Dealing Swiftly With A Narcissistic Mother

As of today, I have been nursing a fever, sinus infection and cough for twenty days. The last seven little more was achieved than fluffing my pillows and duvet while in bed. Suffice it to say, I’ve been sick a while.

For those of you who have worked with me or follow my videos and blogs, you know that my mother is a narcissist.

She is mean, cruel, spiteful, competitive, bitchy, Queenly, critical, rude, did I say bitchy? Oh and I forgot vindictive, egotistical, and judgmental.

You probably think that I am a broken little girl looking for love. Well, I did that for the first thirty-two years of my life, but I overcame her torment, emotional abandonment, rejection and her putting me in harm’s way my entire childhood. Instead of protecting me from my brother’s sexual advances, she was complicit. She intentionally put me in the bathtub with a brother six years older than me at the age of three. That began the breaking down of any self-esteem remaining and allowed the torture of both physical and mental sort to continue unchecked.

My oldest brother recently saw some photos from the 50s and 60s. In every photo, my molesting brother has his hands around my neck, on top of my head, but always close to him and with his hands on me. It was obvious to the casual observer as a neighbor told my mother, “those two shouldn’t be sharing a bath together.” Funnily enough, he was a police officer and spotted the abuse immediately.

It has taken me thirty-five years of inner work, diligence, and self-discovery to rebuild my self-esteem and recover to a place of happiness and joy. No matter how much inner work we do, however, there can still be triggers that get pushed from interaction with a narcissistic mother. I have had more time than most to recover since mine is going to be celebrating her 100th birthday in July of 2022.

My oldest and youngest brothers were damaged also. The brother who molested me with such carte blanche? He is the Golden Child. The narcissist of the narcissist. His daughter is the Golden Grandchild that can do no wrong.

To this day, the brother that molested me lies, cheats, drinks, and is generally a low-life being. He never redeemed himself. I completely forgave him long ago, but he cannot forgive himself. He says of himself he is loaded with demons. I believe him. I have seen into his darkness. It stinks to high heaven! Enough of the darkness. However, you need to understand where I have been to see why I now respond in the way I do.

On a positive note, my mother is elegant, classy, and well dressed. Well, she better be. Her greatest concern is that she will continue to find those who do not see who she really is and have the adoration and lauded praise over her on a daily basis as if she was a queen sitting on a throne being fanned with palm leaves.

Narcissists want to be seen as the best at everything. The best mother, the best wife, the best housekeeper, the smartest person in the room (believe me you don’t want to cross her when she is telling you what’s what!) They certainly don’t want molestation exposed to the masses or the school board. They will deny everything!

Narcissists shut their children down. They silence them from self-expression, self-exploration, or growing independently. In fact, the narcissistic mother believes that her children are extensions of herself. What does that mean? The NM (Narcissistic mother) believes her children must be perfect. Perfectly dressed, perfectly groomed, as they are part of her.

Heaven forbid you should want to cry for you will be told to, “Shut up or I’ll give you something to cry about.” Narcissists cannot feel empathy or compassion. They can feign it or pretend to feel but they do not experience empathy of any kind. They lack the emotional sensitivity that the rest of us humans have.

The Emotional Makeup Of The Narcissistic Mother

  • Queenly
  • perfectionistic
  • needing adoration and to be lauded for whatever they do
  • they are needy
  • insecure
  • unstable
  • fly off the handle at a moment’s notice (going from zero to incendiary in seconds)
  • meddlesome
  • critical
  • cruel
  • codependent
  • emotionally immature (act like a 12-year-old emotionally)
  • possessive
  • have no boundaries
  • rude and hurtful without concern for other’s feelings
  • have ridiculously high expectations of their children
  • are jealous of their children’s successes or fortune
  • will criticize their children’s spouses until you divorce them, then become “best friends with your ex.”
  • deny their off-spring independent self-hood destroying self-esteem and a sense of individuality
  • want what others have to a ridiculous degree
  • live through their children, as if they are an extension of themselves
  • will not take responsibility
  • blame
  • can easily dish out criticism but never can take it!

Rude?

My mother thinks nothing of hugging the woman putting her 100th birthday party together at the church and then telling her, “You’re fat!”

When my daughter was ten years old, my mother called her an ass because she asked to use the bathroom after my mother locked her front door. She also pulled the same stunt she did with me when I was in elementary school. She asked to brush Ariel’s hair. Before I could say, “NO!” Ariel obediently obliged. Within seconds she was in tears, just like I was. I am certain she is a sadist. What did my mother say to my daughter? “Stop being such a baby!” Just like she did to me when I cried and begged her not to leave me with my molesting brother.

Narcissists think they are the world’s foremost authority. On what? Everything. They are know-it-alls. My mother has never taken a design course or anything in the fashion industry, yet she believes she has the right to tell anyone she comes in contact with that what they are wearing doesn’t suit them. Not gently, either. Directly. “That dress makes you look fat!” “Or don’t take another cookie, you are already fat enough?” I’m amazed that anyone is still talking to her.

For myself, I am never enough, thin enough, or good enough. She’ll stop at nothing to derail anyone that crosses her path. She must be a member of the fashion police. I have heard the following:

  • the bloom is off the rose (meaning I look old)
  • you’ve gotten fat
  • your hair is too long
  • you look old (after I flew on a red-eye to see her) no gratitude there.

One year my husband and I drove all the way from Maryland to Toronto, to visit my parents. My son was born in England and they had not seen him in nearly two years. At two, David was sweet, gentle, and loving. He had a habit of hitting people when he was happy or excited. My beautiful little boy rushed up the three steps to greet his grandma and began tapping her on the backside. Without skipping a beat, She grabbed his wrist and paddled his backside in front of both of us! With each slap of his backside, she yelled, “Don’t hit grandma!” The very thing he was doing to his grandma was allowed by her. Why? She is an abusive entitled bitch. Needless to say, my husband and I grabbed the kids and regrouped at Dairy Queen. We could say and make the statement that whatever you do to our children is okay with us. Or we could leave and let them know there is no way they were allowed to spank our children, especially with us standing right there. David hadn’t seen his grandma in over a year and his way of showing his excitement was to tap. He was demonstrating his joy and got beaten for it! What kind of crazy person does that? An entitled narcissist.

Mommy Dearest Movie

I remember watching the “Mommy Dearest,” movie. If you are wondering about it, I copied and pasted directly from an article written below the question: Was Mommy Dearest A True Story? Word for word, Google states:

“Is mommy dearest a true story? Mommie Dearest is a memoir and expos√© written by Christina Crawford, the adopted daughter of actress Joan Crawford. Published in 1978, it attracted much controversy for its portrayal of Joan Crawford as an unbalanced and alcoholic mother, with some family friends denouncing it as fiction and others corroborating it.”

The movie was scaringly like my life. It is no wonder that people didn’t believe Christina Crawford. The Narcissistic Mother does everything in her power to keep strangers, neighbors, and those she wants to impress, (and brother she wants to impress the rich and wealthy, the famous and the influential), from knowing who she really is. It is even possible that some within the family unit will refuse to acknowledge the psychosis within her mind. Usually, those that cannot see the truth in her are usually narcissists also.

When Did I Discover The Truth?

My little brother and I always knew she was unstable and volatile. Though she didn’t drink she used migraines to control our family. Our entire household walked around on eggshells looking around every corner furtively wondering which side of her personality would show up next? Heaven forbid you forgot a birthday or Mother’s Day! There was hell to pay and my father bore the brunt of it being shut out of intimacy and even decency. My youngest brother, Christopher remarked to me one day on the phone, “Well we always thought she was crazy we just never knew what type of crazy it was!”

My Father strangely loved her. To a certain extent, I understand. She was and still is a beautiful woman, even approaching the hundred, year mark. However, he constantly talked to us quietly out of earshot, “To keep peace in the family you must ____________________.” (break up with that boy, get your hair cut short so as not to compete with her, and keep your mouth shut!” Weirdly, he never ever saw her naked during their entire married life of 49+years.

I wrote my memoir in 2011. Shortly after the launch of my book, Odyssey Victim To Victory, my mother attempted to sue me. She said the book was a lie. Of course, it was. She thought of herself as perfect, beyond reproach, and a wonderful person. My response was, “You cannot sue for the truth, mother!”

I always thought my mother had Borderline Personality Disorder. After coaching for about six years, it became obvious to me just what my mother was. Entitled, arrogant, and narcissistic. I also began to notice that nearly all my clients had narcissistic mothers, most of which also had been molested. My foundational program Love Yourself Fearlessly is my Signature course. It had not been my focus hitherto, but it was evident that I needed to narrow my niche.

Violent Mood Swings

If one of us kids did something that upset her and that could be doing as we were told, but if that action meant she was embarrassed by us fulfilling her directive, we were then blamed and told she never told us to do that! Case in point, as a teenager and the only girl in the family, I was menstruating. She told me to empty the trash can from the common bathroom into the living room fireplace, as she was having a group of ladies over for the evening. I begged her not to make me do it. I asked, “Couldn’t I just empty it in the trash can in the kitchen and take out the trash?” She screamed at me, “Do as you are told!” I sensed this was going to end badly for me. I dutifully dumped the contents of the trash can into the fireplace.

A Tupperware Party From Hell

After the ladies left, I was beaten and berated for dumping my trash insolently into the living room fireplace disgracing her in front of her ladies.

That evening, as the women entered the living room, I realized that my mother “forgot,” to burn the fireplace trash. There, for the world to see was my bloody Kotex pad unfurled and completely exposed. My mother glared at me across the room. I felt guilty and ashamed. I knew there would be hell to pay.

Examples of Her Weird Behavior You Would Never Believe

My mother was Queenly. Though born in abject poverty and an orphan at 5, all her sisters were narcissists. They were all beautiful but very odd.

My oldest brother married a woman from England. She is destined for sainthood, I swear. They bought a property out of the city I grew up in thinking they would be far enough away. They built a house and gradually landscaped and decorated their home beautifully. My mother was pissed! She criticized my sister-in-law at every turn. She was lazy, she slept late, and she didn’t clean up her kitchen before bed. She ruined six dishwashers! The criticism went on endlessly. My sister-in-law was party to my mother’s acid tongue and abuse watching how she lashed out at me, her only daughter every chance she got. She was careful to mind what she said in retort as she knew how sensitive her husband was.

When my brother and his wife traveled to England where she was from, I don’t remember why she did this, she pulled out her entire basket of unironed laundry and went through it expecting to be lauded for ironing it all. When my sister-in-law returned home, my mother expected praise. Instead, Pauline was pissed! “How dare she go through my closet and pull out the basket. I never asked you to do it!” My mother never let Pauline live it down. “How could you not THANK ME?” No boundaries.

It wasn’t long before my father bought a property about twenty minutes away from my brother and his wife. While my father was alive it didn’t seem terrible. My father tried painstakingly to build my mother’s dream house. But she kept changing her mind. My father wasn’t a builder but a self-taught carpenter. All the changes were exhausting and overwhelming for my dad. He worked on evenings and weekends eliciting his children’s help whenever he could. My mother wanted perfection. When my father died nearly thirty years ago, my mother kept up the ten acres herself as long as she could and then moved closer to my brother and his wife.

Boob Grabbing and Other Inappropriate Offences

If I brought a friend over with large breasts my mother would take both hands like a schoolboy and grab both breasts, “Honk! Honk!” No one had the nerve to question her, as she would silence you with a look so stern I swear that not only could she stop a clock, but the cuckoo would die! She used a tone so sharp and high-pitched that sounded awfully witch-like. To this day, when I hear that tone, my blood runs cold. She’s scary.

I only had one friend who stood up to her in Junior High. She ate lunch at our house once. My friend had a loving English mother. She didn’t like the runny yolk in her eggs. When she sat without eating, my mother rudely questioned her, “What’s wrong with you!?” My friend much to my dismay stood up to my mother. She told my mother she couldn’t eat it. My mother attempted to force my friend to consume food she didn’t like and then banned her from our house. I wasn’t allowed to hang out with such an impetuous child.

When I first left home at age sixteen, her kindly mother allowed me to live with them for a few months. Yes, things were so bad that after going to the school counselor they insisted on interviewing my parents. They wouldn’t listen to my pleas to avoid that confrontation. Within minutes of the interview, my father and mother became red-faced. Accused of allowing me to be molested and abused. My father kicked them out and that was that. They saw the oppression and control firsthand. Soon after I was given full student support so that I could finish high school independently.

Control and Manipulation Was The Name of The Game

We weren’t able to sleep in or close our bedroom doors. In my teenage years, my mother rifled through my diary discovering my first sexual experience. She dragged me to a female gynecologist, Dr. Jubb to have me checked out and prodded in an extremely hurtful way. This woman was Catholic with gray hair tied back in a severe ponytail. She was on the same page as my mother shaming me for having sex. Molestation was fair game, but pleasure? Hell NO!

Even into adulthood when I was married with children, there was never any privacy. One morning I darlingly began to make love to my husband and my mother’s intuition must have been on high alert. She yelled “knock-knock!” On our bedroom door and barged right in! We were too shocked to respond or reply. Most people are shut down from making any kind of response or retort.

Torture

My mother insisted on brushing my hair in front of a group of girls older than myself that walked me to school. My hair was long. She took great joy in brushing is harshly pulling at the tangles and making me cry in front of these older girls until I exclaimed to stop it. That was it! The next weekend she had my beautiful long blonde-streaked hair off so that I looked like a boy. She laughed when I cried and said to both my parents, “There I hope you’re satisfied you now have four boys!”

She lived vicariously through us. Making my brother and take piano lessons. When the piano was moved into the basement, she would stomp on the floor each time I made a mistake, shouting, “WRONG!”

“You’re A Phoney?”

Our family had a cottage and we often played cards while there. My parents also had friends that whom they played Euchre on a regular basis. When I shuffled the cards my mother would watch me dealing with my left hand. “You’re such a phony” she would yell at me. She thought nothing of embarrassing us in front of others. To this day, I deal with cards left-handed.

One day I had my first love over to pick me up for a date. It was the 70s and everyone had longish hair. Stephen was a tall good looking blonde with a very soft heart. His hair was groomed and always clean, in fact, he styled it every single day. It was cut in what they referred to as the “Lion’s cut.” It wasn’t just long and straggly. It was always nicely styled, clean, and neat just touching his shoulders. At the time, I thought he was hot. Of course, he was my first love.

In front of their friends, my mother asked, “Doesn’t Stephen look like a girl?” I was ashamed and aghast that my mother would say these things in front of others without any remorse or guilt. The next step was to demand that if he wanted to date me he would have to cut his hair. Stephen’s parents said he would do no such thing as they were not his parents. My father pulled me aside and told me, “To keep peace in the family, you have to stop dating Stephen. “

My mother had a highly developed intuitive ability. She knew if I was sneaking out to the skating rink as a roos. She sent my father after me finding me walking in the wrong direction, “Get in the car,” he yelled! I fixed them! I married him! Not immediately, it took some time to organize. Perhaps it was not the wisest action for an almost nineteen-year-old, but it was the only way I could take control of my life at the time. No matter how far and wide I traveled, my mother’s criticism abounded.

When I moved to Maryland, my father shot my German Shepard and my mother made me marry the guy I moved in with. I had barely known him for six months. My mother’s reaction to me wanting to wait was, “It’s easier to get divorced than to bring shame onto our family name.” How anyone would know I had moved to Maryland and was cohabitating with a man, I was twenty-seven.

Appearance Is Everything!

To a narcissist, the only thing that matters is how it looks to outsiders. They cared not a wink for the damage done to their adult offspring. Once we moved to England and began living large with a silver chest with a fish service from Harrods, my mother cut him down continuously. I so wanted to please my mother. But furthermore, her constant criticism of my husband caused me to focus on his flaws and faults. Anyone knows that wherever you focus your attention grows. It was not long before our lavish lifestyle and closets full of beautiful clothes left me feeling empty and sad. It took a long time before I recognized that I was attracting men that were just like my mother.

I was blinded. I believed we attract our fathers or men like them. It took three marriages to narcissistic men to finally remove the filters from my eyes and see the truth. Of course, I attracted what felt like home, like my mother. As the daughter of a narcissist, we continue to attract narcissistic partners until we learn our lesson. Once we see it we cannot unsee it.

Why Now?

Easter is a time of celebration for spring and new life. Yesterday, my mother called me and acted like a rabid dog. I was sick for the second time in a month with a sinus infection (anger). According to Louise Hay, sinus problems are due to irritation from someone close. The healing mantra is: “I declare peace and harmony indwell me and surround me at all times. All is well.”

On my recent trip to Ojai, California when I should have been footloose and fancy-free, my mother asked me to shop for a pink long-sleeved dress for her birthday party in July. Certainly, I know my mother’s style and size. However, I have consignment shopped for her in the past and received rage in response. “Take it back!” Now instead of having a solid good time, I was slapped with a burden. It is extremely difficult to buy for a narcissistic person. Summer dresses are rarely long-sleeved in California where it is hot, you can’t find both together. I left California with my nose dripping getting sicker by the moment and no pink dress.

After nearly becoming well, I relapsed last Sunday when my daughter and I drove to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. By the time I arrived home, I had full-blown chills and fever, again. My brother informed my mother that I was ill.

On Good Friday, my mother called me and like a rabid dog started using her shrill witch-like voice, “Have you had a C-test?” I informed my mother that I had seen a doctor the day previous and with all my sinus inflammation and congestion she never mentioned the dreaded “C-word.” I also added I wasn’t going to discuss this subject with her, after all, I am a grown-ass woman responsible for myself and a highly successful business owner.

I was reminded of the time I was concerned about my daughter-in-law being induced too early, as it seemed to me. None of the typical symptoms were happening that preclude an imminent birth. I kept my mouth shut so as not to upset my son and his wife, but called my mother looking for emotional support. *Word to the wise never expect emotional support from a narcissist.

Did my mother offer the emotional support I was looking for? Hell no! In fact, she kept screaming at me, “You’re not a doctor! You’re not a doctor! You’re not a doctor!” So to assuage my hurt feelings from that event, I threw her medicine right back at her. Remember sinus infections make one irritable, bitchy, and miserable. It was the perfect storm! I yelled back at her, “You’re not a doctor! You’re not a doctor! You’re not a doctor!” Then I hung up! It was one of the most satisfying moments of my life. I stood up to the witch. I turned her critique back at her. Now she is without a pink dress and no one to buy it for her. Gee isn’t that sad!

Tomorrow is Easter. I feel redeemed.

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