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I think my mum is a narcissist

Community Member

I am 40 and have just realised whats wrong with my mother, I think she has NPD.

Last straw was when she picked a fight (wasn't really a fight) packed her bags while staying at my house and just left 3 days before xmas. Like I was not worth talking to sort things out, left me very easily. So I have decided no contact was the way to go. Realised a grieved for a mother a never really had but wanted so much, relaised she never did really love me and never will. Though do I still let her see my kids - her grandkids? Is it fair to not let her see her grandkids though what if she hurts them too as they grow older? they are 2 and 3

22 Replies 22

Community Member


     I am new here. I made my own post, but am trying to reply to others because we need each other's support.

     I also am the product of an NPD father and an enabler mother. However, I think my mom is an NPD victim from her biological family, but did not have the benefit of this diagnosis or any support. I am the oldest of 4 siblings.Being the oldest female, I was always told it was my responsibility to care for my younger siblings (but nobody ever said who was to take care of me). My younger brother is 1.5 yrs younger, but my little bro is 12 yrs and my sister is 14 yrs younger. I did what I could to help them all, but my sister seems to be taking on NPD symptoms.

     Anyway, to address your problem - I wanted you to see that the idea of "taking care" of family members - NPD style- is called parentification. We are forced, as children, to take care of/support/even raise members of the family - whether our NPD parents, our siblings, or both. This forces too many issues on us too early, and helps to lead to the co-dependency many of us suffer with. We take on too many responsibilities of others at too young of an age. This messes us up because we are forced to think and act many years ahead of ourselves, being forced to deny ourselves what we need at the proper time, all the while wishing someone would care enough for us to stop all this. So it is not wonder many of us are so confused. We ROUTINELY from childhood, have a triangulated way of dealing with life, which mirrors exactly what the NPD is trying to accomplish. With the NPD, they are great posers - acting like they are always the good guy, when people are watching - only to turn into demanding, raging monsters behind closed doors/or manipulative charlatans just to get their way, all the while thinking of what they (supposedly) suffered in childhood - so they feel justified in making and controlling the suffering of their family.If you know the word schaudenfreude - I believe NPD to be a form of that.

     I understand what you are saying about your sister.Is she old enough to get a part time job so both of you can afford a place? Can she go away to school (if college aged)? If she is very young, can you both see a counselor/social worker who may provide more specific ideas (I'd recommend one who is VERY FAMILIAR with NPD & the victims it causes).

      Please be there your sister so she doesn't develop the resentment, hurt, and trust issues of NPD, which does run in families. Good luck.

Community Member


    Congratulations at getting away from your NPD parents so young. What I am concerned about are the circumstances you find yourself in now. Why is your NPD father-in-law living with you (I understand the economics, but with NPD, that should not be enough of an excuse)? You worked so hard, and were so successful at breaking away, what made you say "ok" to inviting this insanity back into your life? I don't mean to sound harsh, but I really, really don't want to see an otherwise healthy, happy and successful young lady fall into this trap. 

     Is there anyway for your father-in-law to move out? I think that is the only way to resolve this. You could say that the economic burden is too much and he'd need to contribute and/or it is putting a strain on your relationship and you both need time together. If ALL else fails, what has worked for me sometimes is just to muster all the NPD traits you very likely have because of your parents, and when your father-in-law demands something - act JUST LIKE HIM, complain and say no! Often doing with while throwing some sort of a tantrum right in front of them usually gets them to stop. From our point of view, it's exhausting, but it seems at that point, the NPD sub-consciously recognizes some trait of themselves in you, and actually respects it for a short while.

Good luck.

Community Member

I'm about to turn 40 and I've come to a realisation that I will never have a good relationship with my mother because I believe she has NPD.  It's such a relief for me to find this forum as I no longer feel I'm the only one that is going through this.   

For as long as I can remember my mother has been nothing but disparaging towards me, belittling me at every opportunity (almost always in front of other people) and talks badly of me to other people especially my relatives.  She makes herself out to be the victim and tells me that I'm a bad person even though out of all my interactions with other people, SHE is the only person that thinks I'm a horrible human being.  It pains me that I have to get this treatment from my own mother, a person who is supposed to love me unconditionally.  Over the years, I lived in hope thinking that she would change but after another barrage of ridicule from her last week made me realise that she would never change and I would have to let go of that vision of her changing into a nurturing, supportive, loving mother.  

I've chosen to minimise my contact with her to preserve my psyche and mental well being.  I know that she will never acknowledge she has NPD because she is narcissistic and believes she is above everybody else.  I can only take care of myself and heal from decades of psychological and emotional abuse from her.