Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Narcissist Grandparents

I've expressed one of my greatest regrets in a couple places on my blog. I will reiterate it here: my greatest regret in life (and I have some doozies, but this one easily wins first place) is that I allowed my mother access to my daughter when she was young.

The comments on the last post asked for my opinion on how to explain to children why you are cutting the narcissistic grandparent out of their lives. Before I get to that, I want to deal with the moral necessity of protecting one's children from a known danger. What I have marveled at in myself and in others is that we have endured so much pain, both physical and emotional, inflicted by our narcissist parent and, yet, we somehow see our way clear to allow our abuser access to our own young. The disconnect in our thinking is rather breath taking when approached rationally without making mental exceptions for the familial connection.

Here are the facts of life: the malignant narcissist is still a malignant narcissist even after you give birth. The fundamental nature of your malignantly narcissistic parent is the same as it was when you were a child. (If not worse.) Due to no reason other than the fact that you brought a child into the world, your narcissist parent is now a narcissist grandparent. Your bringing new life into the world did not fundamentally change your abusive parent into a loving family member. But adult children of narcissists (ACONs) seem to show a natural affinity for believing in this work of fiction. We have always wanted our parent to be loving to us, and now we want our parent to be a loving grandparent. What we want and what we end up with are two very different things. Where we usually get tripped up is our failure to recognize the adaptability of the narcissist to changing circumstances.

It is highly unlikely that your NPD parent will interact with your children in exactly the same way they did with you. At least, not in your presence. They have adapted their methods to the new situation of you having a family of your own. They know they don't have the same power and control they used to so they usually switch to sneakier methodologies. Which allows you to think that they have changed from what they were when you were growing up. From my personal experience, and from observing the experiences of others, the NPD grandparent will use their grandchildren in the same way they would use an inanimate tool. Without regard for the humanity of your child, that child becomes a tool in the hand of your NPD parent to hurt you. This will always result in moral and/or emotional harm being done to your child as well.

The actual mechanics of how the NPD grandparent will misuse their relationship to their grandchildren will vary. Generally, they will either over-value or under-value the grandchild as a means to get to you. Often, when they over-value, it is the objective of the Ngrandparent to steal the child from you. I mean that in both senses, physically and emotionally. Ngrandparents are known for so much trash-talking against you behind your back to your own child or children that they want to go live with grandma or grandpa, or the Ngrandparents simply inspire rebellion of the child against you. They steal the hearts of the grandchildren. Sometimes, they will battle for physical custody of a grandchild after their slander campaign against you has won them powerful allies. Many times the Ngrandparent has a lot of extra cash to throw around since they are done raising a family. They may successfully exploit the natural selfishness of the child by using cash or toys to lure them. I have read heart-breaking stories of these kinds of situations often enough that I recognize the clear danger any narcissist grandparent represents. They can even steal your children's hearts from you when the children near adulthood with promises of money, houses, cars, college tuition, etc. as bait.

It is imperative to let yourself know that, without profound evidence to the contrary, your narcissist parent is a narcissist still. You must let yourself know for a fact that your Nparent can not be trusted with your most precious responsibility, your children. If you allow contact between your children and your Nparent it must never be out of sight. Never for a moment leave your child alone with this serial abuser. They only need a few moments of alone time to inflict damage. A whisper, an insinuation, a pinch, a look. If you consider yourself a responsible parent you will never, ever leave your child alone with your Nparent. Ever.

So you've made the decision that cutting off contact with your Nparent is a necessity and now you're dealing with questions from your children, or you're anticipating questions. First of all, let us establish another fact. You are the parent. You get to make these decisions without apology or excessive justification. You can assure your child that you are making a wise and loving decision for them as well as yourself. I am not going to script what you should say because you are the only one who knows your children, but you must convey that this isn't up for negotiation. This is not a decision that the child gets to make. Yes, children usually love their grandparents. Children are often quite indiscriminate in their love which is why they need parents to guide them. Not every person is safe to have around and this is a good time to teach that important life lesson. The more matter-of-fact you are, the more matter-of-fact your children will be. When we act hysterical, they will usually reflect our hysteria. If you act anxious, they will act anxious. If you appear unsure, they will push. Model the reaction and attitude you want your children to adopt.

If you have another set of grandparents in the picture then focus on them. It is rare that both sets of grandparents are nasty. Emphasize to your children how much we enjoy being around grandma and grandpa so-and-so (the decent and loving grandparents). Cultivate your children's relationship with the decent, loving grandparents. Teach your children to be grateful for the decent, loving grandparents. Gratitude is a highly effective antidote to loss. Focus them on what they have, not what they don't have. Model that attitude of gratitude.

You will find that the children will eventually stop mentioning the loss of the narcissist grandparent if you are not bringing it up. If you are talking about your Nparent in the hearing of your children then you are inviting them to keep talking about it, too. I can not over-emphasize the need for your explanation to a younger child to be calm, pragmatic, measured and short. Long explanations make you look defensive which will tend to peak the interest of the child and prompt him to push the issue. You can gauge what is appropriate information depending on the age of the child. If the child is older and has experienced or witnessed the Ngrandparent's nastiness in action then you can say more.

Young children are not known for their long attention spans. This works in your favor. With younger children you have the advantage of distraction. It is easy enough to get the child's mind off onto another track. Every parent has done the distraction routine at one time or another. "Mommy, I want to see NastyGram today!" "Honey, we aren't going to see NastyGram today because we get to go to the park and eat ice cream." (Make up fun time on the spot if necessary for this distraction.) "Yay!!" sez the kid and off we go. Subject changed, kid distracted. In time, NastyGram will fade from memory. Any bonding that may have occurred will dissipate in the process of time.

Remember, you are the parent. You're older and therefore more experienced which is the point of being the parent. The child is dependent on your good sense and protective wisdom. You're smarter than your child; use that to your advantage (such as using the distraction method). You are the final authority. This is not a negotiable issue. Kidlet doesn't get to decide on this one because they lack the understanding, wisdom, experience and good sense that, hopefully, you have. So don't look like you're unsure or open to quibble. You'll undermine yourself if you look anything but firm and resolved on it. Use your advantages as parent to smooth the effects of the cut-off. Over time this will all quiet down. Kids tend to accept what is. It will happen more quickly if you follow the above advice.

Most of all, do not operate from a fearful mindset. Don't be afraid of your children's possible, or actual, reactions. Don't be afraid that you are depriving them of something important by cutting off a set of grandparents. You are only "depriving" them of bad things. Reassure yourself with that truth. Family is not everything. Blood is not binding. You are escaping the Mob Family. What should connect us is how we treat each other with love and respect. This is always a good lesson to teach our little ones. If any part of you is unsure of your decision then, for Pete's sake, don't show it. Your resoluteness will go a long way toward reassuring your children that you are acting in everyone's best interest. If your children know that you love them, they are going to feel reassured that this decision is also based in your love for them. They will find an added sense of security to know that you, as their parent, are willing to protect them even at the cost of your relationship with your own parent(s). Rather than being fearful, see the plentiful opportunities in this. You are protecting your children from someone whom you've experienced as being abusive; you are reassuring your children that you are in charge and are watchful for their best interests (creates deep sense of security); you can teach healthy family values which include that family doesn't get a pass for abusive behavior; you can strengthen and reinforce the healthy relationships in your extended family. Kids are less likely to feel like there is a void in their life if you fill it with good things.

Cutting off from your narcissist parent is a good thing. No need to act otherwise. Your children will sense it is a good thing by how you behave. Model how you want them to respond and it is likely they will imitate. Don't be afraid of their questions. Kids are amazingly resilient and well-equipped to handle truth. Parents are supposed to protect their progeny. If your child doesn't agree with how you go about that don't worry. They will often disagree with your decisions for their best interests. Nothing new there. It is your job as parent to make the tough decisions. If you know it is the right decision then proceed with confidence. Showing confidence is a quality of leadership. As a parent you are supposed to be a leader. Lead...and they will likely follow.

I would like to invite readers to use the comment section on this post to describe their experiences with narcissistic grandparents. This will be highly instructive to those who are on the fence. People tend to get stuck at the point where they think they are depriving their children of their grandparents instead of seeing that they are insuring that their own narcissistic parents now have access to abuse the grandchildren. Because the abuse is usually hidden the damage is done before people catch on. I would like to save people from this experience if they are at all willing to listen to the experiences of others.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this article. Even if the grandparents are treating your particular children "OK" for now, it's not safe for your children to be around them. When my precious daughter asked me, "Why is Grandma so mean to Grandpa?" after a hideous display, we knew it was time for NC. It was the last straw.

We had seen other grandchildren called names, dragged by the arms, and even slandered to their teachers. We had seen them refuse to see grandchildren to say goodbye before they moved several states away because they weren't in the mood! During this period when we were hearing/seeing all this stuff, we had been pulling further and further back from contact.

First we said no alone time with grandparents. Then after being attacked literally when walking in the door at a family gathering and being attacked the rest of the evening with everyone pretending it wasn't happening, we said, "No more family gatherings. No Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, Easter, etc." Then when we were phonebombed we had to say email communication only. Then after several threatening emails with vile language and being basically disowned, we said "No more email."

Interestingly, in the same email NFIL functionally disowned DH, he then said WE were depriving HIM of the grandchildren! Ummm, other way 'round! (Not that NFIL spent time with them anyway--when they were around he said Hi to them and then went to work in his office. NMIL would stick them in front of the television for hours. Neither would really interact much with the children.)

Our children are sad that they don't get to spend time with their grandparents, but they don't ask too much about it. We have come to much of the same conclusions as you have--keep it short, don't talk about it much.

We have seen the damage to the other grandchildren. Some are afraid of the grandparents. Some beg not to go visit. Some even throw up beforehand and refuse to eat while there! Yet the parents make them go. The result is awful for the children. I always say, "I'd rather them have to go for therapy when they're 30 because they had NO grandparents rather than because they have terrible memories of them."

Our children are worth it.

Anna Valerious said...


Thank you very much for your comments on this. Your experience likely describes the experience of scores of people. Your description of the Ngrandparents who interact very little with their grandchildren is also probably a nearly universal experience. They only seem to interact in order to control the child, subject the child through fear, or to control the behavior of the child's parent(s). Then they are simply disinterested in the child. No relating on a personal level. My own Nmother has often acted like my daughter is simply an appendage to me and not a person in her own right.

Anonymous said...

I could publish a book on Ngrandmothers and it is thanks to the birth of my own children that my blinders were finally removed to what she really was - a malignant N! For years (as her daughter) i excused much of her terrible behaviour to me:

- She wasn't disinterested, she was just busy

- She wasn't critical and mean, she was being constructive in her own way

- She wasn't a liar and a gossip, she was misinformed and heard the story wrong

- She wasn't bitter, envious and spiteful, she had no other choice b/c she had a hard life

For years i would make excuses for her to my husband, friends and inlaws...oh my poor mom had such a tough time b/c she was married to such a ogre etc.etc.

When my children started arriving i thought it would be the perfect opportunity to PROVE everyone how wrong they were about my mother...for she constantly made herself out to be "Mother of the Century"...the most loving, kind, patient, long suffering, forgiving, calm gentle spirit you could ever meet.

It began when I announced my first PG. WHile my inlaws were thrilled, excited for me and my husband, my mother said "Congratulations"....and then scolded me about my lack of planning b/c my due date fell on her "busy" time at work. Of course she would "try" to be there for me but she warned me of her absence months in advance. True to form, when my son was born she came over for 2 hrs to hold him and then ran off to work.

3 months later she took him for a stroller ride in the park. Then she came with me shopping once over christmas...she was always busy, busy, busy.

When I announced my 2nd PG i thought she would be thrilled as i had planned the due date several months PAST her busy time at work. Instead i was scolded again b/c she was travelling in Europe and my due date fell right when she came back and she would "hardly have time to recover from the jet lag".

When I gave birth, she came over once and then left with my first child. SHe was supposed to have him for a week but brought him back after 2 days and said he was "uncontrollable" and too young to be separated from his mother. From then on, my son cried whenever we drove past her house and was terrified to go in. He was still pre-verbal so couldn't tell me what happened.

The next few weeks my mother never visited me and shunned me on my son's christening. It was during this time that i began to realize that my mother would use my own children to stab me in the heart (as i am a very sentimental person with regards to family events). She offered no apolgies for her absence and even attached a very nasty letter in with her annonymous christening card at the door.

I was horrified and in tears. My husband was furious and was going to confront her on her bad behaviour with my inlaws...however i begged them not to and instead assumed all of the blame for not scheduling the christening according to her schedule and terms. This was my fatal mistake as it embolded my mother to act even more crass and brazenly.

1. Announcing that she had too many grandchidren (4)who had too many toys and so she would no longer purchase gifts for them...deposits would be made in a bank book instead. Imagine the thrill of being 4 yo and opening a card with a tiny deposit slip in it! After the lukewarm reception by the children, even the deposits slips stopped.

2. Refusing to babysit and then complaining that she never sees the children and is kept from them.

3. Constantly criticizing their manners, behaviours, development. She will hone in on the ONE physical feature that is not so beautiful and tease them/me mercilessly about it "Oh that johnny has a BIG nose doesn't he?" "Little Suzie sure has THIN STRINGY hair"

4. No birthday, christmas, easter or valentine cards for 18 months now. When confronted on her behaviour she claims to be too busy to put a card in the mail.

5. Unable to remember my children's middle names!

6. Unable to list my children's interests, hobbies.

7. No toys at her home - ever.

8. When she was around she would constantly bring sugar laden chocolates, candies, and sweets even though i had repeatedly asked her NOT to and given her a list of acceptable substitutes. It had to be HER choice or nothing.

It hurt me to no end b/c my mother showed zero interest my children at all....and like a fool i kept PUSHING THEM ON HER! Please take them mom. You are missing out. They won't be young much longer.

My final straw with going NC with her was when I confronted her yet again for missing my son's birthday. I told her if she was too busy to care i would no longer extend ANY invitations to her whatsoever. After a 3 wk silence, i received a phone call "Have X ready in 5 minutes" Click.

SHe honked and waited for him in her car. No information was given to me about where she was taking them or when she would be back. But i let them go b/c i was so thrilled she was finally showing interest.

Afterwards, my children were a bit sassy towards me and even cool/aloof. My child finally confessed to me that Ngram told him how much she LOVED AND MISSED him but (mean old mommy) didn't let Ngram see him b/c mommy was mad at Ngram.

Not only was this a complete fabrication and LIE, but it reduced my son to tears and undermined my authority.

I decided after that unless my Nmom shows ME courtesty and speaks to me and others in a respectful tone, she will no longer have any access whatsoever. She has been unwilling to do so. Tells people i am holding my children HOSTAGE and refuses to change. She continues to try to garner sypmathy where she can and spread more lies about me and my husband.

Anonymous said...

My husband's N parents "forgot" our son's birthday again this year. He is one of only three grandchildren and was born on Valentines day hard could it be? Two weeks later we all got together to celebrate N grandmother's birthday at a local restaurant. Aunts and Uncles all gave my son their belated gifts and wished him a happy belated birthday. Even in the face of this obvious reminder, they couldn't even be bothered to wish him a happy birthday. I have lots of stories about them, both with my son and with an older grandchild but it all boils down to their inability to look beyond the shell that is their body and life...evil they are.....


Anonymous said...


Please share more examples. I find stories of others so helpful....daily i am torn about letting my daughter have contact with her Ngram. I feel so guilty.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the article! What a pertinent subject. I'm a devoted reader of your site.

One poster noted that her n-mom ignored her grandchildren. I found the opposite true. My n-mom attempted to monopolize our first child, literally demanding that he be at her house everyday, that she would do daycare. If my in-laws visited, n-mom would be furious. If he wasn't there on weekends, n-mom was mad. She did little with him; it was a possessive thing. Then n-mom announced that my son loved her but not me, a tellingly ridiculous comment. I thought grandmotherhood would mellow n-mom, but her meanness towards me continued unabated. I took action. We finally moved away, reduced family visits, eliminated unsupervised visiting, and had a frank discussion with our kids about n-mom.

I find that I constantly monitor my behavior towards our children to make sure that I'm not nasty, mean, or display any narcissistic mannerisms towards them. For years I postponed having children, fearing that I'd become "just like mom". My nightmares figure n-mom and my family; they're my monsters.

I also closely monitor n-mom's contact w/our children.

Anna Valerious said...

I mentioned that Ngrandparents may over-value or under-value a grandchild. You're experience is an excellent example of the idealizing of a particular child. In the process, they are in essence putting the rest of the grandchildren down. They are devalued by the over-valuation of a "golden" child.

Good to hear you've taken control of this situation. I commend your wisdom.

Anonymous said...

OUCH!!!!! ( referencing BOB in What about Bob? when confronted with the truth!!)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your kind words, Anna. (I've been offline for a couple of days--hence the delay.)

Speaking of "interacting to control the child," I have a GREAT example. (Background: We had already decided before this happened that NGparents would NOT have the children alone, and they had not stayed overnight with grandparents for many months previous to this incident. Also, I homeschool and therefore am at home with the children each day.)

NMIL teaches college, so she works 9 months and is off in the summer. Early one August, she asked me if she could have the children over for a week soon. When I said, "But aren't you starting school soon? Don't you have to work?" she replied (get this!): "Oh, I'll just put them in daycare during the day." She just tossed off this comment like it was nothing. Ummm. Take them away from an AT HOME parent only to put them in some daycare that I didn't even know where it was or who had them? NOT! DOUBLE NOT!

She knew already that we were VERY selective with whom we left our children, and it wasn't often either, let me tell you.

I just stared at her like she was out of her mind. Then, I replied (DH and I had a system set up) that she would have to talk to DH because it was his decision but that I didn't think it would work for us.

The reason we set up this system is that she would corner me privately and ask stupid stuff like this and then complain far and wide that my DH was "whipped" and I "wore the pants" and I "controlled all the decisions" and blah . . blah . . blah. She would corner me, propose something she KNEW we would not agree with, and then blame ME. So anything she asked me I just started telling her to ask DH.

Anyhoo, I thought it was a great example of trying to get "possession" or "jurisdiction" of my children just to park them at some anonymous daycare (who knows what the quality would have been).


P.S. I have probably an infinite number of NGparent stories ; ). Fortunately, not many of them happened to MY children, but other grandchildren. Sadly, these parents would tell us these stories so we could all sing the chorus "Ain't it Awful?" but no one except us is doing anything to protect their children.

Anonymous said...

I tried to post before, but it mustn't have gone through.

Thankyou Anna for posting this as per the numerous requests.

I cut my Nmother off some months ago and have been waiting to see what she would do about it. Silence for a long time, then a birthday card with a photo of her in it. The envelope had no return address and disguised writing on the front so I wouldn't know it was from her. Mote proof that she thinks I am an idiot.

My eleven year old daughter then said "Is Nanna still going to send me a card with money for my birthday". I think she probably will, although I have told her to leave the kids alone also. It kills me to cut off the only contact my kids have ever had from their grandmother, but I hate lying to them.

We used to live in the same city as my mother, the only contact she ever made with them was the birthday card. She didn't ring them, visit them, ask after them, talk to them. Only when I arranged visits with her, did she see them, and then it was only for a few hours because "you're father can't cope with them for too long", as though they were an annoying disturbance rather than beloved grandchildren. But who am I kidding right!

I have lived in hope for more than 40 years that things would change. Finally I get that its not going to be.

I am continually amazed at how many other experience the same type of family dysfunction.

More power to you all.

Anonymous said...

I am "in the process" of cutting of my n-mother. UUGH. i told her the other day to call me if she wants a normal relationship w/ me, but if she wants to complain about all the things I do, then she should call someone else (believe me, she won't call--her phone only makes outgoing calls to my brother, the golden child.)

Anyway, I have seen my mother give my children looks, sneers, etc, for leaving so much as a bite of sandwich on their plate. Furthermore, she focuses on one of my daughters to the exclusion of my other three children (and that daughter is a twin, believe it or not). If my son tells her good news about school or sports,she replies "Uh huh...", and clearly, could not care less. If my daughter that she focuses on tells her ANYTHING, she makes a huge fuss.

For so long I did not understand it. I would find myself mad at my children for being just that--children. For example, if one of them was too loud, she would get soooo annonyed, and make such a nasty coment (often when I was in the bathroom and she didn't think I would hear...) I am done with it.

I can't tell you how much this website helps me. I fluctuate between feeling like an awful daughter (which I have never been) and feeling like I can't wait for her to pass on. I cannot beleive I have such thoughts. I log on here everyday for my dose of "I AM NOT CRAZY, HORRIBLE, BAD..." and for strength.

Thank you Anna. Thank you everyone who posts. You are helping me through a rough time.

Unknown said...

I am so happy to read all of this. I'm married to a child of a N. She is terrible and I fear for our marriage because of her. Our (my husband and mine) families have been friends for over 15 years and no one EVER knew the depth of how horrible my MIL really is.

I have a neice, whom my MIL has taken over as her own. My sister in law is very passive and with out many choices, financially or with her own family support. She was coerced to give her baby to my MIL for child care and my MIL has taken over the baby's life.

I'm so saddend by these posts for my sister in law and sweet niece, but now I know I can NEVER trust her with my children. I have two puppies and one has a bit of seraration anxiety from me. My MIL claimed she "could fix everything. leave him with me for a week or two and all will be fine. I'm amazing with animals and know exactly what they need". Literally 90 seconds later, her dog came into the dining room and tee-tee'd blood - she had a UTI for over a month and was that infected. Poor neglected dog...just like her children. BUT she has to make me feel like I'm doing something wrong to my dog and she is the ONLY one to fix it.

I'm cutting her off before I even conceive!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful article...
It's been over a year since we've seen the GM. You could have written some of this about us! it's still very hard, though, to think "family" would be so unloving.
GM used to babysit, and was paid well, including paid on days off and holidays. We've had a lot of bumps in the road, relationship wise, and were trying hard to work it all out. She didn't approve of the marriage. One day, after about 7 months of babysitting for us, my husband found emails on our computer written by his mom. Mostly to his brother's wife. It went on for months where GM would bad mouth us. Always sweet to our faces!!!!
We saw times on the emails, we had not even left the driveway in some cases, saying how much we were bad parents, and our kids wished she was their mother. "These poor kids, Poor XYZ" Then bragging how the littlest started calling her "Mama". It went on, and picked up momentum over weeks. At the end of the emails, and we'll never know the whole story of what we're accused of, sister in law is talking about how FIL, BIL and her support mom walking out on us as a babysitter. Then they talk of taking us to court for awarded visitation. That way, she could walk out and still get the kids when she wanted! No hassle with the parents wishes! (We had a quarrel once, when they wanted to take young son out. We asked where are you going? and they said, "we don't need to tell you." When dear husband said "then, NO", they argued.

In the end, shocked, hurt, dumbfounded, dear husband called his mother and said "i've read what you wrote, you're apparently unhappy working here. Please don't come back to work".
She has never apologized, over a year later.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this, it is very interesting and something I’d like to print out and keep, for when my children reach adulthood, to help them understand why we had to cut off their NGP’s.

It is my DH’s (Darling Husband's) parents who we think are Narcissists. We’d convinced ourselves they surely would be doting GP’s (Grandparents), and the controlling, lying and mind games etc would stop once our first child was born. At that time we were not even aware of the word Narcissist; nor did we realise that them becoming GP’s would exacerbate the bad behaviour, not mellow them.

There is a very long background as to why we cut the GP’s off, luckily before child no. 2 came along and whilst our first born was relatively young, so he has no recollection (that we are aware of) of his other GP’s. Our children only know my own mother as their GM, but they are lucky that they also know extended family by way of Aunts, Uncles and cousins on both sides of the family. So they do know some of Daddy’s family (who have also cut off or distanced themselves from DH’s parents).

This is a summary of what has occurred directly with DH’s parents (mainly his mother) and our children:

When the N(arcissistic) GP’s saw our firstborn after a few hours old, I remember watching my MIL(Mother-in-Law), whilst she was smiling and holding our baby and looking at him and her eyes were just dead. There was no emotion behind the smile.

I’d had problems breast feeding, which resulted in DS (Darling Son) losing an awful amount of weight (after the first week of birth), being jaundice and the Midwife advising us to put him onto formula milk immediately. If he didn’t improve colour by the following day, he was to be hospitalised. Shortly after this devastating news, MIL phoned and asked me if they (MIL & FIL) could bring a family member, we did not know that well, round the next day to see DS. Bursting into tears I asked MIL if she minded not doing that and explained the situation. I did say that MIL and FIL could come round the next day and they could bring the family member another day, but we needed sometime to get over what had happened. MIL said they would telephone the next day. We never heard from them, not even to find out how their DGS (Darling Grandson) was doing. They were more annoyed that we’d stomped on their opportunity to act the loving GP’s in front of other people than concerned as to the welfare of their DGS.

They would mess us about, either arranging to come and visit us and not turn up, without any explanation or we would visit them as arranged and they would be out.

Persistent pushing from MIL to add cereal to DS’ bottle at only three weeks old! No matter how much my DH and I told her it was dangerous – even seeking guidance from various health professionals as to how to explain it to her. It was more important to MIL that we should be bringing up our baby under her "guidance" even if it was to our DS’ detriment than DS’ actual health and wellbeing. Needless to say we never followed any advice from her. DH and I both made the decision then that we had not yet allowed the NGP’s to look after DS and we never would! Later, she tried to force us to allow her to feed DS adult Gravy and mashed potatoes from a grotty pan when she knew DS had only started to wean the previous day! Offensive comments were made to DS (only months old!) as to how "cruel" I was for not letting GM feed him!

Many an inappropriate toy for DS’ age was given, as well as too many toys and too expensive toys, b/c obviously it had to be shown that they were far more superior GP’s than my own mother, who couldn’t love our child as much as them b/c she couldn’t afford to give him such gifts.

DS’ Christening was much talked about by the NGP’s despite it being one event that was never going to happen! They discussed it with family members and were deaf to the many times DH and I said NO! I had to make enquiries to ensure a child could not be christened without the parents consent and we ensured DS was never out of our sight. They have no interest in G-d or religion, never went to Church, just another opportunity to play at being doting GP’s foiled again!

DS was admitted to hospital diagnosed diabetic. DH and I chose not to inform the NGP’s given the past history of MIL trying to control such situations with other family members, lying about illnesses and the apathy shown when DS was poorly as a new born. We told the NGP’s one week after DS was released from hospital, having got to grips with managing his condition. There was no emotion from either of them when they were initially told (a complete contrast to the tears shed by even acquaintances we bumped into and told). A little while later MIL was just angry that she was the last person to know. When we said we didn’t want to worry her, she advised she wouldn’t have been worried. Many snide comments were passed by MIL then, yet no reference as to how DS was actually doing and coping with it all.

Since before cut-off (when DH failed to meet the NGP’s demands to take DS to see them) and following the cut-off we have received all manners of communications addressed to first DS then both children, (the children being too young to read) bad mouthing DH and I and even their other GM! I too have received many a malicious card from them, whilst DH receives comuncations as to how saddened they are that I have been able to brainwash him into turning against them. They can't even give their own son credit for seeing what he does with his own eyes and having a mind o his own! All in the name of showing they are loving, doting Grandparents, who just want us to all be a united loving family, I guess!

DH and I have handled it the only way most of us know how with N’s, that is to ignore everything they throw at us. Never give them any form of attention, good or bad.

Whilst DS knows GM is my mother and he sometimes says he wishes he had a Grandpa, he has never yet raised questions about DH’s parents. He is still young, and when he starts to question them we will tell our kids that DH’s parents like to hurt and upset people and we didn’t want them to do that to them (our children) and that is why they don’t see their NGP’s. When our children are old enough, they can see evidence (from the “communications”) as to how the NGP’s behave (if they want to). When they are adults they can choose if they want to see their NGP’s.

I used to wonder whether our kids will resent us later for denying them a relationship with their NGP’s, however, I now look at it this way; I would rather my kids resent us in adulthood (which I don’t think they will), than resent us through their childhood as well for allowing them to be subjected to N abuse.

K said...

God Bless you Anna for this post, and well for your entire blog. My daughter is only two but I'm expecting within the next year for her to realize that my mother is not in her life. Your advice is so good, logical, and sound.
I've been in a no contact situation with my mom for about 17 months right now and it's hard. Part of my mind keeps saying she wasn't all that bad, then I read some of the comments here and so many of their examples ring true of my own experiences with my mother. It's hard to cut off contact with your own mother but I personally was driven to do so because of the birth of my daughter. My mother shows no signs of ever changing and I couldn't bear the thought of my daughter being a victim of emotional and verbal abuse like I was.
Thanks Anna,

Anna Valerious said...

Thanks for your comment, Kelly. I'm glad you found some help for your perspective on keeping your mother away from your daughter.

I'm so thrilled you are following through on your desire to protect your child from your mother. It is more than enough of a reason to cut contact. It is vital. Necessary. You must do what your mother didn't do for you...protect a sweet child from her abuse. I applaud you and am happy that you won't get 20 years down the road kicking yourself to death because you didn't follow your instincts on protecting your little one. I wish so very, very much I had made the cut off 25 years ago. It would have been the right thing to do. Don't sign up for the regret train. You are doing the right thing. Stay strong. What is a parent for but to protect their children from known dangers?

Anonymous said...

Oh, Anna. I don't even know where to start with my own stories. Much like you, I'm sitting here kicking myself over and over for allowing my Nmother to have any contact with my children.

What I would say to ANYONE who is on the fence -- if you don't protect your children, who will? Do you really want to risk your kids' well-being on the chance that your Nparent might someday magically get "better"?

The final straw for me was watching my Nmother trying to control my FOUR MONTH OLD daughter's response to Nmother. Nmother was exceedingly upset that the baby didn't seem to like Nmother. She pushed herself on my innocent, sweet baby without any regard to that baby's discomfort or need for reassurance from me.

I only wish I could have realized how destructive my mother was when my 14 yo son was a baby or even when my 7 yo daughter was a baby. :(

Anonymous said...

Here's how my ex-NMIL once babysat her 6 month old niece for 2 weeks:

The baby was put in the crib and commenced crying. My young (teenaged) SIL wanted to go comfort the baby, but NMIL said, "No, you'll spoil her and make her think she can get whatever she want by crying." The baby had never been away from her parents.

After awhile, the poor little thing quit eating. If her parents hadn't come back early, who knows? Sick evil people. May they all rot in hell.

Anonymous said...

Please, do not leave your children alone with them as long as you cannot decide to go NC. And please do not let them have any contact info on anyone around you or your children.

I have gone through a drama a few years ago with my "best friend" who I now know is also a narcissist being HIRED by my mother to drug me, make my then 15 year old daughter disown me, and much more.

My daughter is now 20. We are fine with each other, we have gotten out of the mess but it was a nightmare. She told me that my parents had tried to do the same things to her that they did to me, like badgering me until I wanted to run away, then telling me in a very satisfied voice, laughing: "So where do you think you can go without my help?". When she was 5, they took her visiting somewhere, badgered her all the time, then when she said she wanted to leave, they told her quite smugly that they had driven for two hours in the car and she could not get home (their home or mine) without their help. She had been raised to be self-confident and being dyslectic, she had a map of the whole route in her head after having been driven there only that once. So she walked out the door and had gotten 2/3 of the way on foot towards the station where she had every intention of taking the train home to me. She would have made it too. They had a hard time getting her to come back into the car and never tried THAT particular one again.

I always had to be the sidekick of the golden child, you know the one that only serves for contrast. They tried to make the same apply between the golden child's eldest daughter and mine. My daughter had been horse-riding since she was 4, on a number of different horses. The niece had been given a horse and a piece of land for herself by grandma. When my daughter made a comment about horses, they very deliberately turned to the niece to ask whether this was correct. This struck my daughter as very unpleasant. I have gone NC with the golden child 16 years ago when my daughter was around 5. My mother once told me she felt very indignant that I deprived my daughter of contact with her nieces. When my daughter did once stay with her nieces, the same scenario of her being sidekick/contrast was being reinforced, she told me much later.
My mother said she felt it was really wrong that the law did not give grandparents say over their grandchildren. She asked me who did I think I was to make this kind of choice, about the nieces, for my daughter. I said "O, nobody, really, just her mother."

She twice prepared to take my daughter away legally, she sweetly encouraged me to go to a mental hospital for "my problems", a friend of hers had so benefitted. Of course she encouraged me, it would have been arrows in her quiver for the plans she laid the day my daughter was born. I could go on and on but won't. You get the picture.

Anonymous said...

This has been a wonderful post for me as I feel so alone. My MIL and FIL are so mean to my two boys, one would think they are step-grandchildren or aliens or something but they are not. They are especially nasty to the younger son and he is such a sweet little boy. They forget birthdays, buy him one gift at Christmas while my sister-in-laws children (the other grandchildren) get dozens of gifts and then when my son is hardly able to not cry they yell at him to stay here and watch Lizzie open her presents. I could go on and on about how nasty they are and what makes it worse is they are so loving to the SIL children. My mother is not much better so all the memories I have of my own loving grandmother....well my children will never experience that. It makes me sad. But having this blog saved my day today as I have been searching for something to read on how to deal with this. As it stands now we don't see any of them much. I guess you could say we avoid as much as possible. Some friends tell me I should say something but they don't understand the type of people these are...they are right, I am wrong they are the perfect and I am lacking. If someone won't see something for what it is, how can they ever change it? It was easier when my kids were younger as it hurt me but they were to small to realize the difference in treatment, but now they are older and see it and it makes them sad too. We all had to watch a video of granddaughter skate, after it was over my son ran to the car and he was crying...something he doesn't do lightly..."Mom" he said, "they won't even come to watch my football or watch me on video" he was right, what do you say to that? Anyway, thanks for sharing, I am sorry you are all in this boat but I am glad I am not the only one.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow. I feel inclined to respond to this. I have a NGrandmother who deceived me for nearly all my life. I'm almost 40 years old. My memories are filled of her telling me (and my sibling) how our parents never cared about us, blah, blah, blah. How our parents were "fooling around" and then all the crap about how they remarried and our step parents never wanted us. Wow. It wasn't until last year that I discovered the lies, the deception and the ultimate ugliness that this person stands for. I watched the NGrandma LIE to her husband and all family, about her husband's terminal illness. Talk about low. Let's lie to someone on hospice care and facing death. But in her mind, that is "love" because nobody could love the way they loved each other. Wow. I've been through hell and back and my eyes have been opened. I'm glad for that, but I see the lies continue. I helped everyday over there and she told people I was only going over there because I "wanted something". My grandpa died, and my NGrandmother tells anyone who will listen, (openly) how she goes to the cemetery to "bawl" him out for leaving her! He wasn't supposed to leave her, he said he wouldn't leave her. All of this babbling and nonsense I still listen to. I keep my distance and I now realize that anything and everything she says is most likely a lie. She lies about the most innocent things - I mean WHY? I do know the truth, though, and I know one day we will all be judged by the Lord. I have no guilt and no regrets. My eyes are now open and I am trying to move forward, but it has been a rough, rough ride.

Anonymous said...

My mother is a narcissit. I have a two year old. She over-values my child and wants complete validation and adoration from this child ever since she was born. She is obssessed with taking photos with her to brag for her friends to show that she is loved. My daughter is overly attached to her mother/my wife and does not take to my mother and that is unacceptable to my mother. She wants constant alone time on her terms. My wife and her do not speak, as my wife as determined that she is toxic. My mother has devastated my self-esteem. My father died when I was 13 and my mother raised me and my brother--she couldn't handle it and raised us to believe the world was a horrible place. As an adult, my mom now demands things as payback for raising me--saying she owed to be treated with respect and spend time with my daughter without regard to the fact that she expects too much from my baby and doesn't comprehend anything other than her point of view. After her last visit went badly, mostly b/c my mom could not handle that she was not adored by my daughter and she cried whenever she was with her, my mom yelled at me and told me I was a bad father. I give up. This woman makes me feel so bad about myself even at 38.

Anonymous said...

"Often, when they over-value, it is the objective of the Ngrandparent to steal the child from you."

I just found your blog yesterday. Your NGs post has been especially validating. Thank you.

I didn't really have any problems with MIL before my daughter was born. She had a little "look at me" streak, but nothing that made her uncomfortable to be around. My sister-in-law was always the problem. (Her attention-getting routine was obvious to me.) After my daughter was born, MIL turned into a full-blown narcissist grandma. I would like to point out that NG can have a side-kick, the narcissist aunt. And if they're together in a room with you, watch out. You're just road-kill to them. I did not exist and my baby was theirs. She was like a doll to them, some kind of prize to get away from everyone else and bring attention to themselves.

MIL passed away a couple of years ago. But SIL is still around and recently decided to set up housekeeping close to us. Big problem. I don't trust her. I don't want my daughter over there. (But it's difficult because she's 13 and NAuntie is now conveniently within walking distance of her school and her friends.) An aunt does not take priority over a mother.

Anonymous said...

Is there a message board or something for this? I am so happy to find this site!!
I thought I was alone and to know that there is a name for what my parents are is just the biggest relief of my life!! I always knew something was wrong with them but deep inside, I wondered if it was really me. That something was really wrong with me. If I had a friend or someone loved me, they would actually think something was wrong with that person because if they knew me they wouldn't be friends with me. Sometimes they would even ask the other person that!! I have been told so many times I should write a book!! The things my parents have done and put me through-they should've been arrested!! In fact, some incidences were reported and they managed to turn the whole thing around on me!! I DIDN'T LIE!!
Thank you for this site. I am going to visit it everyday.

The Boys MOM! said...

Great read! My X MIL controls her son and took my children and controls them and their lives as well. I am in the fight of my life to remove them from the situation. Your blog just backs up what I felt all along. Now to PROVE it... But I am up for the challenge. Keep up the interesting blogging!

Anonymous said...

I am angry I ever let NGran near my precious children. My eldest is treated like dirt! The decision came to limit them in our life when my eight year old sons appendix ruptured. He fasted in the hospital for 5 days. Ngran drove into the city to go shopping, but wouldn't go visit him.
Ngran refused to go see DS play hockey, but that same day went to go see DS's cousin (golden child's)play in the same arena. It then proceeded to tell my son how wonderful his cousin plays.
Ngran lets the golden children play in the basement, but mine aren't allowed to go downstairs.
Ngran refuses to look after them because "they are too much trouble" (they aren't) and then complain to the entire family they never see them. Ngran goes to Golden child's place once a week, but hasn't been here for four years-same distance.
I used to be so hard on my children because I thought it was something we were doing to bring this behavior on ourselves. Nope. Turns out, NGran is the problem. Now, if only I can get the rest of the family to see the emperor has no clothes..........

Anonymous said...

Thank you Anna!

I am an adult male child of N mother and older brother to a N sister. My wife of 9-years is an ACONM. We recently had a falling-out over her mother and are NC. Her behavior while staying with us for recovery from hip replacement surgery prompted us to investigate the root causes of her lack of empathy, unreasonable demands, lying, and finally emotional abuse of our kids and led us to focused study of Ns. Through this journey, we've come to realize that my mother and my sister (who we had a previous row with over - you guessed it: bad behavior towards my wife and are now NC 2+ years initiated by her) are both MNs. My sister is fully supported in a subversive and deviant way by my mother - such as convincing my wife to agree to letting her stop by before I got home from work bringing birthday gifts from my sister to my kids without asking and making them read the cards about how much they are missed by my sister... rubbish!

My mother has always criticized my wife to her face about all things under the sun - but NEVER in front of me. I would hear the story from DW (Dear Wife) but found it hard to believe that my mother would be so openly critical. Then I would scan my memory and realize that, yes, she would do the same thing to me. Only my DW - being an ACONM - is hypervigilant over such criticisms and had no idea how to handle this stuff. Nothing she did was good enough. NM's goal of creating discord was achieved at every visit.

And then I witness the same sort of "constructive criticisms" aimed at my 7-year old daughter, typically by comparing her accomplishments with my sister's "golden" child's and how she just doesn't quite measure-up, in so many words. My mother is EXTREMELY good at tone inflection and timing with her comments for maximum effect. Seemingly benevolent and wise sugar coated utter disdain. You couldn't help but look at the floor. DW would notice how I would be effected by her "Jedi-speak" and many times tried to get me to see what was happening. I finally woke up.

NG tried, at every opportunity, to use my kids as guilt conduits to get me to put my DW in her place and come back to the fold dominated by the self-appointed matriarch sister. Not bloody likely.

She would get my daughter alone and talk about a sleep-over with her cousin, etc. Then of course when daughter is denied the sleep-over by us, there is turmoil and we are put in the position of having to explain why.

NG, since coming into large amounts of money and divorcing my father, has prided her self on being aloof and independent. Her new husband is a full supporter of anything she does and has even scolded me for getting upset with NM/NG for not honoring our rules for a previous sleep-over at her house.

NG snowbirds where we now live and abruptly left town for their other residence days before my son was born. The only explanation I got was that it was getting too hot.

NG told us that she wouldn't babysit for my son until he was potty trained.

NG would announce her arrival in Oct. and tell us when she would like to come over and see the kids without considering our schedules. Then she would pop-by at the appointed time, get my kids riled-up, talk about the cruise she was planning or just took, show pictures of the latest renovation to one of her homes or trips to Europe, and spend maybe an hour then be off. Holidays would take another posting. Then back to their fancy primary home once it got too hot.

She has offered to pay for flights to NG's place during the Summer, but I've told her if she wants to give us money, she can make a contribution to the kids' college savings accounts, which she has never done. Evidently there's no narcissistic supply in doing that.

We've been NC since election day. No warning, no explanation. Cold Turkey. Still not sure what's going to happen next. NG has resources to launch a legal battle, but in the state we reside, Grandparents have no legal right to visitation with grandkids while DW and I remain married.

Blood may be thicker than water, but its not thicker than the ink on my marriage certificate. :)


escortmn said...

I had pegged my NMIL from day one when my DW and I first started dating. My FIL is not much better, and is, at the very least, an enabler of NMIL's behaviors, and physically/verbally abusive if not a NFIL as well. I helped my now DW move out of her parent's house because they were treating her as their personal slave, cleaning up their entire house under threat of kicking her out if she didn't.

My NMIL tried to blame me for stealing their credit card and charging $12,000 worth of car parts on it. She accused my mother of sexually abusing my son. Both my NMIL and my ENFIL (enabling narcissistic FIL) accused me of both physically and verbally abusing my DW, and finally accused me of sexually abusing my son. The last accusation resulted in my NMIL calling every child advocacy center in our area so frequently that one of them finally called DCFS on us.

The first 2 years of our son's life they wanted very little to do with him, we could not get them to babysit even for a few hours without guilt trips and other psychological manipulation tricks being used against us. When our son reached the "fun age" they DEMANDED to have him over EVERY WEEKEND and if we did not concede to their will they once again utilized all manner of mind games that they had at their disposal.

The "final straw" that broke my DW's back was when we came home from the hospital with our newborn daughter (whom she birthed via caesarean section) and we requested that NMIL and ENFIL bring our son back to us. ENFIL absolutely REFUSED to bring him to us claiming that he was tired after spending all day mowing the lawn (on his riding mower which actually only takes a few hours to do). He said (angrily) that if we wanted our son back we could come and pick him up ourselves. To which my DW responded "Fine, we will come and pick up Michael and you will never see our children again!"

Five minutes later ENFIL called me on my phone and tried to backpedal saying that he would go ahead and bring us Michael. Needless to say I responded in a manner indicating that we were already on our way and to stay there.

Here comes the REALLY fun part. Upon arriving at the in-laws house we found our son in the back yard playing T-Ball with NMIL and ENFIL instead of getting ready to come home with us (T-Ball is our son's favorite game and would therefore be less likely to want to leave). ENFIL then proceeded to utilize profanity and derogatory statements directed and my DW and myself loudly in the presence of our son. My wife (considering her weakened state from surgery and pain meds) was psychologically thrust into the painfull memories of her youth and swung at her father. He proceeded to hold her against her will and refused to release her upon threat of calling the police.

While I was on the phone with the police department ENFIL tried to goad me into a verbal and possibly physical fight. Upon disconnecting with the police department hotline he aggressively invaded my space and tried to yell me down. I responded by not letting him finish any statement until he backed away by yelling over and over again (over the top of his screaming) "You are in my space! Please move away if you wish to talk to me!" and other variations of that message.

Miraculously, when the police arrived he was COMPLETELY calm.

I have not spoken to either of them since that incident, and my wife has tried to set up a mediary contact person through which messages are to be relayed. She contacts them through that means only (except for the two times that NMIL forced her way into our house in an attempt to talk to Michael). ENFIL sends e-mails directly to DW instead of relaying them through our mediary, and still calls her phone (only to reach DW's voicemail).

They have tried the use of bribery, guilt, other family member's influence (through the tool of misinformation), and emotional blackmail in attempts to force us to resume communication with them.

My DW is actually considering on filing a restraining order against them and building a case against them to prevent ANY contact with our children even if something were to happen to the both of us.

Our son is currently almost 4 and still not potty trained due to the "big pee pee" issues that NMIL has instilled in him. Thankfully our daughter has only seen the psychotic NMIL and ENFIL a couple of times in the hospital and will not adversly affected by their influences.

We are perhaps experiencing the "worst case scenario" of NMIL and ENFIL relationships, but, believe me, we had a GREAT Thanksgiving and Christmas without them, despite their futile attempts to guilt us into joining them for Christmas.

I cannot instill enough the importance of separation from such destructive and volatile relationships. Their goal was to separate my DW and I so that they could continue the in-house slavery and abuse of their daughter.

I am sorry that this comment is so long, but I did try to sumarize 4 years worth of abuse into this comment. I hope that my experiences will help someone else to understand the importance of this issue, and thereby avoid the pain and suffering that my family and I have endured.

Thanks for reading my plight.

Anna Valerious said...


Your story wasn't too long, no apologies are needed for its length. I specifically solicited that people like you share their experiences in order to emphasize my points in this particular blog about the dangers of Ngrandparents. I'm sorry for what you and your wife and child have been through but am grateful to hear how you and your wife have worked diligently to protect your marriage and family. You've lived a nightmare. Hopefully others will take heed to your, mine and others warnings on this subject.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna,

Your blog has been like manna from heaven for me - through it I've not only benefited from your valuable thoughts on so many issues close to my heart, but have also discovered a whole virtual world of people whose experiences mirror my own (sometimes to a shocking degree, in fact). This has made me feel sane, steadfast, and even, curiously, supported. I have been reading your blog compulsively over the past three weeks since having the most appalling Christmas in which my in-laws (an entire narcissistic subculture whom my DH refers to as 'the cult') consistently ignored my two daughters whilst pouring attention on their two boy-cousins. It's a long, long story of favouristism, which I'll spare you. But so complete was their disregard for my children this time that nobody even bothered to prepare any food for them for christmas dinner - they are "too hard to cook for", apparently - so they celebrated by eating pieces of bread we scrounged up from the kitchen. My profoundly narcissistic, religiously-deluded MIL has been the bane of my life for 18 years. If I begin the catalogue of her offenses I'll never stop, but my personal favourite is when I broke the news that the baby I was carrying was dying, and she responded by (I kid you not) ignoring what I had said and telling me the latest news about the favoured grandson. When I reacted with shock at this, she said "well, if the baby's got something wrong with it, this is really for the best". Unbelievable. When my husband complained about this to his N-enabling sister/mother of the favoured sons (who initially tried to defend her mother's outrage as well-intentioned 'cluelessness', until she finally caved in), what did I get? A poxy bunch of flowers sent to my house, as though this settled the matter. When I brought this up last year, she said "but we're all sinners, we must learn to forgive". Every Sunday in mass I've been standing there through the words " we forgive those who trespass against us", thinking "WHY can't I forgive her/them? I don't even know what forgiveness means anymore!" etc etc etc, and castigating myself for being punitive and unyielding and angry ... so, your blog has been a blessing, especially with its insights on forgiveness, non-apologies (of which I've received many over the years - unctuous, insincere, insulting), and covert aggression/manipulation (my MIL is a classic passive-aggressive, so her N behaviour is especially slippery). I understand now that I have struggled to forgive because I have never been faced with genuine contrition. We have not gone totally NC (DH needs to feel reconciled to this, and takes longer to reach decisions than I do - plus it's his family, so he needs to feel completely comfortable with it), but we now feel ready to seriously reduce contact, and you've given us both a vocabulary to understand our frustrations, and some fabulous strategies for NOT CARING and HOLDING FIRM. So thank you, Anna - you've made a real difference to my thinking. I know my situation is very 'garden variety', or even mild, among people coping with Ns in their lives, but it's been no less painful for all that. But now I can work toward peace within myself, knowing I'm not crazy and I'm not th punitive bitch I've been accusing myelf of being.

Anna Valerious said...

As to the "garden variety" form of narcissism. Not sure there is such a thing. Narcissism is the manifestation of evil. Evil is always caustic to one's life and soul when it rubs up against you. I don't minimize what anyone is going through when it comes to narcissists. If you recognize the descriptions of narcissism and evil as outlined on this blog then you know you've seen the face of evil. Nothing garden variety about the face of evil. I know that there are many people out there who've endured worse than I have. Much worse. So I do get what you're saying. I just don't want you to feel like you have to minimize your situation just because your MIL isn't a serial killer. I have mentioned a time or two on my blog the face of "every day evil". Perhaps that is a better term than "garden variety". Every day evil is dangerous due to its banality. If you haven't already I hope you'll read this post, Residential Evil and The Mask of Evil. I am the last person who would minimize the pain of dealing with even the mildest case of malignant narcissism. Evil is never 'mild' in God's eyes. There will be no 'mild' cases of evil allowed into heaven or the 'earth made new' as Revelation puts it. Evil will be eradicated. It starts now with us in our own lives. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna,
Thanks for the speedy response to my post. "Garden variety" was a poorly-chosen phrase on my part, and, as you say minimises the pain involved in dealing with narcissistic behaviour. I do apologise for that. It is, as you rightly say, the everydayness of malignant narcissism that is central to its insidious power, making the victim either believe that they're imagining it or else that it was too petty to warrant a response - both of which are wrong. The reason I used the example of my MIL's non-response to the dying baby is because it's so clear-cut in its callousness, which makes me feel justified in condemning it; but her usual technique is to deploy micro-bitchiness that is so sugar-coated, subtle, and 'under-the radar' (including being almost always delivered out of DH's earshot) that later I find myself wondering whether I'm being over-sensitive or even whether it actaully happened ... things like an avalanche of 'well-intentioned' but unwelcome (not to mention crackpot) 'suggestions' about what I should do with my kids, my diet, my work, etc etc; cornering us in front of the kids into inviting her along to events where she isn't welcome; infuriating, incessant, egomaniacal boasting in which she claims credit for everything about my kids she deems praiseworthy; lengthy (and utterly laughable) rants about what a 'good listener' she is, how people gravitate to her, how her prayers are more powerful than those of others, etc etc etc ... the list is much longer, and nauseating in its everyday awfulness. I feel crazy and hostile when I'm around her and after seeing her, but this is almost always followed by a wave of self-recrimination - until now, thanks to your blog. And of course when confronted with her self-aggrandising and inconsiderate behaviour she corroborates our uncertainty about whether we're over-reacting by hiding behind 'good intentions' and saying we need to be more open-hearted about the failings of others and forget the past (despite the fact that the 'past' keeps being repeated in the present). I think the 2 most infuriating things about this particular N is that, first of all, her behaviour doesn't just consist of overt and deliberate malice (not having any food for my kids at Christmas)but frequently takes the form of oversights that, while less deliberate, are reflective of her self-absorption and blindness to the desires of others (turning up where she isn't wanted and taking over with her intrusive 'help'); so it's very hard to disentangle what's happened and why we feel so destabilised after we've seen her. Secondly, as I said in my last comment, she doesn't work alone, but has managed to established a whole thriving narcissitic subculture with my DH's family. She is facilitated by her daughter and SIL (who in our view are gratified by her preferential treatment of their narcisstically hothoused sons), and by her live-in co-dependent gay son who I would feel more sorry for (for the damage done to him) if he weren't such a N himself. He thinks her self-centred behaviour is hilarious and 'camp', like the grandiosity of some diva from a golden-age film, although I note that he does reserve for himself the right to shout at her when she crosses him. It's like being trapped in a bad Tenessee Williams play ... only it's my life. But its importance and its power over me is fast diminishing, and you've been instrumental in that.

Oh dear, Anna, I'm out of control with my venting right now! Sorry if I'm dumping ... but for the first time I feel like I'm sharing this with people who 'get' what we've been dealing with. Thank you for listening!

Anna Valerious said...

Please don't apologize. I wasn't chastening you for a poor choice of wording...I was empathizing. :o) I surely do understand every thing you've described and am well-acquainted with the subtle, below-the-radar behaviors that leave you feeling dazed like you've been head-butted but with no way to prove it. You also describe what I call the Mob Family. Hopefully, you've read that post and its follow-up "Decision Time". If not, I can post the links for you.

I surely hope your husband can see his way clear to walk away from the nest of vipers that is his family.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna,

No need to post those links - I've read them and shown them to my husband. Once again, you've hit the bull's eye. The only variation is that my in-laws are passive-agressives, so their enforcement of the family hierarchies and systems has a nauseating 'feel good' veneer. I feel so bad for my lovely husband - while I mostly just feel anger toward his family, his rage is shot through with such sadness and disappointment that things have come to this. He is a former unwilling 'golden boy' who spent his childhood embarrassed by his mother's boasting and favouritism, and quietly terrorised by her 'Oedipal-mother' conversations with him, which involved trashing his father and divulging totally inappropriate things about her sex life. As a university student he moved out, deliberately abdicating his position as 'golden boy' because of how unfair he thought the favouritism was to all of the kids but particularly to his overlooked sister. How sad for him to now see that his sister has been totally thrilled to take up the 'new golden child' position, and to foster a situation in which her sons are now 'golden kids - the next generation'. I can't decide at this point whether she is simply a beneficiary of narcissism, an enabler of narcissism, or a narcissist herself. She appears to be oblivious to the fact that my kids are virtually invisible to her parents and her N co-dependent brother (the Tennesee Williams one) when her sons are in the room: my 2-year-old talks a blue streak and is greeted by silence, while her 1-year-old utters two syllables and the whole family applauds - I mean LITTERALLY applauds, clapping and cheering, with no care for the message this sends to this neglected little girl (who as a consequence retreats into herself, acts out, and then is deemed "difficult", thereby justifying further neglect). Unlike my husband, who abhors the injustice of favouritism, my SIL evidently sees no problem with the system as long as it works in her favour. Maybe it's just revenge? Of course, she makes all the right noises when pinned to the wall on the favouritism, saying earnestly "if that is happening (note the slippery conditional here - her letters are full of them) then that is unfair". Let me also say tht I'm shocked by a career woman like herself, and one who was herself overlooked as a child, being complicit in the obvious privileging of boys within the family culture - but I guess they're her boys, and through them she can be 'new golden child' PLUS 'mother of golden children - next generation'. The whole thing is toxic beyond belief, and just gains momentum the longer people perpetuate all the sh*t from the last generation. I feel very fortunate, though, that at least my husband sees now what his family is like - a friend of mine has a live-in NMIL (oh the horror) whose behavior is apparently invisible to my friend's husband. Her life is like being in the film Rosemary's Baby ... except she's got me; I believe her! She's on holiday and out of contact right now, but when she gets back I'll let her know about this website, and I have a feeling you'll have yet another faithful reader!

Anonymous said...

Last week I ended contact with my NMother. She came to our house unannounced for the 3rd time after I confronted her about her abuse of me when I was a child, yet she always avoided the subject. I told her I want to know "why" and if she is truly "sorry". After the 3rd time of her showing up at our house ringing the doorbell (the first 2 times, we just let her ring it and didn't answer the door) but not taking the hint, she came a 3rd time. I opened the door, stopped her from coming in and stepped outside and stood between her and our door. I told her when I am ready to talk to you I will call you. Leave. "Well, what about my grandkids? I don't want them to grow up without knowing me." (1. she evaded the subject and accountability further, 2)She had the nerve to request another of her wishes of losing contact with her grandkids even though she never showed much interest before, 3)The most bazzar is when she said she wanted to grandkids to grow up knowing HER, NOT a desire for her to see THEM grow up!! (All about her; you all know that routine). It has now been 4 days. I also called and emailed my kid's school telling them not to contact her in case of emergencies and to remove her from the list of persons allowed to pick the kids up from school. It was a strange event because I explained briefly to the teachers about why I am preventing the kids' grandmother from these privilages and even stated that she "shows signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder". Many of the teachers wrote back to me directly and said very supportive words! They also told me that they sent an alert email to all of the teachers of this change. I was sure I was going to be met with skeptisism because I was telling the teachers "don't let my kids ever leave with my mother!!" Yet, I was suprised to find that there are several staff members and teachers at the school who are familiar and some even experienced with the NDP evil!!! Anyway, I did this because if I don't defend all possible areas where my kids are concerned, sooner or later, they would be used by NMother as bait or a tool to break the no contact rule I imposed on her last week. I am extremely thankfull to God for giving me the grace to deal with this life long abuse, for directing me to this website and other sites like this where there are others who have gone through the same thing and can support and validate each other.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I do not yet have children, but my Nbrother does, and my Nmom is proving to me that a Nmom becomes an NGma.

My poor SIL, she is constantly dealing with my Nmom who uses my nephews as a pawn in her power game. At birthday parties, or any gathering for that matter, NGma goes up to the boys and hugs them and says to them, "who do you love more than anyone else in the world?", all the while she is glaring at my SIL or at their other grandmother. If they don't automatically respond, she reminds them that SHE loves them more than anyone in the world loves them, and keeps this up until they reply correctly in front of the audiance. It's disgusting to watch, and these boys are 4 and 2 years old.
The other day, my Nmom called and was bragging about the oldest one, the "golden child", and then told me she wants to take my nephews and raise them for herself, and I reminded her she already had the chance to raise two boys (my older brothers), which of course she seized the moment to guilt me about her perfect family, and say how she can't wait for me to have kids. Bleh!
I am terrified of having children near her. My husband and I agreed that we will never raise our children near her. I am trying to deal with my own deep deep scars caused by her my whole life. When I am better, then we can move far from her and start a family. But rest assured, I will not put my children in harms way like my SIL does. And my poor nephews, their father and grandmother are MALIGNANT narcissists, evil to the bone.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this posting. I wasn't sure what to expect from NMIL. Now I am terrified. Anybody have advice for my DH who is still in denial a bit?

Anonymous said...

I was so glad to find this article. Now I know I'm not alone.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I found this article. Now I know I'm not alone. Ns never ever ever change and anyone who thinks they do haven't lived with one.

Anonymous said...

For the person who asked how to get DH out of denial: I simply put it to him (OK I was yelling, but the point was still rational) that he had to decide how he defined himself: as a follower in his birth family, or a leader in the family we are making together. I'm not into the whole 'the man is the head of the household' thing, but I told him that his denial about his mother's effect on him, and on us as a fmily, was preventing him from taking up the moral leadership role his children and I needed him to take for their sakes. Moving it away from the 'your mother vs me' platform and on to the 'do you want to lead or follow' footing made him think about it differently: it was no longer about conflicting loyalties (which Ns are so good at manipulating), but about his self-definition. I know now he feels proud that he is not only protecting his kids and me from his N familial culture, but also founding a new family way of life free from that toxic waste. Hope this helps a bit.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that good advice, I never thought of it that way. I have emailed this post to him and talked to him about his NM and he has said he "will keep an eye on her" That is the denial, maybe he sees it and dosent want to talk to me about it. It has always been a sore subject and I don't know if he will ever break free from her grip. To tell you the truth, it really bothers me that he gets sucked in and I am the mean one. I can say all I want, but it is him who has to realize that he is just a pawn. If I put it in those terms to him then he thinks I am accusing him of being weak. Please, more advice.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this article. I have been to other sites and I don't feel like anyone else has truly grasped the severity of my situation. It is sad that so many other ppl are dealing with the same thing. It is amazing the similarities in some of your stories and mine. My NMIL is very over-attentive to my children. She has called herself mom to my children multiple times and has told them on numerous occasions that they can live with her when they are 14 because they can pick who they live with. When we confronted her with what she said she tried to act like we were overreacting and that it was just an innocent comment. When my twins turned four I told her that they were too old to follow her to the bathroom after I overheard her giving them a show and tell anatomy lesson over the female body. She has raised her shirt to my children and jiggled her breasts at them and said "look boys, boobs." I caught her feeding them out of a dirty trash can one day. It wasn't until my father-in-law commited suicide that my DH finally opened his eyes to how sick his mother and her family were. Her dad called me a witch in front of my children. She tried to attack me and him both when we refused to allow her to have my FIL's ashes since they were divorced recently because she left him for the AT&T man. She got angry and told us that she would never come to our houses again if we wouldn't the the phone guy be in our live's even though he hadn't left his wife. She would put him on the phone with our children every time our backs were turned. I'm just going to skip on to the end and try to cut it short. After six years of this woman trying to break up our marriage and turn our children against us. Not to mention trying to compromise the morals we have set for them my husband finally told her to get lost when she threatened to take us to court because we wouldn't let her be alone with the children. She forced entry into our home and we got a restraining order. When we go to court she starts telling the judge that my husband beat her up and she needed the order not us. When that didn't work her mother got up and started accusing me of pouring cereal on the floor and telling my children to eat it. NMIL tried to convince the judge that she was only acting out of concern for her grandkids because I am an unfit mother who doesn't keep house. As I was defending myself against her ugly allegations her mother started trying to convince my husband that he was only angry because of me and that his mother wasn't the problem I was. Then she tried to convince him that he didn't have anybody, but them. I guess me and the three children we have together don't count for anything. In the end we were only able to get the order in place for 1 1/2 years and had to pay half because she is that good at getting others to feel pity for her. Long story short you have to have people other than yourself if you ever have to take these people to court.

Anonymous said...

I had no idea, as silly as that sounds, so many other people were dealing with this. Thank you for writing this!!!! It took me till I was 30 to see my mother for what she was, and by then she was causing so much conflict with my oldest child. She is as she said now "divorcing me" and is suig for visitaion to my children. she really only wants the oldest one, as she makes the others sleep on the floor, it is awfull and has been devistating for us all. She is now best friends with my x husband and even shows up to my kids games saying mommy is a lier, manipulating scenes and flipping people off etc. I could write my own book. I am really glad I found this blog.

Unknown said...

I'm so glad to have found this forum. My NMIL (who is also my dh's stepmon) has sabotaged all of our relationships with his immediate family. We are trying to figure out how to expose her. Not necassarily to get back at her, but to make my other inlaw siblings realize what they are in for. Especially my sil who has the golden grandchild. I fear the worst for this little one. What do I do? Let it go? She will eventually realize, right? I just hope when she does the little one is ok. Ugh! My fil is completely blind to it as he has been brainwashed as well. Of course all of this is MY fault. Somehow she has pinned the blame on me. Any advice would be greatly appreciated and TIA!

Anna Valerious said...

Trying to convince people of something they aren't willing to see is an exercise in futility. It also endangers you and your peace. You will invite attacks if you are going around trying to convince other siblings or inlaws of the dangers presented by your NMIL. On the other hand, if one of them comes to you and you can get the clear sense that they are concerned and troubled about the NMIL and seem to be asking for direction or advice, that is your opening. But resist the urge to warn everyone because it is highly likely to backfire onto you...not the NMIL.

RecoveringfromNPDParents said...

I'm late to this party. I've just found your blog and your life situation is almost a mirror view of my own except I have a Ndad and an Emom.

After my only daughter was born, it was like my Ndad tried to create a cult of two - him and my daughter.

When she was younger - as soon as she could smile at him - he acted like he owned her whenever we visited. He changed diapers, made sure all of her attention was channeled towards him (as long as she was in a good mood), and made sure everyone he knew realized what a wonderful grandfather he was. Early on, I thought it would be ok and that he had changed - I was happy that he appeared to love my daughter. He'd take her from me and let me sleep in or spend time with my mom.

As she got older, he would separate her from us at every opportunity - each visit to Gpa included very lengthy "truck trips" where he took her out alone. He told my daughter that he didn't have to listen to my rules because they had a special relationship. He'd encourage her to fight, punch, and kick him. If I said that I didn't like this behavior (she carried it forward to school after the visits), he'd tell me to butt out because he and my daughter had a special understanding and it was none of my business.

He'd take her to the playground and not set any safety rules so he could be the 'fun' grandparent - more than once she'd come home bleeding and crying. But it was never his fault and he would get annoyed with her when she wanted her mom - I found out when my daughter was older that he lied about how she had hurt herself on a couple of occasions. If my daughter wanted ice cream in the morning, he'd buy it for her. If she wanted the boots I'd told her she couldn't have, he'd buy them.

As my daughter got older, she was less interested in 2-hour truck trips with my Ndad and more interested in going shopping with me and Gma. Ndad was not pleased with this shift in attention and began to look for anything and everything in our family to prove that we were turning our daughter against him - something he recruited my Emom to assist with. Long story short, he raged. The last thing he said to me (by e-mail) was that he and my mom should be able to do whatever they want with my daughter with little to no input from me or my husband.

We haven't seen them in over 6 years.

The problem is - I let the relationship go on way too long. My daughter was almost 9 by the time I grew a backbone and stood up to my parents. All my daughter remembers is the spoiling - gifts, food, being allowed to do whatever she wanted, say whatever she wanted, go wherever she wanted. She waivers between hating them for abandoning her and missing who she thinks they were in her life. I made a lot of excuses for their behaviors (Gma and Gpa love you and want you to have fun, that's why they forget to set rules at the playground) - something I very much regret now.

At what age do you think I can explain NPD to her so that she can understand what's happened?

Anna Valerious said...

At what age do you think I can explain NPD to her so that she can understand what's happened?

Your daughter must be in her mid-teens by now. I'd say you could start today. She is old enough to grasp the concepts involved.

Zoe & Ryder's Mommy said...

Thank you for saying what I never have out loud, except to my husband--"I fluctuate between feeling like an awful daughter (which I have never been) and feeling like I can't wait for her to pass on." I cut off my mother way before I had kids, and am so glad I did. My brother (golden child, but thankfully not a narcissist himself, miraculously a good man and good husband) and his wife still keep in contact with her and allow grandchildren to have access to her. I am wondering what shape her revenge will take on me, by probably using my brother's kids to get to me by setting up a rivalry between my kids and theirs. Thankfully, my brother and his wife are not naive---she irritates them both beyond belief, and they do a pretty good job of setting up boundaries and being firm with her (i.e., no you cannot come stay with us for 3 weeks). But I now feel 100% better about my decision to cut off my mother and to definitely never let her have access to my children. But it is sad and says a lot about what a destructive force a narcissist can be, when you just wish they would die, not because you wish them harm or pain, but because their complete physical absence from the world is the only way to ensure that they can no longer inflict damage in your life. For those who doubt their decision regarding no contact---whenever you waiver, remember how awful that parent has made you feel and would you want the same for your children? If you wouldn't put up with it with a friend, why would you accept such behavior from a family member? Stay strong. I"m just so thankful, because I feel enormous reassurance that I made the right decision. I am enjoying learning from everyone's posts and seeing that my own experiences were pretty common. It's amazing the relief you feel and the "I'm not crazy" realization when abnormal behavior is given a name (narcissism). Thank you!

Zoe & Ryder's Mommy said...

Kia's Post, Part I: What's interesting is that I knew things my mother did were abnormal, but now that it has a name, I am rethinking (again) and reviewing a lot of my memories and seeing them in a new light. For example, I was the scapegoat (could never do anything right despite being high achieving in academics and sports), my brother was the golden child. She pitted us against each other, nurturing resentment/competitiveness, even telling my brother outright lies in brainwashing him, like convincing him that I broke both of his kneecaps when he was 4 (um---where are the pics of him in a cast on both legs? umm---how could he have served in military with two formerly broken kneecaps?---umm how come no bumps on his knees to show the former injury?---analysis that escaped my brother until I said it and then the lightbulb went on). She rarely came to my sporting events, but was a "bandmom" in my brother's bandcamp. When she went to an awards ceremony of some kind for me, she always ruined it. She tried to "reconnect" me with exboyfriends while she knew I was dating my boyfriend (now husband). When we were little, and my parents were in the process of separating, but my dad was still in the house, she would sleep in my 4 year old brother's room with him (she did that for about 2 years until my brother finally kicked her out). When they divorced, she told me it was my fault. She drummed up molestation charges against my father (no peach himself--abusive alcoholic who slept with my teenage babysitters)--and I always marveled at how she could live with someone we all knew liked teenage girls, but leave me vulnerable and only protect my brother by sleeping in his room. Mind--my father never touched me, he knew I had a big mouth and could stand up for myself, and he never touched my brother because he knew I was his protector, again with a big mouth and highly articulate. She wouldnt let me join the family in the mornings on the weekends, she would tell me to go back to my room until noon, because I was so "moody" in the a.m.---it took me a few years to realize I do just fine in the a.m. When I was sick, she would take me to the doctor, give me medicine and food, but no cuddling, rubbing my head or back, I was left to my own devices as early as 9 years old (stayed home by myself too). Fights were constant and full of drama and crying and shrieking on her part, and where I argued her into a corner she couldn't get out of (I guess that's why I'm a great trial attorney now), she would dissolve into a puddle of crying and whimpering, etc to distract from the inescapability of logic and reason. I figured out after high school that she was always jealous of me. She was jealous of how much her parents adored me. When her father died, the one person who made me feel completely loved and valuable, she deliberately informed me of the wrong dates to travel to the funeral, so I was only there to help prepare and clean my grandparent's house for the gathering after the funeral, but was never able to attend the funeral itself. That one hurts me the most to this day because I had wanted so badly to speak at his funeral and I know his friends were so proud of me and liked me. Now I"m the grandchild who couldn't be bothered to attend the funeral because I was Miss Law School. She was always a bit of a disappointment to my grandparents, she made a horrible marriage to a horrible man despite warnings not to do so, cost them (they paid) an expensive 4 year divorce and custody battle, they bought her house for her in her name being prescient and knowing my parents would divorce, they paid a lot of her bills while alive, like her property taxes, her cars, etc, she was very overweight, entirely too dependent on everyone else and lacking self-sufficiency, etc. She knew they were disappointed in her, so when they expressed pride in me for my academics or sports---I knew she faked equal pride, but that it killed her that I was everything she wasn't.

Zoe & Ryder's Mommy said...

Kia's Post, Part II: Her parents did all these things for her, but she never took care of them and they were only 4 hours away by car. Any health issues were left to my uncle because "the will says he gets the house" (my grandparent's house). I was always the parent, cleaning her constantly beyond gross house, spending weekends emptying 5-6 garbage bags worth of dirt and junk (she was and is a big horder), and she wouldn't lift a finger to help declutter (my brother and I are now neat freaks as a consequence), she had tons of medicine she alternated between (hypochondriac), no bathroom or bedroom privacy, almost always did the opposite of any of my express wishes, did that sly insult in the form of praise bit to friends and family so that I was isolated and could never alert anyone to what a bitch she really was. She once ignored me for about 10 days to 2 weeks, openly lavishing affection on my brother while barely speaking to me only when necessary, because I had initially said I wanted to live with my dad (I was 8 and had no idea what a different kind of monster my father was, I thought he was great because he never did the disciplining). When I got my first car and relied on her to help navigate the decision, I ended up getting this total piece of shit (which would have been fine, especially for a new driver, but she made sure to help my brother out and got him this awesome car). She once hauled me out of yet another awards ceremony for a program I participated in and yelled at me crying in the hallway while other parents passed by saying that the outfit I had chosen was embarassing and to go change, which of course was impossible since my bags were packed and in the hotel room and I'd miss the whole ceremony. She never taught me how to do my hair (I'm mixed, so my hair is kind of in between white/asian/black)--even though she is also mixed and has the same type of hair!! So until I figured it out on my own--I had super frizzy hair until 9th grade. Always told I was evil that I was too hard on people, that no one would want to be my friend or love me if I continued to be so (pick your negative adjective). God, this list is getting long, I am literally reliving memories as I write! Sorry to vent, this just feels so good. I had tried repeatedly to warn her that if she didn't change I would be done with her.

Zoe & Ryder's Mommy said...

Kia's Post, Part III: The final straw came in law sch The ool when over a family dinner she made an insulting joke about my then-boyfriend (now husband). That was it, because I could see where her next line of attack was going to go, and I had a good healthy relationship and a good man, and I'd be damned if I was going to let her screw with that. So that was it for me. I did make the mistake after a well-meaning friend guilted me into inviting my mother to my wedding (which my hubby and I funded to avoid any strings attached from family members). I tried to lay out the boundaries and behavior I expected from her, but I saw her antics starting in some of the pre-wedding activities---and I banned her from the wedding then and there. She called my hotel room crying saying she would kill herself. But I was suprisingly calm and firm and enjoyed my wedding day without thinking about her at all!!! She didn't ruin it for me despite her best efforts. My brother and I finally have a relationship as adults, and now live near each other with our families and I think now that he and his wife are getting to know me better, it's starting to show a stark contrast between the lies and picture my mother has painted of me and the reality that I'm a pretty normal, decent person who is fun to be around. They can't stand her, but my brother endures her because he does enjoy the ($$) benefits as my mother buys them tons of stuff, but my SIL barely tolerates her, but they feel that their kids should have access to their grandmother. She undermines my SIL, but thankfully they both are united and stand firm against her. Just wondering how to alert them to the fact that she will probably use their kids to attack me and my kids. But---whew! I'm done. Sorry for the length, but this is just a saving grace finding this blog!

Kitlope said...

I want to thank you for this site Anna. Up until last year I never knew what was wrong with my mother, after reading the NPD entry on Wiki everything started making sense.

I'm going to post something that I posted on another site. I apologize for the lack of background but this, IMO, is an absolute horror story.

My mother has been blaming me for "ruining her family" since I was a kid. Not that she said it all the time because she didn't (she couldn't as I had already fled her when I was 10 years old to go live with my father) but every second summer to visit her I was told this. It really hurt me but I just covered it because I knew if I showed any signs of hurt I was told I was a sissy or "to get over myself". Whenever she said something mean in general there was always a catch - if you showed emotion she would tell me I was selfish or I making it about myself etc. There was always a look to - "The Look" that even my 10 year old daughter identified.

Two 1/2 years ago I got a phone call from her (we were "getting along" at this particular time) that my 9 year old daughter (I'm 35) was getting sexually abused by her step father and he had been recently charged with 14 various counts of sexual assault. Child Services had to step in and my daughter went to go live with my mother since my kids mom was too messed up in the head to care for her. My mother obliged to Child Services to take her for as long as needed, in the early days even wrote Sam letters saying she was welcome there until she grew up. I was going for custody of her after all this occured and after 14 months got it. But those were some of the worst 14 months in my life.

My mother never supported me at all. Every couple months she sent horrible emails telling me essentially how much of a "piece of shit" I was and a "selfish ass". I never responded and pretended nothing was sent because I knew it was bait, if I responded in any way it was going to hurt me and my daughter. Finally, about 5 months before getting custody of Sam, I responded in a brief email and that killed our relationship. I knew it would and it was a calculated move by me to end this abuse, at least on my end. A few times she would call in the late evening (probably after a few glasses of wine) and told me that in the morning she was calling child services and telling them they could pick up her granddaughter because "she was done", they could put her in a foster home and that "it was all my fault". She used my daughter to blackmail me, was horribly mean, critical (but don't EVER criticize her) Negative, incredibly controlling, manipulative and about as selfish as one could be (but absolutely blinded by it). And a hypocrite, in the worst possible way. She will give you mass heck and be mean about something you did that she doesn't approve of and turn around and do it herself. Over and over again. You better not arrive late when you have a engagement with her but last year it was perfectley ok for her to come 5 minutes late to her own mothers funeral when we're all waiting for the start of the Eulogy (who, of course she hadn't talked to in 15 years). My Grandma (died at 86 years old, something to be said about N's hanging on forever) I believe was also a N after talking to cousins of mine that knew her better than me.

(to be continued)

Kitlope said...

But it was everybody else with these issues, not her. She went over and above herself to criticize everyone involved and was very vocal. This includes many many people that were involved in the whole thing from my father, step mom, brother, therapists, lawyers, Child Services. She sent rather crappy emails to everyone (but not as bad as the ones to me - these were more "control issue" emails) - even my mothers own lawyer that she and her spineless husband got when this stuff went down ended up firing her due to these emails (she printed out one she sent, gave it to me and I'm thinking "you actually sent this to your lawyer?". After about 6 months of taking in her Granddaughter it was becoming clear the novelty was wearing off. Things settled into a routine and she wasn't the center of attention that she was just a few months earlier as I was starting to step up to the plate seeking custody. Everything, from the stupidest littlest thing was blown completely out of proportion. Now this is where things get scary as she started becoming mean to my daughter. I figured Sam was immune to NastyGrams ways' but I was proven completely wrong. The first serious one she did was at christmas, telling her for weeks that we would all have a big wonderful christmas. Come a couple weeks before christmas, for some minor thing that Sam did that she didn't like, she told her that she was going on a cruise and there would be no christams. Sam called me bawling her head off and I assured her everything would be alright tommorrow. Sure enough, the next day, NastyGrams wasn't going on a cruise and my daughter was all happy. But now I knew Sam wasn't immune. Closer to my custody court date she really started doing mean things to Sam (as she was losing control) and the big one was she cancelled her 11th birthday party that was to be with 5 friends (yep, you read that right) and cancelled her season ending baseball team pictures (and making sure she told my daughter that "she let the team down and everything is her fault"). Its not about discipline to her - its about hurting people. And she's a master at it.

I was a mess. I didn't have custody of her yet and she was doing to my kid what she has done to me when I was a kid. The therapists and child services took note of this stuff and realized why I was so stressed out. I was scared to mention anything to Child Services and the therapist until after I had custody because then they might put her in a foster home, and to tell you the truth at this point I wouldn't have blamed them. I also didn't have the needed space in my apartment at that time to have her(which soon changed). At this point she was telling everyone "she just wanted to be a Grandma". Fair enough. However my brother has an 8 year old son that doesn't even know who the hell she is. Hypocrite! I wonder who's fault that is? I was out of town on a job and was requested by Sam's therapist that if I could leave early to come get my daughter out of that house to please do so. Needless to say I was on my way back home in no time. Just before she lost all control she told the people that were supporting me (my father and step mother) to not "enable me". She wanted to see me fail even if it is detrimental to Sam. If I failed - so did my daughters chance at a normal life & future, as everyone knew.

(to be continued)

Kitlope said...

The day of my kids birthday there was no phone call, no email, no nothing from grandma. My daughter was crushed. There was no communication for 4 months. For the next 3 months her therapy wasn't about her sexual abuses, it was now about her grandma and why she started doing the things to her that she did. My daughter started blaming herself (which is exactly what Nastygrams wanted) but me and Dr. Karen assured her that some people just never put themselves into other peoples shoes. Child Services and the therapist were equally disgusted at my mothers antics.

In the end, everybody saw through her. It was all just a facade in the beginning and middle of that 14 months but her true colors came through, especially once she wasn't going to have anymore control. She has very little family in her life and even quit talking to my brother because he suggested to her "perhaps support Mike and quit being so negative". Since then they have had no communication. There's some serious Narccisstic Personality Disorder if you ask me. And probably just an excuse so that she doesn't need to be in her only grandson's life.

The thing that amazes me about the whole ordeal is that the only person, and I mean ONLY person that was there trying to relentlessy knock me down and kick me to the curb in my pursuit of getting custody of my daughter was my mother. She would have rather seen me fail so that she could have picked up the phone, become the center of attention, and tell what few friends/family she has left just how much of a piece of shit I am and that " I told you so!" It didn't matter if her granddaugter went to a foster home and was living a horrible was "my fault" and she was going to let the world know!

My daughter now, as much as I want to cut off the relationship, only sees her a couple times a year and for just 5 or 6 hours. I've told her that if Grams is mean to let me know and I'll end it but I'm actually not to worried. NastyGrams is too wound up trying to portray her "perfect" life to even have time to be mean. But I keep an ear open and its in such small doses that I'm hopeful that she doesn't.

I know I didn't go into much detail about some particular Narcisstic charactersitics that she has but I can say this. She feels entitled and better than everybody. If people don't have as much as her (all because of her 3rd husband) then they "don't have a pot to piss in" and are usually designated a loser. She will call you lazy, make a scene of it but then sleep in herself and do nothing all day. She has serious image issues, whether it be social, physical or mental. She wants everybody on the outside to believe everything is always perfect. She hated her alcohlic father and I'm quite sure has no use for men in general but needs at least one to have the standard of living she wants. All she cares about is her payed for oversea's trips. Around 1993 she left my underage brother with his step dad, cleaned them both out financially and partied around the world for a couple years.

Anyhoo, this is getting long.

Thanks for letting me vent Anna.

Crystal Clear Day said...

Part One:

Anna, it's a pleasure to join the many others who've expressed appreciation for your wisdom and support. Your blog has been a blessing for me and for my sister (S). I'm hopeful that you or a reader will be able to provide helpful suggestions for dealing with our NM in a particularly difficult situation. Essentially, S is trying to go 'no contact' (NC) but NM is suing for 'liberal grandparent visitation' with S’s son. They all live in Tennessee so are subject to that state's laws.

Background: S is a 40yo divorcee with full custody of her only child, an 11-1/2yo son. The boy's father had a good job during their marriage but he succumbed to drug addiction. As a result, he hasn't been a part of the boy's life since the divorce, when the son was ~3yo, and he hasn't paid the court-mandated child support. Though S has had a job since divorce, she couldn't make ends meet when her ex didn't contribute to support of their child. Just paying for daycare took a big chunk of her income, even before considering all of the other necessities of life for herself and her young son.

I live across the country from S and her son (my nephew), but our mother only lives about 45 minutes from them. Given the circumstances, S was only too happy when mother offered to help her with her son. Unfortunately, we didn't realize at the time that our mother is an NM of the very first magnitude. It took time to discover that, to begin understanding the many ways we were each personally affected by it, and then to recognize the great risk for S's son. It's obvious now that NM has wanted all along to have her grandson (GS) as her own son, and she has methodically pursued that goal over the past 9 years, taking advantage of S's financial and emotional vulnerabilities while also painting herself as the generous, gracious grandmother helping her daughter to raise her son. In order to steal S's son, NM has, among other things, both blatant and subtle, open and covert:

(1) Consistently undermined S's parental authority with GS, positioning herself as his authority figure and discounting S as simply a nuisance.

(2) Consistently criticized S in front of GS.

(3) Campaigned for S to let GS move in with NM and her long-term, live-in boyfriend.

(4) Belittled GS's father and told S she should change GS's last name to NM's boyfriend's name (a man who is not related to the boy by blood or by marriage).

(5) Recently stepped up criticism of S, strongly emphasizing the theme that S is a bad mother (which she is not).

(6) Consistently tempted GS by buying him things, in particular things that S can't afford. Over the years NM has bought/given GS anything and everything a little boy could possibly want, including a golf cart, a motorbike, a 4-wheeler, his own dog(s) and cat(s), a pre-built clubhouse, real guns, and even a used pickup truck to drive around on their property. NM buys GS anything he wants whenever they go into any store so he's learned to ask for everything. He gets angry at S when they're together in a store and she says 'no' to a purchase. If NM happens to be with them, it's not uncommon for her to blatantly override S and just buy GS the denied item. NM always has an excuse for why she was justified in her actions.

(7) Consistently tempted GS by spoiling him rotten and dispensing with all rules and discipline. NM lets GS stay up as late as he wants (even all night), lets him watch whatever he wants on television for as long as he wants, feeds him as much candy and junk food as he wants, etc. This has the added benefit for NM of being very convenient. Supervising a young boy takes time and effort but letting him do whatever he wants is easy.

Crystal Clear Day said...

Part Two:

Given NM’s constant brainwashing and spoiling, S's personal relationship with her son became increasingly painful and dysfunctional. In addition to treating S with open disrespect, her son also began exhibiting a variety of other negative effects from long-term NM exposure. Nevertheless, wanting to allow her son to continue to see his beloved grandmother and not realizing the futility of her actions, S kept trying to reason with NM and kept trying to influence NM's behavior in more acceptable directions. About 4 months ago (August 2009), NM added a proverbial straw that broke the camel's back, S reached her limit, and she denied NM any further contact with herself or her son. She even threatened NM with a protective order (restraining order) when she found out that NM had been sneaking after school visits with GS.

Fortunately, S’s financial situation has improved over the years, thanks to job changes and promotions. That means she can get by without further NM financial help. However, like many parents, she earns just enough each month to cover basic expenses and bills, without a lot left over. The relationship is much better now between S and her son but they have a long way to go. The son was exposed to NM for long periods of time in the past and the damage is deeply ingrained. Meanwhile, S must deal with the question of whether or not she should allow her son to interact with NM in any way ongoing. S instinctively wants to maintain strict NC but her son doesn't understand why S has halted his contact with NM. He wants to see NM and may get very angry/resentful with S if she continues to deny all contact. Besides, before long he'll be old enough to call NM whenever he wants to, and vice/versa, without S knowing. And, in about 4 years he'll be 16, able to drive, and could go to NM's with or without S's permission or knowledge. At that age he could even 'run away' to NM's. No matter what type of legal rights S might have, realistically it would be difficult to enforce making her son live at home if he wanted to live at NM's. And what teenage boy wouldn't want to live in a no-restrictions household where he would be given as much money and as many possessions as he wanted, and where he'd be allowed to drink or carouse or sleep all day without any consequences?

The immediate problem for S is that NM has filed a suit to gain 'liberal grandparent visitation' rights. NM can easily afford to pay attorneys for a protracted legal battle, but S doesn't have the financial means to fight over her son in court, especially not for an extended period of time. Numerous/frequent court appearances would also affect S’s work, distracting her and requiring time off. Apparently she can handle this first legal round without paying an attorney or appearing in court, simply by submitting a written response. Her chances of success aren't clear, but she has to try. She will either make a case for NC, or make a case for very limited, supervised visitation.

Crystal Clear Day said...

Part Three:

The Tennessee statute mentions a number of relevant factors:

(A) It precludes visitation rights if the grandparent has subjected the child to abuse. - Adult children of narcissists are all too aware of the crippling emotional abuse that nm's can perpetrate. Unfortunately, it may be very difficult for S to prove that NM has emotionally abused her son.

(B) It allows the court to consider the stated preference of the child. - In this case, there's no doubt the boy would want to spend at least two weekends/month with NM. In the past, NM would often pick him up at school on Friday afternoon and take him back to school on Monday morning, meaning GC spent 3 nights, 2 whole days and 2 partial days with NM. That was plenty of time for NM to perpetuate and enhance the brainwashing campaign over the winter. In the summers, GC would spend the majority of his time with NM. Given his choice by the court, I anticipate he’d want to do the same thing ongoing.

(C) It considers the effect on the child of openly expressed hostility between the grandparent and the parent. - We know that NM routinely criticizes and denigrates S in front of GS, but it would be difficult to prove the extent and effects of her hostility in a courtroom.

(D) It considers the willingness of the grandparent to encourage a close relationship between the child and the parent. - Again, we know that NM actively works to undermine GS's relationship with his mother, but it would be difficult to prove the extent and effects in a courtroom.

S and I would be extremely grateful to hear from others who have successfully dealt with similar challenges. This scenario is related to grandparent visitation but questions of child custody/visitation between divorcing spouses can be quite similar.

Has anyone tried to use NPD as a defense against someone who's trying to get child custody or visitation? Truly, NM doesn't care at all about GS. She simply uses him as a valuable source of narcissistic supply and she’s grooming him to continue serving in that capacity for as long as she lives. But what's the likelihood of getting any court to believe that? If we alleged NPD, would they require NM to get a psych evaluation? If so, what's the likelihood that a shrink would pick up on NPD from one or two cursory sessions, especially given NM's finely honed ability to appear normal whenever it serves her interests to do so?

Along similar lines, is anyone familiar with Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)? From very preliminary reading, PAS sounds exactly like what NM is doing. Has anyone tried to use PAS as a defense against someone who's trying to get child custody or visitation? If the court would give credence to PAS, S might be able to effectively illustrate some of NM's tactics and motivations.

Thanks in advance for any insights/advice.

Cat Lady said...

Reading these stories has brought tears to my eyes and woken up old wounds. I seriously thought I was the only one that thinks that she will feel peace when her NM passes away. This woman has terrorized people all her life. She has a high IQ and I think she even borders on being a psychopath. Has insinuated a few times that she would have my step-dad killed. Even went so far as to have a former prisoner call his house and talk to my brother. She has installed so much fear in us.

I can't believe I'm not alone in this mess, it's such a relief. It's spooky to read these stories, it's like someone got into my diary?

Regarding my son. Fortunately I'm not her golden child and we have had many years where there is no contact. The few times she did babysit him it always ended up in some kind of drama or abuse. By the time my son was five he feared her and didn't like her. She has always sensed this and as a full blown N she has a hard time dealing with the fact that a child shows here contempt and doesn't worship her. My son is grown up today and has no contact with her. The last time I talked to her she accused me of brainwashing him and preventing her from having a relationship with her grandson. My answer was "That was all your doing mom, physically abusing your grandchild was not a smart move".

Her Golden child is having children now and she showers them with gifts. Some people in the family see right through her and find it cruel how she rejected my son and my brothers kids for no apparent reason. My sister the Golden Child is not to be envied though. The damage she can do might never be undone. I've tried to talk to my sister but she refuses to see the truth about our mom.

There is so much more this lady has done, I could write a book. Her smear campaigns are the worst. She has even gotten child protection services after me to try and destroy my reputation. I cooperated and in the end they sent me an apology. I even insisted that they talk to my father and everyone at my son's school. That pissed her off big time because this made her look like a fool. Child protection services let me read the report she filled out. She described me as a careless mom that partied all the time and had sex with many men? When Child protection services came over they saw a home which was nice with art work on the walls and many books. At the time I was working 9 hours a day for the Government in computers. WTF, she was describing a person which sounded like she had been on welfare all her life? Maybe she couldn't accept the fact that I was a good mom and my son is a well rounded person because I haven't exposed him to the abuse I had to endure?

I still let her back in to my life a few years later and she attacked me emotionally. She even went so far and became friends with one of my friends. That was too much for me. She managed to charm one of my friends into become her friends? Never again, I've had enough of the b*tch.

Goddamn Angry Atheist said...

Wow! Thanks for this article! I am at the point now with my Nmom that she will not have unsupervised visits with my daughter. She is the one to use my daughter to hurt me. She uses toys, candy and anything else she can and now my daughter tells me anytime she gets in trouble, "My grammy would let me do it!" I'm at my wits end. I figured I'd share a few stories of my mom:

1.) When I found out I was pregnant with my DD, my mom threw a temper tantrum over the name I chose for my child, because she didn't like it.
2.) She is infuriated by the presence of other grandparents. My parent's are divorced and my Nmom hates that my dad is apart of her life. I am a single mother and for the last year and a half I have been in a serious relationship. As the parents of two boys, my partner's parents love having my daughter around... my Nmom cannot handle them being a part of my daughter's life... My DD has no contact with her "sperm donor" or his family and my view on it is, the more people to love this child, the better of she is.
3.) My Nmom undermines me as a parent and puts me down not only in front of my child when I'm around, but behind my back to my child as well. She plays childish games with my child and tries to make me out as the bad guy as much as she can. She has asked for nearly 3 years to take her to Disney World and I have always said that when she goes, I will be there too. After 9 months of no unsupervised visits, I let her keep her one day. I received a text saying, "Can we take Z to Disney World." As always, I replied no. I get another texts that said, "Z wants to know why?" Most adults know not to do this sort of thing, and she knows it's wrong too, but it's a game she plays.

I've been torn on this issue since my daughter was born (actually before). I am a very self efficient person, so I don't "need" my mother. I've been reminded my whole life that when it comes down to it, all I have is my brother and her. Well, my brother passed away 2 1/2 years ago. I thought the passing of my brother would improve my relationship with my mother, but her behavior has gotten worse. Since my brother has passed, there was a 3 month no-contact period which turned into a 9 month of supervised visits. She has unsupervised visits for 3 months when she started going way too far again. I'm done with it. If I could move to another state I would.

I've gone back and forth on whether I'm making the right decision and this lets me know I am. My biggest concern is my daughter and how she is going to screw her up. You are right... it is my job to protect my daughter, and I don't even think supervised visits will fully protect her.

Thank you once again for this... it has really helped me figure things out!!

rossomondo said...


rossomondo said...

Dear Anna,

That was more than interesting,and fascinating and painful.I've been trying to relate to a borderline woman for some years,and she's the daughter of the most quintessential narcissist you ever met.Her mother has written the most awful things about her daughter to me over the years,treating her daughter as an irresponsible,Bad Mother of her 4 y- old,whom I adore.She rgularly says things like: "Tom was gifted by Nature with briliance, looks and sweetness;I did the rest."This to me is a sinister attempt to murder her daughter as mother;she herself is the epitome of the Evil Mother which she now projects onto A,her daughter.The child seems to love the grandmother,and she him,even though I think she intends to make him,like Prof Higgins,her own splendid creation,to give her thesuccess she always craved but never got;and his job is to bring love and meaning into her life,a very tall order!!
Now she's incapable of adult love,but seems to love T,with whom she spends a lot of time,hoping to succeed this time around;for A,his mother that takes some of the burden from her as asingle mother,but she hates her mother often wanting to kill her.I'm very worried about that T will end up as torn impossibly between two warring parties in a nest of vipers,bewildered by the vicious stories each of them tells of the two people he loves.If I sent all her emails to a psychiatrist they'd surely take T away, but I have no power or responsibility here.What steps would you take in a situation like this?

I'm writing an article on "Narcissistic parenting;the prime suspect in the development of Borderlne Personality Disorder?"And a book on the importance of first-person narratives in psychic healing."I'd be very grateful for any comment,and will of course credit you in the works.

Bon Courage,Many thanks again ,
Red O'Hanlon

I trust you won't publish my real name!

Red O'Hanlon.

T and K said...

Thank you for your article, it has brought back a lot of memories from my Grandmother.

My mother was mentally abused by my Grandmother, was constantly put down to her face, saying how she never wanted a second child. My mum has had to have treatment for a mental illness through the abuse that she suffered from my Grandmother and also from past relationships - she will never come of her tablets.

My Grandmother had her favorites my cousins and to some extent my sister. What ever I did was never good for her, I would try all sorts to get her love, that I saw give to my sister and cousins. At Christmas everyone would get their presents first, my Grandmother would be standing up watching everyone, but she would be judging my reaction and seemed to get some kind of pleasure from it? Ten, twenty minutes would go past and she would get out my presents, by this time she would enough and help my sister with her presents.

My nan would take my cousins and sister to theme parks and say there was not enough room in the car for me. She would say 'I will take you next time' I never did. I had operations on my legs, so I ended up in hospital alot, my sister ended up staying with my nan a lot, my nan would feed her doughnuts in the morning at breakfast time, then in the evening she would call my sister fat.

When I was a teenager at 13 I was being bullied at school and had no friends. My nan and auntie went behind my parents backs and got my sister a mobile phone. At the end of the school day they waited outside the gates and made sure everyone was around watching. They handed my sister the box which contained the phone and then turned around and said to me 'you have no friends so here is the free bag' That set of a huge argument in the family and my Grandmother manipulated everyone and called me the devil - I was 13 years old!!

The worst thing was when we did make up again, I really wanted her to like me, to love me even. To a point I still do - I think I always will. I was raped at 16 and to be honest she was with me throughout afterwards, but I look back and think she wanted all of the attention to show she was a good Grandmother a year later she said to my sister 'Has she not got over it yet?'

The whole family had another massive argument a couple of years ago, on my birthday. We have not spoken since and she has since manipulated the rest of the family so that they have written us out of the family.

My family has started to communicate with my Grandmother again - slowly as she is apparently dying. I will not have contact with her. I hope when she meets her maker she will have to face up to what she has done. I also hope I will have closure when she goes but I doubt it.

My Auntie is a carbon copy of my Grandmother and so are my cousins. It is pretty sad.

Anonymous said...

Dear Blog Owner! I admire your work a lot as you have taken a bold step to express yourself to the world and help others surrering at the hands of Narcissists. I was not familiar with Narcissism until I got married and had to live with my N-MIL (Narcissistic mother-in-law) for about six years.
Before explaining much, I must tell you some facts about the culture I live in. In our South Asian culture, joint family system prevails where elders are given the role of gods: They're supposed to be completely and unconditionally, and they're accountable to no one for whatever they do to their younger ones. Having said that, you can very well understnad that the culture is ideal for breeding Narcissism, especially in mothers-in-law becasue they're the ruling "gods" in a joint family system and their sons are completely under their "divine" control..

Anonymous said...

Now, coming to the damage she has done to me and my son (as his grand mother). She has obviously devastated my relationship with her son as well, but this thread is about a N-Grandparent, so I'll focus on that particularly over here.
I want to share an imaginary letter I wrote according to the technique in the book "Men are from Mars; Women are from Venice". I wrote that back in 2009. That was for the purpose of self-therpy.
To my MIL 31/12/09


I am angry because you emotionally abused me for about three years just because you couldn’t stand me as the mother of your grandson. It was not about spending time with and enjoying his company; it was actually about “a competition of who had the right to become his mother and possess him”. You declared to me that he would belong to you after his birth and I would be kept out of his life: You forced me into doing a job and continuing it after his birth; you said that I would do my job and he would remain with you in your school’s daycare; then he would sleep with you in the afternoon; then go with you on an evening walk; and then sleep with you at night too, while a maid would do all his jobs. You made your intentions very obvious to me even before he was born and acted paranoid after his birth. You were unable to enjoy his company because your focus was all on me having all his love and attention as a mother. You were clearly jealous and used to say very obnoxious things to me and him. You could have easily enjoyed his love as the grandparent by having quality time with him, just like your husband did, but you didn’t because you wanted something beyond that. You clearly stated to me: “I raised my sons only for myself and married them off only to have my grandchildren. Now, leave them (all) to me and I’ll raise my grandchildren myself.” You actually meant that my job was over, I was no more needed in the house and I could go to hell then. You were not interested in me any more. I hate you because:

Anonymous said...

Ø You placed unreasonable demands on me by telling me to “surrender” all my rights as a mother. No matter how much I gave in, you were never satisfied and spread this propaganda in the whole family that I was a possessive mother and had deprived you of “your kid’s” love.

Ø You gave me the toughest time when I decided to exclusively breastfeed my son. I did it for his wellbeing; but, I never knew that it upset you immensely because you knew it created an unbreakable bond between the son and the mother. I hate you for your resistance to it. You spread this propaganda that my milk had “dried up” and I was starving “your kid” by not bottle-feeding him. You even used to pull out my nipple from his mouth to irritate him to abandon my breast. You were sick minded. You were hatable. You left me so weak that I could not tell you to lay off.

Ø I was subjected to constant criticism by you. You always proved me a “carefree and irresponsible mother”. In fact you always blamed me for not being a well wisher of my own child. I can’t forget your statement at the Gynae’s clinic (at the time of my first pregnancy): “Mein to iss say kehti hoon kha’o kha’o! Kyun meray bachay ko bhooka maarti ho? (as if I was starving ‘your kid’ in my womb.)”

Ø You treated me like my son’s maid. You used to order me to do things for him and when I did you would scold me for not doing them properly. You always belittled me. You always imposed your ways and methods. You were not just interfering; you were intrusive.

Ø You used to say vulgar things to me and my baby. You used to shout at both of us in your husband’s absence.

Ø You were aggressive. You used to “punish” me for being the mother of “your kid”. You would bang our door at night, midnight and in the morning to disturb our sleep. You would yell at us and accuse me of keeping “your kid” away from you. You ruined my peace of mind in my second pregnancy. You would continuously ring the bell in the afternoon for a long time, after returning form your school, because you knew that was the time I made my son sleep. You kept the phone in the TV lounge and used to shout on the phone. You would keep the bathroom door open because I told you it upset me since my son would wet himself and play with the water in the commode. You did everything deliberately to drive me nuts and make me mad.

Anonymous said...

Ø You belittled and controlled me in the guise of offering “help and advice” in front of your husband. You proved me wrong in every way and imposed your irrational ideas. You never listened to my logical explanations and I felt that I was being treated like a barking dog.

Ø If I ever questioned your ideas or told you that you were being unfair, you created a drama out of it to cry crocodile tears and convince your husband that I was being “Bud-Tameez”. You always, ridiculously, considered yourself a victim rather than a perpetrator.

Ø If I ever told your husband, or your son, the truth about you, you always blatantly denied it. You always said that you never did anything wrong and all the problem lied with me not you.

Ø I lost respect for myself when I didn’t stand up for myself and didn’t confront you. I resented myself and used to slap my face in frustration and cry my heart out. I was so scared of you that I sulked into my room for a long time. This gave you another opportunity to make your husband believe that I was being “Bud-Tameez” by not socializing with the family.

Ø You capitalized on my fear and “learned helplessness”.

Ø Once you threatened me in front of your husband and snatched my son from my lap saying “Ye sirf hamara bacha hai.Hum sirf isko apnay saath baher lay ker ja’ein gay. Tum mut ja’o hamaray sath!” Your husband didn’t say anything to you and I couldn’t utter a word either because he seemed to be on your side. Then I went to the bathroom and cried my heart out. Everything was taken so lightly as if nothing had happened.


I am sad because your emotional abuse is still affecting me even though I don’t live with you in the same portion any more. I relive those past experiences because my anger is unresolved: It’s just like my anger is “frozen” inside me and I want to let it out on you. I suffer most in the days of my PMS when I have frequent flashbacks. My son gets upset to see me.. I don’t want him to be affected negatively.


You still compete with me and disregard my authority as a mother. I fear that, God forbid, I’ll have to live with you forever and you won’t let me enjoy the blessings of motherhood because you’ll always drag me into this tug of war over my son and even my daughter.


I regret giving you so much power over me. I am to blame.


I don’t feel any love for you. You’re dear to me only as a human. I pray for you. I ask God to give you the best of this world and the Hereafter. I ask Him to give you guidance. I want to live separately from you, so that we have a respectable distance and I have some space to breathe too. I don’t want to hate you any more.

Anonymous said...

That was back in 2009. What happened afterwards was even worse. My mother pushed me to go to a family doctor to get diagnosed for depression. I was diagnosed positively: I had chronic depression and was treated for one year with SSRIs. By that time, my son had been spoiled to the extent where he was completely rebellious and violent. My N-MIL had crossed all her limits and would openly encourage him to use abusive language for me. She would take him out all the time and brainwash him against me. There was always a battle over his custody even if we were all living in the same house. She hated to let him be with me, especially in the afternoon and at night because she wanted him to sleep with her...

Anonymous said...

My FIL is a co-depenednet husband of my N-MIL and has always functioned as her "proxy". He has no views of his own and sees the world around him through his wife's eyes. His total submission breeeds Narcissism in his wife. He has always fallen for what his wife told him....

Anonymous said...

Now, coming to the worst part of the story... This year, we finally did move to another city by the grace of God. I was much relieved and thanked God for finally providing me a space to breathe freely in. But, after a few months, my son revealed something very shocking to me: He had been sexually abused by my N-MIL's young male servant and that too in the portion of the house where my N-MIL lived. She would lock the door behind me in the afternoons and at other times too because she was extremely jealous of me having my son's attention. My fiver-year-old son told me about the details and said that the servant did actually "urinate" (ejaculate) on his butt after lying him on his back and "rubbing" his penis on his butt. That was devastating for me, but I kept my composure in front of him and fortunately managed that situation well. That was like a nightmare because I had always feard this thing most as a parent; and I even didn't do any job because of that same reason; I didn't want my kids to be at the mercy of my N-MIL's servants and herself who never had raised even her own children; she had always kepts maids and servants all her life...

Anonymous said...

The damage had been done; it could not be reversed. I consulted a psychologist/psychotherapist to gouide me thorugh that situation. In the meanwhile, I made my husband talk to his parents without involving me because in our culture we're not supposed to "disrespect gods". So, he did talkk to them on the phone but in a very sweet tone. My N-MIL tried to call me many times on the phone and on my cell, but I didn't pick it. Finally, on day, when I did, I talked to her very normally about routine things; I didn't talk about the abuse at all. From that day on, I don't talk to them much, but my son talks to them daily...

Anonymous said...

My son is too young to understand the gravity of situation and I don't stop him from talking to his grand parents on the phone. Right now, I want to focus on his well bieng as a victim of sexual abuse and emotional abuse (by his grandmother). He is a socially-withdrwn child and has developed some social anxiety. He is phobic when it comes to peeing in front of or in the presence of others and pees in his pants every day at school. I can't tell the school administration about his actual problem. :( He wets his bed at night also almost every day... But, I hope things will improve as his violence and rebellion has also reduced over the past few months. I hope and believe that he'll improve now as we're no more living with my N-MIL.
Need everyone's prayers!

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify that I have changed my profile name from Shaista to Noni.

Anonymous said...

Dear blog owner! I want your comments on my situation. I have never written such private details on a public blog before, but I found your blog worthy as it was helping and educating a lot of people about Narcissistic influences in their life.... There are chances, God forbid, that my husband will be transferred back to the same city where we lived with his parents for six years. In that case, we'll have no choice but to live with them again. Our culture forces us to submit to their will. What do you think I should do in this situation? Be adamant about not going back?

Anonymous said...

Let me add that even if we somehow manage to live in a separate house in the same city as my in-laws', they'll be free to live with us any time they like. In your culture, parents are not even supposed to pay your children un-announced visits; but, in our culture, firstly, there's no concept of living separately from them, and, secondly, even if we do, they have every right to enter our house and even bedroom without permission. They're free to take our children away any time they like.

Anna Valerious said...


I really don't know what I can tell you. If you've read much here at the blog then you know that my most recommended course for dealing with narcissists, most especially family narcissists, is to go no contact. You've made it clear you don't think that is an option in your situation. What can I say beyond that? If you think that being adamant about not returning to the city where your in-laws live will be persuasive then by all means be adamant! Since you seem to be helpless to protect yourself or your son if you move back into your in-laws town then you need to do whatever you can to prevent that from happening.

I'm not from your culture so I'm really not in a position to advise you on ways to counter it. Some cultures seriously suck. I'm not the kind of person who believes that cultural norms are automatically sanctified just because a group of people adhere to those norms. I believe in principles. And those principles trump culture when culture runs counter to principle. Your culture is certainly an illustration of the extremely negative consequences of allowing a family member to have so much power over other family members. It reinforces narcissism if it is present. It probably even brings on narcissism when it isn't. You're going to have to be very strong if you're going to protect your son from your mother in law's destructiveness. Only you are in the position to know what your options are. It seems to me that your greatest leverage is going to be with your husband. Here's hoping he values you, the woman he sleeps with, more than his mommy.

Anonymous said...

:) Thank you dear Blog Owner! You're right. Of course, I also don't approve of the cultural norms, but this is how it works in our culture. I personally feel that my husband will not consider moving back there after that abuse incident. After all, he has seen the blessings of living a "private life" and I believe that he shouldn't be willing to go back and compromise on his peace of mind.

Anonymous said...

One more thing... My N-MIL has changed a lot ever since we moved here. She poses to be the sweetest person on earth and tells us how she dotes on all of us. Of course, she misses my kids and her son, but I'm 200% sure that she has not changed genuinely. She is absolutely NOT capable of changing her very nature. I consider her sweetness a tactic to lure me into going back to her. Huh! My mother gives me reassuring statement and tells me that my N-MIL would be a changed peson if we come back.

Anna Valerious said...

I hope you're right about your husband not wanting to move back. I'm relieved to hear he doesn't condone the sexual abuse of your son.

You're right to suspect that your MIL is faking with her new "sweet" persona. That's a well-worn tactic of malignant narcissists (especially the female type) to lure an escaped prey back into their nets.

Jack Crab said...

After my son was born we all hoped this would change mom. Maybe she would "see the light". I told her that I wanted her to be a part of our son's life on the condition that she strive to play a positive role. We made babysitting arrangements with all of the Grandparents. My wife and I still didn't completely trust my mom though so we had her watch the baby with my dad (her ex-husband). Someone we did trust. They would meet at my house. Eventually, mom began to push for more access. She wanted my son to go to her house. She wanted to be alone with him. She became possessive and competitive with the other grandparents. We did not give into her requests. This made her more desperate and finally she took matters into her own hand and tried to take him on an unauthorized trip out of town. My father was there and had to threaten to call the police for her to turn the car around. They were supposed to be going to the park. He actually faked a seizure in the front seat. We suspended the arrangement immediately and she filed a petition with the family court for unsupervised visitation.

The Grandparent rights laws are the N Grandparents best friend. They are both a weapon against the uncooperative child and a tool to gain court ordered access to her narcissistic supply that she sees within the grandchild. A child is susceptible to manipulation. They exhibit pure love to the adults that care for them. To the narcissist like my mom, they are like pure uncut cocaine. My wife and I were standing in the way of that. Luckily, I was able to wear her down in therapy by dissecting her lies and making the therapist see what was really the problem. I agreed to access to the grandchild provided that she continue therapy, take ownership of her inappropriate behavior around the child, and withdraw the petition. My wife was pregnant with our second so I wanted this out of court. Legal fees were killing our savings. She eventually (reluctantly) admitted wrongdoing withdrew the petition. That was a huge breakthrough. The therapist actually had to write down a statement of admission for her to read before the lawyers. My mom couldn't do it but I made her read the statement while coaching her along and telling her what a great breakthrough this was. I had to try so hard to not show my anger toward her though.

All visits have been supervised by me and my father. She is to come alone or with her therapist. . There is no direct verbal communication between us and my mom. All communication between my mom and I is done through e-mail. Gifts are only allowed during birthdays and holidays. The planning of each visit is done through e-mail. Future visits or gifts are never discussed with or in front of my son. She has expressed little interest in our new child. She is constantly maneuvering for unsupervised visits with our son. Constantly threatening in e-mails to bring us back to court if we don't hand him over. It's just a nightmare.

My goal is to allow enough access to prevent any possible future legal action but not enough access to allow her to create a source of narcissistic supply in my son. It is very important to us that he is not able to become a mirror of hers. He is still young so we are focusing on his relationship with his other grandparents. Had I known this would happen I would have taken these steps much sooner.

Thank you for creating this site. I've been looking for a support network for victims of Grandparent Right's laws but I think what I really needed was to find other people who have suffered at the hands of a narcissist. Thanks again.

Jack Crab said...

I've actually had a chance to read more of these stories and I'd like to add a few additional insights. If you have a N Mother who is now very possessive of her grandchild as a source of N supply, be ready for a war if you decide to go NC. I know Anna is a proponent of no contact. I am too. Before you go NC though I have some advice.

1) Seriously study the laws of your state regarding the Grandparent's right to petition for visitation.

2) If your state gives grandparents the right to petition for visitation, interview multiple lawyers and choose a competent attorney who is experienced in Grandparent Rights case law. You are looking for a hardened trial attorney. NOT A NEGOTIATOR who primarily deals in divorce and estate settlements. This is your child and your right as a parent to make decisions for who they can associate with. You need to be willing to go to trial and spend whatever it takes to defend against this assault on your family sovereignty. Mortgage the house. Sell the car. Beg relatives for money. Max out the credit cards. Don't go cheap.

Jack Crab said...

3) Keep communication open through e-mail only. I know it's not technically NC but a court likes to see that your making an effort to talk about your concerns and work through you disagreement. She is trying to portray you as an ungrateful person who is using her grandchild as a weapon against her. You are doing this out of spite for her. Everything you do should be to counter that argument with a judge. Always give her a way back into the child's life. Express your concerns about her behavior and ask her to take ownership of her inappropriate behavior around the child. You know she wont do that. The disorder renders that impossible. But a judge may find that perfectly reasonable and wonder why she wouldn't just say she's sorry, promise never to do it again, and move on.

4) Through e-mail suggest family therapy between you and NM. I know it doesn't work and NM doesn't think anything is wrong with her. Again, a judge likes to see that your providing NM with a way forward and back into the child's life outside of the legal process. You are being reasonable. If she refuses to go to therapy she risks looking like the one who is being unreasonable.

5) Save all e-mail correspondence. Expect that the e-mails will be read by a judge. Be sincere and loving. Express your concern for her. NEVER SAY THAT SHE WILL NEVER SEE THE CHILD AGAIN! You are not talking to her. You are showing a judge that you are reasonable and want your child to have a meaningful relationship with her but that there are some concerns that SHE needs to address first.

Jack Crab said...

6) If it is possible. continue to allow SOME access with the GC. Supervise the access. Make sure you control the circumstances of the visit. WHere it is. Who is there. WHO IS NOT THERE. Do not allow her to bring a friend or even her spouse. They will give her confidence and feed the N. If she has to have someone there suggest a therapist. Pre-approve all gifts through e-mail. Keep gift giving to holidays and birthdays YOU should always have someone there though. Your spouse or a trusted relative. Not your sibling though. That places them in a tough spot if things go wrong. This limits her argument that they are being denied access to the child.

With time the supervised controlled visits will make it difficult for NM to express her narcissism. You have removed her ability to manipulate the child. It's not intended to hurt her so much as it is to protect your kid. Excessive gift giving and unsupervised access with the NM is not healthy but some access may be needed to keep it out of court. Make sure you establish the circumstances necessary to keep it as healthy for the child as possible. Talk to her as little as possible during the visit. Do not try to sabotage the visit. You want your child to have fun. Do not talk about future visits ro allow her to talk about future visits or gifts with the child. Be polite if you have to intervene though.

7) Therapy: Realize that anything in therapy is reviewable by the court. NM will be asked by the court to sign a HIPPA release to allow for access to her therapist and medical records. NM's are very protective of that stuff. If they refuse they risk being seen as unreasonable by the judge who is being asked to over rule a parental decision. You r lawyer will now have access to NM's therapist. The goal of therapy is not to solve anything. That's impossible. The goal is to prep the battle field. Get NM to express her narcissism in front of the therapist. Remember, the therapist is a RELIABLE witness.

Conclusion: Remember, NM wants that court order for unsupervised access to your child. She'll waive that shit in your face and you'll be powerless. What she probably doesn't understand is that those court orders don't come easy. Especially when she has a smart child who can easily trigger her N tendencies for everyone to see.

Through all of the this the NM ceases to be your mother. She is a direct threat to your child. Your cub! Your family autonomy. You parental rights. She is an adversary. The enemy. You need to circle the wagons and get ready for battle. The NM does not go away easily when she sees someone standing in the way of a ready source of N supply like a child. You are locked in a deadly dance. She is incapable of backing down. You cannot afford NOT to confront her. She has gone after your child. Remain in control of your emotions. Never lose your cool. Use the N against her. With a little luck and a good lawyer. You will prevail.

Paul said...


Thank you for your wonderful blog and post. I'm in a difficult position where I would like to go no contact but can't because my wife (an ACON) doesn't realize her parents are narcissists (at least not by name).

I fear my father-in-law will one day turn my son against me. When my son (under 24 months) is around him, it is like he has been drugged (he adores him more than anyone). This is strange because he spends very little time with him at all.

My wife and I confronted her parents about their behavior toward me over the last few years (bad mistake). Now I feel like I am back at square one with her (it's like the problem does not exist anymore). How do I convince her that her parents are toxic and dangerous to be around? Is it ok to tell her straight up or will this be too much a shock for her system to take?

testingblogsettings said...

Thank you for your blog post on this subject as it a current issue in our family and I agree with your approach.

I recently cut off contact with my parents after finding out my mother had been telling my 10 year old daughter what she described as 'really horrible things' about me and making her keep it a secret from me. I knew my mother favoured this daughter over my other children but tried to manage that as best I could although limiting holidays with one child (the others weren't invited) was met with hostility and complaints from them.

My daughter couldn't understand why my mother was saying these things to her, as my mother would start crying and say things like 'where did I go wrong?' and 'I didn't raise her to be like this' over really stupid issues (eg us not all eating dinner at the same time every night) and encouraging my daughter when she became upset at my mother's accusations and histrionics, assuming it was because my daughter was upset at her home life.

My mother had also criticised my other children to her, claiming that I favoured them over her and it wasn't fair. She also criticised and complained about my father to my daughter often.

In recent years my mother had told me she was concerned my daughter had depression and there was something wrong with her. I said I'd keep an eye on her but I didn't agree and she seemed like a normal, confident child. She mentioned it to me a lot of times, getting more upset every time she brought it up. In retrospect I am kicking myself for not seeing this issue clearly earlier and taking her from her grandmother's influence, but what is done is done. My daughter is now upset that my mother has refused to acknowledge what happened, so while I'm hurt for my child I am glad as it has enabled her to see that her grandmother is unhealthy.

I explained briefly what had happened to her younger sibling who was old enough to explain simply, but the youngest aren't able to understand and don't know. Interestingly, in two months, none of them have mentioned their grandparents at all! The eldest has asked a couple of times if grandma has contacted us yet, but when I've said no she shrugged it off and said, 'oh well. her loss'.

Violettruth said...

This was intense for me to read, and provided brilliant clarity as well. My DH & I just had a court appearance this week in which both of the N Grandmothers tried to get visitation with our 5 small children. They did not prevail, thank god. This has been a nightmare however, the onslaught of attacks since setting boundaries with these women. They have purchased my children's hearts in the past, and undoing this damage is difficult. I am so grateful for the wisdom you have written.

Anna Valerious said...

My wife and I confronted her parents about their behavior toward me over the last few years (bad mistake). Now I feel like I am back at square one with her (it's like the problem does not exist anymore). How do I convince her that her parents are toxic and dangerous to be around? Is it ok to tell her straight up or will this be too much a shock for her system to take?

Hi Paul,

It is impossible for a stranger to know what your wife would experience as a "shock" so I'm not in a position to advise you on what to say or not say to your wife. That being said, have you considered showing her posts from this blog? It may be that a particular post here or there may speak more particularly to what you know your wife would relate to. That seems like a good starting place to me on how to introduce to her the idea that her parents are toxic. At the same time she would see that her situation is by no means unique. That there are others who can relate may be a helpful concept to her as she adjusts to the idea that her parents are dangerous to her own little family. It is certainly a way to open up a conversation on the subject again with your wife.

bigtimeboobear said...

wow sounds like my life i have a mother who is narcisstic. i am 40 and just realized the damage that she has cause me and my family. i guess her gifts and helpfulness with the kids made me blind to what she was doing. my son 12 yrs old is her golden child. i have a daughter 7 which she would treat like she treated me as a kid. i am trying to get some advise how to undo the damage she has caused my son, the brainwashing of his parents are not good and grandma is great. any comments advise thanks

Anonymous said...

Thank-you so much for this blog! A lot of what you wrote concerning Ngrandparents only validates my experience with my NMIL. I read the signs and checked each one off in my head. We are currently no contact with NMIL due to exactly what you described Ngrandparents doing. She would badmouth me to my oldest child and this caused all sorts of chaos within the home. When we finally cut her off and talked to our oldest child, we learned that she had used toys and gifts to not only bribe silence, but also to say hurtful things to me as well ("If you go home and say this to your mom, I will give you this toy"). I used the think she was just disordered, but given the chaos she has caused in the lives of others and the fact that she used her own grandchild to achieve her means, now I just think she is evil.

bigtimeboobear said...

wow everytime i read something from this blog i feel like i am not alone. i am now going to get my son into therapy. i am hoping this will turn things around with him. i am still amazed how his grandma has worked him. i have had no contact with her, but i had told my x husband not to let her contact him when he is with him and he did, he allowed him to sleep at her house on his visitation. omg i did not even know about it. i knew something was't right when he got home from his dads. i felt like he had seen my mother well within 2 days my dad showed up at my house (which he never has come alone) and wanted to let me know that my x lied to me and that my mom had called and wanted my son for the weekend. my gut knew something wasn't right my dad coming over to tell me just verfied my suspicions. not a day goes by that things pop into my head and it validates that i am doing the right thing

Unknown said...

Wanted to add a few more things... As it is apparent from my earlier posts, I have had this issue of "custody" of my son with my N-MIL and PAS (parental alienation syndrome). Nobdy would believe me because I was living with her in the same house. It becomes very tricky. I can't prove to anybody there actually was a custody problem. That's why I hate Eastern Joint Family systems. They're a big time failure.

Queen.Bandit said...

We moved out of my husband's parents house after a few months of trying to live with them. Later on, a few months later we decided to get pregnant. When we told them that we were 12 weeks along, their response was SO WHAT?! They said they had other grandkids so they didn't about ours. They are Indian and so favour male children over females - when we later found we were having a boy, DH's mother decided she suddenly was interested. FIL decided to go out of his way to let my DH how much he really doesn't love him. I feel terrible for my DH but we had already decided to cut them both off. My due due is in two weeks and I am dreading the family arguement that is bound to materilaise! They are not welcome to my house, to call me and defo not to the hopsital. FIL treats MIL like crap, and they both treat DH like crap. Do not entertain these people! We are so much happier without them in our lives and feel our son will benefit from not being influenced by them. I am actually beginning to despise them! They make no sense to a regular person - one minute theyr up and the next theyr down. They will never change no matter how you appease them.

Unknown said...

Hi Anna! After a long period of more than one and a half years, we're going to visit my in-laws on a vacation. I'm apprehensive about the trip because this is the first time I'm meeting them after my son revealed to me about the abuse. My N-MIL has a kind of defence mechanism with which she'll attack a perceived enemy "in defense" even before time at the provocation of a perceived threat. She has had a history of attacking me with accusations and maligning my character in order to hide her own reality from the world. She know that potentially I can reveal her true nature to the world, that's why she maligns me before her fear materializes.

Unknown said...

This time, it's a kind of a family gathering. Knowing her past, I can sense that she might have lied to her daughter about the incident of abuse and put the whole blame on me in order to "defend" herself as usual. I can sense that from my SIL's (her daughter's) cold behaviour. So, I'll pray a lot before going there and be prepared for everything. I intend to take my SIL into confidence. She has been living with my MIL since a few months now. My MIL must have definitely bitched behind my back to her and as usual portrayed herself as a "poor" MIL who's never valued by her ungrateful DILs.

Unknown said...

We've engaged a psyachiatrist for our son to deal with his post-sexual-trauma stress. Last time, when I was visiting him with my son, my FIL called on my cell. I handed it over to my son as I was having crucial discussion with the doctor. My FIL then called my husband, who was showing our daughter to a child specialist in the next room, to inquire about where I had taken my son...

Unknown said...

Alarmed by the news of me taking their grandchild to the psychiatrist, he called me back immediately and told me that there was no need to take the boy to the doctor just because of his bed-wetting problem. O course, he knew it was much more than just a bed-wetting problem. (Just to add that I still haven't confronted them over their blunder of letting my kid be abused by their servant)... He pressurized me into not engaging the doctor. I was offended, but I kept my composure and told him that my son was phobic at school and couldn't use the washroom; it was causing us a lot of problems...

Unknown said...

He was very obviously being dictated by his wife, of course! The next day, both called me to further ask explanations for my act and pressurize me further into withdrawal from psychiatric help. Thank God, I acted calmly again and didn't give in. But, in retrospect, will my coolness do any good? Will it not be counterproductive as usual? Why can't I confront them over anything? They've gotten used to me. Now, if I confront them even rightfully, they'll take it as an aggression. I spoiled their habits.

KD said...

At 34 I have just found out that my mom is a textbook example of a narcissist. My whole life I was led to believe everything was my fault. 3 months ago my 14 year old son ran away to their house and they refuse to bring him back and the longer he is there the more he hates me. Using him to get back at me. What can I do my hands are tied according to the police, the courts and every single counsilor I have talked to. Please help! I don't know what I can do! My 5 year old is cut off from them, they have stollen my eldest and there is no way they are do this to my youngest!

Våre røtter said...

Great site and aricle!`

I support of all my heart your message.

My 4 children are grown up now.

I shall try avoid to much details, ( that is not easy for me)it is a story about two, 2(!) NM or NGM, mine and my x husband. We are quite resently separated after 32 years.

When we got our first child I wanted to do NC with my mother but didn`t make it. I know she felt it and made efforts to prevent it. I was not able to do that.
NPD was unknown to me,and I didn`t have the guts, strenght and support to make it happen.

My husband, was visiting HIS mother SEVERAL times a week as his other siblings also did.

I was traumtized after my first child with another partner had died 5 yearss earlier.

Just had not the word forthat I was either, the whole picture was not ready yet.

My little son was by his father on most of his visits and was attached to his grandmother.
He said a while ago that he had felt she was his real mother.

I was no hurt by that because I knew that he nearly survived and was more obsessed about him surviving.

I had this warning inside me back then, like I gave him from me and that I should protect him more.

Later he expressed that he sometimes was torned by hearing backtalking of me.

I obviously had lost all my self-respect years ago.

Some years after we moved to the other side of the country. It was a totally corny and crazy act in many ways way witch also went bad for my son who had problems in school, and huge consentrateproblem.s. He had that since Kindergarden

NMIL wrote two horrible letters to her grandson after our moving. To him, not to us.

The first one came right after we moved where she blamed him for our moving,he was 12years old.The second was after he got in troubles when he was 15, "How could you do this to me!"

I was horrified, and furious and told my husband that we had to talk to her. He disagreed about that and minimized it.

My regretting over the fact that I ever allowed her to come so close to him and destroy him had no limits.

And the fact that I was so unresisting over years before moving,a moving who was an effort to escape. Our son who grew up had a long run for many years, but fortunatly he now gets help at last at nearly 32. And I praise God for it.

Even if we lived from long distance we still had contact with our NM for many years.

Since we lived as far as we did from our relatives we did not know so much about the conditions for her other grandchildren, we believed everything was fine.

But got to know that is was not so. Some was mistreated, scapegoated and was diffenced from some golden grandchildren.

One of them is deeply hurt and never ever visit her GM who cannot understand why. Ironically it is her(in some ways) golden son`s daughter who is the scapegoated, who understand very well the reason why his daughter do not visit. But it is like his mother is more importent than his daughter even if he complains sometimes..

I doubt a bit that she in fact has any golden children, because whenever anyone nearly are out of the door, she backtalks them.

My mother is much smarter and have a much more smooth way to handle things. She has a sense of justice, is vivid and has a great deal of humour sometimes, but.. it is all about her, really.

It is difficult to reveal, when they makes good food for you, makes it cosy and pretend they care. And then gets so deceitful and you are deceived again!

Life and people are,too but it is so undermining and destroying when it comes from your parents OR grandparents.

It is like you somehow gets paralyzed.

Unknown said...

I'm 36 and I discovered that my mother is a narcissist a year a go, a friend lend me a book and surprise. All my life asking myself so so many questions and even douting myself as she always made me think that I was the problem. I became the goatscape at 16 when I left home and at 26 I moved from Spain to the US when my stepdad died. My daughter was born in Australia and I did the most stupid thing in my life moving back to Spain. I really thought that now that she was a grandmother she would change, but it didn't it actually worse than ever, I move to the UK and 3 years later back to Spain when I split with my husband.
Those two years in my city the worst in my life, my daughter was four and I needed my family more than ever. Instead they ignored us, never rang us, never asked if we needed something,... but I had the chance to see my grandfather before he past away, not as much as I had wished as she didn't let me.
She only babysitted my daughter in four ocassions and the first time she did, same as you, she just droped her and said that it was a nightmare and she couldn't work with her.
She's never liked children, I took care of young brother and my grandparents took care of my sister and me.
My mother, sister and brother don't know how to love, they constantly critize everyone, even close friends.
My brother is the golden child, him and I loved so much eachother and then 4-5 years a go it just changed, he was indiferent to me.
I always found it hard to explain people about N mother, even for my husband it took time to see who she really is. We got back together but it wasn't easy, she used to send him e-mails damaging us. It's been a year now that him and I haven't contact her.
My sister just visited us in the UK and she is just becoming like our N mother.
When my daughter was trying to sing to her she instead showed her a little girl from youtube singing, when my husband talked about his work (he is a chef) she showed him her friends restaurant, this went on with everything for four days. Everything was about here and the only thing she did with her only niece is what TV and youtube.
She even had the nerve while staying with us, that if we wanted to visit them we would have to stay in an hotel.
I could go on and on, I could write a book....
They behave as I never left, as I don't have a life.
The funiest thing was two years a go when my sister travelled fot a week to Morocco, when she came back she was upset with me because I hadn't asked her about her trip. I answered back saying that why when I had leaved in California, Australia and the UK for 7 years, got married and had a child and she had never asked me anything about it.
This weekend I e-mailed my siblings explainning and giving some links about N mothers, goatscape, golden child, etc... As I thought I never got an answer.
But at least they now know why and they can do what ever they want with this information. I've also told them that they lack empathy and what they did to my little girl and me was horrible.
I have nothing to loose, I lost thema long time a go, but the worst thing is that they are becoming her.
This blog makes me realize that I did good leaving and that it's more harmful to have a relation with them, specially for my beatiful
daughter, she's such a loving girl and I'm not going to allow them to manipulate her against me and harm us with their poison.
If anybody has any recomendations about how to make my siblings see the truth, please do.
In 1-2 years I'm moving back to Australia or the USA, I'll probably not see them again. I brakes my heart, specially my brother but I need to protect my daughter.

Unknown said...

Hi there, I would move to another city, country, it sounds drastic but I find it easier, I spent the last 2 years near my N mother and it's so much easier far away. My daughter is 7 now and hasn't didn't spend much time with her N grandmother but the little she did my N mother spoke badly to her about me.

Unknown said...

My mother has always wanted to make me and everyone that surrounds her think hat I'm crazy, I'm the bad one. But the truth is that I am the only one that really knows how evil she is. I could handle her hurting me but not my daughter. I don't have a relation with her, haven't contact her in 13 months. She still thinks I'll send my daughter to spend summer with her but that will never happen.
Knowing now that she is a narcissist has really helped me put all the pieces of the puzzle together and now I can move on.
She was always horrible to me and my sister but when my stepdad and grandmother died it was worse.
My young brother has been brainwashed and my sister still searches for love and aproval but I don't. I hate her for what she's done and does to us. I just hope my siblings see it before they become narcissists like her.

Unknown said...

My daughter was born in Australia, when I went back to my hometown in Spain, the first time she saw my 20 month baby my Nmother told her to call her mum, I was there and couldn't believe it and just said: no, you are not her mother, I am her mother, you are her grandmother.

Unknown said...

Good for you! My mother only cares about hanging pictures of my daughter on the wall to show of to her friends but she doesn't care about her. She has never cared, but she likes to pretend to the rest that she does and make drama.
It's very helpfull for me to read all these comments from people because it has been so hard for me to deal with it. Many people would look at me in a strange way when I said I hated my mum.
Narcissistic mothers don't feel empathy so it's hard for us to understand that, but when we have children that we love so much the only thing we can do is protect them from our N mother.

Unknown said...

Ok so where do I start.... I have been searching through the internet for as much information as possible and I'm still confused??

I'm 26 and have a 3 year old daughter and a liitle boy due in June. I have 2 sisters and 3 brothers, 6 of us in total. Narcissist mother and 6 children hmmmm! Totally confused.

As children we were swamped with gifts and time however usually when an outsider Was present. Our cards for birthdays always included money (which Was "borrowed"back later in the day or the very next day).

My mother at times has misremembered these instances and countless others were she has made herself look bad. Always after her interpretation of a happening comes out smelling of roses. I used to think I had a terrible memory??

However their have been many occasions that because of the stress and impact they caused I remember them clearly.... Like being away on my first holiday and midway It Was my payday so I went to withdraw money and alas.... I had none.... My wages her account,long story!
I Was kicked out (however her account Was my choice Was follow rules or leave, she asked me to leave after my retaliation to being called selfish). I had a job and my own place at (18yrs)
She came by my work place and asked to borrow £40 as she needed to buy gas and food and my young sister hadn't eaten etc.... (Common way of getting money) I gave my key and she went to my flat to take money, I told her the money left out Was for my rent but she could have 40. She took the lot, approx £400.
Again no recollection of this, even though she took me to the credit union to get a loan to pay my rent, and i was to make repayments, this Was her paying me back!!

Mother would lie about most things, even if you could disprove it, she always got the last word in and Was always right. Always rewriting our memories with versions that suit her and succeeding as I end up believing them.

She brags at how wonderful all her kids are, and had never supported anything we do, if u tell her anything she pretends she didn't here or annoyingly yawns very loudly over your voice.

My marriage is a mess, she texts my husband and critises spins what he says into something negative and tells me. In fact she does that between my brothers and sisters too.

My little girl is showered with new clothes and toys, and is allowed to do as she pleases at grandmas house. When it came time to buy her first pair of shoes, is arranged with my mother that I would take her after I'd finished work, and specifically asked her not to take her herself. I get there and the shoes have allready been bought :( I was soo upset, my mother pretended to not understand why.

Mother has threatened suicide, usually when the older 4 children me included do not give into her or disagree or speak something as we remember it. Anyways on good Friday this year she finally tried to OD. Not one of us went to see her. I phoned to alert the police and they handled it from there. Her what might have been last words to me Was I Was mean and selfish and be careful of my husband he hits our daughter..... LIES!
So now I'm no contact, she's adamant I'm mean and breaking her heart by punishing her with the grandchildren, but I must do what I believe to be right, and protect my angels fron this abuse.
It hurts and I still love and feel responsible for her, but it Was never real. I have no idea who she is. :'(

Unknown said...

I feel that cutting the ties with a N can be the right thing to do for some people and also very brave. If the contact with the N is negative for the child and there is possibility of abuse it is your responsibility as a parent to protect them. The emotional damage the N can cause to a child may be difficult to fix, however confidence and self esteem can be built back up over time and therapy can really help.

I remember reading a book which described children's brains as clay when they are young - that the imprints made when young can be moulded but when they are older the clay will harden which makes it far more difficult to mould back.

If there is contact with the N then I feel that to rationalise it you need to think for who's benefit is the contact? If it's negative for the child then are you allowing contact for the need's of the N or because you feel guilt if you don't or both?

If there is contact then it is so, so vital that the child is not left alone with the N as it only takes seconds for a damaging comment or look for example. I write from experience so I will give a couple of examples in my next post of how my NMIL has abused our child, the impact this has had and what we are doing now to build back the damage she has caused.

Unknown said...

What I find most shocking is that we have only just realised that my husbands mother has NPD. We are both 40 years old and our two girls are 6 and 8. It is thanks to some very good friends that we came to realise and I can't thank them enough for their support - We are truly, forever grateful.

My NMIL used to look after our eldest when she was a baby while I went to university twice a week and looked after both of them when we were at work. Fortunately this only used to be an average of once or twice a week for a few hours but that was enough to do damage.

There was a time when our youngest used to refuse to go out with my NMIL. I remember one time my NMIL saying to our youngest "Why don't you want to go out with Nanny? don't you love me any more?" She really laid on the guilt trip - but to a 4 year old? It really is quite unbelievable.

Several years ago my husbands sister, partner and little girl of (1 then) came to stay with us. We were all on a course so my NMIL looked after the children. When we went to collect them our eldest who was (4 then)was crying saying that her Nanny had hit her and hurt her!!! I tried to talk to my NMIL about it to try to get to the bottom of what our little girl was saying but she refused to talk about it and everyone just went quiet - no-one was willing to discuss it. When I spoke to our little girl she was upset saying do you believe me? Thank goodness I said yes to her but will admit I was uncertain and even wondered if our daughter had exaggerated!! This was never discussed again. (Although very recently me and my daughter have discussed it and I apologised to her.)(My daughters main upset at the moment is the way that Nanny looks at her sometimes - which I will be keeping a close eye on.)

In my next post I will give a couple more examples and share some tools which have helped us.

Unknown said...

A couple of years later the same family came to visit again. My NMIL arrived at our house with breakfast and was acting upset because a couple of us had eaten already! I didn't even know she was arriving with breakfast! My eldest child refused to come down for breakfast and was upset crying in bed. I laid down with her and we talked about her feelings. She said that Nanny is horrible to her and tells her off all the time and doesn't like her. She said that Nanny only liked her cousin (now realise is the golden child when all three are together.)

When I tried to discuss this around the dinner table explaining how our child was feeling my NMIL sulked, displayed the typical marter behaviour and went to sit in the other room. The same thing happened again - everyone went quiet. I followed my NMIL into the other room but she refused to talk about it and acted upset showing no concern for our daughters feelings!

My husbands sister tried to help, she said she would talk to her mum about it. They went for a drive but when she returned she said sorry but Mum's really upset! Somehow it was all turned around onto our daughter as comments were made about her behaviour at dinner times! Its amazing how the NPD person can manipulate and how a whole family can forget about a child's needs over the NPD person? But this is the extent of how the Narcissistic behaviour/manipulation can blinker good, honest, intelligent people!!!

Another example was the other day when we went round her flat for lunch. My NMIL played some video clips which she had recorded when our children were younger. Watching the clips broke my heart. She was filming our youngest while she dressed up and danced. She told my youngest she looked like the sugar plumb fairy. I then quietly heard our eldest in the background say "Do I look like the sugar plumb fairy Nanny?" There was a few second gap to which my mother in law replied "No you look like something out of a horror film." I don't think my NMIL thought I heard but thankfully I did and this is yet to be addressed.

At the moment I am feeling very upset, hurt and guilty. It is so painful. I feel like my NMIL has stolen from us. She has betrayed me. I don't know who she is anymore.

At present we are only allowing contact with me and my husband present but my NMIL is becoming suspicious.

Our eldest daughter has lost some of her confidence and self esteem. For example she no longer dances freely like she used to and often says that her sister is better than her. The impact of the abuse is being displayed through her behaviour sometimes and she craves re-assurance.

I do sand-play therapy which is a fantastic tool to help children to express their feelings so this has really helped. I will also be booking our daughter in for some dance lessons soon! We are reading a very good book at the moment called The Wizard of Oz and other Narcissists - coping with the one way relationship in work, love, and family by Eleanor D. Payson, M.S.W. which I highly recommend. We will also be having therapy soon.

My heart goes out to all the people who are hurting from the impact a N can have upon lives. Good friends, therapy, books and this forum can really help but most importantly start as you mean to go on, be strong and try to keep smiling.

Echo's Philosophy said...

Thank you so much for writing this! I am glad to know I am not alone. my NM called CPS on me making false allegations and quickly made them her flying monkeys. It's a long.. long story with some horrific court moments. But my son is with her and I haven't seen him in 3 years. This was in 2007 so I don't know if you will even see this.. but if you do, a big thank you ♥

Kim said...

This article has been very reassuring. Especially all of the comments that have been posted.
I think part of the reason we let our guards down and decide to allow them to grandparent is because there may not be any other narcissists in our lives so our mind creates a delusion that they aren't as bad. It allows us to function and it's probably what allowed us to put up with them so long. Because of the lack of love and attention I received growing up, I've decided to practice attachment parenting which has gotten my mother very upset because it simply is against all of her narcissistic tendencies. She sees it as a constant threat because in her mind their is only one way to parent, her way. Nevertheless, I keep my children away from her as much as possible, even though we live within miles of each other.
Thankfully, with many narcissistic mothers, you don't have to worry about your children becoming attached to them. Narcissistic mothers can really only provide is monetary incentives and a bit of fun. Trust me, if you are offering your children a loving, caring and stable home environment, they won't be won by those things. NGrandparents can not provide this, if so they would have to their own children. I notice my mother doesn't even communicate with my children on a personal level. She only communicates to them to see my reaction of the things she says. Narcissists are not interested in others wants and needs just how these people can feed their narcissistic supply.
I agree with the author, if you must, keep the minimal contact with them and never allow them to spend time alone with your children and do so when your children are young so that they don't get used to the bad treatment.

becca said...

I am thankful for finding a community who understands what I am going through. My parents are both NPD and having my daughter is what helped me see how abusive and controlling they have been to me. When my daughter was 3 weeks old, they came for a visit and all of a sudden I had THREE infants to take care of. They didn't support breastfeeding and told me I was making too big of a deal out of it. My mother later asked my husband "if it was really true that the doctor wanted me to breastfeed or was I making that up?" He assured her it was important. She took it personally offensive and said it couldn't be true because both of her babies were bottle fed and you can't tell her she did anything wrong. Mom thought the baby should cry it out in the crib while the adults chatted too. The morning they were to leave they made a huge breakfast for themselves and left a huge mess in the kitchen! Because of them I was so depressed and stressed that I couldn't breastfeed. So she writes in her Christmas newsletter that I wasn't able to breastfeed. She is also telling relatives that I have post-partum depression (which is true) and she insisted I get my thyroid checked because she says something is wrong with me. When I was a kid she used to tell me I had a "personality disorder." Before I knew I had NPD parents, I had been visiting doctors, therapists and specialists off and on for 10 years. Thyroid is normal, but I do have social anxiety, clinical depression, mild OCD and panic attacks. But other than that, I am super healthy. They visited again when my daughter was 6 months old. When I didn't agree with my mother on a political issue, she started to rage, her eyes get cold and dart side to side. One of her favorite things to do was to project catastrophe and this is what she did. I was sensitive and the catastrpohe picture she painted was of my daughter being murdered, remember this is a story that she must tell so that I will see how silly my politics are. A grandmother telling a tale of her granddaughter's inevitable murder was too much for this "oversensitive" daughter and I flipped. At this time I didn't know about NPD and I didn't know what to do. I yelled a curse word and kicked the wall. Thus kicking off an exchange of words which included my father disowning me, telling me that I haven't learned my lesson which is that my job is to please them, putting a "spell" on my 6 month old daughter telling her to "give me hell" and my mother making up a story about how I was a terrible child and backed it up with a story that she completely made up. This happened on the front lawn of my house. They packed up their stuff and left, and shortly after that I got a phone call from my husband saying that they had called and said there is something wrong with me and they had to leave and that whatever I tell him, he is not to believe it because I am not seeing things right. That was a year ago. I have given them many chances to apologize, but have started ignoring them since I learned about NPD. I told them they needed to see a counselor, which they said they did. They deny all the terrible things they said and did but yet insist that I am letting some "words" destroy our family. We ignored them over the holidays and are trying to remain NC with them.

Calafia said...

My sibling moved his family in with our Nmom. And like clockwork, our Nmom has treated their son fine and as soon as the granddaughter turned 12, N-Grandma started the subtle abuse that she turned on my sister and I as soon as WE started showing signs of becoming "Competition". Granddaughter can't do ANYTHING right, is expected to wait on NGrandma hand and foot, irrationally re-do all her chores and submit to incessant "corrections" (in dress, gymnastics, dance class, hair, makeup) as if granddaughter is a an object. not a separate person. And all while our father and my sibling pretends "nothing is wrong, stop complaining, respect your grandmother." Finally, I took my niece for ice cream, and told her, "Grandma IS doing mean things to you, you're NOT imagining things. Grandma does this to ALL girls in our family because Grandma's a crazy and unhappy person, it's not your fault, no matter what ANYONE says, it's NOT your job to "make" her happy, and it's not possible to do anyway." Poor thing, she started to cry and said, "It's NOT my fault? Really?" Broke my heart. So I shared all my tricks for avoiding conflict and staying away from NGrandma (I didn't use the word
Narcissist" the kid's not old enough to understand that yet and I don't want t risk her slipping, using the word in front of Ngrandma and getting me banned from seeing her). I promised to do all I could to help her get away to college as soon as possible. Poor kid. Living with NGrandma is making her mom more bitter and angry by the day, and NGrandma's abuse does NOT make for a great teen stage. I am hoping I can move to the other coast soon and invite her to live with me during college.

Unknown said...


discovering your blog was an eye opener - i found links to it purely by coincidence and have been reading it for the past hour non-stop.
It seems my husband's mother is N, she fits the description, but his entire family is so weird it is impossible to put the blame on one person only. We live 7ooo km apart, for which I thank G-d. my MIL occasionally calls my H to talk about her friends and their children and their problems, complains about her health, but when my H would like to talk about himself a bit, she suddenly has to leave.
My H is devastated, and is feeling pretty low, since he injured himself pretty badly (and had to undergo several facial surgeries, including a facial skin transplant), and in my opinion it would be only natural for a mother to listen to him and console him, at least. But she just makes the most incredible excuses aka. she is baking cakes for some friend's niece's bridal shower and she really has no more time to talk, etc.
But she would very melodramatically explain to my H's cousin about how horribly SHE is suffering because of my H's accident, complete with real tears and everything.
My H has 3 sisters and from what he tells me (and he only talks about this once in a blue moon), one set of rules was in place for him, while, basically, there were no rules for his 3 sisters. He was beaten for accidentally breaking his NM porcelain or dishes as a child, and, since he has always had the ability to see right through people, for refusing to go to family visitations and functions with people who made him feel uncomfortable. I imagine it must have been quite bad, since he became very rebellious in his late teenage years, and would go on breaking stuff in his home.
I understand he only told me only some of the mental abuse he was subjected to - since his mother is a vague, superficial, primitive individual unable of love and care, who, however, manages to masquerade her true self with a plethora of big words and gestures.
There is a lot of anger pent up in my H, and in the beginning of our joint adventure, I thought it was directed at me. But I found out, he was actually venting his frustrations about his mother. He would break some object we bought, and when asked why he was destroying our joint property, exclaimed it was because I liked it. I told him breaking things was counterproductive and stupid, but if it made him feel better, I was willing to break more stuff with him. Why would I go into a nervous fit over a glass, plate, porcelain item etc... These are all just REPLACABLE things. He seemed very surprised at my reaction.
It was then I discovered i really loved him and I would NEVER leave no matter what, because the breaking and craziness was just a way of coping with childhood trauma.
His father worked a lot (his mom got married to be taken care of and provided for, because a lady does not have to work), and, from what i was told),and demanded the best behaviour and the best grades from my H, who was disciplined and criticised for the tiniest slip. When his sisters were born, his NM always had one of her sisters come over from abroad for protracted periods to help her out, although she hasn't worked a day of her life. We also have 5 kids of our own and none of them has ever spent the night outside of his home, despite the fact we both have careers.
Anyway, their family life seemed fairly ordinary while her husband (my FIL) showered her with gold and silver jewellery, porcelain, expensive leather items and other status symbols, but she suddenly developed an unnamed disease when his father's business went bankrupt.
She reportedly was not able to get up from bed all day and, my then 11 year old H was left to his own devices with his sisters, feeding them, taking them to and from school and looking after the household. His F travelled a lot on business, and was always emotionally distant. He provided food and shelter, an occasional beating (when demanded by the NM) and a wicked tongue lashing, and that was about it.

Unknown said...

H was never praised for his efforts, no matter how hard he tried and how well he did at school. In his late teens, he even attempted suicide, but fortunately, his attempt went wrong without anyone ever finding out about it. He was kicked out of his house at 22, moved abroad at 23 and has no intention of ever returning.
His sisters all had big weddings and his father paid for every one of them (because NM firmly believes it is the duty of the father of the bride to do so), so they would not be ashamed in front of their family and friends. When we announced we were getting married, they thought it was going to be their affair - with 450-500 people attending, done the way they wanted it to be done with all the circus and crap imaginable. Two of his sisters had this sort of wedding, and they didn’t even know some of the guests at their own receptions, whom, of course, the parents invited. I witnessed that and was totally convinced I really had no intention of going through the same motions. His parents were completely devastated when we refused to get married under their dictatorship and on their terms. Instead, we had a beautiful, small, intimate, yet classy wedding on a location we picked and paid for. H’s father insisted on paying for the reception, but the expenses were nothing in comparison with the ones from the sister’s wedding.
NM made my H’s father pay for the weddings of the other sisters, who were really not encouraged to keep the budget under control, and he ended up taking out loans which he has been repaying to this day. Even though he is now retired, he is forced to work part-time to earn enough.
Since our family (kids, H and myself) life abroad, we have never asked for any financial or other help until it was time for us to buy a house. Since real estate prices and mortgage regulations where we live are totally different from the States, it took us a long time to be able to afford buying a property.
H told NM about our purchase and about the fact that we would really appreciate some financial help, since up until that point, we’d never asked for anything. She promised him heaven and earth, and, of course, my sweet H believed her in spite of my cautions. .

Unknown said...

NM made my H’s father pay for the weddings of the other sisters, who were really not encouraged to keep the budget under control, and he ended up taking out loans which he has been repaying to this day. Even though he is now retired, he is forced to work part-time to earn enough.
Since our family (kids, H and myself) life abroad, we have never asked for any financial or other help until it was time for us to buy a house. Since real estate prices and mortgage regulations where we live are totally different from the States, it took us a long time to be able to afford buying a property.
H told NM about our purchase and about the fact that we would really appreciate some financial help, since up until that point, we’d never asked for anything. She promised him heaven and earth, and, of course, my sweet H believed her in spite of my cautions. We partly renovated the house and when it was time to produce the promised help, there was NONE, because NM explained that the last sister’s wedding was a priority, and no extra cash could be spared for us.
That was almost four years ago, and my H asked for help several times. Needless to say, we ended up owing a lot of money to various renovation companies and we still struggle as well as we can to pay our debts. If NM told us we’d get nothing initially, we would have renovated slowly and within our means, without the pressure we are now under. In the meantime, the debt induced stress got to my H, and he got seriously ill, which resulted, as I said initially, in a really awful accident. For two years now, he has been unable to work, and we are now a one-income family, struggling even harder to make ends meet.
NM has her ideas of how to help us. Every two months or so, she sends huge parcels of towels, cutlery sets and pots and pans, although we have explained to her countless times, that we have all the kitchen utensils and paraphernalia money can buy, and really don’t need any of them. We explained to NM and my H’s father we needed financial help that was promised, but we always end up with more spoons and lace-rimmed kitchen towels, because they “will look lovely in our beautiful new kitchen.” I once got upset and told NM I would try to interest the plumber in some crockery as compensation for what we owe him, but she just criticised me for not being happy with what she thought would help us. NM’s argumentation was that if she buys us stuff (we don’t need and never asked for), we would have more money to pay the debts incurred.
My H is now so frustrated with NM he refuses to talk to her, and I have no interest in talking to her either, because at the end of her hour-long monologues, H and myself both feel emotionally drained, and totally unable to communicate our feelings, thoughts and problems to her.
Last time she phoned, our daughter answered the phone and NM proceeded with promising her to send her stuff (porcelain figurines, dolls, cheap jewellery, etc) she is completely disinterested in, but she was polite enough to thank her. NM clearly refuses to understand we are trying to raise our kids not to be obsessed with material things, but to look for positive, meaningful relationships with people. NM is just completely s*** up.
We are at a loss and don’t know what to do. My H is devastated and has repeatedly said he never realised before, how poisonous his NM was, and the influence she has on his F. I can only try to reassure him his parents would come to their senses because it really pains me to see him suffer, but I know in my heart of hearts, he is totally right.
Sorry about being so long, but sharing is really so therapeutic.

pamplemousse906 said...

Before I even got pregnant with my daughter, I had started to realize that my mother was a malignant narc. After her repeated attempts to drive a wedge in my marriage, as well as her cruelty to my father (who was dying of Stage 4 colorectal cancer), I doubted she would ever be a person I could trust.
During my pregnancy, I helped out with my father as much as I could while working a full time job. My NM decided to add to my stress, making it obvious she did not care at all about my unborn child. My father died when I was 4.5 months pregnant, and she demanded that I take care of certain arrangements. She also threw a hissy fit when I went home to rest for an hour during the wake. When people expressed their sympathy to me (being a pregnant woman)...NM later ranted at me that I had stole her attention.
Later on, she purposely manipulated everyone around me to make sure the extended family that I cared about refused to attend my baby shower.
My daughter's birth was difficult being an emergency C-section and a post-partum hemorrhage. Doctors said I had lost about half my blood, but I would only get a transfusion if necessary. During this, my NM decided to phone harass me while in the hospital. I agreed to let her visit. My husband was home at the time of this call (we lived in the apartment above hers and there were two shared stairwells) and he heard her call another person and trash talk me. This included saying I broke my promise to my deceased father by not naming the baby "Rose". And that the name I gave my daughter was for women of ill-repute.
After all this, I decided I would never allow contact between my daughter and NM. We only lived at that apartment for 7 months after baby was born. In fact, NM created a situation so horrible, my husband was physically threatened by other building tenants all because he asked them to stop slamming a screen door at 10pm because we were trying to get our baby to sleep. (NM had been trash talking us for years to these people). NM tried to bribe us with baby stuff (leaving it at our doorstep, etc.), but I finally realized how dangerous this woman was.
I do not regret my decision to move away and go NC. My family is happier, healthier, and safer. There are no nice, honest or true loving feelings from a malignant narc. It is all part of their sick game to hurt you and your loved ones. They are incapable of caring or loving anyone, including themselves. Make the break and protect your children from the evil that hurt you.

Rebecca Persephone said...

My mom is a narcissist. She, thank god, wanted nothing to do with my kids. She extended her scapegoat treatment of me to them as well. When she cut me off from the family, they never noticed or missed her.
Unfortunately, my fiance's mom is also a narcissist and he is in denial about it, and we live in the same city as her, and he works for her family business, in addition to his other job. We might be expecting, and I am so frightened of me and a possible baby not being protected from her. It helps me know what I must do, to read this blog and these stories. I have told my fiance that I was going No Contact with her, when I first realized what she is, but it has turned into Low Contact.

Unknown said...

Hello. Thank you for your article. I am a 37 year old sufferer of a narcissistic parent. My only child, 14 years old now was taken from me by my parents and have been able to get full gaurdianship through the courts and myself, supervised visitation, by my mother, one day a week for one hour. My husband passed away seven years ago and this is when all of this started taking form. Once I realized that I was losing my daughter, I quit my job, to try to save mine and my daughters relationship, but it was too late. I was blinded by all of this. Even the abuse I had suffered growing up. I was always led to believe it was all my fault. Not until now, that I see my daughter going through the same thing I did while growing up, do I have a clear picture of what is really going on. I hate feeling as if their is nothing I can do. She took away my only child, she took away my life. If I could do it all over again, I would and I would stop at nothing to make sure my daughter didn't know she ever existed.

Anonymous said...

OMG, OMG, OMG... This article is saving my life!!!

For weeks I have learned about Narcissistic parents, for months I have dealt with the idea of being a bad daughter for not wanting to see my mother, and for so, so many years I have gone through the abuse of my malignant Narcissist mother.

And FINALLY... with this article, I can feel free about my decision to go NC (on my third year now). I can feel 100% happy and proud of my decision. I now know that I have been STRONG enough to push her away and never let her back in, instead of feeling that I am being selfish or mean.

It was very hard with my kids. At first I would still let them receive gifts from her for Christmas. Sometimes talk on the phone. I didn't even know about the disorder. I just thought she was a pain and often mean, but just to me.

But now I see everything clearly and fully understand the harm she has done. She poisoned my life, and I am still trying to find the antidote. I'll probably be working on it forever, but it's much easier to deal with when things have a name and you don't feel so alone.

She did have contact with my kids at first. Precisely because I thought it was the right thing to do. I thought she'd make a good grandmother (for some crazy reason!!!). But most of all, I thought I OWED her that. "Family is everything", right?

To so many people family means putting up with abuse and neglect and TORTURE... not me anymore.

Ha!!! I laugh now when I remember the first thing she said when I happily told her I was pregnant: "don't worry, I'll raise the baby".

Luckily enough we never left her alone with them... except once for a couple of hours out of pure necessity. That still burns me to this day.

I know she did them harm. She put my son (5) on a pedestal and my daughter (2) in a ditch, just like she had done with my brother and I. As soon as I saw that I felt electric and decided to kick her out of our lives forever.

But the feeling of "taking that away" from my kids was so strong... it just made me feel horrible, even if I didn't give in to it.

I totally believe in the fact that it is kindness and respect that bonds us, not blood. I have been yelling that out all my life and nobody has ever understood.

I also would love to go back in time and not let her ever see my kids. Not let her near them EVER. She does not deserve their attention and love and innocence.

But I guess that late is better than never...


Maria Bernal said...

Maria Bernal

Thank you for this clear and understanding post. We are going through a rough situation with my Narcissists in laws. Me and my husband have an 18 month old baby and she has not been part of my NPD in laws since she was born which I'm glad.

However my husband has a 6 year old son with another person and my in laws have manipulated my stepson's mom and let her believe that they are the best grandparents ever, so she allows him to be with the grandparents even if my husband disagrees.

What can we do in this case? I have witness all the wrongful things they tell my stepson and we witnessed that they are teaching my stepson to lie to his own father (my husband) all the time.

My stepson's mom does not want to believe my husband that my in laws are crazy and they are abusive, instead she is against my husband and she wants to blame my husband for emotionally abusing my stepson which is the contrary! My in laws are the ones emotionally afecting my stepson.

Trek1954 said...

I am 20 years late on reading this. Ngrandma and my daughter are buddy buddy. She has her fooled and I am now faced with no contact with my daughter.

KD said...

my heart goes out to the last poster. I am in the same boat; my 16 year old son have been living with my narcisstic "mother" and "father" for the last 18 months. There is nothing I can do and they have been working towards this for a long time but I was too naïve to believe it. I mean, they are my parents! I can only hope that my son will eventually see them for who they really are and his sculpted hatred of me will be gone once those despicable people are finally in the ground. I think all you can do is just remember what it was like to grow up with them as parents and just try to give your daughter what you always craved. Its like a pyramid with them, if you remove yourself from the drama, it cant be a 3 way tug of war. I have a 7 yo son as well, he is the black sheep and cant stand my mother. They are not allowed near him and have not had the chance to poison my relationship with him (she is very jealous of the very close relationship I have with him) Don't give up on your daughter, just keep in touch and let her know you are there. There has to be something you and your daughter share an interest in that her Ngrandma doesn't... :)

Unknown said...

And as my nmother and father have done the same. My parents were able to get full guardianship of my now 15 year old daughter 3 years ago. They depicted me as a horrible drug addicted mother who would abandon her child for months at a time. This was so devastating to me once it all surfaced. How could my own mother do this to me. It was tough at first as my daughter wanted nothing to do with as she had believed all of the lies that had been told to her her whole life. My whole family, friends, anyone who would listen, all turned their backs on me. But once I was able to get my emotions in check, which took a couple of years, things are starting to get better between myself and my daughter. Today was the first day that I 'introduced' my daughter to a new word in her vocabulary.... Narcassism... I sent her a short video on YouTube, at her request, explaining what this personality disorder is all about. If I could give any advice, just try to stay cool. Your child has been told their whole lives of how mentally unstable mommy is. So by having your child see you do anything and everything other than what your mother portrays you as, they will figure it all out in time. Good luck and even though it might be hard at times, in the end, all you can hope for is the best. Let yourself be a role model to your child. Be the cool one and try to keep a level head around your child and your parents.

tbird said...

This is a wonderful post. I needed this right now. I just figured out a couple of months ago that we've been dealing with narcissistic abuse. After years of confusion and feeling crazy, I finally connected the dots. I'm in therapy and making serious decisions for the sake of my daughter. She is very young and my mother has been pulling the second of the two tactics (spoiling her and trying to steal her). But, she still plays games with my daughter and the other grandchild, molding the other grandchild to be the golden child and more important. You all know how they do this (the gifts, the backhanded comments, spending "quality" time with one, but not the other). I am so disgusted and like mentioned in my article, my main regret is having let her spend time with my child. I wish that I had figured this out many years ago. I knew something was not right and I knew she was evil, but their games do cause you to question your own sanity at times. I have decided moving will be the best thing I can do. I can cut contact in a way that is safe. I worry if I stay (we live within two hours of her and my brother/his wife/kid live in the same city as we do), she will pull something, she has money and there's no limit to what she might do. I don't trust her and I accept at this point, that I cannot rationalize with her. She is what she is and I have to be smart about how I cut off contact.

Lisa said...

Yup. Overvalued then taken. Not just taken. Sucker punched me by paying for NEx to have them taken by sheriff by surprise one Friday afternoon. I just can't say it strongly enough. The stories are heart breaking. just heart breaking. the pain, the shame, the brokenness you will experience if this happens to you - there are not words to express it. I didn't read the above comments. I've lived it, and I can't go through reading about it. Thank GOODNESS that my children are teens and came home of their own free will and have learned the liar NM is and disrespect her as such. One last thing - i would NEVER have thought my NM would do this. NEVER. I invited her to move to my town thinking we could become friends if we just had more time together...

Dahia said...

I need so much help! In my country the grndfathers can, with the help of the "justice", have visit and even take away your child from your home for a week. I wanto to move to another country but I don't know what to do? =(

Amy said...

Dear Anna,
I found this article of yours singularly disturbing. You are describing almost all of the tactics my N mother employed to bring me away from her ex husband (my father).
These tactics are often employed by the Ns themselves, when they are convinced they are dealing with someone whom they perceive as evil. It is very difficult to discern "right" from "wrong" when you grow up with a N parent. My mother was convinced that she was doing a wonderful job by detaching me as far as possible by a man whom she described as toxic. It took me decades to realize that her influence on me was venomous; all of the time she kept emphasizing how it was "all his fault" and that my every problem sprung from having such an evil father and "clinging obsessively to him", as she claimed.
That she is the evil one and not he I realized only on the long run. She is a spoilt, immature, selfish child who lives in an imaginary world where she is the heroine and everybody who does not agree with her on this is evil. She was the cause of my troubles and depressions all along, not he respectively my "missing him and adoring him" though mommy dearest did all she could to "protect me" and "make me understand" that I am a poor misguided child. Misguided I was indeed, but not by him.
I am not quite certain that children are easily deceived by toys, money, cars etc. They are usually deceived in their feelings, i.e. when they perceive someone as being good. My mother is overly emotional and knows well how to win other people's empathy, while my father minds his own business. I never saw him as evil, but she managed to convince me that he was the main responsible for her marital problems which eventually lead to their divorce.
My mother always pretended, whenever I showed the slightest sign of independence, that I was doing it only to spite her; when I developed into someone she could not abuse any more she pretended I had been bribed by her mean ex husband with money and gifts. I do prefer my father to her, yes, but because he is not such a contemptible, manipulating, vain and selfish fool as she, not because I am after any material "goodies". That she pretended I was thus superficial and greedy was one of her worst offences to me, in particular considering that I had listened to her and supported her as well as possible for years after the separation.
I agree with you that children must be protected from evil people, even if these are close relatives: but I don't believe that they are so easily deceived by material gifts. Should a child take the side of a grandparent against mother and or father, the cause will be, in most cases, that the child believes the grandparent to be a better person, to be nicer and more understanding. Sneaky Ns talk behind other people's backs and find allies by making certain things "our little secret". I perceive this as by far more dangerous than grandparents insulting or beating their grandchildren. I know of two women who had to break up all contact between their N mothers and their own children, and both these women's children were very understanding: they had already seen that their grandmother was not a good person.
Only a very foolish child would prefer a N grandparent to a decent mother and or father because they are bribed with money, houses, cars, college tuition etc. And in such a case, excuse me, but the non-N mother or father only have themselves to blame for having raised such a spoilt brat who would change sides merely for the sake of his material advantage.

Unknown said...

Dear Amy, I would disagree a little. Although, children are smart and can sense "evil" in people, but very little children cannot. I have personally experienced this with my son, who was spoiled and brainwashed against me to the nth degree by my Narcissistic MIL.... So much so that he would chase me with knives all around the house when he was just four. He used to hate me so much that he used to tell his school security guard to hand him the gun so that he could shoot me. Can you believe that?

Amy said...

Dear Shaista,
I did not mean to belittle anyone's pain whose child was set up against him or her. It is certainly true that the smaller a child is, the easier it will be for the N to influence it. However, you say yourself that your son was bribed *and* brainwashed. My own father did make me gifts at times, but he never spoke an evil word against his ex wife; mostly he doesn't mention her at all. It is wholly her own idea that he does.
By the way, the last time she accused me of preferring him to her for material reasons I was way over thirty. She obviously thought I was reasoning like a preschool child. Now can you believe that...?

Unknown said...

Dear Amy, I am very sorry to hear that. You sound just like one of my friends who had a similar story. So, I can understand that. I hope you find peace in your life... Personally, I try to forgive my parents for the flaws they had (they were not Narcissists and had some other problems ); and now try to learn from them in a way that would benefit my children. It's like channelizing my negativity in a positive direction.

Angela Ferreira Paintings said...

Since mine ostracized me and sent me away very young to study abroad, like a problem that can be pushed away and hidden from sight, and never gave me a chance or encouraged me to return to my country, she has now no access to her grandchildren. They also speak a different language and virtually nothing of my own, so communication with my children is nearly impossible! Look granny, rip what you sow!

Unknown said...

My Nfather got my daughter a dog and said it was up to me if we kept it (while we were staying with him). I was told he didn't chew on things and was house broken. Neither were true. I was trying to potty train my almost 3 year old at the time, and then I had a 4 year old rescue dog peeing and pooping on the carpet on a regular basis. I cleaned it up at least 90% of the time as it was my responsibility to keep the house clean. He also chewed up several of my shoes. But I did speak up saying it wouldn't work for us to keep the dog. He had been abused by previous owners and if you just raised your voice at him he'd pee, so there was no training him. However it was clear at that point that he didn't mean what he said, he just knew it was the only way I'd agree to trying it out. Less than a year later and the dog bites our daughter, several times in fact and without much to provoke it. He refused to get rid of the dog, saying that even if he gave her a permanent scar on her face he's not going anywhere cause it's his dog now. We wouldn't allow the dog to be around her and were looking for a place to move but just 2 days later she was playing with my Nfather in his room while I was making dinner. She came out with a fingernail shaped scratch on her cheek. When I asked her what happened she looked around confused and then said it was my cat. But the cat had been sleeping on the couch and then I let him out while she was in there, so that wasn't possible aside from the fact that it looked nothing like a cat scratch. And then when I stepped out of the kitchen she told my husband that my Nfather had given her candy, named the colors of the candy and then said they couldn't tell me because they'd get in trouble. Red flags and sirens everywhere! I confronted him about it then and, needless to say, he exploded. He said he did that with her every night and saw nothing wrong with having secrets with her, even secrets being kept specifically from me. Never mind the terrible lesson being taught, that it's okay to keep secrets from her mother. He even said "she's your daughter, well your my daughter" as if he has some control over me and my decisions as a mother. He even lunged towards me with his hands raised like he wanted to strangle me, which my husband was fortunately present to witness. It was then obvious that his love for her went no deeper than his love for control. We left that night and have cut off contact. Although that hasn't stopped him from trying. I've been bombarded by texts from a few of his family members and been called a "silly little girl", "cruel" and "heartless" among many other ugly remarks, I'm sure. But I didn't waste my time reading it all. One glance told me all I need to know. It's sad that it came to this but it would have been so much worse if it never did. Now my daughter is almost 4 and is finally potty trained! It's certainly no coincidence that after 2 years of struggling to get her interested in using the potty that after only 1-2 weeks without him in our lives she started using the potty and hasn't gone back. Her behavior towards my mom has changed significantly and she's been much more affectionate with all of us. Also, 2 weeks after we moved out she said it was my Nfather who gave her the scratch. There's no way to prove it but I did get a photo that's pretty convincing given the time and place it occurred. And even though she does ask about him from time to time it's surprisingly little, especially given we were recently living with him. Which to me is proof of just how superficial the Ngrandparent/grandchild relationship is. And that positivity trumps negativity no matter the bribes and manipulations at play.

Unknown said...

I've only just started coming to terms with the fact that my mom is a Narcissist. Have always known something was not right. That the way she treated me was not the way other mothers treated their daughters.

I now have a 9 year old blessing of a daughter. My mom lives with us and my situation, as is everyone with a NPD parent, is a difficult one.

However, while I am trying to figure out how to deal with this (after having landed up in hospital with an emotional breakdown and being diagnosed with severe depression, anxiety and mild ADD) I am doing lots of research and working through the stages.

My daughter has gone for counselling and I am told for her age she is very able (far above her age should allow) to express her emotions and such.
We are very open and discuss everything and yes Ngran is having a go.

So for now we have decided to ignore where we can otherwise leave the room for any conversation that is degrading, insulting, etc etc.

The other night, my 9 year old (while my mom was literally looking down on her shouting at her for not doing chores) took her supper got up and left the room in silence. I stood up and in a very quiet voice told my mom, that this was my house, my child and my animals, her chores, my discipline and any issues she had with that she was welcome to discuss with me in a civil manner. And I left the room.

And this is how we have been handling this. My daughter has been leaving, or telling my mom not to involve her in adult business and then leaving. And I have been standing up to her in a very calm but in control manner. As soon as her hysteria, irrational behaviour or any NPD traits start I leave the room.

I have even left in the middle of a perfectly normal conversation that turned ......... and I left without explaination.

We have had the suicidal threats due to the fact that I am now turning the grandchild against her etc. I left the room in the middle of the threat.

It seems that slowly the message is getting to her that if she cannot behave and treat us with respect she can "misbehave" on her own.

It's only been a few weeks, and I will continue for another few weeks. Should this behaviour not stop completely then the next step needs to be taken.

All these posts have just made me realize, her supposed good intentions were never really that, they were just a ploy to throw in my face later.

And that my thoughts of never being good enough for her were spot on. And it's fine, I don't have to be good enough for her. I am good enough.

This has been and still is a very difficult journey and I'm sure I still have a very long way to go.

My story is somewhat more interesting as I have her living with me and the golden child, my bi-polar brother, just moved in and refuses to move out (gonna have to get the law involved) and my egotistical semi NPD alcoholic Father has also moved in temporarily.

However, in the last four weeks since all of this has happened, I have become more at peace and feel stronger than I have in a very very long time.

It seems my home needed to be invaded before I could gain enough strength to be ready to take control.

My time is NOW!

Unknown said...

I have a narcissistic mother and I also made the mistake of thinking she "grew up" when my daughter was born. When it became apparent that she did not, when she tried to have her taken from me at 3 weeks old, I limited contact. Unfortunately, I kept going back and my daughter knows her as grandma. However, when she helped my brother's ex get sole custody of his daughter so that she could control his life, I stopped contact two years ago. Now she has petitioned the court for grandparents' rights and visitation. I am ready to fight her but I will take any advice I can get. Thank you

She's a Traveler said...

It's amazing to read this blog. While I think everyone's situation is different I can relate to so many of these experiences in one way or another. I have a mother who wants access to my kids but repeatedly declares her disdain for myself and my husband. We've done a lot over the years to make my mother's life easier. I as a child was forced to be her comforter while she kept a very difficult relationship going with my father. One that seemed to serve a purpose I think as she was able to villainize him (came easy as he was an alcoholic) and wear a victim badge which seemed to work for her. She didn't seem too happy when there wasn't turmoil of some kind going on in the home. She seemed almost bored. Us kids paid for that and still struggle with emotional issues and anxiety as adults. I find though one common thread among the descriptions of these Nmothers. If complete loyalty is not maintained she is done with you and once you assert yourself and ask for the behavior to be adjusted or try to set boundaries that seems to bring large reactions. I've grown up feeling like my feelings, thoughts, emotions and concerns DO NOT matter so it's taken a long time to assert myself and set boundaries. It's not been easy and I've flip flopped in my stand in hopes of a change. But it's clear to me that this behavior really doesn't change unless the Nmother goes for help or therapy which is a highly unlikely scenario due to the nature of this personality disorder. When you're an narcissist YOU ARE NEVER WRONG, everyone else is. So while these ones may go to therapy it's normally going to be because they feel they've been wronged by everyone and they need help dealing with that, it's not with a view to correct their own behaviors that have caused every one to be angry or pull back from them. It's an interesting study for sure. I'm glad I've found this blog to reassure myself I'm not imagining this. I have so much I could share but I tend to hate to rehash and live in the past. I could write volumes of textbooks with the experiences I've had in my life dealing with a Nmother and and Afather but we'll just keep this short & sweet. Thank you.

Unknown said...


Unknown said...

Thank you for posting this article. I and currently in a horrible situation that this has gave me some insight about how my mother is and I could use all of the support I can get. I have always known something wasn't always right with my mother. She was over controlling and I feared making an decision on my own or even to make one that was one she didn't already tell me to make. Growing up she always said she wanted me to have her a grandchild. When I was 23, I did. I thought it would all get better but it didnt. Being pregnant and sleeping on an old spring cot in the dining room and having to make it appear I didn't live there by the morning should have told me differently. Like many other people I have fallen on hard times in my life and still being under the hold my nparent had on me, allowed her to help me with my son during these hard times. I rarely got support or help from her myself but she always seemed to be able to help my son by taking over his care. But who am I to argue with her, she is my mother after all, the one that is always going to be there and never stear me in the wrong direction? Several years later, I am in an open court battle with her over custody of my son. This next week will be my 3rd appearance in court with a final date sometime in aug, but maybe after October. I never knew a parent would have so much hatred for their own child to say the nasty things about me in court. To have so much joy when I begin to cry uncontrollably. She just then smiles and adds more jabs. Worst part of it all, as of right now she has been given temporary custody of my son with out proving that I'm not a fit mother. Even my son says he wants to live with me but he is too young to be heard. I have a good lawyer now but that won't change all the hurt she has caused.
Thank you for reading.

Unknown said...

I am in a legal situation with my son's father's mother over "grandparent rights" in the state of Ohio. I believe she is quite possibly a narcissistic grandparent.
my son’s dad and i have not been together since he was a year old, he is 8 now.
A little over one year ago, my son found his dad dead as a result of using heroin (no one was aware his father suffered from this addiction until his death), and weeks after his death my son’s Dad’s mother made several suicidal comments to me. (which she now denies, and has twisted into something else in the court room.) i never denied her visitation, but suggested until she got help that her time with my son be supervised, being my son had suffered such a traumatic event. She is the type.of person who will not stop until she gets her way. She behaves like a small child when she doesn't get what she wants, or feels she is entitled to something. There is no rationalization or calmly sorting things out like adults with her.
Less than a month after my son’s father’s death, she disconnected service to my phone (i was on their family plan, paid my share for my phone every month.) Six days after that she filed for “Grandparent Rights”, and wrote in her statement to the court that she and her family had been denied all visitation since her son’s death. (which is a lie. She even admitted in her deposition that she had seen him several times a week leading up to the day i told her i felt the supervision was needed. i also went with my son to visit her and her family leading up to our 1st court hearing, as an attempt to supervise the visits myself. this ended shortly after about the 3rd or 4th visit due to her continually making comments to me that i felt were uncomfortable, rude and starters for argumentative behavior.)
She knew i was not in a position to afford an attorney, i feel she did this as an effort to “bully” me into giving her what she wanted. I managed to get myself legal representation. we have been going to court for a year next month, but i have not yet had the opportunity to present my side of case.

Unknown said...

Aside from her making threats of having thoughts of taking her own life, i have expressed multiple concerns i have with the situation supporting my feelings for the need for supervised visits, including: her and her husband smoke inside their house while my son would visit(in thier bedroom with the door closed, because they feel that is adequate- this has been going on for numerous years and i (and also my son's dad) had expressed my concern however it continued to go overlooked), there is a history of violent behavior in the home (my son witnessed her husband hitting her 3 years ago), mental abuse (she talks badly about me in front of my son, and says things to him like “well i wanted you to spend the night but your mommy is mean and won’t let you”), her and her husband also have extensive health issues and she is prescribed a slew of pharmaceuticals ranging from xanax to ambien to vicotin (which she takes several times a day, and had been prescribed to ever since I’ve known her ) and many other medications, also i should add at the scene of her sons death the detective found one of her prescriptions (Ultram) at his apartment, she is also very manipulative and has very irratic behavior (she posts/publicly slanders me and my family on facebook regularly, logged into her deceased son’s twitter account and was harassing his friends and ex-girlfriend acting as if she were her son tweeting as she put “from the grave”).
The court ordered visitation began with her being allowed 4 hours a month supervised visitation. this escalated to then 2 hours a week supervised visitation, and is now (and for 7 weeks has been) 4 hours a week unsupervised visitation. throughout this process she has continually asked for more and more visitation and she is awarded more. (her request is a standard court order for parental visitation, as if she were his parent.) The supervised visits were deemed "unnecessary" according to the establishment hosting the supervised visits, because she knew to be on her best behavior when being watched. I had figured this would be the case, but also had a sense of hope that maybe in the progression of all this she had in fact, somehow changed and would behave herself in the unsupervised visits as well.

Unknown said...

In the 7 weeks of my son doing unsupervised visits with her, there has not been one visit in the past 7 weeks that any of my concerns have not been resurfaced. After the 1st visit my son had a nightmare and told me it was of his grandpa hitting his grandma. When i asked him if this was just a dream or if it really did happen he told me he couldn’t tell me bc i would tell the facility that does the supervised visits, and he wouldn’t be able to see his grandma. He has came home telling me something new (and inappropriate for an 8 year old to be hearing/put in the middle of this situation) every visit. The past 2 visits he has come home telling me "there is something I’m not supposed to tell you," and then he tells me and is crying because he doesn’t want to make his grandma mad but he doesn’t want to keep secrets from me and tells me “grandma told me im not supposed to tell you because then things are going to get really bad and i wont be able to see her”, it is heartbreaking because he loves his grandma and wants to see her, but he is completely unaware of the harm she is doing mentally to him, on top of the safety concerns that come with him being around her outside of a controlled environment. After this past week's visit I have made the decision that I will no longer allow him to visit her unsupervised, Court ordered or not. The things he divulged that she told him were beyond innapropriate. i truly cannot understand why someone who wants so badly an nothing more than to spend time with her grandson (which is way more than most grandparents get to spend with their grandchildren) would not just enjoy and appreciate the time they have together, instead of trying to manipulate and feed them with the adult drama going on between herand i, and her and other people (my son's Dad's friends) who are important people in his life and who care about him. my son has been through way too much at this point to have these things put in his small head to worry bout or question or upset him.
I also recently sold my house and my son and i are moving 1 hour and 20 minutes away(closer to my family), and she has declared she has a found a place to rent where we will be living and will be moving there as well, so distance won’t be a factor in the outcome of visitation granted. (mind you, she just found out we are moving ONE WEEK AGO.)
She had a 100,000$ life insurance policy on her son, and used $75,000 of it to buy her house off the sheriff’s auction because it went into foreclosure. Instead of putting any of that money towards her grandson's future (that she is so concerned with seeing), she opened a “gofundme” account for him, begging people to donate to that and raised close to $5,000 for his college fund, but none of the insurance from his dad's life insurance policy was part of that.
Her slogan through this whole legal battle has been that me requesting limited, supervised visitation “isn’t in my grandson’s best interest”. I feel that my rights and wishes as a fit, concerned, protective parent have been completely thrown out the window, overlooked and set aside throughout this whole situation. I only pray that the court will see my side of this and understand how sick of woman she is, and why my concerns are valid. (The Magistrate openly said he used to be her and her sisters neighbors when they were growing up.)
if there is anyone out there who has any sort of suggestion, or direction concerning this, i would greatly appreciate the guidance.

akwilliamsfamily said...

We recently went NC with my husbands parents. I actually went NC about a year ago. My husband was the scapegoat, but unfortunately picked up some narcissistic traits along the way. Trying to be liked by his father, always trying to get approval that he never got.
Things I've learned during the past 26 years.
1. The golden child and their offspring will always be center stage, always no matter how horrible they are.
2. The scapegoat and offspring will always be nothing, no matter how good they are.
3. The wife/husband of the scapegoat will always be nothing, no matter how good/nice you are.
4. Expect to get second hand gifts. Because they won't spend money on you or your children, unless they are trying to impress someone important. Oh and that won't be you.
5. Expect lies, and stories to be twisted.
6. Never expect them to do something out of the kindness of their hearts. There will always be something in it for them. They are setting you up.
7. Don't expect phone calls just because they are thinking of you. Don't expect phone calls. This takes too much of their time.
8. Expect criticism.
9. Expect them to be friends on social media with your x spouses.
10. Expect their pets to be more precious than your children.
11. Narcissists are like a wolf in sheep's clothing, you never know who they are.
12. Protect your children from them, don't give them the benefit of the doubt. Never

Anna Valerious said...


You're obviously a veteran of dealing with narcissists. You've taken notes and learned your lessons well. Thanks for sharing your list of things you've learned. I hope others will choose to gain by your hard-earned experience.

akwilliamsfamily said...

Anna, I really wish I didnt have so much knowledge about this subject. I really wish I had and my girls had the family life like I had growing up. After 26 years of my husband and I always walking on eggshells around his parents. I started researching. This is when I also discovered that I am married to a narcissist. He isnt nearly as bad as his parents. Like most children you want to please your parents but with nparents there is no pleasing them. With my husband I had noticed that he had a golden child and also a scapegoat child. I never knew the correct terms, but through research it all clicked. Our oldest daughter is golden and our middle daughter is the scapegoat, our youngest daughter is treated normal at least for now. For years I could never understand my husbands lack of emotion, lack of desire to spend quality family time with us, he always had better things to do. Yes, that was how he was raised. His parents were both singletons, so a double whammy as parents go. Not saying all only children are like this, but in this case they are. They had their events, clubs, jobs and whatever they could get involved in.
My head still spins at times when I put the pieces of this huge puzzle together, and other memories bring more pieces of the puzzle. To top this all off, my father in-law is a minister, I never would have thought. But makes perfect sense, what better profession to get attention, people looking up to you, and asking advice.
This is one of the only blogspots I have found and still active after many years about narssistic grandparents. Usually the sites are only on nmothers, rarely fathers or grandparents.
My first attempt at posting exceeded the max characters, so I decided to really break it down.
Thanks you Anna

Unknown said...

My n-mom was the same. Demanding to take my children all the time and then not even spending time with them. She would also play the victim afterward, that she has no time for herself because she "had" to take care of the grandkids. She would often put them in dangerous situations with strangers and directly go against my wishes and undermine my parenting on basic things like not kissing them when she had coldsores (my 2 year old loves his lifelong herpes...thanks grandma). She would often lead my eldest son in talks about my "neglect" of him (letting him make his own breakfast, have free play time, and help with his younger siblings) and embellish these stories to paint me as an unfit parent. If any other grandparents saw the kids, she would lose her mind, telling me that i was creating an unstable environment and that they would get confused and feel unloved if anyone but her babysat them. She would ruin important moments in my eldests life such as performances and school events if any other grandparent came with her pouting, crying and glares. She often told my kids that she was their only REAL grandma. I am also so careful in not allowing myself to maintain the n-traits I may have adopted from my childhood we it this woman. We have been no contact as a family for a year now and everyone is much happier and healthier.

Rachael said...

My son is 15 months old and since the minute he was born my MIL has made my life miserable. She would love nothing more than to split up his father and I and get half custody. She has an entire nursery set up at her house complete with crib and clothes for whatever his current size is and he has never even spent the night there. She watches him one day a week while I am at work but shows up unannounced other days of the week and we always have to do other activities with them during the weekend. When I come home my son won't come to me and reaches and screams for nanny - he is a mommas boy in every other situation including many times when it's just his dad and I. I would love nothing more than to cut off contact but she has my husband in her grips so tightly that if I say anything bad about her he starts to threaten to leave and fight for half custody. I don't know what to do. I couldn't live only seeing my son half the time. I can't figure out what she does to him but I know it isn't good because he acts completely different with her. Is there anything else I can do? I find myself wishing away his early childhood waiting for him to start school and not need to be watched by her and it's awful.

Jshea said...

I have 5 kids. My husband is a physician, who unofficially diagnosed my mother with narcissism and borderline personality disorder. She moved into a house that has a view of mine from her front porch. This past week, I asked her to give me some space, as she had been increasing her unannounced visits yet again. I was in the shower and I came out to find she had taken my 9yo home with her. No call, no permission, no discussion. I almost called the cops. Instead I went to physically retrieve my child at which point mother said "but you said to leave you alone so I didn't want to call and bother you".
I just blinked at her in utter shock. That was her justification. Also, she said that the 9yo said that it was ok. Finally I snapped "she's fucking NINE, you psychotic old bat! I almost called the police!"
My question is, how do I go No Contact with someone who is so utterly codependent, lives on my doorstep, has zero respect or knowledge of boundaries, and who my children love!?!?!
Is it restraining order time? Has anyone tried that? Currently, the "agreement " is that she will phone or text my (already overburdened) husband before walking in my home (she never knocks or waits for invitations). She has even parked her car at the bus stop during those times when I have imposed a No Contact period due to my own mental health needs so she can intercept and visit with the kids on her own terms.
I'm on an endless cycle of her slowly encroaching her way into our lives (she has asked repeatedly to move in) and then I will snap and tell her to stay away (at which point she lambasts me as having "devastated her") and I always end up feeling guilty and crazy and like I'm over reacting. I can go on and on with examples of her "crazy," sorry for the nasty and inaccurate term, but fuck it! I have come home to find all the furniture rearranged or to find her and her friend having coffee on my couch while she smiles and tells the friend "oh we are just so close, giggle, I practically live here!"
I have tried to encourage her to go visit and obsess over her other two daughters and their multiple children and grandchildren to no avail

Incredulous in Indiana

Unknown said...

My narc father and sister always tried manipulating and bullying my teenage son against me with bribes, money, trips, cars, etc. When he didn't cave, my sister who works as a mental health nurse had my son institutionalized when we were out of town and nobody told us. She also had him drugged for a year by a court order. She set herself up as the guardian and by the time we found out what was going on, the collusion to keep us from helping my son was already in place. He had two college degrees and was on the dean's list working in a law office by this time. All because he wanted to go home to visit them against my better judgement. It has been a nightmare ever since trying to get my son well again after all the drugs she had him put on. These are sick, sick people. Get your kids away as soon as possible.

Dazed in Galway said...

This post has been translated into Portuguese and has been kept in a FB group file on Narcissistic Mothers. It has helped many members, for sure. Thank you!

Carolina said...

Thank you for a great article. Everything you say makes sense. However, what do I do when my children are adults or almost adults and my narcissistic mother keeps contacting them? I have been almost no contact with my narcissistic mother (NM) for several years. I have teenage children who I want to protect from their narcissistic grandmother. I want especially to protect our child - mother relationship, that my NM now ruins. When my children were younger, like a couple of years ago, it was easier to keep them away from their grandmother. They didn't ask so often why we don't see her and I kept them busy. Lately though, they want to visit her more and more (she lives only a few blocks away) and I know they sometimes visit /contacts her secretly from me. She also keeps contact with them on a regular basis, whining about how much they mean to her. She even cries to convince them "how much she misses them". I have tried to explain to them that she is not a trustworthy person, but they do not understand. "She is always SOOO nice to me", are their respond... She turns my teenage children against me as she runs smear campaigns, by spreading untrue and unpleasant rumours about me. Likewise she milks my children information about me, and my life, encouraging them to speak bad about me. My children don't see the whole picture and they don't see the evil side of her at all. Teenagers as they are, I think they kind of enjoy being rebellious against their mother (me), having grandma supporting, encouraging them makes it even more fun. I feel trapped and worried ... I want to live my life in peace and quiet, psychologically as far away from my NM as possible. Through my children she now gets to me, she involves herself in my life and she affects the relationship I could have with my children without her interference. What do I do?

Amy said...

Hi Carolina,
a friend of mine is in a similar predicament. She wrote a long letter stating her own point of view and writing down her bad experiences / memories of her mother and gave it to her daughters to read. She did not forbid them to see their grandmother, but she wanted them to see both sides and left the rest to their own judgement. As far as I know, it worked - they still see their grandmother but she hasn't much influence on their minds. But then, it's easier in this case since she lives a few hundred kilometres away and they can only visit her from time to time.
Anyway, I know how hard it is when these people pull of the "I'm soooo nice" routine. Learning that nice and good are two different things was one of the hardest lessons of my life. Perhaps you might give it a try and pass it on to your children, I found it's always valuable, not only when you have to deal with narcissistic persons. Good luck :-)

Unknown said...

Thank you for writing this. I was raised by a mother with NPD. I got the unfortunate placement of scapegoat. In my search for answers to help me heal I have been looking at her past. It is without a doubt that she was raised by a narcissistic father, possibly mother as well. Although, her father is the most aggressive in narcissism and from my understanding, was domestically abusive to her two younger brothers. She claims he never hurt her and based off how she talks about her childhood I am gathering that she was the golden child. Recently I asked her more about my grandfather and what he was like because he died when I was only five. I vividly remember three things about him. I would sometimes kick the back of his seat in the car (not on purpose just being a child) and he hated that I did this. He would reach around and grab my legs and I hated it. I was very afraid of him he made me feel unsafe and uneasy. When he died, although young, I did have the understanding that he was gone for good. The emotions I felt were at first indifferent and then relief. Whenever I went to grandma and grandpas I did everything I could to stay "quiet" and avoid grandpa...literally avoid him..playing where he wasn't especially if grandma wasn't around. These things have haunted me and I wish I had answers because I am the type of person who heals better when I have answers to piece together things. These pieces helps me understand which I personally need to heal from these experiences that have had a negative impact on me. The only thing my mom could tell me was that 'us' grand-kids were extremely spoiled. She noted that we got to do things that she never did. She did point out that she has no idea of knowing what grandpa did when she wasn't around. Grandpa would also only domestically abuse my moms brothers when grandma wasn't around either. My mom was raised like they lived in the Great Depression. At least, that's what she says. The whole family has plenty of money but the phrase "we don't have money" has seemed to been passed down and put into practice with my mom and her brothers. However, before my grandpa died he apparently told my grandma to spoil 'us' grand-kids. After that, grandma would pour out 200 sometimes 500 dollars at a time just on one of us whenever we visited her. My grandma almost gets offended when she visits or we visit and I leave her not allowing her to take me shopping or buy me gifts. I remember always expressing to my mother that I did not like it when grandma bought me stuff because I always felt like I owed her, like I was in endless debt with her. I am now realizing that may have been the goal. Idk anymore though. She has accidentally sent me texts meant for my mom revealing that they both communicate about me behind my back. Back in November when I was first setting up boundaries she came to my house to bring me food after I had told her and the whole family not to. They (my moms side of the family) seems to be desperate in keeping me as supply. It makes me nervous to think about how far they will go when I decide to officially go no contact. I never thought about the grandparent- parent situation like this until your blog. It has given me a little insight, which is way more than what I have been able to find elsewhere. Thank you!

Unknown said...

Firstly, I just want to thank you all for your insights.

I have really felt like I'm the only person with a mother portraying these tendencies. As a child you're not so aware of it but as I became older I realised that the relationship wasn't right, she would try and control things I did by guilting me, always playing the victim in certain situations with others, portraying her family as this amazing unit for all to envy and didn't have boundaries, would always walk into my room unannounced as a teenager (which is not ideal when teenage boys get to a certain age!), she would go through all my bank statements to try and trip me up with questions about my finances etc. I started to rebel against all but i would be slandered and ignored for days on end, threatened with being cut off etc.

Then came the decision to go to university. I went to my home town Uni due to the guilt feelings (even living at home, such was the extent of the feelings). That's where I met my wife and until she saw what was happening and experienced it, I don't think she fully believed it! One thing is for sure, the best thing to happen was meeting my wife. When meeting her family, I realised the dynamic of family life was totally different to mine. The little things that I never had seen or observed, being able to properly chill out on the sofa and put your feet up, genuinely being able to have discussions with differing opinions without parents getting annoyed that you don't have the same opinion. It was amazing.

Throughout all of our big decision in life (moving out into rented accommodation, buying our own house, getting married) we have always been met with resistance and my mother has always argued about it. Again, playing the victim, being extremely selfish about everything and not considering either my wife or I feelings. I have realised these are not normal traits, my OH family have been happy with all our decisions and have helped wherever they can. After arguments with my mother because of what we decide to do in life, I stress less and less now. I've even told my dad that if she kicks off again, that's us done and so far it seems to have had an effect. I'll never have the best relationship with her because its about playing her at her own game, keeping her happy enough that she isn't going to bitch and whine behind our backs, but distancing from her more and more. I'm at the point now where my wife is the one that suggests we invite them round etc and I'm like yeah alright, only for a few hours though.

What worries me is that my wife and I are expecting our first child in late summer. I don't want her to make my son feel how she has made me feel throughout my life with her controlling ways. I read on here about people seeing this in action but has anyone any experience of realising they have a N-mother and trying to do something before their child is born? How do you tell someone something like that when they are unwilling to accept it and will turn it all around, and make out to be the victim? I think I'm just going to sit down and tell her that she isn't going to treat him like she treat me and my brother. She has two choices, do things my way and be involved in a loving, caring, nurturing parenting/G-parenting method or don't be involved at all, whatever she chooses is her decision.

I'd be grateful for other people's experience with this? It takes a certain person to reflect inwardly and say they were in the wrong etc. but I don't think a narcissist would ever be able to do that, they are so self-absorbed and self-centred that it would be everyone else that was wrong!

Thanks in advance

Dazed in Galway said...

What I can say is I don't leave my daughter alone with my narcissistic mother. We only see her in person every two years because I moved to another continent.

Amy said...

@ Dazed
Lucky you. I live at 800 km distance and I would prefer to be in another continent, too. :-(
My last meeting with this woman was traumatic and it wasn't even of my own choice - I ran into her on occasion of a funeral.
I have never wished for children. One of the reasons is that I know how well that woman can pull off the role of the sweetest woman on Earth. She did all she could to destroy the relationship between my father and me; she would assuredly have done everything in her power to make sure that my own children would trust her more than me. She's convinced that I am mentally ill, mean and ungrateful etc. and that she's a saint. Immature people often listen to gossip; and children are of course immature due to their lack of experience. If someone tells them "your mommy is disturbed and I'm the only one you can rely upon", adorned by sweet smiles, gifts, indulgence and candy, they're likely to take it at face value and not to question this person's words. I know that from own experience because that's how she made me believe for many years that my father was a monster, too.
Even if I had never left my children alone with her, she would assuredly have written them or visited them "by accident". The father of a friend of mine often "ran into" his grandsons and told them lies about her, and even legally tried to get custody over them, on account of his daughter being "insane". (Why? He had sexually abused her when she was young and she had reported him.)
In my experience there is no telling how far these people can go. I don't trust them an inch, not even at a distance. I had to make a lawyer write to my mother that I would sue her if she ever told anyone in my environment that I'm mentally ill to get her to stop harassing and stalking me, and I'm still afraid she might take her chance, just to get the attention she craves.

Brndnzlda said...

I'm one of three sons of a father with NPD. My whole life I have struggled with very low self-esteem, anxiety and some mild ADD due to his emotional and verbal abuse growing up.

Last year I wrote a letter to my father after some of his mean behavior towards me and he handled it very poorly. He was defensive, unapologetic and I've never felt so invalidated in my life. I was willing to work on the relationship but he clearly wasn't and wouldn't admit to any of his bad behavior. Since then I've gone low contact with him but me and my family still get together with him and the rest of the family.

My wife and I have an 18-month-old and a 2-month-old. I believed that even though my dad was a terrible father and abusive verbally and emotionally, that he could be a good grandfather and that he could be a valuable part of my children's lives.

However, reading different books and finding this blog, I now realize that my father will be the same or worse to my kids as he was to me. I have decided with my wife that my father has to have one of us present to supervise him and our children. We are afraid of him badmouthing us behind our backs and manipulating our kids.

I have not told my narcissistic dad or enabling mother of this new supervision rule. So far our oldest has had a few overnights with them. I'm sure they are expecting a normal, unrestricted relationship with their grand-kids. I'm not sure how to share this new rule with them... Do we talk with my mom first about it? Do we just say we don't want to do overnights? Do we say we want to come over too and just follow my dad around? I feel like eventually, he's going to figure out what's going on. There's going to be conflict regardless of our approach.

My mother is great with the grand-kids and is incredibly loving and respects our boundaries. She is deeply attached to my Dad and can be a bit defensive of him. But she is reasonable. I'm really sad that this will hurt her too, even though we're fine allowing her to watch our kids alone. Again, I'm not sure how to share the new supervision rule with them because I'm expecting my dad to freak out.

I do know that if my dad has a selfish, aggressive reaction, I'm not scared to go completely no contact with him and cut him off from our children. To me, any potential love he can add to our children's lives isn't worth the risk of the incredible damage he is likely to cause. The cycle of abuse ends now!!

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