Friday, April 18, 2008

Narcissist Mothers Suck

I need to put in a clear disclaimer at the outset of this post. I love motherhood. In fact, I am someone who thinks there is no more important job in the world than being a mother. It is my deep, sincere respect for the high office of motherhood that motivates me to highlight the fact that there are mothers out there who have more in common with a serial killer than with true motherhood. These monsters who clothe themselves with the sacerdotal cloth of motherhood while terrorizing the fruit of her womb are worthy of no honor on this day set aside to thank good and decent mothers. Yes, I know very well that all mothers make mistakes. We could never honor any mother if the qualifications for honor were that she never have made any mistakes in raising her young. I don't believe in perfect motherhood. I do believe that good and decent mothers make mistakes, but she more than makes up for them by the fact that she unfailingly loves her children and puts their best interests ahead of her own.

That being said...

I keep thinking these last several days that I should continue on the theme of horrendously rotten and evil narcissist mothers in this run up to the Day of Days. There just isn't enough rotten mother bashing out there this time of year.

I want to be that place.

The place where people can come to ritually poop on the hallowed altar of Worshipful Motherhood. A place to cleanse yourself of the saccharine sweetness of pretense which assumes every mother is worthy of accolades and wreaths and undying adoration. Should you refuse to bequeath honors upon your narcissist mother on this High Holy Day you make yourself into a personification of ingratitude in the eyes of the ignorant.

I don't blame the ignorant for their ignorance on this matter. In fact, there is something kind of innocent and sweet about them. They had a mother who truly loved them. How can they conceptualize a mother who is the complete inverse of good motherhood? What precedent could they use to pattern your mother after? Only fictional ones. Which is why they think these mothers only live in fiction. Therefore, you are making it up. Only the children who have witnessed the evil mother behind closed doors...the only place where her true evil was on full display...can attest to the existence of the soul-sucking mother who actually hates her children. Don't despise the innocent folk who were blessed with loving mothers. In fact, try to shelter these innocents from the truth of your mother. They are not equipped to handle what you know. Spare them when possible. Your mother is the stuff of nightmares. Don't foist those nightmares on the innocent if you can avoid doing so.

Only narcissist mothers demand that Mother's Day be a day to worship them. Which is why I call it Worshipful Mother's Day. The narcissist mother doesn't want sincere affection, sincere gifts, sincere thank yous. No, they want worship. As I've said before, truly good mothers don't demand attention on this day. But the malignant narcissist mother knows somewhere in her evil heart that she must demand the appearance of such things because she hasn't earned them. The truth is, appearances are all she wants. Genuineness is completely lost on her. The narcissist is consumed by appearances therefore they are incapable of appreciating the genuine.

The evil mother feels that society itself has lent its considerable influence and imprimatur to compel her children to honor her dishonorableness. She is more than happy to exploit the shame which will come upon disobedient children who refuse to bring their annual sacrifice to her altar on her day. You see, to the narcissist mother Mother's Day has the force of the government behind it. She believes that Mother's Day is like a blue law. She believes worship of her on this day is compelled by the highest powers-that-be. On this day, she is not the lawbreaker. You are. She deserves honor on this day because Gub'ment sez so. Never mind all the laws of goodness, morality and true motherhood she has broken over the years. On this special day to her Worshipful Honor her lawbreaking is set aside. You become the lawbreaker on this day should you withhold from her whatever she demands. At least, that is how she reckons it.

This is childish and legalistic thinking. In other words, this is just more of the same narcissist crap thinking piled higher and deeper.

We need to, at this point, differentiate between truly honoring ones parent(s) as commanded by the Bible and this idea that on one day a year you can fulfill your obligation in that regard. Truly honoring your parent doesn't include honoring them in their evil. I've discussed this in my two posts on the fifth commandment. Conversely, you can't fulfill that commandment by dishonoring your parent 364 days a year and then make up for it all on Mother's Day. Can we just remember that for most of human history there has been no such day as Mother's Day? If Mother's Day was intrinsic to "honor thy mother..." don't you think that God Himself would have handed down the command to set up such a day from Sinai? He didn't. So can we separate out Mother's Day and Father's Day from the command to "honor thy father and mother..."?? The Hallmark holidays have nothing whatsoever to do with truly honoring ones parents. In fact, I think a case could be made that setting up these two holidays have done more to trivialize how we honor good mother and fatherhood than to elevate our conceptions of these important roles.

What I'm trying to drive home in this post is that the narcissist mother demands a caricature of honor on Mother's Day. Caving into every whim and demand of a narcissist on Mother's Day is by no means a true demonstration of honor. There is no honor in giving honor to dishonor. Ever. I want it crystal clear that the narcissist mother goes way beyond demanding "honor". She demands worship. And that conflicts with the first commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me."

The only law you break when you abdicate from Worshipful Mother's Day is the law of the lawbreaker herself. I can live with that.

Icon credit.


Writer in Washington said...

I would add that a good person, regardless of whom, doesn't hold anyone ransom for gifts at any time. For example, my MN stepdaughter used to keep score of the "presents" her younger brother "owed" to her. A sure sign of a N. My MN mother and my husband's ex MN? The same way. They demand attention from their children on Mother's Day and become angry if they are overlooked. And then the punishment will begin of course. Nothing very loving or wonderful about them at all, just obligatory getting through the day with as much appeasement as possible.

Anna Valerious said...

Nothing very loving or wonderful about them at all...

I wish more people would stop and analyze this fact. If you feel your reputation (and peace) is being held hostage for gifts, whatever the occasion, you are dealing with a creep who deserves no such thing.

My standard reaction for the rest of my life to anyone who would demand gifts or recognition...


K said...

Great post Anna!
My mother put strings attached to gifts, well EVERYTHING had strings attached. I think the one reason I'm really happy with her out of my life now is that I can re-define motherhood and Mother's Day too.

Anonymous said...

I stopped the fraud long ago by
insisting on having my way as I
was also two somebodies mothers

She didnt have an adaquate defense for that

Jeannette Altes said...

The way my mom exhibits her superiority on Mother's Day (her birthday, too, for that matter) is by ignoring and devaluing any gift or attention she receives. The more effort and thought you put into the gift, the more she is unimpressed. So . . . why bother? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Anna, am glad you can live with that and agree with your article. I am having issues, however, with how to handle perceptions by our older generation; I come from a rural area, which still clings to old thought, to more laid-back times, more biblical principles.

My challenge to stop contact with the NM really puts the onus on me, as most of my peers haven't experienced N. So, at "Shady Pines", all the old ladies get their due honour, and with my guilt about the "honour" commandment, am still going to have to at least make a contact, either by going over, or calling. Yes, the N absolutely wants worship, you can see it in their eyes. When my NM turned 85, I decided to have a surprise birthday party for her at my house, inviting 12 of her closest "friends", all in their 70's and 80's. Why I did this I don't know, but think I was hoping to call her "bluff" and let the world know I wasn't the monster daughter. When my husband brought her into the house, the ladies all yelled "surprise", and you could see my NM's wheels turning to warp speed, as she couldn't decide at that moment which persona she should take on. Oh, man, the "look" on her face; it was a Kodak moment. Throughout the party, she held her own, and accepted all compliments towards my efforts with a reluctant smile. To this day, she will never talk about that party to me or anyone. Just to show you that by trying hardest to make them love you, you can't, they don't want your love, they want to beat you down senseless. And, the idea of honouring her yet again in the presence of her peers, which is a biblical precept, is getting my bowels in an uproar.

God bless!!

Anonymous said...

That thing about gifts is true for me. My mother held all of us to ransom for 20 years because she bought my oldest sister a watch for her birthday which my sister didn't like. My mother went on and on about it for decades. It was always the lie of 'Why should I buy you something when I always get it wrong anyway'.

I have finally worked out what happened, becasue she used to do this to me regularly. My sister would have asked my mother for a specific type of watch (which she did - she wanted a square face) and my mother would have gone out of her way to make sure that she got a different type of watch to the one my sister wanted. THEN she would have blamed my sister for not being grateful for this watch which my mother put so much effort into buying for her.

In my mother's twisted mind, she actually DID put effort into buying the watch. She put effort into making sure it WASN'T what my sister wanted.

THEN, she uses this as leverage to excuse her buying crap gifts because she can 'never get it right' and 'we are so ungrateful'. She would have enjoyed the power she had over us. Like the day she finally bought me my first teddy bear (For my tenth birthday). She had told me I was a baby for wanting one for years (A...hem, I actually WAS a baby you stupid cow) and then when she finally conceded, she took me to one of those cheap warehouse outlets, and said I could pick a bear, but it had to be under $10, because anything more than that was a waste of money (her other reason for buying crap presents. Incidentally, her reason for not attending my wedding also).

THe weird thing is.....she always made a huge fuss about us NOT getting her anything for Mother's Day. She used to hate us buying her cards or gifts. I could never work it out.

You know what...I have just this minute worked it out!!!

This was her way of telling us what she thought about us. We would go out of our way to get her cards and gifts and wanted to show her how much we loved her (we were only kids remember), and she would wave us away like she was the Queen and our 'gifts' weren't good enough for her. It was a kind of perverse arrogance. Not...Oh thankyou for all your attention, I really do deserve it....but....Oh My GOd, you bought me THAT? (plastic smile which even us kids knew was fake) I really don't deserve it. No, I mean, I REALLY don't deserve that!!!

I just remembered, if my other sister (the N, and golden child) got my mother something, she would have a completely different reaction.

It was sort of like she was lapping up the attention from everyone, but not willing to admit that she enjoyed it, because it would go against her martyr image or something.

Sorry, this is a long comment, but I am trying to get this straight as I write.

Anonymous said...

My experience with my mother is a little different than some. My mother always insisted on paying for everything I did for her. Then, if I ever mentioned that I'd done something for her (such as taking her shopping, doctor's appointments), her reply was: "You were well paid for everything you did. I knew you wouldn't do anything without the cold, hard cash". That way, no thanks were ever required and I could always be called the one that "did nothing for her". she had surgery a few years ago, I kept her in my home for a month, aside from spending 2 weeks off work prior to her surgery. My "golden" brother took off one day. usually when she has a hospital stay, he comes by for a day or so, then being more important than anyone else must leave. Of course, he is given all the credit for taking care of her. After her surgery, when she decided to go home, she said she could tell I was ready to get "rid of her" and left without a single word of thanks (did I mention she slept in my bed, as it's the largest in my house, that I had to watch her tv shows, run errands continually, get up early to dress her incision, the food I gave her was "awful").

My brother and his prissy little wifie play her like a fiddle- they're such martyrs (like when I made my dear sister-in-law quit forging checks on my mother's account- it hurt her precious feelings and I was pictured the bad one!). My youngest nephew has just been discovered to have stolen a number of checks from my aunt who has alzheimer's and was making his house payment with them (he can't be bothered with getting a job)! When my brother was told, he was furious that I had told it! No sense of shame.

This week, my brother called to inform me that he and prissy had put the family business up for sale! I own part of it but was not contacted or given any say in it. They have already turned it over to realtors and have determined its value- all without my consent. When I called my mother about it, she told me I'd get my part "would the money satisfy me?"- without the least hint of how my rights and feelings had been trampled. The usual, "I'm going to be dead in a few days" (a lot like Fred Sanford, when anything goes on she doesn't like, she has the big one- once she actually had to be taken to the hospital with a "panic attack" because a cousin of mine was visiting and we were {capital offense} laughing.

As for gift giving- one year I bought her a lovely pair of diamond earrings. Was so excited to think I'd finally found something she'd like- her words?
"I wanted a blazer".

I know I've been ranting on this forum- it's so nice to see that others understand and just tell people these things(my mom and brother {a pastor who can look you straight in the eye and lie like a rug} can present a picture to the world of just the most precious little things around- just don't turn your backs). It amazes me that my brother and his wife can present themselves as these wonderful Christians and then do the things they do= she actually deserted her 10 year old child for my brother. Even when I have proof that my brother has lied, it rolls off my mother's back- it's like she just shuts out whatever is said. Can anyone explain how someone can make that kind of difference in 2 children (he is 10 years older than me and she makes no bones that she did not want me)?

Linda of Connecticut said...


I continually marvel how you get to the heart of the matter. Always inspiring to me.

Anonymous said...

I can relate to what jordie said about the watch. This is a tactic that Ns and passive aggresive types love to use to stir things up. The majority of people out there think it is petty and selfish when anyone complains about a gift, so the victim is not allowed to say anything. But the N uses this as a grand opportunity to let you know how small they think you are. They will spend a lot of money to get you something that that is purposely not what you want. Even if they ask you exactly what you'd like you can be assured they will put in much effort to get you anything other than that. Especially something you do not want and cannot use.

Even in times when I really needed something and would ask for it for a gift occasion, mother would get something frivoulous but more expensive (with no receipt of course). I could never figure it out.

I recently read a dear abby column in which a husband got his wife a gift she specifically said she never wanted. The response was that she should thank him for the gift, no mention of husband's obvious issues.

Gifts are not gifts for these people, they are weapons.

Writer in Washington said...

I can usually relate to everyone's story on here. That's what makes these sorts of blogs a life saver. Whatever I did for my mother was never enough, either. I was the only girl in the family and I did all of the housework and so forth. My Dad's reason for not requiring my brother's to help was that they turned out for sports. However, when I turned out it didn't exempt me from helping around the house. Go figure. I always chalked it up to his upbringing, but I think my Mother had more to do with it. One time, while they were out, I cleaned the entire house but I forgot to dust. Do you know what my Mom commented when she returned? "Why didn't you dust?" Not one word of thanks for what I'd done, just be sure to rub my nose into what I had failed to do for her.

My mom's gifts were things that I usually detested (horrible patterns and wrong colors for me to wear for example) but she acted like I was ungrateful when I didn't do handsprings over them and then would tell other family members what all she did for me. My oldest brother (the golden child) didn't give a rat's behind about her but whatever he did for her or gave to her was always praised to the highest heaven. I finally adopted an attitude about receiving gifts. I just quietly thanked people and made no big deal of the gift after that--no handsprings. When I married my now husband, he didn't understand why I never showed more excitement when he or the kids gave me things. It wasn't until I started reading blogs like this one, that I began to understand why I do that. I had a hard time with receiving gifts because of the strings attached, I think, and also because they were usually things that I didn't want when they came from her. Also, I wanted him to know that HE was more important (or the kids were more important) to me than getting gifts. Because his former spouse made such a big deal about getting gifts all the time, he appreciated that part. Although I now make much more effort to show that I am pleased when I receive a gift. I care more about the love behind the gift than what the gift is. Does that make sense?

Also, to Anonymous who feels that she has to pay the obligatory visit, I totally sympathize. I was there for many years but thank God my mother died in 2006. I've felt so liberated since then.

My husband and I were talking last night about the two of his kids that have gone the easy way of MN. The daughter was the golden child of her mother, he remembers that every time he tried to parent her the ex-MN would always interfere because SD was her way of living vicariously. The sad thing is that the youngest boy was manipulated by them into ruining his relationship with his father so that the exMN could sue us for child support. He's now her little parrot, tells all sorts of lies about us but, like her, they are now super Christians. They fool a lot of people. I would caution anyone living with a MN that they are constantly at work to alienate their children from the non-offending spouse, and family members and friend from each other. Particularly if you are their main target (usually the one that will not allow them to control their life). That person is being constantly belittled to and in front of their children and family. No matter what your religious teaching may be, staying with that person is disastrous for you personally and for your children. My mother would run me down to my own daughter and husband. Behind my back of course.

The only way to be safe from them is to distance yourself from them. And then you will not be safe, because they will run you down constantly. However, the less they know about your life the less they are able to talk about. So keep that in mind when you are dealing with one of them.

Anonymous said...

I love the story about the party. My nMother would probably love something like that, but she was the non-custodial parent in my parents' divorce, and I wouldn't know any of her friends. The only two friends of hers I have ever met in my lifetime were clearly her "toadies" - she felt sorry for them, and they were always talking to me about how proud I must be to have her for my mother. As soon as they were out of earshot my mother would start in about how sad it was that this one was fat, that the other one could never keep a man, etc.

Anna, something else that came to me about "crap gifts" and Mother's Day that I totally overlooked. I indeed once did get a "mother's day" gift from my mother - it was a 3 by 3 foot pastel portrait of HERSELF. She said she thought I would like it, as I looked so much like her, I could look at her and see myself.

This pastel portait was the study for the 6 foot tall "life size" oil version in the Versailles gilt frame that is the first thing you see in my nMom's front hallway at their house.

I have often wondered what happens to this later. If she doesn't leave it to me, she's going to leave it to my sister. Who else would want it? There's no one else I could think of that would care about hanging a 6 foot life-size portait of my mother in their home, unless it's my mother herself.

By the way, she has given me at least four framed portaits of herself over the years that I can count. They are still hanging on my wall upstairs. I am thinking of taking them down. Sometimes I have the overwhelming urge to draw a mustache and devil horns on them.

Anonymous said...

I too abdicated from happy worship day t and spent the day with my girls... no pressure,stress or N tactics.I found your comment very interesting about "cards". My N A mother underlines every word and address's it specifically to me and my daughters, leaving out my new husband. The cards are tools for abuse and handy for mirroring.
I haven't had any contact with her since x-mas and for the first time in my life, I feel confident and stress free. Sam V is absolutely right... no contact.

Anonymous said...

Hello Anna!

Firstly, kudos on a first-rate site. I'm a long-time follower, and although I've never posted before, I felt called to do so now. Mother’s Day has just past, and my Mother falls into that category of “everyone thinks I have a great mother”. Well, I don’t. As a matter of fact, she sucks. So, in honor of EvilMother’s Day for Narcissistic Mothers, I wanted to post this for those newer people struggling with the problem of “nobody believes me because she treats everyone else really nice".

About 5 years ago, I underwent eye surgery. I did not recover well, and was blinded for about 3 days. At the time, I was a single woman, and lived alone. I couldn’t open my eyes, and when I did, I was extremely light sensitive. I had bedspreads and comforters hanging over the closed blinds of the windows, all lights turned off and sunglasses on inside the house after surgery and I could hold my eyes open for about 3 – 5 seconds at a time.

Unfortunately for me, I had miscalculated, and the pain reliever I bought I couldn’t take; it would interact with my surgery meds; but I was in horrible pain. The only local number I could dial on autodial – no joke – was my Mother. Oops. I really miscalculated.

To give her some credit, I do believe she asked me how I was doing. However, I gave her the answer she didn’t want to hear – I actually needed her for something. I asked her if she wouldn’t mind bringing over a couple Ibuprofen from her cabinet because I couldn’t take anything I had. Scout’s honor - that was all I asked of her. I really, really would have been better off wandering out into the street and finding a stranger to help.

The big sigh on the end of the phone was the first clue. “I guess so,” she said. “I’m tired from working all day and I just got home, so you’ll have to wait. I’ve had a hard day.” Now to be fair, she was pretty old – over 75 – and working 25+ hours a week.

About an hour later, she knocked on the door. (She lives 15 minutes from me). She complained horribly about how tired she was, how hard her day had been, and how much trouble she had going to the store to find Ibuprofen. During all of this, she made a comment about how dark and dreary the house was. She handed me the unopened cardboard box and wandered over to the stove to look at the dinner I was trying to cook with my eyes closed (no joke).

She demanded “Are you sure you’re cooking this right?”

I don’t remember what I responded. I was preoccupied. I was frantically clawing at the cardboard box with my eyes shut. I finally got the cardboard box open and then I was completely flummoxed by the stupid safety seal on the bottle.

“Mom, could you open this for me?”

She actually did, and then handed it right back. And then, I made the worst mistake of all: I asked her, “Mom, can you read the bottle and tell me how much to take?”

She turned on the overhead light in the kitchen.

After I screamed and fumbled for the light switch and got the light switched off, and was rocking back and forth on a chair trying not to cry because that would hurt worse, I vaguely heard her yelling at me.

She said something to the effect of : “How am I going to read the directions in the dark?”

I think at this point she went into the bathroom or the laundry room and shut the door; I really don’t know, but in a minute or two, I heard her move back towards me (there is no way I’m opening my eyes at this point). I hear: “I didn’t bring my glasses. And anyway, it’s too dark in here. You’ll just have to guess.”

So. After that delightful revelation, she wandered back over to the stove to comment on my dinner again, which, who knows what kind of shape it was in now. I think at this point she offered to finish cooking it for me.

I was done. I wanted her out of my house, so I could suffer in peace and eat my gooky overdone hamburger crumbles. I don’t cook well blind.

At least I never made that mistake again.

Inflicting pain seems to piss her off even more than her normal sour state. She is enraged by my expression of pain, for it makes her “look like a bad mother”. Well, she is a bad mother, but that is apparently beside the point. She wants me to always be happy and nice, so that the gentle fiction of a loving, good mother can be maintained to the outside world and to the family. I did realise, of course, that the only reason she came over in the first place was so that if any mutual acquaintance or another family member spoke with me, I couldn’t say “Mom refused to help me after eye surgery.”

Fast forward 4 years. My sister, Mother and I are meeting neighbors for the holidays, and one neighbor makes a stunning revelation: This neighbor proclaims to the group that my Mother was her savior. When she fell and broke her arm in the yard, my mother heroically rushed her to the hospital, waited endlessly in the emergency room, called her husband for her, and drove her home, and then drove her back the following day, all selflessly and uncomplainingly, making sure she had her prescriptions and all sorts of comforts until her own husband returned and could take better care of her.

I thought my little tale of eye surgery was best kept to myself.

I caught my sister’s eye and my sister looked like she’d bit into a lemon. She has her own horror stories of Mom’s “care” when she had cancer and was going through chemotherapy.

Anna, I hope I didn’t go on too long; it feels funny just co-opting this space to talk about myself like this, but if someone else relates to the infuriating nature of the story, the way she uses the role of Mother to hide abuse, then this story serves its purpose.

Again, thank you tremendously for all your posts, your insight and your fresh and wise way of expressing things that, quite frankly, are amorphous, almost not to be believed, and just plain hard to talk about.

Anna Valerious said...

Nymphadoral (Potter fan?),

No, you didn't go on too long. Your story is very illustrative of the type of mother that sucks. Your story feels so familiar. The complete lack of a shred of compassion when their own child is in obvious need. The Nurse Nightingale shit when someone outside the family needs help. It is so evil. They treat us like we are wonder we have had to struggle with feeling like ciphers.

I hope you had a full recovery from your eye surgery. What a nightmare you went through, sadly compounded by your mother's complete indifference. It is sickening. I surely hope everything resolved okay. Let us know.

Anonymous said...

Nymphadoral (Potter fan?)
Yes, actually. I liked Van Helsing, too. (smile)

I really appreciate your comments, and your genuine concern. When you grow up in a narcissistic family, as you well know, compassion and help are pretty much non-existent. Sucking it up with a stiff upper lip and having to do everything yourself or go without gets really, really old.

The eye surgery was a gift on many, many levels. Firstly, I have beautiful vision. I thank God every day for this. I never tire of just looking around to see how pretty things really are. Thank you for asking. Honestly, it never dawned on me that anyone would be concerned. (My family background is showing – genuine concern? What’s that? Really? WOW!) Secondly, this incident with my Mother was so over-the-top for me, it finally clarified what I was dealing with. You might say, I gained visual clarity on a number of levels that day.

BTW, I can’t thank you enough for this blog. Your own clarity of vision helps cut through the muck.

Anna Valerious said...

Nymphadoral (Potter fan?)
Yes, actually. I liked Van Helsing, too. (smile)

Cool! Something else we have in common. I'm reading the 6th HP book (yeah, I'm late to the scene). I'm feeling really badly for Nymphadora because I still don't know what is wrong with her (other than her grieving Sirius' death) and am hoping she'll recover. Hubby assures me she will.

Thank you so much for coming back to let me know about how your eye surgery resolved. Eye sight is one of life's very precious gifts. I was hoping it wasn't something you were now deprived of. I'm so glad the news on that is good. I am also very impressed with your attitude on that trial. You are like me in that you rejoice and are grateful for whatever hardship allows you to see what the MN is. Truly, bad scenes like what you went through are a big blessing if it allowed to to finally see your mother for what she is and go on to free yourself.

All the best to you.

Anonymous said...

I certainly won’t spoil the end of the 6th book for you! Trust me, she recovers quite well (smile).

Thank you for your kind words on my own recovery, and coming from you, someone I very much respect, your notice and praise of my attitude holds weight. Thank you for that, too. I was blessed with lots of trials to develop lots of fortitude. Ha!

All the best to you, too, Anna. This site and the ability to interact with you and hear what others have to say is a gigantic blessing, and each and every post and feedback are lights in the darkness for everyone, not just me, not just a few, but so very many.

Unknown said...

Oh, where do I start? To say that we are all kinfolk? Stories? In my family we call talking about my mother: 'material'. We say, mother was here, I have 'material'. And we all laugh and start sharing. Even the Golden Child - who is one of those inverted N's but not as bad as Mum. This means that we've learned to get him to do things for the minion children. You know: 'go ask her to buy christmas gifts for the kids - she'll do it for you..." and he always does. He jokes and asks if we have a list of requests he can fill.

Speaking of taking in the old lady. For 20 years, she's come to visit and stayed in my home, eating my food (while talking about what a great cook my brother is) and once gave the golden child a plane ticket to Scotland while i was doing her laundry.

She was tenured at a University where ten years later we all discovered we could have had a free university education, but she never told us. When we found out she said "paying for Uni is character building; why should you get it for free?" Well, Jesus - she didn't help us pay for it, didn't let us get it for free from her benefits...but when my cousin got her phd my mother called her the daughter she never had.

Incidentally - she once appropriated a diamond ring my aunt had given me. She looked at a ring she had given me in grade 9 and said it had been a loan and to give it back. Then she said, "I'll let you keep it if you let me borrow the diamond ring my sister gave you." She took the diamond and refused to give it back and eventually gave it to my cousin in a big flourish on her wedding day. My aunt had been told by my mother that I never wanted the ring and my mother had rescued it from me.

She had a classical guitar in the '70's that she never learned to play. My brother learned to play guitar with it. He's had it for 25 years - but each time she sees him, she tells him that for his birthday - he can keep it!

Ahhh - the list goes on. It is almost fun - except when you realise that the diamond ring she took was a priceless family heirloom and also a symbol of love from my aunt - the only person who showed me what love and affection looks like. My mother won't allow my aunt to be alone in a room with me - surely I was punished for loving my aunt when she took away the ring.

Really, really something, aren't they? My friends love my stories - they won't come over when my mother is in town - she'a alienated all my friends; but they always ask me to write a book: I shall do a one-woman show - about one woman.


Unknown said...

Oh - and I forgot the best part: a few days after giving birth to my first daughter I suffered a massive stroke. I was briefly in a coma and blind and paralyzed. More than a week into this, my mother - who lives far away called to ask if she should fly up (why any mother would ask that question if their daughter has been in a coma is beyond me), and my step mother told her "No, her supervising Doctor has stricly regulated visits - anyone who will bring her stress and elevate her blood pressure is forbidden to visit." my mother went ballistic and called the hospital and they forbid her to see me. I haven't heard the end of that one. It was my step mother's favorite moment of her life. When i was on bedrest with baby number two (long story - heavy oops factor) she sent her friends over to find out how i was. She had mass emailed them how upset she was with my incarceration and 'what could she do from where she was and could they all please go see me to reassure her I was ok?' BUT she wouldn't call my husband and ask herself, or visit, or send a video for me to watch, nothing. I had to throw total strangers out of my house who wanted intimate details of my condition, while worrying about losing my baby.

God love her - I don't know who else does.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe I have found this blog! I googled Narcsisstic Mothers and somehow landed here.
Anna and all of you are living my life. Of course there is more than I can write. Last week my N mother did not go to my sister's husband's funeral. Lame excuses about this and that. Basically all about HER. of course.
Nice to meet you all.
Thanks, JOE

Anonymous said...

I have lived with my Mothers abuse for 42 years. I moved out at 24 and due to it (God knows how I stayed that long. She is ungrateful, demoralizing and has had such a negative impact on my life. I have succeeded in my life and every time I have a success she does everything to try and destroy it and demoralize me. i have an older brother and sister and my sister has not spoken to my mother ins 26 years my brother in 8. My mother has never seen any of her grandchildren (I do not have any) due to her vampire ways. She denies all abuse she has done to all of us. Unfortunately my Dad died 13 years ago and things just got worse. My Dad and I were very close and without him I feel I have no family.

Anonymous said...

I am just so hurt and emotionally drained. Between my npd mother hating me and spreading lies about me and my enabler golden child little brother being so rude to me and assuming her lies are truths, I am at the end of my rope. i will ignore Mother's Day but I will pay dearly for it and golden child brother is sure to call me up and start the harrassment as she will demand he do. I feel alone and worn out, if it weren't for one other brother whom Mom is afraid to attack and is the voice of reason for our family I don't know what I'd do. He cannot get her to stop the craziness though.

mcsissy said...

I am stunned by these posts! Every one of them could be my mother! I too like katiemarygiorotti suffered a massive stroke. I was only 43. Warning npd mothers cause strokes!!! Critically ill. three months in the hospital . Simply put - my mother did not care. To thid day has not asked how I'm doing, feeling or progressing. She does call to tell me how bady she's feeling. The only thing she has ever said is "I hope you have stopped eating so much junk food and are exercising. Mind you I was a marathon runner with almost no body fat. She mainlines sugar and lies on the couch all day and looks like the michelin man.I posted earlier about my little brother golden child. He seems not to care either that I am permanently paralyzed and my life forever altered. I don't want or expect much. Just, hey how are you feeling? Do the doctors think you may one day walk without a walker? Hows that dead hand and arm coming along? My other brother is very caring and actually asks those questions. I basically don't have a mother or a little brother. I wish my Daddy were still alive. She is so much worse with him gone.

Unknown said...

I recently set boundaries with my NM and you know what? It was fun. She's off-gassing all over town about how I am cutting her off from her grandchildren whom she has a right to see and I am sitting in my quiet house with me un-manipulated children and have learned a little bit was freedom feels like.

mcsissy said...

Good for you katymarygirotti! it is so nice when we have distance from them. I am always amazed how Mom , like your Mom is doing, loves to talk about her own kids to people in a negative way. I have to admit, it's been a couple of weeks now since the last episode and after saying i was never speaking to her again and ignoring Mother's Day I am now feeling guilty and thinking I should ssend a gift. I just don't want to be like her!! I've even been thinking lately maybe I haven't been acting right and maybe I'm the problem. If I just do everything she says and not try to stop her from talking bad about my brothers and sisters in law (maybe even engaged in it wit her) then everything would be fine. I know - even as I write this I know it's crazy. Still - do you guys think I should send a gift to keep the peace? Elizabeth

Unknown said...

Allanon is a good place for children of narcissistic parents to go to. Practice detachment. Mcsissy asks about a mother's day gift. Here's the deal: what do you need out of this? Do you want to give her a mother's day gift? why? is it because she was a great mother and you wish to show your respect and gratitude? or is it because she'll give you grief and it is easier to give her the card than put up with the grief? Assuming this is based in fear or retaliation then think about this: your fear of her retaliation is her manipulation of you - she gets what she wants by keeping you in fear of her behavior. If you have set boundaries, then you should be able to detach from her behavior. If she was not a good mother to you and you don't want to give her a card, then don't. So - she flips out and tells everyone what a crap daughter you are: now you have new choices and they are: ignore her and those blinded by her. Be silent. Sometimes when you are silent, people start noticing and begin asking more insightful questions...or not. Is what other people think of your relationship with your NM important? The other choice is to call her on her behavior: "Mum, I am not obligated to innundate you with praise on a fabricated hallmark occasion. I have baggage associated with my upbringing and have decided not to cater to that myth any longer. I am sorry you are hurt by this, but that is my decision." then keep quiet. The important thing here is to do what YOU need to do for yourself and not what the NM needs you to do for her. She can go off and have her tantrum - really. I've learned that mine can rage and rage and the people that matter in my life, now know to ignore it. She's playing to an empty theatre. BTW, Happy Mother's Day to you - KMG

Anna Valerious said...


Oy, no! No gift! There is no such thing as "keeping the peace" with a narcissist. The best you can hope for is a temporary truce in an ongoing war. It is a war the narcissist is constantly engaged in whether or not you want to be in it. A war for their way. All the time, every time. Stick to your resolve. Don't cave to the emotional pressures to play nice. You'll only make things more difficult for yourself in the long run.

Don't conflate not giving a very bad mother a Mother's Day gift with making yourself as bad as she is. Your not giving her a gift is a bit of truth-telling on your part. The truth is she is a parasitical attachment to your life that you're trying to shake free of. The truth is she is not the kind of mother that Mother's Day is supposed to commemorate. Not acknowledging Mother's Day for her is you allowing the truth of who she is to start to be revealed. Don't back away from that by telling yourself it is unjust or "bad" to let the truth be outed. Don't let misplaced guilt guide your actions. Think it through. Follow your head. Let the chips fall where they may.

Unknown said...

"Narcissist mothers suck...and parasitical attachment..." I love it and the image the two phrases together produce. It is so much fun reading your turn of phrase, Anna!

Anna Valerious said...



Unknown said...

Wow. I can't believe I finally found a place where every person has a rotten POS mother like mine. It's nice to know I am not alone. I realize this post is very old, nonetheless, I am glad that I found it.