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Narcissistic mother

Community Member
I’m a middle aged woman living in NSW. All my life I’ve clashed with my mother. Currently she’s not talking to me because I decided to marry my partner of 7 yrs without asking for her input. My partner and I just decided and then sent my parents an invite. For context, my partner is a female. She’s my first serious relationship with a woman and I adore her. My mother has tried to control me my whole life by shaming and embarrassing me by telling her friends about my virginity, lifting my t shirt g ThI show my dad my first bra and then calling me a horrible name when I sat cross legged. At 17 I applied to university to escape her. I was young and poor, so I started working as a prostitute. Finally I had money and could concentrate on my studies. II earned an Honours degree in education, then I earned a bachelor of nursing, bought a house and 2 new cars. I now work as a nurse and am quite senior now. Unfortunately when I was young my mother found out I was working by breaking into my locked wardrobe and all hell broke loose! She called my father and they sat outside my house blocking my drive way for days until I called the police so I could get out. We were estranged for 10 ys. We’ve never really addressed our strained relationship because I don’t want her to know too much about me because she constantly criticising me and bringing up the past but in a sneaky way. Like she has a little dig at me all the time. I recently invited her to my wedding reluctantly but now my brother tells me she’s been telling him all about me calling the police on her 30 years ago! And she’s stopped talking to me since the invite. I can’t bring myself to talk to her and I feel she’s narcissistic and don’t want her to know anything about me. I feel really sad that we have never been close. Sometimes I think she’s jealous and in competition with me. I have come around to accept that my mother doesn’t love me and is still trying to embarrass and control me by telling my brother about me working as a prostitute and calling the police so I could get out of my driveway. My brother told me that my mother feels hurt about that but in the past 30 years we’ve stayed at each other’s homes and gone overseas together. I don’t understand why she is trying to embarrass and control after all these years. Oh and she’s homophobic and racist. I’m nothing like her because my partner is female and Chinese. I’d just like some thoughts from others about my situation. Thanking you in advance. X
2 Replies 2

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome.

It is rare I get so moved by such a members post. I’m feeling quite sad for you as my own mother mirrors such behaviour.

Briefly- she ruined my first wedding in 1985 and threatened to ruin my second in 2011. With my sister she made false reports to authorities that she was mistreating her children and that her husband was making inappropriate actions to his step daughter which was confirmed as false- such hurt though.

I am 64yo and it was only in my 50’s that I became aware of what is likely to be her illness. As she was and still is in denial it is left to guessing. But a knowledgeable friend pointed me to a book called “walking on eggshells” by Dr Christine Lawson. Rather than buy the book you can google-

queen witch hermit waif

Now I’ve been estranged from mother (89yo) for 9 years and have no intention to see her , my sister the same. We have lost many relatives from her antics and lies.

Back to you. How can you move forward? Well if you allow her destructiveness to flourish or her disciples to represent her taunting then she wins. If you keep trying to resolve issues or convince her not to hurt you- she might conform but only for a short period... until you are the flavour of the month again.

You can be more gentle on yourself. Leave your mothers world of emotional webs to focus on your beautiful partner. You might, like me, adopt an older living female as your mum. You can offer other loved ones the choice to remain in your life and it will be their choice not to.

As for weddings my memories of my first wedding was only of the turmoil a few days beforehand, the angry looks in the family pics and the saddest part - her lies that convinced my great father I was evil. Had my time again she would never had attended.

A repeat was evolving in 2011. My daughter told me “grandma is going to ruin your wedding”. So I sort a court order to stop her attending. Initially I had fear she’d still show up and make a scene but relaxed once the wedding in the park commenced.

Triangulation is used very effectively mainly between my sister and I. Have a disagreement and she’d ring me sister demonising me and visa Versa . So for 53 years my sister and I were enemies. But for the last 9 years we’ve kept a pact- never to allow mother to divide us. It’s worked. We are close.

There comes a time when self protection must over rule your family “blood” obligations which your mother relies on as a lever to own you.

I’m here most evenings to chat more


Hi Tony,

Thankyou so much for responding to me. You’re words gave me some comfort in that I’m not alone. Sometimes I feel so wounded but I’m just shouting in the wind. I put on a professional smile and get on with things. As I get older I see my friends, who have daughters, and the gentle loving relationship between them. It’s so foreign to me and I’m fascinated. It’s beautiful and I long for that too but I know it’s never going to happen, especially since you tell me you’re Mum is 89 and still the same as she always was. I do a lot of self soothing and your response has crystallised my emotions. Your words have validated my feelings and I thank you for that.