My experience with an NPD mother...first post

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VividImagination

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My experience with an NPD mother...first post
« on: March 13, 2013, 08:51:13 PM »
    So glad to have found this forum!  My siblings and I began researching Narcissistic Personality Disorder not long after DH and I broke off all contact with my mom.  Sibling consensus (minus the golden child/enabler) is that she is definitely NPD and definitely loony.  Of five children, two have zero contact, two have limited contact, and one is her live-in enabler.  Even our father "ran away from home" in the middle of the night at age 72 to escape their abuse.  He now refuses to even come to our part of the state for fear of being seen/followed/contacted. 

    Long story short:  I was the family scapegoat for 38 years until I put a stop to it nearly a year ago.  My mother was raised in a very dysfunctional home by a mother and grandmother who seem to have had PDs themselves.  All my siblings and I suffered horrible emotional abuse (except the middle golden child), and I survived severe physical abuse.  I was told on a regular basis by my mother how much she hated me and how she wished I'd never been born...my siblings still talk about the abuse I went through to this day.  To be honest, the emotional abuse was the most crippling.  My older sister and I were convinced that we were completely worthless and unable to function as human beings - even though we were college graduates, we were absolutely not capable of holding a job or living on our own.  In hindsight, this was our mother's desperate attempt to keep us at home and dependent.  All of us, with the exception of the golden child, managed to overcome this brainwashing and become successful adults, but the abuse still continued.  After getting married, my mother became convinced that I was too "unhealthy" to have children (no medical basis for this WHATSOEVER), and had a hysterical tantrum when I announced that I was pregnant.  She screamed that she hoped I lost the baby - what a loving grandma! - and when I did miscarry, she smiled and said "See?  God knew you shouldn't have children."  Sick &%*$#.
   
   She is classic NPD with the pathological lying, making herself to be much more than she actually was, and gaslighting.  My username comes from her standard comeback whenever confronted with her faults or the past, "Oh you have SUCH a vivid imagination!"  My siblings and I kept silent for years, rarely challenging her concept of "reality".  This woman got an MBA, became a CPA, went through three years of medical school, worked at the Pentagon, and at Vogue in New York as a designer all before her oldest was born when she was 21.  Phenomenal, huh?  When confronted with the cold, hard facts that it is IMPOSSIBLE to accomplish all that within a three year timespan (let's not EVEN discuss what happened when she was asked to provide proof - diplomas, certifications, etc), she would fly into a rage and come up with a truckload of whatever garbage she could dig up on the confronter.  Any sin committed such as dating or marrying someone mother didn't hand select, moving, attending college, taking employment, etc, would result in the "sinner" being shunned and the rest of the family ordered not to have any contact with the shunned.  She called the police and reported to them that my sister's fiance was a drug dealer and that he was dealing drugs out of her apartment.  Her apartment and car were ransacked by police, and she nearly lost her government security clearance as a result.  After I went NC, she actually called a local mental health facility, told them that she was me and that I was going to hurt either myself or my children, and asked if they could send someone out to my address to get me!!  I'm still amazed that the police never showed up at my house.  Imagine my surprise when two days later I received a call that a bed was available for me, and could they send transport out to pick me up?  After denying it several times to my older sister, she finally slipped and told her that since DH worked an hour away, the mental health facility would have had to call her or the golden child out to pick my kids up while I was Baker Acted.  Nice...but that's the type of punishments dear old Mom metes out.
   
   Going NC was one of the best decisions I ever made.  Our stress level has gone to almost zero.  No more calls at midnight, demanding that I get my kindergartner out of bed on a school night to bring him over for a visit and so I could be scolded for my latest transgression.  No more having to spend ruined holidays slaving to cook meals for dozens of people that never showed up (as if anyone would ever be stupid enough to go to her house willingly!), cleaning for hours and putting up with mortifyingly embarrasing behavior or rages.  No more showing up at my door at 11PM with Happy Meals (are you seeing a trend?) and crying because I refuse to get the baby and the kindergartner up to feed them garbage.   No more sitting mortified as she tells one of her whopping, outrageous lies, then slides her gaze over at me to check my reaction...because she KNOWS I know that she's lying!  To tell a blatant lie in front of someone who knows the truth...that is true mental illness.

   Why am I here?  For support, for validation...but mostly because I grieve.  I grieve for the girl who suffered horrible physical abuse until she got big enough to frighten the bully.  I grieve for the years I lost as a young adult because I was so frozen by the mental chains I was imprisoned by.  I grieve for my sister, who is growing more like my mother each day and merrily enables her sick behavior.  I grieve for my husband, who endured seven years of this woman's emotional abuse and near slavery to her incessant demands.  I grieve for my children, who will never know a "normal" grandmother...or any grandmother at all.  I grieve because she is elderly, in poor health, and there is a very good chance that she will pass without a word being spoken between us.  The last haunts me most of all, but I did what I did for the health and safety of our family...her behavior does not allow us to safely have contact with her.  I can only control myself...her decisions and perceptions of bad guy/victim are her responsibility.

   Maybe one day I will grieve for her, and the misery her very existence must be.  To have everyone that you have ever loved run and hide from you, save one child who is only waiting for you to die so that she can swoop in and claim whatever you have left...how very, very sad.   I'm not there yet...maybe one day I will be.  Until then, I'm just very, very grateful for a loving, supportive, and patient husband and the courage I finally found to break the cycle.  It was really my two babies...the idea of their minds and  lives being poisoned even the slightest bit was all the motivation I needed to hit the road and say  :wave: forever.
There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you cannot accept it, change it. I f you cannot change it, leave it.

Sometimes you're damned if you don't and damned if you do.. so damn well do what's best for you!

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kayjewel

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Re: My experience with an NPD mother...first post
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2013, 10:12:48 PM »
Hi VividImagination,

(Hmm, I recall my mother using that expression about me too, along with that other famous discount, "you're too sensitive."  :tongue2:)

I feel your grief. I'm there, too. I can relate to so much in your post. I grieve for the loss of what my life could have been. I grieve for what the child who I was went through. I grieve the pain that the PD/mentally ill people in my life have experienced, and the pain they have caused for other people. I know that kind of grieving.

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To have everyone that you have ever loved run and hide from you

This was the end result for my personality-disordered, paranoid schizophrenic mother, as well. She wore us all out with her chaos and emotional abuse; even my gentle, long-suffering, enabler father. We made sure she was well taken care of in her final years -- we had her involuntarily committed, and she spent the last five years of her life in the locked dementia unit of a very nice (and expensive) assisted care facility. There were people who judged us negatively because we were not hovering over her and visiting her constantly. But she wore us out.

I have compassion for my mother, but no guilt. There's no shame in saying, "enough, no more." In fact, I think it may be one of the noblest things we can do, to honor ourselves and our own integrity.
There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.
-- C. G. Jung

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Marilyn

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Re: My experience with an NPD mother...first post
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2013, 12:52:42 AM »
God bless your vivid imagination because the voice of reality is freedom for you and your family. My heart and prayers go out to you. You are a hero for breaking free from your NPD Mom and building a life for yourself. I have a Borderline Mom and have broken free from her since I turned 21, went to live in Paris for a year (I call that really getting away) and became a Christian. After being married for 14 years, have now almost no contact due to stress it puts on my marraige and young son.  But I must say as I go threw the stages of life I grieve a lot what never was and never will be. I feel like other people have something I never will have-a secure loving childhood and family of origin full of good memories they can draw from, forever. I am haunted by feelings of fear/rejection and isolation. I can relate to sadness as well for her grandchildren without a grandmother. I see the way she neglects them and how it must have been the same for me.  How do you feel on Mothers Day?

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VividImagination

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Re: My experience with an NPD mother...first post
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2013, 07:07:05 PM »
I haven't experienced Mother's Day yet, as we went NC in June of last year.  Thanksgiving and Christmas were blissfully peaceful and drama free...the first I remember.  Her birthday passed without incident.  Haven't thought of Mother's Day this year - should be interesting since we live 15 minutes apart and attend the same church.  :doh:  I guess I will focus on my own motherhood and honor the women who have been more like mothers to me than my own has.
There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you cannot accept it, change it. I f you cannot change it, leave it.

Sometimes you're damned if you don't and damned if you do.. so damn well do what's best for you!

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Melissa7

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Re: My experience with an NPD mother...first post
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2013, 10:01:29 AM »
Mothers Day. Aren't those Hallmark Cards a real eye opener? Yep me too. Too sensitive. Lol Because it could never be that you're an insensitive jerk, could it? Here's my latest...


So I've been no contact with my NPD mother for about a year and a half. It's been fabulous and I am grateful for the time that I've gotten to know myself and enjoy my husband for what I think he is and not the slurs of what or who she thinks my husband is. She belittled him and tried to get me to move into her house while I was married! Luckily I knew that you don't do that in a marriage! But the sickest thing I'm ashamed to admit is I actually was slightly tempted!!! Yes that's how infantile I was emotionally. Petrified to not be cared for if something happened to my spouse. He was laid off etc. we had financial issues but that's what marriage is about- DUH!

Anyways I've grown a lot and come somewhat understand this whole NPD thing. So here's the latest-
My dad calls, and craftily brings up my mother. He starts talking about an unrelated "scenario" a story if you will. Then tries to compare my NPD mother and I. Then persists on telling me how " lost" I am for not honoring her as the bible says (yes, a real mind screw). When I explain what works and doesn't work in my life such as being sick from abuse, being confused from being slandered behind my back right after spending time with "her" and the ill treatment and disrespect she gives my husband , not to mention eberyone around her including him, and me- he tells me I'm being judgmental! I nearly lost it.
I could not believe after all the work I had done this would even incite a response from me. But I teeter on learning how to say what I want and not getting sucked into manipulative unhealthy banter.
I know I shouldn't be talking to him now. I knew it before, but I had a weak spot for him. I love him. But you know what? I realize that he's sick! Really sick! I'm leaving out a lot of details but everyone here has explained my scenario in one form or another and I just wanted to share a bit.
My dad was severely verbally abused by her and he has such low self esteem. But I just can't deal with a grown man that doesn't want to face the truth. He is truly in a trance from her and I have no idea why he doesn't break free. It's as if he thinks he can't make it without her- its very sad. He is half the man he could be. But it's not my problem anymore. He forgets my birthday, never barely ever calls and when he does its only about her. He thinks I'm lost and I think he's nuts. I have to end my relationship with my family. I'm so much happier when I don't talk to them. It looks like its no contact for him. Too bad. He just can't have a relationship with me without calling me names for decisions I know are the right ones... I have to continue on this amazing journey. I must. I've come too far... Lord help me...

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Fran

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Re: My experience with an NPD mother...first post
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2013, 02:35:13 PM »
It's amazing how often pd parents use "you're too sensitive." That was my mother's mantra, even when my stepfather finally escalated to physical abuse and punched me. Someday I'm going to make a Too-Sensitive Club I think.  :doh:

VividImagination, your story was a painful one to read and I'm sorry that you've had to endure so much of your mother's NPD. That's great that you've broken away and have the chance to heal and grieve the mother you didn't have. I had to do the same thing with my mother and it's a hard, but rewarding road to be on. My mother is also alone at this point, she alienates friendships and most of our family is dead or estranged. She vilified them mercilessly anyway.  :-\

You'll find a lot of people here can relate to your experience, this board is a really good source of support. Welcome!

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Marilyn

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Re: My experience with an NPD mother...first post
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2013, 03:47:05 PM »
I agree its important to realize that you have to give up on trying to have a better past and focus on your family, not the one you were a part of with the BP mother. My Dad was very well known in his field and he was the subject several books.  I have learned from one of the authors that knew him she caused him so much stress and angst. It make me so sad to think about it because my Dad was gem! He has passed on. My Mom also railed against my sister's husband everyday for 5 years until they separated. She was full of venom for him. It was awful.I am so glad to find here daughters of BP moms.

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VividImagination

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Re: My experience with an NPD mother...first post
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2013, 03:10:40 PM »
Thanks so much for the kind words and welcome.  After nearly a year now of NC, I am still floored that she has the power to cause me pain.  It's been a rough few days (some tears, which is rare for me) and I've had to face some painful truths.  My mother has mostly destroyed the relationships between my siblings and I, and what is left is full of fear and mistrust.  I've come to the conclusion that it is impossible to maintain a "partial contact" relationship with an NPD person.  My older sister does that and is often grilled for information about my brother and I (both NC) by our mother.  My siblings don't even know where I work, just that I am in the education field - that is how distrustful I have become, since any info leaked to our mother can and will come back to bite me in the butt.  I actually have to keep my workplace a secret to keep dear old mother from calling and trying to have me fired.

As I've mentioned in a previous post, I have the misfortune of attending the same church with my mother and her enabler, my younger sister.  I've attended this church since birth and will not allow her to control my life by forcing me to switch churches.  Period.  This does, however, give her a tool with which to "punish me".  Her favorite game is to corner someone who knows me and tell them anything and everything she can to reduce me to the level of slime.  Although most people know her and try to wriggle away (think of a worm on a hook!) some people just nod and entertain her.  Problem is, they are so appalled by the filth she spews that they come running to my husband and I with it.

"Oh my gosh!!  You have a restraining order against your mom and your sister??"  Umm...not that I'm aware of.

"Your mom just told me that you're schizophrenic and you can't hold a job.  Seriously?  What did you do to piss her off that she would say that?"  Stopped taking her abuse.  Schizophrenic?  That's a new one.

"Your mom said that your sons press up against the glass doors at church and cry out, "Grandma! Grandma!" when they see her go past.  Your kids don't even remember her, and they've never called her 'Grandma'.  She cried like she believed her own lie.  What the heck???"  Yeah.  I'm as lost as you are.

"Your mom said that you called the police and reported your sister as a drug dealer and nearly made her lose her job.  Funny, but I remember your mom bragging to everyone that she was the one who called when it happened.  She's crazy."  Duh.  Please stop talking.  Anytime.  Really.

"You're having cosmetic surgery?  What kind?  Your mom was really upset...she said you're just being selfish and your children are going to suffer."  Blank look.  What?????

Short of shutting people down the second they mention her name, I don't know what to do.  I think she's using this as a jolly little weapon...say something completely insane, watch the bomb drop and wait for everyone to run to me and tell me every filthy little detail.  What's worse...knowing that she's actively trying to find out where I work, or is it better not to know that she's calling me schizophrenic??  I mean, come on.  It's beyond humiliating....some people know me (and her) well enough to know that it's obvious  lies, but there are others who have nothing to go on but what she tells them.  And she LOVES to tell people garbage...I mean ANYONE she can corner for more than thirty seconds.

Every single one of those comments above were "reported" to my husband and I yesterday at church.  I laughed it off at first, then got very angry, then got very sad.  I called my older sister, who has been in my shoes before, but she blew me off and didn't want to talk about it.  My younger brother who is NC with our mom didn't even respond to my texts...he is so happy to be away from our mother with his wife and her family that he doesn't want any reminders of our mother's insanity.  I realized for the first time in my life that, other than my husband, I was totally and completely alone.  I can never, ever have any type of relationship with my mother.  Ever. The two siblings I still have some relationship with (that mother hasn't destroyed through lies and manipulation) just want to hide from the pain and be thankful that they aren't the current target.  It was a terrifying experience...I've never felt such despair in my life as I did in that moment.  My husband knows the situation and has often borne the brunt of my mother's abuse, but he will never understand the feeling that his own mother cannot and does not love him.  He cannot conceive what it's like for his own parent to say hurtful and vicious things about him constantly with glee on her face, to know that she relishes the pain she causes and seeks to do more.  She is an emotional sadist. 

I have never wished harm on another person in my life.  I used to feel guilt over going NC, but I feel none now.  My older sister commented once that our lives will be so much better once our mother is dead, and she is right.  I used to feel guilty over thinking that, but now I don't.  She has destroyed the last drop of love I have for her to the point I can imagine no pain when she passes, only relief.  I actually feel guilty that I don't feel guilty, which is screwed up, but hey...nothing surprises me anymore.

If you've made it this far...thanks.  I have to vent a few times a year to people who might understand.  The people in my world that come close to understanding are so shell-shocked themselves that they can't talk about it.  Knowing that there are others out there that know where I'm coming from is a tremendous relief. 
There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you cannot accept it, change it. I f you cannot change it, leave it.

Sometimes you're damned if you don't and damned if you do.. so damn well do what's best for you!

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VividImagination

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Re: My experience with an NPD mother...first post
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2013, 03:22:00 PM »
So I've been no contact with my NPD mother for about a year and a half. It's been fabulous and I am grateful for the time that I've gotten to know myself and enjoy my husband for what I think he is and not the slurs of what or who she thinks my husband is. She belittled him and tried to get me to move into her house while I was married! Luckily I knew that you don't do that in a marriage! But the sickest thing I'm ashamed to admit is I actually was slightly tempted!!! Yes that's how infantile I was emotionally. Petrified to not be cared for if something happened to my spouse. He was laid off etc. we had financial issues but that's what marriage is about- DUH!


Wow...I SOOO understand this.  My mother was thrilled that I got married, adored my husband, and put on a very expensive wedding for us.  Within a month, she was actively trying to break us up.  She constantly encouraged me to move back home (without my husband, obviously), and when I pointed out that we blissfully happy, she got angry.  Sheesh.  I guess that's why they call it insanity...cause it's just freaking insane.  Totally and completely irrational.
There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you cannot accept it, change it. I f you cannot change it, leave it.

Sometimes you're damned if you don't and damned if you do.. so damn well do what's best for you!

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Serenity_now

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Re: My experience with an NPD mother...first post
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2013, 07:44:35 PM »
Vivid, I read your post and just had to say welcome and give you the worlds biggest hug. I too came from an extremely toxic and dysfunctional home with gross verbal and physical abuse directed toward us daily. I can relate  and feel your pain my friend and want you to know that.

I also want you to know that life will get better. Stay committed to working on yourself and you'll begin to feel the weight lifted from your heart little by little. :wave:


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Melissa7

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Re: My experience with an NPD mother...first post
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2014, 09:40:20 PM »
"Wow...I SOOO understand this.  My mother was thrilled that I got married, adored my husband, and put on a very expensive wedding for us.  Within a month, she was actively trying to break us up.  She constantly encouraged me to move back home (without my husband, obviously), and when I pointed out that we blissfully happy, she got angry.  Sheesh.  I guess that's why they call it insanity...cause it's just freaking insane.  Totally and completely irrational."


Yes Vivid. Too weird. I can't believe you posted the fact that she got angry when you told her you were happy in your marriage.  MY MOM DID THE EXACT SAME THING. But she made a sarcastic snide scoffing sound and mocked me. That was truly the most insane moment I can remember.  I can't even believe it as a write it. It's been years since I've spoken to her and the weirdest thing is- I don't miss her. Whenever I wonder about her, I remember all the insanity and how I feel like an invisible less than confused child. It's horrible!

Aren't you glad you finally have a name to the madness? I am.