I just wanted to share a little something for those of you with narcissistic mothers who struggle on & around Mother’s Day…
Tag Archives: mom
Those who are of the “But that’s your MOTHER!!! She wouldn’t hurt you!” mentality, please leave quietly now. This post is for those who are suffering through this day due to having a narcissistic mother. No doubt it will irritate you, & those for whom this post is written don’t want or need to hear any judgmental comments. Thank you.
Now that that’s out of the way….
For those of you with narcissistic mothers, I know this is one of the worst possible days of the year. For many weeks prior, the message of loving mothers is everywhere. “She’s your mother- she would do anything for you.” “She loves you more than life itself!” “Don’t forget to idolize your mother today!!” When your narcissistic mother has tried to kill you, either physically or mentally, there aren’t exactly a lot of warm feelings associated with Mother’s Day. How could there be?
Many people at least are sympathetic to our pain, even if they can’t understand it. God bless these people! Then there are the others. Those who say shaming things like, “But that’s your MOTHER!” Often these people are narcissists themselves, flying monkeys who help their narcissist abuse their victims. Others are people who have suffered abuse & refuse to acknowledge their pain. Their goal is to shut down anyone who faces their pain. Witnessing someone face their pain reminds them of their own & makes them feel cowardly for not facing theirs. Rather than make healthy choices, they opt to shut down healthy people instead.
Understanding things like this can help to take some of the pain out of their heartless comments, because it proves that the comments are about the dysfunction of the person saying these things. However, it’s still going to sting a bit, even knowing that.
Being raised by a narcissistic mother is painful. There are ways to cope, however.
I firmly believe it’s necessary to grieve. Grieve for the fact you didn’t have a good childhood. Grieve because your mother never has been or will be a loving mom. Grieve what you missed out on by your mother not being a healthy, functional mom. Grieving such things helps you to accept your situation & heal.
On Mother’s Day, if you have children, spend time with them when possible. Enjoy your family & celebrate this gift God has given you.
Don’t forget to acknowledge those wonderful women who were like mothers to you. I had a friend I called my adopted mom. She was about 20 years older than me, & a wonderful lady. Kris was nurturing, kind, loving, a natural mom & a devoted Christian. Unfortunately it wasn’t until after she died that I realized I should have celebrated her on Mother’s Day. Don’t make the same mistakes I did! If you have a wonderful mom figure in your life, wish her a happy Mother’s Day. Give her flowers or a card. Take her to lunch. Do something together to show her how much you appreciate her.
If you absolutely must deal with your narcissistic mother on Mother’s Day, before you see her, pray. Ask God to show you what you should do. He will help you to know the best ways to cope!
Don’t forget, you also have the right to set limits on your time spent with your mother. Don’t spend the entire day with her if you don’t want to. Set aside an hour or two for her & no more. If you know you’ll have trouble leaving when you want to, arrange something to do so you have to leave her at a certain time.
Take care of yourself on Mother’s Day & every day, Dear Reader. You deserve to be loved & cared for, especially by yourself. xoxo
The last couple of days have been difficult for me. Lots of flashbacks & anxiety have been happening. When I said something to my husband about it the day before Mother’s day, he said “Mother’s Day is coming.. that has to be it!” Honestly I don’t know if that’s my problem or not, it sure could be, but anyway….
Part of one of my recent flashbacks was about when I was learning to drive. I told hubby that my ex mother in-law taught me more about driving (including driving a stick shift) than my parents did, yet both of my parents always took credit for teaching me how to drive even though they barely taught me anything. He said, “I think you should give your ex mother in-law a shout out! She did a lot of good things for you.”
Although my ex mother in-law died in 2010 & this post is going to publish a day after Mother’s Day, I agree. I also thought about another mom figure in my life who was so special to me, so I’m giving her a shout out too. I pray God allows them to know about this because they both deserve to know the big positive impacts they had on my life.
A very big thank you to my awesome ex mother in-law!! I appreciate the many things you taught me like how to drive & especially how to knit. I appreciate the encouragement you gave me when I was learning things & your faith that I could do these things. I also appreciate the fun times together, like going to craft & thrift stores, & your help picking out my first sewing machine. (Even though I still can’t sew, I appreciate a nice machine like that little beauty!) I appreciate all the laughs & your fun sense of humor, especially since it was pretty twisted like my own. I appreciate your love, support & lack of judgement. I also appreciate you trying to protect me from my mother when we lived together. I wasn’t used to anyone doing that & it was a very nice surprise.
Most of all, a big thank you for being a wonderful example of your faith & praying for me.
I’m sorry our relationship ended on a bad note & for the things I did wrong. I still remember the good things often & am so grateful for them. Thank you for everything, W. You’re very loved & missed. xoxo
My other mother figure was a dear friend I called my adopted mom. We met on a crochet message board & clicked. She was a wise, beautiful, gentle, loving, compassionate person with a powerful & inspiring faith. When I had an argument with my folks or just a rough day, she was the one I wanted to talk to. She always knew what to say to make me feel better. She also didn’t sugarcoat things- if she believed I was wrong, she’d tell me. She was free with her praise & kind words, but still told the truth even if it wasn’t pretty. She was also the one who got me started reading about Antisocial Personality Disorder which led to me learning about narcissism. We had many laughs together, mostly talking about our furkids who we both adored. She was an inspiration & one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. Her death in 2009 still hurts, but I know I’ll see her again one day. Thank you for the years of friendship, love & laughs, K! xoxo
Those of us with narcissistic mothers know that a good mother is a beautiful gift. If you have a wonderful mother figure in your life, please don’t wait til it’s too late like I did- let her know how much you appreciate her now. She’ll love to hear what you say & it’ll make you feel good to tell her just how special she is to you.
The most dreaded day for adult children of narcissistic mothers, Mother’s Day, is upon us.
What are you doing today, Dear Reader?
I hope you are taking some time to celebrate yourself. Whether you are a mom or not, you should be congratulating yourself.
If you’ve gone no contact with your mother, I know, today is especially hard. You should be proud of yourself though- you made possibly the most difficult decision a person can make. It’s incredibly hard to sever ties with your own mother, even when she is incredibly toxic, but you did it. That takes a lot of guts!
If you haven’t gone no contact, but instead maintain a relationship with your narcissistic mother, you too should be proud of yourself. It’s not an easy task finding a way to maintain your sanity with a narcissist, but you found a way that works. That is something to be proud of!
If you’re hurting too much to celebrate yourself, I understand that. Take time to grieve. Cry, pray, write in your journal. Having a toxic relationship with your mother is incredibly painful, & grieving it is totally normal. Maybe you need to take a day to grieve. The more you face your pain, the more you heal & the less painful it becomes.
I know this day is a very difficult, painful one, it is for me too, but you can make it through! xoxo
Mother’s Day is fast approaching. It is possibly the least favorite day of the year for children of narcissistic parents. It’s so hard to find just the right card- something nice, but not too nice as you can’t stand giving her a card thanking her for always being there for you, for her unfailing love, etc. Then there is the gift- should you get her something? If so, what? Chances are she won’t like what you give her anyway, so is a gift even worth it? And, we can’t forget the messages everywhere- on facebook, in stores, online- that say “Don’t forget your mother this Mother’s Day!” (as if we could forget her?!), “She’s always been there for you- give her *fill in the blank* for Mother’s Day!” & other such messages about how great Mom really is. There are also friends & family who tell you that you should do something nice for your mother on Mother’s Day. After all, if it weren’t for her, you wouldn’t be here! She did the best she could! She’s your MOTHER!!! Can’t you just give her this one day?!
Mother’s day pretty much sucks for us who have narcissistic mothers.
If you too are dreading tomorrow, just know that you’re not alone! Many others share your feelings of this disturbing day.
I would like to encourage you to take care of yourself as best you can. Do what you feel you need to regarding your mother. Give her a simple card &/or gift, or do nothing for her- whatever you feel in your heart is the right thing to do. If you aren’t sure, pray. God will guide you as to what is the best way to handle this. Once you have done what you need to do for your mother, then let go of thinking about the day & take care of yourself. If you have children, celebrate with them. If not, enjoy your day however you see fit- go to a spa, buy the new book you’ve been wanting, spend the day at a museum. Do something that you enjoy & that doesn’t involve anything to do with your narcissistic mother.
This may sound disrespectful to you, especially if you are new to learning about narcissism, but rest assured, it’s not. Remember, people reap what they sow. Reaping & sowing a law of the universe- if you plant cantaloupe seeds, you get a harvest of cantaloupe, right? It’s the same thing with behavior. If you kick a dog every time every time he comes near you, he learns to run the other way when he sees you coming. Adult children of narcissistic parents eventually behave much like that kicked dog- we eventually don’t want to spend time with our parents & will go to great lengths to avoid it. It’s often not even a deliberate decision- it just seems to happen because we’re tired of the cruelty. That is your narcissistic mother reaping what she has sown.
So I encourage you- enjoy Mother’s Day your way, guilt-free! What can you do to make it a good day for you?
One of my readers made an interesting point. She read my post about The Silent Treatment that I wrote a couple of days ago, & mentioned how she gives her mother what she calls the silent treatment. Hers is a bit different than her narcissistic mother’s silent treatment- she doesn’t try to punish her narcissistic mother with it (as narcissists do). Instead she only speaks to her mother on her terms (when she is able to talk with her), & is very careful with the limited information she shares. This is also what Dr. Karyl McBride, author of “Will I Ever Be Good Enough?” calls the civil connection.
I’ve done this with my mother & mother in-law. Both are narcissists, my mother being the overt type, mother in-law the covert. Both have responded very differently to it. My mother used to get very frustrated, but it didn’t take her long to get to the point where she gives up quickly on me. I’m more stubborn than her, & she knows that, so I assume she realizes there’s no point in trying to get something “juicy” from me once I’ve made up my mind not to give anything up. My mother in-law, however, was a different story. She would become visibly flustered, & try any tactic she could to force me to talk. It became just plain funny to me after a while! Watching her get angrier & angrier, yet unable to say or do anything about it for fear of looking bad, became very entertaining to me.
Have you tried this with your narcissistic mother? If not, you have to try it!! If nothing else, it’ll amuse you!
I like to give one word (or close to it) answers. For example…
Mother: “How are you?”
Mother: “What have you been up to lately?”
Me: “Not much.” (she already thinks I’m lazy, so she’ll believe I haven’t done much)
See how that works? It’s really easy.
Chances are, your narcissistic mother will start to push for more information from you when you give her such curt responses. She will hint around, trying to get you to talk, as she won’t ask outright for fear of looking unreasonable, bad, or whatever. Refuse to respond! Ignore the hints. I’m telling you, it will fluster her, & if you’re lucky, she’ll give up trying to get news from you.
Once, I had a doctor’s appointment on a day when my mother in-law thought I should do something for her (which is amazing in itself- she’s hated me from the day we met, so why would she think I would be willing to help her in any way?!). I told her I couldn’t do it- I had a doctor’s appointment that afternoon. I should have said “prior obligation” instead of admitting what I was doing, but it slipped out. It turned out to be hilarious for me though! She said things like, “Well, if you’re seeing the doctor, it must be serious. I understand why you can’t do this for me…” (I simply said “Thanks” in response), “If you can’t reschedule it, that isn’t a good sign. I’m so worried about you!” (yea, right! She didn’t care- she just wanted information, so I simply told her I was fine.), “Why are you seeing the doctor?” (the only direct question she asked, & I ignored her question, as I was listening to my husband & his father talk- I pretended I didn’t hear her over them), or “I guess you can’t do this for me since you HAVE to see the doctor on that day & no other…I don’t understand why it has to be THAT day..” (to which I responded with, “Nope, I can’t do it.”) By the time my husband & I left her home shortly after, I was surprised her head didn’t explode! I barely made it to the car before I started laughing!
If you haven’t tried this type of interaction with your narcissistic mother, please consider doing so! Not only will it entertain you, it will give her less opportunities to hurt you. You will speak to her only as you are able to do so, & by limiting your conversation as well as your exposure to her, you will give her less to criticize about you. It really will make your interactions with her much easier for you! Also, it’s not disrespectful, so if you are concerned about not honoring your mother, as many Christian daughters of narcissistic mothers are, please don’t worry!
I just thought I’d let you know that I am making some changes to my website. I’m finally stepping out of the stone ages & no longer using Microsoft Frontpage to make my site (please stop laughing, computer people.. I’m just not good with site creation! lol). As I was working on it today, I thought that it would be a good idea not simply to change the appearance of my site a little, but to ask you, Dear Readers, if there is any other information you’d like me to include on my website. I have quite a bit on there now about narcissistic & abusive mothers, mental health, Christian living & animals (you gotta get off the heavy topics sometimes!), but is there anything else you’d like me to include on my site? Or, any area I mentioned above that you’d like me to expand on?
I welcome your feedback! You can either leave a comment on this post or you can email me at CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com
Have a wonderful evening! xoxo
Good afternoon, Dear Readers!
Sunday was only my second day helping my parents, but it was a really rough one both mentally & physically. So rough in fact, I realized that I can’t keep doing this. I can offer some help, sure, but on a very limited basis. Mentally I’m not very strong anymore. Then physically, I have bad knees so a lot of things are just too painful for me to do. I’ve been doing my parents’ laundry, as my father is now unstable on his feet after his stroke, & my mother claims her back pain is too bad to go up & down those steps. She has been wanting to have the washer & dryer moved upstairs from the basement, but has been dragging her feet on the issue. The next time I see my parents on this coming Sunday, I am going to tell her it needs to be done soon, & if not, then I will arrange to have help come into their home that they can pay for.
In order to discuss this topic with my narcissistic mother, I was given some very valuable advice. Something I hadn’t thought of. Make it all about her. If I told my mother I wasn’t able to do certain things because of my knee pain, she wouldn’t care. But, if I tell her that my knees make me unable to do things, which could cause her problems, she’ll be more interested. And, this winter is supposed to be a bad one with a lot of snow here in MD. I live on a major highway, which means I get plowed in. The highway may be clear, but there is a wall of solidly packed snow created by snowplows at the end of my driveway that means I can’t get out quickly or easily. This would affect her! I’ll just leave out the part that it’s frustrating when I get plowed in. This seems like a very good way to handle discussing things of this nature with any narcissist, I think. Every child of a narcissistic parent knows their parent doesn’t care about them unless what happens affects them somehow.
I have begun researching getting some help to be prepared. I looked into their insurance to see if they have long term care coverage, which they don’t. Long term care coverage is a wonderful thing- it pays for health care workers or nurse to come into their home & help them out in various ways.
Since that didn’t work out, I then found this link which directed me to my local caregiver support network in my county.
This has been a very helpful place for me to start. They told me an evaluation would need to be done (free) by a social worker before help can be hired, & provided me that phone number. They also gave me references to local home health care workers (they’re the people who do chores, laundry, & such), a directory of various services available in this state for seniors, info on a caregiver support group & much more. I learned that certain injuries or illnesses may be entitled to specific benefits. For example, my father has a traumatic brain injury, & there are special services available for him.
Here is another link with some good information as well:
My father also gave me a paper with some information on it that he got from his last hospital stay, too. Apparently many medical records can be available online & this paper had all the information I needed to access it. This is very handy as I can read exactly what the doctors have said & how they are treating him.
As for myself, I’m realizing that I need to take a day off each week to recover physically & mentally. Tuesdays work well for this for me, so I now plan to goof off each Tuesday. It gives me something to look forward to.
I hope this information helps any other caregivers who may be reading this. ❤
and I don’t mean that in a good way!
I was telling a dear friend of mine earlier about my mother’s horrible phone call last night. She said so many evil, hurtful things to me. The worst part of all was that I could tell she was smiling as she said those things. You know how someone sounds a little different when they smile as they speak? That is what I heard in her voice. The crueler her words, the bigger the smile was, too. It absolutely blew my mind. Although I don’t have children (well, human ones anyway- furkids only), I can’t imagine hurting my child like this, & thoroughly enjoying myself while doing it! I wouldn’t hurt anyone deliberately, let alone find the things that are the most important to them, & use those things to cause the maximum amount of pain possible. I can’t understand how anyone can do that. I know a lot about narcissism, but that doesn’t mean I understand everything about it. I don’t think I ever will.
And the worst part? I really messed up. I got so angry that I cussed at my mother. I am not proud of this at all, & prayed later, asking God to forgive me. I didn’t ask my mother to, because she acted as if I speak to her this way every day. She knew she was pushing my buttons hard, & she got the bad reaction out of me she wanted. Now she can tell people how terribly I speak to her, & she knows what to do to hurt me more than usual. Fantastic… this is going to bite me & bite me hard in the future, I’m sure. It always does when I get angry with my mother, although normally cussing isn’t part of my response.
In case you’re wondering what horrible sin I committed to deserve this treatment, here you go: my mother is mad because my father is coming by to visit me tomorrow. She is mad that I invited him & not her. The irony of this? I didn’t invite him, either. He decided he wants to come by. There was no invitation, & there never is an invitation from me to either him or my mother to come into my home. So there you have it-the reason I deserved to be treated like crap to the point of tears of hurt & frustration.
Amazing, isn’t it?
Dear Readers, please pray for me. I am beyond frustrated on how to deal with my parents. I’m praying for you as well, because I know that many of you understand this awful feeling completely. ❤
Good evening, Dear Readers! I thought I’d share an update on what’s been happening with me…
Thankfully, I’m starting to feel better after my losses last month. It’s incredible to me- as painful as grief is, C-PTSD makes it even harder. The usual symptoms I live with daily- anxiety, depression, hyper-vigilence- were magnified greatly for a while. Thankfully, they’re returning to normal though, which I’m very grateful for. Especially since I’m returning to work on my newest book…
The book, about maternal narcissism, is around halfway done. It’s flowing well! I’m not sure when it’ll be done, but I’m hoping in the fall. It’s not too late- I’m still open to input on subject matter for the book. Feel free to comment on this post or email me at: CynthiaBaileyRug@AOL.com
My mother is still giving me the silent treatment, with the exception of a call last Saturday. Judging by some of her nasty comments of the few times she’s spoken to me in the last six or so months, I’m quite sure someone has told her what I write about. While a part of me is nervous, waiting on the narcissistic rage, most of me simply doesn’t care. I’m telling the truth, I’m writing my story & not hers so I have the right, I’m writing about what I believe God wants me to write about & I’m helping people. I don’t need anyone’s approval. 🙂
Good evening, Dear Readers! I hope this post finds you well!
I spent some time working on my new book about narcissistic mothers today. It’s coming along slowly but surely. 🙂
I’m trying to cover every aspect of maternal narcissism- symptoms, behavior, what can happen to someone raised by a narcissistic mother & how to cope, men married to these women, ways to deal with her, & more.
I thought I’d ask if any of you have a topic you’d like to see covered in the book. I’m open to suggestions. Feel free to comment on this post, or email me at: CynthiaBaileyRug@AOL.com. I look forward to your input.
I hope everyone had a pleasant, peaceful day yesterday! ❤ Thankfully now Mothers' Day is behind us. It's time to relax! Yay! How are you going to relax today?
Today I made some progress on my new book about narcissistic mothers. 🙂 I realized, though, that I could use more input from others about the men married to narcissistic women- these fathers of daughters of narcissistic mothers. If you would like to contribute your thoughts, please feel free to comment on this post, or email me at: CynthiaBaileyRug@AOL.com. All information received via email will be kept completely anonymous, I promise you.
Good afternoon, Dear Readers.
I turned on my television today, & in a very short span of time, saw more ads regarding Mother’s Day than I can remember. I quickly turned it back off rather than listen to the drivel about how wonderful all mothers are, & how much they deserve jewelry & flowers on May 11th.
Since I’m hardly the only daughter of a narcissistic mother, I thought I’d write about what Mother’s Day can mean to us.
It is the day we dread most of the year, isn’t it? It certainly is for me. It’s so hard to want to celebrate your mother when she has done her best to make your life a living hell ever since you were born. Plus, you know she expects admiration, gifts & cards. Not fun. Especially when it seems like everyone thinks you should fawn all over your mother, no matter how she treats you.
Society can be so dysfunctional.
I know all too well that commandment that says we should honor our parents. However, I don’t believe it’s honorable to shower any abuser, even a parent, with insincere praise & gifts. Honoring someone God’s way means showing them respect & courtesy, not being fake. Besides, such a demonstration rewards bad behavior. It shows your mother she can do anything to you that she wants to do, & you still will pamper her. How is that honorable?
So what is a good, honorable way to handle such a difficult day with your narcissistic, abusive mother? To start with, pray. Ask God what He wants you to do, & how to handle Mother’s Day. He will give you the best advice you can ask for. Also, follow what you feel in your heart that you’re capable of doing. If it isn’t much, don’t feel bad! Any abusive mother is blessed if her adult child has any relationship with her at all, because even if she has changed for the better, child abuse causes pain & scars that last a lifetime. By having a relationship with your narcissistic mother, you’re showing what a kind, good person you are.
Whatever you do for your mother, do it with excellence. I’m not saying buy her a huge diamond ring when you barely can pay rent. What I mean is do your best even if it’s something small. Every year, I mail my mother the nicest, prettiest card I can find. I know she takes the messages to heart in cards, so I find the prettiest one I can find, with a picture I know she’ll like, & the simplest verse. Something like, “Happy Mother’s Day! Enjoy!” I’m not above finding a pretty, blank on the inside card if I can’t find one that is simple enough for my liking. I can’t feel right about giving my mother some fake, “You’re the best mom ever!” kind of card that I don’t mean. But, I’m fine with a pretty card wishing her a nice Mother’s Day. And, she seems satisfied with the cards. It works for us both.
Granted, what I do for my mother isn’t much compared to others, but I’m honestly not capable of doing more after a lifetime of abuse. I believe God prefers His children to be sincere rather than phoney. You need to remember that what you do to genuinely bless your mother, on Mother’s Day & every day, will give you peace, & God will be proud of you.
Also, don’t forget to be good to yourself on Mother’s Day! Whether you have kids or furkids like I do, you’re still a mom! Or, if you don’t have either, that’s ok- take care of yourself on a difficult day. You deserve it! 🙂
There is one last thing I feel I should share with you. I’ve often berated myself for not being a better daughter- for not calling my parents more often, or suggesting we do things together. (Usually this happens around Mother’s or Father’s Day). Sadly, I can’t make myself improve in these areas- I’ve tried! But do you know what? After praying about it, God showed me that under the circumstances, I’m not a bad daughter. My parents have abused me, & shown no remorse for it. They’re lucky I speak to them at all, & me not wanting to spend time with them is normal. They are reaping what they’ve sown. Keep this in mind regarding your situation, too. Everyone reaps what they sow, whether they sow good or bad things. I know it can be hard to remember sometimes, but remember it anyway. ❤
Good morning, Dear Readers. I hope this post finds you well today.
It’s been such a rough week here, first losing my sweet Georgie last Wednesday, then my dear aunt Sunday. And, icing on the cake is that my mother is mad at me. Yippie.. the only reason I can think of is either because I snapped at her recently during a conversation or because I didn’t call her on her birthday- I only sent a card. (It was the day I lost Georgie- I was hurting too much to talk to anyone).
I realized she was mad on Sunday. My husband, father & I were almost to my aunt’s home when my mother called my cell phone. She said my cousin called & said my aunt passed away, so we shouldn’t bother coming. When I spoke to my cousin later, he never mentioned saying that to her. She also didn’t call me or send a birthday card yesterday. She is using her favorite weapon- the silent treatment. A common weapon of narcissists. Funny thing though- I don’t know anyone who gets upset or feels bad when a narcissist stops speaking to them. Personally, I enjoy it! The timing works well for me, too. I need some time to take care of myself & grieve my losses without any stupid, unnecessary drama.
Besides, I am angry with my mother right now. When I was hanging out with my family Sunday, I was thinking how blessed I am. They are wonderful people. But, I didn’t even know they were until I was an adult. As a child, my mother kept me close to her side at family gatherings. I was barely allowed to speak to my paternal grandparents, aunts, uncles & cousins. My mother despises her in-laws, & always has, so she didn’t let me interact with them. Then, at age 17, my mother told me that my grandparents were ashamed of me. It wasn’t long after, my now ex-husband said my mother was right, & that they didn’t care about me at all. As a result, I stopped seeing my family completely for about 8 years.
I did end up contacting my granddad 3 years before he died. We quickly grew very close. I also was blessed with growing close to other relatives for the first time. I am extremely grateful for these relationships. However, I still have trouble releasing the anger I feel about my mother keeping me from my family in the first place. I don’t want to be mad anymore, but I just can’t seem to let it go, even though I’ve forgiven her for everything else. Please pray for me.
Oh, a side note- Granddad told me nothing could be further from the truth. He & Grandmom loved me a great deal…
I’m sorry this post isn’t inspirational or informative today. I hope it at least let’s other children of narcissistic parents know you aren’t alone. ❤
Good morning, Dear Readers!
Yesterday, I got an email from a lady looking for advice in dealing with her narcissistic mother. It turns out she was unaware of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, NPD, until she found my website. Reading about it gave her the answers she was seeking for many years, I am happy to say! She also asked me for some ways to deal with her mother. I thought it’d be a good idea to share some tips here, too..
- Keep in mind how a narcissist thinks. Appearances are everything. If you look more successful, attractive, etc. than the narcissist, she is going to be upset. Narcissistic mothers also can’t handle if you get attention, & they don’t. If either of these things happen, you will pay. They will do their best to make you feel bad about yourself & your accomplishments, or undermine that complement someone just gave you. Lying is a way of life for the narcissistic mother- she will recreate the past, to make herself look good, & you look bad, as frustrating as that is. Constantly remembering how the narcissist thinks helps you not to be surprised when she does hurtful & abusive things, which will enable you to handle the situation to the best of your ability.
- Stay calm. If you get upset, she can act like a victim. She’ll act like you are crazy, wrong, evil, mean, etc. for daring to be upset. It doesn’t matter she was out to hurt you- you have no right to be upset, in her mind. So, when your narcissistic mother is hateful to you, stay calm. Maintain your composure, & be reasonable. It will frustrate her to no end! Then, once you are away from her, you can cry or rant to your friend or whatever you need to do to feel better.
- Have & enforce healthy, strict boundaries. Know what you will & will not tolerate from your mother, & stand by it. If you give in, even only a little, she will see it as a sign of weakness, & push you further & further.
- Sometimes there is no right answer, only less wrong answers. Yes, this is maddening, but that doesn’t make it any less true. When dealing with your narcissistic mother, do what is right (or less wrong in some cases) for you. You aren’t going to please her anyway!
- Remember, you have every right to take care of yourself! If things get too painful, take a break from your mother. You don’t owe it to her to be at her beck & call.
- Remember what it means to honor your parents. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that honoring your parents means tolerating abuse. There is no honor in that! To give them honor means to respect their place as your parent. Honoring also means loving someone. Loving God’s way, not man’s way. Part of loving God’s way means wanting the best for others, whether it is comfortable or not. And sometimes, love must be tough- tough for you & for your narcissistic mother. Not allowing her to mistreat you is actually a very loving, honorable thing. It protects you from abuse, & it encourages her to improve her behavior. She may or may not change, but even if she doesn’t change, you can rest assured that you’re doing the right thing by both you & her. Honoring your mother isn’t easy when she is abusive. God only asks you to do your best. I know I’m not a very good daughter in some ways- I never volunteer to spend time with my parents. I don’t call them often. I offer help when need be, as they are in their 70’s now & have some health problems. I used to beat myself up because of not being a better daughter. When praying about it at one point, God told me, “You’re doing your best- that is all I ask of you. And, if they had done better by you, you would be more willing & able to do more with & for them.” I encourage you to keep that in mind.