The narcissistic parent

narcissistic parents

Narcissistic Parents

In my study of mental child abuse I’ve noticed how prevalent it is that the child abuser is highly narcissistic.

What’s a narcissistic parent? It’s someone who is self-absorbed, authoritarian (watch out for their outbursts), negative, a know-it-all, never culpable or blameworthy for anything, highly critical of others, secretive, cunning and conniving, manipulative, exploitive, stingy with others (but not themselves), ungrateful, a pathological liar (twists the truth with incredible ease), envious and competitive, deaf to other’s opinions, has zero empathy, doesn’t listen, doesn’t seek agreement (not a single ounce of agreeableness), brags and exaggerates, plays favorites (and it’s a rotating favorite list at that), has no boundaries, never asks you any questions, inept at basic manners, lacks a sense of humor (especially at themselves), and excels at making others feel guilty… He or she is one unhappy person who can successfully convince their targets that they are needed, and that without them their targets would be nothing.

Looking at these traits, how many of them apply to your parent or ex? A narcissist will have most of the traits listed.

There’s a simple reason why the more a parent brainwashes his or her own children (or dishes out any other form of abuse), the more narcissistic tendencies they have:

It takes an extremely selfish and sick parent to inflict such harm onto their own child.

Any mature parent can set aside anger or hurt from a divorce and keep their child on neutral ground by refusing to enroll them in the middle of the conflict. But a narcissistic parent will be hell-bent on minimizing or even outright destroying the child’s relationship with the ex and unable to place their child out of the emotional turmoil. They can’t do it. In fact, they will actively bring pain to their own kids. That’s how mentally ill they are.

So how do you counter these parents, and is there hope for changing them? A sobering quote:

“Trying to reform narcissists by reasoning with them or by appealing to their better nature is about as effective as spitting in the ocean.”

That has been one of my biggest frustrations with my ex, thinking that reasoning with her and letting her eventually calm down and see for herself that I’m a good Dad would temper her behavior towards our son. But it never happened, and her actions even got worse over time. The sad reality is that you can’t change the narcissist. They don’t have the self-awareness or humility to see that they’re out of control and need help. They’re incapable of introspection. It’s deeply unfortunate, especially if your ex is the custodial parent and has ample amounts of time to transfer these narcissistic  traits onto your child.

The only recourse for you is to be a normal parent, providing needed contrast for your child. It’s very important to insist that any behaviors in him or her that mimic your narcissistic ex are stomped out immediately. So if your child is flippant, rude, and lacking manners– and they will on many levels when they’ve been living with a narcissist– don’t tolerate it.

“The narcissist is governed by his or her feelings, the decent person is governed by his or her obligations” – Dennis Prager

Since a narcissistic parent is governed by his or her feelings, they don’t have the ability to own up to their obligations to shield their child from emotional heartache, adult issues, stories of how bad Mommy or Daddy is, etc. They will actively get the children involved in the conflict.

These parents are a vortex of negative energy, and will suck the life out of those around them. Children of narcissists suffer, and they come in two camps: those that are aware of this parent’s bizarre, completely irrational behavior “Yeah, there my Mom/Dad goes again…”, or they’re not and are mentally and physically smothered by the parent. Sadly, lots of these children end up inheriting the narcissist’s traits, supporting the findings that many children of narcissistic parents become narcissists themselves.

The reality is this. Once the children become adults, the only way for them to not further suffer under the tyranny of a severely narcissistic parent is to move away from them. Creating physical separation, and thus limiting contact, from a parent might seem like a bad solution. But the alternative is living a life of suffering. Remember, the narcissist will never change. After all, he or she isn’t the wrongdoer or person with flaws. Everyone else is.

Finally, here is a quote I would like to share that was left in the comment section, below, from a reader:

“The narcissist has no conscience and no feelings for others, especially their own children. The only thing that matters is their own selfish ego– coercing, manipulating, causing chaos, and damaging lives everywhere they go.”

Have a question for me about narcissistic parents? I’ll answer on future podcasts and posts. Thanks! – John


About John

John Thomas Steinbeck is a parental alienation consultant. He and his son's relationship was under attack in a deplorable campaign of parental alienation. In this blog, John shares his insights, techniques, and tools in combating emotional child abuse. He did it-- today his son's love has been restored-- and you can too!
  • delilah

    Both my ex-brother-in-law and my sister are narcissists, and my poor nieces are caught in the middle of the two. I feel so helpless & disgusted when I hear my family, in the presence of these young girls, bash their father with the lowest of insults (calling him “fat” and “turd”, for instance). Then they turn around and act all indignant that their father says bad things about my sister. It’s all so ugly, but if I said anything about it, I’d be cut right out of the family. So I refuse to participate, but wish I could do more. I am still dealing with my own wounds from my narcissistic mother, so I know how damaging this is likely to be for my nieces.

  • mela

    You people need some serious counseling. Your poor children! As kids grow up they realize on their own the reality of a given situation, and if there is a happy home to go to, that is where they will choose to be. Any parent who does what people here are claiming, the child will eventually realize this! Get a grip people. You guys are angry for sure, and you have a right to be upset but it seems that you are just as unhealthy as the other parent, who you are openly bad mouthing and ranting about here. You seem to want to make yourself look perfect or “better” but judges will see, and probably have seen right through you, which is why you continue to not have custody of your kids. My ex bad mouths me subtly all the time, and his wife is no better. It’s little digs here and there, telling my kids how “bad” and “evil” I used to be but now I “seem” better, whatever, I just laugh it off, and then I tell my kids that they will have to figure it out on their own, I don’t go back bashing them in retaliation. I told my ex that I would share custody with him but instead he chose to go around bad mouthing me, and putting me down trying to make me look like the enemy. I just realx and chill, if your kids want to live with the other parent, LET THEM. Stop trying to control and manipulate your kids, it will just come back around baby, they will eventually see you for who you are, and then watch out! STOP fighting over your children, they are human beings, not possessions to be jerked around and used as pawns in your little games!! My job is to do right by my kids, in every way, to expand their possiblilities and make sure they are well taken care of. All my money goes to them, not for lawyers and fighting. Spend that money you use for lawyers to constantly take your ex to court, and that energy you use up making CPS calls on your kids, maybe taking them to a counselor, or enriching their lives in some way. Instead you are angry and bitter and it shows, YOU PEOPLE are the unhappy parents, don’t you think your kids can see that? They probably do not want to be with you because you guys are miserable and blaming it on the other parent, exactly what you are saying you are against! If you are the happiest, funnest parent then your kids will LOVE coming to your house, it would be like Christmas everyday, that is what you should be aiming for, then it won’t matter what the other parent is saying because the kids will be able to see that it is not true!! IDK maybe some day you guys will get it.

  • Erin

    To Mela, I must disagree. You either are ignorant,or not going through it. I am angry,but I never badmouth him as he does me infront or to my child. People are here for support,knowing they are not the only ones dealing with this. And as for children realizing on their own,wrong again. Some end up scared yet led to believe the abuser is also the protector from years of brainwashing. As for court ,judges seeing this,you are nieve,half of the judges don’t even take the time to let you speak,then some know and even are friends with your exes attorney. You know,I think you seem more bitter and arrogant ,making me think you are the one who is actually as bad as if not the type of parent we deal with.I believe you may have the wrong web site,total iggnorance. Wake up.


    Before stating that these people don’t know what they are talking about…………. PAS is a serious issue with child custody. PARENT ALIENATION SYNDROME is CAUSED by the BRAINWASHING parent!

  • jim grim

    does anyone realize that most courts/state agency’s don’t acknowledge brainwashing at all, much less as a form of abuse.

  • Cyn

    Jimgrim..I do realize the courts don’t acknowledge brainwashing and it’s very hard to have the courts act swifty or with severity regarding PAS either… You are so right!
    My husband has been battling a naricissistic ex for three years and boy it’s horrible to witness nice, loving children turn angry, disrespectful and full of pain because they have the false belief that their father abandon them.
    I would love to see the court system recognize how harmful and criminal it is to take a loving parent (and their extended family) from a child…and replace it with pain and false sense of rejection.
    Oh…and could the court system be far more expediant? After three years of fooling around and costing tens of thousands of dollars my husbands daughter is now 17 and the courts said she’s not an issue anymore. So see the children hurt so deeply, my husband hurt so badly, not to mention the grandparents, aunts, uncles and family friends that have been shunned.
    And to address…delilah…I feel for you! It’s so hard to sti by and watch children you love being hurt and crippled emotionally by the selfish people in their lives. Hang in there. I’ve been researching how to help and cope with the problem by buying books on amazon and seeking websites…like you. My best to you…

  • FE

    Very interesting views! I am seeing every side of this as a step-dad. Fortunately for me, my ex-wife and I happily share the kids. I txt, email, Facebook, call etc etc the kids all the time when they’re not with me (varying ages).
    It’s so very rewarding to ‘get along’ as a seperated couple. Yes of course, we have had many an argument in the early stages of divorce, but the kids have come out the other end relatively happy (of course they wish mum and dad were still together).
    As a step-dad however, I get to see the ugly side of what can only be described as a total destruction of the children’s wellbeing. For the life of me I cannot understand why a dad who gets regular access would want to destroy the little minds of his kids. Narcissistic is an understatement, and as mentioned by Mela, I too believe that the kids will eventually grow up and realize that what Dad is doing is just plain wrong, but as Erin points out, unfortunately soooooo much damage has, and will be done before that happens.
    With several court cases past, the Dad is still pushing for more access, but instead of enjoying the time he has (12 days a month) he spends it brainwashing the kids. It’s very obvious he hates his ex-wife and will use the kids as a tool to destroy her!
    I do try my hardest to stay neutral, but sometimes its heartbreaking to hear the kids open up to me whilst taking the dog for a walk, and quite innocently state that “Daddy says this, or Daddy done that” these are very young kids who don’t know what is being done to them.
    How do you stop this? If I could knock some sense into the man I would, but that would only lead to further complications. In all honesty, I really don’t know……But I’ve always believed that when the kids are with their Mum and I we have to work hard to always have a happy home life so the kids know that whatever is said and done, it’s always safe to come home to Mum.

  • MsHab

    Help us! My fiance has a 9 year old child that was produced by a one night stand. For years he tried and tried to see her it was very speratic. Finally last Feb we hired an attorney and have been having regular visitation. Of course mom claims child is suffering from this, hates us, etc, but the visits go just fine. Mom is on disability and we just found out today it is because of alternating mood disorders, bipolor, narcissism, depression, multiple personalities. Now it all makes since, no wonder why she is brainwashign the child, making up ridiculous stories and lies. We just wanted one night a week and every other weekend, but know I dont know if she is fit to be a mother. Poor child is involved in nothing, no immunizations, doesn’t complete meds for infections, behind in math. She always looks properly dressed and groomed. Mom hopped therapist once already but never reveals her own medical issues when intakes are done. We are just sick, can a person with all these issues raise a child?

  • joe

    a son and daughter, I had to work 16 hrs a day 6-7 a wk,for yrs to make sure both had a better life and did they are collage grad , ex after 30 yrs marrage was envloved with 34 yr ex freind she told every one encluding my children she said at 28 yrs as soon as the news was out it was like a plug was pulled. I did not exist anymore and the only bad thing I did I dont know I see my children 7 or 5 times a year grand kids , I just dont understand. I did not even yell, devorced and my hart is gone

  • I had a bad relationship with my ex! Mental addict abuser. I moved back home in 20005! Buried my father! Then brought her back from the brink of death in nov. Then my ex came in my daddy house & chocked me. She sceamed (do you want me to feel sorry for you? One tear, & I replied yes! We remarried! After me being hafe dead, he finnally got picked up from the police. Two yrs he served ! But when it sunk in her head she cryed like a baby for him! I need help! She now I know has bEen lying saying I was a drug crack whore. & the ex. Ya him to. Now its 2011 nov. & my 23 yry old son theaten to start beating me & my 18 yry old said I’m elfis & has beat me two yrs ago. & my 14 year old wants me dead! Help please!

  • Sean

    I have full custody of my daughter, 8, and she has not seen her mother since June, she hasn’t even called to check in on her. I am still dealing with the narcissism of my ex. Whats worse is that my daughter still blames me and believes I stole her away from her mother because that’s what her mommy told her. My daughter is now in two different forms of therapy a week and is seeing a tutor two times a week. And do everything I can to help my poor child and I still get bad talked by her and compared to her “saintly” mother. I believe it will take years to recovering the brainwashing she has sustained, maybe even longer if her mother ever decides to rear her ugly head again. Does anyone have any legal input on these types of situations. I am dealing with a narcissist who will disappear for months on end with no contact, I have no number or address – no way at all of contacting her. She will show up unannounced and demand visitation and she will involve the police for no reason, and they make me give my daughter to her or threaten me with citations or arrest. I am at wits end and have no idea where to begin.

  • Chickpea

    How does a mom protect her son (young adult, 21) as he has become the new narcissistic supply. I have sucked during a 25 year marriage but now my ex/narcissist is twisting things in my son’s life. I’m trying to help my son but come off as sounding like the wounded, angry ex wife. I’m watching his become stuck, angry and I’m at a loss!

  • Maurizio

    I’m an Italian father still fighting for my son an Italian citizen , he was abducted form Italy to Los Angeles by his narcissistic,sociopathic,alcoholics mother.
    I’ve been accused with all kind of fake orrible charge:domestic violence on her and my son, sexual abused on my son, neglets on my son, attempted murder on her and my son through an hit man and more e and more…
    After a different investigations and a ten days trail in LA everything was dismiss and the sexual abused unfounded.
    I saw my son 5 time during the investigation and only with monitors,and without the permission to speak Italian, his first language!
    I paid 200 dollars every time just to see my son!
    After two visits my son started to enjoy the time with me and his mother decide to take him to a psychatric hospital stating that he tryed to kill himself and he was mad and want to died because of the visits…all of this just to get some more documents.
    How can a loving mother can do something like this to his son!
    In September this year I won the case and after almost two years I’m still waiting to get my son back, the last time I saw him was last August and since then I didn’t have any more live Skype,no phone call,anything!
    I went in LA in January to get some visitations with my son and the corrupted, rotten, evil therapist that brainwashed my son from the first month after the abduction during the heraing stated that my son wanted to kill me and wanted to see me dead!
    So the judge believed her and her lies and no visitations for me…I was devasted..I went to the other side of the world to see my son and no compassion not just for me but even for my son…
    I can’t immagine what my son has been through in all this time and I can’t immagine what his thinking about me now..
    Now you can have an idea of how my son has been abused by his mother,his therapist and all the justice system…
    Just reading a part of the reports of the last visit I had with him you can understand better…

    0 After hugging Child hello, Father brings out two Toy Story characters and a shirt. These presents are for Child birthday

    1 Child says, “I totally forgot about Mommy.” Father asks Child if he’s happy and Child says, “Yes.”

    2 A little girl, about Child’s age, says that she wants to play with Father and Child. Child says, “I don’t want to share my Daddy.”

    3 Leo says, “I don’t like you…I’m saying this because I’m trying to get that to the judge.”

    4 Father holds Child and tells him how much he loves him. Father asks Child if he understands the magnitude of Father’s love. Child says, “Longer than space and miles.”

    5 Child asks Father if he wants to play the “Yum-yum-yum Game.” Father smiles and agrees. It is a game on Father’s phone and they play this game with enthusiasm.

    6 Child mentions a shirt that Father gave him with a shark on it. Father asks if Child wears this shirt and Child responds by saying, “Mom put it away.”

    7 Father gives the large Buzz Lightyear doll to Child after unwrapping it. Child plays with it for a while and says to his new doll, “You’re my favorite destiny.”

    8 Father gets Child out of the car. He kisses and hugs Leo goodbye. Leo says “Happy Birthday” and so does Father. They both tell one another, “I love you.” Father says, “You’re the best, Child,” and Child returns the sentiment.

    The name of my son has been replaced with the word Child…

    Now you have an idea of what kind of narcissistic mother we are talking about…

    Unfortunately my son didn’t need any of this in his life…he was the happiest child in this world and she ruined his life forever..
    I tried to protect my son and I did everything in my power…I hope this nightmire is gonna end soon for both of us….


  • Frustrated mom

    Where.was this when I had some hope of making out through the custody battle. I’m so fed up. And it’s too late as my kids are nearly grown.

    I have no funds to try to get them back and ast this age one seventeen and one fifteen the oldest 22… Nothing I can do. I feel as tho I have failed at everything. It’s so painful.

    He used the custody battle to cover for something he did blaming it on my oldest…. Now the seventeen year old has issues so I followed advice took computer to law enforcement then they just hand it back. I email the ex and instead of emailing out discussing with me fills my son with nonsense…. About how a loving mom doesn’t do that. How I should have let him cover his tracks. and how I have demons attached to me. Lol

    There just don’t seen to be any options.

  • Scared

    My emotional abusive ex ( with aggression problems) is taking me to court to sue for weekend rights to our daughter 19 months. ex is a raw vegan and when he feeds our baby normal food that I prepared (exp. spaghetti ) he tells her” mommy is making you poison.” He vowed to take her to a slaughter house when she is 4 so that she can see what happens to cows. I feel helpless. I have no problem with his eating habits it is the emotional abuse I am worried about. he tells her the food is poison and I know she is only 19months right now I am sure it has an impact on a child.

  • Victim but vindicated

    Unfotunately, the narcissist usually gets away with his behavior in theoutside world and in my experience, as long as he had the money to provide his circle of fellow alcoholics with the alcohol and the place to congregate and drink, then they accept all of his narcissistic traits and ignore his verbal, mentally abusive behavior towards not only his ex and the mother of his children but his nieces and nephews, siblings, cousins and friends. If a mom is there all of the children’s lives for them, and disengages from the narcissistic abuser, he will attempt as he has during the entire relationship to destroy any bond she has with the children and to brainwash them. All you can do is to continue to love them, listen to them, be thee for them and don’t accept or magnify the N’s behavior such that it interferes with living your life wth the children. That is exactly what the N is attempting to do because for one, narcissists cannot stand the attention not being on them, and for two, if he can’t outrightly make the children hate you, he will try anything and everything to make him and his actiona the focus such that the children get so sick of him always interfering they just want to get the heck away from both parents and out of the entire situation. So if focus has been on him and his destruction, bring it back to the life you had with your kids if he was never in existence. Acknowledge that he is the father, don’t spend time trying to discredit him, but shift your lives back to focusing on your family life instead of him and his pathetic, controlling, destructive ways and in the end, your children may see the truth when they are able to step back and look at it objectively. God bless. I feel for everyone who has had the misfortune of being involved with a narcissistic abuser.

  • makki

    I’m 28, my mother is narcissistic, i can’t leave her house, my sister was given a house because she was “married”, I am not married, and have children, so I dont get a house. my car needed new brakes, but was not in my name it was sold for scraps as she gained 300 bucks for it, now i am carless. my sister brother and i commuicate through her, we dont have much of a real” brotherly sisterly relationship, this i never understood. to her im terrible, i burden her, my only way out is if she helps watch my children so I can work, she refuses because it burdens her, she doesnt work, my father does, he is mentally abused by her also. she uses him he knows it and takes it.. so she wont take it out on us. I am really stuck here, and am not sure what is the right thing to do since decisions have never really been mine to make? haven’t ever been allowed friends over our house.. I dont know what my talents are, I am a good mother, though im told since i live in “her” house that I suck and am not, but i know in my heart I am not like her and never want to be, I just want us out of here, im pretty broke my dad helps me but i want to do it on my own, and it gets harder to leave as I get older, and i dont trust daycares? im told they are full of i cannot afford one.. any advice? or similar situations how to deal? email me?

  • MarciaD

    My sister is a narcissist who treated her daughter as a need-gratifying object since the day the child was born. She successfully alienated her daughter from her father. Then she moved on to alienate her from those who loved and cared for her her whole life. My niece is 30 years-old and hates me due to my sister’s alienation tactics. My niece is an intelligent person, yet she still cannot think for herself. Despite facts and reality, she adopts her mother’s distorted and delusional view of events. My heart is broken. I have loved Erica (niece) since the day she was born. I was her caregiver for years. I thought my hugs, and kisses, unconditional love stability, and safety would be make a difference,, even a little, but she is as hateful as her mother. She claims to have no memory of me taking care of her at all. I understand the pathology, but understanding does not comfort me. My heart will remain broken until I take my last breath.

  • Brittany

    My mother is narcissistic among other things. I’m stuck in her home right now because I can’t find a job. If anyone knows where a 25 yearold single white female with 2 cats (i have them for my severe depression & anxiety issues) can turn for help, please contact me
    I can’t take it anymore. I’m in the verge of another breakdown. I don’t deserve the way I’m treated.

  • MarciaD

    Brittany…this may help:

  • Sharon

    My husband is a narcissist. He walked out on us the kids and me a year ago, took all the money, borrowed on my house without my permission. He doles out what he feels like giving us. I was a stay at home mom. Since he has been gone I have sold all of my jewelry, cashed in my children’s savings bonds, gone into $100K of credit card, attorney and other debt. My husband has traveled, spent money on clothes, parties. He has cut off the children’s therapy. He got a best interest attorney for the children, but when she told him to get into family therapy but he never did. He fired the best interest attorney. He never makes his weekly dinner visitation and blames it on me. I have the kids ready each and every time.

    My husband is a business executive. He earns a ton of money. Since he left, he has placed himself on several boards, goes to charitable events (where he gives money – something he never did) and all of this is happening as the kids and I sink into poverty.

    THE COURTS ARE DOING NOTHING. He canceled the child custody meeting, refused to settle at the settlement conference. He has canceled our trial.

    I feel as though he loves his double life. He lives the life he wants while putting us in misery and he has the ability to do so since he took away our resources.

  • kobe

    I never knew that that was the word that I was looking for, narcissistic. Someone who is self-absorbed, negative, highly critical of others, secretive, stingy, envious and competitive, authoritarian, and lacks a sense of humor. He or she is one unhappy person. It almost seems like you are describing my 35 yr old sister exactly. The funniest part is she calls me that and she doesn’t even know what that means. She is so uneducated she brags though about how she has her AA from Moorpark Community College while I have a BA from a Cal State. I know that’s not that great but at least I don’t brag about it. She uses words without even knowing the meaning and redefines them based on her own accord. Her fat slob of a husband is also a narcissist. I always have to listen to their petty arguments. I’ll bet a millions bucks they will inevitably get a divorce. I’m 27 but she always says that I’m a fuck up like I’m older than her. They are both atheist and being a believer it sickens me how they behave without regard. I live with them and their 2 yr old daughter, my niece. She loves me dearly as I treat her like her age but they already treat her like she’s 12. It sickens me, she’s just a baby and they already expect so much from her. No disrespect to anyone who is overweight but they are both fat slobs. They talk so much about how much they do but they never really do anything. I want to leave this house but I also live with my parents (who don’t speak English & aren’t very bright), and pet dog, who I all care for dearly but I can’t stand to deal with this any longer. I’m a pharmacy tech but am currently looking for work as this job market is beyond horrible. Once I can save up enough though I’m going to get out of this hell hole. They both make me sick, please forgive me for my wrath Lord. I’m not a certain religion I just try to live a godly existence. They on the other hand are complete heretics.

  • sharon b

    The pain and the heartache that is caused by narcissists! We suffer so much and they have no idea what they have done to the people around them. They are very sick and twisted people. It is so difficult to stomach them. Just their presence alone is enough to cause torment. The best thing that has come out of my own problems with narcissist is that I have developed a deeper faith and trust in God. He is all I have. Every day I depend on God to get me through the day. I pray to Archangel Michael to give me the strength to stand up to the narcissist and preserve myself and our children. I know I cannot change the narcissist but I can change myself and the way I respond to the narcissist. Reactions are not given to anything he does or says. All of the insults, curses, bad behavior are just that and they all his! The narcissist, like an onion has many layers and when you peel all of those layers back, there is a very small, tiny, child who is upset, hurt, and lashing out at you why? because his parent (mom first then dad) abandoned or hurt him emotionally when he was a child. They got their daughter within a year of his birth and the daughter became their pride and joy. He was a nobody. How sad! I can’t imagine the pain he must have experienced at the time and throughout his life due to his parents’ attitudes and behavior. But I did not do anything. I married him, tried to love him and what did I get? Cruel treatment, emotional and verbal abuse which is domestic violence, controlling behaviors, a phantom spouse, crazymaking behavior, insults and injury to my spirit and in the end, I am a single parent to our three children who have experienced parental brainwashing to compensate for his insecurity and anxiety that I am brainwashing them. He manipulates every situation to his advantage. Its so frustrating. Narcissists make better soap opera characters than spouses!

  • Paul

    Fixd one enjoys writing this. I hope it can be read now.

    Both of my brothers are narcissists, saying such claptrap as children giving them ‘immortality.” I have had probems from being absued from my Dad, my entire life. Just like Chevy Chase felt about his evil parents, I will be glad to see their lives have no more influence on me. It is true that only the good die young. My Mom and Dad are so afraid of death, even though they like to be seen in Church. One of my sisters had an early deah due to abuse. Law enforcement and docs care litle. They just want money. This article is right. There is nothng you can do about narsissistic parents. Do not be angry at them. since they do not deserve any attention. I think God either (a) cannot do anything, (b) does not exist or (c) has litte interest. in anyone unjustly suffering. Many people think this, including Deists such as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.

  • Broken

    Reading these posts stir up a lot of anger and conflicting emotions, because I am at a complete loss. My situation is very complex, and difficult. I’m begining to lose hope, that I will ever have a relationship with my youngest daughter.

    My ex gained custody of our daughter five years ago. My ex and I were BOTH using drugs at the time. We were 21 years old, engaged, and we had just lost our apartment. . I was arrested, and served 90 days in jail. During that 90 days, my ex’s grandparents manipulated, and convinced him to call off our engagement, and file for custody of our daughter. He did. His grandparents raised him mostly, even though his mother has been alive and well for years. Here’s the sitiuation, my ex’s father died in a car accident when he was just 2 years old. For whatever particular reason, he spent most of his time, with his grandparents. My ex told me, that after his father died, he was not allowed to see his other grandmother, or associate with his half siblings. This was the work of his grandparents.

    My ex does not live with our daughter. He basically just gained custody, and surrendered her to his grandparents. His grandparents have been brainwashing and alienating our daughter for five years now. When she looks at me, I can see in her eyes that she does not see me as her mother. My ex and I have both cleaned up from the drugs, but he is still a drunkard. He works, but all of his money goes to the liquor stores and local bars. The man who gained custody, from his “drug addict” ex, is drunk at this very moment, and living from place to place. From friend’s house to friend’s house… As our daugher is being raised by his unhealthy 80 some year old narcissist grandparents.

    They make up the most ridiculous lies and stories about how I did this and that, put me down, tell her I GAVE HER TO THEM because I can’t take care of her, and that myself, my parents, and my older two children are not really her family. One time, she was having her weekly 6 hour visit with me, at my apartment. She was having a good time, playing with her brother and sister, Well, “Poppy” came to pick her up, and she didn’t want to leave. She threw herself to the ground and started crying. “Poppy” is 80 years old. He can just about walk, but certainly can’t pick up a tantruming child, or carry her to his car. He began saying, “UhOh! Mommy’s getting mad at you! Stop it now! If you don’t stop, Mommy’s gonna punch you in the nose!” I was completely SHOCKED AND HORRIFIED at what he said to her! She doesn’t want to leave me, yet you’re going to threaten her with violence, and use ME as the abuser? How sick do you have to be?

    These grandparents of my ex, have done nothing but work relentlessly to destroy any bond my daughter ever felt for me. If I buy her clothes, they send them back or throw them away. Toys, they throw away. Art work she makes at my house, they throw away. It’s like they want her to forget that I am her mother. Like, they’re re-living their parenting through my child. They are so selfish. I never hurt my children, and I certainly did not endanger them. My mistakes, I have to live with everyday, but I know I am a good mother.

    I’ve talked to my ex about this whole situation, and he refuses to do anything about it. I don’t have the money for a lawyer, and I don’t want to go back to court and sling mud at each other. We have a peacful relationship to this day. We have talked, and though he admits to me, that he knows I never hurt our daughter, or put her in danger, he can’t stand up to his grandparents and make them let me see her. His grandparents make all decisions regarding school, religion, etc.. They gave me a false time for our daughter’s Christening, just so I could not attend and see who THEY decided would be the God Parents. They are getting very old and very sick, and I know they have made arrangements for my daughter to live with other people “not my ex” when they pass.

    Now, I have tried to apply for legal aide, and because my ex is represented by a income based attorney, I can not get an attorney from the same agency, (which is the only agency in my county) due to a “conflict of interest”… I don’t understand. I am so torn up and baffled. that my ex’s grandparents have pretty much kidnapped my daughter, shunned me from her life, and raise her as if I died. I don’t know what to do. I’ve gone to my local CPS office, and they said they can’t help me. On what planet does this seem right?

    I am not an unfit mother. I have full custody of my oldest 2 children, and have worked out a civil arrangement for their father to see them when he has time. I have been clean and sober for five years now, and I’ve taken all the appropriate steps in regards to gaining more time with my daughter,but I’m working hard to get nowhere. I’ve heard of so many women doing so much worse than I had done, yet they get their kids back within one year. This makes no sense… How could family courts allow this type of alienation to take place, without remotely considering the damage it is inflicting on the children? I am a 26 year old woman, and this situation has me completely heartbroken and confused. Can any of you imagine what it is doing to my 6 year old daughter???? She looks at those great grandparents as if they are her parents. I understand they love her, and I’m not saying they don’t take good care of her. I just don’t think what they have done to keep our daughter in their household, against mine and my ex’s will.

    Where can I go for help? I’m poor. I don’t have money for the court process. I don’t have money for a Private Investigator to prove that my ex is living on the streets as his grandparents keep me from seeing our daughter. Before some ignorant half wit like MELA puts their 2 cents, where a quarter is required, understand this… I’m not a bitter ex. My ex and I are on very good terms, and had actually entertained the thought of getting back together. But we can’t, because his grandparents would not approve. He can’t think for himself. Does anyone have any idea where I can go for help? What I can do??? There is so much more to the story, but I don’t have the time, or strength left to explain this situation in it’s full horrific detail.

    All I ask, is that if you don’t have advice, prayers are just as welcome. Those of you who are going through the same thing, I feel your pain, and I wish people like this were punished accordingly to their sick and twisted state of mind. Those of you who do have custody of your kids, or have visitation, don’t ever take that time you have with your kids for granted. I have lost five years of my daughter’s life. Five hears I will never get back. So before any of you even THINK about using someone’s child to seek revenge, or be spiteful, think again. No sin goes unpunished in this lifetime.

  • single mom

    call your local bar assoication and ask for attorneys who practice in domestic matters and offers pro bono work. (Free service). God Bless.

  • Heartbroken Mom

    I am in the same situation. I WILL NOT GIVE UP. My ex husband has manipulated the system in his favor. According to the state of Texas I am the custodial parent and he and his attorney changed the paperwork. My son doesn’t want to see me, but he signed a paper he wanted to live with me and that he feared his father. My ex assaulted me and served 24 wks of an anger program, finished program and got a concealed hand gun license. He is dangerous. My son is under surveilance of a camera in the home. My husband used to record me all the time. My son is 16 now and has not been in school for 3 years. I have had 3 bad attorneys who see this all the time, but don’t care. I fear my son will kill himself or his dad eventually all hell will break lose.

    Heartbroken Mom

  • Meg

    Hi Everyone… I found this site, and found it very interesting… I think i may have narcissistic parents, as much as i would like to wish it wasn’t true. But maybe you guys could shed some light for me… I’m 20 years old, and ive been in a relationship for 2.5 years. It didn’t seem to show up til now… but my boyfriend has made some mistakes in our relationship, that we have had to work through. (things involving his past college years). These things should have been kept between him and I, but they were spread throughout my 2 parents and my sister. After my boyfriend talked to my parents about his mistakes, appologizing, my dad barely talked to him when he came over, and my mom would leave the room completely, barely saying hi.
    A year after the talk with my parents, my parents heard us fighting, and immediately jumped to the conclusion that he was hitting me, and abusing me both emotionally and physically. That night, my father told him that he was to never step foot on our property again….so needless to say, i have been living a double life. When he picks me up for dates, i have to walk down the road to meet him…
    Since this happened this past summer, i have gone away to school. He comes to see me once a week, and sometimes he comes up and stays on the weekends. I feel so bad to my parents though, because i know how much they hate me.
    They always say, he is smothering me, and that i should be living the “college life”, seeing other people. When they find out that he is up there, my mom has gotten really mad a couple of times.
    I play volleyball, one game was at a school close to home, so my parents and my boyfriend came. On the way there, my parents past my boyfriend…shortly after passing, he receieved a text from my father saying, “why dont you let Megan’s family go watch her play volleyball without you present, thank you. They expected him to turn around, without any thought of maybe I wanted him there.
    Since that point, my parents have resorted to telling me that he has severe records, and that he has cheated on me. Even though, he just got a job that requires a backgroud check, and i have talked to so many people about the cheating, and everyone says, there is no way he could do it.
    My parents and my sister have also “found out” information about my boyfriends past through other sources as well. My bf and i talk via facebook sometimes, and talked about his past at one time. I remember leaving my laptop open giving it to my sister to use one night. My facebook comes up automatically (not requiring a password), and after bringing up some information about his past, they try to tell me that they found out through the fire company that my dad is in (which is impossible, because my bf doesnt/ wouldnt talk to them about his past college experiences).
    When i call my mom out on lying, she always says she never has lied to me. It hurts, because i know she has.
    This isnt always with just me though. My mom attacks my friends that have long lasting relationships as well. she always says they are not good enough, or their boyfriends are bad people (when she has never met them).
    My boyfriend is an amazing guy, my best friend, and he never has hit/ told me how to live) However my parents are mistaking my sadness for being from him, rather than being sad that they hate him.
    They always tell me, he will never be accepted into this family. His family is slightly of a different “status” if you will, if you believe in that sort of thing, but i never thought my family would judge people based on their etiquette/ money situation.
    Some fights with my mom have gotten extremely severe, to points where my mom has placed her hands on me, considering she had been drinking before we started fighting, i called her out on it, during one of following fights, but she did not appologize.
    I always am scared to ask to go to his house, sometimes they say that im choosing him over them, even though out of the 7 times i was home during the semester, i saw him once, because i was too afraid to ask to go see him.
    If anyone has any advice/ insight on this, itd be great. I feel so alone, and i feel like there is no way out. I feel like my boyfriend will never be accepted, therefore never able to marry me, if thats what our relationship comes to.
    Thanks for the input guys.

  • Melinda Jennings

    Mela I read your comment. But I have witnessed first hand the effects of a narcissitic father of 7 by different women have affected the children. 5 are now grown. One will be released from prison on March 15. One has a drug problem. Not to mention the emotional issues the other 5 are suffering from. Yes I have compassion for him. As christians were are commanded to love unconditionally, but it still hurts to see the damage one person can make on this generation and generations to come. I wish I had an answer. Letting things go did not help in 5 of the cases i mentioned because that is exactly what happened. I’m not trying to offend anyone. I have always sought ways to help children!

  • Melinda Jennings

    Join me nightly in praying for children of narcissitic parents. I’m a firm believer in God’s awesome power.

  • Amy

    Oh my so I’m not alone , my ex has told my children that I poison their food , that if you look out the windows where we live that someone will shoot you , that I call the littlest guy who is 5 and was brain damaged at birth retarded …. where do you go for help protecting them from this , because I have been everywhere and no help . What makes it worst is that he is winning in family court . His girlfriend has even hit 2 of the children and it was reported to child protection and when interviewed the children told that she did this and still nothing done .

  • Donna

    Hello everyone, I have read some of the posts and they sound all too familiar. My situation is very similar. I live with
    my children’s father and he has alienated my own 10 year old
    son from me. They know that once I get money saved I am moving out and now my son doesn’t even want to come with me. My daughter is only 2. I am not letting her father ruin her image of me like he has done to my son. Me and my son used to be so close. But now he just looks at me and sometimes will say a quick hello. I’ve tried talking to him over and over and nothing helps. He acts just like his father and talks just like his father, it’s terrible. I never thought this would happen between me and my son. Has anyone read the book above?

  • sarah jagger

    I just stumbled across this thread and I now realise my ex is a classic narcissist. He and his family have relentlessly stirred up trouble, made accusations, and have manipulated my 11 year old son to dislike me. He manipulated the judge in family court twice, by making the judge pity him, and I was painted as a bad parent. I have tried so many times to get my son back, but keep coming up against a brick wall.
    My ex has made numerous awful accusations of my partner which have caused immeasurable damage, on many levels.
    I would like to admit that fouer years ago I had a drinking problem. I drank because i was lost without my son and was very sad and felt like a useless mum. I have now stopped drinking and am virtually teetotal.
    Just to give you folks an example of the narcissism i am up against……
    Christmas Day, I receive a message purporting to be from my son, in which my partner was yet again bad mouthed. The message said he did not want anything to do with me ever again and he said he had ripped up the christmas card i had previously sent to him. I was utterly heartbroken. I am not convinced my son wrote the message as it did not sound right, with words used that kids dont use and I also do not think my son would be nasty like that. My ex ruined my Christmas day and i just know he savoured every bit of it.
    I have a 14 month old son too who is in my full custody and it really hurts me to think he does not know his big brother, its just not fair.
    All you people i have read about, my heart goes out to you completely. Its the manipulation of the narcissist i find the worst, the ability to make people pity them, admire them, gain trust in them etc.
    They are dangerous and leave a trail of emotional destruction in their wake. The kids suffer as a result of these people.
    Anyone out there, please feel free to email me about your situation as i need more instances and information about narcissism. My partner and I need your help. Thankyou everyone.

  • constance

    I have read all the above comments regarding the Narcissist. I have studied them ( personal experience ) for over 14 years. Prognosis is poor. You will be in a living hell. Your kids will be manipulated and brainwashed ( by the best ). Eventually…. ”you” will be the enemy. In my case…I was married to an enmeshed narcissitic family…that’s when I began to read. At this point…I’m really tired. I can give very good advise.

  • When the child makes a mistake the parent reacts with biting criticism, often berating or labelling the child “stupid”, or demanding a perfectionistic standard that “around here this is what is expected”. Given the narcissistic parent is never wrong nor ever apologises, the child stats to feel defective in front of what is supposedly a perfect setting that they, the child is sabotaging for all concerned. This leads to a drive to also be perfect, or a collapse into shame and self-blame, and a felt sense of being flawed and not enough.

  • this is ridiculous how can people do such a thing children don’t deserve this and neither does anyone else 🙁

  • admin

    You’re right, Constance… these narcissists can wreak emotional devastation on everyone around them. In dealing with the worst offenders, the more distance from them… the better.

  • haley

    i agree

  • Nicole

    My ex-husband is a narcissist and pollutes the children’s minds with negativity about me, their maternal grandparents, aunts and uncles etc.

    They are now 10 and 8 yrs old and I have been divorced for 7.5 years and I have serious damage control to do with my children. The horrific lies he has told them about me in an effort to turn them against me. My son has anger issues and my daughter has emotional issues.

  • Kelley

    My fiance’s ex wife HAS to be narcissist. There is no winning with her. HE does everything wrong and she is always right. She constantly violates a court order which “orders” the other parent not to say negative things about the other patent in front of the children. She doesn’t include him in any doctors visits cause last time, the eldest boy was weened off of his medicine (risperdal) cause the boy doesn’t need it. He is only on it cause she cannot parent. She ordered the doctor to put him back on the meds and now he is on additional meds cause the poor kid isn’t a morning person and she can’t “deal” with him in the mornings. With her nagging, I would have a hard time waking up to her also. The youngest child has MACE and Mettronoff surgery last year. It’s still complex for us cause the ex doesn’t fill us in on rather important medical information. A few days ago, my fiancé got blamed for supposedly not caring for her properly. Not sure how she knows how we care for her but we haven’t changed a damn thing for the past 4 months. So in a voicemail, the ex is yelling at my fiancé and then puts the 5 year old on the phone and repeats the horrible things her mother is saying. It’s very frustrating cause we can nourish the children in a positive environment but the court systems only want money. And well, her grandmother has the money so therefore, the ex-wife ‘won’. It’s all about getting the money every February that comes with having 3 kids. It’s pathetic and sickening. She is a horrible mother and doesn’t even deserve to have that title.

  • KD

    This is my story as a 19yr old girl in her first year of college……. Listen and then tell me if brainwashing children is not a form of abuse…….
    When I am on a path in life that both my mother and I agree with, I know who I am, I know what I want, and I am completely content and at peace with my life even when it gets hard and my mother and I literally never argue during this certain period in our lives………..
    This is very rare for the two of us as we both have very different personalities, attitudes, and interests…..
    However, whenever I am on a path that I would prefer but my mother completely disagrees with (say what I am studying to be for the rest of my life, a certain way I want to dress or look, people I become close with, whenever I seem to be getting closer with my dad which they never married, men I date…… actually whenever I am dating any type of guy period whether she likes him or doesn’t like him), the feeling is unbelievable……..
    I don’t know how she does it and sometimes I’m still not entirely sure why she does it (maybe a bad case of the empty nest syndrome?), but it utterly destroys my sense of knowing who I am. When these fights happen, or when I try to talk to her about about how certain things she says or does makes me feel, her response is always “I’m not doing that” or “I never meant it that way” or even “Why the hell do you always make me out to be the horrible mother?!” She screams at the top of her lungs at me, will hang up the phone on me, or when needed, she will sit there and just completely bad mouth my father.
    After these fights with her, I’m left empty and numb or aching and hurting. I end up lashing out at everyone I know and care about for a reason that I can’t completely comprehend, and then I end up hurting even worse. Sometimes, these episodes have gotten to the point where I contemplate suicide just to escape it…..
    For years, I didn’t know why I felt this way, or why I off and on questioned my mother. It wasn’t until after I had finally and fully confided in a friend that it became clear to me. Then it was put as manipulation, but as I started to dig deeper, I discovered that the actual term for it was brainwashing.
    Now, I am at the point of dropping my college education, getting a full time and part time job so that I can move away from her, scheduling therapy sessions, and trying to rebuild what relationships I have lost over the years due to this brainwashing. This makes me want to rip my hair out because for my entire life, the only place I felt safe, the only place that seemed to keep my anxiety away, was my own bedroom in my mother’s house…… and that ironically seems to be the most dangerous place for me now……
    Tell me this isn’t mental abuse……… I really dare you.

  • christine

    This word narcassist is used on many many occassions above. To have one in your life is depilitating. Im hoping there is spell chick on thing. I have a special one. The crulest of all. Im sorry if I have aggravated anyone as I type. This is the first time Ive decided to talk/tpe about it. Thats all I have to say now.

  • deanna

    I was with a man for ten years, he mentally and physically abused me. the last straw was when he beat me and kicked me down stairs. I realized that my daughter could not live in that environment.

    I filed for a dissolution and got him in the honeymoon period to agree, trying to get away i hurried and agreed to what he wanted, including $50 a week for child support. i was a typical abuse victim and returned for a bit, just to get beat up again.

    so here i am three years later free from him and his abuse (Technically) with a intelligent beautiful 6 yr old, that has been told “mommy is a whore” “mommy is on drugs” i passed a drug test trying to prove it…he was in charge of her care half of the week and spent most of his time poisoning her mind towards me. Well he made the decision to get extremely intoxicated and got punched in the face putting him in the neuroscience icu for 2 months….i thought for sure that he would be out of my life for good and i spent my time with my daughter doing normal things, such as slumber parties, swimming, established a schedule her grades went up in school, her behavior has improved she i happy, well he is back and still damaged…cant be alone due to the missing part of his skull he went right back to telling her lies and that i am bad. she cried herself to sleep last eve and now i am going to have to battle for custody..send me good vibes and hope my child can learn to be normal and healthy.
    this man has ruined my life and it is quite debilitating to see your child in pain…and thinking they dont love you and there is no hope

  • Kari

    I was raised not only by an extreme narcassist family but with several different chemical disorders and sicknesses as well. Many are crying out for help and solutions. I was a victim to abuse and being torn by several adults. There were usually a triangle in the family. If two were argueing with the third main triangle player, the fourth off the side would pull in and fill the position. The only way this triangle was broke. Was by one literally dieing. As I grew older, I met other people with similar problems and I thought they were my friends some, and I thought some were my perfect soul mate. WRONG! I was very sick, mentally physically, psycologically and spiritually. It came to the point were I began shutting down because of all the self absorbed wickedness all the people possessed. I always thought my dad was the soul bad person. And he pretty much was a brainwashing, manipulative, abusive, sick bastard. My mother always appeared the victim in desperate need. Then there was my dads mother and father, and his two sisters. The triangle was my dad and his two parents. When the triangle spilt the olderest sister would be the fill in. MAJOR bitch as well. Manipulative, controlling, abusive, not in control of their anger. I can write a book on what we went through. I ended up turning to the LORD. Some don’t believe. I didn’t believe and when I turned to the LORD the dark negative crap they threw on me started reversing and I began being restored. There is still some damage. You can forgive, unfortunately you can’t forget. As I drew closer to the LORD I wanted these dark forces, negative energies and people that behaved as such as far from me and my children as possible. I didn’t understand was a narcassist was for many years. I am still learning. The best lesson is to avoid as much confrontation with their manifestations as possible and do your best to move on and make your children aware of not becoming that degenerate generation al pass on. If can be done, however it is genetic as well. So one would have quiet the battle with it. Myself. I catch myself from time to time and the old ways try to slip in. I thank GOD that His spirit literally heard my soul crying out for help, because I was at I give up point. When I turned this all over to the Lord and it was being revealed why everything I ever did failed, was because it’s not just a sickness. it is a spiritual sickness. And I began opening the door and letting the LORD begin transforming me. Yes, there is hope for some but not all. Through it I will share. My dad got saved on his deathbed as well as my grandmother. My one brother is so so 50/50 that spirit of ego/pride is a bad one. Boasting and building themselves up and always trying to maniipulate and control situations. The rest of the family split when the main players of the triangle all passed away. The family was split, torn apart, with much hurt anguish and bitterness. It’s been tough, but seriously, it can be done. I have seen advice the best way to a narcassist is to adore them to themselves or just leave. Easier said than done; however if you are in a VERY postivie energy group of people you begin to reform also and see that the world isn’t
    just the color blue. There is a spectrum of colors out there waiting to burst open for you, if you only let it happen. Yip, you may have to pull yourself and your kids from the narcassist family, it’s either that or let them spiritual drain, destroy and kill you so you are their puppet. If you truelly had enough, don’t think negative, run to a positive group that meets. ABSOLUTELY NO NEGATIVE, that is a trick too,you do not want to be in a group of people that contantly whine about what happened to them and how miserable they are. For me the church thing worked, singing dancing and praising the LORD. I begain spiritually, physically, mentally and pyscologically healing from all the years of damage all my life. My family still gets angry because I simply do not dance to their deadbeat moaning about hate constantly. I want to live, I want to explore, I want to finally burst out of my shell and become freeer. It’s a wonderful feeling. Fleeing from such negative same page Losers that carry on the same damn conversation daily till their death. It’s up to you people. As I said, I went thru the LORD and I can do ALL things through Christ; even the impossible. Yah bless each of you that are going to be set free from this monster that put you on the shelf to only be played with at their expense. You can do it! BELIEVE

  • Chris Cullen

    i am in the process of trying to get custody, the beginning of this site explained my ex to a “T” i know for a fact that she is strung out on opiate and amphetimine pills but i thought that was the only problem, i broke up with her because i couldnt take the emotional abuse anymore then later that night she violently attacked me in front of our 3 year old daughter so i called the police to have her removed and i didnt want to press charges because i didnt want my daughter to see her mother get hauled off in a police car so then the next day i told my ex that i will reconsider leaving if she would get sober she said no, later on she came home and wanted to take off with our daughter and go sleep who knows where, her parents both live out of town and i said “i dont want you taking her couch hopping stay here since youre on the lease still and i will leave for the night i want you to spend as much time with her as you want she needs you just as much as she needs me” then she started making my daughter freak out and saying lies that should have never been said to a child and making her freak out, so i turned my back to the ex and was on my knees trying to calm her down and the ex video taped it and made it seem that i was keeping my daughter from her, well i finally calmed my daughter down told her to give mommy a hug and kiss then we went to her cousins little league game. later i asked my ex if she wanted to be with our daughter the next day and go stay with her at her grandfathers to hang out with him and her brother because i had to go to work that way she didnt have to go to a babysitter she said yes all i asked is that she would be there at 6pm so i could see our daughter for a little while before they took off… i got home my house was pretty much empty besides junk everything that meant anything to me including every single picture of my daughter i ever had was gone everything of mine that was worth any money was gone, my daughter was gone…. anyways 10 days later she had me served with a FAPA protective order which was full of lies she said i assaulted her that night among other things. she has promised to let me see her and i talked to my daughter 3 times for a total of maybe 3 minutes and only about 45 seconds of those times the ex was not making my daughter say messed up stuff. she even had my daughter call me against the restraining order and i had to hang up on her. absolutely killed my heart. so 25 days later here i am still havent seen my daughter, cant talk to her havent known where she is the whole time…. im an excelent father and a great man ask anyone who knows me, after all this i still wont ever keep my daughter from her mother and i wont be seeing my daughter for at least another month… she is my heart and soul and im lost without her.

  • Maryanne Power

    I’m glad to find a site where I can tell of my experience. I was adopted as a 13mo. old child to 2 parents who could not have their own children. They always left me and my also adopted sister with babysitters so much because they were business owners. They worked a lot. My dad was an awesome parent and spent quite a bit of time with my sister and I and he sadly died of cancer when I was 19, the day after my first son was born. I loved him dearly. My frustration lies with my mother. She paid very little attention to my sister and I growing up, controlled my dad’s near every move, always had to have everything her way. My sister and I were never good enough in her eyes. She always doubted we would be good at anything. She was always very unsocial and really had only 2 friends that I ever remember. I must add that she always was and still is a compulsive liar. Lies about anything she can. After my dad died she blamed the cause of his death on me saying i caused him so much stress by moving out the day i turned 18 and that stress killed him. My dad’s 6 month battle with cancer was caused by smoking. I moved out to get away from my mother! That blame from her was the worst thing anyone has ever said to me. She was mad at my dad for dying and leaving her alone. I was a good kid always. I’m 46 now, married for 27 years and have 3 great and talented kids. As i write this my mom is 80 yrs. old, in assisted living, has dementia and is the most narcissistic person i have ever known! She is in very poor health after smoking for 60 years. Unfortunately i have to help her now as POA along with my sister, it will be a blessing when this nightmare ends. I can’t stand her at all! I could go on and on about experiences and the pain she has caused me! I’m a christian and i really believe her example as a mother taught me how NOT to be, I would have never helped her in her old age but i hate to leave that burden to my sister alone. My sister and my mom both live within 2 miles of me. I only am helping my mother when i absolutely have to. Sometimes we have to do what we have to because it’s just the right thing to do. I have been so blessed in my life outside of my mother… sometimes you just have to take the bad with the good! I must add narcissists don”t change when they develop dementia, it just gets all tangled in with the dementia and it ‘s horrible dealing with them!

  • CC

    These stories are so familiar. My maternal grandmother is a severe narcissist. She is 88, just got kicked out of the nur. home (after 4 months) and will be living in a home w/a psych. ward. I grew up watching all the damage she did to her children (all 4). As bad as this sounds, they are all ready for her to die so they can have some peace for the first time in their lives. If one narc. wasn’t enough, 11 years ago I met the worlds sweetest man. Unfortunatley, he had (s) 3 children w/a narc. ex who rivals my grandmother. The children are now 14, 13 and 12. One is a nervous wreck w/overeating issues, one hates her mother and the youngest has PAS towards my husband and I suspect is narc. as well. He has been diagnosed with ODD and all three children are in counceling. We have been through the courts and have had a mediator for 9 years now. We are again trying to get custody of the kids (the 2 oldest). The youngest “hates” us to much at this point to live w/us. The 2 oldest say they are ready to make the change but I know they are scared to change their lives basically as we live in another town (not to far from their home town) but the schools would be different. I’m hopeing this time we can finally get them into our home so these kids can have some peace in their lives before they become adults and we can no longer act as a barrier to their mothers psychotic behavior.

  • Jennifer Galbraith

    This is absolutely my biological mother, who became this way from hers. She has almost all the traits. She has empathy….but that actually is a psychic gift in our family line. But that’s another article.
    Most the time she has a sense of humor including with herself…on certain things.
    I grew up verbally and emotionally abused and often suffered the horrible roller coaster of her “come here, go away; come here, go away relationship she always had with me. I have been doing a lot of research along with counseling since the age of 14. I am 35. Every 17 years she has turned on me (as she has done to every single family member in different time increments) viciously. Her behaviors are absolutely clockwork. I know the cycle of violence quite well and I have seen her behaviors to know exactly what will happen next.
    She has 4 siblings who have all been a victim of hers numerous times. Currently she is good with one again and I know it’s a matter of time until there is a disagreement that sets her off for her to go around the internet “collecting” anything that is said to put in her “file” for her “ammunition.”
    As a child, I never knew what mood to expect and I always tip toed into the living room to check her mood before talking to her or even looking at her rather. I was screamed at often, yet at other times told how smart I was in school and loved and such. (Hence the come here go away pattern). It also depended on my age, and if I ever had a differing opinion than she did. When I did differ on opinion and state such is when she, as a defensive listener, became angry and started passive/aggressively acting out.
    She always talked horribly about my father to me, around me, and within earshot to whoever would listen. This completely poisoned my self-image of being loved. I often felt like they were too busy fighting over me, instead of loving me. My dad was certainly not perfect, but not very bright on legal, and intellectual matters (which I believe is part of why she chose to marry him when she was 16 and he was 22) because she could manipulate. His mother was exactly like her..surprise those two hated each other….and so my dad drank just like his father did and was a bit violent when so frustrated and couldn’t express himself. However, he did change and when I was older when I poignantly asked him why he wasn’t a better dad and actually fight more for me, he didn’t shirk the question, in fact he fully admitted that he messed up by not fighting harder but gave up because she refused to let him be a dad the way he felt he “wanted” to be. Basically she was a control freak and expected him to follow certain “rules” in his home in regards to me. I’m not talking basic safety and health concerns. She had a fit with my stepmother when I was 4 because I was allowed to pour my own bowl of fruit loops in my dad and stepmom’s kitchen. That was a phone call my mother went nuts. My mother contends that my stepmother always called by clockwork. Yes they did have those issues, but my mother certainly did not have any culpability in that.
    I was put in counseling at 14. My stepmother and I had issues that over the years, we have worked out wonderfully (even though she and my dad divorced when I was 18 or so and she has remarried, she is still my mom to me). When my youth counselor requested that my stepmother stay for the appointment because she felt that we had issues and wanted me to voice them, my stepmother was a bit upset/shocked/mad/felt no need…whatever it was, she still said “Ok you’re the professional and if it helps Jennifer,” and sat right down. When my bio mother was asked by phone by my therapist, my mother became angry and refused. She made sure I knew it as she confronted me with it informing me (verbal attacks) that she didn’t have the problem and was not going and was basically insulted. I was 14. So when this cycle repeated and I was needing her, she again was asked by my current therapist (through me..but his request) for her to go so I could put this all behind me for good; she was pissed and refused again and told me to just get over it that she has told me everything she thinks I need to know about anything past. She also made fun of me to my 17 year old baby brother (who suffers abuse in the form of dejuvenilazation as she is married to his father and talks crap constantly and treats him as her emotional equal). So, I have been rejected often my whole life, but also twice now just for going to a basic hour session to help her own flesh and blood daughter just finally bury the past for good.
    I have since cut her out of my life after telling her that I believe all this plus she always felt threatened by having her daughter “stealing the attention from her” and hated me because her mother hated her. I watched her earn her mothers love her entire life and finally did by working for it in her mother’s death from cancer. I love my Grandma but I was at her home a lot and she was mean until I became an adult and she realized she did love me and respected me enough to not badmouth people to me. But my mother had a monetary gain in caring for her mother so it doesn’t surprise me, just like with her aunt. I think her aunt is the only one she’s actually genuinely loved, however she stands to gain financially as well and the other siblings of hers are simply (according to my mother) jealous and want the money and far from true anyway.
    So online my mother has been publicly writing on her Facebook calling me a liar and some really horrid things to remain in her role as a victim to her current friends. She’s been telling any family member that are her age (’cause my cousins are my age and she knows better they won’t believe her) and older every little thing “I have done to her.” All I did was confront her about everything with examples via email and told her everything I ever thought since I was 4 and told her that I know that she can’t love me because I’m a girl and my father’s daughter because of her mother. She loves my brothers as they are no threat to her. I told her that I remember what she has done to me and just because she can rewrite history and believe her own lies does not make it true and that she did turn me against my father for a long time so when she claimed it was “my choice” to see my dad later…it really wasn’t much of my choice that what she did is called Parental Alienation. After telling her off and informing her that she has never stepped foot near a counseling session, anger management (I had it for over a year in my 20s..which she stated my counselor there was full of crap too) or had a college class past Introduction to Psychology in the 1980s…she didn’t know near as much as I do. Her education is not as high as mine is, nor is her experience in this matter. I also cut her out of my life and have been much happier. The actual final straw was her not being a grandma to my only child, a boy….but of course she had to get pregnant the same time I did (surprise). She would buy gifts for holidays and birthdays when it was “good between us” but that’s it. He’s stayed at her house a max of 5 times and he’s almost 12. The day he asked me “Mom does Grandma even like me?” (the very same thing I asked her when I was that age) I was heartbroken and told her that she was just different with problems. Now…he knows the truth ..what’s appropriate anyway. I want her nowhere near my son.
    I have changed a lot to not have these negative qualities. I do with my son what she never did with me by validating his feelings and loving him. His father and I had a very abusive marriage which turned co-battery after I became tired of being beat up for 2 years. I was a mess too but have worked hard to never be like my mother. My son’s safety is my priority, but I have done my best to overcome and not use my son as a pawn. His father has changed finally and I am so proud of him and have always been his cheerleader once he stopped stalking me. I am not perfect but I always have done my best to not talk bad about his dad to him or where he can hear. I just think it’s wrong. I did not want to screw him up the way my parents did to me. I love my son too much to cause him that kind of pain. Now, his father and I are best friends. Surprisingly was are close like a brother and sister would be (as odd as that sounds) I love him like family.
    So at least something positive came from my childhood abuse. Thank you for letting me share and sorry so long.

  • Jennifer Galbraith

    I wanted to add that my mother was always telling me that my father was always threatening to kidnap me.
    Ok I stated he did not understand the legality of what the court said parental kidnapping was. My father did have a learning disability. He did pick me up from school when he was upset at my mother’s visitation antics and he legally wasn’t supposed to. He lived a block from my school. My stepmother had to explain to him the legal meaning and that he could not do that.
    But my mother put this awful fear in me about it. I had to walk home to my grandmother’s 3 blocks since Kindergarten and she was telling me this…brainwashing me. I was scared to death and even in Kindergarten knew enough that I hoped that if I did get kidnapped that please let it be my dad so I know I wouldn’t be beat up or made to have sex (rape…but didn’t know that term then). Yes at 6 years old I was smart even then. Children are very perceptive.
    She claims she never brainwashed me and I’m a liar…hello I’m not brainwashed anymore but keep believing what ya want lol.

    Also my friends all thought she was crazy and never said anything to her because they knew I would get the punishment…even in highschool. An online friend saw a post she put up trashing me and messaged her 3 little sentences saying she should be ashamed of herself and is disgusting and sorry excuse for a mother (condensed) and I didn’t even know until AFTER as she didn’t tell me until she sent it. I got told by her via email (as well as a public blast on her page..she is where the public can see her page) that I am lying to my so called friends and how dare I get them to message her. Told her stupid @$$ that I didn’t even know and maybe she shouldn’t be public. For supposedly knowing HTML so well you would think she could figure out some privacy settings on Facebook. (yes I told her that)
    My friend felt so badly not knowing I would suffer and has not done that since and apologized.
    So ….she can live her life without me and keep whining and talking smack because I don’t care really. I almost feel sorry for her because all she has is money.
    But she does this every few days to try to get me to go back into her cycle. I broke the cycle and she’s not knowing how to handle her lack of control and I believe she’s going crazy because of it spinning in her own circles.
    I do think it’s funny and part of me gets a sick satisfaction in it. I am human. I do my best to remember that it’s those negative qualities I do not want back!

  • Jennifer Galbraith

    she has 3 siblings, not 4. typo.

    I highly suggest this to everyone:

    Anger Management
    Parenting Classes
    Psychology, Social Psychology, Sociology, Ethics….all these types of classes. One, the text books are the most informative and two, the class structure teaches well. Plus you get an education 🙂

    Trust me, these things help.