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Anxiety and depression with narcissist parents

JZee
Community Member

Hi all,

I have a history of anxiety and depression (now controlled well by medication), and have known for some time this runs in my family. But only recently I have shockingly realized that a lot of my family dysfunction is actually due to both my parents being a narcissist. For a long time I ignored it and played along (as those with narcissist parents know full well that it is easier to keep the peace than oppose them and suffer the consequences). As it happens, I was the golden child and my brother the scapegoat, so I naturally believed he was just crazy and a difficult child and only now that we are adults, I have realized the scary truth. It all really started with me when I got engaged and my mother became scared/jealous that my affections were now with another. I have always felt that my closeness with her was forced, like it was my job as her daughter to allow her complete access to my thoughts and feelings and that I must love her because that's what good children do. Anyway, it started slowly with her planting seeds of doubt about us (me and fiancé) not being compatible, not sharing the same values and that this would be trouble. We moved out together and she jibed, "good luck with that one, you'll need it". When looking for wedding dresses, she again expressed doubt and that his behaviors raised red flags (she would never specify what), insinuating that he was easily angered and that leads to "something else". Well we got married and she put on a good show being a good host and donating lots of money to our wedding. But it didn't stop. She kept suggesting that something wasn't right, that i'd changed, that I didn't "shine" anymore, that he was over protective and possessive, more red flags etc. we had a child. She insisted on being at the birth, like it was her right. She wants to spend time with me alone all the time. We confronted her about her behavior and she denied everything, insinuated (never directly) that hubby was controlling and abusing me and that I was blind to it (now I know this is gas lighting), then became super nice and very fake to us. Now we get wind that she is planning an intervention with the whole family ganged up, at an occasion where I will be alone without hubby. I now know she is mentally ill but the family is clearly in her clutches and I am scared of breaking down because of peer pressure, and losing my whole family because they just don't see it. And I also need to protect my own child now. Help!!!!

6 Replies 6

pipsy
Community Member

Hi JZee. You are in a difficult situation, where you've realised mum has narc tendencies, but feel everyone else will disagree. It sounds like your mum fits the queen personality. It's pointless trying to teach the unreachable, accept that. What is the intervention for? Is she trying to split you and hubby? If that is the case, ignore her totally, you may have to ignore your family as well. I'd be inclined to 'stand your ground' and politely decline the request (if you can call it a request). Tell whoever contacts you that you had already made other plans for the same night/day as this intervention. No-one but you and hubby need to know anything else. You need to try to avoid confrontation. Keep your distance unless hubby is there to support you. Narc's are very strong-minded people who have to be in total control 24/7. It sounds as though you and hubby have a rock-solid relationship and mum can't handle it. Your mum would never admit to her personality disorder, because quite simply, she can't 'see' herself. She sees herself as a great mother, who loves her family and is trying to keep them together. It's possible your brother realised early in the piece that she has mental health problems, whether he would've realised her narc personality is difficult to say. My ex MIL is the 'waif' she made life so difficult for me, I kept my distance. My ex still sees her regularly, we split up through her behaviour. I would just make an excuse about why you can't visit your mum so that you avoid getting into arguments/slanging matches with her. Where's your dad in all this, does he realise or is he so used to her nature, he goes along for peace? Spouses usually either walk away, just keep the peace. Look after yourself, hubby and your baby.

Lynda.

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

This topic is fast becoming a favourite of pipsy and mine as we also had older narcs in our lives.

Google. "Witch queen hermit waif"

Its extracts of Dr Lawson's book "walking on eggshells"

Yes like me you'll lose family members as she will spin her web and convince others how evil you be.

Remember that eventually as you become less of her daily headline she will focus on others. Then they will contact you.

My mother ruined my first wedding....yes jealousy.

Half my family has taken her side. She is so convincing.

She wanted to ruin my second wedding. I got an intervention order to keep her away. She was then 79yo, me 54. The magistrate said "but she is an old lady". Clearly he and many others don't know the power such people can do psychologically to their victims.

That was 6 years ago. My sister and I have never been so happy and close. Our mother lost...as all tyrants do in the end.

Tony WK

JZee
Community Member
Thankyou both for your replies! I ended up bailing on the next family get together as my head was just too confused/anxious at the mere word of "intervention". I was going to prepare some speech cards to let everyone know how I felt about the whole situation and hoping maybe logic and reasoning would prevail, except then I realized it really wouldn't matter what I said anyway. In the end it appeared everyone had a nice, normal time together without me, and said they missed me, which makes me (yet again) think I am just imagining things... Especially as I am already prone to be anxious! Have made some steps into getting professional help and work things out. with dad, I don't know if he is simply an enabler or just as bad... Sorry to hear about your own experiences, it really hurts huh 😞 Losing family is just horrible, so much collateral damage. I'm very glad to hear there can be happiness at the end. I am still in a state of alternating disbelief and clarity as I never saw my parents this way growing up. Thankyou for your input, reassuring to know others have been here!

pipsy
Community Member

Hi JZee. With regards to being told everyone had a 'nice, normal' time without you. This could be your mum using others to make you feel guilty. Narc's, as Tony and I both said will use any trick in the book to basically get what they want. To tell you, you were missed is another way making you feel as though you're imagining things. If you had gone, it's possible everything might have been okay, but to tell you, it was an intervention makes me wonder. Usually a family get together is just that - a get together. Intervention puts it under a different clarification. Your mum has tried everything to drive a wedge between you and hubby, to make a point of holding this 'intervention' knowing hubby wasn't going to be there, makes me suspect she's still trying to cause problems. With your dad, I'd be inclined to tread carefully there, too. He's her husband, she's his first loyalty. If you do want to clear up this intervention whatever it is, perhaps you and hubby could talk to mum and dad alone. If you just want to leave it, that's your call. Personally, I'd be inclined to leave it.

Lynda

JZee
Community Member

So I googled queen witch hermit waif... Wow what an eye opener. So many more "yes" moments especially with switching between the different roles! I've spent the last week searching through memories and jotting down my thoughts and feelings about so many things that didn't fit before. Some traits are definitely in me as well, it explains so much about why past relationships ended the way they did. It was very therapeutic, however also scary, sad, angry, disappointing, furious, guilty, scared again... More guilt about how I had behaved towards others knowing how painful it could be. At times I believe that mum actually knows there is something not right and tries to fix things, only to revert back to old habits - only each time it gets meaner and more intense. It's like the punishment gets more covert and broader in audience. My brain has been super busy re-writing history the way it actually was instead of what I chose to see, the results make me so mad and hurt i want to disappear from them completely. But sometimes I do genuinely feel sorry for her. I just don't know if I want to trust her anymore or if she is even capable of change. Any improvement in behavior seems more like a change in tactics. I know the change (if any) will not be instant, but at this point neither hubby or I have the energy to make an effort unfortunately.

pipsy
Community Member

Hi JZee. Reading the various traits of narc's can be scary. As you say, you see some of 'you' there too. Hardly surprising having been raised by a narc mother/father. Knowing that mum sort of may know she has these traits is positive. Being able to correct them is very difficult without help from a person trained to deal with the personality difficulty. Perhaps she could be a bit scared to ask for help because of the not knowing what or how to ask. It's good you have the ability and knowledge to accept she is unable to change, for now. Also commendable you can forgive her knowing what you now know. I would suggest you take some time, now to digest everything you've learned. Maybe later once you've looked at your options, you can decide with a clearer head, so to speak, whether to approach and try to make amends or simply accept and leave. Her age would have to be looked at too. Once people reach a certain age, they sometimes are unwilling to try to change. They seem to think as they get older, that 'that's acceptable because they're at that age'.

Lynda