FAQ

Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

Finding freedom from NPD parent

Burdy
Community Member

Hello here goes..

I'm a 45 yr old woman who has struggled the majority of my life with a NPD mother. I really do not know where to begin to try and explain the last 45 years with her. She parentally alienated my biological father when I was 12, remarried and then alienated my step sister, she had my brother convinced I was at fault on so many occasions and at one point she convinced him to uninvite me to his wedding as it made HER uncomfortable if I was to be there, she with held my son from me when my husband and separated and then offered him money to go me for custody. She flirted with all my boyfriends and said to one that if we ever broke up she knew it would be my fault. She constantly put me down or laughed at my dreams and achievements in front of company. This is just a small sample and I could go on and on...

I have spent years questioning my own sanity, questioning if I am a narcissist and struggling with things I see in myself that take after her as I have always been told I'm so much like her.

We have had limited contact over the last few years but after a horrible family lunch on Saturday I really can not continue to do this, it makes me so anxious on the lead up to seeing her then leaves me so angry by the end as she spends the whole time just being nasty to and about everyone. When I pull her up for being nasty I then get a call later from my step father with the guilt trip of hurting the mothers feelings and everything they have ever done for me blah blah blah. I know I should permanently cease all contact. Problem is I still feel guilty to a point, I'm still afraid of hurting her feelings, I'm still dominated by her, I'm still afraid of her I guess. And I worry about my step dad, he is another victim and the only real parent figure I have had.

I feel stuck.

4 Replies 4

PamelaR
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Burdy and a very warm welcome to Beyond Blue

My heart goes out to you. So pleased you've found your way here to our community forums.

I'm not a health professional, though I've lived experience - my mother too had a narcissistic personality disorder which was never diagnosed.

Ouch, it hurts doesn't it? Doesn't surprise me at all that you feel stuck. So did I. I really find it difficult to say this, but the best thing for me is that she passed away 33 years ago. My life since then has been awesome.

Unfortunately though, the impact of her personality had it's worst affect on my brothers who she sexually abused. They are so traumatised by it and unable to deal with it because - mothers don't do things like that. It is rare, but it does happen and it happened in our family.

I have cPTSD from my childhood experiences though with good care from my doctor, psychologist and well managed medication I'm recovering and managing life like I never knew I could. Life is awesome - believe me. It's getting out of the reaches and clutches of an unhealthy relationship. Of course this is so difficult - family is suppose to be everything in our life. It also depends on the culture you come from. I'm extremely lucky to have been born in Australia, live in Australia and take most of my individuality from here. It becomes more difficult if this isn't your situation.

In many ways it depends on your resolve, your cultural background, and what 'you' want in life.

Previously I've said to people - just walk away. Have limited contact. Build your own life. This was possible for me, but understand this isn't always feasible for everyone.

Think about your options. Think about the damage the relationship with her continues to make. Ultimately what are your long term options? I'd leave her behind and move on with my life. But understand it's not always possible.

Hope others who have similar situations will pop in here for you and provide their perspective. Mine is pretty limited to my own experience.

Kind regards

PamelaR

Burdy
Community Member

Thank you so much for sharing your story with me PamelaR.

And yes I agree life as a whole is wonderful and I know I am very blessed, I have a wonderful supportive husband who tries his best to understand bless him and 3 gorgeous children whom I adore but I constantly worry that I may treat them like I was treated especially as I am not very maternal (we are a blended family, the eldest 21 is mine and the younger two 18 and 14 are my husbands children).

My mother was not as bad as yours. Mine was more subtle and potrayed to the world how wonderful a person and mother she is. She adopted special needs kids and everyone praised her. Meanwhile I was being belted across the face for trying to give her a kiss goodnight. I guess I also gave her ammo for being mother of year by being the black sheep, the 'troubled' one. Always had to be drama.

I grieve the things I have missed out on over the years like my brothers wedding, I grieve the relationships I never had the chance to have like my real dad and step sister, I grieve the strained relationships due to the mother gass lighting me to extended family, I grieve for my kids and the missed relationship opportunities they had, i grieve the lack of support, i grieve the person i could have become having the support to really be me and not what was expected of me, I grieve the pain she has caused over the years, the unnecessary angst.

But I do not grieve her and I feel bad for having so much anger towards her. Although she may have been trying to be better at our relationship the last few months I just can not get past all the years of hurt and different things that happened just keep playing over and over in my head.

The months and years that I had no contact at different times I do recall as being the calmest times of my life.

Sorry for the long post

Burdy
Community Member

An update and a question:

So as I have said I wish to cease all contact with my mother, my step father has called me and asked my to speak to my mother (this was anticipated as she always sends him in after an altercation or if she is upset about something I did or said). I have not called her and have no intentions of doing so. I have advised my brother and sister that I am no longer having contact with mother etc. This is all fairly easy as contact over the last few years has been pretty minimal anyway.

But, I have one block - facebook. I know I need to delete and/or block her on facebook but I am stuck. Its not like I can't bring myself to do it or anything, it's more a little voice in the back of my head telling me that she will find out and be really angry / hurt.

My intelligence tells me I'm a grown woman and it is my choice who I have in my life for my own health and well being and to stop being ridiculous.

My intelligence also tells me she is not going to contact me to confront me about it, she may send in step father but so what I can actually talk to him and I don't actually have to answer their calls.

But I still can't seem to do it, Why can't I get past the fear? This is not just about facebook, the little voice also worries what if she is on this forum and can see what I've said etc

Thanks, Burdy

Birdy77
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Dear Burdy,

Your intelligence is right. Listen to Intelligent Burdy.

If she gets angry and hurt, that is her problem, if she wanted you to be kind and loving and have her in your life, she should have treated you well and not treated you so appallingly your whole life.

If she sends step-father in to talk to you, you can deal with that, you've dealt with it before.

If she's on this forum, it doesn't matter.

If she finds out you've been talking about her, it doesn't matter.

It doesn't matter.

It doesn't matter.

Now is your time Burdy.

I'm no expert, but from my experience with NPD (an ex partner), I think it's that last remnant of control they have ... that last "energetic connection" that we haven't unplugged? I don't know but that's how I experienced it.

When we unplug completely, we cut off their narcissistic supply, and because you've been conditioned to always check-in energetically with how she will respond to some action of yours, that's a really, really hard habit to break.

No Contact is the only way forward in my opinion.

You can do this.

🌻birdy