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Toxic/narcistic mum/parents?

Community Member
Hello there,

I'm completely new here and I am not really sure what I am asking for.
I moved to Australia from Europe in 2005. I have two children myself (6 and 9) and since becoming a mother myself I have become even more aware of the strange/disconnected relationship I have with my parents which by the way was already strange before I moved overseas. If I am honest their behaviour was a contributing factor in starting a new life here. I just don't feel loved and supported by my parents. I will only mention a few of the most triggering and/or recent events. There is so much more from my childhood and teenage years.
Firstly, whatever I do isn't good enough. My successes and life events are not recognised the slightest. They are doing the same with our kids. If they get a reward at school or did well at a sports event and I tell my mum about it she will just keep talking about her life. Secondly, especially my mum has always been jealous of the job I have, the money I earn etc. Thirdly, my mum is super sensitive and constantly wants to be praised and validated. She also does not like my husband.
We booked our flights for this year and are planning to visit from mid June to end of July. When we told them they didn't show any joy. We haven't seen each other in 3!!! years due to border closures. All my dad said was that they will need to find some jobs around the house for my husband to do for them while we are there!!!!!!! Last Sunday they told us that my dad's rehab provider (the country they live in provides rehab in a clinical setting away from home for people with certain conditions every two years or so) sent them the paper work for this year's rehab which could very well fall into the time when we are there. He also said that he doesn't really want to go in winter after we asked if he can mention our visit to the rehab provider so they can perhaps work around these dates.
If I want to be honest, I'm already dreading going there because there is absolutely zero support from them.
How do I go from here? Are they toxic/narcisistic? Or am I too sensitive or expecting too much from my parents. I know they are bitter about us moving half way around the world but things were already strained before.
Many thanks for reading.


4 Replies 4

Community Member

Hey Annett76

I’m no expert, but the relationship I have with my parents sounds very different to yours. I mean there has been times when I felt misunderstood and talking with them was difficult. But they have never not wanted to see me even when I was sick and they keep showing up and telling me they care about me when things get hard.

I had a friend in high school that did a couple things that you mentioned your parents did, such as talking about themselves when you try to tell them something, appearing jealous and not seeming to care that much about me. She had an Aspergers diagnoses. After high school I’m no longer in touch with her. I was wondering if perhaps that was familiar. She would also not gauge my facial expression such as when I was annoyed, anxious or sad. It’s just a thought. But it should be noted that ASD, and Aspergers aren’t something that can be changed. Help can be provided if they are struggling with something but they are born with differences.

That must’ve been hard growing up and rather confusing. But what your parents say or don’t say isn’t a measurement of what your worth or if your doing well because at the end of the day you are your own person with your own family.

Hoping that you feel supported by other people because that is so important. Is your husband there for you with this. Do you share your worry’s and frustration with someone?

Growing up your parents are everything and it must be so hard being in your situation.

This may be of no help and I’m just a person who has struggles as well.

best wishes

Community Member

From what I read, I would shorten my stay at their place if that's what you planned. I would not do that for 6 weeks. It should be a holiday, you guys should recover and have fun. Maybe rent something, AirB&B, etc. be as independent as possible. So if things do not go your way, you can change your plans quite quickly.

All the best in Europe and please think about yourselves first.

Good luck

Learn to Fly
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Annett76,

Welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing.

I am sorry to hear about your situation with parents. It seems like this has been troubling you a fair bit.
I agree with Duesentrieb. This is suppose to be your holiday and a joyful time for your family (you, your husband and your kids). If you don’t feel encouraged by your parents, organise things for your family without them. Always express the willingness to see them and spend some time with them but do everything so you guys have good time and don’t rely on your parents. It is obviously they would make you very happy if their reactions were different and I really don’t think you are expecting too much.
Take care there.

Hi there,

We are definitely not staying with them. If I want to be honest they probably wouldn‘t want us basically 24/7. We will stay in my husbands house and have to get it ready for the rental market (his mother who lived there sadly had to go into a nursing home). So, next time we will go for a visit we will have to get an AirBNB. All my parents said was that if we rent it out we will have nowhere to stay in the future. They were basically not even offering that we could stay in their (rather large) home (even for a little bit). They even refused to store any of our things in their attic. I am talking small things not furniture. We are already planning trips to Disneyland etc. I just wish things would be different with them.

Thank you for your kind words.