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Musing About NPD


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Since reading this website, I've been thinking a LOT about NPD, and having been raised by a mother I really believe has it.

 

So, to others with experience with NPD, how have you managed? Have you healed? Is the person still in your life? Do you wake up in a cold sweat sometimes, wondering if you have NPD? Or wake up from a nightmare where you're once again living under the same roof, without any hope of escape? How do you deal w/ppl that tell you 'she can't be THAT bad...' or other invalidating comments?

 

How do *you* cope?

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therapy

 

Sorry, I'm in the midst of knitting an ear for an elf hat and tried to answer and run, but I keep thinking about both of these threads.

 

I was not kidding about the therapy. One principle that I had to COMPLETELY OWN is that I cannot and will not EVER change her. (She reported to me last week that she "graduated from therapy" because she is done. Uh-huh. therapists can only work with the information you give them and since I'm sure most of her sessions were about her harpie of a daughter and now we don't live together..........PROBLEM SOLVED!)

 

I will never change her and she will never change. I try to appreciate what bit of a relationship we have and leave it at that. I had to really come to terms with the loss.....the loss of the mom I wish I had had, the realization that in many ways my childhood sucked, etc. Once I was able to look that in the face it was easier to deal with it.

 

Then, ya just move on. I can either deal with reality or wish my life away for what could have been. This is reality. Where are we gonna go from here?

Edited by ThatCyndiGirl
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Since reading this website, I've been thinking a LOT about NPD, and having been raised by a mother I really believe has it.

 

So, to others with experience with NPD, how have you managed? Have you healed? Is the person still in your life? Do you wake up in a cold sweat sometimes, wondering if you have NPD? Or wake up from a nightmare where you're once again living under the same roof, without any hope of escape? How do you deal w/ppl that tell you 'she can't be THAT bad...' or other invalidating comments?

 

 

 

therapy

 

Become a therapist. ;)

 

The progression of my management:

 

1. GET OUT.

2. Understand abuse.

3. Learn what drove/fueled the abuse (NPD)

4. Learn about NPD.

5. Find and select a few people who really get it.

6. Thank God for the people in #5, and confide in them when:

 

  • I DO wake up in a cold sweat.

  • When I still have moments of wondering if I am the "crazy one."

  • When I wonder if I will make it throughout the years of forced issues.

  • When the exhaustion of the life imposed on me by the disorder is too much.

  • When I have a dark night of the soul (that lasts 4+ years).

 

 

And the dismissive comments from those who don't get it are the worst.

 

{{Imp}}

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To follow-up on Joanne's post,.....I told my therapist years ago that I wanted to be a better mother than MY mother. In time I came to see that being the best mom I can be was a much better goal than "not being her".

 

Also, boundries,....that my mom continually tries to cross.

 

 

And,....I do find myself doing the opposite of her many times. My mom told me repeatedly as a child, teenager AND adult that she would have had an abortion when she found out she was pregnant with me, but "they were still illegal". :001_huh: (They were mid-divorce.) So,....my response to that with my own children is to tell them how much they were wanted, hoped for, planned for. Our yougest was a surprise (NOT a mistake!) and I tell her about how she was the best surprise I have EVER had in my whole life!

 

(Let's not make this about abortion. This is not about that.)

 

Anytime I told my mom that some mothers might consider that a hurtful thing to say she said,"But, it was just the divorce. It wasn't about YOU."

 

I really don't mean to parent as the total opposite of mine anymore, but some tapes are hard to erase and sometimes the opposite of what she did really IS the right choice!

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I think that in completely disfunctional situations like ours, the most important single thing to do is to cling to the truth like crazy. And also it's important not to expect everyone to understand, because it's either inside or outside the realm of people's experiences, and if it's outside their realm, it's pretty much unimaginable.

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I think that in completely disfunctional situations like ours, the most important single thing to do is to cling to the truth like crazy. And also it's important not to expect everyone to understand, because it's either inside or outside the realm of people's experiences, and if it's outside their realm, it's pretty much unimaginable.

 

Good point. I am careful who I talk to about the craziness. Many just do not understand.

 

I don't understand autism so I may have that same 'lack of understanding' (not lack of empathy, just not something we have lived with) when it comes to autism, kwim? (I understand autism intellectually, but do not have experience with it, kwim? I would not be the person that people come to for advice, ideas, etc.) Didn't mean to imply that I lack empathy about it.

 

Oh, I wanted to point out, too that when your childhood is so focused on your mother and her needs/wants you tend to think, "OMG, am I NPD?" anytime you put your needs first, then you feel like a crappy mom.

 

Or maybe that is just me. My therapist had to finally say, "that is okay that you did that. It is normal!"

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I think my mom's actual dx is borderline, not NPD but there are a few similarities.

 

I really don't worry about the people who don't get it, because I am very secure in my decision to cut all contact with her. I can't begin to tell you the number of people who have condemned me....the police when I was forcing her to leave my house, the aunt I was named after and lived with.....sometimes even my dad whose last request was for me to just meet my mother for lunch.

 

I trust my instincts. I know the difference between health and sickness....between life and destruction. She would not have been happy until she destroyed my marriage, my children, and every other relationship I have.

 

I never worry if I have NPD.....does that mean I really do? I chose a very stable, healthy, secure husband. My children are happy and well adjusted. My mother's life continues to crumble around her. Her fights and feuds live on.

 

My siblings still have contact with her. I've told them that I'm through, and not taking care of her in her old age. I sacrificed my childhood to her. She won't have my adulthood too.

 

I do worry about how to balance being there for my siblings, and standing my ground. I really would not even want to go to her funeral, and I feel like it would be the height of hypocrisy to go, but they say they will want, no need me there so I just don't know.

 

It's not an easy hand to be delt, that's for sure. I feel for you andanyone else who has had to live through it. There just are not any easy options.

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Thanks for all the responses.

 

Therapy for me just isn't going to happen. For one thing, I'm a wee bit busy these days ;) and two, while my psychologist is covered for dealing with issues resulting from RSD, I'd have to pay out of pocket for this, and I can't afford it. Not to mention, I'm a bit 'therapied out' from dealing with RSD...having to find *another* psychologist (my family issues aren't something that Worker's Comp needs access to, and using the same one would open up that possibility) that I can trust, etc...the very thought exhausts me.

 

I know that being married to Wolf has done a lot to heal me. The fear of abandonment no longer rules me. I've gained a lot of self confidence. Moving across country didn't hurt either.

 

I find it darkly amusing that before meeting and marrying Wolf, I used to say that I looked forward to having a MIL, b/c there's no way she could be as bad as my mom, and I could have something approaching a healthy relationship with a Mom. Then I married a man whose mother is also NPD.

 

God has a sense of humour. That, and frankly, without each of us having dealt with this level of dysfunction, we probably wouldn't be able to understand as well as we do.

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In our case it's an NMIL. We moved across the country and went no contact. I have done a TON of reading/processing. She was not just my MIL; my husband's parents were more like a second set of parents to me, so it impacted me too. And we are still dealing with the effects on our marriage.

 

And I agree, I am careful with who I tell. Many people cannot fathom the depth of the insanity and absolute need to get away.

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In our case it's an NMIL. We moved across the country and went no contact. I have done a TON of reading/processing. She was not just my MIL; my husband's parents were more like a second set of parents to me, so it impacted me too. And we are still dealing with the effects on our marriage.

 

And I agree, I am careful with who I tell. Many people cannot fathom the depth of the insanity and absolute need to get away.

We've had loads of guilt heaped on us for a) not taking MIL in, and b) not hosting her for her 6 wk invasions.

 

First, we simply do not have the room...our only bathroom is up a flight of stairs, and she doesn't do stairs well. Second, our marriage would end. I truly doubt that we'd survive a 6 wk constant presence, let alone her living with us.

 

Ppl just don't get it, but have no problem casting guilt, blame, etc on us for not toeing the line.

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How do you deal w/ppl that tell you 'she can't be THAT bad...' or other invalidating comments?

 

How do *you* cope?

 

Well, usually people are telling me that they can't believe I put up with it. :lol:

 

Hindsight and children change things. Over the past couple of years, we've really limited our contact; but after reading that website, wow. I feel I have justification for standing up for myself. I'm already protective of my kids, but I'm not as protective of myself. That's going to change.

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My sister has NPD (I don't have an official diagnosis, but I have NO DOUBT that she does, and probably other issues as well). When I began reading about NPD, it explained so much to me about my sister! The stories I could tell over the years are just crazy.

 

7 years ago, I invited her for Thanksgiving. She had some fit over stuffing and decided not to come. A year later, I hadn't talked to her and had twins. She called me to tell me that she was unhappy with how I had handled the birth of my twins - she had to hear it from a neighbor of my mom's (apparently - who knows what is the truth with her?) and then she got our oldest on the phone and started telling him stuff like "Your mom doesn't know everything, she's not perfect, when you're 18 you can leave...) Ds hung up and told us, and then dh called her back and read her the riot act. That's the last time I talked to her. She burned her bridges with most of our immediate family and then moved to the opposite coast.

 

She has sent me cards several times "Oh, I love you - I miss you - you're my little sister - I wish you were in my life..." but I see no evidence of change AT ALL (my dad is still in contact...sometimes hourly contact, don't know how he stands it!)

 

I never, ever, would have walked away from her, but she walked out of my life and I have no intention of letting her back in until and unless I see evidence of change or until I have spare energy to let her suck away. I don't know what will happen when my dad dies, since he seems to be the one who keeps her together somewhat.

 

:grouphug: to all who are dealing with NPD, and especially if it's a parent!

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One principle that I had to COMPLETELY OWN is that I cannot and will not EVER change her. I had to really come to terms with the loss.....the loss of the mom I wish I had had, the realization that in many ways my childhood sucked, etc. Once I was able to look that in the face it was easier to deal with it.

 

Then, ya just move on. I can either deal with reality or wish my life away for what could have been. This is reality. Where are we gonna go from here?

 

Mine died a few months ago. For the last year of her life she didn't remember ever being married and having children. Prior to that I had either blocked contact or had minimal contact on my terms. When we were preparing for the funeral, I honestly had trouble coming up with happy memories of her. Holidays and family events involved major turmoil and drama, I can only remember a few times when she was really "there" for me. She made my father's life a living h***.

 

As I've often told my one relative who "got" the whole situation, my life was reborn away from her, and that is where my heart is now. And yes, my relative and I have both had therapy and feel much more balanced because of it. Maybe you can't do it now, but maybe sometime. It was worth it for me.

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How do you deal w/ppl that tell you 'she can't be THAT bad...' or other invalidating comments?

 

How do *you* cope?

 

I don't know that my grandmother was NPD, but she was NOT a nice person and some of the things she did qualified as mentally and emotionally abusive. from what my mother let slip- there was also physical abuse.

 

dh used to insist I was just overly sensitive to my grandmother. (his mother is NUTS!!!!! her children, and her siblings, aren't shy about saying so or repeating stories about her - to her face. I've heard their friends, who've met mil, ask "you're just exaggerating, aren't you?" No, they aren't. they *really* aren't. I have funny stories though.;)). I kept trying to explain it to him - I honestly don't remember what grandmother did (it was very typical for her), but I do vividly remember the stunned look on his face as he finally "got it". He then admitted I was right, and she was as bad as I said. (in his defense, he was at that time working in a field that required him to NOT trust *anyone*. he had to see the papertrail of everything, himself.)

 

the most hurtful of the "invalidating" comments were from family. It was a big thing for my mother to admit the type of person her mother was, and it took a long time. she had been very cowed. she did admit to me she felt nothing but relief when her mother died. I wanted her to do it more for herself than for me.

 

My brother is delusional about grandmamma, thinks she was wonderful - but his opinion isn't worth much. After listening to him go on about his first ex- (at least 20 years ago), I did comment how she sounded "Just like grandma". I'm glad he was driving and his hands were on the steering wheel, 'cause for a moment there, I thought he'd hit me. He's now going through divorce #2, and again, from his complaints (and some things I've seen first hand) she has remarkable similarities to our grandmother. He had a court ordered visit with a pschyologist as part of his custody fight, and I wanted to tell the psych he does need help. He needs to know why he married grandmother. twice.

 

Just know you're sane, you aren't imagining things - no matter what anyone else says.

 

keep a sense of humor. Turnning something into a joke helps immensely. I was new to dealing with mil when she PAINTED my bathroom scale the night before I was hosting a bridal shower for future ex-sil #1. I stayed up a long time using finghernail polish remover to take it off. I was fuming. dh walked in, took one look at it, and laughed. "poor little bathroom scale, saw d.d. coming with a paintbrush and didn't run fast enough". we've been laughing at it ever since. (I told you, this woman is nuts - we have LOTS of fodder for the laughter mill.)

 

eta: it's a BIG DEAL to admit that type of dysfunction when you've (I"m using the THRID person "you" here) lived in denial. it is going against everything you've claimed to believe in and been taught. Most people just can't do it - they aren't willing to see reality because it can be so painful. Just know, it is worth every bit of heartache to live in the real world instead of the delusion. People who haven't dealt with this first hand - have a very difficult time comprehending it can be that bad.

Edited by gardenmom5
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My mom told me repeatedly as a child, teenager AND adult that she would have had an abortion when she found out she was pregnant with me, but "they were still illegal". :001_huh: (They were mid-divorce.) So,....my response to that with my own children is to tell them how much they were wanted, hoped for, planned for. Our yougest was a surprise (NOT a mistake!) and I tell her about how she was the best surprise I have EVER had in my whole life!

 

!

:grouphug: I heard something similar from my mom. It's something NO child should ever hear from their parent. I was a third. (read Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game to really explain that term.) she already had her girl and boy - I was a surpurflous extra, and knew it and felt it from the time I was five. eventaully, (when I was an adult), she told me how glad she was to have had me. considering the trouble my "planned" siblings got-into/caused - that goes without saying.

 

I also have one with a big gap - and am weary of how many people think nothing of asking if he was a "surprise". actually, that's a very rude question. (and my mother's comments about him were even more inappropriate.)

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Oh, I wanted to point out, too that when your childhood is so focused on your mother and her needs/wants you tend to think, "OMG, am I NPD?" anytime you put your needs first, then you feel like a crappy mom.

!"

 

oh the panic attacks when expressing a need. . . . . and those who've never experienced having neurotic mothers can't comprehend what it does to their children when expressing a basic need triggers a panic attack!

 

Oh, I need new glasses, I can't see . . . "stop talking about yourself. it's not all about you". (yes, my grandmother said that to me. I was 13.)

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I I do worry about how to balance being there for my siblings, and standing my ground. I really would not even want to go to her funeral, and I feel like it would be the height of hypocrisy to go, but they say they will want, no need me there so I just don't know.

 

.

I ended up helping my mother do things for my grandmother as she became feeble - I didn't really want to do anything for her since she had gone out of her way to treat me like crap. as my mom said, I wasn't doing it to help my grandmother, I was doing it for my mom. (my mother had many issues and was a poor mother. but her mother was evil and as a child I had lots of expsoure to her.)

 

just have fantasies of doing a grave dance to the tune of ding-dong the wicked witch is dead.

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Become a therapist. ;)

 

 

:lol: Isn't this the truth? And seriously, the cost is about the same as several years spent with a good therapist... and at the end, you can start earning it back. ;)

 

Even if you never "officially" use it, you still use it. It is, without a doubt, the best money we've ever spent. Any time someone asks my DH about my degree, he always adds, "and she uses it every day." ;)

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Since reading this website, I've been thinking a LOT about NPD, and having been raised by a mother I really believe has it.

 

So, to others with experience with NPD, how have you managed?

 

my mom has npd.

 

horribly.

 

Have you healed?

 

still trying after 2 yrs of therapy.

 

Is the person still in your life?

 

no.

 

Do you wake up in a cold sweat sometimes, wondering if you have NPD?

 

i have panic attacks and 2nd guess every parenting decision as i know i must have some tendencies.

 

 

Or wake up from a nightmare where you're once again living under the same roof, without any hope of escape?

 

i can't really think about her as i get sweaty and heart starts racing. day or night. i can't hear her voice, either. i've had *horrible* nightmares that she takes my dc.

 

 

How do you deal w/ppl that tell you 'she can't be THAT bad...' or other invalidating comments?

 

those people are unsafe for me, therefore they are not part of my life. i've had to go no contact with other family members.

 

How do *you* cope?

 

(more quoting above...)

 

i was finally dxed with ptsd after putting up with her abuse for so long. it got to a point where i realized she literally made me physically sick. being around her or even hearing about her sets off triggers. i have 2 sisters that are safe and they agree to not talk about her and i never bring her up.

 

therapy. therapy.therapy.

 

went no contact.

 

therapy. therapy. therapy.

 

goal>> heal and do damage control she's inflicted on our dc and keep her the he!! out of our lives forever.

 

i honor her by being the best mom i can be and i realize that she is sick, won't change and none of it is about me.:)

 

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Since reading this website, I've been thinking a LOT about NPD, and having been raised by a mother I really believe has it.

 

So, to others with experience with NPD, how have you managed? Have you healed? Is the person still in your life? Do you wake up in a cold sweat sometimes, wondering if you have NPD? Or wake up from a nightmare where you're once again living under the same roof, without any hope of escape? How do you deal w/ppl that tell you 'she can't be THAT bad...' or other invalidating comments?

 

How do *you* cope?

 

My mother is NPD and through her own undoing, she's cut me out of her family. What she was trying to do was to manipulate and intimidate me into kissing her ass, but she failed and I walked away. She wrote me a letter later cutting me out of "her" family. Whatevah.

 

I've not healed. I won't go into details here what I've experienced, but suffice it to say, her words and abuses and actions have left deep, deep wounds.

 

My EX is also NPD (and BPD and Bipolar) and I do have to contend with him regarding our kids, but with him, whenever he tries to control or intimidate, I just stand up to him and then walk away. He's the fastest back-peddler in the world and when I don't give into him, he will knock his crap off. For a short while, anyway.

 

ETA: I know I'm not NPD because my children (especially my son) have thanked me for not turning out like her. And, I've had people ask me how I turned out ok after being raised by her. In both cases, it was God's mercy.

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My parent{s} don't suffer from this, but I lived and grew up with someone who did. I have little to no contact with them now and my life is peaceful, but I fight the guilt of "should I mend ways", yet I know there's nothing to mend.

 

When i do have to face them or deal with them I just repeat one simple mantra, "They are sick. They are sick. They are sick." Thus, I can feel sorry for them instead of angry with them.

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My mother is NPD and through her own undoing, she's cut me out of her family. What she was trying to do was to manipulate and intimidate me into kissing her ass, but she failed and I walked away.

.

 

my grandmother did the same thing. she tried her "If you don't treat me better I"m going to cut you out of my will routine." I told her to go right ahead. the next time she tried it was really fun. ;) "I thought you already had". really took the wind out of her sails.

 

(I feel sorry for my "GC" sister, who sucked up to her for years thinking she was actually in it. I warned her; everything was left to my only child mother and sissie went over the edge when she found out.)

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Going no contact/minimal contact was the only way for me. My therapist and family helped me hold that line for years, and even when she was dying, I didn't go as a symbolic act for ME. She was well-cared for and didn't die alone, and I didn't need to be there. At the funeral and burial I expressed gratitude that she gave me life, and her gravestone says nothing about being a mother. And indeed, my feelings have been much more of relief than grief. No surprise!

 

Being enmeshed with an adult in an unhealthy way is just not a way to live. The horrors I suffered as a child and the ugliness I dealt with an adult were WRONG.

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Yes, this. Except I didn't become a therapist.

 

These days, I rely on prayer and meditation, and even though I'm not in formal therapy anymore, I still have a small group of people I can talk to on that level, when needed.

 

Yes, becoming a therapist has never been of interest to me. For me the healing has come from teaching, which became my career after I figured out that the profession I chose was my mother's choice, not mine. Being happily married and enjoying my children helped too.

 

Thankfully I'm far enough away that there has been no pressure on me to make Mom into the saint that she wasn't.

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Most of my siblings have dealt with it by moving far away and thus limiting direct contact. I live 1/2 hour away, and still maintain contact. I've had some therapy, but having my own children has really been the biggest help. My mother and her sisters all have serious problems. As I've been healing, I've begun to have some compassion for what their lives must have been like. I think my grandfather destroyed them.

 

I still don't understand why my mother acts the way she does, but I think I understand that she wouldn't choose to be that way, if she was able to choose. I think she doesn't know how to properly love anyone. I'm starting to feel sad for her instead of guilty about her. She drives everyone away in her desperate attempts to get people to love her and focus only on her.

 

The thing that is hardest to overcome is something a PP mentioned. I have a hard time not feeling guilty for doing something for myself. I was conditioned for decades for my life's purpose to be fulfilling my mother's needs. Now, I wonder if I've gone a little overboard fulfilling my children's needs. I constantly question whether I'm doing the right thing, the normal thing. I often feel like I'm floundering, splashing around in a sea, trying to find a foothold on something solid underneath me, but there's nothing there. Like the song I used to sing in Sunday School, I'm trying to build my house on the sand.

 

I don't want my kids to feel this way, so my main goal is to give them that foundation on which to build their own houses. It's exhausting, sometimes, trying to strike a balance between crazy and normal, but I can already see it working. My kids already have a much more developed sense of self than I'll ever have. They might have a few wounds, but they will be nowhere near as damaged as my siblings and I have been. And that is the best healing for me.

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I find it interesting how being a parent aided healing.

 

For me, it helped, but it also dredged up a lot of questioning and hurt...Why didn't my mother feel about me the way I feel about my kids? How could I be so unlovable? For the longest time, I figured there was something inherently wrong with *me*, since my brothers were treated so differently.

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I've had some therapy, but having my own children has really been the biggest help. My mother and her sisters all have serious problems. As I've been healing, I've begun to have some compassion for what their lives must have been like. I think my grandfather destroyed them.

 

Yes, in the end, what grief I felt at my Mom's death was over the tangled life that she led. Her relationships were mostly unbalanced, and she hurt a lot of people. Thankfully some saw her for what she was, and there were several at the funeral and among those who sent cards and eamils who expressed that they knew some of what I had endured and were sorry for what I had been through. And there were a few painful, flowery expressions that I just blew off. Obviously individuals who willingly alligned themselves with her for whatever reason. Not the mother I knew.

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I find it interesting how being a parent aided healing.

 

For me, it helped, but it also dredged up a lot of questioning and hurt...Why didn't my mother feel about me the way I feel about my kids? How could I be so unlovable? For the longest time, I figured there was something inherently wrong with *me*, since my brothers were treated so differently.

 

I felt for awhile like I didn't deserve to be a parent, and there was no way I'd ever be a good one. I couldn't enjoy my children and just "be." Over time though I learned that I was doing just fine, and I let it all go and began to feel free with my children.

 

Not long ago I took down every picture of my parents. It was my way of saying that I have formed my own reality apart from them. My mother was a horrible person, and my father was an enabler. Sad to say, when I was with my father away from my mother, he was a different person. I'm glad that I got to know him separately, but he never protected me and defended her until his dying day.

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I felt for awhile like I didn't deserve to be a parent, and there was no way I'd ever be a good one. I couldn't enjoy my children and just "be." Over time though I learned that I was doing just fine, and I let it all go and began to feel free with my children.

 

Not long ago I took down every picture of my parents. It was my way of saying that I have formed my own reality apart from them. My mother was a horrible person, and my father was an enabler. Sad to say, when I was with my father away from my mother, he was a different person. I'm glad that I got to know him separately, but he never protected me and defended her until his dying day.

 

I understood my father a lot better when I was an adult. He couldn't handle my mother any better than we could. My parents were separated on and off when I was growing up. When she would get on one of those kicks where she just wouldn't stop, my dad would resort to physical violence. I know to what point he must have been driven, because I've felt like strangling her myself, just to get her to stop talking. However, as an adult, I don't actually do that because I know better. My father apparently didn't know better. I don't have a relationship with him, mostly because he never has tried to have a relationship with me, and because I resented him for leaving us to deal with her on our own. Therapy has helped me get over the injuries inflicted by my father because those injuries were sort of side effects of his relationship with her.

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I have a sister who is a sociopath - very simialr to NPD (some would say they are just different versions of the same thing).

I did go to therapy after things got even worse. I became her target when I stood up to her. I now have no contact with my side of the family, and after getting over the hurt - I've realized what a huge relief it is to not deal with the drama.

There is no way to "deal" with someone like that.

:grouphug:

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I have a sister who is a sociopath - very simialr to NPD (some would say they are just different versions of the same thing).

I did go to therapy after things got even worse. I became her target when I stood up to her. I now have no contact with my side of the family, and after getting over the hurt - I've realized what a huge relief it is to not deal with the drama.

There is no way to "deal" with someone like that.

:grouphug:

 

Yes, the beginning of the end of relationships with my sister was when the majority of the family started going to family therapy with her, and we began realizing that she had been telling different things to each of us. We committed to telling each other everything and she could no longer pull her crap on any of us.

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I understood my father a lot better when I was an adult. He couldn't handle my mother any better than we could. My parents were separated on and off when I was growing up. When she would get on one of those kicks where she just wouldn't stop, my dad would resort to physical violence. I know to what point he must have been driven, because I've felt like strangling her myself, just to get her to stop talking. However, as an adult, I don't actually do that because I know better. My father apparently didn't know better. I don't have a relationship with him, mostly because he never has tried to have a relationship with me, and because I resented him for leaving us to deal with her on our own. Therapy has helped me get over the injuries inflicted by my father because those injuries were sort of side effects of his relationship with her.

 

Working through the issues of an enabling father is as important as working through results of a NPD mother. My father was abused by my mother for years, and it was especially bad in the last three years of his life. Adult Protective Services got involved, but he wouldn't budge in his support of her. My last extended conversation with him involved a lawsuit that they were trying to file against me, and after that I had almost no contact with him. I understood then that she was always #1, regardless.

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Yes, the beginning of the end of relationships with my sister was when the majority of the family started going to family therapy with her, and we began realizing that she had been telling different things to each of us. We committed to telling each other everything and she could no longer pull her crap on any of us.

 

 

Sadly, I have lived out of the state since 1999, and always had the attitude that I wouldn't go down to her level. Didn't talk about her in a negative way at all to anyone. Well - in the background she was planting the seeds of my "destruction" within the family. When I found about about what was going on in the lives of my neice and nephew, I had to speak up.

Even though she is the one living with a convicted pedophile and doing drugs I am the mentally ill person and most chose not to have anything to do with me anymore and take sides with my sister. It hurt. I thought they knew me well enough to not believe her, or at least talk to me about what she was saying. No matter how many lies they catch her in, none of it seems to matter.

She obviously has some weird power over them. Honestly, I think they are kinda scared of her or something.

Sad.

But - now, almost two years later - I am acutually sooooooo relieved I am no longer a part of that mess. It is such a better place to be.

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therapy

 

Sorry, I'm in the midst of knitting an ear for an elf hat and tried to answer and run, but I keep thinking about both of these threads.

 

I was not kidding about the therapy. One principle that I had to COMPLETELY OWN is that I cannot and will not EVER change her. (She reported to me last week that she "graduated from therapy" because she is done. Uh-huh. therapists can only work with the information you give them and since I'm sure most of her sessions were about her harpie of a daughter and now we don't live together..........PROBLEM SOLVED!)

 

I will never change her and she will never change. I try to appreciate what bit of a relationship we have and leave it at that. I had to really come to terms with the loss.....the loss of the mom I wish I had had, the realization that in many ways my childhood sucked, etc. Once I was able to look that in the face it was easier to deal with it.

 

Then, ya just move on. I can either deal with reality or wish my life away for what could have been. This is reality. Where are we gonna go from here?

 

Did I just write this and not remember?;)

 

Therapy has been a life saver for me! I still fall into the traps sometimes and my therapist helps me recognize them and deal with them.

 

When I told my mom about our new dogs, after she turned the conversation around to herself, she started going on and on about how I needed to take care of them, how often I should walk them, have their ears cleaned (they're bassetts), etc. She started "quizzing" me on dog ownership questions, etc.

 

I was telling my therapist that I was feeling really angry during the whole thing and she asked me how else I was feeling. How did her line of questioning and instruction make me feel? I said, "Like I'm not good enough to be a dog mom."

 

Bingo! ;) I'm not good enough. Never adequate. Never responsible enough. So I had to recognize that the anger came on behalf of that little girl who's never quite been good enough.

 

But, guess what? I am good enough to be a dog mom. Ask my dogs!:D

 

I'm still in the earlier stages of the healing process but a good therapist has been my key.

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I find it interesting how being a parent aided healing.

 

For me, it helped, but it also dredged up a lot of questioning and hurt...Why didn't my mother feel about me the way I feel about my kids? How could I be so unlovable? For the longest time, I figured there was something inherently wrong with *me*, since my brothers were treated so differently.

 

This. :grouphug:

 

So many friends around me realized what was going on, except me (when I was a teen). They would ask me all the time, but it was so *normal* for me, I ahd no idea what real normal looked like. And, on top of it, she would twist (still does) her brand of Christianity to suit her motives.

 

But being a parent threw me. Spiraled me out into just a huge life change because as I encountered just plain old normal parenting problems and I looked at how MY mom dealt with them, and how I felt I should deal with them and I had to examine that huge chasm between.

 

I cut her out for a long time. It was so peaceful. And, though I have limited contact with her now, it's my Dh that really is the mirror for me. He's the one that stands up and tells me to tighten up the boundaries when I've let them slip or am too tired to care.

 

The part I feel most guilty about is how I could care less if she moved a million miles away. And worse, how if she passed, I don't think I would cry. I think I'd feel relieved. And, how awful is that? But I've already mourned so much.

 

So yep, I totally get it, and I'm fortunate to have a best friend with a mother with it, too.

Edited by justamouse
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I didn't realize there were so many of us out here with mothers like this.

 

I am trying to completely cut mine out of my life and did for many years and then my grandmother got sick and she moved in with my grandmother to take care of her. HA. It's been a disaster. Nobody can stand to visit my grandmother anymore because my mother will start yelling and just being awful. We still do visit we just make sure we go in teams - nobody by themself! My grandmother has either dementia or alzheimers and my mother will tell her that nobody ever calls or comes to see her even though she gets a call a day from my aunts and myself and we visit at least three times a week. It's just horrible. We can't take DD or my niece or nephew over there because she's downright mean to nephew and DD. The only one she likes is my niece but it's creepy how she deals with her, she always tries to get her away from me or my sister and then tell her things like "You're the only one that loves me, once grandma is gone I have no reason to live." My niece is 7! After that we can't even take her over there because we're concerned about what else she's going to try to say. My nephew is two and she'll do things like slam the screen door closed in his face if he's following her outside.

 

My dear grandmother is at the end now and once she passes on I will be able to go back to having nothing to do with my mother ever. I don't even call her 'Mom', I use her first name. She is not my mother and I have no feelings towards her other than disgust. Sometimes I wonder if I'm being too hard on her since obviously she has serious mental problems but she's so mean and awful I can't stand to be around it.

 

I don't feel scarred by it though because I had other wonderful people in my life growing up, dad and step-mother (they raised me), grandparents, aunts.

 

I guess I don't have any advice. Just rambling.

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This. :grouphug:

The part I feel most guilty about is how I could care less if she moved a million miles away. And worse, how if she passed, I don't think I would cry. I think I'd feel relieved. And, how awful is that? But I've already mourned so much.

 

We knew that mine probably would pass away in 2012, and the relative who "got" the situation kept me informed during her last days and was there when she died. I cried when that relative called to tell me that the end had come, but it was mostly a cry of relief. My relative felt the same way. We had been through so much, and it was finally over.

 

And I cried at the burial because it was final then.

 

And that's it. I really haven't been sad or blue since. My therapist says that I'm doing fine, and to accept how I feel. Indeed I have grieved for all of my life. It is OK not to grieve as someone would who had a good relationship with their mother. Please don't beat yourself up over this when the time comes. Accept that grieving can be different in different situations.

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We knew that mine probably would pass away in 2012, and the relative who "got" the situation kept me informed during her last days and was there when she died. I cried when that relative called to tell me that the end had come, but it was mostly a cry of relief. My relative felt the same way. We had been through so much, and it was finally over.

 

And I cried at the burial because it was final then.

 

And that's it. I really haven't been sad or blue since. My therapist says that I'm doing fine, and to accept how I feel. Indeed I have grieved for all of my life. It is OK not to grieve as someone would who had a good relationship with their mother. Please don't beat yourself up over this when the time comes. Accept that grieving can be different in different situations.

 

:grouphug: Thank you. And I'm sorry for all you've suffered, too.

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And I agree, I am careful with who I tell. Many people cannot fathom the depth of the insanity and absolute need to get away.

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree::iagree::iagree:

 

People think I am lying or I am the one who is crazy. Putting up boundaries with a parent is so frowned upon in our culture. :grouphug:

 

My last extended conversation with him involved a lawsuit that they were trying to file against me, and after that I had almost no contact with him. I understood then that she was always #1, regardless.

 

Lawsuits are a tool in my family, too. I have a restraining order against my father.

Edited by Melissa in NC
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:iagree::iagree::iagree::iagree::iagree:

 

People think I am lying or I am the one who is crazy. Putting up boundaries with a parent is so frowned upon in our culture. :grouphug:

 

Very few people I knew (on DH's side of the family) believed my sis was as bad as she was until these last two years. Even though I had told them - they thought I must surely be exagerrating. Most people also think that rather than getting away, you/me/whatever should try to help. Big mistake!

My therapist says I was lucky to have the "geographic cure" because DH is in the AF :)

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How could I be so unlovable? For the longest time, I figured there was something inherently wrong with *me*, since my brothers were treated so differently.

 

my brother will still bring up what a grateful wretch I am to have ever thought such horrible thoughts of grandmother. but he was the GCboy, and I was the scapegoat. I also realize, he is NPD too. :scared: as the one site stated - GC almost never see it.

 

It galled her to the core when I got married to a man who wasn't a druggie, drop-out, etc. he was educated, had a "respectable" job (re: wasn't blue-collar or customer service, but didn't make nearly as much as she thought.) and was building a house when we married. she then gave my sister money for a down-payment on a house so she'd have one too. years later when we bought our first mini-van (I had three kids at the time and we were hoping for another), she bought a nicer one for my sister. (please, can we stop with the "keep up with the jones's games?":auto:). she (and then my mother) paid for my neice to go to a good private school through high school. my sister was so trained to 'the game', that even though grandma was eight years dead, when my daughter got into a top tier college, she had a meltdown and tried to verbally tear down the school becasue basically, it was a "status" she couldn't have too.:nopity:

 

a WEEK after my wedding (we'd just returned from our honeymoon), grandmother tried to convince me dh was unfaithful because "everyone does it". :confused: Between holding her in contempt, and knowing dh very well, it just made me more disgusted with her. oh, and the affrontory of me having my first child nine months and four days after I got married. GASP.:svengo: what. will. people. say????? (I was having TeA on my honeymoon? oh, the horror!;)) never mind the year previously, my GC sister miscarried her fourth pregnancy (one miscarriage, and two abortions) the *day after* she got married (because she was pregnant). right after the miscarriage (I hadn't met my husband), my mother was suggesting I be a surrorgate for my sister. I had just turned 18.:ohmy:

 

While I didn't do a grave dance to the tune of ding-dong the witch is dead, I have laughed about the thought of it. I have the best revenge - I've had a good life, a good marriage, and have been a successful mother.:party:

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People think I am lying or I am the one who is crazy. Putting up boundaries with a parent is so frowned upon in our culture.

 

:grouphug: I think this http://www.daughtersofnarcissisticmothers.com/ had the information that children who suffer this type of abuse (because it IS mental and emotional abuse) are not believed by anyone. Often not even by others in the family. (to object is to be disloyal.)

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Thanks so much for posting the links. It's fascinating.

 

I'm very lucky not to have a NPD mother, but I do have a close relative that I used to call an emotional vampire. He would use the same tactics to stir the drama and then watch it unfold with a satisfied smile on his lips. The lying, manipulation, the careful maintaining of how everything looks to outsiders...

 

We have no contact whatsoever, much to my delight.

 

BTW, can you diagnose the "mother" in movie Tangled?:tongue_smilie:

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People think I am lying or I am the one who is crazy. Putting up boundaries with a parent is so frowned upon in our culture. :grouphug:

 

Really in most cultures. We have various friends who are recent immigrants, and they were amazed that I would stand up to my parents the way I did. Also in some Christian circles, you'll be taken as not "honoring" your parents if you put up boundaries.

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Really in most cultures. We have various friends who are recent immigrants, and they were amazed that I would stand up to my parents the way I did. Also in some Christian circles, you'll be taken as not "honoring" your parents if you put up boundaries.

 

Yes, the NPD person being a parent adds another layer of disbelief.

 

In my case, the NPD isn't a relative (anymore ;)). But he's nearly genious level IQ, handsome, witty, and can be very charming. People somehow expect severely mentally ill types to not be packaged quite like he is. They assume that since churches ordained him as Elder, since workplaces promoted him to VP, since women married him...........He must be fine.

 

The assumption that *I* must be exaggerating/bitter is hard to combat, live with, and respond to.

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