her she could only come 2 time per year for 1 week she bought a house across the street and is always popping in.
How do I deal with the chest pain associated with this, when ever I see her or speak to her my chest hurt and all I can do is try to hurry it up so that I can get away.
It is a terrible thing to say but I will not mourn her loss when it is time for her to go, I will rejoice in my freedom and look forward to that day.
Sherrie, Thank you so much for sharing your story. Welcome to our community! You might find the following book helpful: Boundaries and Relationships: Knowing, Protecting and Enjoying the Self by Dr. Charles L. Whitfield. Sending you love and light, Roxanne
Thank you kindly
Thank you for sharing this. You helped me by articulating something I could not quite put my finger on in my own childhood.
Thank you for your comment, Elaine. So glad it was helpful. 😊
Roxanne, I say thank you to the Universe that you could grow in a spiritual way and you have the talent to put in words all the pain, feelings and healing that everybody with Narcissistic parents feel.
Sorry about my english, it´s not my native language.
After reading a lot about Narcissistic mother I started to feel like a product, a laboratory experiment of her. How vulnerables we can be!! A thing, not a real person. Yes, it´s hard. I´m from Spain and culture here is not gentle. It´s rude. An authoritarian way where your feelings are not validated if you feel different. Nothing is not very important because the partying and joke are more. Feeling and having a lot of awareness alone is very hard and difficult to prosper in life because the society and my parents push away of the happiness and of the good life.
Fortunately I live far away of them. My mother is a malignat narcissistic. I remember when I was a little girl that I was overweight. I felt that it doesn´t my body at all. She nerver mind my diet. When I was fourteen I began to do exercise and a healthy diet. I lost weight. Yes! People thought I was anorexia but it wasn´t. I was comfortable in my real body. She always had a disgust face to me. I felt her repudiation.
My father is enabling father. I think he husts me more than my mother. He always confused me. He seems a logical father and when I´m with him he gives me the reason in all the things I see in my mother. After one day, he forces me to speak with my mother ( I don´t have contact with her) and he deny all the things he told me. He says he wants to solve the problems and the only way is obeying to my mother and let me to abuse me again and again. It´s hard to know that my father is a selfish and he always will be with her, in her play. They have trying to manipulate me with money. I have a son and looking for a job, so they put money in my bank but a few days ago I gave back the money again. I don´t want tricks.
In the way of healing I feel numb, like I lost my emotional memory.
All my life I felt very insecure and for the first time ( Thanks to you, Roxanne) I realiced that the way to feel safe is looking at my heart. I´m having more compasion and love with myself. Today I did a check-up medical. I realiced that all my life I felt that I wasn´t important in life. Doesn´t mind if I died because I switch off of life. I felt sad, heavy and with no energy and joy. But now I´m discovering that I can have a better life for me and for my son (I´m actually separated).
When I was 24 (actually I´m 38)I was to the USA because I had a boyfriend from there. His family was the most beautiful and wonderful people that I met. Every month I continue receiving a letter with nice words of love and support. I felt I didn´t deserve their love, why?. But now I know I didn´t do nothing wrong in life and maybe some people love me in a real way.
I´m a HSP as well. I have a blog in Spain about HSP. A meaning that it´s very new here, almost unknown.
All my love and light for nice people with a disfuncional family.
Bea, Thank you for sharing your story and for your kind words about my work.:D I am so glad you are learning to self-nurture and take good care of yourself in every way–it is not easy but you display great inner strength and wisdom which is a rare gift! Congratulations for shining your light in an environment/culture that is so lucky to have you. I am sending you warm wishes of love and light as you continue to heal and spread compassion and sunshine to others on your blog. Wow! A pleasure to meet you, Roxanne
Thank you for your answer Roxanne. I would like to ask a question. All my life I felt powerless trying to convince my parents about the reality I was living and they denied all my feelings and my reality saying: that´s not true. I remember my father moving his head in a “no”. I feel very rage about that.
Nowadays when I´m trying to say something about my parents or my ex-partner one of my “friend” always is denying everything like: “Are you sure? I think they want to help you” or “maybe you are in a depression so you see everything in a bad way” I was very upset with the last sentence!!
So I relive the same feeling of poweless. There´s nothing to convince many people about how can I feel. It´s like I´m not in the true, like my parents told me.
Actually I don´t want to be close with people. I´m loosing my natural feeling of trusting in people. If you think there´s not a lot of information about this point of narcissistics mothers in USA, could you imagine in a latin culture, like in Spain? where the mother is sacred. Pople think that something wrong is with us.
Do you feel anxiety trying to convince people?
I will appreciate an answer. Thank you very much.
Hi Bea, This is a great question that many people will relate to. There comes a time in one’s healing journey and learning to love yourself and shine your light that you will no longer feel the need for outside approval from the masses for your feelings. Try to remember your emotional sensitivity is a gift and most others don’t have this gift. Another way to look at it is from a deeply spiritual perspective. It’s like the soul of the highly sensitive person is more highly evolved–you’ve learned things, expect, and “know” things that most other people have not learned yet in their soul’s journey. Compassion, nurturing, and helping other’s feel good about their uniqueness is what we expect from all others because we do it so innately. But, while we are healing we really need to be protective of our wounds and find only other safe highly evolved (sensitive), people to share our truth with. When there is no one we can find, then journaling for your eye’s only can be very healing–it was for me. I recommend the book, The Artist’s Way, which is an amazing step by step guide to healing through journaling. I did it and it changed my life–over time I found my voice and I stopped expecting all other’s to validate me. Learning how to have healthy boundaries and how to protect your precious sensitive energy from the negative energy of others is all part of the healing process for those of us HSP’s who have been wounded at the core since childhood by narcissistic caretakers. Healing takes time so always be gentle on yourself, and forgive yourself often when you sometimes trust the wrong people with personal information they may never understand. Warm wishes, Roxanne
Roxanne, thank you very much. Your words are like the rain in a desert.
You are right. Now I can understand myself better.
I am normally very natural and trusting to everyone. I usually feel a connection with the nice feeling of people but after a time I feel that person has a darkness side and I feel a heavy energy on me that remove my own energy. Like I was depressed. In that moment I´m scary and I feel the same anxiety when I was a little girl with my mother. So I feel in a prison, because it´s difficult to have boundaries for example with my son´s father. But now I understand that they put their energy on me so I have to take care myself and don´t be furious with myself if I trust in wrong people. Meeting people is a risk. Yo never know until you are in a deep relation and sometimes it can be very painful.
Thank you very much.
Have a nice weekend!
yes, you get it 😉 . Take care 😀
I don’t think I or anyone is a ‘highly sensitive person’. I think that is a label we get from our narcissistic abusers as they abuse us then dismiss our emotions. Their dismissals come in forms of labeling us as over emotional, highly sensitive, too sensitive, polyanna, sarah bernhardts … you get the picture. You see, not one of us just sat there like statues and took this abuse. We reacted. However, a narcissistic mother or parent can not allow that reaction because it breaks their cover. A innocent child would not be upset about nothing. An innocent child would not be feeling (and letting others see and know what we were feeling) for no good reason. That is as rudimentary in human understanding as is that mothers are good and inherently love their children. Except regarding mothers, we who have been abused know that is not the case but few others do. Most cannot comprehend it. And the main reason why they cannot is because the narcissistic abuser or any abuser of children has to make sure the child does not give them away. So they begin to teach us that our emotions are wrong and we are wrong. That every time we respond to the abuse appropriately that we are being inappropriate and that our reaction is wrong and that we are wrong. They literally train us to repress all our emotions and we quickly end up labeled as over sensitive, highly sensitive, drama queens, unstable… you name it. But the simple truth is we are none of that. We never were. We were nothing more than normal children reacting to abuse the way any normal child would. There is nothing special about our ability to feel emotions other than our experiences taught us to treat them differently. And so we see ourselves as highly sensitive, something different about us when there was nothing different about us except we were being abused and taught that our response to that abuse was an overreaction.
Every time I hear someone refer to themselves as over sensitive in any way, I know they were exposed to someone who likely abused them by telling them their emotions were wrong, too much, or something of the like where they were meant to feel less because the person teaching them that didn’t want to those emotions acknowledged in any way. There are NO overly sensitive or overly emotional people except perhaps borderline and histrionic personality disordered who are quite often the product of abuse themselves. Their abuse caused them to develop in a way where they do over react to anything that triggers those feelings again. And yes there are those who play up their emotions because they want attention, but that is not ‘overly sensitive’ or ‘highly sensitive’. It’s simply a person who wants attention and knows how to get it. But as highly sensitive is referred to here does not exist. I am not saying this to tell you that you are wrong but to shine a light on where that label came from so that you can choose to free yourself of it in case you decide it no longer benefits you to be labeled the way your abused did as a way to belittle your emotional responses to their abuse and so others would see you as a child who cries wolf rather than a child who was responding to abuse.
We were abused. We were trained out of our emotional responses. We were taught that we were wrong for feeling how we felt at every turn and trained to see ourselves as different and accept that our emotions were not accurate gauges of anything because that is the way the abuser needed us to be. Otherwise, it would have blown their cover.
Your emotional responses are normal for you. You may feel or think you are more sensitive to things than others but you are just more aware. You would be astonished how many people accept minor forms of emotional abuse every day. There are people in relationships where they are berated and controlled and manipulated on a regular basis only it is much smaller degree. They learn to shrug it off or excuse it. We, however, recognize that right away and respond appropriately because we know exactly what it is and do not overlook what others might because we have a much better understanding of emotional abuse. That might make us appear overly sensitive but I would call it ‘very knowledgeable and very aware’. If I had a dollar for everyone who dismissed me all the times I told them something was wrong with how my mother was behaving or treating me or how I felt in response to it, I would be a millionaire. This is because people just don’t get it. People have no comprehension of what emotional abuse looks like. I would venture a guess that at least half the world sees some form of it at one time or another and they just shrug it off as a person who is not nice or a person with an issue with another person or a person with some issue of their own. They do not recognize abusers when they see them. And we, the ones who can really see the truth, have been labeled highly sensitive to dismiss our own reactions (which eventually will develop into keen senses because of our exposure to such abuse) just in case we might blow their cover.
I don’t believe there are any highly sensitive people. Only people who have been told that at some point in their life because their normal emotional response was not wanted, desired, respected or cared about.
ariel, Thank you for your comment and for sharing your view. I agree with everything you are saying here but I believe you are misunderstanding an important point–yes, there are no overly sensitive people, but Elaine Aron coined the term highly sensitive person (HSP) from her research about sensory-sensitivity in 20% of the population on the planet. The term is meant to shine a light on the gifts and is helping to change the stigma of the word “sensitive” to a very positive thing. I am proud to be a highly sensitive person. Now if you called me an “overly sensitive person” that would be a whole different thing. I agree with you that there are no overly sensitive people. Here is the link to the self-test http://hsperson.com/test/highly-sensitive-test/ to determine if you are one of the special sensory-sensitive people who I believe are highly evolved souls who are here as gift to the planet. This is because of their deeper creativity, compassion, intuitive abilities, and abilities to tap into and create beauty, art, music, new technology, spirituality, and a higher consciousness that the world needs right now to grow into a more compassionate and loving planet with abundance for all. Please read my article on this blog entitled “What does HSP mean?”: https://hopehealing.wordpress.com/new-what-does-hsp-mean/. There is a vast and growing network and online community of extremely gifted people who are banding together in support of each other who are thrilled to consider themselves to be HSPs! Please do not negate their existence or their potential as leaders of a new highly conscious earth! With love and light to you, Roxanne
Reading through all of the comments helped me immensely. Thank you, Roxanne, for responding to others in a way that is supportive and strengthening. Your work is appreciated.
Thanks for letting me know–I appreciate it immensely! 😀 Welcome to our community! with love and light, Roxanne