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Just found out my mum is a narcissist after 35 years

Community Member

I feel like it was obvious that she was a narcissist, but it never is. It all makes sense now. But the making sense part is the hardest part. I feel sad, I feel alone, I feel like an orphan... When I realised the one person that was meant to love and care for me didn't, it hits me so very hard. Not only did she make me worthless, unloved and uncared for, for some reason - realising that all now - makes it so much harder. It's like all the pain she caused me over the years has just come at me full force now. It's not as if I didn't feel it at the time, but I thought I had to win her love (and it's not very often that I was able to do that). I thought working it all out might've been a 'freeing' feeling but it's heavy. Can anyone else share how they coped when the first realised their parent/s were narcissists. I am seeing a psychologist already and will be seeing them again soon, and they are well aware of this. But today I just felt like reaching out, as it's not easy. 

7 Replies 7

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

There will be challenges as you struggle to accept, forgive, and learn to love in the face of what you felt deprived for so many years.
As a child, we desperately seek the love of our parents; but as adults we hopefully come to understand the greater love is that we unconditionally and selflessly give.
The path to healing is thus within you to show compassion for your mum if you so choose.
It may not change things for her (probably not even aware of any malfeasance), but this is all about you and moving on without harbouring ill feeling or guilt.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi allmakessense


I feel for you so deeply as you struggle so much with such a revelation. While some revelations can be simply amazing others can definitely be mind altering and life changing. How to manage what's mind altering can be such an incredibly hard thing to manage without some form of relatable understanding and guidance.


Perhaps one of the most challenging things about a mind altering life changing revelation comes down to how much emotions begin to shift drastically. If you're a real feeler, someone who's sensitive to feeling emotion or energy in motion throughout the body

  • heartache from a lack of love from others can suddenly shift to a heart racing rage fueled type of self love. The amount of anger that comes from the emerging self loving words 'I deserved so much better than that' can be intense. Waking up to self love can be so challenging in some cases
  • The emotions that come with self questioning can shift too. On one hand 'What's wrong with me? Why am I so challenging? Why am I unlovable? Why can't I do anything right?'. On the other hand (all phrased differently), 'What am I not conscious of? Why have I not been given help throughout my challenges? How do I feel love? What have I ever done that was really so wrong?'. Very different energies in motion (emotions) that we can feel - the feelings that come with a confident and determined quest regarding self discovery/self understanding vs the feelings that come from being led to self doubt or self hatred

Plenty more examples, so I won't go on. There can be major emotional shifts with some new emotions that can be hard to identify at first. Between the 2 shifts, you could say there's a verge. So, you can be on the verge of letting go and moving forward toward greater self understanding. Another way to look at this is 'moving forward through giving myself release from what was not my fault (I am forgiving myself)'. The verge or 'the in between' can be such a tough place to be and make sense of.


While you wake up to the feel of a narcissist, I think about my 2 nieces who've faced a narcissistic father. One woke up to him (becoming more conscious) much earlier as she learned to 'read him' well. She learned that what felt depressing was actually him leading her to feel depressed. What felt enraging was actually him leading her to rage. What felt stressful was actually him leading her to stress. She came to rely on what feelings she was picking up from him, in order to tell her who he was (enraging, stressful and depressing at times). The other daughter simply felt heartbreak, anxiety and depression and always questioned herself. She suffered for years. She's fully conscious now and far more confident and self loving. While they've evolved, their father has not. He remains a highly triggering self serving narcissist.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello allmakessense,

Welcome, I am glad you decided to reach out and there will be a lot of us that can relate to some of the feelings you are experiencing. It's totally understandable that you are struggling with things at the moment, when we are children, we always take on the responsibility, thinking it is our fault and then push our feelings down and try to be better in order to be loved. So many are damaged in this way. Then, coming to the realisation as an adult, that it was not your fault means you then have to put everything that happened into a new perspective. My mother had some narcissistic tendencies (she has now passed), my sister is definitely a narcissist and has resented me since the day I was born, I no longer have anything to do with her because she is so toxic. I think the reason you are struggling so much right now is because you have only recently come to this realisation, all the feelings you did not have the ability to process as a child, are coming up so you can process them as an adult because you now have more tools in your tool box to deal with those feelings. It is painful and it will feel heavy for a while, but the more you work through those feelings, the lighter it will become. The best thing I can advise you to do at this point is to try to let the feelings come up, but instead of reliving the pain that they caused you, try to view them from the observers perspective, acknowledge what you went through, then find a way to show yourself the love that you needed but were not able to find with your mother. An example of this may be to imagine yourself holding that little person and comforting and supporting them to feel loved. It may be having a warm fragrant bubble bath or curling up under a blanket with a good book and a warm drink. How you decide to do this is not the point, the point is to begin to start loving yourself which is what will bring about healing in the long term. Baby steps and gentleness is the key.

Send you a big hug,


Community Member

Oh gosh, I really feel for you. That is a very confronting discovery. I am struggling with complex-PTSD from childhood trauma from my mother who was probably narcissistic too. It's a long journey of healing and good on you for taking the first step and seeking support from a psychologist. I would say - go gently. Be very kind and compassionate to yourself. And just take one step at a time. 

All the best,  

I am just wondering, do you think there are different kinds of narcissism and if so, can a narcissist be treated for their narcissism if they don’t want to be narcissistic?

Community Member

Hi allmakesense,


It’s a very difficult thing to feel emotions that actually differ to what people expect you to feel. However, trust me, everyone feels differently, and the heavy feeling in your heart, it’s valid. When you live with a narcissist all your life, you don’t know what to make of it. I mean it challenges all you come to know. Freeing yourself of those thoughts is what is easiest, and in order to do that, you have to let yourself accept and come to terms with the difficult stuff. All the confusion, betrayal, heartache and the hurtful childhood. You have grown as a proud and exceptional individual. Do not dwell on the past that gives you so much pain. With or without it your mother, you have so much love and greatness to offer to the world, don’t let what stopped your mother, also affect you. 

Here at the forums, we care and we want you to be your own individual and actively choose what you let have an effect on you. I cooed by understanding that, I am not my parent, and I can choose how to show myself and those around me, my love. 

I hope this gives you some clarity,



Community Member

Hi allmakessense, 


I have just found your post.


In brief, I am the 3rd child of 4 and always thought there was something wrong with my mother. My eldest sister was special as the first born however she and my mother never got along. I have an older brother, the Golden child as he’s mummy’s only boy. Then my younger sister came along (recently deceased) and was special for being the spoilt baby of the family.


I was never close to my mother but I started to despise her when I caught her having an affair with my Dad’s best friend. I was eighteen. She threatened to kill me if I told my dad. Called me a lying slut. Wow, what a mum. So I told the other man’s son, who happened to be a good friend of mine. Needless to say whatever transpired thereafter, my parents never socialised with that family again.


I was 43 when my father passed away. I read a wonderful eulogy for my Dad in front of 400 mourners. It was after the funeral that a close family friend approached my mother and I and she complimented me and told my mother that she was so fortunate to have 4 children. My mother’s response was, two children would have been better. What an awful thing to say. I asked my mother which 2 of her children were better? She didn’t reply.


Now, this poor lady, someone who I have known my entire life, lost her only son to cancer at age 23. My mother is not just a narcissist towards me but thoughtless and cruel.


I gave this lady a warm and long hug and thanked her for being such a wonderful friend. She hugged me so tight, I could feel her own pain but above all, I felt her genuine love.


My narcissistic mother does not deserve good people in her life. I haven’t had anything to do with her after that… it’s not about you. You are perfect just the way you are  🙏🏼