How do you deal with a narcissistic mother?

How do you deal with a narcissistic mother?

I’d like to know how people deal with a narcissistic mother, particularly where there is a grandchild/children involved. Many cases I’ve read are more about partners.

My situation is briefly this…
My mother is a narcissist. I find that she treats me like a child and makes me feel like a child. Ego wise, she isn’t perhaps as extreme as some cases I’ve read on here, but she very much likes to feel important, likes people to know she’s there. She’s overbearing and controlling, despises my husband and her actions have continually reflected that. I feel she has no personal boundaries. If I say something she did wasn’t appropriate (often after years of putting up and shutting up with so many things, because the fallout is so great), no matter how diplomatically it is conveyed, all Hell breaks loose and then the insults and criticism begin. Same scenario if I make a choice she doesn’t agree with. I wouldn’t know where to begin with all the examples, but she’s never once apologised. She’s never wrong. It’s my fault, or my husband’s, or anyone else’s. Never hers. Then when I try to explain why things upset me etc, she can ignore me for weeks or more or continue with the insults or like now, pretend nothing has happened and act like I’m the one with the issues because I can’t brush the latest antics under the carpet. On a personal note, I find the lack of empathy one of the hardest things to deal with. If someone said to me that something I’d said or done had upset them, my immediate reaction would be to apologise. I’d be mortified.

So.. I’m trying to enable our little one to have grandparents (3 of mine were incredible) but at the same time, wishing I could just walk away from her. It is the biggest mental conflict I’ve ever had. I have no energy for the games or dramas that she brings. I feel sick at the thought of seeing her and being around her. Is it even possible to maintain something for the sake of our little one, but where my involvement is just drop off and pick up (mentally I have no capacity for her anymore), but where there are no family get togethers for birthdays or Christmas etc. I have no idea how that would impact on our little one in the future. It saddens me. However, things have gone too far for that to ever happen. Seeking advice from anyone who has been in a similar scenario. How do people deal with all of this? While making sure that you stay sane and focus on the most important things… your own kids!

4 thoughts on “How do you deal with a narcissistic mother?

  1. Hi,

    Sorry to here about your situation. I have a similar mother and have been no contact for a few years after “final straw”. She is determined to worm her was back into my life but I am resolute as I have become more aware of the abuse I suffered. It was difficult to make the break until my father passed but since then its been much easier.

    I’ve a child who has never seen my mother and will under no circumstances see her – even though my mother tried desperately. Yes, I do feel guilty that my child has no grandparents but then I stop and think about the reality – allowing a toxic grandparent in our lives would be worse. Children need their parents more than anything and if your energy is being drained then your children may miss out on the beauty of a wonderful parent. I would also be concerned of the effect of s toxic grandparent on my child’s mental health.

    I am beginning to recover from my abuse. Being a parent brings up a lot of issues for me – it shows me what I didn’t have and I cannot understand how a child could be denied these things.

    When I’m having a down day I sometimes think that it would be nice to have some help from a grandparent. I very quickly remember that it would be worse with her around.

    I have written evidence of the abuse from my mother – I keep it to remind myself that I’m not crazy! When my child is old enough I will talk to them and explain why they didn’t have a grandmother. If they want to see the evidence they can. Until that point I will be shielding my child (and any future children) from the toxicity of my mother.

    I believe that when you let go of the stuff that’s dragging you down you make space for better stuff to enter your life. What you get instead of a grandmother for you children may be worth so much more to them.

    Good luck!

  2. Hi there, I can relate to your story totally. It’s my husbands mother who is the narc. The trauma we have been through with her is the stuff of some far fetched novel – people struggle with our story! On the outside she appears as the doting wonderful grandmother. Behind the scenes she is a cold calculating nasty piece of work. We went non contact nearly 10 years ago, what a relief that was but ended up having to get police involved as she ramped up her stalking of us, stealing our mail, prowling on our property. The last thing she said to me was that I was evil as I’d turned her son against her! What the….?! Her son had worked out for himself he couldn’t put up with her anymore. We live in a small town so it has been an interesting 10 years avoiding her, but we have managed pretty well doing so. Sadly my husbands sister (the golden child) is under her spell & we have had no contact with her either. We have 3 neices/nephew who we’ve never met, that breaks my heart BUT I keep reminding myself what mother in law has done to us & that puts aside any sadness as we just couldn’t go back to dealing with the mother in law. So I have to say non contact is the way to go, it’s a tough road but once you get over the speed bumps it’s worth it in the end. There are still family members who think we are being horrible but she has got to them & brain washed them. I have found reading about narcs & following this website has been really helpful. I wish you all the very best. Take care

    1. My children met their narc grandmother when they were babies. Right away she showed favoritetism towards my daughter. Both my son and daughter have autism. I could only imagine the abuse that she would inflict upon them when no one was watching. Especially on my son whom she doesn’t like. She would easily get her kicks by tormenting him. I finally realized that nothing with her was ever going to change and I will was not willing to allow her abuse to continue with them. My husband’s mother was a narc as well. She distanced herself early on but that was her choice and no she didn’t take responsibility for that. There are plenty of enablers on both sides. On holidays and special occasions it’s just us and always has been but we make it special and my kids don’t feel like they are missing anything. I would have liked to have loving families on both sides but that’s just not the card we were dealt. We’ve made the best of it and are very blessed.

  3. The narc is my husbands mother. To the outside she is a lovely elderly lady ‘twin set and pearls’… but of course, behind closed doors she is ugly. She has pitted her sons against each other for years.. she speaks horrid of other family members and would speak badly of my husband to his kids. She has planted seeds of doubt in his eldest daughter ( who is her favourite) she has mentally abused her to the point she turned against her father last year on our wedding day. She ruined our day. When people weren’t looking she was jibing me about my dress and the day. It was horrific! You honestly couldn’t write it! She has smeared my name (literally knocked on people’s doors to do so) Thank god , she has a track record with his first wife and people started to share what she’s been up to. My husband has gone through torture and has realised himself the damage she has done over the years.
    We have no contact with her. It really is he only way. It has been awful – soul wrenching stuff. We also have gone no contact with his brother and sister in law. Absolute enables and they know it. Bless them!
    Thankfully the girls now see what their gran is and we have built new healthy foundations for us all. It’s been a bitter sweet journey and most of all for my husband. He’s loving the freedom of being who he wants to be. Making his own decisions without being sneered at and spending time with who he wants without being told ‘he doesn’t need more friends’…
    She tries to pull him back in using emotion (of course no apology is ever offered) he has learnt to ignore her now…she turned an entire family on us both and now she has lost them all apart from her son and daughter in law. Karma has caught up with her….
    Get away from people who won’t
    apologise and make you feel like it’s all in your head. These people
    will NEVER change.

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