Narcissistic Mother

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Peggy 6 months, 1 week ago.

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    Background Story: I think i have a narcissistic mother. I am 30 years old. No job. No education other then my associate of science and my bachelors degree in Science and arts, concentration in chemistry and psychology. I know i am a daughter, sister, and human being other then that i really have no idea who i am inside. I feel empty. I feel like i am completely out of touch with my heart. I feel numb inside. This might sound funny to u but i use tv entertainment to stay numb and escape from my reality.

    The reality is i have had a narcissistic mother since i was born, but my father was a buffer. When he died i became my moms emotional sound board. I learned how to make her happy when she became sad. I learned how to help her when she needed help. I learned to ease her suffering and pain. i learned how to understand her needs and how to meet them. I learned her heart and understood her in a way that no one else did. I realize now at 30 years old that she has never understood the gravity of what i did as a young girl for her. It hurts me to know this, that my mom has no idea how much i drained myself to be a caring daughter to her.  I was seven when all this started. Now that i am 30 i feel so stuck i dont know what to do. I cant leave her because she has a disability. I would love if someone could share words of wisdom or support. I need it. THANK U ALL!




    It’s so ironic that I would stumble on to your post tonight.  I’m a 46 year old woman and I also have a narcissistic mother / family members.  I’ve decided to walk away.  This decision is currently causing me anxiety and depression.  But in reading your story – I realized that this is not just happening to me.  And I want you to know that this is not just happening to you.  You have to give yourself the care and concern that you’ve given your mother.  You have to put yourself first. Your dreams, emotions, heart, pain matters and is real.  You have a responsibility to you – your beautiful self to say – I am going to heal myself.  It doesn’t make you a bad person or a selfish person.  Taking care of you does not mean that you don’t love your mom.  Start saying – “no”.  Start some self-care.  Get some therapy.  Do this for YOU!  And while I’m imploring you to do this for you – I’m going to do it for myself too.  And I’m not going to worry about what anyone thinks about it.  You’ve got this!  I’ve got this!



    Hi winterfront89,

    It’s too bad your mom has a disability. Narcissist or not, it good you can help her. A big HOWEVER here! For your own sanity, you have to start limiting your care. Whether it is in limiting your time, in outsourcing to other people, or boundaries. It is essential. As long as she has food, shelter, clothing and health care, you have done your duty. The emotional stuff not so much!





    Hi Winterfront89,

    I mean the fact in itself that you are able to acknowledge that your mother has narcissistic personality disorder is amazing in itself so well done! That’s the first and probably the hardest step done..

    (My partner of nearly four years also has a narcissistic mother and even a quick mention of this sends him absolutely through the roof! He is in complete denial and how dare anyone speak of his mother in this way when she is an absolute saint?!)

    The next step would be to exercise some healthy boundaries. Know that your mother may react in extreme ways to this as it is not something that she is used to (not getting her way). Remember that you don’t have to leave her, you don’t have to walk away, but to continue a relationship you’re going to have to put some boundaries in place. In this, you will be able to focus on your personal development whilst not neglecting your ‘responsibilities’ to your mother..

    The thing with narcissistic mothers and their children is that the idea of ‘you have children to raise them and then let them go’ is non existent. The ongoing expectation for your world to revolve around your parents (or mother in this instance) is going to remain forever and as hard as it is it is entirely down to you to break that cycle.

    It is normal for grown up’s to have their own life, to make their own decisions, not based on the likes of their parents, to seek their own experiences etc.

    It may not be an easy ride but I genuinely wish you all the best on this journey!




    Dear winterfront89,

    I am sorry that you are having such a bad time, but trust me when I say this – things will change.I understand that living with such kind of people is never easy and it will never be, but you need to understand that you are much stronger that the current situation.

    I come from a dysfunctional family. I was a weak student and therefore, was never really appreciated in anything i did. The love and care that I received was based on the marks that i scored.But no matter what happened, I stood by everyone in their hours of need. My sister is 4 years elder to me, married with a child. I supported her in all her low points in life (difficult in- laws, unsupportive husband). However, it drained me and I developed a fear of getting married . Today, I am 34, working, financially independent, but i am still scared of marriage and especially in those cases where my parents find me a suitable groom. My parents did everything they could to marry me off- sending my pictures and bio data like pamphelts, meeting guys who were remotely interested in me and when nothing worked, heading to the temples to seek the blessing of god.

    All this might sound normal to those who have not experienced it, but believe me nothing was normal….from not getting food to character assassination, I have seen it all.

    What I learnt from all this n still continue to learn is that I am important, deserve unconditional love and respect. But these things need to start from me. I started focusing on things that mattered to me, and those that were important for my growth – mental and physical health. I started listening to my inner voice. it wasnt easy , but it is something that will always speak the truth. Today, my biggest strength is my work and my organization. My work has helped me earn reputation and respect. No matter what my condition is at home, each time when i think of my office, I become happy.

    Winterfront 89,I suggest that you take some time alone and listen to your inner voice. What is it that you want to do ? What kind of life do you want to live ? List your best qualities and go through them twice a day ( please include the fact that you are strong and brave). Have a part of your life which does not include your mother. Make friends , find a job .

    When you cant change the situation, you can at least change yourself. I understand that watching TV is more of a escape route for you, but invest that time in doing small yet effective stuff. Go for a walk, write a journal. I just started writing about how I felt and it really helped me. Each time , i did something  good, I made sure to document the same and compliment myself rather than expecting others to do it.

    the journey is long,u will find yourself all alone and I am sure that you think like that.But don’t let your reality limit you or your happiness in any way. try meditating and positive affirmations…these are the things that i did and it helped me to a great extent. I no longer feel shitty about myself just because I did not obey my parents.

    This is your life and your are your best cheerleader. Take care of yourself !!

    You are not alone, there are people you are rooting for you !!





    Dear winterfront89:

    You wrote about your mother: “I learned how to make her happy when she was sad”- but there was no one there to notice that you were sad, no  one to make you happy.

    “I learned how to help her when she needed help”- no one there to help you.

    “I learned to ease her suffering and pain”- no one there to notice your suffering and pain and to ease it.

    “I learned how to understand her needs and how to meet them”- no one to notice that you have needs and to meet them.

    “I learned her heart and understood her in a way that no one else did”- no  one learned your heart, no one understood you.

    It is not a surprise then, that this girl grew up to be a 30 year old woman writing this: “I really have no idea who I am inside. I feel empty. I feel like I am completely out of touch with my heart. I feel numb inside”?

    In May 2014 you gave a member here the following advice: “don’t try to escape from the reality of what happened.. Don’t run from what is. Take the time to care for yourself. After all there is only one of you… Avoiding the reality of what is, takes a toll on the heart… Apparently there is a liberation in fully accepting what is. There is a sense of calmness and peace”.

    You wrote more than five years ago, above: “Avoiding the reality of what is, takes a toll  on the heart”.

    You mentioned some reality today: “my mom has no idea how much I drained myself to be a caring daughter to her. I was seven when all this started. Now that I am 30 I feel so stuck I don’t know what to do. I can’t leave her because she has a disability”.

    My advice: leave her. She has a disability but so do  you: your heart is disabled, numb, because of her and she is not even aware of your lifetime sacrifice for her.

    More than five years ago, in your post then, you wrote: “the key to accepting what is, is to completely let go of the comments in your head…  stop identifying with your internal dialogue… It’s a choice, a practice”.

    To leave her, you will have to let go of the comments in your head, that you owe your mother, that you will be a bad daughter if you leave her, that you must stay until she dies, take care of her forevermore. And replace them with reality: your mother does not appreciate your sacrifice of 23 years, she will not appreciate 23 more years of the same sacrifice.

    If you did let go of these comments, if you faced reality and left your mother, it will not be easy because the comments will return, the internal dialogue will continue for a long while, and so will the feeling of (unjustified) guilt.. and there will be anxiety about noticing your numb heart, unearthing what is there, experiencing the emotions you prefer not to.



    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  anita.


    Dear Winterfront89,

    You are describing a small child aged 7 who became her mother’s carer responsible for her health and well being.  You don’t say how old she was when her disability emerged but you do say that you have a sister.  What role has she played in all this?  You also say that you have no education other than ….. I am impressed with your Batchelor of Science and Arts Degree, concentration in chemistry and psychology.  This sounds as if you have a very good brain.  You have also listed all the things that you have learned during the course of caring for your mother.  These are all big plus points in some professions should you ever want to look for a job in Caring or Counselling.  These are all things that can be built upon.  One of the problems is that you have sacrificed your own needs for the needs of your mother and she hasn’t been appreciative or even been aware of how much this has cost you on a personal level.  I am also wondering whether you grieved for your father through all this turmoil.

    You really do need to find a way of taking a break so that your caring role isn’t all that is in your life.  Can your mother be left on her own for an afternoon, say?  Can she have someone else in to care for her sometimes?  Just taking a short break can sometimes recharge our batteries.  Can you join a group which practices Mindfulness/Meditation/Yoga/Tai Chi?  All these things will help you get back in touch with yourself.

    Hope this helps in some small way.




    When you said you don’t have much education but an associates and bachelors.. I was a little thrown off. You have a great education. I am already seeing that you would benefit from working on having some self compassion & confidence.

    None of us can tell you if your mother is narcissistic based on this description.

    But I do want to validate you and your feelings. This is tough.

    When we are children, psychologically & biologically we rely on our parents completely, they are our world. So when our parents aren’t able to provide us with the proper support, we naturally adapt to normalize the situation & validate it as “this is normal,” “what can I do to help my parents because they are my world.”

    Basically, we step in to make sure our parents are happy, so that they can take care of us. Its another form of survival. Even if that means acting as caretakers for our parents. This creates enmeshed boundaries, that unfortunately many people have to work through and on, to correct throughout our adulthoods.

    Honestly, I can tell you to put you & your needs first all day. But no one knows the truth but you. Your feelings are a guide.

    When you work on self compassion, confidence, and self love. You will slowly start to receive answers about what it is you need to do for you, in order to have more peace in your life. Lean into that.

    It’s like when people say, on a crashing plane, we have to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first.

    I’d recommend doing something for you. Something you love, thats just for you. that no one can interrupt. For me, its hiking and meditation by the beach, i leave my phone behind, and i go off by myself with no interruptions.

    The important peace here is 1) finding something you can do just for you, and 2) making a small change in your daily routine. which will bring about more small changes.



    I’ve got one too , and I’m 40 and just coming to grips with how my upbringing has impacted my life. I’m feel for anyone struggling with parenting a narcissist parent . My father is still here to wait on her hand and foot in between his chemo. Yes my father has got a rare cancer that requires chemo every week at Christie’s Cancer Hospital. There is no cure but has been coping very well on a trial drug. My job is to take care of my dad and then he can take care of his wife . I cannot be around her for more than 10mins before I feel vile .

    My dad enabled her and put his children always after his wife so I’ve do my bit . As a daughter I do my mums job of supporting my dad so he can be at her beck n call .

    I seam cold . But my mother has never cared for anyone but herself and my father is too weak to be told what he did or didn’t do to protect his children , he drank to hide his misery and gave into my mums violence and rage allowing her to emotionally  neglect us and live walking on egg shells under constant control of us all . She is his wife and as she gets older her self righteousness gets w9rse and it disgusts me at times.

    You cannot educate pork , you can’t even train a narcissist to be better cos they will do the opersite out of spite cos there just broken spoilt children that cut you off if your not of any use. Then manipulate to drain you for there own needs.

    Dont feel guilty , if she’s too much then that’s her own fault . She’ll take away any chance of you being happy to save herself . Without any remorse . Imagine being elderly knowing you’ve given your whole life  to someone who never give you the mum You needed .

    Im done with mine . But no one ever gunna hold you to account for putting up with constant selfish mental torture and control.

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