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Is my Mum a narcissist?!
I’m 25 have lived out of home for a long while. My partner and I bought a house together and we have finally saved enough to do some renovations. While these are happening, we’ve moved back to my parents house and my mental health has nose dived. Solely because of the way my Mum behaves and treats me.
She seems like the nicest person to everyone, but when it’s just me and her she’s so mean. If we have an argument she always makes big, global statements about me as a person, “you’re such an aggressive person”, “you’ve always been so ungrateful”, “I can never talk to you about anything”, “everything with you turns into a row”, “there’s something seriously wrong with you”. I asked her to please not always say things about my character and she said that it’s just a turn of phrase and I need to learn how the English language is used.
I’ll also ask her if she can please help out with something, and she will make such a fuss and make it seem like it’s going to absolutely ruin her day. So, of course, I say not to worry about it. Then my partner came home from work to help me and she says to him, “oh no, she didn’t make you come home from work?! I could have helped her!”
She will also say something and then straight up deny she said it 2 minutes afterwards. As if she expects me to just forget what I heard?! She does this constantly. She’ll say, “I never said that!” And then say to my Dad (who is terrified of her) “Did I say that??” And he just shakes his head.
My entire life I have thought I was defective, too aggressive and a difficult person to deal with. Because that’s what my Mum has always told me. But my partner yesterday said to me that it’s clear that I’m a reasonable and empathetic person and the problem isn’t me, it’s my Mum.
Anyway, this is just to vent and ask if anyone has advice on how to deal with a family member like this? I’m so exhausted, she just sucks all my energy, but we have to live here for another month... I love her because she’s my Mum but she is really taking a toll on my mental health. It’s just constant.
"I asked her to please not always say things about my character and she said that it’s just a turn of phrase and I need to learn how the English language is used."
No that is not how English is used. You can critisise behaviour (slamming a door, silent treatment, sulking, lying, shouting, etc.) but not the character. Best is to learn to ignore it as it says more about the person that uses it it. It is your mothers unhappyness.
If she is narcissitic (very broad expression and overused) or not only a doctor can diagnose that. But it seems she has traits and your relationship seems not very good. Already a reason to distance yourself.
I agree with all that Duesentrieb said.
To assist you through this issue with your mum I'd suggest firstly that you not stay with your mother at all as this can be a trap and very stressful and she knows you are relying on her accommodation.
As aid "Narcissist" is overused however there is several other traits people can have that can imitate the symptoms. I'm not saying your mother has severe BPD as we cannot diagnose, but by googling the following 4 words you'll get to realise the extent that some people (more females than males) extend their toxicity similar to what you've described.
Queen witch hermit waif
A good example is my own mother that I've been estranged from for 9 years (along with my sister). For 54 years I tolerated her, I was a good son and always looked after her especially following my fathers death in 1992. Yet, I could never be the good son, nor could my sister be the good daughter.
As you'll notice once you google that, the "queen" has ownership over you. You shouldnt allow yourself to be alone with the queen and her demeanor changes. The witch will hunt you down if you cross her in a manner- "how dare you go against me, I'm your mother". And so on. This doesnt mean they are narcissists, it means in the case of BPD they need professional medical help and many BPD people get that help and live among us quite ok. The main issue with this particular illness is- they are usually in denial and if they were to seek help often they dont last long continuing it- they claim its all everyone elses fault and problem....now my mother refused such help which left us with two options- stay in her life and tolerate it from a distance or break free.
Tolerating someone with such mean spirit isnt easy as they often have a mentality of "all or nothing". So, keeping your distance is near impossible. Break free has its consequences. My sister and I lost half our family. Some have returned, others never will, cousins, aunties and uncles. This is because we have been demonised and along with lies about us and the true facts of the break up, we cannot convince them those things never happened. With narcissism a couple of these people are called "golden children". In our case one granddaughter and one cousin. In fact our mother called them "my favourites". How hurtful. This was all for control.
If your life is adversely effected that much whereby you cannot function normally you can decide for yourself. But remember- self survival important
‘Wow,what your Mums says is horrible and you don’t deserve to be treated like that ever.
It is a privilege to be a Mum.
You sound like you are doing really well in life and a healthy mum would be supportive of such a positive young couple.
Its interesting how you survived living with her your childhood and then are thriving when you got away from her.
‘Now her behaviour is so much more noticeable.
Thank God,you have a supportive partner.
You need it .
Please learn and don’t ever stay with her again.
Your mother sounds like a narcissist for sure.
Best strategy I have found is only engage when you are in a very positive space and at public places like restaurants And parks where you can leave.
Minimise and manage,it’s important you have healthy boundaries in place.
Especially important before you have your own children.
Good Luck and listen to your instincts,you are right.